Dr. Naomi Jacobs is a psychologist practicing in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. Dr. Jacobs specializes in the treatment of mental health problems, and helps people to cope with their mental illnesses. As a psychologist, Dr. Jacobs evaluates and treats patients through a variety of methods, most typically being psychotherapy or talk therapy. Patients usually visit Dr. Jacobs because they have been experiencing depression, anxiety, stress or anger for a significant period of time and are seeking help. Psychologists may perform a variety of exams and assessments to diagnose a mental condition. Learn more about Dr. Jacobs by visiting her website psychologistpontevedrabeach.com
Education and Training
Northwestern University Medical School Ph.D. Clinical Psychology 1997
Dr. Naomi T. Jacobs, PhD's Expert Contributions
Bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings that do not necessarily relate to life stressors and can occur out of the blue. People exhibit periods of depression and mania that often last days to months and can significantly impact their ability to function. A person who is manic exhibits grandiosity, high energy, little need for sleep, impulsivity, and racing thoughts and speech. Mania is not characteristic of Borderline Personality Disorder. People who have Borderline Personality Disorder over-react to life stressors, particularly interpersonal conflicts and show significant mood fluctuations where they exhibit intense anger, anxiety, or sadness. But these emotions are relatively transient, lasting a few minutes to hours. People with Borderline Personality Disorder fear abandonment and make frantic efforts to avoid it. They have difficulty soothing themselves and often resort to self-destructive coping. READ MORE
Divorce frequently results in people experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety because of the significant changes and losses that occur to one's life. Dealing with a hurt or angry ex-spouse adds to the stress. I recommend developing a support system comprised of friends and family members who you can talk to and spend time with doing enjoyable activities. You should focus on self care, insuring that you're eating healthfully, getting enough sleep, spending time outside, participating in exercise or another constructive activity. Consider meeting with a therapist who can provide additional support and help coping with difficult circumstances or people. Try to identify aspects of your life you feel grateful for each day..Give yourself time to grieve and heal. Enjoy the process of re-discovering yourself as an individual and re-defining your goals and dreams. READ MORE
I recommend you take her to a psychologist for an evaluation and treatment recommendations. I expect the recommendations will most likely include therapy 2X each week and psychotropic medication. Suicidal ideation is different than suicidal intent. The psychologist may maintain she or he can effectively work with your daughter in therapy without her utilizing medication to decrease symptoms of depression. On the other hand, the psychologist may suggest a higher level of care, i.e., a day treatment program associated with a hospital or mental health treatment center where she participates in individual and group therapy during the day and also meets with a psychiatrist for medication management. Finally, if she is in dire need of medication to treat her depression or if she represents an imminent threat to her safety, you should have her hospitalized. The staff will insure her safety 24 hours each day, and she will have to comply with taking medication there and begin individual and group therapy. READ MORE
Although you provide limited examples, and it would help to know more about your boyfriend to put his behavior in context, he may suffer from traits of a personality disorder or a full blown personality disorder. If you experience him overall as self-centered, lacking in empathy, grandiose or entitled, he has significant traits of narcissistic personality disorder. Consequently, you should consider ending the relationship since you will likely find yourself hurt, sad, and frustrated much of the time. Sociopaths also have these traits, but enjoy controlling, manipulating, and hurting others to get what they want or for entertainment. Narcissists generally hurt others as a result of prioritizing their own needs at the expense of others' needs or feelings. Sociopaths want to get to know you. Narcissists want you to know about them and to admire them. READ MORE
Your psychologist will appreciate your desire to provide information that helps him or her understand you and your difficulties to better help you. You should feel free to express to the psychologist your concern of having time to communicate all the details. To help you prioritize them, you might consider writing them down. If you do not have time to discuss all the information during the first session, you can do so in future sessions. For this reason, therapy consists of multiple sessions. READ MORE
In family therapy, the therapist has the advantage of getting to know all family members, how they relate to one another and how their dynamics contribute to the difficulties of one or more members of the family. The therapist can then intervene to change those dynamics, communication and behavior patterns to alleviate the difficulties of the family member, i.e., an eating disorder. Individuals suffering from eating disorders generally benefit from a combination of individual and family therapy. READ MORE
Reaching out to friends and family for support is a great first step. In addition, though, you may need to meet with a mental health professional. A psychologist, for example, can provide support and understanding and help you increase coping skills or resolve underlying issues contributing to your current difficulties. A psychiatrist can prescribe medication that increases your resilience to symptoms of depression. READ MORE
Unresolved issues, fears, and especially traumatic experiences can lead to having nightmares. In psychotherapy, including psychoanalysis, the thorough exploration, examination, and reliving of traumatic or related experiences within a safe therapeutic environment helps to effectively process distressing experiences. This significantly decreases the likelihood that they will affect you while you sleep. READ MORE
Yes, they can provide support and understanding and help people: 1) process feelings associated with loss; 2) increase acceptance of pain and related limitations; 3) increase effective coping; 4) develop a new self that has parts of their old self integrated into it; 5) seek a personally meaningful philosophy of life and spirituality consistent with it. READ MORE
My son has a hard time paying attention to instructions, and tells me he feels nervous all the time. Should he be in counseling?
