Browsing articles tagged with " Social Anxiety"

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

Counseling for Children, Adolescents, Adults, Couples and Families in Cranston

Mar 9, 2012   //   by Shawna Figueira   //   Blog, East Providence, Lincoln, Rhode Island, Marriage, Mental Health, Stress, cranston  //  No Comments

Anchor Counseling Center

Cranston Office

At Anchor Counseling Center we offer counseling, therapy, psychiatry, coaching for children, adults, families, and couples.  The center also offers group therapy and consultation to school districts to assist with providing appropriate education to those children who need the assistance in order to be able to access the general curriculum.

Our services also include:

  • Adult psychotherapy
  • Child psychotherapy
  • Play Therapy
  • Holistic Counseling
  • Addiction Counseling
  • Suboxone Treatment
  • Social Skills Groups
  • Couples/Marriage Counseling
  • Psychiatric Evaluations
  • Medication Management
  • Services for Children with Autism
  • EAP Services and Consults
  • Life Coaching
  • ADHD evaluations for children and Adults

Our clinical staff are all independently licensed therapists and are committed and capable of providing quality care by listening to our clients and together creating a plan for change.

In each of our locations, we have created an environment where they are warm, welcoming, calming, and relaxing for your therapeutic process to begin.  We work closely with all medical professional involved in your life and take you, the entire person into account to allow the most exceptional care.  We believe in working in collaboration with all the people involved in your life.

Everyone presents with different issues at different times.  Our integrative approach allows us to partner you with the most qualified therapists.  With over 25 therapists, each with different areas of expertise, we will find one that best suits your needs.

We believe in helping our clients facilitate their own ability for change.  He or she will become an expert by being offered education, groups, and or workshops.  We also use social media to reach out to our population with journals, quotes, and information on a daily basis.

Our mission and vision:

Our Mission

Here at Anchor Counseling Center our mission is to provide superior, family oriented mental health services through dependability, integrity and social responsibility.

Our Vision:

To provide the tools to heal through reliable support, coordination of care, psychoeducation, medication, and counseling.

To teach the maintenance of mental well being to patients, their families and the community.

To service all ages, from children through the elderly, without prejudice, prejudgment or bias.

Our vision is t o provide superior, family oriented mental health services through dependability, integrity and social responsibility throughout Southern New England.

To ease the pain of mental illness and provide hope to patients and their families.

To help others help themselves.

To advocate for patients to get them the care they need and deserve.

To reverse the negative stigma attached to mental illness.

At Anchor Counseling Center…

We are here for when you need help…Now.  No waiting lists.

We listen

We help

We support

Let us be the Anchor in your life.  We promise to be reliable and consistent.  No issue to big or small.  We want to help.  Together, we can attain your goals towards a better tomorrow.

You can click on contact for immediate assistance.

You can follow us on Facebook.

You can follow us Twitter.

You can email us @ info@AnchorCounselingCenter.com

or call us 401.475.9979


An Anxious World! Anxiety Treatment in RI

Jan 26, 2012   //   by Shawna Figueira   //   Blog, East Providence, Lincoln, Rhode Island, Marriage, Mental Health, News, Self Help, Stress, Uncategorized, cranston  //  No Comments

An Anxious World

At Anchor Counseling Center we believe that s human beings, we all experience a form of anxiety at some point during our lives.  Anxiety is often thought of as worry and fear about uncertainties. It is usually depicted as a negative attribute, but it can also serve the useful purpose of alerting one of lurking danger. We may find ourselves worrying about school, work, our kids, or paying bills, and that’s all perfectly normal. When anxiety and worrying is a persistent, or common, feature causing disruption to your daily life, then it becomes a maladaptive. Excessive worrying may interfere with your relationships, your leisure activities, and can eventually lead to physical health issues.  According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 40 million adults in the U.S., in the span of one year, suffer from an anxiety disorder2. The average age of onset for anxiety is 11 years old; so many children are affected by anxiety disorders as well2.  Also, women are more likely do experience anxiety disorders than men2. So anxiety is not a new or unheard of phenomenon, and it is fairly common, however, some may not recognize symptoms of maladaptive anxiety because it may not look like the common perception of an anxiety-ridden individual.

