Depression in Men is a Public Health Crisis

REPORT: “Depression in Men is a Public Health Crisis”

by Paul Krauss MA LPC

If you have lived in the United States in the last 100 years you are surely familiar with the fact that many men live with depression and “don’t want to talk about it.” Many men in the United States suffer needlessly with depression for a variety of reasons, but are unwilling to seek help due to personal preferences (often highly influenced by the mainstream male culture at large, “tradition,” and difficulties with what seeking help means for male identity). Men with depression has not been a popular topic in the culture of the United States that was founded on “rugged individualism.” The myth of this ultimate cowboy individualism was meant to emphasize the hard work and bravery of the men in our culture, from exploring, to building cities, to fighting in World War II–it was not supposed to emphasize isolation and “only doing it yourself.” Emotionally healthy men have always talked to other men and women and worked together to solve problems. There are so many famous examples all throughout the history of the United States of men joining together to help overcome an obstacle. However, it seems that this myth of the “loner cowboy” has infiltrated the consciousness of male culture and has been twisted to mean that men “do it themselves, keep to themselves and do not display or express emotions.” Emotions, of course, are just natural sensations in the body–and it is common knowledge (due to conclusive research) that if we do not express or acknowledge them–there will usually be personal difficulties occuring. In fact, the toxic expression “boys don’t cry” phrase has been repeated over and over in various forms by men and women alike, further influencing the younger generation to not talk openly and authentically about their emotions (which are a normal part and process of being a human being). Multiple studies have shown that males are just as sensitive at birth and throughout development as females, but in many segments of society, male emotions and sensitivity have been viewed as a threat to masculinity and thus people have “trained” or forced males to hold back their emotions and “not cry.” For some, a male display of emotions is seen as a weakness. This archaic, yet prevalent, cultural viewpoint not only flies in the face of basically all research in biology, sociology, and psychology, but it is one of the reasons that the United States is facing a public health crisis of undiagnosed depression in men.

Because of grossly misaligned societal ideas such as “boys don’t cry,” the suppression of emotions in boys often leads to outbursts of anger. Many males hide their emotions behind humor or aggressive behavior as they don’t know what else to do and have not been socialized to express their emotions in straightforward or healthy ways. The traditional signs of depression are more easily observed by the behavior of younger females – withdrawal, quiet demeanor, crying etc. However, because of cultural issues, many males do not display these obvious depressive symptoms when depressed and therefore, their clinical depression goes undiagnosed or is wrongly diagnosed as conduct disorder or attention-deficit disorder.

There are signs that younger males display when they are depressed that are usually different than those found in females, but one just needs to know how to look for them. Before it is clearly evident to those around him that a male has depression, he often becomes irritable, withdrawn, violent, impulsive or suicidal because of cultural suppression of emotions. This is one of the reasons why men have a higher level of completed suicides – about three suicides a day in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, at least 6 million American men suffer from depression every year. Yet depression in males is vastly under-diagnosed, with 65 percent of cases going undetected.

“Depression in males of all ages is a public health crisis that must be addressed. To do so, we must redefine healthy masculinity and recognize that even if men are putting on a face suggesting “everything is fine,” real pain may be lurking beneath the surface.” – SF Gate

Depression in males, regardless of age, is a public health crisis in the United States. There are three steps that should be taken to aid in diminishing this crisis: encourage all males, no matter the age, to express their emotions instead of pushing them aside; educate those involved such as parents, teachers, and doctors to better recognize the signs and the way depression manifests in males. Lastly, seek early intervention that provides men with support groups and support in general and prioritize it.

Counseling is a low-cost and relatively minor intervention with a very large positive effect size. According to a research study involving thousands of studies on counseling, 79% of people feel much better after attending counseling regularly for a few months. For men, counseling is a practical way to start feeling better without medications or hospitalizations—in fact, counseling can save thousands of dollars in health costs if the depression is addressed early on. Depression is not a permanent condition–with the right intervention at the right time, people are resilient and can feel like themselves again soon.

