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Walking Out on Depression

Monday, March 30, 2020

If you tuned in to today's group, you probably learned a lot about the causes of depression, symptoms, ways to treat it and cope. You probably also noticed I said absolutely, NOTHING about medication for ways to treat it. I hope you feel more powerful in your ability to "walk-out." If you didn't tune or need a refresher, here is what you missed:

Walking Out

What is Depression?

An individual’s prolonged or temporary state of sadness triggered by negative thoughts about self, others, the future and the world around them.

 -Thoughts include

  •  "Everything is bad" 
  •  "It won’t work out" 
  •  “I’m useless" 
  • "If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all…”                                                                                           
  • Often accompanied by guilt, shame, anger and anxiety
  • Severe focus on past events
  • Can last anywhere from 2 weeks to decades

Physical Symptoms

  • Tired, fatigue, lethargic
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Disrupted sleep patterns, sleeping too much or experiencing insomnia
  • Disrupted eating habits, over- eating or restricting food
  • Loss of interest in hobbies, activities, or sex
  • Exaggerated interest in hobbies, activities or sex

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Not going to work or school
  • Increase in the use of substances
  • Lashing out or acts of rage or seemingly angry all the time
  • Crying spells
  • Isolating from friends and family


  • Increase in stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol), decrease in endorphins and serotonin
  • Unresolved issues with disappointments of the past
  • Incongruence (Where you think you should be vs. where you are/Conflict between Actual self and Desired self)
  • Comparison
  • Perceived Failures or Learned Helplessness

Ways to Cope/Walk Out

  • Challenge thoughts/Take them to court ( is it true or factual, that you are "useless or a failure," or is there 100% proof to that?)
  • Get up and move, to produce natural serotonin and increase endorphins
  • Get therapy, resolve issues and discrepancies with the past
  • Practice congruency (discussed in group)
  • Forgive yourself and others for wrongdoings or mistreatment ( You can't change people or what happened, you can change your future and how you handle it)
  • Don’t compare yourself to other people (you don’t know their process or their position, you also might be comparing yourself to their incongruence or false sense of self)
  • Develop a plan to work towards the life you want (Build a supportive lifestyle that highlights your strengths, not your weaknesses)
  • Do not look at what you don’t have, look at what you DO have (create your emotional ramp) 

Thank you for joining. 

See you this Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 2pm for a  discussion on eating disorders and or disordered eating in the black community. 

An Intimate Conversation w/Anxiety

March 23, 2020

With everything going on in the U.S, many of us currently feel trapped or limited in how we function.  Some of us, feel this way without the  "stay at home" restrictions or the COVID-19 outbreak, and this makes dealing with anxiety almost unbearable. Today in group, we focused on anxiety, what it is, the unhealthy ways we cope and the ways to cope that are most effective. If you tuned it, I hope you logged off feeling supported and more empowered in your fight against anxiety.  You were provided the opportunity to connect with others who share the same thoughts and feelings, get positive feedback from other members and professional insight on improving coping skills. If you could not attend, or need a refresher, below is a briefing on what you missed:

An Intimate Conversation

What is anxiety?

  • The body’s way of responding to real or perceived danger
  • Adrenaline rushes into our blood stream that causes us to fight (confront with aggression) or flight (run in avoidance)
  • Thoughts associated with anxiety are…
    1.  “I’m in danger"
    2.   “The worse possible scenario is going to happen
    3.  “I won’t be able to cope with what’s about to happen”

Physical Symptoms

  • Heart racing
  • Deep breathing or heavy breathing
  • Muscles tense
  • Sweating
  • Hypervigilance (perceiving something as happening that is not actually occurring)
  • Stomach hurting or digestive system slows down

 Behavioral Symptoms

  • Avoidant of people, places and things
  • Not going out or only going to certain places at certain times with certain people
  • Escaping scenes or leaving early
  • Going into feared situations with a distraction such as your phone, self-talk, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, playing with your clothes, hair, constantly looking in your purse or bag, avoiding eye contact, etc. 

What to know about emotions

  1.  Understand that emotions are temporary and are fueled by thoughts, some rational based on experiences and some irrational based on perceived dangers. 
  2. They are not be ignored. Deal with the emotions by dealing with the thoughts associated.
  3.  Give yourself space and time to deal. Do not OWN the emotion. Tell yourself you "feel" it instead of you "are" it. 

Unhealthy ways of dealing with anxiety

  1. Crying
  2. Shutting down
  3. Isolation
  4. Drinking or smoking
  5. Avoiding or Ignoring

Healthy ways of dealing with anxiety

  1. Identify the thoughts associated with the fear
  2. Challenge the thoughts by sticking to the facts or finding evidence to support the fact that your thoughts are not true. 
  3. Stay in the moment, don't think about next week or next month.
  4. Set a boundary with others by saying,  "No, not now or maybe later...."
  5. Use a planner to avoid over committing or doing more than what your time and body allows. 
  6. Relaxation or meditation by using your 5 senses to create an emotionally safe space (as learned in group)
    1. Sense of smell
    2. Sight
    3. Touch
    4. Taste
    5. Sound
  7. Develop and use your emotional ramp (as discussed in group)
  8. Develop and use both mental and behavioral maps (as discussed in group)


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Nya B

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