Yes, a therapist can provide support, foster needed communication, and help him learn how to cope with symptoms of anxiety as well as circumstances or internal conflicts that are contributing to it. READ MORE
You should mobilize family and friends to provide her with support and help her establish safety and predictability in her life. She can use meditation, visualization, and yoga to decrease anxiety and depression and calm her mind and body. She should also meet with a mental health professional to increase coping skills and utilize psychotropic medication as necessary to manage psychological and physiological effects of anxiety to increase her sense of control and well being. In addition, thorough expression of her thoughts and feelings in a safe therapeutic environment will help process the trauma and further diminish her symptoms. Finally, her therapist can help increase her willingness and ability to resume driving activities by using cognitive behavioral techniques i.e. challenging irrational thoughts and replacing them with rationale alternatives and gradually exposing her to her feared experiences. After each success, her confidence will increase to resume driving once more. READ MORE
The violent behavior your husband exhibits adversely affects the emotional well being of everyone in your household. In addition, his violence can eventually escalate and become directed at you or other family members. He should seek help from a mental health professional and if possible, you should accompany him to insure full disclosure of his violent behavior. If he does not want you to attend, you can write a letter to the mental health professional explaining your concerns. You should also seek help for yourself from a mental health professional for support and guidance. If you have children, they too would benefit from support and help coping with the anger and violence their father displays. READ MORE
It sounds like you suffer from social anxiety which introverts often deal with to various degrees. Causes of social anxiety include a biological predisposition, environmental factors, and faulty thought patterns. Because you describe having social anxiety which significantly affects important aspects of your life and causes significant distress, I believe you have Social Anxiety Disorder. You would benefit from meeting with a psychologist or other mental health professional who can provide you with support and help you develop effective coping skills, increased self-esteem, and insight into unresolved issues that may be contributing to your difficulties. Prescribed psychotropic medication from a psychiatrist can also help increase your resilience to anxiety and anxiety provoking situations. READ MORE
The most serious risk associated with anorexia is death. Medical complications develop because malnutrition or starvation affect most major organ systems. Consequently, individuals suffering from anorexia often need medical attention immediately and should get evaluated by their doctor. A mental health provider who specializes in treating eating disorders can successfully help individuals with anorexia in the earlier stages or when they have a milder condition. But individuals with anorexia that have moderate to severe disorders generally need inpatient treatment at a facility for eating disorders before they can start outpatient treatment to maintain and continue progress. You can help your sister by reminding her that you love her and that you support her getting help to learn how to reach and maintain a weight that she finds comfortable but that also fosters good physical and mental health. READ MORE
Because bulimia is destructive to her physically and emotionally, I do recommend an inpatient program specifically for eating disorders. She is almost an adult at which time you will no longer have that opportunity to help her get appropriate treatment. As a parent, you will know you have done all you can and hopefully both of you will feel good about the decision in retrospect. READ MORE
I believe masked depression refers to symptoms a person reports or exhibits that one typically does not associate with depression yet the person does suffer from underlying depression. For example, a teenager may primarily exhibit oppositional behavior increasing the possibility that his or her depression never gets recognized. READ MORE
Marriage counseling can help foster communication and understanding which can lead to identifying the root of your husband's behavior changes and potential solutions. The marriage counselor may refer your husband to a psychologist for a psychological evaluation. Depending on the diagnosis, treatment could include anger and stress management and possibly a recommendation to meet with a psychiatrist for psychotropic medication. READ MORE
Side effects from medication can include sleepiness. Sometimes a side effect is temporary and will subside after a few weeks. If this does not occur, speak to your doctor about alternative medications less likely to have this side effect. READ MORE
The term shopaholic suggests she consistently turns to shopping for a temporary escape from stressful, sad, or mundane aspects of life and while shopping, she experiences a significant elevation in her mood. Consequences can include overspending and avoidance of addressing underlying feelings, thoughts, or situations contributing to her preoccupation with shopping. She could benefit from exploring this possibility with a mental health professional who can help her learn alternative constructive ways to cope. READ MORE
