Reasons Why I Need Counseling

I always believed that everything about my personality was something I choose for myself. I often told people that I understand my feelings, thoughts, and behaviors more than anyone could because it is me. That explained my prompt attitude towards others’ opinions about how I run my life. They were something I constantly shrug off despite being helpful at most times. I guess there is nothing wrong with that, right? I am confident and self-aware. Isn’t that what matters? But I guess it was too early to conclude that asking for others’ opinions and suggestions is useless because I am experiencing an emergent issue right now. I strongly believe I need counseling because of these particular cues.

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No Personal Development – Since I am all about myself, I never entirely understand what self-development is. I thought that once I became confident about myself, that’s it. There is nothing to improve because I can already do things based on a general standard. However, I realized that even if my self-esteem is stable, I can’t seem to hold onto my strengths and qualities. I got stuck in a loop with no knowledge and skill self-improvements. I can’t maximize my potential because I am so used to facilitating what’s already there. I do not have a goal of creating a better version of my overall sense of identity.

No Desired Goal To Reach – I asked many people about what they want in life and often came up with specific goals they want to achieve someday. Generally, it is about how they want to become successful and all that. But when I questioned myself, I realized that I do not have the desired goal to reach. It is funny because, at this point, I was certain that I am happy and contented just living my life the way it is. I do not want to engage in a stressful environment, and I don’t want to change what I am already used to doing. For me, I have already found contentment in a simple life without a goal.

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Can’t Ditch Old Habits – I was certain I need counseling because of the struggle in ditching old habits. I don’t smoke nor drink tons of alcohol, by the way. But the old habit I was referring to is the inability to resist wasting my time for nothing. I do not have proper time management, so I often end up cramming only to accomplish daily tasks. It was a habit I am used to, and I thought there was no problem with that since it often provided me with a lot of spare time. But I also understand the consequences of not doing things on time. I suffered a lot with missed chances.

Can’t Exert An Effort In Doing Anything – I have this mentality that whatever I do, I should not put all my effort into it because it is not always that I get to reach whatever I want. I usually held onto the idea that if it is for me, I would surely get it. If it is not, I should stop worrying about it and never waste time and energy trying to obtain it. Since I am used to doing what I do every day. I do not feel the need to explore and experience something I haven’t tried yet. I always felt like I have a lot to lose when I exert effort. Thus, I prefer a little disappointment over the big ones.

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Can’t Accept Change – I take my decisions seriously not intend to make some considerations. For me, change is terrifying. I believed it would only bring me so much pain and agony. However, it is not something like me clinging to the past. It is not like that. It is just that I do not often think that I would see myself doing different things and moving in a different direction. I am comfortable staying in a state where I am right now because I value familiarity than a new experience. I do not intend to feel a little discomfort and lose all the convenience because I tried changing some practices.

Not Breaking Toxic Relationship Patterns – I need counseling because there is something about my life that brings me so much emotional and mental health issues. These are the toxic patterns I often do, particularly when dealing with people. I can’t seem to put myself in a beneficial position. I always gave way to others even if I know they are already taking advantage of me. I have this sense that I should endure toxic relationships so that people won’t leave me. I do not want to be alone, so I thought that I should just let them hurt, criticize, and humiliate me whenever they want.

 

Why Should You Give Counseling A Try?

Mental health issues refer to the imbalance of the cognitive-behavioral and emotional well-being of a person. It affects people’s feelings, thoughts, and behavior. The most common type of mental health problems that people deal with is anxiety and depression. These two mental health conditions give people the impression that internal things should not be discussed as it gets often ignored. Apparently, that’s one of the worst things an individual can do for himself.

That explains why most think about counseling as a process that only builds mental and emotional weakness. However, that is further from the truth. Not working through your psychological problems and stamping down on your emotions can create a much more complicated situation. Anxiety and depression is a major player of disability and global burden. Therefore taking care of it is a must.

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Why Counseling?

Counseling is not a special process. However, it promotes growth and helps people express their feelings in a safe and comfortable environment. It helps identify and sort out issues affecting the emotional aspect particularly. Counseling also supports the development of coping, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. Counseling is essential because it gets to the underlying source of emotional and mental distress. It helps people get to the root of what they are going through.

Other Specific Benefits Of Counseling​​

Treat physical Symptoms

Psychological and emotional trauma can trigger physical symptoms. That explains why anxiety and depression often create debilitating manifestations such as decreased pain tolerance, muscle ache, back pain, headaches, decreased vision, stomach pain, digestive problems, and a lot more. Fortunately, counseling can help the issues fade away because these physical ailments, when expressed and released from unconscious awareness, allow the body to react positively. So when people focused more on letting out their emotional issues through counseling, they feel relaxed and conditioned.

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Address Repressed Emotions

Suppressing emotions or not talking about them does not make the feelings go away. It will be more likely to pile up and explode later. That is the worst thing that could ever happen because it will bring individuals into a full-on breakdown later. There will be mixed emotions such as anger, irritation, anxiousness, and fear that influence responses more impractically. With that, people create negative thought patterns that impact every area of their lives, including their relationships with friends, family, and coworkers. It can cause a major drawback to people’s necessary focus on self-care and self-awareness in some unfortunate instances.

