Tag Archive for clinical depression

Apathy Definition, Help with Feelings of Apathy

Apathy Definition: Apathy (also called impassivity or perfunctoriness) is a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation and passion. An apathetic individual has an absence of interest or concern to emotional, social, or physical life. They may also exhibit an insensibility or sluggishness.

Often, apathy has been felt after witnessing horrific acts, such as the killing or maiming of people during a war. It is also known to be associated with many conditions, some of which are: depression, Alzheimer’s disease, Chagas’ disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, dementia, Korsakoff’s Syndrome, excessive vitamin D, Hypothyroidism, general fatigue, Huntington’s disease, Pick’s disease, progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), schizophrenia, Schizoid Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder and others. Some medications and the heavy use of drugs such as heroin may bring apathy as a side effect.

In positive psychology, apathy is described as a response to an easy challenge for which the subject has matched skills. The opposite of apathy is flow.

Embarrassment Help, Coping with Feeling Embarrassed

Causes of Embarrassment 

Loss of poise or self-control, feeling incompetent, receiving public praise or criticism, or having people intrude on your private life can all make you feel embarrassed. It may be something as simple as dropping your shopping on the bus. Other situations include making a mistake during a work presentation, having rumours spread about your love life, or saying something taboo at a social event.

Effects of Embarrassment

Blushing, sweating, feeling exposed, self-conscious and intensely uncomfortable. You may be unable to make eye contact with people and go out of your way to avoid them.

Solutions to Embarrassment 

Remember that everybody is human. Try to see the funny side of the embarrassing situation. Chat to friends about it, then put it out of your mind. Read the ‘embarrassing moments’ page in a magazine. Apologize if appropriate, and fix any damage you have caused.

Embarrassment Help in our messageboard

Being Jilted Help and Advice

Report: Being rejected increases many people’s motivation to pursue that elusive objective. But there’s a catch, say Stanford researchers. Being rebuffed, in fact, makes people less fond of what it is they think they want more. Once they obtain the desired goal, many are quicker to lose interest in it.

Playing hard to get is a timeworn technique for snagging that desired significant other. And there’s a reason, say Stanford researchers. Being rejected increases many people’s motivation to pursue that elusive objective—with a vengeance.

But there’s a catch. It turns out that being rebuffed, in fact, makes people less fond of what it is they think they want more. Once they obtain the desired goal, many are quicker to lose interest in it.

“For many people, wanting and liking are two separate things that can become contradictory,” says researcher Baba Shiv, professor of marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. “When someone is thwarted from obtaining his original desire, he, in fact, comes to find the attractiveness and appeal of his target to be diminished. Yet, perversely, he may feel he wants it even more. The thrill becomes the chase.”

Those most susceptible to wanting the desired object more but liking it less, the authors found, are people who tend to feel and express emotions with a lower level of intensity. “People who are more hot-headed tend to respond to the denial experience by ramping down both their level of interest in the objective and their desire for it––their attitude becomes ‘it’s not so great, and I don’t want it anyway,” explains Ab Litt, a doctoral student at the Stanford Graduate School of Business who coauthored the study with Shiv and Uzma Khan, assistant professor of marketing. “There’s less contradiction because they’re more in tune with their raw feelings. They’re therefore more likely to make decisions that are going to make them happier in the long run.”

Interestingly, women in the study were more prone to the like less–want more syndrome than men. “That’s probably explained by the fact that they were somewhat less emotionally reactive than men,” suggests Litt. While women typically may experience and express emotions more richly, the researchers speculate, men may do so with more raw intensity, which influences how they take action on them.

In the study, participants were asked to solve several puzzles and were told that if their performance was in the top 25th percentile, they would receive a gift. Then, at random, some were told they had met the goal, while others were told that they had not.

Those who were denied the gift were then asked how much they would be willing to pay for it in a store. Participants who did not receive the gift were willing to pay more for it than those who later did actually receive it. “This shows that being rejected made them want it more,” says Shiv.

“Jilted” participants then completed a second set of tasks to obtain the same gift, and all were told they had won. They were subsequently asked whether they would like to trade the item for another of equal value. Significantly more subjects who had been denied the gift the first time were willing to trade it away than those who had received it on round one.

“This serves as a measure of how much they liked the item,” says Shiv. “Those who had been thwarted in getting it initially actually came to like it less. Being jilted causes people to want something more, but it also makes them feel more negative about it once they get it––and to not want to have anything to do with it.”

