Things You Should Know About A Mental Health Counselor

Life is full of unexpected surprises. You never know what the next moment might bring and can even turn a happy-go-lucky person into a total recluse. It often happens that a tragic accident turns an individual's world upside down and thus affects his / her physical and mental heath. While it is easy to overcome physical health problems with the passage of time, it is equally important to pay attention to mental health issues. A mental health counselor is a professional who works to counsel, support and provides guidance to individuals who are facing emotional and mental illness problems. These people engage their clients in multiple sessions trying to find out the root cause and assist them to get their lives back on track. A mental health therapist usually makes use of following approaches to help his / her patients.

Follow a holistic approach

These counselors are aware of the fact that therapy sessions need to be much more than just talking and listening. They use a holistic method to understand the symptoms shown by a patient and do research to recognize the possible illness. They study various issues such as whether the person is being bullied, has depression due to a failed relationship or low marks, career stress, self-image concerns or suicidal tendencies to understand what is affecting the client and then decide on a wellness model to lift him / her out of the mental block.

Makes an attempt to understand culture

Mental health counsel have to deal with patients from varying backgrounds and usually do not have the complete knowledge about their cultures. While cultural differences must not be used to subject an individual to try out activities, a counselor may bring this up in a session to understand the patient's perspective on a particular topic. He / she never asks the patient to alter opinions and only aims to get co-operation from the person to get answers to relevant questions.

Have a flexible approach

Even in today's world, seeking guidance from such counselors is considered a taboo, and people shy away from talking about it in open. This makes the job more strenuous as it gets difficult to address mental health issues of the concerned person on time. Even if they get a chance to conduct therapy sessions, every thing depends on how well the patient responds to the approach. For example, if a child with mental issues refuses to budge to complete a task, the therapist has to use alternative methods to encourage the kid. If there is no positive outcome of a session, counselor keeps patience and instead of creating unnecessary boundaries, it gives another try in the next session.

Make use of different therapies

These counsel use different techniques to understand the exact problem and then take help of various therapies to ensure steady progress. When an individual visits them for the first time, they emphasize learning about the person's background, behavioral attitude, thoughts, emotions and feelings. With these, the therapists perform psychoanalysis of the concerned person and then determine which therapy would be the best. They have different therapies like cognitive behavioral, behavior modification, patient centered, solution focused and eclectic approach. By making use of therapies, they try to motivate an individual to focus on strengths and suppress unwanted feelings.

Make use of assessment tools

When an individual has a mental or emotional instability, it can be testing times for family and can also disrupt the entire family equilibrium. The counselors provide needed support to the patient's family and incorporated assessment tools in the treatment to get better insights about what is troubling the patient. It can be as simple as a question where the person has to tick a check box.

Seeking mental health counseling services can ensure well-being of an individual and even save lives in extreme cases. Instead of neglecting mental issues, one must spread awareness of about such problems and encourage others to seek timely advice.

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Can Mood Swings Be A Symptom Of Mental Problems?

In life, there is happiness, sadness, grief, conflict and several other things. No one can say that they have not come across these phases at some point or the other. It is normal and we expect that these phases of life will pass by with time. But a slight imbalance, that is, mood swings can be a sign that the mental health is not stable as it should be. Most of us are not aware of the limits and tend to lead a normal life. It will be better if they can take the help of an expert to remove out of the problems and be normal again. Read this article to find out the ways to analyze the condition of the mind.

You Have Intense Feelings Every Time

Anger and sadness are just a part of life. But have you measured the intensity of these feelings? How often do you experience them? If it is regular then it is worthwhile to worry. Suppose, you are the one who asserts the worse of any situation then that can be the cause of panic attacks. Life will get constricted because you avoid multiple things in life.

You Do Not Forget a Traumatic Experience

Deaths are always a sad experience. You also tend to feel low when you had a breakup or out of your job. These feelings do not go away, in fact, they affect the daily functioning of a person. It may make one stay lonely from other people. In some people, the reverse conditions can also happen but in extreme form. Both are signs of a troubled mind.

Recurrent Headaches, Stomach-Aches ora Rundown Immune System

Emotional imbalance can upset our body. There can be a few physical ailments that can arise from a stressed mind. Even constant neck pain, muscle twigs can be the cause of emotional distress.

Relationships Getting Strained

Having trouble to communicate with your loved ones or feeling happy while interacting can be a major symptom of the stressed mind. Your body language speaks it all. It is an indication that you need a help to make sure that you feel lively and happy again.

Getting a Bad Feedback at Work

You are feeling disconnected from your job. You are struggling with psychological and emotional issues and then your performance at work is deteriorating. A negative feedback from the manager and the colleges could be a sign that the problems have started.

If you see extreme mood swings bothering you or a dear one, then immediately seek the help of a psychiatrist. Remember that like other diseases, mental illness also has a cure. Avoiding the symptoms can make the situation worse.

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The Kingdom of Fear – All About Anxiety Disorders

Roger is a 34-year-old software engineer, who recently started his first job. He has always been an anxious person and describes himself as being on edge all the time and his wife feels he unnecessarily worries all the time. Every morning he wakes up dreading going to work, playing in his mind all the things that could go wrong. Traffic, angry boss, power cut, failed presentation, smelly socks and what not. This is often associated with physical sensations of uneasiness, abdominal discomfort and constant muscle tension. These thoughts detract his attention away from his daily work and interactions and his productivity and relations suffer. He also has episodes of overwhelming fear associated with feelings of doom and loss of control, which occurs out of the blue and are accompanied by chest discomfort, tremors, palpitations and sweating. These episodes are usually followed by a medical consult which reveals no abnormal findings and ends with reassurance from a cardiologist that his body is fine and that he should not be so stressed out.

The word anxiety is derived from the Latin word anxietas (which means to choke, throttle, trouble and upset) and encompasses behavioral, affective and cognitive responses to anticipated / perceived danger. While fear is an intense emotional state which is activated in response to objective danger.

Thus anxiety is essentially made of anticipatory “what ifs”.

What if, the test has only questions I do not know?

What if, my child falls ill at school

What if, I get a flat tyre on the way to work?

