Tag Archives: mental health

Top 100 Blog Award

 

personal development blog award

I wanted to say a big “THANK YOU” to all the readers who enjoy and read this blog. It’s thanks to you that this blog has been included in a Top 100 Blog Awards list for being one of the best personal development blogs out there. Onwards and upwards…

 

Here is the link:  Top 100 Personal Development Blog Award

Mandy xxx

 

 

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

 

thoughts photo

What is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy?

Past events and our upbringings shape the way we think. As we progress through life we begin to make assumptions about ourselves and others – some of these thoughts will be helpful and others will be unhelpful. In the same way, some assumptions/thoughts will be accurate and some will be inaccurate. The longer we have thought in a certain way, the harder it is to shift and change. We end up over time having core beliefs about ourselves and the world, also referred to as “rules for living”.

Rules for living often take the form of “if this…then that”. For example: If I go out and socialise I will end up making a fool of myself. Or…if I get into another relationship I will get hurt or – If I don’t please others I will be disliked and rejected. Core beliefs are often in the form of:

“I am not good enough”; “I am a failure” and so on.

So, our past experiences create our beliefs and assumptions about the world which appear as “if this ..then that” thoughts or “must and should” statements.

Becoming more aware of your “must and should” statements is one key way to begin uncovering your rules for living. We can’t change the past but we CAN update our beliefs about the worldand ourselves as many of the core beliefs we hold are often outdated and incorrect.

We learn false beliefs from other, especially our parents and we internalise these thought. If your parents were critical, we begin to see ourselves in the same way (eg. I am stupid, fat, ugly, etc) and we act in accordance with these thoughts by withdrawing, avoiding or finding ways to hide our assumed failings and inadequacies.

Cognitive behavioural therapy is a brilliant way to identify inaccurate thoughts and start to replace them with healthier, more helpful thoughts. CBT also involves setting up behavioural experiments to test  out our faulty assumptions to show us how they aren’t true.

If you find yourself repeating negative patterns of behaviour, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) might work for you. CBT is available in many areas and most CBT therapists offer skype sessions too – so it can be offered from anywhere in the world.

I offer CBT online and if I cannot help you I can refer to another CBT therapist who can.

Mandy X

 

The Importance of good mental health

 

 

brain photo

 

The Importance of good mental health

I just don’t get, I really don’t. It seems that society places physical health as a priority, but when it comes to the brain’s health this is somehow seen as different. The brain is still an organ of the body but due to it’s elusive nature and the subjectivity of it’s power (how we think differently from one another) it is treated differently.

When we are mentally healthy, we cope better with stress and we are more resilient. We take less sick days at work and therefore contribute to the economy more efficiently. Our relationships with others work better, we are more successful and we get more out of life. Despite this, tangible health issues still get the most attention.

Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are on the rise. Judging from the numerous people seeking counselling and psychological assistance alone, shows a disturbing picture of how many people feel they are barely clinging to their sanity. Lack of Government funding leaves many vulnerable people who self soothe by drinking too much or taking drugs to cope. Good mental health is the foundation of a society that functions well.

Mental health issues lead to physical ailments just as much as physical ailments lead to psychological issues. Stress can lead to eczema, headaches and digestive issues such as IBS.

We need to treat people holistically with NO division between physical and mental health. They are interconnected and influence each other. Just because we can’t always see and define mental anguish doesn’t mean it should receive any less attention. In my opinion it should possible even receive more. More attention to good mental health would automatically lead to better physical health.

Mandy X

 

Further information on mental and physical illness: http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/viewpoint/mentalphysicalhealth.aspx

Photo by PinkPersimon

psychology websites

Top Psychology Websites

psychology photo

 

Top Psychology Websites

The psychology websites listed below are fantastic resources for dealing with depression, anxiety and many other mental health issues. Many offer free online CBT courses as well. Tests and assessments can also be completed for free.

1) Psychology Tools   http://psychology-tools.com/

We are a free to use website dedicated to providing psychology professionals, students, and the general public with transparent access to psychological assessment tools. We strive to provide test questions and answers in the most streamlined possible format, through a simple interface and automatic scoring.

