4 Workplace Stress Management Tips

4 Workplace Stress Management Tips

The source of much of the stress in a career person’s life is their workplace. The deadlines, paper works, irate clients and bosses, office politics, the details, and so on will all add up to give you the worst problems that you can possibly experience in your entire life. These problems all add up and will soon begin to affect the productivity of your work – your emotional, mental and physical fortitude will be put to the test.

Stress management in your workplace involves a lot of factors, particularly in dealing with the amassed collection of minute problems that tend to stomp on your “last nerve” when put all together. Here are some tips that will help you keep your work stress from ruining your health, relationships, quality of life and let’s face it; your sanity.


1. Nip It Now

The key to keeping a balanced career is to not let an anthill of a problem turn into a mountain. If you keep attention to details, you can solve these problems one-by-one before they pile up. Try to get rid of the habit of postponing your problems for later since you won’t know what will arrive on your desk tomorrow. Stay in front of the solution parade.

Irate and demanding clients can give you more problems than anything put together. Since your life and career revolves around them, you need to tread carefully on handling their problems. One tip in dealing with these people is to keep your cool while listening to their rants and raves. Don’t let their anger distract or highjack your emotions. Their frustration doesn’t have to be yours. Stay solution-minded.


2. Deconstruct the Backlog

Pick something you’ve let fall behind and want to address. Break the looming challenge into small, very simplistic, linear steps aimed at the solution you have in mind. Then each day, commit to doing at least the next step. Keep the steps small and accomplishable. Progress adds up; like pennies in jar. Don’t dismiss the great things that can be done in small steps.


3. Make Breaks Count

It is important to know your limits while working. Human beings aren’t built to work 24 hours a day so its best if you keep a close eye on your body before it gets out of hand. If you think that the work is starting to affect your thinking or when you start to get irritable, build in a “speed bump” to keep it from dragging you down. When you first begin feeling a little burned out try to take some time off – even a few minutes – listen to music, get a cup of coffee, go outside and get a few minutes of fresh air – anything to help you disconnect, diffuse and relax.

If you have your own cubicle at work then it’s advisable to customize it to make your workplace as comfortable as possible. A cushion on your chair to prop your back, a foot stool to help your legs relax, or even some pictures that will remind you of fun times to take your mind off your problems for a short period of time. You probably spend a lot of time in this office or cubicle. Think of what you are exposed to for so many hours a week. Make the space, within professional limits, as conducive to a stress free experience as possible.

Some techniques like breathing exercises will help you relax by keeping your body rhythm at normal. If you start to feel some aches and pains, then you better walk around or do a little stretching… loosen all those muscles first before proceeding with your workload. Heck, istand up and stretch. Sitting for hours on end can have a very direct impact on your physical comfort and that definitely impacts your mood.


4. Pamper Yourself

Sometimes work can be so demanding that it’s almost impossible to get a vacation; or if you do, you get turned down flat. You need to find ways to take some time off and pamper yourself before you continue with your work. If you have some free time, try to hook up with some wellness clinics around the area and get a massage. Some massage techniques can help you relax and will leave you energized for work afterwards; while some can relieve you of your aches and pains so that you can proceed with your work without worries of annoying muscle cramps.

If massage isn’t your cup of tea – try a yoga or tai chi class. Learning safe and effective ways of stretching and moving to alleviate pain and discomfort can have lasting benefits. Perhaps join an exercise class or even invite a neighbor or friend to walk with you in the evenings a few times a week. Get creative with your preventative self-care! Just don’t skip or dismiss it – taking care of your emotional well being is highly correlated to your physical well being.


Final Thought:

Stress management at your workplace will not only help your body and mind cope with the problems at work, but will also help you in maintaining the productivity that your growing career needs.

You are your greatest investment!


