Debilitating Arthritis

Arthritis Awareness Week (March 15 – 21) is ideal for acknowledging this debilitating disease that affects more than 3.85 million Australians. Arthritis is the broader term for a many forms of this disease with the most significant being osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. The most common symptoms involve the joints with pain, stiffness, swelling, redness and decreased motion.

Arthritis is the major cause of disability and chronic pain in Australia. Despite the perception that arthritis is something that happens when we get older, it is not a natural part of ageing with the majority of sufferers being working age. Due to their condition, they are often forced to surrender their careers.juvenile arthritis

Unfortunately, arthritis is not just restricted to elderly persons. One in every 1,000 children (or approx 6,000) in Australia suffer from Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. It is considered a chronic condition because there is no cure and joints are inflamed for at least 6 weeks but often will last for months or even years.  There are treatments available but it only masks the disease.  The good news with JIA is that the symptoms can go into remission, the duration of which varies and sometimes up to a lifetime. Up to 50 per cent of children may go into full remission before adulthood. Fortunately, there are support groups to help. Kid’s arthritis is as common as childhood diabetes and seriously under recognised and resourced. Dramatic advances in treatment for JIA in the past decade mean that much of the joint damage, deformity and disability it causes can now be prevented. But as with most diseases, the earlier the diagnosis, the better the outcome.

In a recent study by UNSW, Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) for Arthritis Australia the following key findings were made:

  • Nearly all people with arthritis experience difficulty with daily activities;
  • One third of people with arthritis are unable to manage their home or garden;
  • One in four are permanently unable to work or study due to their condition;
  • Five per cent require assistance with basic personal care, such as showering and dressing;
  • One in five experience significant hardship as a result of the added costs and/or reduced work capacity associated with their condition.

As the condition progresses, joint damage can occur, resulting in joint weakness, instability and deformities that can interfere with the most basic daily tasks, such as walking, driving a car and preparing meals.  Sometimes it can effect the eye sight too.

Fortunately, they can always reach out to our services  and ease the pain of simply just getting through the day. Since arthritis can affect people of all ages, their needs and wants will also vary but the one aspect they all require is a helping hand and support – whether it is just an hour or so or around the clock.

Arthritis Australia is the peak arthritis organisation in Australia with offices in each state. The organisation offers support and promotes awareness of the challenges facing people with arthritis to the community and to leaders in business, industry, and Government. In addition, Arthritis Australia funds research into potential causes and possible cures as well as better ways to live with arthritis.

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Just 2 Hours A Week

Image the difference that just 2 hours a week could make to someone you cared about?  

That is often the thought of an enquiring family member when they first see someone they care about starting to struggle with some every day tasks. It may be early onset dementia, crippling arthritis, post-hospital surgery or progressive effects of MS. It really doesn’t matter what the cause is, it matters that they are continuing to enjoy quality of life with some assistance to remain independent with respect.Caring at home post-surgery

We all live busy lives, some busier than others, but we are not all geared to being carers when someone is needing a little extra assistance. The team at Your Home Care are often asked to just give as little as 2 hours a week to help out. That is the greatest relief to many carers or loved ones.

Asking a third person to shower someone each day can give the sufferer the dignity they deserve but takes courage to reach out. Handling over the responsibility of preparing some meals to ensure they are eating well for the times you can’t be there. Knowing that the washing and cleaning was taken care of can be such a relief to family members that feel burdened with the job. The peace of mind that someone will oversee the medication required to keep their loved ones at home. Just assurance that the person is getting the necessary rest to recuperate after surgery or during intensive therapy, is priceless.

Often our carers start with just 2 hours a week with their clients but many have realised that there is more to benefit from having the person around and may increase the hours as the confidence and relationship grows. The loved one that is suffering at home is then able to remain at home, the family are happier knowing that they are receiving the care they require and our carers are passionate about ensuring the client’s best quality of life and comfort at all times. And when you start with a specific carer, that is the very person that will be with you each and every visit, throughout your time of need. That’s a real assurance and peace of mind.

So, just 2 hours a week? What a difference that could make!


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Heat Related Illness

Summer is here and for some, it means getting really hot under the collar. Heat stress occurs when our body is unable to cool itself enough to maintain a healthy temperature. Normally, the body cools itself by sweating, but sometimes sweating isn’t enough and the body temperature keeps rising. Heat-related illness can range from mild conditions such as a rash or cramps to very serious conditions such as heat stroke which can kill if not observed.heat stress

Over exertion in hot weather and exercising or working in hot, poorly ventilated or confined areas can increase your risk of heat stress. You don’t have to be outside to suffer heat stress. Heat can also make an existing medical condition worse, for example heart disease.

