Strategies for Uplifting Your Mood While Sheltering in Place

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

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

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

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

(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

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

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 »

10 Tips to Successfully Handle Major Life Changes

The most beautiful, yet challenging aspect of life is that it brings so many changes, big and small. While change can be overwhelming, it also teaches us the most important life lessons. It compels us to change the way we interact with our surroundings and with ourselves. What is common, however, is that major life changes can cause significant psychological stress. Under such circumstances, it is important to actively adopt coping mechanisms to deal with emotions like anxiety, anger, helplessness and depression.  Here are some tips to help cope with major life changes: #1 – Keep a Regular Schedule When circumstances change, we often feel things are going out of our control. This can be unnerving. By creating and adhering to a schedule, it’s possible to focus on what we can control. The schedule works as an anchor and reminds us that some things are still the same. It’s a good idea to write down your routine and keep checking tasks off as they are completed. #2 – Seek Support It is normal to be overwhelmed by change, but know that everyone goes through difficult phases, so don’t hesitate asking friends and family for help. Simply talking to someone who… Read more »

What You Can Do When a Loved One is Depressed

With over 300 million people suffering from depression across the globe, it is the leading cause of disability on the planet, according to the World Health Organization. Depression can affect people of all ages and from all walks of life. The symptoms of depression can be so severe as to prevent the person from even being able to take care of their day to day activities. Unfortunately, despite depression being so common, people experiencing it often fail to get the support and treatment they need. If someone you care about seems to have been depressed for some time now, here are some ways in which you can support them on their journey to recovery. Listen with Empathy The first step is to understand what the person is experiencing. For this, you need to help them communicate, while you listen without judgement. Keeping things bottled up can actually make the person feel worse. You might not have the solution, but simply being there for them and listening empathetically can make them feel better. Identify Signs of Worsening Depression It is important that you observe the person to check whether the depression is worsening and learn what to do if it gets… Read more »

Getting Rid of the Stigma Surrounding Therapy

With one in five individuals in the United States suffering from mental illness, there are an estimated 46.1 million people living with AMI (Any Mental Illness) in the country, according to information on The National Institute of Mental Health. Despite so many people being affected by mental health issues, there is unfortunately still a stigma associated with seeking psychotherapy and counseling. A lot of this has to do with myths and misconceptions that have historically plagued mental health. If you or a loved one is finding life difficult to cope with, seeking professional help could be the best choice to improve quality of life. However, research also shows that people often wait for long periods before seeking therapy, with couples waiting for seven years on average before seeking help, according to experts at the Institute for Personal Growth. If the fear of stigma is a hurdle in doing so, here are some things you should keep in mind. You are NOT “Weak” Mental health issues need to be viewed in the same way as we do physical illness, such as a fever or even high blood pressure. When dealing with any illness, it is recommended to seek professional help, rather… Read more »