Therapist’s Useful Guide In Healing A Broken Heart

Once or twice in our life, we experienced heartache on different levels. Perhaps that is due to our failed relationships that we thought would last. Or maybe due to the promises that we hold onto despite obviously knowing they can be broken. Or perhaps we experienced losing someone most unexpectedly. Whatever the reasons are, we know that not a single soul can understand our pain and suffering. And with those emotions, we know that our lives would never be the same.

Heartache, accompanied by grief, is a complicated thing. Some of us can better handle the roller coaster of emotions, while some would rather choose to end it all. Some can find ways to go back to their old lives, while others get stuck in a mentally and emotionally crippling situation. But despite some negative life impacts of a broken heart, we should always remember to continue and live life as is. We have to support ourselves through the healing process so we can protect our overall well-being. Here is some of the guide to healing a broken heart according to a therapist.

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Stop Pretending 

The earlier we realize that we are grieving, the less complicated things for us will be. An issue with a broken heart is that sometimes, we try to make people believe that we are okay due to our overly self-confident selves. We make others think that we can easily make it because we strongly hold onto the idea of “a strong self” despite hurting inside. We cry in silence because we want to convince ourselves that moving on is an easy process. We lie to people all the time. And those lies we tell them to become our reality, making us unable to see and solve the problem.

Permission To Grieve 

The process of healing or recovery should start from acknowledging the underlying emotions that we are dealing with. We should let ourselves feel all the kinds of pain that are associated with grief. We need to permit ourselves to grieve to understand the impacts of anger, sadness, loneliness, or guilt. We have to know what’s going on physically, emotionally, and mentally within ourselves to develop a coping strategy that would fit our needs. Note that it does not have to be urgent. As long as we learn to accept the situation and learn our lessons from the unfortunate event, slowly, we will make it.

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Let People Know

One significant part of healing a broken heart is expression. Thus, we need to let it all out. We mustn’t keep our emotions to ourselves as it may cause too much weight in the mental and emotional aspects. It would be best if we could find someone who we can trust to vent out our emotions. Of course, it may sound easy, but it can be complicated too when we are full of fear from rejection and judgment. But that is how the healing process works. We have to acknowledge the fact that not all people would listen to our stories. But the good part is, we will be able to manage the emotions we are struggling with.

Focus On Self-Care

Whether we like it or not, we would end up struggling to get back on our feet if we won’t focus on self-care. Thus, we need to remind ourselves that there is nothing more reassuring than taking care of ourselves. Yes, we need to embrace the difficulty of the situation. However, it is not enough reason to neglect ourselves with proper self-care just because we are broken-hearted. As much as possible, we have to rely on ourselves when it comes to full recovery because no other individual knows what we are capable of doing more than us.

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Find Happiness In Other Things

Finding happiness in other things after heartbreak can be a tough option to consider. It is natural for us to crawl up in bed and cry over spilled milk for the most part. Admittedly, we would choose to isolate ourselves and become a different person because it validates our heartache. Unfortunately, that’s one of the worse parts of grieving. Instead of diving into the pit of misery, why not choose to look for other things that we can be thankful for? Why not give ourselves a chance to do things differently? We can learn new activities, change our environment, focus on our abilities, and so on.

Final Thoughts

Yes, mending a broken heart is different from one person to another. There are times that one can recover from the pain regardless of the time spend on the process. But there are also those people who are mentally and emotionally incapable of dealing with heartache. In some unfortunate cases, their sufferings lead to psychological health problems, self-harm, and suicide.

 

Therapy For Mental Health – Understand The Fear Of Being Alone

We can agree that it is not hard to understand the fear of being alone. Just imagine going home to an empty apartment after work, getting a sense of exclusions during the holidays, not having people to celebrate life with, etc. We know the agony of being on our own all the time. As much as we want to make things different, we already adapt to the surrounding unhappiness, making it even sadder to think about it.

The fear of being alone is responsible for our emotional imbalance and throttling psychological development. It is somehow the worst contributing factor to our misery in life and the cause of some of our most unfortunate decisions. That fear creates a misapprehension that hinders us from saving ourselves as it ruins some of the substantial portions of our lives. Sometimes, we unexpectedly cater to our convenience even though we know those things can automatically cause us overall damage. Thus, we need to raise awareness on a proper understanding of the fear of being alone.

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It Makes Us Lie And Manipulate People

Sadly, when we are scared to be left alone, we make a forbidden mistake. Sometimes we lie, and sometimes we create manipulating scenarios so that people could end up staying by our side regardless of their will. Our fear makes us do things that take other people’s options to decide and live for themselves. We become so unreasonable and sometimes possessive that we do not allow these people to grow emotionally and mentally. We get too afraid of sadness and loneliness that we obliged them to stick with us no matter what. We deprive these individuals of having a realistic chance of choosing things they deserve.

It Makes Us Try Harder For People To Like Us

The fear of being alone always goes with the fear of being left out. That is why we often try our best to make the people stick with us. But along with the process is our inappropriate understanding of how to manage the issue socially. Thus we end up changing ourselves for the benefit of others. We become individuals that are too ordinary or fake to get people’s attention. We need to be noticeable enough so that others could find enough reason to associate with us. We tend to make ourselves relevant because we are afraid that if people don’t see something worthy in us, we become more deserving of being alone.

