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I'd like to talk about self-esteem.

  • How highly do you view yourself?
  • Do you love and respect yourself?
  • Do you feel confident in the choices that you make and the way that you live your life?

We all have a certain level of self-esteem. It often develops in childhood and can be changed as we grow and learn throughout life. In my work, I've recognized that low self-esteem often contributes to symptoms of depression and anxiety.

In honor of the recent Memorial Day holiday, I want to share about a special interest area of mine, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I often overhear comments, "All these guys claiming they have PTSD need to get over it,” "My dad served in [WWI, WWII, Korea] and he didn't have PTSD," “That guy’s a vet he’s probably dangerous,” "They just need to buck up."

Parenting is difficult. Children don’t come with manuals and we often have to figure things out as we go, through trial and error. It is not uncommon for parents who have children with anxiety or depression to feel overwhelmed or not know where to go for help. Please read below for some tips for parents who have pre-teens and teens who struggle with depression and anxiety:

Many of us are aware that there is a heroin epidemic in the U.S. currently. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, heroin addiction has been on the rise since 2007. Please click on this link for some additional information about heroin:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/heroin

The main question for many of us is, “Why?” Why do people, who know the results of using this drug, start it in the first place? Why can’t they stop when they want to stop? All are valid questions. We have to start with some understanding about the process.

If you are like some of the clients that I've worked with, you might be wondering if group therapy is the right place for you. I've had some clients question how they are supposed to feel comfortable in a group of strangers, and how anybody else would understand what they are going through. I've also witnessed some group members not take advantage of the opportunities that the group environment promotes, which is highly unfortunate! My hope is that you will get a better understanding of the unique advantages of group treatment.

We live in a world where we want things done yesterday. Instant gratification. We have access to the internet via our phones. At any second we can catch up with the news, check our bank accounts, and send an email. We can purchase something and have it delivered within 2 days. We can check our children’s grades online at any time, book an appointment, do research instantly. A decade ago, this wasn’t the case. We used to have to go to the library to research something, make a phone call to cancel or make an appointment, wait until report cards came out or wait until the evening news to catch up.

We all experience an array of daily emotions, both positive and negative. Each one of these feelings or emotions creates an effect upon our bodies, again both positive and negative. When we engage in positive thoughts and behaviors or encounter pleasant events, our brains release “happy hormones” such as serotonin, endorphins, dopamine and oxytocin or “natural pain killers” such as enkephalins.

Conversely, when we engage in negative thoughts and behaviors or encounter stressful events, both good or bad, our bodies release “stress hormones” such as cortisol which overtime can weaken the body's immune system, making one more likely to get colds, illness, infections or chronic health issues and pain.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

How does one distinguish between winter blues and more serious conditions? Many feel sluggish or down during Fall and Winter months. The winter blues are pretty common. If this sadness is profound, it may be a sign of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a form of depression which results from decreased light during the darker Fall and Winter months. With decreased sunlight, our internal biological clocks are thrown off, and it feels as though everything is out of sync. The natural hormone Melatonin also increases with less light, creating more lethargy, fatigue and drowsiness. This can also contribute to depression. It is important to know what the signs and symptoms of SAD and to receive the appropriate level of care.

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The Behavioral Wellness Group is a counseling center providing therapy and behavioral health services and assessment including chemical dependency/drug addiction treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and other therapies. We also provide mental health or psychological assessments, and psychological,educational and bariatric testing. Providing services to the following communities in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga and Lake County: Cleveland, Ashtabula, Beachwood, Chardon, Concord, Eastlake, Euclid, Fairport, Geneva, Grand River, Highland Heights, Kirtland, Leroy, Lyndhurst, Madison, Mayfield, Mayfield Heights, Painesville, Pepper Pike, Perry, Russell, Solon, South Euclid, Thompson, Wickliffe, Willoughby, Willoughby Hills, and Willowick, from our offices in Mentor, Ohio.