What Is EMDR Therapy and How Can It Help You?  by Brooke Chaplan

Those with post-traumatic stress disorder undergo a wide variety of symptoms that can interfere with their everyday life. EMDR therapy is intended to help reduce the effects of PTSD on the body. In fact, there have been positive clinical outcomes showing this therapy’s effectiveness for treating addictions, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and even OCD.

What is EMDR Therapy? 

EMDR stands for eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy. This extensively researched therapeutic practice has been proven to help people recover from trauma and PTSD-related symptoms. It’s classified as a psychotherapy method and is notated as an effective treatment offering by the NHS, American Psychiatric Association, World Health Organization, American Psychological Association, International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and so many more. 

What Makes EMDR Therapy Different? 

When you look at the treatment options for traumatic disorders like PTSD, many require in-depth conversing with a licensed therapist. Many patients will spend hours talking about their distressing issues and even complete homework between their therapy sessions.

EMDR therapy doesn’t work like that. Rather, it’s specifically designed to allow the brain to resume its natural healing process. However, it does include an element of talking therapy to help heal.

EMDR Therapy and Your Brain 

The human brain has a natural process for handling traumatic memories and events that happen in our lives. It utilises communication between the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. The amygdala is the brain’s alarm for a stressful event. The hippocampus helps the brain to learn and share past memories regarding danger and safety. Lastly, the prefrontal cortex is responsible for analysing what’s happening and controlling your emotions and behaviours. 

Who Can Benefit from EMDR Therapy? 

EMDR therapy can be beneficial for a wide variety of patients, including both children and adults. It’s been known to treat individuals who have the following conditions (and more): 

  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Eating Disorders 
  • Performance Anxiety
  • Personality Disorders 
  • PTSD 
  • Sexual Assault Victims 

Basically, anyone who has experienced a traumatic incident in their life can benefit from this particular type of therapy treatment. In fact, most individuals are able to overcome their symptoms in just a few EMDR sessions as compared to ongoing psychotherapy sessions. 

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic incident, it may be difficult to move on with your life.

Fortunately, EMDR therapy can be a great solution to help your brain and body successfully process the incident and move on.

EMDR therapy is recommended for all types of patients, regardless of age or gender. 

This article was written by Brooke Chaplan, writer.

Anxiety And Climbing, Not Carrying Mountains. by Eleanor.

(image: Quote CC)

This week was a good week. Generally, my bipolar has been stable for a while. I am able to go to work and hold down two jobs somehow and I also passed my probation (in the words of Borat, Great Success!). But there are times when things are overwhelming and I feel like a wobbly mess. Like today.

I achieved my goals that I came up with when I was in the middle of agoraphobia a few months ago. My panic disorder reset itself to a healthy level thanks to therapy and things improving at work. As such, I have been able to see more people face to face and this week I was able to go to Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club with my Dad to see Natalie Williams and Soul family Motown show (my Chanukah present). We have been before over the years and love going to see them and going with my Dad makes me feel safe as he drives us.

However, I often find that something like that is followed by a day of needing to slow down and look after me as I can feel a little depleted and more anxious. Its just a bit of a pattern my mind goes too. The cold and dark weather also do not help with this and I start just wanting to stay at home. I have also been putting myself under too much pressure and end up exhausted.. any other perfectionists/achievers do the same?

So, I couldn’t go to see friends and some family this weekend and had to cancel arrangements which wasn’t great. However, my baby nephew was born last week and had his Jewish naming ceremony yesterday which was special as Rob and I carried him in on a special pillow. We then hosted my mum and step dad for shabbat (Jewish sabbath) lunch- so I am seeing that as a big achievement despite everything. In the past, I wouldn’t have even been able to attend it- so I know I am in a better place. However, I also had to cancel other family plans which I don’t feel good about.

I think I have just been trying to do way too much as I always do when I feel a bit better and I am sorry to those I have had to let down due to increased anxiety. I know its not my fault, its an illness, but I still feel bad.

One positive, at the ceremony I was able to see my two aunties who I hadn’t seen for a while (which was one of my goals too) so that made me so happy.

