How Will A Sexually Transmitted Disease Effect You?

images-4Sexual relationships are tricky, no matter what your situation. It can be a delicate balancing act of physical attraction and emotional interest in your partner. But what if your partner has a sexually transmitted disease? Would you still sleep with them? Would you be concerned about becoming infected yourself? How does it change the dynamic of your sexual relationship with this person? Having an active sex life while having a sexually transmitted disease can be a hot button issue between sexual partners, but how should it be handled?

Having an STD can drastically change your sex life. There is a large amount of shame that comes from having a sexually transmitted disease. Shame in the fact you have a disease and shame that you could pass it on to others and drastically change their lives. Society puts a label on those that have an STD, one that defines them as unclean, promiscuous, unprepared, and undesirable. The truth of the matter is that some people contract STDs from those that they love and trust. Yes, your chances for contracting an STD go up with the number of partners you have, but there are many people who have slept with very few people and contracted an STD from a long term partner. The tried and true “don’t judge a book by its cover”, applies here just as it does to other situations. It may be disheartening to many people that you have something you could pass on to them. The risk for transmission can be very high for diseases, even higher when you engage in unprotected sex. Unsuspecting partners are much less likely to protect themselves, than those who know they are sleeping with someone who has an STD. It is extremely difficult to tell someone that you are interested in that you have a disease of this nature, but there are responsibilities on both sides of the table.images-2 (1)

For the person that is living with the disease, responsibility is important. Owning up to the fact that you are infected is so important. You have a responsibility to inform your partners and make sure that you are doing everything you can to protect them as well as yourself from contracting further infections and diseases. You are not your disease. It is important to remember that you have value and can contribute more than just sexually. You will be rejected by some people, and others will have questions. It is important that you prepare yourself for these situations by owning your disease and having responsible practices when it comes to sex.

For the person that is considering sleeping with someone with a sexually transmitted disease, it is important to remember that it is completely your choice. It is your choice to engage or not engage in sexual activity with someone who has a sexually transmitted disease, but you need to know the facts. The best way to protect yourself is to be informed. Know what you are getting into 110%. The internet may be a good resource but a medical professional is the best. Talking to someone first hand will allow you to ask the important questions. And don’t be afraid to ask your potential partner the questions that you have.

images (1)So where can you get support and information about sexually transmitted diseases? One place to start is your GP, gynecologist, or medical doctor. They will be able to provide you with the information that you will need or at least point you in the right direction of that information. There are also resources in the community that can assist you with your sexual health. In Toronto, there is the Bay Centre for Birth Control. It is centered around women’s health and can help you with examinations, information, counselling, and referrals. (Links provided below)

Having a sexually transmitted disease does not have to stop your sex life. As long as you are responsible and respectful, there are many options for those wishing to have intercourse with someone who is/isn’t infected. There are many couples that have successful and fulfilling relationships when one or both partners is infected. It is important to remain hopeful and look towards total wellness; mind, body, and spirit.

Links:

http://www.womenscollegehospital.ca/programs-and-services/family-planning-fertility-care-sexual-health/bay-centre-for-birth-control460/

http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=30865e67bbee0410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextfmt=default

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Drug Abuse in Affluent Teens

Money can do very strange things to people. It can cause some to completely lose their sense of self, which in turn causes them to seek out a new sense of self. Often times with kids and teens that are raised in a wealthy environment this can be the case because they are looking for a sense of purpose. They struggle to make an identity for themselves, separate from their family name. Their parents are often high achievers, Unknown (1)choosing to work and earn rather than spend time with their families. Being a high achiever comes with high standards, standards that teenagers may often fail to meet. These expectations can be overwhelming for a child. Children in wealthy families also often have a lot more spare time on their hands than other children would. Often times they lack responsibilities such as chores and jobs, leaving them with unstructured and unfilled time. So what do these children and teens choose to fill their time with? Well they often have the means to participate in anything that they would like to, but there are some that will choose to do something extreme to make an identity of their own. This is where experimentation and the abuse of substances comes in.

Prescription medications, illicit substances, and alcohol are more readily available to more affluent teenagers. Whether they are purchasing from peers, or taking them from home, wealthier teenagers seem to have access to a wider variety of substances early on and the means to acquire anything they might have in mind. It is pretty much a given that there will be substances present at a high school party, and it should come as no images-3 (1)surprise that there is a large variety to choose from. More and more teenagers are choosing to experiment during parties with their friends, and it is a breeding ground for future addiction and substance abuse. Often trying these drugs once is more than enough to get hooked, and the consequences aren’t always the first thought with teens and peer pressure.

One question that often can come about is how is it possible for kids to get a hold of these substances? Often the home medicine cabinet is more than enough. Coupled with an accessible liquor cabinet, the home can be just as diverse in the types of things kids are trying to get their hands on. This begs the question, what can be done about preventing overdose and addiction?

Well the first step is education about the consequences of using drugs. Now this isn’t exclusive to educating about illicit substances like cocaine and heroin, but also the dangers of using alcohol, prescription medications, and over-the-counter medications imagesas well as marijuana. Often times parents will use scare tactics in an attempt to discourage their children from using drugs, but this doesn’t work. Just the facts are often enough. This education needs to be paired with encouragement to make good choices and an understanding that there is an open line of communication at all times. Structure is also very important for teens. It is important that they learn responsibility and earning what they have. Teaching teenagers these values early on is a great way to set them up to be a contributing adult.  Having dinner as a family can be the most crucial time you have with your kids and teens in educating them, creating communication, spending time with them and bonding with them daily. images-1 (1)

Adolescence is a crucial period in a child’s life. Their bodies, minds, and spirits are changing at a rapid rate, and with these changes comes big responsibility. It is so important that children and teens are educated about drugs and alcohol in order to make informed decisions. Mistakes will be made, boundaries will be pushed, but the important things is that the teens stay safe, happy and healthy.

