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

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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 dfopay@jg-tc.com 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

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mental Health Help is at Hand

Mental health help is at hand

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By MICHELLE BEARDEN | The Tampa Tribune

Published: June 27, 2009

What happened to Mike Hailey could happen to anyone, says Scott Barnett, executive director of Mental Health America of Greater Tampa Bay.

Untreated depression can lead to substance abuse, alienation from family and friends, poor decisions, physical problems and suicide.

"If you're running a high fever, you'd seek medical help," he says. "It works the same way with mental health. You need to treat it before it gets worse."

That can range from talk therapy to medications, Barnett says. But the important thing is not to ignore the symptoms. Anyone suffering from severe depression without a specific cause, such as a death of a loved one, needs to seek professional help.

"Too often people think it's a character flaw to ask for help," he says.

Barnett, who manages his depression through prescription medication, offers these tips:

If the way you are feeling is not normal for you, then something not normal is probably happening.

You have a right to feel better. Pursue your rights.

Find a person you can be open with. Dial 211 for help reaching crisis centers in Tampa and St. Petersburg or go to www.mhagreatertampabay
.org for information.

More than 20 percent of Americans will have mental health problems in their lifetime. You are not alone.

"My own experience is that when I make it known I have clinical depression, I usually make at least one new friend," Barnett says. "So, it is well worth it."

Hailey is sharing his story to groups in the hope of helping others. To contact him or to learn more about New Day Church, call (813) 681-8239 or go to www.newdayministries.org.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

New Clues on How Hypnosis Works
Researchers Observe Changes in Brain Activity During Hypnosis
By Bill Hendrick
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

June 26, 2009 -- University of Geneva researchers say they found in a series of experiments using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) that brain activity is different under hypnosis.

Their study is published in journal Neuron.

The study concludes that hypnosis induces a disconnection of motor commands from normal voluntary processes under the influence of brain circuits involved in executive control and self-imagery, Yann Cojan, PhD, of the Neuroscience Center and Medical School at the University of Geneva, tells WebMD in an email.

The researchers used fMRI to scan brains of 12 people who were tested on hand movement before and after hypnosis for left hand paralysis.

Despite the paralysis, neurons in the motor cortex region were still firing away in preparation for the task, Cojan tells WebMD.

He says his team confirmed "subjective reports of hypnotic phenomenon" and also that "functional connectivity is a very important process in the brain" that hypnosis is capable of modifying.

What was surprising was that the cortex appeared to be ignoring parts of the brain with which it normally communicates in controlling movement, the researchers say.

Hypnosis produced changes in areas involved in attention, and also modified connections between the brain's motor cortex and other regions, Cojan tells WebMD.

Besides the 12 who were hypnotized, the researchers also scanned the brains of six people who had not been hypnotized but who had been told to feign hand paralysis for testing. They comprised the comparison group.

"These results suggest that hypnosis may enhance self-monitoring processes to allow internal representations generated by the suggestion to guide behavior but does not act through direct motor inhibition," Cojan says in a news release. "These findings make an important new step toward establishing neurobiological foundations for the striking impact of hypnosis on the brain and behavior."

In the study participants, messages weren't sent through normal brain channels, so when hypnotized subjects were told to move their left hands, they couldn't, Cojan says.

Hypnosis, the researchers found, induces a disconnect in normal voluntary processes involved in planning to move a body part. "Hypnosis is a very old tool in many medical domains but it is still unclear how it works," Cojan says.
4 Must-See Articles

Friday, June 26, 2009

Positive thinking my be a negative

By Rob Stein
Washington Post
Posted: 06/24/2009 10:06:35 PM PDT
Updated: 06/24/2009 10:06:37 PM PDT

