Showing posts with label Mental Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mental Health. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Embracing Balance: Mental Health Self-Care Tips

Image by: Alex Green/Pexels

Glad to have you today as we're diving into a topic that often gets overlooked. It is actually important. Taking care of our mental health. Sometimes, we need to pamper ourselves, like going to meals and a relaxing spa. We also need to do things that nurture our minds and souls. It may be finding solace in a morning meditation or having a dance party in your living room. Join me as we explore the ways to maintain our mental well-being at its best.

The Importance of Seeking Professional Assistance

Keep in mind that mental health is as important as physical health. Don’t hesitate to seek support from our health professionals when it comes to your well-being. They provide guidance and tailored assistance to meet your needs. Let's briefly explore the experts who can lend a helping hand:

  • Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in health offering therapy sessions and prescribing medication if necessary.
  • Psychologists focus on behavioral intervention by psychotherapy and psychological evaluations.
  • Therapists/Counselors are experts who provide talk therapy for individuals to navigate their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
  • Social Workers are trained professionals who offer counseling services and link individuals to resources while considering the aspects of mental health.
  • Life Coaches who concentrate on personal growth and assisting individuals in overcoming obstacles they encounter in their daily lives.

Remember, reaching out for assistance is a positive step that empowers you. These professionals are here to compassionately guide you through the complexities of health.

Exploring the World of Natural and Alternative Healing

Venturing into the realm of alternative healing presents an outlook on taking care of our mental well-being. These options can complement treatments offering an approach towards nurturing ourselves. Here are a few effective remedies worth considering:

  • Start Embracing Mindfulness and Meditation: Engaging in practices that bring our focus to the moment helping to alleviate stress and anxiety.
  • Discovering Aromatherapy: Utilizing oils for their benefits promotes a calm mind and uplifting mood.
  • Indulging in Herbal Infusions: Exploring the soothing effects of herbs such as chamomile or lavender which can help relax our nerves.
  • Exploring Yoga and Tai Chi: Embracing exercises that intertwine body movements with mental clarity and breathing techniques.
  • Harnessing Medical Cannabis: Using medical cannabis for anxiety, under guidance, this option can be incorporated into managing anxiety symptoms safely.

It's crucial to approach these remedies considering their compatibility with your lifestyle and individual health requirements.

Happiness in Hobbies and Activities

Isn't it amazing how immersing ourselves in a hobby we love can brighten up our world? Engaging in activities that bring us joy can have an impact on our well-being. Here's a compilation of hobbies and pastimes that have the potential to infuse our lives with happiness and tranquility:

  • Expressing ourselves through painting or drawing.
  • Playing an instrument to create melodies.
  • Nurturing plants and flowers through gardening.
  • Letting our creativity flow with writing or journaling.
  • Exploring the great outdoors through hiking or nature walks.
  • Indulging in the culinary arts of cooking or baking.
  • Capturing life moments with photography.

Remember, it's not about achieving perfection in these activities; it's about finding the pleasure and serenity they bring into our lives.

Developing a Supportive Social Circle

Establishing a circle plays a vital role in maintaining our mental well-being. It involves discussing your health with loved ones and creating an environment where you feel genuinely understood not just listened to. These relationships go beyond interactions; they serve as pillars of support and empathy. Here are some suggestions for strengthening these bonds:

  • Arrange meet-ups.
  • Share experiences with each other.
  • Seek support during tough times.
  • Celebrating important achievements.
  • Foster open and honest conversations.
  • Participate in volunteering efforts or community services.
  • Simply spend quality time together.
  • Remember, it's the quality rather than the quantity of these connections that truly matters.

It's important to remember that taking care of our health is a journey. Do things that will help you. Those little steps we take and the conversations we have contributes to our mental well-being. So here's to embracing your path toward achieving harmony! Cheers!

Monday, December 18, 2023

Why You Should Start Looking After Your Mental Health

The importance of mental health has gained significant recognition in recent years, and for good reason. Looking after your mental health is as crucial as taking care of your physical health, yet it is often neglected or overlooked until problems arise. Understanding why you should start focusing on your mental health can lead to a more fulfilling, productive, and healthy life. Let's delve into the reasons why prioritizing mental health is essential.

Mental Health Affects Physical Health

One of the most compelling reasons to look after your mental health is its profound impact on physical health. There is a strong bi-directional relationship between the two; poor mental health can lead to an increased risk of developing physical health problems, while poor physical health can negatively impact mental health.

Stress, anxiety, and depression, for example, can contribute to a multitude of physical issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and weakened immune systems. These conditions can be exacerbated by mental health struggles due to factors like poor sleep patterns, unhealthy eating habits, and lack of exercise. Conversely, chronic physical illnesses can lead to depression and anxiety, creating a vicious cycle that can be difficult to break without addressing both physical and mental health.


Improved Mental Health Leads to Better Quality of Life

Mental health significantly influences one’s overall quality of life. It affects how we think, feel, and behave, impacting our ability to handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. By taking care of your mental health, you are more likely to have a positive outlook on life, stronger relationships, and a greater sense of inner peace.

Good mental health enhances resilience, the ability to cope with life’s challenges effectively. This resilience leads to better stress management, fewer mood swings, and an overall more balanced life. It helps in building strong relationships and performing well in both personal and professional settings.

Mental Health Care Can Prevent More Serious Problems

Neglecting mental health can lead to more serious psychological issues. Early intervention is key in preventing conditions like depression and anxiety from becoming more severe or chronic. By addressing mental health early, you can prevent these issues from escalating and improve long-term outcomes.

