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Rise Above Stigma! Mental Health Awareness

Rise Above Stigma! Bell Let’s Talk Day: Wednesday, January 28, 2015!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 is an important reminder of how we should think about, talk about, act, and treat others with mental illness. Not just today, but every day.

WHY? Most people cannot afford treatment to or are on a wait list for months.

MESSAGE:

If you are currently experiencing concerns about your own mental health, having difficulty managing emotions, or having trouble creating or maintaining healthy relationships, please act now. Remember that it takes courage and strength to reach out for help from loved ones or a mental health professional. This help is one difficult, yet life-changing step away. Help yourself and get help from people who care about you (and want to help you)!

We all struggle in life from time to time in our own ways. Take the time to assess your own self-esteem and emotional well-being, noticing any negative changes in your usual behaviours. Awareness of such changes, a strong desire for the suffering to end, and a willingness to help others is that next step you need toward reestablishing more meaning and positivity.

TAKE ACTION:

Take care of yourself, first and foremost. Practice mental wellness. Do what it takes to make you happy. Actively set aside that extra time in a day, week, and month to focus on you and how you can continually contribute to your overall wellbeing.
-Spend less on takeout, and more on pampering yourself.

Refrain from judging or criticizing those who have been labelled with or who have symptoms of a mental health disorder.
-Be conscious to avoid derogatory or hurtful terms that may offend those suffering with a disease.

Talk about therapy and encourage those around you to go. Never judge or criticize those who are seeking treatment for mental illness.
-Why don’t question medication for physical illness?

Listen to those around you with mental illness and ask questions.
-Learn about what they are going through and how you can help them, or how you can help prevent others from experiencing the negative effects of a similar disease.

Educate yourself on how you can help to spread awareness of the life-threatening effects of a mental health disorder (and how it impacts you or loved ones).

FAQS

– Mental health problems and illnesses also account for more than $6 billion in lost productivity costs due to absenteeism and presenteeism. (The Mental Health Commission of Canada)

– 1 in 5 Canadians will experience a form of mental illness at some point in their life. (Canadian Institute of Health Research)

– At this very moment, some 3 million Canadians are suffering from depression. (CMHA)

MOTIVATION TO END STIGMA:

**Make the choice to rise above stigma and be more aware of your acceptance and non-judgment, toward yourself, those around you, and society in general.

**We need to make mental healthcare more accessible, affordable, and acceptable. You, as members in society, as a collective, have the power to influence that. Start by taking care of ‘you’ and others around you!

Here is more information on how psychotherapy or counselling can benefit you or those around you: https://www.etobicokepsychotherapy.com/etobicoke-psychotherapy-counselling/

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is unfortunately commonly misconceptualized in our society. People often think of people who binge as ‘lazy overeaters’ who do not actually have a problem. This comes with the assumption that people with BED possibly ‘eat for the joy of eating’. This is not the case and is a significant underestimate of the issues someone with BED is dealing with. The typical patient with BED may or may not look different than typical patients struggling with eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia. Patients with Binge Eating Disorder may actually have a thin appearance, where their physical representation would not automatically indicate they are struggling with BED. Here are some important facts to consider when understanding Binge Eating Disorder, or BED. It is important not to stereotype and to consider that it is not always obvious who may be suffering from this disorder.

– Just because someone is overweight does not mean he or she binges or overeats.

– Likewise, just because someone is underweight or of normal weight does not mean they don’t binge or overeat. In other words, you do not have to be overweight to be diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder.

– As with other eating disorders, people who binge or compulsively overeat, tend to eat very restricted diets during the day, leaving them vulnerable to binging at night.

– Most binge and compulsive eaters feel shame and anxiety when eating in front of others. Similar to anorexics, they feel that everyone is watching and evaluating their food intake.

– As with anorexia and bulimia, overcoming Binge Eating Disorder is not about learning more discipline or self-control. This is the most common misconception when treating this disorder. Instead, healing is about understanding how the person has come to use food (or lack of food) as a mechanism of emotional survival.

– Binge eaters are no more or less “out of control” than anorexics, bulimics or those struggling with other addictions. Individuals with BED are often associated with ‘extremist’ ideologies or with unattractive or ‘gross’ qualities.

– Binge and compulsive eaters- overweight or not- are not lazy. In fact, like with anorexia, binge and compulsive eaters tend to be perfectionists and work non-stop. This is normally the trigger, which makes them more susceptible to binging and overeating. The management of binge eating (or any eating disorder) can be extremely hard work.

– Binge and compulsive eaters tend feel a great deal of shame about their behaviors and their bodies. Many state that they feel damaged and inferior. If you have judged or inflicted criticism upon someone like this, they have already thought the same, or worse.

– As with any eating disorder, criticism, lectures and “pep talks” focusing on what binge eaters should and should not do, do not motivate permanent change. Binge eaters know what they should and should not do. Long lasting results come from compassion and deeper insight into the function of the disorder. Commenting on their food and exercise choices does NOT help.

– Eating-disordered behaviors including binging or overeating cause the brain to release dopamine (the pleasure neurotransmitter) and opioids (the active ingredient in heroin, cocaine and other narcotics). This chemical release makes disordered eating literally addictive

Fore more information on Binge Eating Disorder (BED), or other eating disorders, https://www.etobicokepsychotherapy.com/eating-disorder-counselling-etobicoke/.

Alternatively, please email Carly at carlyclifton@gmail.com, or call to speak to her 647-961-9669.

 

How to Form Good Habits

A habit is a shortcut that makes your life easier because you don’t have to spend energy choosing to do it. It’s mentally exhausting thinking about every action and every behaviour. Time management involves having set ways to do things in the most efficient manner. Stop wasting energy by trying to do tasks more than one way. Take the opportunity to learn the best way and make a habit of it. If there are some things you have been meaning to do or incorporate into your daily routine, make a point of ‘just doing it’ over and over again.

Try and think of your day or weekly agenda in terms of three items: appointments, to-do lists, and habits. An appointment is a commitment with yourself or with another person. Your to-do list consists of tasks you would like to get done, but are not set to be completed in/by a certain time frame. Habits are part of our day that we do not really think about doing, but that have become routine and automatic. Habits may include organizing your briefcase or backpack before bed, brushing your teeth when you wake up, or walking your dog before dinner.

Habits are sometimes the most productive or important parts of our day, which take time to develop as an automatic routine. We find a strategy or way to most efficiently conquer a task or priority, and then we create a time or space for this new task. Once we create a regular time for this task, and we practice it, it becomes a habit.

Take the New Year as a time to reflect on new habits that you would like to create and/ or continue to develop. If a task seems daunting, split it into smaller tasks that seem more manageable. If we constantly work at and continually remind ourselves about this new idea when we first work at it, then we will gradually see how it naturally and effortlessly can become part of our everyday life.