9 Ways to Successfully Return to Work After a Health Problem


    9 Ways to Successfully Return to Work After a Health Problem

    Regardless of the amount of time you took off to recuperate after a mental health crisis, you need to make sure that you take the necessary steps to maintain your well-being. Working your way back to become healthy again is just as, or sometimes more difficult than actually undergoing the mental health crisis you endured.

    However, taking the appropriate steps after an emotionally or psychologically draining event can be overwhelming as you figure out how to assimilate back into the workplace environment.

    Seek out help from professionals and stay connected until you have recovered 100%

    Gathering enough information from professionals in the psychiatric and psychological fields will allow you to access the point where you are seeing improvement in your day to day. Staying connected with the professionals that guide you in your life is absolutely essential when it comes to making strides to overcome the obstacle you had faced for so long.

    Positive thinking

    It can be helpful to think about future goals and think less about what happened in the past. Loehr works with a psychiatrist and life coach to focus on where she is trying to go in life, versus focusing on the hurtful situations she has gone through.

    As a result, one of the goals of her coaching company is to help spread kindness and provide actual solutions to help prevent people with mental health issues from suffering as much and as long as she did in her past.

    Take care of yourself

    Often overlooked, simple parts of your routine such as eating healthy (fruits & vegetables), exercising on a regular basis, and communicating with loved ones are vital during this stage of your life. Before attempting to respond to a thousand emails or hopping on an international conference call,

    Work is no space for your personal business

    While you may have become close with your co-workers, it is also important to maintain a healthy distance and create some boundaries. As the workplace is a professional environment in nature, adhering to this in general is the best way to keep your private life private.

    Slowly get back into it

    There is a strong chance that both stress and anxiety were primary causes of your work related mental health crisis. In terms of getting back into your job to start this process gradually on both micro and macro levels. Basically, don’t get frustrated or overcommit to tasks or events that you know are not feasible at the moment.

    Reach out to people who can help

    Although it may be quite difficult, be sure to touch base with loved ones when you are feeling alone or powerless. It is common for individuals to undergo these negative feelings throughout the recovery process.

    Getting support from these type of outlets are key ways to overcome any short-lived sadness or rough patch you are going through. Your loved are the emotional foundation in your life and you should receive support from them as much as you can during any hardship you are facing at the time.

    Solid work-life balance

    Although work is the main priority for many professionals across the country, keeping a solid mental health state by engaging in recreational activities or perhaps taking up a new hobby that you have been wanting to try for awhile. Engaging in activities not only improves your emotional health, but also provides you with a cathartic outlet to showcase another set of developed skills in a new area.

    Take medication on a regular basis

    If you’re taking medication to help keep your mental health in balance, it’s tempting to go off medication once you’re feeling fine. Although you may feel perfectly fine in the moment, this is no way reflects how the medication is helping you in terms of the bigger picture.

    Bad symptoms can come back quickly if you stop taking medication, which can be overwhelming. Not taking medication for a said amount of time can also sometimes lead to another crisis that essentially could be prevented by consulting a medical or healthcare professional.

    Take time off as you need to

    Keep in mind that taking time off work to battle with a mental illness is no different from taking time off to recover from a condition that affects other parts of the body. Healing one’s mind takes a fair amount of time and convey the importance of personal time off as an essential need when communicating with your employer.

    Applying all the above tips will not only guide you to most effectively overcome your most recent mental health crisis, but this will also allow you to better prepare or better yet, prevent a similar crisis moving forward. Be sure to remember that nothing is more important that your health, and it is therefore absolutely essential to take care of yourself in every way possible.


    Returning The Favor: Protecting Our Veterans

    It takes a special someone to take on the life of a soldier. For most, the risk versus reward is all the deterrent they need from taking on such a dangerous job. And it’s not just the soldiers who endure the rigors of service. Families of our country’s soldiers know all too well the anxiety, the collective holding of breath while their loved ones are away from the safety of home. But what happens when soldiers come home and are denied the support they were promised from day one?

