Blog

Back-to-School Anxiety 

Back-to-School Anxiety | Orlando Anxiety Counseling You have everything ready and set for your teen’s first few weeks back-to-school. Clothes shopping is done, new school supplies are bought, and lunches are prepped for the week. Everything is planned and perfect. Until you realize your teen’s back-to-school anxiety starts creeping in. The next thing you know, you are trying to calm down your hyperventilating child while coaxing him or her to attend school. Anxiety disorders are one of the leading psychiatric disorders during childhood, according to the Child Institute Children’s Mental Health Report. No parent expects back-to-school anxiety to kick in so quickly or to even occur at all. But, many teens become easily overwhelmed by increasing school work or peer relational issues. Here are 5 tips to help your teen with back-to-school anxiety. Tip #1: Routine Teens live in chaos when they are left to their own devices. Therefore, it is important to create or help formulate with your teen a weekly school routine. Routine gives them a sense of order and order will help them calm down when anxiety kicks in. Tip #2 Discipline Teens are procrastinators, many if not all are at some point. They might spend the entire day playing but then spend the last few hours of the night cramming.  If a teen only has a few hours before school begins to finish a project or study for an exam then, of course, their fear will sky rocket. Consistent cramming will only lead to high anxiety. As a result, set limits with your teen to help them create discipline and to decrease anxiety. Tip # 3 Play  On the other […]

5 Tips to Help your Teen Sleep

5 Tips to Help your Teen Sleep| Orlando Teen Counseling Coming out of vacation and starting school is tough. What is even tougher is regulating your teen back into a healthy sleeping schedule. No school and infinite play time mean staying up into the wee hours of the night. Teens typically sleep about 7 and 7 ¼ hours of sleep but most of them need 9 and 9 ½ hours. During vacation, teens have ample time to fill up their sleep need but once school starts it is the first to go. Therefore, as a parent, it is imperative to help your child start school on the right side of the bed. Here are 5 tips to help regulate your teen’s sleep. 1. Start early and gradually: Do not wait until the day before school to implement your teen’s sleep schedule. Your teen has been staying up for the past week or months until 1 am or later. Their bodies will not magically fall into timely tired and wake patterns. As a result, encourage or even enforce earlier and earlier bedtimes as school is approaching to help teen sleep. Do not budge even if it is the weekend! 2. Eliminate screen time Remove all electronic devices from your teen an hour or two before bedtime. Lights emitted by devices can jolt the body into wake mode and delay natural hormonal releases to help sleep. Often times, teens will gravitate to their devices to pass time hoping to feel tired. What they do not realize is that the tool they […]
By |August 9th, 2017|Articles|0 Comments

“What Causes Addiction?” | Orlando Addiction Therapy

Orlando Addiction Therapy | “What Causes Addiction?” I think we ask ourselves this question because we want answers.  We want to get to the root cause of someone’s drinking. Maybe we are hopeful that if we can figure out why they started in the first place and solve that problem then it won’t be an issue all together.  Or maybe if we figure out why all these people are ….what I hear people say “choosing” to use opioids… (which is a whole different educational piece we will discuss later on), but if we know why all these people are getting addicted to the heroin then we can eradicate the issue.  Right?? This thing is that… this illness.. is not that simple.  In fact, it is very complex as to why someone might use excessively resulting in destroying their lives and those around them. While I can’t directly answer this question what causes it …. I am going to explain to you things that happen from a young age that are likely to increase someone’s chance of turning to substances. These are behaviors, environments, parenting styles, experiences that people live with from a young age that have been supported by research to increase someone’s chance of becoming addicted. This thing called addiction can happen to ANYONE.  No one is immune and there is so much we can do to prevent it. Dr. Earley, the president elect of ASAM recently reported that our genes account for 50% of someone’s chance of becoming addicted.  If someone is addicted in the family that means that we need to monitor for this even more.  Now, […]

