Marie Miguel

@mariemiguel | contributor
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade; covering a variety of health related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.
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Are You Missing Out On the Benefits of Counseling?

With online mental health counseling becoming more popular every day, chances are you know someone who is seeking counseling or already seeing a counselor regularly. So what is driving this new mental health trend? In this article we discuss why mental health counseling is becoming more popular and more people are seeking counseling sessions with mental health professionals to get their lives back on track. Counselors Are a Neutral Party One of the best things about taking part in mental health counseling sessions is that these sessions are private, confidential, and the licensed therapists and counselors that provide them are (unbiased) neutral parties. What this means is that they have no stake in your situation or outcome so they can provide you with unbiased advice from a professional perspective that will help you make better decisions on the road to improving the quality of your life. Affordable Counselors for Every Situation There are specialized counselors that represent just about every segment of the population. There are counseling services that specialize in treating men, women, children, faith-based counseling, LGBTQ counseling, and more. Regardless of your lifestyle, there is bound to be a counselor who specializes in counseling people with your specific circumstances. Counselors Aren’t In It for the Money One reason counselors and doctors get such a bad rap is that many believe that a counselor is only doing it for the money and nothing more. Many counselors who practice have gotten into the mental health profession because of a genuine desire to help. Mental health professionals often go above and beyond to learn and implement mental health modalities to help their clients improve the quality of their lives with a combination of therapy, behavior modification techniques, and medication management. Mental health counselors are unbiased parties that help clients see where they need to make critical improvements by changing or eliminating negative behaviors that are creating issues in their lives. Counselors help clients achieve their personal goals by identifying problem areas in their lives and developing realistic treatment plans for clients to follow based on their individual circumstances. Counseling Helps You Achieve Your Goals When you attend regular sessions with a licensed counselor or therapist, you will work together to achieve the goals outlined in your treatment plan. Following your treatment plan step-by-step is likely to get you on the path to success in achieving your goals. Your treatment plan acts as a blueprint for your life and a reminder that helps you to change behaviors using techniques like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to recognize, eliminate, and replace negative behaviors with those that will probably lead to a more positive outcome. Customized Counseling Sessions at Any Age What makes counselors unique is that there are mental health counselors available for every age group. There are counselors who know how to speak to struggling children and help them succeed and give them the strength they need to carry on. There are counselors who speak with teenagers who may deal with many negative issues such as depression, anxiety, and various other problems. Counselors can speak to uncertain young adults, adults who don’t know where they’re going in life, middle-aged adults having a crisis, and senior citizens. Everyone has their own unique needs, and a counselor can make sure that your needs are going as swimmingly as so you can live a full, unique life filled with wonder. Get (Affordable) Counseling Online 24-Hours a Day Because of the increase in popularity of telehealth, it’s easy for clients to find affordable counseling online. Online counseling is a great tool that eliminates the need for scheduling costly in-office therapy appointments. Attending counseling online allows clients to speak with a licensed professional counselor on their own terms, regardless of your location. Everyone’s schedule is different, and in this world, it’s hard to find a counselor who works on your own terms. However, online counseling may be the tool that you need. You can text a counselor, call them, or speak to them through video chat. This can allow you to have a much better chat with them wherever you go, which is always a plus. Also, online counseling allows you to speak with a counselor immediately whenever you’re experiencing a crisis. Talking to a person may help you when you’re dealing with a situation that needs care ASAP. Online counseling services are non-emergency services only. If your issue is an emergency, visit your nearest emergency room or make an emergency call to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to get 24-hour support. Why People Fear Counseling A counselor has so many benefits, and yet many people fear them or dislike them. There are a few reasons that may be the case. People think a counselor will make you change your life. However, a counselor forces nothing on you. Instead, they will give you recommendations and then you can decide what you can do with them. Making the changes permanent —  is up to you. People feel like only rich people with no problems talk to a counselor. However, there are affordable counselors available to meet any budget. Sometimes you may attend counseling sessions online using behavioral health insurance benefits or even for free. Some people may feel that seeing a counselor will take up too much of their time. However, a counselor usually has a set amount of sessions before you’re treated. You will probably go to the counselor less and less. With online counseling, you can now see mental health professionals from the privacy of your own home, office, or other secure location on your own time. Finally, people, especially in America, fear medical professionals. However, licensed mental health professionals have studied the mind and human behavior for many years. Counselors can help you develop critical life skills and cope with life’s challenges. Counseling can be an amazing and life-changing experience. If you’re struggling with mental health challenges that you haven’t been able to resolve on your own, it’s important that you seek help and speak with a licensed professional counselor to help get your life back on track.

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What Is Ambition?

