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Seasonal Affective Disorder: A Primer on SAD Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options

David Martin

This is a guest post by Laura Baker.  Find out more here.

Many people live with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), particularly those who live in the northernmost parts of the world. Even if you are a southern-dweller, it is fully possible to experience SAD during the winter or rainy months.

However, some people are unaware that the feelings of depression they experience during certain times of the year may actually be a mental health disorder.  Subsequently, they don’t take steps to manage their symptoms, instead believing that these temporary down times are something everyone experiences.  If you think you may have SAD, here are a few things you should know.

The Symptoms of SAD

The first step in determining whether or not you have Seasonal Affective Disorder is knowing the symptoms. A few of the most common symptoms include fatigue, difficulty concentrating, self-imposed isolation, and weight gain.

SAD is more commonly found in women than men and is much more common in parts of the world that receive less sunlight. Of course, summer SAD does exist but is less common. Summer symptoms include weight loss, decreased appetite, and insomnia.

How to Diagnose SAD

If you are experiencing depression at any time of the year, you should always speak with a mental health care professional. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to ignore the symptoms of a mental illness and leave the condition untreated.

If your depression symptoms seem to come and go at certain times of the year, be sure to tell your doctor or counselor. From there, your health care professional will be able to work with you to lay out a treatment plan that works best for you.

Treatment for SAD

There are many ways you can manage SAD. As most people suffer from winter SAD (or rainy season SAD), the first course of action should be upping vitamin D levels. Vitamin D supplements are easily found in your average pharmacy section of grocery stores. If your vitamin D levels are particularly low, you may need to go to your doctor for a prescription dosage.

Artificial sunlight can be another good way to increase your vitamin D levels. Simply set the lamp up when you are busy drinking coffee, working at a desk, or some other sedentary activity. The light will allow your body to produce vitamin D naturally.

A few other alternatives for SAD management include meditation, yoga, exercise, avoiding addictive substances, and a change in diet. Exercise is one of the top ways to mitigate the effects of depression, and your diet has a major impact on your mental health. Altering your diet can sometimes be all you need to handle the symptoms. Meditative practices have also been shown effective in managing many forms of mental illness.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a disorder suffered by many throughout the year. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to help manage the effects and sometimes eradicate it altogether. Vitamin D supplements and sun lamps are a good place to start while exercising, changing your diet, and meditation can also be excellent supplements.

Any mental health disorder should always be diagnosed by a professional. While there’s no harm in trying a few alternative treatments to attempt to alleviate a mild case of the winter blues, you should always seek the help of a mental health professional if your symptoms persist or are so severe that they interfere with your ability to carry out your daily activities.

Image via Pixabay by jill111

OFFICE SPACE FOR RENT IN HOUSTON, TX

David Martin

Newly decorated office on 3400 Bissonnet St. (West University/ Inner Loop) is available for part time rent. Office is part of a therapist suite. Monthly rent is $175 for one day of the week (8am-5pm). Saturday mornings are also available. Rent includes use of wifi, fax, copier, and access to shared waiting area. Please call or e-mail me (Rune Moelbak) to check current availability or schedule a tour (phone: 832-542-6244 / e-mail: rulamo@hotmail.com)

FRIDAY - January 6, 2017 - KATY MENTAL HEALTH NETWORKING

David Martin

Martin Counseling is hosting the next Katy Mental Health Networking event.

FRIDAY, January 6, 2017. 11:30 AM UNTIL 1:30 PM

Our lunch and 1.5 hour CEU are sponsored by Houston Behavioral Healthcare.

There is NO COST to this meeting.  To reserve your place at this event please RSVP by filling out this simple form.  

OFFERING 1.5 HOURS FREE CEU.

TOPIC: Ethics - Resolving Ethical Issues in Mental Health Settings

 

SPEAKER: David Bueno Martin, MA, LPC-S

MEETING TIME IS 11:30 AM TO 1:30 PM.  

NETWORKING 11:30 AM TO NOON.  

CEU IS NOW NOON TO 1:30 PM.

PLAN TO STAY UNTIL 1:30 PM TO RECEIVE FREE CEUS.

This meeting is primarily for mental health clinicians and providers.

FEEL FREE TO FORWARD THIS INFO TO OTHER MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS.

THE BRAZOS VALLEY SCHOOLS CREDIT UNION

25525 KATY MILLS PARKWAY

KATY, TX 77494

281-391-2149 (PHONE NUMBER TO THE LOCATION)

For any questions, please contact Martin Counseling’s office at 713-489-5473 or email: Info@HoustonLPC.com.

