The Mental Health Connection
Help Therapy is once again looking forward to participating in the annual Navy SEAL Foundation Impact Forum. It’s scheduled for October 4-6, 2021, in La Jolla, CA. This event offers Navy SEALS, along with other veterans and their families the opportunity to learn about behavioral health resources. Many of our provider partners work with veterans—many TriWest and TriCare patients. This event is the opportunity for mental health professionals to listen to guest speakers speak on topics related to mental health concerns facing veterans, providing valuable knowledge they can take back to their practice.
We would love to hear from you about your veteran therapy success stories or other knowledge you have gained and would like to share with our readers. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ve received one such article from Dr. Mark S. Lytle about hypnosis. Be sure to read it further down in the newsletter.
Have a safe and happy Halloween.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and ADHD Awareness Month
National Domestic Violence Awareness Month According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN):
An average of 20 people are physically abused by intimate partners every minute.
One in three women and one in four men have been physically abused in some way by an intimate partner.
One in five women and one in seven men have been severely physically abused by an intimate partner.
This month is a time to acknowledge domestic violence survivors and be a voice for its victims.
ADHD Awareness Month October is also designated as ADHD Awareness Month, sponsored by the Attention Deficit Disorder Association. During this month, the latest research and clinical studies are highlighted, to discover more effective treatments for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Millions of Americans are affected by ADHD, many without realizing it. The association recommends getting tested for ADHD if you tend to procrastinate, have trouble focusing on a task or generally lack motivation.
For some, scary movies, gory images and haunted houses can trigger anxiety. For those suffering from a mental illness, it can be disabling. Here are four ways to help you cope with Halloween and ease anxiety. 1. Acknowledge the Problem People with Halloween-induced anxiety may feel embarrassed about their fear, but their feelings are valid. Telling someone not to be scared or that they’re silly or a coward can make the situation worse. Although Halloween depictions, characters and situations aren’t real, the fear is. Acknowledging these feelings is the first step to managing them. 2. Explore the Why Sometimes it may be apparent why you have a particular fear. Maybe you went through a traumatic event around Halloween, like an accident or a death. Maybe as a child you got separated from your family and got lost in a haunted house. Other times, the “why” is buried. Exploring where your fears and anxieties come from through journaling or working with a therapist can help you identify the source and find ways to work through the trauma. 3. Find Other Ways to Celebrate It’s important to let people that care about you know what you are willing and not willing to do. Setting boundaries and expectations can help you avoid difficult upcoming situations. If your friend wants to go to a haunted house or scary movie, you can suggest another less stressful Halloween or Fall activity. You may feel more comfortable carving pumpkins or baking cute Fall-themed cookies. 4. Learn Coping Mechanisms You can’t always avoid the things that trigger anxiety, especially at Halloween. It’s a big holiday for many, celebrated with decorations, parties and costumes. Your neighbors may have disturbing decorations in their yard and your office may encourage everyone to wear costumes and even give out trick or treat candy. Fortunately, there are coping mechanisms that can help, including:
Being around people who don’t suffer from the same fears can be a way to cope with your anxiety.
Learning relaxation techniques, like deep breathing, can reduce anxiety.
Talking about your anxiety with someone who won’t judge you can bring your fears out in the open where they can be addressed.
By Mark S. Lytle, Psy.D
When I began my practice as a psychotherapist in San Diego, I taught a class on "Self-Hypnosis and Meditation" and it was so successful I sometimes taught it four nights a week. I had never taught it to a group up until that time.
I quickly found out that there were many definitions of what people called hypnosis. I had taught myself hypnosis and smile as I recall that I believe I was driven to learn the skill as a teen to gain confidence and have more control with the opposite sex! That, plus my belief in the power of my own mind, was more than enough to motivate me to become a skilled operator. In graduate school and doing an internship at a San Diego hypnosis clinic, my skills and knowledge improved.
During my early years in San Diego (as well as California), I explored practically every meditation group I heard of. I was told by some how different meditation and hypnosis were, but the more I learned, the more similarity I saw. Without getting into a long conversation, I am now of the belief that they are very much the same. I have often said it depends on the purpose and technique used while in the trance.
