Burnout V Depression how do we know the difference?

Burnout typically stems from prolonged workplace stress, marked by feelings of exhaustion, cynicism, and a sense of ineffectiveness. It often arises due to extended periods of work overload, lack of control, and inadequate support within the workplace. Individuals experiencing burnout may find themselves emotionally drained, physically depleted, and disengaged from their work.

In contrast, depression is a mental health condition characterised by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities. Its impact extends beyond the workplace and can be influenced by a mix of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.

Although burnout and depression share symptoms like fatigue and emotional exhaustion, depression encompasses a broader range of indicators, including changes in appetite, disruptions in sleep patterns, and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

Managing burnout often involves implementing strategies to enhance work-life balance, setting boundaries, seeking support, and adopting stress management techniques. Treatment for depression may entail therapy, medication, lifestyle adjustments, and assistance from mental health professionals

Recognising the nuances between burnout and depression is crucial for providing appropriate intervention and support to those affected. This understanding enables employers, healthcare providers, and individuals themselves to effectively address and manage these conditions.

Checkout this YouTube for further insights from Physiatrist Dr Tracey Marks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKI03ncN374

Feeling down? Let us talk about depression. Are you or someone you know experiencing a heavy heart? You are not alone. Depression, often described as a deep sadness, affects many of us. It is more than just feeling blue during tough times; it can linger for weeks, months, or even years. But with support, healing is possible.

What is Depression? Depression is a persistent sadness that can last for extended periods. Sometimes, we may not even realise we are carrying it, or we may avoid discussing it. But it is crucial to know that like a long night, depression can eventually pass. With the right help, you can begin the journey towards a brighter life.

What Causes Depression? Various factors can trigger depression, such as:

  • Difficult life events like the loss of a loved one or unemployment.
  • Prolonged struggles like financial difficulties or troubled relationships.
  • Family history of depression, which may increase the likelihood of experiencing it.
  • Personal differences, as some individuals may be more prone to depression.
  • Substance abuse, which can both cause and exacerbate depression.

Recognising Depression in Our Family and Community: Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness or emptiness.
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed.
  • Fatigue, lack of energy, or motivation.
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger.
  • Increased alcohol or drug use.
  • Changes in appetite or weight.
  • Sleep disturbances.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
  • Restlessness or slowed movements.
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide.

While occasional feelings of sadness are normal, depression involves prolonged and debilitating symptoms that interfere with daily life.

Reaching Out for Help: If you or someone you know is struggling, do not hesitate to seek support:

  • Talk to someone you trust, whether it is a friend, family member, counsellor, coach, or spiritual/religious leader.
  • Consult a healthcare professional who can assess your situation and provide appropriate guidance.
  • Consider treatment options such as therapy, medication, community support programs, or lifestyle changes. CBT -Cognitive Behavioural Therapy https://www.dipac.com.au/therapy/
  • Prioritise self-care by engaging in activities that promote well-being, such as exercise, healthy eating, and relaxation and getting around good role models.

Remember, if you are in crisis or having thoughts of self-harm, reach out for immediate help. You are not alone, and support is available.

Together, we can overcome the shadow of depression and walk towards the light.

What can Anxiety look like?

Understanding Anxiety

Anxiety can be triggered by a multitude of concerns, spanning from personal relationships to various environments like home, school, or work. It is a common experience, affecting individuals across different communities. This condition manifests differently for everyone.

Anxiety can manifest in various ways:

  • Feeling nervous, restless, or tense
  • Sensing impending danger or panic
  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid breathing (hyperventilation)
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing on anything other than worries
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Difficulty controlling worry
  • Avoidance of triggers for anxiety
  • Perceived trouble swallowing and tight lumpy throat

Recognising these symptoms is crucial, and it is important to acknowledge and address anxiety. By understanding the factors that contribute to anxiety and utilising appropriate coping mechanisms, we can work towards alleviating its impact on our well-being.

A life of peace should be the goal QOL matters

Trauma and Stress are among the primary underlying causes of Anger, Addiction and Alcoholism

Unresolved emotional pain and trauma are often at the root of addiction and people often use substances such as alcohol to self-medicate and numb their pain. Note that alcoholism is not simply a matter of willpower or a lack of self-control, but rather a complex interplay of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors.

Unresolved anger can also be a factor in addiction and alcoholism. Anger can arise from unmet emotional needs, such as the need for love, respect, or validation. When these needs are not met, people may turn to substances such as alcohol to ease their emotional pain and dampen their anger.

Alcoholism, anger, and trauma are interrelated, treating addiction requires a holistic approach that addresses the underlying emotional pain and trauma.

What is needed: compassion, empathy, and understanding in treating addiction and mental health issues?

Alcoholic parents can have a significant impact on the family and children, both in the short and long term. The effects can range from emotional and psychological to social and behavioural, and can vary depending on the severity of the parent’s alcoholism and the child’s age.

Here are some potential effects of having an alcoholic parent:

1.     Emotional and Psychological Effects: Children of alcoholic parents may experience feelings of fear, guilt, shame, and low self-esteem. They may also suffer from anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Children may also feel neglected or abandoned by their parents, leading to feelings of resentment and anger. As you know I have a keen focus on Childhood Trauma in Adults because if left untreated, traumatised adults may not be living their best life or being their best selves for their partner or children.

2.     Behavioural Effects: Children of alcoholic parents may also exhibit behavioural problems such as aggression, withdrawal, and social isolation. They may struggle with school performance, have trouble making friends, and engage in risky behaviours. These children may become troubled teenagers and troubled partners. Children are very good intakes of information however very poor interpreters. Note: Their body’s keep the score of trauma and the body may not feel peaceful. (the slinky effect)

3.     Social Effects: The behaviour of an alcoholic parent can affect the family’s social and economic well-being. Children may be exposed to violence or abuse in the home, which can lead to social stigma and isolation. In addition, the family’s financial resources may be depleted due to the cost of alcohol or treatment for the parent.

4.     Long-Term Effects: Children of alcoholic parents may be at a higher risk of developing alcoholism or other substance abuse problems themselves later in life. They may also struggle with trust issues, intimacy, and relationships.

