Navigating Life's Changes and Challenges
Everyone faces some form of changes and challenges in their lifetime. Any change can lead to stress, even positive change, such as a new job or change in school. Many experience challenges that involve mental illnesses, such as depression or anxiety.
Recent research in Texas by the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute reveals the following eye-opening statistics:
- 76% of Texans have a close friend or family member who has experienced a mental health related issue
- 31% indicated if they or a family member needed help with a mental health related issue they would not know where to go or who to contact for the proper help
- 9 in 10 Texans think it is harder for people to talk about a mental health condition than a physical health condition
Many are impacted by mental health challenges. Many do not know where to turn to seek help. Few feel comfortable discussing mental health.
When symptoms, such as a low mood or anxiousness, persist over time and significantly impact daily life, it’s important to evaluate what we are experiencing and look into speaking with someone. It can be difficult to talk to someone about what is happening. People may resist seeking support because they believe it means they’re weak or they just need to have more faith.
People may also not understand what is involved in psychotherapy. Psychotherapy utilizes strategies for gaining insight, evaluating feelings, thoughts, and actions, and learning new skills for communicating and problem-solving. The key component to mental health is flexibility of thought – being aware of one’s feelings and thoughts, being able to see problems from multiple points of view, and recognizing a variety solutions to a problem. When people are in crisis or dealing with depression or anxiety, it can be difficult to have a clear perspective on ways to move through the difficulty.
Just as you seek to exercise and eat well for your physical health, you may identify and talk about your feelings and seek support from others to care for your mental health. Crisis happens when a strong emotion or stress becomes overwhelming disrupting daily life. Even simmering problems or difficult emotions can distract you or make a negative impact on daily interactions and responsibilities. The goals are prevention and early intervention - creating habits for maintaining well-being and seeking help early when problems begin developing.
When you believe your are experiencing distress, you may follow these steps.
Is your mood consistently distracting you and disrupting your daily routine?
Create an Action Plan
- Explore your options for help – read about mental health. Talk to a trusted friend, doctor, or minister. Research your insurance coverage.
- Take the first step – call a counselor to schedule an appointment. Attend a support group.
- Seek support – surround yourself with people and opportunities for support.
Strive for Ongoing Well-being
- Become aware of your strengths
- Seek sources of hope and meaning
- Seek community, such as faith communities or support groups
It is not a matter of whether we will face changes and challenges in life, it is a matter of how we will navigate those changes and challenges. Psychotherapy can help people become mindful, hopeful, and empowered to heal and grow.
The Pastoral Counseling Center is a trusted source for high quality counseling, psychological evaluations, and educational testing for children, teens, adults, and families. PCC’s main office is on Lemmon Avenue and PCC has offices across the D/FW metroplex in churches. PCC’s services are covered by most insurance plans and Employee Assistance Plans.
PCC also makes its services available in under-resourced communities through collaborations with other organizations. To support PCC’s outreach to under-resourced communities, please give to PCC through North Texas Giving Day.