6 Tips For Dating With Depression

african american woman receiving a bouquet of flowers from an african american man(BlackDoctor.org) — Depression is a common illness that most of us will deal with at some point in our lives. About 19 million Americans suffer from depression and 92% of African-Americans (suffering from depression) do not undergo any treatment for the condition. This can pose a problem for many areas of life — especially relationships. But depression doesn’t have to be a deal breaker in dating.

One thing to remember about dating is that all people have some kind of baggage they bring along for the ride. So don’t be too hard on yourself. If the person and the relationship are right for you, the difficulties encountered can be overcome. These 6 simple tips can help make dating a bit easier.

Don’t tell on the first date

You don’t owe it to the person to discuss your depression on a first date. If things become more serious, however, you should tell your potential partner. A good time might be when you decide to see each other exclusively or when you just feel that you care more deeply about each other. There are always individual differences. Something may come up in a conversation where it would feel like a natural time or that it would be dishonest not to. You might choose that time to share that you have depression.

How to talk about it

When you feel the time is right, talk about it with this three part “script.” First, tell your partner that they are important to you, enough so that you have something about yourself to share with them. Second, don’t just blurt out “I’m depressed.” Instead, preface it by telling them that there’s something you’ve struggled with that’s a fairly common problem, and let them know you have been diagnosed with depression and that you’re taking care of yourself by seeking treatment. And finally, emphasize again that you care about the person and the relationship. This message is as important as telling her that you have depression.

Accept assistance

In addition to surrounding yourself with the support of friends and family, it’s important to let potential partners know how they can help you. For example, if you exercise regularly to help lift your mood, ask your partner to join you. If they will support you in your endeavors, they could be a real keeper. Telling them about the challenges you face or going to couples counseling can also be helpful. Just talking about your relationship and how depression may impact it lets a person know you want him or her to be a part of your life.

Be patient

If your potential partner asks questions or offers advice, recognize the good intent behind the words—even if they aren’t that helpful. For example, men often feel that it’s their job to make their partner happy. Understand his desire to help, but let him know you can’t always put on a happy face. Some women, on the other hand, expect men to take the initiative to plan dates or activities. This can be hard to do when you are depressed and you have little energy. Let her know you want to be with her, but you may have to keep things low-key.

Low libido

Depression, and some antidepressants, can cause you to lose interest in sex. If you are having libido problems that are medication related, talk to your doctor about alternatives that might be less likely to dampen your sex drive. You can also let your partner know that you care in other ways. If you don’t feel like having sex, let the person know you still find him or her attractive by cuddling or being affectionate.

Online dating

Millions of people turn to the Internet to find romantic partners, but that doesn’t mean it’s not difficult.  It is easy to get discouraged when dating online. It takes skill to know how to navigate online dating to find someone special. There are sites geared specifically for those with mental illness. These types of sites can be a good place to go to, but consider mainstream dating sites as well. Don’t give up after meeting just one or two people. Discuss the process with friends and family; having a good support system can help.

Diabetes Test May Fail Children

young african american boy laying in hospital bed(BlackDoctor.org) –  According to the American Diabetes Association, almost 24 million people, or about 8% of the population of the United States, have diabetes, including about one in every 400-600 children and adolescents.

A new study has important implications for clinical practice in the testing of African American children for diabetes. HbA1c is the main test used to monitor diabetes and guide treatment decisions and it has been found that results can be deceptive in African American children — misleading their doctors into believing that glucose levels are higher than they really are. Test scores were higher than those for white children, even when average blood glucose levels were similar, and this suggests that results might need interpreting differently for African-Americans.

While ordinary blood glucose tests would give the correct results for black children, the new research suggests that an HbA1c test would be misleadingly high, perhaps leading doctors to think that treatment isn’t working as well as it should. This could lead to more aggressive treatment that reduces someone’s blood sugar too much, and leads to episodes of hypoglycaemia.

According to Dr Stuart Chalew, a pediatrician at the New Orleans School of Medicine, “If doctors don’t take both HbA1c and self-monitored blood sugar levels into account, they are likely to unintentionally provoke increased episodes of life-threatening episodes in African-American patients”.

Black people tend to have a higher risk of getting complications from diabetes, which could partly be explained by their HbA1c levels responding differently to their blood sugar. In the long term, this finding may lead to new treatments to prevent diabetes complications.

Tips On How To Prevent Childhood Diabetes in African-American Children

There are two types of diabetes and both are on the rise in African-American children: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent mellitus (IDDM), is a disorder caused by the body’s inability to produce insulin. Insulin, a hormone produced and secreted by the pancreas, is essential for the cells of the body to metabolize glucose to use for energy.

Children with childhood disbetes must take insulin shots every day and check their blood sugar levels several times a day. The American Diabetes Association states that about 10 percent of children have type 1 diabetes. It is nearly twice as prevalent in African-American children age 20 and under than in White children.

Because obesity is on the rise in the U.S., there are an increasing number of African-American children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes (also known as adult-onset diabetes).

According to Susan Marullo, diabetes coordinator at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD., “There is no cure for diabetes, but with proper treatment, patients can live a long life.” Ms. Marullo states that both types of diabetes can be prevented if you:

1. Know Your Family History: If there is a history of diabetes, inform your family physician.

2. Screen: Have your physician screen for diabetes if there is a risk.

3. Change Your Lifestyle: Too many children today are entertained by PlayStation, Xbox, and the television in general. Children should be encouraged to watch as little television as possible, preferably no more than two hours per day. Instead, they should be engaged in some type of physical activity.

4. Exercise: Children should be involved in team sports (basketball, baseball, soccer or karate). They can also engage in physical activity with their family. Try family walks, bike riding or walking around a museum together.

5. Control Your Weight: Because children are still growing, maintaining the same weight for one to two years can allow children to grow into their excess weight. Catching a weight problem early will allow modifications before it’s too late.

6. Limit Soft Drinks: Drinking too many soft drinks can increase the chance a child will become obese. Extra calories in sweet drinks, fruit juices, soda and Kool-Aid can cause obesity. Choose water instead of soda.

7. Remember Less Food Can Sometimes Be More: The quantities and variety of foods in the home, as well as eating habits, establish an environment in which obesity may or may not occur. Serve smaller portions. Encourage your child to listen to his body and stop eating when he is full.

8. Don’t Use Food As An Emotional Crutch: Don’t use food as “comfort” to make a child feel better. Talk through emotional situations, rather than allowing kids to eat through them.

9. Act As A Role Model: It’s difficult for children to stick to a diet or exercise plan if their parents are sitting on the couch with a bowl of chips and a sofa. Make healthy eating a family affair.

10. Change Your Diet: Decrease the amount of high-calorie “junk food,” such as potato chips, cookies, candy or cake, your family consumes. Add more fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples, grapes and peaches to their diet. Keep children away from fast and fatty foods.
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