Category Archives: Depression

Sleep Deprivation: How Much Sleep Do I Need?

sleep-deprivation

Sleep deprivation impacts your energy levels, memory retention, focus, attentiveness, and more. If you can achieve a consistent sleep routine, you will feel better in all areas of your life. What qualifies as sleep deprivation? How much sleep do you actually need? Let’s explore this topic more and find solutions to improve your sleep schedule.

How Many Hours of Sleep Do I Need?

You’ve probably heard that adults need 8 hours of sleep per night. However, the amount of sleep you personally need will depend on several factors. Adults who are highly active throughout the day may require more sleep than those with less active lifestyles. Some adults naturally thrive on less sleep than others. The rule of thumb is to get 7-9 hours of sleep, but that can be adjusted to suit your lifestyle.

Note that if you experience several days of sleep deprivation, your body may go into a “sleep debt.” You may need to sleep longer than normal for one night to repay that debt and recharge your mind. If you know you will not get much sleep for a few nights in a row, try to schedule a recharge night for yourself.

How Sleep Deprivation Affects Mental Health

There are many side effects of sleep deprivation, including loss of control while driving and slow productivity at work. What you may not have considered is the mental health side effects of sleep deprivation. Your mind relies on sleep to sort through your thoughts and emotions. Your brain spends all day making sure your legs move, your eyes blink, and your body is working effectively. At night, it can focus on the memories you’ve made.

If you don’t get enough sleep to process those emotions, you wake up with the weight from yesterday on your mind. This compiles over time, leaving you tired and stressed before the day has begun. That is why we focus on sleep maintenance in depression counseling and anxiety counseling. Being well rested will do wonders for your mental health.

Good Sleep Is about Quality vs. Quantity

You can experience sleep deprivation even if you sleep for 8 hours each night. If you wake up multiple times in the night, your body is never fully at rest. Some rest is better than none, but good quality rest is ideal. Keep this in mind as you start planning your sleep routine.

How to Avoid Sleep Deprivation

The best way to avoid sleep deprivation is to get on a consistent sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up around the same time each day, even on your days off. Create a wind-down routine for yourself, such as taking a bath or watching a calming television show. Avoid looking at your smartphone at least 30 minutes before bed, and avoid eating at least one hour before bed. This will give you the best chance at getting solid rest.

If you find yourself staying up all night with thoughts running through your head, you may consider talking to a therapist. This gives you an outlet for those thoughts so your mind is less pre-occupied with them. Perspectives Counseling Centers has licensed therapists in multiple specialties, including anxiety treatment, depression treatment, grief counseling, marriage counseling, and more. Contact our office at (248) 244-8644 to schedule an appointment with a therapist near you.

What Causes Depression?

what-causes-depression

Depression is a complex condition that affects many walks of life. No matter what race, gender, social class or religion you may be, you could be one of the 6.8 million American adults who suffer from depression. What causes depression, and what are the best depression treatments? We will answer these questions and more in the guide below.

Potential Causes of Depression

Depression can develop in many different ways. For some, it comes about after a traumatic event. For others, it gradually develops over time. Here are some potential causes of depression:

  • Stress
  • Traumatic experiences
  • Verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse
  • The loss of a loved one
  • Certain medications
  • Relationship conflicts
  • A family history of depression
  • Addiction (or depression can lead to addiction)
  • Major life transitions (new job, moving, divorce, etc.)
  • Other mental health conditions, such as anxiety
  • Chronic pain or illness

Because depression is such a personal experience, there are other situations that may lead to depression. Your mind interprets experiences in a unique way, and that interpretation plays a large role in developing depression. Through depression counseling, you can learn how to change your thought patterns to reduce depression symptoms in the future.

How to Treat Depression, No Matter the Cause

Despite the many causes of depression, there are also tested and proven methods for depression treatment. This may include counseling, medication, or a combination of the two. Depression counseling gives you a chance to discuss experiences from your past to find solutions in the present. You can learn what triggers your depression and how to control your reactions.

