Frequently Asked Questions About Seeking Relationship Counseling Online

Fate is as mysterious as life itself, I must say. Sometimes, it brings two incredibly excellent people together, and they share a wonderful life. Other times, it gets two awful individuals together, and they spend their lives spiting each other. What could be worse than the latter was a nice person meeting a terrible one, and they could not split easily.

Here’s My Story

There was a time when I was a big Captain America fan. I studied his history and learned that he did not start as a hunky guy. He used to have a frail body and a smaller stature before getting a serum that basically turned him into a superhero. Because of that, my preference for men changed. Instead of going for the hunkiest guy in town, I looked for a skinny guy who could transform before my eyes and become my own Captain America.

I eventually found one in Johnny. He was my nerdy classmate in calculus. He Was very tall but also gaunt. When a popular girl like me took an interest in him, the entire campus buzzed with gossip, but I did not care about that. I brought Johnny to the gym where I was a member and encouraged him to exercise with me.

It only took three months before muscles formed between Johnny’s bones and skin. After six months, he was already as big as Captain America. And, boy, was he as hot as Captain America!

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When Reality Knocked On My Door Harshly

I initially assumed that Johnny would care for me as much as Cap did for Peggy Carter even after all his upgrades. After all, I was a catalyst to his change. Without me, he might still be dorky and skinny.

When the next semester came, though, Johnny changed. He began hanging out with the jocks; I would catch him exchanging flirty looks with other girls in the corridor. Still, they were harmless, so I did not talk about it much.

Unfortunately, Johnny’s self-confidence and ego grew with his muscles after college. He would claim to be at home when he was partying somewhere most of the time. Worse, his new friends would tag me on Instagram, and I would see him dancing and getting wasted.

I reached my breaking point when his flirty secretary whispered in his ear, and he did not do anything. I told him we had to get relationship counseling; otherwise, we should end things right there. Johnny chose to find online relationship counseling with me.

Is there any free online therapy? 

 Technically, there is no free online therapy. You may get free counseling advice through 7 Cups of Tea, but that’s not one-on-one – the information is accessible for all. If you wish to receive online therapy, you need to pay for a monthly subscription.

Is ReGain free? 

 ReGain offers a one-week free trial.

How do you get free Counselling? 

 If you wish to receive free counseling, you may contact local training facilities, Medicaid, and other institutions.

Is online marriage counseling effective? 

 Yes, online marriage counseling is effective. Try not to be surprised about it, considering it meets all the requirements for a successful counseling session: the two parties are present, not gunning for each other’s throats, and talking honestly with one another. The fact that they are not in the same room makes the latter more possible.

What is the #1 cause of divorce? 

 Many factors can cause divorce; that’s why it seems challenging to pick one. However, one word that appears in most lists is “infidelity.”

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What are the signs of a broken relationship

  • You feel resentment towards your partner more than anything else.
  • You have lost respect for each other.
  • You tend to lie regarding severe matters, believing that your partner will not find out.
  • You can no longer trust your partner after experiencing betrayal.
  • You try everything to avoid being in the same room – or bed – as your partner.
  • You feel the need to take a protective stance whenever your partner asks about anything.
  • You stop considering your partner’s feelings.

How do you get the spark back in a broken relationship? 

  • Look for a new hobby or activity that neither of you has ever tried before and enjoy it. That can be traveling, fishing, gardening, etc.
  • Maintain or increase your physical connection. For instance, hold hands, hug each other, or sit beside one another. Without it, no relationship can survive.
  • Sexual intimacy should be improved to fix a broken relationship, too. If you find yourself losing your attraction to your partner, you can try spicing things up by being sexually adventurous.
  • Try to praise each other more even when you don’t feel like it. The challenge may only come in the beginning, considering you are used to spiting one another. However, when you learn to be more appreciative, the praises will come naturally to you.

What are the signs that you are not in love anymore? 

  • Your heart no longer races when you see your partner.
  • You do not feel like touching your partner in any way.
  • You still have sex with your partner, but you only do it because you feel like that’s one of your responsibilities.
  • You get irritated quickly when you think of your partner, even if they have done nothing irritating.

Why do most relationships fail? 

 Most relationships fail because one person cannot trust the other. Sometimes, this feeling is valid, mostly if the latter always does something untrustworthy. Other times, the former is too possessive or always overthinking.

