Tag Archive for depression

Happiness Quotes

 

Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly.

LEO TOLSTOY, War and Peace

If one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere.

JANE AUSTEN, Mansfield Park

We ne’er can be

Made happy by compulsion.

SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, The Three Graves

Happiness hates the timid! So does science!

EUGENE O’NEILL, Strange Interlude

Every object, every being, is a jar full of delight.

RUMI, Essential Rumi

It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.

CHUCK PALAHNIUK, Diary

Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is.

MAXIM GORKY, John Mason’s Know Your Limits

What is the worth of anything,
But for the happiness ’twill bring?

RICHARD OWEN CAMBRIDGE, Learning

Happiness consumes itself like a flame. It cannot burn for ever, it must go out, and the presentiment of its end destroys it at its very peak.

AUGUST STRINDBERG, A Dream Play

There is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, First Inaugural Address, Apr. 30, 1789

Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values.

AYN RAND, Atlas Shrugged

Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.

ROBERT FROST, as quoted in Vernon McLellan’s Wise Words and Quotes

Give a man health and a course to steer; and he’ll never stop to trouble about whether he’s happy or not.

GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Captain Brassbound’s Conversion

We can smile, breathe, walk, and eat our meals in a way that allows us to be in touch with the abundance of happiness that is available. We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive.

THICH NHAT HANH, Peace is Every Step

What we need for our happiness is often close at hand, if we knew but how to seek for it.

NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, American Note-Books, Aug. 22, 1837

I kept looking for happiness, and then I realized: This is it. It’s a moment, and it comes, and it goes, and it’ll come back again. I yearn for things, but at the same time I’m just peaceful.

NICOLE KIDMAN, Vanity Fair, Oct. 2007

What is earthly happiness? that phantom of which we hear so much, and see so little; whose promises are constantly given and constantly broken, but as constantly believed; that cheats us with the sound instead of the substance, and with the blossom instead of the fruit. Like Juno, she is a goddess in pursuit, but a cloud in possession.

CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon

Happiness expanded like an explosion inside me–so extreme, so violent that I wasn’t sure I’d survive it.

STEPHENIE MEYER, Breaking Dawn

Those who possess that treasure which no thief can take away,
Which, though on suppliants freely spent, increaseth day by day,
The source of inward happiness which shall outlast the earth–
To them e’en kings should yield the palm, and own their higher worth.

BHARTRHARI, “The Praise of the Wise Man”

How to gain, how to keep, how to recover happiness, is in fact for most men at all times the secret motive of all they do, and of all they are willing to endure.

WILLIAM JAMES, The Varieties of Religious Experience

Whatever the philosophers may say, it remains true that, from the first hour of man’s waking consciousness until that consciousness ceases, his most ardent desire is to be happy, and that the moment of his most profound regret is when he becomes convinced that on this earth perfect happiness cannot be found. Here is the problem which gives to the various ages of human history their special characters. Blithe are those ages when young and progressive nations still hope for happiness, or when men believe that in some new formula of philosophy, or of religion, or perhaps in some new industrial programme, the secret of human happiness has at last been found. Gloomy are those ages in which, as in our time, great masses of people are burdened with the conviction that all these familiar formulas have been illusions, and when persons of the keenest insight say–as they are now saying–that the very word happiness has in it a note of melancholy. No sooner, we are told, does one speak of happiness than it flees from him. In its very nature it lies beyond the sphere of practical realization.

KARL HILTY, Happiness: Essays on the Meaning of Life

The duty of happiness becomes clearer when we see how it affects others. It is the merry heart that makes the cheerful countenance, and it is the cheerful countenance that spreads cheer to make other hearts merry. The sunny soul brings sunshine everywhere. A bright and happy temperament is a great social asset, adding to the happiness of the world.

HUGH BLACK, Happiness

As the sea is beautiful not only in calm but also in storm, so is happiness found not only in peace but also in strife.

IVAN PANIN, Thoughts

The journey to true happiness and to happiness now is not a journey of physical distance or time; it is one of personal “self-recovery,” where we remember and reconnect consciously to an inner potential for joy–a paradise lost–waiting to be found.

