Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What To Expect In A Mental Health Residential Treatment Center

What To Expect In A Mental Health Residential Treatment Center

Mental issues today are many and varied. And so is the profile of a typical patient. There isn’t one because even children can be diagnosed with depression and conditions such as dementia and bipolar mood swings can be diagnosed in people of varying ages.

And a spin-off from so many of the mental health problems in people is the family member affected by the condition. A teen with depression for example can mean a large amount of stress for his or her worrying parents. In fact it is not uncommon for family members of a patient with mental health problems to seek medical assistance for the stress they are suffering worrying about their loved one.

Before going to your mental health residential treatment center, you would do well to visit your family doctor and explain your situation to him or her. GPs are well-known for the vast list of contacts in relevant areas of mental health and their advice is most likely to be helpful. If they can’t recommend a specialist, and that would be very rare, they will know someone who can. Don’t bypass your family doctor.

But sooner or later you will at least investigate your local residential treatment center for those with mental health conditions. They are not all the same but most will have a number of specialists including the following: a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a psychiatric nurse, an occupational therapist and a social worker. Each has a different role to play and it will help you to know what each does and for which type of condition.

A psychiatrist is able to prescribe drugs for your mental health condition. Psychiatrists are trained in assessing various types of mental illness and will even have a patient admitted to hospital if they think such a move is necessary.

A psychologist works more on relationships and how a person gets on within a family structure. They can run therapy sessions but do not prescribe drugs.

Some people with a mental health condition find they are unable or less able to perform certain tasks and if so, then an occupational therapist can come to your home, assess your needs and set up a program where you receive whatever assistance is required.

Visiting nurses are common particularly with elderly patients and a psychiatric nurse visits a person with a mental health condition and gives them whatever advice and assistance they can. It might be because the patient has difficulty in making the trip to the mental health treatment center.

Finally a social worker can help in a number of ways such as advising which form of community or local government support services are available.

Mental health problems can be depressing in themselves for both the patient and their family. But you should understand that there is a great deal of support in your community and, in short, help is at hand. Take heart from the range of resources and take advantage of the people and services they provide.

By: Jenna Brooklyn

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Improving Cardiovascular And Mental Health One Step At A Time

Improving Cardiovascular And Mental Health One Step At A Time

One of the most natural things that an individual does every day is to walk. For years, this single act has been linked to improving cardiovascular health. The reason is because, generally, walking is a safe movement that isn’t likely to cause injury. New studies have shown that walking is also a terrific way to improve your mood. The next time you are feeling a little blue, there may be a way to walk it off - literally.

A recent study paired individuals into groups, one of which spent 30 minutes on a treadmill and the other that participated in 30 minutes of rest. Each group’s progress was monitored throughout the treatment with a conclusion that both groups reported having less negative feelings at the end of the study, along with less stress and tension. The difference, however, was found when the group that spent 30 minutes walking also noted an overall improvement in well-being.

While the study further proves the theory that walking is good for mental health, as well as physical, it also lends credence to the theory that people who walk feel better overall. It also proves that an individual does not have to be outside in order to enjoy the benefits of walking. This simple exercise can be achieved with a treadmill or by simply walking in place while tuning into a favorite movie or television show.

Anyone who has been diagnosed as having clinical depression or other illnesses should not ignore, or disregard, his/her medical treatment program. Walking is simply a way to sometimes add further improvement to certain conditions. A simple 30 minute walk can benefit an individual’s mood, improve cardiovascular health and combat obesity all at the same time.

In order to be effective, many people find that a daily walking schedule will help to keep them motivated and improve their spirits. In addition, a regular schedule will ensure that there is a time set aside for a walk. It’s very easy to think, “I’ll get around to it later,” but something more often than not will distract individuals away from exercise unless they have a certain schedule that is followed every day.

The information in this article is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered as, or used in place of, medical advice or professional recommendations for an exercise regimen. Every individual should consult his/her physician prior to beginning any program consisting of diet and/or exercise.

By: Aurel Radulescu

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How To Manage Anxiety - 3 Tips For Better Mental Health

How To Manage Anxiety - 3 Tips For Better Mental Health

Some people are termed worrywarts. They are those who always worry about their kids jumping too high on the trampoline or their husbands driving too fast. Their worries can be brought on by their pessimistic or cautious nature and this is quite normal.

