Symptoms Articles

21 Signs That Your Worries Are Out of Control

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Bad things happen from time to time, do they not?

And it makes a lot of sense to prevent them from happening.

Yet, sometimes the bad things in life just show up.

Does worrying about it help?

woman low self-esteemWell, worry is a signal that something bad might happen. It’s useful. Worry let’s you know where to direct your attention to solve potential problems.

If you did not have the ability to worry, who knows what you would allow to happen in your life. It would be dangerous.

• If the company you work for is in trouble, you worry about money.
• If you find a lump under your skin, you worry about your health.
• If you child is failing school, you worry about his or her education.

If you handle the worry well, you allow it to spur you into action. You plan to get a new job, perhaps. You see a doctor right away. You meet with your child’s counselor and teachers. You get on it and solve problems where you can.

Handle worry like this:

Can Narcissists Learn Empathy?

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

In a recent study, researchers from the University of Southampton and the University of Surrey have attempted to find out whether patients suffering from narcissism can learn to show empathy for another person’s suffering.

Their study, which is being published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, has shown that it may be possible.

husband's attitudeOne of the main hallmarks of narcissism is a lack of empathy for others. This has a negative effect on their personal relationships, social interaction, and social behaviors. In most cases, this is because their lack of empathy means that they are unconcerned with the effect their actions have on others.

For this study, researchers chose to focus on patients who exhibit subclinical narcissism. This diagnosis is given to patients who are psychologically healthy while still exhibiting some narcissistic traits. This form of narcissism is more common than narcissistic personality disorder.

To examine whether narcissists could be capable of empathizing with another person’s suffering, they asked study participants to read an excerpt describing the break up of a relationship. No matter how severe the hypothetical scenario was, high-narcissists did not show any empathy for the subject. This was true even in situations where the subject of the excerpt suffered overwhelming depression.

One Night of Sleep Deprivation Leads to Increased Food Purchases

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

When you have been sleep deprived for just one night, you are more likely to experience a greater hunger for food the following day. You will also be subject to impulsive food buying, according to a new study out of Sweden.

Alarm clock insomnia

A study by the Obesity Society, which was published in the Journal of Obesity, found that there were higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that increases hunger, in those who had been sleep deprived for a day. Those who had gotten a full night’s sleep had much lower levels of ghrelin.

In the study, the researchers hypothesized that there would be an impact on higher functioning decisions and self-control when shopping for food at a supermarket. Those who were sleep deprived would feel this impact and therefore be more likely to make calorie driven food choices while shopping.

The study indeed found that the sleep deprived subjects purchased more calories and grams of food than they did after having a full night’s sleep. Despite the subjects having a standardized breakfast before shopping during their sleep deprived state and their normal state, the grocery shopping done while sleep deprived resulted in a +9% and +18% increase in purchase of calories and grams of food, respectively.

We’ve heard many times that sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain. This study shows how poor sleep translates into high calorie food purchases, which is a key part in the cycle.

Need to lose weight? Focus on getting better sleep. Here’s how:

It’s easy to suggest sleeping better, but very difficult to pull off if you are the one lying in bed at night, tossing and turning. When your busy mind has a mind of it’s own, it is not necessarily open to suggestion.

This is why you may benefit from learning about your brain’s Default Mode Network (DMN).

The Default Mode Network is the area in the brain that is responsible for ‘self-referential thoughts’ (autopilot thinking). When you are not consciously engaged, your default mode activates. This is when the brain generates thoughts and feelings on its own. When you lie in bed …

10 Things Mid-Lifers Must Do To Find Happiness

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Mike Bundrant is a retired mental health counselor, personal coach and blogger for some of the top health, mental health and personal development websites in the world.

midlifeYou’re at midlife – and you’ve got challenges.

You’re busy making a living, keeping up with a family, and trying to stay ahead in this crazy, digital age.

If you’ve been working hard at living, chances are that you’ve found a place for yourself in the world, even though it may be an imperfect place.

And, you’ve found your fair share of stress as well. Your relationships can be complicated. You may be overwhelmed with how much you’ve got going on.

You may even be wondering if there is more to life than what you’ve managed to accomplish so far.

Worse, as midlife progresses, doing what you’ve always done to solve problems doesn’t necessarily bring you lasting satisfaction and fulfillment – not anymore.

Not for the special class of challenges that mid-lifers face. In fact, what you’ve always done to be successful may even backfire and create a sense of hopelessness and frustration.

When you find what you really need in your current stage of life, you’ve unlocked an important key to your happiness and continued growth.

Is Second Hand Stress Killing You? Science Proves Stress Is Contagious

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Second hand stressIf you’ve ever felt more stressed out after being around a stressed out person, you are not alone.

