Anger can be a rather completely normal, healthy emotion. When it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to major problems? problems at work, in personal relationships, and in the overall quality of life. Anger can overwhelm you to the point of becoming an unpredictable and powerful emotion. If you feel that anger is out of control in your life, or is having an impact on your relationships or other important parts of your life, you might consider counseling to learn how to better handle this emotion.
Anxiety– If you experience one or more of the following symptoms as a matter of routine, you could be experiencing severe anxiety:
o Inability to control worrying
o Restlessness, feeling keyed up or on edge
o Easily Fatigue
o Difficulty concentrating
o Easily annoyed or irritated
o Muscle tension or tightness
o Difficulty sleeping
If these things affect your ability to function at home, at work, or socially, or cause significant distress, it may be beneficial to seek treatment.
ADHD Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) results in symptoms of being able to maintain attention, impulsive behaviors and/or motor restlessness.
Below are further detailed symptoms of ADHD:
o Often fails to pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes
o Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
o Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
o Often does not follow through or finish tasks
o Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
o Often avoids or dislikes activities that require sustained mental effort (such as homework)
o Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities
o Often is easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
o Often is forgetful in daily activities
o Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
o Often leaves seat when remaining seated is expected
o Often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which this is inappropriate
o Often has difficulty quietly playing in or engaging in leisure activities
o Often is “on the go” and/or talks excessively
o Often blurts out answers before questions have been completed
o Often has difficulty awaiting turn
o Often interrupts or intrudes on others
For the consideration of the diagnosis of ADHD six or more of these symptoms should be prevalent for at least 6 months and to a degree that impairs everyday functioning, and can be found in adults or children.
Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that involves a disorder of affect or mood. The person’s mood usually swings between overly “high” or irritable to sad and hopeless, and then back again, with periods of normal mood in between. Symptoms include:
o Extreme irritability and distractibility
o Excessive “high” or euphoric feelings
o Increased energy, activity, restlessness
o Racing thoughts, rapid speech
o Decreased need for sleep
o Unrealistic beliefs in one’s abilities and powers
o Increased sexual drive
o Abuse of drugs or alcohol
o Reckless behavior such as spending sprees, rash business decisions, or erratic driving
o In severe cases, hallucinations and loss of reason can occur Bipolar disorder affects more than 2.5 million adult Americans every year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
Up to 90% of bipolar disorders start before age 20, although the illness can start in early childhood or as late as the 40’s and 50’s. An equal number of men and women develop bipolar illness and it is found in all ages, races, ethnic groups and social classes. More than two-thirds of people with bipolar disorder have at least one close relative with the illness or with major depression, indicating that the disease may have a genetic component. Bipolar disorder results in 9.2 years reduction in expected life span, and as many as one in five with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder completes suicide.
Suicide and Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder results in 9.2 years reduction in expected life span, and as many as one in five with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder completes suicide.
Children and Adolescents
Bipolar disorder is more likely to affect the children of parents who have the disorder. When one parent has bipolar disorder, the risk to each child is 15% to 30%. When both parents have bipolar disorder, the risk increases to 50% to 75%.
When manic, children and adolescents, in contrast to adults, are more likely to be irritable and prone to destructive outbursts than to be elated or euphoric. When depressed, there may be many physical complaints such as headaches, stomachaches, or tiredness; poor performance in school, irritability, social isolation, and extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure.
Childhood and Adolescent Depression affects 5% of the child/adolescent population. Sadness and irritability are considered adaptive and normal responses to stress, disappointment, changes from loss, or separation. A child may be depressed if changes in behavior or mood last more than a few weeks or interferes with daily activities. The following are symptoms of depression in children and adolescents:
o Depressed mood
o Increase in conduct problems at home or school Increase in physical complaints (headaches, stomach-aches)
o Decrease in energy
o Concentration problems and/or boredom
o Frequent absences from school and/or decline in grades
o Unexplained crying
o Low self-esteem or extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
o Poor communication
o Major changes in sleeping and/or eating patterns
o Threats or efforts to run away from home
o Thoughts of suicide or engagement in self-destructive behavior
o Drop in school attendance
o Problems with alcohol, drugs or sex
o Impulsive behavior
Cyberbullying or online bullying, happens when children or teens use the Internet, cell phones, or other devices to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person. Cyberbullying affects almost half of all American teens.
Some youth who cyberbully
o Pretend they are other people online to trick others
o Spread lies and rumors about victims
o Trick people into revealing personal information
o Send or forward mean text messages
o Post pictures of victims without their consent
How Do Victims React?
o Block communication with the cyberbully
o Delete messages without reading them
o Talk to a friend about the bullying
o Report the problem to an Internet service provider or website moderator
Many youth who are cyberbullied report feeling angry, hurt, embarrassed, depressed, or scared. These emotions can cause victims to react in ways such as:
o Seek revenge on the bully
o Avoid friends and activities
o Cyberbullying back
Some teens feel threatened because they may not know who is cyberbullying them. Although cyberbullies may think they are anonymous, they can be found. If you are cyberbullied or harassed and need help, save all communication with the cyberbully and talk to a parent, teacher, law enforcement officer, or other adult you trust.
