News & Advice
Get advice and news for a happier and more fulfilled
6/17/2018 0 Comments
Anxiety is more than having sweaty palms and butterflies in your stomach. Symptoms of anxiety can include feelings of worry, fear and impending doom that are so severe they interfere with your ability to work, maintain relationships and get a decent night’s sleep.
Physical signs of anxiety may include:
Emotional signs of anxiety may include:
Men with anxiety feel something many women don’t - shame. Their embarrassment prevents them from reaching out for help. This means that by the time they do get a consult, their condition is more severe than that seen in women. Instead of seeking help, 30% of men with anxiety turn to substances as a way to cope with their symptoms.
Substances co-opt the brain’s natural reward system. Deep inside the brain, the mesolimbic dopamine reward system is activated by pleasurable stimuli including food and sex, producing a rush of feel-good brain chemicals.
The ingestion of substances including alcohol, opioids, marijuana, and nicotine produces identical pleasure effects. When endorphins (the chemicals responsible for the “runner’s high”) are released by natural stimuli or by substances, they bind to the same receptors as morphine, dulling emotional pain and calming the mind. It is this type of relaxation that people with anxiety are seeking when they turn to substances.
Men also often react to anxiety with anger. Everyone has heard of the stress response of fight or flight. Flight is what comes to mind when we think of anxiety: cowering in the corner, hiding in the bathroom, or making a beeline for...anywhere but here. But then there’s fight. When feeling threatened, rather than making a break for it, men may be more likely to come out swinging. Anxiety can trigger the full range of anger, from the flash of an explosive outburst to the slow burn of constant frustration.
Anxiety is an equal opportunity disorder – it affects all ages, ethnicities, social and economic standings.
But what else is equal opportunity? The fact that anxiety is changeable. It is indeed worrisome and stressful to be human, but it is also hopeful. No matter how your anxiety manifests, reach out. No matter your gender, anxiety doesn’t have to run your life.
Contact me to help you through your anxiety - email@example.com or on 084 779 4889. Visit my website on www.nadinetherapy.co.za.
Credit: betterhealth, anxietybc, tonic, beyondblue, guycounselling.
6/10/2018 0 Comments
Everyone feels sad, irritable, or tired at times. Major depressive disorder is different. Though insomnia and fatigue are often the presenting complaints, people with depression experience depressed mood or loss of interest in normal daily activities for weeks at a time. The symptoms of major depressive disorder cause significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning.
Major depressive symptoms include:
Depression in men is a treatable health condition, not a sign of emotional weakness or a failing of masculinity. It affects millions of men of all ages and backgrounds, as well as those who care about them - spouses, partners, friends, and family. Of course, it’s normal for anyone to feel down from time to time—dips in mood are an ordinary reaction to losses, setbacks, and disappointments in life. However, male depression changes how you think, feel, and function in your daily life. It can interfere with your productivity at work or school and impact your relationships, sleep, diet, and overall enjoyment of life. Severe depression can be intense and unrelenting.
Unfortunately, depression in men often gets overlooked as many of us find it difficult to talk about our feelings. Instead, we tend to focus on the physical symptoms that often accompany male depression, such as back pain, headaches, difficulty sleeping, or sexual problems. This can result in the underlying depression going untreated, which can have serious consequences.
In mild cases of depression, daily exercise, improved eating habits, and a specific sleep routine can assist in alleviating some symptoms. While depression can take a heavy toll on your home and work life, you don’t have to tough it out. There are plenty of things you can start doing today to feel better.
Contact me to help you through your depression - firstname.lastname@example.org or on 084 779 4889. Visit my website on www.nadinetherapy.co.za.
Credit: Psycom, Helpguide
Do you recognise the man you see in the mirror?
One emotion that most males are familiar with is anger.
Anger produces a physiological arousal in males. It creates a state of readiness and heightened awareness. It creates energy that can be directed outward in the form of protection or even as a weapon. Anger causes a fight or flight response designed to protect us. Anger is frequently a powerful tool for boys and men to use to cover inadequacies. Often anger in males is a secondary emotion used to cover underlying emotions such as fear, hurt, or frustration. You'll notice that nearly all males will react with anger when they become overly frustrated or are hurt emotionally.
The surge of adrenaline and associated arousal can be addictive to some males. Young males need to be taught how to deal with and control their anger. To do that, they must learn to own their anger and identify the source of that anger. Then they can learn how to choose to respond to their anger.
Emotions are powerful and often uncontrollable. That's why many males keep such a tight lid on their emotions - once released they are difficult to predict or control and often result in a situation ending in vulnerability. The one emotion, however, that they are relatively comfortable with, is that of anger. Anger for many men is an old friend; one they call upon in a variety of circumstances. Like all powerful emotions it can be used destructively or for good. Anger can be terribly destructive in relationships. All we need do is look at the devastation caused to women and children through a man's uncontrolled wrath and anger. Anger can lead to emotional, psychological, and even physical abuse.