Live Better Live Now / 4 Workplace Stress Management Tips

Rebuilding your self esteem, after divorce

Rebuilding your self esteem, after divorce


When the divorce process begins to move along, you may find that your self-esteem is completely gone. You need to learn how to rebuild your self-esteem so that you can move on successfully after the divorce. Moving on successfully means that you are okay not being married to them anymore. It may take months or even a year to get there. For some it is a lot of work. Some people will take it really hard and the shock of the divorce can be devastating. You need to learn on how to focus on the positive things and learn how to appreciate what you do have. You will feel a lot better about your life when you learn how to think positively.


You should never beat yourself down. Don’t think about the past, but focus on the future. You will want to replace any thoughts where you doubt yourself by stating something that you like about yourself and keep telling yourself that you are okay and everything will get better – just keep working on embracing and cultivating the next chapter of your life. Try to learn to use positive words to describe yourself like smart, beautiful, ambitious, and so on. You image of yourself will effect your life a lot. Friends, family and even a support group can be very helpful. This is also a great time to work with a counselor who specializes in helping people through significant life transitions.


To think positively you need to focus on things to encourage yourself. Try even simple self-esteem building activities like talking to yourself in a mirror. Tell your reflection how you feel about yourself in a positive way. Stick with making encouraging statements and in a short time of this practice you can actually begin to feel more hopeful; a little better. The first step to rebuilding your esteem after divorce is to let go. You need to place the past in the past and begin to think about ways that you and improve the way you feel about yourself.


You need to let go of any goal of being perfect. This will allow you to adjust and you will lighten up about the entire situation. No one is perfect and making yourself try to be will only make things worse. This is when it’s appropriate to remind yourself that you’re not perfect, but your perfectly fine being who you are.
If you must, make the  changes you need to be able to stand on your own. But, try to avoid any other large scale changes for at least a year. Divorce is an emotionally exhaustive ordeal and standing at the precipice of self redefinition can seem daunting as well. You need time, you deserve time to adjust, griev, adapt, learn and grow.  Explore what you need to do to find yourself again and then reach out. Your level of success and confidence will rise. Please be aware that it is not a good idea to isolate yourself during this time. You need to be around people and your closest friends – people who will not let your self-esteem dissolve. They can help you through the divorce as well as many other things. Your friends and family should be the key to finding yourself and love after the divorce. You will find the courage to move on by finding comfort in your friends and supportive circles.


Ben Carrettin / Live Better Live Now / Rebuilding your self esteem, after divorce

How To Find Out If You Have Skin Cancer

How To Find Out If You Have Skin Cancer – part a

The process of detecting skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the United States, can be practiced with a monthly self examination combined with a yearly visit to your doctor. Early detection is key because, if diagnosed soon enough, skin cancer is almost always curable.

There are three main types of skin cancer, all of which are visible if you know what to look for. Melanoma, one of the main forms of skin cancer, is the deadliest. This disease is the most difficult to stop after it has spread throughout the body, which is why early detection and treatment are crucial. Skin cancer, of any kind, can usually be treated with success in it’s early stages.

How To Find Out If You Have Skin Cancer – part b

As individuals, everyone has freckles, birthmarks and moles. These are a part of you and you are used to seeing them, but you may not notice slight changes right away and that’s what you need to be watching for. Any change in a mole’s shape, edges, size or color should be checked by a physician. If a mole becomes larger than that of a pencil eraser or if it’s color is multiple shades of brown rather than a solid color, these are both potential warning signs of skin cancer. A mole’s border should be well defined and, if that is no longer the case, notify your doctor. In addition, any sore that will not heal or a mole that grows larger at a rapid speed should be tested immediately.

Deciding to seek medical attention is difficult. For this reason, it’s best to choose a physician that you are comfortable with, such as a family doctor. He/she can examine your skin and refer you to a dermatologist if needed. The presence of skin cancer is determined by removing all, or part, of the questionable area and testing it with a microscope. Surgery is often utilized in the removal of ski cancer and, if done in the early stages, can be a very quick process. There will likely be a scar, but the physician may be able to completely remove all cancerous cells with only a very small incision.

