Abby\'s Blog

What Exactly is PTSD?



At this point, we have all at least heard of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. However, most of us still don’t know exactly what that means or what it entails. While the majority of us associate the diagnosis with soldiers and veterans, those aren’t the only people affected, and of course not everyone experiences PTSD to the same degree. Let us address some of the biggest questions people have about this condition:


1. First of all, what is PTSD?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder occurs after a person as been through a traumatic situation. Whether the person has experienced warfare, sexual assault, or another life-threatening or terrifying situation, they may constantly feel threatened or endangered.

“A person who suffers PTSD typically re-experiences the trauma through flashbacks and nightmares, experiences that can seem as real as the actual trauma. The person often feels intensely that the trauma could happen again at any time.”

Many scenarios can act as “triggers” for someone who is suffering from PTSD. For soldiers and veterans it can be loud noises, large crowds, or something specific that triggers those traumatic memories. A victim of assault may be triggered by someone who resembles their attacker, or they may hold a fear of going out alone, being out at night, etc. Every case of PTSD is unique in it’s circumstances and triggers.


2. How common is it?

PTSD can develop in anyone who has experienced a traumatic experience, regardless of their mental health or medical history. That being said, most trauma survivors do not develop PTSD. Who experiences it and when depends largely on the length of exposure to traumatic situations as well as other factors.


3. How is it diagnosed?

PTSD is diagnosed by a licensed psychologist in an interview setting. By discussing the trauma and surrounding events in an in-depth interview, a physchologist will be able to determine whether someone may be suffering from PTSD, and the severity to which they react.


4. Do people with PTSD present an increased risk of violence?

The likelihood of someone reacting violently in a stressful situation does not increase in someone who has been diagnosed with PTSD. When someone suffering from trauma is “triggered” they will react as if they are experiencing this experience again. This could be a violent response, a mild reaction, or it could cause the person to retreat in fear. There is no guaranteed response in PTSD victims.


5. How do people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder return to a normal life?

People can learn to live with or overcome their PTSD through Exposure Therapy and counseling with a licensed psychiatrist.


*Information from

Leadership Advice from the World’s Top Bosses




Whether you’re a first time manager or a veteran CEO, it can be overwhelming to be placed in charge of a team of employees. What is the best way to manage your job and the jobs of your team members? How can you best delegate tasks and keep everyone focused and working to their best abilities? While there is no ‘one way’ to be a great leader, we do have some tips for you from some of the world’s biggest business leaders.


On Setting an Example

“Courage and humility – just give it a shot and if someone has a better idea, say, thank you, that’s a better idea.”

– Jim Yong Kim,

World Bank president

On Communication

“Treat your employees as true stakeholders in your business and take a personal interest in them, recognizing that they are real people with real issues.”

– Michael Andrew,

Global Chairman and CEO KPMG

On Values and Culture

“Luck plays a part in success, but the harder you work, the luckier you get. Whatever you choose to do, even if it’s not the job of your dreams, always work hard at it . . . hard work creates opportunities where your resume cannot.”

– Mike Bloomberg,

Founder of Bloomberg L.P.

On Decision Making

“As a leader, it’s up to you to understand the difference between work that is important and work that isn’t.”

– Jennifer Dulski,

COO of

On Being Passionate and Inspirational

“Not everyone gets to realize their full potential. But everyone has ability. It’s how you bring out the best in people that makes the difference.”

– Tony Fernandes,

Group CEO Air Asia



Small Business Marketing Tips


When trying to expand and promote your small business, it can be difficult to know which sites to use, who to market to, and how to get the attention your company needs. The whole landscape of marketing seems to be ever-changing.

After searching the web for any marketing tips we could find, here are some of the best suggestions we have come across, without getting too complicated. Here are some simple changes to make to your current marketing plan that can help pull in those extra customers.

1. Go Mobile

Thanks to smartphones and their ability to access the internet while on the go, it is more important than ever to make your website mobile-friendly. If customers are unable to access your website the moment they are thinking about it, you could be losing valuable customers.

2. Send Email

It may not seem like email is the best way to reach your customer base anymore, but that is not the case. Starting up a company newsletter, or sending regular emails to your customers is a great way to keep your name at the forefront of their minds. While your contacts may not need your services or products at the moment, it’s important that they can recall your company if that need ever arises.

3. Embrace Social Media

Not only does social media keep your company relevant and accessible, but it also allows you to hear feedback more directly from your customers. By creating content that is easily ‘shared’, ‘liked’, or ‘retweeted’, you are allowing your customers to assist in the marketing and promotion of your company.

4. Manage Content

Using sites like HootSuite or Sprout Social, it is easier to keep track of all of your social media accounts and contacts. Schedule posts, respond to and keep track of messages, and see all of your content in one easy-to-manage location using sites like these.


