fbpx

Online Therapy and Life Coaching for you

Help when you need it most
Talk to a licensed therapist or life coach today
with-bac
check-icon Professional licenced therapists and life coaches
check-icon Affordable
check-icon Secure
check-icon Satisfaction Guarantee

What our clients say about us

How It Works?

quote-icon
01
Choose your counsellor
Select the counsellor that best suits your needs from 50+ verified therapists and life coaches
quote-icon
02
Book online
Choose the day and time that best fits your schedule and fill out the booking form
quote-icon
03
Start online therapy / life coaching
Begin the journey towards a happier and healthier your

Why Choose BAC Online Therapy and Life Coaching?

why-choose-icon
Verified Counsellors
BAC counsellors are all licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited
why-choose-icon
Secure
BAC takes several steps to ensure safe services and guarantee confidentiality
why-choose-icon
Accessible
Wherever you wish to be, you can still get your sessions
why-choose-icon
Easy To Use
Easy booking process, secure payment system and 24/7 support

Testimonials

Rating and review on the Care Quality Commission arrow-right

With BAC you can rely on Quality, Safety and Trust

with-you-content-left
If you're not satisfied with your therapy or life coaching session, we'll arrange a free online consultation with an alternative counsellor for you or offer you a full refund.

Blog Posts

Explore more posts
Impostor Syndrome
What is Impostor Syndrome Impostor syndrome (IS) refers to an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. While this definition is usually narrowly applied to intelligence and achievement, it has links to perfectionism and the social context. To put it simply, imposter syndrome is the experience of feeling like a phony—you feel as though at any moment you are going to be found out as a fraud—like you don\'t belong where you are, and you only got there through luck. It can affect anyone no matter their social status, work background, skill level, or degree of expertise. Symptoms of Imposter Syndrome Imposter syndrome can take on many different forms depending on the person who experiences it. There are several imposter symptoms a person may exhibit. Some of these include: - Feeling like success is impossible - Feeling incompetent despite demonstrating competency - Fear of not meeting another person’s expectations - Feeling like past successes and hard work were only due to luck - Feeling incapable of performing at the same level every time - Feeling uncomfortable with receiving praise or congratulations - Feeling disappointed over current accomplishments - Feeling doubtful of successes - Feeling constant pressure to achieve or be better than before - Feeling stressed, anxious or depressed from feelings of inadequacy Due to repeated feelings of inadequacy, a person struggling with imposter syndrome can develop other mental health conditions. For instance, negative feelings could lead to anxiety or depression associated with imposter syndrome. What causes imposter syndrome? Personality traits largely drive imposter syndrome. Those who experience it struggle with self-efficacy, perfectionism, and neuroticism. Competitive environments can also lay the groundwork. For example, many people who go on to develop feelings of impostorism faced intense pressure about academic achievement from their parents in childhood. Impostor syndrome could be thought of as a specific type of shame, or feelings of being inadequate or “not good enough.” Impostor syndrome describes a specific type of shame that  shows up in educational or professional settings and involves not feeling smart enough or skilled enough to succeed. People with impostor syndrome assume that other people have overestimated them and their abilities and worry about needing to keep pretending to preserve their reputation. Working hard to appear confident and capable while secretly feeling the opposite creates a lot of stress and anxiety in people with impostorism, making them more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, professional burnout and low self-esteem. While many people rely on time, experience, and achievement to build confidence in their career, this may not work for people with impostor syndrome. Because of their tendency to discredit their achievements, people with this issue can even feel more insecure, anxious, and fraudulent when they succeed. The Childhood Experiences & Impostor Syndrome Social conditioning begins at an early age, and there is some research to suggest that early childhood experiences involving family could contribute to impostor syndrome. Children who had to assume parental roles and responsibilities at a young age have been shown to be more susceptible to impostor syndrome, as have children who did not have a strong and secure bond with their parents. A lack of positive reinforcement and praise in childhood can also increase the likelihood of developing impostor syndrome, leading children to develop unhealthy beliefs about achievement. The Workplace Influences on Impostor Syndrome While there isn’t evidence that specific kinds of jobs or work environments cause impostor syndrome, certain workplace factors can decrease the likelihood of employees experiencing this issue. For example, a collaborative work culture with strong and supportive leaders decreases the likelihood of impostorism, as do work cultures that