Brainworks: How the Baby Steps for Adults Coaching Program saved my life.

It’s not easy dealing with life’s little challenges. Very often these challenges can seem like the mountain which you are comfortably and very snuggly buried under.

Which is why I appeal to you dear reader,  if you are feeling like you cannot cope with life’s stresses, it is very important to your mental health and your overall well-being to seek the help you need.

Clinical depression for instance  is an extreme form of depression where the sufferer’s life, well-being and activities are extremely disrupted and affected. It is quite normal for a person to feel low, sad, gloomy or otherwise unhappy at times; but these sadnesses come and go, they tend to be situational and reactive and do not predominate. When depressed, these states of unhappiness become more regular and defining; when clinically depressed, the person’s ability to function as a normal human being is severely impaired, and the individual may feel tired, unhappy, unmotivated and generally apathetic on an ongoing basis. It will likely result in negative thought patterns and possibly even alcohol or other substance abuse. This state is called clinical since it can be clinically diagnosed as depression.

Another name for clinical depression is unipolar depression. This term makes reference to another form of depression called bipolar, or manic depression. What distinguishes these two forms is that a person suffering from the bipolar type will display mania, or mania followed by depression whereas unipolar affective disorder is characterized by depression alone. Whether a person is suffering from one or the other is not always entirely obvious since the pattern of the manic disorder is not regular one. Additionally, other disorders such as delirium, dementia and psychosis also feature symptoms which are similar to depression and can, therefore, be misdiagnosed.

A Major Depressive Disorder, or clinical depression, is one which is characterized by an extremely depressed state which continues over a two week period or longer. This may be a single episode or else recur over a longer period and even over a lifetime. Where the occurrences of depression are preceded or followed by a highly elevated mood or mania then it is considered to be bipolar; where the mood never shifts from the depressed pole then it is unipolar.
The state of clinical depression can be further differentiated into three subtypes and characterized by the absence or presence of psychosis: There is Depression with Melancholy, Depression with Atypical Features, and Depression with Psychosis. The first features the loss of pleasure in most things and an inability to react to pleasant stimulation. The second, Atypical, is the most common and is characterized by increased weight gain or over eating, excessive sleep or hyper-somnia, and oversensitivity to remarks or perceived rejection. The third type, Depression with Psychotic features, might include delusions or hallucinations related to the person’s mood.

My personal story is a simple one. I got married early. I became pregnant at an early age and was not able to cope with the stresses of managing a newborn. I felt like my life had been torn away from me and it was reflected in my mood. I started to act out in such a way that drove a wedge between my husband and I. No one wants to be close to someone who is miserable all the time and in an effort to keep my marriage I decided to become pregnant again. As you can imagine this only worsened the situation and I finally found myself in a full blown depression without even knowing what was happening. 

it took my husband leaving the house and the impending breaking up of my family and the loss of friends for me to realize I needed help. By this time I had started drinking as well which, just so you know, does not solve anything. I was headed down the wrong path, downhill on a train to nowhere. 

My family doctor was the one who suggested this program to me. He apparently went to school with the developer and he said it was completely online and I was at the point where the thought of losing everything was really going to be the last straw. Suicidal thoughts ran through m mind constantly and i decided to give this program a try. 

I was actually surprised the first day when the program director came on to an online group call and announced that we were all now “enrolled in school” SCHOOL???? the last thing I wanted to hear that I was in school. He explained that this program was not intended to create solutions for us but that we were supposed to create these solutions for ourselves. He also explained to us that we were going to learn about ourselves and that were were going to “fix our shit” everyday until it was completely healed. Never in my life had I ever heard of online counselling conducted in such a manner. 

Over the next few weeks, I was to pen open letters to my husband and family telling them how I was feeling. The director of the program actually created a platform so that the mail actually came from the program with their letterhead. Can I tell you that this made a difference to my husband??? To see that I was actually actively seeking help from someone who was wiling to help me. 

It wasn’t long before he also became involved in the process and we began to work things out, professionally with a counsellor and the support structure of other people who were going through the exact same experiences I was. I believe that this program truly saved my life and I highly recommend it because when your life is at rock bottom, there is only one way and that is up.

Baby Steps for Adults Online Counseling program can be accessed here

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