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The website of Author/Writer and Psychic Medium Astrid Brown. Making the most of 'YOU' i.e. how to achieve well-being and beauty from within ourselves. A truly holistic blog providing information on all aspects of psychic mediumship, spiritualism, philosophy, holistic therapies, nutrition, health, stress, mental health and beauty with a little bit of Wicca for good measure. Feeling and looking good is as much a part of how we feel inside as the outside.

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I am a great believer in Karma, but just what is it? Karma comes from the Sanskrit and ancient Indian Language with the underlying principal that every deed in our lives will affect our future life. For example, if we treat others badly during our lifetime we will have negative experiences later on in that lifetime or in future lifetimes. Likewise, if we treat others well we will be rewarded by positive experiences.

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Today I am blogging about inexperienced Psychics/Mediums. There are many psychics/mediums around who give the profession a bad name, t...

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Saturday 28 May 2011


I have reproduced this story from the Daily Mail to highlight there is no shame in any form of mental illness. For far too long there has been a stigma attached and the worst thing you can say to anyone who is suffering from mental illnesses is "To pull yourself together" or "Stop being so self indulgent". There is a physical reason for such ailments and slowly scientists are discovering this, hopefully this will lead to better treatments and a cure.

Depression: Scientists say it's genetic - and my family is the proof

For four long unendurable months, she lay in a darkened room, her face as white as the sheet on the bed from which she could not (rather than would not) move.
‘Mum, I want to die.’ That’s what my lively, funny and much loved 17-year-old daughter said to me, day after day, week after week. I was terrified of leaving the house, for fear of what I would find on my return.
She lost a stone, which she could ill afford on her 5ft 10in, size 8 frame, although I tried to make her eat three meals a day. She did her best, even if it was only a bowl of cereal, but said the pain of hunger was a welcome distraction from the pain in her head.
Shared suffering: Sally Brampton and her daughter, who displays all-too-familiar symptoms
Shared suffering: Sally Brampton and her daughter, who displays all-too-familiar symptoms
The teenager who read voraciously — at least four books a week — could not read a simple sentence. The girl who, according to her school, was destined for Oxford University and a brilliant academic career, missed four months of school in her A-level year.
She thought she was a failure, a word she used repeatedly. She felt, in some strange way, that it was her fault. It was unbearable.
‘It’s just adolescent mood swings,’ people said. I knew it wasn’t. I took her to a psychiatrist. Diagnosis: major depressive disorder with a high risk of suicide.
I had heard those word myself, a tear-stained pillow clenched over my face in a bed in a psychiatric unit where I was admitted with severe depression.
So, long before the news this month that scientists had found a genetic link to depression, I knew there must be a connection.
Over the years, I had watched my mother standing in the kitchen, crying helplessly. ‘I want to die,’ she, too, had said. The first time I became conscious of her suffering, I must have been about eight years old.
Genetic? Sally knows better than most how the effects of her daughter's illness could shape her life
Genetic? Sally knows better than most how the effects of her daughter's illness could shape her life
She would relapse into apathy, was constantly tired and did not want to leave the house. Either that or she would suddenly become snappy and irritable.
I didn’t understand it back then, either my mother’s sudden acute misery, or my own. I knew nothing about depression. As a family we weren’t given to hanging out with psychiatrists and therapists. These days, I understand it only too well.
In retrospect, I realise I have been suffering from depression since I was a teenager, just like my mother, and just like my daughter, whose episodes of the illness started when she was 13, the same age as me.
There was a reason for my misery; being sent to boarding school when I was ten, a place where I was terribly unhappy.
On top of that, my parents lived overseas, 5,000 miles away, so there was nobody I could talk to. Even if I had, they wouldn’t have understood and put it down to teenage blues.

 'My  mother would suddenly fly into a rage'
The first time I saw a doctor was when I was 20. I told him I was feeling depressed. He gave me medication but it was such a strong sedative that it only made me feel worse and, after a month, I threw it away and battled on.
Even when I was editor of a successful magazine, Elle, and I should have been on top of the world, there were weeks I could not stop crying. I pretended to the staff that I had flu and couldn’t come into the office. I thought I was just tired or stressed.
So the science that proves the first solid evidence of a rogue chromosome linked to depression, which gives some people a hereditary disposition, came as something of a relief.
Not because I wanted to find an ‘excuse’ for depression or thumb my nose at those who urge you just to ‘pull yourself together’, but because I wanted (needed) to understand why three generations of bright, lively women sometimes fade into the dark.
It happens for no reason, but happen it does — to all of us; time after time after time.
More than anything, the research proves something I have long believed; that depression is an illness, not a self-indulgence or weakness.
It is a complicated disorder, despite the blanket term given to the condition. Saying somebody has depression is like saying they have a virus. Which virus? What’s it called?

