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Do you feel overly tense, hypervigilant and apprehensive, perhaps with feelings of panic, obsessions or compulsions? If it returns again and again over longer periods of time, is hard to cope with and is debilitating to your general well-being and everyday functioning, then you may suffer from some sort of anxiety in the clinical sense. Characterized by different feelings such as tension worry and sadness, anxiety also produces physical changes in your body, such has high blood pressure, shaking or dizziness and in some cases it may also lead to depression.
Feeling angry on occasions is part of being human and is a secondary emotion. It is a natural response to being attacked, insulted, deceived, ridiculed, threatened or frustrated. Excessive anger can also be a symptom of a mental health problem and in most situations, fighting back or running away (‘fight or flight’) is not useful and anger can manifest itself in different ways.
Being angry is not a problem in itself: it’s how you deal with it. Are you having trouble letting go of anger? Maybe it is ruining your relationships or making you unhappy. How do you deal you’re your anger? Trying to suppress anger can also cause you to behave aggressively, lashing out at the people closest to you. Talking to a therapist can really help you address these issues.
Addiction/Dependence can start from an early age. Addictions are defined by a persistent condition that causes a person to engage in activities that may produce short-term pleasurable feelings/thoughts/sensations, but that, over the long term, interfere with daily life in a way that has negative and sometimes very harmful consequences. Once you are addicted to something, your brain needs more of it to achieve the same ‘feel-good boost’ while your self-control and capacity for enjoyment are low when you are ‘clean’. An individual can be addicted to a range of things starting from watching television, eating, shopping, exercise, work, gambling, smoking, alcohol, drugs, sex or internet/social media dependency.
It is the compulsive need to reward oneself and reinforce this behaviour despite adverse consequences. It is a misconception that the cause is purely down to genetic heritage: environmental factors play a significant role as well. It is assumed that the start of an addiction is due to environmental factors and the tendency to continue depends on genetic vulnerability. Signs of addiction can be loss of control, excessive use, family/social sacrifices, financial difficulties or experiencing withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms are distinguished by physical and psychological factors. It is hard to break addiction on willpower alone and research has shown that more people are more likely to break addiction habituation through additional help, such as nicotine plasters/gum, support groups/seminars, reading material or hypnosis.
In The UK, more than 9 million people drink alcohol above their recommended limit and it’s estimated that 350,000 people suffer from a serious gambling addiction. There are different treatment approaches to addiction which focus on the patient’s addictive behaviour and helps the client identify, avoid and cope with the new situation. The support of family and friends should not be underestimated and can be of tremendous value.Being angry is not a problem in itself: it’s how you deal with it. Are you having trouble letting go of anger? Maybe it is ruining your relationships or making you unhappy. How do you deal you’re your anger? Trying to suppress anger can also cause you to behave aggressively, lashing out at the people closest to you. Talking to a therapist can really help you address these issues.
This can manifest itself in different categories ranging from physical/psychological abuse, domestic violence, sexual abuse, discriminatory abuse to general neglect. The perpetrator feels overrun with anger and jealousy which he/she uses to daunt the victim. Usually, the abuser is an authority figure or in a higher ranking which gives them the illusion that they have the right to treat their victim that way. Abuse is something that mustn’t be suffered in silence and you are not alone.
The location of abuse is irrelevant as it can happen anywhere, in public, hospitals, home, work or school grounds. Usually the abuser is a person in power and trust which makes it more difficult for the victim to be open about. Culprits usually rely on scaring the individual into suffering the abuse alone: you are more at risk if you have memory problems, blackouts, live in isolation, become dependent or are addicted to drugs and alcohol. The first step is to speak to someone who can direct you to the next possible way to start and lead a better life away from all the abuse that you have been associated with.
Everyone will experience loss at some stage in their life but not everyone will be able to cope effectively with feelings of grief and loss. There are a number of ways to deal with the emotional upheaval caused by bereavement and therapy can help you manage and make sense of your grieving process.
