Depression in Men: Why It’s Hard to Recognize and What Helps

Depression in Men
As men, we often believe we have to be strong and in control of our emotions at all times. When we feel hopeless, helpless, or overwhelmed by despair we tend to deny it or cover it up by drinking too much, behaving recklessly, or exploding with anger. But depression in men is a common condition. The first step to recovery is to understand there’s no reason to feel ashamed. Then you can face the challenge head on and start working to feel better.

Understanding depression in men

Depression is not a sign of emotional weakness or failing of masculinity. It is a treatable health condition that affects millions of men of all ages and backgrounds, as well as those who care about them—spouses, partners, friends, and family. It can also lead to heart disease and other serious medical problems. Of course, it’s normal for anyone to feel down from time to time—dips in mood are an ordinary reaction to losses, setbacks, and disappointments in life. However, if intense feelings of despair and hopelessness take hold of you, and interfere with work, family, and your ability to enjoy life, you may be suffering from depression.


Unfortunately, depression in men can often be overlooked as many of us find it difficult to talk about our feelings. Instead, we tend to focus on the physical symptoms that often accompany depression, such as back pain, headaches, difficulty sleeping, or sexual problems. This can result in the underlying depression going untreated, which can have serious consequences. In fact, men suffering from depression are four times more likely to commit suicide than women. It’s important for any man to seek help with depression before feelings of despair become feelings of suicide. You need to talk honestly with a friend, loved one, or doctor about what’s going on in your mind as well as your body. Once correctly diagnosed, there is plenty you can do to successfully treat and manage depression.


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Emotional child abuse may be just as bad as physical harm

Read more at Reuters

When it comes to psychological and behavioral health, both physical and emotional abuse can be equally damaging to children, a new study suggests.

Even though doctors and parents often believe physical or sexual abuse is more harmful than emotional mistreatment or neglect, the study found children suffered similar problems regardless of the type of maltreatment endured, researchers report in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

“The abused children had all types of problems, from anxiety and depression to rule-breaking and aggression,” lead study author David Vachon, of McGill University in Montreal, said by email.

His team was surprised, he said, that “different types of abuse had similar consequences; physically abused children and emotionally abused children had very similar problems.”

To compare the impact of different forms of child abuse on mental health, Vachon and colleagues studied almost 2,300 kids who attended a summer camp for low-income children between 1986 and 2012.

Roughly 1,200 children – slightly more than half – had experienced maltreatment.

Campers were assigned to groups of children their age, with about half the kids in each group having a history of maltreatment. The kids didn’t know which of their fellow campers had experienced abuse.

Counselors and other campers assessed each child’s behavior during camp, and every kid also completed a self-evaluation.

Overall, children with a history of abuse and neglect had much higher rates of depression, withdrawal, anxiety, and neuroticism than campers who hadn’t been mistreated.

This difference held true for kids who were victims of all types of abuse, including neglect as well as physical, sexual or emotional mistreatment.

The effect was most profound for children who suffered from all four types of abuse, or from the most severe forms of maltreatment.

Results were similar for boys and girls and across racial groups.

Shortcomings of the study include its reliance on official documentation of abuse and the lack of data on psychological disorders children may have had prior to experiencing maltreatment, the authors acknowledge.

Even so, the psychological and behavioral effects of abuse may be similar because both physical and emotional mistreatment – whether it happens within a family or among peers – can have common elements, said Dr. William Copeland, a psychiatry researcher at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

“This study is about righting a longstanding error and prejudice about the differences between these common childhood adversities,” Copeland, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

“It suggests that whether we are talking about prevention, screening or treatment, our notions of childhood mistreatment need to be broader and more holistic than they have been,” Copeland added. “There are no hierarchies when it comes to child maltreatment.”
Read more at Reuters

5 Social Media Tips For Success

By  Marc Guberti

5 Social Media Tips For Success

There are billions of people using social media to interact with their friends, grow a big audience, see what celebrities are up to, make connections, or for various other reasons. If you are one of the people who wants to grow a big social media audience and make connections, here are five tips that will help you out with that.


#1: Be on multiple social networks.

The more social networks you have, the more places people can find you. Out of all of the social networks, Twitter brings in the most traffic, but Pinterest also brings in numerous visitors on a daily basis. Some people have interviewed me because they found me on Pinterest.

