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Kathy Marshack News

When Being Shy Becomes a Problem

Friday, April 30, 2010

When a study was done to find out what people feared the most, public speaking ranked number one, even higher than death! It not only is feared the most, but is one of the most prevalent and common fears that people experience. Until recently, it was dismissed as a minor problem and was considered normal that people would get nervous speaking in front of others. But recent research shows that people who do experience this problem and find it debilitating and controlling their life have a valid problem.

Symptoms such as heart palpitations, sweating, shaking, dizziness, blushing, shortness of breath, choking, one's mind going blank, etc., can be typical responses to being in the spotlight. However, if you find yourself worrying too much about what others think of you, and fear embarrassment or humiliation in front of others to the extent that you avoid situations where you are the center of attention, you may have social phobia.

Learn more about social phobias and treatment options in a self-help tip on my website.

How Couples Therapy Helps Women Dealing with Alcoholism

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Alcoholism is a disease. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearly 14 million Americans—1 in every 13 adults—abuse alcohol or are alcoholic. Abusing alcohol is not only damaging to your health, it can also have devastating effects on relationships with family, friends and coworkers. Studies show that women are less likely to seek help for their addiction to alcohol than men. If your wife or partner is suffering from alcoholism, there is something you can do to help them.

A new study focused on women dealing with alcoholism and how couples therapy could be a powerful option in overcoming their addiction. The women who participated in couples therapy had greater results than those in individual treatment. The social support of a committed spouse or partner seems to have play a role in helping the addict work on their addiction. Click here to view this study in its entirety.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy was used as a treatment in this study. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is designed to help address the way you think. It helps identify faulty and irrational thinking to more constructive, solution-oriented thinking. Click here for more information on the benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Whether you are a man or a woman, please seek help if you are suffering from an addiction to alcohol. There are many resources available for you. Visit the Alcoholism Recovery section on my website for more information.

A Link Between Depression and Smoking

Sunday, April 25, 2010

According to studies performed by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention), adults with depression are more likely to smoke than those with no symptoms of depression. They also tend to smoke more heavily. Click here to view the entire study.

Overcoming depression and an addiction to cigarettes are two different challenges that can be tamed with proper help. First, address the depression. There are many factors that contribute to depression. A very effective way to treat depression is by therapy with a mental health professional. They will be able to give practical assistance to help overcome the issues that are causing your depression. Click here to read more about Overcoming Depression.

Another part to overcoming depression is to make lifestyle changes. That is when the issue of smoking can be addressed. To be a successful at becoming a non-smoker, you must take two steps:

First: Change your environment at work and at home so that smoking is not as easy to do.

Second: Recognize that most of your smoking is done to take care of other emotional needs. When you desire a  cigarette, ask yourself, “What do I really want instead?” Then take care of the real need.

The emotional work you are doing to overcome your depression will also help you to recognize why you are smoking in the first place. A mental health care professional will be able to add further assistance to you in this area. Visit my website for more information to help you stop smoking.

New Partners & Family of Adults with Asperger Syndrome Support Group in Lake Oswego, Oregon

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It’s been one year since the Asperger Syndrome: Partners & Family of Adults with ASD Support Group was formed in Portland. Thanks to all who have been a part of the group and helped it to develop into a productive and upbuilding environment.

Since the support group has been so successful, we have decided to form a new group in the Lake Oswego area. Two members from the Portland group will be facilitating the new group. The group will meet on alternate Saturdays to the Portland group. If you currently attend the Portland group, you are welcome to join the Lake Oswego meetings as well. The location and exact start-up date have not been confirmed. I will be sure to include all details in a blog as soon as they have been decided upon.

This Saturday April 17, the Portland group will be meeting in at 1 pm. The theme of this month’s discussion is "Learning to laugh again." Come join us to begin the process of reclaiming your life. If you are already laughing, share the laughter. If you are still numb and in survivor mode come along and see what is possible by hearing the stories of others. If you are somewhere in between then you know that you are growing toward freedom and that feels so good.

Our goal is to start a group in the Vancouver, Washington area in the near future. For more information, please visit

What to do when your spouse has ADD?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

ADD is not something that only affects children. Adult ADD is a common disorder.  Symptoms of ADD include problems with following through on instructions, paying attention, poor listening, disorganization, lack of attention to detail, trouble with tasks that require planning or long-term effort,  easily distracted, or forgetful. In addition, some with ADD can be fidgety, verbally impulsive, unable to wait their turn, and act on impulse regardless of consequences.


If you are married to someone with ADD, it is realistic to expect that there will be additional challenges in your marriage due to your spouse’s disorder. What are some simple things you can do to minimize problems in your marriage?

One key is to be organized. Making lists and keeping an up-to-date schedule will help the spouse with ADD to stay on track. You may have to kindly and tactfully remind them of important details just to keep the information fresh in their mind. We have so many handy organizational tools today. Things like sticky notes, cell phone alarms, and Google Calendar are all good aids to keep your life together organized. Another tip is to keep life simple – avoid filling the home with unnecessary things that will distract them.

