Tips to Reduce New School Year Anxiety

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Mental Health, Parents | Posted on 08-26-2014

Shy-Girl-Going-to-SchoolGoing back to school is an exciting time of year for most children. Some, however, experience anxiety and feel stressed as soon as they hear those dreaded words, “back to school.”

Anxious children are often overly tense and may need a lot of encouragement. Anxiety presents itself in children in many different ways. According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, among the most common types are:

  • Separation anxiety: Symptoms of separation anxiety include refusing to go to school and having constant thoughts and fears about the safety of parents and caretakers.
  •  Phobia: Symptoms include extreme fear of a specificthing or situation, which can cause significant distress and interfere with usual situations.
  •  Social anxiety: Symptoms include having many worries about things before they happen and fears of embarrassment or making mistakes.

So, what should a parent do if they notice their child showing signs of back-to-school anxiety?

Finding the Right Tools Helps 80-year-old Erma Tester Regain Her Life

Posted by | Posted in Classes, Taylorville, Testimonial | Posted on 08-21-2014

Erma-Tester“Overwhelming” is how Erma Tester, 80, describes the grief she experienced when Everett, her husband of 63 years, passed away in the fall of 2012. She cried for seven months straight and couldn’t sleep at night.

The anxiety and depression grew until one night she became obsessed with the logistics of dealing with Everett’s things, including his vast array of tools. The right side of her face began to throb, and a panic took over. She called her daughter at 1:30 a.m. and went to the emergency room for tests, which came back normal.

Afterward, her primary care physician, Dr. Rick DelValle, referred her to Taylorville Memorial Hospital’s Senior Life Solutions, a program that provides participants with a different kind of tool box—one equipped with resources to handle life’s challenges. Erma attended the program twice weekly for 12 weeks, and it changed her outlook for the better.

Super Survivor Overwhelmed by Huge Support from Employer, Co-Workers

Posted by | Posted in Be Aware Women's Fair Super Survivors, Women | Posted on 08-19-2014

Super-Survivor-Sue-FaganThe day before her mastectomy, Sue Fagan, a loan document specialist at Bank of Springfield, got a call asking her to drop by work for a few hours.

No problem, she thought. She was glad to answer any last-minute questions before she was off work for a while recovering after her surgery. What was waiting for her took her completely by surprise.

Her desk was decorated with streamers and balloons. A large homemade poster of Katy Perry was on her desk (Sue had adopted the pop star’s song “Roar” as her theme in her journey to beat breast cancer). A large bag was filled with books, pajamas and things to do.

The entire department had dressed in pink. And then she noticed the other departments in the branch had dressed in pink, too. But that wasn’t all. Other branches were also clad in pink and emailed their photos to encourage her.

“It is still overwhelming to this day when I think about it,” Sue said.

Biathlon Participant: ‘I want to finish strong’

Posted by | Posted in Biathlon, SportsCare, Women | Posted on 08-14-2014

Deb Whitson, left, with her friend Deb Kerley, preparing for a ride on the Centennial Bike Trail in Springfield

Deb Whitson, left, with her friend Deb Kerley, preparing for a ride on the Centennial Bike Trail in Springfield

Deb Whitson had thought about doing the Women’s Biathlon before. But she didn’t.

“I always thought I couldn’t,” she said. “I thought you had to be a top-class athlete or something.”

This year, thanks to the invitation of her friend Deb Kerley (the two friends refer to themselves as “Deb Squared”), Whitson plans to participate in Memorial’s SportsCare’s annual Women’s Biathlon on Sept. 21. Biathlon participants will bike 12 miles and then complete a 5K (3.1-mile) run/walk.

Since December, Whitson has been working to get in better shape. With the exception of a few weeks this summer when she was directing a show at Theatre in Park in New Salem, she has gone to the YMCA several days a week. As a result, she has lost 30 pounds and increased her activity, strength and endurance.

“I thought about Deb Kerley’s suggestion, and I wanted a way to maintain a structured workout routine – which I can easily fall out of with work and other activities. And I thought it would be really cool to finish a biathlon,” Whitson said.

Deb Squared signed up for the Biathlon Brigade, a new 12-week training program SportsCare introduced this year to help participants train. Athletes meet twice a week and receive direction on how to safely and effectively get in shape for the event.

