Pax Renewal https://paxrenewalcenter.com/ Individual, Marriage and Family Therapy Thu, 28 Mar 2024 04:50:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.5.3 https://paxrenewalcenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/cropped-favicon-02-32x32.png Pax Renewal https://paxrenewalcenter.com/ 32 32 Individual, Marriage and Family Therapy Pax Renewal false Pax Renewal [email protected] podcast Individual, Marriage and Family Therapy Pax Renewal https://paxrenewalcenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/PAX-podcast-cover-001-01.jpg https://paxrenewalcenter.com/blog/ If Your Family Is Dealing With This, It’s Time To Look for Family Counselors https://paxrenewalcenter.com/if-your-family-is-dealing-with-this-its-time-to-look-for-family-counselors/ Mon, 18 Mar 2024 07:22:00 +0000 https://paxrenewalcenter.com/?p=1008 If Your Family Is Dealing With This, It's Time To Look for Family Counselors

"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." -- Leo Tolstoy, Anna KareninaSometimes life weighs everyone down. Families are supposed to be there to support you, but what happens when everyone in a family is having a hard time, and instead of supporting each other, it seems that you're […]

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If Your Family Is Dealing With This, It's Time To Look for Family Counselors

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” — Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Sometimes life weighs everyone down. Families are supposed to be there to support you, but what happens when everyone in a family is having a hard time, and instead of supporting each other, it seems that you’re making each other’s lives more difficult? Unfortunately, members of the same family can react to stress, grief, divorce, and financial problems in wildly different ways, which can result in fighting, frustration, and resentment. Left unchecked, these feelings can tear a family apart just when it’s most needed.

In times like this, a family counseling center is one of the best options you have.

After working with either a family or marriage therapist, an impressive 93% of parents reported that they felt better equipped to handle their problems, according to research from the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Beyond that, respondents reported better physical health and work performance after utilizing therapy services. But why do people need to seek help from a family therapist in the first place?

If your family is struggling with any of these common problems, then it may be time to find counselors who can help guide you to a better place:

Financial Stress

Money problems have led to the end of many relationships, and financial stress can put even the closest partners at odds with each other. Because financial stress often gets worse before it gets better, families often endur months or years of anger and resentment, both of which can be poison to a relationship. Trained counselors can help partners reconcile different approaches to money management and develop more healthy forms of communication.

Communication Issues

When you say something, but someone takes it the wrong way, they can come to resent you. This is especially problematic in families living in close quarters. One miscommunication can turn into many, and the relationship can quickly spiral out of control into a very negative place. Sometimes, a neutral third party can help everyone in the family come together again.

Depression

Depression can be hard on everyone. Unfortunately, depressed individuals often withdraw from their friends and family, which makes it hard to know how to help them. Not knowing how to help someone with this condition is painful in its own way, so seeking out the help of a family therapist can help put the right tools in the hands of the people most likely to help someone treat depression — the family.

Families all go through difficult times. Knowing how to support each other and get through the worst is exactly how you achieve the best. If your family is having issues communicating with each other during a difficult time, don’t be afraid to seek family counseling services.

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Dealing with Depression: Supportive Strategies Against Adolescent Depression https://paxrenewalcenter.com/dealing-with-depression-supportive-strategies-against-adolescent-depression/ Wed, 06 Mar 2024 03:55:41 +0000 https://paxrenewalcenter.com/?p=1001 Dealing with Depression: Supportive Strategies Against Adolescent Depression

By the age of 18, more than 20% of adolescents will be affected by some type of depressive disorder. It's an illness that, unfortunately, stays hidden more often than not. Being supportive of anyone with depression is important to reaching what semblance of healing can be found.Adolescence is difficult enough considering the physical, emotional, and […]

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Dealing with Depression: Supportive Strategies Against Adolescent Depression

By the age of 18, more than 20% of adolescents will be affected by some type of depressive disorder. It’s an illness that, unfortunately, stays hidden more often than not. Being supportive of anyone with depression is important to reaching what semblance of healing can be found.

