Sex, increased toy sales and the pressure

While 50 shades may be mummy porn to some, it also makes no difference to others. It’s important to remember that for all sorts of reasons, some people choose not to have sex.  Some are single, some are couples.  Some couples fall out of the habit an some couples lose contact with each other.  Some people find themselves single after a divorce, a break up or a bereavement. They may worry about what when how as they have been with one person for a long time. Taking that step seems insurmountable. 

Talking to a therapist may help, it’s all about getting in touch.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/4486110/Women-who-havent-had-sex-for-a-whole-year.html (http://www NULL.thesun NULL.co NULL.uk/sol/homepage/woman/4486110/Women-who-havent-had-sex-for-a-whole-year NULL.html)

Sex toy firm Lovehoney reported a 400 per cent increase in sales of blindfolds, restraints and intimately revealing lingerie.
And a dramatic baby boom has been predicted due to couples’ increased action between the sheets.
This reported increase in libidos sparked by E L James’s “mummy porn” trilogy is working wonders for many – but not for everyone.
While the rest of the population fantasises about hunky Christian Grey and what he gets up to in his Red Room Of Pain, some women have been left out in the cold.
Socialite Tamara Ecclestone recently revealed she hadn’t had sex with her boyfriend for more than 12 months before they split up.
Revelation … Bernie Ecclestone’s daughter wasn’t intimate with her boyfriend for a year before they split
The daughter of Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone admitted the lack of intimacy left her haunted by thoughts that her ex, Omar Khyami, rejected her in bed because he was cheating on her.
JENNY FRANCIS speaks to three women who admit their bedrooms are seriously lacking in action and reveal why they have not had sex for a whole year.
The single girl
YOUNG, free and single, Sharan Sunner hasn’t had sex for a year – out of choice. The 24-year-old health and nutrition rep from Leeds has not slept with anyone since the end of a six-month relationship last year. At the moment she is focusing on friendships rather than looking for romance.
Sharan says: “I know most 24-year-olds would think a whole year without sex is a long time, but for me it’s happened because I’ve had other priorities.
Erotic … novel sent sex toy sales rocketing
“Just over a year ago I was in a relationship for six months, so sex was very regular.
“But when the romance ended badly I lost all interest in men and decided to enjoy just being single without thinking about sex.”
Sharan has been on dates since she split up with her ex, but she always breaks it off before things become intimate.
She says: “I’ve been out with guys and enjoyed getting to know them and having a flirt, but I cool things off before sex is on the cards.
“I went out on a few dates with a guy recently and he wanted things to progress into the bedroom but I didn’t, so we called it off. It’s not that I don’t want to have sex at all. I just don’t think it’s worth all the hassle because it complicates things.”
Sharan is very busy after recently changing jobs and she is spending most of her free time catching up with friends. So she would find it difficult to fit men into the equation.
“I love going out at weekends with my girlfriends, partying and having a good time,” she says.
“I have so much fun with my friends that picking up a man is often the last thing on my mind.
“I’m not a shy girl but my body confidence isn’t at its highest at the moment, so I’d rather concentrate on just having a good time and focus on my job than sleep with someone I don’t really know.”
But while Sharan’s sexless year has been largely down to personal choice, she does hope that intimacy is on the cards in the not too distant future.
She says: “I’m hoping to break the no-sex streak soon.
“I don’t want to go on like this for too long but it would have to be with someone I trusted.
“Who knows, it might give me the body confidence boost I need.”
The married couple
‘Sex became less and less frequent after our daughter was born’ … Charlotte and Chris Everiss
STAY-AT-HOME mum Charlotte Everiss and her husband Chris haven’t had sex for over a year. The couple, from Great Wyrley, Staffordshire, have been married for nine years and have a daughter, Addison, four. They put their dwindling love life down to loss of body confidence.
Charlotte, 34, says: “When Chris and I got married nine years ago our sex life was never an issue — we had sex at least twice a week.
“But things in the bedroom started to go wrong a few years ago.
“I put on three stone while I was pregnant with our daughter Addison, who is now four, and I have struggled to lose the weight ever since.
“My body felt very different with bigger boobs, and despite dieting I felt embarrassed about my appearance, which didn’t make me feel sexy at all.”
Being tired due to all the running around after a young child didn’t exactly help matters. And Charlotte says their time as a couple in the bedroom became less and less frequent as sex slowly fell down the pecking order of things.
“I didn’t have the time to look nice and treat myself to sexy lingerie because it wasn’t a priority in the scheme of things,” she says.
“Before Addison, our sex life was great. And when it started to become less frequent, at first it just seemed normal because we were both so tired and worn out from being new parents. But the longer the gaps in between us having sex, the more noticeable it became.”
Feeling increasingly self-conscious and unhappy about her body, Charlotte convinced herself that 39-year-old Chris, an online manager, didn’t find her attractive any more.
She says: “He wasn’t asking for sex so I assumed he didn’t want to, and eventually sex stopped altogether.
“Also, with Addison in the next room, I felt conscious of having a child in the house and often used that as an excuse not to have sex.” While Charlotte thought the spark had gone, she didn’t realise that Chris was suffering from similar body hang-ups.
“Only now that we’ve opened up about not having sex have I discovered that my husband was struggling with his body confidence, too,” she says.
“He feels overweight and unattractive and thought that I didn’t want to have sex with him!
“I’d never imagined he’d felt that way and now I realise we’re both as bad as each other. I often feel like we’re friends rather than husband and wife.”
Charlotte admits their lack of intimacy has put an incredible strain on their marriage.
She says: “Not having sex has definitely caused friction in our relationship as I sometimes feel like I’m not married.
“Chris and I didn’t talk about the fact that the intimacy had stopped until now and it’s made me realise that we both clearly miss it.
“We’ve both been thinking the other wasn’t interested in sex any longer because of the body issues we were having, which doesn’t make for a healthy relationship.
“Recently, we’ve both joined an exercise programme to tackle our weight issues and I have been out running three times a week.
“Now everything is out in the open and I know Chris still finds me attractive.
“I feel more confident, so maybe we’ll get back between the sheets soon.”
The divorcee
‘After my divorce I cut myself off from men’ … single mum Paula Hollis
SINGLE mother-of-three Paula Hollis has been celibate for over a year. The 45-year-old, from Blyth, Northumberland, has struggled with the idea of a new physical relationship since her tough divorce 18 months ago.
Paula says: “I had been with my ex-husband for 14 years and when we got divorced I just couldn’t imagine being with anyone else after being that close to someone for so long.
“After getting over the tough break-up, instead of wanting to get out and meet new people, I started cutting myself off from men and any kind of sexual contact.
“Now, after a year of shunning any advances, no sex has just become the norm for me.”
But this lack of a love life is not something Paula ever thought she’d become accustomed to.
She explains: “My ex-husband had a very high sex drive and we used to have sex all the time before we split up — at least three times a week.
“We didn’t ever get to the stage where it stopped, so it is a bit of a shock to the system.
“I thought I would crave the intimacy of it but so far I haven’t been too bad.
“If I was to sleep with someone now it would have to be someone I’d known for a while, and I’d have to trust them.
“It couldn’t be someone I’d just gone out and met, as I’d feel very nervous and unsure of myself with a stranger.
“And anyway, in the past 18 months I’ve realised that I don’t need a partner — or sex — to keep me happy.”
With three sons to look after — 21-year-old twins from a previous relationship, and six-year-old David, right, with her ex — Paula has lots to keep her busy. She would find it hard juggling a social life with being a mum.
“With David being so young, I don’t have much time to go out and meet new people,” she says.
While some women might like the thrill of meeting and sleeping with someone new, that is not the way Paula wants to live.
She is happy just to be with her sons and her good friends, and insists that she doesn’t miss sex — at least, not at the moment.
Paula says: “My friends are very supportive of me and know I’m happy spending my time with my boys and them.
“Obviously I don’t want to go on like this for ever, but for now I’m happy without sex.”

