Suicide Prevention: Know the Warning Signs

Currently in the US, there is not an effective and accessible central crisis response system that will connect people to the treatment and the support they need. This needs to change and The National Alliance of Mental Health (NAMI) is dedicating September’s Suicide Prevention Awareness Month to advocate for better mental health care including support systems and accessible treatment.

Noticing signs of possible mental illness isn’t always easy since there is not a generic test one would take on their own without a professional. Feelings and thoughts of suicide happen in just about every background, race, age and demographic and is often the result of an untreated mental health condition.

NAMI teaches readers about the warning signs listed below of mental health distress.

Each illness has its own symptoms, but common signs of mental illness in adults and adolescents can include the following: 

  • Excessive worrying or fear 
  • Feeling excessively sad or low 
  • Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning 
  • Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria 
  • Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger 
  • Avoiding friends and social activities 
  • Difficulties understanding or relating to other people 
  • Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy 
  • Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite 
  • Changes in sex drive 
  • Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don’t exist in objective reality) 
  • Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality (”lack of insight” or anosognosia) 
  • Overuse of substances like alcohol or drugs 
  • Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague and ongoing “aches and pains”) 
  • Thinking about suicide 
  • Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress 
  • An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance 

Mental health conditions can also begin to develop in young children. Because they’re still learning how to identify and talk about thoughts and emotions, children’s most obvious symptoms are behavioral. Symptoms in children may include the following: 

  • Changes in school performance 
  • Excessive worry or anxiety; for instance, fighting to avoid bed or school 
  • Hyperactive behavior 
  • Frequent nightmares 
  • Frequent disobedience or aggression 
  • Frequent temper tantrums 

If you or someone you love is displaying some of the warning signs above, there are proven steps to take when navigating a crisis.

Navigating a Mental Health Crisis (cited from NAMI.org)

  • Talk openly and honestly. Don’t be afraid to ask questions like: “Do you have a plan for how you would kill yourself?” 
  • Remove means such as guns, knives or stockpiled pills 
  • Calmly ask simple and direct questions, like “Can I help you call your psychiatrist?” 
  • If there are multiple people around, have one person speak at a time
  • Express support and concern 
  • Don’t argue, threaten or raise your voice 
  • Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong 
  • If you’re nervous, try not to fidget or pace 
  • Be patient 

Southend Psych is here as you navigate the complexities of today. We can come alongside you or your loved one to offer support and help. Contact Southend Psych today to inquire about appointment availability and get on your way to a better you.

Southend Psychiatry 

Schedule your appointment today with one of our SouthEnd Psychiatry clinicians. Book your appointment online or call 1-800-632-7969 to get started today.

Featured Provider: Meet Justina A Momah, DNP-S, PMHNP-BC, CRNP-BC

This month’s featured provider is Justina A Momah is a board-certified family nurse practitioner and is currently enrolled at Wilkes University’s board certified Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and Doctoral Nursing degree. She attained a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the College of New Rochelle. 

Justina Momah, as a nurse practitioner, is well experienced in both chronic and medical and surgical disease management. She has numerous clinical experiences with diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric mental disease including Depression, Anxiety Disorders, and ADHD.

In her 10 years of practice as a nurse practitioner, Justina has developed a mindset of holistic approach to render care to her patients. She believes that mental health care and awareness that is presented in mainstream media should focus on improving access and quality of care to the economically underserved patient population.

Her primary goal during each patient encounter is to develop a trusting therapeutic relationship hence allowing both patient and provider to create a functional treatment and recovery plan.

In her spare time Justina is a personal lifestyle health and wellness fitness coach. She enjoys teaching high intensity cardio and strength fitness exercises as well as restorative yoga and meditation. She enjoys shopping at local organic farms and finds new paleo recipes to cook for her husband and kids.

What podcast or book are you currently reading/listening to?

“Currently, I am actively enjoying: The Mindset Mentor by Rob Dial and Kast Media. Also, I started on my 5th book of the year which is titled: The 7 habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.”

What is currently on your bucket list?

“To complete an online interior design certification with a focus on a modern-country style of design.”

What do you love to do when you aren’t seeing patients: 

“You will definitely find me coaching an online full body strength and HITT workout program.”

Best advice for navigating 2022:  

“Remember that your path is a journey that shapes your destination and only you can guide the pace as to when you arrive. So enjoy every step of the way and build memories that will propel you beyond your imagination.”

