Stress Articles

5 Facts Many People Don’t Know About Depression

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

5 Facts Many People Don’t Know About DepressionDepression is one of the most common conditions in the world. It affects all segments of society and virtually all cultures, said Constance Hammen, Ph.D, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California.

And yet many people don’t know much about depression or tend to misunderstand it. Some misconceptions “persist because depression has tended to be stigmatizing and people don’t learn about it, discuss it, or recognize it.”

Is Suicide a Free Choice or a False Choice?

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Is Suicide a Free Choice or a False Choice?

Is suicide a free choice, like choosing to do the laundry today, or to watch TV?

Or is the act of suicide more of a false choice — the illusion of choice, with none of the freedom we typically associate with the word?

Some people may feel this is semantics — not worth the time to discuss. But given some of the ridiculous things that have been written about suicide in the past week, I feel like it’s an important point to examine and understand.

Suicide is not a choice in any meaningful sense of the word. Here’s why.

The Importance of Having a Friend to Talk You Down

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

take-friendship-next-level-honestyI’m stable. At least that’s how I usually am.

In the eight years I’ve lived with schizophrenia I’ve managed to find a pretty strong footing for my life. I take my meds and go to therapy and practice my social skills and hell, I even have a job, which is more than a lot of people with schizophrenia can handle.

That said, there are times where the stars align for madness and you lose yourself in being overwhelmed with feelings or thoughts that confuse and delude you.

This past week was one of those times for me.

Top 7 Excuses that Suck the Happiness from Your Life

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

just-be-happy-positive-psychology-smiling-woman

Stop making excuses and go for the things that bring you joy and passion.

As I approached a birthday, one with a ginormous number, a wise coach posed the question: If not now, when? I was grumbling about how I hadn’t been getting enough done when I really wanted to spend more time reading, watching movies and the World Cup; in other words, engaging in activities that would result in getting even less done. If not now, when?, she asked.

My coach had a valid point. Perhaps you, too, use some of these same rationalizations, as you avoid pursuing your passions and desires. Here are some of the things you say to yourself that delay your own happiness.

Relearning How to Relate to People After a Major Trauma

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

IsolationWhen I was first diagnosed with schizophrenia eight years ago, it was almost impossible for me to talk to people, let alone relate to them.

If it wasn’t the constant anxiety and paranoia keeping me from engaging, it was the burden of having an 800 lb. gorilla that nobody understood hanging over my head.

How could I possibly get on anyone else’s level when there was this immense self-stigmatizing diagnosis of being crazy sitting on my shoulders?

Dealing with Depression: Mindfully Turning Toward Negative Thoughts & Feelings

Monday, August 4th, 2014

depression-have-an-upsideDoes this sound familiar?

I don’t want to feel this way. When I’m anxious, I start thinking of ways I can be in control. So many little things have been bothering me lately, which only makes me madder at myself for letting them bother me. I wish I were different. When I get upset, I start thinking about what I did wrong. About what’s wrong with me.

These are all examples of aversion. “Aversion is the drive to avoid, escape, get rid of, numb out from, or destroy things we experience as unpleasant,” according to authors John Teasdale, Mark Williams and Zindel Segal in The Mindful Way Workbook: An 8-Week Program to Free Yourself from Depression and Emotional Distress.

My Intention: Shifting Into Neutral and Being in the Present Moment

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

My IntentionI have myriad personal and professional goals that I want to achieve. I made a personal goal sheet that I hang on my refrigerator door. Each morning, when I open the refrigerator door and grab the creamer for my morning cup of coffee, the goal sheet silently stares back at me. I am reminded of the goals waiting to be accomplished, waiting to be achieved. It is a memo to self of all I have to do and have yet to accomplish.

At times this goal sheet can leave me feeling depleted and worn; it is a daily reminder of what I have not done. So I am making a conscious effort to increase my daily intentions, my deepest wishes for myself and the world that align with my authentic self.

Fight, Flight or Freeze: The Stress Response

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

The Stress ResponseImagine the following scenarios:

1. During a staff meeting that you led and thoroughly prepared for, your …

Adults with ADHD: Tips for Juggling Life in Today’s Frenetic World

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Adults with ADHD: Tips for Juggling Life in Today’s Frenetic WorldWe live in a wired, fast-paced world. We’re constantly plugged in — checking email and social media sites from all of our devices. We’re trying to meet ever-increasing expectations and demands, juggling careers and school, raising kids, managing our homes, entertaining, and much more, says Terry Matlen, MSW, ACSW, a psychotherapist and ADHD coach.

“For the adult without ADD, it’s a tough situation to keep their heads above water. But for an adult with ADHD, it’s almost an impossible task.”

“The brain can just ‘shut down’ due to feeling overwhelmed,” said Stephanie Sarkis, Ph.D, NCC, a psychotherapist and ADHD specialist. Adults with ADHD can become paralyzed because they don’t know where to start, she said.

5 Practices for Calming Racing Thoughts

Monday, July 28th, 2014

5 Practices for Calming Racing ThoughtsRacing thoughts may be a daily reality for you or an occasional annoyance. Racing thoughts are common for people with anxiety when they’re facing a stressor. They’re also common in bipolar disorder, ADHD and other medical conditions, according to Marla Deibler, PsyD, a clinical psychologist who specializes in anxiety disorders.

For instance, anxious thoughts may be a string of worries. Deibler shared this example:

“I don’t have a date for the party tomorrow. I can’t go by myself. What will everyone think? What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I have a date? That’s it. I’m not going. But everyone will wonder where I am. I should go. Oh, I don’t know what to do.”

Racing thoughts can be overwhelming, confusing and distressing, Deibler said. They can hinder your ability to concentrate and accomplish daily tasks. They can hinder your memory and sleep, she added.

Mood Over Matter: How Emotions Can Affect Your Health

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

headachesYou’ve probably heard your share of stories like the following told by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN, on the site “Women to Women“:

A patient came in to see me describing constant heavy bleeding menorrhagia. We tried dietary changes, supplements and other purely physical approaches, with only minimal improvement. I began to probe for the emotional basis of her condition. She shared a description of her marriage to a man who did not support her emotionally and was often verbally abusive. I helped her see the connection between her relationship and her symptoms. One day a few months later, she came into my office and told me she had finally found the courage to leave the relationship. Her heavy bleeding stopped the next day, and has not returned.

5 Quick Ways to Calm Anxiety at Work

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

5 Quick Ways to Calm Anxiety at WorkIf you struggle with anxiety, you may find it especially tough to get things done at work. “Anxiety can be debilitating on its own, but in the workplace, it can be magnified immensely,” said Jenifer Hope, LCPC, a therapist who specializes in treating anxiety.

With its often-fast pace and mounting demands, work can spike stress. One of Hope’s clients, who has generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), feels anxious most of the time and in most situations. When her anxiety is severe, she has a hard time completing any task. She’ll reread the same line in an email because she can’t focus on anything else except her anxiety.

Whether you struggle with severe or occasional anxiety at work, you can practice certain strategies to feel better. Hope shared these five tips.

Recent Comments
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