It is important to note that not all children of alcoholic parents will experience all of these effects, and some may be more resilient than others. However, it is important for parents, caregivers, and mental health professionals to be aware of the potential impact of alcoholism on children and to provide support and resources to help them cope with the challenges they may face.

Note: One of the biggest challenges Counsellors are facing in the 21st century: The behaviours of the Adults with Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or raised by an alcoholic in a home of fight or flight;

What are the symptoms of FASD? Children

  • Slow fetal growth and low birth weight.
  • Alcohol withdrawal symptoms in newborns (such as high-pitched cry, jitteriness, and seizures)
  • Sleep and sucking problems in infancy.
  • Abnormalities of the face (such as small eyes and thin mouth)
  • Shorter height than other children of the same age.However, many do not have obvious physical abnormalities. Sometimes behaviour is the best indicator coupled with a full patient history.

    What Happens When Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Become Adults? – PMC (nih.gov)

  • Adults with FASD:
  • Adults with FASDs have a high rates of psychiatric and personality disorders, problems with drugs and alcohol, and difficulties with the law. They are also less likely to obtain a degree, have stable employment, and live independently.

Overcoming addiction is based on the understanding that addiction is not just a physical problem but also a psychological, social, and spiritual one. In order to heal from addiction, it is important to address the underlying emotional pain and trauma that often lead to addictive behaviours.

Here is a few tips for overcoming addiction

1.     Understanding the root causes of addiction: Addiction is often a response to trauma and emotional pain. Therefore, understanding the underlying reasons for addictive behaviour is crucial to healing.

2.     Building healthy relationships: The importance of healthy relationships in addiction recovery. I believe that having supportive, non-judgmental relationships can help people heal from emotional pain and trauma.

3.     Developing self-awareness and mindfulness: Developing self-awareness and mindfulness can help people recognise their triggers for addictive behaviour and learn new ways of coping.

4.     Practicing self-compassion: I encourage people to be kind and compassionate to themselves as they navigate the challenges of addiction recovery. Self-compassion can help people build resilience and overcome setbacks.

5.     Seeking professional support: Seek professional support from addiction specialists, therapists, and other mental health professionals who can provide guidance and support in addiction recovery is crucial.

Overall, I emphasise the importance of treating addiction holistically, by addressing the emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of the problem. With the right support, many people can heal from addiction and build fulfilling, healthy lives.

What is waiting for you on the other side?

Overcoming addiction can have a positive impact on all aspects of your life, including your physical health, mental health, relationships, and overall well-being. Here are some examples of what your life could look like if you successfully overcome addiction:

1.     Improved physical health: Overcoming addiction can have a positive impact on your physical health. You may have more energy, feel better physically, and have a stronger immune system. You may also experience fewer health problems related to substance abuse, such as liver damage or heart disease.

2.     Better mental health: Addiction can take a toll on your mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Overcoming addiction can improve your mental health and well-being, leading to greater happiness and a more positive outlook on life.

3.     Improved relationships: Addiction can strain relationships with friends, family, and loved ones. Overcoming addiction can help repair these relationships and build stronger, healthier connections with the people around you.

4.     Greater sense of purpose: Overcoming addiction can help you find a greater sense of purpose and meaning in life. You may feel more motivated to pursue your goals and passions and to contribute to the world around you.

5.     Financial stability: Addiction can be expensive and can take a toll on your finances. Overcoming addiction can help you save money and build financial stability.

Overall, overcoming addiction can have a transformative effect on your life, helping you to build a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling future.

Peace and Happiness 🙂

What are the most common additions plaguing our families in the 21st Century?

There are many different types of addictions that people seek help for. Here are some of the most common addictions:

1.    Substance abuse: Substance abuse is one of the most common addictions that people seek help for. This includes addictions to drugs such as opioids, methamphetamine, cocaine, and alcohol. Alcohol is one of the number 1 contributors to marriage breakdown, domestic violence, road toll deaths and child abuse.

2.    Gambling addiction: Gambling addiction is another common addiction that people seek help for. This includes an uncontrollable urge to gamble, which can lead to financial problems, relationship breakdowns and other negative consequences.

3.    Internet and technology addiction: With the rise of technology and social media, internet and technology addiction has become more common. This includes an excessive use of the internet, social media, and other technology that can interfere with daily life.

4.    Sex addiction: Sex addiction involves an uncontrollable urge to engage in sexual behaviours, which can lead to negative consequences such as relationship problems, financial problems, and legal issues. Porn use is the number 1 sex addition today! Over time it stops couples from connecting, bonding being intimate and eventually not having sex together. If left untreated porn addition can lead to erectile dysfunction.

5.    Food addiction: Food addiction is characterised by an uncontrollable urge to eat, often leading to overeating, weight gain, low self-esteem and anger.

6.    Shopping addiction: Shopping addiction involves an uncontrollable urge to shop and spend money, often leading to financial problems and other negative consequences.

It is important to note that addiction can manifest in many different ways, and that there are other types of addictions that people may seek help for as well.

Are You Limited To Being Happy Only if Certain Things Happen?

Where did you come up with what happiness is for you? Are you limiting your own ability to be happy?

You have had experiences in your life that vary from slightly uncomfortable to traumatic, are you banking these experiences? If you are for what purpose do they serve you?

Are you feeling adrift in the currents of life, uncertain of where you are headed or how to find genuine happiness? If you are struggling with loss, grief, career ambiguity, loneliness, or marital unhappiness, there is a journey worth exploring—one that might offer the guidance and solace you seek. Picture a path that leads you away from the weight of fears, doubts, and attachments that hold you back from experiencing the joy and fulfillment you long for. It is a journey rooted in the profound notion of surrendering to happiness.

At its essence, surrendering to happiness is about embracing life’s ebbs and flows, accepting the present moment, and discovering inner peace regardless of external chaos. It is a departure from the exhausting pursuit of control, inviting you to release the grip of the ego and open yourself to the guidance of a deeper wisdom, a universal force that gently nudges you in the right direction.

