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A history of depression increases risk for future episodes following divorce

depressionDivorce is associated with an increased risk of future depressive episodes but only for those who already have a history of depression, according to a new study published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

“Stressful life events like divorce are associated with significant risk for prolonged emotional distress, including clinically-significant depression,” notes psychological scientist and lead researcher David Sbarra of the University of Arizona. “At the same time, we know from considerable research that the experience of divorce is non-random. Some people are much greater risk for experiencing a divorce than other people.”

This led Sbarra and colleagues to wonder: Is it divorce, or the factors leading to divorce – such as marital discord, neuroticism, or hostility – that increase the risk for depression?

To investigate this question, the researchers took advantage of data from the longitudinal, nationally representative Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS) study. The researchers matched each participant who had separated or divorced during the study to a continuously married person in the study who had the same propensity to divorce, based on a number of previously identified factors. By comparing participants to their match, the researchers were able to account for the fact that it’s impossible to randomly assign people to divorce or stay married.

In line with previous research, the results showed that divorce had a significant effect on subsequent depression.

But, as Sbarra and colleagues found, the full story was a bit more complex.

Specifically, divorce or separation only increased the likelihood of a later depressive episode for those participants who reported a history of depression. In fact, nearly 60% of adults with a history of depression who divorced during the study experienced a depressive episode at the follow-up assessment.

For all other participants – including those who had a history of depression but hadn’t divorced, and those who divorced but had no history of depression – there was no elevated risk for a future depressive episode. Only about 10% of these people experienced a depressive episode at follow-up.

Read the full story here…

Memory Problem, PTSD, Good News Here!

memory problems and PTSD

Researchers have just identified a drug capable of preventing memory problems and increased anxiety in traumatized mice suffering from PTSD-like symptoms.

The finding has huge medical implications for future human PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) treatment and/or prevention.

According to Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators, a receptor called Oprl1 is altered when mice experience PTSD symptoms. The scientists then developed a drug that targets that specific gene, thus preventing the development of the disorder.

Mice were put through a traumatic event – being restrained to wooden boards – and were at a heightened state of fear.

The researchers then gave the mice the Oprl1-targeted drug and found that it had a preventive effect on PTSD and a significant impact on fear memory modulation.

The study, which was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, indicated that humans with genetic variants of the Oprl1 gene are at a higher risk of developing PTSD after a traumatic event, suggesting that the new drug could have a similar effect in humans.

Study leader, HHMI investigator Kerry J. Ressler of the Emory University School of Medicine, said:

“PTSD is a tractable problem that can be prevented and treated if we put our mind to it. Bringing neuroscience and genetic approaches together provides a powerful way to understand this debilitating illness.”

PTSD is a severe anxiety disorder brought on by direct experience of traumatic events – the NHS (National Health Service) in the U.K estimated that about 40% of sufferers developed PTSD after a loved one died suddenly. A sufferer’s life may be completely disrupted, by reliving the horrific event through nightmares as well as flashbacks. Approximately 5% of men and 10% of women suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives.

Read the full story here…

Another Facelift Cheers Up Online Therapists – Press Release

Press Release published in PRLog regarding the release of the upgraded site and launching new features.

Press ReleaseThe new upgraded site with sophisticated chat application received huge applause from the service users as well as professional counselors. The new site which launched on Thursday, 9th May claimed to have more facilities than its competitors.

ProvenTherapy.com has been there on the cyber world for many years, providing ‘healing touch to troubled hearts and souls’ according to its previous business slogan. Now it has 80 approved ProvenTherapists practising 24X7 and the number is growing.

Last week the virtual clinic launched its new website along with highly sophisticated chat application for use by service users as well as Therapists. The new chat application reported to have many new features:

* Flash based live chat application with high speed and real time simulation
* Live text chat and live voice chat with excellent audio clarity
* Application run from dedicated server to ensure maximum bandwidth support
* Interactive whiteboard to make therapeutic communication effective and powerful
* Online access to verbatim (full counseling script) for Therapists and Clients any time
* Clients are offered two fee models – fee per session, and fee per minute
* Peer support facility for Therapists
* Notes keeping facility for Therapists
* Clients forum for sharing issues anonymously for Therapists to respond

The premier online counseling and psychotherapy service has changed its business tag line to ‘online counseling for life’s journey’ with the aim of adding positive color to its healing mission.

