The 8 Faces of Grief

The-8-Faces-of-Grief

There is no one-way to grieve. If you think back to a time when you have grieved the loss of a loved one, you might notice that you reacted very differently to another family member or friend. In this article Colleen wrote for PsychCentral, she talks about the 8 faces of grief, and how they may appear in your own life. Whether you have experienced abbreviated grief from a need to ‘move on’, a chronic grief that causes you ongoing pain, or a delayed grief, each experience is valid and needs to be acknowledged. You can read the article here.

Are you grieving a loss? Do you know someone who is grieving a loss and you don’t know how to help them? Talking to a Counselling Professional about your experience in a safe and nurturing space may be the support you need to navigate your grief experience. For a FREE 10 minute consultation as to how we can help you, ring Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 or press book now to book on the online diary.

How to Cope with Traumatic News

How-to-Cope-with-Traumatic-News

Often when we watch the news, it feels like a constant barrage of heart break, negativity and evil is being thrown at us. It is important that we are informed and know what is going on in the world, but what do we do when it all becomes too much? There is a fine line between awareness and feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders. Many of us will feel a ball of anxiety sitting in our chest, may find it harder to sleep, and can replay scenes and headlines through our head long after the event has passed.

It is important that you know it is okay to feel like this. You don’t have to be directly impacted by traumatic news or a crisis to feel the effects of it, and we will frequently see our loved ones respond to these reports in a way that is damaging to their physical and mental health.

In this illustrated guide prepared by Lucy Fahey of ABC News, we are shown how traumatic news affects us. In fact, over 6 hours of news coverage a day has been shown to significantly impact people. It can change our mindsets, make us feel isolated, and can impact our normal, everyday activities. By highlighting the basic steps we can take to care for children and ourselves when traumatic news airs, we can implement the coping strategies we need to care for our wellbeing.

How to Cope with Traumatic News Infographic

Do you struggle with traumatic news coverage? Do you find it impeding on your everyday life? Here’s what you need to do: contact WatersedgeCounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.

Boy Meets Depression

World Mental Health Day Banner

Image of Kevin Breel via theoneproject.ca

 

What does it mean to meet depression? What does it look like, to have it take you by the hand and slowly infiltrate your life, until you forget what your existence was like before it was present?

This World Mental Health Day, we want to explore what it means to meet depression. Few people explain it so vividly as 21- year-old comedian Kevin Breel, in his book “Boy Meets Depression.”

Depression Quote

Beyond Blue tells us that Depression is the leading cause of disability, and that it is estimated 1 million Australian’s experience Depression every year. In Australia, 1 in 5 people will be affected by mental illness, yet 65% of people with a mental illness do not seek treatment (Black Dog Institute). Statistically, you know someone with depression, or perhaps you live with it yourself. In any case, it is common. And while we tend to sweep it under the rug, as it’s something we can’t visibly see- like a broken limb- we are incapacitated by it on a daily basis.

In “Boy Meets Depression” we are given a close up account of what this unwelcome and often unexpected guest (or permanent resident) looks like through the eyes of a teenager. We also see the warning signs and the scenarios that pre-empt it.

Family of Origin

Family Quote

Even as a child, Breel knew his family was unhealthy. His parents slept in different bedrooms and showed no love to each other, and his father, being severely depressed, constantly drank alcohol to numb his pain. His older sister was never home in an effort to escape the conflict. But 5-year-old Breel was unable to escape, so he simply came home to an empty house, living inside his own imagination to pass the time.

Every family of origin will look different, but a broken relationship between spouses and with one or both parents sets the stage for depression. This may appear early for children and adolescents, but for some adults it may occur later in life as they confront unresolved issues.

Social Environment

Bully Quote

There are few things harsher than the school environment. Breel found this first hand when he was the victim of perpetual bullying from a young age. There is no rhyme or reason to bullying, but an awareness of it in the schoolyard, work place or home, is key to understanding depression. Breel’s constant torment fed him lies about his lack of value and identity, and ultimately resulted in a misrepresentation of himself as he entered his teens and was diagnosed with severe depression.

Grief

Grief Quote

Grief over a loved one, a past relationship or an experience, can all play an instrumental role as Depression extends it’s hand towards us. After losing his best friend in a car accident at 12, Breel felt even more alone in the world and lived in a perpetual state of grief. He changed schools to escape the questions and concern that followed.

