F Pick up the Pieces! Rebuild! Thrive! with PTSD / Bipolar Disorder / Depression

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Why I Don't Drink As a Spiritual Choice and Four Practices for More Clarity

GPS for the Soul - The Huffington Post

Why I Don't Drink As a Spiritual Choice and Four Practices for More Clarity


When I first met my life partner 10 years ago, he had just quit doing a whole host of things that weren't healthy for his mind, body or spirit. We met in a meditation center, and I soon found out he was struggling with addiction. I didn't have the same struggles with craving alcohol as we began to live a healthy life together.

What I had was this urge to push the limits. I thought, here comes the rebel partier, meditation world. I am going to test this spiritual practice; show that I am still independent and can do whatever I want. And have bliss to boot!


I was so in love with my own freedom. What I later found out was that my casual glass of wine, an afterthought at a party for me, was a choice that had a hugely detrimental effect on my struggling-to-stay-sober partner. Still, I kept up my exercise in free will.

So I continued to explore this common cultural experience we do for social connection and pleasure. What I began to notice is when I would drink it impacted my clarity. In the moment, yes, but also the next day and for a few days afterwards. It impacted the level of my overall well-being. I felt a little down or a little depressed.

When asked about alcohol or any kind of intoxicant, the Buddha once said, "The mind is confused enough as it is and doesn't need any help."

No judgment. No commandments. Just practical advice. Is it helpful, or unhelpful? Hmmm. Good question. I continued my exploration.

When I sit in meditation and attain subtler and subtler states of clarity and insight, when I start to feel those subtle vibrating states of bliss, joy and harmony, to really get there I have to sort through a bunch of muck.

All the lists. All the to-dos, all the past injustices, all of the mind-chatter that when it's cleared away there's the bright, luminous, clear mind.

And since that is what I want to cultivate for myself, that bright, luminous, loving, positive, clear mind, and that's what I want to support others in accessing, drinking, even though I didn't have a drinking problem, was not serving my highest self.

Unconvinced, I thought, well, what the hell, let's have a drink and probe a little bit deeper.


Like many meditators, I've closely examined certain states of my mind. In meditation I analyze thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and break my present moment down into specific categories. I turn my awareness, like shining a flashlight, on those states.

So I started to turn that bright light of awareness on myself while I was slightly tipsy or even if I'd just had a half-a-glass of wine. And what I found out -- and this is my experience, yours, of course, may be different, and I recommend trying it -- was I actually didn't feel giddy, good or happy. I mostly felt irritated, agitated, dizzy and confused. That those sensations in combination were what I had previously labeled as "buzzed," "tipsy," "carefree" and had associated with fun.

But when I really broke it down, drinking alcohol did not cause positive sensations to arise even in the moment, let alone the very next day when I was tired, dehydrated, sleep deprived, and depleted. I do notice an overall improvement in my well-being, health, mood and energy now I've chosen not to drink. I made this choice in order to cultivate a happy relationship as well as to cultivate my spiritual growth.

So some of us might be sober and feeling really good about it. Wonderful. Yay for us. So let's ask - what are the other things we might be addicted to? We can get all high and mighty and holy. We may think, "I don't drink. I'm such a righteous person, such a great spiritual practitioner." But maybe we are consuming television unmindfully, or gossiping, or getting lost on the internet. That is my current big one to work on, now -- Internet consumption.

It is not about judgment. Nothing is helped by judgment in terms of overcoming any of the struggles that we have towards our better selves.

Another aspect of this exploration is compassion. When we talk about addiction it has been helpful for me to understand it as a disease. So for some, it is not about just using willpower or even making a choice. It is about a whole host of other tools, supports, and techniques to help work with ourselves or with a person in our lives who is struggling to work with the disease of addiction to alcohol, drugs or any other addictive thing.

There are so many pathways that can lead us to clarity and light. And there are so many pathways that can lead us to suffering and confusion.


Here are a few key steps to lead us to clarity:

1. Take a deep breath and reflect: Where are we now? What are our addictive patterns that are blocking us from growth? Knowing and reflecting honestly can lead us to greater and greater liberation.

2. It might be, but isn't necessarily, about simply quitting something. Let me be really clear. I'm not telling anyone to do or not do anything. That sure didn't work for me! Our job is to examine our choices and the pathways they lead down. To look at our actions and their results. So perhaps while drinking we are bringing our attention to our real experience with focused awareness. We will see the effects quite clearly with this type of neutral, focused, and tender awareness.

3. Cultivate compassion. Another helpful tool for clarity is cultivating compassionate care for ourselves and others as we overcome any struggles and cultivate our better selves. We can be gentle with ourselves and others on our paths, wherever we are.

