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How can people manage the complex challenges of addiction if they have blood sugars bouncing around from uncontrolled diabetes, or chest pain from walking up a flight of stairs, or difficulty breathing, or knees or hips burning up with the inflammation and pain of arthritis? Of course, these questions answer themselves. Yet so many people with substance use disorders do not have their co-occurring mental or physical condition identified, accurately diagnosed, and effectively treated. The price they pay--and that we pay too in their high use of medical and social services--is great in human suffering, family disruption and stress, and the draining of personal and governmental treasuries. Many inroads are being made to ensure the detection and treatment of co-occurring conditions, especially in primary medical care, specialty mental health and substance use disorder programs, enlightened business settings, employee-assistance programs, and community-based organizations. People with substance use disorders and their loved ones should be sure that the identification and treatment of any active mental or medical problems are at the top of their to-do list if they want to enhance the chances of success. After anywhere from a few of days to a few weeks of this internal confusion and conflict, I reached the point where my self-pity turned into self-anger, and I berated myself for not attempting what I believed I should be able to do. Eventually, it seemed almost cruel to continue torturing myself for what seemed like an inborn weakness, and I came to peace with the fact that I was incapable of taking action. I then reasoned that I needed to go easier on myself and instead, to give myself some much-needed tender loving care, like watching television, surfing the Internet, or indulging in comfort foods or mind-altering intoxicants. Returning to reality, I eventually rediscovered the task that I had fled from. If I happened to be under a time constraint, then I devised an action plan of sorts. Otherwise, I continued to disregard the task and "The Procrastination Cycle" was once again underway. After you've gone through The Procrastination Cycle a few dozen times, you gradually become a different person because despite evidence to the contrary from when you have accomplished tasks, you've already convinced yourself that you're utterly incapable of handling much of anything that requires patience, thought, or action. Over an extended period of time, habitual procrastination leads to ever-declining energy levels, which in turn can lead to feelings of depression. If you have any doubt about the relationship between procrastination, energy levels, and depression, ask yourself if you've ever heard of a habitual procrastinator who's been described as a "highly-energetic individual." Don't assume you are right: Even when you feel very sure about an answer, keep in mind that the answer may not be correct, and it is important to conduct (further) searches to validate the information. Don't assume you are wrong: You may actually have correct information, even if the information you encounter does not match--that is, you may be right and the resources that you have found may contain false information. Take an open approach: Maintain a critical stance by not including your preexisting beliefs as keywords (or letting them influence your choice of keywords) in a search, as this may influence what it is possible to find out. Verify, verify, and verify: Information found, especially on the Internet, needs to be validated, no matter how the information appears on the site (i.e., regardless of the appearance of the site or the quantity of information that is included). Health literacy comes with experience navigating health information. Professional sources of health information, such as doctors, health care providers, and health databases, are still the best, but one also has the power to search for health information and then verify it by consulting with these trusted sources and by using the health information assessment tips and guide shared previously.

Patches of land around the street were planted with vegetables - and so the Hulbert Street Guerrilla Garden was created. Soon, it would not be uncommon for people to come home and find potatoes and carrots on their doorsteps. How</a> did you get the permission?' people would ask Shani. <a href='<=6&dest='>Permission, do you think I need permission?' she would reply, and, based on that philosophy, the Hulbert Street Movies started - once a month, they would watch a movie together in the street. People brought their own chairs and a contribution to the pot-luck dinner. The street-community resources grew to include a shared cargo bike, the Hulbert Street Book Exchange (bring a book, take a book) and a pizza oven on wheels (owned by no one yet shared by all), which led to weekly pizza dinners. And goats. Yes, goats. Two houses agreed to take down the fence between their lots and made room for them. Shared pizza ovens and a number of inter-front-lawn-goats are not a bad measure of the strength of a street community, but perhaps the best testimony were the reactions from the street when Shani and Tim had their safe, which held cash, a computer and back-up drives, stolen. Neighbours came by with food and money (one with a note: Here is $500. <a href=''>I</a> am giving it because I can. <a href=''>Please</a> do not give it back.'). <a href=''>One</a> neighbour started a Dropbox to help re-establish the files and pictures Shani and Tim had lost. <a href=''>One</a> of the neighbours' sons gave them a card reading,Life's disappointments are harder to bear when you don't know any swear words' as he gave Shani the first loaf of bread he had ever baked and his entire collection of shells. We're an over-stimulated and over-depressed society. In 2013, Mayo Clinic found 70% of Americans take prescription drugs. 50% take more than one prescription drug, and 20% take more than 5 prescription drugs. 83% of adults drink coffee just to have enough energy to get their day started or to keep it going. 20% of people use some sort of tobacco product.

