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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Fearing Social Situations

There are times in all of our lives when we feel anxious. When you are going into a new place or meeting someone for the first time, might be an example of a time when you have felt nervous.

For some people though the anxiety can be extremely overwhelming and interfere with their everyday life activities. For example, it may be hard to eat in front of others or sign a credit card receipt in front of the cashier because it provokes an extreme amount of anxiety. These people have something called Social Anxiety. People with social anxiety have excessive fear in social situations to the point that they avoid them. The avoidance also interferes with a person's normal routine or relationships as well.

If you believe you are someone you know has Social Anxiety Disorder, please contact me for more information.

People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.  ~George Bernard Shaw

Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions.  All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make the better.  What if they are a little course, and you may get your coat soiled or torn?  What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice.  Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I'm Seeing Double

Would you be surprised to find out you are having twins? Well, my sister-in-law is pregnant with twins and they will be here soon, so it's got me thinking more about twins. She is having fraternal twins, a boy and a girl, which means genetically, they will be no more alike than other siblings. First of all, I cannot imagine how overwhelmed she must feel and the possibility of fears running through her head. She is a stronger woman than I, because I would not be as calm and collected as she seems.

So since I cannot fathom the thought having twins myself, I thought I would pay tribute to those of you who have twins with a lighthearted expression of how great it is to have twins.
First of all with twins, you will be able get in more exercise time. You will be running around changing diapers and outfits and feeding the babies x2, so you will be in such good shape! When they get older, you will also be running around chasing two kids, so you can throw out that gym membership, you will have your own gym at your house.
The next positive is you get to do everything twice! I guess that means you will have a good routine down because when you change one diaper, you can just turn around and change the other diaper. You will also get to repeat yourself twice, so if you don't get it right the first time, there is always another chance!
Next, you will get to shop more often. With twins, you will constantly be having to go to the store to pick up more diapers and everything else you forgot to get on the last trip because you will constantly be running out of everything. With this, I guess you will be more organized too, so you don't have to make a trip to the store everyday to pick up whatever you forgot the last time. Also, when doing a little research about twins or multiples, I found out there are many great deals out there for parents of multiples. You may have to search for some of them, but don't be afraid to ask about them either!
Oh, the praise you will get from having twins! Everyone will think you are fantastic because you are able to keep up with two quickly growing children at the same time! You will also have plenty to talk about with others, since you now have two kids reaching milestones at the same general time. You will also have much to laugh about. Not only will you be able to laugh at your adorable twins, but you will also be able to laugh at some of the things others ask you about your twins, such as, "Are you twins fraternal or identical?"-when you have a boy and a girl.
Another exciting thing about having twins is most people will stop asking you when you are having another child. It's pretty busy around a house with twins, so most people assume you've got your hands full at this point.
Your twins will also be able to entertain each other most of the time, so you can get other much needed things done around the house and get shopping the shopping done.
You will also have your own support community for twins or multiples. The twins community is unique and only certain people are allowed in it! People in communities share advice and support one another, and the twins community does the same. There is actually a A National Organization of Mothers with Twins Club. You can look it up to find out more information.
Possibly the best thing about having twins is you get so much love! Holding two babies in your arms and getting so much love and cuddle time might be the best feeling in the world!

Hope you enjoyed my version of the best things about twins. If you know someone who has twins, feel free to share this blog with them.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Depression Hurts

We all go through times of feeling down and sadness is a normal aspect of life, especially through struggles and disappointments. Many people also use the term depression very loosely, but depression is more than just feeling down and feelings of sadness.

Depression interferes with your everyday life, your ability to work, eat, and have fun. It is a feeling of helplessness or even worthlessness that is so intense, one feels as if there is no relief from the feelings.

Some signs of depression include: not sleeping enough or sleeping too much, feelings of hopelessness, loss of appetite or uncontrollable eating, or thoughts that life is not worth living-thoughts of suicide or harming oneself. Also, feelings of helplessness, weight changes, irritablity, self-loating or guilt, or unexplainable aches are also signs of depression. Symptoms of depression vary from person to person, but those liste previously are some symptoms someone with depression might experience. However, that is not an all encompassing list (we would be here all day!). Again, these symptoms may be a part of your normal life and ordinary feelings of sadness, but if these feelings are stronger than you can handle or feel bigger than your normal feelings of sadness, you may be experiencing depression. When the feelings begin to feel overwhelming, you may want to find help to deal with those feelings.

Some risk factors of depression include loneliness, recent stressful life events, marital or relationship problems, childhood trauma, and unemployment, among others. Understanding where the depression comes from, will help in the treatment process.

It is also important to note that depression is a risk factor for suicide. The despair that goes along with depression may make one believe there is no way out other than suicide. Thoughts of death and suicide should always be taken seriously. Thinking or talking about suicide is not just a warning sign; it should be taken seriously in every circumstance.

First, some warning signs of suicide, and then I will get to what you should do if you or someone you know is experiencing these signs. Warning signs of suicide: talking about killing oneself, a preoccupation with death, telling others goodbye without a known reason, and statements such as, "Everyone would be better off without me." Now, if you are having thoughts of suicide, know someone who is having thoughts of suicide or exhibits any of these warning signs, please seek professional help immediately. You can call 1-800-273-TALK (8225) or, locally, you can call the Crisis Center at 615-244-7444.

Depression may look different for men and women. Rates for depression among women are twice as high as for men. This is due partly to horomonal differences. As far as symptoms of depression, women experience more guilt and overeating with depression. Women may also suffer from "baby blues" and postpartum depression after giving birth to their baby, which usually occurs within 6 months of child birth.

There are many pathways to overcoming depression, especially after understanding the underlying cause to the depression. Also, what works for one person, may not work for another, so be patient in finding what works for you. I know depression can be overwhelming, but getting help for your depression can make a huge impact on your life. Here are some lifestyle changes you  can make, which may help your depression. Lifestyle changes: build a support system filled with supportive relationships, eat a healthy diet, and learn relaxation techniques. 

Seek professional help when advice from your family and friends are not helping you overcome your depression. Counseling and/or medication may be the next step to managing your depression.

I appologize for the long post, but depression is such a widespread illness, I needed to take the time to talk in detail about the subject matter. Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions or need any other services. Also, leave a comment if you would like!

"One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon - instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today."
Dale Carnegie

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Do You Hear What I Hear?

I believe listening is taken for granted way too often in our society today. During a conversation, we want to quickly jump in and interject every immediate thought that comes to our mind. However, listening is a vital part to communicating with others. We must first be able to hear what the other person is saying before responding to them adequately. Also, we must understand what we heard before properly responding to the conversation and not jumping to conclusions about what the other person is saying.

Maybe we take listening for granted because it requires too much concentration, but isn't it worth it to hear and understand what someone else is saying before responding? Maybe it requires us to put ourselves in someone else's shoes, which is difficult to do, but if we take the time to talk to another person, shouldn't we give them that respect? It is difficult, but wouldn't relationships be so much better if we took the time to actually hear what others are saying?

Listening helps us to understand the person we are talking to better. It will also help us solve conflicts sooner and with less stress.

Listening requires both verbal and nonverbal skills: Nonverbal skills include body language-eye contact, facial expressions, etc., which includes both our own body language and observing the body language of the other person in the conversation. Verbal skills include using words and phrases that the other person has previously used, paraphrasing what they have said, summarizing their points, etc.

"I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen." -Ernest Hemingway

Hope this helps. Let me know if any of the skills help you out in the future.