Overall, I am doing well but I am still dealing with the panic and anxious thought patterns at times… and its learning a) what the triggers are b) what I can do to help myself when it happens. I have had about a month off from seeing my therapist so probably need another session soon. I think I just need a quiet day watching Netflix.

(image: Grow Together Now)

Rob and I are getting away over Christmas so hopefully that will be a good time to recharge and reset my batteries after a very busy year for both of us.

My sister said to me today to remember to be kind to myself, so that is what I am going to do. Though I do feel a little bit sad at having to cancel plans. Though I look back at the past few weeks and realise that I have done a lot in terms of seeing people- so maybe its all just too much and I need to plan less.

I am mostly healthy and life is generally good. Heres to climbing mountains, not carrying them all the time- and not feeling guilty if I can’t achieve something.

Love,

Eleanor x

It’s Not Just The Therapist or Psychiatrist Alone: Why Treatment Centres Matter in Mental Health.

(Image: David Travis at Unsplash)

It’s not just the therapist or psychiatrist alone. The treatment centre/hospital matters in mental health.. It’s not that therapists are bad or unimportant; they can be critical in helping people with mental health concerns start on the road to recovery. However, sometimes treatment centres can have a huge impact on mental health and well-being, as a whole.

Lasting Impact of the Environment

First, the environment in which individuals with mental health concerns receive treatment can have a lasting impact on their mental health. Is the institution warm and welcoming to visitors? Or does it feel sterile and cold? Does it have adequate resources to meet the needs of its patients? Or is it underfunded and overcrowded? All these factors can have a significant impact on recovery, as they may create feelings of anxiety or alienation in the patient. For example, if the institute has Knightsbridge Furniture and a welcoming waiting area for visitors, it may make people feel less anxious about their treatment, because the furniture is designed to provide comfort.

Supportive Staff Members

Secondly, supportive staff members are paramount for mental health recovery. Not only do staff members need to be competent and knowledgeable about the latest treatment techniques and practices; they also need to be warm, welcoming and supportive towards their patients. They should be able to provide a safe space for individuals with mental health concerns to explore their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or punishment. This will help foster an atmosphere of trust and healing at the treatment centre/hospital.

Accessible Resources

Third, centres should strive to make resources accessible and available to those in need. Mental health concerns can often be complex and multifaceted, so individuals may require a variety of services. Treatment centres should provide access to everything from basic mental health services such as counselling, to more specialised resources like crisis intervention teams or support groups. If these resources are not readily available, then individuals might not get the help they need when they need it.

Appropriate Levels of Care

Fourth, treatment centres must provide appropriate levels of care for the patients they serve. This includes ensuring that each individual gets the right combination of treatment and support based on their specific needs. For example, a patient with severe depression or other severe illnesses may benefit from both medication management and psychotherapy while someone with mild anxiety may only require weekly therapy sessions.

A Holistic Approach

Finally, centres should strive to provide a holistic approach to mental health care. This means taking into account not only the individual’s diagnosis or symptoms, but also their lifestyle, environment, and social support system. Taking these factors into consideration can ensure that individuals receive the most appropriate treatment for their unique needs. Additionally, it can help facilitate long-term recovery and prevent future issues from developing.

It is clear that when it comes to mental health recovery, a treatment centre/hospital plays a vital role in helping individuals achieve positive outcomes. From providing supportive staff members to making resources accessible and offering a holistic approach to care – institutions must strive to meet the needs of those they serve in order to ensure the best possible outcomes.

So, while it is important to have a skilled therapist or psychiatrist, never underestimate the importance of a supportive and well-resourced treatment centre as part of that overall care. Together, they can provide individuals with everything they need to start on their journey to mental health recovery.

This article was written by a freelance writer.

How You Can Help A Loved One Stay Sober: Addiction Recovery.

(image: Markus Spiske, Unsplash)

If you have a loved one who is struggling with addiction, you may be wondering how you can help them stay sober. It can be a challenging process, but there are many things that you can do to support your loved one. Here are some tips that you can use to help a loved one stay sober.

1. Be Understanding And Supportive

One of the most important things you can do is be understanding and supportive. Addiction can be a very isolating experience, and your loved one may feel disconnected from family and friends. Show them that you care and are there for them, even if they don’t always show it in return. Offer words of encouragement when needed and provide a listening ear and understanding.

