Beat Anxiety With Your Hobby

Exams, skipping classes, job interviews, new projects, dates. These are just some of the things that make us feel anxious.  Almost all of us have experienced that sensation of momentary butterflies in our stomach.  But anxiety can be a grave problem, debilitating and crippling someone’s ability to function normally.

You feel like you’re repeating patterns that are not doing anything to help you, but are unsure how to “break free.” — Charles Rosen, LCSW

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Understanding Solution-Focused Therapy

Alcohol and drugs obviously create altered states of mind, but overeating, gambling, or having a sex addiction do as well. — Wendy Salazar, MFT

There are a wide array of options of therapies drug rehabilitation offers.  Each person who has addiction has specific needs, and each case is unique and that different treatments are offered.

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My Lover Is An Impostor (Capgras Syndrome)

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Ever imagine how you would feel when one day your partner no longer recognizes you but instead telling you to get out of the house because you are just an impostor trying to copy everything his husband is.  And then later it will be other members of the family, could be the mom and dad, siblings, children, and even pets trying to deceive her.

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Body Integrity Identity Disorder Helps Me Understand My Transgender Partner (Mental Stress Of Having Unwanted Limb)

Transgender brains are a hot topic nowadays, but I never thought that researching concerning this topic would lead me to an issue of body integrity identity disorder which kind of come as awful to me, questioning how these people think.

Due to social norms and constraints, folx from queer and trans communities are typically compelled to examine their gender and sexual/romantic identities far more often than people who identify as straight or cisgender. — Kate Stewart, PhD

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Mental Struggle Of A Mother Dying Of Cancer

They say that dying of cancer is the sweetest and best way to die, but no matter what, death is still painful for those that will be left behind and to the one who is going away, especially if she is a mother.  A mother who worries about the welfare of her family that brings her fears, anxiety, and sadness even in her deathbed.

 

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Extreme Cases of Hoarding

Collecting or keeping things is part of our human nature; we do this for us to preserve the sentimental value behind everything we keep. We collect items such as dolls, cars, watches and the likes because it gives us the satisfaction of seeing things that we like. The art of collecting involves organized and careful handling of things, which makes the collections very pleasing to the eyes. Collecting things with purpose is done in a more organized and rational way.

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Alcohol Withdrawal: Getting Out Is Never That Easy At All

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“From now on, I’ll have to stop drinking!” Sounds good to hear. It’s like giving you another chance of having a healthy lifestyle. However, how positive as it may appear, getting through it requires mental toughness and self-determination of calling it quits for good. Just when you decided to stop drinking excessive alcohol for whatever reasons you may have, comes along the journey that you must go through which may seem unbearable that you might even think of backing out.

Fear of judgement is a powerful deterrent to treatment for individuals struggling with a substance use disorder of any sort, including alcohol. — Jennifer Smith, PhD

Alcohol withdrawal does not just happen overnight. In fact, there are three stages that a person may go through before completely becoming alcohol- free. The first 48 hours of detoxification is the most challenging part because this is when withdrawal symptoms start to peak.

Taking alcohol induces relaxation as it subdues the fight-or-flight reaction of the brain, so by the time that a person started to stop drinking, the body slowly process alcohol substance out from the circulatory the system. If you are dependent on alcohol, the effect of alcohol on the brain’s chemical balance may lead to an abrupt stimulation of the fight or flight mode. This can result in alcohol withdrawal syndrome; worse than a hang-over, hence, understanding the stages of alcohol withdrawal will shed light on what is expected when someone is experiencing withdrawal syndrome.

Mild Form

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You believe your negative thoughts to be true, rather than filtering them for more objective realities. As a result, your negative perceptions shape your perception of an event or interaction. — Kim Grevler, LCSW

The early stage of alcohol withdrawal occurs after 8 hours or more not taking alcohol. Commonly, after 12 hours of not consuming alcohol, tremors start to appear, and when coupled with anxiety the condition might become worse. Aside from tremors, a person might also be experiencing moderately minor symptoms which might take up to one to three days or even. The symptoms will vary according to physical or psychological characteristics:

 

  • Nervousness
  • Feeling down
  • Short-tempered
  • Impatience
  • Mood swings
  • Poor concentration
  • Fatigue
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nightmares
  • Headaches
  • Increased heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of craving
  • Unsteady limbs
  • Queasiness
  • Gagging
  • Excessive sweating

