So, what are adjustment disorders?


Adjustment disorders are characterized by mild to moderate impairment and can often be felt as depression and/ or anxiety, feeling hopeless, crying, worrying also more physical symptoms such as headaches and stomach aches. In children and adolescents these symptoms can also include acting out, being more clingy and more irritable moods. This commonly occurs within 3 months of a stressor like losing a job, moving, getting married, divorce, having a baby etc. This disorder usually lasts no longer than about 6 months once the stressor has ceased.


When should I seek treatment?


When symptoms last longer than 6 months and/or your symptoms become more problematic and debilitating such as longer lasting depression and anxiety not enjoying things that you used to like doing and isolating more it is time to seek services such as therapy and possible medication. Please seek immediate help if you are feeling suicidal.

HOPE is Here

If you’re struggling with adjustment disorders or would like to refer someone you know, we’d love to speak to you further. HOPE is here. Contact us today.

Despite being a high-risk group for depression, a lot of older adults find it hard to ask for help from their loved ones. This is especially troubling, as the older adult age group is seeing rising suicide rates. The reason why so many older adults succumb to depression is that many still believe the stigma surrounding depression and are afraid of burdening their families with their condition. For this reason alone, caregivers looking after older adults need to do all they can to help their loved ones understand that depression is anormal part of life and aging.

In this post, we’ll discuss how you can help older adults who are suffering from depression.


Be Quick to Recognize the Symptoms


It can be difficult to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression in older adults because they may be different from what we usually see in younger folks. For instance, some older adults who suffer from depression don’t have sadness as their main symptom. Instead, they may exhibit less obvious symptoms such as loss of focus or a sudden disinterest in hobbies. Another reason why it can be hard to determine if an older loved one has depression is that it can sometimes look like other prevalent conditions in the age group such as Alzheimer’s disease. In order to help an older adult gain a better grasp over their depression, you should be aware of the common signs and symptoms such
as:

  • Feelings of despair or sadness
  • Weight changes
  • Memory problems
  • Feelings of inadequacy
  • Irregular sleeping patterns
  • Chronic fatigue and demotivation
  • Forgoing basic self-care

Encourage Them to Seek Professional Help


The core concept of depression prevents a person from wanting or being able to seek help, as this condition impacts their self-esteem and drains their energy. As such, one of your main goals when helping an loved one deal with their condition should be to encourage them to seek treatment and open up to mental health professionals. But as we’ve mentioned, a great deal of stigma is associated with mental health issues, making it difficult to convince a loved one to seek help. Thankfully, there are a myriad of mental health professionals who can help your loved one manage their depression. For one, you can employ the services of a local counselor. Counselors are tasked with helping individuals explore their feelings, acknowledge them, and eventually accept them. In addition, counselors can also help older adults find healthy coping mechanisms and self-care techniques.

You can also approach nurses who specialize in mental health to help them come to terms with their depression. As an increasingly popular career in the nursing field, nursing specialists who focus on mental health can assess, diagnose mental health disorders, and recommend necessary treatments. There are also some gerontology-focused nurses who, on top of assisting them with mental health care, can also help them cope with Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, and more. You can find them in hospitals, hospice centers, and extended-care facilities.

Support Them as Much as You Can


You should do whatever you can to show an older loved one that you’re willing to go through this process with them. There are many ways to show your support. For example, simply showing that you’re willing to listen can help raise their spirits. Always remember to avoid judgmental responses and thank them for being open with you. In addition, ensuring that they stick to their treatment plan is also another way to show support. Older adults may have difficulty remembering to take their medications and keeping their appointments, so take it upon yourself to remind them whenever you can.


Helping older adults manage their depression can help them make the most of their later years in life. For more posts about mental health, be sure to visit our blog or contact us today.

written for gahope.org
by Rhia Jade

Consistently performing healthy behaviors to start your day can create an overall calmer morning and improve mental health. Establishing routines filled with healthy habits can help you move more efficiently while using less mental energy, which decreases stress and anxiety. If you don’t already have a clear morning routine set into place, try following this list to start 2021 off right. 

