Can Journaling Help Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Did you know that keeping a journal is a great tool for relieving anxiety and stress?  According to Verywellmind.com, “Journaling can relieve stress by helping you work through your anxious feelings.”

By journaling, you can minimize thoughts that may have you anxious.  Writing down what is causing you to stress may help you shift feelings of fear and hopelessness to empowerment and solution orientated thoughts.

Some tips on how to get started are:

  • Start journaling for five to 15 minutes – Too much time shouldn’t be spent on your journaling. Write about what is concerning you most.
  • If an event is currently causing difficulty write it down in detail. If it is not a current issue, but something that has been plaguing you, focus on writing that you worry about the “what could possibly happen” factor.
  • Write how these feelings affect you in your daily life
  • Once your thoughts are arranged, you can write about what positive measures you can implement to help relive how you are feeling (i.e. meditation, exercise, support groups)

The hardest part about journaling is getting started.  Many people think that they don’t have the time to journal, but if you have the time to fret, you have the time to put pencil to paper and work on feeling better!

For more tips on how to benefit from journaling visit – www.verywellmind.com

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Borderline Personality Disorder

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), borderline personality disorder is a mental illness marked by an ongoing pattern of varying moods, perceptions of self-image, and behavior. These symptoms often result in impulsive actions and problems in relationships. People with borderline personality disorder may experience intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety that can last from a few hours to days.

People with borderline personality disorder may also experience:

  • Mood swings
  • Uncertainty about how they see themselves and their role in the world
  • Quickly changing their interests and values
  • Viewing things in extremes
  • Having intense and unstable relationships
  • Impulsive or dangerous behaviors
  • Self-harming behavior, such as cutting
  • Recurring thoughts or threats of suicide
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Issues controlling anger
  • Difficulty trusting others
  • Feeling cutoff from themselves and others

While the cause of borderline personality disorder isn’t clear, researchers believe that genetics, brain function, the environment, as well as cultural and social factors may increase the likelihood of developing the disorder.

That being said, being in an “at risk” group does not mean that you will develop the disorder.  Likewise, you may not fall into any of the groups but that doesn’t preclude you from developing the disorder.

There are numerous recommended treatments for borderline personality disorder including, but not limited to psychotherapy, medications, as well as group, peer and family support groups.

If you or someone you know is exhibiting the traits of having a borderline personality disorder and would like to speak to a licensed mental health professional, please call Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Mental Health at 718-206-7160 to schedule an appointment

For more information on borderline personality disorder visit, https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/borderline-personality-disorder/index.shtml

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Tips to Keep Teen Stress in Check

Teacher helping a trouble teenager

As you may imagine, school-related stress is rated the most common source of stress for American teens. This was discovered through The American Psychological Association’s (APA) Stress in America report. The Stress in American report found that American teens report stress levels higher than what they believe is healthy (5.8 on a 10-point scale, healthy level rated 3.9). Although teens reported significant stress, they appear to be poor judges of the impact stress can have on their health and mental health.

According to the APA Stress in America report, forty-two percent of teens indicated not doing anything to cope with their stress or not knowing what to do to manage it. Here are suggested tips from the APA on how to manage stress:

  1. Engage in physical activity.
  2. Do things that make you happy.
  3. Talk to someone.
  4. Get some sleep.

Parents would be surprised by the amount of stress and anxiety teens are dealing with involving social media. Teens are losing sleep worrying about tests, projects that are due, teams going to competitions, friendship dramas, and break ups. Parents can identity signs of stress and help their teen find a way to cope:

  • Help your teen monitor their schedule and activities.
  • Help teach your teen to identify the “stress signs.” These may include stomach pains, chest tightness, fast heartbeat, obsessive thoughts about being ready for things, and the inability to enjoy their day-to-day activities.
  • Practice what you preach. Parents should also limit their commitments and have more opportunities to talk with their children on a regular basis about school, friends and peer pressure.

 

If your teenager admits to being stressed, use the above tips to help manage stress. Jamaica Hospital’s Outpatient Mental Health Clinic offers special child and adolescent services. For more info, or to schedule an appointment, please call 718-206-5575.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Is This Job Killing Me?