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It Makes Us Create Wrongs Decisions

Being alone is sometimes a must. It allows us to grow independently. It makes us realize the value of surviving during the worse times. However, the fear associated with being alone is a powerful force that often convinces us to create wrong decisions in life. Even if we intend not to, we usually make mistakes and validate our actions, thinking we did it because no one is there to guide us. We blame others for not telling us what is right from wrong, despite our own knowledge of what we are supposed to do.

It Makes Us Succumb To A Denial Phase

Often, we recognize that there is a need to be alone. Regardless of the fear we have for it, we know that we have to work things independently. Unfortunately, that mentality often gets too far that we begin to succumb to a denial phase. Yes, the emotional damages can be bearable but only for an extended period. After quite a few whiles, it will imply mind-shattering despair of our wrong interpretation of words, actions, and behaviors only to avoid compromising. We get stuck in a denial phase where we force ourselves to believe that we are okay even if we are not.

It Makes Us Vulnerable And Weak

When terrified of loneliness, we often do not have enough strength to argue about what we want. We let go of things just like that, and we do not care to fight for our needs. It is as if we’re trying to embrace the unfortunate life of loneliness and sadness and only hope for others to give mercy. At the time, we feel we had enough, but in reality, we continue to endure the pain and misery of being alone. We get so weak that we do not take the initiative to change our surroundings because we fear it will only complicate the situation. We do not want to risk our overall health to experience a devastating result of rejection.

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Takeaway

We all have fears that we continue struggling with. Unfortunately, the fear of being alone is not something we can openly tell others. That is because, as much as possible, we don’t want people to see us as someone clingy, dependent, manipulative, and socially awkward. It would be better if we find time to understand how the fear of being alone negatively affects our lives before it becomes too late.

 

The Obvious Causes Of Ineffective Counseling

Counseling can be a great alternative treatment for emotional health problems that affect mental health. It provides the best results in aligning thoughts and feelings. It finds ways to encourage and empower people to use their potential to build strong and functional well-being. It promotes self-reliance and self-awareness. However, counseling is not perfect. Some particular reasons make it ineffective.

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Lacks Clear Purpose On The Process

Counseling is often certain about its goal, and that is to help people reach their maximum potential in keeping emotional and mental health intact. However, for some reason, it becomes ineffective because it lacks a clear purpose. Some counseling strategies only focus on the bigger goal without considering the small ones that need dire attention. The process fails to establish rules, structure, and objectives at the outset. As a result, too many of the things that require immediate attention stay unresolved.

Insufficient Skills And Knowledge

Counseling experts are knowledgeable in addressing patients’ mental and emotional issues. However, not all of them are skilled when it comes to handling real-time stressful situations. Some counselors are more focused on the paperwork that they do not want to engage in a deep relationship with their clients’ issues. It becomes a cause of ineffective counseling because of the inconsistency and inconvenience that could take place.

No Comprehensible Communication

Counseling is all about communicating the reason for treatment. But when the individual and the counselor fail to establish a working relationship, the process of counseling fails even before it begins. Counseling needs tons of information regarding past and present experiences to process qualifying assistance to save emotional health. However, suppose clients fail to provide the needed information or somehow want to hide something. In that case, they will eventually have a communication gap, making the therapy unable to resolve.

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Lacks Sensitivity To Emotional Issues

Sometimes, counseling fails not because people don’t want to recover but because some counselors lack sensitivity to emotional issues. Unfortunately, experts, despite knowing what to do, do not always build a relationship with clients. It is as if they try and put out a barrier because they do not want to feel the mental and emotional burden the patients deal with. There is a lack of sensitivity to diversity that results in less adaptive emotional responses. There is a lack of acknowledgment of the unique needs of patients in a therapeutic setting.

Not Enough Understanding Of Private Concerns

Usually, counseling becomes stressful when counselors are pushy. Unfortunately, some counselors feel entitled to know everything, which causes clients to feel a little bit irritated and distant from them. While some experts manage the issue, some use it against their patients. Thus, it creates a failure in dealing with clients’ challenging behaviors and personalities. Counseling fails when counselors fail to recognize the struggle of expressing private concerns. With that, the whole process slips upon the negative involvement of emotions in counseling-related decisions and objectives.

Lack Of Surrounding Motivational Support

A good counselor attends fully to what the client is saying, and they speak and engage in active listening. But despite the counselor being excellent in helping people with emotional issues, counseling still becomes ineffective due to a lack of motivational support from different sources. Counselors may do their best in explaining certain information useful in the process of recovery. However, when the patients lack motivational support, they might succumb to the overall damage caused by their unstable mental and emotional health. People must recognize the need to surround themselves with supportive loved ones for the sake of their different developmental recovery.