Warning, Warning!! Four Signs of a Potentially Toxic Relationship

Warning, Warning!! Four Signs of a Potentially Toxic Relationship by Colleen Andre, LMHC You feel devastated, empty, and ashamed. You are yet again alone and obliterated by another relationship. It is already difficult to rebuild after a relationship but what makes a situation worse is rebuilding from a destructive and unhealthy relationship. But, it is possible to protect yourself from unsafe partners. Here are a four warning signs of a potentially toxic relationship. Too much checking in: If you are receiving multiple or successive text messages/phone calls then sound the alarm! The messages could end with emojis or caring remarks but the content is focused on where you are, who you are with, and what you are doing. You want to ask yourself “why are they checking in so much?” If there is not a primary concern, such as a sickness or being emotional upset, there is cause for suspension. The partner could be insecure and it may show signs of controlling or stalking behaviors. Losing friends: “What type of friends am I losing?” and “Why am I losing friends?” You should feel concerned if you are losing friends quickly or losing close/long term relationships. Often times, abusive or unhealthy partners want to isolate their victims. When family or friends are out of reach then who is the available for comfort? You are trapped with only your partner for emotional support. Pressure to share things you are not ready to: Deep and personal questions sought out in early stages of a relationship is cause for suspicion, especially if there […]

When to Clean and Sober | Orlando Substance Abuse Therapy

When is the right time to get clean and sober?? by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey When is the right time to get clean and sober? Now!  Often times when someone starts contemplating stopping or going into treatment they will come up with a list of various reasons why they can’t.  We frequently hear things like, “I don’t have time;” “I could loose my job;” “I won’t spend as much time with my children;”etc… The list of reasons go on and on.   These are things we hear all too often as loved ones when we are watching someone die right in front of us.  It may be frustrating from an outsider’s perspective but what we must recognize is that this individual truly does not know any other way to live.  One way to have compassion for someone struggling making that step into recovery is to understand that this life is the ONLY normal one to them. When someone is in active addiction almost everything they do is managed around the drinking lifestyle.  They go to places where they can drink, they hang out with people who drink, or they come home to drink – the drinking/using routine becomes very ritualistic.  Eventually it gets to the point where if one tries to stop they begin obsessing about getting the next drink and then the compulsion takes over where it’s unbearable so they must drink again. Not until intervention is implemented can this cycle be stopped. Progression of Addiction The real problem of waiting to stop is the fact that addiction is a progressive disease.  […]

How to Stop Over Extending Yourself, and Start Saying No! | Orlando Anxiety Counseling

Do you seem to be helping everyone else except yourself? Giving constantly but having nothing in return. Do you find yourself feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and resentful? You ask yourself, “How did I end up here?” Everyone else labels you as the nice guy. You are the one who is always available and willing to help. Yet you find yourself never having your own time or needs met. But, you feel too guilty to say no. You don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings. This behavior on the outside seems so giving and beautiful, but it can easily be poisonous and deadly. Life is all about balance. If you continuously give with no return and no recharge, you eventually become drained and empty. You do not get the opportunity to value yourself. Here are a few negative drawbacks of being a constant giver: Taken advantage of by other people Growing stressed and feeling overwhelmed Bitterness and anger builds up Becoming more absent with your friends and family Life becomes dictated by other people’s needs These consequences not only affect you personally but those closest to you. Your partner, children, friends are constantly being rescheduled or overlooked due to your duties or commitments. Loving others does not always mean giving everyone your complete time and energy. Loving yourself and valuing your needs will lead you feeling more refreshed, confident, and happier. In fact, loving yourself gives you the power to better help others. Here are a few tips to help you set healthy boundaries so you can feel more refreshed Self-care: Give yourself time once a week to fully engage […]
By |March 24th, 2017|Articles|0 Comments

Developing Compassion after Trauma, & Heartbreak | Orlando Substance Abuse Counseling

Developing Compassion after Trauma & Heartbreak by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey Individuals who have experienced tragic or traumatic events in their life often struggle with self-hatred or intense shame.  These core feelings prevent self-love and compassion, ultimately postponing healthy, desirable relationships.  Furthermore, if someone has experienced trauma and lacks healthy coping skills, they are more likely to use alcohol or other substances to self-medicate. Over 80% of individuals with alcohol or other drug problems have experienced trauma or abuse in their past. Part of gaining long term recovery often means working through the effects of trauma or abuse.  This is a process effectively mastered in the counseling setting.  Bringing up any trauma or abuse can be re-traumatizing (if not done correctly); therefore, it is vital to do this with a professional. This is especially true for individuals trying to stay clean and sober, as it can be a major trigger for relapse. One major component in healing from past trauma is learning how to develop compassion.  Most importantly compassion and love for yourself.  Once we learn how to love ourselves, and accept ourselves entirely, then we are capable of truly caring for others. We can’t fill anyone else’s cup if ours is empty. Compassion is absolutely necessary in successful relationships.  Let’s say our partner has said something hurtful but genuinely apologized, and we just cannot find it in ourselves to forgive this behavior.  The hardest time to have compassion for another is usually when they have done something unkind.  Hurt people, hurt people; but when someone has hurt us it is helpful to remember they are not […]

