Phobias: Specific Phobias

Phobias: Specific Phobias

By: Christina Mesa

Ever had a strong fear of something in particular? Ever try everything in your power to avoid a certain stressor? You may have a specific phobia.  A phobias is a type of anxiety disorder in which the individual has an irrational fear of something that poses little or no actual danger.  A phobia is associated with enormous distress which can interfere with daily life.  Individuals with phobias tend to go to great lengths to avoid their stressor.  Specific phobias are slightly more common in women than in men and also seem to run in families.  They usually begin in adolescence or adulthood as well, however the cause is unknown.  Types of specific phobias include social phobia, the fear of being in crowded places, claustrophobia, the fear of tight spaces, and arachnophobia, which is the fear of spider.  Physical symptoms include nausea, sweating, trembling or shaking, problems with breathing, and feeling dizzy or lightheaded.  Around 19 million Americans have specific phobias, so you are not alone.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a specific phobia, licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can assist you.  Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  For more information, visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/

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Histrionic Personality Disorder

By: Sam Reiner

A person who has Histrionic Personality Disorder is someone who exhibits excessive emotionality and are extreme attention seekers. People with this disorder feel best when they are the center of attention and when they are not they will become visibly and extremely uncomfortable. They tend to commandeer the role of “life of the party” wherever they go and try to make all interests and conversations about themselves. The main cause of this disorder is unknown however it could be linked to childhood events and genetics. At the moment, Histrionic Personality Disorder occurs more frequently in women than men. However, it is very likely that it is simply diagnosed more often in women as attention seeking and sexual forwardness are less socially acceptable for women than men.

For someone to be diagnosed with Histrionic Personality Disorder, five or more of the following symptoms must be present.

  • Self-centeredness, uncomfortable when not the center of attention
  • Constantly seeking reassurance or approval
  • Inappropriately seductive appearance or behavior
  • Rapidly shifting emotional states that appear shallow to others
  • Overly concerned with physical appearance, and using physical appearance to draw attention to self
  • Opinions are easily influenced by other people, but difficult to back up with details
  • Excessive dramatics with exaggerated displays of emotion
  • Tendency to believe that relationships are more intimate than they actually are
  • Is highly suggestible

If you or someone you know may have Histrionic Personality Disorder, contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/

Binge Eating Disorder vs Bulimia

Binge-Eating Disorder vs. Bulimia

Author: Christina Mesa

Binge-eating disorder is characterized by recurrent consumption of unusually large amounts of food during which a person feels loss of control over his or her eating. People may experience guilt, shame or distress associated with their binge-eating, which could lead to more binge-eating.  Bulimia Nervosa however, consists of binge-eating as well as a compensation behavior for this overeating, such as purging, excessive exercise, and fasting or use of laxatives or diuretics.  People suffering from binge-eating disorder are often overweight or obese and are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure while people suffering from bulimia may maintain a relatively normal weight.

Symptoms of Binge-eating disorder include:

  • Eating unusually large amounts of food in a specific amount of time
  • Eating fast during binge episodes
  • Eating until uncomfortably full or when not hungry at all
  • Eating alone or in secret to avoid embarrassment

Symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa include:

  • Chronically inflamed and sore throat
  • Worn tooth enamel and decaying teeth due to exposure to stomach acid
  • Acid reflux disorder and other gastrointestinal problems
  • Intestinal distress and irritation from laxative abuse
  • Severe dehydration from purging of fluids

If you or a loved one appears to be suffering from binge-eating disorder or bulimia nervosa, licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  For more information, visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/

 

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder

By Daisy Lee

Contrary to popular belief, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) is a condition that is separate from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). While OCD is commonly known to consist of attempts at reducing anxiety through habitual actions such as routinely washing hands for extended periods of time, excessive cleaning, and other behaviors, OCPD consists of less severe but equally life-disrupting behaviors. Out of the three clusters of personality disorders, OCPD falls under Cluster C, which is categorized as anxious and fearful. OCPD is defined as a condition in which a person is overly preoccupied with order and organization. People with OCPD tend to be quite inflexible and need everything to be done in their own way. Another common trait is extreme perfectionism to the extent that tasks will be worked on for long periods of time and never finished because the final product is not “perfect.” This type of behavior is often dysfunctional and disruptive to a person’s life because it can be very time-consuming, leaving practically no leisure time. It can also put a strain on or diminish one’s relationships.