I am satisfied to use the term altered state of consciousness and everyone has experienced that. Even prayer can be included in such a category. But for the sake of brevity, let us stick to the topic "hypnosis” in this article, yet begin with the idea of trance. We have all done things without thinking, driven past our exit, gone into a room and forgotten what we went for and many other unconscious acts. Everyone has a non-conscious part of their mind. Using hypnosis can help one become more in touch with the inner mind. This can be utilized in many ways.
Hypnosis is used these days to relieve pain, to enhance well-being, to perform surgery, to ward off nausea, to overcome addictions and to discover the root of a number of psychological problems. People heal faster with hypnosis, experience less anxiety, overcome fears and improve their quality of life. AND you cannot overdose or become addicted, and it has no side effects. No prescription is required and it is capable of treating scores of different conditions. It is clearly a technique to be considered.
Depression and the Elderly
Everyone needs social connections to thrive. But as people age, they often find themselves spending more time alone. Loneliness and social isolation are associated with higher rates of depression. Although many older adults felt isolated and lonely before COVID-19, the pandemic has amplified this situation. Many seniors view visits with family and friends as special events—something to look forward to with excited anticipation. These visits may be what keeps the individual thriving. When they’re changed from in-person contact to just conversations on the phone—or worse, to infrequent or nonexistent contact—depression may be the result. Prevalence of Depression Among Older Adults Depression isn’t an inevitable part of getting older. But life’s changes such as retirement, declining health and the death of loved ones can trigger depression. A 2019 National Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics revealed several statistics regarding depression:
18.4% of adults 65 and older in the survey experienced symptoms of depression.
Women were more likely than men to experience symptoms of depression.
Asian adults were least likely to experience symptoms of depression compared with Hispanic, white and black adults.
Other statistics revealed by the CDC show:
13.5% of the elderly requiring home care suffer from depression
11.5% of the elderly hospitalized suffer from depression
This Month's Tip
10 Ways to Celebrate Fall
Two Popular holiday celebrations happen in the Fall— Halloween and Thanksgiving. But Fall isn’t just about these traditional celebrations. Fall is a beautiful time to get outdoors, bring nature indoors and try a few Fall-inspired foods and drinks. Here are ten fun ways to celebrate Autumn:
Collect natures gifts of Fall: colorful leaves, acorns, pinecones, seed pods and berries
Go to a pumpkin patch
Decorate your home with Fall-themed wreaths, pumpkins, gourds, scarecrows and foliage arrangements
Bake pumpkin bread or pumpkin muffins
Try a new Fall drink: a pumpkin spice latte, chai tea or apple cider
Make caramel apples
Host a harvest party potluck
Attend an Octoberfest
Go on a hayride
"In any given moment, we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety."
— Abraham Maslow
Monica Thoelke, MA, LMFT
Monica is a marriage & family therapist with nine years of experience. Her practice focuses on working with young adults, adults transitioning through life stages, and those struggling with ADHD, Anxiety, parenthood, and other challenges.
Depending on the therapy goals, she uses a variety of approaches that may include Art Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Existential Therapy.
Monica describes herself as “a warm and approachable person who brings a positive, honest, grounded perspective to each session.”
She offers online video and phone sessions through a HIPAA compliant online teletherapy service.
National Heritage Month
September 15 - October 15, 2021
See National Hispanic Heritage Month for more information.
Impact Forum 2021
October 4-6, 2021
See NAVY SEAL FOUNDATION for more information.
Mental Health Awareness Week October 4-10, 2021
See NAMI for more information.
National Depression Screening Day
October 7, 2021
See IAB Health Productions for more information.
World Mental Health Day
October 10, 2021
See WHO for more information.
International OCD Awareness Week
October 10-16, 2021
See International OCD Foundation for more information.
National Coming Out Day
October 11, 2021
See Human Rights Campaign for more information.
National Stop Bullying Day
October 14, 2021
See National Day Calendar for more information.
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