Thursday, July 2, 2009

NLP is the study of the impact of languages on the thought processes of our mind. It’s considered the controlling mechanism of the brain. Once someone learns to communicate using NLP, his communication becomes more effective.

Thought processes and our 5 senses in our brain are initiated by stimulus we get from our sense organs. The stimuli from the plethora of sense organs are then communicated via electro chemical signals to our brain. These signals are then translated into images that can be recognized by our brain. The information that isn’t processed by the brain in the form of electro chemical signals is called the primary experience. It’s initially analyzed or interpreted by the brain. The image conceived from the primary experience is called secondary experience.

NLP can be used to make sense of how we are carrying out things and how they can be done better. Secondary experience is developed from a person’s past experiences. The primary experience is actually the actual truth of a situation. If you can communicate with someone using the primary experience, their way of thinking can be changed. Reprogramming the internal processes taking place in a person is very helpful. This will inevitably lead to a change in behavior in the person, which in turn produces better results.

Often blame is placed on the person, which is an attack on the identity level. When in truth the change needs to occur on the behavior and attitudes level and how that person behaves. What needs to change is a change in the attitudes and behavior of a person, not their personality or who they are. This is a recipe for success when bringing out the desired changes in the life of a person. If you’re looking to be a better manager, communicator or even public speaker, using NLP will allow you to communicate more effectively. Also, if change is desired with yourself, or someone else that might need it, NLP is very helpful in bringing about change in a person.

Jared Heldt
Online resources for learning NLP

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Nurfika Osman

Hypnosis No Hocus-Pocus In Helping Smokers to Quit
A Jakarta-based psychiatrist claims that hypnosis can increase smokers’ chances of kicking the habit, and decrease their chances of kicking the bucket.

Tribowo Ginting, from the Smoking Cessation Clinic at the Persahabatan Pulmonary and Respiratory Hospital in East Jakarta, said on Monday that the alternative treatment could help some people quit smoking for whom willpower alone was not enough.

“Hypnosis and continued counseling will increase the chances of smokers giving up completely by as much as 30 percent,” Ginting claimed, adding that only about 5 percent of smokers were able to kick the habit without some form of help.

Ginting said that hypnosis was not the mind-control technique that was often depicted on television and in the media.

He said that hypnosis in medical treatment was about suggestion therapy.

“We are providing positive and negative suggestions to the patients so that they will enter the ‘undecided phase,’ ” Ginting said. “At this phase, we can help them stop smoking.”

Positive suggestions, he said, include the health benefits of stopping smoking, while negative suggestions cover the health risks of continuing the habit. Preaching the negative impacts alone, he said, is ineffective.

“We need to make them think, ‘Am I doing the right thing by smoking? Is it true that smoking is bad for my health? What do I get from smoking?’ ” he said.

Ginting said that due to the addictive nature of nicotine, which is up to 10 times stronger than morphine or cocaine, it could take between a month to a year or more for patients to fully stop smoking.

Besides regular counseling, Ginting said psychiatrists could also prescribe drugs to reduce patients’ cravings. He said that Varenicline was one of the safest drugs for reducing patients’ cravings.

According to data from the University of Indonesia’s Demographics Institute, in 2008 some 68 million Indonesians were active smokers and 427,948 people died nationwide from smoking-related illnesses, accounting for 22.5 percent of deaths in the country last year.

Poor sleep is independently associated with depression in postpartum women

Contact: Kelly Wagner
American Academy of Sleep Medicine
Poor sleep is independently associated with depression in postpartum women

Sleep may act as a moderator between risk factors for depression and the onset of depression in women vulnerable to sleep changes during the postpartum period

Westchester, Ill. — A study in the July 1 issue of the journal SLEEP suggests that postpartum depression may aggravate an already impaired sleep quality, as experiencing difficulties with sleep is a symptom of depression. Twenty-one percent of depressed postpartum women included in the study reported having also been depressed during pregnancy and 46 percent reported at least one previous depressive episode prior to conception, suggesting that new mothers diagnosed with postpartum depression are not merely reporting symptoms of chronic sleep deprivation.

Results indicate that two months after delivery, poor sleep was associated with depression when adjusted for other significant risk factors, such as poor partner relationship, previous depression, depression during pregnancy and stressful life events. Sleep disturbances and subjective sleep quality were the aspects of sleep most strongly associated with depression. Overall, nearly 60 percent of the postpartum women experienced poor global sleep quality, and 16.5 percent had depressive symptoms.