2. Help Establish Healthy Routines

Creating healthy routines and habits can help keep an individual on track with their sobriety. Make sure that your loved one is getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals, and engaging in activities that will help them stay sober. This could include going for walks or hikes, joining a gym or sports team, or finding other activities to occupy their time, such as volunteering or taking classes.

3. Set Boundaries And Respect Your Loved One’s Choices

It’s important to remember that the choice to stay sober ultimately lies with your loved one. Though you can provide support and guidance, it shouldn’t be done in a way that makes them feel pressured into making decisions they don’t agree with. Respect their autonomy and wishes while still providing advice if asked.

4. Create An Action Plan Together

Sobriety is often a process; it can take time for someone to achieve their goals. Have an honest conversation with your loved one about their progress, any issues, and how you can help. Then, you can create an action plan together where both of you set realistic goals and provide support when needed.

5. Consider A Sober Living Program

If your loved one is struggling with relapse, consider enrolling them in a sober living program from rdsoberliving.com (if in USA, for UK see other programs). These programs provide structure and accountability to help someone stay on track with their recovery goals. They also provide support from peers and mentors who have been through similar experiences.

6. Reach Out To A Professional

Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you need it. Consider talking to a professional who is experienced in addiction recovery, or get your loved one connected with a therapist. They can provide additional guidance and support that may be helpful in maintaining sobriety.

7. Take Care Of Yourself

It’s also important to remember to take care of yourself as well. It can be challenging to help someone who is struggling with addiction, and it can take a toll both physically and emotionally. So make sure that you are getting enough rest, engaging in activities that bring you joy, and reaching out for support when needed.

Helping a loved one stay sober can be difficult. However, there are many ways that you can provide support and guidance to help them succeed. Be understanding and supportive, set boundaries, create an action plan together and consider professional help or a sober living program if needed. Also, remember to take care of yourself throughout the process.

This article was written by a freelance writer.

Drowning In Debt: 4 Ways to Help You And Your Mental Health.

(image: Pixabay/Pexels)

Debt can quickly become overwhelming. What may have started as a single personal loan a few months ago, can quickly turn into multiple loans, credit card bills and rent/bills arrears. Eventually, you may reach a point when you’ve exhausted all borrowing options. At this point, it may seem like there’s no escape, however there is always a way out of debt – it may just be a case of seeking out professional debt help.

Additionally this can take a toll on your mental health- stress due to debt can cause insomnia, anxiety, depression and a host of ailments too. You may despair or wake up scared to carry on. You may fear the debt letters or emails and phone calls. The uncertainty is difficult for anyone.

There are four common ways to get out of heavy debt. You can learn more about these below.  

DMP

A DMP (debt management plan) is an agreement to continue paying off your debts, but at a reduced rate. If you cannot keep up with the current monthly debt repayments, a DMP could help lower these to make them more affordable. While you can negotiate debt payments with creditors yourself, choosing a DMP allows professionals to do the negotiating for you. 

DMPs do not cover priority debts (e.g. mortgage, council tax debt etc.) and are informal agreements that lenders can go back on at any time. They can also have a serious negative impact on your credit score. The benefit of these forms of debt relief is that almost anyone who is struggling with debt can apply for them and you will not be added to an insolvency register.

DRO

DRO stands for debt relief order. This is a legally binding order in which all of your debts are temporarily halted for a length of time (usually about a year). This period of time is known as a ‘moratorium period’ and is a chance to improve your financial circumstances. If after the moratorium period, you have tried to improve financial circumstances but not been successful, your debts will be written off. 

To apply for a DRO you must have debts no more than £30,000 and a disposable income of less than £75 per month. It is recommended for those that have assets less than £2000. Lenders must abide by a DRO, unlike a DMP. A DRO also applies to priority debts. Just be wary that you will be added to an insolvency register.

IVA

An individual voluntary agreement (IVA) is another option. It is similar to a DMP in that you continue to pay back your debts but at a reduced rate. Unlike a DMP, it is legally binding. IVAs typically last 5 to 6 years, after which any outstanding debt may be wiped.

