The Patient's Voice

The Voice for Patients and Families About Health Care

This content shows Simple View

Tips On How To Choose Your Friends

There are many things that you need to remember when it comes to choosing your friends. Keep in mind that the quality of people that you surround yourself with can have several effects in your life. Because of this, it is crucial on your part to choose whom to make friends with. Failure to do this can make life a little more difficult for you. Aside from this, it can also expose you to several challenges and struggles that can be tough to survive. In this article, we are going to provide you with some tips and tricks on how to be smart in choosing your friends.




Here are the top things to keep in mind:


Know Who You Are


The first and most crucial thing that you need to focus at this point is to get to know yourself. Make sure that you know what kind of person you are so that you will not end up establishing connections with people who are entirely different from who you are. Take note that as long as you have no idea who you are, it will be challenging on your part to welcome new people in your life. Keep in mind that you must never compromise your values just to make friends with other people. If you do this, there is a high tendency that your friendship will not last long.



Notice The Little Things


When it comes to determining who should stay in your life, be sure that you consider taking note of the little things that the other person does. Do not be afraid to be mindful of what happens whenever he is around. Aside from this, you must also look at his actions and words. The purpose is for you to know the kind of influence that he brings into your life. If you do not like these little things, make sure to learn how to say goodbye to the other person. Do not put yourself in a very compromising situation wherein you will accept the other individual even if you do not have any similar interests. Keep in mind that the little things can tell you if the friendship is worth fighting for.



Be Wary Of The Fake Ones


Are you aware that there are several people in your life that you need not connect with? Do not be afraid to cut ties, especially once you discover that a person is faking your relationship with each other. Remember that life is too short to invest your time and efforts into an individual who does not treat you as a real friend. Otherwise, you will only be wasting your energy to the wrong person. The best or ideal thing to do is to be brave enough to let go of this kind of relationship or friendship. It may be difficult or hard in the beginning, but it is worth it. What matters the most is that you were courageous enough to take the first step in saying goodbye to the other person. Never blame yourself for failed friendships. Whether you like it or not, some people are just not meant to be by your side.


Therapist Recommends Cooking As A Form Of Therapy – What Should I Do?


I thought of seeing a therapist after a psychologist diagnosed that I had mild depression. Taking antidepressants was out of the equation since I refused even to take medicine to treat flu or fever. I wanted an organic way to handle my issues – something that I could try, especially when dark thoughts would creep in my mind.

A friend recommended her therapist to me, whom she said is not like anyone I have encountered in the past. Of course, upon hearing that, I doubted the professional’s ability for a second. At the time, I was still carrying the notion that therapists would talk to me one-on-one, ask me to talk about my issues, and help me cope with them. I thought, “If that person was unlike the others, then what could I gain from him?”

Armed only with my faith in my friend’s words, I went to set up an appointment with the recommended therapist. The woman I met looked like she’s in her 50s. Her office has a relaxed atmosphere; everything was in white and mocha with pops of color here and there.

Being offered the choice to sit on the couch or the chair in front of her desk was already a massive plus for me. I thought, “Hmm, she’s nice.” We exchanged pleasantries, and she allowed me to talk about what I wanted to talk about. Then, the first words that came out of her mouth afterward were, “Is there any activity that you hate doing because you find it tedious?”

I didn’t know where the conversation was headed, but I replied, “Yes. Cooking.”

The therapist said, “Before I help you understand other coping mechanism techniques, I would love for you to start cooking first. Sometimes, it helps to make ourselves do things that we’re not used to. It can be a simple form of therapy.”


Should I Cook Or Not?

I left the therapist’s clinic with that question in mind. I still stand by my initial opinion of it as a troublesome activity. I love to eat, but I don’t like cooking my food. My reason is that I can always buy ready-made stuff or order something from my favorite restaurant.

Nevertheless, since it was a mental health professional’s suggestion, I gave cooking a shot. I found a simple pasta recipe online that merely asked for a few ingredients that I already had at home. It tasted bland, but the experience wasn’t too bad. I tried making an omelet for my man the next day, and he praised me for it. It made me happy.

The more I cooked, the more I managed to let go of my issues. When I went back to the therapist, she asked, “How are you?” I smiled and talked about how my life has changed since I started cooking. We still went through several sessions after that, but I knew that it would not have been possible if I didn’t listen to the therapist’s first recommendation.

Bonus: Top 3 Cookware For Cooking Newbies

Finding the best cookware for beginners has not been easy. I have always been aware that there are different pots and pans for every dish, but I have had no clue as to what to get for myself. In case you are in the same boat as I was, here are some tips for you.



