With all of the suicides in recent years, teen depression has gotten a lot of press. This is a good thing because it helps alert us all to how serious this problem can be for them. Not all cases of teen depression end in suicide, but the increase in the rate is alarming.
Many parents these days work outside of the home. This means that the amount of time that they actually get to spend with their child is often limited.
Between the demands placed on families and the unwillingness of many teens to share with their parents, it becomes more important for everyone to be involved. This means that no matter how you are involved with teens, recognizing the signs of depression and reacting to them quickly can mean the difference between life and death for them.
Depression can be anything from a simple episode where they are upset briefly because of a break up, a missed opportunity, or a failure in some area of their life. It can also be a constant, heavy cloud that they can not get out from under. This heavy cloud can and does destroy lives.
There are many things that parents, counselors, teachers and even friends can do to keep them out of this deep, dark depression. Teen depression is serious and should be handled carefully.
Knowing and watching for the tell-tale signs can help you to determine when a simple case of depression is not so simple and needs some intervention.
- Pulling away from friends and activities that they are involved with.
- Loss of appetite, or weight loss.
- Restless sleep. Waking up still tired is a sure sign of this.
- Pulling away from social situations is a key sign of teen depression. Any teen that is not interested in socializing should be a signal that something is not quite right.
- Consistently down in the dumps. Occasionally being down is normal, but if you notice a pattern of the blues that lasts, it may be time to get help.
- Isolation. A teen or even a young adult that stays locked away in their room.
- Consistently quitting activities may be an indication that they do not feel worthy of being included with others.
Although teen depression does not always lead to suicide, it can lead to other serious problems. Teens that are depressed may be more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol to help ease their pain. These same teens are also less likely to do well in school. Read the rest of this entry »
Technology has improved numerous elements of society; unfortunately, our physical and mental health is not one of them. Computer work in particular causes many of us to sit hunched over a desk all day long, contending with aching shoulder, neck, back, and leg muscles as a result. Instead of suffering in silence, people are opting for professional help. Enter massage therapy.
You may be familiar with massage therapy in the context of relaxing and rejuvenation, with the goal of stress reduction and increased energy levels. But that’s only part of the holistic picture. Massage therapy is also used in the medical context to treat painful ailments, decompress tired and overworked muscles, rehabilitate sports injuries, and promote general health.
Here’s how it works: Through massage, therapists manipulate clients’ soft tissues to improve the body’s circulation and remove waste products from the muscles. Massage therapists can specialize in over 80 different types of massage, called modalities. Some of the more popular approaches include Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, reflexology, acupressure, sports massage, and neuromuscular massage.
Training to Unwind
There are roughly 1,300 massage therapy training programs throughout the country. About 300 of these are accredited by a state board or department of education-certified accrediting agency. Massage therapy training includes subjects such as anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, business, and ethics, as well as hands-on practice of massage techniques.
After completing massage therapy training, students may take one of two national certification exams administered by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, leading to the Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCTMB) credential or the Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage (NCTM) credential.
These credentials must be renewed every four years. In order to retain certification, those with massage therapy training must perform at least 200 hours of therapeutic massage during the four-year period, and complete a minimum of 48 massage therapy continuing education units (CEUs). Read the rest of this entry »
Fear is sometimes considered to be an integral element of the human psyche, keeping people from jumping into situations that can be considered dangerous or disadvantageous. However, there are times when fear can effectively cripple a person’s ability to do what needs to be done. This is particularly true if the fear comes in the form of anxiety disorders and phobias, which can sometimes be termed as being “unreasonable,” as compared to the more normal, “reasonable” fears.
Anxiety disorders and phobias, while distinct from one another, do have several common features. Both of them are considered to be an unhealthy fear. Both are considered to be psychological disorders, though it is generally accepted that phobias emerge from anxiety disorders. For sure, there are a number of factors that cause anxiety disorders and phobias. Anxiety disorders and phobias can be triggered by a number of stressful situations. But clearly, most studies indicate that anxiety disorders might take longer to form or develop as compared to phobias.
Some theorize that phobias are formed as part of the exaggerated aspect of the natural human survival instinct. Phobias are reactions to “natural threats” to a person’s well-being, for example, the fear of spiders or the fear of heights. The difference lies in the severity of the fear reaction. A phobia can totally paralyze or debilitate a person while having a simple fear will just elicit a response that does not necessarily interrupt a person’s normal functions.
In contrast, stress and anxiety takes a number of formative years to develop, or more appropriately, worsen before it affects a person. The stress and anxiety can actually lead to other phobias such as claustrophobia, the fear of closed spaces, and hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia —- which is the irrational fear of the number 666.
According to some psychologists, stress and anxiety combined with external triggers and internal factors that impact on an individual’s psyche can cause phobias. There are some who believe that anxiety disorders are not constant and can generally be treated with medication, whereas phobias are generally believed to require extensive therapy. In reality, no credible, verifiable studies have produced results to back up this claim. Very little information is available and the research on the subject matter do not necessarily refute some of the existing theories.
Interestingly, a number of modern “phobias” are highly social in nature, perhaps reflecting the growing sense of status anxiety and social anxiety people feel. These particular phobias are generally considered to be non-clinical and are mere signs of mild social disorders that cannot be categorized as phobias. Most experts view these new “phobias” as little more than signs of people developing social anxiety and status anxiety as a result of ignorance or misinformation. There are also some that carry discriminatory undertones, such as a “phobia” that centers around the fear of Christianity and the various Christian denominations. Read the rest of this entry »