Mental health problems should not put you in a state where you only proceed in life because you think you have to. Life is a gift, and your condition shouldn’t have to be the cause of your unhappiness, anxiety, and other emotional problems. Unfortunately, no matter what other people say and despite how much they positively try to create an impact, there is still a part of you that wants to keep everything inside the box. Thus, there’s the “I’m okay” phrase that you know you’re used to. But what exactly is behind that?

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Struggle That Silently Kills Confidence, Self-Worth, And Emotional Resilience

There is entirely nothing wrong with telling everyone that you are okay. Of course, when you are emotionally and mentally healthy, you are confidently okay inside and out. And despite dealing with uncertainties in life, you know you can handle it better because you understand balance and overall stability. However, the moment you tell yourself that you’re okay when you know you are not creating a different level of approach in handling challenges. It connotes a negative progression of lies, denial, and untruthfulness towards yourself.

Telling yourself “I’m okay” but still feeling empty and lonely inside destroys your ability to see your worth. It kills your confidence and makes you lose track of emotional resilience. Telling yourself, you’re okay even if you know you are hurting inside hinders you from understanding yourself better. It blocks you from overall development and makes you stop finding yourself’s true purpose. It traps you in a space where you won’t be able to help yourself recovery from whatever it is that you’re emotionally and mentally going through.

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Fear, Worry, And Avoidance Of Becoming Someone Else’s Burden 

It’s entirely understandable that you think about your struggles as yours alone. As much as possible, you want to deal with your condition to prove that you are strong enough to deal with complicated things independently. Apparently, when you say “I’m okay” because you intend not to let anyone get involved with what you are dealing with, soon enough, you’ll get drown in self-pity. The more you think about the possibility of you burdening people will create an intense feeling of judgment towards those who truly want to help.

Your fear and worries of harming others are unreasonable. Just because you do not want them to carry the burden of your mental and emotional problem, it does not mean that you should lie about what you truly feel. Of course, you will try your best to get better, and you’ll push harder to suck it all up so that you won’t feel the need to ask others for help. However, consequences can arise. Not only do you deprive yourself of emotional intelligence, but you also take away other people’s opportunities to learn about your condition.

Mental And Emotional Suffocation That Grow Overtime

“I’m okay” goes with the truth of “not being entirely okay.” For some reason, you get accustomed to saying those words to convince yourself that you got no real problems to deal with. But in reality, the waves of loneliness are pulling you back to the isolated surface where there’s no hope and full of sadness. You may lie about the whole thing, but soon enough, you will find yourself complaining and hating life and everything in between. Constantly telling yourself that you’re okay even if you’re not can be pitiful. And instead of the action helping you make your way through your dilemma, you only wallow away feeling sorry for yourself.

Self-talking and saying “I’m okay” despite not getting a hold of the mental and emotional weight is comparable to beating yourself up while currently weak and bending on the floor. It’s not healthy, not acceptable, and not entirely going to create a difference. It would only make you fall into the idea that your emotions are not valid.

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Takeaway

Admit that there are things you can’t do, and you have to let go of the idea that you can be better alone because you can never fight those mental and emotional battles on your own. Accept that you are not that strong enough to handle everything. Be true to yourself. You know that the constant pep talks with your inner self will not work because you genuinely understand your need for help. Stop pretending that you are okay because you know you’re not. It’s okay not to be okay. The world is never flawless, so you don’t have to deal with uncertainties. It is about time that you stop saying “I’m okay” and consider changing it to “I need help.”

Given that these conditions are currently haunting you, you have to realize that your mental and emotional weakness does not define who you are. Think about it. Deeply evaluate your thoughts and emotions. After that, ask yourself if you are genuinely okay.

 

Talking about mental health struggles is not something that every individual can openly do. Some are way too drawn to their mental and emotional capabilities that they do not want others to interfere with self-healing. On the other hand, others are too weak even to share small details of their mental health problems. We know that both these situations must be addressed because they can cause a lot of damage over time. People should learn the importance of reaching out for support for any mental and emotional health challenges. But why should they work on better expressing their thoughts and feelings? Here are some reasons why therapists encourage people to share what they are going through emotionally and mentally.

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Reaching Out For Support

Of course, the main reason people should talk about mental health struggles is to gather support. Mentally and emotionally unstable individuals often find themselves unable to cope with their health issues’ symptoms and negative effects. They are often afraid of confiding to the wrong people that they hide their true feelings to themselves. They ignore their need for encouragement and motivation; thus, they do not immediately get better.

But we can’t blame these people for not sharing what they are going through. Sometimes, they are not that confident and are too sensitive to talk about their mental and emotional struggles. So instead of forcing them to reach out, it would be best to give them space and time to open up. They must maintain engaging with positive individuals to create more intimacy and connectedness that can help them build skills for coping and resilience.

Increasing Connectedness And Purpose

Another reason why people should share their mental and emotional health experiences is for connectedness. Sometimes, people tell others what they are going through, not because they want them to do something or help them carry on. Instead, these mentally and emotionally unstable individuals only want others to listen to their stories. They do not require others to participate in the healing process because being there and listening to them is already enough.

Sharing relates to a better connection with others. It builds a sense of common purpose, making people appreciate and work together with similar mental health challenges. It helps individuals to get to know their abilities in handling difficult situations as well. Sharing also supports making friends, finding better resources, and lightening loads of human responsibilities.