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    Far too often, our veterans survive war-torn battlefields only to come home and fall victim to bureaucracy. Just one veteran slipping through the cracks is inexcusable, let alone the innumerable cases in existence. The numbers are proof enough of this terrible trend, and with less than 80% of claims being met by the government, the Veterans of our country are being treated to a modicum of the respect they deserve.

    With an average turnaround of eight months to a year for meeting claims, recent data shows that nearly 890,000 pensions and compensation for military personnel remain pending. What could be jamming up the gears? With more willing men and women joining our armed forces every day, how can we ensure they won’t fall victim to the same neglect?

    Analysts chalk up the lack of attention to a massive increase in the cost of running our military industrial complex. The projected cost of meeting the required benefits of our veterans, whether compensation for the disabled, pensions for low-income families or educational assistance is estimated at $76 billion. This figure is more than triple the amount in 2001, and it stands to reason that as our economy inflates, the funds needed to meet that rising tide would rise along with it.  The cost of maintaining the level of veteran coverage in 2022 is estimated to increase another 70%, projecting costs of nearly $130 billion.

    Though the rising cost to do business is a contributing factor to the delay in meeting veteran claims, the aging group of surviving Vietnam and World War II-era soldiers require care for the multitude of ailments brought on by old age. Cumulatively, one-third of veterans in need of aid are from Vietnam, exceeding the combined claims of the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

    Woefully understaffed, underfunded and unequipped to handle the amount of claims flooding their offices, clerks responding to claims are up against a wall. No one would willfully deny a soldier their due, but the ever expanding gulf of inadequate resources on both sides has left a chasm in which countless victims fall. Priorities must return to those who were willing to put others before themselves, lest the public stop caring about the welfare of their country’s military.

    Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/28/us/veterans-wait-for-us-aid-amid-growing-backlog-of-claims.html?_r=0



    Depression in Teens

    Symptoms of depression arise in people of all different socioeconomic backgrounds, cultures, and ages. Adolescents and teens are not immune to it, especially as they are experiencing a rather unsettling stage of life that includes going through a myriad of physical, emotional, psychological and social changes.

    Richard Battista Quincy

    Often teens overreact when things don’t go their way based on unrealistic academic, social and familial expectations that they are either putting on themselves or they are feeling from others. While most of these feelings are normal and subside over time, sometimes it can disrupt their daily lives, indicating a more serious emotional or mental disorder: adolescent depression.


    How to Cope

    Teens require guidance from trusted adults in order for them to take a firm grasp on the emotional and physical changes they are going through. Most importantly, they need to develop a sense of acceptance and belonging. Here are a few coping mechanisms to avoid serious depression:

    Make new friends: Emotionally healthy, stimulating relationships with peers are essential to helping teens’ level of self-esteem as well as providing an appropriate social outlet

    Participate: Whether it’s after school activities, sports, or diving into a personal hobby, staying busy helps teens stay positive and focused.

    Join youth-organizations: Catering to the needs of adolescents and teens, programs offered can help develop additional interests as well as cultivate more peer relationships.

    Recognizing Depression

    Despite best efforts and emotional support, teens can and will become depressed. Teens become more susceptible to depression as a result of a family history of depression, unavoidable life events, and even side-effects of certain medications.

    Adolescent depression is increasing at an alarming rate, with many of them self-medicating with drug, alcohol and sexual promiscuity. In order to avoid any serious implications, it’s important to recognize symptoms of depression, especially when they last for more than two weeks.

    Some symptoms include: poor academic performance, withdrawal from friends and activities, sadness and hopelessness, anger and rage, dysphoria, poor self-esteem, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts or actions.

    Treating Depression

    If left untreated, already-serious depression can become life-threatening, therefore it’s extremely important teens receive professional treatment as soon as symptoms are recognized.

    Different form of therapy can help teens understand the underlying causes of their depression while giving them the tools to cope with the stresses of daily life outside of therapy. A wide variety of therapies are offered in different formats, including individual, group, and family counseling.

    Recognizing the need for help is a giant step towards recovery for teens, yet few of them actually want to seek out help, and encouragement and acceptance from those supporting them is key.

