Communicating With Dementia

Communicating with dementia patients can be very difficult. People suffering from dementia can not always tell you what's wrong or what they need. They can be unpredictable and even lash out at times. The tips below will help you communicate with people suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's.

1. Assist With Toileting Needs- A person with dementia may have trouble communicating their bladder is full or that they are constipated. Assisting them with a regular toileting schedule can ensure this is not the cause of agitation. Simply asking them if they need to go can often trigger them to remember to use the bathroom.

2. Check Pain Level- Pain is often the cause of agitation and behavior issues for someone suffering from dementia. You may ask them if they're in pain, and many times they will say “No.” But if you notice grimacing or rubbing a joint or their stomach, often times they are in pain. It can be almost impossible to communicate with a dementia patient who is pain. It is important to treat this pain appropriately with medications, rest, or various other methods.

3. Check Their Hunger- A person with dementia may not always know they're hungry, or they may not remember how to ask for something to eat. Asking the person if they're hungry or simply offering a snack at routine intervals can help prevent behavior issues caused from hunger.

4. Hot or Cold- You may notice your patient or loved one is pacing a lot and very agitated. Check their temperature by feeling their skin. Are they hot or cold? It is not uncommon for a patient with dementia to put on multiple layers of clothes, or barely any clothes. So they may become very hot or cold quickly and not realize they need a jacket or to remove some layers of clothes. Even if they appear to be dressed appropriately, checking their temperature by feeling their skin will tell you if they are too hot or too cold.

5. Infection- Often times a dementia patient will exhibit behavioral issues and agitation without any apparent reason. An infection can cause major behavior changes and agitation, and there may be no other symptoms. If you're trying to communicate with a dementia patient, and there is not anything that is working to calm them, it may be time for the doctor to check that patient. A urinary tract infection is one of the major causes of behavior changes in dementia patients.

Remember to try all these methods when you're having difficulty communicating or taking care of a dementia sufferer. It will help you, and them maintain a safe and effective relationship.

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Living With Learning Disabilities As a Psychotherapist, Writer, and Mental Health Consumer

Never saw my hometown until I stayed away too long
I never heard the melody until I needed the song …
… I never I spoke “I love you” till I I cursed you in vain
Never felt my heart strings until I nearly went insane

–Tom Waites, San Diego Serenade

It is funny how sometimes one can not really see themselves until they get a glimpse of a harsh paradoxical reality. Perhaps doing so gives one that alternate perspective that is so necessary to really see oneself and gain wisdom. I think that's what Tom Waites is getting at in the excerpts of his song I posted above. That is why the ability to relate to others is such a powerful teacher and healer that is so needed in a therapeutic endeavor. Other people's struggles help us stop and see ourselves better. Even if it is painful, growth is likely.

And, just as the song goes, I never really saw myself as a learning-disabled person until I just recently had the opportunity to sit with an individual while she was receiving a mid-life diagnosis. It was a diagnosis that I thought might be helpful. Little did I know that before this sitting, I rarely considered the full effect of how a learning disorder affects me as a writer, therapist and mental health consumer.

***
Learning disorders, as I often educate people as a psychotherapist, are an aspect of neurodiversity that are most characterized by an imbalance in areas of brain abilities. Some realms may be significantly lower, while other areas are particularly high. Thus, as my explanation goes, certain areas of learning become very difficult without a high level of support, time and determination. A person who struggles in this manner may suffer from attention difficulties, may need extra time to complete things, and may like Albert Einstein, develop a particularly high drive to exercise their strengths because of always struggling and training to keep up. Of course, when not properly supported and safely nurtured learning disabilities can cause people stop exercising abilities and accept oppression.

I am also reasonably to talk about how learning disabilities are generally considered to be neurodevelopmental disorders. This means that they are severely affected by a mix of biological and environmental stressors. There are a couple of points I accordingly am particularly to highlight.

First, I will suggest that we are learning, intergenerational trauma can be inherited and this may contribute to the brain's lower abilities. Second, I will argue that having learning practices can lead to a resulting life of ongoing trauma and mistreatment that can add to and exacerbate the lower realms specifically if support is not provided. Thirdly, I will point out that it is well known and demonstrated that trauma results in brain damage and that learning disabilities give us an opportunity to address those issues of trauma. And most certainly, I will add that compensating for a relative deficiency may cause there to be unusually high ability in some other areas and exercise always makes them stronger.

In addition, after making these points, I am certain to reference studies on resilience that demonstrate that healing from trauma and neuroplasticity can cause people to become stronger than they would have otherwise been. In fact, being damaged can cause the brain to strengthen up in ways that would not otherwise happen. Thus, creating a sense of safety and providing people the opportunity to heal from trauma can enable them to grow so strong that they become grateful that the trauma happened. Many who attain that sense of safety has become very practiced at being strong, spiritual, and high functioning individuals.

***
Unfortunately, the African American woman I reported for testing got informed that she had learning disabilities, without having any of my suggestions reinforced. I found myself reflecting on the fact that maybe my ideas are simplistic and not scientific. Instead, from my perspective, the focus was on what she could not, and what was possible to help her overcome these shortcomings thanks to modern technology.

I went home after the sitting, was editing a chapter of my current book, and suddenly found myself so hypercritical that I froze. It occurred to me that I do not read the way others do. In fact, I hate reading so badly that I rarely look extensively at the work of others. Everyone says that to be a good writer, one must be a prolific reader. I usually tell myself that I learn through writing, not reading. I usually say that I am exercising my talents, making myself happy, and learning rather than wasting my time.

But in a frozen state, it occurred to me that I am not being realistic as so many negative people in my life have told me. Maybe those fears I am constantly working against really are true.