On the other hand, anger can be channelled into productive pathways. Anger can be used to motivate a man to achieve more than he might otherwise be able to accomplish. It can be used as a mechanism to encourage perseverance under duress or in gruelling circumstances.
Suppressed anger can be an underlying cause of anxiety and depression. Anger that is not appropriately expressed can disrupt relationships, affect thinking and behaviour patterns, and create a variety of physical problems. Long-term anger has been linked to health issues such as high blood pressure, heart problems, headaches, skin disorders, and digestive problems. In addition, anger can be linked to problems such as crime, emotional and physical abuse, and other violent behaviour.
Before anger becomes destructive, contact me on email@example.com or on 084 779 4889. Visit my website on www.nadinetherapy.co.za.
Credit: Psychologytoday, Menshealth, Guystuffcounselling, Webmd
5/29/2018 0 Comments
The choice always stays yours!
Stress can keep you from finishing tasks or chores and can negatively affect many parts of your life. It’s important to take note of when stress starts taking over your life where you can’t even do easy tasks, so that you can step back when necessary. When under extreme stress, feeling unhappy, confused or angry, we often develop bad habits which exacerbate the stress. Some of these habits include:
Sometimes, going through rough times can make you turn to food to cope with stress. But if you realise that food has become your coping mechanism for stress then it can get problematic because it can lead to you compromising your health. Dealing with emotional eating may cause you to have a poor diet leading to blood sugar imbalances and cause an even higher level of stress.
Drinking and smoking, or any addiction
Substance abuse is a common habit amongst people who are stressed out. People often turn to drugs, smoking and alcohol as a way to cope with their problems.
When you delay getting tasks done on time, you may end up panicking. This can lead to you stressing even more and becoming increasingly anxious because you end up having more work that needs to be done in a shorter space of time. The best thing to do is face each task individually, measure how long it will take you to get it done and then…just get it done!
Doing it alone
Being independent is a great characteristic because you rely mostly on yourself to get things done. But you can ask for help if you feel overwhelmed with having too much on your plate. You are not alone. You can try and do everything on your own, but it’s difficult. Getting help from your family and friends may end up being a fun experience and remind you that you are stronger as a team.
Focusing on mistakes you’ve made
The sooner you learn to accept the things you can’t change and stop focusing on your mistakes the less you will stress and become more at peace with yourself and others. Learn from your mistakes but obsessing over what you should have done will not change anything and isn’t healthy for your mental state. The only things you can change are your attitude and behaviour. Focus on doing better the next time.
If you have developed any of these habits, or others that are becoming a problem, give me a call. Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 084 779 4889. Visit my website on www.nadinetherapy.co.za.
5/20/2018 0 Comments
The choice always stays yours!
Have you ever made a bad decision? Some people respond well in stressful situations and some people lose focus and can make costly mistakes. Why does stress cause many people to have impaired decision making?
The survival mechanisms that make up the stress response are very primitive in origin. These date back well before the development of a cognitive process, such as decision making. In fact, humans, alone, can analyse and decide about their actions in a deliberate and logical way. Human brains still have the primitive responses for survival "hard-wired" into the mechanism of response to stress. When stressed, the more basic and primitive parts of the human brain take over. The middle and lower brain, which can react more quickly to threats by preparing you to fight or flight can become dominant. The logical, "thinking" part of the upper brain shuts down and good decisions are placed lower as a survival priority. In our complex society the non-thinking reactions to stress can get you in trouble.
When we are stressed it is common to have several reactions that reduce effective decision making including:
Pre-occupation with an idea, even if it is old or ineffective. We do this because we fear new ideas or activities as a response to being overwhelmed and stressed. We tend to do things the way we always have done, rather than using new ways or new technologies.
Our concentration is impaired. Too much internal "noise" and distraction from our thoughts because of our stress. There is deterioration in judgment and logical thinking - we become more reactive. We fall into negative self-evaluations as stress affects our self-esteem and self-confidence. Negative thinking and self-criticism are not useful to move forward in a positive direction. We have less objectivity for a reality-check that can show the overall position in the "bigger" picture.
Creativity is reduced. We see fewer alternatives and this reduces the brainstorming necessary for appropriate problem solving. Our search for input of useful information is impaired.
We fail to see and understand the long-term consequences of decisions. This can lead to serious mistakes. We do not communicate as effectively to get input, to make good decisions, and then to communicate and motivate people to get the required actions to successfully carry out a decision.
Let me help you prevent making these mistakes while under stress that could have an irreversible impact on your life. Contact me on email@example.com or on 084 779 4889. Visit my website on www.nadinetherapy.co.za.
