Category Archives: Blog

Could An Unhealthy Diet Increase Depression Symptoms? MI Depression Counseling

depression symptoms

The food you eat doesn’t just impact your health and your waistline. It also influences your mood and behavioral patterns. If you feel unexpected sad, angry, or irritable, your diet may have something to do with it. Let’s take a look at how an unhealthy diet could increase depression symptoms and steps you can take to avoid this.

What Unhealthy Food Does To Your Mind

Unhealthy food is full of toxins that sit around in your body. This limits circulation your body needs to stay energized and process everything you do throughout the day. If you consistently eat bad food, your mind won’t function as smoothly as it should. This makes it harder for you to stay awake or handle stressful situations, which makes depression symptoms worse.

The Downward Spiral Of Eating Poorly During Depression

Some people use food as a coping mechanism for depression. They turn to junk food for temporary happiness, but the effects don’t last long. Ultimately the junk food will lead to weight gain, fatigue or irritability, which will boost the effects of depression. More depression leads to more junk food, and the cycle continues from there.

Break The Cycle Right Now

Before you get trapped in the downward spiral, take a moment to evaluate your diet. Do you drink enough water throughout the day? Do you eat a sufficient amount of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins? Even if you don’t have a perfect diet, you can reduce the amount of junk you consume. Simply replacing soda with water will help you feel naturally more energized, to the point that you don’t even need caffeine! When you start putting good nutrients in your body, you should see a tremendous improvement in your mental health.

Discuss Diet During Depression Counseling

If you are working with a counselor to overcome your depression, your diet may come up in discussion. This is especially true if your depression is tied to low self-esteem because you are not happy with your weight. Be honest with your counselor about the foods you eat and how often you eat them. You will never feel judged in your therapy sessions. Your counselor is there to help you, not judge you. If there are healthy decisions that can improve your life as a whole, your counselor will point those out in a helpful, caring way. You can choose what to do with that information.

Consider the effects of diet on your mental health, and see if you can make adjustments to reduce your depression symptoms.

Why We Use Client-Guided Therapy At Our Michigan Counseling Centers

client guided therapy

Here at Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan, we believe in the power of client-guided therapy. The client sets the pace for counseling, therapy and treatment with the guidance of a mental health specialist. Rather than being told what to do and how to do it, we believe in helping our patients set their own goals. Let’s take a look at the benefits of client-guided therapy so you can determine if it is right for you.

You’re More Likely To Take Action When You’re In Control

Think back to when you were five years old and your parents tried to tell you to clean your room. Rather than saying, “Sure!” you probably said, “Five more minutes!” That five minutes wasn’t just so you could enjoy playing a little longer. It was because you wanted to be in control. You wanted to clean your room on your time, not when your parents asked you to.

Adults have this same mentality, even if it is completely subconscious. At work, you’re much more likely to complete a task if you come up with the idea in the first place. If your boss tells you what to do, you may roll your eyes or sigh before charging ahead.

Client-guided therapy taps into this mindset. If you’re the one setting goals for your progress, you are more likely to follow through with them. Use the power of your own motivation to improve your life and accelerate your progress.

You Still Have Support From Your Counselor

Client-guided therapy is not independent therapy. You still have a counselor by your side to help you set your goals. For instance, if you come to our Michigan counseling center for eating disorder treatment, your counselor will help you set measurable goals for recovery: eat XX more food per day, throw up XX fewer times per week, only look in the mirror XX times, etc.

If the goals you propose aren’t ideal, your counselor will suggest a better option for you. This will happen if your goals are too enthusiastic or insufficient for progress. If you set goals that are too high, you will feel discouraged when you do not reach them. If they are too low, you may not see much progress at all. Your counselor will be there every step of the way to establish a healthy balance.

You Will Naturally Want To Do Better

Humans are competitive. It’s part of our survival instincts. If you set goals for yourself, you will feel inclined to exceed them. If someone else sets your counseling goals, you may only complete the minimum requirements to fulfill them. We want you to propel through your therapy program so you can enjoy a better quality of life. Having you take the reigns is the best way to do that.

To learn more about client-guided therapy and what it can do for you, contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan.

Is A Lack Of Sleep Hurting Your Relationship? MI Couples Counseling

sleep deprivation

Many adults do not get the full eight hours of sleep they need per night. A new baby, a hectic work schedule, stress, anxiety, and many other factors may contribute to this lack of sleep. Not getting enough sleep is more than just an annoyance though. It could take a toll on your social life. Let’s explore how limited sleep may hurt your relationship and what you can do to correct that.