Want to find out your level of empathy? Take this empathy test – I use it regularly. http://psychology-tools.com/empathy-quotient/

2) http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/

This is a fantastic website with loads of worksheets and information on psychology, cognitive behavioural therapy and mental health issues. This is most definitely one of the top psychology and quizzes websites. Self help courses are also provided. A fantastic free resource.

3) http://serene.me.uk/

Another brilliant website that offers free online CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) courses. The Serenity Programme (previously ‘Outreach-online’) is designed and developed by Steve Cottrell, a Consultant Nurse Therapist working for the National Health Service (NHS) in North Wales, UK.

4) MoodGym –  https://moodgym.anu.edu.au/welcome (Based in Australia)

I have used this site before and find their information up-to-date, relevant and comprehensive. This website offers the e-couch programme, a free online resource for dealing with depression.

5) http://www.feelingbetternow.com/uk/cbtsites/CBTFramesetPanicCenter.html

 

6) http://www.schoolmentalhealth.org/training/

SchoolMentalHealth.org is designed for use by anyone interested in learning more about how to enhance school mental health.  It is the intention that these resources will help to enhance mental health promotion, prevention, treatment, and referral and will provide practical tools for improving school environments.

7) http://www.llttf.com/

Living life to the full. The Living Life to the Full course is a life skills course that aims to provide access to high quality, practical and user-friendly training in life skills.

What would you like to get out of the course?

  • We all need life skills in our work, relationships and in every other aspect of our lives.
  • Probably we all have very different reasons for doing the course. Some of us may suffer or are suffering from depression/anxiety or distress.
  • Some of us may be caring/supporting people who are facing anxiety or depression.
  • Some of us may be working with people with anxiety/depression.

Whatever your reason for wanting to learn these life skills we hope the content proves helpful. The skills taught cover general skills/information we can all use in our lives when we feel under pressure, stressed or distressed.

8) http://www.psychologytoday.com/tests

Assertiveness, can you be an entrepreneur?, Anger, anxiety, arguing style…so many tests!! Find out more about yourself.

Try out this happiness test. http://psychologytoday.tests.psychtests.com/take_test.php?idRegTest=1320

9) http://psychcentral.com/quizzes/

All quizzes are free, and most are based upon scientific research. They are instantly and automatically scored once completed, giving you immediate results. You do not have to create or have a Psych Central account in order to take any of the quizzes. But you’ll need one if you’d like to save your test results, or to help track your progress over time.

10) http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/mind/index_surveys.shtml

Can you compete under pressure?

Test your morality

The big risk test…plus many more.

This website also has resources on psychology, mental health, interactive maps (the brain) as well as information on intelligence and emotion.

If you want to find out more about yourself and you have a few minutes spare, visit the above psychology websites. They are fun, informative and just might give you the edge you seek.

Mandy X

 

signs of burnout

Signs of burnout

burnout photo

Signs of burnout

Is your current pace sustainable? Are you burning the candle at both ends? In this fast paced world where there are so many demands upon us, burnout can often be a logical next step. We regularly fool ourselves into thinking that we will slow down at some point in the future whilst we take on more responsibility in the present. Many people I meet in my line of work tell me that they need to put the hard work in now so that they can make the money and then finally enjoy their lives and relax. The reality often does not work out this way. We are not immortal and we wish our lives away, sacrificing the joy of the present moment for a possible point in time in the future. Crazy thinking!

So, instead of burning out and never getting to enjoy that time off to relax, learn to see the signs now and protect yourself from exhaustion. Burnout occurs when the demands placed upon exceed the resources we have to cope and manage with the demands.

Are you heading for burnout?

1) Exhaustion.

2) Loss of interest/motivation in things you used to enjoy.

3) Frustration, anger surfacing more often.

4) Moody.

5) Withdrawing from others.

6) Decreased performance and efficiency/effectiveness.

7) Not taking care of yourself – drinking too much alcohol, unhealthy eating, lack of sleep etc.

8) Decreased satisfaction.

9) Health issues – digestive issues, ulcers, heart palpitations, headaches, depression, anxiety, panic attacks.

 

What to do about burnout

1) Make time for relaxation – meditation, sleep, time out.

2) Develop a rich home life.

