Whether it’s your roommate coming home each day and refusing to leave their bed until the next day, or if it’s your significant other who can’t seem to motivate themselves to perform even the simplest of tasks, you may be dealing with someone who is suffering greatly from depression. As a counselor in Parker, Colorado, I understand the pain that you are witnessing, as well as the struggles you may be going through by trying to help this person. Here are a few things you can do to help a loved one who is suffering from depression:

Listen

Do your best to be a compassionate listener, and don’t focus so much on giving advice. Depression is a serious condition that can often make advice sound patronizing or even cruel. Giving small bits of advice, such as suggesting that the two of you go for a walk or do some other small bit of physical activity together, can be beneficial. However, telling your loved one that they need to “just focus on the good and snap out of it” may cause them to isolate you further as time goes on. Just be a listening ear for a while.

Understand

Keep in mind that the symptoms of depression are not personal. The person who is suffering is not angry at you, and they likely don’t even know that they are upsetting you. Depression makes connecting to others difficult, even to those they love the most. Depressed people are also likely to be less careful with their words when they are suffering, which can cause some insults to be thrown your way. This is the depression talking, so do your best not to take the hurtful words to heart.

Talk

If your loved one isn’t seeking help, they may need you to be a gentle push towards help. It’s hard to talk to someone you care about concerning depression, but finding them help may make it worth it in the long run. Don’t expect the first conversation you have about depression to be the last one you have, either. Depression makes it easy for loved ones to isolate themselves, so you may need to bring it up periodically to check in and see if they have sought out any treatment.

Encourage

While some pieces of advice won’t be very helpful to your loved one, others will be. Expressing that you are there for them and that they are not alone may be encouraging, as well as reminding them that the way they are feeling won’t last forever. You may not be able to understand exactly how your loved one feels, but admitting that and saying that you want to do your best to help will let them know that they can trust you with how they are feeling. Remind them that they are important to you! Even if they don’t respond, they certainly are listening and will keep your words in mind when they are feeling low.

Calling Counseling Services of Parker Colorado

Encouraging your loved one to get help may be one of the best things you are able to do for them. It can be hard to motivate a depressed person to get treatment, but encourage them to make an appointment and offer to go with them for the first visit. You can help them create a list of symptoms and things that trouble them on a daily basis so that they know what to talk about. Working with your loved one and encouraging them to contact a professional is one of the most caring things you can do. Please feel free to call us today to set up your appointment.

Anxiety attacks need not be taken lightly by those affected or their families. The condition can lead to further complications if not attended to properly. Anxiety is a natural human reaction to stress which is generally helpful for a number of purposes. Usually, it helps enhance our concentration. Not only that, it also helps us devise better problem-solving strategies. In excess anxiety can become a threat to a person’s psychological well-being. Anxiety can manifest in any number of forms. It’s not difficult to treat anxiety disorder of virtually any type. Although, it requires early diagnosis and professional care.

General Anxiety Disorder

Of the various forms, generalized anxiety disorder is the most common. Which can easily be identified with the help of a variety of anxiety-related symptoms. Usually, a person who suffers a high-level of anxiety taking on the shape of an anxiety disorder. The person is prone to a feeling of emotional irritability. This typically happens if placed in the slightest of uncomfortable situations. Numbness in hands and feet, nausea, shortness of breath and an inexplicable feeling of apprehension. This typically happens when facing routine stressful situations can indicate the existence of an anxiety disorder. A number of factors are responsible for the development of this class of psychological disorders. Consequently, one must keep in mind that it is very much possible to treat anxiety disorder effectively.

Anxiety Factors

Some of these factors involve a number of psychological traits. Additionally, it involves a family history of anxiety and depression-related conditions apart from genetic factors. If adequate treatment is not received to treat an anxiety disorder, the situation can grow worse with the passage of time. At its height, accumulated anxiety can result in panic attacks which are very disturbing in nature. Although, it can be helpful if in case of panic attacks help in the form of medication is available at hand.

Usually, a panic or anxiety attack lasts anywhere between ten minutes to more than half an hour. Symptoms may include strong feelings of panic gripping the individual. The individual may experience heavy sweating, cold hands, and feet, heart palpitation, a sensation of choking, dizziness, chills and hot flashes. The experience can be very traumatic for the victim. However, if effective medication is administered in the middle of a panic attack, the person can be relieved of the symptoms quickly. Emotionally, it can be a very disturbing experience. This might bring a rude jolt to the usual feelings of physical and emotional security.