How To Find Out If You Have Skin Cancer – part c

If the cancer has spread, or is very large in the defined area, additional surgery may be required. In that case, chemotherapy or radiation treatments may be ordered to ensure the cancer is completely removed. Your physician will be able to answer all questions that you may have and should do so without reserve. When meeting with a doctor, ask for an explanation of all treatment options, including their likelihood for success in your particular case. Deciding to seek medical attention is a big step and one that a patient must be mentally prepared for.

This article should not be construed as professional medical advice. If you, or someone that you know, is concerned about the possibility of cancer, you should seek medical attention immediately. A medical doctor can discuss various options, prevention and treatment possibilities should the presence of cancer be detected. A series of tests may be conducted in order to confirm, or rule out, any such diagnosis and can only be done by a medical doctor.

Live Better Live Now in Houston, Texas has seasoned, board-certified and licensed professional counselors who specialize in working with cancer patients and their partners, friends and families.

How To Find Out If You Have Skin Cancer

What Is A Panic Attack?

What is a Panic Attack?

More people are becoming familiar with the phrase “panic attack.” Maybe a relative or colleague is said to have suffered from one. Maybe they heard it mentioned in a movie or on TV. Or perhaps they may be one of the many people who suffer from panic attacks themselves. There is still a lot of confusion though among some people about what comprises a panic attack or how to know if you’re going through one. To help clear things up, here are some key points to keep in mind.

When is Something Considered a Panic Attack?

It’s possible to better understand what a panic attack is by going back to the wording itself. The first word is “panic,” and it describes the experience where a person becomes so wrought with anxiety, stress, fear, pressure, and similar emotions, so much so that this experience crowds out all other thought. What is happening here is that the person’s fight or flight instinct is kicking in. The person is physically responding as if he or she is in immediate or imminent danger, and so the heart is pounding and adrenaline is coursing through the system. The problem though is that this is happening even if there is nothing that poses an imminent danger to the person, in the immediate surroundings.

This is where the second word, “attack,” comes into play. By attack, the experience is described as being sudden. This means that the person may have been feeling alright just a few seconds ago, but then a wave of fear or anxiety suddenly crashes down, and for the next seconds, the person will be mentally, physically and emotionally off-balance. That said; a panic attack does not usually last very long, tending to be experienced for less than half an hour, usually up to 20 minutes at most. After that, the sensation will usually go away. So as far as what a panic attack is all about, that is how the attack tends to be experienced, in a nutshell.

What are the Main Symptoms of a Panic Attack?

It’s important to keep in mind that a panic attack is something that manifests at the physical level. Even if there is no imminent threat present, this doesn’t mean that the person isn’t undergoing physical changes. Because the fight or flight response kicks in, certain things happen. The person’s breathing rate increases, in an attempt to increase the oxygenation of the blood. Unfortunately, the person may find that this can also lead to the sensation of not being able to breathe, or a shallowness of the breaths, which can also be accompanied by the feeling of choking. The heart rate also goes up, and many panic attack sufferers experience heart palpitations as a result. The person will begin to sweat more heavily. The body and limbs may begin to shake or tremble. There can also be a generalized sense of feeling nauseous or being sick. Finally, the person may also feel pain in the chest.

That last symptom causes many people to head for the emergency room, fearing that a loved one is having a heart attack. So in this sense, a panic attack can be rather confusing and difficult for the sufferer and those around him or her.

What Can Be Done to Ease a Panic Attack?

Dealing with a panic attack begins with the recognition that it is, in fact, a panic attack. This means that there is no underlying serious medical condition, such as a heart attack, which requires a quick trip to the ER. This also leads to the recognition that while there is a fight or flight response taking place, the person is not in any immediate danger. From that point on, the person can take certain steps aimed at regaining balance and a sense of calm.

