Therapy Is Not Just For The Mentally Unstable

(When people mistake therapy as the go-to action for “insane” individuals only…)

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“This is ludicrous! Why is that quack doctor recommending therapy for my grandson? Is little Mikey crazy? We don’t have mentally insane family members – I’m sure of that. I’m not certain about your side of the family, though, Rita.” My mother-in-law said that so coldly. She always put me down and even if my husband said that his mother likes me, I know deep in my heart that she doesn’t see me as her daughter. In fact, on our wedding day, she told me that her son could do so much better.

“It’s important to have friends to talk to, but a therapist is trained to understand these matters more deeply and therefore is able to offer more than just good advice.” says  Ari Tuckman, PsyD.

Continue reading “Therapy Is Not Just For The Mentally Unstable”

An Overview Of Suicide Counseling

 

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Anxiety and depression are never pleasant, but other people experience depression so extreme that they think about ending their lives. Sadly, millions of people worldwide try to commit suicide every year, and a certain population of this number does succeed. The Center For Disease Control reports that suicide is the number 10 leading cause of mortality in America since 2009.

Suicide often brings misery and damage in its way. Members of the family and significant others are eternally ambushed with questions, like, “What could I have done to stop it?” or “Why didn’t I see it coming?” A lot of them are going to be filled with grief, blame, and remorse for years.

However, suicide counseling could be helpful to those who are thinking about suicide. This kind of counseling helps individuals deal with the profound worries plaguing them and eventually gives them hope to live life. Suicide counselors are professionals who must be compassionate, kind, and non-judgmental. Finally, they should possess a true desire to help and communicate efficiently with those who need them.

Reasons For Counseling

Studies suggest that suicide – especially teen suicide – has increasingly been more common in the current years. Others would even claim that it once became an epidemic. There have been many measures in place on suicide prevention, yet several people still try to take their lives, and the numbers continue to climb.

Suicide counseling is an approach that can assist suicidal individuals in striving to find a reason to live and get back on track. People who need help from a suicide counselor usually learn to look forward to their future rather than depriving themselves of happiness.

Becoming A Suicide Counselor

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Becoming a suicide counselor demands years of schooling, including accomplishing a bachelor’s degree, followed by a master’s degree, and finally getting into a Ph.D. or a doctorate program. If you are bent on getting into counseling, particularly suicide counseling, you can search online for top programs and schools that offer the field.

Suicide counselors should initially be capable of recognizing people who are in danger of committing suicide. There are actually no symptoms for someone who is suicidal, but there are usually several risk factors and signs that may preclude suicide attempts.

  • Suicidal thoughts are apparently red flags for a counselor assessing a patient or client.
  • Most individuals who intend to commit suicide also experience mental health conditions, most probably anxiety or depression.
  • Past suicide attempts are also big negative signals for suicide counselors. Generally, an individual who tried to end her own life before will probably attempt to do it again.
  • Promises, hazards, or desires of suicide must never be neglected. People who convey a message or intent to die must be given attention.

Knowing how much of a threat a suicidal individual is to himself is often quite challenging, but it is possible. For example, someone who drafted a clear suicide plan is thought to be more of a threat to himself than someone without a plan. But whether or not an individual is a high or low risk, action must be taken to keep him protected from himself. This is typically achieved by a suicidal individual being placed under a suicide watch, which will take about 24 hours or longer. At this time, the individual is placed in a secure pace with the constant surveillance of mental and medical professionals.

Indeed, there is no perfect approach for dealing with suicidal attempts in people. Giving them time and space to express their feelings. During counseling sessions with the counselors, the suicidal individual is frequently urged to discuss any worries or concerns. Often, the suicide counselor may encourage, but it is commonly the counselor’s responsibility to listen and be there.

In conjunction with therapy and counseling, suicide counselors typically help suicidal people develop an efficient plan that can be put into action when they begin contemplating ending their own lives. For example, when someone is feeling suicidal, she can commit to calling her counselor, confide in someone she trusts, or give the suicide prevention hotline a call. Suicide counselors also help someone create a support network that she can rely on when times are difficult.

Suicide counseling can be very heartbreaking and stressful at times, but counselors should not forget to care for their own mental health. Even if they are counselors, they, too, may require the help of other mental health providers to help them deal with anxiety, depression, and stress, among others.

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Suicide counselors can be employed in several areas. They can be hired by psychiatric or general hospitals as well as mental health facilities. Divisions of schools, military, and human and social service centers also commonly have counselors for suicide.

Among the most popular locations for suicidal counselors, though, is the suicide prevention hotline. The position can be voluntary or paid, and they usually entail talking to suicidal persons or answering phones.

 

 

When Does My Family Need Counseling?

 

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Undoubtedly, when a family is fit and happy, everything seems perfect. Dads and moms are most grateful and relaxed when they have a healthy relationship with each other and with their children.

Not all families are as lucky, though. The stresses of everyday life – family crisis, a mental health condition, a job loss, or the death of a loved one – can take a toll on one or more family members and can impact the entire family at any time.

Many families have become resilient to issues and matters like the ones mentioned above, but even the strongest families might feel the need to seek help from a counselor.

