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Gender Identity and Mental Illness

“What matters most is not ‘what’ you are, but ‘who’ you are.” 
― DaShanne Stokes

What is Gender Dysphoria? Gender Identity and Mental Illness

The discrepancy of a person’s body and their internal sense of gender is not a mental illness. However, the mental illnesses that coincide a person’s struggle with gender identity should be addressed. There is a strong correlation between gender identity and mental illness. The term gender dysphoria describes the thoughts and feelings that one’s gender does not match their biology. “Dysphoria” is defined as a state of dissatisfaction and worry. Both the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) have removed the term “gender identity disorder” from their manuals. This created a widespread acceptance of those who struggle with gender dysphoria. These individuals are finally able to receive medical treatment without being classified as having a mental disorder. These emotions can cause severe anxiety, depression, and discomfort that can affect your normal life. Many who struggle with gender dysphoria have difficulties in social gatherings and attending work or school. Keep in mind that gender dysphoria is not the same as being homosexual – the gender that you feel you identify with has nothing to do with your sexual orientation. 

Signs and Symptoms of Gender Dysphoria

Children with gender dysphoria will persistently express that they are a girl if they have the physical traits of a boy, or say they are a boy if they have the physical traits of a girl. They also tend to prefer friends of the same gender in which they identify themselves. They will prefer toys, clothing, and games associated with their identified gender as well. Puberty is a difficult time for adolescents with gender dysphoria. During this progression, they may feel embarrassed, confused, and uncomfortable about the physical changes that happen to their body. Teenagers and young adults may start to become more certain that their true identity does not match their physical body. They may develop fears related to showering, changing their clothes, or engaging in sexual relationships.

Treatment of Gender Dysphoria

An estimated 71% of those who struggle with gender dysphoria will experience a mental illness at some point in their lifetime. The possibility of mood, anxiety, eating disorders are likely to develop. Other disorders include depression, schizophrenia, and suicidal thoughts. The treatment process is not focused on changing the thoughts or ideas the individual has about their gender – treatment is recommended to alleviate any concerns or disappointment one may have about these ideas. In order to lessen the symptoms, talking with a psychologist can be helpful. Other treatment methods include presenting yourself as the gender you feel you identify, possibly dressing a certain way and/or going by a different name to feel more accepted.

In order to contain changes that occur during puberty, an individual during this stage may seek the help of puberty blockers. However, this could be a potentially life-changing decision that a person of a young age may not be able to make themselves. Those at this age should discuss the risks and benefits from a medical professional. As they grow older, the option of sex-reassignment surgery may come to mind. This will help the individual feel more comfortable in their body as their desired gender, if they choose to do so.

The Importance of Acceptance

It is important to understand that those with gender dysphoria did not chose to have these thoughts and feelings. When these ideas begin as a child and progress through puberty and adulthood, they are likely to always feel this way. If your child begins to express these symptoms, doctors recommend to let them be who they are and accept them. If they feel ashamed or embarrassed, comfort them and recommend psychotherapy. Social support as well as professional support can help both children and adults with understanding that these symptoms are normal. Referring to the individual by their preferred name and pronoun will help them feel more comfortable and accepted and this is something that society has still not come to terms with realizing. A person who is living a life feeling inauthentic and unreal is more susceptible to mental illness.

How Can We Help?

If you are struggling with gender dysphoria and the mental illnesses associated with it, we are here to help you. With the proper mental health advice, we can alleviate any symptoms and uncertainty you are feeling. We can provide mental health counseling for different types of illnesses 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.

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

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.

Downtown Pittsburgh Therapist – City of Steel

Though Pittsburgh is currently one of the most rapidly developing cities in the country, it’s impossible to neglect its industrial roots. The Steel City ethos is deeply woven – even as neighborhoods get cleaner in design and, well, cleanliness, there remains a tasteful amount of grunge, a residue of the city’s last glorious incarnation. As Pittsburgh sprouts into a new era of technology, business, and lifestyle, it recognizes the support and nourishment that its cultural root structure provides and does not forget to till the soil.

 

And just as our rivers reflect the gleaming downtown skyline under which they flow, so do we, a collection of canvases uniquely painted with the same black and gold. What is our soil? What is the culture and environment out of which we grow? What concepts lay the foundation for all our thoughts?

 

While most of the Western world focuses on expansion and growing from the branches, it is special to find a city that worships its roots. Though it’s easy to fall into the chase, we at Makin Wellness recognize, like our city, the importance of foundation. There is much, much more to us all than what we experience in this moment – that experience is only the fruit of a ripe tree, seasoned and weathered by a compilation of experiences which far outweigh the present. That’s why we look at our clients first and foremost, including their experiences, lifestyle, and environment, when assessing the pains and tribulations that emerge. We do it the Pittsburgh way, setting our eyes on the future and our clients’ progress while keeping our feet grounded in the past. Because even for Troy Polamalu to get air, he’s got to push off of something.

 

 

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.

Alex Brooks, Psychology Intern

Makin Wellness

Spring Cleaning: Cleanse & Nourish the Mind & Body

“A healthy outside starts from the inside” – Robert Urich

 

April showers will soon bring May flowers. The feeling of fresh air renews our spirits, the sun energizes us, giving us a sense of connection to nature and the world around us. The rain renews and cleanses the earth. And although we may not enjoy cloudy days and muddy puddles as much, it reminds of the interdependence and purpose of seasonal change, giving time for resting and growth.

