Archive for September, 2014

Learn To Love Your Body, Inside and Out

September 16, 2014

“Mirror, mirror on the wall… who’s the thinnest one of all?” According to the National Eating Disorders Association, the average American woman is 5’4″ tall and weights 140 pounds. The average runway model is 5’11” tall and weighs 117 pounds. All too often, society associates being “thin” with “hardworking, beautiful, strong and self-disciplined.” On the other hand, being “fat” is associated with being “lazy, ugly, weak and lacking willpower.” Because of these harsh critiques, rarely are women completely satisfied with their image. As a result, they often feel great anxiety and pressure to achieve and/or maintain an imaginary appearance.

Eating disorders are serious medical problems. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder are all types of eating disorders. Eating disorders frequently develop during adolescence or early adulthood, but can also occur during childhood or later in adulthood. Females are more likely than males to develop an eating disorder.

Eating disorders are more than just a problem with food. Food is used to feel in control of other feelings that may seem overwhelming. For example, starving is a way for people with anorexia to feel more in control of their lives to ease tension, anger, and anxiety. Purging and other behaviors to prevent weight gain are ways for people with bulimia to feel more in control of their lives and to ease stress and anxiety.

While there is no single known cause of eating disorders, several things may contribute to their development.

  • Culture. Women partially define themselves by how physically attractive they are.
  • Personal characteristics. Feelings of helplessness, worthlessness, and poor self-image often accompany eating disorders.
  • Other emotional disorders. Other mental health problems, like depression or anxiety, occur along with eating disorders.
  • Stressful events or life changes. Things like starting a new school or job or being teased about traumatic events like rape can lead to the onset of eating disorders.
  • Biology. Studies are being done to look at genes, hormones, and chemicals in the brain that may have an effect on the develop of, and recovery from, eating disorders.
  • Families. The attitude of parents about appearance and diet affects their kids’ attitudes. Also, if your mother or sister has bulimia, you are more likely to have it.

If you think you or a loved on may have an eating disorder give us a call at 850-226-8585 or 850-689-7844 to set up an appointment.

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Guidelines for Succeeding in the Workplace with ADHD

September 5, 2014

The symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) create special challenges for the adult in the workplace, just as they do for the child in school. The assistance of a career counselor or a psychologist, social worker, or employee assistance professional is extremely helpful in understanding and maximizing these factors

Some adults with ADHD have very successful careers. Others may struggle with a variety of challenges, including poor communication skills, distractibility, procrastination, and difficulty managing complex projects. Each individual with ADHD has a different set of challenges. Therefore, it is important to consider your unique picture as you go about designing strategies, accommodations and modifications for the workplace.

Problems with noises and movement in the surrounding environment and internal distractibility (daydreams) can be the biggest challenge for adults with ADHD. The following strategies may help:

  • Request a private office or quiet cubicle, take work home, or work when others are not in the office.
  • Use “white noise” earphones, classical music or other sounds to drown out office noises.
  • Work in unused space, such as a conference room, where distractions are few.
  • Route phone calls directly to voice mail and respond to them at a set time every day.
  • Jot down ideas in a notebook to avoid interruption of the current task.
  • Keep a list of ideas that come to you during meetings so that you can communicate more effectively.
  • Perform one task at a time. Do not start a new task until the current one is done.

Adults with the hyperactive type of ADHD often do better in jobs that allow a great deal of movement, such as sales, but if you have a sedentary job, the following strategies may help:

  • Take intermittent breaks to do photocopying, go to the mailroom, or walk to the water fountain.
  • Take notes in meetings to prevent restlessness.
  • Move around, exercise, take a walk, or run up and down the stairs.
  • Bring lunch – instead of going out to but it – so the lunch hour can be a time for exercise.

Failing to remember deadlines and other responsibilities can antagonize coworkers, especially when working on a team. To improve memory, try the suggestions below:

  • Take copious notes at meetings.
  • Write checklists for complicated tasks.
  • Use a bulletin board or computer reminder list for appointments and memos.
  • Learn how to use a day planner and have it with you to keep track of tasks and events.
  • Write notes on sticky pads and put them in a highly visible place.

For more information on adult ADHD visit http://www.help4adhd.org for tips, help and more.