What might you find along this transformative journey? Imagine cultivating mindfulness, learning to be fully present in each moment without judgment or distraction. Envision the liberation of letting go—shedding the burdens of expectations, desires, and outcomes, and relinquishing control over situations beyond your influence.

But perhaps most importantly, this journey leads you to the heart of inner freedom, where you come to realize that true happiness is not something external to be chased but an intrinsic part of your being. It is about embracing acceptance, recognizing life’s complexities, with its highs and lows, and understanding that resistance only prolongs suffering.

In this space of surrender, there’s room for trust—a deep faith in the inherent goodness of the universe, even amidst the darkest of times. And as you navigate this path, you will find yourself guided by the wisdom of those who have traversed it before, offering insights and support to help you integrate these principles into your daily life. So, if you have been feeling lost, if the heaviness of life weighs you down, consider taking a step into the unknown. Surrender to happiness beckons, offering a chance to break free from the patterns of the mind that keep you trapped and discover a profound sense of peace, contentment, and joy that has been within reach all along.

We are finite beings living in an infinite world, knowing this we all struggle with our purpose, the meaning of life and where do we belong. We live in a world where we have no control yet we live most of our lives attempting to control our destiny. It is my belief we are here to learn and along the way we learn from our experiences and the experiences of others who are on our path along the way. We are not here to worry about the past or the future, the past has gone and future is not yet here. Being mindful is about asking questions to yourself, you may like to start here- Who am I being? What am I doing? What do I really want? What do I stand for? What is my purpose? What is happiness for me? Does my body feel peaceful? What am I the sum of? What do I need to let go of? I think you may be getting the idea; it is not about the external we should be reaching for but the internal, it is more about the you.

As long as you keep reliving past experiences and as long as you resist learning new ways of thinking and being shackled to your limited self belief, you will never experience true happiness and live an abundant life. Happiness starts within and it may take a little help from time to time to challenge you on your learned thoughts and behaviours.

Are you sick and tired of Depression, Anxiety and Panic Attacks?

Mental health challenges do not need to be a lifetime condition … 2024 can be the year for healing. Especially if it is affecting your relationships, your career and your QOL -Quality of Life.

For individuals apprehensive about their anxiety levels or their impact on daily life, consulting a mental health professional such as a counsellor, phycologist is strongly recommended.

Personally, I suffered from Anxiety and Panic attacks for years when I was much younger.

I know firsthand how debilitating it can be.

Let’s delve in

Defining Anxiety:

Normal Stress Response: Anxiety emerges as a natural response to stress or peril, often synonymous with the “fight or flight” paradigm. This elicits a cascade of physiological alterations, encompassing heightened heart rate, increased alertness, and the release of stress hormones, orchestrating the body’s preparation to either confront or evade perceived threats.

Emotional Distress: Intrinsic to anxiety are emotional components, manifesting in feelings of fear, apprehension, or dread. This emotional terrain encompasses a general sense of unease or specific concerns regarding prospective events.

Physical Symptoms: The presentation of anxiety frequently manifests in physical symptoms, including but not limited to muscle tension, restlessness, fatigue, sweating, and gastrointestinal discomfort. These manifestations are consequential to the activation of the body’s stress response.

Cognitive Components: Anxiety exerts an influence on cognitive domains, contributing to excessive worry, difficulties in concentration, and the onset of intrusive thoughts concerning potential adverse outcomes.

Variability: Anxiety levels exhibit a wide spectrum among individuals, with perceptions of stress or anxiety-inducing stimuli diverging from person to person.

What Anxiety Is Not:

Occasional Stress: Transient experiences of stress or worry in response to life’s exigencies do not necessarily signify the presence of an anxiety disorder. Significance is attributed when these transient states persist and impede daily functioning.

A Singular Experience: Anxiety is not homogenous, as individuals may manifest its manifestations distinctly, with severity demonstrating considerable variation.

Fear Rationalisation: While fear is often inherent in anxiety, it may not consistently align with the actual threat. Excessive concern regarding improbable or irrational scenarios may signal an underlying anxiety disorder Or Trauma. Being physiologically stuck in a specific event for example.

Simple Nervousness: Pre-event nervousness, such as before a presentation or examination, is a commonplace reaction and does not inherently denote an anxiety disorder. Pathological concern arises when this nervousness endures persistently and becomes overwhelming.

Always Visible: Anxiety does not invariably manifest outwardly, with some individuals undergoing intense anxiety without overt signs or symptoms. Acknowledging internal struggles is crucial, as their validity is equal to externally observable manifestations.

This comprehensive elucidation seeks to refine the understanding of anxiety, enabling the differentiation between normative stress responses and clinical anxiety disorders.

Anxiety is a multifaceted psychological and physiological response to stress, characterised by a sense of apprehension, worry, and uneasiness. It is a normal and adaptive reaction to potential threats or challenges, preparing the body and mind to respond appropriately. However, when anxiety becomes chronic, disproportionate to the situation, or interferes with daily functioning, it may indicate an anxiety disorder.

Sometimes we may need to go right back into your childhood to find the foundational triggers. Creating a new foundation through, CBT -Cognitive behavioral Therapy can be very liberating.

Reminder of Christmas Holidays

Just a quick reminder we will be closing for the Christmas break Dec 18th 2023 to January 18th 2024

Those couples who are going through the 30 days to a deeper connection program, you may need to plan your sessions in advance to make sure your dates are locked in within the next fortnight.

The 5th step on the program is the most important step please try to not miss this step before Christmas.

www.dipac.com.au

Brochure and Testimonials – 

https://tinyurl.com/u9xwmj9z 

Emotions Make Babies and Emotions Make Wars

My objective is to educate to make the world a better place, one person at a time, the only person we will ever control is ourselves.

Emotions are the most powerful force in the human body. Forget mind /body connection, the whole body is an eco-system, it’s a whole, always has been, always will be. If your hand is not working properly, you seek a professional of your choice, your neck hurts, you see your preferred professional, your mind is not working the way you want, you seek a professional of your choice.

