Teens

Three Things You Need To Know About Suicide | Robin Williams Death | Depression Counseling of Orlando

Three Things You Need To Know About Suicide | Robin Williams

 Shock, Disbelief, Confusion…. those are a few of the words that I heard in reaction to the untimely death of Oscar winning actor Robin Williams.  Two of his films are on my list of favorites: Ms. Doubtfire and Good Will Hunting.   His characters made me laugh as well as cry as I watched them.  Sadly, for most individuals like Robin Williams suicide is preventable if there is appropriate intervention.  There are a few common risk factors for suicidal individuals.   The three things that you need to know about suicide are the following:

1)    History of Mental Disorders. Often times when an individual suffers from reoccurring mental disorders such as depression or bipolar (manic-depressive) disorder, addictions (alcohol or substance abuse or dependence), schizophrenia; borderline or antisocial personalities disorder to name a few they can be vulnerable to suicidal ideations. Usually there has also been a previous suicide attempt and/or a family history of attempted or completed suicide and at times a serious medical condition is present.

2)    Inescapable crisis. There are some individuals who view their life circumstance or dilemma as unavoidable and feel a complete loss of control. In these cases, there are some feelings and thoughts that they may experience and even communicate to those close to them (ie. Can’t see themselves as worthwhile, can’t see a future without pain, can’t seem to get control, can’t make the sadness go away).

3)    Prolonged Isolation. Often times this is more of a “feeling” of being cut off from other people over a sustained period of time. The individual can also feel that the “black internal hole”  or emptiness that they feel is so deep and […]

5 Tips to Survive End of Summer Blues | Orlando Family Counseling

Summer break is a time when families get to slow down, enjoy quality time and relaxation by getting out of the normal rigid routine associated with school, homework, sports, etc. When “back to school” rolls around it can be tough to get back into a normal routine. Kids and parents alike often show signs of stress and anxiety as they prepare to get back to the hustle and bustle leaving them feeling deflated. Are you suffering from the end of summer blues?

Here are 5 tips to help you get on track and eliminate the unavoidable stress!

summer, vacation, back to school,

1. Get your kids to bed early NOW. School will be starting soon so don’t wait till the Sunday before school starts to begin the early to bed routine. Kids typically need a good 10 plus hours of sleep so get them well rested this will help when early morning rolls around.

2. If you want to be ahead of the game have a plan. This means figuring out what your kids will be wearing the next day, what they are having for lunch and prepping the night before. The more you have done before you go to bed the less you have to rush around getting done in the morning. A few minutes in the evening can give you a much better start to your day.

3. Get up earlier. If you are like me it takes me a long time to get ready and adding another person just amplifies the morning rush. I have found it extremely helpful to get up at least 30-45 minutes before if I want to have a stress free morning […]

4 Ways To Prevent Teen Isolation | Orlando Social Anxiety Counseling

As I continue to work with teens in counseling, I’m constantly learning their new trends, ways of life, and outlooks on everything from family, to relationships, to friends. The newest sentence that keeps popping up in my sessions is: “I like my internet friends rather than my real life friends.” When I ask why the response is usually something like: “My internet friends don’t judge me” or “I feel comfortable talking to my internet friends because it’s not a face to face conversation” or “my internet friends are niceteens, online friends, anxiety, isolationr, more accepting and understand what I am going through.”

While these conversations always raise a red flag for me (i.e. online pedophiles, etc.) I remain calm and retrieve some information about these “friends” they are referring to. Back in my day, chat rooms were a big craze and you really didn’t know who was chatting on the other end. Today, apps like Instagram and Skype are used more often for online friends to connect and chat. This makes teenagers feel like they know the person on the other side of the screen because they can see their pictures or speak to them in real time. Texting apps are also a huge way that teens are “socializing” with their friends they meet online. Obviously, still, there can be predators on the other end.

What concerns me, mentally, though is the social wall that these teens are building. I have seen numerous clients push their “real friends” out of their life so much, that they are left with nothing but an online presence. They shut the real world out, and let the cyber world in. It’s […]

Are You A “Nomophobic”

I’m nomophobic…and chances are, you are too.

Nomophobia is a new disorder that is defined as “the fear of being without your smartphone.” This phobia actually affects 40% of the population. Studies show that “aside from sleep and sex, the urge to log into social networking sites is stronger than any other, including drugs and alcohol.”

How many times have you caught yourself saying, “What did I do before I had a smartphone?” or scrambling to plug your smartphone in because you cannot think of anything worse than it dying, thus not having access to “the world.” When we think about it logically, it is silly how much we depend on this technology, but when push comes to shove, leaving the phone at home, just because, is almost unheard of!

young-fashionable-woman-reading-sms-10086812Many people claim that the last thing they touch at night and the first thing they touch in the morning is their cell phone. As a married woman, this makes me sad, mostly because I am often guilty of it, but also because when I was a teen, I used to dream about how wonderful it would be to wake up next to the one you love and get a good morning and goodnight kiss every day. Now, we are more concerned about the latest posts on Instagram and Facebook, or what our calendars look like, rather than living and being in the present.

Personally, it drives my husband crazy how often I am on my phone (especially when he is driving), and vice versa when we are watching TV, but we are both trying harder to “be present” and enjoy life through our own eyes rather than through […]

Five Tips To Improve Your Self-Esteem

Five Tips To Improve Your Self-Esteem

Do you sit in the mirror with jaded lens and pin point all of your flaws? Do you find yourself daydreaming of how much happier you would if you could just change a certain part of your body? Do you hide behind layers of clothing? You are not alone and many are in the same struggle towards self acceptance.

I was that young teen afraid of the mirror. The mirror showed me a side of myself that I despised and wished I could magically change. I had wonderful friends that loved and accepted me but that just wasn’t enough for me to love myself. This self-hatred poured into my adult years but I learned to mask it a little better. I wore a girdle on a daily basis, spent hours on my hair and make-up, and hid behind jokes, kindness, and being a pretty awesome human being BUT even with the approval of others I could not stand to look at myself in the mirror.

Orlando Self Esteem CounselingI know I am not alone and that many have experienced or are experiencing this very same thing. What I can say is that this self-inflicted emotional abuse does not need to consume your life and does have an end. It is not an easy journey but I can honestly say that it is possible to love yourself wholly and accept yourself for who you are and where you are.

Stop the negative self-talk.

Have you ever taken a day to just listen to your self-talk? Your self-talk are the comments you say to yourself about yourself. For example, if you drop your lunch […]

7 Ways To Help Your Kids

How can anyone explain tragedies like the relatively recent killings in Santa Barbara or the Connecticut murders to kids? There are a few things that parents can do to address any questions or any fears that may come up in children after being exposed to news reports or conversations from classmates.

Kids & Tragedies Be Flexible

It is important that you realize there is no exact right or wrong way to answer any difficult questions about any of these tragedies. What matters the most is that children know that they can talk to you about their feelings and ask questions (i.e. that it is safe to talk about it).

Ask Open-Ended Questions

You want to ask kids open-ended questions such as, “what happened in school today? What did you see today? How do you feel about that conversation? This may help facilitate them expressing their feelings.

Maintain Routines

Encourage your child to go to school if they want to stay home. When they are at school with other children and teachers, this can be the best place for them to confront any anxieties. If your child is really upset and wants the day off with you, that is ok too. Just make sure any changes in routine don’t become permanent.

Be Reassuring

Use language to distance the child from the tragedy and reassure them that they will be safe at school. You can say things like, “that happened far away and I will do everything I can to keep you safe.”

Use Developmentally Appropriate Language

Children as young as 2 can be aware that something is happening, but the amount of information they need still changes age by age. It is not advisable to give them […]

Performance Based Self-Identity

Self-identity is the recognition of someone’s potential and qualities as an individual. When we have a balanced view of our self-identity, we can find the worth and value in the many facets that make us human. For example, a person can say I am smart, I am kind to others, I am attractive, I have a great sense of humor, I have a good work ethic, etc. However, many people find their self-identity, and their self-worth, not in who they are, but what they do.

This is called Performance Based Self-Identity.

