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Monthly Archives: August 2022

Social Anxiety Affordable Counseling Center Tampa, Fl & Brandon, Fl

Social anxiety – also called social phobia, or social anxiety disorder – is a paralyzing and debilitating condition. Those affected with social anxiety often feel uncomfortable in large social gatherings, or small settings with people who are unfamiliar –anyplace out of their comfort zone creates anxiety for them. This often manifested with a fear of embarrassment, becomes so intense that those afflicted with the condition often withdraw from situations that may cause them to be embarrassed. This has the person with social anxiety feeling isolated and alone. Trapped in their comfort zone, not feeling like they can muster the strength to put themselves in situations that make them feel anxious.

Some possible signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder are:

  • Fear of going places that you will be judged

  • Constantly worrying that you will embarrass yourself

  • Fear of speaking with strangers

  • Nervous that others will notice that you are anxious

  • Fear that you will blush, sweat, or stubble on your words in public

  • Avoid people and situations in fear that you will be embarrassing

  • Avoid being the center of attention

  • Thinking about an activity in advance and being anxious about it

  • Analyzing yourself and how you acted in social situations afterward

  • Always thinking the worst after a social interaction

Most therapists are well equipped to deal with those who suffer from social anxiety. Every person is different and the triggers that bring on the stress and anxiety will vary from person to person. Seeing a therapist helps you to recognize these triggers while finding ways to desensitize yourself to them in the future. This will allow you to better deal with and manage your anxiety on a daily basis.


Trust Issues Affordable Counseling Center Tampa, Fl & Brandon, Fl

Trust is the act of placing confidence in someone or something else. It is a fundamental human experience. Trust is necessary for society to function. It can play a large role in happiness. Without it, fear rules. Trust is not an either/or proposition, but a matter of degree. Some life experiences can impact a person’s ability to trust others.


Everyone has uncertainty about whom to trust and how much. It is not always clear when trust is appropriate. People make choices about whom and how much to trust every day. We are more willing to trust at some times than others. That is a good thing. A total lack of mistrust would be a serious problem. But judgments about when and whom to trust help keep us safe and alive.

Signs a person may be excessively mistrustful include:

  • Lack of intimacy or friendships
  • Mistrust that interferes with a relationship
  • Dramatic and stormy relationships
  • Suspicion or anxiety about friends and family 
  • Terror during physical intimacy
  • Belief that others are deceptive or malevolent without evidence

Sometimes mistrust plays a dominant role in a person’s life. Past disappointment or betrayal may be at the root of the issue. Mistrust is a valid response to feeling betrayed or abandoned. But pervasive feelings of mistrust can negatively impact a person’s life. This can result in anxiety, anger, or self-doubt. Fortunately, people can relearn trust. Working with a therapist can aid this process.

Self-Esteem Affordable Counseling Center Tampa, FL & Brandon, FL

Self-esteem is the degree to which one feels confident, valuable, and worthy of respect. It exists on a continuum from high to low. Where a person’s self-esteem falls on this spectrum can influence one’s overall well-being.

People with high self-esteem often feel good about themselves and their progress through life. People with low self-esteem often feel shame and self-doubt. They often spend lots of time criticizing themselves. Low self-esteem is a symptom of several mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression.

Low self-esteem is not represented as its own diagnosis in the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V). Yet its symptoms and effects are very real. People who wish to improve their self-esteem can get help from a therapist.

Internally, poor self-regard often manifests as self-criticism. Common examples of negative self-talk include:

  • There’s nothing I truly like about myself.
  • I’ll never do well enough at school or work to succeed.
  • I’m not worthy of seeking things that interest me.
  • Other people are more deserving of happiness.
  • No one wants to hear about my life or the issues I’m facing.
  • It’s all my fault I can’t seem to find people who are good to me. Good people wouldn’t want to be with me, anyway.

Over time, negative thoughts can become so frequent the person sees them as fact. When left on a loop, this thought process can be very damaging.

Irritability Affordable Counseling Center Tampa, Fl & Brandon, Fl 

Irritability, an agitation that may result from provocation, illness, or seemingly no reason at all, may be simply an expression of normal annoyance, but it may also indicate a mental health or medical condition. When experiencing consistent irritability that causes  stress and interferes with the ability to sleep, work, eat, or maintain good relationships with others, or irritation that may be inappropriate for or out of proportion to a particular situation, it may be helpful to speak to a therapist at Star Point Counseling center in Tampa, Fl & Brandon, Fl.