Anyone can suffer from heat-related illness, but those most at risk are:

  • People over 65 years, particularly those living alone or without air conditioning
  • Young children (including babies), pregnant and nursing mums
  • People who are physically unwell, especially with heart disease, high blood pressure or lung disease
  • Some people on medications for mental illness.

Elderly people are more prone to heat stress than younger people because their body may not adjust well to sudden or prolonged temperature change. They are also more likely to have a chronic medical condition and be taking medication that may interfere with the body’s ability to regulate temperature.  Depending on the elderly’s mental state, they may not even realise they are over-heating.

The body’s ideal temperature is 37 degrees. The body cools itself by sweating, which normally accounts for 70 to 80 per cent of the body’s heat loss. If a person becomes dehydrated, they don’t sweat as much and their body temperature keeps rising.

The elderly may not always be able to access a drink by themselves and therefore even more important that they are monitored during the hot summer days. If left alone, they may even suffer heat stroke which is an extremely dangerous condition. Heat stroke occurs when the core body temperature rises above 40.5C and the body’s internal systems start to shut down. Many organs in the body suffer damage and the body temperature must be reduced quickly. They are basically cooking inside. Most people will have profound central nervous system changes such as delirium, coma and seizures. The person may stagger, appear confused, have a fit or collapse and become unconscious. As well as effects on the nervous system, there can be liver, kidney, muscle and heart damage. With heat stroke, the skin may be dry and their mental condition will be deteriorating. They may also experience heat rash, dizziness, cramps and be totally exhausted.

Urgent treatment may be required. Prevention is easier than the treatment. Ensure they are checked on at least twice a day, have adequate ventilation, maybe a fan or air conditioning, they eat light meals to maintain their energy and take it easy with lots of rest. If you notice an elderly person is suffering from heat related stress, then call a doctor urgently or take them to a hospital. Then loosen their clothing and wet their skin with water and put a fan on them to drop their temperature. Do not give them fluids to drink at this stage. If they are already unconscious, then roll them on their side and clear their airway.

If you are unable to monitor someone elderly, then reach out and ask Your Home Care to assist and know your loved ones are being cared for and safe.


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Coping With Grief

Losing someone you love or care for deeply about is one of the most painful experiences you can suffer. Your emotions can do a rollercoaster ride and you may think the pain and loss will never go. These are normal reactions to a great loss and no two people re-act the same. There are some healthy ways to cope with the pain and over time, it can allow you to move forward.

It is a natural, normal part of our behaviour to suffer grief. The more significant the loss, the more intense the grief may be.  Suffering grief is often associated with the death of someone, however, it can be due to divorce or loss of a friendship even the loss of one’s career and self-worth.WonderNotGriefx

Grieving is a very personal and highly individual experience. How you grieve depends on many factors, including your personality and coping style, your life experience, your faith may also influence your grieving style, and maybe the nature of the loss. This whole process takes time. Healing happens gradually in one’s own time. For some people it may be a quick recovery, for others the grieving may linger for many years.   Whatever your reason for the grief, it’s important to be patient with yourself or those around you and allow the process to naturally unfold.

The process of grieving comes in stages.  This is the usual or common process:

  1. DENIAL – we just don’t want to accept what is happening
  2. ANGER – why the hell is this happening to me? It must be someone’s fault
  3. BARGAINING – I wish this didn’t happen, but if only I did something about it
  4. DEPRESSION – I just can’t see my way out of it
  5. ACCEPTANCE – OK, I can accept what has happened and can’t change that

Most people will experience some or all of the processes, and it’s OK if you skip a few. Sometimes when there are special occasions, these emotions may return i.e. Christmas family gathering and someone is absent, wedding anniversary spent alone etc.

We often think of grief as a strictly emotional process, but grief often involves physical problems, including fatigue, nausea, lowered immunity, weight loss or weight gain, aches and pains, and insomnia. It is the ideal time to reach out and seek assistance to support you through this time.  Just a few hours a week maybe all that is required to make the difference.

Friends and family are usually well meaning with their support but sometimes we may need to seek professional assistance of a counsellor or doctor to pull through. Our carers can also assist with the daily tasks to allow the sufferer to spend that important time in grieving without being stressed about ‘the rest of the world’ issues and always willing to lend a shoulder to lean on. There are great benefits in joining a support group. Sharing your sorrow with others who have experienced similar losses can help immensely.  Sharing your loss makes the burden of grief easier to carry.

