There is a slow movement towards acceptance in discussing openly mental health and personal troubles. But how acceptable does it seem to visit a counselor, though? Potentially, you might have only gone to a counselor – as I did – when you have nowhere else to go and frustratingly to lie around and to feel stuck.
My first hand at counseling was when I was in college. I was utterly filled with emotions of guilt, anxiety, and depression that were dominating me during my first semester. Deep within, I was overwhelmed with insecurity and self-hatred, feeling like someone else. This initial counseling experience was a monotonous event of three weekly sessions offering merely a taste of what might become in the long term. Even with my very little eagerness for the counseling session, my desire for self-discovery was dampened, as my concerns were heard and sincerely taken into consideration for the first time.
After a few years, with some travel experience and a college degree, I wished to have discovered myself and removed my internal demons. However, I feel that I haven’t changed much in terms of my mental health. I reluctantly understood that I possibly had to look within myself to recover, so I went into counseling again, which went on for a year.
At that time, I felt that it was truly an eye-opener to be able to talk freely. My teen years had been difficult at home, and now I could talk safely without being judged. I eventually gradually developed empathy for the younger version of me and a feeling of gratitude for the way I was efficiently coping. Previously, I had been persistently critical of myself. I acknowledged that I had kept mum about my inner troubles and how other people’s opinions became my constant reference point. I now began to listen to myself again.
Until now, I often wonder how and what I would have been if not for counseling. I think I would still be the same self-critical and insecure person, always worried and hesitant about how others would perceive me. Counseling really helped me to relax and foster empathy and kindness. All my negativity hindered me from engraining self-confidence and compassion earlier in my life. I have learned to let go of my past pain and bitterness.
Here are some things I have learned about counseling that helped improve my mindset and, ultimately, my life.
You Learn To Value Yourself.
Perhaps you’ve become clever at pleasing other people. Counseling enabled me to recognize the importance of showing true compassion.
You Will Start To Understand Your Past.
Gradually, your past won’t be painful anymore, and you will embrace how it has influenced what you have become today. There is significant value in comprehending the past and how it has affected your journey through life. Old hurts can heal, and unpleasant experiences can be dealt with.
You Find More Meaning In Your Relationships.
Through regular counseling, you will feel more grateful for the relationships that are vital to you. You might also choose to move a step backward from the unhealthy relationships that you may have had. The therapeutic benefits of counseling provide a practice field for real bonds and relationships.
You Change When You Have Self-Awareness.
Without self-awareness, one can be in total confusion. Developing self-awareness permits you to do a reality check and try to be an observer. You start to find sense in things and situations, subsequently leading to better understanding and clarity.
You Are Capable Of Managing Your Own Thoughts.
Every day, there are apparently about 60,000 thought patterns that come across our minds. With regular counseling, you will soon recognize and manage your thoughts and find potential in honing your mood and mindset in life. Once you start noticing the ‘inside talk’ within your head, you become abruptly more in control of how you think.
You Live In The Present.
If you have depression or anxiety, you may spend time regretting the past or feeling anxious about your future. Counseling helps you learn to be mindful of the things and situations around you – you learn to live in the present. I have felt more serene and connected to the world.
Anxiety Decreases, And You Become Braver.
Perhaps your world was previously daunting and miserable. Through the help of your counselor, who will teach you relaxation and coping strategies, you will slowly be able to overcome the challenges in your life without feeling anxious all the time. Then you can start to make your own safe space and be happy and fulfilled.
You, Will, Know Why Things Didn’t Make Sense.
During the counseling sessions, I was encouraged to recall the things that I did out of depression. I over-ate and even tried to harm myself. Initially, I felt so ashamed, and I didn’t understand why I did them. But after a few months, counseling helped me find sense in what I did. I bravely confronted them, which led me to become braver and stronger than ever.
It Helps You Love Yourself And Others Truly.
When you can be yourself, you begin to feel inner contentment. You slowly permit your counselor to help you by allowing him to intervene with your life and make it better, starting with helping you learn to love yourself and others sincerely. You embrace your imperfectness and love yourself for it. Through this self-love, you will be better at loving others.
Personal growth and development is a process of self-discovery and skill formation, enhancing an individual’s general quality of life. Its process can be applied to many areas of an individual, including mental, social, physical, spiritual, and emotional. These abilities can then be utilized at some point in people’s lives. Personal growth applies to several areas of counseling and coaching for self-awareness, improve skills, foster relationships, and self-understanding. Personal growth entails unraveling precisely what is vital to you and learning skills that will help improve these values.
Most people get stuck in various aspects of their lives. This could mean ensnared or confined in a profession or a life circumstance, or merely stuck in frustration and discontent. It can be perplexing and truly frustrating, and how these feelings have emerged can be unclear. Often, individuals may be attaining everything they have planned to attain, but sadly, they do not feel rewarded or fulfilled as they should be. This can be related to career, identity, sports and fitness, money, spirituality, and relationships. Personal growth counseling is beneficial for anyone who feels a lack of contentment. It can also benefit those who desire to improve their efficiency and boost their ability to enjoy life.