Knowing when family counseling is beneficial for your family can be daunting. For parents, it could make them feel like they have not been responsible enough for taking care of their kids or that they have failed at raising them. But the truth is, deciding to go into counseling can mean that you are taking a big step towards improvement. Think about it as an extra tool that can help you and your children discover new skills to work through your conflicts, communication problems, and concerns about discipline and instilling other significant values.

Deciding To Seek Help

If your family is having one or more of these indications, it could be time to think about consulting the services of a licensed family counselor.

  • Family members seem to respond to events extremely emotionally. Do they react with arguments with more fear, anger, or sadness?
  • One or more members have trouble performing in their optimal capacity, and they drain the energy of the entire family. Are the normal routines becoming heavier?
  • There is withdrawal from family life. Is one of your kids isolating himself or herself and not communicating enough?
  • One or more family members display an abnormal kind of violence, like hurting each other instead of just playing around. Do you see any assault within the home?
  • Members of the family confide about feelings of hopelessness or failure. Are you having difficulty helping your children out with the challenges that they are facing? Do you think that the whole family might suffer if you don’t seek outside help?
  • The family has gone through a traumatic event, and all the members are having difficulty dealing with it. Do you feel like you are all having trouble adjusting to the aftermath?
  • There is a substance abuse problem in the family. Alcohol and drug abuse is very challenging for parents and even for kids. Perhaps some of the members have developed an eating disorder?

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Other Things To Consider

Once you agree that it is the right time to go into family counseling, the challenge is selecting the right counselor for you. Before doing so, consider these:

  • Insurance coverage for family counseling. Health insurance companies now cater healthcare services, but family counseling is not often considered part of mental healthcare. Consult with your employer and ask if some family counselors in your area accept coverage for family therapy.
  • Employee Assistance Programs. A lot of employers provide this for their workers. The EAP is a great step to begin finding counseling options, and services are typically free of charge or have a small amount of payment to be shouldered by the employer.

Finding A Family Counselor

Selecting a suitable counselor for the family takes time and effort. Here are several tips to help you get started.

Personal Referrals. These are among the best sources for counselor referrals – family and friends who have reaped the benefits of counseling services. Ask them about their experience and get suggestions about how to respond to your first few sessions.

Consult Your Physician. Family physicians often have names of qualified mental health providers like counselors and therapists in your area. They frequently have ideas about which of these professionals can offer the most suitable help for your family.

Online Recommendations. Organizations like the American Association For Family And Marriage Therapy have locator services that allow you to search by area for qualified organization members.

Importance Queries

When interviewing a counselor who will potentially work with your family, ask these significant queries:

  1. Did you get a degree in family counseling or therapy?
  2. How many years of experience have you had?
  3. Were you officially supervised while in clinical practice?
  4. Tell us of some of your experiences in managing family problems.
  5. What are your ethical and personal approaches to family counseling?

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Conclusion

Deciding to go through family counseling for managing issues and concerns within your family is a big move. However, such a move is essential and indispensable when all resources within the family have become insufficient, and the problems have gotten out of hand. Seeking the help of a family counselor is not yielding to defeat or failure. It is a vital step to helping rebuild a family’s bond and strength.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About The Difference Between Regular And Severe Depression

Due to the ongoing pandemic, there has been a significant increase in people experiencing mental health issues. According to a recent study, 4 out of 10 adults in the United States may have experienced emerging episodes of anxiety or depression. The quarantine measures limit access to appropriate treatment and therapy services. 

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Depression is a mental health disorder that causes episodes of loneliness and disinterest in doing activities. For some people, depression can be managed and might go away with lifestyle changes. But for others, depression can disrupt daily routine and cause long-term difficulties.

But before tending to you any form of therapy or medication, your healthcare provider will first determine the severity of your depression. Here are two significant differences your physician can use to assess the seriousness of your condition.

A regular depression may include symptoms of both mild and moderate depression. Some of these signs and symptoms include:

  • Persistent irritability or angry mood
  • Difficulty concentrating at home or work
  • Body pains that have no apparent cause
  •  Anxiety or excessive worrying
  • Trouble sleeping or insomnia
  • Sudden interest in habits such as substance abuse
  • Feeling of tiredness or fatigue during the day
  • Having sudden changes in diet and appetite
  • Being more sensitive to others

Although regular depression is considerably more manageable, it is much more difficult to diagnose than a severe one. Symptoms for regular depression are harder to notice. Sometimes, they seem too common, and they can sometimes root from another cause.

Meanwhile, severe depression includes signs and symptoms that are more noticeable. More often than not, they are more debilitating. It ranges from aggravations both physically and socially, and it usually lasts longer compared to the regular one.

Severe depression may cause the following:

  • Unwanted hallucinations
  •  Becoming delusional on some occasions
  • Arising suicidal thoughts and suicidal tendencies

Aside from the symptoms, a person can also see major differences between the two from medications used to aid with the condition.

For regular (mild or moderate) depression, simple lifestyle or diet changes are the best recommendations. These activities may include improving sleep schedule, balancing meal plans and vitamin-rich diet, or having a low-intensity exercise every day. Most of the time, meditation can also help in alleviating depressive symptoms.

