3 Tips to Handle an Anxiety Attack

    breathing on the beach

    1. Awareness

    Many therapists have agreed that when a patient feels a panic attack coming on, it is essential to craft a short checklist to keep in mind while the situation occurs. Although each individual experiences anxiety in a different way, following the below steps is important to maintain some calmness.

    Accept the anxiety and try to assess what is going on from an objective standpoint. Try your best to act normal and not let the anxiety overtake your mental state. As difficult as it may seem, do your best to gain control of what is happening.

    2. Consult a doctor

    Consulting a doctor may be necessary after you notice your panic attacks either increasing or becoming more frequent in your day to day life. It is in your best interests to meet with a doctor on a semi-regular basis. With this in mind, your doctor may prescribe you medication or refer you to a mental health physician for further evaluation.

    3. Deep Breathing 

    Taking deep, consistent breaths is one way to most effectively deal with a panic attack when it comes. While it is common for people to breathe very quickly due to stress, keep in mind that this actually augments the level of anxiety. It is important to practice taking deep slow breaths, even when you are not experiencing a panic attack. In other words, focusing on deep breathing will allow you to relax a bit.

    It is important to note that everyone’s panic attacks differ. Consulting a medical professional is highly encouraged as you experience any discomfort. Remember that you are not alone and thousands of other Americans across the country are going through the same issues and experiences as you are. Reading up on how other people cope with anxiety in their day to day lives will also help you try out other ways to improve your emotional or mental health.


    9 Ways to Successfully Return to Work After a Health Problem


    9 Ways to Successfully Return to Work After a Health Problem

    Regardless of the amount of time you took off to recuperate after a mental health crisis, you need to make sure that you take the necessary steps to maintain your well-being. Working your way back to become healthy again is just as, or sometimes more difficult than actually undergoing the mental health crisis you endured.

    However, taking the appropriate steps after an emotionally or psychologically draining event can be overwhelming as you figure out how to assimilate back into the workplace environment.

    Seek out help from professionals and stay connected until you have recovered 100%

    Gathering enough information from professionals in the psychiatric and psychological fields will allow you to access the point where you are seeing improvement in your day to day. Staying connected with the professionals that guide you in your life is absolutely essential when it comes to making strides to overcome the obstacle you had faced for so long.

    Positive thinking

    It can be helpful to think about future goals and think less about what happened in the past. Loehr works with a psychiatrist and life coach to focus on where she is trying to go in life, versus focusing on the hurtful situations she has gone through.

    As a result, one of the goals of her coaching company is to help spread kindness and provide actual solutions to help prevent people with mental health issues from suffering as much and as long as she did in her past.

    Take care of yourself

    Often overlooked, simple parts of your routine such as eating healthy (fruits & vegetables), exercising on a regular basis, and communicating with loved ones are vital during this stage of your life. Before attempting to respond to a thousand emails or hopping on an international conference call,

    Work is no space for your personal business

    While you may have become close with your co-workers, it is also important to maintain a healthy distance and create some boundaries. As the workplace is a professional environment in nature, adhering to this in general is the best way to keep your private life private.

    Slowly get back into it

    There is a strong chance that both stress and anxiety were primary causes of your work related mental health crisis. In terms of getting back into your job to start this process gradually on both micro and macro levels. Basically, don’t get frustrated or overcommit to tasks or events that you know are not feasible at the moment.

    Reach out to people who can help

    Although it may be quite difficult, be sure to touch base with loved ones when you are feeling alone or powerless. It is common for individuals to undergo these negative feelings throughout the recovery process.

    Getting support from these type of outlets are key ways to overcome any short-lived sadness or rough patch you are going through. Your loved are the emotional foundation in your life and you should receive support from them as much as you can during any hardship you are facing at the time.