If you or anyone you know seems to have obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, consider seeking professional help. The highly qualified psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy would be glad to assist you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices at (201) 368-3700 and (212) 722-1920 respectively to set up an appointment.

Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hide-and-seek/201205/the-10-personality-disorders

Photo: www.gaffaneysoffice.com

Abusive Relationships: Tactics an Abusive Partner May Use

abusiverelationshipsigns

Abusive Relationships: Tactics an Abusive Partner May Use

Author: Emily Aranda

Relational abuse takes many forms and is not always obvious that what is occurring within a relationship is abuse. Abusive partners can take many approaches in order to maintain control and dominance in a relationship, whether it be forcefully or subtly. In order to identify whether or not you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, look for and identify these 15 signs, if they are there.

  1. Humiliation
  2. Verbal Insults/Put-Downs
  3. Physical Violence
  4. Promiscuous Behavior/Infidelity
  5. Excluding or Ignoring You
  6. Unpredictable Mood Swings
  7. Hypercriticism
  8. Constantly Checking Up on/Monitoring You
  9. Alienation from Friends and Family
  10. Shifting all Blame onto You
  11. Manipulation or Controlling Behavior
  12. Calculated Outbursts
  13. Unwillingness to Communicate
  14. Irrational Jealousy
  15. Threats to Keep You from Leaving the Relationship

Although there are many tactics, not all need to be employed by the abuser in every case of abusive relationships. However, these different tactics are used for the same primary function – to lower your self-esteem and create dependence on the abuser. It is essential to remember that abuse is not deserved, nor is it the fault of the person being abused. If you or someone you know is victim to an abusive relationship, contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/.

Source:

https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/10/13/21-warning-signs-of-an-emotionally-abusive-relationship/

Eating Disorders: Signs and Symptoms

eating disorder

By: Charlotte Nickelberry

Eating disorders can include anorexia (restricting eating), bulimia (eating and purging), and binge eating (have periods of overeating). These are serious emotional and physical problems which can have life-threatening consequences for both females and males. Often times, the severity of the problem is not known and symptoms are rationalized and minimized by the person suffering. It is important to recognize signs of an eating disorder that will help you assess the severity of the problem in yourself or a loved one.

  1. Secrecy and Isolation
  2. Anger and Defensiveness
  3. Confusion between Real and Not Real Perceptions
  4. Increase in Anxiety, Irritability, or Depression
  5. Hiding Weight Loss
  6. Overspend on and Hide Food

If you suspect a loved one has unhealthy eating habits or restrictive eating, he or she might have an eating disorder. Express your concern lovingly and without anger, identify the behaviors that worry you, and encourage them to get the support they need and deserve.

Picture: USC

Information: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/healing-trauma-s-wounds/201703/six-signs-assess-eating-disorder

Depression in Men

men

By: Charlotte Nickelberry

Depression is one of the leading causes of ill-health worldwide. It can devastate the quality of life of the afflicted person, and lead to psychological suffering and severe functional impairment if left untreated. Approximately one in five people will experience depression during their lifetime; however, women are two to three times as likely to be diagnosed with depression. This leads to a common misconception that depression is generally a “woman’s disease.” In reality, men are just less likely to acknowledge and report symptoms of depression. Men downplay their suffering, both to themselves and to others. This means that the low prevalence of depression and false negatives are painting the wrong picture. Men are more likely to display ‘act-out’ characteristics when faced with depression such as alcohol/drug misuse, risk-taking, lack of impulse control, and increased anger. They do this to conceal a deep sadness, which is why men develop ‘masked depression.’ Finally, men make up around 75% of all completed suicides, and depression is one of the strongest predictors of suicide. This disconnect means that modern techniques may be missing a big part of the picture when it comes to identifying male cases of depression. Depression in men is underreported and undertreated, and there is a need for further investigation to ensure that men are given the services they need to live a healthy and happy life.

Picture: Psych Central

Information: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/talking-about-men/201704/world-health-day-unmasking-male-depression

Manic-Depressive/Bipolar Disorder

Also known as manic-depressive illness, Bipolar Disorder is a brain disorder that causes an individual to experience unusual shifts in mood, energy, levels of activity, and the ability to perform daily tasks. The mood shifts range from the “ups” of manic episodes, to the “lows” of depressive episodes. Symptoms of manic episodes include increased energy level, feeling jumpy or wired, difficulty sleeping, having fast thoughts or talking really fast, and being agitated or irritable. For depressive episodes, symptoms include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness, having very little energy, difficulty finding enjoyment, or thoughts of death or suicide.