If you are looking for Counseling in the Grand Rapids, MI area–check out our counselors here at Health for Life Grand Rapids. We have both male and female counselors who are ready to help you or your loved one. Call 616-200-4433 for more information.

Sources:

Depression in Men Is a Public Health Crisis by the San Francisco Gate

https://m.sfgate.com/opinion/openforum/article/Depression-in-men-is-a-public-health-crisis-5732016.php

The National Institute of Health: Men and Depression

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/men-and-depression/index.shtml

 

Are you feeling SAD?

Are you feeling SAD?

The leaves are falling. Hour by hour the days are getting shorter. Gray is filling the sky. These are all signs of winter. While some love the season, many suffer from SAD. SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD is a temporary mood disorder that’s characterized by depression–this disorder occurs to most people roughly around the same time every year. SAD is a common issue for many with a documented 3 million people affected every year in the United States

Symptoms

Symptoms of SAD can include fatigue, depression, and social withdrawal. SAD may immensely impact one’s day to day life and overall well being. This disorder can make one feel hopeless and can cause loss of interest in relationships and activities. It can also cause insomnia, excess sleep, and appetite changes.

Ways to Reduce Symptoms

One of the largest causes from SAD is a lack of natural light exposure to the body. Light therapy is highly recommended to reduce the symptoms SAD and there are at-home interventions that mimic light therapy. The most popular DIY intervention is a happy light. The Happy Light mimics daylight and can improve your overall mood and energy levels. You can purchase a Happy Light here .

Another way to reduce the impact of SAD on your life is to incorporate exercise into your daily schedule. Exercise boosts endorphins in your body. Endorphins are a chemical in your body that can trigger positive feelings. Exercise can not only alter your mood but reduce stress. Overall it’s an emotional booster, and can immensely help with SAD symptoms.

Eating healthy is a component that will complement daily exercise well. Foods that will help one’s SAD symptoms are:

  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Omega 3 fatty acids (Chia seeds, flaxseed, soybeans)
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin B

While you may feel like you’re the only one experiencing SAD, millions of people are going through the same thing. Help yourself and those around you by socializing and continuing to get out there–even on the dreary days. If you’re finding it difficult to get out of the house make it a weekly practice. Having a standing date with a friend or loved one and socializing in a unique environment will serve as a good motivator to get out of your house!

Taking an optimistic look at the weather, instead of looking at the weather as a culprit may make it an opportunity. Try experimenting with fueling your dread into optimism. Cold weather provides many opportunities that warm weather doesn’t. Hit the ice skating rink, try skiing, look for holiday light displays, take a walk in the snow, look up local community events with a winter theme, try out your local sauna, or enjoy a cup of hot chocolate at your favorite cafe.

If you feel you are experiencing SAD, try out one of the suggestions above. There have been many studies that have shown that light therapy, diet, exercise, and socializing help with SAD symptoms. If you feel you need further help, Health for Life Grand Rapids is here for you. We offer a number of therapies as well as health coaching… no matter what the weather is like!

Learn more about how to beat the winter blues on Dr. Nicole Cain’s blog here.

( https://www.drnicolecain.com/my-mental-health-doc/seasonal-affective-disorder-3-ways-to-beat-the-winter-blues-by-dr-nicole-cain-nd-ma )

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/23/smarter-living/coping-with-seasonal-affective-disorder.html

https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/exercise-depression#1

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320163.php

https://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20447948,00.html ?

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy

EMDR Therapy in Grand Rapids, MI

Health for Life Grand Rapids is a trauma-informed integrative counseling and health center in West Michigan. All of our staff is trauma-informed and trained, multiple counselors are EMDR trained, and we have one therapist that is trained in Somatic Experiencing Technique.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is therapeutic technique used to relieve psychological stress, trauma, anxiety, and depression. It is the number one most recommended treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and has been empirically proven to reduce the emotional, mental, and physical side effects of past traumatic experiences. It is a relatively newer technique and it is safe, and easy to implement alongside regular talk therapy. The good news is that EMDR is incredibly effective and with single-incident trauma can often reduce symptoms in a large way in only 6-12 sessions. It is effective with long-term and chronic PTSD as well.

