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Kathy Marshack News

How to Be a Happier Person - Watch Less Television

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Is there really a link between happiness and the amount of television you watch? Dr. John Robinson, professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, conducted a recent study to show activities that happy people are involved in. After surveying 45,000 Americans over a period of 35 years, Dr. Robinson concluded, "We looked at 8 to 10 activities that happy people engage in, and for each one, the people who did the activities more — visiting others, going to church, all those things — were more happy. TV was the one activity that showed a negative relationship. Unhappy people did it more, and happy people did it less." While watching TV isn't a bad thing, prolonged viewing can lead to an unhappy lifestyle. I recommend activities such as reading a good book, visiting friends and family, enjoying the great outdoors, and doing things for others. These types of activities promote self-respect and leave you with a feeling of accomplishment. This holiday season try turning off the TV and take time to do things that will make you happy!

Drinking During the Holidays – How to Be Safe

Friday, November 21, 2008


The holidays can be a joyous and happy time, but they can also bring about added stress and pressure. Unfortunately, the holiday season is one of the most dangerous times of the year due to the increase of alcohol consumption causing accidents and even death. To keep this time of year happy and safe, I recommend drinking in moderation. Here are a few key ideas to help keep alcohol in its proper place: 1. You don't have to drink! Many feel pressured to have a drink at a social gathering because it's been offered to them. If you feel like enjoying a non-alcoholic beverage, you are entitled to do so. Giving into peer pressure can lead you down a disastrous path. 2. If you plan to drink, set your limits. Before you arrive at the party, decide how much you will drink and then do it! If you set the rules, you are more likely to stick to them. 3. Keep alcohol in its proper place - an enhancement. Instead of viewing the party as a opportunity to drink, look at it as a wonderful time to socialize and enjoy good conversation. Then if you choose to have a drink, it's just an addition to a lovely evening not the focal point. This time of year is supposed to be fun, festive, and relaxing. Plan ahead of time to avoid becoming a victim to the horrible statistics that we hear about year after year. If you alcohol has been a problem for you in the past, please take a look at this tip http://www.kmarshack.com/therapy/mind-body/tipalcohol.html for more information.

A Giant Step Forward with New Mental Health Parity

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Last month, the U.S. Congress passed the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act of 2008, also known as mental health parity. This is important news - this law will end insurance discrimination against mental health and substance use disorder coverage for 113 million Americans. Some states, like Washington state where I practice, already have a mental health parity law in effect, however this federal legislation insures parity for every American. When this law takes effect, which for most plans will be January 1, 2010, insurance companies will be required to provide parity benefits coverage in EVERY aspect of plan coverage—both in-network and out-of-network. Psychologists like myself see this as a giant step forward in eliminating the stigma surrounding mental health care. If you would like to learn more about how the legislation works, including the specific aspects of coverage affected, visit www.apapractice.org.

Take Care of Your Brain

Thursday, November 13, 2008


The brain is the most complex and delicate organ in the body. Our feelings, emotions, personality, and behaviors are all housed in our miraculous brain. If slight damage or trauma has occurred, it can greatly impact the rest of your life perhaps even causing or affecting a predetermined condition. Dr. Daniel Amen, psychiatrist and author of many books on the brain, recently commented on the link between mild brain trauma and behavioral, emotional, or cognitive issues. The key is to take precautions to protect your brain. Avoid dangerous sports or activities that can cause brain damage. If you have experienced trauma, be sure to mention this to your psychologist even if you only believe it to be a minor incident. The more information you provide, the better care you will receive. For more information, I recommend reading more about Dr. Amen and his work. http://www.brainplace.com/

Facing and Treating Addiction in a Family Business

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Alcoholism and other drug abuse is an epidemic in our country. We are all aware of the general problem nationwide. Yet among family firms, drug addiction and alcohol abuse are frequently overlooked. The secret that everyone knows is that there is a family member who is addicted or engaging in drug or alcohol abuse, yet no one is to talk about it. The family member is protected not only by the family, but also by a general conspiracy among employees. The conspiracy begins because the function of the family is to nurture and protect its members. The family is likely to overlook, condone, deny, rationalize or minimize the problem for the sake of keeping the family system intact. Should this conspiracy be treated? Yes! 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 be done? First, consider that 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. Second, everyone in the family has to support the decision to confront the addict and to seek family therapy with them. If there are dissenters, the addict will solicit allies to defend their continued drug abuse. Third, 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. For further information on this subject, click on the link to read my article, "Addiction 'Conspiracy' of Silence Hurts the Family and Business."

