World Autism Awareness Day

For those who are unaware, today is “World Autism Awareness Day” — I am all for mental health awareness (my blog focuses on both mental and physical health). I think it is good that we keep ourselves educated and aware of current events going on around us, mental health issues/conditions and wanting to understand other people’s experiences. I know autism isn’t anything new, but I know people who suffer from a mild form of it, and some of my family members have worked with kids who suffer from moderate to more severe forms of autism. We have come a long way in science, but still there is no affirmative answer as to how some people become autistic and others don’t. It is believed that both environmental factors and genetics play a part in autistic persons but NO specific environmental causes have been proven yet. For a while I know many people blamed the vaccination that prevented childhood infectious diseases but multiple studies have said that the vaccinations did not increase the chances of autism — not saying that these studies are 100 percent true, because I believe there may be studies who slightly disagree with this claim, but I suppose it all depends on what source is saying what and your thoughts around it after gaining more understanding and research on the topic. 

 

If you are unaware of what autism is, it is characterized as “a developmental disorder that that impairs the ability to communicate and interact”. With this being said, it doesn’t mean that everyone with autism cannot speak or form sentences, or is mute; I have a client with autism, who functions and speaks just the same — as said before, some have mild forms and others have more moderate or severe forms of autism. 

 

Common signs of autism?

 
  • Social impairment and communication difficulties — some people find social interactions difficult. Simply avoiding eye contact, not respond to their name, children with autism may find they would rather be alone (play games by themselves vs playing with other children), many people with autism may have a difficult time with talking about their feelings and understanding other people’s feelings. Delayed speech, no speech, inappropriate forms of speech, awkwardness while talking, may repeat phrases, or give unrelated answers to questions.. etc.
  • Repetitive & characteristic behaviors: Repetitive movements or unusual behaviors, become obsessive over certain topics, preoccupied with certain aspects of a toy, many people with autism thrive from routine (changes can be challenging for them), anger or emotional outburst. etc. 

There are more signs I hadn’t listed but this gives you somewhat of an understanding but it’s always good to get more information from your medical doctor or a specialist in the area of mental health who can provide more answers. 

 

Treatments can include medications that DON’T CURE OR TREAT MAIN SYMPTOMS, medications can help some of the symptoms (anxiety, depression, obsessive behavior), another treatment is “educational & behavioral interventions (which have been proven to be helpful) 

 

Diagnosing autism can be difficult at times because of the fact that sometimes symptoms go unrecognized for a period of time & not everyone experiences the same type of symptoms. 

Some early on indicators might be: 

  • poor eye contact
  • no response to name
  • no babbling or pointing by age 1
  • no smiling or social responsiveness

just to name a few. Later indicators:

  • impaired ability to make friends with peers
  • repetitive or unusual use of language
  • abnormally intense or focused interest
  • preoccupation of certain objects or subjects

plus more that I haven’t listed. Again, the best thing to do is ask questions to medical professionals or do your own research, because even if you don’t know anyone who suffers from autism, it doesn’t mean you won’t ever come into contact with someone who doesn’t have it. Hopefully this information was somewhat helpful and more of you share your own tidbits of information in the comment sections; thanks for reading, comment, like, and share! 

 

Shay-lon 

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Seasonal Affective Disorder

It is getting to be that time of year where people typically get more gloomy because of the weather, and the seasons changing. Not only do people tend to get allergies or aches/pains, their personalities or moods can change. I have to thank a friend of mine for bringing this disorder to my attention because we were talking about how the weather makes us both kind of “blah” because of the lack of sunshine and it becoming more and more cold outside. Neither one of us has been diagnosed with “Seasonal Affective Disorder” and I don’t believe I have it and neither does she, but it brought up a good point because this isn’t a disorder that I hear much about until it gets to be about this time of year – even then, I don’t think a whole lot of people think twice about it. I decided to do some research and learn something new about a disorder and hopefully share what I have learned with all of you, BUT I always appreciate it more when it comes from someone who has the experience because it is more realistic and more personal – so if you have something to add to this, please do in the comment section 🙂

