Sunday, November 30, 2008
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)
In most menstrual cycles during the past year, five (or more) of the following symptoms were present for most of the time during the last week of the luteal phase, began to remit within a few days after the onset of the follicular phase, and were absent in the week postmenses, with at least one of the symptoms being either:
Markedly depressed mood, feelings of hopelessness, or self-deprecating thoughts
Marked anxiety, tension, feelings of being "keyed up" or "on edge"
Marked affective lability (e.g., feeling suddenly sad or tearful or increased
sensitivity to rejection)
Persistent and marked anger or irritability or increased interpersonal conflicts
Decreased interest in usual activities (e.g., work, school, friends, hobbies)
Subjective sense of difficulty in concentrating
Lethargy, easy fatigability, or marked lack of energy
Marked change in appetite, overeating, or specific food cravings
Hypersomnia or insomnia
A subjective sense of being overwhelmed or out of control
Other physical symptoms, such as breast tenderness or swelling, headaches, joint or muscle pain, a sensation of "bloating," or weight gain
The disturbance markedly interferes with work or school or with usual social activities and relationships with others (e.g., avoidance of social activities, decreased productivity and efficiency at work or school).
The disturbance is not merely an exacerbation of the symptoms of another disorder, such as major depressive disorder, panic disorder, dysthymic disorder, or a personality disorder (although it may be superimposed on any of these disorders).
Criteria A, B, and C must be confirmed by prospective daily ratings during at least two consecutive symptomatic cycles. (The diagnosis may be made provisionally prior to this confirmation.)
DSM IV criteria
PMDD "cures" - antidepressants i.e Prozac, counseling, accupuncture
Posted by Rossi Davis at 7:33 AM
Friday, November 28, 2008
Spice Up Your Relationship
You may have been with you partner for many years or just several months. One of the secrets to making you relationship work as a well-lubed machine is bringing flavor into it on a consistent basis. Think of your relationship as an exotic meal and you and your partner as the cooks.
You will need to spice up your relationship continuously in order to keep it “hot”. This is where the real challenge comes in. Couples are busy tending to jobs, children, finances, societal and family obligations. After a while, partners begin to cohabitate or simply exist in a shared living area. Intimacy, leisure, and simple fun are replaced by the business of everyday demands, arguing, discontent and eventual dissatisfaction.
Miscommunication or lack of communication is only one of the problems on the surface. What is below the surface is a whole smorgasbord of other issues. Some of those issues resurface during couple’s therapy. For some it is lack of sexual desire, the need to overpower the other, boredom, lack of trust just to name a few.
Even if you have been in a relationship with your partner for a long time, boredom may creep in. Boredom in the bedroom and boredom during daily activities translates to boredom with the partnership in general. Intimacy is a sort of an art form. It takes work, dedication and creativity. It is essential to find out what you partner likes and what turns him or her on. You must stay consistent in making your partnership enjoyable and entertaining. If you do not work on improving and spicing up your relationship you may find yourself fantasizing to be elsewhere with someone else. If you are the only one spicing up your relationship, that is going to be in vain. It takes two people to make a relationship and it takes both partners to keep it candled. After all, no one wants to be kissed on the forehead when they come back from work. Parents kiss their children this way. This is a red flag. Perhaps your partner had a hard day at work or perhaps he or she does not find you sex - appealing anymore. You need to watch out for repetitive behaviors. They are the clue to how your relationship really is. People are not perfect so neither are you nor your partner. Listen to your inner voice and take notice.
Here are some ideas to help you spice up and rekindle your relationship::
Go for walks together
Go to a comedy club
Surprise each other by preparing a romantic (at home dinner)
Go for a day trip to the park, historical town, zoo, botanical garden
Eat dinner together without external distractions
Go to a picnic in the park
Prepare a special meal and have a kindle lit dinner
Make time each week for at least 45 minutes to share your feelings and concerns with each other. Find out how your partner’s day at work went, how he or she is feeling etc.