Read full story here

 

Address Your Insecurity Feelings

Dr. Sharanya Dinesh

Approved ProvenTherapist and Clinical Psychologist

Sharanya Dinesh - Approved ProvenTherapistIt is usually our own inhibitions; insecurities and a pre conceived image of the self which makes us feel shy, leading to insecurity. A weakness or fear which sets in a feeling of imperfection, causing a dint to the ego or self-image results in insecurity. This self- image makes us vulnerable and we resist or shy away from other situations and people alike. People, especially the youth, go through this phase of insecurity when their ideal- self image clashes with the real-life self or when they experience disappointment too often and too recurring for them to overcome the negative situation. This youth withdraws into a shell and becomes shy or some tend to bury the disappointment with a show of aggression and bullying.

Most of the times, it is either the emotional self or the physical self which causes insecurity. Insecurity pulls down our confidence and self esteem takes a beating. Finding out what the core issue is which is causing the insecurity; it could be physical appearance like complexion, voice or lack of enough money, whatever may be the reason, the beginning to recovery will only come if we pin point the reason which brings in the insecure feeling. Insecurity also creeps in if the person is too set or rigid, inflexible with the way he/she wants to be, look or behave. In real life though, not all goes as planned and the obstinate person invariably faces disappointment and it becomes incredibly difficult to accept oneself; to face reality. Getting rid of this insecurity is many times difficult because acknowledgment comes after a very long time and insecurity being such a personal thing to each one of us; it is tougher to get rid of it. Most of us usually succumb to it, only the brave acknowledge it and seek ways and means to combat insecurity and hope for a free secure life.

Feeling shy about a new place, person or a new event is very natural reaction and it cannot be attributed to inherent shyness. Even a boisterous over confident person senses ‘butterflies in the stomach’ sensation before embarking on anything new. Insecurity stemming out of physical attributes results in shyness and low confidence level with regards to self-image, this batters the emotional levels also to a certain degree, but insecurity which has emotional reasons as it’s trigger results in emotional problems, low self esteem, depression and the like. The second needs to be addressed with a sense of urgency. Self image needs a definite mind shift and a renewed perspective of the self.

To lead a better holistically happy life, the sooner these insecurities are gotten rid of the better for us. Let us look at a few things that can be done differently to b able to overcome insecurity, it is easier said than done, but is imperative if one is determined to make the change:

Acceptance is the first step, learn to accept and like yourself the way you are. You are your own comparison and you are your own parameter. Comparing with anyone else will be futile because no two individuals are made the same way! So how can they behave or be the same? Start by accepting who you are, appreciate yourself and then you will start seeing where improvements can be made. If the beginning itself is rejection and criticism of the self then one can only see faults and imperfections and correcting so much will be an uphill task.

Stop being judgmental and critical about yourself; it only attributes to pulling down the self esteem and seeps in more insecurity. Write one good thing about yourself every day, morning and evening. Take time to look at yourself and see the good in you and why you are special and how you can make these your strengths to overcome your weaknesses.

Every small achievement of yours must first be recognized by you and you deserve a treat for every milestone crossed. Do not listen to what others have to say about you, start listening to yourself. Strictly avoid discouraging company and friends who make you feel bad or low about yourself. Seek out new friends who can teach a few good things without putting you down or being judgmental about you.

The world is a big place and we all have people who find us worthy. It is just when we start feeling worthy about ourselves is when the other person also begins to look at you with an appreciative eye. This in itself is a morale boost and uplifts the confidence levels. Change the image you have of yourself and the world automatically looks at you the way you look at yourself.

This is just the beginning, stick to the task and you are on your way to overcoming insecurity and take on new challenges in life.

ProvenTherapy has a New Addition as Dialectical Behavior Therapist Joins the Team

 

Press Release: 26 Nov. Washington: Nationally recognized and certified Dialectical Behavior Therapist Pat Sumlin, LMFT, has opened her virtual clinic at ProvenTherapy.com, the premier online counseling and psychotherapy portal for troubled hearts and souls.

A licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with fifteen years of trauma-informed clinical experience, her primary theoretical orientation is psycho-dynamic although she has studied extensively the work of object relations/attachment theories, inter-subjectivity and internal family systems.

Dedicated to the advancement of DBT and without hesitation, Pat stated “Dr. Marsha Linehan has had a profound impact on my clinical career”. She admits to owning  every publication on DBT and to address the mainstream obstacles for individuals who learn differently, diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and/or Dyslexia, Pat has written a  comprehensive DBT guide for clients specifically diagnosed with learning disabilities. She has a reputation for creative and innovative approaches, and is known for advancing the field of film therapy with a substantial list of films to offer her film therapy groups, such as Defending Your Life, Awakening’s and Changing Lanes.  Characterized by clients as a “truth teller” and “code breaker” Pat values and emphasizes the importance of diversity, integrity, equality and justice which explains her high regarded clinical competency with vulnerable populations and minority groups.