encourage risk taking, mistakes and controlled failure (a chance to learn from and progress after failure) in employees. Impostor syndrome is also highly prevalent in university settings, which could be the result of  overemphasis on intellectual ability, grades, and academic performance. The Functional Causes of Impostor Syndrome Impostor syndrome is driven by a desire to preserve a positive professional reputation, preventing people from acting in ways that they believe will lead to rejection or criticism from other people. Everyone wants to be accepted, liked, and respected, and impostor syndrome is deeply connected to these social and emotional needs, suggesting it might have prosocial origins. Unfortunately, the shame impostors feel tends to push them to withdraw and hide from others, leading them to feel isolated instead of accepted. Different Types of Imposter Syndrome There are several different types of imposter syndrome. Dr. Valerie Young, an expert on imposter syndrome, categorized this condition by subtype. Each subtype is defined by a unique type of individual that falls under the umbrella of imposter syndrome. Most people who struggle with this syndrome fall into one or a mix of these subtypes. Imposter syndrome examples include: 1. The Perfectionist The perfectionist represents a person with imposter syndrome that strives to be their absolute best, no matter the cost to their mental health. These individuals may be identified as typical “perfectionists” who set impossibly high standards for themselves. 2. The Superwoman/man The superwoman/man represents a person with imposter syndrome that often struggles with work addiction. This person may feel inadequate relative to colleagues and continue to push themselves as hard as possible, regardless of the consequences on mental, physical and emotional health. 3. The Natural Genius The natural genius represents a person with imposter syndrome that not only struggles with perfectionism but also sets out to achieve lofty goals on their first try. These individuals feel unworthy, guilty and shameful if they cannot easily complete a task or achieve a goal on their first go. 4. The Soloist The soloist represents a person with imposter syndrome that has extreme difficulties asking others for help. Perhaps they may feel that others are not as competent as themselves or that they must prove their own worth through their productivity. 5. The Expert The expert represents a person with imposter syndrome that never feels good enough despite being extremely knowledgeable. This person may feel like they are less experienced than their colleagues if they do not know an answer or have knowledge on certain topics. How to Deal With Imposter Syndrome How can a high achieving person overcome imposter syndrome? Like other mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression, it may be beneficial for people who struggle with imposter syndrome to pursue psychotherapy or talk therapy.  Most people begin their search for mental health treatment online by searching for a counselor, therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist near them.  However, there are many other ways in which a person can deal with imposter syndrome. Some helpful tips for treating imposter syndrome include: - Discussing feelings of inadequacy with others (e.g. with friends and family or at individual or group therapy) - Helping others going through a similarly difficult time - Taking things one day at a time - Setting clear, measurable and realistic goals - Questioning negative thoughts and beginning to replace them with positive thinking - Stopping comparing abilities to that of other people - Focusing on face-to-face situations versus the virtual world (e.g. social media) - Performing meditation exercises and learning to accept thoughts, feelings and emotions, even if they are negative - Moving forward despite negative feelings Remember that if you are feeling like an impostor, it means you have some degree of success in your life that you are attributing to luck. Try instead to turn that feeling into one of gratitude. Look at what you have accomplished in your life and be grateful. If after doing all these things , you still feel like you are a “fraud” , we are ready to help you. Get in contact with one of BAC therapists now!  
Sep 23, 2021
How to support a loved one with mental health problems 
Caring for someone with mental health problems Anyone can experience mental health problems. Friends and family can make all the difference in a person\'s recovery process. It can be very difficult and heart-wrenching to see a loved one struggling with symptoms of mental illness. And often it can be hard to know how to best help and support your loved one. Every individual is different and situations vary greatly. The person may have a specific diagnosis, or you may just have concerns about the way a person has been talking and behaving.  How do I know if someone needs support? It’s not always easy to tell if someone has a mental illness. Sometimes it will seem obvious when someone is going through a hard time, but there is no simple way of knowing if they have a mental health problem.  