In fact, anxiety disorders can take on many forms, and one person’s experience with excessive worrying can be completely different than another person’s experience. Some people have very general based anxiety of which they worry excessively about every little thing throughout the day, from work, school, paying bills, to having enough time to complete a task, or to what will happen if my car stops working. A popular perception of an anxiety disorder is of people with specific phobias. For instance, an individual’s fear-based worrying may only be provoked by exposure to specific stimuli, such as a bridge above water, or snakes. Even though the phobia is highly specific, it may be clinically significant if the individual experiences anxiety about it on a daily basis and it interrupts his/her daily tasks.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, commonly termed OCD, is also a form of an anxiety disorder1. A person with OCD will have obsessive thoughts, which tend to cause marked anxiety or distress, and/or compulsions, which are often performed in order to reduce anxiety.  Take for example, a man who has a fear of germs contaminating his body. This man worries constantly throughout the day about contracting some disease from all the germs he believes surrounds him. In order to reduce the likelihood of him contracting this horrid disease, he washes his hands 52 times, every time he goes to the bathroom or touches an object he does not own. As a matter of fact, he also showers at least twice a day for more than 45 minutes, and if he forgets to clean any body part, he goes back and re-showers entirely.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, and Acute Stress Disorder, are characterized by “anxiety from re-experiencing a traumatizing event, often accompanied by symptoms of increased arousal, and avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma”1. While PTSD can occur any time after the traumatic event, Acute Stress Disorder occurs immediately after the traumatic event, lasting for at most, four weeks. In this form of anxiety disorder, there is a distinct trigger event where the individual felt threatened.

Other forms of an anxiety disorder to mention is Panic Disorder With and Without Agoraphobia, Agoraphobia without a history of Panic Disorder, and Social Phobia.  Panic Disorder without Agoraphobia is characterized by recurrent, unexpected panic attacks about which there is persistent concern, while a person suffering from Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia may experience both recurrent, unexpected panic attacks, and anxiety about places or situations that may not be easily escapable.  That being said, Agoraphobia, “is anxiety about or avoidance of places or situations from which escape may be difficult (or embarrassing)”1. Social Phobia is basically when a person’s “anxiety is triggered by exposure to social situations in which he/she is exposed to unfamiliar people or to possibly scrutiny by others”1.

As you can see, there are a variety of anxiety disorders; however, one thing to note is that anxiety has an altering effect on one’s perception of the world around them and an effect on one’s interpretation of the stimuli he/she is exposed to. A Common behavior associated with people who have anxiety disorders is avoidance behavior. For example, the man with a phobia of bridges above water may stop going to visit his parents because he refuses to drive or walk over any bridge above water. In fact, he may miss a work conference next week that is detrimental to his job security because it’s across a bridge over water.  Another example is people with social phobias who avoid public speaking at all costs. Even with OCD, the compulsions acts as an avoidance mechanism set to reduce ones anxiety about an obsessive thought.

Also many anxiety stricken individuals have cognitive errors set in place that alter their ability to make judgments and function in the every-day world. Most people with anxiety tend overestimate the probability of the occurrence of the worry at hand. On the other hand some people assume that an outcome will be much less manageable than it actually is, also known as catastrohpizing. A big commonality amongst those suffering anxiety is the human tendency to be intolerant of uncertainty, the fear of ambiguity, and the acceptance of change.

Most people don’t like to be surprised by negative events, and more often than not, we want to try and control (or limit) the amount and impact of those negative events. But humans cannot know, or evade every problem—sometimes we just have to go through the pain. And attempting to control or change something you have no power to control or change is physically exacerbating to the human body and psyche. Taking risks, accepting change, and understanding that uncertainty is not an abyss of pain and negativity is a part of alleviating some anxiety.  Dr. Biali (2012), as do many psychologists, argues that anxiety is not always bad—it’s a part of experiencing life and trying something new3,4. Now, excessive anxiety about things you truly can’t control becomes tiresome and is often how clients present—overly stressed. Biali (2012), suggests several healthy ways to help people reduce anxiety, including, writing one’s worries down, practice breathing exercises, do yoga or stretching and exercise to alleviate muscle tension, and to avoid stimulants (like caffeinated beverages)3. Will this rid you of your anxiety? Probably not, but it can help you manage it.