Masks

Mask quote

 When we are experiencing depression, we will often try to cloak this from the people around us. Breel’s insecurities were virtually invisible to the people around him as he threw himself into the role of the class clown and the comedian. His persona protected him from being fully known, while inside he hated himself. It was this mask that followed Breel into his darkest moments, as he penned a suicide note to his mother.

It was in this moment that things began to change for Breel. There is no easy ‘cure’ for Depression, and after deciding to literally stay alive, a long and difficult journey followed for Breel. It took time for him to open up and share his struggles with his mother, and countless therapy session to begin working through the depression that had nearly taken his life.

When we meet Depression, we become a shell of who we are. While it ultimately comes down to the individual to choose recovery, understanding these warning signs gives us the ability to ask the question, “Are you ok?” This opens the door for help, showing the people we care about that there is a way out. There is life beyond depression.

Recovery quote

Kevin Breel’s book ‘Boy Meet’s Depression’ is available on Amazon.

For more information on what it means to meet depression, watch Kevin’s TedX Talk ‘Confessions of a Depressed Comic’ here.

If you are struggling with Depression or thoughts of self harm or suicide, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

If you are struggling with feelings of sadness, despair, depression, severe anxiety or thoughts of suicide, it is important that you seek professional health assistance as soon as possible to help you recover. Your G.P. and/or a Professional Counsellor can give you the additional support you need. For a FREE 10 minute consultation as to how we can help you, ring Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 or you can book an appointment with Colleen or Duncan by going to the orange button titled CLICK ONLINE NOW and follow the prompts.

Australia Counsellling mental health blogger

The 34 Best Bloggers Who Advocate for Mental Health and Wellness

The-34-Best-Bloggers-Who-Advocate-for-Mental-Health-and-WellnessWatersedgeCounselling has just been named one of the Top 34 Best Blogs on the Internet Who Advocate and Inform People About Mental Health and Wellness. We are so excited to have been recognised by Australian Counselling, and are thrilled our weekly blog posts are not only reaching people, but also making an impact.

To peruse the list, you can visit Australian Counselling here.

To celebrate, we want to ask you a question.

What do you want to see more of on WatersedgeCounselling?

Whether you are a fan of infographics, relationship centred pieces, wellness based blogs ,or drug and alcohol education themed posts; we want to know what most interests you.

Let us know by commenting below. Thank you for being a part of the Watersedge journey and reading our work every week. We look forward to bringing you more thoughtful and useful content in the future.

~ Colleen and the Watersedge Team

Do you want to learn how to take better care of your mental health? Would you like to discuss how to create a lifestyle of wellness?  Here’s what you need to do: contact WatersedgeCounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.

How to Deal with Depression

How-to-Deal-with-Depression

Beyond the statistics that tell us depression is the most common mental illness in the western world, we know it is an illness that inhibits millions of people. It drains you of energy, sapping the light from your life and makes you feel isolated and alone. This week Colleen was asked by Australian Counselling to share some of her advice on how to deal with depression. Joining other therapists, she gives us some simple and effective advice on the steps we can take to recover from depression and feel healthy and motivated again.

Focusing on the more creative methods of working through depression; including colouring in, going for a walk and embracing your inner child, she shares some often looked over tips that can brighten your mood and assist you as you walk through it.

You can see Colleen’s tips on how to deal with depression and the thoughts of seven other counsellors by reading the blog here.

If you are struggling with feelings of sadness, despair, depression, severe anxiety or thoughts of suicide, it is important that you seek professional health assistance as soon as possible to help you recover.

Your G.P. and/or a Professional Counsellor can give you the additional support you need. For a FREE 10 minute consultation as to how we can help you, ring Colleen on 0434 337 245 or Duncan on 0434 331 243 or you can book an appointment with Colleen or Duncan or press Book Now to book in our online diary.

Understanding Bulimia

Understanding-Bulimia-header

What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘Bulimia’?

Perhaps you think it’s the same as Anorexia. Maybe to you, it’s a problem ‘skinny people’ have, a self-indulgent fad that people overcome when they enter adulthood. Maybe the word Bulimia means nothing to you, after all you’ve never struggled with not eating. In fact, you might think you could use some more self-control in this area.

