Recovery steps for depression and bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness

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Dear Friends,

Thanks for stopping by this Mission 4 Monday post.

I am thankful to God that I can continue to serve Him through this blog.

One of the missions of my blog is to share with others God's goodness and mercies to me in managing clinical depression and bipolar disorder, as well as to share resources that will benefit a person with a mood disorder and information for their family and loved ones.

Depression and bipolar disorder are mood disorders, real physical illnesses that affect a person’s moods, thoughts, body, energy and emotions.

Treatment for these illnesses can also have ups and downs. As much as we may want it to, wellness often does not happen overnight. It is normal to wish we could feel better faster or to worry that we will never feel better.

It is important know that we can feel better, and that ultimately we are in charge of our recovery. There are many things we can do to help ourselves. God is with us and He has provided helps that we can make use of by His grace and strength. We need to pray that God gives us grace and wisdom to make use of all the means available and suitable to our particular condition. We each need to discover what works best for us as we are very unique and different from one another. There is no one single solution but God will help us as we look to Him.

Relief of symptoms is only the first step in treating depression or bipolar disorder. Wellness, or recovery, is a return to a life that we care about. Recovery happens when our illness stops getting in the way of our life. We may still experience the symptoms once in a while, but we can learn to manage our conditions so that we can be as functional as possible and our symptoms no longer hinder or crippled us.

To work towards wellness or achieve wellness may take time and effort, and much prayers to God for grace and wisdom to make use of available resources and help, for Him to make these means effective to us. A support network of our family and loved ones, and working closely with our health professionals such as our medical doctor and therapist or counsellor are extremely crucial too.

I am thankful to God that He has provided me with a very caring and kind psychiatrist who is determine to equip me with the necessary knowledge and skill to manage my condition so that I can be more functional and be a useful person in the community. With medical helps and learning to keep a mood chart to monitor fluctuations on my mood, and various other coping strategies, I am beginning to learn how to recognize early symptoms of relapses or worsening symptoms, and what I can do to get better.

Earlier in my diagnosis of bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness last year (2007), I have benefited from some sessions of counseling or talk therapy with a Christian lady counselor who helps me to understand my confusing past, what is mood disorders and how it can affect my thoughts and feelings, and how God is sustaining me and working all things for His glory and my good. Through her help, by the mercy and providence of God, I have embarked on a new journey of understanding God, myself and others better and how best I can love God and others, and serve Him and His people.

It is my joy and privilege, to share this journey, with you dear Readers. It is my sincere prayers that the resources and sharing on this blog will continue to glorify God as you sense His presence with me, strengthening me and uplifting me. May these posts also brings hope and comfort to you knowing that you are not alone and that God has provided resources and means for you and I to manage our condition. Through this affliction, we will know more and more of His sufficiency and mercy. Nothing in this world will last forever, not even our health but only our relationship with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. He will never leave us nor forsake us, and He is lovingly working all things for His glory and our good (Romans 8:28). We are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us (Romans 8:37)!

The following encouraging article on "Recovery steps for depression and bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness" is taken from the website of Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)


Relief of symptoms is only the first step in treating depression or bipolar disorder. Wellness, or recovery, is a return to a life that you care about. Recovery happens when your illness stops getting in the way of your life.

What is Recovery?
SAMSHA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration/Center for Mental Health Services) (http://www.samhsa.gov/) defines recovery as:
Mental health recovery is a journey of healing and transformation enabling a person with a mental health problem to live a meaningful life in a community of his or her choice while striving to achieve his or her full potential.
Next Steps in Recovery
Depression and bipolar disorder are mood disorders, real physical illnesses that affect a person’s moods, thoughts, body, energy and emotions. Both illnesses, especially bipolar disorder, tend to follow a cyclical course, meaning they have ups and downs.

Treatment for these illnesses can also have ups and downs. As much as we may want it to, wellness often does not happen overnight. It is normal to wish you could feel better faster or to worry that you will never feel better. However, know that you can feel better, and that ultimately you are in charge of your recovery. There are many things you can do to help yourself.

Relief of symptoms is only the first step in treating depression or bipolar disorder. Wellness, or recovery, is a return to a life that you care about. Recovery happens when your illness stops getting in the way of your life. You decide what recovery means to you.