Go to a weekend get away (camping, log cabin, beach resort)
Plant something together
Engage in a foreplay (give each other a foot rub, use massage oils, candles, rose petals, sexy lingerie)
Buy your partner something to make him/her feel special (example: cologne, jewelry, a CD, or gift card to their favorite store)
Excerpt from : Couple's Communication Made Easy (audio book)
Thursday, November 27, 2008
In this age, mental health services are becoming more and more difficult to define to the general public. What will the insurance or Medicaid cover and what is to be done if someone does not have any coverage are the frequent questions that are asked especially by parent care givers of individuals with Autism.
If not specializing in this area, one is to usually refer these parents to the Autististic Society in Atlanta but what afterwards? We’re not always dealing with child clients.
Many parents try to find services on behalf of their adult children. Now, does this change the criteria for having to serve and make the appropriate referrals for adults with Autism versus a child is the most common concern?
What will a person without any sufficient insurance expect to receive in return?
These questions are not posed out to confuse anyone but to evoke an awareness that is usually not present within the larger bodies governing our mental health treatment options available to families.
For instance, many of the community state funded mental health agencies in Georgia do not provide just medication management and will require another mental health diagnosis in order to serve a client with Autism. Second, a person with Autism who does not have a good support system or insurance whether private or public coverage will run into a problem as to how to pay for services.
It is as though clients with severely persistent mental health illness can be served by the low fee community agencies only if they meet a certain criteria. Many of the therapists at those agencies are not trained specifically to work with individuals with Autism and although many of us consider ourselves to be generalist and strive to provide a decent service we run into a brick wall when it comes to ensuring that we can provide a long term and adequate treatment to those most deprived of mental health services.
There is a growing need for therapists to receive more training in treating Autism that does not surpass the need for more services to be available for individuals of Autism not only children but adults and greater support availability for their families.
Copyright: Dr. Rossi Davis
Friday, November 21, 2008
Anger is something we all experience. It is a powerful emotion that can be very destructive. I wonder if you feel anger in other situations besides in your relationship. Sometimes we feel angry because of something else in our life (such as job unsatisfaction, low self esteem, money stressors, kid problems, etc) and unknowingly we take our anger on the person closest to us. This is a defense mechanism called displacement. An example of this would be - a man having a hard day at work who comes home and kicks his dog or yells at his wife. He is not per se angry at neither one but they are there and he takes his anger on them (or rather displaces his anger onto them) Sometimes anger in relationships may occur because it is driven by things such as jealousy, sexual or personal unsatisfaction, or disappointments (or anything else).
What may help you find the answer to what causes the anger is to start keeping track of when you get angry- for instance is there a pattern? Then, try to see if there had been times when you felt those feelings (even the anger) and did not act out on them. How did you cope? What did you do? Then, try to replicate this when you start to feel angry. I think that it would also help if you talk to the other person honestly when you're not angry.
Acknowledging the fact that you get angry is a step in this process and it seems that you have done so. Remember that feelings like anything else in life are temporary but what we tell or do when angry may leave lasting effects on the other person. I think that we all are able to act and be the way we want to be if consciously we make that choice. Sometimes it helps to admit that we don't always have to be right, we don't always have to have the last say, and we are not in some kind of battle that we have to exert our energy through being angry. Life is here to present us with all kinds of disappointments, choices, heartaches and lessons and we're given the opportunity to make the best of it (or not) It's up to us. Ask yourself why am I angry and how is it hurting me? Then, step by step try to work with those emotions that evoke the anger. There may be different things that make people feel anger but that pattern is usually the same. It starts we thoughts, feelings, and then our emotions erupting. What thoughts lead to your feelings? What do you think before you get angry? Then find out if the things you think are really truthful. Some times we think things that are rubbish, they just fill our head with thought after thought. At other times our thoughts are signals to what is going on in our life and what may needs to change in order for us to be happier, healthier and more peaceful. Think before you feel like yelling, count to ten, take deep breaths and ask yourself what is going to be accomplished if I yell this time?
