What is Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Summer is meant for Fun, Yet Not Everyone Experiences This Summer is finally here. The weather is warmer, and the days are longer. For children, school is officially on vacation. For parents, the season presents plenty of opportunities to take a much-needed family vacation. Summer is supposed to be a time of fun and relaxation. However, there are many who suffer from summer seasonal affective disorder (SAD) that prevents them from enjoying this season. Summer SAD is not a well-known condition, but it affects enough of the population for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to declare September as Suicide Prevention Month. There are a high number of suicide attempts at the end of August and beginning of September. Many believe the increased sunlight provides depressed individuals more energy to take their lives. Understanding SAD  Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) affects roughly 6% of the U.S. population and is more typically known for causing depression in the winter months when the days get shorter and colder. However, it is less known that about 10% of people who suffer from SAD experience it in the reverse: their depression symptoms occur during the summer instead of the winter. The symptoms between winter…

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The Ultimate Guide to Marriage Counseling

Marriage counseling is a great tool for many couples Relationships can be extremely wonderful, bringing joy and happiness into your life. However, they require an incredible amount of effort and care from both individuals involved. For those that have committed to marriage, they may feel an added layer of pressure and stress to have a successful relationship. These relationships are far from perfect, and on occasion, some struggle. Even the best marriages can suffer from time to time. Professional marriage counseling is often the best next step for those in a relationship showing signs of breaking down. Marriage counselors help guide you and your spouse in the direction that allows you both to get your relationship on the right track. The issues within your relationship will be unearthed and helpful solutions will be recommended. Marriage counseling may not always fix your relationship, however, it may help you and your partner come to a realization and separate in a healthy and amenable way. It is important to take the time to assess your relationship to help you find the best counselor for your marriage. There are various forms of counseling that address different situations. Seeking Marriage Counseling It is entirely natural…

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Polls Show The United States Is One Of The Most Stressed Countries

Americans are some of the most stressed people in the world according to the most recent results from an annual Gallup poll. Gallup conducts these polls yearly, measuring the stress, anger, and worry of individuals in countries around the world. Representatives from 143 countries were studied, including over 1000 from the United States. The researchers would ask Americans whether they had experienced feelings of stress, anger, or worry the previous day. The results for the United States were the highest they had been in over a decade. Results When asked about how they felt the previous day, the majority of Americans (55%) reported they had felt some form of stress during the day in 2018. This put the U.S. just four points behind the world leader Greece (59%) and 20 points over the global average (35%). However, when asked about worry, Americans did not report great departures from the global average. The U.S. came in at 45% while the global average sat at just 39%. While this isn’t nearly as large of a gap as stress, it is still noteworthy that the U.S. ranks higher than the global average in two of these categories. Things do not appear as bad…

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Bipolar Disorder vs ADHD: What’s the Difference?

Bipolar disorder and ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, are two conditions that continue to be diagnosed in more individuals throughout the country, ranging from children to adults. However, diagnosing the two can be difficult as they both share several symptoms, yet they are two very distinct disorders. When a child is diagnosed with ADHD, they are more likely to develop other mental health disorders such as anxiety disorders, major depression, and bipolar disorder. This can make it extremely difficult to accurately diagnose the two conditions. ADHD is most often recognized and diagnosed at a very young age while bipolar disorder becomes more evident in the late teens to early 20’s. It is important to know the difference between the two to accurately diagnose and treat them. What is Bipolar Disorder? Bipolar disorder is most often characterized by the frequent mood swings it causes. Individuals who suffer from bipolar disorder experience mood swings from depressive lows to manic or hypomanic highs. These episodes can occur just a few times a year or as frequently as every couple of weeks. To meet the criteria to diagnose the condition, manic episodes must last at least 7 days, but the duration shouldn’t matter…

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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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How to Set Boundaries in a New Relationship