What are the 5 stages of dating? 

  • Attraction: This is technically the honeymoon stage wherein the couple cannot get their hands off of each other.
  • Reality: The attraction phase is over when the couple experiences their first fight in the relationship. It may occur within the first six months.
  • Commitment: If the couple feels more deeply about each other, they start dating exclusively. This is when they officially become a romantic item.
  • Intimacy: This stage is different from the first one because the couple does everything with love. Even if they do not sleep together every night, they still feel close and satisfied.
  • Engagement: The final dating phase happens when the couple learns to apologize and forgive each other. You are more committed than ever to each other – no flaw or judgment error can break you apart.
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Why do men withdraw? 

  • They have lost interest or attraction towards the opposite sex.
  • They see no future with the woman.
  • They are scared of showing vulnerability.
  • They are not ready to commit to a single woman.

What is a toxic relationship? 

 A relationship is technically toxic if the couple no longer respects, loves, supports, or cherishes each other. Its toxicity level increases if abuse or violence gets in the mix.

What are the red flags in a relationship? 

  • Justifying your partner’s awful behavior in front of your loved ones is a major red flag in a relationship. You are doing it because you know that the latter will be mad, yet you still want them to accept your partner.
  • You should think twice about your relationship if you and your partner gloss over arguments and makeup without resolving them. It may seem fantastic now, but it does not change the fact that the issues are still there.
  • Considering your partner always tests your boundaries or honesty, that’s another red flag. It entails that they have unspoken trust issues, and you need to address that before it breaks you apart.
  • You cannot feel happy when your partner says that they own you. No one can own you except for yourself. Letting them think and act otherwise will make your life miserable in the end.
  • It is also a red flag if your happiness becomes set aside so that your partner can be happy. Regardless of who makes more money than the other, you both deserve to get the same things.

What an unhealthy relationship looks like? 

  • You fight or yell at each other all the time.
  • You like to control one another.
  • You avoid your partner’s questions or vice versa.
  • You always feel insecure.
  • You depend on your partner 100%.

Why do I fight a lot with my girlfriend?

Fighting a lot with your girlfriend can mean various things. You probably refuse to back down during an argument, don’t want to let her win, or believe that you are right. Whatever is on your mind, you should step back a little and realize if you still want your relationship to go on. If you do, find a common group with your girlfriend. If you don’t, then end things now before it’s too late.

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Final Thoughts

To cut a long story short, my boyfriend and I broke up even after going through relationship counseling online. Our priorities just grew apart. He wanted to enjoy life more without me; I wanted to settle down with him. In the end, I had to let him go to protect myself from more pain.

I must admit that it was incredibly challenging at first because I was used to being with my hunky man all the time. Over time, I realized that no muscles would be enough if the guy who had them could no longer love me. Because of that, I learned to be complete on my own. I am ready for a new relationship now, but I’ll just let him find me – whoever he is.

Coping In Romantic Relationships Affected By Mental Health Disorders

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Finding someone who you want to be with for the rest of your life is a beautiful thing. Nowadays, the number of adults engaging in intimate relationships is rapidly increasing. But studies show that nearly half of these adults are also suffering from mental illnesses. 

Our mental health and our relationships affect one another. But romantic relationships play a considerably more vital role in one’s mental health. They require higher emotional capacity and more effort as opposed to sharing a connection with family and friends. 

Having a mental disorder can undoubtedly make it more challenging. However, there are many ways to cope with this and support both yourself and your partner.

Understanding Mental Health Disorders

Psychological disorders, also known as mental disorders or illnesses, refer to a broad range of conditions that severely affects a person’s thinking, emotional, and behavioral capacities. Some of the most common diagnoses include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and bipolar disorder. 

Alcoholism and drug abuse are also under this category. Those who suffer from these often receive medications and therapy, which can be short-term for some and long-term for others.

Different mental illnesses require different levels of care and reception. Both parties of the relationship must identify the other’s conditions, if there are any. Understanding the suffering and experiences of your partner will help you support and survive your relationship. You will find more resources and tools to nurture what you have.

Disclosing Your Mental Health Condition To Your Partner

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For many mental health sufferers, disclosing their mental health condition to their partners is probably one of the most grueling things they need to do. After all, there are still plenty of misconceptions about the topic. Most people cannot take in the news very well or refuse to do so because of the stigma surrounding mental health.

