Category Archives for pittsburgh counseling

Gender Differences with Trauma

What is Trauma? Gender Differences with Trauma

Approximately 50% of all individuals will experience some type of traumatic event in their lifetime. Several variations of traumatic events can develop and influence mental health disorders in men and women. They often co-exist with other disorders such as depression, anxiety, and alcohol/substance abuse disorders. They can even express themselves in different ways between genders. Trauma is defined as damage to the mind that is created by a stressful event. The major types of trauma include:

Sexual assault – unwanted and involuntary sexual behavior towards another individual; forcing or coercing someone else to engage in an act against their will in a non-consensual setting (rape, groping, forced kissing, or any other form of harassment in a sexual context)

Child Maltreatment 

  • neglect – failure to provide a child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, mental health care, education, supervision, and/or exposing a child to dangerous situations
  • physical abuse – causing or attempting to cause physical injury to a child (punching, kicking, beating, burning, etc.)
  • sexual abuse – sexual behaviors that take place between a child and adult, or forcibly between two children by the pressure of an adult
  • emotional abuse – acts against a child that could cause conduct, cognitive, affective, or other mental disturbances such as verbal abuse, emotional abuse, and/or excessive demands on a child’s behavior that may eventually lead to negative self-image

Domestic violence – the act of or the threat of physical, sexual, and/or emotional violence between adults in an intimate relationship

War related trauma – exposure to war, political violence, terrorism, combat related trauma (military personnel engaged in warfare who were exposed to deaths and threats to life)

School/community violence – personal conflicts between people who are not family (robbery, shootings, rape, etc.)

Medical trauma – caused by invasive medical procedures or frightening treatments that cause pain, injury, or illness

Traumatic loss – sudden, unexpected grief following the death of a loved one

Natural disasters – tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. that causes extreme damage to the extent that local, state, or federal agencies and disaster relief agencies are contacted

Everyone can respond to trauma in different ways, and there is no right or wrong way to feel after being exposed to trauma. These are a few of the most common symptoms that are seen in individuals after a traumatic event:

Emotional/psychological symptoms: shock, denial, disbelief, confusion, difficulty concentrating, anger, anxiety, guilt, withdrawing from others, feeling sad or hopeless, isolation

Physical symptoms: insomnia or nightmares, fatigue, being easily startled, racing heartbeat, agitation, aches and pains, muscle tension

 

Women with Trauma Gender Differences with Trauma

Women are twice as likely to experience longer traumatic symptoms, develop post-traumatic stress disorder, and express more sensitivity to ideations that remind them of the traumatic event. Why could this be? Just like with other health disturbances, researchers believe it could be due to the idea that women tend to seek help, report symptoms, and be more involved in their healthcare than men. After a fearful or worrisome event, it is normal to feel anxious and afraid for a while, but these feelings typically fade within a few weeks. For some women, they continue to feel anxious about the event for months to years after. The thoughts can become crippling and interfere with completing daily activities. Women who have experienced trauma, such as military combat are more likely than men to develop post-traumatic stress disorder. This is characterized by the reliving of a traumatic event through flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, and/or other uncontrollable thoughts. They become more easily startled, have trouble feeling emotions or report feeling “numb,” avoid things that remind them of the trauma, or feel depressed and anxious more than usual.

 

Men with TraumaGender Differences with Trauma

Even though trauma is more likely to affect women, the symptoms that men experience should not be downplayed. Females may experience more sexual abuse while males tend to experience physical abuse. Trauma is more likely to make women depressed or anxious while it makes men more aggressive. This could correlate with the theory that men sometimes do not properly express their feelings in a healthy manner. Unfortunately, our society has created unwritten “Man Rules” that men feel they must live by. “Don’t be weak, don’t ask for help, don’t cry, don’t show emotion, and be brave” are what males are told from a young age. This idea of suppressing emotions when it comes to trauma is so unhealthy! It’s not easy at first, but facing the trauma and inner pain associated with it is the key to a healthy treatment plan. Finding someone you can trust, whether it be a family member, close friend, loved one, or therapist can make the discussion tremendously easier.

 

Trauma Treatment

The most effective treatment for a traumatic event is psychotherapy or “talk therapy.” Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of talk therapy that helps an individual recognize their thought patterns and advises them to create more positive thoughts. In the case of treating trauma, the individual and therapist would discuss negative beliefs about the trauma and how to avoid the idea of traumatic events happening again. Exposure therapy is another form of therapy that can be used with CBT for individuals experiencing trauma. With exposure therapy, the person is exposed to the event that causes them anxiety or worry and is taught ways to avoid letting the exposure become too overwhelming by “re-entering” the setting. These treatment methods can help the individual gain control of their feelings about trauma while creating a plan to stay distracted and maintain healthier thoughts.

 

How Can We Help?