When you are utilizing numerous social networks, it is also important to focus most of your time on one of those social networks. If you master one social network, you will be able to grow a large audience on that social network. After you master one social network, you should then aspire to master another social network that you are using.

The great thing about taking this approach is that each time you master a social network and know how to grow a big audience on them, it gets easier to repeat the process on the other social networks. Some of the knowledge needed to get 100,000 Facebook likes is identical to the knowledge needed to get 100,000 Pinterest followers.

Being on multiple social networks gives you an advantage, but it is important to focus most of your time on one social network: your most successful one.


#2: Post more often throughout the day

One of the things that so many people forget about is that there are different time zones for different places in the world. That means some people will be awake at different times than you. Here is a typical scenario of why this knowledge is important.

Let’s say you live in Florida, and it’s five o’clock in the morning. You may be wondering who could possibly be looking at your social media posts at that time. Here are the people who could be looking at your social media posts:

  1. People in the United Kingdom. At the same time it is 5 am in Florida, it is 9 am in the United Kingdom.
  2. People in Germany. At the same time it is 5 am in Florida, it is 10:05 am in Germany.
  3. People in Japan. At the same time it is 5 am in Florida, it is 6 pm in Japan.

I can go on, but this is enough information for me to make my point. Posting more content throughout the day will give more people a chance to see your content regardless of their timezone. When you put your content in front of a large amount of people, your content can spread farther.


#3: Post specific content

One of the most important things to do on social media is to post specific content. Posting specific content will make it easier for people to know what you specialize in. If you talk about a plethora of unrelated topics, your audience will be confused. Your message and what you talk about needs to be as clear as possible to your audience.

I am known for posting content related to digital marketing, productivity, and motivation. All three of these topics are connected because you need motivation to be productive, and you need to be productive in order to be a good digital marketer. Then, you need to know about digital marketing so you can optimize your presence on the web.

Many people who want to learn more about digital marketing also want to learn about productivity, motivation, or both. That way, the content you post on your social networks is the same content that your audience is looking for. If you send out some social media posts about baseball, other social media posts about fashion, and a few other social media posts about food, you are going to confuse your followers. Posting specific content eliminates this problem and allows people to know what niche you are in.


#4: Include pictures in your posts

Some social networks such as Instagram and Pinterest require a picture in every post. There are other social networks such as Twitter and Facebook that do not require pictures. The only problem is that because it’s not a requirement, many people miss out on adding pictures to their social media posts.

Posts with pictures get more engagement than posts without pictures. The most retweeted tweet of all-time has a picture, and that’s not a coincidence. If you look at the tweets I send out without pictures compared to the tweets with pictures, you will see an incredible difference. Some of my pictures with tweets have been retweeted over 100 times. Most of my tweets without pictures get 1-5 retweets (I only get this many retweets per tweet because of my tweeting frequency. It all adds up though). Pictures have the power to boost the engagement for any post on any social network.


#5: Be consistent

You need to post at a consistent and frequent basis. Posting less times than expected will result in fewer people seeing your content and following you. In addition, when you are implementing your social media strategy, you need to implement it consistently.

There are many people who learn about a new social media strategy that works wonders for other people, give that strategy a try, and then never go back to that strategy again. The reason is that the people who became successful by implementing a certain strategy became successful by implementing that strategy over a long period of time.

Let’s say your goal is to get 10,000 Twitter followers, and you encounter a strategy that results in 100 Twitter followers every day. You can implement it in one day and get another 100 Twitter followers, but you need to implement the same strategy for 99 more days in order to get 10,000 Twitter followers. If you implement the strategy on one day and then forget about it for the rest of the week, the strategy will not have a big impact on your presence.


In Conclusion

Social media success is something that takes time, but it is not nearly as hard as many experts say. It is possible for anyone to be successful on any social network, and these five tips will be very helpful in your quest to dominate social media.

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Debunking ADHD myths: an author Q&A

With the rise in the number ADHD diagnoses, fierce controversies have emerged over the mental disorder—how we should classify it, how best to treat it, and even whether it exists at all. We have only recently (within the past century) developed our understanding of how it affects those diagnosed, with the number of papers on “attention deficit” exploding within the past decade. But with the sheer amount of information on ADHD that’s out there, it’s easy for anyone these days to be completely overwhelmed. What do we believe? Who should we believe? Psychologist Stephen P. Hinshaw and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Katherine Ellison, authors of ADHD: What Everyone Needs to Know, answered a few questions for us in hopes of debunking some myths about the disorder.

