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Emotions Are Stored In Our Body On The Cellular Level

Emotions are stored in our body on the CELLULAR level!
When we choose to hold onto anger, frustration, jealousy, or impatience, those emotions negatively impact our physical well-being.
Questions to ask yourself next time you have an ache, pain, or feel ill:
What emotions am I storing in this part of my body?
Am I holding onto something in my life that is no longer serving me today?
What is my body trying to tell me?
– What’s the downside of letting go of this negative emotion?

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Judith Haire talks to Melisande Randall, autobiographical writer, from El Segundo, California


I’ve been talking to fellow Chipmunka author Melisande Randall about her new book  Under The Invisible Umbrella

I asked Melisande, “What motivated you to search for or create resources related to having a parent with mental illness?”

Melisande: “For years, I had been writing about my experiences with my mother in order to work out my anger. I was in counseling for years and still go to therapy from time to time. After tossing nearly all my childhood journals for fear of their discovery, I wanted to write a book for a long time but always feared it would be viewed as DISRESPECTFUL to my mom and family. To speak negatively about my mom was always taboo, forbidden. Then, after she was diagnosed five years ago, it validated my feelings that nothing we went through in our childhood was imagined nor blown out of proportion. My mom was indeed a mood disordered parent. I felt I could share my experiences on Facebook while I wrote in order to validate my experiences and gain courage. I also wanted to have a voice to explain to people in my past, why it was I was always such an “odd” bird. My mom had raised a broken child who was simply reacting to her broken home.”

I asked  “What were your steps in creating resources that led you to use of the Internet and social media?”

Melisande:  “There were no steps really. I created my group “Adult Children of Parents with Schizoaffectifve and Other Mood Disorders” on Facebook and found other similar group also related to mental illness.  These groups were created by survivors, researchers, family members, advocates, etc and it was amazing to see how many people used this forum to share resources and living accounts and experiences. I went around to various groups and read their posts. Then I invited others from these groups to join my group. I ran into caregivers, professionals, survivors, and sufferers, many of whom became individual friends outside of the group. As people visited my site and shared resources, experiences and vented about “rough days”, the group took on meaning on its own.  Many of us counsel each other and help each other with words of encouragement and suggested readings and therapies that may help.”

I asked,  “What resources have you created?”

Melisande  “I wrote a short autobiographical piece to get through my anger and am now working on a more open and positive book which is a series of letters I began writing while training for the Los Angeles and Long Beach Marathons which I walked and completed. I dedicated each mile to a special someone in my life and it helped me work through things as I used the marathon and my training to REFLECT on how much I had to overcome with the help of friends, therapists, pets, and God of course.”

I am also featured on Crooked House nm which is a documentary style format on Youtube.com where myself and several others talk openly about our childhoods growing up and under a parent with a mental illness.  Crooked House is also a Facebook group and from there, you can find out how to read the blogs of its members on the Crooked House website http://thecrookedhouse.org/. 

Finally, although I have not created this resource, I learned about the Third Annual International Worldwide Congress on Children Living with a Parent with Mental Illness which took place in Vancouver, BC, Canada early this past May.  A group of colleagues from Facebook attended this conference and we met as a panel to discuss how social media has assisted in survivors finding one another and sharing stories.  Now hopefully, researchers and policy workers can utilize family experiences to steer intervention.  It was a very eye opening conference and I would ask that everyone keep a watch out for this yearly conference and try to attend.  Many academic/political presenters themselves were sons and daughters of the mentally ill and it is nice to hear from researchers and politicians who actually have first hand knowledge of such experiences in the home.”

Q: What has been the result of this effort?

The result has been my first REAL publication on Chipmunkapublishing.com…http://www.chipmunkapublishing.com .the mental health and well being resource based in London. They published my rough piece and edited it. Although short and introspective, it has given me a springboard to advertise our cause, those of us who overcame obstacles associated with mental illness in the home. 





UNDER THE INVISIBLE UMBRELLA:  Surviving My Mother’s Mental Illness, Chipmunkapublishing


I am on Twitter @Melisandewrites. Would love to hear from others on this topic and more!



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Epigenetic Mechanisms and Psychiatric Disorders – Twin Studies

Jonathan Mill and colleagues at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London have scanned the genome of 22 pairs of identical twins. The twins were chosen because one twin in each pair was diagnosed with Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder.