Copyright: Dr. Rossi Davis 2008
Posted by Rossi Davis at 8:59 AM
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Time after time people tell me that they have difficulty in communicating with their partner. Often, I help them see that at times not talking is a way of communicating something. If you are unclear of what your partner is trying to tell you, ask. Often times, not talking is still “talking” without words. In either scenario there is information that you receive because researchers say that 90% of what we communicate is done nonverbally. For instance, if at some point you have tried to express a certain concern to your partner and he or she rejected you, you may shy away from engaging in that specific topic for a while. Another person may react by becoming more forceful and vocal. This all depends on ones personality. In either situation, feelings are being expressed verbally or nonverbally. In the former it may be hurt, disappointment or shame. In the latter, it may be anger and frustration. Each of us is entitled to our own feelings. We all experience the world and the events around us subjectively. Nevertheless, bottling our feelings is not healthy. We may become resentful, disappointed and blame our partner for the way we feel. Remember that you have to claim what you feel because only you chose your feelings and what to do with them. When we enter into a conflict with another person, it is often times the result of two things: the first one is- we believe that the other person is trying to change us; and the second is that we are trying to change the other person consciously or unconsciously. The reason behind doing this is due to our belief that we will become more content, happy, and more in sync and satisfied and less stressed in our relationship. When we feel positive feelings we’re usually free of anxiety. It is in our nature to try and decrease unpleasant experiences. However, what we do not realize is that conflict arises when we fail to honor the other person’s autonomy. Arguments, fighting and miscommunication occur when we disregard the other person’s feelings, point of view and authentic self. During an argument, most likely, we believe that we are right and the other person is wrong. If we both agree on something we would not become argumentative. In many cases people fail to pick their battles. Does it matter who picked the mail the day before and who walked the dog in the evening? People become resentful and argumentative when they feel that their autonomy is in some way affected by the other person’s actions. Of course, what people chose to ignore is that no one; not even our partner is responsible for the way we feel.
We chose to react to certain situations based on our values, personality traits and desires amongst other factors. It is hard to admit that we are our own directors of our feelings. It is easier to point the finger especially when we are unhappy about something. For instance, often time partners blame each other because of what the other person in their opinion is failing to contribute to the relationship. In this situation, it is helpful to re-examine what made us commit to this person, what we liked about him or her, what things are we willing to get used to and how we both can grow closer together. Miscommunication and fighting naturally pull us apart from others not just our partners whom we hopefully love and feel a stronger bond with. Just think about the way you treat your partner or how you talk to him or her when you’re upset. Most likely we do not talk like that with others such as our boss, authorities, or our teachers. What on earth makes us think that it is acceptable to treat our partner that way?
A partner may get fixated on who started the argument. This is a very childish and unhealthy behavior. At times we yell and punish our partners. In an adult relationship partners should be equal. A sign of unhealthy relationship is when one partner is trying to assume a domineering role. Parents reprimand their children. Partners should work together to solve a problem. When one partner tries to assume the parent role, naturally the other will become more resistant. In this scenario, even if the other partner had a valid point, the way in which he or she tries to express it will hinder the process of communication. In a parent –child relationship the communication style is usually one way.
The parent is the deliverer of information and the child is the recipient (Parent Child). In adult relationships, both partners should be able to express concerns and feelings (Partner Partner) with equal validation.
There are various verbal acts that we engage in with others in order to communicate our feelings and thoughts.