In itself, irritability is not a mental health condition. Most people feel irritable from time to time, and some people may become frustrated more easily than others as a result of irritability. Even if there appears to be no source behind the irritability, there generally is a cause, such as dissatisfaction with one’s life or relationship difficulties. Irritability can also be a symptom of withdrawal from drugs or alcohol.

Self-awareness can be an important tactic to combat irritability. Some people become irritable after hours or days of stress and anxiety. But maintaining awareness of emotions can help stop irritability before it becomes overwhelming or unavoidable. Contemplating feelings, talking about them, and gaining control over them can help reduce the frequency of irritability.

Therapy for irritability focuses on discovering the underlying cause, which may be an outside factor or a mental health condition, addressing the issue, and establishing coping skills.

Anxiety Affordable Counseling Center Tampa, Fl & Brandon, Fl

Anxiety can be defined as the response of an individual to a threat, real or imagined. It is a process, to some extent, that is present in all living things. Anxiety isn’t always bad, it can assist us to cope with tense situations, and can motivate us to work harder or stay focused when working towards a goal. However, chronic anxiety that is excessive, irrational and debilitating can interfere with our overall quality of life. Chronic anxiety is fueled by the fear of what might be. When anxiety interferes with our ability to function in daily life, work, school, and in our relationships, it becomes chronic. While some amount of anxiety is part of being alive, if worries and fears are preventing you from living your life, it would be helpful to seek out a mental health professional that specializes in anxiety disorders.

Even though each individual suffering from chronic anxiety may have unique symptoms, there is a common thought process involved: irrational fear and dread. Some other common anxiety symptoms are listed below.

  • Feelings of panic, fear, and nervousness
  • Uncontrollable, obsessive thinking
  • Repeated thoughts or “flashbacks” of traumatic events
  • Irrational ritualistic behaviors
  • Excessive sweating or numbness in the hands or feet
  • Shortness of breath, hyperventilation
  • Chest pain or Heart Palpitations
  • An inability to be still and calm
  • Dry mouth, Nausea, Dizziness
  • Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Having difficulty concentrating; mind going blank
  • Being irritable
  • Having muscle tension
  • Difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Having sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, restlessness, or unsatisfying sleep

Stress Affordable Counseling Center Tampa, Fl & Brandon, Fl

It’s Monday morning. You overslept, your kids were late for school, and your boss gave you a hard time because you came in 30 minutes after your shift began. At lunchtime, you head to a nearby deli, and it’s incredibly busy. After waiting in line for 15 minutes and placing your order, you realize that you left your wallet at the office. You head back to work hungry, sit down at your desk, your mind starts racing a million miles a second, and you can’t think clearly. 

The chaotic start to your week has made you incredibly stressed, and the anxiety is palpable. At this point, you’re simply not able to produce at your full potential. You try to clear your mind, but you’re struggling to calm yourself down — which exacerbates the issue. 

At some point or another, we’ve all found ourselves in these kinds of stressful situations. If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t given much thought to stress other than the fact that it’s an inevitable part of life. What you might not know is that stress has a profound impact on the body, and those who underestimate or ignore stress do so at their own risk. 


Believe it or not, stress has an impact on every system in the body:  

  • Cardiovascular system — The heartbeat accelerates and adrenaline, cortisol, and noradrenaline course through the body; over time, chronic stress can lead to heart attacks, hypertension, and strokes. 
  • Nervous system — Stress causes the nervous system to speed up heartbeats, make people breathe faster, and increase glucose levels in the body for more energy. 
  • Endocrine system — Through the pituitary gland, the hypothalamus tells the adrenal glands to produce more cortisol; over a long enough timeline, repeated stress affects the body, which can lead to chronic fatigue, depression, and immune disorders as communication between the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal gland deteriorates. 
  • Musculoskeletal system — Muscles tense up as your fight or flight response is triggered, which can lead to headaches and migraines.
  • Respiratory system — Breathing intensifies, which can cause shortness of breath or impact preexisting conditions, like asthma and COPD. 
  • Gastrointestinal system — Brain-gut communication is impacted, which can lead to vomiting, bowel discomfort, and unhealthy diets; stressed individuals might smoke and drink to take the edge off. 
  • Reproductive system — Sexual desires diminish; men can have a harder time producing sperm; women’s menstrual cycles can get disrupted and they may have a harder time trying to conceive.

