Mental illness awareness week: Become a stigma buster!

Every year, Mental Illness Awareness Week is held during the first full week of October. In 2015, it takes place October 4th through the 10th. During this time, organizations and people across the United States exchange information on mental illness and treatment, learning new ways to combat mental illness and eliminate stigma and discrimination. Continue reading

Ketamine for depression treatment

At any given moment, 15 million Americans are suffering from depression, a debilitating life-changing disease. There are many antidepressant medications available to the public and treatment for the condition usually consists of a combination of medication and therapy. The drug ketamine is gaining popularity among doctors as a treatment for depression though it has not been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) for the purpose. Continue reading

Mental health medications and the conditions they treat

Oftentimes, when a patient is diagnosed with a mental health disorder, they will undergo a treatment plan that includes both therapy and medication. A psychologist will meet with a patient to assist them with cognitive and behavioral therapies and other coping skills, whereas a psychiatrist is licensed to prescribe medication and will determine the specific type, along with the dosage, that is right for them. It is important to note that medications are not intended to be a cure for sufferers, but they will help treat certain symptoms so they are able to function in everyday life. Continue reading

How to handle a mental health emergency

Friends and family learning to cope with a loved one recently diagnosed with a disorder will naturally want to educate themselves on the condition. Of course, this allows for a better understanding of the individual and the opportunity to assist the patient in appropriately helpful ways. However, there may be more extreme instances when professional assistance is immediately required. Such occurrences will often constitute a mental health emergency and it’s important to know when and how to respond accordingly. Continue reading

What is a “Delusional Disorder”?

Delusional disorder is a type of psychosis that can be incredibly difficult to deal with, or be around. Most people would find it very hard to understand how somebody could actually see or hear one thing, but fail to understand the reality of the situation based on internal belief systems. Delusions are paranoid thoughts of actions or situations that haven’t happened, yet a person has an unshakable belief that these events have actually occurred. Delusions can also be described as hallucinations. Common characteristics of a person with DD thinks he or she is being followed, poisoned, conspired against, loved from afar, mistreated, or has a special talent or ability that he or she really doesn’t have. Continue reading

Dialectical behavior therapy for borderline personality disorder

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a very serious personality disorder. It is traditionally marked by unstable moods, emotional dysregulation, impulsivity, interpersonal issues, self-harm, suicidal behavior and unstable relationships. Borderline personality disorder carries a lot of the same attributes as other personality disorders hence the name “borderline” personality disorder. There hasn’t been a specific gene that has been shown to directly cause BPD, however studies in twins suggest this illness has strong hereditary links. Environmental factors such as traumatic life events, childhood abuse or neglect from parents is also said to put people at a higher risk of developing BPD. Because of the trauma factor in BPD, it is very similar to PTSD. Continue reading

Alternative treatments for ADHD

The rise in misdiagnosing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has resulted in an increase in the abuse of ADHD medications. The importance of finding alternative ways to combat lack of concentration, disinterest, depression and hyperactivity is more important than ever in today’s age. ADHD medications are a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, both of which are central nervous system stimulants used to restore the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain. A study done by Dr. Lawrence Diller in 2014, noted how the United States Drug Enforcement Administration maintains records of the annual quotas approved for production by drug companies in the U.S. Annual quotas for approved production are probably the best indicator of the rates of which the drugs are being used.

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Cognitive behavioral therapy for panic attacks

When a person has a panic attack, he or she typically experiences the feeling of impending or current harm along with symptoms such as weakness, dizziness, sweaty palms or a pounding heart. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th Edition, the “attack” can last anywhere from ten minutes to an hour, sometimes even longer. Panic attacks can cause serious problems for those dealing with them. Continue reading

Identifying and treating PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) initially developed from the struggle of Vietnam War veterans suffering and coping with the psychological and physiological after-effects of combat. The National Institute of Mental Health describes PTSD as an anxiety disorder which develops after a traumatic event and it can be caused by various types of traumatic experiences. Child abuse, incest, domestic violence, exposure to death and dying, auto collision, repeated physical abuse, repeated mental abuse, medical complications and/or surgery are all situations which can result in PTSD. Continue reading