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Heidi LPC
Heidi LPC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 278
Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor
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I am 23 and have been taking anti-depressants since I was 18.

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I am 23 and have been taking anti-depressants since I was 18. I'd been struggling for years before that. I was bullied at school frequently for being too clever or too nice. I used to self harm as a way of coping. Although I haven't done this for a few years, I still consider it. I have trouble trusting people, because I always expect to be let down by them. I was abused when I was younger by 2 members of my immediate family. They both deny it and my Mum refuses to believe it. I even told her once when it was happening and she did nothing. My Grandma recently died of cancer and I am missing her so much. I am the youngest of her 10 grandchildren and have been having nightmares a lot over the last few weeks. I previously had two sets of counselling but I didn't find them helpful. It's taken me a lot of courage to write this, I would just like some advice.

Heidi LPC :

Hi! I am hoping to be of some assistance to you here this evening... I am so very sorry that you have been through so much in your short life!!

Heidi LPC :

You seem to be identifying yourself as a victim of circumstances... and not seeing the power that you have inside to overcome the effects of the circumstances... does this sound true?

Customer: Yes I suppose it is true
Heidi LPC :

We all engage in self-talk... we tell ourselves things all the time, all day long. The trick to managing this victim mentality is to stop yourself when you start talking to yourself in self-defeating language. It is really a choice we have to tell ourselves kind things, or destructive things. You can say to yourself, "things really stink, I am nothing but a victim"... or "I have been hurt, but I refuse to let it define me. I am a survivor, and will use my struggles as learning experiences that will make me stronger and better in the end." And, as far as the self-harm goes, this is simply a way to get the body to release pain-relieving chemicals into the body. I wonder if you may be a candidate for some temporary anti-depressant therapy?

Customer: I've been taking Lofepramine for a few years and I think they do help me, but I'm wondering whether they might be causing my nightmares or not. I'm reluctant to change my tablets yet though because I'm studying and it took a while to find one that agreed with me
Heidi LPC :

It is tough for me to be able to say, but I wouldn't guess that a drug which you have used successfully for years is now causing issues... however, this is a good thing to discuss with your Dr... sometimes, nightmares are just a signal that you are stressed over something in life. And, you mention being sad over the loss of your grandmother... your stress may just be getting expressed during your sleep...

Customer: Is that normal?
Heidi LPC :

Absolutely! The dream state is when the mind can unwind... and generally speakng, when we are extremely stressed, the mind just expresses it in pictures... and feelings... nothing prophetic or really predictive in any way, just expressive of the confusion or anxiety that we are experiencing.

Customer: That's a relief, I'd been worried about that
Heidi LPC :

What you may need is some training in stress management and progressive relaxation techniques. On you-tube, and all over the web, you can find information on the relaxation response... and how to help your body to let go of anxiety and stress so that you can focus and find some peace... I suggest maybe a search on youtube first for some videos that you can follow along with, practicing breathing fully, and slowing down the mind and body.

Heidi LPC :

Here is one link that you can read... and follow along with to some degree: http://www.meditation-techniques-for-happiness.com/progressive-relaxation.html

Customer: Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX definitely have a look into that
Heidi LPC :

And, here is one (rather old, but maybe helpful) video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovpJfcJ0nZ4

Heidi LPC :

I know that you have some burdens to bear in your life. I also know that you can make the choice to love from this time forward with your own goals, interests and wishes in mind! You are in control of your destiny from now on, and can choose to never let your past define your future! Is any of this helpful to you?

Customer: Yes it is. It's been nice to speak to someone who doesn't know me and get their perspective. Thank you
Heidi LPC :

This chat will remain in the "my questions" tab for you to read anytime, and I am happy to speak with you anytime and try to help you find your way through whatever you may be facing! Take time to get to know your own body, and to know when it is saying it needs to unwind and de-stress.... and take your power back, and never let anyone take it away... ever again!!

Heidi LPC :

You are strong... you are worth taking care of... and you will survive this!! :-)

Customer: Thank you :-)
Heidi LPC :

You are so very welcome! Let me know how the stress-management goes--- and keep me posted on your progress!! :-) Be happy and be well!! :-)

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