Category Archives for pittsburgh counseling

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.

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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 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.


Real Life Quotes From People Who Overcame Their Depression

Depression is one of those topics that no one wants to talk about. It is that something that eats away at your being , one minute at a time. It can be debilitating and make you feel completely and utterly hopeless. How does it look like when someone is able to successfully overcome their depression? We asked some people that did this and are sharing their experiences below!


“It was a daily battle”

This is going to be something that you work at every day. When you start to notice yourself getting pulled to the “dark side”, it is important to push yourself towards your end goal instead. Refer to the emotional guidance scale and how you are always aiming at moving up on that guide. You are going to have bad days and you are going to have better days. The process is not a straight ride up to the top, but rather a roller coaster ride with a blend of emotions. It is also important to keep in mind that change takes time; do not expect or wish for instant changes or a cure to happen at the snap of your fingers.

“I finally addressed everything I was trying to hide”

Many times our past traumas and fear can get buried underneath our conscious mind into our subconscious. Everyone is different, so these will manifest in different ways, but for many it shows up as deeply embedded depression. Once you talk about the things you tried to forget or what most bothers you, you can feel very relieved. You start to process what occurred and find ways to move forward. Not only can this help alleviate depression, but it empowers you as well. You can later use these skills you learn in session in other areas in your life.



“I lost weight”.

It can be surprising how many people will literally eat their emotions. This is something that I see practically everyday and can be an easy habit to get into .Many will stuff their emotions with double stuffed oreos and other foods that not only increase your waistline, but decrease your mental health as well. In Depression to Joy , I talk about the importance of talking about depression and finding ways of moving forward. Once people pinpoint what it is that makes them feel the need to eat when upset, they are then able to focus on building new coping skills and feeling better.

 
pittsburgh depression treatment

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pittsburgh depression treatment

 

 

 

Emotional Quantum Leap

When we want to improve or change our emotions, it is very important to keep in mind that “quantum leaping” is not a possibility. The emotional ride from Depression to Joy involves many other emotions that you could experience in between. The secret is finding what emotion you are experiencing on this scale now and then then changing your thoughts so you start to feel better a bit at a time. Here is the Emotional Guidance Scale:

1.Joy/Appreciation/Empowered/Freedom/Love
2.Passion
3.Enthusiasm/Eagerness/Happiness
4.Positive Expectation/Belief
5.Optimism
6.Hopefulness
7.Contentment
8.Boredom
9.Pessimism
10.Frustration/Irritation/Impatience
11. Overwhelmed
12.Disappointment
13.Doubt
14.Worry
15.Blame
16.Discouragement
17.Anger
18.Revenge
19.Hatred/Rage
20.Jealousy
21.Insecurity/Guilt/Unworthiness
22.Fear/Grief/Depression/Despair/Powerlessness


 

Notice how fear, grief , depression, despair and powerlessness are the bottom of this scale. The good news is that if these are emotions you are feeling often, there is nowhere to go besides up on this scale!

You may also notice how anger is higher up on the scale than depression is. Many times when people are working on their depression or powerlessness, they start to feel better and eventually experience anger. Anger doesn’t tend to bother the person who is angry , but rather the people that are predominately around them… so they get pressured into feeling depressed again , as when people are depressed they aren’t yelling and upsetting others. Anger is actually much more empowering . Think about a time when you were depressed and then a time when you were angry; doesn’t it feel much better to be pissed off then down? The trick with anger is to experience it and then work on moving your way up the emotional scale towards discouragement and blame.

How can I move up on this emotional scale? Having a professional counselor is really helpful with this. Talking with someone who can help you move up this scale and process your emotions can work wonders for you.

Let us know what your thoughts are about this scale and if you have used this before! Like this post and be sure to share it on Facebook!