 

 

Severe Form

People who have been dependent for alcohol for a more extended period might experience severe withdrawal symptoms marked by a sudden increase in blood pressure and hallucination which may appear between 12 to 24 hours of stopping alcohol intake. Symptoms of the early stage might also be apparent at this stage and might worsen during this time. Withdrawal-related seizures are other possible symptoms that may appear. The seizure is known as a generalized tonic-clonic seizure which presents with the stiffness of the body, uncontrolled bowel and bladder control, the difficulty of breathing, jaw or teeth-gritting and uncontrolled tongue or cheek biting.

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Without filtering what you say, you might start getting a sense of the thoughts and feelings behind your presenting problem. — Charles Rosen, LCSW

Treatment for alcohol withdrawal usually takes place as an inpatient admission to monitor the changes and safety of the person. A person can have severe complications if this not monitored by a healthcare provider. As the person undergoes the process of detoxification, the physiological aspect takes primary importance. The doctor may still include the giving of alcohol in small amounts so as not to entirely deprive the body of the stimulatory effects of alcohol. As the process continues, the limitation of alcohol intake remains, together with psychological therapy and counseling sessions. The road to recovery may take some time, and everything will depend on the will of the person to stop.

 

 

An Overview Of Internet Addiction

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In every progress comes a consequence.

We are referring to the digital advancements, specifically the use of the internet, and the adverse effects it brings to our younger generation. Reports on the impact of neurological problems, psychological disorder, and social concerns have busted the lives of teenagers with Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) (Weinstein et al. 2010). Despite these claims, there is still a deliberation on whether the behavior is considered a mental health concern. In other countries such as China and South Korea, they identify internet addiction as significant public health thus initiative and strategies are placed to regulate and control internet usage.

Then again, the disagreement about the value of internet addiction, most of the medical and mental health professionals believe that internet addiction is a valid disorder and just like another addiction is worthy of much attention and concern (Cook, 2017).

To derive with medical jargon, various terms have been linked to internet addiction – “problematic internet use” (PIU) and “internet addiction disorder” (IAD) (Cook, 2017).

From the terms mentioned above, one can objectively align where the problem is. An average person will use the internet for business, school, or other personal reasons with a limited number or amount of time. The usage does not compromise the person’s other activities and relationships. A positive outcome would be that the internet was used as a tool to improve or enhance social relationships, business and work reasons, and personal improvement. Otherwise, if the effects are the opposite of these situations, then a psychological or behavioral problem exists.

By noting the times you feel tempted to indulge in an addiction, you can begin to bring more awareness to the situation. — Wendy Salazar, MFT

Clues to the Disorder

Source: en.wikipedia.org

 

Since it is not an official psychiatric diagnosis, the following lists are obvious manifestations of persons believed to have an internet addiction.

  • Excessive use of the internet via computer, smartphone, or other digital tablets
  • Sleeping and eating problems brought about by continued internet browsing
  • Having some fear and anxiety when there is a disconnection to the internet such as:
    • Running out of battery
    • Loss of power or wi-fi connection
    • Forgetting the smartphone or gadget somewhere else
    • Feeling naked and incomplete if not holding a smartphone or any digital device Unable to attend to any social commitments
  • Feeling edgy and irritable-if cannot check social media accounts

The process of recognizing there is a problem; increasing motivation to take control; seeking support; and identifying the types of people, environments, and situations that will allow for recovery may, at times, seem impossible. — Deanna Richards, LMHC

Treatment

Once this is official, the treatment for internet addiction will somehow be like that of other addiction problems. Talk therapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy is best viewed to treat addiction problems. The mind is re-trained to think and make correct decisions regarding some behaviors.

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Internet detox is the modern term to discipline oneself from getting rid of internet addiction. Modification of usage is the ultimate goal since internet technology can be helpful in our daily lives. Once the person regains control of his internet time and reasons for using it, then he will be allowed to use any digital tool again.

Also known by various other terms like “digital detox,” “digital Sabbath,” and “unplugging”, the idea behind a digital fast is to voluntarily and deliberately stop using all connected devices – smartphones, computers, tablets, and so on – that plug you to the internet for a pre-specified amount of time. — Utpal Dholakia Ph.D.