The study, to be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, has implications for product marketing as well as personal relationships. One traditional technique to increase demand for an item, for example, is to create an artificial shortage. “The study shows that this approach will be effective as long as people get the item without a good deal of problems,” says Shiv. “But if they’re constantly frustrated, having to stand in line or return to the store only to find the item still not there, they may desire it more but quickly lose interest in it once they have it. The long-term success of the product will be doomed.”

Meanwhile, singles in pursuit of Mr. or Mrs. Right may want to keep in mind that it’s good to play hard to get—as long as it doesn’t get too hard.

—Marguerite Rigoglioso

Being Jilted Help and Advice

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Help

Group therapy helps you build relationships with others who understand what you’ve been through, PTSD groups have a number of advantages, including provision of a natural support group, the ability to reach more patients, and greater cost efficiency. It can also help you feel more in control of your emotions, have fewer symptoms, and enjoy life again.

A growing percentage of PTSD patients now receive successful treatment as more is learned about the condition and multiple therapies are employed to fight its often-devastating effects on health and quality of life. Group therapy is one of those therapies, which have been found very beneficial, as the groups are usually rather small and the survivor can get to know and feel comfortable in small groups. So even therapists now are suggesting group therapy as a form of processing the trauma.

Sharing with the group also can help you build self-confidence and trust. The participants with trauma-related symptoms and depression in a group can also improved significantly on trauma-related symptoms and depression, it can also reduce symptoms by encouraging the affected person to talk about the event, to express feelings, and share their experience of the event.

One reason that treatment is often unsought by victims of the condition is that virtually any address or discussion of the offending trauma is bound to be quite painful, and stirs in the victim memories and emotions tied back to the event. This is where a group has its advantages, they do not need to sign up or fill out any forms, or feel that attending the group will be traced back to them, for employment reasons or family reasons; it all very antonymous

It is recommended that at the beginning of each PTSD group meeting that an inspirational reading or other form of centering is done for the survivors, it is best if this is something non-denominational as any sort of affiliation to groups or religions can feel like a threat to them. Then at the close of the meeting another type of closing so that all the attendees can get emotional balance prior to leaving.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is experienced by more than 10 million people in the US according to the National Institutes of Health, and that number is growing with veterans returning from war; so group meetings have a beneficial effects for the psychological distress, depression, anxiety and social adjustment for the survivors. It is also very cost effective and many are unable to hold steady, productive employment.

Stop Self Harming

Steps to Stopping Self Harm

Step 1
The very first step is telling yourself that you have a problem and admitting it. If you find yourself going for the knife, or hurting yourself another way whenever something bad happens, or if you do it just for the feeling – you have a problem. No matter if you just cut a few times, you still have a problem. Once again, please know that you’re not alone, and there is help out there for you.

Step 2
After you’ve realized that you have a problem, get out some paper. You need to talk with someone that you feel comfortable with and trust. On that paper write down the people you trust. Some don’t always feel good talking with family members first, so write down some close friends that wouldn’t tell anyone. Give them a call, and tell them what’s going on in your life. If you don’t trust anyone, talk with the person that’s in charge over you, rather that be your parents, aunt, foster family, etc. You don’t need to tell them what’s going on, but ask them if you can talk with a professional about something. If they start asking “what”, tell them that after you get professional help you might feel better telling them. You can always trust a professional counselor to guide you the right way. There are also free clinics that do help if you don’t have any money.

Step 3
When you’re talking with someone you might start craving to self harm yourself again. Sometimes the person you talk with might not be around. If this is happening, write your feelings down in a journal. Make sure to put the date, and time. Just write until the feelings stop. Later you can take the journal and show it to the person that’s helping you if you feel comfortable with that. When you’re finished writing and you still crave it find something to do. Watch TV, dance, listen to upbeat music, read a book, go out with some friends, find a new hobby, try collecting rocks, write poetry, role play online, write a thank you card to the person helping you, google and learn some new things on wikki, say positive statements like ” I no longer self harm and this is now behind me. ” or ” I am beautiful, and loved. ” Say those over and over. When you’re craving to cut do not get some food. This will create just another bad habit. Find something else to do.

Step 4
Do not talk, and say bad things about yourself. Don’t say “I will never get over this” and don’t call yourself ugly. Every person is beautiful in there own way. You might laugh at that and think “Yeah right” but it’s true. Each of us have gifts that go far beyond the eye can see. You are here for a reason. Just because you’ve not found your calling for life, or that special gift doesn’t mean that you’re not unique, or beautiful.

Step 5
Research online, and try finding some support groups. There are a lot of support groups that help people when they are struggling. If you don’t like groups, why not try forums or find a local support group in your area. Just type in your local area, and type in self harm support groups.

