7 Warning Signs of Depression That You Need To Know

Are you wondering what signs of depression look like? Are you feeling not yourself and wondering if you are depressed?

Below a list of 7 warning signs of depression that are important for you to know right now! The earlier you diagnose depression, the easier it is to treat.

#1 – Hopelessness.

Are you struggling with feelings of hopelessness? When you think about the future are you filled with dread because your future looks so bleak?

When we are depressed, looking to the future in a positive way is literally impossible. When we are depressed it’s hard to imagine that we will ever feel any differently than we do right now so the idea that the future might be bright is impossible to imagine.

It’s important that we recognize that hopelessness is one of the signs of depression because hopelessness is one of most insidious signs of depression because it can lead to thoughts of suicide.

So, understand that your hopelessness is in your head because of your depression and that seeking help is the best thing you can do to manage it.

#2 – Changes in sleeping patterns.

Are you having trouble sleeping? Are you sleeping way more than you used to?

Changes in sleeping patterns is one of the major signs of depression. We sleep less because we often lie awake with thoughts of hopelessness and dread keeping us up.

On the other hand, we sleep more because our body feels heavy and our mind is tired and sleep is the ultimate escape, if only for a bit.

If your sleep patterns have changed, recognize that it is one of the signs of depression and seek treatment.

#3 – Lack of interest.

Are the things that have always made you happy things that you now find unthinkable to do?

I know when I get depressed doing things that I have always loved to do, like hiking or reading or life coaching, are almost impossible. Instead, I lay around and watch TV and shut myself off from the things that make me happy.

And lying around watching TV actually sinks me into a deeper depression then I had before. Ironic, no?

So, if you are struggling to do the things that you love, you might be suffering from depression and it’s time to seek help.

#4 – Listlessness.

One of the easiest signs of depression to notice is a distinct listlessness.

Do you have less energy than you used to? Does getting off the couch or out of bed seem simply impossible?

I always say that my depression is a 100lb gorilla on my back, one who comes along with me doing my everyday day tasks but who makes doing them way more difficult because of it’s weight

So, if you are struggling more than before with having the energy to live your life, you might be depressed and, again, seeking help would be a good idea.

#5 – Anger & impatience.

Do you find yourself quick to anger or impatient with those you love more than you used to?

Are your co-workers complaining because you are difficult to work with? Is your husband staying away because your irritation with him has grown? Do you find the kid’s bedtime routine can enrage you in a way that it hasn’t before?

Being more angry and impatient than usual can be one of the signs of depression and seeking help will be important before that anger harms your life and your relationships.

#6 – Isolating.

One of major signs of depression is that tendency to isolate.

When we are depressed, the idea of spending time with other people is almost unbearable. The thought of interacting with people in any way fills us with such a feeling of hopelessness and dread that we just can’t do it.

Ironically, one of the best coping skills for managing depression is to spend time with those you love, to laugh and live and push that depression to the side, if only for a while.

Are you finding yourself wanting to keep away from others more than usual? If you do, you could be depressed and I encourage you to get help before your isolation makes everything worse.

#7 – Self-loathing.

One of the biggest signs of depression but one of the hardest to spot is self-loathing.

People who are depressed, people who are hopeless, listless, angry and isolated, are people who don’t like themselves.

They don’t like the behaviors they are displaying, the hurt they are causing people, the lack of interest in things that make them happy. They feel bad because getting up off the coach is truly impossible and what a loser they must be.

Furthermore, because there is such a stigma around depression, people who are depressed blame themselves for their mind set. They believe it when people tell them to Suck it up or Snap out of it.

They believe that, because they can’t manage their mood, they are in fact a loser.

And believing that you are a loser will only exacerbates your depression.

So, if you are struggling with your self-esteem right now, in a way that you haven’t before, then you could very well be depressed.

I want you to know, very clearly, that this depression is NOT your fault. It is something that has happened because of a chemical change or a life occurrence. It’s not something that you can just brush off. But it is something that you can deal with by seeking help.

So, do it!

Noticing the signs of depression is a key part of accepting that you might be depressed.

An important part of managing your depression is accepting it and you can more easily do that by looking out for the signs.

So, notice if you are feeling hopeless, have a change in your sleeping patterns, if you have no energy or interest in doing things, if you are quick to anger and you if really don’t like yourself.

The quicker that you seek treatment, the easier your depression will be to manage.

I struggled my whole life with depression but wasn’t diagnosed until I was 42. Think of all of the life that I wasted being sad. Don’t let that be you!

 

Do you want to know more about how to recognize depression?
 Let me help you, NOW, before it’s too late!
Email me at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com and let’s get started!

Why Does Love Hurt in a Relationship? 5 Surprising Reasons.

Why does love hurt? I mean, seriously.

Love in the movies is full of roses and sunshine but, for some reason, in real life it’s different.

Being in love means being in pain. Maybe not all of the time but certainly some of the time.

Many people are in pain because they are actually being physically or psychically abused by their partner. We aren’t going to talk about that today. We are going to talk about why every day, regular, loving relationships can be painful.

The answers might surprise you!

#1 – The uncertainty about the future.

When you are wondering why does love hurt one of the biggest reasons is because of the uncertainty of it all.

Love is wonderful and when we are falling in it we feel so wonderful and secure. And happy. And we get accustomed, in a way, to that security and comfort and we don’t want it to go away.

Unfortunately, there are no guarantees in love. We know that from experience. And our hearts are so scared that this relationship will turn out like others and will cause us pain. Again.

So, it’s the not knowing the future of our relationship – how it will turn out – that causes us physical pain. The anxiety can cause stomach pain, heart ache that feels real, head fog and other physical symptoms. Symptoms that cause us literal and figurative pain.

Try to manage your worries about the future. No one knows what will happen and worrying about it will only take away from the happiness that you are feeling right now.

#2 – The expectations of what could be.

Unfortunately, it’s that darn future that causes love to hurt in a relationship.

For many of us, living in the moment is very difficult. Instead of enjoying where we are right now, we project ahead to the future. Even if you are secure in your relationship, wondering what is next can cause physical and psychic pain.

