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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

The Battle with OCD – Are You Winning?

10.8.18

Many individuals who suffer with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and those that support them often talk about the fight with OCD. “I won’t give up the fight with OCD.” It feels hopeful and encouraging when you say those words. Certainly, individuals experiencing OCD do not wish to let OCD get them down in life.   If individuals stay focused on what matters most despite their OCD, they can continue to pursue life with vitality. They would not let OCD get in the way of their relationships and their values. This is what they mean when they say, “I’m not going to let OCD beat me!”   Though people’s intention is not to let OCD ruin their lives, the mind grasps the word “fight” and it changes things around for them. Without realizing it,

Learning to Live in the Moment

4.10.18

A six-year-old girl was at the park with her siblings. She had fun at the playground and then explored the park with her family. She noticed an old tree trunk by a pond and sat on it. When her siblings went back to the playground, she chose to stay there to enjoy her surroundings. She commented on the snow-capped mountains, the pine trees, the grass, the seemingly dead bushes, the ducks quacking sounds, and the tadpoles swimming in the pond. After about 10 minutes, she was invited to join the rest of her family. She asked if she could stay a little longer. She sat at the same spot for 30 minutes noticing the world around her and literally soaking it all in. She instinctively connected with what was happening right then without any cares abo

Is the Anxious Mind Spreading FUD in Your Life?

3.9.18

View original article published in Psych Central– In the cryptocurrency world, fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) is something investors don’t want to experience. When FUD spreads, the value of the coin will drop, and those who invested will be unsure of what to do and wonder when the pain will stop. FUD is also something that people with anxiety don’t like to endure. They avoid and seek reassurance in order to be sure that FUD (fear, uncertainty, or doubt) is not part of their lives. Yet, they forget that FUD is part of the human condition. When we perceive danger, our survival built-in mechanism warns us, and fear sets in so we can escape or fight the danger. This is a good thing. Otherwise, our ancestors would not have made it, and we w

5 Amazing Benefits of Mindfulness Practice

11.3.17

“It is what makes us human, what distinguishes us from other animals. We can be aware of being aware.” –Jon Kabat-Zinn Are you stuck in the past or in the future? Quite often we are focused on what should have happened yesterday, what we should’ve done, what we didn’t do, or what others should’ve done. When we are not focused on the past, maybe our focal point is what may happen, or what we wish could happen in the future. Perhaps we have ‘what if” worry habits that lead us to heightened stress and anxiety. We may feel angry about the past, or maybe feel hopeless about the future. When our tendency is to dwell on things of the past or the future we get stuck, and life becomes more difficult. Dogs, among other mammals have the capability o

Comparison: The Perfectionist’s Incessant Urge

9.26.17

View original article published in Psych Central– Alice had experienced many successes in her youth. She was gifted with athletic skills, intelligence, and an outgoing personality. She qualified for a scholarship in college and graduated with honors from a prestigious program. Alice enjoyed the praise of others, and felt she should be happy but was not. She had developed the habit of comparing herself with others. When she could not keep up with what she believed were others’ expectations, she felt anxious and depressed. She would say, “If I make a mistake, others will judge me, and I will be nothing!” Perfectionism is a topic of interest to many because of the impact it can have in individuals’ lives. There is nothing wrong with having a d

What Can Help Children Reach Their Potential? –Answers from Researchers

8.25.17

The article published by Inc. is titled: “According to Science, This 1 Thing Predicts a Student’s Success More Than Any Other” If you didn’t read the article, the answer is “Grit.” What does it mean? Angela Lee Duckworth, psychologist and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania defines grit as: “passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”  Duckworth’s research shows that grit is more important than anything else, including talent. Her studies indicate that we all can do a

Got Anxious Kids? Be Brave!

4.19.17

View original article published in Psych Central– Besides being loving and patient, parents need to be brave when their children are anxious. This may be one of the most difficult things you do when you see your kids struggle. In the long run, your courage will be one of the crucial elements in helping your children overcome their anxiety. Listed below are the When, Why, and How of becoming a valiant parent everyday. WHEN do you need to be brave?      WHEN: It seems that for the thousandth time you’ve asked your child to do a simple task and he refuses because he feels overwhelmed. A slight change in her routine sets her off, and you choose not to yell or punish her. He gets injured and his anxiety magnifies his aches and shouts. A meltdow

Depression and Anxiety in Teens – Questions to Think About

3.31.17

The high numbers regarding anxiety and depression in teens are alarming. Experts keep trying to figure out why the numbers continue to rise. Research confirms what many mental health providers have known for years about this amazing, yet troubled population. When you think about your adolescent, consider the following questions: Are your teens learning healthy coping skills to deal with stressors, anxiety, and depression? Who are their role models and are they learning healthy coping skills from them? When they experience emotional pain, have your kids learned how to deal with it? Do they have the appropriate support from you and professionals if needed? Do you know if your adolescent is involved in self-harming behaviors? If so, is h

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

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