Riverview Community Mental Health Blog

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mental health during Covid-19

Inspiring Mental Health During Covid-19

Taking Care Of Mental Health During Covid-19

During the Covid-19 health crisis, it is important to concentrate on your physical health by taking the proper precautions both in and outside your home. Taking care of our mental health during Covid-19 is also just as important.

With the pandemic comes a whole new lifestyle. You aren’t going out as often, seeing as many friends and loved ones that you usually do, and some are even working inside of the home. If you find yourself struggling with anxiety, stress, depression, or negative feelings in general, do not refrain from seeking the help of mental health professionals.

Anxiety

Anxiety is common to experience in the wake of a pandemic. Coping with fear and uncertainty can be difficult, especially for those that have never experienced these feelings to this extent previously. The best way to tackle any fear is to become educated on the topic. The more you know about the dangers, and your risk, the easier it is to put your fears into perspective. The news is a trigger for anxiety– turn it off! Having some time “media-free” can help to reduce anxiety levels. If the anxiety you are feeling begins to feel more like panic, seeking help from a medical professional is the best way to begin your road to recovery.

Stress

Covid-19 has also brought on feelings of stress to many people in both the USA and the world as a whole. Routines are turned upside down and daily life doesn’t seem real. Parents are even becoming teachers! With all of these changes, life can begin to feel overwhelming, and these issues can take a toll. With people isolated or seeing too much of each other within the same walls, families can begin to experience extreme frustration. These stresses are temporary, and you will get through them. Talking with a professional may help to relieve some of the stress, as they can provide specific techniques to help you feel a better sense of wellbeing.

Depression

Depression is becoming more widespread than ever before. Many people have lost their jobs, are socially distancing to prevent themselves and their immediate family from getting the virus, and have to adjust to completely new schedules. If you find yourself in a bad mood for no particular reason on a daily basis, have difficulty feeling pleasure in things that used to interest you, are experiencing a lack of appetite, or have feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, or feel that life is not worth living, seek medical assistance immediately.

An evaluation with a mental help professional is the first step to leading a better life. There are many effective treatments available to help you take care of your mental health during Covid-19. Our comprehensive services will evaluate and identify and the effects that it has had on both you and your family. It is important to make sure that you can be the best version of yourself to get through this pandemic and tackle it head-on.

If you are feeling overwhelmed or just need to talk with a caring mental health professional to help you cope with your mental health during Covid-19, Riverview Community Mental Health Services is here for you.  We have a highly qualified staff of trained professionals available at our offices in Stuart and Port Saint Lucie, FL.

Riverview Community Mental Health Center

Stuart
865 SE Monterey Commons Blvd
Stuart, Florida 34996
772-266-4713

Port Saint Lucie
451 SW Bethany Drive, Suite 103
Port Saint Lucie, Florida 34986
772-301-1354

RiverviewCMHC-PsychotherapyHelpWithAnger

How Can Psychotherapy Help With Anger?

Psychotherapy, or counseling as it is commonly referred to, can be beneficial with a wide variety of things. Managing emotions, traumatic events, and even mental illness can all be helped with psychotherapy. Therapists work with their patients in several ways including, but not limited to, talk therapy, CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), meditation, breathing techniques, relaxation strategies and so much more.

What Is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy, by definition, is “a way to help people with a broad variety of mental illnesses and emotional difficulties.” (www.psychiatry.org) Typically the therapist provides a safe and controlled method of using talk therapy to help their patients work through their emotions surrounding a particular event in their lives. While therapy can have a certain stigma surrounding it, this shouldn’t intimidate you from trying it out. Many people report feeling an improved quality of life, better sleep, enhanced relationships, and more.

Working Through Anger

Anger is a complex emotion, and when left untreated it can fester and grow to the point that it will take over your daily life and cause you to feel stressed and unhappy. Specific events such as the death of a loved one or just a traumatic event in your life can lead to having residual anger. Psychotherapy can help by giving you an outlet and a way to work through that anger in a healthy manner. Anger that isn’t dealt with can lead to harmful coping mechanisms such as abusing drugs and alcohol in order to feel better temporarily.

Is Psychotherapy For Anger Right For Me?

