7 Ways To Stay Happy This Winter

By Riddhi Shah

Winter DepressionYour shopping list is growing ever-longer, it’s getting dark earlier and earlier, a mountain of greeting cards awaits your attention and the family feuds just don’t seem to stop. What’s not to love about the holiday season?

Despite the supposed good cheer surrounding the holidays, the end of the year is actually a stressful time for many. Some studies say that as many as 1 in 10 people in the northern states suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or winter depression. “We certainly see dips in mood and energy levels in the winter months. There are a lot of demands on you during the holidays -– social obligations, shopping lists,” says Dr. Drew Ramsey, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and author of “The Happiness Diet.”

Dr. Norman Rosenthal, psychiatrist, Seasonal Affective Disorder specialist and author of the book “Winter Blues” agrees: “Many of us just can’t achieve the expected level of happiness that commercials portray.”

But the holidays don’t need to be a season of sadness. All you need is a plan — especially one that includes exercise, healthy eating and a host of mood-boosting activities. Check out our winter happiness plan below.

Full story at Huffington Post


By Kimberly Snyder

Benefits of Shopping Farmers MarketsLocal farmer’s markets have sprung up everywhere, and many people are enjoying the benefits associated with being able to drive a few miles to pick up fresh produce and other products.

Are you shopping at your local farmer’s market? If not, here are my top 15 reasons why you should.

1. Farm fresh: Fruits and vegetables you find at the grocery store are often several days old before they even reach the produce aisle. Before produce hits supermarket shelves, it ships in refrigerated trucks, possibly from thousands of miles away. Farmer’s market produce, on the other hand, is nearly the antithesis of grocery store fruits and vegetables. In most cases, the owner of the stand picked it just that morning, so you know the food is as fresh as you can get it outside of growing it yourself.

2. Organic and non-GMO: Many farmers participating in local farmer’s markets use organic methods to grow their produce. Most label it as such, so you can be certain you are purchasing chemical free products. They also are more likely to use non-modified seeds. Organic farming is better for the soil, the environment, and your body.

Full story at Stylelist

Who, What, Why: How do you assess a killer’s mental health?

BBC News

Anders Behring BreivikSelf-confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik is more likely to be detained in a mental institute rather than prison, after psychiatrists in Norway declared him psychotic. How is this kind of assessment carried out?

Breivik, who admits killing 77 people and injuring 151 others in July, has been declared a paranoid schizophrenic after months of assessment.

A report by two court-appointed psychiatrists says he was psychotic at the time of the shootings and in subsequent interviews. Their findings must now be reviewed by a panel from the Norwegian Board of Forensic Medicine.

If approved, it could mean he is detained indefinitely in a psychiatric hospital and will not stand trial.

So how are such assessments made? And how accurate can they really be?

Full story at BBC News

Promises Treatment Centers Finds Addiction Interventions Particularly Powerful Over the Holidays

Press Release

Holiday Addiction InterventionsWhile many families overlook drug or alcohol problems during the holidays to keep the family intact, the addiction specialists at Promises Treatment Centers have found that addiction interventions are especially powerful at this time of year.

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) November 29, 2011

Holiday music and films instill visions of what the holidays should be, but they aren’t the reality for the millions of families affected by addiction. As holiday celebrations approach, families are left with a series of less-than-ideal ways to approach the addict in their lives. Do they ban the addict from the holiday festivities? Should they allow the addict to ruin another get-together?

Fortunately, there is another option. Staging an addiction intervention confronts the problem head-on, helping the addict get the treatment they need and granting family members the peace of mind to enjoy the holiday season.

An addiction intervention is a pre-planned meeting with the addict and their closest family, friends and colleagues that is designed to help the addict into drug rehab. In a loving, supportive manner, concerned participants describe the way addiction has impacted their lives and the consequences for refusing to accept help.

Full story at San Francisco Chronicle

Laughter the best medicine, certified psychiatric and mental health nurse says

By Susan Shelly

Laughter In a HospitalAging, as the saying goes, is not for sissies. From being unable to remember the name of a person you’ve just met, to knees that complain as you walk up the steps, to losing the car keys for the third time that day – sometimes it’s all you can do to not just sit down and cry.

Unless, according to Rita E. Miller, a certified psychiatric and mental health nurse, you learn how to laugh.

“We all need humor, especially as we get older,” said Miller, who recently spoke to a group of residents at Penn’s Crossing, a Spring Township apartment facility for individuals 62 years or older. “Humor is one of our very best ways to cope.”

Laughing not only makes you feel good, Miller said, it triggers healthy physical changes in your body, including strengthening the immune system, boosting energy levels, lessening pain and protecting you from damaging effects of stress. It also is good for improved kidney and brain function.

Full story at Reading Eagle