During EMDR therapy sessions you will first establish safety as well as go over different skills and techniques to calm your nervous system. Eventually you are safely guided through reprocessing of the past trauma, which causes a reduction in symptoms and an increase in overall wellness. Hundreds of studies have supported the efficacy of EMDR therapy. While outcomes vary, the vast majority of people who complete EMDR are able to be exposed to traumatic triggers without having a negative psychological or physical response in future situations.

Throughout these sessions clients are able to regain power over their emotional state and reduce the effects and frequency of flashbacks, triggers, and other disturbing symptoms of trauma and anxiety. EMDR is an effective treatment for anxiety and depression, not just trauma and PTSD. This integrative therapy can help you replace old deeply held negative beliefs with positive frameworks that will enable you to have better navigate whatever comes next.

That being said two of our therapists have recently completed EMDR training and are now accepting new clients for EMDR reprocessing and talk therapy. Nicole Vega LMSW and Billie Walters LMSW have completed EMDR training and are now accepting appointments.

There are several ways to get started today.

You may call 616-200-4433 to schedule a consultation and dial their extension.

Or contact Nicole and Billie directly.

Billie Walters

  • Call Billie on her direct line: 616-258-6419
  • You can email Billie as well: [email protected]

Nicole Vega

  • Call Nicole on her direct line: 616-389-0291
  • You can email Nicole as well: [email protected]

In addition, Paul Krauss MA LPC is EMDR trained and John Curphey LMFT is trained in Somatic Experiencing Therapy. Adam Nash and Jennifer Belmonte are both Trauma-Informed Counselors. Stacey Prefontaine has also studied trauma and is a trauma-informed hypnotherapist. Dr. Nicole Cain ND MA is also a trauma-informed clinician.

For more information on the research behind EMDR, check out EMDR.COM.

For more information on the research behind Somatic Experience Therapy, check out https://traumahealing.org/about-us/

EMDR Therapists

Substance Use Disorder

Are you or someone you know suffering from a Substance Use Disorder?

If you use more substance than you intend too, have failed to cut back from substances, or spend excessive time in obtaining, using, or recovering from substance use– you may be suffering from a substance use disorder.

It doesn’t matter your viewpoint on the legality or reasons for using drugs, alcohol, or other substances. In fact, you may still support the legality or reasons for people using a substance, without personally overindulging in its use. Substance Use issues are discovered based on a misuse or overuse of the substance that causes one, or one’s loved ones to suffer.

Substance Use Disorder symptoms could include having cravings for substances, use of substances affecting daily life such as work, school, or home, and using it in dangerous situations. If you’ve given up work, social, or recreational activities that could all be an indicator of substance abuse. Being persistent despite awareness of the problem, gaining a tolerance, or having withdrawals are also warning signs you’re suffering from substance abuse.

There are multiple levels of a Substance Use Disorder. If you experience 2 to 3 symptoms– the problem is considered is mild, 4 to 5 symptoms is moderate, and 6 or more symptoms is considered severe. It is important to have a medical professional evaluate you, if you believe you are suffering from a Substance Use Disorder.

Another important factor to consider is: Are you have any underlying symptoms that are influencing you to misuse drugs, alcohol, or other substances? Such symptoms can include: Anxiety, Depression, Social Anxiety, Relationship Issues, prolonged grief, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms.

