Mental Health Care for Veterans

The American Government should be ashamed of the mental health care we give our Veterans. The people who fight for our freedom and protect us have to go to the VA for mental health treatment. A lot of Veterans come back home with P.T.S.D and/or severe trauma. The VA is arguably the worst health care in America, we all read about and hear the horror stories the Veterans go through trying to get into the VA to see a mental health provider. I personally have taken calls from Veterans trying to get mental health treatment telling me the VA said they have a 3 month waiting list to see a mental health provider. They sometimes are willing to pay for treatment out of their own pocket. That is how much they want help from a mental health provider.

Meanwhile, Federal Employee’s enjoy Blue Cross & Blue Shield with a $20 co pay as their insurance carrier. With BCBS Federal Employee’s can see a mental health provider within a few days. There are a lot of excellent mental health providers who are in network with BCBS.  My question to the American Government is, why can’t our Veterans also have Blue Cross & Blue Shield insurance as well so they can get the help they need?

Our active duty Military Personnel have Tri Care insurance, which is a Government funded insurance company managed very much like the VA. Why can’t our active duty Military Personnel have Blue Cross & Blue Shield insurance as well?

This is not a political bash on the Democratic Party or Republican Party, just simply a question to our government. This practice of the American Government giving arguably the worse insurance and care in America to our Veterans and Active Duty Military Personnel has been going on for decades.

 

Troubled Teens

Parenting a teen is never easy, especially if they are taking part in reckless behaviors like abusing alcohol, using drugs, or is violent and depressed.  While parenting a troubled teen can often seem like an impossible task, there are steps you can take to ease the chaos at home and help your teen become a successful adult.

As they grow older, teens begin to assert their independence, because of this, they may experience behavioral changes that can seem bizarre to the parents.  Therefor, it is important for parents to understand which behaviors are normal during adolescent development and which are indicators of a more serious problem.

  • Changing in appearance is typical teen behavior, although if it is accompanied by problems at school or self-harm it is a problem.
  • Mood swings are normal due to hormone changes, although sudden persistent sadness, anxiety, or sleep problems can be a sign of depression.
  • Increased arguments is typical teen behavior as they begin to seek independence, although violence at home, getting in fights at school, and run-ins with the law are all red flags.

If you see a red flag behavior in you teen you should consult a doctor, counselor or therapist. At Star Point Counseling Center, we specialize in helping troubled teens get back on the right track. We can help your teen through the stages of change, to increase compliance with rules and laws, encourage positive peer selection, improve academic status, and overall goal directed behavior. If you have any questions or wish to speak to a counselor please give us a call at (813)-244-1251.

Family Stress

Family dynamics significantly impact one’s health in both positive and negative ways. Having a close-knit and supportive family provides emotional support, economic well-being, and increases overall health. Although, the opposite is also true. One’s health tends to be negatively affected by family stress and conflict. Families characterized by conflict, anger, and aggression have a particularly negative effect on the children in the home.

At Start Point Counseling Center, we can help you identify specific family dynamics that compromise the quality of home life for you and your children. We encourage strong, loving, high functioning, and spiritually grounded family lifestyles.

Without pointing the finger of blame, shame or chastisement, we work to identify the factors that may contribute to a breakdown in communication in the home. So, if you are experiencing tension and stress from your family dynamic please visit our website starpointcounselingtampa.com or give us a call at (813)-244-1251.

Enjoy the little things…Holiday stress!

Sometimes it is difficult to remember to sit back and enjoy the holidays with the people you love. We spend so much time shopping, wrapping presents, returning presents, and attending holiday parties, all while already attending to our already busy schedule.

Here are some times to help you enjoy the holidays:

  • Try to find peace and joy in the season and focus on the moment you are in and not about the future.
  • Plan ahead, sometimes starting early with the decorations will help set your mind to ease. It’s never fun procrastinating setting up the Christmas tree and spending weeks worrying about it.
  • Try to keep the same routine for your kids, because they feel more secure when their days follow a predictable order. This helps keep your household peaceful and running well.
  • Remember what the holidays are about. Try not to get caught up so much with the physical aspects of the holidays, but instead remember its about spending time with the people you love. Try to shop less and focus on family time and de-stressing. Don’t forget to laugh! Laughter is the best medicine! :)

Grieving the loss of a loved one

Grieving is something that everyone endures at one point in their life. It is an individual experience that depends on someone’s personality, coping style, life experiences, and faith. The grieving process takes time and cannot be forces or hastened.

Here are some misconceptions are grieving:

  • The pain will go away faster if you ignore it.

Trying to ignore your pain or keep it from surfacing will only make it worse in the long run. For real healing it is necessary to face your grief and actively deal with it. This may be in the form of therapy and talking it out.

  • It’s important to be “be strong” in the face of loss.

Feeling sad, frightened, or lonely is a normal reaction to loss. Crying doesn’t mean you are weak. When grieving, it is important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold without holding yourself back, from fear or being “weak.”

  • Grief should last about a year only

There is no right or wrong time frame for grieving. How long it takes can differ from person to person. Some people start to feel better in weeks, while it takes others years to cope with their loss.

At Star Point Counseling Center, we have licensed counseling therapists available to help you get through the loss of a loved one. So, if you are having a problem coping with a loss and want to talk about it and learn ways to move forward please visit our website at  starpointcounselingtampa.com  or give us a call at (813)-244-1251.