Uncover Your True Ambition Have you ever felt a strong desire to build or create a new concept, product, process, or business (and actually taken steps towards doing it?) This is an example of ambition in action. Ambition is an intrinsic drive that causes us to want to achieve higher levels of success than we have previously. In this article, we discuss ambition and provide you with a few key ways to develop your own ambition. How to Recognize Ambition People who are considered ambitious appear to have an inherent drive to achieve their goals, regardless of the cost. Ambitious people are the goal-setters and go-getters in life that create their own goals and work tirelessly to achieve them. We can sum ambition up in a nutshell by stating that ambitious people excel at combining goal setting with decisive action. The result of this powerful combination of goals and action is often academic, business, or relationship success. How to Be More Ambitious in Six Easy Steps Many people have the “desire” to achieve their goals and aspirations. However, goals and desire without action will not get you very far. Following are a few easy ways to cultivate ambition in yourself and achieve more of your goals. 1. Get Your Goals on Paper You probably have a few goals swimming in your head. They may pop up in your thoughts from time to time, just like fish popping out of the water. Then, they retreat into the depths of your subconscious. Get your goals out of your mind and onto paper. Write them down and then categorize them from the biggest to the smallest goals. Taking baby steps is always a good move. Start with a smaller goal and write a plan on how you can make it there. The plan doesn’t have to be perfect; perfectionism stymies ambition. You can adjust the plan as you see fit later on. 2. Learn to Embrace Failure Many people fear ambition because they fear failure. Despite all the stories you read about the famous folk who had to try multiple times before they achieved their goal, you still don’t like failure. Failure is always a teachable moment. Even if you didn’t get the result you desire, you got “a” result. Learn from it. Ask yourself the important questions like what went wrong? What can you do better next time? Asking these important questions and making the necessary adjustments will lend to a greater likelihood of success the next time. Yes. There will be a next time. Ambitious people have failed, many more times than they have succeeded. They see failure as a part of the process and look at failures as a component of the trial-and-error process that it takes to succeed. For example, let’s start with a simpler ambition; getting in shape. Many people think they’ve failed after having a night out in the buffet or missing a workout day. But they should look at it as a little trip on an otherwise winnable race. Figure out why you missed that workout day, learn to understand what motivates and drives you. Did you have a long day at work? Is it possible to work out before work? If you went to a buffet, is there any way to eat healthy there? 3. Make Time Not having a lot of time doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t achieve your goals. Ambitious people make time. You may have a job, kids to take care of, chores to do around the house, and so on and so forth. The last thing you probably want to do is to sacrifice sleep or not unwind at all. You need some time to unwind and sleep. However, there are ways to work on your ambitions, even when you think you don’t have time. Let’s look at a few ways to prioritize your schedule and make time for achieving your goals. Look at your schedule and really scrutinize it. Some people think they don’t have the time, but when they look at their schedule, they may notice spots where they can work on their goals and still have a normal day. It doesn’t have to be a long period. A few minutes a day can make a difference. You can work on your ambitions even with only a few minutes to spare. You can do a few crunches in your house. You can write a few pages in your novel. It doesn’t have to be huge steps, but baby steps. ( “If you write one page a day, in 365 days… you’ll have a book.) Devote some time on your off days for your ambitions. Carve out 10 to 15 minutes a day and dedicate that time to your goals. Consider cutting out an activity to work on your ambitions. You watch two episodes of a show every night to unwind? Why not watch one? That extra 30 minutes or hour can make the difference. 4. Take Small Breaks Some people stop pursuing their goals because of burnout or depression. However, it’s OK to take a break and let your mind recover. The key to taking breaks is to assign yourself a time limit and to stick with the timeframe you designated. Go back to working on your goals on time when it’s time to get back to work. Taking extended breaks beyond your designated time frame can lead to a slippery slope and eventually forgetting about the pursuit of your goals. 5. Incorporate Self-Care Sometimes, you may need to work on yourself before you work on your ambitions. You may have low self-esteem, low confidence, and low energy. You may fear taking risks. Being able to work on these aspects of your life can help you achieve the right level of ambition. Self-care is an important part of becoming more ambitious. When you feel better, you can put your best foot forward. Having a well-rested mind and body can help increase your confidence and the likelihood of achieving success. Getting a little exercise and mastering a power nap can give you energy and help improve confidence in the day-to-day tasks that are required on your road to ambitious success. Practicing mindfulness, meditation, and removing toxic people from your circle are also good steps to take in removing obstacles to your success. Engaging in mindful thinking and removing toxic people from your life can help restore the clarity and energy that you need to make it to the finish line. 6. Talk to a Counselor If you’re still having trouble being more ambitious after applying some strategies listed here, it’s time to get professional help. Talk to a licensed counselor or a therapist in person or online to get professional insight on what may curb your ambition. Licensed professional counselors and social workers are skilled at helping people become unstuck in the pursuit of their career and personal passions. Chances are, you’re not approaching your ambitions in a way that benefits you. A counselor can help you develop and write a plan that will put you on track to help you make better decisions in the pursuit of your ambitions.

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Myths and Facts About Bipolar Disorder

