Category Archives: Uncategorized

Getting Over Teen Depression

teen depression

Teen depression is quite evident these days. Being a teenager is one of the toughest phases in a person’s life; it is when you feel most insecure about yourself – as if you don’t belong, like you are an outsider. It is normal for teenagers to feel sad, frustrated and or irritable. However, what should you do if the feeling doesn’t go away?

Teen depression can indeed drain life out of you – you may lose hope, feel tired and you will find it difficult to go on with your day-to-day activities. But always remember that you are in control of your feelings; don’t let what you feel get the best of you! The process wouldn’t be easy – but it is also not impossible.

Signs and Symptoms of Teen Depression

When you feel depressed, you get feel that no one understands you… that you are a hopeless case and that you are alone. But in reality, this is not the case. Teen depression is quite common and with proper help, you can get over it in no time.

Here are some of the signs and symptoms of teen depression:

  • Constant feeling of irritability, frustration, sadness and or anger
  • Feeling bad about yourself; that you are worthless
  • Sleeping too much or not enough
  • You experience frequent headaches
  • Most of the time you feel like crying
  • You are not focused; your performance at school is negatively being affected
  • You have thoughts of suicide

Coping with Teen Depression

When you feel depressed, try talking to an adult you trust. It may seem like your parents will not understand what you are going through, especially if they always nag you about your behavior. But it may surprise you that they do! Remember, they too were once a teenager… and they do not want to see their children in pain. Your parents nagging may just be a result of frustration because they don’t know what’s going on in your life.

Keep your communication lines with your parents open. If they know that you are feeling depressed, they can get you the help you need. But if your parents are abusive and there is no way that you can ask them for help, talk to another adult that you can trust – it may be your teacher, coach, grandparent, aunt or uncle.

Talking to the right person can get you directed to the support you need. If there is truly no one that you can trust, seek help from support groups and other hotlines; they are available to help you stop from developing harmful thoughts and actions. Asking for help is always the bravest thing that a teenager like you can do.

Tips for Getting Over Teen Depression

Do not isolate yourself. It’s normal to feel that you don’t want to see or be with anyone when you are depressed. However, isolating yourself will only make matters worse! Try to remain social and get out into the world. Spend some quality time with your loved ones and friends this will eventually help you feel good about yourself.

Be mindful of your health. Make healthy lifestyle choices to help improve your mood. Get into sports or do regular exercises – this will help release a rush of endorphins, which can make you feel happier. As for food, avoid eating food that will only make you feel ‘heavy’ or unhealthy; supply your body with the vitamins and minerals that it needs. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Avoid alcohol and drugs. Being depressed may lure you to drink or use drugs to escape your feelings. Although these things may provide you with the ‘mood boost’ that you need, it is just temporary. After the substance leaves your body, you will just feel more depressed than before. Moreover, alcohol and drug abuse may only increase your suicidal feelings and eventually will cause serious side affects and long term addiction – therefore, stay away from them at all costs!

Love Yourself. Learn more about you, and what you like and love about yourself. Don’t dwell on the negatives only the positives. Write down what you feel about yourself and focus on the good. When you see more negatives than positives, ask yourself if this is really how you feel or have you believed a lie you have been told. When you can write down the positives, they should outweigh the negatives. When they don’t, that’s when you should really talk to someone you trust to help you through the negatives so you can learn to love yourself again.

Warning Signs of A Physically Abusive Partner

physically abusive partner

Domestic violence and abuse is one of the biggest social problems of today, yet it is often overlooked or denied. Noticing and acknowledging the signs of a physically abusive partner are the first steps to put a stop to it. Always remember, no one should ever have to live in fear, particularly with a person that they love…

No woman in this world ever plans to enter an abusive relationship. However, many fail to recognize the signs of a physically abusive partner… and most women who get out of an abusive relationship usually find themselves becoming victims of abuse again. Unfortunately, it usually takes an average of five to seven acts of abuse before a woman decides to leave her partner.

The following is a list of behaviors and traits that a physically abusive partner may possess. This will help you predict if the person you are currently with has the possibility to become a domestic abuser. Avoid being blinded by love, lust or desperation and help stop domestic abuse today!