    Solid work-life balance

    Although work is the main priority for many professionals across the country, keeping a solid mental health state by engaging in recreational activities or perhaps taking up a new hobby that you have been wanting to try for awhile. Engaging in activities not only improves your emotional health, but also provides you with a cathartic outlet to showcase another set of developed skills in a new area.

    Take medication on a regular basis

    If you’re taking medication to help keep your mental health in balance, it’s tempting to go off medication once you’re feeling fine. Although you may feel perfectly fine in the moment, this is no way reflects how the medication is helping you in terms of the bigger picture.

    Bad symptoms can come back quickly if you stop taking medication, which can be overwhelming. Not taking medication for a said amount of time can also sometimes lead to another crisis that essentially could be prevented by consulting a medical or healthcare professional.

    Take time off as you need to

    Keep in mind that taking time off work to battle with a mental illness is no different from taking time off to recover from a condition that affects other parts of the body. Healing one’s mind takes a fair amount of time and convey the importance of personal time off as an essential need when communicating with your employer.

    Applying all the above tips will not only guide you to most effectively overcome your most recent mental health crisis, but this will also allow you to better prepare or better yet, prevent a similar crisis moving forward. Be sure to remember that nothing is more important that your health, and it is therefore absolutely essential to take care of yourself in every way possible.


    Applying Creativity to Help with Life Transitions

    awarenessWhen undergoing intense, often times unpleasant or emotionally difficult life changes, it is natural to attempt to ignore the current predicament that you are experiencing. Although this defense mechanism is common, it takes a great deal of mental strength to actually come to terms with this difficult life stage. Becoming emotionally aware of what’s going on around you is absolutely essential to better grow and stay in touch with your feelings about the transition.

    Making big decisions such as resigning from a job or switching schools are serious life stages that require substantial thought and emotional preparation. Taking the time to thoroughly process the decision before you make it, or talk it through with family members or other loved ones is a great way to gain relief and support from this hardship.

    Facing your fears
    Another great way to deal with a new life transition is to normalize any fear that comes with the difficult issue that you are currently dealing with. In other words, an essential way to normalize your fears is to envision these barriers as a form of motivation to move forward in this life stage. Fear that debilitates has the unfortunate power to hinder any emotional progress as you delve deeper into your life transition. By shaping the fear into a motivational source, you can actually mold a more positive mentality in a healthy way.

    Lesson learning
    A key takeaway when confronting difficult situations is to challenge your perception when dealing with the transition. Take this negative situation and spin it in a way that is more focused on making the environment as positive as possible. Even though the pain or sadness may be unbearable in that moment, be mindful that this extreme emotion you may be feeling is simply temporary.

    After an intense or high emotion situation passes, there is a strong chance that this fact will improve over time. Another incredibly valuable lesson to take away from any difficult situation is to master the art of being mentally and emotionally present. In other words, appreciate who and what is currently surrounding you. Even if you are undergoing an emotionally draining situation, taking the time to take your mother out to lunch or spending more time with a friend who is in even a more difficult predicament is allows you to attain a new level of emotional strength.

    Experience sharing
    After you have gone through this experience, there is no question that you’d be in a position where you can mentor or help guide others who have gone through a similar situation. The lessons you have learned from this experience will allow you to be better equipped with skills and emotional strength to help others in need of guidance from a confident individual who has gone through a similar predicament.



    Dealing with Depression

    Depression is bound to lower your emotional and physical energy levels. While it can definitely feel like overcoming depression is close to impossible, it’s not. Even though you may not feel it now, you still have some control. Here are a some self-help tips you can use to overcome depression.

    Cultivate Supportive Relationships

    Support will go a long way when it comes to dealing with depression. Being alone can actually worsen depression. You need to surround yourself with people who will provide positivity, hope, and light in your life. Naturally, these relationships need to be emotionally stable; keeping close contact with toxic dynamics will also worsen depression.

    Keep in mind that reaching out for support and asking for help is not a sign of weakness. The moment that thought comes into your head, remind yourself that that is just the depression talking. Depression is a natural thing to experience. Many of us go through it at some point in our lifetime.

