By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

I love helping people have breakthroughs in whatever areas may be holding them back in life! Frequently, I get to work with clients affected by anxiety and depression–both of which are much more common than most people are aware. When someone is struggling with anxiety and/or depression (which are often like two sides of the same coin), every area of their life is impacted–relationships, career, health and wellness. I usually can’t coach them to success in these other areas until their anxiety and depression are either managed or conquered.
Did you know that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year. Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment. And people with an anxiety disorder are three to five times more likely to go to the doctor and six times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders. It’s not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression or vice versa.

Over the past 15 years I’ve had the opportunity to lead numerous anxiety and depression support groups with sometimes up to 100 brave and wonderful participants. In one of these early groups I learned a great lesson from a psychiatrist I recruited to help lead the group, and I want to share that lesson here with you!

The lesson is to use Kills, Fills, Skills and Pills as a tool for conquering or managing anxiety and/or depression.

KILLS–this is where you look at what are the toxins in your life that could contribute to anxiety or depression. What are the causes or stressors that you have in your life that you can kill or eliminate? Examples of things to kill (or at least reduce) include drug or alcohol abuse, poor nutrition, toxic relationships, too much caffeine. You get the idea.

Stop and ask yourself right now–what could you kill?

FILLS–these are healthy things that we can add to our lives. Examples of fills include exercise, proper nutrition (good food=good mood!), nurturing friendships, prayer, support groups, and counseling.

Stop and ask yourself right now–what is a healthy fill that you can start doing?

SKILLS–this is where you make the effort to learn some new skills to learn how to cope with stress in healthy ways. Healthy skills to learn include mindful breathing exercises, setting and maintaining boundaries, processing anger, and processing grief.

Stop and ask yourself right now–what is one skill that you could learn to be healthier?

PILLS–this is where we ask whether supplements or medication may be needed as part of the treatment. While it is best to get your nutrition from a balanced diet, often times people who are experiencing anxiety and depression don’t feel like cooking so they may not have the best diet. Some supplements that may be helpful include fish oil, Vitamin D, 5 HTP, and CALM. And sometimes prescription medication may be necessary–there should be no shame or stigma if this is the case.

Stop and ask yourself right now–could supplements or medication help me? If you answer yes, please make an appointment to see your physician to discuss!

If you are ever affected by anxiety or depression, give Kills, Fills, Skills and Pills a try as a tool to help you manage, or even conquer, your anxiety or depression.

If you are having severe symptoms I urge you to contact your physician immediately and to get counseling to learn more tools for healing. Please feel free to contact me if you need a referral to a psychiatrist or if you’d like to learn more about counseling and coaching for anxiety and depression.

Phone:      949-303-8264

Email:       randy@randymoraitis.com
Website:    www.randymoraitis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RandyMoraitisCoach/
Twitter:     @rmoraitis

About Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC


Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues through counseling, coaching and interventions. He is an award winning Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelor’s degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been leading groups, individuals and families to mental, physical and spiritual health in Orange County for over 25 years.

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

I recently attended a very interesting training on Pharmacogenomics that so impressed me I really felt the need to share what I learned with others in order to help as many people as possible.

Pharmacogenomics is the study of how genes affect a person’s response to drugs. This is a relatively new field that combines pharmacology (the science of drugs) and genomics (the study of genes and their functions).

Pharmacogenomics analyzes how one’s genetic makeup affects their response to certain drugs. Having this information can be helpful in numerous ways. It can save money, save time, and even save lives.

A very basic description of pharmacogenomics is that based on genetics, people have one of four different levels of metabolizing drugs: Poor Metabolizer, Intermediate Metabolizer, Extensive (“Normal”) Metabolizer and Ultra Rapid Metabolizer. One’s level of metabolizing determines which drugs are best for that patient.

One actual case history we studied in the class involved a 30-year-old female who had a c-section. She had severe post partum pain and was prescribed codeine to treat the pain. The patient had severe side effects from the codeine, and the codeine passed through to her nursing baby causing severe problems and sadly, the baby died.

Later testing showed that the patient was an ultra rapid metabolizer of codeine, and had her doctor known this fact, she would have been prescribed different medication.

Another case we studied involved a young adult male who was prescribed wellbutrin for anxiety and depression. He then became much worse and was suicidal. Testing revealed that wellbutrin was not a good fit, so his medication was changed. He immediately felt better, lost all suicidal ideation, and reported feeling much less anxiety and depression.

