Monthly Archives: November 2015

Trauma and Why It can Be Difficult

With the recent tragedies across the world, trauma has become a topic of conversation for many people. While these events have taken place thousands of miles away from most North Americans, some people have struggled with dealing with their emotions.

The first thing you must realize is that trauma of any kind triggers a hormone called oxytocin and it has been found to play a significant factor in trauma. For some, this will also remind them of their past traumas in their lives, whether it was on a national level and/or  on a personal level.

Trauma does not look the same in everyone. I think that is what is the most difficult for people to understand. It will show up in many different emotions, such as anger, sadness, disbelief, among others. It also is not process the same way by people. Learning to normalize the reactions and many people is usually the first step into processing the trauma.

It is also important to know that trauma responses can show up in many different parts of your life. It is typically not showing up in the way you think it will. Rest assured, it does not last forever. It is also important for you to recognize in yourself those signs.

Finally, make sure to reach out to professionals if your responses keep on being hampered by your trauma. Many therapists are specialized trauma. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) Is probably one of the most effective ways of processing trauma. I am currently completing my hours to become certified in EMDR. This is not, by any stretch, the only way to treat trauma. Contact your local  professionals or myself here and we can discuss options for treatment.

You are not alone, and your trauma while usually unique, is treatable.

Anxiety Part Deux

In this second installment of anxiety management, I wanted to add a little more about different types of anxiety, including anxiety and panic attacks.

In the video, I discuss three different ways to deal with your anxiety and panic attacks. I encourage you to watch it. I do believe those tricks have been successful for many of my clients and I hope they are for you too. It is essential to learn how to do it without medication in the long term, as most fast acting anxiety medications are highly addictive and make it less tempting to learn the skills to work on anxiety and panic attacks. These medications also seem to effect motivation to learn new skills.

I also believe that I need to normalize a little bit of anxiety. Some people believe that having any type of anxiety is negative. In fact, I think we should all have some sort of anxiety. It’s when anxiety become so crippling that you can’t do anything that it becomes problematic. Anxiety can help us get things done, help us in stressful situations, as well as push us to do things beyond our normal boundaries.

I think it becomes crippling when it is your only way of getting things done. I also believe that it becomes crippling when it is so present that you don’t know anything else in life. Anxiety can also rob you of energy, as well as strength and ability to complete tasks. So it’s a double-edged sword in many ways.

I also encourage people to not think of anxiety as the other part of bipolar. I have many people who come into counseling and tell me about their anxiety and depression and state to me that they have bipolar. Bipolar is much different than that. Sure, there could be similarities between the two, but it is not the same thing. Anxiety sometimes masks major depressive disorder, just like major depressive disorder can mask anxiety disorder. But having both does not necessarily make you bipolar.

I would love to hear more from you in regards to how you feel your anxiety has effected you in your life.

Anxiety Management

At this time of year, many people start noticing different types of issues they may have. Maybe it’s because we get more reflective at the end of the year, but I think that the holiday season brings that out of most people.

Anxiety can show up in very different ways for different people but I really believe that anxiety is one of the most for valent mental health issue in our society at this point in time. I do believe it is the root of most substance use issues, and one of the main reasons people come the treatment. The reason I say so is that the most extreme form of anxiety issues, panic attacks, is something that shocks most people to go for help.

Typically, people who had panic attacks are looking for a quick fix. It came on all of a sudden and it was difficult to manage. However the quick treatment, which usually involves some sort of medication, an mostly a controlled (read addictive)medication,  does not help you change the way you deal with them mentally. This takes time and will probably mean you will have to deal with more panic attacks in the short term.

Grounding techniques are usually discussed, and also working on what precedes the attack. What I wanted to talk about today besides what Juergen is see in the video, is using sleep hygiene is a way to manage your anxiety in a more effective way. The first thing to do is to limit your screen time an hour before bed. That includes TV, tablets, computers, anything that will emit light directly to your eyes. While we don’t always notice it when we are doing it, those lights are pretty powerful and turns on your brain. Setting a routine is essential also. Whether it’s setting a time where you are going to do some reading, a prayer, meditation,mindfulness exercises, As well as shower and or bath. If you do the same thing regularly, your body will get ready for sleep much more effectively.

And I want to clear up one misconception about habit-forming. I have heard numerous times that it takes 21 days to change a habit. That is actually somewhat of a misnomer. It takes at least 21 days to change a habit. So getting into that pre-sleep habit may take 3 to 4 weeks before he becomes extremely effective. People typically give up after a week or two as it is not working. I don’t most of my clients to give it at least a month and then we can go from there.

Other things can be discussed and round anxiety and I will add to this blog in the coming weeks. Please post your questions on my website, my Facebook site or my twitter page.