3 Tips to Accept your New Body after Bariatric Surgery | Orlando Bariatric Weightloss Therapy

by Cherlette McCullough After under-going weight-loss surgery a lot of men and women and men struggle with accepting their new body.  After surgical weightloss Most patients struggle with the extra skin, baggy clothes, compliments their not use to hearing, insults from the naysayers etc.  All of which can cause added stress to the already difficult lift style changes. The stress can then cause sadness which can turn to into depression or addiction.  Bariatric patients often times end up back in the situation they were in prior to weight-loss surgery, because they didn’t make the efforts to heal emotionally to what may have been the cause of the weight gain.  Losing the weight is great however; holding the emotional grudges against yourself make it  hard to accept your new body. Here are 3 Tips to Start Accepting Your New Body: Remember Your Why. Keep in mind why you decided to have weight loss surgery. Write yourself reminders to see throughout the day. Think of yourself in a positive way. When you start having the negative thoughts; challenge yourself to recognize the pattern, stop it and replace the negative thoughts with positive thoughts/affirmations. For example, I am beautiful; I love myself and my new body. I accept the new me. Do not avoid mirrors or clothes shopping for clothing that fit. Don’t hide in the oversized clothes. Go shopping with a trusted friend or family member. Often times we aren’t able to truly see the weight loss and still try to buy the pre-surgery sizes.  Bring someone with you to help shop and make it fun again! Overall, remind yourself daily the reasons […]

New Beginnings in Sobriety | Orlando Addictions Therapy

by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey The first step of getting sober is to admit that one has a problem.  Once someone develops the self-awareness of a drinking problem then they are on their way to a new way of life.  Many times, people struggle with the difference between what is alcoholism, addiction, substance abuse disorder, or chemical dependency.  They might wonder to themselves, am I really an alcoholic?  Misconceptions are portrayed frequently in the media and pre-conceived notions from others.   Often times someone might compare their drinking to someone who drinks every day or experiences withdrawals and say, “At least I’m not that bad.”  The curious drinker may wonder– am I really an alcoholic? Here are some the red flags of a drinking problem: Having consequences directly because of the drinking. (i.e. Repeatedly miss work, family engagements, or school, but continuing to drink). Spending most of the week preparing for partying, drinking, or recovering from the affects. Putting one’s life in dangerous or risky situations when drinking. (i.e. drinking and driving, getting injured) Continuing to drink despite loss of memory aka blackouts Not everyone who has a problem experiences everything listed above.  The primary concern to notice is drinking despite continued consequences. Here are some steps to help achieve sobriety: Hang out with other people that don’t drink Call someone when you really want to drink Attend 12 step meetings and do the work Stay busy.. especially on the weekends If you are ready, you do not have to drink again. You can choose to join the 23 million Americans are in recovery and stay sober, […]

Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders | Orlando Substance Abuse Counseling

Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders | Orlando Substance Abuse Counseling by Jessica Candelaria Lipsey Over 10 million people have a mental health disorder and substance use disorder combined (2005).  Recognizing the link between addiction and co-occurring disorders is important for many reasons but when we acknowledge this link as a professional – whether it be a counselor, nurse, doctor, attorney etc. – it allows us to develop a cohesive system of care for this person.  It is not uncommon to have a mental health disorder in conjunction with addiction.  Symptoms of depression, anxiety, mood disorders, PTSD and more are seen often with substance abuse.  However, when we are talking about co-occurring disorders we are not just referring to mental health symptoms – we are also finding solutions for people who might be homeless, HIV positive, or those with a history of criminal charges.  When we think of the term co-occurring disorders we can think about treating the whole person and connecting them with multiple resources in the community.  This all enables the person to further achieve sobriety. Why can’t we just help the person get sober?  Doesn’t that solve the issue in itself?  That is the FIRST major step.   Treatment programs that solely focus on the addiction aspect are missing a vital contributor to the person’s addiction.  For instance, let’s say a person struggles with depression from a very young age.  Then as an older adult they discover alcohol; it fills the void but gets out of control and eventually becomes a problem overtime.  Once, they stop drinking the deep empty feelings of depression return and intensify without something to numb it.  They are not sure how to cope with these uncomfortable feelings and they […]