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!

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.

I will be back soon to blog about all my favorite things! XoXo

Hello, hello! The Holidays are almost here!

Update: I just posted the link for the shoes. 🙂

I just can’t believe how beautiful the weather has been in South Texas! It feels like summer today. It does not seem like Christmas is less than a month away.

We had an unusually early fall, with cold temperatures and never-ending rainy days. So, it is unbelievable how nice the weather turned out to be in the recent weeks. The holiday decorations are up around the house, but it looks and feels like summer outside. I already brought out the winter clothing, but I guess I did that too soon.

Christmas is still a few weeks away, and the parking lot at the mall is already super crowded. I’m shopping in advance to avoid the last minute rush at the department stores. Even though I prefer
to do most of my shopping online, you can’t always find what you are looking for, and are forced to go to the mall. For many, Christmas shopping is already in full swing. On Saturday morning, just a few minutes before opening, our local Ulta store had a long line of people waiting outside.

People are super stressed out right now, trying to find that perfect gift. I always discuss in my articles the importance of keeping the stress levels low, and it is because of stress that I felt the need and the urgency to write another article at the last minute. I was actually going to take a break, and resume writing after the holidays.

So, it happened four days ago! The Great North Apparel published my picture on their page! The first hour right after my picture was live on their page, I already had one thousand likes. It was
unbelievable. Right before Christmas, I will do another photo shoot for the company. They are a lot of fun. These Instagram influencers are the thing on social media nowadays.

 

Speaking of fashion, this beautiful pair of Converse shoes that I’m wearing are from my favorite fashionista, Chiara Ferragni.

 

 

I will chat with you soon. Thank you for reading my blog. Be sure to leave a comment below. I may do a give away soon. But first,  do the following: leave a  comment  when I update my blog,  and follow me on Instagram @ ionunzia Thx! It will be fun!

Best,
Nunzia

Looking back on Election Day
We don’t always get what we want out of life. All we can do is try, but things don’t always go in our favor.

 

 

 

 

 

I was very optimistic about this election. One of the candidates running for a seat at the Senate got a lot of attention from all over America, especially from many celebrities. They took to social media to encourage their followers to vote for this particular candidate. So, I did that. Did he win the seat at the Senate? The answer is “no,”  but there is always the next election. I hope all of you had a chance to vote.

I had such a great Election Day. My friend Kelly and I went for an early upper body workout at our local health club. Afterward, despite the long line, I went to do my duty as a citizen. I visited the polls.

Ok, I want my blog to be a happy place for all of you! I always promote and share positive things and thoughts. However, sometimes in life, we seem to encounter people who, for various reasons, are not very happy and positive. I’m sharing this great quote from my latest article, “In the Moment:”

The Dalai Lama wrote a book called The Art of Happiness. In it, the Dalai Lama said this:
“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.

At the voting location we chose, I was busy scanning the room. I always do that. It is just an old habit that I learned while growing up in a big city. I noticed one of the volunteers in charge of checking drivers licenses getting annoyed with the voters. She appeared to be very stern, and not very friendly. A gentleman went up to ask her a question and, with a negative and unpleasant attitude, she told him to go somewhere else and just wait. Let us not forget that the majority of the voters were coming to vote straight from work.

It was frustrating to watch. Why can’t we get along? Why do people choose to volunteer, but have a negative attitude? As I mentioned in my article, being grumpy nowadays seems to be the “new classy”. Needless to say, regardless of the grumpy volunteer, it turned out to be a great day.

The latest rumors on the web say that Beto may run for President in 2020. Time will tell. Until the next election, America. How was your election day? Share your comments below.

Claudio sends his love!

 

P. S. I discovered another foundation that I’m currently using. As many of you know, I have been on the hunt to find “that perfect foundation.” Stay tuned! Also, be sure to read my new article “In the
Moment.”
Thanks for reading. I will chat with you soon!

Namaste,

Nunzia

Days I have posted.

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