Depression in Teens Affordable Counseling Center Tampa, FL & Brandon FL

 It can be confusing if your teenager seems completely fine some days, but other days they act like it’s the end of the world. They’re teens, right? They may have had a breakdown recently that seemed totally out of character and now you’re really concerned. The younger your teenager is, the more they may be able to compartmentalize their life. They might be able to have a blast with their friends, and then later that night seem down and upset. This is a strength of a lot of teenagers. They are able to turn off different parts of their life in order to cope, but this can also make it harder for you as a parent to spot teen depression.  

Silent depression is when someone appears to be functioning in their day to day life, but still experiences the internal symptoms of depression. Your teen may still be going to school daily, but they may feel overly tired or unmotivated. Their teachers might even say they seem “distracted”. Or they may be spending time with friends, but still feel disconnected from others. They may isolate themselves in their room when at home and not tell anyone how they are currently feeling.  

 Some other symptoms of depression can include a lack of appetite and difficulty sleeping, but these can be easy to hide. Your teen might be skipping meals at school but eating at home. They may be turning their lights off at night, but not getting restful sleep. These can be hard to recognize unless you are asking and specifically looking for signs.

Parenting Affordable Counseling Center Tampa, FL & Brandon, FL

Parenting can be satisfying and fulfilling. But it can also be difficult and time-consuming. Parents must tend to an infant or child’s daily needs. They are also responsible for helping each of their children develop life skills. These skills include daily living skills, social skills, and appropriate behaviors. Parents with more than one child must account for the personalities of each, as well.

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development states parents are generally responsible for:

  • Keeping children safe
  • Listening to children and spending time with them
  • Providing affection, order, and consistency
  • Setting and enforcing limits for children
  • Monitoring friendships children make
  • Seeking help for any medical or behavioral concerns

New parents, overwhelmed parents, and parents facing mental health conditions may benefit from the support of a mental health professional. A therapist or counselor can help parents through  difficult situations or behavioral concerns.

Blended Family Affordable Counseling Center Tampa, Fl & Brandon, Fl 

Blended families, or stepfamilies, are now common in the United States.

Bringing two parents and their children together can be challenging. Children may be used to different parenting styles and family routines. Visitation or conflict between separating parents can cause stress. Conflict between stepparents and parents that live outside the new family can also increase stress. Another point of potential conflict is any new stepsiblings. It can take time for children to adapt to the new family structure. It may help to speak with a therapist about the transition before it begins.

Stress in a new family situation is normal. The transition may appear to have gone well. Even then, there is often some stress. The term “blended family” might imply a smooth transition. But the early years of a blended family are likely to be difficult.

It can take time for both families to get used to living together. This can be due to many factors, including:

  • Different parenting and discipline styles
  • Development of new relationships
  • Strong or conflicting emotions 

These challenges can occur even if everyone got along before living in the same space. 

People who seek help for blended family issues are often able to regain a sense of trust in others. This may improve their relationships and overall sense of well-being.

Shame Affordable Counseling Center Tampa, Fl & Brandon, Fl 

The experience of shame—a feeling of being unworthy, bad, or wrong—can be extremely uncomfortable. Shame has the potential to change the way we see ourselves and may lead to long-lasting social, professional, and sexual difficulties.

The word “shame” means different things to different people, though shame is different from guilt and embarrassment. Guilt is usually understood to involve negative feelings about an act one has committed, while embarrassment deals with a societal reaction. Shame, on the other hand, involves negative feelings about oneself, and although a person can be shamed by peers or society in general, shame can also be experienced secretly.

Unresolved shame can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety and low self esteem.

Living with shame, regardless of the shame’s source, can be a lonely and demoralizing experience. Therapy at Affordable Counseling Center Tampa, Fl & Brandon, Fl can help by addressing the underlying cause. When shame is due to a past misdeed, the right therapist can support a person to make amends or move on.

Those that struggle with feelings of shame will benefit from therapy at Affordable Counseling Center in Tampa, Fl & Brandon, Fl.

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