Category Archives: Blog

Overcoming Internet Addiction: Addiction Counseling In Michigan

internet addiction

Internet addiction is a real problem, one that is often overlooked in addiction counseling programs. Social media, online video sites, forums, discussion boards, and the like are all a potential source of addiction. If your time online is interfering with your life as a whole, these tips will help you step away from the computer.

Identify The Most Addictive Element Of The Internet

In most cases, the internet itself is not a problem – it’s a specific website or set of websites that are addictive. For instance, you may find yourself going on Facebook or YouTube at work, even though it is against company policy. You may also be addicted to a photo or story sharing site, like Reddit or Imgur. Whatever the case may be, you need to know what is triggering your internet addiction. That is the only way to recover from it.

Block Those Websites On Select Devices

Once you know which websites you are most addicted to, block them on certain devices. For example, you may delete the Facebook app from your phone and block the site on your work computer. Then the only way you can access Facebook is from your home computer. You may need to block them altogether, depending on how significant your addiction is. You can slowly incorporate them back into your life once the addiction subsides.

Schedule Your Internet Time

Instead of going online “whenever,” create a schedule for yourself. Only get on the internet for 30 minutes in the morning and an hour at night, well before your bedtime. If need be, you can set a timer for yourself to remind you when to get off the internet. Once your time is up, find a different task to occupy your mind.

Find New Ways To Socialize

One of the biggest driving factors of internet addiction is the desire to socialize. Believe it or not, you can do that without going online! Find a club or organization to get involved with, and start interacting with people in person. The modern age is filled with addictive electronics that pull our attention away from reality. You may be surprised by how little you crave the internet once you find a suitable substitute for your attention.

Work With An Addiction Counselor

If your internet addiction has affected your personal relationships or your productivity at work, you may need help from a professional addiction counselor. Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan has several specialists on hand to help you with social media addiction, gambling addiction, internet porn addiction, and much more. Give us a call to set up a consultation, and we will help you achieve a better quality of life.

How To Feel More Valued At Work: Self-Esteem Counseling MI

self esteem

Do you feel undervalued and underappreciated at work? This can harm your self-esteem. You may not be able to control the way your boss treats you or the type of work you do, but you can change your perception of your environment. Here are some tips to help you feel more valued at work.

Start Each Day With A Positive Attitude

We get it – you don’t like your job, your colleagues, your boss, or some element of your work. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a positive attitude. Approaching each day with a smile and hope will naturally make you feel better throughout the day. Obstacles that seem overwhelming when you’re gloomy will seem easy-to-conquer with a positive mindset.

Identify The Purpose Of Your Work

Oftentimes we feel value-less because we don’t have a goal to strive for. What is your purpose at work? How does your job improve the lives of others? Every position has a purpose, whether it’s creating a clean space for others to work in or building a product that people need. Find the purpose in your profession and use that to create a sense of value.

Get Constructive Feedback From Your Supervisor

If your supervisor rarely applauds you for your work, speak to him in private about ways to improve your productivity. You may not like what you hear at first, but at least you will have a guideline to follow. What areas do you thrive in, and what areas could be better? Try to enhance the skills you’re struggling with and emphasize the ones that you’re already great at so you can be the best employee possible.

Give Feedback To Your Supervisor Or Employer

Some supervisors are quick to identify problems in a workplace, but they aren’t as quick to provide praise to their employees. If you feel like your work is consistently being overlooked, talk to your employer or supervisor about that. Explain why you feel like a valuable employee and why you and your colleagues deserve more positive feedback throughout the day. This not only lets your supervisor know that there is a problem, but it also forces you to identify your positive traits. That’s an instant self-esteem boost!

Plan Your Long-Term Goals

Where do you want to be with your career, and what steps are you taking to accomplish that goal? If you turn your focus to the future, you will feel a greater sense of pride in your work. What you’re doing now matters. If it’s not helping you reach your long-term goal, find a plan that will. When you have finally reached your dream job or found a stable source of income, you will naturally feel valued at work.

First Day Of School Prep For Anxious Children: Child Anxiety Counseling MI

school prep

The first day of school is scary for everyone, especially children with anxiety. Anxious children often need to be familiar with their surroundings in order to feel safe and calm. Getting thrown into the first day of school is the opposite of “familiar,” but there are some things you can do to make the process easier. Here are some school prep tips for children with anxiety, courtesy of our child anxiety counseling center in Michigan.