Failure To Understand The Process Of Counseling

Counseling is effective when both the counselor and the patient understand the process. However, when one or both of them find it difficult to adjust, adhere to, and follow specific guidelines, it becomes a dead end. It would be impossible to assist a situation when one or both persons involved in the process are not taking it seriously. And even if the recovery model tends to be extremely effective, it will become useless when both fail to establish rapport. When there is a lack of understanding of the purpose of counseling, negative results occur. It includes having intense emotional issues and mental dysfunction.

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Final Thoughts

Counseling helps a lot in dealing with emotional and mental illnesses. But each people’s experience is different. If there is a disappointing thing that you encountered, please don’t give up in the process. There are still many amazing counseling techniques out there that are more appropriate for people’s needs. Some involve a real positive outcome that supports individuals who have experienced stress, trauma, and mental illness. Please do not let one bad experience ruin the overall impression of counseling’s potential benefits.

 

What Mental Illness Is Not (Mental Health Counseling)

It often bugs me when people talk about mental illness differently. Most of the people I know genuinely do not understand what mental illness is all about and how it affects millions of others’ lives. Some of them say that feeling sad are the ultimate indication. But what about those people who act normal every day despite the mental challenges? What about those individuals who can laugh around with friends but are crying inside? What about those people who find themselves capable of doing things despite struggling to maintain their overall wellness?

There are so many factors that can affect mental illness. But people should consider that not all of the signs are reliable. Thus, there is a need to pay close attention to what is going on with people dealing with mental health issues. It is vital to note that mental illness is not:

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A Trend 

I find it funny that some people can easily say that “I am so depressed” when in fact, the reason why they feel down is that they didn’t get to avail themselves a front seat ticket to a movie. Some would feel exaggerated over not getting a luxurious bag as a birthday present. And others often feel the need to say they are depressed even without a proper diagnosable sign.

Mental illness is not a trend. And not because many people feel sad for some reason; it does not mean everyone can be depressed altogether. Depression ruins lives. Thus, making it a trend will only make it difficult for others to identify their situation and avoid seeking help.

An Excuse

It seems quite getting handy when people use mental health conditions as an excuse for their bad behavior. Perhaps that is because humans are empathic. There is this mentality that when someone has done bad things but says they only did it because they are mentally incapable, they get an unlimited hall pass.

But mental illness is not an excuse, especially even for the bad behavior people are doing. There are always consequences in every action. And hurting others’ emotional, mental, and physical health so that one could validate his own mental health struggle is not acceptable. It is not okay to use mental illness to commit a crime and hurt other people intentionally.

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A Choice

In some severe cases of mental illness, the true reason for the inability to recover lies within the surrounding stupid people. That is because these individuals often think that mental illness is non-existent. They assume that one can easily get rid of it as if it was the person’s choice to experience its damaging effects.

It is hard to break it to some assuming people, but mental illness is never a choice. Mental illness occurs because of factors that affect it, such as genetics, environmental issues, upbringing, abuse and neglect, emotional disturbance, stress, and trauma.

A Reason For Attention

One of the most epic fails of using mental illness to get attention is getting treatment for it despite not needing one. People who use mental illness only to get the attention they need would never understand how hard it is to get through a day dealing with debilitating symptoms. It is disrespectful to those who are actually trying their best to win their psychological battle.

Mental illness is not a reason for attention. A person who constantly uses it for their personal desire greatly contributes to the difficulty of treating it. For some, the intention of using a “sick role” might fire back and eventually create a realm of illness for themselves.

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Always Visible

As mentioned above, many people think that sadness and hopelessness are the main indicators of mental illness. Unfortunately, that is only a portion of what mental illness is. There is too much to consider because mental illness comes in different forms. Thus, not because someone is emotionally sad and hopeless doesn’t mean they are mentally ill.

Mental illness is not always visible because there are people who can hide it very well. There are these individuals who know how to handle themselves despite being tormented inside. These individuals are great at pretending, denying, and ignoring their overall damage.

Something You Can Control

Usually, people would often say they understand what others are going through when talking about mental illness. But do they? The more reason why people with mental health conditions do not want to express themselves is because of those who pretend to know everything.

Mental illness is not something people can snap out of. It is not that easy. No one wants to deal with a mental health problem, so there is no point in telling them to “get over it,” “you will soon be fine,” and “that’s just something that will go away eventually.”

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Hidden Signs of Depression

Frequently Asked Questions About Hidden Signs of Depression

As I repeatedly attempt to understand myself, especially the changes I make with my every behavior, I often go back to the mental illness I once experienced. It was a long and tiring battle that I thanked God for overcoming. I was dealing with such emotional and mental pain and agony that somehow slowly kills me inside. There was agitation, exhaustion, nervousness, emotional dilemma, fatigue, and all sorts of negativity that put a lot of weight on my overall wellness. It was a disaster and a crucial part of my existence.

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Back then, I was hesitant to acknowledge my mental health struggle. I thought maybe it was all in the mind that I feel so lonely and sad for no particular reason. I thought it was normal and that every individual deals with that kind of emotional phase in life. However, the hidden signs of depression are not that friendly. There were times that, as much as I wanted to ignore it, they kept on coming back. I am not sure if those warning signs ever go away, but I am pretty much sure they are causing me a hell of mental and emotional damage.

