How much do you know about Sjogren’s Syndrome?

What exactly is Sjogren’s Syndrome?

What is Sjogren's Syndrome?

I’ve never heard about this illness, have others heard or experienced this syndrome?

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The Pain of Fibromyalgia and Depression in Women

The WashingtonTimes.com reported that research from Sweden has shed some light as to why women are more likely to suffer from depression, chronic pain (CPS) and fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) than men.  Also, the same study discovered why women are prone to depression and mood swings from pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and post-partum depression.

Serotonin production, re-absorption and normal levels in many women are not sufficient and wreak havoc on the mind and bodies of those affected. The effect on female hormones is broadly significant. Serotonin, known as the ‘happy hormone,’ plays a significant role in pain management.

Chronic or clinical depression can be the causation of chronic pain. Chronic pain can lead to chronic or clinical depression, so healthy levels of serotonin play a significant role in managing depression and chronic pain.

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Is it all because of Genitals?

Ok, so here’s the story:

A women-only spa in Toronto, Ontario, Canada took some massive criticism and triggered a social-media outcry last week, that prohibits some transgender women from using their facilities.

On Facebook, a woman stated that she refused to revisit the spa on account that they canceled her friend’s (who is transgender) appointment due to their spa’s policy which states “no male genitals” rule.

The spa explained, “because we are a bathing-suit-optional environment, our current policy is to ensure all clients are comfortable in an environment with nudity, including minors.”

The backlash was extreme from the public, transgender and LGBTQ communities. However, the spa further clarified that it’s a ‘single-sex facility with full nudity, and unlike other facilities.’  They stated they supported these communities, but the spa has policies to adhere to.

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Did you know that Friendship can ruin Therapy?

The therapist I worked with for seven years was amazing, we dealt with some extremely emotional issues including PTSD sexual abuse and maternal narcissism.  She validated my feelings and showed the kind of empathy that I’d never received as a child, therefore, I often craved her as a friend while in therapy.  I soon understood boundaries, and realized it just wouldn’t work; therapy isn’t friendship

A friend told me of an occurrence where friendship ruined the relationship with her and her therapist.  She had been meeting “X” every 3 weeks for roughly 2 years, drudging through many agonizing, uncomfortable, personal issues and trusted “X” entirely with what she disclosed, more than with any other therapist.

When she was pregnant with her second child, also experiencing difficulties with her spouse, “X” was there to convey her thoughts to.  By the time the baby was to arrive, they worked through marital issues, which alleviated the situation at home and for her.

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Why doesn’t she just leave him?

Really?  And women should just up and leave an abusive relationship; as if it were that easy.

‘Why doesn’t she just leave?’ is a timeworn question about women trapped in relationships that are physically and/or emotionally abusive to them.  Economic dependence is clearly part of the story — many women lack the financial means to leave and find themselves trapped by both poverty and abuse.

Of the women who do attempt to escape the abuse, some opt to petition a judge for a civil restraining order, also called a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, for protection from abuse, harassment, threats, or intimidation. Research shows that PFAs can promote women’s safety and help women manage the threat of abuse.

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Do you know the top 5 Cancers Affecting Women?

Understanding the risk factors associated with these five cancers is the first step to take in minimizing your personal risk.

A cancer diagnosis can often be directly linked to your family medical history, your lifestyle choices, and your environment. You can’t control your family medical history and only some aspects of your environment are up to you. But lifestyle choices like diet, weight, activity level and smoking are yours to manage.

“Preventive measures are so heavily underutilized by people. And yet they work. Everything in moderation really works,” says Richard R. Barakat, MD, chief of the gynecology service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

While the overall odds are that two out of three women will never get cancer, 700,000 women were diagnosed with cancer in 2008 (the most recent year for which CDC data is available), most with one of the following types:

Breast cancer accounted for 26 percent of female cancer cases and 15 percent of the 272,000 female cancer deaths that year. A woman’s odds of getting this cancer: 1 in 8

Lung and bronchus cancers accounted for 14 percent of female cancer cases and 26 percent of all deaths. A woman’s odds of getting this cancer: 1 in 16

Colon and rectal cancers accounted for 10 percent of all cancer cases and 9 percent of all deaths. A woman’s odds of getting this cancer: 1 in 19 Continue reading

Difference between sexual assault and sexual abuse?