Provides New Perspectives On Other People

Since mental and emotional health problems are complicated, it makes people have trust issues. There is the issue of getting bound to feel resentment and conflict. And that is how they often make assumptions about others’ intentions regardless of it being helpful. But one benefit of counseling is its ability to provide a new perspective on other people. Counseling can make people understand that relationships with others are what make them better individuals. The mutually beneficial relationship encourages the best quality of life, positive outlook despite the everyday struggle.

​Achievement Of Goals

Counseling is not also beneficial in providing emotional guidance. But it also works in helping people set achievable goals. Not just in everyday life but for future reference as well. Throughout the process of counseling, people experience increased confidence and better management of their life decisions. It helps them branch out their strengths and challenge weaknesses for a more stable emotional and mental well-being. Counseling can provide people better understanding of their ability to decide how to manage and take action on their goals and responsibilities.

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Overcome Past Trauma

Issues from the past, especially those that created an imbalance in the emotional and mental aspects, greatly affect people’s day-to-day lives. And it’s not something that they can easily overcome in an instant. However, counseling can undergo extensive supervision to help people learn and implement science fact techniques that develop emotional and mental stability. Yes, at some level, people will naturally feel hesitant about discussing upsetting events or traumas in their life. But before that, once they get a hold of their issues and openly talk about them, people will eventually embrace the natural ways of overcoming their past emotional issues. Because when people realize that they no longer need the negativity of their past, all their emotional burdens will soon disappear.

Insight

There are many benefits to counseling as it makes people more open about personal struggles and mental health issues. It somehow breaks the stigma slowly. Therefore, if people feel that counseling would benefit them, they should go for it. It might not be the best solution to some of the people’s worst life problems, but counseling can guarantee a kick-off of some significant discussion that promotes overall wellness. Thus, the time to begin talking about feelings and taking care of mental and emotional health should become a top priority as early as possible.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Psychotherapy

The pandemic has put many in very challenging positions. From losing jobs and opportunities to closing-down businesses and connections, it is clear how the current health issue completely changed how most people create and manage their own lives.

And with all these uncontrollable situations and lifestyle changes come the overarching notions of depression, anxiety, and stress.

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In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Covid-19 pandemic triggered a huge rise in mental problems. The new normal brings overwhelming changes to emotions in children and adults.

With the sudden surge of mental health conditions comes a rising need for effective and patient-centered psychotherapy. But first, what is psychotherapy, and how does it help people battling mental health conditions.

Psychotherapy is one of the commonly used strategies to combat mental health conditions. It enables patients to have a better understanding of their condition. Moreover, it guides patients to make healthy changes in their lives through healthy coping mechanisms and strategies.

Psychotherapy is a general term that refers to talk therapy, counseling, psychosocial therapy, or just therapy. It is beneficial since it helps treat and curb intense emotions brought by a wide range of mental disorders. Some of which include:

  • Anxiety
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Addictions
  • Personality disorders

Different types of psychotherapy usually vary by how each session takes place. Some of the formats include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Therapy for Couples
  • Family therapy

A mental health professional may begin the psychotherapy session by evaluating the condition through proven methods. The therapist will likely ask a set of questions to aid in the assessment of the situation. Other types of therapies varied per strategies include the following:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy 
  • Interpersonal therapy
  • Psychodynamic therapy 
  • Psychoanalysis 

To have a more detailed explanation about psychotherapy, its definition, and techniques, check out the FAQs provided below:

What are the techniques used in psychotherapy?

There are different techniques under a specific psychotherapy approach. There are techniques for some types of psychotherapy to gain clients’ trust. This helps them resolve their mental health issues.

What is the definition of psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a treatment used for a myriad of mental issues. This method is useful in treating patients suffering from anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders. Psychotherapy is a collaborative treatment between the psychotherapist with the client.

What are the four main types of psychotherapy?

There are four main psychotherapy types, including

  1. Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  2. Interpersonal therapy
  3. Psychodynamic therapy
  4. Psychoanalysis

All of these are effective treatments for different mental disorders.

What is psychotherapy vs. therapy?

Therapy is a general term that involves many therapy types. Most common forms of therapy are physical, medical, and psychotherapy. On the other hand, psychotherapy focuses on dealing with mental health issues.

What are the goals of psychotherapy?

The primary goals of psychotherapy are to strengthen the mind and expand a person’s conscious mind’s capacity. In this therapy, they also encourage their clients. Doing so helps to utilize their mental potential and obtain contentment and inner happiness.

What is the most effective psychotherapy?

According to recent studies, cognitive behavioral therapy is most effective in treating depression. This psychotherapy also helps people with depression and anxiety to overcome their problems. Furthermore, it has long-term effects on the patients.

