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Kathy Marshack News

Type D Personalities May Be at Risk for Heart Disease

Friday, October 01, 2010

If you are a Type D personality, you may have a higher risk for heart disease, according to a summary article published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. Most of us are familiar with Type A and B personalities but maybe you’ve never heard of Type D. This personality  is characterized by a tendency towards worry, irritability and gloom, social inhibition and a lack of self-assurance.

Forty-nine studies with some 6,000 patients were analyzed during this research. Viola Spek, Ph.D., senior author of the study and a researcher at Tiburg University in the Netherlands stated, "Type D patients tend to experience increased levels of anxiety, irritation and depressed mood across situations and time, while not sharing these emotions with others because of fear of disapproval." For more information, read the article - Type D Personality Associated With Higher Future Heart Risk.

If you can relate to the Type D personality, you should consider seeking help from a mental health care professional. They will be able to help you work through negative feels and emotions. Visit Managing Stress on my website for specific stress management tips. You can improve your physical and emotional health!

New Study Reveals a Genetic Link Related to Migraine Headaches

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

More than 30 million Americans suffer the incapacitating agony of recurring head pain or migraines. Pain of the head, face and neck is one of the most intense forms of pain one can experience, and may make it difficult to carry out normal living. The reasons for migraines have long been a mystery, but according to a new study, a genetic link may be to blame.

Scientists studied 50,000 Europeans and found that people with a variation in a particular section of DNA that regulates the chemical, glutamate. The buildup of glutamate may put you at greater risk for migraine headaches. This is the first time that a specific genetic link has been found. For more details on this study, read First Genetic Link Found For Common Migraine.

Migraines can be debilitating. If you suffer from these chronic headaches, I encourage you to visit a physician and a psychotherapist. Together they can work to improve the severity of your headaches and help you cope with the stress of chronic pain. Visit Headache Relief on my website for more information.

Do You Have a Gifted Child?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Have you ever wondering if your child is gifted? A gifted person according to the National Association of Gifted Children is, "someone who shows, or has the potential for showing, an exceptional level of performance in one or more areas of expression.” It is generally recognized that approximately five percent of the student population, or three million children, in the United States are considered gifted.

A child would be considered gifted if they excelled in these areas:


  • General intellectual ability or talent
  • Specific academic aptitude or talent
  • Creative and productive thinking
  • Leadership ability
  • Visual and performing arts

If you feel like your child is gifted, it is important to observe their behavior. Ask yourself:

  • Is your child intense?
  • Is he/she a perfectionist?
  • Has your child been identified by your school district as “gifted”?
  • Is your child an “underachiever”?
  • Is your child a rebel?
  • Is your child a leader?
  • Does your child prefer adults or older children rather than same-age playmates?
  • Do you feel awkward talking about your child’s gifts to other parents?
  • Does your child “dumb-down” in order to fit in?

If you answered, “yes” to one or more of the questions listed above about your child you will probably benefit from an individual intellectual and achievement evaluation by a qualified psychologist. If they conclude that your child is indeed gifted, then seek specific guidance and training for them. Gifted children are fundamentally different and need help to learn social, interpersonal and self-development skills to relate to the rest of humanity. By doing this you can understand and perhaps even avoid some common problems gifted children commonly face such as a lack of motivation, boredom, perfectionism, cynicism and even depression. For more information visit Guiding A Gifted Child on my website.

How to Cope with Addiction in the Family Firm

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Alcoholism and other drug abuse is an epidemic in our country. We are all aware of the general problem nationwide. Many employers are taking a hard look at the problems caused by drug abuse and alcohol addiction and have established employee assistance programs and redesigned insurance benefits to create treatment options for employees. Yet among family firms, drug addiction and alcohol abuse are frequently overlooked.

If there is an alcoholic in a family firm, be the founder, spouse, son, daughter, or in-law, the family is likely to overlook, condone, deny, rationalize or minimize the problem for the sake of keeping the family system intact. If the founder is alcoholic, alcoholism may be a family "tradition" that will be hard to break. That is, drinking may be interwoven into the fabric of family life and corporate life. Allowing addictions to go untreated is no way to take care of either the business or the family. By ignoring the problem the addict accepts this as tacit approval of their behavior. And by ignoring the problem, the potential threat to the integrity of the family and business grows. Alcoholism and other addictions leads to the breakdown of the family, just what a family firm wants to avoid.