You have the right to recover according to your needs and goals. Talk to your health care provider (HCP) about what you need from treatment to reach your recovery. Your HCP can provide the treatment(s) and/or medication(s) that work best for you. Along the way, you have a right to ask questions about the treatments you are getting and choose the treatments you want.

It can also be helpful to work with a therapist, family member, friend and peer supporters to help define your recovery. Your definition of a meaning life may change at different times in life. At times, depression and bipolar disorder might make it seem difficult to set a goal for yourself.

Sometimes it might feel almost impossible to think about the things that you hope for or care about. But goal setting is an important part of wellness, no matter where you are on your path to recovery. Work on what you can when you can.

Setting Goals


Identifying life goals is the heart of the recovery process. When we see a future for ourselves, we begin to become motivated to do all we can to reach that future. Goals can be big or small, depending on where you are in your recovery journey.

Ask yourself:



  • What motivates me?



  • What interests me?


  • What would I do more if I could?


  • What do I want?


  • What do I care about, or what did I care about before my illness?


  • Where do I want my life to go?


  • What brings me joy?


  • What are my dreams and hopes?

It can help to start small and work up to larger goals. You might want to begin by setting one small goal for yourself at the beginning of each day. As you move forward with your recovery, look at the different areas of your life and think about your short and long term goals.

Short term goals might include:



  • Be out of bed by xx:00 am.


  • Finish one household chore.


  • Call a DBSA support group.

Long term goals might include:



  • Get training or experience for a job.


  • Change a living situation, e.g., find an apartment


  • Build a relationship with a friend or family member.

Remember break your goals down into small steps at first. Looking at a goal such as 'move to a new city' can be difficult to visualize and plan all at once. Ask yourself what you need to do first. What can you do now that will help you eventually reach this goal? Not only will this help move you closer to your goal, but it will also help give you a positive feeling of accomplishment.

What are some things I can do that might help me feel better?


Know the difference between your symptoms and your true self. Your HCPs can help you separate your true identity from your symptoms by helping you see how your illness affects your behavior. Be open about behaviors you want to change and set goals for making those changes.
Educate your family and involve them in treatment when possible. They can help you spot symptoms, track behaviors and gain perspective. They can also give encouraging feedback and help you make a plan to cope with any future crises.

Work on healthy lifestyle choices. Recovery is also about a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular sleep, healthy eating, and the avoidance of alcohol, drugs, and risky behavior.

Find the treatment that works for you. Talk to your HCP about your medications' effects on you, especially the side effects that bother you. Remember to chart these effects so that you can discuss them fully with your HCP. You might need to take a lower dosage, a higher dosage, or a different medication. You might need to switch your medication time from morning to evening or take medication on a full stomach. There are many options for you and your HCP to try. Side effects can be reduced or eliminated. It is very important to talk to your HCP first before you make any changes to your medication or schedule.

Talk with your HCP first if you feel like changing your dosage or stopping your medication. Explain what you want to change and why you think it will help you.

Treatments for Depression and Bipolar Disorder



Treatments that work can help you:

  • Reach your goals.
  • Build on the strengths you have and the things you can do.


  • Plan your health care based on your needs.


  • Live your life without the interference of symptoms.


Treatments can include some or all of these elements: therapy, medications, peer support, and overall lifestyle changes.


Medications for Depression and Bipolar Disorder



Your HCP might prescribe one or more medications to treat your symptoms. These may include:


■ Mood stabilizers: These medications help balance your highs and lows. Some mood stabilizer medications are called anticonvulsants, because they are also used to treat epilepsy.
■ Antidepressants: These medications help lift the symptoms of depression. There are several different classes (types) of antidepressants.
■ Antipsychotics: These medications are primarily used to treat symptoms of mania. Even if you are not hallucinating or having delusions, these medications can help slow racing thoughts to a manageable speed.