Tour The School Ahead Of Time

Most schools will have multiple opportunities for parents and students to tour the facility before the first day. Open houses, “meet the teacher” days, enrollment, orientation, and other events provide you with a chance to take your child to school to get familiar with the rooms. Walk with your child to each of his or her classes. Find a path from each of those classes to the child’s locker, and go over that path several times. Ideally, you should make a couple visits to the school to ensure that your child remembers where the classes are, where his or her locker is, what the locker combination is, and where important parts of the school are (gym, cafeteria, etc.). You may get a few eye rolls from your child, but this prep work will make a big difference when school starts.

Get Into A School-Like Routine A Couple Weeks Before

Create a school-like schedule for your child before school actually starts. This will include a set bed time, wake up time, get ready time, etc. You should plan out meals as close to their school times as possible. If your child normally gets play time after school, you could set that up before school starts. The goal here is to get your child into a routine so the first day of school feels natural. Routines are very important for children with anxiety.

Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute To Buy School Supplies

If you wait until the last minute to buy school supplies, you may not be able to find everything you need before the first day. This means that your child will either show up to school empty-handed, or he or she will have to tell the teacher about the missing supplies. This is a lot of pressure for a child with anxiety.

Of course, some instances like this are unavoidable. If you cannot get all of your child’s school supplies in advance, contact the teacher(s) about the issue. See if there are any alternative supplies you can buy or if there will be ones available at the school. Taking this pressure off your child will once again allow him to focus on school itself.

Ask Your Child What He’s Most Nervous About – And Reassure Him Along The Way

Talk to your child before the first day of school to find out what he is most anxious about. Once you know his fears, you can work on conquering them before school starts. For instance, if your child is worried about not having any friends at school, you could try to meet some other parents during the open house or parent teacher night. You could also encourage your child to play with other kids in the neighborhood around his age so he sees familiar faces in the halls.

There is always a way to combat a child’s anxiety. You just have to find it. By working with one of our child anxiety counselors in Michigan, you can learn unique techniques to reduce your child’s anxiety symptoms. Contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers to learn more.

Are Selfies Hurting Your Self-Esteem? MI Self-Esteem Counseling

selfies

Selfies are a mark of the modern world. Just about everyone with a smartphone has a gallery full of personal photos. Snapping a selfie may seem like a simple way to capture a memory, but it actually has a major impact on your self-esteem. Let’s take a closer look at the psychology behind selfies and how you may be affected by it.

Selfies Encourage Self-Criticism

When you take a selfie, you are forcing yourself to evaluate your appearance. Unlike the “old days” when you had to wait for a photo to be printed, you can instantly view a photo you take before sharing it with the world. You will instinctively examine the photo and find flaws in your appearance. It’s the same process as when you see someone staring at you from across the room. You become aware of your posture, your hair, your clothing, your makeup – anything that may look wrong to someone else. The only difference with a selfie is that you’re the one casting judgment.

Selfies Can Ignite The Wrong Attention

There is nothing wrong with sharing pictures on social media, but there is a psychological component to keep in mind. In our depression counseling and self-esteem counseling programs in Michigan, we talk about the dangers of social media addiction. Every time you get a like or comment on your photo, a small amount of dopamine is released in your mind. This is the chemical that makes you feel happy and pleased with yourself. It’s the same chemical that gets released while smoking cigarettes or taking certain drugs. That’s why it’s so addictive.

If you get in the habit of taking selfies and posting them, you will get addicted to the attention. This can lead to depression and low self-esteem over time, especially if you aren’t getting the reactions you want from your photos. Limiting your social media time can help you maintain your self-esteem and confidence.

Selfies May Pull You Away From Real Life

This is a widespread problem in the digital era. People are so focused about conversations and issues online that they forget to enjoy the real world around them. If you feel the need to take a selfie every time you have a new experience, you’re missing out on the big picture. You’re so worried about getting the perfect photo to capture the moment that you ignore the moment itself. This may not have an impact on you right away, but over time, you will start to realize that life has passed by much quicker than you imagined.

What’s The Solution?

We’re not asking you to stop taking selfies altogether. If you want to snap a photo in a big life event, go for it! However, if you are struggling with low self-esteem, depression, social media addiction and other issues, you may need to take a break from the selfie world. Take a step behind the camera and capture memories without you front and center. As you start to feel better about yourself, you will be able to enjoy those special moments even more.

Contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers today to learn more about self-esteem counseling in Michigan.

Does Health Insurance Cover Counseling And Therapy? Michigan Counseling Centers

Health insurance

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Most people know to go to the doctor when they’re sick, but they don’t always think about going to a therapist when they’re depressed. For some, this avoidance is because they don’t know how much therapy will cost. Does health insurance cover counseling and therapy? How can I tell if my mental health services are covered by insurance? Check out this guide from our Michigan counseling centers to learn these answers and more.

Mental Health Coverage Is The Same As (Or Better Than) Physical Health Coverage

Thanks to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act from 2008, mental and behavioral health coverage must be comparable to physical health coverage. In other words, your insurance provider cannot charge a higher copay for therapy appointments than they do for doctor’s appointments. If you currently have a $20 copay with your primary care physician, your copay will be capped at that. You may have a limit to the number of mental health visits covered per year based on “medical necessity,” but that issue rarely arises.

Simply put, counseling and therapy are covered under most health insurance programs, and the insurance company cannot charge you an extra fee for seeing a therapist.

Types Of Health Insurance That Cover Therapy

Most health insurance programs cover therapy and counseling. Any programs available through the Health Insurance Marketplace and covered under the Affordable Care act will provide mental health covered. Employer-sponsored health insurance plans for companies with 50 employees or more are required to have mental health covered as well. Most Medicaid programs fall into this category, but there are some exceptions to that rule.

How To Find Out If Your Health Insurance Covers Counseling

Your counseling and therapy coverage will be outlined in your plan benefits. If you cannot find the information or you do not understand it, you can contact your health insurance provider to discuss your coverage. You can also talk to your counseling center about your copay. When you contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan, we can review your insurance plan to tell you what your appointment fees will be, if any. Some health insurance plans cover the entire cost of an appointment!

Counseling is surprisingly affordable, so you can get the help you need without breaking the bank. Give us a call to schedule a confidential appointment, and we will help you figure out all of your counseling options.

 

Depression Counseling For Aging Adults In Michigan

depression counseling

Aging and depression often go hand in hand. The senior years aren’t always about long vacations and free time. For some adults, this is the most stressful and depressing time in their life. If you are an aging adult in Michigan, our depression counselors at Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers can help you understand your thoughts and feelings on a deep level. Here is a look at what depression counseling can do for you.

Learn What Is Triggering Your Depression

For every case of depression, there is a root cause. This could be a past trauma that you never fully dealt with or the fear of mortality. Your depression counselor will work with you to find the trigger for your depressive thoughts. Once you know what’s causing your depression, you will have a much easier time overcoming it.

Find A New Purpose In Life

Some aging adults go through depression after retirement because they feel they no longer have a purpose in life. Just because you are no longer working doesn’t mean you don’t have to purpose. You could focus your efforts on a volunteer project or spend much needed time with your family. The goal is to help you realize that you are important, your life has value, and you still have plenty left to do. With a new perspective, your depression symptoms will start to fade away.

Accept Your Physical Limitations

This is one of the hardest things for aging adults to do, but it is crucial to the healing process. No matter how hard you try, you can’t change the fact that your body is getting older. You can’t do all of the things you used to do. Once you acknowledge that your body has changed, you can find ways to adapt to your new circumstances. For example, you may still be able to complete a project around the house, but it will take you longer to do it than it used to. You may also need help to accomplish certain tasks. Seeking that help as needed will let you move forward to a new project in a timely manner.

Don’t Be Afraid To Admit That You’re Depressed

Depression is not a mark of weakness. Many of the strongest people in the world go through bouts of depression because they do not know how to adjust to a change in their life. Thankfully, there are plenty of counseling and therapy programs available to help you overcome depression. The sooner you accept your feelings, the easier it will be to get past them. Contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan to schedule an appointment with a depression counselor.

 

Getting Along With Your In-Laws: Michigan Marriage Counseling

in laws

Despite what the movies will tell you, it is entirely possible to get along with your in-laws. In fact, some couples have better relationships with their married relatives than they do with their own. The way you interact with your spouse’s family will have an impact on your marriage. We want to help you succeed in that.

Check out these tips for bonding with your in-laws, courtesy of our Michigan marriage counseling center.

