Tag Archives: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Depression – How to Avoid It, When to Get Help

Introduction

This is the third post in a series on depression and suicide. In our first post, we focused on the magnitude of  clinical depression and suicide. In the second post, we provided tools for depression self-awareness. Finally, in this post we provide tips for you to address depression and an inclination toward suicide. Remember that 844-SMA-TALK and www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com provide crisis mental health services for those in need.

Avoiding Depression

As a physician, I’m not willing to advise you on how to ‘care’ for yourself at home if you’re clinically depressed.  I can discuss how to avoid depression (to the extent possible) and what warning signs should prompt emergent access to care.  If you’re good at accomplishing the items listed below, you have less of a chance of being unhappy and clinically depressed.

  • Avoid alcohol and other mood-altering drugs.
  • Eat healthily.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Remove yourself from negativity, including your choices in friends, mates and work environments.
  • Surround yourself with positivity, including your choices in friends, mates and work environments (Please note this is a different consideration than the previous bullet point.).
  • Learn how to relax and where to go to relax. These considerations include such things as yoga, meditation and your religion/spirituality, not the business end of a bottle or drug use.

Warning Signssuicide HELP_Logo_Master

Look out for these potential warning signs for suicide: Remember that approximately 30% of suicides are preceded by the individual declaring intent.  Be alert for the following additional considerations:

  • Increasing levels of depression, withdrawal, reckless behavior, alcohol and other drug use, and/or desperation.
  • Notice activity that could be a prelude to a suicide attempt, such as obtaining knives, firearms or large quantities of medication.
  • Changing one’s will and settling one’s life affairs in the midst of depression
  • Ongoing comments about lack of worth and desire to end it all.

When to get helpSuicide-Lifeline

The following considerations should prompt an immediate visit to an emergency room or other treatment facility.

  • You have a compelling, overwhelming feeling that you want to hurt yourself, with or without an actual plan.
  • You have a compelling, overwhelming feeling that you want to hurt someone else, with or without an actual plan.
  • Experiences of voices or seeing things or people who are not there occur.
  • You find yourself crying often and uncontrollably for no apparent cause.
  • Your depression has affected your activities of daily living (work, school, consistent forms of recreation or family life) for longer than 2 weeks.
  • You think your current medications are affecting you abnormally and are possibly contributing to making you feel depressed.
  • You have been told or believe that you should cut back on drinking or other drug use.

I wish you and your loved ones all the best in avoiding and/or dealing with this disastrous condition.  I welcome any comments, thoughts or questions.

Follow us!

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic. Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you, we’re offering you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.jeffreysterlingbooks.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress! Like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com! Follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Inhalants – Effects and Actions to Take

inhalantkids1

Straight, No Chaser previously reviewed various forms of inhalants used to get intoxicated. Many kids think inhalants are a harmless, cheap, and quick way to “get high.” Because many inhalants can be found around the house, you and your family may not even think they are harmful. But the chemicals in the inhalant vapors can change the way the brain works and cause additional bodily harm. In some cases, the harmful effects of inhalants can be irreversible. This post discusses the various effects these entities have on the human body.

 inhalant sniffing

Initial Effects
The initial effects of inhalants mainly involve the brain, and that’s a big part of why they’re used. Inhalants rapidly pass from the lungs into the bloodstream, and effects on the brain are produced within minutes. It’s easy to consider inhalant use in someone who appears to be intoxicated with alcohol but doesn’t have the smell or any evidence of alcohol around. Clinical effects include slurred speech, euphoria, dizziness and lack of coordination.
As promptly as the effects occur, they dissipate. The intoxication typically only lasts a few minutes. This explains the habit of intoxicant users to take several back-to-back doses. This action produces a loss of both inhibition and control. Long term use can cause muscle spasms and tremors or even permanent difficulty with basic actions like walking, bending, and talking, due to damage by these chemicals on structures that promote communication to and from the brain. The net effect is a syndrome with an appearance similar to that caused by multiple sclerosis.
An additional effect of intoxicants is a diminished flow of oxygen to the brain. The symptoms produced by this are dependent on the area of the brain affected and can range from memory loss to reduced problem-solving skills to disruptions of movement.

