Do You Know Someone Suffering from Bipolar Disorder?

By | Depression | No Comments

Whether we are aware of it or not, we all may know someone suffering from Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder that can cause dramatic changes in mood and energy levels. Symptoms can affect daily life severely with major ups-and-downs. Importantly, spotting the signs of bipolar disorder can help a person to get the proper treatment, as real dangers do exist.

A person who has Bipolar disorder will encounter a range in mood from feelings of elation and high energy to intense depression. There can also be disruption in sleep and thinking patterns and other behavioral symptoms.

The extremes of mood are known as manic episodes and depressive episodes. Hypomania has symptoms of a manic episode that are less severe.

Typically, in most cases, people suffering from Bipolar disorder do not experience symptoms usually until the age of 25 on average. Symptoms can appear during the teenage years, and less commonly, during childhood.

The Signs and Symptoms?

Bipolar disorder is a condition with mood swings that can range from euphoria to depression.However, for a diagnosis of “bipolar I” disorder, a person only needs to have one manic episode.

What is Mania?

When someone has mania, they do not just feel very happy. They feel euphoric.

A person with mania may:

  • Possess a lot of energy
  • Feel able to do and achieve anything
  • Find sleeping to be difficult
  • Spend money excessively and impulsively
  • Use rapid speech that jumps between topics and ideas
  • Feel agitated, jumpy, or even slightly “wired”
  • Engage in risky and impulsive behaviors
  • Use unwise consumption of alcohol and other substances
  • Believe that they are more important than others or have important connections
  • Show anger or aggression if others challenge their views or behavior

Severe mania can involve psychosis, with hallucinations or delusions. Hallucinations can cause a person to see, hear, or feel things that are not there.People may have delusions and distorted thinking that cause them to believe that certain things are true when they are not.

A person in a manic state may not realize that their behavior is unusual, but others may notice a change in behavior. Some may see the person’s outlook as sociable and fun-loving, while others may find it unusual or bizarre.

The individual may not realize that they are acting inappropriately or be aware of the potential consequences of their behavior.

They may need help in getting help and staying safe, which is where family and friends should step in to seek professional therapists.

What is Hypomania?

Not everyone will have a severe manic episode. Less severe mania is known as hypomania. Symptoms are similar to those of mania, but the behaviors are less extreme, people can often function well in their daily life, and it typically only lasts 3-4 days.

If a person does not address the signs of hypomania, it can progress into a more severe form of the condition at a later time.

Bipolar Depression Symptoms

Signs of a depressive episode are the same as the symptoms of a major depressive episode.These may include:

  • eeling down or sad
  • >having very little energy
  • having trouble sleeping or sleeping a lot more than usual
  • thinking of death or suicide
  • forgetting things or feeling distracted
  • feeling tired on a constant basis
  • losing enjoyment in daily activities
  • lack of emotion or joy in facial expressions

In severe cases, a person may experience psychosis or a catatonic depression, in which they are unable to move, talk, or take any action. Although rare, bipolar disorder could occur in young children and teenagers.

What are the Causes?

Doctors do not know exactly what causes bipolar disorder. In general, there are theories that may be triggers, as follows:

  1. Genetic factors: A person with bipolar disorder may have a parent with the condition. However, having a parent or even a twin with bipolar disorder does not mean a person will have it.
  1. Stress: Someone who has a genetic predisposition may experience their first episode of depression or mania during or after a time of severe stress, for example, the loss of a job or a loved one.

When to See a Therapist?

People with symptoms of Bipolar should seek professional help as soon as possible and as a precaution, at the very least. It is always a good idea to speak with a therapist when there is concern about severe mood swings that seem to come and go or make it difficult to work.

The best person to start with may be a primary care physician or family doctor. They will likely refer someone with these symptoms to a therapist, or a specialist who cares for people with mental health disorders.

Someone who notices these symptoms in a friend or loved one can also speak with atherapist about their concerns.

If you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder or believe that you may be suffering from bipolar disorder, please pick up the phone today and call our team at Foundations Counseling.

7 Things You Feel when Losing a Loved One

By | Grief, Grief Counseling | No Comments

One reason that we often find grief and loss to be such a difficult challenge is that we have never learned what to expect. The following will help you understand some crucial truths about grief and loss when losing a loved one.