1. We ask questions – Can you please feed the pets today?
2. We agree or disagree – (express our opinion) – I don’t like this restaurant as much as you do.
3. We make promises to each other – I promise to help you clean the house this weekend.
4. We bargain (coerce) – If you help me wash the car, I will help you plant the flowers.
Excerpt from the audio book Couple's Communication Made Easy
Posted by Rossi Davis at 1:45 PM
As promised here are my two cents about that (continuation from part I)
If anyone teaches that what you wish for comes true we'd all be rich and famous. You cannot just sit and cross your fingers and wish, and wish, and wish. Actually, you can but that is not what works. If you have a desire to get something in life wheat er it is a new job, a car, a partner etc, you will need to not only clarify that goal, you'd have to make the necessary steps to get that. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't. When "The Secret" came out, I was not really surprised at how many people took that information and ran with it. I am a believer in the law of cause and affect. I believe that certain things are circumstantial and that some are reactions to some action(s) in the past. For instance, if someone hates you, perhaps you either did something to cause that or they are just a low life- you did nothing they are just a hateful person. I do believe that at times when you smile the world smiles back at you (of course if you do in the psych ward with all the institutionalized suicidal patients) that may not happen (don't blame it on karma or say that the law of attraction is not working) It is what it is.
Can the mind cure the body? Yes, in certain cases hypnosis is show to be beneficial in the removal of phobias, pain, rashes etc. Can the mind cure AIDS or cancer? I am not going to make that statement. When wide sound research shows that it does then I'd say yes it's possible. Do I believe that meditation is beneficial? Yes. Do I believe that you can be a slave to your mind when you get depressed or addicted to something? Yes. Can the mind move mountains (kind of- when a group of man with bulldozers and dynamite gets together and clears the path for a train rail to be placed) Use your mind constructively but don't think that wishing only will bring you your desires. Been there, done that!
Copyright: Dr. Rossi Davis
Posted by Rossi Davis at 1:31 PM
Friday, November 14, 2008
Neuroscientists and researchers tell us that the feelings of being in love and later on the cause of monogamous relationship to an extent are the result of various neurotransmitters in our brain. But what exactly is love? My husband once said to me that love can even be expressed in the simple act of buying expensive cookie dough for your spouse to make the cookies she likes, despite the fact that you do not like that specific kind of cookies. Many people define love as a strong feeling. The Bible mentions that: “God is love”. Is not love then a characteristic rather than a feeling? A characteristic people possess just like a skill; - to love or not to love. If so, is love innate or learned? Is love really eternal or can it disappear as fast as it comes? Some people say both. God is love, and those who live in union with the rest of the sentient beings are exercising the God spark within. Love is the beginning of wisdom by realizing our union with all of creation. Love is the melody of the heart which lulls you into serenity though hardships and fear. I think that love is not only a concept, but also an act. Perhaps a selfless one. If someone truly loves oneself, he will never hurt another. There is a difference between selfishness, self-centeredness, and selflessness. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” I Corinthians 2:9
You cannot send out hatred, malice, and destruction and expect to receive love in return. We are gods. We are all connected. We are all One. What we send out of our inner Being comes back to us. When we send love, love is what we receive in return.
Excerpt from the book: Guru in Jeans: Iwanrd Journey to Psychospiritual Awakening
Posted by Rossi Davis at 7:51 AM
Friday, November 7, 2008
Amatokin- Youthful face a jar away?
Amatokin is a cream that utilizes the body's natural stem cells to rejuvenate the skin as it aims at reducing deep facial lines. The cream was developed in a Russian laboratory with the intent to heal burn victims. The cream was fist released to consumers in France.
The original cream contained of a 153 amino-acid polypeptide which showed to effectively heal scars that caused by severe burns. Amatokin stimulates the production of stem cell that are otherwise damaged by environmental factors and the aging process itself.
Amatokin is made by Voss Laboratories which is a company that is owned by Basic Research – the makers of StriVectin! Amatokin’s effectiveness is based on about 15 years of research.
“Stem cell creams” are seen by some as the future of skin rejuvenation as they offer safe non invasive alternative to botox or plastic surgery. Some of those who have used Amatokin report improvement in skin appearance, renewal of older skin tissue making it look younger and firmer, elimination of deep wrinkles and more.