 inhalant sniffing heart

Effects of Long-Term Use
You should also know that continual abuse of inhalants can cause serious damage to the heart and liver, and it can produce muscle weakness and nerve malfunction. Certain inhalants can also render the bone marrow unable to produce blood cells, which can appear your immune system and having sufficient blood to carry oxygen and nutrients around the body. Frequent long-term use of certain inhalants can cause a permanent change or malfunction of peripheral nerves, called polyneuropathy. 
Addictive Tendencies
Some people, particularly those who abuse inhalants a lot and for a long time, report a strong need to continue using inhalants. Compulsive use and a mild withdrawal syndrome can occur.

 inhalant before and after

How Can I Tell if Someone Is Abusing Inhalants?
Sometimes you can’t tell. Other times you might see small signs that tell you a person is abusing inhalants, including the following:

  • chemical odors on their breath or clothing
  • paint or other stains on their face, hands, or clothing
  • nausea or loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • muscle weakness
  • disorientation
  • inattentiveness, uncoordinated movement, irritability, and depression

What Should I Do if I Know Someone Is Abusing Inhalants?

  • You first step is to secure your home. Given that so many items can be used to produce inhalant intoxication, you should revisit the household items you leave easily accessible. Review this Straight, No Chaser post for a list of commonly used inhalants.
  • In the midst of an acute intoxication, seek medical attention immediately. Intoxicants have multiple chemicals in them, and although symptoms may not be predictable, intoxications are predictably dangerous under certain conditions. In real-time, there’s not much to be gain by your intervening at home. Get help.
  • When someone has a drug problem, it’s not always easy to know what to do. If someone you know is abusing inhalants, encourage him or her to talk to a parent, school guidance counselor, or other trusted adult. There are also anonymous resources, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) and the Treatment Referral Helpline (1-800-662-HELP). These resources offer a wide range of relevant services beyond what is implied in the name.
  • Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
    Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
    Copyright © 2018 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Depression – How to Avoid It, When to Get Help

depression
This is the third post in a series on depression and suicide. In our first post, we focused on the magnitude of  clinical depression and suicide. In the second post, we provided tools for depression self-awareness. In this post we provide tips for you to address depression and an inclination toward suicide. Remember that 844-SMA-TALK and www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com provides crisis mental health services for those in need.
suicide-stay-informed-stay-connected
As a physician, I’m not willing to advise you on how to ‘care’ for yourself at home if you’re clinically depressed.  I can discuss how to avoid depression (to the extent possible) and what warning signs should prompt emergent access to care.  If you’re good at accomplishing the items listed below, you have less of a chance of being unhappy and clinically depressed.

  • Avoid alcohol and other mood-altering drugs.
  • Eat healthily.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Remove yourself from negativity, including your choices in friends, mates and work environments.
  • Surround yourself with positivity, including your choices in friends, mates and work environments (Please note this is a different consideration than the previous bullet point.).
  • Learn how to relax and where to go to relax (These considerations include such things as yoga, meditation and your religion/spirituality, not the business end of a bottle or drug use.).

suicide HELP_Logo_Master
Look out for these potential warning signs for suicide: Remember that approximately 30% of suicides are preceded by the individual declaring intent.  Be alert for the following additional considerations:

  • Increasing levels of depression, withdrawal, reckless behavior, alcohol and other drug use, and/or desperation.
  • Notice activity that could be a prelude to a suicide attempt, such as obtaining knives, firearms or large quantities of medication.
  • Changing one’s will and settling one’s life affairs in the midst of depression
  • Ongoing comments about lack of worth and desire to end it all.

Suicide-Lifeline
The following considerations should prompt an immediate visit to an emergency room or other treatment facility.

  • You have a compelling, overwhelming feeling that you want to hurt yourself, with or without an actual plan.
  • You have a compelling, overwhelming feeling that you want to hurt someone else, with or without an actual plan.
  • You hear voices or see things or people who are not there.
  • You find yourself crying often and uncontrollably for no apparent cause.
  • Your depression has affected your activities of daily living (work, school, consistent forms of recreation or family life) for longer than 2 weeks.
  • You think your current medications are affecting you abnormally and are possibly contributing to making you feel depressed.
  • You have been told or believe that you should cut back on drinking or other drug use.