Most memorable moment of 2021:

“Making a decision to further my educational goal of becoming a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and pursuing completion of my Doctorate in Nursing.”

Lesser known facts about you:

“(1) I am fluent in Spanish. (2) I am a Lord of the Rings Super Fan!!!!! (3) My favorite TV show is Friends.”

What would you like to say to potential patients: 

“My goal of patient care is grounded on establishing a healthy therapeutic relationship with my patients which will enable them to become actively involved in their treatment plan. Therefore, allowing both patient and provider to create a functional treatment and recovery plan that is guided by the most relevant and up-to-date clinical modalities.”

Mental Health Services
Your Way,

Learn about Ruby and her journey towards freedom in her relationships and childhood wounds through SouthEnd Psychiatry.

Millennial mental health. From 9/11 to Parkland, politics to pandemics, social media to telemedicine – this generation is set to positively disrupt the world.  We purposely built SouthEnd for a mental health revolution.

Is it Anxiety or Something More?

One positive outcome of the increased awareness surrounding mental health is that people are talking more about anxiety and how to address its impact on our lives. Anxiety and worry are often confused with more panic attacks, and people suffering from anxiety often wonder when anxiety crosses the line to panic. Panic attacks are often more intense and can occur with or without a trigger, while anxiety attacks are a response to a perceived threat.

The following checklist can help you discern if you or someone else is having a panic attack. When several of these conditions exist together, it’s advised to see a medical professional.

–       Irregular racing heartbeat (may simply feel like it)

–       Sweating

–       Sense of impending doom

–       Fear of loss of control or death

–       Trembling or shaking

–       Shortness of breath

–       Tightness in your throat

–       Chills

Southend Psych is here as you navigate the complexities of today. Whether you have moderate to severe anxiety or are experiencing panic attacks and are under the advice of medical professionals, we can come alongside to offer support and help. Contact Southend Psych today to inquire about appointment availability and get on your way to a better understanding of your anxiety.

Southend Psychiatry 

Schedule your appointment today with one of our SouthEnd Psychiatry clinicians. Book your appointment online or call 1-800-632-7969 to get started today.

Wear Your Green Ribbon in July for Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month, a designation developed to bring awareness to minority mental health disparities that exist in our communities. We at SouthEnd Psych hope that you increase your own awareness about this important group of Americans and find ways to spread the love, care, and concern that we can provide to those of diverse backgrounds who may face mental health challenges.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, disparities in mental health services for our minority groups were exacerbated. Interventions that help aid in addressing these disparities include the work being done by many groups to achieve behavioral health equity. According to the U.S Health Department, Behavioral Health Equity is the right to access quality health care for all populations regardless of the individual’s race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or geographical location. This includes access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services for mental and substance use disorders.

Mental health resources provide assistance to both younger and older adults. Minority young adults who battle mental health challenges will find resources at Southend Psych to help them with challenges like bullying, abuse, trauma, and substance use. Equitable access to these resources is provided so that minority teens and children can receive the support they need. Parental resources are also provided because parents are often the first line of defense as they work to help their children navigate the complexities of mental health challenges.

Older adults have access to helpful resources as well. The disparities in care that minority older adults face are often multifaceted, and Southend Psych has a wealth of resources ready to share as we come alongside families and caregivers to ensure minority older adults have the mental health care they need.

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month sheds a light on this population rich with culture, beauty, and history, and as we strengthen our services to ensure that BIPOC persons are cared for, we strengthen us all. Wear a green ribbon to spread awareness about this important month, and call us if someone in your life is in need of mental health services. 

Southend Psychiatry 

Schedule your appointment today with one of our SouthEnd Psychiatry clinicians. Book your appointment online or call 1-800-632-7969 to get started today.

LGBTQ Pride Month – Becoming the Best YOU!

Fittingly, and to no surprise, Southend Psychiatry is shouting out loud and proud for June LGBTQ Pride month! At this practice, we move with the heartbeat of Inclusion and Equality in everything we do and nothing is more core to our beliefs, so times such as this are a joy to celebrate and bring a real and healthy dialogue, at large. 

PRIDE

If any of us look up the definition of the word “pride” no doubt we could come back with any number of meanings and variations. For purposes of this article, we do not mean it to refer to a sense of arrogance or over-inflated self worth. This definition below fits perfectly with what we want to share today:

  • pride – a becoming or dignified sense of what is due to oneself or one’s position or character; self-respect; self-esteem.