Talk Therapy



There are many types of talk therapy that can help you address issues in your life and learn new ways to cope with your illness. Goal setting is an important part of talk therapy. Talk therapy can also help you to:




  • Understand your illness


  • Overcome fears or insecurities


  • Cope with stress


  • Make sense of past traumatic experiences


  • Separate your true personality from the mood swings caused by your illness


  • Identify triggers that may worsen your symptoms


  • Improve relationships with family and friends


  • Establish a stable, dependable routine


  • Develop a plan for coping with crises


  • Understand why things bother you and what you can do about them


  • End destructive habits such as drinking, using drugs, overspending or risky sex


  • Address symptoms like changes in eating or sleeping habits, anger, anxiety, irritability or unpleasant feelings


Peer Support

Support from people who understand is another important part of recovery. There are many ways to get this support. DBSA offers a variety of ways to interact with your peers, such as support groups, discussion forums, and an interactive chat room.










Lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle is always important. Even if symptoms of depression or bipolar disorder make things like physical activity, healthy eating or regular sleep difficult, you can improve your moods by improving your health. Take advantage of the good days you have. On these days, do something healthy for yourself. It might be as simple as taking a short walk, eating a fresh vegetable or fruit, or writing in a journal. A talk about lifestyle changes should be a part of your goal setting with your HCPs.
You have the power to change. You are the most important part of your wellness plan. Your treatment plan will be unique to you. It will follow some basic principles and paths, but you and your HCPs can adapt it to fit you. A healthy lifestyle and support from people who have been there can help you work with your HCP and find a way to real and lasting wellness.
Family and Friends' Guide to Recovery From Depression and Bipolar Disorder
When a friend or family member has an episode of depression or bipolar disorder (manic depression), you might be unsure about what you can do to help. You might wonder how you should treat the person. You may be hesitant to talk about the person’s illness, or feel guilty, angry, or confused. All of these things are normal.
There are ways you can help friends or family members throughout their recovery while empowering them to make their own choices.
The Five Stages of Recovery
It can be helpful to view recovery as a process with five stages. People go through these stages at different speeds. Recovery from an illness like depression or bipolar disorder, like the illness itself, has ups and downs. Friends and family who are supportive and dependable can make a big difference in a person’s ability to cope within each of these stages.
1. Handling the Impact of the IllnessBeing overwhelmed and confused by the illness.
An episode of mania or depression, especially one that causes major problems with relationships, money, employment or other areas of life, can be devastating for everyone involved. A person who needs to be hospitalized may leave the hospital feeling confused, ashamed, overwhelmed, and unsure about what to do next.
What friends and family can do:
  • Offer emotional support and understanding.
  • Help with health care and other responsibilities.
  • Offer to help them talk with or find health care providers.
  • Keep brief notes of symptoms, treatment, progress, side effects and setbacks in a journal or personal calendar.
  • Be patient and accepting.
Your loved one’s illness is not your fault or theirs. It is a real illness that can be successfully treated. Resist the urge to try to fix everything all at once. Be supportive, but know that your loved one is ultimately responsible for his or her own treatment and lifestyle choices.
2. Feeling Like Life is LimitedBelieving life will never be the same.
At this stage, people take a hard look at the ways their illness has affected their lives. They may not believe their lives can ever change or improve. It is important that friends, families, and health care providers instill hope and rebuild a positive self-image.
What friends and family can do:


  • Believe in the person’s ability to get well.


  • Tell them they have the ability to get well with time and patience. Instill hope by focusing on their strengths.


  • Work to separate the symptoms of the illness from the person’s true personality. Help the person rebuild a positive self-image.


  • Recognize when your loved one is having symptoms and realize that communication may be more difficult during these times. Know that symptoms such as social withdrawal come from the illness and are probably not a reaction to you.


  • Do your best not to rush, pressure, hover or nag.
A mood disorder affects a person’s attitude and beliefs. Hopelessness, lack of interest, anger, anxiety, and impatience can all be symptoms of the illness. Treatment helps people recognize and work to correct these types of distorted thoughts and feelings. Your support and acceptance are essential during this stage.
3. Realizing and Believing Change is PossibleQuestioning the disabling power of the illness and believing life can be different.
Hope is a powerful motivator in recovery. Plans, goals, and belief in a better future can motivate people to work on day-to-day wellness. At this stage people begin to believe that life can be better and change is possible.
What friends and family can do:


  • Empower your loved on to participate in wellness by taking small steps toward a healthier lifestyle. This may include:


    • Sticking with the same sleep and wake times


    • Consistently getting good nutrition


    • Doing some sort of physical activity or exercise


    • Avoiding alcohol and substances


    • Finding a DBSA support group


    • Keeping health care appointments and staying with treatment


  • Offer reassurance that the future can and will be different and better. Remind them they have the power to change.