3) Maintain healthy boundaries between work and home. Don’t be pressured into too much work.

4) Get more sleep.

5) Get organised. Can you delegate? Buy software to make your work life more efficient? Brain storm solutions instead of soldiering on under the constant pressure.

6) Develop self awareness – know your limits, strengths and weaknesses. Put yourself first. There is only ONE YOU, the company you work for will exist long after you leave (if you’re not self employed).

 

Know when to move on, when to accept that enough is enough. Exploitation is rife in the workplace and amazingly, many of us just carry on even though we feel we are breaking under the strain. It’s time to re-assess if you are suffering from many of the signs of burnout above.

Mandy X

 

 

Photo by Skley

Things I have learned as a mental health professional

the mind photo

Things I have learned as a mental health professional

1) Paedophiles come across as really affable, kind and caring.

Perhaps it helps society to feel safer by imagining paedophiles as ugly and monstrous. The truth is that the are adept at benig nurturing and incredibly fun. I remember working with one particular man who had been convicted of molesting and murdering a three year old girl in the seventies. He was always cheerful and compliant. I never ever forgot what his crime was but I was able to see this man as a person, separate from the offence he had committed. He had a budgie and he cared for this pet like nothing I’d ever seen before. Watching this and meeting this man certainly challenged my views on what paedophiles are all about. Think about it – it is these very qualities of affability and friendliness that help them to groom children and get them to be trusted. Scary thought.

2) You teach people how to treat you

We are constantly testing the boundaries with others, even when we don’t realise it. If we arrive late to meet someone and they don’t make a fuss, we lodge a mental note that tardiness is acceptable with that person. This person has inadvertently given us a message that we can ignore punctuality.

3) Knowledge is constantly changing and being updated. Always learning

We are constantly operating according to knowledge we have at the time. That doesn’t mean that new contradicting information won’t come to light. Theories change, new information emerges. We only know as much as we have discovered/fully understood. In the fifteen years that I ave been in mental health, many standard nuggets of wisdom have been challenged and disproved.

4) No one is all good or all bad.

It is easy to categorise murderers and criminals as evil but society rarely gets to spend time with these people. If they did, they would realise they have a sense of humour, feel fear and self doubt and want to be accepted. Of course, you get your psychopaths and sociopaths but rarely are people obviously ‘evil looking’. I have worked with murderers and rapists and they all had redeeming features. Of course, that doesn’t make what they did right, but it shows that life is never black and white.

5) Most (if not all) criminals, psychopaths and sociopaths have experienced abuse and/or neglect in their childhoods.

There are usually warning signs, delinquent behaviour, truancy, hurting animals, bullying… Most criminal behaviour is nurtured in childhood. Parents underestimate how much influence they have on the mental health of their children, especially when their treatment is abusive or cruel.

6) Most have people have quirky, crazy habits

We all seem to buy into the illusion of order and organisation that others present to us, all the while feeling inadequate and wishing we could be as on the ball. The thing is that the facade others present to us is just that – a facade. Most people live chaotic lives and desperately try to hide this. Stop hiding, accept that no one is perfect and you’ll be a lot happier in the process and keep your mental health intact!

7) Most people present a limited version of themselves to others

This point continues on from the above idea. When we feel the need to present to others something that we aren’t, it suggests non acceptance of who we fundamentally are. When you love and accept yourself, you are less likely to change who you are to be liked.

8) We live in the dark ages when it comes to our approach to mental health.

It is becoming an increasing issue and filters into so many other areas of life, yet there is still such a stigma around mental health and lack of funding/acknowledgement. We need to get with the programme. When mental health is not protected, society begins to fall apart – stress, anxiety and depression increase followed by disillusionment and apathy. When mental health is looked after, we make better decisions, we are happier and healthier and more productive as a society. What’s not to like?

9) Everyone suffers from fear and self doubt

We mistakenly believe that others are ‘together’ and confident all the time and compare this sturdy attitude to our own insecurities. This comparison only serves to make us feel worse and more inadequate. Well, suffer no more because we ALL feel inadequate at times. Join the club, you’re not alone.

