Month: February 2017

Schizophrenia

Nothing is Real: Perspective, Perception, and Schizophrenia

About one percent of our population struggles with Schizophrenia (3.2 million people). It may seem like a small number in comparison with other diseases. However, despite it’s rarity in our population, it has huge impacts. To me, Schizophrenia is fascinating. In fact, it played a huge role in my decision to become a therapist.

Following my undergraduate education, I went to work for a Human Services agency. Specifically, I worked in a high intensity group home for severely mentally ill young adult males. Most of which carried a diagnosis of Schizophrenia among others.  It was a truly eye opening experience. One that caused me to feel that I could really make a difference in the world simply by how I related to others.

These guys were not unlike other teenage young boys. They had girlfriends, poor hygiene, and could eat ungodly amounts of food. They wanted relationships,enjoyed talking about things that made them happy, and most of all they desperately wanted to fit in. However, the pervasive nature of their symptoms often times landed them in trouble, either with the law, or within the established rules of the home. Really, the “trouble” they found themselves in was directly a result of how society has perceived their “condition”.

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Depression-

Nothing is Real: Perspective, Perception, and Depression

Depression effects 15 million adults in the US yearly. That is 6.7% of the population. It is one of the most common mental health concerns that people seek help for.

I’ve been in therapeutic relationships with many individuals who suffer from depression. There is a consistent theme in how they describe their experience. In the last few weeks, I’ve asked my clients; children, adolescents, and adults to describe what depression feels like to them.

Here’s what they had to say:

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Nothing is Real Poster

Nothing is Real: Perspective, Perception, and the Human Psyche

In my next series of blog postings entitled Nothing is Real I’d love to explore with you the concepts of reality, perception, and perspective. Specifically, I’ll explore how all of these play a role in the human psyche and ultimately our mental health in various ways. In addition, I will be discussing the strong connection  between art and mental health. Today’s blog will be an overview of my general stance on these subjects. We’ll take some deeper dives into these concepts in the future as we discuss how they apply to specific human experiences of mental health “problems”.

“Your Entire Universe is In Your Mind. To Expand the Universe, Expand Your Mind”-Deepak Chopra

 

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Canva Design

Fasting to Achieve and Maintain Mental Health in the Age of Social Media Saturation

How much have you thought about what it means for us to constantly be connected to other people via social media? To consistently be bombarded with not so positive information and news daily? I think about it often. Especially in more recent times.

The negative stories that we see across our timelines grab our attention and elicit reaction. Whether we like it or not, this effects us tremendously over time. In fact, I won’t be surprised if in the future we have mental health diagnoses directly related to the effects of social media. We certainly have built a culture primed for it.

With a cultural shift (I know, easier said than done) we may be able to prevent that from happening. So, let’s take some time to examine the potential effects of social media saturation. Then let’s talk about what we can actually do to reverse and mitigate these negative effects.
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Do You Have an Anxious Child? How to Tell and What to Do About It

Anxiety has long been one of the more common mental health issues that people seek help for. However, anxiety in children in particular is often overlooked and/or misunderstood. So much so that 80 percent of children with a diagnoseable mental disorder are not being treated (Child Mind Institute). This is shocking considering that the median age of onset for childhood anxiety is six years old. Early intervention with any type of disorder is ideal as it helps to prevent it from becoming a chronic issue.

There are several specific disorders that fall under the umbrella of anxiety which I discussed generally in my previous post. Today I’d like to focus on what Anxiety looks like in children with the hopes of helping more parents and caregivers identify it.

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A Seat At the Table: Part 2 Self Esteem and Maturity

Self Esteem and Maturity are two key components to being a successful adult navigating today’s world. So, why not do …

Shared decision making

A Seat At the Table: How To Strategically Use Shared Decision Making To Empower Your Child, Foster Maturity, and Decrease Emotional Oubursts

Shared Decision Making is a topic I explore with parents often. This is the concept of allowing your child to be in on the …

Emotional Intelligence

The Role of Caregivers in the Development of Emotional Intelligence in Children

Emotional intelligence is a term that is cropping up more and more. It refers to an individual’s ability to recognize …