However, when their worries become unrealistic to the point of inducing restlessness, headaches and insomnia, this becomes a whole new field called anxiety. Doctors often give advice on how to manage anxiety by prescribing medications to relieve the symptoms. However, most people would rather use natural methods and cure the root of their problem rather than depend on drugs for help.

There are many ways that anxiety can be curbed without taking prescription pills to stop the headaches or induce sleep. One has to understand that anxiety is a psychological disorder that manifests itself through headaches, sleeplessness, irritability, and difficulty focusing on one task, restlessness, muscle pain and general lethargy and in some cases, nausea. Treating these symptoms will not cure the anxiety.

It will only address the immediate symptoms but it will keep coming back. Managing anxiety is therefore a personal struggle that can be done through a simple change in lifestyle and some techniques that can help you along the way.

1. Positivism - For people who consider themselves pessimist, this might be as alien a concept as, well extraterrestrials. However, acknowledging the fact that there is a problem with how you look at things can help you treat anxiety. Try to look at the positive side of things, the half-full-glass aspect if you will. The mind is a powerful thing often exerting a powerful influence on the body. A state of positive thinking can improve and influence the workings of your nervous system, the digestive tracts, endocrine glands and the circulatory system.

2. Talk about it - It could be a friend, your partner or your parents. It doesn't matter as long as you relive yourself emotionally of the burden. If you have financial worries, it could help talking to your spouse, friend or family and try to figure out a solution to your problem. You can even consult a psychologist who can give you advice on how to manage anxiety. Being pro-active can shift all that worry and concentration to a more productive activity.

3. Engage in physical activities - Hit the gym, go on camping trips with your family or join the local volleyball or soccer team. These activities can help you ease your mind over the problems at hand. It will help you refrain from worrying and the endorphins that you get from exercising can give a lighter and happier mood. You can focus all that nervous energy into something more constructive. How you manage anxiety will only be a matter of mind over matter.

By: Howard Guy
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Common Threads Of Our Mental Health

The Common Threads Of Our Mental Health

Mental disorders are more common than you might think. As a society, we place people into categories so that our world will have a better since of order. For example, if you have symptoms of depression then you are tagged as a depressed person.

Likewise, if you have obsessive thought than you are considered OCD. But what if labeling is wrong? Maybe having a certain disorder isn't unusual or in need of a category. The line between a person with a disorder and one without is becoming blurred.

How many times have you checked the door to see if it is locked? You know you locked it but yet you still check more than once. How about anxiety? How many people have felt some level of anxiety in their life? What about phobias?

How many people do you know who have a fear of heights, spiders, roaches, public speaking or fear of failing? How many times have you felt down and out for a prolonged period of time? The answer to these questions is more than likely a lot.
So we all feel the same things. It is interesting to see that humans, universally, are very much alike. We have a lot of the same feelings, we think a lot of the same thoughts and we have the same desires. Universally, we share common threads, threads that invariably link us to one another. If we didn't feel the same, then we couldn't relate, sympathize or have empathy. There could be no communication. We all have said at some point, “I know how you feel.” This knowledge comes from experiencing and feeling the same thoughts and emotions.

Now, we all know that symptoms in one individual manifest at a greater strength than others. This is where the labeling comes in. We see a common strand intensified and we assume that that person has a problem separate from our own. If someone is sad, then they are just that, sad. But if their sadness is disrupting everyday life then they become categorized. Look, the purpose of this is not to debunk what has been years of research in psychology, but rather it is to make us aware that there is in fact, a common bond.

It is important that we understand that labels don’t define us. We are more than our symptoms. Often times, people with a “disorder” feel ostracized because of the disorder. They feel that because they suffer from depression, for instance, that they are a depressing person. It is imperative that we realize and accept that someone, maybe ourselves, have a label but we are not the label.

By: Eric Richardville 
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Thursday, May 14, 2009

How Do You Improve Your Mental Health

How Do You Improve Your Mental Health

When most people think of health, they immediately think about physical health. Many make the mistake that ensuring the body is physically healthy is all a person needs to be healthy. While it is true that being physically healthy can impact a person’s mental health in a positive way, there are many people out there who suffer from poor mental health even though they are relatively physically healthy.