  1. Be Prepared 

In order to start the day with a healthy morning routine, you should prepare the night before. Your nighttime routine will play a role in how well you sleep based on factors like sleep hygiene and environment, but it will also help you to be prepared for the next day as it can decrease stress, over-thinking, and worry, which keep you awake at night. 

Before going to bed, prepare the items you plan to use in the morning. For example, lay out your clothes, make sure bags are packed, and set-up coffee and meals. This will allow you to sleep soundly and be prepared for the day ahead. 

If it makes you feel even more secure, keep a check-list on your bedside table to remind you of the things you should accomplish before bed and when you wake up. 

  1. Wake Up To Light  

Rising with the sun increases wakefulness as exposure to bright light decreases morning grogginess. If possible, leave your blinds open while you sleep so you can get maximum exposure to sunlight in the morning. 

If that’s not an option, consider using a smart light, which gently wakes you with a custom Sunrise Alarm that supports healthy cortisol levels and allows you to create a positive mood at any time with a selection of soothing sounds and lights. This can be especially helpful in the winter months when it’s dark more often and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is more common. 

  1. Avoid Technology 

Technology should be avoided first thing in the morning. Although electronics are extremely useful in many ways, they can be harmful to your well-being if used too often. 

Electronic devices emanate blue light, which is a high-energy visible (HEV) light that can cause eye and mental health complications. Therefore, if you use electronic devices early in the morning they can cause headaches, lack of concentration, or distract you from completing your morning routine. Social media has been proven to add to anxiety and depression, which is all the more reason to reduce time on electronic devices in your morning routine

If you prefer to use devices early in the morning, there are ways you can protect yourself from the blue light they emit. 

  1. Use the Night Shift mode on your devices to alter the screen brightness and temperature, which can decrease the amount and harshness of the blue light that comes from screens. Night Shift uses the clock and geolocation of your device to determine when the sun is rising in your location, so it can automatically adjust your screen temperature. 
  1. Protect your eyes more directly with a pair of blue light glasses, which filter out harmful blue light while still letting in the more natural light from your screens. Wearing these glasses throughout the entire day will further protect your eyes and prevent devices from disrupting your sleep patterns and causing disorientation if you use them frequently. 

By combining the Night Shift mode with the blue light glasses, very little blue light will penetrate your retinas and you will be mentally healthier and happier. 

A morning routine can help individuals set themselves up for better mental health throughout the day. Create your morning routine based on your specific needs and activities. Not everyone will have the same routine—it’s about what works best for you and your mental health. 

As always, HOPE is here.

Georgia HOPE specializes in providing quality mental health and recovery services for in the state of Georgia. To learn more, enroll, or refer someone to us, contact us below:

Is it stress? Is it anxiety? Is it both?

Anxiety generally is internal, meaning it’s your reaction to stress. Usually it involves a persistent feeling of uneasiness or dread that doesn’t go away, and that interferes with how you live your life. It is constant, even if there is no immediate threat.

Stress generally is a response to an external cause, such as interviewing for a new job or arguing with a friend. It goes away once the situation is resolved. It can be positive or negative. For example, it may inspire you to study for a test, or it may cause you to lose sleep.

Both stress and anxiety can affect your mind and body. You may experience symptoms such as:

  • Excessive worry
  • Apprehension
  • Tension headaches or body pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Loss of sleep

Ways to Cope

  • Eat healthy
  • Exercise or do some sort of physical activity
  • Create a sleep routine to get regular sleep
  • Avoid excess caffeine and alcohol
  • Identify and challenge your negative thoughts
  • Keep a journal or download a relaxation / mediation app
  • Reach out to friends and family
  • Speak to a professional

HOPE is Here

If you’re struggling to cope or the symptoms of your stress or anxiety begin to interfere with your everyday life, it may be time to talk to a professional. We’d love to speak to you further and find something that works for you. HOPE is here. Contact us today.

COVID-19 has changed our world. These changes can be challenging for many and in some cases can impact overall
functioning at home, school, or both for children and teens. 

Below are some questions to ask yourself about how well students in your class are adjusting to these new changes.

