We all worry. But if you're someone struggling with chronic anxiety, you know that worrying is only the tip of the iceberg. The symptoms are all too familiar. Waking with that feeling of dread when facing the day, second-guessing even the smallest decisions, struggling to keep track of mounting obligations, finding it impossible to get out of your head long enough to enjoy the moment—anxiety can easily take control of a person's life. To make matters worse, being anxious is exhausting. It puts relentless strain on the body and mind which can weaken the immune system and make us more susceptible to illness and a host of other physical ailments. If you are suffering from anxiety, getting the right help can make a world of difference and dramatically improve your quality of life.
Treatment for anxiety doesn't follow a recipe. One cannot simply pair learning about his/her triggers with relaxation techniques and hope to affect real change. Human beings are complex, and the origin and manifestations of our anxiety can range greatly from person to person. Many who have lived with anxiety for long periods of time have come to rely on it for their very survival. Anxiety keeps us alert and vigilant, protecting us from danger or embarrassment. These are valuable traits that are not easily cast aside, making the anxious mind one of the most difficult to master. Because to some extent, we all truly need anxiety.
When this self-protective instinct becomes over developed, and stops defending and starts hindering our ADL's (Activities of Daily Living), it may be time to seek treatment. Here are some of the most common symptoms:
- Racing thoughts
- Difficulty focusing on tasks
- Uncontrollable worry or dread
- Frequent self-doubt or questioning one's own judgement
- Heightened self-criticism
- Difficulty making decisions
- Rumination (reliving unpleasant past events)
- Restlessness, fidgeting, or being "on edge"
- Frequent irritability
- Impatience with self and/or others
- A consistent urge to take control
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep, insomnia
- Loss of appetite
- Avoiding people and situations which trigger anxiety
- Isolating from friends and/or relatives
- Mood swings
- Heightened emotional reactivity
You may believe you have some, all, or none of these symptoms, however it is important to remember that simply because you identify with the above symptoms, it does not guarantee that you have an anxiety disorder. If you are curious about treatment, or would like to learn more about treatment options, please call for a FREE phone consultation.
No matter how old you are, what background you come from, or which gender you identify with—ADHD can have a significant impact on a person's life. Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is classified as a "neurodevelopmental disorder" that typically emerges in childhood, becomes notably more severe during adolescence, and for some continues on into adulthood. The DSM-V currently estimates that ADHD occurs in most cultures, affecting about 5% of children and 2.5% of adults, however the Center For Disease Control (CDC) estimates the current numbers are likely higher.
By researching information about ADHD and options for treatment, you've already taken the first step toward tackling a highly frustrating and emotional issue. You may find you identify with a number of the ADHD symptoms, but please resist the urge to self-diagnose. Only a trained mental health professional can diagnose someone with ADHD. However, if you believe you or someone you know may be struggling with ADHD call for a free phone consultation. In the meantime, here is a brief checklist of the most common symptoms:
- Persistent pattern of distractibility and inattention
- Persistent pattern of hyperactivity and/or impulsivity
- Difficulty attending to details, making frequent careless mistakes
- Difficulty organizing tasks and activities
- Lack of follow-through regarding obligations or personal goals
- Avoidance of activities/tasks that require sustained mental effort
- Often losing or misplacing things
- Forgetful in daily activities
- Restlessness, trouble sitting still for long or even short periods of time
- Interrupting others while speaking, blurting out answers in school
Child/Adolescent ADHD Treatment
Parents, unless your child has already received an ADHD diagnosis, it can be difficult to tell whether you simply have a rambunctious 10-year-old who likes to daydream, or a child who legitimately struggles to concentrate despite his/her best efforts.
That's where I come in.
During the first few sessions I meet with both parents and kids to assess whether or not the focus of treatment is ADHD. If so, we will work together to develop goals, devise a comprehensive treatment plan, and possibly incorporate referrals for medication support if necessary.
Treatment often includes teaching a variety of techniques for both kids and parents to help promote organizational skills, using positive reinforcement, communication skills, coping with stress, mood management, and impulse control. Such techniques may involve "homework" activities for the child, parent, or both that can be practiced and reinforced between sessions.
Lastly, one of the most important factors that contributes to a positive outcome when treating children/adolescents with ADHD is parent involvement. I cannot stress this enough. When a parent actively engages in therapy, it shows kids that you care and that you're taking their challenges seriously.
Adult ADHD Treatment
If you're an adult seeking treatment for ADHD let me start off by saying BRAVO. As adults, we can be quite stubborn and resistant to change, even when the change is positive. It's easy to succumb to our routines and make excuses for why we struggle to pay attention, why we have a really hard time remembering important things, or why we consistently lack motivation and follow-through. These behaviors tend to leak into our personal and professional lives and can be highly destructive. Therefore, I believe it's important to acknowledge any effort someone makes toward addressing ADHD—because asking for help can be difficult, and looking for the right help can be even more challenging.
Here's how I can help you. For the past 8 years I've treated both male and female clients with ADHD from a variety of age groups: from the youngest at 7 years old to the eldest at 58. Each age range presents its own unique deficits, strengths, and life challenges, so treatment must be tailored to address your specific concerns. The backbone of my approach to treating ADHD involves providing flexible structure, coping skills, organizational techniques, and ways to develop lasting motivation.
If you are on the fence regarding whether or not therapy is right for you, please give me a call and we can discuss your symptoms and treatment options. The consultation is of course free of charge.
Social Skills Training
People are naturally communal, so possessing strong social skills is key to our survival. To truly thrive, we require the fundamental abilities to express ourselves, ask for help, and connect with others. Yet many people, both young and old, lack these basic tenets of communication on some level. The causes of social deficits can vary greatly—from social anxiety, to developmental delays, to a simple lack of exposure to healthy human interaction. However, the results are often unfortunately the same: isolation, explosive emotions, shame, fear, and confusion.
Through social skills training I strive to help those who struggle with social functioning to not only develop the skills that are lacking, but to take them a step further by making them their own. I employ a variety of techniques and modes of interaction to help my clients to strengthen their ability to effectively communicate. Focus areas of treatment often include:
- Active listening skills
- Learning to read social cues
- Reading tone and body language
- Conversational tools
- Self-soothing / calming techniques
- How to identify "good friends"
- How to make friends / maintain friendships
- Conflict resolution
- Confrontation skills
- Finding "your unique voice"
Social anxiety or lacking in social skills can be a truly crippling, painful affliction that you or someone you love has lived with for many years. One of the most insidious symptoms is fear or resistance to asking for help. This effectively perpetuates the cycle of isolation and can only lead to more social avoidance. The shame is devastating, but you do not have to go through it alone. If you're ready for help, I'm here to guide you through. Call me for a FREE phone consultation and we can discuss treatment options.