ROBERT HOLDEN, Happiness Now: Timeless Wisdom for Feeling Good Fast

Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can’t control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible.

EPICTETUS, The Art of Living

Nothing prevents happiness like the memory of happiness.

ANDRE GIDE, Autumn Leaves

Surely happiness is reflective, like the light of heaven; and every countenance, bright with smiles, and glowing with innocent enjoyment, is a mirror transmitting to others the rays of a supreme and ever-shining benevolence.

WASHINGTON IRVING, Old Christmas

Happiness is the harvest of a quiet eye.

AUSTIN O’MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

To be happy you must be your own sunshine.

CHARLES EDWARD JERNINGHAM, The Maxims of Marmaduke.

Happiness quotes to download and share.

Help with Bullying

Causes of Bullying

Bullies may be jealous, angry at something else or cowardly, and looking for someone to bear the brunt of their emotions. You may get picked on for being different, or because they think you will not hurt them back.

Effects of Bullying

Relentless name-calling, psychological or physical abuse can make you feel depressed, anxious, worthless, victimized or even suicidal. You may lose your confidence, have difficulty sleeping and suffer from stress-related illnesses.

Possible Solutions to bullying depending on circumstances

  • Confront the bullies and tell them how you feel.
  • Don’t give in to them.
  • Speak to someone in authority if the bullying is taking place at work or school.
  • Keep emails, texts and letters to use as evidence if necessary.
  • Remember it is not your fault.
  • Take assertiveness training.
  • Avoid being physical with bullies.
  • Join a support group.
  • Counselling may help you to regain your confidence.
  • Talk to someone YOU CAN TRUST to deal with the situation properly.
Try to act on your situation now. Leaving the situation can make it harder to tackle in future. Join our message board for support or leave a comment below.
UK Bullying Helpline: Tel: 0845 22 55 787
US Bullying Helpline: Tel: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Never suffer in silence, if you need help with bullying, talk to someone

Coping with Panic Attacks

Cause: A Panic attack may be the result of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. They can also be caused by a specific phobic trigger, for example, if you have a phobia of spiders then seeing one may cause a panic attack. They can also occur for no obvious reason. Because a panic attack is a scary experience in itself, you fear having another, making the anxiety cycle worse.

Effect: During a panic attack, a person has an overwhelming sense of fear and may feel that they have lost touch with reality. Nausea, sweating, shaking, palpitations, a choking sensation and faintness are common symptoms, which usually peak within ten minutes.

Solutions: During a panic attack, it may be helpful to breathe in and out of your cupped hands, as this makes you re-breathe the excess oxygen you are taking in and reduces the frightening sensations of hyperventilation. Try to distract yourself by focusing on something you can see, or visualise yourself in a calm, safe place. Relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation may help to prevent further attacks. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is another option, and SSRI antidepressants may help cases of severe Panic Disorder.

The help for a panic attack can come in a wide variety of forms. The most important first step for the individual sufferer is to form the determination to overcome the panic disorder. Once that has been accomplished, that individual will be able to live a life that is closer to normal.

A panic attack or a panic disorder frequently will result from a mental issue the person possesses. There are many varieties of panic attacks. They all seem to have one thing or another to do with the mind and the way an individual perceives things.

Doctors And Psychiatrists

We have determined that panic attacks result from our mental processes. Therefore, we need to consult with those doctors who have studied and learned about such things. Psychologists and psychiatrists are the primary specialists for people who suffer from panic disorders.

Seeking help for panic attacks disorders is something that individuals should do early on. The goal is to prevent the development of deeper issues and conditions. Those issues and conditions often are connected to panic disorders.

Our medical doctors usually will recommend the traditional methods of help for panic attack disorders. These traditional methods usually involve some therapy combined with medication.

The intention is to get the individual on the road to recovery, wellness and stability. You can expect the doctor to make a preliminary assessment before prescribing any methods of help for panic attacks.

Alternative Help For Panic Attacks

Alternative medicine has several different remedies for how to cure panic attacks. Alternative medicine usually places the focus more on the natural ways to treat these disorders.