Certain symptoms are common with specific mental health problems, no two people behave in exactly the same way when they are unwell. If you know the person well, you may notice changes in their behaviour or mood. The signs someone may have a mental illness can include: -  they are anxious or worried -  they are depressed or unhappy -  they have emotional outbursts -  they have sleep problems -  they have weight or appetite changes -  they are quiet or withdrawn -  they are misusing substances like alcohol or drugs -  they feel guilty or worthless -  you notice changes in their behaviour If someone is showing these signs, it’s important to raise your concerns with them, even though they might deny the problem and be reluctant or refuse to get help. They may react with anger, shame or embarrassment. Try not to feel guilty if you didn’t know your friend or someone you love has a mental health issue — the changes can be gradual, and people often hide their symptoms from close friends and family. They may not be ready for treatment straight away. Taking it slowly and figuring it out together is a good way to steer them toward the road to recovery. How can I help someone with mental health problems? There are a number of ways you can help a friend, relative or colleague who has a mental health problem: Express concern and say you can help Letting someone know you\'re worried is a good way to open up a conversation – it shows you care about the person, have time for them and that they do not have to avoid things with you. Act as you usually do together Do what you usually do – behaving differently can make someone feel more isolated. Do not be afraid to offer kind words and a space to talk, whether by phone, messaging or in person. Reassure them The first time someone mentions their worries is a big step. It\'s good to recognise this and reassure them. Let them know you\'re there to listen when they need to talk. Offer your time to listen Listening is an important skill. Ask open questions that start with \"how\", \"what\", \"where\" or \"when\". This can help people open up. Be patient You will not always know the full story. There may be reasons why they have found it difficult to ask for help. Just being there can be helpful for someone who may want to open up later. If they do not want support Gently explore their reasons for not wanting to get support. If they are unsure whether to get help, just talking and listening without judgement could help work out what\'s getting in the way. Do not force it Do not force someone to talk to you or get help, and do not go to a doctor on their behalf. This may lead to them feeling uncomfortable, with less power and less able to speak for themselves. Look after yourself It can be upsetting to hear someone you care about in distress. Be kind to yourself and take some time to relax or do something you enjoy. Find mental wellbeing tips Offer practical help Little acts of kindness – like offering to do the shopping or to go to professional appointments with them – can help. Find out what works for them. How to talk about mental health If you are worried about someone it can be difficult to know what to do. When you are aware there is an issue, it is important not to wait. Waiting and hoping they will come to you for help might loose valuable time in getting them support. Talking to someone is often the first step to take when you know they are going through a hard time. This way you can find out what is troubling them and what you can do to help. Do you need help starting a conversation about mental health? Try leading with these questions and make sure to actively listen to your friend or family member\'s response. - I\'ve been worried about you. Can we talk about what you are experiencing? If not, who are you comfortable talking to? - What can I do to help you to talk about issues with your parents or someone else who is responsible and cares about you? - What else can I help you with? - I am someone who cares and wants to listen. What do you want me to know about how you are feeling? - Who or what has helped you deal with similar issues in the past? - Sometimes talking to someone who has dealt with a similar experience helps. Do you know of others who have experienced these types of problems who you can talk with? - It seems like you are going through a difficult time. How can I help you to find help? - How can I help you find more information about mental health problems? - I\'m concerned about your safety. Have you thought about harming yourself or others? When talking about mental health problems: - Communicate in a straightforward manner -  Speak at a level appropriate to a person\'s age and development level (preschool children need fewer details as compared to teenagers) - Discuss the topic when and where the person feels safe and comfortable - Watch for reactions during the discussion and slow down or back up if the person becomes confused or looks upset How do I respond in a crisis? People with mental health problems sometimes experience a crisis, such as feeling suicidal, or experiencing their own or a different reality.  You may feel a sense of crisis too, but it’s important to stay calm yourself. There are some general strategies that you can use to help: - Listen without making judgements and concentrate on their needs at that moment. - Ask them what would help them. - Reassure and signpost practical information or resources. - Avoid confrontation. - Ask if there is someone they would like you to contact. - Encourage them to seek appropriate professional help. - If they have hurt themselves, make sure they get the first aid they need. Seeing, hearing or believing things that no-one else does can be the symptom of a mental health problem. It can be frightening and upsetting. Gently remind the person who you are and why you are there. Don’t reinforce or dismiss their experiences, but acknowledge how the symptoms are making them feel. Get help for a loved one If you think your friend or family member is in need of professional mental health support, don’t wait and get in contact with one of BAC qualified therapists.