Mental health often appears as a stressor in most relationships. People tend to think it is an added burden, which may be true to an extent. But hiding your dilemmas to your partner will only further risk your relationship, and more underlying nuisances may arise. Thus, it is essential for both you and your partner to know whether you live through one or a few mental disorders.

Talk to your partner. It may be challenging, but acknowledging that there is something wrong with one or both of you could help your relationship navigate these obstacles.

Dealing With A Romantic Relationship Affected By Mental Illness

Assuming that you have sat with your partner and confer about mental health disorders, the next step now is coping with the impediments it brings to prolong your romantic relationship. The battle against psychological disorders can be exhausting and taxing, but you need to hang in there. There are days where intimacy, love, and patience start thinning out, but here are ways to avoid those:

  • Educate Yourself About Mental Health 

First, understanding what is happening is the best plan of action you can do. When you are, or you want to enter a relationship with a person having a mental disorder, it is vital to understand their situation. Being informed on topics and conditions like this will help you gain more ideas on how to approach your partner when undergoing an episode. 

Reading literature, online information, or even joining your partner’s therapy or other psychological and psychiatric appointments, of course, all under approval, are some of the legitimate resources available that you can seek.

  • Do Counseling Together

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It does not matter if only one of you is distressed. In a relationship, issues of one individual affect the other just the same. There can be no fixed position in a relationship since it is a mutual process. One cannot always act as the caregiver or vice-versa.  You have to make sure that the well-being of the two of you are taken care of. With the help of a professional, both of you can practice self-care.

No matter how unstable your significant other may seem because of the illness, let your partner decide for him/herself. It is easy to assume that just because you are the sounder person in the relationship, you can already make the right choices for both of you. That is not always the case. 

You will never truly understand what your partner is going through, despite reading hundreds of literature or seeking doctors’ bits of advice. It is why it is necessary to understand your significant other’s perspective, what he/she has to say about situations, and let him/her take the wheel at times.

Even people with mental health disorders can have a successful, healthy relationship. Ultimately, the decision should come from both sides of the relationship and mutually come up with ways to overcome the tides as one.

 

Helping Your Family Deal With Divorce

Sometimes, parents must break up to keep their family together. However, such changes do not only affect them but also the other members of the family – the children. Separation or divorce can significantly impact your children’s emotional health. It may also make them feel like it is their fault that their parents have broken up.

So, dealing with the effects of a divorce in the family is extremely necessary to help them understand why it has to happen. Here are some of the things that you must do to help your family face divorce. 

Talk With Your Family About It

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The first thing you have to do is sit down with your whole family and talk to them about it. It is imperative to explain to the children that the divorce is not their fault and is a mutual decision between the parents. Say why you have to separate with your partner and remind them that the separation does not mean that you love your children less.

The divorce may make your children feel unstable and unsafe in their environment. So you must explain to them that although lots of things will change in their lives, love will remain. Assure them that both you and your partner will be there to support them while dealing with the new things. Remind them that they will never be alone despite the separation.

The words that you choose while talking with your kids also matter. You may need lesser detail when talking with younger kids than with older ones. Also, discuss the necessary logistical information with them, such as living arrangements, school changes if there are any, and activity changes.

Acknowledge Your Child’s Emotions And Offer Support

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After talking with your family about it, sit down and hear them out. Ask your children about their worries and questions and let them say what they want without you interfering. It is essential to give your children time to voice themselves. Never skip this step. You may think that your child is strong and resilient, but divorce is such a significant change.

Ann Gold Buscho Ph.D. notes, “Kids go through the divorce directly: experiencing for themselves neglect or abuse, a parent moves out or has an affair, parents are not emotionally available because of mental illness or repeated lawsuits. Kids’ communication with each parent is seriously cut with shared custody, and this is a tremendous loss for them.”

So never downplay your children’s emotions or ignore them. Acknowledge how divorce affects them and offer emotional support.

Avoid The Blaming Game

You must also remember that when you start talking with your children about the separation, never start the blaming game. Parental fighting, in addition to the news of divorce, has adverse effects on your kid’s mental health. It creates a very stressful environment for them that may also affect how they view their relationship with their parents and their future relationships with other people.

