7 Tools To Improve Mental Health

Therapy Talk Thursdays

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Mental illness, specifically untreated depression, is the leading cause of suicide. You are not alone. Seek help.

Mental illness is real. You can survive and thrive.-Shanna A. Jefferson

7 Tools To Improve Mental Health

  • Celebrate the positives of your loved one experiencing mental illness as well as those whom have lost their lives.
  • Forgive yourself.
  • Keep It Real. “We must be honest and transparent”. –Shanti Das
  • Make the decision to be happy.
  • Engage in self-care.
  • Engage in physical activity.
  • Turn your pain into purpose.

NAMI

Seek Professional Help

Destination Greatness also offers convenient, confidential online and telephone therapy to residents of NC, SC, and GA. No insurance required.

DG Logo

www.destinationgreatnesspllc.org

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5 Warning Signs of Depression

Therapy Talk Thursdays, Uncategorized

Are you depressed?

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an estimated 16 million American adults—almost 7% of the population—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. (www.nami.org).

love is not

It’s time to tell everyone who’s dealing with a mental health issue that they’re not alone, and that getting support and treatment isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength”.-First Lady Michelle Obama

5 Warning Signs of Depression

  1. A lack of interest in activities that the person used to be interested in. Typically, people who suffer from depression lose interest in doing things that they once enjoyed doing. This can range as anything from dropping out of social events like clubs and sports teams, to walling themselves off from outsiders with whom they once shared a hobby. This symptom of depression typically goes on to worsen the condition, because it hurts some of the social relationships that depression sufferers previously engaged in.
  2. A noticeable change in eating habits is another big warning sign of depression. While there are obviously a number of reasons why one might change their diet, big shifts in weight gain and/or weight loss typically signify a loss of interest in eating or a lackadaisical attitude towards making food. This symptom, in turn, can negatively impact a depression sufferer’s physical health.
  3. Suddenly noticing an increase in the number of headaches, stomachaches and physical symptoms is another sign of depression. While depression in itself is a mental condition, it is often accompanied by a number of physical discomforts like headaches and stomachaches.
  4. Constant fatigue or an inability to sleep is a big warning sign of depression. This can either come as a slight problem with sleeping enough to feel fully rested, or it can be full-blown insomnia. Waking up too early or constantly waking up during the night are other common signs of depression.
  5. The most serious sign of depression is thoughts of suicide or hurting oneself. Unlike the other symptoms, which on their own can be indicators of a number of conditions, this particular sign almost always signals depression.

(Source http://www.psyweb.com)

 

Help is Available

Speak positivity through your pain, through your tears, through your joy…speak positive affirmations into your life. -Shanna A. Jefferson, MSW, CFSW, LCSW

DG Logo

Destination Greatness is now accepting new clients. Confidential sessions are available via telephone as well as our secured, online platform to residents of NC, SC, and GA.

Visit our website at http://www.destinationgreatnesspllc.org to schedule your appointment.

 

Shanna A. Jefferson

Mental Health and Black Girl Magic

Uncategorized

Last week, after the grief blog was published, I was approached by a former classmate in a store. We made small talk about life and how our children were. Before parting, she told me how helpful my blogs were for her every week. As you can imagine I was super shocked, and extremely delighted. Not delighted because people are reading my blogs, but because my blog had done exactly what I intended it to do, help someone.

She explained to me that in her family, mental health is not really a top priority. She told me about how being the only girl in her family with two older brothers, if it didn’t revolve around sports her parents weren’t really interested. She explained to me that before she was diagnosed, she suffered from depression and anxiety for years. She explained to me that her mom and grandmother had both told her to, “suck it up”, about her depression.sad girl

Fast forward to the end of the week, I was scrolling on Facebook and found an article about African American families and mental health. Per usual, I saw something on mental health so of course I read it, plus the girl I had just spoken with a few days prior was indeed an African American female.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “what does this white girl know about anything in the African American home?”. Truth be told, probably not much. However, as the mother of a biracial child, who has dated African American boys, and who has many friends who just happen to be black, I like to think I am a little informed of the African American culture.  black girl

I have always heard about and seen the differences among races. There’s the stereotypes, the food, and even different slang between white and black people in my small town of Laurens, South Carolina. Of all things, I would have never imagined that mental health would be a topic that was completely opposite in these two races.

However, I was very wrong.

In the article, the author talked about how even as a grown mother of 3 with her PsyD in Clinical Psychology, her family still mocked her about her mental health issues. After more research, I found how common this was for the African American community, especially for girls.