What if, someone laughs at me?

What if? Someone is hiding in the closet?

Fear and anxiety have strong physiological correlates, remember the last time you were afraid, your heart was pounding, hands trembling, head heavy and that you were drenched in sweat.

A recent study estimated that 20% of the population sufferers from issues related to anxiety disorders. Not including panic attacks. Out of which around 6% suffer from generalized anxiety and around 4.2% from phobias. 20% of the world's population grossly translates to 1.5 billion people!

How do anxiety disorders develop?

Biologically, the seat of emotion in the human brain lies in the limbic system, a network of interconnected structures responsible for emotion, motivation, memory and learning. The limbic system includes structures like the amydala, hippocampus and the hypothalamus connecting it to endocrine system and the autonomous nervous system (controls breathing, heart rate and functions that occur without conscious effort). Anxiety is thus associated with autonomous activation such as increased heart rate, tremors, sweating, palpitations and bowel movements.

Anxiety disorders are also caused by abnormalities in neurotransmitter substances such as serotonin and nor adrenaline

When the body perceives an adverse threat (irrespective of the likelihood of the threat occurring) as real, it activates the autonomic nervous system, pumping the blood to the organs that are essential to either flight or flee from the threat. This leads to physical symptoms (like palpitations), that can worsen anxiety.

Anxiety is reinforced by avoidance. Every time one avoids doing things one is anxious of, there is a temporary relief from the distressing feelings. For example a person with claustrophobia (fear of being in closed spaces) avoids going on a lift, at that moment the threat is neutralized and the behavior that neutralized the threat (avoidance) is reinforced. So the next time avoidance would seem like an effective escape strategy. The only problem is avoidance will reinforce itself. So when one is faced with the situation wherein he “has” to get on an elevator how do you think it would be? Avoiding speaking in front of a crowd will worsen the anxiety exponentially till it becomes a phobia.

How is Anxiety treated?

1) Behavioral therapy – Behavioral therapy includes the extinguishing of aberrant learnt responses and the reinforcement of optimal coping strategies. For example, people suffering from a fear of cats may slowly be exposed to stimuli that remind them of a cat in a graduated manner, until the anxiety response is unlearned.

2) Medications – Benzodiazepines are a class of psychoactive medication that is used as sedatives and hypnotics, which are very effective in controlling anxiety. A number of antidepressants are also very effective in treating anxiety and panic.

Your doctor may choose either of the above or a combination of both in the management of anxiety.

3) Other techniques and self-help measures – Mindfulness, yoga and exercise are great ways in which one can break the anxiety response. Mindfulness is an ancient Buddhist technique wherein you can learn to live in the present and question the validity of your thoughts. It has been proven to help with anxiety and a number of other mental illnesses. People often find their own ways to cope, but avoidance is to be avoided. If an anxiety provoking situation is encountered, its is almost always better to end, rather than avoid.

It is very important to recognize anxiety when it becomes that disruptive emotion which keeps you on edge or that which makes you skip things you like doing. It is essential that you know that you are not alone in this battle and there is help available.

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Blue Whale Challenge – What It Means for You and Me

What Is the Blue Whale Challenge?

The Blue Whale challenge is an online 'game' consisting of 50 challenges that an individual is intended to complete, one by one. Each challenge becomes progressively riskier and more dangerous – including, for instance, watching horror movies, waking up at odd hours in the night, and acts of self-harm. In the final task, the individual is asked to take their own life.

The Blue Whale challenge was created by a 22 year old psychology student, Philip Budeikin, who incited several teenagers to end their lives. He has been suspected to suffer from a psychiatric illness, and while he has been arrested, the game is still broadly popular online.

Why Do Teens Do It?

In order to help young, impressionable minds, it's important to understand why they would engage in such games in the first place.

Teenagers who are suffering from a psychological condition or facing difficulties at home or in school are likely to be insecure and vulnerable, making them easy targets of such games.

Pressure from peers can drive young people to engage in activities in order to be accepted in their friend circles. Some children are more susceptible to being affected by the attitudes and behaviors of their friends.

Psychologists have suggested that certain personality traits, like thrill seeking and being adventurous, make an individual more likely to fall prey to such games. Children who are victims of bullying may also play such games in order to gain a sense of approval for performing these tasks.

Taking Action – What Can You Do?

As Teenagers

It's important to be educated about peer pressure and its effects. Such awareness can play a critical role in helping you inculcate confidence and assertiveness.

  • Be Assertive

You have the right to say 'no'. Realize that you have the choice to do – or not do – something. If you do not feel comfortable with someone or something, do not be afraid to speak up.

  • Be around Friends Who Can Support You

It's important for you to have a social network of friends who are supportive of and respectful towards you.

As Parents

As parents, you need to give the right guidance and support to your children, so that they can feel self-confident and are less vulnerable to the perils of the internet.

  • Be Aware and Supervise

You should make yourself more aware of cyberbullying and other dangers that your children may be facing online. It is vital for you to exercise some degree of supervision over your children's online activities and to have regular conversations with them, so you are aware of any struggles your child may be facing and can take steps necessary to address the problem.

  • Talk to Your Child

Talk to your child about peer pressure, but do it in a setting that is comfortable and non-threatening for both of you. Do not try and be instructional; instead, hear them out and listen to what they have to say. This will help build trust and encourage your child to reach out to you when they are disturbed.

  • Help Them Be Assertive

Tell your children that it's okay to say 'no'. You can also help them rehearse ways to stand up to peer pressure and come up with alternatives to build their confidence.

As Teachers

  • Build Awareness

Schools are key drivers for spreading awareness and promoting the psychological well-being of students. As teachers, you also play an important role in encouraging open discussions about mental health.

  • Look Out for Warning Signs

You need to ensure that you are trained to identify the early signs of emotional difficulties and mental health problems in children. It is important to refer children who have experienced a stressful event and are exhibiting behavioral problems or signs of depression to the school counselor.

The Blue Whale challenge is a wake-up call that embodies the important role that all of us – teenagers, parents and teachers – have to play in preventing further such tragedies. It also highlights the need for identifying the early signs of mental illness and taking timely action for the treatment and rehabilitation of those young people struggling with psychological difficulties.