4. Experiment and observe: what cultivates that bright luminous, clear, happy mind state. What are the qualities and conditions that enhance that and what are the conditions that diminish that? Using these tools of awareness we allow ourselves to gain insight.

Once we have insight it is likely that more clarity and positive change will happen. Positive energy will spread through our daily actions into our lives and touch ourselves, our families, communities and eventually impact the world around us as well.


Boise Bipolar Center, Charles K. Bunch, Ph.D, Boise Idaho Therapist Mental health photo 2168_zps680c452f.jpg

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The secret of empathy: Stress from the presence of strangers prevents empathy, in both mice and humans

PTSD News -- ScienceDaily

The secret of empathy: Stress from the presence of strangers prevents empathy, in both mice and humans

The ability to express empathy -- the capacity to share and feel another's emotions -- is limited by the stress of being around strangers, according to a new study. Empathy is increasingly being studied by scientists because of its known role in psychological disorders, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and psychopathy.

Boise Bipolar Center, Charles K. Bunch, Ph.D, Boise Idaho Therapist Mental health photo 2168_zps680c452f.jpg

Indian Women Take Down Their Country's Rape Culture In 3-Minute Rap

GPS for the Soul - The Huffington Post

Indian Women Take Down Their Country's Rape Culture In 3-Minute Rap

Two Indian women busted rhymes to make a point, and they got the world's attention.

Uppekha Jain and Pankhuri Awasthi uploaded a video to YouTube on March 16 featuring the duo rapping lyrics that highlight sexual assault in their country.

The video by Jain and Awasthi -- who dubbed their group BomBaebs -- racked up more than 470,000 views by Friday afternoon.

"I'm short, I'm fat, I'm tall, I'm skinny," Awasthi, located on the left in the video, rapped. "I'll wear what I want, even if it's mini. It's only a dress, don't for a second think it's a 'yes.'"

Jain told The Guardian that both she and Awasthi have faced some of the issues mentioned in their video, which inspired them to "be the voice for other women who might not be able to speak about it."

Sexual violence against women in India has made international waves in recent years. A 23-year-old woman was gang raped and murdered on a bus in Delhi in 2012, making global headlines and drawing activists to speak out for women's rights in the South Asian country.

Four men associated with the incident were sentenced to death in 2013.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, India experienced a 26.7 percent hike in crimes against women (such as rape and sexual assault) in 2013 from the year before, Reuters reported.

It's sobering figures like that which inspired BomBaebs to become a catalyst for change.

Jain pointed out to The Guardian that those who insult the video are only making it clearer that the group's message rings true.

"I think all of the people who've negatively commented on the video and are spewing a lot of hate -- I think they prove our point," she said. "That this mentality still exists -- the objectification of women still exists."

To take action on pressing education issues, check out the Global Citizen's widget below.

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Boise Bipolar Center, Charles K. Bunch, Ph.D, Boise Idaho Therapist Mental health photo 2168_zps680c452f.jpg

Friday, March 27, 2015

Troops who don't pass the smell test likely have traumatic brain injury

A note from Dr. Bunch:

The brain is sometimes described as a piece of jello sitting in a thin liquid tank. It is fragile to damage that can be seen and most not seen. It poses a problem for diagnosis because this damage is not visual and it is so fragile it can't be explored surgically like the rest of the body.

This piece of jello is shaken out of place and damaged by the movement of shaken baby syndrome. Growth of the brain, that completes in males at age 27, can be impaired in development by environmental factors such as starvation and high school football head injury. And, stress and psychological trauma creates a parallel damage that science is just starting to understand. A child bullied, ostracized, living under odd psychological conditions and more experiences ongoing stress and this impacts the brain in immediate and long term damage. This long term damage, as our recent articles show, is damage for a full lifetime.

Know as much as you can about TBI and PTSD.  While some of the information below is about combat blasts that result in TBI, you could be a victim of this in man situations, such as:

sports injury
victim of a tornado "blast" or implosion
victim of a home explosion, gas line, car explosion

The news is actually full of daily occurrences of explosions and victims who would not suspect they'd ever get TBI:
The New York Building collapses
A home, without full explanation explodes
A barrier to a hurricane fails, resulting in an explosion
A vehicle, can of gas, or cylinder explodes
A chemical, gas truck, or train car explodes

And, the non blast forms are abundant, ranging from most any blow to the head, a car wreck, being in a land slide, and more.

It is likely some person around you has TBI.

