How to Fight Depression

How to Fight Depression

 

How to fight depression when you have a constant feeling of sadness and a loss of interest is incredibly challenging. Depression often stops you from doing the normal activities you used to find pleasure in. 

As common as depression might seem, how to fight depression varies from person to person. Being depressed can make people feel helpless. Along with therapy, embodied movement, and sometimes even medication, there are some ways on how to fight back against depression below!

Get in a Routine

Depression can strip away the structure from your life. 

By establishing a gentle, daily schedule, it can help get you back on track and prevent the days from bleeding into one another. Even the smallest day to day routine can help break the negativity depression holds on your life.

Set Small Goals

When you are depressed, you may feel like you cannot accomplish anything. Even if it is the smallest task, depression wants you to believe you cannot do it. 

In return, this often makes individuals feel worse about themselves. 

So to get started, set daily goals for yourself. Start small and make it an easy task you can succeed at! 

  • Making the bed most mornings.
  • Doing the dishes every other day. 
  • Going to bed at the same time.

As time passes, individuals fighting depression report that they start to feel better when they can accomplish small steps. Don’t add too much to your plate, and realize that adding more challenging goals to your day can increase depression side effects

Moving Your Body

By exercising in a healthy way and moving your body in a way that doesn’t exacerbate it, the brain creates endorphins, which temporarily boost your mood. 

This can have long term benefits with people struggling with depression. 

Regular movement can help rewire your brain in a positive way. 

Even just going for a walk three times a week could be enough on how to begin fighting depression.

Emotion does follow motion! 

Eat Balanced

There is no magic diet on how to fight depression. 

However, it is a good idea to be mindful of what you eat. If your depression tends to cause you to overeat or undereat, getting in control of eating habits may help you feel better overall. 

Foods with omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, and folic acid, such as spinach and avocados, could help ease depression. Be mindful if you have allergies to some foods though! 

Get Enough Sleep

Depression can make it hard to get enough quality sleep, and too little sleep can make depression worse. 

Start by making changes to your lifestyle. 

Establish a routine so you are trying to go to bed at the same time each night and waking up at the same time each morning. Try and avoid taking a nap and remove all distractions from your bedroom. 

By taking these few steps, you may find your sleep improves over time.

Take on Small Responsibilities

When you are depressed, you may want to withdraw and give up on responsibilities at work and home. 

If full-time school or work seems like too large of a commitment, try part-time. Sometimes even the smallest accomplishment can give your mental health a boost. 

Similarly, challenge your negative thoughts! When learning how to fight depression, a lot of the work is noticing and changing how you think. The next time you are feeling terrible about yourself, try adding the opposite side of the argument to balance out. 

An example might be that someone believes no one likes them, yet there is any evidence. By thinking about why you feel this way, you may beat the negative thoughts before they spiral. Add in the reasons why people would want to be friends with you.

Do Something New

When you are depressed, getting out of bed might be a struggle. 

Yet, if you push yourself to do something new or different, it can help get you out of the rut and boost your mental health. 

It can be as simple as reading a new book or going to a museum. 

When you challenge your brain to do something different, there are chemical changes that occur in the brain. By challenging your brain, it alters the level of dopamine which is associated with pleasure and enjoyment. 

Having dinner with friends or taking an art class can challenge the negativity that depression puts on a person. If you are depressed, making time for new things, or things you used to enjoy, can help. With depression, it is common to feel as if nothing is engaging anymore. 

The most important part is to not give in and keep trying. 

It might sound strange, yet you have to work at having fun sometimes. 

Prime your mind and plan something, even if it feels like a chore. Baby steps are key when it comes to fighting depression. 

Try gradually adding to your routine and responsibilities, as a way to feel accomplished and better about yourself. Also, if none of this works, see a mental health provider as a way of fighting off your depression symptoms.  

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do.

Self Sabotage

How to Stop Self Sabotage

How to Stop Self Sabotage

 

Many individuals ask how to stop self sabotage while simultaneously setting themselves up for failure. 

Avoiding individual needs chronically over years and decades is the most common way that individuals continue to self sabotage.

Why Do People Self Sabotage?

  • It’s too hard to do something new
  • Toxicity is familiar
  • Looking for instant gratification
  • Lack of fulfillment in other areas of life
  • They feel guilty or uncomfortable with being perceived differently

Taking attachment theory and imago therapy into account, individuals are often seeking the love of a caretaker, and thus have natural attraction to people that embody these traits. If a parent was aloof, or one was incredibly clingy, an individual may end up dating someone very similarly. 

If you want your relationships to be rewarding instead of triggering, it is important to notice the attachment patterns that you are attracted to so you stop self sabotaging relationships. 

Similarly, for individuals who are bothered by this fact – of being attracted to what is familiar – it isn’t enough to just talk about noticing the pattern. The ability to identify something is not the same as changing a pattern.

