Autumn Chills!

It seems the summer ended almost overnight,  and suddenly we are well on our way to warm winter nights, cosy fires and foggy Autumn mornings.

At this time of year it is important to stay in touch with how we are feeling and with any shift in mood or form, as the nights become longer and days become darker.  A great way to stay in touch with our feelings and to monitor our mood is by using a mood diary, or keeping a journal. Brief annotations throughout the day or week describing how you feel a particular times will help with staying on top of mood swings and, more importantly, help us figure out what times of the day or week we are most vulnerable to feeling low, and cut it off at the pass.

There are some very simple habits to form that can help empower us to take control of our moods.

* Getting ahead of the downward slump/keeping a mood diary.

* Getting out and about during daylight hours.

* Eating regular, healthy meals.

* Staying in contact with others.

* Keep your mind challenged, reading, classes, crafts or hobbies.

If you feel that oncoming winter is dragging you down feel free to call me on 087 7097477 and we’ll can work on exploring your perspective so that  you can look forward to crisp cold walks and open cosy fires, and generally enjoying the winter season instead of dreading it.

You can phone on 087 7097477 or email at midwestcounselling@gmail.com

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January Blues???

It’s dark, cold and a very long way to pay day.

Is it any wonder that the third Monday in January has been awarded the dubious honour of being called Blue Monday – the most depressing day in the year?

The resolution to begin a lifestyle overhaul got postponed till all the Quality Street were finished, the exercise regime is impossible in the dark and wet… and sure you can’t quit smoking when it’s this gloomy out?? Hardly inspiring stuff, is it?

Putting a little balance back into our lives is really what these resolutions are about and are a big help in finding a bit of peace for 2013.

Take 10 mins and look at your life in terms of 8 different categories and try to (honestly) give each one a rating out of 10 – if you’re falling below 5 in any of the areas it may be time to take a look at it and see what can be done.

  • Health
  • Money
  • Social life
  • Partner/relationship
  • Work/career
  • Friends/family
  • Home
  • Personal growth/spirituality (religion, interests, hobbies,)

Set yourself reasonable and attainable goals and as always feel free to fail and start again.

Best of Luck and Happy New Year!

If you feel you many benefit from talking to someone,

please feel free to call me on 087 709 74 77 or

email me in confidence at midwestcounselling@gmail.com.

Stress, Depression and Christmas.

Although Christmas is meant to be a time of happiness and joy for many, depression, sleep problems and anxiety and stress are the more common features of the holiday season.

It may be the season to be jolly, but between mounting financial strain and the pressure of spending prolonged hours with our families and in laws, it’s easy to see why many of us would prefer to pull the duvet back over our heads and hope the whole thing will just pass us by.

Although this may seem a bit un-festive, in reality anxiety over strains of Christmas can negatively affect our health in many ways and with the “festive” period upon us there is often more opportunity to avail of unhealthy coping behaviors.
We are often more likely to try and cope by drinking, smoking, overeating or staying up alone late at night.

If you are feeling the strain and would like someone to talk to, feel free to call me on 087 709 7477 or to email me in confidence at midwestcounselling@gmail.com and perhaps we can try to put some of the yuletide glow back into the holiday season.

What is Depression?

What is Depression?

There is a difference between depression with a little‘d’ – which we all get – and depression with a big ‘D’. Depression with a little ‘d’ is a natural response to having a bad day or hearing sad news. Depression with a big ‘D’ is when your whole energy and concentration is down and you are struggling to focus. It is a mental health condition which affects a person’s thinking, energy, feelings and behaviour. It’s not just having a bad day!

Symptoms of Depression

Depression has eight main symptoms. If you experience five or more of these symptoms, lasting for a period of two weeks or more, you should speak to a GP or mental health professional. The symptoms of depression are:

• Feeling sad, anxious or bored

• Low energy, feeling tired or fatigued

• Under-sleeping or over-sleeping,waking frequently during the night

• Poor concentration, thinking slowed down

• Loss of interest in hobbies, family or social life

• Low self-esteem and feelings of guilt

• Aches and pains with no physical basis, e.g. chest, head or tummy pain  associated with anxiety or stress

• Loss of interest in living, thinking about death, suicidal thoughts

What causes it?

Depression has a number of possible causes. For some people, it happens because of a traumatic life event such as bereavement, relationship breakdown, financial difficulties or bullying. In other situations, the person may have an inherent tendency towards depression, and such genetic factors can be key in the case of bipolar disorder. This mood disorder involves not just periods of depression, but also periods of elation, where the person’s mood is significantly higher than normal. During these periods, a person may have excessive energy with little need for sleep, may have grandiose ideas and may engage in risk-taking behaviour.

What should I do if I think I am depressed?

The most important thing to do is to speak to a doctor or mental health professional in order to get a correct diagnosis. There are a number of treatments for depression, depending on the cause and severity of symptoms and a professional is best placed to decide which, if any, treatment is most appropriate. Accessing reliable information is also vital.

 Taken from Aware.ie 15th July 2012

Facebook depression’ fears unfounded: US study

Worries about a link between depression and the amount of time spent on Facebook or other social media sites are probably unfounded, suggested a recent US study.
The University of Wisconsin School study found no basis to support the theory outlined in a study last year by the American Academy of Pediatrics that suggested exposure to Facebook could lead to depression among adolescents.

“Our study is the first to present scientific evidence on the suggested link between social-media use and risk of depression,” said Lauren Jelenchick, a researcher at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

“The findings have important implications for clinicians who may prematurely alarm parents about social-media use and depression risks.”

Jelenchick and professor Megan Moreno surveyed 190 students at the university between the ages of 18 and 23. The survey participants were on Facebook for over half of the total time online.

They found no significant links between social media use and the probability of depression.

The results were published Monday in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

“Our findings are similar to those from studies of other communication applications, such as e-mail and chat, which also found no association with depression,” the researchers wrote.

Still, they noted that “a single study cannot prove or disprove an association” and cautioned that the latest study “is limited by the sample’s ethnic homogeneity, our focus on older adolescents in a single university setting, and a small sample size.”

Moreno, a pediatrician who studies social media use among children and adolescents, said parents don’t have to be overly concerned if their child’s behavior and mood have not changed, and if they have friends and their school work is consistent.

“While the amount of time on Facebook is not associated with depression, we encourage parents to be active role models and teachers on safe and balanced media use for their children,” said Moreno.

 

Postpartum depression

Postpartum depression (PPD), also called postnatal depression, is a form of clinical depression which can affect women, and less frequently men, typically after childbirth.

tudies report prevalence rates among women from 5% to 25%, but methodological differences among the studies make the actual prevalence rate unclear. Among men, in particular new fathers, the incidence of postpartum depression has been estimated to be between 1.2% and 25.5%.[1] Postpartum depression occurs in women after they have carried a child. Symptoms include sadness, fatigue, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, reduced libido, crying episodes, anxiety, and irritability. Although a number of risk factors have been identified, the causes of PPD are not well understood. Many women recover with a treatment consisting of a support group or counselling.