What to Expect on Your 1st Visit to a Therapist

The first appointment with a therapist can be a bit intimidating because unlike a visit to a physician, you are going there to talk about your emotional well-being instead of your physical well-being. Most of us consider our feelings and emotions to be personal and private. Therefore, the first thing you should know is that everything you say to a therapist is CONFIDENTIAL. Your privacy is taken very seriously. For all licensed Mental Health Professionals, confidentiality is PROTECTED BY STATE LAW. In fact, confidentiality applies not only to what you talk about, but also to the fact that you even made an appointment at all. There are some exceptions concerning safety/harm/abuse, however, unless there is an imminent threat, your visit will only be between you and your therapist. Don’t let privacy be a concern when making your first appointment.

Unfortunately, many people will suffer with depression for a long time before seeking outside help. If you find that you cannot deal with your depression on your own, it is a no-brainer to make an appointment to see a professional. This is not any different than seeking help from a Medical Doctor for a sore foot, upset stomach or other physical ailment. When you cannot fix something or make it better on your own, you get help.  That is why doctors and therapists exist. Therefore, if you have already made an appointment with a therapist/counselor, you are a Rock Star! You have taken the first step to help yourself. Good for you! Now here is what you can expect. Continue reading

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Advice: How to Deal with Anger

Many people’s depression is manifested in the form of anger and irritability. Anger can have serious adverse effects if it is not addressed properly. The worst part about this facet of depression is that often you don’t know why you are angry and irritable. You seem to be peeved for no reason. You lash out at others, which makes you feel guilty and causes you to be isolated, anxious and more depressed. You may destroy the ties you have with friends and family, which are vital to maintain when dealing with depression. This can also increase your symptoms even more. So, how do you put a stop to this vicious cycle?

Learning anger management techniques is the key to end the cycle. Anger management is based on the same principles we have been discussing in our other posts.

You can control your thoughts.

Your thoughts affect your feelings.

Therefore, you can control your anger.

In order to control your feelings of anger, you must first accept them, even if you don’t know why you are angry. Then you have to choose to react positively to those very real, very strong feelings. Most people cannot do anything positive when they are in the heat of anger. Therefore, you have to be armed with the knowledge of how to deal with it. One way to deal with anger and irritability is to learn and remember to use the STOP, LOOK, LISTEN technique. Continue reading

Depression Hack; The Thought-Stopping Technique

We make it a point to keep our readers’ questions confidential when they email us asking for advice. We answer them privately, and then usually share a general post on the topic they inquired about so that others can benefit as well. Lately, we have gotten multiple inquiries about a depression hack technique called thought-stopping.

Thought-stopping is literally stopping the thoughts that are running through your mind and focusing on something else. For example, say you have the annoying lyrics to a jingle stuck in your head like, “Nationwide is on your side.” Your inner voice keeps repeating it over and over until you want to scream! You don’t have to put up with that. All you have to do is consciously stop that thought from swirling around in your brain by choosing to think of something else. Yes, you are in control of what you want to think about. You can control that little voice in your head. You may not be able to control what random thoughts that little voice puts in there, but you can choose whether or not to keep listening to it. Continue reading

Advice; Quitting Facebook/Instagram

Every now and then we come across something relevant to our site that we feel compelled to share. This is the second link on this topic that we have posted. We love what this article has to say  (I also LOVE Reader’s Digest. I have been reading it for decades). Please check it out: via Why I Quit Facebook and Instagram | Reader’s Digest

If you didn’t click on the links within the article, go back and check them out. There are some really great ones. It’s crazy that, “Facebook’s own researchers publicly questioned if the site could potentially be a threat to the public’s mental health…” See our favorite quotes from the article below.

“I don’t care what other people are up to. You do You”

“Ignorance really is bliss.”

“When you leave it (social media) The people who matter will still be there.”

“Most invites (on social media) weren’t sincere requests for my attendance, but a way to boost numbers on event pages…”

“I feel free to live in the moment.”

Depression Hack; Become a Pet Parent

The scientifically proven health benefits of pet ownership are staggering. This is especially true when dealing with depression, because pets help to combat many of the main pillars of the disease. Our four-legged friends in particular can have a dramatic effect on our mental health by:

Boosting our mood

Giving us a sense of purpose

Providing distraction from negative thoughts

Providing companionship to fight loneliness

Promoting physical interaction (touch) to reduce stress & anxiety

Encouraging exercise and easing social anxiety

Adding joy and playfulness to our lives

Providing unconditional love

In a survey conducted by the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute, a whopping 74% of pet owners said that having a pet has improved their mental health. It’s been proven that three of the four chemicals in our brains responsible for happiness (serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins) are elevated in pet owners because they are released on a daily basis after interaction with pets. Continue reading

Venting on Air Travel

“Seriously? 7”

We all know that life is not fair and mean people suck. For those of you who have a sense of justice, it can be tough to hold your tongue when you see things that are just not right. In order to keep the peace, it is much better to just let it go. However, if you are like us, it will make you feel a LOT better if you get it off your chest and vent. This is where you can do that. Here are some examples for today.

PEOPLE SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO TAKE AND PASS A COURSE ON PROPER AIR TRAVEL BEHAVIOR BEFORE BEING ALLOWED TO BOARD A PLANE

The first lesson of the course should be a lesson in following rules.

No one is exempt from the simple rules that exist for the safety of every traveler. You MUST fasten your seat belt. I don’t want your 200-pound body landing on top of me if we hit major turbulence.

You MUST turn off your electronics, raise your seat-back, and give up your drink when the flight attendant tells you to. It’s not fair that the other 400+ passengers all have to stop playing Candy Crush, sit upright, and lose the last sips of their beverage while you continue to break the rule. You are not special. On an airplane, you are just a passenger like everyone else. Continue reading

DEPRESSION: #METOO . . . #TIMES UP!

You’d have to be living under a rock to be unaware of the #metoo, #timesup movement that is happening right now, but there is another “movement” that is also gaining steam. It’s the de-stigmatization of depression. After many years, the subject of depression is finally becoming “acceptable” and no longer taboo.

Recently, more and more high-profile celebrities, musicians, professional athletes and even morning newscasters are “coming out” about their struggles with depression. They are publicizing the fact that they were (or still are) depressed and find no shame in seeking help on their own or from a professional. They are ridding the public of antiquated stereotypes, and proving that depression is a real disease that is NOT all in your head. They are showing the world that there is no reason NOT to admit that you are depressed, and no reason NOT to seek help. Depression is not a character flaw or a weakness. It does not mean you are crazy or broken, and it is way, way, way more common than you know. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, 350 million people suffer from depression. That is 6.9% of the entire population of Earth.

This movement is necessary because some old attitudes about depression still exist, especially among parents who don’t get help for their kids. One out of every 8 teens suffers from depression, but almost half of them never get help. This leads to a statistic of 5,000 teen suicides per year. This is not a small problem, and not one that will be hidden or ignored anymore! Seek help. Talk about it. Change is here! Join the movement and give it momentum.

The best example of this new attitude about depression that I have personally witnessed, is a rock musician speaking to a crowd of more than 18,000 die-hard fans in the middle of his concert about depression . . . Continue reading