    So turn to your loved ones and give the opportunity to build a solid support system. Some of the people you may consider contacting are friends, family members, and depression support groups. You can also consider getting involved in miscellaneous social activities. While you won’t necessarily dive into personal conversations during these events, you can still run into people who can lighten your mood.


    Get Moving

    Depression can make it really hard for someone to get out of bed, but making the effort to do it will totally be worth it. Many studies show that physical activity can act as an antidepressant as increases mood-enhancing neurotransmitters and endorphins. It also reduces stress and relieves muscle tension. In other words, physical activity will increase your energy levels and decrease your feelings of fatigue. Some activities you may consider are: going for a walk (if you have a pet this can be even easier to accomplish), going for a jog, going to the gym, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and even better, finding an exercising partner who can keep you motivated.

    Challenge Negative Thinking

    Depression will make you look at everything from a negative point of view. This includes the way you see yourself, the way you perceive others around you, and the way you see your future. Forcing yourself to “think positive” or “think happy thoughts” won’t do the trick. Breaking free from negative thinking is no easy task, perhaps one of the hardest when battling depression.

    Instead shifting from one end of the spectrum to the other, consider replacing those negative thoughts with more balanced thoughts. For example, allow yourself to be less than perfect. Instead of damning yourself for not fulfilling your own expectations, cut yourself some slack. Allow yourself to realize that you are not perfect, and that’s okay. Another thing you can try is when you catch yourself obsessing over something you weren’t able to, try to think outside yourself.

    book on the grass

    Ask yourself what would you say to someone who is going through what you’re going through. Would you be that tough on them? Would everything be so gloomy when you look at it from outside? Lastly, keep a “negative thoughts log.” Sometimes, when you are able to externalize your looming internal thoughts, you are able to put things into perspective. When you’re in a good mood, re-evaluate those recorded thoughts on the log, and see if there was a better, more healthier way of coping with the issue.

    When dealing with depression, you will have your good days and you will have your bad days – and that’s totally okay. Just keep in mind that coping with depression takes time, but you can and you will make it.


    Students Fight For Veterans

    It’s not often that you find students willing to do anything extracurricular, let alone take on a charitable cause. However, a few plucky students have made it their mission to spread awareness, and raise money for the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. While the presidential campaigns heat up, and more politicians are using this issue to sway voters, what are these students doing that set them apart from others?

    Veteran neglect is an issue that’s become tragically common over the past few years. Some veterans seeking treatment tread water on waitlists, hoping to get the medical treatment they deserve. In 2014, a veteran died on a waiting list for his promised medications. Now, while veterans of older wars are not immune to the rigors of time, there must be something done about the nearly 50% increase in veteran patients seeking aid.

    It’s exactly this tragic disparityRichard Battista that motivated a small group of University of Delaware students to for a nonprofit. Reviresco was founded with one goal in mind: helping veterans by bringing together military personnel and civilians. Setting out with a mission of raising awareness, Reviresco and it’s members began with a bang. A 1,700-mile run, taking all of 16 days to complete saw a windfall of support. Raising nearly $13,000 with their widely publicized run, all the proceeds were donated to Team Red White and Blue and Got Your 6, each charity that offer their support to veterans in need.

    More than just raising money for a good cause, Reviresco is pioneering an education platform to teach kids about the military and how to support their veterans. By educating the community, those at Reviresco hope to bridge that gap between civilian and military personnel. Forged out of a sense of gratitude and appreciation for their service, and more-so the willingness to do for others, these teens are showing their true colors, and they’re red, white, and blue


    The Truth About Depression

    RIchard Battista


    Returning The Favor: Protecting Our Veterans

    It takes a special someone to take on the life of a soldier. For most, the risk versus reward is all the deterrent they need from taking on such a dangerous job. And it’s not just the soldiers who endure the rigors of service. Families of our country’s soldiers know all too well the anxiety, the collective holding of breath while their loved ones are away from the safety of home. But what happens when soldiers come home and are denied the support they were promised from day one?