It’s those questions that you run over and over in your head that do it. When will I see him again? What will we do, if anything, this weekend?  When can we move in together? When will she introduce me to her friends?

Again, worrying about the future, even in a secure, committed relationship, can cause pain. The symptoms can be similar to those described above. You might also find yourself feeling needy and clingy, neither of which are very fun for your partner.

So, if this is you, worrying about the future constantly, try to let it go and focus on right now.

#3 – The chemical crash.

Another reason that love is so painful is because of our body’s chemistry.

When we are falling in love, all sorts of wonderful chemicals are coursing through our bodies.

Dopamine, serotine, oxytocin and endorphins are all stimulated when we are experiencing love and lust. Those chemicals feels SO good that they are, in a way, addictive. Because our bodies only produce them at certain times, like when we are falling in love or after we exercise, when we don’t have them we crave them.

You know how, when after a lovely weekend together, you separate and the feeling is intensely painful? That is because your body is literally going into withdrawal of those chemicals that make you feel so good. And you won’t feel them again until you have some contact with your person.

This withdrawal is extremely painful and we will do just about anything to ease the pain. This need leads to anxiety about when we will see them again and the suffering is intensified.

If they are struggling with withdrawal pain, I encourage my clients to exercise. Dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins are generated by exercise and you can, at least temporarily, get those chemicals coursing through your blood again and alleviate that pain.

#4 – The baggage we bring.

Yes, we have all been in and out of love over the course of our lifetime and, for many of us, the memories of what caused previous heartbreak is real and still present in our mind. As a result, we bring the baggage from past relationships into our new ones and that can cause pain.

I know that I have had a number of boyfriends who have let me down. They made me promises, big promises, and then didn’t follow through with them, leaving me heartbroken.

As a result, when I am in a new relationship, I am constantly on the lookout for being let down. Sometimes it’s so bad that I set up my new guy to let me down, just to see what he will do.

This baggage, baggage that comes from past relationships, can cause us a lot of pain in our new ones. And that is dangerous because we don’t want that baggage to interfere with the new one’s success.

If you are carrying pain from past relationships, try to let it go and not project it onto your new partner. It’s not his fault that another guy messed up so don’t make him pay for it!

#5 – The letdown.

You know when you are falling in love and you are so excited that you finally met a person who had their shit together and knew how to treat you. Years and years of searching and FINALLY you hit paydirt!

Or did you?

When we are falling in love, all we know is that our person is perfect. But then, as time goes on, our person reveals more of who he is and we learn that maybe he isn’t exactly who we thought he was.

I am not saying that your perfect guy turned out to be a narcissistic sociopath (although that does happen) but your perfect guy does turn out to be imperfect.

Perhaps the guy who always used to hold the door for you sometimes doesn’t. Or perhaps he has revealed himself to be a bit of a slob. Perhaps he spends more time at work then he used to or he plays a few more video games then you might like.

When the person we thought was perfect turns out not to be, there can be a huge letdown. It’s not that they aren’t perfect enough to keep around but sometimes the awakening can be a rude one. And a painful one.

So, what do you do when the letdown causes you pain?  You take stock of the good things about your person (like the fact that he isn’t a narcissitic sociopath) and, if necessary, address the things that might not be so perfect. If you know that the video games are going to be an issue, either talk to him about how you feel about them or choose to accept them as part of your life.

Either way, don’t let the fact that your person isn’t the perfect person you thought he was get in the way of your happiness. You probably aren’t quite the person he thought you were either and still he stays.

Why does love hurt? Why can’t life be easy and full of joy?

On some level, these are existential questions but there also some concrete reasons why.

Fortunately, the pain doesn’t need to mark the end of a relationship. Take stock of the things that are causing you pain and take steps to address them.

Are you feeling uncertain about your future? Do you wonder about expectations? Do you struggle with the chemical crash or the weight of the baggage that you bring? Do you wonder if this imperfect person is the one for you?

Address these things one at a time and the pain that you feel in your relationship can be managed and reduced.

Love can be wonderful and love can be painful. Make sure that the balance of the two is equal and you can live happily ever after!

You can do it!

Do you want to know more about how to deal with pain in a relationship?
 Let me help you, NOW, before it’s too late!
Email me at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com and let’s get started!

 

25 Toxic Relationship Quotes To Help You Move On

I truly believe that one of the best ways to successfully get out of a toxic relationship is with support from others who have shared in the same experience.

To that end, I have gathered 25 toxic relationship quotes to give you the inspiration and support that you need to get yourself out of a relationship that is sucking you dry and to give you the inspiration to live a full life.

The quotes are from celebrities and authors,  sages and unknowns. All of them spoke to me and I am sure will speak to you too.


Dear Self: Stop re-opening your doors for toxic people…then calling it “seeking closure.” Certain things don’t work out in life… and that’s ok. – Reyna Biddy


You can’t fight for a place in someone’s life because no matter how hard you try to keep your place…they’ll put you where they want to even if it’s not where you should be. – Anon


Sometimes it’s better to end something & try to start something new than imprison yourself in hoping for the impossible. – Karen Salmansohn


Thank you. Next. – Ariana Grande


You survived the abuse. You’re going to survive the recovery. – Anon


When it comes to abuse, you believe there’s no way out. There is always help. There is always a way out. – Rev. Donna Mulvey


Please don’t settle for temporary pleasures. You’re worth more than a late-night text and an uncommitted soul. – Unknown


Strong women get tired, strong women feel broken, strong women eventually get fed up, strong women will eventually walk away for good. – r.h. sin


When a strong woman finally gives up it’s not because she is weak or because she no longer loves her man. To put it in the simplest terms – she is just tired. She is tired of the games, she is tired of the sleepless nights, she is tired of feeling like she is all alone and its only one thing. She is tired. – Anon


One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered. – Michael J. Fox


I hope you fall in love with someone who always texts you back and who never lets you fall asleep thinking you are unwanted. – Unknown


Some people won’t love you no matter what you do. Some people won’t stop loving you no matter what you do. Go where the love is. – Karen Salmansohn


Sometimes a man’s purpose in a woman’s life is to help her become a better woman…for another man. – Anon


