Am I Bipolar?

Posted by & filed under Ask Dr Andre, Bipolar, Therapy in Metairie.

Dr Andre, How do I know if I am Bipolar?

 

Do you experience days without sleep yet you don’t feel tired? Do you experience days, weeks, months of depression and irritability so severe that it affects your ability to relate to others? If so, you may need to be evaluated for Bipolar Disorder.

As more people become informed about mental illness, Bipolar Disorder (formerly called manic-depressive illness) seems to be gaining more visibility. Bipolar Disorder is characterized by a number of symptoms, primarily severe highs (mania) and lows (depression) in mood, energy, and a severe deficit in judgment.

It is important to understand that Bipolar Disorder is not like “regular” ups and downs everyone goes through due to various stressors in life. This disorder causes major problems in a person’s ability to function in relationships as well as on the job. They can exercise poor judgment in dangerous situations, and when the illness is exacerbated, can potentially become psychotic or suicidal. When depressed, people will often exhibit a severely depressed mood, in stark contrast to their manic phases.

If you or someone you know is exhibiting these symptoms, don’t hesitate to call a mental health professional right away for assessment. With the right help, this is usually a very manageable illness that responds well to treatment. For more information about this disorder, see the National Institutes of Mental Health website at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/bipolar-disorder/what-is-bipolar-disorder.shtml.

If you would like an assessment of your mental health please call our office for an appointment. We’re located in Metairie (504) 717-4043 or Mandeville (985) 624-2942

-Dr. Andre Sagrera Judice, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT, DCEP

Social drinking question

Posted by & filed under Addiction Counseling Metairie, Ask Dr Andre, family, Marriage Counseling Metairie, La, Relationships, Therapy in Metairie.

Dr Andre,

When is it time to seek help with a social drinking question? I do not share the same opinion of my wine with dinner as other members of my family?

 

Since there is a conflict of opinion it would probably be helpful for both parties(all) to be fully heard. Often in a neutral setting each side can actually speak and be heard without interruptions. Sometimes this is the first time people actually truly listen to each other!  From there, a decision could be made by you for guidance, suppport, or general reassurance , or any other goals that may be discovered in session. If you would like more specific information regarding your family communication please call our office for an appointment. We’re located in Metairie (504) 717-4043 or Mandeville (985) 624-2942.

 

-Dr. Andre Sagrera Judice, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT, DCEP

Job Interview anxiety

Posted by & filed under Stress, Therapy in Metairie.

Dr Andre,

The more interviews I go on, the more anxious I become, and I feel less confident each time. Can you help me with this problem?

 

Stress/anxiety reducing skills, relaxation techniques, and confidence building skills are all teachable. For example, we could challenge the thoughts you are having about yourself, and your performance. We could assist you in seperating fact from fiction. as we often magnify our perceived imperfections. A more relaxed and confident approach could be developed, at a pace that is comfortabe for you, with your goals in mind.

 We could assist you in seperating fact from fiction.

If you would like more specific information regarding your job interview anxiety please call our office for an appointment. We’re located in Metairie (504) 717-4043 or Mandeville (985) 624-2942

-Dr. Andre Sagrera Judice, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT, DCEP

Does overeating escalate to eating addiction?

Posted by & filed under Addiction Counseling Metairie, Craving, Therapy FAQs, Therapy in Metairie.

Dr Andre,  How do I know if overeating has escalated into an eating addiction?

 

Many addictions of any sort are ways to distance pain or ignore and disregard feelings that we may fear. Also , many people do not have the skills or knowledge to work through these often overwhelming feelings. We could help use to use your feelings as guideposts to lead you to healthier, more beneficial and productive choices for yourself. A plan (with your goals) could be made to include figuring out what you may be really “hungry” for, and learning behavioral choices that support confidence, strength and the ability to freely choose.

Also nutritionally, foods that increase hunger could be discussed, as well as a comprehensive health plan to help you feel in control of your eating. Journaling  or at least becoming aware of what you are feeling emotionally before you eat is a good place to start. If you would like more specific information on how you can overcome eating addiction, please call our office for an appointment. We’re located in Metairie (504) 717-4043 or Mandeville (985) 624-2942

 

-Dr. Andre Sagrera Judice, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT, DCEP

Why do I feel everything must be perfect?

Posted by & filed under Stress, Therapy in Metairie.