Depression therapy provides a personalized care plan for you. Rather than following generic advice for depression treatment, you can learn specific techniques that fit your lifestyle. At Perspectives Counseling Centers, we match each person with the best therapist for his or her situation. Clients receive individualized care from licensed counselors in Michigan.

If depression treatment requires medication, a psychiatrist will oversee that process. Psychiatrists have a doctorate of medicine, and they are trained to understand the body’s complex chemistry. They use that information to find the right medication and dosages for each person. Some medication-based treatments only last for a few months, while others are designed for long-term depression treatment.

If you are interested in depression counseling or other depression treatment options, contact Perspectives Counseling Centers at (248) 244-8644.

Managing Depression after Miscarriage: Part 2

depression-miscarriage

Continued from Part 1

In the second half of this guide, we will provide additional tips for managing depression after miscarriage.

Talk to Other People with Similar Experiences

It may help you to talk to someone who has gone through what you are currently going through. This applies to both the mother and the father of the child. A father’s grief is often forgotten during a miscarriage, but men go through an emotional experience too.

If you have friends who have experienced pregnancy loss, reach out to them and see how they got through their emotions. You could also talk to people on pregnancy or miscarriage forums and find hope in their stories. There are countless success stories after miscarriage. In fact, there are women who have gone through more than a dozen miscarriages and still had successful pregnancies. Seeing their triumph and happiness will give you something to look forward to.  gives you something to look forward to in the future.

Take Steps for the Future

Were there some matters that you wanted to complete before the birth of your child? Maybe you had some projects around the house or some debts that you wanted to pay off. Use this time to put those plans into action. Get everything in place so you are well prepared for another pregnancy down the road, and then try again when the time is right. This is not the end of your opportunities. It is an obstacle in a much bigger journey for you.

Work with a Depression Counselor

In addition to talking to friends, consider talking to a professional about the loss. A depression counselor can speak with you one-on-one to find personalized solutions for your depression. These solutions will fit your lifestyle, experiences, personality, and goals. This also gives you a confidential platform to talk about your emotions, even the ones that you may comfortable sharing with your loved ones. Your therapist will never judge you, and he or she will help you see that every emotion you’re feeling is completely valid.

Contact Perspectives Counseling Centers at (248) 244-8644 to get matched with a depression therapist near you.

Managing Depression after Miscarriage

depression-after-miscarriage

Miscarriage or pregnancy loss can be a devastating experience for a family. This may be your first miscarriage, or you may have been through this before. The pregnancy may have been surprise, or it may have been carefully planned. You may have been pregnant for a few weeks, or you may have been nearing the end of your pregnancy. No matter the circumstances, this loss can shatter your emotions. We are here to help you pick up the pieces.

In the guide below, we will provide tips for managing depression after miscarriage. If you would like to speak to a grief counselor or depression counselor near you, contact Perspectives Counseling Centers.

Don’t Blame Yourself for the Loss

One of the first reactions women have after a miscarriage is to blame themselves. Did I do something wrong? Was it because I did this or ate that? Is there something wrong with my body?

The fact is that every pregnancy has about a 25% chance of miscarriage (the statistics vary for different sources). You may simply be the victim of bad luck. In most instances, a miscarriage happens because a sperm and an egg were not completely compatible. There were abnormalities in the pregnancy that did not allow it to continue, and those circumstances are beyond your control. Do not place blame on yourself for what happened. It is not your fault.

Take Time to Grieve

Right now, you are mourning the loss of a loved one. You may have only known this entity for a few weeks, but it was a part of your life. Take some time to allow yourself to grieve.

You may need to take a few days off work or even a couple weeks to sort through your emotions. In many instances, an employer will consider a miscarriage part of the company’s bereavement policy, so you can get an extended period of time off with pay or without any consequences.