Self Sabotage

A Self-Sabotage Behavior People Don’t Notice

Warning: Individuals do not learn how to stop self sabotage by discussing self sabotage. They learn when they are heard in a way that is compassionate and understanding. When others hear themselves in a mirrored way, and then they decide they want to take action.

If someone says “You know, people abandon me… it’s just what always happens,” the mirrored response is “so I think I hear you saying that you feel more often than you have been comfortable with in your life, others have not been there when you had a need for connection.” 

When someone can hear themselves in what you reflect back, sometimes they are then able to open up new ways of thinking about the situation and then be able to alter the way in which they approach situations where they perceive they’re abandoned. 

Please be mindful of people that say they are “sabotaging,” because telling others what you are doing does not mean you are holding yourself accountable. 

Best Advice on How To Stop Self Sabotage

Notice your own self sabotage behaviors. 

Use a critical eye when observing the behaviors that you often find yourself doing. Instead of focusing on others, see what is happening in your decision making. 

For example, if you are saying yes to things when you really want to say no, just because you “feel bad” or “guilty,” you are going to continue to self sabotage. 

If you continue to do what you have done, your needs will continue to not be met. 

Say YES to yourself, and sit with the discomfort of putting up new boundaries. 

Being able to manage your time is one of the most important ways in which you can stop self-sabotaging. 

Sometimes, people sabotage in a way that hurts themselves (without even trying). They don’t necessarily know a new or different way to be healthier, and that is where psychotherapy may help.

Examples include yet aren’t limited to:

  • drinking wine to deal with stress
  • smoking cigarettes because of anxiety
  • binge eating when feeling uncomfortable
  • using non-prescribed drugs to take the edge off
  • using shopping as a way to cope with feelings

Similarly, if an individual has trauma that causes them to sabotage connections or relationships due to fear, this is something that has to be worked through in individual therapy. 

If you have any questions, or would like to learn how to take your intimate life to the next level read about our Text Therapy Program. This program includes personalized sessions on YOUR terms.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

How to Deal With Loneliness

How to Deal With Loneliness

 

Many people ask how to deal with loneliness, especially during times of extreme stress and pandemics. 

Even though the number of people who experience loneliness is more than usual, we can all understand the feeling of being alone. 

Loneliness can cause emotional pain and affect people in many other ways by:

  • Affecting your physical health
  • Causing anxiety and depression
  • Leading to physical pain

 

How To Deal With Symptoms of Loneliness

Several studies support that loneliness does affect your general well-being. 

When loneliness and depression affect your emotional health, it is time to seek services. Studies show that the part of the brain that processes social exclusion is also responsible for processing physical pain. So, if you’re lonely, that part of the brain will react by causing physical pain.

Similarly, one study has shown that lonely people tend to suffer more from depression than others. They also tend to be less social and fear social interactions.

 

Signs of Loneliness

When a person is lonely, they may experience the following:

  • Mental health problems
  • Believing that no one cares about them
  • Withdrawing from those they care about
  • Reporting suicidal thoughts

Loneliness is a common issue right now, and many lonely people are looking for ways to connect to you and others online. 

 

How to Deal with Loneliness

1. Radical Acceptance that loneliness is a part of a pandemic

Accepting that loneliness is normal, and many people experience it. It doesn’t make it easier to deal with loneliness, yet it makes you normalize the experience instead of thinking you’re odd. 

About 40% of people admit to experiencing loneliness at some point in their lives. Similarly, anyone can experience loneliness, regardless of their social class, marital status, financial situation, or social cycle. You may even know a person with lots of friends and family, yet they still say they’re lonely. Honestly, loneliness is subjective so it’s important to remember you’re not the only lonely person in the world.

 

2. Join a Group

Joining any class or online group will help you meet people. Instead of avoiding, it’s important to lean into conversations with those whom you share common interests. 

It actually may help you develop a sense of belonging, thus improving your creativity and ability to innovate. 

 

3. Volunteer

You can also volunteer to be part of a cause you believe in. There are animal shelters and soup kitchens in Connecticut that are looking. That means other states and countries may have this opportunity too! By doing this, you can get satisfaction to live a healthy lifestyle.

For those who have never done it, offering a hand to those who need it does provide a sense of gratitude within you for contributing. 

 

4. Be Mindful Of Your Thoughts

Remember, loneliness can be a state of mind. Spending time alone is not a problem, yet if you drift into loneliness, it may become one. 

Be mindful of your thoughts when you’re alone and remind yourself that you’re more clever than what your inner critic may say. 

 

5. Practice self-kindness

When you’re feeling lonely and depressed due to challenges, practice self-love. Take care of yourself by taking a walk, having fun, dancing, moving your body in a way that feels joyous, or something else! 

 

6. Pay attention to what makes you lonely

If you do not pay attention, you may not discover the reason for your loneliness. Identify times of day that are more lonely and notice what leads to those moments. 