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Raising Awareness And Breaking The Stigma

Sharing is entirely related to raising awareness. Since there are so many negative things about mental and emotional health that people do not know of, sharing serves as everyone’s edge to better understanding. With sharing, mentally and emotionally unstable individuals provide information that others can use as a guideline to check with their personal experiences. Sharing can be very beneficial in promoting an open discussion about specific psychological issues related to self-harm, suicide, and trauma.

Mental and emotional health can be debilitating, and for some individuals, it can be a life-changing struggle. And since not everyone is well-known for the signs and symptoms of these conditions, there is the possibility that isolation, judgment, and unreasonable behavior become acceptable. Thus, sharing is important as it introduces people to new treatments and solutions to stigmatized conditions.

Moving Forward To Self-Acceptance

A shared mental health struggle defines people’s ability to see a bigger picture. It supports a change in perspective gathered from different opinions and views. Though sometimes, this can be unnecessary, there is still a great benefit to sharing that makes individuals move closer to overall healing. Sharing opens up opportunities to understand things that are often ignored. It makes people dive in more to self-reflection and better mood regulation.

Sharing life struggles can be tough due to the possible buildup of depressive symptoms. The imbalance can cause desires to be approved by others, increases fear of failure, and creates self-criticism. But on a brighter note, it also guarantees an increase in positive emotions. It supports autonomy, self-worth, confidence, and a sense of freedom.

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Helping People Get Better

The best part of sharing mental health struggles is the overflowing support from others who truly care and understand. The positive energy that people provide these unstable individuals increases their well-being and self-importance. It motivates them to feel and get better because they know that others are working hard to do everything for their overall recovery. The whole purpose of sharing is to empower those unstable individuals to help them help themselves.

People benefit from sharing their stories as it nurtures them with positivity. It makes them reflect on their journey and think about how they should overcome life’s stressful challenges. Of course, the whole process can be extremely exhausting. But when mentally and emotionally unstable people know that they can always find someone they feel comfortable to flex their vulnerabilities with, it almost leaves them not feeling drained.

 

 

I have been friends with the same group of people for almost half of my life. I met them in middle school, and we decided to go to the same high school. But even if we did not see much of each other during our college years, we made sure to remain in touch by phone and get together on any holiday.

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One thing you should know about my friends is that they love going on trips. For example, three months before the summer break, my phone would start buzzing because one of them tried to make us choose whether to go up in the mountains, swim in the lake, or drive across the country with no specific destination in mind. Even when we all had our careers, they continue to do the same thing, so it did not feel like I left my childhood for good.

I want to say that my friends keep doing it as a force of habit. There are nine of us, and our schedules need to be in sync. Most of us are willing to drop whatever we are doing to go on whatever trip they have in motion. I personally only need to give my counseling partner a week’s notice before I go somewhere. However, my friends feel the need to schedule our trips ahead because we have one gal pal who tends to back out of social gatherings at the last minute: Jenna, the only married woman in the group.

I mean the literal “last minute” here, guys. Just a few days ago, for instance, we were supposed to meet Jenna at a coffee shop. We had been so busy in the last few months, so we had not been able to catch up until now. As always, this meeting was set a couple of weeks before the actual day to ensure that she could make time for it. We also reminded her about it almost every day so that she would not forget it. However, my friends and I waited at the coffee shop for two hours, waiting for Jenna on the D-day. Then, when we finally got ahold of her, she was like, “Oh, I’m sorry. There was a sudden visitor at the house. Let’s meet next time.”

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Of course, our eyes rolled after hearing that, but we just went on with our day and went to a KTV bar afterward. But then, when one of my friends was about to post our pictures on Instagram, she saw an update from Jenna’s account. It was a picture of her on a beach with the caption “perfect getaway.”

Everyone went quiet for two minutes until someone said, “So, are we nothing to Jenna now? Couldn’t she have invited us to go with her?”

 Despite my annoyance, I decided to look at Jenna’s behavior from a counselor’s standpoint. “It can be neglect, but I feel like it leans toward more procrastination. Jenna has been doing this ever since she got married and stopped working. She may have thought that she would see us another time anyway since we were a constant in her life,” I tried to explain.

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“That does not sound good,” another friend quipped.

“No, it doesn’t. However, who do you think procrastination hurts more, her or us?” I asked.

“Us!”

“Nah. Jenna is only hurting herself by continuing to put things off. She knows her promise to meet us today; she also knows that bailing out on us would be upsetting. Yet, she still did it and even lied about it,” I uttered.

“Why do you think our friend keeps doing that?” one friend asked.

“Hmm, procrastinating typically means that someone is harboring negative emotions mostly towards themselves. They cannot deal with those emotions, so procrastinators end up setting aside activities that may push them to confront how they feel.”

“So, in Jenna’s case, does she probably feel bad about being the only person without a career among us?”

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I thought about it carefully. “It’s possible, but then again, it’s challenging to know without giving Jenna a psychological assessment. The only thing we’re all sure of is that she is always procrastinating, and that’s self-harming.”

What Happened Next?

My friends did not let that conversation go. They booked a group counseling session with me the next day and dragged Jenna to my office. Then, when our friends started airing out their grievances, I saw how Jenna’s expression changed from confusion to denial to anger to defeat in less than an hour. She knows she’s a procrastinator, but she never admitted it – not even to herself – until now.

I could understand how Jenna must have felt at that moment. It could be overwhelming to know that your worst fears about yourself were true. For your closest friends to reflect on that, it might be worse. But the good thing was that our friends decided to accompany Jenna to all her counseling sessions, which was all right with her.

Though there’s honestly no cure for procrastination, it’s ideal to immediately know about it and curb its causes.