If he’s not doing anything to keep you then why are you trying so hard to stay? Taylor Swift


Cheer up sweet, beautiful girl. You are going to be in love again and it’s going to be magnificent. – Anon


If you are brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello. – Paulo Coelho


Just because your past didn’t turn out like you wanted it to doesn’t mean your future can’t be better then you have ever imagined. – Unknown


Love is the strongest and most fragile thing we have in life. Nothing is ever for sure, but when something in love doesn’t work from the beginning, it’s never going to work. Don’t push it. – Vanessa Paradis


You deserve to be with someone who looks at you every day like they have won the lottery and they have the whole world in front of them. – Anon


My life basically blew up in my face. And now I’m in this new life, and it’s pretty awesome I have to say — I’m so inspired. Everything just feels new. – Gwen Stefani


You need to keep on moving, darling, or you will miss the train to a better life than this. –  Unknown


Pour yourself a drink, put some lipstick on and pull yourself together. – Liz Taylor


The best way to mend a broken heart is time and girlfriends. – Gwyneth Paltrow


You are one decision away from a totally different life. – Unknown


You will find love again, and it will be even more beautiful! In the meantime enjoy all that YOU are! – Rihanna


Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together – Marilyn Monroe


So there you are, 25 toxic relationship quotes to help you move on.

I hope they have inspired you to know that you deserve better than someone who doesn’t love and value you everyday and that, if you choose to leave, a better life awaits you.

Go for it! Life is yours for the taking!

Do you want to know more about how to get out of a toxic relationship?
 Let me help you, NOW, before it’s too late!
Email me at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com and let’s get started!

What I Learned About Suicide Contagion When My Friend Killed Himself

Last week, a very dear friend of mine killed himself. We went to high school together and reconnected 20 years later when our kids played soccer together. His wife is one of my closest friends and, while I knew he struggled with addiction, I never truly understood how deep his depression was.

I have lived with depression all my life. I always say that it’s like a 100 lb gorilla on my back, one that I carry with me no matter what I am doing. It has been my constant companion, one that I have, with the help of therapy and meds, been able to keep at bay.

That being said, in the week since my friend died, my depression has decided to take charge in a big way and for the first time I understand what suicide contagion, or a suicide cluster, really is.

Suicide contagion is defined as ‘multiple suicidal behaviors or suicides that fall within an accelerated time frame, and sometimes within a defined geographical area.’

Generally, they occur with adolescents but not always. Recently, the father of a Sandy Hook victim killed himself shortly after a Parkland survivor did the same.

So, no one is immune to it, I have heard, but I certainly assumed I was.

For as far back as I can remember I have been depressed. I have carried with me a feeling of hopelessness and dread that was overwhelming. The prospect of going to school or making friends or doing my homework filled me with such a sense of hopelessness that I used to obsess about no longer existing. I didn’t want to kill myself but I also didn’t want to live.

I had no idea that I was different from other people so I certainly never talked about it. I just went about living my life, suffering almost every minute.

I carried my hopelessness into high school and college, where I discovered boys, alcohol and drugs as a great way to ease that sense of dread. By 24, I was full blown alcoholic, a high functioning one, but one whose every day was exhausting because of what I carried with me.

When I had my kids, I stopped drinking and doing drugs but replaced that urge with being perfect – the perfect wife, mother and employee. I worked very hard to be perfect so that I could numb the pain that was my life.

And then one day, I couldn’t fight it anymore and I found myself in a closet, banging my head against a wall.

The next day I was diagnosed with BiPolar II – a chemical disorder of my brain that leads to long term depression with little bleeps of hypomania (think about how you feel after that 3rdcup of coffee).

Since then, because of medication and therapy, I have been stable. My depression isn’t as debilitating as it was but I do still live with it every day.

Every day.

Since my friend died, my depression has reared its ugly head. I have been having a hard time functioning, forming thoughts and getting them out of my mouth has been almost impossible and having hope for the future is challenging.

I think about my friend and how he has finally been freed from the 100lb gorilla he carried on his back for so long.  And I wonder if he has found peace. I wonder if whatever is next is better than what is now. I know his life was horrible for him because not only was he depressed but he also struggled with addiction. It was horrible enough that he was willing to leave behind his wife and kids and everyone who loved him.

Where and how is he now? I wonder almost every minute of every day. And wanting to know is almost irresistible.

So, why am I still here, writing this blog instead of going down that rabbit hole with him?

For me, what I see more than anything is the wreckage that he has left behind. My amazing friend, who I know loved her husband madly even in the face of his struggles, is devastated. I can’t even image what it was like telling her boys and how they are feeling in the world right now.

All of us who loved him miss him terribly and always will.

As my kids and I process this grief together, I know that, no matter what kind of peace might wait for me somewhere else, worse for me would be knowing that I was responsible for the 100lb gorilla I would probably be leaving for my kids and my friends and my amazing boyfriend. This depression that has been my constant companion might seek out another person and most likely would choose one of the people I love.

And that’s not ok.

I have no judgement for my friend, only empathy and love. And I will survive this struggle that I have with my presently powerful depression.

But now I know and understand why suicide contagion happens and I also understand why I won’t catch it. And I will make it my life’s work to make sure that others understand it and don’t succumb to it themselves.

Life is incredibly hard for those of us who live with depression. You might even know that personally. But for me, I would rather carry that gorilla, every day, and be able to protect my kids from its weight, then slip away into the oblivion that might be peace.

Or it just might not be.

Thank you for listening. With love.

9 Proven Coping Mechanisms To Work Through Reactive Depression

Have you been poking around the internet because you have been feeling SO SAD and are you wondering if you have reactive depression?

Reactive depression is a relative newcomer in the spectrum of mood disorder. Reactive depression is a type of depression brought on from a specific situation that has occurred in your life.

Unlike most other depressions, which can last for years if not properly managed, reactive depression is a type of clinical depression that typically lasts a few months. While it’s time is limited, it can be very traumatizing or severe during this time. In addition, reactive depression is different from other depressions because it is solely caused by a specific stressful event, whereas other depressions can have multiple causes.

