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The most common symptoms include mental block, lack of motivation, irritability, stress eating or loss of appetite and insomnia. Mental exhaustion can affect you for both short-term or long-term. If left unchecked, it can lead to all sorts of serious health problems, including anxiety and burnout.

You get irritated easily. You don’t know why, but almost everything can irritate you. Unfortunately, this can mean you take your frustrations out on those closest to you – those who probably don’t deserve it.

You find it hard to get motivated. You struggle to find the motivation you need for your daily life. This can result in you having a hard time with school, the workplace or even in your own home.

Heightened anxiety. As a result of your mental exhaustion, you probably feel more anxiety or stress, you probably get worried unnecessarily.

Sleep deprived. The overwhelming feeling of exhaustion makes it harder for you to calm your thoughts and fall asleep, which only compounds the fatigue that you are already experiencing.

You are constantly physically tired. When you’re suffering from fatigue, it doesn’t matter how much you sleep, you will still be tired when you get up. It seems never ending.

Mental Fatigue is a treatable condition. The best way to treat it is to eliminate the stressor or the stressful event, if you find you are unable to eliminate the stressor, take advantage of resources available to cope. Talk with a mental health specialist about ways to manage stress and anxiety.

Contact us now if you’d like to talk to an experienced professional – get the help you need.


MAKE AN APPOINTMENT


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We all go through periods of low energy or feeling tired, multiple days of feeling overly tired is not uncommon, but most people can tell when their fatigue feels like something more serious. If that’s the case, or your fatigue gets worse or lasts longer than a week or two, it’s time to get some help.

Psychological causes of tiredness are much more common than physical causes:

Stress
The strains of daily life can feel like they are wearing you out, remember that even positive events, such as moving house or getting married, can cause exhausting stress.

Emotional shock
A bereavement, redundancy or a relationship break-up can make you feel tired and exhausted. Getting professional help to make this grief or shock can help you understand and manage your mental responses.

Depression
If you feel continued sadness and you wake up tired, you may have depression. Sadness is an expected human feeling, but if the sadness extends past 2 to 3 weeks, they it maybe be something more serious. Keep a diary, monitor your feelings. And get help if your sadness persists.

Anxiety
Anxiety can be exhausting! and a perfectly normal human emotion. But if you have regular, excessive feelings of anxiety, you may have Generalised Anxiety Disorder. GAD characterized chronic, exaggerated worry and tension that is more severe than the normal anxiety most people experience.  As well as feeling worried and irritable, people with GAD often feel tired.

If you think your tiredness may be a result of one of the above, and you’d like to talk to a professional, contact us now – we will match you with the right therapist for you.


SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT


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  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

Denial

Denial is a normally an immediate and temporary response, that carries you through the first wave of pain, you might even doubt the reality of the loss at first. But when you are ready, the feelings and emotions you have denied will surface, and your healing journey will commence.

Anger

It is common to feel anger toward the situation or person you lost. In reality, you understand the person isn’t to blame, but emotionally, you may feel like you resent them for leaving you.

Bargaining

Guilt might rear its head during this stage, your emotions might be trying to regain some control. Non of this is uncommon and as hard as it might feel, this helps you face the reality of your loss.

Depression

Depression, or sadness, is a natural and appropriate response to grief. As you start to face the reality of your loss, the realization may lead you to feel varying degrees sadness to great despair.

Acceptance

An important stage. Accepting the loss you’ve experienced, learning to live with it, and how you will readjust your life accordingly. This may not be the end of your grief, moving back-and-forth between these stages is natural and a part of the healing process. Everyone is different, don’t try to rush it.

Everyone experiences grief differently, you might feel your own grieving process isn’t going “according to the norm” but there is no such thing as a right or wrong way to grieve while of coping with loss.

If you feel you might need a little extra help dealing with grief, contact us now to schedule an appointment with a fully trained and compassionate therapist: APPOINTMENTS

 


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An article by : Nicoletta Pallotta

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Social isolation and working from home, aimed to stop the spread of the coronavirus may be making domestic violence more frequent, more severe and more dangerous. Are you or someone you love being abused? 1 out of every 3 women are in an abusive relationship and this issue becoming even more common during COVID-19, while we are stressed and forced to spend large amounts of time at home together.

