Category: News

How to Effectively Use Self-Care this Mental Health Awareness Month

When you’re ‘down and out’, or ‘feeling small’, will self-care act like a bridge over troubled waters? Forgive our music comparison, but exactly what part does self-care play in helping us overcome the stresses in life? Some say it’s a cure-all, while others are less enthusiastic about how much help it actually provides. May is Mental Health Awareness month and a great time to learn how to effectively use self-care for improved mental health.

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Signs You May Have High-Functioning Anxiety

Are you constantly juggling multiple tasks, outwardly successful but inwardly overwhelmed? You might be experiencing high-functioning anxiety—a silent struggle that deserves a closer look. Often individuals feel like they are wearing a mask to the world. Here are the signs to watch for and why scheduling an appointment with a mental health clinician could be your first step toward finding relief.

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When Should I See a Mental Health Professional?

These days we seem to live with continuous anxiety, and many of us think it’s the “new normal.” Are you constantly “down in the dumps?” In the course of a week, how many days are good days vs not so good? If you are sad and depressed most days, maybe you should find out why and get some help. When is it time to see a mental health professional?

Prolonged Sadness

Someone who wakes up every morning feeling sad or depressed might need some professional help. Is sadness preventing you from normal activities or socializing? Is itTherapist speaking with client. causing you to miss work or school? Is it affecting your relationships or caring for your children?

These are questions a mental health professional might be able to answer. If you know someone like this, don’t be reticent. Suggest they get help. If it’s you, follow your own advice.

When Stress Dominates Your Life

There are many legitimate reasons for stress in today’s world. Recovering from isolation during the pandemic, inflation making money issues a daily problem, crises in the world and in our communities, and so much more can all trigger stress for individuals.

Most people have some level of stress in their daily life, but they carry on. They go to work, do their job, raise their family, and have found a way to cope. On the other hand, others are stuck in stress. Some can’t even get out of bed. Others are paralyzed and see no future, have no will to move forward, and just give up. If this is you or someone you know, don’t let them drown in the stress. Encourage them to seek help.

Out of Control Mood Swings

One minute you are feeling OK, and the next you are angry and irritated. If you find yourself going back and forth from euphoria to depression, it’s time to act. This isn’t normal behavior. Definitely see a mental health professional with Colony Care through telemedicine or in Wellesley, Weymouth, or Arlington, MA.

Some Signs You May Need Therapy or a Mental Health Professional

  • When you continuously feel overwhelmed and thinking you can’t do it all. This type of anxiety can affect your physical health.
  • Always feeling fatigued, but there is no real medical issue.
  • Feeling apathetic and losing all interest in life, friends, your job, and all activities you once loved.
  • Feeling so lost, you are having thoughts about harming yourself.

If you’re experiencing the above signs, contact Colony Care to request an appointment to meet with a mental health professional. We can support you on your path to well-being. Though, If this is a life-threatening emergency, please contact 911 and/or present to your nearest emergency room. Your mental health matters, and we can help.

How to Recognize and Diagnose Adults with ADHD

Children with ADHD can grow into adults with ADHD if it is never diagnosed or addressed. While it may be more evident in children, recognizing the symptoms and behaviors in adults, either in ourselves or those around us, is indeed possible. Research demonstrates up to 80% of adults with ADHD are undiagnosed. Let’s go through how to recognize and diagnose adult ADHD.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Formerly, many believed ADHD would resolve by young adulthood, yet it is well understood and recognized that ADHD is a genuine, lady at a table having trouble focusing.persistent, neurobehavioral condition in adulthood. People with ADHD might present as disorganized, inattentive, or facing challenges. They may struggle with meeting deadlines, take on too much, exhibit constant anxiety, or seem unable to complete tasks. It’s possible that this description resonates with individuals you know, including yourself. However, it’s crucial to understand that not everyone exhibiting such traits necessarily has ADHD.

Many people procrastinate and are messy, which may be ingrained characteristics or behaviors for some. Others may feel overwhelmed and struggle to meet the expectations of others–like a professor or a boss–or that they hold for themselves. Some people may struggle to focus and concentrate when they are feeling depressed. When these traits significantly affect their life, job, relationships, and overall success, it becomes imperative to consider formal evaluation. Many adults with symptoms of ADHD were never evaluated for ADHD as children and remain undiagnosed as adults. Through comprehensive interview and formal assessments, psychiatric providers at Colony Care can diagnose and treat adults in Massachusetts with ADHD or other conditions with similar symptoms.

Symptoms of Adult ADHD

Symptoms of ADHD in adults can be mild to severe. It is a persistent pattern of behavior, not something you go through briefly, for example during a period of high stress or following significant life change, and the symptoms have been present throughout one’s life.

Easily Distracted

We all can have trouble with focus on any given day, but if it is persistent, it could be ADHD. Does this person lose track of a conversation when something happens around them? Do they look at their phone in the middle of a meeting and never come back to what’s happening? Do you stare out the window at a bird when it flies by and forget what’s happening in front of you? Struggling to stay focused on the task at hand if there is any noise or visual stimuli at home or at work is a cardinal sign.

Impulsiveness

Being reckless, speeding while driving, talking out of turn, finding it hard to sit still, interrupting others, changing jobs frequently, or having persistent money problems can all be signs of ADHD in an adult.

Difficulty Stopping Activities or Behavior

Individuals with ADHD can become hyperfocused on a particular task or activity, making it difficult for them to stop, even when they should be shifting their attention to more important or time-sensitive matters. For example, they might get engrossed in a hobby or an online game and lose track of time. Some may attempt to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously, hindering their ability to complete any one task effectively. Adults with ADHD may overeat or binge eat or spend excessive time on screens even when it interferes with their health or responsibilities.

Problems Following Through

Someone who never seems to finish projects large or small, can’t focus on the task at hand, and has difficulty prioritizing could be an adult with ADHD. Someone with many projects, and yet only 40% of each is complete, is limiting their success at work and home.

Poor Time Management

Always running late, underestimating time needed to complete tasks, unable to find keys or notes, and trouble multi-tasking are classic signs of poor time management skills.

Other symptoms include:

  • Disorganization
  • Frequent mood swings, quick to anger, impatience
  • Trouble coping with stress
  • Poor planning
  • Nervous energy and restlessness
  • Difficulty with focus and attention in tasks or leisure activities

Treatment for Adult ADHD

It is believed that almost 4.5% of adults in America have ADHD, and half of those have another health or mood disorder like depression or anxiety. Mood and anxiety disorders without ADHD are even more common, yet may share many similar symptoms, behaviors, and traits of people with ADHD.

Only a professional like the affiliated clinicians at Colony Care can diagnose ADHD. A comprehensive evaluation involves an interview, which may include rating scales, assessment tools, and collateral information. Colony Care Behavioral Health offers a specialized clinician decision support tool called the IVA-2, which assesses cognitive processing to render a precise diagnosis. If you think you, or someone you love, is exhibiting traits of an adult with ADHD, find a professional with experience who can help. Counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, or prescription medications may be the right course of action for you. Contact Colony Care by requesting a new appointment or calling (781) 431-1177 if you suspect you may be dealing with adult ADHD and want help to overcome the behaviors affecting your day-to-day life.

How to Save on Healthcare Costs with Lively

In an era where healthcare expenses continue to rise, finding ways to save on medical costs has become an essential part of financial planning. Lively – a platform that empowers users to take control of their healthcare finances and make informed decisions.

By understanding the components of healthcare costs, utilizing Lively’s online HSA management tools, taking advantage of educational resources, and implementing practical tips, you can make informed decisions and save on healthcare expenses.

Discover how Colony Care can help you harness the power of Lively to save on healthcare costs by visiting their website: Lively Website

What is an HSA?

A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a special savings account that allows individuals to save money, often on a pre-tax basis, to pay for qualified medical Lively logo.expenses. HSAs are typically used in conjunction with high-deductible health insurance plans and offer tax advantages, making them an effective way to save for healthcare costs while reducing taxable income.

