Mental Health: 
                   the Epicenter of Your Life 

Faith Escudero, MEd, CAGS, LMHC

Teaching the Principles of Optimal Mental Well-being

        It's about next level of understanding rather than changing.

Mental Health Counseling and Education Myth #1: 'Its for crazy people'; 'Its for having someone impartial to talk to'; 'I can figure it out on my own'; or 'She, he, they need it'. Each is lack of awareness about mental health counseling and education services. 

Like going to a biological doctor for physical symptoms such as physical pain, diarrhea, fever or bleeding, it is the right thing to do to initiate and participate in mental health counseling and education when experiencing consistent, notable or frequent psychological symptoms. They can be apparent through feeling states experienced inside such as stressed, overwhelmed, worried, angry, guilty, anxious, blaming, sad, resentful or hopeless. They can be apparent through stressful perspectives and mindsets experienced inside. They can be apparent through lack of appetite, excessive appetite, difficulty sleeping, sleeping frequently, frequent tension inside and lower performance levels at school and work. They could be originating from a life transition, a loss, a traumatic event or a family member or friend who has been demonstrating unsafe and unhealthy choices. These are internal signals participating in mental health counseling and education is the right thing to do. 

Effective Mental Health counseling and education is speaking about, understanding at greater levels, thus sustainably resolving inside less aware, unhealthy and/or unsafe ways of viewing, feeling, acting and choosing when responding to an event, condition or topic. It is also to experience inside increasing levels of awareness about essential relationship, self care and performance knowledge. Furthermore, it is the right way to sustainably resolve and heal trauma, loss and life transitions. In the case internal psychological signals are ignored, dismissed, avoided or misunderstood, like an infection the invisible, internal source of these the 'signals' grows and become more pervasive and chronic. 

As it grows, it effects more areas of one's life such as physical health, finances, relationships and level of productivity. It has often manifested into physical symptoms, illness and/or disease such as back and neck pain, migraines, blood pressure issues, digestive issues and respiratory issues. It can also result in fundamental and essential misunderstandings about oneself including one's true capabilities, one's true desires and passion as well as fundamental misunderstandings about others, events and topics. In other words, it has less knowingly led to mistakes, failures and painful or unresolved events internally.

Myth #2: "Talking about it makes me feel better". Understand the more commonly expressed and understood 'talking about it' has often been temporary relief from the internal signals like a placebo. Relying on 'talking about it', 'forgetting about it' or 'avoiding it' to feel better is a 'coping mechanism'. The underlying source typically needs to be addressed, understood, thus sustainably resolved at greater levels. In other words, the underlying source of the internal signals or symptoms have been less knowingly increasing when the provider and/or client can be under the impression it has been successfully treated, thus healed. 

Myth #3: "Taking medication or legal substances successfully treats and heals the source of the mental health symptoms". First, this is psychological illness rather than biological illness. For example, an essential step to resolve the biological illness, Type 1 diabetes is to inject insulin. Taking medication for a psychological illness can temporarily reduce the intensity or severity of the psychological 'signals', thereby, provide temporary, greater ability to participate in life's basic functions. The medication can also provide greater temporary access to internal capabilities to effectively listen, perceive, communicate, understand and practice at greater levels essential self awareness and relationship knowledge and skills. Therefore, when only taking medication or a preferred substance, the underlying source of the psychological 'signals' has been increasing when under the impression it has been successfully sustainably resolved or healed.  Ultimately, it is through accurate identification of the internal source, thereby, accurate treatment goals and objectives as well as committed, conscious participation in Mental Health counseling and education the source is resolved and healed at increasing levels.

Myth #4: Example: "I am depressed, therefore depression is the source or diagnosis." Depressive or anxious symptoms or 'signals' can be a feature of a psychological illness. It is through the intake and phases of the treatment process the licensed mental health counselor realizes and accurately diagnoses the source of the symptoms. The purpose for the accurate diagnosis is accurate treatment of the internal source. 1)Typically, a primary care physician's education and training has introduced the provider to mental health. Ethically and legally, they can suggest and refer a patient for mental health counseling. In other words, a primary care physician is not qualified or trained to diagnosis and/or treat psychological symptoms with medication and/or counseling. 2)Psychological symptoms have often been misdiagnosed, thus misunderstood and mistreated when conclusions are made from googling or an internet search of symptoms. 3)Like all professions, there are licensed mental health counselors that are highly knowledgeable and skillful. There are mental health counselors that are less knowledgeable and skillful. 

Myth #5:"Mindfulness, life style upgrades and mental health strategies and techniques sustainably resolve the source of the psychological symptoms." The underlying facts are mindfulness, life style upgrades and mental health strategies and techniques can provide access to a healthier state of Mind in current time. They can also be upgrades with how to spend one's time and enjoy life. Also, essential knowledge may be realized while experiencing the healthier state of Mind. In other words, mindfulness practices, life style upgrades and mental health strategies are good for a number of important reasons. There are also temporary in nature in regard to underlying source. Again, it is through directly increasing levels of awareness about the source, it is sustainably resolved and healed. Otherwise, an individual can be under the impression 'this is simply the way I am' or 'its my personality' when from psychological facts, the underlying source needs to be understood, thus treated and sustainably resolved.

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