Prepare for a Range of Emotions

You and your significant other may go through a full range of emotions as a result of this. You may feel sad one day, confused the next, and angry another day. You may go through all of those emotions within an hour. Everyone reacts to loss differently, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Embrace these emotions as they come. They are part of the healing process.

Continue to Part 2

Stress Management Starts with Tough Decisions

stress-management

Feel over-stressed, over-worked, and overwhelmed? You are not alone. In fact, a staggering 73% of adults in the U.S. experience psychological symptoms associated with stress (The American Institute of Stress). Whether your stress comes from work, finances, your relationship, your health, or any other source, there are options available to you. Let’s take a look at some stress management strategies, starting with tough-yet-necessary life decisions.

Let Go of Commitments You No Longer Have Time for

Stress management and time management often go hand-in-hand. If you feel stretched for time or sleep deprived, you may need to let go of certain commitments. That book club you once had time for may not suit your current schedule. The animal rescue organization you’ve helped for years may be too much responsibility for you to handle right now.

Even if you find joy in these activities, you may not have the time and energy for them that you once had. Letting go and freeing up more time for yourself will give you a chance to recharge. If your schedule frees up again, you can consider working them back in.

Evaluate Your Social Group

Stress is just as contagious as positivity. Is there someone in your life who constantly brings you down? If so, you may want to distance yourself from them. As much as you may want to support the other person, you have to think of what’s best for your mental health. If their negative energy is dragging you down, you need to do something to lift yourself back up.

Find a New Job or New Fulfillment in Your Current Job

In a stress report from the American Psychological Association, money and work are two of the most common sources of stress in America. If you feel overworked or underappreciated at your job, it may be time for a change. That could be a complete change of employers, or it could be a new development in your current job. Perhaps you could work in a different department or swift from day shift to night shift. Maybe you could learn a new skill that would lead to other career opportunities in the future. These moves are never easy, but they can make a big change in your stress levels.

Put Yourself First

Your stress may not entirely be your own. It may be a combination of stress from other people that you feel connected to or responsible for. The most important lesson in stress management is to put yourself first. When you are in a good place mentally and emotionally, you are better equipped to help others. Putting your needs on the backburner will only add to your stress.

If you want personalized stress management solutions, call Perspectives Counseling Centers to learn about our therapy programs. We offer depression counseling, anxiety counseling, family counseling, couples counseling, and other services across several therapist offices in Michigan. Contact the location nearest to you to get started.

 

Can’t Sleep? Try These 5 Tricks

sleep-tricks

A good night sleep can turn a mediocre day into an amazing one. Your brain relies on that sleep time to sort through thoughts and emotions you may not have had time to process in the day. Less sleep means less processing time, which can lead to an assortment of mental health issues.

Since sleep is a fundamental part of depression treatment, we’ve come up with five tricks you can use to improve your sleeping experience. Check out these sleep tips, courtesy of Perspectives Counseling Centers.

Go to Bed and Wake up at the Same Time

Your body thrives in habits. That’s why people are often more productive when they have a consistent work schedule. If you are able to fall asleep and wake up around the same time every day, go for it. Your body will get used to the routine, and you will find yourself falling to sleep faster at night.

Of course, this is not an option for everyone, particularly workers who switch from day shift to night shift. If you’re in that situation, try to maintain as consistent of a routine as possible. Follow the same steps before bed, whether it’s day or night. Shower, read a book, go to sleep. Watch TV for an hour, listen to soothing music for 30 minutes, go to sleep. Find the routine that works best for you.

Replace Caffeine with Water

No caffeine? What?! It may not sound like a pleasant option, but caffeine strongly affects your sleeping patterns. If you need a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, that’s fine. However, if you’re drinking coffee and energy drinks all day long, you are blocking your body’s natural ability to produce energy. Your body gets lazy because it knows you’re going to pump it full of extra caffeine. Substitute the caffeine with water, and you will develop natural energy over time.

Note that you may experience withdrawals for the first few days. Some people have to gradually wean themselves off caffeine, depending on their daily intake. Fight through the fatigue during the adjustment period, and you will see a noticeable change in your energy levels over time.

