Month: October 2014

Fighting ADD or ADHD Related Impulse Spending

While children are most often diagnosed, those children can sometimes carry their symptoms over into adulthood.  There are also adults who are diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. These diagnoses can cause all kinds of difficulties for adults that they do not have to face when dealing with childhood ADD or ADHD.

ADD and ADHD can cause an adult to practice irresponsible spending habits. Money management can be a big struggle for these people.  One of the major difficulties is impulsive spending.  This is further complicated, because you can spend your money because of the ADHD, but the creditors and debt collectors do not usually care why you spent your money or that you have an excuse for doing it.

Impulsive Spending Explained

ADD and ADHD have a long history of causing you to part with your money.  The most common money management issue from which ADD and ADHD diagnosed people suffer is impulsive spending habits.  Because impulse control is one of the chief symptoms associated with ADD and ADHD, impulsive spending is a natural continuance and should be no surprise.  If you find that you have a home full of items you have purchased but never used or you buy things that seem like a good idea at the time, but never end up being what you expected, you may have a problem with ADD or ADHD related impulse buying.  If you find that you regularly buy things on a whim or buy things just for the sake of buying something, you may also have a problem with ADD or ADHD related impulse buying.

Controlling Your Spending Habits

While ADD or ADHD may make your money management a little more difficult, there are ways that you can reclaim your control over your money.

  1. Think First, Buy Second: The first and most important thing that you can do to help curb your impulse spending habits is to think before you buy. You may believe that you already do think, but if your spending is out of control, you are not thinking enough.  Before making a large purchase, sleep on it, or leave the store and give yourself some time to think about the purchase.  Ask yourself if you really need the item in question or if you have an immediate use for it.  Think about whether or not you have something like it already.  Do the same with smaller purchases giving special attention to whether or not you have something that serves the same purpose.

  1. Create a Support Network: Have some friends or family members ready to call who know about your struggle. Ask these people if the purchase you want to make is reasonable and responsible.  Follow their advice and listen to these trusted advisors.  They may be thinking straighter than you are and deserve to be listened to.  No matter how much you want to disagree, follow their lead.

  1. Write a List and Stick to It: When you go to the store, particularly when you are grocery shopping, go with a strict list. Stick to your list once you are in the store.  If you come across things that are not on your list that you would like to purchase, write them down to think about later.  Only purchase what you have set out to purchase in the first place.  Eat a snack or a meal before you go to the grocery store as well.  Shopping while hungry will make it harder for you to stick to your list and make you more likely to make an impulsive purchase.

  1. Pay With Cash: Shop only with cash. Credit cards and debit cards make it very easy for you to overspend.  Paying with cash makes the money seem more real and reinforces the idea that you are spending real money and not just swiping a piece of plastic.

  1. Leave Cards At Home Unless Absolutely Needed: When you are shopping without real intent, leave you credit cards and cash at home. Browse before making a decision.  Write down the items that you might like to purchase, and then sleep on it or check in with friends or family.  At the very least, taking the time to go home to get your money or credit card might be enough time for you to sort out why you want to make the purchase and if you really need the item.

Money management is a challenge for almost everyone, but can be a very serious issue for those living with ADD or ADHD. Regardless of the reasons for your money management issues, using these techniques will give you a chance at taking back control of your financial health.

The CUDSAIR Method of Conflict Management

Love and anger sometimes feel like two sides of the same coin.  The people you love tend to make you angrier than people you do not love.  When you and the people you love get into fights, sometimes the fighting will dissolve into name calling or cheap shots to the point where the conversation is no longer a conversation – At this point is when conflict management is so important.  So often, arguments between friends, family members and spouses turn into an opportunity to say things that you do not mean or that do not need to be said.  This kind of fighting behavior can lead to the destruction of almost any kind of relationship.  In order to break this cycle and save your relationships, you can use the CUDSAIR method of conflict management.

What is the CUDSAIR Method?

The CUDSAIR method provides structure to your conflicts and helps you focus on what the current problem is rather than escalating into character attacks and other problems that do not factor in at this moment in this argument.  It can also help you work toward finding an understanding and working toward an acceptable solution for both you and the person you love.

CUDSAIR stands for Confront, Understand, Define, Search, Agree, Implement, and Review.

C – Confront the Problem

Rather than jumping in with accusations and frustrations, make a conscious effort to deal with a problem together.  Instead of confronting each other, talk about confronting the problem and how you can work together to solve it.

