Good Morning GEEKS and Coffee Drinkers (or Tea if you prefer)!!!
This morning I wanted to ask my fellow Geeks and Coffee Community a critical question! How often do we feel down, depressed, anxious, or stressed? Check out these statistics from the World Health Organization.
I know from experience, and in my profession, I’m a Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor, that this is a big problem across the world. In our community, we often feel judged just by saying the words “I’m a geek” in the hallways of our schools and/or jobs. When we spend parts of our lives being made fun of for a stereotype, we don’t really fit, and then that stereotype is reinforced by media, it does influence us at some point.
Some take this all in stride while others, it actually is hurtful and offensive. But let’s face it stereotypes are not the only thing we go through. Life happens, and that means we all are going to go through trials that sometimes leave us feeling lonely, sad, depressed, anxious, or even fearful. But what do we do?!
- Acknowledge your feelings to yourself, at least! We live in a society (at least in the USA) that teaches us not to express our feelings. They are cool with us expressing an opinion on every controversy, but you start talking about feelings other than happiness and anger, and everyone gets uncomfortable. It is okay to feel sad, embarrassed, angry, offended, guilty, and other emotions. When I first start a new client often the first thing I must start with is getting them to express to me, at the least, how they actually feel. I don’t want just the words and thoughts they have learned to tell everyone else, but the real raw emotions.
- Ask yourself why you honestly feel this way. If you feel angry, then chances are you are experiencing a lot of emotions at one time. I know this sounds crazy, but it is true. Often depression can go one of two ways, one is crawling in a corner and shutting off from the world, and the other is lashing out at everyone around us. Sometimes we get angry because we actually feel guilty and embarrassed. Knowing the real source of your feelings is half the battle.
- Make a game plan! Depending on what you feel determines what you do. You are a unique individual with a unique personality. (No, I don’t mean you are abnormal or weird. Everyone is different.) That means your game plan must be tailored to you and for you alone. What works on you may not work on another. When you make this plan, keep in mind that you can only change yourself. You cannot change someone else. So if you are angry at your spouse, ask yourself “Why am I angry at this person and what have I done to improve the situation?
- Who are your supporters? These may not be the people that agree with everything you say but, rather the people that will walk with you and encourage you through thick and thin. They are the ones that will tell you when you miss something. They will sit with you and pray with you. People like this are not in large quantity and are NOT gossipers. Having a support system brings strength to your mental health and spiritual health. I can’t tell you how many times I have watched my client’s mental health improve just by changing the people they chose to support them from negative to positive people.
- Start working! It’s not just about the plan and the people. You must actually use it. You will not always like what you hear, but if you start to move in those baby steps, it will get easier. Yes, you will hit the bump in the road and sometimes feel like you hit a dead end but when you do hit those areas that what your support is for. If you think your support isn’t enough then consider getting in touch with a counsellor or even sitting down with your local pastor.
These 5 things could help you start taking back your mental health one day at a time if you chose to use them. As a Christian, I urge you to seek the Lord in all of this as well. Jesus was the ultimate counsellor and many of us counsellors today use his teachings today to help people on a daily basis.
Below you will find some help hotlines and links if you are need of someone to speak with.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-272-8255
SAMHSA’s National addiction Helpline: 1-800-662-4257
For international numbers use the link: http://ibpf.org/resource/list-international-suicide-hotlines
This article was written by Damara L. Mora, PLPC of Shreveport, LA. She is a counsellor and she runs a blog called CoffeeTalk318. If you’d like to learn more about CoffeeTalk318 then click the image below!