All the rejections I have been getting from journals and blog sites plus the people who have used the vulnerability in my work to politically marginalize me started to gain territory in my head. Frozen, my sense of empowerment felt like it was swallowed up and walling in stomach acid. The fact that I won five literary awards for my memoir did not matter. Instead, I found myself returning to perseverations on the ways that my memoir has only heightened my sense of alienation. All that mattered was that it was not selling, attracting reviews, or achieving what I had hoped for, to decrease my sense of invisibility. Suddenly, instead of being unrelenting and meticulous during my seven-year struggle to write the thing, I told myself that could not read the way other people do and that my writing must show it. I told myself that I had to work twice as hard as others to no avail. Old tapes started to dominate the day.

“You would not believe it,” one writing professor had complained in a college course, “but it took me ten rewrites to get my detective novel published!”

“Ten rewrites,” I had once been proud to say to myself, “that is nothing! And I am having fun.”

Suddenly, that confidence that once helped me thrive was taken away.

***
Sure, in school, I was always the last person to complete the test, but my grades were always good. It's true some teachers tended to get on me about spelling that I could not do anything about, but I tested okay in meaningless math. It's true when the homework got heavy in high school, I could only manage to get four hours sleep a night, but that was also because I played sports, exercised, and did not eat much. When I became addicted to starving, I just thought I was a hardworking perfectionist who did not want to be stopped.

When anorexia led to incarceration, I was forced to halt all behavior and gorge on food. Once the tears and fight subsided, I learned to write when I could not exercise.
It's true I had loved my heart into my poetry notebook the year before only to receive a B +. The comment from the teacher to my mother-the school reading teacher-was that my work was just too depressing. She did not like it.

Straight out of the hospital and still angry about the B +, I took writing assignments and turned in lengthy stories or poems instead. I wrote twenty-five-page papers with long bibliographies. The results: poorer grades and a college essay near got me kicked out of school because it made the school a psychologist-my teacher's wife and mother's friend-think I was suicidal. I still was not educated enough about the social psychology of the situation: I was exposed as a mental health patient, my grades suffered regardless of how good I was getting. I had a different experience and message than others. My successes, leadership, and hard work in eleventh grade became a subverted, living lie. When I chose my only available form of rebellion against this, to go to a local commuter college, the school chose to lie in the yearbook and said I was going to overpriced Antioch College in Ohio.

I ran as far away as I could run without using the college money which I suspected had gone to hospitals. In a ghetto with a girlfriend who was seven years my senior, it was the easy courses with lousy textbooks that got my GPA off to bad B + start. Suddenly intensified in large crowd auditoriums, my anxiety went up and my attention, down. I would be stuck with the worst kind of writer's block. I started the practice of highlighting and memorizing everything that I read. I ended up achieving a 3.9 average, but I never went to a single party or took any time off work.

My poetry teacher in college who repeatedly chose my poems to share with the class had once said at the end of an intense semester in which we wrote a poem a week: “Then, there will be some of you that have to keep on writing, not because you want to, but because you have to. ”

I do not know if I listened to him or if I just found myself to be one of those who had to write. I took fiction and personal essay classes and obsessed over my take-home exams trying to get the word just right.

I did get diagnosed with learning disabilities working my way through graduate school. Because I was working with a psychologist who unbeknownst to me did not think I was college material, I became very aware of all my shortcomings and tended to communicate about this with my peers. I took a heavy dose of medications that I later found out I did not need to such an amount. Interactive courses in which the information came from multiple sources and required in the moment listening often accused me. I put my writing away during those seventy-hour weeks and did my best to become involved and social with my peers. I learned that I worked oh so much harder than they did to prepare for tests. I often got ridiculed for asking so many questions to keep myself alert and tracking, but I was used to that. When I got through those three years without a hospitalization, I happily returned to an intense poetry habit.

***
I must admit it was my suggestion that the African American woman get tested for learning disabilities. At least I educated her about my views of learning disabilities before I set up the testing. However, I was still stunned by the outcome. I later learned that the specific tests used were known to be culturally biased against African Americans. On a closer look at the material there were in fact areas of superior performance that we neglected to review. I am using this essay to thaw the writer's block that has stuck me in the gut over the past few days.

I do believe I will return to being happy obsessive, unread writer for my own lonely needs again.

A year after I graduated, I moved to the west coast to start over again. I think of the times since: when things were hard; when I had to escape incarceration and face homelessness, underemployment and long work days just to evade the mental health system and get back on the career track. When I think of these experiences, I get mad that people are reduced to different types of pathological disorders, like learning disorders. At the same time, as soon as I developed the diagnosis of schizophrenia, learning disorders did not matter anymore. I became a warehoused genetic cash cow. In the mentality of mainstream treatment, schizophrenia trumps neurodevelopmental disorders, yet so many of the institutionalized individuals I work with struggle with unsupported learning disorders.

They are brilliant, complex, utterly alone, living in squalor, and extremely rational and good people. I just do not understand why psychological tests and treatments, and the demands of society make it so hard on good people to make a living wage.

***
Perhaps, the reader can tell, I have decided to be out with my history and experiences as a professional, writer, and mental health consumer. I still find there are many people who pick up on the fact that I am a little different and try to scapegoat and marginalize me. It happens repeatedly like the rising ebb of the San Diego sea on the shore as Tom Waits at one point had pondered.

I never saw the mornin '' till I stayed up all night
I never say the sunshine 'til you turned out the light …
… I never saw the white line, 'til I was leaving you behind
Never knew I needed you until I was cooked up in a bind

Really, it still hurts because criticism comes from every direction. However, eventually the hurt will go away. I will still be writing. And I hope and pray that that brilliant person I got diagnosed with a learning disability will be there with me, making the most of her meaningful life no matter what “they” say.

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A Need for Providers Who Specialize in “Psychosis”

This story is for the mental health providers or peer counselors who are invested in developing treatment for people who have experienced “psychosis” across diagnostic categories. I know firsthand that this can be achieved. I want to help other interested parties develop their own practice so that an important need needs addressed.