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Tips on Choosing the Best Therapist For Better Health

Suffering from depression or any other emotional issue? If yes then nothing will be much more healing than consulting a therapist in your locality. Now the big question remains that how to find out the best one who can easily understand and related to the problems of the sufferer. Read this post until the last to get some valid tips on choosing the professional for you or for your loved ones.

1. Stop referring yellow pages

Readers may not agree with this perspective because in most of the occasions they turn for yellow pages to get names of doctors. To get listed on yellow pages is quite expensive, so it is not possible for everyone to get registered and the patients may end up getting treatment from the best possible person.

2. Consult with the people for recommendations you trust

Also known as the pre-screening process is actually very helpful if you do not have any clue about how to find the best psychotherapist. The person may be your close family member, friend, health professional or even your family health consultant. You can also consult with your family member who is a professional, hope it works for the moment.

3. Exploit the web, do not just let it be!

Nowadays, the web is the most powerful and resourceful thing where one can get any and every information. So, start using the information available over the web. There are websites available online which comes with a listing of best experts. The best thing is that the patients can also go for specialists if they refer online or web sources.

4. Stop being gender biased

This is one misconception that male experts are better than females. Being a rational person it is time to get rid of all such misconceptions. Your intentions are to get better treatment and not creating a fuss between male and female. For the record, female psychotherapists are having great success results compared to male professionals. Now, which side to choose?

5. Start calling

Once the lists of experts are ready, it's time to call them and to get the feel for a therapist's style. Usually, they do not charge for the first call. So this is the best way to analyze whether spending pound will be worth enough or not.

6. Make market research

Once the appointment is booked, make sure to make some market research to know about the therapist. Of course, it is not an online or offline shopping but then again opting for a second opinion is not a bad idea at all.

Hope the tips mentioned above will help patients to reach out to the best therapists and get their purpose solved. Remember right decision on right time will reap better results.

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The Power of Self-Talk and Thinking Positive

Are you aware that you talk to yourself all the time? We all do. Our self-talk makes a huge difference in our lives for better or for worse. The question to ask yourself is whether your inner voice is your friend or foe.

Our unconscious is affected by the words we say in the same way that it is when other people talk to us. Thus, how we speak to ourselves can be a powerful tool. Self-talk is the most underutilized available resource to master our minds and improve our lives. Our thoughts influence our feelings, choices, and actions. Positive thinkers are more optimistic, confident, and successful. Their effect is contagious and uplifts friends, coworkers, and loved ones.

Our Role Models

Starting in childhood, our self-talk developments over time. If you've ever watched young children play, you've overheard them talk to themselves, their dolls, action figures, and their friends in words and tone similar to what they've heard from influential adults, especially their parents. How parents talk to them and also how they talk to themselves and each other provide role models. Gradually, children internalize that voice.

This is a positive development that helps children master tasks, comfort themselves, and learn to interact with peers. Patient teachers and parents teach children patience with themselves, but underlining, critical, or angry role models teach children to talk to themselves with doubt, frustration, and scorn.

Codependents grow up in dysfunctional families where parents generally provide ineffective role models, ranging from neglect, emotional reaction, over-control, disapproval, or blatant verbal abuse. Even when well-meaning parents tell their children that they should not feel ashamed or sad, parents are inadvertently shaming their children's authentic feelings. This can lead to internalized shame.

The “Tyrannical Trio:” The Critic, Perfectionist, and Pusher

“Tyrannical Trio” comprised of three inner voices: The Critic, Perfectionist, and Pusher. They work in tandem reinforcing one another and can make life hell. The Perfectionist sets up idealistic standards, the Pusher pushes us to achieve them, and the Critic faults us for never succeeding.

The Perfectionist expects us to be superhuman, ensuring that we'll fail to meet its unattainable standards; the Pusher is a relentless taskmaster, depriving us of enjoyment of life and pleasure; and the Critic tells us we're never good enough. The Pusher and Perfectionist can help us achieve our goals if we have positive perfectionism. But of all three, the Critic does the most damage and can significantly reduce our self-esteem. Moreover, trying something new and making decisions can be near impossible because of anxiety that things will not turn out well. In actuality, we're afraid of our own inner Critic. The Critic is also the essential difference between positive and negative perfectionism.

Most people are not even aware of the amount to which they accuse, blame, and deny themselves. Many people live with the “tyranny of the should's.” They order themselves around and second-guess themselves after the fact. There are those individuals who believe that they must push and punish themselves to improve or achieve anything; otherwise, they're afraid that they'll end up as lumps on the couch. Never mind that they're pushing and reproaching themselves into depression by creating greater unhappiness and dissatisfaction in their lives and those of their families.

Our self-talk can swamp us with anxiety and rumination and overpower us with shame attacks and painful emotions. It can offer comfort and encouragement or make us feel anxious and uniquate. It can provide self-discipline and organization or make us feel overwhelmed and defeated. It can ruin our lives, job opportunities, and relationships, or it can be harnessed to raise our self-esteem, achieve our goals, and uplift our outlook and enjoyment of life.

Changing Our Self-Talk

Although we've grown these inner voices, they can be changed. It first requires our becoming more aware of them and developing mindfulness about our self-talk. There are a number of steps to reform these voices that include gaining an understanding of their motives and standards and learning to modify and counteract them. There are several things you can begin doing immediately.

MINDFULNESS
Until you're acutely aware of your inner voices, you can not change them. Write down your negative self-talk on a daily basis. (Watch this YouTube.) Writing down your negative self-talk, including all the “should” and “should not's,” will make them more conscious and provide you with choices.

SELF-DISTANCING
Practice positive self-talk by addressing yourself in the third-person. This has the effect of “self-distancing” by shifting the focus away from the self.

Research has shown that by calling yourself by name, you begin to talk to yourself as you would a third person. It helps you regulate your emotions, because you're less emotionally aroused and acquire a larger perspective. In effect, your emotional brain is less triggered, and you become wiser. This small change has a positive positive impact in reducing shame, anxiety, and depression. It provides you with increased clarity and better judgment in dealing with work and relationships.

