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Memorial Day

LEST NOT FORGET!
Remember today why we celebrate Memorial Day, Lest not forget those who gave their lives for their country and our freedoms.

Remember those who have fought in the war on terrorism and came back with mental health issues like depression, stress and PTSD.

Remember our fore fathers who started our great nation and the sacrifices the men and women made leading up to and after the Revolutionary war.

Remember the soldiers who invaded Normandy and Utah beach in 1944 and lost their lives not knowing the outcome of the war.

LEST NOT FORGET!

3 Things Contributing to Your Depression

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There are a number of factors that can worsen your depression. Practicing mindfulness helps you to pay attention to and take responsibility for the things that you do or don’t do to exacerbate your depression. By knowing what some of these factors are, you will be able to monitor them and work towards minimizing their effects on your well-being.

Here are 3 of those factors:

  1. Stress.  High levels of stress tend to increase a hormone produced by the body known as Cortisol. Cortisol maintains the body in a “fight or flight” state which can become taxing on the mind and body. Additionally, cortisol promotes the increase of fat cells in the body, particularly around the stomach. Ways to reduce your stress level include: deep breathing, meditation, recreational activities, or simply reducing your stress load at work by saying “no.”
  2. Sleep.  Too much or too little sleep can aggravate depression. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule is the key to enhancing the quality and quantity of your sleep. Developing a good sleeping habit will ensure that you wake up well rested, your brain will function adequately, and you will feel energized throughout the day. Try going to sleep and waking up around the same time every day.
  3. Food.  Certain foods you eat are associated with depression. Foods high in sugars or simple carbohydrates can spike your glucose level, slow down your metabolism, and aggravate your mood. Also, alcohol and too much caffeine can boost blood sugar levels, and make you more irritable. Reduce your intake of these foods and choose healthier options instead. Foods that have complex carbohydrates instead of simple carbohydrates allow your metabolism to speed up and work harder, giving you more energy and leaves you in a better mood. Incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables that are high in nutrients, and reduce your intake of processed foods that you can find in cans, bags, or boxes.

What other factors could be contributing to your depression?

 

Read the full article: http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/10/02/6-things-that-can-worsen-depression/#at_pco=smlwn-1.0&at_si=53604f6c206debdf&at_ab=per-4&at_pos=0&at_tot=1

Learn more from a counselor by visiting our website today: http://www.affordablecounselingbrandon.com

Saying Sorry

What is it about the words “I’m sorry” that makes it so hard to say? Is is about the guilt behind the wrongdoing, or is it the ego behind always being right?

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Whatever it is, people find it hard to apologize. Authentic and effective apology is the very core of healing, clarifying, and restoring relationships. Like forgiveness, an apology can cut the cycle of anger, revenge, and hatred. The person giving the apology can tend to feel extremely vulnerable, fearing how the apology will be received. The giver’s apology could be rejected, causing him or her to feel unforgivable, and therefore less likely to say sorry in the future. However, if the giver works internally on becoming proud of his or her own efforts in apologizing, then he or she can move from feeling unforgivable to being unforgiven. Being unforgiven is out of his or her control and does not diminish a person’s self-worth.

There are a number of things to consider when giving an apology. An effective apology shows that:

  • the giver recognizes that his or her actions were wrong or harmful
  • the giver takes full responsibility and is not defensive
  • the giver feels remorse for the wrongdoing
  • the giver wants to make amends
  • and the giver reassures that he or she will behave differently in the future

When giving an apology, the giver should not:

  • use ifs or buts; for example, “I apologize if I offended you,” or “I’m sorry but you shouldn’t take it personally.”
  • assume how the receiver feels
  • be unclear; avoid this by starting your apology with “I”
  • wait too long to apologize
  • apologize via text message, email, Facebook, or Twitter; do it in person

An apology can move mountains. A half-hearted one can make things worse. A sincere and well-crafted apology can restore relationships.

 

To read the entire article: http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/saying-youre-sorry-part-i-apologies-that-heal-0401144

Visit our website for more information about counseling: http://www.affordablecounselingbrandon.com

Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AffordableCounselingCenter or follow us on Twitter: @acounselingctr

The Chicken or the Egg?

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The age old question that still seems to baffle everyone. Well, which came first?

When it comes to eating and mental health, do mental health issues influence what people eat, or does what you eat affect your mental health? Rif El-Mallakh, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, states that although there is a correlation it remains unclear how diet relates to mental health.

A theory is that certain foods, or their absence, may contribute to poor mental health. For example, studies in people and in rats have linked zinc deficiency to depression. As shown in animal and human studies, poor diet can even impair memory and attention within a week. Gut bacteria might actually be a middleman in this theory, and studies have shown that changing diet can change human gut bacteria. However, changing one’s diet and gut bacteria does not cure mental illness. We are not at a point to be able to use diet as therapy, because we just don’t know enough yet. A full package of care, including medical and mental health care, is encouraged as it is an evidenced based method to battling mental illness.

Think your diet may be influencing your mental health? Don’t hesitate!

Visit our website now to find out how we can help: http://www.affordablecounselingbrandon.com 

To read more visit: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/can-what-you-eat-affect-your-mental-health-new-research-links-diet-and-the-mind/2014/03/24/c6b40876-abc0-11e3-af5f-4c56b834c4bf_story.html 

Just Laugh

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Shame is a universal emotion. We all experience it at some time or another. Sometimes shame causes people to react in anger or aggression. Other times people become embarrassed and try to hide their shame. These ways of dealing with shame are not healthy. In fact, hidden shame can be damaging and can cause serious struggles for an individual as well as for groups; struggles that are behind many of the behaviors currently occurring in our society. 

