Is Following A Religion A Sign Of Mental Illness?

During the hardest time in your life, who or what do you gain strength from to get over it?

Some may say that they turn to their family or friends. After all, it feels calming to talk to your loved ones regarding your issues and possibly receive any advice from them. When these people return to their respective homes and lives, however, other problematic individuals find peace and solace from religious faith.

When people think of their mortality, most don’t want to be alone as they make that transition to the other side. That’s when someone might turn to spirituality and/or religion for support. — Kalila Borghini, LCSW

Source: pexels.com

In this article, we won’t discuss whether there’s indeed a God or not. Instead, we’ll answer the question: “Is following a religion a sign of mental illness?”

Read on to know more.

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Facts About Child Mental Health That You Shouldn’t Ignore

 

Source: i.pinimg.com

 

A parent’s love for his or her child goes beyond what’s understandable for people who don’t have kids yet. The former will go to great lengths to make sure that the offspring receives all the nurturing he or she requires to thrive on this planet. And in case the child faces a problem, the parents feel hurt as well and may want to keep them away from danger as much as possible.

For this reason, it should no longer surprise you if someone whose kid suffers from a psychiatric disorder gets upset over a false assumption you probably made about their child’s condition. They all have too much to bear on their shoulders even without outsiders thinking they know a lot.

To avoid becoming burdensome to people, therefore, you should learn some facts about child mental health today.

Fact #1: Psychiatric Diseases Are Real

A brain disorder rarely has a physical manifestation, but it doesn’t mean that the mental issue isn’t there. Science can tell you that a lot of the irregular symptoms you may notice in one kid – not the others – may point toward a more severe condition.

The first question to ask when a child is not behaving is whether the child’s body and brain are experiencing safety. If not, the top priority is to figure out what to do to help the child feel safe. — Dona Matthews Ph.D.

Fact #2: The Illness Isn’t Just An Act

It’s wrong also to assume that the signals a child shows are merely a part of a fraud that he or she created. Though the youngsters may be smart, they can’t have perfect acting skills that early to keep on seeming depressed or unable to comprehend others’ words.

Source: i.pinimg.com

Fact #3: Kids Of All Races Can Acquire A Mental Disease

Ethnicity has nothing to do with the probability of a child gaining some psychological illness. At most, the ailment is already in their genes since their conception.

Social media has amplified feelings of loneliness for many young people. Before social media, if someone was left out of a party, get together, or other social function, they might hear about it, but they would never see what they were actually missing out on. — Amy Quinn, MA, MS, LMFT

Fact #4: The Disorder Didn’t Develop Due To Parenting Issues

If you’re considering that the psychiatric condition of the troubled kid is the result of the parents’ inability to guide him or her in life, then you’re gravely mistaken. Childrearing problems may just influence the little ones’ behavior but not their neurological operation.

Fact #5: Outgrowing An Illness May Be Impossible

As sad as it sounds, the odds of a kid outperforming autism, bipolar, or paranoia are slim. Once the indications appear, the mental disease may stay with the child for life. Being trained to function as a regular youngster can only do so much for the patient as well.

Fact #6: Alternative Treatment Options Are Available

When the doctor suggests a medication to treat the disorder, it is a parent’s right to not agree with the idea. There’s still no absolute cure for most psychiatric illness; that’s why the drugs may not be as effective as you think. There are different forms of therapy for children that you may look into instead that don’t have mood-altering side effects.

Source: merakilane.com

It is important to convey your love and support. Try to be open to what your child has to say and refrain from dismissing their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. — Shainna Ali Ph.D., LMHC

To sum things up, a child can struggle with his or her mental health regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity. How the parents brought them up isn’t a contributing factor as well because even a well-loved kid can acquire a psychiatric disease.

If you want to be of assistance to them, you may start by memorizing the facts above, thank you very much.

Helpful Habits The You Need To Practice To Grow Your Positive Mindset

Suffering has long been romanticized in literature, art, and folklore as transformative and empowering. — Susanne Babbel MFT, PhD

The power of positivity is often underestimated. A positive outlook can permeate into all facets of your life from work, relationships, and personal health. Often, we just need some reminding to look on the brighter side of things to get us back on track – the following are some helpful reminders to keep in mind.

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Busting Myths That Revolve Around Autism

Source: stayathomemum.com.au

Saying that dealing with autism is difficult isn’t enough to describe what a patient goes through on a regular basis. First, there’s the rollercoaster of emotions that get triggered when sights or noises overwhelm their senses. At times, the person experiences the opposite of that, which makes others think their head is in the cloud.

Many parents begin to feel upset and overwhelmed by the burden of not being able to be there to help their child. The feeling of urgency and the need to get to their children to help them through the meltdown is often all these parents can think of. — Bridgette Montgomery, LCSW

Of course, a day cannot pass without the stigma surrounding autism shows itself. The problem is that the non-autistic individuals often have a robust perception of what it’s like to have this condition before they get to meet one who has it. Thus, they either embarrass the patient or make a fool out of themselves for not knowing much about autism.

Source: koriathome.com

To prevent the latter possibilities, find out the truth behind the myths about autistic people.

  1. They Have A Mental Disease

Autism isn’t and will never be a mental illness. What constitutes the said term is a disorder that a person develops after an incident happens in their life. The former condition, on the other hand, is something that the patient is born with.

  1. They Can’t Empathize With Anyone

Empathy isn’t lacking in an autistic individual. There are moments, however, that they can’t display it the same way that regular people do.

Each child is unique genetically, environmentally, and in every other way, with thousands of interacting variables creating a complex and particular human being. One size can never fit all when it comes to knowing how to respond to, and what to expect from, a challenging young human being. — Dona Matthews Ph.D.

  1. They Are Uncontrollable

Having the condition doesn’t guarantee that the patient will be violent. It’s possible that any outburst stems from emotional disturbance or sensory overkill, but they are still not crazy.

Source: sciencenordic.com
  1. They Prefer To Be Friendless

Autistic folks do have friends. The thing is, it may take longer for them to find one they can trust than the others. Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean that they’re incapable of maintaining a friendship.

  1. They Are Anti-Social

Albeit autistic individuals are indeed not the type who will greet strangers in a gathering and try to befriend them, they still have a social life. Only, it can be restricted to a select few.

When a person doesn’t make eye contact and gives no indication they’ve heard you, we may assume they don’t understand or aren’t paying attention. That isn’t necessarily accurate. — Janeen Herskovitz, MA, LMHC

  1. They Are Dumb

The brain function of an individual with autism may be different from the rest, but it doesn’t entail that he or she is incapable of learning. There are even instances when someone with this condition turns out to be smarter than regular folks.

  1. They Are Forever Single

All bets are off the table when it comes to love. An autistic person can find his or her life partner too. They just need to work hard for it; yet, who doesn’t do that these days?

  1. They Got It From Vaccines

A couple of decades ago, such a belief came about when Dr. Andrew Wakefield published research, stating that the vaccination that toddlers receive for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) causes autism. In truth, that claim has plenty of loopholes, and the drug is still beneficial for kids.

  1. They Can Outgrow The Condition

It will honestly be amazing if this myth becomes a reality because it can give hope to the patients and their families. Sadly, however, studies reveal that no one ever succeeded in beating the ailment.

  1. They Have A Single Type Of Autism

The word ‘autism’ only acts as an umbrella for various forms of disorders. There are high- and low-functioning types and their symptoms are diverse, so it’s erroneous to assume that all autistic individuals belong to just one category.

Benefits Of Focus Therapy For Trauma Patients

Traumatic incidents can leave you scarred for life. Painful memories can haunt you even in your sleep. During your waking hours, you don’t seem to have the appetite to eat or even to live. Without proper intervention, you may be driven further into seclusion. Psychotherapy has been effective in helping trauma patients enjoy life again.

Emotionally, the person who lived a trauma may develop panic attacks, depression, lack of or excessive appetite, and trouble sleeping. It is quite possible to develop attention problems, memory and concentration, also affecting their ability to study and/or work, and quality of life. — Ana Nogales, Ph.D.

Source: moody.af.mil

There are several types of therapy available to help you overcome trauma. Notably, focus therapy is considered one of the more effective treatments for trauma.

If you are currently suffering from trauma and would like to go for psychological treatment, focus therapy is one of your best bets. Get to know more about focus therapy and its benefits in this article.

Focus Therapy

Focus therapy was discovered by Dr. Eugene Gendlin three decades ago. The critical feature of focus therapy from other kinds of treatment is how the therapist relates to the patient. In other forms of therapy, the therapist is seen as the expert.

Therefore, the therapist tries to pry into the life experiences of the patient to get to the root of the problem. The therapist also dictates what should the patient do to address their condition. As a result, some patients go on defensive mode. Soon enough, the patient will not heed the advice of the therapist.

The saying “what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger” is an oversimplified and glorified belief. What doesn’t kill us can sometimes eat away at us for years and decades of our lives, ultimately affecting us on a deep psychological level. — Susanne Babbel MFT, PhD

Source: pxhere.com

Conversely, this kind of top-down relationship does not exist in focus therapy. In focus therapy, the therapist respects the ability of the patient to decide what he or she needs. They are regarded

Specifically, focus therapy’s benefits for trauma patients are discussed more in detail here:

Work At Your Own Pace

In focus therapy, you dictate the pace of your treatment. Your therapist is not in any position to say what you will discuss during that specific session.

When you’re suffering from a traumatic experience, there are many times when you don’t understand your own feelings. Worse, you might be disconnected from your feelings. You might even be living like a zombie for years now.

If you feel that you are unable to see the big picture or plan for the future because you’re just keeping your head above water, it may be time to slow down and reprioritize. — Samantha Rodman Ph.D.

In focus therapy, the role of your therapist is to accompany you on your journey to understand yourself. You will not feel pressured to relieve painful memories if you’re not yet prepared.

Get To Understand How Your Body Feels

Have you heard about having a “felt sense?” If this is your first time hearing about focus therapy, the term “felt sense” may also be an alien term to you.

Essentially, “felt sense” helps you get in touch with how your body feels. After freeing up your mind, your body will give you words or pictures how you are feeling.

 

You Will Feel Relieved

Living with trauma can be a heavy burden to carry. You may feel that there is no hope for tomorrow. You don’t have any drive to work or even go out of your room.

Going through focus therapy will help you feel relieved of these burdens. As a result, you will see life in a positive light, and your mood will lighten up again.

Source: goodfreephotos.com

Given these points, enjoying life after a traumatic experience is not the end of the road! There is still hope if you have experienced a traumatic incident. Focus therapy can help you understand yourself better and give you the relief that you need. You will get to sleep more soundly. You will have fewer nightmares and fewer worries to think about. Ultimately, you can regain your life and live peacefully.

How To Climb Out Of Hopelessness

There are points in life where you may be feeling hopeless. Nothing is working out for you, you’re in some slump, or some plans have gone awry – things like this can make us lose sight of hope and send us on a spiral towards despair.

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Fortunately, there are ways to climb out of the hole you find yourselves in. Hope springs eternal, and some methods can help you reset and get back on track. Read on to learn how.

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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder In Our Veterans

[Heroes Of The War]

Some of us will experience a traumatic event at some point in our lives, and this very circumstance may change how we view ourselves, the people around us, and even the world.  How long its effect on us will last depends on many factors. Some may be able to cope fast while others much longer.

Source: skills4life.com.au

Concealed War Trauma – Shell Shock Or Combat Stress

It is the term the military use for posttraumatic disorder.

English physician Charles Myers first documented “shell shock” in 1915, conceiving that symptoms are due to physical injury and the repeated exposure to concussive blasts caused brain trauma.  But his theory was proven not entirely accurate because some veterans who have the same kind of experience never showed any symptoms and others who didn’t have exposure to concussive blasts returned with signs.

Many provided nonphysical explanations on this happening for its pervasiveness.   And because of the upsurge of soldiers with similar symptoms during World War II, clinician Abram Kardiner shed light by concluding that these symptoms are from psychological injury.

Only people who have experienced a trauma know how it feels; it’s a unique experience and very difficult to erase from the mind, lasting for years with great emotional intensity. — Ana Nogales, Ph.D.

Heroes Coming Home With PTSD

We may view our soldiers as tough heroes, but even they have this posttraumatic stress disorder, and sometimes the effect on them is even much worse.  Veterans that are returning from their military service most often are having a hard time fine-tuning to their new lives outside of the military camp.

The US Department of Veterans Affairs disclosed that approximately 13.8% of veterans who came home from Iraq and Afghanistan suffered from PTSD.

Source: radioorasje.com

Symptoms In Our Veterans

Signs may not be seen immediately and may occur after a month or a year, but you may notice them feeling a little uncanny, constantly restless or feeling on edge, emotionally numb, and disconnected.   They may quiver in fear resulting them to becoming over-vigilant and untrusting to some people.   Some may seem alarmed and panicky even with the slightest sensory trigger.  They often have nightmares, and would frequently demand to be left alone.

Anger is hard on you mentally and physically, and can lead to impulsive choices you regret, such as violence. If you find it hard to keep your rage in check, you need to reevaluate your methods for dealing with stress. — Samantha Rodman Ph.D.

PTSD To Committing Suicide

When suffering from PTSD, the person’s nervous system (body and mind) gets stuck in shock brought about by the war.

The nervous system has reflexive means of responding to stressful situations.

  • Fight or flight. It is the automaticity to defend themselves to survive danger in a combat situation.  It’s when the heart beats faster, causing a rise in blood pressure, tightening of the muscles, and increased strength and reaction speed. Once the danger is over and the situation has calmed down, the body also cools down, lowering heart rate and blood pressure, drawing back down to its normal state.
  • Immobilization/PTSD. It is when they find themselves stuck, unable to move on from experience, even after the danger has passed.  It is brought about by suffering too much stress.  They no longer have the ability to get their natural state of balance back.

Veterans suffering from PTSD have a high propensity to committing suicide due to the distressing thoughts and guilt associated with war.  Suicide is not always due to character defect, or they have become crazy, but because they have poor control of their impulses since they’ve become trapped in the memories of combat.

Source: columbia.edu

Treatments For PTSD

There is a variety of therapies for PTSD.

  1. CBT – focusing on the memory of the traumatic event, learning skills and understanding of your thoughts and feelings.
  2. Psychopharmaceuticals – use of medications called SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), which are also antidepressants.
  3. Mindfulness therapy – helps the person pay attention and be more aware of the present experiences.
  4. EMDR therapy (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) – focuses on sounds and hand movements as the person talks about the trauma.
  5. Hypnotherapy – helps identify the trigger for the person to be more in control on how to react to the triggers.
  6. Creative therapy – art therapies create a safe space as the person process his traumatic experience. It is his channel for words that are hard to verbalize.
  7. Treatments using low doses of Ecstasy

Be patient and go with what works. Jor-El Caraballo, LMHC

Studies have shown that patient’s high probability of improvement relies on when they are given the freedom to choose their mode of treatment.

New methods are being developed to treat PTSD, especially for our veterans to guard their well-being far better.

Debunking Misconceptions About Psychologists

Although there had been an increase in campaigns and conversations on mental health, there are still a whole lot of misconceptions, myths, misunderstandings, and stereotypes in availing the services of a psychologist. These things are what hinders these individuals in seeking professional help. To fix these ongoing stigma, we have decided to determine and debunk these common misconceptions.

Psychologists Listen While You Sit On A Couch And Rant

In the past, most psychologists prefer to adopt a practice called psychoanalysis. It is the Freudian method of talking therapy, where the client tends to lay on the couch while recollecting their memories, and the therapist listens and takes note of the problems. From here, the experts base their interpretations on the unconscious processes of the mind.

Source: usar.army.mil

In the modern day, however, most psychologists opt to practice a more conversational approach wherein the session focuses on both the present problems and future outcomes instead of dwelling on the past. The therapist and client are equal in this strategy, which will require more active involvement from both sides.

Psychologists Do Not Have Mental Health Issues Or Life Problems

Although psychologists spend more or less six years in mastering the behavior of the human mind, it does not mean that they are already masters of life. In reality, they still consider themselves ordinary people who also face the typical challenges of life. They still experience some blind spots despite learning all of these evidence-based concepts and theories.

There are even times wherein they forget to take care of their mental health since they are busy trying to help others fix theirs. Believe it or not, they are also still a work-in-progress just like anybody else!

When most people hear the term psychologist, their immediate impression is that of a mental health professional who provides psychotherapy. Of course, this impression is not incorrect; rather, it is incomplete. — Dillon Browne Ph.D.

Psychologists Are Experts Who Can Solve Problems In One Session

It is not true! Psychologists only consider themselves as the main facilitators of the sessions. The outcome of these sessions depends on the effort of both the patient and the psychologist. In reality, psychologists only construct the road, but the clients are the ones in-charge to drive through this road and reach their destinations. In other words, they are just there to guide you to make the changes you opt to experience in your life.

Source: pixabay.com

Some clients even treat their sessions, just like a grocery shopping time. They bring a long list of issues to address, and they are expecting to solve everything in only one seating. It should not be the case.

First, it is not scientifically possible to tackle multiple issues in a session. It takes time to process even just one problem. Second, psychologists are not wizards who can magically make your problems disappear. It will require trust development, rapport building, and extensive understanding from both sides to be able to comprehend the client’s issues fully.

Some cultural groups tend to express distress physically, such as in sleep problems. Then the psychologist focuses on physical problems before working on other issues, such as emotional problems. — Gordon C. Nagayama Hall, Ph.D.

Psychologists Can Always Provide A Clear Diagnosis To Their Patients

Although psychologists are trained to have a precise diagnosis of mental health issues, it does not mean that they should always provide one. Sometimes, it will take them a while to be able to figure out what’s wrong, so they opt to push back their diagnosis. At other times, some clients don’t even meet the criteria for a specific diagnosis, so psychologists do not proclaim anything.

Source: pxhere.com

Yes, they may chat with you about their hunches and ideas, and they might even give you recommendations on how to move forward, but this does not mean that they are diagnosing you with something mental-health related.

Some people who work under the label of “psychologist” are primarily therapists. While others who work under this label are primarily behavioral scientists. — Glenn Geher Ph.D.

All Psychologists Can Help You

Remember, not all psychologists can help you. Be open to the possibility that sometimes psychologists and clients do not click. If you feel uncomfortable with your current psychologist, do not hesitate to open this up to them, and start looking for another one. It might be disappointing and frustrating for people who are expecting so much from their sessions, but this is the reality of it.

The best road to recovery is to find a psychologist you can gel with, whom you trust, and who you are comfortable with. It will ensure that you are maximizing your therapy experience by opening up quickly to your psychologist.

More misconceptions are lurking in the air, but these are five of the most common ones. We hope that this post helped debunk some of the myths that have been bothering your mind. So, if you need someone to help you address your problems and get your life back on track, take a brave step and set an appointment with a psychologist. Rest assured that it will be worth your time and effort.