What Do Dreams Tell Us About Our Mental Health?

   By: Kassandra Lora

Have you ever wondered if dreams are a reflection of our subconscious trying to send a message or if they are just meaningless? What do these specific dreams tell us about our mental health?

    One type of dreaming, besides the occasional nightmares, is lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is when the dreamer is aware they are dreaming but, without waking up, they can control what they do in the dream as well as the outcome of the dream. Some people lucid dream regularly while others rarely and some cannot lucid dream at all. So, what does lucid dreaming show us about our mental health? In an article written in the PsychologyToday magazine, they discussed an observation conducted with a group of undergraduate students who participated in a sleep study. The results stated how, “Intense lucid dreamers had, on average, lower levels of psychological distress.” It was explained that individuals who have more intense lucid dreams had less depression, stress, and anxiety than individuals who had less intense lucid dreams.  However, those who don’t lucid dream at all had no difference in psychological wellbeing when compared to those who have very intense lucid dreams.  It is interesting to see how something like lucid dreaming can have such a perspective on psychological health.

    Besides measuring psychological distress, according to the Psych Central website, dreams have many mental health benefits as well. Some benefits of dreams include:

  • Helping you learn: Dreams allow your brain to make sense of new information that has been learned.
  • Being therapeutic to a person: dreams can help a person heal real-life emotions through dreams.
  • Helping you overcome your fear: lucid dreaming can allow you to practice facing and overcoming what you are afraid to do in real life.

If you or someone you know needs help regarding sleep and dreams, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or 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, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/.

Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/social-instincts/201804/what-dreams-may-tell-you-about-your-mental-health

https://psychcentral.com/blog/brain-and-mental-health-benefits-of-dreaming#2

Image source: https://wallhere.com/en/wallpaper/781179

Acute Stress Disorder: Reliving trauma

Acute Stress Disorder: reliving trauma
By: Zoe Alekel

It is not uncommon to experience a traumatic event in life. In fact, trauma related incidences range from experiencing a car accident, to experiencing an assault or witnessing a crime. All of these stressful situations can be lead causes to an anxiety disorder known as Acute Stress Disorder (ASD). According to the American Institute of Stress, ASD is defined by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)-like symptoms that occur for a short time after experiencing a trauma—an experience that can be emotionally distressful and painful, and that can cause mental and physical symptoms. After experiencing a traumatic event, it is not uncommon to develop ASD; in fact 5-20% of people that experience traumatic events will develop ASD.

Symptoms of ASD include intrusion symptoms, like involuntary distressing memories; negative mood symptoms, such as the inability to experience positive emotions like love and happiness; dissociative symptoms, like seeing yourself from the outside, the feeling that nothing is real and that time is slowed down; avoidance symptoms, such as avoiding thoughts, feelings, and places associated with the trauma; and arousal symptoms, such as trouble falling or staying asleep, irritable behavior, and difficulty concentrating.

This can be extremely overwhelming and invasive to someone who has experienced a traumatic event, and it is uncomfortable to feel as if you have to relive the event itself. However, ASD does not have to take over your life completely. By implementing an immediate therapeutic intervention right after the trauma, it decreases the likelihood of ASD becoming prolonged and turning into PTSD. Ways to manage the stress and anxiety that comes with ASD are mindfulness and relaxation, talking to a trained trauma specialist, and having a support system that you can confide in.

If you or someone you know is struggling with Acute Stress Disorder, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or 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, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/ Sources: https://www.stress.org/acute-stress-disorder https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/conditions/acute-stress-disorder

Sources:

https://www.stress.org/acute-stress-disorder

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/conditions/acute-stress-disorder

Image Source: https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=pzmTf9qk&id=BA5B0BB1D4515DA5195D41BA6070603AE32437C7&thid=OIP.pzmTf9qkbMtGaFDdxylNNAHaD4&mediaurl=https%3a%2f%2fwww.elementsbehavioralhealth.com%2fwp-content%2fuploads%2f2017%2f01%2fptsd.jpg&exph=630&expw=1200&q=Post-Traumatic+Stress+Disorder+Acute&simid=608012514216510765&ck=9282692BACE02BB16355712947A1C3BA&selectedIndex=136&FORM=IRPRST&ajaxhist=0