Devoted to educating clients Pat teaches clients particularly those diagnosed with PTSD about the Middle Path, seeing the world as a neutral place, and balancing acceptance with change.  Two of her key messages to clients are how meaningful the present can be and the importance of accepting reality and the consequences of life gracefully.

Pat started her career by working in a homeless shelter and provided clinical daily managerial oversight operations of the mental health/substance abuse treatment/recovery, and after-care clinic for HIV+/AIDS clients.

Not one to shy away from hard work, she went on to develop and manage a DBT program in a large outpatient mental health clinic.  Providing an opportunity for clients diagnosed with any number of co-occurring disorders to learn self-management coping skills, she made it possible for over 90 clients annually to benefit from either her individual or group DBT formats.

Read the full story here…

BounzD reviews ProvenTherapy

Proventherapy have made sure that the concept of ‘Virtual Therapy’ connects to a lot of disturbed people and thus offer online counseling and online psychotherapy services for mental health, marriage, or relationship issues through highly confidential sessions using traditional as well as innovative online counseling methods through live sessions, telephone counseling, and email therapy.

The founders of Proventherapy (www.proventherapy.com) make sure that the customers are comfortable with them and they also make sure the customer is completely out of the problem. The services offered by the founders are:

  • Flexible, making sure that the customer can join their therapeutic session from    any private place in and moreover wait for sessions to start in a convenient and secure ‘Virtual Waiting Room’.
  • Convenient, eliminating the travel time and costs associated with traditional therapies
  • Verifiable, making the customer confident that the practitioners on their network are legitimate, highly qualified and ready to assist the customers
  • Secure, most importantly the founders offer a secure way of connecting the customer with the therapist by maintaining high confidentiality.

Read full story here

Ketamine Relieves Depression Symptoms Within Hours

Dr. MG Lazarus – Approved ProvenTherapist 

Dr. MG LazarusSSRI drugs like Prozac takes four to six weeks to kick in to the biological system before it could produce some positive results in terms of clinical depression. The following article claims that ketamine can show immediate result within hours, which is a great news to patients as well as to clinical practitioners.

The report says, “Small amounts of the drug ketamine can immediately relieve the symptoms of chronic depression, as well as those of treatment-resistant patients within a few hours, say Yale scientists.”

See details here: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/251220.php

Hoarders: Just throw it all away!

Jamie Buff

Approved ProvenTherapist
Jamie Buff In the past couple of years there has been an increasing interest in the media when it comes to hoarding. There are at least two television programs, that show the struggle of hoarders on a weekly basis. The struggle is not one that the hoarder takes on themselves, however, as it is a problem that effects the entire family. Hoarding can become so severe that a person may lose their home or have their children in state custody.

Contact Jamie for Counseling support

The hoarder, sees all of their items as worthy and each item as a special meaning to them. Hoarding usually comes from a tragic event that has happened in a persons life. This event can be from childhood or something that happened recently. Some of the events that come to mind are: the death of a loved one, sexual abuse, physical abuse and abandonment. The hoarder often begins to fill their home with random items, to fulfill the void that this tragic event has left.

Hoarders Just throw it all away!For the family member or friend of a hoarder, the illness can be a very confusing concept. On the surface of the mental illness, the family member or friend may say, “Why not resolve the hoarding by throwing away all of the “junk”? As easy as this solution may seem to an outsider, it can actually cause more harm than good to the hoarder. Although the objects may seem useless to an outsider, they are very precious to the hoarder.If everything in the house were to be thrown away, the hoarder would just fill it up with more objects and the space would be just as chaotic as before.

In order to resolve the issue of hoarding, the person who hoards must seek professional help. They need to realize that there is an underlying event in their life that is triggering this behavior. Whatever the event may be, it needs to be dealt with in a healthy way, by allowing the hoarder to express their feelings attached to the event. The hoarder may have to develop coping techniques to deal with stress and unexpected life events. If the hoarder does not learn how to deal with their emotions in a healthy way, they will cope with their feelings by hoarding in the future.

Would You Tell Your Kids that You are Depressed?