There are many things you can do to help yourself overcome a Substance Use Disorder. The first step is observing how you feel after an episode of using substances, or accept feedback from a close friend or family member. Some ways to begin curbing a substance use disorder are: Admitting to yourself that you have an issue, becoming involved with sober-friends, joining a SMART recovery program, trying out a 12-step program, as well as beginning to recognize your triggers (for using). Adding meditation or yoga to your daily routine can help you begin to have more mind and body awareness of how you feel, both sober and intoxicated. Working on changing your diet to include healthy proteins and vegetables and supplementing with extra omega 3’s can also help.  Light exercise is also recommended to help one curb substance use. Other methods that can provide relief are art therapy, finding a mentor or wise helper, becoming part of an activity group which does not center around using substances, getting an animal companion, finding an active “outdoor” hobby, or planting a garden. Taking apple cider vinegar, ginkgo biloba (herbal medicine), and caffeine can be a healthier alternatives to drugs, alcohol, and other substances.

Since battling a Substance Use Disorder can become quite complicated and difficult, since many people have many social influences that may make it difficult to avoid drugs, alcohol, and other substances–it is important to consider that you may need a combination of help and personal self-help solutions, including professional help, medical interventions, a support group, and personal self-care.

A number of medical interventions can help you overcome a Substance Use Disorder. In fact, Clinical hypnotherapy has proven to be very helpful, specifically for smoking addiction.

Other medical interventions that could help are:

These techniques are not meant to replace medical advice. Speak with your healthcare practitioner if you think you are suffering with depression. The DSM-5 strives to conceptualize an illness as a spectrum, with a domain that should be construed as normal.

If you feel that your substance use is out of control, you can call a hotline to get immediate help, learn more here: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

To find local support groups, check out these websites:

Smart Recovery:  https://www.smartrecovery.org/

Alcoholics Anonymous: https://www.aa.org/

Learn more here about Substance Use Disorders here:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 

National Center for Biotechnology Information 

 

 

The story of Francis Assisi and the current zeitgeist

The story of Francis of Assisi and its relevance to the current zeitgeist w/ Rafe Adams [Episode 18 of the Intentional Clinician Podcast]

In this episode, Paul Krauss MA LPC invites Rafe Adams to tell the story of Francis of Assisi. You’re bound to enjoy his telling of this tale. Rafe expertly frames the cultural context and captures mood of the historical events. Rafe discusses the famous conversion of Francis from a young man of privilege into one who took a vow of poverty and lived with lepers in order to live out the words of the gospels, literally. He further goes on to explain the rejection of Francis by his own father and brother and draws parallels to the current zeitgeist of the United States. He doesn’t only speak on the gap between the rich and poor, but what happens to those born of privilege when they challenge entrenched ideas, laws, and economic forces of the day. In the interview Rafe also discusses the cultural, historical, political, and spiritual significance of Francis’ founding of the Order of Friars Minor (aka “The Franciscans”). This episode showcases Rafe’s talent of storytelling and how he can artfully move from his points about Francis of Assisi’s life and work and connect to themes of the broader human experience. Fans of philosophy, counseling, sociology, and spirituality are bound to enjoy this episode.

It’s truly a treat to listen to Rafe and Paul converse about how both in Francis’ time and and in modern times, people risk rejection by family and “cultural tribe” if they speak the truth about certain issues in their community, or work for causes that help “the least of these”, refuse to invest in certain economic trends, or speak loudly and passionately about unpopular truths. In addition to the aforementioned topics, the following topics are also discussed: personal transformation, rejection, counseling, psychology, spirituality,  and (most savory of all) BBQ.

The Rt. Rev. Raphael Adams (Rafe Adams), MS OTR/L is the Bishop of the Mid-American Diocese of the Ecumenical Catholic Communication. He is a member of the Franciscans of Reconciliation. He is a former professor at Rush University Chicago, Psychosocial Rehabilitation Consultant, and Occupational Therapist.