Skillets are lifesavers when you wish to fry omelet or meat without the extra oil that some cooking products require. My brand of choice for this is Cuisinart because most of their pans are non-stick and therefore let me eat healthily. The one I currently use is the 12-inch Open Skillet with Helper Handle. It is a real keeper because it is made from scratch-proof and durable ceramic that is easy to clean and free from harmful chemicals.


I am a sucker for stews and casseroles, that’s why I need items like the aluminum saucepans from Calphalon Contemporary in which food will not get stuck on the sides or at the bottom. The cost of the ingredients in any recipe often inflate, and so it will be an absolute waste of money if you can eat a portion of what you have initially put in the cookware.

Dutch Oven

The Lodge L8DD3 Double Dutch Oven brings a lot of convenience to me every single time that my entire family comes over, and I have to cook for no less than 15 adults. Its size is incredible as this can hold a large ham or turkey. Since the cast-iron allows heat to be distributed evenly, anything I prepare with this over a campfire, a stovetop or an oven is cooked so well.

Final Thoughts

Cooking, in my opinion, is a valid form of therapy that not everyone talks about. You should try if you still haven’t. Cheers!

Most Common Behavioral Problems Seen In ADHD


Children who are diagnosed with ADHD are thought to many as having difficulty paying attention. According to Ari Tuckman, PsyD, “People with ADHD tend to feel and express their emotions more strongly.”  But most people – particularly parents – claim that behavior is a major dilemma as well. In fact, most parents think that behavior is a bigger problem than a lack of focus or concentration. Kids with ADHD may be quick to throw tantrums or they can be rebellious when they are asked to do something and they hate doing it. Families have consulted with psychologists about how to handle these behavioral problems, as some symptoms might not be direct because of the ADHD primarily but may be a result of the symptoms.

For instance, rebellion or disobedience is not a direct symptom of ADHD but is a result of the common ADHD symptom, which is the kid’s difficulty following tasks and instructions. These kids are easily bored so if they are given repetitive tasks, they may become restless. Also, tantrums may occur, as they are unable to handle their strong emotions, thus, they lash out.

Why Do They Act Out?

For parents and family members to better understand children with hyperactivity disorder, they must need to know about their history.

ADHD kids are innately inclined to be interested in the things that they aren’t supposed to do, and this is often why they argue or defy their parents. And because they are hyperactive and impulsive, they can’t stay put. They feel the need to stand up and check out the kitchen of your neighbor’s house where you’re spending dinner. Or they just go ahead and run around the park while you’re outdoors. The end result: a very stressed and worried parent. But know that they never intend to do that to you.

Emily Griffiths, LPC

Why Do They Throw Tantrums?

Children with ADHD find boring or repetitive activities quite difficult, particularly when they are asked to stop doing something that they want to do, like playing video games. This is why making their homework or sleeping early may be really challenging for some kids like them. As a consequence, they defy or throw tantrums. A psychologist says that if they do make an outburst and the likely result they get is a change in the task so that it will be easier for them, then the behavior tens to be repeated.


Make sure to teach your child to practice self-love. Kirsten Brunner, MA, LPC says that “ Self-care is any activity or choice that allows a person to replenish, rejuvenate or reserve energy.”

Some Discipline Techniques May Not Be Effective

When children with ADHD develop certain negative patterns, the discipline technique that may work normally for others may not work for them. Losing one’s temper is one of those techniques. For a kid who doesn’t always misbehave, he is often affected by his parent’s raised voice. However, for a kid who habitually disobeys or rebels, yelling a lot may mean it’s the way all parents are. They’d think that people in their home or in school often yell at them, so why listen to them at all?

Additionally, punishing them may become less effective. If kids with ADHD are punished all the time, it won’t matter anymore. They’ll get used to the punishments and similarly feel that it’s how the world works.

Discipline Techniques That May Work

Hyperactive kids tend to listen when the instructions are clearer and more organized. Experts suggest that parents must help their kids determine which behaviors are unacceptable and which ones are. Praise and gratitude are among the most powerful discipline techniques that parents should practice. Establishing a positive relationship through these techniques, and showing more affection, understanding, and love will help break the negative emotions and reactions that hinder good behavior.

Clinicians have a term for this proactive kind of structuring, one which they call ‘scaffolding.’ Children who are having difficulty in managing their own behavior will do better in a family environment that is capable of helping them regulate their behavior externally. The parents provide this structure as a way of a model that kids ought to learn to develop and improve their character and minimize their negative behavioral patterns.


