Escaping the “I Give Up” Mindset

as you awaken, you open your eyes… seeing the morning sun filtering through the window.  you instantly feel it. the heaviness… the fog… that black cloud. that feeling of intense disappointment that makes you want to stay in the comfort of your bed ….maybe your substitute in dealing with the day.

perhaps your sadness is weighing you down. or, maybe your anxiousness is simply an excessive amount of  ‘all you don’t need to deal with’  throughout your day… shaking your already fragile nerves.

leading to an : “I give up” mentality.

by saying this to yourself, you are feeding negativity to your mind.

many people, often times seem to relate to this “I give up” mind-set.

it helps to  understand that this thinking has many factors, and never just one thing.

Cynthia Catchings, LCSW-S, believes that these ideas sometimes stem from melancholy.

“Melancholy is without doubt one of the principal causes,” she says. “It usually creates a scarcity of motivation and deep disappointment that stops the particular person from seeing past that.”

 Other than melancholy and anxiousness, just life circumstances can result in feeling this way.

It’s simpler to be more pessimistic than optimistic when we’re coping with “well being” challenges. You fall into previous patterns and habits. Sometimes we just get upset when a purpose isn’t simply realized. It’s easier to assume “I give up” if our brains are being programmed by us.

Worrying, chemical imbalances, detrimental conditions.”  all contribute to a sense of helplessness.

Don’t be ashamed to ask for help from loved ones, family members, or a licensed therapist. Help is available.

Continue Reading Escaping the “I Give Up” Mindset

Thaksgiving Prayer

Blessed God, Great Spirit
Your Breath fills all creation.
It fills this country, making sacred
the land, the water, the sky.
It fills each of us,
making us all Your children,
sisters and brothers of many roots and colors
who happily call ourselves “Americans”.

We give thanks to You today for Your many gifts to us,
Your beauty and depth are mirrored to us
in the many faiths and cultures
that enrich us as a people.
Help us to reverence our diversity
as an expression of Your Divine Creativity.

We are a people with many names.
We thank you especially
for the names that have shaped us as Americans:
Washington, Lincoln, King –
Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth-
Geronimo, Joseph of the Nez Perce, Sacajawea.

We thank You for those whose names
have blended into silence of history;
for the Native American who held this land
as a sacred trust;
for pilgrim, pioneer and patriot,
for suffragette, soldier and saint…
for those in our own families
who first came – full of hope – to these shores,
and for the searching immigrants who come here now
to find the dream of peace.

We have many hopes and fears, dear God,
as a nation, as individuals, and as world citizens.
On this Thanksgiving Day, move us to bless and
reverence one another as sisters and brothers
and to renew ourselves in the grace
of respect, justice and mercy.
Amen

Author unknown…this is beautiful. No matter what your religious beliefs are I’m sure something in these words resonates with you…
Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Continue Reading Thaksgiving Prayer

A Changing Brain: How Depression Can Alter Our Brain Structure

We have always known that mental and physical illnesses are closely related and inextricably linked. As more research is done on depression, researchers are discovering that it can alter our brain structure. It is hoped that research in this area can lead to better treatment and less stigma.

A Changing Brain: How Depression Can Change Our Brain Structure

Brain structure might sound like science fiction

The thought of depression changing our brain structure might feel scary or anxious.

While it may seem scary, these changes rarely occur with milder or more short-term forms of depression. For people with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), the good news is that with the right treatment, some effects on the brain are reversible and new treatments are constantly being developed.

The better we understand how depression interacts with our brain, the more we can learn how it affects the way we function. This means that not only can we examine possible medical treatments, but we can also examine non-medical interventions to help us cope with living with our deficits.

Research on the brain is ongoing and new discoveries are made. Some of the discoveries related to depression and the brain are very preliminary, so we’ve covered the ones that are best understood and accepted.

Parts of the brain

Before we look at brain structure, it can be helpful to have definitions for some parts of the brain

  • Amygdala: The amygdala sits on our hippocampus in the temporal lobe. It is responsible for pleasure and fear, responsible for aggression, and helps store memories of events and emotions.
  • Frontal lobes: The front part of our brain. It controls many things including problem solving, inhibitions, expression of emotions, personality, focus, mental flexibility, and organization.
  • Hippocampus: Our hippocampus is located at the bottom of our temporal lobe. It stores memories and regulates how much cortisol is released.
  • Hypothalamus: The hypothalamus lives in our temporal lobe, but sits on the top left of it. It creates and controls hormones, helps us regulate our temperature, controls our appetite, tells us when we are thirsty, is responsible for our sleep cycles, is involved in sex drive and childbirth, and plays a role in our blood pressure and pulse rate. It is very busy!
  • Prefrontal Cortex: Our prefrontal cortex lives on the front of our frontal lobe. It helps us with many executive functions including focusing, managing our emotions, impulse control, coordination, and planning. It also has a large part in our personal development.
  • Temporal lobe: This is a part of our brain that sits under our frontal lobes and on top of our brain stem. It contains our amygdala, hypothalamus, and hippocampus. It helps us understand language, organization and sequencing, retrieve information, music, memory, hearing, learning and our feelings.

