I GOT MYSELF OFF ANTIDEPRESSANTS THE NATURAL WAY—AND I’M NEVER LOOKING BACK By Rachel Lapidos

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It was a few months ago when I was taking my antidepressant—just as I did every night for the past five years—and realized I didn’t really want to be on it anymore.The shrink who’d prescribed it to me had never said I’d need to take it forever (though no one had said I wouldn’t). But that night, surveying my new thinking about all of this in the moment I swallowed it down, I wondered: had it become a habit, or even a crutch in my life, rather than a necessity for a serious depression? (Answer: In my case, probably.) So how would I safely get off it?

This is my brain on drugs

I think I should say that while some people might need a mood-regulator or a SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) for super-solid chemical reasons, I think I needed an antidepressant for environmental ones. One reason? My situation has become entirely different than it was when I was first prescribed Lexapro, a common SSRI variant. And it’s made a big difference. Boxes have been checked, and I’m essentially where I want to be—I have a great job, a great boyfriend, great friends. My mood matches my pretty decent reality. And my reality, even when sucky things happen now, doesn’t totally steamroll my mood (or total sense of self).

I was curious: could my pretty healthy exercise and eating habits (along with my sporadic attempts at meditation) provide enough mood-boosting wind in my sails?

That’s not to say I’m not still depressed, of course. High-functioning depression is a very real thing, after all. I just feel like I’m in a better place, and more capable of not having to rely on pills to be truly happy. And more importantly, I wanted to test if this was true.

Intellectually, I’d gotten some confidence for going off the Lexapro from things I was learning on the wellness beat at work. My theory: I probably produce a really steady stream of happiness-boosting endorphins, since I’d become an avid attendee of HIIT workouts, and I also avoid enough inflammatory foods to naturally level me out—so why not reduce the number of chemicals I’m ingesting?

And after learning more about the connection between the gut and depression, I was curious as to whether my pretty healthy exercise and eating habits (along with my sporadic attempts at meditation) could provide enough mood-boosting wind in my sails.

So I set out to stop using the medication that had leveled me out for years—which honestly felt like going into battle without any armor.

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The problem with discontinuing antidepressants

But you can’t just stop taking the pills. I’ve had occasions in which I had missed a couple of doses, and felt significant changes in my brain chemistry (some Googling produced the term “brain zaps,” which quite accurately described the weird and uncomfortable sensation you can feel after skipped doses).

So I had no illusions that the process of getting off antidepressants is complex, and not something that should be done without a doctor’s supervision. I went to see Meredith Bergman, M.D., a holistic psychiatrist, to see what I should do.

Dr. Bergman is really approachable and communicative for a shrink; not at all like the MD who gave me Lexapro, four minutes of his time, and a good-luck pat on the back. But she didn’t sugar coat this info: “Drug companies do not conduct research into how to taper off these medications, leading some physicians unprepared and without specific protocols for doing so,” she told me in her cozy New York City office. “This can lead to

READ MORE HERE:  https://www.wellandgood.com/good-advice/getting-off-antidepressants-the-natural-way/slide/3/

Fifteen years on, what long-term Botox use looks like by Paul Ewart

CHRISTA Billich was one of the first people to use Botox when it arrived here 15 years ago. She reveals what it’s done to her face.

Christa Billich, known for her role on Real Housewives, has been using Botox for 15 years.Source:Instagram

IT’S enough to raise eyebrows. That is, if the eyebrows haven’t been paralysed.

Despite its omnipresence in pop culture and beauty mags, Botox has only been around for 15 years.

Yep, this month is the birthday of the game-changing, wrinkle-smoothing, injectable wonder, which — in April 2002 — got its official government go-ahead for cosmetic use, a move that turned it into one of the most successful pharmaceutical brands in history.

Since its introduction in Australia we’ve been ranked as one of the world’s biggest spenders on the injectable. And one of the very first Australians to undergo the procedure was colourful Sydney socialite — and both Melbourne and Sydney Real Housewives regular — Christa Billich.