Coping mechanisms to work through reactive depression are similar to those we use with other depressions but are unique in their own way.

#1 – Identify what is causing your reactive depression.

As I stated above, reactive depression happens when something occurs in your life that causes you extreme stress and because you haven’t yet adapted to the changes brought about as a result of that event.

Issues that can bring about reactive depression include:

  • Death of a loved one
  • Moving
  • End of a relationship
  • Loss of a job
  • Trauma

Take a good look at your life right now. Are you struggling with something? Has your parent or your pet died? Have you experienced trauma recently? Has someone broken your heart?

Anything that is out of the ordinary and which is making it more difficult to function.

If you are sad and you have recently experienced a big change in your life, you might be dealing with reactive depression.

#2 – Know the symptoms of reactive depression.

Most people with reactive depression develop symptoms within roughly 90 days following the event that triggers the condition. Symptoms can include:

  • Listlessness
  • Hopelessness
  • Lack of enjoyment of regular activities
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sadness
  • Recurring bouts of crying
  • Loss of interest in food
  • Anxiety
  • Worry
  • Loss of Concentration
  • Withdrawal from work or friends
  • Suicidal thoughts

Symptoms of reactive depression vary from person to person and often include more than one of the symptoms above.

Review the list above carefully. If any of these things seem familiar to you then you might be struggling with reactive depression and it’s time to deal with it. Reactive depression can cause severe disruption of your life if left untreated.

#3 – Know what is NOT reactive depression.

An important way to identify, and therefore treat, reactive depression is by understanding what it is NOT.

If you have a family history of depression, or you have previously struggled with depression, then you might not be struggling with reactive depression. Talk to your doctor about the differences. All depressions need to be treated but the treatment can vary so understanding the distinctions is important!

#4 – Do what makes you feel good.

When we are struggling with reactive depression, our inclination is to collapse into our life. We stay in bed, we don’t shower or eat well and cut off contact with those we love.

Let me tell you: if you are feeling depressed, collapsing is absolutely the worst thing that you can do. Instead, it is important to do things that make you feel good.

What kind of things might work? That depends on who you are in the world but here are a few ideas.

  • Take a walk.
  • Spend time with friends.
  • Take a bath.
  • Do some yoga.
  • Binge on some fun TV.
  • Have sex
  • Go to the movies.
  • Take a road trip

So, what makes you happy? I know it seems hard now but ask yourself what you usually enjoy doing. Or ask a friend. Doing something that makes you happy will raise your endorphins and help you manage your reactive depression.

#5 – Take care of yourself.

An excellent coping mechanism for working through reactive depression is taking care of yourself.

After my mom died I fell apart. Getting off the couch was next to impossible. Wine was my closest companion with ice cream a close second.

Fortunately for me, a friend saw what I was doing to myself and get me back on track. I started going to yoga, getting more sleep, eating better and drinking lots of water.

I started spending more time outdoors in the sunshine because the warmth of the sun felt good on my body and the Vitamin D provided by the sun is a natural anti-depressant.

I know that if I hadn’t started taking care of myself, if I hadn’t made my body stronger, my reactive depression would have gotten worse!

#6 – Keep your mind active.

Unfortunately, when we are overwhelmed by reactive depression, our worst enemy is that brain of ours.

While we are lying on the couch feeling sorry for ourselves, our brain is actively buying into it all of our bad feelings.

You are a loser, it says. You have no friends. You aren’t good at anything. You will never find love.  You suck at your job. And on and on.

And, chances are, that none of those things are true. That you are not a loser, you have plenty of friends, you are talented, love is out there and your boss thinks you are doing great. But your brain, when you are depressed, just doesn’t go there.

So how do you keep your mind busy when you are going through this difficult time?  Yoga is a really good way to do this – you are so busy trying to figure out the damn pose that you don’t have a chance to think about anything. It also has the side benefit of toning your body and making you feel strong, which can be helpful.

Other options for keeping your mind quiet are: reading, going to a movie, hanging out with friends, working. Meditation is also an option but I just get more depressed when I try, and fail, to meditate. If you can do it, go for it!

What do you like to do that will help you quiet that mind of yours, the mind that is feeding into those feelings caused by the reactive depression?

Figure it out and do it!

#7 – Share your sadness.

Sharing your sadness with another person is a key part of dealing with it.

They say that what is kept inside the head is 4x more intense than what is spoken. Also, if you share what has happened to you, you might learn something that will help you manage it. We all have things that work for us and sharing them with others can be very helpful.

If you have someone you can talk with about your reactive depression then absolutely do it. Be it a therapist, a life coach, a friend or a partner, let the pain that is inside your head and your heart out into the world.

#8 – Write it out.

Do you journal? Or write letters to yourself? Or scribble notes on post-its? If you do, great! If you don’t, it could be time to start.

Writing about trauma in your life can be very therapeutic, especially if you don’t have someone with whom to share your stress. Much like speaking, writing allows you to get your pain out of your head and heart and onto paper.

And when you can see your pain and your feelings on a piece of paper in front of you, instead of having it rolling around in your brain, it can sometimes be much easier to manage.

#9 – See a doctor.

For many people, the thought of seeing a doctor to deal with our moods is embarrassing. We think we should be stronger and just pull up our boot straps and deal with this on our own.

Unfortunately, there are some things that just can’t be managed on their own, something that all of the coping mechanisms in the world can’t ease. Reactive depression can be one of them.

If your depression is seriously impacting your life, and you have tried the things above and they haven’t helped, reach out to your doctor to get some support. Your primary care doctor can help diagnose your depression and get you the help you need to manage and work through it.

Reactive depression is a horrible, horrible thing.

Not only has something terrible happened in your life but now you have to deal with overwhelming sadness because of it.

Perhaps you’re reading this article because you are feeling like you might be at the end of your rope. Perhaps you’re feeling that, because the life that you once led is over, there’s no reason for you to go on. Your future looks hopeless and you will never be happy again.

I can promise you this is not true. I know you might not believe it right now because from where you sit things look pretty shitty but I can promise you that the view from the other side is a rosy one. 

Do the things that I recommended above. If one thing doesn’t work try another. If nothing eases your pain, call your doctor. Don’t give up!