Create a schedule and STICK TO IT! Your counselor or therapist will encourage you to develop a plan and schedule for internet usage. As they say, to plan is easy but to follow it will take extra effort and a continuous struggle.

This is not a race. Recovering from addiction problems is not an overnight thing. You will need support from families and friend as you go through this process. Be patient and follow your doctor’s orders.

 

Reference:

Cook, S. (2017). Technology and internet addiction: How to recognize it and recover from itComparitech. Retrieved 22 February 2018, from https://www.comparitech.com/internet-providers/technology-internet-addiction/

Gender Dysphoria:  Not Just About Being Gay Or Lesbian Says Therapist

What is Gender Dysphoria?

Gender dysphoria or gender identity disorder is the distress an individual experiences because of feeling uncomfortable with the physical or assigned gender and the gender with which they identify themselves with.  They also feel uncomfortable and troubled with the likely role they have to take with their assigned gender.

The general population views sex/gender as binary categories—male/masculine and female/feminine. In contrast, some scholars and activists argue that both sex and gender extend along a continuum. — David Ludden Ph.D.

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Gender Dysphoria In Childhood

Confusion or gender conflict affects some individuals, especially children, in different ways.   It may change the way a person wants to express himself and can influence the way he behaves, he dresses, and the way he portrays his self-image.

One couple with a transgender boy told their story that at age two, their son would refuse to toilet train unless they buy him boxers.  He would refuse to be called in his female name but preferred a boy’s name.   They felt troubled by this, but they accepted and respected their child’s decision to be a boy, no matter what other people would say to them.

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After their child’s social transition, they claimed that his life blossomed and their anxiety about his coming to puberty escalated.   They said that it’s a long and challenging journey to parent a transgender child.  They had him see a therapist to guide him, and that made a significant impact on their son’s life, who now is living a happy, well-adjusted life.

But it is a different case for Tony, now an adult, who was not accepted by his family when he tried to tell them about his struggle at a young age of nine, and out of fear of his strict father, he decided to suppress his true feelings.  Although he tried to do his best for his father to accept him, he still can’t come out in the open.   He even got married after college just to please his father.  But despite having an almost perfect family, deep inside he was not happy because he was suppressing his true identity.  He felt depressed because the way he was living did not match the way he felt inside.  He was always thinking about how his life would be better if he could live as a female, that whenever his wife was not around, he would try on her clothes.

Recent evidence indicates that thalates from plastic and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are one of many factors predicting gender dysphoria, particularly in the case of male-to-female transgenders. — Nigel Barber Ph.D.

Living an upsetting, unhappy life, he sought treatment from a therapist to whom he can be honest about his life plans.   He talked about how much he desired to be the opposite gender but was afraid to upset his father.  Sharing his life with his therapist, he became more sure about becoming a woman, and he began to tell his closest friends about it and even requested them to address him as “she.”  ‘

She is now in the process of working things out with his mental health provider and preparing herself to have the courage to tell her wife.   She started her hormone treatment but has no plan of having surgery.

 

Acceptance And Respect

People with gender dysphoria are living in a confusing world, and they are in conflict with themselves and the people around them.   Feeling unaccepted and unrespected cause them to be depressed, unhappy, and some even reach the point of contemplating suicide.

The family must be the first one to understand their ordeal.   Studies have shown that children who are experiencing gender dysphoria recover faster and can live a happier and fuller life when the family shows support than those who are hiding in the closet.

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A few very misguided clinicians (and families) have attempted to “cure” a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity with things like aversion therapy and labeling the individual as a sex addict (as a way to explain his or her “abnormal” feelings and behaviors). Again, these tactics are nearly always both harmful and counterproductive. — Robert Weiss Ph.D., MSW

There are some with gender dysphoria who are satisfied with just doing cross-dress, some want to socially transition, and there are those who want to consider medical options with sex-exchange surgery or hormone treatment.  Socially transitioning includes use of affirmed gender’s pronouns and bathrooms.

Not all individuals who experience gender dysphoria want to have gender reassignment.  Some are fighting for their right to dress the way they want without being judged, to be supported, and treated fairly and equally, and to be accepted by their family and the society with which they belong.

Gender dysphoria is not just about being gay or lesbian says a therapist, but more about being able to come out in the open freely, be accepted and not be judged because they choose a gender they are not born with.