The fact is that a person’s mental health is just as important as a person’s physical health. Both go hand in hand with keeping a person happy and their body healthy. Think about how some people are when they have poor mental health? Their bodies tend to suffer as a result, whether it is by gaining excessive weight or they have developed a devastating addiction; both of these can lead to poor physical health.

Good mental health is extremely important if one wishes to ward of depression. However, if one believes they are suffering from some depression and are feeling unhappy or sad most days, there are some things a person can do in order to improve their mood and their mental health. The first is to get enough sleep. It can never be stressed enough that the average person in North America just doesn’t get enough sleep.

The lack of sleep can lead to fatigue and emotional behavior. It is also important that a person eat well. If the body isn’t getting the right nutrients or vitamins, a person’s mental health can be negatively affected because the body is lacking what it needs. Exercising can also improve a person’s mood and mental health. Changing up the regular routine or going out more with friends can also go a long way in improving the mood.

There are some people, however, who have a difficult time improving their mood and their mental health and the above suggestions don’t seem to work. It could be that the depression is being caused by some issues from the past, could be a hereditary condition or it could be that the person has been depressed for so long they don’t know how else to act. If any of these situations are the case, then consulting an online therapist might be a good idea. All one has to do is go online, do a quick search and then contact a therapist who is offering their services online.

Online therapy is becoming so common these days because it is convenient and it is an easy way of getting help without having to leave the home. Most people feel more comfortable with staying in there own home and consulting through online counseling. An online therapist can easily work with the patient to find out what might be causing their depression and they can then help the patient get out of their depression. Many people who have participated in online therapy for their depression have been successfully treated and are living better lives as a result. Anyone who believes they might be depressed and don’t know how to get out of it should contact an online counselor.

By: Dr. Jennifer B. Baxt, DMFT, NCC, DCC
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Monday, May 4, 2009

A Consideration Of Mental Health

A Consideration Of Mental Health

Mental health is a phrase that gets tossed about a lot -- this is true especially during the few decades prior to this one -- but its full meaning often gets shorted. Casual mental health discussions usually focus on significant disorders: schizophrenic condition, bipolar condition, sociopathic tendencies, even Alzheimer's disease. But what gets left out in these sorts of discussions is how mental health affects each of our lives, without exception.

Mental health emphasis is typically on disorder. A person with some sort of a condition is mentally unhealthy, while a person free of condition possesses mental health. This sort of thinking is problematic in a couple of ways. Firstly, many people with legitimate mental health conditions go undiagnosed. The world is filled with the mentally and emotionally undiagnosed.

The second problem is that mental health is not simply an absence of a diagnosed condition, or presenting symptoms. In other words, mental health isn't simply about lacking; mental health is equally about having.

Being mentally healthy means a number of things: coping successfully with the setbacks life invariably presents; healthy relationships with loved ones; functional relations regular acquaintances -- coworkers, for example; and integrating successfully into general society. These traits can certainly be absent in people who don't show symptoms or indications of mental illness.

In the event that one does lack these coping and social interaction capabilities, would they be considered mentally ill? Very unlikely under current definitions. But perhaps current definitions should be changed. An argument could be made that the lack of coping or interaction skills does, in fact, indicate mental illness, particularly when acting out, or the use of drugs or alcohol, is a response to poor coping. Habitually angry or addicted people don't typically fall under the label of mentally ill. Were this to change, large numbers of people might be encouraged to get some form of mental health care.

The argument against broadening the definition of mental illness, and encouraging more people to seek psychological treatment, is that seeking psychological treatment for common dysfunction is overkill, is intrusive, and is akin to sedating large sections of the population. But mental health treatment needn't be oppressive, or sedating, at all. This is not a suggestion to pass out pharmaceuticals in bunches -- even more than they're being passed out already.

Mental health treatment, at its core, should emphasize the teaching of coping techniques. This is different than changing a person's reality. Let the reality remain the same: just change the dysfunctional strategies and methods people use to cope. This approach needn't involve using pharmaceutical treatment at all.

