Who You Gonna Call?

Who You Gonna Call?

         Ghostbusters! Okay, maybe they can’t help you with your non-ghost problems, but it’s important to know who can. Who do you call when you’re having a bad day? Who can you reach out to when you’re struggling at school? Who do you trust when you’re struggling with your home-life? These answers are integral to ensuring you are focusing on proper mental health care and healthy communication.

What Constitutes Healthy Support?

  • Listening– a person who supports you not only listens to your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, but they do so without judgment. They aren’t simply looking to change you or force an opinion on you. True support is there to hold space for you without getting anything in return.
  • Consistent– a person who supports you will make time for you, especially if you are going through a rough patch. That doesn’t mean they can give you every moment of their lives, but they will work with you and your schedule to ensure you are supported and heard on a regular basis. They don’t come and go from your life. They are a consistent part of your health and wellness.
  • Support Not Enable– a person who supports you listens and validates your feelings and experiences, but they will not enable you. If you are partaking in destructive behaviors or relationships, they will let you know. They will also go above your head if self-harm or abuse is involved. This thought can feel like a betrayal, but keeping you safe stems from care, compassion, and love.
  • Honesty– a true supporter will tell you the truth and creates a space that allows you to do so, too. They provide a comfortable space where you can truly be yourself, so much so, you may tell them things you’ve never told anyone else. When you’re honest with yourself and, in turn, others, healing can begin.
  • Safe Space– a person who supports you, while still human, has shown you no signs of abuse, toxicity, or harm. They are stable and can consistently offer love, guidance, and emotional support.
  • Growth– a true supporter will always push you to be better. This may hurt sometimes to always hear the truth and see yourself through the eyes of another, but people who love us want the best for us. They help us become our best selves. People who care will help us get out of our comfort zones and help us make the best choices for our best possible future.

It’s important to remember that we are all human and to not make the mistake of putting someone on a pedestal. No one is perfect, so make sure you are reminding yourself that your supports are still humans with regular lives who make mistakes.

When it comes to our supports, we also want to ensure we aren’t creating co-dependency. It’s important to be able to reach out to people in a time of need, but it’s just as important to learn how to support yourself in those moments if others are occupied with their own lives. Lean on your supports, but remember: this time of growth means learning how to lean on yourself.

Who Supports Me?

         You don’t need a whole army of support. You need a few key people in your life you can connect with who will give you the support and guidance you need. This could come in the form of a family member or family friend, a friend, a teacher, a therapist, or a coach.

So now, ask yourself: Who supports you unconditionally? Who ensures you’re feeling okay? Who is there to listen to? Most importantly, who hears you but doesn’t enable negative or self-destructive behaviors? When it comes to a confidant, someone you can trust to help and support, you want to ensure they have your best interest in mind. Take some time to evaluate the people in your life and make sure to tell those who care for you that you see them and they matter.

 Learning to Support Yourself

No matter where you are on your health and wellness journey, the goal is to learn how to support yourself. Yes, you can always rely on a group meeting, a therapist, and close friends and family, but it’s important to learn how to cope and manage your feelings when no one else is available or present. While you work through addiction issues, mental health illness or trauma, be sure to create the ultimate support with yourself. Ask yourself how you are. Make some time to get to know yourself, just as you would a new friend. You might be surprised at how deep the relationship can get.

Sometimes we can’t find the right supports in our families, schools, or communities, and that’s okay. If you or an adolescent you know is struggling with addiction or mental health issues, you can always reach out to the Bougainvilla House. We are here to support you! We offer individual and group therapy programs, along with family counseling to help bring you closer to those who love and care for you. Let us help you create the ultimate support with your community and most importantly, yourself. Call today to learn about our programs and treatment options: (954) 764-7337

Talk To Your Kids

When communication falls short, teens and adolescents take other measures to express their emotions. That’s why it’s so important for parents to talk to their kids about the challenges they face every day. Our youth is experiencing a new wave of bullying and social anxiety like we’ve never seen it before. Whether or not they make all the right choices, it’s imperative that their voices be heard and supported. 

Here at The Bougainvilla House, we’ve received a lot of phone calls recently from kids in distress. So we put together a list of crisis prevention tips to share with your family and friends.

Tip #1: Learn the warning signs.

These won’t be obvious, so you’ll need to look hard. Really, really hard. Reckless behavior often indicates a lack of direction. Increased substance use or social withdrawal may be associated with depression. The red flags are there. We just have to see them.

Tip #2: Don’t just hear, listen.