How Can I Prevent Cyberbullying?
Whether you’ve been a victim of cyberbullying, know someone who has, or have even cyberbullied someone else, there are steps you and your friends can take to stop cyberbullying and stay cyber-safe by following the footsteps of other quick-thinking teens as outlined below:
o Refuse to pass along cyberbullying messages
o Tell friends to stop cyberbullying
o Block communication with cyberbullies
o Report cyberbullying to a trusted adult
o Speak with other students, as well as teachers and school administrators, to develop rules against cyberbullying
o Raise awareness of the cyberbullying problem in your community by holding an assembly and creating fliers to give to younger kids or parents
o If you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t say it online
o Delete cyberbullying
o Do note write it
o Do not forward it
What Else Can I Do To Stay Cyber-safe?
Never post or share your personal information online (full name, address, telephone number, school name, parents? names, credit card number, or Social Security number) or your friends?
Never share your Internet passwords with anyone, except your parents
Never meet anyone face-to-face whom you only know online
Talk to your parents about what you do online
Depression– If you have experienced at least five of the following symptoms for at least two weeks, you may have clinical depression, and should seek help:
o Depressed mood most of the day nearly every day
o Significantly less interest or pleasure in most activities most of the day
o Significant weight loss or weight gain, or a change in appetite
o Inability to sleep or excessive sleeping
o Agitation or restlessness
o Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
o Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt nearly every day
o Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
o Thoughts of death or suicide
o If some of these symptoms are present you may be suffering from another form of depression or other behavioral health challenge.
Domestic Abuse is a serious concern and occurrence for some individuals and their partners. Without help for abuse, it will likely continue. If you answer ?yes? to any of the following questions, you may be experiencing an abusive relationship:
o Are you afraid of your partner?
o Has your partner ever hit, slapped or pushed you?
o Do you feel as if you deserve to be punished?
o Is your partner good to you most of the time but occasionally cruel and scary?
o Have you believed that your partner would kill you?
o Has your partner ever threatened to kill you or kill him/herself?
o Do you feel isolated from friends and family?
o Do you feel emotionally numb?
o Has your partner forced you to do something you didn’t want to do?
Drug and Alcohol Abuse
o What is alcohol/drug abuse?
o A pattern of substance use that leads to impairment or distress
What are some signs of alcohol/drug abuse?
o Recurrent substance use resulting in failure to fulfill obligations at work, school, or home
o Recurrent substance use in hazardous situations (e.g. while driving)
o Legal problems related to substance use
o Continued substance use despite social or interpersonal problems caused by or exacerbated by the effects of the substance
What is alcohol/drug dependence?
o A progressive, chronic and potentially fatal disease
o Most often has a genetic component; it runs in families
o Alcohol/drug dependent persons crave the substance and continue to use despite harmful effects
o Alcohol/drug dependent persons have progressively lower ability to choose not to use
What are some signs of alcohol/drug dependence?
o High tolerance to the substance
o Unplanned use
o Loss of control of use
o Blackouts, that is, the inability to remember events which occurred while using
o Using while alone
o Using against direct medical advice
o Hiding substances for later use
o Lying to others about use
o Preoccupation with use, avoiding social situations where use is not possible. Help is available through therapy and/or a 12-Step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Our agency offers individual and group counseling for substance abuse, as well as drug testing as requested/needed.
HIV/AIDS– After a person has been diagnosed with HIV, there can be many issues, questions, and concerns specific to the diagnosis or otherwise. Counselors at CSB of Middle Georgia are available to help. Some specific issues often addressed are:
o Anxiety and depression
o Making healthy choices
o Intimacy in relationships
o Family-of-origin conflicts or concerns
o Compulsive sexual behaviors
Individuals with these problems engage in persistent and escalating patterns of sexually compulsive behaviors despite increasingly negative consequences to self and to others. The following list represents symptoms and likely behaviors that are present in one suffering from a sexual compulsion:
o Preoccupied with sex?
