MENTAL HEALTH CARE

Depression

You may be telling yourself you feel tired and lack energy or perhaps forgetful and often have excuses to avoid simple tasks. You may be experiencing difficulty coping with the challenges you are facing in your life. Perhaps you are depressed without even knowing it?
There are earlier signs that indicate when a person is becoming depressed. This includes both physical (somatic) and psychological symptoms and includes but not limited to:

  • low mood
  • difficulties concentration
  • poor memory
  • changes in appetite – weight loss or weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Negative thoughts- overthinking
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Lack of interest and enjoyment from things you once enjoyed
  • Low self esteem
  • Recurrent thought of death or planning suicide

Depression in considered to be a devastating illness as it impacts on your ability to enjoy a happy life. Depression, if not treated can also impact on other areas of your life including work, family and relationship with others.

Fortunately, depression is a treatable condition and effective psychological treatments have shown to overcome depression. Treatment types including cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) Interpersonal Psychotherapy  (IPT) and Behaviour Therapy have proven to be effective treatments types to overcome depression and return to living a happier and meaningful life.

STRESS

Stress is considered as being a normal response to when experiencing pressure, adjusting to changes or finding yourself in danger which may be affecting your daily life.

However when your stress levels remain too high for a longer period of time this can impact on other areas of your life including physical health, mental health, relations with others , self esteem and functioning in the workplace. There are many factors that cause stress in different people however the main sources of stress include: work pressure- difficulty organising work and poor time management, money, relationships, the economy and family responsibilities.

Some individuals will choose to cope with stress through unhealthy ways. These coping strategies include: smoking, drug use,increase intake of alcohol, binge eating, excessive sleep, procrastination and angry outbursts towards others.

Although some stressful situations can’t be avoided there are various methods that can be applied both at an individual level and organisational level.

How we choose to perceive the stressor will determine your ability to cope with the situation. If you choose to receive treatment, your psychologist will guide and assist you through various ways on how to identify your stressors and take constructive measures to help you cope with stress.

Some of these strategies will include problem focused strategies, emotion focused strategies, behavioural strategies and cognitive restructuring techniques which includes shifting from unhelpful thoughts to more positive balanced ways of thinking.

POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)

When exposed to a traumatic event whether it be the possibility of death or serious harm to yourself or others, dealing with the past on your own can be quite difficult.

Although the trauma experienced is now in the past, a person can experience symptoms of PTSD from one month to several years after the incident.

The trauma is accompanied by intense emotions including emotional numbness, feelings of fear, avoidance of the reminders of the trauma, intrusive recollections of the incident including nightmares and flashbacks as well as feeling out of control of a situation which can lead to feeling threatened , angry and agitated.

There are various ways of re experiencing the trauma including memories, sensations felt at the time of the trauma, recurrent distressing dreams and physiological reactions to the reminders of the traumatic event.

Individuals who encounter traumatic experiences may find it difficult to talk to their family and friends about their experience and instead block their feeling which will most likely lead to emotional numbing. PTSD can be successfully treated even when several years has passed since the time of the traumatic event.

There are various treatment options for PTSD, however, the most widely utilized approach is trauma focussed cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) which can assist with the development of practical techniques to alter thoughts, emotions and confront the traumatic memory and cope with the distress and unhelpful thoughts about the experience.

The aim of therapy will teach the individual to effectively work through the painful memories and emotions through CBT techniques and mindfulness skills such as acceptance. This will allow them to get on with living a healthier and meaningful lifestyle.

Anxiety & Panic

Anxiety is a feeling of constant worry and feeling on edge. Some days it can be quite difficult to cope with the feeling of having no control over your issues including having no control over your symptoms. There are several manifestations of Anxiety Disorders. The main types include: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Phobic Disorders including Social Phobia.

When symptoms of anxiety is constant and overwhelming the symptoms become chronic and turns into a ‘disorder’. This is when the symptoms interfere with our daily functioning including work, family, relationship and school. Anxiety attacks are also referred to as Panic Attacks. Panic Attacks occur unexpectedly and can be a very frightening experience and may last for only a few minutes.The feelings and sensations can be quite intense leading to fear of experiencing a further attack.

 

There are many signs and symptoms of anxiety attacks including:

 

  • Heart Palpitations
  • Shortness in breath
  • Chest  pain
  • Nervous Stomach, Stomach cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness
  • Hot/Cold Flashes
  • Fatigue/sleep problems
  • Feeling of numbness/disconnect
  • Feeling of losing control or going crazy
  • Heart palpitations or chest pain
  • Feeling like you’re going to pass out
  • Trouble breathing or choking sensation
  • Hyperventilation
  • Hot flashes or chills
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Nausea or stomach cramps
  • Feeling detached or unreal
  • Tension in the body
  • Sweating
  • Bladder urgency

Psychological therapy can reduce the symptoms of anxiety and panic. There are certain types of therapy in particular CBT that’s been proven to be highly effective for the treatment of anxiety. Your therapist will work together with you and understand your struggle and how to successfully overcome its symptoms. Therapy will allow you to look at situations in a new way rather than a negative or frightening way and allow you to develop better coping strategies to recover from anxiety.

