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So, You’ve Graduated College. Now What?

Many Graduates Struggle With Their Mental Health We spend most of our young lives in school. We enter kindergarten when we are about five years old, and many of us don’t finish school until we reach our early to mid-20s when we graduate from college. While some people go on to get their masters or doctorate, most people are content finishing with their bachelor’s degree. Graduating from college is a significant milestone in life. People spend years of hard work and dedication working towards earning their diplomas. It’s a time for celebrating your accomplishments with friends and family. However, once the celebrations are done, reality sets in. You’ve graduated, and becoming a graduate comes with a lot of expectations. Whether you like it or not, you are expected to become a functioning member of society now. This moment is everything you’ve been working towards all these years, but it doesn’t feel right. If this applies to you, you aren’t alone. Many recent graduates experience post-graduation depression. Now that you’ve graduated college, you may be asking yourself: “now what?” It’s a common question to ask. Up until this point, you’ve received quite a bit of help and support, and now you…

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How Winter Affects Your Mood

Winter Often Negatively Impacts Many People’s Moods As the year comes to a close, winter is quickly approaching. Many people enjoy this time of year, while many can’t stand it. However, your mental health may be affected as the days get shorter, and the weather gets colder. Many people don’t understand just how much of an effect the weather can have on your mood. The changes in temperature and sunshine can have unexpected results for many people. While the winter is a time for joy thanks to the holiday season, many people see their mental health negatively impacted. According to the Cleveland Clinic, roughly half a million people in the United States suffer from a condition known as seasonal affective disorder. Another 10 to 20% suffer from a milder condition called the “winter blues.” Even though these conditions are uncommon, they can still drastically affect your quality of life during the winter. Lifeworks Counseling Center is here to help you understand how winter can affect your mood and mental health. The Effects on Your Body In the winter, the days are much shorter than they were during the summertime. While this change may not seem significant in the grand scheme…

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How to Deal with Depression

7% of adults age 18 and older suffer from major depression In the United States, nearly 7% of adults age 18 and older suffer from major depression, making it one of the most common mental disorders in the country. While depression can appear at any age, it typically appears with puberty and peaks in your 20’s. Living with depression can be draining and make even the simplest tasks seem impossible. However, while overcoming depression isn’t fast and easy, it is far from impossible. There is no cure-all to dealing with depression, but rather taking small steps to build off of. Coping with depression takes time and effort, but you can get there. What is Depression? Depression is a mental disorder that is made evident by excessive sadness, loss of interest in daily tasks or enjoyable hobbies, and loss of motivation and energy. Depending on the life event, feeling sadness and despair is completely natural. These events like loss, major life changes, stress, and others tend to resolve themselves as you come to terms with the changes. While these feelings may persist for a few weeks or on anniversaries of the event, they aren’t always excessive or long-lasting. Depression does not…

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 Tips on Communicating with Those with Depression

Clinical depression remains one of the least understood conditions all around the world. Not having the appropriate knowledge on the condition often causes a strain on relationships, making communications with loved ones increasingly difficult. Chances are we all know someone who is struggling with depression, yet we may not know it or know how to properly communicate with them. Recognize the Signs of Depression Before you can truly help a loved one who has depression, you must first recognize the signs. There are multiple different clues in a person who is suffering alone, and in order for you to help them, you have to be able to pick up on these signs: Feelings of sadness and hopelessness Angry outbursts Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much Weight loss or weight gain Loss of interest in everyday activities Restlessness Fatigue or lack of energy Recurring thoughts of suicide Isolation There are many different symptoms for those with depression. No one case is the same. Everyone reacts to depression and suffers in their own way, but it remains important for you to recognize the symptoms. How to Effectively Communicate For many people with depression, their symptoms can cause problems with their daily lives,…

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How to deal with Holiday depression?

While the holidays are often a very joyous time, they can also be a very stressful time. All the planning, organizing, spending, and group events can become very overwhelming very quickly. It isn’t uncommon for the stress of the holidays to trigger feelings of sadness and depression even. While it is the holiday season, people are often expected to uphold a certain cheerful exterior. This pressure to be happy can often cause the feelings that are quite the opposite. There are multiple contributing factors to holiday depression, but luckily there are also ways to cope with these feelings. Be aware of underlying expectations Often holidays can lead to disappointment. Why is that? Many times, we get our hopes up about how things will play out over the holidays, whether it is expectations of other people or of ourselves. Try to keep your expectations in a balanced state to avoid getting let down or letting others down. Remember that things going wrong is a part of life, don’t expect everything to be perfect or you are bound to end up disappointed. Stay positive, but don’t build up your expectations. Don’t overdo it Many people tend to overdo it during the holidays….

