Archive Monthly Archives: January 2018

Three Common Mental Health Facts And Myths

There are a lot of mixed messages about mental health out there in the wild world of the internet, so we wanted to clarify some of the most common mental health facts and myths.



Myth: Mental health problems do not affect me in any way

Fact : Mental health problems are extremely common as:

  1. One in five American adults experience a mental health issue
  2. One in ten young adults have experienced major depression
  3. One in twenty-five Americans live with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder

Suicide is the 10th leading cause for death in the US. Approximately 41,000 American lives are lost yearly to this, which is double the amount of lives lost to homicide.


Myth: Individuals with mental health concerns are violent and reckless

Fact: The overwhelming majority of people who struggle with mental health concerns are no more likely to be violent than any other human. Actually, only 3-5% of violent acts were from someone with a mental health disorder. Statistic shows that those who suffer from mental illness at actually over ten times more likely to be victims of violent crimes rather than the general population. You more than likely know someone with a mental health problem and do not recognize it, as many people with with mental health concerns are highly active , productive and respectable members of our community.


Myth: Therapy , self help and coaching are just a waste of time. Why bother when you can just pop a pill?

Fact: Proper treatment for mental health concerns depends on the person seeking help and can include therapy, medication or both. There is plenty of research and evidence that shows that therapy does indeed work.  That combined with a support system, like family or friends, significantly increase the chances of you healing faster.
If you think you are struggling with mental health concerns, call us today at 412-532-1249 to schedule your free phone consultation.

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Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC

Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC

 

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is therapy and coaching center located at 239 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1801 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction and relationship counseling .

 

 

 

 

 



What’s Mental Health?

Mental health is a term that is so commonly used, but is rarely ever defined. It includes our entire emotional, psychological and social selves. Our mental health influences how we feel, think and behave. It also affects the was we cope with stress, understand others and make decisions. Mental health is imperative at all stages of our lives, from when we were kids til adulthood.Mental Health New Kensington

Throughout the course of your life,  mental health issues may have contributed to how you thought, your mood and could have caused some problems. There are countless factors that contribute to mental health problems, such as:Mental Health New Kensington

  • Biological factors like your genetics and brain chemistry
  • Life experiences like trauma or abuse
  • Family history of mental health

Although mental health issues are common, the good news is that help is readily available. Many people with mental health problems can get better and some could even heal entirely.Mental Health New Kensington

So what are some warning signs?

Perhaps you aren’t sure if someone you love is struggling with mental health concerns. Experiencing one or more of the following symptoms or behaviors could be a warning sign:Mental Health New Kensington

      1. Anhedonia or lack of pleasure from activities that used to make them feel happy
      2. Eating way too much or little
      3. Sleeping way too much or little
      4. Feeling numb
      5. Unexplained aches and pains that doctors would call psychosomatic symptoms
      6. Feelings of helplessness or hoplessness
      7. Smoking, drinking, shopping, gambling or getting high as a means of escaping problems
      8. Feeling absentminded, confused, worried or angry
      9. Intense mood swings
      10. Yelling or arguing with loves ones
      11. Persistent memories or thoughts you can’t get out your head
      12. Hearing voices or believing things that are not true
      13. Considering harming yourself or someone else
      14. Struggling to do day to day tasks




What about mental health & wellness?

Someone who is on their mental health journey and implements changes in their life can overcome many obstacles and past issues. Those that have positive mental health & wellness are characterized by the following traits:

      • They are self-actualized and reach their full potential
      • Successfully cope with life
      • More productive at work
      • Contribute to their loved ones and even communities

How could I maintain mental wellness once I get there?

This is something you and your therapist would decide collaboratively, as this looks different for every person. Some general ways of maintaining mental wellness include:Mental Health New Kensington

      • Thinking positively
      • Exercising
      • Helping others
      • Getting proper sleep
      • Building and using coping skills
      • Seeking out and maintaining professional help

—-

Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC

Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC

 

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is therapy and coaching center located at 239 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1801 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction and relationship counseling .Mental Health New Kensington

 

 

 

 

 



10 Signs You Might Have Anxiety

Everyone experiences some level of anxiety or nervousness throughout life. This could happen when you are speaking in public, going through some financial tough times or other stressful situations. However, for some people this anxiety happens so often that it starts to unfortunately take over their lives.