The findings produce the strongest evidence yet that gene changes caused by their environment might cause the conditions

The twins had identical DNA.  But they showed significant differences in chemical “epigenetic” markings.  These are changes that do not alter the sequence of DNA but leave chemical marks on genes that dictate how active they are.  These changes were on genes that have been linked with Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia.

Mill’s team scanned for differences in the attachment of chemical methyl  groups at 27,000 sites in the genome.  Genes are normally switched off by Methylation and De-Methylation  turns them on.

Regardless of which condition the twin had, the most significant differences,with variations of up to 20%  in the amount of Methylation, were in the promoter “switch” for a gene called ST6GALNAC1, which has been linked with Schizophrenia . The function of this gene is not yet fully known but it is thought to add sugars to proteins which could alter the speed or specificity of their usual function

The findings have tallied with another study which involved the screening of post- mortem brain tissue from people who had some form of psychosis.  Here the researchers found differences of up to 25% in methylation of the same gene, compared with controls

The twin scans also showed methylation differences in GPR24 a gene previously linked to Bipolar Disorder.  One gene called ZNF659 showed over- methylation in people with Schizophrenia and under- methylation in those were were Bipolar.  This suggests that the conditions might result from opposing gene activity.  (Human Molecular Genetics DOI:10.19098/hmg/ddr416)

Jonathan Mill says “We know these disorders are related, and there are clinical features shared by both.  But our scan suggests there are some genes that might be overactive in one disease and underactive in the other.”

Mill says that twins would need to be scanned regularly through life to find out whether epigenetic changes precede the onset of the disorders.  Maybe then the alterations could be linked to environmental changes like stressful events or diet, which have been shown to cause inheritable epigenetic changes in mice. 

The human studies support the hypothesis that epigenetic mechanisms may drive psychiatric disorders.  I think the environment we live in and trauma we endure are key factors in the onset of conditions such as Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder and it is certainly well documented that trauma in childhood is a key risk factor for psychosis.  I ask the Government to invest more money in mental health research.  The current level of 6.5% is simply too low.  We should be looking to protect our children and also to widen our understanding of the role of epigenetics in mental health.


The Government’s Work Programme? Shameful exploitation

David Cameron clearly enjoyed himself at the Jubilee Concert and  street parties but I am waiting to hear what he has to say about the shameful exploitation of the many unpaid job seekers taken by bus to London at night to work as stewards for the Jubilee celebrations

A contractor brought  in these job seekers from Bristol, Plymouth and Bath. It is said that  the stewards had no access to toilets for 24 hours.  They had to change into their security uniforms in public (there has been an apology from the company) and they were expected to sleep under London Bridge.  For £2.80 an hour (apprentice wages) or nothing.  After a fourteen hour shift in the rain the stewards were taken to a boggy campsite somewhere outside London.   What a way to treat human beings.  Human beings with bladders Mr Cameron. 

These people were treated dreadfully with no thought for their rights.  What are you going to say Mr Cameron? I’m listening.

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Hilary Burrage

There should be absolutely no reason for this listing to exist; but whilst the necessity to advance the ‘No FGM in UK’ message remains, this post is offered as a way to record lobbying, and what is actually being done, to halt the risk of genital mutilation to at least two children in Britain, every hour, every day – horrifically, that’s well over 20,000 small girls in the UK p.a..  You are welcome to share in the Comments box below any information about, or actions taken to prevent, FGM in the UK.

Please tell others too that their contributions here will be very welcome.

I hope very soon that this post will no longer need to be featured on my website.  To help get to that point, please if you are a UK citizen or resident sign and forward to others this e-petition, which is on the HM Government website and open until 25 June 2013:

STOP Female Genital Mutilation (FGM /…

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Hilary Burrage

There is very serious concern in the UK about the increasing numbers of small girls – probably many thousands annually – at risk of FGM (female genital mutilation).  This is indisputably a matter of child abuse; discussion and news on action about #NoFGM in the UK can be found on this website here.   But many maintain  (and I agree) that male circumcision – more properly, MGM – is also child abuse and should be banned. You are welcome to share (evidenced) views about male circumcision via the Comments box below. [PS Contributions so far are illuminating.]

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