Suffering from Social Anxiety Can Be Isolating

By | Anxiety, Biltmore, Blog | No Comments

Social Anxiety. We all generally have an idea about what social anxiety means, but actually suffering from it can be quite isolating.

Social Anxiety according to Psych Central, also known as social phobia, is an intense fear of becoming extremely anxious and possibly humiliated in social situations — specifically of embarrassing yourself in front of other people.

Have you ever been to a gathering, only to say something or do something that you were totally embarrassed by? To most of us, we acknowledge the embarrassment, and can usually let it go after a day or two. When you suffer from social anxiety however, the person will feel an overwhelming sense of embarrassment, and go over and over the incident in their mind for weeks.

What does Social Anxiety look like?

There can be a broad range of anxieties related to social situations. A fear of public speaking can be common, or meeting new people. Sometimes these fears can become extreme, such as a fear of eating in front of others, using a public restroom, or blushing in the presence of others.

Like other forms of anxiety, it can be very isolating and detrimental to the persons life. A person might avoid social situations all together. They might have difficulty speaking up at work, or going to a coworker or boss with a problem or concern. They usually decline offers of social situations, and feel an intense amount of pressure when asked to interact with others.

How does Social Anxiety look from the outside?

When perceived from the outside, a person with social anxiety can seem very shy, withdrawn, awkward, nervous, or disinterested. This is not usually the case. Usually a person who has this type of anxiety wants to be involved, to go to social events, or participate in conversations but their extreme anxiety prevents them from doing what they really want. Most of the time a person will understand that their fears are not based on facts or rationality, but cannot seem to control these obsessive, obtrusive, and anxious thoughts.

Social Anxiety can be treated with therapy and sometimes with medications if necessary. If you or a loved one are suffering from any type of anxiety, and would like to come in and see one of our wonderful Therapists, please give us a call at 480-999-7070 and we’ll be happy to help!

Suicide Prevention

5 Simple Steps to Help Prevent Suicide

By | Anxiety, Biltmore, Blog, Communication, Coping, Depression, Grief & Loss, Mental Health, PTSD, Stress, Suicide | No Comments

Earlier in the week we shared a TED Talk about how to start a conversation about suicide. In the last few months we have had a number of big name celebrities die from suicide. Our media once again has become saturated with those who many of us look up to and their decision to take their own lives.

Whether you think that posting about it, talking about it, or sharing about it glorifies suicide or supports prevention, there are a few basic steps we all need to be reminded of to help someone close to use who might be struggling.

According to Elana Premack Sandler L.C.S.W, M.P.H and her article on Psychology Today, there are 5 simple steps for suicide prevention.

  1. Ask
  2. Keep Them Safe
  3. Be There
  4. Help Them Connect
  5. Follow Up

It is hard to know what to do when someone we love has started to talk about suicide. Do we talk to them about it? Do we call for help? Do we ignore it and hope it goes away? Do we force them to get help?

These days there are a number of suicide prevention numbers and hotlines to call. 1-800-273-8255 is the National Suicide Hotline, and here in Arizona there is a local number called Empact 1-480-784-1514

But when you are close to someone and see them struggling, it’s easy to be unsure of what to do. These 5 simple steps are easy to remember, and can help someone you love get the help they need. Sometimes we are afraid of asking if someone is thinking about taking their own life, but we need to ask these tough questions. It opens the door for our loved ones to know that we care about them, and are concerned. When we take action to keep them safe, we can keep a situation from escalating. We can keep them on the phone, go over to their house if possible, send a neighbor or a friend over while we are connecting them with phone numbers or other resources for help.

It is important to follow up with our loved one and ask them how they are doing. By following up we are letting that person know we care about their long term health and happiness, and are willing to step in to keep them safe.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please give them the Empact Crisis Line phone number 1-480-784-1514 or the National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255

We are here to help as well. If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment, call our office at 1-480-999-7070.



Black and white photo wit woman holding a calendar with Friday the 13th highlighted and she is crossing her fingers.

Bad Luck or Psychological Reversal?

By | Anxiety, Biltmore, Blog, Mental Health, Psychological Reversal | No Comments

Today is Friday the 13th, are you superstitious? A lot of us seem to have belief in bad luck, karma, or superstitions that can drive our personality and behaviors. Have you ever thought you have perpetual bad luck? It doesn’t matter what you do, but somehow terrible situations seem to always find you?

Psychological reversal is a subconscious condition of self sabotage. So instead of making well thought out constructive decisions, you seem to make decisions that will only bring you unhappiness and misery.

Does it seem like everything is going really well, and then somehow you make one decision that brings it all crashing down? This could be psychological reversal. If you feel uncomfortable or uneasy when things are going your way, or good things are happening to you, you might start to feel like your expectations are getting too high. Nobody wants to get let down or not have certain decisions that do not meet their high expectations. So instead of letting the situation play out on it’s own, someone who engages in psychological reversal will subconsciously sabotage the situation in order to have control over the expectation level. By self sabotaging, the person knows they will be disappointed and miserable, and this gives them a sense of control rather than not knowing if something will disappoint them or uplift them.

Is there anything that can be done for Psychological Reversal? According to Dale Petterson an Energy Therapist, he uses muscle kinesiology as a way to treat clients who are so focused on the miserable outcomes.

In an article on Psychology Today by Susan Heitler Ph.D;

‘Muscle kinesiology works a lot like how a lie detector test works. The client’s arm serves as a lever that amplifies the slight physical changes that indicate a stress response.’

To read more about the way Dale Petterson uses this technique to help psychological reversal, check out the article over on Psychology Today!

Thermometer showing hot temperatures and blue skies

How the heat can impact our mood

By | Anxiety, Biltmore, Blog, Depression, Mental Health | No Comments

If you are in Arizona right now, then you are completely aware of how hot it is! It’s Summer time in the desert right? The temperatures are constantly in the triple digits, and the sun is blaring down on us every day.

Do you ever feel like the heat is impacting your mood, or your emotions, or your behavior? If you do, there is some thought behind that. According to John M Grohol, Psy D and his article on Psych Central, there is research that shows that heat waves can lead to more aggressive and violent behavior, as well as more findings of substance abuse in the hotter temperatures.

When people are hot, their anxiety seems to go down, while their depression seems to go up. And we’ve all surely experienced being extra tired, lethargic, and low energy with the increase in temperatures.

As always the best advice when it’s so hot it is affecting you psychologically, is to get indoors where it’s cool and stay hydrated. Often waiting until you feel thirsty is too late when it comes to hydrating. There are also certain health conditions that worsen in the heat, like Multiple Sclerosis. Make sure you and those around you are aware of how the heat affects these conditions, and how to keep symptoms at bay.

There are some people who are not bothered by extreme weather changes, and who welcome to different seasons. And there are a lot of people whose moods and emotions change positively or negatively with the seasons. If you’re feeling like some of this extreme heat is affecting you in a negative way, our Counselors here at Biltmore Psychology and Counseling are happy to help with certain coping and management tools!

Parents giving their children piggy back rides.

Common Mistakes with Parenting

By | Anxiety, Biltmore, Blog, Co-Parenting, Communication, Family, Parenting | No Comments

Becoming a parent doesn’t come with a one size fits all, or a step by step hand book with a bunch of “How To’s”. We learn to parent mostly from our own parents (or lack thereof), and from what we see in society. We may see parenting from siblings, friends, movies or books. But when it gets to the nitty gritty of parenting, it really comes down to learning as you go.

And every family is different. Some parents are more lenient with their kids. Some are more strict. Some have a very clear boundary of friend vs. parent, and some tend to lean more toward friend. How ever you choose to parent your children is up to you, but there can be some common mistakes to avoid.

According to Barbara Greenberg from Psychology Today, some of the common mistakes parents make are:

  • 1.Under or overdoing it with your kids
  • 2. Not getting to know your child
  • 3. Believing that worrying about your kids will keep them from harm
  • 4. Maintaining expectations that are too low or too high
  • 5. Not being the best role model yourself

1.  How involved should you be in your kids lives? Parents can either over do it when it comes to their kids space and individual lives, or they can under do it. Greenberg states that the deciding factor in how under involved or over involved you are in your kids lives, usually depends on how you were parented growing up. Were your parents strict? You might feel like you should do the opposite. Were your parents relaxed, and not around much? You might feel the need to insert yourself in every aspect of their day. It is very hard to find this balance, and as you go you will learn what works for you and your family. Remember that there are situations where it is okay to be strict, and there are those where it is okay to back off.

2. Greenberg warns about having assumptions about your child, and how dangerous that can be. If you are constantly assuming how your child feels, or why they are acting the way they do, then you will be doing yourself and your child a disservice. Many parents feel they know their children simply by observing them and comparing them to themselves or to their siblings. The way you really get to know your child, is to talk to them. Engage with them, ask them questions, ask them their opinions, talk to them about what they’re feeling. You might be surprised how forthcoming a child can be when they feel you want to participate in a conversation with them instead of at them.

3. Worrying is something that is second nature when you have children. You can worry yourself sick about your kids if you let yourself. Part of raising well developed and adjusted kids, is to let them learn and grow independently of you and your spouse. You cannot protect your child from everything in the world. You can equip them with the best knowledge, reactions, morals, ethics, manners etc, but when you worry about your children constantly it shows them you are anxious and not confident in their abilities to navigate the world. It also teaches them that you are afraid of everything, so they should be too.

4. When you compare your kids to each other, or to yourselves you’re setting them up for failure. When you label them in a certain way, it’s impossible for them to grow and learn. If your expectations for the family and for each children are too high, the kids will feel like they can’t do anything right. If the expectations are too low, they might loose motivation or drive to do or be more in life. The balance is hard to find, but there is a balance between teaching your kids to be independent and dependent.

5. Having kids is a big responsibility. But if you take on your role as a parent as the only role, you are ignoring your self care time, which could inadvertently be hurting your kids. If your kids always see you stressed or exhausted, and always involved in everything but taking care of yourself, they will see parenthood as a stressful choice. They will see that becoming a parent means giving up your life for your children. Remember to take time to take care of yourself and your spouse, so that everything can live a healthy and happy life together.

Read more on common parenting mistakes at Psychology Today.