Tag: Trauma

Mental Health and the 2016 Presidential Election

Your Mental Health and the 2016 Presidential Election

 The Connection Between Your Mental Health and the 2016 Presidential Election

There seems to be a new issue in the offices of many psychotherapist around the country.  People are coming to therapy to discuss the connection between their mental health and the 2017 Presidential election

People are reporting a mental health decline since the election, marked by intense sadness, fear, and anger.

Our relationships with family and friends are taking a hit as well.  The discord in inter-personal relationships make us feel more isolated, invisible and alone which intensifies these emotions.

These  “clinical issues” are certainly not new for therapist.  However, a collective emotional reaction being triggered by a presidential election is a new phenomenon.

If you feel as though your mental health has deteriorated since the presidential election, understanding your reaction, and knowing how to respond with right action and right effort, can help balance and equalize your well-being

Understand Your Emotional Response

If you have been a victim of, or witnessed acts of violence such as sexual assault, bullying or racial discrimination, re-exposure to a similar threat can trigger responses associated with the fight/flight/freeze response such as fear, anger, or sadness. For example, the sexual predatory language used by President Elect Donald Trump may trigger a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder flavored reaction for women who have been sexually assaulted. The same is true for victims of racial discrimination and bulling. The exposure to the recent racially charged acts of violence can trigger a fight/flight/freeze response in those who have been a victim or or witnessed this type of violence.

Empowerment and Healing

If you have felt emotional upset by recent current affairs, this does not make you weak or thin-skinned. Don’t buy into this perspective which only re-victimizes the victim.

Although you may have been victimized, you are still responsible for your own actions, thinking processes and how you regulate your emotions.  

Victims have a responsibility to understand and take care of the part of themselves that is wounded.

When we begin to feel in control again, our sense of autonomy, confidence, and self-mastery is enhanced. Walking a path that empowers, although not easy, is the path which leads to healing.   

What You Can Do?

  • Engage in Self-Care – Do the things that make you feel cared for. Approach yourself with the nurturing love of a mother or father that protects, heals and soothes. Self-care does not mean you must spend a lot of money. Self-care might include  subtle actions such as speaking meaningful words of affirmation and encouragement to yourself.
  • Therapy – Release some of the pain by talking about it. Express your emotions. Therapist are trained to help us understand how we internalize emotions in a hurtful manner such as self-blame. If you cannot talk to a therapist consider a faith leader, a trusted friend or family member who will listen with compassion.
  • Master Yourself – Every long journey begins with the first step. Take the first small step to self-mastery. You do have the capacity to feel in control, safe and connected. Take risk and be willing to try new things. There are others out there who have suffered similar traumas, and like a phoenix, they have risen out of the ashes.
  • Unplug – Many of us have become obsessed with the latest political developments. If watching the news upsets you beyond what might feel like a normal response, take a break. Unplug. You don’t have to put your head in the sand or become uninformed, just take a little break. Instead, allow something uplifting to become the object of your mind such as spiritually uplifting material.

Be in peace – diane

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Energy Psychology Named Evidenced Based Treatment

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently recognized Thought Field Therapy, a prequel of energy psychology, as an evidenced based treatment in mental health. This is a big deal particularly to those seeking a holistic approach with minimal side-effects in mental health therapy.

Who Cares ??

As a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services, SAMSHA is tasked with educating the public in regards to treatments options that are considered effective. Of course this is a moving target, which changes as theories are proved or disproved. Sometimes, the answer to the question “What is the best treatment for X?”  depends on who you ask and who is asking. Some folks  only consider New Age approaches, fearing side-effects and risk associated with mainstream medicine. Other folks only consider treatments endorsed by government agencies such as SAMHSA or a physician. The New Age crowd have been using energy psychology for awhile. The recognition by SAMHSA will offer more conservative individuals another option.  Who cares about the SAMSHA endorsement? My answer would be those who consider New Age approaches to be “out-there”, and want empirically based evidence to support their treatment decisions, with as few side effects as possible.

For the Traditionalist

Energy Psychology is a smart pairing of traditional psychological interventions which are tried and true, with Eastern ancient approaches to healing, which have been used for thousands of years. Traditional psychological interventions which are also utilized in Energy Psychology include:

  • affirmations which support a new and more positive beliefs or thought patterns
  • exposure therapy which suggest that progressive and continued exposure to a traumatic event results in desensitizing the responses when re-callling the event
    • exposure therapy is used to treat phobias and often post traumatic stress disorder
  • changing brain chemistry by releasing endorphins which help regulate mood
  • slows the fight/flight/freeze response in the central nervous system

Specifically…

The endorsements by SAMSHA recognized Energy Psychology as effective in the treatment for the following:

  • Personal Resilience
  • Self Concept
  • Self Regulation
  • Trauma
  • Stress Related

The endorsements by SAMSHA recognized Energy Psychology as promising in the treatment for the following:

  • Depression and Depressive Symptoms
  • General Functioning and Well-Being
  • Phobia, Panic and Generalized Anxiety Disorders

If you have any questions re. how Energy Psychology may help treat a condition, please do not hesitate to call Authentic Life Counseling. We have used this treatment option to help many people with a variety of mental health problems feel better. I will do my best to answer your questions.

be in peace – diane

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