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Posts Tagged: depression

It happens to all of us. We can sometimes get so caught up with whats happening that we struggle to see a way forward.

When we are so concerned by what has happened in the past or could happen in the future we can find ourselves struggling to know what is best to do right now today. Situations that would normally be so easy to deal with can become overwhelming.

At times like these, we clearly would benefit from a little extra help. Help that can listen, and give us the perspective we need, enabling us to move forward.

Asking for help is the sign of a courageous and smart person. Despite all the misconceptions and stigma it really has absolutely nothing to do with weakness or shame.

That’s where counselling and psychotherapy with Aspire Counselling comes in. Our highly trained counsellor can listen and hear you from an independent perspective. This can happen in person, or using online video counselling if that is what you prefer or if you are located overseas.

We can help you find the clarity of vision that you need to see what you should be doing next. Our training and experience will help you to learn the tools and mechanisms that will work for you. We can help you find a way forward for yourself. Whether it is a bump in the road or a longer term challenge that you are facing.

Our personal clients include both expatriates and locals; men, women, children, families, and couples. We help people overcome relationship and life challenges, change related issues, relocation, and career choices are all within our scope.

Book an appointment online at https://aspirecounselling.net – whether you want to meet face to face, or via confidential video link from somewhere you feel comfortable, we have a service that can help listen when you need to express how you feel.

Giving birth is a miraculous thing. Expectations are high, and everyone is excited. Its a time of great change in the lives of everyone involved.

With the transition of welcoming a new baby into the world, there is often stress coupled with symptoms of anxiety and/or depression. Sometimes these feelings occur postpartum and sometimes they appear before the birth.

A time of great change

Experiencing perinatal mood-swings and elevated emotional levels is not at all unusual, and not something anyone should feel guilty about. After all, just imagine what is happening within your body, there are great physical changes taking place and hormone levels are changing rapidly. There is absolutely no correlation between how you are feeling at this time of great change and wether you are a good mother or not.

You likely know that at this time you should take good care of your physical health, but do you take the same care of your mental health. It is equally important to both you and your baby, as well as those around you. Good Nutrition, Exercise and sleep are vital to both physical  and mental well-being.

Your mood and feelings

If you are affected by any of the following, you would likely benefit from talking about how you are feeling.

* Overwhelmed or feeling you can’t cope
* Struggling to adapt to the changes in your life
* Anxiety
* Depression
* Guilt
* Paranoia
* Mood swings
* Delusions
* Thoughts of harming yourself or others

Talk about how you are feeling

If you are pregnant, or have recently given birth and you affected by any of the above, you might want to talk to a professional counsellor about it. With the right help, the symptoms that you are experiencing will be temporary and treatable.

Where can you find help?

Aspire Counselling can help , we understand that talking about how you feel, or about your fears isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. We do however know from experience, that talking helps.

Maria Luedeke of Aspire Counselling is a highly qualified counsellor and mother who has lived and worked in America, Europe and Asia. Maria has extensive experience providing counselling to both locals and expats in Singapore and overseas. These days Maria conducts much of her work online and as such has become highly experienced in using online video counselling.

Contact Aspire Counselling today and book an appointment with Maria either through our website http://aspirecounselling.net or by emailing marialuedeke@aspirecounselling.net

Life was never intended to be an incomplete difficult jigsaw.

Although it sometimes feels just like that. A little extra help can be useful when you are needing to find direction in your life or to put the pieces of a puzzle together.

By talking about what you are experiencing to an experienced Psychotherapist you can often find the clarity you need and find your own way forward. At Aspire Counselling we focus on helping you realise your goals and living an empowered, fulfilled life.

Book an appointment online today at https://aspirecounselling.net or call 656570 2781, email  marialuedeke@aspirecounselling.net

Exercise, Sleep, Nutrition – tackling depression

On world health day 7th April, Maria shared with website Patients Engage 3 lifestyle habits that can support those affected by depression.

The following content was first, published on Patients Engage.  Read the original article here: https://goo.gl/HXVzQ3

According to the World Health Organization, there are over 350 million people globally who suffer from depression. Sadly, it is one of the most prevalent of mental health issues in the world. Maria Luedeke, Counsellor & Psychotherapist, CTRTC, stresses the urgent need to engage in a discussion of individually empowered self-management strategies.

Depression has a cyclical effect. Those with chronic illness are more susceptible to it and those with depression have a higher risk of other medical issues. This can become a vicious cycle that is difficult to escape from. Prioritizing physical self-care such as sleep, nutrition, exercise and medical conditions are imperative in breaking and prevention of this cycle.