I wish you and your loved ones all the best in avoiding and/or dealing with this disastrous condition.  I welcome any comments, thoughts or questions.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Inhalants – Effects and Actions to Take

inhalantkids1

Straight, No Chaser previously reviewed various forms of inhalants used to get intoxicated. Many kids think inhalants are a harmless, cheap, and quick way to “get high.” Because many inhalants can be found around the house, you and your family may not even think they are harmful. But the chemicals in the inhalant vapors can change the way the brain works and cause additional bodily harm. In some cases, the harmful effects of inhalants can be irreversible. This post discusses the various effects these entities have on the human body.

 inhalant sniffing

Initial Effects
The initial effects of inhalants mainly involve the brain, and that’s a big part of why they’re used. Inhalants rapidly pass from the lungs into the bloodstream, and effects on the brain are produced within minutes. It’s easy to consider inhalant use in someone who appears to be intoxicated with alcohol but doesn’t have the smell or any evidence of alcohol around. Clinical effects include slurred speech, euphoria, dizziness and lack of coordination.
As promptly as the effects occur, they dissipate. The intoxication typically only lasts a few minutes. This explains the habit of intoxicant users to take several back-to-back doses. This action produces a loss of both inhibition and control. Long term use can cause muscle spasms and tremors or even permanent difficulty with basic actions like walking, bending, and talking, due to damage by these chemicals on structures that promote communication to and from the brain. The net effect is a syndrome with an appearance similar to that caused by multiple sclerosis.
An additional effect of intoxicants is a diminished flow of oxygen to the brain. The symptoms produced by this are dependent on the area of the brain affected and can range from memory loss to reduced problem-solving skills to disruptions of movement.

 inhalant sniffing heart

Effects of Long-Term Use
You should also know that continual abuse of inhalants can cause serious damage to the heart and liver, and it can produce muscle weakness and nerve malfunction. Certain inhalants can also render the bone marrow unable to produce blood cells, which can appear your immune system and having sufficient blood to carry oxygen and nutrients around the body. Frequent long-term use of certain inhalants can cause a permanent change or malfunction of peripheral nerves, called polyneuropathy. 
Addictive Tendencies
Some people, particularly those who abuse inhalants a lot and for a long time, report a strong need to continue using inhalants. Compulsive use and a mild withdrawal syndrome can occur.

 inhalant before and after

How Can I Tell if Someone Is Abusing Inhalants?
Sometimes you can’t tell. Other times you might see small signs that tell you a person is abusing inhalants, including the following:

  • chemical odors on their breath or clothing
  • paint or other stains on their face, hands, or clothing
  • nausea or loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • muscle weakness
  • disorientation
  • inattentiveness, uncoordinated movement, irritability, and depression

What Should I Do if I Know Someone Is Abusing Inhalants?

  • You first step is to secure your home. Given that so many items can be used to produce inhalant intoxication, you should revisit the household items you leave easily accessible. Review this Straight, No Chaser post for a list of commonly used inhalants.
  • In the midst of an acute intoxication, seek medical attention immediately. Intoxicants have multiple chemicals in them, and although symptoms may not be predictable, intoxications are predictably dangerous under certain conditions. In real-time, there’s not much to be gain by your intervening at home. Get help.
  • When someone has a drug problem, it’s not always easy to know what to do. If someone you know is abusing inhalants, encourage him or her to talk to a parent, school guidance counselor, or other trusted adult. There are also anonymous resources, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) and the Treatment Referral Helpline (1-800-662-HELP). These resources offer a wide range of relevant services beyond what is implied in the name.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress
 

Straight, No Chaser: Depression – How to Avoid It, When to Get Help

depression
This is the third post in a series on depression and suicide. In our first post, we focused on the magnitude of  clinical depression and suicide. In the second post, we provided tools for depression self-awareness. In this post we provide tips for you to address depression and an inclination toward suicide. Remember that 844-SMA-TALK and www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com provides crisis mental health services for those in need.
suicide-stay-informed-stay-connected
As a physician, I’m not willing to advise you on how to ‘care’ for yourself at home if you’re clinically depressed.  I can discuss how to avoid depression (to the extent possible) and what warning signs should prompt emergent access to care.  If you’re good at accomplishing the items listed below, you have less of a chance of being unhappy and clinically depressed.

  • Avoid alcohol and other mood-altering drugs.
  • Eat healthily.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Remove yourself from negativity, including your choices in friends, mates and work environments.
  • Surround yourself with positivity, including your choices in friends, mates and work environments (Please note this is a different consideration than the previous bullet point.).
  • Learn how to relax and where to go to relax (These considerations include such things as yoga, meditation and your religion/spirituality, not the business end of a bottle or drug use.).

suicide HELP_Logo_Master
Look out for these potential warning signs for suicide: Remember that approximately 30% of suicides are preceded by the individual declaring intent.  Be alert for the following additional considerations:

  • Increasing levels of depression, withdrawal, reckless behavior, alcohol and other drug use, and/or desperation.
  • Notice activity that could be a prelude to a suicide attempt, such as obtaining knives, firearms or large quantities of medication.
  • Changing one’s will and settling one’s life affairs in the midst of depression
  • Ongoing comments about lack of worth and desire to end it all.

