Sleep Difficulties? Here are 5 questions that will Help You Figure Out Why.

By Sally Santos

We all have gone through this. We have had a long day and we can’t wait to get in to bed to rest. But the moment you rest your head on the pillow you find yourself wide awake and staring at the ceiling. So then you ask yourself “why can’t I fall asleep?” Consider these 5 questions:

Do you take your phone to bed?

  • We spend all day with our phones tending to every notification that we receive. That can become a habit. So when you bring your phone to bed and you see your phones light up you are going to want to see what it is. So every night before you go to bed try to keep your phone away from your bed or at least set it on Do Not Disturb Mode. This ensures that your phone won’t ring for every notification

How much caffeine are you drinking?

  • If you are someone who consumes a lot of caffeine during the day and find yourself not being able to sleep at night consider consuming less caffeine or stop completely.

What do you do during the evening?

  • Avoid having a late meal. If you eat right before you go to bed that might keep you awake because your body is working on digesting your food.
  • If you are someone who works out try working out earlier because after you work out you may have increased energy and that may prevent you from sleeping at night.
  • If possible try avoiding difficult conversations before bed.

How are you using your bed?

  • If you are someone who works or studies in bed, you may be confusing your body. Instead of your body associating your bed as a place for rest it is associating it as a place of work.

Is there something specific that you are worried about?

  • Maybe you are going through a stressful situation and the thought of it is keeping you up at night. Try learning a relaxation method such as breathing gently or meditation.
  • If the situation is serious seek professional help you problem-solve the situation. You might be helped by relaxation techniques, hypnosis or sleep medication.

Source:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/prescriptions-life/201901/how-calm-your-racing-mind-so-you-can-sleep

Image:

https://www.tumblr.com/tagged/no-sleep

If you or someone you know is having sleep issues, 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/.

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Psychopath vs. Sociopath

 By: Dianna Gomez

“You’re a psychopath!!”

How often do we ourselves use this term or hear others throw this term around? Some people may use this phrase when referring to a crazy ex-boyfriend, strict parent, or annoying sibling, when in reality; most people don’t truly understand its meaning. You may be asking yourself, so what is a psychopath? How can I know whether I am really encountering one or not? There are certain characteristics that have been found to be shared between people who are actually psychopathic or have psychopathic qualities. These characteristics include but are not limited to:

  • Pathological lying
  • Manipulation
  • Total lack of remorse and/or empathy for others
  • Superficially charming
  • Lack of feelings of guilt
  • Grandiose sense-of-self
  • Failure to accept responsibility
  • Impulsivity
  • Need for stimulation
  • Poor behavioral controls
  • Parasitic lifestyle/willingness to feed off others to sustain their own lifestyle

Now you may be asking yourself, what is the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath? A sociopath is a person diagnosed with “Anti-Social Personality Disorder.” People with this diagnosis are generally very manipulative and violating of the rights of others, among other things. Sociopathy can be thought of as a less severe form of psychopathy. If a person is a psychopath then they are also a sociopath, but if a person is a sociopath they don’t necessarily need to be a psychopath. Sociopaths and psychopaths share the same basic characteristics, just at different levels of intensity.

If this personality description sounds like you or someone you know, the licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy can help 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 us at https://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/.

Borderline Personality Disorder

By Jennifer Guzman

Border-What-personality?

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a common disorder categorized under “mood disorders” in the DSM. Although it is common, many individuals who have it are often misdiagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, as they share a few commonalities and may be easily confused. Very frequently, this may be the case, as studies have shown that a plethora of individuals who were diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder were previously diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder until they were properly diagnosed (Ruggero, Zimmerman, Chelminski, & Young, 2010). However, a key distinguisher between the two is that with Borderline Personality Disorder, mood shifts occur as a result of a situation, whereas mood shifts in a person with Bipolar Disorder may occur sporadically.

A few key symptoms for Borderline Personality Disorder are impulsive behavior, feeling as though you are unsure of your identity, frequent mood shifts, feeling bouts of extreme idealization or repulsion towards a person, place, or thing, extreme fear of abandonment, or difficulty/apprehension towards trusting in others.