So, how you deal with loneliness is the opposite action! Find connection, support, and friendship from those online, and share any information in a journal so you feel like you can go through some of your thoughts. 

 

7. Strengthen Existing Relationships

Try to strengthen your relationship by calling or texting others more often and asking if you could send each other voice or video messages. 

 

If none of these work in dealing with loneliness, see a therapist

If you don’t get fulfillment from engaging in activities like your hobbies, you may decide to seek psychotherapy. Sometimes, overcoming loneliness doesn’t just happen; you need to put in the effort to make it work. 

If you find it challenging to overcome loneliness and depression after trying out the tips above, you may want to consider seeking advice from a psychotherapist. 

You can also seek the help of an online therapist, and they’ll be more than happy to help you out. 

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

 

PTSD test

What To Do With Your Results After Taking a PTSD Test

What To Do With Your Results After Taking a PTSD Test

 

Have you taken a PTSD test and been surprised by the results? 

 

Unfortunately, many things could lead to symptoms of PTSD, and you will come up as mild to severe scoring on a PTSD test. 

 

You may have said YES on a PTSD Test to having:

  • Flashbacks
  • Night terrors
  • Hot flashes
  • Intrusive thoughts

 

It is important to note that a PTSD test online is just the beginning of a PTSD diagnosis though. PTSD testing has to be done by a psychotherapist and someone who specializes in trauma. 

 

A diagnosis of PTSD can help you access more of what you need. In the end, though, these PTSD test results are not therapeutic themselves. The healing begins now!

 

Seek a PTSD Therapist

 

Part of what therapists do is help clients process through various events that may have occurred in their life. Trauma focused therapies do not simply just ask you to “talk” about your trauma.

 

There are a variety of PTSD treatments proven to help individuals heal from their symptoms. 

 

Ensuring you have a licensed professional who understands the complexity of the mind, the family you grew up in, and someone who is culturally competent is important for healing. 

 

Many don’t realize that trauma informed care does not mean just talking; rather, it means feeling it to heal it! 

 

There are a variety of PTSD treatments that have helped people heal from trauma. Many clinicians at our practice have specific training in working with trauma. Although it may feel overwhelming or hopeless, you don’t want to feel this way anymore.

 

PTSD Test Results Unusual? 

 

Many of us think that we are “ok,” when things like loss have a huge impact. Think about times where you had to let go of a friend, family member, a lover and you didn’t want to… yet knew you had to. 

 

When these moments happen, our body has an emotional embodiment hangover. Many clients will tell us about experiences such as breakups or infidelity, being given up for adoption, moving out of their caretakers home before they were 18, being made fun of at school, etc. 

 

At various times, most individuals have an experience of feeling left out and not chosen. If you feel a sense of hurt on the inside, it may be echoes of past trauma. 

 

Similarly, all of us would probably get positive results on a PTSD test after the entire globe is currently undergoing collective trauma with COVID-19.

 

Remind yourselves that EVERY relationship and relationship style has the potential to be super stressful, and right now, no matter who is living with you, the trauma responses are likely to be more intense than usual. 

 

Similarly, as individuals are stressed, it is a time to be mindful of what we expose ourselves to. 

 

Too many negative posts or blogs without positive outcomes could bring more feelings of trauma. 

 

The entire world is much more stressed out than normal, so try to give yourself compassion and patience. 

 

Give yourselves and your partner(s) some grace and extra acceptance right now. Even healthy happy relationships are struggling right now.  

 

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 
Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do.
Therapy Cat

Is it Time to Get a Therapy Cat? Emotional Support and Fur!

Is it Time to Get a Therapy Cat? Emotional Support and Fur!

 

Therapy Cat

Many people require multiple types of strategies to soothe their soul, and a therapy cat or therapy animals are no different. 

Think of it as assistance for a basic need to help the owner feel connected in a way that helps them in their life, such as with completing daily tasks 

Some people cannot live independently without the services of people and specially service pets. 

Others can simply benefit from a visit with an animal that provides them with a sense of calm and relaxation. Therapy animals provide a special service to people that humans cannot quite understand.

Not to be confused with a service dog or an emotional support pet, a therapy cat or therapy animals are socialized and trained to provide comfort and affection to people in various stressful environments. 

Therapy animals, and specifically a therapy cat, are most commonly seen in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and disaster areas.

When I worked at the Sandy Hook shooting, there were many therapy animals there – classified as one of three types:

  • therapeutic visitation animals
  • animal assisted therapy animals
  • facility therapy animals
The most common type is a therapeutic visitation animal.

These are the pets that get brought to a facility to spend time with a person who might be missing their own pet. Bringing a therapy cat or dog to a Nursing home can spread cheer to all get a visit from the lovely therapy cat or pet. 

Although most pets who visit these facilities end up going back home with their owners each night.

I know people, even some of those on our staff, who have had family go through cancer and major surgery to remove a tumor that could have killed them. During the recovery time, two therapy cats took to snuggling a staff member’s family more during those recovery weeks. 