So young: Sally with her beloved daughter when she was a baby
So young: Sally with her beloved daughter when she was a baby
There are many forms of the illness; reactive depression (as in a reaction to difficult life events such as bereavement, the breakdown of a relationship, the loss of a job), postnatal depression, bipolar disorder, bipolar II (which does not include the manic state of bipolar disorder), or simply debilitating, chronically low mood.
Dr Adrian Lord, psychiatrist and medical director of the Cygnet Hospital, explains that depression is so complex it varies even in individuals, let alone between individuals.
In clinical practice, he often sees patients where there is a distinct line of depression, suicide or bipolar disorder running through one side or other of the family. ‘It can span several generations and often does not seem totally due to shared upbringing, so a genetic component does seem likely,’ he says.
Scientists have long believed that certain people are more susceptible to depression than others but have, until now, not been able to offer substantial proof.
Some people shrug off circumstances that would topple another person like a pack of dominoes — which is another reason why depression is stigmatised as weak self-pity. How often have I heard the words, ‘Other people are far worse off than you’. Yes, I know. And?
Whenever I write a personal account on the subject for a newspaper, the comments on the website are inevitably the poisonous, ill-informed malice that any mention of depression seems to inspire.
Here is a real quote from one   website. ‘You should be ashamed of yourself. My Nan worked in a biscuit factory for 30 years, raised three kids single-handedly and never had a day’s depression in her life.’
Well, all I can say is, lucky old Nan.Quite apart from the implications these new findings signify for effective treatments for those suffering from depression (although, still far off in the future), the discovery that a section of DNA is responsible might finally put those ridiculous, antiquated attitudes to rest. It’s bad enough suffering from any severe illness, without being harangued for it.
In fact, it is so distressing that my most fervent wish would be to lock all the doubters and sceptics in a room with my pale, mute, severely depressed daughter for 24 hours so they can witness the illness first-hand and see for themselves the terrible toll it takes.

 'For weeks I could not stop crying'
Depression affects about 20 per cent of people at some point in their lives. Severe, recurring depression affects up to  4 per cent of people and is notoriously hard to treat. That’s the form that afflicts me, my daughter and my mother.
Medication helps but it is not, as some people believe, a cure — and nor are antidepressants ‘happy pills’. That’s the Disney version. They are powerful drugs formulated to help bring neurochemicals back into balance and have extremely unpleasant side-effects. Some work, some don’t — and some make depression infinitely worse.
For the lucky minority (30 per cent) they help to alleviate the condition. I have been on 13 different antidepressants, none of which helped until, under the constant care of a psychiatrist, we finally discovered a cocktail of drugs which keep me stable — at least, most of the time.
The workings of the brain are still so little understood that treating depression is like shooting a gun into the dark and hoping the magic bullet of medication will find its  target.
Hence the comment, from Gerome Breen, leader of the team of scientists at the Institute of  Psychiatry, Kings College London who found the evidence of a hereditary link, that ‘these findings are truly exciting’. An excitable scientist is a rare creature indeed.
Ten years ago, when the episodes of depression I have suffered since childhood escalated into a full breakdown, a psychiatrist implied that my depression might be genetic because my mother suffers from it.
However, he warned, there was no scientific evidence to prove it. I wanted to shout, ‘I am the evidence’, but one woman’s voice is soundless in the face of conjecture. Scientists want hard facts, not subjective accounts.
Down days: Depression is an illness. For some of us, there are no reasons. It just is
Down days: Depression is an illness. For some of us, there are no reasons. It just is
I wanted facts too, and spent years researching depression, even wrote a book about it. I wanted to know what might have caused mine — mainly in the hope of heading off another severe episode.
Was it my childhood and the instability of being brought up in six different countries and packed off to 12 different schools? Was it my mother’s undiagnosed, untreated depression which sometimes made her retreat from her children?
Was it my father, who has Asperger’s Syndrome (high-functioning autism) so is unable to empathise or, as he puts, ‘understand the difference between happiness and unhappiness.’
In other words, was it nurture — what psychologists call environmental or psychosocial circumstances? Or was it just plain nature?
Much of the time, I am happy and optimistic — joyous even. I have prodigious energy, work and play hard and love a project such as doing up a house; summoning builders, decorators, carpenters, electricians and plumbers. My speed and impatience are something of a joke among my friends.
But when I am depressed I don’t have the energy to do the washing up, let alone call a plumber. At my worst, I washed using hot water from a kettle for nine months because I couldn’t make a phone call to get the boiler fixed.