Anxiety even if mild and undiagnosed raises risk of early death

OUT OF 100 PEOPLE IN A ROOM, 25 WILL HAVE A DIAGNOSED MENTAL ILLNESS. OUT OF THE 75 LEFT, 56 REMAIN UNDIAGNOSED, SO THAT LEAVES 19. IT’S TIME TO START TALKING

Anxiety is spiraling it seems if you judge by reported cases. Cases are up by 10%, 1 in 7 people are already on anti-anxiety medication and spending is increasing dramatically and this latest research states that anxiety raises your chance of death. Now of course that’s reporting and sensationalism when written in a head line and yet as a statistic it might just scare you in to doing something. The group looked at weren’t those diagnosed with anything. They were people with milder levels of stress, depression and or anxiety. At a mild level people still need to do something states Dr Russ. Not medication, but an alternative. As Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind, said: “This research highlights the importance of seeking help for mental health problems as soon as they become apparent, as early intervention leads to much better health outcomes all round.”

So come see me and let’s start talking.

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9441038/Anxiety-raises-risk-of-early-death-by-a-fifth.html

Anxiety ‘raises risk of early death by a fifth’

Even low levels of stress of anxiety can increase the risk of fatal heart attacks or stroke by up to a fifth, a study has shown.

Anxiety and low-level depression appear to set off physiological changes that make the body more prone to death from cardiovascular disease. Photo: ALAMY

 

By Stephen Adams (http://www NULL.telegraph NULL.co NULL.uk/journalists/stephen-adams/), Medical Correspondent

A quarter of adults are at risk of an early death even though their problems are relatively mild, it found.

People who suffer from clinical depression or other major mental health problems have a greater chance of dying early.

But now British researchers have found that even those with problems they don’t consider serious enough to bring to a doctor’s attention, are at an increased risk.

The team found those with “sub-clinical” anxiety or depression had a 20 per cent higher chance of dying over a decade than those who did not.

The researchers, from universities and hospitals in Edinburgh and London, looked at deaths in 68,000 middle aged and older people who they followed from 1994 to 2004.

They found those suffering from sub-clinical anxiety and depression were at a 29 per cent increased risk of dying from heart disease and stroke.

They were also at a 29 per cent increased risk of dying from ‘external causes’ like road accidents and suicide, although these only accounted for a tiny proportion of deaths.

It had been thought that depressed or anxious people were more likely to die early because they failed to take good care of themselves – perhaps smoking and drinking more, eating worse and doing less exercise.

But Dr Tom Russ, lead author of the study, published in the British Medical Journal, said: “These ‘usual suspects’ only make a small difference to mortality.”

Even when these factors and others – including blood pressure – were stripped out of the equation, the link remained, he emphasised.

The psychiatrist, of the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre at Edinburgh University, said this suggested stress altered the physiology of the body to make it intrinsically less healthy.

In particular, he said it could make the body more vulnerable to heart attack and stroke.

He said: “It’s early days, but there’s growing interest in potential physiological changes associated with both distress and cardiovascular pathology.”

Dr Russ pointed out that the group they looked at were not those with serious depression who were simply avoiding medical help.

“If these individuals went to a doctor, they wouldn’t be diagnosed with depression,” he said.

So many people had mild anxiety or depression, “that we really need to take it seriously”, he argued.

But he said neither he nor colleagues who worked on the project were advocating “the medicalisation of anxiety”, nor suggesting people suffering from it should go on drugs.

If anything, they thought treatments not based on drugs should be investigated.

Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity Mind, said: “This research highlights the importance of seeking help for mental health problems as soon as they become apparent, as early intervention leads to much better health outcomes all round.”

*Meanwhile, new figures show that the number of anti-depressants prescriptions being issued in England has risen by almost 10 per cent in just a year.

Data from the NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care show that the number rose from 42.8 million prescriptions in 2010 to 46.7million in 2011 – a rise of 3.9 million, or 9.1 per cent.

The NHS is now spending £49.8 million on anti-depressants such as citalopram and fluoxetine, better known by its brand name, Prozac.

Of all drug types, antidepressants saw the biggest rise in cost and items dispensed between 2010 and 2011.

 

HOW you ask yourself why am I depressed really does matter

 

I recently read an article that interested me as it is something I have noticed with clients with depression. HOW you ask yourself a question, look at what’s going on and why, REALLY does matter. To distance yourself from what’s going on, be able to ask why am I feeling what I am, what’s happened, when, with whom in an analytical way IS, it seems more effective at breaking that cycle of negative thoughts, behaviours and feelings.
Talking therapy can really enable you to recognise that pattern of negativity and open up different ways of asking questions of yourself and looking at yourself. The fact that the study showed that people with even major depression can choose to distance really matters too. Choice used as a word doesn’t sit with clients at first, yet is an important part of the process, even if that original choice to react in a certain way was effective when the decision was first made. It isn’t any more, hence people email, phone or text and ask for therapy. People with depression will often share that they are drowning, to accept that ‘self emersion’ is a possibility and to work with choice is a great goal for anyone with depression. Please note i do use the word goal as most people with depression reading this will state categorically there I have no choice, which I totally understand.
It’s an interesting article based on incredibly experience proving research!

http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/self-distancing-depression-emotions-0713122

Distancing Oneself from Negative Emotions Decreases Depressive Symptoms
July 13th, 2012 |
Rumination is a key characteristic of depression. Individuals with depression have high levels of negative affect and tend to recycle negative thoughts and emotions. This behavior of ruminating on negative experiences perpetuates the cycle of depression and increases the severity and length of depressive symptoms. How individuals approach their negative emotions has been the subject of much research on depression. In a recent study, Ethan Kross of the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan looked at two different ways in which people view negative thoughts in order to determine if one increased depressive symptoms more than the other.
In the study, Kross evaluated 51 individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD) and 45 individuals with no history of depression as they analyzed their emotions in relation to a negative life event. The participants were instructed to view their feelings using either a self-distanced approach or a self-immersed approach. Kross gauged how these two perspectives affected negative affect, avoidance, and emotional content and discovered several interesting findings.  First, Kross found that both the MDD and non-MDD participants were able to self-distance. This is a key finding because many depressed individuals do not automatically choose to use this perspective when in the midst of troubling feelings but may be inherently capable of doing so. Kross said, “Second, depressed participants who analyzed their feelings from a self-distanced perspective displayed lower levels of depressive thought accessibility and negative affect than their self-immersed counterparts.” These same individuals also gained more awareness of the negative situations and achieved a sense of closure that the self-immersed group did not.
Kross did not find any differences in the levels of avoidance, regardless of how the participants viewed their negative events. Overall, the research demonstrated that individuals with depression do not always have negative outcomes when they question the circumstances that led to the negative emotions. Rather, their emotional outcome is predicted more by how they ask the questions. Specifically, a self-distanced approach of analyzing emotions seems to lead to a more adaptive and positive outcome than a self-immersed approach, which appears to contribute to further rumination and negative emotions.
Reference:
Kross, E., Gard, D., Deldin, P., Clifton, J., Ayduk, O. (2012). ‘Asking why’ from a distance: Its cognitive and emotional consequences for people with major depressive disorder.” Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0028808

Shades of grey…

There is an irony when I give out my card and I hear, ooooh grey …..  Sales for 50 shades of grey have reached 660,000 a week at one point.

Every so often bdsm gets trendy. Lots of people think mmm, must try that. Tipping the velvet was the same for the UK, just in a television series.

Bdsm participants are still judged however. This book may put an angle on it for you yet how would you feel if the guy over there who likes his testicles nailed to a plank offers to baby sit your child? Or finding out that woman who works with you likes to be tied up and pee’d on? It’s alright to try to a certain point, but oh I’d never go that far? The book sells the romantic side with a hint of pain. The reality is open communication,  negotiation, meeting lots of people who potentially don’t have the same kink as you let alone the same vanilla ( all the “normal” people) interests.

I see bdsm clients. I see the person and work with the issue they bring which may or may not have anything to do with their kink. I am kink aware and kink friendly and my clients are very aware of that non judgemental stance.

One thing that strikes me is how knowledgable people become. About themselves, their limits, what they want and what they don’t want. They become aware. They also look into safety. It terrifies me that floggers and nipple clamps are increasing in sales. The romantic ideal is one thing, the reality on risk awareness is another. If s/he hits me there that’s my kidneys or potential hip damage. If the clamps are strong, blood supply issues etc etc etc.

Plus life gets in the way for kinky people too!  To have to cook, clean, sort the kids or run late after that meeting means you really have to want to “play”. Thw coming out or staying in the closet and the implications of being outed to friend and family, let alone work. I also see bdsm clients with anxiety, relationship issues and low self esteem and depression for example.

Having fun is great, risk awareness is paramount. Selling the idea that bdsm is the ultimate relationship though? They seem to be more intense, more passionate at times yes. They also suffer from normal relationship issues as the common denominal factor here is simple. They’re still human beings!

Also for couples with issues who use bdsm to spice things up, while sex really matters, introducing bdsm into your bedroom or life could potentially add to your issues eventually. It takes excellent comunication and what happens if one likes it more than the other or one says enough.

