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Archive for the ‘Depression’ Category

Adult Child of an Alcoholic (ACOA)

Adult children of alcoholics often rely on the same coping skills that helped them survive through tough situations when they were younger.  As adults those skills can cause problems in their relationships.  ACOA’s may have addictions to substances or behaviours such as alcohol, drugs, eating, work or gambling themselves or they tend to find people that they can “save” such as alcoholics and substance abusers. They often criticize themselves and continuously seek approval of others and may lose some of their identity in the process.  ACOA’s often have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and have guilt feelings for standing up for themselves instead of giving in.  The Adult Child of an Alcoholic usually has a dependent personality that is afraid of abandonment and will do “anything” to keep a relationship, they are frightened by angry people and confrontation.  It is hard for them to trust others.  It is helpful for the ACOA to work on their addictive behaviours first and then they can begin to see their other problems more clearly.  They can learn to feel hope, trust and healthy love again.
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Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a mental obsession that causes a physical compulsion to drink.  A mental compulsion is a thought processwhich you have no control over.The vast majority of problem drinkers are people with families and jobs.  They may be dependent drinkers, binge drinkers or people who just drink too much on a regular basis.

It is estimated that for every problem drinker there are 3 or 4 other people affected directly and many more indirectly.  Those problems affect the family, relationships, routines and damage the quality of individual life experiences and opportunities.

The cost of alcoholism is outrageous.  A recent study estimates that the annual economic costs of alcohol and other drug abuse in Canada may be as high as $24.6 billion.

Alcoholism is a progressive disease, it starts with the mental compulsion that is stopped by having a drink and soon one is not enough, then maybe four is not enough to stop the compulsion and it continues until the individual can only stop the compulsion by passing out.

The progression of the disease is so subtle and has  usually taken place over an extended period of time that even the alcoholic themselves have failed to notice when alcohol took over their lives.

For those that have realized that alcohol is a problem there is help but for those that haven’t realized sometimes intervention is the only way.

Grief – sorrow or mental suffering resulting from loss, affliction, regret, death…

David James and Associates

David James Cockman - BSW, MSW, RSW

David James and Associates Professional Counselling Services
Six Locations in Southern Ontario & The Niagara Region
Mobile 905.685.2787
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Grief is a normal human reaction to loss and change.  Sharing our grief allows us to heal quicker.  To go through the many layers of grief takes time, the bigger the loss the longer the time.  For minor losses the grieving process could take a few hours, days or even weeks.  For moderate loss the time could be months to a year and for severe loss the grieving time could take 2 to 4 years for healthy completion.

There are as many ways to grieve as there are personalities, everyone grieves differently and at different paces.

One model based on Kubler-Ross’s stages of accepting death is as follows:

Numbness:
This reaction often follows the death of a loved one and may last for seven to ten days.  Some have referred to numbing as the body’s way for protecting itself from the shock of the loss.

Denial and Isolation:
Here the bereaved person has difficulty accepting their loss.  Although acceptance is part of the complete grief process more acute difficulties with acceptance are included in this stage.

Anger:
In this phase the bereaved feels anger with everyone.  A strong feeling of “Why me?” ensues here and bargaining with God for the return of the deceased may be a part of this phase.

Depression:
As the bereaved accepts their loss and the reality of that loss sets in they may experience extreme sadness or depression.

Acceptance:
The bereaved person comes to terms with their loss and is able to return to life on a daily basis with an absence of the extremes of emotion previously experienced.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – “What is it? And Does It Affect You?”

DAVID JAMES & ASSOCIATES
http://www.davidjamesandassociates.com
January, 2011

Counselling, Counsellor, Niagara Region, St. Catharines, Therapist, Thorold, Welland, Niagara Falls, Beamsville, Lincoln, Grimsby, Stoney Creek, Port Colborne, Psychotherapy, Psychologist, addictions, chronic pain, hypno therapy, marriage, divorce

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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
“What is it? And Does It Affect You?”

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is when a person suffers clinical depressions only during the autumn and winter seasons, in the spring and summer they feel well and “normal”.

Symptoms of SAD:

-Extreme fatigue and lack of energy
-Increased need for sleep; sleeping more than usual
-Carbohydrate craving and increased appetite
-Weight gain

If you think that you may have SAD you should visit your family doctor to be assessed because some physical problems can show up as depression.

How common is SAD?

Researchers believe that SAD results from the shorter day length in winter. SAD seems to be more common in northern countries because the winter day is shorter as you go north. Up to 2 million people in Canada may have difficulties in the winter months due to significant clinical depression.

What treatments are available for SAD?

Many patient with SAD benefit from exposure to bright, artificial light, called light therapy or photo therapy. As little as 30 minutes per day of sitting under a light box results in significant improvement in 60% to 80% of SAD patients. People with certain medical conditions or taking certain medications should avoid light therapy. Other treatments for depression, such as antidepressants and counselling may also help. If you suffer with milder symptoms of the “winter blahs” it might be beneficial to spend more time outdoors and exercise more in the winter.

Why does light therapy work?

Nobody know for sure why light therapy works, there are a few theories. One theory is that people with SAD have a disturbance in the “biological clock” in the brain that regulates hormones, sleep patterns and mood. This clock runs slow due to the diminished light in the winter and the light therapy helps to trick the clock. Another theory is that SAD patients have reduced retinal light sensitivity in the winter that is corrected with light therapy. A final theory is that the shorter periods of light in the winter cause less brain chemical function, particularly the production of serotonin and dopamine. Light therapy or anti-depression medication corrects this imbalance.

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