Top 10 Reasons to Seek Counseling

Top 10 Reasons to Seek Therapy with PerceptA Therapeutic Counseling Services-PerceptA Therapeutic Blog

January 31, 2017

There are many barriers associated with people resisting the need to seek counseling that includes; stigma associated with seeking therapy, the perception of weakness and failure associated with needing assistance to manage one’s life, and resistance to self-disclose due to emotional vulnerability.

It takes courage to seek counseling, and you are not alone. Here are 10 of the most common reasons people seek counseling:

  1. For self-regulation, and emotional homeostasis
  2. To create balance in your life, and journey toward a purpose driven life
  3. To improve interpersonal relationships. Specifically to unlock your potential for meaningful and fulfilling relationships
  4. To improve communication skills, and develop healthier ways of communicating with others
  5. To explore and process life transitions (death, divorce, job loss, college, empty-nest…)
  6. To improve self-esteem, self-worth and confidence through self-exploration
  7. To improve coping skills and strategies to better deal with stress, anxiety, and depression
  8. To better manage and control emotions of anger
  9. To process unresolved psychological distress and experiences after exposure to major trauma
  10. To process race/ethnic-related issues and stressors, and work to explore resiliency as it pertains to race/ethnic-related issues

Whatever your circumstances, we here at PerceptA Therapeutic will work closely with you to develop an appropriate plan that meets your needs and accomplishes your goals.

Break free of the barriers, begin a better life today, and call PerceptA Therapeutic Counseling Services~

Happy Wellness!

The PerceptA Therapeutic Team

PerceptA Therapeutic & Training Center, LLC is located in Towson, Maryland. We offer counseling services to adults, adolescents, and children. We can be contacted via email: website:

The Bleak Side of Christmas: 8 Tips to Help Cope with Stress and Depression during the Holiday Season

The Bleak Side of Christmas: 8 Tips to Help Cope with Stress and Depression during the Holiday Season -PerceptA Therapeutic Blog

The Bleak Side of Depression: Coping with Stress & Depression by Dr. Chioma Anah
The Bleak Side of Christmas: Coping with Stress & Depression -by Dr. Chioma Anah.
“In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.”
Christina Rossetti- In the Bleak Midwinter (1872) -First stanza of poem (poem renamed A Christmas Carol in 1906)
Christmas is the happiest and most “wonderful” time of the year, so we are told. We are even bombarded with reminders of just how joyful this season is, with countless commercials filled with gift giving, happy faces, and the “perfect” family holiday scene. If you don’t feel the joy of the season, you are not alone.  Some people experience stress and depression throughout the year, but Christmas is a time of year that is especially difficult for many.  Some of the triggers reported have included; financial stress, inability to fulfill the unrealistic ideals and expectations of Christmas, social isolation, and grieving for a loved one. In fact, the sparseness of the language and imagery of the first stanza from the above poem by Christina Rossetti (1872), sums up the bleakness and depression many feel during Christmas.
With Christmas only a few days away, stop for a minute and take a deep breath. You can get through the Christmas season. Here are 8 tips to help minimize stress and depression.
1. Exercise. I’m sure you’ve heard this many times, exercising is a great way to relieve stress and control depressive symptoms. Exercising doesn’t only have to occur in a gym, you can incorporate physical activity when ever you can; going for a walk, parking your car further away from the shopping center, and riding your stationary bike at home. There are also other forms of exercise like, Yoga and swimming that are also beneficial. The benefits of exercise are enormous, as it lifts your mood and reduces your stress, while burning off calories.
2. Adopt healthy habits. Pay attention to your eating habits, alcohol intake, sleeping patterns, and hygiene. Often times, poor eating, irregular sleeping patterns and poor hygiene are symptoms of depression. Christmas season lends itself to overindulgences and excesses in eating and drinking, which can add to depression and stress later. Adopting healthy habits during Christmas time can help maintain emotional homeostasis.
3. Help others. There is no better way to stave off the holiday blues than to volunteer and help some one else. You can go as big as volunteering at a homeless shelter or as small as helping your neighbor with small chores around the house. Trust me, it will comfort you and make you feel so much better. Better still, it will make you appreciate and be grateful for what you have, rather than what do you don’t.
4. Connect with others. If you are lonely and socially isolated, reach out and connect with family, friends, and people you trust.  The internet has made it easy for us to connect with others. Reach out for support and send out a Christmas wish to everyone.
5. Be creative. Never underestimate the healing power of the creative arts. Creativity has been known to relieve stress and reduce depressive symptoms. You don’t have to be an artist or have artistic skills to do something creative, these days there are so many tools to use, such as adult coloring books, and some cool art apps. Flex your creative muscle, and relieve some stress!
6. Speak to a therapist. Depression is higher during the holiday season and should be taken very seriously. So many people are reluctant to seek counseling and tend to neglect their mental health, due, in part, by some of the stigma associated with mental illness. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and must not be taken lightly.  Remember, seeking counseling and help is a sign of courage, not weakness. A therapist can help you process your feelings of sadness, particularly if you have recently lost a loved one or you are missing someone who was prominent in your life during the holiday season.
* You can find a therapist in your area here.
*Please seek the assistance of a mental health expert, if you are feeling sad and need someone to talk to. If you are depressed and have suicidal thoughts during this holiday season, call 911 immediately, go to the hospital emergency room or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255
7. Always have a spending budget and stick to it. Don’t go over your budget nor give in to the pressures of excessive gift giving. Lack of money is a great source of stress, so be creative and personalize your gifts. Your recipients will be very happy because it comes from you, from love. Again, doing something creative will help reduce your stress.
8. There is nothing wrong with saying no. Always be realistic, organized, and plan ahead. Here are a few things to consider in order to limit being overwhelmed this Christmas:
  • Delegate tasks if you need to and ask for help from family members.
  • You don’t have to go to all the parties you are invited to, you are allowed to plan your time and be selective, in order to conserve some of your already limited energy supply.
  • During this hectic season, carve out some time just for yourself to relax.
  • Do not get caught up in unrealistic expectations of living up to a “perfect” Christmas.
  • Do what you can, and remember that self-care is important for your well-being and peace of mind, especially during the holidays.
About the Author:
Dr. Chioma Anah is a licensed counselor and owner of PerceptA Therapeutic & Training Center, LLC in Towson, Maryland. She sees clients with anger, anxiety, stress and depression. You can contact Dr. Anah at  Twitter: @PerceptATandT


