What do I need help with....?
Its hard to know for sure, if what we are experiencing is normal or not - after all, we only have our own lives as a reference point. We live in social bubbles and operate in patterns that, knowingly or unknowingly, may perpetuate our problems and instead create blind spots. One thing is for sure though, we deserve to live an incredible life.
In an attempt to shed a bit more light on typical mental health problems, I have listed some descriptions below. If you suspect that your challenges might be very similar to one of these, bring it up with your therapist or mental health professional.
If you chose to contact me, let me know which of these, or a combination, resonates with your experience.
We've got this.
Depression is a common illness worldwide and one that can be treated with psychological treatments.
If you suffer from depression, your general emotional state or mood is distorted or inconsistent with your circumstances and interferes with your ability to function.
You may be extremely sad, feel empty or irritable, discouraged, hopeless, unmotivated, or disinterested in life in general, for more than two weeks.
These feelings might interfere with your daily activities and even cause you to alter your daily routines e.g. you may be resting more, avoiding social connections, avoiding planning ahead, losing interest in activities that you previously enjoyed etc.
For most people, mood disorders can be successfully treated with talk therapy (psychotherapy).
Research shows, that even without therapy, depression tends to lift on its own given enough time and care. However, therapy gets you there faster and with lower chances of a relapse.
During therapy, our aim first is to recognise, and then interrupt the individual patterns that keep depression going. No matter what your circumstances, you can be free of depression.
First, it's important to acknowledge that anxiety is a totally normal response to fear and temporary worry. It's our body's alarm system, and if working properly, it can be one of our most reliable informants.
For a person with an anxiety disorder, however, the anxiety does not go away once danger has averted, and typically gets worse with time. In other words, the alarm system is broken and goes off without reason, on most days and about a variety of issues. It causes significant problems in our relationships, work and school. Side-effects range from low self-esteem, inability to watch the news, self-harming behaviour, abusing alcohol or drugs to suicidal ideations.
Symptoms include feeling restless, wound up or on edge, having difficulty concentrating or mind going blank, being irritable, having muscle tension, difficulty controlling worries, having difficulty falling or staying asleep, inability to remember when you last felt relaxed.
Metacognitive therapy is currently the frontrunner in curing anxiety disorders. Above medication, CBT and exposure therapy.
Our aim during therapy is not to get rid of Anxiety, but to bring it to a level, where it can help us, rather than hinder us. It's to put you back in control and be able to rely on your anxiety.
Social anxiety disorder (SAD), also called social phobia, is a long-term and overwhelming fear of social situations.
Contrary to common perceptions, social anxiety is more than shyness and not the same as being an introvert.
It's a common problem that usually starts during the teenage years. It can be very distressing and have a big impact on your life, relationships and self confidence.
Symptoms include embarrassment and fear of showing anxiety or symptoms such as sweating, blushing or not being able to speak. Social situations are either avoided or endured under considerable distress.
NICE (National Institute of Health and Care Excellence), in the UK, recommends the Clarks and Wells model (MCT) for treating Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD).
Individual Therapy is the most effective therapy for SAD, since most of the work involves understanding the very particular experiences of every individual, creating specific scenarios and video recording under controlled settings.
Trauma & PTSD
It's important to underline that everyone who experiences trauma does not suffer from PTSD.
While experiencing a traumatic event is awful and usually followed by tell tale symptoms, these usually subside within a month without intervention.
Common symptoms include re-experiencing the trauma in the form of intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares or memories of the event; avoidance of trauma related thoughts, feelings, reminders or places; problems concentrating, an exaggerated startle response, hypervigilance, dissociation and sleep problems.
When symptoms persist beyond a month, it may be an indication of PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
⭐ It's time to talk to a professional.
Metacognitive Therapy is fast gaining recognition as one of the most effective psychotherapies for curing PTSD. Recovery rates are as high as 80% and involve 6 to 10 sessions.
Contact me today for access to additional information.