Knowing When to Get Help

December 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Posted in health, self development/motivation | Leave a comment
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Can you help me?

As a counsellor, coach or other therapist we are not exempt from needing help. We all do face life issues that we cannot easily deal with ourselves and need an outside expert to support us. Even though we work in the field of supporting people it does not mean we can easily fix all our own problems.

Like any doctor who at times needs to see a colleague, so do counsellors. But when is it the right time? This is the exact same question that you will be asking yourself, before calling and making an appointment with a counsellor. Let me share you my experience in making the decision to make the call.

With the recent challenges I experienced with the passing of one of my twins two days after she was born I was facing the hardest times I ever had to go through in my life. The grief on one side and the joy of new motherhood on the other side, including the sleep deprivation and learning how to be a parent put me under big strain, emotionally, mentally and physically. Even though I was coping most of the times, there were times when I was not. In the good times I would think ‘it is fine, I’m able to do this on my own’ but in the tough times I really wasn’t all that fine – understandable under the circumstances.

There came the time that the tough times were too frequent and unsustainable over time. My life normally was built on the base of good times with sprinkles of challenges and annoyances. The life that I was living now however was the opposite; it was as if tough times were the undercurrent of my life.

If you were to compare your ‘normal life’ with how you are now, how different is it? Can you really live with how it is now? Is it just an exception or is it a trend? Answering these questions made me seek help.

I do not expect the person I am seeing to solve my problems or fix my issues. Some of the things that I am dealing with cannot be solved ever. That is not the point of seeing someone. She helps me deal with the challenges I am facing, she supports me in gaining a different perspective and think about upcoming potential pitfalls before I fall in again. And the most important benefit I get from the sessions is that she normalizes my situation, my emotions, and my reactions. She makes me feel normal, where I am an expert in being hard on myself. She does not make my life easy but she definitely helps to ease and softens my tough side or challenges my judgmental side.

All in all I would say that if you are asking yourself the question whether it is time to ask for help, do it. If you were in victim mentality, you probably would not ask the question anyway…

Depression – Is My Child Depressed?

March 17, 2011 at 7:52 am | Posted in grief/loss, health, self development/motivation | Leave a comment
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This might come as a surprise to some of you but children can experience depression as well as adolescents and adults. For some children it is not ‘just a phase they are going through’ and these parents need to know what to look for.

Is my Child depressed?


It is interesting to note that there wasn’t even an official diagnosis for childhood depression until 1980, even though there was significant research into depression in children in the 1950s. A young pediatrician called Leon Cytryn was researching the frequency of sadness and withdrawal he observed in boys admitted to hospital for surgery. He discovered that almost half of them had symptoms, which would have been associated with adult depression.

Sadness versus depression

To clarify here it is important to note that sadness can be a healthy and normal response when the child is upset, for example when their grandfather has just died or their pet has run away. If this sadness however is observed as a continuous state in the child’s day-to-day experience then we need to look at the potential for childhood depression.

Seeing the signs Continue Reading Depression – Is My Child Depressed?…

Depression – Questions And Answers

February 2, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Posted in health | Leave a comment
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Is something wrong with me?

What's wrong with me?


There is a lot of stigma attached to depression and people suffering it themselves often think that there must be something wrong with them to be feeling that way and that they should be able to turn it around. Depression is not a character weakness, but it is an illness. We wouldn’t tell a heart attack patient to ‘just get on with things’ but to visit a doctor to treat the heart attack. The same applies to people with depression. Depression needs medical attention and can, in most cases, not just be dealt with by the client.

Is it true that in many instances depressive illness will naturally remit?

Interestingly this is true. After a time period between six to twenty-four months it may subside. The fact though remains that suffering from this psychic pain is as intolerable as physical pain and it is therefore not encouraged to just wait until it goes away. In addition the depressed person has nothing to show to validate their feelings, which in many cases makes it worse.

Isn’t taking drugs just avoiding reality and avoid facing how you feel?

Yes, but the drugs improve your ability to cope with the circumstances. Depression renders patient less able or unable to access their normal problem-solving abilities and they often feel a lack of self-confidence, which means that whatever the problem, it always seems harder or impossible to deal with.

Medication also restores the ability to feel emotions to the normal level, which means that the patients can still feel their sadness but also experience the other side of the emotional scale.

Will I get addicted to the medication? Continue Reading Depression – Questions And Answers…

Depression – See The Signs In A Loved One

January 30, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Posted in health | 2 Comments
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If you have a family member dealing with dark moods or depression but you are not sure if it is serious enough to go and look for medical help, this article will clarify your observations and help you make the right decision.


It’s in the experience – not necessarily in the word

Depression is one of the words that have found its way out of the medical dictionary into people’s everyday language. Clinical depression is however an illness and has not much to do with feeling depressed about something which passes after a short period of time. This is an illness and has nothing to do with a character flaw or any personal faults or deficiencies.

If you want to clarify if your loved one is suffering from depression you will notice the following symptoms:

1. Loss of interest or pleasure in all activities Continue Reading Depression – See The Signs In A Loved One…

What Does Stress Cause?

July 28, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Posted in health | Leave a comment
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s - t - r - e - s - s

Stress is part of today’s society, a by-product of our way of living. Productivity has become synonymous with being a good person, working long hours the way to be promoted and ‘to-do-lists’ are many people’s daily companions. The following article will look at what stress causes in our lives.