What can help members of the family firm address these problems? Here are a few things to consider:

1.The addict is fortunate to have the backing of both his/her family as well as his/her business. With the support of the two most important systems in one's life, the addict has increased potential to succeed in treatment. They have a loving family and they have a job to come back to.

2. Stand as a united front when approaching the addict. If there are dissenters, the addict will solicit allies to defend their continued drug abuse and will not seek the help that they need.

3. To deal with the humiliation of recognizing that a family member is an alcoholic, education will help. Professional treatment centers emphasize that alcoholism and drug abuse are best understood as diseases. They must be confronted with their irresponsible and manipulative behavior so that they can change it. With professional treatment and ongoing support, they can be returned to their former productive and loving lives.

If you find your family is in this situation, contact Alcoholics Anonymous. Don't wait! To read more about addiction in the family firm, read this article in its entirety -  Addiction 'conspiracy' of silence hurts the family and business. You can also visit Alcoholism Recovery on my website.

New Studies Report No Link Found Between Autism and Vaccines

Friday, September 17, 2010

There’s a lot of speculation about possible causes of Autism Spectrum Disorder. One such speculation pointed to thimerosal-containing vaccines. According to a new study from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there is no increased risk of autism after receiving a vaccination as an infant or while in the womb – around 20 studies found no such link.

With this new information, CDC Director of Immunization Safety and study researcher Frank DeStefano, says that the focus should be to look for other possible causes. To read more about these findings, read CDC Study Shows No Vaccine, Autism Link

With an estimated 1 in 110 children in the United States now being diagnosed with ASD, it can be disconcerting not having a clear reason why these numbers are rising. As a psychologist, even though unsure of the cause, I focus on how to cope with living with ASD or living with someone with ASD. If you are in a relationship with someone with a high-functioning form of autism or Asperger Syndrome, you may be striving to understand how this disorder impacts you and your relationship. My book, Life with a Partner or Spouse with Asperger Syndrome: Going Over the Edge?, emphasizes the importance of fully understanding Asperger Syndrome and then taking a close look at how it impacts their lives. Without insight and tolerance gained from understanding, many spouses end up feeling misunderstood, frustrated, isolated and unloved.

I am also writing a new book about co-parenting with an Asperger partner. Click here to download a free sample chapter of Parenting with a Spouse or Partner with Asperger Syndrome: Out of Sight, Out of Mind.


Be Alert to Physical Signs of Depression

Thursday, September 16, 2010

About 17 million Americans are estimated to develop depression each year. In one large survey, 8.6% of adults over the age of 18 reported having a mental health problem for at least two weeks. However, the incidence may be even higher since many people fail to seek help for depression. One reason may be because they are not alert of the signs of depression. Many feel think that depression is exhibited only by emotional problems, but that is not the only sign. Physical ailments can be linked to depression. (It is important to note that depression symptoms vary from person to person.)

Here are a just few physical symptoms that could be linked to depression problems: 
  • Headaches
  • Digestive Problems
  • Muscle or Joint Pain
  • Dizzy Spells
  • Change in Appetite
  • Problems Sleeping
  • Exhaustion

Visit The National Institute of Mental Health for a full list of signs and symptoms of depression.


If you can relate to the symptoms listed above, I advise you to seek professional help to see if you can determine what is causing your symptoms. And remember that depression is treatable. For more information on treating depression, visit Overcoming Depression on my website. It is also important to understand the mind and body connection. Visit Holistic Health Consciousness for a more detail explanation.