56% of people drink alcohol regularly. 10% regularly use illegal drugs. Yes, some prescriptions are absolutely necessary for treatment, but the majority of cases are preventable just by taking care of yourself. People take drugs for cholesterol, antacid, hypertension, diabetes, stress, sleep, etc. If we, collectively and as a society, had our act together more, took preventative measures, and took better care of ourselves, these numbers would be a lot lower. If you get on a strict sleep schedule where you actually get 7 - 9 hours of sleep a night, you wouldn't need so much coffee, energy drinks, and sleeping pills just to function properly. If you learn to manage yourself, stress, and emotions better and quit freaking out every time something comes up, you won't need to depend on medication, alcohol, and tobacco to "calm your nerves" and more medication to counteract the effects of regular drinking and smoking. If you watch what you eat, and I don't mean "watch what you eat" by watching it go into your mouth, you will be physically healthier and won't need medication to handle the problems your body is having from being irresponsibly obese. Even if you're not obese, you won't need medication to counteract the effects of junk food on your body and health. Most of us don't know what it's like to be completely sober because we need stimulants to simulate natural energy, depressants to counteract the overuse of stimulants, and medication to dampen the negative mental and emotional effects we experience as a result. Former congressman Patrick J. Kennedy's story shows us the importance of identifying and treating a co-occurring mental illness. In 1995, at the age of twenty-seven, Mr. Kennedy became the youngest member of the Congress of the United States, having been elected to the House of Representatives from his home state of Rhode Island. When he left Congress in 2011, a more-than-sixty-year era of a Kennedy serving in Washington ended. (Patrick Kennedy is the son of the famed former US senator Ted Kennedy and the nephew of former president John F. Kennedy and former attorney general Bobby Kennedy.) Patrick Kennedy has been unsparing in his revelations about himself, dating back to his teenage years. He reports having had depressive, anxiety, and manic symptoms and that he has been diagnosed with bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder. His heavy use of alcohol, mixed with cocaine and for many years opioid pain pills such as OxyContin and Percodan, was persistent and put him on a path to destruction of all he valued. But not until his bipolar illness was detected and treated did he gain control, hard-won, over his substance use disorder.

But he did. Today, Patrick Kennedy has over six years of sobriety. When I was a habitual procrastinator, although I wanted more out of life, I suffered from ever-declining reserves of energy. Not only did I feel incapable of handling the simplest of tasks, I also felt incapable of living any other way of life. I began to see myself as locked into a lifestyle that I did not want, much like a drug addict who sadly realizes that his habit has turned the tables on him. Not only did I now feel helpless, but hopeless as well; feeling even less like the adult I should have been. Like many people in this situation, although I was acutely aware of my depression, I didn't see the role that procrastination was contributing to my low moods. In London, upon continued reviews of my journal, I kept noticing how those reminders affected my moods and emotions. The longer that those reminders had been put off, the greater the effect that they had upon my feelings. It became clear to me that I was on to something: there was a definite relationship between my problem with procrastination and the depression that I suffered from. Oddly enough, while procrastination is usually seen as a symptom of depression, I observed that procrastination was causing my depression. As I began thinking about this relationship, I realized that I needed to look a bit more closely at procrastination itself. One of the reasons so many people have trouble taking depression seriously is that it is a largely invisible disorder. Despite being able to describe the symptoms you might be feeling, there are no independent medical tests that can be used to prove that you are really depressed. As a result, depressed people are often told they can simply "get over it" if they try hard enough and, if that doesn't work, that they are somehow at fault for not being sufficiently strong-willed or are just seeking attention. Even family doctors may just prescribe a medication such as Prozac in the hope of solving the problem without exploring the underlying reasons for the depression. Question 2 offers an overview of the different types of clinically diagnosable depression. While everyone may think they know what depression is, they are usually just talking about specific symptoms such as sadness or chronic fatigue. Even though these symptoms are often found in clinical depression, it's important not to assume that having these symptoms mean that you are suffering from depression. And, just as importantly, it is quite possible to be suffering from clinical depression even if you aren't feeling these specific symptoms.

As one example, feeling sad is a normal part of the human existence and can occur whenever we experience a setback or some sort of disappointment. For people dealing with depression, problems with emotional numbing or despondency may prevent any kind of natural emotions from coming out, including feelings of sadness or joy. Considering how complicated the process of diagnosing depression can be, this needs to be left up to a trained mental health professional. Question 3 provides more information about the differences between sadness and depression. This is one of the most heartbreaking misconceptions faced by people dealing with depression. Many otherwise well-meaning people have difficulty accepting that depression is a disease and feel that people dealing with depression simply lack the willpower to get over it. Whether due to genetics, upbringing, poor environment, or emotional problems stemming from trauma, many people are particularly vulnerable to depression and accusing them of lacking self-control makes recovery much harder than it needs to be. Rather than being a sign of weakness, dealing with depression often means forcing yourself to get out of bed, dress yourself, and still do all the things you need to do, even while you wonder why you should make the effort. Coming to terms with these feelings and forcing yourself to keep going, not to mention finding the energy to find help when you need it, is the very opposite of weakness. Only someone who experiences clinical depression can truly understand this. Question 5 discusses which groups of people may be at higher risk of developing clinical depression. What</a> would you recommend people do if they want to do what you did?' I asked Shani. <a href=''>Don't do anything we did,' she laughed. `Figure out what works for you. What to build your community around. Find out what interests people, what unites people, and build on that. One of my friends started to build a community in his street around tomatoes. Now there are fifteen families coming together each year to can tomatoes.' There are several things we can learn from Shani's story. First of all, there is an advantage in being a defined community: Hulbert Street is a cul-de-sac, which means the community is clearly geographically defined. I suspect this is also one of the reasons why islanders often experience a stronger sense of community and identity.