Exercise

Exercising can be a powerful anti-depressant. Research has shown that consistency is more important than quantity in improving mood disorders, so it is more beneficial to walk daily for 10-15 minutes than to do a 3-hour workout once a week. Choosing an exercise that is enjoyable and fits well into daily life is also essential to maximize the likelihood of adherence. Ideally, exercise should be done first thing in the morning or at least 3 hours before trying to sleep.

Sleep

Sleep is an area that is often cited by depressed individuals as problematic. Many feel constantly fatigued, have disrupted sleep cycles or are unable to sleep/wake at typical times which interferes with their ability to function normally in daily life. Sleep hygiene is an important skill to learn in general for good wellness and becomes integral when managing depression. Establish regular sleep and wake times and be consistent with those throughout the week. Avoid electronics 1-2 hours before bed, this includes phones, iPads, computers and TVs as the blue light emitted from these devices stimulates brain activity at precisely the time we are trying to induce relaxation. Reading on a Kindle or iPad can be done by adjusting the backlight to a softer setting but online reading should be avoided as it is too tempting to flip back and forth between websites and “surf” which is another brain stimulating activity that should be avoided at bedtime. Those who have difficulty falling asleep can try progressive relaxation exercises or deep breathing exercise; both of which induce relaxation and calm.

Nutrition

There are numerous studies about the link between nutrition and mood. One such study by Harvard School of Public Health found that women were 41% more likely to suffer from depression when they regularly ate processed grains, sugary sodas, and red meats. Improving the quality of food eaten eliminates blood sugar spikes and dips that are linked to mood spikes and dips, can increase energy and brain clarity. The Indian Journal of Psychiatry states that patients with depression generally have inadequate nutritional intake, particularly foods high in essential vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. Ensuring good nutrition, avoiding skipping meals and reducing high sugar foods can support mood stability.

Psychosocial Care

Practicing healthy physical habits is one piece of managing depression. Paired with Intellectual, emotional and spiritual self-care this is a power approach of depression treatment. Psychosocial therapy and medication are integral components and should not be dismissed but empowering individuals with proactive self-care practices dramatically improves the positive outcomes of depression and mood disorders.

Maria Luedeke is Director of Aspire Counselling Pte Ltd, Singapore. Maria is a highly qualified Counsellor and Psychotherapist with educational qualifications from U.S. and Australian institutions and possesses a Certificate of Clearance from the Singapore Government authorizing her to work with children and adolescents in all settings. 

If you are affected by depression and would like to know more, or want to book an appointment with Maria you can go to https://aspirecounselling.net or click here to go directly to our appointment bookings page.

The signs of depression and what to do next

The symptoms of depression can vary depending upon the individual, age and gender. Even if you can spot the symptoms in yourself, they may be difficult to spot in others, particular when the individual becomes adept at “putting on a brave face” and pretending to the world (and sometimes themselves) that everything is ok.

In men there may be feelings of persistent anger, short-temperedness or frustration. Women may feel sadness, emptiness and loneliness. Children and teens experiencing depression may feel anxiety, fatigue, anger and withdrawal.

There are a number of general signs counsellors and therapists look out for to make a diagnosis.

These include:
• Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness or excessive sleeping
• Irritability and restlessness
• Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that were once pleasurable, including sex
• Overeating or loss of appetite Persistent aches, pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not ease with treatment
• Persistent sadness, anxiousness or feelings of emptiness
• Thoughts of suicide and suicide attempts
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering details or making decisions
• Fatigue and decreased energy
• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
• Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism

Getting help is important, because depression tends to worsen over time, and research has shown that the sooner people seek help, the better the long-term outcome.

If you’ve experienced any of the above symptoms continually for two to four weeks, or if they’re impacting your daily routines or relationships, it’s time to check in with a qualified medical practitioner or mental health professional.

What can you do if you are affected by the symptoms of depression

The first step to managing mental health is likely to be a visit to your GP. A full medical history can first be taken, in order to rule out and treat any physical disease or disorder that can cause symptoms of depression.

A full personal and mental health history of yourself and your family will also be done, including alcohol and drug usage habits. Your doctor will then ask about your symptoms, their duration and severity. “If you’ve experienced these symptoms in the past, the practitioner will want to know how they were treated”.