Personal growth counseling can generally help with:
- Developing self-confidence
- Improving decisiveness
- Anger management strategies
- Overcoming anxiety and confusion
- Building self-esteem
- Managing loneliness
Each individual is formed by a different set of abilities, experiences, and views. We must strive to achieve success in defining who we really are and not by those that other people set for us. By realizing what really makes you feel happy and fulfilled, we can create goals and aspirations that will expand our experience. It is also crucial for us to progressively outrun ourselves and objectively scrutinize, which can be daunting.
Counseling For Self-Understanding
Personal growth counseling will guide an individual into helping him maximize equivalence – a state wherein one’s values and beliefs are in line with action and speech. It will enable one with the capability for accomplishment, self-understanding, and the capacity to live and enjoy life at any point. It is a long-term endeavor, and by striving to achieve personal growth and development in your personal and professional life, each of us will learn abilities that we can utilize at any point in our lives – present and future.
In counseling, counselors use themselves as the primary instrument with which to support their clients. If they have not deeply looked into themselves, they will have difficulty providing quality counseling to their clients. To be efficient in their profession, they must possess self-awareness – embracing themselves more completely permits them to provide that same acceptance to their clients.
In managing their clients’ personal triggers during counseling, counselors should have already understood their own process to spot and avoid errors. Often, it may be essential to take a break from their jobs, particularly if they are also going through some personal problems. Not confronting their own issues and concerns may ultimately destroy them as well as their clients.
If a counselor feels incapable of performing his job as a personal growth specialist or does not have a thorough background in the field, he should endorse his client or clients to another practitioner who is more qualified and able to help them.
Self-Awareness And Personal Growth Counseling
Self-awareness, which is acquired through personal growth and development, is possibly crucial in person-focused counseling. This is all about associating with the client in a manner that exemplifies the three fundamental principles of congruence, empathy, and unreserved respect and affection. Aspects of incongruence within us may avert us from recognizing and learning these principles.
Here are some examples:
- If a counselor had an uncharted preconception against, for instance, those with specific sexuality, then found themself with that kind of client during the session, they might not be able to provide unreserved positive regard. This would negatively impact the quality of service that he was capable of providing his clients. It may even be dangerous to them, violating the essential moral standards of altruism (a guarantee that the client shall not be harmed).
- If a counselor had gone through a painful experience that they were not able to address appropriately. Then his client’s experience made him recall his own past hurts; he will most likely be unable to stay with his scope of reference but rather overturning to his own emotions about his own suffering. This keeps him from giving his client empathy, which means putting yourself in other people’s shoes and being with them as they unravel their emotions.
Truly, in personal growth counseling, or in any counseling for that matter, counselors use themselves as the primary tool with which to support and guide their clients. They need to have the self-awareness to teach their clients how to be fully aware and successfully move towards healing and recovery.
A dream is one big chunk of our daily sleep cycle. Dreams vary massively. Sometimes we dream about our loved ones, significant others, and friends. Other times, we dream about memories, human encounters, or future job prospects. Some may have it bizarre, while others have it simple. Many people remember their dreams, while others forget about them the moment they wake up.
Despite the differences in the context and nature of our dreams, one thing is for sure. We always want to recall, uncover, and know what they mean.
The most basic definition of dreams is images and pictures that we produce while we are sleeping. They range from simple and direct situations to bizarre and almost profound scenarios. People may dream of very clear narratives or settle with those that do not make sense at all.
Dreams can appear in almost any portion of our sleep. But the most bizarre ones show during a phase called REM or rapid eye movement sleep when your brain is having its most active state. Dreams occurring in this period are also those that people tend to remember during the day.
It is also possible to dream during NREM (non-rapid eye movement), but these are the ones that are common and simple. It usually fades from memory upon waking up. Experts say that a normal person often dreams about three to six times every night, with each dream lasting for about five to twenty minutes.
To date, the real reason why people dream is still a mystery. Some professionals say that dreams are futile and meaningless. Meanwhile, others argue that this is a physical and mental need. Some interesting theories about why we dream in the first place are the following:
- Development of the mind for cognitive abilities
- A unique state in our human consciousness that links our past, present, and future. It sometimes acts as a warning for possible threats.
- A time where our mind processes the memories and learning we had for the day
- To evaluate and discover unconscious mental functions throughout the daytime.
The psychological interpretation of dreams began with the famous psychologist Sigmund Freud. He believed that a person’s dream mirrors something about his inner self. According to him, a dream manifests motivations, internal thoughts, or even some hidden desires.
Other, more modern explanations about the meaning of dreams include:
- A deep fear or concern that gets to be unanswered or unsolved during consciousness
- Can reflect underlying mental condition, personal stresses, or prevailing anxieties
- Meaning and Interpretation of Dreams are unique to a person
If you want to know more about the types, causes, or meaning of dreams, check out the interesting FAQs about it here below:
Can dreams mean something?
Yes, they can. In psychology, dreams represent our unconscious desires and wishes. In ancient times, dreams were a way to predict the future or to commune with the supernatural. In general, there is still much to study and discover about dreams. Dreams can also be a means of survival.
In general, it is a form of psychotherapy since it develops our cognitive capabilities. Dreaming is also when the brain consolidates and processes learnings throughout the day.
What psychology says about dreams?