It will be a bit easier for your family to get through a divorce better if both parents try to be civil with each other, especially when in front of the kids. Whenever you feel like a fight is coming, take a deep breath and slow down. Do not put more burden on your children’s shoulders by fighting with your ex-partner.

Further along, the way, remember not to badmouth your previous partner. Your words have power over your kids, especially younger ones. Do not make them lose the relationship they have with the other parent just because you do not love them anymore.

Monitor Children’s Behavior

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After the divorce, you must carefully monitor your children’s behaviors for possible emotional instability. Your kids may show you a happy face when talking with you, but that does not mean that they are coping well. Some may stop participating or doing activities that they usually like to do.

Alternatively, they may start distancing themselves from the other family members and stay in their rooms at all times. These are warning signs of depression that must be dealt with accordingly.

Your children may also start avoiding doing their school work, impacting their grades. Teenagers may start using substances and do other reckless behaviors to compensate for the feelings that they have. When these do happen, avoid fighting with your children and instead give them understanding. When things are already out of hand, seek professional help.

Seek Professional Help

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Finally, whether your children seem fine or not, seek professional help. There may be emotions that they are not showing because they do not understand them. Do not try to fix everything on your own because you may be doing more damage than good to them. Also, with a divorce in the family, talking with strangers may be more comfortable for your kids.

Therapists can help your children voice their feelings and teach them ways to cope with those negativities. Seeking professional help after a divorce will also be beneficial in the long run, as they will be able to process their feelings appropriately.

Your family will need to process all the worries that they have because of the divorce. The best thing that you can offer them is love, understanding, and support. Changes will be hard, but together, you and your family can get through it.

 

 

How To Make The Most Of Your New Life After Surviving COVID-19

The ordeal that COVID-19 patients go through is unimaginable for billions of individuals who are fortunate enough not to catch the coronavirus. After all, you need to go in isolation from two weeks to over a month to ensure that the virus will stop spreading. Your entire body may ache for days, and your lungs cannot function properly. Thus, when you survive the disease, everyone seems to celebrate with you.

Still, please don’t forget that it is already your second life. This rare gift should not be taken lightly. As soon as the doctors declare that you no longer have the coronavirus in your system, therefore, you should do the following:

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Mend All Your Broken Relationships

In a family or circle of friends, it seems common for arguments or fights to ensue sometimes. You love one another, but your opinions about specific matters may not always be the same, so you will inevitably clash. The real problem merely occurs if you or the other person refuses to make amends and allows years to pass by without talking.

Well, since you know first-hand that life is short, you cannot let petty fights cause a permanent rift between you and your loved ones. Whether you are on the correct side of the argument, try to mend all your broken relationships before it’s too late for everyone. 

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Maintain A Work-Life Balance

Among the COVID-19 patients are workaholics who may have spent most of their time in the office. They tend to sleep for two to three hours every night, claiming that they have more important things to do than rest. Many of them either skip meals or eat and drink unhealthy stuff because their time is “too precious to use for dining or cooking.”

If you are also a workaholic before the pandemic, you must know that it may be one of the reasons why you have caught the coronavirus. The never-ending work hours weakened your immune system; if only you slept and ate more and worked less, your fate might have been different. Your chances of avoiding an infectious disease may only get better once you maintain a work-life balance.  

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Remove Hate In Your Heart

It is impossible for a person not to hate someone in this lifetime. Some are brutal enough to make it known; others are still secretive about it. Nevertheless, whenever the focus of your hate enters the room, your expression may turn sour, and you start nitpicking everything you notice.

Well, you must realize that hate is fueled by envy, fear, anger, and jealousy. What’s there for you to feel hateful about when you have been given the most precious gift of second life? The least you can do is to avoid tainting it with negative thoughts and emotions.

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Strengthen Your Body And Mind

Of course, you should think of how you can strengthen your mind and body now. After all, your life has most likely been in danger because your immune system is not strong enough to kick the coronavirus out. That is especially true for individuals who have experienced worse symptoms than others.

Although your body already has immunity against COVID-19, there is no guarantee that a new infectious disease will not appear and affect us all again. Thus, you need to start exercising, eating healthily, and avoiding harmful habits.

