Mood Disorders

Anxiety: Much To-Do About Everything

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The other day, I answered a knock at my front door and walked into a spider web. Without much thought to it, I reached my hand up to my face, pulled the sticky thread away, and finished my conversation with the person at the door. There is nothing remarkable about this story, unless you understand that I don’t like spiders.

Weight Loss

How to Lose Weight: Fast and Easy?

Did I get your attention? I purposely titled this post, “How to Lose Weight: Fast and Easy?” because I know if you’re looking for this kind of information, you could very well go to the wrong place. I’m here to tell you the truth: there is no SAFE way to lose weight fast nor easily. You can, however, lose weight at a steady pace and keep it off. Here’s how.

If you live in America, you need to know that you live in a weight-obsessed culture, with a food industry that creates a hostile environment for your plans to maintain a healthy diet, a fit body,  and a weight meant for your height, age, and genetics.

Here’s the opening excerpt from my upcoming eBook, “Video Nurse: 50 Weight Loss Tips for Busy People”. It will be available to order by Paypal for just $5, and comes with an attractive cover and title page, perfect for giving as a gift. Download it as a PDF, or make a printed copy to keep by your desk.

Here’s the excerpt:

According to present statistics available at the time of this writing, obesity rates in the U.S. may be finally leveling off, but the rates are still high. No state passed the Healthy People 2010 Guidelines for 15% or less obese people Our food supplies continue to cater to a market that is willing to buy cheap food to keep our mouths entertained, while the number of preventable diseases and deaths related to complications of obesity continue to soar along with our health care bills.

Whenever instituting a change that doesn’t provide an immediate measurable outcome, consider giving yourself a non-food reward for good behavior to help encourage the repetition of that behavior. I suggest that reward to be something other than food because I feel that food shouldn’t be used as punishment or reward. An example of a non-food reward: put a dime in a jar for each time you complete a particular tip on the list below. At the end of fifty days, you’d have five dollars if you did just one tip (or put in a dollar per day as your list grows); you’d have $250 if you did all fifty tips for fifty days at a dime a piece (although some tips will only be done once or twice). At the end of fifty days, use that money for something healthy for yourself to enjoy.

I hold licenses as a Registered Nurse and a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Washington. “Video Nurse” health tips are just that: health tips. They are not designed to be used for diagnosis or treatment of specific diseases or disorders. Any misuse or misinterpretation of these health tips are at the risk of the reader, and Video Nurse and Bernice Imei Hsu, RN, MAC, LMHC is not responsible for any untoward consequences of these actions. You are advised to seek professional advice in the treatment of any illness, disease, or disorder.

The eBook contains fifty tips I have discussed with clients over the years who were either recommended by their doctor to reduce their weight, or had personal health goals of which weight loss was a reasonable part of their treatment. Every client who did what I asked them to do lost weight. Whether they put the weight back on depends on whether they understood the lifestyle change involved in weight management, or their vision was temporary in nature.

The only real way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat less calories than you burn on a daily basis, and to use both smart nutrition and exercise/movement to create an environment where the body can thrive. There are no short cuts. There is no magic bullet. Even diet pills that encourage faster weight loss have side effects that may be intolerable, such as fatty, loose stools if you have too much fat in your diet. Diet shakes and protein shakes can help you lose weight, but they do not do the work for you to shape up those muscles, such as swimming, jogging, and resistance training.

You may have reached the time where you “get real” with your health goals, and you are ready to do the work to achieve your best life physically, emotionally, spiritually, and relationally. I hope you’ll check out my work at Seattle DirectCounseling, or my eBook of weight loss tips, to help you on your way.


Are You Depressed?

The sun comes out (unless you’re in Seattle like I am, with little sun so far!), the birds are singing, and invitations for BBQ’s and outings flood your inbox. You would rather stay in bed, “caving” under the duvet, and wondering why you don’t feel like doing anything. Are you depressed?

The answer to that depends on how you answer a few questions:
1. How long have you been feeling the symptoms of depression (including low energy, change in sleep patterns, change in eating patterns, feeling hopeless, crying or feeling emotional, outbursts of anger, thoughts of suicide)?
2. Has something happened recently that triggered the beginning of a notable change in your mood?
3. Do you (or others close to you) describe yourself as a depressed or sullen person?
4. Do you live in a climate that does not get regular amounts of sunlight, or are you Vitamin D deficient in your diet?

If you answered “yes” to question #4, you might have a seasonal trigger to periods of depression during the months when sunlight exposure is minimal, and lack of Vitamin D also contributes to the overall picture of a depressed mood. Treatment with Vitamin D and UV exposure results in a dramatic lift of the depressed mood.

If you answered “yes” to questions #1-3 with answers ranging from four months to “all my life”, and you and loved ones describe you as “depressed”, it’s very likely you have more than a situational depression. A situational depression, triggered by an event such as the loss of a job, end of marriage or committed relationship, death of a loved one, or even a positive event such as a promotion or a new job, usually resolves once a person has completed the grief process associated with these profound changes. In these cases, time does tend to heal the depressed mood.

An easy way to help those who are not sure if they should seek treatment is to take a simple quiz available online. Just Google the phrase, “Depression quiz”, and a search should provide several choices. Usually, a situational depression that lingers on past four months is pretty good sign for you to seek professional help. Therapy and other treatments can speed up the healing process, alleviating the worst of the pain of depression to allow you engage those feelings without losing your ability to function.

Common forms of treatment (and those used at Seattle Direct Counseling) may include:

* Vitamins and Supplements (including Vitamin D and Fish Oil (Omega 3 Fatty Acids))
* Moderate to vigorous exercise at least three times a week or more
* Psychotherapy (aka “talk therapy)
* Medications prescribed by a doctor
* Herbs prescribed by a naturopathic doctor or a doctor of Oriental Medicine
* Adequate rest
* Nutrition (balanced meals, eating by the clock if the appetite has been suppressed)

Additional treatments include:
* vacation or a change of pace
* restructuring “down time”
* massage (I highly recommend this)
* acupuncture (stimulates circulation, calms nerves)
* Yoga for depression (uses Mindfulness and movement to calm and clarify the mind)

I also add what I call “reframing”, to help people remove negative talk and “reframe” experiences to change one’s outlook and perspective on an event, relationship, or situation.

Don’t waste another day wondering why you feel lousy. Get a free consultation, learn more about what’s happening to you, and take a step towards feeling better.