Aug 26, 2021
FOMO – definition and how to overcome it
FOMO. The Fear of Missing Out. Yes, FOMO is a real condition. A form of social anxiety. It is the fear of not being the centre court of ALL that is going on, just in case you miss something fun, something status-worthy.  Of course this fear is nothing new, but It is now magnified by social media. At any time of the day, we can log in and see visual proof of what everyone is doing with their lives, and this can lead to feelings of self-doubt and regret that our lives don’t compare favourably to others. “Why am I not doing these cool things as well?” is a common thing to think when we’re in the midst of FOMO.   While it’s normal to have feelings of FOMO every now and then, for some people, FOMO can have a more intense and negative effect on their emotional wellbeing. How does FOMO affect our mental health?  The negative effects of FOMO are many; with the increasing usage of social networking, across the board, people of all ages, and walks of life are impacted. According to research analysis, the foundation of FOMO lies in psychological deficits in the competence of people and their relatedness needs. To satisfy these needs, people turn to social media applications, which provides them with a stream of informational rewards.  In a way, FOMO enhances social media addiction, because it creates compulsive desire to stay connected to the lives of other people and view the world through a virtual window.  The representation of peoples’ life on social media is a distorted version of life because it depicts only the perfect bits, and not the whole, accurate picture. Some can even say that it is a kind of false reality. This ‘false reality’ creates in people, a sense of dissatisfaction and FOMO.  FOMO can worsen existing mental health problems, like exacerbating inferiority complexes, reduced self-esteem, loneliness, mood swings, and social anxiety. The latter can impact the way one interacts with others in a face-to-face situation.  People who are addicted to social media have a high fear of missing out. This fear keeps them less focused on themselves, and more focused on what other people are doing. Consequently, their sense of identity diminishes and they struggle with low self-esteem.  Furthermore, the focus on other people’s lives—including those of friends or celebrities—keeps them from living their own life. People spend hours watching the day-to-day activities of other people, hooked on their social media, and end up feeling worse about themselves. This dependency on social media and curiosity to see what other people are doing can extend to the point where anxiety can occur.  You may have FOMO if you do any of the following … - Saying yes when your heart says no - Scrolling endlessly through Facebook and other social media feeds - Constantly checking your phone - Sleeping less - Compromising self-care practices - Rushing - Not making plans until you  hear all options - Choosing convenience over quality - Wasting time feeling bad about what you missed, or exhausted for attempting to do it all How do we overcome FOMO FOMO stems from your thoughts and mindset. Getting rid of the feeling isn’t an easy task. Here are some pointers that can help. 1.  Take a Break from Social Media Constant social media use puts us in the spectator seat of life and can increase our feelings of missing out. Taking a break helps us shift our focus towards living more productive and rewarding lives ourselves. Consider these ideas for limiting your social media use: - Schedule social media for certain times of day; avoid it at other times. - During family meals, corral your phones into one place. - Stay offline one day a week. - Go on a social media fast for 1-4 weeks. Limit screen time in general by choosing one or two news outlets, a few blogs, and YouTube channels you want to follow. If you add a new one, let go of one 2.  Connect with family and friends Ironically, being over-connected with a mob of on-line friends can diminish our connection with our real life friends. Instead of spending your evening watching what everyone else is doing, invite someone for dinner. Put your phone away the minute they ring the doorbell. Meet a friend for coffee, play a game with your kids, or call your parents. Investing in our real time people will deepen our relationships and make life more rewarding. 3.  Practice Gratitude Social media can awaken “not enough” thoughts. “My clothes aren’t stylish enough. My car isn’t new enough, and my house isn’t big enough,” we think. When we practice gratitude, our sense of abundance grows. Take time to notice small blessings. Savor your morning coffee. Look into your child’s eyes and give thanks for the wonder you see in her. Each evening before bed, remember good things about your day. In the morning thank God for a new gift of twenty-four hours. Be on the lookout for beauty. Contentment grows when we take time to appreciate what we have. 4.  