Fortunately, today, I am more than careful about things around me. As much as possible, I try to learn more about my stressors to keep them away and won’t trigger my depression. Thus, I am confident that I can now distinguish its hidden signs. Of course, I do make mistakes and a couple of small assumptions at times. I am not a specialist when it comes to handling mental health issues, though. But at least, I am paying close attention to my overall emotional and mental health. Here’s to the frequently asked questions that guided me along the way of my mental health journey.

Is it possible to diagnose yourself with depression?

No, it is not possible to diagnose yourself with depression. It can only be possible if you, yourself, are a licensed and certified psychiatrist, psychologist, therapist, or counselor, with knowledge and expertise in the field. You can read about the signs and symptoms of depression, and if you see these signs upon you, you cannot assume right away. You have to go to a mental health expert and ask for their advice.

What is the most reliable symptom of depression?

The most common symptom of people with depression is the feeling of extreme sadness. While there are many signs and symptoms of depression, feeling very sad is a common factor in people with the said disorder. If you feel so sad, which lasts for more than two weeks, and you cannot function properly with your day-to-day life, you might be depressed, and with that, you need to see a professional in mental health.

But of course, there are instances or scenarios in life that can cause typical sadness. Do not always assume that when you are dealing with emotional changes, it is already depression. There is more to mental health than just feeling sad. Pay close attention to the other warning signs that also get in the way of your emotional, physical, and mental capabilities aside from extreme sadness.

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What are the warning signs of a mental breakdown?

The most prevalent warning signs that a person is experiencing or about to experience a mental breakdown include depressive moods like feeling hopeless or thoughts of self-harm, extreme anxiety like stomach pains, dizzy spells, high blood pressure and tension, insomnia, hallucinations, and extreme emotional outbursts or mood swings. If you or a loved one is manifesting these, go to a psychologist or psychiatrist immediately.

What are the warning signs of poor mental health?

A person with poor mental health with manifest signs like sad or depressed feelings, change in emotions, eating less or overeating, sleeping less or cannot sleep much, oversleeping, social withdrawal, very sensitive, focus issues, apathetic behavior, disconnection, irrational thinking, fear, and unusual behavior not seemingly of the person. See a mental health professional immediately if this happens to you.

What is the tattoo symbol for depression?

There are many depression tattoos, and one of them is the semicolon. Having a tattoo is now considered a way to express oneself. The tattoo symbolizes strength and hope for most. Seeing it every single day is a reminder that depression can be overcome.

What color is associated with depression?

Some say that depression is the color gray. It usually refers to one’s state of mind, according to ScienceDaily.

Though grey represents balance and neutrality in some cases, it somehow carries negative association, for the most part, when it comes to grief and depression.

Why is a semicolon a symbol for depression?

It was initiated in 2015 by UpWorthy and called Project Semicolon. It means “I am still here,” and this visual is a movement by letting people know that there are hope and love for those fighting depression, self-harm, addiction, and suicidal thinking.

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Final Thoughts

I know that handling depression is not easy, and I would not suggest it to anyone to deal with their mental and emotional health issues alone. Yes, there may be some hidden signs that you often think you can handle the pressure on your own, but believe me, there is no such severe mental illness that you can deal with without professional help. The only way you can walk away from the damage of depression is by realizing that it exists and is about to stay for a long period. Never underestimate what the mental health condition can do to your overall wellness. Because in an instant, it can break and tear you down.

Again, if you are dealing with a mental health issue but are not familiar with the warning signs, take time to learn more about it. It is much better to spend a lot of time reading and understanding mental illness rather than building assumptions about it. It will also help if you talk to someone about what you are going through to somehow guide you with the right coping methods.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About DSM 5 Depression Criteria

I started collecting – and reading – psychology-related books early. My mother, a psychologist, said that I picked up one that she dropped on the floor on accident one day at around eight years old and started to read every word out loud slowly. I would not have possibly comprehended anything mentioned in that book by then, but she said that I kept going anyway. After that, she started to bring home more books about psychology, although they were already more appropriate for my age.

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My growing love for psychology books did not come without a price, of course. The first problem was the older kids at school who called me a little know-it-all. It happened because of one incident in which I defended a classmate who got teased for coming from a broken home. The bullies said, “Teacher Mary taught us that apples don’t fall far from the tree. If your dad left your family, you would leave your future family, too, so don’t even think of getting married ever. Ha-ha-ha!” Of course, I interjected that was a baseless thing to say and that people could change their thought pattern if they wanted to avoid becoming like their parents. I was correct, but the older kids did not like to be told off by a younger student.

Another problem was that I refused to read the Bible again. As St. Anne’s Catholic School was the only private school with a three-mile radius, my parents decided to send me there. Mind you; we were not even a religious family. I used to tolerate the prayers and Bible services when I was younger, but I wanted to stick with my psychology books – and other non-religious books – when I entered middle school. The nuns at the school were horrified by my revelation and called my parents to the Principal’s office at once. 