Constantly Jealous

A physically abusive partner starts with claims that his jealousy is a sign of love at the beginning of the relationship. He may constantly question you about whom you have spoken with or seen during your day; he may go right into accusing you that you are flirting with the people around you. A person prone to committing domestic violence has misplaced jealousy – he gets jealous when you spend time with your family and friends. As his jealousy progresses, he may start strictly monitoring your activities or even ask you to quit work for fear that you will meet someone else.

Controlling Behavior

A physically abusive partner usually disguises his controlling behavior as a form of concern – he will tell you that he is concern about your safety, well-being and your emotional health… A good example of a controlling behavior is when he gets mad when you arrive home late from work, shopping or any other activity. When your partner’s controlling gets worse, he may forbid you from making personal decisions about the house, your work, your clothing and many more. Concern is different from control; do not allow your partner to control your every move as if you are his property.

Unrealistic Expectations

An abusive partner may expect you to be the perfect wife, partner, girlfriend, lover and friend. He can become very dependent on you for all his needs and utter statements such as, ‘You are all I need’ or ‘I am all you need’. As he becomes dependent on you for everything, he may blame you if you are not able to live up to his expectations.

Blame-Shifting for Problems and Feelings

A physically abusive partner never accepts responsibility for any fault or problem; they always blame someone else for the misfortune in their lives. He may blame you for all the upsetting events in his life – unemployment, dropping out from school, family problems… He will always claim that his behavior is a reaction to your attitude. A physically abusive partner may use his feelings to manipulate you; he may use statements such as ‘You are hurting me by not doing what I ask’ or ‘I would not be angry if you didn’t…’

‘Playful’ Use of Force in Sex

A physically abusive partner may have sexual fantasies where you are helpless; he may find the idea of rape as exciting. He may force you to have sex even if you are feeling ill or tired, he may sulk to manipulate you to comply or feel angry if you don’t let him do what he wants.

 

The aforementioned are a few tale tell signs of a physically abusive partner that you should take heed when evaluating your situation. If you are in an abusive situation, talk to someone you can trust; ideally a professional who can help you get out of your abusive relationship.

What is Battered Woman Syndrome?

battered woman syndrome

 

A woman who has suffered from consequential physical, emotional or sexual abuse usually develops a physical and psychological condition called battered woman syndrome. Men can also suffer from the same syndrome, but nowadays it is more prevalent in women. It is commonly used by lawyers as an explanation in court for a battered woman’s behavior of staying.

People often ask a battered woman: Why didn’t you leave? Why did you put up with your abusive partner? This syndrome is a subtype of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome); women who develop it may not show or feel all the symptoms of PTSD but they usually share the same mentalities and behaviors that a person with PTSD has.

The following are some of the most common symptoms of battered woman syndrome:

  • Victim experiences difficulty in breathing and her heart beats faster than normal; a panic attack may occur if she is asked to re-experience the abuse
  • Fight or flight. The victim ‘turns off’ her emotions and denies reality to avoid facing her fears and emotions
  • The victim may also repress the entire memory and act like it never happened
  • A battered woman often has trouble establishing interpersonal relationships with others
  • The victim has sexuality and intimacy issues

 

Second Stage Symptoms of Battered Woman Syndrome

The aforementioned symptoms are the most common shared by women who have undergone physical and verbal abuse. However, repeated cycles of abuse and reconciliation with the abuser may further affect the behavior of some battered women.

  • The victim believes that the abuse was her fault
  • The victim fears the life of her loved ones because the abuser has threatened to harm them
  • The victim develops the belief that her abuser is ‘omniscient’
  • She becomes trapped in the ‘ugly memory’; it keeps playing on her mind like a movie that she doesn’t want to see
  • She may take actions to harm herself

Causes of Battered Woman Syndrome

Researches show that battered woman syndrome is a result of a three-stage cycle that occurs in domestic violence situations; first stage – the relationship is filled with tension, second stage – the abuser releases her tension by exerting violence to his partner, third stage – the abuser attempts to reconcile with his partner. However, the tension between the abuser and the victim is still present and remains unresolved which is why the three-stage cycle is repeated over and over again.

