New Website and Blog

Dear Readers and Followers,

I now have a new website where I will be sharing useful information on mental health. If interested, you can follow my blog and video updates on www.shushantherapy.com

Sincerely Yours,

Shushan

Happiness

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Symptoms of Depression

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Symptoms of Depression

Depression varies from person to person, but there are some common signs and symptoms. Read below to learn about some signs of depression and so that you know when it’s time to seek help.

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Insomnia, early morning awakening or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight loss, or overeating and weight gain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide attempts
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain

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Depression makes it tough to function and enjoy life like you once did. Just getting through the day can be overwhelming. But no matter how hopeless you feel, you can get better. Understanding the signs, symptoms, causes, and treatment of depression is the first step to overcoming the problem.

Sincerely Yours,

Shushan

Happiness

Top 3 Causes of Divorce

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In Western cultures, more than 90 percent of people marry by age 50. Healthy marriages are good for couples’ mental and physical health. They are also good for children; growing up in a happy home protects children from mental, physical, educational and social problems. However, about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher.

There can be multiple reason why couples choose divorce however, I will focus on the few that seem to be on the top of the list.

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1. Poor communication. This is one of the major reasons why divorce happens. Suppose that you didn’t drive a car before and that you used to think that when the fuel pointer points to the E (or empty) then this means that the car needs to be washed! What do you think will happen? Of course the car will stop leaving you in the middle of the street. But do you know what your fault was? You didn’t read the car’s manual. When two people live together they should be able to recognize the different signals that they both send. Both lack of self understanding and lack of understanding of people can cause a horrible communication gap between couples and so lead to divorce.

Distance is created quickly if you don’t share your feelings, don’t tell your partner what’s happening, and keep your feelings to yourself. A successful relationship constantly keeps the lines of communication open.

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2. Finances. Arguing about money is the top predictor of divorce. Fights about money are actually fights about deeper issues in the relationship such as power, trust, jealousy, etc. If these deep issues in the relationship are problematic, then the couple may be more likely to divorce. We all have deeply held beliefs about the best way to use money. Sometimes spouses’ beliefs differ and so they come into conflict. Imagine a spouse who feels that money is best used for status. On the other hand, the other spouse believes money is best used for security. This couple would then probably have more conflict.  If money becomes a consistent topic of disagreement, the road to divorce is certain.

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3. Trust. Do you really trust your spouse? Trust is one of the leading factors in having a successful relationship and marriage. Your marriage is unlikely to survive if you don’t trust your spouse. A happy marriage rests on a foundation of unquestioned trust. If you want your marriage to be all it can be, you must know how to create this kind of trust. Most couples think of trust exclusively in terms of being sexually faithful, which is essential, but there’s more to it.

  • Trust that you will be sexually faithful. Without sexual fidelity marriage becomes unworkable. Partners can recover from an affair but need professional help to do it. Keep your commitment to be sexually faithful. If you’re unhappy in your marriage, get counseling and not a part-time lover.
  • Trust that you will not harm, reject or control one another. Hurting one another, either physically or verbally, and then rejecting one another, creates fear which undermines trust.
  • Trust that you love one another without ulterior motives. You and your spouse need to feel sure you are loved for yourself and not some ulterior motive. That includes your looks, your money, your family, your partner needs someone to feel superior to or be a buffer against being alone and lonely.
  • Trust that you will not abandon one another in the face of anger, conflict and disagreements. Anger, conflict and disagreements are inevitable. Make it safe for the careful expression of anger and for disagreements to happen without raising a fear of abandonment. You do this by never using the threat of divorce against your partner.
  • Trust that you will keep each other and your marriage a top priority. Partners trust that they mean it when they promise to love, honor and cherish one another. Don’t take each other for granted, neglect your relationship or consistently give too much time and energy to other things and people you break that trust. Remember every day what is really important in your life. Keep your priorities clear. Make your partner and your marriage a top priority.

Sincerely Yours,

Shushan

Happiness

Understanding Insomnia, its Symptoms, and Causes

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Do you struggle to get to sleep no matter how tired you are? Or do you wake up in the middle of the night and lie awake for hours, anxiously watching the clock? Insomnia is a common problem that takes a toll on your energy, mood, health, and ability to function during the day.

What is Insomnia?

People who have insomnia have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. Insomnia is the inability to get the amount of sleep you need to wake up feeling rested and refreshed.