Definition of TBI:

By Mayo Clinic Staff
Traumatic brain injury occurs when an external mechanical force causes brain dysfunction.
Traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. An object penetrating the skull, such as a bullet or shattered piece of skull, also can cause traumatic brain injury.
Mild traumatic brain injury may cause temporary dysfunction of brain cells. More serious traumatic brain injury can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain that can result in long-term complications or death.

Traumatic brain injury can have wide-ranging physical and psychological effects. Some signs or symptoms may appear immediately after the traumatic event, while others may appear days or weeks later.

Mild traumatic brain injury

The signs and symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury may include:

Physical symptoms

  • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
  • No loss of consciousness, but a state of being dazed, confused or disoriented
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Dizziness or loss of balance

Sensory symptoms

  • Sensory problems, such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears, a bad taste in the mouth or changes in the ability to smell
  • Sensitivity to light or sound

Cognitive or mental symptoms

  • Memory or concentration problems
  • Mood changes or mood swings
  • Feeling depressed or anxious

Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries

Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries can include any of the signs and symptoms of mild injury, as well as the following symptoms that may appear within the first hours to days after a head injury:

Physical symptoms

  • Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours
  • Persistent headache or headache that worsens
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
  • Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
  • Inability to awaken from sleep
  • Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
  • Loss of coordination

Cognitive or mental symptoms

  • Profound confusion
  • Agitation, combativeness or other unusual behavior
  • Slurred speech
  • Coma and other disorders of consciousness

Children's symptoms

Infants and young children with brain injuries may lack the communication skills to report headaches, sensory problems, confusion and similar symptoms. In a child with traumatic brain injury, you may observe:
  • Change in eating or nursing habits
  • Persistent crying and inability to be consoled
  • Unusual or easy irritability
  • Change in ability to pay attention
  • Change in sleep habits
  • Sad or depressed mood
  • Loss of interest in favorite toys or activities

Out of Sync: The Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury and the Battle to Recovery

Out of Sync: The Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury and the Battle to Recovery
The blast was deafening and created a concussion that sucked the oxygen from the air. The roadside bomb lifted the armored Humvee off the ground tossed its occupants like rag dolls. All survived, but one had life-threatening injuries and was evacuated to a trauma center in Europe. The rest of the crew suffered scrapes, bruises, and a few broken bones, but felt well enough to return to duty shortly after the attack. Although their visible injuries had healed, the military is increasingly aware of the unseen physical wound known as traumatic brain injury (TBI).
TBI is caused by a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Brain tissue can be damaged when bullets, shrapnel or other foreign objects pierce the skull or, in the case of a fall or blow to the head, the brain can impact the skull with enough force to bruise or tear the brain tissue. TBIs can range in severity from a mild concussion that may often heal without medical treatment to severe injuries that may require surgery and years of rehabilitation.
Closed head trauma — brain injury where the skull is not fractured — is the signature injury in our nation’s current military conflicts. One in five Iraq and Afghanistan veterans
have experienced a traumatic brain injury, according to a recent Rand study (April 2008). This is a marked increase from documented TBI cases in the Vietnam War and is attributed to more powerful munitions and improved body armor and protective gear. Service members are now surviving injuries that would have been fatal before the development of today’s force-protection materials and equipment.
Because of the growing incidence, the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans’ Affairs (VA) are undertaking several initiatives to identify and assist TBI victims. Working in conjunction with private and governmental agencies, progress is being made in diagnosing, treating and rehabilitating those affected by TBI.

Severe versus Mild TBI

“On the clinical spectrum, traumatic brain injuries range from severe to mild; ‘severe’ meaning the patient is in a coma and ‘mild’ is classified as a concussion,” explains Dr. Jamshid Ghajar, president and founder of the Brain Trauma Foundation (BTF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the outcome for TBI patients.
Severe brain injuries are relatively easy to identify, says Ghajar. “There’s a head wound; the patient is in a coma. It’s pretty obvious. And we’ve made remarkable strides in treating severe TBIs. The mortality rate was 55 percent 20 years ago, but thanks to the development of treatment protocols, the mortality rate has dropped to 20 percent. That’s dramatic.”
The effects of severe brain trauma can be devastating, with approximate 30 percent of survivors left with severe neurological disabilities or in a vegetative state. But nearly half of those who survive experience positive outcomes and are able to live independently.
This success, according to Ghajar, is directly related to the prompt and appropriate attention provided by front-line medical personnel who are well trained in best treatment practices. “DoD is doing a good job of handling severe TBI cases. Patients, who often have other life-threatening injuries in addition to TBI, are quickly transferred to trauma centers that also employ the latest technology and techniques to facilitate positive outcomes.”
Concussions account for about 90 percent of all TBIs, but the term “mild TBI” doesn’t mean the consequences aren’t serious. Seizures, slurred speech, loss of memory, headaches, dizziness, vision problems, lack of attention and personality changes can all result from a concussion and the symptoms can last for years.
“The concussions are difficult to deal with,” says Ghajar, “because they are hard to identify. The victims may look normal, be coherent, walking, talking, telling everyone they’re fine and ready to get back into the action, when in fact, they’ve experienced a traumatic brain injury.”
Symptoms of TBI, such as headache, fatigue and irritability, are not unique to brain injury and therefore are often overlooked. Symptoms aren’t always immediately visible and other physical injuries that are more apparent take precedence and delay a TBI diagnosis. Even when symptoms like slow speech, balance problems, difficulty in communicating or lack of attention are present, they are often mistaken for indicators of a stroke or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Combined with the chaos and lack of diagnostic equipment on the battlefield, it’s not surprising that combat TBI often goes undiagnosed.

