17.12.09

Alternative Methods and Alternative Therapies

What are alternative approaches to mental health care? An alternative approach to mental health care is one that emphasizes the interrelationship between mind, body, and spirit. Although some alternative approaches have a long history, many remain controversial. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health was created in 1992 to help evaluate alternative methods of treatment and to integrate those that are effective into mainstream health care practice.

It is crucial, however, to consult with your health care providers about the approaches you are using to achieve mental wellness.
Diet and Nutrition - Adjusting both diet and nutrition may help some people with mental illnesses manage their symptoms and promote recovery. For example, research suggests that eliminating milk and wheat products can reduce the severity of symptoms for some people who have schizophrenia and some children with autism. Similarly, some holistic/natural physicians use herbal treatments, B-complex vitamins, riboflavin, magnesium, and thiamine to treat anxiety, autism, depression, drug-induced psychoses, and hyperactivity.
Pastoral Counseling - Some people prefer to seek help for mental health problems from their pastor, rabbi, or priest, rather than from therapists who are not affiliated with a religious community. Counselors working within traditional faith communities increasingly are recognizing the need to incorporate psychotherapy and/or medication, along with prayer and spirituality, to effectively help some people with mental disorders.
Animal Assisted Therapies - Working with an animal (or animals) under the guidance of a health care professional may benefit some people with mental illness by facilitating positive changes, such as increased empathy and enhanced socialization skills. Animals can be used as part of group therapy programs to encourage communication and increase the ability to focus. Developing self-esteem and reducing loneliness and anxiety are just some potential benefits of individual-animal therapy (Delta Society, 2002).

Alternative Therapies-Part 2
Biofeedback: Learning to control muscle tension and "involuntary" body functioning, such as heart rate and skin temperature, can be a path to mastering one's fears. It is used in combination with, or as an alternative to, medication to treat disorders such as anxiety, panic, and phobias. For example, a person can learn to "retrain" his or her breathing habits in stressful situations to induce relaxation and decrease hyperventilation. Some preliminary research indicates it may offer an additional tool for treating schizophrenia and depression.
Guided Imagery or Visualization: This process involves going into a state of deep relaxation and creating a mental image of recovery and wellness. Physicians, nurses, and mental health providers occasionally use this approach to treat alcohol and drug addictions, depression, panic disorders, phobias, and stress.
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.
Telemedicine: Plugging into video and computer technology is a relatively new innovation in health care. It allows both consumers and providers in remote or rural areas to gain access to mental health or specialty expertise. Telemedicine can enable consulting providers to speak to and observe patients directly. It also can be used in education and training programs for generalist clinicians. Telephone counseling: Active listening skills are a hallmark of telephone counselors.
Electronic communications: Technologies such as the Internet, bulletin boards, and electronic mail lists provide access directly to consumers and the public on a wide range of information. On-line consumer groups can exchange information, experiences, and views on mental health, treatment systems, alternative medicine, and other related topics.
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11.12.09

Agoraphobia

The fear of traveling is the common definition of agoraphobia. This can be a serious condition in which a person isn't able to leave the home at all or it can be a mild disorder in which a person can't travel more than a few hours away from home. When a person attempts to go beyond what is considered their "safe" boundaries then they go into an agoraphobia panic attack.


Starting by taking baby steps is the best way a person can slow their agoraphobia panic attacks. In order to finally master their fears the individual must set specific goals to overcome their panic attacks. Family and friends are the best people to help a person through this process.

To the sufferers themselves an agoraphobia panic attack is very frustrating. This is because an agoraphobic attack is often less rational than the typical panic attacks.
A fear of public places, especially those where there is a large gathering of people such as a grocery store can develop from a social anxiety. An individual who suffers from general panic disorders can become embarrassed of their disorder, which can then cause a fear of traveling and suffering a panic attack in public.

The only way for a person to overcome these attacks is to push their limits, which makes treatment of agoraphobia panic attack difficult. Before getting better many agoraphobics tend to get worse for this reason. Since all an individual has to do is stay within their "safe" zone they tend to ignore their agoraphobic problem. However, while the problem can be easy to ignore it is a stifling symptom that comes from a chronic panic disorder.

Little by little, agoraphobia can be overcome. It takes time and a lot of patience. This is one time the person with this disorder must learn to turn to someone trusted to help them through.