‘There is Hope’ — What a Mental Health Professional Wants You to Understand About Depression and Suicide

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Mental Health | Posted on 08-13-2014

Man-looking-upThe tragic death of comedian Robin Williams has left people wondering how this could happen to a man who was loved by millions of people around the world. And while Facebook feeds and online comment boards are filled with people talking about suicide, Andrew Jolly, crisis center lead clinician at West Lake Center, Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois, says many people still do not understand what depression really is.

Disappointed is not depressed

“In our society we overuse the word depression,” Jolly said. “We say we are ‘depressed’ that we failed a test or we missed our favorite TV show.’ The emotion talked about in these cases is disappointment, not depression. Perhaps we need a new word for the illness of depression so that people might take it more seriously.”

Jolly describes the intensity of depression, which he says is not just “self-pity” or “wallowing” in sorrows. Depression can be sparked by adverse life events in which the grief doesn’t subside, or could come out of nowhere.

Busting the Top 4 Myths about Cancer

Posted by | Posted in Cancer Care | Posted on 08-07-2014

Cancer-Center-Logo-Red-BlackCancer. It’s a scary word and a scarier diagnosis. And the internet is a grab bag of conflicting information, all touting itself as accurate. How can anyone know what’s true and what’s false? Luckily, the Regional Cancer Center at Memorial Medical Center has the facts in an area riddled with fiction.

Myth: I can’t really get cancer from an STD.

Do You Have the Summertime Blues?

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Mental Health, Summer | Posted on 07-30-2014

Young-Man-on-DockSummer is in full swing, and your schedule is packed with pool parties, barbeques, ballgames and more.

Everyone around you seems more positive and energetic — except you.

Regardless of the season, depression can make the whole world dark and gray. Clinical depression can impair your ability to sleep, eat, work and get along with others. It also can damage self-esteem, self-confidence and your ability to accomplish everyday tasks.

Depression is more than a low mood; it can be a serious illness.

Bariatric Surgery Testimonial: Gary

Posted by | Posted in Bariatric Patient Stories, Bariatrics, Testimonial | Posted on 07-24-2014

Gary after surgery

Gary after surgery

Gary before surgery

Gary before surgery

For many people who struggle with obesity, dieting and exercise alone are not enough to lose and maintain substantial weight loss to improve their health.

For some, bariatric surgery, in addition to lifestyle changes, may be the holistic approach to achieving and maintaining great health.

About 800 central Illinoisans have undergone bariatric surgery through Memorial Medical Center’s Bariatric Services program, all with the intended goal of living a more fulfilling, active life after shedding weight.

One such story is Gary, who has lost 100 pounds since his surgery in 2013.

The death of his younger brother in 2012 helped motivate Gary to pursue surgery. “I vowed that if there was anything I could do to improve my health and not put my family throught that agony again I would do it,” he said.

Read his story in his own words below.

(Or click here to enlarge Gary’s testimonial)


Calorie Postings on Restaurant Menus: Friend or Foe?

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Memorial Medical Center, Nutrition | Posted on 07-22-2014

African American Couple Reading MenuMany restaurants are now posting calorie information right on the menu. This is thanks in part to the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act. Passed in 2010, the Affordable Care Act requires all restaurants with 20 or more locations to post calorie information on menus, menu boards and display tags, and to provide additional nutrition information upon request.

Unfortunately, posting calorie information does not ensure healthy food choices. A recent study published by the Journal of Consumer Research reported that, when restaurants organized menus by calorie content, consumers chose higher-calorie options. Why? Researchers proposed that consumers tend to associate lower-calorie or healthier options with poor taste quality and choose higher calorie options instead. Interestingly, the study also showed no difference in food choices if higher and lower calorie items were intermixed.

10 Ways to Become Faithful to Fitness

Posted by | Posted in Exercise, Expert Tips, Memorial Medical Center, Weight Loss and Wellness | Posted on 07-17-2014

Mature-Woman-Doing-YogaStarting a fitness routine may be easy. However, sticking with the routine seems to be the hard part. The first few weeks, we’re pumped to start working out, then life gets in the way, or we don’t see the results we want and give up.

Here are some tips from the experts at Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center to help you become a long-term exerciser, if you are will to give exercise just one more try!