For instance, regularly practicing stress-reduction techniques like mindfulness or meditation can help manage day-to-day stress and prevent it from developing into more serious anxiety disorders. Similarly, seeking therapy at the onset of depressive symptoms can be crucial in preventing them from worsening.

Mental Health Care Boosts Productivity and Performance

Your mental state plays a critical role in your productivity and performance, whether at work, school, or in personal pursuits. Issues like anxiety and depression can severely impact concentration, memory, and decision-making abilities. By prioritizing mental health, you can maintain a higher level of cognitive function and productivity.

Additionally, certain supplements, such as Bromantane, are known for their potential to enhance cognitive function and physical performance. Bromantane, for example, has been researched for its stimulant and anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) properties, which can indirectly support mental health by improving resilience and focus. However, it is vital to approach the use of any supplement under the guidance of a healthcare professional, especially when it comes to mental health.

Mental Health Awareness Contributes to a Stigma-Free Society

Looking after your mental health and being open about mental health challenges contribute to breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illness. This openness encourages others to seek help and creates a more supportive and understanding society.

A stigma-free society where mental health is openly discussed can lead to better support systems, more funding for mental health services, and improved policies both in workplaces and in the broader community. It fosters an environment where seeking help for mental health is as normalized as seeking help for physical ailments.

There are numerous compelling reasons to start looking after your mental health. It is deeply intertwined with physical health, affects your overall quality of life, prevents more serious problems, boosts productivity, and contributes to a more understanding society. Taking steps to maintain and improve your mental health is an investment in yourself and your future, leading to a more balanced and fulfilling life. Remember, taking care of your mental health is not a luxury but a necessity.

Friday, September 29, 2023

4 Ways To Improve & Boost Your Mental Health

 

Life can be stressful at times and start to wear you down over time. As part of your self-care routine, it’s important that you also focus on your mental health and well-being.

If you want to feel better overall then there are some actions you can take to help ensure this holds true. There are four ways, in particular, that will allow you to improve and boost your mental health over time. Be willing to give them a try to see if they can help you feel better and be happier.

Take Care of Your Physical Health

Your mental health can impact your physical health and how you feel overall. If you want to improve and boost your mental health then take good care of your physical health. This includes getting enough daily exercise and eating a nutritious diet. Your hearing can also impact your quality of life and communication with others so it’s best to get it checked regularly. It’s possible if you have hearing loss you will be a candidate for hearing aids. You’ll feel happier and more connected when you can hear other people and what’s going on in your environment. Not being able to hear well can negatively impact your mood and mental health.

Practice Deep Breathing Exercises

A lot of times stress can build up and you will start to feel it in your body. One way to calm your mind down is to first calm your body. You can do this by practicing deep breathing exercises and helping to slow the breath. The good news is that you can do these types of exercises in any setting and not just at home if you need to calm your body down. It's an effective way to combat stress and you will notice you can think more clearly when you focus on your breath and proactively slow it down.

Journal & Meditate

Improve and boost your mental health by keeping a journal and writing down a gratitude list. You can also use it to record what is going well in your life and what you like about yourself. Review this list often so that you can keep a positive mindset and outlook. Another action you may want to do is participate in guided meditations. You can do so easily from your phone or stream a video online. Be patient with yourself because meditating can be tricky at first but give it some time and you’ll likely get the hang of it.

Get Enough Sleep

Another way to improve and boost your mental health is to get enough rest and sleep. Go to bed at a decent hour and set up your bedroom for optimal sleep. Invest in comfortable bedding and paint your bedroom a calming color. Consider your bedtime routine as well. Instead of playing on your electronics, think about taking a warm shower, drinking tea, or getting lost in a good book. This will help relax you and ensure that you can fall asleep and stay asleep more easily. Try to stick to a bedtime schedule so that you’re going to bed and waking up around the same time each day as well. 

Friday, August 25, 2023

Counteract Stress Through Breathing

Almost all of us have either given or received the advice to just breathe when something is stressful, upsetting or painful. Our bodies aren’t designed to be stuck in fight or flight mode for more than a few moments in the face of immediate danger. But stressful situations, anxiety and other unexpected things can set that mode off. 

And a deep breath is exactly what you need to help. 

How does deep breathing help stress?

Stress causes our body and brain to think we are under attack. You might sweat, you may shake, you may feel light-headed and your heart often races. Many people either hold their breath or breathe too quickly - which feeds into the problem. 

Taking a deep breath engages your parasympathetic nervous system, which counteracts the stress and brings everything back down to normal (for your level). 

Mindful and Meditative

Meditation and deep breathing go hand in hand with beginning us into the present moment and helping us let go of whatever is causing the anxiety. You are forced to focus on your breathing, and that takes your mind away from the issue for a moment, and that also reduces stress levels. 

The more often you practice this, the better you will get at it. 

Is there a right way to breathe deeply? 

For most of us, our bodies will breathe automatically, but when it comes to those deep breaths, that will be something you need to control. What many people don’t realize is that we breathe quite shallow for the rest of the time, which is why one big deep breath can already work wonders. 

Here are some techniques that are often recommended for people who are starting out, and over time, you may like to explore further with places like www.breathinspired.com 

Can anyone do breathwork?

Anyone who can control their breathing to an extent can try breathwork, but it is important that you speak to your doctor if it is something that may have an impact on other areas of your health. Breathwork does need to be done correctly and, in some cases, led by an expert. 

