Mental Health Counseling

I recently typed the biggest headline of the day into Google, and in less than a second, 52 million news articles screamed for my attention. This was an active search, so considering all the passive media in our lives—social media, television, radio—along with streaming and traditional print news, it’s easy to see why Americans can be overwhelmed by current events. There might be various reasons why mental health counseling services in Apex, NC are rising. 

If you find yourself anxious, sad, angry, depressed, or any combination of emotions after reacting to recent news, first know that all of these feelings are valid. Then, take care of yourself. Each person’s needs are different, but consider the following if feeling stuck:

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  • Disconnect: Turn off the TV, close the Twitter app, and disconnect if you find yourself glued to the screen. Get physically active to refocus your brain, go for a walk outside, or do something with your hands, like baking, playing an instrument, or working on a DIY project around your home.
  • Refocus: Try meditating, yoga, or deep breathing to calm down both your body and mind. This can help shift your thinking and reduce scary thoughts about the future (anxiety).
  • Yell into the void (of a notebook): Write down your feelings. You don’t have to show anyone, so write whatever comes to mind, no matter how silly or angry it sounds. Putting it on paper (or a computer screen) can be a wonderful emotional release. Most of the therapy counseling in Apex, NC suggests this trick to patients. 
  • Help others: Volunteer with an organization that does something you support, like an animal shelter or food pantry. When feeling pessimistic, it can help to find small ways to directly help others.
  • Talk to another person: Connect with people if you feel alone or isolated. Call or meet up with family, friends, or even coworkers. Find tips on making connections.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from mental health counseling services in Apex NC if you are experiencing prolonged feelings of distress or depression. Talk to someone you trust, like a friend or spiritual leader, or call a warmline to discuss your mental health concerns with a trained responder. Find out how to find professional help.

If you are in crisis, you can reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1- 800-273-8255 (1-888-628-9454 para español) to talk to a trained listener or you can reach Crisis Text Line (in English or en español) by messaging “MHA” to 741-741.

The best defense to upsetting news is protecting your mind and being kind to yourself. Additionally, you can visit depression counseling services to resolve your mental issues.

Recently I was watching one of my favorite movies, “A Few Good Men.” I had been a fan of the movie, a legal drama about marines, even before I joined the army. It features incredible performances from its A-list cast and a good “twist and turn” storyline. At one point in the movie, two marines participate in a hazing incident in which they are ordered to put a tainted rag down another marine’s throat and tape his mouth shut.

As I watched, in my mind, I was transported back to a night in the desert when I was in the army, and I had a similar, horrible experience. I try not to dwell on this traumatic event in my life. I quickly turned off the television, but the thoughts of my own encounter came roaring back, and I found myself experiencing the incident all over again. By visiting mental health counseling services, one can treat such triggers.

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Identifying My Trauma

Even when my trauma first happened, it was so profound, I did not know how to manage it. What I experienced was the last thing I imagined I would endure during my service. Even retelling the story spurs racing thoughts and a mountain of anxiety: I felt the tight restraint of duct tape being wrapped around my body until I was lying on the ground, unable to move in any direction to defend myself against my fellow soldiers. The duct tape was strapped across my mouth, and I was having difficulty breathing.

I remember thinking, “how could this be happening to me?” I was sure I was experiencing the last moments of my life. My parents flashed across my mind — would they ever know the truth about what had happened to me in this desolate, lonely place? Or should I visit the best mental health therapist in Apex, NC to find the cure for my issue?

Developing Coping Mechanisms

Seeing the hazing incident in a movie brought about a PTSD flashback. I looked down at the bracelet on my left wrist. It had the phone number of the veteran’s crisis line. Maybe they could help?

I also remembered that I had planned and prepared for a situation like this. Because of my diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, I developed a routine I could follow on stressful days or days when I am experiencing PTSD symptoms. I knew that keeping to my routine was crucial. With the past weighing heavy on my entire body, the part of the body that was taped, I still had to move forward for the rest of the day. My daily routine was the only way I could move on. Such conditions can be improved with the assistance of mental health counseling services in Apex NC.

Sticking To My Routine

I began by having coffee while listening to uplifting music. I brushed my teeth. Those two small steps made me proud that I had at least begun my daily routine. However, I still had the rest of the day to get through. I was in “survival mode,” so all I had was my routine.        

I had not had an episode like that in months. Next, I called my mom, which was also a part of my daily routine. She had always been my go-to for advice and counseling. When I deal with anxiety and my symptoms of schizophrenia, I wonder what I would do if I did not have my parents who are my trust partners in my mental health journey.

My mom gave me what I call “sensory therapy.” She asked me to use my senses to tell her what was going on around me.

My mom asked, “What do you see?”

“My neighbor in his convertible is driving in the parking lot.” I answered. “I see a breeze blowing through the palm trees. I love that I live in a place where there are palm trees.”

She asked me to close my eyes and tell her what I could hear — a dog barking, traffic out on the highway, seagulls squawking. By doing this, I felt in touch with what is real and what is happening around me. Her voice made me feel safe, and I knew I was not back in the desert. Certain  mental health counseling services also follow this procedure to teach the patients to focus on positive things. 

I told mom I was looking forward to my exercise for the day, because it would start to get rid of this heavy and full body anxiety. She told me to call her after my exercise, just to check in.

Exercise is a regular part of my daily routine. I do it six times a week. Without exercise, racing thoughts and anxiety would fester and envelop my mind. Exercise not only burns off my calories, but also burns away excessive thinking and worrying.

Ultimately, I learned that watching an intense movie has become a trigger for me, even though I consider myself to be in recovery. I learned that my routine is crucial to distract myself from thinking I have no control. In the end, I had my action plan: my trust partner, my routine and my self-care. All of these have become imperative for a successful mental health journey— and I hope it can do the same for others. One can talk to therapists from mental health counseling services to overcome such mental issues.