Author: Susan Menahem

How to Stay Calm During a Crisis

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Persistent exposure to crisis situations, such as the endless months of the coronavirus spread, can prove harmful for mental health. A study published by Boston University School of Public Health found that 8.5% US adults experienced symptoms of depression before COVID-19, which spiked to 27.8% by mid-April in 2020. Reorganization of mental health services and support to reduce loneliness by local and government authorities must continue, particularly for older people, according to a press release by the World Health Organization (WHO). This will help people plan and prepare better to cope with emergencies, if any. Additionally, here’s a look at how to manage stress and stay calm during a crisis. Vent Your Feelings A critical situation can give rise to bouts of depression, with accompanying lethargy and appetite disruptions. Remember, you cannot overcome depression with sheer willpower or mindfulness. Seeking help from experienced counselors can help alleviate the symptoms of depression, prevent the life-long struggle with anxiety or compulsive behaviors through interpersonal therapy techniques, according to experts at the Institute for Personal Growth. Therefore, do not hesitate or feel embarrassed to sign up for online therapy. Take a Walk Everyday Spend at least an hour in solitude to help yourself… Read more »

3 Ways to Introduce Therapy to a Child

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Children are as vulnerable to anxiety, depression and emotional abuse as adults. In fact, kids as young as 3 might have body image issues. These mental health issues can grow and fester, unless the right treatment and care is provided. The good news is that child experts can establish a unique rapport with their skills and patience and work to provide the most effective therapy for various types of childhood mental health problems, according to experts at Institute For Personal Growth. Individual therapy offers a safe space for children to explore difficult emotions and learn coping techniques. However, the child needs to start with a positive attitude towards the process for it to be helpful. Here’s how to be honest and introduce them to therapy in an age-appropriate way. 1.    Present it as a New Adventure Kids with anger, sadness, low self-esteem and high stress are unable to cope effectively with their feelings by themselves and therapy can help them feel happy and active, according to an article on KidsHealth. However, inaccurate information about the sessions might result in aggression or resentment. Make it seem like a new chapter of their lives that will help them deal with life’s challenges… Read more »

Managing Anxiety When There is No Place to Go

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If you are suffering from anxiety, remember you are not alone. Anxiety is one of the most common psychological issues in the United States. Around 18% of the population or 40 million people are affected by it in America, according to information provided by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. The figures might be even higher due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has made people uncertain about their job and students confused about their future, while putting a strain on even the strongest relationships. In addition, the on again-off again lockdown restrictions and the fear of getting infected by the Coronavirus aren’t really conducive to peace of mind. This makes the situation even more difficult. If you too are finding it difficult to cope with the current situation, here are some tips to help manage your anxiety. 1.   Make a Daily Schedule Just because you are stuck at home does not mean you should not have a routine. A lack of routine can lead to a chaotic mind, the breeding grounds of anxiety, according to experts at the Institute for Personal Growth. So, each night, try to make a list of things you want to do the next… Read more »

Strategies for Uplifting Your Mood While Sheltering in Place

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National isolation, economic upheaval and COVID panic are all taking their toll on our mental health. The WHO has already predicted that one in four people in the world will be affected by a psychological problem at least once in their lifetime. And now, the impact of the pandemic might just worsen the situation. In fact, 50% of Chinese healthcare workers have reported depression and 47% of Canada’s frontline workers have admitted to the need for psychological support, according to data released by the World Health Organization. Given that the United States had 2.04 million confirmed cases, as of June 11, 2020, stay-at-home measures cannot be altered for now. The good news, however, is that mindful techniques, relaxation approaches and meditation training can help regulate stress and emotions and make people better able to cope with the situation, say experts at the Institute For Personal Growth. Here are a few other strategies approved by psychotherapists to lift your spirits during this time of isolation. 1.    Stay Connected Let social distancing not turn into emotional distancing! Connect with your loved ones regularly and take updates on their lives. You can also contact psychotherapists, since most of them are offering quality online… Read more »

Dealing with Depression in the Time of Coronavirus

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The coronavirus pandemic has managed to bring the entire world to its knees. As of April 17, 2020, almost 2.2 million people had been infected by the virus, with over 148,000 fatalities, according to information presented by Worldometer. But that’s not all. The disease has put a halt on international travel, companies and industries have shut down and schools across the globe are closed. Being cooped up at home 24/7 can be overwhelming. In these volatile times, it is common to see people struggle with depression and anxiety. But just because you cannot get out of your home, does not mean there is no way to deal with such mental health conditions. Here are some tips to help you deal with depression during the lockdown period. Stay Connected It is vital that you maintain social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19. But that does not mean you cannot interact with your friends and family over the phone or the internet. During such times of uncertainty, staying connected with your loved ones, via video calls, messages or phone calls, can be great for your mental health. Online Therapy It is unsafe to go out, but you can still seek help… Read more »