According to lead author Karen Dørheim, MD, PhD, psychiatrist at Stavanger University Hospital in Norway, depression after delivery is often not identified by new mothers, whereas tiredness and lack of sleep are common complaints. These symptoms may be attributed to poor sleep, but the tiredness could also be caused by depression.

"It is important to ask a new mother suffering from tiredness about how poor sleep affects her daytime functioning and whether there are other factors in her life that may contribute to her lack of energy," said Dørhei. "There are also helpful depression screening questionnaires that can be completed during a consultation. Doctors and other health workers should provide an opportunity for postpartum women to discuss difficult feelings."

Data were collected between October 2005 and September 2006 from 2,830 women who gave birth to a live child at Stavanger University Hospital in Norway. Sleep was measured using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and depressive symptoms using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). The mean self-reported nightly sleep duration was 6.5 hours, and sleep efficiency was 73 percent. The mean age of the mothers at the time of reply was 30 years, and the mean age of the infants was 8.4 weeks.

Depression, previous sleep problems, being a first time mother, not exclusively breastfeeding or having a younger or male infant were factors associated with poor postpartum sleep quality. Better maternal sleep was associated with the baby sleeping in a different room.

According to authors, the first three months after delivery are characterized by continually changing sleep parameters. Women who are tired during this period may attribute this to poor sleep, but the tiredness could alternatively be caused by depression; thus talking about sleep problems may provide an entry point for also discussing the woman's overall well-being. Individual women may react differently to shorter sleep duration and lower sleep efficiency during the postpartum period, and that the sleep of women with a history of depression may be more sensitive to the psychobiological (hormonal, immunological, psychological and social) changes associated with childbirth.

SLEEP is the official journal of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC (APSS), a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society. The APSS publishes original findings in areas pertaining to sleep and circadian rhythms. SLEEP, a peer-reviewed scientific and medical journal, publishes 12 regular issues and 1 issue comprised of the abstracts presented at the SLEEP Meeting of the APSS.

For a copy of the study, "Sleep and Depression in Postpartum Women: A Population-Based Study," or to arrange an interview with the study's author, please contact Kelly Wagner, AASM public relations coordinator, at (708) 492-0930, ext. 9331, or

AASM is a professional membership organization dedicated to the advancement of sleep medicine and sleep-related research. As the national accrediting body for sleep disorders centers and laboratories for sleep related breathing disorders, the AASM promotes the highest standards of patient care. The organization serves its members and advances the field of sleep health care by setting the clinical standards for the field of sleep medicine, advocating for recognition, diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders, educating professionals dedicated to providing optimal sleep health care and fostering the development and application of scientific knowledge.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Depression: A dark and dangerous place

By WALKER MEADE Correspondent

Published: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 1:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 29, 2009 at 4:10 p.m.

Can't remember when you last had a good night's sleep? Been feeling edgy and short-tempered? Cry sometimes while you're making lunch? Feel that everything that matters is somehow out of your control?

Click to enlarge
Major depressive disorder is a combination of symptoms that interfere with your ability to work, sleep, study, eat and enjoy once–pleasurable activities. Major depression is disabling and may occur only once in a person’s lifetime, but more often, it recurs throughout life.

Dysthymic disorder lasts two years or longer but its severe symptoms may not disable but can prevent you from functioning normally or feeling well. People with dysthymia may also experience one or more episodes of major depression during their lifetimes.

There are other forms of depression that can develop because of unique circumstances, such as the present economic recession. Not all scientists agree on how to define these forms of depression.

They include:

Psychotic depression, which occurs when a severe depressive illness is accompanied by some form of psychosis, such as a break with reality, hallucinations and delusions.

Postpartum depression, which is diagnosed if a new mother develops a major depressive episode within one month after delivery. It is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of women experience postpartum depression after giving birth.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is characterized by the onset of a depressive illness during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight.

Bipolar disorder is not as common as major depression or dysthymia. Bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes — from extreme highs to extreme lows.

—National Institute for Mental Health

You may be on the slippery slope to depression. And if you don't do something about it, your world may become a very, very dark place.

First, "it is terribly important that you know if your sense of discouragement and demoralization is a clinical or real depression," says Sarasota psychiatrist Dr. Robert Mignone. "People can also be demoralized, which is different from depression. In depression, day in and day out, it's a dark and rainy place. Demoralization, on the other hand, doesn't necessarily have a continued loss of sleep, appetite, focus or concentration. It's more a sense of despair and loss of meaning and purpose."

Major depression, which affects about 8 percent of the population and tends to run in families, is treatable with antidepressants, says Mignone. Other depressive disorders may respond to tranquilizers, but will not respond to antidepressants.