I believe that the negative things that have been happening in my life result from the bad decisions I make. I understand, for sure, that no matter how much I try my best to stay positive about everything, there will be those moments that uncertainties wrap me in. With that, I know that my emotional and mental state is not that safe from all the depressing things that I genuinely want to avoid. And despite knowing a lot of helpful information, I know I am not exempted from the mental damage from all the stressors surrounding me.

I won’t say that I am psychologically tough just because I am good at managing my mental health. Honestly, there are things I can’t control. Sometimes, when things get too overwhelming, I push people away, get confused, make wrong moves, and forget to take care of myself. However, I don’t think these instances are a better excuse to make me take my mental and emotional health for granted. I still choose to get better. I don’t want negative things to destroy me because I don’t like it when I am isolated, anxious, stressed, and depressed.

So if you would ask me what’s the secret to staying emotionally and mentally healthy despite dealing with all sorts of emotional and mental torture, allow the answers from these frequently asked questions to guide you.

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How is the brain affected by mental illnesses?

Experts believe that mental illnesses result from communication problems between the neurotransmissions in the brain. When the neurotransmitter serotonin tends to lower down, it disrupts the brain’s function, especially when individuals suffer from depression.

That explains why mental illness can lead to confusion of the information process sing of the brain. Thus, it results in abnormal thinking, perception, mood, and behavior. It would be best to pay attention to the sudden changes in feelings, thoughts, and actions to seek professional help immediately.

 Does psychology help mental illness?

Yes. Psychologists are professionals trained to treat the most serious mental health disorders by assisting and prescribing necessary medications. But their assistance does not end there since they also help people in all aspects of daily life through therapy. These include caring for elderly parents, self-care, parenting, other family matters, or sexual issues.

Therapy is one the most widely used type of treatment that promises to deal with almost all sorts of mental illnesses. But before engaging in the method, people should realize the importance of seeking the right individual that knows how to work best with his job and client relationship.

 Is mental illness a disease?

For a start, mental illness is not a disease but rather a medical problem. Mental illnesses are health conditions concerning sudden changes in emotion, thoughts, or behavior, or a combination of the three. A mental illness is a common state associated with stress and problems functioning in social, work, or family activities.

 Is there a difference between mental illness and mental disorder?

Yes, mental illness is a psychological problem that affects how a person thinks, behaves, and interacts with people. It contains a group of conditions that are often diagnosed through clinical tests with standard criteria. However, the term ‘mental disorder’ relates to the same health problems accompanied by specific signs and symptoms.

But regardless of what the individual has, may it be a mental illness or a mental disorder, it is advisable to seek immediate professional help. The person should take the initiative to know his condition and aim for a diagnosis to get proper mental health treatment.

 What are the five signs of mental illness?

The five warning signs of mental illness include long-lasting grief or irritability, unwarranted fear, worry, anxiety, social withdrawal, and remarkably high and low unregulated moods. It also creates dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits.

But note that some of these signs can be accompanied by other health problems such as headaches, muscle pain, difficulty breathing, etc. If these mental illness signs show physical manifestations, immediately consult a healthcare provider.

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What psychology deals with depression?

Psychology deals with depression by understanding mood or emotional disposition characterized by feelings of guilt and low self-worth. These aspects are the main focus as they intend to reduce a person’s ability to enjoy life.

Psychology explains the danger of too much negativity as it increases the damage of anxiety, stress, and depression.

 How can you help someone mentally?

Here are some of the usual strategies that you can do to help someone mentally. First, listen without making judgments and focus on the persons’ emotional needs at that moment. Second, ask them what would help them in particular, but make sure to avoid confrontation. Try to ask if there is someone they would like you to contact so they can feel comfortable opening up.

Acknowledge and do not push it too hard. Avoid forcing solutions to the mentally ill person, especially if he is not doing anything. Give the individual a space to understand his mental situation so that he manages to deal with it gradually.

 What are the things you should not say to a mentally ill person?

A mentally ill person is way too sensitive. It would be best if you didn’t say these words: “It’s all in your head.”, “Snap out of it!” “This too shall pass.”, “it’s normal.” or “It’s all part of God’s plan.” These words will hurt their feelings and make them think that what they are going through is invalidating.

Please pay close attention to your words. If you do not understand what the person is going through, better not say anything to reassure him that you know what he’s dealing with and know what you are talking about. Be mindful that even if you think the similarity of both your situation is there, you cannot guarantee the person of full understanding because your reasons and triggers are different to begin with.

 How do you deal with a mentally unstable person?

An unstable person can be quite complicated to handle. It is significantly important to stay informed about his/her mental condition. You should develop a helpful approach and encourage the person to seek professional help. Respect them and do not enforce positivity towards their suffering. You can express your feelings but know your limits.

Remember not to comment on stuff when you are not sure of what you are talking about. And if you can’t say anything nice, do yourself a favor and don’t say anything.

 What causes mental illness?

There is tons of possible cause of mental illnesses. It could be by a reaction to biochemical imbalances in the brain, genes and family history, environmental stress, history of abuse in childhood, brain injury, etc. Or it could be a combination of all of these.

 What is the rarest mental illness?

The rarest mental illness is called Apotemnophilia or also known as body integrity identity disorder. It is regarded as the irresistible need to amputate healthy human body parts. There are not many known facts about this disorder, but it is believed to be a neurological condition.

 Can you be born mentally ill?

No. Though susceptibility to various mental disorders, such as bipolar mood disorder, can run in families, it does not guarantee to get determined right after birth. That is because most people develop mental illness even without a family history of the condition.