Whether you are driving your career, in a business, relationship, partnership, marriage or family, learning to manage and read emotions is one of the most beneficial skills ever attained.

If you find yourself reacting in a way you are not proud of in reflection, you may like to seek some guidance from a professional counsellor or phycologist to help get to the root.

Have you ever heard of the saying we often hurt the ones we love?

There may be reasons for this: You could be projecting guilt, self- loathing or shame. You may be blinded to seeing their prospective. You could have an avoidant attachment style, or you may delve into self- destructive behaviours or even self -sabotage.

Embarking on the exploration of human emotions proves to be a captivating journey, driven by our sincere desire to comprehend one another. Navigating this intricate realm, we often grapple with the challenge of deciphering emotions accurately, exemplified by the familiar yet perplexing inquiry, “What’s the matter?” Responding with a simple “Nothing, that’s just my face,” can mistakenly project a grumpy demeanour, highlighting our inherent curiosity about the intentions of those we engage with—are they friends or foes? Powerful or subservient? A potential mate or not?

This pursuit of understanding emotions naturally evolves into a profound, philosophical inquiry. Imagine a moment when someone’s reaction to an event surprise you, prompting the question: “Is that other person experiencing the same event as me?” This contemplation extends to the broader query: “Do humans share similar emotions, or are we inherently different?”

Over time, philosophy has wrestled with these questions, often concluding that our experiences are incommensurate. However, recent revelations from neuroscience challenge this notion, suggesting that, despite perceived differences, we are more alike than different.

Cutting-edge research utilising brain scans reveals a remarkable 90 percent accuracy in reading human emotions. When exposed to images of unpleasant scenarios, individuals exhibit surprisingly similar, predictable brain patterns. This aligns with findings from a university study, demonstrating synchronised brain patterns between storytellers and listeners, emphasising the universal impact of stories.

Despite diverse individual experiences, our neural signatures for emotions remain essentially the same from person to person. This underscores our shared humanity and raises the possibility that computers could master recognising emotions with unprecedented accuracy—potentially surpassing our own abilities.

This revelation humbly acknowledges that our accuracy in understanding emotions falls short compared to the precision achievable by artificial intelligence. As we navigate effective communication and public speaking, enhancing our ability to read emotions can significantly improve our connections with others.

In essence, the research posits that, contrary to assumptions, we are more alike than different. The implications are profound, hinting at the potential for improved communication and interpersonal understanding for those willing to explore the shared emotional landscape that unites us all. The journey to unravel the mysteries of human emotions continues, promising insights that could reshape the way we connect and communicate.

Transitioning to the emotion of anger: Anger is on the rise in today’s world, it often stems from a foundation of sadness. Seeking help from a counsellor or psychologist is advisable for those struggling to control anger, as it can have destructive consequences for oneself and others.

Let’s delve into the effects of “yelling” on the body for you and other when angry. Examining the physiological and psychological changes that occur in the body when someone expresses anger loudly. When someone yells in an angry manner, the human body undergoes various responses associated with the “fight or flight” stress response:  It’s scary right!

·        The body experiences an increase in heart rate, preparing for action.

·        Blood pressure temporarily rises, supplying more oxygen to muscles for potential physical action.

·        Stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol are released, energising the body and sharpening the senses.

·        Muscles, particularly in the neck, shoulders, and jaw, tense up as part of the body’s readiness for physical exertion.

·        Stress-induced rapid, shallow breathing limits oxygen reaching the brain, contributing to breathlessness or tension.

·        Pupils dilate, enhancing visual acuity and alertness to surroundings. Note: In people with prolonged stress, vision can be impaired leaving you with burred sight.

·        The prefrontal cortex, responsible for thoughts actions and emotions may be temporarily impaired during high-stress situations.

·        Anger triggers the release of neurotransmitters, heightening emotional responses like irritability or impatience. Leaving little room for rational negotiation.

·        The stress response redirects blood flow from non-essential functions, leading to digestive changes such as a queasy stomach or decreased appetite. “I feel physically sick”

These responses are natural defence mechanisms designed to help individuals respond to perceived threats. However, frequent or prolonged activation of the stress response can have negative implications for both physical and mental health. Learning effective coping mechanisms and communication skills is crucial for cultivating a healthier response to anger and stress.

Note to parents and teachers:  ACE’s Adverse Childhood Experiences- prolonged activation of a child’s nervous system can have negative lifelong health effects on a child. Here is additional information for your further interest Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): Impact on brain, body and behaviour – YouTube Dr Felitti  Dr. Vincent J. Felitti – Medical Services (drvincentfelitti.com) Adverse Childhood Experiences and Adult Criminality: How Long Must We Live before We Possess Our Own Lives? – PMC (nih.gov)

Prevention is always better than cure!

Identifying and Understanding the Impact of Stress

Understanding the Impact of Stress on Emotions, Physical Well-being, and Behaviour

Stress can trigger a wide range of emotions and physical reactions. When you are under stress, you may experience:

Emotional Responses:

  • Irritability, anger, impatience, or feeling wound up.
  • A sense of being overburdened or overwhelmed.
  • Anxiety, nervousness, or fear.
  • Racing thoughts and an inability to switch off.
  • An inability to enjoy yourself.
  • Feelings of depression.
  • A lack of interest in life.
  • The loss of your sense of humour.
  • A pervasive sense of dread.
  • Worry or tension.
  • A feeling of neglect or loneliness.
  • Exacerbation of pre-existing mental health issues.
  • Suicidal feelings in extreme cases, which can be highly distressing.

Physical Signs of Stress:

The body’s stress response can manifest in various physical symptoms, including:

  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Blurred vision or sore eyes.
  • Sleep disturbances.
  • Fatigue.
  • Muscle aches and headaches.
  • Chest pains and elevated blood pressure.
  • Indigestion or heartburn.
  • Gastrointestinal issues like constipation or diarrhoea.
  • Nausea, dizziness, or fainting.
  • Sudden weight fluctuations.
  • Skin problems such as rashes or itching.
  • Increased sweating.
  • Changes in your menstrual cycle.
  • Aggravation of pre-existing physical health conditions.

