Three bouts with depression and still going strong.

I recently read an article about Dwayne Johnson or otherwise know as “The Rock” . The article  written by Stephen Galloway and highlighted some important highs and low points of Dwayne Johnson’s life. I couldn’t help but think, now here is a awesome specimen of a man at the top of his second very successful career and reaping the rewards of many multi million of dollar paychecks, what could ever bring this man down. Then there it was again Depression . As I read, I again remembered that there is something much more powerful than our physical bodies, and that’s mind. Our mind controls it all and when our mind is not healthy, frankly either are we. Depression can bring anyone down and so often the affected person doesn’t even know what they’re even suffering from, as was the case with Mr. Johnson. Dwayne Johnson suffered, as the article recalls, three distinctive bouts with depression. Each coming from low points in his life with his first battle with depression resulting from an injury to his shoulder while playing football as a freshman for the University of Miami. He was one of the few to start as a freshman for this powerhouse football program. The second time he suffered from depression was just after he was released from Calgary Stampeders a Canadian Football League which permanently dashed his hopes of becoming a professional football player. The third time was just after his divorce which in his words “Failing at marriage and as a husband was a heavy thing, and divorce had that special way of knocking me on my ass.” 

Depression can be common but serious and there are many types of depression with some lasting from days to others like Persistent depressive disorder that many times last for years. According to National Alliance of Mental Illness “Some individuals may only have one episode of depression in a lifetime, but often people have recurrent episodes. More than one-half of people who experience a first episode of depression will have at least one other episode during his/her lifetime. Some people may have several episodes in the course of a year, and others may have ongoing symptoms. If untreated, episodes commonly last anywhere from a few months to many years.” Dwayne Johnson doesn’t ever mention how he was able to work his way through his bouts with depression but some of the more successful ways would be through seeking the assistance of a psychologist . Psychologists are typically easily found and specialize in therapies revolving around talk instead of the medication. Although treatment regiments many times include both talk and drug therapies, in most States medications would have to be prescribed by a Psychiatrist or an Advanced Practice Nurse. 

In Hawaii, where I live, and where Dwayne is from a good choice would be GoVa Hawaii’s Counseling Center where they match you with one of their psychologists who best fits your needs. They have psychologists specializing in variety of disciplines. No matter how Mr. Johnson found success with his depression, I appreciated his candidness. He has done his part to continue to tear down the stigmas surrounding mental illness.

Thank you… Rock!



Hiring Psychologist Position:

Aloha, we are an upbeat counseling clinic located in Honolulu and we’re hiring a full-time, licensed psychologist to join our fun and friendly team. Work will include a mixture of individual, family/couples, and possible group therapies with weekly, collaborative case consultations. We offer a very competitive salary structure and full benefits, along with a rewarding and dynamic environment, and our office is newly renovated with every detail we can accommodate to make your day comfortable. So if you’re someone who is positive and fun, can maintain professionalism, work collaboratively with others, and is comfortable working with a variety of clientele, come join our team!  New grad’s are welcome.

We sincerely look forward to meeting you,

Edie Vajda, PsyD


GoVa Counseling



O. 352-5050
C. 688-4410
F. 596-8558

GoVa Face Page

Bullying Worse than I thought.

I recently wrote a blog about bullying and want to reemphasize just how bad cyber-bullying can actually be.

This is highlighted by the fact that I read an article about Paris Jackson was bullied to the point where she cut her wrists. Thank god she called the suicide prevention hotline which responded by sending paramedics to treat her for her self inflicted wounds. She was then hospitalized for her diminished mental state.

Paris Jackson was being cyber-bullied via her social media accounts. Specifically, I read inserts that were discovered on her Twitter account. The transcripts I read from her Twitter account were no less than absolutely horrible. These bullies were hiding behind the Internet and their Twitter accounts typing vile and obnoxiously harmful things to a minor.

There needs to be enforceable safeguards in place to protect our children and frankly even adults from this type of harassment. I don’t know anyone who would’ve been able to tolerate the type of comments that Paris was being exposed to.

So lets be frank, whenever you have a whole bunch of kids put together in a room there will always be clashes of personalities and they can be complex. The difference is that there are resolutions to be had because these groups ultimately intent to get along.

The posts I read were wanting to do nothing less than maximum and ultimate harm. They were not trying to interact; they were not trying to figure out a way to ever get along. Their only purpose was to harm to Paris.

So my recommendation to those that are being cyber-bullied is this. You have to illuminate all ways a bully can make contact with you. One way you can do this, depending on the type of contact, is to stop these bullies from gaining access to you from your social media accounts. You can check with your cellular service provider to have them describe and walk you through the process of blocking all unwanted contact to your cell phone. Next, is to block the bully’s access to your emails. You can do this in a variety of ways. One way would be to simply change your email account. Or, you can go into the settings of your email account to limit access to whomever you choose to. This way you can stop any additional emails from those who are bullying you. The important thing to note is that you must systematically block all contact from the cyber-bullies.