“It was really just one of those things,” she remembers. “A cosmetic surgeon in LA was a collector of my husband, Charles’, work, and I remember him raving about Botox — the ease of the procedure and its little to no downtime. It sounded amazing and I was SO ready to have it done! So when I heard it was on its way to Sydney, I jumped on it.”

Christa Billich pictured recently with her husband Charles, a famous artist.

Christa Billich pictured recently with her husband Charles, a famous artist.Source:News Limited

Christa and Charles Billich in the year 2000, before Botox was available.

Christa and Charles Billich in the year 2000, before Botox was available.Source:News Corp Australia

While admitting to undergoing various other procedures before the availability of Botox (“I wasn’t going to wait around for its miracles!”) she admits to being nervous ahead of her first injection.

“I’m not scared of needles, but I certainly don’t like them,” she says. “I had a champagne en route to the clinic — maybe two — which I’d probably not recommended, but whatever works, right?

“After the treatment, I was completely shocked when I looked in the mirror — I was expecting smooth skin right away, and instead had strange bumps where the needle had been. I was assured they’d do gown and surely enough, they did.

“It took longer for the effects to kick in than I thought, but that’s how Botox works, it needs a little time to start working its magic. Wrinkles start to soften and they don’t start coming back, as long as you keep up with the treatments.”

Christa on The Real Housewives of Sydney. Picture: Foxtel

Christa on The Real Housewives of Sydney. Picture: FoxtelSource:Foxtel

For Christa it marked the beginning of a 15-year-long love affair: “I was and am hooked!”

HER CHANGING FACE

Christa, 70, doesn’t want to even contemplate what she’d look like if Botox hadn’t come along when it did.

“Are you kidding, darling!” she laughs. “Never think about the what ifs. I’m very happy it arrived though. My face now looks natural, tight, smooth and youthful.”

Christa before Botox, in March 2000. Picture: Frank Violi

Christa before Botox, in March 2000. Picture: Frank VioliSource:News Corp Australia

This facial rejuvenation is also something she credits with attracting the attentions of younger admirers.

“I think younger men think I’m younger than I really am because

READ MORE HERE:  https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/beauty/cosmetic-surgery/fifteen-years-on-what-longterm-botox-use-looks-like/news-story/ee06df8efa663ee5ce656f2063e87f40

The Benefits Of Cacao Powder is Trending – Here’s Why BY FRANCESCA MENATO

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@WELLNESS_ED

If you’ve got your ear to the ground you will no doubt have been hearing about cacao powder benefits. However, there’s plenty of confusion surrounding raw cacao – what is it? Are the snack bars, protein powders and spreads (read: Pip and Nut) that list cacao also healthy?

They’re all worth-while questions. Especially considering how many food bloggers, nutritionists and PTs sprinkle the brown stuff on their smoothie bowls. And let’s not forget that time Daisy Lowe shared her cacao smoothie, or when 42 Juice whipped up an exclusive sweet cacao ice lolly recipe for you.

But rather than sugarcoat the truth we asked NutriCentre nutritionist, Cassandra Barn to break down this healthy food trend into bite-size chunks.

Read on for why cacao powder benefits aren’t fake news.

First off, what is cacao?

“The botanical name for the cacao tree is theobroma cacao, which roughly translates as ‘food of the gods’,” states Motion Nutrition. In reality it’s the unprocessed chocolate superfood that’s turbocharged with magnesium flavanoids, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese to name a few. As raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans these nutritional wins aren’t lost during processing.

Four Cacao powder benefits

Magnesium

Raw cacao is one of the best food sources of magnesium – a mineral that many of you lack from your diet. Magnesium is essential for energy production, for a healthy brain and nervous system, for our muscles and for strong bones and teeth. Magnesium may also support a healthy blood pressure.

Iron

Cacao is a source of iron, which builds the blood and helps to transport oxygen around our body, as well as potassium, copper, zinc, manganese and selenium.

