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Who gets Depression? What does it look like? How will I know?

what is depression

What is depression?

I love this video created by the Canadian Family Law Firm of Neinstien & Associates.  They published this video to show their support for the annual Let’s Talk Day.  This event helps bring the topic of mental health and depression to the forefront in an attempt to break the stigma of suffering from a mental disorder.

Quotes from the participants in the video include:

I am a mother, a father, a student.  I am loving, smart, generous.  I am alone, in a room full of people.  I want to feel anything, I can’t stand to feel anything, I want the pain to go away.  Depression is not a mood, depression is not a bad day, depression is a disease.  It feels like I am underwater, I need help.  Please don’t judge me, don’t give up on me.

Take a few minutes to watch and see what you think.  Please spread the word.

Holly Scott, MBA, MS, LPC sees clients at Uptown Dallas Counseling. Holly is trained in the specialty of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and holds the position of Diplomate in the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Holly works with clients to help them overcome challenges in their daily lives that may be preventing them from achieving happiness. She helps clients with stress management, depression, parenting, marriage counseling, and other mental health concerns. If you are looking for a counselor or therapist, explore this website to see if Holly may be able to help you. 

To make an appointment for therapy or counseling with Holly at her Uptown Dallas Counseling, you have the option of using the Online Patient Portal to register and schedule. 

Ideas for Healthy Parenting: Emotional Boundaries

Mari Levy, MA, MFTi, writes in the goodtherapy.org blog on setting healthy emotional boundaries with your children.

parenting

She states:

healthy parenting means you love and accept them for who they are, set reasonable expectations and consequences for unacceptable behavior, and in other ways provide a “stable bow” from which your child (the arrow) flies. Accepting your child as a whole, unique person with his or her own path to follow is part of the bittersweet job of parenthood.
 
Ms. Levy gives additional reasonable, proactive advice for parents in her article.  The full blog post is here.

Holly Scott, MBA, MS, LPC sees clients at Uptown Dallas Counseling. Holly is trained in the specialty of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and holds the position of Diplomate in the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Holly works with clients to help them overcome challenges in their daily lives that may be preventing them from achieving happiness. She helps clients with stress management, depression, parenting, marriage counseling, and other mental health concerns. If you are looking for a counselor or therapist, explore this website to see if Holly may be able to help you. 

To make an appointment for therapy or counseling with Holly at her Uptown Dallas Counseling, you have the option of using the Online Patient Portal to register and schedule. 

Suicide Awareness Program.

Active Minds, an organization dedicated to spreading suicide awareness on college campuses, kicked off its tour of Send Silence Packing on September 10, 2013.  The tour is an exhibit of 1100 backpacks that represent the 1100 college students who die by suicide every year.  More details of the tour can be found here.

Are you in crisis? Please call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 
at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

suicide awareness

Active Minds traveling suicide awareness program of 1,100 backpacks representing the 1,100 college student lives lost to suicide each year is taking a heading to California. The tour is kicked off on September 10, World Suicide Prevention Day, at Riverside City College in Riverside, CA.

 
Suicide is one of the most frightening possible outcomes of mental illness. If you or someone you know needs help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) immediately. This is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a 24-hour service available to anyone in need of help. Never ignore or underestimate remarks about suicide. Take them seriously, and make certain that the person in crisis is cared for. And if you think your friend is in immediate danger, do not leave him or her alone—stay there and call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Additional Information from Active Minds:
An extensive list of web resources can be found here:  http://www.activeminds.org/issues-a-resources/mental-health-resources

How an Addict make Choices

addicts

John Tienery reports today in the New York Times on the research of a professor of psychology at Columbia University.  Dr. Carl Hart’s experiments demonstrate an addict is able to make rational choices when given the opportunity to choose between a dose of the drug or cash rewards.  As the amount of the cash reward increases, and the amount of the drug offered decreases, the addict chooses the cash reward.

His findings represent a significant shift from the thinking that addicts will continue to choose more and more of their drug of choice no matter the consequences or other opportunities.  Dr. Hart suggests addicts can stop using drugs when offered more appealing alternatives.  He writes about the effect of drug addiction on his life and his scientific research findings in his book, High Price.