You might be wondering now how to discern whether your anxiety is part of everyday life or if it’s a disorder. It is not easy to identify  and requires a skilled therapist’s assistance. Anxiety can present itself in many different ways… panic attacks, fears and social phobias are just a few examples. Distinguishing between a diagnosis and more everyday anxiety is not clear cut. Below are 10 of the most common signs of anxiety. If you are experiencing these frequently, be sure to call us for a free consultation so we can help you.

1.) Intense worrying

The crux of Generalized Anxiety Disorder, of which is the most general type of anxiety, is being to concerned about everyday things. These could be big or small… but what exactly qualifies as too much worrying?

GAD consists of persistent and extremely anxious thoughts that last throughout days, weeks and months. This is so intense that it starts to interfere with your day to day life and also comes along with other symptoms like fatigue or even high blood pressure.

Its important to also keep in mind that if your stress is causing you a lot of suffering and dysfunction, it is more likely to be anxiety.



2.) Problems sleeping

Having a tough time falling and staying asleep can be associated with many different medical conditions, both physical and mental. During more nerve provoking events, like a big presentation for work or meeting can also interrupt your sleeping patterns.

However, if you are finding yourself laying awake during night, tossing and turning relentless or being agitated it could be a warning sign for an anxiety disorder. About 50% of people with generalized anxiety experience some type of sleep disturbance and issues.

One other thing that can signify anxiety is waking up feeling extremely jittery and with your mind racing. You might try to calm yourself down, but that is tricky to do right in the morning.

3.) Illogical or irrational fears

There are different types of anxiety that aren’t generalized, but rather extremely specific. Certain situations or things , like places, animals or heights can be outrageously overwhelming for some. If the the fear is vastly out of proportion to the realistic amount of risk that is involvement, there is more than likely a phobia present. Phobias are a specific type of anxiety disorder.

All the while fears can be emotionally draining, they actually are not apparent at all times. For instance, your fear might nor come to light until you experience a specific situation and learn that you are particular of handling your fear. For instance , a person with a fear of height can go for years without having  a problem, but then suddenly their kid wants to ride a roller-coaster or ferris wheel and they realize they are in need of treatment.

4.) Intense muscle tension

Chronic muscle tension, whether it is clenching your jaw or flexing your muscles, usually is a sign of anxiety. This can be so persistent that those who have struggled with anxiety for years eventually stop noticing the tension.

More frequent exercise can assist with reducing muscle tension, however the tension may also increase if an injury happens. Be careful in the gym and consider having a workout partner or even trainer to help you work out safely.

5.) Gastrointestinal problems

It is true that anxiety starts in the mind, but many times it manifests itself in the body through physical symptoms when the anxiety is not handled. Chronic digestive problems, irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal issues are common conditions for those who struggle with anxiety. IBS is not always directly linked with anxiety , but the two do commonly occur together and tend to make both experiences worse. Our human gut is very sensitive to mental stress and distress and vice versa.


6.) Intense self-consciousness

Social anxiety does not always mean talking to a crowd filled with people or getting a lot of attention. Most of the time, the anxiety is triggered by everyday events , like starting up conversation at a party or eating out with your colleagues or friends.

In those types of events, people with social anxiety disorder often feel like everyone is starting at them. Blushing, nausea, sweating and trembling can take place. Their symptoms can be so disruptive that they find it difficult to meet new people, maintain healthy relationships and grow at work or in school .

7.)Panic attacks

Panic attacks are scary. Imagine an intense and sudden overwhelming feeling of sheer terror and helplessness that lasts for several minutes, with breathing proms, a pounding heart , tingling or numb hands, chest pain and feeling hot or cold.

People who experience panic attacks repeatedly may be diagnosed with  panic disorder. Many times, those who struggle with panic attacks live in fear about when their attack will happen and will avoid certain places and triggers for their anxiety.

8.) Flashbacks

Flashbacks are not only experienced by those with PTSD. Relieving a traumatic event, sudden death, violence or accident, all can be signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD and anxiety do share some common features . Actually until recently, PTSD was categorized as a certain type o anxiety disorder.

Flashbacks can occur with anxiety too. According to the Journal of Anxiety Disorders, some people with social anxiety experience vivid flashbacks or experiences that they find very stress provoking. For instance, if someone struggles with public speaking and finds that to be humiliating, they have have a flashback to a time where they presented to their class and some of their classmates laughed at them.