I recommend your son meet with his pediatrician who can inform him of normal penis size variation at his age and what physical changes he can expect as he continues to go through puberty into his teenage years. If this issue persists, he would also benefit from meeting with a mental health professional who can help him: 1) learn to challenge his irrational critical thoughts and replace them with rationale supportive alternatives; 2) increase his self esteem by helping him identify aspects about himself that he or other people value and that contribute far more to defining him than his penis size. READ MORE
She needs support from family and friends and a safe environment where she finds demands familiar and predictable. She may benefit from psychotropic medication to reduce reactivity and hyperarousal. Meditation, visualization, and yoga can decrease anxiety and depression and calm the mind and body. Physical exercise can help release stress. She should give herself opportunities to feel and express the emotional pain associated with the accident and the loss of her friends. Constructive outlets include creating art, writing in a journal, talking to a person she trusts, or simply crying someplace she feels safe. Over time, this process leads to acceptance of what she cannot change in the past and increased ability to focus on the positive aspects of her current life and what she can enjoy and accomplish now. READ MORE
Your daughter shows signs of developing an eating disorder where weight loss or restricting food intake leads to increased self-worth, control in one's life, a distracting purpose, or decreased anxiety, even when it adversely affects one's emotional and physical well-being. You should seek treatment for her with a mental health professional, preferably one who specializes in treating eating disorders. Treatment goals include: 1) increasing her willingness and ability to use constructive means to maintain a healthy weight, 2) replacing irrational thoughts with rationale alternatives, 3) identifying and resolving underlying issues contributing to her behavior. READ MORE
Taking some medications often results in weight gain. You should meet with her doctor and discuss what alternative medications she could try that decrease the likelihood of weight gain. You can also seek out a second opinion by meeting with another doctor. READ MORE
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) consist of obsessions and compulsions that cause significant distress or functional impairment. Similar to other mental disorders, causes of OCD include a biological predisposition, environmental factors, and flawed thought patterns. Treatment consists of meeting with a specialist for therapy with or without the use of medication. Prescribed psychotropic medication often successfully decreases the severity of symptoms. A mental health provider who specializes in treating OCD uses a combination of mindfulness, cognitive therapy, and behavioral therapy to help most people who suffer from OCD successfully overcome it. READ MORE
Years after the danger has passed, traumatic memories can spontaneously return into consciousness, both as flashbacks during waking states and as traumatic nightmares during sleep. Minor, seemingly insignificant reminders can also trigger these memories, which often return with all the vividness and emotional impact of the original event. In addition, nightmares of the traumatic event can represent incomplete healing of the past trauma. To decrease the likelihood of reminders and foster healing, you can work on establishing safety in your environment and relationships and make conscious efforts to distinguish the past from the present. You would benefit from meeting with a mental health professional who can help you establish safety in your life and help you more thoroughly process the past trauma to decrease the likelihood of re-experiencing it during sleep. READ MORE
Medications vary in their risk of birth defects at different stages of pregnancy. I recommend that you and your wife meet with her doctor to discuss your concerns. READ MORE
Chronic illness can adversely affect a person's quality of life, identity, and expectations for the future precipitating sadness, hopelessness, poor self-worth, and other symptoms of depression. Because stress and depression can suppress the immune system, a person's medical condition can become worse. People with chronic illness benefit from a willingness to adjust to challenging circumstances and live the best that they can given their limitations, consistent efforts to identify positive aspects of themselves and their lives, having or developing a purpose in their lives, and spiritual beliefs that can provide them with a different perspective and add meaning, purpose, and hope to their lives. READ MORE
You can make a habit of identifying positive aspects of yourself, other people, or circumstances. When you have negative thoughts, you can stop yourself and reframe them in a more positive manner. However, you should allow yourself opportunities to constructively express sadness, hurt, anger or fear which everyone experiences when dealing with adversity or loss. Then, transitioning to a hopeful and positive attitude can help one persevere, cope, problem solve and move on. READ MORE