Freud explained that we produce images with our unconscious minds while sleeping. For him, dreams had meaning because it helps us understand our deepest selves better.
Contrarily, Hobson and McCarley gave no meaning to dreams. They say that the triggered sensations, emotions, and memories are random. The brain attempts to assemble them into a story, but one without meaning.
The Neurocognitive Model combines the two theories by stating that emotions guide random sensations and memories into a story. This scenario explains why people who underwent trauma are more prone to nightmares.
What are the three types of dreams?
There is passive imagination dreaming, which happens while semi-awake. It can be daydreaming, going to one’s fantasy land. It can also be light-sleep dreaming, combining random images.
External stimuli influence Dream-illusions. For example, sleeping with a hot water bottle at the bottom of the feet can cause dreams of walking on lava.
Meanwhile, thoughts and images influence dream-hallucinations. A boy who frequently thinks about a person he fancies will dream about them. Dream-hallucinations can also revolve around sexual, musical, or artistic desires as a central theme.
Do dreams reveal who we are as a person?
Yes, because dreams express our inner desires and fears that we might not say when awake. Dreams can reveal our state of mind. For example, dreaming about the workplace means that you are focused on productivity and accomplishment. Dreaming of your childhood home may mean that you are in a familiar and comfortable place.
Naked dreams mean experiencing your true self. Meanwhile, if you are covering up, it indicates that you’re feeling vulnerable. Dreaming of death means that you are changing. The circumstances will tell if you desire the change.
Do dreams show your true feelings?
Yes, since we are usually used to repressing our emotions during waking hours. Most of the time, we do not have the time to process our feelings. Sometimes we are in denial of our emotions because society dictates that certain feelings are wrong. The mind processes repressed emotions in our dreams, where we can freely express our feelings without judgment.
Learning your dream language allows you to understand your emotions better and resolve underlying problems. Too repressed emotions due to trauma will result in post-traumatic stress disorder dreams.
Can dreams be warnings?
Dreams may serve as warnings of our overall state of health. The subtle symptoms that we shrug off when awake may be exaggerated in our dreams. Dreams can remind us if we lack a specific aspect of our overall spiritual, mental, and physical well-being.
Some say that dreams can give us foresight of an event before it occurs. It can guide us toward the correct path to take the best course of action when it happens.
Can God send you dreams?
Some believe that God speaks to us through dreams and visions. In the Bible, God used dreams to send messages to prophets. Some say that people with vivid dreams have a unique insight to predict the future.
Are bad dreams a sign?
Various factors can cause spontaneous bad dreams. Some of these include taking a late-night snack or medication that activates the brain at night. Sleep deprivation from the previous night or withdrawal from drugs and substances can also result in nightmares.
However, reoccurring bad dreams can signal an underlying disorder or a regression of overall health. It can cause psychological triggers such as anxiety and depression. Nightmares are also a symptom of untreated sleep apnea or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
What does it mean when you dream about someone sexually?
Sexual dreams mean differently depending on the type of action being taken. Sex with a stranger or acquaintance may mean that you are not meeting your sexual needs. Sex with an ex may suggest two things. It may either mean getting used to a new partner or retaining unresolved grief about an ex.
BDSM may mean being attracted to the idea of being in control or wishing others were in power. Sex with a teacher may represent a desire to be loved by an authority figure. This phenomenon may stem from a lack of attention from a narcissistic parent.
Why do I have crazy dreams?
Crazy dreams are usually caused by activities performed before going to bed. For example, eating before sleeping increases metabolism. Therefore, it increases brain activity and causes dreams to be more intense. Watching television or reading a book may cause your mind to linger on it longer.
Sleep deprivation from previous nights also increases your dreams’ intensity. During this time, your body is essentially making up for lost sleep.
What do dreams signify?
Some dreams can signify certain aspects of our life or our way of thinking. Dreams involving the infidelity of a partner symbolizes feelings of lack of trust, loyalty, and communication. Dreams of failing an exam may signify feelings of unpreparedness for real-life problems.
Dreams involving death usually mean fear of sudden changes in your life. Death is all about a fear of the unknown. Dreams of being nude in public may indicate fear of revealing your imperfections.
How do you have a lucid dream?
Some techniques to force a lucid dream to occur are reality testing, WBTB, and keeping a dream journal. Reality testing is done by continually asking yourself, “Am I dreaming?” or checking if your environment is real.
The wake back to bed (WBTB) aims to stay conscious while entering the REM cycle. It involves waking up 5 hours after going to sleep and staying up for 30 minutes. After this, you need to fall back to sleep. The method of keeping a dream journal makes you notice similarities or patterns in your dreams.
Is lucid dreaming rare?
Yes, it only comes naturally to a number of people. The reason is most people do not put much emphasis on developing their inner sense of self. Most live distracted lives and go to bed very tired from their work.
Others are fearful of that type of experience, so they keep their minds noisy. They tend to watch shows or listen to music to distract themselves. However, lucid dreaming can be honed using reality testing, WBTB, and maintaining a dream journal.
Can you lucid dream every night?
Yes, certain people have lucid dreams almost every night. However, it is more common among children than it is for adults. Those who have lucid dreams are more insightful than most. They have the remarkable ability to think outside the box.