Paul Krauss MA LPC is a full-time Private Practice Psychotherapist, the host of the Intentional Clinician Podcast, Behavioral Health Consultant, Clinical Trainer, and Counseling Supervisor. Paul is the creator of the National Violence Prevention Hotline (in progress) http://www.violencepreventionhotline.org/ as well as the Intentional Clinician Training Program for Counselors. Paul consults for and trains clinicians at behavioral health organizations. Paul works at at Health for Life Grand Rapids, in Grand Rapids MI and is frequently visits Phoenix, AZ for work as well. Questions? Call Paul at 616-365-5530 (direct), or at the office 616-200-4433. Learn more about Paul at http://www.paulkrausscounseling.com/

Original music:

“Shades of Currency” [Instrumental] from Archetypes by PAWL

Corridor of Dreams from Midnight Cleaners by The Cleaners from Venus

Music available here:

https://pawl.bandcamp.com/

https://thecleanersfromvenus.bandcamp.com/album/midnight-cleaners

Post Partum Depression

Post Partum Depression

With all the hormonal changes after childbirth “baby blues” can be normal, but if symptoms last more than 2 weeks you may be a part of the 15% of mothers that have a more severe form of depression.

There are many symptoms that could indicate you are suffering from postpartum depression. Some of these could include avoiding family and friends, not being able to take care of yourself or your baby, or having sadness or guilt consume your thoughts. If you have trouble feeling close to your baby or making decisions, those may be indicators you have postpartum depression as well.

Other possible symptoms could be fears that you’re not a good mother, severe mood swings, anxiety, or panic attacks, and too much or too little sleep. You could also suffer from a lack of interest in daily tasks or thoughts of harming yourself or your baby. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms for longer than 2 weeks you could be experiencing postpartum depression.

While the symptoms seem vast, there are a number of things you can do at home to relieve your symptoms. One of the things you should do first is educate yourself on PDD symptoms and treatment. In your research you may find there are a number of support groups with other moms feeling just like you in your community (Grand Rapids, MI). While it’s great to talk about your symptoms with others who understand, it’s also important to take time for yourself and rest.

Other activities to do that can help with PDD are not isolating yourself, letting the housework go, wearing your baby and talking to them during daily activities, and knowing that a major adjustment to a birth is normal and it will likely pass without treatment. Studies have shown that breastfeeding can help with postpartum depression.

In addition to engaging in some of these activities, it’s important to exercise when you can and maintain a healthy diet (consume extra omega 3’s). The body can overcome incredible things when fueled and rested properly, and always remember, it is never too early to seek treatment.

In addition to the small things you can incorporate into your daily lifestyle, there are several medical interventions that can help you. Counseling, naturopathic medicine, hypnotherapy, and seeking a psychiatrist are among these.

Quote from Billie Walters:

The journey to motherhood is assumed to be magical and delicate when in reality, it can feel brutal and deflating. Your body changes, inside and out! Your entire life changes and all too often, women are expected to snap back to their former selves almost as soon as the baby is earth-side! Women need to know that it is okay to feel however they feel during pregnancy and after giving birth. Women need to know that it is okay to ask for help and seek support; that may be one of the most courageous things a mother can do (and mom’s do a lot of courageous things!).

Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms, Relief, and More

Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms, Relief, and More

What’s bipolar disorder?

Euphoric (or extremely elevated) or irritable mood and increased energy or activity for one week (or more) that displays 3 out of 7 symptoms of Mania including social or work impairment, followed by one-two weeks of a depressive episode. Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks. Episodes of depression with mixed features (having depression and manic symptoms at the same time) are also possible.

What are possible symptoms of Mania?

  • Decreased Sleep
  • Talkative
  • Racing thoughts
  • Distractibility
  • Increased goal-oriented activity
  • Impulsiveness

What are possible symptoms of Depression?

