Emily Chau

Are Married Women Happier?

December 16, 2009 at 11:15 am , by

brideMaybe there was some truth behind Bridget Jones’s phrase “smug marrieds” after all.

New Zealand researchers found that marriage may lower your risk of depression, but that once the relationship ends you’re more susceptible to mental health disorders.  This study looked at WHO World Mental Health survey data from over 34,000 people in 15 different countries.  While previous research has shown that married women tend to be more depressed than their single counterparts, this study suggests that wedded bliss extends to both men and women. But if union ends in death, divorce or separation, women are more likely to turn to substance abuse and men have an increased risk of getting the blues.

So what’s been your experience? Is life better as a swinging single or happily married ever after?

Photo by Sweet-Things

Categories: Health, Ladies' Lounge, Relationships | Tags: | 7 Comments

Identifying Bipolar Depression

December 2, 2009 at 3:45 pm , by

sad faceCheck out this post by guest blogger and intern, Kristen Domonell.

Do you know someone who’s been depressed for months, maybe even years, and nothing has been able to pull her out of her slump? She may be suffering from bipolar depression.

Bipolar depression is the depressive phase of bipolar disorder and may affect up to 8 million Americans. Symptoms include prolonged feelings of sadness and emptiness, feelings of worthlessness, inability to concentrate and loss of interest in activities once enjoyed.  Unlike major depressive disorder—the type of depression we’re more familiar with—bipolar depression is accompanied by periods of extreme highs. Patients sometimes overlook their mania when consulting a physician, leading to misdiagnosis and improper care.

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Regaining Happiness

November 4, 2009 at 1:28 pm , by

happy manniBad news, ladies: Women are reporting happiness levels lower than we were 35 years ago.  Yet during that same time we’ve closed the wage gap, gone to college in higher numbers and have even gotten men to pitch in more at home. So despite all of these advances women have made since the 1970s, why are we turning from Happy to Grumpy?

Now I’ve been told from the cradle that I can get anything that I want so long as I work for it—happiness included.  I want to have my cake and eat it too.  With that in mind, here are 3 quick tips to regain some of our lost happiness.

Tip #1: Don’t watch the news first thing in the morning.  The first few minutes of your morning can really set the tone for your whole day, and the news, especially this past year, can be depressing. Instead of immediately turning on the tube or logging online to get your news fix, try waiting 30 minutes.

Tip #2: Write down what you’re grateful for.  Happiness guru Martin Seligman, Ph.D. found that people who kept a gratitude journal for a month boosted their mood.

Tip #3: Schedule time for yourself.  Take a page out of Mrs. Obama’s book and consciously take care of your own needs.  So whether it’s exercising everyday or indulging in the occasional manicure, there’s no need to feel guilty about blocking out “me time” and investing in yourself.

Photo via procsilas

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No More Exercise Excuses

October 29, 2009 at 9:46 am , by

Kim Lyons Prologue hi-resThe statistics are scary. Two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese.  What’s worse: obesity is still on the rise.  Plus, the prevalence of diabetes has jumped 50 percent in the last 10 years. With all the cards seemingly stacked against us, what’s a girl to do?

We talked to The Biggest Loser’s Kim Lyons for tips on how to tackle some common exercise excuses.

The Excuse: I don’t have enough time to exercise
The Solution: Write it down in your day planner. “To be really consistent in your exercise, you have to intentionally schedule it into your day,” says Lyons.

The Excuse: I just don’t see any results
The Solution: Dedicate at least 21 days to develop a consistent routine. “I find that people usually don’t see results of a fitness routine because they’re not consistent,” says Lyons. “I think some people are looking for an easy way out, but the only way to see change is to make a habit of exercising.”

Do 30 minutes of exercise still sound like too much?  Try divvying your exercise into three 10-minute sections.  Here are some easy ideas to sneak in exercise:
-    March in place when you wake up
-    Walk for part of your lunch break
-    Walk your dog
-    Take the stairs instead of the elevator
-    Wash your car
-    Do your own gardening
-    Listen to some pump up music while cleaning
-    Stretch during commercials

Kim Lyons is a trainer on The Biggest Loser and author of Your Body, Your Life. She currently speaks out on diabetic nerve pain.

What You Need to Know About the H1N1 Vaccine

October 8, 2009 at 12:06 pm , by

EghrariThere are a lot of questions out there about the H1N1 vaccine, so we asked Dr. Jackie Eghrari-Sabet, M.D., to give us the scoop. She’s an allergist practicing in the Washington, DC Metro area, founder of Family Asthma & Allergy Care and a spokesperson for the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology.

Who can get the H1N1 vaccine?
While anyone can ask their doctor for the H1N1 vaccine, pregnant women, people who live with or take care of babies younger than 6 months old, children and young adults (6 months to 24 years old), and healthcare personnel have first priority. Adults ages 24 to 65 who have a chronic disease (asthma, immunosuppressive diseases, chemotherapy, cardiac disease, kidney disease) are also in line for the vaccine. A recent study found that adults older than 65 years old have a “less robust” response to the H1N1 vaccine, as is the case with the seasonal vaccine, but these people are also at a lower risk of contracting swine flu.

Is one shot enough?

The single shot dose has been shown to be effective in people 10 years of age and older.  Children 9 years old and younger should receive the two-dose vaccine, spaced four weeks apart.

Does it matter whether I get the shot or the spray?
Both the shot and the spray have been show to be equally effective.  However, if you have a chronic respiratory disease such as asthma, you should get the shot.

Are there any side effects to the H1N1 vaccine?
Some people are worried that because the swine flu vaccine was developed so quickly, it might not be safe. However, there’s little cause for concern.  The H1N1 vaccine was created using the same process as the regular seasonal flu vaccine—we’ve just substituted H1N1 where we would have put another influenza strain.  You might feel a little achey and worn out as your body mounts an immunological response to the vaccine.  Like the seasonal flu vaccine, the H1N1 flu vaccine is grown in eggs, so people who have an egg allergy should consult their allergist about the appropriateness of receiving the vaccine.

Can I get it at the same time as my regular seasonal flu shot?
You should not get the H1N1 and seasonal flu nasal sprays at the same visit. However, you can receive swine flu shot at the same time as any other vaccine, including the seasonal flu vaccine.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Jackie Eghrari-Sabet.

Trying It Out: Hyp-Yoga

September 24, 2009 at 12:09 pm , by

Hyp-Yoga Session

Everything goes with yoga—or at least, that’s what it seems.  There’s hot yoga, power yoga, laughter yoga, and of course the hybrid-types like yogalates and doga. So when I got an email about trying a session of Hyp-Yoga, a new wellness program founded by Carly Cummings which blends—you got it—hypnosis and yoga, I couldn’t resist.  Sound like an unlikely pairing?  A little.  But it’s not as odd as it initially seems.

Research shows that there are there are plenty of health benefits of yoga and hypnosis.  While yoga can help improve your flexibility, lower blood pressure and fight stress, hypnosis has been used to help people lose weight, quit smoking and control pain.

Did that mean that in a Hyp-Yoga session I could get two for the price of one?

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Stepping It Up A Notch: My Pedometer Experiment

September 10, 2009 at 10:09 am , by

2850279479_43a619b5b0I may write words for a living, but deep down, I’m a numbers kinda girl. I like things you can count. The number of rows it takes finish off an ear of corn. Taxi meter fare. Twitter followers. So it only seemed natural that I was attracted to the notion of strapping on a pedometer to figure out how many steps I walk a day.

Popular guidelines suggest aiming for 10,000 steps a day, a goal that has its roots in Japanese walking clubs and slogans from the 1960s.  And research shows that taking 10,000 steps a day can help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure.

So how did this health editor measure up?   Read more

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