I decided to make this web page very personal. I consider each and everyone of you very special and I want us to have a personal relationship. In discussing topics envision us sitting in a cafe, sun shining on our faces through a window and we are sipping our favorite beverage. OK? I want you to never think any question is a dumb question.
My name is Darlene
and I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
My Educational Background (A must read: Webmasters)
This page is broken into three parts: First, topics that you have chosen and my added commentary. Second a form to submit questions to me and last the questions you submit to me and my answers - no names will be published. Use your Back Button to return here.
The Benefits of Exercise
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (History)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (Symptoms)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (Diagnosis)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (Treatment)
PSA and How to Interpret the Results of PSA Testing
Bipolar Disorder (Overview)
Bipolar Disorder (Treatment)
Have a Question for Me?
(Topics and Questions)
My Answers to Your Questions
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The Benefits of Exercise
Exercise - Great for the Mind and Body
Exercise improves mood. A brisk 30-minute workout can help calm you down. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. Regular physical activity can help prevent depression.
Exercise can help you lose weight but burning calories and decrease cravings and appetite. It boosts energy levels so you feel like doing more. Productivity increases, along with mood and self esteem.
Exercise promotes better sleep. It also improves your sex life! Just do not exercise too close to bedtime or you will be too energized.
Exercise promotes health by improving circulation to every organ in the body. You can improve your blood pressure, decrease risk of heart disease and prevent osteoporosis. Cholesterol levels will benefit from regular exercise. The "good" high density lipoprotein will increase while triglycerides will decrease. Certain cancers and type 2 diabetes can be prevented.
There are many benefits of exercise far too many to mention here but here are ten reasons to start moving now:
Decrease stress levels in your life by exercise
2. Improve digestion and avoid problem with constipation.
3. Reduce Joint Discomfort
4. May Add a few extra years to your life.
5. Enhances immune system
6. Makes body more agile
7. Increases enzymes in the body which burn fat.
8. Improves liver functioning.
9. Increased strength and stamina to improve quality of life
10. Reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 60%. Estradiol and progesterone, 2 ovarian hormones linked to breast cancer are lowered by exercise.
Until the next time we meet.....Love Darlene
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (History)Hey guys and gals,
PSA and How to Interpret the Results of PSA Testing
So this time you ask me about PSA testing. How in the heck do you understand the results of a PSA test? First of all what is a PSA test?
A PSA test is used to determine information about prostate health. PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen. A PSA level is expressed in nanograms per milliliter. and 0 -4 ng/ml is considered a normal reading. An elavated PSA does not always indicate prostate cancer or problems. An enlarged prostate, having sex, certain medications like chemotherapy, prostate biopsy or surgery or even motorcycle riding can elevate the level. If PSA levels increase rapidly over time, it may indicate cancer. Mildly elevated levels (4-10ng/ml) may mean you need to have levels checked regularly for awhile. If levels double in less than 3 years, a biopsy should be done. A digital rectal exam may also verify if cancer is a concern. Many times doctors recommend a "free PSA" blood test. A higher ratio of free PSA means a lower risk of prostate cancer while a lower ratio of free PSA means a higher risk of prostate cancer.
I hope our
discussion on PSA level of the prostate clarified some issues. Always ask your
doctor questions if you do not understand things. PSA testing is recommended
annually after the age of 50. If you have a family history or are
African American you should broach the subject with your physician at age 45.
If you have a suggestion for a topic, please let me know. Until the next time
we meet..... Love Darlene.
Bipolar Disorder (Overview)
folks I have been gone for so long. I decided to take Rich's suggestion and
not make my discussions so formal. I am going to talk from my heart about my
topic. I am back and I still am waiting for some questions, comments,
responses from the gallery. I have a direct e-mail which is email@example.com.
I can answer you through your direct e-mail or post the question on the site
if you don't mind. I am here for you.. so just use me! I thought today we
would talk about Bipolar Disorder. That
diagnosis is thrown around a lot lately. The latest celebrity to claim she has
Bipolar II disorder is Katheran Zeta-Jones.
I was at lunch with some old friends from the Cedarcrest days and one of the
nurses asked me if Bipolar II was a new diagnosis because she had only heard
of Bipolar I disorder. Bipolar I and Bipolar II have been around a long time.