Crankiness And Irritability

Sleep deprivation can make you more irritable. Small issues that you would normally brush off become huge sources of conflicts. These conflicts can drive a wedge in your relationship. Your spouse now feels picked on, like a constant target for your frustration. He or she may even think you have anger management issues because of your overly sensitive reactions.

What causes this crankiness? As you sleep, your brain has a chance to sort through all the information you processed that day – emotions, memories, tasks at work, etc. If you do not get enough sleep, your brain doesn’t get everything sorted for the next day. It’s like walking into an office with papers all over the desk and plopping a new file on top. Translation: chaos. By getting the proper amount of sleep, you can eliminate some elements of crankiness.

Predictable Routines

Humans thrive on predictable routines. Wake up at a certain time, eat at a certain time, go to bed at a certain time. This isn’t always possible to achieve, but it is ideal. Relationships also thrive on these kinds of routines. Couples that have regular date nights and predictable patterns tend to have less stress as a whole.

Sleeping is a crucial element to these routines. By establishing a bed time for the household, you also set a schedule for conversations and bonding moments. This will help you connect with each other on a regular basis and open the doors for proper communication. This will also help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer because your body will get used to the schedule – eliminating some of the crankiness mentioned above.

Proximity Bonding

You don’t have to be awake to bond with someone. Just being in the same room while you sleep will help you feel closer as a couple. If one person is up watching TV in another room, the person left alone in bed may feel inexplicably distant. If you get in a habit of going to sleep together when possible, you will subtly improve the strength of your relationship.

Tackling Sleep Deprivation In Couples Counseling

Talk about your sleep deprivation during your couples counseling. Your counselor can help you figure out if there are underlying issues triggering your lack of sleep. For instance, depression and anxiety can both influence your sleep patterns. Stress from work or finances are other possible contributors. If you learn what is causing the lack of sleep, you can figure out a way to conquer the cause. This will improve your relationship and speed up the progress of your couples counseling.

Facing Anxiety During A Major Life Change: Michigan Anxiety Therapy

life change

Most people experience anxiety during a major life change. Starting a new job, moving to a new town, getting into a new relationship – all of these moments are prefaced with some form of trepidation. You may not be able to get rid of this anxiety entirely, but you can control how you handle it when the time comes. Here are some tips for facing anxiety during a major life change.

Focus On The Future

You decided to make this change because it was going to improve your future. Don’t lose sight of that. Think about the positive experiences to come, like financial stability or better job security. Change is inherently scary because you don’t truly know what the future will hold. If you focus on the positives though, you are more likely to get past your nerves and move forward.

Lean On Your Support System

Your friends and family are there to support you no matter where life takes you. Talk to them during this time so they can encourage you about your future. If you have a therapist to work with, you can talk to them about your anxiety and healthy ways to overcome it. Your therapist can recommend coping mechanisms specific to your personality.

Use The Anxiety As Motivation

Any time you feel anxiety, you can either let it defeat you or let it inspire you. Consider those jitters as an extra push to get through the transition and enjoy the great experiences to come. You can turn fear into excitement if you start looking at it from a positive perspective. The sooner you get into this next chapter in your life, the better you will feel.

Think About Past Changes You’ve Made

This isn’t the first time you made a major life change. There are dozens of changes in your past that you got through. Those changes led you to where you are today and all the positive experiences you have had. You felt just as anxious then as you do now, and you made it out successfully. This transition will go the same way.

Prepare As Much As Possible

If you are well prepared for the changes to come, you won’t be as nervous about them. Make lists of tasks you need to complete, and check them off one by one. If you need money to make the transition, save as much as you can in advance. When you feel confident about a major life change, everything will seem to fall into place.

A Step-By-Step Guide To Eating Disorder Treatment

eating disorder treatment

Eating disorder treatment is a branch of therapy designed to help people with anorexia, bulimia, body dysmorphic disorder, and more. These conditions can significantly impact a person’s day-to-day life, changing the way they eat and interact with others. If you have an eating disorder and have considered getting treatment, there are options available to improve your quality of life and boost your self-esteem. The eating disorder specialists at Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan would be happy to assist you.

Here is a step-by-step guide to eating disorder treatment so you know exactly what this program entails.

What Gets Treated With Eating Disorder Treatment?

Before we explain how eating disorder treatment works, we need to define what is categorized as an “eating disorder.” This is any thought pattern that affects a person’s diet, exercise regime, or view of their body. The most common types of eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia, binging and purging, and chronic dieting (someone who consistently diets regardless of how much he or she weighs). Body dysmorphia and exercise addiction may also be treated with eating disorder therapy.