    Richard battista quincy

    Far too often, our veterans survive war-torn battlefields only to come home and fall victim to bureaucracy. Just one veteran slipping through the cracks is inexcusable, let alone the innumerable cases in existence. The numbers are proof enough of this terrible trend, and with less than 80% of claims being met by the government, the Veterans of our country are being treated to a modicum of the respect they deserve.

    With an average turnaround of eight months to a year for meeting claims, recent data shows that nearly 890,000 pensions and compensation for military personnel remain pending. What could be jamming up the gears? With more willing men and women joining our armed forces every day, how can we ensure they won’t fall victim to the same neglect?

    Analysts chalk up the lack of attention to a massive increase in the cost of running our military industrial complex. The projected cost of meeting the required benefits of our veterans, whether compensation for the disabled, pensions for low-income families or educational assistance is estimated at $76 billion. This figure is more than triple the amount in 2001, and it stands to reason that as our economy inflates, the funds needed to meet that rising tide would rise along with it.  The cost of maintaining the level of veteran coverage in 2022 is estimated to increase another 70%, projecting costs of nearly $130 billion.

    Though the rising cost to do business is a contributing factor to the delay in meeting veteran claims, the aging group of surviving Vietnam and World War II-era soldiers require care for the multitude of ailments brought on by old age. Cumulatively, one-third of veterans in need of aid are from Vietnam, exceeding the combined claims of the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

    Woefully understaffed, underfunded and unequipped to handle the amount of claims flooding their offices, clerks responding to claims are up against a wall. No one would willfully deny a soldier their due, but the ever expanding gulf of inadequate resources on both sides has left a chasm in which countless victims fall. Priorities must return to those who were willing to put others before themselves, lest the public stop caring about the welfare of their country’s military.

    Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/28/us/veterans-wait-for-us-aid-amid-growing-backlog-of-claims.html?_r=0



    Depression in Teens

    Symptoms of depression arise in people of all different socioeconomic backgrounds, cultures, and ages. Adolescents and teens are not immune to it, especially as they are experiencing a rather unsettling stage of life that includes going through a myriad of physical, emotional, psychological and social changes.

    Richard Battista Quincy

    Often teens overreact when things don’t go their way based on unrealistic academic, social and familial expectations that they are either putting on themselves or they are feeling from others. While most of these feelings are normal and subside over time, sometimes it can disrupt their daily lives, indicating a more serious emotional or mental disorder: adolescent depression.


    How to Cope

    Teens require guidance from trusted adults in order for them to take a firm grasp on the emotional and physical changes they are going through. Most importantly, they need to develop a sense of acceptance and belonging. Here are a few coping mechanisms to avoid serious depression:

    Make new friends: Emotionally healthy, stimulating relationships with peers are essential to helping teens’ level of self-esteem as well as providing an appropriate social outlet

    Participate: Whether it’s after school activities, sports, or diving into a personal hobby, staying busy helps teens stay positive and focused.

    Join youth-organizations: Catering to the needs of adolescents and teens, programs offered can help develop additional interests as well as cultivate more peer relationships.

    Recognizing Depression

    Despite best efforts and emotional support, teens can and will become depressed. Teens become more susceptible to depression as a result of a family history of depression, unavoidable life events, and even side-effects of certain medications.

    Adolescent depression is increasing at an alarming rate, with many of them self-medicating with drug, alcohol and sexual promiscuity. In order to avoid any serious implications, it’s important to recognize symptoms of depression, especially when they last for more than two weeks.

    Some symptoms include: poor academic performance, withdrawal from friends and activities, sadness and hopelessness, anger and rage, dysphoria, poor self-esteem, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts or actions.

    Treating Depression

    If left untreated, already-serious depression can become life-threatening, therefore it’s extremely important teens receive professional treatment as soon as symptoms are recognized.