Isn’t ADHD just an excuse for bad parenting, lazy, bratty kids, and pill-poppers?

This is a prevalent myth—and one we spend a lot of time debunking in our book, in interviews, and in our public talks. Despite the skepticism and the stereotypes, substantial research has shown that ADHD is a strongly hereditary neurodevelopmental disorder. The quality of one’s parenting doesn’t create ADHD—although it can influence a child’s development—and children with this condition are not lazy but instead handicapped in their capacity to focus attention and keep still.

It’s not? Well, isn’t it just a plot by pharmaceutical firms that want to sell more stimulants?

Pharmaceutical firms have worked hard to expand awareness of ADHD as they pursue profits in a global market last estimated at $11.5 billion. But they didn’t create the disorder. Moreover, studies have shown that stimulant medications—the most common treatment for ADHD—can be quite helpful for many people with the disorder and are generally safe, when used as prescribed. Our position on medication boils down to this: there is no “magic bullet,” and medication should be used with caution, due to potential side-effects and valid concerns about dependency. But you shouldn’t let Big Pharma’s sometimes remarkably aggressive tactics dissuade you from trying medication, if a doctor says you need it.

But aren’t we all getting a little ADHD because of how much we’re all checking Facebook and Twitter?

Everyone in modern society is facing a new world of devices, social media, and demands for rapidly shifting attention. It’s quite possible that the evolution of technology is moving faster than our brains’ capacity to adapt. Still, it’s important to make a distinction between distraction that can be controlled by turning off your email versus genuine ADHD, which arises from the brain’s inefficient processing of important neurochemicals including dopamine and norepinephrine. While most of us today are facing environmentally-caused problems with distraction, people with ADHD are at a significant disadvantage.

How fast have US rates of ADHD been increasing, and why?

The short answer is: really fast. US rates of ADHD were already high at the turn of the millennium, but since 2003, the numbers of diagnosed children and adolescents have risen by 41%. Today, more than six million youths have received diagnoses, and the fastest-growing segment of the total population with respect to diagnosis and medication treatment is now adults, particularly women.

The current numbers are staggering. For all children aged 4-17, the rate of diagnosis is now one in nine. For those over nine years of age, more than one boy in five has received a diagnosis. Among youth with a current diagnosis, nearly 70% receive medication.

Why are US rates so much higher than anywhere else?

Epidemiological studies show that ADHD is a global phenomenon, with rates of prevalence ranging from five to seven percent, even in such remote places as Brazil’s Amazon River basin. Indeed, diagnosis rates are much lower, for a range of reasons that include simple lack of awareness, cultural differences, and resistance to US-style “medicalization” of behavioral problems. Rates of diagnosis and treatment are now rising, in some cases dramatically, throughout the world, even as they still lag considerably behind US rates. One major factor in this trend is increasing pressures for performance in schools and on the job.

What might be causing some of the high rates in the United States?

One issue that seriously concerns us is the likelihood of over-diagnosis in some parts of the country. The danger of over-diagnosis is heightened by the fact that determining whether someone has ADHD remains a somewhat subjective process, in that, like all mental disorders, there is no blood test or brain scan that can decisively determine it.

“Gold-standard” clinical processes, which include taking thorough medical histories and gathering feedback from family members and teachers, can guard against over-diagnosis, but all too often the diagnosis is made in a cursory visit to a doctor.

What danger might there be of under-diagnosis?

The same quick-and-dirty evaluations that fuel over-diagnosis can also lead to missing ADHD when it truly exists. That is, the clinician who insists that he or she can detect ADHD in a brief clinical observation may overlook the fact that children and adults may act quite differently in a doctor’s office than they do at school or in the workplace. This is equally concerning, because whereas over-diagnosis may lead to over-treatment with medication, under-diagnosis means children who truly need help aren’t getting it.

I keep hearing that ADHD is a “gift.” What does that mean?