Below are 10 common indicators of abuse:

  • Stalking: questioning your every move while telling you that they love you and are being protective
  • Texting or calling you constantly; insisting they are concerned about you and want to make sure that you are safe
  • Controlling your finances: forcing you to account in detail for every dollar that you spend
  • Criticizing you for every little thing you do
  • Humiliating you in front of your family and friends
  • Angering easily, particularly if he or she is drinking
  • Forcing you to have sex against your will
  • Hitting or punching you
  • Jealously of friendships or any other relationships you have
  • Isolating you from family and friends

If you can say yes to even one of these, you are in an abusive relationship.

During a calm stage, it’s easy to remain in the relationship thinking that it won’t happen again, but it doesn’t help to ignore the problem or live in hope that the abuser will change. It’s very important to be prepared and have a safety, back-up plan in case the violence erupts again.

Be prepared in case you need to call a shelter

It’s not accepting defeat to be ready. Find out about legal options or other resources available to you before you have to use them. You should know exactly where to go and how to get there, even if a situation arises the middle of the night.

Prepare an emergency bag, for a quick exit

Keep cash, a checkbook, your savings account details, identification, a medical insurance card and your address book in a safe place where the abuser can’t find it. The last thing you want to be worried about at a time like this is money!

Leave the situation

If it happens, be ready to go. If you have children, take them with you. If you are in immediate danger call 911.


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Build the perfect Self-Care day from these activities

PICK A FEW AND RECHARGE, OR DO THEM ALL AND HAVE THE BEST DAY EVER.

Exercise. It’s about moving, not about pushing yourself past your limits. Self-care when exercise makes you feel good about yourself, not when you’re focused on burning calories.

Meditate. Meditation is the perfect way to focus inward and acknowledge all of the thoughts and feelings you’ve been neglecting.

Create. Paint, draw, origami, knitting, macrame… Wherever your creativity is, you can fall into a creative trance and relax your mind.

Get outside. Even if its just our own backyard, the outdoors can really impact your mood.

Sleep. The big one. Try settling into bed a little early and get some quality rest. It’s that simple.

Eat healthy. Whether meal prepping for your week, making a nutritious dinner, or cooking up some Sunday breakfast, it’s worth the time.

Read a book / listen to a Podcast. An escape from the ‘real world’, of your choosing.

Take a bath instead of a shower. It’s simple, you can relax in a hot bath.

Meet a fried for a tea. Doesn’t have to be tea, but surround yourself with all of the positive relationships in your life

Spend time with a pet. Everyone knows the unconditional love a pet can give. If you don’t have one, head to the park or local rescue…

Do something for someone else. These acts can get you out of your own head and make someone’s day a little better.

Turn off your phone for 30 minutes. Unplugging can give you a chance to reconnect with the things that really matter to you. Self-care doesn’t get much better than that.


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What is Generalized Anxiety disorder?

Generalized Anxiety disorder (GAD) is where Anxiety is present constantly, and is there is no relief.

It interferes with daily function and makes it difficult to get a good night sleep. Anxiety can also manifest through physical symptoms such as: headaches, nausea, diarrhea, increase heart rate, hyperventilating and sweaty palms. Anxiety can be so debilitating that it can interfere with work and your relationships.

GAD effects women twice as often men. Treating GAD through psychotherapies, either talk-therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy along with physical exercise can elevate symptoms. Simple changes in your life style can help; yoga, meditation, avoiding caffeine, daily exercise, these all are proven to have a calming effect on ones Anxiety. Herbal remedies may also work to relieve anxiety for some people, Kava, Valerian root, St John wart, but before using them speak to your doctor.

Women who experience anxiety may have other psychological issues. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Social Phobia, Panic attacks, Stress or Depression.

It is not healthy to let these symptoms continue indefinitely. Schedule an appointment with one of our friendly and experienced Therapists. We are here to help you.

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It’s totally normal to feel stressed or anxious from time to time, but there’s lots of things you can do to manage your anxiety.

Remember: there’s a difference between feeling stressed every now and then, and experiencing ongoing anxiety. If the stress or anxiety is starting to take a toll, consider talking to a mental health professional.

1. Talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling
Just talking to someone about how you feel can take a weight off your shoulders. Make sure you trust the person, then work out what you want to say to them. We’ve got four more steps for talking to someone you trust here.

2. Focus on the present
Have you ever noticed that feeling stressed or anxious often coincides with dwelling on the past or worrying about the future? Simply focusing your mind on the present moment can help you feel a little more relaxed. You might be surprised to know there’s lots of ways to do this, even if you don’t like meditating. Here’s five simple ways to be more mindful.

3. Take some time out
A fully packed schedule would make a lot of people feel stressed. Make sure you fit in at least one thing you enjoy each day, whether it’s a hobby, a Netflix show, or a chat with a friend. It can also help if you schedule the enjoyable activity into your day, so that you don’t feel guilty about not doing something else.

4. Monitor your thoughts
Sometimes we don’t even know what’s making us stressed or anxious. Writing down your thoughts can help you figure out what the cause is. Once you’ve done that, you can work on challenging and changing your negative thoughts. You can use a diary to do this, or an app such as Mindshift.

5. Challenge your thoughts
If your head is full of negative thoughts, of course you’re going to feel stressed or anxious. But even though our thoughts feel true, it doesn’t mean they reflect what’s really happening. Try writing down what you’re thinking, then adding facts that support or disprove each thought. You might be surprised by how many of your thoughts are exaggerated or aren’t reality. Read more about how to challenge negative thoughts here.

6. Move more, eat well, sleep
It’s pretty well known that exercise lowers stress, reduces anxiety and improves mood. And the good news is: you don’t need to run a marathon to get the benefits. It takes just 30 minutes of exercise a day to make a difference. We’ve got some tips on how to exercise when you’re not feeling motivated.

7. Face your fears
If you always avoid situations that make you anxious, this might be stopping you from doing things you want or need to do. It sounds weird, but facing the things that make you anxious can reduce your anxiety.

It’s best to do this with the help of a professional, though, so that it doesn’t get too full-on for you. If you’d like to speak to a experienced, qualified and friendly Counselor – click here

Article by reachout.com


 

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an article by
Julia Di Giacomo, LCSW

When human beings are in danger their bodies produce a heightened state of arousal know as fight or flight response. This response is meant to warn us about the threat to our safety and therefore serves to be very useful in protecting us. However, for many people this type of reaction can become attached to perceived threats which are not real and therefore the response becomes maladaptive and creates a great deal of distress for the person experiencing it. At that point, the person may begin experiencing what we refer to as an anxiety disorder which can manifest anxiety symptoms in any general sense, in social situations, can lead to panic attacks or can be extreme as part of the post-traumatic stress disorder after a traumatic event.

Due to the unpredictable nature of the onset of these symptoms, anxiety disorders are one of the main reasons people seek mental health counseling and therapy. In my professional experience in working with these disorders, I have found that clients do best when they are offered tools and techniques to manage their anxiety. These techniques are called Grounding Techniques as they are meant to “ground” the person and help them return to a state of homeostasis. Since the anxiety symptoms have everything running at an accelerated speed and have persons affected worrying about the future or regretting the past it is essential for the individual to be able to “ground” themselves to the here and now in order to return to a state of calm and well-being.

One of the first tools the clinician can offer is to help the client identify something they can use as an “Anchor” to remind them to return to the present moment.

Anchors:

Clients can use a rubber band, hair tie or bracelet around their wrist and when they feel themselves becoming anxious, they can snap themselves back to the present moment.

Clients can download a picture of a favorite person, place or art on the home screen of their phone and stare at it when becoming anxious to return to the present moment.

Clients can use a favorite symbol or toy on a key chain and hold it and rub it when becoming anxious so that they can return to present moment.
Clients can use a favorite song on speed dial or sounds that create a sense of calm and peace and help them to return to present time.

After the clients have anchored themselves then the work on “grounding” them and calming down the anxiety can begin.
Grounding Techniques:

Physical techniques:

Breathing- it must be deep breathing where they breathe in from the diaphragm for 3 seconds, hold for 3 seconds, release for 3 seconds and make a ssshhh sound when releasing to ensure they have emptied it all out and not holding the anxiety in their bodies.