Importantly, how to work through the process to find healing is just as vital. The following 7 feelings are what you will most likely experience after a tremendous loss.

#1 Grief is Normal

Feeling grief after losing a loved one is not a disease. It is the normal, human response to a significant loss. People may encourage you to “be strong” or “not to cry.” But how sad it would be if someone we cared about died and we didn’t cry or we carried on as if nothing had happened?

When you lose someone special from your life, you are going to go through challenging times – this is to be expected. Our devastating loss is saying that we miss the person and that we’re struggling to adjust to a life without that special relationship.

Admittedly, saying that grief is normal still does not minimize how difficult the feelings are. It may be one of the most challenging experiences of your life. However, you are not crazy, or weak, or poorly managing things.

You are experiencing grief and after a significant loss that is and actually should be a normal response.

#2 Your Own Grief

A loss, whether it be a parent, sibling, child, or friend is a very personal matter. Your loss seems like the worst possible thing that could have happened to you. Sometimes people ask if it is more difficult to lose a spouse than to lose a child.

Others question if it is worse to lose someone after a long lingering illness or if they die suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart attack or in an accident. While these circumstances make each loss different, they are not important at the moment it happens.

The worst kind of loss is your own.

When you lose a significant person from your life, whatever the relationship, it hurts and nothing takes away from your right to feel the loss and grieve the absence of that person from your life.

#3 Dealing with Loss Is a Process

Grieving is painful. A loss is one of the most difficult human experiences. There is no easy way around it. We may try to avoid the pain. We may attempt to get over it as quickly as possible.

But most often, it simply does not work that way.

Helen Keller said, “The only way to get to the other side is to go through the door”. You need to try and find the courage to go through this experience of grief. Learning this is a major key to recovery and considering a therapist immediately afterward is always a good idea.

#4 Grief is Tied to the Relationship

Every relationship holds a special and unique significance to us. To fully interpret our grief and loss “response,” we need to understand what the relationship brought to our life.

We may grieve the loss of a parent differently from the loss of a friend. Each person made a significant, yet different, contribution to our lives. What we have lost is not the same and so we grieve differently. This too is normal.

Two individuals, both experiencing the loss of a spouse, may grieve quite differently because of the differing circumstances (the duration, level of happiness, and age) of the relationship.

#5 Grief and Loss is Hard Work

A response is painful and the process requires more energy to work through than most people expect. Whether we know it or not, the loss will take a toll both physically and emotionally.

This is why we often feel so fatigued after a loss or why we may feel very apathetic towards people and even joyful events. The problem is often compounded by people’s expectations of us to be strong or pull ourselves together or to get on with life.

The expression, “it is time to move forward” is not the same for everyone and is probably well-intentioned but not realistic.

#6 Overall Duration

How long will grief usually last? The simple answer is,“it is finished when it is finished”.

The first few months may be particularly intense. The first year is difficult—it will be a year of “firsts” without that person in your life. During the first Christmas or Hanukkah, the first birthday, anniversary, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, “a year ago today day” and many other times that remind us of our loss.

All of these special days are now difficult days and we need to anticipate them, know our responses are normal and be compassionate with ourselves.

#7 Grief Comes & Goes

Grief or a loss does not go away suddenly or within a predictable amount of time like the flu or a broken bone. Our healing process is different from a sickness model. Sometimes, at first, we do not feel the pain of grief because we are in shock and numb.

Often the pain is more intense some months after the event. Even then, grief is not unlike a roller coaster. One day we feel pretty good, and the next we find ourselves in the depths of despair.

Just when we think we are getting over it, we may experience another devastating setback. This can be discouraging to those who do not know what is happening. Most have not learned that grief comes and goes and takes much longer than most people expect.

We need to realize that this is the way grief works itself out and trust that the process, difficult as it is, is helping us work towards reconciliation. With counseling, a therapist can help with the highs and lows as well as coping, in general.

Summary

Society has unrealistic expectations about mourning and often responds inappropriately. Most people do not understand what is normal in grief and loss experiences.

Our jobs, friends, and oftentimes, even our family members will expect us to get over it quickly and express these expectations in a way that seems less than sensitive. Many people mistakenly believe that grief is so personal we want to keep it to ourselves. Keeping all of the emotion inside without talking about it is also unhealthy and could provoke an even longer healing process.

Grieving people need to talk. Not everyone will be willing or even able to respond to you. In fairness, not everyone can. Accept that, and try to find a support group or a counselor who can help.

Grief is about coping with the loss of a relationship and often in a helping relationship, relief can be found.

If you are experiencing symptoms caused by grief and loss or for more information about the positive effects of counseling for grief and loss, please contact Foundations Counseling today.

Parents Coping with PTSD after a Child’s Illness or Surgery

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Parents may find coping with PTSD after a child’s serious illness which can cast a very long shadow across a family, often for years after the crisis has passed. Unknowingly, parents may begin to cry seemingly without any reason and only because any medical setting, with doctors and nurses and medical sights and smells, brought back intense emotions of their child’s illness or major surgery.

Parents can be haunted by a child’s illness or injury. At the time, they are faced with the terrifying truth that a child is in danger or in pain. When the normal stress responses of the parents play out in extreme cases — and when they continue well beyond the child’s illness — additional harm can come to the family. The emotional trauma of the experience, the parental equivalent of coming through the wars, can echo for years.

The experience of having a child diagnosed with an illness or injury that is potentially life-threatening or debilitating is highly distressing for parents. Parents of a child with a serious childhood illness or injury (SCII) must contend with the possibilities of their child’s death or lasting impairment, in the context of negotiating a path through complex diagnostic and treatment processes is an experience that can overwhelm even the most resilient parents.

Despite initial or recurrent periods of extreme distress, most parents of a child with a SCII are able to cope and adjust well over time but should still seek out counseling. However, some experience persistently elevated or escalating distress impacting on their functioning within the family unit, with adverse effects on themselves, their sick child and other family members.

Little is known about the factors that determine which parents show spontaneous recovery in their psychological wellbeing and whether there are differences in recovery trajectories according to the type of illness or age of the child. For the latter, it is imperative that parents seek out counseling for a variety of factors.

For example, parents of hospitalized children have been found to experience trauma symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of ASD. In a study of families of children admitted to a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), 32% of parents met criteria for ASD while their child was an inpatient.

Higher rates of ASD have been reported with a finding of over 63% of mothers and 60% of fathers of children newly diagnosed with cancer met criteria for ASD. Slightly lower rates of 51% of mothers and 40% of fathers were found in another study of parents of children newly diagnosed with cancer.

When dealing with major surgery, parents will suffer dozens of ups and downs prior to their child’s surgery and afterward. Typically, PTSD is only one of the byproducts of surviving your child’s medical ordeal.

Before approaching an employer, it is recommended to ease the workload as much as possible. By prioritizing exactly what accommodations you need to be productive on the job and keep living with your ill child on an even keel, you should begin speaking to a professional counselor as early as possible. There are so many questions to be answered.

Do you want to reduce the number of hours your work each week? Is it possible for you to work from home temporarily or longer-term? Do you need a leave of absence? Are you prepared to deal with the news throughout the entire process whether it be a shorter timeframe or longer terms? Flexible time generally will top the list of the accommodation wish list but it also depends on the severity of your child. A leave is usually a subsequent request and may be needed at the point you have received the initial diagnosis from your doctor, after hospitalization, or the ongoing treatment’s your child will need.

Consulting an expert therapist is the best possible solution to be prepared in advance or when coping with PTSD after your child’s major illness or surgery. A psychiatric rehabilitation and support program suggest that before requesting leave, parents should consult with a professional early on.

Research has found that at least 1 in 6 parents will suffer from PTSD after a child’s recovery. They may have intrusive and distressing memories and dreams, or continue to avoid people or places that evoke the circumstances of the injury or illness or struggle with mood problems, including depression. If untreated, this can damage both the parent’s emotional and physical recovery.

Cognitive restructuring techniques will help parents reinterpret and pay attention to the positive and not catastrophize, developing a trauma narrative of their experience, instead. It is imperative that parents who are struggling get referred to mental health professionals where therapists have experience with traumatic stress.

All parents want our children to be safe. Once you’ve been through this, you know that your child will never be 100 percent safe, and it’s can be extremely hard to stop thinking about it.

There are solutions. Seek them out today not only for yourself but for your family, and for your children.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Kids With Autism

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Finding the right treatment for your child with autism can be a difficult task. There are many treatments that can be used to treat children with autism; you should determine what therapy best fits your child’s needs. However, there is one therapy that is said to be able to treat different types of disorders. This therapy is called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and it has been proven to help treat many disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders, and is also proven to be effective for those with autism.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of psychological treatment that helps improve a person’s functionality and quality of life. CBT helps children with autism become aware of negative behaviors, and helps them respond to these in a more positive way. Therapists have found this treatment effective for all ages and for different disorders. However, for children with autism, they have developed a different approach because CBT requires a strong thinking ability.

The approach is to use CBT but in a repetitive way in order for the child to fully understand what the therapist is teaching. Visual aid is also introduced to help the child gain a perspective view on what the topic is about. Instead of simply approaching the child verbally, the therapist may use different strategies such us showing the child what interests them to gain their attention. The main advantage of this treatment is that children with autism can learn that they are not the only ones struggling with the disorder. Through a bond of friendship with others, they will be able to help each other overcome it.

What to expect in Cognitive Behavioral Therapies

The first session is focused on assessing the child with autism. This includes finding out what he or she is having difficulty with and what type of approach will get the child’s attention. Based on the therapist’s assessment, he or she will then create goals that will be helpful in treating the child with autism.

Subsequent sessions will focus on achieving those goals. The CBT approach often allows the child to practice their problem-solving skills, breaching the communication gaps, and simply conversing with the child once they have established a bond.

The final sessions will often begin once the child continues to achieve the goals set by the therapist. The number of sessions will gradually decrease until the child can be confident of learning on his or her own. A successful treatment will help your child rely on themselves and allow them to make decisions while showing less undesirable behavior.

Types Of Behavioral Therapy For Kids With Autism

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Autism is a disorder that affects the social behavior and communication development of a person. Children will often show signs of autism by the age of three. Early intervention and getting aid from a professional therapist can help your child adapt to their environment with ease. The most effective treatments for children with autism are behavioral therapies. There are many different behavioral therapies and each has its own strengths when helping children with autism.

Types Of Behavioral Therapy

1. Applied Behavioral Analysis

Applied behavioral analysis or ABA is a commonly used therapy in most children with autism. The therapy is used to help the child reach positive goals set by the therapist, and also help the child distinguish negative behavioral traits. A therapist will work with the child in one-on-one sessions. The therapist will then observe the child and try to create goals for the child to accomplish. The child will then be rewarded for every desirable behavior that the child does while ignoring the undesirable ones.

2. Sensory Integration or Occupational Therapy

This therapy focuses on the child’s sensitivities or what the child may find overwhelming. In most children with autism, there are different factors that may overwhelm them and cause them to have tantrums. Therapists will try to address these factors which are loud noises, bright lights, and other things that may be overwhelming for the child. Though the child will be exposed to things that overwhelm them, they won’t be forced to their limits. Successful therapies often have good results where the child may be able to adapt, control their movements and emotions.

3. Relationship Development Intervention

This therapy focuses on the social behaviors of children with autism. Parents are also involved in this therapy, as they will need to attend intensive workshops to help them carry out the therapy. The therapist will only be there to assess the situation or create goals for the parents and analyze the results. Parents will be tasked to record videos of them at home and how they are interacting with their child. Depending on the results, the therapist will give advice or strategies to help the parent and the child.

4. Communication Intervention

This therapy focuses on what children with autism lack the most, communication. Children with autism who don’t have proper communication skills will often show a lot of undesirable behavior out of their frustration and misunderstandings about situations. Therapists will help by teaching communication skills using devices that may help the child express their needs. This will work with the child and may show improvement in their social interaction skills.

Treatments For Your Child With Autism

There are many other behavioral treatments you can ask for your child. All treatments are effective in different children and finding the right treatment for your child can be time-consuming. However, once you’ve found the proper treatment that has good results, your child will have a more positive lifestyle. When choosing a therapist for the treatment, you should always make sure that you are comfortable with them. If you are comfortable allowing them to work with your child, then your child may also feel the same way.

Effective Therapies For Kids With Autism

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Kids will most likely show signs of autism by the time they reach the age of three or four. The symptoms will vary from mild to severe depending on the child. Most children with this disorder will have difficulty interacting with others and may have problems using non-verbal communication such as making eye contact and using facial expressions. In children with autism who are able to speak, they may have a high pitch tone, unbalanced speed, and rhythm. When you see your child having these symptoms, you should help them get the proper aid they need as soon as possible. There are many counselors or therapists who provide quality therapy for kids with autism. Here are some of the most effective therapies.

The Best Therapies To Treat Kids With Autism

1. Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists study human growth patterns and development. This is through learning the basic skills needed for a person to interact with their environment through their daily activities. Therapists will first observe how the child with autism does tasks for their age. They will ask parents to record their child for a day to see how he or she interacts in their current environment. Once the therapists have gathered all the necessary information they need, they will then create a program for your child.

2. Applied Behavioral Analysis

There are many types of behavioral therapy and the best one that works well for kids with autism is applied behavioral analysis (ABA). This therapy is focused on helping children achieve their goals and be able to distinguish right from wrong. A therapist will work with a child with autism for more than 40 hours a week in a one-on-one setting. The therapist will first observe the child and then plan goals. The therapist will then reward the child for each goal he or she achieves while ignoring negative actions. This will, in turn, help the child gain skills that will help them cope with their environment at home and in school.

3. Play therapy

Play therapy is used for children suffering from trauma, anxiety, and mental illness. This is because playing allows a child to release their feelings and develop a healthy behavior. However, the methods used to treat these illnesses are not the same methods used for children with autism. A good play therapist will sit on the floor with your child and set toys that your child finds interesting. The therapist will then choose another toy that is similar to the chosen toy, and try to block how the child is playing with his or her chosen toy. If the child responds, then there is a relationship that has begun. Over time, the therapist will help the child develop skills such as taking turns, building their imaginative skills, and other thinking skills to help the child cope with groups or other children.

Why early treatment is better for you child

Many parents that have detected autism in their child tend to neglect the fact that they should treat the disorder early. Parents think that they should just allow their kids to run around and play. However, most kids with autism lack the skills to play appropriately, and they often just perform repetitive acts that don’t seem to have an effect on them.

This is one of the reasons why parents should seek the aid of a therapist. Allowing a professional therapist to intervene with their acts and help correct them can stop problematic behavior patterns that can develop as the child ages. It’s also beneficial for the child to receive treatment early because it helps them adapt to groups or develop their social interaction skills effectively. This also helps prepare your child for school, allowing them to be more comfortable in making friends or simply interacting with different people.

The Importance of Couples Therapy For Long Lasting Relationships

By | Couples Therapy | No Comments

What is Couples Therapy?

Couples will eventually face a couple’s therapy session once they do realize that their relationship isn’t working out as they want it to be. The problem may at times build up the longer it doesn’t get resolved, and in the end, it will lead to the couple breaking up. Even healthy couples at times get into problems that seem like they can’t resolve on their own. In this case, couples may turn to couple therapies which will have a counselor to help them resolve the issue.

What Is Couples Counseling?

Couples counseling happens with a professional counselor or therapist with the sole purpose of providing couples with advice. The counselor may resolve their problems or issues that may be causing distress in their relationship. Most people think that couples counseling can benefit people that are in romantic relationships, but on the contrary, it also helps family relationships, work relationships, and even friendships.

A relationship therapist can help couples with decision making such as where they should live, when they should get married, or if they should have a baby or not. Couples come to relationship counseling in order to understand each other better and build their relationship further that will have long-term effects.

The primary reason why couples go to couples counseling is to improve their communication with each other. Being able to communicate well can enhance your understanding of what are your partner’s wants and needs. It also helps restore intimacy and bring back love in the relationship. Another reason why couples seek the aid of a couple’s counselors is to ask for help in knowing how the couple is committed in the relationship.

Principles Of Effective Couples Therapy

A working couple’s therapy session will be able to change your point of view in your relationship. Through the series of sessions, the therapist should be able to show the couple an objective point of view. This means that the couple will be able to see that they don’t have to keep blaming each other, but instead, understand how they got to that point in the first place.

An effective therapist will be able to help the couple change the way they behave with their partner. Basically, therapists should create an environment with the couple where none of the two can get hurt physically and psychologically.

Couples tend to avoid showing their true feelings to their partner. This will eventually build up and keep pushing them further apart. A good therapist will be able to decrease that emotional avoidance and allow the couple to express their feelings without fear. Having a relationship therapist will definitely help couples increase their relationship bonds and reduce any negativity that ordinary couples may face.