EATING DISORDERS

Eating Disorders is considered as a serious disorder linked with various medical problems. Due to irregular eating habits and severe distress the individual is preoccupied with their body weight and image.

There are different types of eating disorders. They include: Bulimia Nervosa, Anorexia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder and other compulsive eating habits.

Common signs of Bulimia Nervosa:

  • Binge-eating to large amounts of food and feeling out of control and guilty about eating
  • Compensatory strategies such as vomiting, abuse of laxatives, excessive exercise , fasting are used to control weight
  • Use of bathroom frequently after eating
  • Irregular hormone function
  • Depressed mood, low self esteem strongly influenced by body shape and weight

Common signs of Anorexia Nervosa

  • Fear of gaining excessive weight and restriction on food intake.
  • Preoccupation with food, calories and weight
  • Excessive exercise and menstrual irregularities also appear
  • Distorted view of self ‘ getting fat’ even though in reality is thin
  • Negative body image and impact on self esteem.

Treatment of Eating Disorders will mainly involve the use of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) to treat both mental and emotional elements of an eating disorder.

The aim of the treatment is to change your views on how you think and feel about the food, eating and body image. Other strategies include mindful eating, self-monitoring, managing negative mood state, problem solving and relapse prevention.

GRIEF & LOSS

Almost everyone at one time or another has experienced the loss of someone who was very important to them.

Adjusting to these changes can be a very difficult process and there is no standard time limit during the bereavement period.

Grief and loss can range from a death of a loved one, to the the loss of a job or the loss of a relationship. If grief is not dealt with, it can manifest into other areas leading to feelings of anger, isolation, changes in belief and sense of reality. If not treated, grief can also lead to depression.

Grief counselling can assist you through the grievance process. Therapy will allow you to talk about the loss rather than keeping things bottled up.

The therapy sessions will take you through the journey of acceptance, working through the pain, adjusting to your new life and having new hope for your future.

WORKPLACE BULLYING

If your noticed that you have been a victim of persistent negative criticism which is affecting your work performance, functioning, feeling stress and and signs of anxiety  stress including difficulty to cope with the situations due to the change in the environment around you you may be subject to workplace bullying and Harassment.

If you note that there is a sudden change in the interaction and behaviour of your employer and supervisor which make you feel insulting and affecting you “self esteem” can be due to the workplace bullying.

You find that you have difficulty getting the answers and responses from the supervisor or employer including withholding the information which can affect and can be critical to performance and output.

If you note that you are not given equal opportunity to learn, enhance your capabilities and increase your capacity perform. Your rights are to perform property and fulfil your role in a respectful and graceful way.

Our advice include the proven processes and in place and to avoid undue pressure on people. This also includes the risk management for  and undermining the role as a employee. The use of resources and methodology to deal with the HR and administrative staff.

Our focus is to give the advice to clients minimizing the legal cost and loss of resources on dispute resolution by proven techniques and methods.Workplace bullying and performance efficiency is always being a gray area.

Larger organisations and corporate are focused on maximum output with minimum resources thus putting immense pressure on the staff which sometimes become unrealistic.

Persistent work pressure can contribute to mental health issues or recurrence of previous mental health illness. The goal is to identify and rectify the problem in the beginning. Our approach is to create a balance of power and administrator and employee.

MARITAL & RELATIONSHIP ISSUES

 Do you feel stuck in a relationship where you can’t decide whether to stay or leave?  Or perhaps you’re struggling with stressors in your life that is impacting on your relationship?
There are millions of people who remain in unhappy relationships due to the feeling of having no choice and uncertainty of what the future might hold.
This usually stems from the fear of separation and loneliness that people will often try to avoid.Relationships require work and are bound to face challenges.
When challenges are unresolved this can impact on the health and longevity of the relationship. Tension will mount and resentment may even follow. Stress could threaten the stability of the relationship.

 

Some common relationship problems include: emotional distance, lack of support, lack of communication, Affairs/infidelity, differences in conflict resolution, sexual/intimacy problems, lack of trust, Life-stages ‘outgrown’ each other, traumatic life experiences, addictions and domestic violence.

If relationship problems are not addressed it can manifest into other areas of mental health such as depression, anxiety, feelings of guilt, shame and anger as well as affect your self esteem.

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Ms Melda Nazenin

Psychologist

Melda is a registered psychologist and has been working as a psychologist for the past 9 years. Melda Nazenin is the Principal Psychologist at various medical centres within Sydney CBD and the St George Region. Melda holds memberships with Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Authority (AHPRA) and with the Australian Psychological Society (APS). Melda has gained extensive experience working in both the private and public sectors in a various roles providing assistance to a diverse range of clients including adults, young people, older adults, children and families and couples who are experiencing a wide range of problems including personal , emotional and behavioral difficulties.

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