Alternative treatments such as melatonin supplements are prescribed as remedies. Antidepressants and talk therapies are also effective for some people with moderate depression.

Meanwhile, severe depression requires more stringent and urgent medical treatment. Your primary healthcare provider will recommend you Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Aside from medications, you can also try talk therapies to help with suicidal thoughts or concentration problems. 

To know more about the differences between regular and severe depression, here is a handy FAQ to guide you further:

What are the 4 types of depression?

There are many types of depression; however, only 4 main types help us classify depression. First is Major depression, where you are experiencing five or more symptoms of depression for a period of at least two weeks. Then there is chronic, where it occurs for a period of six months to a year—manic depression or also known as bipolar disorder. Finally, we have seasonal depression that happens from time to time for a certain period of time.

What is the #1 cause of depression?

There is no one main cause for depression. The cause for a person’s depression will be a personal thing, and it can be unique for everyone who experiences it. Different people have different causes or triggers that can lead them to a depression diagnosis. The main causes for depression are death or loss of a loved one, health issues or illness, trauma or abuse, and family history.

Biologically speaking. However, chemical imbalances and other biological issues can cause a person to become depressed. So make sure to consult with a doctor to get the right treatment that is best for you.

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Is being depressed and suicidal the same thing?

Suicidal tendencies or thoughts are a symptom of depression. Although these two concepts are related, however, they are not the same. It does not necessarily mean a person is suicidal when they are depressed, but there are cases where suicidal tendencies are directly linked to a person’s depression. The best thing to do is educate yourself on these two concepts also to educate other people.

Does depression make your brain shrink?

Yes, depression can shrink your brain. Three areas in your brain are most affected by depression. The hippocampus is a part of your brain that produces the hormone known as cortisol. Of course, if produced in the right amounts, it can be healthy for us. If produced in excessive amounts, it can actually cause multiple issues in our bodies. Still, it can also cause other areas of our brain to shrink, which is why people with depression lose their focus, and they can tend to forget portions of their past.

Does depression age your brain?

Depression is a complex condition that has taken us years and years to understand fully. According to a study published by Yale University, depression can actually change a person’s brain physically, which will quicken the brain’s aging process. Once this starts to happen, we are now more likely to be infected with illnesses that are more commonly found in older people. Also, a group of researchers has found that when a person is depressed, they are more likely to experience a greater decrease in their cognitive functions.

How does depression affect synapse?

Our brain goes through a lot of changes when we are experiencing depression. From memory loss to difficulties in focusing, there will be a significant change in our brain’s functions during the depression. What happens is our brain will experience a reduction in the sizes of certain brain regions where mood and cognitive functions are regulated. While this is happening, there will also be a reduction in neuronal synapses in the most affected areas by depression.

What is the biological cause of depression?

A basic explanation for this is that chemical imbalances in our brains cause it. This, however, does not fully capture and explain to us how truly complex depression is. Depression is not caused by simply not having enough of a certain chemical in our brain, but it is caused by many more brain faults such as faulty mood regulation. Our genetics can also cause it since 80 percent of cases of depression are caused by family history and genetics.

There are many different chemicals at play in this process that can complicate depression which is why we see two people with the same symptoms, but these people will have varying problems internally. This is why there will be different ways of treatment for different people.

How does serotonin affect depression?

Serotonin is a hormone that your brain releases that makes you feel happier and your moods become elevated. Lower levels of serotonin in your brain are a direct link to a person’s symptoms of depression. This can include frustration, anger, and a generally lower mood than usual. With high serotonin levels in your brain, you are more likely to become happier, and overall, your mood will be higher as well. So make sure to do many things that make you happy to boost your serotonin levels to avoid depression in the long run.

Does depression age your face?

Depression can do a lot of things for us. It can make us feel sad; it can make us withdrawn, making us lose our energy. Although it does not age your face, It can cause depression to tense up facial muscles caused by negative facial expressions such as frowning. When we frown, it starts to strain our muscles, and in a way, it can start to seem as if our muscles are forming into a frown. This will eventually lead to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles that give us the look of aging.

What causes long-term depression?

There can be several different reasons for a person to experience long-term depression. Reasons such as traumatic experiences such as abuse or accidents, maybe a loss of a loved one or losing your job causing financial instability or drain. Negative personality traits such as low self-esteem, being overly dependent, and being too self-critical can also cause this. Your family’s history can also affect this and pre-existing mental conditions such as personality disorders.

What are general methods used to treat depression?

There is no one way to treat depression because depression is a complex condition that can affect different people in different ways. Symptoms may manifest in the same ways, but depression can be different internally. So, there are different ways of treating depression. So if one person is effectively treated by medication, another may not be as lucky. Generally, depression can be treated through medication, therapy, counseling, and just surrounded by a supportive group of people.

How do you know if your brain is chemically imbalanced?

There is a way to test and measure neurotransmitters in our brain to the brains to test whether chemically imbalanced or not ho. However, it is likely unreliable as it would not be as accurate as we want it to be. This is because not all neurotransmitters are made in our brain. So generally, there is no reliable test available right now that could help us identify whether or not a person has a chemical imbalance in their brain or not.

