NAVIGATION- Dr. Charles R. Davenport; Licensed Psychologist

Tag : anxiety

Meditation may help treat anxiety

Meditation can help treat anxiety

Meditation and mindfulness meditation in particular  have been trending in popular culture in recent years and have been found to be beneficial in treating anxiety. There is a fair amount of existing research  that suggests  meditation  changes the way  our brain functions  and our brain structure.

Research recently discussed through media outlet Forbes looked at a small sample size  of people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)  nearly 20,000,000 people will have  symptoms consistent with this diagnosis at some point in their lifetimes. a unique aspect of this study  was that participants were applied to a mindfulness  stress reduction treatment  or a stress management education course.  The hope was that this would eliminate  some of the placebo affect in previous studies on mindfulness meditation  that offered a treatment and nontreatment group only. initial findings from the study suggests that individuals who engaged in the mindfulness stress reduction treatment had significantly lower levels of stress markers ACTH, IL-6 and TNF-α.

There have been a number of findings consistent with the potential benefit of mindfulness meditation  for treating anxiety. A 2009 study on Anxiety, from Harvard, looked at the connection between stress reduction and changes in brain structure. This study suggested that an eight week trial of meditation can change the structure of the amygdala, a part of our brain that responds  to stress and arousal. These changes to the amygdala  were found to correlate  with one’s  perception of reduced stress. Slightly different but in a similar vein a 2013 meta-analysis from Johns Hopkins suggested  that meditation was linked significantly with reduced anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Information presented in this  entry is not intended  to treat or diagnose any medical or mental health disorder.  In addition, the techniques referenced in this article are likely to be most beneficial  when implemented under the guidance of a trained professional.

Living with regret?

regret: Dr. Charles R Davenport licensed psychologist

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Regret, and emotion most people are familiar with and one most of us don’t care for. Regret has been defined as the experience we have when we realize we may have had a better outcome  if we chose differently. Many times having more opportunities  can create a greater opportunity  for regret (Roese, N & Summerville, A.). This doesn’t mean  that we should live lives striving for less opportunity. It does suggest that as our lives have become increasingly more complex, potentially as a result of more opportunity, successfully managing regret could be a powerful benefit.

There are several common ways regret presents itself in our lives:

  1. Opportunities lost– When we feel that we missed opportunities we are at greater risk for feeling regret. The more opportunities we think we lost the more regret we are likely to feel.
  2. Belief that we can make a difference– Feeling that we can make a difference in our world is generally good. If something doesn’t turn out as we would like and we feel that we should have been able to influence it we are more likely to feel regret in how we proceeded.
  3. Close but not exactly what we expect– When we take on a task or challenge and get close to our goal we are more likely to feel regret than if we are nowhere our goal. The proximity to our goal without completely reaching seems to enhance the likelihood of regret. It might service better to reward ourselves for working toward a goal independent of the outcome.
  4. Having the opportunity to change our mind– If we take a plan of action and are not able to revisit or redo any steps of it we are more likely to move forward without regret. it is possible this is allowing us to focus on what we can do next or how we can learn from the past rather than getting caught in uncertainty surrounding making the “best decision.” for example, shoppers are happier when they can’t get a refund rather than wondering if they should seek a refund.

Charles R Davenport, Psy.D., LLC.  provides therapy and counseling services in Venice, Florida and Sarasota, Florida. Dr. Charles R Davenport is a Licensed Psychologist who works with individuals and couples to find change in their lives. If you or someone you know is struggling with regret please feel free to contact the office at 941-321-1971.

Psychologist Venice, FL- Dr. Charles R. Davenport

Charles R. Davenport, Psy.D., LLC. Licensed Psychologist- Dr. Charles R. Davenport

Powerball lottery… are we Optimistic?

With all of the interest around Powerball lottery the American Psychological Association (APA) has chimed in.

A question many of us may find in our mind, should we by Powerball ticket or not? Is it a wise choice, worthwhile investment, evidence of being gullible, a sign of being hopeful, or proof of weakness? Well, in all honesty, there’s good likelihood the answer may be yes to all of the above. imagining winning the lottery is frequently accompanied by thoughts of having change in her life, quitting jobs, buying homes, or paying off debt. using imagination can be a wonderful thing frequently lost childhood. As adults it can be powerful to have imagination in our life which is tempered with our adult experiences. Imagining things being different is not a far leap from optimism which, I might suggest, is a critical component of us being able to imagine that things can be different and in turn grow or find change in our life.

