Why Is It Essential to Find a Psychiatrist to Address Mental Illness Concerns?

Mental health is just as important as your physical health, although many people still struggle to see this. According to The National Institute of Mental Health, 22.8% of adults were dealing with a mental illness in the U.S. in 2021. Getting the right type of help and treatment is essential to your quality of life and safety if you have mental health concerns. Let’s look at a few reasons why you should find a psychiatrist to help you with mental health issues.

Rapid Progression

You should be aware that mental illnesses can be progressive. This means that without the right treatment and intervention, these problems can get worse over time. Many people still feel that there is a stigma surrounding their mental health problems. This can lead to feelings of shame which then only make the mental health issues worse. You need to get the right treatment before your issues escalate.

Increased Loneliness

When someone is battling a mental illness, they often isolate themselves so that they don’t burden others. This can sometimes lead to feelings of shame, which in turn makes the mental health issues worse. When you seek out help from a psychiatrist, you’ll experience the relief of knowing that you’re not alone on this journey. You’ll find community and resources that can help you on your journey toward healing.

Unsafe Feelings

When monitoring behaviors related to mental illness, it’s important to find a qualified psychiatrist who can properly treat and monitor the patient. Without intervention, some types of mental health illnesses can start to spiral and behaviors can become increasingly unsafe. Not only can this pose safety risks for yourself, but it can also put those around you in danger.

3 Stress-Reducing Coping Skills

April is Stress Awareness Month. Learning to cope with our stress and finding healthy ways to deal with these situations can go a long way in living a healthy and positive life. Let’s take a look at a few things we can do to reduce stress and anxiety.

1. Avoid the Panic

Overthinking refers to the excessive and repetitive thinking or dwelling on a particular topic, problem, or situation. We can start to change these habits by asking ourselves if these concerns are based on facts or assumptions. Practicing mindfulness and developing a trusted support system can help break patterns of overthinking.

2. Be You

Take some time to get in touch with yourself, to identify and reconnect with what makes you… YOU! Make a list of some of the values you have and how you can still carry those in your community. If you are a naturally generous person then KEEP BEING GENEROUS to people around you. Do you have a gift of making people laugh? Then really grab hold of it and spread some cheer in your neighborhood. Embracing these things about yourself will help keep you grounded and out of too much negative thinking. 

3. Self-Care

What is refreshing to you? Recharging? What gives you energy? The activities you come up with are a great place to start with self-care. Remember, it is difficult to encourage, support, be present for your relationships if your tank is empty. Sleep is well-documented to reduce stress levels so don’t feel bad about a quick afternoon nap from time to time if it leads to a better you! Be intentional about making time for yourself.

Here are a few other things you can consider doing to keep anxiety and stress at manageable levels:

  • Breathing exercises + Mediation
  • Journaling
  • Spend time in nature
  • Stay connected (isolation often leads us to “stinking thinking”!)

SouthEnd Psychiatry wants you to be well and to feel well in life. We invite you to start a conversation with us, on your terms, in-person or online and want you to know you’re not alone.

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.

4 Questions to Ask When You Call a Psychiatrist’s Office

Tending to your mental health is essential for your overall wellness. Mental illness affects many Americans in the form of depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, anger management, and more. Luckily, if you’re dealing with mental illness, there are professional psychiatrists available to assist you. Here are four questions to ask when you call a psychiatrist’s office.

1. What Is Your Treatment Philosophy?

A professional psychiatrist has the same training that others have. However, they may develop a different treatment philosophy that you should learn more about. Ask about their preferred methods of treatment. Some may use psychotherapy, others may incorporate medication management, or others may use a combination of both.

2. What Is Your Availability?

Maybe you have a very tight schedule because of work, school, or family obligations. Of course, our psychiatrists will also have other patients to tend to. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, over 150 million Americans live in federally designated mental health professional shortage areas. If you live in such an area, you may have to compete for your psychiatrist’s time as they may be serving a large population. Make sure you find one who has the right availability for you, even if you have to travel a little further.

