Tag: 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

What are we reading?

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This month, Susan Deane is reading (actually, listening, using Audible), Reconciliation by Thich Nhat Hanh.  She's finding it to be one of the best informative pieces on how to practice mindfulness, and why we should practice mindfulness.

Being mindful is one of the first steps in resolving, or "reconciling" painful emotions - pulling them up from the unconscious mind into the conscious mind, and doing the work to let go for the sake of our own inner peace and well being.  Holding on to painful emotions only hurts our own self at the end of the day.  Doing this keeps us from living fully in the present moment and being able to experience something new, and perhaps something much more wonderful than the traumas from our past.

But, it is "normal" to get stuck in living the traumas of our past.  It is a biological protective mechanism.  Evolutionary psychology explains that our more primitive parts of our brains are hardwired for what's called "negativity bias."  This means we are vigilant of potential threats (negative experiences) in order to survive, and when we've already experienced one or multiple negative experiences, it skews our perception even more of the likelihood of more negative experiences.  

The problem is that sometimes our negativity bias sticks even when, rationally, there really is no longer a threat.  So, we get stuck and have a hard time experiencing life with a fresh perspective where we can take in the good and live a healthy, content life.  Living as if the threat is still present also causes chronic stress on the body, and over time can lead to the development of illness.  Studies show we benefit from living a relatively relaxed life, where stress is kept to a reasonable amount and we experience positive emotions and experiences daily.

For more information about Susan Deane, visit her page on Agape Therapy Institute's website.

If you're interested in purchasing Thich Nhat Hanh's book, Reconciliation, here is a link to the book on Amazon.

Tags:

  • counseling
  • inner child
  • mental health
  • mindfulness
  • psychotherapy
  • self-care
  • stress

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