How Do You Spot A Controller?

Controllers often have a very deep seeded need to have everything exactly the way they expect, in order to feel safe, secure, and successful.  Needing to be in control of everything and everyone around us. While in some cases having iStock_000019982235XSmallcontrol is necessary, it is not always so. Most things in life require a power exchange, giving up some of yours in order to gain some of someone else’s. This exchange is essential to healthy relationships. The lack of this exchange causes dysfunction and can lead to resentment. But why is our need for control so deep seeded?

We want control out of fear. It could be a fear of what might happen if we don’t have control. It could be a fear that we will lose all control. Regardless of what the fear is, it drives us to find ways to gain the upper hand in situations that we can’t necessarily change. Anxiety also drives our need for control. This anxiety can be rooted in a fear that our needs will not be met completely by those we care about. We are driven by a fear of being hurt, rejected, humiliated, abandoned, or failure. As a result of this anxiety and fear, we become disappointed, frustrated, and even angry when things don’t go according to plan. Vulnerability and giving over control are uncomfortable for this reason.

There is also an aspect of denial in with certain people. Some people refuse to recognize that they are trying to manipulate and bend others and situations to work the way they want to. This causes conflict in relationships while others begin to recognize the manipulation. Sometimes denial is in the way of seeing shutterstock_83971024the need to control and an easy way to promise conflict in dysfunctional relationships.

There are just some times when we feel like we have lost all control. We may feel lost, or threatened. This can cause turmoil in our relationships and everyday life. We may lash out at those around us in an attempt to force them to give over their control. This makes the power exchange lose equilibrium, causing the other person to push back. Further conflict will just lead to further power struggle, in which no one will get what they need. We can meet our other needs without having complete and total control, but the problem most times is learning to accept that and not make the other person wrong. But how can we learn to accept that we cannot manage everything?

There is no easy answer or way to do so. We need to learn to recognize that it is impossible to control everything and everyone. The world is going to function around us as it will, and the only control we have is over ourselves. It is also important to recognize that in order to gain control, you need to give up some of your control. Relationships are a constant exchange of power, but that does not mean that one is weaker than the other.

Some people are what we call “Controllers”. Controllers try to dictate what you think, say, and feel all of the time. They are perfectionists more often than not, and will refuse to do anything that isn’t the way they would do it. They have an opinion about absolutely everything and will let you know what it is. Their comments border on irritating and abusive, making it hard to be around them. But in reality, many of us can attract a controller. Controllers are attracted to those who are the “victim” type; those with low self-esteem. Controllers find it easy to manipulate victims and have no trouble keeping them under their thumb. This is a very dysfunctional and toxic relationship combination. So what do you do if you are involved with a controller?

Well there are several approaches you can take, most of which won’t work. Going on the offensive is one way to push the buttons of a Controller, but trying to tell them what to do will not work. It is important to remain calm and confid  ent, and sticking to your guns. You can’t let a controller push you around, but you also have to learn to pick your battles. Sweating the small stuff just gives them more leverage in the long run, so standing your ground on the important issues should be priority.

shutterstock_50186851Having power can do a lot of great things as far as self-esteem and confidence are concerned, but too much is never a good thing. As with most things, control is good in moderation. It is important to keep in mind the equilibrium in relationships because they require a power exchange. Your needs can be met without having total control over every one, everything, and every situation. It is most important to remember to treat those we care about with love, respect, and humility.

Connecting the Mind, Body, and Soul: Meditation and Other Relaxation Techniques

Many times in life we experience times of high stress. It is often a combination of work, home, and personal turmoil that causes us to forget to take time out for ourselves. With busy schedules and not much personal time, it may be hard to relax and forget about stressful situations. There are many different techniques you can try to clear your mind and to truly relax.

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Focusing on breathing is a great way to set your worries aside and distract your mind. By focusing on your deep inhale and refreshing exhale, you are allowing your mind to drift into a state in which you are only conscious of your breath. An example of this is:

Inhale deeply through your mouth. Count 1…2…3… Exhale completely through your nose. Focus solely on your breathing. Let all of your thoughts outside breathing drift away.

Another great technique is meditation. Focusing on breathing and clearing your mind are important parts of meditation. Eventually letting even the thoughts of breathing drift from your mind is the goal of meditation. It is used to create a sense of clarity and it takes great focus and practice.

Some find yoga to be relaxing. A combination of both exercise and focus, yoga stretches not only your body but your mind as well. The more advanced yoga positions can take years and much practice to get right to make them effective.shutterstock_60220876

Making time for yourself is essential. Not taking time out to do the things that you enjoy will leave you feeling burnt out. A great way to relax is having a hobby or something that you like to do by yourself. Painting, fixing/building things, or even going for walks are things that can be enjoyed and not too mentally taxing. The point of relaxing is to focus on yourself and recharging your batteries.shutterstock_6374107

Doing things for yourself is also essential. Maybe having a little extra splurge on an outfit, or buying that DVD you were really looking forward to can be a nice treat for yourself every once in a while.

We all have busy lives. The constant running around and changing schedule can wear deeply on a person. This wear comes in many forms; fatigue, depression, irritability, etc. Others will feed off of that energy and interact with you accordingly. Taking time out for yourself will not only improve your mood, but also improve the mood of people that surround you.