 

First things first, what is seasonal affective disorder? In simple terms, it is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons. Most often occurs in the early fall/winter and usually ends sometime around spring/summer. Clearly not everyone loves the cold weather but it doesn’t mean you have seasonal affective disorder. With this being said, I have some fun information below:

 

Word of caution: This disorder is not considered as a separate disorder. In order for someone to be diagnosed with SAD, they have to meet the full criteria or major depression coinciding with specific seasons for ATLEAST 2 years. This means it needs to be more frequent compared to other depressions. So having said this, there are reasons for why someone would be diagnosed with this, this isn’t just somebody who doesn’t like winter or cold weather – more goes into a diagnosis. 

 

Signs/symptoms:

Winter Pattern:

 
  • Low energy 
  • hypersomnia
  • overeating
  • weight gain
  • craving for carbohydrates
  • social withdrawal 

Summer SAD:

  • poor appetite /weight loss
  • insomnia 
  • agitation
  • restlessness
  • anxiety
  • episodes of violent behavior

Then also consider some of the major depression signs/symptoms along with these. 

 

Risk Factors Associated with SAD

  • Females are diagnosed more often than men with this disorder (lucky us ladies!, lol)
  • Living further from the equator
  • Family history of depression
  • Younger age

Treatment options:

  • Medication
  • light therapy
  • psychotherapy 
  • Vitamin D

With this being said, Vitamin D supplements haven’t been 100 percent proven to treat seasonal affective disorder, but having more time in the sunlight seems to help and taking the supplements is neither here or there in research.. depending on the individual. Now there may be new treatments available or perhaps more treatments I have not listed, and so share them if you will. If you have your own way of dealing with SAD, please share it for my readers and so I can also learn something as well. Thank you for reading, please feel free to share, like, reblog, and follow!

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon

 
 

I have Social Anxiety (Mental Health Awareness)

I will be first in line to admit that I have social anxiety (I believe I have mentioned this many times before) and while many people are in shock when I tell them this, because I come off outgoing and very talkative – this doesn’t mean anything, just means I mask it fairly well – not to mention, if you don’t understand social anxiety and what it means, you might not know what to look for when I am put in situations where I react. Now with this being said, this post will be both informative and yet, I will speak from my own experience as well, so hopefully you enjoy stories and perspective. I will start with the basics, what does it mean to have “social anxiety”?

 

Social anxiety is fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people BUT,  it stems from having a fear or anxiety of being negatively judged or evaluated by other people. —- I have dealt with this fear ALL MY LIFE and it sucks because I wanted to be more like the ones who “don’t care what others think” but even when I try, I know deep down I still care (even when I play if off like I don’t) now with this being said, yes, there have been times where I literally do not give a shit about what others think of me, or how they perceive me, and that usually is when I am at the gym or grocery store because I just feel like I have built confidence in those scenarios/environments. Although if you put me inside a new gym or a grocery store in a different town or area, my social anxiety will kick in because it is a new surrounding with new faces and I don’t know how to handle it.. so I just freak out in my mind. For some people they avoid situations like so, but I have learned to force myself to step outside my comfort level and make myself intentionally uncomfortable in order to fight my anxiety. 

 

Now let’s discuss some of the symptoms & I’ll share which ones i have, if any:

 
  • Rapid heart beat- this is another one I experience
  • blushing or sweating- sweating is one for me
  • feeling of mind going blank – I have this one
  • makes little to no eye contact 
  • speaks with overly soft voice
  • self conscious in front of others, feeling of embarrassed or awkward – This one I have
  • Being very afraid that other people will judge them – this one I have
  • Stay away from places where there are other people