My parents stayed in the Principal’s office for a closed-door meeting for over an hour that day. While waiting outside the office, I feared that I might get in trouble because of what I said. When the door opened, the nuns were tight-lipped as my parents guided me to the car.

“What happened, Mom? Am I expelled, Dad?” I asked as soon as we entered the car.

“No, sweetie,” Mom replied. “However, your father and I agreed to homeschool you for the rest of your high school so that you would no longer need to do what you don’t want. It would keep you away from those kids who bullied you, too. Would you like that?”

I had no teachers or classes to miss at school; I could see my friends after school or on the weekends. More importantly, I could keep on reading psychology books. What’s not to like about it? 

“Of course, Mom. That’s the best decision ever!” I exclaimed, beaming.

That same afternoon, my mother gave me a heavy book. I could barely balance it on my knees, but I read that it was DSM 5 – the version of the manual that I had been waiting for for a long time.

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What are the DSM 5 criteria? 

The DSM-5 criteria are found in a mental health manual that psychological and psychiatric professionals turn to when diagnosing a patient’s possible disorder.

What is the DSM 5 code for depression? 

F32 is the DSM-5 cod for depression (major depressive disorder, to be specific).

What are the DSM 5 criteria for PTSD? 

Before you get diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you should have been exposed to a traumatic event. You also likely have PTSD if you are overly pessimistic, practice self-blaming all the time, and avoid recalling your traumatic experiences.

What are the mood disorders in DSM 5? 

  • Depressive disorders
  • Bipolar disorder

What is the difference between DSM 4 and DSM 5? 

DSM-4 practically says that an individual only needs to tick any of the symptoms mentioned in the guideline before getting diagnosed. Meanwhile, DSM-5 is stricter because it requires a person to experience two or more symptoms before a diagnosis.

What is a DSM category? 

A DSM category refers to a classification of psychological disorders found in the manual.

What is the classification system for mental disorders? 

The classification system for mental disorders allows psychiatrists and psychologists to divide them based on illness symptoms and course.

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What is the latest DSM? 

DSM-5 is the latest DSM manual.

How many diagnoses are there in DSM 5?

DSM-5 technically contains diagnoses for 157 mental disorders.

Will there be a DSM 6? 

It is highly possible that we won’t see a DSM-6 in the future, given that the fifth edition already contains significant changes.

What are the seven types of mental disorders? 

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Psychotic Disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Post-traumatic disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Undetermined disorders

What are the DSM 5 criteria for schizophrenia? 

According to DSM-5, an individual must show signs of hallucination, delusion, catatonic behavior, and other symptoms before being diagnosed with schizophrenia.

What are the limits of DSM? 

DSM does not indicate possible treatment for any mental disorder.

How many mental disorders are in DSM 5?

There are 157 mental disorders in the DSM-5.

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Final Thoughts

The last time I set foot at St. Anne’s, it was to receive my high school diploma. That took less than an hour of the day, considering I did not need to march with the rest of my batchmates. After that, I went straight to the university where I would take up – guess what? – psychology. 

I realized as a college student that no book could ever fully prepare you for the questions of psych professors who knew better than to throw yes/no questions to students. Often, I would catch myself with my mouth hanging open whenever the teachers would talk about theories I did not come across in the books I read before. 

However, I found the most helpful was my DSM 5 book, especially when I went past the freshman year. While some of my classmates took a while to navigate the pages, I already knew which sections appeared on what pages. I went on to practice psychology, and there was no better backup than that book.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

a woman looking on her laptop looking frustrated

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Fear and anxiousness are regular parts of our lives. It helps us detect and avoid dangers in our environment. Despite this, too much fear and anxiety are also detrimental. It may require us to seek help from others to relieve these emotions back to a healthy level. 

Conditions that irrational fears like phobia and anxiety can severely impact daily lives. When accompanied by recurring panic attacks, everyday life becomes more difficult. It may also end up affecting relationships too.

Fortunately, psychology made more advancements to manage these conditions. These changes made it possible for people suffering from anxiety disorders like phobias and panic disorders to get treated. Medicine and talk therapy help deal with and manage these conditions. In particular, CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy has been one of the well-researched options for these people.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy stands on the belief that our thoughts and feelings affect our behavior. It is a short-term treatment plan that helps patients identify destructive thoughts and emotions. It teaches techniques and methods to control destructive thoughts easily.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is not only for people with anxiety disorders. It also works for people with anger issues, addiction, eating disorders, stress, bipolar disorders, and even depression. CBT helps people focus on their present thoughts through self-monitoring and goal setting.

If you are interested in learning about this particular method and how it can help, here are the frequently asked questions about cognitive behavioral therapy.

What Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Involve?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a kind of talk therapy that typically lasts around 30 minutes to an hour per session. You can choose to have one-on-one sessions or do it with a group. Since it is a problem-oriented treatment, your therapist will help you break down a problem into distinct components made up of your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

Once you’ve identified these harmful thoughts, you can work on forming more helpful practices to embed in your everyday life. Your therapist may issue homework or worksheets to monitor your progress and help build the habit.

What is an example of cognitive-behavioral therapy?