Remember that mistakes and miscommunication are all part of life, regardless if ADD is present in your marriage. It is important to understand what your spouse is capable of and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Understanding on your part will help you to gain a greater appreciation for them and their disorder. Professional help may be necessary at times. A marriage counselor or a mental health care professional can help you and your spouse by giving you direction in dealing with one another and the disorder.

For more information, visit ADD in Adults on my website.

What is a Mompreneur?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The term "mompreneur" has been popping up everywhere. What does it mean? defines "mompreneur" as, "a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur." According to the Center for Women's Business Research, in 2008 "10.1 million firms are owned by women, employing more than 13 million people, and generating $1.9 trillion in sales." No wonder mompreneur has become a popular term – they are everywhere.

Being a mother and a business owner is no easy task. But when done right, both areas can be a success. Here are a few things to help keep a mompreneur in balance:

1. Stick to a schedule. Scheduling will help you stay focused on the most important tasks without getting distracted with nonessentials

2. Get the family on board. A supportive spouse is key to running a successful business. Also, involve the kids when appropriate. They can help you with things around the house or even get involved with some of the business aspects.

3. Take time for self-care. If you don't take care of yourself first, you can't take care of your family or your business. Take a few moments everyday to relax whether that means exercising, reading, or chatting with a friend on the phone.

I have written many articles about women business owners over the years as part of my Families In Business column. I invite you to learn more about how to be a successful business woman leader.

Autism Awareness is Growing in Canada

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Autism Society Canada has proudly announced that April 2nd, 2010 will be designated as the World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) in Canada. Their goal is to spread awareness about autism and lend assistance to those living with ASD. It has been estimated that 1 in 150 Canadians have some form of ASD. Since Canada is without national surveillance, those numbers can only be viewed as an estimate.

Michael Lewis, President of the Autism Society Canada is hoping for a change in how autism is monitored in Canada. He said, “All autism stakeholder organizations agree that Canada must establish accurate surveillance and reporting on ASDs. This information will help us to determine the prevalence of autism to help develop policies needed regarding treatments and services for all Canadians living with an ASD."

For more information about the Autism Society of Canada and WAAD, visit their website or join their Facebook page. Let us all continue to work towards more awareness of ASD in whatever country we live in!

Optimism Is Good Medicine

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Recent studies show that optimism can have a powerful impact on your health. It seems that those who have a positive view of their health often fare better. It has not be proven "how" this works in the body, but studies show interesting results. For a more detailed look at a recent study, read Skip the Vitamins, Use Optimism to Lift Immune System.

If you are not a naturally optimistic person, don’t be discouraged. Here are a few tips to help you adjust your thinking to a more positive perspective:

1. Start off each day with a positive thought. It will help you set the tone for how you will choose to think for the day.

2. Smile, smile, smile. Smiling will draw others toward you creating a positive exchange and will guarantee to lift your mood.

3. Live one day at a time. Stop worrying about the past and the future. Focus on the present and make that day the best it can be.

4. Find a good support system. Pick associates that are going to encourage positive thinking and will help you work through your negative feelings.

If optimistic thinking still feels difficult, seek professional help. A mental health care professional will be able to help you uncover the cause of your negative thinking and provide working tools to guide you through the change.

Coping Techniques for Divorce

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Statistics show that 40-50% of first marriages end in divorce and it is considered one of the most stressful events in life. Emotional and physical side effects of divorce are becoming more and more common. For instance, depression and anxiety can easily set in and even more serious health problems like cancer and heart disease become a greater risk. The question then becomes, what can help you cope with a divorce?

1. Find a hobby
A hobby can become a pleasant distraction from your thoughts. Choose something that makes you happy and that you can easily turn to when you find yourself going down a negative train of thought.

2. Reorganize
Clean out your home and get rid (or put away) items that will bring up painful reminders of your ex. Instead of "our stuff" replace it with "your stuff." This can sometimes be a slow process, but a healthy one. It can also help you to remember the good, but put away the bad.

3. Make new plans
Planning is a great tool to keep yourself busy and productive. Planning helps you to set goals and reach them which will help promote self-worth and success.

Coping with a divorce is a process and one that cannot be rushed. If you are feeling depressed or anxious, please visit my website for additional coping techniques. I also have information on how to cope with high conflict divorce.

The Autism Society of Washington Conference

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Autism Society of Washington is hosting the Best in the Northwest Conference – Bridge to Adulthood: Promoting Competence through Comprehensive Transition Planning for Learners with Autism and Related Disorders. This is a one-day workshop in my hometown, Vancouver, Washington and it will be held on April 16, 2010.

The workshop will be directed by Dr. Peter Gerhardt, President of the Organization for Autism Research. With over 25 years of experience of working with autism related disorders, Dr. Gerhardt will be focusing on the transition process beyond classroom academics and promoting life competence for ones with ASD.

I have signed up to attend this workshop. Click here for more information or to register. Maybe I’ll see you there!

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