Category: Blog

World Mental Health Day 2018: Why The Focus is on Young People.

 

Imagine growing up in our world today.

Young people are spending most of their day on the internet – experiencing cyber-crimes, cyber bullying, and playing violent video games.

Not only that, but the rise of social media is causing young people to have no choice but to constantly be comparing their lives, and appearances, to others’ all around the world.

Mental health issues, suicide, and substance abuse numbers have been steadily rising.

LGBTQ youth are feeling alone and persecuted for being true to themselves and young adults are at the age when serious mental illnesses can occur and yet they are taught little to nothing about mental illness and wellbeing.

This is why the focus is of this year’s world mental health day campaign is on Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World.

 

The WHO (World Health Organisation) explained:

“Adolescence and the early years of adulthood are a time of life when many changes occur, for example changing schools, leaving home, and starting university or a new job. For many, these are exciting times. They can also be times of stress and apprehension however. ‘In some cases, if not recognised and managed, these feelings can lead to mental illness. The expanding use of online technologies, while undoubtedly bringing many benefits, can also bring additional pressures, as connectivity to virtual networks at any time of the day and night grows”.

 

It’s important to bring attention to the issues our youth and young adults are facing in our world today and begin the conversation around what they need in order to grow up healthy, happy and resilient.

 

Please make sure you ask any young people you know how they are doing, because they may not be as okay as they seem.

And young people, please feel you can talk about your problems, whatever they may be – there is nothing to be ashamed of.

 

At Dr Julian, we think the most important thing when it comes to mental health is to talk.

We offer online video therapy in the comfort of your own home.

So, no waiting lists, and no leaving your bedroom!

We know how stressful and detrimental to your mental health university can be. This is why for world mental health day, we are giving students 25% off their first appointment with us.

 

Just email us at info@dr-julian.com using your student email address and we will reply with your personal discount.

 

Talk to someone, talk to us!

www.dr-julian.com

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Every Day Should Be World Mental Health Day.

World Mental Health Day (10th October) is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma.

It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organisation with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.

This day, each October, thousands of supporters come to celebrate this annual awareness program to bring attention to mental illness and its major effects on peoples’ life worldwide.

 

 

Why It’s Important.

Every year one in four adults, along with one in ten children, will have a mental health issue.

These conditions can profoundly affect literally millions of lives, affecting the capability of these individuals to make it through the day, to sustain relationships, and to maintain work.

The stigma attached to mental health causes a damaging, albeit ill-informed, attitude, making it more difficult for those affected to pursue help.

According to UK estimates, only about one-fourth of those with mental health problems seek help or undergo ongoing treatment.

By stark contrast, the vast majority of those affected with these problems are faced with a variety of issues, ranging from isolation to uncertainty on where to get help or information, to relying on the informal support of family, friends or colleagues.

Therefore, world mental health day is certainly an amazing thing raising awareness, educating the world, and trying to help those in need.

However, we think it should be mental health day every day!

Please be there for your loved ones all 365 days of the year.

And if you are struggling, please feel like you can talk about your issues whenever you want.

There is nothing to be ashamed of.

Talk to someone, talk to us:

We, at Dr Julian offer online video therapy in the comfort of your own home.

 

www.dr-julian.com

app.dr-julian.com

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Could Online Therapy Be a Good Idea for You?

Could Online Therapy Be a Good Idea for You?

It’s not hard to see why online counselling is growing in popularity. We now live in a technology dominated society; tech is a huge part of modern life – especially for millennials. Some may be skeptical, but e-therapy undoubtedly has some clear benefits.

The Advantages of Online Therapy.

Accessibility for Those with Physical Limitations

Online therapy provides accessibility to individuals who are disabled or housebound. Mobility can be a big issue when it comes to accessing mental health care. Individuals who are unable to leave their home for various reasons may find online therapy a useful alternative to traditional therapy settings.

Convenience & Comfort

Many people with mental health issues struggle to motivate themselves to get to the doctors – even just leaving the house can be a challenge. People can find it especially nerve wracking to visit the GP to talk about mental health. It is much easier and more comfortable to talk about such personal matters in the comfort of your own home. The disinhibition effect is a key factor here – people tend to feel more comfortable and confident opening up and discussing problems when they are online, rather than face to face.

Since, with e- therapy, you will be attending therapy sessions online in the comfort of your own home, you can often schedule your therapy sessions for times that are the most convenient for you.

Great for Mothers

This factor – the sessions being at home, even means you could have therapy whilst still caring for your baby or child.