Adolescence is difficult enough considering the physical, emotional, and psychological changes coming into play. Mix in outside forces that add stress to these changes and the repercussions can become dire if they’re not addressed. The trouble is, asking for help isn’t exactly the nature of adolescents.

This stressful psychological cocktail often lives inside a quiet, depressed young person who needs help. Here are ways to be supportive during the tumultuous reality of adolescent depression.

Watch, Be Quiet, And Truly Listen

Parentally, it’s easy to pay attention to specific bits of adolescent behavior. So much focus is on physical health and public behavior that mental health is either ignored, becomes a topic that’s hushed, or is plainly unaddressed.

Your child may not share their depression with you right away. Sometimes they will never, which is why it’s your duty to pay attention to them. Watching and monitoring the mental health of an adolescent is difficult, but not impossible. More importantly is that when you begin noticing things that make you uneasy, patience is of utmost importance. Don’t make your child close down because of a quick reaction. Stop, be quiet, and listen to them. You’ll learn more from their few words than you will from any hasty action you think will “help”.

You Can’t Cure Depression

Depression, anxiety, and any psychological disorders cannot be treated like the common cold. It’s not something that runs its course with fluids and Vitamin C. Individual counseling and varying types of psychotherapy are excellent ways to help your child express what/how they’re feeling.

A lot of adolescents close their parents off from their depression because their parents have treated them as if a breath of fresh air will cure them, or they can choose to be happy whenever they want. Beware of the temptation to try and problem solve your child’s depression. They’re not equations, they’re human beings.

Strive To Support, But Consult A Professional

Being supportive and caring for your child is only the beginning. Helping them access professional care that they might otherwise not look for nor be able to get to is a parental responsibility. You’re their parent, not a professional psychotherapist or mental health professional.

Educate yourself, talk with a professional. They’ll be able to guide you through supporting your child and will provide strategies to getting them the help they need at a comfortable pace. The alliance between family and mental health professionals is a powerful one.

Your child is feeling things they cannot yet comprehend. It’s a terrifying and isolating experience, but never impossible to stand up against. Remember, they’re not alone and, together, you have the tools and power to battle against depression.

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3 Ways to Deal with Anxiety While at Work https://paxrenewalcenter.com/3-ways-to-deal-with-anxiety-while-at-work/ Mon, 19 Feb 2024 07:34:00 +0000 https://paxrenewalcenter.com/?p=989 Anxiety

Struggling with anxiety can be extremely difficult, especially when learning how to manage this mental health condition in the workplace. Anxiety can make it extremely hard to focus and makes it challenging to get everything that you need to get done, done.If you find yourself struggling with anxiety while at work, there are a few […]

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Anxiety

Struggling with anxiety can be extremely difficult, especially when learning how to manage this mental health condition in the workplace. Anxiety can make it extremely hard to focus and makes it challenging to get everything that you need to get done, done.

If you find yourself struggling with anxiety while at work, there are a few things you can do to put yourself in a better, calmer place. Let’s take a look at a few strategies for coping with high levels of anxiety in the workplace.

Take Breaks

There is no harm or shame in getting up from your desk throughout the day and taking a break. Whether you go for a 10 to 15-minute walk, sit in your car and listen to music, or utilize your office gym, getting up and moving can help take your mind off the other things that are bringing you down. Your brain needs oxygen just as much as the rest of your body, and getting your heart rate elevated for even a few minutes can have wonderful effects on your mood. If you already come into the workday with a lot of stress, anything at work that’s remotely stressful can make things worse. Try and get up when you need to.

Slow Your Breathing Down

When struggling with anxiety, it’s common to experience a hard time breathing normally. To catch your breath, you need to focus on slowing your breathing down. In order to do so, you can take deep breaths. Sit up straight in your chair, breathe in deeply for five seconds, and then breathe out. Repeat as needed. This is just one of the many mindful breathing techniques that can help calm you down and clear your mind.

Talk to Someone!

