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.

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Seek Professional Help

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

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MENtal Health: The Importance of Mental Health Awareness in Men

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Last week in my life span development class, we learned that in the United States although more women attempt suicide, more men die because of suicide.

This statistic was not surprising to me, as I know that there is a lack of mental health awareness for men in the United States.

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As the mother of a boy, I know it is easy to just want your son to be athletic and “tough” all the time. You forget to encourage them to talk about their feelings and that it is okay There are pressures from other family members and competition between male siblings and cousins to be the best at athletics. While focusing on athletics, boys tend to forget about their mental wellness. However, it is extremely important to stress mental wellness to young boys and men.

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By encouraging mental health awareness for men and young boys you are setting them up for a less stressful future. Individuals who understand the importance of mental wellness tend to be less stressed throughout life.

 

You are also decreasing the amount of physical aggression and anger in men by teaching them how to talk about mental illness issues and how to live a healthy lifestyle when it comes to mental wellness. According to the National Institution of Mental Health, “some men with depression or anxiety disorders hide emotions” causing them to “appear angry or aggressive when they express their emotions”.

 

By teaching your sons, nephews, and husbands to effectively express and talk about their mental wellness, one is helping them live a better lifestyle.

Remember it is completely okay for boys to express their feelings! Everyone deserves to be able to talk about their mental wellbeing, including males!

 

 

Keep on Keeping on.

 

Katheryn Burton

Clemson University, BS Psychology ’18

Case Management Intern

Destination Greatness, PLLC

 

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.

 

 

Shanna A. Jefferson

5 Warning Signs of Depression

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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).

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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

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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

5 Signs of Emotional Distress

Therapy Talk Thursdays

How do you know if you or someone you know is experiencing a mental illness? What are signs?

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The Campaign to Change Direction identifies 5 key signs that someone may be experiencing a mental illness. The signs are personality change, agitated, withdrawal, poor self-care, and hopelessness. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the signs above, it is important to seek treatment.

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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

Destination Greatness is now accepting new clients in NC, SC, and GA. Services are available via telephone and our secured online platform. Office sessions available for Greenville, SC.

Contact us today at 1-800-647-3345 or visit our website at http://www.destinationgreatnesspllc.org to schedule your appointment.

 

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Shanna A. Jefferson

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#girlboss #girlpreneur #goaldigger #womenempowerment #speaklife #getinspired #glambitious #toolsforsuccess #changementalhealth #knowthesigns

 

 

10 Things You Should Know About Mental Health

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Have you ever thought about how your friends view mental health?

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Luckily, many of my friends like myself, are psychology majors or have some type of back ground related to psychology. However, I do have a few that are less familiar with the topic, this post is for them.

I am not poking fun or calling you out, because you are ignorant to the topic, but I do want to spread my knowledge on the subject, being that so many people suffer from mental illness related issues.

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Listed below are 10 things I want my friends who are not educated on mental illness to know:

  1. Different people experience different things. There is no one size fits all mold when it comes to mental illness.
  2. Talking about mental illness/ mental health is not weird.
  3. Mental illnesses are not just figments of someone’s imagination.
  4. Medications are not the only way to help someone cope with mental illness.
  5. Some people need to be medicated, and that too is okay.
  6. No, you can’t “catch” mental illness.
  7. Mental health is just as important as physical health.
  8. Mental health and mental illness is not restricted to one race or gender.
  9. You cannot heal overnight, things take time.
  10. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, do your research.

 

Hopefully, this post will help you see the world in a different light. Maybe it will inspire you to help someone else, or maybe you will just read it and forget about it.

 

Keep On, Keeping On.

 

Katheryn Burton

Clemson University, BS Psychology ’18

Case Management Intern

Destination Greatness, PLLC

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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.

http://www.destinationgreatnesspllc.org/

 

7 Nuggets: Faith and Mental Health

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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 4 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.

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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.

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To arrange a confidential, online or telephone session, schedule your appointment online at http://www.destinationgreatnesspllc.org.  Or call 1-800-647-3345.

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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 bookings, contact pr@shannajefferson.com.

Shanna A. Jefferson

Is Your Therapist Effective?

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In an age where mental health awareness is at an all-time high, many still have questions about the topic. One of the most important parts of someone’s journey with mental illness, is a person’s counselor.

 

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Below is an excerpt from NAMI’s website about effective therapist and things to look for.

“Do They Guide You To Your Goals?

Be wary of any therapist who makes promises like: “I can get you to recovery in six months” or “I can help you get rid of your anxiety.” Therapists should guide you towards reaching your goals, not make guarantees about when and how you will reach them. How you improve should be at your own pace. Additionally, they are not there to set your goals for you. This is your treatment—you’re in the driver’s seat.

Do They Show Acceptance And Compassion?

It’s one thing for your therapist to show concern or recommend against certain behaviors, but you shouldn’t feel judged or ashamed after a therapy session. Christine, a young adult living with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), tells a story of when she felt shamed by a therapist:

“I went to a therapist to talk about a relationship I was having a hard time getting over. I told her I would do outlandish things to keep this relationship alive, even though this guy made it clear he wanted nothing to do with me. This therapist responded by saying, ‘Christine, men don’t like clingy women. You need to be coy and play hard-to-get.’ She completely invalidated that my fear of abandonment had been triggered; to her, this situation had nothing to do with BPD, I was just making myself too available.”