Warning Signs of Stroke in Women



To wrap up our Women’s Health Month, we would like to spread some awareness about symptoms women experience when having a stroke. While not as widely discussed, strokes actually causes twice as many fatalities in women each year as breast cancer.


First of all, what exactly is a stroke?


A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain either ruptures or is blocked by a clot. When this happens, part of the brain no longer receives the oxygen it needs and the tissue in that area starts to die.


Warning Signs of Stroke:

– Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body

– Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding others

– Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes

– Sudden dizziness, loss of coordination or balance or trouble walking

– Sudden severe headache with no obvious cause


If you experience any signs of a stroke, call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital as soon as possible. The sooner you get to the hospital, the better your chances of recovery.


*information obtained from


Signs of Psychological Abuse



Most people know what to look for with physical abuse – unexplained bruises or injuries, withdrawn or anxious behavior, personality changes or depression, to name a few – but it can be so much more difficult to isolate the symptoms of psychological abuse.

Psychological abuse can take place alongside physical abuse, or separately, but can be just as damaging to a person’s physical and emotional well-being. Whether it is happening within a relationship, friendship, family, or a work environment, psychological abuse can be difficult to pinpoint.


Behavior an Abusive Partner Can Show

Someone who is psychologically abusive may engage in the following behavior toward his or her partner, whether it’s in public or at home:

  • Humiliates or yells
  • Criticizes
  • Threatens to leave regularly
  • Ignores partner’s opinions or accomplishments
  • Intimidates
  • Controls
  • Blames
  • Treats partner like property or a sex object
  • Acts jealous of anyone partner interacts with
  • Limits partner’s access to money, phone, car, family or friends
  • Threatens to hurt partner and/or their children
  • Destroys partner’s belongings
  • Forces partner to have sex


Behavior an Abused Person Might Show

Someone who’s being abused by his or her partner might show the following signs:

  • Doesn’t act the same way as he or she did before the partner
  • Acts timid
  • Shows a loss of self-confidence
  • Thinks he or she should be happier
  • Has anxiety about seeming crazy
  • Has a desire to escape
  • Distrusts family or friends
  • Acts emotionally numb
  • Is afraid
  • Avoids certain conversation topics
  • Thinks relationship problems are his or her fault


If you or anyone you know is suffering from physical or psychological abuse it is important to seek help. Even if the situation seems minor. No amount of physical or psychological abuse is ever okay.

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE

National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-HOPE


*Information obtained from


*More information on Domestic Violence


Signs of Women’s Heart Attacks


Most of us think we know the signs of a heart attack

—the crippling chest pain, numbness of extremities, or lightheadedness. Those symptoms that are common in male heart attacks are not usually the case for heart attacks in women. Here are some symptoms to look out for.



1. Pain in Arms, Back, Neck, or Jaw

This symptom is more common in women than men. If you’re expecting the chest pain that is normally associated with a heart attack, you may be surprised by the intense aching in the areas above. This pain can be gradual or sudden, and may fluctuate before becoming intense.


2. Shortness of Breath, Nausea, or Lightheadedness

If you’re having trouble breathing for no apparent reason, especially if accompanied by another of these symptoms, you could be having a heart attack. Compare this to the feeling of catching your breath after running, though you haven’t moved.


3. Fatigue

Some women who have suffered a heart attack complained of feeling extremely tired, especially through the chest area. They are lethargic and have trouble catching a full breath for no apparent reason.


4. Chest Pain or Discomfort

Like men, women may experience some chest pain during a heart attack – but not in the same way. A woman’s heart attack may bring about a squeezing or a fullness anywhere in the chest, not just the left side. Some women equate the feeling to that of a vise being tightened.


5. Stomach Pain

The stomach pain caused by a heart attack can sometimes be mistaken for heartburn, the flu, or an ulcer. Other times the pain can feel as though a large weight is compressing against your abdomen.


6. Sweating

If you are experiencing unexplained sweating (not associated with exercise, hot flashes, etc.) that feels similar to stress-related sweating, coupled with any of the above symptoms, you may be experiencing a heart attack.


These symptoms are not guaranteed to every woman experiencing a heart attack. If you feel any chest discomfort – especially if coupled with any of the above symptoms – call 911 immediately.


*information obtained from WebMD



How To Make Changes Stick




Happy new year everyone! We are now a couple of weeks into 2014 if you can believe it—how are your resolutions holding up? Whether you are still going strong, or are already flagging, here are some tips to get back in gear and be successful.


