Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Why Do I Get Depressed Before My Period?

Because at a certain point, it's more than PMS.













Welcome to BuzzFeed's Mental Health Q&A, where we consult with experts to answer your biggest mental health questions. Have a question about mental or emotional health, happiness, relationships, stress, or anything else? Hit us up at MentalHealthQs@buzzfeed.com.






















This week's question: Why do I get more depressed before my period?



This week's question: Why do I get more depressed before my period?



Hi,



I was diagnosed with major depression a couple of years ago, and while I'm still working it out, I have it pretty much under control right now. Without fail, however, crushing sadness/apathy/emotional numbness or a combination of those greet me about three days before my period starts.



At what point does this cease to be normal PMS and become something that maybe can or should be treated? Who should I talk to about this?



Thanks!



-Anonymous



Hey Anonymous! So, full disclosure, right off the bat: You'll have to see a doctor to know for sure what's going on with you specifically.



In the meantime, we talked to Dr. Catherine Birndorf, clinical associate professor of psychiatry and obstetrics and gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical Center and Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale School of Medicine, about the relationship between your period and depression. Here's what they had to say:




Loryn Brantz / BuzzFeed / Via Facebook: BuzzFeedComics




















Being sad, moody, or irritable is a pretty typical symptom of PMS - but when it affects your ability to function, it's probably something more.



Being sad, moody, or irritable is a pretty typical symptom of PMS - but when it affects your ability to function, it's probably something more.



"Functional impairment" - meaning when something gets in the way of your day-to-day life - is where experts draw the line between typical negative emotions and an actual disorder. We'll get to what those disorders might be in a second, but there are a few questions you can ask to know if something more serious is going on than regular PMS.



"Have you missed work or school?" says Birndorf. "Do you stay home a day or two a month because you're so miserable with these symptoms? Is it, 'I'm sad and moody and don't want to leave the house' or is it, 'I'm so miserable or angry or depressed that I can't?'"



And if that sounds like you, that's when it's time to talk to a doctor. When you do, these are the things they'll probably go over with you:




ABC / Via alliefallie.tumblr.com




















It could be Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), a disorder that causes severe depression symptoms before your period.






In the simplest terms, PMDD is really bad PMS. According to the DMS-5, to be diagnosed, you have to have five of the following symptoms (and at least one of the first four):




  • Sudden mood swings

  • Irritability, anger, or increased conflict with others

  • Depressed mood or feelings of hopelessness

  • Anxiety or tension

  • Decreased interest in usual activities

  • Difficulty staying focused in attention or thinking

  • Fatigue

  • Change in appetite, or food cravings

  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping more than usual

  • Feeling overwhelmed or out of control

  • Physical symptoms, such as breast tenderness, joint or muscle pain, weight gain, or bloating



What's also important here is that your symptoms are cyclical, says Minkin - AKA most of the month you're completely fine, then anywhere from a few days to two weeks before your period (everyone's different), the symptoms set in. And then once you start your period, they lessen and go away. Rinse and repeat.




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Friday, September 16, 2016

Have Trust Issues? 4 Ways Yoga Can Help

trust-issues-yoga

Trust is a hard thing to come by for so many of us. We often don't trust ourselves, we don't trust others, and we don't trust the natural flow of life.

 

Most of us have been hurt as children and betrayed as adults, and we've let our ability to trust fall to the wayside. But our yoga practice teaches us to soften, to let things be, and let things go. It teaches us to support ourselves and ultimately heal the Universe.

 

When we experience the Oneness and interconnectedness of everything and all that exists, we learn to trust deeply in the innate intelligence and awareness that lives within our Selves and the Universe.

 


Here are 4 ways your yoga practice can help resolve trust issues to cultivate a deeper ability to trust – in ourselves and the world around us:


 


Yoga Increases Body Awareness


The more we practice yoga, the more we get in touch with the signals our bodies are sending us – and they're sending those signals constantly. By naming the sensations in our bodies, we learn how to get deeply familiar with them, which helps us increase our bodily awareness and in turn increase our sense of trust in ourselves.

 


Yoga Expands Our Minds


By opening our minds, we end up accepting and trusting ourselves and others with greater patience and understanding. There's more space for listening with an open mind AND an open heart – to others and ourselves.

 

This expansion of mind helps us see things from a greater perspective, accepting that there's no right or wrong way – which helps us become more trusting of the Universe as a whole.