Key Terms Involved in Brain Structure

It’s also helpful to understand some terms related to brain structure, including:

  • Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF): For a simple protein, BDNF has a very long name! It is a protein that regulates the growth of our nerve cells.
  • Cortisol: A hormone that is released when we are stressed. It is also involved in our parasympathetic nervous system.
  • C-reactive protein (CRP): CRP is a protein that the liver produces. It hangs around in our blood and occurs after injury, infection, or inflammation.
  • Neurodegenerative: “Neuro” means nerve and “degeneration” describes the deterioration over time. Neurodegenerative describes the loss of nerve cells over time.
  • Neuron: A neuron is another word for a nerve cell. It sends and receives nerve impulses.
  • Neuroplasticity: Neuroplasticity describes how our brain changes as we age. It’s about our brains responding to things we’ve learned and making and reorganizing various connections. Problems with this can lead to changes in our prefrontal cortex and hippocampus.
  • Neurotransmitter: Neurotransmitters are chemicals that carry nerve impulses across a synapse (the gap between two nerve cells or a nerve cell and an organ).

Brain shrinkage

When we suffer from depression, parts of our brain can shrink.

Brain shrinkage is exactly what it sounds like; Parts of our brain decrease in size. The amount of shrinkage usually depends on how severe our depression is and how long we’ve lived with it.

When a section is shrunk, the functions of that section are also shrunk. This explains why some things that we previously did almost without thinking can become so difficult when we are living with depression. Shrinkage of the brain can affect our hippocampus, thalamus, amygdala, frontal lobes, and prefrontal cortex.

Some shrinkage can be reversed with proper treatment. Studies have shown that people in remission from depression have a larger hippocampus than those who are not in remission.

Encephalitis

C-reactive protein (CRP) is an indication of inflammation, infection, or injury. Those of us who live with depression might have up to 30% more CRP in our blood than those who don’t.

Inflammation of the brain can lead to the death of our brain cells. This means that contrary to intuition, inflammation can cause parts of our brain to shrink and change our brain structure.

Inflammation can cause our neurotransmitters to stop working as well as they should. This means that messages aren’t getting through our bodies as effectively as they could be if we weren’t for inflammation. It also causes problems with neuroplasticity, so our brains don’t change as well as we age. This can mean that we have difficulty learning or adapting to changes.

Cortisol: a hormone with a big difference

One of the functions of our hippocampus is to regulate the amount of cortisol in our body. Cortisol is a hormone that is released when we are stressed. It is usually helpful in the short term. However, when we live with long-term stress, such as when we live with depression, our cortisol levels stay high, which can cause problems.

Our hippocampus is full of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). It is really important for neurons to grow and survive. High levels of cortisol can directly affect BDNF and interfere with proper function.

High levels of cortisol also affect our neurons in other ways. It lets more calcium into our active neurons, which damages them, makes the neurons in our hippocampus shrink, and slows the production of new neurons.

And that’s not all. Cortisol also affects our amygdala, making it enlarged and more active. An enlarged, overactive amygdala then releases irregular amounts of hormones, which later causes further problems.

Prefrontal cortex and brain structure

Our prefrontal cortex is critical to a wide variety of functions, including emotion regulation, language processing, impulse control, assessment, planning, and decision-making. Teens are often classified as stereotypical because they make seemingly bizarre decisions, lack impulse control, and have difficulty dealing with their emotions. One of the reasons for this is that a teenager’s prefrontal cortex is still developing, so the skills associated with our prefrontal cortex are often still developing.

When too much cortisol is released, our prefrontal cortex shrinks. A smaller prefrontal cortex can mean we have difficulty making decisions, have poor impulse control and, among other things, find it difficult to regulate our emotions.

What does it all mean?

It can take at least eight months for structural changes to occur in the brain. Therefore, they are far more common in patients with persistent depression. We cannot see into our brain (unless we are in a scanner) so we cannot visibly see structural changes. However, we will likely see the effects of these changes.