What type of psychotherapy is best for anxiety?

For anxiety disorders, cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is the most common psychotherapy. CBT has shown the efficacy of treating phobias and social anxiety disorder.

What is the success rate of psychotherapy?

The average patient receiving psychotherapy is better off than 79% who do not undergo psychotherapy. Moreover, the outcome of psychotherapy lasts longer compared to medications.

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What is effective psychotherapy?

For therapists, they consider CBT as effective psychotherapy. Psychotherapists use CBT to transform your feelings by altering your thoughts and actions.

According to therapists, they use this approach to correct challenging behavior. Some conditions they deal with are procrastination, smoking, and phobias. It also helps people with depression and anxiety. CBT has long-term effectiveness with, of course, a lot of follow-ups.

What are the common factors of psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy’s common factors consist of

  1. Goal and collaboration
  2. Mastery
  3. Positive regard and affirmation
  4. Alliance
  5. Empathy
  6. Congruence/genuineness
  7. Mentalization
  8. Emotional experience

All these factors come from conducted researches. Each element correlates with each group under observation.

Does psychotherapy work for anxiety?

Yes, psychotherapy does work for anxiety, especially cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This approach is effective in treating depression and anxiety. It helps patients to cope up and have a healthier mental condition. Moreover, it enables an individual to have more pleasant thoughts and feelings for themselves.

What happens in a psychotherapy session?

In a psychotherapy session, patients talk and describe their current situation. The sessions would usually talk about feelings and thoughts. Then, the therapist will listen and analyze what you said based on their knowledge. They will help you sort things out and resolve your problem. With their help, you can achieve the life you always wanted to.

How does psychotherapy change the brain?

Psychotherapy transforms your brain gradually. It is a long-term process to change your pattern. The frontal and temporal cortex is responsible for our thoughts and memories. Psychotherapy revises your thinking and turns them into a more meaningful way to view it as logical.

How long should psychotherapy last?

Psychotherapy can last for several months to many years. It will depend on your current situation. Meanwhile, some may consult only for specific problems. It is possible to address concerns like this within two to five sessions.

What exactly does a psychotherapist do?

Psychotherapists are professionals who underwent training. They can assist individuals with their mental health conditions. Their job usually includes handling:

  1. Stress
  2. Anxiety
  3. Depression
  4. Insomnia
  5. Bipolar disorder
  6. Addiction
  7. Schizophrenia
  8. Other debilitating thoughts and feelings

Furthermore, they talk with their patients and help them resolve specific problems.

Conclusion

Psychotherapy is only one of the many approaches commonly used in aiding mental health problems. There are a lot of methods and techniques that therapists utilize in their practice. Some licensed psychotherapists even integrate the use of medications in their line of work.

And like other therapies and treatments, psychotherapy relies on the working relationship between the client and patient. It counts on healthy communication and active participation between the therapist and the client. Progress can only reach so far with minimal involvement and willingness.

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So, to ensure your spot on changes, choose a therapist you’re comfortable working with. Look for someone with a proven track record. Also, check out feedback from previous clients to give you an idea of what it’s like to work with the therapist.

We cannot stress enough the importance of the client-therapist relationship in the overall success of the therapy.

As mental health disorders continuously evolve, expect that psychotherapy’s future role will also be very important and complex. And with more health institutions integrating psychotherapy in their services, more mental health treatments will be more accessible to people who need them one step at a time.

Frequently Asked Questions About Psychotic Depression

People’s experience with mental health differs. There are some that can easily get rid of their psychological problems by just focusing on their overall health. Some rely on better self-management that they go straight into improving their physical wellness. Thus, they exercise regularly, eat well-balanced and fiber-rich meals every day, ensure to get at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep and maintain a well-hydrated body.

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In some fortunate cases, there are people who can find proper encouragement in other ways. They try their best to stay mentally and emotionally stable to function better. Thus, they often make sure that they surround themselves with positive people that can influence them to be happy and satisfied with life. They ensure that no matter what happens, they stick with positive thoughts to regulate their emotions better. That explains their focus on self-awareness which gives them an edge on using mindfulness meditation.

However, though people can do a lot of things to secure their mental and emotional health, some can struggle with severe psychological conditions that these methods completely cannot address. Thus, some rely on other’s help. Usually, they seek professional assistance, attend therapy sessions, and even take some prescribed medications.

But what makes a condition severe? How can a simple case of depression lead to a disrupting psychological case? How do people entirely deal with their situation, and how does their mental health affect their lives? Here are some answered frequently asked questions that may guide you to understanding.

What are some of the early warning signs of psychosis? 

Early warning signs of psychosis usually start with difficulty thinking clearly or concentrating, sleeping too much or not enough, having a depressed mood, getting too anxious, increasing suspiciousness or getting paranoid ideas or uneasiness with others, experiencing delusions and hallucinations, and isolating one’s self and spending a lot more time alone than usual and having strange feelings or having no feelings at all.

 Can depression make you hallucinate? 

