• Learning to Cope with Anxiety, Depression, and Trauma: An NFSB Success Story

    “Beth,” who had been in recovery from a substance use disorder, came to the Mental Health Program at Nutley Family Service Bureau (NFSB) to learn how to better cope with anxiety and depression.

    Beth was having trouble finding a job because she struggled to network and connect with people in her field. A traumatic event involving her partner had caused her symptoms to worsen and she wasn’t finding any relief from psychotropic medications.

    Beth blamed herself for her partner’s difficulty and showed signs of overusing her medication, which may have been contributing to increased anxiety and depression.
    Through counseling, Beth learned to take a step back and look at her life more realistically. This helped her understand that her partner’s difficulty was not her fault, which reduced the guilt and blame she had placed on herself.

    Beth had solid family support, but after more objective reflection on her family dynamic, she realized that her family may have been enabling her behavior. This had been making it more difficult for Beth to step out of her comfort zone, find a job, and make other changes in her life.

    Beth gave her NFSB clinician authorization to speak with her psychiatrist to review medications that had been prescribed previously. They worked together to develop a new plan that involved more consistent therapy and different medication.

    Part of this recommended plan involved attending Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, which enabled Beth to build a support network and be more honest about herself, her recovery from addiction, and her relationship.

    By going through the 12-step program, Beth learned to use mindfulness techniques to look inward, identify challenges, and apply coping skills to counteract negative behaviors, emotions, and thought processes.

    Through counseling and commitment to the 12-step program, Beth started to see her own self-worth and overcome feelings of guilt and anger. She gained the confidence to go to meetings and make friends. She was able to build a support network that had been missing in her life.

    Beth eventually found a full-time job in her field, overcoming a major hurdle on her path to finding peace and reducing stress. Most importantly, Beth developed a more positive outlook about herself and those around her, realizing that there were people who genuinely cared about her and were willing to help.

    If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety or depression or having difficulty processing a traumatic event, please contact the Mental Health Program at NFSB and schedule an appointment. In-person and telehealth appointments are available, and we will always respect your privacy. Visit our website or call 973-667-1884.

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