Diagnostic Technology

The impact of undiagnosed TBI can also be devastating. Delayed treatment time often results in prolonged recovery, which in turn can cause serious personal complications that can put the service member and his unit in harm’s way. “It’s important to identify and treat TBI victims as early as possible, particularly in a combat situation” explains Ghajar. “We’ve learned that TBI creates a lack of attention, which can put a soldier and the whole unit at risk. TBI often disrupts sleep patterns, another contributing factor in lack of attention, and can compound the problem. We want to limit any activity that would put the patient or his buddies at further risk.”
Research has also shown that the results of TBI are cumulative and, of those diagnosed with a concussion, many had previous brain injuries. A brain-injured soldier who is continually exposed to bombs, grenades, and other artillery is at higher risk for additional brain trauma, and as a result, combat veterans often take longer to recover from concussions. TBI symptoms can worsen over time if not treated, which can delay reintegration to their military unit or civilian community. And because of social stigma or simple lack of understanding about the dangers, it’s estimated that more than half of the 320,000 service members who’ve suffered TBIs in Iraq and Afghanistan have not sought diagnosis or treatment.
Technological advances are making the job of diagnosing TBI a little easier. Dr. Ghajar and the Brain Trauma Foundation have been studying concussions for the past eight years, and recognized a trend among TBI victims.
“Many said they ‘felt out of sync’ with the outside world,” recalls Ghajar. “We believe the brain is predictive; it anticipates what’s going to happen and then processes information accordingly. It’s like a tennis player who sees the ball coming at him. He anticipates where the ball will be a few seconds in the future and swings so that his racket will intersect that point at the appropriate instant. Our brains are about two-and-a-half seconds in the future. We make these types of predictions all the time in our daily lives and this timing allows us to anticipate and respond. It allows us to pay attention. If our timing is off, the brain can’t process information in a normal way.”

 Rest of this article at http://www.brainlinemilitary.org/content/2011/11/out-of-sync-the-effects-of-traumatic-brain-injury-and-the-battle-to-recovery_pageall.html
Brainline Military

What we know and don't know about TBI

Hidden disorder:

TBI Voices:


TBI related to NFL suicides:

PTSD News -- ScienceDaily

Troops who don't pass the smell test likely have traumatic brain injury

Decreased ability to identify specific odors can predict abnormal neuroimaging results in blast-injured troops, according to a new study. The olfactory system processes thousands of different odors, sending signals to the brain which interprets the smell by linking it to a past memory. If memory is impaired, as is the case with Alzheimer's disease, sleep deprivation, and acute traumatic brain injury, the task is not entirely possible.

Boise Bipolar Center, Charles K. Bunch, Ph.D, Boise Idaho Therapist Mental health photo 2168_zps680c452f.jpg

Thursday, March 26, 2015

7 Things to Ask about pilot Andreas Lubitz's depression and suicide

 A note from Dr. Bunch

I knew when I first heard about the crash and found first reports to not suspect terrorism, that one thing on the plane had occurred. Suicide leads a skilled pilot to kill himself via destroying a passenger jet fully loaded. Lost are Germans, Spaniards, Americans, and more. Mothers, children, lives, futures.

Andreas, grew up in privilege. Still, there is an untold story that will come to light in the next weeks.

1. Did he have childhood depression?
2. Is he a victim of a trauma or head injury?
3. Are there signs in the family and Andreas of developing bipolar disorder, which really sets most fully at his age: 27 and has high risk of suicidality
4. Was he under ongoing childhood stress or pressure or having ongoing childhood mild trauma. Did he fit in as a child or teen, or feel he was part of a disenfranchised subculture (nerd, gay, academic, or other)
5. Was he molested as a child causing depression and suicidality?
6. Had he experienced problems with intimate relationships, including multiple failure or having been psychologically or physically abused?
7. Was he a victim of bullying, including by a parent, teacher, peer, or supervisor?