Have you lost someone close to you? Then you may experience a rollercoaster of emotions, such as anger, sadness, shock, exhaustion or guilt which you don’t know how to deal with. Handling the loss of a loved one can be enormously difficult, especially if we are faced with it at a young age. Children can struggle to adapt to the new situation which hinders their emotional development. The same process can also affect adults. The five stages of bereavement, as classified by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book ‘On Death and Dying’, are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. They don’t necessarily come in that order and also don’t apply to everyone. Acknowledging that you are struggling can be daunting, especially talking about it with a stranger, but all our MindBerry therapists are compassionate and understanding.
Formally known as ‘manic depression’, bipolar is a mood disorder characterized by episodes of high and low mania. Living with bipolar can inhibit your daily life and can seem frustrating and frightening but there are treatments that can help you manage your episodes.
Do you experience severe mood swings or go to long phases of high and low? When you go through a low phase, you may be suffering from depression where you feel overwhelmed, sensitive, irritated and have thoughts about self-harming. However, during a manic episode you may feel hyperactive, jolly and jumpy. The cause is unknown but thought to be in the region of chemical imbalance in the brain, genetics or extreme stress. The episodes are usually managed by taking prescribed medication and there are also known as “stabilisers”. Bipolar is common, occurring in approximately one in every 100 people, and the usual onset age is 14 years. It is rarely found in adults over 40. If you would like to book an appointment, contact MindBerry therapist today.
Nowadays, bullying reaches beyond the classroom and can occur at work, in social circles and within the family. The torment can continue or start in adulthood and is usually consistent with one bully but sometimes can include a group of bullies. There is no such thing as harmless bulling and this needs to be fought immediately.
The aim of bullies is to intimidate, ostracize and sometimes harass their victims without any thought for the consequences. Bullying is most often derived from jealousy or resentment towards the victim. There are particular risky situations at school when bullying is most likely to happen. Such attacks can manifest in a child’s confidence level and shape their worldview and their self-image. Bullying behaviour can range from spreading malicious rumours about someone, stealing from them, blackmail, to physical assault. In the present century, a new form of cyber bullying/trolling has emerged where bullies post/write/upload things related to the victim. Common mediums are Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Depression is a very common, and growing, problem, but many more treatments have become available in recent decades. It is a condition that can be triggered by many factors and can be influenced by the individual’s lifestyle, personality, education and genetics. If you thinking that you may suffer from depression, then there are many psychological treatment options available for you.
Depression is not always immediately obvious. The symptoms start with feelings of low mood and, if persistent, co-occur amongst other possible psychological, physical or social changes. Psychological signs may be feelings of sadness, helplessness, guilt, lack of motivation or experiencing suicidal thoughts. Physical manifestations may be changes in appetite, unexplainable pains and aches, insomnia or lack of energy. Socially, a person may withdraw themselves, neglecting family and friends, and performing less well at work, while losing interest in activities and pursuits which once gave pleasure and interest. Major life changes – for example, change of work, bereavement, moving home or the break up of a relationship – can affect well-being and trigger depression. There are a few psychotherapeutic modalities available which have a proven history of treating depression. Having a support network helps to overcome depression and increases your mental health.
All Eating disorders are characterized by a disturbance of the eating behaviour and this can have severe psychological and physical implications. Most people have tried dieting at least once in their life and many don’t start without realizing when their optimum weight is achieved. A person suffering from eating disorders expresses their problems through their eating habits.
The main difference between Bulimia and Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is the level of control. Both focus around weight but a person struggling with bulimia is usually considered to be of normal weight whereas a person with AN is usually classified as underweight. Bulimic individuals feel ashamed of their eating/binge habits and as a result engage in purging/vomiting, whereas the AN individual meticulously monitors his/her eating habits so that they ironically believe that they are in control. Hence, typically, a bulimic person would admit more readily to having a problem than a person with AN. Both have a self-image which is overpoweringly influenced by the perceptions, or perceived perceptions, of others. The causes can be genetic or environmental and are often closely related to idealised images promulgated by the media. The typical signs of a problem are the adoption of rigorous eating rituals; it is a condition which is more likely to affect women than men.