In many cases, eating disorder treatment comes after another form of therapy. For instance, a person may come in for depression therapy and reveal the eating disorder later on. Some patients are unaware of their eating disorder until they start talking to their therapist. In this instance, the counselor will refer the person to an eating disorder therapist for specialized treatment that complements the initial therapy program.

How Eating Disorder Treatment Works

There is no cookie-cutter method for eating disorder treatment. Everything is personalized to fit the needs of the patient. However, most programs start with an assessment to figure out what the symptoms, causes and severity of the eating disorder may be. This gives the eating disorder therapist a path to follow when developing a treatment program.

After the initial assessment, the therapist will work with the client to create measurable, realistic goals. The goals may be centered around behavioral changes or physical improvements. At Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan, we use client-guided therapy in our treatment programs. That means that you set the pace for your progression, with the assistance of a professional eating disorder specialist.

The goals you set for your body cannot be generic: “I want to throw up less.” Instead, you will need to assign values to the goals so they can accurately be measured: “I want to throw up 25% less than I do now.” With numbers on hand, you can figure out a plan to complete those goals.

As time progresses, you will start to reach each goal in your eating disorder treatment. Then you and your therapist will work together to create a new set of goals. In most cases, this is completed with the help of a nutritionist to ensure that you make the best decisions for your body. Your nutritionist can recommend foods to eat, exercises to try, or other steps to take to coincide with your therapy sessions.

Eating Disorder Treatment Involves Your Mind And Your Body

Eating disorder treatment is a two-sided process. The therapy helps you conquer the root causes of the eating disorder – depression, anxiety, bullying, trauma, verbal abuse, body dysmorphic disorder, etc. The work you do with a nutritionist will help you get your body to a healthy, manageable state. This wholistic approach is tested and proven to help people overcome eating disorders.

Will I Ever Be “Cured” Of My Eating Disorder?

With eating disorder treatment, you can learn how to reverse negative thought patterns that caused your eating disorder or made it worse. However, there may come a time when you need additional therapy due to a “relapse.” At its core, an eating disorder is an addiction, either to food or to the pursuit of a perfect body. You may experience a trauma or be put in a situation that pushes you into old habits.

No matter what the circumstances may be, you can get ongoing eating disorder treatment and therapy from the specialists here at Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers. Contact one of our Michigan therapy offices today to learn more about your options.

 

A Look at Body Dysmorphic Disorder: Eating Disorder Treatment Michigan

body dysmorphic disorder

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a driving force behind many eating disorders. A person who sees their body differently than other people may take unnecessary steps to alter it. This includes overeating, undereating, binging, purging, and more. This guide provides an overview of body dysmorphic disorder and how eating disorder treatment can help.

What Is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?

Body dysmorphic disorder is a condition that causes a person to perceive his or her body differently than how it looks in reality. We all have imperfections that we are self-conscious about, but those negative thoughts get pushed to the side during the day. Someone with BDD cannot ignore these thoughts. They fixate on their flaws, or the flaws that they have created in their mind, and they do whatever they can to correct these issues.

Symptoms Of BDD

Body dysmorphia causes people to focus on slight imperfections or non-existent imperfections on their body. This could be in regards to their weight, or it may have to do with a specific feature (face, hair, nose, fingernails, etc.). This fixation on perfection can cause the person to develop extreme social anxiety, self-consciousness, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and more. It can also cause the person to become isolated from friends and family members because they are worried about their appearance.

The Effects Of Body Dysmorphia

A person with BDD may undergo plastic surgery to correct their perceived physical flaws. This does not get rid of the root cause of the problem though – the actual mental condition. Instead, the person will find a new thing to analyze and correct, creating a vicious cycle that can be stopped with eating disorder treatment and therapy.

BDD can disrupt a person’s day-to-day life. For instance, one patient at our eating disorder treatment center in Michigan could not drive because he got too distracted by the car mirrors. Another missed too much work because of her fixation, and she eventually lost her job. Thankfully, with proper treatment, these compulsions and addictions can be controlled.

Getting Treatment For Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body dysmorphic disorder treatment is closely linked with eating disorder therapy. The goal is to reverse negative thought patterns while improving your overall health and happiness. In the program, you can work closely with a nutritionist to get to a healthy weight, whether you are underweight or overweight. You can also work with a therapist to boost your self-esteem and overcome the mental obstacles that sparked this disorder.

To learn more about eating disorder treatment, contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan. We look forward to working with you.

What Causes PTSD? PTSD Therapy In Michigan

ptsd

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be caused by any form of trauma. It is most often associated with combat in the military, but that only represents a small portion of PTSD sufferers in America. According to the National Center for PTSD, 70-80% of Americans will experience PTSD in their lives. Here we will explore what causes PTSD and the treatment options available to address those concerns.