 


 


Yoga Helps Us Witness Our Thoughts


As we practice asana, or the physical poses, we begin to slow the fluctuations of our thought patterns, which allows us to become the witness of them. The more we become the witness of our thoughts, the more we learn to see them for what they are – arising and falling, coming and going – until we develop such a deep sense of self-awareness that we get to know ourselves really, really well.

 

This self-knowing leads to a deep sense of self-trust, which helps us move through life with confidence and an inner-knowing that we're on the right path.

 


We Learn to Surrender


Yoga helps us cultivate a deep sense of surrender to life. We learn to stop gripping, forcing, and controlling, and in turn, develop a faith and a trust that the great Cosmic Consciousness is ultimately serving our greater good.

 

Trusting in the Divine is one of the great teachings of yoga, and as we develop this spiritual trust, surrender and acceptance of life comes naturally.

 


Opening to trust takes time. It's like a muscle we build with practice. As you practice yoga and sit in meditation, let the word “trust” move into your heart as you breathe in and out. Use the word “trust” as a mantra – one that you can bring into your heart and mind at anytime or place.

 

This is an incredibly effective way to take your power back and move confidently in the direction of your dreams.

 


The post Have Trust Issues? 4 Ways Yoga Can Help appeared first on YogiApproved™.

The Importance of Introducing Teens to Yoga (Video)

teen-yoga-artcile

Let's face it – being a teenager is tough. At that age, we're constantly learning and changing and questioning everything. There's the pressure of school, of blossoming independence and responsibility, of changing bodies, hormones, and emotions.

 

As a teenager, finding healthy and positive ways to cope with these changes and challenges is so important. Yoga is life-changing for the better, and you'd be hard pressed to find a yogi who doesn't have a similar respect for the practice.

 

For so many of us, knowing yoga and having a yoga practice in high school would've changed everything. Can you imagine having the tools we as yogis learn from our yoga practice – self-awareness, presence, knowing how to consciously breathe, acceptance, confidence and a sense of personal empowerment – in high school or even middle school?!

 

Obviously, yoga is the perfect companion for any teenager. So the question is – how do we introduce them to the practice?

 


Here are 5 ways we can introduce teenagers to yoga:


 


1. Make yoga relatable


First, it's important to relate to teens by reminding them that we were once their age, dealing with the same challenges. From there, allow yoga to be an easy, fun, and intriguing way to address these challenges. How can you convey the meaning and importance of yoga in a way that relates to your teen?

 


2. Walk the walk


Next, embody the lessons that you take off the mat – the concepts of self-love, self-acceptance, awareness, presence, conscience breathing, and dealing with challenges calmly and mindfully. Show teens that yoga actually has benefits far beyond the physical, and that the lessons we learn on the mat can be applied to all of life's challenges and tribulations.

 


3. Nurture and support


From there, we can nurture the yoga seed that's been planted by supporting teens in their yoga journey – finding studios and teachers they resonate with, and also resources beyond the mat to help teens continue to cultivate their blossoming practice.

 


4. Find additional resources


There are plenty of amazing resources out there to support you in introducing your teen to yoga. From online yoga classes specifically for (and sometimes even taught by) teens, to yoga books written for teens, articles that offer advice, and even products like Teen Yoga Box geared towards teenagers cultivating a yoga practice. Find resources that resonate with you, and use them to help support your teen's yoga journey.

 


5. Keep showing up


The same advice you often hear from yoga teachers now applies to you in your ongoing support of your teen doing yoga. Encourage them, help them, and practice with them! The more you endorse the yoga practice and them doing it, the more likely they'll be to try it and continue coming back to it.

 


Knowledge is power, and yoga can create a massive positive shift on our youth and society as a whole. Watch YogiApproved founder Ashton August discuss her personal experiences as a teenager, and how yoga helped her find balance as an adult. Teens: watch it! Parents: share it!

 

watch-the-video



 

As the saying goes, today's youth is tomorrow's future. When they are feeling stressed out or overwhelmed, yoga will teach our teens to take time to breathe, center, and work through it in a healthy and positive way. To give them the gift of yoga at an early age can only create a better, stronger, and more promising future for us all. Namaste.

 

Interested in learning more or purchasing a Teen Yoga Box? Check out their website teenyogabox.com.