One of the first things to try is breathing. A panic attack will tend to cause the person to take rapid and shallow breaths. These need to be counteracted by consciously willing yourself to take slower and deeper breaths instead. To make the act of breathing a more conscious act, focus on taking in air through your nose and letting it out through your mouth. Feel the breath all the way in your diaphragm, and when you breathe out, try to imagine yourself releasing as much of the air inside of you as possible. While doing that, attempt to wrestle away the focus of your mind from the feeling of imminent threat, toward something calmer.

Some drug- free options include Medical Meditation which you cam learn and practice new skills to help you to better manage and regain some balance. A person who practices yoga can also engage in stretching or poses aimed at bringing about calm and relaxation. Music may also be helpful in certain cases, distracting the mind away from the fear, and giving the senses something tranquil and peaceful to focus on.

There are also lifestyle changes that can be attempted to help prevent panic attacks or at least reduce their severity. Since these attacks can cause palpitations, it’s best to avoid substances that increase the heart rate such as caffeine. Other healthy habits such as eating meals on time, eating the right kind of food, getting enough sleep, and having a regular and consistent exercise regimen, have also been found to help address panic attacks over time. So a person who experiences panic attacks on a regular basis needs to consider these and integrate them into daily life.

When is it Time to Seek More Specialized Medical Help?

While certain things can be done at home to help avoid or minimize panic attacks, there are also situations, which call for additional medical intervention. Usually, this is the case when the panic attacks don’t appear to respond to the methods mentioned above. For instance, a person may have been trying deep breathing, but it doesn’t seem to have an effect even after many minutes have already passed. Or the person may still feel that his or her heartbeat remains irregular, even after the main panic attack itself has already ended. Another situation is when the panic attacks are already becoming a regular feature of the person’s life because, in this case, the person may already be dealing with a panic disorder.

In these situations or others like them, it’s best to consult with your medical professional. The good news is that medicine offers many possible interventions, including therapy, medication, and others, which have been found to be effective against panic disorder. So this is something that is very much treatable, as long as the person seeks proper guidance.

Talking With Kids About Death and Dying – Live Better Live Now

Teaching Children What Death and Dying is All About

by Live Better Live Now – Houston

Death happens all the time. It can come slowly as in the case of those with terminal illnesses, or it can happen unexpectedly. Adults already have the ability and eventually accept the death of a loved one but for children, the concept of being on one’s deathbed or not waking up one day can be difficult to process.

Parents have a hard time broaching this subject because they want to shield their children from the agony and grief that comes with death. But death is just part of life and one that should be discussed as much as possible in order to prepare them when such a crisis arises.

Whether parents like it or not, children are exposed to death all the time. They see dead plants, dead insects, and dead animals from time to time. Even the TV programs that they see every day tackle death at one point or another although subtly. They even read about death and even perform death at school too. So you see the concept is being woven into their young life. It is just a matter of how you’re going to teach them idea of dying and death fully for them to understand.


Why Death is Difficult to Talk About  –  Talking With Kids About Death and Dying

There are a few reasons why discussing death is a challenge for many parents. Some of these are:

Lack of answers. Children are inquisitive by nature and will always ask why. They expect their parents to provide them with the answers because they believe that adults know everything. As flattering as this is, it is better to be honest about death especially when you know your answer is not sufficient to what they’re asking. Instead of being embarrassed that you lack the right answer, be honest.

It’s taboo. For some cultures, death is interwoven into their daily lives. Some family members prefer to die at home with loved ones looking over them including children. Today, however, there are many who die alone, away from family, which can be a cause for concern for children.

Avoid upsetting topics. Parents have this tendency to bottle their emotions up to show their children that everything is alright. However, kids are attuned to their parents’ emotions including body language. When children feel that their parents are keen on discussing a death in the household, they hesitate to ask questions which leave them vulnerable as well.


Discussing Death with Children  –  Talking With Kids About Death and Dying

Children have different levels of understanding death which means you need to know what the best approach is based on the age and understanding of the child. For example, preschoolers assume that death is just temporary and that the one who died will magically rise. This is acceptable at this age. At the ages, five to nine, children are aware of death as they see insects, plants, and animals die, but they don’t connect it with them. They can associate death with the image of a skeleton and may even have trouble sleeping because of it. By the time they reach adolescence, they are more aware of what death is, and that is not irreversible and can even happen to them as well.