Suicide-Lifeline
The following considerations should prompt an immediate visit to an emergency room or other treatment facility.

  • You have a compelling, overwhelming feeling that you want to hurt yourself, with or without an actual plan.
  • You have a compelling, overwhelming feeling that you want to hurt someone else, with or without an actual plan.
  • You hear voices or see things or people who are not there.
  • You find yourself crying often and uncontrollably for no apparent cause.
  • Your depression has affected your activities of daily living (work, school, consistent forms of recreation or family life) for longer than 2 weeks.
  • You think your current medications are affecting you abnormally and are possibly contributing to making you feel depressed.
  • You have been told or believe that you should cut back on drinking or other drug use.

I wish you and your loved ones all the best in avoiding and/or dealing with this disastrous condition.  I welcome any comments, thoughts or questions.
Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Inhalants – Effects and Actions to Take

inhalantkids1

Straight, No Chaser previously reviewed various forms of inhalants used to get intoxicated. Many kids think inhalants are a harmless, cheap, and quick way to “get high.” Because many inhalants can be found around the house, you and your family may not even think they are harmful. But the chemicals in the inhalant vapors can change the way the brain works and cause additional bodily harm. In some cases, the harmful effects of inhalants can be irreversible. This post discusses the various effects these entities have on the human body.

 inhalant sniffing

Initial Effects
The initial effects of inhalants mainly involve the brain, and that’s a big part of why they’re used. Inhalants rapidly pass from the lungs into the bloodstream, and effects on the brain are produced within minutes. It’s easy to consider inhalant use in someone who appears to be intoxicated with alcohol but doesn’t have the smell or any evidence of alcohol around. Clinical effects include slurred speech, euphoria, dizziness and lack of coordination.
As promptly as the effects occur, they dissipate. The intoxication typically only lasts a few minutes. This explains the habit of intoxicant users to take several back-to-back doses. This action produces a loss of both inhibition and control. Long term use can cause muscle spasms and tremors or even permanent difficulty with basic actions like walking, bending, and talking, due to damage by these chemicals on structures that promote communication to and from the brain. The net effect is a syndrome with an appearance similar to that caused by multiple sclerosis.
An additional effect of intoxicants is a diminished flow of oxygen to the brain. The symptoms produced by this are dependent on the area of the brain affected and can range from memory loss to reduced problem-solving skills to disruptions of movement.

 inhalant sniffing heart

Effects of Long-Term Use
You should also know that continual abuse of inhalants can cause serious damage to the heart and liver, and it can produce muscle weakness and nerve malfunction. Certain inhalants can also render the bone marrow unable to produce blood cells, which can appear your immune system and having sufficient blood to carry oxygen and nutrients around the body. Frequent long-term use of certain inhalants can cause a permanent change or malfunction of peripheral nerves, called polyneuropathy. 
Addictive Tendencies
Some people, particularly those who abuse inhalants a lot and for a long time, report a strong need to continue using inhalants. Compulsive use and a mild withdrawal syndrome can occur.

 inhalant before and after

How Can I Tell if Someone Is Abusing Inhalants?
Sometimes you can’t tell. Other times you might see small signs that tell you a person is abusing inhalants, including the following:

  • chemical odors on their breath or clothing
  • paint or other stains on their face, hands, or clothing
  • nausea or loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • muscle weakness
  • disorientation
  • inattentiveness, uncoordinated movement, irritability, and depression

What Should I Do if I Know Someone Is Abusing Inhalants?

