October 2018
Grab your pumpkin spice latte and get scrolling! October's newsletter includes tips on staying ahead of seasonal depression, information on voter's registration, agency updates and more.
Seasonal Affective Disorder: Tips to Overcome the Disorder

Four helpful ways to manage and take control of your SAD

by Margaret Wehrenberg Psy.D.

How convenient that the acronym for  Seasonal Affective Disorder  reflects the feeling people get as the dark crowds in on us. With daylight savings time accelerating the sensation, many of us get the feeling we should hunker down, make soup and bread, find ways to bring light into our lives using candles and fireplaces and we start feeling like we can hardly wait for spring already.

Seasonal Affective  Disorder is much different though. It is not just "I hate the cold" crabbiness. Take the above description and multiply by 10. When people have an abnormal response to the shortened days, they feel depressed. They hunker down by not getting out of bed without tremendous  motivation . They don't just decide to bake bread for its pleasant aroma, but they crave pasta, potatoes and sweets in preference to almost everything else. They need light - usually full spectrum, right in the face for a couple of hours - and this is just to feel okay in the face of fading light.

What is going on here? Your  brain  makes melatonin which it needs for adjusting your physical responses to light and dark. Even in this highly techno world, your brain still is reacting to natural light. Your eyes are the window into response to the rhythm of light and dark. When the world starts to darken into shorter days, if your brain is not manufacturing sufficient melatonin, getting drowsy and waking up becomes a challenge. Too drowsy and not energetic are the hallmarks of SAD. If you have a brain that does not make enough melatonin or that does not respond easily to the  circadian rhythm  you may have the biology that creates SAD.

The good news is that if you know this, you can make adjustments. Below are a couple of tips you might consider to help you take control and manage your SAD.

Get natural light
You are the person who should seriously take a vacation in the south during the dark months. You can tell your boss I recommended it! But in lieu of vacation, get outside for 30 minutes in the middle of the day and take a walk. It helps activate your brain and you will feel more energetic, not less, if you get outside. Natural light always trumps artificial light and even on a cloudy day you will get a fair amount of the right kind of light to wake up your brain. But getting a full spectrum light and using it daily can make a positive change in your mood and you can set it up at work or at home for your convenience.

Watch what you eat and take vitamins to enhance your mood
Seriously, don't give in to the heavy carb craving if you can. You will gain weight, which will make you more depressed. You are probably not needing to hang on to body weight to survive the cold as your ancestors did. Additionally, the carbs don't help your brain build melatonin. Taking melatonin is not really what is necessary; rather the building blocks of brain neurotransmitters: Proteins, B vitamins in vegetables and taking vitamins or supplements like  Omega-3  or SAMe might be good choices.

Exercise- get out and be social!
Even though the weather is not its best, don't give up on exercise. This is the time of year to get as much as you can. Exercise is probably the single best anti-depressant I can think of. Try being creative about it though: dance, play a running game with a child, join a walk-in-the-mall group for social exercise. Adding the pleasure of sociability to the exercise will boost your mood with smiles and the joy of human contact - even if your SAD makes you feel like other people are a bother.

Consider medication
If all this fails, don't hesitate to consider  medication . Some of the  SSRIs have shown to improve SAD considerably. Taking medication even when you would prefer to avoid it is better than suffering through this serious seasonal malady. 
The biggest curse of SAD is the way it robs you of joy in daily life and robs you of motivation to take part during this time of year when people want to celebrate with each other. Regardless of your  religious conviction, starting with preparation for Thanksgiving and culminating with New Year's parties, parades and football, there are a lot of opportunities to feel like you are the odd one out with your unhappiness. This year, don't wait to see if it gets bad. Taking care of SAD as soon as you suspect you feel it may keep you more prepared to participate and thus put into effect a self-reinforcing circle of participation-feeling better-more participation that by itself will help reverse SAD.