PTSD Researcher Finds Link between Stress and Trauma

By Diana Bae

Rachel Yehuda, PhD, is a distinguished researcher and Director of Traumatic Stress Studies Division at the Icahn School of Medicine of Mount Sinai. She has conducted numerous prominent post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) studies and treatment. One of her most well-known studies researched Vietnam War combat veterans with PTSD and found that they had significantly lower cortisol levels than veterans without PTSD. Cortisol is a hormone that controls stress and although it is thought that more cortisol resulted in more stress, Dr. Yehuda showed that that is not the case. Thus, there needs to be a sufficient amount of cortisol to handle stress and reduce the risk of developing trauma. Now, Dr. Yehuda plans to test a drug, oral hydrocortisone, to see whether it can replicate the cortisol naturally produced in the body. If this drug is successful, it may prevent PTSD and other similar disorders.

Arista Psychological and Psychiatric Services understands the problems caused by PTSD and are dedicated to provide proper attention and treatment. If you or someone you know would like to set up an appointment for our counseling services, contact us at our offices in Paramus, NJ (201) 368-3700 or in Manhattan, NY (212) 996-3939. For more information, please visit our website https://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/

Source: Inside, a publication of the Mount Sinai Health System, Issue: November 25 – December 15, 2019;  Picture Source: http:// www. thesuburban.com/life/lifestyles/can-trauma-be-transmitted-intergenerationally-oct-dawson-college-peace-centre/article_ea2d7bb0-b063-11e7-aee3-5b0d013065f7.html, https:// askopinion.com/how-to-deal-with-ptsd-aka-post-traumatic-stress-disorder

Hypnosis: The Basics!

Hypnosis: The Basics!

By Lauren Hernandez

            In today’s fast paced, technology filled world, it is important to take care of your mental health and address stress and anxiety with a mental health professional. There are various methods of treating anxiety, stress, and depression, and one of those methods is Hypnosis. According to PsychologyToday, hypnosis is the technique of “putting someone into a state of heightened concentration where they are more suggestible”. Hypnosis is achieved through soothing verbal repetition which relaxes a patient into a trance-like state, allowing the patient to be more open minded to transformative messages. Hypnosis allows a patient to be guided through relaxation, while still being in control. Hypnosis is utilized in accordance with other treatments to help patients overcome mental health issues. Hypnosis is ineffective as a sole treatment method, but is beneficial to a patient when used with other methods of therapy.

Hypnosis can help treat:

  • Bad habits such as smoking
  • Stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Pain, pain associated with autoimmune diseases
  • Fatigue
  • Mood disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Specific phobias

If you are interested in trying another method to treat your anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issues, it is important to reach out to a licensed psychotherapist who can safely and effectively assist you with the use of hypnosis.

 

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/hypnosis

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/life-without-anxiety/201706/hypnotherapy-and-its-benefits-autoimmune-disease

Image Source:

https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&id=8D025584803526770A48CA5EEC0B18B1B5C9F019&thid=OIP.y6nddEUu23PK3TscNApqDAHaEK&mediaurl=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2Fyf42hiij63U%2Fmaxresdefault.jpg&exph=720&expw=1280&q=hypnosis&selectedindex=4&ajaxhist=0&vt=0&eim=1,2,6

Sleep: The Different Stages of Sleep

Sleep: The Different Stages of Sleep

By Crystal Tsui

Have you ever wondered why at certain times of the night you tend to be more alert and other times you dream, unaware of your surroundings? That’s because there are different stages of sleep, more specifically five stages.

  • Stage 1
  • Stage 2
  • Stage 3
  • Stage 4
  • REM (rapid eye movement)

How do we determine what stage is what? Sleep researchers use an electroencephalogram (EEG), is a method used to monitor and record electric cortical brain activity, and other instruments to help determine the stages.

In Stage 1, researchers found that this cycle is the lightest sleep. On the EEG, the frequency is slower than when we are awake. Physically, our muscles relax and our breathing occurs at a regular rate.

In Stage 2, we are less likely to be awakened. Our heart rate and temperature decreases as our body is preparing to go into a deep sleep.