Dr Andre,

Why do I feel the need to have everything in my house, car, and area at work perfect or I just can’t function?

 

Exploration of what may be  beneath your need to control your outer environment can be looked at. A good place to start could be to help you dissect your beliefs about what perfect actually means to you. A goal of a stronger self concept along with stress relief skills could also assist you in achieving a more “perfect” state of balance within.

Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?

-Bob Marley

Bob Marley reminds us that identifying the source of our mindset is key. If you would like more specific information regarding overcoming compusion, please call our office for an appointment. We’re located in Metairie (504) 717-4043 or Mandeville (985) 624-2942

Andre Sagrera Judice, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT, DCEP

Does group therapy help anger management?

Posted by & filed under Anger Management, Group Therapy, Therapy in Metairie.

Dr. Andre, Will group therapy help me with my anger issues?

Group therapy can be helpful for many different problematic areas in one’s life including anger management.  Anger is a normal emotional response, but it’s what we do with it that can lead to problems.  What aspects of your life are being affected by your angry responses, relationships, work, etc?  Do you ever feel the need to “hold-in” your anger?  What are the typical physical responses when angry?  It’s important to consider these questions to determine your need for group or individual anger management therapy.

Group anger management has some benefits that individual therapy does not offer.

Group anger management has some benefits that individual therapy does not offer.  Being involved in a group allows you to see others coping with the same challenges.  It can be helpful to hear other personal stories of failures and successes.  Either way, effective therapy will help you to learn ways of approaching anger and expressing it in a healthy fashion.

If you would like to join our monthly anger management group therapy session, please call our office for an appointment. We’re located in Metairie (504) 717-4043 or Mandeville (985) 624-2942

Dr. Andre Sagrera Judice, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT, DCEP

Couple’s Communication 101

Posted by & filed under Ask Dr Andre, Couples Therapy, Marriage Counseling Metairie, La, Relationships, Therapy in Metairie, Therapy in New Orleans.

Dr Andre, Why can’t I communicate with my partner?

 

“We just can’t seem to communicate!” I hear this often in sessions with couples. Here are a few pointers that I always offer my clients who struggle with communication.

First of all, we need to understand the differences in the way men and women communicate. Men are generally far more concrete and linear in their thoughts and statements, whereas women are more abstract and detailed. For men, YES and NO are perfectly acceptable answers. Women, however, are more likely to respond with more information. For example, when a lady asks a man if she looks OK in a particular dress, a man believes he has answered her question when he responds with “yes” or “no”. Another female is more likely to respond to the same question with, “Well, I like the color of the dress, but…”

A gifted communicator knows how to listen.

Another communication challenge happens when a man asks a woman what is wrong and she answers “nothing”. He usually believes her! This does not mean he doesn’t care about her. Men are just not good mind readers. Ladies, they depend on you to tell them what you want or need. But, remember, we all get the best results when we speak in the “I” rather than “you”. Starting a statement with “you” tends to put the other person on the defensive because it has an accusatory tone. And, let’s not forget tone and timing are very important.

A gifted communicator knows how to listen. Men, by nature, are problem solvers. Women vent their feelings and problems to men who in turn have the urge to fix the problem. Great news, guys!  You don’t have to fix it – just listen. Listen without judgment. She just needs to get it off her chest.

Great news, guys!  You don’t have to fix it – just listen.

Finally, have you ever heard of QTIPS? It’s the acronym for Quit Taking It Personally, Silly. We all need to remember that not all problems are about us; so, let’s not assume he or she is angry at or disappointed with us. Your partner’s attitude or expression may be the result of something that happened at work or with someone else. Just ask, “You look upset. Is this about me?” When you respond with openness, your partner will feel safer to share with you. However, if the problem is about you, remember tone and timing. We can say almost anything when we say it with kindness and respect.

…remember tone and timing.

For more in-depth help with relationship and communication challenges, our therapists at Northshore Counseling and Wellness and always happy to help you be your best self. Please call our office for an appointment. We’re located in Metairie (504) 717-4043 or Mandeville (985) 624-2942

-Dr. Andre Sagrera Judice, Ph.D., LPC, LMFT, DCEP

Contributed by Janis Caserta, LPC, LAC

 

 

How long does therapy take?

Posted by & filed under Therapy FAQs, Therapy in Metairie, Therapy in New Orleans.