U – Understand the Problem and Your Partner

The more you yell and make the conflict about only your feelings, the less you are going to hear and understand your partner.  In most conflicts, there is rarely a clear right or wrong answer.  You could be partly to blame for the conflict that you are experiencing.  It is important to really listen to and understand what your partner is saying.  Listen closely and fully.  Ask questions when you have them but you do not need to debate the validity of the claims your partner is making.  His or her feelings are valid because they belong to him or her.  You expect to be offered that same courtesy.

D – Define the Problem

Now that you have both heard each other’s points, reiterate what you hear as the main problem and the source of your conflict.  You will need to understand the problem before you start to solve it.  Being on the same page as your partner is essential.  If you do not agree on the problem that needs to be solved, you should go back to the previous step.

S – Solution Search

At this point, you should start to brainstorm about ways to solve the problem at hand.  Since they are just ideas, your solutions do not need to be practical or realistic. They just need to be solution idea that will help you eventually come to a workable compromise.  Try to stay away from accusations or suggestions that are clearly meant to provoke your partner.  Write your ideas down.  There might be something that comes out of this discussion that will lead you toward a compromise that will suit you both.

A – Agree on a Solution

You should be done brainstorming, so now it is time to come up with the answer to your question or the solution to your problem.  Go back over the ideas you came up with during brainstorming and create the solution that will work best for the both of you.  You are going to need to make some concessions and do some work for the sake of having a healthy relationship and so will your partner.  No one is going to get exactly what he or she wants, but there is no reason why you cannot both have some of what you want. An imperfect solution that you both agree on is better than a perfect solution that leaves one partner out in the cold.

I – Implement the Solution

And now is when the real work begins.  You and your partner will both need to keep up your ends of the bargain and make the agreed upon solution work for both of you.

R – Review

If this is a big solution, sit down every so often and talk about how things are going.  Make changes if something is not working and talk about the effectiveness of the solution.

Using the CUDSAIR method, you should be able to talk out any kind of difficulty you may have with anyone in a healthy and productive manner.  Dissolving into a screaming match is not going to be effective or healthy for either party.  This effective communication system can make conflicts easier to deal with and help you and your partner feel better about the state of your whole relationship.

Five Common Misconceptions About Postpartum Depression

After giving birth, there are many women who experience postpartum depression.  In fact, postpartum depression is one of the most common complications that occur after childbirth.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, postpartum depression effects 10 to 15 percent of new mothers, and it is one of the least understood forms of depression.  Many women who suffer from postpartum depression are viewed as weak or selfish.  The families of the women who suffer from this condition can be demeaning and not supportive.  Sometimes even doctors dismiss increasing symptoms telling women that they just need to perk up.  Because of the stigma involved, many women do not get the treatments that they so desperately need.  They often do not know that postpartum depression is treatable and can be temporary if the right help is received.

There are many myths about postpartum depression that keep new mothers in the dark about their own potential condition and keep the public misinformed. Let’s take a look at five of the most common misconceptions about this mental health concern.

Myth #1 – Postpartum depression occurs right after a woman has given birth.

A woman is likely to start showing symptoms of postpartum depression within the first year after giving birth.  Most women will dismiss the symptoms if they occur any time after the third or fourth month after they have given birth.  Women often do not seek help or wait until it has been several months before asking for help.  These women are usually surprised when they are told that they are suffering from postpartum depression.

Myth #2 – Postpartum depression will go away on its own.

Not true.  Postpartum depression, like other kinds of depression, needs the right kind of treatment.  It cannot and will not be overcome by ignoring it or forcing yourself to rise up and overcome it.  A sufferer cannot simply snap out of it. While postpartum depression is highly treatable, again, the stigma is so great that often women do not seek treatment.  They are often judged by their friends and families.  They often internally feel like they are in some way substandard or feel guilty for their own feelings.  Getting professional help is really the best way to treat postpartum depression effectively.

Myth #3 – Women who suffer from postpartum depression do nothing but sit around being sad and crying.

Postpartum depression manifests itself differently in every woman.  While it is true that some women cry a lot and are sad much of the time, not every postpartum case exhibits these symptoms.  Some women talk about feeling numb or detached. Others are more angry or irritable.  Some have heightened anxiety surrounding the safety of their children.  Most sufferers of postpartum depression suffer without letting on that anything is wrong.  They still take care of their families, go to work, and do all of the things that they are meant to be doing, but they are still suffering inside.

Myth #4  Moms who suffer from postpartum depression will hurt their children.

Postpartum depression is often confused with postpartum psychosis.  The statistics on mothers harming their children are as radically different between these disorders as the disorders are themselves.  There is a 10 percent chance that mothers with postpartum psychosis will harm their children.  1 in 1000 mothers could suffer from postpartum psychosis.  Mothers with postpartum depression are more likely to overcompensate for their disorder and take extra care with their children rather than neglect them.  Our culture is such that when serious harm comes to a child, the media immediately equates the problem to postpartum depression when it is very unlikely to be the case.

