Ten Tips for Easing Depression

Depression can be brought about by many factors: winter weather can trick the mind into believing that thoughts and emotions should be as gray and dull as the world. The death of a loved one can erase hope and quickly turn happiness into despair. The break up of a relationship, the dissolution of a family, the loss of one’s job – the list of causes is endless, and the list of repercussions is as equally infinite.

Depression can tax both on the mind and body. Constantly dark thoughts have driven people to despair, self-mutilation or even suicide. Deep, bottled-up emotions can lessen one’s appetite, or raise it considerably, causing extremely high changes in weight. Inner rage and anger can raise blood pressure, causing body organs to function improperly, or even leading to greater chances of a heart attack.

If you are suffering from depression, you may be subscribed antidepressant medication. This medication, however, can work only with the proper environment and mindset. You may need to modify your outlook or channel your energy into other activities that can help you ease your depression. To turn your blue day into a red letter one, take note of these ten depression-easing tips.

1. Express your feelings through art. Painting pictures of what bothers you can help you devote more energy into the task of making your thoughts manifest. Your concentration will therefore be on turning your work into art, not in focusing on your state of depression. If you are not into painting or drawing, you can also make sculptures.

2. Write poetry. Writing about what you feel can be a way of channeling your energy away from your thoughts, and into making plain words beautiful. If poetry is too difficult for you, you may want to write essays or short fiction.

3. Keep a gratitude journal. At the end of every day, list ten things that you are thankful for. A gratitude journal can change your outlook on life, and allow you to focus on what is good in the midst of what you might believe to be ugly or evil.

4. Do not engage in a menial or routine task too frequently, such as tilling the soil for gardening, or washing dishes. Such tasks can make your mind wander back to your depression. If you are doing such tasks, make sure that you have a friend to perform them with, so that you can conduct a conversation and keep your mind off your state.

5. Do thorough research on your antidepressants. These medicines may have side effects that have not yet been documented in marketing literature, so you may want to check out contraindications.

6. Join an online group that helps depression patients or sufferers share their stories. Support and human interaction can help you through your depression. If you have a local depression support group, then you can also join it and widen your circle of friends.

7. Get out of your comfort zone. You may find the house to be an all-too welcoming haven, or your routine tasks to be comforting. Your comfort zone, however, is also the place where your depression reigns, and you must try to escape it. You will struggle, no doubt, but with patience, you can rise out of your depression. Rising out of your comfort zone simply means that you should do things that you had never done before, such as engaging in sports, watching movies alone, or even eating in a restaurant you have never been to.

8. Clean your house every day and repeat these words to yourself, ‘I am taking away all the sad things of yesterday, and I am putting in happiness for today.’ You may also try variations of the statement, but make the meaning clear: you are cleaning your house free from whatever is shackling you to your depression, so that you can let happiness and goodness enter. Cleaning your house is simply a representation of your resolution to be and do better.

9. Be convinced that you can rise out of your depression. Think positively! Medicine can only go so far, and will need a willing body to be able to work. If you believe that you can get out of your depression, and if you acknowledge that it is only a temporary state, then you will survive.

10. Be patient. You can think positively all you want, but you will find that every day is a struggle. Recognize that you need to take small steps to recover, and that if you recover too quickly, you may sink back into depression again. Great rewards take long to reap, but with patience, half the battle is already won. Depression is only a phase, and with the proper attitude and know-how, you can indeed recover and have a better life.

Cigna Dental Plan

CIGNA dental plan products offer a wide variety of options to ensure that its customers will get the affordable dental care that they need. These include:

  • The CIGNA Dental Care DHMO requires members to select a primary care dentist who will oversee all your dental care – from regular checkups to emergency care, as well as referrals for specialized procedures. There are no annual deductibles and dollar maximum, and no waiting period before you become eligible for coverage.
  • The CIGNA Dental PPO covers most preventive care at little or no cost to members and offers discounts on non-covered services. However, to avail of savings, you must visit an in-network dentist although you are allowed to visit any dentist you want. If you use an out-of-network dentist, you may have higher out-of-pocket costs.
  • The CIGNA Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO) is a CIGNA dental plan that allows members to visit any licensed dentist in the PPO network without referrals for specialized procedures. Members are reimbursed for all or part of covered services up to the annual dollar maximum after meeting the deductible.
  • CIGNA Flex Advantage allows members to easily choose the plan that best meets your needs at enrollment time with the option to switch between other CIGNA plans even on a monthly basis, no questions asked.
  • CIGNA Traditional Plans allows members to visit any licensed dentist or specialist they choose, and all or part of their costs for covered procedures up to the plan’s annual dollar maximum and after meeting deductibles. Preventive and diagnostic services are covered at minimal to no cost.
  • CIGNA Plus Savings is a CIGNA dental plan option that offers members discounts on a wide variety of services from CIGNA’s nationwide network of over 76,000 participating providers. You can enjoy an average of 35% on many of the most commonly-performed dental services, including X-rays, braces and regular cleanings.

How To Avoid Draining Your Retirement When A Child Moves Back Home

Many children believe that they will always be able to rely on their parents when they get into trouble. The only problem is that quite a few adult children have begun to rely long term on their parents for their living arrangements and helping them with their bills.

While most parents are more than willing to help their children where and when they can it is important for the parents to focus on their future as well. By the time a child graduates from college, the parents are often getting closer to the point of wanting to retire. Continuing to assist their child can greatly affect the timeline they have planned on for retirement.

We have all heard horror stories of children moving back in with their parents and draining the financial resources the parents had set aside for their retirement. There are several steps that you as a parent can take in order to avoid this situation and not only help your child be able to manage to live on their own but also maintain a healthy relationship with your child.