 Is mental illness permanent?

Unfortunately, there are mental illnesses that tend to be permanent. However, some effective medications and treatments can help aid the signs and symptoms to help people recover and live healthy lives.

 What is the hardest mental illness to live with?

One of the hardest mental illnesses a person has to live with is Borderline personality disorder. It is an illness that manifests in an ongoing pattern of self-image issues, varying moods, and negative behaviors. Borderline personality disorder’s symptoms often result in impulsive actions that cause problems in relationships with other people.

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 What is poor mental health?

Poor mental health can be a lot of things. It can be difficult for most individuals to manage how they think, feel, and act concerning daily stresses. It is where people experience incessant episodes of sadness, emptiness, anxiety, and depression.

 At what age does mental illness start?

Almost fifty percent of people’s mental illness begins at the age of 14. However, others start to experience it by age 24.

 Is mental illness permanent?

Some people may only experience quite a few episodes of mental illness. It might only last a few days, weeks, or months. However, there are those others who have long-term conditions which do not go away. There is no cure for mental illness, and people experiencing it have to deal with mental torture for a long time.

Insight

Having poor mental health is not scary, and it does not mean you are crazy. You are only mentally unstable yet functioning. It is vital to realize that even if you are dealing with a psychological problem, you can always find better ways to cope with it and live your life according to your desire.

 

People tend to discount the dreams they experience while asleep. Little do they know that dreams are a representation of actual desires and needs. Well, this is according to Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis. 

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He developed psychoanalysis to study the unconscious and conscious mind of a person. One of his techniques was dream interpretation. He asks the patients to discuss their dreams. Through that, he works to figure out what it meant for them. Freud even had a list of what certain things meant. For example, dreams can mean something sexual. A phallic-shaped or a womb shape in your dream might tell multiple messages. But it usually falls under the category of sex. 

Basically, psychoanalysis aims to pull the unconscious mind into the conscious. It seeks to identify the repressed issues causing current problems. Determining these underlying causes can be quite tricky, especially because the patients are also unaware of them.

Psychoanalysis therapy, according to Freud, typically takes time. The narration of childhood experiences and dreams may take up some sessions to complete. This type of treatment often takes years to finish.

However, there is no single definition for psychoanalysis. Stepping out of Freud’s thinking of psychoanalysis, this concept tends to vary between different experts.

Carl Jung has his archetypes, Erik Erikson, with his development stages, Karen Horney, for her neurotic needs. These psychologists formed works that drew away from Freud’s thinking and in an attempt to develop better psychological theory. 

If you want to know more about psychoanalysis, read the FAQs below.

What is psychoanalysis in simple terms?

Psychoanalysis refers to a set of psychological theories and therapies responsible for treating mental health illnesses. It involves investigating the interaction of the conscious and unconscious factors in the mind. The approach focuses on resurfacing repressed conflicts and fears to the conscious mind. Psychoanalysis uses techniques like free association and dream interpretation.

What is used in psychoanalysis?

Psychoanalysis brings the buried feelings, thoughts, and emotions to the conscious mind. During the sessions, you will discuss significant bad experiences from the past. These adverse events may have affected your behavior, thinking, and relationship. From here, you’ll work towards developing a healthy coping mechanism. It aims to eliminate excess baggage that may affect future relationships and ways of living.

What are psychoanalytic concepts?

Psychoanalytic concepts involve dividing the mind into three components:

  1. Id
  2. Ego
  3. Superego

The id is considered the most primitive among the three. It relies on instant gratification based on physical urges and needs. Meanwhile, the superego mainly focuses on social rules and morals. It revolves around a moral compass and conscience. These things dictate what is right or wrong. Lastly, the ego is the pragmatic and rational part. It is a combination of the conscious and unconscious.

What is the psychoanalytic approach?

The psychoanalytic approach revolves around the idea of touching the unconscious mind more than the conscious mind. It came from the foundational belief that your past experiences affect your actions and behaviors. With this, the trip to psychoanalysis should pass by these four basic components:

  1. interpretation,
  2. transference analysis,
  3. technical neutrality, and
  4. countertransference analysis.

What is the goal of psychoanalysis?

Psychoanalysis aims to make the client aware of the unconscious mind and pick up patterns from here. The feelings, thinking, and behavior you get from here should be studied and checked. It is essential to evaluate whether they are still helpful to your life now. If they are not, then psychoanalysis will help eliminate it from your unconscious mind. It is the best approach for those coping with problems in relationships, satisfaction, among others.

Is Psychoanalysis used today?

Yes, psychoanalysis is still around. However, psychoanalytic treatments are more expensive compared to other mental health treatments in the market.

What is wrong with psychoanalysis?

It has no scientific evidence with the presented ideas. The sole proof of this only relies on case studies. No known experiments happened to prove this. Another problem is it focuses too much on childhood development. Its concept reveals that the unconscious mind works depending on past experiences. However, not all patients have undergone trauma during their childhood.

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Is a psychoanalyst a doctor?

Not all psychoanalysts are doctors. Some of them are professionals who have a Ph.D. or master’s degree in social work or psychology. However, there are also psychiatrists with DO degrees or MD who get into this therapeutic landscape.

Does psychoanalysis really work?

According to experts, psychoanalysis works if there are bottled-up trauma and problems from the past. However, other therapeutic approaches may be more apt for you if your issues do not house these.

How does one become a psychoanalyst?