And, there are other questions we'll ask:

Did he get medical care and treatment and follow that? (therapy cannot be discounted as in cases like this, it is 50% of the treatment a person needs).
What was the 6 month break he took from work three years ago?  Was he hospitalized or suicidal then?

And, another thing we should ask of a person particularly at age 27: has there been ongoing chronic stress the last 5 years, which new research shows would develop the development of the brain of a 27 year old. At 27, the brain just reaches full development of judgement and reasoning. Andreas move to suicide, possibly related to relationship problems, would indicate he could have been a "mature 27 year old in some areas of life, but in relationships and judgment was delayed or "immature" in that life area.   Ongoing or more intensive stress counseling could have enabled his brain to right itself, and continue normal development.

Below is an article on Andreas' background from the Telegraph. While the comment from the hospital says that he was dealing with stress from a breakup, I DOUBT this is the full truth. People don't go to hospitals when under stress, but when they feel things are more out of control. That information is incomplete and there could be a coverup or was an incomplete diagnosis. Further, most adult psychiatric disorders have roots in childhood, and that information will be useful to understand what really happened to Andreas and what disorder he actually had.

Overall, there are great losses. The tragedy of families and countries is great. But, one person, Andreas, committed the suicide and crime, and could have been helped. This could have been prevented.  He too was lost to suicide.

 Running amok - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - http://goo.gl/M2lVd

Who can become depressed? Your neighbor, your relative, your friend, and even your self!

Mr Robin said Lubitz had a "deliberate desire to destroy this plane. He ... refused to open the door of the cockpit to the pilot and deliberately began the descent of the plane".
German state prosecutors said on Thursday morning that they found evidence that Andreas Lubitz had hidden an unspecified medical condition from his employers.
"Documents with medical contents were confiscated that point towards an existing illness and corresponding treatment by doctors," said the prosecutors' office in Dusseldorf, where the pilot lived and where the flight from Barcelona was heading, reports Reuters.
"The fact there are sick notes saying he was unable to work, among other things, that were found torn up, which were recent and even from the day of the crime, support the assumption based on the preliminary examination that the deceased hid his illness from his employer and his professional colleagues," they said.
The prosecutors said in a statement that the documents were found in searches of Lubitz's homes in Duesseldorf and in the town of Montabaur in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate.
The Uniklinik hospital in Dusseldorf confirmed that it had treated Lubitz in recent weeks but said it was not for depression.
Meanwhile Bild, the German newspaper, reported that "Lubitz had a serious relationship crisis with his girlfriend before the disaster and the resulting heartbreak is thought to have led to this," said Bild. "Investigators are currently pursuing this line of enquiry with vigour."
A friend of Lubitz said: "His nickname was 'Tomato Andi' - a reference to his past employment as a flight steward," adding that he worked for nearly a year for Lufthansa as a cabin attendant before being accepted for flight training.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls of France has called on Lufthansa to give all possible information about Lubitz "so that we can understand why this pilot got to the point of this horrific" action.
"Everything points to this act that we are unable to qualify - criminal, mad, suicidal. How can one imagine that a pilot in whom one has full confidence - they are heroes for many people. Who hasn't thought of being a pilot? - could precipitate the plane into the mountain, after closing the door to stop the (other) pilot from entering the cabin."
Early years
The young Lubitz grew up in the small town of Montabaur, 20 minutes’ drive from the German city of Koblenz.
With his father a successful business executive and his mother a piano teacher his family could well afford the cost of flying lessons at his local club, Luftorts Club Westerwald.
Here he first sat in the cockpit of a light aircraft at the age of 14 and after a couple of years of instruction under dual controls was able to fly on his own.
Klaus Radker, the club's chairman, said: "It was his dream to fly from an early age and it was a dream he began to fulfil here, so when he went on to gain his commercial licence and fly planes like the Airbus he was very happy and proud."

Andreas Lubitz competing in a Lufthansa marathon in 2013 (Wolfgang Nass/BILD)
Mr Radker last saw Lubitz in the autumn of last year, when the Germanwings pilot returned to the club to renew his light aircraft flying licence and take part in the club's barbecue, which he attended with a girlfriend.
Nobody at the club noticed anything strange in his demeanour.
"He seemed normal. Proud of his job after so much training. He seemed happy," said Mr Radker. "I always found him a friendly, if very reserved, person. Open and polite."
The pilots who immolated themselves and their passengers
• 'We only hear screams in the last seconds. Death was instant.'
Lubitz left Montabaur at the age of 20 in 2007 to begin his commercial pilot's training in the northern German city of Bremen.

