Your symptoms have a social context

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When you are struggling with anxiety or low mood, it is easy to believe that you are the only person who feels as you do. Having mental health symptoms can be a lonely place.

While we are each unique, there are similaritiee in what we experience, you are not alone, wrong or broken, your feelings are legitimate, and they are unlikely to be completely different from what others have experienced.  It can be a relief to realise that you are not alone.  

As well as having common themes in what we feel, we also share a common context for our experience through the society we live in. We are affected by the way society changes, by the economy, by politics, by the environment and by much more.  This becomes more apparent in times of political and social turbulence, but it isnalways the case. 

Social norms, popular trends and the expectations of others about what is usual or what stands out as different can affect us profoundly. In a world of immediate feedback through social media, this influence can be even more marked.

It can be useful to reflect on the way what is happening around us influences us. Putting symptoms into the context of our own life as well as life more generally can help to make meaning and and sense from what might otherwise feel even more challenging.

To gain perspective on what influences your wellbeing, it is useful to ask yourself What impacts my wellbeing? You might expand your awareness by reflecting on what is happening that you have not yet noticed? What else is there? What pops into your mind in your quiet moments?

You might notice what causes you pause for thought when you watch the news, or look at social media. Sometimes things beyond our awareness can effect our mood and wellbeing, and when they are brought into awareness we can begin to explore how we supoort ourselves with them if they are things we cannot change.

If your mood is fluctuating and you are not sure what prompts it, perhaps looking more widely may be useful. It may also be that it is what it is, and other ways of exploring are helpful. If you feel you need time and a setting to make meaning from your thoughts and feelings, then get in touch.

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Fe Robinson, Psychotherapist

I am here to help you thrive, whatever life brings. I offer Psychotherapy, EMDR therapy and Couples Counselling to clients based in Durham. I am UKCP Accredited and an EMDR Europe Practitioner, and offer Clinical Supervision to counsellors and psychotherapists locally. I have worked in private practice, the NHS, and in charitable organisations, with a wide range of clients and conditions.

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