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You are Poised, Hard-working, and Ready to Help Others. But Could You Also Be Depressed?

There is a highly treatable, common illness that is too often ignored by the most capable among us. Symptoms may include sadness, numbness, irritability, fatigue, low energy, dis-interest or difficulty engaging in activities or with other people, feeling like a failure, lack of hope, skepticism, difficulty finding self-worth, trouble sleeping, or sleeping too much, no appetite, or eating too much, thoughts about death, dying, perhaps even about killing yourself. This illness is depression and it is no joke. Yes, it is a real thing. And it is NOT you. Depression can be sneaky. It creeps in slowly. The symptoms can start at low levels. It’s lurking just below the surface for awhile until it becomes your new norm. At first it seems relatively manageable. Depression may be related to difficult life events that would carry an expectable amount of distress     . . . read more

New Approaches Welcomes Leah Ottow, LCSW

Big news: We are pleased to welcome Leah Ottow, LCSW to New Approaches! Kind, compassionate, insightful, and intelligent, Leah is an excellent therapist and we are thrilled to have her on board. Some words from Leah: My style is collaborative and based on the belief that a trusting relationship is the foundation for therapeutic growth and change.  My approach is integrative and includes elements of humanistic, cognitive, family systems, and mind-body theories, with treatment tailored to a client’s individual needs. Areas of interest include anxiety, relationships, perfectionism, identity, depression, mindfulness, trauma, stress management, loneliness, pregnancy/post-partum. . I’ve worked with adults, adolescents and children in Southern and Mid-Coast Maine since 2007.  A Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Maine, I hold a Master’s in Social Work from Boston College and a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College. She joins Hannah Curtis, LCSW     . . . read more

Waiting for the Right Time?

I stopped blogging a few months ago to pursue what turned out to be a fairly involved personal project: baby #2. She arrived just before Thanksgiving and has brought a joyful chaos with her. I started wanting to write again a few weeks back, but there was always stuff to do. I kept thinking: maybe I’ll write when my laundry pile is gone. Or my paperwork pile. Or when I’ve slept through a night. So here’s my blog post. I must be doing great, accomplishing those thing, right? NOPE. Not even close. I’ve got lots of piles and minimal connected sleep. The truth is I’m not going to have everything done. There is no immediate future involving all things cleanly squared away while I sit down to write. So here I stand (literally I’m standing), dishes in the sink, laundry     . . . read more

Excuses, Excuses: What Gets in the Way of Attending to Your Health?

Yesterday I wrote about what I think it means to be truly healthy. I know this kind of discussion easily lends itself to excuses and talk of how hard it is. I get it, on some level, but I really want you to be healthy. It’s too important. So humor me and read why I think the following excuses are mostly bunk:  I want to be healthy, but it’s really selfish No, it’s not. Wanting to feel well in your body is not selfish, it’s a healthy and normal desire. If you are willing to starve your children to ensure your own well-being, I’ll concede this point. But that’s not usually the case with this excuse, is it? It’s usually well-meaning people who think if they take some time and attention on their food, exercise, and emotions the world will fall     . . . read more

Are You Healthy? How Do You Know?

Everything we do and experience involves our body. Physical and mental health are not separate things. Emotions and thoughts are physiological experiences, as much as any body process. The way we eat, move our bodies, use our minds, and experience the world are all parts of overall health. This means you can’t treat your body like crap and expect to have mental health. You also can’t eat super healthy but have deeply negative thoughts about yourself and expect to be healthy. Everything you do and think impacts your health. What does it really feel like to be well? I get the sense that most people don’t even know to aspire to this because they don’t know how good they can actually feel. I’m startled at the number of seemingly well people who tell me things such as, “My stomach hurts all the     . . . read more

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