    Different form of therapy can help teens understand the underlying causes of their depression while giving them the tools to cope with the stresses of daily life outside of therapy. A wide variety of therapies are offered in different formats, including individual, group, and family counseling.

    Recognizing the need for help is a giant step towards recovery for teens, yet few of them actually want to seek out help, and encouragement and acceptance from those supporting them is key.

    The most common and effective forms of adolescent depression treatment are:

    Psychotherapy teaches teens coping skills while providing an opportunity to explore troubling and upsetting events and feelings in a space space.

    Cognitive-behavioral therapy addresses negative patterns of thinking and behaving and provides teens the tools to change those patterns for the positive.

    Interpersonal therapy focuses on the relationships at home and school, often focal points in teens lives, and how to make them healthier.

    Medication often paired with an additional form of therapy, it can help relieve some serious symptoms of depression.


    A Screening for Mental Health

    The concept of checking in on your physical health has been ingrained since childhood; the yearly check-up with a general physician, the six-month check-ups with a dentist, and annual blood-work. We know the drill. But what about screening for mental health and depression, in particular?

    Richard Battista Quincy

    With nearly 350 million people suffering from depression globally, and more than half of people who commit suicide experiencing some form of depression, it seems screening for this, among other mental health disorders, is rather pertinent. Most, if not all of us, have experienced some overwhelming situations that cause extreme stress and sadness. And knowing the difference between what’s a transient episode and a chronic mental illness could be potentially life saving.

    That’s why Screening for Mental Health, Inc. created the National Depression Screening Day twenty-five years ago. Pioneered as the first, voluntary mental health screening initiative, it has now expanded to thousands of colleges, community-based organizations, and military installations providing the program to the public each year.

    The goal is by offering ways to get free screenings, people will start taking their mental wellness more seriously. “A check up from the neck up…makes a difference,” said Michelle Holmberg, director of programs at Screening for Mental Health, Inc. These screenings are paramount in not only helping individuals understand their mental ailments, but also understand, that while it won’t be overnight, there is a treatment for it.

    Not only will it be an illuminating experience for those participating in the screening, but for their loved ones as well. Experts stress the importance of persistence when it comes to encouraging others to get help and support is vital to success, and being there for that initial screening is the first step. “By offering to go with them, you’re not only being supportive, but you’re telling them that what they have is treatable and not just brushing it off as something that’s no big deal,” said Gregory Dalack, M.D., chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of Michigan.

    National Depression Screening Day, which will be on October 8th this year, is held annually during Mental Illness Awareness Week. While it offers a range of clinician-created evaluations as well as potential further evaluations and treatment options, the NDSD has a goal of addressing mental illness stigma in a more productive way. By creating awareness, a message of commonality amongst those diagnosed with disorders and a community of support will be perpetuated to the public.



    5 Ways to Treat Depression, Naturally

    1.  Consider the reasons why your depressed. Being depressed can be a richard battistaresult of the circumstances in your life. Depression is a symptom of the people and things around you, rather than biochemical imbalances. Being honest with yourself about what might be off putting in your life might be the first step into understanding why your are feeling depressed.

    2.  Exercise. Exercising releases endorphins that produce happier emotions happy-making endorphins. These endorphins act like natural anti-depressants. This process is casually known as “Runners High”.

    3. Breakfast is Important. Never skipping a meal will result in keeping your blood sugar stable and reducing mood swings.

    4. Enhance your diet with serotonin. You can increase your brain’s serotonin levels by eating foods that boost your serotonin levels naturally. Anti-depressants are not needed to enhance the serotonin level sin your diet.

    5.  Avoid Caffeine. Supplement coffee with L-Tyrosine (500 – 1000 mg). Caffeine reduces serotonin levels.

    Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/owning-pink/201103/11-natural-treatments-depression-md-s-tips-skipping-the-prozac