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Sex Comes Faster For Couples Who Text - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Eating Disorders In Older Women - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Eating disorders affect up to 70 million people worldwide with 24 million Americans suffering from this disorder according to the National Institute of Health. While current studies indicate that 95% of eating disorders affect girls between the ages of 11 and 25, new research reports that record numbers of older women are now affected by eating disorders.

So, why would an older woman develop an eating disorder at this time of life?

There are four principle reasons that women develop a midlife eating disorder:

Control and Eating Disorders: Control is the common denominator between all eating disorders. A current trauma or dramatic change in her life that makes her feel vulnerable and helpless can precipitate an eating disorder. Husbands leave, parents die and friends move away leaving her without the support system she has known for years. An eating disorder can become a comfortable, familiar “friend” during these dark times. Micromanaging your food intake either through restricting food or binging with food can leave you flush with a momentary exhilaration in an anxious life.

Social Pressure: Women are subjected to continued pressure to look young and being super thin is associated with being young. The $40 billion dollar diet industry is all too willing to help her strive for the ideal body type found in only 5% of American females. Most eating disorders begin with body dissatisfaction and shedding pounds gains her enormous social approval.

Undiagnosed Depression or Anxiety: Depressive and anxiety disorders commonly co occur with eating disorders. Eating disorders are cruel masters and the constant striving for perfection can wear any woman out. If binging is the disorder of choice, the extra weight causes increased self-loathing and depression.

Previous Eating Disorder Returning: Eating disorders are complex, chronic mental health illnesses that can lie dormant during the childrearing years to return at midlife when there are fewer distractions and less applause.

Why are these disorders so difficult to detect in older women?

We associate eating disorders with a young girl’s struggle. By midlife, most people think you should be over those vain concerns about your body. But tragically, highly negative beliefs about your body never leave most women. We develop a self loathing toward our bodies early in life (78% of 17 year olds despise their bodies according to one study), we never consider if we are logical or rational in our self appraisal and we reinforce our negative self appraisal constantly by comparing ourselves to all the celebrities that have obvious eating disorders!

Most midlife women tend to escape notice from medical professionals since we are so adaptive in so many other areas of our lives. We often do not realize that we even have a problem. In addition, our friends and colleagues praise us when we are razor thin. No one ever stops to ask if all that exercising, food restriction or binging are really healthy for us.

Do the same eating disorders affect both young and older women and what are the signs?

Both age groups seem to develop similar disorders. However, the older woman may evolve quicker to the binge eating disorder than her younger peer. But there are important facts to keep in mind about eating disorders in any age category:

Deadly Disorders: Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Twenty percent of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder. These disorders can be deadly since the malnourishment strikes at the very metabolic and cardiac systems that are foundational for good health.

Three Distinct Disorders:

Anorexia Nervosa: No one sets out to develop an eating disorder. We “back into them” usually in response to a growing dislike for our bodies. This disorder usually begins at age 17 just as she is headed out into the world. Symptoms include a relentless pursuit of being thin, obsession with being perfect, an obsessive fear of gaining any weight and a denial of emaciation.

Bulimia Nervosa: The woman engages in binge eating and then inappropriate methods of preventing weight gain including purging or excessive exercising.

Symptoms Include:

  • Rituals built around eating large amounts of food within a 2 hour period
  • Feels out of control with the eating.

Binge Eating Disorder affects about 3 percent of Americans. Some experts believe that the disorder is rising faster than anorexia and bulimia. Women who binge hide their disorder and ask for help much later in life.

What should we do if we are worried about a woman we love?

  • Educate yourself about eating disorders first and acknowledge that they are dangerous. Remember that these disorders gradually build and are much easier to treat the earlier they are diagnosed.
  • Approach her with compassion and support when you express how concerned you are for her. Lead with empathy before you give advice.
  • Remind her of her lifetime of accomplishments—the children she has reared, the career she has built and tell her that this is a surmountable challenge.
  • Encourage her to get a professional evaluation with a psychologist specializing in eating disorders.

More Older Women Suffering From Eating Disorders - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Watch Dr. Sylvia Gearing on CBS 11 discussing the new trend of eating disorders in older women and what you can do to help!

Click here.

Is There Really A Seven Year Itch? - By Chris Gearing

Monday, April 04, 2011

Why People Lose Interest After Getting Married - By Chris Gearing

Friday, April 01, 2011

Relationship Violence In Females - By Chris Gearing

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Most of us tend to think of domestic violence as solely a male crime. However, while women are much more likely to be the victim in any type of domestic violence or abuse, there are a growing number of cases in which the woman physically attacks the man.

Usually there has been an argument, tempers flare, and pushing and shoving occur. Then the woman strikes out against the man. Three factors can increase the likelihood of such behaviors—substance abuse, fatigue, or the discovery of either marital or financial infidelity.

Most men do not reach out for help since there is enormous shame associated with being the recipient of bullying or physical violence at the hands of a woman. Many men would rather suffer in silence than admit that the woman they are in a relationship with has hit or even injured them. Men struggle with shame mightily in our society anyway so their reluctance is understandable.

Remember the Tiger Woods incident in which his now ex wife engaged in physical violence? He did everything he could to avoid revealing there had been any domestic violence.

So why would a woman resort to violence?