Yes. A psychologist could serve as another supportive, encouraging adult in his life and help him: 1) identify irrational fears or negative thoughts and replace them with rational, positive alternatives, 2) develop coping skills to deal with symptoms of anxiety that he finds distressing and interfere with him demonstrating his potential, 3) understand how to more effectively prepare for exams to increase successful performance on them, 4) resolve any underlying issues contributing to his current difficulties. READ MORE
Use a planner or calendar to write down how you can realistically use each hour of each day to meet your deadlines. Include blocks of time to exercise, relax, pursue hobbies or spend time with family or friends to the extent that doing so is possible given your deadlines. Having outlets, balance in your life, or something to look forward to can help one work efficiently and promote good mental health. Finally, you can remind yourself that despite your worry, you always come through. Or, if you don't come through, you can remind yourself that you are making changes to insure that you will. You can ask yourself what is the worst thing that can happen? Is it catastrophic or can it be handled? You can also take a moment to gain perspective, reminding yourself of all the things going right and that you feel grateful for in your life. READ MORE
It is always helpful to rule out a medical condition. Hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism are good examples of medical conditions that can mimic symptoms of depression, anxiety or mania. Once you have treated any underlying medical condition, you can consider whether or not you need additional help from a mental health professional. READ MORE
While her age makes her more prone to such behavior, you could consider counseling to 1) foster communication and understanding of what each of you needs from the other and 2) determine if she needs help coping with various stressors in her life. READ MORE
You should support and encourage him to meet with a mental health professional for an initial evaluation If possible, you should accompany him to explain your observations and concerns. He will likely benefit from a combination of psychotropic medication typically prescribed by a psychiatrist and psychotherapy where he will generally meet with a psychologist. If he is a danger to himself or others, you can get immediate help by encouraging him to admit himself to an inpatient treatment facility. As a last resort, if he is a danger to himself or others, you can contact the police who will escort him to a mental health facility to keep him safe and to start treatment. It is generally a better experience for the patent when he voluntarily seeks treatment and helps choose the place where treatment occurs. As for yourself, you should make a point to exhibit good self-care and potentially meet with a mental health provider for support and guidance with your specific circumstances. READ MORE
Negative thinking is characteristic of those suffering from depression. You can also learn negative thinking from those in your environment. Or for some people, it represents the accumulation of difficulties they have experienced in their lives. For starters, you can try to stop yourself and replace a negative thought with a more positive, rationale one. However, if you are suffering from symptoms of depression (such as sad most days, loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, poor self-esteem, impaired concentration, interrupted sleep), you should seek treatment from a mental health professional. READ MORE
People do exhibit poor concentration, difficulty thinking, or forgetfulness when they are depressed, anxious, stressed or highly preoccupied with something. If this is the case, you can make efforts to alleviate those issues or seek additional help from a mental health professional. Also, keep in mind that if you respond to forgetfulness with anxiety or worry, you will likely find yourself exhibiting more forgetfulness. Perhaps give yourself a break from the worry for 2 weeks. Tell yourself you will re-assess how you are doing then. If no improvement has occurred, meet with a specialist, i.e., a neurologist, to rule out any serious problem. Naomi Jacobs, Ph.D. READ MORE
You should meet with your doctor to rule out an underlying medical problem that causes increased appetite and also rule out side effects from medications you may take. Once you and your doctor eliminate those possibilities, it does appear that your increased appetite is psychological. Perhaps you are using food to comfort or distract yourself or fill a void in your life, and this means of coping is escalating and becoming habitual. It would likely benefit you to explore this possibility with a mental health professional who can help you develop alternative constructive ways to cope. Naomi Jacobs, Ph.D. READ MORE
If you suspect an underlying medical problem, you should meet with your doctor to rule that out. Otherwise, consider situations or difficulties in your life that precipitate anxiety. If you can identify solutions, you should proceed to take steps to alleviate the root cause. If you cannot identify a root cause or need help knowing how to problem solve or cope with it, you should consider meeting with a mental health professional. Please know that the symptoms of anxiety, i.e., feeling on edge, racing heart, shortness of breath, may feel uncomfortable but will not hurt you. Some people experience symptoms of anxiety or panic attacks for no obvious reason. It helps to respond to these symptoms in a detached manner. If you respond with fear or panic, the symptoms will become worse. Once you accept and allow the symptoms to occur, you should then become involved in an activity, thought process or conversation that serves to divert your attention. The goal is not necessarily to get rid of the symptoms but rather live your life simultaneously. With this approach, though, not only will the symptoms become less apparent, they will likely decrease significantly. Naomi Jacobs, Ph.D. READ MORE