Biali (2012) and Markway (2012), both suggest that in order to address and solve issues regarding your anxiety and excessive worry, one should invoke the assistance of a professional that is trained to guide you in restructuring your current cognitive methodology, and avoidance behaviors. According to the National Institute of Mental Health and the Psychological Diagnostic Manual, people with anxiety disorders usually benefit from methods of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and/or Exposure Therapy. Here at Anchor Counseling Center, we have therapists trained in both CBT and exposure therapy to help you reduce your anxiety and manage healthier lifestyle.

By: Aryssa Washington

Sources

1The American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision, Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 2000.

2www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/anxiety-disorders/complete-index.shtml

3Biali, S. (2012). How to manage the anxiety that comes with change. Prescription for Life: Psychology Today com

4Markway, B. (2012). Can Willpower help you overcome social anxiety: willpower is not always about giving something up. Shyness Is Nice: Psychology Today.com

Change is a Process!

Jan 26, 2012   //   by Shawna Figueira   //   Blog, East Bay, East Providence, Lincoln, Rhode Island, Marriage, Mental Health, News, Self Help, Stress, cranston  //  No Comments

Many people come into therapy hoping the process will be a quick and easy fix. But at Anchor Counseling Center we realize that humans are complex beings; it’s a bit presumptuous to think that human issues can be solved by a simple resolution. In most cases the resolution to an individual’s problem is fairly simple; it’s the process to get to the desired resolution that takes time and effort. For example, if I were to just tell a client, “just change your thinking,” the problems most likely wouldn’t immediately dissipate, leaving my client worry free and on a straight-shot path to all the joys of life. To be perfectly honest, true therapy takes work, on the part of the therapist as well as the client.

Choosing to go into therapy can be scary, daunting, and quite frankly it almost seems like an invitation for more anxiety. It is human nature to not exactly enjoy change in one’s life, but that decision to try therapy is making the statement that, “I want things to change,” or “I want something to be different.” That’s the first step and it’s a big one for a lot of clients. As a side-note, as therapists, we don’t have this hidden agenda to change you into some mythical creature of all things moral or a “mini-me,” and we aren’t going to force you to change. Our desire is to help you figure out who it is that you want to be, or what it is that you want, and then give you a little push in that direction. Coming into therapy may be anxiety provoking—anything new is going to be—but in the midst of change, anxiety can be a good thing. And a bit of anxiety now, in order to alleviate your suffering, may be minor in the aftermath of the therapeutic process.  At Anchor Counseling Center, you will never be left in the wind hanging by a coat hanger off the ledge of a cliff wishing you had never made that leap into therapy. Our therapists are dedicated to helping those in the community who want something different, and who want something to change.

If you or someone you know could benefit from therapy please Contact us!

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Discovering Anxiety: Are we trapped?

Jan 25, 2012   //   by Shawna Figueira   //   Blog, East Providence, Lincoln, Rhode Island, Marriage, Mental Health, News, Self Help, Stress, cranston  //  No Comments

Anxeity

From an existential standpoint, humans are often plagued with anxiety when they discover the inescapable truths about life. Often times we feel trapped by the things we can’t change or the things we must go through to end up in a different position. The questions is, are these anxious feelings the problem or is it our chosen way of being in the world that makes it a problem?

Discovery

By: Aryssa Washington

Trapped in fragile transparency, the echo of my image blemished by apathy

The single last glint, a streaking spark of a fading sun,

lain unseen.

Sneaking stillness quickens in pace roving across a vast, bleak space of time,

leaving silence in its wake

consumed by darkness.

My hands and fingers in harried tremors grasp at everything—anything

This gravity of terror, a pressured panic preying on the single seeker

Am I nothing?

An edging horizon, a lone last flickering speck,

In trepidation, a shimmering glance of recognition—

I walk alone.

