Therapy has come a long way from Sigmund Freud’s “lie on a couch and tell me about your mother”. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is an incredibly well researched form of treatment that has replaced most other forms of therapy for individuals with anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. It’s based on the premise that we can change our distorted thinking patterns that keep us stuck, into more useful and helpful thoughts. I like to think of it as personal training for your brain in that if you exercise your muscles you will see physical changes. Similarly, if you exercise your thoughts, you will see physical changes in your brain. Several neuroimaging studies back this claim up by showing in as little as 9 weeks, CBT treatment can physically change our brain for the positive.
Many of us are getting close to the two-week mark of self isolation, which can lead to all kinds of health issues. I wanted to write this article as a follow up to previous articles showing that prolonged anxiety and self isolation can lead to depression, but many of the symptoms of depression are healthy for up to the first couple weeks. So similar to anxiety, it is OK to feel sad during this pandemic, and that sadness is not the same thing as depression. The aim of this article is to know when our emotions become unhealthy and when to seek help from a professional.
Having empathy for teenagers can be really hard sometimes.
During my mental health training and education, I get questions from frustrated parents constantly about how to help with their teenager’s mental health. Now I can only empathize with all the parents out there unsure of what to do or say to make things better for their children.