You can do it!

Are you struggling with reactive depression?
I know it can be really, really hard. Let me help before you waste too much time struggling!
Email me at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com and let’s get started!

 

 

How to Let Go of Toxic People Who Are Holding You Back

Are you wondering how to let go of toxic people who are holding you back?

Do you know that some people in your life just aren’t good for you but you are finding it difficult to let them go?

Fortunately, there are ways to let go of toxic people but first let’s examine why it’s hard to let go of one.

For many people, staying in a toxic relationship is better than being alone.

We often don’t feel so good about ourselves and the other person feeds our feelings of insecurity with their toxicity.

Sometime we feel like we think we are the only person who can help/fix this other person so we are hesitant to step away from them, even if they are sucking us dry.

And, finally, we are often stuck in patterns with these people, patterns that we are incapable of breaking for a variety of reasons.

Now do you see how letting go of toxic people can be very difficult? Understanding the ‘why’ can often make the ‘how’ easier.

#1 – Make a decision – and stick to it!

Before you begin any life changing process you must ask yourself how determined you are to actually do it. On a scale of 1-10 how close to a 10 are you? Because without steadfast determination you will not be able to accomplish something as challenging as letting go of a toxic person in your life.

So, are you ready to do this? Is there any part of you that is holding on to the possibility that things could work out? Do you feel like you aren’t strong enough to do this yet?

If the answer to any of these questions is a yes, then perhaps you should wait a bit longer before you begin this process. Time is a great healer and with some time you will get stronger and be ready to take on this challenging task.

Either way, ask yourself some tough questions about this relationship and make a conscious decision to stay or go. Doing so, making a purposeful move, will help you start respecting and loving yourself again which is a key part of letting go of toxic people and moving on.

#2 – Take inventory.

One of the first thing I tell all of my clients when they ask how to let go of toxic people is to make a list – a list of all of the reasons that they need to walk away from that person.

When we spend time with someone, we are regularly exposed to those things that remind us that we need to walk away. When we finally get away from that person, those things tend to recede into our memory. They get replaced in the forefront of our mind with the good things, the good times, all the things that we loved about that person.

And, with the good things at the front of our minds, we are vulnerable to returning to the relationship that is causing us pain.

So, make a list. Make a list of everything that you can think of that is making you walk away from this person. Keep that list close and refer to it when you are missing him.

You left this relationship for a reason. Keep that reason in mind daily going forward.

#3 – Disappear.

I know that we all think that we need “closure” at the end of any relationship, that final conversation where everyone gets to say what they want to say and you understand each other and walk away as friends.

I am here to tell you that closure is a myth. What closure really is is one last chance to spend time with and talk to that person you care about. Because really, if you could have a conversation and finally understand each other why couldn’t you make it work as a couple or as friends?

So, when you have decided to let of of a toxic person is over, cut him or her off from any contact with you. Block them on your phone, disconnect on social media, stay away from places where you know they will be.

Why? Because what you need to do is break the addiction you have to this person, to change your habits.

Think about Oreo cookies. You know how hard it is to eat just one? It’s the same with your person. Even one point of contact can draw you back into their circle, the circle that you have decided that you are determined to break yourself out of.

So, cut off all contact right away. Don’t let them have access to you in any way. It will make the process way easier!

#4 – Choose love.

For many of us, being in a toxic relationship can mean that we have disconnected with people who might previously have been a big part of our lives. None of us do it intentionally, or with malice, but it does happen. And those friends are still out there.

Make an effort to reach out to those friends, the friends who knew you ‘before.’ They will be happy to have you back and happy to support you getting through this time.

Also, now is a great time to make new friends. I have a client who is using Bumble BFF, an app for women to connect with other women, to find some new friends, ones who are single and want to get out and do things like she does. She has connected with some amazing women in just a few weeks.

Also, make an effort to spend time with your family if they provide love and support. Nothing can help you replace the empty space left by your toxic person then those who love you more than anyone else in the world.

People are a great way to get you through a tough time. And you have lots of people. Reach out and find them again.

#5 – Live.

Another thing to do with all of that free time is to start doing something that you have always wanted to do. Don’t sit around feeling sorry for your empty space – do something with it.

When a client of mine left her toxic boyfriend she was a wreck and feeling lonely as hell. I asked her if there was anything that she had always wanted to do, something that she hadn’t done because she was in a relationship.

Without a pause she said YES – she had always wanted to learn Italian and spend some traveling in Italy. Could she do that now? I asked. And she said, Why the hell not?

So, my client downloaded a language app and set out making plans to travel to Italy in the spring. She researched tour groups, found a few friends to come with her, worked to get in shape and ultimately went on the trip of her dreams.

The planning kept her occupied instead of focusing on her guy and the trip changed her life, making her realize that if she could do that she could do anything.

What is it that you have always wanted to do? Pick one thing and start doing it.  You have the time. Life is short. Don’t waste it!

Knowing how to let go of toxic people who are holding you back takes awareness and determination.

We are so scared of being alone or making someone else unhappy that we often sacrifice our own health and well being. It’s important to stop that NOW.

Take stock of your determination to get out of the relationship, take stock of why, disappear completely, reach out to others and live your life.

Life is too short to surround yourself with toxic people. Choose yourself for once and get on with living your best life!

Are you struggling with a toxic person in your life?
I know it can be really, really hard. Let me help before your life gets completely derailed!
Email me at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com and let’s get started!

My Life Is Great: Why Am I So Depressed?

Have you been asking yourself Why am I so depressed because, really, my life is great?

Do you feel like you have everything that you want in your life but still you feel like you are carrying a hundred pound weight on your back, that you have no interest in anything and that all you want to do is sleep?

I am not a doctor but I can tell you that I used to feel that way all the time. I lived with this overwhelming sense of hopelessness and dread. I tried to be a good parent but keeping my energy up was close to impossible. I tried to be great wife but my irritability prevented that from happening. I had a great job but my performance suffered.

This went on for years. YEARS. I thought that I was managing it, and I was. Until I wasn’t.

One day, when I was 42 years old, I found myself in a closet banging my head against the wall. I had no idea what was going on.