The only way to become a psychoanalyst is to complete the psychoanalytic training program by the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA). Before this, you need experience as either a clinical social worker, clinical therapist, or clinical counselor. Keep in mind that this area also accepts other professionals who have outstanding qualifications. It does not matter whether they have social work or psychology degrees. They are accepted on a case-to-case basis.

How much money does a psychoanalyst make?

A psychoanalyst’s salary varies significantly. The pay ranges from $60,000 to $160,000 per year. Some of the highest paying states are New Jersey, Rhode Islands, and California, where they make as much as $100,000 per year.

Conclusion

Psychoanalysis might not be used that often anymore. But this theory opened up more discussions on the unconscious and conscious mind. Freud discussed that the unconscious mind is filled with repressed thoughts and feelings. These are often unpleasant, difficult, and not socially accepted. Although Freud connects it to something sexual, it may go further than that. 

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When we feel anger and sadness, our instincts have always been to hide it away or to push it down. No one wants to see an angered person bellow and shout. These negative emotions are not meant to be showcased in public. But by repressing it, it falls into the unconscious mind. We work to ignore it.

However, as time goes by, the hole you dug for hiding these thoughts may fill up. It may come to the point where it can no longer contain your emotions. Eventually, it manifests as these mental health conditions.

Because of these many bottled-up emotions, many theories emerged to help uncorked them. By laying out these emotions, it will be easier to control and manage them. 

One of the therapies that do that is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This type of psychotherapy helps people who are suffering from anger issues. It enables the patient to become more aware of what they are feeling. Furthermore, it offers ways to identify the triggers. Through this, patients get to respond to it better. 

Anger issues might be a symptom of a mental health problem, with which CBT will help see-through. Some of the common underlying mental disorders that initially manifest as anger are depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or bipolar. If there are indeed more serious problems, the therapy has many various techniques. These methods can help the patient to understand themselves better and manage the condition. 

Although psychoanalysis is not as relevant today as it used to be, it will always remain an important foundation of psychology.

We do not always have control in life. Sometimes, things go awry. Long-awaited plans may get canceled. People we treasure may end up hurting us. When these things happen, we may feel a swirl of emotions and can turn into anger. It can be positive or negative, depending on what we do with it. Some people may quickly recover or control it while others can’t. The inability to manage anger may cause problems in our life. 

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Uncontrolled anger strains relationships, not only with others but with ourselves. Harmful actions such as physical and verbal abuse may happen as a result of uncontrolled anger. Thus, seeking professional help can significantly improve your anger management if you are suffering from this problem.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy found to help people suffering from anger issues. It focuses on building awareness of destructive thoughts and creating healthy responses to those thoughts.

Seeking professional guidance will help in determining the triggers and causes of your uncontrollable anger. Often,  it is a symptom of another mental health problem. It may be a sign of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), or bipolar disorder. These conditions can severely affect our quality of life. They make it hard to keep relationships and even function well at work or school.

Fortunately, CBT can address these problems. This therapy utilizes various techniques for patients to understand and manage their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. CBT focuses on a person’s present thoughts and beliefs. It is a short-term treatment backed by many studies.  CBT enables therapists to address their client’s issues by listening to their thoughts. 

CBT may be right for you if you are suffering from anger management issues or any mental health disorder. Here are some frequently asked questions about cognitive behavioral therapy.

What are cognitive-behavioral techniques?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques are cognitive restructuring, exposure, activity scheduling, successive approximation, mindfulness, and skills training. The cognitive restructuring aims to revisit and dig up one’s negative or dysfunctional thinking and develop new and healthier perspectives. Exposure is a method of overcoming fear by gradually exposing the person to the object or fear source.

Meanwhile, successive approximation and activity scheduling are manners of setting mini-goals, which is useful for difficulty accomplishing tasks. Lastly, mindfulness and skills training are techniques to embody and practice newly developed problem-solving skills and manner of thinking.

How do you do cognitive behavioral therapy?

CBT sessions are different from other psychotherapies because it is heavily structured, rather than the client freely talking. CBT’s structured nature is because it is driven to reform a particular way of thinking or behavior. In any case, the structure will still depend on the client’s initial assessment of what pressing problem the therapy will solve.

The CBT therapists will design a plan to address them, which are divided into mini objectives. There will be discussion points after every session to tackle the client’s progress and future path.

What does cognitive behavioral therapy involve?

CBT is concerned with helping deal with critical problems by teaching positive coping mechanisms and perspectives. It involves unpacking the inner thoughts and behaviors and reflecting on past responses to various problems. However, it is essential to highlight that CBT is more focused on your current problems than your past issues. It involves setting mini-goals for you to achieve, may it be psychological, physical, or following or changing a daily routine.

What are the key concepts of cognitive-behavioral therapy?

CBT works on the premise that thoughts, feelings, actions, and physical state are interconnected. It recognizes that thinking affects all aspects of life, including decisions, emotions, and physical well-being. What makes it different from other psychological therapies is that it focuses on problem-solving by looking into a person’s behavior, communication, and present thinking.

What are the 4 steps of cognitive restructuring?

The four cognitive restructuring steps are awareness/consciousness, evaluation, reflecting rationally, and reforming or replacement. The first step is awareness. It is becoming conscious of how you think and how it can potentially affect you. Afterward, assess whether your thoughts are rational and healthy.

After the assessment of thoughts, dig deeper into the reasons behind your perspective, and fact-check it. Finally, take action. Replace your distorted thinking, and plan how you are going to change it.

Can I do cognitive behavioral therapy on my own?

