Month: December 2013

How To Improve Your Sleep?

We hear it all the time.  “Have a good night.. Sweet dreams..” and the list goes on.  But knowing that it takes the average person about 7 minutes to fall asleep if it is taking you 20 minutes or more you clearly have a sleep problem and have wondered about how to Improve Your Sleep.  Doctors call this early insomnia, because it is a sleep problem that occurs early during the sleep cycle, right at the beginning, in fact.  If this is occurring you want to Improve Your Sleep.  This is as opposed to middle insomnia (waking up in the middle of the night and you can’t go back to sleep) or late insomnia (waking up much earlier than you want to).  Early insomnia is often a sign of anxiety with middle and late insomnia being signs of depression.  Regardless, though, you want to Improve Your Sleep and there is something you can do to help yourself.  Maintaining good sleep hygiene is how you Improve Your Sleep!  But how do you do that?

Tips To Improve Your Sleep

  • Avoid Smoking
  • Try Not To Force Sleep
  • Don’t Go To Bed Hungry
  • Avoid Alcohol Near Bedtime
  • Maintain A Regular Sleep Schedule
  • Avoid Caffeinated Beverages After Lunch
  • Resolve Concerns With Worries Before Bedtime
  • Adjust Your Bedroom Environment To Decrease Stimuli
  • Sleep As Much As Needed To Feel Rested And Then Get Out Of Bed

There are very important reasons for all these tips in the process to Improve Your Sleep.  If you have followed the process to Improve Your Sleep and are still struggling give us a call.  We are here to help!  However, suffice it to say that if you follow these tips to  Improve Your Sleep you will have better and more restful sleep.  So good night, and sweet dreams to all.

The Different Causes Of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder involving unreasonable thoughts and fears that lead to repetitive behaviors.  Many people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder understand that their thoughts are irrational but feel unable to change.  In an effort to relieve the anxiety they feel, they participate in compulsive behaviors that provide them temporary reprieve.  Some of the common themes associated with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder include:

  • Need For Cleanliness
  • Need For Order And Sameness
  • Need To Count
  • Need To Check
  • Need to Prevent Something from Happening

Though the causes of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder vary from one individual to another, we hope to shed some light on some of the more common causes identified in the majority of patients with OCD.  The 3 main foundational factors associated with OCD are:

  • Biological Causes
  • Insufficient Serotonin Levels
  • Environmental Influences

Biological Causes

Biological causes of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can be related to genetic issues.  For example, an individual is more likely to be diagnosed with OCD if a parent or other family member has also been diagnosed.  Biological causes may also include way an individual’s brain functions and the natural changes in their body chemistry.

 Insufficient Serotonin Levels

Serotonin has been shown to play a role in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  Individuals diagnosed with OCD tend to have lower levels of serotonin, a monoamine neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of happiness and well-being.

 Environmental Influences

Environmental causes of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder include patterns or behaviors we have learned through exposure to the world around us.  For example certain behaviors seen in a parent, sibling, or friend could be acquired over time.  Other environmental factors include stressors experienced by an individual that bring on anxiety.  An individual who might be prone to OCD can be triggered from a situation like the death of a loved one, relationship problems, or work stress to engage in the patterns of thought and behavior associated with the disorder.

 Getting Help

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder can be debilitating to the individual who suffers from the disorder.  The good news is that there are a wide range of treatments, including medication and therapy, that can reduce, if not eliminate symptoms, to allow for a happy and enjoyable life.  If you have questions or concerns about obsessive-compulsive disorder, the professionals at Proliance Center are here to help!

How to Determine if You Need Marriage Counseling

Every couple goes through periods of ups and downs in their relationship.  As long as the couple has the coping skills in place to overcome stress and difficulty, they will come together to move forward together.  In some cases, the nature of the stressor may overpower the couple’s ability to work through it on their own.  This is when Marriage Counseling can be a valuable tool for a couple’s relationship satisfaction and stability.

Do You Need Marriage Counseling?

Determining if you need Marriage Counseling is not easy and there is no clear answer of why or when.  It is entirely individually based on the couple and their unique needs and set of circumstances.  There are, however, some guidelines that may help you decide if Marriage Counseling is something that can help you and your partner.

 Evaluate Your Relationship

Take a look at your relationship today.

  • Are you happy?
  • Is your spouse happy?
  • Are you more or less content with your relationship now than you were on your wedding day?
  • Have you faced challenges and grown as a couple or started to disconnect?
  • Are there specific problems you are facing, or do you feel an overall sense of disconnection or discontentment?
  • What does your ideal relationship with your spouse look like?
  • How close are you now to that goal?
  • What do you hope for you and your spouse 10 year from now?
  • Considering what your relationship is like today, does that vision seem realistic?

If not you may want to consider Marriage Counseling.

What Marriage Counseling Will Do

The idea is that you want to evaluate your relationship and determine if it is currently meeting your needs.  If not, can you and your spouse work together to improve and grow, or do you think you need some help?  Marriage Counseling can assist a couple to improve their relationship through a wide variety of presenting circumstances.  Whether it be improvement in communication or overcoming infidelity, the goal of Marriage Counseling is to help you overcome difficulty, strengthen your relationship and increase your happiness in your marriage.  If this seems like something you’re looking for, perhaps you and your spouse are ready for Marriage Counseling.

How Can I Help My Depressed Brother?

This, and similar questions about siblings, extended family members, and friends are commonly heard by therapists.  There are a great deal of people that are affected by depression as they are bystanders to their loved one’s suffering, including a Depressed Brother.  Though you don’t have the power to rid your loved one of their depression, there are certainly things you can do to help to help them or a Depressed Brother.  These include:

  • Showing Compassion
  • Researching for Help
  • Establishing Personal Boundaries
  • Taking Care of Yourself

 Showing Compassion

When you see a Depressed Brother or a loved one suffering from depression, the most important thing to show them is compassion.  Reach out and let him know that you are concerned because you see he is unhappy, unmotivated, or uninterested in life in general.  Let your Depressed Brother or loved one know that you are there for him to provide support or help him to find the professional help he most likely needs.  Very often, coming together as a family and talking as a group to the Depressed Brother or suffering individual can allow them to recognize that there is a support system of people that care about him and have his best interest in mind.

Researching for Help

The next thing you can do on your own is to research depression.  Gain a solid understanding of the disorder and how it impacts those who have it.  The more you know about depression, the better you will be at supporting your Depressed Brother or loved one through their experience.  Also research the treatment of depression, including medication, therapy, and support groups.  Familiarize yourself with the best treatment options in your Depressed Brother or loved one’s area so that you may offer him educated suggestions.

 Establishing Personal Boundaries

When supporting your Depressed Brother or a loved one through depression, it is important to establish your own personal boundaries.  You want to make a conscious decision to separate the illness from your Depressed Brother or the individual who you are worried about.  Recognize that the illness comes with symptoms that are beyond Depressed Brother or loved ones control at times.  By doing this, you will not only be able to care for him more fully, but the depression will not change the way you feel about your Depressed Brother or loved one and the relationship you have.  You will also want to be aware of your own abilities in providing help and support to your Depressed Brother or loved one.  Establish boundaries for yourself in what you are willing and able to handle and when a professional should be consulted.

 Taking Care of Yourself

Finally, be sure to make self-care a priority.  If you are not at your best, you will not be able to provide the support you intend to your brother and you can easily get lost in the depression.  Take time for yourself and also be sure to spend “normal time” with your brother or loved one that is not focused solely on his depression.

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