Each part of our brain has a different function. Our frontal lobe takes care of things like problem solving, inhibitions, judgments, planning, learning, expressing emotions and concentration. The prefrontal cortex specifically cares for language processing, decision making, impulse control, planning, and emotional regulation. Feelings of pleasure and fear are controlled by our amygdala. It’s also involved in regulating things like our sleep patterns. Our hippocampus affects our memory, including our verbal memory.

With a changing brain structure affecting all of these things and more, it’s no wonder depression can cause so many problems with function and mood.

The effects of medical treatment

Medications can help balance our hormones and other chemicals in our brain. This could reverse some of the structural changes that occur in our brain when we suffer from depression and improve some of our symptoms. Antidepressants can also help get our ad activity for neural growth going again.

In addition to medication, there are some medical procedures that can help relieve the symptoms of major depression by targeting our brains. For example, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can improve communication between our nerve cells and help regulate our mood.

Other things that can help

There are things we can do to prevent some of these changes and to reverse or improve them as they occur.

Stress can make depression worse and have a major impact on our cortisol levels. We know that this can change our brain structure. Unfortunately, reducing our stress levels is usually not as easy as making a decision not to get stressed. It often requires conscious effort over time. We need to notice the things that increase our stress levels and then work to do something about it one by one.

Some life changes can alter our brain structure. A balanced diet and staying active (within the limits of reason) stimulate our brain cells and strengthen communication between them. Sleeping allows our brain cells to grow and repair. Alcohol and drugs can destroy our brain cells, so avoiding them can be a good idea.

Talk therapy, especially psychotherapy, could also alter the structure of the brain. The researchers believe that psychotherapy can help strengthen our prefrontal cortex and help us with decision making, memory formation, and emotion regulation.

Improving our understanding of brain structure

All of these brain changes can be very important, especially if they involve some long, scientific words that are completely new to us. It can sound really scary and overwhelming.

The good news is, the more we understand what’s going on, the more we can do about it. A better understanding of the specific chains of events and mechanisms involved in depression allows researchers to design more specific treatments with better results.

Researchers are also confident that learning about how depression can alter our brain structure will help reduce the stigma some people have about depression as they can see how it physically affects our bodies.

Much hope can be placed in the knowledge that science is constantly advancing.

Please help us to help others and share this post. You never know who might need it.

Source link

Continue Reading A Changing Brain: How Depression Can Alter Our Brain Structure

Health Anxiety: What It Is And What Might Help?

Many of us worry about our health from time to time and most of us have probably internet-searched a symptom once or twice. But when we have health anxiety, our worries and anxieties around our health can have a significant impact on our life.

Health Anxiety: What It Is And What Might Help

What Is Health Anxiety?

When we live with health anxiety, we often excessively worry about our health. We might worry about becoming unwell, or have serious concerns that we’re ill. Often, we’ll be hyper-aware of different feelings in our body and may perceive some expected bodily functions as a symptom of a serious illness. It’s not just our own health we worry about, either. We could be excessively worried about the health of our loved ones, too.

What Can Cause Health Anxiety?

Health anxiety doesn’t usually stem from one, isolated, cause. For health anxiety to occur, we’ll usually have a combination of things that make us vulnerable, that act as a trigger(s), and keep our anxieties going.

Our genetics, life experiences, family history, personal health history, thinking styles and personality can all affect our likelihood of developing health anxiety.  

Symptoms Of Health Anxiety

Some of the symptoms of health anxiety are the same as those of general anxiety, including many of the physical symptoms. Other symptoms can be specifically related to health anxiety, for example:

  • Constantly and excessively worrying about our health or the health of our loved ones.
  • Misinterpreting expected bodily sensations as a sign of serious illness.
  • Constantly checking different aspects of our health.
  • Regularly seeking reassurance from medical professionals or loved ones about aspects of our health.
  • Having a belief that we are seriously unwell, despite medical tests indicating otherwise.
  • Avoiding the doctor at times when we really should go and see them, because we’re worried that they’ll diagnose us with a serious illness.
  • Preoccupation with thoughts about health.
  • Doing regular body scans, and regularly checking our body for any signs that we might be unwell.
  • Reading or watching lots and lots of information around general health or specific illness(es), or avoiding them altogether.

The Difference Between Health Anxiety And Being Health Conscious

It’s generally a good thing to be aware of our personal ‘normal’ so that we pick up anything outside of it quite quickly.

