Signs of Depression

Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.

Some forms of depression are slightly different, or they may develop under unique circumstances, such as:

  • Persistent depressive disorder (also called dysthymia) is a depressed mood that lasts for at least two years. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for two years to be considered persistent depressive disorder.
  • Perinatal depression is much more serious than the “baby blues” (relatively mild depressive and anxiety symptoms that typically clear within two weeks after delivery) that many women experience after giving birth. Women with perinatal depression experience full-blown major depression during pregnancy or after delivery (postpartum depression). The feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that accompany perinatal depression may make it difficult for these new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or for their babies.
  • Psychotic depression occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false fixed beliefs (delusions) or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations). The psychotic symptoms typically have a depressive “theme,” such as delusions of guilt, poverty, or illness.
  • Seasonal affective disorder is characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. This depression generally lifts during spring and summer. Winter depression, typically accompanied by social withdrawal, increased sleep, and weight gain, predictably returns every year in seasonal affective disorder.
  • Bipolar disorder is different from depression, but it is included in this list is because someone with bipolar disorder experiences episodes of extremely low moods that meet the criteria for major depression (called “bipolar depression”). But a person with bipolar disorder also experiences extreme high – euphoric or irritable – moods called “mania” or a less severe form called “hypomania.”

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Reduce Stress at Work

Everyone who has ever held a job has, at some point, felt the pressure of work-related stress. Any job can have stressful elements, even if you love what you do. In the short-term, you may experience pressure to meet a deadline or to fulfill a challenging obligation. But when work stress becomes chronic, it can be overwhelming — and harmful to both physical and emotional health.

Unfortunately such long-term stress is all too common. In 2012, 65 percent of Americans cited work as a top source of stress, according to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) annual Stress in America Survey. Only 37 percent of Americans surveyed said they were doing an excellent or very good job managing stress.

A 2013 survey by APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence also found that job-related stress is a serious issue. More than one-third of working Americans reported experiencing chronic work stress and just 36 percent said their organizations provide sufficient resources to help them manage that stress.

You can’t always avoid the tensions that occur on the job. Yet you can take steps to manage work-related stress.

Common Sources of Work Stress

Certain factors tend to go hand-in-hand with work-related stress. Some common workplace stressors are:

  • Low salaries.
  • Excessive workloads.
  • Few opportunities for growth or advancement.
  • Work that isn’t engaging or challenging.
  • Lack of social support.
  • Not having enough control over job-related decisions.
  • Conflicting demands or unclear performance expectations.

Effects of Uncontrolled Stress

Unfortunately, work-related stress doesn’t just disappear when you head home for the day. When stress persists, it can take a toll on your health and well-being.

In the short term, a stressful work environment can contribute to problems such as headache, stomachache, sleep disturbances, short temper and difficulty concentrating. Chronic stress can result in anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system. It can also contribute to health conditions such as depression, obesity and heart disease. Compounding the problem, people who experience excessive stress often deal with it in unhealthy ways such as overeating, eating unhealthy foods, smoking cigarettes or abusing drugs and alcohol.

Taking Steps to Manage Stress

  • Track your stressors. Keep a journal for a week or two to identify which situations create the most stress and how you respond to them. Record your thoughts, feelings and information about the environment, including the people and circumstances involved, the physical setting and how you reacted. Did you raise your voice? Get a snack from the vending machine? Go for a walk? Taking notes can help you find patterns among your stressors and your reactions to them.
  • Develop healthy responses. Instead of attempting to fight stress with fast food or alcohol, do your best to make healthy choices when you feel the tension rise. Exercise is a great stress-buster. Yoga can be an excellent choice, but any form of physical activity is beneficial. Also make time for hobbies and favorite activities. Whether it’s reading a novel, going to concerts or playing games with your family, make sure to set aside time for the things that bring you pleasure. Getting enough good-quality sleep is also important for effective stress management. Build healthy sleep habits by limiting your caffeine intake late in the day and minimizing stimulating activities, such as computer and television use, at night.
  • Establish boundaries. In today’s digital world, it’s easy to feel pressure to be available 24 hours a day. Establish some work-life boundaries for yourself. That might mean making a rule not to check email from home in the evening, or not answering the phone during dinner. Although people have different preferences when it comes to how much they blend their work and home life, creating some clear boundaries between these realms can reduce the potential for work-life conflict and the stress that goes with it.
  • Take time to recharge. To avoid the negative effects of chronic stress and burnout, we need time to replenish and return to our pre-stress level of functioning. This recovery process requires “switching off” from work by having periods of time when you are neither engaging in work-related activities, nor thinking about work. That’s why it’s critical that you disconnect from time to time, in a way that fits your needs and preferences. Don’t let your vacation days go to waste. When possible, take time off to relax and unwind, so you come back to work feeling reinvigorated and ready to perform at your best. When you’re not able to take time off, get a quick boost by turning off your smartphone and focusing your attention on non-work activities for a while.
  • Learn how to relax. Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises and mindfulness (a state in which you actively observe present experiences and thoughts without judging them) can help melt away stress. Start by taking a few minutes each day to focus on a simple activity like breathing, walking or enjoying a meal. The skill of being able to focus purposefully on a single activity without distraction will get stronger with practice and you’ll find that you can apply it to many different aspects of your life.
  • Talk to your supervisor. Healthy employees are typically more productive, so your boss has an incentive to create a work environment that promotes employee well-being. Start by having an open conversation with your supervisor. The purpose of this isn’t to lay out a list of complaints, but rather to come up with an effective plan for managing the stressors you’ve identified, so you can perform at your best on the job. While some parts of the plan may be designed to help you improve your skills in areas such as time management, other elements might include identifying employer-sponsored wellness resources you can tap into, clarifying what’s expected of you, getting necessary resources or support from colleagues, enriching your job to include more challenging or meaningful tasks, or making changes to your physical workspace to make it more comfortable and reduce strain.
  • Get some support. Accepting help from trusted friends and family members can improve your ability to manage stress. Your employer may also have stress management resources available through an employee assistance program (EAP), including online information, available counseling and referral to mental health professionals, if needed. If you continue to feel overwhelmed by work stress, you may want to talk to a psychologist, who can help you better manage stress and change unhealthy behavior. Article from http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/work-stress.aspx