  • Sadness
  • Interest Loss
  • Guilt or Worthlessness
  • Energy Loss
  • Concentration Loss
  • Appetite Change
  • Psychomotor Agitation or Persistent Irritability
  • Sleep Change
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Hopelessness
  • Low Self-Esteem

Note, there are several types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar I Disorder— defined by manic episodes that last at least 7 days, or by manic symptoms that are so severe that the person needs immediate hospital care. Usually, depressive episodes occur as well, typically lasting at least 2 weeks. Episodes of depression with mixed features (having depression and manic symptoms at the same time) are also possible.
  • Bipolar II Disorder— defined by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, but not the full-blown manic episodes described above.
  • Cyclothymic Disorder (also called cyclothymia)— defined by numerous periods of hypomanic symptoms as well numerous periods of depressive symptoms lasting for at least 2 years (1 year in children and adolescents). However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for a hypomanic episode and a depressive episode.

What are some things I can do that’ll provide relief?

  • Remind yourself that racing thoughts are not true, just part of the illness
  • Journal your symptoms and experiences
  • Practice mindfulness and being present
  • Create a routine/structure and stick to a strict sleep schedule
  • Avoid any mind-altering substances, including alcohol
  • Create feelings of accomplishment and being productive
  • Educate yourself on bipolar to be able to better understand yourself
  • Exercise frequently and avoid sitting for long periods of time
  • Don’t isolate yourself, but spend time with supportive friends or family members
  • Make time to relax a priority and enjoy leisure time
  • Eat a healthy diet and get your omega-3’s
  • Get involved in your community through volunteering and/or mentoring
  • Work on having consistency with your schedule of socialization with supportive people
  • Working on learning de-stressing skills
  • Finding things to do that help you express your creativity

What are some medical interventions that can help me?

  • Counseling
  • Seeing a Psychiatrist
  • Naturopathic Medicine
  • Intensive Outpatient Group Counseling including DBT therapy
  • Inpatient Hospitalization (if needed for stabilization)
  • Magnesium and Vitamin D (Mayo Clinic)
  • Diet and Exercise
  • Working on Sleep Hygiene and a structured sleep schedule
  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

These techniques do not replace medical advice. Speak with your healthcare practitioner if you think you are suffering with depression. The DSM-5 strives to conceptualize an illness as a spectrum, with a domain that should be construed as normal.

 

Health for Life GR Celebrates One Year Anniversary

June 2018 represents one year of Health for Life being a part of the Grand Rapids and greater West Michigan community. We are thrilled to have a dedicated team of seven clinicians to serve you. These include five trauma-informed and highly specialized counselors (psychotherapists), a Naturopathic Physician, and a Clinical Hypnotherapist. Our goal is to bring you the highest quality counseling and medical services in West Michigan. We are invested in you meeting your goals and getting back into the world and out of the office to live your life without the constraints of burdening symptoms. While symptom management is important, our passion is to address the root cause so that with time, you no longer need care and can live a more fulfilling life. Since we are highly trained and well read, we will adjust our treatment approach to your unique situation, personality, and needs.
Since opening our doors to the Grand Rapids community in June 2018:

  • We have hosted multiple events free to the public at our office space,
  • Became a member of Local First
  • Collaborated with Women’s Lifestyle Magazine on several health articles
  • Teamed up with Harvest Health Food Stores to offer free educational talks
  • Supported the Be Nice organization’s on several events
  • Worked with with Crowns for Courage to raise funds for charity
  • Collaborated with Gold Coast Doulas on a post partum depression awareness event and a diaper drive
  • Were a part of the Inspired Life Conference 2018

In one year, the Heath for Life team has published over 65 helpful blogs on our website on a variety of health topics, which are all free to the public and sharable.

Paul Krauss MA LPC: Providing Psychotherapy, Consulting & Counseling ServicesPaul Krauss MA LPC‘s free downloadable podcast The Intentional Clinician surpassed 3330 downloads as of June 18, 2018.
Paul presented his counselor training program “The Intentional Clinician” in Phoenix AZ for multiple behavioral health clinics and continued to train clinicians in ACRA techniques.
Paul Krauss unveiled his humanitarian project: The National Violence Prevention Hotline.
In addition, Paul has also invested in training and supervising clinicians in West Michigan and hosts a monthly supervision group for counselors. Paul is a voice for increasing clinical trauma-informed treatment that follows the latest science and research (neurobiology and more) when it comes to brain health, recovery, and the causes of clinical symptoms.