In Stage 3 and 4, we begin our deep sleep. It’s harder to be awakened because at this point our body becomes less responsive to outside stimuli. In these stages, our body starts to restore itself, stimulate growth and development, boosts immune function, and builds energy for the next day.

In REM, dreaming occurs, our eyes quickly jerk in different directions, heart rate and blood pressure increase, and our breathing become fast and shallow. This stage generally lasts up to an hour and begins about 90 mins after you initially fall asleep. This is an important stage because our brain starts to consolidate all the information we have learned during the day into our long-term memory.

In children, one cycle can last up to 50-60 mins and increases to 1-1.5 hours in adults. It is advised:

  • Babies (0 months – 11 months) get 14-18 hours
  • Toddlers (1-5 yrs) get 12-13 hours
  • Children (6-10 yrs) get 8.5- 11 hours
  • Pre-teens and teenagers (11-17) get 8-10 hours
  • Adults (18-65+) get 7-9 hours of sleep

If you or someone you know has trouble sleeping, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or 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, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/ .

Citation:

https://img.timesnownews.com/story/1535107553-sleep.PNG?d=600×450

https://www.sleepassociation.org/about-sleep/stages-of-sleep/

https://www.sleep.org/articles/what-happens-during-sleep/

Why Is Sleep So Important?

Why is Sleep So Important?

By: Lauren Hernandez

            Sleep is one of the most important lifestyle choices besides nutrition and exercise. In order to gain the benefits of sleep, one must complete the 5 stages of the sleep/ rest cycle that occurs at night. It is essential that you strive to sleep the appropriate amount of hours necessary to maintaining a healthy lifestyle- physically and mentally.

These are the nightly sleep recommendations per age:

  • Infants four to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps).
  • Children one to two years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours (including naps).
  • Children three to five years of age should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps).
  • Children six to 12 years of age should sleep nine to 12 hours per 24 hours.
  • Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep eight to 10 hours per 24 hours

Lack of sleep causes negative mental and physical effects such as:

  • Weight gain
  • Likelihood of infections
  • Chronic diseases
  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Increased chances of anxiety
  • Increased chances of depression
  • Forgetfulness

If you or someone you know has a sleep disorder, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or 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, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/ .

 

 

 

Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201606/how-much-sleep-is-required-optimal-health-age-matters

 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-resilient-brain/201704/restorative-sleep-is-vital-brain-health

 

Image Source:

https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&id=1F061362E6736BEE768453D8F06FC5E18FE558C8&thid=OIP.cd4G3Nnr5OOPsYw1086naQHaFb&mediaurl=http%3A%2F%2Fs3.amazonaws.com%2Fetntmedia%2Fmedia%2Fimages%2Fext%2F930991728%2Fwoman-sleeping.jpg&exph=750&expw=1024&q=sleep&selectedindex=12&ajaxhist=0&vt=0&eim=1,2,6

 

 

 

 

Stress: Types of Stress and What it’s All About

Stress: Types of Stress and What it’s All About

By Crystal Tsui

In our everyday lives, we deal with all different kinds of stress, whether it’s from danger, work, family, financial, or education. Here are some of the different types of stress:

  • Acute
  • Chronic
  • Eustress
  • Distress

Acute stress is our fight-or flight response where we are on high alert on our surroundings, usually lasting only 90 mins. Chronic stress is our daily stress that we typically deal with, such as bills, kids, and work. This is the kind of daily stress we tend to ignore. Eustress is our daily positive stress that motivates us to be productive such as having a baby, graduation, or meeting new friends. But the complete opposite would be distress. Distress is the daily negative stress like financial problems, work difficulties, or divorce. Most of the time we can manage our stress by exercising, mediating, or even taking time to talk to family and friends.

However, if stress is not managed properly, stress can affect your body and your immune system. Some symptoms of prolonged stress include:

  • Headaches
  • Increase likelihood of depression (such as lack of motivation)
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability

Some biological symptoms of prolonged stress include:

  • Hypertension
  • Increased risk of Diabetes Mellitus Type II
  • Increased changes in acid reflux
  • Increases risk of contracting H. Pylori (bacterium that causes gastric ulcers)
  • Erectile Dysfunction or heavier, painful menses
  • Decrease body’s response to fight off viruses, infections, and the common cold

If you or someone you know is suffering from chronic stress and are seeking stress management, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or 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, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/ .

