Stress at School<br />….and how to survive it!<br />
Online Counselor<br />
It’s more common than you think.1 in 4 Americans will have a mental health problem this year*<br />Source: National Instit...
Seeing is believing…<br />
“Everything’s fine…”<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uriZZ3Slz74<br />
+<br />STRESS<br />ANXIETY<br />+<br />DEPRESSION<br />
Symptoms of stress<br />+<br /><ul><li>Irritable
Easily startled or surprised
Jumpy, tense, nervous
Quick to lose temper
Impatient with interruptions and delays</li></li></ul><li>+<br />A certain degree of stress is natural…<br />
Self-Assessment Online<br />http://www.nationalstressclinic.com/free-test-depression-stress-anxiety/<br />
+<br />STRESS<br />ANXIETY<br />+<br />DEPRESSION<br />
Symptoms of Anxiety<br />Physical, mental, & emotional<br />Apprehension<br />Dread<br />Trouble sleeping<br />Heart palpi...
+<br />STRESS<br />ANXIETY<br />+<br />DEPRESSION<br />
Depression <br />+<br />Sad, empty, hopeless<br />Irritable<br />Weight gain or loss<br />Insomnia<br />Loss of energy<br ...
Sadness or depression?<br />+<br />
+<br />STRESS<br />ANXIETY<br />+<br />DEPRESSION<br />
Improving your mental health<br />
Brain Training<br />
10<br />Talk to someone!<br />Only a mental health professional can provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.<br />
A therapist can help…<br />
Online therapy is a discrete option<br />
9<br />Go for a "Runner's High"<br />Exercise is a powerful way to improve your mental health.<br />
+<br />Running stimulates neurotransmitters in your brain to produce serotonin.<br />
8<br />Get your Zzzzzzzzzs<br />Try getting to bed a little earlier…<br />
+<br />Aim for 7 – 8 hours of sleep a night.<br />
If you struggle with insomnia:<br />Cut back on caffeine – including colas, Red Bull, chocolate<br />Avoid eating late at ...
7<br />Eat a healthy diet<br />Your diet can have a strong impact on your mood. <br />
Brain Food<br />
Brain Food<br />Five portions of fruits or vegetables <br />Fish like salmon and mackerel for Omega 3<br />Focus on ‘whole...
6<br />Meditation<br />Meditation has been proven to reduce stress.<br />
+<br />Meditation: Not just for hippies<br />
+<br />
+<br />+<br />Find your own way to meditate<br />Go to a quiet place to reflect<br />Take a long walk in a natural setting...
5<br />Positive Attitude<br />Try to see the positive side of every situation.<br />
Smile and the world smiles at you<br />
Think positive!<br />+<br />
4<br />Get Organized<br />Take control of your time and your life.<br />
+<br />Time flies<br />
3<br />Spend time with your friends<br />Friends play an important role in your mental health!<br />
Friends are good for longevity<br />
2<br />Look around you<br />Think about what gets you down…  Can you eliminate negative influences in your life?<br />
Hollywood is<br />
1<br />Reconsider your goals<br />What are you striving for?  Will it make you happy?<br />
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Stress, Anxiety & Depression: How to Diagnose the Symptoms and Improve Your Mental Health

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This presentation describes the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression and suggests the top 10 ways of proactively improving your mental health.

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  • Just to give you a little bit of background about me, I have a PhD in Psychology and I&apos;ve been practicing for X years. Etc. Etc.One of the things that&apos;s a little different about me is that I give therapy online using web video with a company called National Stress Clinic.
  • The trouble is, we often neglect our mental health because we can&apos;t see it. When you break an arm or leg playing football, it&apos;s obvious that something is wrong, so you go to the doctor and have it set in a cast.
  • But mental health problems can be harder to detect. And we&apos;ve had years of practice saying that &quot;Everything&apos;s fine.&quot;
  • So what I&apos;d like to do today is talk a little bit about the three mental health problems that are most common in high school students and how to diagnose them: Stress, Anxiety and Depression. We&apos;ll start with stress.Unlike a broken leg, stress isn&apos;t immediately visible on the body. However, that doesn&apos;t mean that it doesn&apos;t affect us physically as well as mentally. The mind and the body are very much connected when it comes to stress.
  • When you feel that circumstances are spiraling out of control over a prolonged period of time, your body&apos;s endocrine system responds by releasing corticosteroids. If this continues for a significant period of time, it can have a serious effect on both physical and your mental health.