Undergoing the pharmacogenomics (PGx) testing seems wise for anyone taking medication for pain management, mental health, or addiction treatment. It can save time, money, and even one’s life.

The cost for the test varies between $300-$500 and may be reimbursed by insurance.

This is a newer field of study and is worth discussing with your physician. There were multiple physicians in the class I took and they all seemed very interested in how this science may help their patients.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic or be a resource to you if needed.

Phone:      949-303-8264
Email:       randy@randymoraitis.com
Websites:  www.carepossible.comwww.randymoraitis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RandyMoraitisCoach/
Twitter:     @rmoraitis

About Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues through counseling, coaching and interventions. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelor’s degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been leading groups, individuals and families to mental, physical and spiritual healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

 

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

Do you ever struggle with anger? Maybe when someone cuts you off or fails to use their turn signal in traffic? You are not alone! A quick Google search for anger management groups gets about 6 million listings!

I usually have at least several clients in my practice who struggle with anger and I’ve observed that anger often stems from one of two F words (no, not that F word!). The F words I’m referring to are FEAR and FRUSTRATION. When we have fear or frustration, we often respond with anger.

Take a look at this Anger Iceberg from the highly respected Gottman Institute for some more common emotions often hidden under the surface of one’s anger.

anger iceberg

One of the first steps in anger management is to know your triggers. What get’s you going? Once you know your triggers then you can have a plan to work on staying calm when triggered. I love this quote from Thomas Jefferson:

anger-quotes

Here are some anger management tips to help you stay calm, cool and collected.

1. Think Before Speaking–Thomas Jefferson’s advice is full of wisdom. When we speak while angry, we are more likely to say something we later regret. Count to ten (or one hundred if needed) before lashing out in anger. You will be glad you did!

2. Practice Mindful Breathing–Breathing exercises are a great tool to help us stay calm and diffuse anger. I recommend free apps like Stop, Breathe, Think; Calm: or Headspace for guided breathing exercises. Mindful breathing exercises help get the fight or flight system under control.

3. Physical Exercise–When feeling angry in the moment go for a walk or a jog. Or take in a group class like yoga or Brazilian jiu jitsu. By the end of the workout you’ll probably feel a lot better.

4. Press the Pause Button–If you’re getting angry at your spouse or kids, consider taking a brief time out to cool down and reassess the situation before you say something hurtful or that you will regret. Go into a different room, or even step outside for a few minutes before reengaging.

5. Try Forgiveness–Yes, another F word! It has been said that holding on to a grudge is like taking poison and expecting it to kill the other person. Not forgiving is not healthy, so do your best to move towards forgiveness and healing.

6. Get Help If Needed–I once had a client that would throw their cell phone at a wall every time they got angry. When someone has frequent, uncontrollable anger outbursts, they may need more than just self help. Many churches and community centers offer free or low cost anger support groups. There is no shame in your game if you’re trying to be the healthiest version of yourself!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic or be a resource to you if needed.
Phone:      949-303-8264
Email:       randy@randymoraitis.com
Websites:  www.carepossible.comwww.randymoraitis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RandyMoraitisCoach/
Twitter:     @rmoraitis

About Randy Moraitis, MA, BCPC, CIP

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues through counseling, coaching and interventions. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been leading groups, individuals and families to mental, physical and spiritual healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

greif

By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

I recently lost a very dear friend to an unexpected and sudden death and have naturally been grieving her passing. I also currently happen to have several clients that I am counseling and coaching through seasons of grief. So this seems like an appropriate time to share about the 5 stages of grief.

We can experience grief with any type of serious loss. In addiction to the death of a loved one, we may experience grief from divorce, a hard break-up, even from getting fired from a job we liked.

We all deal with grief in different ways. Some may cry for days on end and completely neglect their own self care. Others may even laugh because they cope with pain using humor. While still others may just feel totally numb–perhaps even judging themselves for not crying or laughing like other people.

There is no right way to grieve. Grieving styles vary from person to person and culture to culture.

The most well known model of grief is from Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross and is well known as The 5 Stages of Grief. Here are the stages in order, but remember, someone who is grieving may go through these stages in any order, and may even return to previous stages.

1. DENIAL–This is where a person may say, “This can’t be happening.” They can refuse to accept the hard fact that a loss has occurred. They may minimize or outright deny the situation. It is suggested that loved ones and professionals be forward and honest about losses to not prolong the denial stage.

2. ANGER“Why is this happening to me?” When an individual realizes that a loss has occurred, they may become angry at themselves or others. They may argue that the situation is unfair and try to place blame. They may be angry at God, at another person, or even at themselves.