Nervous businesswoman pulling her hair out

Some workplace stress is normal, but excessive stress can interfere with productivity and impact your physical and emotional health. If you are feeling overwhelmed at work, you can lose confidence, and become irritable or withdrawn.

Health issues that can be caused by excessive stress are:

  • Heart disease
  • Asthma
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Headaches
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Gastrointestinal problems

How you manage your stress is one way of avoiding the negative health impacts of a stressful lifestyle. By realizing that not being able to control everything in your work environment does not mean you are powerless, you can find ways to manage your workplace stress without rethinking career ambitions.

Some quick, office stress relievers are:

  • Take a short walk
  • Drink water
  • Stretch
  • Make a plan or to-do list
  • Unplug from email and social media
  • Breathe
  • Act rather than react
  • Ask for help

One of the best ways of coping with stress is to identify what your stress triggers are. Once you have identified them, you can find ways to resolve them.

If using these steps to relieve your feelings of being stressed is not helping, you may want to consult a mental health professional at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Mental Health and Psychiatry. Call 718-206-7160 for an appointment.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Sibling Rivalry

Sibling_RivalrySibling rivalry is defined as a type of competition or animosity among siblings, whether blood related or not.

The sibling bond can be complicated since they generally spend more time together during childhood than they do with their parents. Sibling rivalry can be particularly intense when the children are very close in age and of the same gender.

Although bickering between siblings can drive parents crazy, sibling rivalry is a normal part of growing up.  Parents must create an equal balance of when to step in and play referee and when to let their kids work out their problems themselves.

Below are some of the common reasons for sibling rivalry:

  • Attention – Children are always vying for their parents’ attention. These days, parents are busier than ever and their attention on work or a new baby may cause less of a focus on each child.  Children may act out and misbehave to get attention.
  • Sharing – With limited resources, siblings may have to share at least some of their possessions. Game systems, iPad’s or electronic items can be hard to share and require children to compartmentalize their time on each item.
  • Personality Differences – Some children are headstrong while others can be quieter and more introverted. Differences in temperament can lead to clashes.
  • Fairness issues – Children are always demanding fairness and equality and fighting for what they perceive are their natural born rights. A younger sibling might complain that her older sister gets to go to a concert and she has to stay home, while the older sister whines that she has to baby-sit her little sister instead of going out with her friends.

Your responsibility as a parent is to help your kids to learn to manage the feelings that come along with sibling rivalry. So, how can you stop the bickering? As a parent, you may have to indulge each child once in a while.  Make the effort to spend “just us” time with your children and speak to them about tolerance and the benefits of being part of a family.  Each child has their own unique strong points. Identify how those positive characteristics could cause them to become a role model to the other siblings.

Be sure not to confuse bullying with normal sibling rivalry.  If one of your children bullies his/her siblings and has to be the boss and control the others to the point of getting physical, you will have to determine the difference, especially if there is aggression over and above the bickering.

In most instances of sibling rivalry, approach all situations with a level head and a firm stance on a standard of respect that is expected in your home.  Live the model you would like them to emulate.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

YIKES! Did I Really Do That?

droppedchild

 

Whether you’ve accidently tripped over a child underfoot or walked into a doorway with your infant’s head in the lead, you’ve caused a child an accidental injury.

When you accidentally hurt your child, you may feel intense shame, even panic and a sense of self-loathing or blame.  Even when your head clears, you may feel like you are a terrible parent.

These feelings are confusing.  You may ask yourself, “How could I have done that?”  The truth is, children and accidents are synonymous; even the preventable ones.

It is hard to see your child in pain and even harder to know that it is your fault. Your mind will replay the event in your head many times while you are slowly accepting what happened.

In most cases, the child is not badly hurt and you can find comfort in realizing that while accidents happen, most of them are not serious and your child is not quite as fragile as you think.

As you tell the story of what happened to your child, you will realize that most people understand and, in fact, it has happened to the best of parents.  At this point, you will find it easier to forgive yourself.  Still, you and your child suffered a trauma and it will take time for both of you to heal.

Some reactions to trauma are:

  • Feeling numb or disconnected
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Sadness or depression

During this time, you should be kind to yourself and keep in mind that you will not always feel this way. After the guilt lessens, you should experience acceptance.