  • Help them identify things they want to change and things they want to accomplish.
Symptoms of depression and bipolar disorder may cause a hopeless, “what’s the point?” attitude. This is also a symptom of the illness. With treatment, people can and will improve. To help loved ones move forward in recovery, help them identify negative things they are dissatisfied with and want to change, or positive things they would like to do. Help them work toward achieving these things.
4. Commitment to ChangeExploring possibilities and challenging the disabling power of the illness.
Depression and bipolar disorder are powerful illnesses, but they do not have to keep people from living fulfilling lives. At this stage, people experience a change in attitude. They become more aware of the possibilities in their lives and the choices that are open to them. They work to avoid feeling held back or defined by their illness. They actively work on the strategies they have identified to keep themselves well. It is helpful to focus on their strengths and the skills, resources and support they need.
What friends and family can do:


  • Help people identify:


    • Things they enjoy or feel passionate about


    • Ways they can bring those things into their lives


    • Things they are dissatisfied with and want to change


    • Ways they can change those things


    • Skills, strengths and ideas that can help them reach their goals.


    • Resources that can help build additional skills


  • Help them figure out what keeps them well.


  • Encourage and support their efforts.
The key is to take small steps. Many small steps will add up to big positive changes. Find small ways for them to get involved in things they care about. These can be activities they enjoy, or things they want to change, in their own lives or in the world.
5. Actions for ChangeMoving beyond the disabling power of the illness.
At this stage, people turn words into actions by taking steps toward their goals. For some people, this may mean seeking full-time, part-time or volunteer work, for others it may mean changing a living situation or working in mental health advocacy.
What friends and family can do:







  • Help your friends or family members to use the strengths and skills they have.







  • Keep their expectations reachable and realistic without holding them back.







  • Help them find additional resources and supports to help them reach their goals step-by-step.







  • Continue to support them as they set new goals and focus on life beyond their illness.







  • Help them identify and overcome negative or defeatist thinking.







  • Encourage them to take it easy on themselves and enjoy the journey.

  • You are not alone in this. I’m here for you.

  • I understand you have a real illness and that’s what causes these thoughts and feelings.

  • You many not believe it now, but the way you’re feeling will change.

  • I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel but I care about you and want to help.

  • When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold of for just one more day, hour, minute - whatever you can manage.

  • You are important to me. Your life is important to me.

  • Tell me what I can do now to help you.

  • I am here for you. We will get through this together.
Avoid saying:

  • It’s all in your head.

  • We all go through times like this.

  • You’ll be fine. Stop worrying.

  • Look on the bright side.

  • You have so much to live for why do you want to die?

  • I can’t do anything about your situation.

  • Just snap out of it.

  • Stop acting crazy.

  • What’s wrong with you?

  • Shouldn’t you be better by now?
What to find out:
Contact information (including emergency numbers) for your loved one’s doctor, therapist, and psychiatrist, your local hospital, and trusted friends and family members who can help in a crisis
Whether you have permission to discuss your love one’s treatment with his or her doctors, and if not, what you need to do to get that permission.
The treatments and medications your loved one is receiving, any special dosage instructions and any needed changes in diet or activity.
The most likely warning signs of a worsening manic or depressive episode (words and behaviors) and what you can do to help.
What kind of day-to-day help you can offer, such as doing housework or grocery shopping.
When talking with your love one’s health care providers, be patient, polite and assertive. Ask for clarification of things you do not understand. Write things down that you need to remember.
Helping and getting help
As a friend or family member you can provide the best support when you’re taking care of yourself. It helps to talk to people who know how it feels to be in your situation. Talk with understanding friends or relatives, look for therapy of your own, or find a DBSA support group.
DBSA support groups are run by people, families and friends affected by depression or bipolar disorder. They are safe, confidential, free meetings where people can learn more about depression, bipolar disorder, and how to live with the illnesses.
One father of a daughter with bipolar disorder says, “DBSA support groups help take a lot of stress out of your life. As a family member, you have to be as prepared as possible, and accept that things will still happen that you aren’t totally prepared for. DO all the research you can. Build a long list of dependable resources and support people, so when a situation arises, you know where to turn and how to take the next step. This really helped my family when we needed it.”
A mother of a son with depression says, “When you are in the middle of a situation, it’s hard to see what’s happening, but when you sit in a support group meeting across from someone who is going through the same things, it gives you perspective.”
page created: May 10, 2006
page updated: December 29, 2006

May God continue to enable us who suffer from mood disorders to equip ourselves with means to get better and be more functional.



