Postpartum Psychosis: Everything You Need To Know

What if the joy and excitement of welcoming a new baby were replaced by intrusive thoughts, confusion, paranoia and drastic changes in behavior? For some mothers, this is a reality; postpartum psychosis (PPP) is an extreme form of maternal mental illness that affects approximately one to two out of every 1,000 new mothers. PPP can be incredibly difficult for both mother and family—and it’s important to know how to recognize the signs of PPP so that appropriate medical attention can be provided as soon as possible. In this blog post, you will find everything you need to help bring awareness about postpartum psychosis: what it is; how it manifests; its potentially severe risks; precautions families should take before and after birth; signs and symptoms of PPP to look out for; strategies for addressing potential triggers and more. [postpartum psychosis affects one to two out of every 1,000 new mothers] What is postpartum psychosis and what are its symptoms? Postpartum psychosis is a rare but serious mental health condition that can occur after giving birth. It is different from the more common postpartum depression and is characterized by symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions and severe mood swings. Women who experience postpartum psychosis may have thoughts of self harm or their newborn, which requires immediate help. Other symptoms may include confusion, disorientation severe anxiety, paranoia and rapid mood swings. Women with a history of bipolar disorder or previous postpartum psychosis are at higher risk of developing it, but it can affect anyone who recently gave birth. It is important for women, their families, and healthcare providers to be aware of the symptoms and seek help from mental health professionals if they occur. What are the causes of postpartum psychosis?[Image] Postpartum psychosis is a rare but serious condition that can affect women soon after giving birth. The condition is distinct from the more common baby blues and postpartum depression, which affect up to 80% of new mothers to some degree. Postpartum psychosis is less common, affecting around one or two in every thousand new mothers. It typically occurs within the first two weeks after giving birth and can result in symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, rapid mood swings, confusion, and disordered thinking.  While the exact causes of postpartum psychosis are not fully understood, there are several factors that appear to increase the likelihood of developing the condition, including a personal or family history of mental illness or substance abuse, a history of postpartum psychosis, a traumatic or stressful childbirth experience, and hormonal changes after labor. It's important for women and their partners to be aware of the signs and symptoms of postpartum psychosis and to seek professional help if they suspect that they or a loved one may be affected. How is postpartum psychosis different from postpartum depression?[Image] While they may sound similar, they are very different conditions. Postpartum psychosis is a rare but serious mental illness that usually develops within the first two weeks after giving birth. Women with postpartum psychosis may experience hallucinations, delusions, confusion, and suicidal thoughts.  In contrast, postpartum depression is much more common and can occur at any point in the first year after childbirth. Women with postpartum depression may experience feelings of sadness, hopelessness, fatigue, and anxiety.  While both conditions can be debilitating, it's important to recognize the difference between them so that new mothers can receive the appropriate diagnosis and treatment. How can an individual with postpartum psychosis seek help? If you suspect that you are experiencing postpartum psychosis, seeking help is crucial. This serious mental health condition can impact new mothers and requires immediate attention.  Don't hesitate to talk to a healthcare provider, such as your OB-GYN or primary care physician, for an evaluation. They can refer you to a mental health specialist or psychiatrist who can provide diagnosis and treatment options.  Friends and family members can also be a valuable source of support during this time. Remember, seeking help is a sign of strength and taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. What are treatment options available for those with postpartum psychosis?  Postpartum psychosis treatment can be complex and varied depending on the severity of the condition. It is a serious mental health condition that can occur in new mothers within the first few weeks after giving birth. Early diagnosis and immediate treatment are critical for a successful recovery.  Treatment may include medications, such as antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, and antidepressants, and therapy sessions, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and talk therapy. A combination of medication and therapy has been found to be most effective.  It is important to seek professional help if a new mother is showing signs of postpartum psychosis, as the condition can be life-threatening. The good news is that with the right treatment, recovery is possible. What are some coping strategies to manage the symptoms of postpartum psychosis?[Image] Postpartum psychosis is a rare but severe mental health condition affecting new mothers. The disorder typically occurs within the first few weeks after giving birth and can cause an array of symptoms, including delusions, confusion, and disorientation. Although the condition can be overwhelming, women suffering from postpartum psychosis can take solace in the fact that they are not alone.  Coping strategies can be highly effective in managing the symptoms of the disorder, such as attending counseling sessions and seeking out support groups. Talking openly with a healthcare professional can also help to develop coping strategies that work best for the individual's unique situation.  While postpartum psychosis can be a challenging condition, it is important for new mothers to know that with proper treatment, full recovery is possible. Supporting a loved one with postpartum psychosis requires patience. Supporting a loved one with postpartum psychosis can be an emotionally challenging experience. Postpartum psychosis is a rare but severe mental illness that affects new mothers and can cause delusions, hallucinations, and depression. It is essential to stay supportive and loving towards them during this difficult time. Encourage your loved one to seek professional help and provide them with reassurance that they are not alone in this journey. Offer to take on some of their responsibilities and ensure that they are getting enough rest and proper nutrition. Remember that the road to recovery may be long, but with proper treatment and support, many women fully recover from postpartum psychosis. Your love and encouragement can make a significant impact on their journey towards healing.[Image] Experiencing postpartum psychosis can be a frightening and overwhelming experience but it is important to remember that support is available. Reaching out to healthcare professionals as soon as you suspect something isn’t right can ensure that you can receive the best possible treatment.  Learning about the symptoms and appropriate treatment options, along with taking active steps to improve your mental health, such as engaging in meditation or joining a therapy group, can provide invaluable assistance during this difficult time. If a loved one is struggling with postpartum psychosis, offering unconditional support and understanding can help them around the clock.  With access to proper care and support from friends and family, postpartum psychosis can be successfully managed. If you or anyone you know is struggling with postpartum psychosis, do not hesitate to reach out Mosaic Minds Counseling.