AFFIRMATIONS
Build positive thinking habits. Spend time each day and through the day repeating positive self-talk. If you say a prayer every morning, but negate yourself the rest of the day, which words do you think will have more impact? Try to make your own self-talk outweigh any negative self-talk. This way you can develop an improved outlook and attitudes, which can lead to better health and decisions and greater success in your relationships and work.

© DarleneLancer 2017

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Blue Whale Game – Its Challenges, Dares, Consequences and Safety Measures

The Blue Whale Game has taken the world by the storm because of the daring challenges it gives to its player. The game is a dangerous one as many kids and teens have taken their own life. The game asks every player to complete 50 tasks which pose a threat to their lives.

What is the game all about- its origin

The Blue Whale Game was created by Philipp Budeiki, created this suicide game in 2013 in Russia which killed several kids and teens. Post that, the game spread across the internet and has caused many deaths and claimed in self-harm all over world. The creator stated that this game was made to remove biological waste and kill those which he considered weak and not worthy of living.

Challenges and Dares

The 50 dares of the Blue Whale Game are created wisely, as they have the power to manipulate the player to self-harm resulting extremely in death. Some of the most dangerous, life taking dares of this game include:

  • Wake up at 4:20, go to the roof
  • Watch scary videos in the middle of the night
  • Carve whale on the hand using razor
  • Self-harm and cut yourself if you are not ready to be a “whale”
  • Climb the crane or stand on bridge
  • Visiting railroad and climbing roof with legs dangling
  • Climbing from the roof

All tasks are dangerous but some are so scary that they are strong enough to kill the player's will to live.

Consequences of the Blue Whale Game

The total of 50 dares and tasks are designed in the way that they kill the person's will of living and makes them weak from the inside. They are unable to speak and share this issue with anyone and slowly get depressed and isolated. At the end of the 50 tasks or dares the player is forced to kill himself / herself because of an intensity of mental pressure which the player has faced during the time of completing fifty challenges of the Blue Whale Game.

Safety Measures-How can you save yourself and loved ones

It's not just a saying that prevention is better than cure since some things are incurable. Firstly avoid and simply kill any urge that you have of playing this game, whether it's out of curiosity or anxiousness or excitement.

Secondly, do not click on links which are sent to you since this game is already spread across the internet. If you suspect that someone in your circle or family is not behaving normal, then try to find immediately if they are playing this game.

Stop them from reaching this game and help them on emotional levels. You can save a kid or a person from this dangerous suicidal game only when you are aware completely. Find about the consequences of the game and stay away from it.

Try to stop anyone that has shown interest towards playing this game. The game is also known by other names like Sea of ​​Whales, A Silent House; Wake Me Up at 4:20 AM and many other names. It's essential to follow precautions and be safe rather than letting curiosity take you to act on extreme levels.

If you are facing any emotional issues, remember that help is available and you can resolve the issues. Do not let stupid suicidal games fool you and trap you into something which you can not escape at the later stage.

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Mental Health Symptoms One Should Never Ignore

Mental health problems can strike people irrespective of their age, gender, or economic or social status. Although genes and family history may increase the risk, environmental impacts, circumstantial and traumatic past memories can also trigger the onset of a mental disorder like depression, anxiety or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sometimes, mental illness can strike even a two-year-old child. It is pertinent to give equal importance to both physical and mental health

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), nearly one in every five adult Americans experiences a mental illness in a given year, making it imperative to ensure proper screening and treatment. Unfortunately, the stigma attached with mental health is such that people refuse from taking help. They reason that it is better to live with discomfort than be labeled as crazy or weak. Many are appalled at the idea that that they might have to take medication for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, life of withdrawal and seclusion is not the answer.

Subtle signs of brain malfunctioning

With considerable advancement in science and technology, it is possible to diagnose and treat most mental health disorders. But it is necessary to identify the symptoms in time. Psychiatrists often rely on patients' self-reported symptoms to understand the underlying problem and suggest appropriate solution. Whether it is persistent sadness or extreme form of self-hate, subtle hints that that something is amiss and has to be addressed with immediate effect.

  • Suicidal ideation: Harboring suicidal thoughts for long or trying to take one's life are signs that the person is seriously happy or feet trapped in a situation. Some people argue that such thoughts pass with time when the situation improves. However, they are warning signs of crippling mental illnesses.
  • Paranoia: In case a loved one displays paranoid behavior, it is always advisable to take them to a psychiatrist for medical opinion. Paranoia is similar in people who have lived through a traumatic phase. War veterans and victims of sexual abuse often exhibit increased suspicion. They could feel they are watched or followed even when it is not the case. Paranoid behavior is also apparent in complex mental health conditions like schizophrenia. The affected people can fall prey to delusional patterns of thinking and start hallucinating.
  • Lack of motivation: Lack of motivation for a long time is a stark reminder that the person is disturbed by something. People who are severely depressed could find it difficult to continue with routine activities. Even the act of getting out of bed looks like a huge task. Apart from appearing bored and demotivate, they are also negligent towards their appearance and clothing.
  • Periods of manic activity: Periods of manic activity are a reminder of a psychological ailment. Bipolar disorder is characterized by periods of mania and depression occurring in cycles. During the manic phase, the person is extremely talkative and high on energy. But soon thereafter, they experience a crash and feel tired and vulnerable.
  • Hallucinations: This is the phase when a person starts imagining things that do not exist in real life. He or she may may hear voices, see visions or feel as if bugs are crawling around. Those suffering from schizophrenia and the elderly people are more likely to experience these.

Road to recovery

Regardless of how low one feet, there is an answer to almost all the problems of life. All it needs is some courage and encouragement from loved ones to reach out for support and walk the right path.

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How Laughter Can Help Seniors With Alzheimer’s

Everyone loves to laugh. Laughing is our way of expressing an inner joy to the outside world. It can also be the key to slowing the cognitive decline by Alzheimer's Disease. There is no known cure for Alzheimer's Disease, but as strategies for combating it have evolved an incredible way to stave off its effects.