 

KATY MENTAL HEALTH NETWORKING - DATES - 2017

David Martin

In 2017, we are meeting the first Friday of the month, every other month:

JANUARY 6, 2017

MARCH 3, 2017

MAY 5, 2017 (CINCO DE MAYO)

JULY 7, 2017

SEPTEMBER 1, 2017

NOVEMBER 3, 2017

Please save these dates in your schedule.  We would love to see you at our meetings in 2017!!

FRIDAY - NOVEMBER 4, 2016 - KATY MENTAL HEALTH NETWORKING

David Martin

Martin Counseling is hosting the next Katy Mental Health Networking event.

FRIDAY, November 4, 2016. 11:30 AM UNTIL 1:30 PM

Our lunch and 1.5 hour CEU are sponsored by Houston Behavioral Healthcare.

There is NO COST to this meeting.  To reserve your place at this event please RSVP by filling out this simple form.  

OFFERING 1.5 HOURS FREE CEU.

TOPIC: Psychotropic Medications and the Therapist.

SPEAKER: Sydney Lucas, MA, LPC-S, MBA

MEETING TIME IS 11:30 AM TO 1:30 PM.  

NETWORKING 11:30 AM TO NOON.  

CEU IS NOW NOON TO 1:30 PM.

PLAN TO STAY UNTIL 1:30 PM TO RECEIVE FREE CEUS.

This meeting is primarily for mental health clinicians and providers.

FEEL FREE TO FORWARD THIS INFO TO OTHER MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS.

FRIDAY,  November 4, 2016. 11:30 AM UNTIL 1:30 PM. THE BRAZOS VALLEY SCHOOLS CREDIT UNION

25525 KATY MILLS PARKWAY

KATY, TX 77494

281-391-2149 (PHONE NUMBER TO THE LOCATION)

For any questions, please contact Martin Counseling’s office at 713-489-5473 or email: Info@HoustonLPC.com.

NEEDED: LICENSED MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS TO FACILITATE SHORT TERM SUPPORT GROUPS

David Martin

Mental Health America of Fort Bend County is looking for licensed mental health professional willing to facilitate short term support groups for residents affected by the Brazos River flooding.  These groups will take place onSeptember 29, October 6, October 13 and October 20, 2016 from 7:00-8:30pm.  We will be offering groups in English and Spanish at the following locations:

Jackson Elementary School                   Mamie George Community Center

Rosenberg, Texas                                   Richmond, Texas

We would really appreciate it if you could sign up for one of the evenings! This is a project of the Mental Health and Spiritual Care Working Group of Fort Bend Recovers.  To find out more information, click here.

EXCITING NEWS: CEU WORKSHOP FEATURING ELIZABETH MCINGVALE-CEGELSKI, PHD

Elizabeth McIngvale-Cegelski, PhD is coming to Fort Bend this week to speak about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder at our CEU Workshop on September 16, 2016.  Click here for more information.  To register for the event, email ddelariva@mhafbc.org.

Visit our website

FRIDAY - September 9, 2016 - KATY MENTAL HEALTH NETWORKING

David Martin

Martin Counseling is hosting the next Katy Mental Health Networking event.

FRIDAY, September 9, 2016. 11:30 AM UNTIL 1:30 PM

Our lunch and 1.5 hour CEU are sponsored by Houston Behavioral Healthcare.

There is NO COST to this meeting.  To reserve your place at this event please RSVP by filling out this simple form.  

OFFERING 1.5 HOURS FREE CEU.

 

SPEAKER: Allison Marek, LCSW, CDWF - Program Director. Center for Discovery

TOPIC: Eating Disorders

MEETING TIME IS 11:30 AM TO 1:30 PM.  

NETWORKING 11:30 AM TO NOON.  

CEU IS NOW NOON TO 1:30 PM.

PLAN TO STAY UNTIL 1:30 PM TO RECEIVE FREE CEUS.

This meeting is primarily for mental health clinicians and providers.

FEEL FREE TO FORWARD THIS INFO TO OTHER MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS.

FRIDAY, September 9, 2016. 11:30 AM UNTIL 1:30 PM.THE BRAZOS VALLEY SCHOOLS CREDIT UNION

25525 KATY MILLS PARKWAY

KATY, TX 77494

281-391-2149 (PHONE NUMBER TO THE LOCATION)

For any questions, please contact Martin Counseling’s office at 713-489-5473 or email: Info@HoustonLPC.com.