Major depression is "the big gun," Mignone says. "If you come down a notch, you have an adjustment reaction with depressive symptoms. If a hurricane hits and takes your house, you may have a situational depression. It comes on immediately and is exquisitely related to the event. It will tend to run a course, especially for people who have strong support, faith and other resources that they can mobilize. It will diminish within four to six weeks. For people who are not resilient or can't bounce back, it will become an ongoing stress."

Mignone believes that the incidence of situational depression has increased since the economic downturn and so have other kinds of acting out.

"Drinking has increased. Suicidal thinking and attempts have increased. Anxiety has remarkably increased," he says. "I not only read about these things, but see them in my own practice. Our current economic situation is clearly not like a hurricane or a fire. It is ongoing and has no certain end. The fallout directly affects all of us."

Because the current situation is very socially destructive, we need to understand that we can't change the fact of what we are going through, but we can change our response. "The financial crisis is not changing our emotional state. We are doing that," he says. "You don't look to the facts to get a handle, you look to yourself. You find a way to get a handle on the situation. I think when we are delivered an emotional blow we are designed to heal. Even when no intervention is given, most of us will heal over time. Healing wants to happen."

Miriam Lacher, the manager of referral development at Sarasota Memorial Hospital's Bayside Center for Behavioral Health, says that although total patient volume is down because people can't afford to come to the center, the diagnostic profile of people with depression-related problems is up.

"What we are seeing are people who are profoundly depressed who are looking for some way to find something that can be back in their control," she says. "We now see people at Bayside that we have not seen before. We had a gentleman ... who attempted suicide. He had never had any mental illness but he lost everything in the market and could not figure out how he was going to sustain himself because this was his retirement."

What can we do to help?

When we see a friend or family member begin to withdraw, there are things we can do to intervene. "We must be more mindful of people in our lives and be aware if they change their daily routines, the way they interact, the things they say, or they allow their personal hygiene to deteriorate," says Lacher. "We are our brother's keeper after all. People just cannot pull themselves up by their bootstraps. We need to say, 'Hey, there is something not right here. Can you talk to me? And if you can't, then let's go get some help.' "

The primary breadwinner in a family is likely to have more symptoms of depression, says Lacher, "because when the world is out of control, it is not just about them, but about the people who depend upon them." Depression in a family also profoundly affects children. "If children are upset, or angry or depressed, you often see acting-out behavior," says Vicki Klein, a clinical social worker in Sarasota. "Children don't have the skills to express themselves with words, so they act their emotions out. They may pick on other children, they may turn it inward on themselves and become withdrawn and have trouble sleeping. They are not likely to discuss these things. "As a parent you would want to have them express what they feel with words and you may have to give them the words," she says. "You might say something like 'It looks like you're sad' and get them to talk about that."

Sometimes, just the act of talking problems out with a therapist can help get people on the road to recovery. "People heal in the very act of sharing what it is that they are struggling with," says Lacher. "You must have a genuine trusting relationship with a patient in order for them to change and take a different path in life. You have to hear the client, hear what their struggles are, validate those struggles, believe that they are struggling before they begin to make changes. Because then you can begin to work with the patient so that they can begin to see if there aren't other ways to perceive what can happen next. You want to see what they are thinking about and not just responding to the emotional part of the problem."

When should you get help?

But how do you know when your emotional problems have gotten so serious that you should reach out for professional help?

The important thing is to be able to "read" yourself -- to know what you are feeling. "Symptoms reach thresholds," Mignone says. "You get to a place where you realize you are not your old self. And, by and large, when the pain gets too much, you will go for help, whether it is a physical problem or an emotional one. Sometimes a patient's inability to function becomes so apparent it can't be denied. They get negative reports at work. A spouse or friend says, 'What's the matter. You're just not yourself.' There is a symptomatic expression of illness that either the patient recognizes or other people do."

There is no point in living in pain when the condition you think is hopeless is not, when the suffering you think will never end can be overcome because of the advances in treatment available to you now.

"If you have no resources and need professional guidance, you will find the churches in Sarasota County a great help," says Mignone. "They will often have an active counseling service where you can get some help. And there are services like Jewish Children & Family Service that can and will help out."

This story appeared in print on page E10

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encour

Monday, June 29, 2009

How to recognize the warning signs of suicide

By DAVE FOPAY, Staff Writer

Someone feeling pushed to the brink, perhaps thinking things are so bad they can’t get better, needs to hear that they can improve, “even if at the moment you don’t believe it,” Linda Weiss says.