In newspapers and media reports, it’s sometimes stated women were violated and “sexually assaulted” or “abused”. Although I’m cognizant that abuse is traumatic regardless, “assault” covers such a broad range.

My point here is, are the public aware of the seriousness surrounding the most horrific assault cases.  I located information below on the Gov’t of Western Australia Department of Health  (Sexual Assault Resource Centre) website.

What is sexual assault?

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3 Proven Tips and Advice to Protect Women Travelling Alone

I took away some invaluable tips and advice from this article written in The Huffington Post. Women or anyone would find these useful.

Imagine this: window-shopping in Paris or people-watching in Rome — without having to stress over your restless companion. It’s not just a fantasy: a 2014 survey from Booking.com reports that

Here, our guide to venturing out on your town.

How To Protect Yourself On The Road

1. “Print directions ahead of time. It sounds simple, but we’re so used to cell phones that it’s easy to forget we might not have Internet access abroad. I also love Pacsafe’s small, portable safe. If you’re in a hostel or a B&B, you need a secure place to lock up your passport and cash.” —Alexandra Baackes, blogger, AlexInWanderland.com.

2. “I carry extra cash in my shoe or a hidden pocket, enough to take a cab or get to a safe place if I find myself in trouble. And if I need assistance, I approach women and families, who I’ve found are more likely to help.” — Marybeth Bond, National Geographic author and founder of GutsyTraveler.com.

3. “I don’t drink too much. If I’m somewhere unfamiliar, I want to be sharp and aware. But of course, in Italy, I’m having wine with my pasta.” — Cat Clifford, a writer who spent her last five birthdays in a different country — alone!

What’s the Plan?

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How do Survivors pee after the Pain of Female Genital Mutilation?

Image: Wikipedia A campaign against female genital mutilation – a road sign near Kapchorwa, Uganda.

Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is the ritual removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. Country based surveys on the rates of FGM suggest that 200 million women have undergone the procedures in 27 countries in Africa, as well as in Indonesia, Iraqi Kurdistan and Yemen, with a rate of 80–98 percent within the 15–49 age group in Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan. The practice is also found elsewhere in Asia, the Middle East and among communities from these areas in other countries.

This article appeared on BBC News.com Magazine

Some 200 million women and girls across 30 countries have been affected by female genital mutilation (FGM). But how do survivors live with the pain of peeing, periods and childbirth?

“The first time you notice your physicality has changed is your pee,” says HiboWardere.

Hibo, now 46, was subjected to what is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “type three” mutilation when she was six. This means all of her labia were cut off and she was then stitched together, leaving a tiny hole she compares to the size of a matchstick.

She grew up in Somalia, where 98% of women and girls between 15 and 49 have had their genitals forcibly mutilated.

“An open wound rubbed with salt or hot chilli – it felt like that,” she recalls.

“And then you realise your wee isn’t coming out the way it used to come. It’s coming out as droplets, and every drop was worse than the one before. This takes four or five minutes – and in that four or five minutes, you’re experiencing horrific pain.”

Hibo came to the UK when she was 18, and within months visited a doctor to see if they could relieve the pain she experienced when she passed urine and during her periods.

Her translator didn’t want to interpret her request, but the GP managed to understand.

Eventually, Hibo underwent a procedure called defibrillation, when the labia is opened surgically. This widened the hole and exposed her urethra. It is by no means an outright fix, and can never restore sensitive tissue that was removed, but it did make it slightly easier to urinate.

Sex, however, presented a new hurdle. “Even if the doctor has opened you up, what they’ve left you with is a very tiny space,” says Hibo.

“Things that were supposed to be expanding have gone. So the hole that you have is very small and sex is very difficult. You do get pleasures – but it’s once in a blue moon.”

Image: Wikipedia Female genital mutilation (FGM)

The trauma of the assault also had a bearing on intimate situations with her partner.