Andreas Lubitz hid illness: Everything we know on Friday about Germanwings plane crash co-pilot - Telegraph - http://goo.gl/4xMX27

PTSD News -- ScienceDaily

Study of veterans finds family support during deployment reduces suicidal thoughts

Family support during deployment is an important protective factor against post-deployment suicidal ideation according to a new study. Suicidal ideation includes thoughts that can range from fleeting consideration of suicide to the development of a specific plan for killing oneself.

Boise Bipolar Center, Charles K. Bunch, Ph.D, Boise Idaho Therapist Mental health photo 2168_zps680c452f.jpg

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Krill a day keeps the Doctor Away

 Note from Dr. Bunch: This is significant information. While this study was with persons eating fish and taking ssri antidepressants, eventually it may be found that fish intake may boost efficacy of all medications for depression, ptsd, and other brain disorders of all types from brain trauma to schizophrenia.

It has long been known that all psychiatric patients, in fact all persons, will benefit from taking omega 3 or fish oil supplements daily. While this is so commonly recommended and inexpensive, most persons skip this daily supplement. One medical practitioner suggests putting the fish oil or other omega supplement such as flax seed oil in your night pill reminder box.

Walnuts are also a great source of Omega 3, and below is an article on just what Krill Oil is.

Sometimes, things that are so beneficial and cheap get discounted from importance in our minds.  This one, just getting the supplement or buying the walnuts and tuna will help. And, omega 3's are also in some things you might now have known about: cauliflower and soy.

PTSD News -- ScienceDaily

Fish intake associated with boost to antidepressant response

Up to half of patients who suffer from major depression do not respond to treatment with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. Now a group of researchers has carried out a study that shows that increasing fatty fish intake appears to increase the response rate in patients who do not respond to antidepressants.


 If there is one article you read on Omega 3 and the brain, read this one.
 from Mercola.articles.com

Your Practical Guide to Omega-3 Benefits and Supplementation


By Dr. Mercola

Omega-3 in SalmonTime and again, I have emphasized that omega-3 fats are essential to your overall health. And I am not alone – other health experts stress the same, and decades of research have been devoted to discovering the many health benefits of omega-3. Omega-3 comes from both animal and plant sources, most notably from krill oil and fish oil. They have become a multibillion-dollar business, with Americans spending about 2.6 billion dollars on nutritional supplements and foods fortified with omega-3 fats.1
Get the lowdown on omega-3 – its different types and sources, the omega-3 and omega-6 balance you should strive to achieve, and how to know if you are getting the highest-quality omega-3 fats for the wealth of health gains.

Types of Omega-3 Fats

Omega-3 fats are acquired from both animal and plant sources, but there is a lot of confusion when it comes to what type you should take to get the best omega-3 benefits.
Marine animals such as fish and krill provide eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are mostly promoted for their protective effects on your heart. Flaxseed, chia, hemp, and a few other foods, on the other hand, offer alpha-linoleic acid (ALA). 2
You would want to choose an animal-based variety – most of the health benefits linked to omega-3 fats are linked to the animal-based EPA and DHA, not the plant-based ALA.
Furthermore, ALA is converted into EPA and DHA in your body at a very low ratio. What this means is that even if you consume large amounts of ALA, your body can only convert a relatively small amount into EPA and DHA, and only when there are sufficient enzymes.
Remember, though, that plant-based omega-3 fats are NOT inherently harmful or should be avoided. Ideally, what you want to do is include an animal-based form in your diet. For instance, you can combine flax and hemp in your diet with animal-based omega-3s.