Yes. In most unfortunate times, some people who have severe clinical depression also experience delusional thinking and hallucinations. Depression with psychosis is also recognized as psychotic depression. It is a condition that makes a person sees or hear things that others do not see or hear. Sometimes, the condition gets accompanied by nonsense or incoherent speech and unsuitable behavior for the situation.

In some instances, people with psychotic depression often mixed up their reality. It creates a huge problem because sometimes these people believe that their mental health condition is just part of their thoughts. So for them, there is no need to seek any psychological treatment.

 How do you help someone with psychosis? 

There are things you need to do to help a person experiencing psychosis. You should talk all the time and use precise and short sentences in a non-threatening and calm voice. Always be considerate and be empathetic with how the individual feels about his opinions, beliefs, experiences, and current situation. Give the person space to talk and express his thoughts and feelings. Listen, pay attention, be patient, and try not to make assumptions. Validate his emotional distress or frustration, and appreciate the positives as well.

Also, it would be a great habit to avoid confusing the person by attacking his current reality. There is no point in forcing the individual to forget about things in his head and move on. That particular process does not help at all. Please be mindful that what the person is dealing with is absolutely out of control. Be patient and considerate enough to understand what the individual is going through.

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 What happens if psychosis goes untreated? 

Untreated psychosis, especially those with consistently repeated episodes, could result in progressively lower overall functioning levels. Its symptoms can negatively impact all areas of a person’s life, making it difficult for him to work, progress at home, develop in school, maintain relationships, and contribute to society. In some worst-case scenarios, the individual may require longer hospitalizations to be able to get stabilized. Sometimes, he even needs to get higher doses of medications to achieve remission. Most of these combinations include several doses of antipsychotic medications and antidepressants because these drugs are better tolerated.

 What triggers psychosis? 

Certain mental health conditions are known to trigger psychotic episodes. These include schizophrenia. It is a mental health illness that causes delusions and hallucinations. Also, there is Bipolar disorder as it can have episodes of depressed and joyful mood and severe stress.

But in day-to-day life, some scenarios can benefit to its trigger., These include too much worrying about school and job performance, uneasiness with other people, trouble concentrating, getting intense or overly exaggerated ideas, and spending time alone than usual.

 What psychosis feels like? 

People’s experience with psychosis is different. Sometimes, they may experience vague warning signs even before the symptoms of psychosis begin. These signs usually include anxiety, depression, always feeling on edge, and feeling different. Often, there are overly intense new ideas that make people paranoid and uneasy. There is a drastic change in overall performance and troubled thinking, and poor concentration.

Unfortunately, psychotic individual deals with cognitive challenges that make them out of control. And eventually, they lose the sense of reality. The experience can be extremely frightening and confusing, as it makes someone feel threatened and scared all the time.

 What are psychotic thoughts? 

Psychosis is a mental health condition that associates an individual with disruptive thoughts and perceptions. This disruption of thoughts makes it difficult for people to recognize what is real and what isn’t. These disruptions are often experienced as hearing, seeing, and believing things that and are not real. There are also strange and persistent thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

 What should you not say when someone is psychotic? 

People in psychosis are usually sensitive to their feelings and thoughts. They might struggle to understand complex languages like exaggeration, metaphors, double-entendres, or sarcasm. During this time, try to avoid letting your hesitations, discomfort, or anxieties take control. It’s best to speak in short, clear sentences to avoid confusion. Try not to upset them and be empathetic with how they feel about their life experiences and beliefs.

Also, it would be a great idea if you can refrain from making insensitive jokes about anything that is targeting their reality. These include making fun of what they see and hear or joking about what they thought about life and all. You have to be further careful with your actions if you do not want to damage their already severe psychotic condition.

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 How do you communicate with a psychotic person? 

Communicating with a psychotic person can be tough at times. That is because they often feel strange, which makes their reactions exaggerated. It is best to clearly talk to them and always use short sentences, calm and non-threatening voice. Listen to them to understand their experience of frustration and distress. Express empathy and avoid judgment. Never give unsolicited advice as it can be taken negatively. Stay positive and encourage them to always seek help.

 What is the most common psychotic disorder? 

The most common psychotic disorder is schizophrenia.

 What are examples of psychotic disorders?

However, the condition is not limited to that as psychotic disorder gets determined with various types. These include Delusional Disorder, Psychotic Disorder Due to a Medical Condition, Paraphrenia, Substance-Induced Psychotic Disorder, Brief Psychotic Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Schizophreniform Disorder, and Schizophrenia.

 

Battling With Our Inner Demons (Mental Health Discussion)

Every one of us has our inner demons. Some of it resonates with the traumatic experience, low self-confidence, or fear of failure. That is okay. We all have to deal with things that we sometimes know eat us from the inside and out. But contrary to what we often believe, inner demons are not formless forces of evil that influences us to do bad things. Instead, it is the response in behavior that we do to survive emotionally and mentally. Our inner demons come from the thought that we need to process and heal from. To face it, we need to accept its existence and confront our fears. That way, we can become a better version of ourselves.