There are a couple of breathwork options that are easier to master, though. 

➤ 478

Many people find this breathing technique helpful when they feel anxious or stressed. By focusing on your breathing, you can take your mind off the source of the stress. Breathing slowly and deeply also helps to calm down your heart rate. 

The 478 method is easy to remember and involves inhaling for 4 seconds, holding for 7 seconds, and slowly exhaling for 8 seconds. 

➤ Whistling Lips

If you want to take your breathing to the next level and feel even more relaxed, try this neat trick. Take a nice deep breath in through your nose, hold it for a second, and then purse your lips like you're about to whistle. 

Exhale slowly through pursed lips and really focus on letting the air flow through them. 

Do this five times, and you'll feel a whole lot calmer - noticeably so after the 3rd breath. 

Breathing is one way to help reduce your stress, but here are some extra tips to help: Savvy Strategies to Reduce Your Stress and Anxiety Levels

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

How to Get Ahead of Your Mental Health This Summer

Mental health is just as important as physical health, and it's just as important to take care of your mental health during the summertime. The warm weather can be a great time to get ahead of any potential mental health issues you might experience later in the year. Here are a few tips on how to get ahead of your mental health this summer!

1) Get outside and enjoy the weather! 

The summertime is an excellent opportunity to get outside and enjoy the weather. Spending time in nature benefits mental health, so take advantage of any parks or green spaces near you. Going for walks or runs is also a great way to get some exercise and fresh air. And don't forget to get some vitamin D! Research has shown that vitamin D deficiency can lead to depression, so make sure you're getting enough sun this summer.

Of course, it's also important to protect yourself from the sun. So be sure to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated when you're spending time outdoors.

2) Make time for yourself 

It's essential to make time for yourself, even when you're busy. Dedicate some time each day to do something that you enjoy, whether it's reading, writing, or just taking a moment to relax. You might also want to consider starting a new hobby or activity that you can enjoy during the summer months.

Making time for yourself will help you avoid burnout and maintain your mental health all summer long.

3) Stay connected 

It's easy to feel isolated during the summer, especially if you have no close friends or family nearby. But there are plenty of ways to stay connected even when you're not physically close to people. Social media, video chat, and even just phone calls can help you keep in touch with your loved ones.

And don't forget about face-to-face interactions! Attend local events or meetups, or plan a trip to visit your friends and family. Staying connected will help you combat loneliness and maintain your mental health this summer.

4) Focus on your health 

Summer is a great time to focus on your physical health, and your mental health will thank you for it. Eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly are all critical for maintaining your mental health. And if you're struggling with any mental health issues, don't hesitate to seek professional help at Lake Area Recovery Center.

5) Do something you've never done before 

One of the best ways to combat summer boredom is to try something new. Whether it's a new activity, food, or place, exploring something unfamiliar can help you stay mentally engaged and motivated. So go ahead and plan that trip to the beach, or learn how to cook your favorite recipe. Trying new things will help you make the most of your summer!

In conclusion, taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. The summertime is an excellent opportunity to get ahead of any potential mental health issues you might experience later in the year. By following these tips, you can ensure you have a happy and healthy summer!

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

How to Open Up About Your Mental Health Challenges

Mental health is often seen as a taboo topic. Many people feel like they can't talk about their mental health challenges because they are ashamed or embarrassed. This is a shame because talking about mental health can be incredibly helpful. This blog post will discuss how to open up about your mental health challenges in a way that feels comfortable for you.

 

1) Communicate in a way you're comfortable with

The first step is to communicate in a way that you're comfortable with. This might be talking to a friend or family member, writing down your thoughts in a journal, or even talking to a therapist. Find a way of communication that feels safe for you and stick with it.

If you're not sure how to start the conversation, try saying something like, "I've been feeling really stressed lately, and I'm not sure how to cope." This will let the person know that you're ready to talk about your mental health challenges and open up the conversation. Remember, it's okay to take your time. You don't have to share everything at once. Just take things one step at a time and be patient with yourself.

2) Be honest about your feelings

The next step is, to be honest about your feelings. This can be difficult, but it's essential to be as open and honest as you can. Try to avoid downplaying how you're feeling or making excuses for why you're struggling. The more honest you are, the easier it will be for the person you're talking to understand and support you. It's also okay to ask for help. If you feel like you're struggling to cope, don't hesitate to reach out for help from a friend, family member, therapist, or any other support system.

3) Seek professional help

If you're struggling to cope with your mental health challenges, it's vital to seek professional help. This can be in the form of therapy at Serenity At Summit, medication, or both. Don't be afraid to ask for help from a professional if you feel like you need it. It's okay to admit that you need assistance, and there is no shame in seeking help from a therapist or doctor.

Remember, you are not alone in this. Mental health challenges are common, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. If you're struggling, reach out for help and support. You deserve to live a happy and healthy life.

4) Take care of yourself

Lastly, it's important to take care of yourself. This means eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep. It also means taking time for yourself and doing things that make you happy. Make sure to schedule in some "me time" every day, even if it's just for a few minutes. Self-care is crucial when you're dealing with mental health challenges.

By following these steps, you can start to open up about your mental health challenges in a way that feels comfortable and safe for you. Remember, there is no shame in talking about mental health and seeking help if you need it. You deserve to live a happy and healthy life.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

 

In life, there are so many different obstacles and so many different variables that will be thrown your way. For a lot of people, challenges are met with a can-do attitude at all times. They’ll feel no burden, and they’ll happily attack every problem & error. It would be great if we all had the capacity and the chemical balance to do so. 