We at Anchor Counseling Center are remembering 9/11!

Sep 10, 2011   //   by Shawna Figueira   //   Blog  //  No Comments

At Anchor Counseling Center, ten years ago the numbers “9″ and “11″ did not mean anything but were simply two numbers that were separated by, ironically, the number “10.”  Today, the numbers “9 and 11″ bring back memories of a tragic event and day that left many individuals, families, and ultimately a country scared and scarred for many years to come.

It was that day when this country lost 3,000 civilians due to 4 suicide bomb attacks.  New York City, as well as Washington, D.C., was physically affected losing some this country’s most visible and notable buildings, including the Pentagon.  Coinciding, passenger’s attempts to take control of the fourth hijacked jet crashed into a field in Pennsylvania – the jet’s intended destination also being Washington, D.C.

At “Ground Zero” thousands of police officers, fire fighters, EMS personnel, search and rescue dogs, construction workers, and civilian volunteers responded trying to find survivors and just lend a helping hand where needed.

During that dark and horrific morning the country took precautions to protect the President.  President Bush was continuously moved around the country until approximately 7pm.  When he returned to the White House, he addressed our nation.  His now famous speech echoed the country’s sentiments, “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America.  These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.”  In a reference to the eventual U.S. military’s response he declared, “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”

Operation Enduring Freedom had begun.  The military captured and slowed down the Taliban within two months.  But, it would take our country and its military almost 10 years to capture Bin Laden.  On May 2, 2011, the US military captured and killed the mastermind behind the most devastating attack and day in this country’s history.

Today, many people are left with their own burning holes of empty feelings after losing loved ones.  On that day, our freedom, as we knew it was taken.  Some of us are still healing from the wounds of that day.  There is not much anyone can do for the many who suffered during that time, on that day, and in the days following.

At Anchor Counseling Center, we provide therapy and counseling to many people.  Although, many of our patients may have never felt a loss from this tragedy, they do, in their own way deal with loss, grief, anger, disappointment, sadness, and many other issues.

Whatever the feelings or cause, we are here to respond to your needs.  Anchor Counseling Center has over 20 clinicians in Cranston, East Providence, and Lincoln, RI.  While the help may not reach the gravity that the 300 or so first responders, who lost their lives faced on that fateful day on September 11, 2001- we are here to help; one family at a time.

May God bless America!  We and this entire nation are forever grateful to the brave men and women who protect and defend this wonderful country of ours every day.  You are the reason that we can proudly say that we are the “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”If you or someone you know need someone to talk to please contact us.

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Richard Figueira, LICSW

Clinical Director

Anchor Counseling Center

Rhode Island

Social Anxiety Disorder

Jan 10, 2011   //   by Shawna Figueira   //   Uncategorized  //  17 Comments

At one time or another we all get nervous around people. For many this feeling can be a very serious condition that may not allow them to perform their daily tasks or routines. Social Anxiety effects many people around the world but the good news it’s treatable.

The first level of the disorder can primarily focus on performance. With Performance Social Anxiety a ordinary person has trouble getting up in front of people because they feel they maybe be judged. This also includes social speaking, and they go out of their way to avoid any of these situations.

The next level of anxiety is usually what we all have a little of: General Anxiety Disorder.   It’s the bodies natural response to many given situations. For others this disorder creates it difficult to have friends or go out with people you know or work with. You can get anxious in crowds of people even if you know them. The anxiety increases if you actually have to speak.

The last is the most difficult of the 3 social anxiety levels. With Avoidant it actually takes over your personality. People with Avoidant Personality Disorder often are considered loners and never leave the house. They often will not find a partner in life. Early signs of this disorder can be seen in childhood.

On a positive note, these conditions can be treated by a therapist using psychoeducation, CBT and Exposure Therapy.   You may require assistance with medication but working with a therapist and a psychiatrist, the world can become a more enjoyable place to live in.

In using CBT, your therapist will begin to work with you on reformatting some of your thoughts that maybe leading to your primary emotion. This emotion in the end will result in your choice of action; to interact with people or not.

We can help.

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