Mr. Tienery’s full article is Here

 

College and Mental Health

Adolescents-2The Jed Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that promotes emotional health among college students.  The foundation’s Medical Director, Dr. Victor Schwartz, states “of the 20 million students in post-secondary education in the United States, 20 percent have received counseling or some type of mental health diagnosis.”

Many colleges and universities are reviewing and updating their comprehensive mental health and suicide prevention programs.  In an article based on an interview with Dr. Schwartz, Matthew Lynch, Ed. D. summarizes the Jed Foundation’s recommendations for schools to strengthen their mental health support systems.  The foundation recommends:

  • Engaging in campus-wide strategic planning to identify specific issues related to mental health and substance abuse and develop action plans to address them
  • Training new faculty, students and staff to identify at-risk students and refer them to appropriate counseling services
  • Advocating for mental health as a campus-wide issue
  • Creating a task force to promote mental health
  • Increasing programs to identify and support incoming at-risk students
  • Engaging in environmental safety scans of a campus to locate potential sources of danger
  • Building student affairs programs that enhance life skills and student connectedness
If you have a college student, I encourage you to explore the school’s mental health program.  Increasing awareness of resources available to students is key to their success.
  Dr. Lynch’s entire article appears in his HuffingtonPost blog here.

New School Year: Easy Exercises for School Counselors

The Center for Greater Good at Berkeley has found that creating a Positive School Climate is so important because it:

smile

decreases absenteeism, suspensions, substance abuse, and bullying, and increases students’ academic achievement, motivation to learn, and psychological well-being. It can even mitigate the negative effects of self-criticism and socioeconomic status on academic success. In addition, working in this kind of climate lessens teacher burnout while increasing retention. All really good stuff!”

While meeting their criteria for having a Positive School Climate can be challenging, small steps can be made relatively easily.  School counselors may want to consider the Behind Your Back exercise with student groups, faculty groups, and maybe even parents.

Here’s to happy, healthy, students, teachers, and administrators in the coming academic year!

Back to School Means Study Time

Are you or someone you know returning to school this week?  Here is a nice summary of efficient study skills from Scientific American.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=psychologists-identify-best-ways-to-study

studying

Great Resource in Dallas

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has a Dallas Chapter.  This wonderful group of volunteers provides great services to those in the Dallas area affected by mental illness.  One of the most important things they do is facilitate and guide SUPPORT GROUPS.

If you are looking for a SUPPORT GROUP, here’s a link to their monthly newsletter:

couple

http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1101971778974-178/September+2013.pdf

You will find a list of SUPPORT GROUPS and other information about NAMI-Dallas.

 

Happiness and Belonging

happiness

How Do We Find Happiness?


Dallas author and psychotherapist, Pamela Milam, writes about finding happiness on the website www.RewireMe.com.  In her article, I love the way Pamela describes her thinking as a young adult in the line:

“I just went with the societal flow without examining how I really felt or what I really wanted.”

As a psychotherapist, I regularly treat clients who are struggling with life choices and decisions of all kinds (financial, career, family) that were made based on societal flow. They describe themselves as very successful and “having it all”, and state they cannot understand their overwhelming feelings of emptiness or sadness. During the therapy process, they often find relief by allowing themselves to explore what they really want and separating individual wants from societal influences. They are able to find joy by making changes in their lives to honor their true feelings.

Can you find a way to allow yourself to explore what you really want, change your thinking, and create happiness?

FEELING STRESSED OUT???

anxiety-adolescent

A recently-published study on the effects of altruism led by Michael J. Poulin of the University of Buffalo, followed 846 people over five years. The participants were all dealing with some level of stress in their lives.  The researchers tracked the amount of time these people spent helping others.  Dr Poulin summarizes the results of the study as, “we found that when dealing with stressful situations, those who had helped others during the previous year were less likely to die than those who had not helped others.”  For non-helpers, though, each stressful event increased the chance of dying over the next five years by 30 percent.

Wow.  Helping out others can significantly decrease your chance of dying!  Researchers do not yet understand why this relationship exists and continue to study possible causes.  They think the effect may come from the same biological mechanisms that drive parents to care for their children—such as the neurohormone oxytocin—which Dr. Poulin states, “can reduce certain physical responses to stress.” 

In the meantime, when you are feeling stressed, think about helping a friend, relative, or neighbor.  The act will distract your mind from the stressful situation, but also may help you live longer!

A more detailed review of the research study and a link to the study can be found in an article from The Greater Good.