Dr. Nicole Cain, ND MA Expert on alternative psychiatric careDr. Nicole Cain ND MA was a featured speaker at the Inspired Life Conference 2018, was a featured speaker at Wealthy Theater for an event to help those with Postpartum Depression, was
recently invited by PESI to become a national traveling lecturer, released a book about Gut Psychology, and is working on several new books, and offering a variety of difficult to find lab tests, in addition to her private practice.

nicole vegaNicole Vega, LMSW continues to be an advocate for Women and Young Mother’s in the community and has also collaborated on a support group for mothers.

Jennifer Belmonte at Health for Life Grand Rapids
Jen Belmonte, LMSW has continued to help people, couples, and families find peace and reconciliation.

Billie Walters, LMSW providers therapy to children, adolescents, and adults at Health for Life Grand Rapids in Michigan
Billie Walters, LMSW is now offering Reiki services in addition to her clinical Counseling and Therapy work. Billie has a unique peaceful approach to counseling. Some would call it a Zen approach.

adam nash helping teens with anger, depression, and anxietyAdam Nash, LLPC has shown immense expertise in working with teenagers as well as Men and has expanded from part-time to full-time counselor.

John Curphey, LMFT (a recent Chicago transplant) is one of the only clinicians in Michigan offering Somatic Experience Therapy to treat PTSD, Complex Trauma, and other traumatic experiences.

Stacey Prefontaine Hypnotherapist Grand RapidsStacey Prefontaine CHt-CMS, FIBH is one of the only clinical hypnotherapists practicing in West Michigan who offers hypnosis to those who are facing medical procedures. As both a Certified Clinical hypnotherapist and a Clinical Medical Support Hypnotherapist Stacey is providing a clinical alternative to talk therapy which has been proven to be effective for insomnia, chronic pain, and much more.

Thank you Grand Rapids for supporting us.
-The Health for Life Team.

Why we need a National Violence Prevention Hotline

Why we need a National Violence Prevention Hotline [Episode 16 of the Intentional Clinician Podcast]

 

Communication is a powerful tool. It has the power to affect our moods, relationships, and perceptions. Being able to talk through a situation has ended wars, fights, and given people peace in many situations. Paul Krauss wants to use communication to decrease incidents of violence in the United States. This includes: lone wolf shooters, bullying behaviors, workplace violence, domestic violence, revenge scenarios, gang violence, school violence, relationship violence, and sexual abuse. He’s proposing the National Violence Prevention Hotline (NVPH) to help with these potentially fatal situations. Hotline counselors would also help victims of violence.

 

Paul conceived of the idea for the National Violence Prevention Hotline after a series of events, including hearing a story of a person refraining from committing a violent act because a kind woman confronted this potential offender while he was in emotional distress, guns in hand and ready to act against innocent citizens, with empathy and understanding, at just the right time. As a result of her outreach to him, he put down his weapons and asked for the police to be called and get professional help–he received it. At that moment, Paul realized that we have hotlines to prevent suicides and help the victims of domestic violence, but not to prevent or deal with violence or those who perpetrate it more broadly. His vision is to help save lives and reduce the devastating impact of violence on people, relationships, and communities.

 

Paul discusses the details of  National Violence Prevention Hotline on his podcast “The Intentional Clinician” [Episode 16]

 

The NVPH would specifically be for individuals who are feeling compelled toward committing acts of violence. This would give them the opportunity to talk with a trained counselor on the phone, work to de-escalate, and connect them with appropriate resources. Much like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the National Violence Prevention Hotline seeks to staff professional counselors to take calls from people in distress.

The difference is that the Violence Prevention Hotline will attempt to reach and work with people who are contemplating violent acts against others.
 Most violence is preventable. While it comes down to the individual’s choice to act, we are hoping that providing this resource would lead to decreases in violence, because there would be 24/7 support for those feeling angry, isolated, disavowed, persecuted, and whatever else is leading them toward considering committing violence acts.