3. BARGAINING“I will do anything to change this.” In bargaining, the person may try to change or delay their loss. For example, they may try to convince a partner to return after a breakup, or search for unlikely cures in the case of a terminal illness. They may even try to bargain with God.

4. DEPRESSION“What’s the point of going on after this loss?” At the stage of depression the individual has come to recognize that a loss has occurred or will occur. The individual may isolate themselves and spend time crying and grieving. They may have trouble sleeping, lose focus at work or school, or lose bodyweight. The good news about this stage is that depression is a precursor to acceptance because the individual has come to recognize their loss.

5. ACCEPTANCE “It’s going to be okay.” Finally, the individual will come to accept their loss. They understand the situation logically, and they have come to terms emotionally with the situation. At this point the person is more able to move on with their life.

If you are currently experience grief of any sort, I strongly encourage you to seek support. Even though you may feel like isolating, processing through your grief with wise and healthy support is highly recommended and may actually reduce the length of your grieving process.

Many hospitals and churches offer free grief support groups. There are also many wise counselors and therapists who can help you process your grief in a healthy way. Be sure to ask if they have experience with grief recovery. There is also an organization called GriefShare that can help you find local grief support groups. You can also sign up for a daily encouraging email on their website: https://www.griefshare.org/.

Special thanks to GriefShare and TherapistsAid for info used in this post.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.
Call me at 949-303-8264
Email:       randy@randymoraitis.com
Websites:  www.carepossible.comwww.randymoraitis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RandyMoraitisCoach/
Twitter:     @rmoraitis

About Randy Moraitis, MA, BCPC, CIP

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues through counseling, coaching and interventions. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been leading groups, individuals and families to mental, physical and spiritual healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

intervention

If you have a loved one or employee struggling with substance use disorder or other dysfunctional behavior, then the information in this blog post could literally save their life.

You have probably heard that someone with a substance use disorder needs to hit a rock bottom before they will be open to help. There is truth to that. But the part you may not be aware of is that we do not have to helplessly wait around for our loved one to hit that bottom.

In fact, doing so could lead to their suffering a fatal overdose. Harvard University, in conjunction with the Boston Police Department, did a study where they sent undercover officers to multiple locations in the Boston area to purchase illegal drugs on the street. The drugs were then taken back to a lab for analysis.

The findings were very scary–most of the drugs purchased by the undercover officers tested positive for substances other than what the dealers claimed they were. For example, what was sold as heroin was often a synthetic opioid or some other combination of substances which often included the very deadly drug fentanyl.

These findings show that loved ones with a substance use disorder may just be one use away from a fatal overdose. And with 160 fatal overdoses daily in our country, simply waiting around for our loved ones to hit rock bottom may prove to be a fatal decision. All too frequently these days, rock bottom can be death.

Ken Seeley, interventionist on the long running, multi Emmy Award winning TV show A&E’s INTERVENTION has developed the HELPS model to guide interventionists and families to work together in raising the bottom, or creating a rock bottom, to help save a loved one’s life and move them into recovery. The HELPS model looks at five areas where the consequences of addiction take their toll.

HELPS Model

Health–Addiction is a physical disease affecting the user’s body from the inside out. Consequences range from liver disease, skin abscesses, premature aging, psychiatric disorders, memory loss, central nervous system damage, and eventually death. Sometimes it is a health issue that motivates the loved one to move towards recovery.

Environmental–It has been proven that environmental factors strongly influences or arrests the development and subsequent behaviors of someone with substance use disorder. Are you supporting the recovery of the loved one, or enabling their addictive behavior?

Legal–Addiction frequently involves legal consequences such as DUI’s, arrests, marital separation, divorce, loss of child custody, and exclusion from wills. Often times the loved one will engage in illegal activities in order to support or maintain their habit.

Personal finances–Addiction creates financial crisis including job termination, eviction, foreclosure, and even bankruptcy. Supporting a loved one by giving them money, paying their bills or employing them can enable their addiction.

Spiritual–Has your loved one lost faith, hope and peace in their life? Addiction is also a spiritual affliction that robs the loved one of their spirituality leaving them to feel hopeless and alone.

By identifying which of the five areas above are affecting your loved one, then determining how to leverage that area and set healthy boundaries and consequences in a respectful and family-unified manner, HELPS manually raises the rock bottom instead of playing the deadly game of waiting for the loved one to hit rock bottom on their own–which could mean a fatal overdose.