Psychotropic medication and psychotherapy are the primary methods to treat mental disorders. Medication can dramatically alleviate symptoms in people struggling with mental illness that surface from changes in their brain chemistry. But such people often had stressful circumstances which contributed to changes in brain chemistry or find life circumstances challenging because of the presence of a mental disorder. Psychotherapy can help significantly in these cases. For example, it can help increase a person's constructive coping skills, self-esteem, effective communication, and insight into and self-awareness of internal conflicts or unresolved issues contributing to current difficulties. If psychotherapy is utilized early enough, it can help someone manage life stressors and exhibit increased resilience to developing mental illness. All in all, for different individuals the importance and impact of these two treatments vary. For most people, a combination of both treatments can lead to the fastest resolution. READ MORE
You should allow yourself to feel the pain that you are experiencing and find constructive outlets for it. This includes physical activities, artistic or creative expression, writing in a journal, talking to a person you trust, or simply crying somewhere you feel safe. Eventually, a sense of acceptance will increasingly accompany your pain and prevail. You will often think of your father and miss him. Although I do not know him or your relationship with him, I expect he would want you to still feel happiness when remembering the good times and meaningful moments you shared. He would want you to recall his love for you and the positive ways he impacted you. He would want you to know that he will be with you even if he is not physically present. He appreciates you honoring him through your grieving but also would want you to eventually move on by attending to other people, experiences or opportunities in your life. It is helpful to have faith you will ultimately reconnect again. READ MORE
Depression can increase a person's likelihood of developing dementia. But dementia develops gradually over time. If you have not noticed changes in your mother's cognitive functioning or personality previous to the loss of your father, her screaming is likely part of her grieving process. She may be screaming in despair or anger for example. You can consider expressing to her that you are concerned about her well being and suggesting she seek out help and support from a mental health professional in dealing with this devastating loss. READ MORE
Symptoms of ADHD typically manifest during childhood. These symptoms can continue into adulthood. Some children have abilities or circumstances that help them compensate for their ADHD making it less obvious that they have the disorder. Hypothetically, adults might find themselves challenged in a way they had not experienced previously. They may find themselves unable to successfully manage this vulnerability any longer resulting in symptoms surfacing. READ MORE
Yes. Psychotropic medication and therapy can successfully treat bipolar disorder. But generally bipolar disorder is a chronic condition that needs consistent treatment or the person with bipolar disorder will re-experience the distressing symptoms. READ MORE
It sounds like you have identified one positive aspect. Perhaps you can consider in more detail how very good pay impacts your life. Does it have a positive impact on your emotional or physical well being? Does it allow you to provide for, support or help family, friends or other people in need? Do you have the means to buy things or go places you enjoy? In addition, you may want to consider the service you provide others directly or indirectly. How do you benefit others in the short-term or long-term with the skills you offer? Can you make a difference simply by the way you communicate to others i.e. with respect, kindness, encouragement or patience? Also, you may want to pause and take pride in your abilities and achievements and remember the challenges you overcame to attain your current position. Finally, maybe you can take these suggestions and help your colleagues feel more positive about their lives. Naomi T. Jacobs, Ph.D. READ MORE
Low self-esteem is one symptom of depression. Some other symptoms include feeling sad most days, loss of interest in usual activities, fatigue, and poor concentration. To combat low self-esteem, try to stop yourself from making negative self-statements and instead identify positive aspects about yourself. In addition, make choices to spend time with people who treat you with kindness and respect and keep your distance from people who you experience as critical or judgmental. You can also improve self-esteem by setting manageable goals for yourself, such as participating in a constructive activity three times each week. When you find yourself succeeding at meeting your goals, it will benefit your self-esteem. Naomi Jacobs, Ph.D. READ MORE
Dr. Naomi T. Jacobs, PhD's Practice location
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Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250Get Direction
Jacksonville, FL 32246Get Direction
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