Unfortunately, a large portion of people have all kinds of mental health challenges that take over. These struggles can literally affect how your life goes. It can start from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. They can then completely turn your routine and, thus, life upside down without any sense of guilt. If we don’t help out our brain from time to time, it’ll have a hugely negative effect on how the succeeding years can go.

The good thing is that there are plenty of things that can be done in order to fix many mental struggles. Here are just a few examples of what you could do: 

Always Talk To Someone You Can Trust

Opening up about your issues to just anyone may not be as productive as you’d like. It sure is freeing, but it could come back to bite you on the backside. Find someone you can trust, and let them know about certain things. Perhaps a family member, a friend, or even someone in the mental health world.  

Seeking Professional Help And/Or Guidance

We’ve just mentioned it, but a mental health professional could allow you to attack certain problems quite significantly. You might also be dealing with other issues that border your mental struggles, so perhaps something like sober homes could come in handy if you are dealing with an addiction of any kind. Professional help is a lot better than sitting idle.

Stay On The Move As Much As You Can 

Sitting around does absolutely nothing for your mind or the situation you’re in. You tend to simply begin to think about all the problems that are going on. This can lead to you spiraling out of control and making things even worse. Do whatever you can to keep your mind and body occupied.  

Recognize That Mistakes And Flaws Are All A Part Of Life

If you’re worried about certain things you’ve done or that have happened, you have to understand that you’re meant to go through mistakes and errors in order to become a better person – and a stronger one. We’re not meant to know how things go in life – we’re supposed to mess up and learn along the way.

Do You Best Not To Neglect Food And Water

While it sounds like something pretty difficult when things aren’t going well, food and water can help so much. Your mind can begin to catastrophize and make things worse if you have little-to-no energy in your system. If you’re not well in terms of your mental strength, the idea of eating can be difficult. You may lose your appetite somewhat. Do what you can to ensure you’re putting nutritious meals into your body, though – it could save you. 

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Your mental health is just as important as your physical wellbeing. You need to guarantee that you do avoid the issues that could be causing you to feel anxiety and leave you lethargic. Here are some of the key examples to focus on. 


Stress

If you’re looking for the number one impact on your mental health, then this is always going to be stress. High levels of stress are a massive concern because they can cause issues with anxiety and even depression. To cope with stress, you need to find ways to relax and calm down more. For instance, you might want to think about options such as meditation. Research shows that meditation can retire your brain so you can deal with high-pressure situations far more effectively. 

Low Sleep 

You might find that your mental health is impacted by a low level of sleep in your life. If you are not getting enough sleep, then you are always going to feel drained of energy. Your body won’t be getting the proper rest that it requires. To get more sleep, we recommend that you think about improving your sleep environment. Research shows that different tech devices can disturb your sleeping pattern enough that it stops you from reaching the deepest level. This can leave you turning all night and ensure that your body is exhausted by the time that you wake up in the morning. 

Pain 

You could be dealing with pain on a daily basis. Chronic pain is a common concern for every individual, particularly as they get older. By the time you reach sixty-five it’s likely that you will be dealing with some form of chronic pain in your life. To handle this, you should think about exploring different treatment options. Be aware that chronic pain can also impact your mental health due to the level of stress it brings. You could constantly be worried about how you are going to cover the costs. That’s why if your pain is caused by an incident that wasn't’ your fault, such as a mistake by a doctor, you should consider speaking to medical malpractice lawyers. They will help ensure that you can rest easy knowing you can claim the right amount in damages to cover the additional costs associated with your pain. 

Environment 

Finally, it’s possible that your environment is impacting your mental health. This could be true whether we’re talking about your home or work environment. The wrong environment can lead to you feeling overwhelmed and completely drain you of energy. That’s why you need to make sure that you are setting up your environment the right way. For instance, you might want to think about exploring options such as biophilic design. Research shows that biophilic design and reigniting your connection with nature can have a huge impact on your mental health overall. It will guarantee that you feel more relaxed and can even inspire greater levels of productivity. 

We hope this helps you understand some of the key issues that could be causing havoc with your overall mental health and the right steps that you should take here. 

Saturday, December 11, 2021

How To Effectively Manage Mental Health Challenges


Mental health consists of having a good state of mind and emotional well-being to cope with anything life throws at you. According to health experts, mental health affects your choices, feelings, relationships, and actions and goes beyond not having a mental disorder. As much as mental health affects everyday life, daily situations can also affect your mental health. Making simple changes to your lifestyle and building healthy habits can significantly impact your mental health and overall well-being. Here are some effective ways to manage mental health challenges.

Be expressive about your feelings

Bottling up your feelings could negatively affect your mental health. On the other hand, expressing how you feel can help you cope with situations better and identify what’s troubling you. Admitting your feelings doesn’t make you weak but rather makes you proactive towards prioritizing your mental health. Getting someone to talk to or writing down your feelings can help prevent you from feeling isolated and calm you down. If you’re having difficulty opening up about how you feel, you can try using different words to visualize what’s going on in your mind and how it makes you feel. 

