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Mental Health Check-In

This page is for information only.  If you are in crisis or feel the need to self harm, please go to your nearest hospital ER.

See below for information on Depression, Anxiety, Stress, Loss and Trauma.

Depression

Low mood for longer than two weeks.
• Loss of interest in things that used to interest you.
• Irritability, anger or aggressiveness.
• Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
• A sense of lethargy
• Memory problems or inability to focus.
• Confusion, or a sense of depersonalization
• Hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness.
• Intrusive or cycling negative thoughts.
• Increased high risk behaviour, or reduced self care
• Physical pain, headaches.
• Feeling that life is not worth living 

Some symptoms of depression:

If you need to talk., Andrea will listen and support you. 

Predisposing Factors

• Stress, at work, school or home
• Loneliness or relationship problems
• Critical environment or no control
• Job loss or financial problems
• Death of a loved one, or a loved one suffering from depression
• Loss of independence through illness, injury or retirement

 

Please Note:

This information is for your interest only and should not be considered a diagnostic tool. If you feel you may have depression you may wish to consult with your physician. If you are experiencing suicidal or homicidal thoughts please go immediately to your nearest hospital emergency room.

Anxiety

Fear is a normal human response to threat. When faced with a physical threat, we go into fight or flight mode, yet that evolutionary survival response happens in the face of psychological threats too, such as standing up in front of a room full of people. A little anxiety can give us a positive edge, yet too much needs managing. 

People can also  experience anxiety in the absence of threat and many with anxiety report 

persistent worry even when there is no reasonable cause. They worry about just about everything and may experience a “chain of worries” where one imagined consequence leads to another. The anxiety can take on incapacitating proportions. These worries can lead to avoidance of certain situations, places or experiences and can create cascading problems for the worrier. 

Symptoms of an anxiety attack.

• Pounding or racing heart
• Shortness of breath
• Chest pain or discomfort
• Nausea, or diarrhoea
• Choking feeling
• Perspiration, dizziness, light headedness.
• Tingling, numbing in different parts of body
• Feeling detached from world or from body
• Thoughts of going crazy
• Flushing or chills
• Sense of doom

Some of these symptoms are similar to those of a heart attack and so if you have had these symptoms it is best to seek the advice of a physician.

 

Panick attacks can result from a trigger, or for no apparent reason. People report intense frustration and those who experience repeated attacks may become depressed.

Stress Management

Many factors influence your ability to tolerate stress, including genetics. The quality of your social supports, your general outlook on life, and your emotional intelligence all affect how you will handle stress. 

Signs of excessive stress include feeling overwhelmed, moody, isolated, having difficulty concentrating, feeling anxious, feeling negative and experiencing memory problems. Stress also manifests physically in symptoms such as low libido, aches, pains, sleeping and/or digestive disruptions, procrastination and behaviours such as withdrawal from others. 

There are steps you can take to counteract excessive levels of stress. Talking to a trusted counsellor will help you unload, however a counsellor will also teach you stress management strategies. Change is possible.

Anger Management

Anger is a normal, healthy human response to unfair circumstances and can be a signal that it is time to advocate for one’s needs. Sometimes, however, people find that they are angry more often,, that their tolerance for frustration is lower and that they “fly off the handle” too quickly.. Perhaps family members have spoken up, or they have run into trouble at work or with the law.

Anger management counselling occurs in a collaborative, supportive, non-judgmental environment. Counselling will help you investigate underlying causes to your anger, and discover your triggers. Strategies will be developed to help you understand and manage your mood using time tested concrete methods. Anger management counselling can be very relieving, especially when discovering previously unrecognized roots to the anger. 

PTSD

PTSD is a trauma reaction to an event that involved helplessness in the face of threat of death or injury. Victims of war, violent crime and accidents often experience PTSD. Some of the symptoms of PTSD include hyper-arousal, flashbacks, nightmares, repeated upsetting memories, avoidance of places or people, emotional numbing, and a sense of detachment. 

Childhood Conflict

Many people experience trauma as children. Some children are very resilient; others are deeply sensitive, fearful and vigilant and carefully interpret the words and actions of parents and others. Neglect by a parent, or simple lack of interest can have a deeply damaging effect on children that may impact them as adults. Events such as severe illness, witnessing violence, accidents, bullying, and death of a loved one, all constitute trauma and can have a profound effect, often later in life. Many times clients will present with primary problem, only to discover the roots lie in childhood trauma.

Trauma 

Mental trauma can occur as an effect of experiencing, or witnessing, violence or life threatening events beyond one’s control. It can also occur in children who are abused, neglected or who experience the death or serious illness of a family member. The effects of trauma can be mild or severely problematic. 
There is an expression in counselling, “Trauma Seeps”.  It means that unprocessed mental trauma can create vulnerability that may be later triggered during stressful times and reappear -- perhaps as anxiety, depression, difficulties in relationships, or overly strong emotional reactions that create problems. People are sometimes confused as to why they become anxious or depressed in circumstances in which other people appear to cope easily – often there is an underlying trauma componen

Loss

You may have lost a loved one. Perhaps you've ended a relationship, job or way of life. 

Life comes with twists and turns that can make the bottom drop out of our worlds. The death of a loved one is a devastating loss. So can be the loss of a pregnancy, a relationship, a job, one’s health, a friendship, a way of life, or a dream. Grief takes many forms and each of us deals with it differently. There are no rules for grieving, and it can be a roller coaster ride.

These grief reactions are normal.

Shock and disbelief 

Sadness

Guilt
Anger
Fear
Body Symptoms (pain, nausea, fatigue).

Grief may involve some extreme emotions and behaviours. Accept and experience your feelings and allow yourself as much time as you need to heal.

 

No one should tell you how to grieve, or how long to grieve. Accept loving support, and don’t feel badly about avoiding attention from well meaning, but insensitive friends for a time if you need to.

Online sessions are an easy, accessible way to see your therapist from the comfort of home, office, school.
     
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