All Posts tagged anxiety

STDs CAN BLOW YOUR MIND

STdsIs there a correlation between the rise of “hookup” sites like tinder and the increase in STDs? How do you ask your new partner about their sexual health? Or, are we just a more hyper-sexualized society that just throws caution to the wind when it comes to protecting ourselves? Well, I’m not quite sure which is the right answer. However, we can take a look at a smaller sample size in the state of California, more specifically the county of Los Angeles for some possible answers.

Current studies are indicating that theses stds, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have consistently been the highest infections in California. This a real concern! It is also a difficult conversation to have or bring up with your partner. Now I’m not going to dedicate this space to exploring our sexual health, rather, it is the psychological effect that contracting an STD has on a person that I want to address in this blog.

Have you considered what happens to a person when they learn that they have an STD? What I have witnessed take place with many clients is that suddenly their emotional state of mind becomes unstable, their anxiety rises, and eventually depression follows. Simply put, the dominoes begin to fall. Rarely, do I get the client when they are newly diagnosed, rather, they have already been battling the depression, anxiety, and accompanying stress for quite some time.

In reality, when people receive their diagnosis, life is never the same again. This is extremely difficult to wrap their heads around. Many times, this revelation of a sexually transmitted disease literally brings to light previously undetected, repressed, or eschewed mental illnesses.

On the opposite spectrum, my experience with some teenagers and some adults has been a interesting choice to pursue extreme sexual activity with the knowledge that they are suffering from the effects of their mental illness related to their contracted STDs. Remember, depression can cause isolation, break off connections and make one feel like they are the proverbial “island.” The psychological impact of contracting an STD is far greater than what you think, so please think and educate yourself, partner, friends, and your family. To help, their are a number of good studies written here that I suggest you read, so click HERE

 

 

 

 

 

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Performance Anxiety

Excellent Average PoorThis time of year brings with it cheer and anxiety especially when it comes to those end of year performance evaluations. Yes, the dreaded sit down with your boss to discuss, explain, and defend why you should get that (fill in the blank %) increase for all the blood, sweat, and tears that were expended during 2015.

It’s always about the numbers, isn’t it? Well it is especially true if you’re in sales and trying to reach the all to often unobtainable quota. I remember the stress I felt even in the good years when I exceeded my quotas. The mental anguish that led up to the meeting was horrible. The idle chatter was excruciating, then came the evaluation, section by agonizing section with numbers attached to each one rating my performance from positive attitude to quota attainment to conference call participation to timely submission of paperwork etc. I’m sure that your review was similar.

There were horror stories of some going on for three hours, others being let go during their review. Still, there were those reviews that caused arguments to surface, yet, none achieved the intended purpose to challenge and motivate the employee. Why is that? Interestingly, it has taken companies decades to realize (with the help of the psychologists) that these reviews have a negative impact on their employees mental wellbeing.

Two corporate giants have already taken a different approach to how they will evaluate their talent which will dramatically reduce the negative mental impact while fostering personal growth in a low stress environment. Conversations need to take place all year long. For that matter, coaching moments needs to happen too. You cannot expect to show up at years end and expect a motivational conversation to unfold. Again, If these discussions are taking place throughout the year, communication increases, plans are adjusted, anxiety is reduced, teamwork is nurtured, and goals are realized. The article provides some valuable insight on what performance reviews actually do to employees receiving them…

Want to know if their review will be excellent, average, or poor then click HERE

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Alone or feeling lonely?

alone on the roadInteresting title, isn’t it? Did you realize that 4 in 10 people (40%), in our population will experience some sort of loneliness at different times in our lives? It hurts, it feels empty and cold. However there is an important distinction between feeling lonely and being alone. Understand that there are people who feel alone and really are alone. On the other hand, there are those people who actually choose to be alone, but, are not really alone.

Of course, we have all either been left alone, experienced the feelings of being alone, or possibly both simultaneously during some point in our lives, right? I think back to when I had to relocate to a new state and when I had to start different jobs throughout my career. I did not know anyone which really caused a lot of anxiety and those ugly feelings of loneliness took a toll on me. Naturally, these experiences can produce solitude and loneliness. So, if we are not careful, these feelings can have a negative impact on our physical health, as well.

Now, I want to point out that there is both a medical and psychological element attached to this discussion that I will touch upon. We do know that being alone, which we often refer to as solitude, can arouse one’s artistic talents and boost our concentration, yet, there is a frightening effect on your health. Mind, body, and our ageing process are all  negatively affected when we socially isolate ourselves.

Scientists have identified that our loneliness is tied to our genetic makeup. More specifically, those who experienced what we call “chronic loneliness,” their genes expressed a distinct pattern that produced inflammation in their immune system.  So, what does that really mean? Well, it means that lonely people have a higher probability of dying earlier because their immune system is not strong enough to fight off infectious diseases.

Psychologically, the impact is just as uncomfortable. Loneliness can lead to a mood disorder widely recognized as depression. It can wreck one’s self-esteem.  Confidence becomes fleeting as the tentacles of loneliness squeeze any and all feelings that one might yet have regarding being worthy of the attention of others.

If you sit back and really think about it, we as a collective society are are a social  bunch. We are wired to be that way since we were kicking to get out of the womb! We really do need to interact with each other to feel connected, be alive, and progress. Just as important, is cultivating an environment around yourself with those who you can mutually enjoy meaningful relationships with are, at least in my opinion, the best medicine.  Enjoying a life that you can be content with, active in, and flourishing is in itself the treasure of being connected.

 

 

 

 

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F E A R, Why?

what do you fearDo you fear the walking dead? What about the prophetic blood moon that will be rising very soon? Maybe, your fear is about losing your freedom, or quite possible it’s being left alone? How does that quote go, “something about the only thing to fear is fear itself.” Let’s be honest here, the stomach wrenching pain we all feel is that of failure, or is it?