Cacao can also be high in flavonoids, which have antioxidant activity. Raw cacao and flavonoid-rich chocolate have been linked with heart health benefits including increasing the good form of cholesterol (HDL) in our blood, lowering blood pressure and even improving vascular function in patients with congestive heart failure. These effects are thought to be primarily due to the antioxidants contained in the cacao.

PEA

In addition, cacao contains a compound called phenylethylamine (PEA for short!). PEA is thought to elevate mood and

READ MORE HERE:  https://www.womenshealthmag.com/uk/food/healthy-eating/a702736/health-benefits-of-raw-cacao-over-chocolate/

How to Make Toilet Paper by CAROLINE BALDWIN 

When in a survivalist situation, you have to think of everything you need to sustain yourself. Most people focus on water, food and medical supplies, but there are other necessities of life that are helpful to know how to make. Toilet paper is a resource that you may have but you will eventually run out. Another reason to make your own paper is to be eco-friendly and to save trees – and it could also be a fun Boy or Girl Scout project.

Add essential oils to the pulp for a scented paper. (Image: Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Things You’ll Need

  • 8 large sheets newspaper, 1/2-pound copy paper or non-glossy magazine pages
  • Bucket or tub
  • Water
  • Large pot
  • Leaves
  • Grass
  • Heating source (stovetop, open fire, propane burner)
  • Spoon or ladle
  • Baby oil
  • 2 large bath towels
  • Rolling pin
  • Rubber mallet
  • Wooden board
  • Weights
  • Scissors

Step 1

Soak the paper in a bucket or a tub of water. This will help remove the ink from the paper. Remove the paper after the ink appears to be 75 percent gone.

Step 2

Place the paper in a large pot with a couple of handfuls of leaves and grass. This will help the paper fibers remain together. Fill the pot with water so the paper is covered completely. Place the paper on a heating element and let simmer for one hour. Do not boil at first so the dry materials may absorb the water.

Step 3

Raise the temperature on the heating element and bring the water to a boil. Let the pot boil for 30 minutes. Add more water, if necessary. Remove any foam with a spoon or ladle. The paper will turn into a pulp during this process.

Step 4

Remove from the heating element. Pour or ladle out as much water as possible without disturbing the pulp. Wait for the water and pulp to cool before

READ MORE HERE:  https://www.ehow.com/how_4514690_make-toilet-paper.html

5 ways to survive being quarantined with your partner, according to a couple’s therapist by Amy Morin

lesbian couple in kitchen
Use it as a chance to get closer. 
Hinterhaus Productions/Getty Images
  • Amy Morin is a psychotherapist, licensed clinical social worker, mental strength coach, and international bestselling author.
  • As a therapist, Morin has counseled many couples through challenging experiences in their relationships.
  • With the spread of the coronavirus, there’s a growing chance that you and your partner may be required to work from home.
  • This increase of close quarters may be welcoming for some couples, and stressful for others — here’s 5 ways to handle the situation.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Being confined to a small space together can be quite stressful for any couple. But add in the stress of the outbreak of a potentially life-threatening illness, and you might find even further trouble tolerating one another.

Fortunately, there are some ways to help one another get through quarantine. Here’s what you can do to ensure that your relationship survives being confined in a small room together:

Help each other deal with the emotional rollercoaster

divorce angry frustrated couple
Emotions will come in waves. 
imtmphoto/Getty Images

From anger to fear, the quarantine will likely stir up a lot of emotion. And you might experience these emotions coming in waves.

You may find yourselves laughing one minute and crying just a short time later. And of course, you’re likely to be bored and frustrated in between. This is all normal when faced with such a highly stressful and unfamiliar situation as quarantine. There’s little known about what to expect, what might happen, or when you will be able to leave.

Help one another ride this emotional rollercoaster. Rather than minimize your partner’s feelings by saying, “Oh there’s nothing to be scared about,” say things like, “I know this is a scary situation.” Just knowing that you’re listening can provide a big sense of relief for your partner.