10) Many people exist with seriously dysfunctional thinking patterns(personality disorder)

There are some people among us who have severely distorted thinking processes. Their ability to rationalise is stunted and their thinking is illogical and haywire. Often this comes from a dysfunctional upbringing. Be wary of people who seem ‘too nice’, do too much for you in the beginning of a relationship or seem to go through the motions of what they think people want from them. There is a certain amount of fake behaviour going on here. Some people with low emotional intelligence go through the motions with detached emotions in order to achieve the desired result – to reel you in. Once they have you emotionally, they change in a negative way. Other warning signs – rigid thinking, uptight, controlling and bossy, jealous and possessive – steer clear!! Mandy X   Photo by Robbert van der Steeg

obsessive compulsive disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

 

obsessive compulsive disorder

 

Guest Blog by: Alissa Jones

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A Journey From Haven To Hell

 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD is a subject that numerous individuals have a notion about, yet the expression is often misused or misunderstood. Fanatical Compulsive Disorder is portrayed by steady fixations (obsession), joined by impulses (behavioural component) that upset an individual’s capacity to handle ordinary life. When you show an over the top identity and you are continually having disagreeable or irritating considerations, and/or driving forces that torment your psyche and find it impossible to extinguish the behaviour, you may be suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

 

Everybody has had some thought, great or awful, that pesters  them every now and then. Yet to be over the top implies that you can’t get the upsetting musings out of your mind, regardless of how hard you try. These fixations are normally negative in nature. They can be vicious contemplations or even musings about germs and sanitation. These musings regularly lead you be inefficient and withdrawn from society as you become preoccupied with completing obsessive compulsions in order to stay safe.

 

The impulsive part of OCD is the conduct or behaviour connected with the fixations. These enthusiastic propensities are solid urges to complete your fanatical musings again and again. Actually when the activities are seen as being totally unnecessary, such as washing your hands five times consecutively consistently, you can’t help yourself. The main thing that can mitigate the fanatical musings is performing the activities that the considerations give. These activities can incorporate washing your hands over and again or some other cleaning administration, the steady numbering of things, checking for dangers around your home.

 

In the first place, it is helpful to recognize your fixations. People fixate on everything from feeling alarmed for no reason, to fear of passing on germs. Your fixations will be the things you consider constantly, actually when you want to be casually pondering them. Next, distinguish your impulses. Impulses will be things that you sense that you must do on account of your fixations. Case in point, you may feel like you ought to clean your lavatory a particular number of times each day or say an expression a specific number of times tediously. Understanding your particular fixations and impulses is not difficult, yet it is in any case the starting point to support your state while at home.

 

OCD may end up being a customary piece of your life while you are at home where as you may have the capacity to control yourself a little more when you are out and about. Why? You might basically think that it ungainly to surrender to your fixations when you are around different people. That demonstrates that you can truly have control, you recently would prefer not to, for whatever reason, when you are at home. To battle this, call partners into your home regularly. At the point when your home gets to be, generally, an open spot, you’ll be less enticed to offer up to your fixations and impulses, and about whether your mind will be consequently modified to comprehend your home as some place where these exercises are not alright.

 

An alternate incredible methodology to beat OCD in the house is to procure a stopwatch. Whenever you start to fixate on something stop the watch, and when you’re back in control, stop the watch. Do this for the duration of the day and afterward consistently look at your aggregate time for the day. You may be astounded about the time you have been squandering! Graph your development and recollect this wasted time at whatever point you start to fixate. You could be accomplishing more pleasant things with your time. OCD influences everybody, not simply you, so by battling your OCD conduct in the home you can deal with a positive measure towards mending for yourself and engaging better with those around you.

 

On the off chance that you are still unsure of what Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is (over the top compulsive issue), or whether you or a friend or family member are a casualty of OCD, it might be worth discussing possible symptoms with your doctor or therapist. He or she can most likely provide for you their analysis after an introductory question and assessment. Empathy is essential when you attempt to help a companion or relative as there is a lot of hesitance in opening up about this issue to others.

 Treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is indeed a chronic, but equally a very treatable, medical condition.

The treatment found to be the most effective in successfully treating OCD is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). In many cases, CBT alone is highly effective in treating OCD, but for some people a combination of CBT and medication is also effective.  Medication may reduce the anxiety enough for a person to start, and eventually succeed in therapy.

