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Psychology Today: Here to Help
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DEPRESSION

          

            Those affected by depression often feel misunderstood and alone.  Such individuals often don't typically reach out to others for fear of being a burden or being seen as "not strong enough."   Remarkably, they can find a way to appear happy participants in daily living while actually experiencing little to now motivation, interest, or hope for the future.  What follows are some of the most common symptoms of Depression.


Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions

Fatigue or decreased energy

Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness

Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism

Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping

Irritability, restlessness

Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex

Overeating or appetite loss

Sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings

Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts




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ANXIETY

            Anxiety in its most common form is typically refered to as Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD.   However, anxiety related symptoms present in a variety of disorders including PTSD, Panic Disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  Proper diagnosis is very important as medications and therapeutic approaches vary depending upon the diagnosis.  What follows are symptoms most commonly experienced with GAD or Generalized Anxiety Disorder.




Excessive, ongoing worry and tension

An unrealistic view of problems

Restlessness or a feeling of being "edgy"

Irritability

Muscle tension

An unrealistic view of problems

Restlessness or a feeling of being "edgy"

Irritability

Muscle tension, Headaches

Sweating

Difficulty concentrating

The need to go to the bathroom frequently

Trouble falling or staying asleep

Trembling

Being easily startled


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PTSD
 
(Posttraumatic Stress Disorder)


PTSD or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that causes significant distress in an individuals interpersonal relationships with others including their marriages, relationships with their family and children, as well as everyday interactions with others.  Posttraumatic Stress Disorder can occur at any age following a variety of events that include but are not limited to:  Verbal, Physical, and Sexual Abuse, Traumatic Accident or Loss, War, and Natural Disasters.  PTSD is often co-occurring with other major conditions such as Anxiety, Depression, and Substance Abuse.  What follows is a general overview of what symptoms can look like.



Flashbacks including images, thoughts, or perceptions

Dreams of the event

Acting or feeling as if the traumatic event is occurring.  This includes a felt reliving the experience through hallucinations or dissociative episodes

Anxiety and distress in response to "triggers" both internal or external that seem to have association with traumatic events.

Physiological response to exposure or perceived exposure to related triggers or events.

Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations associated with the trauma

Irritability

Difficulty concentrating

Efforts to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse recollections of the trauma

Difficulty falling or staying asleep

Poor recall of an important aspect of the trauma

 Diminished interest or participation in significant activities

Feeling of detachment or estrangement from others

Flat Affect

                                                                                Hypervigilance







 


Bipolar Disorder


 Presentation, or the signs and symptoms of Bipolar disorder vary greatly and can often have the appearance of other diagnosis.  In fact, this condition is often diagnosed as something else prior to a proper determination of what the individual is experiencing.   Bipolar Disorder is divided into Bipolar I and Bipolar II disorder.  Symptoms of Bipolar I disorder are those more readily recognized and most often depicted in mainstream media.  Depression symptoms are experienced in both forms of the disorder.  What follows is a reference to the symptoms of a depressed episode and then symptoms most commonly seen in mania or hypomania.


Symptoms noted in Depressed Episode:

Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions

Fatigue or decreased energy

Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness

Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism

Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping

Irritability, restlessness

Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex

Overeating or appetite loss

Feeling Empty

Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts




Abnormal behavior during manic episodes includes:

Tangental thoughts where thought moves suddenly from one idea to the next 

Rapid, "pressured" speech

Increased energy, with hyperactivity and a decreased need for sleep

Inflated self-image

Impulsivity often made apparent through poor decision making, increased spending, sudden unplanned trips.

Hypersexuality

Religiousity: preoccupation with religious ideas, spirituality

Substance abuse

Hallucinations, auditory or visual

Delusional thoughts


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Pornography Addiction



           Pornography has an alarming presence in todays world.  According to Christianpost.com, more than 40 million Americans are regular visitors to Pornographic websites.  25% of search engine requests are pornography related.   If your loved one is addicted to Pornography, odds are that you have had your suspicions but have never been very certain about what may be going on.  If you are addicted to pornography, odds are that you have been in a terrible cycle riddled with failed attempts to overcome the addiction for years.  Pornography addiction erodes the self-esteem and numbs the emotional self in silent yet steady persistence.   The good news is that we are learning more about effective ways to overcome pornography addiction every day.  What follows is a brief list of indicators that you or a loved one may be addicted to Pornography.




Decreasing amounts of time spent doing other activities

Obsession with pornographic materials 


Unprotected sexual encounters


Decreasing time spent with others

Increased us of pornography in self satisfying sexual behaviors

Less time spent attending to personal responsibilities and relationships

Use of drugs or alcohol to heighten sexual experiences


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Substance Dependence






The following are symptoms or signs that are present with substance dependence.   Substances that can lead to dependence range from alcohol to illicit and prescription medications.  What follows are some general indicators that you or a loved one may be experiencing symptoms of dependence on a substance.



 A need for increased amounts of the substance 

Diminished effect of the substance

The same substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms

The substance is taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended

Persistent and unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control use of the substance

Time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance

Social, recreational, and occupational activities become second priority to the substance 

The substance use continues despite awareness that there is a problem



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