 

After reading this article, my heart hurt for every girl who has been told to “suck it up or “get over it” while battling with her mental health.get over.jpeg

As an avid “googler” I decided to find a list of famous African American females who openly talked about their mental health. I feel like many times people can relate more, to people whom they are like. (Not just the white girl who never hushes about how important mental health is.) I decided to list these females, in hopes that maybe just one girl can tell her friend or family member that she can openly talk about her mental health because, Beyoncé or Kerry Washington (that’s Olivia Pope) does.

Listed below are four of the most fierce and recognized women in Hollywood. These ladies have all been openly interviewed about their mental health.

  1. Beyoncé
  2. Kerry Washington
  3. Oprah
  4. Halle Berry

Now, I am not telling you to back talk your grandma or mama, but next time someone tells you to “get over it” about your mental health, make sure you tell them that if Queen Bey can openly talk about mental health, then you can too!

clarke-sanders-249798

Keep on, Keeping on. *Now go show the world that Black girl magic is real*

 

Katheryn Burton

Clemson University, BS Psychology ’18

Case Management Intern

Destination Greatness, PLLC

Dedicated to the old friend in Target, and all my girls. XOXO

 

About Destination Greatness

Destination Greatness is a mental health and substance abuse psychotherapy agency dedicated to assisting individuals and families in maximizing their level of functioning on all life domains in pursuit of Greatness. Destination Greatness provide individuals and families with the opportunity to live more fulfilling and meaningful lives. Destination Greatness strives to enrich each individual and family through greater self-awareness, focus on strengths, and belief in a greater destiny.

DG Logo

Services are available to residents if NC, SC, and GA. Schedule your appointment today at http://www.destinationgreatnesspllc.org.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Tips To Help The Recovering Addict

Uncategorized

By: Kristen Pettaway, MA LPC Liberty University | Clinical Case Manager Intern Destination Greatness, PLLC

support

Support Group

Substance use and abuse are rampant in our communities.  For many family and friends of the addicted encouraging efforts may be exhausting and frustrating.  The addiction is controlling your loved one and there seems to be nothing that you can do about it.  Over the past several weeks I have had the opportunity to collaborate with members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Al-Anon.  While attending these meetings I have identified at least five ways that the concerned party of the addict can do to encourage their loved one without offending or becoming frustrated in the process.

AA has been in operation for more than 80 years with NA, and Al-Anon later establishing groups based on the AA principles.  These perceptive groups welcome anyone who has decided that the addictive behavior has become harmful enough to their health and well-being that sobriety is the only option.  While a guest at these different group meetings I walked away with 5 very important ways to help the recovering addict in his or her sobriety.

idea image

  1. To eliminate the frustration: Stop telling the addict about his or her addictive behavior.  In order for the behavior to change the addict must be willing to change it. It is not enough for the family and friends to want the addict to quit his or her behavior.  The addict must want to change his or her behavior on their own.  When the addict is ready to commit to becoming sober they must first admit that there is a problem.  No one can tell the addict that he or she has a problem that needs to be fixed, that revelation must come from within.
  2. Help imageApply the Twelve-Step and the Twelve Traditions to your own life. Once the addict has made a commitment to change he or she must do the work.  Family and friends cannot do the work for the addict.  The family and friends have their own specific job to do for their own well-being and the addict has specific things to do to work on their stuff.  Whatever that stuff is, each person is challenged to work the Twelve-Steps and the Twelve Traditions of the program on their own.tes.org.uk
  1. Love the addict through their recovery. Since family and friends cannot do the work for the addict, trying and continuing to force your will onto the addict is futile and a mere waste of your time.  The only thing you can do is to continue to love them through it, as much as you can.  Prayer will help you help yourself and the addict build strength to go on.  Extending grace to the addict whenever things go wrong.  Forgiveness is a powerful tool.  To see the addict as yourself in the eyes of God who showered you with His grace and love and welcomed you into His presence.
  1. line in the sandSet clear boundaries. Mean what you say and say what you mean.  Just because you love the addict through his or her recovery does not mean you become their doormat.  Avoid becoming passive and enable the behavior.  As the addict’s support system you must also take care of yourself and the other family members who are going through the struggle with you and the addict.  As the supportive person, you may need to demonstrate some “tough love” at times so the addict knows that a boundary has been crossed.  It is not uncommon for an addict to experience jail time, homelessness, or something worst before he or she can turn the situation around.  Setting boundaries is an important instrument to provide safety for you and your family.vtdance
  2. And finally, exercise some patience. Live your life and allow the addict to live his or her life as well.  The concerned family and friends cannot control the behavior or take care of the addict nor is it your responsibility to do so.  The addict must take control of their own well-being.  Even if the addict is a child under the age of 18 years of age.  Parents are physically responsible for the well-being of the child but they cannot control their feelings, emotions, or behavior.  But if there are clear boundaries and rules in place everyone will know what will happen if one of those boundaries has been crossed.  It is not uncommon for an addict to go through recovery or rehab several times before he or she is able to quit.  Continue to care and support him or her for the effort toward recovery.