Whether you have a trusted therapist, a BFF, or an office confidante, it’s important to be able to find someone you feel you can confide in. It’s important to do so because if you find yourself struggling, practicing talk therapy can really help. Someone on the outside of the situation may be able to give you a clear perspective and help you figure out ways to get through what you’re going through. Just make sure that the someone you reach out to is someone that you can fully trust.

It’s important for anyone struggling with anxiety or another mental illness to know that they’re not alone. In fact, 350,000,000 people around the world suffer from some form of depression. So many people struggle with some form of anxiety or depression on a daily basis, and you’re probably not even the only person in your office dealing with this condition.

Make sure you can reach out for help and find ways that will help yourself calm down if you are ever in a bad situation at work.

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An Introductory Guide to Discernment Counseling https://paxrenewalcenter.com/an-introductory-guide-to-discernment-counseling/ Mon, 05 Feb 2024 19:02:00 +0000 https://paxrenewalcenter.com/?p=984 Discernment Counseling

If you are going through a trying time with your spouse, consider discernment counseling. This form of couples therapy can help you come to terms with the past, present, and future of your relationship together.What exactly is discernment therapy?This is a type of therapy that helps you and your partner really figure out the problem […]

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Discernment Counseling

If you are going through a trying time with your spouse, consider discernment counseling. This form of couples therapy can help you come to terms with the past, present, and future of your relationship together.

What exactly is discernment therapy?

This is a type of therapy that helps you and your partner really figure out the problem at hand. It differs from marriage counseling in that the therapy services are limited to three to six sessions, compared to a consistent, more long-term schedule. The idea behind this specialized version of therapy is to figure out whether you and your partner would benefit from marriage counseling as a whole and to figure out what your goals are — whether they deal with with rekindling romance, divorce, or child custody.

How will I know if discernment therapy is for me?

Anyone who is thinking about attending marriage counseling will benefit from disconcertment counseling. However, some questions you can ask yourself to see whether it might be right for your situation include:

Are you doubtful that counseling will have a significant impact on your marriage?

Are you ambivalent about the future with your partner?

Are you conflicted about the next step? (i.e., Are you uncertain whether divorce is the right option?)

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, it may be worth heading to disconcertment couples counseling to figure out if your decisions are the right ones for your particular situation.

How does discernment counseling work?

The goal in this type of counseling is to provide a neutral environment for honest communication. The family therapist will be able to help the couple recognize their past actions, help each person achieve acceptance with the decision, and lead the couple to understand exactly what comes next in terms of their relationship. Over the period of a couple weeks, you’ll be able to really gain clarity on your entire situation. Then, you can move onto complete marriage therapy if you wish.

Working with a family therapist can be exceptionally beneficial, no matter the status of your relationship. In fact, a full 93% of patients explain that they had more effective tools for dealing with their problems after attending counseling.

 

If you need help moving forward this quiz will help determine if Discernment Counseling is right for you.

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What You Can Expect From Psychotherapy: The First Sessions https://paxrenewalcenter.com/what-you-can-expect-from-psychotherapy-the-first-sessions/ Mon, 22 Jan 2024 07:35:00 +0000 https://paxrenewalcenter.com/?p=971 What you can expect from psychotherapy

Mental health experts estimate that there are 350,000,000 people around the world affected by some form of depression. For many of those individuals, there are therapy services that can offer some form of help. Whether this is to handle grief or trauma caused by life events, to learn strategies for coping with persistent depressive episodes, […]

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What you can expect from psychotherapy

Mental health experts estimate that there are 350,000,000 people around the world affected by some form of depression. For many of those individuals, there are therapy services that can offer some form of help. Whether this is to handle grief or trauma caused by life events, to learn strategies for coping with persistent depressive episodes, or just to have an individual to vent to, therapists are integral parts of our mental healthcare infrastructure.

Therapy is not just about talking about your problems to an impartial listener; it is also about working toward solutions. This work can involve homework such as tracking your moods, writing your thoughts in a journal, or participating in social activities that caused anxiety in the past. When you visit counselors for depression, you will be encouraged to look at things in a different way or learn to react in new ways to events and people.