The human mind is capable of incredible feats and research shows increasing evidence of the mind affecting the health of the brain. Interactions associated with laughter, such as playful banter and joyfully stimulating conversation, have a myriad of benefits, including, lower stress and anxiety. Keeping the brain active throughout the latter stages of life is important to your senior loved one's brain of overall health, as it can lead to the production of new cells.

The confusion and memory loss associated with Alzheimer's Disease can itself be debilitating, but can also have equally serious residual effects. Frustration caused by these symptoms can often develop into anxiety or depression, which can cause the quality of life to decrease significantly. As laughter is usually a signifier of happiness, a healthy dose of it goes a long way in the fight against mood disorders. Consistent laughter helps to increase brain function by reducing stress levels considerably. The emotional stress caused by living with Alzheimer's can affect the afflicted person and the people around him. The many stressors associated with Alzheimer's Disease can often lead to erratic behavior, causing increased levels of tension with the people that care for them. Laughter becomes a positive agent, acting to quell these stressors.

Laughter has been so effective in fighting Alzheimer's that techniques have been refined for efficiency, even taking up titles such as laughter wellness and humor therapy. Those suffering from Alzheimer's Disease are in a constant struggle with themselves and being that the symptoms of Alzheimer's can lead to equally devastating consequences. Laughter, at the very least, can offer a sense of respect to all parties affected, due to the natural healing power of this sort of positive energy. There are over 30 million people in the world who experience Alzheimer's Disease, but by laughing as much as possible and maintaining a social life in golden years, the issues that seniors face can be greatly diminished. Laughter can be a preventer or a coping mechanism for those dealing with Alzheimer's, so be sure to keep your loved one happy and create situations for them to laugh.

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Can Schizophrenia Be Cured?

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder that affects thoughts, emotions, and behaviors leading to decreased functionality and withdrawal from reality. People affected by schizophrenia usually experience symptoms between ages 16 and 30. People with schizophrenia have symptoms that are very disabling. Symptoms of schizophrenia are known as positive symptoms and negative symptoms.

Positive symptoms are characterized by hallucinations, delusions and thought disorders. Negative symptoms are characterized by apathy, absence of feelings, lack of motivation, poor executive functioning, reduced working memory and difficulty starting and ending activities.

Research shows that genetic and environmental factors may play a role in the development of schizophrenia. Environmental factors like viruses, food allergies, toxins as well as genetic susceptibilities may lead to a diagnosis of schizophrenia because they can damage the DNA repair system in the cells and damage the gut.

When the DNA repair system is damaged, free radicals accumulate. Free radicals are produced during normal cellular metabolism but when they accumulate in the cells due to DNA damage, they can lead to disease development.

Environmental factors implicated in the development of schizophrenia impair neurotransmitter production and this is a major factor in schizophrenia development.

Treatment

Conventional treatment involves using antipsychotic medication and cognitive therapy.

Currently, there is no cure for schizophrenia using those treatment methods but if they are combined with natural treatments, symptoms can be reduced significantly.

It is very important to check with your primary care doctor, psychiatrist and nutritionist before embarking on any diet to treat schizophrenia symptoms.

Diet
Eating a diet that consist of fresh leafy greens, vegetables, probiotic food, omega-3 fatty acids and organic animal protein can go a long way in providing the body great nutrition necessary for great health.

Raw Food
Raw food contains antioxidants that get rid of free radicals and help to repair the cells in the body. Antioxidants are also very important in treating schizophrenia and other mental disorders. Glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant in the body. It's made up of amino acids cysteine, glycine and glutamic acid but cysteine ​​is not made in the body. That means that glutathione can not be formed without cysteine. The enzyme involved in the conversion of the above three amino acids into cysteine ​​has been found to be deficient in some individuals with schizophrenia. You can get cysteine ​​from your diet and its commonly found in garlic, onions, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, red peppers and eggs. It is best to cook animal products but egg yolks can be eaten raw. Try to buy organic produce as much as possible.

Probiotics
Multiple research studies have shown that there is a definite gut brain connection and that probiotics can improve mental health by healing the gut.

Food sensitivities and food allergies combined with genetic susceptibilities have also been implicated in schizophrenia. Removing the offending foods through an elimination diet can be very beneficial.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are very important for brain function and they are recommended for treating all mental disorders. They exist in three forms: alpha; -linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

EPA and DHA can be obtained from algae and fish.

Exercise
Multiple studies have shown that regular exercise can improve mental and emotional disorders including anxiety, depression etc. It also helps to reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes mellitus and heart disease.

Diet, supplements, exercise and other lifestyle changes can be very beneficial for individuals with schizophrenia. Healing the gut and eating a well balanced nutrient-rich diet can go a long way in improving mental health disorders like schizophrenia to the point where symptoms are greatly reduced or even non-existent.

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7 Ways to Diffuse Mental Health Stigma

Talking about mental health in a healthy way is something that societies across the globe have historically struggled with. However, with the increasing rate of mental disorders across the globe, it has become essential to bridge the difference between mental and physical health problems by understanding the risk factors and repercussions of mental disorders. It is time that people come together to dissipate the stigma associated with mental problems.

Those spared from the afflictions of a psychiatric illness may not comprehend the impact of their actions or the dangerous outlook perpetuated by them on referring someone as “schizophrenic,” “deranged” or “demented.” However, it does not change the fact that stigma and perceptions related to mental health problems quintessentially criminalizes people suffering from the problem.

Effective ways of fighting mental health stigma

When such false beliefs inflame stigmatizing attitudes, regardless of the form, they significantly affect the emotional and social life of individuals suffering from mental disorders. This not only lengthens their recovery process, but also prevails them from talking about their problems and seeking medical help. Therefore, it is crucial to fight mental stigma and here are some ways that can help change people's outlook.