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to get help. With the proper mental health advice, symptoms of trauma can be treated and we can help you get your health on track. We can provide mental health counseling for different types of trauma right here in our office. We can also provide PTSD Assessments for Medical Marijuana. Please contact our office at (412)-532-1249 to schedule according to your availability and preferred location. 

 

 

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

 

Anxiety Symptoms and Treatments

Many individuals use the term anxiety to refer to a great deal of worry. But what does anxiety really mean? And what does anxiety look like? Awareness of anxiety symptoms and treatments can increase the likelihood of getting help and relieving any stress you may be feeling.

 

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety means an excessive worry or anxiousness that lasts for more than six months. The fear and worriedness manifest themselves in various extreme forms. These forms could look like physical and emotional ailments or psychological unrest. The toll that anxiety takes on an individual is very severe. For many individuals, it may not seem clear or evident that he or she is experiencing an anxiety disorder due to the lack of knowledge and information about its manifestation (anxiety.org).

 

Research suggests that women are more likely to develop an anxiety disorder in their lifetime than men (McLean, 2011, pp. 1). Gender differences and anxiety has shown that the manifestation of anxiety in both women and men could be presented in a similar fashion. However, research suggests that the main difference is “the observed differences between men and women are somewhat influenced by gender-related differences in the conceptualization and reporting of symptoms” (McLean, 2011, pp. 11).  

 

Common Anxiety SymptomsAnxiety Symptoms and Treatments

Anxiety’s most common psychological symptoms are: excessive worriedness, nervousness, irritation, racing thoughts, and a sense of panic. On the other hand, anxiety could take a much more physiological form in certain individuals. These common symptoms are: increased heartbeat, difficulty sleeping or remaining asleep, loss of appetite, tense muscles, and sweating. “These shared physiological states suggest a shared underlying biology and that anxiety maybe a whole-body condition” (Jovanovic, et al., 2018).

 

Treatment for anxiety could include various options. When combined, evidence-based therapy (EBT), cotemporary and alternative therapies have been shown effectiveness in the treatment of anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an example of one type of EBT. “It teaches people different ways of thinking, behaving, and reacting to anxiety-producing and fearful objects and situations. CBT can also help people learn and practice social skills, which is vital for treating social anxiety disorder.” Typically, some therapies are combined to increase their effectiveness in treating anxiety. CBT and exposure therapy have been utilized quite a bit together to treat social anxiety disorder (SAD) (NIMH, 2018).

 

Another form of treatment for anxiety disorders that has been researched intensively is the use of medical marijuana. The research that has been complied thus far suggests that medical marijuana is capable of reducing anxiety, relaxing muscle tension, and stimulating appetite (Lava, 2018). Pennsylvania is one of the 33 states that has legalized the medical use of marijuana, “short-term use of medical marijuana with low THC and high CBD content has been shown to be most effective in treatment of anxiety disorders” (Sasko, 2019).  

 

How Can We Help? Anxiety Symptoms and Treatments

Rahmah Albugani is a doctorate intern who is conducting evaluations and ongoing counseling here at Makin Wellness. She is a nationally certified counselor with experience in setting goals for clients that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time manageable. If you are interested in mental health counseling for anxiety, please contact our office at (412)-532-1249 to schedule with Rahmah!

 

 

References:

Jovanovic, T., Lott, A. P., Michopoulos, V., Stevens, J., Rooij, S. van, Keller, J. M., … Sierra Carter. (2018). What Is Anxiety & How to Treat It – Anxiety Definition. Retrieved from https://www.anxiety.org/what-is-anxiety#anxiety-and-physical-health

 

Lava, N. (2018). Medical Marijuana FAQ. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/medical-marijuana-faq

 

McLean, C. P., Asnaani, A., Litz, B. T., & Hofmann, S. G. (2011). Gender differences in anxiety disorders: prevalence, course of illness, comorbidity and burden of illness. Journal of psychiatric research45(8), 1027–1035. Doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2011.03.006

 

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). (2018). Anxiety Disorders. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml#part_145353

 

Sasko, C. (2019). People with Anxiety Disorders Can Soon Get Pa. Medical Marijuana Cards. Retrieved from https://www.phillymag.com/news/2019/07/12/anxiety-medical-marijuana-pennsylvania/

 

 

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

 

Rahmah Albugani Makin Wellness

Social Wellness: Meaningful Relationships for a Healthy Lifestyle

“The secret to a meaningful life is meaningful relationships” – Anonymous

Sociologists have noted that the people you spend the most time with largely impact your life. For example, surrounding yourself with those who smoke may make your more likely to start smoking. The five people we spend the most time with can influence our mindset, and other habits too – both good and bad. Choosing friendships with people who you admire or want to imitate can help support the lifestyle you desire. Social wellness involves meaningful, balanced relationships with family, friends, and co-workers.

