Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Anxiety Blog

I just wanted to let everyone know that I am currently writing an anxiety blog for Today. I'd love if you would come and read that as well.

The link to my anxiety blog at Today is:

Happy reading!

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Woman Was Imprisoned for 24 Years...

I think this is such a sad story.....

I wonder why no one suspected anything happened to her? I cannot even imagine what this poor woman went through with her children. It's just so sad and tragic.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating an Issue for Women in America

I ran across this study tonight and I wanted to share it because I feel it is so important that we teach young children, teenage girls, and young adult women how important inner beauty is.

The findings of this study are really quite disturbing to me, as Americans and American culture is so focused on appearance that we forget about inner beauty, intelligence, and true happiness.

SELF magazine and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill cooperated to conduct this study. More than 4,000 women took a survey on-line regarding their thoughts and behaviors toward food. Women participating in the survey were between the ages of 25-45 years.

The researchers found that older women and younger women had about the same occurrence of disordered eating. Likewise, women who identified themselves as Latino, white, black, Hispanic, and Asian all exhibited disordered eating behaviors.

More specifically, the researchers discovered that:
-More than 31% of women who participated in the survey reported they had taken diuretics, diet pills, and/or laxatives, or induced vomiting in order to lose weight at some point during their lives.
-Approximately 50% of those who engaged in purging behaviors reported they did so at least a few times a week.
-Sixty-seven percent of women who did not have actual eating disorders reported they are attempting to lose weight.
-Thirty-seven percent of women said they skip meals regularly in order to lose weight.
-Twenty-seven percent reported they would be extremely upset if they gained five pounds.
-Thirteen percent of participants report they smoke in order to lose weight.
-Twenty-six percent of participants said they have eliminated certain food groups from their diet altogether.
-Fifty-three percent of women who said they are dieting are already at a healthy weight, and are still attempting to lose weight.
-Thirty-nine percent of the women reported that their weight and concerns about what they eat interferes with their happiness.

The results of the study are to appear in the May issue of SELF magazine.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Veterans Need Our Help

In this year's presidential race, the war in Iraq is one of the major platform issues each candidate is speaking on, and ultimately, whoever becomes President of our country is going to have some tough choices to make regarding the war and the men and women who have been and are being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

RAND has conducted a large study of men and women returning from the war. They wanted to determine how many men and women veterans are experiencing PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and/or major depression and how many are receiving adequate treatment.

The researchers collected information from 1,965 veterans from across the United States. They discovered that half of the veterans reported they had a friend who was either killed or seriously injured in the war. Forty-five percent of participants reported they saw dead or seriously injured non-combatants, and 10% of veterans reported they were injured themselves and spent time in the hospital.

The researchers also discovered the highest rates of major depression and PTSD among Hispanics, women, and those who were enlisted in the military.

Researchers found that 19% of veterans had symptoms of major depression or PTSD. Only 53% of those who had major depression or PTSD sought help for their symptoms, and of those who sought help for their symptoms, only one-half received minimally adequate treatment.

Veterans gave different reasons for not seeking professional help for their symptoms, such as they were worried about the side-effects of medication, they were worried about their friends losing confidence in their abilities, they believed family and/or friends could provide them with more help than a mental health professional, and that they were worried seeking professional help may affect their careers.

The researchers recommend the military create a system that allows military veterans to seek professional help without it affecting their careers, as well as providing veterans with evidence-based treatment strategies to most effectively treat their symptoms.

I believe we, as family members, friends, and co-workers of those who serve in the military, have a responsibility to encourage veterans to seek professional mental health treatment if they experienced a traumatic event in the war and/or if they exhibit signs of depression or PTSD.

To read more on this study, please visit:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Report It Now Rally, Boston

Report It Now Rally April 29th at Noon, In front of the State House

Hello, Bostonians!
Please join us on Tuesday, April 29th at 12:00 p.m. in front of the State House at the Boston chapter of the Report It Now rally. The Report IT campaign is a nationwide rally of people affected by sexual violence and abuse speaking with one voice to report it at the same time in states across the country. The campaign was developed to raise awareness on the vast under-reporting of sexual violence including rape, incest, and child sexual abuse. Report IT will, for the first time ever, bring together victims in a show of strength, solidarity and voice to demand an end to sexual violence and improvements in the legal process to stop the systematic re-victimization that discourages reporting. This is also an opportunity for those who, under whatever circumstances, never got the chance to report abuse committed against them.

Please spread the word!

To Write Love on Her Arms

All of the proceeds from the sale of this shirt will go to TWLOHA, a non-profit organization that helps individuals with depression, addiction, and self-harm.

Here's the link:

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sleep Medication for Sleeping Problems

Did you try developing good sleep hygiene and you're still having trouble falling and/or staying asleep at night? Have you tried drinking warm milk, eating a small snack, writing in your journal, and/or reading before bed to help you fall asleep and it hasn't been helping, either?

If you're still having trouble falling and/or staying asleep at night, even after developing good sleep hygiene and trying some of the home remedies for getting to sleep, you may need to speak to your doctor about the possibility of taking sleep medication.

I know some people really do not like the idea of taking medication. However, the benefits of being well rested might outweigh the disadvantages of taking medication. Only you and your doctor can decide if sleep medication, also called sedatives or hypnotics, is a viable option for you.