Despite what all those self-help books say, repeating positive statements apparently does not help people with low self-esteem feel better about themselves. In fact, it tends to make them feel worse, according to new research.
Joanne Wood of the University of Waterloo in Ontario and two colleagues conducted experiments in which they asked students to repeat statements to themselves such as "I am a lovable person" — then measured how it affected their mood.
"From at least as far back as Norman Vincent Peale's "The Power of Positive Thinking" (1952), the media have advocated saying favorable things to oneself," the researchers wrote in a recent issue of the journal Psychological Science. "At this moment, thousands of people across North America are probably silently repeating positive statements to themselves."
But in one of their studies involving 32 male and 36 female psychology students, the researchers found that repeating the phrase did not improve the mood of those who had low self-esteem, as measured by a standard test. They actually ended up feeling worse, and the gap between those with high and low self-esteem widened.
The findings did not change even if participants were instructed to focus on how the statement might be true about them, as they were in a second study involving 12 men and 39 women.
The results "suggest that for certain people, positive self-statements may not only be ineffective, but actuallydetrimental," the researchers wrote. More research is needed to understand that effect. "One possibility is that, like over-positive praise, they can elicit contradictory thoughts" and prompt people to focus on how the positive statement is not true about them.
Brain scans show how hypnosis can paralyze a limb
By MALCOLM RITTER – 1 day ago
NEW YORK (AP) — How can a hypnotist paralyze your hand just with words? By making a part of your brain butt in on the process that normally makes your hand move, a study says.
So the brain region that's ready to move your hand ignores its usual inputs and listens to this interloper, which says, "Don't even bother," the research concluded.
It's "a kind of reconnection between different brain regions," said Yann Cojan, a researcher at the University of Geneva in Switzerland.
He's an author of the study in Thursday's issue of the journal Neuron. It used brain scans to show what happened when 12 volunteers tried to move a hand that had been paralyzed by hypnosis.
Results showed the right motor cortex prepared itself as usual to tell the left hand to move. But the cortex appeared to be ignoring the parts of the brain it normally communicates with in controlling movement. Instead, it acted more in sync than usual with a different brain region called the precuneus. That was a surprise, Cojan said.
The precuneus is involved in mental imagery and memory about oneself. Cojan suggests it was brimming with the metaphors the participants had heard from the hypnotist: Your hand is very heavy, it is stuck on the table, etc. So, he said, it might have been telling the motor cortex, "Oh, but your hand is too heavy, you can't move your hand."
It's as if the motor cortex "is connected to the idea that it cannot move (the hand) and so ... it doesn't send the message to move," Cojan said.
For the research, 12 participants had their brains scanned while doing a task that required them to push a button with one hand or the other. For some sessions, they were hypnotized and told their left hands were paralyzed. For other sessions, their mental status was normal. For comparison, six other participants simply pretended their left hands were paralyzed.
Dr. Richard Frackowiak, a brain expert at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland who didn't participate in the study, called the new work a "very valuable addition" to research into hypnotic paralysis.
Amir Raz, who studies hypnosis and the brain at McGill University in Montreal, said he found the work interesting. But he wondered if the results might partially reflect general effects of being under hypnosis, rather than the paralysis suggestion itself.
On the Net:
Neuron: http://www.cell.com/neuron/
Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Anxiety Hypnotherapy - Get De Stressed Today

How Anxiety Hypnotherapy works and how YOU can use it to improve your life
By:Georgina Hoehmannzn

Why do people get stressed? By asking questions! Yes, as simple as this may sound, this is one of the key reasons that we get stressed. We ask ourselves what we are doing with our life, whether our current partner is the best for us and ultimately, what is the meaning of life. So is it as easy as stopping asking questions? This will not work either, if you stop asking questions then you risk becoming one of those people that simply cruises through life without considering why they are here, what they are doing and why they exist. While these sorts of people will not often get stressed, they will also miss out on enjoying the conversations that come about as a result of posing these questions to others. One of the great motivational speakers of our time, Anthony Robbins said this several years ago: "Think of your mind, your emotions, and your spirit as the ultimate garden. The way to ensure a bountiful, nourishing harvest is to plant seeds like love, courage, and appreciation instead of seeds like disappointment, anger, and fear." This quote illustrates how important it is to try and control the mind to achieve personal happiness. Stress is the most dangerous drug in a human's life. Your feelings determine your behavior. However, behavior does not equal the person. Behaviour is only a symptom of your environment and the way you live your life. However if you do not seek help, other symptoms like panic attacks, physical illness and even depression can be created. Anxiety hypnotherapy in combination with NLP and the Alpha technique is a very effective "medicine" to control the stress in such a way that you never have to go through the additional symptoms mentioned above. Stop the negativity in your life! Many people are skeptical of anxiety hypnotherapy but this is usually the case because they are scared about trying something different. But it makes sense to try something different because you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Using anxiety hypnotherapy on a regular basis has the potential to improve your life more than you ever dreamed. You will find it easier to make friends, you will look forward to waking up in the morning and you may never get stressed again. If you would like to address an anxiety disorder you should consult a hypnotherapist who is qualified in anxiety hypnosis. Once you begin treatment you will never look back!