Take all your pre conceptions about Bulimia and eating disorders, and put them aside. Because whether or not we are aware of it, approximately 3 per cent of the population struggle with Bulimia Nervosa, and eating disorders has the highest mortality rate of any mental health issue. Men and women, young and old; Bulimia can affect anyone. So what is it, and how can we know if a friend is simply dieting or is living with Bulimia or another eating disorder?

Bulimia is identified as an eating disorder where a person binges on food before purging it from their body. Some people will retain a cycle of binge and purge through forced vomiting, and others will manage their weight using extreme measures such as fasting, laxatives or dieting.

We don’t always understand why people participate in this behaviour, but it is important to remember that eating disorders are a mental health issue. Just like depression or anxiety, this illness comes with its own set of symptoms and side effects. Many people who struggle with Bulimia have an unrealistic image of their body and are intensely self-critical. Even though this is a serious illness, we often miss it because people who struggle with Bulimia are often perceived to be of average weight or over weight.

There are physical side effects of Bulimia that we can pick up on. This infographic by Healthline shows us what to look out for.

This blog was put together using information from Healthline. Look at the infographic below and visit their website for more information on Bulimia.

Understanding-Bulimia

Do you struggle with Bulimia? Are you looking for a way to help a friend who has an eating disorder? Then here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245  for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how she can best help you, or press book now to book on the online diary.

A Creative Way to Combat Stress

Secret Garden An Inky Treasure Hunt & Colouring Book via presentsofmind.com.au

Secret Garden An Inky Treasure Hunt & Colouring Book via presentsofmind.com.au

Stress can creep in to every part of our lives, and even when we are at home it can be difficult to relax. The good news is there is a rather unconventional and creative way to get out all your tension: colouring in. That’s right, a simple children’s activity can affect your mood and help you to live a happier and healthier life.

In an article with the Huffington Post, psychologist Gloria Martínez Ayala says it “brings out our imagination and takes us back to our childhood, a period in which we most certainly had a lot less stress.”

By taking out some pencils and colouring in, you generate wellness, peace and enhance the fine motor skills in your brain. The science of the practice shows us that the combination of creativity and logic, along with the collaboration of our sight and motor skills, makes it an excellent go to strategy next time you have a stress headache.

So where do you start? It can be as simple as taking out a blank sheet of paper and using colours and shapes that flow from your current feelings. Print some colouring sheets off, or even purchase a colouring book especially made for adults. Now the trend has taken off, especially in Europe, you’ll find colouring books especially suited to your tastes. Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book (M & E Books) is a favourite, and Colleen frequently goes between this and books specifically dedicated to mandalas.

Take a look at the colouring sheets below and see what sparks your imagination. Next time you feel stressed; try returning to your childhood. You’ll be amazed at the positive affect it can have on your health.

Found on mendoans.net

Found on mendoans.net

Do you feel stressed? Are you looking for creative ways to relax and enjoy life? Then here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245  for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how she can best help you, or press book now to book on the online diary.

How your Personality Type Can Affect your Mental Health

Have you ever been called a ‘worry wart’ or an ‘overachiever’? Many of us are built with character traits that can lead us inward focused. We have personalities that excel in moments of introspection. This means we are able to achieve a lot. Ask any perfectionist or over achiever what their goals and ambitions are and many will have a ten step plan for getting there. Then there are those of us who excel in moments if intensity and pressure. We get our best work done at the last minute and the concept of a life without stress is a foreign to us. We are ‘daydreamers’ or ‘dramatists’ to our friends and family, but we each hold unique qualities that enable us to thrive in different situations.

In order to thrive we need to care for our mental health, and in this interesting infographic from Health Central, we are shown which particular personality types struggle with mental health conditions. If you identify with any of these personality types, you may be more prone to feelings of anxiety, stress and depression. This can occur due to a combination of our personality traits as well as our lifestyle.

As well as identifying what mental health conditions we are more likely to experience, this infographic also gives practical tips on how each personality type can care for their mental health. It notes that introverts can find therapy useful due to its focus on communication, perfectionists will find it beneficial to reassess their goals, and over achievers may need to forgive themselves.