Recurring Panic Attacks

If a panic attack should recur, it can be one of the worst possible developments possible leading to panic disorder, which is treatable yet holds the potential to wreck major psychological damage. Some patients with anxiety-related conditions are best referred to a specialized anxiety treatment center. They are developed to create a professional treatment and support system for those affected. Here, the patient might be subjected to different approaches to treatment. The treatment will likely have a rather large component of behavioral therapy to complement the medication successfully.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy broadly covers the field of psychotherapeutics associated with the treatment of anxiety. It involves Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy (ERP) among other approaches to treat any anxiety disorder effectively. ERP helps an individual manage his fears and slowly but steadily desensitize them to uncomfortable feelings associated with anxiety and fear. The approach gradually encourages the person to face stressful situations squarely. And use his inherent psychological strength to fight the fear of the unknown. To remedy panic disorder, usually, the treatment centers use a combination of psychotherapeutics and suitable medication.

Antidepressants and benzodiazepines

Antidepressants and benzodiazepines are usually the kind of medicines usually prescribed as an integral part of panic attacks help mechanism. The stress, however, is laid on cognitive-behavior therapy instead of heavily relying on medication. This is due to some of the long-term benefits associated with the former. For instant relief, of course, medication is found very helpful. It is best to nip the threat of panic attacks in the bud. Although, don’t let it develop into panic disorder to avoid any possible complications. Panic disorder, problematic enough by itself, may well be accompanied by Agoraphobia, the fear of panic attacks recurring almost anywhere.

Self Help Strategies

Self-help strategies and family support form effective defenses to fend off the threat of continually growing anxiety. Any type of anxiety disorder can be treated successfully. This requires the condition is diagnosed in its initial stages and subjected to professional care. In cases with worsening symptoms, it is highly recommended to seek an anxiety treatment center for systematic treatment and proper medical support. No condition associated with anxiety is untreatable. Although, the affected and his near and dear ones must not hesitate to seek professional medical help.

Colorado Anxiety Counseling & Anxiety Treatment

Counseling Services of Parker Colorado specializes in anxiety counseling and anxiety treatment. If you have questions, or you would like to book a meeting, please contact us.

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5waystoahappieryou-300x233 Anxiety Counseling: 5 Ways to a Happier YouThe best way to fight anxiety is to be happy. Sounds easy, right? Maybe not? Wouldn’t it be great if happiness was something that just happened? Of course, that is what we all want. Counseling Services of Parker Colorado specializes in anxiety counseling. We know a lot about anxiety therapy, and anxiety treatment – and we found happiness takes a big part in treating anxiety. We want to wake up every morning with a smile on our face, ready to jump out of bed and see what the day has to offer. However, that isn’t reality. Too often, we get wrapped up in the everyday cycle of going through the motions. Some people may even be afraid of happiness.  Happiness is attainable! It might take some work, but you can find it. Happiness is a state-of-mind. More importantly, it is a choice. You need to work at it at it just like anything else in your life. Look at it like you are having a relationship or friendship with yourself. If you are married or in a relationship you work at loving that other person, you do things to show them you care and to see them smile, right? So why shouldn’t you do that for yourself. Show yourself that you care. By focusing on certain areas of your life that are meaningful to you, you can find happiness. Here are five ways to a happier you:

1.  Exercise Right

Exercise is a natural source of energy. Simply exercising for twenty minutes a day, three days a week will dramatically improve a person’s vitality. Exercise releases dopamine and adrenaline, which help us to feel better. Remember you have to work at it! It takes six weeks to build a habit. Challenge yourself to find twenty minutes three days a week for six weeks. This can be done in combination with breathing exercises to really maximize the impact.

2.  Enjoy Now

Many of us always think about the future or get stuck in the past. Instead of always anticipating what is going to happen or ruminating on the past, we need to take time to be in the present.  Practice the art of mindfulness. Take time to appreciate where you are and how far you have come.

3.  Make Life Fun

Too often we are caught up in the everyday life we forget what it is like to simply have fun. So what is fun for you? Take an opportunity each week to indulge in something you find fun. It simply may be going to the park and having lunch. You may want to join a recreational sports league or a book club. You can also try rewarding yourself in small ways daily. Treat yourself at the end of a long day! Whatever it is, it must be what YOU enjoy to do. If this seems challenging, you may want to think about anxiety counseling.