If a relationship isn’t going well then therapy can help, there are no guarantees yet change often occurs.

 

 

http://www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/esmagazine/the-fifty-shades-of-grey-effect-how-london-got-kinky-7938483.html (http://www NULL.standard NULL.co NULL.uk/lifestyle/esmagazine/the-fifty-shades-of-grey-effect-how-london-got-kinky-7938483 NULL.html)

The Fifty Shades of Grey effect: how London got kinky There was a time when Londoners were nervous about nipple clamps and freaked out by floggers. Not any more. The BDSM bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey has the capital on its knees

Fan-tastic, how fiction written in homage by fans on the internet paved the way for Fifty Shades of Grey

‘I’m not into pain, but I was inspired to go out and buy a flogger. I love it’

Last Christmas, if you’d mentioned BDSM over drinks (and as GQ’s sex columnist, I stand guilty), you’d have been met with blank looks. ‘Floggers?’ Piers Morgan once confided. ‘A glass of wine would be a better aphrodisiac.’ Today, however, Bondage, Dominance and Submission Sado-Masochism is so now. And rocketing sales of a colourful gamut of bondage toys would suggest that we’re not merely reading about this summer’s ruling literary hero Christian Grey’s Red Room of Pain, but recreating it.

Because the sudden acceptability — even voguishness — of relatively hardcore erotic adventure seems to have been triggered by the remarkable success of the kinkbuster novel Fifty Shades of Grey, now the fastest-selling paperback in history, with some ten million print and more than one million e-reader copies devoured so far. Couple its colourful contents with tumescent media revelling in any opportunity to discuss the S&M nature of the novel, and it is perhaps unsurprising that naughty sex has sashayed out of the shadows.

Matthew Curry, head of e-commerce for the UK’s largest online retailer of sex toys, Lovehoney.co.uk, has seen a huge change in buyer behaviour as a result of the book. ‘First-time customers are especially emboldened: normally they’d pick something like a small vibrator; instead we’ve seen a huge growth in sales of items such as nipple clamps.’ The figures are impressive. In March the site sold just over 200 pairs of nipple clamps. In June it sold 1,214. Over the same time, sales of whips and floggers have doubled, and sales of Ben Wa Balls (metal balls used for internal female stimulation, which cause Fifty’s heroine Anastasia’s ‘inner goddess [to do] the dance of the seven veils [and make her] needy, needy for sex’) are up by 400 per cent.

The Hoxton women-only erotic emporium Sh! reports similar spikes. It has seen partic-ular interest in entry-level spreader bars (bars designed to hold arms or legs apart, in this case with Velcro fastenings); Sh! ball gags — and spanking classes — have repeatedly sold out.

Where Fifty Shades has come to be known as ‘mummy porn’, enjoyed secretly on the Kindle by older women, it has exploded across all ages and definitely no longer just appeals to mothers. ‘I’m not into pain, but I was inspired to go out and buy a flogger. I love it,’ says Gemma (not her real name), 34, a single management consultant from South London. ‘The way EL James describes the toys in the book makes them sound glamorous and accessible — not cheap plastic things that would be ugly.’ Over the past few years high-end designers have quietly been working the erotic arena: the award-winning designer Yves Béhar, for example, collaborated on sex toys with manufacturer Jimmyjane, and Alex Monroe, a jeweller more usually known for nature-inspired pendants loved by Elle Macpherson and Emma Watson, has created a beautiful range of gold-plated, butterfly nipple clamps. ‘I also bought a tickler,’ Gemma adds. ‘It’s an amazing device. I couldn’t believe I’d never even heard about ticklers before. But then, I don’t spend time in sex shops so how would I have done?’

Mistress Absolute, a West London-based dominatrix who runs Club Subversion (a nightspot that twins dance spaces and dungeons) on the Albert Embankment, and organiser of the annual London Fetish Weekend, also recognises the Fifty Shades effect in inspiring interest in Londoners who might not otherwise have considered BDSM. But she’s equally keen to place the trend in a larger context. ‘Sexually our tastes are developing,’ she says. ‘We’re moving away from a hegemonic society, where 2.4 kids is the ideal, and seeking new things to try. The foundations of this move are various: shops such as Coco de Mer, for example, have for a while now made kink feel less smutty. On the club scene we’ve also seen more events based around fantasy. It’s a reaction to the economic situation: when times are tough, people want to dress up and go crazy. BDSM is an escape from the real world, creating a domain which is sub/dom but also consensual and safe.’

She also emphasises the role of the media, and in particular celebrities such as Lady Gaga. Where the lesbian kiss was de rigueur to demonstrate their sexed-up credentials in the early Noughties, that has now been tossed aside in favour of BDSM references. As well as Gaga, Christina Aguilera went for it with a diamond ball gag in the video for ‘Not Myself Tonight’; and Rihanna aced them all with her single ‘S&M’, the video for which saw her swinging from the ceiling in Japanese Shibari bondage rope and flicking her crop at journalists whom she’d trussed up with tape.

‘Of course, what they’re doing isn’t new. It’s a throwback to what Madonna based her early career on — kink repackaged for a new generation,’ says Absolute. S&M has breezed in and out of fashion almost as far back as records exist. Images on pots from the 6th century show that Ancient Romans had a taste for it, and culturally it has popped up in everything from the Earl of Rochester’s bawdy 17th-century verses to the infamous butter scene in 1970s erotic classic Last Tango in Paris.

The consensual nature of Anastasia and Christian’s relationship in Fifty Shades is emphasised via a 50-page Submissive Contract, which Anastasia is free to edit according to her limits (and which, when she reads with her ‘heart still pounding’, she discovers includes gems such as there will be ‘No acts involving children and animals’). The power that Anastasia wields is surely a key part of the book’s appeal. Perhaps as much as anything it made female readers recognise that, even as a submissive, they still could choose what happened to them in a BDSM scenario.