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The Numbers are Rising in Children Attempting Suicide

Over the past ten years or so, there has been a significant increase in children and young teens having suicidal thoughts. Doctors are seeing more and more of these children and young teenagers in emergency rooms showing up for anxiety attacks, depressive episodes, and suicidal thoughts, feelings, and attempts. This is even more common during the school year as the kids are feeling the pressure of school as well as suffering from issues related to social anxiety, bullying, peer pressure, and more. There was a study recently published by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that from 2008 to 2015 children ages 5 years old to 17 years old are being admitted to children’s hospitals for reasons relating to suicide, either suicidal thoughts, feelings, or attempts. It was found by researchers at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt that girls are more often attempting suicide than boys are. It was also found that the suicide numbers were higher during the school year and lower during the summer months. Depression in children should never be taken lightly or dismissed One of the issues that kids face is that many parents don’t take depression and anxiety in their children seriously. They…

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Celebrities suffer from depression too: A look into the recent celebrity suicides of Avicii, Kate Spade, and Anthony Bourdain

Any suicide is tragic and draws us to feel immense sadness. However, something about a celebrity. Suicide seems to really draw focus and peek our interest, as well as affect many of our emotions. There could be various reasoning to this. A Reason could also be that we are shocked as that celebrity seemed to have it all, and to have it all together, so we question how they could possibly be unhappy. Another reason is simply that it is a sad occurrence, and people who suffer from depression seem to be hit the hardest by such sad occurrences. However, it is all subjective and rarely will an onlooker be able to fully understand why that celebrity, or any person rather, made the decision to take their own life. The impact celebrity suicides have on us Not only do so many find interest, but a good amount of people grieves when a celebrity passes away, especially when they take their own life. It is interesting how we as people can feel so much for and about someone whom we didn’t know personally. People see celebrities as sources of entertainment, as well as measures of success against them. When it comes…

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Can Food Affect your Mood?  

What we put into our bodies has a lot to do with our health, how we look, and how we feel. But can it affect our mood? The answer is yes. If you have ever eaten a candy bar or had a milkshake, and then felt a sudden and intense wave of energy, you know that food can affect how you feel. However, there are other conditions in which food can impact your mood, from the specific foods you eat to your eating schedule and habits. The chemistry of various foods can chemically and physiologically alter changes in our brain’s structure, which can lead to significant influence of mood and behavior: #1 Unhealthy diet and depression Research has indicated that having an unhealthy diet for an extended period can put you at risk for increasing symptoms of depression. Although there isn’t really proof that an unhealthy diet causes depression, it has been found that the two things are correlated. #2 Sugar & stress When you feel stressed out or overcome by anxiety, it is natural for the body to crave sugar; sugar helps to energize the body while it is trying to cope with negative feelings. However, if you feel…

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Is summer depression a thing?

The first official day of summer is nearing, and with it comes intense summer heat, backyard BBQ’s, and fun vacations; it’s safe to assert that summer is a time of happiness. However, if you are suffering from summer depression, it probably isn’t. Many people believe that seasonal affective disorder is only prominent in the winter, but the sad reality is that so many are also affected in the warm, summer months. Symptoms of summer depression Difficulty sleeping Loss of appetite Anxiety Weight loss Unexplained stress or feelings of sadness Agitation Isolation What causes summer depression? There are different possibilities in terms of why people suffer from summer depression. While for some people it stems from environmental stressors like intense heat, vacation envy, being “out-of-shape”, or a lack of structure and responsibility, for others it actually has to do with their biological structure. For those who have this innate biological influencer, it is called summer-onset seasonal affective disorder, or summertime SAD. #1 Summer-onset Seasonal Affective Disorder First, let’s discuss the biologically related reason behind summer depression. You may have heard about SAD (seasonal affective disorder) from the opposing end, where people experience depression in the colder winter months. Unfortunately, a small…

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Why Do I Feel So Lonely?

It is completely normal to feel lonely from time to time, but if you are plagued by these feeling all the time, it may be a good idea to seek help. Feelings of loneliness can plague anyone at any time, including teenagers, the elderly, and those who suffer from depression. While symptoms range from person to person, people often experience sadness, isolation, and withdrawal from loved ones. Whether you live by yourself, with your family members, or with loved ones, loneliness can strike. Although not all cases of loneliness occur because of depression, there is a strong link between the two. In fact, feeling lonely is quite often a predictor of depression and sadness. It is important to note that loneliness is an extremely complex mental and emotional condition that can be extremely powerful. It is safe to say that every single person has experienced some degree of abandonment and isolation at one point or another, even if only for a short period of time. Remembering how you felt during this time can be both painful and scary, but it is important to learn different strategies and coping mechanisms for fighting depression and these other feelings. Persistent loneliness can be…

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