  • Refrain from making it a taboo: Talking openly about mental health problems creates a platform where people can honestly discuss their struggles with mental disorders. This provides an opportunity to convey to those suffering in silence that they are not alone and that help is available.
  • Stay informed and spread awareness: When someone misrepresents mental illnesses, most people prefer looking the other way or staying silent. However, to reduce the brunt of the stigma, it is important to express how such beliefs affect a person and the need to spread awareness.
  • Avoid using stigmatizing language: The human language is constantly changing and evolving and so have the applications of words, such as “insane,” “nuts,” and “mental” when referred to someone with a mental illness. Unfortunately, portraying mental illnesses through adjectives labels the individual and does no good in improving the situation.
  • Treat mental and physical disorders equally: Just like physical diseases, mental illnesses are brain disorders that can develop in anyone. The need of the hour is to treat mental disorders like other chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, etc., to ensure effective treatment.
  • Choose not to be a victim: Stigmatization leads to discrimination and oppression of people with mental disorders. However, it is also possible to lead a life very different from the decadent view of mental disorders by simply honoring one's choice to lead an empowered life by seeking treatment.
  • Need to alert media: The depiction of mental health issues by the media has so far been like a double-edged sword. Many times, they've helped spread public awareness about mental health, yet at times they've also inaccurately depicted mental illnesses. Therefore, it is important to alert media platforms about the ill effects of using stigmatizing language as both their media coverage and the consequences of wrongfully addressing mental health issues are far-reaching.
  • Talk about treatment and recovery: An uninformed and ignorant person may harbor apprehensions about mental health treatment. He or she may fear being judged as a weak person on visiting a psychiatrist or taking medicines. When people who have recovered from their problems through medical interventions talk about their recovery, they have an opportunity to inform others. At the end, seeking treatment for mental disorders does not make a person weak. In fact, it represents his or her courage and will to get better.

Fight mental health stigma

Mental health stigma can affect various aspects of one's life. At its worst, it can lead to self-criticism wherein the person blames himself or herself for his or her condition. In such cases, stigmatization becomes an active prolonging risk factor for the disorder that prevails an individual from seeking the required help from others.

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Risks of Substance Abuse and Suicide Ideation – How to Identify the Signs

Substance abuse is one of the leading risk factors for suicide ideation. A person living with a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder may try to find relief by using drugs and alcohol without realizing that it is only a temporary release. After the euphoria, it is common to experience a crash, leading to feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy.

According to the data released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), one of the 12 agencies under the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the number of mental health / substance abuse emergency department (ED) visits increased by 44 percent between 2006 and 2014. The report also mentioned a 414 percent increase in suicidal ideation visits. As per a recent Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report, on average approximately 100 people die from suicide every day in 2016. However, the number of people who reported attempted suicide was way higher, almost 26,850 a day. The survey found that during 2008 to 2011, of every 31 adults who tried taking their lives in the past 12 months, there was one death by suicide.

Antidepressants may lead to suicide ideation

It is not just street drugs such as heroin and cocaine, but also some common prescription drugs like antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that when used more than the recommended dose, can increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Most antidepressants function by spiking the serotonin levels in the brain. Suicidal ideation can also occur if the user stops taking the drug because of the withdrawal symptoms that follow. In certain instances, antidepressants cause akathisia, a condition akin to extreme restlessness and an inability to sit still. Due to the arousing discomfort, a patient may feel that suicide is the best alternative. Sometimes, the physician misdiagnosing the condition as further deterioration of pressure could prescribe stronger medications causing more harm.

Older individuals with Alzheimer's or those who are suffering from the empty nest syndrome are at an increased risk of falling prey to suicidal thoughts and attempts. While youngsters have support groups in the form of colleges and friends, elders are more likely to feel depressed because of the lack of social connections.

Signs of suicide ideation

Some of the common signs to indicate that a person is thinking of taking his or her life are:

  • Constantly speaking of dying.
  • Giving away things that they were close.
  • Saying goodbye either explicitly or implicitly.
  • Avoiding social contact and withdrawal into a shell.
  • Feeling inept or worthless.
  • Signs of self-injuries or prescriptions of harmful drugs.
  • Changes in sleeping and eating patterns.

Integrated treatment for dual diagnosis is essential

Often people use substances as a coping mechanism for an underlying mental disorder. If the copying skill is taken away and the undering illness is left untreated, it will be replaced by another substance. There is a lack of effective treatment for co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis, either due to limited access to health care services or for lack of information. A case of dual diagnosis demands treating the two conditions concurrently and requires a specialized integrated approach. This can significantly improve the treatment outcomes and ensure long-lasting recovery.

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What Are The Symptoms And Treatments Of ADHD?

Who are the victims of ADHD?

Children (boys in particular) and teens are the most common sufferers. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common mental disorder characterized by hyperactive / impulsive behavior and problems paying attention.

Symptoms of ADHD:

The symptoms vary among individuals, but a combination of the following patterns can be noticed:

  • Carelessness
  • Overactivity
  • Emotional instability
  • Lack of patience

In Toddlers and preschoolers:

It is very difficult to identify ADHD in toddlers and preschoolers. As we all know, kids are usually active, but ADHD kids are “one-step ahead”. They are always running, jumping, climbing and easily distracted. They are much more likely than other kids to struggle getting to sleep or even listen to a short bedtime story.

In school-going children:

Not all hyperactive children have ADHD. You can identify them with symptoms like lack of attention towards studies, inability to plan their school day, specific learning difficulties, not following instructions and failing to finish school works. Those kids are very emotional and sensitive when it comes to keeping promises. For instance, if you promise you will take them for a family night out but the plan goes wrong along the way, your child may have a serious outburst of anger.

In adults:

The usual hyperactive behavior of ADHD children fades away with age. But the other symptoms continue to create problems in their life. Their impact can be destructive for couples with an ADHD partner and statistics show the divorce rate is twice as high for people who are not bothered to do anything about it. Here are some common patterns of behavior:

  • Being messy and disorganized
  • Unable to pay attention to discussions or issues
  • Unable to complete daily chores
  • Misplacing common items and becoming too frustrated searching for them
  • Can not engage in healthy sexual relationships
  • Being quick tempered and restless
  • Having a hard time coping with some aspects on the job

Once diagnosed, you will finally have an explanation of the problems you have faced since childhood. Proper treatment and regular medical care will help you come out of it.