If you want to practice lucid dreaming every night, there some techniques to hone the skill. You can try reality testing, WBTB, and keeping a dream journal.
Can you die in a lucid dream?
No, but there are significant side effects to consider, like waking up in sleep paralysis. Lucid dreams can also cause derealization. It happens when you feel that nothing is real despite waking up. Waking up from a lucid dream can be harder. However, it is impossible to get “stuck” in it.
Lucid dreaming is dangerous for people with mental health problems since it can worsen their condition. For example, schizophrenic people have difficulty distinguishing hallucinations from real-life experiences.
Dreaming is a common human mental activity that is sometimes too difficult to control or maneuver. You do not have to worry about dreaming because it is a common experience across cultures. A lot of factors may contribute to what we dream. Most of which include our personal experiences, age, and occupation.
Often connected to our emotions, feelings, and ongoing mental status, interpreting these mental images must come from ourselves. Dream guides and definitions exist to help us evaluate and layout the meaning of our dreams. But these cannot fully define our dreams.
Also, do not stress out too much about the meaning of your dreams. If you focus on it too much, you might lose track of your present goals and sleeping schedule. Do not let dream interpretation control you and your current situation. Instead, see it as an opportunity to get to know more about yourself and connect to the inner parts of you.
Perhaps there are instances in your life that you feel a little off. There is something inside your head that keeps making a fuss even without you worrying about it. In some instances, these unwanted thoughts make you feel uncomfortable, anxious, and stressed all of a sudden. You get to feel an immediate shift in your mood without knowing why. Often, you can’t explain these particular sudden changes because you believe that to be a normal thing, especially when facing quite a few challenges in some of your life aspects. However, in few cases, maybe what you are dealing with is not just simple overthinking. Perhaps your situation is more significantly under the impression of psychological health struggle.
Depression And Mood
You can know what depression is. It is a mental illness that may be affected you already at some points in your life. Thus, you know that depression does not work alone because it can get associated with other health conditions. With that, you deal with all sorts of symptoms, from physical and emotional. Therefore, you get to experience a sudden change in mood, which is also one factor that can determine depression.
Of course, though not all the time, there are quite a few warning signs related to depression and mood changes. But in most cases, the mood disorder can become a basis for a diagnosis. If this is still confusing, let me walk you through a better understanding of mood disorder and its association to depression through these frequently asked questions.
How would you describe an episode of depressive behavior?
An episode of depressive behavior usually has symptoms that include frustration, anxiety, fatigue, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in productive and engaging things once enjoyed. A depressive episode’s symptoms are often extreme, instant, and out of control compared to normal times of low mood. In some unfortunate instances, these depressive symptoms affect a person’s life as they become very debilitating.
Is it possible to self-diagnose with depression?
Assessing how you feel is a common thing to do, especially when you know something is wrong with your usual routines. However, self-assessment is not designed to diagnose depression and is not reliable most of the time. Only a mental health professional can develop a clinically proven diagnosis of your mental health concerns. But if you believe you may be depressed, you can freely take a psychological assessment and share the results with your doctor.
Why is Googling symptoms a bad idea?
Googling your symptoms only results in incorrect diagnoses. Self-diagnosing your mental health symptoms using the information you get from the internet can mask a potentially alarming disease as the risk of not identifying it correctly is high. Constant researching health fears add to the increase of stress and anxiety because it somehow conditions the minds to be always on the lookout for scary health information that is entirely invalid.
How do you know you have a mood disorder?
You might be able to identify if you have a mood disorder with the common symptom. These include irritability, aggression or hostility, ongoing sadness, emptiness or anxiousness, appetite or weight changes, difficulty sleeping, troubled concentration focus, and emotional flare-up.
But in case you are not sure about the signs, you can reach out to a therapist or licensed professional that can help assist you with what you are emotionally and mentally dealing with.
How long do manic depressive episodes last?
Manic depressive episodes last depending on the person’s ability to cope with the mental health issue. But if it gets left untreated, mania’s first episode could last an average of two to four months. Meanwhile, the depressive episode stays up to eight months or longer. It is vital to consider many variations. If the person does not get immediate treatment or does not try and access self-help strategies, these depressive episodes tend to become more frequent and last longer as time passes.
How do I know if I need a mood stabilizer?
If you think you are dealing with mild to severe mood disorder symptoms, you need to consult an expert regarding mood stabilizers. A clinical physician or a doctor is the only one allowed to prescribe mood stabilizers. It is only exclusive if you have an episode of mania, hypomania, or depression that usually changes and suddenly worsens. You might need to take mood stabilizers as a long-term treatment to stop severe symptoms from happening because of some instances.
Which disorder is a mild yet chronic form of depression?
Dysthymia is a more moderate form of depression. However, it is a condition that tends to last for a longer period. It is also known as a persistent depressive disorder that involves changes in the person’s physical aspects, emotions, mood, and thoughts. The chronic form of depression may influence you to lose interest in things that previously makes you happy. It makes coping with depression symptoms challenging as the current depressed mood may be mild and unnoticeable.
Is mood disorder the same as depression?