Every family has arguments, disagreements, high and low moments, but it is important to talk about the things that bug you. You may have a dispute with your sibling, hear parents fighting all the time or just want to talk to someone else. This section includes all family constitutions of married couples, partner of parent, grandparents, caregiver, siblings, in-laws and any other external factor that has influenced their relationship.
Tolstoy said, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” There are an abundance of family constitutions and every family has their own way of approaching and dealing with problems. Counselling/Psychotherapy for more than 1 member of the family have proven to be most effective because it involves talking with the person directly. A professional can help you work through the issues and find the underlying problems that you both or more cannot seem to handle out alone. Most victims will blame themselves for starting the row and this has a heinous effect on their emotional and psychological wellbeing. Get in touch with a MindBerry Therapist today to connect with your family again.
A person may feel distressed because their biological sex and gender identity do not match. It can be a very difficult time going through periods of change or transitioning: sometimes this begins during childhood. As we grow up, we develop closer to our true self and it is paramount to have a support network that accompanies us towards it.
At birth, the biological sex is assigned to the baby whereas the gender identity is what the person feels themselves to be. It is not always the case that individuals desire to seek gender reassignment to adjust their physical appearance to their gender identity because the commitment and financial cost can be prohibitive. The majority of people with gender dysmorphia had an early stage inclination but sometimes it can be delayed and start in adulthood. Signs can be that the individual wants to get rid of the physical appearances of their biological sex – for example, facial/body hair – or refuses to wear clothes or play with toys stereotypical of their biological sex. The cause of gender dysphoria is not allied to a single theory but it has been suggested that hormone imbalances in the person, and in the mother at the time of the pregnancy, could have an influence. Other conditions such as Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) or intersex conditions refer to the production of male hormones in the womb and the ambiguous genitalia, where the baby has both male and female reproductive parts.
OCD is a common mental health condition in which a person is constantly preoccupied by a thought and experiences compulsive behaviours. Obsessive thoughts can create anxiety which blocks the person from moving on and can affect people in different ways.
Obsessions are disturbing thoughts, ideas or urges that occur repeatedly. An individual may have a fear of being violent towards someone else, themselves, or of illness. Most people with OCD are aware of their irrational compulsive acts, and yet they struggle to control it. Such recurrent acts as washing hands, counting, checking things, avoiding places or asking for reassurance are typical of the condition. To diminish the anxiety which derives from distressing thoughts, a person is driven to perform compulsive behaviour or mental acts which temporarily gives them satisfaction or relief. However the cycle soon starts again from the beginning. OCD has a wide range of causes ranging from family history, brain activity (low levels of serotonin), life events or personality type. People usually feel embarrassed by their compulsive behaviour and are reluctant to seek help but there are ways that can manage your OCD.
Bringing up a child is the hardest job in the world. Parenting comes without a manual and no matter if you are a single parent or not, it requires a lot of effort, strength, patience and positive attitude. Parents carry a heavy weight on their shoulders and naturally go through volatile mood changes.
One of the most rewarding moments as parents is to see your child growing up and finding happiness and success in life, but what if your child struggles, remains dependant, rebels or distances him or herself from you, or otherwise confounds expectations? Mothers and fathers embark on a journey where they feel emotionally charged, overcome with joy and experience a lot of changes in their lives. One of the most significant factors that parents worry about is the financial aspect of bringing up a child. This particularly concerns single parents who are reliant on family/friends/nurseries and the state to help support them. There are more single households than ever before and the quantity of teenage/young adults parent is rising. It is also not uncommon for exhausted parents to develop signs of depression, anger and disorders in the first year of the baby’s life. Children may struggle with the pressure of performing at school and social/cognitive/physical development which parents sometimes struggle to acknowledge and can’t cope with. It is vital for a parent’s wellbeing that they are surrounded by a support network.