Symptoms

  • Difficulty falling asleep despite being tired
  • Waking up frequently during the night
  • Trouble getting back to sleep when awakened
  • Exhausting sleep
  • Relying on sleeping pills or alcohol to fall asleep
  • Waking up too early in the morning
  • Daytime drowsiness, fatigue, or irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating during the day

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Causes

Stress

Most adults have had some trouble sleeping because they feel worried or nervous, but for some it’s a pattern that interferes with sleep on a regular basis. Anxiety symptoms that can lead to insomnia include:

  • Tension
  • Getting caught up in thoughts about past events
  • Excessive worrying about future events
  • Feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities
  • A general feeling of being revved up or overstimulated

Anxiety.

Everyday anxieties as well as more-serious anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, may disrupt your asleep. Worry about being able to go to sleep can make it harder to fall asleep.


Depression.

Insomnia can be caused by psychiatric conditions such as depression. Psychological struggles can make it hard to sleep, insomnia itself can bring on changes in mood, and shifts in hormones and physiology can lead to both psychiatric issues and insomnia at the same time.Sleep problems may represent a symptom of depression, and the risk of severe insomnia is much higher in patients with major depressive disorders. Studies show that insomnia can also trigger or worsen depression.It’s important to know that symptoms of depression (such as low energy, loss of interest or motivation, feelings of sadness or hopelessness) and insomnia can be linked, and one can make the other worse. The good news is that both are treatable regardless of which came first.


Medical conditions.

  • Nasal/sinus allergies
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as reflux
  • Endocrine problems such as hyperthyroidism
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Low back pain

Sleep apnea.

With sleep apnea, a person’s airway becomes partially or completely obstructed during sleep, leading to pauses in breathing and a drop in oxygen levels. This causes a person to wake up briefly but repeatedly throughout the night. People with sleep apnea sometimes report experiencing insomnia.


Change in your environment or work schedule.

Travel or working a late or early shift can disrupt your body’s circadian rhythms, making it difficult to sleep. Your circadian rhythms act as an internal clock, guiding such things as your sleep-wake cycle, metabolism and body temperature.


Poor sleep habits.

Poor sleep habits include an irregular sleep schedule, stimulating activities before bed, an uncomfortable sleep environment, and use of your bed for activities other than sleep or sex.


Medications.

Many prescription drugs can interfere with sleep, including some antidepressants, heart and blood pressure medications, allergy medications, stimulants and corticosteroids.


Caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.

Coffee, tea, cola and other caffeine-containing drinks are well-known stimulants. Drinking coffee in the late afternoon and later can keep you from falling asleep at night. Nicotine in tobacco products is another stimulant that can cause insomnia. Alcohol is a sedative that may help you fall asleep, but it prevents deeper stages of sleep and often causes you to awaken in the middle of the night.


Eating too much late in the evening.

Having a light snack before bedtime is OK, but eating too much may cause you to feel physically uncomfortable while lying down, making it difficult to get to sleep. Many people also experience heartburn, a backflow of acid and food from the stomach into the esophagus after eating, which may keep you awake.

Sincerely Yours,

Shushan

Happiness

Not Feeling Like Yourself? Try This Quick Depression Test To Find Out If You May Be Suffering From Depression.

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Everybody feels down or sad at times. But it’s important to be able to recognize when depression has become more than a temporary thing, and when to seek help.

The following are a list of the signs and symptoms that may be experienced by someone with depression.

  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
  • Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
  • Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
  • Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
  • Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
  • Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
  • Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
  • Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
  • Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
  • Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.

Now that you’ve read the signs and symptoms, go ahead and click on the link below to take the test.

