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DEPRESSION

10 Things I’ve Learned as a Therapist and a Mom about Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders

6.11.19

By Allyson Guilbert, LCSW View original article published in Psych Central– I’ve been a mental health therapist for over 10 years and in the social work profession for more than 20. I have been pregnant 8 times, with 4 living children. I consider myself to be pretty self-aware, intelligent, and inquisitive. And yet… I had some form of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) with each of my pregnancies. I just didn’t know it. Oh, sure, I got sad and I got angry and with my older son, I couldn’t let myself fully bond to him until he was 9 months old, but I was fine, right? I even took medication, but that’s normal, right? I was introduced to PMADs last year when a friend of a friend posted about it on social media. I was intrigued. This

Getting Stuck in the Emotional Funnel - Nancy Larsen, LCSW

8.26.18

View original article published in Psych Central– Have you ever found yourself caught in a downward spiral of negative thoughts? It’s as if your mind is like a funnel with thoughts racing towards the bottom only to get stuck in the neck. The more you try to think your way out of the funnel the more distressed you become because there appears to be no way out. Negative thoughts can be overwhelming, and if we are not careful, they create pathways in our mind from which we draw. Unfortunately, thoughts rarely occur without emotions. When we add emotions to our negative thoughts, we try to think our way towards a solution yet as we spiral downward, a solution seems out of reach. So much so, that we start to panic. It may look something like th

Mindset Family Therapy

What Are the Signs of Depression in Teens?

3.31.17

Quite often, parents misunderstand their adolescents’ symptoms of depression with “just being in a bad mood,” or “personality issues,” or “the time of the month issues,” etc. Yes, we all have those kinds of days. However, when an adolescent is depressed, those symptoms don’t dwindle with time. This is actually a mistake many parents make. Sometimes, they may think it is “just a stage” and wait it out. However, it can only get worse. As you consider the following symptoms, keep in mind that they vary in severity. Depressive symptoms in adolescents: Loss of interest and enjoyment in their favorite activities or other activities. Prefer to be alone rather than with family or kids their age. Have difficulty concentrating at school or other se

4 Essentials To Help You Enjoy the Holidays

11.28.16

View original article published in Psych Central– The holidays give us great opportunities to continue existing traditions or establish new ones. We reconnect with friends and family. It is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. However, for some it can become a stressful and overwhelming season, and for others, one of the loneliest times. Whether you have big plans or no plans, consider these four critical points to help you enjoy your holidays:   1. Make sure to take care of yourself first! That is selfish some may exclaim, but is it really? A great metaphor for self-care is the specific instructions we receive from flight attendants when we travel by plane. They inform us that if the airplane were to lose cabin pressure

When Your Loved One Has Body Dysmorphic Disorder

4.7.15

[View original article published in Psych Central here. Aaron was a senior in high school, and his grades had begun to decline. He wasn’t interested in hanging out with his friends. He seemed depressed. He’d spend an extraordinary amount of time in the bathroom fixing his hair. Aaron’s father had a difficult time understanding his son’s behavior. He would get irritated when he saw all the hair products in Aaron’s bathroom. Aaron was determined to find the perfect product for his hair. He still had not found it. We all have bad hair days. We also are aware of our physical flaws, but most of us are able to accept them without obsessing or becoming paralyzed by them. If you know someone who has become depressed and is excessively preoccupied

3 Steps To Take When Life Gets Foggy

10.20.14

 [View original article published in Answers.com here] What is your first thought when you wake up in the morning? “I’m ready to take on the day!” But maybe you had a restless night and couldn’t stop thinking about current problems. Perhaps you wish your day never began. All of us experience difficulties at one point or another, and it has been said that what really matters is how we react to adversity. The advice is that we need to confront our difficult experiences with a positive attitude. When we do, things go smoother. But it is easier said than done! Take Lori for example. She was the oldest child of four, and when she was twelve years old, her mom passed away. She missed her mother, and she and her siblin

What’s the Best Treatment for Hair-Pulling Disorder?

9.14.14

[View original article published in Psych Central here] After school, Henry would sit down and watch TV, but one hour later, his mom would discover he had been pulling his eyelashes and eyebrows. It wasn’t that he didn’t want them, he just couldn’t stop plucking them. When his friends called him to hang out, he found excuses not to be around them. He didn’t want to face unwanted questions or comments. The embarrassment and shame were causing isolation, and his confidence and self esteem were suffering. Henry is challenged by trichotillomania (TTM). Individuals who experience this disorder have difficulties resisting the urge to pull out their hair. It is estimated to affect between two to four percent of the American population. Many hair

Five Telltale Signs Your Child is a Budding Perfectionist

3.28.14

[View original article published in Psych Central here] I once met a young man who had had many successes in his youth. He was intelligent and outgoing. He had always been the star in high school and had enjoyed the praise he received from others, but something was amiss. As we talked, I discovered that his perfectionism was getting in the way. He was feeling depressed and exhausted. He couldn’t keep up with the demands he had set for himself. He said, “My teachers think I’m gifted. They have no idea how much time I spend on each of my assignments. Now, I have to keep up with those expectations. I don’t think I can do this anymore!” Sometimes parents are unable to recognize the signs and later lament themselves. They wish they had noticed t

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If you have a mental illness, don’t be embarrassed!

10.11.13

October 10th was designated as Mental Health Day.  Every day is a mental health day for me when I see my clients try to make their life better despite their suffering. If you suffer with a mental health illness, don’t hesitate to share your struggles.  You may be surprised that your friend, boss, best friend’s daughter or spouse may also be experiencing emotional and mental pain.  Successful men and women with a mental illness can be an example to society and can contribute to the idea that a mental disorder does not define the person. Society needs to understand that a person can be “normal” and still have mental health challenges. I love Kevin Breel’s Ted talk.  He is right on with his message. Let’s stop intolerance and

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