Kristen Pagulayan, MSW, LCSW, LISW-CP

Licensed to provide counseling in Hawaii, South Carolina, Georgia, and Connecticut

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How a Mental Health Professional Can Help With Your Physical Health


In a society where, quick fixes and fast solutions are what we desire and expect. The same is true for our medical care. We might be given overwhelming news about our health or leave without the answers about why or what to do to feel better. Leaving us feeling unsatisfied, but unsure where to turn. Turning to the internet to do our own research where statistics and information overwhelm us. Going to the internet increases our anxiety rather than decreasing it. Instead of turning to the internet, this is often where a mental health professional can be a huge help. Here are the reasons why.


1. A mental health professional can talk through your options. We can’t and don’t give advice. We do educate and provide resources that can be helpful in reaching a decision or identifying a reasonable coping strategy.


2. Maybe there is a connection you might be missing that an outside perspective can help you identify. Some examples might be; that every time you drink coffee, your heartburn is worse, or whenever, you are lacking sleep your eye twitches. Learning strategies to connect with what your body is trying to tell you, is fundamental in taking control over your own health.


3. It can help put things in perspective. The glass is half full or half empty? The statistic might be 1 in 5 but that also means that 4 out of 5 where not effected.


4. Validate your concerns. There is so much power in validation. It might be that you are struggling with an “invisible illness” such as Multiple Sclerosis or Dementia. A disease where the symptoms and struggles are not as apparent as perhaps a broken leg. This can leave us, and perhaps others, questioning the validity of our symptoms.


Maybe there is no Medical explanation for your symptoms. It doesn’t mean that you are “faking it” or it doesn’t exist, it just means that the brain is a powerful thing and it might be asking for some help. There is a very strong very powerful mind/body connection. For example, ever get a stomach ache when you are feeling anxious about something? Is the stomach ache not real are you “crazy” for feeling nervous about an upcoming presentation? Absolutely not! It’s your bodies way of telling you something important.


5. Provide a place to go with all those thoughts and emotions playing on a loop in your head. Don’t want to feel like a burden or a “downer” to your friends and family? Want to be able to talk about it without fear of judgement? Verbalizing it can get it out of your head and start to help formulate an action plan.

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