Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Are you sad most of the time? If so, you may have depression.

It's normal to feel sad at times. When the sadness causes a person the inability to function with daily life for weeks at a time, it is known as depression.  Some common signs and symptoms of depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, include: feeling sad or "empty", feeling hopeless, irritable, anxious, or guilty, loss of interest in favorite activities, feeling very tired, not being able to concentrate or remember details, not being able to sleep or sleeping too much, overeating or not eating at all, thoughts of suicide, and aches or pains. The first step in treating depression is to visit a doctor or mental health professional.  The professional will complete a comprehensive assessment about the patient and symptoms.  It is important for the professional to rule out any conditions that could be affect your mood.  Depression is usually treated with medication in combination with psychotherapy (counseling).  The medications are known as anti-depressants.  There could be side effects associated with the medication such as: headache, nausea, difficulty sleeping or nervousness, agitation or restlessness, or sexual problems. It's important to discuss these side effects with a doctor.  As treatment is progressed, an individual will start to feel better.   Depression does not discriminate against ages, sex, race, or color.  It can affect everyone.  If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact one of our certified professional counselors at 954-800-0108.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

STRESS! What is it? And how do I cope with it?

Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or unbalances your system in some way. Modern life is full of everyday hassles, deadlines, frustrations, annoyances, and demands.  For many people stress is so common that it has become a way of life.  In small doses, stress can actually help you perform better under pressure and motivate you to do your best.  However, if you are constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the  price. Situations and pressures that cause stress are known as stressors.  People normally think of stressors as being negative such as hectic work schedule or a rocky relationship.  However, positive events such as getting married, a new job, getting own apartment, or starting college can also be stressful.  Anything that causes you to adjust your current state of mind can be stressful. Some common external causes of stress can be work, finances, children and family, and relationship problems.  Internal causes of stress can be negative thinking, lack of assertiveness, unrealistic expectations or goals, and low self-esteem.  Positive coping skills, such as eating healthy, exercising, sleeping 8 or more hours, implementing relaxation techniques, and talking to a trusted friend, are very beneficial to manage all stressors. It is important to recognize that there is "no one size fits all solution" to managing stress. Focus on what makes you feel positive, calm, and in control.

Need help with learning tips, tools, and solutions to manage your current stressors in your life, good and bad, give one of our profession counselors a call at 954-800-0108.