Similarly, their family therapy dog may also have their fair share of keeping them comfortable and in good spirits. Therapy animals and family pets help manage throughout difficult processes. 

When someone is going through chemotherapy, therapy cats and therapy dogs seem to know. And they all find a spot near the one who needs them. 

I genuinely believe that therapy animals, can help keep adults positive, boost their moods, and provide loving pressure when closeby. 

Sometimes, it is easy to grow into depression during times like coronavirus and the winter. 

Instead of diving into a further depression, it is nice to reframe the typical doom and gloom of the short days.

If you are healthy enough to caretake another, it is an amazing surprise to have a pet that is smart, healthy, and trained so that they emotionally attend to their owners.

Visit https://dollfacepersiankittens.com/
Therapy Cat

Romeo

Therapy Cat

Snowbelle

Let me share a story about a recent time… it was coronavirus and depression has set in. Being kept away from those that we care about for this long can take a toll on anyone. I realized it was time to propose a therapy cat or two of my own.

When my purebred babies were finally able to come home, 1/31/2021, it was like a light lit up in my heart again. A part I forgot was in there. 

Although the process of having cats, and to train them as therapy cats, is not easy, it is encouraging to know that in all the highs and lows I will go through. That the therapy cats will be there for me.

Once they are trained and we are out of quarantine, I will have the option of having them in the therapeutic room.

Through the lonely nights and days, therapy cats will be there. So will a therapy dog, or small hore. Even if you do not have a trained therapy animal, simply having a pet who loves you day in and day out, and is ALWAYS happy to see you, is the most magical thing in life. 

Also, no matter how bad my day was or is, my therapy cat is there to help cheer me up. Even though winter depression, they can curl up next to me, purr, and everything seems to be better.

To have an animal who is trained and able to help is a blessing. 

If you cannot take your therapy cat or pet out with you in public, because they are not a service animal. Do not worry. 

There are certain benefits to having an emotional support pet and a therapy cat or animal. That is not the same as having a trained service animal. For those who have trained service animals, that animal is just for them. It is not for those around them to be comforted by. 

So please know if you see a therapy dog or “service animal” sign, leave that animal alone. They are not a pet, and they are working. 

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do.

Do I have PTSD?

Do I Have PTSD? Behind the Scenes with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 

Do I Have PTSD? Behind the Scenes with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 

 

If you’ve experienced a traumatic event, or witnessed multiple trauma, you may ask yourself “do I have PTSD?” on the regular. 

 

If you feel you aren’t sleeping, having flashbacks, intrusive thoughts about trauma, and / or you wonder “do I have PTSD?” more than once a week, it would be good to see a therapist. 

 

Many people who have PTSD have had to deal with life-threatening situations like accidents, war, natural disaster, assault, sexual coercion, and / or any other event that gets stuck in the body triggers and responses. 

 

Generally, the fear and shock that comes with experiencing any of these events does fade over time. However, when you have PTSD, it gets replaced by constant flashbacks, shock, and fear… to name a few symptoms.

Do I have PTSD?

 

How to Answer “Do I have PTSD?” 

 

You can tell if you have PTSD when you notice the following:

  • You must have had a serious injury, sexual violence, near-death experience, been threatened with death, or experience rape. It could be a first-hand experience, or you might have witnessed a friend or family member go through such an experience.
  • You’re experiencing trauma in the form of nightmares, emotional distress, flashbacks, and other thoughts or symptoms that show when you’re thinking about the event.
  • You try as much as you can to avoid situations, thoughts, or feelings that will make you remember the trauma. For instance, if the event happened in a particular place, you try to avoid going to such a place.
  • You start having frequent negative thoughts or feelings that get worse by the day. You can not remember how the whole event unfolded, and you blame others or even yourself for the trauma even when you’re not at fault. Your favorite activities no longer interest you, and you feel lonely and alone.
  • Find it hard to see positivity in situations.
  • You become unreasonably angry and very irritable. You also engage in dangerous activities just to harm yourself or even have suicidal thoughts. Cannot enjoy sleeping like before, and staying focused becomes a problem. 

 

Treatment for Symptoms of PTSD

 

Psychology therapies and medication are the common treatments for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. 

 

These methods are used because they help you come to terms with your feelings and seek professional help. There’s a treatment for PTSD regardless of how long you’ve been suffering from it so it’s not too late!

 

Before a professional recommends any type of treatment for PTSD, you will have to go through the assessment and watchful waiting process.

 

  • Assessment: Your doctor or a mental health professional will carry out a thorough assessment of your symptoms and the right treatment will be recommended. After that, you will meet a mental specialist for more assessment and treatments if your symptoms are severe or you’ve been experiencing it for over four weeks.
  • Watchful waiting: Your psychiatrist or APRN may recommend watchful waiting if you’ve only been experiencing the symptoms in less than four weeks. The process involves careful monitoring of your symptoms to know if it will improve or become worse. You will likely then be asked to do a follow-up appointment within 90 days. 