Avoid Your Phone for at Least 30 Minutes before Bed

Are you one of those people who spends the last hour of the night scrolling through social media? There is nothing wrong with a little time online, but it’s best to plan that earlier in the day. The light from your phone and the mental stimulation of social media makes it difficult for your brain to shut off at night. That’s why you may toss and turn for the first hour of sleep, because your brain is still trying to wind down. Cut off your phone time so your body can get the rest it needs.

Don’t Make Sleeping a Chore

For some, going to sleep is a stressful experience. They worry that they won’t get enough sleep at night, and that stress makes it difficult to fall asleep. Instead of feeling like you need to get X hours of sleep, just focus on resting. Even if you lay in bed for hours, your body is doing minimal work. This frees up brainpower so your mind can still tackle some of the tasks it needs to complete while you sleep.

Keep Naps Short and Sweet

If you need a power nap during the day, sleep for 20-40 minutes. This will give you the same energy boost as a cup of coffee, but it won’t leave you feeling groggy when you wake up. Long naps that are 1+ hours can disrupt your sleeping patterns, leaving you more fatigued the following day. If you keep the right balance though, power naps are a great alternative to caffeinated beverages.

Follow these simple sleeping techniques from Perspectives Counseling Centers, and you’ll soon feel well rested and ready to take on the world.

10 Things You Can Learn after Being Cheated on: Part 2

cheated-on-2

Continued from Part 1

Don’t Hold on When Someone Is Trying to Move on

If your spouse is trying to move on, let him or her go. You are only going to hurt yourself worse if you try to hold on to the relationship. If the other person is willing to work through the issues, great! Talk to a couples counselor and find a way to move forward together. However, if the other person no longer wants to be in the relationship, you need to let them go so you can heal and grow.

Holding a Grudge Will Hurt You More Than the Cheater

Forgiveness is an important part of the healing process. You have every right to be angry and upset, but try not to hold a grudge for long. These feelings of anger and frustration hurt you more than they hurt the other person, and you’ve already been through enough pain. Make peace with the situation and move forward in your own life.

You Didn’t Deserve to Be Cheated on

If your self-esteem is low, you may feel like you deserved to be cheated on. That is never the case. There is never a situation where someone deserves to be hurt like this. You are better than that and you deserve the be treated better than that.

Don’t Assume That Everyone Cheats

Just because someone cheated on you doesn’t mean that everyone cheats. You don’t have to “swear off men” because they’re all cheaters, and you don’t have to guard your heart forever. It’s good to be cautious, but don’t let that stop you from finding happiness in the future.

Cheating Was Not the Only Reason the Relationship Ended

You may say, “he cheated on me so we broke up,” but the infidelity was only part of the problem. Chances are there were many other issues in the relationship that caused it to fizzle before the cheating occurred. You don’t have to explain those reasons to other people, but you should acknowledge them on your own. Figure out where things went wrong and what you could have done as a couple to make them better. Then you’ll be better prepared for your next relationship.

You Are in Control of Your Own Happiness

At the end of the day, you are in charge of making yourself happy. Your happiness should not rely on another person. If your spouse was the only person/thing that made you happy, look for new hobbies and interests. Work with a counselor to overcome depression, low self-esteem, and other issues you may be facing. Learn to love yourself and find comfort in your own happiness.

 

 

 

10 Things You Can Learn after Being Cheated on

cheated-on

Being cheated on sucks. There’s no way around that. It’s natural to feel depression, angry, frustrated and confused after infidelity. Before you fall into a cycle of self-loathing though, take a moment to evaluate your situation. Something bad happened to you, but you can turn that into something good moving forward. Here are 10 life lessons you can learn after being cheated on.