Now, as you can see, I have quite a few signs/symptoms and some people have more or less, and not every situation do all these sign/symptoms display themselves. I personally know another sign/symptom that people I have dated have noticed and even people I have talked to, I tend to ramble when I speak in a conversation with someone, especially if I am interested in someone, or if I don’t know how to end a conversation, or if my nerves are all over the place. I know my ex used to mention that I ramble a lot on and off the phone and she would make jokes about it and I knew that sometimes it was awkward but since that relationship, I have been trying to get better at catching myself ramble and doing it less often. I guess for me, it is really tough to not ramble, because it is my way of comforting my anxiety or “hiding” it, but when people notice and make light of it, it makes me feel a little discouraged at times or feel insecure or puts me in an awkward position where I don’t know what to do or how to handle it – and that just means I went from social anxiety to now I am upset with myself and feeling really embarrassed by my actions. None of my friends or family have ever made comments on my rambling and that might be because I don’t ramble with them .. it’s weird, but also I am comfortable with them. I never notice other’s with social anxiety, it goes over my head if someone does and they are talking to me, because I am so focused on my own response and reactions & trying to come off less awkward that if anything I just assume you are shy and nothing more. 

 

Another thing I have noticed is, depending on the person and type of compliment they give me, I tend to get weird and say quick thank yous without even looking in your direction or I am pleasant and want to connect with you and my thank you comes off more friendly. I handle compliments better coming from females vs males as well. For some reason, I have yet to ever be awkward with a female who compliments me, but when it comes to males, it happens often unless I am comfortable with the male figure. Growing up, it wasn’t always like this but as I got older, it started to make sense as to why (& we won’t get into that at this point) but regardless I love compliments but handle them differently depending the nature of them, the sex and how comfortable I am with that person. I have known both, people who are flattered by compliments and others who get really tense and don’t like them.   

 

Causes:

There is NO one cause of it, but many factors that can lead to one possibly having social anxiety – but doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to get it just because you happen to have these issues but the chances could be greater. 

My mom has social anxiety and her’s is worse than mine, I would say, but she reacts to it differently than I do, on the other hand both of my younger siblings don’t seem to have it from the outside looking in, but I am not a professional so I wouldn’t actually know if they did unless they told me – so families can carry this trait. 

Misreading people’s behaviors toward you can be another cause of social anxiety- and I think I am decent at reading people, but I do tend to over analyze at times.

Underdeveloped social skills – this is a possible cause for myself. Growing up, I had friends but I was always the awkward duck, I didn’t know how to properly interact with others and not feel like an outcast and I think because I lacked some self confidence at times, I was always doing weird shit or saying weird random shit that in my mind was my way of trying to fit in but in reality was probably causing people to think I was weird or pushing people away. I developed a more comical personality in order to handle social situations and instead would always be the class clown and make people laugh and that is how I combated my own issues. 

 

As far as treatment goes, I never saw a professional for it, never had therapy or medication for it, and I refuse to go that far for myself because I think I have more of a handle on it now than I did in the past and I don’t feel like mine is very severe compared to other cases. I have learned to mask some of it, in order to push through and I have learned that if I force myself to confront my anxiety by stepping outside my comfort zone, it helps to build my confidence and encourages me to find ways to manage it better. For example, last year and previous years, I would go to Columbus here in Ohio for a weekend and stay in a hotel by myself and explore the city – downtown area, just walk and explore the stores, bars, etc all alone and  by doing that, I met people, I learned to find my own way and to handle situations that would make me uncomfortable and I loved doing that. This year, I went to a bar in my town alone, and the first time it went well, but the second time it went horribly and so I haven’t done it since then but I might consider doing it again at a different point in my life. My new goals to battle my social anxiety is to attend a movie alone and to eat at a restaurant alone because I am so used to doing them both with friends or family, so I want to step outside my comfort zone and do them by myself – also, I would like to attend a concert by myself and would love to drive out of town by myself again and explore another area .. so those are all goals to help me. 

 

I would love to hear from all of you with social anxiety, speak on what helps you, or try one of these ways of coping and let me know if it worked. If you enjoyed this post, like, comment, share and follow! 

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon xo

 
 

Tennis Elbow (Injury/Injury Prevention)

Also know as .. ‘Lateral Epicondylitis’. 

From the title, it can assumed it is probably an injury one occurs from playing tennis, BUT don’t be mistaken it is an injury that can occur from other sports as well. It is important that we know what kind of injuries are out there so we can help ourselves by knowing what to look for, how to handle the situation and causes so we can prevent it from happening again. 