People with this disorder have trouble relating to other people in their social/family circle and public environment. They often harbour distorted beliefs. Others perceive their behaviour to be abnormal or irrational. Common features include temporary loss of control (anger, etc), avoidance of, or an emotional disconnection with, people, negative feelings, unstable relationships with partners, children and professional carers, and, sometimes, losing contact with reality for periods of time. The personality disorder occurs typically in adolescence and continues into adulthood and arguably can be associated with genetic and family factors.
There are three types of personality disorder – A, B or C. Type A involves eccentric behaviour and paranoia combined with feelings of distrustfulness. Type B involves harbouring negative views of others: emotional instability and impulses to self-harming are not uncommon in this type. Type C involves being antisocial and withdrawal from interaction or social activity. Sufferers are often overwhelmed by fear and persistent anxiety. About one in 20 people suffer from such personality disorders.
This affects women after giving birth who are suffering from high moods and psychotic episodes. It can be an extremely difficult time for them as they perceive things differently and struggle to distinguish between reality and hallucination. Around one in 1,000 women are diagnosed with postpartum psychosis but can be treated between 6 months and 1 year.
The general symptoms include psychosis where the person hears voices or sees things that are not there (suffering from hallucinations) and experiences thoughts that are delusional. They may also start to behave out of character, exhibiting paranoia, loss of inhibitions or a manic behaviour (talking too much). Women who are at high risk of developing postpartum psychosis are those with previous mental disorder (Schizophrenia or bipolar); the condition is considered to be a psychiatric emergency and is dealt with accordingly. One of the following medications may be prescribed: antidepressants (which work by balancing mood-altering chemicals); and antipsychotics (neuroleptic) which block dopamine and generally stabilise mood. Genetic factors could determine whether you suffer from PP and, the chances are, that if one of your relatives has had it, it is very likely you could get it too. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the MindBerry team.
Both mothers and father can be affected by this form of depression after their child is born. It can last up to the first year of the child. Usually a parent feels overwhelmed, self-conflicted and guilty about not being good enough. There is also sever worry about not coping with the new life as a parent and this can also have an impact on the relationship with a partner.
There is no single sign of PND and raising a baby can be emotionally overwhelming. Research suggests that 10% of first-time mothers suffer from PND and one third of new fathers have concerns about their mental health after their new child arrives. Also, the younger the parents are and the more financial worries they have, the more likely they are to struggle with PND. The worry can spin out of control and can focus inwards or outwards. Adequate treatments come from a psychotherapeutic modality and focuses on the individuals problem. CBT or couple counselling is one of the many options available.
PTSD takes on many forms but is often characterised by an overwhelming sense of fear and a resulting desire to hide away from the world. Children, teenagers and adults can be affected by it and it is likely that most people will have suffered from it at least once in their lifetime. To access treatments for PTSD get in touch now.
It is most likely that people will have heard of PTSD in connection with war, but many forms of trauma can lead to PTSD. This can manifest itself by experiencing a life-threatening event or hearing devastating news that affects you personally. Symptoms include insomnia, nightmares, constantly feeling jittery, angry or ‘on the watch out’. People with PTSD tend to avoid social interactions and situations which could trigger the memory of the event which caused their condition. Treatment focuses on the underlying trauma that has caused PTSD in the first place. The aftercare is also very important to make sure the symptoms are diminished and remain that way so you can live your full life and potential.
Humans are social beings that form relationships and build attachments with other people. Relationships can reach from acquaintance status to a deep and meaningful connection with a friend/family member or romantically inclined partner. Inevitably, there is always a struggle in some relationships either at work or at home. This section covers human relationships in general.