Find Shared Interests

The easiest way to forge a friendship with someone is to find shared interests. This works with in-laws as much as anyone else. Ask your spouse about some of their parents’ interests, or ask them in person when you speak to them. When you find something you both enjoy, build on that. This will establish comradery that you can carry throughout your relationship.

Reach Out To Them On Your Own

The time you spend with your in-laws does not always have to include your spouse. Call or visit your in-laws on your own to see how they are doing. This shows that you personally are interested in their lives. Even if it’s just a quick “thinking about you” phone call, you will strengthen your bond as a family by interacting with your in-laws independently.

Do NOT Talk To Your In-Laws About Marital Disagreements

There may come a time when you feel so comfortable with your spouse’s family that you turn to them for comfort and guidance. That’s fine in certain settings, but it is not appropriate for marital disputes. If you are having an argument with your spouse, do not reach out to your in-laws. This will backfire in one way or another. At the very least, it will anger your spouse because you got his or her parents involved. If you need an outsider to talk to about your marital issues, consider working with a professional marriage counselor.

Split Family Time Evenly

Family time should be split evenly between your family and your spouse’s family. If there is a noticeable imbalance in bonding time, your in-laws may start to resent you. The split may not be 50/50, but you should at least make an effort to see your in-laws on a regular basis. If they feel included in your lives, they will be happier with your relationship altogether.

Put Your Marriage First

At the end of the day, you have to put your marriage first. You cannot let your in-laws come between you and your spouse. If you feel like your spouse’s parents are undermining your relationship, say something about it. Also be willing to listen to your spouse if he or she feels unsupported. You can work with a family and marriage counselor to overcome obstacles in your relationship and get to a happier place in your lives. If your in-laws truly love their son or daughter, they will support this happiness no matter what.

How To Rebound After Job Loss: Depression Counseling In Michigan

job loss

Losing your job can be devastating to both your financial stability and your emotional stability. It’s easy to fall into depression when the stress of not working weighs down on you. However, you cannot let that stress stop you from re-entering the work force and providing a livable income for you and your family. In this depression counseling guide, we will explain how to rebound after job loss so you can overcome this difficult time.

File For Unemployment As Quickly As Possible

If you qualify for unemployment benefits, file for them as soon as you can. It will take some time for your application to get approved and for your money to start coming in, so you want to get the process going right away. You may not have the energy to file for unemployment at this time, but waiting will only worsen your depression. It is much better to get some sort of income flowing for now than to fall into heavy debt later on.

As part of your agreement to receive unemployment benefits, you will need to apply for a minimum number of jobs per month. This number varies by state, so you will need to find out what it is in your area. Start doing this even if you are not receiving benefits yet because you will need to keep track of your job applications. When your benefits are ready to begin, you will be equally prepared to receive them.

Don’t Dwell Too Much On The Past

It’s easy to get caught up on regrets – “I should have done this. I could have done that.” While there is nothing wrong with self-reflection, it’s important not to lose sight of the future. Try not to get too stuck on the past because doing so will not help you move forward. Ideally, you should work on your self-reflection with a depression counselor in Michigan so they can help you reverse negative thought patterns.  Get a new perspective on your life and your upcoming opportunities so you can bounce back.

Don’t Let Your Physical Health Decline

Your physical health and mental health are codependent. You’ll probably be tempted to sit on the couch all day and eat junk food, and that’s fine for a day or two. If you stay that way for an extended period of time though, you will start to gain weight and have something new to stress out about. More stress leads to more bad diet choices, and you can see how the cycle goes from there.

Maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine while you are out of work, and keep your sleep schedule consistent. This will give your mind plenty of time to rest so you can feel energized and ready to tackle the next day.

Create A Strong, Positive Support System

Having positive energy around you will encourage you to get back on your feet. Use your break from work as a chance to bond with family and friends. If your social group consists mostly of former co-workers, you may want to distance yourself from them for now. Being around them may remind you of your old job and worsen your depression symptoms. Of course, your depression counselor will be there to help you through this transition and give you the strong support system you need right now.

Take A Break, But Not Too Long

You don’t have to jump into the workforce immediately. As long as your finances are in order, you can take a week or two off to clear your head. You will need to get back to work soon after that, but use this personal time to get some much needed rest. You can start your new job with a sound mindset.

Create A Job Search Plan

You may think that you have endless free time now, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Just because you’re not working doesn’t mean you don’t have work to do. Create a job search plan that will keep you on a consistent schedule. You may start with a revamp of your resume, followed by a scheduled timeframe for online and in-person job searches. Stay motivated throughout the process, and you will have a new job soon enough.