CBT is useful for a wide range of problems and may also be used to treat individuals with substance use disorders. In this case, a therapist may start by asking how you got into the habit in the first place. Before a craving sets in, what do you usually think or feel? How do you feel afterward? Your therapist will work with you to anticipate high-risk situations and develop healthier coping strategies that do not involve alcohol or other harmful substances.

What is cognitive therapy?

Cognitive therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on the close interrelationship between thoughts, feelings, and behavior. It is based on the assumption that certain ways of thinking or feeling influence a person’s behavior instead of chemical imbalances in the brain.

By recognizing and re-evaluating harmful thoughts, patients can build healthier thought patterns and learn better coping strategies. Studies have shown that CBT can help patients with depression, anxiety, and phobias while relieving the symptoms of physical conditions like chronic pain, tinnitus, and rheumatism.

What are three of the goals of cognitive-behavioral therapy?

CBT aims to relieve a person’s symptoms and resolve immediate problems by forming better coping mechanisms. Even if the CBT session has ended, it is hoped that you have acquired the necessary skills to examine and respond to situations from a place of self-compassion. Lastly, CBT aims to restructure cognitive patterns to prevent relapse.

Can you do Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on yourself?

It’s possible to do CBT without a therapist. Journaling is one CBT technique that may help you get your thoughts and emotions in order. Start by writing down a particular mood or thought, trace it to its source, rate the intensity, and describe your response. Putting your thoughts on paper might bring to the surface some cognitive distortions that you need to work on.

There are self-help books and online courses that more closely follow a face-to-face session for those seeking a more structured CBT experience.

A man talking to a therapist during cognitive behavioral therapy

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What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy not good for?

Despite its popularity, CBT may not answer patients suffering from more complex mental health conditions like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Therapists should adjust their techniques to patients who may not be capable of examining their thoughts and motivations. It’s important to note that CBT is only one component of a comprehensive treatment plan that should be tailored to a patient’s unique goals, personality, and condition.

What are the 4 steps of cognitive restructuring?

Cognitive restructuring is an essential part of CBT. The first step is to bring your problematic thoughts to the surface, either through conversations with your therapist or weekly activities. Once you’re aware of these cognitive distortions, it’s time to categorize them as unhealthy, harmful, or unproductive.

From then, you can proceed to challenge the thought and dissect it even further. Finally, you’re ready to work on replacing the cognitive distortion with more helpful and rational ways of thinking about a situation.

Is cognitive-behavioral therapy the same as behavioral therapy?

No. As the name suggests, CBT draws on both cognitive and behavioral therapy approaches. It is based on the assumption that thoughts precede feelings and shape behavior, reflecting its heavy cognitive focus. When patients recognize their problematic thoughts and beliefs, they are better positioned to react and respond more healthily.

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

Like most treatments, the results of CBT are not immediate and vary per person. Some patients report improved outcomes after a few weeks, while others may only notice changes after several months. Traditional CBT treatments are usually staggered over 12-20 weeks.

While CBT may not cure your condition, it can equip you with the necessary tools to approach situations differently.

What is the success rate of cognitive-behavioral therapy?

Research shows that CBT is up to 75% effective in helping patients with anxiety and moderate to severe depression. In some cases, CBT may even be as effective as antidepressants, although it is more commonly used in tandem with prescription medication and other therapy methods.

Conclusion

The most important thing to remember if you’re suffering from any mental health problem is to believe there is hope. If you or a loved one have any mental health issues, do not hesitate to reach out to professionals for help. As much as possible, do not keep it all to yourself. Relying solely on your friends is also not advisable. Friends can listen to your thoughts and emotions, but they may not be able to provide the help you need.

friends hugging each other.

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People are getting the help they need through advancements in psychology.  With CBT, negative thoughts and emotions are transformed into healthy actions.  This method makes it easier for people suffering from crippling emotions to function better in society and their relationships.

Over time, the effects of therapy will manifest. Self-awareness will be present both in and outside therapy. You will also learn the values of sharing with other people and talking about how you feel.

Although CBT  is well-researched, it does not mean that it is for everyone. This relatively short-term method is very structured, and therapists practicing it rarely deviate from their plans. Changes, too, are not instant. You will need to focus and trust the process to spark change. 

It is essential to trust in yourself and your therapist. CBT is not a cure. It provides the means to get you where you need to be. It is a ray of hope for people to move on from deep emotional and mental health problems. 

Mental Health Recovery – A Life After The Devastating Breakup

Once or twice in our lives, we experience a painful and devastating breakup. It can come from all sorts of reasons, such as cheating, falling out of love, and personality differences. Breakups do not support emotional and mental clarity. More often, it gives us high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. In some instances, we get too focused on what we think we feel instead of what we actually thought we think about it. Unfortunately, that mentality somehow results in isolation and even self-harm. With that, we can all agree that breakups can contribute a lot to destabilizing our mental health. With that, we need to be mindful. Breakups are part of a relationship, but it does not have to become fundamental to our mental health struggle.