IVAs are available to anyone with unsecured debts over £7000. Unlike a DRO, they are recommended for those with assets over £2000. Like a DRO, you will be added to an insolvency register. You can check out this site for more IVA advice

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is sometimes seen as the most extreme option and has a certain stigma around it, but there are times when it can be the best option. The bankruptcy period lasts 12 months – during this period, any non-essential assets you own and excess income you earn are used to pay off your debts. At the end of this period, you are discharged and any remaining debts are written off.

Bankruptcy is only an option for those with debts over £5000. You will be added to an insolvency register and you may find that you are not able to borrow any money for a certain period after. The advantage of bankruptcy is that all your debts are wiped after a year, making it quicker than IVA.

Whichever option you choose make sure you look after your mental health and wellbeing and get support from loved ones and those around you. This may include visiting your GP if you need too.

This article was written by a freelance writer and edited by Eleanor Segall.

Small But Powerful Ways To Improve Your Mental Health.

Photo by Anastasiya Gepp

How many people do you think are currently struggling with their mental health and want to know how to improve it? The answer will probably surprise you; around a quarter of the population have a mental health disorder, and this can either be minor or something that needs serious medical attention. 

That’s a huge number, and it could be that you are one of these people. If that’s the case, it’s crucial to know what you can do to improve your mental health and ensure that you start to feel better. Of course, medication and therapy can be the ideal solutions in some cases, and it’s important to see a medical professional for help no matter what. However, if you can do as much as you can at home to help yourself, things will get a lot better.

Read on for some useful suggestions about some small but powerful ways to improve your mental health.

Take Mental Health Breaks Throughout The Day

If you’re feeling as though you’re struggling with your mental health on any given day, you should be able to take a mental health day. This means staying home and doing what you need to do to feel more positive. This will be down to you, but some people like to go for walks in nature, catch up on sleep, read a book, enjoy a spa day at home, and so much more. 

However, if you can’t take a whole day for any reason (although it’s wise to try if you can), taking a mental health break of anything from ten minutes to a couple of hours is the next best thing. When you are starting to feel overwhelmed, take some time for yourself. Not only can you protect your mental health in this way, but taking breaks when you’re busy can actually make you more productive rather than put you behind because when you get back to what you were doing, you are more focused and feeling healthier. 

Look For The Positives

As much as we all love technology, sometimes it serves as a negative force in our lives. Social media, 24-hour news feeds, online newspapers, and even channels like YouTube, can offer us a glimpse of the bad things that are happening around us, and when you have a mental health disorder, this can make things worse. Even if there are positive things happening, it can be hard to see them through all the negative things. 

However, in order to improve your mental health, it’s important to change things and ignore the negative to see the positive. The easiest way to do this to begin with is with your own life. Stop scrolling through social media if you know it upsets you and makes you angry, and instead focus on the good things all around you. That could be anything, no matter how small. Perhaps you notice a flower blooming. Your coffee might be delicious. Your little one might make you laugh now that you’ve seen ways to help your baby rollover. There are hundreds of tiny but important positive things happening all around you all the time. When you are feeling down, look for them. This will help to make you feel better, but it will also distract you from your feelings, and that will improve your mental health as well. 

Ask For Help When You Need It 

They say that communication is the cornerstone to a healthy relationship, and that is true not only with other people but also with yourself. If you trust your partner or a friend, it might help to talk about some of the problems you’re having and get those concerns out of your brain. This can help make things clearer. It’s important to keep the lines of communication open when you feel safe to do so. Emotional stress can sometimes make other problems worse in your relationships with your spouse and other people.

And if you feel like you can’t talk about your mental health, there are multiple types of therapeutic interventions that might help you work through some of the problems you’re having.

When you start to feel like you can’t handle day-to-day tasks or when you often think bad things about yourself or other people, it might be time to ask for help or talk to someone about what’s been going on.

Exercise Every Day

When you stay active and work out every day, your blood flow improves all over your body. With more oxygen in your body and more blood flow, you feel more energetic, fresh, and mentally alert.

If you work in an office, it’s even more important to exercise and do other physical things. Exercise not only keeps our bodies in good shape, but it also keeps our minds in good shape. You don’t have to pay a lot to join a gym to do that. A simple walk is all you need. The most important thing is to do this every day. 