Those caring for someone suffering from grief should also be aware to identify the difference between grief and the onset of depression. Even when you’re in the middle of the grieving process, you will have moments of pleasure or happiness. With depression, on the other hand, the feelings of emptiness and despair are constant.

No matter how you cope with grief, remember to reach out and ask for the support during this time, if only just for a while. All things come to an end, even our darkest times. Remember, death may leave a heartache but love with leave a memory.

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How Will NDIS Assist Those In Need?

The NDIS is a new national scheme designed to help improve disability services and provide greater control and decision making to people with disability in Australia.  It has been long awaited relief for those with disabilities or caring for ones with a disability.  Some locations around Australia have been fortunate enough to be trialling the new National Disability Insurance Scheme although Queensland will have to wait a little longer for its trial, with the full scheme beginning July 2019.  It is hoped that by trialling in selected locations first, it will provide valuable experience and evidence for further implementation nationally without too many problems.  The scheme will cost $22.2 billion a year when it is fully operational in 2019-20.NDIS

The current disability support system is financially unsustainable. Funding growth is not
keeping pace with the growing demand for disability services and equipment. This puts increasing strain on families and carers, making informal care arrangements unsustainable and causing a vicious cycle. Available money is diverted away from early intervention services that support people to build their independence towards expensive crisis-management services limited to the most urgent need.  Pressure on other service systems increases as people with disability find themselves in hospital for longer because they can’t get disability support to live at home or in poverty because they can’t get to work each day.

The NDIS will provide funding for ‘reasonable and necessary’ support, services and equipment. Some of the guidelines in the Act will help decide what can be funded but generally the supports and services should assist a person to:

  •  achieve your goals
  • become more independent
  • develop skills for basic day to day living
  • take part in the community
  • work and earn some money

The practical application of this means:

  • Mobility – moving safely in the home or community (equipment and advice for the home, a cane, a seeing eye dog, training on how to use these things as well as any residual vision);
  • Communication – special and general devices and training that helps with reading and writing (assistive technology – Scanners, Refreshable Braille displays, Magnifiers, portable and desktop CCTVs; and software – screen readers, JAWS) and general communication technology that a person with vision loss can use like smart phones;
  • Self-care and self-management – strategies, training, tips and equipment to organise your home and identify items;
  • Social interaction – this could include services or activities to help you link and connect with the community, and support to participate in recreation, cultural and sporting activities;
  • Learning – includes supports such as early intervention, aids and equipment, training, and/or access to a variety of services such as literacy services (like Braille, access to our Feelix Library for Children, adaptive technology training), vocational education and training, therapy, accessing information, and transcription. You may also need help getting there and getting around such as orientation and mobility training. It will depend on a person’s life stage – a child, a young person, and adult. Of course, individual needs will vary according to life stage; and
  • Capacity for social and economic participation – supports to assist you to have a job and participate in the community.

At this stage, it appears that only persons under 65 years of age will be eligible however, once you are accepted, if you turn 65 years, the support will continue.  You eligibility will depend upon your location, age level of disability and early intervention supports that may be available.  The NDIS website has an accessible checker to see if you may be eligible, go to  If your application is not successful, they will have an appeal process in place and a Tribunal will make a decision.

The main aim of the scheme is to fund long-term, high quality care and support (excluding income replacement) for people with significant disabilities. In Australian, there would be about 460,000 people able to receive funding support through the scheme at any given time.

The NDIS is likely to cover other supports offered to many people with disability, including aids and equipment, home and community care, personal care, domestic assistance, respite, home and vehicle modifications and community access.

This will greatly take some pressure off anybody with disabilities or their carers knowing that they will now receive funding to deliver the quality of care and life that they or their loved ones deserve.

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Easing The Pain In Palliative Care

Palliative care may affect all of us at some stage in our lives whether as a patient, carer, family member, neighbour or friend.  The goal of palliative care is to improve the quality of life of patients and families who face life-threatening illness by providing pain and symptom relief, and psychosocial support.  When someone has an illness that cannot be cured and will lead to death, palliative care may be suggested. Palliative care is that part of healthcare provided to people who have a progressing illness that will lead to an eventual death. Cure is no longer the aim of treatment. Instead, maintaining the best quality of life possible becomes the priority. With the growing ageing population in Australia, the demand for palliative care is only going to continue.  Some key findings in a recent report from The Institute of Health and Welfare Australia, outlined the following facts:patient-with-teddy-bear

  • there were more than 57,600 palliative care-related separations reported in public and private hospitals in 2011–12.
  • almost $4.7 million in Medicare Benefits Schedule payments was paid for palliative medicine specialist services in 2012–13.