Customarily herbs and some alternative methods are prescribed for people seeking help for panic attack disorders. There are numerous herbs that can naturally combat the anxious and fearful feelings people get during panic attacks.

In addition to the herbs, there are the alternative methods such as massage, aromatherapy, hypnosis, acupuncture and countless others. These alternative methods to provide help forpanic attacks disorders can be helpful to a certain extent.

There are several forms of panic attacks that cannot be treated readily with the alternative methods. That is because it takes time for some of the alternative methods to be effective. A few of these methods, such as hypnosis, can have lasting effects on people.

Get help coping with panic attacks

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.

Feeling Bored, Cures for Boredom

Causes of Boredom: Lack of stimulation or interesting activities. Being trapped in a dull, repetitive job or life pattern. Being unable to get out and about due to illness, agoraphobia or other health problems.

Effects of Boredom: You may feel that there is no purpose to your life. Boredom may make you feel worried and depressed, or abuse drugs or alcohol. Sleeping too much, daydreaming excessively, over-eating and difficulty concentrating are other signs of boredom.

Solutions to Boredom: Inject interest into your life by starting new projects. Try getting involved with voluntary work, socializing with new people or learning a new craft or hobby. Step outside your comfort zone. Consider changing your job or doing a further education course. Take on challenges, eat healthily and try to exercise every day.

Feeling Bored? Join our Message Board and meet new people

PreMenstrual Stress Remedies

Causes: The exact cause of PMS is unknown, but thought to be due to changes in hormone levels or a lack of serotonin.

Effects: Irritability, mood swings, flashes of temper, loss of confidence, crying, aggression, feeling drained of energy, poor concentration, breast tenderness, water retention, swollen ankles, headaches and cravings for sugary foods.

Solutions: Eat a healthy diet that is high in protein and low in simple carbohydrates like white bread or pasta. Reduce salty foods.

Drink less alcohol and cut down on caffeine and nicotine.

Vitamin B6 supplements may help.

Evening Primrose Oil.

Diuretics.

Anti-depressents.

Contraceptive pill.

Extra calcium supplements.

Did you know that a recent Stanford University study conducted by cellular biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton concluded that “over 95% of all illnesses occur because of stress in the body’s autonomic nervous system”?

Did you also know that stress can seriously accelerate the rate at which you age because of the incredible strain it puts on your body?

Stress was already at alarming levels before these past few months, but it’s now at critical levels for so many of us. There is no escaping the media coverage of the planet’s recent economical debacles and everyone, at some point, will feel some pain in their pocketbook.

So many people have lost the value of their homes, or they’ve lost their homes due to hurricanes, fires or bankruptcy, they’ve lost the value of their life savings and in some cases they’ve even lost their jobs to recent cutbacks. It’s quite unsettling to hear financial experts compare this period to the crisis of 1929 and it’s equally scary to hear the head of the most powerful country in the world sound the alarm on the current financialsituation.

Most of us have never (EVER) thought about how dangerous stress can be to our health and very few of us make the conscious effort to manage stress so it doesn’t take over our lives.

Normal levels of stress won’t harm you, but high levels of stress can lead to these negative health conditions:

Heart palpitations
Panic/anxiety attacks
Chest pain
Dizziness
Depression
Irritable bowel syndrome
Spastic colon
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
Chronic fatigue (constant tiredness)
Chronic headaches
Insomnia
PMS – Premenstrual tension
Stress can also change your personality and affect how you interact and deal with others. When you look at problems like anger, irritability, aggressiveness, verbal abuse, mood swings and road rage, you can see how they can be brought on by too much stress in your life.

When stress gets out of hand, it’s time to find practical ways to slow down and lower your stress levels.

I know that money is tight for a lot of us, so I’ve compiled a list of 10 easy and free stress-reducing activities you can do right now to help lower your negative stress levels:

Turn off the TV: This might sound obvious but watching the financial news channels all day long will only increase your stress level since they report on the latest downs in the stock market on a minute-by-minute base.