 

Psychological Therapies

 

If your PTSD will require treatment, the first treatment that your doctor or professional will recommend is the psychological therapies. If it’s a severe or persistent case of PTSD, a medication will be recommended alongside the psychological therapies.

Do I have PTSD?

 

Three types of psychological therapies used in treating people with PTSD include:

 

  • Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
    • It helps you deal with PTSD by helping you to change your thinking and how you act. 
    • For example, your therapist can help you face your fear and change what you think about what happened. You might have been blaming yourself for something that wasn’t your fault, and your therapist will help you see that.
    • Your therapist will also encourage you to start doing the things you’ve avoided since you had the traumatic experience. 
    • For instance, driving (if you’ve had a car accident), or other things you’ve avoided depending on your experience. The general period for Tf-CBT may be between 12 weeks or more. 
    • Each session usually lasts for 53-60 minutes.

 

  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
    • This is a new treatment for PTSD that involves tracing your therapists’ finger by making side to side eye movement while remembering the traumatic incident. Also, therapists use theratappers, the light bar, or butterfly hugs and taps to get through. 
    • This method has been proven to reduce PTSD symptoms. It is a long and methodical process with amazing outcomes. Seek an https://www.emdria.org/ specialist today. 

 

  • Group Therapy for PTSD
    • Group therapy has shown to be helpful as people can easily speak about their experiences with other people regarding their PTSD symptoms. 
    • It can help you understand your condition better and find ways of managing it. 
    • Many charity organizations provide counseling and support to people with PTSD

 

If You Answered Yes to “Do I have PTSD?” Consider Medication 

 

Medications are recommended in severe cases or when psychology therapies seem not to work.

  • You can choose medication if you do not want to undergo the psychological therapies or if it hasn’t been effective.
  • If you also have an underlying condition like depression, you may not get the needed results from psychological treatment.
  • Medication is usually used for a minimum of one year before it will be gradually withdrawn. 
  • Your doctor will inform you of the possible side effects of taking any medication, and they’ll let you know if you have to continue or stop it at a point if the symptoms reduce or when there’s no improvement.

 

Why Treating PTSD is Important

 

Many people that leave PTSD untreated do so because of many reasons:

  • They may not be aware that they have the condition.
  • They may feel it’s a temporary feeling that will wear off with time.
  • They may be scared of undergoing the treatment due to the fear of their traumatic experience.
  • They may fear being labeled with a “mental health diagnosis” 

 

PTSD affects people of all ages, including in vitro babies whose parents are under constant emotional stress during pregnancy.

 

PTSD can have devastating effects on those who have it and the people around them. 

 

It affects the relationship with your friends, family, and people around you. If you have asked yourself “do I have PTSD?” chances are that you can seek an intake appointment with a therapist. 

 

Don’t suffer any longer, as PTSD can also lead to severe emotional problems and health issues that may arise over time. Seek assistance today. 

 

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

 

Winter Depression

Winter Depression During a Pandemic

Winter Depression During a Pandemic

 

For some people, winter weather seems like a magical scene out of a movie. Yet for others winter depression is a hard reality of the chilly season. 

 

When choosing where to settle down in life and deciding what place to call home, many factors come into play when picking a location.

 

For some living in an area of the country where it gets darker earlier in the day and the slushy, gloomy days seem to last forever is not ideal.  

 

Some though want to be able to experience all four seasons throughout the year, and winter depression comes with the regions.

 

Winter depression is also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is how one is affected by light or lack thereof. 

 

Many studies have shown that people with seasonal affective disorder feel better after exposure to bright light. 

 

It seems simple enough: in higher latitudes, winter days are shorter, so you get less exposure to sunlight. Replace lost sunlight with bright artificial light, and your mood improves. 

 

Yet it’s actually far more complex. It’s not only a matter of getting light; it is about the right time too. The most important time to get light is in the morning, supposedly. 

Winter Depression

Some symptoms of Winter Depression but are not limited to:

  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Hopelessness
  • Social Withdrawal 

 

While some days seem better being that the sun is shining, the chilly fatigue can set in at any point in the day. Sometimes being awake for a short period of time is a struggle and your body just wants to rest. 

 

For some individuals with autoimmune diseases fatigue only seems to intensify during the winter months. Rheumatoid Arthritis is just one example where the winter months seem to cause more pain and fatigue for the clients that we serve. 

 

The more pain you feel the more fatigue you get being your body is over working to get through the day. When one bad day precedes the next, it might feel like a vicious cycle to get ahead of the tiredness and starting each day more tired than the next gets old.

 

Depression is something which can affect an individual throughout the year, regardless of the season. Many report that it intensifies to a winter depression in the colder months. Sunlight can do a world of wonders to the human body. The gloomy weather can affect a person’s mood from day to day. 