 

The National Violence Prevention Hotline (NVPH) proposes to provide free, confidential, expert support for people in distress and feeling compelled toward committing acts of violence in the future. It may also provide a lifeline for victims of violence who have not yet called the police and are seeking counsel regarding their situation.

 

Paul’s goal is to create a safer, peaceful, more accepting world. YOU can help him, spread the message and lend your support by signing the petition at Change.org. Prevent violence today and led your support to the National Violence Prevention Hotline.

 

What Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder?

Wondering if you are suffering from anxiety?      

Anxiety: Have you found yourself excessively worrying most days? Has this been occurring for 6 months or longer? Does it interfere with work, daily activities, or social functions? If you answered Yes to all three questions you may have anxiety.

      Your symptoms could include restlessness, fatigue, decreased concentration, irritability, insomnia, heart racing & shakiness, excessive worrying, and feeling tense. While this a wide range of symptoms, there are many simple things you can do at home to help relieve your symptoms.

      You can make a number of changes to your diet and lifestyle to help alleviate your symptoms. As for diet, one of the most important things to keep in mind is to avoid processed foods. You should also limit your caffeine, sugar, and alcohol intake. Adding leafy greens, vitamin B-6, chamomile tea, calcium, magnesium, avocados, cashews, and dark chocolate may help with symptoms.

      It’s not only essential to alter your diet, but your lifestyle. It’s important to make sure you’re getting seven to nine hours of sleep. Participating in daily exercise such as yoga is also recommended. Maintaining a calm mind is crucial, be aware of when your anxiety is triggering. Deep breathing when it spikes is important, as well as practicing it throughout the day along with mindfulness techniques. You can also maintain calm and order by making a list of things you need to do and checking them off. Not only is keeping a calm mind important, but a peaceful environment. De-cluttering the spaces you’re usually in can help symptoms. Lastly, having a designated safety friend is a great idea. Someone you can trust and talk to when you’re feeling anxious will help you not only in the moment, but the long term.

      Medical interventions you can pursue include the following: counseling, naturopathic medicine, seeing a psychiatrist, and following the dietary and lifestyle changes mentioned above.

    At Health for Life Grand Rapids, we have staff equipped with skills that can help you with your anxiety. This includes our naturopathic doctor, Dr. Nicole Cain, ND MA and our professional counselors.

Build a better you with Health for Life.

    A short list for Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

   Generalized Anxiety Disorder:

   Excessive worry most days for 6 months that displays 3 out of 6 symptoms and interferes with work/ social functioning.

   Symptoms include:

  • Restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased Concentration
  • Irritability
  • Tense
  • Insomnia
  • Heart Racing and Shakiness
  • Excessive, Persistent and Unrealistic Worry

   Small things you can do at home to relieve your symptoms/self help:

  • Avoid processed foods
  • Limit caffeine, sugar, and alcohol
  • Get 7-9 hours of sleep
  • Declutter your environment/ clean/ reorganize
  • Start a daily journal
  • Practice meditation and deep breathing
  • Observe and be mindful of anxiety triggers
  • Do yoga and exercise
  • Call a safety friend
  • Extra leafy greens, Vitamin B-6, chamomile tea, calcium, magnesium, avocado, cashews, dark chocolate
  • Make a list and check things off
  • Get a fidget toy or coloring books
  • Practice gratitude

    Medical interventions:

  • Counseling
  • Naturopathic Medicine
  • Seeing a Psychiatrist
  • Magnesium and Vitamin D (Mayo Clinic)
  • Diet and Exercise

     The information and techniques listed above do not replace medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare practitioner if you think you are suffering with depression and DO NOT make any changes without consulting your doctor first. The DSM-5 strives to conceptualize an illness as a spectrum, with a domain that should be construed as normal.

    This blog is written for information and promotional use only–it is not and should not be considered medical or clinical advice.

 

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