Go for a walk: This time of the year is so precious, especially if you live in an area with tons of trees. Take time to reconnect with Mother Nature and take time to escape from all the bad news.

Call up a friend: Sometimes, just the fact of spending time with a friend over a cup of coffee or a walk can make a huge difference to the way you feel. Don’t underestimate the power of human contact and friendship when times are difficult.

Take advantage of free events: Each city has a list of weekly free activities that are open to the public. Grab a newspaper and find out which ones might interest you and go out there and discover something new!

Hang out at your favorite bookstore: This is an activity I’ve always enjoyed so much. You can spend hours just browsing and looking at the latest books. Who knows, this might spark your creative juices!

De-clutter your home: Most North Americans have closets and even garages filled with products that they’ve bought and never used. In many cases, a lot of us still have sales tags on items that are just sitting there. This might be the perfect time to clean up your home and organize a garage sale or you take your clothing to secondhand stores. Remember that someone’s junk is someone else’s treasure. Also, because times are tougher, many people will turn to secondhand stores and garage sales to find affordable items for themselves or to give as gifts during the Holidays.

Treat yourself to a hot bubble bath by candlelight: This is such a relaxing activity. If you take as little as thirty minutes to soak away your worries, you’ll feel like a new person.

Bake your favorite cookies or your favorite cake: Nothing is more comforting than homemade desserts and cookies. Why not take time to make some and take the time to enjoy them. The activity of baking will get your mind off of things and your hands working. Now, you might have to buy a few extra ingredients that you don’t usually store in your pantry, but this stress-reducing activity should not cost you much.
Note: If you are stresses everyday, please don’t eat a cake everyday. This is for occasional use only!

Brew a special cup of tea or coffee and sit down in your favorite chair: Grab a book or your favorite hobby magazine and take some “me” time. Even if you’re able to take 30 minutes of “me” time while the kids are away at their piano lessons … this will do you a world of good.

Update your photo album: We usually take photos of the happy times we want to remember. By updating your photo album and putting in recent photos you’ve not had the time to file yet, you can be transported to those times where you were happy and smiling. The feeling from this activity will surely lift your spirits and lower your stress levels.
Sometimes the simplest things can be extremely effective and because there is no (or little) investment of money, you can start putting these stress-busters to effect immediately!

Share your Premenstrual Stress Remedies in our forum

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

Help with Summer Depression

Cause: The cause is unknown, but thought to be linked to an increased amount of sunlight and higher temperatures. People may feel overwhelmed and exposed by the increase in daylight hours.

Effects: Summer depression can cause a low mood, loss of interest and enjoyment in activities, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, agitation, intolerance to heat, decreased appetite and weight loss, increased sex drive and thoughts of suicide. You may feel the need to stay indoors with the curtains closed.

Solutions: Talking about your feelings, counselling and anti-depressants may help. Include plenty of fresh fruit and salads in your diet, take cool showers, and use fans or air-conditioning to prevent overheating. If you feel the need to stay indoors, take up new indoor interests such as reading, crafts, music and creative projects.

Prevalence of Summer Depression

Summer SAD is thought to affect less than 1% of the US population. These sufferers appear to live in hotter regions and, as is the case with other depressive disorders, they are more likely to be female. It is hard to determine the true number of sufferers and significance of gender variation, as people may feel uncomfortable coming forward. Some may manage their symptoms themselves, without seeking advice.

Treatment for Summer Depression

The symptoms of summer depression may have a significantly negative impact on sufferers’ lives, making it difficult for them to function. As with the causes, there is very little evidence on how best to treat to treat summer SAD, though a few possible treatments have been highlighted by researchers.

Sufferers often attribute their symptoms to the summer heat, reporting relief from symptoms by staying indoors and keeping cool. Some find relief in air-conditioned environments and/or taking regular cold showers.

So far, summer SAD has been shown to respond to antidepressant medication, which helps to elevate mood by altering levels of certain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin. These chemicals are strongly linked to mood and have shown to be effective in treating other types of depression, including winter SAD. Since it may take several weeks for antidepressants to kick in, a doctor may suggest beginning a course of medication in the late winter, before the onset of symptoms.