Treatment procedures for Borderline Personality Disorder usually entail Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT), which focuses on practicing mindfulness and the rewiring of harmful behaviors. Medication is provided as needed and varies from person to person. If you experience any of the above symptoms, please visit our psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioner, or psychotherapists. If you are in a crisis, please call 1-800-273-8255. For therapy, you can give Arista Counseling a call at (201) 368-3700, for our Paramus location, or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.

Ruggero, C.J., Zimmerman, M., Chelminski, I., Young, D. (2010). Borderline Personality Disorder and the Misdiagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. Journal of Psychiatric Research. 44(6), 405-408.

4 Signs of Narcissism You May Not Have Known About

4 Signs of Narcissism You May Not Have Known About

Catherine Ferreira

We all have heard or read about narcissistic people by now. We know what they’re like: entitled, self-important, exploitative, charming, etc. But here are some features of narcissists you may not have known about, if only because narcissists mask their flaws so well:

  1. They have a surprisingly fragile self-esteem
  2. They are very sensitive to criticism
  3. They get very defensive when contradicted
  4. They tend to project unfavorable qualities of themselves onto others.

They are, furthermore, superficial and toxic people who are difficult to be around. If you or a loved one are being hurt by a narcissist, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can assist you. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201311/6-signs-narcissism-you-may-not-know-about

ADHD — A Real Diagnosis?

ADHD — A Real Diagnosis?

Catherine Ferreira

Many would argue that ADHD is a fictional diagnosis made up in an effort to label unusual behavior and put money in health professionals’ pockets. Indeed, it’s an easy diagnosis to make – many people display so-called symptoms of ADD or ADHD anyway, without having any kind of disorder. But the difference between airheaded, distracted, and/or impulsive people, and people with ADD or ADHD, is that the latter causes dysfunction. It disrupts a person’s daily life and affects everyone nearby. That in and of itself justifies its presence in the DSM-5. Symptoms of ADHD include:

  • A lack of focus
  • Disorganization
  • Squirming and fidgeting
  • Impatience
  • An inability to complete tasks

If you or a loved one display symptoms of ADHD, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can assist you. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Holding Down a Job with Bipolar Disorder

stressed-man-at-work

If you suffer from bipolar disorder, keeping a job can be difficult, at times painful. Not just because of the manic or depressive episodes, but because of the stigma that comes with having the disorder itself. What to do if you have bipolar disorder and are worried about the future of your job? It’s helpful to focus on some goals.

    1. For starters, accept the fact that you have an illness. You are not responsible for having it, but you are responsible for taking care of it.
    2. Learn what makes you feel better. What distracts you from the pain of your depressive episodes? What makes you happy? Maybe it’s reading a book or going out with friends. Whatever the case, look forward to these things — and do them.
    3. Practice coping statements like I have been through these episodes many times. I will get through them.

You may find the pursuit of these three goals therapeutic. Following your goals, combined with medication and actual therapy, may stabilize your mind and emotions and help you keep that job. If you believe or a loved one suffer from bipolar disorder and are having occupational difficulties, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can assist you. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200711/holding-down-job-bipolar

Abuse: Emotional Abuse Warning Signs (Part 2)

manipulation-bergencountyIn the world of relationships, balance is one of the core key factors to a successful one. Unfortunately in an emotionally abusive relationship, the healthy balance of trust, communication and fairness is deeply disturbed. There is a dominating partner who has manipulative tendencies and a submissive partner who has codependent tendencies. The manipulative partner usually tries to have total power by controlling the victim’s actions, thoughts, and emotions. Often victims do not even realize that they are being manipulated. The victims of these relationships need to be what the manipulators want them to be or they will deal with emotionally damaging consequences.