Like the changing seasons, we too need time to rest and reflect, allowing for personal growth. A cleanse or detox can be a literal one, renewing and energizing the mind and body as we enter a season filled with new energy and growth.

Warmer spring temperatures may result in impurities in the body liquefying, clogging microcirculatory channels, leaving you feeling sluggish and tired. To allow nutrients to flow in and out of the cells, toxins must be removed. Toxins can be eliminated through the skin, urine, and bowel. A spring detox may be just what you need to feel energized and refreshed, by eliminating the build up of toxins.

Detoxification can be supported in various ways. A smoothie detox is one way to help cleanse the body, providing nourishment to the mind and body. Consider the following ways to cleanse the mind and body:

  • Incorporate plenty of fresh alkaline greens like asparagus, artichokes, and sprouts.
  • Organic produce is best to reduce intake of pesticides.
  • Toxic free cosmetics with organic ingredients are important to keep the skin clear, limiting toxins, and promoting elimination of toxins through the skin.
  • Dry brushing the skin removes dead skin cells, encouraging detoxification and lymphatic drainage.
  • Probiotics or fermented foods support strong digestion, healthy weight, and balanced mood.

Makin Wellness offers holistic treatment options, addressing health and wellness concerns, questions and goals. Contact us to speak with a Professional Counselor or Holistic Nutritionist and begin your wellness journey today!

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 assited treatment and relationship counseling.

What do Allergies & Anxiety Have in Common?

Spring is in the air, and many are looking forward to enjoying the outdoors. Others though, may be a bit anxious over the excess pollen that will soon be in the air, causing coughing, sneezing, itching, and much discomfort to say the least. Living with allergies puts stress on the body and the mind. While anxiety and allergies are independent of one another, allergies may make anxiety worse, and vice versa. allergies and anxiety

Seasonal allergies, food allergies, or skin allergies can all create some amount of anxiety. Anxiety in turn, may weaken the immune system, making allergy symptoms worse. Under stress, the body releases cytokines, which effect the severity of an allergy attack. Anxiety and stress weaken the immune system further, making symptoms of allergies worsen. Physical symptoms coupled with decreased quality of life can heighten anxiety. Therefore it becomes cyclical. How can we nip these issues in the bud?

Holistic treatment options are helpful in supporting overall wellness, providing support to various body systems, and helping the mind and body to work in harmony with one another. Allergy medications can provide temporary relief, yet there are natural and effective ways to avoid relying solely on medications.

Exercise is one of the best ways to alleviate anxiety and support the immune system. Endorphins  are released through exercise, promoting a positive mood, while cortisol is lowered and toxins are released. Thus, allowing the body to function more as it should and reducing allergies and anxiety.

Therapy can also be a positive way to manage anxiety. Learning coping skills and ways to promote more positive thought processes, while releasing negative patterns can all be achieved through therapy sessions. Lifestyle and diet change are also an essential aspect in supporting the mind and body.

Whole foods have multiple benefits in giving the body what it needs, enabling us to function at our best. Incorporating relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and aromatherapy can help relieve anxiety while supporting the immune system, so that allergy symptoms may be lessened. Lavender, lemon, and peppermint essential oils can help soothe allergies, giving both a calming and uplifting effect. Learn more about therapeutic grade essential oils for emotional support by clicking here!  allergies and anxiety

Here at Makin Wellness we are happy in providing support through a holistic approach. Contact us today to begin your wellness journey!

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 assited treatment and relationship counseling.

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Holistic Nutrition & Addiction Recovery

“As one goes through life, one learns that if you don’t paddle your own canoe, you don’t move.” – Kathryn Hepburn

Addiction recovery takes hard work, dedication, and introspection. A little determination coupled with adequate support, can provide the needed tools to successfully recover from addiction. It is a day-to-day, continuous effort.

Finding a recovery center that supports holistic nutrition with other holistic treatment options is especially helpful in reducing severity of withdrawal symptoms and prevention of relapse.

Nutritional deficiencies are common through addiction recovery, as well as junk food cravings and at times, forgetting to eat due to withdrawal symptoms. Low levels of folic acid, B6, and thiamine are often seen in those recovering from addiction.

Depletion of nutrients and lack of calories may result in weight loss, poor muscle tone, weakness, electrolyte and hormonal imbalances, and increased risk of developing other life-threatening diseases.

Stress management techniques, exercise, nutrition, and rest are all part of the recovery process and in helping to reduce relapse. Holistic nutrition gives consideration to the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being, providing a comprehensive approach to long-term recovery.

Benefits of holistic treatment for addiction recovery includes repair and healing to damaged tissue and organs, immunity boost, improved energy and mood, management of withdrawal symptoms, reduced relapse, and stress management. Stress plays a large role in addiction, therefore learning effective coping mechanisms helps in reducing relapse.

A healthy diet provides essential nutrients to the mind and body, giving one better ability to manage stress and increase happiness. Other holistic treatment options such as aromatherapy and supplementation can support the healing process, while reducing relapse. Digestive enzymes, magnesium, and other supplements may be recommended to improve sleep, promote calming, and refuel the mind and body.

Makin Wellness offers a holistic approach to addiction recovery through stress management techniques, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), holsitic nutritional counseling, medical marijuana assisted treatment, aromatherapy, and other natural treatment options.

If you or a loved one are looking for holsitic treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, contact us for a free consultation and begin your journey to recovery today!

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 assited treatment and relationship counseling.

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

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