5/13/2018 0 Comments
Self-destructive behaviour is, at first glance, amongst the most enigmatic and counterintuitive emotional disorders. How is it possible that someone would wish to harm themselves?
It seems to run directly against everyone’s apparently obvious wish to seek out pleasure and happiness. There’s something disturbing about wishing to damage oneself, not protecting oneself, to seek out suffering. People who discover this trait in themselves are often deeply troubled by it. And yet, if we take a step back for a minute, sooner or later we will observe that self-destructive behaviour is far from being unusual.
It does sometimes present itself in very clear and recognisable forms, where the wish to destroy oneself is manifest and conscious (or almost): self-mutilation, certain drug-abuses, or exposing oneself willingly to another person’s violence, are examples of this.
However, these manifestations, so blatantly recognisable, are not by any means the most common forms of self-destructive behaviour. Far more common are all the subtle and compulsive forms of self-sabotage, of which the individual has no awareness whatsoever, and that effectively attack her or his wellbeing.
To be continually self-derogatory, seeking humiliation without realising it, approaching everything from a negative standpoint, going through mysterious and repetitive failures, hanging onto unhealthy situations, or constantly finding oneself in the position of a victim are among the many ways that can be used to harm oneself.
Some examples of Self Destructive Behaviour
If we investigate these situations in depth, we will first discover the relatively transparent incapability of allowing oneself to simply be happy. But we will also find, and much less obviously so, the secret pleasure that is obtained from suffering –– secret because it is unacceptable to our consciousness.
Self-destructive behaviour is a subconscious or intentional, impulsive, or planned action or way of life that can cause physical or psychological harm. It is a complex dysfunctional behaviour that can escalate and lead to death in extreme cases. Early intervention and treatment can prevent this outcome.
I can help you. Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 084 779 4889. Visit my website on www.nadinetherapy.co.za
Credit: Lovetoknow, Consulta Baekelan, Lonerwolf
5/6/2018 0 Comments
The message that I would like to bring forth is what emotions, behaviours, mistakes and habits people have and make that prevents them from having a fulfilled, happy and inner balanced life.
Starting with emotions……………………………………….
Emotions can make you feel like you’re on a roller coaster sometimes. During one day you can experience a range of emotions – happiness, sadness, anger, excitement, nervousness, confusion, anxiety – you name it, you can feel it.
If you've wondered what to do with these feelings, however, you are not alone in struggling with negative emotions. Many people have the same question about stress and coping. When they feel overcome with negative emotions like hurt, frustration or anger, they know they shouldn't pretend they feel nothing, but they also don't want to dwell on negative feelings and ruminate.
Negative emotions can be described as any feeling which causes you to be miserable and sad. These emotions make you dislike yourself and others and take away your confidence. Emotions that can become negative are hate, anger, jealousy and sadness. Yet, in the right context, these feelings are completely natural.
Negative emotions can dampen our enthusiasm for life, depending on how long we let them affect us and the way we choose to express them. Negative emotions stop us from thinking and behaving rationally and seeing situations in their true perspective. When this occurs, we tend to see only what we want to see and remember only what we want to remember. This only prolongs the anger or grief and prevents us from enjoying life.
The longer this goes on, the more entrenched the problem becomes. Dealing with negative emotions inappropriately can also be harmful - for example, expressing anger with violence.
Negative emotions can come from a triggering event: an overwhelming workload, for example; they also the result of our thoughts surrounding an event; the way we interpret what happened can alter how we experience the event and whether or not it causes stress. The key job of your emotions is to get you to see the problem, so you can make necessary changes.
Some points to remember when feeling negative emotions:
Let me help you overcome negative emotion. Contact me on email@example.com or on 084 779 4889. Visit my website on www.nadinetherapy.co.za.
Credit: Lifehack, Verywellmind, Betterhealth
An addiction problem can turn an entire life upside down, damaging career prospects, academics, relationships, health, and one’s day-to-day world. Recovery is always possible, but one of the hardest parts about recovery is learning how to celebrate living in the shadow of a past substance or behavioural abuse problem. A person does not recover from addiction by simply stopping using. Recovery starts when you start living a new life without drugs. If you don’t change your lifestyle, then all the things that lead to your abuse may catch up with you sooner or later. Until you learn to let go of your old behaviours, they will continue to lead you back to abuse.
It’s not enough to tear down the dysfunction in your life, though — you must rebuild something in its place. You can make your life exactly what you always wanted it to be, long before it started spinning out of control.
Using your natural ability to form habits is a good way to rebuild your life after an addiction.
Develop a routine. The best way to be sure you’re doing things that will result in a healthy, happy life is to do them regularly.
Use exercise to move you. Honouring your physical health and protecting it with daily exercise is an important part of self-care. Simply pick a physical activity you enjoy and practice it every day.
