Friday, August 30, 2013

Susie Story: Filling the Depression Void

Are you depressed, anxious or angry? Are you trying over and over again to fill it will superficial things? Let me tell you a typical story.

Susie was depressed and anxious about her future. She was also uncomfortable with feeling this way. To mask her feelings she would eat chocolate and ice cream. In the moment this made her feel ok and made her not think about her stress, but soon she would feel guilty because she wants to be thin and this is not helping her goal. So feeling depressed again about the poor decision she just made, she decided to go shopping. She bought a few items that she felt good about and again felt ok. Hours later the anxiety and depression came back. It is now the evening and she decides that she wants a break from her emotions and wants to just relax. Susie then enjoys several glasses of wine. Wine of course is a depressant and caused a hang over for her. The next day she woke up feeling even worse.

At this point Susie is feeling discouraged and down. She is starting to lose motivation because she feels like she has no control over her emotions. Susie spends the day doing nothing then feels guilty about how little she accomplished. The next day Susie feels even worse but realizes she needs to pump herself up because she works on Monday. So Susie gets the ice cream out. On the cycle goals.

Many of us follow this same cycle! It's depression, smothering and did I mention it makes you feel like crap.

Do this instead:

1. Pray or journal about your stress.
This can help you identify your stress and even possibility come up with a solution.

2. Change your thoughts about your stress.
Is it really the end of the world? Do you have other good things to focus on. Challenge your thinking!

3. Talk to someone.
Sometimes emotions are so strong that you cannot see clearly enough to change your thoughts to something more healthy. Find a healthy person to talk about your stress with. Be open to changing your perspective.

4. Take action to make your life better.
Don't just sit around feeling bad about your situation. Do something to make it better. No matter how bad a situation is, there is always something you can do to improve it.

5. Do things that line up with your values.
Put positive things into your life so you have things to feel good about. These positive things can distract you from your emotions or help you to realize your situation isn't as bad as you thought.

Moral of the story: Don't cover your emotions up. Do something about them.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Social and Self Help Adult Checklist

This list is meant to be used as a check list to help people identify areas needed for adult independence.


  • Pick out socially appropriate clothes
  • Age appropriate interests
  • Shows up places on time / reliable
  • Understands social consequences of being a poor friend
  • Can define and recognize good and bad friends
  • Can set personal boundaries
  • Has refusal skills to peer pressure
  • Uses good listening skills
  • Able to have a full conversation back and forth
  • Displays social flexibility 
  • Recognize safe and unsafe places/people
  • Able to read people's non verbal cues
  • Understanding of appropriate behavior in certain environments (church vs bar scene)
  • Has appropriate conflict resolution skills
  • Can take ownership in actions good or bad
  • Has an appropriate self esteem
  • Understands when to give advice and when it will not be received well
  • Can recognize the line between being too needy and too distant as a friend

Self Help

  • Brush teeth
  • Comb Hair
  • Shower (all steps included in showering)
  • Toilet needs 
  • Pick out weather appropriate clothes
  • Able to drive or navigate bus system 
  • If able to drive, have understanding of what to do if in a car accident or if broken down, how to get gas, how to tell if something is wrong with the car and insurance coverage.
  • Able to cook basic meals
  • Able to go grocery shopping
  • Able to manage money and budget
  • Able to pay bills on time
  • Able to treat minor aches and pains
  • Able to force self to do things when not in the mood
  • Able to prioritize responsible choices vs wants
  • Can set appropriate personal goals for self
  • Time management skills
  • Understanding of appropriate work behavior
  • Has appropriate emotional management skills
  • Understanding of what is against the law
  • Keeps space mold free and excessive clutter free
  • Is able to identify what to throw away and what to keep
  • Understands how long food can be kept before it is unsafe

If you or some one you love struggle with some of the above listed items contact a therapist. These items can all be taught. Each of them are important for fully functioning in society. 

New CEU now ready!!

  Objectives:  Participants will gain an understanding of common comorbid diagnoses associated with Autism (ADHD, Depression, and ODD).  Par...