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Spring Suicide Awareness

It’s widely known that antidepressants (SSRIs) pose a risk to increased suicidality, especially when a person is just starting to take antidepressants or the dosage taken is increased.  That’s strange, isn’t it? Does not compute!  During those weeks it takes for the antidepressant to reach full effect, some people experienced increased agitation as serotonin levels increase, giving energy to act on thoughts that they previously did not have the energy to carry out.

It turns out that sunshine, specifically increased exposure to daylight, may have a similar effect on serotonin levels for some people.  See article ( http://reliawire.com/surprising-link-sunshine-suicide/   ) Statistically, suicide rates are higher in the Spring – sadly, many in the Central Texas area have seen this all too well among teens and young adults in recent years .  Perhaps it’s not just Spring Break, upcoming exams or filing taxes that causes this agitation.

Through formal learning and witnessing clients’ experience, I see that the most difficult part of a journey is often not at the bottom of the proverbial valley. Rather, the most difficult part is often when we’re about half way up the slope and find ourselves fatigued, frustrated, and invested enough in what we’re doing that we’re irritated we’re not “there yet.”  Since we can’t yet see the results of the climb, it’s common to wonder if we can or should keep moving toward the goal at the top.  Similarly, we may hopefully begin a project, and give up or wane in enthusiasm when an obstacle is encountered and makes the initial goal seem (or actually be) impossible to reach.

When someone is agitated or discouraged, connection to others is one of the most important preventative factors.  Connection to supportive others provides hope that the current struggles will pass, or if they don’t, others will be with them through the struggle.  It’s important to take suicidal thoughts seriously and seek professional or emergency help when needed. For more information: http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at: 1(800) 273-8255.

 

By: Jennifer A. Madere, LPC-S.

Posted in: Awareness, Counseling, Jennifer Madere

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Counselors Are Just People

Counselors and therapists are simply people that have spent time working on their emotional and mental health. The work of looking inward can impart wonderful healing, which compels counselors to share that gift with the world.  It’s a beautiful cycle…

One can find healing in a friendship, a counseling relationship, a spiritual journey, or even through reading a book in which the reader identifies with the hero or heroine and adopts healing by proxy.

Healing creates a “pay-it-forward” cycle.  “I was healed and now I want to bring others to such a point.  In turn, I hope their healing will affect those around them.”

Counselors are just people.  They have families and friends that they love and sometimes argue with. They may have inner conflict about a situation and worry about it or get frustrated with it. Counselors have learned many tools to cope with difficulties, but prior to using those tools, they are human and experience the same human emotions as everyone else.

I wrote this piece because sometimes clients feel as if I have all of the answers, that I never experience anger or anxiety, and that my life is easy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Counselors are just people that want to help people with being… “people”.

Posted in: Counseling, Michelle Browning, Relationships

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