It takes mindfulness and careful time management to prioritize healthy, meaningful relationships. In the pursuit of financial success, it’s all too easy to lose connection with friends and family. Interestingly, social wellness is a key aspect to mental health, and largely plays into our financial success. Close friends and family help us put things into perspective, keeping our goals and pursuits in line with our personal values.  social wellness

What really is social wellness?

Social wellness refers to the quality and stability of your relationships with others. It includes a positive social network of friends, family, professional contacts, and casual acquaintances. Those who encourage and support you in being your best self positively impact your social wellness. social wellness

Quality over quantity is key. Deep and meaningful relationships provide a higher degree of social wellness over unhealthy, superficial relationships. A strong support system of people you trust provides you greater ability to overcome hard times, whether it be the loss of a loved one, loss of job, or other difficult life circumstance. Research has shown social wellness to correlate with longer life expectancy and improved overall health. Consider some ways to improve your social wellness.

Improving Social Wellness:

Spend Quality Time – A happy, fulfilled life is dependent on healthy and meaningful relationships. This may require a little extra effort in prioritizing these relationships. In the long run, giving of your time will allow for deeper, more meaningful relationships with others.

Successful relationships involve give and take. Think of it as making deposits and withdrawals in your bank account. At times you may be on the receiving end, and other times you may be offering support to someone else.

Maintaining a Balance Finding balance between the amount of time spent with friends, family, and coworkers is essential. Depending on whether your married with children or single will effect who you’re spending the most time with. Making time for yourself and practicing self-care is necessary too in being able to give your best to others.

Prioritize Your Mental Wellness – Mental illness can be as debilitating as physical illness. Modern medical science has proven that the traditional approach of separating the brain from the body is not entirely effective – mental health is just as important as any other part of the body, with the mind and body working synergistically. Prioritizing your mental wellness will improve your overall health and ability to have a better quality of social wellness. social wellness

Building a strong social network will support a happier, healthier, more resilient lifestyle. If you’re looking for support in making more meaningful connections, improving communication skills, and finding greater balance to support overall wellness, contact us today and start living your best life!

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

Gender Differences with Depression

What is Depression?

Depression is a common mental health disorder that affects approximately 17.3 million American adults. Depression interferes with a person’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy life. Many people with depression may be told by loved ones to “snap out of it” or “just try to be happier,” but that’s not exactly the solution. Depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Seeking guidance from a mental health professional is the most successful treatment for depression.

When people hear the word depression, they usually immediately think of sadness. But sadness is only a small portion of depression. Chronic pains, headaches, cramps, digestive problems, and sleep disturbances are all symptoms of depression as well. If you have been experiencing any of the following difficulties for at least two weeks, you may be experiencing depression and it is important to seek help from a mental health professional:

  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in once enjoyable hobbies/activities
  • Moving or talking more slowly
  • Difficultly focusing, concentrating, or making decisions
  • Sleep increase/decrease
  • Weight increase/decrease
  • Thoughts of death or suicide/suicide attempts

Some physical health complications can portray the same symptoms of depression, such as viruses and thyroid disorders. These can be diagnosed by a medical professional by physical exams and lab tests. Keeping note of what specific symptoms you feel, when symptoms occur, and how long symptoms last are key factors to discuss during a doctor visit. This gives the doctor adequate information for diagnosis and treatment options.

 

Women with Depression Gender Differences with Depression

Among the 17 million diagnosed with depression in the United States, the majority of them are women, and approximately two-thirds of them do not seek treatment. Men and women are likely to develop depression at the same rate, until women hit puberty. At that stage, women are twice as likely to develop depression. This is likely due to the changes in hormone levels women experience – puberty, pregnancy, menopause, etc. These hormone fluctuations are also likely to contribute to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), both of which may cause depression and severe mood swings for women. Because women assume that most women experience PMS or PMDD symptoms, they will usually wait for their cycle to pass, not realizing that their hormones may be imbalanced and they are actually experiencing depressive episodes each cycle.

Women who are diagnosed with depression are more likely to be diagnosed earlier than men due these hormonal changes. It is also likely for symptoms to last longer and occur more often. Women tend to experience more stressful life events that can trigger depressive episodes, such as pregnancies or complications with pregnancies. The likelihood of a pregnant woman and a non-pregnant woman being diagnosed with depression are roughly the same. Women who are pregnant that are living alone, have limited social support, marital conflicts, or have uncertainty about the pregnancy are also at risk of being diagnosed. A woman will experience a drop in estrogen levels during pre-menopause and menopause, which triggers depression and anxiety as a result. As previously mentioned, there is a correlation between hormone levels and physical and emotional symptoms.

 

Men with Depression Gender Differences with Depression

While depression is more common and diagnosed in females, males are four times more likely to commit suicide than females. Men have been told to be more in control of their feelings since childhood. Our society has created a stigma that men should just “get over” whatever it is they’re feeling, or “man up.” Men are more likely to mask their emotions by unhealthy coping mechanisms and be more resistant to treatment. There could be several attributes that cause undiagnosed male depression:

Failure to recognize depression – Men may not be aware of the other symptoms that correlate with depression such as headaches, tiredness, irritability, or digestive problems.