Mental health treatment has a long history, and during much of that history pharmaceuticals weren't even available. People don't need to use pharmaceuticals to treat basic emotional and psychological functioning. Let's get that truth out in the open, where it belongs.

By: Scotch Q. Ennis
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Good Mental Health - Perception, Reality, & Solutions

Good Mental Health - Perception, Reality, & Solutions
By O'Della Wilson

Good mental health is a real challenge these days. While we can say it's simply how we 'choose' to look at life and that is an accurate statement to some extent, perception will always differ person to person. It's that perception that leads one person to a different conclusion than another. Reality dictates the many complexities of something so complex [the brain] which still holds many unknowns is not such a simple thing.

Keeping a healthy mind is not always easy with the demands and responsibilities of today's society. While every family has challenges, some will have more than others. For some families the challenges can seem overwhelming. Regardless of what your family's personal challenges might be, a healthy attitude makes for a happier life.

The problem for most of us, is when a crisis hits us personally, we are rarely prepared. Even those with great coping skills can be caught off guard when tragedy strikes.

So how do we change this? Is there even a way to prepare for the expected, much less the unexpected? Simply stated: Yes! Although getting there is not so simple. It is a process, through practice, that is applied on a daily basis. Some days will require great effort to obtain a balance of thought. Other days, the process will flow with great ease. And unfortunately, there will be days where no matter how hard we try, balance will elude us at every turn.

The good news is that we have the power to minimize those days of unbalance and create a positive balance for all others. We must change the way we 'feed' our mind. As with our body, a healthy intake will provide a healthy balance. But first, we must have a plan of progress, to utilize and refine a positive process in our daily lives. Just as sleep, food, and breathing are daily prerequisites, maintaining a healthy mindset must be placed in this category.

Unlike breathing, eating or sleeping, positivity does not come so naturally though. So we must practice a healthy mindset for it to become a naturally occurring presence in our lives. Just as we learned to read, write or use mathematics by practice and use, we can also learn the skills of maintaining good mental health.

The best approach to implementing this practice is upon waking. Your state of mind upon waking and how you 'choose' your attitude in facing each new day, can drastically alter the way your day progresses. If we focus on ALL the things we have before us each day, we will start the day feeling overwhelmed and defeated.
Each new day is a present, a precious gift that affords us the opportunity to improve upon past days. We possess and acquire new experience every day of our lives.

We tend not to think in these terms, but rather we focus on the shortcomings of our prior decisions. This must be your next step (change) to a positive healthy mind.

Rather than focusing on the negative, we must find the positive of every situation. There is a positive side to every situation. And for those times of personal loss, we must focus on the thought of a greater unknown cause. While that might sound cliche' it can be your lifeline in those darkest hours.

Most of us have such a hectic schedule that the slightest variation can alter every successive task that ensues the rest of our day. It is at this point, for many of us, that our thinking and outlook shifts into a negative mode. I have often heard people say, "this has ruined my entire day" or "this has ruined all my plans for the day!" With that shift in thinking where one expects bad things to follow, that is exactly what one will find. We find only what we seek! So, it becomes crucial at that point [altered plans, unexpected events] that we maintain a positive focus.

Each event that alters our plan must be thought of as an 'individual' event; and the last such [altered or unexpected] event of the day. Expecting the rest of our day to exceed our expectations will keep us focused with a positive outlook of expectations.

For those days where it seems everything has gone wrong, we must look at those days as learning tools. Make note of your reaction and how you chose to handle the given situations. Is there a way you could have handled or resolved your situation better? If so, store that memory as a coping skill. If not, you must think of it as a learning tool you haven't yet mastered or an event that served a future purpose. That future purpose being of a significant or better outcome in the long term of all things. Either way, it is not something to 'dwell' upon; thus you must allow your mind to release the experiences.

Think of your mind as a massive database, containing tens of thousands of files with subcategories. The thought can be rather overwhelming. Yet, if our mindset is of a different state, the thought is rather comforting and reassuring. Allow me to elaborate this thought to you:

You enter a large room, lined with one file cabinet after another, row after row. Each of those cabinets contain several drawers, that contain one file after another. Some drawers are packed tightly with folder after folder, each folder contains a massive amount of documents within. Each of those documents contain massive amounts of information and facts. Trying to process all of these aspects, containing all of these facts and information at once ... the impact of all these things at once is mind boggling and overwhelming. The most astute mind can shut down.