What part of the brain causes depression?

Three parts of our brain are most affected when we are going through a depression. Our hippocampus, responsible for memories and the production of cortisol. Our amygdala, responsible for emotion regulation. Our prefrontal cortex, which deals with emotions in general. During the depression, our brain goes crazy with the number of different chemicals produced or the chemicals that can also be running too low. Eventually, parts of our brain begin to shrink, causing issues with memory and cognitive functions.

What is the new treatment for depression?

Over the years, many treatments for depression have been discovered to be effective in their own right. We use medications, counseling, and different therapy forms, such as light therapy or talk therapy. Although all of these are quite effective, scientists and researchers have not stopped to look for more ways to help with depression.

The newest treatment for depression is known as neuromodulation. In this treatment, we try to alter nerve activities by targeting a stimulus specifically targeting certain areas of our brain. Basically, we try to electrify certain areas in certain patterns to change our brain cells’ activity.

CONCLUSION

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Getting rid of depression and its symptoms begins with an accurate and urgent diagnosis. Do not self-medicate and do not guess your condition based on the facts you see online. While they may be correct and valid, advice from a legitimate doctor or psychiatrist is the best way to go.

If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please seek medical attention immediately. You may reach out to your local emergency hotlines.

Also, cooperating with your healthcare provider is crucial in your progress. Your condition may persist, and you might have to stay in therapy longer if you lie to your therapist or physician. Establishing a healthy relationship with your primary care provider leads to better results, so make sure to choose your therapist based on your preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions About Coffee Anxiety

 

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People all over the world have been sipping coffee since the nth century. More than 60% of adults in America report that they consume coffee regularly. Almost everybody loves coffee – its taste and how the caffeine pumps us up. It awakens us in the mornings, boosts our energy and mood, and does magic for our concentration and memory.

While there is a wealth of advantages that we get from coffee, we can’t just neglect caffeine’s negative effects. Too much of it leads to nervousness and the ‘jitters.’ So what effect does it probably have on depression and anxiety? Is coffee a trigger for anxiety? The brief answer is no; coffee does not cause depression or anxiety. However, caffeine, generally, could aggravate symptoms in individuals that are already inclined to having anxiety.

Anxiety Defined

Prior to going to the subject of the effects of coffee on anxiety, it is vital to define the illness. For this purpose, anxiety can be classified into generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and general anxiety. General anxiety is a natural consciousness that emerges and disappears as your body responds to daily stress.

However, a person with generalized anxiety will have longstanding anxiety for potentially no reason and cannot even help being concerned and stressed.

Caffeine And Anxiety

As mentioned above, the negative effects of caffeine can present with the same symptoms as anxiety. And while caffeine does not straightforwardly trigger anxiety, it could aggravate its symptoms.

One trial proved this by giving 70 participants diagnosed with anxiety disorders and 25 participants with no anxiety symptoms a 480-mg dose of caffeine to check if it would trigger a panic attack. A panic attack is an indication of GAD. They discovered that nearly 60% of the patients diagnosed with anxiety disorder claimed they experienced a panic attack. Those without anxiety, on the other hand, did not have a panic episode.

Another minor trial backed this up by giving 36 patients a 10-mg dose of caffeine and discovered that more than 70% of patients claimed that caffeine’s effects were the same as those having panic episodes (shakiness, tension, restlessness). Again, subjects who had no anxiety did not experience panic attacks.

Individuals with anxiety must consider staying away from coffee and other caffeinated beverages and products. Those who do not present with anxiety appear to tolerate caffeine better, but each of us is different.

Sugar And Anxiety

Do you want your coffee black, or you love it with a little sugar? It’s significant to note that sugar and the rest of the artificial sweeteners have similar caffeine effects. It does not really trigger anxiety, but it can aggravate anxiety symptoms. It would be wise to avoid too much sugar, as it may result in fatigue, stomach problems, and blurry vision, among others. These effects can destroy your mood, and this, in turn, may lead to anxiety.

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Below is a list of frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers about coffee, caffeine, and anxiety.

Is coffee bad for anxiety?

Caffeine is a natural energizer, and this cannot be good for a person with anxiety. It causes jittery effects on the body that can be likened to those of a terrifying situation. This is because caffeine activates one’s fight or flight response. Research shows that this could worsen anxiety and could even elicit an anxiety episode. 

How do I stop coffee anxiety? 

Here are some things you can do to try and reduce your caffeine jitters.

  • You might have exceeded your caffeine limit, which means that you can’t stay still. Do something active.
  • Drink lots of water. This is a potent way to flush caffeine out of your system.
  • Be calm and wait for its effects to subside.
  • Drink herbal tea.
  • Drink vitamin C.

What does coffee anxiety feel like?

Caffeine-stimulated anxiety mirrors that of anxiety itself, including difficulty sleeping, nervousness, and restlessness.

Why does coffee calm my anxiety?

Caffeine actually aids in releasing dopamine into the prefrontal lobe, a part of the brain that is vital for mood regulation. Coffee also apparently helps store dopamine into the amygdala, another part of a person’s brain that contributes to anxiety regulation.

How long does coffee anxiety last? 