‘I used to have a judgement on BDSM,’ says sex and relationship coach Sue Newsome. ‘But once I studied it, I realised that while the dominant has control, the submissive has the power. If they are not responding, the master has to change what he is doing.’ Newsome is excited by the possibilities afforded by the popularity of the book. ‘I’ve noticed the buzz and think it’s brilliant. Sex games can help people to have open and honest communication about their curiosity and desires.’ But she advises caution: ‘Having read it, people have been coming to me to understand how to explore BDSM safely. I emphasise to them there has to be trust. There are risks. All kinds of equipment are readily available; for a few pounds you can buy a cane, and with it you can inflict an immense amount of pain.’

As a first step, she highlights the importance of knowing what you want to get out of erotic experiments, of having rules about your limits and also having safe words. (Since half the fun of power play is pretending that you are being forced to do something against your will, yelling ‘Stop!’ tends to imply the opposite. If you really mean, ‘Desist immediately or I’m calling the police,’ then a safe word such as ‘red’ is a better bet.) ‘BDSM can be a fantastic gateway to sexual pleasure and connection for everyone,’ she finishes. So, listen closely as you walk down the street on a quiet evening. You may just hear the creaking of women’s bodies suspended from the rafters, or even the crack of a whip…

Even spiderman’s girlfriend gets anxious, so, what happens in our brains?

 

http://www.entertainmentwise.com/news/80708/Emma-Stone-Reveals-Pain-Of-Childhood-Insecurities-

With her amazing Hollywood career, screen siren looks, wardrobe to die for and hot boyfriend Andrew Garfield, it’s hard to believe that Emma Stone lacks confidence.
But in a recent interview with Vogue magazine, the 23-year-old has proved that it’s not just us mere mortals that suffer from personal insecurities, having confessed that she took up acting only to help her deal with her own demons.
“I had a panic attack when I was eight,” she tells Vogue. “My mum couldn’t put notes in my lunch because I would be reminded that she existed and I would want to go home. And I was sick all the time.”
“When I went through therapy, I tried improv for the first time, and I think there was some cathartic element to it,” she added.
Loved up couple Emma and Andrew recently moved into a New York apartment together having fallen for eachother during filming The Amazing Spider-Man movie.
But after striving for acting success after all this time, she simultaneously fears it. She said: “I worry about my fame making New York unliveable. To not walk around would be awful .  .  . that idea makes me physically ill.”
Emma, who was born in Arizona, shot to fame in 2012 with teenage comedy Easy A and has since won much critical acclaim for her performance in the Oscar-nominated the Help, and has ever increasingly been blossoming into a world-wide renowned fashionista.
You won’t be able to walk freely around NYC soon, Emma…
So what does happen to the brain during anxiety or panic attack?
Amygdala – a brain part where anxiety, fear and panic originate from. It’s sometimes called Anxiety Brain.
Anxiety is a natural human emotion that all of us experience from time to time. It comes with a feeling of nervousness, apprehension, worry, or fear. Typically, this emotion may be experienced during times when you are in a lot of stress such as before taking a test or walking down a dark avenue alone. These illustrated occasions where anxiety is felt are actually helpful for you. In the test-taking situation, anxiety helps you to be more focused on your examination so that you can answer correctly each test item, thus get a high mark. While for the dark alley situation, anxiety helps you to be more alert so that you are prepared for any danger that the dark night might bring. In conclusion, anxiety protects us from any danger that our senses have perceived. It acts like a guardian for our self-preservation. This is clear enough. But what if you want to get to the particulars on how our body does this instinctive mechanism?
Truthfully, it does not quite matter what the real cause of your fear and anxiety is. You just have to remember that this feeling expresses itself throughout your whole body. It does not merely affect or linger in your mind alone. This fearful feeling always connects with your body.
So how does this feeling of fear, anxiety, or panic actually created? What happens inside the brain or what is usually called as the ‘anxiety brain’?
Scientists have moved very far in the area of neurophysiology of anxiety and fear in the last few decades. Just imagine for one second that you get back home from work, it is late, you open your house’s door and suddenly you see a moving shadow inside one of your rooms. In a split of second, the whole chemistry in your body changes. It could be a threat to your life, so your neural circuits become pumped up and start their job. And usually this happens before you can even rationally digest what is really happening. It is just that fast.
So the signal enters your eyes and your ears and then to your brain stem. From there, it travels to the thalamus where the impulse branches off. One part of the signal moves to the part of the brain where it will be interpreted and the other part of the signal moves to your anxiety brain – the amygdale – and hippocampus. Although amygdale is a small part of your brain, as small as an almond, its size is insignificant to the role it plays in your everyday life. On the other hand, the hippocampus is a part of your brain that is responsible for remembering things such as your memories. When the nerve signal reaches the hippocampus, this part of your brain will analyze it with the memories it has already stored to find out if this is a threatening situation.
If you are sure that the stimulus means nothing, the signal’s journey will stop right there. However, if you are not really sure about it, your brain will go into a ‘warning’ mode. Then that impulse will be sent back and forth between the hippocampus, your temporal lobe and amygdale (the anxiety brain); your whole body becomes alert and you are prepared for the worst.
As mentioned, your emotional brain (amygdale) plays a major role in this whole process. This is a place where anxiety, fear and panic originate from. If there was a way to physically remove amygdale out of your brain, you wouldn’t feel fear, anxiety or panic at all. Furthermore, you wouldn’t be able to tell if people around you are scared or not.
Your anxiety brain is always on alert, sorting every signal received to see if you are facing anything threatening. If some signal will be recognized as threatening, this little almond-shaped anxiety brain will signal other parts of your brain to put those scary expressions on your face and stop everything that you are doing in order to fully concentrate on the possible danger ahead.
Understanding your anxiety and its probable causes is crucial, because it gives you a starting point – a steady foundation from which you can build toward your well-being.
Make a change, go see someone and start accepting, breathing and changing

You + stress = Alzheimers possibly?