Choosing a hypnotherapist to deal with your anxiety disorder

As soon as you decide that anxiety hypnotherapy is an option for you, you can be sure that you have made a good choice. It does take a bit of courage to begin treatment but after a few sessions with a hypnotherapist, the benefits will be plain to see. The most important decision you will make once you decide to undergo anxiety hypnosis is choosing a hypnotherapist. There are many ways you can choose a hypnotherapist but perhaps the easiest and most reliable is by talking to a friend who has previously seen a hypnotherapist. This way you can be sure that you are dealing with a quality organization that has the skills to transform your life from one of stress and negativity to a life where positive thinking is second nature and you relish every day. The other method of choosing a hypnotherapist is by using an online search such as Google or Yahoo. These search engines will produce a large number of results making it easy to see which practitioners you prefer. Some lists will also include prices and availability. However the most useful feature of an online search is to find reviews of individual hypnotherapists. By reading the opinion of someone else you can gain a valuable insight into what is being offered to you and how other people have rated the services provided.

Why you should not view general anxiety as an anxiety disorder

Everyone gets anxious about things. Some people worry about money, some people worry about the future and some people worry about where they are going to get their next meal! But are any of these concerns disorders or simply part of daily life. There is a big difference from an anxiety disorder and simply general anxiety. In most cases, an anxiety disorder will arise as a result of prolonged worries which don't go away. Every day you will wake up without knowing how to cope and you might turn to external substances such as alcohol and drugs in order to cope. So you should not worry about worrying. Worrying is normal and should in some cases be encouraged. It promotes a questioning mind which is crucial to survive in this world. Stop worrying about the little things and start asking yourself the following questions. Why am I here? What should I be doing? How does it all end? Anxiety hypnosis is a valuable tool designed to help you view life in perspective and ensure you remain in control of your emotions on a daily basis. Anxiety hypnotherapy is recommended for anyone who worries without reason and it has the potential to improve your life more than you ever dreamed.

Do You Listen or Do You Hear?

By : Alistair Horscroft
Submitted 2009-06-17 07:02:27

Lets start this article with a a simple question: "When approached by a colleague, family member or staff member with a problem are you a talker, interrogator or a listener?

With a bit of self awareness it's not hard to see which one we are: Talkers do just that, they just talk.... and talk........and talk. Talkers put up with others speaking just long enough for them to be able to unload what it is they want to say, normally their opinion on to the other person.
Talkers wait for an pause in the conversation so they can say something. Talkers often fake listening just so that they can say something. Talkers speak at people, they do not connect. Obviously talkers are a joy to be around (joke) Talkers most likely have very noisy internal dialogue/self talk. They often either have a misplaced sense of their own importance/sense of rightness or a deep lack of self worth that is overcompensated for by all the talk. They are most often uncomfortable with silence.

Interrogators don't stop asking questions, it's like being with the Spanish inquisition. They want to know everything, every detail, they want to make sure that all the t's are crossed and the i's are dotted as they find out more. Interrogators don't really want to listen, instead they want to gather information for there own self interest. Interrogators often live in a world of hyper comparison, they want to make sure that no one has anything over them. Interrogators often have significant insecurities and believe that by finding out all about you they can assess you correctly, label you and put you in a convenient box (that suits their map of the world). Many people learn that asking questions is a great communication skill, which is true - however there is a very big difference between asking questions out of genuine interest and asking them to satisfy once own psychological complexities and personal insecurities!

Listeners genuinely listen, they want, out of no ulterior motive, to fully understand the other persons needs. Listeners have a well developed sense of self, they respect others opinions, experiences and ideas without judgement. Listeners are able to create a safe environment where others are able to open up and truly be themselves. Listeners have no desire for fake relationships or communication and therefore want others to be themselves as any other form of communication becomes boring and meaningless to them. The Listener is able to create deep trust with others quickly as well as motivate others to talk and share information. Listeners are comfortable with silence and have no need to talk for the sake of it. Listeners truly hear. To create the space where someone actually feels heard is one of the great gifts that you can give to another - it is a rare thing, but a skill worth mastering. To learn to hear is to have mastered one of the most important skills we can for in doing so we provide ourself with proof that we have worked through many of our own personal insecurities and issues. We become more selfless.