Mariella Arceo

May 09, 2023

Emotional vs Cognitive Empathy: What's the big difference?

When it comes to understanding empathy, there are two different types — emotional and cognitive. But what’s the difference between them? Put simply, emotional empathy is the ability to recognize and share in another person's emotions, while cognitive empathy is about perspective-taking or trying to understand how someone else feels or thinks. Having a deeper understanding of these concepts can be vital for healthy relationships between people in our lives—and today we’re going to explore this critical aspect of interpersonal interaction by taking a closer look at specificity of each type: emotional vs cognitive empathy. [nathan-anderson-FHiJWoBodrs-unsplash-min.jpg] What is Emotional Empathy and Cognitive Empathy and how are they different from each other? Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. However, there are different types of empathy that come into play in different situations. Emotional empathy is the ability to actually feel the same emotions as someone else, as if you were experiencing the situation yourself. On the other hand, cognitive empathy is the ability to recognize and understand how someone else is feeling without feeling those emotions yourself. While emotional empathy can be an intense and deeply personal experience, cognitive empathy can be a more analytical and detached approach to understanding someone's feelings. Both types of empathy are important in building relationships and fostering connections with others, cognitive and emotional empathy are different in their methods and outcomes. How can emotional empathy help you understand the feelings of others?[Image] Research has consistently shown that emotional empathy is critical to understanding the feelings of others. This type of empathy allows us to put ourselves in a person's situation, so to speak, and imagine how we would feel if we were in their position. By doing so, we can begin to understand the emotions that others are feeling and respond in a more compassionate and empathetic way. This is particularly important in situations where others may be going through a difficult time, such as grieving the loss of a loved one or experiencing a significant life change. In some cases, emotional empathy can even lead to a deeper understanding of our own emotions and help us build more meaningful relationships with others. How can cognitive empathy help you better understand the thoughts of others?[Image] There are different types of empathy, and cognitive empathy is one of the most important. It involves understanding how others think and feel, without necessarily sharing their emotions. Cognitive empathy can help you relate to others in a more meaningful way by allowing you to see things from their perspective. By seeing things from someone else's point of view, you will be better equipped to understand their needs and behavior. For example, if you understand that someone is going through a difficult time, you will be more patient with them and less likely to judge them harshly. Cognitive empathy is like a skill where we learn to recognize and understand another person's feelings to process behavior emotion. When you practice cognitive empathy, you become more aware of the thoughts and emotions of others, which can lead to more positive interactions and deeper connections. What is the importance of emotional intelligence when it comes to empathizing with others?[Image] Emotional intelligence is an essential aspect of empathizing with others. Understanding and recognizing emotions in oneself and others, and using that emotional insight to guide behavior, is a key component of emotional intelligence. Empathy, which is the ability to put oneself in someone else's shoes, is a crucial part of human connection. Being able to empathize with others allows for deeper, more meaningful relationships and enhances interpersonal communication. Emotional intelligence also plays a crucial role in navigating conflicts or disagreements that may arise in relationships. By recognizing emotions in others and ourselves, we can better understand the root of the conflict and work towards a resolution. In summary, emotional intelligence is critical in empathizing with others and building strong relationships based on mutual understanding and respect. What are some examples illustrating the differences between emotional and cognitive empathy?[Image] Emotional empathy involves feeling what someone else is feeling, while cognitive empathy means understanding someone else's feelings without necessarily sharing them. For example, if someone close to you is grieving, emotional empathy would involve feeling their pain and sadness on a deep level. Other people's emotions may illicit emotional responses from us as well. Cognitive empathy, on the other hand, might involve recognizing that they are feeling sad and offering comfort without necessarily experiencing the same level of emotion. Another example could be in the workplace, where a manager who practices cognitive empathy might understand an employee's frustration with a project, without necessarily adopting that frustration themselves. Both emotional and cognitive empathy are important qualities to have, as they allow us to connect with others and understand their experiences. How can we strengthen both emotional and cognitive empathy?[Image] Empathy is a crucial aspect of our daily interactions, which allows us to understand and connect with others on a deeper level. Both emotional and cognitive empathy are essential skills that enable us to make meaningful connections and build lasting relationships. Emotional empathy involves experiencing and sharing feelings with others, while cognitive empathy entails understanding someone's thoughts and emotions without necessarily sharing the same feelings. To strengthen our emotional empathy, we must tune in to our own emotions, cultivate our listening skills, and practice putting ourselves in others' shoes. On the other hand, improving our cognitive empathy involves actively seeking out different perspectives, engaging in diverse experiences, and continuously learning from others. Strengthening both emotional and cognitive empathy leads to a more compassionate and fulfilling life, fostering deeper and genuine connections with the people around us.[Image] In conclusion, developing emotional and cognitive empathy is essential in our daily lives in order to foster healthy personal relationships with ourselves as well as with others. Without either, it can be difficult to truly understand yourself and how your emotions are affecting your behavior. By learning more about emotional and cognitive empathy, you can gain a better idea of how they both help us empathize with others. Additionally, improving the level of both empathy types strengthens our communication skills and increases our capacity for understanding. There are many ways to do this such as mindfulness practices, building strong relationships with people, studying the emotions of others, or even engaging in debates with different points of view. With all this in mind, understanding emotional and cognitive empathy gives us a greater ability to build deeper connections with other people that may otherwise have been impossible without being aware of these concepts.