Step 6
Sometimes medications can make you even more depressed. If you’ve just been put on a new medication and find yourself wanting to self harm more please talk with your doctor. Chances are the new medication might not be working. If you’re not on any medicines, consider talking with your doctor and seeing what’s out there for help. If you don’t want any medicines there are a lot of herbs, and natural remedies to overcome depression that you could also talk with your doctor about, or research online.

Step 7
If you are a person that likes sports, and Exercise when you start wanting to self harm, go outside for a walk, or exercise inside. If you need to lose weight this will be great for you to do as well. If you like sports, go outside and throw the ball around, or do kick ball. See if you can find someone that would like to join you if not try doing some basketball.

Step 8
Meditation is another wonderful thing. If you’re having a hard time saying good things about yourself, find a quiet area of the house, turn on classical music, or change the lights, make them bright. Clear your mind, and focus on positive, and beautiful things such as nature, and your favorite animals. See the beauty of nature, and run free in the woods. Scream in your mind. Release your feelings. Cry during meditation if needed. Don’t hold feelings back. If it’s hard finding quiet time, just ask people not to disturb you for at least five or ten minutes.

Step 9
Cleaning helps a lot. Change the sheets on your bed, put some bright pictures up, dust, and tidy up. This will help you keep busy, and you’ll be so focused on cleaning that you’ll forget about wanting to self harm yourself. Plus it will make people around you very happy and who knows you might earn some money!

Step 10
If you’re a teenager, think about getting a job. A lot of places hire teens now for help, and plus you can even babysit. If you’re a guy and don’t want to babysit think about calling a local store and see if they have a teen program, and if you can help bag things.

Step 11
The very last thing I am going to say is that you should never hold your feelings in. If you don’t like crying – get over it and just release your feelings! Put away your pride for just a few seconds. Cut up a onion that will help make you cry if you have problems with that. Crying is a great way to let go of your feelings. Don’t feel ashamed if you cry to the person you talk with. That’s what they are there for! Once you cry, and let go – stop thinking about it and move on! Letting go of past failures, is one way to overcome depression. It’s in the past, and it’s time to let it stop bothering you in the “now”. You’re giving a past situation victory, and 9 times out of 10 the other people have already moved on from it as well. When you don’t let go of things think of all the people you’re hurting, and when you self harm yourself not only do you hurt yourself, but others around you. You are loved and cared about so please use these steps to stop hurting yourself, and become a victor!

Causes: Self harm is often a coping strategy for dealing with emotions like rage, sadness, grief, fear and guilt. People may feel they are getting rid of painful emotions. It may also be an attempt at self-punishment, or to gain control over situations and overwhelming feelings. Childhood trauma, abuse and bullying can cause people to self-harm, particularly if they repressed their emotions at the time.

Effects: Cutting yourself with a knife or razor, scratching, bruising, neglecting your physical and psychological health or abusing drugs or alcohol.

Solutions: Keep a diary of your feelings and how you cope with them. Identify what triggers you to self-harm.

Talk to your doctor, close friends, family or a counsellor.

Build your self-esteem and learn to respect your body.

Reduce stress in your life.

Exercise regularly as a way of coping with feelings.

Keep the phone numbers of friends and help-lines close by in case of a crisis.

Learn anger management techniques. Don’t turn anger on yourself.

Take up creative activities like drawing, painting or writing.

Discuss your self harming

Am I Having a Nervous Breakdown

Are You Experiencing a Nervous Breakdown?

Although it appears to be increasingly falling out of the common lexicon, the term “nervous breakdown” was once used to describe any number of mental health problems that appeared to strike suddenly. Unfortunately, the term is often used loosely or casually, and sometimes, as in films and TV, for comic effect. But is there really such as thing as a nervous breakdown? Well yes, and no.

Yes – a person can indeed ‘break down’ suddenly. The human body is a fragile mechanism that, when put under too much stress, will stop functioning normally. A person exposed to long-term, unrelenting severe stress is particularly vulnerable to experiencing a ‘breakdown.’ How does a breakdown manifest itself? The primary characteristic of a breakdown usually involves some sudden disintegration of the self. This means that an individual who usually follows a set pattern of behaviors will suddenly break away from their routine. Imagine this scenario: a person wakes every morning, goes to work, seems to function normally, visits with friends as usual, and then returns home. Imagine this person suddenly waking one morning and unable to get up. They have lost their drive, their ability to function normally, to communicate with family or friends. Perhaps they are even incapable of dressing or eating. This person is experiencing a nervous breakdown.

What other types of symptoms might be described as those associated with having a nervous breakdown? Some individuals might experience the uncontrollable need to cry, loss of energy, withdrawal, confusion, despair, inability to think clearly, sleep disruption or insomnia, loss of pleasure in everyday activities, feelings of worthlessness and depression. These “down and out” feelings are characteristic of depressive disorders.

