Archive for Health

Sep
11

Causes of Sleepiness and Fatigue and How to Fight Them — Slideshow

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Great slide show on fatigue from WebMD:

Fatigue Cause No. 1: Not Enough SleepIt may seem obvious but you could be getting too little sleep. That can negatively affect your concentration and health. Adults should get seven to eight hours every night. Fix: Make sleep a priority and keep a regular schedule. Ban laptops, cell phones, and PDAs from your bedroom.

via Causes of Sleepiness and Fatigue and How to Fight Them — Slideshow.

Anda Jines MS LCPC offers mental health counseling services in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, in Tinley Park, IL (60477); near Orland Park, Oak Forest, Orland Hills, Palos Heights, Mokena, and Frankfort. Click here for more about Anda Jines MS LCPC.

Categories : Stress and Anxiety
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May
03

Headache Assessments

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“Every head has its own headache,” according to an Arab proverb.  One way or another, all of us have our share of “headaches” in life, some of us figuratively and some of us literally.  Those who experience recurrent headaches know that pain and stress are connected.  If it isn’t stress that caused your headache, then certainly your headache will cause some stress.

Headache Assessments can Clarify the Problem

When dealing with recurrent pain, we want to know what to do about it and how to prevent it.  But before we can get the answer to that question, we have to clarify the problem.  There are many types of headaches… tension, migraine, cluster, sinus, caffeine, dehydration, etc.  Each type requires different strategies.  Here are three headache assessments that can help you to narrow things down:

1. First, from the Real Age Headache Center:

For personalized advice on headaches and migraines, choose one of the four free health assessments today. You’ll find out:

  • Whether your head pain is a migraine or another kind of headache
  • How to prevent and take care of head pain at home
  • Whether you should see a doctor
  • Which and when medications might be right for you

See Real Age headache assessments here

2. Second, from the Discovery Health Headache Center:

What Type of Headache Do You Have?
This self-assessment asks a series of questions to help you determine the type of headache from which you suffer. Each headache type responds best to a different treatment.

  • Do you have pain or tightness in your neck and shoulders with your headaches?

See Discovery Center headache assessment here

3. Third, from the American Headache Society:

If you know that you get migraines, this migraine disability assessment test helps to assess how much of an impact they have on your functioning.

The MIDAS (migraine disability assessment) questionnaire was put together to help you measure the impact your headaches have on your life over the last 3 months and to communicate this more effectively. The best way to this is by counting the numbers of days of your life which are affected by Headaches. You can do this for yourself as follows:

Please complete Questions about ALL your headaches you have had over the last month.  See MIDAS questionnaire here.

Having a couple of assessments to compare will help you to get a clearer picture of what symptoms to look for in determining what type of headaches you get.  There are many more out there that you can find by doing a search for headache assessments.  I hope that this information will also help you in communicating with your doctor and in finding further information on coping with your headaches.

Anda Jines MS LCPC offers mental health counseling services in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, in Tinley Park, IL (60477); near Orland Park, Oak Forest, Orland Hills, Palos Heights, Mokena, and Frankfort. Click here for more about Anda Jines MS LCPC.

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Mar
29

Willpower and Stress as Key Obstacles to Meeting Health-Related Resolutions

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From the American Psychological Association:

…According to the APA poll conducted online by Harris Interactive in early March, fewer than one in five adults (16 percent) reported being very successful at making health-related improvements such as losing weight (20 percent), starting a regular exercise program (15 percent), eating a healthier diet (10 percent), and reducing stress (7 percent)1 so far this year, although about nine in 10 adults (88 percent) who resolved to make a health-related change say they have been at least somewhat successful at achieving it since January. Despite these efforts, about three-quarters (78 percent) of those who made a health-related resolution say significant obstacles block them from making progress, such as willpower (33 percent), making changes alone (24 percent), and experiencing too much stress (20 percent).

“Lasting lifestyle and behavior changes don’t happen overnight. Willpower is a learned skill, not an inherent trait.  (continue reading about willpower, stress and health related changes)

Anda Jines MS LCPC offers mental health counseling services in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, in Tinley Park, IL (60477); near Orland Park, Oak Forest, Orland Hills, Palos Heights, Mokena, and Frankfort. Click here for more about Anda Jines MS LCPC.

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Nov
09

The Mind Body Connection Discussed at Conference

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Me and my mom at the Conference

Me and my mom at the Conference

The Mind Body Connection

Last week I attended the U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress in Las Vegas.  The focus of the conference this year was “Treating the Whole Patient – The Mind Body Connection.”  This was perfect for me!  It fits right in with my interest in treating emotional and relationship issues related to physical illness and injury.  It also fits well with my interests and experience in improving wellness, healthy lifestyles, pain management and stress management.