What Are The Treatments For ADHD?

The combination of medications, psychological and behavioral therapies have proved to be the most effective treatment method. If the parents manage to learn certain techniques from their therapists, it would also be beneficial for the kids to overcome those symptoms easier.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is not an incurable condition! There are many people who have overcome it and what is more – we have seen ADHD sufferers becoming happy and successful individuals. It is important to never ignore the symptoms and to consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

This article is not intended to be a substitute for a professional medical advice or diagnosis. It is provided as an information resource only.

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The Mystery Behind Mental Disorders And Dreams

Today we learn many things about humanity and the world from the beginning of our lives. We became more intelligent thanks to the transmission of information to the entire world.

Everything was totally different in the past, when time passed slowly and everything was complicated and difficult. However, people had time to talk and sing together because there was no television.

We believe that our historical time is very advanced because we have many alternatives that our ancientors could not have thanks to our scientific and technological progress, but the truth is that the world became more than commercial, and everyone is forced to become a marketer in our cruel and greedy system.

The truth is that falsity characterizes every person because we have a satanic nature and marketing is a theater based on manipulation.

Since everyone here is forced to be a marketer (directly or indirectly), everyone is greedy, even if this is not visible. The intention to make money is a necessity for everyone, but it became a true obsession for most people because they were controlled by their absurd anti-conscience and they became extremely materialistic.

In this aspect we can visibly verify the degradation of the human spirit. We started doing everything we can in order to make money, abandoning philosophy, religion, and art. Only science and technology seems to be important for the modern civilization.

In parallel with the terror that characterizes the life of the poor and the weak, the world became a theater where everyone is busy trying to make money, since everyone here is selling either goods or services.

Science is part of the marketing game, exactly like our hypocritical justice.

We abandoned our religion, considering it a stupidity that could not be scientifically explained, and therefore, had no value.

We abandoned the introspectives of brilliant philosophers, who analyzed our tragic history based on superior thoughts and conclusions because they could see what most people disregarded.

We stopped being able to understand the beautiful messages contained in poems.

Therefore, we can not say that we are more intelligent than our ancestors. Perhaps Socrates was more intelligent than those who are able to use computers.

The truth is that there were various extraordinary exceptions in our long history, marked by cruelty and injustice. Some people could make a difference, whereas the largest part of the population unavoidably followed the commercial world and tried to adapt to its rules.

How about you?

What will you do now that you know that the largest part of your brain contains craziness because you are in fact a demon who must be transformed and cured?

Will you obey God's guidance in your dreams in order to become a mentally healthy human being and attain sanctity?

The scientific method of dream interpretation discovered by Carl Jung helped me find explanations for many unexplained phenomena and discover the meaning of life and the meaning of death.

The bitter truth is that the human being is Satan. God tries to transform our satanic nature into human nature thanks to the tiny conscience we receive from birth, and thanks to the information He gives us in our dreams and in our religion.

Now we can understand why we have many psychological problems from the beginning of our lives and why we are so stupid, violent, immoral, absurd, and cruel.

We are in fact violent primates that can think. We followed an evolutionary process, but we still are more than far from being reasonable, calm, sensitive, and intelligent. We need psychotherapy.

God created our planet with the characteristics that could help us follow a mental health treatment and learn the meaning of goodness. The fact that we must stop being cruel vampires that exploit and kill one another defines the meaning of life and the meaning of death.

Our wars and crimes confirm our satanic nature, but we do not define our behavior as we should. If we do not seem to be absurd according to the definitions of the hypocritical and ignorant world we believe that we are 'normal', even though we are totally insensitive.

God created for us a planet where many animals violently kill and eat other animals with the intention to survive in order to show us how cruel we are, while we believe that we only have the intent to survive.

We can think. We are not as stupid as irrational animals, but our reason is absurd, and we are ignorant.

We can survive and share our bread without killing and exploiting other people. We can also survive by eating vegetables, without being murderers like wild animals.

The fact that we are rational animals does not mean that we are intelligent. We are very far from sound mental health and wisdom, and we act like irrational animals in many situations.

We are like wild lions, but we hide our cruelty, and we have a few human characteristics. These characteristics are artificial because they were created by God, who gave us a conscience that works based on human standards in order to help us eliminate our satanic anti-consciousness and become really human.

You have to be a good student and patient and pay attention to God's lessons in your dreams. God's messages are therapeutical because He knows the information you need in order to agree with Him instead of agreeing with Satan.

All mental disorders are generated by our satanic anti-consciousness through absurd thoughts. Thoughts are very dangerous alternatives.

This means that you must be afraid of your thoughts, especially when they have an evil character, and remember that only goodness can help you find peace and sound mental health.

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12 Life-Impacting Symptoms Complex PTSD Survivors May Endure

Complex trauma is a reliably new field of psychology. Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) results from enduring complex trauma.

This type of trauma is ongoing or repeated interpersonal trauma, where the victim is traumatized in captivity, and where there is no perceivable way to escape. Ongoing child abuse is captivity abuse because the child can not escape. Domestic violence is another example. Forced prostitution / sex trafficking is another.

Complex PTSD is a disorder which is different to post-traumatic stress disorder. Many of the issues and symptoms endured by complex trauma survivors are outside of the list of symptoms within the (uncomplicated) PTSD diagnostic criterion. Complex PTSD does acknowledge and validate these added symptoms.

The impact of complex trauma is very different to a one time or short-lived trauma. The effect of repeated / oncoming trauma – caused by people – changes the brain, and also changes the survivor at a core level. It changes the way survivors view the world, other people and themselves in different ways.

The following are some of the symptoms and impact most felt by complex trauma survivors:

1. Deep Fear Of Trust – People who end ingoing abuse, particularly from significant people in their lives, develop an intense and understandable fear of trusting people. If the abuse was parents or caregivers, this intensifies. Ongoing trauma wires the brain for fear and distrust. It becomes the way the brain copes with any further potential abuse. Complex trauma survivors often find trusting people very difficult, and it takes little for any trust built to be destroyed. The brain senses issues and this overwhelms the already severely-traumatized brain. This fear of trust is extremely impactful on a survivor's life. Trust can be learned with support and an understanding of trusting people slowly and carefully.