There are five main signs that can help you determine if you are in an emotionally abusive relationship:

  1. The manipulator makes you feel guilty for things you should not feel guilty about. He will make you feel guilty for actions that you should not feel guilty about so you will be more likely to do what he asks. For example, he would make you feel guilty for hanging out with your friends instead of with him. Of course it is normal for your significant other to want to spend quality time with you, but an abuser will see your other close relationships as threats and prevent you from having them.
  2. The manipulator makes you doubt yourself by making you feel bad. He will be point out your weaknesses and insecurities and tell you how he can do things better. He will say condescending comments or try to put you down. If you are insecure, have low self-esteem or are in a state of self-doubt, you will eventually believe in everything he says. By trying to convince you that his way is better, he is trying to control you. He will make you think he is thinking about what is best for you, but in reality, he is only thinking about himself.
  3. The manipulator will use his insecurities in order to get what he wants from you. He will tell you all the past suffering he has been through with past relationships to define the current one. For example, he will tell you that he has been cheated on and lied to, so he will ask you to understand that you cannot have any male friends. Does that make sense to you? You are not the cheater, his past girlfriends were. It is understandable that he is insecure, but his past should not define what you can and cannot do in the present.
  4. The manipulator will give ultimatums to prove your love and loyalty to him. He will give you the “if you love me you will do this” statement because if don’t do what he wants, you do not truly love him. As a result of these crazy requests, you will ultimately abandon your wants and feelings to please your partner’s. A healthy relationship is based on compromise and reasoning, not accommodating to everything your abusive partner wants.
  5. The manipulator will threaten himself or others when everything else fails. When you do not comply with any of his manipulative requests, he will resort to harming himself to force you to do what he wants. Extreme manipulators that show these harmful qualities may need to seek professional help from psychotherapists and counselors.

If you feel like these warning signs may apply to your situation with your significant other, it is strongly recommended that you reconsider the relationship or seek marriage or relationship counseling. If you or a loved one live in Manhattan or Bergen County New Jersey and might be suffering from psychological abuse and manipulation, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners amd psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can assist you. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information

Relationships: Emotional Abuse

bdsa

Relationships: Emotional Abuse

By: Catherine Ferreira

The typical image of an abusive partnership is often one of violence. It is one of bruises and broken bones; of random angry outbursts and bloodied hands. While not far from the truth, this portrayal can more often than not be greatly misleading.

There is a much deadlier, more sinister form of abuse that is not often talked about. It is not always noticeable, either. It takes the form of emotional abuse, or “any act including confinement, isolation, verbal assault, humiliation, intimidation, infantilization, or any other treatment which may diminish one’s sense of identity, dignity, and self-worth”1. Emotionally abusive relationships do not simply consist of dramatic emotional outbursts or random fits of anger. It is so deadly exactly because it is so subtle: something as simple as “You’ve been gaining a lot of weight lately” can be an act of violence because it implies your partner has a degree of control over you.

It can come out in more overt ways, too: manipulation and ultimatums; threatening to kill oneself; unfounded jealousy and a sense of entitlement; constant begging, badgering, stalking—all of these and more constitute what it means to be in an abusive relationship. Worst of all, they are symptoms of a toxic cycle that is hard to acknowledge and harder still to break.

Fortunately, however, guidance from a professional therapist can help you learn how to break out of this cycle. If you or a loved one live in Manhattan or Bergen County New Jersey and are in need of therapy or relationship counseling, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can assist you. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.

Sources

http://www.vchreact.ca/read_psychological.htm

Photo Source

http://www.nabiswa.com/

Abuse: Emotional Manipulation (Part 1)

social-and-psychological-manipulation-bergencountyIn this mini-series of blogs, I would like to discuss the covert abuse that leaves no visible evidence except for the victim’s psychological suffering. Psychological abuse, also known as emotional abuse, is a type of abuse that can eat away at a victim’s self-esteem, autonomy, and happiness. This abuse is typically associated with power imbalance and manipulation; the abusive perpetrator is usually dominant and passive-aggressive but can seem pleasant and reasonable. This type of negative social influence has devastating effects on the victim; the goal of this abuse is to change the victim’s perspective and behavior through devious, exploitative ways in order to control the victim to get what the manipulator wants. The targeted individual rarely sees what is happening to them because manipulators conceal their true, aggressive purposes. The relationship is clearly unhealthy. This causes severe psychological damage to the victim and she becomes so dependent on the manipulator that she can no longer think for herself. Manipulators need their victims to fear them, oblige to their requests, and feel guilty if they cannot comply with those requests. Victims of psychological abuse are often codependent and abusers know how to play on their emotions and vulnerabilities. The victims can lose their sense of self, and harvest anxiety and emptiness.