  • People suffering from stress often find themselves easily irritated, upset or surprised. They feel jumpy, tense, or nervous. They can lose their temper easily and they sometimes find it hard to relax or to put up with interruptions or delays. It&apos;s important to remember that a moderate amount of stress can be healthy and natural. If we never felt stressed, we might never leave the couch and we&apos;d end up looking like this: (next slide)
  • We&apos;d be so relaxed we would never accomplish anything besides catching up on American Idol. If you have an exam, or a big game, or you&apos;ve just had an argument with your parents, it&apos;s natural to feel some degree of stress. However, chronic stress is when it never seems to go away. The question is how much stress is too much and that can be difficult to diagnose. If you feel that you may be suffering from chronic stress, the best thing to do is either speak to {SCHOOL COUNSELOR}, your school counselor, or take an online diagnostic assessment on the National Stress Clinic website.
  • The assessment takes around 5-10 minutes to complete and it&apos;s not a substitute for a formal diagnosis from a professional counselor, but it can help you to start thinking about your mental health and your level of stress. It looks like this. The best thing to do is not think too hard about the answers. Try to answer instinctively without over-analyzing your responses. That will help you to get the most accurate results.The website address is in your handout.
  • Another mental health problem that affects a large number of high school students is anxiety.People who suffer from anxiety often feel uneasy, fearful, or worried. Recent surveys have found that as many as 18% of Americans have an anxiety disorder.  
  • Emotional signs of anxiety include feelings of apprehension or dread, trouble concentrating, feeling tense or jumpy, anticipating the worst, irritability, restlessness, watching for signs of danger, and, feeling like your mind&apos;s gone blank. If you have anxiety problems you might also experience trouble sleeping, nightmares and intense fears, such as the fear of dying.However, like stress, anxiety is not just a mental state. There are many physical effects of anxiety. They can include heart palpitations, muscle weakness or tension, fatigue, nausea, chest pain, shortness of breath, stomach aches, or headaches. Often your blood pressure and heart rate are increased, you find yourself sweating more than usual, and your immune and digestive system functions can be inhibited. External signs of anxiety may include pale skin, sweating, trembling, and pupillary dilation. Panic attacks can also be a sign of anxiety. Although panic attacks are not experienced by every person who has anxiety, they are a common symptom. Panic attacks usually come without warning, and although the fear that brings them on may be irrational, it feels very real to the person having the attack. Someone having a panic attack will often feel as if he or she is about to pass out.
  • Social anxiety is anxiety about social situations, interactions with other people, or being evaluated or scrutinized by other people. People vary in how often they experience social anxiety and in which kinds of situations. In some cases, it can be so debilitating that those suffering from it have trouble leaving the house. Another type of anxiety disorder is called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or (OCD). Around 7 million Americans suffer from this disorder, so it&apos;s a less common form of anxiety. However, it is more well-known, possibly because Hollywood has given us so many memorable fictional characters with OCD, …….(next slide)
  • The person suffering from OCD uses ritualistic and repeated behaviors to get rid of their obsessive thoughts and anxieties.
  • The third mental health problem I wanted to talk to you about today is depression. Depression is a state of low mood that can impact a person’s thoughts, feelings, behaviour and physical well-being.
  • Depressed people may feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, or restless. Like stress and anxiety, depression manifests itself in both mental and physical ways. When you&apos;re depressed, you may lose interest in activities that you used to enjoy. You may have difficulty concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions. People who are depressed may experience dramatic weight gain or loss and they may suffer from insomnia, excessive sleeping, or changes in sleep patterns. General fatigue, loss of energy, and aches or pains are common in depressed people. Over time, depression can impact the normal functioning of your immune system and digestive system.
  • Like with stress and anxiety, it can be difficult to distinguish between a normal level of sadness in response to a specific event and what can be called clinical depression. Only a licensed mental health professional like a psychologist or clinical social worker can accurately diagnose depression. Again, if you would like to begin by taking an online assessment first, you can do that on the National Stress Clinic website. The assessment is confidential unless you choose to share it with a counselor.In general though, you can tell clinical depression from sadness by looking at the level of severity and the duration of the symptoms. So if the sadness persists for an extended period of time and seems unusually severe, you may be experiencing depression.
  • So far, we&apos;ve talked about stress, anxiety and depression. There are many other less common mental ailments and you may wish to read about some of these on our website. Today though, I&apos;d like to talk to you a bit about some of the ways you can actually improve your mental health.