http://psychcentral.com/depquiz.htm

Sincerely Yours,

Shushan

Happiness

Basic Principles of Good Parent/Child Communication

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• Let the child know that you are interested and involved and that you will help when needed.
• Turn off the television or put the newspaper down when your child wants to converse.
• Avoid taking a telephone call when the child has something important to tell you.
• Unless other people are specifically meant to be included, hold conversations in privacy. The best communication between you and the child will occur when others are not around.
• Embarrassing the child or putting him on the spot in front of others will lead only to resentment and hostility, not good communication.
• Don’t tower over your child. Physically get down to the child’s level then talk.
• If you are very angry about a behavior or an incident, don’t attempt communication until you regain your cool, because you cannot be objective until then. It is better to stop, settle down, and talk to the child later.
• If you are very tired, you will have to make an extra effort to be an active listener. Genuine active listening is hard work and is very difficult when your mind and body are already tired.
• Listen carefully and politely. Don’t interrupt the child when he is trying to tell his story. Be as courteous to your child as you would be to your best friend.
• Don’t be a wipe-out artist, unraveling minor threads of a story and never allowing the child’s own theme to develop. This is the parent who reacts to the incidentals of a message while the main idea is list: i.e., the child starts to tell about what happened and the parent says, “I don’t care what they are doing, but you had better not be involved in anything like that.”
• Don’t ask why, but do ask what happened.
• If you have knowledge of the situation, confront the child with the information that you know or have been told.
• Keep adult talking (“You’ll talk when I’m finished.” “I know what’s best for you.” “Just do what I say and that will solve the problem”), preaching and moralizing to a minimum because they are not helpful in getting communication open and keeping it open.
• Don’t use put-down words or statements: dumb, stupid, lazy: “Stupid, that makes no sense at all” or “What do you know, you’re just a child.”
• Assist the child in planning some specific steps to the solution.
• Show that you accept the child himself, regardless of what he has or has not done.
• Reinforce the child for keeping communication open. Do this by accepting him and praising his efforts to communicate.

Words of Encouragement and Praise

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• Children thrive on positive attention. Children need to feel loved and appreciated. Most parents find that it is easier to provide negative feedback rather than positive feedback. By selecting and using some of the phrases below on a daily basis with your child, you will find that he will start paying more attention to you and will try harder to please.
• Yes Good Fine Very good Very fine Excellent Marvelous At-a-boy Right
• That’s right Correct Wonderful I like the way you do that I’m pleased with (proud of ) you
• That’s good Wow Oh boy Very nice Good work Great going Good for you That’s the way
• Much better O.K. You’re doing better That’s perfect Good idea What a cleaver idea
• That’s it Good job Great job controlling yourself I like the way you ______
• I noticed that you ____ Keep it up I had fun ______ with you
• You are improving at ______ more and more You showed a lot of responsibility when you ______
• Way to go I appreciate the way you ______ You are great at that You’re the best
• Good remembering That’s beautiful I like your______
• I like the way you ______ with out having to be asked (reminded)
• I’m sure glad you are my son/daughter Now you’ve got it I love you
• You can SHOW them how you feel as well as tell them:
• Smile Nod Part on shoulder, head, knee Wink
• Signal or gesture to signify approval High five Touch cheek
• Tickle Laugh (with, not at) Pat on the back Hug

Does Chronic Illness Cause Depression?

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Chronic illness affects the population worldwide and it is the leading cause of death and disability in the United States. It accounts for 70% of all deaths in the U.S., which is 1.7 million each year. More than 125 million Americans have at least one chronic illness and estimates that by the year 2020, 157 million Americans will have a chronic illness.

Examples of chronic illnesses include diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. Many people with these illnesses become depressed. In fact, depression is one of the most common complications of chronic illness. It’s estimated that up to one-third of people with a serious medical condition have symptoms of depression.
The symptoms of depression are sometimes overlooked because they are overshadowed by the illness or dismissed as normal feelings of a person dealing with a chronic illness.
Although any illness can trigger depressed feelings, the risk of chronic illness and depression gets higher with the severity of the illness and the level of life disruption it causes.
The risk of depression is generally 10-25% for women and 5-12% for men. However, people with a chronic illness face a much higher risk — between 25-33%. Risk is especially high in someone who has a history of depression.

It’s not hard to see the cause and effect relationship between chronic illness and depression. Serious illness can cause tremendous life changes.
People diagnosed with chronic illnesses must adjust to the demands of the illness itself, as well as to the treatments for their condition.
The illness may affect a person’s mobility and independence, and change the way a person lives, sees him or herself, and/or relates to others.

A chronic illness can make it impossible to do the things once enjoyed, and it can eat away the person’s self-confidence and a sense of hope for the future.
No surprise, then, that people with chronic illness often feel despair and sadness.
In some cases, the physical effects of the condition itself or the side effects of medication lead to depression, too.

Depression caused by chronic disease often makes the condition worse, especially if the illness causes pain and fatigue or it limits a person’s ability to interact with others.
The combination of chronic illness and depression might lead to isolation, which is likely to make the depression even worse.

Treatment

Depression is depression and it is treated much the same way for someone who has chronic illness vs. someone who does not. Speak to a professional you trust to get the help you need.

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Early diagnosis and treatment is highly important not only to lead you to a better quality of life but to eliminate the risk of suicide. Remember, getting treatment for your depression may improve your medical condition which will help you live a better life.

 

Sincerely yours,

Shushan

Happiness