May God also enable our loved ones and family to understand our condition and how best they can pray, encourage and help us to get better.


May God's presence with you and the assurance of your love gives you hope and courage to press on knowing that He is able to make a way for us where there seemed to be no way.



Thanks again for stopping by! Thanks for all your prayers and encouragements!


Take care and God bless :)

23 Kind thoughts:

Jill said...

WOW! What an awesome post!

You are such a blessing Nancie!

Praising God for His mercy, grace and love upon our lives. Praising Him for leading you to the right people to help you work through your disorder. Praising Him for opening your eyes to His truths that heal and bring life back that the enemy wants to steal from you!

I am so touched by your transparency and love you share!

Love,
Jill

Peggy said...

WOW! Nancie! I listed your name & linked you already. I'll be back to read this a few times! This must have taken you a long time to put together! It deserves much attention! Thank you so much for your faithfulness to post! I've been concerned since I've been out of being able to communicate but you must be very busy! God bless you & your sweet heart! I'm praying for you and hoping all is well!

Lisa~Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

Such a wealth of knowledge here in this post - a great place for resources should someone need it. Great post!

Denise said...

Bless you for sharing such helpful, and useful information sweetie.

sailorcross said...

Hi Nancie!!

This is an awesome post--so packed full of information and useful tips.

Just to share with you--I found that what helped me the most was taking "baby steps"--just like you listed.

I 'must' be out of bed by 9 a.m.
I 'must' go to the grocery store--even if I could only manage to buy one item.
I 'must' do one load of laundry today.

I know that to some it seems so simple to do these things, but when things get overwhelming, it helps to list these things and then regard them as an accomplishment!

And, before you know it, your list is longer, more comprehensive, and then looking back, you can see how far you have progressed.

Thanks again for another wonderful, educational, and heartfelt post!

Beth

serendipity said...

Hi Nancie, hope you are having a good start to the week. I'm really impressed with this post. Really informative!

Nancie said...

Jill, thank you for your kind words of encouragement. Praising God indeed for His mercy, grace and love upon our lives! Thank you for your love and friendship, and the encouragements you give to many through your posts and comments. May God bless you abundantly!

Nancie said...

Hi Peggy, so good to hear from you! I understand that your internet connection has some problem. I have been missing you :) I have been rather busy myself too and swarmed with various commitments. I have not been able to do much visiting except to return visits to those who have visited me. Hope to catch up with others soon!

Btw, do come by and enter my First Give-away with my WFW and TT post last week. I have missed you there. Come by if you can!

The link is:
http://morethanconquerors2008.blogspot.com/2008/10/my-first-giveaways-and-trust-in-lord.html

Thank you for praying for me. I am remembering you in prayers too. Take care and God bless you!

Nancie said...

Thanks, Lisa, for stopping by and your kind word of encouragement!

Nancie said...

Thank you, Denise, for your encouragement. It is so good to hear from you. Take care!

Nancie said...

Hi Beth, I too found that what helped me the most was taking "baby steps". It greatly helps to list these things and then regard them as an accomplishment whenever we are able to do each one of them. This can bring great encouragement to us. Glad that it works so well for you too! Thanks for all your encouragements. Take care and God bless you!

Nancie said...

Hi Serendipity! Thank you for stopping by and your kind words of encouragement. I have been missing you. So glad you are back.

Hope you are having a good start to the week too. I missed you at TT last week. Do come by and enter my First Give-away with my WFW and TT post last week, if you can!

The link is:
http://morethanconquerors2008.blogspot.com/2008/10/my-first-giveaways-and-trust-in-lord.html

Take care and God bless!

sailorcross said...

Nancie,

Have you stopped by and visited my other blog?

http://wwwthepowerofyourlove.blogspot.com

warmharte is my everyday things--knitting, etc. The Power of Your Love is my and others testimony of love for our Lord.