SAD - A COMMON DEPRESSION IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder is a wintertime condition characterized by depression, exhaustion, lack of interest in people and regular activities. SAD is extremely common in the Pacific Northwest due to the lack of sunlight, shorter days, and overcast skies. This type of weather contribute to SAD symptoms. If SAD is left untreated, it will affect a person's outlook and ability to function on a day-to-day level. It's encouraging to note that SAD can be treated! If you are suffering from this disorder, I recommend getting outside as much as possible even if it's overcast. Regular exercise along with a healthy diet rich in Vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids will also help. If the symptoms continue to persist, light therapy or antidepressants are recommended. For more information on how to diagnosis depression and treat it, read more at my website or call my office to make an appointment.

Use Financial Crisis as a Quest for Wisdom

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Is the recent economic decline causing the stress level of Americans to increase? The answer is YES! According to the American Psychology Association's Stress 2008 survey, almost half of Americans say their stress level is increasing due to the financial crisis and it's primarily affecting woman. In June 2008, studies show that there are more suffering physical and emotional affects of stress than in 2007. Symptoms like fatigue, sleepless nights, headaches, depression, irritability, and lack of motivation are on the rise.

This is a major cause for concern. Many are coping with these symptoms with unhealthy habits such as overeating or skipping meals, indulging in alcohol, and smoking. More time is spent worrying about the financial situation rather than health. What can be done to prevent the increase of stress and its symptoms? I recommend shifting how you view problems, including the economic crisis. If you recognize that life is complex and problem filled, then when confronted with a situation you can face it as a quest for wisdom. Dig, assess, diagnose, and search to create workable situations. This will increase your self-worth and make you a little smarter along the way. Click here www.kmarshack.com/therapy/d_a_s/manage_stress.html to learn more about stress management.

More information on the survey is available at www.apahelpcenter.org.

The Connection Between Asperger's Syndrome and the IT World

Friday, October 10, 2008


There is an ever growing awareness of Asperger's Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism. Recently, specialists have noticed a connection between Asperger's Syndrome and the IT world. Dr. Temple Grandin, the author of “The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism and Asperger's and other books on AS, made an interesting comment regarding the connection. She states, "Is there a connection between Asperger's and IT? All these labels -- 'geek' and 'nerd' and 'mild Asperger's' -- are all getting at the same thing. ... The Asperger's brain is interested in things rather than people, and people who are interested in things have given us the computer you're working on right now."

So, why is someone with AS a good fit for the IT World? A technical, diagnostic job, with little human interaction allows an Aspie to have a safe and controlled work environment. They are able to focus on a specific problem following a strict routine and system rather than spending their time working to detect and satisfy the emotional needs of others. If you are interesting in reading more about AS and IT, I found the article in Computer World magazine very interesting - “Asperger's and IT: Dark Secret or Open Secret”.

Short-term Therapy with Lasting Results

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a short-term therapy that has proven to be highly effective. It is helpful for a variety of different problems such as depression, low self-esteem, phobias, anxiety, and relationship dysfunction. What’s really impressive is that the results are long lasting! Cognitive Behavior Therapy addresses the way that people think. The cognitive component works to change thinking patterns that keep a person from overcoming their fears. The behavior component seeks to change their pattern of reaction. The goal is to achieve a more constructive, solution-oriented thinking process. If you are interesting in looking into Cognitive Behavior Therapy, please click on the link to view more information http://www.kmarshack.com/therapy/personal_growth/tiptherapy.html You can contact my office in Portland, Oregon or Vancouver, Washington to learn how to locate a therapist that utilizes Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

Depression – How To Recognize The Symptoms

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Depression is becoming more and more common place in American society. Instead of a normal case of "the blues", a new CDC report finds 5.4 percent of Americans 12 years of age and older have dealt with depression. 80 percent of those who report that they are depressed state that it is affecting their daily functional level. Sadly, only 29 percent have said they’ve contacted a health care professional.

How do you know if you are suffering from depression? Most often you would be experiencing a combination of these symptoms for a period of at least two weeks:

1. Depressed mood on most days for most of each day. (Irritability may be prominent in children and adolescents)
2. Total or very noticeable loss of pleasure most of the time.
3. Significant increase or decrease in appetite, weight, or both.
4. Sleep disorders either insomnia or excessive sleepiness nearly every day.
5. Feelings of agitation or a sense of intense slowness.
6. Loss of energy and a daily sense of tiredness.
7. Sense of guilt and worthlessness nearly all the time.
8. Inability to concentrate occurring nearly every day.
9. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

It is important to remember that depression can be treated! If you would like more information on depression, I highly encourage you to click on the link http://www.kmarshack.com/therapy/d_a_s/overcome_depression.html to read more and get the help you are looking for. You are not alone!



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