Tag: depression

A Therapist's Advice for Your Break Up, Separation, or Divorce

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By:  Alexis Pardo, LCSW

Separation is a time that can feel like someone dropped us off in the middle of the ocean and said “swim to shore!” And then we think: Where the eff is the shore? How the eff did I get here? Do I get a float or even a compass? But no one is there to answer your questions. You feel so alone and scared and you have no idea how far away from land you are. 

It’s earth shattering to learn that your partner of X amount of time is not all-in anymore. Often you’ll experience absurd amounts of self-loathing, difficulty sleeping and eating, uncertainty, and  fear. You’re looking at this article because you’re scouring the internet trying to figure out what to do. How do you solve this? Well there are definitely a few tips that might save you some of your sanity in this situation. 

  1. Don’t look up relationship advice.
    Stop looking up how to fix relationships or relationship advice in general! You feel really out of control and this is normal. You did not agree to this so it’s very natural that you want to find a way to take back a little control. This is not going to help you and will only encourage you to take all the blame for the relationship falling apart. It takes two to tango and the responsibility is shared between the both of you. Yes, in general it would be great if you could XYZ in future relationships but if the other person isn’t reciprocating and saying “yes, let’s work on this” then there is no relationship advice that is going to fix this. If they eventually say they want to work on the relationship, then this would be the next step but until then drop it. 

  2. Have compassion.
    Hold your pain with compassion. No, you should not be over this yet. Your partner just left you. That hurts and acknowledging that pain is the kindest thing you can do for yourself. 

  3. Find support.
    Surround yourself with the support of your friends and family. No, you are not a burden - anytime you think you are, express gratitude instead. Everyone needs a little support sometimes. 

  4. Give yourself lots of time.
    Understand that this takes time. You are grieving not only the loss of the relationship but the loss of the future with this person. You will go through the stages of grief. Sometimes you might feel stuck in sadness/depression for a day and the next day you can experience all the stages in one hour. You might feel like you are going crazy but you’re not! Your psyche is trying to make sense of this abrupt loss.

  5. Don’t talk to the kids about it.
    If you have children, I feel for you because you have to be even stronger on days that you feel horrible. Remember to keep them out of this. It does not matter what your partner did, this is an adult matter only. If your children end up being your sounding board, they won’t learn how to process their own feelings. Whether this is their parent or not (i.e., step parent) they also need this time to adjust to these drastic changes. Don’t let them overhear you talking about your partner either. This kind of sharing is damaging and not appropriate. 

  6. Focus on what is within your control.
    Focus on the certainties in your life (work, health, friendships, family, hobbies, your strengths, etc). If things are kind of in the air, it can be scarier so recognizing what’s within your control will really help. You can write a list to keep on you so that when you go down the rabbit hole of despair you can reference this list. You won’t feel 100% better but any percentage improvement is better than the way you feel in that moment. 

  7. Therapy?
    If you need more support, seek a therapist. They can hold that space for you to experience the pain you are experiencing and support you through this. 
  8. You got this!
    Remember that you are worthy of love! This one person doesn’t determine your worth. 

It’s okay to not be okay! This is what it is and what it feels like right now but it will change. I wish you the best with whatever outcome unfolds. 


Alexis Pardo is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Agape Therapy Institute. To learn more about Alexis or to book an appointment with her, visit her page on our website by clicking here or call us at (407) 900-8633 to speak with a Patient Care Coordinator.


Photo Credit:  Pixabay

Tags:

  • anxiety
  • codependency
  • couples therapy
  • depression
  • healing
  • mental health
  • mindfulness
  • psychotherapy
  • relationships
  • self-care
  • stress

9/11 Never Forget You’re Never Alone

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As a born a bred New Yorker, this day is a hard one for me to swallow.  It was the day the face of my home was forever changed, the day life as we knew it in this country forever changed, and it ushered in a time of fear, worry and resilience.   I was not in NY on 9/11 but that doesn’t mean like so many others in our country and around the world we were not affected. I know I was.

I remember thinking how sorry I felt for the pilot who was not able to miss a 110 story tall building.  How naïve I was, but then the second plane crashed, and the third, and the fourth…. I was at work watching my world forever change not knowing what I was witnessing. But 17 years later as I watch the opening of the remembrance ceremony at ground zero my eyes well with tears as my throat closes and I want to weep for all of those who were lost 17 years ago today.  I also grieve for the way of life that was take from us on that fateful day.