High levels of stress can intensify these physical effects, especially when stress persists over an extended period. In some cases, chronic stress may lead to more severe and long-term physical health problems, such as Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (often referred to as ‘broken heart’ syndrome), which mimics the symptoms of a heart attack.

Behavioural Responses:

Stress can significantly affect your behaviour, causing you to:

  •  Struggle with decision-making.
  • Experience difficulty in concentrating.
  • Encounter memory issues or slower recall.
  • Engage in constant worrying or feelings of dread.
  • Exhibit irritability and snap at others.
  • Engage in habits like nail-biting or skin-picking.
  • Grind your teeth or clench your jaw.
  • Encounter sexual problems, including a loss of interest or an inability to enjoy intimacy  or ED
  • Develop irregular eating habits, either overeating or undereating.
  • Increase substance use, such as smoking, recreational drug use, or alcohol consumption.
  • Feel restless and unable to sit still.
  • Cry or become tearful.
  • Overspend or engage in excessive shopping.
  • Reduce or increase exercise levels.
  • Withdraw from social interactions.
  • Using Alcohol, Sex, Gambling or Porn to self sooth

Stress can make you feel as though the world is closing in on you, causing a sense of suffocation and impending doom.

Causes of Stress: Numerous factors can contribute to stress, including:

·        High-pressure situations.

·        Significant life changes.

·        Worries or concerns.

·        A lack of control over outcomes.

·        Overwhelming responsibilities.

·        Monotony or insufficient stimulation in life.

·        Experiencing discrimination, hatred, or abuse.

·        Periods of uncertainty.

·        Loss of control

.        The news and social media

Stress can result from both major life events and the accumulation of minor stressors. Identifying the sources of stress can be challenging, and their impact may vary from person to person.

Factors Influencing Stress Reactions:

Your response to different stressors can depend on various factors, including:

·        Your comfort level in particular situations.

·        Concurrent life circumstances.

·        Past experiences and their impact on self-perception.

·        Available resources, including time and financial support.

·        The level of support from others.

. Triggers from the past

It’s important to note that what might cause stress for one person may not affect another in the same way. Some situations may induce stress intermittently rather than consistently.

Common Stress-Causing Situations:

Stress can stem from various areas of your life, such as:

Personal Life:

·        Illness or injury.

·        Pregnancy and becoming a parent.

·        Infertility or fertility challenges.

·        Bereavement.

·        Experiencing abuse.

·        Encounters with crime and the justice system.

·        Organising complex events like holidays.

·        Mundane tasks like household chores or commuting

Family and Social Relationships:

·        Marriage or civil partnerships.

·        Break-ups or divorces.

·        Challenging relationships with family or friends.

. Living in an unhappy relationship

·        Becoming a blended family

·        Acting as a caregiver.

. Excessive Mental load

Employment and Education:

·        Job loss.

·        Prolonged unemployment.

·        Retirement.

·        Examinations and deadlines.

·        Workplace stressors, difficult colleagues or boss

·        Transitioning to a new job.

Housing and Financial Issues:

·        Housing problems, including poor living conditions, insecurity, or homelessness.

·        Relocating.

·        Neighbourhood disputes.

Financial Stress:

·        Financial concerns or worries about benefits.

·        Living in poverty.

·        Managing debt.

. Financial abuse in a relationship.

. Carrying the financial load for a family

. Aging parental care

Social Factors:

·        Limited access to essential services like healthcare or transportation.

·        Navigating community-wide, national, or global stressful events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Note: Health stress has been an ongoing issue for many after Covid

·        Facing stigma or discrimination, including racism, homophobia, biphobia, or transphobia.

Even happy events, like weddings or having a baby, can introduce new and unique stressors due to the significant changes and increased demands associated with them. This can be especially challenging when societal expectations dictate that you should feel positive and excited during such moments.

Stress is a complex and individualised experience, and understanding its various triggers and effects is essential for managing and mitigating its impact on mental and physical well-being.

THE BREATH

The breath is the most important place to start when you are feeling stressed, who would have thought that most of us would not know how to breathe properly.

Shallow breathing is not going to be your friend if you are a stressed or an anxious person.

There is always a root to a problem, if you find yourself anxious or stressed, you may need to seek out a professional therapist to help identify the root. A professional will provide you with strategies and tools for self-management and prevention. Your Quality of Life is important!

Here is a tip to help calm your body:

Deep breathing

One of the simplest and most effective ways to calm the nervous system is through deep breathing (Harvard 2020).

There are no set rules, but one of the most popular techniques is the “4-7-8” technique.

How To Perform the 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise | Andrew Weil, M.D. – YouTube

This involves:

1.     inhaling for four counts

2.     holding for seven counts, and

3.     exhaling for eight counts.

There are many other ways to promote relaxation and reduce stress that work together with these techniques. These include:

  • spending time in nature
  • getting regular exercise
  • practising gratitude
  • engaging in creative activities such as art or music.

Overall, it is important to find strategies that work for you. Incorporate these strategies into your daily routine to best support your health.

Please remember DIPAC – Walk and Talk Therapy, it is called “Eco Therapy” Just write “Ecotherapy” in the notes when you book online. If you are time poor and find it hard to get your walk in, this may be for you.

What Does It Mean to Feel Like a Burden?

What Does It Mean to Feel Like a Burden?

Experiencing the sensation of being a burden can entail a persistent fear that you are causing inconvenience, irritation, or frustration to those around you. This apprehension may lead to concerns that others are growing weary of your needs or requests, and it can hinder you from being authentic, seeking emotional support, or establishing personal boundaries. Even when reassured by those in your life that you are not a burden, the nagging doubt can persist.

What Causes This Feeling?

The feeling of burden can originate from various sources. It might have its roots in childhood or develop later in life. Let’s explore some common origins of feeling like a burden:

1.      Parental Expectations from Childhood: The upbringing a person receives can cultivate a sense of being a burden from a young age. Parents who impose high standards may convey the idea that their child is only deserving of love, affection, or even basic needs if they perform flawlessly in every aspect of life. This message can be subtle or indirect, creating an expectation of perfection. Feeling like a burden can also stem from being assigned excessive responsibilities during childhood, leading one to believe they should be entirely self-sufficient and reluctant to seek emotional support as an adult.

