Wednesday, February 21, 2018

February is Eating Disorder Awareness Month

Canada, The United Kingdom and The United States use the month of February to raise awareness about Eating Disorders.

Generally, eating disorders involve self-critical, negative thoughts and feelings about body weight and food, and eating habits that disrupts normal body function, and daily life activities.

What causes eating disorders is not entirely clear, though a combination of psychological, genetic, social and family factors are thought to contribute to the disorder.

Types of Eating Disorders

Anorexia Nervosa ~ Essentially self-starvation, this disorder involves a refusal to maintain a minimally normal body weight. In severe cases, anorexia can be life-threatening.

Bulimia Nervosa ~ This involves repeated episodes of binge eating, followed by ways of trying to purge the food from the body or prevent expected weight gain. People can have this condition and be of normal weight.

Binge-eating Disorder ~ This is characterized by frequent episodes of overeating without purging.

Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS) ~ A range of other disordered eating patterns don’t fit into the other types of eating disorders. These eating patterns are still serious, and intervention and attention are necessary.

Left unattended, eating disorders can lead to serious health problems or even death.

While many believe depression has the highest death rate of any mental illness, the truth is that anorexia does, making it the most lethal psychiatric illness. In the US alone, over 30 million people struggle with an eating disorder. Studies estimate 23 people die every day from an eating disorder. That makes the math every 62 minutes a day.

Link here to find a therapist that specializes in eating disorders. Treatment helps and recovery is possible.


The National Eating Disorder Information Centre: Canada

Eating Disorders Association: United Kingdom

The National Eating Disorders Association: United States

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

February 11-17 is Random Acts of Kindness Week

Observed every February, and celebrated this year from February 11-17, 2018, #RAKWeek is an annual opportunity to connect with others through kindness. 

Led by the Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Foundation, this seven-day celebration demonstrates how kindness starts with just a simple act. It’s an opportunity for you to do something in this world that will inspire others to do the same.

Acts of kindness needn't be complicated or involved. A simple smile, holding a door open, putting a shopping cart back in its place, leaving a generous tip you can afford, holding an elevator, doing something special for a loved one. It doesn't take much. Just a little effort and a gentle kindness.  

Practicing kindness every day offers tremendous physical and emotional benefits. From lowering blood pressure to increasing the feel good hormone oxytocin and serotonin, kindness is a simple act that benefits those who give it and those who receive it. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

January is National Mentoring Month

January is National Mentoring Month - where we celebrate mentors. The 2018 campaign reflects on the incredible growth of the mentoring movement, recognizing the real life mentoring relationships that form and thrive each day, and offer opportunities to thank the mentors who inspired us.
There are few relationships in life that are more influential than those between a mentor and a young person. I know this from both sides of the coin. I've had many mentors in my life growing up. A person who took a unique interest in me, fostered my growth and guided me onward.

I've also been a mentor to many. The experience has been so rewarding and meaningful to me. In fact, research shows that mentoring is an extraordinary experience for all involved.

Be mentor.

Change a life.

And transform your own.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Depression in Later Life Paperback Book Give-A-Way

My award winning Gold Medal Book of the Year, "Depression in Later Life" is now available in paperback. To celebrate, I'm offering an autographed copy via Goodreads. Enter to win today!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Depression in Later Life by Deborah Serani

Depression in Later Life

by Deborah Serani

Giveaway ends December 31, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Saturday, November 25, 2017

15 Tips for Mental Fitness

1. Learn to Relax: Allow yourself to let go of inner tensions by giving yourself a “mini vacation.” Give your mind a break by becoming engrossed in a book, watching a movie, listening to music, taking a walk, working on a hobby, meditating or just taking a few moments to just be.

2. Be Kind To Yourself: People are frequently too hard on themselves when things don’t go right. Tune into your self-talk. Counteract your negative thoughts about yourself with positive statements.

3. Eat Properly: Nutrition has a direct impact on feeling mentally positive. Aim to eat healthy.

4. Find A Friend: Social connections are very important to mental fitness. Developing acquaintances and friendships combats loneliness. Having supportive friends helps you grow as a person and have a safe place to share your dreams and struggles.

5. Learn to Say “No”: Often people feel the need to respond immediately when a friend or family member make a request. Help yourself set limits by avoiding the quick “knee jerk” response in the affirmative. Instead, let them know you will get back to them shortly. Then do a check of your schedule; ask yourself if you really want to add to your load. Give yourself permission to say “No” when you are too busy to take on additional commitments of your time or energy.

6. Exercise: Check with your doctor about what level is best for you. Even a brisk 15-minute walk, three times a week does wonders for how you think and feel.

7. Do It Now: Procrastination can lead to negative feelings about yourself. One doesn’t have to go to extremes, but it can feel very satisfying at the end of the day to have accomplished a hard task or met a difficult situation head-on.

8. Adapt To Rather Than Resist Change: Change is inevitable and is a necessary part of life. The important thing is to be patient with yourself when you are going through change, and to give yourself time to go through the phases of transition. Realize it takes time to let go of the old and embrace the new.

9. Test Your Assumptions: Sometimes in our interactions with other people, we make the most incredible assumptions and act as if they are true. Rather than assuming, it might be worth the risk to ask directly what was meant.

10. Express Your Feelings: Emotions are a natural response to life. It is important to find ways to express your feelings. Journaling your thoughts is one way that can help you clarify what you are feeling. Once you have identified your feelings, you may find it easier to share them with others.

11. Grieve Losses: Sadness and grief are natural and appropriate responses to the losses which we all experience. Grief over the loss of a love one can be very painful and may last for some time. By being kind and allowing ourselves the time to grieve, we have the potential to be stronger than ever

12. Rest: Get a good night’s sleep. Not everyone needs the same amount of sleep, but it should be restful sleep. There are many techniques available to help promote relaxation; or, you might want to check with your doctor rather than assuming your restless sleep is simply something you have to live with.

13. Review Your “Shoulds”: If you feel stuck by some things you “Should” be doing and aren’t, set a time limit by which you will either have them done or get rid of them. Staying stuck in the middle is a good way to punish yourself and cause mental anguish and stress.

14. Have A Laugh: Nurture your sense of humor, especially about yourself. Trying to see the humorous side of things makes even the most difficult situations easier to bear. Laughter is good medicine. Being too serious limits your ability to enjoy life.

15. Ask For Help: If you need emotional support or just someone to talk to, don’t be afraid to ask for it. There are times in life when everyone must look outside themselves for comfort and advice. If friends can do the job, ask them to help. If not, be assured that professional help is available through your employee assistance program.


Thursday, November 02, 2017

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is November 18, 2017

In 1999, Senator Harry Reid, a survivor of his father’s 1972 suicide, introduced a new resolution into the US Senate. With its passage, the US Congress designated the Saturday before Thanksgiving as National Survivors of Suicide Day - an awareness day that reaches out to thousands of people who have lost a loved one to suicide.

National Survivors of Suicide Day has evolved into a global awareness day called International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day thanks to the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. 

Sometimes called "Survivor Day," this November 17th will find children and adults affected by suicide loss gathering around the world at events in their local communities to find comfort and heal. Last year, there were over 350 Survivor Day events in 18 countries.
Every 40 seconds, someone dies by suicide. 
Every 41 seconds someone tries to understand that loss. 

If you need help, are suicidal or feeling hopeless, please call 1-800-273-TALK.