Downplaying symptoms – Men may think their symptoms are not that serious or that they are going to affect them long-term.

Reluctance to discuss symptoms – Men may feel it is not “manly” to express feelings and believe they are supposed to suffer in silence.

Resistance to mental health treatment – Men may avoid treatment simply because they fear having a diagnosis will affect their family, social life, or career.

The symptoms of depression between men and women are generally the same. However, men can express other behaviors that women do not. Males will sometimes spend an excessive amount of time at work or on other projects to distract them from their feelings. A lack of awareness for why they feel the way they do may lead to aggression, violence, or abusive behavior. They can become more irritable than women and seek risky behavior, such as reckless driving. Since these behaviors could potentially overlap with other mental health issues, it is important to seek help from a mental heath professional for adequate treatment.

 

How to Help Both Genders

A treatment plan for depression will depend on the severity and frequency of symptoms. A mental health professional will usually recommend an assessment and look for the specific criteria for diagnosing. Successful treatment options for depression are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychotherapy. Sometimes medication is necessary to alleviate some of the feelings of depression, and this method of treatment combined with talk therapy is highly effective. Studies have shown that cognitive therapy is as efficacious as antidepressant medications at treating depression, and it seems to reduce the risk of relapse even after its discontinuation. A healthy diet and adequate exercise are also crucial for a healthy mind and body. With these options in mind, it is important to seek help if you or someone you know is feeling depressed.

 

How Can We Help?

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to get help. With the proper mental health advice, symptoms of depression can be treated and we can help you get your health on track. We can provide mental health counseling for depression right here in our office. Please contact our office at (412)-532-1249 to schedule according to your availability and preferred location. 

 

 

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

 

 

Pittsburgh mental health counseling Makin Wellness

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

You cannot control the world, but you can control how you interpret and handle things when they arise. That is the goal of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT teaches the individual how to take control of his or her thoughts and feelings as they play a central role in our behavior (Cherry, 2019).

 

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy? Understanding Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of therapy that helps clients understand and analyze the underlying cause of their negative thoughts and feelings. These thoughts and feelings can eventually influence and impact a person’s behavior. The client is taught how to identify and modify negative, destructive, and or disturbing thought patterns (Cherry, 2019). CBT is empirically supported in terms of efficacy and is the most researched form of therapy. Specific goals of CBT mean that results are measurable and observable. This makes CBT valid and reliable.

 

What Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treat? Understanding Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT is “highly effective for adult unipolar depression, adolescent unipolar depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, social phobia, PTSD, and childhood depressive and anxiety disorders” (Butler, Chapman, Forman, & Beck, 2006, pp. 28). CBT is also used to treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Phobies
  • Depression
  • Addictions
  • Eating disorders
  • Panic attacks
  • Anger

 

What Do CBT Sessions Look Like and Who is CBT Well-Suited For?

Therapist role is very active and instructional – the therapist has a focused and structured approach that guides the counseling session. The client coming into counseling identifies the specific problem he or she wishes to resolve. This enables the development of a collaborative therapeutic relationship founded on established goals. The goal-oriented and focused sessions are typically comprised of short-term sessions with gradual process or incremental steps towards the change in maladaptive behavior, with homework assigned to be completed between sessions. 

 

What is the Goal of CBT?

The goal of cognitive behavioral therapy is to change or modify thoughts and feelings that influence self-defeating as well as self-destructive behavior. Cognitive behavioral therapy enables the individual to acquire insights about him or herself, in addition to self-discovery that occurs. Introspection also occurs when the individual begins the development of new skills and coping mechanisms.

 

How Can We Help?

Rahmah Albugani is a doctorate intern who is conducting evaluations and ongoing counseling here at Makin Wellness. She is a nationally certified counselor with experience in setting goals for clients that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time manageable. If you are interested in cognitive behavioral therapy, please contact our office at (412)-532-1249 to schedule with Rahmah!

 

 

 

References:

Butler, A., Chapman, J., Forman, E., & Beck, A. (2006). The Empirical Status of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: A Review of Meta-analyses. Clinical Psychology Review, 26(1), 17–31. Doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2005.07.003 

Cherry, K. (2019). How Cognitive Behavior Therapy Works. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-cognitive-behavior-therapy-2795747 

 

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

 

Rahmah Albugani Makin Wellness

Gender Differences with Anxiety

What is Anxiety? Gender Differences with Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United States, and they can affect approximately 264 million people worldwide. Women are twice as likely to develop an anxiety disorder than men, and each gender may present and describe the symptoms differently. Understanding gender differences with anxiety can potentially bring awareness to symptoms. This will hopefully contribute to more men and women seeking therapy to relieve stress in their life. Anxiety can cause excessive fear, nervousness, apprehension, and uncertainty. Generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety, phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder are all considered common anxiety disorders. A licensed counselor may diagnose you with an anxiety disorder when you meet any of the following criteria almost daily for more than six months:

  • excessive worry
  • fatigue
  • difficulty concentrating
  • irritability
  • sleep disturbances
  • muscle tension
  • rapid heart rate
  • sweating
  • nausea
  • chest pain

 

Generalized Anxiety Disorders: severe, excessive, ongoing anxiety that disrupts daily activities

Panic Disorder: episodes of intense fear followed by physical symptoms, based on a perceived threat rather than imminent danger

Social Anxiety: nervousness when interacting with other people

Phobias: excessive, persistent fear of an object or situation

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: excessive thoughts (obsessions) that lead to disruptive and repetitive behaviors (compulsions)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event

 

Women with Anxiety Gender Differences with Anxiety

Women are twice as likely to develop an anxiety disorder than men, and each gender may present and describe the symptoms differently. Scientists have some ideas as to why women have higher anxiety diagnosis rates. Dr. Charles Goodstein, a clinical professor of psychiatry at New York University Langone Medical Center, says “this may have an impact on psychological functioning.” One reason is that woman have more hormonal fluctuations caused by their menstrual cycles. Estrogen and progesterone are hormones that affect appetite, digestion, and energy levels. If these hormones are irregular, a woman’s mood can be affected. If she also experiences a difficult cycle, she may become apprehensive and worry about frequent aches and distress towards the following months.

Another reason women may experience anxiety more often than men is because women are more likely to experience sexual abuse and violence. Women who have been exposed to sexual abuse and violence may have an overwhelming sense of anxiety at all times, or they may have a sudden attack of intense fear. If a woman is in an abusive relationship, sometimes she may feel guilt and manipulation from her spouse. They may spend an excessive amount of time trying to reason why they are being abused. Women may either think about ways to get out of the relationship, or think about ways to cover up their injuries and make excuses for their partner.

Women that tend to take on a lot of responsibilities such as working a full-time job, cooking, cleaning, laundry, establishing childcare, etc., are more prone to anxiety symptoms. Sometimes women in these situations feel like they can never catch a break. This can be considered a cultural acceptance in our society – women tend to “do it all” – which can lead to overwhelming stress and exhaustion.

Studies have shown that women tend to seek help from medical professionals more often than men. For this reason alone, women are more likely to be diagnosed with a variety of health disorders, not just ones that are mental health related. Women tend to be more in tune with their health and report illnesses more frequently than men. This plays a role in one of the many reasons why women live longer! They are more likely to follow up with appointments and treatment after diagnoses as well.

 

Men with Anxiety

In an article written in Men’s Health magazine, author Mike Zimmerman explains how he had no idea what was happening to his body during his first panic attack. He stated that he was sure he was having either a stroke, a heart attack, or an aneurysm. Panic attacks are often misdiagnosed as other ailments. Men who are afraid of a panic attack being diagnosed as something more severe are less likely to seek treatment.

According to a survey conducted by Cleveland Clinic, men are less likely to participate in routine physicals. The chances of men seeking professional help when they feel they have a serious illness are even smaller. There tends to be a cultural bias that men who seek medical treatment feel that it lowers their masculinity. This heavily prevents men ever expressing symptoms, especially those who experience mental health disturbances. Men are often told to “man up” and hold their emotions inside which can be remarkably unhealthy. Men are also more likely to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs in order to avoid meeting with a mental health professional.

 

How to Help Both Genders

Early recognition of psychological stressors are important when treating anxiety. Regardless of gender, lifestyle changes are a critical part of reducing anxiety symptoms. Diet and exercise are one of many ways to eliminate stress in your life. Reducing technology use can be beneficial and make you feel more calm and alert. Instead of focusing on work, deadlines, and social media, try spending a few moments away from the computer or cell phone. Try to reduce your obligations and prioritize what is most important versus what can be done at another time. Make sure to make time for yourself as well. Learn your stressors and develop strategies for distraction. Many people find peace in going for a walk, reading a book, or journaling. You can even try different meditation and breathing techniques to alleviate anxiety.

 

How Can We Help?

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to get help. With the proper mental health advice, the overwhelming feelings of anxiety can be treated and we can help you get your health on track. We can provide mental health counseling for anxiety right here in our office. Please contact our office at (412)-532-1249 to schedule according to your availability and preferred location. 

 

 

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

Understanding Abnormal Psychology

What is Abnormal Psychology?

Abnormal psychology is a subdivision of psychology that deals with “abnormal” behavior or behaviors that don’t follow the norm. It is easier to visualize what we mean by this when we look at a bell curve. The height of the bell curve is the normal behavior. If we were looking at stress levels, for instance, then the stress levels held by most people define the normal behavior. This represents the peak of the bell curve. The outliers, people with higher levels of stress, are those with abnormal behavior. Abnormal behavior doesn’t always have a negative association, as outliers in this example could also be people with an abnormally low amount of stress.