If you’re experiencing anger that seems to be affecting other areas of your life and keeping you from being truly happy, then psychotherapy might be a great option for you. Research the various options that are available to you and make the best choice for your health. Do not feel compelled to settle for the first option either, as it is important to find the right fit for you, your personality, and your needs. The therapist you choose should be someone that you feel comfortable talking to, so if your first appointment doesn’t feel right then don’t feel obligated to stay with that specific therapist.
If you’re not sure if psychotherapy is right for you, then talk to your doctor and see if this is a viable option for you. Taking care of your mental and emotional health is crucial to your health as a whole, and psychotherapy is just one option that could make a big difference in your life.

Therapy Sessions

Therapy may be individual, as a  family or couple, or sometimes in group setting. Session are available for both children and adults and they are typically held once a week. Both the patient and the therapist need to be actively involved in the treatment. The trust and relationship between a person and his/her therapist is essential to successful and effective psychotherapy.

depending on the individual, sessions may be short-term (a few sessions), just to work out pressing and immediate issues, or long-term (up to months or years), if the patient is dealing with longstanding and complex issues, and both the patient and the therapist believe the long-term sessions are helping. The goals of treatment and arrangements for how often and how long to meet should be planned and agreed jointly by the patient and therapist.

Confidentiality is always a basic requirement of psychotherapy so this is a safe place to bond and share topics that may otherwise be difficult to discuss with personal friends or family.

Research shows that approximately 75 percent of people who enter psychotherapy show some benefit from it. and experience symptom relief.  Psychotherapy has been shown to improve emotions and behaviors and studies show a definite link to positive changes in the brain resulting in patients feeling better both phsically and mentally and thus able to function better and  enjoy their lives.

RiverviewCMHC-OutpatientTherapist

What Is Outpatient Therapy?

Outpatient Therapy

As with all medical situations, there are times where the necessary treatment or patient is safe to leave afterward. The latter type of situation where a procedure or treatment is performed and the patient then returns home without any type of extended stay in a medical facility is referred to as outpatient treatment or outpatient procedure.

The term “outpatient” can refer to a wide variety of treatments and procedures including outpatient therapy for mental health issues.

It is the process of providing medical treatment or services to patients in either one-on-one or group settings for a set period of time, with the patient(s) leaving the facility when the session is over. Outpatient therapy is different from inpatient therapy, such as rehabilitation therapy for addiction or other disorders, that require a patient to remain at the facility for a designated period of time.

Common Outpatient Therapy Includes:

Physical Therapy is used to rehabilitate the body as a whole or a certain part of the body after injury or surgery.

Counseling is a type of therapy that is generally recommended when a person suffers trauma or has depression, anxiety, or any type of mental health issue where they need to talk with a trained professional.

Psychotherapy refers to therapy that uses a variety of techniques to treat mental disorders including but not limited to schizophrenia, personality disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more.

Drug/Alcohol Addiction Therapy can be both outpatient and inpatient depending upon the stage of addiction the patient is in, but typically uses various coping techniques to help patients get past their addiction.

Behavioral Therapy is used when a person has extreme behavioral issues that are affecting their daily life and the lives of those around them.

Speech Therapy is a therapy aimed at helping a patient with a part or part of speech that they may be struggling with such as a stutter, speech impediment, or inability to say certain phonetic sounds.

How Outpatient Therapy Works

Those seeking outpatient therapy are typically stable enough with their health that they can take care of their daily responsibilities and tasks, but are in need of therapy for one reason or another. Sessions usually last around 60 minutes or so and consist of either a one on one environment with a therapist and a patient or at times a group of patients and a therapist.

Therapy may consist of simply talking with a therapist about certain issues in your life, doing targeted physical activities, or specific practices to target whatever it is you need to work on.

If you are considering outpatient therapy, or if it has been recommended that you participate in some type of therapy, then we always recommend doing your research. Read reviews, talk to friends and family, and choose the best therapist and option for you and your needs.

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy

How Successful Is TMS?

TMS therapy, which stands for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation therapy, is a therapeutic method that uses magnetic fields in order to stimulate nerve cells inside the brain to improve symptoms caused by depression or anxiety. This type of therapy is typically only used when other means of treating depression or anxiety aren’t effective.