A Good Option for Remote Areas

Online therapy offers access to mental health information to people in rural or remote areas. Those who live in such areas simply might not have access to any other form of mental health treatment because there are no mental health practices in their geographic area. E-therapy gives these individuals access to treatment that they might not have otherwise.

No Waiting Lists

GPs have long waiting lists whereas online therapy can can be instant. This is clearly an excellent thing for everyone in need but especially important for those with severe depression – they can’t afford to wait a while – especially if they may be suicidal.

Some online therapy may offer typed messaging therapy which may not be a great idea for many requiring detailed mental health help and counselling.

However, we at Dr Julian offer video call therapy, which is essentially face to face therapy, just in the comfort of your own home and at your own convenience.

All of our therapists at Dr Julian are professionally trained and accredited.

Visit our website for more info: www.dr-julian.com

Or visit our new web app: app.dr-julian.com

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Is Your Contraception Affecting Your Mental Health?

Is Your Contraception Affecting Your Mental Health?

Contraception is of course a wonderful thing – allowing women to take control over their bodies. Not only can it prevent unwanted pregnancies, but it can also help women to improve their acne and their period symptoms.

Hormonal contraception in the UK has evolved from being only accessible for married women, to now being widely available to people of all ages and relationship statuses.

Choices have also now expanded beyond the pill, with the implant, the coil, and many more options which are all easily available on the NHS. This is of course how it should be – everyone deserves the right to contraception, and the fact that there are different options to suit different people is absolutely great.

However, I think much more attention needs to be drawn to the psychological effects of many of these contraceptive methods.

Control over your body and reproductive system is a right, and so too should nuanced information about it be.

Side effects of Hormonal Contraception:

In a survey created by Rosie Hilton and Laurie Presswood, 67.8 per cent of respondents said that they felt a change in their general mood whilst taking hormonal contraception.

56.9 per cent said they felt their hormonal contraception had impacted their mental health.

Many respondents frequently referred to experiencing anxiety, depression, and mood swings, and two respondents specifically identified suicidal thoughts.

The most commonly used form of contraception for those answering the survey was the combined pill, with 196 out of 396 respondents having only experienced this form of contraception. Of this group, 65 per cent said that they felt the pill had affected their general mood, and 51 per cent felt it had affected their mental health.

These statistics are alarming when compared to the statistics popularly published, or expressed to people taking the pill:

In the list of potential side effects that come with Rigevidon, a commonly used brand of the combined pill, “mood swings including depression” is listed as a ‘common side effect’ that “may affect up to 1 in 10 people”.

This listed statistic seems incorrect, and rather far off from the truth.

Astonishingly, 56.5 per cent of people who said they felt their hormonal contraception affected their mental health, said that they had continued to take it despite these concerns.

It seems that women often dismiss their side effects due to the importance of avoiding unwanted pregnancies.

This is clearly not right and a change needs to happen.

Of course, contraception is important and vital, but there are other options out there and women should be encouraged to try these options.

Women shouldn’t just accept their low moods, and mental health issues, as a sacrifice for birth control.

What to do if you think your contraception is affecting your mental health:

Try coming off your contraception for a little while (of course still use protection – i.e condoms), and you may see a drastic change in your moods.

If this is the case, try other methods of contraception, especially non- hormonal ones:

Non-Hormonal Contraception Options:

  • IUD
  • Barrier methods such as the traditional condom or the female condom.
  • Cycle/temperature measures (i.e www.naturalcycles.com)

Try different methods and see what works best for you. You could make your future-self much, much happier.

Your mental health and happiness should come first!

If you are experiencing mental health issues, whether due to contraception or not, the best idea is to seek help.

Talking to someone is the best cure.

Talk to us at Dr Julian; we have just updated our online system with which you can access professional online therapy in the comfort of your own home.

Visit our web app: http://app.dr-julian.com

Or visit our website for more information and more blogs like this one: www.dr-julian.com

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The Link Between Gut Health and Mental Health.

The Link Between Gut Health and Mental Health.

Your gut is a lot more integral to your overall health than you may think.

Microbiome – the fancy term for the variety of bacteria that live within your gut and body – helps your body digest and absorb essential nutrients. But not only that, more and more research is starting to find that your microbiome may also support your immune system, your weight and, even your mood.

Scientists are starting to find a link between your gut and serious mental health issues like depression and anxiety.

How can your gut health be affecting your mental health?

There is a connection between your gut and your brain. Scientists refer to it as the gut-brain axis: the neurotransmitters in your gut travel along your nerves and through your immune system, to your brain, creating a two-way street of communication.

This explains why some stressors or anxiety can make you feel sick – it is communicated directly through your gut-brain axis.