But for some of us, these genuine worries and concerns reach a point where they’d be described as excessive. They begin to interfere with our life. Anxieties about our health preoccupy us, making it hard to have conversations or concentrate on what we’re doing. They might start to distress us and for some of us, become almost constant, to the point where there’s little let-up.

How It Feels To Live With Health Anxiety

For some of us, the level of distress we feel is similar to receiving a new terminal diagnosis every time we feel an ache or pain.

Something that can make it even more distressing and frustrating is that others might not share our opinion of how serious our symptoms are. Friends and family may become dismissive or get fed up with us. They could say flippant things like ‘don’t worry about it’ (…if only!). They might have been understanding when we first developed health anxiety, but quickly lose patience with us.

We could feel as though doctors don’t believe us, either, which only adds to our distress. Sometimes, medics do tests and investigations to follow up on a diagnosis that we’re convinced have. But even if all the results are absolutely fine, we could still believe that there’s something seriously wrong with us.

People might suggest that we ask for some psychological help. This could cause us to feel angry, or exasperated because we don’t think there’s anything wrong with our mind. We think there’s something wrong with our body and nobody is taking it seriously.

All of this can lead to us feeling isolated and misunderstood. It can be lonely. We’re anxious, worried, upset, stressed, frustrated, and scared about the symptoms and feelings we have. But nobody seems to want to know. It can feel like people are telling us that our feelings aren’t real, rather than supporting us. But the feelings we have are very real to us.

How Health Anxiety Can Affect Our Life

Health anxiety can affect all areas of our life.

Being preoccupied with worry and fear can affect our ability to concentrate, engage with other people, follow instructions, think things through, and focus on tasks that we need to do.

We might find that the quality of our work deteriorates. Our timekeeping might start to falter. We could find that we’re taking an increasing number of sick days. Our attention to detail, concentration, creativity, flexibility, and reliability can all fall down. It can impact our job prospects.

Some of us might spend money on all sorts of equipment from thermometers to blood sugar monitors and more. We might pay for private healthcare in the belief that we’ll get different results compared to visiting our NHS doctor. Some of us spend lots of money on things that we believe will help us to stay well. This could include vitamins, drinks, shakes, beetroot juice, or certain foods. We might be able to afford these things, or we might feel compelled to buy them despite not having the money we need, plunging ourselves into debt.

Often, we’ll either withdraw from family and friends or regularly seek reassurance from them. This might start off being every so often and increase over time. It can place an immense strain on our relationships.

We might feel like medical professionals stop taking us seriously. Be it our GP, local A&E department, or someone else. Alternatively, we might have such a fear about doctors finding something seriously wrong with us that we don’t go and see them when we should. Both of these scenarios could mean that we don’t get the treatment we need.

Stigma

Mental health stigma is, unfortunately, all too common. It occurs amongst medical professionals as well as the general public.

We might feel that we’re being stigmatised for frequently attending A&E or our GP surgery. Terms like ‘frequent flyer’ hang over us, filling us with a sense of shame that we don’t deserve.

People might think that we’re making stuff up or trying to waste other people’s time. But we’re not. We’re genuinely scared and worried that there is something wrong with us, or with someone we love.

Self Help For Health Anxiety

Various things can help with health anxiety. Different things work for different people so we might need to try a couple of things before we find those that work for us.

One of the first things we could do is to unfollow social media accounts and unsubscribe from emails that we know trigger our anxiety. This puts us back in control of which information we read and receive, and when we see it.

We might not be at a point where we feel able to stop researching health-related things altogether. But we could look at sticking to reliable sources and reducing how much time we spend on it. By reliable sources, we mean using sites like the NHS website rather than articles like ‘10 skin conditions you didn’t know you had’. When reducing the time we spend reading health-related content, noting the time we currently spend information-hunting is a good starting point. From there, we can reduce it slowly, little-by-little. For example, we could reduce it by 5 minutes every day, setting timers to remind us to stop when our time’s up.

When we first begin to explore help for health anxiety, self-help can be a good starting point, because there’s no waiting list for it. There are lots of different worksheets online that we could work through them to start to explore some of our difficulties. Friends or family members might be happy to look at them with us, which could offer an outside perspective.

Further Support

If we need a little more support, our GP is usually our first port of call. If we don’t want to visit our then it might be possible to contact our local mental health team.

Some of the things that a therapist might work through with us include behaviour experiments, exposure therapy, ‘Theory A and Theory B’, talking therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, and gaining a better understanding of our thinking styles. These things can be scary, but we usually build up to them in a slow, safe, supportive way.