Make sure your child is aware the situation is temporary

It is much more difficult to try to set rules after your child has already moved into your home. You need to make sure you establish the ground rules before your child ever moves back in and let them know that you expect them to be followed or they will need to work something else out.

There are many reasons that a child chooses to move back in with their parents, but the leading reason is due to financial hardship. We are living in a tough economy, many people have accumulated quite a lot of debt and jobs are not paying what they did a few years ago. This has led to people losing their homes, destroying their credit and having a tough time finding a job. It can be a difficult situation for a parent to be in when an adult child asks to move back in, and this is why it is important for the parent to lay some ground rules for their child.

Check your Finances and Create a Budget

It is extremely easy for parents to hurt their financial future when they are trying to help their child. Before your child ever moves back you need to sit down and work out a budget. This means that you set aside how much money you will need for your bills every month, money to put into savings, and the money that you will need to put towards retirement. Make sure you take care of these needs first! Anything leftover can be used to assist your child, should you choose to do so. This may mean that your child must be responsible for contributing some financially in order to stay in your home, helping pay the increased costs of food, utilities, etc. The money that they contribute will most likely be a much smaller amount than they would be paying if they were living on their own, and you will not be putting your financial future in jeopardy.

Remember there is a difference between a gift and a loan

Your child may be in a desperate financial situation where they need some money from you in order to help get them out of it. Do not just give your child the money. Instead, agree that they will repay to money on a regular basis – even a small monthly payment is important to establish the fact that this is a loan and not a gift. You and your child should also agree on what the consequences will be if a payment is missed, just like a bank would do. This way your child will get the assistance that they need, but will also learn a little bit of financial responsibility along the way as well.

Re-teach them the basics of finance

Some children are so accustomed to having their parents take care of everything that they never learn to handle anything on their own. Helping your child is important, but it is actually more important to teach them financial responsibility so they are not back in the same position in just a few years. Try to sit down with your child and help them to work out a budget. It might be a good idea to make this one of the terms of your allowing them to move back in. This way you are helping them get back on their feet, but making sure that they will be able to handle things long after you are no longer around.

One final thought

Consider helping your child find a life coach who can help them focus on life goals and develop a plan for working toward attaining them. A clear idea of what is necessary to get a job or resolve financial difficulties and specific things they must be doing are important for their success. An objective outside party can often have a stronger impact than parents.

Information on Prostate Cancer Stages

Prostate cancer is a tumor that is found in older men which may be cured if it is localized and which responds to treatment if it has spread further. The growth of the tumor can vary from slow to quite rapid and some men have survived long after the cancer has metastasized to the bone. It is wise to discuss every aspect of treatments and therapies with your doctor so that you have all the information you need regarding the types of treatments and side effects/complications etc, before you choose your treatment.

Stages 1 and 2:
Patients with prostate stages 1 and 2 have a disease that is localized. The Gleason Pathologic Grade Test can predict if there will be penetration of the prostate gland capsule, invasion of the seminal vesicle or even spreading of the cancer to lymph nodes situated nearby. TRUS (Transrectal Ultrasound) facilitates the diagnosis by needle biopsy but the ultrasound cannot assess the size of the lymph node. CT (Computed Tomography) detects nodes that are enlarged but is not reliable for the pelvic node staging as compared to staging that is surgical. MRI is used to detect prostate cancer extra capsular extensions. Both the Ultrasound and the MRI can reduce understaging and improves the selection for therapy that is localized.

Two commonly used systems for cancer stages/staging:

o The Jewett system
The Jewett System has stages A to D. Stage A is a tumor that is not detectable clinically and is localized to the prostate gland. Stage B is a tumor that is confined to the prostate gland; Stage C is a tumor that is localized to the periprostatic area but has extended through the capsule and may involve the seminal vesicles. Stage D is when the cancer has mestastasized.

o The TNM System.
Also known as the Tumor, Node, Metastasis, the TNM is helpful in ascertaining the size of the tumor and to check if there are any lymph nodes containing cancer cells. This system is also used to check if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. This system primarily uses numbers to accurately describe the stage of the cancer.

The ‘T’ is in the range of 1 to 4, with 1 being a small tumor and 4 being a large tumor.
‘N’ is measured in the range of 0 to 3, in this 0 indicates no positive lymph nodes and 3 means many lymph nodes.

‘M’ can be either 0 or 1, 0 indicates that the cancer is localized and not spread while ‘1’ means that it has conclusively spread.

Stage 3 and 4 Cancer:

This stage is also defined by the Jewett Staging System and the American Joint Committee on Cancer’s TNM classification system T3, NO; MO and G. EBRT (External Beam radiation Therapy). Hormonal therapy in combination with radiation therapy should be used for patients who do not have co-morbidities that are severe. Since most Stage 3 patients have symptoms that are urinary related, radiation therapy, transurethral resection of the prostate, radical surgery and hormonal manipulation should be considered in the treatment process.

A primary therapy used in stages 3 and 4 is androgen suppression with hormonal therapy which is given continuously to the patient. Clinical trials for prostate cancer stages 3 and 4 include Cryosurgery which is still under clinical evaluation. This technique involves the freezing of the tissue followed by thawing to destroy the cancer cells. Treatment selection for prostate cancer stages will depend on the age of the patient, present medical illnesses, other symptoms and the presence of bone metastases or lymph node involvement.

Early cancer stages:

These refer to the cancer that is entirely contained in the prostate gland itself and has not spread either to the distant body parts or to surrounding tissues and bone. This type of cancer is most curable and called a low-risk disease. The basic options for the early prostate cancer stages are:

o Radiation therapy: either radioactive seeding or EBR (External Beam Radiation)
o Surgery
o Active Surveillance: also known as watchful waiting or expectant management.