2.      Low Self-Esteem or Self-Worth: Low self-esteem can be a significant factor contributing to the feeling of being a burden. It may result from various sources, such as toxic relationships, bullying, strict religious upbringing, or cultural messaging. Believing that you are fundamentally unworthy can intensify this sensation. Improving self-esteem can empower you to request assistance and accept love, as high self-esteem correlates with success and well-being in various life domains.

3.      Physical or Mental Illness: Individuals with physical or mental illnesses or disabilities may require additional support, making them feel as if they are imposing on others. This feeling can lead to over-apologising, isolation, or frustration with one’s own needs. Similarly, individuals in recovery from addiction may perceive themselves as a burden, as addiction may have placed stress on their loved ones. Recognising that everyone needs help at times and acknowledging the positive impact you have on those around you can help address this feeling.

How to Overcome Feeling like a Burden:

There are several strategies to overcome the feeling of being a burden:

1.      Build Self-Esteem: Elevate your self-esteem over time by practicing positive affirmations, spending time with supportive individuals, setting and achieving goals, challenging negative thoughts, and adopting healthy habits. Joining support groups can also provide validation and encouragement.

2.      Reverse the Situation: Consider how you would feel if someone you loved needed help or support in the same way you do. This perspective can remind you that you are deserving of love and assistance, just as others are.

3.      Reframe Your Apologies: Rather than apologising for expressing your needs or accepting help, try reframing your apologies in a more positive light. Show gratitude for the support you receive to shift your perspective.

4.      Gain Compassionate Insight into Cognitive Distortions: Educate yourself about cognitive distortions that contribute to the feeling of being a burden. Recognising and challenging these distorted thoughts can help alleviate negative feelings.

5.      Talk to a Counsellor or Therapist: Seeking the guidance of a mental health professional, especially one who offers cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), can help you identify and modify flawed thought patterns. Therapy can also address past traumas, build self-esteem, and improve communication skills.

Whether you choose in-person therapy or online options, with assist you in overcoming the challenges associated with feeling like a burden.

If your relationship is being plagued by your unhealthy beliefs and behaviors from childhood, it might be time for a RESET.

NB: If you have completed the “Disclosure” step 4 it’s now time to move to the closure and bonding session Step 5.

5 Steps to a better more connected relationship over 30days program”

Challenging negative thoughts by questioning their validity. Helping you live with more peace and less pain with RTT

Recognise the power of your thoughts: I will emphasise that our thoughts have a significant impact on our emotions, behaviour, and overall well-being. Individual need to understand that they have control over their thoughts and can actively work to change them.

Challenge negative thoughts: I advocate for challenging negative thoughts by questioning their validity and replacing them with positive affirmations. Negative thoughts are often distorted and not based on objective reality.

Use positive affirmations: Affirmations are positive statements that can help counteract negative thoughts. I will encourage individuals to repeat positive affirmations regularly, as this can rewire the brain and help create more positive thought patterns.

Focus on gratitude: Now, the importance of gratitude in shifting negative thinking. By focusing on what you are grateful for in your life, you can cultivate a more positive mindset and reduce the influence of negative thoughts. It’s important to have someone challenge your fix mindset and teach you strategies for developing an open mindset.

Practice self-acceptance and self-love: Even in 2023 I have push back on this practice, self-acceptance and self-love are essential for overcoming negative thoughts. By acknowledging your worth and embracing yourself, flaws and all, you can develop a more positive and compassionate mindset toward you and others. Note: If you have little to no love, forgiveness and acceptance for you, you will have very little to give to others. This may present as Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Jealousy, etc…you may display no empathy for others perhaps! On the flip side you may become highly agreeable, a people pleaser leaving no room or time for you.

Self-development starts with acknowledgment. Tip: You have two choices the pain of staying the same or the pain of change. That you resist will persist…

How were you parented? If you are struggling with your childhood, you may have been parented by parents who have their own story and mental health issues and as a result you feel physically and mentally unsettled:

A snapshot from where your parents may have come from in the mental health system:

How mental health was treated in the 80’s? It was in the 80’s when PTSD was recognised as a mental health diagnoses. Prior to this revelation people suffered terribly not only from the medical profession but also socially people were shamed and outcast.

There were no wellbeing hours in school; few conversations on what to do or who to reach out to if you are struggling; no lessons around depression, anxiety, or eating disorders without the suggestion of a stigma being present; no education on conditions or experiences such as psychosis or schizophrenia. There were few practitioners who knew a lot about mental health.

How mental health was treated in the 50’s

In the 50s, mental health was extremely stigmatised, and people with mental health problems were thought of as ‘defective’ and sent off to asylums. We actively tackle the problematic thinking around this today. I have a great deal of compassion for these people many live with terrible shame and guilt.

In the 50’s they had nowhere to turn in fear of being sent away from their family.

During the early 1950s, the treatment of mental health disorders consisted of inhumane and barbaric therapies. This includes lobotomies and electroconvulsive therapy. A lobotomy is a surgical procedure where a metal instrument is inserted into the brain and a portion of the frontal lobe was either removed or manipulated. Lobotomies were utilised because it was believed that this type of procedure would cure people of visual and auditory hallucinations, which are symptoms of psychosis. Psychosis is commonly associated with schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.

Whilst the following picture states “Toxic parenting” it is not my intention to blame anyone. If you are living with a mental health challenge, it is not easy. I would hope that the people around you show compassion and support and that you seek help from a practitioner who is a good fit for you.

Most people do not set out to hurt people.

What is Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT)

It combines techniques from various disciplines such as Deep relaxation, Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and Psychotherapy. RTT aims to bring about rapid and lasting change by identifying and addressing the root causes of issues, rather than just managing symptoms.

There is a degree of inner child work in this therapy due to sometimes the root cause could go back to your memory as a 6yr old for example.