Listen to people the way you want to be listened to, and you too will start to feel heard.

8 Barriers To Masterful Listening

1. Doing something else while the person is talking.
2. Waiting (barely) for a pause before jumping in.
3. The need to say something. The inability to remain quiet.
4. Fake listening, something you have to do so that you can talk.
5. Selective listening.
6. Listening only to words rather that the complete person (unconscious signals such as body language and tonality).
7. Easily distracted, can you remain focuses through distractions?
8. Can you be free from judgement - can you dissolve your own world view and personal opinions to remain present?

Article provided by Alistair Horscroft, Director The Mind Institute.
Author Resource:- http://www.themindinstitute.com.au

Article From Hypnosis Articles Directory

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What Is Conversational Hypnosis

Communication is indeed a tool that can be very powerful. This can be illustrated in the case of conversational hypnosis.

Conversational hypnosis is a process wherein a persons initial perception is altered with regards to the problem that is being faced. This will have to be done through the interaction of the hypnotist and the patient.

A session of conversational hypnosis usually starts with a stage called the affinity. Hypnosis only works if there is rapport that exists between the hypnotist and the patient. This rapport is fostered with the hypnotist expressing to the patient that he empathizes with the patient.

To drive home the point, lets say that a hypnotist is working with an agoraphobic person to address his fear of being in crowds. When the patient tells the hypnotist that it is very hard to be in his situation, the hypnotist should say in return that I do understand what youre going through. Yes, it is hard.

Once there is a kind of bond that is established between the patient and the hypnotist, the hypnotist can start going deeper into the conversational hypnosis. The second stage of the hypnosis is the distraction. During this stage, the hypnotist will attempt to sway the patients thinking into something which does not involve the problem.

The hypnotist usually asks several questions to successfully allow the patient to think of something else.

To follow through with the example I made before, in order for the hypnotist to distract the patient, he can ask something along the lines of what do you think it would be like if you lived all alone in this planet? The question does not have to literally make sense as long as it is effective in distracting the patient.

The final step is the proposition. Once the hypnotist successfully leads the patient to think of something else, then the hypnotist can introduce different suggestions to finally solve the problem.

Like the hypnotist can start telling the patient what life would be like if he started getting comfortable with people.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Hypnosis Can Help You Lose Weight

y Tamara Rilley

A lot of people are amazed by the intensity of mind power when it comes to dealing with various obstacles in life. For the last few centuries, men and women have constantly been battling issues on their sizes and weight. Thanks to hypnosis, there is now an easier and more dependable way to lose weight without having to spend a lot of money or to cut down on your diet.

Weight loss is huge industry particularly here in the United States due to the current obesity problem which has spawned literally hundreds of different programs, diets and routines for shedding weight. Since most of these methodologies only work for a small percentage of the overweight population, people have sought their own mind to provide personal weight loss solutions.

A weight loss alternative that is often overlooked is the technique of hypnosis. It is important to understand that hypnotherapy, the process used in overcoming obesity must be done in utmost meditation and care for it to bring out the most optimum results.

Hypnotherapy carries out tasks that allow the body to manage pain and to also deal with different emotional and physical habits. Nowadays, a lot of medical professionals recommend their patients to undergo the treatment.

A hypnotherapist can help you to attain the right state of mind that will allow you to lose weight when you have failed in the past. The hypnotherapist will guide you through reaching a higher level of meditation through relaxation and stretches.

Lifestyle change will be the main result from hypnotherapy which ultimately leads to reaching the goals that have been set in relation to weight loss. Regrettably, you have to pay a hypnotherapist for their assistance.

In addition, you can perform hypnosis on yourself without the help from a hypnotherapist. Self-hypnosis is a process practiced by a lot of men and women in order to achieve different levels of mind power.

Depending on the specific person the results may vary whether self hypnosis or a hypnotherapist is utilized. It will drive you to several goals that will help you lose a lot of weight and at the same time, concentrate on how to keep a more balanced figure. Wellness is also an achievable goal in the process of self-hypnosis.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

An Article From the Ledger-Enquirer in Columbus, Ga

Our strange love affair with self-help books

- ssorich@ledger-enq

Ladies, let me introduce you to the newest happy pill.

