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

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.

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