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The Sunflower, Yellow and Hope: Rebranding to Destigmatize Depression One Lowe’s Mood-lite at a Time
I have been missing quite a bit lately, and figured it was about time I gave a reason for my disappearance. It isn't that I don't love writing about my experience with ADHD -- I do. It's therapeautic and I love talking to all of you and hearing your stories and suggestions. I have been MIA and have not written, quite frankly, because of all of the wonderful things added to my schedule and my ADHD. I embarked on a journey of my dreams in working to create a better world for all, including those with mental health issues, and simply have not found the ability to focus to sit down and reach out. My apologies! I thought first I would fill you in on my progress as it relates so very well to all of us in many ways. I started the nonprofit iFred seven years ago, by default, but it has grown to be a strong passion of mine as I continue to learn the truths about depression and the lack of resources available. I launched a national cause marketing campaign through my for-profit company, the Mood-factory, in Lowe's stores nationwide, where iFred earns $0.25 of each light bulb sold for iFred, the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression. I started a company eight years ago to develop a product line of light bulbs based on how colors affect moods and named them Mood-lites. Researchers have shown that colors have an affect on moods, so I took the theory and applied it to lighting. These lights are NOT meant to treat any depression, but function as an additional way to create a certain mood in a room as you would with colored pillows, art and wall colors.
It is so amazing how organizations are popping up all over the world helping us join forces to tackle mental health diseases. I was privileged enough to speak in Athens, Greece a few years ago about iFred's rebranding depression work, and learned from countries around the world just how important it is we work together to solve our greatest challenges. I've just recently been asked to join their advisory board, and continue to be amazed and impressed by the work of all throughout the world. It was celebrated across the U.S. when we were able to get mental health parity law passed. I don't by any means intend to minimize this work - but do we realize that what we accomplished was to treat the brain in a similar fashion to the heart, liver, and intestines? Should we really have to fight that hard for that? Those that were involved in the legislation understand the intense work, dedication, and challenge this simple piece of legislation involved - and unfortunately the rest of the world is so far behind us in many different ways.
I'm sure just reading that title incited strong reaction in most people. They either love the companies, or hate them. For some reason I think companies working to sell drugs to fix the brain have the worst reputation of all - and to this day I can not figure out why. Let's face it, we can find fault in anything. It is pretty easy to do, and it is usually our first line of defense when we fear something. I think probably all of our biggest fear is the dark side of the brain, and unfortunately until we are all enlightened, we will all have a dark side to varying degrees.
My post the other day on texting and driving brought many responses, both good and bad. One of them, however, blew me away. The individual's ability to recognize the problem from both sides of the spectrum, acknowledge the challenges that each group faces on a regular day, and taking all of it into consideration allowed them to provide an innovative solution. Often times, extreme views happen because we don't understand another person's perspective, and instead of trying to be a better listener we become a louder talker. We find others on our side that agree with us to make us feel better about our own position, and condone anyone that thinks otherwise. It's a normal human defense, but not one that is very productive to solving the many issues in society; all it does is shut off listening and polarize views further.
I have been wanting to write this book for some time, and since I don't want to make time I thought what better thing than to explore it in this blog. Diet books are all the craze, and while I don't know much about red dye, research has suggested it can magnify ADHD symptoms and is hard to avoid. So I thought I would do a mini-series on red dye, looking at what it is, how it affects the brain, what food it is in, and how we can avoid it with diet. In this post, I am simply going to explore the 'what' of red dye.
This topic has been really bothering me this week, primarily because of the story of the potential book burning in Florida that caused riots and outrage all across the world this past weekend. CNN's behavior, in one way, reminded me of the downfall in my ADHD in that I get fired up about something, get out there talking about it, and don't always think through the consequences of my actions. This impulsivity was really highlighted first with the balloon boy when I was trying to get a story published on depression but couldn't get word in because he was all over the screens. It literally shocked me that there was high drama about the balloon boy event, but it didn't have such catastrophic consequences. This weekend's coverage did.
I'm 39 years old and still I feel like I just said two very bad words; sex and orgasm. I'm looking around for the blog police. I'm not sure why we are trained to 'shhhhhhh' about sex as young kids, but it certainly gets in the way of understanding sex in a healthy way. I did not understand the benefit of orgasm until a much later age, and to me now it is just as important as balanced nutrition, clean water, sound sleep, and moderate exercise.
I've always wanted to participate in a study of the mind, but unfortunately I have so many intertwining 'issues' that I have not qualified for any. However, I know the importance of participation for learning about the disease, and think people willing to add to that body of research, both the researchers and the participants, are true heroes. It is through continual observation and learning that we will find better ways to cope with and treat ADHD.
Do you have a child ages 6 to 17 that is healthy? International researchers need healthy participants for an ADHD Research Study. You can participate if you are ages 6 to 17, do not have ADHD, have never taken stimulant medication, and meet the full criteria of this Study. Participation involves a phone pre-screening, two on-site visits, clinical assessments, and follow up interviews. Participation in this study is completely confidential. Do you have a child ages 6 to 17 with ADHD? Or think your child might have ADHD?
Art Therapy is becoming widely used and accepted as an alternate form of treatment for depression, anxiety, and ADHD. It can be a truly wonderful modality, yet I often become disturbed when seeing some of the images that people create when they are depressed. There is so much focus on the darkness of depression, as opposed to the brilliance we obtain from such depth of emotion. I found research that helps explain why, and how if we consciously create positive art it can create an even more intense improvement on stress, tension, depression, and the anxiety that often accompanies ADHD. Art therapy is a great tool for those with ADHD, as it allows a person to express feelings, emotions, and energy through the hands and it releases energy. Anytime ADHDers can do something free flowing and unstructured is wonderful, and art is a really fantastic way. I've read a lot about art therapy, but few have touched on the importance of creating something positive with that energy.