Most people facing a terminal illness or life threatening illness would like to choose to spend as much time as possible in their own home surrounded by those they love and in a familiar environment. Unfortunately, sometimes the patient has been admitted to hospital or a nursing home where palliative care is delivered. It certainly takes courage and commitment from not just the family members and friends to provide continuous care at home but our caring staff are are vital to offer support and ease the pain in palliative care for the patient.  Love and kindness are not luxuries in your time of need but a necessary part of the care.

Palliative care likes to co-exist with medical specialists to offer the best quality a patient can experience, to make them comfortable, ensure their daily chores are attended to, their meals cooked for them and some quality of life is available around the clock.  Sometimes it can be as simple as a walk around the garden, or being wheeled in a wheelchair around the garden – simply getting out and touching nature and escaping the bedroom blues. Many of our clients just enjoy having a book read or a conversation. Managing the symptoms and easing the pain is the core focus.

Talking about the subject of palliative care can be hard. You and your family may find this, and so will some health professionals. Talking about death and dying can be stressful because many people feel it is easier to avoid the subject. However, at some stage, it may have to be addressed. It is helpful to contact us to discuss palliative care early rather than later from the first diagnosis of a terminal illness. This will enable us to fully plan the best possible path to take for your loved one in a time of need. You may also wish to discuss this with your doctor and get a referral.

Often family members offer assistance in the early stages of a terminally ill person but after time you will become exhausted and drained from the demands.  Not just from the physical demands but you can become emotionally drained also. It is not an easy task and may also deprive you from your own daily life. We would like to have a collaborative approach to ensure the family is still included in the care, that all persons involved receive the support they require and most of all, the patient receives best quality care in their time of need.

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A New Year Ahead – A Promise Of A New You

It’s almost a New Year and so many of us are seeking a brand new ‘us’ and therefore come up with some good and sometimes, some ridiculous plans to make a better ‘us’.
The most common kind of resolution aims at personal self-improvement: lose weight; exercise more; get out of debt; quit smoking; learn Spanish; spend less time on Facebook and a few more. But what is the value of a resolution without a plan of action to ensure it is more than just a pipedream?newyearresolutions

The resolution that could have the most profound benefit on one’s life would have to be to quit smoking.

Did you know that smoking tobacco is the catalyst to so many other health conditions? You may be surprised. So if your New Year’s resolution is to quit smoking forever, the health benefits speak for themselves. But the hardest step and the key to successfully quitting, is recognising what triggers your impulse to smoke. Once you recognise those triggers, whether it is stress or social occasions, then you can work around them towards quitting.

Research has shown that most smokers don’t want to smoke but the lack of confidence, self-awareness and skills to quite successfully. Around 84% of smokers have tried to quite at least once, whereas over half have tried to quite several times.

Need a reason to quit?
1. Smoking harms nearly every organ in your body. One in two smokers who never quite will die from a smoking caused disease.
2. Tobacco smoke comprises of thousands of chemicals with about 70 of them causing cancer.
3. Long term smokers are at a higher risk of developing many diseases and health problems including different cancers, lung disease, heart disease, heart attacks and strokes, and poor blood circulation in feet and hands.

Why do we care?
In our business, we come across so many clients that have their quality of life compromised due to the effects of smoking throughout their lives. Being incapacitated due to a stroke that possibly could have been avoided, when the mind is still active but the body can’t follow through, tugs on the heart strings of our carers and the client’s families.

Getting help
To increase your chances of quitting successfully, it may assist you to seek guidance from a professional organisation or coach, or better still, with a support buddy that will quit with you. There are many nicotine replacement products available from patches, gum and sprays that have proven effective. The first step, is to have a strong desire to want to quit.

The most effective method, according to research, is straight out ‘cold turkey’ often supported by patches or medication.

Sometimes there may be withdrawal symptoms from anxiety, cravings, increased appetite, poor concentration, irritability or restlessness but be assured, these feelings will pass and the benefits of your new healthier body will outweigh a small amount of symptoms.

While some parts of the lungs may heal from the damage caused by smoking, much of the damage is permanent and will leave smokers (and quitters) at an increased risk for a range of health problems.