A friend of mine scooped me up off the floor and took me to see a psychiatrist. He diagnosed me with chemical depression. He sent me off with some medication and instructions to follow up with a therapist.

That day changed my life.

I learned that chemical depression is a disease caused by a chemical imbalance. The same as heart disease, the same as thyroid disease. The way I was feeling was not because of some personal weakness but because my brain chemistry was letting me down. And that, treated, I was going to start enjoying my great life!

If you are feeling depressed but nothing is wrong in your life then you too could be chemically depressed. This means that you have a chemical imbalance that causes depressive symptoms without something actually being wrong.

So, what do you do if you are feeling depressed but nothing is wrong? I have some suggestions.

#1 – Ask yourself a few questions.

A good way to get a sense of whether or not you are chemical depressed is to ask yourself some questions. They are:

  • Are you living with feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
  • Are you more irritable than usual?
  • Have you lost interest in things that used to make you happy?
  • Are you not sleeping as well as you used to?
  • Have your sleep patterns changed? Are you spending more time in bed?
  • Have your eating patterns changed? Have you lost or gained weight?
  • Are you more anxious than you used to be?
  • Do you struggle with feelings of worthlessness?
  • Do you have a hard time focusing?
  • Do you think about committing suicide?
  • Do you have new physical problems, like headaches or backaches.

If you answered yes to any, or all, of these questions you are most likely suffering from chemical depression.

Now, ask yourself if this has happened to your before? How regularly? Does anyone else in your family struggle with depression? Were there any traumatic experiences in your life that might have affected your deeply?

If you answer YES to any of those questions you most likely suffer from chemical depression.

What to do next?

#2 – Don’t be embarrassed.

Many people who are diagnosed with chemical depression are embarrassed. Embarrassed that they can’t just “suck it up.” That they might have some kind of personal deficiency that makes them weak in the face of this perceived disease.

Let me tell you! You are not weak. You are not lacking something that others have that make it so that you can ‘suck it up.’ You are actually incredibly brave for facing this issue head on.

Again, chemical depression is a disease caused by a chemical imbalance. The same as heart disease, the same as thyroid disease.

Chemical depression is perceived by many in society to be a personal weakness. I mean how can you be depressed if nothing is wrong? Luckily more and more people are speaking up about living with mental illness. More and more people, including many famous people, are being honest about living well with their condition and helping to eliminate the stigma about mental illness.

So, join the celebrities. Don’t be embarrassed. Chemical depression is not something that you could have prevented. But it is something that you can deal with.

#3 – See your primary care doctor immediately.

If you are feeling depressed but your life is great it is important that you reach out to your primary care doctor as soon as possible to tell her about your symptoms. Seeking medical help is key to dealing with depression.

Many primary care physicians are knowledgeable about the treatment of depression and can help you with treatment right away. Some primary care doctors might refer you to a psychiatrist who can help you diagnose and manage your depression.

Either way, see you doctor right away.

#4 – Stick to whatever regimen the doctor prescribes.

This is a key part of dealing with chemical depression.

What often happens is that a doctor prescribes a medication to help someone manage their depression and then once they are feeling better they stop taking it. And what happens next? The depression comes back.

So, stick to your treatment. Continue to take your meds. Just like you would if your doctor had prescribed meds to help you with a thyroid issue. Or diabetes.

#5 – Surround yourself with people who love you.

Many people who suffer from chemical depression tend to isolate themselves from friends and family. Making the effort to spend time with people and to pretend to enjoy themselves is just too much. So, they don’t.

Make an effort to get yourself out there and spend time with people who love you. Spending time with people who make you laugh, who keep you out of your head and make you feel good about yourself is very important to managing your clinical depression.

 

If you are asking yourself why am I depressed even if your life is great then you may be struggling with clinical depression.

The best way to deal with it is to get yourself to see your doctor right away and then stick with the medical treatment they prescribe. Also make sure to take care of yourself and surround yourself with people who love you.

You, like millions of other women, can have a full and happy life living with chemical depression. All you need to do is to pick up the phone and call your doctor.

Do it TODAY!

Are you struggling with depression even though your life is great?
I know it can be really, really hard. Let me help before the pain gets to be too much!
Email me at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com and let’s get started!

How To Stop Feeling Depressed At Night: 7 Tips That Really Work

Are you struggling with depression and wondering how to stop feeling depressed at night?

Depression is horrible and, for some reason, it seems to get worse at night. There is something about the sun going down and the silence settling in that makes our depression seem more profound. How exciting is it that daylight savings time is here and the nights are getting shorter!

I have lived with depression for years and have some tips to share with you today that will definitely help you manage your nighttime depression.

For me, there are two separate times of the night that need to be managed: the evening hours before bed and then the time during the night when I wake up. I have tips for both times of the night because they are a little bit different to deal with, I believe.

What to do in the evening, before bed:

#1 – Keep your mind busy.

An important part of how to stop feeling depressed at night is to keep your mind busy during the evening hours.

The thing about nighttime is that we often don’t have enough to do so our brains, instead of being productive, go down the path towards all the things that are wrong in our life which then leads to, and deepens, our depression. It’s important to stop your thoughts from going down that path before they even start.

Things like reading, watching your favorite show on Netflix and talking or texting with a friend are all things that will keep your mind busy during the night and away from all of the negative self-talk.

I would definite encourage you to stay off social media if you are feeling depressed. Sometimes social media makes you feel more connected to the world, but, more often than not, social media can make you feel isolated and less than. So, text away with a friend but spending hours on Snap Chat or Instagram will not serve you well.

#2 – Do things that comfort you.

An important part of managing how to stop feeling depressed at night is to do things that comfort you.

For me, a cup of tea and a hot bath go a long way towards making me feel loved and comforted. I also have a weighted blanket that I curl up under when I watch TV. Something about the weight on your body has been clinically proven to make a big difference with people who are struggling with depression and anxiety.

What are things that would comfort you at night? Take stock of those things now, by the light of day, so you can have them at the ready.

Ice cream and sugar are things many people turn to but I would encourage you to stay away from those things at night because they could interfere with your sleep. If you must have sugar, the earlier in the evening the better.