Besides the physical, mental, emotional and behavioral symptoms that stress can cause, it has some other secondary effects that we will specifically look at here:

1. Deteriorating relationships

Stress keeps people separated. Continue Reading What Does Stress Cause?…

The Importance of Stress Relief

July 16, 2010 at 8:02 am | Posted in health, self development/motivation | Leave a comment

Massage as a form of stress relief

We all experience stress to a certain degree. If managed appropriately stress can help us, for example, to get things done on time. If however you are experiencing a high level of stress on a continuous basis without adequately managing it, then it will have a detrimental effect on your physical, mental and emotional health.

Am I stressed?

In some cases it is blatantly obvious Continue Reading The Importance of Stress Relief…

Nature’s Pharmacy

January 31, 2010 at 11:16 am | Posted in health | Leave a comment
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This came into my email inbox and I found it worth sharing with you, my blog reader:

Nature left us great clues as to what foods help what part of our body! Nature’s Pharmacy! Amazing!
These are best & more powerful when eaten raw.


A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye… and YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.


Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All o f the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.


Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grap es are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.  Continue Reading Nature’s Pharmacy…

Spiritual Awakening Through Illness

August 9, 2009 at 7:29 pm | Posted in health, self development/motivation | Leave a comment
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Illness as a Way

Illness as a Way

Everyone has had the experience of being sick in their life. Did you get the spiritual awakening and the learnings that were presented to you?

Many of you who are on the path of becoming aware know about the metaphysical causes of illnesses. There are plenty of great books on that topic, among them my favorite from Louise Hay and Lise Bourbeau, which can be an excellent starting point in understanding your dis-ease.

Let’s look at it on a practical level: Take the example of the reoccurring bouts of flu. What are the benefits and potentials for spiritual awakenings in having the flu?

  1. Prioritizing: When your body is weakened by fever and headache you only do what is really important or urgent, like cancelling appointments, calling work to let them know you are not well. You are not wasting time with or worrying about unimportant, trivial matters.
  2. Focus on Health: You become more health conscious, you are mindful of what you eat, drink and what outside influences you expose yourself to.
  3. Speaking the Truth: You might be telling people to stop talking when you’re physically, mentally or emotionally not able to take in more. How often does it happen that you are keeping your mouth shut, when you are well, because you want to be ‘nice’? When you are sick, you are being more honest with yourself and others.
  4. Looking after Self: When you are feeling low, you have to take your own needs seriously. Looking after your body becomes a matter of self-preservation.
  5. Less Ego Fixation: If you are seriously weakened by your illness you will no longer be bothered making a point. It becomes less important to ‘be right’ and more important to ‘be well’.
  6. Sticking with the Essential: When you have throat pain, for example, you are only saying what is really necessary, leaving out all the fluff. Similarly to the previous point you are less attached to being right or being heard and trust that things will sort themselves out.
  7. Allowing Help: This is a great chance for people who find it not so easy to accept help under normal circumstances. When you are ill and cannot do certain tasks, you have to learn to accept and welcome help. For the person helping you it is also much nicer to help you as they won’t hear: ‘Oh no, that’s not necessary, I can do it myself!’

So do you have to get sick to learn those lessons or can you do it while you are well?

Meditation – Basic Practice

May 22, 2009 at 8:56 am | Posted in health, inspiration/humour, self development/motivation | Leave a comment
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There is a joke in Buddhist circles: “Don’t just do something, sit there.”

~ just breath... ~

~ just breath... ~

What is Meditation?

Meditation is how we train in continuous awareness. It is also how we train in letting go. Meditating might not appear to be very exciting or productive, but try it and give inner peace a chance.

Meditation is a truly transformative spiritual exercise. Beginning meditators do not always connect the simplicity of what they are doing to the essence of the spiritual search, but it is all there to be discovered by those who try it. The Dzogchen teachings of Tibet say one moment of total awareness is one moment of perfect freedom and enlightenment. You do not need to seek elsewhere; it is all within. Continue Reading Meditation – Basic Practice…

Are You Communicating Effectively in Your Relationship? Part 2

December 13, 2008 at 7:36 pm | Posted in communication, health, love/relationship/marriage | Leave a comment
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Good communication is the cornerstone of happy relationships. Learn how to talk and listen successfully. We all know good communication is at the heart of every good relationship. Whether it has been a wonderful or a rotten day, whether there has been a crisis or a triumph, sharing it in words makes you and your partner feel more understood, more appreciated, more loved. The ability to communicate well is the most important relationship skill of all.

Here are the rest of the foolproof lessons to help you both talk and listen effectively and conquer bad communication habits for good.

Lesson Three: train him to communicate

It is not your imagination. Men do find it harder to communicate than women do. Little girls literally have more of their brain devoted to using words. Men are not taught basic communication skills in the same way as women are. And they are more likely to feel uncomfortable with any communication that involves strong emotion.

  • Show him how to listen. Show him just how loved you feel when he keeps eye contact as you talk; when he responds to what you say; when he asks you questions. Tell him particularly when his good listening gets a result, when it helps you make the right decision or feel more positive about a situation.
  • Show him how to talk, particularly about sensitive issues. Look out for his signals of wanting to confide – a broody silence, more hugs than usual, seeming irritable. When you spot these signs, give him space to express himself and he will slowly learn that opening up is a positive thing to do. Continue Reading Are You Communicating Effectively in Your Relationship? Part 2…
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