Maybe the reader can refer to me! I was hired straight out of college into work in the counseling field. I started to work with an adult mental health population at my second job at the age of twenty-three. Since that time I have been increasingly focused on how to make the engagement engagement meaningful when working with people in “psychosis.” In the field there are many who will say or imply this is not possible. They may argue that the mental health system is the best we can do.

I believe specifically talented specialists are needed primarily because the mental health system fails so many people. We need outreach professionals with lived experience who can meet sufferers where they are at to encourage them to seek out therapy specialists, competent in group and individual practice. The more people with lived experience the better! Even better we need a system of self-support to sustain people outside the system, like the hearing voices network.

***

Working my way through graduate school, I can still remember struggling to get my footings as a professional counselor.

“Oh, you're good,” said this vagabond homeless man who sticks out in my memory.

“What do you mean?” I asked perplexed by how he could affirm me with such confidence.

“Well, I can tell because you just asked me what was going on with my schizophrenia, like you really wanted to understand it.”

I did a little double take on this man standing before me. I could not understand how he lived such a deprived, sunburned, and sweaty existence that he could respond to this young, privileged and nervous person in front of him by trying to use support. I did not sense that he was doing this to butter me up. In fact, he was far more supportive than any of my friends.

I recall making an internal commitment to him on that day. Here started my desire to learn about and heal schizophrenia. I felt I owed that man something for his kindness.

By the time I got my degree so that I was promoted to a case management position, I found it a wonderful opportunity to get a picture of what life was like for the schizophrenic clients on the streets, in the boarding homes, away from the clinic . It was not a pretty picture, but I reasoned that now I could provide a service to earn their rapport. Then, I could use my little theoretically informed counseling skills to get at their truth. In many ways, I did not actually know what to say other than, “Did you take your medication?” However, I tried and I was happy with the arrangement.

***

In my personal life, I got really tired of being in and around my hometown. Sure I went to school in a ghetto was able to build up the rental history to take up a lease on a suburban flophouse with some acquaints. Sure I fled that sheled-out place into a pad in the city. But, somehow this plus getting dumped in all the female relationships that I was barely managed to make was not enough for me.

***

I switched coasts and accepted underemployment in a new city where I could pick up where I left off at understanding schizophrenia. Here, I really was not expected to do therapy as I monitored well-tended housing for clusters of mentally ill adults, but I did anyway, much to the chagrin of my supervisor, who I often challenged about standard care.

It's true the clients seemed to have it pretty good in the west coast city. The facilities I monitored were much nicer than the ghetto ones back east. But within six months, after another heartache, I took a promotion in a pilot program setting up services in a notorious section eight housing author complex.

I have to admit as a kid who grew up in a private school, the streets and the ghetto, much like schizophrenia, had always been a lure for me to wrap my head around. I set up shop in a notorious section 8 housing project and got some real exposure to what people end up homeless and destitute due to schizophrenia have to deal with. Let me tell you, it was not a very safe holding environment.

Six months in, I was talking with a resident I trusted very seriously. He had once told me who the for-real drug kingpin was about the complex. He paused a minute and said, “You know, one time we had a person like you work for us before, someone who really cared and thought for the residents. That person, ended up losing his job and having to come and live with the residents. I just do not want that to happen to you.

I looked at this schizophrenic resident who worked a minimum wage job. It was true that since I had leaked stories to the media about some of the suspicious violence and fear that the residents were subjected to, that I had been picking up on random threats and feeling very unsafe.

***

Within a week, things escalated into my personal life. I got threatened by someone who I believed had the power that he claimed to have if I ever did him wrong. I started getting interesting taking on mainstream movies. I tried to get to the Canadian border to seek asylum and ended up getting separated from my car. Occasionally I surrendered to police in a ditch while ascending a mountain pass.

They took me to State Hospital where I stayed in barracks for three months. Just when I was starting to come to terms with this ridiculous black market sea of ​​poverty I was cast into, I was transferred to the most chronic ward where the overcrowded conditions were comparable to the worst of what I'd ever seen.

I spent two years after that trying to overcome homelessness and underemployment in a full blown psychotic episode. I had come to figure that my father was a famous Irish mafia figure. After three months on the streets trying to fend for myself, the only job I could have been at an Italian Delicatessen. I've had to move again to get that job, an apartment, and help from my Mafia family.

While I worked at the Italian Deli, my life was hijacked by poverty, rich, drug-using, teenage bosses, and conspiracy that felt relentless and never-ending. I could barely afford to feed myself if not for the support of my Irish Mafia family. When I returned to taking medication, I was able to climb out of this pit.

To even get back into mental health field, I had to put a just barely attained stability on the line. I was working a new career with developmentally disabled individuals, working seventy hour weeks, (part-time at the deli) but was finitely independent at least. The ideal mental health job finally came up, but I had to take a reasonable risk.

When I failed to attain fulltime status, falling short of impressing a hopelessly classist supervisor, I could not collect unemployment and had to do something fast. Luckily, I landed a low-paid internship, a part-time gig back at the Deli, and, most importantly, a part-time job at a hospital with a future in it.

***

What I had learned about schizophrenia at that point was that most people had absolutely no interest in it. As a mental health patient, I found that no one was any longer interested in my story or what I had to say. The five-word phrase, I had been trained to use, “Tell me more about that!” was replaced with a famous five-word question: “Did you take your medication?” Nobody believed a word I said no matter how real I was being. And no longer did anyone care what I was subjected to.

For example, to get to work and back at the Italian Delicatessen, I had needed to bike twenty miles and catch a two-hour long train ride, daily. Nobody had cared because I was in back pain through the all of it. I was still the last to go on break. I was blamed and framed for anything that went wrong. There were constant threats against my job. There had been no acknowledgment for my efforts, only complaints about my service from upper-class people, and punk-ass ridicule from my teenage co-workers. Finally, I agreed to take medication.