There is also a third category of this illness called "Cyclothymia."
Now I can tell you I rarely hear of that. Cyclothymia is a very mild form of
Bipolar disorder with less severe symptoms of
depression and hyppomanic symptoms.
all can be confusing to people who are not really familiar with the disorder.
In order for a person to be diagnosed they must be free from the influence of
any drugs or alcohol. This is often difficult because many people who suffer
from these illnesses often "self- medicate
with illegal substances or alcohol. Bipolar I is the most severe disorder with
periods of elevated mood alternating with periods of depression. When I mean
elevated mood I mean over the top mood. It is pretty easy to spot a manic
person. They often can appear agitated, restless, have pressured speech,
difficulty with focusing and easily distracted. They can be loud, in your
face, with extreme forms of behavior. People who are manic can be impulsive,
reckless in their behavior. They might spend lots of money, be sexually
promiscuous, have little need to sleep and have boundless energy. They can
even become psychotic, with strange beliefs and thoughts, have delusions of
grandeur. When I worked in the hospital I have to tell you I enjoyed my manic
patients but manic symptoms often leads to serious trouble. Often times full
blown mania leads to hospitalizations as the behaviors are so extreme people
usually end up calling the police or an ambulance.
is the other extreme that people with Bipolar illness suffer from. Often times
the depressions can be so severe in Bipolar I, they can lead to suicidal
thoughts and even suicidal behaviors. Most people dread the depressions
but rather enjoy the mania side of the illness. Depression can be
characterized by low mood, appetite disturbances, sleep disturbances,
difficulty focusing, decreased energy and motivation. Often depressed people
detach themselves from life, avoiding friends and family. Moods can switch
quickly in people who suffer from Bipolar or they can be more cyclic in
nature. Some people may suffer from more mania, while others can suffer more
from the depression side of the illness. Either way this illness can be very
disrupting to life. Thank goodness there are some good medications that can
help stabilize mood. In my next segment I will talk about some of the
medications that are used to help people stabilize their mood.
II disorder is less severe and can present as hypomania and depression. Most
people with Bipolar II may never be hospitalized but requires treatment with
medications and therapy.
there. I am back to finish my discussion on Bipolar illness. My first part
involved brief discussion on what Bipolar illness is. I talked about the
different forms of Bipolar and symptoms. This topic will focus on treatment. I
cannot stress the fact that medication therapy also should go hand in hand
with psychotherapy - that is "talk" therapy. People who manage
medications - physicians and APRN's focus primarily on symptom management and
issues related to that. A psychotherapist is someone you can talk to who, who
you trust to share your innermost feelings and problems with. They are skilled
in helping you identify issues and guide you along the path of emotional
strength. Today our focus is on primarily medications. There are some
excellent medications approved by the FDA to manage symptoms of Bipolar
illness. There are also other medications that can be used "off
label" to help in the management of symptoms as well. When I mean
"off label" I simply mean that the FDA has not officially approved
them but they are being used and successfully manage symptoms of the illness.
is not easy by no means. There are many medications used for depression,
Bipolar, and other disorders. Every medication is unique in its composition
and prescribers need to understand the mechanism of action on the
neurotransmitters of the brain. A general rule of thumb is to do a complete
history of the patient and ask about medications used in the past. If a
medication worked well to manage symptoms with no side effects by all means
return to what works for the patient. Also a family history is important as
many psychiatric illnesses have a genetic component. If a patient's mother was
diagnosed with Depression and Zoloft worked well, then chances are Zoloft will
be successful in treating the patient's depression. Often times people who are
diagnosed with Bipolar have a family history of it.
earlier discussion I discussed Bipolar II. Bipolar II patient's often suffer
with repeated episodes of depression. A medication called Lamictal or
lamotrigine is an excellent choice in treating in treating this. Lamictal has
been around a long time for treating seizures and has been proven safe over
long-term use. It also is one of the few medications that does not cause
weight gain. Unfortunately many of the medications used to treat Bipolar I
cause weight gain in some people. For those who suffer primarily from the
depressive side of Bipolar this is an excellent choice. It prevents cycling of
moods but will not prevent manic symptoms. In some people it may cause
anxiety, irritability of mood or sleep problems.
