Monday, October 20, 2014

The Importance of a Good Therapist~

      Good afternoon, readers how are you all on this chilly fall afternoon. I hope this entry finds you doing well, and living in the moment and just doing the best you can. That is all any of us can do is our best and our best is Good enough.
  Today’s topic is “The importance of finding a good Therapist and why that is important “Besides discussing the vital role a therapist plays into your treatment, I will also share my personal stories of the good, the bad and the ugly of being in counseling over the years! So before, we dive into this topic ill share a bit of my experiences.
   My first experience with a councilor started as a teenager, when I was first diagnosed with major depression at 13-14 years old. This was a councilor my parents found and she was a older woman, but very kind and involved with my treatment plan. Thankfully, my first experience was a positive one, so I did not get a bad taste in my mouth of therapists. I was very fortunate, others I have known there first counseling appointment makes them doubt they can find compassionate therapists out there, and that is sad, because there are wonderful people in this field.
  That therapist started me  on a road, she knew her stuff, and very important  she was a good listener. Sadly, not all that can be said about. Later on after I was married, I had a  psychiatrist who thought he was God’s gift to psychiatrist, and that all his patients loved him. He was only suppose to be handling my medication aspect, but thought he could be my therapist too.
   He came across very ignorant. in truth this person never should have been working with the public, he also thought he knew it all, knew what was best all the time, he barely ever listened a;; he thought he should do is talk my ear off. every time I went into his office I had a panic attack and my blood pressure rose, not too long after I started seeing him, I stopped, he even had me admitted into a hospital, when I shouldn’t of been .As you can see  that was a bad experience.
   A couple years later I had a wonderful therapist, she started seeing me in her office and then she started doing home visits and she not only was my councilor, but she had become a good friend! We really bonded and she helped me immensely. When she left the practice because of health reasons I was heartbroken, but I understood. She helped me through many rough times in my life. The therapist I had after her I only had for a few years, but she was a sweetheart. Then I had to say goodbye to her because her practice was moving to Boston.
   The therapist I just started seeing a couple weeks ago, she is a a Christian, which is nice and her and I bonded, that’s so important, that both the therapist and client feel comfortable and it’s a growing relationship, if the bond isent there, then its heard to get anything positive from the therapy.
  So as you can see ive had more positive experiences than negative. So why is it important to seek out a good therapist and how do you go about that process.Well  when you seek out help  and treatment for your depression or anxiety or your dealing with issues and need to talk to someone professionally.the treatment plan is not just about medication, sometimes meds are involved, other times they aren’t, depends on the diagnosis.
  Talking about our feelings, and experiences and troubles we deal with on a daily basis whether with a spouse, friends or pastor are important  to keep healthy relationships going strong.  there are times when Professional counseling needs to be sought after. Someone who cares about People, that have got to be first, someone who is educated in this field, who can help you with cognitive skills and coping skills. Who helps you see the bigger picture? Who helps us make sense of the confusion and many thoughts floating around up there in our brains? Its important to feel connected to the person who you will be pouring your heart out to, if you’re not comfortable, then you need to speak up and let that be known and ask to see someone else.
   When you’re looking for a therapist, sometimes the best way to find a good one is through word of mouth, when a friend or someone we know sees one who  tells us about  so and so and they come highly recommended. another way we can is do research online, some therapists have a place on their practices website that people can rate them, look to see what other reviews of them are. You have a say in who you want.
      You have to make that call and does that bit or research, it won’t be done for you. And remember this… There is is not shame in seeing a therapist, it’s just someone to talk to who understands and can help you make your way through this maze of emotions your feeling!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mental Illiness in the Church~

