Archive for June, 2013

What To Do When Depression Enters A Relationship

June 26, 2013

The pressure of being in a relationship can feel overwhelming to someone living with depression. When you’re struggling with an illness that makes you tired, sad, and generally disinterested in life, often the last thing on your mind is the needs of others. Equally frustrating and emotionally draining is trying to maintain a relationship with someone who’s depressed. It’s hurtful and confusing when loved ones increasingly isolate themselves, pull away, and reject others’ efforts to help.

All of these feelings and reactions can damage relationships, whether they’re with spouses, partners, children, or friends. It can test even the most secure of relationships. The good news is that depression is very treatable, and by taking the appropriate steps to combat the illness, your relationship can survive.

Steps to Overcome Depression and Keep Your Relationship Healthy

The most important step toward successful recovery is to seek treatment. With the appropriate combination of “talk” therapy and medication, people with depression can achieve remission (virtual elimination) of symptoms and reconnect with life and with relationships.

If You Are Experiencing Symptoms Of Depression: Share your feelings with others as much as possible. Your reluctance to talk about how you feel only creates distance between you and your loved ones. It’s especially important to keep the lines of communication open during trying times. Let your partner know that you still find him or her attractive. An affectionate touch and a few reassuring words can mean a lot, even if you don’t feel inclined toward more intimate relations.

Consider couples or family counseling. Your willingness to talk about your relationship and how it may be affected by depression speaks volumes to family members and loved ones about their importance in your life.

Keep working toward recovery. Today’s treatment options make that more realistic than ever.

To resolve all your symptoms, a combination of medication and “talk” therapy may be recommended. Your physician will help you determine the right levels of medication and how long you should stay on it.

If You Are In A Relationship With Someone Experiencing Depression: Remember, your role is to offer support and encourage your loved one to seek professional help. Encourage your partner not to settle for partial improvement and explain that with the right treatment, people with depression can regain their lives.

Although you may be prepared to do anything and everything to help, don’t try to take over the life of someone who is depressed. Your loved one may seem overwhelmed, incapable, or frustrated, but you can’t reconstruct his or her life.

Remember that depression is a real illness that should be taken seriously. Don’t belittle the person by saying things such as, “snap out of it,” “get over it” or “everyone feels down now and then.” Try your best to understand the illness.

Recognize that depression is not rational. It is painful to be rejected, scorned, or ignored, but this may be how your loved one responds to your efforts to help.

For more information contact Soundside Wellness Consultants.

Twelve Traits of Healthy Couples

June 17, 2013

Only 10% to 15% of couples who have been together for more than five years report that they’re in the relationship they always wanted. Researchers studied these satisfied couples and found the following 12 traits common among them.

Priorities – Healthy couples list quality time together at the top of their priorities.

Time – Instead of just saying it’s a priority, however, these couples make time to be together and pay a lot of attention to each other.

Recovery From Arguments – All couples argue, but these couples practice methods that help them quickly recover from arguments and hurt feelings. They also can set aside their arguing to focus on other things, then resume ironing out differences later.

Touch – These couples also do a lot of touching – hand holding, snuggling, hugging, kissing.

Romancing – These couples also know the importance of surprise, tenderness, compliments and special little gifts – the stuff of romance.

Anticipation – Healthy couples look forward to being with each other. They build excitement and anticipation in their relationship by planning short getaways or special dates.

Playfulness – Healthy couples value playfulness, spontaneity and humor, and they use these devices to help overcome life’s hardships.

Communication – These couples are honest and open with each other. They also freely talk about the things that attract them most to their partner.

Sharing – Healthy couples share their fears and dreams with each other. Sharing their deepest thoughts brings them closer together.

Parenting – These couples are committed to their children, yet minimize the negative impact children can have on the partnership, particularly with respect to time.

Equality – healthy couples value each other as equals. No partner shoulders more responsibility than the other.

Conflict Resolution – Healthy couples resolve conflicts in healthy ways. They express their feelings, pay attention to their partner’s feelings and downplay their differences.

Source: University of Cincinnati Psychological Services Center

What Is Mental Illness?

June 7, 2013

Mental illness is a disease that causes mild to severe disturbances in thinking, perception, and behavior. If these disturbances significantly impair a person’s ability to cope with life’s ordinary demands and routines, then he or she should immediately seek proper treatment with a mental health professional. With the proper care and treatment, a person can recover and resume normal activities.

Many mental illnesses are believed to have biological causes, just like  cancer, diabetes and heart disease, but some mental disorders are caused by a person’s environment and experiences.

Common Misconceptions About Mental Illness:

  • Myth: “Young people and children don’t suffer from mental health problems.”
  • Fact: It is estimated that more than six million young people in America may suffer from a mental health disorder that severely disrupts their ability to function at home, in school, or in their community.
  • Myth: “People who need psychiatric care should be locked away in institutions.”
  • Fact: Today most people can lead productive lives within their communities thanks to a variety of supports, programs, and/or medications.
  • Myth: “A person who has had a mental illness can never be normal.”
  • Fact: People with mental illnesses can recover and resume normal activities.
  • Myth: “Mentally ill people are dangerous.”
  • Fact: The vast majority of people with mental illnesses are not violent. In the cases when violence does occur, the incidents typically result from the same reasons as with the general public, such as feeling threatened or excessive use of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Myth: “People with mental illnesses can work low-level jobs but aren’t suited for really important or responsible positions.”
  • Fact: People with mental illnesses, like everyone else, have the potential to work at any level depending on their own abilities, experience and motivation.