Client sits up in a chair with feet firmly on the ground and place palms of hands on legs and count until their body calms down.
Client uses cold compresses near pressure points and hold it there until their body starts to regulate and calm down.
Client shakes themselves free of the anxiety by shaking their arms and legs and making loud sounds to get all the anxiety out of their body.

Clients get physical literally-They go for a walk, run, exercise, or dance until they feel their body return to its natural state.
Clients use an essential oil or favorite body cream on their skin and breathe it in until they feel themselves calming down.
Observation and physical description:

Clients are asked to focus on anything in the environment and describe everything about it. Whether it be a painting, a book, a car, a sign on a train or bus or in your office, etc. I have literally used a fire extinguisher when I have not had anything else and asked a client to describe everything about it. The idea is to use it as a distraction and to focus their energy on it. By the time the client is done describing it they will have calmed down.

Cognitive Techniques:

Cognitive techniques are also to be used as distractions that clients can access through memory such as recalling all the details from a favorite place or vacation. Once they focus on describing all the details of that time or place they will be reminded of the pleasant feelings associated with it and they will calm down.

Clients can also recite a favorite poem or song with this type of technique and the intention is the same by distracting their energy and focusing on the details and positive feelings they will return to present moment and feel better.

Client can also pray, meditate or participate in a guided meditation. These can all be used as distraction that help them return to the here and now and their state of homeostasis.

Client can also draw or use art as the distraction to soothe themselves and calm their anxiety.

Auditory Techniques:

Clients can listen to music or any other sounds that help them calm down. It can be the ocean, nature, birds, the sound of a loved one’s voice. The goal is the same to calm the anxiety and return them to the present moment.

It is only after clients have grounded themselves, achieved a state of homeostasis and safety that they can begin to work on the underlying issues and conflicts.


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an article by
Nicoletta Pallotta, MD, LCSW
CEO & Founder

As the much anticipated ‘return to work’ takes hold… my overwhelming concern has been once the pandemic was under control and social distance has been lifted, how would I manage our physical locations, for our clients and the 150 therapists that work for BCS Group.

I not only need to consider everyone’s safety, but also the new ‘norm’ for our practice, many clients and therapists have expressed a strong desire to continue with our tele-health model.

When COVID first forced me to shut down the physical locations, my focus abruptly shifted from assigning rooms to schedule our clients, to providing secure, Live Video services. The upside to this change gave us the ability to extend our hours, care for more clients, and hire more therapist. But also, it gave us the capability to reach out to more remote areas, where clients and therapist that previously may not have been able to connect with us, now could.

As I plan for the opening of locations and develop a real sense of the future balance between in-person and online, I decided the best way to forecast the future was to engage directly with our therapist and clients, to see what their preferences really are.

I was really surprised to learn that most therapists are more interested in the remote model, as are our clients, they are really enjoying tele-mental health; the convenience and flexibility, generally they feel their therapy sessions have been more relaxing from the comfort of their homes, along with not needing to arrange childcare, no more commute or waiting rooms. Overall, online counseling is a lot less stressful.

I think the pandemic helped us all realize that remote care is here to stay.


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Even through, as an essential worker, i was in my office everyday through the pandemic – i saw my clients via Live Video Chat, i supervised therapists through Live Video Chat and i managed most of my staff through Live Video chat.

I have been asked a number of times “it must be so much better seeing clients in person, right?” I have spent much time thinking about this, and caught myself reflecting on just this question during sessions… I stumbled on the realization that when we see our clients in their own environment, over Live Video, we really do learn a lot about them we might not get to see when they come to our office.

Their home environment tells the clinician a lot about how they live and what is important to them, whether it is art they have hanging on their wall, or their connection to a dog or a cat or maybe both!

Seeing our clients in their own comfort zone allows us more understanding to who they are, which will undoubtedly help the therapeutic relationship. People often take for granted their environment and wouldn’t think to share some of the aspects of their home life with their therapist.

One of the main benefits of Online Counseling, besides the end of the commute and no more uncomfortable waiting rooms, is when our client is in their natural environment, often they are more relaxed and open to the process.

Dr. Nicoletta Pallotta
BCS Group – Founder, CEO