“First you have a psychological block because the only thing you associate with that part of you is pain,” says Hibo.

“The other part is the trauma you experienced. So anything that’s happening down there, you never see it as a good thing.”

Figures released by Unicef in February raised the number of estimated FGM survivors by around 70 million to 200 million worldwide, with Indonesia, Egypt and Ethiopia accounting for half of all victims.

In the UK, FGM has been banned since 2003. Last year the government introduced a new law requiring professionals to report known cases of FGM in under-18s to the police.

Activists and the police have raised awareness about the risk of British school girls being flown out of the UK specifically to be stripped of their genitals during what is known as the “cutting season” over the summer.

Image: Wikipedia FGM in Africa, Iraqi Kurdistan, and Yemen, as of 2015

Additional source for information: Wikipedia 
Article continues @ http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36101342

Originally posted on my Niume.com  blog

Friendship Ruined Therapy

The therapist I have been working with for over five years has been amazing, we’ve dealt with some extremely emotional issues including PTSD sexual abuse and maternal narcissism.  She validated my feelings and showed the kind of empathy that I’d never received as a child, therefore, I’ve often craved her as a friend.  I soon understood boundaries, and realized it just wouldn’t work; therapy isn’t friendship

A friend told me of an occurrence where friendship ruined the relationship with her and her therapist.  She had been meeting X every 3 weeks for roughly 2 years, drudging through many agonizing, uncomfortable, personal issues and trusted X entirely with what she disclosed, more than with any other therapist.

When she was pregnant with her second child, also experiencing difficulties with her spouse, X was there to convey her thoughts to.  By the time the baby was to arrive, they worked through marital issues, which alleviated the situation at home and for her.

After the baby was born, she didn’t see X for several months, however, she did phone her to shout with joy that it was a baby girl, and X exclaimed “hooray!”  She was ‘on the fence’ about sending baby pictures, yet she did send a few via e-mail in the end and X asked to see more.

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Women ~ We criticize ourselves 8 times per day? Why?

Health experts warn of dangerous trend as survey finds women self-criticise eight times a day

I’m guilty of this, perhaps not to the degree of eight times per day, but more than I would like.  When my eating disorder was at its worse a few years ago, I was fanatical with my body image, pausing in front of store windows, any type of mirror accessible, weighing myself two or three times per day.  I knew this wasn’t normal, but I was ill and anorexic.

While focusing on my body image at the Eating Disorder Program, I became more mindful about why this obsession was so essential to me, who was I striving to please and was I more contented now that I dropped all of the weight? 

No, I was fucking miserable now! Thinner, yet depressed. Who was I trying to please? My mother ~ I could never have pleased her anyways.  It was an eye-opener, yet it has taken years and I’m still in therapy trying to deal with the impact of her harsh abuse.  I have recovered from the eating disorder, yet I still have setbacks with “looking fat” and glancing in mirrors, but less often.  The lack of self-confidence/self-esteem I still struggle with and it still follows me.

An article appearing on News.com.au written by Sophie Aubrey, (News Corp Australia Network) writes:

HEALTH experts warn women’s impulse to criticise their own bodies is dangerously intensifying after a new study found the average woman puts herself down at least eight times each day.

Social media has been blamed for driving a widespread increase in self-judgment as the survey of 2000 British women revealed one in seven were slagging themselves off frequently through the day. And many are berating themselves first thing in the morning, with half of those quizzed confessing to doing so by 9.30am.

Criticisms around appearance and weight are most prevalent, encompassing 13 of the 20 most common put-downs in the Weight Watchers study.

Being negative about one’s earnings, creativity and organisation skills, as well as deflecting compliments, also made the list.

Sydney psychologist and founder of Treat Yourself Well Louise Adams said women’s dissatisfaction with their looks acted like a constant nagging voice “from the minute they open our eyes and think about what they’re going to wear”. To make matters worse, most women were not even aware they were thinking such damaging thoughts, Ms Adams said.

“Lots of my clients are really familiar (with the narrative) but had never thought of it as self-judgment. They thought of it as the truth, and that’s really scary,” she said.

