Browsing articles in "Psychiatry in RI"

We are Hiring! Come Join Anchor Counseling Center or Anchor Memory Clinic

Dec 10, 2015   //   by Richard Figueira   //   Anchor Counseling Center, Behavioral Health in RI, Blog, Counseling, Psychiatry, Psychiatry in RI, Uncategorized  //  2 Comments

http://www.anchorcounselingcenter.com/about/employment-opportunites/

End The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health Rhode Island

End The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health Rhode Island

According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 4 people in the world will be affected by mental illness or some sort of neurological disorder at some point in their lives. This places mental disorders among the leading causes of ill health and disability worldwide affecting more than 450 million people. However, mental illness is still the highest untreated disease. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 40-50% of individuals with bipolar or schizophrenia go untreated each year, and the number of those suffering from anxiety and depression is greater. Many ask why so many individuals will not seek treatment, and the simple answer is because of Stigma.

Stigma is a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person. Those struggling with mental health illnesses feel fear of disclosing their condition to a complete stranger thinking they may be judged or mistreated. They feel shame or embarrassment that they can’t handle their problems on their own. And others don’t believe they need any help at all.

The populations most affected by stigma include young people such as teens and adolescents, men, minorities, military personnel, and those who work in the medical/health field. These people are found to be in the most need of mental health services but most likely will not pursue them.

Many “A” list celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Catherine Zeta Jones, Mel Gibson, Robin Williams, Demi Lovato, and Chris Brown have all been diagnosed with Mental Health conditions and have openly discussed such topics with the public. Lady Gaga goes as far as singing about being “Born this way” as she suffers from depression. We recently just laid Robin Williams to rest after his battle with depression.

It is not uncommon for many of us to be experiencing symptoms of a mental health issue. However, it is common that many of us will not get help due to stigmatized reasons. No illness should go untreated because of stigma. Here at Anchor Counseling Center, our mission is to provide superior, family-oriented, mental health services through dependability, integrity, and social responsibility across Southern New England through education to understand that mental illness should be regarded the way physical illness is – as something to be diagnosed and treated without judgment or stigma of any kind.

We at Anchor Counseling Center want to help you, no Stigma attached. If you or a loved one is in need of mental health treatment, please call our office at 401-475-9979 to schedule an appointment.

You can also find us on our website at www.AnchorCounselingCenter.com

Written by Sarah Porier

References:

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml

http://www.who.int/mental_health/en/

http://www.anchorcounselingcenter.com

Anxiety: We have Choices. Just Breath

In May 2013 I graduated from my dream college with my undergraduate degree. Those short years flashed before my eyes. I loved school so much I spent my entire senior year pretending I wasn’t graduating. Quickly enough, though, I was walking across the stage and had received my diploma. I found myself thinking “now what?” Suddenly, the anxiety I had been trying to repress all of senior year was forcing itself to the surface. I had just spent fifteen years of my life in school. More specifically, I had spent fifteen years of my life in the most predictable cycle I could have ever been in. School, homework, summer break, and back to school. Was I really expected to simply not do that anymore? To move on and into a world I had never truly experienced before? Impossible.

Sure, I was very uncomfortable with anxious feelings of fear and the need to run away during my first semester in college but with the help and support of my family and friends I made it through and decided that college was really great. Best of all, I decided I was good at it. Unfortunately, I was only able to enjoy a small amount of my college life before I was submitting applications for graduation and realizing that this endless cycle did, in fact, have an end. And there it was. My anxiety was back and stronger than ever. It felt stronger than even I could ever be. I became very short fused with friends and family, unhappy, and afraid of everything. A friend had mentioned the name of a local therapist to me and I decided that maybe I should give counseling a shot. I could not let this disorder run the rest of my life.

Hours before my first appointment with the counselor my anxiety was incredibly high. How can I talk about these private issues to a perfect stranger, especially a stranger who will probably make me feel like a weird outcast? Needless to say, I kept the appointment and although I still felt a little uncomfortable the counselor made sure I did not feel weird or different. I learned that this overwhelming fear is normal and it is something I can overcome with time. In later appointments I learned where the anxiety was seeping into other areas of my life. For example, I had an incredible fear of a particular stretch of the subway in my city. I was certain that at this individual point the train was sure to fall off the tracks and into the harbor beneath it causing the death of all of its passengers. Apparently, not everyone has this feeling when they are crossing over the harbor. Together with my counselor we uncovered the core fear I had developed with my anxiety. I was terrified of the unknown. I didn’t know what life after college would bring me. Furthermore, I would sit in horror waiting for that part of the subway to come when I needed to hold my breath and hope that we made it over the harbor safely. Now we just needed to find a solution to this problem.

The transition was very difficult and still is a work in progress. I made sure to keep using that subway and not find ways of avoiding it. I was hyper aware of my surroundings on this subway car which, I rapidly learned, made the ride seem worse than it actually was. Every small bump seemed like we were rushing over a huge mountain that was knocking us off kilter. Occupying my mind with a book, a conversation, or even something as artless as my Facebook newsfeed took my attention away from the ride and it turned out to not be as treacherous as I had once thought. I unclenched my fists, breathed methodically, and calmed my body. I had to let go of the need to be in control. Whatever is going to happen on that train is going to happen whether I worry about it or not. I might as well enjoy the ride. A few rides like this and I found myself looking out the subway car window at the very spot I was once petrified would cause my death. The city looked beautiful and I had been missing it all this time.