There are four primary psychological reasons:

Antisocial Personality Disorder: Coercion and physical bullying are techniques that are readily employed when you lack a conscience. Women who are violent outside the relationship are much more likely to use violence to get their way or to punish their partner.

Mood Disorders: Women with high levels of anxiety, depression and other mental health problems are much likely to use physical force. Women with anger management issues are often depressed and are irritable and irrational as a result.

The Last Straw: Some women have no history of violence and strike out because of a sudden shock, such as the discovery of infidelity. Their loss of control is temporary and is usually followed by great remorse.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: In cases in which she has been deeply traumatized in the cases of rape or past physical violence, the woman may overreact to the current stressors with violence.

In addition, family background can greatly contribute to the woman’s tendency to use violence in a relationship:

Bullying in the Family of Origin: Emotional or Physical Violence was Permitted or Even Encouraged. She grew up seeing violence replacing words as a way of resolving conflict and began to act out these patterns in her relationships.

Over Indulgent Parents: Many women are reared in narcissistic homes that have reinforced and arrogant and entitled view of the world. Sooner or later, there are inevitable frustrations and these women lash out physically when their emotions override their better judgment.

Abuse and Neglect: In some families the child is the direct recipient of parental or even sibling violence that is abusive and deeply hurtful. Other families neglect the child resulting in an adult who has no idea how to self regulate her emotions. Anger comes out of a world view of victimization and resentment.

Men, if you or someone you know is the victim of violence -- remember this advice:

Violence Escalates: Violence in a relationship is never a legitimate way of handling strong negative emotions. It is never justified and it is always wrong. A "little push" can become a swinging fist or a weapon aggressively wielded. Remember that once violence happens once or twice, the likelihood of its reoccurrence is exponential. It is also a progressive issue and escalates when there is no enforceable accountability.

Break The Cycle: If you are the victim of female relationship violence, make it perfectly clear that you are unwilling to participate in this cycle any longer. Reach out to the professional community—your spiritual leader, psychologist, or family physician are all excellent resources for getting help.

Hold Them Accountable: Insist that the abuser is accountable and that you are no longer going to be the recipient of this cruelty. If she refuses to get help, make a plan to leave and follow through.

How To Talk To Your Child About Traumatic World Events - By Chris Gearing

Monday, March 28, 2011

Celebrity Addicts - By Chris Gearing

Friday, March 25, 2011

How To Effectively Explain World Events To Your Child - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

With the tsunamis in Japan and the bombings in Libya, American children are witnessing images of tragic events across the globe.

So how aware are children of these tragic events?

Even though an ocean away, today’s child is more media savvy and more aware of tragic events than any of us wants to believe. These images of tsunamis and bombings, if too frequent and too vivid, feed the anxiety and can be highly disruptive for a child. Children lack the cognitive and emotional skills to regain perspective. But instead of telling you they’re worried, they often prefer to dwell on these events in their minds privately.

Parents need to remember that kids are also more anxious than previous generations and separation anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and social anxiety are increasingly prevalent in kids.

Studies of over 12,000 kids show that anxiety has increased substantially among children over the last forty years. The average American child in the 1980s reported more anxiety than child psychiatric patients in the 1950s.

Keep in mind that younger kids cannot differentiate between what is real and what is imagined and what is currently happening and what is in the past. They look at things literally, as if they are happening right now. We know that traumatic events that are directly experienced or indirectly witnessed (like watching repeated images of the tsunamis) have a much more profound effect on young kids than on older children. Younger kids who experience trauma are at particular risk because of their rapidly developing brains—they just cannot process the world as logically as teens and adults.

After trauma, kids can have compromised language, memory issues, processing difficulties and emotional regulation problems. They cannot use words effectively to deal with the stress and may even magically blame themselves for the misfortune. They may become more sensitive to frightening visual images, loud noises, violent scenes and unpredictable events.

In addition, horrific scenes can impact a child at a fundamental level through a phenomenon called secondary trauma. Trauma indirectly experienced through a firsthand account or narrative of a traumatic event, can impact them deeply and their anxiety can increase. The brain does not differentiate between what is real and what is imagined, especially in children. The world suddenly doesn’t feel safe anymore. If you are anxious, you are going to dwell on the predictability of future danger so these vivid images stoke the “fires” of loss of control and imminent harm.

So if you are a worried parent, look for an increased needs for reassurance, intrusive repetitive worrying and thoughts, refusal to take appropriate risks or tackle age appropriate challenges, obsession with frightening natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes, nightmares and clinging behavior.

Anytime your child experiences strong negative emotions, you need to view this as a prime opportunity to teach them about emotion and how to handle themselves when they’re upset.

Acknowledge the child’s distress through careful listening and empathy. Recognize his fear and reassure the child that he is just fine.

Most of all, teach your child how to calm down since the ability to self soothe is a key to handling himself in the world. Remaining calm when there is adversity is valuable in remaining obedient in the classroom, making friends and following directions at home.

Ground Them in Reality by reminding them that they are safe and protected. However, this is also a great opportunity to demonstrate empathy by looking for online or community activities that can help these countries work through a difficult time. Being a good citizen in the world is as important as being a good person at home.

Charlie Sheen & Addiction - By Chris Gearing

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

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