The effects of caffeine anxiety can start within 45 minutes to an hour and last for as long as six hours, although the effects are seldom dangerous. They can differ from person to person because it really depends on their caffeine tolerance, how sensitive they are, and how much caffeine they are accustomed to consuming daily. Genetics may also play a role. 

What can I drink instead of coffee for anxiety?

Try these equally delicious substitutes to coffee:

  • Matcha tea
  • Chicory coffee
  • Golden milk
  • Chai tea
  • Lemon water
  • Apple cider vinegar

How can I calm my anxiety?

To calm your anxiety, try these:

  • Try to sleep at least eight hours a day.
  • Maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet.
  • Avoid too much caffeine and alcohol.
  • Practice meditation and deep breathing.
  • Spend quality time for yourself.

What tea is good for anxiety?

There are several kinds of tea that you can choose from to help relieve your anxiety. These include chamomile, peppermint, lavender, lemon balm, Gotu kola, and valerian. 

What can I have instead of coffee to wake me up?

Some drinks that can substitute for coffee help wake you up include wheatgrass, apple juice, green tea, and water.

Why does coffee make me sleepy instead of awake? 

This is because caffeine blocks adenosine, which functions to regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle. When you are awake in the mornings, your adenosine numbers increase, eventually inducing drowsiness by blocking the cells’ activity in the basal part of the brain. 

How can I get energy without coffee?

Caffeine-free techniques to remain energized:

  • Eat healthy regularly.
  • Practice an activating breath technique.
  • Always drink water.
  • Commune with nature.
  • Stay physically active.
  • Find time to take power naps.

How can I boost my energy level? 

Tips to energize yourself naturally:

  • This almost always guarantees that you’ll have a restful sleep as well.
  • Avoid alcohol and cigarette smoking.
  • Eat energizing food.
  • Use coffee sparingly and to your advantage.
  • Manage your stress – it consumes tremendous amounts of energy.

What can I drink to boost my energy?

Popular energy boosters include green tea, water, and coffee.

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Takeaway

There is a connection between anxiety and caffeine consumption, which includes caffeine-induced anxiety. But for a lot of people, moderate caffeine consumption is safe and may have its advantages.

Reducing or getting rid of caffeine from your daily eating plan could result in withdrawal symptoms, which can also be anxiety-provoking. If you believe that your anxiety is worsening because of your caffeine intake or making you feel nervous, discuss this concern with your doctor.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions On Service Dogs For Depression Help

 

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Sometimes, when a person feels sad, it only takes a lick on the face or a furry hug to feel better again. If you own a dog in your home, then you know that spending time with these friendly animals offers much-needed TLC. But what if the unhappiness is more profound, or if you’re worried or anxious to get out of the house, or if you are extremely depressed – could a dog still help you heal and recover?

In so many circumstances, people with anxiety and depression are not very fond of going out into the world, perhaps because of too much stress building up or out of fear of what could happen. Psychiatrists agree that depression and anxiety entail negative self-talk and emotional chaos. These negative ideations usually spiral into idealistic pessimism, and this progresses into a vicious cycle. Dogs reportedly help disrupt that cycle by offering uplifting connections and a sense of meaning for the pet owners.

Below are more ways that dogs help people who are suffering from acute and chronic depression.

  • Identify indications of panic episodes. The simple presence of a stimulus of a trusted acquaintance often pacifies an attack. Dogs are also capable of being trained to prevent strangers from approaching their owner unexpectedly.
  • Accountability for their well-being. Dogs need to be cared for, fed, or walked. When a person feels gloomy, the presence of an active and furry companion drives him to recover and regain his motivation to live.
  • Unconditional love. When you’re all sad and depressed, and your dogs stay with you, 100% accepting you without criticism even if you stink and have not showered for days helps their owner feel like he has a loyal and patient friend in times of difficulties.
  • Keeping in touch. In the current society, and with the surge of digital connections, we are quickly losing real interpersonal bonds, contributing to more mental and emotional issues and illnesses. A person then finds connection and love in dogs and other pets.

Apparently, dogs are only used as service animals, but they do very well as companions to seniors and people in nursing homes and those in hospice care. 

Source: udservices.org

How do you get a service dog for depression?

To acquire a service dog to help with your depression, you should have a letter coming from a certified mental health professional declaring that your depression keeps you from doing at least one primary life chore without aid or support on an everyday basis.

How do you train a service dog for depression and anxiety?

For instance, when your pet dog focuses on what is happening, reward him or treat him. Let your dog learn a warning sign like a shove and make it a verbal order. Now, show the anxiety symptoms and the verbal order for the warning sign. When the dog practices the warning while practicing the anxiety indications, reward your dog.

Can you get a service dog for depression UK?

All house-trained animals may be certified to be emotional support animals, but this will depend on the person you register your pet with. Recently, the emotional support companion registry in the United Kingdom only permits dogs and cats to be listed online but invites people who wish to list other types of pets to reach out to them.

Is getting a dog good for depression?

Pets, particularly cats and dogs, can help decrease anxiety, depression, and stress, encourage play and exercise, alleviate loneliness, and even enhance your cardiovascular well-being. Taking care of an animal also helps kids grow to become more active and safe. Finally, pets offer special companionship for the older adult group.