You may need to try more than one sleep medication before you find the right hypnotic for a chronic sleeping problem. If this happens to be the case with you, don't lose hope. There are several different types of medication doctors can prescribe someone to help him or her sleep. While Ambien may work wonder for a friend of yours, it may not be the right medication for you. Everyone is different, and different medications work for different people.

Be sure to talk to your doctor about all of the symptoms you experience when you have trouble sleeping. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both as well as whether you experience a lot of anxiety when you try to sleep. This information will help your doctor decide what medication may be most appropriate for your specific situation.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Nightmares vs. Night Terrors

What is the difference between a nightmare and a night terror?

A nightmare is a scary or terrifying dream. It usually occurs in the later half of sleep and upon awakening you or your child will be able to recall what the dream was about.

Night terrors are also scary or terrifying dreams. However, night terrors usually occur in deep sleep and you or your child may be difficult to wake up from these dreams. Upon awakening, you or your child will not be able to recall what the dream was about.

Nightmares and night terrors are most common in children, though some adults continue to experience these scary dreams. Please see the post below on how to comfort yourself after having a nightmare.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Comforting Yourself After a Nightmare

I know that children tend to get nightmares more often than adults do, but many adults still get nightmares occasionally.

Here are some ideas you can use to comfort yourself when you wake up from a nightmare because no matter what age you are nightmares are quite disturbing and distressing.

1. If you have a cat or dog, pet him or her. He or she can be very grounding.

2. If you need to talk about your nightmare and have a partner or spouse who is supportive, you may want to wake him or her up to discuss your nightmare. Alternatively, you can write down the details of your dream to get them out of your head.

3. Get up and have a drink of water.

4. Read something soothing, such as the Bible if you are a Christian.

5. Concentrate on your surroundings in order to remind yourself where you are.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nightmare Disorder

You wake up terrified. Your heart is pounding, you're breathing is shaky, and you feel distraught. Most of us have had this experience - waking up from a nightmare, but what happens when it is a regular occurrence?

Nightmare Disorder is another sleeping disorder. While nightmares affect 10-50% of children aged 3-5 years old and 3% of adults report having nightmares frequently, the prevalence of Nightmare Disorder in the United States is not currently known.

Individuals who experience Nightmare Disorder awaken from vivid, frightening dreams during naps or at night. They are able to recall the details of their frightening dreams and quickly realize their surroundings upon awakening. Frightening dreams include those that threaten one's security, safety, life, and/or self-esteem.

Nightmare Disorder is diagnosed when nightmares affect an individuals social, occupational, academic, or other important parts of one's life. Before Nightmare Disorder is made as a diagnosis, however, mental health professionals rule out other mental illnesses, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, general medical conditions, and any substance or medication that could be causing the nightmares.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Central Sleep Apnea Treatment

In my last post, I discussed some of the treatment options available for obstructive sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is much less common; however some of the treatment options available for central sleep apnea are the same ones used for obstructive sleep apnea.

For instance, continuous positive airway pressure is used to treat both central and obstructive sleep apnea. Continuous positive airway pressure involves placing a mask over your nose. The mask is connected to a device that increases the air pressure above the air pressure around you. This helps prevent breathing troubles in individuals with sleep apnea.

Auto-adjusting positive airway pressure is another type of treatment for central sleep apnea that increases air pressure automatically when one's breathing stops and decreases the pressure when breathing begins again.

Other times, individuals with central sleep apnea have an underlying medical condition, such as lung or heart problems. Sometimes, treating an underlying problem stops sleep apnea.

Central sleep apnea is often treated based on what is causing the breathing difficulties.

For more information about central sleep apnea treatment, I encourage you to visit Mayo Clinic at:

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Just a quick note for my readers. I am sorry for my absence recently. I have been very ill, but I am on the mend now. I plan to resume regular blogging on Wednesday or Thursday. I look forward to coming back. I will be talking about more sleep apnea treatments in my next post.

I hope you are all well!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Treatment Options for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

There are several ways to treat obstructive sleep apnea, both surgical and non-surgical.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP is one method used to treat sleep apnea. This is a machine that gives you air pressure while you sleep through a mask you wear over your nose. The machine keeps airways open while you sleep by providing slightly higher air pressure than its surrounding air pressure. This prevents snoring and sleep apnea.

Oral appliances: Dentists can supply different oral devices that can keep airways open during sleep. People suffering from obstructive sleep apnea may need to try more than one mask to find one that is effective.

Maxillomandibular advancement: This is one of the surgical options available for obstructive sleep apnea. Basically, in this procedure, the jaw is moved forward, making the space between the soft palette and the tongue wider, which makes obstruction of the airway less likely.

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty: This surgical procedure may or may not be successful in treating one's sleep apnea. In a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty the surgeon removes tissue from the top of your throat and the back of your mouth. Additionally, the tonsils and adenoids are also typically removed. The procedure is usually successful for stopping snoring.

Tracheostomy: This surgical procedure is performed if other treatments have failed to treat your sleep apnea and/or your sleep apnea is life-threatening. In this procedure, a surgeon makes a hole in your neck in which a plastic or metal tube is placed. You keep the hole covered during the day, but uncover it at night to allow air to pass through to your lungs; you breathe through the tube in order to bypass the obstruction in your throat.

The specific treatment or treatments you receive will depend on your specific circumstances, which you should discuss with your doctor.