How Does TMS Work?

Prior to engaging in TMS therapy many patients want to know exactly how it works.
Typically, an electromagnetic coil is pressed to the scalp closer to the forehead. This electromagnetic pulse delivers a pulse that while painless works to stimulate nerve cells that directly affect mood control. TMS therapy is painless and is supposed to activate parts of the brain that have decreased activity due to depression or anxiety. Activating these parts of the brain has been said to improve mood in those suffering from depression or anxiety.

Possible Risks & Side Effects

While TMS therapy is relatively safe and because it is non-invasive there are minimal risks and side effects. Common side effects of TMS typically include headache, scalp discomfort in the area that was stimulated, tingling or twitching of facial muscles, and possible lightheadedness. If you do experience any of these side effects, your doctor will likely adjust the level of stimulation or have you take a standard pain reliever such as Ibuprofen.

Serious side effects are rare with TMS therapy, but it is important to know what to look for just in case. These side effects include seizure, mania in the case of someone with bipolar disorder, or hearing loss if your hearing isn’t protected during the procedure. If you experience any of these side effects, contact your doctor immediately.

Results Of TMS Therapy

According to tmsbrainhealth.com “most TMS providers find that TMS has a success rate at between 70%-80%, meaning that the vast majority of individuals find significant relief after the treatment.” These statistics show that for the majority of patients, TMS therapy is successful in either improving symptoms of depression or anxiety or relieving symptoms altogether. If your symptoms do improve, you should still discuss with your doctor whether or not ongoing, repetitive TMS therapy treatments are needed. Typically your doctor may also recommend common treatments for
depression such as medication or psychotherapy to keep your depression or anxiety at bay. Riverview Community Mental Health Center is well-known for its successful TMS treatment in ME.

If you are interested in TMS therapy and how it can help you, be sure to ask your doctor to see if this could be a good fit for treating your depression or anxiety.

marriage counseling

How Does Marriage Counseling Work?

If you are considering counseling as a way to improve your marriage, then you are probably also wondering exactly how marriage counseling works. Marriage counseling is an excellent option for anyone seeking to improve their relationship. There are several reasons that a couple might pursue marriage counseling, including having frequent disagreements, depression, lack of intimacy, change in economic status, and more. Marriage counseling is a great tool, but knowing how to utilize it and get the most out of it is key to making sure that your counseling is successful.

What Is Marriage Counseling?

Marriage counseling, which can also be referred to as couples therapy, is a type of psychotherapy that deals with helping married couples through various issues in their relationship. This type of counseling can arise from various circumstances and situations and is often the result of couples hoping to reconcile their relationship and become stronger instead of making the decision to divorce or separate. Marriage counseling can also occur without any “problems” but instead just coming from a couple who wants to become stronger in their relationship.

How Can Marriage Counseling Help?

Counseling can help in several capacities, whether you have experienced a specific issue in your relationship such as an affair, job loss, loss of a child, etc., or simply if you feel that you and your spouse could benefit from counseling to strengthen your relationship in general. Marriage counseling, unfortunately, has a negative connotation related to it as couples are worried about sharing that their marriage might need work for fear of being judged or shamed at not being able to maintain a successful marriage on their own. If your marriage or relationship needs help, do not be afraid to ask for it. It can be extremely difficult to maintain a healthy relationship with another person, but especially when you share your life with that person as well. The daily hardships that couples endure while trying to manage finances together, parent-children together, manage their other relationships outside the marriage, and more. Talking with an experienced professional about these issues can significantly change your life for the better.

How To Find A Marriage Counselor

Finding a marriage counselor doesn’t need to be a difficult process, but it should also be something that you take seriously as you want to find the right person for your relationship. Decide with your partner the specific traits you each want from your counselor, such as their gender, their process, the financial cost, etc. Use resources such as friends, family, internet reviews, and more to help find the right person for you. We recommend even interviewing a few different marriage counselors to be able to compare and decide who you like best. We wish you the best in your situation and we urge anyone reading this who feels like their relationship could use marriage counseling to seek professional help.

depression

What is Depression & Anxiety?

