Feeling sick? Just rub some (Robi)’tussin’ on it! Leg broke? ‘Tussin. Everybody knows that infamous Chris Rock joke from his 1999 stand-up comedy film Bigger and Blacker or if you are Greek you might remember that catch phrase from My Big Fat Greek Wedding with spraying Windex on everything. Although it had us holding our sides in laughter, the truth behind the comedy isn’t exactly such a laughing matter. For centuries, African Americans have been perpetuating an outdated outlook on overall health awareness and practices, skipping important doctor check-ups, and downplaying the importance of possibly serious symptoms (hence cough syrup Robitussin becoming the household remedy for any ailment, and the butt of Chris Rock’s joke). Even more alarming is that African Americans for the past few centuries have been so caught up in a fury of survival that they often do not give any thought to nurturing their mental and spiritual well-being.
I believe that many illnesses come from oppressed or unresolved issues. I want to work with people on what is happening to them on their mental world and spiritual world as well so that they can have a full total body healing. I believe that I was born to change that. As a now certified hypnotherapist and lecturer, It is my calling to bringing spiritual healing to all communities, especially the Black community through the often uncharted medium of hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy is not what you might be thinking — you lie down on a long couch, a swinging pendulum puts you into a trance, next thing you know, you’re barking like a dog like you’re in Coming 2 America or many people think that they will forever be in the “sunken place” like in the movie Get Out. Actually the real thing is a lot less intimidating. Hypnotherapy is not something that is meant to be frightening or controlling. The method is really much more relaxing and serene; the idea is to look inward, tapping into a universal wealth of self-knowledge to deal with problems that are manifesting in your physical life.
My goal and purpose for hypnotherapy to help my clients face and overcome a variety of issues, from smoking and phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder and loss, anxiety, sleep issues, weight loss, and chronic pain, to name a few. Also many see results as soon as 1-4 sessions. I have always had a passion for helping people, especially individuals who struggle with trauma, substance use, and mental illnesses. I have always been intrigued with exploring different treatment modalities that can help people. I am very client center and many of my colleges and friends often laugh with me when I say I am off to a new training and exploring something new that will help people overcome any hurdle they may be facing. Researches shown that hypnotherapy is effective and successful. As a Psychotherapist that also specialists in Mental Health, Addiction, and Trauma, I feel that hypnotherapy marries the three quite well.
Many people may ask what is a Mid Level Practitioner? I have decided to attach a chart to display what the rankings of an LCSW.
Bipolar disorder, also known in some parts of the world by its older name, “manic depression,” is a mental disorder that is characterized by serious and significant mood swings. A person with this condition experiences alternating “highs” (what clinicians call “mania“) and “lows” (also known as depression).
Something I always try to explain to my clients is that both the manic and depressive periods can be brief, from just a few hours to a few days. Or the cycles can be much longer, lasting up to several weeks or even months. The periods of mania and depression vary from person to person — many people may only experience very brief periods of these intense moods, and may not even be aware that they have the disorder.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, there four major categories of bipolar disorder: bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, cyclothymic disorder, and bipolar disorder due to another medical or substance abuse disorder (APA, 2013). Anyone can be diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but bipolar disorder in children is called disruptive mood deregulation disorder and carries a different set of symptoms. Interesting fact that I also learned with my years in the field that sometimes many children are misdiagnosis with ADHD when in fact their hyperactivity is in fact a burst of mania(But I will live that up to another post for a later date. haha)
All types of bipolar disorder generally respond well to treatment, which usually includes medication management for many years and for some, psychotherapy. Like many mental disorders, professionals generally don’t talk about a person being “cured” of this condition, so much as learning to manage it well. Medication and psychotherapy help a person do that.
Symptoms of Bipolar
For bipolar disorder to be diagnosed, a person needs to have experienced at least one manic (or in bipolar II, hypomanic) episode, and one depressive episode during their lifetime.
A manic episode (bipolar I disorder) is characterized by extreme happiness, extreme irritability, hyperactivity, little need for sleep and/or racing thoughts, which may lead to rapid speech. People in a manic episode feel like they can do anything, make plans to try and do all those things, and believe that nothing can stop them. For bipolar I to be diagnosed, this episode must have last at least a week and represents a noticeable change from a person’s usual behavior.
A hypomanic episode (bipolar II disorder) is characterized by the same symptoms as a manic episode, except the symptoms need to only have been present for at least four (4) days.
A depressive episode is characterized by extreme sadness, a lack of energy or interest in things, an inability to enjoy normally pleasurable activities and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. On average, someone with this condition may have up to three years of normal mood between episodes of mania or depression.
When left untreated, the severity of episodes can vary. People with this condition can often predict when a new cycle is starting, as the severity of their symptoms increase.
Best Form of Treatment
Like most mental disorders, this condition is treated with psychotherapy combined with psychiatric medications (most people benefit more quickly from combined treatment of the two). Treatment for this disorder is generally effective and helps most people keep a balanced mood throughout their day, most days of the month. It may take anywhere from one to two months before a person starts feeling the full, beneficial impact of their treatment.
