7 Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Woman pouring a drink in the kitchen

Many people drink socially and feel that their drinking habits are normal and healthy. There are other individuals who acknowledge that they are addicted to alcohol.

But in between these two categories is a subset of social drinkers who are secretly worried that their drinking behaviors may indicate alcohol abuse. These people may not share their concerns with family, friends, or significant others, but in the back of their minds, they are anxious that their drinking is out of hand.

If you’re always wondering what exactly distinguishes social drinking from alcohol abuse, or if you worry about the drinking of a loved one, these seven points may help you figure out whether your drinking is something you may want to cut back on.

Continue reading 7 Signs of Alcohol Abuse

Fear of Change: Why Life Adjustments are Difficult for You

Woman in subway watching fast train go by

The fear of change is one of the most common fears that people face. I see it frequently among my therapy clients, and just as frequently among friends.

Change is difficult for everyone; there are few people that don’t feel somewhat anxious at the prospect of a major upheaval in their lives. The problem comes when fear of change keeps people paralyzed in situations that are not healthy or fulfilling, or when their fear of change isn’t confined to significant changes, but encompasses relatively minor, daily changes in routine.

Continue reading Fear of Change: Why Life Adjustments are Difficult for You

How a Healthy Morning Routine Can Benefit Your Mental Health

Woman smiling on street with coffee and bagel

I’ve never understood the people who are able to set one alarm for the morning and actually wake up at that designated time. I didn’t count, but I think I set 15 alarms this morning all in 5 to 10 minute increments. Once I finally got out of bed, I threw on clothes, didn’t eat breakfast and ran out the door — only to be angry at myself, and still not feel well rested. On the way to where I needed to be, I asked myself, “WHY AM I LIKE THIS!?”

I set out to figure out if I’m alone in this mayhem by asking some of my friends about their morning routines (or, lack thereof).

Continue reading How a Healthy Morning Routine Can Benefit Your Mental Health

6 Traits of Highly Toxic People

Man with hooded sweatshirt in a mask

Everyone knows people who are very difficult to deal with, but when does “difficult” cross into “toxic”? While toxic is not an official diagnosis, there are some individuals that cause endless interpersonal conflict, and tend to make others feel bad about themselves on a regular basis.

Some individuals with Narcissistic, Histrionic, or Borderline Personality Disorder can fit these descriptions, but just having one of those disorders doesn’t necessarily mean that someone acts “toxic” to everyone or to anyone. Do you recognize anyone you know in the following descriptions of habits of toxic people?

Continue reading 6 Traits of Highly Toxic People

The Unexpectedly Positive Attributes of Anxiety

Woman in rainbow sweater playing with her multi-colored hair

We all get anxious sometimes: first-date butterflies, taking a test worth 33% of our final grade, or driving away from home only to wonder if we really turned off the stove. Most of the time, these everyday worries pass.

But if you have an anxiety disorder, daily worries can take over your life. From work performance to social interactions and everything in between, an anxiety disorder can leave you feeling nervous, fearful, agitated, and constantly on edge. Luckily, therapists can help those who suffer from anxiety disorders learn to cope with symptoms, and address habits caused by anxiety.

Understanding these habits is the first step toward living happily and healthily with an anxiety disorder. And the news isn’t all bad: Many of the habits people with anxiety express can actually be good qualities if channeled in the right way. Here are some common habits of people with anxiety, and how you can find your secret strengths inside of these behaviors.

Continue reading The Unexpectedly Positive Attributes of Anxiety

7 Secrets of Highly Resilient People

Woman on rocks standing proud

Unfortunate situations are often called setbacks for a good reason: they set you back from your carefully planned life trajectory. For many of us, losing a pet, failing on a work project, or experiencing a harsh rejection can feel like the end of the world.

For some lucky people, these problems don’t seem permanent. Sure, they might feel sad, and yes, even a little disappointment. But they’re resilient: able to bounce back quickly, even from the most serious setbacks. This ability isn’t magic — it’s resiliency, and you can experience it too. Cultivate this life-changing trait by practicing these seven simple habits.

Continue reading 7 Secrets of Highly Resilient People

Is Anxiety Genetic?

Clear medical model skull by hallway

As a therapist, I often work with many clients who live with anxiety. That should come as no surprise as anxiety disorders are among some of the most common mental health conditions, especially in the United States. Around 40 million people deal with an anxiety condition annually. One question that comes up from time to time is, “is my anxiety genetic?”

Continue reading Is Anxiety Genetic?

The 6 Habits Mentally Fit People Practice

Smiling woman kissing boxing gloves

Physical fitness gets a lot of attention, and for good reason — good physical health can prevent conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, and help you maintain a long, independent life. But often neglected is mental fitness — having a healthy and strong mind to allow you to handle the challenges and opportunities that life puts in front of you.

A common thought is that the absence of a mental health disorder means that a person is mentally fit and emotionally well, but according to Rachel O’Neill, a licensed professional clinical counselor, that’s a dangerous misconception. “An individual can certainly experience periods of stress, discomfort, sadness, or anxiety without necessarily meeting criteria for a mental health disorder,” she said. “Mental wellness is a process, and just like physical health, it’s an ongoing process to maintain mental and emotional wellness.”

Continue reading The 6 Habits Mentally Fit People Practice

Free Online Therapy: Understanding Therapy vs. Free Counseling

Woman on couch with hands open, talking to a therapist

Online therapy is fast becoming the norm for those seeking therapy on their own terms. A recent study found online therapy to be as effective as face-to-face (FTF) therapy in treating major mental health challenges like anxiety disorders and depressive symptoms. The same study regards online therapy as a “treatment for the future.”

When evaluating online therapy options, there are many avenues to take depending on your mental health challenges. The first avenue should always be to seek professional help — self-diagnosis can be a dangerous game. Therapy remains the next best step, and in exploring online therapy options, you may encounter offers claiming “free” online therapy.

Continue reading Free Online Therapy: Understanding Therapy vs. Free Counseling

How Talkspace De-stresses

Woman in citrus bath

Stress has been a part of the human experience since the dawn of consciousness. It’s an instinctual reaction to perceived threats, originating as humans made their way up the food chain. Gone though are the saber-toothed tigers and growling bellies of our ancient past. Our new threats are red bubbles with numbers in them, and politically-charged talk radio over hour-long commutes.

Prolonged stress takes its toll. Over 70 percent of Americans report experiencing physical and psychological symptoms caused by their stress. Productivity loss and health care related to stress costs employers close to $300 billion annually, according to the same American Psychological Association study. Stress has reached epidemic proportions, and how to cope with, or manage modern stress has become a literal “billion dollar question”.

In honor of “Stress Awareness Month”, Talkspace asked our therapist community and co-workers to share their favorite ways to de-stress.* We hope you discover some beneficial new stress management solutions!

Continue reading How Talkspace De-stresses