Helping Your Teen After Unexpected Weight Gain: Michigan Teen Counseling

teen weight gain

Teenagers go through years of growth spurts, hormone shifts and body adjustments. This can create a major fluctuation in weight, and for some teens, that’s a big blow to their self-esteem. As a parent, there are some things you can do to help your child during this difficult time. Here are a few tips for how to help a teen after unexpected weight gain.

Healthy Weight Gain Vs. Unhealthy Weight Gain

Before we get started, we need to point out the difference between healthy weight gain and unhealthy weight gain. If your child has always been extremely thin and is now filling out, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Women in particular go through weight fluctuations as their bodies take shape, and there is nothing wrong with that. The focus here is on teens who gain a large, unhealthy amount of weight in a short period of time (often the result of eating junk food in combination with hormone shifts).

Comfort Your Child During Moments Of Low Self-Esteem

Your teenager may become extremely self-conscious after gaining weight. Peer pressure and bullying at school will not help this, but your teen may feel self-conscious all on his or her own. If your teen is willing to talk to you about it, listen and comfort the best you can. Give unprompted compliments from time to time. “Oh wow, that shirt looks great on you!”

If your child is in teen counseling, you can use that as an opportunity to talk about self-esteem issues. Your counselor will give you tools to help your teen during this time, including self-esteem building, self-harm prevention, eating disorder prevention, and more. If you do not work with a teen counselor at the moment, we would be happy to set up and appointment for you. Contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan to learn more.

Encourage Healthy Eating In A Subtle Way

If you normally eat dinner together as a family, try to plan those meals around healthy foods. Chances are your teenager eats junk food throughout the day, both at home and at school. You may not be able to control all of that, but you can have a say in what you eat as a family. Slowly work in more fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins in your diet to improve your family’s health as a whole. As your teen develops a taste for these foods, chips and candy will become less appealing.

Be Confident About Your Own Body

Teenagers pick up on what other people think is the “right” body shape. That group of “people” includes you. If you are constantly saying negative things about your body, you are sending a bad message to your teen. Be confident about who you are and how you look, and your children will follow suit.

If you personally are having issues with self-confidence and low self-esteem, feel free to talk to one of our counselors in Michigan. We have depression counselors and body dysmorphia specialists that can help you turn your thoughts completely around. Give us a call to schedule a confidential appointment.

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder? Depression Therapy In SE Michigan

seasonal affective disorder

Did you know that the seasons could impact the way you feel? Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that creates mood fluctuations throughout the year. In this discussions, we will explore some of the causes and symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, as well as tips to help you adjust to the mood shifts.

What Causes Seasonal Affective Disorder?

As the seasons change, your body’s melatonin and serotonin levels may shift. These chemicals impact your sleeping schedule, which is important for mood stabilization. If you aren’t able to fall asleep quickly, stay asleep for long periods of time, or get the amount of sleep your body is used to, you may become depressed, irritable, and easily stressed. All of this combined results in SAD.

Which Seasons Are The Worst?

Most people experience depression from SAD during the fall and winter months. This is partly due to the weather, but a person’s lifestyle may also make him or her feel depressed. For instance, someone living alone may get more depressed in the winter because that’s when most family holidays occur. The mood shifts from SAD would add to that depression. Seasonal Affective Disorder can occur during the spring and summer months, but that is rare.

What Are The Effects Of Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Some of the most common symptoms of SAD include:

  • ·         Depression
  • ·         Difficulty sleeping
  • ·         Fatigue throughout the day
  • ·         Anxiety
  • ·         Irritability
  • ·         Mood swings
  • ·         Unexpected food cravings

Once again, these symptoms may be caused by other elements of a person’s life. Stress from work, marital conflicts, weight gain, low self-esteem – all of these can create the same array of symptoms. Talk to a counselor or therapist about your issues so they can determine if you have SAD or another underlying condition. This will put you on the fast track to treatment.

Getting Help For SAD, Depression, Anxiety, And More

Whether you have Seasonal Affective Disorder or some other form of depression, our counselors at Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers are here to help. We have several locations in Michigan so you have easy access to the therapy that you need. Your counselor will work with you one-on-one to figure out what’s causing your depression and how you can reverse negative thought patterns. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment, and we will set you up with a compassionate depression counselor in Michigan.