Your microbiome produces a wide range of neurotransmitters, like the feel-good hormones serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin.

These reach the brain via the bloodstream, and can reduce inflammation – which has been shown to be a contributory factor in certain mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety.

According to research published in JAMA Psychiatry, brain inflammation was 30 percent higher in people diagnosed with clinical depression.

An unhealthy gut, can mean a decreased production of antioxidant chemicals that reduce inflammation and sustain chemical stability in the brain. These changes can contribute to certain signs and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.

Improving your diet might improve your headspace.

Recent studies show that loading up on fermented foods and drinks — like yogurt, kombucha, or sauerkraut — can lead to psychological improvements.

Other research suggests that taking a probiotic supplement with specific strains of bacteria may even reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Of course, you shouldn’t expect a carton of yogurt to cure your depression overnight. Slow and steady changes to your diet may help make a difference over time.

Don’t forget your fiber: eating enough will help the healthy bacteria in your gut thrive.

Happier gut, happier you.

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Social Media's Impact on Mental Health

Social Media's Impact on Mental Health

Social media undoubtedly has its benefits to us and our society. It is a tremendous way of communicating with like-minded people all over the world, and keeping in touch with friends and family.

There are also many excellent social media accounts out there created to inspire us, motivate us, and raise awareness of mental health.

Despite these points, we need to take a moment to think about how much time we are spending scrolling through our feeds, as studies have linked prolonged social media use with symptoms of depression, anxiety and low self- esteem.

Constantly comparing your life to others is not healthy. Social media is all a lie anyway – people portray their lives to be much better than they really are! Just focus on what you are lucky to have, and be grateful for it. We are all living different paths and that is absolutely fine! That is the beauty of life and we just need focus on our own.

TIPS:

  1. Of course, if you feel Facebook or Instagram is making you seriously depressed or low, the best solution would be to deactivate your account. You can always reactivate it again later if you regret it.
  2. De-friend or unfollow any accounts which cause you any upset, jealousy, anxiety, or low self-esteem. You do not need that negativity or toxicity in your life. Only follow accounts which make you feel happy and good about yourself.
  3. Limit yourself to a certain amount of time on your phone a day, perhaps an hour spread out throughout the day.
  4. Go outside and have some real-life interaction, it will make you feel 100 times better.
  5. Just remember, as mentioned before, social media is not real. People only capture the best parts of their lives, and edit the photographs too. The life you are desiring is not even being lived by the person you are envying!
  6. In the case of children or young adults/teenagers, please do ensure to raise your children with the awareness of this. It is especially hard for young girls constantly being surrounded by images of models and celebrities. To prevent the rising number of eating disorders, we all need to internalise the fact that these female bodies are not realistic.

The main thing we all need to learn to do is dramatically change our perspectives and attitudes.

We should all stop comparing and competing with one another, and instead celebrate each others’ successes as well as our own. We should all support each other.

If you are feeling really low, seek help from a friend or a professional.
The most important thing to do is TALK.

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Self-care coaching for your mind, body, heart and soul

Self-care coaching for your mind, body, heart and soul

I love that there’s so much more awareness about mental health now than when I was younger. And that we understand so much more about how we can help ourselves.

I have a trauma history and was prescribed beta blockers for anxiety when I was 22.

But I didn’t realise until much later (having trained as a complementary therapist and coach in my late twenties then going onto train as a therapist, supervisor and in other therapies including yoga for trauma, anxiety and stress) that everything I’d been feeling for as long as I could remember – from chronic insomnia in primary school to ‘self-medicating’ (ie drinking too much) from my early teens until I had to give it up and face my feelings sober in my early twenties (the alcohol made the endometriosis physical pain worse) was, if not normal then certainly more understandable.

I started yoga as a way of easing the endometriosis pain and trained as a complementary therapist in an effort to help myself feel better. This led to my training as a coach and then, after a house fire, as a counsellor – by that stage, I understood that my sense of ‘brokenness’ was a result of trauma and that it could possibly be eased.

Even so, I remember being scared that the therapist I chose as my training therapist during my psychosynthesis training would find my story (the little I actually disclosed to her) ‘too much’ and reject me as too broken. I dedicated my book to anyone who’s ever felt broken beyond repair because none of us are.

Looking back, if I’d had the money and the internet had been invented earlier, I think I’d have found the prospect of online therapy much less anxiety inducing than going to a stranger’s home or office.

In my online therapy sessions, self-care coaching sessions and yoga classes, I’m especially keen to encourage people to share only what feels good for them to share. To trust themselves and their body’s wisdom. To reconnect with that inner knowing and power as well as vulnerability (in their own time).