Exercise is good for your mental health, but it also makes your bones and muscles stronger, which keeps you from getting hurt while working out or running errands. Since being injured can be a terrible thing for your mental health, exercise can help in this way too. 

Expose Yourself To Sunlight (Carefully)

A lack of vitamin D can lead to a number of mental health problems, like Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. When you go outside in the sun, your body releases endorphins, which are also known as “happiness hormones.” These hormones make your brain work better.

So, take a break from your normal routine (which we already know is a good thing to do) and go outside. But make sure you wear sunscreen so you don’t get a sunburn.

Learn To Live In The Present 

When a person stays stuck in the past, they are more likely to have mood swings, depression, and anxiety. Negative self-talk like “Why did people do this to me?” steals a person’s happiness and makes them miss opportunities in the present. Try not to think too much about the future and learn to live in the present. By doing this, we can be much more prepared for anything that might happen in the future, so there is no need to worry about it.

This article was written by a freelance writer.

How To Look After Your Mental Health At Every Stage Of Life.

(image: Yan Krukov: Pexels)

Mental health is something that we all need to think about when we go through life, as it is a major part of being well and healthy in general. If you are aware that you might need to improve your mental health considerably, one of the main things to be aware of is that it will change over your lifetime. In this post, we are going to discuss how you can look after your mental health at every stage of life, so that you can much more effectively hope to keep your mind strong and intact.

Being Aware Of Your Cycles

You probably have times in your life when your physical health is better than at other times. Well, the same is likely true for your mental health too, and it’s therefore important that you are as aware of these cycles as possible, because just being more aware of them is going to help you to take better care of your mind on the whole. Once you know and understand your own cycles a little better, you’ll find that it can really help a great deal, so that’s something that you should think about as early on as possible. You will also need to look at things that can support you such as medication, therapy and the basics of eating and sleeping well too.

Consider Your Stage In Life

However, mental health does also have different needs at different stages of your life, and it’s great to be in a place where you can appreciate this, and where you know that you can effectively help to keep your mental health as strong as possible. Depending on your age, you might need various different kinds of help, from retirement villages in your older years to private healthcare when you are younger. It’s all about making sure that you are considering your stage in life as well as you can.

Remember The Basics

All that being said, there are a number of basic approaches that you can and should always take if you are keen to make sure that your mental health is being looked after, and these are the kinds of things that will be relevant no matter what stage of life you might be in. For instance, it is always going to be a good idea to keep your physical health in place, and you will find that keeping active and having social connections helps a great deal too. All in all, it’s going to make a huge difference to your mental health at any time, so remember that as well as you can.

Practice Mindfulness

It’s also really wise to make sure that you are doing all you can to be as mindful as possible, because that is going to be important at any time. The more mindful you can be, the more effectively you are going to be able to take care of your mind, simply because you’ll have a better understanding of what’s actually going on in your mind at any time. So this is something that you should definitely make sure you are aware of as well. Your mental health is vital.

This article was written by a freelance writer.

Managing Mental Health When You Start College Or University.

(image: Pexels: Ketut Subiyanto)

Going to college or university is one of the most exciting life events we experience, but it can also be one of the most daunting. This is a period of upheaval and change, which often triggers a mixture of emotions. If you’re preparing to start a new course or move to a different town or city, here’s a handy guide to managing mental health.

Make your new base feel like home

One of the best ways to settle into a new area and adjust to a different routine and environment is to make your new base feel like home. Whether you’re living in student accommodation or you’re renting a flat or a house, try to be proactive in creating a homely, welcoming feel. Decorate your bedroom and turn it into a sanctuary that makes you feel relaxed and calm. Put photographs up on the walls, use soft furnishings to add a cosy feel and choose colours that you love. Create a space that celebrates your style and personality and makes you feel safe and comfortable. 

Socialise

Making friends is one of the biggest challenges for students. Some people are naturally very sociable and they’ll start conversations and build relationships without even thinking about it, but for others, creating bonds is more difficult. Try to socialise and meet people through activities, lectures, classes and group sessions and societies and clubs. Use your hobbies and interests to find people with shared passions and don’t panic if you don’t click with the people in your flat or on your course immediately. Keep putting yourself out there and you’ll find your crowd. It’s important to be yourself and to find friends who make you feel confident and valued. You shouldn’t feel like you have to change or put on an act. 