1. Don’t Go It Alone

If your new goal is to get in shape—get a friend to be your workout buddy. If you’re looking to be more punctual, make sure you have a support system to keep you on track. Whatever your goal is, make sure you share it with your friends and family—they might like to join you, or have some helpful tips that you can use.


2. Don’t Take On Too Much

Maybe you made several resolutions this year. While making positive changes in your life has no limit, taking on too much at once could sabotage all of your goals. Try taking on one goal at a time, then wait until you’ve successfully reached it before taking on another.


3. Expect To Slip Up

Making a mistake, forgetting your changes, succumbing to temptation – none of these make you a failure. When breaking a bad habit, and especially when building a new one, you’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to have that slice of cake, you’re going to have days where you just don’t feel like working out, or cleaning, or really doing anything. The key to success is to accept that these mistakes happen and continue on with your goal, rather than declaring defeat and giving up altogether.


4. Use Rewards As Motivation

Don’t just reward yourself once you’ve reached your big goal, reward yourself throughout the process to keep yourself excited and motivated. Set smaller goals within that large one, and rewards yourself when these little milestones are reached.


5. Don’t Give Up

Creating a habit can take anywhere from 3-10 weeks. Stick with your goal and you will be able to make a positive and lasting lifestyle change.


Budget-Friendly Christmas Gifts

It seems that every year there are more people to shop for – maybe some new additions to the family, new friends, coworkers, etc. Throughout our own budget-friendly shopping, we have found some great sites that offer quality items at a discounted price. We hope these provide some inspiration!



Offers everything home goods – from kitchen and cooking essentials to bathroom storage solutions. These are all quality goods that are offered at a steep discount for a limited time – with daily updates on sales. Sign up for their emails and you’ll get sales delivered to your inbox daily.



A site that offers literally everything – Google tablets, jewelry boxes, cell phone accessories, and more – all for extremely cheap, discounted prices. This site is a bit of a hodgepodge of stuff you never knew you needed, so it’s a great place to look for those hard-to-shop-for people on your list.






Like Wayfair, Joss & Main offers discounted home goods, though focusing more on designer home goods, decor, and furniture. You will definitely be able to find those unique art pieces or knick-knacks for your list, and probably a lot more for yourself!






Just like your local department store, Hayneedle offers home goods, toys, and sports equipment, but at huge discounts. This is a great site for finding gifts for the children on your list.





More Sites to Check Out: – – –


Must-Have Gadget Gifts

Black Friday is only a week away, kicking off the official holiday shopping season this year. If you’re still looking for gift ideas for those hard-to-shop for loved ones, here are a few more items to consider. Huffington Post compiled a list of some must-have gadgets to keep an eye on.
1. The Tile App (~$20) 
The Tile is a blue-tooth enabled device that looks like a small, square tile and attaches to any item (such as a phone or a purse). The Tile can sync up to an app on any iPhone or iPad and enables a GPS-tracking feature that can help you find your valuable if it is ever lost or stolen.

2. Touchscreen-Friendly Gloves (~$75)
We’ve all dealt with the discomfort of cold hands for the sake of using our touch-screen devices, but now we don’t have to! These gloves conductive fingertips allow us to keep our hands warm while we use our touch-screens this winter.

3. Unbreakable iPhone Screen Protector (~$25)
The Rhino Shield is a slim, transparent screen protector that can handle five times as much punishment as the leading screen protectors on the market.

4. Candy-Colored Power Tube (~$40)

This lightweight and portable tube provides and easy way for you  to charge your electronics on the go. Comes in multiple colors!

5. Q Card Case (~$40)

The Q Card Case is a slim wallet that doubles as a phone cover, so you can keep your cards, money, and phone all in one place.


Ways to Create a More Peaceful Home

*article from Health Magazine


1. Cut the Clutter

Keep items that bring forth good memories or that make you smile, but get rid of all the unnecessary little knick-knacks that just bring stressful thoughts or that overwhelm your senses.


2. Use Cool Colors

Instead of painting your walls dark red or a sunshine yellow, go for light blues and greens. While the warmer colors press in on your vision, keeping your mind active and stressed, the cooler colors will help to calm your thoughts and bring feelings of peace.


3. Embrace Space

A stuffed room can make you feel tense, so make sure you leave at least 2 1/2 feet of walking space around furniture.


4. Invite Nature Indoors

Open your curtains and let some natural light indoors. Invest in a few houseplants that bring some natural colors and life into the room. These will bring a feeling of new life, growth, and fresh air  into the room.


5. Balance It Out

For each harsh surface or material (think glass, metal, or plastic), balance it out with a soft material (like fabric, wood, and cushions) to keep the room from feeling harsh or uninviting. Soft materials bring a feeling of comfort into a room, while the harsher materials provide a sense of stability.