Depression and anxiety often go hand in hand, and with the current worldwide changes due to COVID-19, depression and anxiety are becoming more common than ever. This can be hard to navigate, especially if these feelings are new for many due to ever-changing work
environments, stress from job loss, homeschooling, losing access to resources like counseling, addiction counseling services, etc. If depression or anxiety is new to you, or even if you’ve experienced them your whole life, let’s take a deep dive into what both depression and anxiety really are and how to know if you might be suffering from one or both of these illnesses.

What is Depression?

Depression, which is also known as major depressive disorder, brings a negative effect on how you think and feel on a regular basis. This can make it extremely hard to cope in your day-to-day life as it causes you to feel sad and lose interest in activities where you would normally find joy. Depression symptoms range from constant feelings of sadness to changes in eating habits, sleeping habits, feeling worthless or undervalued, having a hard time thinking or decision making, and more. Luckily, this disease is treatable through a  combination of counseling and sometimes medication.

Diagnosing & Treating Depression

It can be difficult to diagnose and treat depression because feelings of sadness can stem from various situations that happen throughout any person’s normal life. Things, like losing a job, losing a loved one, or ending a relationship, can cause a person to fall into a state of depression. However, major depressive disorder is characterized by at least two weeks of being unable to shake your emotions of sadness as well as a change in habits and loss of interest in things that were once enjoyed. Treating depression can be difficult as each person requires a different type of treatment in order to be effective. Medication is one type of treatment for depression, which is only considered after a thorough diagnostic evaluation by a medical professional. There are times where brain chemistry is more susceptible to depression, which can only be treated by medicine. Additionally, therapy is a very real form of treatment that can assist that fighting depression through techniques that do not involve medicine. These include psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy, as well as self-help and coping mechanisms such as instilling healthy habits like regular exercise, enough sleep, a well-balanced diet, and beyond.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety, in its most definitive form, is a person’s bodily response to stress. Feelings of anxiety can be brought on by several factors such as starting a new job, moving to a new place, major changes in the environment, etc. The difference between normal stress and anxiety is that anxiety becomes something that is extreme and can lead to an actual anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder moves beyond stress or fear and becomes something that takes over your daily life and causes you to feel fearful or nervous all the time to the point where it can be debilitating at times. This type of anxiety is very unhealthy as it can lead to a variety of health issues and bad habits such as substance abuse, overeating, a tendency toward violence, etc.

Diagnosing & Treating Anxiety

Anxiety disorders cover a wide variety of things including panic, phobias, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsiveness, post-traumatic stress, and more. Diagnosing the type of anxiety disorder you may be suffering from typically stems from certain events that may have occurred throughout your life. These types of events can include abuse during childhood or adulthood, intense violence such as war or criminal situations, and even examples of humiliation or shame. Treating anxiety can be difficult as it is hard to diagnose and also hard to admit as the feelings of anxiety are very common and cause one to feel as if they aren’t something that they necessarily need “help” treating.

Symptoms of anxiety can include jitteriness, irritability, sleeplessness, fear, shame, and more. We as a society also tend to “shame” those who admit feelings of fear or anxiety due to these feelings being associated with weakness. If you are feeling overly anxious or fearful of anything in general, seeking medical help is always in your best interest. Depression and anxiety can sometimes go hand in hand and can become immensely dangerous to your health when gone untreated. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms
listed, please seek the opinion of a medical professional. The worst-case scenario is that you are diagnosed as healthy and given ways to improve your mental health on your own, however ignoring a genuine diagnosis can lead to very significant health issues. Leaving any of these symptoms untreated in any way does not only harm you but also those around you, please seek help if you feel you may be experiencing depression or anxiety.

mental health in men

Mental Health in Men | Getting Help

Mental Health in Men

Mental health is a vital part of your overall health, so it is important to know how to take care of it.

While issues with mental health in men are very similar to issues in females, there are still major differences in the way that these issues affect men vs. women.

The type of mental health issues men face and the way that they handle them are two of the biggest differences between the two genders.

Mental Illness

According to Psychology Today “men make up 75% of overall suicides in the United States, with one man killing himself every 20 minutes”.