Courtesy of:
6 Food Tips to Fight Seasonal Affection Disorder
by Roger Nichols

Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as seasonal depression, winter depression or winter blues, is a mood disorder where people are mentally healthy most of the year, but experience depressive symptoms during a specific period — most commonly in the winter.
Usually, symptoms begin to worsen as early as fall, and they’re at their peak in the winter months. During this time, people experience depression symptoms that include feelings of hopelessness, social withdrawal, lack of concentration or fatigue.
To reduce these depression symptoms, one can take medication, do therapy, exercise, or make changers in their diet. Let’s see what foods can improve your mood during the winter months.
Lean Proteins
Lean proteins are great to improve your mood, as they are packed with amino acids. What’s more, they’re also an excellent source of energy, which can be very helpful to battling fatigue. Salmon is a good source of lean proteins, but it’s also high in omega-3 fatty acids. There’s no doubt that steaks are delicious, but the saturated fat content in the meat may not go so well to improve your mood or your health.
Omega-3 fatty acids have great health benefits and may possibly influence your mood. A  study  from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center found that people who have higher omega-3 levels are less likely to experience mild or moderate symptoms of depression. Low levels of omega-3 are linked to disorders such as major depressive disorder, ADD, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Salmon, mackerel, flaxseeds, walnuts, tuna, anchovies, egg yolks or sardines are good sources of omega-3s.
Stress can make you feel exhausted as it aggravates depression symptoms. Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries have a role in preventing the release of Cortisol (the stress hormone). Cortisol is produced in the adrenal gland, and during stressful periods, it goes straight to the part of the brain that stores memories and offers emotional responses. So, keeping
Reduce Your Sugar Intake
You may think it’s hard to keep track of the sugar you’re consuming, but it’s fairly easy to read the labels on food products. It will appear in various forms, syrups, or words that end in “-ose”.
Sugar does indeed improve your mood in the beginning, but research from UCLA suggests a combination between too much sugar and too few omega-3s can slow down your brain. The research is still ongoing, but it’s pretty clear you should steer clear of sugar, especially if you’re depressed. The crash after a sugar high can worsen your depression.
Dark Chocolate
Chocolate is helpful if you want to self-medicate when you’re feeling down, but eating a Hershey’s bar isn’t really the way to go. One  study  followed participants who were administered a dark chocolate mixed drink daily for a month. The results showed considerable improvements in mood, which researchers believe is due to the chocolate’s high polyphenol (antioxidants) content. So, when you’re feeling blue, grab a chocolate bar, but make sure it’s really high in cocoa content.
Bananas are high in potassium, natural sugars and carbohydrates and can fuel your brain and reduce depression. Besides this, bananas contain tryptophan, which is an amino acid used in the biosynthesis of proteins. Bananas may also reduce anxiety and improve sleep thanks to its high magnesium content.

Maryland General Election
Nov 6, 2018
Early Voting:  Oct 25, 2018 - Nov 1, 2018

Voter Registration Deadline
Request For Absentee Ballot: Request for Online Ballot by Fri Nov 2, 2018 5:00PM EDT
Absentee Ballot Deadline: Postmarked by Tue Nov 6, 2018

Register to Vote in Maryland
You must register to vote at least 21 days before the next election.
In Maryland, you can register to vote online, by mail, and in person at your  local Board of Elections. You can also process your voter registration at your local MD MVA office when you complete any driver's license transactions.

If you would like to register online :
  • The MD MVA must have your name, date of birth, and ID number on file.
  • OR
  • You must provide the last 4 digits of your Social Security number (SSN).
To register to vote online in Maryland, use the  Maryland Online Voter Registration System .

3:30pm Festival | 6:30pm Line-up | 7pm Parade | FREE!
Patterson Park at Eastern & Linwood Aves., Baltimore MD
Rain Date: Sunday, October 28, 2018
Produced by Creative Alliance and Friends of Patterson Park in partnership with Baltimore City Dept of Recreation & Parks

Squeal with delight at bumps in the night, howl at the moon, and march through the night!

Calling all ghosts and ghouls, spooks and specters, frights and Frankenstein’s! By the light of the glowing moon, on the 27th of October, we gather to march through historic Patterson Park. Join your neighbors, friends, and family and help bring this year's festival and parade to life! EEEK, the theme of this year’s parade, is a throwback to classic Halloween! 

Celebrate the magic of Halloween, create illuminated lanterns, carry glowing large scale artist-made floats, and march through Patterson Park with Baltimore’s most beloved community bands, stilt walkers, and creatures big and small. 
The day begins at 3:30pm with Baltimore's BEST family Halloween festival featuring an adorable kids costume contest, lantern making, hayrides, dancers, live music, an arts & crafts market, and more! Local food trucks and the beer garden stay open until 8:30pm. Bring your picnic blanket and enjoy the afternoon!
Once the sun sets, the magic begins. Grab your lantern and get ready to march with thousands of your neighbors, artists, musicians, and performers. You can also line the parade route to watch the delightful Great Halloween Lantern Parade!! The route begins at the Boat Lake in Patterson Park, heads east to the annex of the Park, and ends back at the Pulaski Monument for a specially commissioned FINALE and dance party with Mark Evans and Soul Centered. Afterwards, head back to Creative Alliance for the  Glow Ball After-Party !

EVERYONE is welcome to dress in costume, bring a lantern, and march in the Parade.
Harford County Group
Baltimore City Groups
Mondays 6-7 PM 
Women's Group, Teen's Group, and Youth Group
Tuesdays 6-7 PM
Men's Group
Anne Arundel County Groups

Empowering Minds Resource Center is proud to announce there is currently  NO WAIT LIST at the agency. We work hard everyday to ensure referrals are quickly processed and clients are engaged by our staff and partnered therapists immediately. We are ready, willing and able to accept new clients TODAY.  

Empowering Minds Resource Center has no waitlist for our CARE COORDINATION FOR MINORS and our PSYCHIATRIC REHABILITATION PROGRAM in Harford County
 Empowering Minds recognizes Atiya Stewart as the agency's Direct Service Coordinator of the month.

EMRC would like to extend our appreciation for her outstanding work performance. Atiya is an outstanding and hard working employee who always commits herself fully to her job, putting maximum effort into completing job-related tasks to the best of her ability. Atiya Stewart's desire and willingness to help everyone around her makes her a stand out DSC.

Thanks Atiya! You're the greatest!


Empowering Minds is looking to add some new members to our wonderful team. Check out the link below for more information!
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