How was I to transition from being treated like that-from being locked outside the ward mental patient in sub-zero temperatures freezing like the cow patties in the field while the staff returned late from their lazy lunch break-to being a fully qualified therapist? Finally, I could understand why someone who was even a little bit interested in what it meant to be a schizophrenic was a good worker.

***

To be honest I knew I was not a good worker for a little while. I was just barely-making-it, overworked, highly insecure, and protecting myself. When I earned my way back to working with people individually, I was a little better at getting rapport and experimenting with helping out with schizophrenia. I heard a lot of,

“Oh you're good,” comments. At least I knew enough not to approve of the word schizophrenia. It took me six years and a number of side jobs to get my license and be fully grounded in a staff position.

Then it was time to take another risk.

***

Through the training for my license, I had not disclosed to anyone what I had been through. Always too busy to make friends, most colleagues tended to think I was younger than my stated age, and perhaps a little over-anxious about making rent.

I soon found among licensed marriage and family therapists that most presumed that there was not much value in treating individuals who had schizophrenia. Many forced into working with them characterized them as just lazy and unresponsive to instructions. Those who picked up on my insecurities said maybe there was a future for me in providing “just” case management services. I often heard it said, that it was debatable whether there was effective treatment. Sitting in licensing lectures, we were taught that in coming across a person with “psychosis,” the standard of care was to hospitalize and refer to programs.

When I passed those sucker licensure tests in spite of my learning disabilities, I was tired of leading groups full of good people who had experienced “psychosis,” and not talking about what was really going on. I decided to get to work creating my own treatment strategies for schizophrenia. I had heard about the hearing voices network movement in Europe and decided to create a curriculum that deconstructed “psychosis,” and emphasized recovery skills. I took WRAP training, and finally started to experiment using my own story with all its minute details.

***

Learning how to navigate the profession as an identified schizophrenic has been full of challenges. A co-worker found a copy of my curriculum, and turned it over to the manager with grave concerns. Another left incorporating cartons on my desk. I had occasion to hear myself being referred to as, “Crazy Tim!” I ignored these and persisted. Occasionally, I took a job where I was identified for two years, advocating for change in the county. My name and condition spread like wild fire through. In team meetings, I was accused of being against medicines. One person who defended me end up getting written up and eventually fired. When I returned to my hospital job, my primary boss, who, thank god, has been supportive of me through, once let me know that when I went over to the county's ward to run groups, that I had little red dots following me on my forehead.

My groups, my popularity among people who I help, and my own little paranoid vigilance has helped me survive the past nine years and thoroughly develop my own eclectic theoretic approach approach helping who I prefer to call message receivers in group and individual settings.

Things have gotten a lot less hostile for me at work. I now know what to do to help out that vagabond homeless man I met two decades ago. Additionally, I wrote a grant that provided that message receivers could be paid as outreach workers, tell their story to providers, and transition to being group leaders, and mental health professionals while they attracted and motivated individuals who might not have otherwise been motivated. I serve on the board of the local hearing voices network, who also reiteratedly proves that this work can be done on a regular basis. Perhaps, one day, other interested parties can get to where I am at without having to face quite as much pain. It is a very sorely needed specialty!

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The Safe Mental Health Treatment That Helps You Become More Intelligent

Until today we could not see what is happening in our brain and understand what determines our behavior.

Thanks to Carl Jung's discoveries and my simplifications the scientific dream translations help us see what is happening in our psychological system and understand our mental health problems.

This is why today we know that everyone needs many explanations in order to understand and accept what they can not comprehend or what they judge in a different way.

Every person needs time in order to change their mind and their behavior, and in order to overcome their fears. This is a difficult process that must be respected.

All attempts to cure mental disorders with psychiatric drugs without understanding what determines a person's thoughts and their behavior are crimes against their consciousness.

Psychiatric drugs make everyone become dumb and insensitive, so that they may forget their problems. These drugs also have numerous side-effects, and they generate suicidal thoughts.

Dream translation helps everyone become more intelligent and sensitive and solve their problems thanks to the transformation of their personality, and thanks to the information they have in their dreams.

Our psychiatrists will never be able to understand how our thoughts are formed because this formation does not depend on chemical alterations.

They are using scientific data about the functioning of the human brain with the intention to test and try solutions based on suppositions, without knowing how our brain works. Thus, these doctors are not following a scientific method in order to cure their patients.

On the other hand, our psychologists do not have enough knowledge in order to give us all the explanations we need.

Sometimes they help their patients, but they do not have the patience or the courage to deal with patients who suffer from severe mental illnesses and do not cooperate for their treatment.

The simplest solution for mental health problems that do not seem to have a solution in the cruel and commercial world is the transformation of the patients into vegetables without a personality with dangerous drugs.

The world wants to get rid of those who are not productive. This is why the weak, the poor, and the mentally ill are abandoned, hospitalized, or drugged.

Only the strong ones can survive in our concrete jungle. Everyone else is suffocated by those who rule the world and take advantage of their privileged position.

However, without patience and goodness we will never find peace, sound mental health, and happiness.

The fact that there is a demon into the largest part of our brain means that we are in fact vampires with a human face. This is why we have the behavior of wild animals.

This is why more incurable diseases and worse mental disorders are killing our population, and our social problems are increasing.

We will never be able to eliminate our problems based on our ideas because we think like selfish demons.

Furthermore, we can remember many things that are not related to our psychological problems, but we tend to forget the information that goes against our opinion because our satanic anti-conscience never stops sending us absurd ideas and fears. It does not let us think logically, and it does not let us become more sensitive.

We need God's guidance in our dreams in order to become more intelligent and sensitive, and in order to remember our concluding.