  • You first step is to secure your home. Given that so many items can be used to produce inhalant intoxication, you should revisit the household items you leave easily accessible. Review this Straight, No Chaser post for a list of commonly used inhalants.
  • In the midst of an acute intoxication, seek medical attention immediately. Intoxicants have multiple chemicals in them, and although symptoms may not be predictable, intoxications are predictably dangerous under certain conditions. In real-time, there’s not much to be gain by your intervening at home. Get help.
  • When someone has a drug problem, it’s not always easy to know what to do. If someone you know is abusing inhalants, encourage him or her to talk to a parent, school guidance counselor, or other trusted adult. There are also anonymous resources, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) and the Treatment Referral Helpline (1-800-662-HELP). These resources offer a wide range of relevant services beyond what is implied in the name.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have on this topic.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Depression – How to Avoid It, When to Get Help

depression
This is the third post in a series on depression and suicide. In our first post, we focused on the magnitude of  clinical depression and suicide. In the second post, we provided tools for depression self-awareness. In this post we provide tips for you to address depression and an inclination toward suicide. Remember that 844-SMA-TALK and www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com provides crisis mental health services for those in need.
suicide-stay-informed-stay-connected
As a physician, I’m not willing to advise you on how to ‘care’ for yourself at home if you’re clinically depressed.  I can discuss how to avoid depression (to the extent possible) and what warning signs should prompt emergent access to care.  If you’re good at accomplishing the items listed below, you have less of a chance of being unhappy and clinically depressed.

  • Avoid alcohol and other mood-altering drugs.
  • Eat healthily.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Remove yourself from negativity, including your choices in friends, mates and work environments.
  • Surround yourself with positivity, including your choices in friends, mates and work environments (Please note this is a different consideration than the previous bullet point.).
  • Learn how to relax and where to go to relax (These considerations include such things as yoga, meditation and your religion/spirituality, not the business end of a bottle or drug use.).

suicide HELP_Logo_Master
Look out for these potential warning signs for suicide: Remember that approximately 30% of suicides are preceded by the individual declaring intent.  Be alert for the following additional considerations:

  • Increasing levels of depression, withdrawal, reckless behavior, alcohol and other drug use, and/or desperation.
  • Notice activity that could be a prelude to a suicide attempt, such as obtaining knives, firearms or large quantities of medication.
  • Changing one’s will and settling one’s life affairs in the midst of depression
  • Ongoing comments about lack of worth and desire to end it all.

Suicide-Lifeline
The following considerations should prompt an immediate visit to an emergency room or other treatment facility.

  • You have a compelling, overwhelming feeling that you want to hurt yourself, with or without an actual plan.
  • You have a compelling, overwhelming feeling that you want to hurt someone else, with or without an actual plan.
  • You hear voices or see things or people who are not there.
  • You find yourself crying often and uncontrollably for no apparent cause.
  • Your depression has affected your activities of daily living (work, school, consistent forms of recreation or family life) for longer than 2 weeks.
  • You think your current medications are affecting you abnormally and are possibly contributing to making you feel depressed.
  • You have been told or believe that you should cut back on drinking or other drug use.

I wish you and your loved ones all the best in avoiding and/or dealing with this disastrous condition.  I welcome any comments, thoughts or questions.
Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, AmazonBarnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2015 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Straight, No Chaser: Depression – How to Avoid It, When to Get Help

depression
This is the third post in a series on depression and suicide. In our first post, we focused on the magnitude of  clinical depression and suicide. In the second post, we provided tools for depression self-awareness. In this post we provide tips for you to address depression and an inclination toward suicide. Remember that 844-SMA-TALK and www.sterlingmedicaladvice.com provides crisis mental health services for those in need.

suicide-stay-informed-stay-connected

As a physician, I’m not willing to advise you on how to ‘care’ for yourself at home if you’re clinically depressed.  I can discuss how to avoid depression (to the extent possible) and what warning signs should prompt emergent access to care.  If you’re good at accomplishing the items listed below, you have less of a chance of being unhappy and clinically depressed.

  • Avoid alcohol and other mood-altering drugs.
  • Eat healthily.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Remove yourself from negativity, including your choices in friends, mates and work environments.
  • Surround yourself with positivity, including your choices in friends, mates and work environments (Please note this is a different consideration than the previous bullet point.).
  • Learn how to relax and where to go to relax (These considerations include such things as yoga, meditation and your religion/spirituality, not the business end of a bottle or drug use.).

suicide HELP_Logo_Master

Look out for these potential warning signs for suicide: Remember that approximately 30% of suicides are preceded by the individual declaring intent.  Be alert for the following additional considerations:

  • Increasing levels of depression, withdrawal, reckless behavior, alcohol and other drug use, and/or desperation.
  • Notice activity that could be a prelude to a suicide attempt, such as obtaining knives, firearms or large quantities of medication.
  • Changing one’s will and settling one’s life affairs in the midst of depression
  • Ongoing comments about lack of worth and desire to end it all.