Try new things Rather than watching the cool things other people are doing on social media, why not make our own lives more memorable? Plan a trip to a place you’ve never been. Make time to visit parks, museums, and points of interest around your city. Learn something new. Attend a cooking class or try different recipes. Try a new hobby, handcraft, or sport.  5.  Slow down FoMO works like a hamster wheel. The faster you run, the faster it goes. Rather than feeling obligated to attend every event and party, let’s do less so we can enjoy it more. Rather than running after every work-related opportunity, what if we focus on being more effective with fewer goals? Rather than living overloaded by information, let’s enjoy occasional silence. Let’s grow more intentional about living the life we really want. 6. Practice meditation Meditation can help you become more mindful of your thoughts and feelings and how they affect your life. Taking a few minutes to meditate each day can help clear your mind and reduce anxiety. 7. Change your thoughts  According to psychologists,FOMO can actually be a form of cognitive distortion. Cognitive distortions are irrational thought patterns—such as believing your friends don’t like you if you weren’t invited to a recent event—that can lead to depression and other mental health conditions. Cognitive behavioral therapy techniques can help people learn to spot cognitive distortions when they occur and transform them into more positive and constructive thoughts. Unplugging from technology, redirecting your thoughts, and seeking help from a qualified mental health professional are all ways you can stop worrying about what you’re missing out on and start feeling confident in the way you choose to spend your time. A counsellor or psychotherapist creates a safe, non judgmental space for you to get honest about how you really feel about yourself and your life. You can then start to recognise the ways you can move forward and feel more confident.  
Aug 13, 2021
Signs your therapist isn’t a right fit for you
The importance of choosing the right therapist When you\'re dealing with mental health issues, finding the right therapist can make all the difference. However, just because a therapist comes highly-recommended doesn\'t necessarily mean they\'ll provide the right treatment for you—and in many cases, seeing someone who\'s a bad fit can do more harm than good.  Not every therapist works for everyone.  Being aware of the  warning signs your therapist isn’t right for you, will help you to avoid wasting time, money, and emotional energy on those who don’t deserve it. Warning signs you are not working with the right therapist 1. Not listening or responding This is the most obvious one. Therapists need to listen and respond to what you’re saying. An experienced therapist knows how to listen to you without getting caught up in the details of the words you\'re choosing. They are looking for the underlying message behind what you\'re saying. And they should be able to pick up on the unsaid things and ask the right questions to get you to the next level. If they are clearly not making enough effort to understand you and provide guidance, it’s time to bounce and find someone better. 2. Seeing them stresses you out While seeing a therapist should be a net positive in a patient\'s life, that doesn\'t mean sessions will always be stress-free, especially when you\'re exploring trauma. That said, if every single session is stressful to the point where you dread going, it\'s time to find someone new. Feeling overwhelmingly negative and stressed out about your therapist—and therapy itself—only makes it harder to open up and work toward the goals you\'re trying to accomplish. 3. You have concerns about confidentiality A therapist is legally bound to protect your privacy. He or she should only share confidential information if it is necessary to save a life. Confidentiality is essential in any patient-doctor one, and that goes doubly for a therapeutic relationship. If you can\'t trust your therapist to keep the details of your sessions and your relationship private, there\'s no healthy or safe way to continue working together. 4. Talking too much about him or herself It’s OK for therapists to talk about themselves a little. Sometimes it helps build a strong therapeutic alliance that increases positive results in therapy. The vast majority of therapy should be about you, though.  It\'s important that your treatment remains a one-way street. If your therapist is revealing intimate details about their personal life, complaining about things that happened to them, or talking to you like a friend rather than a client, it\'s time to reconsider your relationship. 5. They seem disinterested. If they\'re being adequately professional, your therapist will never share the same kind of interest in your personal problems that a friend would. But that doesn\'t mean an air of disinterest is ever appropriate, either. If your therapist seems like they\'re not invested—even in a professional capacity—in what you\'re discussing with them, it\'s time to move on. 6. You leave therapy feeling frustrated Some therapy sessions are inevitably going to be tough. And working through trauma, grief and anger can be cleansing. But if you find yourself often leaving a session feeling frustrated or like no progress has been made  it can be one of the most obvious signs your therapist isn’t right for you. At times it can be hard to put your finger on exactly what’s not working out. Sometimes a therapist just doesn’t bring you out of your shell; other times the whole environment of a therapist’s office and demeanor can somehow make you depressed. it’s vital that you pay attention to how a therapy session leaves you afterward. If you’re walking out with a knot in your stomach, it’s time to start searching for a new therapist. 