Relationship Building and Theraplay

It’s no secret that all children benefit from healthy, loving relationships. These relationships are what help children grow and learn about how life works while sculpting them to be active members of society. Well, what happens when those relationships suffer? Whether it involves trauma, a consistent digital ‘babysitter’ (such as an iPad, television, or gaming console), or just a lack of initiative from the adults involved, children suffer much more than it may seem. So, what can be done about it?

Relationship Building and Theraplay

Aside from getting the main adults in the child’s life to be more present, Theraplay can also be a great way to teach children about relationships, while building also building them. Theraplay has some similar concepts as Play Therapy, but is also very different. Play Therapy is a process that takes the child from the trauma they faced in life through the present time. It focuses on dealing with that trauma and growing through it, while building a trusting relationship with the therapist. Most Play Therapy is child driven and goes off of what they are feeling and what they choose to talk about while they play. Theraplay, on the other hand, lends more of a ‘move past and focus on the future’ mentality. It focuses on building relationships in the current moment by using a myriad of games and strategies decided on and put into action by the therapist.

By allowing the therapist to drive the play, the child can receive more direct help for different issues. Regardless of the issue; attachment, impulse control, anger, etc. the therapist isn’t waiting around for the child to present an opportunity to discuss or act out certain topics like in Play Therapy. They can plan session to session and build on the child’s growing skill set.

It’s been proven that therapy can be a great way to help decipher relationships at any age. Many people don’t start counseling until they are older and see the trauma they’ve been through in one way or another. Don’t children deserve the opportunity to understand that before they waste any more beautiful young years?

If you have or know a child that could benefit from our services, please visit our website or contact us today!

What is Psychiatry?

What is psychiatry? As a medical doctor deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of physical ailments, a psychiatrist is a medical doctor who does the same service for behavioral, mental, and emotional ailments. To accomplish these tasks, a psychiatrist has a variety of tools in his or her kit.

What is Psychiatry?

When most people think of what a psychiatrist does, they think of psychotherapy or, as it is sometimes called, talking therapy. The patient participates in sessions with a therapist and has a conversation about his or her problems, which might include some kind of trauma, depression over the death of a loved one or some other kind of loss, or an anxiety disorder, among others. The therapist is often able to lead the patient to perform behaviors that will lead him or her to overcome the disorder with which they are afflicted.

Some creative forms of psychotherapy exist that use animals, art, or play to help people cope with their mental health issues. Play therapy is especially effective with children, helping them to express their problems and to cope with them. Art therapy helps people with painting, drama, dance, and other forms of art to help express and deal with their mental health issues. Animal therapy uses dogs, horses, or other animals to help patients bond with another entity and cope with their issues.

A number of medications exist to help patients cope with more severe mental health issues. Antidepressants are used to help treat depression, PTSD, panic disorders, and other conditions. Mood stabilizers help patients who suffer from bipolar disorder, a condition that causes people to experience intensely manic periods followed by just as intense depressed periods.

A psychiatrist is skilled in diagnosing mental health disorders and developing treatment plans for them. Such a treatment could consist of psychotherapy, medications, or a combination thereof. Each treatment is unique to the individual patient.

For more information contact us.

The Struggle To Accurately Describe Depression

Depression can be hard to describe, especially when a therapist or a family member puts you on the spot with that inevitable question: How do you feel?

How do you describe your emotions, or lack thereof, when you are depressed? How do you explain a feeling of nothingness at the same time you are feeling everything at once? How can you explain your mindset when you don’t remember ever feeling anything different?

The Struggle To Accurately Describe Depression

It’s All In The Chemicals

The reason why depression is hard to describe, even to yourself, is that this mental state is not just situational. It’s chemical and may, perhaps, be hereditary. Those chemical imbalances cause us problems emotionally and physically.

Hormones and brain chemicals are what tell you how to feel and it is very difficult to tell when they are out of whack because the emotions come to you already altered.

Many people who are depressed feel empty and lonely most of the time, even when they are surrounded by loved ones. We want to say something to them but yet we don’t know what to say. Sometimes, we feel like there may be nothing to say.

The Struggle

We take the things that we love to do and set them aside because we are no longer inspired and no longer confident in our abilities to do them. Fatigue is rough and bleeds into our relationships with others. We don’t want to spend time with the people that we love, and then we feel worse when they react negatively to this.

When we feel at our worst, we may sometimes think that our loved ones, and even the world, would be much better without us here. But that simply isn’t true. We are all loved and wanted, we are just unable to feel it.

The struggle we are having is an internal fight to exist in a world we don’t understand because our brains have kept us from being a part of it and enjoying it. It’s time to get answers to our questions.