Mariella Arceo

May 03, 2023

Active Listening: What It Is and Its Benefits to Everyday Life

It's one thing to hear what another person is saying, but to make a person feel heard is a whole different experience. Active listening is an effective communication technique that helps with better understanding, hence making us a better listener and a better communicator. In this blog post, we discuss what active listening is, its importance, how it improves everyday life and some active listening techniques you can incorporate to be an effective listener. What is active listening? Active listening is a communication technique that involves paying close attention to what others are saying, understanding their perspective and responding in a way that builds trust and shows respect for the speaker. It’s an important skill to practice and have in all aspects of life, from personal relationships to professional interactions. Active listening helps with interpersonal skills and create better relationships by improving communication between two or more people. When someone actively listens to another person, they are showing that they value what is being said and are trying to really understand it. This helps build trust and encourages open dialogue so everyone can come away feeling heard and respected. [active listening makes us better communicators] Active listening also helps foster a stronger sense of empathy among individuals. As we seek to understand the perspectives of others, we become more aware of our own biases and gain insight into how others think and feel. This more reflective listening can help us better appreciate the differences between our own opinions and those of others, as well as learn to communicate more effectively with them. In addition to its benefits in personal relationships, the active listening skill is also a great tool for professional success. By being an attentive listener, you demonstrate that you care about what someone has to say and are interested in helping solve their problems. This leads to better problem-solving solutions as well as improved collaboration with colleagues or customers. Overall, active listening is an important skill for day-to-day interaction that helps create stronger relationships and deeper understanding among individuals. It encourages open dialogue so everyone feels heard and respected while fostering empathy. Why is active listening important? Active listening is important because it can help create better relationships, foster a stronger sense of empathy and lead to greater professional success. By actively listening to others and showing that you value what they have to say, you build trust with them and demonstrate respect for their perspectives. This helps create open dialogue so everyone feels heard and understood, which in turn leads to improved communication and problem-solving abilities between individuals as well as better collaboration in the workplace. By incorporating these active listening skills into your daily interactions, you will be able to foster healthier relationships with those around you while gaining insight into how others think and feel. Active listening is an invaluable tool for creating meaningful connections with others that can last a lifetime. How does active listening improve everyday life? Active listening is an invaluable tool for improving communication in all facets of life. From personal relationships to professional success, the active listening technique can help create meaningful connections with those around you. It encourages open dialogue so everyone feels heard and respected while also fostering empathy among individuals.[Image] By actively listening to others and responding in a way that shows respect and builds trust, we are better able to listen and understand their perspectives and come away with a deeper understanding of one another. This leads to improved problem-solving abilities as well as better collaboration in the workplace. Overall, practicing active listening is a great way to improve everyday life by creating stronger relationships, fostering more empathy and leading to greater professional success. By making active listening part of your daily interactions, you will be able to create meaningful connections that can last a lifetime. What are some active listening techniques that we can incorporate during conversations? Active listening involves more than just hearing what someone has to say. It requires actively engaging in the conversation, and active listening requires being present, withholding judgment and paying close attention to both verbal and non-verbal cues. Some active listening techniques include:[Image] • Paraphrasing – repeating back or summarizing what you’ve heard in your own words ensures the listener that you understand while allowing them to hear how their ideas are being interpreted  • Asking questions – asking open-ended questions that demonstrate a genuine interest in the speaker’s ideas and feelings while exploring new ideas within the conversation • Showing empathy – expressing understanding for another person’s feelings or perspectives by viewing the situation through their point of view  • Making eye contact – looking directly at the person when they are speaking is a great non verbal way to pay attention and let the speaker know that they have your full attention • Listening without interrupting – letting the other person finish their thought before responding allows us to digest the person speaking's point fully • Providing feedback – offering constructive criticism in a respectful way • Avoiding distractions – turning off phones, computers and other devices during conversations shows that you are paying attention  By utilizing these active listening techniques, we can create meaningful connections with those around us while gaining insight into how others think and feel. This helps foster healthier relationships as well as improved communication, problem-solving abilities and collaboration in both personal relationships and professional settings.[Image] In conclusion, incorporating active listening into our daily interactions is an invaluable tool for improving everyday life. It encourages open dialogue so everyone feels heard and respected while also fostering empathy among individuals. By actively listening to one another, we are better able to understand each other’s perspectives and come away with a deeper understanding of one another. This leads to improved communication, problem-solving abilities and collaboration in both personal relationships and professional settings. Active listening is an invaluable tool for creating meaningful connections with those around us that can last a lifetime. And by incorporating active listening into our daily interactions, we can improve our everyday lives by fostering healthier relationships, gaining insight into how others think and feel and leading to greater success in all aspects of life.

Mariella Arceo

Apr 26, 2023

Empathy and Mental Health: How are they connected?

