Psychotherapy and counselling can help.
Psychotherapy and counselling can help with a lot of different personal and professional issues including:
Given the pace of daily living and the demands placed on you, it’s easy to understand the normal level of stress experienced by the average person. Because it is impossible to be stressed and relaxed at the same time, developing techniques for alleviating distress (negative stress) is an important step in coping with life stressors. Difficulties leading to stress are often related to how you interact with your environment. Behavior that can result in unnecessary stress includes:
• Attempting to do too much at one time
• Unrealistic time estimates/poor time management
• Procrastinating on the unpleasant
• Poor listening skills
• Doing it all yourself
• Unable to say “no”
• Impulsive, snap decisions
• Blaming others, not taking responsibility for own life
Stress is the emotional and physical strain caused by our response to pressure from the outside world. Common stress reactions include tension, irritability, inability to concentrate, poor sleep, poor appetite, and a variety of physical symptoms that include headache, anxiety, nausea, rashes, bowel problems, back problems and a fast heartbeat.
Anxiety is when you feel fearful and tense, for example if you are confronted by an angry person. It can also be a feeling of unease, for example during exams or worrying about an interview.
The psychological symptoms of anxiety include:
- feeling worried or uneasy a lot of the time,
- having difficulty sleeping – making you feel tired,
- an inability to concentrate,
- being irritable or quick to get angry,
- feeling that you have no control over your actions
- feeling detached from your environment.
Feeling anxious can not only affect you emotionally, but it can also mean you experience unpleasant physical symptoms, such as:
- fast heart rate,
- breathing faster,
- palpitations (irregular heat beats),
- feeling sick,
- chest pains,
- dry mouth,
These physical symptoms are usually as a result of your brain sending out multiple messages to various parts of your body when you’re feeling anxious. These messages tend to make your heart and lungs work faster.
When you are feeling anxious your body begins to release a stress hormone called adrenaline. This is another reason why your heart beats faster and you breathe more rapidly.
Depression is a “whole-body” illness, involving your body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you think about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing bad mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with a depressive illness cannot merely “pull themselves together” and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who suffer from depression.
Sometimes, a specific stressful experience, such as a bereavement or new challenge, then strains a person’s coping resources so much that depression has a way in. In other cases, there is no obvious trigger and depression sneaks in quietly and reinforces itself without the person realising. Whatever the reason or trigger, if you feel depression may be affecting you, make an appointment with a university counsellor. They can help with referrals – remember, only doctors and healthcare professionals can diagnose depression.
Depression affects people in different ways. There are a range of warning signs which may indicate depression is trying to move in on your life. Most of these can also be a normal part of the ups and downs of everyday life and most people will have experienced some of these signs at some time.
• Persistently sad, anxious, empty or generally low mood
• Loss of interest (in studies and life in general)
• Lethargy or decreased energy
• Irregular sleep or change in sleep pattern
• Appetite or weight changes
• Increased tearfulness
• Poor concentration and difficulty making decisions
• Hopelessness and pessimism:
• Feelings of helplessness
• Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
• Thoughts of death or suicide
If you can see a trend of several of these signs which have persisted over several weeks then take it seriously. Check whether depression may be affecting you and take appropriate action – book some sessions with Louise.
The psychiatric definition of “trauma” is “an event outside normal human experience.” Trauma generally leaves you feeling powerless, helpless, paralyzed. It tends to be sudden and overwhelming; it “owns” you. You cannot think clearly during and after a severe trauma; at the same time, you are forced to focus your consciousness in an attempt to deal. One author defines trauma as “any sudden and potentially life-threatening event.” This refers to one-time traumatic events, but most of it applies to prolonged, repeated trauma as well.
Loss and bereavement may be one of the most difficult feelings we ever have to face. When a person close to us is dying or dies, there is a grieving process and it is normal for recovery to be slow and painful.
For many of us, cultural changes have resulted in death becoming a taboo subject, no longer talked about, so when the inevitable happens we are often not equipped to deal with either our own or other people’s reactions.
Sexual and Sexuality Issues
Sexual difficulties may begin early in a person’s life, or they may develop after an individual has previously experienced enjoyable and satisfying sex. A problem may develop gradually over time, or may occur suddenly as a total or partial inability to participate in one or more stages of the sexual act. The causes of sexual difficulties can be physical, psychological, or both.
Emotional factors affecting sex include both interpersonal problems and psychological problems within the individual. Interpersonal problems include marital or relationship problems, or lack of trust and open communication between partners. Personal psychological problems include depression, sexual fears or guilt, or past sexual trauma.
Low Self Confidence:
When you have low self confidence, your faith in your ability to meet whatever life presents you has been shaken. You may be stuck in self-pity and a sense of worthlessness. You may assume that other people are criticizing you even when they’re not. From this negative place, you may believe that you’ll never do anything right.
An eating disorder is characterised by abnormal eating habits that may involve either insufficient or excessive food intake to the detriment of an individual’s physical and emotional health. The causes of eating disorders are complex and not yet fully understood.