#3 – Journal.

If you find that you have not been able to stop those negative thoughts in their tracks, a good thing to do if you’re feeling depressed at night is to journal.

There’s something about getting those negative thoughts out of your head and onto paper that makes them easier to manage. Sometimes when we see our thoughts written out on paper they become less powerful because we can see them more clearly.

If you don’t have an official journal, that’s okay. You can just get a notebook and write things down or, if you want to, you can use your computer. I find that using a pen and paper is the most effective for me.

#4 – Know that the morning will come.

An important part of how to stop feeling depressed at night is to keep in mind that, no matter what, the morning and the sunshine will come.

Sometimes, that nighttime depression makes us think that we will never get through the night, that we will never see the light of day. That our depression will overwhelm us and the night will never end.

But night has never not turned to day. And with day, comes work and friends and activities and sunshine. Even if it continues, depression can seem not so heavy during the light of day.

What to do if you wake up in the middle of the night:

#1 – Don’t lay there ruminating.

If you wake up in the middle of the night and find that your depression comes roaring back because all of your negative thoughts wake up with you, a really important thing to do is to not lie there, ruminating.

Instead, pick up your book or a magazine, but not your phone, to distract your mind from those thoughts. They say that reading for 20 minutes if you wake up increases your chances of falling back asleep than if you just lie there working yourself up, thinking about things.

So, keep some reading material next to your bed so if you wake up at night you don’t spend those precious sleep hours in your head.

You’ll be much better able to face the next day if you get enough sleep and that will in turn will help you manage your depression.

#2 – Use a calming app.

There are lots of calming apps out there now that can help ease your anxiety and depression during the nighttime. They use meditation, music, words of affirmation and other means to help your body and mind stay calm at night.

My favorite is Calm but I know there are others. Do some looking and see what works for you.

#3 – Know that the morning will come.

Again, when we are lying awake at night it’s often hard to believe that the long night hours will ever end. But if there’s one thing you can believe, always, it’s that the sun will rise.

So, don’t sink into the darkness of the night. Have hope that tomorrow will come and, with it, another day.

Good for you for getting ahead of your depression and trying to figure out how to stop feeling depressed at night.

Nighttime depression can be completely debilitating but managing it is not impossible.

In the evening hours, make an effort to keep your mind occupied, give yourself comfort, write out your words and have hope for tomorrow. Overnight, again try to keep your mind from sabotaging you and use those apps to help you get back to sleep.

If you are struggling with depression and these tips don’t help, I would definitely encourage you to reach out to your primary care doctor to talk to them about more ways to manage your depression. It’s important to stay on top of it so that it doesn’t get worse.

You can do it!

Are you struggling with night time depression?
I know it can be really, really hard. Let me help before the pain gets to be too much!
Email me at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com and let’s get started!

5 Reasons to be Happy if You Are Single on Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day is here! The day you have been waiting for all year. A day that is all about love and chocolate. Really what else does one need?

Except, oh yeah, you aren’t in a relationship this year so you are going to be single on Valentine’s Day and you are going to be the ONLY one without a date. Woe is you.

C’mon people! Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love. In all it’s forms. So let’s do it!

There are many reasons to be happy if you are single on Valentine’s Day. Here are 5 of them.

#1 – The pressure is off.

I have a client who just yesterday was lamenting that Valentine’s Day was right around the corner. Every year she has such big expectations for the day and every year her husband lets her down completely. One year he split a dozen roses with a co-worker and brought them home. Really.

Did you know that post – Valentine’s Day is the #2 time of year for break ups (#1 is right after New Years when people think “I am not going to do one more holiday with this person.”) And the reason for Valentine’s break ups is because people feel let down, again.

This year, because you are single, you get to make whatever you want out of your Valentine’s Day. What do you want to do? Get a bunch of friends and drink tequila? Go to a sappy movie? Dance the night away? Binge watch Game of Thrones? Whatever you want. The sky is the limit. And it’s your choice.

And just imagine that, for once, Valentine’s Day will be everything that you want it to be because you are in charge.

#2 – Eat chocolate.

Let’s get right down to it. Valentine’s Day is particularly about the love of chocolate. And who doesn’t love chocolate? If there was ever a reason to be happy that you are single on Valentine’s Day is that you can have chocolate, as much as you want and all to yourself.

Word on the street is that dark chocolate is the best for you. It is very nutritious, is a great source of anti-oxidents, improves blood flow and lowers blood pressure and it helps balance your cholesterol.

Personally, I like milk chocolate which may not have the same qualities as dark but it makes me smile every time I eat it. Especially if there is caramel in the middle.

So, eat chocolate! On this day, eat as much as you want. It’s not like you are going to have to get naked in front of someone at the end of the day. Do it!

I personally have a bowl of chocolate pudding with my name on it in my fridge, waiting for me to indulge. Kind of exciting.

#3 – You can love that most important person. Yourself.

This is a tough one. It’s really hard to love ourselves much less put ourselves first on the list of those we love. But it’s very important that we do and Valentine’s Day is a great day to practice that.

I personally have a list of the things that I love about myself and that list is going to be front and center for me on Valentine’s Day.

I love that I am a direct and honest person, sometimes to a fault, but it is a thing that people say they appreciate about me. I love that I have so many friends who know they can rely on me to be there, anytime and anywhere. I love that I am funny and sarcastic and a fabulous flirt. I love how I feel walking down the street in my tight jeans and cowboy boots. I love the work I do with my clients. I love that I am 53 and rocking it.

There is a lot to love about me and damn if I am not going to recognize that on this day that is all about love.

And I am going to eat some chocolate to celebrate how awesome I am.

#4 – It’s a reminder that it’s time to make a move.

It’s so easy to just give up on our search for love. This modern world makes finding love difficult. We are all so busy and connected to our devices and it’s very hard to look up and see all of the people who are around us.

Now is the time to take stock of how important a relationship is to you. I know many of my clients say that they are just fine, that being alone is way better because they have their own lives. And this is true. If you are happy alone then you are very healthy.