Today, many therapy sessions are focused on exploring current thoughts, feelings, and life issues. However, everyone’s journey will be different, and your counselor will work with you to come up with a treatment plan that works for you.

If you’ve decided to start visiting a therapist, then you’ve already made an important step in your recovery. Even though hundreds of millions of people suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, far too many suffer in silence because of the stigma surrounding mental illness.

But because these issues are so rarely discussed, many people have no idea what to expect from their first talking therapy session. When you first get started in therapy, it may be helpful to make a list of things that are bothering you and what issues you would like assistance with.

These can include:

  • Issues in family or relationships.
  • Sudden life events that have caused unusual amounts of stress, depression, or anxiety.
  • Anger, anxiety, irritability, or troubling feelings.
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or others.
  • Major life changes.


In the first few sessions, it is likely that you will do most of the talking. You need to tell the therapist why you are there and what you would like to get out of your time together. This can be achieved by making a short and long-term goal with the therapist at the start of treatment.

It’s also important to mange your own expectations. Therapy can be an emotionally draining experience, and you will need patience to get through it. In addition, you may not notice a difference in your mood or thinking after a few sessions, which is natural for therapy. After some time has passed, check the list and see if you’re closer to reaching your goals. It can be helpful to track how you feel each day and how you begin to cope differently with stressful situations. Reviewing this progress with your therapist can help you both ensure you’re making the progress you deserve.

The battle against depression, anxiety, or stress is never easy, but it will be worth it in the end. If you have any questions about therapy or want to see counselors in your area, don’t hesitate to book for your appointment.

No one should have to battle mental illness alone.

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Does Your Partner Have Depression? These 3 Tips Can Help https://paxrenewalcenter.com/does-your-partner-have-depression-these-3-tips-can-help/ Mon, 08 Jan 2024 07:16:00 +0000 https://paxrenewalcenter.com/?p=965

In the year 2021, about 21 million (or 8.3 percent of) adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. Depression can be a debilitating illness. It can make a person feel hopeless or worthless, and leave them with no energy or interest in doing the things they once enjoyed.As depression forces a […]

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In the year 2021, about 21 million (or 8.3 percent of) adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode. 

Depression can be a debilitating illness. It can make a person feel hopeless or worthless, and leave them with no energy or interest in doing the things they once enjoyed.

As depression forces a person to withdraw from their life and the people they love, it can also cause them guilt and a sense of isolation, which can lead to even more hopelessness.

But the vicious cycle of depression does not only affect the person suffering from the disease, but also the people in their life. If you are married to a person with depression, it can be a real challenge learning how to navigate the murky depths of depression.

Here are mistakes to avoid if the person you love is suffering with depression.

Don’t Blame Them

Depression can be confusing for those who are looking at it from the outside. While one might think that the sudden shirking of household duties and social engagements might have more to do with indifference than a mental illness, it is important that you acknowledge what depression is and the way it effects your partner.

Don’t Blame Yourself

It can be difficult when you feel your partner pulling away from you. You might resent having to put in the extra effort just to maintain a connection, or your own insecurity might make you doubt the strength of your relationship.

But it’s important to remember, just like your partner is responsible for the chemical changes that result in depression, you are not to blame either. While it is important to leave yourself space to register your reactions to their illness, you should not let guilt affect your own mental well-being.

Be Direct, but Loving

It can be tempting to tell your partner that they are slipping into depression, especially if you are able to see it before they do. What you must remember is that your place is to support them and not be their doctor.

Express your concern, but do so in a way that is loving and gentle. And once you do, offer to go with them to therapy the first time. In short, support them.

A partner’s depression can have just as much impact on your own life as it does on theirs, but it is important to remember that they are the one suffering from a disease. You must support them and help them recover.

 

If you or a loved one suffers from depression or looking for a therapist in Lafayette, LA? Whether you suffer from anxiety or have been a victim of a traumatic experience, the therapists at the Pax Renewal Center can help. Call today.

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A Guide to Coping With Traumatic Stress https://paxrenewalcenter.com/a-guide-to-coping-with-traumatic-stress/ Fri, 29 Dec 2023 21:25:02 +0000 https://paxrenewalcenter.com/?p=951

Coping with any degree of personal trauma takes a toll on your physical, spiritual, and mental health. These emotions can be scary, confusing, and overwhelming, which is why so many people rely on individual counseling as a way to learn how to cope. If you have experienced any traumatic situations in the past, then it's […]

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Coping with any degree of personal trauma takes a toll on your physical, spiritual, and mental health. These emotions can be scary, confusing, and overwhelming, which is why so many people rely on individual counseling as a way to learn how to cope. If you have experienced any traumatic situations in the past, then it’s important to give yourself a break. You won’t learn how to cope with traumatic stress overnight.

As you begin the healing process, here are some practices to help cope with personal trauma in your daily life. As always, please consult with a doctor or therapist if you are experiencing severe thoughts of depression, anxiety, and/or suicidal thoughts. Even if you aren’t feeling these extreme emotions, trauma counselors can help.

Learn To Mindfully Recognize Your Emotions

It is important to remember that everyone deals with stress and change differently. Often, victims of trauma don’t even realize how stressed they feel until they reach a crisis point. Learn to nonjudgmentally recognize your own emotional warning signs in the moment. Some common signs and feelings include:

  • Fear
  • Shock
  • Helplessness
  • Anger
  • Shame
  • Guilt
  • Sadness

Experiencing any or all of these feelings is normal after going through a life-changing situation. But deciding how you will respond to these emotions is going to be the most important in the early healing process.

How Can a Therapist Help You?

In the most basic terms: you shouldn’t have to suffer alone. This is where counseling and therapy services can be helpful.

There are plenty of different methods your therapist may use to help you overcome these feelings. They include:

Taking a break from the media

This can be especially true if you are a victim of something that hit the news. Seeing the event replay on the news every day can be triggering, and so staying away from newspapers and the television can help you find peace.

Getting active

Getting up and moving can naturally release endorphins, which are the feel good hormone. Even just a walk around the block can help get your mind off of everything. Plus, you are getting out of the house, and even just a small change of scenery is great for your overall wellbeing. For some people, exercise is even more effective than antidepressants!

Consistent therapy sessions

Setting up a regular schedule with a therapist you trust will go far to ease any stressful feelings. These emotions can come and go in waves, and a professional counselor will be able to teach you coping mechanisms to use on a daily basis. Working with a therapist will ensure your quality of life is not lost during this painful time in your life.

When researchers from Wayne State University in Detroit analyzed data from the National Institute of Mental Health, they discovered that only 50% of people with major depression receive treatment for their illness. You should never be afraid to ask for help.

Looking for a therapist in Lafayette, LA? If you have been a victim of a traumatic experience, do not hesitate to contact the therapists at the Pax Renewal Center today.

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Tis The Season For Stress: 3 Ways To Manage The Onslaught https://paxrenewalcenter.com/tis-the-season-for-stress-3-ways-to-manage-the-onslaught/ Wed, 13 Dec 2023 19:24:17 +0000 https://paxrenewalcenter.com/?p=941

Though the holidays can be a time of joy and celebration, they can also (unfortunately) be exceedingly stressful and exhausting. With so much to think about and stay on top of -- such as hosting parties, travel plans, gift shopping, and tolerating your miserable relatives --, it can be easy to get lost among it […]

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Though the holidays can be a time of joy and celebration, they can also (unfortunately) be exceedingly stressful and exhausting. With so much to think about and stay on top of — such as hosting parties, travel plans, gift shopping, and tolerating your miserable relatives –, it can be easy to get lost among it all and forget what this time of the year is truly about.

If you frequently suffer from holiday blues, you don’t have to just sit back and take it this year. Though such stress can be overwhelming, it is also predictable — this means that you (and your therapist) can create a plan on how you’ll deal with it all. Here are a few ways to get started.

Set your priorities

Consider which traditions are the most important to you, and have the most positive impact on your life. By eliminating superfluous activities that do nothing but contribute to your seasonal anxiety, you’ll find every day a little bit easier to handle.

Pay attention to your holiday eating

The saying “look good, feel good” has never been more true, and goes both ways. Food can be a cause of guilt for many people, and both Thanksgiving and Christmas is chock full of it. By considering what you put into your body (and perhaps limiting how much you consume), you may find yourself looking better, feeling better, and being better.

Change your expectations

Setting expectations that you know won’t be met is a surefire path to disappointment. While this is the most difficult aspect of holiday stress prep, if mastered, it can have a profound effect on your entire life — when you create realistic expectations, you’ll find yourself a happier person.

If you’re one of the 350 million people worldwide who already suffer from some form of depression, the holidays can feel like the proverbial straw, just ready to break the camel’s back. However, you aren’t powerless in this fight: with the assistance of therapy and a clear plan, you’ll see the holiday season in a new light. And don’t be afraid to shop around for therapists; their job is to help you better understand yourself and your anxiety — if the first three therapists didn’t feel like the right fit, keep looking! And never give up.

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Maintaining Healthy Boundaries in Relationships https://paxrenewalcenter.com/maintaining-healthy-boundaries-relationships/ Mon, 11 Sep 2023 22:41:42 +0000 https://paxrenewalcenter.com/?p=886 PAX Renewal Center Blog, PAX Renewal Center, Maintaining Healthy Boundaries in Relationships, Maintaining Healthy Boundaries, Boundaries, Relationships, Healthy Boundaries

I hear the word “boundaries” a lot these days. While I am pleased to hear “therapy talk” in day-to-day conversations, I feel like the importance of what boundaries actually are has been watered down a bit. Setting boundaries isn’t about locking people out of our lives. Rather, it’s about protecting yourself so you may form […]

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PAX Renewal Center Blog, PAX Renewal Center, Maintaining Healthy Boundaries in Relationships, Maintaining Healthy Boundaries, Boundaries, Relationships, Healthy Boundaries

I hear the word “boundaries” a lot these days.

While I am pleased to hear “therapy talk” in day-to-day conversations, I feel like the importance of what boundaries actually are has been watered down a bit. Setting boundaries isn’t about locking people out of our lives. Rather, it’s about protecting yourself so you may form meaningful connections with others, yourself, and God. In Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend, we’re reminded that even Jesus exhibited healthy boundaries – he gracefully declined when necessary but was always ready to serve when called upon.

The Fluidity of Boundaries

One size does not fit all when it comes to boundaries – they are as unique as our individual lives and journeys. Boundaries are fluid, adapting to the shifting contexts of our lives. What’s appropriate and healthy at work might differ from what’s appropriate and healthy at home. At the heart of it, boundaries are about creating a safe space and a personal threshold that protects us without shutting others out.

Defining Boundaries

I want to demystify boundaries a bit. Think of them as gates rather than walls. They’re not meant to barricade us from people and life’s experiences but to provide a framework for healthy interactions. A very simple example is setting a physical boundary. Picture someone encroaching on your personal space – stepping back isn’t about building walls, but rather about asserting your comfort zone and protecting your peace

Assertiveness and Boundaries

Healthy boundaries thrive on assertiveness, not demands. I’m going to say that again: healthy boundaries thrive on assertiveness, not demands. We should always communicate our needs, feelings, and limits openly and respectfully. Saying “no” becomes an act of preserving our integrity rather than yielding to things we’re uncomfortable with. And remember, respect is a two-way street. Just as we assert our safe spaces, we must also honor others’ boundaries.

The Art of Setting Boundaries

Referring again to Drs. Cloud and Townsend, they share invaluable insights on how to effectively set boundaries in. their book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No.

  • Clarity Is Key: Be clear within yourself about what’s appropriate and respectful.
  • Directness Matters: Let your “yes” be a genuine affirmation and your “no” an honest refusal.
  • Accept the discomfort. Setting boundaries can feel uncomfortable, but with time, you will realize the discomfort is worth it when you are protecting your peace.