If you selected at least one of the items on this checklist, the student could benefit from mental health services. Make a referral by completing our online enrollment form.

Teachers aren’t immune to all of these difficult changes. HOPE is here for you too! Affordable self-pay rates are available. Call 706-279-0405 ext 149, email inquiries@gahope.org, or contact us online to learn more or get started today,

2020 is behind us but we have a long road ahead.

Did you know?

1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34 

Source: NAMI

According to NIMH, research shows that only half of those with mental illness receive care each year.

These numbers are BEFORE the pandemic.

According to the CDC, during June 2020 amidst COVID-19, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use.

A new CDC report finds that children’s visits to emergency departments for mental health concerns have been higher than usual this year, possibly due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The proportion of such visits was up 24% among those ages 5-11 and 31% among adolescents aged 12-17, compared to the same period last year.

A new study also shows 20% of Covid-19 patients developed mental illness within 90 Days.

The call to action to get help for mental illnesses is greater now than ever before. The effects of this pandemic are far reaching, and we are seeing it in actual data and proof.

Take care of your mental health

You may experience increased stress during this pandemic as well as your children. Fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. Get the right help for you and your family.

Mental health is an important part of overall health and wellness. It affects how we think, feel, and act. Mental health plays a big role in how we handle stress, relationships and emergencies.

People with pre-existing mental health conditions or substance use disorders may be particularly vulnerable in an emergency or pandemic.  Mental health conditions (such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia) affect a person’s thinking, feeling, mood or behavior in a way that affect how to function each day. These conditions may be situational (short-term) or long-lasting (chronic).

Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. How you respond to stress during the COVID-19 pandemic can depend on your background, your social support from family or friends, your financial situation, your health and emotional background, the community you live in, and many other factors. The changes that can happen because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ways we try to contain the spread of the virus can affect anyone. Taking care of your family is important, but it should be balanced with care for yourself.

If you think you have new mental health conditions or worse symptoms, get help today.

Please see a list of helpful resources below for you and your family. We’re all in this together. #HOPEisHere

RESOURCES

For Everyone

For Communities

For Families and Children

For People at Higher Risk for Serious Illness

For Healthcare Workers and First Responders

For Other Workers

For Veterans / Military 

  • https://journeypure.com/locations/military-program/

Selected Resources for Coping with Loss

Selected Resources for Children and Parents

How to Get Help

Get immediate help in a crisis

Find a health care provider or treatment for substance use disorder and mental health

Suicide

Georgia HOPE Contact Information 

Mental Health Matters: You are not alone.

Did you know…

 

Source: https://nami.org/Home

#FREEYOURFEELS tips for October: 

  1. You aren’t alone in your feelings. Sharing your story might help someone else.
  2. Be prepared in the event things get too hard. A free resource is the MyGCAL app
  3. When was the last time you reached out “just because”? Text a friend a compliment today. 
  4. Don’t be afraid to share your feelings. How can we break through the stigma of sharing our feelings and emotions to professionals? 

Mental health is making headlines across the country, especially when it comes to how children and working parents are handling the pandemic. Check out some of these stories (click on the hyperlinks below):

  1. Children from low income backgrounds show elevated mental health difficulties throughout lockdown
  2. Study: Service workers, kids see mental health decline in pandemic
  3. The Coronavirus Seems to Spare Most Kids from Illness, but Its Effect on Their Mental Health is Deepening
  4. The Pandemic is a ‘Mental Health Crisis’ for Parents
  5. Pandemic takes mental health toll on working parents, children
  6. Georgia HOPE blog 

HOPE is Here.

If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, mental illness, drug and alcohol addictions, or an eating disorder, you don’t have to go through this alone. Georgia HOPE has virtual, online, programs, so that you can get the support you need.

We are currently providing Mental Health and Substance Use services throughout the state of Georgia via TeleMental Health. We offer self-pay options as well as insurance coverage.

If you, or someone you know, are interested in services, you can submit a referral online to us to start the first steps or call us at 706-279-0405.

If you’re interested in learning more about our services, please contact us here.