Infidelity Has Nothing to Do with How You Look

Cheating has nothing to do with how you look or how much money you make. Stop thinking “I wasn’t pretty enough” or “I wasn’t good enough.” That’s just not true. Your spouse cheated because he or she was not happy in the relationship. You may actually be significantly more attractive than the other person, but that doesn’t matter. Don’t blame your appearance for the incident because it is simply not a factor.

Someone Else’s Actions Do Not Define Your Self-Worth

Being cheated on does not make you a bad person. It should not cause you to question your self-worth. Your self-esteem may drop for a little while after the shock of the incident, but know that is only temporary. Someone else’s actions are theirs and theirs alone. You are a good person with a lot of positive traits. They can’t take that away from you.

You Did Not Cause Your Spouse to Cheat

Again, you are not to blame for the infidelity. You did not cause your partner to venture into another relationship. You did not create the temptation, and you did not succumb to it. This is an unfortunate circumstance, but it is not your fault.

…BUT You Could Have Worked on Your Relationship More

With the above statement in mind, it’s important to remember why people cheat in relationships. It almost always has something to do with the relationship itself. If a person does not feel validated, respected, or appreciated in a relationship, he or she may seek attention elsewhere. There was room for improvement in your relationship, whether you realized it or not. If you saw the signs and did nothing to fix them, you now know how important that is. If you did not see the problems in the relationship, you may need to adjust your perspective. You were not to blame for the infidelity, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make improvements for the future.

Continue to Part 2

Getting through Post-Divorce Depression | Depression Counseling Michigan

post divorce depression

Divorce is a stressful and potentially painful process, but nearly 29,000 Michigan couples go through it every year. Whether you end your marriage amicably or you argue every step of the way, when everything is finished, you may be left with post-divorce depression. This is a major life transition, and it may take some time to fully overcome. Thankfully, there are some techniques you can use to accelerate your healing.

Here are some tips for getting through depression after divorce, courtesy of our depression counseling centers in Michigan.

Prepare for Every Stage of Grief

Depression after divorce is a lot like grief. Even though no one passed away, you still lost someone close to you. You can expect to go through all the stages of grief: denial, pain, anger and acceptance. There may be days when you’re on an emotional roller coaster – relieved one minute and crying the next. You may go from feeling angry to feeling guilty to feeling sad in rapid succession. Simply knowing that these emotions may come will help you feel better in the moment. It’s part of the process and it will get better.

Focus on the Positive Elements of This New Life Chapter

In any form of depression treatment, it’s important to focus on the positive. Take this as an opportunity to venture out of your comfort zone. Join a club, join a gym, join a singles group at church. Do something new and exciting that you would have never done in your marriage. You do not have to reinvent yourself, but you should find something to be excited about. That will cut down your feelings of depression.

Find Healthy Coping Mechanisms for Post-Divorce Depression

Depression is often accompanied by addiction. We don’t want you to fall into that trap. You may be tempted to drink, smoke or gamble to numb your feelings, but that does not fix depression. In fact, addictive behaviors actually make depression worse. Find healthy ways to cope with your depression, like exercising or spending time with close family members. Talk to a depression counselor about your feelings, and you can learn proven techniques to overcome depression day by day. You deserve happiness, and you will find that again. Our depression counseling experts in Michigan are here to help every step of the way.

To schedule an appointment with a depression counselor in Michigan, call (248) 244-8644.

Post Infidelity Stress Disorder: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

post infidelity stress disorder

In the wake of discovery of an affair, you are likely to experience a wide range of thoughts and feelings, ranging from numb (non-feeling) to feeling completely out of control and ‘crazy’.  This is the result of Post Infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD). These are normal reactions to an abnormal situation, and we want to help you work through some of the reactions. Let’s take a closer look at the causes of, symptoms of, and treatment for PISD, along with some tools to help you minimize the potential damaging impact of these reactions.

What Is Post Infidelity Stress Disorder?