DBT Skills Group

David Martin

dbtgroup

Martin Counseling is now offering

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Skills Group

14-18 year-olds

Weekly small group preparing students to change behaviors that are not helpful by gaining skills in mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation. Students learn to manage and respond to emotions without using destructive behaviors.

Tuesdays from 6:00 pm-7:30 pm

Cost only $50 per session

15 sessions

(Skills group must be payed monthly prior to 1st group)

Space is limited. Call today

 713-489-5473

Or email: Info@HoustonLPC.com

We are out-of-network for Insurance. However, invoices provided upon request for self-filling.

*** Students must complete phone or in person screening before joining the skills group. They must be in weekly individual counseling with DBT leader or therapist of choice. 

FRIDAY - July 8, 2016 - KATY MENTAL HEALTH NETWORKING

David Martin

Martin Counseling is hosting the next Katy Mental Health Networking event.

FRIDAY, July 8, 2016. 11:30 AM UNTIL 1:30 PM

Our lunch and 1.5 hour CEU are sponsored by Houston Behavioral Healthcare.

There is NO COST to this meeting.  To reserve your place at this event please RSVP by filling out this simple form.  

OFFERING 1.5 HOURS FREE CEU.

SPEAKER: Lorrianne Morrow, LPC-S, BCN

TOPIC: Neurofeedback

MEETING TIME IS NOW 11:30 AM TO 1:30 PM.  

  • NETWORKING 11:30 AM TO NOON.  

  • CEU IS NOW NOON TO 1:30 PM.

  • PLAN TO STAY UNTIL 1:30 PM TO RECEIVE FREE CEUS.

This meeting is primarily for mental health clinicians and providers.

FEEL FREE TO FORWARD THIS INFO TO OTHER MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS.

FRIDAY, July 8, 2016, 2016. 11:30 AM UNTIL 1:30 PM.

THE BRAZOS VALLEY SCHOOLS CREDIT UNION

25525 KATY MILLS PARKWAY

KATY, TX 77494

281-391-2149 (PHONE NUMBER TO THE LOCATION)

For any questions, please contact Martin Counseling’s office at 713-489-5473 or email: Info@HoustonLPC.com.

True Confessions: The Ups and Downs of Private Practice-The Basics

David Martin

  • Are you thinking about starting a private counseling or other professional practice but have no idea where to start? 

  • Have you recently started a practice and have found it to be lonely out there on your own?

  • Are you a counseling or social work student or recent graduate who wants to investigate a bit further to determine if private practice is right for you or should you consider agency work instead?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then this workshop is exactly where you need to be!!  

In this interactive workshop we will candidly discuss the ins and outs of starting a private practice.  We will discuss everything from choosing a business structure to developing actionable goals to getting those doors open for business.

Come learn from two therapists with over a decade of varied private practice experience.

We promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!!

We will answer your questions and offer support for your dreams of having a profitable private practice. You can become a part of an ongoing community of support for new private practitioners who meet on a regular basis. Come, network with other professionals, and get inspired!

Cost: Early registration : $75 (before May 14)

          Late registration: $85 (space available)

Space is very limited so register TODAY!!

See what others are saying about this training: 

I am inspired!!                        I now know what I need to do!!            This class is so needed!!          Thank you!!

Questions please give us a call at 713-892-5483 for more information.

 

  • Shana D. Lewis, LPC, NCC

    Living Well Professional Counseling Services, PLLC

    Owner/Clinical Director

 

  • Richelle Whittaker, LPC, NCC

    Providential Counseling and Consulting

    Owner

WHEN

Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM (CDT) - Add to Calendar

WHERE

University of Houston - 4800 Calhoun Road Student Center South , Houston, TX 77004

True Confessions: The Ups and Downs of Private Practice--The Basics

David Martin

By: Shana D. Lewis, LPC, NCC (Living Well PCS) and Richelle Whittaker, LPC, NCC (Providential Counseling & Consulting)

  • Are you thinking about starting a private counseling practice but have no idea where to start? 

  • Have you recently started a practice and have found it to be lonely out there on your own?

  • Are you a counseling or social work student or recent graduate who wants to investigate a bit further to determine if private practice is right for you or should you consider agency work instead?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then this workshop is exactly where you need to be!!  

In this interactive workshop we will candidly discuss the ins and outs of starting a private practice.  We will discuss everything from choosing a business structure to developing actionable goals to getting those doors open for business.

Come learn from two therapists with over a decade of varied private practice experience.

We promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!!

We will answer your questions and offer support for your dreams of having a profitable private practice. You can become a part of an ongoing community of support for new private practitioners who meet on a regular basis. Come, network with other professionals, and get inspired!