4.  Be Generous

Giving and making other people happy increase our own happiness. By serving others, we get our minds off of ourselves and focused on those in need. Find time to volunteer or to help friends or family. There are many articles about anxiety counseling and anxiety treatment which show that generosity leads to happiness. happiness. Random acts of kindness are always good for you and your soul!

5.  Laugh Out Loud

Humor is the best medicine. Laughter has positive effects on the body. It boosts immunity and lowers blood pressure. It takes five positive thoughts to counteract one negative thought, so surround yourself with positive energy. Far too often, people take themselves too seriously. Take time to smile and laugh at yourself.

These are just five ways to begin finding your happy state-of-mind. It takes time and a continual investment in yourself to be content. Investing in yourself is as important as investing in others. Take the time to exercise, enjoy the moment, have fun, give time to others, and laugh at yourself to begin finding YOUR happiness.

**For other resources on happiness, check out The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin as well as Shawn Achor’s TED talk at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXy__kBVq1M.

As a mental health counselor and anxiety therapist, I often times listen to concerns which manifest feelings such as worry, fear, panic, insomnia, and fatigue. These are all common symptoms of anxiety. Other symptoms people may experience include irrational thoughts, muscle tension and nausea. While anxiety is a natural reaction and we cannot eliminate it, there are techniques you can learn to reduce the symptoms and live a less anxious life.

  1. Exercise

    Exercise is one of the best ways to manage your anxiety. Not only does it help work out the stress, but it naturally increases the levels serotonin and dopamine in our brains. Anxiety therapists suggest exercising for 30 minutes a day.

  2. Deep Breathing

    Deep breathing techniques can help reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety such as heart palpitations. It can also help slow down the racing thoughts in your brain. Try inhaling for a count of 5, holding for a count of 5, and exhaling for a count of 5. These techniques are often suggested and used by anxiety counselor and therapists.

  3. Progressive Muscle Relaxation and Meditation

    This technique helps slow your body down. You will want to find a quiet place where you can either lie down or sit comfortably. A good way to start learning this technique is through a guide either in person or through a recording. If you would like to try this Counseling Services of Colorado suggests downloading an application on your phone such as Insight Timer –https://insighttimer.com/.

  4. Limit Caffeine and Alcohol

    Both of these are mood-altering substances and can increase levels of anxiety as well as depression. Many studies have been done stating the negative impacts of caffeine and alcohol on mental health.

  5. Get Adequate Sleep

    While insomnia is common for people who have anxiety, it is important to try to get the recommended amount of sleep. Lack of sleep will also increase anxiety. Try a deep breathing or muscle relaxation exercise to help you relax before trying to go to bed.

  6. Coloring (Yes, with crayons or Markers!)

    Counseling Services of Parker Colorado often suggests breaking out the crayons or markers and buying a coloring book. Adult coloring books have been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. Give them a try and have a little fun and make something beautiful. Many of my friends who are anxiety therapists shared the following link to affordable and popular coloring books for adults –http://www.amazon.com/Adult-Coloring-Book-Relieving-Patterns/dp/1941325122/ref=zg_bs_books_9.

  7. Acceptance

    Adverse feelings such as anxiety are normal. You’re not alone. The goal is not to eliminate the feelings rather to learn how to manage them. If you need help working through your thoughts and feelings, get in touch with a local anxiety therapist or anxiety counselor. We have a lot of experience helping people through their anxiety.

These techniques done in conjunction with therapy can help you learn your best practices for coping with your anxiety. You may also want to consider talking with your doctor about medications that can help with the physical symptoms. Counseling Services of Parker Colorado is happy to discuss this further with you. Please feel free to contact us whenever you’re ready.

 

I used to think that if I was perfectly put together, if I had said and done all the right things that day, and if my personal relationships were good, my life would be in order and things were going to be alright. When I wasn’t perfectly put together, or I questioned something I did or said, or I felt as though a friend or loved one was upset with me, my anxiety would rise and I would worry constantly about what others thought about me and what I needed to do to feel better. The obvious answer was to get those people to tell me they like me, that I didn’t do or say anything wrong, that it’s ok to be me. That was the answer to relieving my anxiety. That was the way to feel better.