Shame can affect a person’s self-worth. Being told ‘shame on you,’ for example, can destroy an individual’s sense of value. “Emotions are like breathing and cause trouble when obstructed,” says Thomas Scheff, professor emeritus of sociology at University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Scheff examined the ubiquity of hidden shame in an article published in the journal of Cultural Sociology. He suggests it may be one of the keys to understanding contemporary society. According to Scheff a society that fosters individualism (like ours) provides a ripe breeding ground for the emotion of shame because people are encouraged to “go it alone, no matter the cost to relationships,” he said.

In exploring the connection between shame and aggression, Scheff cites research conducted by sociologist Neil Websdale, author of Familicidal Hearts: The Emotional Styles of 211 Killers. “Familicide, the act of one spouse killing the other as well as their children and often himself or herself, stems from unacknowledged shame,” Scheff said.

What is even more interesting about the study, is the finding that there is a minority group of non-angry people. These people lose their job and feel humiliated, then pretend as though they are continuing to go to work every day, but they are actually planning the killing. They are known as the ‘civic respectable.’

On the contrary, shame is actually a very useful emotion and is in fact the basis of morality. Shame provides a weight for morality. Ever heard the phrase “listen to your conscience?” When you make a decision based on your conscience it is usually backed up by shame.

Instead of allowing yourself to succumb to shame, give yourself permission to laugh. Laugh at yourself often. Laugh at the universe. Laugh at your circumstance. As long as you are not laughing at others you cannot go wrong. Laughter is good for your health. It relaxes the body, boosts your immune system, triggers the release of endorphins, and protects the heart.

 

To learn more about the study, click this link: http://psychcentral.com/news/2014/03/17/resolve-hidden-shame-with-humor/67210.html

For more information on Mental Health Counseling, visit our website: http://www.starpointcounselingbrandon.com, or http://www.starpointcounselingtampa.com

Teen Pregnancy & Mental Health

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Low self-esteem, early use of alcohol and drugs, and living in a home with frequent family conflict are some of the risk factors that increase the likelihood of teen pregnancy. Additionally, adolescent girls with a major mental health disorder are three times more likely to get pregnant than those without a mental illness. According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, pregnancy rates among girls with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or major depression were not only three times higher, but they also have been declining at a far slower pace than those for adolescent females without a mental health diagnosis. 

“Although we do know some of the risk factors behind why girls with mental health illness may be at increased risk of becoming pregnant, pregnancy-prevention programs in most developed countries have not traditionally considered mental health issues,” said lead author of the study Dr. Simone Vigod, a psychiatrist at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto.

“Girls with major mental health problems are more likely to have social problems and drug and alcohol problems — problems with impulsivity, feeling badly about themselves,” she said. For example, a teen suffering from depression may find it difficult to protect herself from pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections with a boyfriend because of low self-esteem. The problem here is the teen girl is experiencing negative feelings about herself to the point that she is unable to assertively advocate the use of condoms or abstinence.

Interventions such as targeted school-based sex-education programs, and greater integration of reproductive care into adolescent mental health care programs are highly recommended. Seeking mental health counseling for your teen, and utilizing these programs will help to reduce teenage pregnancy.

You can read the entire article here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/teens-with-mental-health-issues-have-higher-risk-of-pregnancy-study-1.2530354

For more information on Mental Health Counseling, visit our website: http://www.starpointcounselingbrandon.com, or http://www.starpointcounselingtampa.com

Fighting Big = Big Resolution

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Some say that having a screaming match with their partner is effective, because it shows that there is passion in the relationship. But can having big fights with your partner end in big resolutions?

Disagreements are normal and can even strengthen relationships, if resolved in a healthy manner. In close relationships, feeling frustrated, misunderstood, or having differences in opinion is natural. Therefore, it is expected that there may be an emotional combustion. By fighting big (i.e. arguing), this allows for stressors to be released, and in turn, leads to a solution. Boundaries can be established as a result of these differences, and partners can establish their own fighting style to effectively approach these conflicts.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, couples in satisfying relationships who have negative communication, are more likely to have bigger conflicts, but this is usually followed by bigger resolutions by both partners. An internet questionnaire was given to couples in a satisfying relationship, and to couples in an unhappy relationship. The self-reported data from the questionnaire relayed how the couples felt during the conflict and how they currently feel about it. This was used as a measure of the progress the participants made toward progress.

Results revealed that the presence of negative communication in satisfying relationships was associated with bigger conflicts, but that these conflicts were generally followed by big resolutions. However, the presence of negative communication in unhappy relationships was associated with big conflicts, as well as trouble finding a resolution, regardless of the type of communication they used. These findings highlight how a couple can have a big fight, feel upset, reach an argument, and then feel happy with one another again. A much stronger predictor of progress toward conflict resolution is a person’s level of relationship satisfaction. Conclusively, keeping a feeling of satisfaction alive in a relationship is more important than the type of communication used to resolve conflicts.

You can read the entire article from Medical Daily here: http://www.medicaldaily.com/relationship-issues-why-happy-couples-who-have-big-fights-also-have-big-resolutions-269239

For more information on mental health counseling and related topics, check out our website at http://www.affordablecounselingbrandon.com or visit our sister company at http://www.starpointcounselingtampa.com

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