In romantic relationships, there is a widely common misconception that setting boundaries between you and your partner are harmful and unnecessary. Many seem to believe that boundaries put unnecessary restriction and stress on the relationship. However, the opposite is actually true. All healthy, loving relationships have boundaries. Boundaries should differentiate where one person ends, and another begins. Boundaries are not easy to establish as they do not come naturally. Openly communicating with your partner about your wants and needs in the relationship as a couple and outside of the relationship as an individual provide you and your significant other the basis to build on. By doing so, you begin to create a more comfortable area to operate and communicate. The healthiest relationships often include two individuals who feel responsible for their own happiness and feel as though they are not defined by their relationship. Boundaries help set up this feeling. As mentioned already, creating boundaries can be difficult so here are a few tips to keep in mind when creating them: Open Communication: Arguably the most important step to creating healthy boundaries is communication. Be honest, yet respectful with your partner. Clearly communicate your thoughts and feelings with them and…

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Social Media and Mental Health

In this vastly improving digital age, social media’s place in the online world has continued to expand, increasing its effects on the internet and on many users. You would be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t use social media to some extent during their day. In the U.S., roughly 77% of Americans have a profile on one social media platform or another. With so many individuals using social media daily, many researchers and users alike have begun to wonder what effect social media really has on us, especially our mental health. While many individuals have been quick to demonize social media and its overall effect on its users, these social networking platforms do have their share of benefits. Benefits of Social Media  Social media has presented an area for adolescents to enhance their communication skills and improve their social connections. While they may not be able to interact with each other face to face, they are still able to create new relationships, exchange thoughts and ideas, develop new interests, and experiment with different forms of self-expression. Many use social media as a place to further build on relationships they have created in the real world, sharpening their basic social…

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Benefits of Exercising for Mental Health

It seems almost common knowledge now about how inactivity typically leads to chronic and dangerous health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and many more. This has led many of us to make an effort to exercise more, but did you know how important and beneficial exercising is for your mental health? All across the world, depression and anxiety rates are higher than ever. Many things play a factor in this from society’s focus on one’s image online to poor diets. Regardless of the cause, it is still a growing concern in all corners of the world. While there are many treatments methods for your mental health, exercise is often overlooked by some as a way to improve your mental wellbeing, but its benefits have been proven. Here are some of the benefits exercise can have on your mental health: Increase in Happy Brain Chemicals: Endorphins are chemicals in the brain that create feelings of happiness, making you feel good. Exercise actually releases more endorphins, providing you with a boost in your spirits. During and after exercise, your brain will have released enough endorphins to leave you feeling much more energized and in a better mood. Reduces Stress: Stress…

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5 Ways to Deal with Your Anger

Anger is a completely normal and even healthy emotion. There is obviously a negative connotation with anger, but if you are dealing with anger, it is completely normal. There are moments in life where it is reasonable to feel angry. If you have been wronged in a situation, feeling angry is a natural response. There would be more of a worry if you were to not feel angry in these situations. However, while anger is a normal feeling, you must be able to respond and manage your anger in a healthy way. Before you deal with your anger, you must recognize the warning signs: Increased Heartrate Clinched Fists Rapid, Shallow Breathing Anxiety Shaking Clinched Teeth Feeling Flushed Pacing Symptoms of anger vary from time to time, but it is important to recognize your warning signs. After you have recognized your warning signs, then you must figure out how to best manage your anger. Here are five ways you can deal with your anger: Sleep & Other Prevention Techniques: Managing your mood before you are presented with a situation that may provoke you will save you plenty of time and stress. It is crucial to get a healthy amount of sleep…

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Signs of Anxiety

Almost everyone experiences anxiety every once in a while throughout their lives, whether it is before a big job interview, when you are having financial troubles, or when you are speaking in front a large group of people. In fact, anxiety here and there when stressful events arise is quite normal. However, it is quite different if your anxiety is something that affects your daily as well as affects your quality of life. If you find that many events accompany your anxiety, that your anxiety becomes bigger than what you are facing, or that your anxiety is interfering with activities such as your job performance, relationships, or school work, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are often accompanied by frequent, persistent, and excessive worry and fear over everyday circumstances. When the worry and fear set in, occasionally, it can escalate quickly and even turn into a full-on panic attack. A few examples of common anxiety disorders include: Generalized anxiety disorder Separation anxiety disorder Social anxiety disorder (or social phobia) Specific phobias While anxiety disorders can present struggles in day-to-day life, they can be managed with the help of a medical professional. If you think you may…

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