Mental health is a hot topic in today's society, but understanding the full scope of mental wellbeing can be overwhelming. One aspect that many people overlook when talking about mental health and its importance is empathy. Empathy plays an important role in supporting good mental health, as it allows us to better understand ourselves and others, fostering feelings of connection and purpose which are fundamental for maintaining a healthy state of mind. In this blog post we explore the link between empathy and mental health to further our understanding of why this connection matters now more than ever. Read on to discover how developing your capacity for empathy can have profound positive effects that reach far beyond yourself – improving not just your own life but the lives of those around you! [empathy at work] Emotional and cognitive empathy: what's the difference? Empathy is a powerful skill that can be utilized in different life situations. Empathy comes in two primary forms: emotional and cognitive empathy. Learning the differences between the two can help us give a more appropriate response. Emotional empathy is when you share an emotional experience with someone and genuinely understand how they feel. This understanding often comes from having gone through a similar experience yourself. For instance, if your friend is going through a rough time in their relationship, you may be able to relate to their feelings if you've faced a similar situation in your life. Experiencing emotional empathy can cause the person to feel distressed as they understand the feelings of someone who is going through difficult emotions or painful experiences. Cognitive empathy, on the other hand, involves putting oneself in another person's shoes to understand their challenges, situations, or emotions. To practice cognitive empathy, one needs to have emotional intelligence and a deep appreciation that although everyone has unique life experiences, we can still find common ground. Practicing cognitive empathy involves adopting a more personalized viewpoint of someone's struggles rather than a broader one. This can help a friend, colleague, or family member understand the other person's emotions and actions by imagining themselves in their position and considering how they would feel given the same circumstances. Is there a link between empathy and mental health? Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, has long been linked to positive mental health outcomes. Many previous studies have demonstrated that individuals who are able to empathize with others are more likely to experience lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression as these individuals are typically better equipped to manage difficult emotions and establish healthy relationships. While empathy alone cannot guarantee good mental health, it can certainly contribute to overall well-being. The ability to empathize also teaches skills that enable one to have a positive relationship with one's self such as self-compassion. How does empathy promote self-compassion? Self-compassion is the ability to treat ourselves with the same kindness, sensitivity, and concern that we would offer a good friend. It involves recognizing our own emotions, acknowledging our own humanity, and accepting our flaws and limitations. Empathy plays a crucial role in cultivating self-compassion. By placing ourselves in others' shoes and seeing things from their perspective, we can develop a compassionate attitude toward ourselves as we become more in tune with our personal distress. Empathy helps us relieve the pain of being self-critical and judgmental. It allows us to soften our inner voice and talk to ourselves as we would talk to a friend in need. It's a powerful tool for personal growth and well-being. Practicing empathy can lead to greater self-compassion, more resilience, less anxiety, and a greater ability to connect with others.  Building an Understanding for Others Through Empathy Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. It involves putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and seeing the world through their eyes. Building an understanding for others through empathy is a valuable skill that can enhance relationships, improve communication, and increase overall well-being.[Image] When we take the time to empathize with others, we create a deeper connection with them and establish a sense of trust and goodwill. We become better listeners, more compassionate friends, and more effective communicators. By practicing empathy, we develop greater understanding and a heightened awareness of the needs and feelings of those around us, ultimately making us better, more empathetic human beings. Developing active listening for greater empathy. Active listening is a crucial skill in effective communication and practicing empathy. It involves not just hearing what someone is saying, but also understanding verbal and nonverbal cues and giving the appropriate response. Active listening can have a range of benefits in both personal and professional settings. It can help build stronger relationships, resolve conflicts, and foster mutual respect and understanding.[Image] Additionally, by actively listening, we can gain valuable insights and perspectives that we might not have otherwise considered. However, becoming a good active listener takes practice and effort. It requires setting aside distractions, giving our full attention and focus, and demonstrating empathic concern and interest in what the speaker is saying. By doing so, we can improve our connections with others and enhance our ability to communicate effectively. Creating a Support System Through Positive Connections Creating a support system through positive connections is crucial for a fulfilling life and this is done through practicing emotional and cognitive empathy. We all need people who understand and support us, and it's important to cultivate relationships that are based on positivity, encouragement, and understanding. Whether it's family, friends, or colleagues, having a strong support system can make all the difference during challenging times. Positive connections promote mental and emotional well-being, and they can also help us achieve our goals by providing valuable feedback and accountability. Investing in supportive relationships can take time and effort, but the benefits make it well worth it. By prioritizing positive connections, we can create a foundation for a more fulfilling and meaningful life.[Image] Empathy is vital to our mental health. It not only helps us to strengthen our self-compassion and understanding of others, it also bridges the gaps between strangers and creates a supportive network of positive connections. By developing habits such as active listening and building meaningful relationships with those around you, we can begin to foster a sense of empathy within ourselves and those around us.  With progress in empathy, there is progress for mental wellbeing for all involved. So be kind and gentle with one another, because together we can create more empathy. After all, selflessness should drive us to new heights of understanding one another and in doing so, create more profound connections that form the essential foundation for lasting positive mental health even in difficult times. What the world needs today are empathetic people who are willing to see outside of personal experience and are receptive to perspective taking.