The most effective therapists make you feel accepted and validated, showing understanding and sympathy/empathy for whatever you’re going through. They will approach you with compassion and kindness, and build enough trust for you to share your darkest thoughts and memories with them.

Do They Challenge You?

It’s important to recognize that therapy is not synonymous with friendship. An effective therapist will challenge you and help you see things from a different perspective, even if it’s hard to hear. They will give you homework that you may not like. For example, when I feel anxious, my reaction is to try to get rid of that anxiety any way that I can. So, my therapist often tells me to “sit with anxiety, accept that anxiety has visited you and observe how you feel.” She pushes me out of my comfort zone to help me overcome my fears and work towards my goal of managing anxiety.”

 

The full article can be found at, https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/February-2018/How-Do-I-Know-if-My-Therapist-is-Effective.

 

Keep on, keeping on.

 

 

Katheryn Burton

Clemson University, BS Psychology ’18

Case Management Intern

Destination Greatness, PLLC

 

 

http://www.destinationgreatnesspllc.org/

 

 

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Finals Week and Mental Health: How to survive.

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Being a student is stressful, many times students are juggling classes, extra-curricular activities, and jobs. The week after finals is always a time to stop and recollect for myself, as I know it is for others too. Sometimes juggling so many things, we forget to maintain our feelings and mental health during the semester, and especially during the last two weeks of a semester.

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I always tell myself how to stay stress free throughout the semester, but sometimes that is easier said than done. There are many ways one can maintain mental health. However, students differ from other people because we are usually on a tight budget, tight time frame, and most of the time you cannot just drop your school obligations and go for a spa weekend (regardless how much you want to procrastinate).

For students, simple things like making to do lists and taking naps are essential. Creating to do lists, will keep you on a schedule and keep your stress and anxiety levels down. Taking naps will ensure you are getting enough sleep, even when you pull three “all-nighters” a week.

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Students should call home to their family and friends. Even though you will be reunited with them soon, calling home will lower anxiety and stress levels for most students.

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Even though, as a student you cannot go on a weekend spa retreat, doing things like taking long showers and simple sugar scrubs will take your mind off school, grades, and everything else.

Though the fall semester has officially ended in many schools, remembering these tips for spring finals week will ensure that you are mentally prepared to do well on all your finals.

 

Keep on, keeping on.

 

 

Katheryn Burton

Clemson University, BS Psychology ’18

Case Management Intern

Destination Greatness, PLLC

 

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.

 

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http://www.destinationgreatnesspllc.org/

 

 

Healing Yourself of Shame

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Everyone feels shame at some point in their lifetime. An essential part of shame,  is how you deal with it. Below is an excerpt from NAMI’s blog post, “How I Healed Myself Of Shame” by Beverly Engel.

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“I can’t remember a time when I didn’t feel shame. But I do have evidence that there was once a time when I was shame free. I have a photograph of me as a little baby, smiling with a twinkle in my eye. I look radiant and filled with joy. I have another photo of me at four years old, in which I am frowning, and I look defiant and lost. The twinkle in my eye has been replaced with a dark, empty look.

What had occurred that had taken away the joyous smile on my face and replaced it with darkness, emptiness and hatred?

The answer: shame. Shame replaced my innocence, my joy, my exuberance for life. Shame caused me to build a wall of protection and defiance. Who was I defending myself against? My mother, a woman who was so full of shame herself that she couldn’t help but project it onto me.

After being neglected and emotionally abused by my mother, sexually abused at nine and raped at twelve, I found myself riddled with shame and the belief that I was unlovable and rotten inside. I began acting out by shoplifting. I was angry at my mother, the men who had abused me and at all authority figures. I wanted to get back at everyone who had taken advantage of me. After I was finally caught and brought home in a cop car, my mother gave up on me.

Fortunately, I didn’t give up on myself. I knew there was goodness in me and I fought to find it. I turned to solitude and introspection and began to find the pieces of myself I discarded when trying to shield myself from further harm.”

The full article can be found at, https://www.nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/April-2018/How-I-Healed-Myself-of-Shame.

 

Keep on, keeping on.

Katheryn Burton

Clemson University, BS Psychology ’18

Case Management Intern

Destination Greatness, PLLC

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.

 

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http://www.destinationgreatnesspllc.org/

 

 

 

 

Mental Health and High School Students

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There is no doubt that people who suffer from Mental Health issues, need extra support. Regardless if it comes from a parent, friend, sponsor, or teacher, just having one person to believe in you can drastically increase self-confidence. Increasing self-confidence will increase self-wellness over time.

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In particular, students need someone who is willing to call and check in on them once or twice a week at most. This is true for students of just about any age, but high school students in particular. High school can be a rough time and even harder for students who are suffering from mental illnesses that may or may not be diagnosed.phone.jpeg

 

By checking in on the student you are showing them they have someone who cares about them and that they are important to someone.

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Parents, make sure you talk to your kids about their mental wellness. Try to understand what they are going through, but also understand they may want to talk to someone other than you about issues related to mental health. Try to encourage them to make the best decisions for their lives. However, if they do not make the best decision, remember they are still your child and support them no matter what comes next.

 

Keep on, keeping on.

 

 

Katheryn Burton

Clemson University, BS Psychology ’18

Case Management Intern

Destination Greatness, PLLC

 

 

http://www.destinationgreatnesspllc.org/

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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.