However what we know is that left unchecked and untreated OCD will mushroom and feed upon itself and can have the power to consume if left unchallenged.  It is therefore important to seek professional medical advice and support the moment someone recognises OCD type symptoms.

Ehic card is a very important card in making sure that your health is kept in check by insuring both you and your family members against diseases or accidents.

 

 

Author Bio:

Alissa Jones is a Passionate blogger. She works on behalf of EHIC. She has been writing contents on the web professionally since 2006. As an avid reader and blogger, she shares her experience through her articles on Travel, Education, Technology, Parenting and many more.

 

emotional health

Ways to improve your emotional health

 

emotional health

 

Ways To Improve Your Emotional Health

Mental health refers to the overall condition of one’s mind and behaviour. Emotional health is a subset of mental health. Primarily, a person with good emotional health thinks positively of himself, is able to sustain meaningful relationships, can deal with his problems and manage his feelings. The following are ten ways to improve your emotional health.

1. STAYING POSITIVE: This is absolutely fundamental. A person’s emotional health is most vulnerable when difficulties or setbacks provoke negative feelings inside him. It is normal – this has nothing to do with a natural optimism or pessimism – but one’s mental strength depends on how quickly he can rid himself of such feelings and feel positive again.

It is important to feel good about yourself despite whatever others may say because once you start to doubt yourself and your abilities, your confidence takes heavy damage, which is very difficult to recover from.

2. EXPRESS YOURSELF APPROPRIATELY: Building up feelings inside can only cause bitterness. One becomes prone to angry outbursts which make him feel worse afterwards. We need to share our feelings with the people close to us and this need should not be neglected. It is imperative for an open and peaceful state of mind. But this does not mean that we burst with rage every time something upsets us. Which is why the expression of our feelings must have a sense of time, place and control.

3. LEARN FROM MISTAKES: It is easier to bemoan mistakes than to learn from them. When we moan and groan about our errors, not only do we bring ourselves down but also our loved ones. Everyone makes mistakes but only a fool doesn’t learn from them. Thus it is important that we try to rectify ourselves and not brood over them.

4. EMPATHY: We cannot afford live in society and pretend that we do not care about anyone. It instigates negative feelings which could go to the extent of violence. Empathy is therefore, a powerful instrument of mental peace and harmony. When you can see an issue through the eyes of another person it helps you to make better decisions and act in a way that impacts everyone, or at least the majority, positively. This gain of perspective rules out narrow-mindedness and fanaticism which is the root cause of so many conflicts around the world today.

5. REJECT ESCAPISM: When we face adversity or emotional problems, it is important that we do not ignore them out of over confidence or apathy.

6. THOUGHT BEFORE ACTION: Everyone is impulsive at some point in his life, but to do so consistently is a recipe for disaster. We are all overpowered by them once in a while but it is crucial to control our emotions and think before we act. Regret is very difficult to uproot once it has imposed itself on the subconscious.

7. CONSCIENCE: We all have it and it never lies. But when we are fighting with our conscience, repercussions are felt invariably in our mind and body. Emotional health thrives when you are at peace with your concise.

8. BALANCE: The universe is all about balance so it is needless to say that the mind functions optimally only when there is sufficiency on both sides of work and play.

9. OPEN MIND AND SCIENTIFIC THOUGHT: We must keep an open mind at all times and attempt to adapt ourselves to positive changes. A scientific frame of mind does not permit intolerant, prejudiced and parochial thoughts, which definitely enhances emotional health in all aspects.

10. PHYSICAL HEALTH: This maybe the last point but it is as vital as the other nine. When our physical health is in poor condition mental health and by extension, emotional health cannot be attained. Regular exercise keeps the mind fresh and in perfect synchronicity with the body. In a recent study conducted among people making new ehic applications, 65 percent opined that their emotional health had benefited from physical exercise. Also during illness, positive thinking focusing on recovery is known to be decisive.

 

GUEST POST by: Mathew  Williams    https://www.ehicuk.org

 

Source/Reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_health

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empathy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_health_in_schizophrenia