Obviously these tips can be hard to follow through in. Any habit is hard to break, and when we are naturally inclined to think or act in a specific way, it can be challenging to alter how we operate. Yet no matter what our predisposed personality is, we are all able to live in a healthy and fulfilling way. Look at your own life and think about how you react in certain situations. Every person is unique, and you have some wonderful traits to share with the world. But you deserve to live them out in a healthy and happy lifestyle, so embrace you and look at how you can care for yourself.

How-your-Personality-Type-Can-Affect-your-Mental-Health

For a high res look at this infographic, view the PDF here.

Do you want to live a healthier and happier life? Are you struggling with stress, anxiety, depression or burnout? Here’s what you need to do; contact WatersedgeCounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you or press book now to book in our online diary.

 

Understanding Anxiety

We all feel anxious at different times in our lives. Whether we are stressed about bills, relationships or work, it is a physical and mental sensation we all must work through. For many of us, anxiety can be far more than a momentary feeling, and we live with an anxiety disorder which causes unnecessary and unhealthy worry about many aspects of our lives. This can also negatively affect our physical health.

This infographic by Global Medical Education shows us some of the signs and symptoms of anxiety, and reveals how it affects our society. Have you ever felt your chest tighten up, your breathing become faster, and simultaneously felt panicky and stressed? Chances are you’ve experienced anxiety. It can be hard to define anxiety, simply because it can come in many different forms. Some people will feel social anxiety, others will find it expressed in Obsessive Compulsive tendencies, and still other people will have phobias. There is no one definite cause for why we experience these feelings and physical symptoms, but those of us who struggle with Depression and other medical conditions can find that we also experience anxiety.

So what can we do to alleviate this and care for our mental and physical wellbeing? Just because we experience anxiety or an anxiety disorder, does not mean we are left alone to struggle. There are many ways to treat and cope with anxiety. From medical remedies, to psychotherapy and counselling or natural techniques like meditation, many of us are able to go on living fulfilling and happy lives. If you or a friend is showing signs of anxiety, be kind to yourself and ask for help. Nearly 29% of us will experience an anxiety disorder during our life time, and it is important we know that we don’t have to do this alone.

Understanding Anxiety

If you continue to struggle with feelings of anxiety, sadness, despair or thoughts of suicide, it is important that you seek professional health assistance as soon as possible to help you recover. Talking to your G.P. and/or a counsellor can give you the additional support you need to help you. If you would like to speak to Colleen for additional support you can contact her on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10 minute discussion or go to BOOK ONLINE NOW and follow the prompts to make an appointment.

How To Help Your Young Person Manage Stress

As we head towards the end of the year, you may have noticed your teen or young adult feeling stressed about their studies. End of year exams are coming, final assignments are due, and they are feeling more pressure than ever to have their lives figured out. In this infographic by OnlineCollegeClasses.com, we learn about the real affect stress can have on our loved ones physical health, mental wellbeing and overall quality of life. 1 in 5 students have felt too stressed to study, and time has shown us that students are more stressed than they were three decades ago. Feelings of being overwhelmed have increased, and today only 52 per cent of freshmen say they have above average mental health.

With stress can come physical symptoms and a lower immunity. Your young person may develop rashes, experience insomnia, have headaches, develop ulcers and can even develop impotence from such high levels of stress. Stress can also have a detrimental effect on mental health, with 60% of students feeling sad and 50% feeling depressed. This in turn affects their quality of life, their studies and their wellbeing. So what can you do to help your young person through this stressful period?

Encourage them to talk about their feelings

Whether they meet with a friend for coffee, talk to a parent or see a counsellor, give them the space to vent and express their feelings. Encourage them to make time to relax and enjoy life.

Change up their routine

If sports or friendships have been put on hold for their study, encourage your young person to make time for these things again. These activities will help relieve stress and ultimately better their study experience when balanced with their work.

Encourage them to be healthy

Instead of staying up late studying (or partying), suggest your young person gets a good night sleep even if only for their exam season, so their mind is clearer. Fitting in exercise during study breaks and eating healthy will keep them alert and boost their physical and mental health.

Have a look at the infographic from OnlineCollegeClasses.com for more information on stress and how you can help your young person. Then tell us below, how do you help your young person manage their stress?

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Is your young person stressed? Is stress affecting their physical and mental health? If so contact Watersedgecounselling on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how we can best help you, or press book now to book in our online diary.