Your mood changes that often interfere with your everyday activities indicate a mood disorder such as depression or bipolar disorder. It goes with symptoms that include alternating times of depression and mania. Fortunately, mood disorders are highly treatable medical state. As long as there is an appropriate diagnosis, support, and treatment, its struggles usually get better.
What are examples of mood disorders?
The universal mood disorders are:
- Dysthymia (dysthymic disorder).
- Major depression.
- Bipolar disorder.
- Mood disorder due to general medical issues.
- Substance-induced mood disorder.
Keeping your mental health stable is not easy as you can get easily caught up with life stressors. But you need to pay attention to your emotional responses. When you feel like you are having trouble regulating your mood, you should consult a professional help once and for all. Yes, your condition might not be that serious, and you might find yourself able to get rid of it at some point. But it does not mean that you should ignore it. Be mindful to assess your emotional and mental health to avoid further psychological complications.
Movies and TV shows often portray schizophrenia as unpredictable, violent, or even scary. Far from the truth, schizophrenia is a mental disorder that distorts someone’s reality. It makes them hallucinate or hear voices that do not exist. These portrayals stigmatize people with this condition. In reality, the degree of intensity of schizophrenic episodes varies from case to case.
Schizophrenia is a truly debilitating illness that alters a person’s thoughts, actions, and perceptions. Psychotic episodes can occur only once in their whole life or reoccur whenever triggered. Harsh voices and delusions can lead to confusion or to actions that may endanger themselves. It is common for people with schizophrenia to have difficulties expressing themselves and communicating their thoughts.
Sadly, there is no cure for schizophrenia. However, do not lose hope as the right combination of psychotherapy and medication can help control the condition. While support from loved ones is helpful, guided treatment on its own is useful. It is possible and proven that people with schizophrenia can build meaningful relationships and live normal lives.
It is best to seek professional help and advice to find the best treatment for schizophrenia. Therapy has notable effects to help people with this condition. It allows patients to process their thoughts, distinguish what is real from what is not, and is effective in most cases. It can also help patients understand their condition better and overcome symptoms when they occur.
Planning to seek therapy for schizophrenia for you or your loved one? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions to help you start.
What type of therapy is best for schizophrenia?
Treatment for schizophrenia usually includes both medication and psychotherapy. Antipsychotics are useful for the initial treatment of an acute schizophrenic episode. These drugs reduce anxiety and aggression in the short term and decrease the risk of hallucinations and delusions with more prolonged usage.
Meanwhile, psychological treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, allow people to better deal with schizophrenic symptoms. Therapy helps identify and change patterns that lead to unwanted consequences.
Can schizophrenia be treated with therapy?
Proper treatment will help control symptoms, reduce episodes, and contribute to disorder management. However, schizophrenia demands lifelong treatments, even after the disappearance of initial symptoms. Doctors may try various combinations of antipsychotic drugs to provide the desired improvements with minimal side effects.
Psychological and psychosocial therapies are also crucial for helping the patient, and their loved ones cope with this mental illness. However, most patients can control their condition through rigorous treatment.
What psychologist deals with schizophrenia?
Psychiatrists are mental health professionals who specialize in managing schizophrenia and other similar conditions. As medical doctors, psychiatrists can give a diagnosis, prescribe medications, and deliver psychological therapy. They work with other psychologists who can assist in measuring treatment progress and conducting cognitive rehabilitation.
Psychiatrists can also benefit from licensed professional counselors and licensed clinical social workers for providing professional counseling.
What are the goals of therapy for schizophrenia?
The main therapeutic goals include preventing harmful behavior, reducing the severity of psychotic symptoms, and addressing causes that lead to acute episodes. Notably, schizophrenia is incurable, so therapy focuses on management and the restoration of normal function. Over time, therapy aims to decrease the risk of relapse by minimizing stress and training loved ones to provide adequate support.
What triggers schizophrenia?
Stress is the primary trigger for schizophrenia. In particular, major life events such as losing a loved one, loss of livelihood, termination of a relationship, or abuse can promote schizophrenic symptoms. People with a predisposition to schizophrenia, such as those with genetic factors and imbalanced neurotransmitters, are more vulnerable to these triggers.
How Can schizophrenia be cured permanently?
Unfortunately, schizophrenia has no permanent cure. However, effective treatment can help patients manage symptoms indefinitely. With therapy, many people with schizophrenia can engage in everyday activities in work and social relationships. Most patients get to restore normal function, with many even achieving a symptom-free life.
Does schizophrenia worsen with age?
Schizophrenia symptoms vary over the years, with some patients experiencing more intense impacts from the disease while others remain mentally stable. Remission rates can be significant for the general population, although varying remission criteria makes accurate analysis difficult.
However, schizophrenia does not accelerate mental deterioration with age. Many people receiving adequate treatment may even see improvements in psychosocial functioning due to better control over the condition.
Is schizophrenia the worst mental illness?
Schizophrenia can be one of the most debilitating mental conditions, although common media portrayals can exaggerate its effects. Given that this condition affects how people think, act, behave with others and perceive reality, schizophrenia can drastically affect life quality.
However, the severity of the illness itself varies among patients. Some people only have one psychotic episode for their entire lives, while others might struggle even between recurrent episodes.
What is the lifespan of a person with schizophrenia?
