Q & A's about therapy/ Resources

How do I know if I need therapy?

Articles and Resources

Codependency

Codependency involves sacrificing one’s personal needs to try to meet the needs of others. Someone who is codependent has an extreme focus outside themselves. Their thoughts and actions revolve around other people, such as spouses or relatives.


Codependency often appears in relationships which are unbalanced and unhealthy. A person with codependency often tries to save others from themselves. They may get hurt trying to “cure” a partner’s addictions or abusive behaviors.


Codependency does not qualify as a mental health diagnosis mostly because the symptoms are so widely applicable. Yet it can still cause severe distress. Codependency may lead a person to develop other mental health concerns such as anxiety.  A therapist can help a person reduce codependent behaviors and develop healthier relationships.


Article "Codependency" from goodtherapy.org

https://www.goodtherapy.org

Tips for Overcoming Shame

1. Seek therapy-

Therapy is one effective way of dealing with shame because it enables you to perceive whatever is causing you shame in an objective and healthy manner. Therapy enables you to overcome shame that is not only caused by other people’s behavior, but also that which is brought about by negative emotions you hold about yourself. Admittedly, shame tends to affect every area of your life, and talking to a therapist would help you deal with it. In addition, therapy helps you to address feelings of shame, which include but are not limited to self blame, inferiority, worthlessness, and to heal from the negative effects of shame, which include anxiety, depression, anger, just to mention, but a few. 


2. Recognize the physical signs of shame-

Recognizing how a shameful experience feels like physically enables you to be more aware and to be deliberate in how you choose to respond to it. The physical symptoms of shame feel more like those of a panic attack, and learning to recognize them can go a long way in enabling you to deal with shame in a more positive and intentional manner because you are able to pause and reflect on your shame triggers. 


3. Self compassion-

Compassion is considered to be the best antidote or neutralizer of shame. Additionally, self compassion is a great remedy for self criticism, which is often common if you are going through intense shameful experiences. Self compassion is known to trigger the release of oxytocin, and this hormone tends to increase feelings of safety, trust, connectedness, as well as calmness. Self compassion enables you to cultivate feelings of worthiness, and it is all about been able to treat yourself with love and a lot of respect. It is important to note that self compassion makes it easy for you to be able to share your feelings of shame.


Finding Your Voice

Having the strength to share about your shameful experiences that you’ve hid for years becomes easier when you first and foremost stop criticizing yourself and secondly, when you understand that you are not alone. What’s more, it is important to understand that empathy acts as a great antidote for shame, and empathic responses from those whom you open up to can help you to overcome the painful feeling of shame.

Local Resources

 The crisis hotline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at  317-251-7575 

NAMI Indiana has published a booklet on "Preparing for and Responding to a Mental Health Crisis."  for use.

Crisis Text Line – Text NAMI to 741-741

Connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text message.

National Domestic Violence Hotline – Call 800-799-SAFE (7233)

Trained expert advocates are available 24/7 to provide confidential support to anyone experiencing domestic violence or seeking resources and information. Help is available in Spanish and other languages.

National Sexual Assault Hotline – Call 800-656-HOPE (4673)

Connect with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area that offers access to a range of free services. Crisis chat support is available at Online Hotline. Free help, 24/7.

Veterans and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 

The Toxic Attraction Between An Empath and a Narcissist: dailyoccupation.com, peacequarters.com

One thing that can be said about the narcissist is that they constantly try to seek validation from other people. A lot of people who become narcissistic usually experience painful events during their childhood that eventually lead to their constant need to seek validation.

The empath can be considered the healer. They have the ability to sense if there is any person who is suffering from any type of pain. They take the pain and experience the pain of others. If the empathy does not know what they are doing, they are going to suffer because they will feel the pain again and again as they are unable to protect themselves. The empath may form bonds with the narcissist so that they can take away whatever pain the narcissist is experiencing.

In fact, narcissists may draw the soul and life out of people they come in contact with.

As empaths don’t fully understand that not everyone is like them, this dynamic may debilitate and confuse them. Empaths often put themselves in other people’s shoes. They also try to sense what others are thinking, intending and feeling, while forgetting that others might be dishonest.

On the contrary, narcissists are great manipulators, so that they try to rise above others and exercise control.

This means that the more affection and love empaths give, the stronger the narcissists become. This also means that the empaths may probably become the victim. Then, they begin to take on narcissistic traits because they also become wounded.

The moment that the narcissist senses that there is a change in the empath, that the empath is wounded, this will be enough for them to keep the person down. The empath will always show that he is unhappy and this will be enough to make the narcissist take more control, more power in order to validate his worth.

The empath will forget about all things that are related to the positive aspect of life. They will be obsessed with the pain that he is feeling. They will focus on the abuse and the trauma that he is enduring. Instead of trying to break away the connection with the narcissist, they will try their best to become validated which will never happen. The only thing that an empath can do in order to find himself again is to sever the ties with the narcissistic person.

