Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Are You Ready for A Change?


Are You Ready For A Change?


Whether as a family or as an individual, change cannot happen unless you are ready for it.


There are four stages of readiness when it comes to change.


Stage 1: Compelled by authority to change.


Stage 2: Comply to escape criticism. (“It’s when everybody expects you to do it, so you fulfill their expectations.”)


Stage 3: Intellectually aware of the need for change.


Stage 4: Mentally and emotionally self-motivated by change.

“Stage 4 is when you can honest to God say, ‘I am so sick to death of this that I will not put up with this for another second, for another minute of another hour of another day. I don’t care how scary it is, I don’t care what’s on the other side, I will not put up with this for another second. I will change this, I don’t care what it takes.’ That’s when you get change,”


Health and Wellness Associates


Dr. M. Williams



Lifestyle, Uncategorized

What to Tell Your Boss About Your Mental Health Diagnosis



What to Tell Your Boss About Your Mental Health Diagnosis


A diagnosis of a mental illness—either yours or a family member’s—can upend your career. Your condition may get in the way of your ability to do your job well, or, even if it doesn’t, you may need to make special arrangements to get the care you or your loved one needs.And disruptions can prove costly. Workers with depression lose nearly six hours of productivity a week at work, according to a 2003 study published in JAMA. According to a 2013 Gallup survey, full-time workers with depression miss an additional 4.3 days of work a year compared to their counterparts without depression, while a American Journal of Psychiatry report found that workers with serious mental illness earn about 40% less than those with no such problems.


No two paths are the same. Stan Brodsky, 71, was walking to the shower one morning 15 years ago when a sinking feeling stopped him in his tracks. “I just couldn’t do it,” says Stan. “I had to get back in bed.”Brodsky, diagnosed with serious depression, was fortunate. His therapy costs were held in check thanks to his insurance, while his company essentially told him to take the time he needed to get well.


But then there’s Linette Murphy. She first knew something was wrong when her daughter Sapphira was three-and-a half. “I received calls from daycare saying that she was throwing chairs, having temper tantrums that lasted for hours, and banging her head against the wall,” Murphy recalls.Sapphira was diagnosed with disruptive mood dysregulation (or bipolar disorder) at age four. Over the decade that’s followed, Murphy has spent tens of thousands of dollars, and countless hours, caring for her child. In doing so, she’s sacrificed career advancement over and over again.


“I have willingly taken two demotions, and a cut in pay of about $25,000, so that I could move from my corporate headquarters in Orlando to New England, to better schools for my daughter and to be closer to family so they could help with her care,” Murphy says. “I have turned down a promotion every single year for the last eight years so that I can effectively juggle my career and being her mom.”

What Brodsky and Murphy’s stories underscore is that there is no way to predict how a mental illness will affect your career. And since you may not know how your employer will respond, you may be cautious about revealing your condition in the first place.

What’s more, a condition like depression or anxiety can be a hidden disability, which puts the onus on you to manage the conversation. In fact, one study found that those with a less apparent disability are more concerned with their jobs than those will more obvious symptoms are. They fear they’ll be fired or not hired and won’t be offered a promotion, according to a 2013 study in the Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, which polled 780 people with disabilities ranging from a mental health condition to a hearing impairment.

The most common reason people with any disability gave for not informing an employer was a fear of being fired, not hired or missing out on a promotion. Only a quarter of those with mental health symptoms feel that “people are caring and sympathetic to persons with mental illness,”according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


To navigate your work environment no matter your condition, follow this guide.

Know Your Rights

If you can do your job but need some flexibility or specific accommodations, you’re most likely entitled to receive them.

The Americans With Disabilities Act, which applies to companies with more than 15 employees, covers a psychological disability if it “substantially impairs one or more major life activities” and you can do the job “with or without reasonable accommodations.”

That means you could request adaptable start times and schedules, a specialized work area to reduce noise or distraction, and working from home, among other possible accommodations.

Request your reasonable accommodations in writing from your company’s HR department. (You can find a sample letter on the Job Accommodations Network’s website.) If you feel as if your employer is not responsive to your needs, you can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Take Advantage of In-House Help

Most large and midsize companies offer employee assistance programs, says Aon Hewitt senior senior health and wellbeing consultant Denise Heybrock. You, or your family members, will receive a few free sessions of confidential counseling, generally five to eight, and help finding more permanent in-network care if you need longer-term assistance.