Now, let's look at this from a different perspective - You enter a large room, just like the one presented above. Rather than allowing your mind to overload with thoughts of the massive amounts of information here [more than you could ever process or absorb], let's focus instead on our most eminent need for the moment. The information that will 'feed' our current needs. We approach the first few cabinets and find they are labeled, thus a system is in place.

Now we can set our focus on only one cabinet, the one which contains the information we need presently. But, remembering that for every future need we might have, we can return later and focus on that particular cabinet containing the information for that current need. Our perception becomes one of a positive mindset, with the assurance our needs will be met today and in future also. At this point this room is no longer overwhelming, but one of comfort.

With the proper mindset, a healthy mind will follow. With enough practice it becomes habit, which takes less effort. The less our brain is taxed, the more focused we are and the more energy we reserve. This focus and reserve will carry us through those future circumstances of the 'unexpected' that tend to deplete us so completely otherwise. With the proper mindset, one can extract the positive from the negative. The more positive our focus remains, the happier our lives will be. And while there are physical conditions beyond our control, we all possess the ability to maintain good mental health. And, good mental health can actually improve poor physical health.

Article Source:'Della_Wilson  

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Men And The Issue Of Mental Health

Men And The Issue Of Mental Health

They usually wait six months before getting help or advice and some men, in fact around 50% of them, may even wait a year if they feel ill. Of course, if they break a bone or two, they will attend a clinic, but that’s usually because they have no alternative. If men thought a broken bone would “clear up” given time, they would struggle on with it. This unusual attitude from a normally logical and clever species is down partly to nature, but it also has an awful lot to do with old-fashioned attitudes. Thankfully, modern men are becoming more health conscious than previous generations of men.

A typical modern young dude cares deeply about how he looks and not just about his attire, hair and skin. Underneath the right clothes for him, is the best body in the world and regular visits to the gym ensure that it stays that way. Of course, health checks are becoming more necessary today for insurance and other types of health cover, and these reasons have encouraged more men than ever to have regular physical health checks. Yet they still seem very reluctant to discuss emotional problems.

Even the very word ‘emotion’ sends some men reaching for their keys because they’ve suddenly remembered they should be elsewhere. This reluctance to discuss the issues surrounding emotions and mental health has had disastrous results for some men. In the U.K. alone, suicides outnumber deaths from car accidents in men between the ages of 15 and 34. This is a definite indicator that the mental health needs of men are being overlooked by themselves or by society.

Admitting they’ve had enough will help and little things can be done to ease the stress on their brains. For example, less time on mobile phones will reduce any high blood pressure levels raised because of radio frequency electromagnetic constriction. A glass or two of wine at the end of a busy day is beneficial, but too much alcohol leads to depression. Eating the correct, mood enhancing, foods, such as tuna, milk, yogurt and chicken, all of which contain tryptophan, will help men’s minds. Taking the car less and walking more, or taking the car out of town to a place where they can walk far, take photographs, or just daydream and blow the cobwebs away, will help. Even in the direst of circumstances, laughter too, is a tonic.

By: Curt Sterling

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Alzheimers Disease And Mental Health Treatment

Alzheimers Disease And Mental Health Treatment

One of the most insidious forms of dementia affecting the elderly today is Alzheimer's disease which is characterized by a gradual but increasing loss of memory about normal everyday occurrences. We all suffer slight memory loss which is quite normal but as Alzheimer's progresses this condition becomes much more severe.

The availability of information surrounding the condition has never been greater so it is worth arming yourself if you think someone close may have the early signs of the disease so you can visit your physician at an early stage. Fortunately the advent of the internet has made it easier to find information relating to Alzheimer's disease and what if any, treatments are available but other sources can help to like outreach organizations and of course you doctor.

The slow and devastating progression of Alzheimer's can strike any gender and any socioeconomic portion of society. Public knowledge of the condition grew when the media started reporting on it when the late ex president of America, Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with the disease a few years ago.