Until next time, be blessed.

request support

LogoAt Destination Greatness, we realize that addiction may co-exist with other diseases.  Yes, the addiction is a disease.  While some can experience using a substance and not become addicted others may become addicted after the first experience.  At Destination Greatness, we will help the individual explore the areas that cause a pivotal role in the addiction, while sobriety and abstinence remain the goal to foster change in the overall quality of life.  Destination Greatness, PLLC is available to anyone who has a desire to change.

 

 

References

Images.search.yahoo.com

Mental Health and Black Girl Magic

Uncategorized

Last week, after the grief blog was published, I was approached by a former classmate in a store. We made small talk about life and how our children were. Before parting, she told me how helpful my blogs were for her every week. As you can imagine I was super shocked, and extremely delighted. Not delighted because people are reading my blogs, but because my blog had done exactly what I intended it to do, help someone.

She explained to me that in her family, mental health is not really a top priority. She told me about how being the only girl in her family with two older brothers, if it didn’t revolve around sports her parents weren’t really interested. She explained to me that before she was diagnosed, she suffered from depression and anxiety for years. She explained to me that her mom and grandmother had both told her to, “suck it up”, about her depression.sad girl

Fast forward to the end of the week, I was scrolling on Facebook and found an article about African American families and mental health. Per usual, I saw something on mental health so of course I read it, plus the girl I had just spoken with a few days prior was indeed an African American female.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “what does this white girl know about anything in the African American home?”. Truth be told, probably not much. However, as the mother of a biracial child, who has dated African American boys, and who has many friends who just happen to be black, I like to think I am a little informed of the African American culture.  black girl

I have always heard about and seen the differences among races. There’s the stereotypes, the food, and even different slang between white and black people in my small town of Laurens, South Carolina. Of all things, I would have never imagined that mental health would be a topic that was completely opposite in these two races.

However, I was very wrong.

In the article, the author talked about how even as a grown mother of 3 with her PsyD in Clinical Psychology, her family still mocked her about her mental health issues. After more research, I found how common this was for the African American community, especially for girls.

 

After reading this article, my heart hurt for every girl who has been told to “suck it up or “get over it” while battling with her mental health.get over.jpeg

As an avid “googler” I decided to find a list of famous African American females who openly talked about their mental health. I feel like many times people can relate more, to people whom they are like. (Not just the white girl who never hushes about how important mental health is.) I decided to list these females, in hopes that maybe just one girl can tell her friend or family member that she can openly talk about her mental health because, Beyoncé or Kerry Washington (that’s Olivia Pope) does.

Listed below are four of the most fierce and recognized women in Hollywood. These ladies have all been openly interviewed about their mental health.

  1. Beyoncé
  2. Kerry Washington
  3. Oprah
  4. Halle Berry

Now, I am not telling you to back talk your grandma or mama, but next time someone tells you to “get over it” about your mental health, make sure you tell them that if Queen Bey can openly talk about mental health, then you can too!

clarke-sanders-249798

Keep on, Keeping on. *Now go show the world that Black girl magic is real*

 

Katheryn Burton

Clemson University, BS Psychology ’18

Case Management Intern

Destination Greatness, PLLC

Dedicated to the old friend in Target, and all my girls. XOXO

 

About Destination Greatness

Destination Greatness is a mental health and substance abuse psychotherapy agency dedicated to assisting individuals and families in maximizing their level of functioning on all life domains in pursuit of Greatness. Destination Greatness provide individuals and families with the opportunity to live more fulfilling and meaningful lives. Destination Greatness strives to enrich each individual and family through greater self-awareness, focus on strengths, and belief in a greater destiny.

DG Logo

Services are available to residents if NC, SC, and GA. Schedule your appointment today at http://www.destinationgreatnesspllc.org.

