Health


David Burns defines perfectionism as someone “whose standards are high beyond reach or reason” and “who strain compulsively and unremittingly toward impossible goals and who measure their own worth entirely in terms of productivity and accomplishment.” I listened to a seminar by Martin M. Anthony, PhD and he has treated perfectionism for years. I will share some of his knowledge with you in this blog. Perfectionism can manifest itself in these different areas: Social and performance anxiety Worry and generalized anxiety disorder Obsessive-compulsive disorder Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder Eating disorders Body image disorders Chronic fatigue Anger problems Depression Suicidal thoughts Hewitt and Flett’s define 3 different dimensions of perfectionism Self-oriented perfectionism is the unrealistic expectation we place on ourselves for performance Other-oriented perfectionism is expecting others to perform with unrealistic expectations Socially prescribed perfectionism is believing that others are expecting things from us and constantly trying to gain approval by trying to live up to what we think they want from us. Socially prescribed perfectionism is the most destructive and can lead to anxiety and depression. There is both positive and negative forms of perfectionism: Maladaptive evaluation is concern over mistakes, doubts about actions, parental expectations, parental criticism, and social prescribed perfectionism. Positive achievement strivings are personal standards, organization,, self-oriented perfectionism, other oriented perfectionism. Research suggests that maladaptive perfectionism could be caused from parents that were both perfectionistic and critical while adaptive perfectionists come from more balanced cohesive, adaptable, and nurturing families. Perfectionism stems from biased beliefs, assumptions, and predictions. Anything less than sticking to my diet perfectly is a failure.  If I eat one cookie, I may as well have eaten 10 cookies. I always need to look perfect in front of other people. If I don’t get an A+ in this course, I don’t deserve to be in this program. My reports are never good enough I seem to be the only person in this house who knows how to clean things properly. These are the thoughts manifested in perfectionistic thinking: All or nothing, or black and white thinking Shoulds and musts statements Selective attention by noticing the negative and discounting the positive Overgeneralization, like always or never statements Double standards by holding yourself to a higher standard than you do for others or visa versa Performance-Related Behaviors include: Avoiding situations that may test one’s performance, like a test Procrastination Goal achievement behaviors, like overpreparing Testing one’s performance by doing something over and over again Reassurance seeking Social comparisons If you struggle with perfectionism and it is keeping you from enjoying the life that you want, therapy may help.  We all have blind spots and we do not...

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Last time I posted a blog my brother was 3 weeks into his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.  He lost that battle 2 days ago and went to be with Jesus.  His cancer took him quickly and he never was able to even start chemo because it was so advanced.  It has been a tough 7 weeks and the last week was the toughest.  He never was in much pain, but watching his body slowly deteriorate from starvation was grueling. He was such a wonderful brother and I will miss him terribly.  His three children spent the last week with him and we all shared our time with him so he would never be alone.  He never complained and always gave us a smile when he opened his eyes. His wife, Carol, has never left his side with love and support.  He was only 61 and he died 2 weeks shy of his 62nd birthday and 34th wedding anniversary. It hurts to lose people we love and that are such an important part of our life. I do not know what I would do without my faith and believing that God loves me and will never leave me. His grace has been sufficient for each day and I know I will get through this because I have Him. My brother is in heaven and will never suffer or be in pain again.  The best thing is, I am going to see him again. I have never been touched by the evilness of cancer and the pain that it causes. There is no history of cancer in my family and my brother did not drink or smoke and was a very healthy male.  He loved the outdoors and  liked to canoe and ride his motorcycle. He was a wonderful father, husband, grandpa, and brother. Cancer got a hold of him and destroyed his life here on earth. It is a hard cancer to detect until it is too late. It has been so hard for us and he is my only sibling.  My parents are old and this has been difficult for them. I never expected to lose my brother as he is 2 years younger and I thought we would grow old together. Life is not fair and I must go on.  It is painful, but I know in time the pain will not be so intense. Through pain and suffering I grow and it softens my heart to have more compassion for my grieving clients and friends. Through the struggle I become stronger and I know God will use my experience to help others. God never will let me...

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Yesterday I attended a “Evidenced-Based Nutritional Strategies for the Aging Brain” seminar presented by Michael Lara, MD and hosted by IBP.  His credentials are: Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and is in private practice in Psychiatry and Psychopharmacology.  He had some good information about maintaining our health through nutrition and supplements to keep our brain sharp and ways to help with depression and stress.  I will summarize the material and if you want to know more of what is behind what I share, go to his web site www.drmikelara.com. What causes aging is inflammation in our tissues which puts stress on our bodies and we age.The results are age-related memory loss which can lead to mild cognitive impairment and sometimes Alzheimers. I was especially interested in the things I could do to prevent depression because research shows that depression leads to cognitive impairment. There are things we can do to treat mild to moderate depression with supplements, but when we are clinically depressed, research shows that taking an antidepressant is very beneficial. The things that we can do to keep our brains sharp is have a balanced diet, consistent exercise program, and healthy sleep habits. Become informed about what will work best for you. Nutrients that can help us sleep better: Magnesium, 400-800 mg/night (Magnesium Aspartate, citrate, lactate or            chloride) Valerian. Taken in the form of extract or tea. (450 mg extract, 0.8 Valerian acid taken before bedtime) Valerian does not cause morning grogginess like zolpidem, eszopicione, or temazepam. Things we can take to support neurotransmitter function: Amino Acids: L-Tyrosine is the amino acid precursor for dopamine and norepinephrine.  Enhances performance during acutely stressful activities. Does is 2 grams/day. 5-HTP and L-phenylalanine are the amino acid precursors for serotonin synthesis.  5-HTP is helpful for decreasing appetite and insomnia at doses up to 900 mg daily. B-Vitamins: Folic Acid; used to treat refractory depression. Dose 800 mcg/day B12, Dose 500 mcg/day Other supplements to enhance memory and learning; Huperzine-A 50 mcg N-acetylcysteine 600 mg/day Bacopa, (Brahmi or Water Hyssop) has mild anti-anxiety effect. 300-450 mg/day Obesity is now understood as a disease of inflammation. The more obese, the smaller the brain. Anti-inflammatory Nutrients  Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Dose needs to be 85% EPA and DHA to be effective. 2-4 grams of pharmaceutical grade daily  EPA and DHA protect against cancer, cardiovascular disease, major depression, and other diseases of inflammation. All these foods help with cognitive performance; Polyphenols. These groups are among the strongest naturally occurring free radical neutralizers. Catechins; Green and white tea, grapes, cocoa, lentils, berries (Cocoa; dark unsweetened forms containing at least 70% cacao,...

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