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MakeTheConnection.net features hundreds of videos of Veterans telling their stories about dealing with mental health challenges and the everyday stresses of civilian life. All of these Veterans reached out and found the support they needed to get their lives back on track. The interactive site, created by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, allows Veterans, Service members, and their loved ones to find information, insight, and access to the support they have earned. Make the Connection is also on YouTube and Facebook, where you can join the conversation about strength and find resources for living well.
When Your Friends Do Not Understand Your Mental Health Condition
You are just diagnosed with a mental health condition such as depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, addiction, OCD, or some other mental health disorder. You go see a counselor to get help. Eventually your relatives and closest friends find out your condition. The problem is that some of them get on your case and do not understand what you are going through. Here are four ways to deal with this situation.
1. Listen To The Professionals And Not Your Friends–Your friends may mean well, but when it comes down to it, the professionals know your situation more than anyone. They know what you are going through and are trained to deal with your situation. Your friends do not have the answers to your medical condition. When you have questions about your mental health situation consult with your counselor or other mental health professional. Listen to them and follow their advice and not your friends.
2. Your Goal Is To Get Better–Your goal is to get better, period. Don’t waste your time arguing with your friends or relatives who are giving you a difficult time. This isn’t a public relations event where you need to get everyone’s approval. This is your life and you’re the one suffering. Your main focus is for you to get better. This is the number one thing.
3. Tell Your Friends To Learn About Your Condition–Tell your friends and relatives that the best way for them to help you is to learn about your condition. They could talk to a counselor, they could do family therapy, they could read some good books or join you at a support group to learn about your condition. They won’t know exactly the pain your suffering but they will have some idea of what you are going through. If some of your friends won’t do this, then stay away from them. They will only make things worse.
4. Distance Yourself From People Who Give You A Hard Time–This may seem cruel but if some of your friends or relatives are hindering your progress in getting better, then kindly tell them to follow step Three or else tell them to stay away and go bother someone else. Distance yourself from those people who won’t make an effort to help understand what you are going through. You need to surround yourself with positive and supportive people. Again, if you have problems or issues with a particular person, you can always ask your counselor for advice on how to deal with them.
Take advantage of the help that is available around you. If possible, talk to a professional who can help you manage your depression and anxieties. They will be able to provide you with additional advice and insights on how to deal with your current problem. By talking to a professional, a person will be helping themselves in the long run because they will become better able to deal with their problems in the future.
Remember your goal is to get better. Treat your mental health issues as a medical condition. If you have a medical condition, you go see a doctor to help treat it. Same thing applies to your mental health issues. Go see a professional and focus on getting better. Don’t try to get everyone’s approval.
By: Stan Popovich
Getting professional help for dealing with your persistent fears and anxieties is the single most important step in your recovery. Many people are reluctant to get the help they need for various reasons. Making excuses of not getting the treatment for your anxiety problems will not solve the problem. Here are a few reasons on why getting help is important.
Getting professional help can lead to additional insights and suggestions to your stress and anxiety problems. A professional counselor can give you many ideas on how you can manage your fears and anxieties. This is important in getting better.
Most counselors and psychologists know of ways to get rid of your fears. They can recommend certain treatments that will make you feel a lot better. The only way you will get access to these treatments is if you go talk to a counselor. Ask your primary care physician if he or she knows anyone that can help you.
You can not manage your fears all by yourself. Our anxieties and fears can be extremely difficult to manage and more than likely you will need some help. Remember when your boss or your coworkers showed you how to do your job. You needed help from someone to learn the ins and outs of doing your current job. This concept applies to managing your fears. Do not feel ashamed that you are getting help. We all learn new things from others on a regular basis.
As your work with a professional you will improve on your skill sets in managing your stresses. You will become better in time which will benefit you later on in your life.
Ending Your Life Is Not The Answer To Your Situation
By: Stan Popovich
You are at the end of your rope and you can’t take it any much longer. You are in pain and you are suffering and you feel there is no hope. The first thing that you need to do is to seek the services of a professional counselor. As a published author of a managing fear book and as a Layman, here are five reasons why suicide is not an option to your problems.
1. Things Change Over Time
Regardless of your situation, things do not stay the same. You may feel very bad today, but it won’t last forever. Remember this fact: Regardless of your current situation, everything changes over time. This includes your current situation. Nothing remains the same forever.
2. There Are Always Other Options…..Always
You may feel lost and confused but the answers to your specific problems are out there. The key is that you have to find the answers. The answers to your problem will not come to you. As mentioned before, the first step in finding the solution to your problem is to seek help from a qualified professional.
3. You Can’t Predict The Future
You are fearful, confused and do not know where to turn. You think that there is no hope for you. When you are in this situation, remember the 99% rule. The 99% rule states that that no one can predict the future with one hundred percent certainty. Even if the thing that you are afraid of does happen, there are circumstances and factors that you can’t predict which can be used to your advantage. For instance, you miss the deadline for a project you have been working on for the last few months.
Everything you feared is coming true. Suddenly, your boss comes to your office and tells you that the deadline is extended and that he forgot to tell you the day before. This unknown factor changes everything. We may be ninety-nine percent correct in predicting the future, but all it takes is for that one percent to make a world of difference.
4. Focus On The Facts of Your Situation and Not Your Thoughts
When people are depressed they rely on their fearful, depressing, and negative thoughts. That is a huge mistake. Your fearful thoughts are exaggerated and are not based on reality. When you are depressed, focus on the facts of your current situation and not on what you think. Do not assume anything regarding your current situation. Seek help from a professional immediately.
5. Go To The Hospital Immediately When Its That Bad
If things are so bad that you are unable to function, drop everything and go to your local hospital or crisis center immediately. The people there will take care of your situation right away.
No situation is hopeless. Your loved ones, friends, relatives, God, mental health counselors, priests, ministers, etc. are all good sources of help. They are all willing to help you and they can make a difference, but you must be willing to take advantage of this help. Regardless of your situation, take advantage of the help that is around you. Remember: Every problem has a solution. You just have to find it.
Stan Popovich is the author of "A Layman's Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods" - an easy to read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information go to: http://www.managingfear.com
Active Ongoing Processes Underlying Autism Spectrum Disorders
UAB Herbert Psychiatry Grand Rounds 2010
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A Great Read...
Steve Lopez' novel "The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music"
If you haven't seen the movie "The Soloist" it's definitely one you should plan to rent. Several Mental health organizations held screenings of the movie. It covers mental illness and homelessness, the story is certainly eyeopening.
NAMI Ministers Conference Photos
Photos by: Linda Kinlaw
Music by: The Winans and W. Tisdale