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Five Keys To Good Mental Health

First of all, I want to say that I'm not a mental health professional. I was a high school social studies teacher and in education for 34 years, and I do Mental Health First Aid certification, but still, these suggestions are only personal opinion and do not represent professional advice.

• The first recommendation deals with sleep. Most professionals recommend eight hours of sleep per night for adults. More than eight hours may lead to depression or at least sluggishness. Less than eight hours may lead to anxiety or nervousness. However, I maintain that sleep does not have to be completed in one block of time. Personally, I sleep for about three hours, work on projects for an hour or two, sleep for another one or two hours; then I nap once or twice during the day when I'm tired. Sometimes naps last an hour, sometimes only ten minutes. I think the key is to sleep when your body tells you it needs rest. Of course, I'm semi-retired, and my schedule may not work for most professionals.

• A conscientious diet is helpful for mental stability. I recommend a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids. Those can include, most nuts and seeds, but most helpful are walnuts, sunflower seeds, ground flaxseeds, and soaked chia seeds. I like to soak my chia seeds in milk overnight and that combination ends up similar to a tapioca pudding. Cold water fish provide substantive omega-3 fatty acids – sardines, salmon, trout, char, and herring lead the parcel in this area. Avocado is another helpful food in this area. Low fat proteins are helpful including beans, chicken, fish, and turkey. Of course a diet grounded around fruits and vegetables is important, and finally probiotics are helpful for digestion. Those can include pickles, sauerkraut, and yogurt.

• Another important step includes respect – respect yourself, treat yourself, and value yourself. Find a hobby like fishing; go to a nice restaurant or a movie once a month, keep a journal of your thoughts, or even go shopping.

• Exercise is another important aspect that bolsters your self-esteem and overall mental health. An outdoor walk, especially in a park or the woods – that provides fresh air, strength, and the sun can provide much needed vitamin D to stave off depression.

• Finally, it is helpful to engage with others face-to-face. Conversation can provide a feeling of worth. It is beneficial to get off the smart phone and deal with people in person.

These five keys will not guarantee good mental health, but they will go a long way toward that end.

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How To Manage Depression And Anxiety

Nowadays we live in an environment that creates stress in our lives, we are in constant communication, we rush to our work, we have bills to pay, we have debts, kids and then we have personal issues with our loved ones. All of these is a recipe for depression and anxiety disorders to develop, but unfortunately they usually stay under de radar, because the person does not recognize the symptoms or just do want to get help. A person that is pushed over the top of his emotional stability can…

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ADHD and How to Spot the Signs

There are many things that can be done to help children that suffer with ADHD. Some expert companies specialising in manufacturing toys and aids that can help a suffer to overcome some of their problems.

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Mental Illness and Perceptions

How do we define mental illness? As you know all over the world mental illness is increasing in every society. So it is very important for us to understand what mental illness is and how it comes about.

In my mind I regard mental illness as a disorder of perception. When a person becomes out of touch with reality and starts behaving in a way that is unacceptable to the rest of the community, and starts disabling the smooth functioning of society, that person could be labeled as suffering from a mental illness.

To understand mental illness we must appreciate the fact that every one of us is a conditioned individual. This is inevitable because no matter which society one grows up in one receives a powerful condition effect from the cultural value system, the language and traditions of that society. It means that every one of us is brainwashed by the society we live in as we grow up. It also means that every one of us will have recognized values, traditions and beliefs of that group and have some distorted perception of reality to start with. Our perceptions then change as time and experience forces us to move on. It is up to the individual to wake up and clear up those perceptions during one lifetime or die becoming a copy of the people around them.

Usually we all go about our daily activities despite our somewhat distorted perceptions. This is because society conditions us to think in a particular way. However this normality is relative to the society we live in. Since not all societies have the same value system, what is considered right in one society may be considered totally wrong in another society. That is our behavior may be acceptable in one set of circumstances but may be wholly unacceptable or inappropriate in another set of circumstances.

So it is the degree of distortion that determines the level at which a clinical disorder of behavior and action will manifest itself in the individual as mental illness.

As perceptions produce physiological and biochemical changes in the individual is it not important to understand how they influence our subconscious mind and our body?

Do you know that almost 96% of the human body weight consist of only four elements, oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen? And most this is in the form of water.

And do you know that our mind can be divided into two parts, the conscious and the subconscious? The conscious mind which most people are aware of only represents a fraction of our daily activities. Like our body weight which is mostly made up of the above four elements, over 90% of our activities are subconscious. That is all our vital organs such as our brain, heart, liver, kidneys and lungs which keep us alive under subconscious control. Yet no one seems to be interested in learning about how our subconscious mind works and how negatively or positively it is being influenced by our perceptions.

The fact is we live in a hypnotic world. While our conscious mind is discriminatory with our like and dislikes, our subconscious mind is like a sponge which absorbs everything in its path and will be open to all sorts of influences. It is non-discriminatory. Negative stimuli will make us feel negative and positive stimuli will make us feel positive.

Our perceptions and how they affect our subconscious mind are there before most important in the way we feel. This is why in a consumer society the ego is being constantly exploited and pandered to by businesses, the media and the politicians so that they can strengthen their own interests. Yes it is a self-centred world we have created where individuals carry distorted perceptions and where responsibility for one's actions is never foremost in one's mind.

Can we therefore depend on the doctors to improve our mental health? Now politics is a game of distorting people's perceptions, not correcting them. Politicians will be the last people you turn to, to improve your mental health.

Can we depend on the media to improve our mental health? The media depends on news, gossip and sensationalism etc. to sell their product. How can these mischief makers help you improve your mental health?