This is a shocking statistic that shows how many men across the U.S. are suffering from a mental illness of some kind. Often mental health in men goes undiagnosed and untreated.

Mental illnesses affecting men more so than women include obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and drug and alcohol abuse. While women definitely experience these same illnesses, it seems to be more prevalent in men.

Substance Abuse

Overall substance abuse seems to be a predominantly male problem, with “a rate of 3 to 1 in comparison to females” according to Psychology Today. Many studies have shown that men engage in substance abuse due to stress in their life, mostly attributing to loss of income, loss of employment, and divorce.

Many men feel an overwhelming responsibility to provide for their families and to be the primary “breadwinner” and sometimes men that have a particularly hard time with this, or who feel like they might not be living up to this, turn to substance abuse as a way to cope.

Stigma In Getting Help

One of the largest parts of men being the vast majority of mental illness cases is due to the stigma that surrounds getting help.

Much evidence has shown that there is a staggering number of men that do not seek help at all, even if they recognize a problem.

This is even more prevalent amongst minority groups, including African American, Hispanic and Asian men. Most likely, this issue stems back to societal expectations that men should be able to “suck it up” or “be a man” and handle situations like this on their own.

This is absolutely not true, as many individuals should seek help with a mental health issue that they do not have the tools or knowledge to handle on their own.

Solving The Problem

The largest part of helping men with mental health issues is to begin recognizing it as a health issue, and removing the stigma of men asking for help.

When this happens, changes will start to be made and hopefully, lives will stop being lost due to suicide from a mental health problem or a substance abuse problem.

close up of a couple's hands finger locking

Mental Health and Relationships

Many people across the United States and beyond have healthy, strong, supportive
relationships, even despite mental illness in one or both partners. While this can sound
somewhat hard to believe, it really comes down to both people being open and honest with the
other about their strengths, weaknesses, and struggles within their relationship so that they may
lean on each other. The most important thing to know when it comes to mental health and
relationships is how to manage your mental illness and promoting sustainable habits.

Do I Need To Tell Others About My Mental Illness?

It is understandable to see why many people would be hesitant to share with their friends and/
or their significant other that they suffer from any sort of mental illness or disability. However,
as many probably already know, beginning any relationship or friendship while hiding a piece of
your identity can only lead to an unhealthy relationship and undoubtedly increased secrecy and
poor trust. This isn’t to say that you have to share any health information on your first date or
upon meeting a new friend, but moreover that when both of you feel the relationship is
progressing into a more of long-term relationship it becomes more important to share this
information. Close friends and partners will want to support you with your illness, but also
need to be aware should any sort of episode or situation arise.

a couple seated on a bench looking out at nature

How Will My Condition Affect My Relationships?

Mental health and relationships very much go hand in hand as they can have a drastic affect on
each other. An unhealthy or abusive relationship with a significant other can lead to poor
mental health and even depression, suicide or PTSD. On the other hand, entering into a
healthy, loving relationship when you are already struggling with any sort of mental illness can
turn the relationship sour very quickly. So, how do we strive for both good mental health and
good relationships?

  • Exercise – Maintaining physical health directly relates to your mental health. Exercising
    regularly has shown to improve stress levels, overall mood, as well as anxiety and
    even PTSD.
  • Talk to a Doctor – If you’ve never actually been diagnosed with a mental illness, but you can feel
    yourself changing or acting in a way that feels unusual to you, it can’t hurt to talk to
    a doctor. There are several therapies, medications, and strategies to help you cope
    rather than doing it alone.
  • Counseling or Therapy – Whether or not you have or haven’t been diagnosed with a mental illness, counseling or therapy can always be helpful for both mental and overall emotional
    wellbeing.
  • Nutrition – Several studies have shown the importance of a well-balanced diet and the major
    effects it can have on your overall health, including mental health. Talking to a
    nutritionist about your specific struggles can really help to maximize your overall
    health.

Overall taking care of your mental health is crucial to maintaining successful relationships and
friendships throughout your life.

exercise

Exercise Boosts Health and Promotes Improved Mental Functioning

Exercise Can Improve Mental Health?

Exercise can provide so many benefits including weight loss, improved physical health, and can even help to reverse or heal many ailments. However, there are additional benefits beyond these that come with physical activity as well. There have been several studies showing the vast mental health benefits of exercise in several ways.

