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Author: National Women's Health Information Center

Stress and your Health

I have two full time jobs – I’m a customer service center manager and a mom of two young kids. I see myself as a happy person and a hard worker. But last month, the commute to work, my job, the chores around the house, and trying to spend enough time with my kids was really stressing me out. I have to get up really early in the morning to get the kids ready for school, then it takes me so long to get to work that I’m in a bad mood by the time I get there. My office is short-staffed and we had a lot of deadlines to meet so I was working overtime. My home life suffered?traffic going home doesn’t help my mood, and when I got there, I was just so tired I didn’t want to do anything! But I was faced with making dinner and doing laundry. My kids need my attention too! I wanted to handle my stress before it got the best of me. I talked with my boss about working later hours so I don’t run into so much traffic and am in a better mood when I get there and get home. I asked my husband to pick up the kids from school, and he has offered to help more with dinner and the laundry. When he cooks, I go...

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The Facts About PTSD

What is post-traumatic stress disorder and how is it treated? Post-traumatic stress disorder (ptsd) is a debilitating condition that follows a terrifying event. Often, people with PTSD have persistent frightening thoughts and memories of their ordeal and feel emotionally numb, especially with people to whom they were once close. War veterans first brought PTSD, once referred to as shell shock or battle fatigue, to the public’s attention, but it can result from any number of traumatic incidents. These include kidnapping, serious accidents such as car or train wrecks, natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes, violent attacks such as...

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What is Postpartum Depresssion

Why do women get postpartum depression? Having a baby can be one of the biggest and happiest events in a woman’s life. While life with a new baby can be thrilling and rewarding, it can also be hard and stressful at times. Many physical and emotional changes can happen to a woman when she is pregnant and after she gives birth. These changes can leave new mothers feeling sad, anxious, afraid, or confused. For many women, these feelings (called the baby blues) go away quickly. But when these feelings do not go away or get worse, a woman may have postpartum depression. This is a serious condition that requires quick treatment from a health care provider. What is postpartum depression? Are the “baby blues” the same thing as postpartum depression? Postpartum depression (PPD) is a condition that describes a range of physical and emotional changes that many mothers can have after having a baby. PPD can be treated with medication and counseling. Talk with your health care provider right away if you think you have PPD. There are three types of PPD women can have after giving birth: The baby blues happen in many women in the days right after childbirth. A new mother can have sudden mood swings, such as feeling very happy and then feeling very sad. She may cry for no reason and can feel impatient,...

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What is Insomnia?

It is not unusual to have sleep troubles from time to time. But, if you feel that you do not get enough sleep or satisfying sleep, you may have insomnia, a sleep disorder. People with insomnia have one or more of the following: difficulty falling asleep; waking up often during the night and having trouble going back to sleep; waking up too early in the morning; unrefreshing sleep. Insomnia can cause problems during the day, such as sleepiness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. A person with insomnia may also have another sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless legs syndrome. Insomnia is not defined by the number of hours you sleep every night. The amount of sleep a person needs varies. While most people need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep a night, some people do well with less, and some need more. About 60 million Americans each year suffer from insomnia, which can lead to serious sleep deficits and problems. Insomnia tends to increase with age and affects about 40 percent of women and 30 percent of men. What are the different types of insomnia and what causes them? A person can have primary or secondary insomnia. Primary insomnia means that a person is having sleep problems that are not directly associated with any other health condition or problem. Secondary insomnia means that a person...

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The Basics about Anxiety Disorders

What are anxiety disorders? Are they common? Everybody knows what It’s like to feel anxious – the butterflies in your stomach before a first date, the tension you feel when your boss is angry, the way your heart pounds if you’re in danger. Anxiety isn’t always a bad thing. It can help you cope with life’s everyday stress. It makes you study harder for that exam, keeps you on your toes when you’re making a speech, and helps you stay focused when looking for a job or asking for a raise. But if you have an anxiety disorder, this...

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