Visit our homepage...

Learn more at

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mental Health Month

We commonly focus on those who are experiencing depression or other mental health concerns, but what about those who are living with someone who is experiencing these disorders. How can a loved one him encourage someone to get help, or what do you do when their mental health is ruining your relationship.

Tell us a little about the impact of depression in America
• 15 million adult Americans suffer with depression each year
• 6 million adults suffer with other mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders
• But 50% of those with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia never reach out for help. And statistics show that almost the same rate of depressed people never ask for help as well

No one would want to be depressed or have mental health disorders. So why don’t people reach out for help?
• Some suffer from shame and feel immobilized to get help
• Some have impaired judgement that keeps them from getting help
• Some feel too vulnerable to reach out

We have all seen the commercials with the little cartoon person, and the saying that says, “depression hurts.” But depression also hurts those who live with someone who has depression. What are some things we can do to help someone they love who has depression?
• Be gentle. Show support and tell your loved one how much you care
• Stop nagging. Don’t get into a debate about who is right and who is wrong. Ask questions to find out how you loved one feels
• Suggest that your loved one goes to their PCP. It is easier to get most people who are depressed to agree to see their physician versus a psychologist or psychiatrist.
• Work with your loved one and offer to go with them to the physician or a mental health professional. This type of support might help them feel safer to reach out for help

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Can you make a decision? Who me?

Are you one of those people who have a hard time deciding where to eat at night? Can’t choose between the Iphone or the Droid? Perhaps just choosing a pair of jeans can take you into a neurotic episode… Well, tonight we will look at why some people have such a difficult time making decisions and some tips to making the process a little easier.

Tell us a little about people who have difficulty making decisions.

• Some people see the world in black and white and have a relatively easy time making decisions.
• People who see the world in more of the grays tend to be more of what helping professionals call “ambivalent” thinkers.
• Being ambivalent or seeing the gray can be a positive aspect, but those who see the word always in multiple options and shades of grays tend to see ALL of their life in this continuum
• Ambivalent thinkers can get caught in evaluating all sides of a choice and that scrutiny can keep them in an eternal battle between all the choices

But seeing things from all sides is a positive attribute. What is harmful about this way of thinking?

• Ambivalent thinkers may see so many choices that they tend to avoid making a decision because everything appears so complex
• Due to the fact that decisions seem so difficult and complex, they may have a higher rate of procrastination and lack of decision making capabilities
• Because they can see all sides of a choice, they also tend to attach more feelings with every choice. In fact, because of their extensive rumination process, they tend to end up feeling guilt about making a choice
• Their ambivalence may keep them in unhealthy relationships and friendships because they can always find reasons for self-blame or ways to discount behaviors that might be destructive, abusive or harmful

If you are someone who has difficulty making decisions, are there some tips that would be useful?
• This is an extremely common concern for many people. In fact, some people are totally paralyzed by decision-making. So normalizing the situation is helpful.
• Access a therapist or coach who can help you discover techniques for healthy decision making. Skills include pairing down choices and knowing your key values
• Know what is important to you (your values) and look at the situation as objects vs. focusing on the feelings surrounding a decision.
• Those who can make decisions easily tend to not be anxious about their choices – a key to moving towards this avenue is to know your own predictable pattern and understand more of what makes you happy.
• Lastly, just make a choice after you have paired things down. Remember it is just a choice, and not a mistake. When you see things as a choice, you can always go back and alter things a little, or change things up. A mistake says it is something about you being bad, wrong or defective…. This is faulty thinking!
• Remember doing nothing is actually choosing to do something- it is choosing to let the world & others make your choices.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Simple tips to enhance your happiness...

Your happiness matters and tonight we will explore some simple things that you can do to raise your happiness quotient. Tonight’s tips may be simple in nature, but we can promise that research has shown they can create a change.

Tell us about our ability to change our happiness level.
• Dr. Sonya Lyumbomirsky from the University of California is the foremost authority on happiness
• Her research shows that 50% of our happiness is based on a set point, 10% is genetic, and 40% of our happiness is within our control. That means we can dramatically change our happiness with intention activities

So what are some intentional activities we can try to enhance our happiness quotient?
• Flip through old photos. Researchers studied mood change. They tested people eating Godiva chocolate, watching TV, listening to music, having a drink, and looking at old photos. Music and chocolate had no effect, alcohol and TV changed mood by 1% and viewing pictures made people feel 11% better. Wow. That’s dramatic!
• Munch on some nuts or eat some salmon. Both have omega 3 fats, which help with depression. A research study at the University of PA showed that those who had high omega 3 levels scored 49-58% better on tests
• Change your environmental scent. An Australian study showed that those who added lavender candles, or put lavender in a diffuser were less anxious, calmer and more positive.
• Take a walk around the block. Studies show that those who get more light exposure during the day have fewer sleep concerns and lower depression.

What is our goal for the week?

Try any one of these four simple tips this week and enhance your mood. Remember you can control your happiness level, and your intention can change your impression of life.