 

One might be more active one day due to the sun being out, and the next cloudy day could cause an individual to withdraw from wanting to do anything other than stay in bed. Hopelessness plays into depression, and one can lose faith things will get better. 

 

Seasonal Depression

Personally, it seems the colder the temperature gets and the earlier in the day the sun sets, some of my high motivation can get lost. I might have great plans to accomplish something after work. Yet by the time I get home, I may lose my excess energy. 

 

I am tender with myself, and I do not crawl into bed before 8pm, no matter how tired. Also I will not stay in bed past 11am ever. Sometimes, this can be a vicious cycle of going to bed early and waking up late. 

 

Social withdrawal is another battle in itself during the winter let alone during a pandemic. 

 

We have been cooped up for months on end and when we eventually go out for a night, we just want to retreat to the house. Sometimes, we do not want to deal with the conversations of people we meet or just not feeling up to socializing. 

 

Most nights even maintaining relationships via phone or texting can seem to be a struggle, especially while in a winter depression episode. 

 

Even though there are plenty of hours in a day to reach out, it seems like it is a huge burden or like climbing a mountain some nights to pick up the phone and check in on someone.

 

One thing that I have learned is that winter depression does not affect everyone the same. 

 

Some have mild cases where they can still carry on with day-to-day activities, where others need to seek extra therapy. There is no right or wrong answer to how to cope with winter depression. 

 

I prefer to give myself one day to relax or simply “do nothing” for others. Whether I read a book, spend all day in bed on a Sunday, or decide to order take in on a weeknight, self-care is important to stay healthy. 

winter depression

 

What methods do you prefer: 

  • Running? 
  • Going for a walk? 
  • Seeing your favorite therapist weekly? 
  • Doing a puzzle?
  • Moving your body?

 

Winter can be beautiful in many aspects. Just make sure that you seek help if your winter depression consumes you. If you feel it is too much, remember you are not alone.  

 

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

 

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do.

What is Seasonal Depression?

What is Seasonal Depression?

 

Seasonal depression, officially known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, is a kind of depression that happens when the seasons change. Usually, this happens during fall or winter and tends to be the same time of year consistently for each patient.

Seasonal depression can make it difficult to complete work, take exams, or feel like you are living your life with energy and purpose.

 

Symptoms

It is important to note that a lot of the symptoms for seasonal depression are similar to the symptoms of depression in general, with a distinctive difference: the depressive episode appears and disappears around the same time each year. Major depression’s symptoms will not appear and disappear according to a seasonal schedule or seasonal factors, though it may be amplified due to certain seasonal factors at times.

The symptoms for seasonal depression can include:

  •   Feeling sad, despairing for a period of more than two weeks
  •   Impedes your ability to function properly at work, school or in relationships
  •   Losing/gaining weight
  •   Insomnia/irregular sleep
  •   Low self esteem
  •   Fatigue
  •   Pessimism
  •   Irritability
  •   Hopelessness
  •   Feeling slowed down
  •   Feeling agitated
  •   Memory problems
  •   Difficulty Concentrating
  •   Crying without concrete reason (or feeling like you want to but can’t)
  •   Excessive guilt
  •   Loss of interest in work, hobbies
  •   Loss of libido
  •   Hallucinations or strange ideas (delusions)

If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide or self harm, it is important to find help right away. Either go to the hospital or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273- TALK(8255).

You may find that you experience a handful of these symptoms on occasion: this is normal! We all feel sad, uncertain and exhausted at times. What makes these symptoms a sign of seasonal depression is when it is ongoing for two or more weeks and seems to appear the same time of year or with the changing of the seasons.

 

Who Can Get Seasonal Depression?

Anyone can get seasonal depression, regardless of gender, race or social class, however some factors may increase your risk of seasonal depression.

Risk factors include:

  •   Being female/AFAB. Women are far more likely to be diagnosed with seasonal depression, though it is unclear if this is due to biological factors, social factors or both.
  •   Seasonal depression is more common amongst people who live either far north or far south of the equator, where the seasonal changes are most drastic.
  •   The younger you are, the more at risk you are for seasonal depression. Thankfully, the risk decreases with age.
  •   A family history of seasonal depression may increase your chances of experiencing seasonal depression yourself.

 

What Causes Seasonal Depression?

There is still some mystery surrounding depression in general as well as seasonal depression. Some prevailing theories believe that seasonal depression is triggered by the changes in daylight that occur with the changing of the seasons, particularly in the fall and winter when daylight hours are significantly reduced.

The thought is that the amount of daylight affects your biological clock, your circadian rhythm, and therefore disrupts your sleeping and waking patterns. It is also possible that the change in light affects your neurotransmitter functions.

Neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin are chemical signals that send messages from a nerve cell to a target cell to accomplish specific functions. For example, serotonin regulates functions like sleep, learning, appetite, and mood and may play a part in depression. This is of course a simplification for the purposes of this article, just know that certain neurological functions can be deeply affected by either too much or too little of specific neurotransmitters.