Perhaps this seems like a superfluous issue when compared to having anxiety at college graduation. All I needed to do was use the same techniques I used on the subway and apply it to every day worries. The most helpful skill I have been using is breathing. Deep, slow breaths make all the difference. It clams my heart rate which gives me a chance to think logically about the situation. Exercise, too, has helped a great amount. I can work any negative energy out of my body at the start of my day before it becomes too much to handle. Exercise has provided me a great release. Of course, talking out my concerns with my counselor is incredibly helpful but he cannot follow me everywhere. I needed to learn how to conquer this on my own, when I don’t have others talking me out of a downward spiral into anxiety. I needed to realize that I can only control a very small portion of what happens to me. College graduation was going to happen no matter what. Now it is up to me to decide what is next.

It is now March 2014 and if I have learned anything it is that life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you react to it. I am choosing to react in positive ways that make me happy and make me feel like my life is fulfilled. Choosing to see to a therapist was one of the best decisions I have ever made for myself. I learned that I am important and the only thing I have control over is my attitude. I refuse to let anxiety get the best of me. I still enjoy some structure in my days and while anxiety still makes some appearances in my life, it does not last long and I can manage it on my own. I wake up in the morning without the heavy burden of anxiety waiting for me. I will continue to make the efforts to remove anxiety from my life completely.

Author Anonymous

If you feel you or someone you love could benefit from help please contact us now or call us at 401.475.9979

You can also visit our website!

Yet Another Diet? There’s Another Option: Intuitive Eating. Erin Schmitz, MA, CAGS, LMHC

Yet Another Diet?  There is Another Option: Intuitive Eating!

Erin Schmitz, MA, CAGS, LMHC

Anchor Counseling Center, Inc.

“Refuse to Sink”™

Counseling in RI

Diets Don't Work

At Anchor Counseling Center we know it’s spring, and summer is on its way!  What’s going on on TV and in other advertisements?  Ads for fad diets and gym memberships!  Are you thinking it’s time to get your eating and exercise “under control”?  Chastising yourself for being “bad” this winter?  Planning a new diet or counting calories?  Starting Monday of course!

Have you done all of this before, only to regain the weight when you stop “controlling yourself?” And you end up eating even more than you wanted or needed?  Have you regained even more weight than you originally lost?

Research shows that dieting does not work in the long term.  Most dieters regain the lost weight, plus more.  Researchers conducted the most comprehensive and rigorous analysis of diet studies, analyzing 31 long-term studies.   These were some of their conclusions:

We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more”

“Several studies indicate that dieting is actually a consistent predictor of future weight gain”

“We concluded most of them would have been better off not going on the diet at all.”

“one of the best predictors of weight gain over the four years was having lost weight on a diet at some point during the years before the study started”

See the full article for more info: Dieting does not work, researchers report

We are born with natural, innate hunger and fullness signals.  We eat when we are hungry; we stop when we are full.  Have you ever seen a toddler eat?  They may leave half a sandwich and a bite of cookie on their plate, and run back to playing.  They have had enough and felt full.  They are using food for fuel, not for emotional reasons.   We learn to override these natural signals when we are forced to “clean our plates.”  We override our body’s signals further when it is craving a satisfying meal with fat and protein, and we feed it lettuce with low fat dressing because we only have 300 calories left for the day.  Often, after we eat the lettuce we end up looking for something else, because the lettuce did not fulfill our craving.  We may find the chips or other snack and end up eating more than we would have if we just had what we wanted in the first place!  When we plan a diet for Monday, we go into a poverty consciousness and experience “last supper” eating – eating all you can before the diet starts!

If you have been struggling with these issues there is another way.  A way to reconnect with your body’s natural hunger signals, eat whenever you are hungry, eat whatever you are craving, and stop eating when you feel comfortably satisfied.  It takes practice to help you reconnect with this innate wisdom that your body was born with, but it can allow you to banish the diet mentality forever and return to a natural weight for your body!  No more labeling foods “good” or “bad,” beating yourself up after a diet “failure,” or living your days according to a number on the scale.  Learn how to assess your body’s needs and your emotional needs.  Feed your body’s needs with food, and feed your emotional needs with new ways of coping.

Intuitive Eating is a holistic approach to food, weight, eating, and body image. It is not a diet. It is a process which helps individuals whose eating behavior has become disordered learn to feel, trust, and honor their internal huger signals; to use healthy coping skills in response to feelings; and to reject the diet mentality and escape the cycle of restriction and overeating. Dieting disconnects us from our natural wisdom, including our hunger and fullness signals, and it often creates a cycle of restriction and then eventual overeating, leading us to feel like a failure. You are not a failure – the diet is. Dieting often leads to binge eating, greater obsession with food, and weight gain. Intuitive Eating can help you to regain pleasure and joy in the experience of eating any and all foods, while honoring and respecting your body, and ultimately arriving at a natural and healthy weight for you.  

If you are interested in more information, please feel free to send me an email or simply click on Please tell me more.

If you would like to set up a first time appointment please contact me! One click will bring you to Anchor Counseling Center and just send us a quick email.  We will respond within 24 hours.

You can also call us @ 401. 475.9979

Stay tuned for more blog entries on the principles of Intuitive Eating!  Y

Erin Schmitz, MA, CAGS, LMHC

Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor

Anchor Counseling Center, Inc

“Refuse to Sink” ™

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