Mental Health Problems for Women
There comes a time in most peoples lives when something changes and coping mechanisms no longer work when they used to before. People respond differently to pressures and life situations and women are exposed to particular experiences when growing up and through their adult lives. How difficulties are manifested or expressed for women is an area in which I work holistically to aim for emotional, mental and experiential balance.
Generally, feelings of being overwhelmed, stressed, anxious or depressed are common and many physical and emotional responses occur like panic attacks, insomnia, general unease and more, which begin to affect most areas of life meaning you can not get on with life or seem to enjoy things like you perhaps used to.
The experience of Mental health problems are unique to each individual and for women I find that therapy taps into resources that are available internally or in your life already which can shine light on what is going on, how you are responding and what makes a difference to that enabling a forward moving process of development, self understanding and positive change.
Therapy aims to reduce or elimiate mental health issues and aims for long lasting positive change.
Anxiety is a natural part of being hunman but when there is a constant anxiety feeling and you don't know why, or the level of anxiety is too high and you start to experience physical symptoms therapy is usually able to resolve this problem and help a person feel well again. Some of the symptoms include inability to get or stay asleep, or sleeping too much, low mood, feeling agitated, sensations on the skin, palpitations, panic attacks, inability to eat, cold sweats, nausea, visual floaters, sensitivity to light or noise, headaches, IBS symptoms and there are plenty more.
Some of the cognitive symptoms are an inability to concentrate, a feeling of not being in your body, watching life instead of participating, inability to make decisions, Irrational thinking, Not feeling like your 'normal self', confusion, obsessive thinking (sometimes just about what is wrong), not enjoying anything that you used to and sometimes there is low mood and depression.
Anxiety DisordersThere are various types of anxiety problems and some fall into the catagory of anxiety disorder. Some examples of these are Panic Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Agorophobia, Social Anxiety and phobias. Anxiety disorders are sometimes linked with depression, substance misuse and personality disorders.
There are varying types of depression and I work with most types with women at my practice. There are usually causes of depression like loss or stress but most often a person doesn't know why they feel the way they do and sometimes there are suspicions about the cause but a person can get 'stuck' in the depression cycle. Many people who I have asked to desribe how depression feels say that it feels like a dementor from Harry Potter books and for those who are familiar with the books, you will realise that this is a perfect description. And it is this: It feels like despair. A dementor (depression) drains peace, hope and happiness... and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you.
Emotional Instability can be known as a temporary thing, as in 'currently emotionally unstable' or as an official diagnosis of Emotional Instability Disorder which used to be called Borerline Personality Disorder. The way I view this issue in therapy is that sometimes emotionally unstable is a trait or can be a set of emotional expressions or behaviours that might or might not need long term work to improve, recover from or manage and there is no way of knowing how this will be for each person.
Emotional Breakdown / Emotional Meltdown
An emotional meltdown is a term used when a person's stress levels have reached such a point that everything emotionally errupts and they can no longer hide their distress from others.
An emotional Breakdown (also known as Mental Breakdown or Nervous Breakdown) is usually when a person reaches a crisis point where acute stress, anxiety or depression has has manifested and peaked to the point of not being able to function on a day-to day basis until the disorder is resolved. The way this happens to each person can vary quite a lot and it is accepted as a temporary in nature.
General Anxiety Disorder
An anxiety disorder is often diagnosed when anxiety present almost all of the time but a doctor can see no obvious cause. Symptoms are usually less obvious than some of the other anxiety diagnosis's but are never-the-less, no less distressing.
Health Anxiety is when a person can not stop worrying about health conditions or problems. To make this matter more of a problem for a person, health anxiety is sometimes linked to psychosomatic illnesses which are real illnesses but caused by psychological factors.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)OCD is where a person feels the need to constantly check things (compulsions) or can not control repetative thoughts (obsessions). When this problem starts to interfer with daily living it can become considered a disorder. In therapy with me I aim to work holistically with OCD problems and do not facilitate CBT as a stand alone option, although CBT techniques may play a part in our work.
Panic Disorder is diagnosed when a person is having panic attacks or panic-like symptoms for no apparent reason. It is as if the panic response in a person is stuck on over-drive and therapy aims to re-set this response with clarity, self understanding and adjustments so as to feel normal again.
Panic Attacks are sudden intense episides of fear for no apparent reason whatsoever whereas an anxiety attack is the same thing but for a usually obvious reason. Feeling panic is bad enough but when you feel panic for no reason this can set off a highly uncomfortable cycle of responses which a person can get caught up on physically and psychologically. Psychotherapy can be extremely effective at quickly intervening on the panic attack cycle and with a full amount of work, therapy can stop them ever happenning again.
Phobias are when a person has an extreme fear reaction to objects, situations or animals and suffer an unrealistic sense of danger which is irrational to everyone else. There are various ways I work with phobias and this would depend on a few factors relating to you which I would explain in session.
Post Natal Depression
Depression that happens within a year of the birth of a baby is usually diagnosed as post natal depression. This can be mild or severe and within the experience in my practice, it is not always caused by the birth of the baby despite it falling in to this time bracket. The way I see it is that depression is depression, whether a baby was born in the last 1-2 year or not.
As above, but this is an issue that commonly happens to a person before a baby is born.
This is a diagnosed condition that consists of particular symptoms after experiencing a trauma or set of traumas.
This syndrome is a diagnosable condition that generally equates to re-occurring that only occurs in the winter. It is understood to be a physical -biological condition relating to hormone imbalances. In the experience in my practice however, sometimes when SAD syndrome is self diagnosed or diagnosed by a GP, sometimes appears to be more of a an emotional or psychological and can clears up with psychotherapy.
Stress is when a person experiences physical, emotional or psychological symptoms due to being overwhelmed or overloaded with current life experiences. Sometimes a person can suddenly suffer stress symptoms or even stress related physical conditions when things get too much. Stress can be the cause of depression and anxiety issues and visa versa. Therapy aims to reduce stressors and symptoms of stress by sometimes reducing factors in a person that is causing it and sometimes increasing skill sets to change areas of someone life.
TraumaA person can have a traumatic experience and not get symptoms that equates to the condition that is diagnosed as PTSD but is still suffering with problems due to the trauma. Usually a person recovers after a traumatic experience but if you don't feel you have recovered you could still be suffering from the trauma. A trauma can be large or small and a trauma for one person may not be considered trauma for another person. Therapy aims to work a person thropugh trauma a re-build after the experience.
Work Related Issues
Stress, anxiety or depression can come from work related issues. Some work related issues known to cause distress can be bullying, unemployment, changes in the workplace, work overload, boredom, frustration and sometimes trauma from the type of work one is doing. Counselling helps to work out what is going on in this life area and get a person back to feeling more contentment and satisfaction with less stress.
Some of the mental Health Issues I work with include:
- Anxiety Disorders
- Emotional Instability
- Emotional Breakdown
- Health Anxiety
- Panic Disorder
- Panic Attacks
- Post Natal Depression
- SAD Syndrome
- StressTrauma & PTSD