 

 

 

 

 

7 Nuggets: Faith and Mental Health

Uncategorized

Are your spiritual or religious beliefs hindering your mental well-being? For some, there seems to be a dichotomy between mental wellness and religion.  “Prayer changes everything.” “Mental illness manifests because of sin.” These prophecies will only further compound and complicate the real struggles that those whom live with mental health challenges experience.  Mental health challenges are just as real as physical health challenges.

Faith Without Works is Dead.

Churches and other places of worship should take a more prominent role in the discussion, advocacy, and action as it pertains to dismantling the mental health stigma. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 Americans experience a mental illness. Thus, in any given congregation, you will have many that have experienced a mental health challenge.

A Candid Conversation

I recently had the opportunity to present on the topic “Faith and Mental Health” at Mt.Pisgah I.M.C. in Clyo, GA. Our candid conversation included a discussion of what mental health challenges are, what mental health challenges look like, and triggers of mental health challenges.

MtPisgahChurchImage

Are you ready to commence the conversation on role of faith and the church in addressing mental health challenges?

7 Tips to Improve Your Faith and Mental Health

  1. Keep God first.
  2. Forgive yourself.
  3. Seek professional help.
  4. Make the decision to be happy.
  5. Engage in self-care.
  6. Never give up.
  7. Turn your pain into purpose.

Faith&MentalHealth

Professional Services

As a psychotherapist, I understand the many challenges those experiencing a mental illness encounter including shame, a lack of support, and denial. You are not alone.

Destination Greatness also offers convenient, confidential online and telephone therapy to residents of NC, SC, and GA. No insurance required. Limited office sessions available in Atlanta, GA and Greenville, SC.

DG Logo.jpg

To arrange a confidential, online or telephone session, schedule your appointment online at http://www.destinationgreatnesspllc.org.

Testimonial

This young lady speaks from the heart and with God on her side. Give her your ear to receive a much needed word of encouragement.-Sebrena Holmes Gibson

For speaking engagements, contact pr@shannajefferson.com.

5 Tips To Help The Recovering Addict

Uncategorized
support

Support Group

Substance use and abuse are rampant in our communities.  For many family and friends of the addicted encouraging efforts may be exhausting and frustrating.  The addiction is controlling your loved one and there seems to be nothing that you can do about it.  Over the past several weeks I have had the opportunity to collaborate with members of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Al-Anon.  While attending these meetings I have identified at least five ways that the concerned party of the addict can do to encourage their loved one without offending or becoming frustrated in the process.

AA has been in operation for more than 80 years with NA, and Al-Anon later establishing groups based on the AA principles.  These perceptive groups welcome anyone who has decided that the addictive behavior has become harmful enough to their health and well-being that sobriety is the only option.  While a guest at these different group meetings I walked away with 5 very important ways to help the recovering addict in his or her sobriety.

  1. To eliminate the frustration: Stop telling the addict about his or her addictive behavior.  In order for the behavior to change the addict must be willing to change it. It is not enough for the family and friends to want the addict to quit his or her behavior.  The addict must want to change his or her behavior on their own.  When the addict is ready to commit to becoming sober they must first admit that there is a problem.  No one can tell the addict that he or she has a problem that needs to be fixed, that revelation must come from within.

idea image

Ah – Hah Moment!

  1. Apply the Twelve-Step and the Twelve Traditions to your own life. Once the addict has made a commitment to change he or she must do the work.  Family and friends cannot do the work for the addict.  The family and friends have their own specific job to do for their own well-being and the addict has specific things to do to work on their stuff.  Whatever that stuff is, each person is challenged to work the Twelve-Steps and the Twelve Traditions of the program on their own.

Help image

  1. Love the addict through their recovery. Since family and friends cannot do the work for the addict, trying and continuing to force your will onto the addict is futile and a mere waste of your time.  The only thing you can do is to continue to love them through it, as much as you can.  Prayer will help you help yourself and the addict build strength to go on.  Extending grace to the addict whenever things go wrong.  Forgiveness is a powerful tool.  To see the addict as yourself in the eyes of God who showered you with His grace and love and welcomed you into His presence.