Characteristics of Abnormal Psychology

When considering if a certain behavior is abnormal or not, there are four characteristics that should be considered. Deviance, dysfunction, distress, and danger are all factors that are important to take into account. The bell curve example above illustrates the deviance criteria. This means evaluating how an individual’s behavior relates to the standard behavior of the population. Dysfunction refers to how the behavior interferes with the individual’s life. If someone had an anxiety disorder that prohibited them from being able to go out in public places, then the disorder was interrupting the daily functioning of the individual’s life.

High levels of fear, anxiety, depression or the emotions can be used to measure a level of distress. Phobias can demonstrate distress. An individual who has a phobia of snakes would feel distress while walking in the woods or other areas that snakes usually reside. Danger is the last criteria. Being a danger to yourself or others defines this category. An example of this could be an individual with a substance disorder. A substance disorder not only brings danger to the individual that is abusing a harmful substance but also is a danger to those around him. It can be hard to control one’s actions when under the influence. Abusing a substance can put friends and family of the abuser in harms way.

Common Diagnoses

Many disorders, ranging from depression and anxiety to schizophrenia, fall under the category of Abnormal Psychology. These diagnoses are widespread, with the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) reporting that anxiety disorders affect about 18.1% of the US population  every year. This may sound like a small percentage, but 18.1% translates to around 42 million adults. On the other hand, Abnormal Psychology also covers the less diagnosed disorders. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that schizophrenia has a prevalence rate between 0.25% and 0.64% in the United States. The most common disorders are depressive and anxiety disorders.

Depressive Disorders

Depressive disorders include major depressive disorder, postpartum depression, and seasonal affective disorder.

One of the disorders, major depressive disorder, is feeling depressed or sad for an extended period of time while experiencing symptoms of hopelessness or loss of pleasure in previously exciting things. Symptoms can also affect an individual somatically through the loss or gain of weight, decreased energy, or headaches/pains that don’t have a clear source. Depression changes a person’s attitude and can make them more irritable or restless. This disorder affects around 16 million American adults a year, making it one of the more common disorders. Risk factors for depression include having a family history of depression, going through a traumatic or stressful time, or even some physical illnesses and medication. Every individual is different, so depression can manifest in a wide range of symptoms that can make each person’s experience with depression different.

Another widespread depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder, occurs typically during the winter months when there is less sunlight. Symptoms of this disorder include social withdrawal, weight gain, and increased sleep. This disorder is temporary in the fact that the depression usually decreases during the spring and summer months when the amount of daylight increases.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders affect more people in American than any other mental disorder and include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and phobias. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), to elaborate on one specific disorder, is intense worry and anxiety that does not have a specific source and occurs over an extended period of time. These negative thoughts are usually accompanied by trembling or shaking, trouble sleeping, muscle tension, or headaches.

GAD generally occurs during childhood or adolescence and builds up gradually. However, it is possible for GAD to come on during adulthood. GAD is associated with fear of future events and anticipating the worst. Individuals with GAD tend to get stuck in thought loops which occur when a person is unable to stop ruminating about a negative thought and the thought continues to be repeated. The individual usually realizes that whatever unpleasant thought they are catastrophizing is irrational, however they do not have the ability to shake their concerns. Many of the anxiety disorders share symptoms, panic attacks and excessive worry being some common symptoms. GAD is different from other anxiety disorders in the fact that it is usually less interruptive in people’s day to day lives. People with GAD tend to be less likely than people with other anxiety disorders to avoid certain situations because of their disorder.

Treatments

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Various forms of psychotherapy can treat these diagnoses. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an effective type of therapy that helps depression, anxiety, and other disorders. The therapy aims at making the patient aware of their negative thoughts and looking at them from an objective, rational point of view. CBT typically occurs in four different steps. It begins with identifying the troubling parts of your life, whether it be specific anxieties involving school or problems dealing with social relationships. Then, the patient takes notice of these negative thoughts when they occur and can either share their thoughts with their therapist or write them down in a journal. From there, the therapist asks the patient to pay attention to their reaction to these thoughts. The goal is to recognize that the thoughts are negative and irrational. The final step of CBT is to take these unpleasant or inaccurate thoughts and correct them.

If a patient was struggling with anxiety about a presentation in class, they could think that if they mess up then the whole class will laugh at them or the teacher will automatically fail them. CBT would have the patient identify that this an irrational thought and then think about how the situation would go realistically. For instance, most students don’t pay that much attention to presentations and will most likely not remember the presentation come the end of the day. Teachers will probably not fail a student for a mistake in a presentation, and even if, the class can always be taken again. CBT is an effective therapy that some pair with medications like antidepressants or anti-psychotics.

How Can We Help?