Avoid using unhealthy coping mechanisms 

If you’re dealing with any mental issues, it’s best to avoid self-medicating or looking for temporary relief through drinking, smoking, etc. These may often make you feel worse after their effect wears off, still leaving the need for you to tackle the situation you’re facing. It’s best to find healthier coping mechanisms that have long-term benefits for your health. If you’re in or around Dallas and need support or counseling, you can get all the information you need on https://www.sunshinebehavioralhealth.com/texas/dallas/

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise doesn’t only benefit your physical health but also your mental health. According to health experts, exercise releases feel-good hormones into your brain, improving your mood, boosting self-esteem, and increasing concentration. Suppose you don’t have much time for vigorous exercise. In that case, you can still be active through daily activities such as dancing to your favorite music, taking a walk in the park, or regular house duties like gardening. The most important thing is to do something you enjoy, and that can help you get at least 20-30 minutes of exercise every day. Remember to eat healthily and drink lots of water in addition to your exercise.

Stay connected

Isolating yourself could make managing your mental health challenging. On the other hand, surrounding yourself with supportive family and friends can encourage you and make you feel loved and less overwhelmed when facing stressful situations. Apart from supporting you, they can help give you a fresh outlook on things and give you the human connection you need to keep going. If you’re unable to stay connected in person, there are other options to consider to help you stay in touch with them, such as video calls and online chats. As you build your human connections, it’s also essential that you avoid people who negatively impact your mental health and break off any toxic relationships. 

Find The Appropriate Support

It’s important to speak to people who can help you, as there’s no shame in reaching out, in fact it takes courage to do this. However, it’s important you try and find the appropriate help you need. For instance, speaking to a doctor about post-natal depression can help you find direct support and join social groups dedicated to supporting this. The same goes for other essential issues, such as PTSD treatment for veterans, or those suffering from sudden grief.

Take time off

Sometimes, taking a step back from your busy daily routine could yield great benefits for your mental health. It doesn’t need to be anything drastic; even taking ten minutes or a day or two off can go a long way to renew your mind and give you the respite you need. Taking some time off doing something you enjoy or just having some me-time is essential for taking care of your mental health. It can either mean doing nothing at all or doing something active. If you need an activity that will quiet your mind, you can try relaxation exercises such as yoga and meditation, which help to calm you down. It’s all about taking some time to relax and providing a healthy environment for your health. As a plus, doing this will also boost your self-esteem. 

 Accept yourself for who you are 

Your self-perception could affect your mental health. If you view yourself negatively, you may end up not putting much effort into doing things beneficial to your mind and your body. It would help if you focused on the things that make you stand out instead of comparing yourself to others. You can also speak positive words to yourself every morning to help improve how you view yourself. Doing this boosts your mental health. It also makes you feel good about yourself and allows you to celebrate your unique traits. It will also prevent you from being too hard on yourself in challenging situations and help you see the good side of things. 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

How To Move On: Coping After Trauma

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Post-traumatic stress disorder is a form of anxiety caused by stressful, and often life-threatening situations. It can be a debilitating condition that prevents the sufferer from leading a full life. Often PTSD causes a person to relive their incident repeatedly, and have potentially vivid nightmares, insomnia, and extreme fears and anxiety.

Post-traumatic stress can affect anyone. A severe incident can bring about feelings that we are not equipped to deal with. This might be an assault, car accident, or even problems during childbirth. The symptoms of PTSD might not also become apparent for months or even years after the event had taken place. 

Those in very stressful jobs where there is a great deal of physical risk, such as military personnel, or emergency service workers may be exposed to the kind of trauma that can cause post-traumatic stress. Those working in war zones are particularly susceptible and, in this case, suffers should visit veteransdisabilityinfo.com for advice and support. 

Witnessing, or learning about severe trauma in someone that you are close to can also bring about PTSD too. 

Symptoms

Symptoms vary, and may not become apparent for some time after the event. They may be things such as a disinterest in daily life and activities that are happening around you, a feeling of numbness and disconnection from other people, a lack of positive feelings about the future, and an avoidance of people, places or things associated with the trauma. More severe symptoms might include panic attacks and vivid flashbacks of the event. 

PTSD survivors may say that they don't want to talk about the event. A reluctance to even talk about anything to do with an incident may be a sign that they have PTSD. Having a feeling that they cannot control their own thoughts also demonstrates a potential risk of post-traumatic stress.

Taking Action

If you or a loved one is suffering from PTSD after surviving a traumatic experience, then action needs to be taken. In the first instance, speaking with your doctor is advised. They will probably ask a few questions in order to diagnose and understand the level and cause of stress disorder. At this point, being completely honest about how you feel will make sure that an accurate diagnosis can be made. There is no shame in admitting that you are struggling. Suffering with PTSD does not imply failure on your part, and it certainly does not make you a weak person. So if there are symptoms that you are embarrassed to talk about, take your time and allow yourself the opportunity to open up about them and get the help you need. 

Antidepressants

Treatment might include antidepressants. These will help with rebalancing the levels of neurotransmitters in your brain. Increasing neurotransmitters that may be depleted helps stimulate synapses making up for the reduced levels. This helps restore our brain activity to a 'normal level'. Over time, antidepressants serve to repair broken connections in the brain through neuroplasticity. When we're under a great deal of stress, our brains produce adrenaline in an attempt to run from or fight off any dangers. Reliving trauma can engage in adrenaline production, meaning that a PTSD survivor suffers from an overproduction of adrenaline. This surplus of hormones serves to raise heartbeats, fuel anxiety and keep the sufferer on edge for a prolonged time. Lowering these chemicals is essential as part of the treatment process. 