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PTSD & Women Veterans

Female Vietnam vets have higher rates than previously thought, a study says

I haven’t come across as many articles regarding female veterans struggling with PTSD and found this one on Next Avenue.org written by Joan Cook

She writes — My friend, Marsha, is the oldest of seven and the daughter of a World War II combat veteran. Marsha’s father, like most men of his generation, spoke very little about his war experiences, and what happened in the war was never directly known by most of his children.

Like many in her generation, Marsha studied nursing. The military trolled schools of nursing for recruits, desperately in need of women to care for the injured and dying in Vietnam. As with most of her fellow students, Marsha had no experience in traumatic nursing. And, when she found herself in Vietnam, war was all she heard and smelled, even when she closed her eyes.

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Women with Bipolar Disorder, sleep quality affects mood

Poor sleep is associated with negative mood in women with bipolar disorder, according to researchers.

Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. The condition is marked by extreme mood episodes characterized as manic (highs), depressive (lows) or mixed.

Sleep problems are common in people with bipolar disorder, and poor sleep quality and bipolar disorder appear to exacerbate each other. Previous research shows that poor sleep quality is a symptom of depressive and manic episodes, and that lack of sleep can trigger mania.

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Fatal Prescription: Women and Painkiller Overdoses

In EveryDayHealth.com, they report that more women than ever are dying from painkiller overdoses.  This article was written by Dr. Sanjay Gupta and asks, “How can you spot signs of drug abuse in a loved one?

Americans’ abuse of prescription painkillers has reached epidemic proportions, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC estimates that 15,000 people die every year in this country from overdoses involving opioid or narcotic pain relievers.

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Would you choose Beautiful?

This is another Dove PR experiment to observe how women see themselves.  What door would you choose – honestly?  Would you feel embarrassed choosing the door “beautiful” in front of other people, or do you honestly feel that door reflects you?  Why do you think most people have chosen ‘average’?

Why doesn’t she just leave?

Really?  And women should just up and leave an abusive relationship; as if it were that easy.

‘Why doesn’t she just leave?’ is a timeworn question about women trapped in relationships that are physically and/or emotionally abusive to them.  Economic dependence is clearly part of the story — many women lack the financial means to leave and find themselves trapped by both poverty and abuse.

Of the women who do attempt to escape the abuse, some opt to petition a judge for a civil restraining order, also called a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, for protection from abuse, harassment, threats, or intimidation. Research shows that PFAs can promote women’s safety and help women manage the threat of abuse.

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Gastric Sleeve vs. Lap Band Surgery ~ Which would be best for me?

I found this link explaining the difference between ‘Gastric Sleeve‘ vs. ‘Lap Band‘ surgery for weight loss.  This is on a commercial site for which I am NOT promoting, however, I thought it explains the surgeries in a clear manner.

Link:   http://lapbandsurgery.com/are-you-a-candidate-for-lap-band-surgery/gastric-banding/gastric-sleeve-vs-lap-band/

 

Work burnout tied to “Emotional Eating” in women

Women who are fed up with their jobs may be more likely to turn to food for comfort in times of stress, according to a Finnish study.   The study, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that those who reported work burnout were also more likely to have a habit of “emotional” eating, or eating when stressed, anxious or down, rather than just hungry.

What’s more, they were more prone to “uncontrolled” eating — the feeling that you’re always hungry or can’t stop eating until all the food’s gone.

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How being unemployed changes your personality

Add another stressor to the financial burden of losing your job. Being unemployed can change the nature of your personality, making you significantly less agreeable and changing your level of conscientious and openness, according to a new study in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

The study, conducted by a team of researchers from the U.K., asked more than 6,000 Germans to self-evaluate five of their core personality traits—agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism and openness—over a period of several years. Everyone in the sample began the study with a job, but part of the group lost their jobs and remained unemployed for the duration of the study. Others lost their job and found new employment.