Self-help strategies for this condition vary in their effectiveness, depending upon the person and the severity of the disorder. Some people find it beneficial to join a support group, read books explaining effective self-help strategies, or keeping a journal (either paper or through a mood or journaling app).
Living With & Managing BipolarThere are many challenges to living with this condition on a daily basis. What are some of the long-term, successful strategies to staying well?...sticking with treatment, and maintaining a balanced mood
One important component of living with this condition is learning to build routines and sticking with them, no matter what. What can often drive a person into a manic or depressive episode is going off of their routine, or deciding one day that the mood stabilizer that helps them regulation their moods is no longer needed.
Below is a link to a Youtube video where they explore inside the lives of a person living with Bipolar Disorder.
As always warm regards and until next time,
L. Nicole Edwards, LCSW
Facts and Statistics
An estimated 44 million American adults suffer from anxiety disorders. Only about one-third of those suffering from an anxiety disorder receive treatment, even though the disorders are highly treatable. Anxiety disorders are common in both adults and children. About 18 percent of U.S. adults and 25 percent of adolescents age 13 to 18 will experience anxiety, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. About 4 percent of adults, and nearly 6 percent of teens, have anxiety disorders classified as severe.
I decided to name this post Beyond Worry Shifting Gears into Anxiety because when a person suffers from anxiety their brain and body are constantly overwhelmed with feelings of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome and that uneasiness typically can be caused with compulsive behavior and/or panic attacks. Though many types of anxiety disorders exist, research suggests that most are driven by similar underlying processes. People with anxiety disorders tend to become easily overwhelmed by their emotions, and they tend to have particularly negative reactions to those unpleasant feelings and situations. Often, people try to cope with those negative reactions by avoiding situations or experiences that make them anxious. Unfortunately, avoidance can backfire and actually feed the anxiety
There are several major types of anxiety disorders:
Psychotherapy for Anxiety Disorders: What to Expect
Psychotherapy is a collaborative process, where psychologists and patients work together to identify specific concerns and develop concrete skills and techniques for coping with anxiety. Patients can expect to practice their new skills outside of sessions to manage anxiety in situations that might make them uncomfortable. However, therapists won't push patients into such scenarios until they're sure they have the skills they need to effectively confront their fears.
I as well as other therapists sometimes use other approaches to treat anxiety disorders in addition to CBT. Group psychotherapy, which typically involves several people who all have anxiety disorders, can be effective for both treating anxiety and providing patients with support. Family psychotherapy can help family members understand their loved one's anxiety, and help them learn ways to interact that do not reinforce anxious habits. Family therapy can be particularly helpful for children and adolescents suffering from anxiety disorders.
Many people experience meaningful symptom relief and improvement in their quality of life with professional care. However, treatment success varies. Some people respond to treatment after a few weeks or months while others may take longer. If people have more than one anxiety disorder or if they suffer from other co-existing conditions, treatment may take longer. An experienced provider will conduct a comprehensive assessment before discussing an individualized treatment plan.
Many people experience meaningful symptom relief and improvement in their quality of life with professional care. However, treatment success varies. Some people respond to treatment after a few weeks or months while others may take longer. An experienced provider will conduct a comprehensive assessment which consist evaluation of a patient's mental, physical and emotional health before discussing an individualized treatment plan.
Psychologists, LCSW, and LPC are highly trained and will tailor a treatment plan to address the unique needs of each patient. To find a licensed provider in your area, visit Psychology Today and if you are having a hard time or feeling overwhelmed on what to look for check out my previous post on how to find the right therapist for you.
Below is a chart of what can help you in the meantime...
Thanks for reading until next time,
L. Nicole Edwards, LCSW
In honor of May being Mental Health Month, I decided to jump start the discussion on a common mental health disorder we hear a lot about but many do not know what it is... Depression.
What is Depression?Depression is a common, treatable mental illness that affects millions of people in the United States every year. Researchers estimate more than 12 million women and 6 million men are affected by depression in any given year. Depression treatment options include: medical, self-help psychotherapeutic and alternative techniques. No one depression treatment is right for everyone, but with treatment, most people experience a significant reduction in depression symptoms.
Most people feel sad or depressed at times. But when intense sadness -- including feeling helpless, hopeless, and worthless -- lasts for many days to weeks and keeps you from living your life, it may be something more than sadness. You could have clinical depression -- a treatable medical condition.
SymptomsAccording to the DSM-5, a manual doctors use to diagnose mental disorders, symptoms of a major depressive episode include the following:
Therapy is often the first choice of depression treatment in mild to moderate cases of depression. Several types of therapy have been proven effective in the treatment of depression. They include:
What Can Therapy Do For Depression?
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Available 24 hours everyday
As always thanks for reading and until next time,
L.Nicole Edwards, LCSW
May is mental health month! As a way to make everyone aware I have embarked on posting twice a week on this blog and my IG page @therapy_wnik regarding mental health issues that effect many people all over the globe... Join me, as I walk you through your healing and educate those who are interested...
Tune in every Monday AND Wednesday starting this Monday, May 7, 2018. #talktherapywnik #talktherapywithme #breakthestigma