While we may not fully understand what causes seasonal depression (yet!), there are many treatments available with the help of a therapist, self care and perhaps even medication.

 

How Your Therapist Can Help

A therapist can help you find ways to cope with your seasonal depression by giving you techniques and tricks to break negative thought patterns, identify issues and learn to cope with your symptoms. Many find that talk therapy can help them eliminate symptoms altogether.  

Booking an appointment with a therapist is a great way to start your journey to feeling better. You don’t need to suffer alone or feel like your problem is unimportant, there is always something that can be done and your therapist can help you create an action plan.

If your symptoms are debilitating and severe, a psychiatrist can determine if medication is a good way to treat your seasonal depression.

 

What You Can Do

In addition to talking with a therapist, there are some things you can do that may help ease your symptoms.

  •   Light therapy. There are many lamps on the market that are created to help people with seasonal depression get more light exposure. It mimics daylight, and typically you use the light for 30 minutes to a couple hours during the day. Many people find this relieves their symptoms or improves their quality of life.
  •   Exercise can be a great way to increase circulation, get a boost of energy and get more light exposure if you choose to exercise outdoors.
  •   Meditation. Simple mind meditations can help you identify your feelings and better cope with the ebb and flow of emotions that can feel debilitating at times. Learning to acknowledge feelings without feeling victim to them can help with depression and anxiety.
  •   Try to cover the basics and celebrate small victories. Do whatever you can to ensure you have meals, maintain hygiene, and get to bed at a decent time. Covering your basic needs is a huge accomplishment when you are suffering from seasonal depression. So, be kind to yourself and celebrate small victories. Honestly, a therapist can help you create an action plan if needed.

It is also important (and easier said than done) to try and maintain some sort of social connection. This can be done by a simple phone call, texting, or a video chat if you can’t or don’t feel like leaving home.

Seasonal depression is nothing to be ashamed of, especially if you are in one of the high risk groups mentioned above. Book an appointment with a therapist to increase your quality of life during the cold, dreary months.

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do

Conflict and COVID-19 – The Bubble System

Conflict and covid-19 seem to go hand-in-hand in our mental health practice.

Something that is a pattern is the conflict surrounding people’s COVID-19 “bubbles” (and how to manage those boundaries). Many a session, I have spent speaking with couple’s, families, and individuals about negotiating boundaries around COVID-19 and how to do so appropriately.

The biggest challenge has seemed to be various people’s understanding of what is okay and what is not okay around COVID safety. As well as people’s understanding of what being in “their bubble” means.

As we are aware people have different standards surrounding what feels safe with COVID. Some people prefer masks 100% of the time, some people are okay without masks if people are socially distant, some people will interact with others not in their households without masks, and some do not wish to interact with any outside of their household unless it is utilizing technology.

Many have begun to utilize this idea of “the bubble” which includes people that you may have less restrictions with while you are around one another. This can include people outside someone’s household, feeling okay being inside their home, and wearing or not wearing a mask.

“The Bubble” 

The biggest issue is the bubble and consent. This is when people who share a bubble are feeling unclear or have different expectations of what is okay for them within their bubbles. This can look like one piece of the bubble believing that another is taking unnecessary risks or not providing adequate communication surrounding the decisions they are making.

As a result of these decisions parts of the bubble are in conflict because there is a disagreement between the levels of risk they are engaging in and therefore creating that much risk for the “bubble system.”

Because COVID is so easily transmitted, the actions you take pose a risk to others around you who you may have less restrictions with. This can be particularly challenging for people who are at higher risk from dying from COVID or around those who have a higher chance of dying from COVID.

In therapy, we have spent many conversations discussing consent, communication,  and boundaries.

How to Navigate This

This issue really comes down to communication and consent. If you are choosing to be in someone’s bubble you have to be able to agree on what is reasonable and feasible for your group.

If you are not willing to engage in the rules or disregard them, it takes trust out of the “bubble system”. This may mean that you have to create a different bubble or be willing to engage in communication with those for you to be able to come to agreements.

In relationships, trust and respect are vital to the success of the relationship. If you find yourself being dishonest, omitting, or not able to have conversations with one another… THIS IS A PROBLEM.

Breaking consent or boundaries in a relationship is also problematic! If you are doing something without the knowledge of someone else and creating a higher level of risk for them without their knowledge… that is a consent issue… and that is a pretty big deal.

I have had many clients talk about it “not being a big deal” and invalidating one another’s experiences.. Also not helpful! In these sessions, if we are not able to have the conversations and people are not willing to change boundaries or behaviors, I recommend dis-engtangling their bubble.

The most important thing is to keep everyone safe, healthy, and happy. We need to respect that we all may have differences as to how that may look and if it is so different than we are no longer comfortable… then we make different decisions around how to move forward.