Final Thoughts

For children with ADHD, there are actually prescription medications that can decrease their symptoms of impulsivity, hyperactivity, and decreased focus. Anti-psychotics such as Abilify and Risperdal are examples of these commonly used medications. However, even when they are taking medications, experts suggest that they should always be combined with parent training for best outcomes. Always remember that what you do as a parent is important. Saundra Jain, MA, PsyD, LPC says “Work is incredibly important but that is not the central focus of life. Your family, your social life, ability to parent, all of those are incredibly important.”

How Acne Impacts One’s Mental Health


When you have blemishes or acne, it can be very frustrating. It’s not supposed to, but, yes, it is. Perhaps because they appeared at a bad time, or because there’s too many that came at the same time, or maybe because you feel like you’re just too imperfect to still have acne at this time and age. Whatever your reason, the truth is that acne definitely affects our emotions, thoughts, and ultimately our physical and mental health – the impact is skin deep. Continue reading 

5 Ways To Take Good Care of Your Health

Caring for your health, both physical and mental, must always be your number one priority. Take note that failure to do this can have adverse effects on your part. As such, it is crucial to follow the necessary tips and tricks that will help you live a healthier and fit lifestyle. Keep in mind that you have to start today so that you will not have a hard time adjusting to all the things that you have to do to accomplish your goal of becoming fit and healthy.




In this article, we are going to provide you with the list of top strategies that you must do if you want to become healthier than ever. Remember that the focus is not only concerning your physical condition but also to your mental state. Kendra Kubala, PsyD said “A simple but often overlooked question to ask is: “Would you like to stop engaging in this behavior?” It means that you must work hard to continue improving these two aspects of health. Here are some of the tips and tricks to remember:


Listen To Your Body


As much as possible, do not ignore everything that you feel in your body. Whenever you think that something is wrong, make sure to take the necessary steps to clarify what it is. Do not just sit in the corner and wait for your health to deteriorate. Remember that the secret to having a healthier body is to avoid exhausting yourself. Whenever you start to notice that you are always tired or sleepy, then look at it as an indication that you have to rest. Avoid depriving yourself of the break it needs, especially in stressful situations. Karen Mallin, PsyD says “The link between skin and stress is becoming better understood in the medical community. Psychodermatology is a field that addresses the impact of an individual’s emotion as it relates to the skin.”


Eat Right At All Times


Being fit does not mean skipping on essential meals of the day. What you need to remember at this point is the significance of knowing the right foods for you. Keep in mind that it is still possible to eat many times a day as long as you know your food intake. Never make the mistake of choosing food items that are high in cholesterol, fat, and sugar. The best option for you is to read the food labels before buying the items or eating them. In so doing, you can help your body become fitter and healthier.




Get Enough Sleep


Did you know that severe lack of sleep can affect both your physical and mental health? If you have insufficient sleep every night, then it would be difficult for you to get on with the entire day. You will experience challenges in staying awake and focus for days because your mind would wander to someplace else. At the same time, it can also prevent you from becoming productive since a big part of your body wants to hibernate. As such, be sure to get enough sleep every night. Follow a strict bedtime schedule and avoid bringing gadgets in your bed so that you can sleep earlier.


Be With The Right People


Another significant thing that you must take note of is the value of finding the right people in your life. You always have to remind yourself that there is no need to beg anyone for love and affection. You deserve to be with the people who will respect and accept you for who you are. Remember that being with toxic individuals can only increase anxiety and stress in your life. If this situation continues to happen for a long time, then there is a good chance that you will suffer from it until you develop other mental health problems or physical illnesses. Be happy. Take note that Margaret Wehrenberg, PsyD says “Sadness over loss is not depression. Grief must be experienced, not stifled or medicated. The misconception is that grieving should be brief, not too obvious, and quickly dispensed with.”


Make Exercise A Part Of Your Routine


The last tip or strategy to keep in mind is to exercise regularly. It does not mean that you have to go to the gym every single day. Take note that it is still possible to be physically active when you are just at home. You can always try home exercises that you can download from smartphone apps or watch via online video channels. All you need to do is to allocate at least thirty minutes of your time to be active. Once exercise or physical activities become part of your daily routine, your body will start to crave for sweat. Eventually, you will end up having the desired weight, which is perfect for your age and height.




Being healthy is not just about joining the latest trends in the health and fitness industry. It is more about who you want to become and how you want others to see you. Keep going!




Family-Centered And Child-Inclusive Divorce


Kim Bowen, LPC says “Marriage is risky business. Divorce is a real threat to EVERYONE who says “I do.”