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to get help. With the proper mental health advice, the overwhelming feelings of anxiety and depression can be treated and we can help you get your health on track. We can provide mental health counseling for anxiety and depression right here in our office. Please contact our office at (412)-532-1249 to schedule according to your availability and preferred location

 

 

 

 

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

 

 

Nutritional Intervention for Anxiety & Depression

We’ve all likely heard the term “brain food.” Likewise, when we think of mental health we may think of the mind, or certain brain chemicals. Growing research in the field of nutritional psychiatry explores nutritional interventions to relieve mental illness, specifically anxiety and depression. Did you know simply drinking a glass of water can improve brain function??

Adults and children alike are affected by mental illness, with anxiety and depression being the most common. In our ever hurried world, fast food may provide convenience, yet takes its toll on both mental and physical health.

Modifying lifestyle and diet has shown to be a preventative measure in mood disorders. Nutritional interventions encouraging a balanced, nutrient-dense, whole foods diet, helps prevent and alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. The Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research brings together practitioners and scientists interested in various nutritional research, linking the effects of nutrition on mental health. Dozens of research on the following nutritional recommendations have shown to have a positive effect on anxiety and depression: nutritional intervention

  • Whole foods (fruits and vegetables): Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption has been associated with lowered depression and anxiety. A diet high in a variety of raw fruits and vegetables provides vitamins and minerals necessary for optimal physical and emotional well-being.
  • Probiotics: Probitiocs are the beneficial bacteria in the gut, providing better nutrient absorption, and have been connected to mental wellbeing. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods, beverages, or supplements.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids: Omega 3’s are essential to brain function and development. Low levels may contribute to brain deficiencies and accelerate aging. Omega 3 fish oil has shown to positively impact mental clarity, memory, and depression. Salmon, sardines, and nuts and seeds like flaxseeds and walnuts are high in Omega 3’s.
  • Water: Water is essential to brain function and mood, as it flushes out toxins, carries nutrients to cells, acts as a lubricant to the body, and prevents constipation. Even if you’re mildly dehydrated, you may feel tired, having impaired concentration.

Holistic nutrition and therapy is an approach that looks at the root cause of illness, offering a natural approach to dis-ease. This includes considering a variety of factors affecting physical and mental health, such as nutrient deficiencies, lack of exercise, stress, and thyroid issues. A holistic approach works to improve immune function, digestion, and brain function, with an understanding that all body systems are interrelated. Makin Wellness is happy in providing nutritional intervention and other holistic treatment options. nutritional intervention

About Makin Wellness

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy & coaching centers located in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again.  Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction, trauma, medical marijuana assisted treatment and relationship counseling.

Laura Stewart Makin Wellness Nutrition Pittsburgh

Laura Stewart, B.A., CHN – Certified Holistic Nutritionist

Mental Health Services in Pittsburgh, PA – Counselors, Therapists & Life Coaches

Anxiety, depression ,stress and relational issues are all things that can complicate our lives . One of the most difficult things is finding someone who you can trust and count on. It can be tricky finding out who you can trust and who you can’t. Family, friends and loved ones can be supportive while you are having a hard time, but so many people face challenges that require more assistance than they could offer.Mental health Services in Pittsburgh
Makin Wellness mental health services can be your tool in your mental well being. We offer premier mental health counseling and coaching in our Downtown Pittsburgh, Downtown New Kensington and virtual offices.Mental health Services in Pittsburgh

Life CoachingMental health Services in Pittsburgh

The Makin Wellness Pittsburgh Coaching program is created to elevate your mood. The sessions you spend with your coach can be fun, uplifting and an experience that most of our clients say they look forward to!  Interpersonal growth is not something that is done best on your own; having a life coach  can boost your growth much faster. All of our coaches are licensed professional counselors as well, so when you do go through a hard time, you will have someone to help you process through it. Regardless of what you are are looking for, Makin Wellness can assist you. Every client is unique, so our coaching is individualized to best suit what your needs are.

Counseling and Therapy

Makin Wellness Counseling Associates can also help you realize your  habits in life, negative  relationships and challenges. Our counselors are trained to help you see what you have been struggling to acknowledge. If you also struggle with mental health or addiction issues, we are able to accurately diagnose you and collaborate on a treatment plan.Mental health Services in Pittsburgh

Your Makin Wellness Pittsburgh counselor may also help you identify your skills and talents, develop realistic and honest goals, create action steps, and measure progress. When you have been trying to make a change in your life, simply having someone to process your thoughts and emotions with, can make a huge difference.Mental health Services in Pittsburgh

Here’s a few examples of how Makin Wellness Pittsburgh & Makin Wellness New Kensington can make a difference in your life…

Anxiety & Depression

The majority of people don’t fully grasp what it is to live with a debilitating mental health issues like anxiety or depression. Doing mundane tasks like getting out of bed or getting ready in the morning seem like monumental tasks. Feeling trapped in your own negative thoughts can make you feel alone, out of control or even hopeless. The good news is that there is hope .Mental health Services in Pittsburgh

At Makin Wellness Pittsburgh & Makin Wellness New Kensington, truly understand how severe the symptoms of depression and anxiety are. We get how these disorders can wreak havoc on your success, career, relationships, family and basic functioning. Our licensed professional counselors and clinical team are ready to help you. We have decades of experience in treating depression and anxiety. Please know that these conditions are treatable. Give us a call today and set up an initial session with one of our renowned clinicians !

