Just recently, Claudio had a wonderful birthday! Happy weekend to all. XoXo

Hello! Hello, my friends! This is a quick update: I’m blonde again, and I feel fantastic. I hope all of you have a great weekend. xo

My strength after my knee surgery is coming back, and I feel fantastic. Just this past Tuesday, I had my 2nd post-op appointment. Dr. Williams was pleased with the progress I made in the past month. Again, the doctor reminded me that I can no longer run. However, he suggested swimming and biking. If I keep on pounding that knee, the outcome could be another surgery.

It has been a while since my last update. I have been super busy completing new projects. My new article will be published in a few weeks by the Health Journal. Don’t worry, I will keep you posted. 

Right now, I am trying to stay positive and prioritize my health. Just a few days ago, I was on the treadmill walking while I was listening to my favorite running songs on my iPod. How in the world can someone resist the urge to run when your favorite running songs are blasting in your ears? No, I’m not ready to give up on the idea of running, but when a sports doctor makes it clear on several occasions that running can be detrimental to my knee, my only choice is to listen. It will be difficult to give up something that makes me feel on top of the world. Any suggestions for a replacement? I will close this chapter here for now.

On a happy note, my fur baby Claudio will be two years old on August 12. Can you believe how fast time goes by? He is very inquisitive, and I love the way he learns and discovers the world around him. 

Have a great week. xoxo

Best,
Nunzia

Greetings!

Last year, a year after my first knee surgery, I was inspired to write an article called Doctor and Patient to encourage people to communicate with their physicians. These dedicated and caring professionals are there to assist us 24/7. When it comes to any type of trauma, flu, broken bones, you name it, these amazing human beings, with their overwhelming and exhausting schedules, are always ready to take care of us! These men and women deserve the highest credit for the brilliant work they do for us.

Last Friday, I had my second knee arthroscopy, which is a surgical procedure for diagnosing and treating many problems around the knee joints. My knee was fixed for the second time by a wonderful orthopedic surgeon.

Sadly, shortly after the surgery, the doctor informed my family that running can be detrimental to my knees. So, to avoid further problems and surgeries, I should avoid running. My doctor did, however, suggest swimming and biking as replacement exercises. I decided that, if a sports doctor advises his patient not to run, I need to take that advice seriously.

The love, the help, and support from my whole family has been unwavering. Now I am on the road to recovery, and I am looking forward to starting a new cardiovascular program that will keep me in shape. As for now, I miss running, but let’s take it one day at a time.

I will chat with you on a new blog post coming soon. XO!

Hi, everyone! 

The days are getting warmer and sunnier. For me, every Memorial Day is “the start of another beautiful summer.” 

I hear you. It is not technically summer yet, but hey, you can’t blame a girl for dreaming. Hopefully, spending more time outdoors, and receiving plenty of

Vitamin D directly from the sun, will bring a big smile to your face.

Even though there are times when we don’t feel like smiling, remember that we are the co-creators of our own happiness. What we believe in our minds, we create.

What are you doing each day to increase your happiness? Where are you choosing to focus your thoughts and energy? Life is super, super busy, and filled

with challenges. There are some days when happiness seems to be elusive and far away, but it is important to keep our desire in our hearts, to find that purpose and that trail that will eventually lead us to a happier life.

I recently wrote an article on depression that got published by the Health Journal, and I can’t seem to stress the importance of exercising enough. Exercise has such a profound effect on our mood and well-being that we can’t ignore the correlation between exercise and happiness. 

A recent study showed that “Exercise makes you happier than money, according to Yale and Oxford research.” So, there you have it! No more excuses. If you are a runner, go for a long run. For those of you who are less active, take a five-minute walk, take up yoga, and be happy! 

On a different note, here they are! I am sharing my new shoes, everyone knows that I love Chiara Ferragni.

I will be back soon. I am getting ready to have another knee surgery on June 7th. Will a second surgery stop me from running? I think some of you

already know the answer to that question.

Xo,

Nunzia

Hello, family and friends! I am super excited to announce that my new article has been published by the Health Journal. I will post the link on here.  One of the best things about celebrating life’s accomplishments is celebrating with the ones that are close to your heart. You guys are truly my rock stars. Thank you. Xoxo

April 25, 20195 min read

elderly depression

Written by Nunzia Stark

One of the greatest mental health challenges Americans are facing right now is depression.