Learn something new. Decide what you want to learn and how to get that information. You may choose to read a book or take a course. Be sure you’re always pursuing new knowledge in your life.
Continue your recovery practice. Recovery is an ongoing status. When you think you’re finished and don’t need to practice recovery anymore, that’s when you’re most likely to relapse. Get in the habit of checking in with your counsellor or group on a regular basis.
Maintain social connections. It’s too easy to isolate yourself and start spending more time in your head than is healthy. Make a habit of getting together with friends on a regular basis. You can start small with just one or two close friends, mentors or family members. When you’re ready, expand your circle.
Use these good habits as a goal, add appropriate activities to your schedule and repeat your routine every day and every week. Good habits will help you build a healthy, happy life after addiction.
Know that I am here to help you work through your challenge! Help is one phone call away! 084 779 4889.
Nadine van Rensburg counselling therapist
Credit: Synergy Recovery Services and Hawaii Island Recovery
The early stages of addiction can place a lot of stress on other members of a family, resulting in unhealthy coping skills. But soon, this can become the new normal for a family. When the individual seeks treatment or successfully completes treatment, families can fight to maintain that homeostasis, and dysfunctional behaviours can remain.
Family members can experience common issues and fill similar roles to cope with addiction. Two of the most common problems are co-dependency and enabling.
Co-dependency occurs when a family member is controlled by the addict’s behaviour. Family members often feel compelled to take care of the addict to the detriment of their own wants and needs. The co-dependent is excessively compliant, wants to avoid rejection, is oversensitive and remains loyal.
Enabling takes place when someone helps or encourages the addict, either directly or indirectly. An enabler might also lie for the addict or hide the addict’s behaviour from loved ones.
To cope with the addict’s behaviour, family members can develop, to some degree, certain co-dependent roles.
The more well-known roles are:
The Hero: The hero tries to make the family look good, often by overachieving and being successful. This person seems balanced, but often feels isolated and unable to express his or her feelings.
The Mascot: The mascot tells jokes and keeps things on a superficial level to turn the focus away from the painful truth of the situation. Although this can distract others, the mascot is often fearful, embarrassed and angry.
The Scapegoat: The scapegoat engages in negative behaviour to turn attention away from the addict or to react to positive attention that the hero receives. The scapegoat often turns to high-risk behaviours.
The Lost Child: The lost child is the family member who withdraws from the situation. He or she cares deeply, but emotionally checks out to avoid trouble and drama.
The Caretaker: The caretaker wants to make everyone happy and feels responsible for keeping the family going. As a result, the caretaker enables the addict by taking over the person’s problems and duties.
Family members play a critical role in the treatment process and are strongly encouraged to attend meetings at a support group, which can help them address their loved one’s addiction while also giving them the opportunity to interact with other families going through the recovery process.
Realise your addiction now and save yourself – let me help you and your family. Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or on 084 779 4889. Visit my website on www.nadinetherapy.co.za
No addict takes their first drug - whether that is a substance or a behaviour - believing that they will become addicted. All addicts start out believing that they could give up drugs any time they wanted to. Every addict is sad proof of how wrong that belief is.
Another word for addiction is ‘dependence’. The two kinds of dependence we speak of are psychological dependence and physical dependence. Psychological dependence occurs when a person feels he or she needs drugs, alcohol or any other crutch to function or feel comfortable (e.g., needing to drink alcohol to feel relaxed in social situations, or needing to be high to enjoy sex). Some people eventually feel they need a substance just to be able to cope with daily life.
Physical dependence occurs when a person’s body has adapted to the presence of a substance. Tolerance has developed, which means that the person needs to use more of that particular substance to get the same effect. When substance or behavioural use stops, symptoms of withdrawal occur, both psychologically and physically.
You can never anticipate the effect that drugs will have on you. You could experience a very pleasant response to one drug, yet another drug could have a very frightening reaction - it could even kill you. It is a mistake to think that experience increases your tolerance levels or that nothing will happen to you if you take a drug that you have used before. It is a well-known fact that seasoned drug addicts often die of an overdose.
No matter how good you may feel when using drugs, your body suffers. Drugs are dangerous. If you take drugs, you are at great risk of becoming addicted. Addiction comes with a big price tag. The more drugs you want, the more money you need to feed the habit. It is not weak people who become drug addicts, its drug addicts who become weak people.
However tempting it may be, using drugs to take a break from reality will not make your problems disappear or make life better. When the drug wears off, reality will still be there with all the problems from which you were trying to escape.
If you feel that things are spiralling out of control and you are overwhelmed by problems, seek real help from someone who cares.
Realise your addiction now and save yourself – let me help you. Contact me on email@example.com or on 084 779 4889. Visit my website on www.nadinetherapy.co.za.