Communicating with your younger ones about your mental health

Dr. MG Lazarus

communicating with children about depression The Dilemma of CommunicationMental health patients, in general, do not confide with their children that they were in a psychiatric unit during the past few days or weeks. Instead, they prefer to give some other excuses for being away from the family home. This may be due to their own worries around children becoming over anxious about parents, or their own inability to accept that they are mentally ill, or their own anxieties around the social stigma attached to mental illness among the communities or may be their own fear of being excluded from the crowd.

Contact Dr. MG for Counseling support

Understandably the mental health patients do not want to ‘shock’ their children with the news that they have a diagnosed psychiatric disorder for which they are on treatment.

If you are suffering from mental health difficulties you need to reflect on this very seriously. Is it good to tell your kids about your mental health difficulties? Or would you prefer to keep it with yourself? Or is it still a dilemma?

Playing Hide and Seek

It is easy to play hide and seek. But it is not easy to keep a secret from others eternally. If you don’t tell your children that you are having difficulties around your mental health, someone else will tell them the fact, and very often the reported version would be an exaggerated one than the fact. When someone else tells them that you are mentally ill and they did see you in the psychiatric unit or they saw you visiting the day clinic, it is possible that your children will start thinking why you didn’t tell them. This will only increase their anxiety around how serious the issue is.

Playing hide and seek will always leave room for further doubts. When your children do not have direct information, they will start guessing, which might lead to increased levels of anxiety. Telling the truth might raise some doubts in their minds, but may not be as bad as getting a shocking story from a third party. Moreover, when they see you telling your story, they are getting first hand information and they clearly see you talking to them in real terms, which is more reassuring that you are aware of your difficulties and you are taking steps to deal with it.

The Fair Play

Children, when they are in trouble, look towards parents for support. They seek energy from parents. However, when they get the message that their parent is suffering from mental health disorder they would prefer not to approach you for support or energy, for they understand that their parent is struggling without energy. In other words, they know that the energy reservoir is empty, so there is no point approaching you!

However, when parents disclose their own mental health difficulties with the children they are giving them the positive message that mental health disorder is just like any other medical condition that could be treated with medical and therapeutic support. So, you are making them confident that you are an adult and you know how to manage your difficulties with available support. In this way you are giving the positive message that you are seeking support when you have some difficulties, and in the same way your children could very well approach you for support when they have difficulties. So, it is always good to be straight forward!

Addendum: Some young children develop self blaming for the mental health difficulties of their parent. They might believe that their behavior caused this mental health difficulty to their parent. This self condemnation could be psychologically damaging to them. So, it is important for the children to know that their parents’ mental health disorder is due to their own troubled thinking and it is not caused by anyone else. They also need to be reassured that medication and supportive counseling will fix this and parents are seeking help in this regard.

Virtual Clinic at Home

Do you think that you need somebody to extend a healing touch to your troubled heart?  Visiting a mental health professional doesn’t make you feel comfortable?  Feeling embarrassed to meet a counselor face to face? Read along… you probably will benefit from taking online counseling or psychotherapy from an online clinician.

Virtual clinic is intended for people like you.  There are hundreds of virtual mental health clinics like ProvenTherapy.com and thousands of qualified therapist working round the clock to talk to you… No need for embarrassment because you are not going out from your room to physically meet a therapist face to face… No need to let others know that you have an appointment with a mental health professional what so ever… There are thousands of practitioners available online in the virtual world to choose from… You can pick your therapist after reviewing their credentials and also you have the option to inquire about the therapy methods they are using even before committing to attend an appointment.

Online counseling clinics operate through different methods.  Most of the counseling sites provide you online live chat session, which is found to be the most effective one in many respects.  The therapist can ask different diagnostic questions in real time in order to make his clinical assessment of your problem.  Once a diagnosis is made the clinician will discuss the treatment plan with you.  Follow-up appointment will be part of further care plan. Many other Internet clinics offer telephone counseling service as well. ProvenTherapy.com has a telephone call widget within the site itself. Client can click this call button to talk to the therapist who receives the call on his/her telephone. All telephone sessions as well as live chat sessions will be recorded and will be kept confidential. Clients are encouraged to check if the online clinic is protected by additional SSL encryption layer in order to prevent data leakage.

The major disadvantage of online therapy is that the clinician loses the opportunity to read the client’s body language, and hence not able to note if the client has problems like tics.  The clinican cannot make physical examination or check your blood pressure which are needed on some cases.  However, research shows that there are millions of people access this online counseling facility because of the comfort and flexibility the virtual clinic gives to them. Of course, virtual clinics offer convenience, value for money, and more flexibility in terms of appointments, and choice of therapists.