Professionals that we see should be able to advise us on any further support that we might need, too, including things like medication or reaching out to other services.

There Is Hope

When we live with health anxiety, there are times when we can be filled with despair and hopelessness. It can feel as though we’re trapped. Nobody seems to believe us, we can’t work out which symptoms are real and which aren’t, and there’s no way out. We might not be able to picture a day when we’re free of constant worries.

Although recovery is never linear, there is hope. With the right help and support, we can get to a place where our anxiety reduces and it feels easier to get through each day again.

Please help us to help others and share this post, you never know who might need it.

Source link

Continue Reading Health Anxiety: What It Is And What Might Help?

What Is Agoraphobia? | The Blurt Foundation

 

Some of us leave the house regularly without thinking about it. Others feel some anxiety when going out, especially if we haven’t done so in a while. But at what point does this anxiety tip into agoraphobia? And if we do live with agoraphobia, what could help us to manage it?

What Is Agoraphobia?

What Is Agoraphobia?

Those of us who have heard of agoraphobia may know of it as a fear of going outside. This isn’t wrong – people with agoraphobia are often anxious about leaving their home. But we can break it down further than that.

The NHS defines agoraphobia as ‘a fear of being in situations where escape might be difficult or that help wouldn’t be available if things go wrong’. This isn’t limited to being outdoors, it can include some enclosed spaces such as shopping centres or public transport.

Physical Symptoms Of Agoraphobia

The symptoms of agoraphobia can be split into physical, behavioural, and cognitive symptoms. To be diagnosed, we usually have to have the phobia for a minimum of six months.

Physical symptoms tend to be similar to those of a panic attack and usually appear when we’re in an anxiety-provoking situation or environment. Symptoms can include feeling hot, dizzy, faint, disorientated, sweaty, shaky and sick. We might have a super-quick heartrate, our ears might ring, and we might struggle to swallow. Our breathing can quicken to the point where we’re hyperventilating. And our bowels can also kick-off, making us need the toilet over and over again.

Many of us who live with agoraphobia rarely feel these physical symptoms, at least not to the point where they’re totally disabling, because we avoid situations that trigger them.

Cognitive Symptoms Of Agoraphobia

Cognitive symptoms are those linked to our thoughts and feelings.

We might worry that if we go out then we’ll have a panic attack or meltdown. This worry can spiral as we start feeling anxious about looking stupid in front of others, not being able to communicate our needs and all sorts of other things. If we’re someone who can recognize when our anxiety is about to tip into panic, then we’ll often worry that we won’t be able to escape from where we are in time to stop a full-blown panic attack.

We might also worry about losing control in public, strangers talking to us, people looking at us, not being able to function without help, and so much more. It’s easy to fall into a spiral of worry-based thoughts that can escalate into a panic attack before we’ve made it as far as our front door.

Behavioral Symptoms Of Agoraphobia

Behavioral symptoms describe the things that we do.

We might avoid situations or places that we know cause us anxiety or are likely to lead to a panic attack. Some of us become trapped in our home, especially if we live alone and feel unable to go out without the company of someone we trust. If we do leave our house, we might not go very far because we need to know that we can get back quickly at any point, should we need to.

Sometimes we’re aware of the behaviors we use to try and avoid the crushing anxiety we so often feel. But there might be some behaviors that we’re not aware of doing. Sometimes it takes a loved one pointing out our behaviors for us to notice them.

What Can Cause Agoraphobia?

The majority of people with agoraphobia notice it develop from an existing panic disorder.

Around 2% of the population live with panic disorder, and of this 2%, around a third will be diagnosed with agoraphobia. It’s twice as common in women as it is in men, and is most prevalent in those aged 18-35.

Agoraphobia isn’t usually caused by one single thing, but can be triggered by a single event. For example, if we have a panic attack in a particularly difficult, scary, or embarrassing situation then we might start to worry that it will happen again. This can mean that we avoid that situation altogether.

As time goes by, our worry might escalate as we start to fear a similarly scary panic attack happening in other embarrassing places. We might begin to avoid these places or situations, too, and our agoraphobia gets worse.

Biological Causes

For some of us, anxiety and panic run in our family. Our genes might predispose us to anxiety disorders.

We’re all born with a ‘fight or flight’ reflex. We’d be a bit stuck without it. It’s a vital part of our make-up, playing an important part in keeping us safe by priming us to function at peak capacity when fighting or running away from a threat. Unfortunately, with anxiety and panic disorder, it’s often triggered at the ‘wrong’ time, resulting in panic attacks.