In non-seasonal depression and winter SAD, sticking to a healthy diet, doing regular exercise and accessing talking treatments have all been shown to be helpful, though it is unclear if these will help summer SAD sufferers.

For some self-help strategies, including information on sleep and diet, read Self-help for Summer Depression. Anyone suffering symptoms of summer SAD should seek advice from a qualified health professional.

Get Help with Summer Depression

Lack of Sex Drive

Lack of Sex Drive Causes

Emotional stress, depression, anxiety, hang-ups from past, sexual abuse, lack of privacy, anaemia, alcoholism, drug abuse, certain prescription medications, hormonal changes and the trauma of childbirth.

Effects: Reluctance to have sex, no interest in sex, feeling angry or frustrated with your partner, not enjoying sex, and relationship difficulties.

Lack of Sex Drive Solutions

Counselling,

psycho-sexual therapy,

‘Desire Cream’; increases blood flow to the genitals,

‘EROS’ suction device,

‘Intrinsa’ testosterone skin patch.

SheKnows.com: What exactly is libido?

Kelli Young: Libido refers to one’s sex drive or appetite for sexual activity, either alone or with a partner. A woman’s libido encompasses her sexual thoughts, fantasies, desires and interest in engaging in sexual behaviors.

SheKnows.com: Is there such thing as a normal sex drive?

Kelli Young: In a word… no. There really is no such thing as a “normal” sex drive. Women vary greatly in their desire for sex. It is not uncommon to experience a temporary decline in sex drive and, in fact, many women do at various times in their lives.

SheKnows.com: When should a woman worry about her libido?

Kelli Young: If a woman notices that this drop in sex drive persists, or that her formerly normal sex drive is gone completely, it may be cause for concern. In medical terms, low sex drive, or hypoactive sexual desire disorder, is defined as a persistent or recurrent lack of sexual fantasies, thoughts and/or interest in sexual activity that causes personal distress. Women experiencing low desire may notice signs such as: a decline in the frequency of sexual thoughts and fantasies; reduced sexual desire; reluctance to initiate or engage in sex; and less frequent masturbation.

Many factors dampen sexual desire

SheKnows.com: What can affect a woman’s sex drive? Why does it change?

Kelli Young: All women will notice natural and normal fluctuations in their sexual appetites over time. Many of these changes result from hormonal fluctuations (during menstruation, pregnancy, perimenopause, etc.) and may affect a woman’s body image and self-image (she may feel less desirable or sexy, and, in turn, less sexual).

Lack of arousal can also be associated with insufficient vaginal lubrication, which can lead to vaginal irritation or pain and may even trigger vaginal or urinary tract infections. When sex is unfulfilling or painful, a woman is unlikely to desire it, and she may begin to fear or avoid it.

Many physical and mental illnesses can negatively affect a woman’s libido, as can the medications often used to treat these illnesses. Several medications have serious sexual side effects.

Lifestyle, nutrition and stress level can also play a role in dampening sexual desire. The demands of juggling work, family and other responsibilities can be exhausting and overwhelming; there may be little energy and enthusiasm left for sex. Negative sexual experiences can also impact a woman’s enjoyment of and desire for sex. Finally, relationship problems and difficulties in communication can have a major detrimental influence on a woman’s sex drive.

Natural ways to liven your libido

SheKnows.com: How can a woman increase her libido/sex drive?

Kelli Young: There are some relatively simple steps women can take to improve their libido.

These may include:

Talk to a doctor. Consult with a medical and/or naturopathic professional who can test for, and treat, potential underlying illnesses or physiological causes of low libido. If you are prescribed medications, be sure to discuss possible sexual side effects. Sometimes, an equally effective medication can be prescribed that has fewer (or no) sexual side effects.

Consider a natural libido supplement. Many women have noted significant improvement in vaginal lubrication and sensitivity while using a natural libido supplement, such as FemMED’s Libido formula.

