Martin G. Lopez

Teresita Calero, Psychotherapist with Care & Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, explains self-aware is being in the here and the now. “Knowing that I am here, that I am aware of what’s surrounding me, I am aware of myself, of how I am feeling and I have an awareness of how you are feeling”.
Martin G. Lopez, Psychotherapist with Care & Counseling at the same place, talks about how to develop and increase self-awareness. Meditation is one of the most powerful tools in order to reach emotional intelligence and being self-aware. Martin G. Lopez, Psychotherapist with Care and Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, says when it comes to depression, doctors tend to think the entire family is the patient: “If an individual, especially a child in the family, is suffering from depression, it is a family issue and the entire family needs to get help for it, because it is about relationships and every individual in the family should be getting therapy for it.”

Amy Exum, Psychotherapist with Care and Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, explains “you shouldn’t feel that way” and “this will pass” are things you shouldn’t say to a person with suicidal thoughts. There are a lot of benefits of being emotionally intelligent such as: better physical health, a more positive outlook, fulfilling relationships and being more successful.
Martin G. Lopez, Psychotherapist with Care & Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, explains most of people tend to think that success is basically about IQ (Intelligence Quotient), but this is not true, because he considers It’s about the ability to control emotions, to adapt to situations, to be fluid and to learn to communicate, among others.
Teresita Calero, Psychotherapist with Care & Counseling at the same place, also considers a person with emotional intelligence being authentic, aware and being present. With self-awareness, people take into account of how they’re feeling, what is going on inside of them and what is the particular situation, but then they have to be able to control it.

Martin G. Lopez, Psychotherapist with Care & Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, advises working on being able to control our actions whether it is by deep breathing, taking a pause, thinking things through in order to have self-control, which helps not doing things that people might regret later. Ethnicity plays a role in depression. The rates of suicide in 2016 are the highest for males and females in the American Indian/Alaskan native group, followed by males and females in the white non-Hispanic group. Martin G. Lopez, Psychotherapist with Care and Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, says it has to be with the complete loss of culture in which these individuals were pushed out of their land and they were placed in somewhere new and they had to take on a different culture.

“We’re especially seeing a really high rate in youth, 15 to 24 of American Indians also going up by 70 percent. We also tend to see things that are risk factors for suicide behavior, such as higher levels of poverty, higher levels of substance use, as well as domestic violence,” he explains. There are some benefits of being mindful: improved physical health, increased attention, focus and clarity, lowered anxiety and stress levels and experience of feeling connected.

Martin G. Lopez, Psychotherapist with Care & Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, considers when people are more mindful, more self-aware and they are staying in the present, they can form other connections with other individuals better.

Teresita Calero, Psychotherapist with Care & Counseling at the same place, affirms when a person doesn’t give his power over, that’s part of being emotionally intelligent. Martin G. Lopez, Psychotherapist with Care and Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, says the symptoms of depression affect the daily life: “It’s not just hopelessness, irritability, more sadness, but these symptoms are affecting a person’s job, a person’s relationship significantly and they are manifesting themselves in biological aspects, such as loss of weight, not being able to sleep or sleeping too much.”

Amy Exum, Psychotherapist with Care and Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, explains depression is not only because of a chemical imbalance, but for some people it can be because of external factors, like job changing, moving around, losing of somebody close to you, among others. Martin G. Lopez, Psychotherapist with Care and Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, says suicide is still a taboo subject for many individuals.

“Both the individuals and their family members do not want to talk about suicide. For a long time, historically, we had applied a moral component to it, so removing the moral component from it and understanding it as a medical issue and a psychological issue is a big part of being able to start the conversation,” he explains. The National Institute of Mental Health reported that 16.2 million adults had at least one major depressive episode.

Martin Lopez, Psychotherapist at Baptist Health Care and Counseling, recommends identifying some signs of depression and asking for help.

“Go and search for help, don’t think that you are bad or not strong enough because you’re having some signs of depression, that is nonesense”, he says. There is a difference between having the blues and having clinical depression. Teresita Calero, Psychotherapist at Baptist Health Care and Counseling, explains the blues is more like going through a transition after losing something or somebody important for you.

She says the blues is more situational and it will pass, but clinical depression is about the mood being impacted and the person starting to disconnect.

Martin Lopez, Psychotherapist at the same institute, points out the blues can lead to depression, but usually it will stop after a certain amount of time when things will start going well. Martin Lopez, Psychotherapist at Baptist Health Care and Counseling, says having depression is just not feeling down and being in bed all day.

According to him, not enjoying family activities or spending time with the family members are also signs of depression. Also feeling irritable and not wanting to do things are part of the list of symptoms.

Teresita Calero, Psychotherapist at Baptist Health Care and Counseling, points out having an awareness of these signs could help to identify if there is a problem. Teresita Calero, Psychotherapist at Baptist Health Care and Counseling, highlights there is no gene that has been identified as a depression gene. “But when a child grows up in a home where mom was depressed there can be some learned behavior,” she says.