Final Thoughts

Make the most out of the new life that you have been given by doing meaningful things for yourself and your loved ones. That’s the only way to show your gratitude towards the doctors and nurses who took care of you and your loved ones who prayed for your fast recovery during the COVID-19 ordeal.

Change For The Better By Being With The Right Person

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During the 2019 Love and Respect Conference, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and his wife Sarah talked about love and respect as two keys for a successful marriage.

In today’s situation, people are swooned easily by looks and soft sweet nothings. But later in their relationship, everything will seem to crash once they show their true colors to them. Some still have the benefit of the doubt to their partners because they love them, and they believe they will change. Unfortunately, it’s a never-ending vicious cycle of toxicity.

Let go of the toxic relationship and surround yourself with the right person. Not only are they good for your mental health, but they also help you change for the better.

They Know How To Say “Sorry”

Humility is one of the keys to a healthy relationship. The wrong person thinks he is always right, and they will always blame you, even if they committed the mistake. The right person will acknowledge and say sorry for what they have done. They will also make an effort not to repeat those mistakes.  

They Consider Your Feelings And Thoughts

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The famous saying goes, “it takes two to tango.” Just like in every relationship, it is always a give-and-take. To keep the relationship going, each one must consider their partner’s efforts to them. You’re with the right person if they always appreciate you every time for your love and effort. This compliment makes you feel more confident about yourself because the person you genuinely care about validates you.

They Are Supportive 

We want to achieve a lot of goals and aspirations, and it’s reasonable to share these with someone you can trust wholeheartedly. The wrong person will dismiss them and judge you. However, the right person will support you and even help you achieve them. The right partner will never criticize your dreams, no matter how big or small they may be.

Be With The Right Person This Time

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Remember that it’s essential to be with someone who will make you feel good about yourself, not sabotage you with negative thoughts. Most likely, if you’re dating someone with these characteristics, you’ll have a healthy and romantic relationship.

Don’t Be His Rebound Girl (Watch Out For These Signs)

 

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Rebound relationships can often help people stop missing their exes. When a person starts dating someone new, their success in having found another appealing person to date can help them feel better about their romantic prospects. — Samantha Joel Ph.D.

For someone who’s serious about her romantic relationships, nothing would be more painful than the thought of being in a rebound relationship. Well, there are quite a few instances when they can be helpful, and sometimes they even do work. However, this is only good if both man and woman have an understanding about the real deal of the relationship, if both are on the same page right from the very start.

Some men, though, don’t consciously think that they are rebounding. Perhaps it’s just that you were there and he was weak and looking for a cure. Others do deny even to themselves that they’re just in for the rebound, most especially to the women they’re dating – and that’s way too unfair, don’t you think?

Girl, you need to look for these clues to find out that you’re in fact his rebound, and that he’s just interested in something transient and fleeting, and not at all long-lasting.

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Warning Signs That You’re In A Rebound Relationship

  1. He Brings Up His Ex Almost Always, Telling You Negative Things About Her 

He insists every time that he’s long been over his ex, but he always talks about her and complains about how bad the relationship turned out because of her. I mean, who is he fooling? If he rants to you about his former partner without you even mentioning her name, then clearly he hasn’t gotten over her yet. He’s bitter and obviously still has feelings for her – just the right reasons not to date you.

Those on the rebound are assumed to be distressed, shamed, angry, or sad. Consequently, their emotional availability is questioned, as is their capacity to be devoted to a new partner or make good decisions in choosing one. — Mary C. Lamia Ph.D.

  1. He Disregards The Importance Of His Relationship Of 4 Years 

He treats you like you’ve been lovers since forever,but he tells you his former lover of four years was not significant anymore? Now, you should be concerned. A man (or woman, for that matter) who is principled and honest treasures his past relationships and considers them learning experiences that have made him a better person. That’s what a real man who has moved on should say.

  1. He’s Still Keeping In Touch With His Ex.

If your boyfriend broke up with his ex three or four months ago, he shouldn’t be keeping in touch with her at this time. However, if you noticed that he hasn’t actually stopped messaging her and chatting with her online, then be suspicious that he’s just using you to keep up with his lonely times unless they have a kid that they need to take care of. That’s another story. If he’s still stalking his ex and secretly attempts to call her, walk away. He has no plans of building a serious relationship with you. Tell him if he needs help moving on, he might as well see a professional.