My interest in self-care coaching for mind, body, heart and soul – helping others take better care of themselves by better understanding a little more around what was happening with their bodies and brains with stress, anxiety, trauma and sleep issues – is because I never wanted anything to be done ‘to’ me – I wanted to know how to help myself.

It’s why I love teaching people to use their body and breath to improve how they feel, working in a way and at a pace that’s right for each individual. Secure online video conferencing for online therapy platforms like Zoom mean I can potentially work with people wherever they’re based.

As a supervisor, my self-care focus supports my supervisees as they are better equipped to hold that essential space for their clients when they’re able to hold it for themselves, too.

Self-care sounds simple but life can easily get in the way. With my book, 365 Ways to Feel Better: Self-care Ideas for Embodied Wellbeing (White Owl, 2017, £14.99) and my online video therapy, I’m keen to encourage people to become kinder to themselves, even around self-care. Just because we know what we ‘should’ do, whether that’s around asserting ourselves more, eating better, exercise, meditating or anything else, doesn’t mean we do it.

The last thing I want readers, clients, supervisees or students to do is to use self-care as yet another stick to bludgeon themselves with.

If you were to do a quick self-care audit now, and you were to think about your own mind, body, heart and soul, which is running the show?

Are you very much in your head or do you follow your heart? Do you tap into that soul part of yourself that can help you remember that you’re so much more than whatever you’ve survived or are struggling with? Do you neglect your body?

How might you do one tiny thing differently today to put yourself at least a little bit higher up on your agenda?

I’d love to hear how you’re getting on so feel free to tag me on twitter (@wellbeingeve) or Instagram (@evemenezescunningham) #selfcare

www.dr-julian.com

Eve Menezes Cunningham, Reg MBACP Accred., is a telephone and online supervisor, therapist and self-care coach (with psychosynthesis, yoga, NLP, EFT and crystals) for your mind, body, heart and soul. She is Chair of BACP Coaching and the author of 365 Ways to Feel Better: Self-care Ideas for Embodied Wellbeing (White Owl, 2017, £14.99)

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How can strength training benefit mental health

Working on your mental health can be an ongoing and never-ending battle.

The benefits of physical exercise on mental health are well-documented. And it’s an important tool sufferers can rely on to fight back against their struggles.

The choice of exercise is entirely up to personal preference. But, increasingly, strength training is becoming a more and more popular choice.

In this piece, we’re going to delve into the reasons why strength training can help you ward off depression, anxiety and stress.

Boost your mood

There are very few tailor made solutions for mental health struggles. Exercise, however, is proven to be one such solution: it’s a tried and tested salve for any struggles you may be experiencing.

When you exert yourself, your body produces feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals provide a lift to your mood. Even if it’s only temporary respite for a couple of hours, this period of elevated mood can be a much needed refuge from your own mind.

Stress relief

Mental health issues can affect all aspects of your life. Even if your struggles stem from a problem with your career, those frustrations, anxieties and concerns can bleed over into your social circles and your personal relationships.

It can be extremely difficult to exercise your frustrations in a healthy manner.

You need to have some kind of release to get rid of all this pent-up emotion. For many people, strength training provides that opportunity.

Lifting weights can act as a form of stress relief. Weightlifting is all about continually testing your limits: gradually increasing the size of your muscles requires you to lift progressively heavier weights. And that can’t be achieved without steely determination and a certain level of aggression and effort.

It isn’t something you can do half-heartedly. Because of this, strength training gives you a healthy way to expel any frustrations you might have.

Improve your fitness and increase your energy levels

Mental health difficulties are often the result of a cycle of negative thinking and unhelpful behaviours that only reinforce that outlook.  Strength training can help you break that cycle.

As well as giving you a release valve for any excess anxiety or stress you might have, you’ll also get substantially fitter and stronger over time. This will give you the energy and confidence to go about your day and keep yourself busy without lapsing into torpor.

Finding a community of like-minded people

Easy to overlook but just as important is the social aspect of strength training. Having someone to support you has long been an ingrained and necessary part of weightlifting.

Carrying out certain lifts requires the assistance of a spotter. If you’re struggling to perform an exercise, they can step in, take the weight off you and protect you from serious injury.

Mental health issues can be exacerbated by a lack of social interaction. The social aspect of strength training can provide isolated people with a crucial support network.  Getting out there, talking to different people and working out will do wonders for your mental health.

It also gives you a like-minded community to share your successes and progress with.

 

 

 

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