 


The post The Importance of Introducing Teens to Yoga (Video) appeared first on YogiApproved™.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

10 Incredible Yoga Photos from Burning Man 2016

bunring-man-photo

Burning Man: a time and place once a year where people gather to let go of who they are and play in a reality all their own. Where money can't buy you anything and where community is all you have. Burning Man is a mecca for all things yogi and there is no shortage of asana being preformed.

 


Here are 10 beautiful yoga photos from Black Rock City:


 






A photo posted by Kate Swarm (@kateswarm) on






 

 






A photo posted by Gordon Ogden (@gordonogden) on






 

 






A photo posted by Daria (@dariaeyal) on






 

 






A photo posted by Elena Rangel (@elenarangel) on






 


 






A photo posted by Miki Ash (@mikiashgalaxy) on






 

 






A photo posted by Jeffrey A Tang / MOSSS (@12fv) on






 

 


'3-Parent Babies' Could Eliminate Rare Diseases, But US Lawmakers Have Blocked The Technology






Lindsay Chapman






Every September, Lindsay Chapman, her husband Andrew Nesseth, and the state of Minnesota celebrate the little boy they lost in 2010.

Leo was born with Alper's disease, caused by a rare genetic mutation that damaged his mitochondria, the oblong structures that generate a cell's energy. At 9 months old he had a seizure, the beginning of an episode that eventually paralyzed his right side. Then his liver began to fail. On his first birthday, his parents took him to the Minnesota Zoo, where he gleefully rode the monorail, tasted chocolate frosting for the first time, and got drenched in a surprise rainstorm. Three days later, he died.

Chapman and Nesseth did everything they could to bring the public's attention to mitochondrial diseases, which affect up to 4,000 babies in the US each year. The couple drummed up social media campaigns, spoke at hearings, baked cookies with mitochondria traced in green icing, and passed out little green light bulbs at the public library of their tiny Minnesota town. Their efforts culminated in a 2011 state law, known as “Leo's Law,” which designates the third week of this month for mitochondrial disease awareness.

Unlike most genetic syndromes, which can be passed down from mother or father, mitochondrial diseases usually stem from a mother's egg. They're very rare: Every year in the US, about 100 women find out they carry these genetic glitches, which cause a wide array of symptoms, from hearing loss and migraines to muscle and liver failure, or even death.

Mitochondrial diseases have no cure. But a controversial genetic technology can prevent a woman from passing these mutations on to her kids. It's a type of in vitro fertilization in which the faulty mitochondrial DNA inside a woman's egg gets swapped out with mitochondrial DNA from a healthy donor, leading to a child who technically has three genetic “parents.”

The technology was approved in the UK last February, but in December, US lawmakers took the opposite stance, slipping language into the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 - the big annual spending bill - that banned the FDA from evaluating clinical trials for any genetic modifications that affected the next generation.

Now that law is due to expire, but scientists and patient advocates are worried that the FDA ban will be quietly renewed without discussion or debate.

“There is something unusual, perhaps disturbing, about Congress laying down the law when the scientific community and public are just beginning to understand the issue,” Eli Adashi, a professor of medical science at Brown University who has been documenting the regulation of politically sensitive science for the last two decades, told BuzzFeed News.

Congress's actions are at odds with the momentum of the FDA, which for the last two years has been gearing up to approve tests of mitochondrial replacement in people. Counting on this approval, a handful of scientists in the US had begun to set up these clinical trials. But now that work is indefinitely on hold.

“I can't even fathom why they would think that that would something we shouldn't be researching and frankly, doing clinical trials on,” Chapman told BuzzFeed News. “There's just something inside of me that screams at the idea that somebody else would stand in the way.”






















Dieter Egli/Columbia University Medical Center






Before the ban was passed, at least two clinical trials had been planned to test mitochondrial replacement therapy in eggs harvested from women with the disease.

One method, which involves replacing the mitochondria of a woman's egg cell before it is fertilized with sperm, had been tested in animals, but not people.

“To implant the embryos and follow the children after birth - that is the only part that's left unknown,” Shoukhrat Mitalipov, director of the Oregon Health and Science University Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy and leader of the research, told BuzzFeed News.

Mitalipov said that in early conversations with the FDA he had proposed a trial with up to 10 women who had mutations in their mitochondrial DNA that coded for MELAS, a disease that affects the nervous and muscular systems. But the ban foiled his plans.

“It's definitely going to slow down clinical translation and that's unfortunate,” Mitalipov said. “Even though the US was one of the pioneers in developing these treatments, it looks like clinical implementation will be somewhere in the UK and probably in other countries.”