Trying to communicate with a narcissist is useless, since they don’t try to heal and help out anyone else. What’s more, they are also very manipulative and charismatic, and may turn their negativity towards other people.

An empath should understand at this point that the relationship is going nowhere. It is nearly impossible to build a relationship with a narcissist. The empath will feel insecure and unloved. The empath has the choice to blame the destructive relationship on another person, continue to become the victim or to love themselves so they can break away. Finding the courage to get out of the relationship can be hard though and it will take a lot of guts and perseverance to do so.

They have the choice to stay a pawn in the game of the narcissist, the victim, or find a way to get out of it.

The more the empaths learn about the personality of the narcissists, they are less likely to develop a relationship. In case a relationship is already developed, it is never too late to get out of it.

It is important to understand that most narcissists don’t want to change. Therefore, if you wait around for anything to happen, it is a complete waste of time.

That’s not all, the narcissists may probably get out of the relationship once they realize that they are not able to control the empaths anymore.



Borderline Personality Disorder

Facts and Infromation from National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)


Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a condition characterized by difficulties regulating emotion. This means that people who experience BPD feel emotions intensely and for extended periods of time, and it is harder for them to return to a stable baseline after an emotionally triggering event.

This difficulty can lead to impulsivity, poor self-image, stormy relationships and intense emotional responses to stressors. Struggling with self-regulation can also result in dangerous behaviors such as self-harm (e.g. cutting).

It’s estimated that 1.6% of the adult U.S. population has BPD, but that number may be as high as 5.9%. Nearly 75% of people diagnosed with BPD are women. Recent research suggests that men may be equally affected by BPD but are commonly misdiagnosed with PTSD or depression. 

Symptoms

People with BPD experience wide mood swings and can display a great sense of instability and insecurity. Per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual diagnostic framework, some key signs and symptoms may include:

  • Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment by friends and family.
  • Unstable personal relationships that alternate between idealization (“I’m so in love!”) and devaluation (“I hate her”). This is also sometimes known as "splitting."
  • Distorted and unstable self-image, which affects moods, values, opinions, goals and relationships.
  • Impulsive behaviors that can have dangerous outcomes, such as excessive spending, unsafe sex, substance abuse or reckless driving.
  • Self-harming behavior including suicidal threats or attempts.
  • Periods of intense depressed mood, irritability or anxiety lasting a few hours to a few days.
  • Chronic feelings of boredom or emptiness.
  • Inappropriate, intense or uncontrollable anger—often followed by shame and guilt.
  • Dissociative feelings—disconnecting from your thoughts or sense of identity or “out of body” type of feelings—and stress-related paranoid thoughts. Severe cases of stress can also lead to brief psychotic episodes.

Causes

The causes of BPD are not fully understood, but scientists agree that it is the result of a combination of factors, including:

  • Genetics. While no specific gene or gene profile has been shown to directly cause BPD, studies involving twins suggest this illness has strong hereditary links. BPD is about five times more common among people who have a first-degree relative with the disorder.
  • Environmental factors. People who experience traumatic life events—such as physical or sexual abuse during childhood or neglect and separation from parents—are at increased risk of developing BPD.
  • Brain function. The emotional regulation system may be different in people with BPD, suggesting that there is a neurological basis for some of the symptoms. Specifically, the portions of the brain that control emotions and decision-making/judgment may not communicate optimally with one another. 

Diagnosis

There is no definitive medical test to diagnose BPD, and a diagnosis is not based on one specific sign or symptom. BPD is best diagnosed by a mental health professional following a comprehensive clinical interview that may include talking with previous clinicians, reviewing previous medical evaluations and, when appropriate, interviews with friends and family.

Treatment

An effective treatment plan should include your preferences while also addressing any other co-existing conditions you may have. Examples of treatment options include psychotherapy; medications; and group, peer and family support. The overarching goal of treatment is for a person with BPD to increasingly self-direct their own treatment plan as they learn what works and what doesn’t. Please visit our BPD Treatment page for more in-depth information.

  • Psychotherapy—such as dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic psychotherapy—is the first line of choice for BPD. Learning ways to cope with emotional dysregulation in a therapeutic setting is often the key to long-term improvement for those experiencing BPD.
  • Medications may be instrumental to a treatment plan, but there is no one medication specifically made to treat the core symptoms of BPD. Rather, several medications can be used off-label to treat various symptoms. For example, mood stabilizers and antidepressants help with mood swings and dysphoria. And for some, low-dose antipsychotic medication may help control symptoms such as disorganized thinking.
  • Short-term hospitalization may be necessary during times of extreme stress, and/or impulsive or suicidal behavior to ensure safety.