Articles of interest for Mental Health.

5 Personality Traits That Can Help Combat Depression

Overcome depression by incorporating these 5 traits into your everyday mindset.

When someone is depressed, they feel like there is nothing in the world that can make things better. When someone seeks help from a mental health professional, they are looking for something that is going to make it better. Whether this is medication or some type of inner discovery, there is still usually something missing. When someone is depressed it may be harder for them to tap into the discovery of themselves.

The piece that is missing is what the depressed person may not be bringing to the session. Everybody possesses certain personality traits, some are inherited and some are learned. When people are depressed they are not functioning as healthy as they can be, and coping and problem solving skills don’t come as naturally as they had before. It is possible to learn how to incorporate the five traits below to your life which may help make it easier for someone to overcome a depressive episode.

1. Empathy

First, people with depression usually can’t think about anything except what is happening to them. When someone is depressed they isolate themselves and are blaming themselves or others for things that have gone wrong in their life. When people are depressed they may go through a stage of “It’s all about me” and “why is this happening to me.” But the truth is that other people are usually not doing things on purpose to make someone else miserable, they are usually too self-absorbed and are doing things to benefit themselves.

We on the other hand take this very personal. It is important to remember that it’s not always about you. Sometimes people have other things going on in their life that prevent them from following through in the relationship that you are used to having with them. Think about others as you go about your day. Doing something small for someone else may in turn help you feel better about yourself.

2. Extraverted

It’s important not to isolate yourself. Staying in your bed or alone in your house will get you nowhere but more depressed. Go to a coffee house, go to a bookstore, just being around people will make you feel more productive and give you more motivation. Don’t be afraid to say hi to someone you don’t know as you’re walking past — a small smile can brighten your day.

3. Conscientious

Be mindful of what you are doing. Be mindful of how you are feeling. Your thoughts are affecting your behavior. If you’re aware that you’ve been sitting in the house for the past 36 hours doing nothing but laying in your bed, then perhaps that is affecting your mood. If your mindful of this then you’ll be more conscientious of changing that behavior. Notice how it feels to smile; how it feels to frown. Be mindful of your breathing as you go about your day. Being mindful of what you are doing and how you are feeling will give you the skills that you need to be conscientious of how your day could be going better by making healthier choices.

4. Optimistic 

Thinking more positive can give you better self-esteem which may make your more motivated. This will allow you to be better at problem-solving. When someone is optimistic it allows you to feel healthier — which will usually help you plan for your future. Also, being more optimistic makes it easier for people to want to be around you. This can help your self-confidence and encourage you from isolating yourself from others. It feels good inside to know that people want you around them!

5. Open-Minded (agreeableness)

Keep an open mind. Try not to think that no matter what you do or what someone says to you, that things won’t get better. Try to take into consideration how medication may help you. Try to be open-minded about talking to a mental health professional. Be open-minded to the fact that things couldn’t possibly get worse, simply by talking to someone about how you feel and think. To the contrary, keeping things in and stuffing them is what brings about depression to begin with. Think of this situation as a learning experience, and it will be easier for you to use the new skills that you’re learning and adapt them into your everyday life.

7 Ways To Parent Better That You Can Start Now

Looking for some quick ways to be a better parent? Here are 7 tips that you can start doing today!

7 Ways To Parent Better

What responsibilities do you and your spouse take on as parents? It’s important to find your style of parenting with teamwork. How do you help each other? Do you have to ask or is it just expected? It’s important to communicate with one another what your strengths are as parents because it will be easier to divide up tasks. Finding ways to balance each other out is extremely important, it creates a healthy relationship and it also sets a great example to your children on demonstrating how to work with another person.

What are your values as a parent? Think about what you value about your parent-child relationship, write them down. Your list of values will be constantly changing and evolving as your child grows. Try to incorporate at least one of those values each day even when things are not going well. If you’re a juggling parent then try to incorporate your values into themed weeks. For example, if respect is an important value to you, then for that week, you will work on demonstrating examples of “what being respectful is” and talking about it. This way the whole family gets involved.

Be consistent. Don’t give in on some days and then be stern on others. Children need to learn what is acceptable and what’s not. Giving in to your child will allow your child to learn how to “push your buttons” to get what he or she wants. This learned behavior causes inappropriate reactions to responses. If you’re a softy, then change the way you respond by saying something like, “I need to think about that before I give you my decision.” It’s easy to give an automatic response and give in because you’re frustrated or overwhelmed. However, your inconsistency then causes your child to possibly learn how to behave inappropriately.

Establish a routine for your children. This is a great learned behavior to establish and it’s probably one of the best gifts you can give your child. By teaching them this skill they can learn how to adapt it into their own lives as they get older. Set a routine for them while they are in school and when the summer time comes as well. For example, during the school year, establish a before school and after school routine as well as a before bed routine. This will allow them to transition into different events or situations in a healthy way and allow for less resistance. During the summer, establish a routine for when they wake up and before they go to bed.

Attend to positive behaviors by offering praise. This allows the child to realize that you’re acknowledging them when they are doing something that’s appropriate. Most often we attend to negative behaviors, which then allow the child to learn how to get attention, however, in a negative way. Turn that around by attending more often to positive behavior. For example, your child is a messy eater and you’re constantly telling them to sit and eat properly, thus enforcing the behavior and giving attention of eating messy. This is negative attention. Instead, the next time they take a bite and get all the food from that spoon in their mouth without dripping, make a REALLY BIG DEAL out of it! That way you can enforce the behavior that you want to see. Help allow your child to recognize the difference between negative attention and positive attention. The end result is that you will start seeing more appropriate behavior.

Be Mindful 
Be mindful of how you’re behaving because of the way that you are feeling. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, that will allow your child to pick up on your unhealthy behaviors. You are allowed to feel overwhelmed; however, you don’t need to behave in an unhealthy manner just because you do. Also, be mindful of how your child is responding to you. Observe their body language and facial expressions. They may not be saying something to you about the way you’re acting because you are their parent but that does not mean that it doesn’t bother them. Remember you are role modeling for them how you want them to behave.

Quality over Quantity 
You come home from work and plop yourself in front of the TV or grab your IPAD to deprogram yourself from your hectic day. Your kids are in the same room as you watching a movie or playing a game. This does not constitute as quality time. The quantity of time that you spend with your child is not healthy if it’s not quality time spent together. Just because you’re sitting in the same room as one another does not mean you are fostering healthy examples of communication or relationships. The time together must be of quality, even if it’s just for 5 minutes. Start working on quality time by asking your child to tell you one positive and negative thing about their day, and you do the same in return. Get to know your child’s likes and dislikes and learn more about their personality as they get to know more about you. Remember that the years go by too quick to not take 5 minutes from your day.



10 Warning Signs That Your Husband Is Cheating

Do you suspect that your husband is cheating? What are some warning signs to look out for?

10 Warning Signs That Your Husband Is Cheating
1. Short and brief about his day. Is your husband’s communication getting shorter by the day? If he’s not forthcoming about his day and you feel that he is being short and brief about it, you may need to ask him to elaborate. If you feel like there is something that he’s not telling you then you’re probably right.


2. Lack of intimacy. Are your late night sex encounters nonexistent? Is kissing and close contact becoming more sparse? If you initiate sexual contact and your husband pushes you away, then there is something going on with your relationship that is a cause for concern.
3. Talking less on the phone. Are your routine phone calls no longer routine? Are you talking less on the phone? Is this happening more during or after work hours? If the usual talk during lunch and then from home is not happening, find out the reason why. Is it temporary or has this been going on for months now?
4. Late office hours. The hubby never had late office hours before but now, for the past few months, it’s more frequent and he’s too busy to answer the phone. He also doesn’t want you to contact his receptionist or call the main office either. Why has this recently changed?
5. Cell phone. Is he hiding his cell phone? Is there a new password on it that wasn’t there before? Is the ringer on silent and if he looks at the phone he doesn’t tell you who it is and walks away? Are text messages automatically deleted? If your husband’s behavior has changed when using his phone then this could be a sign that something is going on and it’s not involving you.
6. More nights out. Is your husband going out more than he has in the past? Is it more frequent? Are these friends that you have never met nor heard of before? Is he coming home late at night or not talking about how his night went? If your gut is telling you something is up then go with it, you’re probably right.
7. Hiding the credit card bill. Is your husband paying the credit card bill and not showing you what was charged? Is there more frequent ATM withdrawals then there have been in the past? If you don’t know where he is spending his money, then how do you know he’s telling the truth?
8. Going out with friends more. Is your husband going out with his friends more than he goes out with you? If your husband isn’t inviting you out and chooses to go out more often with his friends than before you should start to have a talk.
9. Communication has changed. Does your husband not ask you about your day anymore or what’s new with you? When he comes home from work he starts to do his own thing and ignore you making you feel like you’re not there. There’s a reason for this and you should start asking why.


Is Your Schedule Impacting Your Child’s Routine?

Is it hard to be consistent when putting the kids down to sleep? Here’s some tips to help.

Is Your Schedule Impacting Your Child’s Routine?

Getting home at the same time from work never seems to work out. When you get home your exhausted and burnt out from your day. You didn’t even get to have a “break” on your way home from work because traffic was horrific or your concentration ability has been sucked out of you from your day. You come home and your husband has the kids on the couch watching a movie. Clearly the bed time routine didn’t happen tonight nor has it been working out for the past few months. “You might not make it home the same time each night, but that shouldn’t have a negative impact on your kids’ sleep,” says Conner Herman and Kira Ryan, co-authors of The Dream Sleeper.
It’s so important to establish a routine and to be consistent with it. If you can’t get home by the kids bed time then have your husband or the care giver put the kids down on the scheduled time even if you are not there. The best thing that you can do is to communicate to your husband or your care giver about the importance of putting the kids to sleep on time so that they are not grouchy or sleep deprived the next day. It will be difficult in the beginning to have them adapt to the change but in a couple weeks they’ll be fine. Children will adapt to change as long as it’s consistent.
If you’re getting home on the hour that they’re on their way to bed, then go up to their room and help them get their pajamas on. It will be nice to take out some quality time together by reading them a book or by singing them a night time lullaby.
If you don’t make it home by the time they go to bed, don’t beat yourself up over it. You’re doing them a favor by sticking to the schedule. You may feel bad about it, but you would be doing them a disservice if you didn’t follow the routine. Trying to accommodate yourself instead of accommodating the children in a healthy manner is selfish. Stick to the routine and your child will be a happier child.
Wait till your child is sleeping to go into his or her room to give them a gentle good night kiss. You don’t want to wake them up only to try to get them to sleep again. Make your mornings special by telling them something positive. Spend 5 minutes of quality time in the morning while eating breakfast or while making up their bed with them.
Remember to have quality time with your children and use your unreliable work schedule as a teachable moment to show that everyone has to be flexible to make a family work well.


5 Tips To Help Parents Worry Less

Learn to ease your anxiety with this useful advice.

As a parent, you want what is best for your children. You want them to be smarter, better looking and more well-rounded than you are. You want them to be liked by their peers and to succeed in school. As such, you worry. And, with worrying comes anxiety which can turn into depression. Here are five ways to help you stop worrying so much:

1. Trust the facts. When you look at the facts and evidence of what has actually been occurring, you will find that the worried feeling you have is irrational. Examine what’s actually occurring in your life and consider how you feel after that.

2. Stop over-identifying with your kids. If your child gets into an argument with another child, do you think, ‘I must be a bad mother?’ If so, you are personalizing events that aren’t your fault. Tell yourself ‘the only person’s behavior that I can control is my own.’ It’s important to remember that you are not your child and your child isn’t you.

3. Think positively. Just because something negative happened once before doesn’t mean it will happen again. Negative events allow people to learn from their mistakes, which allows us to grow intellectually. When you think more positive about how the day will turn out, it usually will.

4. Stop blowing things out of proportion. This commonly occurs when you look at your errors or your child’s errors and exaggerate their importance. Try to focus more on your child’s strengths. This will allow you to feel better about your parenting and allow your child’s self esteem to grow.

5. Keep an open mind. Seeing things in black and white is totally unrealistic because life is rarely completely one way or the other. Look at the room your sitting in now, is it perfectly clean? Is every space piled high with dust or dirt? Or is it partially clean? Absolutes do not exist in this universe.


5 Tips To Talk To Your Kids About Divorce

How do you tell your child that your getting divorced? Here are some tips to help you prepare.

Getting divorced can be overwhelming, add a child into the mix and now it can be even more scary. Divorce has many impacts on a child’s life, some good and some bad. It’s important to remember that as a parent your child is looking to you as being the expert. Do your research before spilling the beans. Never is the right time to tell, so here are some tips according to Gary Neuman, the author of Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce the Sandcastles Way.


1. Make sure your child knows that it is not his or her fault for the divorce. Be clear when you give this information to your child that, “It’s Mom and Dad’s fault that you cannot live together anymore.” “This is our decision, and no one but the two of us is at fault.”
2. Explain to your child that there is nothing they did, thought or felt or said that led to the divorce. Parents should express to their child that a divorce happens because of something that mom and dad’s do. It’s important that you express that nothing that they did caused this to happen. “We tried, but we can’t stay together because we hurt one another too much.”
3. Let your child know that they’ll be safe and they can continue to maintain contact with the other parent. “You will have plenty of time to see and talk to both of us.” Let them know that thier wishes will be taken into consideration in your planning. “We think our time with you is very important, but because of your schedule, we want to be flexible and talk to you about the specifics so all of us are comfortable.” Try to outline any details that you can.
4. It is important that your child knows that it is not bad or wrong to feel sad, angry or upset. “You probably have many feelings about the divorce and none of them is wrong. It’s okay to feel different things and we will always be here for you. You can talk to us about anything.”
5. The divorce is between you and your soon to be ex-spouse. Let you child know that you understand that they love you and care about you but that you are not asking for them to take sides. “We love you very much and we are sorry that our problems are affecting you like this, and while we promise to discuss with you aspects that concern you directly, there are things that will remain between your mother/father and me. We both know you love us. And we don’t want you to feel that you have to take sides to prove this.”