My goal is to help you with understanding different injuries, and how to manage them, buALWAYS KEEP IN MIND: TO SPEAK WITH A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL! 

What is this injury?

 
  • commonly occurs near your ‘funny bone’, located on the outside of the elbow. 
  • can occur at the elbow and travel down to the forearm or hands when the elbow is in use. 
  • Tendinitis – swelling of the tendons

Causes:

  • Overuse is the more common reason- repetitive gripping and grasping activities. 
  • Trauma- a direct blow to the elbow can cause degeneration and in turn make it more susceptible to an overuse injury

Symptoms:

  • pain near the bony part of the elbow
  • weakness in the forearms, wrist and elbow region
  • Keep in mind that with activity the pain can start near the elbow and travel down to the forearms and hands

Treatment:

  • The activity which causes the injury will need to be limited
  • Ice the elbow for 20-30 minutes every 3 hours for 3-4 days until pain is gone
  • medication can help alleviate pain
  • Physical therapy for stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Might have to wear a brace
  • Having injections of steroids or painkillers to help with swelling and pain
  • Rest 
  • Sport massages are said to be useful for this injury
  • Surgery might have to be an option

Recovery can take several months or some people have been lucky enough where it recovers in less time than that depending on the severity of it. I noted up top that speaking with a medical doctor will be your best chance of dealing with it. 

 

Have any of you had this injury? if so, how long did it take for you to recover and how did you end up with this injury?

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon

 
 

Paranoid Schizophrenia (Mental Health Post)

Mental health is just as important as physical health, if not more important. 

 

Hello bloggers, as scheduled today would be mental health awareness by discussing a mental health condition. I chose this particular one because I don’t know anyone who has been diagnosed with it close to me and I didn’t know very much about it to be able to discuss so I had fun being able to research it and gain some understanding. I did happen to know some basics but enough to be able to write about it, so I post some links for this one to sites I used briefly or that I sited so that you can also read up on it, if it something of interest to you. 

 

What is Paranoid Schizophrenia?

 
  • When your mind doesn’t agree with reality – this is the way I understand it and the easiest way of explaining it so others can understand & the same way this site put it.
  • A lifelong illness
  • Affects how you think and behave

Symptoms:

  • Auditory disturbances
  • unexplained anger
  • emotional disconnectedness
  • sever anxiety and agitation
  • argumentive behavior
  • sometimes violent tendencies
  • Delusions of grandeur
  • frequent suicidal thoughts and behavior

Now there are other symptoms that people with schizophrenia may have that are not listed, so make sure to do your research and get a full understanding because each person handles this differently. 

 

Risk Factors:

Most studies say there is no ONE cause of this illness BUT there are some risk factors that can higher your chances: 

  1. Family history of psychotic disorders
  2. exposure to a viral infection in the womb
  3. fetal malnutrition
  4. stress in early childhood
  5. sexual or physical abuse
  6. older parental age
  7. Use of psychoactive drugs during adolescence 

Treatment:

  • THERE IS NO CURE AT THIS TIME FOR THIS ILLNESS!!!!
  • medications
  • psychotherapy
  • hospitalization
  • ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy)
  • training for social skills and development

Now with this being said, these are methods but they depend on the situation and circumstance, not everyone will agree to take medications or undergo therapies and that is their choice. I know many of them take more than one kind of medication and sometimes more than 2 or 3 depending on their situation and symptoms and the severity. The fact there is no cure for it is disheartening because this is something someone will have to deal with for the rest of their lives & I don’t think it would be easy or easy to explain to others who don’t have it and this is why I do these post so that hopefully it sheds light and brings awareness to the issue at hand. I personally have always believed that mental illness goes unnoticed because people don’t understand and believe them to be omens or ignore them in order to pretend it doesn’t exist (ignorance).  I like to think we are growing and learning and accepting people who may be different than ourselves BUT at the same time there are still people who look down on those with any type of mental illness. I believe in order to help people with their illnesses we have to be open minded and forgiving because it is not always that individuals fault that they have it. So with that being said..