Depression is like the flu virus. If left untreated, it will undoubtedly get worse, which could lead to self-harm or death. This silent killer is responsible for damaging or ending tens of thousands of American lives each year, and it is reaching epidemic levels both in America and around the world. According to the World Health Organization, there are currently more than 300 million peoplearound the globe struggling with depression.

Sadly, depression can be overlooked by medical professionals. This is especially the case for senior citizens, simply because seniors are sometimes unwilling to seek help. When elderly family members are diagnosed with a chronic condition, they are often aware of their imminent loss of freedom. They may try to hide their symptoms and isolate themselves.

There is a tendency to believe that symptoms of depression are a normal part of aging. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), that is not the case. Depression is not solved by putting mind over matter and getting through it. 

We need to learn how to listen attentively to elderly people who struggle with mental illness and are suffering in silence. As a community, we need to act and get involved with helping them improve their psychological immune system. Through social media, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson shared his thoughts about opening up:

“Took me a long time to realize it but the key is to not be afraid to open up. Especially us dudes have a tendency to keep it all in. You’re not alone.”

To explain more on the subject, Dennis Ramos, a psychotherapist from Corpus Christi, Texas, fielded some questions about depression in the elderly.

How can a therapist help elderly people with depression?

Ramos: I have learned in working with elderly clients over the past 25 years that depression is quite common. What appears to be causing this to a large degree is grief and loss. Yes, they can have biological factors as well, but that is many times not an issue. As a person ages, they will begin to lose their abilities. This includes the ability to be independent, the ability to work, the ability to go and come as they wish. They often can’t do things they enjoy like running, swimming, playing games, gardening, traveling, making love and many other activities that help a person manage stress. Each one of these losses can, and usually does, lead to feelings of grief. Older people also have more traditional types of losses, like losing a spouse, friend, or relative. Grief is a normal human response to loss.

Many times, the people in an elderly person’s life will not understand this simple fact. Loved ones, friends, and doctors may say to a person, “just accept it, get used to it, get over it, it’s just part of life.” Or they may just try to ignore or minimize what the elderly person is experiencing. What a good therapist understands is that grief is helped by acknowledging that it is valid and real. I will encourage healthy processing of these normal feelings. “You’re not crazy, or weak, or defective, just having normal feelings of loss. It’s OK to feel sad.” With gentle and positive feedback and encouragement, an elderly person can often become less depressed. A therapist can also help to monitor the status and depression of an older person, and make referrals for needed medical care, when indicated.

How can caregivers and family members help?

Ramos: Family members and caregivers can be very helpful to an elderly, depressed person, especially when they understand that grief and loss are normal experiences of aging. They can help to acknowledge and support the reality of the losses that elderly people deal with. So, allowing that person to feel sad, cry, or even get angry can be helpful. Sometimes, we don’t want to see our loved ones sad and grieving, so we may avoid them, ignore them or try to change the subject. But understanding, encouraging and supporting the process of grief can be a very loving and helpful thing to do. If the depression appears to be getting worse, it is good to help that person get some help from a therapist or doctor.

There is an urgency, in every community in America, to learn about and research different ways and strategies to help someone who is struggling with depression. Dealing with and fighting depression requires action. It takes bravery, strength and persistence. Mental illness does not make you less of a person, just as a sports injury does not make you less of an athlete.

Who to call for help

Like the athlete, you will get better and get back in the game if you have professionals monitoring your recovery. Confidential hotlines are there to help. Nonprofit organizations can connect you with a trained therapist. Need to speak to someone right away? Text “CONNECT” to 741741 in the United States to connect with someone from www.crisistextline.org if you are feeling depressed. There is also the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 1-800-273-8255.

Also, if you know someone who is feeling down, you do not need to be a trained professional to check on them. Use technology to send them a virtual hug via a caring text message, an e-card or even just an old-fashioned phone call telling them you were thinking about them.

We can drastically reduce and eventually eliminate the suicide rate from depression by becoming more aware of red flags associated with this illness, as well as becoming more comfortable with simply acknowledging and discussing the topic of depression.

Days I have posted.

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