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8.12.09

Adult Attention Deficit Disorder

Adult attention deficit disorder, or adult ADD, can be a very frustrating condition to have. Almost all of the initial research and focus for the attention deficit disorders was focused on children and adolescents, but adults are just as likely to have the condition as youths. The disorder normally makes itself apparent during childhood, with difficulties at school being one of the most common hallmarks of the condition, which helps to explain why so much focus has been on children with the disease.
But children with attention deficit disorder grow up to be adults with attention deficit disorder.
If you are an adult and you are having trouble focusing at work, difficulty listening to people in everyday conversations, find yourself interrupting people a lot, losing things frequently, are easily distracted from tasks, are easily frustrated or find yourself feeling over stimulated often, you may have adult attention deficit disorder.
Treatment for the disorder mirrors the treatments used for children with the condition. The first step you need to take if you suspect you may have an adult attention deficit condition is to see a doctor. There are other disorders that can mimic an adult attention deficit condition, such as anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, or bipolar disorder, and it is important that these be ruled out before trying treatments.
Most health professionals will agree that there are also a number of non-medication based steps you can take to alleviate some of your symptoms. Getting regular vigorous exercise has been shown to help a lot of people with ADD. Also a diet high in lean protein is recommended. Keeping lists, writing notes, breaking large tasks down into smaller parts and taking other similar steps to counter your disorder will certainly help as well. Medication is also another option. Talk with your doctor and decide together what method is best for you.

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2.12.09

Addiction and Personality Disorder

Substance abuse and dependence (alcoholism, drug addiction) is only one form of recurrent and self-defeating pattern of misconduct. People are addicted to all kinds of things: gambling, shopping, the Internet, reckless and life-endangering pursuits. Adrenaline junkies abound.

The connection between chronic anxiety, pathological narcissism, depression, obsessive-compulsive traits and alcoholism and drug abuse is well established and common in clinical practice. But not all narcissists, compulsives, depressives, and anxious people turn to the bottle or the needle.

Frequent claims of finding a gene complex responsible for alcoholism have been consistently cast in doubt. In 1993, Berman and Noble suggested that addictive and reckless behaviors are mere emergent phenomena and may be linked to other, more fundamental traits, such as novelty seeking or risk taking. Psychopaths (patients with Antisocial Personality Disorder) have both qualities in ample quantities. We would expect them, therefore, to heavily abuse alcohol and drugs. Indeed, as Lewis and Bucholz convincingly demonstrated in 1991, they do. Still, only a negligible minority of alcoholics and drug addicts are psychopaths.

What has been determined is that most addicts are narcisstic in personality. Addictions serve his purpose. They place him above the laws and pressures of the mundane and away from the humiliating and sobering demands of reality. They render him the center of attention - but also place him in "splendid isolation" from the maddening and inferior crowd.

Such compulsory and wild pursuits provide a psychological exoskeleton. They are a substitute to quotidian existence. They afford the narcissist with an agenda, with timetables, goals, and faux achievements. The narcissist - the adrenaline junkie - feels that he is in control, alert, excited, and vital. He does not regard his condition as dependence. The narcissist firmly believes that he is in charge of his addiction that he can quit at will and on short notice.

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Abilify

More than two million people within the United States suffer from schizophrenia, a chemical imbalance within the brain. Schizophrenia has a variety of symptoms that have a direct effect on the ability to relate with others, make decisions, manage emotions, and have clear trains of thought. If you are one of the many people in the nation suffering from schizophrenia, you should talk to your physician about

Abilify.
Abilify can help in reducing a number of symptoms experienced by schizophrenics. For example, taking Abilify can help you regain interest again in things you once loved. It can also clear your mind leaving you less you confused and free from disturbing or uncomfortable thoughts and could prevent hallucinations.
When taking Abilify, you could start feeling better in as little as one to two weeks. However, no two people are the same, and every person reacts differently to medications, therefore, it is important to keep taking the medicine even if you do not start to feel better right away.
What is great about Abilify, is that you can treat schizophrenia without having to cater your day around the medication. As a once daily medication, you only have to remember one dose and the rest of the day is yours. Abilify comes in two different forms - tablet and oral solution. Tablets come in doses of 5, 10, 15, 20, and 30 milligrams. The oral solution comes in doses of 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 milliliters.
As with any type of medication, Abilify does come with some possible side effects. Some common side effects of the schizophrenia medication include tremors, constipation, restlessness, lightheadedness, and sleepiness. Those taking Abilify may also experience vomiting, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, and headaches. In studies, some patients showed some instances of weight gain while taking Abilify.



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27.11.09

What Effect Nutrition On Mental Health

Have eternal belief that nutrition plays an important role in the mental health of an individual. But whether this is true or not?
Recent and previous studies have shown that nutrition (or lack of it) does not have an effect on how a person's brain function, with mood and behavior.

Say for example, someone who has spent the meal is observably weak, out of focus and irritable. This case is worse when extended for a period of time when people become very depressed and indifferent to the demands of the environment that shows a decrease in speed of reaction time.

This behavior occurs because of lack of supply of nutrients to the brain. The brain requires high energy and nutrient supply. Consists, in fact, 20% to 30% of the entire body's energy consumption during the break. Thus, any change in diet or nutrition levels directly reflect the body in mental function.