Dr. Andre, How long will therapy take?

How long therapy takes depends on the issues, what the client wants to
accomplish,and how engaged the client is in the therapy.  For this reason,
it is important to clearly identify the client’s goals at the start of
therapy and give the client a rough idea of what methods or techniques will
be used to get to those goals.  This helps clients get a better idea of
what the time span would be.

Some examples for length of therapy are:

Couples counseling, if the couple want to change some patterns in their
relationship this would average from three to six months to clarify the
goals and work through how to make the desired changes.  It takes practice
and support to change patterns that have been in place for a while.

Transitions such as making a career change or committing to a relationship
can often be worked through in three to ten sessions.  The person needs
help weighing their options and usually knows on a deeper level their own
answers but needs help getting to those answers.

Issues such as depression or anxiety can often be alleviated in 5 to 10
sessions if they are a matter of the person being in denial about changes
that needs to be made in their life.  Sometimes in working on these issues
other problems such as early abuse will surface and this can require more
long term work.

Physical or sexual abuse  or serious family dysfunction especially at a
young age can require a year or two of therapy.  The imprints made on a
young mind are much deeper and interfere with normal development, so
children or adults who have experienced this as a child can expect to be
involved in long term therapy.  However, this time frame which would have
been 5 – 10 years in the past has been greatly sped up with the new
therapies that help to open up neural pathways and release the energy
charge held in the body from the traumas.

These are therapies such as EMDR, AIT, EFT and Energy Psychology.

How do I get my point across without sounding angry?

Posted by & filed under Relationships, Therapy in Metairie, Therapy in New Orleans.

How do I get my point across without sounding angry?

 The best way to get another person to really hear what we are trying to say consists of two main actions.  

  1. Never try to get an important point across when either of you is angry, but especially when the other person is angry.  If you are angry, the person is going to be defensive because of your anger, and not really focus on what you are saying.  If they do hear what you are saying, they are likely to just dismiss it out of defensiveness.  If the other person is angry, they are too overwhelmed by their own cortisol levels (our stress hormone) for their brain to be able to receive any input anyway.  So the best course of action is to wait to discuss it until both of you are calmed down and able to remain calm when talking about it.
  2. When you do discuss your point, use what we call “I language.”  Talk about your feelings, your goals, and what is or is not working for you.  Talk about yourself, aka “I.”  So instead of saying, “Why do you always take the kids’ side?  You know that pisses me off”, you would say “When i hear you say that I am too harsh of a parent, I assume you are taking the kids’ side instead of finding a way to work with me on this.  Is this right?  I get really frustrated because it is important to me that we are united in our parenting.  I worry that we won’t be good at standing together in situations like this.”  Obviously, the second response is much easier the other person to hear and respond to.  It makes him/her much less defensive because you are not putting him/her on the hot seat.  Instead you are just explaining your concerns and inviting them to talk with you about it.

Try saying “I feel this way about…” instead of “Why do YOU always….”

Contributed by  Michelle Haeur

How can we make our marriage they way it used to be?

Posted by & filed under Marriage Counseling Metairie, La, Relationships, Therapy in Metairie, Therapy in New Orleans.

How can we stop fighting all the time, and get our marriage back how it used to be? All we have now is a lot of built up resentments.

Dr Andre,

How can we stop fighting all the time, and get our marriage back how it used to be? All we have now is a lot of built up resentments.Healthy communication is very important to developing and maintaining a good relationship.  Each person in the couple needs to learn the practice the skills of good communication.  Each person’s goals and needs in the relationship have to be validated in the relationship.  This doesn’t always mean needs to get met, but they are respected as important to each person.  Successful relationships are based on a win-win approach and allowing give and take to work together.  Resentments build after a person feels their needs have not been respected for a while.  Resentments are signs that the relationship is in true danger.  However, when two people make real effort to discuss and then release resentments, choosing instead to focus on meeting the desires of the other moving forward, resentments can be resolved.

In general, where there is a commitment, willingness for the marriage to thrive, honesty and trust, most couples can benefit from new ways to problem-solve, communicate, and develop healthier coping skills to replace old habitual responses.

Contributed by Jan Doty, North Shore Counseling & Wellness

…choosing instead to focus on meeting the desires of the other moving forward, resentments can be resolved.