Performance Based Self-Identity creates two types of people: perfectionists and avoiders. Both of these types of people have the same mantra of “I must meet certain standards to feel good about myself” (taken from “The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee- highly recommended!)

self-identity, performance, failing, workaholicBeing a perfectionist is often viewed as a good trait because perfectionists work hard, get things done, and are reliable; however, being a perfectionist means that impossible standards are set and never obtained. No one is perfect; therefore, setting out to be is impossible and frustrating when not achieved. The perfectionist’s thinking of him or herself looks like, “Today, I got a 100% on my AP test; I got the highest promotion at work; I am a mom who has it all together…therefore, I am good/valuable/worthy/etc.” While these are all wonderful achievements, situations and circumstances change on a daily basis, so if a perfectionist feels valuable because he got the highest promotion, what will happen to his self-worth if he gets fired or laid off? This is when the perfectionist spirals into a state of devastation […]

4 Healthy Boundaries in Social Media | Orlando Counseling Services

Strength Behind the Screen

In a world of selfies, hashtags, and tweets, social media and the pressures it brings have bombarded our lives. It is well understood by now that social media can be used to bring harm, heartache, and even “acceptance” to its users, but it is surprising how often we gain “strength” behind the screen to promote, defend and process.

SocialMediaBoundaries

The most common types of statuses and comments that we come across (or have posted ourselves) are ones like the following:

The passive aggressive, not so passive status: “I usually do not post statuses like this, but I just have to vent with how frustrated I am with…”

The vague, not so vague, post about someone, who knows that they’re the someone that the post is about: “I want to unfollow you because I see you with her, but I can’t because it’s my only connection to you.”

The posts that are fishing for compliments: “Feeling frustrated because I can’t seem to shake these last few pounds” which are usually followed by “What are you talking about?! You look amazing!”

The outright fights that people have via comments, which doesn’t need an example. We’ve all seen it!

While social media can be fun and even beneficial at times, it is important to understand when to limit yourself and your thoughts to the entire world. Here are some helpful tips to keep healthy boundaries online and to take that strength that you have behind the computer or phone screen into the real world.

  1. Do not pick fights over the Internet – When you are upset with someone social media is not the place to hash things out, even if they start the […]

5 Tips For Overcoming ADD/ADHD Without A Prescription

5 Tips For Overcoming ADD/ADHD Without A Prescription

BY: Dwight Franklin, AP

 In today’s world it is very common to address a child’s problematic behavior through the use of pharmaceuticals. While this can be a helpful tool to aid your child’s ability to function and concentrate in school, it is not without its side effects. I have heard many complaints from parents that their child seems to lose their unique personality while taking ADHD medication and/or that they sleep most of the day away. Many others have told me that while the medication helps it does not completely correct all the symptoms that their child is experiencing. I have yet to come across a parent that tells me how ecstatic they were about putting their child on medication even if it was effective. So why do parents go for the medications when they have such anxiety about doing so? It can be for many reasons but the two main reasons are the pressure from outside forces (teachers, medical doctors, family members) or it may simply be that the parent is not aware that there are other ways of handling a child’s behavioral issues. Here are 5 tips that can help a parent have the most success with their ADD/ADHD child.

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  • Cut out all processed sugars!  This by itself can make a huge impact on the behavior of the child. While foods such as cookies, cakes, white bread, and soda are bad for us all, they are especially damaging to a child. As adults most of us have learned right from wrong and appropriate from inappropriate. A child is still learning these things and when excess amounts of […]

Dangers of Teen Codependent Relationships| Orlando Teen Codependency Counseling

Dangers of Teen Codependent Relationships| Orlando Teen Codependency Counseling

Codependency is a term that can be defined as “excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically a partner who requires support due to an illness or addiction.” Unfortunately, codependence can affect anyone and it is an issue that is even affecting teenagers. Codependent relationships in teens can be extremely dangerous, as we have learned by recent events in Windermere, Florida.

Florida Teen Double Suicide Screen shot 2014-03-26 at 10.20.13 PM

On Saturday, March 22nd, two teens shot and killed an officer and then themselves. Suicide notes were found by parents along with notes to each other and plans of the future. The plans included that the couple desired to get married (Brandon Goode being 18 years old and his girlfriend Alex Hollinghurst only 17 years old), steal a boat and sail to Panama. Brandon painted Alex a “romantic” idea of a future by saying, “We could live on a beach, just you and me, forever;” however, this isolation and dependency is exactly what fed into the couple’s toxic relationship. Another letter was found where Brandon was apologizing for creating so many problems for Alex and breaking up with her. According to letters, and the events that ensued on Saturday, obviously the break up did not last.

Often times, teenagers get a tumultuous relationship confused for a passionate one. They think the codependency is romantic rather than unhealthy. And the on again/off again relationship as destiny to be together, rather than being unable to set and maintain healthy boundaries. This kind of behavior is definitely dangerous to one’s mental health, but as Windermere and the families of […]