   I am sorry readers that I have been not blogging as much as before. Lot has been going on in my life right now, but I really want to get back into blogging on a weekly basis! Tonight topic is “Mental Health in the Church “This is such a crucial issue that needs to be addressed and not pushed aside. This is coming from someone who has suffered with depression and someone who husband is pastor in our church.  Over the years, I have seen this happen many times at the different churches that I have gone to through the years.
   Church is a place for the broken, were all broken in some form from experiences we have gone through, or pain that we have endured. Mental health does not discriminate against those who go to church. Mental illness can touch anybody, Male or female, old or young.
  Therefore, what can the church in general do to Educate and raise awareness as well as approach this issue with understanding, and compassion. First off, those who suffer with this disease if they share their stories will allow others to open up their hearts and share their pain, so the church family can come alongside them and help them bear this load.
 Secondly, those in leadership need to be trained in this area; I do not think this kind of training should be isolated to those who work in the mental health field. More and more this issue is coming up with pastors and churches. After the tragic deaths of two prominent Pastors, sons ended their lives, mental health and Suicide prevention came up more to the forefront. Both the pastors openly spoke about their pain, of their families.  How their son’s suicides affected them, their church families, and the communities as a whole.
   When I heard about both these suicides, my heart broke.  Both pastors spoke out about the importance of prevention., About mental illness, what it is and how can the Church play the vital role they need to be in .I strongly believe pastors need to preach from the pulpit about mental health, it’s a topic a lot of pastors don’t want to even address.
   When my husband and I worked with teens at our old church, the youth pastor at the time did a lesson on depression and he asked me to speak about my experiences because he knew there was a lot about depression he did not understand. We need to speak in love and not be judgmental. a lot of  so called Christians judge others within the church, who suffer in silence with depression, this is heartbreaking to me .
      Because I’ve gone through this depression. I do all I can to speak out about depression and show those who need that genuine Christian love with no judgments, just compassion and understanding. There is still much that need to be done in raising mental health awareness, especially in the church. Start by not being afraid to share with one another, make sure it’s a safe place for those that need to share can and educate and train those who will be counseling others! The leadership need to lead by example.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Diffrent Perpective... See what it Can Do~

     Good evening, reader’s .I hopes you all are doing the best you can as you make your way through this journey. Tonight’s topic is on perspective. There is a reason I chose to write about this topic .Ive wanted to write about this for quite some time now.  Learning how to handle stress, and how we view our circumstances helps us deal with depression in a more healthily manner.
    How we perceive situations that we go encounter that can trigger a episode of depression, if we are not careful on how we deal with it. Remember the quote life is 90% what happens to you and 10% how we react to it, its all about our perspective. Our view can make us , or break us, bring us down or bring out the best in us, we become bitter or we become better.
   A picture comes to my mind so let me paint this picture for you. There is a train traveling through the countryside, with two men on board. Each man is sitting on the opposite side of the train. On one side of the train, there is Rocks not very appealing and, that is the view the man has as he looks out his window. On the other side of the train, sits a man who looks out his window, and there is beautiful lush green grass with mountains and the sun is shining down through the tops of the trees .It’s a relaxing beautiful view.  Different views; from two different men riding the same train. One sees bleakness, the other sees beauty. What a difference a different view can do to our perspective on life’s circumstances.
  My husband and I found out just last week and half that we have to be out of our place by October 1st. My hubby is trying to find work, he has made a job out of looking for a job, yet the doors have not opened yet. We feel behind on our bills and they piled up. My ssi went down and the after effects now are we are facing homelessness!
  We never thought we would be going down this road. It’s a scary one to travel down, life is very uncertain now, BUT we know who holds our future, We serve a mighty God. We could be very down and out about this, but we CHOOSE to Trust… WE choose to live in the moment, we choose to see this as a blessing and there is why. Our apartment is in very bad shape. To the point itrs unsafe and affecting my already bad health.
    God knows and he is intervening in this situation. I need a bathroom in good working order because my bladder disease makes me go up to 30-40 times a day. God is getting us out of there; we are getting a caseworker to help us through this ordeal. Yes even if we have to stay in a motel for awhile.Were doing all we need to do to get low-income housing. We know this is for the better, though things seem bleak, Gods light shines into and pierces the darkness. Am I scared, yes, I’m human. But I know we will be taken care of. Even in the midst of this chaos, there is peace. We have a amazing support system rallying around us, offering support, love and prayers ect….
  I could choose to be poor me. But we aren’t! I am going back to counseling because yes this stress is affecting my depression some. I am doing all I can to keep the stress levels low! My perspective on this whole ordeal is Gods diving intervention.We will not be taken down! We will rise above and the road will rise to meet us! Our perspective is to trust A all knowing God in unimaginable circumstances!
  So when you are going through tough times, emotionally, financially. In addition, if you find it triggering your depression, choose to take the steps to get help, if you’re afraid, seek out someone who can help you through the process! There are positive changes you can make to help yourself! Life can be tough, but be tougher, many things can trigger you, know what they are and how to deal in healthy ways! Surround yourself with uplifting positive people! Cut ties to the negativity in your life! Your emotional health will benefit and you will find your perspective changing. There is always Hope, no matter how dark the night seems!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Importance of Goals~