People are stressed. I often hear people talking about their stress, how acceptable it is, how normal, what does it matter, I’m ok, I cope. They then wonder why they collapse or carry on yet feel worthless, unhappy and exhausted. 1 in 7 people in the UK alone take an anti anxiety medication. More children are being prescribed the same medications and people over all are more stressed than they have ever been. Why is too big a question with lots of answers. The real question for me working with people is what can you do, now, here and today to enable yourself to let go of stress. The implications of stress related illness are many. Death in some cases.

Now new research is proving that chronic stress could also lead to Alzheimer’s. So we push, to get, to enjoy, and maybe now to forget why we ever did in the first place? Go see someone, counter your stress and any traumatic experience.

http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/news_article.php?newsID=1243 Stress link to Alzheimer’s goes under the spotlight Published 25 June 2012 Chronic stress is being investigated in a new Alzheimer’s Society funded research project as a risk factor for developing dementia. It is part of a £1.5 million package of six grants being given by the charity fighting to find a cause, cure and way to prevent the disease. Professor Clive Holmes is lead investigator for the stress study at the University of Southampton. He said: ‘All of us go through stressful events. We are looking to understand how these may become a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s. ‘This is the first stage in developing ways in which to intervene with psychological or drug based treatments to fight the disease.’ More effective coping methods for dealing with stress and a greater understanding of its biological impact may provide the answer. The study scheduled to start in in less than a week will involve 18 months monitoring 140 people aged 50 and over with mild cognitive impairment. The participants will be assessed for levels of stress and assessed for any progression People are stressed. I often hear people talking about their stss, how acceptable it is, how normal, what does it matter, I’m ok, I cope. They then wonder why they collapse or carry on yet feel worthless, unhappy and exhausted. 1 in 7 people in the UK alone take an anti anxiety medication. More children are being prescribed the same medications and people over all are more stressed than they have ever been. Why is too big a question with lots of answers. The real question for me working with people is what can you do, now, here and today to enable yourself to let go of stress. The implications of stress related illness are many. Death in some cases. Now new research is proving that chronic stress could also lead to Alzheimer’s. So we push, to get, to enjoy, and maybe now to forget why we ever did in the first place? Go see someone, counter your stress and any traumatic experience.  http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/news_article.php?newsID=1243 Stress link to Alzheimer’s goes under the spotlight Published 25 June 2012 Chronic stress is being investigated in a new Alzheimer’s Society funded research project as a risk factor for developing dementia. It is part of a £1.5 million package of six grants being given by the charity fighting to find a cause, cure and way to prevent the disease. Professor Clive Holmes is lead investigator for the stress study at the University of Southampton. He said: ‘All of us go through stressful events. We are looking to understand how these may become a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s. ‘This is the first stage in developing ways in which to intervene with psychological or drug based treatments to fight the disease.’ More effective coping methods for dealing with stress and a greater understanding of its biological impact may provide the answer. The study scheduled to start in in less than a week will involve 18 months monitoring 140 people aged 50 and over with mild cognitive impairment. The participants will be assessed for levels of stress and assessed for any progression from mild cognitive impairment to dementia. About 60% of people with mild cognitive impairment are known to go on to develop Alzheimer’s. Prof Holmes said: ‘There is a lot of variability in how quickly that progression happens; one factor increasingly implicated in the process is chronic stress. That could People are stressed. I often hear people talking about their stss, how acceptable it is, how normal, what does it matter, I’m ok, I cope. They then wonder why they collapse or carry on yet feel worthless, unhappy and exhausted. 1 in 7 people in the UK alone take an anti anxiety medication. More children are being prescribed the same medications and people over all are more stressed than they have ever been. Why is too big a question with lots of answers. The real question for me working with people is what can you do, now, here and today to enable yourself to let go of stress. The implications of stress related illness are many. Death in some cases. Now new research is proving that chronic stress could also lead to Alzheimer’s. So we push, to get, to enjoy, and maybe now to forget why we ever did in the first place? Go see someone, counter your stress and any traumatic experience.  http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/news_article.php?newsID=1243 Stress link to Alzheimer’s goes under the spotlight Published 25 June 2012 Chronic stress is being investigated in a new Alzheimer’s Society funded research project as a risk factor for developing dementia. It is part of a £1.5 million package of six grants being given by the charity fighting to find a cause, cure and way to prevent the disease. Professor Clive Holmes is lead investigator for the stress study at the University of Southampton. He said: ‘All of us go through stressful events. We are looking to understand how these may become a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s. ‘This is the first stage in developing ways in which to intervene with psychological or drug based treatments to fight the disease.’ More effective coping methods for dealing with stress and a greater understanding of its biological impact may provide the answer. The study scheduled to start in in less than a week will involve 18 months monitoring 140 people aged 50 and over with mild cognitive impairment. The participants will be assessed for levels of stress and assessed for any progression from mild cognitive impairment to dementia. About 60% of people with mild cognitive impairment are known to go on to develop Alzheimer’s. Prof Holmes said: ‘There is a lot of variability in how quickly that progression happens; one factor increasingly implicated in the process is chronic stress. That could be driven by a big change – usually negative – such as a prolonged illness, injury or a major operation. ‘We are looking at two aspects of stress relief – physical and psychological – and the body’s response to that experience. Something such as bereavement or a traumatic experience – possibly even moving home – is also a potential factor.’ Alzheimer’s Society research manager, Anne Corbett, said: ‘The study will look at the role chronic stress plays in the progression from mild thinking and memory problems – Mild Cognitive Impairment – to Alzheimer’s disease. ‘We feel this is a really important area of research that needs more attention. The results could offer clues to new treatments or better ways of managing the condition. ‘It will also be valuable to understand how different ways of coping with stressful life events could influence the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.’ The participants in the trial will be compared to a group of 70 people without memory problems, who will be tested as a ‘control group’ All the people taking part will be asked to complete cognitive tests in order to track their cognitive health. Questionnaires will assess their personality type, style of coping with stressful events and their perceived level of social support and mood. The process will be repeated after 18 months to measure any conversion from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease. Stressful life events will also be recorded. The researchers will take blood and saliva samples every six months to measure biological markers of stress. Blood samples will measure immune function and the saliva samples will track levels of cortisol, which is released by the body in response to chronic stress. A number of illnesses are known to develop earlier or are made worse by chronic stress, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and multiple sclerosis. Surprisingly little research has been done in people with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease in relation to their experience of stress. be driven by a big change – usually negative – such as a prolonged illness, injury or a major operation. ‘We are looking at two aspects of stress relief – physical and psychological – and the body’s response to that experience. Something such as bereavement or a traumatic experience – possibly even moving home – is also a potential factor.’ Alzheimer’s Society research manager, Anne Corbett, said: ‘The study will look at the role chronic stress plays in the progression from mild thinking and memory problems – Mild Cognitive Impairment – to Alzheimer’s disease. ‘We feel this is a really important area of research that needs more attention. The results could offer clues to new treatments or better ways of managing the condition. ‘It will also be valuable to understand how different ways of coping with stressful life events could influence the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.’ The participants in the trial will be compared to a group of 70 people without memory problems, who will be tested as a ‘control group’ All the people taking part will be asked to complete cognitive tests in order to track their cognitive health. Questionnaires will assess their personality type, style of coping with stressful events and their perceived level of social support and mood. The process will be repeated after 18 months to measure any conversion from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease. Stressful life events will also be recorded. The researchers will take blood and saliva samples every six months to measure biological markers of stress. Blood samples will measure immune function and the saliva samples will track levels of cortisol, which is released by the body in response to chronic stress. A number of illnesses are known to develop earlier or are made worse by chronic stress, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and multiple sclerosis. Surprisingly little research has been done in people with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease in relation to their experience of stress. from mild cognitive impairment to dementia. About 60% of people with mild cognitive impairment are known to go on to develop Alzheimer’s. Prof Holmes said: ‘There is a lot of variability in how quickly that progression happens; one factor increasingly implicated in the process is chronic stress. That could be driven by a big change – usually negative – such as a prolonged illness, injury or a major operation. ‘We are looking at two aspects of stress relief – physical and psychological – and the body’s response to that experience. Something such as bereavement or a traumatic experience – possibly even moving home – is also a potential factor.’ Alzheimer’s Society research manager, Anne Corbett, said: ‘The study will look at the role chronic stress plays in the progression from mild thinking and memory problems – Mild Cognitive Impairment – to Alzheimer’s disease. ‘We feel this is a really important area of research that needs more attention. The results could offer clues to new treatments or better ways of managing the condition. ‘It will also be valuable to understand how different ways of coping with stressful life events could influence the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.’ The participants in the trial will be compared to a group of 70 people without memory problems, who will be tested as a ‘control group’ All the people taking part will be asked to complete cognitive tests in order to track their cognitive health. Questionnaires will assess their personality type, style of coping with stressful events and their perceived level of social support and mood. The process will be repeated after 18 months to measure any conversion from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease. Stressful life events will also be recorded. The researchers will take blood and saliva samples every six months to measure biological markers of stress. Blood samples will measure immune function and the saliva samples will track levels of cortisol, which is released by the body in response to chronic stress. A number of illnesses are known to develop earlier or are made worse by chronic stress, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and multiple sclerosis. Surprisingly little research has been done in people with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease in relation to their experience of stress.