  • Think of it as &apos;Training for the Brain&apos;. I&apos;m going to give you my top 10 ways to proactively improve your mental health.
  • Beginning with the most obvious, Number 10 is to seek out the help you need early on. If you feel that you may be suffering from chronic stress, anxiety or depression, reach out to your parents, your teacher, your guidance counselor or a licensed mental health professional. Only a professional can provide an accurate diagnosis and a treatment plan to get you back on the road to feeling like yourself again.
  • A therapist is someone you can speak to in complete confidence about anything that&apos;s troubling you. Some people find that just a few hours of therapy can help them to see their circumstances in a new light. Others choose to have regular therapy sessions over the course of several months or even years, in cases of chronic depression. The most important thing is that you find a therapist you trust and discuss your goals at the outset, so that you can track your progress over time.
  • If you&apos;re concerned about people finding out you&apos;re speaking to a counselor, you may want to consider an online counselor. You would be able to see and hear each other in real time, right from the comfort and privacy of your own room, via web video. And, there&apos;s no need to drive or get your parents to drive you to the therapist&apos;s office.
  • I know I said this section was about brain training, but once again few people realize the extent of the interconnectedness between our minds and our bodies. Now how many of you here today participate in one of the school’s sports teams? (raise hands) That’s fantastic!Researchers have known about the link between exercise and brain function for a long time. Even a small amount of daily exercise can give you increased levels of concentration, learning ability, abstract reasoning, and memory.But recent studies have shown more clearly the impact of exercise on your mood, for both men and women.
  • One study by Dr Paffenberg and his colleagues showed that men engaged in high levels of physical activity can lower their risk of depression by 20%. A similar study on women showed that women who don&apos;t do much exercise are twice as likely to develop depression over the course of an 8 year period. So exercise matters for both genders, but appears to be especially important for women.Exercise can help us to prevent depression, but what&apos;s really interesting is that it also appears to help treat depression. One recent study found that even just 30 minutes of exercise a day can be as effective as taking medication, for mild to moderate cases of depression.Exercise seems to have a similar effect as antidepressants. Aerobic exercise stimulates neurotransmitters in our brains to produce serotonin, which is an endorphin that makes us feel good - - the so-called &quot;Runners&apos; High.&quot;And exercise, unlike antidepressants, has no negative side effects.If you&apos;d like to have a look at any of these studies in more detail, they are available on our website.
  • A recent study conducted in New York on 15,500 teenagers has shown evidence that going to bed earlier may have an impact on mental health and mood.In this study, those who went to bed after midnight were 24% more likely to have depression than those who went to bed before 10:00 pm.
  • The total number of hours you sleep also makes a difference. In this study, those who slept fewer than five hours a night had a 71% higher risk of depression than those who slept eight hours.So, try recording Leno or Letterman or whatever you&apos;re watching and get some sleep instead.
  • If you have trouble getting to sleep, you might want to try- Cutting back on your caffeine intake. This obviously includes coffee, but also sodas, energy drinks like Red Bull and chocolate. - Avoid eating late at night. Eating right before bed throws off your body’s internal clock. Also, the digestion process requires energy and this energy creates body heat which can make it harder to get to sleep.- A hot bath can also do the trick. This is because the evaporation of the water from your body lowers your body temperature and sends a signal to your brain that it&apos;s time for bed.
  • Tip number 6 is about meditation - it&apos;s no longer just for hippies.
  • Meditation has now entered the mainstream of health care as a method of stress and pain reduction. The reason for this is that the physical effects of meditation on the brain can actually be measured using state-of-the-art imaging techniques, such as the MRI scan.
  • Tip number 6 is about meditation - it&apos;s no longer just for hippies. Meditation has now entered the mainstream of health care as a method of stress and pain reduction. The reason for this is that the physical effects of meditation on the brain can actually be measured using state-of-the-art imaging techniques, such as the MRI scan.
  • Researchers at Harvard University in conjunction with several Boston hospitals, have reported that meditation induces a host of biochemical and physical changes in the body collectively referred to as the &quot;relaxation response.&quot; The relaxation response can reduce your propensity for stress through changes in your metabolism, heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and brain chemistry.Meditation has also been shown to help those suffering from social anxiety. Researchers at Stanford University did a two-month study on students suffering from social anxiety and found that meditation helped them to become less anxious and to think about themselves more positively.
  • There are many different ways to meditate. Your meditation doesn&apos;t need to involve sitting in strange positions or chanting. It can be as simple as finding a quiet place to reflect, or taking a walk in a natural setting, or trying a yoga class. Many meditations involve focusing on the breath in order to quiet the mind. If you&apos;re interested in learning more about meditation, there are resources available on the National Stress Clinic website.
  • Having a positive attitude in life is critical for your mental health. Interestingly, it also helps you live longer! There have been a number of studies demonstrating a link between attitude and longevity, or how long you live.
  • In one of these studies, participants who reported positive attitudes about ageing lived, on average, 7.5 years longer than those reporting more negative, pessimistic views about ageing.In another study, men who consistently reported they felt hostile or suspicious had similar rates of heart disease as those who are chronic smokers. This is an amazing finding - having a negative attitude is as bad for you as smoking!
  • The way to understand these studies is by looking at the body&apos;s physical response to stress. When you perceive an event as challenging or negative in some way, this activates the adrenal system, stimulating the production of cortisol, which is a major stress hormone.So tip number 5 is about working to change your perceptions of the world. Next time things don&apos;t go your way, try to see the glass as half-full, rather than half empty - - it&apos;s good for your health.
  • Tip number 4 is about taking control of your time. Juggling school with your extracurricular activities and spending time with your friends can be daunting. But if you don&apos;t take control of your schedule, you are creating unnecessary stress for yourself, which could turn into anxiety around the time of your final exams.
  • - Try setting aside Sunday evening to plan out your week.- Use a diary or the calendar in your phone to keep track of all important events and exams, so that they don&apos;t creep up on you.- Do you have an area set aside at home where you can do your work free from clutter and distractions? Setting aside an area for your work can really help your focus, concentration and memory, making it easier for you to get your work done faster and eliminate school-related stress from your life.
  • The data on the role of friendship in mental health is fascinating. We all know that it&apos;s fun to hang out with our friends, but did you know that it&apos;s also good for your physical and mental health?How many of you here are on Facebook? (raise hands) That’s great! Facebook can be a wonderful way to connect with people, as long as you are making an effort to see your friends in real life as well as online.
  • The research shows that friends are not just essential for our mental health, they also help us to live longer!Two relevant studies have been done on this topic:One in Sweden: 17,400 men and women, over the course of 6 years – those with fewest social relationships had 50% higher mortality rateOne in the US: 5,000 men and women, over the course of 17 years – those who described themselves as &quot;least socially integrated&quot; were twice as likely to die during the course of the study.So do yourself a favor and get out there and spend time with your friends.
  • Tip number 2 is all about developing an awareness of any other factors influencing your mood, which may be unique to you.
  • Only you will know… :- if you have friends who tend to undermine you rather than support you- or if the music you&apos;re listening to is depressing you or making you angry- or if the television shows you&apos;re watching are making you feel like you have to conform to the impossible standards of Hollywood So just take a moment to reflect about any other influences in your life that may be negatively affecting your mood or your self-esteem.
  • Finally, My Number 1 Tip for proactively working to improve your mental health is to sit down and think about what your goals are and if they are really going to result in happiness.
  • Most of us, if we&apos;re honest, spend most of our time chasing ‘low satisfaction’ material goods and other status items. The problem with this is that you end up on what&apos;s called the &quot;Hedonic Treadmill&quot; because the search never stops. You will always feel as though you ‘need’ more, because there will always be someone with a better, faster, more expensive version of whatever it is you&apos;re coveting.
  • The idea that money does not buy happiness may have become a cliché, but that does not make it any less true. In fact, the research shows that people at the very top of the income range are actually less happy than those who simply have enough. These next few years are critical for you as you all decide what you want to do professionally and how you want to live your lives after graduation. That&apos;s why I believe it&apos;s critically important that you decide for yourself how you will measure your success.
  • I would be happy to answer any questions that you might have!
  • Stress, Anxiety & Depression: How to Diagnose the Symptoms and Improve Your Mental Health

    1. 1. Stress at School<br />….and how to survive it!<br />
    2. 2.
    3. 3. Online Counselor<br />
    4. 4. It’s more common than you think.1 in 4 Americans will have a mental health problem this year*<br />Source: National Institute of Health<br />
    5. 5. Seeing is believing…<br />
    6. 6. “Everything’s fine…”<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uriZZ3Slz74<br />
    7. 7. +<br />STRESS<br />ANXIETY<br />+<br />DEPRESSION<br />
    8. 8.