Assess the Culture

If you suffer from, say, bipolar disorder or depression, but don’t need a special schedule or similar adjustment, you may want to think long and hard before disclosing your illness.

“Do you feel good about the culture in your organization?” asks Carolyn McClanahan, a medical doctor and Jacksonville, Fla., financial planner. “Have you seen your organization help people go through issues like your facing?”

If the answer is no, or if your company seems to be looking for an excuse to reduce payroll, you might be better off not disclosing your illness to your supervisor—or even the employee assistance program—unless you absolutely have to.“There’s a lot of fear. People equate mental health with danger and violence,” says Sade Ali, senior associate in the behavioral health technical assistance center of the Altarum Institute. “There’s still a lot of struggle around seeking care and being identified as someone with challenges.”


Be Willing to Be Flexible

Open a line of dialogue with your employer if you need to alter your schedule. MaryEllen Joyce, much like Linette Murphy, had two full-time jobs: coordinating care for her son, who suffered from substance abuse and depression, and working as a business manager for a Massachusetts marketing company.

The responsibility of her son’s care fell squarely on Joyce’s shoulders, which meant she had fewer hours in the day to do her job. So she and her boss settled on a deal: Three days a week she’d leave at 2 p.m., and in exchange her pay would be cut by a third. While the trade-off was difficult to swallow, it allowed Joyce to drive to her son’s therapeutic school visits, wrangle with insurance providers, and keep her job.Her son has made progress, she says, and things have started to settle down, letting Joyce invest more in her career. “It was hard fought, but I got my full-time job back,” Joyce says. “I was rewarded by getting more responsibility.”


Health and Wellness Associates


Dr. M. Williams



Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Seven Steps to Reaching Your Goals


Seven Steps to Reaching Your Goals


Successfully executing any personal strategic plan for change requires that as you develop your plan, you effectively incorporate these seven steps for attaining each and every goal:

  1. Express your goal in terms of specific events or behaviors.


For a dream to become a goal, it has to be specifically defined in terms of operations, meaning what will be done. When a goal is broken down into steps, it can be managed and pursued much more directly. “Being happy,” for example, is neither an event nor a behavior. When you set out to identify a goal, define what you want in clear and specific terms.


  1. Express your goal in terms that can be measured.


How else will you be able to determine your level of progress, or even know when you have successfully arrived where you wanted to be? For instance, how much money do you aspire to make?


  1. 3. Assign a timeline to your goal.


Once you have determined precisely what it is you want, you must decide on a timeframe for having it. The deadline you’ve created fosters a sense of urgency or purpose, which in turn will serve as an important motivator, and prevent inertia or procrastination.


  1. 4. Choose a goal you can control.


Unlike dreams, which allow you to fantasize about events over which you have no control, goals have to do with aspects of your existence that you control and can therefore manipulate. In identifying your goal, strive for what you can create, not for what you can’t.


  1. Plan and program a strategy that will get you to your goal.



Pursuing a goal seriously requires that you realistically assess the obstacles and resources involved, and that you create a strategy for navigating that reality. Willpower is unreliable, fickle fuel because it is based on your emotions. Your environment, your schedule and your accountability must be programmed in such a way that all three support you — long after an emotional high is gone. Life is full of temptations and opportunities to fail. Those temptations and opportunities compete with your more constructive and task-oriented behavior. Without programming, you will find it much harder to stay the course.


  1. Define your goal in terms of steps.


Major life changes don’t just happen; they happen one step at a time. Steady progress, through well-chosen, realistic, interval steps, produces results in the end. Know what those steps are before you set out.


  1. Create accountability for your progress toward your goal.



Without accountability, people are apt to con themselves. If you know precisely what you want, when you want it — and there are real consequences for not doing the assigned work — you are much more likely to continue in your pursuit of your goal. Find someone in your circle of family or friends to whom you can be accountable. Make periodic reports on your progress.


Health and Wellness Associates


  1. Drews

Dr. M. Williams