When Is The Right Time To Seek Help
Anxiety is a problem that can get worse if the stressors continue to build up. People may feel ashamed to ask for help or believe that its not that big a problem, thus covering their feelings and dealing with it alone. Its important to know that you deserve support and, as lonely as you feel, people care.
If youre not comfortable talking to a loved one, there are many other platforms available. Online support groups and anxiety counselling give you the opportunity to talk to people who understand you.
How Does Therapy Work
In therapy, kids learn by doing. With younger kids, this means working with the whole family, drawing, playing, and talking. For older kids and teens, therapists share activities and ideas that focus on learning the skills they need. They talk through feelings and solve problems.
Therapists give praise and support as kids learn. They help kids believe in themselves and find their strengths. Therapy builds helpful thinking patterns and healthy behavioral habits.
A therapist might meet with the child and parent together or meet with the child alone. It depends on the child’s age. A therapist might also meet with a parent to give tips and ideas for how to help their child at home.
Thought Challenging In Cbt For Anxiety
Thought challengingalso known as cognitive restructuringis a process in which you challenge the negative thinking patterns that contribute to your anxiety, replacing them with more positive, realistic thoughts. This involves three steps:
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Exposure Therapy For Anxiety
Anxiety isnt a pleasant sensation, so its only natural to avoid it if you can. One of the ways that people do this is by steering clear of the situations that make them anxious. If you have a fear of heights, you might drive three hours out of your way to avoid crossing a tall bridge. Or if the prospect of public speaking leaves your stomach in knots, you might skip your best friends wedding in order to avoid giving a toast. Aside from the inconvenience factor, the problem with avoiding your fears is that you never have the chance to overcome them. In fact, avoiding your fears often makes them stronger.
Exposure therapy, as the name suggests, exposes you to the situations or objects you fear. The idea is that through repeated exposures, youll feel an increasing sense of control over the situation and your anxiety will diminish. The exposure is done in one of two ways: Your therapist may ask you to imagine the scary situation, or you may confront it in real life. Exposure therapy may be used alone, or it may be conducted as part of cognitive behavioral therapy.
Join A Peer Support Group
Although it may seem counter-intuitive to seek help in a group setting when you are afraid of people, peer support groups have many advantages for those with SAD.
In a peer support group, you have the option of sitting and listening quietly without speaking. You can hear about how others have also been afraid to open up in therapy and how they overcame this obstacle.
If you do decide to join a peer support group, make sure that it is one that is for people with social anxiety or that the group is sensitive to the challenges of people with SAD.
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You Start Overusing Or Abusing Something To Try And Help Alleviate Your Symptoms
When the going gets tough, many people turn to their trusted mood-altering substance of choice such as alcohol, cigarettes, or some drug. Theres nothing wrong with that ) when done in moderation.
But when were feeling overwhelmed, sometimes we look to one of those helpers and start over-using it. We risk adding another disorder to our existing problems in an effort to self-medicate.
And its not just drugs that people will abuse to help alleviate their symptoms. Spending all of your free time online, engaging in non-stop pornography or gambling, or constantly checking your Facebook updates may all be efforts to block out your other problems.
Worse is when we turn our angst or anger toward another person in our lives, such as a loved one. Some people lash out or make their loved ones life miserable as a way of trying to feel better about themselves.
Youre Going Through A Transition
Starting a new job, moving to a new city, becoming a parent, or ending a relationship are just a few examples of major life transitions that might create a fair amount of distress for you.
Talking to someone might provide you with the emotional support, guidance, and advice you need to adapt to the changes in your life.
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How To Find A Therapist
Whether an adult or child needs therapy, finding the right therapist takes research, patience, and intuition.
You need to find a therapist. Your life, your child, your marriage is suffering. But for many people, this task is daunting.
There’s the alphabet soup of PhDs, PsyDs, MDs, MSs, and MSWs, not to mention all the labels — psychiatrist, psychologist, marriage & family therapist, family counselor, licensed professional counselor, social worker.
It’s true all these therapists provide mental health services. But each brings different training, experience, insights, and character to the table. How can you find a therapist who is right for your needs?
Take heart, for the search will be worth the effort. “A good therapist, however you find them, is gold,” Don Turner, MD, a private practice psychiatrist for 30 years in Atlanta, tells WebMD. “A good therapist is nonjudgmental, accepting, and patient. Otherwise, our patients are just getting what they grew up with.”
First, let’s look at the professional labels:
Psychiatrists: These are doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of mental or psychiatric illnesses. They have medical training and are licensed to prescribe drugs. They are also trained in psychotherapy, or “talk” therapy, which aims to change a person’s behaviors or thought patterns.
Sorting It Out
Where to Start?
The First Appointment
Charity And Third Sector Therapists
Some community and charity sector organisations may offer free or low-cost talking therapies. For example:
- Your local Mind, local Rethink Mental Illness, or local Turning Point branch may be able to offer you talking therapies. Sometimes these local organisations may also form part of a local IAPT service with the NHS.
- Mental Health Matters offers a telephone counselling service and talking therapies in some areas.
- Anxiety UK offers talking therapies for anxiety. There is a fee but they do offer reduced costs for people on a low income.
- Cruse Bereavement Care may offer free counselling services if you have experienced the death of someone close to you.
- Rape Crisis centres offer counselling to survivors of sexual abuse and sometimes to their families.
See our page on seeking help through the third sector for more information. Some charities also provide telephone listening and emotional support services. These are not counselling or therapy, but can be helpful if you need to talk to someone in between sessions.