Causes Of PTSD

As the name implies, post traumatic stress disorder is caused by trauma. This may include:

  • A car accident
  • Combat
  • A natural disaster
  • A life-altering experience, such as sudden job loss or a spouse passing away
  • Sexual assault
  • Near death experience
  • Severe injury

This list is only the start. Every person has a unique definition of trauma. If two people are exposed to the same potentially traumatic event, there may only be one who experiences PTSD. They could both have PTSD or neither of them may develop it. That is why many people live with PTSD for years before getting counseling, because they do not realize they have it to begin with.

Signs Of PTSD

PTSD symptoms range from one person to the next. This is largely based on the type of trauma someone experienced. A person who has PTSD from combat may get anxiety or flashbacks when they hear fireworks because they sound like gunfire. A person with PTSD from a car accident may have a panic attack in heavy traffic.

In most cases, PTSD involves a trigger and a reaction. Something sparks a memory or feeling from a traumatic time, and the person involved reacts in some way. The reaction may include:

  • Nightmares
  • Sudden bursts of emotions (crying spells, panic, depression, etc.)
  • A need to get away from the place or event
  • Feeling numb
  • Going into a daydream-like state
  • Momentary loss of memory
  • Feeling like you’re in a different place or time

Getting Help For PTSD

With PTSD therapy, you can identify triggers and control your reactions to those triggers moving forward. Your therapist will help you figure out exactly what’s causing your PTSD symptoms and find effective ways to avoid or confront them as time progresses. Some patients may benefit from taking medication in addition to therapy. Contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan to learn more about PTSD therapy and how it may help you.

Does The Good Doctor Accurately Portray Autism? Autism Treatment MI

good doctor autism

Autism awareness has grown considerably since television shows started adding autistic characters to the cast. Back in April, Sesame Street created a new puppet named Julia to help children understand autism spectrum disorder.  Billy, the Blue Ranger in the new Power Rangers movie, has high-functioning autism, and so does the star of the Netflix original series Atypical.

Yet another show has come out with an autistic lead role. This time it’s “The Good Doctor.” Dr. Shaun Murphy is a young surgical resident who has both autism and savant syndrome. These conditions allow him to have a unique perspective on the medical world – he sees things that other doctors cannot see. The question is: how accurately does this showcase autism spectrum disorder?

How Autism Is Portrayed In The Good Doctor

From the first episode, it is clear that Dr. Murphy looks at the world differently. He analyzes situations in his mind, similar to how Robert Downey Jr.’s thoughts are portrayed in the newest Sherlock Holmes movies. He processes information literally and does not always pick up on social cues. He avoids eye contact, twiddles his fingers, and speaks with a bold, matter-of-fact tone.

The show also explores the doctor’s early life, including memories of traumatic experiences triggered by sounds, sights and smells. The audience sees what life was like for this character before he was diagnosed or treated for his autism.

Does This Represent Autism Well?

Autism is not a condition with a defined set of symptoms. This is why people are placed on a “spectrum,” representing how easily they can function with the rest of society. Some people with autism would not be able to get through medical school or the chaos of working in a hospital, but that is not to say this character is inaccurate.

For the most part, The Good Doctor does a sufficient job of explaining what autism is and showing how it affects the main character. Much like Sam from Atypical, Shaun has trouble with flashing lights and loud noises around him. He can sometimes identify sarcasm, but he may not find humor in it. These are all experiences someone with autism might have.

It is impossible to define what an autistic character should and should not be, and this show is still in its infancy. For now, the writers and actors have maintained a strong level of authenticity. At minimum, they have helped to bring even more awareness to autism and autism treatment.

 

Money Management Tips To Fight Depression: Depression Therapy In MI

money management

Finances play a big role in a person’s stress levels. Excessive stress can lead to depression, and depression can cause unhealthy spending habits. You can stop this cycle early on by learning the right way to manage your money. Here are some money management tips to prevent depression symptoms.

Assess Your Income And Expenses

Before you can manage your money, you need to know how much of it you have available. This requires a thorough look at your income and monthly expenses. Figure out how much you make each month, and round down any income approximations. If you work 33-36 hours per week, use 33 weeks as an approximation for your earnings. For your bills, round the value up. If your electric bill is $200-$300, budget for $300 monthly.

Assign Bills For Each Pay Day

Missing a bill is a stressful experience. The thought of a disconnect notice in the mail is enough to spark a panic attack. To avoid this, assign bills for every pay day. Make sure these correspond to the value of your paycheck. You don’t want to have $2,000 worth of bills to pay with a $1,500 paycheck.