The funds in an HSA can be used for a wide range of medical expenses, including doctor’s visits, prescription medications, and other healthcare-related costs. Any unused money in the HSA can roll over from year to year, making it a long-term savings tool for healthcare expenses.

If you qualify, an HSA is a simple and clever way to cover medical expenses for both yourself and your dependents. Utilize Lively’s HSA Guide to learn more about HSAs as an effective tool for saving money that benefits you both now and in the future.

Understanding Healthcare Costs

Before diving into how Lively can assist in saving on healthcare costs, it’s crucial to understand the key components of these expenses:

  • Premiums: The monthly fee you pay for your insurance plan.
  • Deductibles: The amount you pay out-of-pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in.
  • Co-payments and Co-insurance: The portions of medical expenses you’re responsible for after meeting your deductible.

What is Lively?

Lively is more than just a health savings account (HSA) provider; it’s a comprehensive financial wellness platform designed to make managing healthcare costs easier and more efficient.

Here’s how you can use Lively to save on healthcare expenses:

  • HSA Management: Lively simplifies the setup and management of HSAs, which offer tax advantages while helping you save for qualified medical expenses. By contributing to your HSA, you can reduce your taxable income and pay for medical costs with pre-tax dollars.
  • Budgeting and Savings Tools: Lively offers various tools to help you budget for healthcare expenses. Set savings goals, track your contributions, and monitor your spending on medical services, all from a user-friendly dashboard.
  • Learning Resources: Lively provides educational materials, including articles, webinars, and guides, to help users become more informed about healthcare costs, insurance plans, and saving opportunities. Accessing these resources equips you with the knowledge to make cost-effective healthcare decisions.

Lively HSA Eligibility: What You Need to Know

When it comes to eligibility for opening or contributing to an HSA through Lively, there are two key factors to consider: the ability to have an HSA at all and the maximum yearly contributions.

Requirements Related to Your Health Plan

To be eligible for an HSA, you must be covered by a specific type of health insurance plan known as a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). HDHPs come with lower monthly premiums compared to plans with lower deductibles. This makes them a good choice for individuals who don’t anticipate having frequent medical expenses or those who wish to save on their monthly healthcare costs.

HSAs do not have income restrictions, meaning anyone can use one and enjoy the associated tax benefits. For more details on your eligibility for an HSA, you can refer to IRS Publication 969 or review Lively’s account eligibility guide.

Tips for Maximizing Savings With Lively

To get the most out of Lively and learn how to save on healthcare costs effectively, follow these tips:

  • Contribute Regularly: Make consistent contributions to your HSA to maximize your savings and tax benefits.
  • Attend Lively Webinars: Attend webinars and educational sessions to enhance your understanding of healthcare finance.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with Lively’s resource center to remain informed about the latest healthcare cost-saving strategies and trends.
  • Set Goals: Establish savings goals and actively monitor your progress within Lively’s platform.

Lively empowers you to take control, save more, and make informed decisions about your healthcare expenses, ensuring a healthier financial future.

Start your journey towards smarter healthcare spending with Lively today.

Healthcare costs are a significant part of your financial journey, but with the right tools and knowledge, you can navigate them successfully. Ready to start saving on healthcare costs? Visit Lively’s website partnered with Colony Care to learn more about their services and take control of your healthcare finances.

What To Do If You Think Your Teen Is Struggling With Mental Health

Tweens and teens are on a constant rollercoaster of emotions, and the hormonal changes don’t help the situation. Most parents can vividly remember their own teen years and what that time was like, but they didn’t have the challenges today’s kids deal with. Too much communication can be damaging to young kids, especially if it’s negative and/or threatening. Are you worried about your own child? Here’s what to do if you think your teen is struggling with mental health.

Our Communication Culture

Anyone can reach out to someone else in one instant. It occurs every second of every day, and teens are the most prolific. While adults may a teen with his head on wall stressed.regularly use the internet for business, teens are overloaded with TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, DMs, voicemails, emails, text messages, and YouTube. Many teens spend their entire day on some of these platforms according to the Pew Research Center report from 2022.

Teen insecurity hasn’t changed over the decades, it is just more a part of their daily lives due to social media and the constant comparison to others. In addition to bullying in school, today’s teens are also faced with cyberbullying.

Signs of Emotional Distress in Teens

Is your tween or teen just being a “teenager” or is something more serious going on? There are some telltale signs that they may be in emotional distress and struggling with their mental health.

  • Tiredness and loss of energy
  • No interest in usual activities
  • Change in appetite
  • Social isolation
  • Poor school performance and absences
  • Less attention to hygiene
  • Signs of self-harm
  • Anger and irritability

Be aware that if your teen is wearing long sleeve shirts in the heat, it may be a way to cover up cutting and other types of self harm.

Teens may suddenly resort to drugs and alcohol when they are struggling.

What Should a Parent Do?

Talk with your teen one on one. Take them out for lunch or find a private place. Assure them you are concerned about their behaviors of late, and ask if there is anything you can do to help. Ask if anything is bothering them. If they don’t want to respond right away, just wait and be ready to listen.

Give them every opportunity to talk. Maybe let them know that you get depressed sometimes too, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Ask if they would like to talk to someone else.

Watch for any talk or signs of suicide, even if they appear to be joking. Don’t hesitate to call the Suicide & Crisis Help Line at 988.

If your child refuses to acknowledge anything is wrong, or if you become more concerned, there is always help.

If you or your child would like to speak with a licensed professional, contact Colony Care by Requesting an Appointment to schedule a mental health counseling or psychiatry appointment with one of our affiliated clinicians in Massachusetts. Our therapists and psychiatric providers are specially trained and experienced to help teens and parents overcome the difficulties of adolescence and improve their mental wellness.

September Is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

Suicide is complicated and tragic, but it is often preventable. Knowing the warning signs for suicide and how to get help can help save lives. When it comes to recognizing the warning signs of those who may be contemplating suicide, there are several indicators to watch out for.

The behaviors listed below may be some of the signs that someone is thinking about suicide.

Talking about:

  • Wanting to die
  • Great guilt or shame
  • Being a burden to others

Feeling:

  • Empty, hopeless, trapped, or having no reason to live
  • Extremely sad, more anxious, agitated, or full of rage
  • Unbearable emotional or physical pain

Changing behavior, such as:

  • Making a plan or researching ways to die
  • Withdrawing from friends, saying goodbye, giving away important items, or making a will
  • Taking dangerous risks such as driving extremely fast
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
  • Eating or sleeping more or less
  • Using drugs or alcohol more often

If these warning signs apply to you or someone you know, get help as soon as possible, particularly if the behavior is new or has increased recently. It is crucial to use one or more of the following resources if you recognize warning signs in yourself or someone you know.

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
Call or text 988
Chat at 988lifeline.org

988 is a direct three-digit number to trained Suicide and Crisis Lifeline specialists. The service is free and available 24/7, 365 days a year via phone call, text, or chat (988lifeline.org/chat). Anyone may use 988 anywhere, and anytime you or a loved one is in emotional distress or having suicidal thoughts. Trained Lifeline specialists, who are not licensed clinicians, are available to provide free, confidential emotional support to all callers988 accessibility and services available for specific groups.

Those who are deaf or hard of hearing may use the online chat function or TTY users may use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988. Find more information, visit 988 resources for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have hearing loss.

Service members, veterans, and their families may reach the Veterans Crisis Line by pressing 1 after dialing 988, as well as by chatting online at veteranscrisisline.net or texting 838255

The Spanish Language Line can be reached by pressing 2 after dialing 988. Chat and text are also available in Spanish.

LGBTQ+ youth may reach the LGBTQ+ youth network by pressing 3 after dialing 988. Additional language translation services are available to all callers through telephonic interpreter services provided at the call center

Crisis Text Line
Text “HELLO” to 741741

 

The Trevor Project – 1-866-488-7386

The Trevor Project is a 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention hotline for LGBTQ youth. Youth can also text “Trevor” to 1-202-304-1200 for support, or use the online chat feature on the Trevor Project’s website.

TrevorText is available Monday-Friday between 3-10PM. TrevorChat is available seven days a week between 3-10PM.

www.nimh.nih.gov/suicideprevention

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