The only people we can turn to, to improve our mental health are the doctors. But alas the medical profession appears to have been seduced by our consumer society and have abandoned their role of being our guardian of physical and mental health. They have turned the profession into a political bureaucratic structure where they operate closed shops and indulge in restricted trade practices in collusion with the government. Like the politicians they are trying to convince them and the public that medicine is an exact science and can be treated as a consumer item with the same standards of measurements that apply to any consumer item. Clearly our medical leaders are misguided. These pseudo-scientists should not be playing politics and they should not be playing the sick role of Porky Pig selling pork chops and pork sausages on behalf of the government. This is not self-regulation that they are practicing. That is a misnomer. In my book that is the path to self-enslavement.

But just because our medical leaders are twisted in their perceptions, it does not mean the rest of the profession thinks in the same way. Doctors as a breed are mostly independent thinkers. Most of us in the profession do not follow any leader or leaders blindly and are not academically inclined. We retain healthy amount of skepticism in whatever we do. Most of us enter the profession means to improve the physical and mental health of people around us.

So in this day and age where there is a lot of confused thinking, anxiety and depression going on in society and if you wish to improve your mental health, I would suggest you find a good general practitioner you can talk to. I say General Practitioner and not a Specialist because it is the GP who has the special interest in your welfare. The Specialist does not have the time or inclining to listen to your private matters. This GP should have a common sense approach to life and must look happy and healthy. Be wary of any doctor who looks sick and unhealthy. If he can not cure himself he can not help you either.

Quite clearly the outside world is constantly causing our perceptions to be disturbed and our sanity is being tested. So if you are stressed out, angry, depressed and miserable, it means that you are suffering from distorted perceptions. It means the world is making you sick and what you need is a change in your perceptions.

Remember that if you look at a problem in the right way, there is no such thing as a problem. If you look at it in the wrong way, everything becomes a problem. So why not clear out your perceptions and start enjoying life? You have only yourself to blame if you have not done anything about it.

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How Do You Keep Your Brain Healhty?

If you are already over 40 you may have started to think about the possibility of your cognitive abilities decline as you age. Do you have a family member with dementia or Alzheimer's? maybe you have seen it first hand.

We should do everything that is in our power to ensure that we do not become victims of the same preventable disease. Dementia can be preceded even as we age, taking the necessary healthy nutrients. There are people who as they become older they do not suffer from any form of cognitive disadvantage and they even become sharper.

The Biggest problem is that people do not know what they have to do to keep their brain functioning well all their lives.

The Brain is not Alone

You have to be aware that the Brain is not alone, it is not a separate unit from your body, it is completely connected to all your organs. It is like the director of the orchestra and is vital to the correct functioning of our body. However the Brain can not direct properly if the organs are sick or are not present. When that happens additional pressure is put on the Brain and does not have all the resources to work, which then has a negative effect on your Brain function.

Exercise your Brain

We all know how important regular exercise is for our body to work properly as well as our muscles. If you fail to exercise your muscles will atrophy quickly. The same happens with your brain, if you do not exercise it, it deteriorates and increases your likelihood of experiencing memory loose or dementia.

Brain exercise can be done in different ways, such as doing puzzles or problems that need to be resolved by thinking.

Brain Supplements?

Few nutrients can actually cross the brain and blood barrier. It is the function of your organs to send the right nutrients to it in a way that crosses the blood barrier that can be used to keep your brain nourished. Most of the ingredients in the brain supplement exist to support general health which hence helps the brain.

But some brain supplements are beneficial for the nervous system health and the brain.

What to do to keep your brain health?

  • Make sure that you are eating a healthy diet
  • Get the proper physical exercise
  • Exercise your brain regularly
  • Focus on the health of all your body organs and systems to keep your brain healthy.
  • Take some Brain Supplements

Follow those suggestions and you will be on your way to prevent dementia and cognitive decline.

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Manage Stress Without Stress

Stress is an uneasy experience which affects our health in a negative way. The simplest way of coping up with stress would be modifying or removing its source, which is not always possible. However there are some techniques which decrease your stress level significantly.

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A Calm Mind Creates A Healthy Mind & Less Stress

For many people, a low-grade amount of stress is a part of everyday life. So, they may not recognize that it has a negative impact on their overall health. Studies have shown that feeling stress or anxiety on a long-term basis does not just affect your peace of mind. In fact, you're more likely to suffer from things like digestive issues and a weak immune system if your mind is persistently stressed.

Cortisol, the hormone your body produces when you're feeling stressed, can take a heavy toll on your physical and mental health. Because of this, giving your mind time to relax and recover is one of the most important self-care routines that you can practice. Your state of mind has the potential to greatly benefit your health, or degrade it, over time.

Stress and Digestion

Your liver produces glucose to give you an energy boost when your body is feeling the effects of stress. Whatever your body does not use is then reabsorbed. However, if you're suffering from chronic stress, your body may not be able to keep up with the extra blood sugar your liver is producing. You may be at an increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes if your body is producing too much glucose. You're more likely to have heartburn or acid reflux if you suffer from stress. Stress may or may not cause ulcers, but it certainly can cause pre-existing ulcers to act up.

Stress Affects Sexuality and Reproductive System

Stress affects the menstrual cycles of some women. You may have irregular or even non-persistent periods or more painful or heavier cycles. Too much stress may magnify the physical symptoms of menopause for women. For men, prolonged periods of stress can result in a drop of testosterone levels, erectile dysfunction and even impotency. For many, the loss of sexual appetite is a common occurrence as a result of too much stress.

Immune System and Stress

Stress is known to stimulate the immune system, which is good if it's short-term because it helps your body stave off infection and heals wounds. But if you're stressed for prolonged periods of time, cortisol compromises your immune system. This inhibits histamine secretion and your body's inflammatory response to foreign dangers. People who are affected by chronic stress are more likely to catch viral illnesses like the common cold. It also takes more time for the body to recover from injuries or illness, if you're chronically stressed.