Celebrities including the rapper and business superstars such as Jet Blue founder David Neeleman have talked about the advantages of having ADHD in terms of creativity and energy, and many ADHD advocates have championed the idea that the condition is a “gift.” We support the idea of ADHD as a kind of neuro-variability that in some contexts, and with the right support, can offer advantages. But do look this gift-horse in the mouth; ADHD can also be a serious liability, and needs to be managed throughout a lifetime. Consider the Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, who rose to stardom only to be embarrassed by drug and alcohol problems. Longitudinal studies show that people with ADHD on average suffer significantly more problems with addiction, accidents, divorces, and academic and employment setbacks than others. ADHD is serious business.

Is ADHD really more common in boys than girls?

Just like all other childhood neurodevelopmental disorders (e.g., autism, Tourette’s, severe aggression), ADHD truly is more common in boys, at a rate of about two-and-a-half to one. But too many clinicians still don’t seem to understand that ADHD can and does exist in girls. One issue here is that girls—and women—often manifest the problem differently than boys and men. Whereas males may be more hyperactive, females may be more talkative or simply daydreamy. Although girls and women have historically been under-diagnosed, the rates are catching up in recent years, which is a good thing, given that the consequences of the disorder, when untreated, can be serious.

Can adults have ADHD?

Adult rates of ADHD are real and quickly growing. One reason is that as awareness has spread about childhood ADHD, many parents are starting to confront the reasons for their own lifelong and untreated distraction. There is debate about whether children ever “grow out of” their ADHD, or whether some merely learn how to cope so well that it is indistinguishable by adulthood. But the best estimates are that close to 10 million adults—about 4.4% of the population—are impaired to some extent by the disorder. That’s a prevalence rate of about half of the childhood rate.

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Rethinking Stress: How Changing Your Thinking Could Save Your Life

Rethinking Stress TITLE
We know stress can cause physical harm as well as premature death – but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, rethinking stress to be a friend rather than a foe can serve a protective function and make stress something that works for us, rather than against us.

The physiological changes that come about from stress are not necessarily bad for us.

The key lies in our thinking. Our perception of stress can shift it from a negative force to a more positive one. Let me explain.

Stress: The Mind-Body Connection

It’s been long established that the mind and body are closely connected. Now, research has found that…..

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OCD Explained


Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by repetitive thoughts, impulses, or images that are intrusive and inappropriate and cause anxiety or distress, or repetitive behaviors that the person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession or rigid rules that must be applied. Those suffering from this condition recognize that the obsessions are a product of their own mind. The obsessions or compulsions are time consuming or interfere with role functioning.

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Anxiety Is Good For My Heart, That’s Why I Am Dying.

If you treat every situation as a life and death matter, you’ll die a lot of times. ~Dean Smith

Anxiety is ever present. And this is not just in the world outside of us, but it is ever present in our individual lives. How can we deal with extreme stress or the constant worry that pervade our lives?

Anxieties are real. Sometimes well meaning people may say to us, “Snap out of it. What’s wrong with you, you are bigger than that situation.” Or, “Why are you allowing that little thing to stress you out?” At times, just saying this may be all that is needed to get us out of that state; and a change in thought patter. There is the occasion though when we need a bit more than that.

Anxiety has its tentacles in areas such as phobias, fear and panic to name a few. In some cases, I know of persons who experience persistent anxiety and are in need of medication. And wants prescribed by a medical practitioner I will encourage all to take these as directed.

I could recall experiencing high levels of anxieties in my own life. One of the occasions had to do with a final examination. This was a final exam for my Masters of Arts programme. I had studied for this exam for many months. In spite of the evidence, that I had done all I could have done to prepare, still the stress was there. And what made this period so stressful? Well firstly, burning in my mind was whether I was good enough to pass. The fear of failure was crippling at times, even affecting some of my study periods. Secondly, on my brain was the idea of not knowing what to experience on that day. I mean, the areas that questions were to come from, were told to us. Still I felt as though this was not enough. Third, I knew if I had failed, I will have had to pay to write it over. Further, I will have had to wait for another year before I could get this opportunity again. So much was on my mind.

Well, I wrote the exam and passed. But the pounding of my heart and the difficulty sleeping were real. So I know what anxiety can feel like.

In spite of all that is going on around you. Really try to reduce high levels of anxiety. It can affect more than your heart and blood pressure, pushing your body to the edge. Anxiety can affect your sleep and influence moods, eating habits and relationships with others.

Here are three (3) helpful tips to preventing anxiety:
1. Confronting fear.
2. Managing conflicts.
3. Talking with a friend, spouse or accountability partner.

Do you believe there are other methods to prevent anxiety in life?