The Art of Self-Discovery
Often time, the heart of one's emotional distress is a lack of insight into who one really is. When we let society dictate who we should be, inevitably we always fall short of the mark placed on us. We all struggle to live up to other's financial expectations, career goals, social 'norms', and religious nuances. As a counselor, I recognize a common pattern amongst people suffering from anxiety/depression: a lack of self worth based on those failed expectations. Listening to a person's description of life when they first come in to counseling often reveals an inner dialogue that is fraught with failed attempts and a sense of failure to live up to the aforementioned expectations.
The Art of Self Discovery for individuals experiencing anxiety/depression, involves the process of identifying one's inner dialogue as an inaccurate account of one's total worth. This is perhaps the most difficult part of the process toward self-discovery. When we are overwhelmed, we rarely want to take risks on 'new' ways of thinking. We say to ourselves, "I don't want to hurt anymore than I do now", and dismiss the notion that there could be a healthier and clearer way for me to think. The thought of self- discovery in turn is viewed as a luxury that one can not afford at this time. Allowing people a space to talk about their negative 'self talk' is important to begin this process.
Author James Clear states "If you never decide on a vision for your life, you'll often find yourself living someone else's dream." I am convinced that we are all capable of experiencing a fullness of life. It begins with an inward look at self and taking account of how amazing you really are... once you give yourself a chance to look at your true self. Get off the vicious shame cycle that is blinding you from recognizing the amazing person God created you to be.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in the late fall and early winter and going away during the spring and summer. Some of the common symptoms of SAD include: having low energy, losing interest in activities, overeating, weight gain, social withdrawal, anxiety, and feeling depressed for most of the day. Depressive episodes linked to the summer can occur, but are much less common.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), counseling or psychotherapy is an affective tool to treat SAD. NIMH also suggest light therapy, medication, and vitamin D in combination or alone as effective treatment modalities. People with a family history of depression are more likely to develop SAD that people who do not have a family history of depression. Females are diagnosed four more times than men. Younger adults have a higher risk of SAD than older adults. Often times the desire to sleep can be overwhelming as SAD may over produce the hormone melatonin.
If you are experiencing even a moderate form of SAD please call to set up an appointment. CareNet offers morning and evening hours to accommodate your schedule. Don't go through this time alone, allow us the privilege of providing a safe place to talk about it as the holidays approach. Call us at 704-291-4173.
Russ Keeney is a Licensed Professional Counselor working in NC