We are all in this together.  #HOPEisHere

 

 

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Domestic violence affects millions, both women and men, of every race, religion, culture and status. It’s not just punches and black eyes — it’s yelling, humiliation, stalking, manipulation, coercion, threats and isolation.

Tragically, more than 10 million Americans suffer at the hands of loved ones each year, and women are twice as likely to be targets of this heinous crime as men. Source

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, is a pattern of abusive behaviors, characterized by one partner’s need to control the other by using a range of tactics. While the frequency and severity of physical or sexual violence may vary, coercion, intimidation and emotional manipulation occur on a routine basis throughout the relationship.

› Physical Abuse: Hitting, slapping, punching, shoving, kicking, burning, strangulation/ choking, using weapons or other objects to cause injury.

› Sexual Abuse: Forcing a partner to engage in unwanted sexual acts; refusing to practice safe sex; treating a partner like a sex object.

› Emotional Abuse: Name-calling and putdowns; denying/shifting blame; treating a partner as an inferior; threatening to harm self/others or to have a partner deported; abusing children or pets; stalking; using threatening looks, actions or gestures; using technology to track, monitor or frighten.

› Economic Abuse: Stealing or destroying belongings/money; preventing a partner from getting or keeping a job; not letting the partner know about or have access to family income; damaging or ruining a partner’s credit.

Is it domestic violence?

Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors that adults and adolescents use to control their intimate or dating partners. It can include physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and other controlling behaviors. The following questions may help you decide whether you are in an abusive relationship.

Does your partner ever…

  •  hit, kick, shove or injure you?
  •  use weapons/objects against you or threaten to do so?
  • force or coerce you to engage in unwanted sexual acts?
  • threaten to hurt you or others, have you deported, disclose your sexual orientation or other personal information?
  •  control what you do and who you see in a way that interferes with your work, education or other personal activities? › use technology to track, monitor or frighten you?
  • steal or destroy your belongings?
  • constantly criticize you, call you names or put you down? make you feel afraid?
  • deny your basic needs such as food, housing, clothing, or medical and physical assistance?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, please know that help is available.

It is not your fault.

If you are being abused by your partner, you may feel confused, afraid, angry and/or trapped. All of these emotions are normal responses to abuse. You may also blame yourself for what is happening. However, please know that abuse is a purposeful and deliberate behavior where one person uses abusive tactics to gain power and control over another person. Abuse is never the victim’s fault.

Help is available.

Without help, domestic violence often continues to get more severe over time. It can sometimes become deadly. Please know that you have options.

› Domestic violence programs. These organizations offer free and confidential help to individuals in abusive relationships, including crisis intervention, safety planning, emergency shelter, advocacy and other supportive services.

› Community support. Friends, family, women’s and community groups, places of worship, and service providers (such as legal, health, counseling centers) can also provide a variety of resources, support, and assistance.

› Criminal charges. If you or other loved ones have been physically injured, threatened, raped, harassed or stalked, consider reporting these crimes to the police. Criminal charges may lead to the person who is abusing you being arrested and possibly imprisoned.

› Restraining/protective orders. Even if you don’t want to file a police report, you can file for a civil court order that directs your partner to stop abusing or to stay away from you. In many states, restraining/protective orders can also evict your partner from your home, grant support or child custody, or ban him or her from having weapons.

Safety planning is key.

Many survivors find it helpful to implement concrete safety plans in the case of emergency, whether they are planning to leave or stay in the relationship. Here are some suggestions:

› Consider telling others you trust, such as friends, family, neighbors and co-workers, what is happening and talk about ways they might be able to help.

› Memorize emergency numbers for the local police, support persons and crisis hotlines. For example, the National Domestic Violence Hotline number is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

›Identify escape routes and places to go if you need to flee from an unsafe situation quickly.

› Talk with your children and/or other household members about what they should do if a violent incident occurs or if they are afraid.

› Put together an emergency bag with money/ checkbooks, extra car keys, medicine, and important papers such as birth certificates, social security cards, immigration documents, and medical cards. Keep it somewhere safe and accessible, such as with a trusted friend or at your place of work.

› Trust your instincts — if you think you are in immediate danger, you probably are. If you are afraid for your safety, call the police.