How Can Exercise Improve Mental Health?                              exercise

People choose to exercise for a variety of reasons. Many people want to trim their
waistline and improve their overall physique and muscle tone, but the other benefits
can be an unexpected surprise bonus. These benefits can involve relieving stress,
improved memory, better sleep, and an improvement in overall mood and positivity. All
of these can have drastic favorable effects on your mental health as a whole such as
relieving symptoms of depression, ADHD, PTSD, stress, and anxiety.

Depression & PTSD Benefits

Some of the most common mental health issues that can be improved and mitigated
through physical activity are depression and PTSD. Several studies show that exercising even
as little as 15 minutes a day can reduce the risk of developing major depression.
Additionally, it is scientifically proven that exercise releases endorphins, a chemical that
makes us feel good, in our body that help to improve our mood and outlook on life.
PTSD relates to the nervous system producing a response to experiencing severe
trauma. This response can include anger, tension, stress, and more. It is believed that
exercises using repetitive motions or cross movements such as running, rowing a boat,
etc can help the brain to recover from that nervous system response.

Stress & Anxiety Benefits

Stress and anxiety are incredibly frequent in millions of people throughout the world.
These can come about from specific events or activities such as a stressful job, a toxic
relationship, abuse, and beyond. Endorphins from exercise can certainly help to relieve
stress and anxiety, but there are also studies that have been done to show that the
rhythm of exercising can bring mental health benefits as well. Focusing on your feet
hitting the ground, or your breathing while exercising can allow your brain to really
focus and be mindful which can then dull the overwhelming worry or anxiety in your
brain.

As a whole, it is common knowledge that exercise is good for you and your body. The
additional benefits of relieving stress and anxiety and possibly appeasing depression
and/or PTSD. We highly recommend finding whatever type of exercise routine works
best for you, and sticking to it as best as possible to see great results physically and
mentally.

exercise

The Benefits of Exercise for Well-Being

Benefits of Exercise             benefits of exercise

Everyone knows that there are many beneficial physical effects on the body when it comes to exercise. Those that add exercise to their daily routines typically have lower BMI, lower blood pressure, more energy, and a decreased risk of getting diabetes. Not many people think of the psychological effects that exercise has on the body, though! Regular exercise can help to mitigate symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders, along with keeping your memory up to par!

There are five main benefits of exercise when it comes to the psychological impact of exercise on the body. So, next time, choose the stairs over the elevator or your comfortable walking shoes over the short car ride!

Here are a few examples of the benefits of exercise

  1. Increase your self-esteem. When one begins to see more muscle, less fat, and weight loss, self-confidence goes up to an all-time high! Weight loss and shopping for new clothes may not have been your prime goal, and you may even see a change happening before you even realize the cause. 
  2. Give your brain a boost. Regular cardio exercise helps to create new brain cells and improves the overall performance of the brain. In addition to this, it even helps to strengthen the hippocampus, resulting in better memory and less cognitive decline. Creativity and mental energy go through the roof!
  3. Stress Relief. Regular exercise helps to decrease stress levels, making us have a better overall sense of wellbeing. Increasing the heart rate actually helps to reverse stress-induced damage to the brain by hormone stimulation. Mood, cognition, and thinking processes improve.
  4. Sleep better. Regular exercise increases the body’s temperature, which induces a calming effect on the mind. This results in falling asleep quicker, and for longer periods of time. Our “built-in alarm clock” is also regulated, helping us to control when we feel tired versus awake and alert. It is best to exercise throughout the day, and not close to bedtime.
  5. Decrease the effects of depression and anxiety. Exercise definitely improves the mood, which helps to decrease the symptoms that both depression and anxiety have on our mental state. Endorphin levels rise, and feelings of happiness and euphoria are released. Regular exercise may be the key to feeling a bit better!

Exercise has drastic effects on your mental health and overall well being, as well as all of the physical effects that can be seen. While seeing results is important for those with a knack for aesthetics, it is just as important to FEEL the results. Over time, one will feel better overall, both physically and mentally, by incorporating regular exercise into their daily lives.