Dec 08

(Originally posted on 12/9/14)

The change in the season means many different things to different people. When the season changes from autumn to winter (at least in regions where there is distinct variation between seasons), some people are excited about the holidays, winter fashion, and outdoor winter activities (think of your friendly neighborhood skiers, snowboarders, Santa impersonators). For others, the change in season is met with dread (lower amounts of energy, mood fluctuations, pessimism). While many people are negatively impacted by the colder seasons, there is a percentage of individuals who are affected to a significant degree, those who meet the criteria for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD occurs when the change of season produces depressed mood, low energy, irritability, change in sleep patterns, change in appetite, diminished concentration, and low motivation. Continue reading »

Feb 03

It is the normal human experience to feel a range of emotions from elation to deep sadness. Some people feel this range of emotions to a lesser degree (find it hard to feel intense emotions) while others feel it to a greater degree (find it hard not to feel intense emotions). Typically, by the time a person has reached adulthood, he or she has some sense of the likely emotional patterns that they experience. A common experience that makes people feel alarmed is when they have an unexpected emotional experience. For example, if a person generally copes well with stress and adversity and s/he all of a sudden has an unexpected reaction to a stressor.  I have heard many people say something to the effect of, “I usually bounce back after a setback, but this time I’m not bouncing right back.” Whether the change is due to the situation or to the person, the fact is something is different. Continue reading »

Oct 28

With the work force aging and baby boomers moving toward/entering retirement, there has been an increase in dementia in the workforce. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It is a progressive disease that worsens with time and impacts the person’s mental functioning in multiple areas. Symptoms often include declining memory (difficulty remembering common words, people, recent events, etc.), declining mental functioning (difficulty doing simple math, disorganization, confusion, etc.), and changes in mood and behavior (mood swings, agitation, social withdrawal, personality changes, etc.). Alzheimer’s disease is usually thought of as a disease that occurs in older adults (onset after 65 years old), but a small percentage of cases occur in those in their 40’s or 50’s (called younger-onset). Continue reading »

preload preload preload