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/.

Advertisements

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

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.

Sex Addiction: What are the Signs?

By: Michelle J. Hong

Sexual addiction is when an individual has a[ File # csp0297286, License # 1699973 ] Licensed through http://www.canstockphoto.com in accordance with the End User License Agreement (http://www.canstockphoto.com/legal.php) (c) Can Stock Photo Inc. / wackern unceasing desire to participate in sexual activities that intensifies as it progresses because the addict wants to achieve higher levels of euphoria. It is not about intimacy but about seeking pleasure or avoiding problems, so the addict usually does not try bond with his or her sexual partner.

Unfortunately, there is no one factor that can cause sexual addiction but there are possible biopsychosocial factors that can contribute to these disorders. Since sex affects the brain’s survival and reward systems, the brain sends distorted messages that sex is good to a sex addict the same way the brain tells you that food is good when we are hungry. This biological explanation can help people understand why anyone can be occupied with sexual addiction. A few psychological risk factors for this addiction include depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive inclinations. Individuals with a history of addiction are more susceptible to develop sexual addiction as well. Individuals addicted to sex seem to have been sexually abused when they were young or come from broken families, and these families are more prone to substance abuse. Because of all these biopsychosocial factors, sex addicts have insecure, impulsive and compulsive personality characteristics and tend to isolate themselves from society. They have unstable relationships and have difficulty dealing with their emotions.

The DSM has yet to give definitive criteria for sexual addiction, but there are signs that people can recognize in which when to indicate whether an individual has this disorder. These signs may not be clear in the earlier stages of sexual addiction, but they will eventually become more prevalent and transparent.

Some of these signs include:

  • Compulsive masturbation or stimulation
  • Extra-marital affairs or multiple affairs in a non-married relationship
  • Multiple one night stands
  • Excessive and consistent use of pornography
  • Practicing unprotected, unsafe sex
  • Cybersex either over the phone or online
  • Prostitution or purchasing the services of a prostitute
  • Dating excessively in order to have multiple sexual partners
  • Voyeurism or watching others have sex
  • Rape, molestation, sexually harassing others

If you or a loved one live in Manhattan or Bergen County New Jersey and might be suffering from sexual addiction or sexual abuse, 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:
Image copyright: (c) Can Stock Photo Inc.
“Sexual Addiction – AAMFT Therapy Topic.” Sexual Addiction. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 June 2015.
“Sex Addiction.” Addictions. N.p., 23 Oct. 2012. Web. 05 June 2015.
“What Causes Sexual Addiction?” Psych Central. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 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.

Sleep Deprivation: What Inadequate Sleep Does to Our Body

By: Nicole Bieniasz

Are you sleeping eight hours every night? Consider yourself lucky! Our fast-paced environment has fooled us into believing we can successfully function with almost no sleep. What some people forget is that an adequate amount of sleep is necessary for maintaining positive mental and physical health because our bodies repair and restore themselves at that time. Interfering with this restoration by cutting back on sleep will eventually take a toll on an individual because the brain is not taking in new information or strengthening memories. Here are some examples of how shorter hours of sleep take a toll on our brains and affect functioning:

1. Slower Thought Process: Sleeping less than the 8 average hours necessary causes lower alertness and concentration, which impairs judgment. Making decisions and judging situations is very prominent and important in the workplace and at home.

2. Impaired Memory: When individuals do not allow their brains to restore during sleep, the nerve connections that are responsible for memories are not strengthened.

3. Difficulty Learning: Slower thought processing and difficulty learning restricts the individual from picking up any new information, which is essential for learning.

4. Problems with Mood: Lack of sleep not only hurts work performance and relationships, it is also capable of leading to problems with mood. Depression and anxiety are linked to poor sleeping habits.

To avoid these problems, here are some ways to get a good night sleep:

  • Keep a regular sleep/wake schedule
  • Avoid heavy meals before bed
  • Minimize caffeine intake especially 6 hours prior to sleep
  • Exercise
  • Minimize hot and cold temperatures, noise, and light when going to bed
  • Develop a regular bedtime

If you are concerned that you or a loved one may have trouble sleeping, the licensed professionals at Arista Counseling and Psychotherapy 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.

Relationship Style: What Your Relationship Says About Your Parents

By: Nicole Bieniasz

Did you know your parents shape the relationship you are in today? The partners we select and the relationships we pursue are dependent on the attachment styles we develop as children. Parents are the first human beings to whom children develop an emotional attachment, which then dictates the different attachment styles they have. Attachment is a reinforced process that develops when parents respond and attend to a child’s emotional needs. Some parents will rush to their child the moment they cry, while other parents completely dismiss the action. The relationship the parents decide to have with their child determines the attachment style the child will have and grow into as an adult. There are four primary attachment styles that can be beneficial or detrimental towards an individual’s relationship as an adult. Here are the four attachment styles:

1. Secure Attachment: Children who develop a secure attachment see their parents as a secure base. The child feels independent and will continue to explore without the mother’s presence. Someone who is securely attached can easily be comforted in the absence of the mother even when it is clear the child only wants the mother. Relationships for this kind of individual reflect the mother-child relationship. A relationship with someone with a secure attachment is a healthy relationship where the person is honest, open, independent, loving, and empathetic.

2. Anxious/Ambivalent Attachment: A child who has an anxious/ambivalent attachment shows distress when the mother is not present and is not easily comforted upon her return. A child relies on their mother to fulfill constant needs and becomes clingy if their needs are not constantly met. A relationship with an individual like this is the opposite of a secure attachment. A person with this attachment faces frequent break ups and complains about cold/distant relationships. Anxious attachments cause a person to constantly seek a partner that will complete them.

3. Avoidant Attachment: This attachment differs from the two previously discussed. Avoidant attachment is seen in children when the child is indifferent about the parent’s presence. The way this person responds to parents and strangers is the same. Being in a relationship with this kind of individual is very difficult because this individual is emotionally distant. Avoidant individuals invest little or no emotional energy and find it very hard to connect with others.

4. Disorganized Attachment: This is a combination of anxious and avoidant attachments. The child has no definitive way of relating to those they love because this was never presented by the parent. Relationships for this person are very complicated because this individual experiences emotional storms due to the uncertainty of whether they want to be too close or too distant from the person. This individual trusts the same person they feel will hurt them the most.

Each of these attachment styles differ in their own way and are more complicated than others. If you are concerned that you or your partner are having problems, the licensed professionals at Arista Counseling&Psychotherapy 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:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/compassion-matters/201307/how-your-attachment-style-impacts-your-relationship

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/meet-catch-and-keep/201502/where-does-the-anger-in-your-relationship-come

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/relationships/2013/08/the-impact-of-childhood-attachment-styles-on-couple-relationships-2-of-2/