Some individuals have breakdowns that manifest symptoms of psychosis. Breakdowns involving psychosis may involve hearing voices, seeing visions, feelings of paranoia, feelings of being pursued, feeling sensations that are not really present, grandiose or delusional behavior, bizarre public behavior, feeling of jealousy, and feelings of violence.

Whatever the nature of the breakdown, all breakdowns have in common the inability to function as normal.

What is a nervous breakdown really? A person who experiences symptoms of a nervous breakdown is suffering from some sort of mental disorder. That is, despite what we used to think, a nervous breakdown in and of itself is not an illness or disease. They are merely symptomatic of a larger problem. In fact, no legitimate physician or mental health professional would ever diagnose someone as having a nervous breakdown. The characteristics of a nervous breakdown can be symptomatic of a large variety of mental illnesses. The most common illness that resembles these characteristics is a Major Depressive episode. Other disorders that are related to what we think of as a nervous breakdown include panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and other trauma disorders, acute stress disorder, schizophrenia, psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, depression, and mood disorders. All of these mental disorders are characteristic of what many laypeople would characterize as a nervous breakdown.

Who is most likely to suffer from a nervous breakdown? Almost anyone who is subjected to undue stress is capable of experiencing a nervous breakdown. For instance, any person who has been subjected to extreme stress and trauma is vulnerable to experiencing a disorder that mimics the general perception of a nervous breakdown. For instance, a young person returning from battle may experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. A woman experiencing severe depression after the birth of her child may experience post-partum depression.

How can a person suffering any of the characteristics of a nervous breakdown get help? Sometimes the hardest part of recovery is getting the person to visit a doctor. For some kinds of mental disorders, a nervous breakdown can be a blessing in disguise. An individual suffering from severe anxiety or depression may find her self speaking to a psychotherapist for the first time. A person who suffered alone for long time may suddenly find himself getting better with medical attention. In many fortunate cases, the person who experienced the nervous breakdown may emerge from therapy stronger and healthier than ever before. Treatments can include antidepressant and psychotropic medications, psychotherapy, and prescribed periods of rest.

Prevention of nervous breakdowns is an oft-ignored subject that researchers are beginning to study. The characterization of a nervous breakdown as something that happens very suddenly can be misleading. In many cases, symptoms of the coming breakdown are present, but either the individual or their family and friends ignore them. Individuals who sense themselves becoming increasingly stressed, depressed, angry, or violent are encouraged to seek help immediately.

Have you asked “Am I Having a Nervous Breakdown?” Discuss this in our forum

Dealing with Mood Swings

Moods are the result of reactions in our internal chemistry. The brain is responsible for releasing many hormones and chemicals that cause the body to react in response to an external stimuli. We can’t avoid changes in situations so we can’t avoid mood swings. However, by being knowledgeable about what causes emotions or mood swings, we can overcome bad moods.

We can overcome bad moods by watching our diet. Moods are caused by the brain’s chemistry, which responds to foods. Caffeine is a quick pick-me-up but has the adverse side effect of causing you irritability. Skimpy meals or skipping meals also gives you black, bad moods. Eating balanced meals nourishes your brain and lessens the possibility of bad moods.

We can avoid bad moods with sufficient sleep. Resting at night renews our overworked body. Insufficient sleep causes crankiness as the fatigue disables your ability to cope with the daily demands of life. So sleep that bad mood away. Take a snooze whenever you feel down. Sleep gives you energy to deal with changes and stress, and it even gives you energy to deal with your own emotions. Your moods will not swing wildly because you feel you are in control.

Moods are affected by energy cycles. Our health, metabolism, food, and time of the day affect our energy cycle, which in turn gives us good or bad moods. People are more energetic earlier in the day. This is the time when you are in a good mood. You don’t wake up to a bad mood unless you have a splitting hangover. Sunlight also affects us by influencing our body temperatures. Higher temperatures denote higher energy levels, which give us good moods. Thus, we are generally happier in the morning. So you know why you tend to be cranky at night! It helps to eat a light carbohydrate snack to put your mood back into equilibrium.

We can overcome bad moods by coming into contact with nature. A concrete jungle is cold and depressing. Working long hours in a dreary office environment bores you and drags your mood down. Overcome this by glazing out the window into the scenery outside. Make maximum use of your lunch break to enjoy a change of atmosphere to refresh your mind and elevate your mood. This is the perk of eating out.