Mariella Arceo

Apr 19, 2023

Understanding Panic Attacks: Everything You Need to Know

Understanding Panic Attacks: Everything You Need to Know Everyone has felt anxious or overwhelmed at one point in their life—the feeling that we simply cannot handle the pressure any longer and need to run, flee, escape. This reaction is natural and can be beneficial in dangerous situations by triggering a fight-or-flight response. Oftentimes though, this intense emotion comes out of nowhere with no warning and without any logical explanation. It's called a panic attack; an episode of sudden fear and anxiety that strikes without warning. More than just feeling stressed, panic attacks are overwhelming surges of terror that can make you feel like you're experiencing physical symptoms such as dizziness, shortness of breath, heart palpitations or chest pain. If you've ever experienced or seen somebody around you go through a debilitating episode, then it’s important to educate ourselves on what exactly causes these events and how we can be better prepared when (and if) they happen again. What is a Panic Attack? Have you ever felt suddenly overwhelmed by intense fear or anxiety? A sudden surge of physical symptoms followed, like a choking feeling, difficulty breathing, racing heart and cold sweat? They are hallmark characteristics of what is known as a panic attack. Panic attacks are episodes of severe fear or terror that can be extremely intimidating and debilitating. People affected by this experience often feel out of control, disconnected from reality, and sense an impending doom. [panic attacks] Typically, the episode lasts for about 10 minutes or less with physical symptoms such as trembling, chest pain, racing heart rate and hyperventilation contributing to the feeling of distress. While no one knows why unexpected panic attacks occur, it is important to have understanding and knowledge about them so that we can equip ourselves with the right solutions to help deal with it in times of need. What are the physical symptoms of panic attacks? Panic attacks can come with a variety of physical symptoms, some of which may be alarming to the person experiencing them. One of the most common physical sensations associated with a panic attack is an inability to catch one's breath. Other physical symptoms can include dizziness, light-headedness, rapid heartbeat, hot flashes, chest pains, shaking or trembling, and even tingling sensations.[Image] The combination of these physical feelings along with other accompanying feelings like fear, apprehension and confusion can cause someone having a panic attack to suffer immense distress. It's important to be familiar with the physical feeling and to have an understanding that these are only temporary and will pass; it's also helpful to find ways to manage them more effectively as they arise. What are the mental symptoms of panic attacks? Panic attacks can cause a great deal of distress and uncomfortable physical symptoms. A person experiencing a panic attack may feel out of control and overwhelmed due to the full-body sensations that accompany it. Mental symptoms of panic attacks include difficulty concentrating, altercations in thoughts, confusion or disorientation. In some cases, people may experience derealization or depersonalization, where they feel disconnected from their body or everything around them they perceive as unreal or bizarre. It is also extremely common to have intrusive thoughts such as worries about the future during this time, escalating the person’s fear and discomfort even further. What causes panic attacks? Panic attacks can strike without warning and have far-reaching effects on those who experience them. What causes panic attacks though? There are many potential contributing factors that can lead to a person having a panic attack, including genetic predisposition, stressful life events, or trauma. Biological stress responses can also lead to increased heart rate, rapid breathing, and other severe physical symptoms that are associated with panic attacks. Additionally, certain lifestyle choices like consuming drugs and alcohol or having an unhealthy diet may increase the chances for someone to have a panic attack. The stress of everyday life can trigger panic attacks as well. With all these contributing factors in mind, it is important to recognize the signs to prevent panic attacks in the future. How can one cope with panic attacks? Though there is no one-size-fits-all solution that works for everyone, there are some tips which may help manage panic attacks. Breathing exercises such as deep breathing is a key part of managing panic attacks as it oxygenates your body and allows you to relax more quickly. Many people also find it beneficial to practice mindfulness meditation, which helps reduce stress, focus attention on the present moment and identify how your body responds to anxiety. Your body needs rest to avoid stress as well, so make sure to get enough sleep. Additionally, engaging in regular physical exercise can be a great way to cope with feelings of stress or worry often associated with panic attacks. Reaching out for support from friends and family members is another important coping tool - and don't forget to be kind and gentle to yourself too! Panic attacks and panic disorder: what's the difference? A panic attack is a sudden episode that can trigger physical and mental reactions that can be quite scary and overwhelming to handle. Panic attacks usually happen once or twice in a person's lifetime and can be a non-concerning issue eventually as it goes away when stress subsides.  However, if it's one panic attack after the other, then this may be a sign of a panic disorder. People with panic disorder experience recurrent and unexpected panic attacks that are exacerbated by the fear of the next panic attack.  When should you seek help for panic attacks? If you’re having repeated panic attacks and feel like your life is impacted in a negative way, it’s important to seek help. Panic attacks can leave you feeling overwhelmed and helpless, but understand that there are many resources available to you! Professional counseling and therapy is one option for seeking help for panic attacks, as this type of treatment can help you develop skills to manage distress and anxiety.[Image] Depending on the severity of your symptoms, medication may be recommended as another form of assistance. You may also consider joining support groups which allow individuals with similar experiences to talk, share coping strategies, or just listen and offer a sympathetic ear. Regardless of the resources you choose, it’s important to take the first step towards caring for yourself – everyone needs a little extra help sometimes. While panic attacks can be daunting and difficult to manage, it’s important to recognize that they don’t have to control your life. With proper understanding, awareness of symptoms and management tactics, you can lessen the intensity or even stop panic attacks altogether. Everyone experiences anxiety differently and depending on your personal circumstances some techniques may or may not work for you. It’s always best to seek professional help if needed in order to identify what works best for you in managing your panic attacks. In the meantime, remember that a little bit of self-care goes a long way – take comfort in the knowledge that no matter how overwhelming a panic attack might be; there are numerous avenues out there for finding relief.

