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Tips to Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder

Tips to Combat Seasonal Affective Disorder
More than the Winter Blues
Portland, OR January, 2018 — Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, is more than just the winter blues. It is a type of depression that occurs during one season, typically the winter months, and goes away during the rest of the year.
“When daylight hours start to decrease at the end of summer, people who are more sensitive to the seasonal time change may start to experience symptoms as soon as late August or early September,” Celeste Jones, PsyD, ABPP said. “Others may not develop symptoms until November or December.”
Symptoms of SAD are the same as those of depression. They can vary in severity and often interfere with personal relationships. Symptoms include fatigue, pervasively sad mood, loss of interest, sleep difficulty or excessive sleeping, craving and eating more starches and sweets, weight gain, feelings of hopelessness or despair and thoughts of suicide.
APA and OPA offer these tips to combat Seaso…
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Tips for Parents on Managing Holiday Stress

Tips for parents on managing holiday stress
WASHINGTON- According to a recent Stress in America survey, adults are more likely to find family responsibilities stressful than they have in the past. For many of us, the holiday season can bring an increased sense of family responsibility and, along with it, additional feelings of stress. Advertisements about the joys of the season can seem lost on us as we scurry around trying to do even more than usual. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

Unfortunately, we may turn to unhealthy stress management behaviors such as overindulging in eating or drinking to keep going. These actions don’t help and often make us feel worse. There are better, healthier and longer-lasting techniques we can use to make holiday stress – and other stressful times – more manageable.

APA suggests these tips to help parents effectively manage holiday stress:
Strengthen social connections – We know that strong, supportive relationships help us manage all kinds of challenges.…

Don’t Let the Holiday Blues Get You Down

Don’t Let the Holiday Blues Get You Down APA and OPA Offer Tips to Combat the Holiday Blues
City, State, December Date, 2017— For many people the holiday season is full of celebrations and cheer but, for some, this season can bring more misery than merriment. With high expectations around gift-giving, decorating, feasting and family gatherings, feelings of disappointment, sadness, fatigue, frustration or being overwhelmed are not unusual.
Psychologists point out that there is a difference between the holiday blues, which are often temporary and go away once the season ends, and more serious conditions such as depression, seasonal affective disorder and anxiety disorders.
“If people are already experiencing stress or sadness in other areas of their life, they may be especially vulnerable to these feelings during the holidays,” Celeste Jones, PsyD, ABPP said. “However, the holidays can be a great opportunity to enhance psychological well-being.”
The American Psychological Association’s 201…

The Practice of Gratitude

Have you ever experienced that sense that your current possessions are never enough to satisfy you? Do you constantly seek the newest and greatest hi-tech gadget? Or do you experience the feeling you are always seeking a better, more fulfilling relationship?
If you said, “yes,” to any of the above questions, practicing gratitude may be the key to increasing your happiness.
What is gratitude?
Gratitude is the practice of noticing and appreciating the positive aspects in one’s life [1].
Why is gratitude important?
Gratitude is related to increased emotional and physical well-being!
Prior research has consistently shown materialism is related to lower levels of life satisfaction [2]. A person who experiences gratitude can influence their satisfaction with their current possessions and ultimately reduce their perceived need to purchase more and more possessions. Further, focusing on what is positive in your life at this very moment can instill more time to be present and appreciative of …

Stress in America Survey

APA Stress in America™ Survey: US at ‘Lowest Point We Can Remember;’ Future of Nation Most Commonly Reported Source of Stress
November 1, 2017
Stress in AmericaTM poll shows US at its highest stress level yet WASHINGTON —Since 2007, the American Psychological Association has commissioned an annual nationwide survey as part of its Mind/Body Health campaign to examine the state of stress across the country and understand its impact. The Stress in America™ survey measures attitudes and perceptions of stress among the general public and identifies leading sources of stress, common behaviors used to manage stress and the impact of stress on our lives. The results of the survey draw attention to the serious physical and emotional implications of stress and the inextricable link between the mind and body.

Highlights from Stress in America™: The State of Our Nation include:
Nearly two-thirds of Americans (63 percent) say the future of the nation is a very or somewhat significant source of stress, …

How Does Depression Differ From Occasional Sadness?

October 5 is National Depression Screening Day

Portland, OR, October 1, 2017 — Everyone experiences sadness from time to time, but depression is more than occasional sadness. October 5 is National Depression Screening Day (NDSD), an annual event to raise awareness of the disease and offer screenings for related mood and anxiety disorders.

Next Saturday, October 7, the Out of Darkness Walk is occurring at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, OR! Join us in raising awareness about depression and suicide.

Depression is characterized by extreme sadness or loss of interest that lasts more than several days. If untreated, depression can have harmful effects on the mind and body. It can cause disruptions to daily life and research shows that it may be linked to various chronic illnesses.

Symptoms of depression can include lack of interest and pleasure in daily activities, significant weight loss or gain, difficulty or excessive sleeping, lack of energy, problems concentrating, feelings of w…

Adolescent Development and Risk-Taking in the Columbia River Gorge Forest Fire

An Oregon psychologist's take on psychological and neurocognitive development in adolescence as related to risk-taking behaviors.
Portland, OR, September 15, 2017— In the wake of the Columbia Gorge forest fire this month, Oregonians who have enjoyed the outdoor natural playland are plagued with questions about "How?" and "Why?" this happened. Grief and other emotions run high with the intensity of watching our rest and healing places burn so vigorously. An improved understanding of adolescent neurodevelopment contributes to understanding of the underpinnings of this event. This post seeks to discuss the neuroscience behind risk-taking behaviors in adolescents, reward learning for adolescents, and considerations in parent supervision of adolescents.
Risk-taking in adolescence. Adolescent brain development research tells us that the frontal lobes (those responsible for helping us with planning, organization, and impulse-control) are among the last to reach maturity…