Look after yourself

Going to university is synonymous with partying, staying up late and embracing the experience of living in student halls. It’s fun to go out and enjoy a few drinks with new friends, but try to look after yourself as best you can. Get enough sleep, stay hydrated, keep an eye on how much you drink and try to follow a healthy diet. Exercise daily, spend time outdoors, hang out with friends and keep in touch with family members. 

(image: Pexels Pixabay)

Don’t be afraid to talk

It can be incredibly stressful to start a new life at university, especially if you’ve never been away from home before, or you find it hard to make friends. If you’re struggling with your mental health, or you feel anxious or low for a prolonged period, don’t be afraid to talk. Open up to friends you trust or relatives, speak to your GP, or research resources you can access through your college or university. It may also be helpful to speak to others who are in the same boat via online communities and social media groups. There are also free helplines you can call such as Samaritans 116 123 (UK).

Going to college or university is an adventure, but it can also be an upheaval. It’s crucial to look after yourself and manage your mental health. Socialise and make friends, create a happy, calming home environment and take care of your body and mind. Talk to people and seek advice if you are finding life tough. 

This article was written by a freelance writer.

Tips On Coping With Borderline Personality Disorder And Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by Dr Joann Mundin.

(image: Unsplash)

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) affects people’s thoughts about themselves and others. People with borderline personality disorder experience extreme emotions. A person with this disorder is likely to have intense relationships with many ups and downs. Other signs of borderline personality disorder include impulsivity and changes in one’s self-image. Anger management issues and mood swings can both be symptoms of BPD. They could also fear being left behind or abandoned.

Sometimes, people with borderline personality disorder are also affected by obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD. The person and their loved ones may find it challenging to cope with a borderline personality disorder. But borderline personality disorder is something that can be learned to manage. You can learn to manage borderline personality disorder with the proper professional care, self-help techniques, and coping skills and have a happy and successful life.

Coping mechanisms for borderline personality disorder

A borderline personality disorder is a condition that affects each person differently. Find out what works for you by taking your time. Everyone’s situation may be different, but by taking the actions listed below, you can cope with borderline personality disorder :

1. Engage in physical activities

Exercise may help you stabilize and regain emotional control if you have problems coping with BPD. Exercises like yoga, boxing, running, and cycling may be beneficial.

2. Take some time off for yourself

Although social isolation has adverse effects, occasionally removing yourself from other people might be a healthy coping mechanism for BPD. Spend some time alone, and rejuvenate yourself without the influence of others. Reflecting alone might assist you in readjusting if you are experiencing intense anger or feeling emotionally out of control.

3. Write emails or letters to people but don’t send them

This is a great way to express feelings and decompress. The effects are similar to keeping a journal, making it possible to express yourself without having your words negatively affect your relationships. By delaying sending the message, you can go back and read what you said after the initial emotions have subsided.

4. Take breaks

Feelings of rage and anger might be reduced temporarily by leaving a stressful setting and looking after yourself.

5. Keep yourself occupied as much as you can

Keep yourself occupied to divert your attention from your current feelings. Holding a fidget toy such as a slinky, helps keep your hands engaged and allows your mind to concentrate on the recent activity.

(image: Unsplash)

Is obsessive-compulsive disorder related to borderline personality disorder?

BPD is thought to be fundamentally linked to obsessive-compulsive symptoms. These symptoms are intense, and BPD patients who experience them often exhibit poor insight, resistance, and sometimes obsessive control in interpersonal interactions.

A 5% prevalence of borderline personality disorder (also known as BPD) has been seen in OCD patients. Additionally, these patients with BPD and OCD had greater rates of anxiety, mood, and eating problems. These examples of co-occurring BPD and OCD have been linked to motor impulsivity, mental compulsions, and compulsions involving interpersonal domains.

How is OCD treated?

Treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder may not provide a cure, but it can help keep symptoms under control so they don’t interfere with your everyday life. Some patients may require long-term, continuous, or more extensive treatment depending on how severe their OCD is. Psychotherapy and medicines are the two essential OCD treatments, and treatment is frequently most successful when these are used in conjunction.