Citations:

https://imagesvc.timeincapp.com/v3/mm/image?url=https%3A%2F%2Ftimedotcom.files.wordpress.com%2F2018%2F11%2Fstress-benefits.jpg&w=663&c=sc&poi=face&q=85

https://thehealthedge.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Managing-Work-Related-Stress.jpg

https://www.stress.org/daily-life

Sleep Disorder: Narcolepsy

Sleep Disorder: Narcolepsy

By Crystal Tsui

Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder that affects daytime activities. It is characterized by overwhelming drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep. Narcolepsy affects both men and women equally in roughly 1 in 2,000 people and can be passed down genetically, but the risk of a parent passing this disorder to a child is very low. Symptoms usually start to develop between the ages of 10- 30 years old and worsen for the first few years. The symptoms of narcolepsy will remain constant throughout life.

Some symptoms of narcolepsy include:

  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Hallucinations
  • Episodes of cataplexy (partial or total loss of muscle control that is often triggered by strong emotions such as laughter and joy)

Other symptoms include:

  • Transition to REM sleep is quick, usually 15 minutes
  • Insomnia
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Sleep apnea
  • Automatic behavior (falling asleep while doing an automatic task, like driving, and continue performing task after falling asleep. When waking up and not remembering what they did)

Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that seriously disrupts everyday life. Most common being:

  • Stigma of the condition- others might view individuals with this disorder as lazy or lethargic
  • Physical harm- increased risk of being in a car accident if a sleep attack occurs when driving
  • Low metabolism- individuals may be more likely to be overweight

Unfortunately, the exact cause is still unknown and there is no cure for narcolepsy. However, medications (stimulants), lifestyle changes, and support from others can help manage symptoms. 

If you or someone you know is suffering from narcolepsy and need help adjusting, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or 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, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/ .

Sources:

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/narcolepsy

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/narcolepsy/symptoms-causes/syc-20375497

https://www.o2pulmonary.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/narcolepsy-300×194.jpg

 

Insomnia: How to Regain Control of Your Sleep!

By: Lauren Hernandez

            Insomnia is one of the most prevalent sleep disorders within the United States. People with insomnia struggle to fall asleep, have difficulty staying asleep, or wake up too early. Insomnia is a side effect caused by daily stressors, travel, or other major or minor life events, and can also be caused by other sleeping problems such as sleep apnea. Short term insomnia can be relieved through changes in your lifestyle and habits, including exercise to relieve stress and tension, and meditation or a hot bath to relax and unwind from a busy day. Additionally, changing your bedroom environment to avoid stimulating activities and maintaining a regular sleep schedule will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. For those with long term insomnia, lasting more than three weeks, it is suggested you visit a psychologist or psychiatric nurse practitioner as there are therapies and medications which can help reduce difficulty sleeping.

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with insomnia, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or 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, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/ .

 

Source:

https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Related-Conditions/Sleep-Disorders

Image Source:

https://www.saga.co.uk/contentlibrary/saga/publishing/verticals/health-and-wellbeing/wellbeing/insomniaistock_52736834_medium768x576

 

Depression: Burning Out

Depression: Burning Out

By Toniann Seals

While living in a face paced society burn out is typically inevitable. Maybe you have a stressful job, heavy course load at school or personal/family issues going on. These problems you may face in your lifetime could bring excessive stress and lead to burn out.

Signs of Burn Out:

  • Excessive or too little sleep
  • Not making time for your hobbies
  • Dreading the next day/negative thoughts
  • Overworking

After burn out occurs many people find themselves stuck at a standstill. They are not able to move forward in their work or complete simple daily tasks. Once you notice the signs above, take action immediately to help yourself.

Effects:

  • Lowered Self Esteem
  • Less productivity
  • Feelings of not being enough
  • Lack of happiness

If you or someone you know is suffering from burn out speak with one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists. Contact us at our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 respectively to set up an appointment. For more information, visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/.

Image:

http://www.gotoppm.com/stress-burnout-and-saying-no/