If you have more bills due than you will make, you should pay some of those bills early. For instance, you may pay your water, cable and electric bill on the 15th of the month before they’re due. This leaves the paycheck on the 1st free to cover your house payment. Create a schedule that keeps you on time for all of your bills, not including grace periods.

Do Not Rely On Grace Periods

Most bills will have some sort of grace period. Example: The bill is due on the 1st but is not considered late until after the 4th. Mentally, you may move the due date to the 4th because of this grace period. This is an easy way to get late fees. The grace periods are designed to give you an extra cushion in case a bill comes due on a weekend and you cannot get to the bank to access your money. Do not count on them to manage your money. You should have your bills paid well before the grace period goes into effect.

Set A Spending Limit For Yourself

This is where the real depression therapy comes into play. The excitement you feel from shopping is only temporary. The depression you feel from a high credit card bill is long term. If you allow yourself to spend whatever you want without any control, you are going to make depression symptoms worse.

Set a realistic budget for yourself that factors in the money management tips from above. If you only have $200 leftover after paying your bills and buying the essentials, then that is all you have to spend. Period. You could put that money on a prepaid debit card or deposit it into a separate account you use for personal purchases. You could also take it out in cash and keep all your cards at home when you go out. If you don’t have a way to overspend, you’re not going to.

Talk To A Counselor About Depression And Shopping Addiction

Mismanaging your money may not be the only cause of your depression. With professional depression therapy, you can identify underlying issues that affect your present day life. If you’re dealing with shopping addiction, low self-esteem, loneliness, regret, or any other concerns, you can address those during your depression therapy. Ultimately, you will learn how to take control of your life and conquer your depression symptoms.

Contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan to learn more about our depression therapy programs.

Organizing Disorganization

Organizing Disorganization

I have heard many concerns related to disorganization.  “I just can’t get organized.”  “My son is so disorganized, I don’t know how he finds anything in his room.” “My grades are bad because I lose my homework.”  Disorganization comes in many shapes and sizes but commonly the result is the same…underachieving on task completion.  As we enter the school year and the lives of children, adolescents, and families become more active and busy the need for organization becomes more apparent.

There are many reasons for a person to be disorganized including but not limited to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, low motivation, laziness, being overwhelmed, or skill deficits.  Regardless of the reason, disorganization is a compounding problem.  A person who becomes disorganized, and makes no attempt to reorganize or is unable to reorganize, will become more disorganized as time goes.  For example, a child comes home from school with 2 worksheets and 3 notes randomly placed in their school bag.  Neither child nor parent tries to organize them into a folder but the parent sends the child back to school with 1 additional note and 1 permission slip to turn in to the teacher.  There are now 2 worksheets, 4 notes, and 1 permission slip randomly placed in the child’s school bag.  This child is unlikely to get everything back to where it needs to go.  As this pattern continues it becomes more and more difficult to manage the mess of papers in the school bag. This pattern can be true for adults and children alike.  It can result in missed appointments, forgotten soccer games, poor grades, and a multitude of other stress inducing scenarios.

To reduce stress and increase task completion getting organized becomes a necessary process.  To help, here are some tips to help reorganize.

  • Look beyond the behavior: When we focus on behavior we tend to label. “He’s lazy.” “I’m messy.”  Even if those labels are true, they aren’t helpful.  Looking behind the behavior allows for the opportunity to understand the behavior.  We can identify deficits and other precipitating factors that allow us to begin problem solving.
  • Use an organizational system and tools: This includes smartphones including apps, alarms, and reminders. Use calendars, notebooks, sticky notes, charts, etc. Create visual cues and reminders like a bright colored note with a reminder message attached to a notebook.
  • Prioritize: Identify deadlines and urgency.  From there, break large tasks down in to smaller more manageable tasks.
  • Routine: When we repeat a pattern of behaviors consistently they become habits. Habits require less mental effort.  Less mental effort puts us in a better position to be successful.  A routine creates organization and organization creates routine.
  • Be proactive: Plan and prepare ahead of time.

If these tips don’t remedy the issue, talk to someone.  Perhaps a therapist, a financial planner, a home organizer, etc., could be helpful.  Organizing your life and your tasks is the first step towards success.

Joe Lilly is a therapist with over 10 years’ experience working with children, adolescents, and families.  He is the Director of Anger and Behavioral Management and specializes in the treatment of anger, ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder as well as many other mental and behavioral health related concerns.  Joe provides individual, group, and family therapy.