A Rundown of Omega-3 Benefits

Omega-3 ranks among the most important essential nutrients out there today.3 In 2008, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition4, 5, 6 published three studies investigating the role of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids in elderly populations.
Low concentrations of EPA and DHA resulted in an increased risk of death from all causes, as well as accelerated cognitive decline. The studies also suggest that a higher intake of omega-3s may bring certain health benefits that short-term supplementation cannot give.
Here are other evidence of omega-3 benefits:
  1. Omega-3 benefits your heart health. An Italian study (GISSI)7 of 11,324 heart attack survivors found that patients supplementing with fish oils markedly reduced their risk of another heart attack, stroke, or death. In a separate study, 8 American medical researchers reported that men who consumed fish once or more every week had a 50 percent lower risk of dying from a sudden cardiac event than do men who eat fish less than once a month.
  2. Omega-3 normalizes and regulates your cholesterol triglyceride levels. Compared to a statin, both fish oil and krill oil are more efficient in doing this. According to a study comparing the efficiency of krill and fish oils in reducing triglyceride levels,9 both oils notably reduced the enzyme activity that causes the liver to metabolize fat, but krill had a more pronounced effects, reducing liver triglycerides significantly more.
  3. Fasting triglyceride levels are a powerful indication of your ability to have healthy lipid profiles, which can be indicative of your heart health.
    Studies have also shown that omega-3 fats are anti-arrhythmic (preventing or counteracting cardiac arrhythmia), anti-thrombotic (prevents thrombosis or a blood clot within a blood vessel), anti-atherosclerotic (preventing fatty deposits and fibrosis of the inner layer of your arteries), and anti-inflammatory (counteracting inflammation – the heat, pain, swelling, etc).
  4. DHA affects your child's learning and behavior. Do you want to maximize your child's intellectual potential? A study published in Plos One in June 201310 linked low levels of DHA with poorer reading, and memory and behavioral problems in healthy school-age children. In another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in August 2013,11 children who consumed an omega-3 fat supplement as infants scored higher on rule learning, vocabulary, and intelligent testing at ages 3 to 5.
  5. Previous research also found that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and related behavior or learning disabilities are more likely to have low omega-3 fat levels.
    Omega-3 has such great impact on your brain health – EPA and DHA keep the dopamine levels in your brain high, increase neuronal growth in the frontal cortex of your brain, and increase cerebral circulation.
  6. Omega-3 has been found to save the lives of children going through short bowel syndrome (SBS), which is uncommon but impacts thousands of people in the United States. SBS can occur from birth (when a portion of the intestine fails to develop) or due to an infectious inflammatory disease striking premature newborns. In adults, it can be caused by surgery for Crohn's disease or injury.
  7. Alarmed by the situation, Dr. Mark Puder, surgeon at Children's Hospital Boston,12 said that they knew most of the children with SBS were going to die. Then the physicians noted that when the kids were given the nutritional supplement Omegaven (made of fish oil), they began to improve drastically.
    The fish oil treatment was given to 112 children at the hospital, where more than 90 percent of the children with SBS are still alive. There has been striking results that the fish oil supplement is also made available at 70 hospitals worldwide.
Omega-3 benefits cover many areas of health, from mental and behavioral health to preventing premature death from disease, including the following:
Coronary heart disease and stroke Essential fatty acid deficiency in infancy (retinal and brain development) General brain function, including memory and Parkinson's disease
ADHD Autoimmune disorders, e.g. lupus and nephropathy Osteoporosis
Crohn's disease Cancers of the breast, colon, and prostate Rheumatoid arthritis

You May Be Running Low on These Beneficial Fats

Omega-3 Deficiency Affects the HeartMost people fail to consume sufficient amounts of omega-3 fats, which makes omega-3 deficiency likely the sixth biggest killer of Americans. This deficiency can cause or contribute to serious mental and physical health problems, and may be a significant underlying factor of up to 96,000 premature deaths each year.
In fact, dietary fat intake has been among the most widely studied dietary risk factors for breast and prostate cancers. Two studies from 2002 explain how omega-3 can protect against breast cancer. BRCA1 (breast cancer gene 1) and BRCA2 (breast cancer gene 2) are two tumor suppressor genes that, when functioning normally, help repair DNA damage, a process that also prevents tumor development.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fats have been found to influence these two genes – omega-3 tends to reduce cancer cell growth, while highly processed and toxic omega-6 has been found to cause cancer growth.
Considering that omega-3 deficiency is a common underlying factor for cancer and heart disease, it is no longer surprising for statistics to show that this deficiency may be responsible for nearly 100,000 deaths every year.
Special attention should also be given to the fact that most women have major deficiencies of omega-3. A 1991 study at the Mayo Clinic focused on 19 "normal" pregnant women consuming "normal diets," and it showed that all were deficient in omega-3 fats. Another study compared Inuit (Eskimo) women to Canadian women, and it revealed omega-3 deficiency in the milk of the Canadian nursing moms.
Animal cells cannot form omega-3, so a fetus must obtain all of its omega-3 fatty acids from its mother's diet. A mother's dietary intake and plasma concentrations of DHA directly influence the DHA level of the developing fetus, impacting the child's brain and eye health.
So remember that if you are pregnant, your baby is dependent on the omega-3 from your diet via breast milk. It is then crucial that you maintain adequate omega-3 supply.

