3 Ways You Can Improve Your Mental Health Right Now

Being diagnosed with a mental illness can be a lot to take in. But even if you don’t have a diagnosis, everyone goes through struggles and deals with high stress at times. Getting professional help and the right medications are sometimes necessary in order for you to get the relief that you need, but if you’re looking for a quick solution, there are a few things you can try. These tips won’t make your problems go away, and are certainly not intended to take the place of professional help. But they can help you improve your mental health little by little. Here are 3 ways that you can improve your mental health right now:

 

  1. Breathe

Have you begun to start breathing more heavily than normal? Maybe you’re even holding your breath without realizing it. You might not be able to control the things that are going on around you, but you can control your body and your breathing. Try some different breathing exercises such as inhaling and exhaling in beats of 4, as this will help you feel calmer and more in control.

 

  1. Think on the Bright Side

Look around you, think of all of the good things that could come out of the situation, and focus on that. You can also try repeating positive affirmations to yourself.

 

  1. Practice Self Care

The body and mind go hand in hand, so make sure you are taking care of yourself by eating healthy, getting lots of sleep, and practicing good hygiene.

 

These might all be minor ways to help with your mental health, but all of those little steps can add up and go a long way in making a difference in your life.

Could Mental Illness be the Cause of your Divorce?

We now live in a world where divorces are a common event, and unfortunately, it occurs more now than it ever has before. You might think that your divorce was only caused by falling out of love or some conflict between the two of you that could never be resolved, and while these are common causes for divorce, you might be interested to hear that it could have all been influenced by you or your partner’s mental health state.

 

At some point in our lives, we all face difficult times. Stress can cause lots of problems in all areas of your life, and that includes your marriage. It can bring on mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more. Any one of those things can make you foggy-headed and irritable, making it more difficult to communicate the issues that you’re facing. When this happens, you might find yourself getting upset and arguing with your spouse more and more often. Regardless of whether it is you, your spouse, or both that is struggling, it’s no doubt that when stress levels are high, the tension between others grows more too.

 

Sometimes though, we later find out that the mental health issues were not caused by stress or trauma alone, but by a personality disorder such as narcissism or borderline personality disorder. Being married to someone with those kinds of mental health issues can be a real and constant challenge.

 

If you are the one suffering from any sort of mental health issues, the best thing to do is to try to get some professional help. It can be hard for your spouse to have to handle everything all on their own, and they shouldn’t have to.

 

If you are the one supporting a spouse that is struggling, just remember to be calm, patient, and understanding with them, but do not accept any sort of abuse. Your partner is likely going through some difficult stuff and could use all the support that they can get. Give them your shoulder to lean on, but don’t let them drag you down either.

 

If both of you are dealing with stressful situations or have experienced trauma together, you might want to consider getting couples therapy or marriage counseling. It can be difficult to be a support for someone else when you need lots of support too, and marriage counseling can go a long way in ensuring that there is proper communication going on about each other’s needs.

 

If you have suffered through a divorce that was caused by mental illness, regardless of whether it was you, them, or the both of you that were going through a rough time, just know that it is not your fault.

 

A lot of things can happen to you in this life that you have no control over. But you can control how you deal with it. There are a lot of things that you alone simply cannot fix, and it is important that you don’t dwell on those things. Instead, focus on yourself. Your only responsibility now is to focus on growing stronger and getting better. You are strong and capable of achieving anything you set your mind to!

Unspoken Symptoms of PTSD: Migraines

There are a lot of symptoms that come along with having PTSD. Some are fairly common and well talked about, such as flashbacks and anxiety. But there are some symptoms that you may not even realize are part of your PTSD. If you suffer from headaches regularly, and if those headaches seem to get so bad that you can no longer see straight and you feel the need to vomit, PTSD might be the culprit for it.

 

This is especially true for men. Although women are actually three times more likely to have either migraines or PTSD than men, men are more likely to have both at the same time. Basically, the chances of migraines being caused by PTSD are greater in men than in women.

 

PTSD is serious stuff, and it not only effects just what happens inside your head. It can be physically painful to relive your trauma over and over again. Your thoughts begin to take over and you can feel the panic rising. Your muscles tense up, your blood pressure rises, and your body releases all kinds of chemicals associated with fight or flight mode. Any one of these things can cause a headache on their own, but when you combine them all together, you get the perfect recipe for a serious migraine.

 

If you’re having headaches due to your PTSD, learn what your triggers are so you can avoid them in the future. Practice good self-care, and even consider taking some medication to help alleviate a headache when you feel one coming on.

Unspoken Symptoms of PTSD: Hypervigilance

You’ve heard about the grand list of PTSD symptoms, but some of them can be overlooked or misunderstood. Have you ever heard of hypervigilance? Having hypervigilance means that you are constantly on the alert, looking for danger and waiting for the next attack to hit at any moment. People that are hypervigilant usually have a hard time relaxing, especially in public. They feel the need to always watch their backs and have a plan of escape or defense wherever they go. Does this sound like you? If you have PTSD, you likely have hypervigilance too.

 

Hypervigilance is a natural bodily response for having been exposed to dangerous environments for a long period of time, but always being on the lookout can be pretty exhausting. Your body can become tense from unease, creating stiff and sore muscles. Your lack of focus on anything else can also interfere with work and relationships with people. The stress and anxiety of it all can leave you feeling ready to collapse at any moment.

 

So what can you do to get some relief from hypervigilance? There are a few options available. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one that can help you learn to control the way you respond to the world around you, while Exposure Therapy is a great way to conquer your fears. Eye Movement Desensitization Therapy is yet another great form of therapy. If none of this enough, you can also consider taking different kinds of medications. If you want a more natural approach, you can try mindful training to help you be able to “live in the moment.”