Stress ManagementMental health Services in Pittsburgh

We are sure you have heard how the only consistent thing in life is change. No matter what your background is, you have previously or currently experienced difficulties along your life journey. Regardless of your field of work, the common thing all humans share is stress. If you are overly stressed out, your quality of life and health will decline. Many topics addressed in stress management counseling are career choices, relationship tensions, money worries and / or self doubt. Whether you are looking to make a huge life change or learn effective ways of managing your stress, our professional counselors are trained to help you become less stressed out and more happy.

The Pros Life Coaching, Counseling, and Therapy

It doesn’t matter how complicated or simplistic the challenges in your life are; our staff are ready to provide you with emotional healing and support. We are able to do this by helping you find out what your priorities and goals are. Our mental health counselors can help you to :

  • Learn your priorities
  • Figure out how to manage your priorities
  • Implement strategies and effective coping skills
  • Eliminate obstacles and obstacles in your way
  • Provide emotional support

Scheduling an Appointment at Makin Wellness Pittsburgh or New Kensington

Now that you are ready to meet with a mental health professional, consider reaching out to Makin Wellness Pittsburgh or Makin Wellness New Kensington . Our  counselors, coaches, and therapists at Makin Wellness Pittsburgh know that it can be hard to ask for help. All you need to do is give us a ring and we are more than happy to help you start on your healing journey. We have appointments available for new clients within 48 hours.Mental health Services in Pittsburgh

Call Makin Wellness  today at (412)-532-1249.  Let’s heal & become happy again.

 

#healinghappenshere Mental health Services in Pittsburgh

Addiction Counseling – Therapists and Counselors in Pittsburgh, PA

Who all is impacted by addiction?

People who are addicted to substances or alcohol often don’t think they have a problem. It can be so challenging to honestly recognize and admit all of the negative consequences that have resulted because of their ongoing using. They might not be at the point where they are sick , totally out of control to exhausted yet; this is why it can be hard to seek out addiction counseling. Maybe a loved one colleague or friend has noticed that their their buddy is struggling. It can so overwhelming and flat out upsetting and shameful to take an honest look at what has happened in their life.

 

Is it really possible to be treated for addiction?

We hear so many times about people wondering if it is really true that addiction can be treated. The great news is that it absolutely can. There are countless different types of lightens, styles and types of effective treatment that cane implemented.  At Makin Wellness, we offer highly individualized treatment to best fit our client’s needs.  Lots of people consider therapy to be an important part of their sobriety and find it to extremely beneficial. Combining therapy with medication assisted treatment or medical cannabis* may also be extremely effective at reducing cravings. It doesn’t matter if you used drugs for a couple months or decades; counseling helps your better understand addiction, consequences, triggers and a can help to create a concrete relapse prevention plan in order to help you stay sober. Unlike popular belief, you don’t need to be at your worst in order to start therapy for addiction. It is possible to start healing … today.Addiction Counseling Pittsburgh

What is addiction counseling and treatment like?

Addiction can be treated with counseling alone or with counseling and medication… only taking medication or medical cannabis is not enough to keep someone sober, although it does help reduce cravings. Once you are a place where you don’t have any more substances in your body, addiction counseling assists you with learning new ways of living , coping and healing from past wounds.

Where can I become clean?

Makin Wellness in Downtown Pittsburgh and Downtown New Kensington can help you become clean. We firmly believe that evidence based and holistic therapy can help you live a happier , healthier and sober life. There are many different treatment and therapy choices for people struggling with addiction, so we custom tailor our treatment to best suit your needs and what you want from therapy. We have experienced and caring addiction therapists that will help you understand addiction, learn how to cope and progress in recovery.Addiction Counseling Pittsburgh
At Makin Wellness Addiction Counseling of Pittsburgh, we don’t think you should have to wait before you start. We offer a luxurious , safe and nurturing environment where you can work on improving yourself and get the support you need. We honor initial appointments within 48 hours or even less sometimes. Don’t like addiction steal your happiness ; schedule your session today here.Addiction Counseling Pittsburgh

If you are looking for relief , please schedule a session today  to get connected with Pittsburgh’s best therapists!Therapy Business Owners

About Makin Wellness: 

Founded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pennsylvania’s premier therapy and coaching centers 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 , trauma , medical marijuana and relationship counseling .Addiction Counseling Pittsburgh

 


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