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Counselor TexasJodie has worked with men and women of all ages, as well as children and adolescents, and their families.

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Written by Jodie Martin Category: Common Issues
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Grief Counseling Lubbock, TX

Grief can manifest itself in a variety of ways. We have all heard of the "stages of grief"-shock, anger, bargaining, depression,and acceptance...but although most of us will experience each of these stages, we will all go through them at different times and in different ways. Just as there are no two snowflakes exactly like each other, no two people grieve in the same way.

There are an infinite number of variables that play into the losses we experience, from the type of loss itself, to our own lifetime experiences, to our personality type, to the support structure we have in place. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. There is no formula or time line. You just have to trudge your way through it. No one can take a magic wand and make the pain go away.

Some find solace by masking the pain with a variety of temporary fixes, including work, substances (such as drugs or alcohol), shopping, or sleeping. Unfortunately, these only push the grief back for awhile, and when you wake up one day, you are not only having to deal with the loss, but you are also having to face other problems that have mounted because of the negative ways you have chosen to cope. It doesn't make it wrong, it just probably isn't the healthiest way to manage.

We all face loss, which comes in the form of divorce, death, empty-nest, retirement, and relocation, to name a small few. I have helped parents deal with the loss of a child, parents deal with the loss of the innocence of their children, teens handle moving and leaving their friends, and many other forms of loss.

Handling loss, working through grief, and doing it in the most healthy way is what I want to help you do. At your pace. With your variables in mind. If you are in the Lubbock area, please contact me and let me walk through this with you.

 
Written by Jodie Martin Category: Common Issues
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Teen Counselor Lubbock, TX
Teen Depression Symptoms

Teen depression is a mental disorder that is characterized by abnormally low moods that persist for two or more weeks. Depression prevents individuals from functioning normally in their day-to-day activities. Although a depressive episode may last only a few weeks, it often lasts much longer.

Teen depression symptoms are commonly mistaken for sullenness, rebellion or a bad attitude. As a result, teen depression often goes undiagnosed and untreated. In such cases, teen depression can worsen becoming much more severe.

Symptoms of depression in adults are similar in many ways to symptoms of teen depression. However, some signs of depression are much more prevalent in teens. Knowing the signs of teen depression can help you as a parent, teacher or loved one, detect it in someone you care about.

 

 

Some of the most common teen depression symptoms include:

Aggression
Anger or hostility
Anxiety
Apathy and lack of energy
Being bullied
Changes in appetite and/or weight fluctuations
Changes in sleeping patterns (i.e. oversleeping or insomnia)
Complaining about failure to meet goals and/or your ideals
Cutting or other forms of self-injury (although you may not see any wounds, wearing long sleeves on a hot day may indicate self-injury)
Fatigue
Feelings of guilt, self-blame, and worthlessness
Feelings of sadness and/or hopelessness
Frequent crying spells
Increased sensitivity to criticism
Indecisiveness
Inexplicable pain (headaches or back pain)
Irritability
Lack of concentration
Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
Low self-esteem
Memory problems
Poor academic performance
Restlessness or agitation
Sluggish actions or speech
Talking about death and suicide (expressing the wish to be dead)
The presence of other anxiety disorders, eating disorders, or behavioral disorders
Use of alcohol and drugs
Violent or risky behavior
Withdrawal from family and friends.

 
Written by Jodie Martin Category: Common Issues
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Written by Jodie Martin Category: Common Issues
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Abuse Counselor Lubbock, TXAbuse
is any behavior that is designed to control another person by using fear, humiliation, intimidation, guilt, coercion, or manipulation. Emotional abuse is any kind of abuse that is emotional rather than physical in nature. It can include anything from verbal abuse and constant criticism to more subtle tactics, such as repeated disapproval.

Emotional abuse is like brain washing as it systematically wears away the victim's self-confidence, sense of self-worth, and trust in their own perceptions. Whether it is done by constant berating and belittling, by intimidation, or under the pretense of giving advice, the results are similar. Eventually, the recipient of the abuse loses all sense of self. Emotional abuse cuts to the very core of a person, creating scars that may be far deeper and more lasting that physical ones.  With emotional abuse, the insults, insinuations, criticism and accusations slowly eat away at the victim's self-esteem until she is incapable of judging the situation realistically. She has become so beaten down emotionally that she blames herself for the abuse. Her self-esteem is so low that she clings to the abuser.

Emotional abuse victims can become so convinced that they are worthless that they believe that no one else could want them. They stay in abusive situations because they believe they have nowhere else to go. Their ultimate fear is being all alone.

Types of Emotional Abuse

The other person places unreasonable demands on you and wants you to put everything else aside to tend to their needs.

It could be a demand for constant attention, or a requirement that you spend all your free time with the person.

But no matter how much you give, it's never enough.

You are subjected to constant criticism, and you are constantly berated because you don't fulfill all this person's needs.