Get to know your own body, sexually. Self-stimulation (masturbation) can be an excellent way for a woman to develop a good understanding of the types of stimulation she finds arousing.
Use a water-based lubricant. Even if you have adequate natural lubrication, the extra slipperiness afforded by a water-based lubricant can be highly arousing for women and their partners!

Make lifestyle adjustments. Moderate exercise and a healthy diet are vital to maintaining a good sex drive. Chronic dieting can have a devastating impact on your energy level, metabolism and body image. Moreover, diets that are very low in fat are particularly problematic because your body needs some fat to make hormones such as testosterone, a hormone essential for sexual drive and response. Yoga, mindful meditation and courses in assertiveness and stress management can also help women acquire important tools to deal with the daily stressors that can dampen one’s sexual desire.

Do Kegels. Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which can improve sensation and enhance sexual pleasure.

Address relationship issues. The quality of a relationship, particularly a couple’s communication, has a significant impact on their sexual satisfaction.

Seek counseling when necessary. At times, it may be helpful to seek counseling from a sex therapist or couples counselor skilled in addressing sexual issues.

Coping with OCD

If you have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), you feel you have no control over certain thoughts, idea or urges, which seem to force themselves into your mind, like a stuck record. These thoughts – obsessions – are often frightening or distressing, or seem so unacceptable that you can’t share them with others. Contained within the obsession is an underlying belief that you, or other people, may come to harm. However absurd or unrealistic this belief, you can’t dismiss it or reason it away. It creates unbearable anxiety, and makes you feel helpless to do anything except perform the particular ritual which can neutralise the devastating thought.

The irresistible urge to carry out such rituals is known as a ‘compulsion’. This could be something like repeatedly opening and closing a door, washing hands, repeating a litany, or counting. In other words, exaggerated elements of everyday actions and routines. You may feel compelled to do these actions over and over again, because of an unquenchable fear that you didn’t do it properly last time, or because the unwanted thoughts intrude again. The relief from the anxiety is only temporary.

OCD is similar to a phobia, which is another anxiety disorder. In both cases, fear brings on symptoms of anxiety and panic, including a racing heart, churning stomach, dizziness, shortness of breath, sweating and trembling. A phobia also involves an exaggerated fear of something that doesn’t represent a realistic danger, but other people can usually relate to it, or even share it. But with OCD the fear is of your own thoughts, and other people may not be able to relate to this or understand them at all. What’s more, someone who has a phobia can avoid the thing that triggers their phobia, such as cats or spiders, but with OCD, these devastating thoughts are unavoidable, and are constantly ready to emerge.

OCD isn’t a psychotic disorder, such as schizophrenia, whereby people feel that certain thoughts and ideas come from somewhere outside themselves (hallucinations). If you have OCD, you know that it s your own thoughts tormenting you. Some people only experience obsessive thoughts, without having any compulsions. Others have compulsions without knowing why they feel the need to do them.

The anxiety caused by experiencing obsessions and compulsions feeds back into the problem, creating a vicious circle and making the OCD worse. Often, people with OCD are also depressed, and this may also be partly or wholly due to the experiene of OCD.

Causes: OCD sometimes occurs for no reason, but it may be triggered by stressful life events. It can be caused by a lack of serotonin in the brain. It also tends to run in families, suggesting that some people have a genetic predisposition to OCD.

Effect: People with OCD are tormented by unwanted thoughts and feel compelled to carry out rituals to free themselves of these thoughts. For example, you may be very worried that there are germs on your hands, and to make yourself feel better you wash them. Washing relieves your anxiety for a while, so it becomes a ritual. This creates a vicious cycle and you might wash your hands twenty or more times an hour, even when your skin is raw from scrubbing. Other OCD behaviours include counting objects, checking switches are turned off and doors are locked, or rearranging furniture so it is symmetrical. If a person cannot carry out their rituals, they feel panicky and fear that a disaster will happen.

Explore these Possible Solutions

The first step is breaking the cycle. Remind yourself that your desire to carry out a ritual is a symptom of OCD, and will not protect you from harm. When you have resisted a compulsion a few times, it will get easier

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy may help

Anti-Depressants

Coping with OCD Help and Advice