You can apply CBT techniques on your own. However, doing it with a professional gives you a more efficient result. If you do it on your own, remind yourself of some things as you practice CBT techniques. It might get frustrating, but remember to be kind and patient to yourself, respect your process, and do what you love. Grow a habit of being aware or mindful of your thoughts and actions and keep your perspectives in check. It would also help have a book or a program to guide you in doing CBT techniques.

What is CBT for anxiety?

CBT is the most commonly used therapy approach for addressing all sorts of anxiety disorders, including phobias and panic disorder. CBT works to identify and transform negative thoughts and ways of reacting. It also looks into behaviors that contribute to anxiety.

Exposure therapy for anxiety is through step-by-step systematic desensitization or gradual exposure to the trigger until its effect wears off. CBT for anxiety also uses other therapeutic techniques like exercising, relaxation techniques, hypnosis, and biofeedback (monitoring physiological functions).

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How do I practice CBT for anxiety?

Practice CBT by learning about your anxiety, becoming aware of your triggers and the reasons behind them. You must actively grow a healthier set of thinking and reacting and adopt a healthy mental and physical lifestyle. Invest in good connections and relationships with people who support you or who are in the same situation as you. As part of cognitive reframing, you also have to reduce your stressors. Find a way to minimize stress and instead focus on what makes you happy and relaxed.

How long does it take for cognitive behavioral therapy to work?

CBT is not a one-time-big-time overnight change. The usual CBTs take about 12 to 20 weeks, with each session lasting from 30-60 minutes. The practice and effectiveness lie outside of these session hours and more on the everyday applications.

What is CBT not good for?

CBT may not be appropriate for complex mental disorders, such as learning difficulties, social anxiety, and personality disorders. People with learning difficulties may find it hard to cope with the very structured approach of CBT. Simultaneously, it is hard and not that simple to do exposure therapy for people with social anxiety.

Aside from this, CBT may not be for individuals who need to address deeper problems in systems or families mostly because of CBT’s present-focused approach and not so much on past issues.

What are the three main goals in cognitive therapy?

The three main goals of CBT are 1) to help you develop new healthy skills and coping mechanisms, 2) to relieve symptoms and find solutions to the client’s current problems, and 3) to modify the client’s cognitive and behaviors.

Is Rebt a form of CBT?

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy or REBT is one of the earliest forms of CBT. It is a short-term therapy that focuses on present thoughts and feelings that are self-defeating. It also aims to replace it with healthier and more productive beliefs.

What is faulty thinking in CBT?

CBT defines faulty thinking as patterns of thinking that are self-defeating or are distorted perspectives of things. Cognitive distortions are when one’s ways of thinking do not match reality, whether they realize it or not.

How do I change my thinking patterns?

Understand how you look at things and re-examine how rational or are they just toxic and not based on reality? Another helpful practice is learning how to take criticisms and rejections, which we often take heavily. Learning how to take criticisms while still assertively defending yourself can help you think healthier.

Writing your thoughts and feelings will help you process them before it gets the best out of you. Remember also not to forcibly stop unwanted thoughts by merely shoving them off, but instead by positively addressing them.

What does a CBT session look like?

CBT sessions are either a 1-to-1 session or in groups with people in a similar situation as you. It usually takes 30-60 minutes. Sessions typically happen in a clinic, outdoors, or at your home. The first session is about assessments, while the subsequent sessions are oriented towards achieving mini-goals as planned.

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Before the development of CBT, behavior modification focused on reinforcements and punishments. While it was already in practice for years, it does not address the causes of the issue.  The inception of CBT greatly contributed to the treatment of various mental health disorders.  Mental health professionals have applied CBT in their practice to understand better how negative thoughts contribute to mental health problems. 

CBT is one of the first-line treatments for several disorders and conditions. Concrete goals guide this method to measure the progress of a patient’s recovery. With this, studies have easily measured CBT’s efficacy making it one of the most well-researched psychotherapy.  

CBT  can also be useful for other problems not necessarily caused by mental health issues. This therapy can tackle everyday issues ranging from improving sleep quality to handling the loss of loved ones. It can also address problems concerning stress and emotion regulation. 

If you or your loved ones suffer from any mental health disorder, seek immediate professional assistance like CBT. It can help in managing your thoughts and emotions. Also, CBT can significantly improve your outlook in life. You may also discuss what particular techniques within this treatment you want to try and learn to do at home with your therapist.

Proper emotional and behavioral regulation is essential for us to deal with life’s problems. It is normal to feel angry, anxious, or sad. But when these emotions become too much, seeking a professional’s help would help us regain a healthy body and mind. 

Part of your existence is to get surrounded by people who can either contribute or destroy your overall well-being. It is inevitable. Often, you get used to some of their antics, while you get fed up and annoyed at times. That is because human relationships include a lot of things. Some of which are tolerance, honesty, trust, care, love, and sense of humor. But even if you have all of these, not all connections are guaranteed healthy. There are those types of people who can cause too much physical, emotional, and mental stress in your whole system. In this article, we will try to mention some of those.

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The Know-It-All – A Know-It-All person is sometimes tolerable, especially if you happen to master the art of dealing with his behavior. The personality that the individual often portray serves the purpose of trying to build himself up. He always wants to look intelligent and charming around other people, even if it means he has to lie.  Usually, this type of individual has less concern with other people’s feelings as he possesses poor listening ability. The worst part of this character is the individual’s inability to read social cues. You should avoid this person because of the tendency to experience unfavorable treatment from a narcissistic personality disorder that could develop over time. And since this person believes he knows everything, nothing you say will be correct or accurate to him. If you choose to stick with this person, you will soon lose your ability to express yourself and eventually doubt your feelings and capabilities.