The next step, and just as important, would be to seek a professional for counseling. It is so very important to remember that there is teen counseling available to you from psychologists that are specifically trained to help you get through any difficult time. You should let the psychologist evaluate you and your need for any additional counseling.

Don’t ever think that anything will ever get better by hurting yourself. It doesn’t. Never!

Anthony Goins
GoVa Hawaii’s Counseling Center

Bullying is not new and hard to hide from.

Bullying is not necessarily a new problem but it’s evolved and now a bully can harass their victims in places where before they were once safe. I think most of us can look back into our pasts and remember a bully, whether they picked on us or not. And of course, there may be some that look at their past and see that they were the bully.

So lets first look at what is the definition of a bully or what does it mean to get bullied. According to,  “Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.” There can be direct and indirect bullying. Direct bullying is what normally boys do and typically results in physical violence. Indirect bullying is typically done by girls and can include the ugly stares, the exclusion of someone, or the spreading of rumors or lies.   Bullies can definitely leave their mark one way or another. It is important to note that both the bullies and those being bullied may need to have some professional counseling from an experienced psychologist because more often than not there can be lasting problems as a result.

So what has changed that has made bullying even more problematic. How has it become so broad reaching that kids today can’t hide from its toxic effects. The change has come with the invention of cell phones and social media. Cell phones and social media have made bullying more problematic. Kids today simply can’t hide from the electronic taunts and lies spread nearly instantaneously and sometimes anonymously about them. This is known as cyberbullying and some examples of this type of bullying are: threatening someone by way of email, instant message or text message. It may even mean finding out about some deeply personal information and revealing it online to their peers or even hacking into someones social media account to impersonate them in an unflattering way. As you can imagine there are many ways cyberbullying can be lethal to ones self worth and technology has made it extremely difficult to hide from.

What can we do to prevent or stop bullying. First, if you are the one being bullied or if you know of someone who is being bullied you have to tell a trusted adult. A trusted adult can be many people: parents, teachers, counselors, therapists. The good news is that I think its easier today to report a bully because most adults supervising kids understand the potentially devastating effects bullying can have. Here is an informative video to watch: Bullying Video

And for parents of bullies or of those being bullied, you must always maintain an open line of communication with your children. This needs to start as early as possible and if you need help with this there are ways to get help from trained therapist and psychologist who can give you what you need to succeed. Its what they do.

Ultimately, and sadly, all parties can be negatively effected from bullying and we must all do our part to illuminate it as much as possible and the best way to do this is by educating our children and letting them know that it is never ok to be a bully or be a victim of bullying and there is counseling help available to make sure neither happens.


Get rid of the Stigma so more of us can get healthy.

This month is National Mental Health Awareness month. And as the name suggests, we should help to get the word out that it is important be to healthy in all aspects of our lives, especially our mental health. Sometimes many of us over look the fact that we could improve our mental health. We may strive to be healthy in other ways like exercising and eat right. So why not strive for better mental health?

Well, I suspect some of us simply don’t think that we could be better. According to the World Health Organization “Only 2 in every 5 people experiencing a mood, anxiety or substance use disorder [sought] assistance in the year of the onset of the disorder.” In other words, 40 percent of the people in the world who could benefit from help are not receiving it. What’s important to remember is that these statistics are not aimed only at people with severe mental illness, they’re comprehensive of all people, all of us.

How often time do we find ourselves rationalizing difficulties we’re facing in our lives with statements like, “I can live with this”, “other people have gone through the same thing as me and they don’t get counseling”, or, “what would my friends think?” You get the idea, we compel ourselves to rationalize going through unneeded struggles in life without help. Why? Because many of us don’t understand that we can live life happier and healthier than we currently do.

So to get back to the question: What does it mean to be mentally healthy? Well, for this I asked a Honolulu Psychologist Dr. Edie Vajda what in her opinion was the most undiagnosed mental illness that lead to such statistics? Her answer: It wasn’t any one group of people that were going undiagnosed. Rather, it was the stigma surrounding seeking counseling that kept so many of us away from the simple help we needed.

So I propose that we all consider working toward getting rid of the stigma surrounding our mental health and start keeping our whole bodies healthy. We don’t have to live life any less quality than possible and its not only Ok, but a good thing to get help. The mind and body work as one and so should our approach to health. Take care of your mental health and it will come back to you a million-fold. Whether through your positive family life and children, your marriage or relationships, your job, or your renewed sense of self, it will help you prosper and find the happiness that you deserve.

Just my thoughts,