Based on these ages, parents will be able to find the best approach to this sensitive topic. Here are a few tips that you can use:

For preschoolers, explaining death requires the use of simple terms that they will easily understand. Giving examples makes the concept of death more concrete such as death means losing the ability to move, think, and feel.

For children aged five to nine, repetition should be employed. There are some children who have an endless supply of questions, which can feel overwhelming while others simply listen then come back later to discuss the topic further. The best action to take here is to be ready to answer your children’s question no matter when it suddenly crops up. It will take children time to really process the concept of dying and death. Some children will still ask as to why her auntie is crying even when she knows that her Uncle Ted is dead. Others may feel indifferent on the concept of dying and death and may be ruthless in their questions such as, “When will you die?” Instead of getting annoyed or hurt with their questions, it is best that you practice patience and understanding. After all death is a big concept that they still need to understand.


Opportunities to Take Advantage Of  –  Talking With Kids About Death and Dying

Sometimes broaching the topic of dying or death to young children is necessary in order to prepare them. Just like it was mentioned before, kids encounter death in so many ways such as death of a pet, an animal they come across, or even a dead plant. This can open a floodgate of questions about death so you need to be ready to provide answers that they can easily digest. Tell them that death is a natural thing and that all living things eventually die.

If your child needs to be present in a funeral, you should explain to them what goes on in a funeral service so they will not be overwhelmed with what they see or hear. Tell them that there will be people who will be crying and that funerals are usually a sad occasion.

Children will mourn in their own way especially when someone close to them is dying or recently died. They will feel lost, angry, and confused all at the same time. It is important that you make them feel safe and secured with the knowledge that they are never alone and that they are always loved and cared for.

Death is always synonymous with life. What’s important is to convey to children that death happens all the time and to be there for them when they feel the pain and loss. Patience and understanding is important when discussing the concept of dying and death to children and the acceptance that children have a deeper understanding of life. They just need someone to guide them through this challenging phase to emerge with minimal scars.


Ben Carrettin / Talking With Kids About Death and Dying – Live Better Live Now

Bipolar Depression Versus Clinical Depression

Bipolar Depression Versus Clinical Depression

An estimated ten percent of all Americans suffer from some form of depression during their lives. This figure varies but is pretty much the same worldwide. There are a few areas of the world that depression seems to have missed, but not many. Depression in general affects the way we behave from our sleeping patterns up to the way we think and live life.
The difference between depression and bipolar depression is in the severity and frequency. Depression alone is often brought about by life circumstances, while bipolar depression is chemically- induced and the flip side of mania. The depression and mania come in cycles, regardless of the circumstances in a person’s life.
While those suffering clinical depression are at risk of using drugs or alcohol to alleviate their symptoms, the risk is even greater in those with bipolar depression. A person who knows the highs of mania may try to recreate the feeling when they are depressed or “stable”. Drugs often help create that high for a short time. This puts the person at risk of adding drug addiction to the bipolar disorder. This “dual diagnosis” makes successful treatment of both conditions exponentially more difficult.
Treatment of the two types of depression also varies. Those suffering from clinical depression are typically prescribed anti-depressants alone. Those with bipolar depression, however, are often given a mood stabilizer first, and sometimes an antidepressant as a second choice if needed. Both medications adjust the brain chemicals to alleviate the depression, but the mood stabilizer also helps the person keep from going too far in the other direction and becoming manic. Psychotherapy is also an important component of successful treatment that many a patient and even prescribing doctor dismiss. Whether for depression, bipolar or other emotive or psychological challenges – an experienced and ethical counselor can be extremely helpful – for patients and loved ones.
To the person suffering depression, it feels the same regardless of what causes the mood. The important part, from a pragmatic view, knowing the difference plays is mainly in treatment options. A person suffering bipolar depression is at risk of becoming manic if only the depression is treated. This in itself creates additional problems.