If you do not think it is a big deal, that is your prerogative. HOWEVER, your actions have an impact on those around you… so it’s important to be mindful that no one can control you.

Yet others have the right to set boundaries as they see fit around their comfort. And if you do not like it, you may consider shifting your behaviors. Yet, if you are unwilling to do that, then you have to come towards a radical acceptance of this current outcome for the time being.

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists!

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems.

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs.

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do.

Grief and COVID

Grief During Quarantining and COVID

Grief During Quarantining and COVID

 

During the last 10 months something that has been clearer in my clinical practice is grief and the intersection of COVID-19.  During this pandemic there are varying levels of grief that my clients are experiencing as a result of COVID-19. 

 

What is Grief?

Grief is the experience of loss, usually associated with death. But we can experience it in a variety of different ways. Grief is typically experienced as high levels of emotional suffering and struggle. Following a loss (extreme sadness, depression, anxiety, fear, guilt, etc.).

Although, less talked about grief also comes with physical symptoms such as sleep difficulties, eating difficulties, changing in weight, fatigue, nauseous, aches and pains.

There are a variety of different processes of grief. One of the most well known is Kubler-Ross’ 5 stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance).

Although a foundational in the concept of grieving, it does not necessarily mean that it is a step by step process (as described) or that everyone will engage in every stage. Also, these 5 stages were identified after researching the Holocaust (a genocide). 

 

Types of Grief

Grief is not a one size fits all way to grief or one type of grief. Below are a list of different types of grief that people can experience: 

  • Anticipatory grief 
  • Complicated grief
  • Traumatic grief
  • Ambiguous loss
  • Delayed grief
  • Secondary Loss

There may be several various types of grief, these are the ones I see most clearly in my practice. 

 

Grief and COVID

Frief is a complicated and broad topic. The amount of grief experienced collectively in our families, communities, country, and world is unique as a result of this pandemic. 

COVID-19 has struck our world in massive proportions resulting in high levels of loss be it human life, jobs, access to friends and family, change in cultural norms, etc. 

 

Death

Obviously, the death of people as a result of contracting COVID-19 is a horrendous experience for anyone and would be considered “traumatic grief.” 

Many of my clients who have experienced the loss of someone to COVID-19 have had a difficult time. Many of my clients were not able to be with their loved one when they were hospitalized and then died. They were not able to hold celebrations or services for their loved ones. They were not able to access the support of others because of quarantine. Being isolated and not able to be with the loved one has been extremely difficult. 

If the death was of a person who was not someone you are close to, you may be experiencing “secondary” or “vicarious” grief which is the loss of someone you knew. But may not have as significant daily impact. Although it might not have been your spouse, your parent, your child, OR your best friend, does not minimize the grief you may be experiencing. 

 

Life in Quarantine

Life in Quarantine has created its own version of loss for our communities. People are social creatures and require connection so being in quarantine for as long as we have is not something healthy for us. Life in Quarantine has resulted in social isolation and connection via technology. People’s worlds have been turned upside down and have created high levels of struggle for many. 

As a therapist, I am seeing higher levels of depression, trauma, and anxiety across the board. Clients are finding it hard to manage their symptoms because their is a lack of resources and connection. Isolation has become easier, self care has become more difficulty, and conflict is on the rise. People are stuck in the same environment 24/7. 

People are needing to do everything from one space and as the weather gets colder. Options dwindle for being able to engage in some level of safe connection with others outside their household.

This dramatic change in the way we live our day to day lives is causing grief, a loss for life pre-covid. 

 

Loss of Job and Resources

Businesses are struggling or shutting down. Thousands of people are losing their jobs. Resources are becoming more expensive as a way for some businesses to stay afloat. More and more continues to changes as COVID continues to be a predominant issue in our life. 

The above stated losses are hard enough, add in the loss of jobs people have been experiencing, loss of financial stability and resources. And the ability to feel certainty is creating high levels of grief and stress culturally. 

 

How do we Cope with Grief

On a variety of levels we are all struggling with grief right now. The best that we can do is try to facilitate support, connection, validation, love.

Ask for help or offering help to those we love and our communities. Noticing the privileges we have and areas that we can help those around us and our communities can be an important part of collective healing. Make no mistake, COVID-19 is a global trauma and in order to heal and survive this we need to work together to collectively grief, support, and heal. 

If you have any questions, or for clients hoping to take their intimate lives to the next level through personalized sessions on YOUR terms, learn more about our Text Therapy Program.

Life Coaching and Therapy (LCAT) is a relationship coaching and sex therapy practice that transforms our clients lives through our flexible, multi-technique approach and pleasure-skills training provided by systemically-trained and licensed therapists! 

Our team of compassionate, licensed therapists and certified sex therapists help Millennials and Baby Boomers alike who visit us for a variety of relationship, intimacy and sex problems. 

LCAT provides on-site appointments, as well as video chat and text therapy programs. 

Learn more about how LCAT can help improve your life at What We Do.