According to the National Institute of Mental Health , bipolar disorder (BPD) is “a manic-depressive illness that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, and activities that make it difficult to carry out day-to-day-tasks.” Bipolar disorder affects millions of people worldwide, yet few people fully understand how it works or what the real symptoms of bipolar disorder are. In this article, we clear up common misconceptions about bipolar disorder by examining common myths and facts surrounding this multi-factored mental illness. Let’s get started by examining our first myth. Myth – Bipolar Disorder Is a New Phenomenon Some people like to believe that our mental disorders are a product of modern society. However, bipolar disorder has been observed throughout history. In the past, people called bipolar disorder extreme depression, “melancholy,” or eccentricity. Popular guitarist Jimi Hendrix wrote a song about the phenomenon called “Manic Depression,” which is an old term for bipolar disorder. Fact – There Are Many Types of Bipolar Disorder You may think there is only one type of bipolar disorder. However, there are four common types of bipolar disorder recognized by the mental health community. Every person experiences bipolar disorder in their own way. The following are four categories that help distinguish between bipolar types. 4 Categories of Bipolar Disorder Bipolar I. Present when someone exhibits both manic and depressive episodes within a 24-hour time frame. Someone with bipolar may feel delusional and even hallucinate while vacillating between high and low states of emotion. Bipolar II. Occurs when someone has more depressive episodes than manic episodes within a specified time period. Bipolar II introduced features of hypomania. Hypomania is a manic episode that isn’t as intense. Cyclothymic Disorder. Also known as cyclothymia. This disorder is present when a person exhibits rotational periods of depressive and hypomanic symptoms. Symptoms in this category are mild and aren’t severe enough to qualify as being manic. Unspecified Bipolar Disorder. Finally, an unspecified bipolar disorder doesn’t follow any of the patterns of the previous categories listed above. Many bipolar patients suffer from this unspecified version of the disorder that doesn’t follow the patterns of the mild or severe versions of the disorder. Myth – Women Outnumber Men in Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis The myth that women outnumber men in a bipolar diagnosis isn’t true. Men can experience bipolar disorder just as often as women. While there are some differences in the way men and women experience bipolar symptoms, this doesn’t change the fact that both sexes are equally affected. According to bipolar research by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, women experience more depressive episodes while men exhibit more manic episodes. What this means is that women are more likely to develop bipolar II disorders than men. Both sexes are equally affected by bipolar disorder. Fact – Two Million Americans Have Bipolar Disorder Mentalillnesspolicy.org reports that approximately 2.3 million Americans are suffering from bipolar disorder. We take this number as an estimate as we factor in the potentially high number of undiagnosed cases and complex cases not included in this number. This means that in reality, this number can be substantially higher. Myth – If You Have Mood Swings, You’re Likely to Have Bipolar Disorder Everyone has mood swings, but not mood swings related to bipolar disorder.  Bipolar disorder’s mood swings are severe and extreme. Mood swings that occur at different levels of severity are likely related to another mental health concern. If you think you have bipolar disorder because sometimes you’re happy and sometimes you’re sad, this is most likely not the case. Fact – Bipolar Disorder isn’t “Good or Bad” We often consider bipolar disorder as being good or bad. You may think mania means being happy and filled with energy, with depression being the opposite. However, mania can be a horrible experience. Someone who is manic may ruin their finances by shopping too much, become filled with anxiety, have a hard time keeping their thoughts together, and finding it hard to keep in touch with reality. There are some manic episodes that may make you feel good, but this isn’t true all the time. Myth – Bipolar People Have Two Extreme Moods You may think of someone with bipolar disorder as either being manic or depressive, with no room for a mood that is a little in between. We understand this misconception, but it’s not the case. People with bipolar disorder can have balanced moods and periods with no bipolar mood swings. We know this as euthymia. Sometimes, a bipolar person may even have a bit of both mania and depression. Fact – Eating Well and Exercising Is Good for Bipolar Disorder While it won’t cure bipolar disorder, eating right and exercising regularly is good for your bipolar disorder. Sleeping regularly is good. While these won’t end your bipolar disorder, you may experience fewer episodes and less powerful mood swings, depending on who you are. Myth – Bipolar People Are Creative We romanticize mental illness in the creative world. Many people believe that a person who has bipolar disorder or a similar disorder is naturally more creative, and you may wonder if that person loses their creativity should they seek treatment. However, many people who are bipolar find it hard to be creative. Depressive episodes mean that they aren’t motivated, and with mania, it’s hard to focus and collect your thoughts. If you’re a creative minded person, receiving treatment may help with your work. Fact – There Is More Than One Type of Bipolar Medication Many people with bipolar disorder take meds for their condition, but you may think there is only one med that works. This is not true. There are actually quite a few meds that can stabilize your mood and prevent episodes. If you have bipolar disorder, it’s a bit of a trial-and-error process. Everyone responds differently. Someone with bipolar disorder may respond well to one med, while another person may not. If you have bipolar disorder, it is important to not give up if one medication does not work. Myth – Seeking Therapy is Useless The myth that seeking therapy is useless is just that. If you have bipolar disorder, a therapist can help you with questions, concerns, and treatment options. Using cognitive behavioral therapy, combined with other methods of treatment such as medications, can reduce your episodes and allow you to live a productive life. Bipolar disorder isn’t easy to live with. However with a combination of mental health support and bipolar medications, living with bipolar is manageable. Follow the treatment plan established by your mental health provider and take all medications as prescribed to make living with bipolar disorder easier.