Mariella Arceo

Apr 11, 2023

Can obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) be cured?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder characterized by unwanted thoughts and repetitive behaviors that significantly interfere with daily life. People living with OCD may feel compelled to engage in certain rituals, counting, orderliness, cleanliness or checking behavior in an attempt to relieve anxiety. While the exact causes of OCD are still unknown, recent advances in mental health research have shown that effective treatments exist for managing symptoms effectively. So the big question is – can obsessive compulsive disorder be cured? In this blog post we'll explore potential treatment options for those living with OCD and what research tells us about long-term outcomes of treatment. What are the possible causes of OCD and why it is important to understand them? OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is a common mental health disorder marked by unwanted and intrusive thoughts and compulsions to perform ritualized behaviors. Many factors contribute to OCD's development, although the exact cause is still unknown. Some of the potential causes theorized by researchers include genetic predisposition, environmental stressors such as trauma, and hormonal imbalance. By understanding these contributing factors, individuals living with OCD are more capable of finding effective treatments that target their specific root cause. Additionally, it is important to recognize the possible causes in order to understand OCD and effectively diagnose it so that relevant help may be offered to those in need. How can you tell if someone has OCD and how does this manifest itself in behaviors? OCD is a disorder characterized by rigid patterns of behavioral and thoughts, which can be difficult to differentiate from everyday behavior. OCD mainly has three elements: obsessions, feelings or emotions and compulsions. Obsessions or intrusive thoughts, are recurring and persistent experiences that can cause distress and anxiety. Emotions are a result of the obsessions which may be distressing. Compulsions are behaviors performed as a reaction to the obsessive thoughts. Compulsive behavior can look like cleaning, hoarding or rearranging items obsessively. OCD can also involve avoidance behaviors such as actively avoiding situations that trigger the thought processes associated with it. OCD is treatable and many people suffering from OCD find it manageable with therapy and medications available today. Is there a cure for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)? OCD is vastly misunderstood and deserves robust attention in terms of treatment. OCD may be difficult to cope with, yet the good news is that there are many effective treatments available to manage OCD symptoms. Treatments available for OCD are both psychological and medicinal and focus on reducing OCD symptoms so that the individual can live a more fulfilling life. Common psychological treatments which are used to assist people with OCD include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure and response prevention (ERP) conducted by a therapist or a mental health professional. Medication may also be prescribed in some cases, such as antidepressants or anti-psychotic medications. Medical professionals may also prescribe medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) which help alleviate anxiety associated with OCD, or therapists can provide cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) which teaches skills to challenge thought patterns and modify behavior. The right blend of treatments chosen by experienced professionals ensures that OCD symptoms can become more manageable while individuals learn strategies to reduce symptoms in everyday life. As with all types of medical care, it is important to consult with a physician or mental health professional when considering what treatment may be right for you. How can you manage OCD and live a healthy, productive life? While living with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can be a challenging lifelong condition, managing your own symptoms is possible with the right mindset and strategies.  Taking the time to build coping skills to help manage one's thoughts and feelings is often key to finding relief. People coping with OCD may find it beneficial to have a support group a engage in talk therapy, regularly practice relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation, or create healthy habits such as exercise. Reach out to people you trust such as family members and friends and don't be afraid to open up about your struggles. Additionally, creating a saner living space by disconnecting from digital devices can also help in relieving anxiety or stress related to OCD symptoms.  [Image] Although there is not a definitive cure for OCD, through self-awareness and coping strategies it is possible to live a more productive and fulfilling life with characteristics of this disorder present. Don't lose hope! Dealing with mental health issues such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can be an exceedingly difficult challenge, and finding hope in the face of seemingly impossible odds is essential to treating the condition. For those living with OCD, possible solutions may seem distant or nonexistent; however, it is important for individuals to seek help from medical professionals who will provide a clear path to recovery through evidence-based treatments.  Hope can be found in knowing that there are resources available and many successful stories of those working to manage their OCD. With support from friends, family, and medical professionals, managing and learning how to live with OCD can be possible. In conclusion, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that can cause a person to become stuck on recurring or specific thoughts and behaviors. Though it's important to understand the potential causes for OCD and know the signs and symptoms, what matters most is the treatment of those suffering from this condition and the hope available to them. Medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes can be a good ocd treatment that can help manage symptoms of OCD or even lead to remission.  Additionally, by understanding how to cope with thoughts related to OCD as well as learning powerful tips for managing these thoughts in positive ways, individuals with OCD will be better able to live theirs lives without feeling overwhelmed. Finally, it's essential that there is hope available to anyone who may be struggling with symptoms of OCD. If you or anyone you know is struggling OCD, do not hesitate to reach out - there's always help available if you just look for it. Mosaic Minds Counseling is here for you. 

Mariella Arceo

Mar 23, 2023

Taking control of your life: How to reduce stress

We all know how stress can feel. That anxious feeling that builds up in your chest, the tightness in your shoulders, the racing heart. It's uncomfortable, and it can even be tough to concentrate or get a good night's sleep when you're stressed out. We know that stress can take a took on our mental health. But did you know that stress is more than just an unpleasant feeling? Stress can actually have some serious consequences for your health. Over time, high levels of stress can lead to depression and anxiety disorders, as well as physical problems like high blood pressure and heart disease. This means that managing stress is tantamount to keeping ourselves healthy. [stress] Why do we feel stress? Stress is a natural response of the body designed to help us deal with challenging situations. When we feel threatened, our autonomic nervous system triggers the 'fight or flight' response and stress hormones such as adrenaline are released. This helps us react quickly in times of danger, giving us an enhanced focus and increased strength. While this reaction can be helpful in the short-term, long-term stress can take its toll on our health. With this in mind, it's important to know how to recognize the body's stress response and how to manage stress. How does the body let us know when we have increased stress levels? Stress has both mental and physical effects on our bodies. Over time, high levels of stress can lead to health problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, insomnia and hypertension (high blood pressure). Other symptoms include headaches, digestive issues, muscle tension, chest pain and feeling overwhelmed. If stress is left unchecked, it can also lead to serious chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.[Image] Pay attention to you body's way of telling you to relieve stress. Once you recognize the signs, some techniques can be done to promote relaxation and to combat stress. How can we handle stress in healthy ways? Reducing stress can be challenging but there are a few strategies that may help. To start, try basic techniques like different breathing exercises which can be done anywhere at anytime. Try deep breathing by inhaling through the nose for three to five counts and exhaling slowly through the mouth. This can be a great stress reliever that can be good for your well being in times of stressful situations.  Practicing daily activities that improve mood such as listening to soothing music, journaling and physical activities such as regular exercise and spending time with loved ones can also help lower stress. Your body will thank you for it too. [Image] Having a healthy diet can be of help to manage stress and anxiety as well. Your diet can be contributing to high blood pressure that may already be exacerbated by your stress and anxiety. Avoid unhealthy habits such as drinking alcohol and too much caffeine and incorporate healthier food options into your daily food intake. [Image] Don't be afraid to seek social support. The people you love and trust can help you deal with stress and improve your well being and self esteem; talk to friends and family about your thoughts and feelings. Just a few minutes of conversation can take a load off of your mental stress and fight off negative thoughts. Adopt time management skills as well. Take breaks and give yourself time to do other things that interest you. Your own interests can help reduce stress and deserve the same amount of time and attention you give to your other activities.  Take actions against stress!  Stress is a normal part of life, but the effects it can have on our health should be taken seriously. Over time, it can lead to physical and mental issues such as headaches, lack of sleep, increased levels of anxiety, changes in mood, and a weakened immune system.  To help combat this issue and improve your overall wellbeing, it is important to take active steps against stressors in your life. Taking a break from a stressful situation to practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing or using aromatherapy oils can instantly reduce symptoms of stress. [Image] Additionally, engaging in enjoyable activities such as listening to music or reading outside can help alleviate stress long-term by providing an outlet for releasing built up tension. Remember that taking care of yourself should always be the number one priority! If you or anyone you know is struggling with stress and stress management, do not hesitate to reach out at Mosaic Minds Counseling cares. 

Mariella Arceo

Mar 05, 2023

Habit Reversal training: What it is and its benefits for your mental health

Habit reversal training (HRT) is a treatment method for certain types of problems, such as tic disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, nervous habits such as hair pulling, nail biting and skin picking disorder. The goal of HRT is to replace the bad behavior with a new, more positive one. If you're thinking about trying HRT, read on to learn more about how it works. What is habit reversal training? Habit Reversal Training (HRT) is a behavioral technique that incorporates self-awareness and self-management to help individuals stop unwanted repetitive behaviors. The goal of HRT is to use the habit's own cues as prompts for an opposite behavior, thereby “replacing” the original habit and creating a new habit. During HRT, individuals learn to recognize triggers or situations that lead to the unwanted habit as well as how to plan alternative responses. This highly effective form of therapy teaches patients how to become aware of whats happening in their bodies when faced with potential triggers and provides them with strategies on how to replace undesirable behaviors with healthy alternatives. By helping individuals become more aware of their body's environmental cues, HRT has been seen to improve focus and concentration while reducing anxiety levels. How does habit reversal training work? Habit Reversal Training is an evidence-based treatment strategy aimed at helping individuals to break bad habits and replace them with healthier behaviors. It has been successfully applied to problems such as nail biting, hair pulling behaviors, severe tics and skin picking, as well as more specific motor tics, such as facial tics or leg jiggling. HRT involves recognizing the triggers to the unwanted behavior, developing a plan of action, focusing on positive reinforcement and engaging in problem solving skills. It can also be combined with techniques from other disciplines such as cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness and other behavioral treatments. By utilizing HRT techniques consistently over time, it is possible to break these types of habits and create a healthier lifestyle. Does habit reversal training really work? Stories abound of people successfully using Habit Reversal Training (HRT) to manage and eventually break the hold of bad habits. An admitted nail-biter adapted HRT to replace his habit with activities like running his fingers through a beanbag or stroking a stress ball. Over time, the changes he made proved successful as he stopped biting his nails entirely. Similarly, another client chose HRT as a way to combat unhealthy addictions to overworking and not taking enough breaks for self care. The client created her own customized plan which included things like rewarding herself with an afternoon walk and something special from the store if she managed to do all her scheduled tasks in the allotted time. Those who have been skeptical have found that HRT does work; it just requires time and effort, along with tailored action plans for each individual situation. How can I get started with habit reversal training? Habit reversal training (HRT) has proven to be a powerful tool in changing behavior and emotional well-being. To get started with HRT, the first step is to identify the habit and its triggers. Once you’ve identified the habit and its triggers, take a few minutes each day to focus on how you feel when you do that behavior. Reflecting on how the behavior makes you feel can help you recognize how to respond differently in certain situations where the habit occurs.  Additionally, practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing which can help reduce stress associated with negative behaviors. Finally, commit to consistently replacing the bad habits with positive alternative behaviors – this will be instrumental in breaking old patterns and forming new healthier ones over time. Habit reversal training might be for you! Habit Reversal Training has proven to be an effective form of behavioral intervention in both short and long term scenarios. Not only can it help make lasting changes, but it also teaches valuable skills such as increased awareness that can be used beyond the specific habit in question. From nail biting to hair pulling and everything in between, habit reversal training is a tool that everyone should consider when looking for ways to conquer their bad habits. Through this type of self-directed treatment, individuals have reported significant improvements which suggests that anyone is capable of changing their behaviors with time and patience. Remember, the first step to success is understanding why you have the compulsion to engage in certain activities, followed by developing alternative behaviors that you can use to replace your existing habits.  If this all sounds too complicated or intimidating – don't worry! At, we provide tailored solutions based on your individual needs. Do not hesitate to reach out if this sounds like something you would benefit from; taking control of your life starts one step at a time!

