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

Betrayed by love not by life—sharing

As a therapist I have had countless couples and individuals in my office whose lives had been forever changed by infidelity.  Infidelity cuts you to the core in ways you never knew possible. 

Sharing this from site called betrayed by love but not by life (I couldn’t find the original link)

A reader was so kind to send this to me.
If you have ever been cheated on, this is a must read:

The betrayed wife, after discovering an affair, takes such a hit to her self-esteem, and she questions what it was about the other woman that was so attractive to her husband. Was she sexier? Was she better, somehow? Why did the other woman get the best parts, when she was left with the worst of her …wayward husband? The truth is, that is not how this works. She is not better, or more attractive. She does not get the best parts of the husband.

What’s attractive about the other woman is that they are the sickest, the weakest, the most injured of the pack. The insecure wayward husband wanting to feel strong and powerful, scans the herd for the easiest to take down. The self assured, the strong, the healthy will not do as those women want nothing to do with a married man. Wayward husbands, needy and looking for someone to boost his ego, must look for someone beneath him, someone who will look up to him, someone who will make him feel superior, if only temporarily. What better way for an insecure person to feel powerful, and admired, than to pick the least of the bunch? The fact is … they always trade down. If she happens to be prettier, or thinner – it’s just pure luck that the wrapping is worth more than the gift inside. What’s inside, is no match for you, the faithful wife. You’re beautiful, and strong and probably the mother of his children. The truth is, the other woman could be anyone, anyone slow enough to be caught and willing to accept what little that wayward husband offers to them.

She accepts the very worst parts of the wayward husband; the liar, the cheater, the deceiver, the broken man. His behavior is lower than low, but that’s okay with her. She accepts trashy behavior, because she is trash and has no conscience. She has no self-esteem because she knows her value … her value as the weakest, the most injured of the herd. She accepts his cheating ways and lowlife behavior because she knows her place in the pack – and it’s at the end of the row. Bringing up the rear, it’s just a matter of time before someone singles her out, and uses her for his own selfish reasons in his quest to be admired.

So what happens when we catch him with her?

Most often he leaves her where he found her, at the end of the row, at the back of the pack – even weaker and more injured than when he found her. She’s worse for the wear. In the end, it is her self-esteem that is eroded, not the betrayed spouses’. After all, she wasn’t able to keep him even considering he was in a “bad” marriage to a “unloving wife”. Because isn’t that the way it always is? How pathetic that she’s given the answer to the test, gave it her all, and she still failed? Self-esteem erosion 101.

Retake your position at the front of the pack, betrayed wife. More often than not, it’s you he’s fighting for; it’s you he’s sorry for; it’s you he’s trying to be a better man for. Regain your strength. Retake your rightful place.

Betrayal hurts, I know. Boy, do I know. But remember, when they find someone weak enough to have an affair with, they always affair down. The other woman had to be broken deep inside in order to crawl in bed with a married man and except your leftovers instead of being strong enough to find an unattached man on her own. She had to be so broken to not care about you, the faithful wife, the children who would be wounded and all the lives destroyed by her actions and participation… and I bet she will not accept any responsibility for those actions. She will hold her hands up in false innocence when the curtain is pulled back to reveal the disgusting acts she committed against your family.

Betrayed wife, hold your head high. YOU were strong enough to remain faithful and love a man who used your trust for his own selfish desires. He has devastated your life, but you can end the pain you are feeling. Use the strength inside you to pick up the pieces and begin living again. And if you are the rare gem who has decided to give your wayward husband the precious gift of a second chance, I applaud you. YOU are invincible in your strength and courage. Take a deep breath, dry your tears for the millionth time and carry on, my dear. Because nothing can keep you down for long.