 

PTSD is a difficult battle, but not an impossible one. There are lots of options out there to help you fight the symptoms and eventually overcome PTSD for good.

A Rise In Homelessness

The capital of North Carolina has been booming for a long time, and it still continues to grow. But as more and more people and businesses settle here, the cost of living goes up. And that means the number of homeless people is increasing too. Even the employed struggle to keep a roof over their heads as low-income wages are beginning to decrease while the cost for rent increases.

 

Because of this, homelessness is becoming a real problem in Raleigh, North Carolina. During the 2016-17 school year, 3,465 students were found to be homeless, which is 2,940 more kids than just the year before. This is a scary number to look at. What could this mean for the upcoming generation?

 

Being homeless is serious stuff. It means bouncing around from place to place, creating never-ending instability. They are also more likely to end up in more dangerous and unhealthy situations, such as sleeping in the cold, standing on the side of the road, and taking help from strangers. All of this is a perfect recipe for high stress and mental health issues as a result. Worrying about their education is difficult enough for children and teens, but fighting to survive is a whole other level. It could cause issues that they might have to carry with them for the rest of their lives.

 

We all know what it’s like to have to face stressful situations in day to day life, but homelessness, especially in children and teens, is another level that could have a deeply negative effect on the mental health of the upcoming generation.

4 Ways to Treat PTSD

Whether you’ve had PTSD for a long time, or you’ve just been diagnosed recently, you might be wondering how you can get back to your normal self and begin to enjoy life once again. There are many different approached you can take, but the best thing to do if to find what works the best for you. Here are 4 ways to treat PTSD:

 

Medications –

Medications are the most popular, and probably the best option for those with severe and debilitating PTSD. There are no medications specifically for treating PTSD itself, but many can help alleviate the symptoms. SSRIs are great for reducing depression and anxiety that comes along with having PTSD, and SNRIs are another option for reducing depression. Always talk with your doctor before starting or stopping any medications.

 

Psychotherapy –

There are a few different kinds of psychotherapy available, and these kinds of treatments usually go hand in hand with being treated medicinally as well. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a form of talk therapy that focuses on thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Cognitive processing therapy is very similar, but has more to do with processing and analyzing the traumatic event. EMDR is another form of psychotherapy, and it uses your eye movements to help you process the traumatic event.

 

Alternative Treatments –

Alternative treatments include things such as trauma-sensitive yoga and acupuncture to help relieve the stress and anxiety that come along with PTSD. This kind of treatment tends to be more natural, less invasive and comes with fewer side effects.

 

Innovative Treatments –

These kinds of treatments are going to be much more creative. Types of innovative treatment include Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy to help desensitize the person from their fears and help them overcome their traumatic experience. Other innovative treatments involve using drugs such as ketamine infusions or MDMA to help lessen PTSD symptoms and calm the person down enough to be able to face their trauma more effectively.

 

As you can see, there are lots of different options for treatment out there. The internet can help you decide what you think will work the best for your journey to recovery, but always discuss your options with your doctor first.

Your PTSD Might Be More “Complex” Than You Thought…

Do you feel like you might be suffering from PTSD, but the events that have caused it still aren’t over? Are you still having to face the issue that is making your mental health decline? If so, you might have what is called Complex PTSD. Complex PTSD is what happens when a person can get no escape from whatever is causing their trauma. If you think this is you, then read more below to find out if you fit the symptoms.

 

Feeling Alone

Those that suffer from C-PTSD can have a really hard time trusting other people, and not being able to trust means not letting anyone in, and never actually being able to connect with others. This can also be fed by the victim feeling outcast for their differences. They can feel broken and useless, making them shy away from others and leading to aloneness.

 

Having Emotional Flashbacks

There are different kinds of flashbacks that people with PTSD can suffer from. One of them is emotional flashbacks, and this is where emotions from the past are triggered by something more minor. You might find yourself getting intensely emotional and overwhelmed for irrational reasons, and you can blame this on emotional flashbacks. This kind is the least understood of all flashbacks but is pretty common among those with C-PTSD.

 

Being hypervigilant

Hypervigilance is when you are extra aware of things and people. Many tend to scan a room upon entering it or sit with their backs against a wall. For those with C-PTSD, they can be hypervigilant about people. You might find yourself watching people for signs of lying or hurting you, such as watching their body language and movements, and their tone of voice.

 

Feeling Hopeless, Ashamed, and Depressed

When things seem like they’re never going to get better, it can bring on lots of feelings of hopelessness. Many even lose faith in their religious and spiritual beliefs. For physical and sexual abuse victims, they can be made to feel ashamed of who they are. They might feel dirty, disgusting, and worthless for how they’ve been treated. These kinds of thoughts can lead to depression and even suicidal tendencies if they continue.

 

Trying to Lean on Someone Else

When so much keeps going wrong, those with C-PTSD try to find relief by searching out someone to lean on. This desperations usually results in being in another toxic relationship that will cause even more trauma in the long run. For those that dealt with childhood trauma, they can have a hurt inner child, and this could mean seeking out a parent figure to take care of them.

 

Dissociating

When we are faced with never-ending trauma, sometimes the only way to be able to escape and cope with it all is to completely dissociate. A certain level of this is normal, and can even be healthy. But there comes a point when it can become very unhealthy and even turn into Dissociative Identity Disorder.

 

Staying Tense

Many people carry stress in their shoulders and necks, but for those dealing with C-PTSD, they carry it in their entire body. They can tense up and stay that way for long periods of time without even realizing it, waiting for the next attack to hit. This can cause unexplained muscle soreness.

 

There are a lot of symptoms that those with C-PTSD must face and deal with every day. Remember, there is hope for those that suffer, but it takes strength to get through. If you haven’t reached your happy ending, then it’s not the end yet.