    The most common and effective forms of adolescent depression treatment are:

    Psychotherapy teaches teens coping skills while providing an opportunity to explore troubling and upsetting events and feelings in a space space.

    Cognitive-behavioral therapy addresses negative patterns of thinking and behaving and provides teens the tools to change those patterns for the positive.

    Interpersonal therapy focuses on the relationships at home and school, often focal points in teens lives, and how to make them healthier.

    Medication often paired with an additional form of therapy, it can help relieve some serious symptoms of depression.


    A Screening for Mental Health

    The concept of checking in on your physical health has been ingrained since childhood; the yearly check-up with a general physician, the six-month check-ups with a dentist, and annual blood-work. We know the drill. But what about screening for mental health and depression, in particular?

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    With nearly 350 million people suffering from depression globally, and more than half of people who commit suicide experiencing some form of depression, it seems screening for this, among other mental health disorders, is rather pertinent. Most, if not all of us, have experienced some overwhelming situations that cause extreme stress and sadness. And knowing the difference between what’s a transient episode and a chronic mental illness could be potentially life saving.

    That’s why Screening for Mental Health, Inc. created the National Depression Screening Day twenty-five years ago. Pioneered as the first, voluntary mental health screening initiative, it has now expanded to thousands of colleges, community-based organizations, and military installations providing the program to the public each year.

    The goal is by offering ways to get free screenings, people will start taking their mental wellness more seriously. “A check up from the neck up…makes a difference,” said Michelle Holmberg, director of programs at Screening for Mental Health, Inc. These screenings are paramount in not only helping individuals understand their mental ailments, but also understand, that while it won’t be overnight, there is a treatment for it.

    Not only will it be an illuminating experience for those participating in the screening, but for their loved ones as well. Experts stress the importance of persistence when it comes to encouraging others to get help and support is vital to success, and being there for that initial screening is the first step. “By offering to go with them, you’re not only being supportive, but you’re telling them that what they have is treatable and not just brushing it off as something that’s no big deal,” said Gregory Dalack, M.D., chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of Michigan.

    National Depression Screening Day, which will be on October 8th this year, is held annually during Mental Illness Awareness Week. While it offers a range of clinician-created evaluations as well as potential further evaluations and treatment options, the NDSD has a goal of addressing mental illness stigma in a more productive way. By creating awareness, a message of commonality amongst those diagnosed with disorders and a community of support will be perpetuated to the public.



    Sleep More. Eat Less.

    Midnight Snack

    Midnight Snacking has direct and indirect consequences for dieters.

    People who struggle to lose weight know one of the mortal enemies of the dieter is the late night snack.  Everyone from your mother to Oprah has probably told you that eating late into the night is one of the worst things you can do if you are trying to drop those extra pounds.  A new study out of the University of Pennsylvania has confirmed the idea.  Some of the reasons are extremely obvious, but others are more opaque.

    Perhaps the most obvious reason is that the more hours you are awake, the more actual time you have to consume food.  The study found that the average person who is awake between 10PM and 4AM takes in almost 600 more calories than their early-to-bed counterparts.

    One of the less apparent reasons to hit the sack early when dieting is that you pay for your late night on both ends.  People who get less than 8 hours of sleep generally wake up hungrier.  Your body hasn’t replenished the proper amount of nutrients with rest so your body will try and compensate by telling you that you’re hungry.  Specifically, the study found that those people deprived of sleep have more ghrelin, a chemical that induces appetite, in their systems.

    Lack of sleep also affects your willpower.  When your body is tired, you have less control of your impulses.  You are more likely to indulge in unhealthy foods when you haven’t gotten enough sleep, but the damage doesn’t end there.  Eating unhealthy foods begets a greater desire for unhealthy foods.  You will condition your body to crave junk making it even harder to resist.

    If you haven’t gotten it yet, the moral of the story is make sure to get your full eight hours of sleep, especially if you’re working to drop some weight.  You can check out a full recap of the study on Yahoo.com’s Healthy Living blog.