Millions of Americans suffer from depression, many in silence. Unfortunately, there has been a stigma around depression, that somehow people who suffer from it are weaker, or seeking attention. People seem to think that depression is just when you’re sad, but anyone who has suffered from it knows that it is much more than just sadness, it is a chemical imbalance in your brain that may affect nearly all of your daily activities. No one wants to admit that they’re depressed, but it can’t get better if you don’t seek help, which is why it is so crucial to do so before it is too late.

My Story

For me, things got really rough after my mom passed away and before I knew it I was at rock bottom. Most days I barely got out of bed, it was the lowest I had ever felt. I thought it was just part of the natural grieving process, but in reality, I had plunged off the deep end. Months passed and I was at the end of my rope, I knew something had to change. I knew it was finally time to get help, but I did not know where to even start.

I felt too embarrassed to ask any family or friends for help. Although in retrospect, I’m sure they knew I needed it because my brother gave me the number to Kairos Counseling, a counseling service operating out of Planos, and it ended up being exactly what I needed.

I had never been to see a counselor before and was pretty nervous, but I knew I had to do it. Before I went, I went online and scheduled a free 15-minute phone discovery. During the phone discovery, I was able to get a feel for my therapy options and what Brittany, the counselor, recommended for me. I then scheduled my first appointment for the following week.

The First Appointment

I was really nervous as I walked in for my first appointment. I don’t know why, but the thought of telling a stranger all my secrets and dark thoughts really intimidated me. I thought “there is no way this lady could help me because she doesn’t know what I am going through.” I won’t say all my nerves melted away as soon as I walked in, but I could definitely feel them lessen. Brittany creates such a welcoming environment that it is hard not to feel at least a little calmer when you walk in.

The first appointment was my least favorite appointment I’ve had, just because it’s really all about her getting to know you and what you’re coming in for. It took a few sessions to really go in deeper into my problems, but the first session is necessary to be able to get there. The first appointment is a little longer than regular appointments, and cost a little bit more, but it’s only a one-time thing. Regular appointments are 45 minutes, whereas your first appointment is 90 minutes.

My Overall Experience

I have been going to see Brittany for a little over a year now and she has helped me with more than just the depression. She has been able to help me through extremely stressful situations and has always been a great source of information and advice. I would highly recommend her to anyone in the surrounding cities of Plano who is struggling with mental health issues. She specializes not only in depression and grieving, but also substance abuse, spiritual issues, anxiety, divorce, alcohol addiction, and more.

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When I was pregnant with my first child, I took it easy during my whole pregnancy. I went to one parenting class, but that’s it. I didn’t go to birthing class, nursing class, prenatal yoga, none of it. I had babysat kids my whole life, so I thought I knew what I was in for. As soon as I went into labor, I knew I wasn’t prepared. And it scared me. Not only the idea of somehow pushing out an almost 9-pound baby, but also what would come after, and for the next 18 years.

With no type of training and very limited help, I felt like I was drowning in this giant new responsibility that I wasn’t prepared for. More than anything, I just felt like a terrible mom for not preparing myself better. I had all the opportunities and just did not take them. After giving birth, I rushed to learn everything as fast as I could.  

I asked the nurses tons of questions, called my mom daily, read tons and tons of online messaging boards, and tried to read as many books as possible. But I never really had time to sit down and read with a newborn. A really great resource that I found myself using over and over was Baby Care Mentor.

The answer to all your questions

Baby Care Mentor has a wealth of information on everything you can think of. They have information for newborns, toddlers, and children, all conveniently broken up and easy to find. The articles are very informative and not at all condescending. A lot of parenting blogs seem to be a little judgy and condescending if you are not raising your kid a certain way. But, Baby Care Mentor just gives you the facts and everything you need to know to make your own informed decisions.

Baby Care Mentor also provides tips and tricks for new parents and veteran parents alike. There is something on the site for everyone, no matter how much parenting experience you have.

They tackle topics such as the infamous breast vs bottle debate and potty training. I found both of these topics to be extremely well discussed, but again, without any condescension.