People with schizophrenia may have reduced life expectancies, with patients living from 12 to 15 years shorter than people without the condition. Factors contributing to reduced lifespan involve lifestyle factors, as it may be more difficult for people with schizophrenia to commit to healthy habits.
Furthermore, people with schizophrenia may receive less optimal healthcare, especially for dangerous but preventable conditions like cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Do people with schizophrenia have to take medication for life?
Given that schizophrenia is a lifelong condition, patients will have to take medications and attend psychological therapy sessions for life. However, they might receive various dosages and combinations of antipsychotic medications depending on their current symptoms and mental status. Changes in medication allow for optimized benefits and reduced side effects.
How do people with schizophrenia behave?
Distorted views of reality are hallmark symptoms of schizophrenia, causing patients to exhibit erratic behavior at times. People with schizophrenia can have hallucinations and illusions that cause them to behave inappropriately. Difficulties in expressing emotions can drive patients to withdraw socially.
Do people with schizophrenia feel the love?
People with schizophrenia can feel and express including emotions. Patients can form romantic relationships with other people. However, they might have difficulties in anticipating future emotions. It can also be challenging to engage in dating and other bonding activities with people.
Can a person with schizophrenia act normal?
Some schizophrenic patients undergoing therapy can experience a symptom-free and relatively normal life. However, experiences can vary. Some people might only have a single psychotic episode, while others might suffer from recurring symptoms. A combination of medication and psychological treatments can increase the chances of living a normal life.
What kind of voices do people with schizophrenia hear?
Schizophrenic patients who have auditory hallucinations might hear imaginary voices that give them comments, insults, or even encouragement. Experiences vary widely, but people most often hear repetitive, commanding, and hostile voices. These voices can be interactive, with the patient able to form a conversation with their imaginary companion.
Can overthinking cause schizophrenia?
Overthinking alone is not a trigger for schizophrenia. Overthinking about traumatic events is associated with the symptoms of schizophrenia. However, overthinking is likely an effect of the traumatic experience, not a cause for schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a disabling condition that can progressively worsen without the proper guidance and treatment. Hallucinating and having a distorted reality can strain relationships, which can lead to isolation and social withdrawal. At times, this erratic behavior can be overwhelming and further deteriorate overall well-being.
Treatment for schizophrenia cannot fully cure it, but it helps control and minimize symptoms. With regular treatment, one can expect things to get better over time. Constant treatment may be necessary even when there is no manifestation of symptoms. Support from a therapist and trusted people are key to overcoming the challenges presented by this mental illness.
Seeking help from a mental health professional or therapist is a brave step to take. Acknowledging one’s condition does not come easy for everyone. For some, it takes time.
The treatment process will help improve the overall quality of life. It can help reduce stressors and identify triggers. The success of the treatment lies in the willingness of the patient to communicate with a healthcare provider.
Of course, treatment will be tailored on a case by case basis. There is no one-size-fits-all plan to control and overcome schizophrenia symptoms. Striking a balance between medication and guidance is something your doctor or therapist will help you with.
Experiencing symptoms and being diagnosed with schizophrenia can be scary due to the stigma surrounding it. However, this illness does not define you. Have hope and strengthen the resolve to push towards recovery.
My best friend was one of the most dedicated workers I ever met. He was always the earliest person to reach the office and the last to leave. Even when he had the flu or migraine, he would still go to work, worried that his projects might get delayed because of him. So, when the company started laying off employees, and he became one of them, my best friend took it badly. Nothing and no one could cheer him up or make him leave the house to have fun.
When my best friend’s parents called me for help, I instantly knew that things were not getting better. I went to their house and kept knocking on his door, but he refused to open it. His mother had to open the door using the master key so that I could see his son.
Once I entered the bedroom, it took seconds for my eyes to adjust to the darkness that surrounded it. There was almost no light in his room! When I saw my best friend, he was sitting on the bed, hugging his knees. He was also rocking back and forth, and his eyes were staring into nothingness. I realized then that his parents had a reason to worry about my best friend’s mental health.
Instead of showing pity, I decided to act angry. I said, “Hey, man! What kind of a mess is this?”
My best friend uttered monotonously, “I don’t have a job anymore.”
“It’s the company’s loss, not yours,” I insisted. “Come on, let’s go out.”
“What will we do?” he asked.
Below are the non-mental-health-ruining things that we did.
Go On An Impromptu Trip
As soon as I got my best friend to dress up and leave his room, I dragged him to my car and sped away. I honestly did not have a destination in mind; I just went with my gut and hit the main road. We did not even bring a change of clothes and only had our wallets with us.
At first, my best friend complained about my lack of definite plans for our trip. But when we left the city and kept on driving past Nevada, he was already smiling. It was a better turn of events than we all expected.
Since my best friend had pretty much given up on life when he lost his job, he visibly lost a significant amount of muscles after a month of hibernation. The man had always been lean, but now he’s merely thin. While walking out of their house, I prayed that a strong gust of wind wouldn’t knock him over.
So, once we returned to the city, I brought my best friend to the gym that we used to go to. In truth, he made me sign up for it when I was dealing with weight-loss issues. I was merely returning the favor and doing something that I knew he would thank me for later.
Three times a week, we would go to the gym together. My best friend acted sluggishly in the beginning, but he eventually picked up the slack.