    9. 9. Symptoms of stress<br />+<br /><ul><li>Irritable
    10. 10. Easily startled or surprised
    11. 11. Jumpy, tense, nervous
    12. 12. Quick to lose temper
    13. 13. Impatient with interruptions and delays</li></li></ul><li>+<br />A certain degree of stress is natural…<br />
    14. 14. Self-Assessment Online<br />http://www.nationalstressclinic.com/free-test-depression-stress-anxiety/<br />
    15. 15. +<br />STRESS<br />ANXIETY<br />+<br />DEPRESSION<br />
    16. 16. Symptoms of Anxiety<br />Physical, mental, & emotional<br />Apprehension<br />Dread<br />Trouble sleeping<br />Heart palpitations<br />Stomach aches<br />Headaches <br />Panic attacks<br />
    17. 17.
    18. 18.
    19. 19. +<br />STRESS<br />ANXIETY<br />+<br />DEPRESSION<br />
    20. 20. Depression <br />+<br />Sad, empty, hopeless<br />Irritable<br />Weight gain or loss<br />Insomnia<br />Loss of energy<br />Digestive problems<br />Immune system<br />
    21. 21. Sadness or depression?<br />+<br />
    22. 22. +<br />STRESS<br />ANXIETY<br />+<br />DEPRESSION<br />
    23. 23. Improving your mental health<br />
    24. 24. Brain Training<br />
    25. 25. 10<br />Talk to someone!<br />Only a mental health professional can provide an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.<br />
    26. 26. A therapist can help…<br />
    27. 27. Online therapy is a discrete option<br />
    28. 28. 9<br />Go for a "Runner's High"<br />Exercise is a powerful way to improve your mental health.<br />
    29. 29.
    30. 30. +<br />Running stimulates neurotransmitters in your brain to produce serotonin.<br />
    31. 31. 8<br />Get your Zzzzzzzzzs<br />Try getting to bed a little earlier…<br />
    32. 32. +<br />Aim for 7 – 8 hours of sleep a night.<br />
    33. 33. If you struggle with insomnia:<br />Cut back on caffeine – including colas, Red Bull, chocolate<br />Avoid eating late at night<br />Try a hot bath before bed<br />
    34. 34. 7<br />Eat a healthy diet<br />Your diet can have a strong impact on your mood. <br />
    35. 35.
    36. 36. Brain Food<br />
    37. 37. Brain Food<br />Five portions of fruits or vegetables <br />Fish like salmon and mackerel for Omega 3<br />Focus on ‘whole foods’ in their natural form<br />Aim for complex carbohydrates, like oats, rye, and whole wheat<br />8 glasses of water each day<br />Look for ‘good fats’, like olives, avocados, nuts<br />Yogurt is a good source of probiotics<br />Green tea is higher in antioxidants than coffee<br />Aim for a rainbow of colors on your plate<br />
    38. 38. 6<br />Meditation<br />Meditation has been proven to reduce stress.<br />
    39. 39. +<br />Meditation: Not just for hippies<br />
    40. 40.
    41. 41. +<br />
    42. 42. +<br />+<br />Find your own way to meditate<br />Go to a quiet place to reflect<br />Take a long walk in a natural setting<br />Focus on your breath<br />
    43. 43. 5<br />Positive Attitude<br />Try to see the positive side of every situation.<br />
    44. 44. Smile and the world smiles at you<br />
    45. 45. Think positive!<br />+<br />
    46. 46. 4<br />Get Organized<br />Take control of your time and your life.<br />
    47. 47. +<br />Time flies<br />
    48. 48. 3<br />Spend time with your friends<br />Friends play an important role in your mental health!<br />
    49. 49. Friends are good for longevity<br />
    50. 50. 2<br />Look around you<br />Think about what gets you down… Can you eliminate negative influences in your life?<br />
    51. 51. Hollywood is<br />
    52. 52. 1<br />Reconsider your goals<br />What are you striving for? Will it make you happy?<br />
    53. 53.
    54. 54. The data shows no correlation between money and happiness.<br />
    55. 55.
    56. 56. Any Questions?<br />National Stress Clinic was established to expand access to mental health care across the U.S.We offer counseling online, via web video.Visit us at: www.nationalstressclinic.com<br />

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