Name-calling, accusing, blaming, threatening, and ordering. Aggressive behaviors are generally direct and obvious. The parent-child pattern of communication (which is common to all forms of verbal abuse) is most obvious when the abuser takes an aggressive stance.

Aggressive abuse can also take a more indirect form and may even be disguised as"helping." Criticizing, advising, offering solutions, analyzing, proving, and questioning another person may be an attempt to belittle, control, or demean rather than help. The underlying judgmental "I know best" tone the abuser takes in these situations is inappropriate and creates unequal footing in peer relationships. This and other types of emotional abuse can lead to what is known as learned helplessness.

Constant Chaos

The other person may deliberately start arguments and be in constant conflict with others.

The person may be "addicted to drama" since it creates excitement.

Denying a person's emotional needs, and done with the intent of hurting, punishing or humiliating.

The other person may deny that certain events occurred or that certain things were said.

The other person may deny your perceptions, memory and sanity.

Withholding is another form of denying. Withholding includes refusing to listen, refusing to communicate, and emotionally withdrawing as punishment, sometimes called the "silent treatment."

In addition to lowering self-esteem and creating conflict, the invalidation of reality, feelings, and experiences can eventually lead you to question and mistrust your own perceptions and emotional experience.

Denying and other forms of emotional abuse can cause you to lose confidence in your most valuable survival tool: your own mind.

Dominating

Someone wants to control your every action. They have to have their own way, and will resort to threats to get it.

When you allow someone else to dominate you, you can lose respect for yourself.

Emotional Blackmail

The other person plays on your fear, guilt, compassion or values to get what they want.

This could include threats to end the relationship, totally reject or abandon you, giving you the "cold shoulder," or using other fear tactics to control you.

Invalidation

The abuser seeks to distort or undermine your perceptions of their world. Invalidating occurs when the abuser refuses to acknowledge reality. For example, if you tell the person you felt hurt by something the abuser did or said, the abuser might say "You are too sensitive. That shouldn't hurt you."

Minimizing

Minimizing is a form of denial. When minimizing, the abuser may not deny that a particular event occurred, but they question the recipient's emotional experience or reaction to an event. Statements such as "You're too sensitive," "You're exaggerating," or "You're blowing this out of proportion" all suggest that the recipient's emotions and perceptions are faulty and should not be trusted.

Trivializing, which occurs when the abuser suggests that what you have done or communicated is inconsequential or unimportant, is a more subtle form of minimizing.

Unpredictable Responses

Drastic mood changes or sudden emotional outbursts. Whenever someone in your life reacts very differently at different times to the same behavior from you, tells you one thing one day and the opposite the next, or likes something you do one day and hates it the next, you are being abused with unpredictable responses.

This behavior is damaging because it puts you always on edge, and you can never know what's expected of you. You must remain hypervigilant, waiting for the other person's next outburst or change of mood.

An alcoholic or drug abuser is likely to act this way. Living with someone like this is tremendously demanding and anxiety provoking, causing the abused person to feel constantly frightened, unsettled and off balance.

Verbal Assaults

Berating, belittling, criticizing, name calling, screaming, threatening, excessive blaming, and using sarcasm and humiliation, and making fun of you in front of others. Over time, this type of abuse erodes your sense of confidence and self-worth.

 

 
Written by Jodie Martin Category: Common Issues
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Written by Jodie Martin Category: Common Issues
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transitionsTransition..do you cringe when you hear that word? We all go through numerous transitions throughout our lifetime. Some are exciting, some are troubling, and some just are. For a variety of reasons many people dread change and transitions. We like the comfortable and familiar, even when we recognize it might not be completely healthy. How many times have you stayed in a relationship a bit too long, or remained at a job out of fear of the unknown? I have heard many people say (and have said myself) "I don't like change!". Then there are those who feel the need to rearrange their furniture every other week or they start to get antsy.

Life gives us many opportunities to make positive changes. Sometimes we have to put on that brave front and pursue a new job, or start school, or end an unhealthy relationship. However, sometimes those changes come at an emotional cost. Change can create stress, which may manifest in a multitude of ways, both emotionally and physically. Physically, you may have headaches, feel sick to your stomach, have difficulty breathing, and have the jitters. Emotionally, you may feel panicked, anxious, angry, or cry easily.

Help with decisions to propel you into making positive changes, as well as help to develop and use healthy coping skills to manage the stress related to change, can be found through counseling. If you need a therapist in Lubbock to help you process through life's transitions, please give me a call at 806.319.1882 and let me walk with you.

Jodie Martin, LPC

 
Written by Jodie Martin Category: Common Issues
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The following are blogs, written by people living & thriving with a variety of struggles:

Pick the Brain

Dr. Deb

A Splintered Mind

Beyond Blue

The following are apps on your Smartphone that can help in a variety of ways when dealing with depression, anxiety, and other emotional symptoms:

Moody Me

Health Through Breathing

Smiling Mind

What’s My M3?

Mood Kit

 

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