Cost: Early registration : $75 (before April 13)

          Late registration: $85 (space available)

 

Registration includes lunch and networking.

12:30-1:00 pm Lunch and networking

1:00-4:00 pm  Workshop

 

Space is very limited so register TODAY!! 

Attend Event

Questions please give us a call at 713-892-5483 for more information.

Shana D. Lewis, LPC, NCC

Living Well Professional Counseling Services, PLLC

Owner/Clinical Director

 

Richelle Whittaker, LPC, NCC

Providential Counseling and Consulting

Owner

WHEN

Friday, April 22, 2016 from 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM (CDT) -

WHERE

University of Houston - 4800 Calhoun Road Student Center South Room 212, Houston, TX 77004 - View Map

FRIDAY - MAY 6, 2016 - KATY MENTAL HEALTH NETWORKING

David Martin

Martin Counseling is hosting the next Katy Mental Health Networking event.

FRIDAY, MAY 6, 2016. 11:30 AM UNTIL 1:30 PM

Our lunch and 1.5 hour CEU are sponsored by Houston Behavioral Healthcare.

There is NO COST to this meeting.  To reserve your place at this event please RSVP by filling out this simple form.  

OFFERING 1.5 HOURS FREE CEU.

 

SPEAKER: Karen Jaggers MS, NCC, LPC

TOPIC: Autism Spectrum Disorder

MEETING TIME IS NOW 11:30 AM TO 1:30 PM.  

  • NETWORKING 11:30 AM TO NOON.  

  • CEU IS NOW NOON TO 1:30 PM.

  • PLAN TO STAY UNTIL 1:30 PM TO RECEIVE FREE CEUS.

This meeting is for mental health clinicians and providers.

FEEL FREE TO FORWARD THIS INFO TO OTHER MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS.

FRIDAY, MARCH 4, 2016. 11:30 AM UNTIL 1:30 PM.

THE BRAZOS VALLEY SCHOOLS CREDIT UNION

25525 KATY MILLS PARKWAY

KATY, TX 77494

281-391-2149 (PHONE NUMBER TO THE LOCATION)

For any questions, please contact Martin Counseling’s office at 713-489-5473 or email: Info@HoustonLPC.com.

OFFICE AVAILABLE - BEECHNUT - 610 WEST LOOP - Meyerland area

David Martin

I have an office available for sub-leasing in the Meyerland area.  There is a small waiting area and a single office available.  There is free parking and a bus stop located right outside the building.  The office building is located at 4660 Beechnut, Ste. 220, Houston, TX. 77096.  The office building is open for evening and weekend appointments.  If interested contact me:  counselingsolutions2010@yahoo.com

Thank you,

Richelle Whittaker, LSSP, LPC, NCC

Providential Counseling & Consulting Services, PLLC

FRIDAY - March 4, 2016 - KATY MENTAL HEALTH NETWORKING

David Martin

Martin Counseling is hosting the next Katy Mental Health Networking event.

Friday, March 4, 2016. 11:30 AM UNTIL 1:30 PM

Our lunch and 1.5 hour CEU are sponsored by Houston Behavioral Healthcare.

There is NO COST to this meeting.  To reserve your place at this event please RSVP by filling out this simple form.  

OFFERING 1.5 HOURS FREE CEU.

SPEAKER: Michael Soderstrom, MA, LPC-S - Houston OCD Counseling

 

TOPIC: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

MEETING TIME IS NOW 11:30 AM TO 1:30 PM.  

  • NETWORKING 11:30 AM TO NOON.  

  • CEU IS NOW NOON TO 1:30 PM.

  • PLAN TO STAY UNTIL 1:30 PM TO RECEIVE FREE CEUS.

This meeting is for mental health clinicians and providers. 

FEEL FREE TO FORWARD THIS INFO TO OTHER MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS.

FRIDAY, March 4, 2016. 11:30 AM UNTIL 1:30 PM.

THE BRAZOS VALLEY SCHOOLS CREDIT UNION

25525 KATY MILLS PARKWAY

KATY, TX 77494

281-391-2149 (PHONE NUMBER TO THE LOCATION)

For any questions, please contact Martin Counseling’s office at 713-489-5473 or email: David@HoustonLPC.com.