You know exactly what Pride Month means to you and everyone has their own connection and enjoys it their own way. One client recalls Pride Month feeling uncomfortable before she was out; she didn’t know what to do with the conflict, the tension inside. But now, it’s a chance to celebrate and be open with issues which are often stigmatized, especially in this current social/political environment. In her own words, “Let’s make it fun! And make everything sparkl-ey! This isn’t a fight for justice or equality here or anything super heavy. It’s lighter, it’s fun.” Maybe you resonate with something in there too. 

CHALLENGES

While great gains have been made in awareness and societal acceptance for the LGBTQ community, it’s no secret there is a current movement in the U.S. attacking LGBTQ rights in legislation, education, and athletics. It is scary and takes a massive toll on the mental and emotional well-being of those being targeted. Or perhaps you’re still deconstructing a big bag of religious issues/trauma from earlier years which still haunt your sense of self. The fact is, the world is a tumultuous and sometimes frightening place, and for this reason we want to promote with all our Southend heart and soul – SELF CARE!! 

SELF-CARE

To get right to the point we simply want you to take care of your body and your mind in whatever beautiful ways are best for you. This is supposed to be intentional on your part but certainly not meant to be a chore. The result will be refreshing and recharging, allowing you to help love yourself all the way! Think about it this way… picture stress as water on a wet dog. That dog needs to shake it out, vigorously, from head to tail, to feel right again. So do we! While actually shaking like a wet dog may not be your thing, we have a few other suggestions to help get you started. 

  • Sleep : can we just say nothing good happens without sleep?! Our bodies level out physiologically during sleep and it’s a huge part of keeping a healthy mind + body.
  • Seek Joy : Light will chase away darkness so find the things which bring joy to your heart. Music. Nature. Old photos. Disney movies…! Give yourself time and space to find joy!
  • Seek Guidance : Don’t do it alone! Community is HUGE for LGBTQ individuals and we encourage you to find support, somewhere. Perhaps its spiritual support, perhaps it’s therapy, perhaps it’s mimosas with friends on Sunday morning. 
  • Creativity : It’s well known in psychology arenas the benefits creative outlets have on mental health. So go get colorful and paint something, get noisy with a new instrument, or build the coffee table you’ve been putting off for six months.
  • And most importantly be the best YOU possible!! Keep a sight on who you truly are, which is a bright, beautiful, shining star of a person and let that expression show itself. 

We are hopeful this article helps you be a balanced, healthy you in some pretty challenging times. And if June Pride month is where you begin your Self Care plan then even better! 

Southend Psychiatry 

Schedule your appointment today with one of our SouthEnd Psychiatry clinicians. Book your appointment online or call 1-800-632-7969 to get started today.

On a side note, there are now data and trends we can see which indicate higher numbers of individuals who came out during the recent lockdowns. Much of this is attributed to simply a huge increase in time we have spent isolated, and thus more time for self-reflection and a chance for many to really have the time and space to identify who they really are. Interestingly but to no surprise, social media was also significant in this trend as the isolation and alone time allowed people to do more exploring on platforms versus the physical world. Of course, the internet has long been the home of LGBTQ exploration but the current trends and impacts are interesting. This article provides some great expert commentary and data – https://mashable.com/article/covid-coming-out-queer-lgbtq-pandemic.

How to Establish Healthy Boundaries

Who wouldn’t like to say that they have perfect relational boundaries?

While perfection might seem pie-in-the-sky, working on boundaries truly does strengthen them. The effort definitely pays off. Many times, the most difficult part of boundary work occurs when the boundary is established. Calmly and directly stating the boundary to your friend, colleague, or family member can seem intimidating; however, this step sets up the boundary to truly have a positive impact on your own mental health.

We all need healthy boundaries in our lives.

A boundary is where one person ends and you begin. If you feel yourself succumbing to agreeing to events you would rather not attend or people-pleasing your way through life, you need to take the first step and set a boundary.

Boundaries are not mean.

They help you grow and care for yourself. Many people and families have dysfunctional ways of relating, and in the beginning it can feel mean or generate guilt to establish firm boundaries. But, boundaries serve to strengthen the individual setting them and allow others to make decisions about their own lives, leading to more contentment and lower anxiety and depression.

An example of a simple boundary might be, “I am unable to attend the event this weekend.” Terri Cole, author of Boundary Boss lists in her “Boundary Boss Bill of Rights” that “you have the right to say no (or yes) to others without feeling guilty.” Taking the first step and deciding for yourself the best use of your time is boundary work that can reap dividends in peace of mind. 

Whether you are dealing with a co-worker who relies on your advice too often or a family member who is disrespectful, boundaries can make an impact on the quality of not only how you feel about your interactions with others and relationships in general, but also help your confidence increase as you begin to set healthy boundaries with those around you. 

Schedule your appointment today with one of our SouthEnd Psychiatry clinicians. Book your appointment online or call 1-800-632-7969 to get started today.

Featured Provider: Meet Vanessa Bruce-Miller, LMSW

This month’s featured provider is Vanessa Bruce-Miller, LMSW.

Vanessa Bruce-Miller is a Jamaican-born Queer woman. Vanessa’s pronouns are She and They.

Vanessa (Vee) is a skilled Metalsmith and Clinician with formal training in working with LGBTQ communities. She holds a Bachelor’s in Sociology and a Master’s in Clinical Social Work from CUNY Hunter College. Vanessa lives and works in New York, NY out of their studio apartment that they share with their 30+ plant children.

As a Therapist, Vanessa addresses an array of concerns including: racial distress, anxiety, spirituality, work distress, multicultural issues, trauma, and LGBTQ affirming care. She has two interests: (1) Somatic and mindfulness-based work within communities with complex identities (2) Utilizing the power of creativity and art making within sessions.

What podcast or book are you currently reading/listening to?

“I’m currently reading: Set Boundaries, Find Peace by Nedra Glover Tawwab.”

What do you love to do when you aren’t seeing patients: 

“When I’m not seeing patients, I love to create jewelry as well as visit plant nurseries.”

Best advice for navigating 2022:  

“The last few years have been a whirlwind, the best way to move forward is with patience & grace towards ourselves.”

Most memorable moment of 2021:

“Taking a family trip back to my homeland Jamaica for my cousin’s wedding. It was our first time seeing each other in a few years so it was really humbling & beautiful to be together again.”

Lesser known facts about you:

“I’m very spiritual & my spiritual practice helps to keep me grounded. “

What would you like to say to potential patients: 

“Change is the only constant in our lives & when you change, everything changes. Let’s take your power back & work toward addressing the things you’ve been wanting to change together. You don’t have to do it alone.”

Mental Health Services
Your Way,

Learn about Ruby and her journey towards freedom in her relationships and childhood wounds through SouthEnd Psychiatry.

Millennial mental health. From 9/11 to Parkland, politics to pandemics, social media to telemedicine – this generation is set to positively disrupt the world.  We purposely built SouthEnd for a mental health revolution.

Featured Provider: Meet Theodore Klein, LMSW

This month’s featured provider is Theodore Klein, LMSW.

Theodore, (you can call him Ted), is a person-centered and non-judgmental therapist who will work with your strengths to help you towards achieving your goals. Ted will assist you towards meeting your goals, and alleviating symptoms related to your mental health struggles and identifying and processing trauma. Ted utilizes an eclectic blend of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Psychoeducation, and other types of therapy, to create a two-way atmosphere for healing.

A graduate of The New School for his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences Touro College for his Master’s in social work, Ted is a Licensed Master’s of Social Work. He has worked with multiple populations, including substance use dependency, parole and probation, disabilities, and clinics. He can work with people who suffer from Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Substance Use Disorders, Disabilities and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

What is on your bucket list?

“My bucket list includes traveling to the following places: Japan, Maldives, Tahiti, Belize, Panama.

I also have a vision to create a few charities or programs to assist with housing and recovery, as well as paying off debt.”

What do you love to do when you aren’t seeing patients: 

“When I’m not seeing patients, I love to watch The Mets (huge Mets fan), play with my daughter, binge watch shows with the wife, video games, anime, and make time for friends and my dog.”

Best advice for navigating 2022:  

“Be patient with yourself, and set boundaries.”

Lesser known facts about you:

“I am a world traveler, going to places like China, Philippines, Russia, Turkmenistan, Egypt, Jordan to name a few. “

What would you like to say to potential patients: 

“If you’re struggling, and looking for someone to talk to, please reach out. Taking that first step is important and necessary towards healing.”