Chronic energy deficiency, as in the case of people who are malnourished, in the end result to close the body by reducing its activities and direct all energy sources to supply systems that require higher energy. This result is to change the level of activity, changes in hormone levels, decreased immune system efficiency and transport nutrients and oxygen to the body parts of some, all of which directly or indirectly may affect mental health. People with very low nutrient more likely to be sad, depressed and emotionally than those who have adequate nutrition.

Fetus newborn and also vulnerable to brain damage if they are malnourished required. The type and extent of damage depends on the severity of malnutrition. In addition, malnutrition among infants who have been proven to produce low levels of intelligence, cognitive defects and functional abnormalities.

Protein, carbohydrates, lipids and vitamins all have individual effects on the brain. Lack of supply of these necessary nutrients results in changes in neurotransmitter activity, a chemical component in the brain that sends a nerve impulse from one nerve cell to another. Interference function of the transmitter can affect a person's mood, thinking and even sleep patterns. In addition, the level of malnutrition can cause nerve cell damage that can interfere with cognitive and mental functions.

Neurotransmitters are made in part from amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Trytophan for example, form the neurotransmitter serotonin. If the required amino acids or less, the neurotransmitter function can not be executed affecting the normal functioning of the brain. In the case of lack of protein consumption and failure to supply amino acids needed to make serotonin, the body will experience mood and may be low, aggression. On the other hand, a disease that can lead to build a particular amino acid can cause brain damage that affects the mental health of an individual.

Mood regulation also can be associated with fat intake enough food. Some studies have produced inconclusive results about the correlation between serotonin levels and the intake of omega-3 fatty acids, certain types of fat found only in the white fish to stress and symptoms of bipolar disorder (mood disorder has the representation of both mania and depression).

Directly or indirectly, nutrition has an effect on mental health. Changes in nutrient intake of one can cause a change in mental health and vice versa.

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Overview of Mental Health Counseling

Mental health counseling or clinical counseling is a practice in psychology that helps relieve psychological disorders or distress by promoting personal development. It also practices psychotherapy, consultation, forensic investigation specifically forensic testimony, formulation, implementation and evaluation of plans and programs for treatment of psychological dysfunction and research. Because of the nature of this field, it is usually monitored as a mental health profession.

Mental health counseling has its roots from the later part of 19th century. And as the field of psychology grew, branches began to develop, among them is counseling psychology and clinical counseling- both are useful in mental health assessment and counseling.

While closely associated with clinical psychology, there are still marked differences between the two practices.

For one, counseling psychology is used by psychotherapist and counselors to help patients with milder psychopathological concerns. On the other hand, clinical counseling deals with more severe and advance forms of psychological disorders such as schizophrenia and psychosomatic disorders. Examples of disorders that could be treated by counseling psychology are the stress-related disorders. In essence, these are just minor mental health illness that requires very little (if there is any) medical interventions.

This method tries to address minor psychological concerns and make use of counseling techniques. This is possible since patients subjected under this method are still in control of their mind. For example, people who are distressed due to problematic circumstances could seek the professionals who could render counseling psychology.

Counseling psychology focuses more on the personal problems of the person that hamper his mental health. It helps him resolve problems by using non-directive methods, therefore a counseling psychologist would only open options that will help resolve the problem without being suggestive or authoritative. Also, counseling psychology is more focused on rational thinking instead of unconscious functioning.

Second difference is that counseling psychology adheres to humanistic or person-centered approach. Third, it has a different view on the developmental problems associated with mental disorders.

On the other hand, clinical psychology deals more on severe psychological disorders such as clinical manic depression like unipolar and bipolar disorders, sexual dysfunctions such as exhibitionism, fetishism and sadism, phobias, traumas and substance-abuse or dependency.

Because of a more comprehensive and intensive nature of this field, clinical counseling makes use of psychological assessment tools that further confirm the symptoms of disorders among people with disrupted mental health. Mental health assessment is a medium for evaluating symptoms that a person presents. This gives insights to mental health professionals that will guide them in the preparation, administration and evaluation of treatment methods that are apt to the mental health needs of a patient. The process of assessment requires the use of interviews, physical examinations and clinical observations. Also, assessment tools such as intelligence, symptoms questionnaires, personality and neuropsychological tests are widely used. All these contribute significantly to the diagnostic impressions that will be formulated after all data are collected and studied.

Despite of these differences, counseling psychology and clinical counseling are proven to be very effective as mental health counseling methods. Both advocates the use of talk treatment that could either help resolve the problem for the mental health patient or open up indications that may be pointed out as causes of the development of the disorder. In effect, both types of counseling make mental health therapy and recovery feasible.


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