She also explains a person can have the biology to make them more prone to have depression, but it is not a genetic factor.

Martin Lopez, Psychotherapist at Baptist Health Care and Counseling, points out doctors ask the patient if a family member suffers from depression, because it is a component aspect. A tip that can help you deal with depression is walking. Thirty minutes of walking or jogging three times a week is just as effective in relieving depression symptoms as the standard treatment of antidepressants.

Teresita Calero, Psychotherapist at Baptist Health Care and Counseling, explains receiving vitamin D from the sun is also helpful to deal with bad mood or depression.

Martin Lopez, also Psychotherapist, recommends having a healthy diet that is going to always help your health. Sometimes older people feel alone and that can lead to depression. Teresita Calero, Psychotherapist at Baptist Health Care and Counseling, says they start to pull away and disconnect.

Martin Lopez, also Psychotherapist, points out the benefits of doing activities in groups of senior people: “A lot of activities have been developed and with them the seniors can go to places together, have fun, forming new communities and friendships.” There are different types of depression. Martin Lopez, Psychotherapist at Baptist Health Care and Counseling, says one of them is persistent depressive disorder, which means a person has depression for more than two years.

Teresita Calero, Psychotherapist at Baptist Health Care and Counseling, explains another type: postpartum depression. “As a woman gives birth there are many hormonal changes that occur in the body and giving that birth could cause depression,” she says.

Psychotic depression, seasonal affective disorder and bipolar disorder are some other types of depression that are common nowadays. Martin Lopez, Psychotherapist with Baptist Health Care and Counseling, says the most important thing is getting many individuals support the suicidal patient and getting them talk to a psychotherapist to help them.

“We want to get family involved and also the community, we want to get as many individuals that can support this person and be there for them”, he points out.

Teresita Calero, Psychotherapist at the same institution, recommends being strong when we have to take action to safeguard their life. Martin Lopez, Psychotherapist with Care & Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, considers there are some factors that contributes with an opioid epidemic such as accessibility, stressors, and incorrect prescriptions, among others.

Dr. John Eustace, Medical Director of Care & Counseling with Baptist Health South Florida, explains a year ago, opioids referred to synthetic narcotics. “But now because of the epidemic that overlaps heroin and synthetics, the term opioid is used for the general category narcotics, be it legal, illegal, pharmaceuticals, morphine or heroin,” he says. We can think ADHD and ADD are different things but an expert clarifies it for us.

Martin Lopez, Psychotherapist with Baptist Health Care and Counseling, explains it’s all ADHD, but some individuals have it with inattentiveness, some others have it with hyperactivity and some individuals have it with both.

He also says if you have ADHD with a specific inattentiveness, you still have some of the hyperactivity, but it’s just not as prevalent, and viceversa. There are some ADHD risk factors, such as genes, smoking, alcohol use or drug use during pregnancy.

Martin Lopez, Psychotherapist with Baptist Health Care and Counseling, says there is a genetic component, so if one of your parents happens to have ADHD you are more likely to have it.

Exposure to environmental toxins during pregnancy and low birth weight are also risk factors of ADHD. ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactvity Disorder) is a mental health condition diagnosed in childhood. Martin Lopez, Psychotherapist with Baptist Health Care and Counseling, says it cannot be diagnosed in adults.

He explains it is a set of impairments related to memory being able to focus and causes you to have some serious issues in your life.

‘Boys who are more prevalent to presenting with the hyperactive type are more likely to be diagnosed in elementary school and girls often present with the inattentive type’, points out Joanna Garcia, also Psychotherapist at the same institution. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), in 2016, 6.1 million children from ages 2-17 were diagnosed with ADHD.

Martin Lopez, Psychotherapist with Baptist Health Care and Counseling, says with children he would usually try behavioral therapy first before going with stimulants.

“The issue with stimulants is that they don’t help you to develop the skills you are going to need to work on”, he points out. Lopez also highlights about 60-70% of individuals are helped by the extra medications. It’s important to know and express the feelings of the entire family members for avoiding holiday stress. Martin G. Lopez, Psychotherapist with Care & Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, and Nicole Rodriguez, Psychotherapist at the same place, explain why people should learn to say “No”. When someone feels lonely, support from relatives is very important. Martin G. Lopez, Psychotherapist with Care & Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, describes how family and friends can help people who may feel alone. The sense of loss is one of the most common feelings during the holidays. Moving forward doesn’t mean forgetting, explains Martin G. Lopez, Psychotherapist with Care & Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, who also talks about other things that help during the holidays. Martin G. Lopez, Psychotherapist with Care and Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, explains identities are complex.