'Memo to Self: Protecting Sobriety with the Science of Safety' Thursday, Feb. 11th at 6:30 pm - Council on Recovery in Houston

David Martin

http://tinyurl.com/ProtectingSobrietyHouston

You Are Invited

Thursday ~ Feb. 11th ~ 6:30 pm

complimentary documentary screening

The latest neuroscientific research on addiction, practical tools for sustaining recovery....and hope

Meet Filmmaker, Kevin McCauley, M.D., a former Navy flight surgeon and co-founder of the Institute for Addiction Study

303 Jackson Hill Street  Houston, TX  77007  (Complimentary Parking)

Thursday, February 11th

Doors Open: 6:00 pm

Movie Starts: 6:30 pm

RSVP (please indicate Houston location in your RSVP)

Diane@DianeMarketing.com

972-670-7078

Memorial Hermann Prevention & Recovery Center (PaRC) is  honored to provide 1.5 continuing education credits as a part of the "Memo to Self: Protecting Sobriety with the Science of Safety"

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and self-harm

David Martin

This is a guest post by Emily Strode, M.A.  She is a Life Coach at Martin Counseling.   She is currently waiting for her approval to become a Licensed Professional Counselor - Intern in Texas.

emily.jpg

As you may have experienced, people always ask the type of clients you want to work with. For me, since before my practicum even started, my answer has been “clients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and those who self-harm.” Thankfully, my practicum experience solidified my passion. So, as I wait patiently, I am focusing my efforts on trainings and readings to increase my knowledge of BPD and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), a popular treatment model.

I am writing this post to share with you some basic definitions and treatment options for BPD. I am currently reading “The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder” by Randi Kreger, and I will be using that as my main reference.

BPD is a mental illness that affects approximately 4 million Americans (2% of the population), and approximately 75% of the sufferers are women. (It is believed the number of men with BPD is higher, but it is difficult to distinguish from cultural expectations.) BPD is a complex mental illness. It is more about thought processes and schemas versus brain chemicals, such as bipolar disorder. BPs, the abbreviation for those who have BPD, tend to be all or nothing. For example, they may idolize someone but as soon as that person makes a mistake, like we all do, the person falls very far off the BP’s pedestal. The BP, however, can portray two sides of themselves, as well. They may gloat and praise themselves, but deep down they are empty, yet full of self-loathing. A main characteristic of a BP is the intense fear of being abandoned. What I like most about this book is that it speaks specifically to the loved ones of a BP: the spouse, friend, parent, child and even siblings. In the situation of being abandoned, the spouse may constantly need to reaffirm their love, and even then it may not be enough. The BP as a child may be unusually clingy, even beyond the typical clingy stage. Then once they become adult children, the parent-child relationship becomes even more strained due to expected independence. Maybe as a parent, the BP may hover (even more than the typical new generation parent) and have a difficult time with natural child rebellion. Anger is a very noted characteristic of a BP, as well, that all relationships may experience. “People with BPD repeatedly pull people toward them – often desperately – and then brusquely shove them away through bitter criticism, unappeasable rages, and fits of irrational blaming,” (Kreger, 32, Scribd digital version).

One thing that stood out to me was rapid mood swings. Have you ever spoken with someone who didn’t know the true definition of bipolar and they describe someone as bipolar because they are up or down in an instant? Well, if you know bipolar, you know that the person may experience the ups or downs for days at a time, not minutes. BPs, however, can fluctuate that quickly. “Two key differences between what is ‘normal’ and what veers into personality disorder territory are extremity and frequency,” (Kreger, 45, Scribd digital version).

Having BP is very overwhelming. It results in relationship troubles, job instability, substance abuse and/or other impulsive actions. In fact, 10% commit suicide because it’s too much for them to handle. Suicide attempts and self-harm are also be associated with BPD; therefore, it’s important to seek help.

Treatments

There aren’t any medicines that cure BPD; it’s considered a life-long disorder. However, some anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications can help reduce many of the symptoms of BPD. Unfortunately, just taking this route won’t get to the root of the problem. Therapy, if the client is willing to put forth the effort, will significantly help the BP. Most therapies help the BP reframe their thought processes. An eclectic approach would be a mix of psychodynamic (discovering childhood or suppressed thoughts that influence the client) and CBT. This could be used by most therapists, and because it uses empirically-proven CBT, it will be beneficial. Dialectical Behavior Therapy, however, was developed by Marsha Linehan specifically for BPD. Dialectical, roughly meaning opposing arguments, is used to help the client accept their negatives but make changes in a positive direction. There are several resources, including workbooks, available to help the clinician guide the client through the therapeutic process.

This is a very brief overview of a BP. If any of this sounds familiar, please consult this book! The very beginning even has questions to help better define a BP in your life, or even yourself.

Next, I’ll review the “power tools” the book provides for BPs.