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The Many Faces of Domestic Violence

When most people think of domestic violence , they are immediately flooded with images of one spouse hitting another. However, domestic violence goes deeper than just physical violence. In this article, we provide insight into other behaviors that fall into the category of domestic violence to facilitate awareness and understanding on this intimate topic. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline , domestic violence is “a pattern of behaviors used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.” Let’s look at some patterns of domestic violence behaviors that go beyond the physical. Emotional Abuse Many people aren’t aware that the emotional abuse that occurs in a domestic violence situation can have a long lasting effect and, in some cases, take a greater emotional toll on domestic violence victims than physical abuse. Emotional abuse is present in domestic violence relationships when one partner deliberately attacks the emotions of another with an intent to undermine their overall well-being. Common forms of emotional abuse are name calling, shaming, and withholding affection. Name calling can cause a person to feel worthless, as over time they may internalize the words being hurled at them as weapons. Shaming works to make the victim feel ashamed of themselves whether this is in the form of their physical appearance, the way they think or other characteristics that are an indistinguishable part of their personality. Withholding affection is a common tactic of domestic violence abusers used to make their victims feel small, isolated, and alone. Ironically, the result of emotional withdrawal is usually the victim trying harder to get the attention and affection of their abuse to ease the feelings of isolation and loneliness. Getting into an argument or getting mad and saying something you regret usually isn’t considered emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is the constant humiliation, insulting, or unneeded criticism of someone. Gaslighting is a common form of emotional abuse that domestic violence perpetrators use to keep their victims off-balance, confused, and questioning the validity of their reality. Sexual Abuse When people think of sexual violence, they often imagine a rape where the perpetrator is a stranger. However, sexual abuse and assault can (and often does) happen between intimate, dating, and married partners. Consenting to dating, marriage, and relationships are not consenting to sex at someone else’s whim 100% of the time. Sexual harassment and sexual violence are domestic violence present in some married and dating relationships. Being forced by your partner to have sex (without your consent) is sexual abuse. For example, your partner making unwanted sexual advancements or comments toward you (when you have asked them to stop), is sexual harassment. Both you and your partner have the right to choose when and where you have sex. The timing of your sexual engagements should be a mutual decision between couples. Financial Abuse Financial abuse occurs in intimate relationships when one partner is preventing the other from having access to and managing their own finances. Financial abuse has occurred when one spouse prevents the other from having a job or furthering their education to increase their financial prospects. The financially abused partner has no access to individual or joint resources and has to become dependent on their partner for meeting basic everyday needs and expenses. When financial abuse is present in relationships where both partners are employed, they require the abused partner to turn over all of their earnings to the partner who is considered as being “in charge.” This is normally stated to the abused partner as “being for their own good.” As a result, the financially abused partner feels controlled as they have no say so over their own lives. Controlling Behavior Finally, a subtle form of abuse that many domestic violence victims aren’t aware of is controlling behavior. Controlling behavior happens when one partner tries to control the movements of the other partner (100% of the time). The following are examples of four controlling behaviors that are often present in domestic violence relationships. Four examples of controlling behavior in intimate relationships: Your partner tracks the gas mileage on your vehicle – every time you leave the house. Monitoring your personal phone calls and social media accounts, or demanding your cell phone passwords. Your partner doesn’t allow you to have any alone time, even when you ask directly. Your partner feels it’s their responsibility to hand-pick your friends and associates as you find your social circle getting smaller. If someone ever told you they can’t do something because of their partner, then that’s often a sign that this person is being controlled by their partner. If you see someone who isn’t allowed to have friends of the opposite sex or they can’t go out by themselves, there is a high likelihood that this person is being controlled. Left unchecked, controlling behaviors often escalate into other damaging behaviors, including physical violence. Controlling behavior is an overt form of domestic violence that can have lasting results and affect the quality of your relationships for the rest of your life. The Cycle of Domestic Violence Operates in Three Phases What makes domestic violence so prevalent is that many people aren’t aware that domestic violence is a cycle that needs to be broken. We know the repetitive cycle of domestic violence as the cycle of violence. Understanding how the cycle of violence works can help abuse victims and abusers to learn what is driving these violent incidents. Let’s review the cycle of violence phases below. Cycle of Violence: Three Phases According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the Cycle of Domestic Violence plays out in three phases . We outline the three phases below. Phase 1. Tension-Building – During the tension-building phase, tensions in the relationship are building towards a violent incident. There may be instances of name-calling, gaslighting, and threats begin to heighten during this stage. Phase 2. Abusive Incident – The tension breaks and an abusive incident occurs. The incident may be physical, emotional, or verbal in nature. Abuse victims are often afraid and unsure how to react as their world seems upside down in this stage. Phase 3. Honeymoon Phase – The tension has broken and the abusive incident has passed. At this stage, abusers often show remorse for their actions and apologize to the victim. Victims may accept the apology, not knowing that this is a cycle that will begin again or because they have no other options and nowhere else to go. Ending the Cycle of Domestic Violence One of the common questions people ask victims is “Why didn’t you just leave?” Financial dependence forces many domestic violence victims to stay because they have no way to support themselves as their abuser has isolated them (or removed from) close friends and family. Learning how domestic violence happens and gaining access to support services and resources like online therapy is a good place to start along the pathway of ending the cycle. If you are in a domestic violence situation, calling a domestic violence hotline is also a good first step. The National Domestic Violence Hotline may help. Always consider your surroundings and safety when reaching out for domestic violence support. Reach out for help in the most discreet way possible by calling your local authorities or National Domestic Hotline if you are being closely monitored or if you are in immediate danger.

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The Truth About Autism: Autism Facts and Debunked Myths

If you or a loved one has autism, you may want to know more about autism including what causes it, treatments, and support options. In this article, we’ll go over a few myths and truths about autism that make living with this diagnosis easier. Autism is defined as “a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication.” Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a disorder that has evolved over time, and affects many Americans today — including children – with the Centers for Disease Control advising that 1 in 59 children are affected in the U.S. In this article, we highlight a few myths and facts about this equal opportunity diagnosis with the goal of helping autistic people and their families live better lives with this disease. Myth: Autistic People Don’t Feel Empathy The myth that autistic people aren’t able to feel empathy has been prevalent for many years. While autistic people may not exhibit the same social expressions as their non-autistic counterparts, people with ASD do experience empathy. They just aren’t always able to express empathy in a way that neurotypical people can understand. Fact: The Cause of Autism Isn’t Exactly Known Autism, a condition related to brain development, is still a mystery to many people, and thus there are quite a few ideas behind what causes it. Popular research leans towards the idea that genetics do seem to play a part in the development of autism. There is also widespread speculation around the idea that environmental factors contribute to the development of autism. At this time, there is no concrete answer as to what causes autism to develop. Myth: Autistic People Can’t Hold Relationships Autistic people are often seen as loners and who can’t date or hold long-term friendships. This myth isn’t true. Many autistic people have friendships, are in relationships, and are even raising a family. However, there are some challenges that can make maintaining healthy and long-lasting relationships difficult. Autistic people commonly deal with issues like social awkwardness, miscommunication, and unexpected meltdowns. Friends, family members, and romantic partners have to take their loved one’s autistic diagnosis into account when it comes to maintaining intimate relationships. Fact: More People Are Being Diagnosed Because of Accuracy If you look at the autism statistics, they certainly seem to be skyrocketing. There is a good chance that your child may have autism, with a 1 in 59 chance being touted as a statistic by the CDC. Some people believe that there is an environmental cause for this, and blame vaccines, diet, and airborne pollutants as contributing factors for the development of autism. While there may be an unexplained increase in the reported cases of autism, much of the increase has to do with the expanded definition of autism, as well as doctors and mental health professionals using more accurate diagnostic tools and assessments. For example, Asperger’s syndrome is now considered part of the autism spectrum. Adding in these new reported cases along with other similar diagnosis can make the number of autism cases seem extreme. Myth: Autistic People Are Like Rain Man “Rain Man” is a 1988 movie that made many aware of autism. Dustin Hoffman played an autistic savant character, and over 30 years later, many still associate autism with Hoffman’s character. The problem is that this association is outdated — especially when you consider that Kim Peek, the man who Hoffman’s character was based on, may not have even had autism. While the movie is beloved, Hollywood films are not going to give you the best insight into autism. Fact: Women Get Autism, Too Autism is commonly associated with males, and there is a reason. In the past, men did make up the majority of reported autism cases. However, women have reported cases of autism as well. It’s important that autistic women and of all genders get representation, support, and treatment. Myth: Autistic Meltdowns Are Just Temper Tantrums One aspect of autism that has become infamous is the meltdown. When an autistic person has sensory overload, their instincts make them “reboot” their mind by screaming, flailing, swatting, and displaying other similar signs to a what’s commonly referred to as a “temper tantrum.” For a child with autism, many people may think that the kid is spoiled and trying to get what they want. For an adult, an autism meltdown could cause the loss of friendships and relationships. However, while a temper tantrum is a power play, an autistic meltdown is something that is out of the autistic person’s control. While there may be noticeable triggers and signs that an autistic person is pending an over-the-top display of emotion, most of the time, the meltdown is inevitable. Fact: Autistic People May Still Use Asperger’s Syndrome to Describe Their Disorder In 2013, the Asperger’s syndrome diagnosis was dropped out of the DSM, and to many in the autistic community, this was a controversial move. Many people who were diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome still use that to describe their symptoms. In reality, with the updated diagnosis in the DSM-5, Asperger’s syndrome is classified as a component of the autism spectrum. Myth: All Autistic People Are Good at Math and Science If you’re autistic, you may have been told you are good at math and are a human calculator. There are some autistic people who have definitely shown that they are good at math. Famous scientists and computer scientists of our time, like Einstein and Bill Gates, may have had mild forms of autism. However, not every person with autism excels at math and science. Many autistic people don’t like math and may pursue the arts or another profession instead. While there is truth to the correlation between autism and math, it’s important not to lump every autistic person together and claim they all like math, because this simply isn’t true. Fact: There Isn’t a Medication for Autism Some of the effects of autism can be treated with therapy, but many believe that there is a prescription medication for autism. This isn’t true. Some medications for depression, ADHD, and other psychiatric disorders may have good effects on a child or an adult with autism, but there is not a specific medication that has been designated specifically for the treatment of (ASD). How Does Autism Affect You? Having autism affects each person in their own unique way. ASD affects brain development in the areas of social skills, speech, verbal, and non-verbal communication. The symptoms of autism may present individually or as a group. We look forward to learning more with the technological and medical advances in autism that are in the works today.

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What You Should Know About Body Dysmorphia in Men

Do you find yourself constantly looking in the mirror imagining that you would look and feel better without that pesky (fill in the blank) that has been bothering you for years — but no one else seems to notice the same thing? Welcome to body dysmorphia . In this article, we will discuss body dysmorphia as it relates to men and how to mitigate the effects of body dysmorphia in men today. Body Dysmorphia in a Nutshell According to the Mayo Clinic, body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is “a mental disorder that causes men and women to constantly obsess over perceived flaws in their physical appearance.” When people have body dysmorphia, no one else seems to be aware of the perceived flaw that keeps their loved one behind closed doors for days (or even weeks.) People with body dysmorphic disorder are so consumed with their imaginary flaws that they often avoid social situations because of their perceived defects. Body Dysmorphia Affects Men Too When we think of body dysmorphia, the first image that comes to mind is likely to be that of a woman staring in the mirror and obsessing over her image. However, what many people are unaware of is that there are many men who also deal with issues with body dysmorphia. Men may have the same concerns over what they perceive as flaws in their bodies as their female counterparts. Body dysmorphia is not bound by sex, gender or sexual orientation. Body dysmorphia can cause anyone to be consumed with the idea that something about their physical appearance seems to be off. In most cases, there aren’t any perceivable flaws at all. This makes the concept of body dysmorphia in men so intriguing. No “Body Positive” Support Groups for Men Women with body dysmorphic disorder may find it easier to reach out for help than men who suffer from the same condition. The woman’s body positivity movement provides resources and support for women living with body dysmorphic disorder and related issues. We’ve made great strides in promoting body positivity in the United States. Body positivity teaches us that no one looks perfect and to learn to love your flaws. Healthy body positivity doesn’t say there isn’t room for improving yourself, but teaches you to be comfortable in the skin you’re in. However, there don’t seem to be as many resources for men with this condition. Body positivity efforts and support are usually more focused on women. We look at female beauty standards more critically, pointing out that women need not look like models and that it’s OK to love yourself. Women face many body issues, so this makes sense. However, men face issues too. Men have concerns over issues with their height, weight, and physical appearance just like women. Many men have insecurities with their appearance. The following are a few examples of insecurities a man can face. Common Male Body Image Concerns Hair Loss. If a man loses their hair at a young age, they may obsess over it. Men may try many ways to restore their hair or wear wigs, yet end up still dissatisfied (even when they have had hair replacement surgery.) Weight Gain. Just like women, many men obsess over their weight as they get older and gain weight faster than they used to. A man may feel that if he doesn’t have washboard abs that the world will see him as undesirable. Height. Shorter men may feel undesirable related to their taller counterparts. There have been many jokes made at the expense of shorter men, and some women may let them know in no uncertain terms that being short is a dating deal breaker. As this is something a man can’t control, he may feel dysmorphic about his appearance and may try to increase his height through unhealthy means. Penis Size. It is common for men to be overly concerned with their penis size. Our society often correlates penis size with “masculinity.” Evidence of body dysmorphia is present when men obsess and constantly worry that their penis is too small (without evidence that this is the case). This misconception can affect male self-esteem and limit his dating options in the real world as he feels inadequate. No Support Networks for Men? A woman may seek support if she is uncomfortable with her body. For example, when a woman has a perceived flaw she is uncomfortable with, she might post on social media and receive validation from her friends and other supporters. A man may be afraid to talk about their body dysmorphia, as they don’t want to be perceived as complaining or whiney. They may even talk about it, but they may not get the support they need. Body Dysmorphia Affects Men of All Ages Body dysmorphia often begins during the teenage years for men and women. A teen boy may want to date. However, many of their peers are often superficial about who they date. A teen may feel like his body isn’t adequate enough in the grand scheme of things. Some people eventually outgrow this feeling of inadequacy, but some men continue to feel these emotions into adulthood. Left unchecked, feelings of body dissatisfaction continue to grow worse. Aging may have a positive or negative effect on the perception of body dysmorphia. Some men may realize that their looks fade, and it’s time to work on their personality. However, other men may obsess with how they look and worry about aging. Celebrities Have Body Dysmorphia Too You may think mental health issues like body dysmorphia wouldn’t affect someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger. In his prime, he was a muscle powerhouse. Would you be surprised to know that Arnold Schwarzenegger says has never been satisfied with his own looks? Isn’t it ironic that while many young men and boys aspire to look like him, that he aspires to look like someone else? This is an example of how body dysmorphia can affect men of any race, class, or status. Arnold has stated publicly that his looks never fully satisfied him, and that he often wanted to throw up whenever he saw himself in a mirror. According to Schwarzenegger, as he has grown older, the feeling hasn’t gone away. Where Men Can Get Help Body dysmorphia affects many men and they don’t know how or where to get help. Symptoms of body dysmorphia are treatable through medication and psychological treatments like cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT. A man who has body dysmorphia should seek the help of a therapist, as it is treatable. A man may always feel a little insecure related to his perceived physical appearance, but with a little therapy, he can mitigate the symptoms of body dysmorphia and learn to have a healthier outlook on his appearance. It’s also important to learn that men deal with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and body dysmorphia. If you find that a man is complaining about his appearance or having unexplainable anxiety, listen to his concerns and provide support. Even if he doesn’t have body dysmorphia, encourage him to accept the way he looks and to make healthy changes if he is unsatisfied with his appearance.

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Marie Miguel

Comprehensive Psychological Services for Dual Mental Illness Diagnosis

Sometimes, mental health issues come in pairs. If you’re struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction, you might have a comorbid illness, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, or borderline personality disorder. If you have multiple mental health issues, you may need a dual diagnosis program, not therapy alone. That would mean getting referred to comprehensive psychological services. With comprehensive psychological services, you’re getting treatment for all of your needs. So, it’s not just for your depression or anxiety, but also your substance abuse problem . You need a treatment team consisting of mental health professionals who are addressing all your concerns. That’s where comprehensive psychological services comes in, and can help you. What are comprehensive psychological services? Comprehensive psychological services offer treatment for any mental health needs you have. Whether you’re getting help for anxiety, depression, substance abuse , an eating disorder, or any other diagnosis, all of your problems will be addressed in comprehensive psychological services. It’s difficult to determine what you need at times when it comes to mental health, but when you have access to all of these different programs and providers that can help, you have a better chance at getting the right help and getting better. And that’s what you want; the chance to get better. We all want the opportunity to get better. It’s the goal of mental health is to get to a place of stability. To obtain wellness, you have to figure out what your core issues are and address them. A common mistake people make in mental health treatment You might think “if I treat my substance abuse disorder , my depression will go away, too.” While treating substance abuse is essential, it’s also vital to get to the underlying cause of the depression. Both problems need to be addressed, and that’s why dual diagnosis programs exist. Alcohol is likely masking some pain underneath that you have, so you’ll need to treat everything holistically in a comprehensive psychological services program or dual diagnosis program. You need to figure out what’s contributing to your depression and why you’re self-medicating with alcohol. These two things are entwined, but they’re also separate issues. A common mistake that people make is believing that if they get sober, everything will be OK, but that’s not true: when you get sober, you allow yourself to uncover the root cause of your addiction and address the real issues so that you don’t need to turn to substance abuse any longer. Comprehensive psychological services are holistic Working in a comprehensive psychological services program, you’ll receive holistic care, which means that you’ll use a whole-person approach. You’re looking at the entire picture of who you are and what you need. Every aspect of your mental health will be taken into account. You can talk to your therapist about different aspects of what you need that you might not get in traditional therapy. That is why comprehensive psychological services are the gold standard for treating people with multiple mental health issues. Online therapy Online therapy is an excellent place to establish a provider as your “point person.” Let’s say that you have multiple mental health issues. You can discuss all of them with this provider and figure out how to address each one. They’re your tour guide in the land of mental health. You can get better, and you need to focus on your core issues to get to where you want to be. Online therapy is convenient and can be accessed anywhere with a reliable internet connection. You have the right to achieve stable mental health, and you can do this.

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Marie Miguel

Learning the Difference Between Psychology vs. Psychiatry

Psychology vs. psychiatry Psychology is the study of the way human beings behave. Human behavior is a peculiar thing. To define psychology, it is the science of human behavior and how the mind works. It’s something we’re learning more and more about every day. When research is performed in the field of psychology, the factors can include biology, environment, and so on. It considers where you were born and who you were born to, where you raised, what happened to you while growing up, and more, which all come together to determine how you behave as a human being. There are practical uses for psychology. For example, when detectives try to solve crimes, they use psychology to get in the criminal’s head. Psychology can be used on a day-to-day basis as well: it’s about the way that we interact with one another. Psychiatry is the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness using psychotropic medications. Psychiatrists recognize mental illness, and are medical doctors trained to treat it with medicine. In this article we’re going to learn the difference between psychology vs. psychiatry . Psychology and mental health Clinical psychology involves how we understand the mood and cognitive function. It affects neuroplasticity, meaning that the brain can change over time depending on what happens to you and the thought patterns you work to develop. It’s a very complex entity. Developmental psychology is about how we change from childhood to adulthood. It’s about how we learn a language and how we come to understand the world. What is psychiatry? Psychiatry is the study, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness and mental disorders. It’s about analyzing how the mind works and how to treat psychiatric disorders. Psychiatry is different from psychology in that it’s going to focus on abnormal psychology specifically. If you’re a psychiatrist, you can prescribe medication to treat mental disorders. Psychiatrists are medical doctors A psychiatrist goes to medical school and studies the brain and how medications affect the brain. They research something called “abnormal psychology,” which allows them to help people struggling with mental illness and the symptoms of mental disorders. They use this information to prescribe medication to people living with these issues to help people function in their day-to-day lives. What can a psychiatrist help people do? A psychiatrist help people in crisis if they have suicidal thoughts or ideation. They can help people who are adjusting to a significant change in their life such as a death or a divorce. They can also help people who have thoughts that they don’t understand, those who can’t concentrate, those who have outbursts, or people who have hallucinations and are detached from reality. These are only a small number of the things that a psychiatrist can help manage. They are well-versed in psychiatric medication and help people get the care that they need. Whether a person is struggling with panic attacks or a personality disorder, a psychiatrist can both diagnose and treat their condition. Online therapy, psychology, and psychiatry You might consider working with an online therapist if you’re looking to better your mental health. You can see an online counselor individually or with your partner . Online therapy is convenient, and you can access it from the privacy of your own home or wherever you have a reliable internet connection. There are also online psychiatrists, which means that you can meet with a psychiatrist online for medication management. It’s completely confidential and allows you to manage your mental health on your terms using the internet, which is incredible. If you’re struggling with mental illness or mental health issues, don’t be afraid to try online therapy. Psychology and psychiatry work together, and you can get help in the best way if you integrate the two in a way that suits you.

