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Saturday, May 27, 2023

Benefit of Telehealth Services

Saturday, May 27, 2023 @ 9:16 AM

I would like to discuss a topic that is often talked about by many yet gained commitment by few. The topic is the benefits of telehealth. When the pandemic began, it often felt like the world had shut down, which was very devastating for those in need of mental health services. Even as a counselor, there were times where I would look forward to meeting with my therapist in person and open about how I had been dealing with life's issues. Being in a confidential space to share thoughts that I would not share with others was something I looked forward to. Initially, the concept of telehealth revealed to me how traditional I had become in that approach.

Today, I can honestly say that it feels great knowing that I can go to a quiet place in my home without needing to use fuel in my vehicle and instead my phone or laptop. However, with the pandemic finally at an end, there are still many other individuals that would prefer the in-person experience to feel the genuineness of the counselor. What is often underestimated is the counselor's ability to pay attention detail and read the individual's body language and non-verbal communication just as well as if they were meeting in the office. Therapy at times requires evolution from both perspectives for the counseling relationship to be effective. I look forward to offering that approach to tomorrow's individuals in need of services.

By: Hiawatha Clemons, RIC

Monday, May 15, 2023

The Link Between PTSD and Comorbid Conditions: Understanding the Connection

Monday, May 15, 2023 @ 1:09 PM

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after you've experienced a traumatic event. A traumatic event is any situation that causes intense fear, helplessness, or horror. Traumatic events include violent personal assaults like rape, mugging, and physical attack. They also include natural disasters, accidents, and military combat.

If you have PTSD, you may have had symptoms soon after the trauma occurred, or they may not have developed until months or years later. The cause of PTSD isn't known but researchers think it's related to changes in brain activity and how your body responds to stress hormones such as cortisol. Although post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating anxiety disorder that may cause significant distress and increased use of health resources, the condition often goes undiagnosed. The emotional and physical symptoms of PTSD occur in three clusters: re-experiencing the trauma, marked avoidance of usual activities, and increased symptoms of arousal. Before symptoms can be labeled as PTSD, symptoms must significantly disrupt normal activities and last for more than a month.

What are Comorbid Conditions?

Comorbid conditions are mental health issues that occur alongside a primary diagnosis of PTSD. Comorbid conditions include:


Alcohol and drug abuse

Social Anxiety Disorder

Panic Attacks

Obsessive Compulsive Disorders

How Does PTSD Impact Mental Health?

Physical and Emotional Symptoms:

Fatigue, sleep disturbances, and irritability are common physical symptoms of PTSD.

Emotional symptoms can include anxiety, depression, and anger.

What are the Treatment Options?

Medication: There are several types of medications that can be helpful for PTSD, including antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs. These medications may be prescribed by your doctor or therapist.

Counseling: Talking about your experiences with a trained professional in order to understand them better and learn new ways of coping can assist with your healing process.

Self-care: Taking care of yourself physically is also important when it comes to managing your symptoms--this includes getting enough sleep every night, eating well balanced meals throughout the day, exercising regularly (ideally daily), avoiding substances like alcohol or drugs if they make things worse for you personally (or if they're not recommended by your doctor), drinking plenty of water each day so that dehydration doesn't set in due to stressors like sweating during exercise sessions can also help.

Faith & Prayer: Many people find comfort through faith communities where they can connect spiritually with others who share similar beliefs about God's love for us all regardless our struggles here on earth. You can find stability, peace, hope, and comfort within the experiences of PTSD by using the resource of faith and prayer.

He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that walks in the darkness, nor the destruction that lays waste at noonday. (Psalms 91:4-6)

How Can I Find Support?

Reach out to family and friends. If you are feeling overwhelmed, it can be helpful to talk with someone who understands what you're going through.

Find a support group. There are many resources available in your community that can help with PTSD, including support groups specifically designed for people who have experienced trauma or abuse.

Seek professional help from a counselor or therapist trained in treating trauma-related issues.

There Is Help for You Today

PTSD is a serious mental health condition that can have a profound impact on mental health and quality of life. Treatment options such as medication, therapy, and self-care can help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. Call 443-860-6870 today to schedule an appointment or use the calendar to move forward in your healing journey.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Is There A Cure For Depression?

Friday, May 12, 2023 @ 2:00 PM

Depression is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can cause feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in daily activities. While there are treatments available that can help manage symptoms, many people wonder if there is a cure for depression. In this blog post, we'll explore this question and discuss what options are available for those struggling with depression.

