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Category Archives: Star Point Counseling Center

Depression Differs from Sadness or Grief/Bereavement

The death of a loved one, loss of a job or the ending of a relationship are difficult experiences for a person to endure. It is normal for feelings of sadness or grief to develop in response to such situations. Those experiencing loss often might describe themselves as being “depressed.”

But being sad is not the same as having depression. The grieving process is natural and unique to each individual and shares some of the same features of depression. Both grief and depression may involve intense sadness and withdrawal from usual activities. They are also different in important ways:

  • In grief, painful feelings come in waves, often intermixed with positive memories of the deceased. In major depression, mood and/or interest (pleasure) are decreased for most of two weeks.
  • In grief, self-esteem is usually maintained. In major depression, feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing are common.
  • For some people, the death of a loved one can bring on major depression. Losing a job or being a victim of a physical assault or a major disaster can lead to depression for some people. When grief and depression co-exist, the grief is more severe and lasts longer than grief without depression. Despite some overlap between grief and depression, they are different. Distinguishing between them can help people get the help, support or treatment they need.

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Lying in a Relationship

As we get older there are certain things we shouldn’t tolerate in a relationship. Our lives are complicated enough; filled with careers, family, friends, our plates are full to overflowing. Add a new relationship to the mix and you have one more issue with which you have to deal. If the relationship is a good, solid one and you can get through the minor problems that seem to affect all partnerships, that make life easier.

But what happens when you find out that this new partner has lied to you? Should you stay with someone who has been less than truthful? It all depends on you as a person. How much are you willing to put up with and how much time are you willing to spend with a liar?

The key ingredient in any relationship is trust, especially as we grow older. Coupled with respect and love, trust gives you a strong basis as a couple. While trust is a bond, it is also a tenuous one, easily broken, if one of the partners constantly lies.

When we talk about lying, we’re not including innocent white lies as in, “Did you close the outside lights?” We’re talking about untruths that affect a relationship to the point where trust becomes simply a meaningless word. It no longer is an active part of being a couple. That breaks the strong bond of partnership.

Lies about fidelity and money are the two most common ones that affect couples. They make it almost impossible to have real trust ever again in a relationship. If your partner has cheated or if you feel that he or she will cheat again you have a trust issue. In addition to lying to you, he or she is making you constantly wait for “the other shoe to drop.” You know the cheating is bound to occur again; you just don’t know when and the suspense is literally killing you. Staying together is not an option for you. Life is too stressful.

“They lied about cheating before and I just know he’ll do it again. I absolutely cannot trust them. Once I caught them in a lie that changed everything. I can’t take them back no matter how charming he seems to be right now.”

Lies about finances are also trust breakers. A fifty-something woman confided to me about what her new husband had done that constituted a complete marital trust breaker. In the glow and trust of a new marriage she had put his name on her checking account. There was over $200,000 in it, not a cent contributed by him. A week after coming home from her honeymoon she had gone to cash a check for two hundred dollars only to be told there were insufficient funds in her account. The account showed a balance of $150. Her new husband it seemed had used her money to pay off his heavy debts he had accumulated with his first wife, debts this wife knew nothing about! He had told her that he was debt-free when they were dating.

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HOW TO LIVE WITH A NARCISSIST

Turns out, its not as easy as I thought. Also, once you stop dancing to the narcissists manipulations, they don’t necessarily give up, they just start whining about how you don’t love them anymore, and aren’t trying to make your relationship work. In addition, once you stop freaking out when the narcissist threatens to leave you, they start trying to make YOU leave, i.e. kick you out. I quote, “you just need to leave for a couple days and then you’ll realize that I love you”. Really?! Ugh, I don’t think so. He really thinks that once I am without him I will shrivel up into a ball of neediness and come begging him to take me back.

Living with a narcissist will always be a roller coaster of emotions because they will push and pull you in many directions emotionally.  Narcissists will seek out co dependent partners because they know they can keep a co dependent in their web of control and emotional withdrawal.

Whenever we have a narcissist as a client they tell us everything we are doing wrong. They do not want to talk about the issues they are having and the reason they made an appointment to see us. When we have a couple for couples counseling and one of them is a narcissist they want to blame the other person for everything wrong in the relationship. A narcissist will never take responsibility for their action. Instead, they will project their behavior onto their partner, as if their partner actually did this to them.

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FAMILY CONFLICT

Family conflict often occurs when members of the family are stressed out or anxious.
Family counseling can help relieve families of conflict through conflict resolution.

Bringing the family in to counseling provides a save and neutral setting to explore thoughts, feelings and experiences that shape the complex family dynamic. Lasting change and improvement in a family takes time but the process can begin when every individual in the entire family has a voice. Allowing each member a voice brings understanding that provides insight that can impact future choices and bring positive transformation. affordablecounseling.com starpointcounselingtampa.com starpointcounselingbrandon.com

 

 

Stress Counseling & Anxiety Counseling

Everyone experiences stress and anxiety at one time or another. The difference between them is that stress is a response to a threat in a situation. Anxiety is a reaction to the stress. Star Point Counseling Center does stress counseling and anxiety counseling. Sometimes clients are experiencing both stress and anxiety.

Whether in good times or bad, most people say that stress interferes at least moderately with their lives. Chronic stress can affect your health, causing symptoms from headaches, high blood pressure, and chest pain to heart palpitations, skin rashes, and loss of sleep.

But you can learn how to reduce the impact of stress and manage your symptoms.

Physical activity is a proven way to reduce stress. Regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, and improve sleep and self-esteem. Other effective methods include mind, body practices of breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation.

I play ice hockey a few times a week for fun and exercise, but it also helps with stress and anxiety. I also work out a few times a week so I can play hockey without injuring myself.  Physical exercise should be something you enjoy doing, so think of a sport you enjoy and go do it. Always consult with a physician before trying a new type of exercise.

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COUNSELING FOR ANXIETY:

The word Anxiety is used widely and covers a broad range of experience. People can feel anxious about all sorts of things: anxious to get to your vacation spot, anxious to meet someone new. Anxiety that is a mood disorder is an experience that makes it difficult to go about life with a sense of confidence and ease. Common signs of an anxiety disorder include:

  1. Difficulty engaging in daily activities that others seem to do so easily
  2. A significantly uncomfortable physical experience when approaching certain places, people or situations: racing heart, numbness or tingling in your fingers, suddenly sweating or feeling cold, difficulty breathing, fuzzy thinking, restlessness
  3. A strong desire to avoid the situations or people that trigger that discomfort
  4. A predominant feeling of worry about something specific or about a broad range of things that make it difficult for the person to function: can’t turn off the worry and go to sleep; inability to perform uncomfortable work tasks and therefore, unable to get promotions at work; never throws anything away for fear it might be useful some day
  5. Fears are out of proportion to the perceived threat

WHEN TO SEEK COUNSELING

While anxiety and worry are common experiences they warrant treatment when:

  1. Your world begins to get smaller and smaller: you stop or significantly limit your driving; the variety of places you are willing to go to are decreasing or you want to be home all the time
  2. You are having limited experiences in life and are feeling like you’re missing out
  3. Important people in your life are expressing worry about your number or degree of fear(s)
  4. You are becoming increasingly reliant on medication, other substances or people to feel comfortable or in control

The number of fears, the degrees to which one feels them, the degree of avoidance, and the level of disruption in one’s life are each unique to every individual. Some people find they can cope with their life with anxiety and others find it so debilitating or exhausting to manage they seek therapy. Affordable Counseling Center has offices in Tampa and Brandon and schedule your appointments around your busy schedule. (813) 244-1251 We are also online at: www.affordablecounselingbrandon.com

Also See: www.starpointcounselingbrandon.com &  www.starpointcounselingtampa.com

The Stigma of Depression

When it comes to obtaining treatment for medical ailments as benign as the common cold, people don’t think twice about running to the doctor, or the acupuncturist, and spending the money on treatments to feel better. So, why do so many who suffer from depression continue to hesitate, despite all of the treatment options available?

Depression continues to be one of the most stigmatized mental health issues out there. This is ironic, given that by the year 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, depression is estimated to be the second most common health problem in the world. The externalized stigma toward those with mental health issues that exists in society, there comes internalized stigma, or self-shame. This makes the experience of mental health issues all the more devastating. Many times, it is the internalized shame that stops people from acknowledging psychological problems and receiving treatment, since many see it as akin to admitting that they are weak or damaged in some way.

What can you do? If you suffer from depression, tell somebody. Ask for help. Change the stigma, call or text Affordable Counseling Center, Brandon at (813) 244-1521. We are also on the web at:

http://www.affordablecounselingbrandon.com

http://www.starpointcounselingtampa.com

http://www.starpointcounselingbrandon.com

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