Perspectives on what works in psychotherapy

 

I love what I do, I am passionate about what I do and I enjoy what I do and all that it brings. If you were to ask me what and why, I am not sure I could answer that specifically. When people get what they wanted, when I see a shift in someone’s thought process, when I see an acceptance or a coming to terms with something. Or when a new feeling is accepted or experienced and growth takes place. They’re all amazing and rewarding, yet to sum those feelings up, they’re about a connection based on our relationship in that moment. that’s the key to therapy and change, that relationship.
It’s not always easy to determine if you’re going to connect with someone yet that’s the key, the relationship.
This article talks about clients with anorexia, yet it could be written about any issue you may bring to therapy. To trust, to allow challenge, to experiment with what does and doesn’t work, to express emotions within a therapeutic safe relationship and to live in today,  not yesterday’s out of date decisions nor in the fears of tomorrow.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-david-herzog/eating-disorder-therapy_b_1565261.html

DR. DAVID HERZOG
Psychotherapy: What Works?
Posted: 06/04/2012
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you when a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
— Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit
There is no “one-fits-all” psychotherapy for anorexia nervosa. In an effort to learn more about what “works” and what doesn’t, my Massachusetts General Hospital colleagues Eugene Beresin, M.D. and Christopher Gordon, M.D. and I interviewed a group of women who had received individual therapy and recovered from the illness. Their perspectives on psychotherapy helped inform our work with individuals who are struggling with anorexia.
New patients don’t open the door of the therapist’s office bright-eyed, cheerful, and eager for treatment. For the most part, individuals with anorexia don’t feel ill or see their eating behaviors as unhealthy. They want no part of therapy. The idea of sitting down and talking about themselves feels foreign and scary. From their standpoint, the therapist is out to make them fat. Particularly frightening — almost unthinkable — is the possibility that the therapist will raise the topic of eating more and gaining weight. Tense and shaky, or sullen and defiant, patients sometimes experience the urge to bolt out of the room.
“First, I had to trust.” This is easier said than done. At the beginning of therapy, patients don’t know what to expect. Some individuals sense that they are better off remaining silent and that anything they say will be held against them, as if they are standing trial in a court of law. They may feel very alone or bombarded with powerful pangs of guilt about calories eaten or ounces gained. They may be thinking: “What is this thing called therapy?” “What am I expected to talk about here?” How is therapy supposed to help me?” “What does the word ‘help’ mean?” This last question is important, and a patient’s answer to it can fluctuate or change as therapy proceeds.
“I didn’t know how I felt.” Trapped in an unforgiving world of shoulds and should-nots, individuals have a hard time recognizing their feelings. They are often receptive to therapists who participate actively in sessions, helping them to better understand themselves and coaching them on how to relate to others. The very nature of the patient-therapist relationship can help individuals learn where emotions come from and how to manage them. For example, becoming angry at the therapist and being encouraged to talk about this in session can gradually instill confidence that it is natural and human — or, as the Skin Horse suggested, “real” — to experience and express emotions.
“I wasn’t sure I wanted to grow up.” Teenagers experience huge emotions and extreme moods. One moment they long for independence; and the next, for security. As they mature — emotionally, cognitively, physically — relationships, academics and athletics take on new importance, and pressures seem to mount. The stress of adolescence is significant, and teens often feel overwhelmed. For these individuals, anorexia can represent a way to slow down the biological clock, to get their bearings, and to maintain control before traveling on to adulthood.
“It was important to like myself better.” Well into treatment, individuals with anorexia continue to consider themselves defective, inferior, or “bad.” They may come to realize that anorexia gave them a sense of accomplishment or specialness. The challenge is to find ways to experience these positive feelings without focusing on weight loss.
“Experimenting helped.” Insight alone does not free individuals from the grasp of anorexia nervosa. There must be a willingness to experiment — to take risks. People with anorexia go about everyday life in a very structured, programmed way in an effort to cope with their fear of the unknown. Although it is very challenging for patients to modify their routines, they are often able to do so once they feel that the therapist values and respects them for who they really are. Risk-taking becomes possible when it is introduced in small, achievable steps that gradually build self-regard. In this way, patients — with the guidance of the therapist — chip away at the anorexia, a little bit at a time.

Is it time to tackle your obstacles to life?

Sometimes with or without therapy, life can feel like it isn’t our responsibility to change or that the obstacle is too over whelming so what’s the point. This could be anxiety, depression, the way we deal with change or anyissue. This is alovley story that shares what the point is. No matter who you are, what you have or where you come from, life may at times have a boulder in the ahead ahead.

 

What you do about that is up to you?

 

 

The Obstacle in our Path

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock.

Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way.

Then, a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road.

After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been.

The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.

The peasant learned what many of us never understand! Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

What is the point of therapy and why won’t you tell me what to do?

I am often asked what therapy is and why don’t I cure, fix or tell clients what to do? I was reminded of this story yesterday and it explains beautifully just why I don’t do that…

Butterfly Story

 

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.

One day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched
the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force
its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop
making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far
as it could and it could go no farther.
So the man decided to help the butterfly, he took a pair of
scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.
The butterfly then emerged easily.
But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected
that, any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be
able to support the body, which would contract in time.
Neither happened!
In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling
around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.
It never was able to fly.
What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand
was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required
for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening were
nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly
into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once
it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life.
If we went through our life without any obstacles, it
would cripple us. We would not be as strong
as what we could have been. And we could never fly.
So have a nice day and struggle a little.
When you are under pressure and stress, remember
That you are a better person after you have gone through it.
Author Unknown

Addictions, new versus old?

I read sky news today and the following article about addiction. The chemical impact of dopamine on the brain has been subject to recent years of research and the consequence on addicts and how they are then affected. So although this is potentially a new addiction it is essentially an old problem. We have putchildren in front of television for years and computer games, for which there is more and more research on their impact.

 

This has a different flavour though. Society is developing screens for new born babies and tiny toddlers promoting the good feeling recognised chemically by our brains. So it is a question of what are we potentially creating in ourfuture generations. A question which I feel my parents generation questioned when tv was introduced too. So again is this an old problem is a new format?

The sky article:

video play icon
Last Updated 11:40 22/05/2012
James Matthews, Scotland correspondent

New research suggests that youngsters are at risk of “screen addiction” because of the time they spend watching TV and playing computer games.

A study has shown that in the UK, 10 and 11 year-olds have access to five screens in the average house.

The average screen time for British adolescents is 6.1 hours per day and rising.

A child born today will have spent one full year of 24-hour days watching screen media by the age of seven.

Researcher Dr Arik Sigman told Sky News that he believes a generation of children is now at risk from becoming “screen addicted”.

He said: “We’ve always thought that it’s only substances that affect the chemicals in our brains.

“We now know that experiences – whether it’s gambling or playing computer games, looking at screens – also produce similar brain chemical changes, particularly a chemical called dopamine. It’s a reward chemical, it makes you feel good when you do something you like.

“If children are producing this day after day, for many hours per week, during the important developmental years for their brain, this would have consequences later on, leaving some children unable not to look at screens for much of the day.”

Dr Sigman recommends a number of measures as an answer to the problem.

He suggests preventing children being exposed to a screen until they are at least three years old and recommends that youngsters are given access to screens for less time, less frequently.

He says that the British Government should issue guidelines to parents on an appropriate length of time for youngsters to be exposed to a screen.

Some countries recommend a limit of two hours per day of “recreational” screen exposure for children over seven years-old.

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