Our minds are messing with us and we can fight back. Pandora’s House Psychiatry is here to help anyone with a comprehensive individualized plan of attack towards combating your illness effectively and diligently. Contact us when you are ready for our help.

Understanding Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Having worries or doubts is a natural part of life, however, many individuals find a great deal of their time is spent on excessive worrying that can feel overwhelming and uncontrollable. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is described as having persistent and excessive worry over a variety of different things. Individuals with GAD often live with a sense of impending disaster or doom and may find themselves distressed about health, finances, work, personal relationships, or other issues. While symptoms vary and can be mild to severe depending on the individual, some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Agitation
  • Muscle tension and aches
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Shortness of breath

Understanding Generalized Anxiety Disorder

While most people experience worry from time to time, those with GAD find it challenging to control worrisome thoughts over long periods of time. Often, the worry is unwarranted and everyday routines can be enough to produce anxiety in those with GAD. Individuals with GAD are often aware of their unchecked worry but are unable to stop the worry cycle. This can interfere with professional and personal relationships.

In the U.S., more than 6.8 million individuals are affected by GAD and the disorder is more common in women than men. While GAD can develop at any age, the risk is greatest between childhood and middle age. It is not fully understood what determines GAD in individuals, though research suggests that biological factors, a family history of anxiety, and stressful life experiences have an impact on the likelihood of developing the disorder.

Treatment of GAD often involves cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which helps to permanently change thinking and behaviors. Often, CBT is successful on its own for those living with GAD, but medication can also be prescribed to help relieve some physical symptoms of anxiety, such as stomach aches and muscle tension. Commonly prescribed medications for GAD include antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications and are typically prescribed for short periods of time, as the risk of dependency can be higher in these medications.

In addition, lifestyle changes can also help those living with generalized anxiety disorder. These changes include increasing daily physical activity, practicing yoga and meditation, reducing caffeine intake and other stimulants and building a support system among friends and family to talk about worries and fears with.

With a combination of therapy, medication, and lifestyle modifications, most individuals living with GAD are able to manage their symptoms and perform daily functions professionally and personally. If you are concerned about your anxiety or are struggling with worry, we are here to help.  Contact Pandora’s House today.

What is the Difference between Depression and Sadness?

Many people confuse depression with sadness. According to the American Psychiatric Association, sadness or grief is triggered by a specific event, such as the loss of a loved one, a job loss, or an end of a relationship. The feelings have a specific cause and are often temporary as the triggering event recedes into the past. That is not to say that the feelings that are triggering by such an event are not severe and may even need the intervention of a mental health professional. Feelings brought about by a physical assault or witnessing a catastrophe can cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and require therapy to overcome.

What is the Difference between Depression and Sadness?

Depression is a far different disorder. The feelings of sadness are constant and have no specific triggering event. They can be caused by biochemistry, genetic predisposition, a personality disorder (i.e. low self-esteem) or something constant such as an abusive relationship or an abusive childhood. Sometimes a physical cause exists, such as a brain tumor, a vitamin deficiency, or even a thyroid condition.

Depression can be mild or severe. The condition is characterized by sleep disorders, a lack of energy needed to perform everyday tasks, eating disorders, a constant feeling of worthlessness, and even, in the most extreme cases, thoughts of self-harm or suicide. In general, the feelings must be constant for two weeks to trigger a diagnosis of depression.

Fortunately, depression is one of the more treatable of mental health disorders. Medications, psychotherapy (i.e. talking therapy), and even, in extreme cases, electroconvulsive therapy have been used to treat depression. People living with depression can often be taught exercises to relieve the symptoms. Regular sleep, a good, healthy diet, and avoidance of alcohol help to deal with the feelings of depression. Given treatment, roughly 80 to 90 percent of people with depression can enjoy relief from symptoms.

For more information contact us.

What is Anxiety and What Does It Look Like?

Anxiety is a normal human response to perceived stressful or dangerous situations. Life events, such as having a child or losing your job can make any individual anxious. Anxiety can be a combination of intense feelings of nervousness, a noticeable increase in sweating, racing thoughts and a more rapid heartbeat. It is a scary human emotion that in most cases, is temporary and completely harmless. But for some individuals, anxiety can be a debilitating mental disease that prevents them from living an enriched and fulfilling life. Below are the five most common anxiety disorders.

What is Anxiety and What Does It Look Like?

Generalized Anxiety Disorder: This type of anxiety is accompanied by persistent feelings of restlessness, usually lasting for months or longer, and is likely to affect all areas of an individual’s life, even towards things that may seem trivial in nature. They may have irrational fears about something for little to no underlying reasons.

