BCS Group

Counseling Signs & Symptoms

Sadness, anger, or hopelessness may be signs of a mental health issue that can improve with treatment. If you’re eating or sleeping more or less than usual, withdrawing from family and friends, or just feeling “off,” talk to someone before serious problems develop that impact your quality of life.

ANXIETY

Anxiety is long term stress, and long term stress can affect every part of your body and how it operates. Most people are familiar with the emotional symptoms like always anticipating the worst, feeling restless all the time or having a constant nagging concern.

DEPRESSION

Depression is a serious, but common, illness: One in 10 adults report experiencing depression, and the condition is the most common cause of disability in the United States. The lifetime risk of any individual person becoming depressed is around 17 percent, and most people have their first bout of depression in their late teens or early twenties. The condition is slightly more common among women, but some researchers speculate that this may be because men are less likely to seek help or because their symptoms are more likely to manifest as anger than sadness.

PANIC ATTACK

A panic attack is a sudden surge of overwhelming anxiety and fear. Your heart pounds and you can’t breathe. You may even feel like you’re dying or going crazy. But panic attacks can be cured and the sooner you seek help, the better. With treatment, you can reduce or eliminate the symptoms of panic and regain control of your life.

SELF ESTEEM

Self-esteem is the degree to which we feel confident, consider ourselves valuable, and respect ourselves, and this can affect our well-being. Low self-esteem is associated with self-doubt, self-criticism, social isolation, suppressed anger, and shame. Low self-esteem is also a symptom of several mental health conditions, including anxiety and depression.

EATING DISORDER

Eating disorders are serious medical problems. Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder are all types of eating disorders.

Eating disorders frequently develop during adolescence or early adulthood, but can occur during childhood or later in adulthood. Females are more likely than males to develop an eating disorder.

Eating disorders are more than just a problem with food. Food is used to feel in control of other feelings that may seem overwhelming. For example, starving is a way for people with anorexia to feel more in control of their lives and to ease tension, anger, and anxiety.

Purging and other behaviors to prevent weight gain are ways for people with bulimia to feel more in control of their lives and to ease stress and anxiety.

LIFE TRANSITION

Adjusting to change can be difficult, as even positive life transitions tend to cause some stress. Over the course of a lifetime, a person can expect to experience a significant amount of change.

Some of these changes, such as marriages, births, and new jobs, are generally positive, although they may be accompanied by their own unique stressors.

Other major life transitions, such as moving, retirement, or entering the “empty nest” phase of life may cause a significant amount of stress. Those who find themselves experiencing difficulty coping with life transitions may find it helpful to speak to a therapist in order to become better able to adjust to changes they cannot control.

POST PARTUM DEPRESSION

Many new mothers can experience extreme fatigue due to not getting enough sleep and also taking care of a new baby.  It is important to determine whether you are “just tired” or suffering from postpartum depression.

Symptoms of mild Postpartum Depression (PPD) include sadness, anxiety, tearfulness, and trouble sleeping.

These symptoms usually appear within several days of delivery and go away 10 to 12 days after the birth. Usually the only treatment needed is reassurance and some help with household chores and care of the baby. About 20% of women who have postpartum blues will develop more lasting depression. It is very important to let your health care provider know if you experience the “blues” that last longer than two weeks. People often look for a list of signs to validate they are in the midst of a midlife crisis. Generally the experience is a combination of feelings, events and physical changes that indicate a transformation is at hand.

MIDLIFE CRISIS

The term “midlife crisis” often conjures up thoughts of a middle-aged man or woman quitting their job or buying an expensive sports car. Mental health experts know it more as a time that we should all be on the lookout for symptoms of depression.

A recent study found that women between the ages 40 and 59 have the highest rate of depression out of any age or gender in the United States.

The final proof often occurs in retrospect after a person accepts they have changed and comes to terms with new life patterns. However, it’s possible to see the signs that forewarn of crisis. Understanding why these symptoms exist can actually help guide the mid life transformation process.

MENOPAUSE

Midlife is often considered a period of increased risk for depression in women. Some women report mood swings, irritability, tearfulness, anxiety, and feelings of despair in the years leading up to menopause. But the reason for these emotional problems isn’t always clear. Research shows that menopausal symptoms such as sleep problems, hot flashes, night sweats, and fatigue can affect mood and well-being.

PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event, either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Many people who go through traumatic events have difficulty adjusting and coping for a while, but they don’t have PTSD, with time and good self-care, they usually get better. But if the symptoms get worse or last for months or even years and interfere with your functioning, you may have PTSD.

Getting effective treatment after PTSD symptoms develop can be critical to reduce symptoms and improve function.

SEXUAL TRAUMA

Sexual trauma can be many things. Many people think that sexual trauma has to be violent to be traumatic, but in fact, a majority of sexual assaults that occur do not have significant violent behavior, but instead are done with a threat of harm or embarrassment for the individual involved.

Sexual trauma is “traumatic” when the person involved feels a sense of fear, helplessness, injury or threat of injury. The level of perceived threat and traumatic reaction to that threat is very individual and almost impossible to anticipate. One person may react far differently than another despite very similar situations.

A person’s response to sexual trauma will change as time passes. It is common to have feelings of fear, grief, sadness, and physical feelings of nausea, dizziness, changes in appetite, and changes in sleep patterns. Reactions to the sexual trauma can last for weeks to months before you start to feel “normal” again.

Most people report feeling better within three months after the sexual trauma. However, if the feelings become worse or last longer, you may be suffering from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or depression. If you have been dealing with intense to moderate symptoms for longer than three months, you should see a mental health professional.

MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.

Mindfulness Based Approaches are designed to deliberately focus one’s attention on the present experience in a way that is non-judgmental. Mindfulness has its roots in Eastern techniques, in particular Buddhist meditation.

The practice requires that one intentionally directs focus away from states of mind that would otherwise occupy them, such as frightening or worrisome thoughts, and instead observe and accept the present situation and all it has to offer, regardless of whether that is good or bad.

Mindfulness based approaches and contemplative approaches are becoming widely accepted methods for relieving symptoms related to many psychological issues and can be applied across many different population segments.

Your body can respond physically to emotional conflicts, this is called the Body Mind Connection.  For example, you may experience high blood pressure, develop stomach disorders or begin to have more headaches, this could be your body reacting to what is going on in your emotional life.

Emotional problems can affect your immune system. Your body gets run down and you can get more colds and develop infections. When you are anxious or sad you often don’t pay attention to your health, as well as you should, such as skipping exercising and tending not to eat well. Often you abuse alcohol or smoke and do not sleep well.

Speaking to your primary doctor about you emotional state is important. Your doctor should educate you on how your emotions effect your body. The next step is putting together some ways to improve your physical symptoms. When going to your Internist to discuss the symptoms you are experiencing, it is very important for him or her to understand what you are feeling physically and what is going on in your life which might be causing your emotional triggers.

Living a balanced life and understanding some of the destructive behaviors, such as drinking, under-eating or over eating, not eating right and sleeping too much or too little is not healthy and not helping you feel better.