Note to parents: Your children have a revision mirror, what will they be saying and feeling about their childhood as an adult?

The main principles of RTT include:

Uncovering the root cause: RTT seeks to uncover the underlying beliefs and experiences that contribute to current challenges or issues. By understanding and addressing the root cause, it aims to facilitate healing and transformation.

Utilising deep relaxation: Relaxation is a key component of RTT. It is a guided and focused relaxation, helping the mind to open and close mental folders gently. Individuals access their subconscious mind, where deeply ingrained beliefs and patterns are stored. Through guided relaxation and focused attention, we then can start on reprograming negative beliefs and replace them with positive and empowering ones.

Restructuring thought patterns: RTT focuses on changing thought patterns and beliefs that no longer serve individuals. By identifying and reframing negative beliefs, RTT aims to create new neural pathways and thought patterns that support positive change.

Empowering language and affirmations: Language is an important aspect of RTT. It emphasises the use of positive and empowering language both during therapy sessions and in daily life. Affirmations are commonly used to reinforce positive beliefs and overcome negative self-talk.

Follow-up reinforcement: RTT recognises the importance of ongoing reinforcement and support after therapy sessions.

It’s important to note that while RTT has gained popularity and positive reviews from many individuals, it is always recommended to consult your doctor if you are thinking of self-harming. If you are in dark place mentally calling 000 immediately

Sometimes people need medication to settle enough in their body and mind to be able to take on therapy. Those patients who require medical intervention prior to entering therapy, should not feel ashamed or feel they are not enough. One thing I have learned over my many years of working with people, is the body really does keep the score and we are all very different. What happened to you in your life, is very different to what happened to another person in their life.

How does Trauma effect negative thinking?

Trauma can have a significant impact on negative thoughts. When someone experiences a traumatic event/events, it can disrupt their sense of safety, well-being, and trust in the world. This disruption often leads to various cognitive and emotional changes, including negative thoughts.

Trauma can affect your thoughts and actions, here are some areas to consider:

Negative beliefs about oneself: Trauma can lead to a distorted and negative self-perception. Individuals who have experienced trauma may develop beliefs such as being unworthy, powerless, or deserving of harm. These negative beliefs can manifest as self-critical thoughts and feelings of guilt or shame.

Negative beliefs about others: Trauma can also impact how individuals perceive and trust others. They may develop negative beliefs about people’s intentions, expecting others to be harmful, untrustworthy, or unreliable. These beliefs can contribute to negative thoughts about relationships and social interactions.

Note: This one is very common in relationships, past trauma can play a big part on how we see and react to our partners in times of stress and overwhelm…

eg: having children, you have not been a parent before. Trauma can also resurface after a death of a parent… Note: Because we are having children later in life, couples are finding themselves in a “sandwich” position, looking after children and parents at the same time. Life is a lot! But with a little knowledge and nurturing, all will be ok 🙂

Negative beliefs about the world: Traumatic events can shatter a person’s belief in the world as a safe and predictable place. They may develop negative beliefs about the world being dangerous, unfair, or unpredictable. These beliefs can lead to feelings of anxiety, hypervigilance, and pessimism. Note: A child being abandoned or perceived to be abandoned by a parent can set off this trauma and can last over a lifetime if not treated.

Intrusive thoughts and memories: Trauma can result in intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, or vivid memories of the traumatic event. These intrusive thoughts can be distressing and contribute to negative thought patterns, as individuals may constantly relive the traumatic experience or feel overwhelmed by intrusive images, body sensations, or emotions associated with it.

Hyperarousal and negative thinking: Trauma can dysregulate the nervous system, leading to a state of hyperarousal or chronic stress. In this state, negative thinking can become more prevalent, as the mind is constantly scanning for threats and interpreting situations in a negative or catastrophic manner. Note: The body keeps the score, we need to learn to listen to our body sensations.

It’s important to note that the effects of trauma on negative thoughts can vary among individuals and depend on factors such as the nature of the trauma, personal resilience, and available support systems. Healing from trauma often involves a comprehensive approach that may include therapy, support groups, medication, self-care, and developing coping strategies to address negative thoughts and their impact.  Note: RTT is very effective for when addressing trauma

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Anger, Disrespect and Criticism will turn off the Intimacy Desire and Sex in a relationship…

Anger and disrespect will turn off the Intimacy Desire and Sex in a relationship. It’s hard for a woman to want to have sex with a man when he yells at her, puts her down, slams doors, gets drunk etc…

And it’s hard for a man to be intimate and romantic with a woman who constantly criticise him.

A sexless marriage/long term relationship can be plagued with unhealthy behavior such as the above.

So let’s learn more about what works and what does not work… Tip: Respectful communication is key and “Saying it as it is” may not be the most respectful way to deliver a message.

Try being a little less right from time to time 🙂

Sex, intimacy, and desire are three critical elements that make a relationship healthy and fulfilling. While it’s easy to get caught up in the physical act of sex, it’s important to understand that sex is just one part of a larger framework of intimacy that includes emotional connection, trust, and vulnerability. a secure bond between two people. Now let’s explore the role of sex, intimacy, and desire in relationships, and how they can be fostered and maintained.

Sex is an important aspect of a romantic relationship, as it can help to strengthen the emotional bond between partners. Sexual activity releases oxytocin, a hormone that is responsible for feelings of closeness, trust, and attachment. It’s no wonder that couples who have sex regularly tend to report higher levels of satisfaction in their relationships. However, it’s important to note that not all couples have the same sex drive, and that’s perfectly normal. A healthy sex life involves open communication and a willingness to compromise, rather than putting pressure on one partner to conform to the other’s desires.

Check-in… if you are wanting sex more and more and your partner is saying it’s become problematic, you may be using sex for the treatment of anxiety or other mental health issue. You maybe be using sex to “self-sooth.”

Intimacy, on the other hand, goes beyond just physical touch. It’s about feeling emotionally connected to your partner and sharing your thoughts and feelings with them. Intimacy requires vulnerability and trust, and it’s something that needs to be nurtured over time. Couples who are emotionally intimate are better able to weather the ups and downs of life, as they have a strong foundation of trust and communication to fall back on.