So why do we buy lottery tickets?

It might be a built-in component of our survival, optimism, imagining that things can be better and working to make that happen.

If we stopped really didn’t think things were possible, as humans, we would be losing opportunities to grow and see what we might not be aware of. There is vulnerability in this however, we may hope for a particular kind of change that never happens. Does this mean that we failed or were wrong? It might not have to be the case… if we are able to glean something that we use in the future to accomplish a goal or avoid a pitfall to venture into hope or optimism might have been very helpful.

Venice Florida psychologist, Dr. Charles R Davenport, provides counseling and therapy services at Dr. Charles R Davenport PsyD LLC.

He works with patients to help them find change and deal with career stress, anxiety, depression, and communication difficulties. Please feel free to contact Charles  R. Davenport, Psy.D. , LLC at 941-321-1971.

Childhood Stress May = Impaired Reward System as Adults

Recent findings published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience by Duke University researchers suggest a potential pathway where childhood stress may increase risk for depression or other mental health problems in adulthood.

This data is not shocking news nor is it as daunting a finding as it may seem. Our mind bases a lot of what we expect in the future on what we have lived through or expect to experince. When, as children, we have been in stressful situations that we cannot control our minds have a choice of either overcoming (fighting), protecting (flight), or freezing. these reactions can be extremely adaptive when we are young however as adults they can exacerbate a sense of being out of control of our own destiny. This tends to be a recipe for both anxiety and depression. The good news is that many of these are misguided protection attempts by our mind and with some redirection frequently we are able to find change. some of the challenge can be, that as children, change was not an option so imagining this third choice does not always come easily. This can sometimes present a certainty that there is no other way to find change. Sometimes beginning counseling can be a powerful part of this process of change and hope.

Teacher Burnout: Depression too?

A new study suggests a significant connection between depression and burnout among primary school teachers. Many of the signs of burnout such as, being more cynical, lacking energy, lacking interest, needing to work harder to accomplish less, or changes in sleep or eating, are also seen in the early onset of depression. This study offers some evidence to support an implied, long standing, qualitative correlation.

Drs. Irvin S. Schonfeld of the City College of New York’s Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership and Renzo Bianchi of the Institute of Work and Organizational Psychology, University of Neuchatel, Switzerland, discovered a significant overlap between burn out and depression.

Their findings looked at survey results from 1,386 pre-k to 12th grade US teachers that were assessing for burn out. they found that 86% of the burnout group met criteria for depression whereas less than 1% of the no burnout group met criteria for depression. Teachers in the burnout group are also found to be more than two times as likely to have history of anxiety. This supports another long-standing correlation between depression and anxiety. This article appears in the Journal of Clinical Psychology. Charles R Davenport Psy.D. LLC provides counseling and therapy services to help teachers and other professionals be aware of burnout, worked to overcome it when it does interfere, and to strive toward avoiding burnout where possible.

If you were a caregiver as a child you may have a hard time attending idealy to your kids.

Emerging research by Michigan State University’s Amy K. Nuttall, Ph.D. suggests that mothers who took on burdensome care giving roles as children (parentified children caregivers) and were not allowed to “be kids” tend to be less sensitive to their own children’s needs.

“If your childhood was defined by parents expecting you to perform too much care giving without giving you the chance to develop your own self-identity, that might lead to confusion about appropriate expectations for children and less accurate knowledge of their developmental limitations and needs as infants,” said Amy K. Nuttall.

As we do in many situations, in parenting, we tend to revert to templates of what we know to. Many times these templates come from our experiences interacting with our caregivers and / or parents. As adults, without our awareness, we can wind up recreating situations for our children where there needs are missed much as are our own. If our parents had difficulty empathizing with or attending to our needs and we became parent-like, it can be difficult for us to do for our children what was never done for us… Identifying their needs and attend to them.

A similar process can occur when we feel anger toward people who have an easier life or are coddled when we did not have an opportunity for this in our own life. These feelings of longing can reflexively come out as hostility toward the other. This kind of process is something we can become aware of and impact how it influences our lives through counseling. This is one area where Dr. Davenport has been able to work with many patients to help find change.

More details on this research is due to be published in the Journal of Family Psychology.