tes.org.uk

  1. Set clear boundaries. Mean what you say and say what you mean.  Just because you love the addict through his or her recovery does not mean you become their doormat.  Avoid becoming passive and enable the behavior.  As the addict’s support system you must also take care of yourself and the other family members who are going through the struggle with you and the addict.  As the supportive person, you may need to demonstrate some “tough love” at times so the addict knows that a boundary has been crossed.  It is not uncommon for an addict to experience jail time, homelessness, or something worst before he or she can turn the situation around.  Setting boundaries is an important instrument to provide safety for you and your family.line in the sand
  2. And finally, exercise some patience. Live your life and allow the addict to live his or her life as well.  The concerned family and friends cannot control the behavior or take care of the addict nor is it your responsibility to do so.  The addict must take control of their own well-being.  Even if the addict is a child under the age of 18 years of age.  Parents are physically responsible for the well-being of the child but they cannot control their feelings, emotions, or behavior.  But if there are clear boundaries and rules in place everyone will know what will happen if one of those boundaries has been crossed.  It is not uncommon for an addict to go through recovery or rehab several times before he or she is able to quit.  Continue to care and support him or her for the effort toward recovery.

vtdance

Until next time, be blessed.

request support

At Destination Greatness, we realize that addiction may co-exist with other diseases.  Yes, the addiction is a disease.  While some can experience using a substance and not become addicted others may become addicted after the first experience.  At Destination Greatness, we will help the individual explore the areas that cause a pivotal role in the addiction, while sobriety and abstinence remain the goal to foster change in the overall quality of life.  Destination Greatness, PLLC is available to anyone who has a desire to change.

By: Kristen Pettaway, MA LPC Liberty University | Clinical Case Manager Intern Destination Greatness, PLLC

 

References

Images.search.yahoo.com

5 Warning Signs of Depression

Therapy Talk Thursdays, Uncategorized

Are you depressed?

Today is National Depression Screening Day.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an estimated 16 million American adults—almost 7% of the population—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. (www.nami.org).

It’s time to tell everyone who’s dealing with a mental health issue that they’re not alone, and that getting support and treatment isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength”.-First Lady Michelle Obama

5 Warning Signs of Depression

  1. A lack of interest in activities that the person used to be interested in. Typically, people who suffer from depression lose interest in doing things that they once enjoyed doing. This can range as anything from dropping out of social events like clubs and sports teams, to walling themselves off from outsiders with whom they once shared a hobby. This symptom of depression typically goes on to worsen the condition, because it hurts some of the social relationships that depression sufferers previously engaged in.
  2. A noticeable change in eating habits is another big warning sign of depression. While there are obviously a number of reasons why one might change their diet, big shifts in weight gain and/or weight loss typically signify a loss of interest in eating or a lackadaisical attitude towards making food. This symptom, in turn, can negatively impact a depression sufferer’s physical health.
  3. Suddenly noticing an increase in the number of headaches, stomachaches and physical symptoms is another sign of depression. While depression in itself is a mental condition, it is often accompanied by a number of physical discomforts like headaches and stomachaches.
  4. Constant fatigue or an inability to sleep is a big warning sign of depression. This can either come as a slight problem with sleeping enough to feel fully rested, or it can be full-blown insomnia. Waking up too early or constantly waking up during the night are other common signs of depression.
  5. The most serious sign of depression is thoughts of suicide or hurting oneself. Unlike the other symptoms, which on their own can be indicators of a number of conditions, this particular sign almost always signals depression.

(Source http://www.psyweb.com)

 

Depression Screening Tool

Depression Awareness Month

Take a Depression Screening Today

http://helpyourselfhelpothers.org/

 

Help is Available

Speak positivity through your pain, through your tears, through your joy…speak positive affirmations into your life. -Shanna A. Jefferson, MSW, CFSW, LCSW

DG Logo

Destination Greatness is now accepting new clients. Confidential sessions are available via telephone as well as our secured, online platform to residents of NC, SC, and GA.

Visit our website at http://www.destinationgreatnesspllc.org to schedule your appointment.

7 Tools To Improve Mental Health

Therapy Talk Thursdays

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Mental illness, specifically untreated depression, is the leading cause of suicide. You are not alone. Seek help.

Mental illness is real. You can survive and thrive.-Shanna A. Jefferson

7 Tools To Improve Mental Health

  • Celebrate the positives of your loved one experiencing mental illness as well as those whom have lost their lives.
  • Forgive yourself.
  • Keep It Real. “We must be honest and transparent”. –Shanti Das
  • Make the decision to be happy.
  • Engage in self-care.
  • Engage in physical activity.
  • Turn your pain into purpose.

NAMI

Seek Professional Help

Destination Greatness also offers convenient, confidential online and telephone therapy to residents of NC, SC, and GA. No insurance required.

DG Logo

www.destinationgreatnesspllc.org