Can dogs tell if you’re depressed?

Dogs do sense their human’s depression, and many of them react in a caring way towards them to ease their loneliness. Dogs make use of their strong sense of smell to get a feel of their surroundings. They can also smell the production of hormones and the increase and decrease of various brain chemicals.

Is depression considered a disability?

Currently, the law accepts the impact of impairment on an individual. For example, someone diagnosed with slight depression with a few effects may not be included in the coverage. However, someone with severe depression with considerable effects on his everyday activities is most likely to be accepted as someone with a disability.

Can I get PIP for depression?

PIP is granted to individuals who need it following an assessment through the PIP examination. This implies that you are considered based on the kind of aid you require and how your illness may impact you instead of the illness itself. You can also acquire a PIP for your anxiety or depression if you get sufficient PIP examination points.

What are some benefits that you can get for depression?

Mental health and welfare benefits for depression include personal independence payment, service and support allowance, universal credit, and attendance allowance.

Can you get long-term disability for depression and anxiety?

Guidelines differ significantly, but generally, most nervous and mental clauses enforce a one or two-year restriction. For instance, if you are experiencing depression that is severe enough to keep you from working, you might be qualified for the benefits you are entitled to under your long-term disability program.

Can mental disability be proven? How?

For you to be eligible for disability with many mental health disorders, your strong proof should present that you cannot normally function in two of the four specific areas. Some mental illnesses, such as personality disorders, require three out of four areas to prove serious dysfunction.

Is it hard to get SSI for depression?

Just as other illnesses with indications based on emotional suffering, a disability founded on depression can be hard to verify to the Social Security Administration, as the symptoms are frequently daunting to gauge. In addition, just having a diagnosis of depression is not substantial to be eligible for benefits.

Can my therapist put me on disability?

To be able to verify that you are disabled because of your mental impairment, you must have medical evidence detailing your mental health indications. You must also be consulting a psychologist, therapist, and/or psychiatrist if a mental health concern is your primary disability.

Can I get disability for anxiety and panic attacks?

Anxiety disorders, including panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias, generalized anxiety disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder, are eligible for Social Security disability benefits if they are appropriately recorded and extremely debilitating.

What conditions automatically qualify you for SSDI?

Illnesses that are automatically eligible for you to be granted SSDI include:

  • Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Acute leukemia
  • Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Stage IV breast cancer
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Inflammatory breast cancer
  • Small cell lung cancer

Source: saga.co.uk

The single requirement for a dog to qualify as a service dog is for a person to be rendered disabled according to the ADA guidelines, and the dog possesses skills learned that directly aid that type of disability. If the disability is minor, you can train the dog by yourself. However, most people will ask for help from a personal dog trainer or an organization that provides special training.

If you are sad, depressed, or anxious, you may think that there is no hope for you and everyone else can’t understand you, but the unconditional care and affection of your furry friend can definitely turn your life around.

 

 

 

How To Start A Mental Health Journal

How To Start A Mental Health Journal

With the pandemic offering no end to bad news, there has never been a more significant time to get that old notebook out and start your journaling habit. Turn a page, let it all out, and you’ll feel a sense of release and clarity that only the act of putting your thoughts on paper can offer.  

Health Benefits Of Journalling

In this highly stressful time, a journal can be a powerful tool to manage your mental health, keep negative emotions in check, and push back against self-destructive thought patterns. 

At the start, you might feel that articulating your thoughts, feelings, and fears on paper serve little to no purpose, but the benefits of journaling tend to add up over time. 

Keeping a daily journal gives insights into the inner workings of your mind and allows you to see day-to-day patterns that you would not have otherwise noticed. This activity helps you identify stressors in your environment as well as negative thoughts that have solidified into beliefs. 

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Once you can recognize these triggers, you can make a conscious effort to challenge these thoughts, correct harmful behaviors, and be a little kinder to yourself.  

In addition to mental health benefits, science suggests a link between journaling and physical well-being. Studies have shown that regular journaling strengthens T-lymphocytes or immune cells that help keep disease at bay and decrease symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Now that we’ve gone through the health benefits of journaling, here are some tips on getting started. 

Forget The Rules

Forget proper grammar, punctuation, spelling, or any other kind of structure! There are no “should have’s” with journaling. The moment you realize that you are relieved of any mental blocks and expectations about what your journal should look like or what it should contain.   

You can use codenames, cut sentences short, ramble, and that’s perfectly fine. You can keep your journal locked away forever, upload it as a private document, or choose to share some parts of it with trusted confidantes.

Once you get started, you might find that the words come easy. It’s because when you write, you access the left part of the brain dedicated to analysis, logic, and reason. Once the left hemisphere is activated, the right part – which performs creative tasks – is free to roam, build, feel, and create meaning. Journaling allows you to bypass this boundary and use your full brain power to make sense of the world. 

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Make Time For Journaling

Our only recommendation is to set aside time to write every day. You can narrate how your day went at night or write at the start of the day and list expectations for the day to come. Like a muscle that you train and strengthen, you have to dedicate a time and place for journaling until it becomes a reflex. 