Therapy

Alongside medication, many sufferers may require trauma counselling. This could be talking therapy surrounding coming to terms with the incident. Unpicking the complex emotions surrounding trauma can take a very long time. A qualified therapist will know the types of questions to ask to help you come to an understanding of your condition. They may provide you with reading or exercises to do outside of sessions. It is vital to engage with any therapeutic activities set out, as they are designed to aid your recovery. Often, though progress can be slow and you may not notice the changes. There may be a feeling that you are wasting time, and will feel like stopping. Stick with it, it is a very gradual process, but it is beneficial in the long run.

You may be offered cognitive behavioral therapy. This type of counselling will look at the ways you think and do things and will look at changing your mindset to help you deal with situations better. It is particularly useful for breaking out of patterns of thought and behavior that may be destructive.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

4 Things That Can Make Your Depression Worse

 

Mental health statistics in the United States are quite shocking indeed. For example, about one out of five American adults experience mental illnesses. The coronavirus pandemic gave further rise to the grim statistics on mental health across the States. Among the host of mental health challenges confronting Americans, depression stands tall. Adults aged over 18 are more likely to experience depressive illnesses in any given year. But what makes your depression worse? Outlined below are some key factors that can worsen your depression.

1. Sleep deprivation

Most people feel better and healthier when they get a good night's sleep. On the other hand, sleep deprivation can give rise to negative feelings and even worsen your depression. Research studies have shown that insomnia patients are ten times more likely to experience depression than those who sleep well. If you are experiencing sleep problems, try visiting your doctor. Also, consider limiting your consumption of alcohol and caffeine, and have a regular sleep pattern.

2. Hormones

Hormones are chemical messengers that are produced by special glands and conveyed by the bloodstream. Statistics show that women are more prone to depression than men. It has usually got something to do with hormonal changes in the different genders. For instance, after giving birth, some mothers experience what's called postpartum depression

Depression symptoms can also worsen in women during their ovulation and menopause periods. If you experience sharp changes in your mood at specific cycles of your life, book an appointment with your doctor. Experienced mental health experts may be able to diagnose your condition and prescribe the right treatment for you.

3. Diet

Depression often arises from a myriad of factors relating to your social environment, physical environment, and even genetics. However, what you eat and don't eat can also affect your depression status. One research study by the American Journal of Psychiatry related typical Western diets like sugary products and processed food to depression and anxiety in women; on the other hand, fruits, veggies and meat were thought to be healthier. 

In Australia, Deakin University researchers theorize that a class of micro-organisms in the digestive system can influence people's mental health. They also suggest that just by improving your diet, you can lessen your symptoms of depression. As scientists continue to research the dietary culprits associated with depression, you may want to cut down on your consumption of sugary products and rather eat whole and fresh food.

4. Social media lifestyle

Over the past years, social media has grown to be a huge world on its own. While there may be the best platforms to connect with others during the pandemic, social media networks can also worsen your depression. In fact, researchers have coined the term "Facebook Depression" to describe the disappointments people face when their posts don't receive the expected number of comments and likes. There is a growing volume of evidence linking digital activities to depression. Things like texting, emailing, video calls, and live-chatting — have all been related to worsening depression. However, in some cases, people are able to ease their depression symptoms when they visit social media environments like Facebook. The secret is to build positive connections that add value to your life. Also, try not to expect too much from social media connections. 

Social media can be especially damaging and impactful on young girls. As they are going through their tween and teen years, the content and comparisons they are exposed to online may lead to depression and thoughts of self-harm. Should you notice a problem with a teen in your life, it’s time to seek professional care. The qualified staff at Eva Carlston Academy can help provide the services your child needs to heal and get back to a healthier lifestyle.


Thursday, April 23, 2020

Life is full of ups and downs. One of the most challenging and distressing obstacles we face is carrying on when we experience loss. Grief can be incredibly painful, and it can take a long time to reach a point when you start to notice glimpses of recovery. If you’re navigating the grieving process, here are some tips to help you protect your mental health and wellbeing.

Image by https://pixabay.com/photos/window-view-sitting-indoors-girl-1081788/

Allow yourself to be emotional

Nobody knows how they will react to losing somebody close to them. If you’re coming to terms with losing a partner, a parent, a friend or a family member, it’s crucial to allow yourself to experience and express emotions. If you feel the urge to cry or shout, go with it. If you can’t talk, and you want to be quiet and spend time alone, don’t pressure yourself into going out or making calls before you’re ready. Let your natural responses and reactions come out, don’t suppress them. It’s important to understand that there is no manual for bereavement and there is no right or wrong way to deal with loss. People go about dealing with this situation in different ways, so be kind to yourself and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to behave in a certain way. 

Stay connected with your loved one

When you first lose somebody, it can be very difficult to come to terms with the fact that they have gone and you won’t see them again. Many people talk about waiting for a friend or relative to walk through the door and hearing their voice. It will take time for these feelings and experiences to subside, and it’s natural to go through these processes, especially if you’ve lost somebody you spent a long time with. It can be difficult to think about that person at the beginning, but connecting with them and keeping their memory alive can be reassuring and comforting. When you’re ready, look through photographs, watch video clips and talk to that person if you want to. For some people, spending time at the cemetery or burial ground can help them to feel close to the person they’ve lost. Choosing cemetery grave marker stones that represent your loved one and laying flowers enables you pay tribute, to keep memories alive and to feel like you’re never too far away. 