Information on Alzheimer's disease is necessary so that family and friends can keep an eye on one another as we age but now new drugs to slow or inhibit the progression of Alzheimer's are being released into the market regularly in the hope that the disease process may one day be halted and a cure found. To make matters worse, if current statistics are to be believed then ten percent of those over the age of 65 have Alzheimer's at varying stages of development.

This figure rises to fifty percent for those aged 85 years and older but the problem is that Alzheimer's is not a natural age related disease. This figure relates to a massive forty million people in just America having this condition by the year 2050 with costs for each patient around 40 thousand dollars a year.

Additional Alzheimer's disease information studies have shown a hereditary link for acquiring Alzheimer's, and that in such cases, family members in their late 40's and early 50's are contracting the disease. Knowledge of symptoms associated with Alzheimer's can be useful if you notice that someone close is having problems with severe memory loss or is having a problem with basic language.

The condition also has other symptoms which can also be easily recognized such as the person is often confused and cannot think clearly which will often cause mood swings as they do not understand what is going on. Early recognition has been proved to be successful in the slowing down of this incurable disease but it requires we learn what symptoms to look for before we contact a doctor.

Do not delay seeking medical treatment if you believe you know someone whether a loved one or not may have the condition as it can make all the difference.

By: Thulas Sukati

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mental Health Problem

Mental Health Problem

Research indicates that around 1 in 4 of us will experience some kind of a mental health problem at some point in our lives. We cannot predict who they will be and we cannot identify one single cause but instead it would appear that a combination of biochemical, psychological, environmental and even genetic factors can all play a role in triggering a mental health problem.

The most common types of mental health problems are anxiety related disorders and depression. Many very mild cases of anxiety and depression can be alleviated or even eliminated by learning some simple self help techniques and sometimes it can be a matter of just making some simple lifestyle adjustments. If you are feeling slightly stressed, a bit down in the dumps or a little anxious, then you could try the following to see if they make a difference.

Self help techniques

• Identify any worries you have and speak about how you feel with friends and loved ones
• Cut down on alcohol, smoking, tea, coffee and other stimulants
• Eat a balanced and healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables
• Make sure you are getting enough Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet in the form of oily fish twice a week or fish oil supplements
• Try to relax or even meditate and spend some time each day just for yourself
• Make sure you are getting enough exercise

However, if you are feeling excessively anxious or panicky or worried or if the way you are feeling is affecting your ability to get on with your day to day routines then you shouldn't try to deal with it on your own. In these cases it won't just go away so you should discuss how you feel with your doctor at the earliest opportunity who may decide to prescribe some medication if he or she feels it might help, or in certain cases you could also be offered some form of talking therapy or counselling or even a combination of treatments.

Anxiety and depression can also mask other potentially more serious mental problems so any indication of mental distress should be taken seriously. Without appropriate help and treatment, mental illness can continue for years and the individual concerned will suffer needlessly. So what are the main symptoms to look out for?

Recognising there is a problem

Most of the following symptoms can be experienced by any one of us at times and can be a perfectly normal part of life. It is when the symptoms are prolonged and persistent in that they have continued for more than a couple of weeks and when they interfere with normal routines and day to day living that some form of depressive disorder is indicated and you may need some sort of treatment or clinical intervention in order to help you get back to your old self.

• Persistent feelings of sadness, loneliness or despair
• Feeling tired or lethargic most of the time
• Feeling unworthy and guilty and deserving of punishment or blame
• Sleep disturbances which can either be sleeping too much or not sleeping at all
• Changes in eating patterns and associated weight loss or weight gain
• Loss of libido and lack of interest in sex
• Feeling anxious and fearful most of the time for no apparent reason
• Emotional outbursts or displaying anger and hostility to others without real cause
• Unable to think clearly or have difficulty making decisions
• Talking or thinking about death and suicide
• Attempted suicide

Another more potentially serious type of depressive disorder is bipolar disorder (manic depression) which is believed to affect around 1 in every 100 people. Bipolar is a lifelong disorder characterised by extreme fluctuations in mood from manic episodes or "highs" to depressive episodes or "lows". There is no set pattern and each individual will experience it differently. Some additional symptoms to look out for include the following:

• An increase in energy and activity, feeling restless
• Experiencing excessively high and euphoric moods
• Racing thoughts, talking quickly, jumping from one idea to another
• Experiencing hallucinations or delusions
• Unrealistic beliefs in one's abilities and powers
• Poor judgment, spending sprees, unrealistic ideas
• A lasting period of behaviour that is markedly different from usual
• Provocative or aggressive behaviour
• Denial that anything is wrong


If you suspect that you or someone close to you is suffering from any kind of mental health problem then it is important to speak to a doctor. Untreated mental health problems can have a devastating effect on just about every area of life including family, relationships and work, not to mention quality of life in general.

Many people are afraid of admitting that they might have a mental health problem and see it is a sign of weakness. This is simply not the case. People with mental health problems cannot help how they feel and behave, but even in the most serious cases, the right treatment can dramatically improve the symptoms and the illness can be controlled. Mental health problems on the whole are treatable and the majority of people who seek help will find that they can regain control of their lives and go on to make a full recovery.

By: David McEvoy
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Monday, January 5, 2009

Alternative Approaches To Mental Health Care

Alternative Approaches To Mental Health Care

An alternative approach to mental health care that emphasizes the interrelationship between mind, body, and spirit can play an important role in recovery and healing. Although some people with mental health problems recover using alternative methods alone, most people combine them with other, more traditional treatments such as therapy and, perhaps, medication. It is crucial, however, to consult with your health care providers about the approaches you are using to achieve mental wellness.


Acupuncture is one of the alternative therapies that are getting a lot of attention for mental health. In this practice, your body is regarded as a system of energetic pathways. When one of these pathways is disrupted, it can cause mental health problems. When the acupuncturist identifies the blocked pathway, however, and then inserts a needle into the area, they can help to improve the energy movement, reducing the mental health symptoms. Though this was once dismissed as a false science, more studies are showing that these needle treatments do work - and they can work in the long term. You can find acupuncture practitioners in nearly every city by heading to your local phone book.

Exercise and Diet

While this may not be considered alternative, most people wouldn't think that lifestyle changes could contribute to their mental health. But it's true. Since your body is comprised of a vast number of systems that require the proper nutrition and blood flow in order to work properly, it stands to reason that taking on healthy habits will allow you to also improve the mental health of your body. Nerve cells that are well-nourished may be better able to stay balanced. An attempt to add thirty minutes of exercise to every day and eating a healthier diet is a great start.


Used for centuries, the practice of meditation is still considered a great way to calm the mind and often still any mental health disorders. By sitting in a comfortable position and simply trying to clear the thoughts from your mind, people have noticed they feel more centered and serene. A person does not have to sit in a lotus position or even chant in order for this practice to work. Take about ten minutes a day to sit in a quiet place in your home (wearing headphones to drown out noises if you can't find peace and quiet) and simply let any thoughts that enter into the mind out again. Whenever you begin to think about something, just let it go and focus on your breathing. In time, you will have fewer and fewer thoughts, helping to relax your body as well as your mental issues.

Massage therapy: The underlying principle of this approach is that rubbing, kneading, brushing, and tapping a person's muscles can help release tension and pent emotions. It has been used to treat trauma-related depression and stress. A highly unregulated industry, certification for massage therapy varies widely from State to State. Some States have strict guidelines, while others have none.


When you believe in something greater than yourself, research is shows that you might have a smaller chance of mental health issues. There seems to be something about recognizing the idea that you aren't in control of everything, so when you give that control to someone or something else through prayer, you can begin to find balance in life. By simply sitting down and praying each day, you can begin to establish your place in the world.

Music/Sound Therapy: It is no coincidence that many people turn on soothing music to relax or snazzy tunes to help feel upbeat. Research suggests that music stimulates the body's natural "feel good" chemicals (opiates and endorphins). This stimulation results in improved blood flow, blood pressure, pulse rate, breathing, and posture changes. Music or sound therapy has been used to treat disorders such as stress, grief, depression, schizophrenia, and autism in children, and to diagnose mental health needs.

By: Franchis

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