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The Unexplained Weight Above Our Head

Our inner demons vary from one person to another. However, one similarity that every one of us experiences is the unexplained weight above our head. It is as if every day is a mess. It feels like there is a mountain in front of us that we need to climb. There is this feeling that impending doom is just around the corner, waiting for a perfect moment to drag us down the pit. Usually, that weight of inner demons is the depression that we secretly have. It turns out that the struggle we are dealing with is a serious mental health disorder that causes damage to all aspects of our lives. It makes us feel worthless, empty, exhausted, and guilty for nothing in particular.

The Immeasurable Sense Of Indignity

Often, our inner demons are so powerful that it makes us want to isolate ourselves from everyone. That is because of the self-consciousness and embarrassment we feel, even if we shouldn’t have to. In some instances, that shame becomes self-hate overtime. It takes a toll on all phases of our lives and makes us believe that we are incapable of a lot of things. That particular immeasurable sense of indignity is our low self-esteem. It is an inner demon that waits to be rectified. Because if not, it will continue with its voices in our head, inputting ideas that we are not good enough.

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The Unwanted Voices In Our Head

The voices in our heads often represent our inner demons. It is as if there is someone inside us that continuously tells us we are not good enough and that we are stupid for creating a mistake. That explains why we sometimes curse and look down on ourselves in the mirror. It is an inner demon that signifies self-criticism. It is like having a literal monster living inside of our heads. The voices are responsible for isolating us and making us feel that we can’t do things on our own. That is why when we try something new or consider taking a risk, that voice mocks us. It sticks to the idea that we will always fail, that we can never change, and that we will be forever alone.

The Constant Thought Of Things Not Being Right

In a more discrete representation of our inner demons, we often feel that something is not right. It is a kind of feeling that distracts us from thinking straight. Our mind gets filled with negative thoughts, and that makes us expect bad things to happen. Ironically, we don’t like bad things to happen, but we feel relieved when it occurs. We validate our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors based on the negative result we expect to take place. That particular inner demon is known as anxiety – a mental health disorder that keeps growing over time. It causes serious symptoms such as rapid heart rate, dreadfulness, hyperventilation, and panic attacks.

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The Comfort Of Playing It Safe

Our inner demons have a lot to do with our fear, particularly in the idea of failing. We are afraid to fail that we sometimes never consider trying. The fear of failure prevents us from developing our strengths and often locks us with weakness and incapability. It stops us from moving forward to making things better for our growth and development in an unfortunate situation. The concept of fear is scary that we often do not attempt to fight it. We choose to play it safe, not understanding that when it seeps in every aspect of our lives, it cripples us up to the point that we no longer want to do things.

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These inner demons may be loud or can show significant points to ponder, but these don’t mean they are correct. It is vital that we all practice self-awareness. Our painful emotions don’t immediately represent the whole of us. Thus, we need to find courage in removing these toxicities that lies within us. We have to put up a fight and win against all circumstances. Yes, it is not easy. But with a little motivation, positivity, and self-love, winning from our inner demons becomes 100% possible.

Signs That You Have A Toxic Family Environment

If you experience an occasional quarrel within your siblings and disagreements with your parents, that’s okay. You are still under a good family relationship. Those misunderstandings help you realize the roles of everyone in the unit. However, if family issues are persistent and constant, then perhaps you are dealing with a dysfunctional family environment. If you are not aware of the breeding conflict, anxiety, stress, and fear among family members, here are the following signs that can tell.

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You Feel Alone And Invisible All The Time

There are significant moments that you need to spend time alone with yourself. It allows you to gain awareness of the things around you. However, if that self-isolation seems to entail neglect from your family members, it can be incredibly damaging not only to your mental health but also to your emotional health. Usually, you get to experience that when your parents and siblings are often busy. It makes you feel invisible when they spend too much time with work, friends, and other stuff that doesn’t involve you. Usually, your family never makes time to hang out with you, and they never notice how you are doing.

You Feel Discarded And Misunderstood

It is normal for every family to have misunderstandings. Perhaps you already tried talking to them about how you feel. However, when you feel like no one in your family seems to care and understand what you are going through, it can imply that you might be living in a toxic environment. Unfortunately, when your family doesn’t care, it would not matter to them even if you cry for help. They will not support and care for you even though it is pretty obvious that you are struggling. These individuals will remain indifferent and unsympathetic.

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You Feel Pressured All The Time

Your family is supposed to help and accept you no matter what. But if you feel a little lost, worthless, and full of guilt because you are not meeting their unrealistic high standards, perhaps there is something wrong in the relationship. You’ll recognize your home environment’s toxicity when your family is imposing conditions of worth on you. Thus, forcing you to become someone else or better. It is a toxic behavior because you begin to do things for your family only because you want recognition. You even force yourself to live up to their expectations. You deal with their constant criticism and judgmental treatment.