Seek help

We all go through tough times, and losing a loved one is one of the most difficult challenges we encounter. If you are dealing with loss, you don’t have to do it on your own. Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and family members, to seek advice from charities or to join groups that can provide support and guidance, or to see a therapist. Sometimes, being able to talk, cry and open up can help you manage your emotions and get through the pain grief causes. 


Losing friends and family members has a profound impact. If you’re in the process of trying to navigate your way through the grieving process, it’s essential to look after yourself and to understand that there is help and support available. 


Saturday, February 8, 2020

Signs That Your Child Is Becoming a Pessimist


It’s often said that the world can be defined by two types of people; optimists and pessimists. Both of them have their own strengths and weaknesses, and it’s arguable that a good balance is required for a healthy lifestyle and mental well-being.

But what do you do if your child only displays negativity? Is it just a phase they’re going through, or is there something more concerning under the surface? Whatever the case is, here are a couple of signs to take notice of if you think your child is going through a pessimistic phase.

They give up early when approaching something challenging

Pessimists will typically give up on something before putting in the effort, often stating that the outcome isn’t worth the work it takes. If your child tends to struggle and give up with something, it’s a good idea to console and encourage them.

They don’t take pride in their successes

Many negative children will find it hard to celebrate something they’ve done, even if it’s an impressive feat. This can mean that they’re never satisfied and want to keep pushing themselves, which can be a good thing. However, it’s also commonly associated with a pessimistic attitude.

They’re suspicious of others

It can be difficult for your child to trust others, especially if they’ve had a bad friendship with school friends. Situations like this are common even in adulthood, so finding ways to cope with this and begin trusting people again is a good way to counter it.

While occasional negative thoughts aren’t a massive problem, it can eventually lead to problems in the future. That’s why we’ve included an infographic below on how to encourage positive behavior in your children. It’ll teach you how to inject a bit of positivity into your child’s life and also the benefits that it comes with.



Infographic: Regis College

Sunday, December 1, 2019

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Are you forever trying to keep on top of numerous tasks in life? When there are so many different things to do, trying to be a better you can slip down the priority list. When we start to look at improving our lives, tackling certain tasks may provide a sense of achievement, but those duties will start to pile up again come next week. Decluttering your life is something that can work wonders in this respect, physically and emotionally. But what can you do to ensure that you are decluttering your mind, as well as your life?

Establish A Baseline Of Organization

Being organized has numerous health benefits. You may think that it's something that needs doing but if you are forever trying to keep on top of numerous house duties, you may want to look at putting a proper plan in place. After all, prevention is better than cure. And this is something we can apply to so many aspects of our life. When we look at decluttering in terms of our home, figuring out a place for everything will automatically keep things organized. This means that as soon as you declutter your home, you'll immediately start to relax. There are numerous guides online to help you towards putting everything in its right place, What Type of Custom Storage System Should You Start With? is one. Once you establish this baseline of being organized, you've got far better control over the situation. This means that you will start to relax, and rather than having to keep on top of various house issues, you are being proactive by preparing.

Learning How To Throw Things Away

Metaphorically and literally, throwing things away can be one of the toughest parts of decluttering. Sometimes we struggle to throw something away because we feel guilty for wasting money or something we’ve held onto for so long represents an aspect of our past that we like to reminisce about. And whether you are decluttering your home, or decluttering your mind, remembering that throwing things away gives you that opportunity to start all over again. It gives us clarity on the things that we don't want. And as soon as we start to realize the things that we don't need in our lives, this frees up space in our mind (and our home)! This gives us the opportunity to do something new with our home or look for new experiences. 

Decluttering your mind or your living space can free up so many different things in your life. And when we start to declutter and look at the things that we think twice about throwing away, whether it's an old pair of shoes or an old thought, the important thing is to connect with that memory briefly and look at if it's benefitting you right now. Decluttering your living space will help to reorganize things in your mind. And at the same time, decluttering your mind will give you an overwhelmingly positive sense of clarity. We have so many distractions these days that we need to get into that habit of decluttering. The great thing is that now, learning to declutter our minds is something that many people talk about. Meditation is one of those practices that provide a key to decluttering to help you get rid of old thoughts.




Wednesday, November 20, 2019

What Not To Say To A Person Experiencing Depression

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It only takes a brief look at some of the facts and figures about depression to see just how serious a problem it is in the present day. High-profile cases certainly help keep the issue in the public eye, and the growing awareness of mental health issues is a positive thing. With that said, we’re still very much in the early days when it comes to treating mental health like its physical counterpart, and when it comes to understanding mental illness, even the most well-meaning person can find the way forward is littered with pitfalls and false starts.

Depression, in particular, is a very easy condition to misunderstand, which can make it harder to treat. While physical illnesses can be studied in laboratories, and their treatments tested in controlled conditions, depression often doesn’t behave as people expect it to. No matter how benign someone’s intentions may be, it is all too easy to say the wrong thing to someone who is struggling with depression. Here are some of the most common faux pas, and things to avoid saying, when talking about this frustrating condition.

“This will pass”

When seeking to reassure someone with depression, it’s completely understandable that so many of us reach for this statement. It’s an optimistic thing to say and, seemingly, has the advantage of being true. In the vast majority of cases, someone struggling through a depressive episode will come out the other side appreciating their improvement. However, when you’re in the midst of an episode, it’s a statement that can grate all too easily. Often, someone with depression won’t want to hear about a future they have difficulty envisaging.