Treatment for depression

There are three main ways that depression is treated: by antidepressant medication, psychotherapy or by a combination of both. In Singapore, medication can only be prescribed by a qualified medical doctor or psychiatrist. Psychotherapy is carried out by qualified counsellors, psychologists or social workers, and by some psychiatrists.

When it comes to depression, your doctor or mental health professional will make a treatment recommendation; ultimately, though, you may choose the treatment plan that best fits your needs. There are exceptions to this, however.

If the patient is a child, his or her parents would decide the treatment plan. Another exception is where the individual is a danger to themselves and shown by the attending psychiatrist to be mentally unable to make decisions.

In Singapore, under the Mental Disorders & Treatment Act (MDTA), police are empowered to bring mentally ill persons to the Institute of Mental Health for assessment if they are found or believed to be acting in a manner that is dangerous to themselves or to others.

Seeking help should never be seen as a sign of weakness or incompetence; it is a sign of intelligence, strength and honesty.

If you can identify with the symptoms of depression, you may need to seek the support of a qualified mental health professional. Maria Luedeke of Aspire Counselling is a highly qualified counsellor who will be able to advise you not he right course of action.

Aspire Counselling can be contacted, or you can make a booking for an online or face to face appointment on http://aspirecounselling.net or alternatively by emailing Maria Luedeke at marialuedeke@aspirecounselling.net

A version of this article which includes the specialist input of Maria Luedeke of Aspire Counselling first appeared in the January 2017 edition of Expat Living, Singapore.

 

Featured in Expat Living – January 2017

Aspire Counselling is featured in Expat Living Singapore, published 11th January 2017, read Maria’s thoughts on Cultural identify crisis and marital issues affecting expats

Read the full article at http://www.expatliving.sg/counselling-singapore-issues-exp…/

The following is an excerpt from the article:

Cultural identity crisis

Moving into an unknown culture can be a confusing, stressful and frustrating experience for both adults and children as they are suddenly made to adapt to a new way of life or set of values. Being far away from home and without family support can also create stresses of their own. Culture shock can cause symptoms like extreme homesickness, an abnormal change in appetite and depression.

Treatment options:

You can attend individual, couple or family therapy where counsellors can help you develop coping strategies for cultural adjustment issues. They can also assist you with any other underlying or coexisting issues such as marital strain or mood disorders.

Marital issues

Issues in a marriage can develop or become more pronounced during cultural adjustment periods. Both partners are experiencing high levels of stress as they get accustomed to the new environment, roles, cultural expectations and jobs. Excessive travel, loss of former careers and long work hours can add to daily frustrations of beginning a new life, creating temptation, loneliness, resentment and sparking arguments between spouses.

Treatment options:

You can go for individual or couple counselling sessions where counsellors can provide a framework for you to work through difficulties.

Aspire Counselling

1 Tanglin Road, Orchard Parade Hotel, #03-03
6570 2781 | aspirecounselling.net

Find out more about how Aspire Counselling can help under these circumstances at http://aspirecounselling.net or by calling 6570 2781

As we were growing up, we would often joke that some people would spend too much time looking in the mirror. How times have changed. These days we are just as likely to see ourselves in a selfie on Instagram than a mirror.

We see ourselves constantly, but do we really see ourselves properly?

What would you see in the mirror?

Have you thought about what you would see if you took time for self-reflection? What would you find? And if you have managed to spend time self-reflecting, could you fix anything you weren’t entirely happy with? Would you just see the symptoms, or the root cause? And would the fixes you make, have the lasting effect that you intended them to?

Even when we can see what is happening and make changes, do we monitor ourselves to prevent us from going “off the rails”, or deviate from your chosen path?”

Finding the root cause

It seems simple, but we are often so caught up in our lives ( and those of others ) that many of us find it harder to see who we are, or have become, take action, and then keep an eye on ourselves. If we realised that we were suffering from depression, anxiety, stress or were generally unhappy, are we able to see why we are feeling that way?

A simple way to get to where you want to be

If you feel you would benefit from guidance to find out who you really are, and then be empowered to change and keep it that way Aspire Counselling would like to help guide you.

At Aspire Counselling we believe in enabling you to live an empowered and fulfilled life, and importantly to keep it that way.

Aspire Counselling – book an online or face-to-face counselling, psychotherapy session and get instant confirmation of your appointment at https://aspirecounselling.net

Contact Aspire Counselling at info@aspirecounselling.net or call 6570 2781 to find out more about our services for men, women, adolescents, couples counselling, relationship counselling, families and corporates.