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Admittedly, There Is No Easy Way Out

Recovering from a breakup needs to run a process. First, we have to deal with the matters of the relationship. If that is something we can fix, we might as well fix it. If the problem is something we can leave behind us, we should find a way not to overthink it. Of course, the statement seems too easy to accomplish because we know that the mental and emotional struggle tends to be different. All of us deal with heartaches differently, and that can be a challenging moment for everyone. Needless to say, there is no simple way out. Therefore, we need to feel the pain and survive the emotional and mental torture before we can entirely pull ourselves out of the misery.

But on a note, even if we managed to acknowledge the pain we feel, the guarantee of keeping our mental state is not yet on a full course. There are times that we get too attached to the heartache that we often do not want to open ourselves to anyone anymore. In some cases, the pain and sorrow leave a mark that can become pretty much irreplaceable. As a result, we tend to change our perspectives. We begin to see the negativities of everything around us, and we often look for people’s flaws. We build this mentality that people who come into our lives are always after something. We become doubtful, anxious, and always feel threatened. Sadly, that instant shift in negative perspective happens every time with a hundred percent probability.

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Heartache Recovery Is All Messed

Given that we end up with sorrows in pain after a failed relationship, most of us often take the damage seriously. We grieve with our loss that we could not find time to think about the other good things around us. Sometimes, we even fail to realize that life is more than just heartaches and misery. Instead, we dwell in the past and allow ourselves to get trapped with the idea of sacrificing more. That is for the sake of getting back what we have lost. In the process of recovering from the relationship damage, we believe that the more we feel hurt, the stronger we get. We fail to realize that the more the pain penetrates our emotional and mental state, the less become aware of self-love.

Clearly, people can lie to us and say that their breakup didn’t hurt that much. Because the truth is, it does. We may handle the pain differently, but the damage still affects some parts of our lives. It changes the way we view a relationship, and it can make us judge people’s character in an instant. Despite telling ourselves that things will be okay, we somehow know deep inside that the healing process will take a while. We understand the exertion of effort we need to put in so that we can guarantee a better and fulfilling heartache recovery.

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Emotional And Mental Torture

For some of us who are not emotionally and mentally strong enough to face reality, it can be quite frustrating. The idea of the heartache itself is self-explanatory. It consists of a lot of negative emotions and reactions that often we can’t control. It does not have a pause or stop button that we can switch on every time we feel emotionally distraught. Alongside it, we only understand suffering and devastation. From that circumstance, we know something is wrong. Sadly, there is no immediate solution to that.

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Takeaway

A failed relationship is everyone’s worst life experience. Of course, nobody wants to see themselves getting stuck in a roller coaster of unwanted emotions. Unfortunately, a breakup contributes a lot to that damage. It is not easy to mentally and emotionally recover from the pain. It requires a different level of courage and motivation to break free even from the smallest thing that keeps you holding into it. But despite all the unfortunate heartache, there is still hope that somehow and someday, we will be able to feel appreciated and loved again.

Recovering From A Messy Family Relationship

I believe that your family is the most important thing in your life. They are the ones that stay with you no matter what. They are the best individuals you can have whenever you experience hardships in life. They support, understand, love, and care for you, unconditionally. However, not all families are like that. Sometimes, these individuals can promote the opposite. They can be as mean as you can imagine. They can be the worst individuals to be with. That instead of lifting you, they sometimes pull you down. Instead of reassuring your overall wellness, they become the cause of your mental and emotional damage. So how can you recover from that type of family?

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Even if your family is functional and happy, there are still members of the unit that often cross the line. Most of the time, they treat you so that you do not prefer to be treated. Some would say you can at least talk to them about it. But honestly, it doesn’t work like that. Sometimes, there are way better things to do for you to get away from their toxicity. It would be better to understand that your needs should come first.

Try Cutting Down The Time You Spend With Them

One of the little reasons family relationships often end up having a lot of misunderstandings is not because you spend little time with them. The truth is, the more you interact with them, the more you get accustomed to engaging in different opinions. It eventually leads to conflict. But don’t get the wrong impression. You still have to interact and connect with your family from time to time. But to avoid further emotional and mental damage, you need to cut down the time you spend with them. If you can allow yourself to have a brief time, then work on it. Do not feel guilty for not hanging around for an extended period. Because if family members are toxic, it will not matter how much time you spend with them because nothing will be enough for them.

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If Hints Don’t Work, Call Them Out Directly

Of course, you would not want to offend your family. There are times that you are not capable of telling them how annoying and irritating their presence is in your life. That would be rude and inconsiderate on your part. But if you already tried dropping hints or managed to get on with passive-aggressive boundaries, but still nothing works, call them out directly. Allow yourself to become more explicit about your rules so that you can keep toxicity in place. Never feel ashamed of telling them how they are ruining your well-being. It would be best if you stood up for yourself by preventing them from destroying your emotional and mental wellness.

Do Not Let Them Manipulate You

By any chance, never allow toxic family members to manipulate you. Please do not fall into the trap of giving in to their desire in exchange for your overall stability. You need to understand that toxic family members are often masters of manipulation where they use guilt to make you do whatever pleases them. Yes, there can be times that you might not notice yourself getting locked up with their hands. But when you do manage to pull through, make it a habit to say “NO.” Ensure that you stick to your point and always consider doing what you think is best for your overall development. Please do not allow them to feel entitled to hurt you. Do not give more than what you are comfortable giving. Learn to limit the things you do for them because nothing is enough for them anyway.

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No Need To Explain Yourself

Toxic family members love drama. They have this eagerness to get a sense of control over everything, even on the things that do not benefit them. Often they would want your actions and decisions prearranged for them. That explains why they usually want to intrude on your personal space. Sometimes, if you ignore them, it becomes a big deal. But you don’t have to give a damn about it. You do not owe these people an explanation of why you want to secure your overall emotional and mental health. The more explanations you provide them, the worse the situation could get. Thus, it would be best if you realized that nothing ever meets these toxic people’s standards regarding limitations, personal space, and respect.

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Honestly, you cannot always figure out immediately what to do with a messy family relationship. Sometimes, you are already in a deep and challenging situation before you could ever realize that you need to care for yourself. So in case you are having difficulties, always remember that your life decisions matter. It is only you who can change the way these individuals treat you.

 

 

Overcoming Remote Relationships And Online Fatigue

Many of us are in home-quarantine, relying on laptops and mobile phones to stay connected. Since we use them in school and at work, we’ve grown attached to our devices, but this pandemic made us realize that digital connections are a must. With the COVID-19 crisis putting pressure on our physical, emotional, and mental well-being, it also affects our interpersonal relationships.

Experts argue that we can no longer go back to the old normal. As restaurants, transportation, and office establishments prepare to open, the new normal would require us to temperature checks and entry registrations for contact tracing measures. Overnight, we added the phrase “social distancing” into our vernacular and installed videoconferencing apps on our computers.

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This pandemic saw us turning to remote workers for advice. However, they have also encountered challenges staying at home, breaking routine social interactions used to balance the amount of time they were isolated. Even long-distance couples have some tips to overcome loneliness, but not all of our connections are intimate relationships that we can straightaway bond over our LED screens.

Pandemic Blues

Psychologists say that more people are prone to social anxiety because we are opening up our homes and personal spaces to others, even in professional contexts. Quarantine-induced Zoom fatigue is real. The simple fact is that every video conference reminds us of how much our lives have changed, how we’ve lost connections and opportunities, and how unlikely it is for the situation to be “business as usual.”

Due to unprecedented scenarios, workplace managers and school teachers had to figure out the new classroom and office dynamics. We hear questions like “How much time should I see my students online? How frequently should I hold department meetings with my staff?” Nobody could have prepared us for this, yet we strive to become resilient and test out what works. How do we overcome the pressures of remote relationships amidst the pandemic?

Virtual Safe Spaces

COVID-19 urged mental health practitioners to move to virtual counseling, also known as teletherapy. The Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a survey and found 45% of Americans reported feeling distressed due to pandemic circumstances. The study enumerated concerns like financial strain, social isolation, and fear of infection, especially for frontline workers in healthcare and essential services.

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“Teletherapy has been more difficult for my consumers under the age of 12 because they’re looking all around, asking me 101 questions,” says Dr. DeAnna Murphy, LPC, a licensed professional counselor who practices in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Since the quarantine started, she’s received an uptick in calls from people dealing with anxiety and depression. Virtual therapy sessions have some advantages as well as disadvantages.

  • Recreating The Space

Taking the velvet couch from a therapist’s office to a Zoom call is the biggest challenge. Individuals will have to replicate the comfort and ambiance in their own homes, which, for some, might be the source of anxiety in the first place. To overcome this, Murphy suggests her clients sit in the car or walk around the block and call her.

  • Keeping Privacy

Sometimes, loneliness intensifies even when we’re sharing a space with other people. COVID-19 has us leaning onto our friends, partners, family, and colleagues. At some point, everyone’s bound to feel emotionally overloaded, so having a therapist or counselor can help.

  • Saving Resources

For clients undergoing in-person therapy, an appointment would typically take two hours, including travel time, while a virtual session can be over in fifty minutes. Murphy says teletherapy works well for individuals with mild symptoms, which means lower anxiety levels or less debilitating depression. 

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Online fatigue and long-distance relationships can take a toll on our health. We should learn how to identify the triggers and specific stressors before we try to cope with them. Here are some examples:

  1. If a meeting doesn’t need to be a Zoom meeting, consider a phone call. Not seeing ourselves or 12 people on the screen can reduce stress linked to our self-consciousness.
  2. Swap your end-of-the-world dystopian reading lists with escapist fiction or romance novels. If your kids like to play video games, avoid themes of disease outbreaks or zombies.
  3. Conduct a pulse check and determine whether you’re jumping in a Zoom call because you want to or because you feel you have to. Joining calls that you’re not committed to adds to the strain when all you need at the moment is to get a break.

When every day turns out to be a test of competence, it’s easy to lose our direction when barriers break, spaces combine, and lines blur together. What we need to reclaim control of our relationships with others is to accept that we are tired. We need to recover using tools available to us and strengthen the ways we cope – both online and offline.