If you are already a parent, you probably know how heated things can get when you bring up breastfeeding vs formula feeding. Each side so feverishly defends their side that little conversation actually takes place. Breastfeeding moms are very quick to say “breast is best” and almost shame mothers who choose to formula feed. Which leads to formula feeding moms getting very defensive. To a new mom, this debate can be intimidating and very daunting, definitely not one you want to get in the middle of.  

Asking for advice on breastfeeding vs formula feeding in real life can be a scary thing. But, finding solace on the internet is always an easier option. And, instead of listening to misguided people, or equally judge people on random forums, Baby Care Mentor is a reliable site with trustworthy advice. You won’t find any outlandish, unproven, or questionable tips, like rubbing alcohol on your baby’s gums.

More content is constantly being added and it is a website I recommend to any parent looking for some advice. It can be a good way to just go double check whether or not baby can eat something, or a good way to learn how to do a totally new thing, such as potty training. Other things you can find on the site is product recommendations and answers to some of your most burning questions. If you don’t know the difference between all the diaper brands, or what flavors of baby food are good, Baby Care Mentor is a great place to find the answers.

Of course, no single website will have all the answers to every question you ever have, but Baby Care Mentor will probably have most of the answers and is a great place to check. Baby Care Mentor is there for you through every step of the way. With plenty of information for every stage your baby goes through, it could almost be a lifelong tool.

The best way to really learn about Baby Care Mentor is to check them out for yourself. You can see what all they have to offer and how their articles can help you. There’s no way I could possibly talk about everything they have on their website, so check them out for yourself.

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A gastroenterologist (commonly called a GI doctor) is a doctor who specializes in gastrointestinal issues. That means they take on additional education after finishing medical school to earn credentials to be experts in the field of gastroenterology, which means they are the people you want to go to if you have any stomach, abdominal or intestinal issues, and your family doctor (or general practitioner or primary care physician) will likely refer you to a GI doc when a deeper look at your stomach troubles are called for.

Should I see a GI doctor?

Always follow the medical advice of your primary care physician, the person who is your “regular doctor”. If your doctor tells you that you need to see a GI doctor or refers you to one, always follow their advice. More often than not, it’s nothing to worry about, and they would just like to make sure that you’re getting the best possible care and treatment, so it’s for your own benefit to go to a GI doctor if your regular doctor thinks you should.

Another reason to go to a GI doctor is if you’re having gastrointestinal issues and don’t have a family doctor or a regular doctor; typically, in these cases, people usually seek help at the ER, where an ER doctor will refer you to the GI doctor to ensure you get specialized care for your condition that the ER simply isn’t able to provide.

GI doctors in Okeechobee

If you live in the Okeechobee area, you’re actually quite lucky, because there are actually GI specialists right in Okeechobee, so you don’t have to worry about making a long trip to a large city to seek help.

Vikram Tarugu, MD has been rated Best GI Doctor in Okeechobee on Google for the area by his patients. His practice offers free consultations for patients who cannot afford to pay, and they also offer payment plans for those who are uninsured or are on a budget. Dr. Tarugu’s patients view him as being friendly and intelligent with an efficient practice and competent staff. He is affiliated with Raulerson Hospital in Okeechobee, one of two GI specialists affiliated with that hospital. If your primary care physician is also affiliated with Raulerson Hospital, he or she will likely be aware of Dr. Tarugu and can refer you if you would like to see him, which will lessen the copay for those with certain insurance plans. And on that note, Dr. Tarugu accepts a wide variety of insurance plans, so he makes a good choice for those who have trouble getting their plan accepted elsewhere.

Dr. Tarugu’s medical education began at Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medical Sciences. His fellowship was at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and his residency was at New York Medical College. He’s practiced in the southeast United States for a number of years, and in total has 21 years of medical practice.

As a GI doctor working out of Okeechobee, Dr. Tarugu is qualified to diagnose and treat a wide variety of GI ailments including GERD, stomach ulcers and Crohn’s Disease, and performs procedures like endoscopies, colonoscopies, sigmoidoscopies, biopsies, and more.

Check with Dr. Tarugu’s staff or your primary care physician for further information.


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