But it’s okay to want to be in a relationship. It is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign that you are strong enough to define what you want and go out there and get it.

Try registering with a dating site. Join a Meet Up that will bring you together with like-minded people. Go to the park and smile at that cute guy who is walking past. Tell all your friends that they need to set you up with someone. Visualize that ideal partner in your head. Believe that you can get it.

Set a goal. Make a plan. Put yourself out there. Find love. You can do it!

#5 – Celebrate that love is all around you.

The first words in the movie “Love Actually,” spoken by Hugh Grant, are as follows:

Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.

Those words give me shivers every time.

Look around. Look at the love that is all around you every day.

For me, every night I look at the moon and I think of the people that I love who are looking at that very same moon. I can feel the love and I am thankful. The world is big and love is everywhere.

Valentine’s Day might at times seem like a Hallmark & Hershey holiday but really what does it matter because it is an excuse to celebrate love.

There are many reasons to be happy if you are single on Valentine’s Day. So, don’t waste the day. Take a look around and notice the people, places and things you love. Don’t forget to look in the mirror too.

Because love is all around us. How lucky are we?


If you’ve made it this far you must really be struggling with being alone this Valentine’s Day.

Let me help get you there, NOW, before you get even more stuck.

Email me at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com, or click here, and let’s get started!

What To Do When You’re Feeling Depressed, Isolated And Lost

Has your life gotten to that place where you are feeling depressed, isolated and lost all the time?

Are you feeling hopeless, alone and full of dread and worried about what the future will hold?

If you are, I am so sorry. Being depressed and feeling alone is a horrible place to be!

Fortunately, there are things you can do to stop feeling depressed, isolated and lost all the time.

#1 – Figure out the why.

There are two kinds of depression, situational and chemical. They have similar symptoms but different causes. Knowing what kind of depression you have is the first step to dealing with it.

Situational depression is caused by something that happens in your life. When something big happens that makes you sad, like the death of a parent or a divorce or the loss of a job, you can become situationally depressed. This kind of depression usually has a beginning, caused by a specific event, and an end, and is often treated differently from chemical depression.

Chemical depression is the result your brain chemistry being off in such a way that leads to depression. You are most often born with chemical depression but it can also by caused by a traumatic life event.

Chemical depression can happen to you even if your life is going great.

So, ask yourself some questions about what your life looks like these days to help you figure out what kind of depression you might have.

If you think you have situational depression, read on. If you think you have chemical depression here is an article for you to read to learn more about next steps.

#2 – Do what makes you feel good.

When we are feeling depressed, isolated and lost, our inclination is to collapse into our life. We stay in bed, we don’t shower or eat well and cut off contact with those we love.

Let me tell you: if you are feeling depressed, collapsing is absolutely the worst thing that you can do. Instead, it is important to do things that make you feel good.

For me, I keep a list of things to do when I am feeling depressed. 1. Take a long, hard walk (the endorphins are great for my depression). 2. Do yoga. 3. Watch The Walking Dead. 4. Take a bath. 5. Go to the movies. 6. Have sex. 7. Eat Pad Thai. When I am depressed I do one, or all, of those things and my depression is often lifted.

So, what makes you happy? Write out a list, when you aren’t depressed, of what makes you happy so that when you are depressed you are ready.

#3 – Occupy your mind.

Unfortunately, when we are feeling depressed, isolated and lost, our worst enemy is that brain of ours.

While we are lying on the couch feeling sorry for ourselves, our brain is actively buying into it all.

You are a loser, it says. You have no friends. You aren’t good at anything. You will never find love.  You suck at your job. And on and on.

And, chances are, that none of those things are true. That you are not a loser, you have plenty of friends, you are talented, love is out there and your boss thinks you are doing great. But your brain, when you are depressed, just doesn’t go there.

It is really important, when you are feeling depressed and isolated, to keep your brain busy.  Yoga is a really good way to do this – you are so busy trying to figure out the damn pose that you don’t have a chance to think about anything. It also has the side benefit of toning your body and making you feel strong, which can be helpful.

Other options for keeping your mind quiet are: reading, going to a movie, hanging out with friends, working. Meditation is also an option but I just get more depressed when I try, and fail, to meditate. If you can do it, go for it!

What do you like to do that will help you quiet that mind of yours, the mind that is feeding into those feelings that are bringing you down? Figure it out and do it!

#4 – Choose your playmates carefully.

One of the most important things to manage when we are depressed is our environment. In your bed and your pjs on might feel the most comfortable but they might not be the best option for getting better.

The same attention needs to be paid to who you spend time with when you are feeling depressed. If there are people in your life who bring you down then avoiding them when you aren’t doing well is very important.

My mother was very difficult to spend time with when I was depressed. She was always trying to talk me out of my depression by pretending that it didn’t exist or telling me to just snap out of it. Both of those things just made me feel worse. So, I avoided her when I wasn’t doing well. It was best for both of us.

Consider who you shouldn’t spend time with when you are depressed and avoid them. On the same note, think about who would be a good person to be with and make a date with them right now!

#5 – Call your doctor.

If everything else fails and still you find yourself feeling depressed, isolated and lost, then it’s time to call your primary care doctor.

Feeling consistently depressed and anxious might indicate some serious health problems and getting a complete check-up from your doctor could be really important.

Your doctor can take a look at all aspects of your life and help you come up with a plan for managing your depression and anxiety so that they don’t get worse. Which they will do if they are left untreated and allowed to persist.

Remember, your doctor won’t judge. There are lots of people who feel just like you do every day and that’s what doctors are there for – to help us all.

If you are feeling depressed, isolated and lost it’s important that you do something about it and do something about it now!

Do a quick assessment of your life and try to figure out what kind of depression you might have. Take care of yourself, make yourself happy, keep your brain busy, control who you spend time with and, if necessary, see your doctor.

Depression can go away on it’s own if properly managed but will get worse if left untreated. So, try the things that I recommended above but always pay attention to how you are doing. If you are getting worse and not better, get help!

You can do it!


If you have ready this far you must really be struggling with depression?


Let me help, NOW, before it gets out of control!


Email me at mitzi@letyourdreamsbegin.com and let’s get started!