A broken family is one of the primary reasons that could impact a child’s development as they grow older. We can only count on two results, negative and positive but never the neutral. For some, the separation of their parents might be one of the driving factors to become a better person and learn from their mistakes. But on the other side of the fence, the effect is too devastating and unbearable. We can never empathize with these situations unless you are a product of such circumstances; however, there are professionals out there who specialize in these cases (for therapy) and could help both of the parties involved in the divorce process which mainly includes the child. Pat Skinner, LPC says “When a biological parent finds a new partner, the children are often expected to show love and respect for that new partner right away”

Continue reading 

Family Issues That Cause Mental Illness

It’s understandable that a lot of us are carrying tons of issues with our family that we want to get rid of our chest. However, the process of confronting these vital individuals is a bit complicated, especially when they assume that you are trying to overreact only to grab their attention. Some would accuse you of trying to get too emotional only for recognition. A family member might say that you’re too crazy for having wrong and ridiculous thoughts. With that said, they don’t understand the struggle of wanting someone to be there in times of sorrow and pain.


Continue reading 

Social Anxiety Disorder – The Things You Need To Know

Have you ever found yourself in a situation that you don’t do anything but all of a sudden you feel the pressure of anxiety? You feel like your heart is raising so fast, your mind starts to black out, and you experience uneasiness in your chest and stomach. And the more you fight it, the more badly it gets. So from there, you start thinking about stuff because you don’t want other people to notice you being anxious. You struggle in remaining cool. Your anxiety gets triggered due to the negative limiting beliefs. It reads social situations as something that either puts you off-guard or in an alert mode.


According to Christina Furnival, LPCC, “When we are anxious our bodies and brains can enter ‘fight or flight’ mode, leaving us to feel on edge with a small frustration-tolerance window.”

Fight-Flight-Freeze Response

When you see the anxiety in the situation you are in, especially in front of a lot of people, you begin to filter a possible danger. There’s a hyper-alert that’s going on in your brain because you think that at any moment, something terrible might happen. Things like embarrassing yourself, worries about other people’s criticisms, and different unavoidable scenarios that put you in a state where you can no longer function. All of these social anxiety signs are the result of the brain’s activated survival response called the fight-flight-freeze response. It pumps the adrenaline through your veins, it rushes blood away from your head, your throat tightens up, and it upsets your digestive system out to your outer limbs.


Technically, when fight-flight-freeze response gets activated, it puts your whole over-all function in survival mode. It makes you choose between hiding and running from the dangers of what your mind interprets. So when anxiety seems to be the problem you are trying to get rid of, it’s entirely not the real issue, or at least not the only thing that you need to worry about. The real underlying problem is the unsafe environment and social situations that your subconscious inputs in your head. And because it sees danger everywhere, you automatically respond with anxiety symptoms.

John R. Montopoli, LMFT, LPCC says “Be gentle with yourself. Remember the famous saying, “it’s progress, not perfection.” Keeping with these skills will help reduce brooding and post-event rumination.”

Anxiety In Social Situations

Since social anxiety is the result of the mind’s firing-up from danger, the effort in focusing alone on removing it won’t work at all. Therefore, the only action you can do is deal with what activates the fight-flight-freeze response. There’s a need to put the subconscious mind in focus of diversion. It needs to think differently and believe that there’s no danger in social situations. Because when the mind believes that you are safe in any social setting, there’s going to be no trace of anxiety symptoms.


The mind reacts through these limiting beliefs that activate the fight-flight-freeze response which mainly brings anxiety. So to be able to change that perception of harmful elements in your head, there must be neutralization of the limiting beliefs. By thinking that you are unique, you accept yourself, that you are more than good enough, and people can like you, you’ll genuinely attract the positive thoughts. And once you finally neutralize the compilation of your negative limiting beliefs, the subconscious mind sees you safe from the social environment.

Make sure to be around the right people. According to Marni Goldberg, LPC, “However, again, being around people who care about you is a valuable source of support.”


A Quick Guide To Mindfulness 

If there is one essential thing that you must prioritize in this life, it is achieving complete mindfulness. You need to be able to learn how to become mindful of everything in your life. Learn how to live in the present so that you will have a better future. Take note that for every action, there is always a corresponding consequence. According to Brittany Gilchrist, MA, LPC, CEDS, “Learn to utilize your senses to connect with the present moment. Connecting more fully with the senses is a way to become grounded to the present moment.”

Mindfulness includes knowing and identifying your responsibilities in every aspect of your life. Be sure to check and read the rest of the article if you want to find some tips on how you can get started with mindfulness:



Continue reading