Takeaways

As you navigate the complex landscape of adult relationships, remember that healthy boundaries are the bridges to deeper connections, not the barriers to isolation. Embracing boundaries with grace and assertiveness enables you to foster relationships built on mutual respect, understanding, and growth.



To learn more about Pax Renewal Center, or to schedule an appointment with one of our team members, visit paxrenewalcenter.com or call us at 337-993-1960

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Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month https://paxrenewalcenter.com/mens-mental-health-awareness-month/ Thu, 29 Jun 2023 19:52:46 +0000 https://paxrenewalcenter.com/?p=837 Men's Mental Health Awareness Month, Men's Mental Health Awareness, Men's Mental Health, Mental Health Awareness, Mental Health, PAX Renewal Center Blog, Stress and Anxiety, Stress, Anxiety, PAX Renewal Center, Dan Jurek

With June being Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month I feel now is the opportune time to discuss the importance of de-stigmatizing men’s mental healthcare.  Why now? Over the last few years, I’ve noticed an influx of men outwardly struggling with their mental health but not seeking mental health treatment, even though mental health care is […]

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Men's Mental Health Awareness Month, Men's Mental Health Awareness, Men's Mental Health, Mental Health Awareness, Mental Health, PAX Renewal Center Blog, Stress and Anxiety, Stress, Anxiety, PAX Renewal Center, Dan Jurek

With June being Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month I feel now is the opportune time to discuss the importance of de-stigmatizing men’s mental healthcare. 

Why now?

Over the last few years, I’ve noticed an influx of men outwardly struggling with their mental health but not seeking mental health treatment, even though mental health care is at an all-time high. This behavior is likely caused by the deeply rooted societal belief that men should “just deal with it” or “just be a man” and not bring awareness to the issues they are struggling with. However, this practice of bottling up strong feelings and emotions leads to disastrous effects not only in their own lives but also in the lives of those around them. 

Mental health symptoms: men vs. women 

Mental health symptoms often appear differently in men than women. These are the most common symptoms I see my male patients struggling with: 

  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Short temperament
  • Low energy levels
  • Increased appetite
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Disinterest in hobbies or activities
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Increased worry and stress
  • Persistent hopelessness
  • Impulsive behaviors
  • Drug and alcohol misuse

These symptoms will usually coexist with physical symptoms of high blood pressure, headaches, and stomach issues. 

Men are expected to silently suffer 

As I said earlier, men are taught from an early age to “just deal with it” rather than voice that they are struggling. Mental health disorders are equally common in men and women, but men are less likely to report them and seek out treatment. Because they are less likely to seek treatment, men are statistically more likely to not only successfully end their own lives, but choose more violent forms of suicide to ensure they follow through. Unfortunately, it is uncommon for men to show warning signs of wanting to harm themselves – they are more likely to say things like “I feel like giving up” or “there is nothing left for me anymore,” leaving them feeling like suicide is their only option. 

Overlooking men’s trauma

Since men are taught to silently suffer, their trauma often gets overlooked. Whether it be childhood trauma, adult trauma, or relationship trauma, men are prone to brushing it under the rug or undermining their feelings towards it. Trauma can dramatically alter someone’s life, and leaving it untreated and ignored can have serious implications for that person later in their life. As of right now, the only trauma that is really addressed in men’s mental health is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in veterans, and there is still a rather large stigma surrounding PTSD care.  

Takeaways

I cannot emphasize this enough: We must give men a platform and a safe place for them to treat their mental health or no progress will be made in men’s mental healthcare. Prioritizing a safe space for them to share their feelings and struggles will allow them to realize two things: they are not weak for sharing their struggles, and they are not alone in their struggles. 

If you know of a man struggling in your life right now, I encourage you to share with him the importance of seeking help, whether it be with a mental health professional or another trusted person like a clergy member or priest. Asking for help is the first and most important step. You can make a difference this Men’s Mental Health Awareness Month.


To learn more about Pax Renewal Center, or to schedule an appointment with one of our team members, visit paxrenewalcenter.com or call us at 337-993-1960

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