 

My name is Heather Pincelli, I own a Counseling practice in Florida with offices in Orlando and Brevard County.  To schedule an appointment contact me at: hmpincelli@gmail.com or 863-640-5493

9 Ways to Reduce Anxiety

First let’s talk about what is anxiety?

Anxiety is NOT a random, unknown, or uncontrollable disease or illness that you develop, inherit, or contract. Anxiety results from a certain style of behavior.

More specifically, we create the physiological, psychological, and emotional state of being anxious when we behave in an apprehensive manner, such as being worried, fretful, and/or concerned.

Anxiety is a result of a behavior. Anxiety is not an “it,” disease, or illness.

Everyone experiences anxiety to some degree. And most people have panic attacks at some point in their lives. So anxiety is not bad. It’s just a physiological, psychological, and emotional outcome when we behave in an apprehensive manner.

For example, Webster’s dictionary defines anxiety as:

  • A state of uneasiness and apprehension, as about future uncertainties.
  • A state of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting from the anticipation of a realistic or fantasized threatening event or situation, often impairing physical and psychological functioning.

Once again, anxiety is NOT a disease or illness. It’s a physiological, psychological, and emotional state that results when we behave apprehensively.

So, what can you do for anxiety? 

There are many ways to treat and help reduce anxiety BUT let’s start with these 9!!

tips to reduce anxiety infographic_0

What is positive parenting?

As a parent of 3 who happens to be a positive discipline educator and a therapist– my opinion of child rearing practices is obviously very biased.

Don’t take my word for it though! Research positive parenting and try it out for yourself.

Positive parenting — sometimes called positive discipline, gentle guidance, or loving guidance — is simply guidance that keeps our kids on the right path, offered in a positive way that resists any temptation to be punitive.

There are many benefits of positive parenting. Most importantly is the secure attachment between parent and child, which encourages healthy development. Secure attachment builds resilience, paves the way for how well your child will function as an adult in a relationship, and have a positive impact on brain development, just to name a few.There are many benefits of positive parenting.

Most importantly is the secure attachment between parent and child, which encourages healthy development. Secure attachment builds resilience, paves the way for how well your child will function as an adult in a relationship, and have a positive impact on brain development, just to name a few.

In a nut shell the premise is that you treat your children with respect as you are teaching them to treat you with respect. It is “mutual respect”.

American Grit Season 2 

Well, after well basically my whole life of leading a pretty quiet and low key life, I have some big exciting and CRAZY news coming.  For those who know me, they know that I really truly kept my personal life very low key and hidden.  From a rough childhood, to a mother who abandon me and when she was around it wasn’t a good situation, to foster care and more.  It’s all been things I went through great measures to never let anyone find out.  Then about 2 years ago my entire world was flipped upside down and in unthinkable ways and well the result was I found a voice and backbone I never knew I needed or wanted.  I made the choice to share openly and not be so worried what others would think.  I meant business! 

Annnndd the news is out!!! Premieres June 11!! For those that don’t know I’ve had a hard life but have overcame.  Then about 2 years ago I was pushed to the absolute EDGE! and my world was shattered in unthinkable ways.  I went to some deep dark places and emerged slowly with a zest and deep desire for something different, better, CHANGE!!!  One thing led to another and boom I found myself with an opportunity to compete for a spot on this show! A tv show!!??? Something I would have never thought to do let alone WENT through with in the past.  

I have learned and embraced a lot these last two years!!! No looking back…. push forward! ❤❤❤

I had the opportunity to compete for a spot on American Grit Season 2, truly an amazing achievement for me and a huge step out of my box.  

#americangrit

Meet the other competitors:

Alison Kempkey 

Carla Mireles 

Chris Edom 

George Foreman IV 

Gigi Gustin 

Gill Morton 

Hannah Johanna Butera 

Herman Singh

Janessa Morgan 

Melanie Mahanna 

Michael Wilson Morgan 

Nathalie Battee Martin 

Richard Mallard 

Scarlett Angelina 

Sherman Solo Braithwaite 

Will Westwater 

Heather Pincelli 

Tv… what?!? 

Annnndd the news is out!!! Premieres June 11!! For those that don’t know I’ve had a hard life but have overcame.  Then about 2 years ago I was pushed to the absolute EDGE! and my world was shattered in unthinkable ways.  I went to some deep dark places and emerged slowly with a zest and deep desire for something different, better, CHANGE!!!  One thing led to another and boom I found myself with an opportunity to compete for a spot on this show! A tv show!!??? Something I would have never thought to do let alone WENT through with in the past.  

I was one of 17 finalists competing for a spot on the show, American Grit!!! Crazzzyyyy 

I have learned and embraced a lot these last two years!!! No looking back…. push forward! ❤❤❤