When someone asks you, how are you doing? What is your real answer? In recent years, many people have experienced life challenges in a myriad of ways, and as a result, we are living a new normal. Everything feels harder. And nothing is the same. It is helpful to know that you are not alone. This episode of “Dana Being Dana” looks at the current state of mental health.
Sometimes you need to turn to the mental health experts
“The landscape of mental health is evolving, and the stigma is decreasing, and people are more willing to come into counseling. I think that also the opportunity to do telehealth is providing people with different means of sharing their feelings and getting there and talking about counseling,” said Abby Koch, owner and clinical therapist of Good Therapy Counseling.
However, while stigmas are decreasing, stress is increasing. “I think the concept of moving back into a new normal puts a lot of stress on people because we don’t have a definition of what new normal means. Also, life can’t return to what it looked like pre-COVID and pre-pandemic, and people are still trying to navigate what that looks like,” said Dr. Brittany Nelson, the director of psychological services.
Real life struggles
For the second segment, Dana and Koch were joined by Megan Dunne and Vic Pellicano, who shared their stories of struggles and how they overcame those challenges.
Dunne shared about deaths in her family and losing her job. But through counseling and having a strong foundation of friends, she was able to keep going. Pellicano lost both parents by the time he was 23.
Koch offered advice, saying, “I think that people being okay with the fact that they’re going to have struggles throughout their life and expect that they’re going to need to, you know, talk with a friend, talk with a counselor and work those things out, and positive things do come to light. Trouble doesn’t always last, and you will get through it, and you’ll become stronger.”
Adapting to life’s unexpected changes and challenges
For the final segment, Dr. Nelson was back on set with Dana and two new guests who have overcome adversity Karla Davis and Jeff Bergholtz.
“I actually loved the work. I loved the people I worked for. But there had actually been a ton of transition happening there as well. It just felt like a good time for me to take a step back and decide what is the next thing I want to do in my journey,” said Davis, after leaving her corporate job to focus more on family.
Bergholtz endured his own share of troubles with a daughter diagnosed with cancer and experiencing a diagnosis himself. “First, my daughter is doing fantastic,” said Bergholtz. For me, it was a standard first-time colonoscopy. I was diagnosed with colon cancer. It’s definitely a scary moment in life, thinking about, you know, all these plans and the things you have planned to go forward with.” Bergholtz and his daughter are currently cancer-free.
Dr. Nelson shared some advice for those going through life-altering changes, “I would say on top of having your village and maintaining that social network, it’s also just having faith and confidence in yourself and checking in with yourself.”