To complement your journaling habit, you can use mood monitoring apps. Several free and paid versions let you assign an overall mood for the day and produce data-driven reports across a specified timeframe. You can take this even further and download a wide range of mental health apps dedicated to embedding mindfulness or giving self-help reminders. 

Journal Writing Prompts

So you’ve got your notebook and pen ready, now what? Here are some writing prompts to help you warm up: 

  • What has changed in your routine since the shelter-at-home order? Describe the before and after. Can you identify which changes were the most stressful? What about surprisingly positive experiences?  

 

  • Who or what brings you the most joy these days? What is it about these activities or people that make you feel this way? How can you strengthen your connections to the people and things that contribute to your joy? 

 

  • How cany ou be a source of joy to someone in my immediate circle? What can I do to bring happiness to their lives? What small steps can I take when I cannot see them physically? 
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  • What have you come to learn about yourself in the middle of the pandemic? Did you find out that you had a hidden talent, or did you finally give yourself time to do what you’ve always wanted? What else do you want to do? 

 

  • What are you learning about others? Are they positive or negative? What has brought a smile to your face these days when reading the news? How can you take all the lessons you’ve learned so far – about yourself, your community, and your place in the world – moving forward? 

Final Thoughts

Maintaining a journal is an excellent way to keep tabs on your mental health in these stressful times. It’s normal to feel worried and restless, but keep in mind that there are things that you can still control. 

A journal is an effective way to remember that and make sense of an increasingly chaotic world. If you’re looking for a sign to start writing, this is it! Happy journaling! 

 

   

 

Helping A Family Member Cope With Mental Illness

The family plays a vital role in the development of a person’s mental health. People who suffer from mental illnesses find comfort in their families and loved ones. Coping with a mental illness does not depend on the individual alone because the family takes on a crucial responsibility to guide and support a member dealing with mental health issues.

General psychiatrist Dr. Niall Campbell, MD said, “It is easy for family members to feel guilt or blame themselves for their relative’s decline in mental health.” Indeed, mental illness affects not only the patient but his or her family members as well. Hence, the family needs to work together to address the mental health issues of a loved one. Here are some ways you can help a family member cope with mental illness.

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Know The Warning Signs

When a person suffers from mental health issues, he or she is unlikely to disclose this matter expressly. Hence, it is crucial to learn more about the signs and symptoms of common mental health problems. Through this, you will be able to respond sensitively to the needs of your loved one.

Signs of common mental health problems include feeling sad and down, having low confidence, and a general lack of interest. A person suffering from mental illness may also lose his or her appetite and tire quickly. Also, notice if a family member is having difficulty concentrating or is frequently irritable. Be aware of significant changes in behavior, which may indicate that a family member has a mental illness.

By recognizing these warning signs, you can encourage your loved one to seek professional help. As a result, you may help prevent severe symptoms from developing.

Talk About Mental Health

Starting a conversation about mental health, especially to a family member, is challenging. But the relationship of the family plays a crucial role in initiating such a discussion. It helps determine the best approach in talking to a family member who may be suffering from mental health issues.

Begin by asking your family member how they are doing. Ask about what is troubling them. Express your willingness to listen. Most of the time, people who have a mental illness do not need someone to solve their problems. They need someone who cares, listens, and understands. Initiating a conversation on mental health with a family member can be difficult at first. It is necessary to listen carefully and to respect his or her feelings.

Encourage Treatment

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Sometimes, support from family and friends is not enough. Certain mental health conditions require the intervention of a professional. They can provide the appropriate medication and treatment for your loved one.

Explain to your family member the importance of seeking professional help. Offer to make an appointment and to accompany your loved one to the doctor. You may also provide him or her with information on how to schedule a consultation. In encouraging treatment, be careful not to overstep your boundaries. Do not impose and control the decisions of your loved one.

Initially, your family member might refuse to seek professional help. This scenario is entirely normal. However, do not be hesitant to encourage them again after some time. But remember that if a family member is in danger of self-harm or harming others, seek professional intervention immediately.

Provide Emotional Support

If a family member has a mental illness, he or she needs you now more than ever. Whether you are a parent, child, or sibling, you play a crucial role in your loved one’s recovery. By being there, you can help a family member feel a little less alone.

Here are some ways to provide emotional support to a family member suffering from mental health issues:

  • Listen carefully and attentively to his or her rants and stories.
  • Avoid being judgmental.
  • When talking to each other, make sure to focus on his or her needs.
  • Always offer to help.
  • Reassure your loved one that you are there for him or her.
  • Try to be as understanding as possible.
  • Join support groups for family members.

Maintain A Healthy Family Environment

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Help a family member cope with mental illness by fostering a positive, supportive, and loving family environment. Work together to build a happy home. Here are some ways to maintain a healthy family environment:

  • Regularly communicate with each other.
  • Immediately address conflicts and misunderstandings.
  • Respect each other.
  • Spend quality time together.
  • Organize or participate in family bonding activities.

Take Care Of Yourself Too

In helping a loved one deal with mental health, you may tend to neglect your own. Make sure that you, too, take good care of yourself. Do not carry the burden on your own. Talk to other family members on how to work together. It is essential to be aware of your physical and emotional limitations to avoid exhaustion. By loving and caring for yourself, you can better express your love and care for your family members.