Live Better Live Now – Houston, Texas


Nightmares and Night Terrors – A Frightening Sleep Disorder

Nightmares and Night Terrors – A Frightening Sleep Disorder

At some time in their childhood almost all children experience the sleep disorder of having a nightmare. They are common in children and can begin as early as two years old. They are most common in children between three and twelve years old and are considered part of the normal developmental process. However, only about 3 percent, experience night terrors, also called sleep terrors. Both of these sleep disorders can be very frightening to a child.

Nightmares are dreams that are so frightening that they wake the person up. Everyone has had nightmares occasionally throughout their life and they usually are not something to worry about.
Nightmares occur several hours after going to sleep during the REM stage of sleep when there is general body paralysis and active dreaming.

A child can remember the nightmare once they awake and they still remember it in the morning. Sometimes this nightmare sleep disorder can become a problem if the child has nightmares very often and becomes afraid to go to sleep or becomes sleep deprived. When a nightmare occurs it is important that the parent remains calm and reassuring.

There are several things that a parent can do to prevent nightmares. Discuss calm and comforting things with your child just before putting then to bed. Reading to them, or telling them a story can also be very comforting. Don’t let a child watch violent or scary shows on television, especially just before going to bed (this includes video gaming). Maintaining a relaxing bedtime routine is also important. Sometimes, nightmares indicate a more severe emotional problem within your child. Talking with a psychotherapist or behavioral specialist may be helpful. Ask your physician for more information or referrals.

Night terrors usually occur during the first few hours of sleep, during deep non-REM sleep. They often occur at the same time each night. Night terrors are characterized by screaming, crying or moaning. It is not unusual for a child experiencing a night terror to sit straight up in bed and scream. Their heart rate is increased and they experience rapid breathing. An episode of this sleep disorder can last from 10 minutes to over an hour. Although the child’s eyes are open, they are actually still asleep and when they wake up in the morning there is no memory of what happened during the night.

Although night terrors can be frightening, they are not dangerous. They usually are not a sign of any type of mental distress. A parent should not try to wake the child, or comfort them, during a night terror. The best thing for a parent to do when their child is experiencing a night terror is to make sure they are safe. Generally, most children outgrow this sleep disorder after a few months or years.

Several of the factors that can contribute to night terrors include being overly tired, staying up extremely late, eating a heavy meal just before going to bed, and taking certain medications.

Although nightmares and night terrors can seem like a very scary type of sleep disorder to both the parents and the children involved, they are generally harmless.

Live Better Live Now / Ben Carrettin

How To Start Zen Meditation

How To Start Zen Meditation


The Essence of Breathing in Zen Meditation

In layman’s term, Zen meditation is letting go of pessimistic thoughts and simply relaxing. In Buddhism, it is a contemplative discipline performed to achieve calmness in the mind and body. Most importantly, it aims for a practitioner to understand the nature of life to obtain enlightenment.


The Three General Types of Zen Meditation

To fully experience positive results of Zen meditation, there are three general methods to consider such as (1) Concentration; (2) Koan Introspection; and (3) Shikantaza.

Concentration is the main emphasis to start Zen meditation. You need to focus on your breathing which is commonly ministered in the beginning by counting. Let breathing be your shield to any distraction.

On the other hand, Koan Introspection focuses on a “koan.” Koan is an entity used for meditation. A koan is a poem that typically serves as a tool of reflection. There are many wonderful koans – be prepared; they are not always neatly “finished” or concluded. Your consideration is the point.

“Just sitting” or Shikantaza is meditation where an object has no place, instead mere concentration is needed.

Once you have chosen a specific method, then it is time for you to be aware of the common positions undertaken in Zen meditation.

Choose the one that works best for you.


