Because of how the relationship ended with my son’s father while pregnant and after giving birth to my son, I was in a depressed state. I was ashamed of the my situation and was upset with myself. I didn’t have the guts to tell any of my friends what was really going on. The only people I confided in was my mother and daughter.
If you haven’t heard My Story, check out my interview on Rhythm and Praise with Jasmine Love.
In between my second and third trimester, I decided to seek counsel from my church to get through the stuff times. I met with the women’s ministry minister twice a week for six weeks. I did find relief but I probably should have continued to go a little longer.
As a result I will say to this day, I sometimes feel emotionless when faced with difficult situations. I maybe depressed right now and not really know it! Hmmm.
What about you?
Do you know someone or maybe you who may be depressed and not know it? Due to life events such as losing a parent, going through a divorce, parenting issues, relationship problems etc., If so, please share this article with them, let’s break this cycle by sharing this article one person at a time.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Sandra Williams, psychotherapists, Certified Confidence and Mindset Coach, the owner of Art of confidence located in Decatur, Ga. I asked her to shed some light on mental illness and its diagnosis.
Let’s start first with you sharing your story.
I was a thriving, active, “social butterfly” growing up as a young girl. At the age of 7, I was told by a family member that I would never be pretty or good enough due to my skin color and body type. Never did I realize that those words had affected me until I was an adult. For years, I secretly battled with low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness, allowed others to make decisions for my life. At the age of 15, I attempted suicide because I could not see a future for myself. I could not see my life getting better. Throughout high school and well into my adult life, I continued to carry my “self-esteem secret.” I was ashamed to share with anyone the war I was internally battling. My fear of being labeled, judged, and criticized for not being able to “hold it together,” crippled my ability to be vulnerable. As time went on, I endured toxic friendships, relationships, and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression in 2014. Low self-esteem is not a mental illness, but it is connected to and lay the foundation for mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. With the help of therapy and God, I worked hard to come out of the dark space and do the therapy work I needed to become the best version of myself. Although I have made great strides on my journey, I am still a work in progress.
What lead you to start your business in the field of mental health?
I originally went to school to be a Pediatrician. However, I could not pass Chemistry and was advised by my adviser to change major. After a few major changes, and realizing my friends were coming to me with all their issues; I decided to become a therapist and majored in Psychology.
With over a decade of experience in mental health, I operated and grew a private practice for another individual. I always knew I wanted to have my own practice, but was afraid to go on my own because of my fear of failure. However, if I was able to grow a business for another person, I could easily do it for myself.
You may be the person who is thinking this way too. You have put your dreams on the back burner and made nothing but excuses as to why it will not work. I do not have the money to start a business. I am not educated enough. Someone else is doing the same business I would like to start. Do these excuses sound familiar?
How would someone know if they are or someone they know is dealing with mental illness?
Not all mental illnesses are the same. However, if you or someone you know is experiencing several of the following symptoms below, it is highly recommended to follow-up with a mental health professional.
Withdrawal: Recent social withdrawal and loss of interest in others; loss of initiative or desire to participate in any activity.
Drop in functioning: An unusual drop in functioning, at school, work or social activities, such as easily quitting or difficulty performing familiar tasks.
Problems thinking: Problems with concentration, memory or logical thought and speech that are hard to explain.
Increased sensitivity: Heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or touch; avoidance of over-stimulating situations.
Feeling disconnected: A vague feeling of being disconnected from oneself or one’s surroundings; a sense of unreality.
Illogical thinking: Unusual or exaggerated beliefs to understand meanings or influence events.
Nervousness: Fear or suspicious of others or a strong nervous feeling.
Unusual behavior: Odd, uncharacteristic, peculiar behavior.
Sleep or appetite changes: Dramatic sleep and appetite changes or decline in personal care.
Mood changes: Rapid or dramatic shifts in feelings.
**Remember: one or two of these symptoms alone can’t predict a mental illness.**
However, if you or someone you know is experiencing several at one time and the symptoms are causing serious problems in the ability to study, work or relate to others, he/she should be seen by a mental health professional.
What is the recovery process or cure for someone dealing with mental illness?
Many people dealing with a mental illness achieve strength and recovery through participating in individual or group treatment. There are several treatment options available and there is not one treatment that works for everyone. You can choose the treatment or a combination of treatments that works best for you.
Psychotherapy is the therapeutic treatment of mental illness provided by a trained mental health professional. Psychotherapy explores thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and seeks to improve an individual’s well-being.
A support group is a group meeting where members guide each other towards the shared goal of recovery. Support groups are often composed of non-professionals, but peers that have suffered from similar experiences.
What resources are available in someone’s city/state locally or nationally? And what services do you offer?
The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), offers resources for every individual. Each county in the state of Georgia, has their own NAMI chapter allowing easy and convenient resources near you. You can visit http://www.nami.org for more information.
Art Of Confidence Counseling & Coaching, located in the Downtown Decatur GA area, provides individual & group therapy. We also offer therapy online and concierge therapy for individuals who are unable to come into the office.
If someone is interested in the services you offer how would they go about contacting you or scheduling services.
Anyone interested in our services or would like to schedule an appointment, please visit myartofconfidence.com
Do you have any programs, events or collaborations for the future?
We have mental health events coming soon that will focus on Women & Mental Health, Men & Mental Health, Children & Mental Health, and Mental Health as a whole. Yoga, discussions, sports, and more will be incorporated in the future events. All future events will be posted on our website and social media.
How can we connect with you on social media?
Art Of Confidence, LLC
315 W. Ponce de Leon Ave, Suite 440
Decatur, GA 30030