The repetition of violence is usually the result of the abuser’s desire to be in control of the relationship; he wants to make his partner believe that she is at fault. As a result, the victim feels responsible and helpless which further leads to being depressed and passive. Once a battered woman feels this way, her thoughts are distorted and is unable to ‘collect’ the resources and support system that she needs to escape the abusive relationship.

Unconditional Love

unconditional love

Unconditional love is often associated with complete love because a person gives it without expecting anything in return; it is love without limits and conditions. Everyone may have a different way of describing unconditional love, but most will agree that it involves loving with no bounds. In Christianity, this type of love is thought to include affection, friendship, Eros and charity.

It may mean differently in other areas of expertise such as in ethology – unconditional love is referred to as altruism (self-sacrifice) because the other is focused on increasing the well being of another. In psychology, it is defined as the state of mind to increase the welfare of a loved one without any benefit for oneself.

 

Unconditional Love is not ‘Blind Love’

Sometimes, a person in love fails to see his or her partner in full reality; he or she is ‘blinded’ from the person’s faults even if it’s already causing him or her pain. This state of love is temporary and should not be confused with unconditional love. If a love is meant to last, it should be faced with ‘eyes wide open’ – to love someone in all his or her essence without being blinded from the bad characteristics of the person.

 

Romantic Love Can Be Unconditional

Others may disagree that romantic love is unconditional because they view it as a partnership based on feelings, expectations and actions. Some even believe that it is impossible to love their partner in the same unconditional way that they love their children. However, love is not a relationship – it is a feeling. Some relationships end because it no longer functions for the people involved; but sometimes ending a relationship is the best way to love someone unconditionally.

 

 

Unconditional Love May Not Be a Feeling

There are times that people only love someone in response to what they get from the person; this idea makes love a conditional feeling. Unconditional love may be shown through actions in terms that one person strives for the well being of another without getting anything in return. They consider their ‘unrequited love’ as their form of ‘reward’ – the return they get from their own actions. Loving with expectations is conditional love while loving unconditionally, requires you to act under all conditions without any ‘rewards’.

 

Giving Unconditional Love to Others

The first step to loving unconditionally is learning to accept yourself – your imperfections, shortcomings and mistakes. You will not be able to love anyone else unconditionally if you are unable to forgive your own flaws.

One love doesn’t fit all; what one person deems as a loving act may appear as harmful to another. Always make the loving choice toward the person you intend to show it to. Help your loved ones get closer to becoming a truly happy person. Unconditional love is a new choice you have to make in different situations. Learn how to forgive your loved ones; let the feeling of anger and resentment go even if they do not apologize.

What It Feels Like To Be An Outcast

outcast

Grade school and high school are probably two of the most difficult times in my life. I always felt that I did not fit in, that I did not belong. I became paranoid – I felt that people were gossiping about me and that didn’t help with my already weak self-esteem. I felt like an outcast.

“Fitting in” was very important at that time. Whenever I look back at those times, I feel regretful at some of the things that I said and did just to feel or to believe that I wasn’t an outcast. The sad thing about today is that there are still times that I feel the need to belong. It’s not that I want to be popular or cool like I did in high school, I just don’t want to feel that I am an outcast.

Does the above scenario sound all too familiar? Most teenagers go through feeling of being an outcast and if not dealt with in a healthy way, for many it can lead into their adulthood.  However, everyone at one time or another has felt like an outsider from time to time. The feeling usually surfaces when we start comparing ourselves to others; when our parenting or lifestyle choices differ from our peers, we feel lost. When we make a decision and people around us don’t support it; when we no longer share something in common with our family and friends – we can feel isolated.

If you have these feelings of being an outcast what are you supposed to do to reduce or eliminate this feeling? Remember, you will always feel a little different from the people around you because you really are! You are special. But how do you deal with it positively? Here are some tips that may help overcome the feeling of being an outcast:

Getting Comfortable in Your Own Skin

Start by accepting that it’s okay to be different. God made each of us special and unique with our own amazing talents, ideas and skills. The feeling of isolation may only be negative if you don’t know yourself truly. If you take the time to get to know yourself better, you will learn to appreciate all the things that you are. Also, if you feel good about yourself you will attract positive vibes and more people would want to be around you.