Dissolve your bad mood away by some psychoanalysis. Ask yourself what is causing you so much pain that it affects your moods. Work out solutions for your problems and you’ll definitely feel better. Bad moods can be just the negative way of seeing things. If we are pessimistic, then we bring our bad moods upon ourselves. If we choose to be optimistic and think positively for everything, then we are masters of our moods. It is as simple as thinking your bad mood away!

Cause: Bad moods may occur for no obvious reason, or be due to hormonal changes, pre-menstrual tension, blood sugar imbalances or stress.

Effect: You may feel angry, frustrated, tearful and sad, or swing from one emotion to the next. You may over-react to situations you normally cope well with.

Solutions: Communicate your feelings to family or friends.

Meditation will help to calm and energize you.

Eat regular meals with a low-glycaemic index (eg. wholegrains and protein) to keep blood sugar levels stable.

Remember a funny memory, or watch a video that makes you laugh.

Write a list of all your accomplishments and things you are proud of, as far back as you can remember.

Focus on an activity that you enjoy, such as cooking, drawing or playing a sport.

Make progress on your important goals; these might be your work, a college essay, applying for a new job, learning a new skill or a creative project.

Think of three good things that have happened to you in the last 24 hours, such as chatting to a friend on the phone, enjoying a meal or walking in the sunshine.

Do a kind act for someone else, or tend a pet or houseplant to help you feel good.

Discuss your mood swings in the therapy 247 forum

Help with Alcoholism

Possible Alcoholism Causes

People may use alcohol as a way of relaxing, coping with trauma, or numbing painful feelings. If this becomes a habit you might become addicted to alcohol and feel unable to cope with life when sober.

Effects of Alcoholism

You will feel a strong urge to drink. If your body becomes dependent on alcohol you will experience withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop, like sweating, nausea, agitation and shaking. Stopping suddenly can be fatal. Alcoholism may also cause hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver, certain cancers, inflammation of the stomach and pancreas, high blood pressure, brain damage, heart failure, accidents due to being drunk, financial problems, loss of employment and relationship break-ups.

Try these Solutions to Alcoholism

  • Do not stop drinking suddenly. Talk to your doctor about starting a detox program
  • Think about why you started drinking heavily and address problems in your life
  • Group therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Medications such as Antabuse, which change the way your body reacts to alcohol and may help you give up

Get Help with Alcoholism in our Message Board

Help with Eating Disorders

Causes: Eating disorders are usually caused by the desire to gain control over your life and to be thin. They typically affect people who have low self-esteem, emotional problems and a distorted view of their own body.

Effect: If a person has anorexia, they fear food, restrict what they eat and exercise excessively, feeling they are overweight even when in reality they are dangerously thin. This causes all sorts of health problems, including brittle bones, malnutrition, dehydration, infertility, fainting and heart damage. Anorexia may lead to death.

A person with Bulimia also fears gaining weight, but unlike anorexia they binge on high-calorie food in between periods of fasting, then make themselves vomit or abuse laxatives to try to get rid of the calories. People with bulimia usually have a normal body weight. The effects of bulimia include an irregular heartbeat, kidney damage and eroded tooth enamel.

Solutions

  • If your bodyweight is very low, it’s important that you seek professional help from your doctor or an eating disorders clinic
  • Keeping a diary of your food intake and feelings may help
  • Follow an eating plan
  • Eat small, regular amounts of food that is high in nutrients
  • Counselling
  • Family therapy

Free Help with Eating Disorders Online

Help with Depression

Deep-seated unhappiness accompanied by feeling helpless, worthless and unable to cope. May be a result of traumatic life events like divorce or bereavement.

Causes of Depression

Depression may be caused by stressful events in your life, such as divorce, illness or bereavement. Drinking too much alcohol or using non-prescription drugs can also trigger depression, as can a genetic predisposition to it, or sudden changes in hormone levels. Sometimes there is no obvious cause.

Effect of Depression

If you are depressed you will have a persistent low mood that is not lifted by doing the things you used to enjoy. You may feel hopeless, helpless, tearful and irritable, and anxious about the future. You may lose or gain weight, suffer from aches and pains, and lose interest in sex. Some people with depression find it impossible to make decisions, and may even harm themselves or contemplate suicide.

Depression Solutions

It is important to see your doctor if you think you are depressed, as some people need antidepressant medications to help them recover. However, depression is a common problem and there are lots of things you can do to help yourself:

  • Talk about your feelings to someone else
  • Exercise regularly. It releases ‘feel-good’ chemicals in your brain
  • Eat a varied, healthy diet to make sure you get enough nutrients
  • Self-help books
  • Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Interpersonal therapy
  • Counselling

Get Help With Depression in Our Forum