Joining the effort.

To stop domestic violence, we all need to be part of the solution. The following are some things that you can do to help: 

  • Help a friend or family member who is being abused. Let them know that the abuse is not their fault, listen to them, help them to identify resources and options, empower them to make choices for their safety, and provide nonjudgmental support and an opportunity for them to seek your support again. 
  • Support your local domestic violence program. Most hotlines, advocacy or shelter organizations could benefit from your time, financial support or other donations. For ideas for building needed resources in your community for survivors of domestic violence: https://bit.ly/2nD2EhB 
  • Speak up about abuse. Let the person using violence or intimidation know their behavior is wrong and encourage them to seek help. If you see abuse, call the police. Doing nothing can make the abuse worse and even deadly. 
  • Educate yourself and others. Call your local domestic violence program to schedule informational workshops for your workplace, community group or place of worship. Encourage schools to include abuse prevention as part of their curricula. Social change is possible when individuals, families, communities, and institutions have access to both knowledge and tools. See Awareness + Action = Social Change: Strategies to End Gender-Based Violence for inspiration: https://bit.ly/2MkqQTR 
  • Set an example. Make a commitment to work for equality and end violence in all of its forms. Model non-violent and respectful behavior through your everyday actions.

HOPE is here.

For help, there are resources available for you:

new normal

When COVID-19 became a reality, life as we knew it changed. Our routines and ability to predict what would happen next were drastically altered.

Stress and anxiety is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. We are living in an uncertain time where stress is common. It is nearly impossible to go through one day without hearing alarming information on the news about not only COVID-19 but national security concerns and disasters. We are reminded often that the days are filled with less peace and calm and more destruction and illnesses.

Through all of this, stress and anxiety management has become vital for individuals and families. HOPE is here. We’ve put together some coping skills to practice for minimizing the mental consequences of everything going on in the world and maximizing the recovery of this exposure.

Here’s 8 Tips for Managing Anxiety during the “New Normal”

It’s normal to have difficulty managing your feelings during this time. Because everyone experiences stress and anxiety differently, don’t compare yourself with others around you or judge other people’s reactions and emotions. Here are some tips for coping:

1. Talk about it. By talking with others, trusted friends and family or professionals, about the event, you can relieve stress and realize that others share your experience and feelings.

2. Take care of yourself. Get as much rest and exercise as possible. Try to continue any religious practices or centering activities.

3. Take one thing at a time. Getting things back to normal can seem impossible. Break the job up into doable tasks. Complete that task first and then move on to the next one. Completing each task will give you a sense of accomplishment and make things seem less overwhelming.

4. Help others if you’re able to. Help prepare meals for others. Volunteer to help clean up or rebuild your community. Donate to a local food bank. Helping others can give you a sense of purpose in a situation that feels beyond control.

5. Avoid drugs and excessive drinking. Drugs and alcohol may seem to help you feel better, but in the long run, they generally create additional problems that compound the stress and anxiety you’re already feeling.

6. Ask for help if you need it. If your anxiety is so strong it gets in the way of your daily life, talk with someone. Don’t try to go it alone. This is especially important for people who had existing mental health problems or those who’ve survived past trauma. You could also join a support group. Don’t try to go it alone. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.

7. Follow public health guidelines from reputable sources. The degree and rate of reopening seems to vary across the country, so stay informed when restrictions are reinstated and up to date. But check the sources as well. There’s a lot of misleading information out there causing more stress and anxiety than needed.

8. Be your own cheerleader and don’t compare yourself to others. Facing your anxiety is hard work. We all have things that scare us or stress us out and because of this, we shouldn’t compare yourself with others. If you are working hard to overcome your anxiety, you deserve to congratulate yourself and be your own cheerleader. The work of re-entering the world after an unprecedented months-long lockdown is work. If you are trying to overcome your anxiety, then you deserve to congratulate yourself for you hard work.

HOPE is Here.

Georgia HOPE specializes in providing quality mental health services for children, adults, individuals and families in the state of Georgia. To learn more, enroll, or refer someone to us, contact us below: