Dr. Nona Owens - Psychologist
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Don't Trip Over The Elephant

Don't Trip Over The Elephant
There is an old saying about "The Elephant in the Living Room".  This refers to trying to avoid the obvious. 
When a person, or someone they love, is suffering from an emotional problem, it is all too easy to try to avoid, or make excuses for behavior changes associated with the problem. 
A depressed person may withdraw from friends or family, sleep excessively, lose interest in work or hobbies, or just not connect with others in a conversation. 
Fear is the most prominent symptom associated with anxiety disorders.  We all experience some fear in our life; however, when fear becomes so pervasive that it interferes with how we function in our daily life, it is identified as an Anxiety Disorder.  The most common form of this disorder is Panic Attacks.  Physical symptoms such as rapid heart beat and sweating can occur during a panic attack.  Fears for some become so severe that they fear leaving home.
Misbehavior in children may be overlooked by parents at first, but as it progresses or begins to interfere with peer relationships, school performance, or the lifestyle in the home, it should be identified as what it is--behavior problems.
Social drinking is accepted in our society.  Too often, it becomes easy to make excuses when it becomes excessive.  Doctors prescribe pills for pain and to make us feel better.   Again, it is often overlooked when someone begins to rely on or become addicted to the medication because it came from a doctor. 
Mental health problems cause us to have elephants in our living room because we often aren't trained to see the  obvious--that someone we love needs help.  Attempts to justify or excuse the behavior can only cause more problems.  That elephant just won't go away. 
If you, or someone you are close to is experiencing problems, don't wait until you trip over the elephant to seek help.

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