I lived in this thought process for years, believing if I can just control how people see me and how they think about me, I can control my anxiety. Then, through my own work, I asked myself “What would my life be like if I focused on controlling my anxiety to be able to feel happy and safe, rather than trying to control everything and everyone around me?” What I found was my self-esteem improved, my happiness improved, the expectations of myself decreased, and my personal relationships were much healthier.

Addressing Anxiety

Anxiety is all about control. Too often we try to control the things around us to control our anxiety. What we really need to be able to do is learn the coping skills that work for us individually to be able to handle what life gives us. If we are able to do this, our need, driven by fear, to control the external will decrease.

The focus of external control is different for each person with anxiety. For example, you may focus on controlling your work environment because you feel out of control in your home life. Or you may feel if you are able to keep your home in pristine condition, everything else is manageable. Wherever your need for control lies, your feelings are normal for someone with anxiety.

What you may not know is the brain of someone with anxiety processes differently from someone without anxiety. It affects the decision-making process. For someone without anxiety, they will be able to naturally process a situation without the “what ifs, I shoulds, I can’t, I must, or you’re not smart enough, or you’re a failure” automatic thoughts. Learning how to process these thoughts, as someone without anxiety does naturally, will help you gain control over your anxiety.

You may seem defeated or scared or believe this is just the way it’s supposed to be. You are not alone. All of your thoughts and physical feelings, such as nausea, shaking, heart racing, and overall panic are normal.

Find Peace and Control

Through therapy, you will learn what your major triggers are, how to challenge your automatic thoughts, and what coping skills work for you to reduce your anxiety. Most importantly, you will learn how to manage your anxiety so it doesn’t control you.

Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201603/how-does-anxiety-short-circuit-the-decision-making-process

In our previous blog, we went over some of the top signs that someone may be codependent. If you suspect that you may be codependent, it’s okay. There are several ways to work through these feelings of codependency, and we would like to share those with you today. If you would like help working through your emotions, it may be time to contact a therapist at Counseling Services of Parker today!

Validation

Codependency starts with seeking validation from others. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it can become troublesome if others are not telling you what you want to hear and you begin to question your self-worth because of this. A codependent person will seek reassurance in nearly every aspect of their life, which can lead to a lowered sense of self-esteem and confidence. Here are a few ways to learn to overcome codependency, as well as validate and support yourself.

Praise Yourself

You are capable of doing things well and making good choices. Congratulate your successful decisions and give yourself credit where credit is due. We suggest creating a gratitude journal and documenting the things you are most thankful for, including the best parts about you and the actions you took during the day. This regular praise teaches you to turn this practice into a habit of self-validation you can rely on when you need.

Tell Yourself What You Need to Hear

Before you seek someone else’s validation, ask yourself what it is you are hoping that they say. If you aren’t looking for their advice or opinion, you are most likely looking for them to say you aren’t a bad person or that you deserve more love and care. You want someone else to tell you that they see the best in you. Now give yourself that validation! If you do decide to look for advice, validate yourself first. When you talk to your friend and go into the situation believing what they tell you, what they say will be much more powerful.

Notice When You Are Judging Your Feelings

If you tend to feel bad about having negative emotions, you are more likely to end up feeling stuck and helpless. Tell yourself that you are entitled to feel whatever it is you’re are feeling. Then, you can take the time to process your emotions and work through them because they won’t be making you feel guilty. Start accepting your feelings, and then ask for support for the actual problem at hand!

Ask Yourself What You Need

When we feel down on ourselves, we often punish ourselves in some way. When you are feeling down, ask yourself what you body needs, what your mind needs, and what your spirit needs. What will make you feel better in this moment? It could be as small as a glass of water, or perhaps a walk outdoors to clear your mind. When you address your needs and act upon them, you are reinforcing that your needs matter. Take control of what you need, then tell yourself that you are the one who can improve things.

Contact a Therapist

While there is nothing wrong with seeking validation and support from friends and loved ones, it’s important to be able to give yourself that kind of support first and foremost. Practice these techniques and see where it takes your mental state! For more self-validation tips and helpful ways to overcome codependency, please contact us! Our professionals want to help you as you learn to handle your emotions and complex feelings. Call us today to schedule an appointment at Counseling Services of Parker.