Mariella Arceo

Jan 29, 2023

Therapy with Kristi Rhebb, LMFT

Kristi's background, specialties and therapy philosophies Kristi Rhebb is Florida-based, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who specializes in helping clients dealing with trauma, anxiety, OCD, and chronic illness. Her approach to therapy is collaborative and client-centered, using her expertise to support clients' autonomy of themselves. [Kristi Rhebb] Kristi is experienced in a variety of settings, including adult and pediatric oncology/neurology hospital units, child and adolescent crisis and behavioral health units. Before starting her private practice, Kristi worked as a mental health and grant writing consultant for a cancer care nonprofit and a tech company. Kristi pursued the molecular biology field in college but ultimately found fulfillment in becoming a therapist.  A core foundational belief that Kristi has is that people deserve to be seen, understood, and valued for who they are - without judgment. She believes in collaboration and autonomy; bringing her expertise to the table and the clients' expertise on themselves. Kristi helps her clients grow and heal in a positive, compassionate, and non judgemental space where the clients can explore their issues and create new patterns and behaviors to better show up for one's self and others. Therapy sessions with Kristi The first session is an opportunity to build trust; expectations, goals, and other concerns from both Kristi and the client will be discussed. Progress will be tracked through targeted measures and self-report logs to identify improvements and setbacks. Therapy comes to a close when the client's issues have been addressed. The sessions will be spaced out in advance to consolidate treatment gains and build confidence to manage problems by one's self. Kristi is committed to providing a supportive and empowering environment for her clients to grow and find healing. She recognizes that seeking therapy can be a challenging decision and works with clients to create a treatment plan that meets their specific needs and goals. If you’re considering seeking therapy and think Kristi may be a good fit for you, we encourage you to reach out and schedule a consultation.

Mariella Arceo

Jan 10, 2023

6 Tips for Healthier Family Communication

It's no secret that healthy communication is key to a happy family life but during the holiday season, healthy communication may not always persist and present itself. So what does healthy communication actually look like and how can we make sure that we're communicating in a way that is healthy for everyone involved? In this blog post, we will discuss 6 tips for healthier family communication. We'll talk about the importance of empathy, and  some helpful tips for overcoming common communication challenges that can be useful not just during the holiday season but all year round. [Spending the holidays with family can be tough and overwhelming but it doesn't have to.]   First and foremost, healthy family communication requires empathy. Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes and understand their feelings and emotions. When communicating with family, try to take a moment to think about how your words or actions might be impacting them. Put yourself in your family member's shoes and try to see the situation from their perspective. This can help you stay mindful of their feelings and avoid hurtful conversations.  Another important tip for healthy family communication is to practice active listening.  If you want to truly understand someone, you have to do more than just hear the words they're saying. Active listening involves being an active participant in the conversation and trying to understand the meanings and intentions behind what is said. Give them your undivided attention, so that they feel valued and respected during the conversation. Additionally, make sure to use non-verbal cues like eye contact, nodding your head, or smiling appropriately when needed to show that you're engaged in the conversation.  It is also important to communicate with respect and kindness. Everyone should be treated equally and not judged or attacked for their opinions. If disagreements arise, try to remain calm and seek a healthy resolution rather than escalating the situation. Find  common ground; disagreements don't always have to bring your further apart from the people you love.  Avoiding criticism when communicating with family is another key component of healthy communication. Criticism can lead to resentment and damage relationships. Instead of pointing out faults, focus on celebrating successes and building each other up. This will help create a more positive environment where everyone feels safe expressing themselves without fear of judgement or criticism. And if it's necessary to give out criticism, always remember to keep it constructive and never destructive. [Image] In addition, healthy family communication involves being open and honest about your feelings. Don’t be afraid to express yourself, even if it’s difficult or uncomfortable at first. This will help build trust and foster healthy relationships. This will also give your family to the chance to understand you more, which can foster healthier conversations. Finally, healthy family communication requires taking the time to connect with each other. Healthy family communication requires time and effort; it doesn't magically happen overnight. Scheduling regular family dinners or outings can be a great way to stay connected. It can even be as simple as having time everyday to sit down, get comfortable, and just talk about anything.  By following these tips for healthier family communication, you can create a more positive environment where everyone feels heard and respected. Healthy communication with family members helps create stronger bonds and deeper connections, which leads to a happier home life, not just during the holidays, but even on the ordinary days as well. 

Mariella Arceo

Dec 22, 2022