    Good afternoon my readers, what a glorious day it is today. The sun is shining and im in good spirits and im writing in my blog, which I love doing for all my faithful readers and for those who are finding me for the very first time. Today’s topic is going to be about “Goals” why they are important and how we can go about setting small achievable ones without feeling overwhelmed.
   There was a time in my journey that I didn’t have goals, I didn’t see a point because I saw no hope for my future living with mental illness. Now I’ve come a long ways, ive reached some of those goals, others are on hold and others are still in progress as I write this. The ones that are on hold are not because of my mental health. But my physical health, but those who deal with both know that when our bodies break down in any form, it can wear on us emotionally.
    So before we go any further to discuss why goals are important and ways we can achieve them, I would like to share some of my own personal ones Ive set out to accomplish and where they each stand. The purpose for that is to show you there is hope for YOU!!! Reread that again, there is HOPE for you! Its not easy, it’s a process to work through, its believing that you can, it’s looking into the mirror and saying I DESERVE this!
  The first goal I had set out to do was get off most of my medication at one time I was on 24 pills a day. That all stopped back in 2003.With talking things over with my doctors, having support of family and friends. I then was off ALL meds for my bipolar for about 6 years, it was during that time a lot of my other goals came to fruition.
   Then back in 2011  I had to go back on meds, but just 2, when I was diagnosed with a chronic disease called Intersttial cystitis…  and a lot of things were going in  our lives at that time I had to get stable again and I did. Over the years another goal that ties into that was learning better coping skills and how stress management plays a vital role in staying mentally healthy.
   I then made the goal of going to college and take early childhood education, I took just about all my childcare classes,   and though unable to get my degree because of my physical health I not only became lead teacher I got my state certification for Director 2., when we set small goals and go about them taking small steps, they are easier to attain and achieve. Of course the goal of working after many years of not able to, But sadly had to stop after 3 and half years in the field because of my physical health.
   A couple of years back I started writing book about my life and all that ive been through, then I stopped because life got busy and my health was top priority, then I started up again and got much further along in writing it, then it got misplaced and I though all was gone,  I prayed, I prayed hard, writing had always been a passion of mine and I know its part of Gods plan for me to write and get my story out there. Sure enough hubby found it on his hard drive and I was so thankful. So that’s a goal im still working on and not giving up on!
 So why are goals important, we all have gifts and talents and passions, God made us with them, to sue them for his glory. We all have a purpose in this world. We all add something to the mix. When we have goals set, we have something to work towards. We use our minds, we stay busy, and we learn, we grow and then when we accomplish them it’s a sense of satisfaction and it boosts our self esteem that we can make something of our lives!
 It’s important to set small achievable goals, so you don’t feel overwhelmed! Because then you might feel disappointment if you can’t achieve them. But no one is a failure when we try our hardest! That’s all we can do! Setting small goals can be anything! But for you it’s a big goal! Getting out of bed, taking a shower, going for a walk, giving yourself me time!!! Very important! Taking time to read your bible!
   Taking a online class, starting part time work, whatever you set your mind to, start off small, write up  steps, it might even help to set time frames id like to lose weight by this date! Whatever it may be, start small! You can do it I know you can!
 Goals are important part of life! We can’t just float through life with no goals! Talk to your therapist about what you what out of life, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t accomplish something! Believe in yourself! Others do! I do! I know its scary, but when you step out and take that first step, like i did, when I started college, I never thought I was college material, I had dropped out of high school at 16, only to go back later, not too later, about a year or so later!
  Reach for the stars! Goals give us purpose and a new perspective on life, something we can work towards achieving!Once you accomplish one goal, others will become easier.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Supporting Family and Friends with Bipolar~