Letting Go of the Past

Lingering on your painful past may hurt your future. When you remain angry and resentful about your past, this also hinders you from relating to anyone; you develop a habit of just expecting the worst from people, which can make you bitter and unhappy. Letting go of the past will help you feel more comfortable about yourself; you can easily get along with others because you give off a positive ‘aura’.

You are Not Alone

It’s quite inevitable to feel that you are the only one who feels a certain way when you are sad or depressed. But everyone living on earth has felt like an outcast at one point in his or her life. What you have to remember is that you are not the only one suffering from negative feelings. What makes you different from other people is how you handle things; you have a choice to either wallow in your sorrow or do something that will put you in a better situation.

Common Causes of Suicide

causes of suicide

Suicide happens when a person decides to intentionally take his or her own life.  Almost everyone has suicidal thoughts at one point in their lives. Why do people take their own life? When someone goes through a tough time that causes trauma, mental and or physical illness, hopelessness and other depressive situations, suicide may seem like the only solution. There are many causes of suicide and you’ll get to know more about them from this article.

 

 

Causes of Suicide

 

The following is a list of common causes of suicide and some go beyond the realm of mental illness and feeling of hopelessness. Although there are crisis hotlines  designed to prevent people from committing suicide, they are not 100 percent full-proof effective in helping.

  • Bipolar disorder – the spectrum of bipolar disorder is quite vast but essentially in includes extreme mood swings such as severe depression that can level up to hypomania. Having this mental illness prevents people from establishing relationships with others and enjoying a balanced life. When a person with bipolar disorder undergoes heavy depression, he or she may end up committing suicide.
  • Sexual abuse – victims of this assault normally feel depressed and suicidal; these individuals were forced to perform sexual acts against their will, and the results can lead to serious psychological trauma. When their depression is not properly addressed, victims of sexual abuse can be highly suicidal.
  • Bullying – bullying has been known to have serious effects on its victims both mentally and psychologically. People who are bullied at home, school or work end up feeling very depressed; some victims of bullying feel that they are worthless and they lose hope that their situation will change. Unfortunately, bullying is usually unrecognized and some victims resort to suicide in hope to escape from the pain he or she is experiencing.
  • Personality disorder – this is closely related to mental illness; referred to as having a set of traits that hinder a person from properly functioning in a society. Often, victims are unable to maintain relationships and a job. A victim may have difficulty in coping with life and develop a ‘dependency’ disorder that may lead them to commit suicide.
  • Drug addiction – people who suffer from substance or alcohol abuse are more likely to commit suicide than others. These individuals turn to drugs and alcohol to escape the painful feelings of their lives. Drugs and alcohol may provide a short-term solution to their problems, but in the long run these cause damage to their mind and body. Eventually, many drug and alcohol abusers commit suicide to stop feeling pain and depression.
  • Unemployment – being unemployed can make a person feel worthless and depressed; it can make an individual feel isolated and incapable which lead to low self-esteem. Unemployed people may feel that they don’t have a purpose in life, which can make them highly suicidal. Moreover, people who hate their current job may also commit suicide due to prolong feeling of unhappiness, stress and pressure.

All About Human Trafficking

human traffickingHuman Trafficking is against the law and a serious violation of human rights. In the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in persons, it is defined as a form of recruitment and harbor of people by means of threat, force and deception.

Traffickers abuse their power and position against the vulnerability of another person for the purpose of exploitation. At a minimum, exploitation may be in the form of prostitution, forced labor or the removal of organs. Whatever it is one thing is common among all human trafficking victims – they lose their freedom.

In the United States, the most common form of human trafficking is prostitution. It often occurs online, in residential brothels, in the street or in businesses or spas that secretly function as brothels. Labor trafficking, on the other hand, is prevalent in domestic servitude situations. It is common in large farms, restaurants and carnivals.

 

Primary Factors of Human Trafficking

High Profits and Low Risk. Human trafficking is a market-driven criminal industry that is defined by the principles of demand and supply. Traffickers are earning millions and billions of dollars annually by exploiting other people. They prey their victims with promises of money, improved lifestyle, support for family, education and escape from war.