3. Can You Tell Me About Your Experience?

When it comes to experience, you may want to learn more about the psychiatrist’s overall training and education. Ask if they have any particular areas of expertise. Are they used to serving particular demographics based on race, gender, age, or other cultures?

4. What Is the Cancellation Policy?

It’s always a good idea to plan for a rainy day or emergency. While you may intend to cancel an appointment, sometimes it can’t be helped. Ask your psychiatrist about how much notice is required to cancel. They may have certain fees for missed appointments. Is there a policy where they no longer agree to treat you if you miss too many appointments in a row?

You may be anxious about seeking help at a local psychiatrist’s office. It’s important to make a few calls ahead of time and ask the right questions until you find the right therapist for you. For an experienced and compassionate psychiatrist who handles medication therapy and talk therapy, look no further than our office. Contact SouthEnd Psychiatry with any questions you may have so we can ensure we’re the right fit for your treatment.

What is Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and How Can it Help Me?

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of effective psychological treatment for depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug use problems, marital problems, eating disorders, and severe mental illness. 

Numerous research studies suggest that CBT leads to significant improvement in functioning and quality of life. In many studies, CBT has been demonstrated to be as effective as, or more effective than, other forms of psychological therapy or psychiatric medications, referenced at ada.org.

According to the American Psychological Association, the core concepts of CBT include:

  • psychological issues are partly based on unhelpful ways of thinking
  • psychological issues are partly based on learned patterns of behavior
  • those living with these issues can improve with better coping mechanisms and management to help relieve their symptoms

Healthline provides some of the most popular techniques used in CBT:

  • SMART goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-limited.
  • Guided discovery and questioning. By questioning the assumptions you have about yourself or your current situation, your therapist can help you learn to challenge these thoughts and consider different viewpoints.
  • Journaling. You might be asked to jot down negative beliefs that come up during the week and the positive ones you can replace them with.
  • Self-talk. Your therapist may ask what you tell yourself about a certain situation or experience and challenge you to replace negative or critical self-talk with compassionate, constructive self-talk.
  • Cognitive restructuring. This involves looking at any cognitive distortions affecting your thoughts — such as black-and-white thinking, jumping to conclusions, or catastrophizing — and beginning to unravel them.
  • Thought recording. In this technique, you’ll record thoughts and feelings experienced during a specific situation, then come up with unbiased evidence supporting your negative belief and evidence against it. You’ll use this evidence to develop a more realistic thought.
  • Positive activities. Scheduling a rewarding activity each day can help increase overall positivity and improve your mood. Some examples might be buying yourself fresh flowers or fruit, watching your favorite movie, or taking a picnic lunch to the park.
  • Situation exposure. This involves listing situations or things that cause distress, in order of the level of distress they cause, and slowly exposing yourself to these things until they lead to fewer negative feelings. Systematic desensitization is a similar technique where you’ll learn relaxation techniques to help you cope with your feelings in a difficult situation.

How CBT Can Help

Healthline states that typical CBT treatment often involves the following:

  • recognizing how inaccurate thinking can worsen problems
  • learning new problem-solving skills
  • gaining confidence and a better understanding and appreciation of your self-worth
  • learning how to face fears and challenges
  • using role play and calming techniques when faced with potentially challenging situations

The goal of these techniques is to replace unhelpful or self-defeating thoughts with more encouraging and realistic ones.

CBT can help with a range of things, including:

  • depression
  • substance misuse
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • anxiety disorders, including panic disorder and phobia
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • schizophrenia
  • bipolar disorder
  • eating disorders

CBT can also help with:

  • grief and loss
  • chronic pain
  • insomnia
  • relationship difficulties like a breakup or divorce
  • a serious health diagnosis, such as cancer

If you are interested in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, SouthEnd Psychiatry is here for you. Our amazing team of licensed therapists are ready to walk along side you in this journey. 

Contact Southend Psych today to inquire about appointment availability and get you on your way to a better place.

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.

What Mental Wellness Looks Like in 2024

As we recognize and raise awareness for Mental Wellness Month this January, we would like to take a look at what mental wellness looks like in 2024. Times have changed. I think we can all agree on that. COVID has changed the behavior of society in so many ways. Racial tension and social disparities are on the rise. Economic stress is affecting all walks of life. This is the day we are living in. 

We want to recognize these as real triggers for most of us. As we embark on this new year, it is so important to acknowledge these issues and stressors and be intentional to keep ourselves healthy and whole. A few ways we can do this is through mindfulness, rest and connection.


The term “mindfulness” is becoming more and more widely known. As stated by discoverymood.com, practicing mindfulness is about being aware and accepting at the same time. We often pride ourselves on staying busy and thinking ahead. Mindfulness challenges us to show up fully in every area of our lives. It is the embodiment of living in the moments. 

Check in on yourself. Where is your stress level? Are you feeling hopeless or helpless? If so, it is critical to take action by calling a friend, mentor or a licensed professional like the team at Southend Psychiatry.


Allowing ourselves to rest involves our mind, body and spirit. Resting isn’t just about getting a proper eight hours of sleep each night or avoiding your phone and electronics before bed. It is also giving yourself little breaks throughout the day. Meditation is a great tool to help slow the mind, release anxious thoughts and breathe deeply. This lowers our cortisol levels and resets the body with just a few minutes of commitment. 

Developing a meditation practice not only has been shown to help lengthen our attention span and reduce age-related memory loss but may also help fight addictions, control pain and decrease blood pressure.


We are social creatures… even those that would consider themselves as an introvert. Our spirit needs connection. It is a way to feel heard and understood. Connection gives us a sense of belonging. executive.berkeley.edu/ says that because social connection is so hard-wired into human behavior, it makes sense that our relationships (or lack thereof) significantly influence our well-being. 

Connections can be just as important to physical and mental health as exercise and healthy eating. Research has shown that the psychological and physical health benefits of social contact are so great that they can even outweigh the harmful effects of other risk factors and boost life expectancy.

As you embark on this new year, we want to encourage you to be intentional about keeping yourself mentally well. If you need help or guidance, SouthEnd Psychiatry is here for you. Our amazing team of licensed therapists are ready to walk along side you in this journey. 

Contact Southend Psych today to inquire about appointment availability and get you on your way to a better place.

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.

5 Ways to Create Healthy Boundaries with Family

The holidays are here which for many means A LOT of potential family time. So, let’s look at five ways to set healthy boundaries ahead of the holiday season. 

Boundary issues are the most difficult to deal with when it comes to family. 

According to Terri Cole, author of The Boundary Boss, our boundaries are made up of our preferences, desires, limits, and deal-breakers. Think of your boundaries as your own personal rules of engagement.

Boundaries can be uncomfortable and even painful for some…until you practice the skill. Remember, you don’t need to sacrifice your identity in order to receive love or be accepted. Know what you will or will not tolerate from others. Draw the line and enforce it.

Here are five ways to establish those healthy boundaries:

  1. Define what your boundaries are. What will you tolerate or not tolerate in your life? What behaviors will you accept or not accept from family members? 
  2. Clearly communicate your boundaries.  This is particularly important for the people closest to you. Give them the chance to honor your preferences.
  3. Follow through. If someone crosses your boundaries, do what you said you would. Be compassionate, but be firm. This might be a new side of you that no one has seen before. 
  4. Show the respect you want to receive. Begin to really listen to what others prefer. Lead by example. Honor others boundaries.
  5. Keep loving yourself. It is not mean or selfish to have boundaries. Some will respect them. Others will not. How people treat you is a direct reflection of how you allow them to treat you. 

Boundaries are healthy. Establishing and keeping them is hard work. However, it is worth it!  SouthEnd Psychiatry is here for you. Our amazing team of licensed therapists are ready to walk along side you in this journey. 

Contact Southend Psych today to inquire about appointment availability and get you on your way to a better place.

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.

Am I Depressed? Symptoms & Treatment

Everyone has experienced sadness at some point in their life, but not everyone has experienced depression. So, how do you know if you are depressed? In recognition of Depression Awareness Month, we will uncover the symptoms of depression and the different treatment options available.