9.) Compulsions

For someone to be diagnosed with OCD , or obsessive-compulsive disorder, a person intrusive thoughts must be accompanied with compulsive behaviors , whether it is mental or physical. Obsessive thinking and behavior starts to become a disorder when you feel the need to complete the ritual, or behavior, in order to get on with your life. One example would be needing to have the volume at 15 and feeling extremely uncomfortable and anxious until the volume is at 15 , even if it is at 14.

10.) Perfectionism

The obsessive thought of perfectionism tends to go hand in hand with anxiety disorders. If you start noticing that you are constantly critiquing yourself or being nervous about making errors or not living up to your high standards, you may have an anxiety disorder. Perfectionism tends to happen more often in obsessive-compulsive disorders .

If you think you are struggling with anxiety, call us today at 412-532-1249 to schedule your free phone consultation.

—-

Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC

Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC

 

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premiere therapy and coaching center located in Downtown , Pittsburgh and New Kensington, PA. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction and relationship counseling . 

 

 

 

 

 



Seasonal Depression in Pittsburgh

About 3 million people in the United States suffer from seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder or seasonal depression occurs during the same season every year. You might have feel feeling depressed the past two winters, but cheered up during the warmer months. Or you may have felt down during the summer.

Everyone could get seasonal depression, but it tends to be much more common in :

  • People who have families who have SAD
  • Women
  • Individuals between 15 and 55 years old
  • Individuals who live in an areas where winter daylight time is very short

 

No mental health experts are exactly sure of what specifically causes SAD, but many think lack of sunlight is a big trigger. This lack of light could mess up your circadian rhythms or cause problems with serotonin which is the chemical that affects your mood.

The lack of sunlight in Pittsburgh is extreme compared to many other cities across the US. We also tend to be cloudy which blocks out a lot of sunlight. That combined with the recent freezing temperatures has kept a lot of people inside and not taking absorbing vitamin D from the sun. Actually, about 10% of adults living in the United States have a Vitamin D deficiency.

You might be wondering if you have seasonal depression or SAD. Here are the symptoms:

  • Feeling grumpy, sad , nervous of having mood swings
  • Anhedonia or lack of pleasure in things you normally love
  • Eating much more or less than usual
  • Gaining weight
  • Sleeping a lot more than you normally do, but still feeling slugging
  • Difficulty concentrating

It is so important to look at SAD in a holistic manner before getting diagnosed. In addition to therapy, it’s crucial to see your doctor so she or he can run blood tests to rule out any other conditions that may be making you feel blue. One of these common ones is hypothyroidism or low thyroid. At Makin Wellness, we could do the mental heath assessment .

Treatment

There are multiple ways to help treat seasonal depression. Light therapy can be used, but counseling is one of the most effective ways of treating SAD. Cognitive behavioral therapy at Makin Wellness can help you learn more about seasonal depression , how to manage your symptoms and ways to prevent future episodes. Medication can also be prescribed and taken to help alleviate some or your symptoms. Antidepressants such as Zoloft, Effexor and Wellbutrin are most commonly prescribed for SAD.  Vitamin D supplements or foods rich in Vitamin D like yogurt, salmon, shitake mushrooms and freshly squeezed OJ can help combat any potential Vitamin D deficiencies you could have. Be sure to talk with your doctor and therapist about any side effects from your medication and check with your MD about Vit D supplementation .

If you are struggling with seasonal depression, call us today at 412-532-1249 to schedule your free phone consultation.

 

Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC

Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is therapy and coaching center located at 239 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1801 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction and relationship counseling .

 

 

 

 

 



Do This To Become More Confident

Do you find yourself struggling to be comfortable in your skin? Are there times when you feel inadequate or not worthy? Perhaps you have an important event or meeting coming up and feel like you need to present yourself in the best way possible .

Research has shown that body language plays a big role in confidence . In the video below, Amy goes into more details about this and shares how you can improve your confidence by doing certain poses and adapting your body language to fit the role you want .

Amy delves into what high power and low power poses are and how they affect your brain chemistry. An interesting fact is that the “wonder woman pose” is considered to be an extremely high power stance!

Makin Wellness is proud to announce that we have the Exclusive Confidence Boost Coaching program .  If you are looking to increase your confidence, call us today  at (412)-532-1249 to reserve your complimentary consultation! pittsburgh life coach pittsburgh coaching pittsburgh confidence confidence coach

 

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Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC

Sara Makin,M.S.Ed.,NCC

 

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is therapy and coaching center located at 239 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1801 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction ,  relationship counseling and more.