Addiction doesn’t involve excessive funds, an altered lifestyle or social secrecy.

No, all you need is a good reading light.

Want the hookup? Hit your local bookstore’s self-help aisle.

Of course, if you’re desperate for a fix, you’ll have to brave titles like “Make Every Man Want You.” “If I’m So Wonderful, Why Am I Still Single?” And “How to Shop for a Husband: A Consumer Guide to Getting a Great Buy on a Guy.”

A recent Forbes article made waves online by attempting to pinpoint factors behind a female obsession with the self-help universe.

In 2008, women purchased 74 percent of books sold in the relationship and family section, according to research cited by Forbes. The article attributes the statistic to elements ranging from self-esteem to evolution.

It’s easy to love the genre. A far cry from the bleak stigma that used to come with asking for aid, its books now line shelves with flashy titles vibrantly colored covers.

“Help is on the way,” they scream. “Act now and you’ll even get a romantic cartoon at the beginning of every chapter!”

The lure is enticing, but not everyone’s buying it.

Some sources have responded to the Forbes article by calling attention to the female self-help manual’s weaknesses.

Among the criticisms? The books often place too strong an emphasis on the importance of romantic happiness.

Then there’s a bigger problem: The fact that the books’ solutions must be universally pleasing enough to sell copies. So instead of targeted, customized guidance, you’re getting, well, the literary equivalent of a fortune cookie message.

The New Yorker notes, “Desperate times call for desperate books, but sometimes self-help is not the kind a woman needs.”

Once, while on the verge of a romantic breakup, I called a friend. Her guidance?

“Hang out in the self-help section of Barnes & Noble for a couple hours. That always works for me.”

One woman’s cure is another woman’s poison. I perused the self-help aisle, only to immerse myself in earth-shattering revelations like — brace yourself — a guy might not be that into you if he already has a wife.

It made me agree with this recent post on women’s blog Jezebel:

“It’s not that all self-help authors are malevolent misogynists — it’s just that it’s not really possible to write a book called ‘How To Figure Out What’s Exactly Right For Your Unique, Individual Life, And Then Do That.’ People have to do that on their own.”

Relationship self-help manuals aren’t useless. Odds are, my friend really does cleanse her soul when she hibernates in a bookstore. But it’s likely the books’ guidance only resonates with her because she’s made a conscious choice to change.

And that decision is perhaps the most valuable happy pill of all.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sports Performance Enhancement

I have been successful in my practice with sports performance enhancement. I have worked with cheerleaders, barrel racers, golfers, and an archer. I did not hear back from the archer but it has been reported to me that the golfers and cheerleaders had emproved performance.

I worked with the barrel racer for several years and she moved into high national rankings, I haven't talked to her in a couple of years because I have meved to another town but last I talked to her, she gave the hypnosis a lot of credit for her success. I wold like to ass that she was an incredably talented rider.

Friday, June 19, 2009

From www.Examiner.com

Hypnosis: Another myth and misconception

June 14, 11:01 AM

Getting Stuck:
One of the most common concerns that people have is that of getting "stuck" in hypnosis.

Some people have heard that you could be stuck in hypnosis and never come out. Many hypnotists will tell you that if you refuse to come out you will drift into a natural sleep state and awaken on your own.

That is partly true. A person in a light trance state may fall asleep if the hypnotist has given a post-hypnotic suggestion to transition into natural sleep or when using self-hypnosis techniques or listening to a CD for relaxation or difficulty with sleeping through the night. Because people in a hypnotic trance are wide awake and their minds are aware of everything, they don't normally fall asleep before emerging from hypnosis.

If left alone, most clients will easily emerge themselves without help. Once a client goes into theEsdaile State, sometimes referred to as a “Hypnotic Coma,” then the hypnotist must know how to emerge the client on cue, or the client may refuse to emerge him or her self for an extended time.

Trance states:
Most hypnotists today guide their clients into one of lighter trance states. These states are, from lightest to deepest, Hypnoidal, Light, Medium, and a Deep state (known as the Somnambulistic State), as described in the Ramey-Sichort Depth Scale, by James Ramsey.

Regardless of what depth of hypnosis a client achieves, hypnosis is no more dangerous or difficult to come out of (emerging) than a reverie or daydream.