If you are having difficulty coping and the reactions have become prolonged symptoms, you may be experiencing a response to trauma called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  If the negative feelings persist, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help from a physician, counselor, clergy member, friend and family member.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Mental Health Center is centrally located and has convenient hours.  To make an appointment with a physician or licensed professional, call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Teenage Depression and Anxiety

Teen angst -488360124The term “teen angst” is synonymous with the emotional changes that adolescents experience. It is commonly used to describe unpredictable mood swings and at times unexplained changes in behaviors displayed by adolescents.

Adolescent or teen angst is defined as an “acute feeling of anxiety or apprehension that is often accompanied by depression.”(www.Medscape.com). Occasional bad moods, irritability or periods of sadness are common and expected behaviors. However, if they persist for an extended period of time, it can be an indication that your child is experiencing more than the typical teen strife.  They may be exhibiting symptoms of a serious mental health issue such as depression or anxiety.

It is estimated that one in eight teenagers suffer from depression or anxiety and in some cases both disorders.  Many of these behaviors are dismissed or overlooked as moodiness.   This is concerning because if left untreated depression or anxiety can lead to highly destructive actions such as, drug abuse, self-mutilation, or in extreme situations- suicide.

There are several signs that may present themselves that can help parents recognize if their child is suffering from a depression or anxiety disorder. Some of which are:

  • Frequent sadness or crying
  • Persistent boredom or the inability to enjoy activities
  • Increased hostility, anger or irritability
  • Frequent absences from school or extracurricular activities they once enjoyed
  • Extreme fear of rejection or failure
  • Chronic fatigue or tiredness
  • Frequent complaints about headaches and stomach aches, without real cause for illness
  • Poor concentration
  • Constantly speaking about death or suicide
  • Persistent social isolation or difficulty with relationships
  • Major changes in eating or sleeping patterns

If your child is displaying any of these signs, it is recommended that you have a non-judgmental conversation with them.  Let them know that you have observed atypical behaviors and that you are concerned.  Encourage them to open up.  If they are uncomfortable speaking to you about what they are experiencing, offer support gand seek the help of a mental health professional.

For more information of adolescent depression or anxiety or to speak with a mental health professional at Jamaica Hospital, please call  718-206-7135.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Is Your Constant State of Nervousness and Worry a Sign of an Anxiety Disorder?

Anxiety-509985137Anxiety is an emotion we all experience. Feeling anxious is a normal reaction to stressful situations such as waiting for the results of a test, speaking in public or preparing for a job interview.  Anxiety is often synonymous with feelings of distress, nervousness, panic and fear.  These reactions are normally triggered when our bodies feel that there is danger or there is a threatening situation.

For most the feeling of anxiety is temporary and will subside once stressful or threatening circumstances are resolved.  However for an estimated 18.1 percent of adults living in the United States, anxiety does not go away and develops into a serious mental health disorder that affects their ability to lead a normal life.

There are six major types of anxiety disorders: panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorders, social anxiety disorders, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorders. Symptoms can be specific to a condition and can differ based on the individual.

The following symptoms of anxiety may be indicative of a developing problem, especially if they continue for an extended period of time:

  • Experiencing a constant state of worry or fear.
  • Having trouble concentrating.
  • Insomnia or other chronic sleep related problems.
  • Heart palpitations or chest pain during a state of panic.
  • A fear of being around people or being in public places.
  • Suffering from overwhelming compulsions, such as constantly washing hands.
  • Irrational fears of objects or activities that pose little to no danger.
  • Experiencing anxiety as a result of a traumatic event.

If the preceding symptoms occur on a regular basis and have become so great that they are interfering with your ability to function daily, it is recommended that you seek the help of a mental health professional.

The Department of Psychiatry at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center offers psychiatric consultation and treatment services.  Our team of mental health professionals consists of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, creative arts therapists and support staff who are dedicated to positive outcomes and work closely with each patient to provide necessary clinical treatment and services. To learn more about the Psychiatry Department at Jamaica Hospital visit www.JamaicaHospital.org  or call 718 206 5575.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.