What to say instead: Often, nothing at all. Be prepared to listen and sympathize. Give the person a chance to talk about anything that animates them.

“What are you depressed about?”

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So many people fundamentally misunderstand depression as being a reaction to life circumstances, and expect that by pointing out the positives in someone’s life they can make them feel better. This is particularly the case when talking to a young person who may need teen depression treatment and a listening ear. People with depression are rarely depressed about something, and it is entirely possible to seemingly be in a great position in life - with money, friends and great future prospects - and yet still feel empty.

What to say instead: “Take the time you need to feel better. You don’t deserve this and you are loved.”

“You know, what helped me when I was in your place was…”

Even people who have experienced their own periods and episodes of depression can be prone to saying the wrong thing when trying to help a friend or family member. With the best will in the world, someone in the midst of a serious depressive episode is not going to want to hear what worked for someone else. Quite apart from anything, depression is not like a lock with a definite key that will always work. It’s a complicated condition, and by talking about our own experience it’s all too easy to come across as making this thing about us.

What to say instead: “I’m here to listen if you want to talk. And if you don’t want to talk about it, I’m still here.”

“You don’t seem/look depressed!”

As with many other misconceptions about depression, this one falls back on the assumption that depression and unhappiness are the same thing; an understandable mistake, but an error nonetheless. Someone with depression will not necessarily present with the exterior that people would expect. Indeed, it’s common to hear people mention that someone is “the last person in the world I’d expect to be depressed”. A person can be smiling, even laughing one moment and within seconds be feeling lost and alone. It only makes matters worse when someone then makes the above comment, which can only ever sound like “I don’t believe you - you’re not depressed, you’re making things up.”

What to say instead: “I’m so sorry, I had no idea. You give off such positivity that I never would have guessed - if you need to unburden now I’m right here.”

“You need to focus on the positive”

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While thankfully few people these days would be as tin-eared as to say “Snap out of it” to a person with depression, there are a few statements which will sound every bit as harsh to someone in the midst of an episode. A major aspect of depression is anhedonia - the inability to take pleasure in what would usually be pleasurable activities. Telling a depressed person to “focus on the positive” is like telling someone with a fracture to magically heal that bone. Worse yet, the instruction to focus on something else is victim-blaming and insinuates that their problems are irrelevant to you.

What to say instead: “I’m sorry you’re hurting right now. Is there anything I can do to help?”

“I thought this was over…”

Depression is not a condition that has a specific beginning and a definite end, and sometimes a person who has been suffering will show a major improvement, and seem totally rejuvenated. This can be as a result of therapy, medication or a combination - or even completely out of the blue. It can then be distressing to see them fall back under the shadow of depression, but this is something that happens. The path of a person with depression, even in the best of scenarios, is often more of a zig-zag than a straight line. By telling someone that we had considered the bad times to be over, it’s implicit that we’re disappointed in them for not being cured.

What to say instead: “You’ve come a long way, and I believe in you. It’s natural to have days like these, don’t beat yourself up.”

Although our awareness and understanding of depression has improved immeasurably in recent years, it is a persistent condition that can devastate lives and it attacks people by taking away the resources they would usually use to fight it. If you’re helping someone through a depressive period right now, remember that it’s often by just being there that you’ll make the biggest difference. Take care!


Tuesday, July 9, 2019

3 Alternative Depression Treatments Without Side Effects

Conversations about mental health have really opened up in the last few years and the stigma around mental health issues is starting to disappear. It has become clear that the scale of mental health problems is a lot more severe than people realized. There are a lot of different reasons for the rise in mental health problems, especially stress at work, and that means lots of people are in need of treatment. The reduction in stigma around mental health means that more people are seeking that treatment, often in the form of medication. However, a lot of depression medication has side effects like weight fluctuations, headaches, nausea, and trouble sleeping. Some people find that they don’t experience too many of these side effects and they get on well with the medication, but for others, the negatives outweigh the positives and they feel that they don’t want to continue taking the medication. It’s a difficult situation because they still need to treat their depression but they don’t want to continue with medication. If you find yourself in that situation, these are some of the best alternative treatments out there. 

Image source
Talking Therapies 

Talking therapies are usually the best way to deal with mental health issues. While taking medication will help you to deal with the symptoms of mental health problems like depression, they won’t help you to deal with the root issues that cause those low feelings in the first place. There is a chemical imbalance that needs to be dealt with, and medication is great at that, but there are also psychological problems that need to be tackled as well. Seeing a counsellor or therapist and talking through those issues is one of the best ways to deal with the problem in the long term. If you speak with your doctor, they will be able to help you access these kinds of treatments. 

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation 

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a treatment that is often prescribed to people that really struggle with depression medication because it does not have anywhere near as many side effects. A TMS treatment involves stimulating the brain with an electromagnetic field, which might sound scary but it’s not dangerous and it has good results. Most patients report a big reduction in their symptoms of depression without any of the side effects that they’re getting from their medication. 

Hypericum 

Hypericum, sometimes known as St. John's Wort is a remedy that has been used for hundreds of years to treat some of the symptoms of depression. It is believed to work in a similar way to normal antidepressants by stimulating the production of chemicals like serotonin in the brain. There are no guarantees here because some people don’t notice any difference and some people will still experience some side effects. However, it does work very well for some people so if you’re not happy with your current medication, it is worth trying. 

Medication works well for a lot of people but if you experience a lot of negative side effects, it can make your situation worse. If that’s the case, you should try some of these natural alternatives instead.