are three main medications that have been used to treat Bipolar I that target
mainly the manic symptoms of the illness. One is Lithium and is often used in
classic BIpolar I symptom pattern: euphoric mania and severe depression. In
Bipolar I it is very important to realize that suicide risk is a great
concern. Lithium is a very inexpensive medication. It is primarily metabolized
by the kidneys so it is imperative before using lithium that bloodwork is
ordered to rule out any kidney problems. Another test that should be done is
Thyroid to rule out thyroid disease. There is an established connection of
thyroid dysfunction and bipolar symptoms. Bloodwork is an important piece when
first initiating Lithium therapy. In the beginning of treatment the prescriber
will want to monitor you closely for the Lithium level in the blood. If a
patient is not going to be cooperative with the bloodwork this is not a good
medication to use. A therapeutic dose of Lithium can be very close to a toxic
dose of lithium and that is why this drug must be monitored closely by
bloodwork and any significant side effects.
medication used frequently is Depakote. It is a heavy hitter with manic
symptoms and rapid cycling of mood. It can cause people to gain weight.
Bloodwork is necessary but not as frequently as Lithium when first started.
medication called Tegretol is sometimes used but not as often as the two
above. Again it is beneficial with rapid cycling of mood. It also may help in
severe sleep problem cases. It can be used in people who have gained
significant weight being treated with Depakote.
is an expensive medication but is used to treat milder cases of Bipolar
illness. It is an alternative to Depakote and its low long-term risk is
a medication first established to treat schizophrenia is now used to treat
Bipolar I illness. It is an antipsychotic medication that helps in severe
agitation, depression and anxiety symptoms. It also helps with sleep. There
are 2 forms of Seroquel, the regular dosing which is taken 2 or 3 times
through-out a 24 hour period or the extended release which is given once
daily. It is not recommended in people with diabetes or a family history of
diabetes. Careful monitoring of blood sugar should be done even in those who
do not have a diabetes history as many of the "second generation"
antipsychotics like Seroquel have caused increases in blood sugar. Zyrexa
and Abilify are some other antipsychotic medications that are used to treat
Bipolar as well.
many patients the depressions are so severe that more than one medication is
used to treat symptoms. It is not uncommon to see patient's on mood
stabilizing medications such as Depakote and LIthium and antidepressant
medication such as Zoloft, Prozac, and Lexapro. Antidepressants must be used
cautiously in patient's that have Bipolar illness as it can trigger a manic
episode. Bipolar illness can be managed well with medication. I cannot stress
enough that medication management and a connection to a licensed
psychotherapists is crucial in treating this mental illness.
This is the section for asking me questions and submitting topics for discussion.
Please submit all of your questions and/or topics to me at:
Love you guys and
Thanks for asking and I hope this helps, Darlene
I have lived in CT all my life. I spent most of my life in Windsor, CT. I went to nursing school right after high school at Greater Hartford Community College and graduated in 1978 with an Associates Degree in Science. I passed the Nursing Boards and got my first job at Mansfield Training School . Mansfield Training School was a small community of mentally challenged adults. It had many residential buildings as well a large hospital for those clients who were in need of medical treatments. I worked at Knight Hospital in many different areas, including nursing supervisor. I worked there for a little over a year, did a short stint at a convalescent home until I got a job at Cedarcrest Regional Hospital, which was a state run, psychiatric hospital for adults. While I was working there I returned to school and achieved my Bachelors of Science (major in nursing) at Saint Joseph College in Standish Maine. I worked at Cedarcrest from 1979 until 2001. I worked briefly at the Institute of Living for a year with alcohol and drug patients and psychiatric patients. I further went on to get my Master in Science at Saint Joseph in West Hartford CT in an APRN program and took boards, receiving my Advance Practice specialty in psychiatric nursing. Currently I work two jobs, one at the Hebrew Home (28 hours on the weekend) on a behavioral psychiatric behavioral geriatric unit and Saint Francis Hospital as an APN with psychiatric outpatient patients. I work closely with parole clients (federal and state). I have two children ages 21 and 30. I also have 1 grandchild age 5. I am married and my husband also works with forensic, mentally ill patients at Whiting Forensic Institute. Darlene Przasnsyski
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