A study conducted by the departments of Tania Singer at the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig and Clemens Kirschbaum at the Technische Universitat Dresden has found that simply observing someone in a stressful situation can trigger stress responses in your own body.

Stress is responsible for a number of health issues in today’s society, and can be linked to anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders. This new finding has significant implications, as even the most relaxed person comes into contact with stressed individuals frequently.

During the test, subjects were asked to complete difficult mathematical problems and interviews while performance was assessed by behavioral analysts. During the test, only five percent of the subjects were able to maintain their calm, the others experienced a significant increase in the levels of cortisol in their blood.

How Chronic Stress Causes Mental Health Disorders

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Chronic Stress Mental HealthResearchers from the University of California, Berkeley have found that people who suffer from chronic stress may experience long-term changes in their brain that makes them more prone to mood disorders and anxiety.

Associate professor of integrative biology Daniela Kaufer and a team of researchers have studied the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain that governs emotion and memory. They found that chronic stress causes the brain to generate fewer neurons and more myelin-producing cells than normal.

This results in more white matter in certain areas of the brain, disrupting the balance and timing of communication within the brain.

Have you Given Your Independence Away? 12 Risk Factors…

Friday, January 10th, 2014

no-freedomAre you as independent as you’d like to be?

Over the years I have personally asked hundreds of clients this very question. According to my estimation, 90% respond in the negative.

Here’s how loss of perceived independence happens in so many cases.

You’re beginning adult life, celebrating your recent freedom from parental supervision.

You do what you feel, go where you want, believe what you will, act how you like. You experiment a lot, trying out new things and meeting new people. You don’t need much money (and probably don’t make much or receive financial help).

You feel independent. Sometimes this independence is very positive and sometimes it’s intimidating or overwhelming. Nevertheless, you have your feeling of independence and have big plans for an exciting future.

Then, you fall in love.

Traumatic Life Events Are the Biggest Cause of Anxiety and Depression

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Anxiety and depressionMore than two thirds of all adults will experience at least one traumatic event in their lifetime.

It’s an event like this that may lead many to experience anxiety and depression. In fact, an October 2013 study found that traumatic life events were the biggest determinant, beating out family history of mental health, income, education, relationship status and other social factors.

This study showed just how complex depression and anxiety are and how influential life events really were on the human psyche.

Anxiety Hidden In Depression

Research: This Amino Acid May Help Treat Depression

Friday, December 20th, 2013

Over the last 20 years, science has begun to understand the relationship between autoimmune diseases and neuropsychiatric disorders. And the field has made significant strides.

Now, there may be some viable alternative therapies that are targeting psychiatric disorders from a more organic angle.

N-Acetyl Cysteine, NAC, is an amino acid that has been used to treat acetaminophen poisoning or reduce mucus that plagues certain lung diseases as well as cystic fibrosis.

NAC has also shown in clinical trials to help reduce symptoms of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders.

NAC has antioxidant properties to help address the inflammatory and oxidative damage that stunts cell reactivation and neuron growth. Studies have shown that mood disorder symptoms, such as apathy and depression, have been reduced and NAC was even shown to lessen cravings for cocaine, nicotine, and marijuana.

Early Life Stress Makes you Susceptible to Chronic Physical Pain and Depression

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

stresspainResearch shows there is a possible link between childhood stress and chronic pain as an adult. It’s possible that the neurobehavioral mechanisms created in childhood could be the missing piece of the pain/PTSD puzzle.

A body in a state of stress produces a variety of chemicals, including catecholamines and cytokines. Catecholamines are released by the SAM, sympathetic adrenomedullary axis, and include the neurotransmitters adrenaline and noradrenaline. They run around in the bloodstream mobilizing energy and preparing the body for “fight or flight.”

Cytokines are groups of substances such as peptides and proteins that are secreted by immune system cells. These substances carry signals to other cells. During chronic stress, catecholamines can create a negative feedback loop by blocking certain neurotransmitters that affect mood, increasing chronic inflammation throughout the body.


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Recent Comments
  • Lyssa Menard: Wow! This article really helped me. I’d liked to share this site, Your Change Doctor with you. It...
  • bluephoenix: I am aware of the past that I cling to. Since I was a kid I wanted to be a doctor and worked hard to get...
  • Alice: I believe we are born with empathy….or not. I don’t believe it can be taught. We can explain to a...
  • Elaine: It’s been my experience that narcissists can experience empathy, but only when doing so does not...
  • Darlene Lancer, LMFT: Excellent list. I’d add codependency and addiction and low self-esteem. We get into...
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