We had a little heart-to-heart talk one day, and I asked my best friend why he never asked for my help after the job loss. He said, “I was too ashamed to call you or any of our other friends.” I thought that wasn’t very smart, and I made sure he realized that. Then, I encouraged him to see everyone over dinner.
Again, the man tried to protest, claiming he wasn’t ready to meet our friends because he was still jobless. But my best friend listened (thankfully) when I told him that there’s no reason to try to impress anyone, much less the people he had known for three decades. As the night got deeper, we all saw our old, jolly friend return.
Look For A New Job
My best friend called me a few days later. I assumed he wanted to confirm the time and location for our next get-together. Instead, his mind was slipping back into the darkness, which he didn’t like. When I asked what he’s been doing when he’s not exercising or meeting us, he answered, “Nothing.”
My suggestion was to start looking for a new job. After all, unemployment was the root of my best friend’s problems, so there’s no better way to resolve everything than by breaking the spell. And since my best friend had an incredible track record, he got hired soon enough.
I must say my best friend was still lucky because he only dealt with mental instability for a month. Many people could have experienced it longer than that, and no one probably noticed or looked long enough to see it.
If you know someone who couldn’t get over the loss of something or someone in their life, teach them the non-mental-health-ruining things you just read above.
When confronted with a lot of trials in parenting, there are essential factors that you can bear in mind. Along with your own experience with parenthood, these practices will keep you and your family empowered, healthy, and happy.
Establish fostering and loving moments with your kids.
The key to an empowered family is built upon the times that you spend with one another. Make useful time with your children and other family members and prioritize them. Find ways to connect with them emotionally and mentally every single day. It can be as simple as watching television together, giving good morning hugs and kisses, fun conversations in the living room after meals. You can talk about how your day went or if there was anything in particular that you wanted to share – an interesting encounter or a worrying thought.
This regular involvement in your kids’ daily lives will establish a foundation of closeness and trust that will lessen the heavier burdens and trials, as they are already relaxed and confident of the attention that you provide them.
Be open to learning new things about parenting.
There is no universal manual guide for parenting, so you must be active, critical, and cautious in finding quality information. In today’s modern age, there are hundreds of resources online that parents can learn from. Some have better quality than the rest. Another great way to safeguard your family against bad parenting information is to double-check what you are reading with credible resources that are directly associated with your life, like your family physician, your kid’s teachers, or your relatives and significant others.
Additionally, don’t hesitate to widen your parenting comprehension by enrolling in parenting classes or participating in online support groups where you get to know other parents with similar experiences.
Practice positive habits to help you deal with stress.
When you are a parent, you tackle various levels of children-related anxiety and stress nearly every day. Make sure that you find the time of day for some quality alone time. Rejuvenate yourself by taking some rest and relaxation at least 30 minutes daily. This could be as simple as a refreshing soak in the tub while reading your favorite book or getting a therapeutic massage. Another technique for effectively dealing with the challenges of parenthood is through physical exercise, which has proven to help remove toxins and other negativities from the body. Mental exercises, such as meditation and yoga, are equally helpful activities as well.
Create a group for emotional support.
Over the decades, kids were so used to being raised by other members of the family, such as grandparents and other family members or close friends. Nowadays, parents need to take responsibility for creating their own social and emotional groups of support. Ask help from neighbors that you trust and respect and be involved in community activities. Connect with parents who have kids and are in a playgroup so your kids can join in. This is a good way for your kids and you as well to socialize with various families and learn from each other.
If you are a religious family, you might want to join a faith community that suits your beliefs. The more social ties you make with other parents who have the same values as you, the less alone you feel when dealing with unpredictable parenting problems.
Know important community resources that aid in supporting primary family requirements.
One of the greatest ways to maintain an empowered relationship with your kids is to be sure that your family’s primary needs are provided for. These needs include a comfortable home, sufficient food supply, and availability of education and healthcare. If one of these primary needs are in danger of lack or neglect, you must educate yourself on where you can seek help and support. Reach out to the family for resources at your physician’s clinic or speak to a counselor at your kid’s school. In certain countries, there is a specific number to call about support groups that help families in their areas. Asking for help and accepting it is not something to be ashamed about.
Make a list of routines that can help your kids improve their social capabilities.
When children are born, they have no idea whatsoever about how to behave socially. A lot of the daunting challenges come when they are exposed to a whole new situation, and they do not know how to respond. To avoid this, be sure that your children learn social skills so they feel that they belong and they know how to make friends. Try making a list of typical routines for improving their social skills. Create it in a way that they can follow a regular schedule around mealtime, naps, and sleeping time so that they will learn the principle of time and habit. Have an open conversation about how they must behavior their age and push them to learn good deeds by themselves and to ask questions about what is right and wrong.
By following these ways, you and your kids will continue to possess a healthy, strong, and empowered family relationship.
“Anxiety is a reaction to a situation we perceive as stressful or dangerous,” Monique Reynolds, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist.
In today’s world, anxiety is a very common mental disorder. It’s due to the things that pressure us, things that surround us which make us weak for no particular reason. The nervousness or uneasiness about something with an uncertain outcome can force us to become pressured. But don’t worry; there’s an abundance of tools available to overcome this condition. We have to understand the effects of positivity in our life, so let’s get into it.