Mental Health Services
Your Way,

Learn about Ruby and her journey towards freedom in her relationships and childhood wounds through SouthEnd Psychiatry.

Millennial mental health. From 9/11 to Parkland, politics to pandemics, social media to telemedicine – this generation is set to positively disrupt the world.  We purposely built SouthEnd for a mental health revolution.

Featured Provider: Meet Tara Merchant, LMHC

This month’s featured provider is Tara Merchant, LMHC.

Tara is a person-centered, non-judgmental, relationship-based LMHC (licensed mental health counselor) who recognizes the intrinsic value of all people and holds positive regard for all her clients. Tara views counseling as a collaborative effort by providing psychoeducation and coping skills for the obstacles with which clients may be struggling, and clients provide insights as the experts on themselves. She believes that all thoughts, feelings and behaviors are interconnected, having valid underlying factors. Tara seeks to help clients connect the dots, from both past and present, to have a greater understanding of themselves and their environments. She also fosters a safe space for clients to identify and embrace their feelings toward emotional catharsis.

Tara received her Bachelor’s Degree from Purchase College, State University of NY, and her Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Long Island University. She has an eclectic style that utilizes Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and psychodynamic modality. Tara aims to uphold cultural humility for ongoing learning and awareness that supports racial and social equity. She is experienced in working with relationship issues, anxiety, depression and child development.

What podcast or book are you currently reading/listening to? 

“Brene Brown’s Unlocking Us podcast. She is one of my favorite voices in the field and has sparked helpful consideration of what it means to be vulnerable in order to connect with others. And if I’m not watching TV or listening to my girl, Brene, I am absolutely reading the one and only Harry Potter. (I think my letter to Hogwarts or Ilvermorny got lost in the mail, but that’s okay, I’ve accepted muggle life…) ”

What is on your bucket list?

“I have to say that should we ever get out of this pandemic, I would love to travel more and see other countries, mostly to eat their food!”

What do you love to do when you aren’t seeing patients: 

“When I’m not seeing patients, I love to hang out with friends or family because despite being an introvert, I’m a person who needs people – none of us can go it alone. Also, I love watching TV shows, probably an unhealthy amount, but I count it as self-care.”

Best advice for navigating 2022:  

“Don’t touch anything! We don’t need any more germs. Just kidding. My advice is that there are no “should”s. There are so many culturally imposed timelines, standards and internalized messages we live by, but if some of those aren’t working for you, it’s okay to challenge them.”

Most memorable moment of 2021:

“The most memorable moment of 2021 was when I found out my husband and I were about to become three! It was all rainbows for about five seconds and then reality sunk in and it was terrifying, but now it’s less terrifying :)”

Lesser known facts about you:

“Some lesser-known facts about me include that I love to sing! My original dream was to be on Broadway, but now I’m just one of those people who tries to actually sound good at karaoke. I also haven’t eaten meat in 13 years! My husband and I went mostly vegan in 2017 – people think it’s healthy, but we eat the Impossible sliders from White Castle.”

What would you like to say to potential patients: 

“So if you want to have someone to talk to, please book an appointment! There are many benefits of therapy to consider. For one: being able to process thoughts and feelings with someone who is trained in how to respond therapeutically. Two: having a compartmentalized outlet to release opinions, anxieties, irrational thoughts, etc. without fear of judgment or impact on your inner circle. And three: there’s a magic to saying words out loud. Hearing yourself say a thought can either take away its power or reinforce your belief in it. The goal is to figure out which you want to do with it.”

Mental Health Services
Your Way,

Learn about Ruby and her journey towards freedom in her relationships and childhood wounds through SouthEnd Psychiatry.

Millennial mental health. From 9/11 to Parkland, politics to pandemics, social media to telemedicine – this generation is set to positively disrupt the world.  We purposely built SouthEnd for a mental health revolution.

Childhood Emotional Wounds: How They Affect Us As Adults

Emotional wounds from childhood…the vast majority of us have them. In fact, roughly 60 percent of adult Americans report having experienced trauma or difficult relational dynamics as children—and that doesn’t even include those of us who have repressed these experiences.

But what is an emotional wound anyway, and why do they matter now?

An emotional wound is a negative experience, or series of experiences, that causes pain on a deep psychological level. It typically involves someone close to you: a parent, family member, lover, mentor, friend, or other trusted individual. It may be tied to a specific event or pattern of events, to learning a hard truth about life, or to going through a physical limitation or challenge. Most emotional wounds are associated with abuse, abandonment, loss, neglect, mistreatment, and inconsistency in close relationships, but even these terms can be defined differently depending on the person. We are all different in a myriad of ways, from genetic makeup to the circumstances in which we live, so what may have been traumatic for you may not be for someone else. Thus, the most important factor in identifying and understanding emotional wounds is not the world’s perception of what happened, but the individual who has them.
Childhood emotional wounds are particularly devastating because of who we were at the time: children. If adults have trouble processing these occurrences, just imagine the stress and overwhelm felt by a child trying to understand the same. Unlike adults, children are not yet able to analyze circumstances through the lens of education, social norms, and life experiences. All they know is that they are in pain, and without another point of reference, their conclusion is usually that they themselves must be to blame—that something inside them is inherently wrong, bad, or undeserving.
Unfortunately, these deeply rooted hurts and beliefs don’t just disappear with time. Even in cases where the conscious brain cannot recall the experience, the anxiety caused by it continues to be felt by our bodies to some degree. This is why emotional wounds come up later in life, particularly in relationships that mimic the ones in which they were caused (with significant others, family, and close friends): They can only stay hidden for so long. Such long-term, unresolved heartache has both mental and physiological effects. Not only does it chip away at a child’s sense of stability and self, damaging their self-worth and later producing feelings of guilt, shame, lack of belonging, and disconnection from others; emotional wounds can also lead to heightened anxiety, difficulty managing emotions, depression, and anger in adults. It isn’t uncommon for those with a history of trauma or painful relationships to develop struggles with addiction, chronic illnesses (cancer, heart disease, etc.), poor memory, and other mental disorders as well.
These effects ultimately dictate how we view ourselves, the world, and those around us, changing the way we interact with others. Many adults with emotional wounds have trust issues in relationships and develop victimhood thinking. This causes them to cap their own potential, compromising their success in careers, relationships, and other goals and dreams. For example, when self-expression and self-defense felt unsafe in childhood, unhealed wounds often manifest as passivity and subservience in adults. While these characteristics are sometimes viewed as positive, such people-pleasing behavior can have detrimental effects on the trajectory of one’s life as bottling up feelings instead of communicating can lead to resentment, blow-ups, and even depression. Moreover, people-pleasers’ “go-with-the-flow” nature makes them more susceptible to the exploitative intentions of narcissists and other parasitic people. Other adults may yell, lash out, be overly assertive, seek control, and push people away in times of distress. 

In situations where any form of child abuse took place, emotional wounds tend to show up as insecure attachment styles. These include:

  • Fearful-Avoidant Attachment: It is normal for some children exposed to abuse and neglect to fear close relationships. Now, as adults, those with fearful-avoidant attachment are distrustful, have a hard time sharing emotions with their partner and others and often avoid emotional intimacy altogether.

  • Dismissive-Avoidant Attachment: When a parent or caregiver ignores or rejects a child’s needs, this attachment style results. As an adult, individuals with this style turn to ultra-independence to protect themselves from being rejected again.
  • Anxious-Preoccupied Attachment: Adults with this attachment style require repeated validation in relationships and at times, come across as clingy and needy. Due to a childhood in which their parents were not consistent in the emotional security they provided, these individuals never feel secure. Loving the child and then rejecting them over and over again causes the child to constantly question their place and the validity of the love they receive.

Although distinct, each of the responses mentioned above is a coping mechanism, first learned in childhood in order to function under difficult circumstances and now a pattern of behavior in adulthood used to manage fear, uncertainty, rejection, abandonment, and uncomfortable feelings of any kind.
In sum, emotional wounds run deep and have a profound impact on our beliefs and behaviors as adults, specifically on our self-image and relationships. These traumas, whether big or seemingly small, fracture our foundation and can taint our perception of what is normal and true. They are not easily overcome, but the good news is that they can be. If this article resonated with you and you are not currently seeking support from a mental health professional, contact us today. We would love to help you take steps towards healing—because even though these wounds may be part of who you are, their negative effects don’t have to be. 

Mental Health Services
Your Way,

Learn about Ruby and her journey towards freedom in her relationships and childhood wounds through SouthEnd Psychiatry.

Millennial mental health. From 9/11 to Parkland, politics to pandemics, social media to telemedicine – this generation is set to positively disrupt the world.  We purposely built SouthEnd for a mental health revolution.