How can you cope with OCD?

Below you’ll find mechanisms that will help you cope with obsessive-compulsive disorder:

1. Acknowledge your OCD’s existence

Like the monster you used to think lived beneath your bed as a child, OCD can seem like an uncontrollable power waiting to strike. Give your OCD a name and a shape rather than letting it be a faceless villain. It might benefit kids and adults to view OCD as a distinct condition. Remember, OCD is not your fault, and there is no need to feel ashamed.

2. Maintain an OCD journal

An OCD journal serves the same purpose as the food journals that some people use to record their daily dietary intake when on a diet. You can keep note of your triggers in an OCD journal, discover new ones, and evaluate the general state of your OCD. Keep an OCD journal with you at all times, and write down what happens when you perform a compulsion. After reading through your diary entries at the end of the day, ask yourself the following questions.

● Why did these circumstances make me OCD-prone?

● What would have occurred if my resolutions hadn’t been carried out?

● What proof is there that what I feared would occur?

3. Use Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) techniques

ERP is a popular method for addressing and maybe easing OCD. When adopting ERP, a person exposes themselves to a circumstance that causes an obsession and then refrains from acting on their compulsion. Try creating an OCD ladder by ranking your triggers and associated anxieties on a ten-rung ladder from 1 to 10 in terms of their seriousness. You should start with a low-level trigger when you initially start ERP, and after you’ve faced it, wait 10 seconds before acting on your urge. Increase the amount of time you go without gradually employing your compulsion until you can handle the task or scenario without it. As you master your triggers, climb the OCD ladder.

4. Redirect your focus

If you have OCD compulsions or obsessions or feel one coming on, try diverting your attention from the problem. You can either mentally or physically refocus your attention. Try repeating the program if, after the period of refocusing, you still feel the need to finish your obsession.

5. Keep your stress levels down

OCD is difficult to live with, and stress can make these tasks even more difficult. Keeping your stress level low is essential because it has been demonstrated that stress dramatically increases OCD in people. Make sure to arrange some time each day to relax. Finding an hour each day to decompress, watching some TV, reading a book, or going for a run, can be pretty helpful.

Final thoughts

You can learn coping methods and healthy lifestyle choices without allowing the illnesses and symptoms to define you. Finding strategies that work for you is critical. You should also be open and honest with close family members about your needs. For example, you should tell family members how to help you if you feel angry or emotional. You are not defined by your illness and you can learn to cope- reach for support.

About the Author: Dr. Joann Mundin is a board-certified psychiatrist who has been in practice since 2003. She is a Diplomate with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and a Fellow with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Currently associated with Mindful Values, she provides assessments and treatment for patients with severe mental illness.

A Lovely Review Of My Book ‘Bring Me To Light’ By Deb Wilk at Living Bipolar Blog.

(image: https://www.pauladennan.com/reviews/)

Sometimes, you receive amazing book reviews on the internet and don’t realise they are there!

Yesterday, I stumbled upon Deb Wilk’s blog Living Bipolar – Deb has lived with bipolar disorder for many years and very kindly reviewed my book last year. She lives in the USA and is a talented blogger, sharing about her life living with bipolar.

I don’t always know what to expect with reviews, but this was so positive so thank you Deb for reading, enjoying and recommending my book Bring me to Light: Embracing my Bipolar and Social Anxiety. Heres some quotes from the review:

Every word, paragraph and chapter of Bring Me to Light was utterly mesmerizing.  Eleanor Segall’s account of her battle with bipolar 1, panic attacks, and crippling social anxiety is so vibrant that the reader feels as though they are experiencing it right alongside her.

I would love to describe the book in detail, but I am not going to give anything away because this book is an absolute must-read.  Anyone who is bipolar or loves someone who is, should read this story.  It is a moving narrative that anyone, even those who do not suffer with mental illness, should read.  

She is now an extremely forceful voice in the mental health community, and this accolade is incredibly well deserved.  Please read this book.  You will find it well worthwhile and, I am certain, as enthralling as I did.” (Deb Wilk, living bipolar blog)

To read more of Debs review click here

Bring me to Light is available now on Amazon and in all good bookshops (including Waterstones, W H Smith and Blackwells and is available globally).