On the other side of the country, Michio Hirano, a professor of neurology at the Columbia University Medical Center, had been working on a different technique, in which a mom's non-mitochondrial DNA is transferred into the egg of another woman with healthy mitochondrial DNA.

“We were certainly hoping to use the technique clinically,” Hirano told BuzzFeed News. “It's a bit disappointing, but it doesn't appear that we will be able to do it clinically in the near future.”

Hirano is still planning to test mitochondrial replacement in women's eggs in the lab. But to work around the letter of the law, he will freeze the resulting fertilized embryos instead of putting them back in the women with mitochondrial disease. If and when the ban lifts, they will be ready for implantation.

“We would like to preserve the embryos indefinitely until the FDA approves,” he said. “It's the only way that we can proceed.”












Patients with mitochondrial disease are frustrated about the ban's chilling effect on research.








Patients with mitochondrial disease are frustrated about the ban's chilling effect on research. “That effectively squashed any activity in this space,” Philip Yeske, science officer at the advocacy group the United Mitochondrial Disease Association, told BuzzFeed News.

The ban is particularly baffling, he said, because the National Academies of Sciences had thoroughly investigated the technology's ethical and safety implications and ultimately offered its support of clinical trials.

“They were very clear in their report - they saw no ethical reason to limit human clinical studies for mitochondrial replacement therapy,” Yeske said.

Still, the new method is not without its scientific detractors, who have warned that mixing mitochondrial and non-mitochondrial DNA from two females can shorten the lifespan of some animals including fruit flies and mice. And even the National Academies report suggested some precautions. Among them, it recommended that researchers start with doing the tests in male embryos. That way, if there were any mishaps in the way the transfer took place, the boys would be in no danger of passing it down to their own children.

Adashi says that it's “a good possibility” that the bill's primary target was not mitochondrial replacement, but a more contentious genetic technology called CRISPR. Unlike mitochondrial replacement, which simply swaps out whole strands of existing DNA with DNA from another person, CRISPR targets specific genes in the code to delete or “edit.”

Scientists have been fiercely debating the ethics of using CRISPR on human embryos and critics worry that this could lead to the creation of “designer babies.”

The language in the December bill prevents the FDA from considering, or even acknowledging, trials of any technology that would alter the genome of the next generation.

So this language also blocks research into mitochondrial replacement therapy - a technology that is more mature, better tested, and less ethically fraught than gene-editing like CRISPR.

“The mitochondrial replacement can be considered a form of genetic modification but it's not gene editing - it's not that we go in and fix a mutation or edit the DNA,” Hirano said.

Adashi, the Brown professor, told BuzzFeed News that he did not know how the ban's language, which is simple but specific, came to be a part of the bill. “There's no paper trail, there's no smoking gun - there is just the result,” he said.

In an email to BuzzFeed News, the Appropriations Committee spokesperson Jennifer Hing would not comment on where the language came from.

The law expires on September 30, but a “continuing resolution” is expected to pass this month that would keep these provisions relevant until the first week of December. Scientists like Adashi and Yeske worry that the same language will be included in next year's spending bill without any discussion.






















Lindsay Chapman






After Leo died, Lindsay Chapman and her husband struggled with the prospect of having another child. Leo's mitochondrial disease was one of the rare types that comes from a mutation in regular DNA, which can be inherited from either parent. So Chapman and Nesseth knew that there was a 25% chance their next child would have it.

“It's been six years of conversations -very difficult conversations,” Chapman said. Her husband definitely wanted another child, she said. “And I couldn't even fathom the idea.”

And then last year, Chapman found out she was pregnant again. She was devastated.

“At first, I felt like I couldn't keep the pregnancy. I couldn't deal with the stress,” she said. Nesseth convinced her to wait out the 14 weeks until they could test the fetus for signs of the defective gene. Fortunately, the tests were negative, and baby Nikolai was born this spring.

Although they would not benefit from mitochondrial replacement therapy themselves, they are in full favor of any procedures that could give mothers a reliable chance to have healthy children.

“I don't think that people who are making up these laws and deciding where the money goes really understand the journey that families go through, and the stress that they go through to potentially grow their families,” she said. “To even have the opportunity to have an unaffected child is amazing.”




How to Do an Inchworm Stretch

Prevent blood clots from forming during your travels.