Posted by Rossi Davis at 12:18 PM
What is Vaginismus?
From the DSM IV (psychiatric bible) a psychosexual disorder classified by -
(1) Recurrent or persistent involuntary spasm of the muscles of the outer third of the vagina that interferes with sexual intercourse.
(2) The disturbance causes marked distress or interpersonal difficulty.
(3) The disturbance is not better accounted for by another disorder (e.g., somatization disorder) and is not due exclusively to the direct physiological effects of a general medical condition.
Some women who have vaginismus find sexual intercourse quite painful and cannot tolerate it. Some proposed causes (when this condition is not seen to be caused by medical ones) is fear of intercourse, past sexual abuse history (unconscious or conscious association with this), apprehension towards ones partner (for whatever reason) growing up with beliefs that sex is sinful or dirty etc.
What are some of the treatment options?
The condition is treatable with treatment options such as: muscle relaxation techniques, counseling, hypnotherapy, behavioral desintezation therapy (exposure to the painful experience gradually with least distressing to most distressing scenario) and/or disentization involving gradual vaginal dilation.
Posted by Rossi Davis at 12:15 PM
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Natural remedies have been around longer than commercial ones. They are safe and free of toxins. Aromatherapy is an old healing practice; it also provides a more cost effective therapeutic benefits. For stress some of the widely used aromatherapy oils (also incense) are: rose, vanilla, ylan-ylang, orange, chamomile, lavender, jasmine, Valerian, sandalwood, etc. For insomnia these are on the top: lavender, Valerian geranium, myrrh, lemon, chamomile, jasmine, melissa, nutmeg, rose,etc.
The true founders of aromatherapy are thought to be the Egyptians although other ancient cultures used the healing properties of plants. You can use aromatherapy essential oils for massage, in your bath, and in oil burners (you will only use fragranced oils and not essential oils and you'd never use them on the skin)
Among some of the essential oils for dry skin are: rosemery, rosewood, lavender, chamomile, jasmine, sandalwood, geranium, citrus.
Essential oils for oily skin: sage, ylang-ylang, eucalyptus, cedarwood, lemongrass.
Anti-septic and drying oils may be used for problems such as acne. Among some of those essential oils are: tea tree, sage, lavender, eucalyptus, juniper, rosemary.
Did you know that rose hips oil heals scars and improves the facial tone in those who are prone to acne?
Visit the crankychicks store
Posted by Rossi Davis at 7:32 AM
Saturday, November 1, 2008
We all have a comfort zone where we feel most secure and undisturbed. When we enter into a relationship with another person who also has a comfort zone of his or her own, we may suddenly feel that we’re losing our own. This may occur for several reasons. The first one is – what is comfortable to one person is not comfortable to the other. The second reason is – you have just started dating and you’re willing to make all sorts of sacrifices to please your partner. This of course wears off after a while and you’re left feeling out of place. Another reason is you yourself or your partner have children from a prior relationship and now you’re faced with parenting these children. So, what do you do in situations like these?
Well, some of the things people start to do unintentionally is to feel stressed out, inflexible and argumentative. They both then form a zone of its own kind that has nothing to do with comfort. For example, they create an atmosphere in which they attempt to cohabitate without disturbing the peace. Of course, this does not really work out because in order for a partnership to operate as a unit, each person must keep his or her autonomy. Partners become enmeshed with each other and lose their own comfort zone when they sacrifice their individuality to please the other. What they are left with eventually is a poorly defined personal boundaries. Respecting each others boundaries does not mean that you do one thing and your partner does another over and over again. At times however is necessary to enjoy doing the things you like to do with friends, co –workers, or others who share the same interests with you. It is unrealistic to think that just because you go to yoga class or your partner goes car racing that the two of you should always do things together.
Excerpt from Couple's Communication Made Easy Audio Book
Posted by Rossi Davis at 8:07 AM