  1. He Wants To Have Sex More Than Too Many 

There are good and bad reasons why you and your lover are having sex. However, if he’s just broken up with a long-time girlfriend – beware. Men who are rebounding usually use sex to distract themselvesfrom the pain and loneliness that they’re feeling. Also, this is one of the best excuses for them not to talk about serious matters, like getting your relationship to the next level perhaps. Never disregard this matter,or you’ll learn too late that it was all just about the sex after all.

  1. He Still Gets Jealous When He Hears About His Ex And Her New Beau 

He gets furious when someone tells him that his ex is dating again and that she’s happy. Later you learn that they had officially broken up just two months ago. This is a warning sign for you to take a few steps back, maybe give him space to work his feelings out. He might also show pangs of jealousy when you’re with some male friends, or he forbids you to go out with them. His jealousy may be because his ex cheatedhim and he has a fear of reliving the pain he felt. Don’t get serious with this guy – he’s not worth it.

  1. He’s One Of Your Closest Male Friends 

After a breakup, men realize how much they miss the presence and comfort of a woman, and how much they regret taking it for granted while he had it. When they find it in you – a close female friend – he feels it again. He begins to call you and wants to be with you more often than before, and most of the time he wants you all to himself – not with all your friends. If this happens just a few weeks or a month after his breakup, you can be almost sure that he’s more concerned about your company and merely your presence, not into you specifically.

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Guys who are on the rebound seek a lot of things. A party or sex buddy, support, a comforting hug, a friend – just somebody who can capably divert their attention away from their hurt and bitterness. Sadly, at this time, they’re not in search of a serious, lasting relationship yet. So if I were you, read this again, and if they’re true about your guy, I’d suggest you walk away and give your guy the space he needs. Give yourself that space too – to be free and happy with the one that truly deserves you.

 If you are in a relationship, and you recognize that it is heading toward the same negative outcome as past relationships, you can stop the momentum and avoid another tragic ending. — Lisa Firestone, Ph.D.

 

How Can You Help When One Family Member Is Depressed

He started to hear voices telling him to kill himself; suspicious of people around him; no interest on things he used to enjoy; inability to sleep at night, easily agitated, looks superficially happy but, feels sad.

It’s truly tragic to see someone knowingly choose to maintain an unhealthy relationship when you know in your heart that they are worth a truly supportive and respect-filled, mutually satisfying relationship. — Suzanne Degges-White Ph.D.

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Do you know someone who experiences these kinds of things?  These are just some signs and symptoms of a person who is enduring an emotional illness called depression. Personally speaking, this issue hits close to home because it happened to a family member.

Helping a depressed person especially a family member can be a challenge to oneself and the whole family. A person struggling with this kind of disorder will not acknowledge the problem initially and might feel defensive when family members try to intervene. Family support and encouragement are vital for their recovery. It is not an individual struggle but of the entire family to heal and cope with depression. The reality is this – it’s one illness, but it’s the entire family’s battle.

Awareness And Prevent To Be Stigmatized

The first step is to acknowledge that being depressed is not anybody’s fault. Depressed individuals are dealing with a psychological problem. It is a serious mental illness that needs professional attention.  Family members should be aware of how depression works.  Awareness of the disorder can aid in improvising appropriate approaches to their needs. Also, family’s willingness to support will present to the depressed member that he is valuable. Moreover, labeling or stigmatizing the condition can only worsen the situation. Do not be afraid that other people will ostracize your whole family for this. Let this be driving energy to help a family member and not minding what other people say.

People with concealed depression or hidden depression often don’t want to acknowledge the severity of their depressive feelings. They believe that if they just continue living their life, the depression will just go away on its own. — 

Communicate Openly

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Individuals who are suffering from depression are fragile and needs to be taken care of.  One way to help is to provide them with a positive environment. Let them open or speak about their feelings and concerns. Do not be critical even though what they are saying is not true or have no basis. Do not argue with their perceived reality. In the long run, they will realize their actions or what have been right or wrong in the choices they have made. If the family started to accept them and what they are going through, the feelings of abandonment and isolation experienced by depressed individuals can be lessened.