So before you raise a glass to your new found resolution for a better year ahead, just spend a few moments to do some planning and a few action steps to ensure it actually happens. Here’s to a healthier you!

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Bedridden Risks

Being bedridden can be very difficult for many patients to try and adjust to and it can also cause other health problems as well. It is important for family caregivers to know what to expect so that they can manage or avoid the health risks that bedridden patients are prone to. Being bedridden needs careful management

The most common health risk for bedridden patients is pressure ulcers. People with full mobility rotate their body periodically while sleeping which keeps the blood flowing normally and prevents pressure ulcers, but those with limited mobility are usually unable to rotate their body on their own. Sitting or lying in the same position for long periods of time may cause pressure ulcers because the part of the body that has pressure on it has a decreased blood supply available. Over time the decreased blood supply causes the flesh in these areas to die and form sores that can become very deep if not properly cared for. Pressure ulcers can easily become infected and cause further complications so it is important for family caregivers to rotate their loved ones periodically to prevent pressure ulcers from forming.

Increased pressure on the body from immobility can also lead to pulmonary congestion, pneumonia and back pain. As patients remain immobile pulmonary secretions build up in the chest and cause other complications. Pneumonia can be a very serious illness, especially in the elderly because of their weakened immune system so it is important for family caregivers to watch for signs and symptoms that may indicated that their loved ones may have pneumonia and help prevent their loved ones from getting pneumonia. Remaining in one position for a long period of time also puts extra pressure on the spinal column which causes back pain that can be very uncomfortable for patients. Regularly rotating patients is the best way to prevent pulmonary congestion and spinal column pressure so family caregivers should make sure that they are rotating their loved one on a regular basis to avoid pressure ulcers, pneumonia and back pain.

Depression is also a very common health risk for those that are bedridden because they are unable to care for themselves and maintain the social life that they used to have. Many seniors begin to feel hopeless when they become bedridden but this can be prevented with proper care. Family caregivers should make sure that they are caring for their loved one’s social and emotional needs as well as their physical needs. Many family caregivers focus only on the physical needs of their loved ones and forget that they have emotional and social needs as well. Family caregivers can help their loved ones by providing them with regular social activities and arranging times for friends and other family members to come over so that they will not feel lonely and forgotten. Family caregivers can also remind their loved ones that being bedridden does not necessarily mean that they have to give up everything they used to enjoy.

Sleep problems often arise from being bedridden and unable to move. Sleep problems are very common because patients are unable to move themselves if they are uncomfortable so they are forced to lie in bed in an uncomfortable position that keeps them awake.

Even a loss of appetite may occur since the patient loses interest in many aspects of life due to the lack of stimulation. Family caregivers can help prevent this by providing their loved ones with a variety of stimulation such as books, music and television. It might seem easy to just leave the television on all day but after a while patients will get bored and begin to suffer from loss of appetite and depression. Family caregivers should also make sure that they provide variety when it comes to food. Being unable to prepare meals or feed themselves does not mean that seniors want to eat the same food all the time so family caregivers should keep this in mind and try to provide as much variety as they can for their loved ones.

When the caregivers know what to expect when caring for a bedridden patient then they will know how to prevent common health risks that they are prone to.

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Jet’s Law – medical condition reporting

Driving a car is a privilege not a right. Sometimes it becomes necessary to surrender your licence or perhaps just suspend your right until you are absolutely alight to drive again.older lady driving

On 28 February 2004, 22-month-old Jet Rowland was killed when a driver with unstable epilepsy travelling in the opposite direction suffered a seizure, crossed the median strip on the Logan Motorway, south of Brisbane, and collided with the car Jet was travelling in with his mother Anita and his brother Bailey, 7. Anita Rowland, a police officer with the Queensland Police Service, sustained life-threatening injuries after the 200 km per hour impact. Bailey’s spinal cord was severed, rendering him a paraplegic while Jet died at Brisbane’s Mater Children’s Hospital on the night of 28 February from massive internal injuries after life support had to be withdrawn.

The case highlighted and demonstrated the importance of managing any potentially unstable medical condition and the Coroner’s Inquest, held on 25–26 August 2005, revealed that the driver who collided with the Rowland’s vehicle had been experiencing ‘frequent seizures’ and therefore should not have been driving. ‘The most telling question and answer in the inquest was when the driver was asked; ‘You would not want to be driving while you had a simple partial seizure at one hundred kilometres per hour, would you?’ The driver responded ‘No’. Thus it is now the reason that medical condition reporting legislation was introduced after his tragic death, now known as ‘Jet’s Law’.