We all have neurotransmitters in our brain. They help with regulating our mood. When we live with anxiety, depression, or another mood disorder, our neurotransmitter levels become unbalanced. This can lead to us feeling extra-stressed and panicked.

The ‘fear-emotion-generating’ part of our brain triggers the physical effects we feel when we’re scared. In panic disorder, our ‘fear’ generator can go a bit over the top. This often leads to panic attacks.

Spatial awareness can be tricky when we have panic disorder. It makes it hard for us to judge where we are in relation to the world around us. This is overwhelming and disorientating, especially when in crowded or unfamiliar places.

Psychological Causes

Some things increase our risk of developing a panic disorder which, in turn, increases our likelihood of developing agoraphobia.

A history of mental illness, alcohol abuse or drug abuse can all increase our likelihood of developing agoraphobia.

Trauma could contribute to a panic disorder. It can come in different forms. Something that causes a trauma response in one person might not do so in another. Examples of things that could elicit a trauma response include bereavement, abuse, a life-threatening experience, or serious illness in the family.

High-stress periods can increase our risk of developing agoraphobia. Stress peaks can be caused by lots of things including moving house, losing our job, changing schools, going through a divorce, our parents through a divorce, or someone close to us dying.

For those who don’t have a history of panic disorder, being a victim of a violent crime or attack, concerns about being infected with a serious illness, or fear of embarrassment can all raise our risk of developing agoraphobia.

How Does Agoraphobia Feel?

Living with agoraphobia can be a frustrating, isolating and lonely. We often feel trapped. It can be strange at times, listening to the world carrying on around, feeling totally disconnected from it all. We might feel hopeless and helpless. The lonelier and more isolated we become, the further our mood drops. We might feel useless and totally dependent on others, as we need help to do ‘basic’ things like posting a letter or nipping to the local shop. The anger and frustration we feel towards ourselves can make us want to scream.

It can affect our job prospects and studying opportunities. Though some jobs and study spaces will be remote, they can be hard to find. This can lead to significant money problems, exacerbating our ‘I’m useless’ thoughts and feelings.

The constant battle in the background of our mind sometimes intensifies and becomes all-consuming. We live life split in two; half of our brain tells us that we’ll be okay, the other half grips us so tightly with anxiety that we’re chained to the spot, our body tense, our mind exhausted.

Supporting Ourselves

There are lots of treatment options for agoraphobia. Things that help with anxiety and panic attacks can also help with agoraphobia. Grounding, deep breathing, and self-soothing can be particularly helpful because they’re things we can use when out and about as well as inside.

There are lots of different sites and apps sharing things to help us cope with agoraphobia. We might be able to enrol on a guided self-help course, too.

Working on self-kindness and self-care isn’t always easy, especially of feelings of anger and frustration are overwhelming us. But it can make a huge difference in how we feel and give us a solid foundation to build on. Starting small and building things bit by bit can help us to introduce self-care in a measured way.

Support From Others

We don’t have to cope with agoraphobia alone. Our loved ones often want to help us. But they might not always know what to do. We might now know how they can help either, and that’s okay! We’re all learning as we go.

Patience is so important. We’ve learned that patience is usually more constructive than getting annoyed with ourselves. Others need to be patient with us, too. It can be frustrating supporting someone with a mental illness. We know that – we get frustrated trying to support ourselves! Being open, honest, and sharing our frustrations with one another can help our loved ones to better support us, and us to better understand them.

Sometimes it can be tempting for others to ‘take over’, but this can lead to a case of ‘killing with kindness’. If people always do things for us, then there’s no reason for us to try and do those things ourselves. So we don’t, and as a result, we don’t move forwards.

Ideally, our loved ones will take our lead and ask us what’s helpful and what isn’t. We might not be able to answer the ‘what is and isn’t helpful’ question, but we could explore it together. Often we’ll only know how helpful or unhelpful we find things by trying them out.

For some of us, asking our loved ones to help us find some professional support, can be a big help. Looking for professional support is a big step and can be totally overwhelming. Having someone by our side can make the world of difference.

Some treatments used for agoraphobia include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure Therapy and medication. If we want to try a therapy that’s not offered through our local NHS, and we can afford it, then we could choose to access private support.

With support, we can often reach a place where our symptoms are more manageable with around a third of us reaching a place where we’re totally symptom-free.

Please help us to help others and share this post, you never know who might need it.

Source link

Continue Reading What Is Agoraphobia? | The Blurt Foundation