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The Advantage-TakerAn advantage taker is someone that you might say a wise individual. He is the person that knows what he wants and understands the needs of sacrifices to get whatever it is that he desires. He is an expert in lying, shaming, denial, and seduction. He is a person that knows how to use perfect diversions for selective intentions while playing the victim. An advantage taker is often friendly, enthusiastic, and has a lot of good vibes. However, this individual shows himself when things are unfavorable for him. He will sometimes care about your needs, but will never do a good deed for free. You cannot ensure a good relationship with this person because he only appreciates your worth when he knows you can provide the things he needs. This type of person does not compromise with your situation and often pressures you to work on your responsibilities for his sake. He should be avoided because of his selfish and unethical way of dealing with other people.

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The Too-Good-To-Be-True – An individual with a too-good-to-be-true vibe always has a positive outlook in life and that somehow everything he does is admirable. This person is often a friendly, charming, confident, and happy individual. Most times, you can never see anything wrong with this person because he handles himself amazingly well. It is as if he understands what character perfection is. However, though you might feel comfortable and secure around him, there is always something that can flip the table. Usually, a too-good-to-be-true character could be a lot of unexpected things. At times, this individual often hides tons of skeletons in his closet. Some of his imperfections could include addiction, personality disorder, manipulative and selfish traits, as well as abusive behavior. He is a person that only shows the good sides of him and tries his best not to crack with the persona he has perfected.

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The Toxic – The most common type of person that you should avoid as much as possible is the toxic one. Usually, the red flags are always out, and all you have to do is push the person away. That is because a toxic individual is way out of boundary. He has opinions about everything you do. It is as if this person is ruining your life intentionally. A toxic person always complains and makes you feel that his life is your responsibility. He blames you for the wrong decisions he makes and condemns you if you choose not to lend a hand. Everything you do for this person is not enough, and he always has a lot of something to say with your commitments. He gets to make you feel worthless as he exerts an effort to get involved in your other personal relationships. This individual can destroy your emotional and mental well-being by not doing even anything drastic at all.

To save your mental health, you need to understand the things you need to put up with people. Whether they are your closest friends, colleagues, family, and special someone, they need to know the limitations of their involvement in your life. You have to avoid this know-it-all, advantage-taker, too-good-to-be-true and toxic individuals for the sake of your development and inner peace.

One of the biggest mistakes that we do when trying to help family members with mental health is assuming we know how to help. We quickly conclude things because we rely on the idea of familial connection. We believe that our loved ones’ feelings, thoughts, and actions are only a little effect on their unstable life. With that overly confident way of thinking, we act immediately and we confront them, as if we already have the answers to their struggle. But that mentality only makes things worse because sometimes, we utter words we know we shouldn’t have.

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“It’s All In Your Head”

Most of us consider that happiness is a choice. However, a mental illness like depression most definitely is not. Sometimes, we fail to realize that the condition is due to the things that are out of our loved ones’ control. These include traumatic experiences, environmental factors, brain chemical imbalances, as well as genetics. So there is no point in condemning them for feeling depressed or experiencing a mental breakdown. When we try and comfort someone with depression, we do not convince them to forget and ignore all the things they are mentally and emotionally experiencing. Because even if we might not see it, the effects of those illnesses are just as real as physical pain. We have to realize that depression is not something anyone can shrug off any time they want. So we shouldn’t think that our loved ones are overreacting and that they’re just making a big deal about it.

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“You Seem To Look Fine”

Sometimes, we tend to help our family in a different way than what we usually do. That explains why we often try to stay positive as much as possible so that it can impact our loved ones’ overall well-being. With that, we utter words like “you look fine to me” to assume positive feedback. We think it is a compliment. However, for people who are experiencing a mental illness, it represents a different meaning. It makes them believe that we are invalidating their feelings and struggle. As a result, our loved ones become resentful towards us. They will think that it was a bad idea to confide their feelings to such insensitive individuals like us. In some unfortunate instances, those words can make them take away their trust towards us.

“You Are Not Trying Hard Enough To Help Yourself”

For some reason, family members with depression know that their condition is not something they can easily control. Most of the time, they are struggling with it without even noticing it. And since we assume we know how to take care of our family, we confront them. We give advice and make sure that they push themselves to positivity. But sometimes, we get upset when all our efforts seem not to work. With that, we express our frustrations to our loved ones because we think helping them is useless without their cooperation. We feel they are not striving hard enough. But those words can deeply hurt them instead of encouraging them. They make our loved ones feel guilty of having a mental illness even though it is never their fault.

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“There Is No Reason To Feel Depressed”

Depression is different from the occasional sadness and loneliness we feel. It is not comparable to having a normal emotional and mental response from the ups and downs of life. There is no specific cause for it. So when we tell our family that they shouldn’t be depressed because there are no reasons to be, we come off as unsympathetic, insensitive, and irritating individuals. Even if our intention is only to remind our loved ones about the great things they have in their lives, it will still turn out to be an unacceptable approach. That is because those words can make them believe that they are ungrateful. That emotional trigger will only worsen their condition and eventually make them not want to help themselves.

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“I Know How You Feel”

Understandably, saying these words to our loved ones means to convey understanding and sympathy. However, for those family members with depression, it feels offensive. If we have suffered the same mental health conditions that our loved ones are now experiencing, we can say these words. But if not, there is no better way to say that we truly know everything about their emotional and mental pain. To help our family, we must first understand that we don’t know anything about their pain. No matter how hard we imagine we can relate to their struggles, we can’t. That is the first step to recognizing the effort we need to put.