Beth

Nancie said...

Thanks for reminding me about the other blog, Beth! I just visited your encouraging morning prayer. Thanks for sharing with us.

Thanks too for signing my guest book! Thank you for all your encouragements. Take care!

Edie said...

Wow! God is really using you Nancie. It's so good to watch Him at work. God bless you! Have a great week!

Peggy said...

Blessings Nancie...There is so much to digest here for the reader and definitely one to keep coming back to read again to seek the information that you have shared on RECOVERY! I think this is directed to me! (lol) It is my joy & privilege to know you & walk this walk with you! I am so thankful that you share all of your personal side and your faith that has brought you to a new place in recovery! You had done all the
medical treatments & recovery needed in your past before Bpd was correctly diagnosed after many years, as so often is the case, but as soon as you added Jesus to your
recovery, you were able to strengthen all that you have within you to a wellness management. I praise God & thank Him that His grace & strength provided the right helps medically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually! You are well on the way to knowing your self fully & completely, what works for you...your pace, your management, your coping & warning signs. Each step may God light your way & give you a complete network to support & be whole & healed in Jesus Name as you continue with your wellness plan of medicines,
counsel, exercise, rest, right eating, and filling your mind with Christ's thoughts & plans for your good! For you are good, God is good all the time and all the time God is good! You are able through Him who lives in you! It is the combination of all you have written & organized so well with your spiritual wisdom & faith in Our Lord Jesus...with all the proper steps to a wellness plan developed by YOU for YOU, which is so important. You have made healthy choices! You have set goals & now are acquiring your pace with caution! Do not overdo! I praise & thank God that you are no longer hopeless & disabled by this illness, but have found hope in Christ & His power as well as surround yourself with the best
recovery plan & enabled yourself.
Thank You Lord, for Nancie's commitment to change, to share, & to overcome! May God continue to use your BLOG, your vessel of love for Our Lord & people, to present your Mission in teaching each of us, how to encourage one another with better openness & understanding! Thank you for all you put together to teach us how
as Christians, we need to be more ready to help than judge other's and their illnesses or sufferings!
Our Lord is COMPASSION & that's what He wants us to share first...His love! It is His commandment to us! Praying still!

btw...Now I understand what your business is...and how beautiful a craft, you have created from your love of photography! Your bookmarks are exquisite! Your capturing the beauty in God's creation as the roses, the beach, etc. is a gift!
To me just knowing that you are accomplishing all this from what you enjoy with the Lord's Word & being highly functional & gifted is the BEST give away I have already received and am blessed just by seeing you do this! Your heart magnifies the Lord! So I praise & thank Him for you & whoever He chooses to be blessed by your give away because His Word does not fail

This should have been an email by now!

debra said...

Nancie,

Blessings to you this evening! Happy Monday. This is such beneficial information and such a wealth of knowledge...but what makes it so wonderful is the heart that wrote it!!

God bless you, Nancie.

Nancie said...

Thanks for stopping by, Edie. May God bless you too and have a great week!

Nancie said...

Peggy, thanks for all your encouragements! Your email and comments are always very encouraging, and so are your posts :) Thank God that His grace & strength provided the right helps medically, physically, emotionally, and spiritually! And He is my hope and strength daily. I am thankful too that I can share the beauties of His creations through photography and making bookmarks. God's creations are so beautiful and they speak forth the power and glory of God. Thanks again for your encouragements. Take care and have a blessed week!

Nancie said...

Thanks, Debra, for your encouragement! Hope the post is useful to all readers. Thanks for stopping by and may God bless you too.

susan said...

Hi Nancie,

I will continue to pray for the Lord to touch and heal you. God is using your testimony to touch many lives.

Please stop by, I'm having a give a way!!

Blessings my sweet friend~

Nancie said...

Hi Susan, thank you for your prayers and encouragements. Thanks for informing me about your give-away I will stop by your blog. Blessings to you too!

Michael Price said...

In our life time, each one of us as humans, experience fear, anger, envy, sadness, insecurity and many other negative emotions and thoughts. These thoughts turn us into fearful people with doubts and insecurity. All these emotions and thoughts cover our real, beautiful inner nature.

 

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