Treating the Whole Patient

I believe it is important to treat the whole patient even when they don’t present with obvious pain or physical problems.  Often people’s physical routines and lifestyle choices have a profound impact on their emotions.  Not to mention that people’s emotions can significantly impact their self-care and physical wellness.

This is also why I routinely collaborate with my patients’ primary care providers, psychiatrists, and/or other relevant doctors (with each patient’s permission of course).

Dr. Dorota Rytwinski, Dr. Baiba Ercum (my mom), Anda Jines (me), and Dr. Celina Nowakowska at Psychiatric Congress Lunch

Dr. Dorota Rytwinski, Dr. Baiba Ercum (my mom), Anda Jines (me), and Dr. Celina Nowakowska at Psychiatric Congress Lunch

Networking at the Conference

It is interesting to hear and talk with other mental health professionals at conferences.

My mom (a psychiatrist) and I  happened to meet two psychiatrists from Poland who now practice in the US.  We had a lovely lunch together.

I also had the pleasure of running into Dr. Modali, a psychiatrist whom I know through my previous work at the Southern Illinois University Wellness Center as well as through my previous work at Southern Illinois Regional Social Services, in Carbondale, IL.

My Continuing Education

There were many interesting workshops to choose from.  Here is a quick list of the ones I attended:

  • Treating the Whole Patient: The Mind Body Connection, Day 1
  • Treating the Cancer Patient with Cognitive Therapy
  • Cognitive Therapy to Aid Adjustment to Cancer
  • Treatment of Premenstrual and Perimenopausal Psychiatric Disorders
  • Collaborating with Primary Care Physicians in Pain Management
  • Fibromyalgia – An Update
  • Insomnia:  A Healthcare Gap That is Growing
  • The Spiritual Meaning Interview: CHaMB
  • Addressing ADHD Issues Across the Life Span
  • Hypoactive Sexuality Desire Disorder in Women
  • The Quest for Happiness:  Unstalling Stalled Treatment
  • Happiness:  New Insights from Social Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Minds on the Edge:  Facing Mental Illness
  • Tourette’s Syndrome:  A Trinity of Symptoms
  • Depression and Pain:  Advances in Neurobiology and Treatment

I’d like to send a warm thanks to my mom for inviting me to join her at this conference.  I enjoyed the workshops as well as your company very much.

Anda Jines MS LCPC offers mental health counseling services in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, in Tinley Park, IL (60477);  near Orland Park, Oak Forest, Orland Hills, Palos Heights, Mokena, and Frankfort.  Click here for more about Anda Jines.

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Oct
17

The Psychology of Mindless Eating

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Nutrition and Weight Issues

Many of the patients I work with see me because of stress related to health problems, including diabetes, weight issues, high cholesterol and heart problems  But even those who see me for other reasons often want to improve their health as a secondary goal.  One very important aspect of health is nutrition… especially weight management.

Mindfulness

Additionally, one of the things I learned while leading a Dialectical Behavior Therapy program, is the importance of mindfulness.  Being aware of how you are feeling, what you are thinking, and what you are doing takes effort.  But going about life mindlessly leads to many problems and requires more effort and struggle in the long run.

The Psychology of Mindless Eating

This article from  Johns Hopkins combines both topics and gives a few easy tips to help you avoid problems related to mindless eating.

The average American makes more than 200 decisions about food every day, many of them subconscious. What’s more, subtle and not-so-subtle cues from our surroundings often “trap” us into eating 100–200 calories more a day than we need or want. The result: Slow but sure weight gain as we age. Here are 7 practical strategies to help you limit those extra calories.

Food psychologist study why we eat the way we do — and why so many of us are overweight. What these experts are learning is that… (click here to continue reading about mindless eating)

Anda Jines MS LCPC offers mental health counseling services in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, in Tinley Park, IL (60477);  near Orland Park, Oak Forest, Orland Hills, Palos Heights, Mokena, and Frankfort.

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Sleep is Fundamental

If you’ve ever gone without sleep for several nights in a row, you know how necessary and fundamental it is.  But the problem is more complicated than just going without sleep.  Some people can’t fall asleep, others can’t stay asleep, others have an irregular sleep schedule, and for various reasons.  Here is an article that gives tips for nine different sleep problems:

Most of us have experienced those maddening midnight moments when, no matter how tired we are, we either can’t fall asleep, can’t stay asleep or our sleep is of such poor quality it feels as if we were awake. For anyone who has tossed and turned at night, here’s some expert advice for solving nine sleep problems.