Bipolar disorder consists of four basic types, all of which include clear changes in mood, energy, and activity levels:
Bipolar I Disorder – Manic episodes last for at least 7 days, or symptoms of mania become so severe that immediate hospital care is needed; depressive episodes are also present, lasting for at least 2 weeks. It is possible that both episodes, having depression and manic symptoms, can occur at the same time.
Bipolar II Disorder – Consists of a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, less severe manic periods; not the full-blown manic episodes that occur in Bipolar I Disorder.
Cyclothymic Disorder – Also called cyclothymia, this type of bipolar disorder is defined by numerous periods of both hypomanic systems and depressive symptoms that last for at least 2 years (1 year for children and adolescents). These symptoms, however, do not meet the diagnostic requirements for a hypomanic and depressive episode.
Other Specified and Unspecified Bipolar and Related Disorders – These are defined by symptoms of Bipolar Disorder that do not match the categories listed above.

Although Bipolar Disorder is a lifelong illness, diagnosis and treatment are crucial in improving the lives of those affected by this disorder. An effective treatment plan consists of a combination of medication and psychotherapy. If you or a loved one is suffering from Bipolar Disorder, the licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can assist you. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/.

Sources:
National Institute of Mental Health (2013). Bipolar Disorder. Retrieved March 20, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/eating-disorders/index.shtml.

By: Jennifer B.

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that interferes with the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of an individual. Distinguishing between what is real and what is imaginary for someone with schizophrenia may be difficult, and it may seem like they have lost touch with reality. The symptoms of schizophrenia are separated into three different categories: positive, negative, and cognitive. Positive symptoms, or psychotic behaviors that are not generally seen in those of healthy people, include hallucinations, delusions, unusual ways of thinking, and agitated body movements. Symptoms that disrupt the normal emotions and behaviors, such as emotional flatness or reduced expression of emotions, reduced speaking, lack of interest, and reduced feelings of pleasure in everyday life, are known as negative symptoms. Lastly, cognitive symptoms consist of poor executive functioning, difficulty focusing or paying attention, and problems with working memory.

If you or someone you know experiences several of these symptoms for a period of more than two weeks, it is important to seek help immediately. The psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy are here to assist you. Please contact our offices in Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY, respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to schedule an appointment, or visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/ for more information.

Sources:
National Institute of Mental Health (2013). Schizophrenia. Retrieved March 20, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/eating-disorders/index.shtml.

By: Jennifer B.

Anxiety Disorders

Whether it is a problem at work, making an important decision, or before an exam, having occasional anxiety is a normal part of everyone’s lives. For people with anxiety disorders, on the other hand, it is not just a temporary worry or fear, as their anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. These feelings typically interfere with their day to day lives, creating problems in school, jobs, and relationships. There are several different types of anxiety, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorders include:
-Restlessness or feeling on edge
-Easily fatigued
-Difficulty concentrating or going blank
-Irritability
-Muscle tension
-Difficulty controlling the worry
-Difficulty falling or staying asleep, or unsatisfying sleep
Symptoms of Panic Disorder include:
-Sudden, repeated periods of intense fear
-Feelings of being out of control
-Intense worry about when the next attack will occur
-Fear or avoidance of places of past panic attacks
Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder include:
-Highly anxious feeling about being around other people and difficulty talking to them
-Feeling self-conscious around others
-Worry about feeling embarrassed or rejected, or fear of offending others
-Afraid of judgment from others
-Worrying about events where other people will be for days or weeks before the actual event
-Avoiding places where other people are
-Hard time making and keeping friends
-Blushing, sweating, trembling around others
-Nauseous or sick to stomach feeling around others
 
If you believe that you or a loved one may be suffering from an anxiety disorder, the psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy are here to help. Please contact our Paramus, NJ office at (201) 368-3700, or our Manhattan, NY office at (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment, or visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/ for more information.

Sources:
National Institute of Mental Health (2013). Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved March 20, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/eating-disorders/index.shtml.

By: Jennifer B.