 

Tips for social anxiety

Many people endure shyness, panic and anxiety even to the thought of having to meet or mingle with others. They will experience dry mouth, pounding heart, shaky voice, rapid breathing, sweating, blushing and an upset stomach. Because of this, they tend to avoid people all together. Here are some tips to help you if you are experiencing these symptoms:

  • Relax prepare yourself for whats to come and begin to think about the situation while in a relaxed state.
  • Seek out social situations actively put yourself in social situations so they will become “normal” and  not something that builds up dear anymore.
  • Ask questions social phobia has us worrying about what other people think about us. Cultivate curiosity and ask people open questions and interact with them.
  • Be yourself don’t be scared to “make a fool’ our of yourself or worry about being “perfect.” Just relax and be yourself!

At Star Point Counseling Center, we have licensed counseling therapists available to help you social anxiety. So, if you are having a problem interacting with people or going to new places and want to talk about it and learn ways to cope with your anxiety, please visit our websitestarpointcounselingtampa.com or give us a call at (813)-244-1251.

Marriage Counseling

It takes work and effort to have a healthy marriage. Here are some tips you can use to strengthen your relationship:

  • Spend time with each other! Plan date nights and weekend getaways, by spending time together you will better understand your partner and grow strong together.
  • Learn to negotiate and communicate. Conflict is a normal part of any relationship, although there are boundaries and ways to discuss a problem. Learn to express your thoughts and not assume the other person knows how you feel. Also, don’t forget to let the other person talk.
  • Show respect for each other at all times. Never put down the other person or criticize them.
  • Explore common interests and try new things together.
  • Explore intimacy. Marital intimacy, whether sexual or emotional, can open your relationship to a whole new level of enjoyment and closeness.

At Star Point Counseling Center, we have licensed counseling therapists available to help you with your marriage. So, if you are having a problem with your marriage and need to talk about it, or want to learn ways to build relationships, please visit our website starpointcounselingtampa.com or give us a call at (813)-244-1251.

Tips for Co-Parenting

The key to co-parenting is to focus on your child and your child only. This can be very difficult at times. It means that your own emotions, anger, or resentment is set aside. Co-parenting is about your child’s happiness, stability and future well being. It is ok to be hurt and angry but your feelings don’t have to dictate your behavior. Here are some tips for communicating with an ex:

  • Make sure never to vent to your child and to get your feelings out somewhere else, for example a close friend or therapist.
  • Never use your kid as the messenger, this will put him or her in the center of the conflict.
  • Use a business-like tone with your ex and set the boundaries. Be cordial, respectful, and use a neutral tone.
  • Be sure to listen. Even if you do not agree, communicating with maturity starts with listening. Listening foes not signify approval but is necessary to understand the other person’s point of view.
  • Lastly, keep the conversations kid-focused and about your child’s needs.

At Star Point Counseling Center, we understand the challenges that come with a divorce and want to help you make adjustments to the changes that occur when families are split up. If you are having trouble with your ex or need communication or patenting techniques please visit our website starpointcounselingtampa.com or give us a call at (813)-244-1251.

Have you endured a traumatic event?

When a stressful event happens in our life or we are under threat our sympathetic nervous system is activated. This causes our eyes to dilate, our attention to focus, our heart rate to increase, our breathing to become faster and our muscles to tense up. This is all to help you react quickly in order to insure better safety. This is a normal reaction, and it is customary to be shaken by a traumatic event or at the site of danger.

However, if these symptoms last for an extended period of time after the incident, you may want to seek help. If your stress reaction lasts for months on end and is accompanied by a number of other symptoms like reoccurring memories or distress and anxiousness about the event, that are significantly interfering with you life, you should seek professional help.

At Star Point Counseling Center, we have licensed counseling therapists available to help reduce your stress, relieve your pain, and make you feel better. We are here to help you find out how to maximize your productivity and build coping skills. So, if you have experienced a traumatic event and need to talk about it, or want to learn ways to cope with your distress, please visit our website starpointcounselingtampa.com or give us a call at (813)-244-1251.

Feeling Anxious?

Sleepless nights of restlessly turning over in bed for hours on end, worrying about what tomorrow’s day has to come…

If this sounds like something you are currently going through you might have a problem. Many people undergo excessive worrying and fear that interferes in their daily life, in most cases causing tiredness, shakiness, dizziness, nausea and shortness of breath. Do you find yourself feeling constantly on edge that you can’t fall asleep at night or even have a hard time concentrating at work? If you are experiencing any of those symptoms here are some tips that may help you with your anxiety:

  • Take time out of your day to relax. Listen to music, do yoga, or get a massage, and practice relaxation techniques that help you clear your head.
  • Eat a well balanced diet. Do not skip meals and maintain a healthy diet.
  • Exercise. Daily exercise will help you stay fit and relieve stress.
  • Take deep breaths. When you feel anxious inhale and exhale slowly, maybe while counting to 10 slowly.
  • Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify that makes you anxious? Write down when you are feeling stressed and look for a pattern.
  • Talk to someone!!! Talk to supportive friends or family and let them know how they can help you. Also don’t hesitate to talk to a physician or therapist for professional help.

Not all anxiety can be easily managed even with the right tools to do so. Sometimes, you need to reach out for help from someone who can help you take control of your life and enhance your ability to cope with life’s anxieties. As always, at Star Point Counseling we are here for you. So, if you are experiencing difficulty in areas of life please visit our website starpointcounselingtampa.com or give us a call at (813)-244-1251. We Care!