There are several techniques manipulators use in order to control their victims. All of these techniques can twist a victim’s thoughts, actions and desires in order to mold her into what the manipulator wants her to be. Manipulators tend to make excuses to justify their actions, deny certain promises or agreements, play on your sympathy, use bribery to get what they want, portray fake concerns to undermine confidence, and use passive-aggressive tactics in order to express their emotions indirectly. These mental schemers also use emotional blackmail, such as guilt and fear, to cause shame and self-doubt in the victim. There are eight common warning signs to know when you are dealing with an emotionally abusive manipulator:

  1. Uses an individual’s statements against her
  2. conveniently forgets promises and agreements, and denies he ever said them
  3. uses guilt and sympathy to control the victim
  4. undermine the victim’s problems, emotions, and difficulties
  5. perform passive-aggressive actions to express anger or disappointment
  6. drain positive energy from the people around him
  7. shows little of responsibility
  8. always seem to have it worse than the victim

Emotional manipulators are controlling and this desire to control the victim is usually because manipulators are insecure themselves. Their underlying purposes in their actions are self-serving, and they have a constant need to feel more significant than the people around them. Passive, susceptible individuals are perfect to manipulate so that manipulators can obtain that feeling of power and superiority.

If you or a loved one live in Manhattan or Bergen County New Jersey and might be suffering from psychological and emotional abuse such as manipulation, the psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling can assist you. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment.  Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information

References:

Lancer, Darlene. “Psych Central Search.” Psych Central.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 June 2015.

Lenda, Paul. “8 Ways to Spot Emotional Manipulation.. and Free Ourselves From It.” The Mind Unleashed. N.p., 03 Sept. 2014. Web. 18 June 2015.

ADHD: Stimulant Drug Abuse

By: Nicole Bieniasz

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a very common disorder that is associated with symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. The most effective way of managing ADHD symptoms is through the intake of stimulants, typically known as Adderall, Vyvanse, or Concerta. As diagnosis of ADHD increase, the prescription of these stimulant drugs increases as well. Since ADHD is difficult to diagnose and understand, many individuals seek this opportunity to imitate symptoms of ADHD in order to retrieve stimulant prescriptions and abuse their use. The abuse of adderall by college students has always been common, but now stimulant abuse is entering the workplace as well. As the demands of jobs and personal lives increase, stimulants are being used to help people enhance productivity. Although this may sound ideal, taking stimulants when not necessary can lead to major health problems. The use of stimulants can easily turn into an addiction, where withdrawal from the drug can cause fatigue, depression, and disturbed sleep patterns. Use of high dosage of such drugs can also lead into very serious cardiovascular problems such as strokes. Various complications are likely to occur if stimulant drugs are being abused and taken with the oversight of a doctor.

Despite the abuse, those who are prescribed medication for ADHD or ADD have a very positive experience. With the appropriate dosage of medication, those who suffer from ADHD experience a reduced amount of fidgeting, impulsivity, and other hyperactive behaviors. The symptoms of ADHD lessen because stimulants allow brain chemicals to increase, such as dopamine and norepinephrine, producing a focused and calmed mindset. The benefits of these drugs are prominent when taken appropriately as directed by doctor. It is very important to understand how medications work and when they should and should not be used.

If you or a loved one live in Manhattan or Bergen County New Jersey and might be suffering from drug abuse, the psychiatrist, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling and Psychological Services can assist you. Contact our Bergen County, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices of psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. Visit http://www.acenterfortherapy.com for more information.