So, what exactly is Post Infidelity Stress Disorder (PISD)?  It is not an actual diagnosis, however, post discovery of an affair, the reactions often parallel those of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  In PTSD, one of the required criteria is that the person is exposed to death, threat of death, threatened serious injury, or actual/threatened sexual trauma through a number of different means.  In an affair, while the threat may not have been to one’s physical life, it certainly was an attack and threat against the emotional wellbeing of the individual leading to a loss of emotional safety and security.  The person that you trusted the most and expected to protect and care for you was the person that hurt you, leaving you in a state of incomprehension and, as a result, likely leading to a number of reactions.  The reactions that can occur as a result of that realization can often feel so overwhelming that one can either feel stuck and not knowing how to proceed, or so reactive that the decisions being made can be damaging to the self, others, and potentially your relationship if you’re hoping to reconcile.

Symptoms Of Post Infidelity Stress Disorder

Post affair reactions often cluster into three categories: intrusion, hyperarousal and constriction.

Intrusion

Signs of intrusion can encompass flashbacks, nightmares, and obsessions.  It occurs as a result of images (mental or experienced) associated with the betrayal.  Things that you didn’t give a second thought to before the affair become sources of pain.  You can be watching a TV show, listening to a song, having a seemingly ‘normal conversation’, and even seeing ordinary objects and all of a sudden a flood of intrusive thoughts, memories and flashbacks come barging in which can leave you holding your breath, tearing up, “breaking down” and starting to obsess.  You become someone unrecognizable to yourself, which may be part of the reason you feel “crazy”.  Betrayed partners find themselves obsessing over every detail, perhaps developing fixations on details that don’t quite add up, in order to reconstruct the truth.  You likely feel out of control and feeling like you can’t get away from the overwhelming thoughts and feelings.

Constriction

Signs of constriction include inhibiting thoughts, feelings, and activities associated with the betrayal.  This can often mean feeling numb, engaging in detachment/withdrawal from other people and showing no interest/avoidance in normal/once enjoyed activities. Individuals can often shift from excessive emotionality and intrusive symptoms to avoidance and withdrawal.  Often times, individuals are so exhausted by the preoccupation with the betrayal that they come to a state where they don’t want to deal with anything associated with it.  This is typically a temporary state and may seem like it’s providing a sense of relief, sometimes being used as a way to protect the self from something that is too emotionally painful.  However, in order to recover/heal from infidelity, the betrayed partner needs to engage in the process of emotional integration. In other words, gradually working towards feeling the feelings.

Hyperarousal

Long after the discovery of an affair, the betrayed partner can remain super sensitive and super alert, ready to react to any perceived threat.  Reaction becomes overreaction. Protection becomes overprotection.  Manifestations of hyperarousal include physical and emotional hyperarousal and hypervigilance.  Hyperarousal can include being startled by sounds, irritability, outbursts of anger, difficulty with sleep, difficulty concentrating, and changes in eating patterns.  Intense feelings are common, but it is important to be conscientious of how these feelings are expressed in order to avoid further damage. Hypervigilance is one of the most common responses of hyperarousal, it is an appropriate reaction to loss of safety.  This means that you are likely watching for signs of further danger.  Individuals who were once fully trusting and secure can turn into professional detectives, watching out for the smallest of details, becoming paranoid, becoming nagging, all in an effort to protect from further harm.

All these experiences (and the above are only some of the reactions) are normal reactions to a highly stressful and potentially traumatic experience.  However, if left unchecked, they can lead to further unnecessary pain and additional negative consequences.  The section below addresses some of the ways that one can work towards minimizing the potentially damaging impact of these reactions.

How To Treat Post Infidelity Stress Disorder

Normalize your experience:  Perhaps one of the most important things to remember is that obsessive thinking is a normal response to trauma.  As you take the steps to deal with the new reality (with challenging previously held assumptions and integrating them with reality), you’ll likely have intrusive obsessive thoughts.

Writing:  An intervention that has helped when working through intense/intrusive obsessive thoughts includes writing down one’s thoughts.  It may sound cliché, but writing provides an opportunity to be uncensored in one’s thoughts and feelings, allowing for further exploration of self, often providing opportunity to gain new insights and clarification.  It can help you keep track of unanswered questions and can help you clarify your thoughts to be better prepared and in a better emotional state when communicating with your partner (if this is desired).