Panic Disorder: This disorder is repetitive and ongoing but usually involves specific episodes. In these episodes, an individual may experience impending feels of doom, sudden loss of breath, chest pain, and heart palpitations. The feelings can be so intense that it can feel like a heart attack.

Social Anxiety Disorder: With this anxiety, individuals are usually characterized by feelings of insecurity or self-consciousness. They avoid social situations out of an intense fear of embarrassment, judgment, or humiliation from others. It is usually derived from some negative social experience, such as bullying.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: This involves intrusive fears of some horrible occurrence. To ensure this horrible occurrence does not happen, a set of obsessive guidelines and routines are followed. This could be washing your hands several times out of the fear of contracting germs or praying obsessively for a sick family member.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): This is probably the most well-known type of anxiety disorder. It comes from experiencing or being witness to a traumatic event. It is uncontrollable and can be triggered in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, etc. The most commonly well- known cases of PTSD involve soldiers in the military who have come back from war.

It is important to know that anxiety does not look like just one symptom and can manifest itself in many ways. Pandora’s House of Psychiatry is a judgment free zone and committed to providing the best service, personalized and extensively tailored for you. If your anxiety is preventing you from living your life to the fullest, please contact us now. Take back control of your life today!

Three Reasons You May Need to See a Grief Counselor

After the death of a family member or loved one, everyone deals with grief in their own way. There is no one right way to deal with grief. While some people deal with grief through the support of their family and friends, others need the help of a grief counselor to appropriately deal with their grief. Here are three signs that you may need the assistance of a grief counselor.

Three Reasons You May Need to See a Grief Counselor

You Can’t Move On

It may be hard to function for a few days after the death of a loved one. While the pain of losing your loved one will never fully go away, you should eventually be able to get back into a regular routine. If you find that you can’t get out of bed or otherwise move on with your life, it might be time to seek the assistance of a grief counselor.  A grief counselor can help you deal with your emotional pain and establish a new regular routine.

You’re Feeling Overwhelming Guilt

There are many reasons that someone might feel guilt concerning the death of a loved one. Maybe, you didn’t encourage the person to see a doctor sooner, or you were there when the person died. Perhaps, you were both involved in a car accident, and while your family member died, you only suffered minor injuries. Survivor’s guilt can be difficult to deal with. A grief counselor can help you deal with any guilty feelings concerning the loss of your loved one.

You Feel Like You Can’t Talk to Anyone

Perhaps, you don’t have any nearby family or friends, and you are struggling to find someone who understands what you are going through or someone who will listen to your struggles. Maybe, you feel like everyone around you is dealing with their grief differently, and you feel like they don’t share your same struggles or concerns. It might be time to turn to a grief counselor.

If you would like to learn more about grief counseling or you are ready to schedule an appointment, contact us.

How to Find a Psychiatrist Near You

“How do I find a psychiatrist near me?” While this sounds like a simple question, looks can be deceiving here. There are two main considerations you must make.

How to Find a Psychiatrist Near You

What Type of Psychiatrist do I Need?

The first thing you must consider is what type of psychiatrist you need. For anyone between the ages of 16 -18, you should consult with a child and adolescent psychiatrist. There are also generalized adult psychiatrists available. However, if you’re struggling with something more specialized (e.g. an eating disorder), you may want to find someone who specializes in this type of psychiatry. These psychiatrists tend to be more restrictive. Additionally, if you need an evaluation for a legal matter, you should seek out a forensic psychiatrist.

Will They Take My Insurance?

One of your biggest concerns will have to do with insurance. Whether a psychiatrist will take your insurance will depend partly upon where you live. In those areas where there aren’t a lot of psychiatrists, most will take insurance. These psychiatrists will typically only see patients for medication management though. However, in those areas where there are a lot of psychiatrists available many of them will split their time between seeing patients and managing medication. These psychiatrists may not always accept insurance though.

You may still want to see a psychiatrist who is either not in your network or doesn’t take your insurance. The choice is yours, but you should know that if they don’t take your insurance you will have a higher deductible and if you want to be reimbursed you must handle the paperwork yourself.

Now that you know what to look for in a psychiatrist, it’s time to make some phone calls. If you live in Collin County, make sure you reach out to Pandora’s House. In doing so you’ll find out why they’re highly recommended when you ask “Who is the best psychiatrist near me?”

What Is Tourette Syndrome?