Do you feel you have reached an impasse? Sometimes relationships can feel overwhelming, whether you are having an argument with your partner or a disagreement with a parent or a friend. These differences can grow from seemingly trivial matters into more serious conflict. For some people, talking about their feelings does not come easily. Relationship with others can shape our lives and personality. Therapy can help you by focusing on your relationships. Differences set us apart but humanity unites us.
A healthy self-esteem/image is more important than people think but, in today’s society more than ever, it sometimes seems that out-performing yourself and being career orientated is the only thing that matters. At MindBerry, you can rebuild your confidence and develop a positive self-image by contacting one of our therapists in our directory.
How do you feel about yourself in general? Were you encouraged and supported in your life or did you face obstruction and rejection? These factors can all impact on our self-esteem/image. There are certain experiences and people in our lives that shape our image of ourselves and how we see the world. This starts from childhood and school years, dealing with social issues (peer pressure), college, University, work, media and personal relationships with spouse, friends and family. Most important is the relationship we have with ourselves and how we experience our own worldview: this can have a positive or negative connotation. We live in an age of celebrity, and celebrities can exert enormous influence and power, especially on teens/adolescents who wish to emulate them or live up to their impossible lifestyles. Do you ever feel crestfallen, ashamed or inadequate? If the answer is yes, then it is time to get in touch. There are approaches such as mindfulness which can help by focusing on building one’s self-confidence/ image.
“Be you - Stay true to yourself - Build. Grow. Live - You are so much stronger than you think you are – Live life to the full - Do what makes you awesome - Fulfilment comes from within - Love is all your need.”
Self-harm is the act of intentionally inflicting pain or injuries on yourself as a way of expressing inner emotional turmoil. The individual wants to both punish themselves and release unbearable tension. There are various causes for, and types of, self-harm.
Statistically, half of the people who commit suicide have a history of self-harm. The most common method is through cutting, burning, misuse of alcohol or drugs and binge eating or self-starvation. After self-harming, people often feel ashamed of what they have done and try to conceal any outward signs of their self-harm. It is estimated that about 10% of people will self-harm at some stage in their lives; sadly, the majority do not seek help. Speaking to a professional is the first stage of tackling the issue.
Hearing voices in your head, hallucinations, Schizophrenia, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
Losing a friends/family member, any form of abuse or violence, exposure to threats
bullying, work related problems, issues around sexuality, family issues, peer & cultural pressure
This section covers gender, sexuality and sexual orientation. As teenagers, we discover the world of sexuality and attraction. For the majority of people it is a process of experimentation, questioning and discovering where they feel they belong.
Puberty, when going through bodily changes and experiencing sexual feelings for the first time, can be a daunting time. However, aspects of gender and sexuality can be just as confusing in adulthood.
Western societies are now generally more tolerant towards diverse lifestyles. This has had a positive impact on the LGBT community. Since the 1950s, much of the stigma of homosexuality has been eradicated and, from almost a decade ago, same-sex couples can legally get married and adopt. Nevertheless, being openly gay/lesbian/bisexual can still make someone a target of homophobia and, in many countries in the world, homosexual acts are punishable by imprisonment or even death. Have you thought about what makes you a late bloomer or are you not sure what gender you are attracted to? Have you ever wondered why you have not sufficiently evolved sexually or what it would be like to come out of the closet? These are just a few of the issues you might discuss with a MindBerry therapist/counsellor in order to find clarity in your quest for identity.
Your biological sex referring to masculinity or femininity
This refers to people’s sexual or fantasized experiences which on one hand is for reproduction only but also is connected to our emotion cycle to connect with people
This is defined as your gender attraction. You can be attracted to male, female or neither, which is referred to as asexuality. LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) refers to a community which continues to fight for greater equality
Most of us experience a small amount of stress in our daily lives but are still able to function. Sometimes, however, stress can seem overwhelming and our normal day-to-day functioning is impaired. Realising that you are affected by stress factors in your life is the first step towards taking back control.
