Women, Depression and Heart Attack

royalty free image woman having heart attackAccording to the morning news, I learned of an alarming new trend concerning middle aged women.  A new study released today (http://www.webmd.com/women/news/20140618/depression-doubles-odds-of-heart-attack-for-younger-women-study) revealed increased risk for heart attacks and heart disease in middle aged women who also have depression. “Young and middle-aged women with depression are more than twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or die from heart disease as their mentally healthy peers, new research suggests.” The article also said “The study also found that women younger than 55 are more likely than men or older women to become depressed.” While the relationship between depression and heart disease or heart attack isn’t understood, I have been aware for years that there is a connection between our body, mind, and spirit. Sometimes the way to prevent disease, or heal disease,  is to increase our  mental and spiritual health.

Many of us, and I must admit I am guilty of the same thing, will only take time to slow down and rest when we are physically ill. Once we get to the point of illness, then we (hopefully!) stop and pay attention. I encourage everyone to become more  aware of how we are doing before the point of illness. For example, if we are beginning to feel tired, run down, overwhelmed, those are important signs to stop, assess the situation and perhaps make changes. When we feel trapped, insist there is no other way or nothing else we can do, and keep going on, trudging through each day, we invite physical illness.

What are the symptoms of depression?  Symptoms of depression may include, but are not limited to: feelings of sadness, hopelessness, ambivalence, lack of energy, lack of motivation, withdrawal from people and things the person used to enjoy, irritability, anger, sleeping too much or too little, and may include thoughts of suicide. If you or a loved one have symptoms of depression, please seek help.   You can turn to a mental health professional, medical doctor, pastor, or speak with a hotline 24/7. Here are just a few resources which may be helpful:

Life Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

NAMI: http://www.NAMI.org http://www.nami.org/

NIMH: http://www.NIMH.org http://www.nami.org/

Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/

{Note: This article may be freely distributed as long as the author’s information remains intact.}

LPB Professional Photo

About the author: Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida and a Nationally Certified Counselor. She founded The Bravo Counseling Group, LLC located in Winter Park, Florida. Laura operates from a Wellness perspective, incorporating mind-body and spirit into her counseling. For a free 15 minute consultation, please call 407-222-6239.

 

 

 

Summer Office Hours

awesome roses 5-17-14

Summer Office Hours

Between June 1st and August 14th Client Appointments will be scheduled on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. (Please note: The July 4th Holiday will be on a Friday this year and it  will not affect The Bravo Counseling Group’s regular office hours.)  It is generally easier to schedule appointments during the summer, however, in order to ensure your preference of day and time, please call in advance to schedule.  To schedule an appointment,  schedule a complimentary phone call, or to ask a question, please call 407-222-6239. Please know that we offer free  phone consultations in order to do our best to make sure you and your counselor are a good fit and answer any questions you may have.  We do provide Pro-Bono services year round, however, those Pro-Bono appointments are currently full. If we are unable to assist you for some reason, we are happy to help connect you with other resources.

The End of the Space Shuttle Program – Five Tips To Cope With Grief

Many of us are saddened that today, July 21st, 2011, marks the end of the NASA Space Shuttle program. Atlantis landed safely this morning, and this particular shuttle will remain in Florida.  People’s lives are significantly affected by the end of the shuttle program. The Orlando Sentinel, (www.Orlandosentinel.com), estimated that approximately 9,000  people who worked with the space shuttle will be losing their jobs. Combined with the grief of the loss of the shuttle program, and faced with a new career move, the stress and sadness could be overwhelming. Not only the employees are affected, but the surrounding communities will lose income and may be forced to close. People in the state of Florida, and beyond, are sad this program is over. Many of us who live in Florida may have taken for granted seeing the shuttle launches from Kennedy Space Center and deeply regret never going to see one live.

The following is a list of symptoms people typically experience when faced with significant loss or intense stress. This list is not exhaustive, and if your symptom is distressing and is not listed, please seek additional suggestions:

  • sadness
  • irritability or anger
  • easily distracted or unable to concentrate
  • insomnia
  • isolating
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • suicidal thoughts

If you or a loved one is currently experiencing one or more of those symptoms, here are some tips to cope:

  • Acknowledge how you feel; ignoring or stuffing emotions may make you feel worse
  • Talk about how you feel with trusted relative or friend
  • Take extra good care of yourself, i.e. three nutritious meals per day, set aside time for sleep, exercise
  • Do your best to focus on the positive
  • Make an effort to incorporate humor into your life
  • Seek professional counsel for suicidal thoughts

If you or a loved one is experiencing suicidal thoughts, even passive ones, please seek assistance from a professional. You may turn to your primary care physician, a Mental Health Counselor, psychiatrist, or support group. You can find providers on your insurance panel by calling your insurance company. If you do no have insurance and cannot afford professional services, there are many resources available to you through charitable organizations. If you need help with additional resources, please do not hesitate to phone a professional counselor or social worker for potential referrals.

For more information about the future of our country’s space program, there’s the Kennedy Space Center and NASA. If you can’t visit The Kennedy Space Center, http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/, you may want to check out the NASA website, www.NASA.gov and read “What’s Next for NASA?” While we are sad about the ending of the Space Shuttle Era, there are exciting plans already made and being made to continue our exploration of space.

About the Author:

Laura Peddie-Bravo, LMHC, NCC is a licensed and nationally certified counselor. Laura grew up in Orlando, FL, and works with children, adolescents and adults for a variety of mental health issues including grief, anxiety and depression. Laura operates from an overall Wellness perspective, and practices an eclectic style of counseling with a focus on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, (CBT). Laura believes positive change is possible in all who seek it, and she enjoys the privilege to work with all who walk through her door.