Thursday, April 28, 2016

#EndTheStigma #HeadsTogether

If all of a sudden you found yourself with a runny nose, cough, fever and congestion you might wait a while, try over the counter medication and eventually if you continue to get worse, see a physician. You may not be happy about being sick, but you would seek professional help and probably wouldn’t see this illness as a weakness or personal failure.
The same can be said for things like a broken bone, diabetes, heart disease or other diagnosable illness.

So what if your symptoms included losing interest in things that you enjoyed doing, like going out with friends or playing sports or a favorite hobby? Perhaps trouble falling asleep because your mind was racing with intrusive thoughts about death or dying? Maybe you felt hopeless, sad or empty for a good part of your day? What would you do then? Would you seek medical help?

I would hope the answer is YES, but unfortunately that is not often the case. Many times people choose to  ignore these symptoms and isolate themselves from others. They don’t reach out for help because they see these symptoms as a personal weakness or flaw. They don’t recognize that these are signs of a true medical issue. This stigmatization of mental health issues is a huge problem stopping people from getting the treatment they need.

Depression and other mental health issues can affect anyone.

Depression and other mental illnesses with proper care CAN bet treated!
It is NOT a weakness, personal flaw or something to be ashamed of.

We need to end the stigma and work together to provide education and support for those that need it.
Check out the awesome video for the Heads Together Campaign going on now in the UK!

If you or someone you care about is silently suffering from symptoms of depression,  please reach out for help, the same way you would seek out a doctor for a broken bone or the flu.

For those of you in the northern NJ area interested in a free therapy consultation you can reach me at 908-337-3710, email: or visit my website:  Maximize Wellness Counseling  & Coaching LLC  to take the first step.

If you are not local and unsure where to begin, go to the Psychology Today Website and put in your zip code to find therapists near you.
If you are feeling suicidal or at risk for hurting yourself of others you can reach out to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline website today.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Why are we still talking "plus-size"?

There has been quite a buzz about "plus size" with the recent press around Amy Schumer & Glamour Magazine.
Amy points out for the media that she is a size 6 to 8 which is by no means "plus".
As a woman who has always had issues with her weight I can say that when I was a size 8 I wished I was smaller.   After two kids and quite a few years I am now a size 12  and feel more comfortable today with my body than when I was younger. Being confident with myself does not mean I don't strive to eat right and exercise, but I also love who I am which includes what I look like.
As a therapist, I see young women with poor self-esteem who feel they need to live up to unrealistic body image standards they see in magazines and on television. We are fed constant feedback that we need to live up to unrealistic expectations. Even BMI is known to be an outdated measurement of health and wellness. A fantastic article on Upworthy about a girl who was asked to calculate her BMI for a middle school test. In the article she stated:
"Now, I'm not going to even open my laptop to calculate my BMI. And I'll tell you why. Ever since I can remember, I've been a "bigger girl" and I'm completely fine with that; I'm strong and powerful. When you put a softball or a bat in my hand, they are considered lethal weapons. But, at the beginning of the year, I started having very bad thoughts when my body was brought into a conversation. I would wear four bras to try and cover up my back fat, and I would try to wrap ace bandages around my stomach so I would look skinnier. So my lovely mother did what any parent would do when they noticed something wrong with her child, she took me to my doctor. My doctor and I talked about my diet and how active I am.
Read the full Upworthy article HERE. You will enjoy reading the words of incredibly insightful and mature young woman.

In my book, Lose That Mommy Guilt I discuss exercise and diet and what I have learned along the way with my own insecurities and struggles with my body and here is what I ultimately found to be true for me:
"The most important thing I have learned is that it is important to feel strong and healthy and happy. That means that you should try to do the best that you can and love yourself, and show your kids a healthy relationship with food and with exercise as well as to have a love and appreciation for your body with all its curves and soft parts."

Let's stop talking about "plus-size" or any size and celebrate women for things that matter like kindness, compassion, confidence and the beauty within!

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