Depression, Bipolar Disorder & The Death Of Robin Williams

O Captain, My Captain
The tragic death of beloved actor and comedian, Robin Williams (July 21, 1951- August 11, 2014), from an apparent suicide, has put a long overdue national spotlight on mental illness. Following his death, his media representative, released a statement that, in part, read that Williams had been, “battling severe depression of late.”

Good Will Hunting

Authorities believe that the “Awakings,” “Dead Poets Society,” “Good Will Hunting,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Aladdin,” and “Good Morning Vietnam,” genius actor’s ongoing battle with depression and bipolar disorder contributed to his suicide; Williams admittedly, also suffered from drug and alcohol addiction, and recently reports have indicated that he was also going through the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

Robin Williams 1951-2014
Robin Williams 1951-2014
Depression is real. Depression is a devastating and serious illness that should not be taken lightly, and if not professionally treated, can end in life threatening consequences that can include suicide.

In America alone, it is estimated that 7% of the population is suffering from major depressive disorder. In addition, the World Health Organization reports that over 300 million people globally are suffering from this disease. With these staggering numbers, it is time that depression gets brought out of the shadows and into the national conversation, with a focus on education to promote understanding in order to erase the sigma that is so often associated with mental illness. Perhaps more lives can be saved this way.

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders- 5th Edition (DSM-5), Major depression is characterized by, “the presence of sad, empty, or irritable mood, accompanied by somatic and cognitive changes that significantly affect the individual’s capacity to function.”

Depressive symptoms include:

  • Depressed Mood: Sadness, hopelessness, feelings of worthlessness and guilt.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal ideations or suicide plans or attempts.
  • Changes in appetite, and sleep.
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions.
  • Constant fatigue and low energy.
  • Loss of interest or enjoyment in activities previously seen as pleasurable.

Depressive symptoms can persist every day for at least 2 consecutive weeks, with impairment in social, occupational, and other significant areas of functioning. Also, for a diagnosis to occur, 5 or more of the symptoms highlighted above have to be present those 2 weeks, with depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in activities being one of the symptoms.

More information about depression from the National Institute of Mental Health can be seen here:

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder characterized by shifts in moods from manic to major depressive episodes. It is actually believed that Williams had been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder.

According to the DSM-5, manic episodes are characterized by:

  • Decreased need of sleep and increased racing thoughts and/or flight of ideas.
  • Increased involvement in activities with a high potential of risk and consequences (over spending, risky sexual behaviors, gambling).
  • Inflated self-confidence and grandiosity.
  • Increased goal-directed activity and excessive planning of multiple activities.
  • Pressure to keep talking and distractibility.

The mood in a manic episode is generally described as euphoric and, “feeling on top of the world.”

There is no cure for bipolar disorder; however, it can be treated with ongoing medication and psychotherapy. Some people with bipolar disorder choose not to keep taking the medication prescribed because many describe that the medications typically dulls their senses. For this reason, If you have a loved one suffering from this disease: be loving and supportive, and remember that mental illness is a disease and should be treated in the same way a diagnosis of cancer is handled. They should be encouraged to follow their medication regime as prescribed by their doctor and also, continue to be educated about the illness including treatment options with their doctor.

For those suffering from this illness, we encourage you to please seek professional help and/or contact I-800-273-TALK (8255)

More information about bipolar disorder from the National Institute of Mental Health can be seen here:

Let us all learn from this tragedy and help erase the stigma of mental illness.

We here at PerceptA Therapeutic and Training Center, LLC extend our deepest condolences to Robin Williams’ loved ones at this difficult time.

Robin Williams, you will be dearly missed. Rest In Peace.

Tribute to Robin Williams by Joseph Arthur

~Dr. Anah & The PerceptA Team