Following on from our previous blog on exam stress, this blog considers self-harm which is a strategy that some teenagers use to manage difficult situations, including exam stress. At Morency, support can be offered to both individuals who are self-harming and their parents, if required.
What is self-harm?
Self-harming behaviours are any behaviours which cause deliberate physical harm to oneself. Often this can take the form of cutting the skin, however, burning, hair-pulling, scratching and taking substances or poisons are also forms of self-harm. Self-harming behaviours are not usually related to a desire to end one’s life, nor are the individuals ‘attention seeking’. Instead, such behaviours are often a way of coping with overwhelming emotions.
How much exam stress is normal?
It’s that time of year again when mocks are being taken in preparation for the build-up of GCSEs and A levels in the summer. Here at Morency we appreciate that this can be a challenging time for many young people and we receive a lot of calls at this time of year looking for support. We have specialists within our team who are here to help. Exam time is understandably stressful and almost everyone taking exams will experience some level of stress or anxiety. Usually, this stress is within a normal range and indeed, stress is believed to be vital to ensure people work hard to meet their goals. However, sometimes stress levels can become too high and stress becomes counterproductive, some possible signs of this include: Read more
Most people spend a large proportion of their lives in the company of another single individual. While this may seem idyllic, comforting and enjoyable at times, for most people there are also times of frustration and uncertainty. Common difficulties in marriages and long-term relationships include: Read more
It is the time of year for parties, work social events and general jollity. It gets dark early, the twinkling lights of the pub beckon and all feels, temporarily at least, right with the world. And so, it should be but only if King Alcohol is treated with respect and not abused or misused by overindulgence. Too often this results in impulsive and regrettable behaviour. Read more
What is social anxiety?
Social anxiety is anxiety related to social events and interactions. The specific difficulties of individuals who struggle with this are idiosyncratic, however, common difficulties include:
- Feeling on edge and nervous when with strangers
- Avoiding social situations
- Feeling watched or judged
- Behaviours designed to ‘fit in’ or make the person ‘invisible’
- Experiencing physical symptoms such as nausea and sweating when thinking about past and future social activities
- Fear of making a ‘fool’ of oneself
- Rituals or substances can be used to manage the anxiety, for example, excessive alcohol consumption during social events
- In extreme circumstances, a total avoidance of leaving a perceived safe place such as home
Social anxiety can also be limited to specific situations such as public speaking or meeting someone new. Read more
What is self-esteem?
Self-esteem, self-worth or a sense of self are all terms used to describe a person’s overall opinion of themselves. People who have high self-esteem usually feel deserving of happiness, accept set backs and feel generally good about themselves. People with low self-esteem may feel worthless, dislike themselves, treat themselves poorly, struggle to feel worthy of success or happiness and lack confidence. Low self-esteem can lead to mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. Equally, depression and anxiety can reduce people’s self-esteem.
What is emotional neglect?
Parental emotional neglect of a child is a relatively common phenomenon and one that is harder to define than other forms of abuse such as physical or sexual (NSPCC, 2011). Emotional abuse may present differently within different families and many parents will not intend to cause harm. Parenting styles which may have the potential to cause neglect include:
- Parents with narcissistic traits
- Parents who were neglected themselves as children
- Parents struggling with mental health issues, addiction or those frequently unavailable due to working long hours
- Parents who are extremely strict or have very high standards for education or another activity
While each of these scenarios may present as a very different childhood, the harm is usually caused by a parent who is distracted by their own issues or striving for perfection. This means that the child’s emotional needs are not prioritised and may be frequently invalidated.
Workplace-related mental health problems are on the rise
A recent report by the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP, 2017) has highlighted the high rates of anxiety and depression in the UK workforce. Over 400,000 people who worked part-time or full-time were surveyed and around 10 per cent (9 per cent of full-time workers and 12 per cent of part-time workers) reported moderate to extreme levels of anxiety and / or depression. The survey was first completed in 2013 and since then there has been an increase, of almost a third, in the number of people reporting mental health problems. Part-time workers in particular reported a higher level of difficulties. Across the entire sample, which included individuals who did not work, levels of mental health problems also increased but by a lower amount, suggesting that workplace-related anxiety and depression specifically are on the rise. Read more
So, what is narcissism?
Welcome to Narcissistic’s Anonymous. Now, before we get started, let’s talk about me for a while…
Generally speaking narcissistic behaviours include vanity, a desire for attention, fame or status and arrogance. This blog considers narcissistic traits, how they may have developed and the support an individual and their loved ones may benefit from. The word narcissism originates from the Greek myth of ‘Narcissus’. Narcissus was proud and disdainful. When he came across his own reflection he fell in love. Being unable to leave the beautiful image he stared at it until he died.
Welcome to our March 2017 Newsletter
Our newsletter aims to bring you up to date with the services we offer to GPs and their patients throughout Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Birmingham.
Mental Health of Teenagers
Mental health in teenagers is often difficult to identify and categorize because it is situated along a spectrum of biological, social and psychological functioning. If a number of issues cluster at a certain point in time during a young person’s development, past or present stressors can suddenly trigger anxiety and /or depression and in certain cases, drug and alcohol misuse and eating disorders. Read more