We worry about things because we fear that we can’t handle worse situations. However, most of the things we worry about don’t particularly happen in real life. It is only the idea of fear that we incorporate in our minds. In fact, when we solely believe that negativity will impact our lives, then it will. But if we try to think about the opposite and picture ourselves on the right side of the moment, we’ll eventually end up laughing and smiling all through the course of the struggle.
How Do You Learn To Believe In Yourself?
You’ve already been through a lot of difficulties in life, and perhaps you already pull yourself out of it at some point. Self-belief and self-love are the two of the most powerful things that stop anxiety. Every time we face a new challenge in life, there’s a small part of us that assumes its difference from the previous ones we already encountered. From there, we imagine that we won’t be able to handle it. But guess what, we already made it through before, and we can probably deal with it the second time around. It’s a matter of positioning our thoughts into the realm of getting best results instead of focusing on the hardships instead.
Positive And Negative Vibes
Spending so much time thinking about the future is not going to help and will only make your anxiety worst. Fretting over hypothetical scenarios will only lock us away from reality. As a result, we limit capabilities in doing the things we have to do because we’ll get too afraid of trying. However, pushing too hard for something we want can give us anxiety as well. It will eventually cause us pain, suffering, frustration, and devastation. And because of that, we tend to stick to negative motivation and gather contrary ideas.
If we adopt the belief that life doesn’t give us anything we couldn’t handle, we will start to have faith in ourselves. We have to remember that we are in control of our destiny. Letting go and having faith in living our wishes are the most challenging parts. But once we get through the process of accepting what life has to offer, we will eventually receive the benefits afterward.
“The physical reaction to anxiety, by nature, is supposed to be short-term. The body is supposed to come back down to baseline,” clinical psychologist Robert Duff, Ph.D. says. “But a prolonged period of anxiety depletes your resources and exhausts you. If your anxiety is bothering you and you are suffering, you deserve to get help,” she adds.
Life might take you on a roller coaster ride, but that’s all going to be worth it. The final destination will always be up to you. Once you decide to get the things you want and pursue it with conviction, it’s already yours. You got to believe in yourself enough to get through the road of success. Even if you take bad turns, you can always find a chance to start over.
Psychologist Leslie Becker-Phelps, Ph.D., says that people in therapy “often come around to supporting treatment once they see that it makes a person happier.”
“Paranoia is a persecutory delusion. It’s the belief that someone or a group of people are attempting to harm you in some manner, physically, emotionally or mentally,” according to Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW.
Paranoia is not always a negative thing. For what it’s worth, it sometimes makes sense!
It has been a couple of months since the outbreak of Coronavirus, and surely, there are a lot of things that already changed in your routines. Somehow, you probably managed to adjust on schedules and learn new things to do. That is great if that is the case. But if you haven’t found the right routines and are still trying to figure out the best habits during your home quarantine experience, here are some of the tips you might want to consider.
Putting Your Phone Away When You Sleep
If you are the type of person who likes to begin his day by waking up to an alarm, you might want to consider putting it away when you sleep at night. That way, you will have to wake up and leave the bed to reach for it. And by forcing yourself to leave the comfort of your bed, you will be less likely to go back to it. Also, quit the habit of taking your phone with you in the bed so that you won’t have to spend hours using it before you sleep. Do not fall into the trap of using your smartphone as a sleep-inducer because that is useless.
Change To Your Workout Clothes Immediately
Once you get out of bed, change to your workout clothes immediately. That way, you can never skip exercise every day. It is a great time to exercise because your energy and motivation after waking up are higher compared to any other time of the day. It helps you get your day in a productive foot. You can try to work out at least 15 to 30 minutes a day. And on days you feel particularly tired, unmotivated and lazy, wearing your workout clothes can somehow give you an impression of moving your body and do some simple stretching.
Take A Morning Bath
Once you are done exercising, you can rest for a little while. After that, consider taking a bath. Not only it helps in revitalizing your whole body, but bathing in the morning can give you an energy boost. It can set your body into the right temperature as it promotes better blood flow. A morning bath can make you feel refreshed. It can set you up for a good mood and improve your overall well-being. Also note that even if you are at home, you need to change and use your regular clothes. Remember, not because you are home quarantined does not mean you have to stick with your pajamas all day.
Prepare And Eat Your Breakfast
Your morning routines will not complete if you miss out on your breakfast. But note that it is ideal that you prepare your own food. Not only can you choose what to eat, but you can also spend time getting busy preparing your meal. Plus, you can incorporate healthy diets and learn new cooking skills as well. And at mealtime, always remember to eat your food without distractions. Meaning, you should avoid using your phone while you are eating. That way, you can enjoy and savor the moment while having your breakfast.
After taking your morning slowly, you can consider cleaning everything before you fall into your leisure time. That way, you won’t have to worry about any pending tasks that might irritate you in the evening. Choose to step away from turning on the television or sucking yourself on social media updates. That way, you can work things around the house efficiently and productively. You can start by washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, wiping the windows, and so on. Just make sure you set your to-do list so that you won’t exhaust yourself by putting too much on the table.