He says sometimes the school we go to, our family and friends are very different from us, and because of that, we have a hard time finding individuals that are like us and making us proud to be ourselves. Holidays are the best time of the year. Everyone tries to be happy, they help people more and, most of the time and they’re in a good mood. However, Martin G. Lopez, Psychotherapist with Care & Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, says it’s time to be careful too, and recommends not putting much stress on yourself and spending more quality time with relatives. Getting to the airport on time, packing everything ahead of time and relaxing are some of tips to reduce stress while traveling. Martin G. Lopez, Psychotherapist with Care & Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, and Nicole Rodriguez, Psychotherapist at the same place, explain why, sometimes it’s important to spend the holidays at home. Holidays tend to trigger depression and anxiety. Nicole Rodriguez, Psychotherapist with Care & Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, explains why it happens. Besides, Martin G. Lopez, Psychotherapist with Care & Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, considers family support is very useful for anxious or depressed people. Martin G. Lopez, Psychotherapist with Care and Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, explains telehealth services benefit the provider, because whenever you help the patient, you help the provider.

He says if family members cannot make it to the appointment, they can find more about the patient through telehealth, or when a patient needs to contact the doctor, it is easier to do it through telehealth. Martin G. Lopez, Psychotherapist with Care and Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, explains there are many appeals to be constantly connected to social media. One is that now everything is about instant stimulation and instant gratification. For example, people feel better about themselves right in that moment when they receive a like in a post on social media.

He says with social media you fall into a persona that you are creating for other individuals to see. Suicide rates increase during holidays. Nicole Rodriguez, Psychotherapist with Care & Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, explains there are some situations that can cause suicide such as depression or loss. Martin G. Lopez, Psychotherapist with Care & Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, explains other red flags about that. Martin G. Lopez, Psychotherapist with Care and Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, points out a lot of people have a hard time figuring out where they need to go to find more health information. Now, there are government and other websites that can help you find the best site to search what you need.

Amy Exum, Psychotherapist with Care and Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, recommends professional organizations, like the National Institute of Health and the American Psychological Association to find accurate information. Martin G. Lopez, Psychotherapist with Care and Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, says people can text 911 during an emergency and he recommends patients to make sure they provide their address, in case they need to be reached.

Amy Exum, Psychotherapist with Care and Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, explains it is up to the physicians to create a welcoming environment in telehealth services and really pay attention to the body language and tone of voice, including work on communication skills with the patients. Amy Exum, Psychotherapist with Care and Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, says social media plays a huge role when it comes about suicide, because it makes people very relatable to us and when that happens it makes things seem accomplishable and that is a risk factor.

“Seeing the major attention that people are getting can attract some of us who were really interested in getting that attention. I know being a teenager today is so much more difficult, with social media it’s 24 hours a day that you’re being watched by other people, so there’s a lot of pressure that teens are under today,” she explains. The term Emotional intelligence was introduced in 1955 by Daniel Goleman. It refers to how a person manages his own emotions, and how he responds to others emotions, explains Teresita Calero, Psychotherapist with Care & Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida.

She considers the emotional intelligence just depends on how people grew up in the environment and how they were taught and what they learned. She also affirms this is a process that can be learned.

Any person who has a higher emotional intelligence will use the “I statement”, the specialist says. “Something like XYZ technique: I feel X, when you do Y, in situations Z,” she describes. There are some serious impulsive behaviors such as eating disorder, alcohol and drug abuse, deliberate self-harm and suicide.

Teresita Calero, Psychotherapist with Care & Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, says it is having self-awareness being able to redirect the impulses which are not favorable, and “as you have that self-awareness, having tools and techniques to be able to wedge the behavior,” she affirms.

She says It’s important to identify some things in people’s surrounding, because it helps them to come back to the here and the now. Empathy is being able to feel somewhat the other person is experiencing, explains Teresita Calero, Psychotherapist with Care & Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida.

The specialist affirms some people have propensity to empathy. She adds if a person is in a loving and caring environment, he has a better chance of learning that. Feeling hopeless, trapped, alone, anxious or agitated are warning signs of depression. Amy Exum, Psychotherapist with Care and Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, says misusing alcohol or drugs can lead to higher risks, because when we are engaged in any kind of mood altering substances it makes much easier to do things that we wouldn’t normally do.

Feeling as if there is no reason to go on living, thinking of suicide as a way out and experiencing mood swings are other warning signs. Amy Exum, Psychotherapist with Care and Counseling at Baptist Health South Florida, says it is time to go to the therapist the moment you think, “I cannot do this alone” when you are depressed.

She points out it is important to educate parents, so rather than being in denial, they can see the signs of depression early. Inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity are signs of ADHD. To know if your child suffers from inattention you can see if he or she has hard time listening to others or attending to details and if they are easily distracted and forgetful.

Joanna Garcia, Psychotherapist with Baptist Health Care and Counseling, says all of that happens in the prefrontal cortex and one example is procrastination, that is putting an assignment off to the last minute.

“Why does this happen? People with ADHD have poor time horizons, so that’s where you see running late, poor time management and not being able to organize things,” she highlights.

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