Forever and always we have to face our mortality in a whole new way.  There has always been apprehension with some when flying, now we live in a world in which we wonder for a split second if there is someone on our flight willing to do what was done on that day.  As I write this my own mother is in a plane flying in the air to New York City, and do you know what I say? Good for her! I hope there are many people flying today, to show those who wished to see us crumble in fear, that we may be afraid but we will not back down.

But, that got me thinking on the topics of for fear, anxiety, and depression. Since 9/11 if we allowed ourselves to drown in to it we could drown in our fears and sorrows, and some of us need to go there for a while and that’s ok.  When you have witnessed or experienced a horribly traumatic event such as 9/11, it can be hard to know which way is up. And if we find our way through the depression and anxiety we may not think we have what it takes to pull ourselves out.  But that is what is so important, we must do what we can to work our way out.

When it comes to depression, it is a mental health disorder in which you experience a low or sad mood more often than not and it affects the way you think, feel and behave.  You feel sad, down, empty, can experience frequent crying, have lost interest or pleasure in things that used to make you happy, and no matter how much you want to, nothing helps you feel better.  It has physical effects on you as well. It can make you extremely tired due to the insomnia or hypersomnia that comes with depression, you can feel achy or even ill. All of this leads to changes in behavior as well, you can find that you isolate yourself more because you don’t want to be a burden on your friends and loved ones who seem to be fine so why bring them down with your stuff right?  Wrong! No matter what has caused the depressive state you are in, keeping yourself isolated from the world, although seems like a good idea, only helps you sink further into your depression.

So if we are in a depressed state what can we do to help ourselves out?  My first piece of advice is to get help! Whether you seek the counsel of a good friend or go straight for professional help, get help!  Your depression wants you alone, isolated, and lonely so it can wreak havoc on your mind, don’t let it. You also need to reframe the thoughts that are keeping you in a depressive state and repeat the positive self-talk over and over again until you start to believe it.  You can also try journaling to help express the unresolved emotions that have kept you in a depressive state. There are so many things that can be done to help lessen and alleviate your depression, but there is one key ingredient. It is willingness. You must be willing to do the work.  Getting depressed was not a quick and easy process, getting out of it might not be either, but I am here to tell you that although it can feel like running through drying cement, working your way out of depression is not impossible.

If you or someone you know may be struggling with depression, please know that it is only part of your journey, depression is not your final destination.  It is normal to have ups and downs in life, but when we get suck in the down swings, please know that is not normal and there is help. We would love to help walk you through your own journey here at Agape Therapy Institute.

Written by Iliana Torres, LMHC
Therapist at Agape Therapy Institute
To book an appointment with Iliana, please call (407) 900-8633

Tags:

  • anxiety
  • community
  • counseling
  • depression
  • healing
  • mental health
  • mental health
  • psychotherapy
  • resilience
  • stress
  • trauma

September 10, 2018 is National Suicide Prevention Day

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September 10, 2018 is National Suicide Prevention Day 

The National Alliance on Mental Health states that, “each year more than 34,000 individuals take their own life, leaving behind thousands of friends and family members to navigate the tragedy of their loss. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death among adults in the U.S. and the 3rd leading cause of death among adolescents” (NAMI).

A few ways we can partake in National Suicide Prevention Day are by being aware of possible warning signs and risks, what resources are available, and by engaging in activities to raise awareness about suicide.

Potential Warning Signs in Behavior:

  • Withdrawal from social settings or gatherings  
  • Increased use of substances (drugs, alcohol)
  • Reckless or unusual behavior
  • Threats or comments about death, including speaking or writing about it

Potential Risks: 

  • Family history of suicide
  • History of trauma or abuse
  • A recent loss or tragedy
  • Substance abuse

See more risks and warning signs to look for from NAMI by clicking here.

Suggested Activities for Raising Awareness of Suicide:

See other activities and volunteer opportunities here at the NAMI website.

If you or someone you know may be struggling with thoughts of suicide or depression, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text HOME to 741741 for 24/7 Crisis Counseling.

If you’d like to talk to one of our counselors, call our office at 407-900-8633 to setup an appointment.

Written by Kelsey Noonan, Patient Care Coordinator at Agape Therapy Institute.


Posted in:

  • National Suicide Prevention Day

Tags:

  • anxiety
  • counseling
  • depression
  • mental health
  • psychotherapy
  • self-care
  • self-care
  • self-care
  • self-care
  • stress
  • stress
  • substance abuse
  • suicide

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