How to Sit in Burmese Position

At first glance the said position looks like a simple cross-legged position. With the Burmese position, you need to situate your feet so it will be in front of one another and let both your feet relax on the floor. You need to ensure that your heels are pointed towards your pelvis. Also rested on the floor are your knees.


How to Sit in Seiza Position

Seiza is the Japanese term for correct sitting. It can be achieved by letting your lower leg kneel. Make sure that your feet are under your buttocks and that your toes are positioned in a backward manner.


How to Sit in Half-Lotus Position

Indian-style with one leg on the top of the other is the half-lotus position. To achieve such sitting position, you need to be seated on an Indian-style of sitting. After which, lift one leg without letting the legs be unfolded.


How to Sit in Full-Lotus Position

Make sure that you are seated Indian style. Then, pick one foot and take it to the crook of your knee. Let it rest, ensuring that the base of your knee is in an upward position. The final step you need to undertake is to bring the other foot to the other knee just like what you did on the first.


Basics of Zen Meditation Positioning

After you have chosen a comfortable Zen position for you, there are other important considerations you need to carry out:

1. Keep your mouth close. Ensure that your tongue is calmly pushed beside the upper palate to prevent salivation and swallowing.
2. Keep your eyes low. Fix your eyes on the ground.
3. Keep your chin gently tucked-in.
4. Keep your nose in line with your navel.
5. Keep your torso erect – do not to lean forward or backward.
6. Keep your hands enclosed. (Make a fist around the thumb of one hand and encircle that fist with the other hand – hold them gently against your belly between your ribs and belly button.)

Zen meditation concentrates on breathing. Breath in Zen meditation is said to be the fundamental force in one’s body. Together with mind, the two are considered the reality of life.

With the hectic and pressured kind of life many people are living right now, Zen meditation may be a helpful practice to relieve stress and tension.

To learn more check out “Beginner’s Mind” by S. Suzuki (book or audio) or for other information, books and more visit Zen Mountain Monastery’s website.


How To Start Zen Meditation

(Posted with permission, by Live Better Live Now)

Talk Of Suicide – Do They Mean It?

Talk Of Suicide – Do They Mean It?

Depending on how depression impacts a person it is possible that depression can lead to thoughts of suicide and depending on the magnitude of the depression sometimes those thoughts can lead a person to actually commit suicide.

What keeps us from noticing the signs and from intervening before it gets to that level? Do we simply not recognize the signs are do we choose to ignore them out of ignorance or fear?

Many suffering with severe depression may feel as if it is a relief, the final end for those who have struggled mightily with the demons of depression. However, too often the loved ones and family members of those who are suffering most deeply with depression believe incorrectly that there is simply no way that suicide will be the end result.

This fallacy has led to many a broken family and heart as suicide and depression go hand in hand far too often. We are quite incapable as families and friends of those suffering with depression to “treat” the condition. It is vital that you help the person suffering by getting them to a professional who can help. Find a professional that will listen and don’t stop advocating for your loved one until you get the help they need. (help for friends and family of someone who committed suicide)

There is no need in trying to really understand the depths of depression and the demons that it brings unless you have battled the war yourself. A cognitive or intellectual understanding is not the same – this is emotive and psychological; a completely different frontier. It’s not rational. You can’t successfully think around it.

Too often we brush off comments that begin to sound darker and darker thinking to ourselves “life just isn’t all that bad… there’s no way my friend or loved one would actually go through with it… they can shake it off”. These same thoughts continue to devastate and haunt the friends and family of someone who has committed suicide. Please don’t dismiss the words as benign. It’s simply too big a risk.

Danger, danger…we really can’t afford to think in this manner. Thoughts of and thinly veiled comments of suicide are not a call for attention, they are a cry for help. Do not brush it off…take it seriously…and get moving… intervene now.

Talk Of Suicide – Do They Mean It?

It is important to dispel the myth that if a person talks about suicide that they will not make a suicide attempt.


Keep in mind that a suicidal gesture can, even unintentionally, become lethal.