This article from Caitlin Ainsworth writing on The Mighty, describes what many of our clients can feel. They struggle to get out of bed and from the outside they are percieved to be lazy and unfocused. At times they may also see themselves this way. In the article referenced below, Caitlin describes how life feels to her. You may even recognise yourself in what Caitlin describes.

“Have you ever felt like everyone around you was living a full life? Not to say they are — or you are not — but I’ve found sometimes through my own pain it can seem like everyone else has nothing to fight off. I wake up every day with immense dread that I’m no longer asleep, or worse, that I’m not finally dead. I finally find the courage to get out of bed five hours after my alarm goes off to go to the bathroom and maybe find some food, but after that I’m back into my nest of blankets and pillows that once in a while seems to guard me from the monsters in my head — the monsters that surround me.”

Read more at https://buff.ly/2gzxBBx

Do I have to continue like this?

Too often these struggles lead the individual to feel guilty and that they aren’t normal. However, you should know that it is not an unusual feeling. Also, it is not something you need to feel guilty about. In fact, when feeling this way you need to make sure you are kind and compassionate towards yourself. We know that you are trying and doing your best.

We can empower you to live a fulfilled life and achieve your goals

Aspire Counselling is here to help in these circumstances. Our passion is to help empower people to lead fulfilling lives. We would like to help guide you towards ways that you can help yourself, whether you are suffering from depression, anxiety, bi-polar or any other condition. We can show you techniques that you can use to help you achieve your goals, whatever they are.

Contact Aspire Counselling

Contact us at http://aspirecounselling.net to find out more about our services and book an appointment.  You can also call us on  6570 2781 or email on info@aspirecounselling.net

The Thinkstock image accompanied the article when it was published on The Mighty on 22nd November 2016

Using data from a survey that screened more than 46,000 Americans for depression, researchers found evidence that the condition is not properly diagnosed in many people. And even when diagnosed correctly, depression often goes untreated.

About 8.4 percent of the people interviewed had depression. But of those, only 28.7 percent had received any treatment.

At the same time, of those who were treated for depression, only 29.9 percent had screened positive for the disorder. Many people with less serious psychological problems were being treated with antidepressants and other psychiatric medicines.

“There are challenges in aligning depression care with patient needs,” said the lead author, Dr. Mark Olfson, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. “Extending the use of simple screening tools in primary care is a good first step. Most adults who screen positive for depression don’t receive any treatment.”

The above was first posted in the New York Times on 1st September 2016 and written by Nicholas Bakalar. Read more at http://bit.ly/depression-untreated

If you are concerned that you or a loved one might be suffering from depression, it’s best not to ignore it. Early awareness and treatment can prevent problems from occurring further down the line. There’s no harm in talking to someone, or asking a friend, relative or co-worker how they feel.

If you believe you may be suffering from depression, you can contact us and discuss this in complete confidence. Contact Aspire Counselling on 65 6570 2781, or email info@aspirecounselling.net. You can also book and confirm a face to face or online counselling session by visiting our website at https://www.aspirecounselling.net

“I really struggled to get out of bed today. Did you?

I didn’t get up until noon. It was the same yesterday. Then I was hard on myself for it and as a result, I had a miserable day.  Today, the same happened, but I decided to be kind to myself. The difference? I gave myself a break and refused to feel guilty or bad about it. Today I’m happier, smiling even, working and I believe that tomorrow will be easier. And if it’s not I’ll try again. I need to be kind to myself.”

These are the words of a sufferer of Anxiety Disorder, Depression, and ADHD.  Many will be able to relate to them. No one says you should feel bad if you can’t live a perfect, happy life every single day. Let’s be realistic we all have our off-days. Be kind to yourself instead of getting more upset with yourself when you aren’t feeling at your best. Self-compassion is a useful way to help you get through your day.

Do seek help if you or someone you know needs help to learn coping techniques and strategies for days when not feeling at your best. If you can’t get out or bed, like the writer, it might be a sign that something isn’t quite right, or you are avoiding something. Aspire Counselling has a range of techniques that it can teach you to help you with your life. We do these in ways that will allow it to become habitual for you, so you won’t be dependent upon us. You will learn to manage your own life successfully.  You’ll find these techniques useful in everyday life too.

For details on our Counselling and Psychotherapy services, email Aspire Counselling at info@aspirecounselling.net, call us on  6570 2781 or visit our website where you can book online face-to-face or video counselling sessions.  https://www.aspirecounselling.net