What is Depression?

First, it's important to understand that depression is a complex condition with many possible causes. It can be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, genetics, life events, or a combination of these factors. Depression can happen in episodes. While symptoms may be relieved, it doesn’t guarantee that a situation may come up that could trigger those symptoms to return. As a result, there is no one-size-fits-all cure for depression.

How Can I Feel Less Sad?

However, there are treatments available that can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life. These include:

1. Medication: Antidepressant medication can be effective in treating depression by rebalancing chemicals in the brain. It's important to work closely with a healthcare provider to find the right medication and dosage for your specific needs.

2. Speaking With a Counselor: Speaking with a professional to help individuals identify negative thought patterns and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.

3. Lifestyle changes: Making positive lifestyle changes can also help manage symptoms of depression. This can include regular exercise, a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and avoiding alcohol and drugs. These activities can boost feel good chemicals in your brain called endorphins. Just by making small changes, you can experience a boost in your mood.

4. Faith and Prayer: Faith and prayer can provide comfort and hope when experiencing an episode of sadness. We can also seek comfort and support from our faith community, whether that be through prayer, Bible study, or fellowship. As Christians, we can also find hope and comfort in our faith. We believe that God is with us in our struggles and that He can bring healing and restoration to our lives. We can turn to the Bible for encouragement and strength, and we can pray for guidance and wisdom as we navigate our mental health journey.

5. Getting a Routine. Depression can strip away the structure from your life. One day can melt into another. Setting a daily schedule can help get you back on track.

6. Set goals. It is not uncommon to feel like you can’t accomplish anything when you are feeling depressed. This can make you feel worse about yourself. To reset, set small goals for yourself and then add as you accomplish them. As you meet your goals, it is important to celebrate the milestones. Celebrate in the manner that is most meaningful to you.

You Can Get Help Today

While there may not be a cure for depression, it is possible to manage symptoms and live a fulfilling life with the right treatment and support. It's important to work with a counselor to develop a goal that considers your unique needs and circumstances.

It's also important to recognize that seeking help for depression is a sign of strength, not weakness. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, reaching out for help is the first step toward feeling better.

You can live a fulfilling life despite struggling with depression.

Get help today. Call 443-860-6870 or use the calendar to schedule an appointment.

Friday, May 5, 2023

More Than We can Imagine

Friday, May 5, 2023 @ 3:39 PM

Years ago, I worked as a medical social worker and bereavement counselor in hospice. It was a role that was meaningful, profound, humbling, terrifying, and beautiful, often all at the same moment. There were so many times over the years when I wondered what difference I could make amid the deep pain of the loss being experienced around me. The reality of death was raw, biting, and indiscriminating. Death came to the young and old; the rich and poor; the solitary individuals and to those surrounded by family and friends.

Looking back on that time, I see a woman who began her work in hospice bearing a shield. I was often very frightened, and I felt very small. So I strode into a patient’s home like a knight grasping my armor, ready to fend off arrow and spear, terror and fear. Now, I feel such remorse as I remember that clinician. I must have come across as removed and protected and perhaps as if I was hiding behind a flimsy, false wall of knowledge and efficacy.

God was working on me, though, as death and pain and sorrow taught me time and again that all the protective mechanisms I conjured up were bound to fail. No matter how high my castle walls, death would still come to me and those I love. It seems miraculous, but the Holy Spirit was hard at work in me and on me, melting away my falseness, shattering my pride, stripping away the defenses I’d kept in place. I believe it was then, when by grace I learned to embrace my own naked vulnerability, that I began to develop into a person who could be a healing, loving presence for those who were grieving.

I have a favorite scripture passage that guides me now, from Ephesians 3:20: “Now all praise to God, who through the power at work within us is able to do far more than we could ask or imagine….” What I learned all those years ago was that in walking in the truth of my own vulnerable, fragile humanity, in reaching out and meeting a grieving person from this humbled place, God’s spirit can do healing, wondrous, sacred, profound work. When my vulnerable heart meets your broken one and we invite God’s presence, the Holy Spirit shows up with works beyond any I can do alone and with a power and mystery and love that teach me about life, death, and the resurrected Christ over and over again.

“Now all praise to God, who through the power at work within us can do far more than we could ask or imagine!”

By Annie Dalby