Focus on being kind and respectful

couple travelling together
Remember why you care about your partner. 
Hinterhaus Productions/Getty Images

Any stressful situation can cause you to grow a bit irritable and snarky with one another. But under normal circumstances, you can walk away and take a break. Obviously, you can’t do that when you’re quarantined in the same room.

Make it a goal to treat your partner with kindness — even when you don’t feel like it. Apologize when you are unkind, and forgive your partner for being rude at times as well.

Keep in mind that even though there aren’t a lot of things you can control when you’re quarantined, one thing you can control is how you treat one another. So make it a goal to remain kind and respectful despite feeling stressed out.

Practice healthy coping skills

Gay couple same sex dating flirting
Use simple ways to manage your stress. 
Fergus Coyle/Shutterstock

When you’re quarantined, you won’t have access to many of the coping skills you’ve likely grown accustomed to in managing distress — like walking around the neighborhood or going for a drive to listen to music. Consequently, you might find yourself feeling a bit helpless when it comes to managing your mood.

Fortunately, there are some simple coping strategies you can turn to even when you’re quarantined. Meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, drawing, listening to music, reading a book, or just pacing around the room might decrease your stress and help you feel better.

Work on managing your emotions so you can be the best partner you are able to under the circumstances. Talk about the skills that are working for you, and offer to assist your partner

READ MORE HERE:  https://www.businessinsider.com/5-ways-to-survive-if-you-are-quarantined-with-partner-2020-3?r=DE&IR=T#help-each-other-deal-with-the-emotional-rollercoaster-1

21 Rainy-Day Date Ideas That Aren’t Another Movie by Gena Kaufman

Photography of a couple walking in rain and sharing an umbrella laughing and having fun
miodrag ignjatovic

In addition to ruining your hair, rain has a habit of ruining outdoor spring and summer dates. Cute impromptu picnic? Forget it. That outdoor music festival? Probably not. When a sudden rainstorm interrupts your plans for a date, you have some choices: (a) brave the weather and hope your hair doesn’t turn into Monica’s from the Barbados episode of Friends, (b) choose an equally fun indoor activity, (c) straight up refuse to leave the house and instead stay in together, or (d) be that person who asks for a last-minute raincheck (don’t be that person).

But if you find yourself needing a little inspiration for your backup plan, here’s a list of some classic rainy-day date ideas for when you’re sick of going to the movie theater as your only dry option.

If you want to avoid cabin fever, but you want to keep it as indoors as possible:

Go bowling. A frizzy ponytail goes well with those shoes anyway.

a couple in an art gallery
Jupiterimages

Enjoy some art. This is the perfect opportunity to finally go to that museum’s new photography exhibit everyone is talking about so you can quit pretending you’re just as cultured as your hip friend who always manages to do that stuff before you even hear of it.

Get cultured. Find a random local performance that you probably didn’t even know was happening—a concert or a play or a comedy show—and snag the cheapest seats. You might discover a new favorite band, but even if it ends up being awful, at least it will be dry.

Act like kids. Think of the fun stuff your parents took you to do when you were driving them nuts inside the house. Playing at an arcade or visiting a roller-skating rink (so retro!) is a much more fun indoor activity than sulking.

Couple shopping for wine together
Monashee Frantz

Go shopping. We’re not talking about those awkward mall dates you had as a teenager. Go buy something you both can do together, like fun new game, or hit up an international grocery store for a new wine to try (Lebanon and Georgia—the country, that is—have some great ones).

Check out the local booze scene. Got a craft brewery, distillery, winery, in your area? See if they have any available tours or tastings that day, or make a day of hopping between them (just have Uber be your DD).

Young happy women sitting on a pool table and talking to each other.
skynesher

Play grown-up games. Pool halls are basically the arcades of the older set. Being inside a dingy, dark bar on a glorious spring day would be a waste, but it’s the perfect use of a cold and rainy one. If pool’s not your thing, find one that

READ MORE HERE:  https://www.glamour.com/story/rainy-day-dates