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Marie Miguel

I Want to Find Premarital Counseling Near Me

You’re about to get married, and you want to be on the same page with your fiance. Maybe there are topics that you’re afraid to approach with your partner. It’s a nerve-wracking time. You’re figuring out if you’re going to have a joint bank account, where you want to live, and if you’re going to have children together. There are many things to work out, and a great place to figure out the answers to these questions is premarital counseling. If you’re wondering how to start on the right foot with your marriage, premarital counseling could be an excellent fit for you and your partner. Maybe there are things you’re afraid to bring up, such as finances, which can be a tricky topic for people. If you talk about it in premarital counseling, it might make things easier in the long run. Get the hard topics out of the way before you get married because after you start living life together as a married couple, it becomes more difficult to broach these subjects. How can premarital counseling help? Premarital counseling can help you navigate communication , jealousy issues, relating to your in-laws, and discuss having children together. These are just a few of the ideas you can discuss in premarital counseling. One of the things that can be helpful in premarital counseling is establishing an excellent way to express your feelings during an argument without becoming adversarial. It’s hard when you feel passionate about something and want to get the point across but feel like your partner doesn’t hear you. In premarital counseling, you can establish a plan for how you’ll handle this situation so that each of you will feel heard, so unresolved issues will not strain the relationship over time. Fighting with your partner Fights are bound to happen in every relationship. It’s good to plan for how to work through them in a healthy way. It’s not easy when you argue with your partner. It’s uncomfortable, and if you don’t work things out effectively, you might grow to resent your spouse, which isn’t something you want to happen. It’s crucial that you talk about the issues you have with someone rather than holding them inside. Talk about what upsets you, what makes you mad, and how to deal with that situation so you won’t feel resentment later. Hanging on to problems hurts both members of the couple. When you have an issue with your partner, confront it right away. If you feel scared to talk about it, a couples counselor is experienced in handling sensitive topics. You can broach the subject in therapy and work through it with your partner and the counselor present. They’re experts in mediating problems between couples. They’ve heard all kinds of issues from a variety of people. Searching for premarital counseling near me Before you get married, there may be things to discuss with your partner. Premarital counseling is a great place to do that. If you’re interested in working on your relationship, a couples counselor can help. Let’s say that you want to find a premarital counselor in your neighborhood. You go to a search engine and type in “ premarital counseling near me .” you may want to see someone in your local area, or you could consider online counseling to work on your relationship. Online counseling is an excellent choice for people who are busy and lead full lives but want to pursue premarital counseling. Search for an online counselor who can help you navigate your relationship issues because you don’t have to do this alone. Getting married is a big step in your life, and an online counselor can help you navigate the process.

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Marie Miguel

My First Therapy Session: Will I Be OK?

During your first therapy session, you might know nothing about the therapeutic process. Maybe you’ve never gone to therapy before. You could be afraid, scared that you won’t do a “good job” in counseling, but there’s no such thing as doing a good or bad job in mental health treatment. You’re there to get help and guidance. It’s OK not to know what to do. Many people are at a loss as to how to handle their life circumstances. All that you can do is your best, and the great thing about therapy is that you can tell your therapist what you struggle with, and they can help you through it What to expect during your first therapy session During your first therapy, you’ll get to know your therapist. At first, you might feel anxious. Talking to a stranger isn’t easy, necessarily, but hopefully, you’ve spoken to them on the phone, via email, or looked at an online profile to get a feel for who they are. That way, when you talk to them in person, you’ve already gotten background information on how they practice and might have a better idea of what your treatment will look like. You won’t devise a full treatment plan during the first session. Instead, you’ll get to know about their background, and optimally you’ll be candid about what you’ve experienced. The best place to start is from a place of honesty and willingness to talk about your emotions. Opening up emotionally in therapy Being vulnerable doesn’t come easy to some people. If that’s the case of you, it’s OK. You don’t have to jump in and reveal all of your information to your therapist right away. Start with what’s bothering you the most and go from there. If you feel like you’re potentially struggling with anxiety, talk about that. You can discuss how the anxiety impacts you and talk about how to develop coping techniques to cope with your anxiety. You might have ideas or insight yourself that you can tell your therapist about, and your therapist will have insight into what you’re going through from a professional perspective. It’s OK not to know why things are happening because your therapist will help you understand the reasons behind what you’re experiencing. Therapy is a collaborative process, and you should feel heard and respected by your therapist. Depending on the type of therapy, you might jump in right away In certain kinds of therapy such as CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) or EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing) therapy, you’re learning a skill or using a technique that’ll require you to jump in right away. You might not build up to it, whereas in other forms of therapy like psychoanalytic therapy or analysis, you’ll find that things start more gradually. Your therapist is getting to know all about you, your history, your childhood, and any traumatic experiences you might have. You’re going to take it slow, and you and your therapist will work together to help you heal. There’s no standard first session There are no standard guidelines for the first session in therapy. The first meeting in therapy will always differ somewhat depending on who you’re seeing and what part of your mental health you’re targeting. The common theme is that your therapist is getting to know who you are. If you stick with it and keep going, you’ll find that the benefits of therapy outweigh any uncomfortable feelings you might have in terms of working through painful emotions. You can always change therapists if you find that that’s something you want to do.