Severe problems and depression that can lead people to consider ending their lives are usually accompanied by warning signs family and friends can look for, said Weiss, director of the Mattoon-based Regional Behavioral Health Network. The network operates a 24-hour crisis telephone line that’s not only for people who are thinking about suicide but also for people who are concerned that someone else might be, she explained.

“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem,” Weiss said. “It may end your emotional suffering but it doesn’t end the problem. There is help out there.”

There are several warning signs professionals say might mean that someone’s thinking about suicide. Weiss said some of the major ones are hopelessness or “somebody saying, ‘Why bother?’,” any mention of suicide or that things would be better without them and significant symptoms of depression.

Anybody can “just be down” because of something such as another person’s death or loss of a job, Weiss said, but the level of depression for someone who’s suicidal isn’t “typical to a situation.” It can include loss of interest in things a person normally enjoys and especially needs attention if it lasts two weeks or more, she said.

Along with contacting a professional “if there’s any hint at all” that someone’s thinking about suicide, Weiss said those concerned should talk to the person as bluntly as they feel comfortable, and that includes asking directly about suicide.

“Asking somebody about it is not going to put the thought in their head,” Weiss said.

In recent weeks, the area has seen some dramatic or unusual suicides and attempts, including on June 8 when a rural Charleston woman jumped off a bridge onto Interstate 57 north of Mattoon but lived. Just days before, a Charleston police officer shot and killed himself at his home and about a week before that, a Mattoon man shot himself to death at a friend’s home in Bushton after a police pursuit.

More drastic acts usually indicate that “they’ve made their mind up that they do want to be dead” and they choose the method because they’re not likely to be stopped, Weiss said. Someone might also have access to a gun but not pills for an overdose, for example, she added.

Weiss also said law enforcement is one of the high-risk occupations for suicide because of the stress that comes with the job and the access to weapons. One local police officer said he “absolutely” agrees with that and his department offers programs to help deal with it.

“A lot of the time, we see the worst in people,” said Lt. Tad Freezeland of the Coles County Sheriff’s Department. “Sometimes, police officers can get dragged down by that.”

Freezeland also said he’s probably dealt with about 100 instances during his 16 years in law enforcement where someone attempted suicide. Those include times trying to talk the person out of it, he said, and that’s when he tries to mention those who care about the person and to make that person realize suicide’s not the answer.

“We’re there to help them,” he said. “We’re there to de-escalate their thoughts.”

Freezeland echoed Weiss in saying that if someone’s intent on suicide “they’re going to do it.” He also agreed that it’s best if others know and recognize the warning signs because usually by the time police arrive “it’s too late.”

The Regional Behavior Health Network crisis line is averaging about 320 calls per month this year, a few more than last year and continuing an increase the program’s seen each year since it began in 2004. Weiss said that could be because people are more aware of the service and because of “the state of affairs,” namely the poor economy.

“There are more people under stress,” she said.

The emergency room at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center deals with people who’ve tried to kill themselves but also frequently encounters people thinking about it, said Joseph Burton, the hospital’s emergency department medical director. As many as six people walk in each day with mental illness problems, most considering suicide, and it’s “getting busier,” he said.

Some can be admitted to the hospital, but for people who don’t meet the criteria for that, they mostly have to be referred to an agency and are left to make the contact themselves, he added. That’s a situation he called a “silent crisis” in mental health care.

“They need something in between going home and being admitted,” Burton said.

Contact Dave Fopay at or 238-6858.

eep Breathing can Ease Anxiety, Panic Attacks

With almost every patient I see, I introduce the concept and practice of deep breathing. It is one of the most effective stress-relievers in existence.

Learning to control your breathing, even in life-threatening situations, increases your chances for survival. Combat trainers working with Green Berets and FBI agents often refer to this phenomena as "combat" or "tactical" breathing.

The human body, when it's working right, is an amazing system.

When faced with an extremely fearful situation, the hypothalamus produces adrenaline and cortisol for release into the bloodstream. These hormones increase heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure and metabolism. Blood vessels open wider and let more blood flow into large muscle groups. Blood chemically changes to coagulate more quickly so we bleed less if wounded. Pupils dilate to improve vision, our livers release stored glucose to increase energy, and our bodies produce more perspiration to cool us.

The amazing thing is that all this happens automatically without a conscious effort on our part. Still, with all this natural action, most people experience some degree of fear in their daily lives. So what can you do? One way to deal with fear, whether it comes in the form of anxiety or panic, is to learn how to breathe correctly.

In many cases, we are unaware of our breathing pattern. There may have been times you noticed your breathing is shallow, or you were unknowingly holding your breath.