Allow Family Gatherings

It also helps to generate a positive experience. For instance, going out for dinner, watching movies, and a simple weekly family gathering at home. Each member should make available time to attend a get-together. It will secure a depressed person feeling of belongingness. Family involvement in these recreational activities creates the medium, not only for the depressed individual but also to each family member, to ventilate their feelings and evaluate how they are coping with the situation. Depression can be contagious. Taking care of a depressed family member is not easy, and it can be frustrating. This is an excellent opportunity to assess the risk of depression to each family members.

It is also a good idea to invite friends or other persons that are not related to the family. They can serve as mediator or referee to any misunderstandings or issues that can arise anytime during family gatherings. Although this is not the real goal, it is best to be prepared in case a negative outcome takes place. We don’t like this to happen especially if the depressed individual is present or aware of such situation.

Symptoms of depression are often hard to interpret. The individual feels withdrawn, having little energy to perform even mundane tasks. — Robert T Muller Ph.D.

Encourage Professional Treatment

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Getting a depressed person into treatment can be difficult as he may find it hopeless and pointless. This can be frustrating on the part of the family members as well because it will certainly take time to convince a depressed person to seek professional help. It’s like dragging an elephant and placing it inside the fridge. When you bring up this topic, prevent talks as you sound like nagging the person already. This is not helping. The best way is to encourage them to seek help. Enlighten that a professional opinion is a good opportunity for oneself and the family to know the methods on how to solve the problem. A psychiatrist can evaluate the healing progress, and if not on the right track, they can plan changes in the treatment depending on needs. After explaining the technical side, always add that you will be with them all throughout the process. They will not be left out nor neglected while seeking treatment.

A family member’s depression affects the whole family. So, together, support each other, give unconditional love and unlimited patience to make healing a healthier process for everyone.

 

Cutting Ties: Recovering From A Toxic Friendship

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Having a group of friends whom you can count on for love and support is a necessity in life. These people are not only there for the fun times, but they also have a significant impact on improving our lives.

However, not all friendships can last as healthy relationships. Sometimes, your friends can cause you frequent stress and increased vulnerability that is detrimental to your well-being. When this happens, you should recognize the signs of a toxic friendship and part ways with these people for the better.

People, no matter how smart, successful, and savvy, find it impossible to break up with their toxic jobs, relationships, and friends. — Yoon Kane Ph.D.

Are You In A Toxic Friendship?

It’s normal for friends to have fights and misunderstandings now and then. After all, we’re only human. However, certain red flags tell whether your relationship is doing you more harm than good.

The first sign of a toxic friendship is the sense of dread when you’re around them. You get stressed out and weighed down by the idea of meeting up or talking to them. Instead of being excited to hang out, you dislike who you become in their company.

Another red flag is the imbalance in the relationship. Do you feel like you’re giving more time to them, but they don’t care about yours? Do you always talk about them, but they can’t spare a second to listen to you? If yes, then that may mean that you’re not getting as much as you’re giving to your friends.

In the painful cycle of relational abuse, the abuser/user has the power to convince the relational partner that they actually “deserve” the poor treatment. When a person experiences the cycle of abuse long enough, she or he may grow to believe that their behaviour is to blame for the toxicity in the relationship. — Suzanne Degges-White Ph.D.

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You may also feel that the agreements you make are unfair and that it only makes you feel used.  In this case, assess whether your friend is manipulating you to do things that you’re uncomfortable with doing.

Lastly, you get a gut feeling that they shouldn’t be trusted. Maybe it’s because your friends always judge and criticize your actions and decisions. Or perhaps they’re not careful with their words, making you insecure and hateful toward yourself. Remember, while constructive comments help improve yourself, you have to draw the line when it’s too much.

A friendship that started with delight, good will, confidences and closeness changes – maybe slowly and quietly, maybe tumultuously – and is beginning to feel toxic. And you find yourself wondering whether there’s anything to be done but walk away. — Kathy McCoy Ph.D.

Cutting Ties

Leaving a toxic friendship is a painful process, but you should do it for the sake of your overall health. While you recover, consider these tips to help you get back on your feet.

  • Practice self-care. You may feel guilty or even angry at yourself for being in that mess, but it’s not your fault. Allow yourself to feel bad, but don’t let it get the best of you. Instead, fight those bad feelings by treating yourself with fun activities and good food.
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Spend time with other friends. Instead of dwelling on that negative part, shift your focus to your healthy relationships. Take note of the people who truly value you and stick to them. Those friends are the types that can help you heal in your dark moments.