Tourette Syndrome, also known as Tourette’s or TS, is a neurodevelopmental disorder distinguished by the presence of chronic motor and vocal tics. The severity of TS can vary; according to the NINDS, it is estimated that one in 100 have a mild case, and around 200,000 Americans suffer from the most severe form of Tourette Syndrome.

What Is Tourette Syndrome?

Symptoms typically appear during childhood, and in many cases, the severity of one’s tics reaches its peak around the pre-teen years with symptoms improving post-adolescence. However, for some individuals, Tourette’s is a chronic lifelong condition with its own set of daily challenges to cope with.

What Are Tics?

Tics are uncontrollable movements, gestures, or vocalizations that are often sudden and repetitive. Tics are described as either simple tics (involving a limited number of muscle groups) or complex tics (involving several muscle groups).

The specific type of tics a person has and their frequency typically fluctuates over time. Tics can also change, evolve, or even react to internal or external triggers, including anxiety or stress.

Many people with Tourette’s notice their tics lessen or stop altogether if they are intensely focused on something. Some people may also experience premonitory urges — a sense that a tic is about to occur. While some may be able to suppress a tic when this happens, it can often make tics emerge more frequently afterward.

Motor Tics

Some examples of simple motor tics are grimacing, blinking, shrugging, and jerking movements. Complex motor tics can include jumping, twisting, hopping, or a combination of movements. More severe motor tics can include obscene gestures or actions such as hitting or punching that can cause self-injury to the individual.

Vocal Tics

Simple vocal tics can include barking, sniffing, whistling, or popping noises. Complex vocal tics typically involve words or phrases.

  • Echolalia is a type of vocal tic where the individual repeats something that someone else has said.
  • Coprolalia is a severe vocal tic involving inappropriate or crude language like swearing or racial slurs. It is perhaps one of the most heavily stigmatized symptoms, although only approximately 10%-15% of those with Tourette’s have this kind of vocal tic.

Living with Tourette’s

Many people with Tourette Syndrome don’t need any kind of medication for their condition, although it may benefit certain cases. Typically, the most effective ways to live with Tourette’s are to find healthy coping mechanisms and a support system that will help the individual live without their condition hindering their ability to live a normal life.

Options for Treatment

When it comes to treatment, speech therapy, behavioral therapy, or medication may be beneficial in some cases. Most often, there is no formal treatment necessary for Tourette’s unless the person’s tics are causing harm to the individual. In some cases, Tourette Syndrome can be accompanied by other conditions such as ADHD, anxiety, sleep disorders, or issues with social functioning, sensory processing, or behavior. Certain therapies can often help with concurrent problems in those with Tourette’s.

If you or a loved one suffer from symptoms of Tourette’s or any co-occurring conditions, Pandora’s House Psychiatry is here for you. Serving the Collin County community, we are committed to providing compassionate psychiatric care with understanding and trust. Contact us today for more information or to request an appointment.

Why and How to Tell Your Family You’re Suffering from Anxiety

Anxiety can make you feel like you are completely alone in your life. Even if your life is filled with family and friends who love you, they probably have no idea that you are suffering from anxiety every day. Don’t suffer alone. Allow someone to help you through.

Why and How to Tell Your Family You're Suffering from Anxiety

Why You Should Tell Your Family

To alleviate your stress- By discussing your feelings with your family, you won’t have to hide your symptoms and feelings anymore. You can share when you start to feel worried about something and know that you have someone who will listen.

The relief of sharing your feelings- Once you share your worries and express the emotional pain you have been dealing with, you may feel some relief from your anxiety. Obviously, this will not solve the underlying issue. But by having an outlet to share your feelings, the bottled up feeling of worry may start to ease.

To get help taking the next steps- If you have even one or two family members or friends that you trust, ask them to help you through this. Explain your struggles and what you feel you need to do to move forward. Perhaps they could come with you to speak to a therapist or even just watch your children to give you some time away.

How You Should Tell Your Family

Speak with those you are closest to– You know which of your family members are most supportive. Speak to the person you feel most comfortable with first so that they can help you feel better and not judged for your feelings.

Ask someone to help you– Once you have opened up to someone you feel close to, ask them to be with you as you explain your feelings to other members of your family. Allow them to help you answer questions when you start to feel overwhelmed.

Tell them how they can help you- Make sure your family understands that your feelings are not their fault, but also be clear about how they can help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with work or cleaning you have to get done, ask if someone could help you with that. Don’t be afraid to ask for the help you need to feel better.

Don’t allow the loneliness of anxiety to overtake you. Speak with those closest to you about how you are feeling and how they can help. If you do not have anyone you can speak to or you need further steps to help you through while suffering from anxiety, contact a therapist. The only way to get through is with support. Please contact us for further information.