 

When your child won’t talk… Anxiety based Selective Mutism

Florida International University (FIU) offers intensive, weeklong immersion programs for students who struggle with a form of anxiety called Selective Mutism. Selective Mutism is most frequently seen in children younger than five years old. Many times these children tend to be more anxious or inhibited. Anxiety or worry about how others may assess them is also frequently seen. Other characteristics commonly associated with Selective Mutism include, and ability to speak at home with family, anxiety around those they do not know,shyness, and not speaking in certain social situations.

Selective Mutism can interfere with academic functioning and leave children feeling less secure about himself and social situations. Understandably, this anxiety can escalate and interfere with many versions of socialization. Disruption in children’s feelings about themselves internally and related to others can expose children to greater risk for depression and anxiety. Florida International University’s program Center for Children and Families offers repeated exposure to various situations which may cause anxiety and ample time to process them over a six-hour day. The hopeless to “translate gains to real school settings” according to Jami Furr the director of the Selective Mutism at FIU.

It is important to recognize that some children may be shy and are frequently reserved even when at home. These children tend to warm up after a few minutes; however, children with Selective Mutism do not warm up.

Avoiding anxious situations is known to make symptoms worse and in the case of selective mutism delayed treatment can make things worse.

Acetaminophen: reduces pain but also pleasure…

many of us are familiar with acetaminophen and its powerful ability to reduce pain and fever. This over-the-counter medication has also been found to reduce painful emotions and more recently it has been suggested that it may reduce positive feeling as well.

Recent research published in Psychological Science in the journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

this research found that using Tylenol or similar products might have a further reach that had previously been understood. Geoffrey Durso, a doctoral student in social psychology at Ohio State University and the lead author of the study. “Rather than just being a pain reliever, acetaminophen can be seen as an all-purpose emotion reliever.”

The study had control subjects which were given placebo and the remainder were given 1000 mg of acetaminophen. The subjects were then asked to rate photographs as pleasant or unpleasant. The researchers followed up to test a small group of 85 people to see whether the change in judgment from acetaminophen applied just to emotion or whether the drug blunted peoples of evaluation of magnitude in general. This finding suggested that acetaminophen did not alter individual’s sense of magnitude.

Although overwhelming emotion can be very troubling in our having happy fulfilling livesemotions are critical sources of information from our body. Just as physical pain tells us something is wrong so does emotional pain. Just as taking Tylenol to make a headache go away can be problematic if the headache is from a tumor or hypertension numbing emotion can be equally risky. Dr. Charles Davenport works with patients of all ages to provide counseling and therapy services to better understand their own personal difficulties and how they can thrive.

Wall Street Traders may need therapy.

A recent article discussed how therapy can be helpful in addressing career stress. High demand jobs, such as those in the financial sector, can be tremendously rewarding but also take a toll on well-being and our performance. Although stress can help us perform better, it does so only to a point than we see a sharp decline in performance. This decline can be self-perpetuating, as we see our effectiveness decline we are likely to try to work harder. This loop can lead to feeling out of control of our own destiny which frequently is seen with depression and can bring on anxiety.

Dr. Charles R. Davenport works as a Licensed Psychologist Charles R Davenport Psy.D. LLC with offices in Sarasota, Florida and Venice, Florida. If you or someone you care about is struggling with career related stress, anxiety, or depression please call Dr. Davenport’s office at 941-321-1971.

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Your psychological well-being may be reflected in your skin

Recent studies by the American psychological Association (APA) suggest a connection between common skin conditions like acne, psoriasis, eczema, itching, pain, and hives may be related to significant experience of stress, anxiety, and depression among other psychological concerns.

To some, this may be expected, to others they may be surprised to hear. has a licensed psychologist I many patient seem to have physical symptoms that are made worse or brought on psychological stress or conflict. Just as our emotions can be a source of critical data about things going on in our body, so can skin conditions according to these recent studies. Many times migraine headaches, increase in autoimmune dysfunction, and gastrointestinal disruption are also seen with increased emotional distress. Many times these physical manifestations suggest that the stress the person is experiencing his overwhelming their ability to let the stress out or cope. Finding new ways to work through overwhelming problems is something Dr. Davenport does with many patients at his practice Charles R. Davenport, Psy.D., LLC. with locations in Venice, FL and Sarasota, FL.

 

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