In It For Health

Where health and psychology intersect

Posts Tagged ‘emotions’

Stay Healthy after losing your job

Posted by Dr. Susan on May 5, 2009

Losing your job might be the toughest experience you’ve ever had and you’re likely to want to climb into bed, eat junk food and watch TV! But, this won’t help you find another job. In fact, staying healthy will not only keep your body looking and feeling good–it will help you at interviews, by keeping your mind sharper too. Check out this article for some easy, inexpensive, practical tips to keep yourself from getting into a big slump!

Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A recession maybe, but not when it comes to cheap sweets!

Posted by Dr. Susan on March 26, 2009

Since the crash of the market, there’s been an uptick in purchases of inexpensive candy and cheap chocolates! This great NY Times article, explains that even as we wallow in the demise of life as we knew it, we continue to soothe ourselves with instant gratification!

Despite the fact that we know eating too much junk food is not good for our health,  we still associate sweets with helping ourselves feel better and we’re suckers (no pun intended!) for the feeling that we had when we were innocent kids at the corner candy shop and all was right with the world.

So as we get fatter (again!) while we lose all our money, yet another corporate entity–the candy makers–are raking in the bucks. Let’s not let that happen!!! A little good-quality chocolate once in a while is great for stress reduction (it increases your feel-good neurotransmitters), but please don’t sacrifice your health for a quick sugar fix all the time!

Instead, when you’re feeling a little down, take a walk, talk to a friend, write in a journal, ask your kid to tell you some funny knock-knock jokes. All of these will lift your spirits just as well…maybe better…than candy, and without the negative side effects.

Also, when you’re stressed, don’t jump to other negative habits. Smoking, drinking, drugs–you know the drill. Over-eating is on that list too.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Calmer, less stressed–you’re less likely to get Alzheimer’s…really!

Posted by Dr. Susan on January 22, 2009

More and more research reinforces the idea that there is a strong relationship between your emotional and your physical health. Here is one more study that proves this point! The researchers looking at a group of aging folks found that those who were less stressed, calmer, and more go with the flow, were less likely to develop Alzheimers than those who were more stressed and neurotic.

It goes without say that brain changes don’t begin when you get your AARP card! No matter what your age, learning how to manage stress effectively–both at work and at home–is critical. Studies have shown impacts of stress on breast cancer, the heart and many other aspects of health. This is one more example.

Begin now! Take steps to change your life so that both your emotional and physical life are healthier.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Breast cancer and marital stress…not a winning combo

Posted by Dr. Susan on December 12, 2008

This unsettling (although small) study finds that women in rocky marriages are more likely to have poorer outcomes–slower recovery, more symptoms, etc–than those in good marriages. This seemed to be true, even when the stage of cancer was taken into account.

It does make sense–there is a compelling correlation between stress and breast cancer, and certainly, marital problems are very stressful. In addition, physical and mental health are very closely connected. If you have been diagnosed with breast, or any other cancer and you believe that you are in a stressful relationship, it is important to seek professional assistance ASAP! Your health–even your life–may be counting on it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Teens think they are perfect, even if no-one else does (except their parents, of course!)

Posted by Dr. Susan on November 13, 2008

For many years now, I (and many other mental health professionals) have been telling parents that it is important to balance praise with real life! Not every picture your child paints is perfect; not every poem she writes is unbelievable, and he doesn’t always play the best game of soccer ever. Sometimes your child is less than perfect and needs to know this–it is part of growing up. It will help him learn to grow as a person. Now, here is the research to prove it. This study demonstrates that teens today have self-esteems that are out of whack with reality! Basically they have become too self confidence and have lost touch with the real-life abilities. How unpleasant for the rest of us that have to deal with them in the real world. So, parents…there is still time: teach your child and teen that it’s fine to be confident, but it’s NOT cool to be bossy, self-important, smug and obnoxious. No-one other than you will put up with it in the real world!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

REALLY underage drinking…

Posted by Dr. Susan on October 25, 2008

Some parents have come to accept that their child will experiment with alcohol–and even perhaps drugs–in college, or even the upper high school grades. They hope that it won’t be serious, but they are realistic in recognizing that very few teens abstain completely.  However, this powerful and important study demonstrates that kids who drink or use drugs before they are fifteen-years old, are at much higher risk for substance dependence, sexually transmitted diseases, dropping out of school or acquiring criminal records in adulthood. Also, please note that a full fifty-percent of these kids had NO prior behavior problems!

The take home message: drinking or drugs and teens not a good combination. Be clear about your message of disapproval. Research clearly shows that parents who give their kids a clear message that they will not tolerate drinking or drugs are more likely to have kids that don’t use–especially at a younger age.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

cutting research-sort of…

Posted by Dr. Susan on March 11, 2008

A newly reported study about cutting looks at the relationship between girls who cut, their serotonin levels and their relationships with their mothers. I VERY reluctantly provide this link to the Science Times which, in such unbelievably irresponsible reporting, in it’s headline, makes it seem as if it is primarily a poor mother-daughter relationship that leads a girl to cut. Thankfully, in the body of the article this is cleared up–in fact, the relationship between cutting and serotonin levels is stronger than that between cutting and a conflictual mom-daughter relationships. The combined relationship is the strongest.  Okay this makes sense. What isn’t explained, at least in the Science Times, is whether the girls had high serotonin levels before they began cutting (i.e.–they were predisposed to becoming cutters) or whether the cutting behavior changed their serotonin. Do the researchers know this? Next, I treat cutters–lots of cutters, so I know that their are MANY things that stress a cutter out, not just their relationship with their mothers. Yes, this can be a factor, but these researchers could just have easily studied dads, boyfriends, biology teachers, waking up early for school, finding the perfect outfit to wear…it’s possible that any of these, when combined with a teen biologically predisposed to cutting, could significantly increase the odds of her becoming a cutter or triggering an episode. Last, but not least, being a cutter does NOT make you suicidal. In fact, the vast majority of cutters do so to reduce their anxiety, depresssion or other emotional pain, sometimes to help themselves avoid becoming suicidal. This is part of why it is addictive. Other than this…not such a bad article, uh yeah.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

depression is dangerous!

Posted by Dr. Susan on March 5, 2008

A new study shows that depressed and anxious people are more likely to be obese, and to smoke and drink heavily. I hope they didn’t spend a lot of money on this study because I, and any good clinician could have told them this years ago! What particularly infuriates me about this research is that it declares that given this data we should now pay attention to depression and anxiety in a whole new light. You mean before this did these researchers really think that those treating depressed people weren’t helping them with related issues like emotional eating, alcoholism and other addictions. Research like this is a waste of time and money in my opinion and perhaps these scientists need to get into the real world for at least a short while.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »