Author Archives: Beck Psychotherapy

H2O for the Mind

Drinking water is typically associated with staying physically healthy and fit, but did you know that it affects your ability to think and your mental health? When you do not have enough water in your system, you may feel light-headed and have trouble focusing on simple tasks. This may in turn make you irritable and/or confused.
Dehydration also directly impacts mood. Many people experience anxiety, even panic, along with indicators of dehydration. For those who have depression, not drinking enough water exacerbates the condition by contributing to fatigue, low energy, and headaches.
Getting your 6-8 glasses of water during the dog days of summer can be especially challenging, but that makes it more important. Your body loses water when you sweat under the hot summer sun and even when you breathe out water vapor.
Experiencing some of the above symptoms even with the right amount of water? There may be other factors at play. Beck Psychotherapy encourages you to check in with yourself. Grab a cool glass of water, sit down, and take a brief online mental health screening at http://www.BeckPsychotherapy.com.

Advertisements

Worried About Worry?

Everyone regularly experiences anxiety, from minor concerns such as getting the grocery shopping done on time to the fear of missing a flight. It is not surprising, then, that anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders in the United States. However, the commonplace nature of worry in our society can make it difficult to discern everyday concerns from a diagnosable anxiety disorder.

Some indications that you may be experiencing greater than typical levels of worry:

1. You have trouble concentrating on the tasks at hand because you are constantly worrying about what might go wrong, future events and interactions, things on your to-do list, etc.

2. Your worrying is disrupting your sleep. Every night you lay in bed, exhausted, but your mind won’t let you rest.

3. You avoid people and situations that make you nervous. You cancel plans with your friends and rarely go to new places due to fear of negative outcomes.

If any of this sounds like you, or if you have been noticing these characteristics in someone you care about, take the first step to recovery with a free, simple online anxiety screening: http://www.BeckPsychotherapy.com. With the right resources, anxiety is a highly treatable condition.

PTSD: Not Only a Soldier’s Disease

When Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) comes up on the news, it’s usually in the context of veterans. However, there are many types of trauma that a person can experience in a lifetime without ever setting foot on a battlefield. Loss of a loved one, sexual assault, and the loss of a loved one are a few examples of that trauma.

PTSD does not have to develop from a personal experience but can be caused by seeing or hearing a life-threatening event, even if one’s own life is not threatened. For example, it is likely that many people who witnessed the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013—regardless of whether they were near the explosion—developed PTSD as a reaction to the tragic event.

PTSD impacts not only the suffering individuals but those close to them. It can also emerge years after the triggering event. To see if the symptoms that you are experiencing are similar to those of PTSD, make time for a quick check-in at http://www.BeckPsychotherapy.com.

I Screen, You Screen

It’s a known truth that illness can be most effectively treated when it is identified early. If you have an ear infection, start your antibiotics before things get worse. If you discover that you have heart problems, changing your lifestyle could protect you from a future heart attack. Why should mental health be any different?

Hint: it isn’t. Although one in five people have a diagnosable mental health disorder, only 44% of adults and 20% of children receive the treatment that they need. Why? One reason is the stigma surrounding mental health, which prevents people from feeling comfortable seeking help. Another is a general lack of knowledge about mental health resources.
When mental health screenings are regularly accessible to the public, checking on your mental health becomes normalized and less stigmatized. Where mental health screenings are available, there is also access to referral information that helps individuals take the next steps in seeking care. And, once someone has taken a screening, they gain a better idea as to whether they might have symptoms of a mental health disorder.
Mental health screenings are typically available at a primary care physician’s office, but there is no need to wait for your annual appointment to check in with yourself. Beck Psychotherapy has an online mental health screening program available at any hour of the day and from the comfort of your phone or tablet. Mental health screenings are free, anonymous, brief, and will provide you with referral information for resources in your area. Get your “check up from the neck up” here: http://www.BeckPsychotherapy.com.

Mental Health and Technology: A Double-Edged Sword

As with all things, technology can be bad or good for you depending on how you use it. In the context of mental health, tech is generally represented as a negative. And it can be: Using your phone before bed suppresses melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep and impacting the quality of the sleep that you do get. Extended use of social media exacerbates anxiety and can lower self-esteem. Digital communication may impede the development of face-to-face social skills that are an essential part of life.

However, technology is here to stay and we must learn to control how often and in what ways we use it for the benefit of our health. Technology has made mental health care more accessible and personalized. Smartphone apps help people moderate their anxiety and monitor dangerous addictions. Some programs allow doctors to keep in touch with patients and track their progress.

Another advantage that technology brings to the mental health world is the addition of online screenings to augment regular health care regimens. These platforms give individuals a means of checking in with their mental health privately and easily, with instant access to a variety of educational resources and local referral information. Take a brief, anonymous mental health screening today at http://www.BeckPsychotherapy.com and experience how technology can help us care for ourselves and others!

May is Mental Health Month: What You Need to Know

Mental health is a difficult subject for some, but it doesn’t have to be! When dealing with mental health, like physical health, one needs intervention when systems are not operating correctly.

Normalizing conversation about mental health helps reduce the stigma around it. When people feel more comfortable discussing their mental health issues, they are more likely to seek help. The following some facts and statistics illustrate the prevalence of mental illness.

 

  1. More than 40 million Americans experience mental illness during a single year. That’s one in five people you walk by on the street. Just because you cannot see the illness does not mean that it is not there.
  1. One quarter of the people mentioned above have co-occurring mental illness and addiction disorders. 10 million Americans are dealing with double the struggle.
  1. Half of all chronic mental illness reveals itself as early as age 14 (if not earlier!). Being aware of possible symptoms and seeking treatment early can help save a life.
  1. Only 44% of adults with diagnosable mental health problems receive proper treatment. This means that the other 56% go untreated, often due to lack of education about mental health, or fear of stigma. If you think that you or a loved one might be showing signs of a mental health disorder, you can take the first step to recovery with a free, anonymous screening at BeckPsychotherapy.com.

 

Remember: you are not alone. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to speak to someone at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

 

*Statistics from National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Should You Try Counseling?

17758672_1308908289147095_8733002003987221265_oApril is Counseling Awareness Month, so many people use this time to check in on their mental health and make an appointment with a counselor. If you’ve been to a mental health counselor before, you know what to expect, although there is always something to learn by trying again. If you haven’t ever visited a mental health counselor, this is a great time to try.

There are lots of misconceptions about what happens in a mental health counselor’s office, but the reality is that it is really just a conversation between two people, one of whom is educated in helping people when they are going through difficult times or want to figure something out.

A counselor will not solve your problems, tell you what to do, or impose his or her personal beliefs on your situation. A counselor will help you identify what you would like to address or change in your life.

People who visit a counselor simply want to improve their lives. It is not a weakness, nor is it a crutch. Visiting a counselor shows strength! It shows that you are ready and willing to tackle issues in your life that you want to change. You may even want to check your own mental health before visiting a counselor by taking a brief self-assessment at http://www.BeckPsychotherapy.com.