Suicide-Lifeline

The following considerations should prompt an immediate visit to an emergency room or other treatment facility.

  • You have a compelling, overwhelming feeling that you want to hurt yourself, with or without an actual plan.
  • You have a compelling, overwhelming feeling that you want to hurt someone else, with or without an actual plan.
  • You hear voices or see things or people who are not there.
  • You find yourself crying often and uncontrollably for no apparent cause.
  • Your depression has affected your activities of daily living (work, school, consistent forms of recreation or family life) for longer than 2 weeks.
  • You think your current medications are affecting you abnormally and are possibly contributing to making you feel depressed.
  • You have been told or believe that you should cut back on drinking or other drug use.

I wish you and your loved ones all the best in avoiding and/or dealing with this disastrous condition.  I welcome any comments, thoughts or questions.
Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what 844-SMA-TALK and http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.
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Straight, No Chaser: Inhalants – Effects and Actions to Take

inhalantkids1

Straight, No Chaser previously reviewed various forms of inhalants used to get intoxicated. Many kids think inhalants are a harmless, cheap, and quick way to “get high.” Because many inhalants can be found around the house, you and your family may not even think they are harmful. But the chemicals in the inhalant vapors can change the way the brain works and cause additional bodily harm. In some cases, the harmful effects of inhalants can be irreversible. This post discusses the various effects these entities have on the human body.

 inhalant sniffing

Initial Effects
The initial effects of inhalants mainly involve the brain, and that’s a big part of why they’re used. Inhalants rapidly pass from the lungs into the bloodstream, and effects on the brain are produced within minutes. It’s easy to consider inhalant use in someone who appears to be intoxicated with alcohol but doesn’t have the smell or any evidence of alcohol around. Clinical effects include slurred speech, euphoria, dizziness and lack of coordination.
As promptly as the effects occur, they dissipate. The intoxication typically only lasts a few minutes. This explains the habit of intoxicant users to take several back-to-back doses. This action produces a loss of both inhibition and control. Long term use can cause muscle spasms and tremors or even permanent difficulty with basic actions like walking, bending, and talking, due to damage by these chemicals on structures that promote communication to and from the brain. The net effect is a syndrome with an appearance similar to that caused by multiple sclerosis.
An additional effect of intoxicants is a diminished flow of oxygen to the brain. The symptoms produced by this are dependent on the area of the brain affected and can range from memory loss to reduced problem-solving skills to disruptions of movement.

 inhalant sniffing heart

Effects of Long-Term Use
You should also know that continual abuse of inhalants can cause serious damage to the heart and liver, and it can produce muscle weakness and nerve malfunction. Certain inhalants can also render the bone marrow unable to produce blood cells, which can appear your immune system and having sufficient blood to carry oxygen and nutrients around the body. Frequent long-term use of certain inhalants can cause a permanent change or malfunction of peripheral nerves, called polyneuropathy. 
Addictive Tendencies
Some people, particularly those who abuse inhalants a lot and for a long time, report a strong need to continue using inhalants. Compulsive use and a mild withdrawal syndrome can occur.

 inhalant before and after

How Can I Tell if Someone Is Abusing Inhalants?
Sometimes you can’t tell. Other times you might see small signs that tell you a person is abusing inhalants, including the following:

  • chemical odors on their breath or clothing
  • paint or other stains on their face, hands, or clothing
  • nausea or loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • muscle weakness
  • disorientation
  • inattentiveness, uncoordinated movement, irritability, and depression

What Should I Do if I Know Someone Is Abusing Inhalants?

  • You first step is to secure your home. Given that so many items can be used to produce inhalant intoxication, you should revisit the household items you leave easily accessible. Review this Straight, No Chaser post for a list of commonly used inhalants.
  • In the midst of an acute intoxication, seek medical attention immediately. Intoxicants have multiple chemicals in them, and although symptoms may not be predictable, intoxications are predictably dangerous under certain conditions. In real-time, there’s not much to be gain by your intervening at home. Get help.
  • When someone has a drug problem, it’s not always easy to know what to do. If someone you know is abusing inhalants, encourage him or her to talk to a parent, school guidance counselor, or other trusted adult. There are also anonymous resources, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-TALK) and the Treatment Referral Helpline (1-800-662-HELP). These resources offer a wide range of relevant services beyond what is implied in the name.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what  844-SMA-TALK and http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com(SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2014 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress