Mental Health Monsters – Depression and Anxiety

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Emotional monsters.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Has your life been a struggle with monsters?

As children, many of us had monsters in our closet. Some of you needed night lights or parents to turn on the light and check the closet for us. That light chased away the monsters.

But as we grew older some of us discovered we were locked in a struggle with real-life monsters, anxiety, depression or another emotional problem.

Rather than fearing the monster under the bed or the one in our closet, we began to try to lock those monsters away in the closet. Slam the door on the depression or anxiety and pretend that if we don’t see that monster then he does not exist. Our family, friends, and society were more than willing to play along in this game.

So now older, we discover that mental health monster has been living in the closets of our mind and all the while that depression monster, the anxiety monster and maybe you addiction monster, they have all been growing, locked away in the closet.

So how, after all this time of pretending that you are not troubled by an emotional problem monster, do you open that closet and do battle with the creature that you wanted to deny?

Society has been a willing participant in this process of hiding the monsters of mental illness and emotional problems from us. If we pretend that depression does not walk among us, if we can laugh at the ravages of the anxiety monster then we can all feel safe from this gang of emotional problem monsters.

If you are going to fight the great fight against the gang of mental health monsters you will need a host of emotional tools, the weapons you will need to defeat the monsters of the mind.

Have you put together a toolkit that will help you in your struggle with those emotional monsters?

What tools work for you?

Related articles

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – 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 my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Advertisements

I got lost again – inside my house

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

looking for directions.

Lost in Life.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Wandering again.

Several times this last week I have gotten lost without even leaving my own house.  My roommate describes this as “wandering.” She tells me I wander around the house as if I am lost.

 

Truth is I frequently am lost. I do not yet believe this is an organic problem. My doctor does not think I have any dementia – yet. Still, I am getting concerned.

Most of the time I can blame these failings on the doorway effect. I wrote a previous post about how we all experience this memory fault, or most of us do. We go to the kitchen and then can’t remember what we went in there for.

I would like to blame my wandering on doorways, but I know that this problem should resolve if I would just go back to my desk in the office at which point I would remember what I needed in the kitchen.

The problem has become more acute. I find that I have to go to the bathroom, the bedroom and then the kitchen and not only can I not remember what I was looking for I am not sure where I am supposed to be going.

What I find has been going on is that I am mentally working on what the next post will be and the result is that there is little or no unused memory capacity for remembering where I am going and why.

We used to call this absent-mindedness. Remember the absent-minded professor? College is out for the summer here and I will not be able to use that excuse again until fall.

I believe that I am suffering from another more insidious ailment.

I have un-mindfulness.

Some of you have heard of mindfulness trainings. The goal is to get you to be fully present in the moment. Experience what you are experiencing and thus remember what is happening to you.

My problem is precisely the opposite. I am consciously unmindful. Wherever I find myself I am thinking about something that is somewhere else. My brain is occupied thinking through the next post even while my bladder is urging a hasty trip to the bathroom.

The result of these mental conflicts is that I end up in the kitchen, not sure why I am here and having an overwhelming urge to urinate.

I trust there is a minimal connection between the kitchen and the urge to urinate.

I remember a teacher who used to urge me to “pay attention to what you are doing.” I do not remember which teacher that was as I was not particularly paying attention.

What I believe I need to do is take a few days off from writing posts and read one of these mindfulness books I bought a while back, if only I could remember where I had placed the mindfulness book.

Hope you enjoyed this post. For the record, it is not my intention to make fun of those with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Just having a little fun realizing that sometimes my mind is so occupied with things somewhere else that I forget to be mindful of where I am now and what I am supposed to be doing.

Learning to be more mindful is not the only self-improvement project on my schedule this year. Remind me to tell you about my experiences with stress reduction, meditation, exercise, and yoga class. I am also trying to simplify my life and cut down on all these activities that are taking up my free time.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – 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 my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.