The disease of addiction is taking too many lives and we have to find smarter, more effective ways to save our loved one’s lives. Using the HELPS model is a smart way to go.

If you think you or a loved one may have an addiction, please feel free to call or email me for a free consultation. Addiction is serious, but intervention and treatment can save lives.

Call me at 949-303-8264 or email me at randy@randymoraitis.com
Websites:  www.carepossible.comwww.randymoraitis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RandyMoraitisCoach/
Twitter:     @rmoraitis

About Randy Moraitis, MA, BCPC, CIP

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues through counseling, coaching and interventions. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been leading groups, individuals and families to mental, physical and spiritual healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

addiction
By Randy Moraitis, MA, CIP, BCPC

Often times clients will ask me how to tell whether they actually have an addiction (or how to tell if a family member may have an addiction). A great rule of thumb is to use the 3 C’s:

The 3 C’s

  1. CONSEQUENCES
  2. CRAVING
  3. CONTROL

In order to identify whether there is a problem, the first step is to ask whether one is troubled by the consequences of the use pattern. Does the person continue to use even when there are adverse consequences such as broken relationships, legal issues and loss of employment?

The second step is to ask if there is craving. Does the person want the activity they’re engaged in more and more over time? Are they often thinking about it and planning the next time to do it?

The third step is to identify if there is a control loss. Has the person lost control of the activities in their life? Whether they are drug involved, gambling involved, shopping involved or whatever. When someone is active in addiction their life is often out of control.

When someone meets the criteria of these 3 C’s, whether one, two or all three of them, then there is a good chance that they are experiencing an addiction and should receive a more thorough assessment.

If you think you or a loved one may have an addiction, please feel free to call or email me for a free consultation. Addiction is serious, but treatment can save lives.

Call me at 949-303-8264 or email me at randy@randymoraitis.com
Websites:  www.carepossible.comwww.randymoraitis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RandyMoraitisCoach/
Twitter:     @rmoraitis

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues through counseling, coaching and interventions. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been leading groups, individuals and families to mental, physical and spiritual healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

refresh your life

As a counselor, coach and interventionist I am passionate about moving people in a healthy direction in every area of their lives. Here is a fun and easy tool for you to quickly assess how you’re doing and come up with some action items. So grab a pen and piece of paper and take a few minutes to Refresh Your Life– you are worth it!

Now that you’ve made your list, the final step is to enter your action items into your calendar so you are sure to follow through!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this or what one of your action items are.

Call me at 949-303-8264 or email me at randy@randymoraitis.com
Websites:
www.carepossible.com,
www.randymoraitis.com
Facebook: facebook.com/RandyMoraitisCoach
Twitter:     @rmoraitis

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

Habits of Highly SuccessfulAs a counselor, coach and interventionist I am fascinated by the habits and disciplines that help people live healthy and successful lives. That is why I just love this infographic that I found on success.com. Here is a link to their original post: 13 Daily Habits of Highly Successful People.

The bottom line is that one is wise to have a disciplined and focused daily schedule, be a lifelong learner, exercise regularly, and maintain a positive mental attitude

What works for you? Is there anything you would add to the list?

I would love to hear your comments!

Call me at 949-303-8264 or email me at randy@randymoraitis.com
Websites:  www.carepossible.comwww.randymoraitis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RandyMoraitisCoach/
Twitter:     @rmoraitis

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!)

Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.

Addiction Infographic

This is a great info-graphic on the basic science of addiction.  I believe it is important for communities and families to get educated about addiction.

What are your thoughts? Does it raise any questions for you? Is there anything you would add?

I would love to hear your comments!

Call me at 949-303-8264 or email me at randy@randymoraitis.com
Websites:  www.carepossible.comwww.randymoraitis.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RandyMoraitisCoach/
Twitter:     @rmoraitis

About Randy Moraitis

Randy is married to Kim and they live in Laguna Niguel. Together they have a blended family of five adult children and three beautiful grandchildren. (If you don’t believe Randy, he will gladly show you pictures!) Randy is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP) and expert in helping families and individuals affected by addiction and/or mental health issues. He is a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and is both licensed and ordained as a pastoral counselor. He has five professional coaching certifications and loves working with clients on executive coaching, life coaching, wellness coaching and recovery coaching. Randy has a master’s degree with emphasis in theology and counseling, a bachelors degree in management and leadership, and a certificate in health and fitness with emphasis in exercise physiology and sports psychology from UC Irvine. He has been helping groups, individuals and families get mentally, physically and spiritually healthy in Orange County for over 25 years.