  • Don’t expect apologies. You may end up feeling more hurt when your former friend doesn’t own up to his/her mistake. Try your best to keep that chapter of your life behind you and move on.
  • There is no need to keep in touch. By ending your contact with each other, it will be easier for both of you to let go and heal. If you feel like you need to have the last conversation, keep it clean and short. Then, clarify the intentions behind your decision to discontinue your contact. Remember, you don’t need to explain yourself. Avoid arguments as much as possible.
  • Get help. If your toxic friendship had been too much for you, consider reaching out to a therapist.

Ending a friendship is painful. But if all it did was hurt you and make you hurt yourself, it’s not cruel. You are liberating yourself to find better friendships.

Infect Others With A Smile

Lots of people walk through life trying to hide their depression. Some people with hidden depression can conceal their depression like pros, masking their symptoms and putting on a “happy face” for most others. — 

Have you ever encountered problems that you cannot paint your face with a smile? Is it too heavy because your heart is drowning with pain or sorrow? Why do we need to smile? Take it from a famous saying, “Don’t take life too seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.” When one ponders the harsh realities and complexities of life, it is so easy to be depressed. The present global situation might be generally delicate as compared to previous generations but there are still humanitarian issues that need attention and focus on. With these problems in mind, plastering a smile on one’s face might be considered as a chore. Continue reading Infect Others With A Smile

Powerful Mantras To Help You Move On

Love dies. Relationships end. These statements are difficult to accept, but they constitute people’s daily lives. Heartbreaks are extremely painful since you invested time and effort into a relationship.

For better or worse, in most of today’s Western cultures we have immense freedom to follow our hearts’ desires when it comes to love; however, this freedom also means that we are likely to experience the loss of either a dating or marital relationship at least once in our lives—and probably more frequently. — Erica B Slotter Ph.D.

Thus, breakups are painful and mentally burdensome. You need to remove the romantic attachment you had with another person. In this time of your life, you need a support system to remind you of other great things in life.

Aside from a support system, positive self-talk is also essential when dealing with heartbreaks. Here are some powerful mantras to help you through the moving on phase.

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Healing Is Not Linear

Heartbreaks are tiring since feelings of hurt, guilt, and anger always come back. You might be fine for a day, and you thought you have already moved on. But there is no guarantee that tomorrow will be like today.

However, you must accept that healing will never be linear. The beginning of happiness does not guarantee a lifetime of joy. In the same way, the start of negative feelings does not entail a lifetime of sadness. The moving on phase is an everyday challenge you will face, and you need to healthily deal with these emotions.

You can take note of happy days to remember them during times of struggle. Healing may not be linear, but joyful days make life bearable.

Research shows that one of the best self-help treatments for depression is physical exercise. Exercise produces endorphins and serotonin, which both promote a positive outlook. — Suzanne Degges-White Ph.D.

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One Day At A Time

Sometimes, when things are tough, people force themselves to move on. However, most of the time, coercing yourself is counterproductive. This way of dealing with emotions involves denial and repression.

You deny your negative feelings, but you need to express these repressed emotions. If not conveyed, those negative feelings will obstruct your journey of moving on. You must feel your emotions, but you must not dwell on them.

The future will unfold by itself. Do not worry about it too much. What you need to do is to focus on yourself today. Choose to engage in healthy coping mechanisms. You can start healthy habits which can keep you busy. Focus on making yourself better each day until you realize that you have completely moved on.

The problem isn’t necessarily a lack of determination or desire. Instead, there’s a divide between our calculated intentions to achieve a goal and the feelings that tempt us to give up. — Caty Harris, LCSW

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Life Happens

There were times when you thought you would end up with that person. However, life does not always work the way you want it to. There may be good reasons, or it may just be an unfortunate event in your life. Nevertheless, you need to stop rationalizing other people’s actions and decisions.

It is difficult to accept that your shared time is already gone, but it is the only way to move forward. You are not forced to think of this mantra immediately, but once you learn to accept some aspects of life as they are, you will unload some of the burdens you are carrying.

It might appear that you cannot move on with the pain, but, you are more powerful than you think. You are more than what that person made you feel. You are more than this heartbreak, and you will be surprised by how worthy you are.