Helpless.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Helpless person

Helpless.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Helpless

The test of a civilization is in the way that it cares for its helpless members”

― Pearl S. Buck

“A fear is a reaction to a specific danger, to which the individual can make a specific adjustment. But what characterizes anxiety is the feeling of diffuseness and uncertainty and the experience of helplessness toward the threat.”

― Rollo May, The Meaning of Anxiety

“It is impossible to win a contest with a helpless opponent since if you win you have won nothing.”

― Jay Haley

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

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What is burnout?

By David Joel Miller.

Are you at risk of burning out?

Burnout is one of those conditions, like anger, loneliness, and jealousy which results in

Burnout.

Burnout.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

a lot of people coming for counseling, but which is not a specific mental health diagnosis. Burnout has usually been studied in connection to occupational functioning. Job burnout can result in significant losses of productivity and people who are off work on disability.

Burnout is best described as a syndrome, a cluster of similar symptoms. Researchers have debated whether burnout is in fact just another example of major depressive disorder which occurs because of stress at work.

One of the criteria for diagnosing any mental health condition is whether or not that condition interferes with occupational functioning. So, if burnout keeps you from being able to work, you will probably get diagnosed with either a major depressive disorder or an adjustment disorder. In some countries, they use the ICD code Z73, which is not found in the copy of the DSM-5 I have in my office. The result is that while you may be off work for work stress or job-related burnout when you go to use your medical insurance, they will probably be diagnosed you as having Major Depressive Disorder.

Burnout is largely associated with occupations which require a lot of contact with customers or clients.

Three professions are particularly noted for having high burnout rates.

  1. Educational professionals, teachers, and administrators.
  2. Medical professionals, doctor’s nurses and other related professionals.
  3. The human service professions, counselors, therapists, and social workers.

Burnout has also been identified in the banking and retail sectors. Some researchers have studied burnout in students, home workers, and couples. The concept of burnout was originally called compassion-fatigue because of the number of workers in the social service area who became so burned out they stopped feeling empathy for their clients.

The impact of burnout.

Employee burnout results in increased absenteeism and an increased employee turnover. There’s also a condition which has been called presenteeism in which people show up for work but work so slowly they accomplish almost nothing. If you are suffering from burnout, you may consider quitting, or you may do your job in a halfhearted manner. People suffering from burnout have an increased rate of physical illnesses, they missed more days of work and are more likely to file for disability payments.

The three components of burnout.

Burnout is a response to stress which exceeds a person’s ability to cope and which largely impacts their ability to work. Three specific symptom clusters have been identified as part of the “burnout syndrome.” The names of various authors use to describe these symptom clusters may vary, but the descriptions are remarkably similar.

Burnout causes extreme fatigue.

People who are suffering from burnout report high levels of both physical and emotional fatigue. They may describe themselves as being “worn out.” As the burnout progresses, people may become too tired or anxious to sleep. Loss of sleep, continuing to worry about what will happen when they returned to work increases the exhaustion leading to a downward spiral.

People with burnout stop caring.

This detachment is sometimes called cynicism, or Depersonalization. When you’re burned out or in the process of burning out, you may try to reduce the stress by detaching, becoming distant and impersonal. Workers who are burning out presented as cold and aloof. In the social services, they may be described as suffering from compassion fatigue.

You start doubting your abilities as your burnout progresses.

As burnout develops people report a reduction in self-efficacy, their belief that if they try, they can do something. Work output declines. Burned-out workers become less and less efficient. They start developing a negative self-concept, have feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Clients or customers report less satisfaction with the services they receive from providers who are suffering from burnout. Eventually, the burned-out work leaves. Sometimes they go on disability, sometimes they take another job, but many times burned-out workers are unable to work for long periods of time.

If you are developing the burnout syndrome because of work stress, seek help as soon as possible. Please don’t wait until you reach the point you can’t work at all. In some upcoming posts, look at some of the other characteristics and the treatments available for burnout.

More posts about – Burnout

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life.

Your cruising along the road of life and then wham, something knocks you in the ditch.

Sometimes you get your life going again quickly. Other times you may stay off track and in the ditch for a considerable time. If you have gone through a divorce, break up or lost a job you may have found your life off track. Professionals call those problems caused by life-altering events “Adjustment Disorders.” Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of Adjustment Disorders, how they get people off track and how to get your life out of the ditch. Bumps on the Road of Life is now available in both Kindle and paperback format.

Casino Robbery.

The robbers wanted more than money; they planned to kill Arthur’s fiancé and her boss.

Arthur Mitchell was trying to start his life over with a fiancé and a new job. That all ends when the casino robbers shoot Arthur, kill his fiancée, and her boss. Arthur would like to forget that horrible day, but the traumatic nightmares and constant reminders won’t let him, and someone is still out to get him. When he tries to start over by running a rural thrift store, someone knocks him unconscious, vandalize the store, and finally tries to kill him. His only chance to find peace is to figure out what the killers want from him and why.

Casino Robbery is a novel that explores the world of a man with PTSD who has to cope with his symptoms to solve the mystery and create a new life. Casino Robbery is available now in both Kindle and paperback editions.

Other books are due out soon; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

That thing called jealousy.

By David Joel Miller.

Is jealousy a good thing or bad thing?

Jealousy

Jealousy.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Jealousy is a complicated subject. When the word jealousy is used, most people think immediately about their romantic partner relationship. It appears that certain expressions of jealousy can strengthen some relationships while other expressions can destroy your relationships. Clients who come to counseling because of jealousy, usually have been harmed by a jealous partner or they’ve been required to get counseling because their jealousy has led to violent, aggressive actions.

Sometimes people go out of their way to make their partner jealous. It is an ego boost to know your partner will become jealous when that cute guy or gal pays you some attention. Other times excessive jealousy can destroy a relationship when it moves from expressions of affection to controlling behaviors or even violence.

How your partner handles jealousy is largely about them, not about the facts of the situation. Let’s look at the nature of jealousy, how jealousy operates and how it might have both good and bad expressions.

Jealousy is more than a feeling.

Researchers find that this thing we call jealousy includes thoughts, emotions, and actions. In its simplest form jealousy thought that you have lost or are at risk to lose something, usually another relationship to a rival.

This thought that someone might be taking away your relationship can trigger feelings fear, grief, and loss, or anger. People who experience a threat to their relationship may become anxious, depressed or may be driven to attack the perceived rival. These feelings become the basis for actions.

The difference between envy and jealousy.

Envy is when one person wants what another person has. If your neighbor has a luxury car, you want one as good or better. If your neighbor has an attractive partner envy would mean you wanted an attractive partner also. Someone who is envious of you wants something as good as or better than what you have. They do not necessarily want to take what is yours.

Jealousy involves three or more people.

Jealousy stems from threats that some will take away your relationship with another person. There’s a belief that jealousy fills an evolutionary function in humans, probably in other animals also. Expression of jealousy, the behaviors, function to prevent mate poaching. Jealousy, that possibility of losing a relationship, affects males and females differently.

Stay tuned in for more posts about jealousy; it’s causes and its treatment, which is coming up soon. More information about Jealousy and its treatment is or will be at Jealousy

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life.

Bumps on the Road of Life.

Bumps on the Road of Life.
By David Joel Miller

Your cruising along the road of life and then wham, something knocks you in the ditch.

Sometimes you get your life going again quickly. Other times you may stay off track and in the ditch for a considerable time. If you have gone through a divorce, break up or lost a job you may have found your life off track. Professionals call those problems caused by life-altering events “Adjustment Disorders.” Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of Adjustment Disorders, how they get people off track and how to get your life out of the ditch. Bumps on the Road of Life is now available in both Kindle and paperback format.

Casino Robbery.

The robbers wanted more than money; they planned to kill Arthur’s fiancé and her boss.

Photo of Casino Robbery book

Casino Robbery.

Arthur Mitchell was trying to start his life over with a fiancé and a new job. That all ends when the casino robbers shoot Arthur, kill his fiancée, and her boss. Arthur would like to forget that horrible day, but the traumatic nightmares and constant reminders won’t let him, and someone is still out to get him. When he tries to start over by running a rural thrift store, someone knocks him unconscious, vandalize the store, and finally tries to kill him. His only chance to find peace is to figure out what the killers want from him and why.

Casino Robbery is a novel that explores the world of a man with PTSD who has to cope with his symptoms to solve the mystery and create a new life. Casino Robbery is available now in both Kindle and paperback editions.

Other books are due out soon; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Why you are indecisive.

By David Joel Miller.

Having trouble deciding?

Indecisive

Indecisive.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Some people make sudden impulsive decisions and regret them later. Other people spend a lot of time trying to decide and may let opportunities pass them by without ever deciding. How is someone supposed to know when to make a quick decision and when to spend a lot of time thoroughly thinking things through?

If you’re one of those people who has difficulty making decisions, there may be some very important reasons why you have those deciding difficulties. Here are some reasons you may be chronically indecisive and what to do about it.

You don’t have all the information you would like.

Unfortunately, almost no one, ever, has all the information they would like. Sometimes the facts don’t turn up until after you made your decision. Think about how important this decision is to the rest of your life. Picking a person to marry, that’s a big decision. Once you’re married, there will be consequences if you try to end the relationship. Other decisions, like what clothing to wear today, will have a lot less importance.

You’re afraid of making the wrong decision.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a book somewhere that listed all the right decisions and the wrong ones for your life? The difficulty with that is that if I made you up that book, they would be my decisions, not yours. During your life, you’ll need to make a lot of decisions. Some of them will be right, and some of them will be wrong. Bear in mind that not deciding is, in fact, a decision. By not deciding you are deciding to do nothing.

You think you must choose between A and B.

Many people debate for a long time between two choices. Sometimes this is a choice between the best bad choice. Other times it’s a choice between the better good. The first thing to ask yourself is, are there only two choices? Have you artificially limited your alternatives?

Do a little brainstorming and see if there might be other choices. This might be a good time to seek advice from an expert in the field. If this is a once-in-a-lifetime choice, it bears a little indecision. If this is choosing what to have for dinner, don’t starve to death waiting to make your choice.

You’ve developed the habit of avoiding decisions.

If you grew up or have lived in poverty, you may have developed a scarcity mindset. If you spend money on the power bill, you may not have money for food. You may have developed the habit of waiting till the last possible second to decide because your resources are so limited. If that’s a cause of your indecision, work on getting yourself out of that scarce resource situation. Spend less, get a better paying job or a second job, find a way to make ends meet.

You gave up your right to decide.

Some people have avoided decisions by allowing others to decide for them. You may have come from a home where one of your parents made all the decisions. You may have grown up and gotten into a relationship with a partner who is controlling and wants to make all the decisions. You may have been one of those people who has avoided the anxiety of making decisions by numbing yourself out with drugs or alcohol. You can either decide to take back control of your life or decide to do nothing. The choice is up to you.

You don’t trust yourself to decide.

Low self-esteem can result in the inability to make decisions. Lots of people believe they need to always think rationally. Rational can be good. But that gut instinct has a place also. Learn to listen to your feelings, your intuition. For everyday decisions, what to eat, what to wear, you can go with your default choice. For major life decisions spend some time examining your feelings.

You don’t know what your values and goals are.

It’s hard to make decisions when you don’t know who you are and what you want out of life. When we are young, it’s common to be confused about our values. Some people adopt the values of their parents, their society, a political party, or religion. Eventually, most people should ask themselves if they believe this only because their parents did, or because the candidate from their political party told him to believe it.

Once you know who you are, what your core values are, it will be easier to set goals. Make your decisions ones that will take you to your life goals. Just make sure the path you take to your goals is consistent with your values.

You haven’t developed the right decision-making habits.

Making decisions needs to become a habit. Become more conscious of what you choose as you go through your day. Did you watch TV just because it was on? Why did you pick a particular place to go? The big box retailers know that if they get you in the door three times in a row coming to their store will be a habit. If you do something repeatedly without thinking about it, these actions become your habit. Re-examine the things you do out of habit and decide to live life more consciously.

Hard to decide when you don’t know who you are.

You are going to spend your whole life with you. Stop avoiding looking at yourself. You will make mistakes just like everyone else. Your life experiences will shape your life. The thoughts you have repeatedly will be what you believe about yourself and the world. When you know who you are, making decisions becomes less of an effort.

Your mental health is getting in the way of your deciding.

People with untreated depression find they can’t make decisions. If you are high in anxiety, your fear may be using so much of your brain; there’s nothing left to make decisions with. Your overthinking may have become a disease. If you have a mental, emotional, behavioral, or substance use problem, it will keep you from making good decisions. Get help for your thinking, feeling, and behaving issues, and making decisions will become far easier.

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life.

Bumps on the Road of Life.

Bumps on the Road of Life.
By David Joel Miller

Your cruising along the road of life and then wham, something knocks you in the ditch.

Sometimes you get your life going again quickly. Other times you may stay off track and in the ditch for a considerable time. If you have gone through a divorce, break up or lost a job you may have found your life off track.

Professionals call those problems caused by life-altering events “Adjustment Disorders.” Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of Adjustment Disorders, how they get people off track and how to get your life out of the ditch. Bumps on the Road of Life is now available in both Kindle and paperback format.

Casino Robbery.

The robbers wanted more than money; they planned to kill Arthur’s fiancé and her boss.

Photo of Casino Robbery book

Casino Robbery.

Arthur Mitchell was trying to start his life over with a fiancé and a new job. That all ends when the casino robbers shoot Arthur, kill his fiancée, and her boss. Arthur would like to forget that horrible day, but the traumatic nightmares and constant reminders won’t let him, and someone is still out to get him. When he tries to start over by running a rural thrift store, someone knocks him unconscious, vandalize the store, and finally tries to kill him. His only chance to find peace is to figure out what the killers want from him and why.

Casino Robbery is a novel that explores the world of a man with PTSD who has to cope with his symptoms to solve the mystery and create a new life. Casino Robbery is available now in both Kindle and paperback editions.

Other books are due out soon; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Counselorssoapbox.com most read articles.

By David Joel Miller.

My best articles.

Levels or types of Borderline Personality Disorder

How much should you tell a therapist?

Do therapists have to report a crime?

Is nicotine a stimulant or a depressant?

What do drug dreams mean?

Do people really forget what happened when drinking? – Blackouts

6 ways to recover from Complex Trauma or Complex PTSD

6 Reasons why you can’t make up your mind – Doubt and uncertainty fog memory

What if you go to the hospital drunk or high?

What do therapists tell the police?

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life.

Bumps on the Road of Life.

Your cruising along the road of life and then wham, something knocks you in the ditch. If you have gone through a divorce, break up or lost a job you may have found your life off track. Professionals call those problems caused by life-altering events “Adjustment Disorders.”

Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of Adjustment Disorders, how they get people off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Bumps on the Road of Life is available in both Kindle and paperback formats.

Casino Robbery.

Photo of Casino Robbery book

Casino Robbery.

The robbers wanted more than money; they planned to kill Arthur’s fiancé and her boss.

Arthur Mitchell was trying to start his life over with a fiancé and a new job. Then the casino robbers shoot Arthur, kill his fiancée, and her boss. Arthur would like to forget that horrible day, but the traumatic nightmares and constant reminders won’t let him, and someone is still out to get him. When he tries to start over by running a rural thrift store, someone knocks him unconscious, vandalize the store, and finally tries to kill him. His only chance to find peace is to figure out what the killers want from him and why. Casino Robbery is available in Kindle and paperback editions.

Other books are due out soon; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time. You can connect with me at my Facebook author’s page, David Joel Miller.

2018 First-Foot.

2018 First-Foot.

By David Joel Miller.

The first-foot through the door each year sets the tone for the rest of the year.

First foot in the door.

First Foot.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

There’s an old tradition; they say it comes from Scotland, that the first person through the door each new year’s sets the tone for the rest of that year.  Because of that, I wanted this to be my first post for the new year.

If this is your first time reading counselorssoapbox.com, I hope this post will start off your year in a good direction.  Longtime readers will know that this blog’s premise is having a happy life.

Life can have it struggles.  At some point in their life, everyone is likely to experience a mental, emotional or behavioral issue.  Because of this, I write a lot about mental health, mental illness, substance use disorders and overcoming the bumps on the road of life.  Here is hoping that this new year will bring happiness to you and yours.

Throughout this year on counselorssoapbox.com I plan to bring you tips about having a happy life, coping with emotional and mental issues and the impact that using and abusing substances might have on your mental and emotional health.

We will also present posts to help you with being a success. However, you define that success.  With over 1100 posts on counselorssoapbox.com so far, you’ll find plenty of tips in the past posts with more to come this year.  You might even want to consider subscribing to counselorssoapbox.com.

Thanks for being my lucky first-foot this year.

P.S.  If it takes you a while to get around to reading this post I will understand.  Whenever you get to it, please drop me a line.

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life is now available in both Kindle and paperback format.

Bumps on the Road of Life.

Your cruising along the road of life and then wham, something knocks you in the ditch.

Bumps on the Road of Life.

Bumps on the Road of Life.
By David Joel Miller

Sometimes you get your life going again quickly. Other times you may stay off track and in the ditch for a considerable time. If you have gone through a divorce, break up or lost a job you may have found your life off track. Professionals call those problems caused by life-altering events “Adjustment Disorders.” Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of Adjustment Disorders, how they get people off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Bumps on the Road of Life

Please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Casino Robbery.

The robbers wanted more than money; they planned to kill Arthur’s fiancé and her boss.

Photo of Casino Robbery book

Casino Robbery.

Arthur Mitchell was trying to start his life over with a fiancé and a new job. That all ends when the casino robbers shoot Arthur, kill his fiancée, and her boss. Arthur would like to forget that horrible day, but the traumatic nightmares and constant reminders won’t let him, and someone is still out to get him. When he tries to start over by running a rural thrift store, someone knocks him unconscious, vandalize the store, and finally tries to kill him. His only chance to find peace is to figure out what the killers want from him and why.

Casino Robbery is a novel that explores the world of a man with PTSD who has to cope with his symptoms to solve the mystery and create a new life.

Casino Robbery is available now in both Kindle and paperback editions.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books