Asperger Syndrome: Partners & Family of Adults with ASD New Group in Lake Oswego, OR

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Good news! The Asperger Syndrome: Partners & Family of Adults with ASD Support Group now has a sister group meeting in Lake Oswego, Oregon. The hope is to offer a different time and location for people to meet. The group will be facilitated by two wonderful members from the Portland group. Here are the details for the next meeting:

What: Asperger Syndrome:Partners & Family of Adults with ASD

When: Saturday, September 25, 2010 1:00 PM

Where: Terrace Kitchen - 485 2nd Street (corner of 2nd & B Ave.), Lake Oswego, OR 97034

This group is available for Portland members as well as newcomers. We hope you come and join us for our discussions. Click here to join and RSVP.

High Divorce Rates for Parents Raising a Child with Autism

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Will the marriage survive once an autistic child grows up? Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Waisman Center decided to focus their attention on this particular subject. According to their research, couples are more likely to divorce when their autistic child becomes a teen or adult than couples who have children with no disabilities. Sigan Hartley, a UW-Madison assistant professor explains, "Typically, if couples can survive the early child-rearing years, parenting demands decrease and there is often less strain on the marriage. However, parents of children with autism often continue to live with and experience high parenting demands into their child's adulthood, and thus marital strain may remain high in these later years." For more information on this study, please read Study Details Autism's Heavy Toll Beyond Childhood on Marriages.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, it is vital that you seek help for your marriage as well as help to cope with your autistic loved one. There are many different avenues that one can take to get support. Find a mental health care professional that can offer guidance in the marriage as well as dealing with an autistic child. You may want to look for a local support group that focuses on relationships with a ASD family member. If you live the in the Portland, Oregon area check out Asperger Syndrome: Partners or Family of Adults with ASD. If you do not live nearby, you can join us online where we have many group discussions on our forum.

If you are parenting with an Asperger spouse, please download a free sample chapter of my upcoming book - Parenting with a Spouse or Partner with Asperger Syndrome: Out of Sight, Out of Mind.”

Depression is Common with Adult ADHD

Sunday, August 29, 2010

If you have been diagnosed with Adult ADHD, studies show you are more likely to also suffer from depression than adults without ADHD. Depression could be rooted in a variety of different factors, but sometimes it’s because you are frustrated by living with ADHD. Someone may slip into depression because they have just recently been diagnosed or maybe they are tired of being perceived as lazy, flighty, or unsuccessful. Regardless of the reasons, depression can hit very hard.

It is important if you have Adult ADHD that you get proper therapy with or without symptoms of depression. Psychotherapy is especially helpful for people with ADHD who also deal with depression and anxiety. It can also help adults deal with the frustration and anger they feel because their ADHD was never addressed in childhood. In addition, psychotherapists can help improve social skills and the ability to deal with ADHD-unfriendly situations. A specific type of psychotherapy is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which has proven to be highly beneficial.

In addition to your psychotherapy treatments, you can also try meditation, exercise, or a hobby when you are feeling depressed. Remember that both ADHD and depression are treatable. Visit my website for more information about Adult ADHD and Depression.

Be an Optimist - It's Good for Business

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 defines optimism as "a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome." For some, optimism comes naturally, but for others it is something that has to be cultivated. The question is, can optimism help your business? We hear that attitude is everything . . . is that true?

Yes it is true. Optimism can greatly impact your business. Optimism helps you to be solution-oriented. When you encounter a bump in the road, instead of throwing your hands up, you continue to search for a way around the problem, convinced that there is a solution. You will also be willing to try new things because you recognize that there is no failure rather everything is a learning experience.

Dr. Marin Seligam, Director of the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center, has conducted hundreds of studies proving that optimism is a key to success. In one study, he found that "optimistic salespeople sold 88 percent more than the most pessimistic ones." ( The Successful Optimist)

If you are not naturally optimistic, do not despair! Work to cultivate a more positive way of speaking. Be aware of the way you describe certain situations and make a conscious effort to turn those comments into something more optimistic. This takes time and lots of practice! In a sense, you are rewiring your brain. Choose to surround yourself with things that promote a positive message. There are many wonderful self-help books that can help you develop an optimistic outlook. The issue really boils down to choice. Will you CHOOSE to be optimistic? It's up to you. In the words of Winston Churchill, "I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else."

Visit Entrepreneurial Life for additional information.

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