Schedule worry times:  Set a specific time each day (try to be consistent) and for an allotted amount of time (no longer than an hour), use that time to worry, obsess, and revisit and frustrating images.  If thoughts creep up during the day, gently remind yourself that you’re saving them for ‘worry time’.  This is to help intrusive thoughts from taking over the whole day. Over time, worry time decreases in length and in intensity.

Change the channel:  Imagine your mind as something that can be controlled by a remote control.  Whenever you’re overcome by undesired images/thoughts, change the channel to something that is more desirable (perhaps a positive memory with someone else, a hope for the future, visualizing something different).

Try to predict and prepare for flashbacks:  Try to identify ‘triggers’ to flashbacks and if possible try to preplan for them.  Try to have the betraying partner involved, validating your experiences along the way and helping rewrite the script (i.e. having a more desirable experience be associated with the trigger).

Replace raging or unhelpful thoughts with more calm and helpful thoughts: When realizing that you’re ruminating or having specific thoughts, ask yourself “How is this helping me or my situation?”  Sometimes the thoughts help keep us stuck and sometimes we feel entitled to the emotions (i.e. anger) that we feel, but try to remind yourself of the helpfulness of the thoughts behind the anger.  What is your goal?

Self-Soothing techniques:  Riding the wave (i.e. instead of fighting against the intrusive flashback, remind yourself of what it is and that the experience will pass); deep diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, exercising, treating physical illness, eating balanced meals, massages, meditation, prayer are all skills that can be implemented.

One day at a time/one moment at a time:  Perhaps another cliché statement, but it is important to remind yourself that this moment is the moment you are in.  Don’t get discouraged if healing is taking too long or if you have a bad moment.  Don’t get discouraged if things seem fine for a month and you have a setback and it seems like you’re back at square one.  Take each moment/day as it comes, preparing as necessary, but also reminding yourself that you can only do what you can do.

Obtain appropriate support/do not isolate:  Oftentimes, the betrayed spouse can isolate and withdraw from others for various reasons.  Perhaps they feel shame, perhaps they don’t want to deal with being ‘retriggered’ and with others’ questions, perhaps they just simply feel disconnected from others and feel like no one will understand.  It is important to not isolate and not withdraw from the world.  If your goal is to reconcile, find individuals that will support the relationship.  Well-meaning individuals can do much damage when not taking into account where you are on the healing path.  On a more positive side, positive supports can help us step out from the fog that engulfs us, can provide some normalcy in life through the use of positive experiences, and can provide us with a place to vent.  Consider a support group.  Read books related to the topic when appropriate.  Engage in activities once enjoyed.

Counseling:  Last, but not least, consider seeing a professional counselor.  Seeing a counselor does not indicate that there is something wrong with you or that you are ‘crazy’. Seeing a counselor can provide you with an unbiased individual in your corner, a person that can help you traverse the healing process in a way that is less painful.  The healing process will certainly be painful, but a counselor can help you learn some tools that can make the process more manageable.  If you are working towards reconciliation, marriage counseling is also an option that should not be disregarded.

There are many layers in recovering from an affair and the above section is only a piece of the puzzle.  The road to recovery and healing can be strenuous and complicated, but it is not hopeless.  You are not alone, and you need not walk alone.  There is always hope at Perspectives of Troy Counseling Centers.  Call us for an appointment at 248-244-8644.

 

Resources:

*Glass, S. (2003). Not “Just Friends”: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity.  New York: Free Press, 448 pp.

Harley, W. & Harley Chalmers, J. (2013). Surviving an Affair. Grand Rapids: Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group, 220pp.

https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/PTSD-overview/dsm5_criteria_ptsd.asp

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/talking-about-trauma/201503/love-is-war-post-infidelity-stress-disorder