It is better to understand that sometimes, even a well-intentioned remark can get misinterpreted. Even if we think we deliver our words correctly, it can still be misconceived as something ignorant and hurtful. Thus, we must try our best to be careful in transferring our thoughts into words.

 

 

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting people around the world. And even those who are in quarantine are taking a considerable toll on themselves, not physically, but mentally. Families are out of their usual routine. And are forced to adjust to the “new normal” – working at home and even homeschooling, making our kids feel anxious and isolated. But before we can take care of our child’s mental health, we need to start with ourselves. 

Here is how we, parents, can take care of ourselves while in quarantine.

Follow A Schedule

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The coronavirus pandemic has taken us out of our usual routine, locking us in our homes for safety measures. Because of this, we lost our sense of control of our lives, making us anxious and stressed most of the time. So what you need to do to regain that control is to have a schedule. Create a new routine that you and your family can follow every day. Set aside a time for working, hanging out with your kids, exercising, and even having just a free time to relax.

This quarantine schedule does not have to be on the dot and uptight. Allow for some flexibility and contingencies. Do not let this routine be another source of your anxiety. Follow your schedule, but do not be afraid to veer away from it when you need some downtime for yourself.

Be Physically Active

Before, staying at home means relaxing and getting away from the usual problem of your daily life. Now, staying at home is a mandatory practice to keep yourself and your family safe, blurring the lines of work, school, and relaxation. So, it may be tempting to forgo working and just relax all day, but that will do you more harm than good. Mainly since lack of physical activity contributes to other health issues like weight gain and heart diseases.

So while in quarantine, find time to work out for at least 150 minutes per week. Besides keeping you physically healthy, it can also help you mentally as exercising improves your move and boosts your energy.

Eat Healthily

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Another essential health tip to remember is to eat healthily. As much as possible, avoid binging on unhealthy snacks like soda and salted chips when binge-watching your favorite shows. There is a science behind avoiding these foods and having better moods. And now more than ever, you will need to be mentally and emotionally healthy to better deal with these unstable times.

So, be sure to incorporate foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in your diet and have instant mood boosts at every meal.

Have Enough Sleep

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One of the things that you should also include in your schedule is the time for sleeping and the time for waking up. Research shows that having enough sleep can improve your mood and decrease your risk of anxiety and depression. Jade Wu Ph.D., also shares, “getting enough sleep is important for your health and happiness.” She adds “Keeping a consistent wake-up time will help you to get on the same page with your body, and to have just the right amount of that sweet, innocent sleep.”

So when it’s near your bedtime, put your phones away, tuck yourself in bed, and get ready to fall asleep right on schedule. 

Minimize Screen Time

Both the internet and the television are full of negative news about the pandemic. And continuously exposing ourselves to these can increase our anxiety. Researches have also reported that exposure to negative news fuels our natural negativity bias. It is making us pay more attention to the threatening events around us, which ultimately makes us more depressed and anxious.

It is essential to be informed about current events while in quarantine. But it is also necessary to know when enough is enough and when to turn off your TVs and get out of social media to find peace in yourself.

Communicate Your Feelings

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Lastly, do not forget to communicate your feelings. Yes, you are a parent, and you need to be reliable for your children, but you are also a human being. So, whenever you feel overwhelmed with emotions, reach out to your partner or a trusted friend, and tell them about it. Keeping negative feelings may put you on edge and unable to take care of your children. 

Never wait for your emotional cup to be full. When you don’t feel okay, tell someone about it.

One important thing to note: our children feel our anxiety. So before we can fully assist our children in dealing with their mental health while in quarantine, we must mentally and emotionally ready to do it. Start taking care of yourselves to help your kids cope with this pandemic.

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The 2019 Mental Illness Conference revealed that teletherapy is the next big thing now. With the emergence of COVID-19 and social distancing, it is getting more challenging to have a physical meeting with your therapists. Some people might feel a bit hesitant to try this new approach. With this in mind, listed below are some of the top benefits you can get if you engage with teletherapy.

More Accessible

As mentioned above, it’s a little bit challenging to set an appointment with your therapist physically. Simultaneously, some individuals living in rural areas find it challenging to travel just for this service. Teletherapy eliminates the distance barrier so that therapy is accessible to everyone everywhere.

Privacy

Some people do not engage with therapists because they’re scared of being judged. They do not want other people to see them enter a therapist’s clinic. With the emergence of teletherapy, you don’t have to worry about this issue. Since everything is online, you will be able to eliminate all the awkwardness of seeking the therapist’s services.

Reduced Wait Times

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If you line up at a therapist’s office, there’s a significant chance that you will have to wait for your turn. Some sessions will inevitably extend, so you have to sit at the lounge for a longer time. With teletherapy, this won’t be a problem anymore. Add to this the reduced time of battling with traffic going and returning from your session.

More Comfortable

Believe it or not, several people feel a bit anxious when sitting in the waiting room of the clinic. They have to process their emotion of meeting a new person and pouring their feelings to him or her. This scenario makes them a little bit stressed. If you’re one of these people, you don’t have to worry about experiencing this. Teletherapy alleviates the anxiety since they’re processing everything in the comfort of their own homes.

Streamlines Communications

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One of the most vital benefits that teletherapy brings to the table is streamlined communications. All records are available on one platform. Also, patients can access their files online, view their charting program, and receive appointment notifications. They can even pay digitally!

Teletherapy brings a new perspective and frontier, and with its growth, the future looks brighter.