Desire is another important aspect of a relationship, as it fuels the sexual spark between partners. Desire can ebb and flow over time, and it’s important to acknowledge that it’s a normal part of the human experience. However, if one partner is consistently feeling a lack of desire, it’s important to address this issue in a compassionate and open way. There are many factors that can impact desire, including stress, health issues, and relationship problems, and it’s important to work through these issues together as a team.

So, how can couples foster sex, intimacy, and desire in their relationships? Here are some tips:

  • Make time for each other: In today’s busy world, it’s easy to get caught up in work, kids, and other responsibilities. However, it’s important to make time for each other on a regular basis. This could be as simple as having a weekly date night or carving out some time each day to check in with each other.
  • Communicate openly and honestly: Communication is key to any healthy relationship. Make sure to talk openly and honestly about your feelings, desires, and concerns. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need and be willing to listen to your partner’s needs as well.
  • Be willing to compromise: As mentioned earlier, not all couples have the same sex drive. It’s important to be willing to compromise and find a middle ground that works for both partners. This could involve experimenting with different sexual activities or finding ways to increase intimacy in other areas of the relationship.
  • Practice self-care: Taking care of yourself is an important part of maintaining a healthy relationship. This could involve getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, and engaging in activities that bring you joy.
  • Seek help when needed: If you’re struggling with sex, intimacy, or desire in your relationship, don’t be afraid to seek help. This could involve talking to a therapist, a sex therapist, or attending a couples’ retreat.

In conclusion, sex, intimacy, and desire are all critical elements of a healthy and fulfilling relationship.

By fostering open communication, practicing self-care, and being willing to compromise, couples can create a strong foundation of trust and intimacy that will help them weather the ups and downs of life.

Unhealthy behaviours in a relationship can have a significant impact on intimacy, sex, and desire for both men and women. These behaviours can create emotional distance, erode trust, and cause partners to feel unloved or unwanted. Here are some common unhealthy behaviours that can turn off intimacy, sex, and desire:

  1. Lack of communication: Communication is key to a healthy relationship. If one or both partners are not willing to communicate their needs, desires, and concerns, it can lead to misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Without open and honest communication, it’s difficult to build intimacy and desire in a relationship.
  2. Lack of trust: Trust is essential in any relationship. If one partner is constantly questioning the other’s actions or motives, it can erode trust and create distance. Trust can be damaged by lying, cheating, or other forms of deception.
  3. Criticism and negativity: Constant criticism or negative comments can create a toxic environment in a relationship. If one partner is always pointing out the other’s flaws, it can lead to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. This can be a major turn-off for both men and women.
  4. Lack of affection: Physical affection, such as hugging, kissing, and cuddling, is an important part of intimacy. If one partner is consistently withholding affection, it can create a sense of emotional distance and cause the other partner to feel unloved or unwanted.
  5. Controlling behaviour: such as telling the other partner what to wear, who to hang out with, or how to spend their time, can be a major turn-off. It can create feelings of resentment and cause the other partner to withdraw emotionally.
  6. Lack of empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. If one partner is not willing to listen or show empathy when the other is going through a difficult time, it can create emotional distance and erode intimacy.
  7. Disrespectful behaviour: such as name-calling, belittling, or mocking, is a major turn-off for both men and women. It can create feelings of hurt and anger and erode intimacy, desire and trust in the relationship.

Unhealthy behaviours in a relationship can turn off intimacy, sex, and desire for both men and women. It’s important to identify and address these behaviours early on to prevent them from causing long-term damage to the relationship. By practicing open communication, showing respect and empathy, and building trust, couples can create a healthy and fulfilling relationship.

One of the biggest issues women raise in their one-on-one sessions with me is their partners use of porn. They tell me they do not feel desired and their partners expectation in the bedroom are unrealistic. They feel sex is an act and they are just a body. Some women have reported they are no longer having sex because of their partners porn use. They feel sad that the connecting and bonding with their partner has diminished. Some women view it as a form of cheating or disrespecting women. NOTE: Expectations move over time in long term relationships, what was acceptable when you were in your 20′ may not work for a couple in their 30’s 40’s and so on.

The use of porn in a relationship can have negative effects on a marriage. While some couples may feel comfortable using porn together or separately, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and to have open communication about it. Here are some of the negative effects that porn use can have on a marriage:

  1. Unrealistic expectations: Pornography often portrays unrealistic scenarios and body types that may create unrealistic expectations in a relationship. This can lead to disappointment and dissatisfaction with one’s partner, causing strain in the relationship.
  2. Loss of intimacy: Watching porn can become a substitute for physical intimacy, causing a decrease in sexual desire and emotional connection between partners. This can lead to a lack of intimacy in the relationship, which can further erode the bond between partners.
  3. Addiction: Pornography can be addictive, causing a partner to prioritise it over other important aspects of their life, including their relationship. This can lead to neglect of the relationship and a loss of trust between partners.
  4. Sexual dysfunction: Overuse of pornography has been linked to sexual dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction and difficulty achieving orgasm. This can further exacerbate issues in the relationship and lead to frustration and dissatisfaction for both partners.
  5. Objectification: Pornography often objectifies women and can perpetuate harmful gender stereotypes. This can lead to a lack of respect for women in general, which can have negative effects on the relationship and may even lead to infidelity. Note: Sometimes women become mothers and feel very protective over their daughters. Where porn may have been tolerated prior to becoming a mother it may not be tolerated moving forward. Some women take a stronger mature moral standpoint of respect for all women. People change and grow; this subject will need a conversation on expectations.

It’s important to note that the effects of pornography use can vary from couple to couple, and what may be harmful for one relationship may not be for another. However, it’s essential to have open communication about the use of porn in the relationship and to establish clear boundaries and expectations. If one partner feels uncomfortable with porn use, it’s important to respect their feelings and work together to find a solution that works for both partners. Ultimately, maintaining a healthy and fulfilling marriage requires open communication, trust, and mutual respect.