You Feel Suffocated Being With Them

Your family should be another positive thing that can make you happy and satisfied with life. However, when you feel suffocated just by being around them, it is a sign of toxicity. It is where you think you need to come home and spend time with them even if it doesn’t make you feel excited. You feel like you only have to be with them because you have no choice. Sometimes, a toxic family hinders you from having a comfortable life. They will make you feel guilty for supposedly abandoning them. Usually, these family members paint you as a villain to the story.

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You Feel Used And Taken For Granted

As part of the circle of your family, there are things you do for them as well. You show love and care so that they will know how much you value them in your life. However, when you feel like your family members are only kind to you when they need something, that is a different story. It is a definite red flag courtesy of having a toxic family. Usually, family members who act this way often manipulate you. They somehow know how to take advantage of you. These people exploit you because they know they can get whatever they want. You become nothing more to them than a means to an end. Thus, these individuals will continually take everything from you without ever considering giving something back.

You Feel Constantly Unhappy

It is common for families to have occasional bad days. Honestly, that’s what makes it more interesting in understanding yourself and others. It is entirely healthy, and there is nothing wrong with that. But in a toxic familial situation, this feeling is somewhat unacceptable. It drags you down into an overwhelming sense of negativities. Most of the time, even though you find a way to make things better, your family stops you from being happy. They have this mentality that you are not supposed to be happy if they are not happy themselves. It feels like they are trying to tell you that their issues in life are your entire fault.

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Note that there is no perfect peaceful family. Every family relationship is different. But if you happen to notice that this toxicity builds up over time, it would be best to secure yourself. Do not allow this toxic environment to rot, and don’t wait for things to come into an unbearable point.

 

How Can Marriages Survive Coronavirus

Due to the coronavirus’s pandemic, couples have been spending much longer time together than usual. Busy lives have come to a halt, and suddenly there’s more time to spare. Marriages now are being challenged by this situation. Because couples are almost always together 24/7, the tiny imperfections seem to magnify, the tension in the household rises quickly, and suddenly the feeling gets stuffy.

According to Phillip Lee M.D. and Diane Rudolph M.D., “Quarantine together is a magnifying glass on the relationship. If it’s really, really good, then it will be spring break, a walk in the park. If it’s really bad, already at each other’s throats, then the number of negative interactions will spike like the bad coronavirus curve on TV.”

It is unsure how long the pandemic will last, so it is essential to nurture these relationships. Here are some tips on how to survive the pandemic.

Give Criticisms A Break

Right now is a stressful time for everyone. It is not a good time to bring back old issues, especially those that concern finances. It may only lead to serious arguments. If these issues have been resolved in the past, avoid bringing it back on the table.

Instead, appreciate the everyday little things. Even if your spouse has been making you coffee for all the years you are married, still, say a word of appreciation. It will make things better. Remember, gratitude is the memory of the heart. Also, try doing an activity where at night, you think of three things that you are most grateful for your partner for each day.

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Plan Your Routine

Planning tasks ahead of time allow the leveling of expectations. Most often than not, fights begin when there is an unmet expectation. Delegate the job of cleaning, cooking, laundry, and other household chores. In this way, no one carries single-handedly the burden of running the household. 

Also, plan other activities to add excitement to the daily routine. Schedule movie nights for the entire family, maybe once a week. Board games are also a good idea to increase family bonding while staying at home. Remember not to be too tight on the schedule; as much as it is for everyone’s welfare, it might be the root of the argument.

Still Allow Space

Being together almost every hour of every day may seem to constrict the atmosphere. To avoid this feeling, allow each other some personal time. The space you allow can be room to breathe, to refresh the mind, and to think clearly. Some people need time for themselves to recharge and re-center themselves.

If you have hobbies that you can do in the comforts of your home, do it. It helps in putting yourself in the right headspace. You can do lots of things like reading, painting, crafting, crocheting, baking, and even sports! Just do anything that can help you feel better.

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Intimate Or Not

For most, it may be a good time for some intimacy with your partner. It can be a break from the ordinary every day and can help get your mind off the unpleasant things that are happening. Experts say that it is a vital part of marriage.

But then, it is not unusual if your partner is not into it. The stress caused by external factors can affect the desire to engage in sexual activity. Always respect the invisible boundary and remember that no means no.

Talk Everyday

With or without a pandemic, it’s essential always to communicate. Misunderstandings, more often than not, emerge from miscommunication. Your partners cannot read minds, so tell me them what you want or what you need. Don’t expect your partners to know what to do if you don’t tell them the problem.

Sometimes, partners look from different lenses and see the same thing but on different perspectives. To be able to solve this, partners should communicate to stay on the same page.

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Argue Well

If, after communicating, varying points of view still pose a problem, handle the argument well. Don’t quarrel when you are both raging. Words can be twice as sharp when in a heated situation. Allow an hour to collect your thoughts and to breathe before starting the discussion. This way, you can control the situation where the kids don’t have to witness it.

Take extra caution in arguing during a pandemic, because it is a stressful situation; everything can be blown out of proportion. Add in extra patience than usual. Also, be more empathetic towards your spouse.