o Feeling that your sexual behavior is abnormal
o Significant other complains about your sexual behavior
o Feeling badly about your sexual behavior
o Hiding aspects of your sexual behavior from your partner
o Sexual behavior interfering with your family life
o Unable to stop your sexual behavior even though you know it’s inappropriate
o Compulsive masturbation
o Sex with prostitutes
o Anonymous sex
o Multiple affairs outside a committed relationship
o Habitual exhibitionism
o Habitual voyeurism
o Inappropriate sexual touching
o Persistent viewing of pornography in magazines, TV, videos, internet
o Cyber infidelity
Sexual Orientation CSBMG has counselors who specialize in issues facing our LGBT clients. The process of embracing one’s sexual identity extends far beyond ?coming out.? LGBT clients may seek help with many of the following issues:
o Building healthy social networks
o Successful partnering
o Parenting and family planning
o Divorce and separation
o Mixed marriages
o Healthy sexual relationships
o Religious isolation
o Family-of-origin conflicts
o Teen, young adult, midlife and senior transitions
o Partner abuse
o Personal wellness
o Workplace concerns
Teen Issues– Being a teenager is often associated with self-esteem questions and challenging moodiness, insecurity, impulsiveness and rebellion. Teenagers may also experience odd sleeping patterns, awkward growth spurts, bullying, and acne. If your teen is exhibiting any of the following behaviors, he/she may benefit from professional help:
O Talk of suicide? It is important to have this assessed, especially if any specifics of a plan are mentioned. Never assume this is attention-seeking behavior.
O Symptoms of depression? Adolescents can have different symptoms than adults, and parents should pay attention to the following:
o Troubling changes in teen’s eating, sleeping or social life
o Irritability/reactivity including extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure
o Vague physical complaints such as headaches
o School absences
o Drop in grades
o Bouts of crying or shouting
o Reckless behavior? depressed teens are more at risk to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, or for engaging in promiscuous behaviors.
o Self-mutilation? Cutting or burning oneself is a sign that a teen may be trying extreme measures to get relief from emotional pain and should be assessed for depression or other difficulties. This could potentially become habit-forming. The teen may need help developing non-destructive coping skills.
o Eating disorders ? Be aware of any troubling changes in eating habits, including extreme restrictions with food, binge eating, and any type of purging (vomiting, laxatives, excessive exercise. Weight may still be in normal range with some of these destructive and potentially life-threatening behaviors.
o Drug/alcohol abuse ? If a parent suspects that drug or alcohol abuse is becoming a chronic pattern, a professional assessment is encouraged and can be a life-saving intervention.
o Anxiety disorders ? These include panic attacks or social anxiety. Any chronic worry/anxiety that is present more days than not and is interfering with social or academic functioning should be addressed.
o High level of conflict ? Chronic family or social conflict over a period of several weeks could be a potential indicator of multiple difficulties, whether it is depression or unresolved family issues.
Suicide Prevention- Warning Signs of Suicide
Suicide is often not talked about openly. Yet, almost 1 in 5 people have been personally impacted by a suicide. Learn the warning signs of suicidal behavior:
o Suicidal Talk- Talking about wanting to die or kill themselves
o Extreme Self Hatred- Feeling very critical toward themselves
o Unbearable Pain- Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain
o Feeling of Being a Burden- Talking about being a burden to others
o Feeling of not Belonging- Feeling like they don’t belong anywhere
o Disrupted Sleep- Sleeping either too much or too little
o Alcohol & Drug Use- Increasing use of alcohol or drugs
o Loss of Interest in Activities- Losing interest in the activities they once enjoyed
o Sudden mood change- Changing moods rapidly, especially a sudden positive mood change
o Isolation- Isolating themselves from family & friend
If you know someone who is exhibiting some of these signs, please call 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or GA Crisis and Access Line 1-800-715-4225, or Local After Hours Crisis (478) 275-6820, or 1-800-SUICIDE, or 1-800-784-2433 (Suicide Prevention).
Trauma Issues– Sometimes trauma happens directly to us (e.g. rape, car wreck), and sometimes it indirectly affects us (e.g. dealing with traumatic event on witnessing violence). Sometimes memories from these traumas can be quite disturbing and can influence the way we function. The following symptoms may indicate a need for professional help:
o A persistent feeling of “numbing.”
o Re-experiencing the traumatic event through flashbacks, dreams or physical sensations
o Avoidance of anything associated with the trauma ? including thoughts, activities, places and people
o Loss of interests or reduced participation in activities
o Sense of a shortened future (not expecting to have normal life span, career or marriage)
o Persistent physical arousal ? such as difficulty with sleep, increased anger, difficulty concentrating, exaggerated startle response, and/or being hyper vigilant about potential dangers.
o If you experience any of these symptoms, our
counselors can help.
Wellness Checklist– The following list includes daily behaviors that promote health:
o Eat three balanced meals a day.
o Eat one meal a day with the gathered family (no TV, texting, or telephone).
o Sleep long enough each night to feel rested.
o Monitor caffeine intake (caffeine intake after noon can disrupt sleep).
o Monitor daily stress level.
o Take your full lunch hour.
o Take breaks from work and move around.
o Take a short walk outdoors, breathe the air, observe the colors in the sky and watch the birds.
o Exercise 30 minutes a day.
o Participate in a faith community.
o Set aside time each day for prayer or meditation.
o Call or write a friend.
o Help someone else.
o Spend time with a good book, listen to music, or engage in another hobby.