Myth #5  Suffering from postpartum depression is the fault of the sufferer.

Women who suffer from postpartum depression are very likely to blame themselves.  They feel guilty or shameful about the disorder and do everything they can to hide it.  But it is not their fault.  There are several biological factors that make a woman more likely to end up with postpartum depression.  Hormones are certainly a factor.  After the birth of a child, it takes quite a while for the hormones in a woman’s body to regulate themselves.  A family history of postpartum depression can also make a woman more likely to exhibit postpartum symptoms.  A personal history of abuse or trauma can also make a woman more likely to display symptoms of postpartum depression.  Whatever the reason, biology is usually to blame for this kind of disorder, and it should be treated as such.

Five Healthy Ways to Discipline Children

As a parent, there is going to come a time when you will need to discipline your child.  Real discipline is more than just telling a toddler not to climb on the furniture or jump on the couch.  While there are lots of different kinds of discipline in which your family can engage, you should make the decision personally.  The decision should be based on the temperament of the child and the temperament of the parent.  When you discipline children, the needs of the child should also be considered.  Using a combination of discipline types is usually a good approach if you do not know which one to choose.

Here are some examples of different healthy discipline styles from which you can choose:

Gentle Discipline

Gentle discipline focuses on avoiding shame and guilt, but rather getting the child to understand that there are consequences to his or her actions.  It is mostly best to use gentle discipline to diffuse a situation or prevent future problems.  You, as the parent, can use humor or distraction to get the child to respond.  You must also keep your emotions in check.  There is no room for anger with gentle discipline.  For example, if you child will not sit down to practice his or her piano lesson.  Gentle discipline suggest that you use humor by saying something to the effect that if the child would rather not practice the piano, he or she could write a two page letter explaining why he or she is not prepared for the next piano lesson.  Then you can offer to sit beside the child and go over the piano lesson together.

Positive Reinforcement Discipline

Positive reinforcement discipline encourages realistic praise instead of hate speech or shaming.  It helps the child learn problem solving skills.  With negative reinforcement, your child may begin to think that he or she is bad in some way, but with positive reinforcement, your child learns that sometimes you need to do things that you do not want to do, but once you get through them, they are done.  Using the child who does not want to practice his or her piano lesson as an example, you could use an authoritative tone to tell the child that his or her piano teacher has trusted him or her to practice and improve his or her skills this week, that you know he or she does not want to practice, but it still needs to be done.  Then ask the child what you both can do to get the practicing done now.

Behavior Modification

Behavior modification is just like it sounds.  Parents attempt to alter the behavior of the child by rewarding or praising good behavior and ignoring or enforcing negative consequences for misbehavior.  In this kind of discipline, rewards should be set up in advance and not used as a bargaining chip to ply your child into good behavior.  Negative consequences should be the same.  Prearrange both sets of consequences so that your child knows what to expect should he or she not meet your expectations.

Emotional Coaching

Emotional coaching gives your child a vocabulary with which to express his or her feelings rather than just acting on them.  Young children rarely have the words to be able to express when they are angry or frustrated or stressed out.  Children experience all of these feelings, but likely do not know how to verbalize them so they act out.  As a parent, you can give them the words by acknowledging the feelings.  Tell your child that you understand that he or she is angry about not being able to play until he or she has practiced the piano lesson.  You understand that he or she gets frustrated when the right notes are hard to find or the song does not sound just right.  These are valid feelings.  Practicing makes everything a little bit easier and it is necessary for getting better.

Boundary Discipline

Boundary discipline focuses on setting limits and clear boundaries for children when it comes to their behavior and the expectations you have of them.  Children need clear expectations outlines so they know what to expect.  The other part of boundary discipline is that you must follow through with your consequences whether positive or negative.  The consequences should be logical to the child and be appropriate for the behavior exhibited.

A male and female interlocking hands in what appears to be a strong, happy relationship.

Building Communication with Relationship Therapy

Most couples will argue from time to time. For the most part, this is normal behavior, because loving someone doesn’t necessarily …

Man sitting on couch holding hands over his face as his partner walks away angrily.

The Five Stages of Ending a Long-Term Relationship

Sometimes relationships just aren’t meant to be. Love has plenty of ups and downs, but increasing negativity can be a sign …

Vintage photo of a peaceful, beautiful nature scene with river and trees.

Smell The Roses: The Benefits of Nature Therapy

With the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and responsibilities, it can be hard to remember to take time to “stop and …