The Omega-3-Omega-6 Balance You Should Maintain in Your Body

omega 3 capletsOmega-3 and omega-6 are two types of fat that are essential for human health. However, the typical American consumes far too many omega-6 fats in her diet while consuming very low omega-3 levels.
The ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats is 1:1. Our forefathers evolved over millions of years on this ratio. Today, however, our ratio averages from 20:1 to 50:1 – this spells serous dangers to your well-being! In fact, mainstream media has finally reported that lack of omega-3 is among the most serious and pressing health issues plaguing our world. Omega-6 is primarily sourced from corn, soy, canola, safflower, and sunflower oils. These are overabundant in the typical diet, which accounts for excess omega-6 levels.
Omega-6 fats predominate the diet in the US, and this encourages the production of inflammation in your body. Many scientists believe that one reason there is a high incidence of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, premature aging, and some cancer forms today is this profound omega-3-omega-6 imbalance.

Sources of Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats

Perhaps you are wondering what animal-based omega-3 options are available for you. Here are the primary ones:

  • Fish – In a perfect world, fish can provide you all the omega-3s you need. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the fish supply is now heavily tainted with industrial toxins and pollutants, such as heavy metals, PCBs, and radioactive poisons. These toxins make eating fish no longer recommended.
  • About the only exception are wild-caught Alaskan salmon and very small fish like sardines. The highest concentrations of mercury are found in large carnivorous fish like tuna, sea bass, and marlin. You may need to be especially cautious canned tuna as well, as independent testing by the Mercury Policy Project found that the average mercury concentration in canned tuna is far over the "safe limits" of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
    It is also important that you avoid farmed salmon, which contains only about half of the omega-3 levels of wild salmon. It may also harbor a range of contaminants, including environmental toxins, synthetic astaxanthin, and harmful metabolic byproducts and agrichemical residues of GMO corn- and soy-based feed they are given.
  • Fish oil – Fish oil is among the primary ways that people enhance their intake of omega-3 fats. High-quality fish oils can certainly provide many health benefits. However, this oil is weak in antioxidants. This means that as you increase your omega-3 intake through fish oil consumption, you actually increase your need for added antioxidant protection.
  • This happens because fish oil is a bit perishable, and oxidation leads to the formation of harmful free radicals. Antioxidants are therefore necessary to ensure that the fish oil doesn't oxidize and become rancid in your body.
  • Cod liver oil – I no longer recommend this because of the potential for problematic ratios of vitamins A and D.
  • Krill oil – This is my preferred choice for animal-based omega-3 fats. Its antioxidant potency is 48 times higher than fish oil. It also contains astaxanthin, a marine-source flavonoid that creates a special bond with the EPA and DHA to allow direct metabolism of the antioxidants, making them more bioavailable.
  • Krill Oil BenefitsKrill – or "okiami" as the Japanese call it – are small, shrimp-like creatures that are a cherished food source in Asia since the 19th century or earlier.
    Krill harvesting is a completely sustainable and one of the most eco-friendly on the planet. Krill are the largest biomass in the world and can be found in all oceans. Antarctic krill, by far the most abundant, is under the management of an international organization of 25 countries known as the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR).
    Antarctic krill biomass is using strict international precautionary catch limit regulations, reviewed regularly to assure sustainability. No shortage of krill has ever been forecasted by CCAMLR.
    Fish oil and krill oil are the two major players in the realm of animal-based omega-3 fats. But I have plenty of reasons to believe that krill oil offers superior benefits. In fact, two studies illustrate this:
  • A January 2011 study in Lipids13 found that the metabolic effects of the two oils are "essential similar," but krill oil is as effective as fish oil despite containing less EPA and DHA.
  • Another data, still unpublished in that year, suggests that krill oil is absorbed up to 10 to 15 times as well as fish oil. Its molecular composition14 is said to account for this better absorbability.
This Mercola infographic will provide a summary of why I choose krill over fish oil.

Giving Omega-3 Fats to Your Child

From the time of your pregnancy through your child's later life, omega-3 fats DHA and EPA have a radically important role in her brain health and other functions. I recommend supplementing with krill oil before and during pregnancy, and while you breastfeed. Babies receive DHA through your breast milk, so continuing breastfeeding through the first year will give your child a great headstart for health and success.
As soon as your child can safely swallow a capsule, she can start taking a high-quality krill oil supplement, which should be kid-sized or about half the size of a regular capsule. The supplement should also be odor-free, making it easy and palatable for children to swallow.

Final Recommendations

Make sure that you and your children get the right type of omega-3 fats. Go for a pollution-free, eco-friendly, and highly sustainable source, like krill oil. The good news is that krill oil appears to work at a lower dose, and this results in major cost savings, making it more affordable than fish oil.
more from Mercola, MD, osteopath, physician, and surgeon: health articles

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