Posts tagged “personality

The Upside of Depression

You feel as though you’re at the bottom of a deep, dark pit and there’s no way out. But there’s help. There are more effective ways to deal with it than ever before.

Environment

Where you live and work affects how you feel. Being depressed saps your energy, but keep things tidied up anyway. Don’t wake up to face yesterday’s messes! Deliberately make things pleasant – a few flowers, a sweet-scented candle, soft but cheerful music, colorful pictures. And stay connected with supportive friends.

Health

Your diet affects your feelings even more when you are depressed. You crave sweets, or you don’t feel like eating. Fixing balanced meals? Impossible! It’s much easier to snack. Then snack on the depression fighters: fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, and protein foods. Plan simple meals, if you cook, make a double batch and save some for later.

Exercise releases endorphins those brain chemicals that make you feel good. Endorphins are a gift from God; they reward you when you do things that are good for you, such as exercising, nursing your baby, or accomplishing a meaningful task. Exercise is especially important during depression. Besides releasing endorphins and improving general health, it helps regulate your appetite and your sleep patterns.

Creative hobbies are another way to relieve depression. You won’t feel like doing much, but if you join a friend. It’s easier to get started. Watching TV may seem to feel good, but it pulls you down. If you do watch TV, make it a comedy and watch with someone else.

Treatment

Several psychological treatments are proven to improve symptoms and prevent relapse, even in severe cases. The better the therapist, the better the treatments work. Cognitive therapy helps you change the way you think about what happens to you. Simply said, it puts you in charge of your thoughts in order to improve your feelings. Cognitive therapy may include scheduling fun activities, learning social skills to deal with difficult people, or practicing active stress management.

In some cases traditional “insight-oriented”, therapy may help you figure out what’s really bothering you so you can decide what to do about it.

Medication can help restore balance to your brain’s chemistry. It works better when prescribed by a psychiatrist rather than an internist or family practice doctor. Psychiatrists are more familiar with the best ways to use these medicines. It’s a tricky business to detect side effects that may resemble the illness, of knowing when to change doses versus when to change medicines, and especially to know whether other forms of treatment are needed to complete the cure.

Some herbal medicines help depression, but please use these only under your doctor’s direction. There is a potential for harmful side effects, or interactions with food or medicines. Even though they’re sold over the counter, they can cause you serious harm.

Depression is a treatable illness, but it’s not a do-it-yourself project. Get help. You deserve to feel better!


Getting the Not-so-verbal Person Talking

We have no magic potion to transform a quiet partner into an outgoing, warmhearted talk machine. But there are a few techniques to which a cooperative partner may respond.

Skillful Questioning

Questions can either open the door for discussion or slam it, depending on the type of question asked and how it is asked. Golden opportunities to communicate are frequently lost because we do not know how to ask questions skillfully.

Why questions are accusatory. Only use why questions when specific information is needed, not when attempting to get a less-verbal person to open up. Instead, try what questions.

Direct Questioning

Asking direct questions about specific topics may also help by making it easier for a less-verbal person to open up. Rather than saying, “What happened at work today?” and hearing, “The same old rat race,” try, “Teel me bout the most interesting thing that happened at work this week.” Rather than, “you never tell me anything about your childhood.”  Try, “I’d be interested in hearing something about your childhood. Tell me about the most fun birthday you can remember.” Rather than, “You never tell me how you feel about your work,” try, “I know very little about your job. I’d like to hear what you enjoy most about your work.”

Specific requests for information relive the pressure on a less-communicative person to formulate original replies. Some questions are easier than others. Begin with the easy ones and move on to the more difficult ones.

Sentence Starters

A person can be helped to express feelings more adeptly through sentence starters. If you sense something is bothering your partner and he or she is having difficulty talking about it, you could help your partner express himself or herself through the following examples:

–         Something hat is bothering me right now that I’m having difficulty talking about is…

–         Something that really makes me angry is…

–         I really get upset when you…

It doesn’t matter whatever your partner’s responses to these sentence starters make sense, contradict one another, or are invalid from your point of view. The point is to get your partner talking, not to evaluate the rightness or wrongness of the response.

Once your partner has gone this far, his or her thoughts and feelings can be expanded by continuing to respond to such open-ended statements as these:

–         By telling you these I have become aware that…

–         Talking about this makes me wonder if…

–         Sharing this with you makes it obvious that…

Now it is your turn to respond. Open-ended sharing isn’t complete until you respond with empathy to what has been said:

–         Through listening to you I have heard you say that…

–          I heard you say today that one thing you would like from me is…

–         Through listening to your right now it has become obvious to me that…

Open-ended sharing will break down in a hurry when acceptance is missing. If a woman should get her husband talking about his job and he says, “It is dead-end street and I’m going to quit,” and she screams, “You can’t! What about me and the kids?” We’ll starve and lose the house,” he’ll probably never open up again. You don’t have to agree with a partner’s feeling but you can accept how he is feeling today.

Provide Encouragement

Once your partner has opened up and shared with you, let him know how much it means for you to share a part of his world. Even if it wasn’t the intensity of intimacy you dreamed of, encouragement will pave the way for more sharing and spur his willingness to loosen up in the future. You might also ask if there is anything you can do to make sharing easier for him. Give your partner a hug, a pat on the hand, or a kiss, and thank him for sharing. This provides an incentive to share again.


Ten Commandments on When to Keep Silent

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1.  Keep silent as you enter church, so God can speak to you.

2.  Keep silent as you leave church, so the Holy Spirit can impress upon your memory the things you have heard.

3. Keep silent unless you have something to say worth saying.

4. Keep silent until it is your turn to talk.

5. Keep silent when you are tempted to criticize.

6. Keep silent when you have said enough.

7. Keep silent when you are tempted to gossip.

8. Keep silent when you are provoked

9. Keep silent when you are tempted to be irritable.

10.Keep silent long enough to think before you speak.