Stress can be experienced throughout life, from childhood to old age, and can be acute or chronic, leading to health problems which can impact your daily life. Stress can impact your work, your relationships and your socio-economic status. There are parts of your brain – for example, the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory – that can suffer as a result of stress, and this can lead to biological and psychological problems.
Depending on the extent to which your life is affected, studies show that long-term stress can lead to the development of anxiety and depression. Research has concluded that there is a link between stress and physical illness. Also, if you are under stress, you are more likely to behave in an aggressive or dominating manner.
During therapy/counselling you will work on your stress management skills with your therapist/counsellor to cope with your level of stress. These life skills will enable you in future to develop the ability to cope with stressful situations.
Meeting a deadline, pressure to perform, not getting along with your colleagues/boss, rushing to meetings or struggling to organize everything
Family issues, problems with spouse, bringing up children or handling financial difficulties
Coping with bad news (death, illness, job loss, etc.), moving home (particularly abroad), divorce, running late for an appointment, high noise levels, succeeding academically or coping with life-threatening events
The excessive use of drugs can lead to serious physical and mental problems and which can have a serious effect on your ability to function normally. MindBerry Counsellors & Psychotherapist are trained to work with people who have experienced substance abuse.
This section covers the chronic use of illicit drugs which can lead to dependency and difficulties controlling their usage. Despite an increased tolerance level, where the individual becomes used to the effect of the drug, they cannot face up to the consequences of their usage and experience a corresponding avoidance of responsibilities. In addition to the physical deterioration – for example, weight loss, skin rash, dental erosion and accelerated aging – are the psychological effects on short- and long-term memory, vision and ability to judge.
Often, the drug abuser is harming not only themselves but their family and friends as well. Substance abuse can result in the use of prescribed medication towards which the individual may also develop a tolerance.
Cocaine, Crack, Heroin, Ecstasy (MDMA), LSD, “Magic Mushrooms”, Crystal Meth
Amphetamines, Cannabis, Ketamine, Synthetic Drugs
Anabolic Steroids, Benzodiazepines, Gamma Hydroxybutyrate (GHB), Khat
Exposure to a traumatic event, either directly or as a bystander, can have severe effects on both mental and physical health. It can become difficult to escape the thoughts and feelings which surround such an event, but treatment can be highly effective, and one of our MindBerry specialists can help you on your journey to recovery.
Those who have experienced traumatic events often struggle with their aftermath and find it difficult to return to their former way of life. They can directly experience a traumatic event but they do not necessarily have to be directly involved to experience trauma: for instance, witnessing an accident can cause trauma just as much as being involved in one. Traumatic events can happen in a moment but they can also accrue over a lifetime. People have different reactions after a traumatic event but often enter into a state of shock.
Usually this will pass, in time, but sometimes the individual starts to detach from their emotion in order to protect themselves from having to deal with its consequences. Common reactions to trauma are sudden mood changes, depression, irritability, panic attacks, change of appetite, flashbacks, insomnia and withdrawal from social or work life. It is not uncommon for trauma survivors to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which can be defined as having any of the above symptoms for a period of three months or longer.
Another factor that can enhance your recovery and well-being is having a strong support network of family, friends and support groups.
The trauma resulting from violence from an outsider which can include rape, robbery, mugging and shootings
Typically, multiple traumas experienced by children over a period of time which have had a severe impact on their development
Physical violence from a spouse or other family member
The trauma experienced by a child from birth up to the age of six
The trauma resulting from following an expected or sudden death of a family member or friend
The trauma resulting from medical procedures or illness
The trauma resulting from experiencing any naturally-occurring catastrophic events; for example, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding or fire
The trauma resulting from suffering a physical injury
The trauma resulting from being exposed to political violence, war, bombing or torture which has led to their becoming a refugee
The trauma resulting from bullying or violence at school
The trauma resulting from any sexual contact or exploitation where the victim did not give consent, or is a minor
The trauma resulting from experiencing the threat to safety from a terrorist organization or religious group