This global health crisis is becoming an economic crisis, and this pandemic is a stressful situation. This tense situation inevitably affects marriages, as well. Times may be hard, but working together is key in keeping the boat afloat amidst the rough sea.

How The COVID-19 Outbreak Is Affecting Our Mental Health

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With over two million cases across 210 countries as of writing, the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread. With most nations shutting their borders, they’ve also placed many of their citizens under community quarantine. Social distancing is the new norm as residents are to stay indoors. But this crisis is damaging not only to physical health.

Similar to the virus itself, its impact on our mental well-being does not discriminate. Anyone can experience these issues during the pandemic as well as after its resolution. Here is how the crisis affects us psychologically:

Causes Anxiety And Distress

The feelings we all most likely share at the moment are distress and anxiety. Such is not surprising given how there’s a lot to be worrying over.

For one, there’s the disease itself. Since COVID-19 is a new illness, there is currently no cure for it. It’s thus especially scary to become infected. Low recovery rates in certain countries also further add to the anxiety. Health workers are especially at risk.

Similarly, we not only worry about ourselves but also for our loved ones. While some of us can afford to stay at home, others continue to work outside. Those who work in hospitals and clinics, food establishments, groceries, pharmacies, and the like come into contact with others every day. We don’t know how safe they are during this time.

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Next, there’s distress over the disruption of our usual routine. Many of us have patterns of what we do daily, such as going to work or school which we don’t get to do anymore. Jobs have shifted to work-from-home arrangements, and students have no choice but to learn online.

Lastly, we feel anxiety over the uncertainty of the future. Most affected countries continue to see new cases every day. There’s no definitive estimate as to when this will all end. Many are worried that they won’t have a job after this pandemic. Students wait as their schools and universities are unsure how to proceed with the rest of the semester. Small businesses worry whether they can recover after the pandemic.

When dealing with anxiety, the best thing to keep in mind is that there are things we cannot control. Try to focus on what we can do for now. Try not to listen to the news for too long, as the negative headlines can take a toll on us. Continue to reach out to loved ones for emotional support.

Despite the pandemic restricting our movements, counseling remains accessible through online platforms such as BetterHelp. It is a trusted way for many to take care of their mental state continuously.

Brings About Sadness And Depression

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Another thing many of us are feeling nowadays is sadness. With how the pandemic changed our lives in a short amount of time, the trauma can lead to depression.

As we mentioned earlier, many of us are self-isolated due to social distancing and quarantine protocols. Some of us are lucky that we can communicate with our loved ones through the internet or phones. However, the physical distance between us can still leave us feeling lonely. The causes of anxiety we discussed earlier can also lead to a feeling of sadness.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, don’t be scared to reach out to others. Watch out for signs such as a prolonged feeling of sadness, insomnia or oversleeping, crying episodes, irritability, and difficulty in concentrating. Look online to find if there are options for you to talk to a counselor for help. Open up to your loved ones about how you feel and ask for support. It’s best to deal with these issues before they get worse.

Pushes Us Toward Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

Another effect of this pandemic is that it can push us towards unhealthy coping strategies and vices. Being cooped up at home can disconnect us from our usual support system. Some may rely on their friends for help while others turn to activities such as working out. Stuck indoors, people may start looking towards other coping mechanisms, such as alcohol, cigarettes, or even self-harm.

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During these times, you have to try to be as resilient as you can. Stick to positive ways of coping, such as seeking external help, meditation, and physical activity. Remove anything in your home that can tempt you into dealing with the pandemic negatively.

Conclusion

Nobody can deny how large of an impact the coronavirus epidemic has had on our lives. It’s a traumatic experience for us all, which can lead to feelings of anxiety and sadness. Such can also put us at risk of developing maladaptive coping mechanisms.

However, such feelings are normal to experience during trying times such as these. By recognizing how the outbreak is affecting us, we can start to find ways to overcome this new challenge. During this crisis, we must pay attention not only to our physical well-being but also to our mental health. 

It is entirely reasonable to feel uneasy when the world is in an unusual state. If you need further assistance in coping, you might find counseling helpful.

Exposure Therapy Can Help In An Abusive Relationship That Causes PTSD

 

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A relationship with someone who doesn’t acknowledge your worth is always damaging. However, there are times that even if we already knew the proper things we should do, we tend to stick to the usual activities that harm us in a lot of ways. For example, even if we’re aware that our partner is continuously abusing us, we tend to feel the lack of courage and self-worth to fight against it. That’s because we are afraid of the consequences of the supposed actions we are about to take.

 

The Intervention

According to Colleen Cira, PsyD., a psychologist “PTSD comes from some type of traumatic event.” Exposure therapy is a psychological technique derived from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It mainly focuses on addressing issues of phobias and PTSD. It helps in addressing anxiety disorder and other specific mental illnesses that come from severe cases of psychological, emotional and physical torture. It is a type of therapy that breaks the pattern of fear by exposing the person to a progressively higher amount of fear-inducing stimuli. From there, it creates a step-by-step solution in addressing the level of traumatic impact so the patient can slowly terminate the underlying cause of mental and emotional pain.