 
  1. Do you know anyone who has this illness? or do yourself have it?
  2. Did you know a lot about this illness or was this something new?
  3. will you share this post to bring awareness to mental health 

Links I used for this post: 

 

Thank you for reading!

 

Fitness Wonderwoman, 

Shay-lon xo

Tips: exercising in cold environments.

FitFam Friday! 

So I figured since we are still in the winter months (in most places) that I would give you guys some tips when it comes to exercising in the cold weather months. Now these tips are for those of you who intend to be outside when getting your sweat on. Personally, I have never been one to enjoy exercising outside when it is cold – mainly because I have bad blood circulation in my fingers and toes and because I don’t like winter months, so I hit up the gym instead. For those of you currently workout outside during the colder months or those who would like to give it try, I hope this list comes handy to you. Keep in mind that “cold injuries” could occur, so safety is a must. 

 
 
  • Typically one should wear 3 layers of clothing pending the assessment of weather: inner layer, middle layer and outer layer. 
  • Wear clothing that minimizes sweating
  • Avoid an outer layer of clothing unless it is rainy or very windy
  • Reduce clothing insulation as exercise intensity increases 
  • For trainers: don’t impose a single clothing standard on an entire group of exercisers
  • Wear appropriate footwear to avoid slips and falls. 

Medical conditions that could occur in cold environments:

  • Hypothermia: when heat loss exceeds heart production (factors: immersion, rain, wet clothing, low body fat, older age, and some health conditions) 
  • Frostbite: Tissue temperatures fall lower than 0 degrees C / “contact” frostbite can occur from touching cold objects with bare skin that causes rapid heat loss. 

Cold weather is not a barrier in performing physical activity, however it is very important to dress appropriately and know the signs/symptoms of cold injuries. Thank you for reading. 

 

Please take a moment and let me know if you exercise in cold weather, have you ever had the above cold injuries, and how you minimize your chances of injury.  Also, feel free to mention what type of exercises you take part in your cold environment (this includes if you play any winter sports).

 

Your Fitness Blogger,

Shay-lon xxxx

Sprains

sprains

Well finally after having time to make some new content, I thought I would start it off with an injury, something most people can relate to and would not like to happen to them. First of all, how many of you have had a sprain?! (Raise of hands) and how many of you knew how to handle your sprain? (Raise of hands), okay, okay! seems like we have a good number of people in the blogosphere who have been in this situation once or twice before. Personally I have never had a sprain (that I can remember) although you would think my chances would have been higher considering I was a track athlete and basketball player and they tend to get sprains fairly often but I suppose I got lucky (knock on wood). Today, I won’t go too in-depth about this injury because it isn’t hard to comprehend, but I want to make sure everyone is aware of this injury if it should happen to them. Also, feel free to share your stories in the comment section. 

Sprain: A stretching or tearing of ligaments (the fibrous tissue that connects joints and bones) 

Some of the more common types of sprains:

  1. Sprained ankle
  2. Sprained thumb
  3. Sprained wrist
  4. Sprained knee
Symptoms:
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Limited ability to move the affected joint
  • At the time of injury, you may hear or feel a ‘pop’ in your joint
Risk Factors to consider:
  1. Poor conditioning
  2. Fatigue
  3. Improper warm-up
  4. Environmental conditions
  5. Poor equipment
Treatment:
  • Medications- some Ibuprofen or Tylenol may help with the pain for minor sprains
  • Apply ice as soon as possible to minimize swelling – in worse case scenarios the doctor may decide to use a splint or brace
  • Elevate the affected area
  • One may choose to use compression bandages (unless you notice more swelling, more pain, etc)
  • Rest- avoid activities that cause pain. 
Mild-moderate sprains are said to heal within 3-6 weeks, over the course you should be gradually using the area that is affected unless a doctor says differently. In any case, you should contact your doctor if pain, swelling, or other symptoms become a problem. 
Your fitness blogger,
Shay-lon xxx