Pay close attention to what your teens say, the way they talk about themselves, and the people around them. Be mindful of their feelings and avoid interruptions. Most importantly, be present and open in times of sorrow. That’s when they’ll need your support the most.

Tip #3: Encourage transparency.

Keep an open line of communication and talk about therapy as a healthy alternative. The benefits of seeing a therapist are endless, even for people who seem to manage bullying and anxiety well. Make sure they understand it’s okay to ask for guidance.

Tip #4: Reach out for help.

Sometimes it’s hard for family members to talk openly about their concerns. Find someone your teen or adolescent can chat with. Whether it’s a teacher, family friend or our team of trained behavioral health specialists. It’s not about when they’ll talk. It’s about who they talk to.

Know whatever your family is facing, we’re here to lend a helping hand. The Bougainvilla House is committed to reconnecting relationships through guided child and family therapy. If your teen is showing signs of distress, don’t wait for a crisis to occur. Help is just a phone call away.

The Other Side of FOMO: What Am I Really Missing?

The Other Side of FOMO: What Am I Really Missing?

         Most of us know FOMO is the fear of missing out. People claim to have FOMO when they are unable to partake in an event or experience and feel anxiety based on their absence. But FOMO implies that one experience is far more important, impactful or meaningful than another which fuels the fire of comparison culture. We may think FOMO is a love of exploring, of getting out and seeing the world, but the bottom line is FOMO is a trigger for mental illness and substance issues because if we give in to FOMO, we aren’t staying true to ourselves and our needs.

         When we see the word FOMO on social media, we usually see this acronym tagged to parties, concerts, and travel experiences. Rarely do we see this term linked to events such as family parties, family dinners, and or a quiet night in. This contrast is the real curiosity of FOMO. It seems to be centered around friends and costly events, but why can’t someone be jealous of a quiet night in?

If you’re someone who connects to this message, it might be time to ask why the external experiences are more important than inner growth and family. Why don’t you want to spend time at home? Are you afraid to be alone? Do you even like the band everyone is going to see? These questions are an important step in the direction of unpacking the reasons you feel you are missing out. Ultimately, they will help you unpack issues with mental health, addiction, and so much more.

Why Do I Feel I am Missing Out?

         If you’re the type of person who experiences FOMO, it’s important to stop and ask why? Say your friends are going to see a band that you kind of like, but you don’t really have the money. Plus, you’ve had a long week at school. Do you really want to go? Or let’s say your friends are going to a party at a popular kid’s house. You don’t like drinking, you don’t know anyone there, and the thought actually gives you anxiety because there will be significant underage drinking. However, you feel that if you don’t go, your friends might stop talking to you or you feel you will miss a connection with the people there.

         These examples illuminate the underpinnings of FOMO. In both scenarios, the people making the choice are driven by fear, hence FEAR of missing out. Fear is an archaic emotion that connects to survival. It’s the thing inside of us that yells WARNING and tells us certain ideas or behaviors are going to cause us pain, sadness, or even death. Fear is a response that was designed to keep us safe, but in a 21st-century world, fear can be a trigger for deeper mental illness.

         Understanding this concept of fear is an important part of unpacking why we are afraid to miss out because fear can mask other issues that could connect to negative experiences and even repressed trauma. And the more we make choices out of fear, the farther we get away from what we truly need in relation to health and wellness. So, the next time you feel FOMO, it might be the right moment to stop and assess because in doing do, you can break this negative response patterning once and for all.

The Importance of Family and Community

         The concept of a family is integral to healing and health. Whether we are talking about blood relations or not, the word family means a group of people that unconditionally love and support each other. Without this archetype, it can be difficult to heal from things like trauma, addiction and substance abuse, and mental health ailments.

         Maybe you’ve drifted away from your family, focusing on concerts, parties, and other distractions that have been fueling your addiction or mental illness, and that’s okay. But it’s time to rewrite that narrative and help you realize that turning in towards your support group could be the thing that stops the feelings of said fear. The FOMO we should actually be focusing on should be with the people that have raised us and supported us. Why does society push us away from the people that birthed us and raised us? The answer is unclear, but to start healing and get back on the track to health and wellness, healing within our family systems is an integral step.

         Reconnecting with family isn’t always easy, especially if you’re suffering from addiction or a mental health disorder. If this hits home, The Bougainvilla House can help. We focus on getting kids connected to themselves and their families with a community-style practice. We offer individual, group, and family treatment programs that are customized to fit your individual needs. There’s no need to fight mental illness alone and live in fear. Call now to learn about your options for a better and brighter future: (954) 764-7337