 

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“Fear, or getting scared, is an emotion that’s part of our biology as human beings, just like other emotions such as sadness, joy and anger. It serves a purpose that’s crucial to our ability to survive,” says Steve Orma, PsyD, a clinical psychologist. However, the fear and pain that are associated with the traumatic event can be particular. It can come from mental torture, emotional neglect, and physical abuse. The process of exposure therapy can bring back all those unwanted emotions and memories that sometimes make it hard for the patient to handle. In some unfortunate events, both the therapist and the patient might lose track of the procedure and end up making everything worse.

 

Constant Reminder

It’s important to continue learning about the proper procedure of exposure therapy to avoid additional traumas. This type of therapy is very crucial that if not well assessed, it can no longer support the process of recovery and can somehow make the mental illness worse. So before trying out this type of treatment, make sure that you seek someone who specializes in this kind of intervention and secure information regarding their training and practices. Ask for credentials and research for reviews so you can confidently feel safe in the process.

 

Source: health.mil

 

The Choice Is Yours

For some cases, some people don’t want to recall any of the traumatic experiences they have with their abusive partner. They want to forget about it and erase it in their memory as much as possible. That’s because sometimes it is too much to handle. However, for those people who consider working their fears through exposure therapy, they are at their own risk. The gradual recollection of the past life-changing experiences can be painful and distressful, so they need to assess their selves to be able to know their capability when it comes to tolerating the emotional and psychological trauma.

As much as you want to save your relationship, you need to consider your overall health first. Marc Romano, PsyD suggests to “Focus on yourself and your own happiness and do not compare yourself to others.” There’s no easiest way in addressing an abusive relationship because whether you like it not, it’s not the kind of commitment that you would want to stick with because it doesn’t contribute to your overall development.

Stress In Your Relationship? Tune In To Music

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Whether we like or not, there will come a time in our relationship when we’ll experience tons of stressful situations. Sometimes, we won’t even have time to figure out solutions in an instant because our anxiety will probably take over our mental state. In some cases, we only want to relax and forget about everything that flares up our emotional and psychological state. Good thing there’s music because we can always consider it as our sweet escape.

 

Music Therapy

One of the most comfortable and convenient types of therapy that people tend to use almost every day is music therapy. It has a therapeutic effect that helps in improving the psychological, physical, and emotional functions of the brain. In some fortunate events, it helps in addressing a person’s confused mindset as well as enhancing his human capabilities. It also helps in re-aligning cognitive, emotional, and social issues that people often have difficulties addressing.

“Many people listen to music because they identify with the song’s words and the strong emotions felt. Often people describe that listening to music has a therapeutic effect that impacts their overall mood.” –Abigail Saneholtz, Psy.D

 

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Music And The Mind

Music adds a fundamental aspect of human life. It creates a connection between our mind and body that keeps us healthy in so many ways. It reduces stress level and supports the proper function of our brain and keeps us away from mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. It improves our psychological strength so we can properly work on our positive aspects such as problem-solving and decision-making. Also, music can give us a total brain workout where we can get a quality of sleep, mental alertness, memory, and mood. Also, it helps in the recovery progression of those people who are experiencing mental or psychological relapses.

 

Music And The Soul

Music allows us to feel an emotional rejuvenation. With the right tune and category from a wide selection, it can positively change our moods. It gives us a relaxing effect that transforms our feelings into something happy and assertive. With our engaging emotions, we tend to become more aware of our feelings and create neutral connections to other people as well. It contributes to our self-expression and self-confidence that we can use in a day-to-day encounter because it lets us develop a constructive emotional strength that stimulates active retention and appreciation to life.

 

Music And The Body

We might be surprised at how good we may feel whenever we try to listen to our favorite music. It doesn’t only enhance our emotional and psychological strength but also supports our physical capabilities as well. It somehow contributes to the organization of our nerve cells that is very much useful in maintaining a functioning heart rate. It stimulates the brain by allowing the body to send out endorphins that reduce body pain and certain chronic illnesses. Aside from that, music can give us normal moving genes that can help us in faster recovery.

“While music has long been recognized as an effective form of therapy to provide an outlet for emotions, the notion of using song, sound frequencies and rhythm to treat physical ailments is a relatively new domain.” –Daniel J. Levitin, PhD

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“Therapy doesn’t have to be talk-based; there are some modalities, like music therapy.” Hannah Goodman, LMHC said. There’s no wonder music is always a good choice of therapy. It’s convenient, enjoyable, and effective. So next time you feel like there’s a weight on your shoulder, listen to some of Beyonce’s relationship-related music. You’ll not only end up smiling but also singing your heart out as well.

But if the music does not work for you, remember that there are counseling apps, like BetterHelp, for you. You might also want to connect with others who are going through the same thing, through social media sites.