So why do I bring this up? Every thing that I read seems to be preying on our fears. Consider for a moment the mass hysteria that is shaping up in Europe with the mass migration of refugees fleeing from their war torn countries for safety and security. Now, it’s turning from a humanitarian crisis to an ethnic fear of overpopulation and potential fears of terrorism. Another fear that is gaining significant traction is with technology becoming so advanced, experts are now projecting that 35% of all jobs will be managed by robots within twenty (20) years. So, the follow up question becomes, what to do with all the displaced workers? Ah yes, then there is the impending stock market bubble, so here we go again 2007-08, right! Fear perpetuating more fear paralyzing more to fear, ugh!

I believe that fear can be used to motivate us (small doses please). However, let’s put fear in it’s proper light. If you’re religious, or spiritual fear can be tempered with healthy amounts of faith in a trusted higher power that empowers the individual to press forward knowing that “this too shall pass.” Now, if spirituality or organized religion are not your thing, then fear is probably more of a logical emotion best understood in your own terms and dealt with in a very singular, personal, rational way by you. Naturally, I certainly cannot try to explain it here, but you know what I mean. So what follows is a look at what we as humans really do fear. I believe that each of us can say, “yes that’s me.”

S0, I ask you again, “What do you fear?” Not sure, you really need to read HERE

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Live Your Life Not Your Kids!

over protectiveWell, school is back in session, homework assignments are being stuffed into backpacks daily, and here in California the dreaded “mission projects” are already being planned and very soon a due date will be given out too. Add in play dates, soccer, baseball, music, dance, karate etc.. and the days just slip away. The children are exhausted and we are too! Uh oh, their homework still isn’t done, but showers need to be taken, lunches packed, stories read, tuck in time (multiple times). Now, that is just an illustration of the elementary age child. We can probably apply this, with a few tweaks and modifications, to our middle schoolers and high schoolers, right?

My point here is that with the business and busyness of of parenting we have a tendency to “over parent,” don’t we. Oh, I say we, but, you know the mom and dad that I’m referring to, right. They make their high schooler’s lunch, they do his/her laundry, and they personally deliver their child’s doctor’s note to the PE teacher so little Jimmy won’t have to run (my apologies to all the Jimmies reading this).

What these parents may not realize they are doing is incredibly damaging, though they mean well? Overparenting, or, overdirecting, or overprotecting each produce the same problem for the child. They struggle to become independent of the parent. Is it any wonder so many millennials still live with their parents well into their twenties? We like to attribute it to finances, however, more likely it’s the chronic hand-holding that prevents them from understanding what to do and how to do it.

This really starts from an early age as we all have witnessed the parent reliving their youth through their child. This was all too often the case when I coached football. It was so painfully obvious, hard to watch, and I honestly felt sorry for the child and the parent. This always reminded me of what Carl Jung had to say about this type of parenting, that the greatest harm to their child was the parents own unfulfilled dreams.

There are two terrific books worthy of your time and energy that cover “over parenting” and allowing your child to fail (it’s not as bad as it sounds). If you’re curious read HERE

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Where are all the children?

depressedchildRemember when you would come home from school and couldn’t wait to finish your homework and go outside and ride your bike, doing tricks off a homemade wood ramp, skateboarding, or going to a friends house to play a game of nurf football in the street, or what about playing catch with your well worn baseball glove? Do you remember begging your Mom to go swimming at the neighbor’s pool, or shooting hoops until dark? Do you remember when kids actually played outside? I do, but, for  the vast majority of families that really never happens anymore.

What has taken over is video games and an increasingly busy lifestyle. Of course, our children are still involved in sports, however, going outside to play with other children their age in the neighborhood has gone the way of the Razor phone. What are the psychological ramifications for these millions of children who no longer play outside and what happens to their view of the world around them?

Certainly this varies, however, I’m treating more adolescents, teenagers, and college students who are presenting with more severe symptoms of depression and anxiety than ever before. The question is why? Well, I find that especially with teenagers and college students there is a sense of the loss of control. Goals are focused on external, meaning those things or possessions that set them apart from others, rather than internal development. There seems to be a poor focus on who they really are, personal insight is very limited leading them to feel quite empty, depressed and filled with anxiety.

Consider this, what playing allowed us to do when we were younger was experiment, explore, and discover who we were. It really was fun, liberating, and exhilarating to be withs friends outside playing. I guess it was our modern day adrenaline rush, our outlet. Now that has shifted dramatically and so has the mental state of our children, and not for the better…

The decline of play

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Are Your Kids Picky Eaters?

toddlersEat everything on your plate! Let’s face it, in this day and age when every child receives a trophy just for showing up to play, plates are left full everywhere.  We live in a different time, we have so many choices, our attention span is so limited, and we will eat only what and when we want. So, why should our kids be any different? They are picky just like us.  Our little picky eaters, rather, I prefer to use the term being “selective” in what they consume has some very unwanted and unforeseen consequences. New research has revealed that this selective eating now can be linked children developing adhd, anxiety, and depression as they continue to mature. All this because they hate broccoli? Are you serious, well, yes I am…

Its more than just the broccoli, so read THIS

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Thanks Mom & Dad!

Mother holding shy son

Mother holding shy son

That’s right, we have a lot to thank our parents for, including some not so great things that they have passed on to us. Have you noticed that the older you get those words and hated phrases your parents used on you are now coming out of your mouth?! Do you have your mom’s temper? What about your Dad’s anxious habits? Well guess what science is revealing to us…

To find out what you’ve inherited read THIS

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