Relaxation Techniques to Calm Your Mind

There are numerous techniques for calming your mind. For some, exercise is an excellent outlet to give their mind time to recharge. Meditation is a well-known method for clearing your mind. There are many different styles of meditation, tailor to suit your needs and lifestyle.

Remember to focus on the positives rather than focusing on everything that's going wrong around you. Practice self-love and compassion and acknowledge your reality rather than criticizing yourself. Set daily routines that will provide a day-to-day sense of peace and comfort that you can use to escape the stresses of everyday life, even if it's just for a few minutes each day.

The well-being of your mind plays a very significant role in your health, physically and mentally. Maintaining a peaceful state of mind is one of the best ways to protect your body from the negative effects of stress. Remember that stress and anxiety are inevitable hurdles everyone deals with. It's how you manage the stresses of your everyday life that's important. It's also the key to overcoming them.

Yes, a calm mind is a healthy mind with less stress. I would recommend that everyone should learn more about how a stressed-out mind affects the body.

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Generativity and Recovery! Part Two: Generativity in My Own Recovery

My three-month psychiatric incarceration seemed to be aimed at discrediting me after I had leaked newspaper stories. On my way to Canada to seek asylum, I was stopped by police. I evaded them for three days through rural towns and surrendered one midnight, from a ditch on a mountain pass.

It was hard for me to accept the way I was treated. Confined to a ward for two weeks, I walked in circles. I barked on the payphone testing many of my supports. They all just said I was delusional.

I really did learn a lot from a mob boss's daughter. There are a lot to the rules that govern those of us who get trafficked in this land of the free. Still, I did what I could to disrespect the mob especially because my counselor told me not to. And so, I endured a month of chronic warehousing conditions. I had to wear other peoples' clothes to brave the ice-cold of the barely heated ward.

Two and a half months in my psychiatrist finally responded to my requests to meet with her.

“You know, Tim, one time we had someone come here saying the FBI was following him.

Of course, I did not trust her enough to find out if she really was referring me the way I thought she was.

***

Yes, I did endure some trauma that I needed to process. My most loyal friend who openly talked about a nefarious past had suddenly threatened me. Could he have had me set me up at the section 8 housing authority complex where I had been working? Additionally, I was in a ten-year emotional cutoff from my parents who were seeming connected to this threat. When the police intercepted me, manhandled me, and separated me from my car, I learned that it was my parents who had tipped them off.

As soon as I got out of the chronic unit, which could very well have prepared me for permanent warehousing, I started over again. I got a job at a daycare center and I got a dog. It was a promise I made to myself to end the hospitalization. Something told me I would be okay with a simple life and a dog to care for. And so, I would find myself lucky to have an outlet for my generativity needs.

***

Shortly after I ran out of my month's supply of medication from the hospital, I started to get overwhelmed by strange events on the streets. I lost my job. I strained to find employment and spend down most of my small savings.

Occasionally, I did get a few job-offers, but I was seeing special broadcasts on the television. I was also getting sick from food I believed was being dosed with laxative powder. I reasoned the government sewed a tracking device into my dog ​​when they fixed her. Everywhere I went I saw convincing evidence that reinforced these ideas.

An aunt said she could get me a job at an Italian Deli if I moved up closer to her. She could negotiate with my family who agreed to support me if I moved and accepted underemployment. I made the move to a town on the outskirts of the bay area.

***

My dog ​​loved to play fetch and frisbee endlessly. I took her hiking, helped her build confidence, and she was grateful for our life together. But in the Bay Area, I had to leave her for twelve hours a day, as I biked and rode the train four-hours-a-day to work and back. Still, she never peed on the apartment rug once.

Of course, I was mad! I felt my mafia family did not set it up to be easy for me. It seemed like they wanted me to fail. I could not count on their support if I did not maintain my job. I frequently accused them of being mafia and held them accountable for all my suffering.

I collected daily evidence that my apartment was being broken into. I figured either the mob or the US government was walking my dog ​​for me. I figured if they had the time to torment me in this manner, the least they could do was walk the dog for me.

But really, I was amazed my dog ​​could be so loyal to end twelve-hour days for me. I did everything in my power to make sure she was amply exercised. I did not mind when she chewed through everything I owned.

I continued to be unable to find employment outside the deli. The dozens of job-interviews I did not get had me convinced I was blacklisted.

Finally, after six months I got a car; then benefits came; and, finally, after ten months, I got back on medication. The level of harassment at work declined. I found work outside the Italian Deli.

***

I think it was my generativity for my dog ​​that kept me going through the exceptionally hard situation. I was terrified of losing her. Lord knows I was not a perfect owner. I did not always exhibit the best judgment. On nights when I married to my mother on the phone because mob kids had set me up to be fired, I never got get fired.

It was so humiliating to admit that what they said about me was correct, that I had schizophrenia. The corrupt world was fine if I took my medication. Suspicious deaths that happen in the section 8 housing projects can get covered up. Only my loyal dog could understand that this was wrong.

My dog ​​lived to be sixteen and a half years. She and I grew once we got out of that Italian Deli. We had the greatest relationship and often became the envy of other dog owners at the dog parks. She was beautiful. She was loyal. She was proud of me despite what “they” said.

While everyone including the shrink that I saw just treated me like I was a drain and a bother to be around, I had a beautiful dog that needed me to care for her.

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Schools: Indispensible Allies to Mental Health

For most children (ideally, all children), schooling serves as their primary occupation. We can not begin to discount the impact our schools play. Needless to say, educators and school personnel are indispensable husbands to our children's holistic well-being.