2. Terminal Aloneness – This is a phrase I used to describe to my counselor – the terribly painful aloneness I have always felt as a complex trauma survivor. Survivors often feel so little connection and trust with people, they remain in a terrible state of aloneness, even when surrounded by people. I described it once as having a glass wall between myself and other people. I can see them, but I can not connect with them. Another issue that increases this aloneness is feeling different to other people. Feeling damaged, broken and unable to be like other people can haunt a survivor, increasing the loneliness.

3. Emotion Regulation – Intense emotions are common with complex trauma survivors. It is understandable that ongoing abuse can cause many different and intense emotions. This is normal for complex trauma survivors. Learning to manage and regulate emotions is vital in being able to manage all the other symptoms.

4. Emotional Flashbacks – Flashbacks are something all PTSD survivors can deal with, and there are three types:

Visual Flashbacks – where your mind is triggered and transported back to the trauma, and you feel as though you are reliving it.

Somatic Flashbacks – where the survivor feet sensations, pain and discomfort in areas of the body, affected by the trauma. This pain / sensations can not be explained by any other health issues, and are triggered by something that creates the body to “feel” the trauma again.

Emotional Flashbacks – the least known and understood, and yet the type complex trauma survivors can experience the most. These are where emotions from the past are triggered. Often the survivor does not understand these intense emotions are flashbacks, and it appears the survivor is being irrationally emotional. When I learned about emotional flashbacks, it was a huge lightbulb moment of finally understanding why I have intension emotions, when they do not reflect the issue happening now, but are in fact emotions during the trauma, being triggered. But, there is no visual of the trauma – as with visual flashbacks. So, it takes a lot of work to start to understand when experiencing an emotional flashback.

5. Hypervigilance About People- Most people with PTSD have hypervigilance, where the person surveys the environment for potential risks and likes to have their back to the wall. But complex trauma survivors often have a deep subconscious need to “work people out.” Since childhood, I have been aware of people's non-verbal cues; their body language, their tone of voice, their facial expressions. I also subconsciously learn people's habits and store away what they say. Then if anything occurs that contradicts any of this, it will immediately flag as something potentially dangerous. This can be exhausting. And it can create a deep skillset of discernment about people. The aim of healing fear-based hyper-vigilance is turning it into non-fear-based discernment.

6. Loss Of Faith- Complex trauma survivors often end a loss of faith. This can be about people, about the world being good, about religion, and a loss of faith about self. Survivors often view the world as dangerous and people as all potentially abusive, which is understandable when having endured ongoing violation. Many complex trauma survivors walk away from their religious beliefs. For example, to believe in a good and loving God who allows suffering and heinous abuse to occur can feel like the ultimate betrayal. This is something needing consideration compulsion.

7. Profoundly Hurt Inner Child – Childhood complex trauma survivors, often have a very hurt inner child that continues on to affect the survivor in adulthood. When a child's emotional needs are not met and a child is repeated hurt and abused, this deeply and significantly affects the child's development. A survivor will often continue on subconsciously wanting those unmet child needs in adulthood. Looking for safety, protection, being cherished and loved can often be normal unmet needs in childhood, and the survivor searches for these in other adults. This can be where survivors search for mother and father figures. Transference issues in counseling can occur and this is normal for child abuse survivors.

8. Helplessness and Toxic Shame – Due to enduring ongoing or repeated abuse, the survivor can develop a sense of hopelessness – that nothing will ever be OK. They can feel so significantly damaged, they see no hope for anything to get better. When faced with long periods of abuse, it does feel like there is no hope of anything changing. And even when the abuse or trauma stops, the survivor can continue on having these deep core level beliefs of hopelessness. This is intensified by the terribly life-impacting symptoms of complex PTSD that keep the survivor stuck with the trauma, with little hope of this easing. Toxic shame is a common issue survivors of complex trauma end. Often the perpetrators of the abuse make the survivor feel they deserved it, or they were the reason for it. Often survivors are made to feel they do not deserve to be treated any better. Subconsciously looking for someone to rescue them is something many survivors understandably think about during the ongoing trauma and this can continue on after the trauma has ceased. The survivor can feel helpless and warn for someone to come and rescue them from the pain they feel and want them to make their lives better. This sadly often leads to the survivor seeking out the wrong types of people and being re-traumatized repeatedly.

9. Repeated Search For A Rescuer – Subconsciously looking for someone to rescue them is something many survivors understandably think about during the ongoing trauma and this can continue on after the trauma has ceased. The survivor can feel helpless and warn for someone to come and rescue them from the pain they feel and want them to make their lives better. This sadly often leads to the survivor seeking out the wrong types of people and being re-traumatized repeatedly.

10. Dissociation – When enduring abuse, the brain can utilize dissociation as a coping method. This can be from daydreaming to more life-impacting forms of dissociation such as dissociative identity disorder (DID). This is particularly experienced by child abuse survivors, who are emotionally unable to cope with trauma in the same way an adult can.

11. Persistent Sadness and Being Suicidal – Complex trauma survivors often experience ongoing states of sadness and severe depression. Mood disorders are often co-morbid with complex PTSD. These survivors are high risk for suicidal thoughts, suicide idea and being actively suicidal. Suicide ideation can become a way of coping, where the survivor feet like they have a way to end the severe pain if it becomes any worse. Often the deep emotional pain survivors feel, can feel unbearable. This is when survivors are at risk of developing suicidal thoughts.

12. Muscle Armoring – Many complex trauma survivors, who have experienced ongoing abuse, develop body hyper-vigilance. This is where the body is continuously tensed, as though the body is “braced” for potential trauma. This leads to pain issues as the muscles are being overworked. Chronic pain and other issues related such as chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia can result. Massage, guided muscle relaxation and other ways to manage this can help.

All of these issues are very normal for complex trauma survivors. Enduring complex trauma is not a normal life experience, and there before the consequences it creates are different, yet very normal for what they have experienced and endured. Not every survivor will end all these, and there are other symptoms that can be endured.

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