 

Victims of Human Trafficking

Victims of human trafficking have no limits. They can be men or women, adult or children, local residents or foreign nationals. But women and children are the key target group of most traffickers because they have limited economic resources and are mostly in need. Traffickers take advantage of people from impoverished and low income households. They like preying on young girls that run away from home and people with low levels of education. Traffickers always look for victims that they can take advantage of and seduce with their false promises.

 

The Perpetrators

Traffickers ensnare their victims into forced labor, prostitution and other forms of exploitation through manipulation and threats. They often use force, lies and other psychological coercion to recruit and exploit their victims. In some cases, they even kidnap their victims and use physical violence to control them.

Unfortunately, traffickers often share the same ethnicity, cultural background and nationality with their victims. They use this to their advantage because it can help them better understand the vulnerabilities of their victims.

The type of traffickers may range from individuals to extensive criminal networks. They can be pimps, family members, small business owners, gangs and so forth. The common thread among traffickers is that they are willing to exploit other people for their profit.

 

Overcome Obesity Today

overcome obesityObesity is a serious issue in the United States and other countries today. Some say that it’s a lifestyle disease but it can also be a result of other illnesses such as diabetes and thyroid gland disease. Anyone can be a victim of this condition – old, young and even children. It poses great danger not only to an individual’s physical health but also to his or her psychological state.

People who are obese experience many difficulties in their daily lives. They may suffer from difficulty in breathing, develop heart disease and emotional challenges such as bullying. So how can you overcome obesity today? Read on and find out.

 

Exercise

Time and again, you may read and hear how important regular exercise is to your overall well-being. Health experts and diet gurus all agree to its efficiency. It helps burn calories and extra fat in your body. Doing exercise at least three to four times a week can help keep you healthy. It can be as simple as walking around your neighborhood or jogging. You may also do sports like swimming, playing tennis or cycling. Whatever it is, keep in mind that your body needs exercise. It releases endorphins that improve your mood and makes you sweat to flush out the toxins. Additionally, exercise will distress your mind and body; stress can cause serious illnesses; disease is a “dis-ease” happening in your body.

 

Healthy Diet

Watch your diet because what you put in your body really matters! Make sure to eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. Cucumber and green leafy vegetables are great to include in meals as it contains very little calories and is good for the digestive system because it has a lot of water. You don’t have to completely cut off meat from your diet. You can replace it with fish or a portion of skinless chicken. Also, avoid eating junk food, instead replace it with nuts and other low carb snacks that won’t affect your blood sugar and put on weight.

 

Weigh Yourself Regularly

Keeping your weight in check is one way to prevent obesity. Knowing how much you weigh will keep you motivated to reach your weight goal. It will keep you informed about your progress and you will know how close you are to getting your ideal weight.

 

 

Avoid Weight Reducing Diets

There are innumerable weight cutting diets out there, each having its own promise of giving you a glorious body in just a few short weeks. However, those aren’t really good for you. So instead of following those diet plans, go for a program that’s based on vegetables, low fat meat, olive oil, coconut oil, exercise and lots of clear liquids. There is no shortcut to health so avoid crash dieting. It may help you lose weight at the beginning but as time goes by, you’ll notice your body weakening because you’re already losing essential nutrients.  It’s vital to feed your cells, don’t starve them. Starving your cells will pack on the weight you don’t want or need!

 

Finally……

Keep a Positive Attitude

Don’t’ think about what you can’t have or are missing….think about a lifestyle change to get healthy. Your motto should be to “eat to live not live to eat”.  Focus on your health, and the benefits you will gain by changing bad habits to good ones. Whenever you fail, don’t beat yourself up over it, just start again and keep a positive attitude; do better tomorrow!  Think about how long it took you to get this way, it started maybe years ago from poor eating habits and lack of taking care of yourself. Making a lifestyle change doesn’t happen over night, so be patient, give yourself the time you need to make the change but try everyday to do something better for yourself.

 

 

 

Kathleen Frank Interviews with Michael Dresser on April 17, 2013