Jeannie Goulbourn, who lost her daughter to suicide, founded the Natasha Goulbourn foundation (NGF). NGF has welcomed in HOPE lawsuit crisis hotline in our country. She reportedly said; “suicide rankings third as cause of death among people ages 10 to 24. We can point to many reasons why suicide is highly precalent on the youth. NAMI or the National Alliance for Mental Health aptly said that;” Schools provide a unique opportunity to identify and treat mental health conditions by serving students where they already are. School personnel play an important role in identifying the early warning signs of an emerging mental health condition and in linking students with effective services and support. “NAMI is an organization located in Arlington Virginia serves as the United States' largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

Recently, a news story spoke of a teenager from the province of Antique, Philippines who reportedly filed suicide due to disappointment. Her mother, apparently did not allow the teenager to go with her to the town properly to get the money that her father. The father, who works as a construction worker in Boracay, sent money through a remittance center. The teenager wanted her mom to buy her a bag. The mother arrived home to see her daughter hanging dead.

Over the past years efforts to increase awareness on mental health have been more evident in our country. Legislators have been pushing for a Mental Health Act. Hospitals and NGO's are working closely together too. Their recent efforts have them reaching out to schools. For one, the Medical City section of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from their Psychiatric Department is encouraging people to sound the SOS on suicide and self-harm in our schools by hosting an annual Teen Congress.

Activities as these, hope for larger presence from educators. It is a dream for schools to actively join in the forum. As earlier mentioned, once a child starts to head off to school; they actually spend more of their active and conscious time in school than at home. Of course, we can not appeal that educating the children with proper values ​​begins at home; but the school plays a very serious role in the selfhood or identity of our children.

Through our children's schooling years, our children build up their sense of competency. They are given tasks to perform and accomplish in both in school. Their performances is gauged and estimated to mean they are doing good or bad; whether they are smart of dumb. Naturally, a child will be able to observe and estimate him on his own. Consequently, the peers' judgment of his ability or accessibility becomes his measure of estimate too. Compounded by the adults' (the teachers, neighbors and family) expressed estimate of how they are doing, our children builds up to capitalize that perceived competency. They begin to either feel they are unflagging and at par with what are expected, or they begin to feel that they are not. And their feelings of inferiority begin to be their estimate of themselves. It begins to be their perceived worth or self-esteem.

As they move toward addiction, they will likely continue to explore and battle with their worthiness. The constancy of their previous perception of themselves will either strengthen their idea of ​​who they are as an individual or make them question what they previously thought of themselves. That idea is regardless, of whether their estimate is good or bad making them a “great and cool kid” or the “wall-flower”. The continued tasks on both academic and social adaptation lend to be part of the estimation. The peer and adult approval or disapproval does the same.

The strong and well-founded identity, strengthened by supportive and caring environment is a factor strongly linked to mental health. Much of the formative experiences we all go through happens within the confines of our schools. Our educators' awareness of mental health will not only play a crucial role. It makes them indispensable allies.

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Understanding Bipolar Disorder: What It Is And How to Deal With It

Bipolar disorder is one of the most misunderstood mental health conditions. This condition affects around 5.7 million adult Americans, and yet almost all of us have some misconceptions about the disorder.

It's time to sort out what bipolar disorder is and what it is not. By understanding bipolar disorder, we can better understand ourselves or our loved ones with this condition.

What It Is (And What It Is Not)

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic-depression, is a brain disorder associated with unusual shifts in energy, activity levels, mood, and the capacity to perform day-to-day tasks.

The causes of the disorder are unclear, but it is more common among people with a first-degree relative with the disorder. Traumatic events can also trigger the condition.

Contrary to the popular belief, the moods experienced by a bipolar person is drastically different, and more severe, than the mood shifts of someone without the disorder.

There are also four basic types of the disorder, each one having its own range and level of mania and depression. Manic episodes are those characterized by extremely elated and energized behavior while depressive episodes are those characterized by, well, depression and hopelessness.

Manic and Depressive Episodes

Detecting this disorder lies in knowing the symptoms for manic and depressive episodes.

Manic episodes have the following symptoms:

Becoming more active than usual
Unusually agitated or irritable
Thinking they can do many fantastic things at once
Trouble sleeping
Feeling very “high”
Engaging in out-of-character risky behaviors like spending a lot of money or having reckless sex

Depressive episodes are characterized by the following signs:

Very little energy
Sudden feelings of hopelessness and emptiness
Trouble concentrating
Sudden decrease in energy and activity levels
Feelings of tiredness and lethargy
Thoughts about death and suicide

Bipolar disorder is a swing between manic and depressive episodes, and sometimes an episode with mixed manifestations of both episodes. If you begin to notice these things in yourself or in a loved one, you should consider a psychological evaluation.

How to Deal with a Bipolar Disorder

People with bipolar disorders are not dangerous, and this is something that should be handled with compassion instead of fear. Dealing with extreme moods is not easy for anyone.

The first thing a patient needs to do is to undergo a comprehensive psychological evaluation to get a proper diagnosis. Once diagnosed, the patient should consider the various treatments that will be suggested by the mental health professional.

The quickest way to help patients manage their moods is taking medications. Often, these maintenance medications have to be taken over a continued period to avoid relapse. Also, studies have found that participating in patient-to-patient support group improved compliance to treatments by almost 86%, thus reducing in-patient hospitalization.

When the patient is showing dangerous behaviors, feeling suicidal, or becoming detached from reality (psychotic), the doctor may recommend hospitalization.

Act Fast

Mental health is as important as physical health in living a balanced life. If you are noticing symptoms of bipolar disorder in yourself or someone you know, do not ignore it. Often, prompt response avoids tragic consequences of the condition.

Observe the symptoms, talk to the person, and get professional help. Bipolar disorder is a difficult condition to handle, and patients need all the support and understanding to get through it.

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Computer-Based Therapy Can Help Treat Patients of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders like anxiety or depression, but the symptoms can be quite disabling. The person afflicted with the condition may lose touch with reality and can think, act and behave differently. A recent research suggested that a computer-based approach can be effective in helping people battling schizophrenia.

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