The Night Waker

Her challenge: After a stressful breakup two years ago, Meredith Crowell, 40, a single real estate property manager and yoga instructor from Boulder, Colorado, would wake up in the middle of the night filled with sadness and anxiety. But even after she felt better emotionally, the sleep troubles continued. Although she typically falls asleep easily around 10:30 p.m., she is wide awake three or four hours later. She falls back into a fitful sleep, then gets up around 6 a.m. to begin her day. “I never wake feeling well rested, because it feels like I don’t get more than about four hours of truly deep sleep,” she says. To no avail, Meredith has tried myriad remedies — warm baths, hot milk, a glass of wine before bed, no food before bed, relaxation techniques, and prescription and homeopathic medicines. She took a prescription medication, but that didn’t give her more than four hours of sleep. She even tried taking the medication when she woke in the middle of the night, but that left her too groggy in the morning.  Expert advice: “The good news is that Meredith’s insomnia seems to…(click here to read entire article)

Anda Jines MS LCPC offers mental health counseling services in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, in Tinley Park (60477); near Orland Park, Oak Forest, Palos Heights, Mokena, and Frankfort.

Sep
14

Depression and Health

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It’s a Two Way Street

It is no surprise to most people that being sick can be depressing.  Indeed, illness related pain, limitations, relationship stress, and thoughts about our own mortality can trigger difficult emotions for anyone; but for those who are predisposed to depression, can trigger a full episode of clinical depression.

I have recently come across several articles discussing the other side of the coin as well.  Depression can have a negative impact on your health.  Behaviorally, depressed people tend to take worse care of themselves, but it doesn’t stop there.  There also appear to be internal physical changes that put depressed people at higher risk of health problems.  In my work, I have also seen depression negatively impact people’s perspective on spirituality, their willpower, and their willingness to persevere.

Depression is Often Overlooked in the Course of Treating a Physical Illness

The negative impact of depression on health is a serious concern, and an important reason to make sure that depression does not get overlooked in people’s medical treatment.  Not everyone develops depressive symptoms when they get sick, and not everyone who is depressed will get sick as a result.  But if you suspect that depressive symptoms may be putting you at risk, or complicating your (or a loved one’s) ability to cope with an illness, then you may want to see a counselor for an evaluation.

Here are a few articles to help you further explore this topic:

Depression and Your Health – Johns Hopkins Health Alert

Depression clearly has a harmful effect on physical health, although the biological reasons for the link between body and mind are unclear. Whatever the reasons, over the past 20 years, it has become evident that depression after a heart attack is much more than an “understandable emotional reaction” to a stressful, life-changing event — it is profoundly dangerous, raising a person’s chances of having a second, fatal heart attack.

More recently, researchers have studied the flip side of the equation — the question of whether someone with depression is at increased risk for developing coronary heart disease (CHD) down the line. Indeed, prospective studies show that people who had no CHD but were depressed when the studies began were more likely to develop or die of heart disease. Depression also aggravates chronic illnesses such as… (click here to read entire article)

Depression ‘cuts cancer survival’ – BBC News

Depression can damage a cancer patient’s chances of survival, a review of research suggests. The University of British Columbia team said the finding emphasized the need to screen cancer patients carefully for signs of psychological distress. The study, a review of 26 separate studies including 9,417 patients, features in the journal Cancer. It found death rates were up to… (click here to read entire article)

Depression a Big Factor in Poor Health – WebMD

Depression has a greater impact on overall health than arthritis, diabetes, angina, and asthma, but it all too often goes unrecognized and untreated, a report from the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests.

Based on interviews with almost 250,000 people living in 60 countries, WHO researchers found depression to be a greater predictor of poor health in patients with these chronic conditions than having one or more chronic medical conditions without depression.

People who had arthritis, diabetes, angina, or asthma were more likely to suffer from depression than people without these conditions.

And consistent across different countries and cultures, people with depression plus one or more of the chronic diseases included in the study had the worst overall health scores.

The findings, which appear in the Sept. 8 issue of The Lancet, illustrate the urgency of identifying and treating depression in patients with other chronic health problems and in the population as a whole, the WHO researchers conclude.

“We have to recognize…”  (click here to read entire article)

Anda Jines MS LCPC offers mental health counseling services in the southwest suburbs of Chicago, in Tinley Park (60477); near Orland Park, Oak Forest, Palos Heights, Mokena, and Frankfort.

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