Do you ever feel too overwhelmed to deal with your problems? If so, you're not alone.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than a quarter of American adults experience depression, anxiety or another mental disorder in any given year. Others need help coping with a serious illness, losing weight or stopping smoking. Still others struggle to cope with relationship troubles, job loss, the death of a loved one, stress, substance abuse or other issues. And these problems can often become debilitating.
What is psychotherapy?
A psychologist can help you work through such problems. Through psychotherapy, psychologists help people of all ages live happier, healthier and more productive lives.
In psychotherapy, psychologists apply scientifically validated procedures to help people develop healthier, more effective habits. There are several approaches to psychotherapy — including cognitive-behavioral, interpersonal and other kinds of talk therapy — that help individuals work through their problems.
Psychotherapy is a collaborative treatment based on the relationship between an individual and a psychologist. Grounded in dialogue, it provides a supportive environment that allows you to talk openly with someone who’s objective, neutral and nonjudgmental. You and your psychologist will work together to identify and change the thought and behavior patterns that are keeping you from feeling your best.
By the time you’re done, you will not only have solved the problem that brought you in, but you will have learned new skills so you can better cope with whatever challenges arise in the future.
When should you consider psychotherapy?
Because of the many misconceptions about psychotherapy, you may be reluctant to try it out. Even if you know the realities instead of the myths, you may feel nervous about trying it yourself.
Overcoming that nervousness is worth it. That’s because any time your quality of life isn’t what you want it to be, psychotherapy can help.
Some people seek psychotherapy because they have felt depressed, anxious or angry for a long time. Others may want help for a chronic illness that is interfering with their emotional or physical well-being. Still others may have short-term problems they need help navigating. They may be going through a divorce, facing an empty nest, feeling overwhelmed by a new job or grieving a family member's death, for example.
Signs that you could benefit from therapy include:
You feel an overwhelming, prolonged sense of helplessness and sadness.
Your problems don't seem to get better despite your efforts and help from family and friends.
You find it difficult to concentrate on work assignments or to carry out other everyday activities.
You worry excessively, expect the worst or are constantly on edge.
Your actions, such as drinking too much alcohol, using drugs or being aggressive, are harming you or others.
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Suicide Prevention Awareness:
Watch the Ted Talk on "Why We All Need Emotional First Aide" by Guy Winch.
Suicide Prevention Awareness Month
September 2, 2016
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Suicide is commonly the result of mental health conditions that impact people when they are most vulnerable, and can affect anybody regardless of age, gender, or background. Friends and families are obviously affected as well, experiencing shame or stigma that prevents the open discussion of the issues.
The goal for this September is to spread awareness and knowledge in the interest of suicide prevention. The following are a few tips.
Recognize the early signs
- Ideation—threats or comments about self-harm—can range from casual, self-deprecating remarks to outright dangerous claims
- Increased drug and alcohol use
- Withdrawal from community and friends
- Reckless or impulsive behavior
Understand prevention measures
- Remove access to weapons, knives, and medications that could pose a danger
- Talk openly and honestly with the at-risk loved one
- Ask what you can do to help
- Don’t argue, threaten, or raise your voice
Provide ongoing support
- Let your loved one know he/she can talk to you about what he/she is going through
- Don’t make it an argument—even if negative comments are made—try to provide positive support
- Active listening techniques will make your loved one feel validated—reflect feelings and summarize thoughts
- Reassure your loved one that you are concerned for his/her well being and encourage him/her to lean on you for support
The prevention of suicide requires a continuing campaign of awareness, understanding, compassion, and a willingness to participate actively in its cause. Understanding some of the basics and promoting awareness of the issue will contribute strongly to the cause of suicide prevention.