Good evening readers, im so sorry that the day have got away from me and its been awhile since I posted in this blog. I miss writing, such a part of who iam, and I know there are so many out there who struggle daily, and I want this blog to be a glimmer of hope amidst your dark days.
    Tonight’s topic is supporting family and friends who have mental illness. This disease doesn’t just affect the person who has it, but those in that person’s life who are closest to them. The effects are far reaching; it is a family disease in many ways. So what are ways that if you are close to someone with mental illness, how can you support them, whether it be a child, parent, spouse, best friend, ect…….
   I speak from both sides as someone who has dealt with bipolar and someone who has friends and family who has struggled with this. Ive had amazing support over the years from my husband don and my parents and my grandparents and best friends. They all took the time to educate themselves and stand by me when things got very ugly.

     So what are the ways to come along side and show your love and support in very tangible ways? Educating yourself is very important, for me I already knew how to approach them because I dealt with is, but many don’t, for many this is new territory and it’s just as scary for those in the person’s life, as the person who has been diagnosed. Part of educating yourself is know what Bipolar, depression ect is,  what are the symptoms, what are triggers and what triggers your loved ones or friends episodes.
  Be a listening ear, this is something that’s so important, with bipolar you get deopressed for unknown reasons because of chemical imbalance, those in our lives who love us can’t fix it, but when they actively listen and reassure us they are there, it can make a world of difference. Don’t pass judgments; those suffering are hard enough on themselves without added negativity directed towards them. Guilt is often a feeling that those with mental illness deal with, what you may mean for good, could make them feel more guilty. Coming along side and helping us see clearly and patiently is what we need. At times we feel like we’re under a magnify glass; we are always hardest on ourselves.
   For those who have the depression be as open and honest with your loved ones, help them understand to help you. Its not easy on anyone. It can be scary for a family member to watch their loved one change or transform into a person they don’t know or understand. You need to work as a team. We do our part, and hope they do theirs. It can be tiring, it can feel like a rollercoaster not just for the person with the diagnosis , but the family and friends too.its important for family and friends to get their own support talking to other family members deal with a loved one going through this, that support is vital.
   Sometimes our words seem to not make a difference; we may feel defeated in offering help. I saw my husband go through this, when my bipolar was at its worst. It can be frustrating for the person with the illness if their family and friends don’t understand or don’t take the time to understand and offer support, Family counseling can be so beneficial to the overall emotional health of the family unit.
   Don’t try to walk this road alone. Iot will be very lonely and it can feel overwhelming. Family and friends need to change their view of how they view behaviors, not to look at them as weakness or laziness. And don’t view your loved one as those things. Someone suffering day in and day out with bipolar struggle with feelings of worthlessness, if we aren’t careful our help can come across as judgments.
  Part of educating yourself about this disease and about your loved one, is being able to tell the difference between your loved on and when they are having a episode. Know the difference between symptoms and feelings. Communication and honesty is the key to understanding and a good relationship. When we are feeling most vulnerable and fragile, is when we need the most TLC…. Its unknown territory for all, so be patient, and love each other!