The family has an integral role to play in supporting persons with mental illness. Strengthening and preserving healthy family relationships can significantly improve a person’s mental and emotional well-being.

 

 

What To Do When Husband Loses Time For You Post-Quarantine

My best friend called me last night, crying. Instead of her usual cheery greeting, she told me, “I think my husband does not love me anymore.”

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Of course, my internal lioness instinct kicked in, so I immediately ask if her spouse was having an affair. Thankfully, my best friend was 100% sure that he was not seeing anyone else. That opinion of hers came from the fact that her husband had been spending eight to nine hours at work ever since the government allowed some offices to reopen.

“I barely see him daily. When I wake up, he’s already dressed and ready to leave. At night, he comes home for dinner but passes out early,” my best friend confided.

I had never been in her situation, so I was speechless at first. My husband was always busy with his business, too, but I never felt like I was at the bottom of his priorities. Hence, the only thing I could do was share three tips that got my marriage through quarantine and other curveballs in life.

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Talk About Schedules

The first thing on your to-do list should be talking about schedules. Get a massive calendar where you and your husband can write your agendas on specific days. Then, go through the blank dates or those with the least tasks and plan how you can spend time together. Say, if you have one free afternoon, you may order lunch from your favorite restaurant or watch a movie at home. If an entire day is vacant, you can hike, ski, cycle, or do any activity that permits social distancing.

Knowing each other’s schedule is a must way before you end your home quarantine so that you won’t feel lost later. This information can give you an idea about how busy your husband is during a particular day and what you can or cannot expect from him then, and vice versa. That is the quickest way to dodge disappointments in the long run.

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Make Compromises

One thing that makes you miss someone you have isolated with for more than two months is the routine you have developed. For instance, while quarantining, your husband may have prepared everything you need to cook for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. When it comes to cleaning, you may have tackled every part of the house as a unit. However, after the quarantine, he may not be able to join you for breakfast, or you have been cleaning your entire home alone.

Letting all this take place cannot honestly be suitable for any marriage. You need to compromise with your spouse regarding chores or quality time so that your patience will not burn fast. Considering his schedule is often full, you can ask him to join you for at least one meal every day. If he can no longer help you tidy up the house on weekdays, you should set Saturday or Sunday as a cleaning day. Your husband will not argue with you about it, especially when he misses you badly.  

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Avoid Getting Angry

Feeling sad when your husband loses time for you does not make you an overbearing wife. Because of the quarantine, you may have gotten used to being around each other 24/7. When the stay-at-home order has been lifted, though, you only see him in the house at dinner.

Despite that, you should never resent your spouse for seeming to work double-time now. It is unlikely because he cannot stand your presence, especially if your love is unquestionable. It may only be due to the number of pending projects that he may need to deal with ASAP. After all, many things may ride on finishing those tasks, such as a new promotion, a raise in salary, etc.

 

Instead of entertaining adverse thoughts, you should follow the tips above. Good luck!

Suicide: Warning Signs And What You Can Do

 

Take care of your mental health during MCO. PEXELS

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Suicide prevention was the main topic of the 2019 Mental Health Awareness Event. The stakeholders, organizers, and sponsors tackled issues surrounding mental health. They discussed how they could help communities and states reduce the cases of mental health illness among seniors, adults, and especially teens. Activities and workshops for teens and other attendees were also prepared. They invited speakers from different fields of medicine to share their knowledge of mental health – conditions, causes, symptoms, and how to manage these conditions to prevent suicide, reduce the stigma related to suicide, and provide information about the different support systems that could help people find solace and comfort in difficult times.

Suicide Risk Factors

Specific situations and events may aggravate the risk of suicide. Some risk factors include:

  • Family history of suicide
  • Substance abuse
  • Certain mood disorders like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and depression
  • Access to dangerous weapons (firearms, etc.)
  • Death in the family, breakup, financial difficulties, and failures in school, among others
  • Previous suicidal attempts
  • Chronic pain or chronic illnesses
  • Exposure to others who have suicidal behaviors

Suicide Warning Signs

  • Making comments about feeling helpless or worthless
  • Frequently writing or talking about death or suicide
  • Increased use of alcohol or drugs
  • Withdrawal from family, friends, and significant others
  • Erratic mood changes
  • Feeling like he or she is a burden to other people

Lonely, Woman, Human, Person, Alone, Abandoned

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What You Can Do

If you know someone who talks to you about considering suicide, do take time to listen to him or her and take their problems seriously. Gently ask them about how they feel, or if they have plans. Show them that you care and that you are there for them. Always remind them that they can seek professional help.

If you are concerned that a friend or significant other is thinking of suicide, the first step you can do is to ask that friend. Research shows that it is very helpful to ask them why they think about things like these. This may encourage them to speak up about their problems. You can help them also by trying to keep them safe. Hide lethal items in the house, like knives, scissors, or other sharp objects. If you feel that your friend is restless and often in deep thought, stay with him. It doesn’t matter if he’s not talking at first. Just be with him. It makes a whole lot of difference.