 'I'm not living, Mum, I'm enduring'
I have a successful career, a child I adore, wonderful friends, enough money and good health. What reason do I have to be depressed? That doesn’t stop the days when, quite out of the blue, I wake up feeling black despair and all my thoughts turn to suicide.
It was only when my daughter developed depression for absolutely no reason (happy, popular, with adoring parents and a childhood very different from my own) that it hit me, as clearly and as painfully as a bolt of lightning. Depression is an illness. For some of us, there are no reasons. It just is.
As my daughter put it: ‘I’m not living, Mum. I’m enduring. I don’t want to be here any more. Not like this.’ She tried, though; screwed up every little bit of courage she could find. Stuck on the wall by her bed was a page ripped out of a school exercise book.
On it she had scrawled in biro, ‘I will get better’. Then another line, in capital letters, ‘I WILL GET BETTER’. That brave little piece of paper broke my heart.
Friends came round to try to cheer her up. She sat in her dressing gown, trying to join in, sometimes even smiling, but I’d known my daughter’s face for 17 years and I knew the difference between a genuine smile and a desperate effort to reassure her friends.
In your biology? The discovery of a genetic link could shed light on depression
In your biology? The discovery of a genetic link could shed light on depression
There is no blood test for depression, no easy answers and, sadly, no easy remedies. I have spent countless hours talking to therapists, but when I am severely depressed, no words can reach me.
Depression is not my nature; it is my biology — just as it is my mother’s and daughter’s. I have an illness that causes an imbalance of chemicals in one of the major organs in my body — my brain. To put it another way, I may as well have a chat with my liver and tell it to cheer up.
The discovery of a genetic link does not mean that, because depressive illness is present in a family, it is inevitable. But it may mean severe emotional stress is more likely to trigger an episode in somebody if there is a history of familial depression than in somebody who has no record of mental illness.
In other words, it is a pre-disposition rather than a predetermination. Psychiatrist Adrian Lord says he generally sees the former but admits that, in some people, ‘it is so strong, it does seem almost predetermined’.
Do I suffer from guilt from passing on such a terrible illness to my daughter? Hell, yes. My only consolation is that I know the condition so well, I could get her help fast.

Her solace is that she has a mum who understands and doesn’t dismiss her misery as adolescent mood swings. We call depression our ‘shadow side’. Where there is darkness, there is also light.
Despite missing so much schooling, she got her place at Oxford University, where she is excelling. I am so proud of her, it hurts.
So, for anybody who still believes that depression is strictly for lazy, self-indulgent losers, may I introduce you to my daughter?

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1391742/Depression-Scientists-say-genetic--family-proof.html#ixzz1Nfhi0j2y

Maggie Brown (Author)
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I am often asked various questions pertaining to the spirit world and various aspects of the psychic, here are some of them: I will in time feature more questions and answers as this webpage evolves

Q. Is a psychic or medium a fortune teller?
A. It may surprise you to know psychics and mediums are not fortune tellers
Q. Is it possible to forecast the future?
A.Well not 100% and this is because of free will.
Q. What is free will?
A. Free will is YOUR right to decide what you want to do about a situation, it is a choice
Q. How does free will affect a situation?
A. Well before we incarnate as Spirit in a human body, we decide on what experiences and challenges that will benefit our spiritual growth. However we are given the choice (free will) as to whether we go through with the experience or challenge. In effect we are allowed to change or mind.
Q. So are you saying we all know what lies before us?
A. Well in a way we all do. Remember we are 'Spirit' in a human body and your spirit does retain a memory but it is deep in our subconscious. This memory is retained deeply for a reason to help us fulfill our experiences and challenges we ourselves chose. However it is also at this deep level so we are not so aware. If you knew what lay before you would you go through with it? Probably not but we still retain this memory deeply and this reflects in our Aura.
Q. So what is the Aura?
A.The aura is The Aura is an electromagnetic field that surrounds living bodies, this includes people, animals, plants and crystals and is composed of several layers that are constantly moving. The Aura links us to whats known as Universal energy i.e. that is all the knowledge in the Universe past, present and future. It is on this aura that psychics are able to tap into and access your past, whats going on in the present and the possible future and I say possible specifically if your goal or desire is dependent on other people, for remember every person involved in a situation has free will.