7. Your therapist makes negative comments Nobody is perfect, not even your therapist. Nonetheless, if they are making negative comments it’s time to think about changing your therapist. You should never feel judged by your therapist. If you do, then it\'s a sign that you might need to find another one right away.  At the same time, it’s important not to understand that your therapist will occasionally say something  strange. The problem is when it becomes common or starts to seriously affect your relationship and makes you realize they’re not right for you. 8. You\'re experiencing communication issues.  Being able to talk to each other is crucial. It\'s a troubling sign if your therapist is talking too much or not at all. Your psychologist should pay attention to what you want to get out of therapy, and be able to communicate with you so you can accomplish that, 9. Show insensitivity to your culture, religion, orientation, race, age, etc. The need for therapists to be sensitive to personal, cultural, and religious backgrounds is  important. If a therapist isn’t able to respect your traditional customs, it can damage your trust and hinder your progress. 10. There just isn\'t chemistry.  It\'s important to feel a true connection with your therapist. It\'s the secret ingredient to being able to accept constructive criticism from your therapist without feeling attacked and allows you to fully open up. Signs that apply to online therapy These signs  apply more to online or telephone counseling 1. Looking or clicking around their desktop or phone During a video chat, you can see a therapist’s eyes wander constantly if they are multitasking while chatting with you. It’s a sign of disrespect. 2. Too much background noise, not enough privacy If there is a ton of background noise during your scheduled live video chat, it shows the therapist didn’t care or wasn’t organized enough to find a quiet space for the chat. Environments like this risk other people hearing what the therapist is saying. This can violate your privacy. 3. They are unresponsive If you aren\'t getting a timely response from your therapist, then you are likely to grow frustrated. If you find yourself in this situation, consider looking for a different therapist who is more responsive to your communication. 4. Their messages are full of errors If you are using a texting or email counseling option and find that your therapist is sending you messages that are full of typos or grammatically incorrect, then it’s a safe bet that they aren\'t putting effort into your counseling sessions. You want a therapist whois taking the time to respond to you and paying attention to you. If you aren\'t getting that, then you are wasting both your time and your money. Finding the right therapist: get the help you need If you\'ve had a bad experience with a therapist, don\'t hesitate to call it quits with them. Just because therapy with one person doesn\'t work does not mean that there is a problem with you. Not every therapist is going to be the right fit for you. It can be discouraging when you put yourself out there to get help and don\'t receive what you expected.  But there are good therapists. Don\'t let one lousy therapist ruin your opinion of therapy as a whole. Be encouraged to look for another one, and don\'t give up until you make a great connection with a therapist that can help you improve your life for the better. You might consider trying online therapy. Research shows that electronically delivered therapy is as effective as in person therapy. Explore options for tailored, online care from Beecholme Adult Care  
Jul 30, 2021
High-functioning depression
The term “high-functioning depression” refers to someone who, from the outside, seems to be anything but depressed, but underneath is masking symptoms like feeling guilty or worthless, and even having thoughts of self-harm or suicide.’ There are many forms of depression. Depression takes many forms and can range greatly in severeness. Some people will be severely depressed to the extent that they can’t get through the day, or out of bed, while some people will still be able to function while their insides are screaming into the void. Getting through the day with severe depression is not the same as ‘feeling a bit down but still managing’. It’s normal to feel sad sometimes. It’s normal to go through low periods just as it’s normal to be tired, grumpy, or in a particularly sunny mood. When you’re generally feeling low, you know that it will pass and that you’re in a crap mood, but that it won’t be forever. Depression is more than just a low mood. It’s a combination of negative thoughts and cognitive distortions (feelings of worthlessness, re-living negative experiences and events, overgeneralisation, distorted interpretations of perfection), and physical reactions (poor concentration, low energy, problems sleeping, changes in appetite and loss of libido). Like most mental illnesses, depression can restrict an individual’s ability to go about their day-to-day activities or even complete the most basic task. What is High Functioning Depression High-functioning depression isn\'t a clinical diagnosis. It’s more of a buzz word. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. If an individual is described as having high-functioning depression it usually means that they are able to maintain their relationships, their work life and fulfil all their duties and life responsibilities, while also living with depression. Generally, sufferers of high-functioning depression tend to be driven by their own unrealistic ideas of perfection. By trying to attain unachievable levels of perfection, individuals nurture feelings of failure and worthlessness when an unrealistic goal they set for themselves was not achieved. Stigma around High-Functioning Depression Loosely defined as a form of depression in which someone experiences the common symptoms of depression without it affecting their ability to complete day-to-day activities, people who are dealing with high functioning depression often struggle to access support precisely because they “seem fine” on the outside. Because their symptoms are not significantly affecting behavior, friends, coworkers, and family members often don’t understand or even believe a serious illness is present. Sometimes people struggling with this form of depression face stigma that makes them feel as if their disorder is not legitimate.  Someone with high functioning depression may also believe they’re “doing too well” to have depression and therefore avoid seeking help, or put their low mood and lack of energy down to other reasons such as poor sleep or not eating well (both of which can also be symptoms of depression).  Symptoms of High-Functioning Depression For the most part, the symptoms of high functioning depression are the same as the typical depression symptoms – the main difference between the two is that people with high functioning depression typically don’t experience much disruption to their everyday life.  Apart from this the symptoms of high functioning depression are the same as depressive disorder – for example, feeling hopeless, helpless and/ or empty inside, experiencing tearfulness and irritability, feeling tired or easily fatigued either with or without sleep dysfunction, experiencing changes in eating behaviour and cognitive problems such as concentration on tasks that used to be completed without difficulty. People suffering from high functioning depression tend also to have lost their interest in life. They may no longer have goals, enjoy their life, hobbies, friendships, or feel motivated to do anything.  This said, high-functioning depression carry some of the same symptoms as any other form of the disorder, including: - Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood - Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism - Irritability - Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness - Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities - Decreased energy or fatigue - Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still - Appetite and/or weight changes - Thoughts of death or suicide - Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause Triggers Depression does not always require a trigger. However, certain situations and factors may be more likely to trigger a negative mindset. Examples include: - financial problems - extremely high levels of stress  - the death of a loved one - loneliness - major life changes How to Manage and Treat High-Functioning Depression If you do have high-functioning depression, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that because you’re functioning it must mean everything is fine and manageable. You still need to keep tabs on how you’re doing, as chances are your daily life won’t stay exactly the same forever and any changes you encounter will need to be considered for impact on your mental health. Check yourself, prioritise yourself, and schedule time for yourself into your high-functioning life, even if it’s just to go outside for a five minute walk around and cry.  The importance of therapy Therapy is the best place a person can start treatment if they’re experiencing symptoms of depression. Therapists can help a person identify the negative thoughts, beliefs, and habits that may be contributing to feeling depressed. It could also include things like medication, learning mindfulness skills, and doing activities linked to improving mood, such as exercise According to the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is recommended as an effective psychological treatment to overcome depression and maintain your mental health. An accredited CBT therapist will help sufferers recognise their negative thinking and behavioural patterns and work with them to take the steps to challenge their thoughts, beliefs and assumptions Coping with depression If you’re struggling with depression right now, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone, and that there are places and people who are able to help.  And for more information on depression, including what it is, how to cope and when and where to seek help, you can check out NHS Every Mind Matters or contact us for support. Online therapy can help with depression Improve your quality of life with the support of BAC online therapists. If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health, you can find a qualified BAC counsellor ready to help you anytime anywhere.  
Jul 2, 2021