According to the National Institute of Health, depression (also known as major depression, major depressive disorder, or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder which can cause severe symptoms that affect how a person feels, thinks, and handles daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working.

About 21 million U.S. adults—8.4% of the population—had at least one major depressive episode in 2020 according to The National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Symptoms of Depression

The National Alliance on Mental Health says that depression can present different symptoms, depending on the person. But for most people, depressive disorder changes how they function day-to-day, and typically for more than two weeks. 

Common symptoms of depression include:

  • Changes in sleep
  • Changes in appetite
  • Lack of concentration
  • Loss of energy
  • Lack of interest in activities
  • Hopelessness or guilty thoughts
  • Changes in movement (less activity or agitation)
  • Physical aches and pains
  • Suicidal thoughts

While depression does not have a single cause, it can be triggered by a life crisis, genetics, brain changes, drug/alcohol misuse and other medical conditions. For example, people who have a history of sleep disturbances, medical illness, chronic pain, anxiety and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are more likely to develop depression. 

Treatment Options

Treatment for depressive disorder is available for those who have experienced a depressive episode lasting longer than two weeks. The first step to treatment is contacting your primary care doctor, a psychiatrist, or a psychotherapist for an evaluation. 

Psychotherapy (cognitive behavioral therapy, family-focused therapy and interpersonal therapy), medications (antidepressants, mood stabilizers and antipsychotic medications) and exercise can help with depressive disorder. These are highly effective treatments for those suffering from depression.

If you suspect you have depression, or if you’re feeling troubled by your symptoms, have suicidal thoughts, or just need to talk, SouthEnd Psychiatry is here for you. Our amazing team of licensed therapists are ready to walk along side you in this journey. 

Contact Southend Psych today to inquire about appointment availability and get you on your way to a better place.

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.

I Feel Better… Why Should I Stay in Therapy?

Seasoned therapy patients will be the first to advocate for consistent scheduling…meaning, they don’t stop attending therapy when a crisis is over. We, at Southend Psychiatry, agree. It is in our human nature to want that “quick fix” however we soon realize that therapy isn’t just for moments of crisis. Therapy is an opportunity to develop coping skills, understand ourselves better and so much more.

Typically, the reason or motivation for starting therapy can change over time. We grow and begin to understand the value of what therapy gives us. Therapy provides opportunities to live and feel better!

Let’s dive into what therapy has done for our Southend patients:

1. Coping Skills

Coping skills are tools that help us deal with discomfort. Therapy provides a window into ourselves. What are we afraid of? What is holding us back? These developed skills give us confidence and reassurance as we navigate life’s challenges and changes.

2. A Safe Place

Therapy should be safe. A place to open up to someone who you can trust. It can be scary to talk about our past traumas and current fears. Therapy gives us a chance to sit back and reflect in an atmosphere of love and safety. Guided by a licensed therapist, they can offer a different perspective for us and insight into how we can handle certain situations.

3. Better Communication

Relationships can be hard! Whether they are professional or personal, therapy helps us build trust, communication and empathy into those relationships. A therapist can be a huge support in building healthy communication skills.

4. Self-Esteem

Self-Esteem and self-awareness are vital to being the best version of yourself. A therapist can help us identify our insecurities, where they actually come from and a roadmap to healing. Most of us have insecurities and feelings of inadequacy ~ therapy is a great tool to conquer those areas of our life. 

5. Guidance & Direction

Life is full of changes. Life also brings new ideas and opportunities. Therapy helps us uncover what is most important to us and figure out what we feel is missing. We can explore new career paths, hobbies and ambitions. A therapist once described therapy with this analogy: “I see therapy as a preventative measure. You wouldn’t fireproof a house during the fire. Similarly, you want to have the appropriate skills and self-work in place to navigate any future situations.”

Our team of licensed therapists at Southend can guide you toward deeper relationships, better coping skills and essentially prepare you for life’s ups and downs. You have a team ready to walk along side you in this journey called life. We are here and we welcome you to come and have a conversation with us.

Contact Southend Psych today to inquire about appointment availability and get you on your way to a better place.

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.

4 Qualities to Look For in a Dependable Psychiatrist

Finding a dependable psychiatrist is essential to receiving proper care. These doctors can manage medication, provide resources, oversee various therapies, and help manage mental illness. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 22.8% of adults lived with a mental illness in the United States in 2021. Before heading to the first person you find, look for these qualities.

1. Qualifications

A doctor cannot practice without a license, but that doesn’t stop some people from trying. You’ll also come across people who advertise that they specialize in mental illness but are counselors, meaning they are not allowed to prescribe medication. Before heading in for your first appointment, take the time to research the doctor online and ask about qualifications.

2. Specialization

Some doctors specialize in certain mental illnesses or populations. For example, a psychiatrist may specialize in working with people with bipolar disorder or people with multiple disorders. Work with a doctor that specializes in the area of concern. This ensures they will continuously be updated on the latest treatment options and information regarding your condition.

3. Respect

Many doctors believe that they know what’s best, and that’s true to an extent. Doctors have a wealth of knowledge that most of us do not. However, a doctor should still listen carefully to patients and address their concerns. Avoid doctors that ignore your concerns, talk over you, and don’t respond respectfully. This behavior can hurt the practitioner/patient relationship and lead to poor quality of care.

4. Accessibility

Finding a doctor that is accessible is essential to receiving quality care. When you are concerned about certain things, you should back in a timely manner. Doctors should provide various communication avenues, including an email and phone number. Patients must be able to contact the office to schedule appointments, too. When a doctor is unavailable, patients must have another doctor they can reach, and their psychiatrist should provide this information.

The first step to mental wellness is to find a knowledgeable and reliable medical professional. Be sure to look for these qualities during your search. With the help of the right person, you can feel better and accomplish your goals. SouthEnd Psychiatry understands the importance of a collaborative relationship with patients and never mind discussing problems with you. Give us a call when you’re ready to schedule your first appointment.

Helping Kids Overcome School-Related Anxiety

There are many different kinds of anxiety. School anxiety, a condition that can affect children of all ages, manifests as an excessive fear of school and the activities associated with it, such as making friends, speaking in public, or taking tests. Neurologist and former teacher Ken Schuster, PsyD, says that anxiety “tends to lock up the brain,” making school hard for anxious kids.

Know the Symptoms

Healthline.com explains that symptoms of anxiety in children who are 10 and under may include: 

– irritability, crying, yelling, or having a tantrum

– refusal to participate in the process of getting ready for school 

– loss of appetite or nausea as it draws close to time to leave for school 

– nightmares or difficulty sleeping

– headache

– increased heart rate and/or rapid breathing

As students grow older, their anxiety may show itself in the form of external school-avoidance behaviors. Signs of anxiety in children who are in middle and high school will vary across cultures and individual families, but may include

– truancy/excessive absence from class 

– refusal to participate in school activities

– rapid breathing and/or quick heart rate 

– loss of appetite, nausea, or headache

– self-harm behaviors

How to Help

There are many ways to help and support your child through school anxiety. Acting with empathy and compassion, rather than establishing strict rules and punishments is a great place to start. 

Talk openly about feelings and mental health. Make sure to ask questions about school at times when your child is calm. You don’t want to make your child feel interrogated, instead simply give them a chance to make their feelings known so that they feel understood.

Check your Priorities

This is a big one. Sometimes the source of school anxiety may start at home. Take a real honest look at what your parental attitude toward academic success is. This can greatly help children who are afraid of failing.

Get Help From an Expert

Reach out to SouthEnd Psych right away if your child’s anxiety is causing distress or interfering with daily life. Untreated anxiety can lead to other problems, such as depression, substance use disorders, and social isolation. 

Southend Psychiatry is also here to help you navigate conversations with your child’s school personnel to develop a plan. This may include making adjustments to your child’s schedule, providing support in the classroom, or involving your child in social activities outside of school.

Contact Southend Psych today to inquire about appointment availability and get your child on their way to a better place.

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.

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