In fact speaking of this heinous act is how you can know that the depression has actually reached the depths of the pit. If you hear these comments, stop whatever you are doing and get professional help for your loved one. This is not a comment that you can ignore. It is simply too serious.

The apathy and hopelessness brought on by the depression can cause our loved one to not to even be able to think rationally anymore. They probably are not even able to form a thought that says “I am going to kill myself because I have nothing to live for”, they generally feel so much apathy about life itself that suicide seems a sweet relief.

Those suffering with depression are at an even higher risk for suicide if they are using alcohol and drugs to numb the pain of depression. Suicide does not distinguish between classes of people; it does not just target the rich or the poor. Suicide crosses all social boundaries.

Often times we incorrectly assume that if we talk about suicide with a friend or loved one who is suffering from depression that we will give them that push they need, or we will somehow inadvertently give them “permission” to commit suicide. Again, this is a myth. Often talking about it helps to relieve some of the pressure and anxiety of keeping it hidden.

Talk Of Suicide – Do They Mean It?

Another very common myth is that a suicide attempt is a method to get attention?


Nowhere close to the truth!

Any action taken to end one’s life is serious. While some believe that if someone attempts suicide using a method they know will ultimately fail, is just a call for help and not really all that serious. Regardless…hear this…any suicide attempt must be taken seriously and you must do whatever it takes to get help from a professional.

Thoughts and feelings that lead someone to make an attempt at suicide do not go away quickly. If the attempt is survived, do not just think everything is ok with the world. It’s not. Professionals must intervene and help to provide ongoing treatment in order to help work through what brought on the attempt or near attempt in the first place.

Depression and suicide often go hand in hand. Regardless of what you believe personally those suffering with depression need help and they need help now! Do not delay.

Help to find the professional assistance needed in order to deal with the dark depression threatening to engulf your friend or loved one.


Talk Of Suicide – Do They Mean It? / Live Better Live Now

Houston Police, Fire Department and First Responders Tackle PTSD

Really impressive to see (article linked below) support for first responders who serve us all – especially in a peer-to-peer approach which we’ve known for long time works so well. Veterans groups have done this for some time. Doesn’t by any means replace psychotherapy, when appropriate, but psychotherapy cannot provide the peer support experience or engagement that first responders and vets can give each other. More of a very specialized critical incident service. Congrats to HPD and HFD for this and for the courageous service men and women who protect and serve us every day – and those doubly courageous who are struggling with the effects of traumatic events. Our gratitude and admiration to all of you.

KHOU / Houston Police / Fire Department / Tackle PTSD



Many first responders fear that if they tell their supervisors they have PTSD, they’ll be pulled off the streets.

That’s a perception Houston Police Captain Greg Fremin is trying to change. He’s a former Marine who works on veterans affairs for HPD. Part of his mission is to encourage officers to come forward when they need help.

“I don’t want any of our officers out there to think that they would be flagged, they’re going to be coded, or there’s some type of secret policy in place, there isn’t,” said Capt. Fremin.

Fremin says it would only be a problem if the symptoms kept an officer from doing his job and that’s much more likely to happen if you don’t seek help. New applicants to HPD have to pass a psychological screening too but Capt. Fremin says admitting to PTSD won’t eliminate a candidate.

The Houston Fire Department has a similar policy, though firefighters do not have to pass a psychological screening before they join the department.

“It’s something that we can’t suppress and we can’t sweep under the rug. It’s something that we have to deal with right now,” said Capt. Fremin.

About a third of Houston’s police and a quarter of firefighters are veterans. It’s a common path forward for vets seeking structure and camaraderie and experts say those working through PTSD are not a risk to others.

“Their turmoil is within and it turns within and against themselves. Not outwardly against others,” said Maulsby.

It’s a personal fight that can compound with first responders’ exposure to trauma.

Miller decided himself to switch from high-pressure paramedic to driving a ladder truck, with the fire department’s full support.

“You gotta find your comfort zone,” said Miller.

And the new group counseling can help with support from those who understand.