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This is me, I have a Toxic Mother

Just as the quote says here, my mother is very toxic, and very narcissistic.  The huge thing with her was always my weight, she was forever critical of me for gaining any weight and concentrating on body image.  Also, what made me angry, when she met with my friends, they used to say “Deb, you have the most wonderful mother, wish mine was like yours”.  That’s a double hurt.

Men and Women Experience Depression Differently, How?

This article appeared on (Fox News.com) ~ It discusses forms of depression, and how men and women experience depression differently, and also includes other links.

Depressive disorders are a complex and often confusing family of conditions. Sometimes lumped under the general term “depression,” these disorders can cause any combination of several symptoms. Because of this, depressive disorders manifest in a variety of ways, making them sometimes difficult to diagnose.

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Weight Loss Surgery Raises Some Pregnancy Risks

In The New York Times (Health), they reported that women who have undergone bariatric surgery are more likely to deliver premature babies than those with low birth weight, a large new study shows.

The research looked at roughly 15,000 births that took place in Sweden between 1992 & 2009, including about 2,500 women who had had weight loss surgery.  On average, the women delivered about five years after the surgery.

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PTSD common in migraine sufferers

Sometimes my migraines feel like this

I posted this article a few years ago, but thought I would re-post due to the fact that I am a major migraine sufferer (this month has been utter hell, as I have had a migraine or “lighter” headache every single day of January).  I’ve never thought that it was tied to my PTSD, as most of mine appear to be caused by the barometric changes, however it could be a possibility.

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) — Adults who suffer migraine headaches are more apt to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than the general population, a new study suggests. And having PTSD and migraine may lead to greater headache-related disability.

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Indoor Tanning: WARNING> That tan could be hazardous

Indoor tanning poses cancer risks ~ teenagers beware.  In an article posted in (New York Times.com) today, they wrote about indoor tanning and cancer risks.

TEQUESTA, Fla. — On their way home from an SAT tutoring session, the Van Dresser twins, Alexandra and Samantha, 17, popped into Tan Fever & Spa, a small family-owned salon tucked into a strip mall between a bar and a supermarket.  They wanted to get tan before the prom, and the salon was the perfect combination of fast and cheap: Twenty minutes in a tanning bed cost just $7.

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PTSD & Type 2 Diabetes: Is there a link?

In an article written today @ (Time.com Health) ~ Women with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have a two-fold increased risk for type 2 diabetes, according to a new study.

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Obesity: Considered a Disability in Europe

(Reuters) – December 18, 2014 – Europe’s top court ruled on Thursday that obese people can be considered as disabled, but stopped short of saying that obesity was a condition that needed specific protection under European anti-discrimination laws.

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3 WOMEN……And Mental Illness

3-tall-women

I had conversations with these three courageous women, while an in-patient on the psychiatric floor of a medical hospital a couple of years ago.  Mentioning my blog and my articles, they agreed for an informal interview as long as I didn’t use their real names.  I was able to converse with each woman separately where they shared their stories.

Note:  I was discharged earlier than any of these women, however, I revisited three weeks later to chat. 

~~~

Clara – Age (46)

Clara’s eyes well up as she recounts her story of anguish and to her, humiliation.  Both wrists are bandaged from a botched suicide attempt, and she stares downward at the floor as she speaks to me.  She has been in the hospital for over three weeks.

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ANOREXIA: 1ST EATING DISORDER GROUP A DISASTER

After my diagnosis:  Anorexia, it was mandatory to attend four (2 hr.) Psych Eating Disorder groups to proceed with the program. The first group was a disaster.

Eight people were seated in a circle. (This was the group?  All young girls?).  First off, no one except me was over 20 and here I am in my late 50’s’; I felt awkward to say the least, also, each one was ‘pencil thin’.  Me, the fattest (140 lbs.), and sensing everyone thinking, “why is she here?”

I recognize this is an ED group, and do recall the intake interview phrase “you don’t have to look anorexic to have anorexia” however, it made it unpleasant.  I just couldn’t concentrate on the group’s subject: nutrition.

At break time, I conveyed my feelings to the group leader who said she would try and place me in another four week group with people around my own age.  I chose not to remain for the next hour and went home.

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