If we slow down our breathing rate in a fearful situation, we can often reduce fear and act more rationally. Yoga folks and others who practice meditation are in on the secret power of healthy breathing.

Experiencing a panic attack is like going 140 miles per hour on Interstate 95, except you may be at work or in your kitchen. For individuals who experience anxiety and/or panic attacks, self-help is available.

The same can be said for anxiety disorders. A rapid heart beat, tightness in the chest, fear of losing consciousness or having a heart attack and dying, and sweaty palms are common.

Several techniques are used to reduce stress. Deep, abdominal breathing is often the best way to reduce the chance of high anxiety and panic.

Free-floating anxiety or panic seems to come out of the blue, sometimes when we least expect it. There may not be time to do deep breathing exercises; however, there are cognitive coping techniques that help relieve symptoms and give us time to gradually work on breathing skills.

Although they may be frightening, severe anxiety or panic attacks are not usually dangerous to our health. But practicing deep breathing may make potentially habit-forming medication, alcohol and other drugs no longer necessary. This is not only healthier, but also a lot less expensive.

Bob Howat is a licensed marriage and family therapist who lives and practices in Fernandina Beach.
BFAD orders recall of risky Hydroxycut weight-loss goods
06/28/2009 | 04:09 PM
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MANILA, Philippines – If you have Hydroxycut weight-loss products in your house, you should stop using them and demand a refund from the store where you bought them.

The advice comes from the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD), which has recently ordered a recall of all Hydroxycut products from the local market due to health concerns.

In BFAD Advisory No. 2009-005, BFAD Director Leticia Barbara Gutierrez ordered General Nutrition Center (GNC), the Philippine importer of Hydroxycut 1000 mg, whose ingredients include of hydroxagen, chromium picolinate, and L-carnitine, to immediately pull out the products from the market.

Gutierrez said the popular weight loss products had been ordered recalled from the US market earlier by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to reported cases of serious liver problems, such as jaundice and elevated liver enzymes.

[A story about the US FDA recall was posted last May 1 on the CNN Web site – "Stop using Hydroxycut products, FDA says".]

Manufactured by Iovate Health Sciences Inc. of Oakville, Ontario, in Canada, Hydroxycut contains a variety of ingredients and herbal extracts. It is registered with the BFAD as a food supplement.

Gutierrez asked the public, local government units, and consumer groups to report to the BFAD or nearest Center for Health Development any establishment, group or individual selling the banned products.


The advisory was dated May 6, 2009 and posted on the BFAD Web site on May 25, 2009, but the link appeared to have become active only recently.

Nonetheless, a random check by GMANews.TV with some GNC outlets in Metro Manila and other key cities showed that Hydroxycut products have been off their shelves since May.

The GNC branches include those in Rustan’s Shangri-la (Pasig City), Robinsons Galleria (Quezon City), Trinoma Mall (Quezon City), Powerplant Mall (Makati City), SM City Baguio, SM City Iloilo and SM City Davao.

Daisy Carriaga, store personnel of GNC’s Robinsons Galleria branch, told GMANews.TV in a phone interview that there was a nationwide pullout of the Hydroxycut products.

US FDA advisory

In a consumer advisory on May 1, 2009, the US FDA said it has received 23 reports over more than seven years about consumers having experienced serious liver-related problems coinciding with the time they were taking Hydroxycut-branded products.

“Although the liver damage appears to be relatively rare, FDA believes consumers should not be exposed to unnecessary risk," it said.

Iovate Health Sciences Inc., the manufacturer, said in its website that while its own analysis was different from the FDA’s findings, it had “initiated a voluntary recall."

“While this is a small number of reports relative to the many millions of people who have used Hydroxycut products over the years, out of an abundance of caution and because consumer safety is our top priority, we are voluntarily recalling these Hydroxycut-branded products," it said.

The manufacturer said the voluntary recall covered the following products:

• Hydroxycut Regular Rapid Release Caplets
• Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Rapid Release Caplets
• Hydroxycut Hardcore Liquid Capsules
• Hydroxycut Max Liquid Capsules
• Hydroxycut Regular Drink Packets
• Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Drink Packets
• Hydroxycut Hardcore Drink Packets (Ignition Stix)
• Hydroxycut Max Drink Packets
• Hydroxycut Liquid Shots
• Hydroxycut Hardcore RTDs (Ready-to-Drink)
• Hydroxycut Max Aqua Shed
• Hydroxycut 24
• Hydroxycut Carb Control
• Hydroxycut Natural - GMANews.TV