The Convenience of Online and Remote Therapy

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In simple terms, online therapy or e-therapy refers to providing counseling over the internet. You are not deprived of the session in case you need to stay at home for various reasons. All you require is a steady internet connection and a device with a microphone and webcam. The global behavioral therapy market size stood at $183,400 million in 2018, a figure that is expected to rise to $347,300 million by the end of 2025, according to figures released by MarketWatch. With life becoming increasingly hectic and stressful, the need for therapy appears to be rising, while time to seek therapy seems to be decreasing. This is why remote psychotherapy sessions have been growing in popularity. However, while seeking such therapy, it is important to make sure that the facility is HIPAA compliant and uses encrypted online therapy software, according to experts at the Institute for Personal Growth. If you are wondering how online therapy can help, here are a few things you should know. Affordability You have the facility to sit through a session from the comfort of your home. These do not require any additional expenses and are charged just like traditional therapy sessions. Moreover, there are no… Read more »

4 Ways to Bring Up Couples Counseling to Your Spouse

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Almost 9 in 10 Americans, or 88% of the population, believe that love is the most important reason to get married. This is way ahead of financial stability (28%) and legal benefits (23%), according to a survey by Pew Research Center. However, love is often not enough to hold the marriage together for a lifetime. If you are on the brink of separation or trying to fix a sinking relationship, couples therapy could work wonders. It can help improve communication, address hidden relationship problems and ensure that both partners are heard and understood, say experts at the Institute for Personal Growth. If your partner is hesitant to attend a counseling session, here’s how to get them to agree to therapy. 1.      Avoid the Blame Game Tell your partner that therapy is intended to talk about the marriage in general. It is not meant to blame them for all that is going wrong. Counseling sessions are not designed to shame a particular individual. When your partner is assured that there’ll be no embarrassments or direct confrontation, they might even look forward to it. 2.      Talk About Benefits of Couples Counseling Couple counseling is a lot like talking openly to a trusted… Read more »

IPG’s Alison Grant Featured in A Girl Raised by Wolves

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(Trigger Warning: rape, abuse, violence) I am very excited to be associated with the new memoir A Girl Raised by Wolves. I was asked to write a brief introduction to explain the mechanics of repressed memories in trauma and I was happy and proud to be a part of this story.  The book’s synopsis describes it: “In the late 1970s, in a gritty N.J. town, an adolescent girl is unwittingly handed a one-way ticket by her mother to allegedly ‘visit’ her estranged father in Florida. Young and vulnerable, Lockey Maisonnueve has no idea she is being abandoned and sent to live with a vile and dangerous pedophile who would spend the next several years violently raping, abusing and mercilessly selling his daughter’s body into childhood prostitution to other adult men. After being rescued by her naive but well-intentioned grandparents, her troubled life is further devastated by cancer and ravaged by the subsequent brutal murder of her mother, in which Lockey is briefly considered a suspect. A Girl Raised by Wolves is the inspirational memoir of a survivor of the darkest circumstances one can endure in a single lifetime and still emerge with a sense of humor and to defiantly proclaim ‘they didn’t break me!’.”  … Read more »

How to Deal with Grief After the Loss of a Parent

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The passing of a parent is an unfortunate reality that all of us have to experience at some point. But that does not make it any less painful. Some of the feelings people cycle through after the loss of a loved one are shock, denial, anger, numbness, despair and sadness. If these feelings are not dealt with in a helpful way, they could lead to increased risk of psychological difficulties, such as anxiety, depression and substance abuse, according to research published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. It has also been found that the loss of a parent can affect physical health, according to an article published in the Journal of Family Issues. So, here are some ways to deal with grief after the loss of a parent. Seek the Help of a Grief Counselor It is always helpful to share your feelings and seek the support of friends and family. But, in some cases, that might not be enough. It is always a good idea to seek professional help in such situations. A grief counselor can help you talk about and process your feelings, such as anger, frustration and sadness, according to experts at the Institute… Read more »

Why There is No “Right” Way to Grieve

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Every loss is different. Whether it is a death of a loved one, losing a job or the end of a relationship, each loss is not the same. Loss is one of the most difficult emotions to cope with, and every individual has their own way of dealing with the grief. However, it is important to understand that grieving isn’t a single experience, it is an emotional process to make peace with the loss and might take a long time to recover from, says an article by the American Cancer Society. Every person goes through a period of grief at some point in their life but none of us experience it in quite the same way. 5 Stages of Grief Life transitions can often bring about symptoms which might look a lot like anxiety and depression, even in the healthiest person, say experts at the Institute for Personal Growth. This might just throw a person off balance, resulting stress and grief. In her book, On Death and Dying, Elizabeth Kubler Ross proposed 5 stages of grief. 1.      Denial This is the first stage where the person does not want to believe that a loss has occurred. This begins right after… Read more »