Driving a motor vehicle is an essential part of most our our lives.  However, the privilege of driving also comes with some responsibilities.  Driving can be a complex task that requires perception, good judgement, adequate responses and a reasonable physical capability (sight and sound). So for the safety of others and yourself, you must only drive when you are medically fit to do so.

A range of medical conditions (mental and/or physical) may adversely affect your ability to drive in a safe manner and could result in a crash causing death or injury.

What medical conditions will affect my driving?

You should discuss this matter with your doctor if your have any of the following:

  • blackouts or fainting
  • diabetes (early or late onset)
  • epilepsy
  • eye problems like cataracts
  • hearing problems
  • heart disease
  • psychiatric disorders
  • sleep disorders
  • stroke
  • alcohol or drug dependency

It is a serious matter and hefty penalties or imprisonment could apply if not adhered to. Sometimes these conditions are only temporary or after appropriate treatment, they may heal and you could continue to drive, with your doctor’s approval. If you know somebody that is in a danger zone to be continuing to drive yet they don’t wish to surrender their right, you are able to write to Transport Department with supporting evidence to substantiate your claims.

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Creating A New Kind Of Normal Without Depression

DarkTunnelHas feeling normal gone from our world today? Depression and anxiety are crippling our communities and being ‘normal’ seems so ‘un-normal’ – or is it?

Most of us, at some point in time, feel like we are in a dark place in our lives. Some of us want to self harm ourselves because we hate our lives, we hate our appearance and feel unloved. We think (or over think) that everybody is against us and we just want to hide under the doona cover all day. And that is perfectly OK ….. sometimes.

But we can change our version of ‘normal’ and create a happy version of normal within our lives with just a few changes. Through some education, a few checks and balances, prevention strategies, we can learn to love ourselves and our lives again to a new kind of normal.

It’s great to love yourself and see the joy in those around us when we share that joy. That is not being egotistic but being kind to yourself. The first step to feeling loved by someone else, is to first love yourself. We’re not talking about outrageous hugs and kisses in every mirror, but rather holding your head high and smiling because you are a beautiful person and that love within will then shine outwardly.

It’s also normal to be surrounding yourself with friends (and just a couple is fine). Start sharing your life with friends, listen to them, help them and enjoy their company. Through the strength of friendship, you will grow too.

Dark places are often created by sadness and a lack of goals, ploughing through stressful situations and other depressed people. The best tool for handling the stressful situation is to remove yourself from the people or places that create that environment. Create the goal to be happier by setting a date with yourself i.e. by the end of the month, I will be living elsewhere.

Sometimes we resort to eating ourselves in and out of depression. Maybe we create an eating disorder in which we purge ourselves or self harm and find comfort in hurting ourselves further. What is the trigger that creates this action? Sometimes the true trigger is not so clear and may need some professional assistance.

Our inability to cope with these issues can lead to over the counter addictions from prescription medication where often the doctors from several practices are supplying drugs which not only affect the vital organs but addict the person. Some have side effects that are far worse than the medication i.e. xanax which can lead to suicidal thoughts and yet is still widely prescribed for depression.  Sometimes, the person may be lead towards other illegal drugs, whether it is crystal meth which is now rampant, smoking grass to escape the hell of the dark places, heroin or a mixture of many.

With depression and anxiety being a national emergency and finally it is getting some acknowledgement that it exists but also it can be treated without stigma.

Depression is devastating, not just to the sufferer but usually to those around them, family, friends or work colleagues. When someone is suffering from depression, their entire life is blown apart. It can be a massive struggle just to make it through each day. But they aren’t the only ones who struggle. The people who are often forgotten are the loved ones of a person with depression. No-one tells them how to cope.  Knowing somebody you love is struggling with depression leaves you feeling incredibly helpless. You probably feel if you could say the right thing, or do something special, that maybe you will be able to help them to get better. But you don’t know what to say or what to do. You try a gentle approach, you try a firm approach. You give them space, you try to get them to talk. You suggest things that can help. You say encouraging things, you get frustrated and argue. Yet nothing you do seems to make any difference and nothing seems to be helping despite the best intentions.

What you must remember is that depression isn’t a mood or a phase they are going through but it’s a very debilitating illness that needs specialist treatment combined with some love and understanding. If you have never been in that dark place, not only are you very lucky but just show a little empathy and be patient for your special friend whilst they need you now.

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