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You Want Some Parenting Support
Parenting is tough. And it can be scary at times. After all, how do you know if youre giving your child too much responsibility or not enough support?
If youre questioning your parenting skills or you have a question about whether your childs behavior is normal, talking to a therapist might be in order.
A mental health professional can empower you to make the best choices for you and your child. Whether that means giving you the tools you need to parent a child with ADHD or it just means giving you some reassurance that youre on the right track.
A little objective feedback from another party might be instrumental in ensuring that youre raising an emotionally healthy child who will grow up to become a responsible adult.
Whom Should You Call Counselor Or A Psychologist
One possible advantage of seeing a psychiatrist is that, as a medical doctor, he or she has the knowledge and training to evaluate underlying medical problems or drug effects that could cause emotional or behavioral symptoms. Psychiatrists can also work more readily with your primary care doctor or other specialists.
For serious kinds of mental health problems, such as major depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia, where physical symptoms may be severe and it may be hard to take basic care of yourself, psychiatrists generally have more formal training and treatment options available.
Your choice should be guided by the type of problem youre having. Someone who may be clinically depressed could benefit from taking medication, while someone dealing with a phobia might find therapy with a psychologist the most effective choice.
Usually, if a counselor or a psychologist is treating someone whom they feel has severe symptoms , they may suggest a consultation with a psychiatrist to help clarify a diagnosis and possibly prescribe medications.
A psychiatrist can help prescribe medication so that Ria feels less sad and negative and alongside a counselor will help her deal and overcome the negative thoughts, emotions, and behavior that maybe stemming from the Breakup.
Psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors also work together in hospitals as part of mental health teams.
Just Get Help
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Your Friends Are Tired Of Listening To You
Friends and family members are usually pretty great. They are there for us when times are good, and they are there for us when times are bad. If you need to bend someones ear about the feelings or thoughts youre having, a friend is often close at hand.
But sometimes a friend can also feel overwhelmed by your problems. They start to pull away from seeing you. They dont answer your texts or dont take your call. They stop returning emails, or spend days before you hear a reply .
These may be signs that youve overwhelmed your own social support system. Its time to reach out and talk to someone whos job it is is to listen, and offer tools and techniques to improve your life.
We risk adding another disorder to our existing problems in an effort to self-medicate.
How Often Should You Talk To Your Therapist To Feel The Benefits
- 4 minute read
Therapy can be a mysterious process. Theres still a lot of stigma attached to the idea of seeking out a licensed therapist to help improve your mental health. This leaves many people confused about its benefits and what the process of therapy entails. One of the questions that often comes up, is how frequently you should see your therapist to reap the benefits.
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Managing Your Mental Health
With all of life’s challenges you may be having trouble balancing your long list of responsibilities. You might be stressed and have difficulty managing and processing all of your feelings. And, it’s possible you’re not dealing with them in the most effective waysa therapist can help you navigate your feelings and provide you with tools to manage them.
You Want To Change Unhelpful Thinking Patterns
Everyone experiences cognitive distortions sometimes. These are the untrue thoughts that can be tough to eliminate.
Maybe you always believe the catastrophic predictions you make. Or perhaps you always let your self-doubt talk you out of doing things you want to do.
Or maybe your unhealthy thinking patterns involve the harsh self-criticism you give yourself. Rather than be kind when you make a mistake, maybe you call yourself names and put yourself down.
The conversations you have with yourself matter. And the way you think will affect the way you feel and how you perform.
A mental health professional can help you develop a healthier inner dialogue. And that could be key to living your best life.
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You Turn To Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
When struggling with mental or emotional problems, it can be tempting to turn to things that are rewarding, distracting, or destructive to copesuch as sex or substance abuse. While substance abuse can temporarily alleviate negative thoughts and problematic feelings like helplessness, anxiety, and irritability, it ultimately exacerbates mental health issues and leads to abuse or dependence.
If youre struggling with addiction, its critical to seek professional help as soon as possible. Although friends or family members can provide mental health support, its important to remember that they are not a personal therapist or rehab center.
Situations When A Therapist Could Help
The following situations include life changes or stressful situations that your child may not have the proper tools to cope with. Adults go to therapy for many of these exact reasons, so it makes sense that a child would be sad, confused, or frustrated and not be able to know proper coping skills and simply need someone to talk to who is not their parent:
- Custody disputes
- Dealing with a death in the family or a close friend
- Having a hard time with a new sibling
- Management of a serious, acute, or chronic illness
- Moving homes or changing schools
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Stay Active And Eat Healthily
Coffee, alcohol and cigarettes are stimulants and may cause you to feel worse, or make it difficult for you to relax. Staying active and moving your body may help you manage your anxiety as it’s an opportunity to release any stress and refocus. You dont have to follow a strict diet or a tough workout regime, but eating healthy foods and staying active can improve overall well-being.
Your Emotional State Is Impacting Your Appetite Or Sleep
There may be times when you dont notice that youre stressed or that your mood is off. But, you might notice a major change in your appetite or sleep habits.
Some people lose their appetite when theyre struggling emotionally. Other people eat more in an effort to control their feelings.
The same can be said for sleep. Some people experience sleepless nights while others sleep too much when they are having a hard time.
You might not even experience a change in the number of hours you sleep. You might just feel exhausted all the time because the quality of your sleep is suffering.
Once a physician is able to rule out possible medical causes for your change in sleep or appetite, a therapist can help you determine if there are emotional causes.
Therapy can even be beneficial for people who experience chronic insomnia. Cognitive behavioral therapy, for example, uses a variety of strategies to help people train themselves to sleep better.
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