Lifestyle, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment

Schizophrenia: Symptoms, Types, Causes, Treatment

 

A panoramic concept shows the face of a man with schizophrenia.

 

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, debilitating mental illness characterized by disordered thoughts, abnormal behaviors, and anti-social behaviors. It is a psychotic disorder, meaning the person with schizophrenia does not identify with reality at times.

Who is Affected

Schizophrenia affects more than 2 million people in the U.S.

  • Schizophrenia affects about 1.1% of the world’s population
  • 3.5 million Americans have schizophrenia
  • Schizophrenia is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 16 to 25
  • Schizophrenia can be hereditary (runs in families)
  • It affects men 1.5 times more commonly than women
  • Schizophrenia and its treatment has an enormous effect on the economy, costing between $32.5-$65 billion each year

How Common Is Schizophrenia in Children?

 

Children may also be affected by schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia in young children is rare. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates only 1 in 40,000 children experience the onset of schizophrenia symptoms before the age of 13.

Types of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia health care check list.

There are five types of schizophrenia (discussed in the following slides). They are categorized by the types of symptoms the person exhibits when they are assessed:

  • Paranoid schizophrenia
  • Disorganized schizophrenia
  • Catatonic schizophrenia
  • Undifferentiated schizophrenia
  • Residual schizophrenia

Paranoid Schizophrenia

A woman suffering from paranoid schizophrenia is distressed.

Paranoid-type schizophrenia is distinguished by paranoid behavior, including delusions and auditory hallucinations. Paranoid behavior is exhibited by feelings of persecution, of being watched, or sometimes this behavior is associated with a famous or noteworthy person a celebrity or politician, or an entity such as a corporation. People with paranoid-type schizophrenia may display anger, anxiety, and hostility. The person usually has relatively normal intellectual functioning and expression of affect.

Disorganized Schizophrenia

A young woman pours a pot of spaghetti on her head.

A person with disorganized-type schizophrenia will exhibit behaviors that are disorganized or speech that may be bizarre or difficult to understand. They may display inappropriate emotions or reactions that do not relate to the situation at-hand. Daily activities such as hygiene, eating, and working may be disrupted or neglected by their disorganized thought patterns.

Catatonic Schizophrenia

A man is in a catatonic state.

Disturbances of movement mark catatonic-type schizophrenia. People with this type of schizophrenia may vary between extremes: they may remain immobile or may move all over the place. They may say nothing for hours, or they may repeat everything you say or do. These behaviors put these people with catatonic-type schizophrenia at high risk because they are often unable to take care of themselves or complete daily activities.

Undifferentiated Schizophrenia

A young man with undifferentiated schizophrenia wears a tinfoil hat while staring into a TV.

Undifferentiated-type schizophrenia is a classification used when a person exhibits behaviors which fit into two or more of the other types of schizophrenia, including symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech or behavior, catatonic behavior.

Residual Schizophrenia

A schizophrenic girl's reflection shows her inner turmoil.

When a person has a past history of at least one episode of schizophrenia, but the currently has no symptoms (delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech or behavior) they are considered to have residual-type schizophrenia. The person may be in complete remission, or may at some point resume symptoms.

What Are Causes of Schizophrenia?

Rate of gray matter loss: Composite MRI scan data showing areas of gray matter loss over 5 years, comparing 12 normal teens (left) and 12 teens with childhood-onset schizophrenia. Red and yellow denotes areas of greater loss. Front of brain is at left.

Schizophrenia has multiple, intermingled causes which may differ from person to person, including:

  • Genetics (runs in families)
  • Environment
  • Brain chemistry
  • History of abuse or neglect

Is Schizophrenia Hereditary?

Twin sisters look at each other.

Schizophrenia has a genetic component. While schizophrenia occurs in only 1% of the general population, it occurs in 10% of people with a first-degree relative (parent, sibling) with the disorder. The risk is highest if an identical twin has schizophrenia. It is also more common in people with a second-degree relative (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents) with the disorder.

Schizophrenia Symptoms

Intense anxiety is a symptom of schizophrenia.

Many people with schizophrenia do not appear ill. However, many behavioral changes will cause the person to seem ‘off’ as the disease progresses. Symptoms include:

  • Social withdrawal
  • Anxiety
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoid feelings or feelings of persecution
  • Loss of appetite or neglecting to eat
  • Loss of hygiene

Symptoms may also be grouped into categories, discussed in the following slides.

Positive (More Overtly Psychotic) Symptoms

A person with schizophrenia may experience psychotic symptoms.

The “positive,” or overtly psychotic, symptoms are symptoms not seen in healthy people, include:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Disorganized speech or behavior
  • Dysfunctional thinking
  • Catatonia or other movement disorders

Negative (Deficit) Symptoms

A man sits by himself.

“Negative” symptoms disrupt normal emotions and behaviors and include:

  • Social withdrawal
  • “Flat affect,” dull or monotonous speech, and lack of facial expression
  • Difficulty expressing emotions
  • Lack of self-care
  • Inability to feel pleasure (anhedonia)

Cognitive Symptoms

A schizophrenic may have difficulty remembering simple tasks.

Cognitive symptoms may be most difficult to detect and these include:

  • Inability to process information and make decisions
  • Difficulty focusing or paying attention
  • Problems with memory or learning new tasks

Affective (or Mood) Symptoms

A depressed woman.

Affective symptoms refer to those which affect mood. Patients with schizophrenia often have overlapping depression and may have suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

How Is Schizophrenia Diagnosed?

Doctor with stethoscope.

The diagnosis of schizophrenia is made both by ruling out other medical disorders that can cause the behavioral symptoms (exclusion), and by observation of the presence of characteristic symptoms of the disorder. The doctor will look for the presence of delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech or behavior, and/or negative symptoms, along with social withdrawal and/or dysfunction at work or in daily activities for at least six months.

The doctor may use physical examination, psychological evaluation, laboratory testing of blood, and imaging scans to produce a complete picture of the patient’s condition.

How Is Schizophrenia Diagnosed?

A mental-health professional diagnoses a patient.

Mental health screening and evaluation is an important part of the diagnosis process for schizophrenia. Many other mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, anxiety disorders, severe depression, and substance abuse may mimic symptoms of schizophrenia. A doctor will perform an assessment to rule out these other conditions.

Schizophrenia Treatment – Medications

Zyprexa 10 mg vial, Abilify Discmelt 15 mg tablet, Risperdal M-Tab 1 mg ODT, Geodon 20 mg vial

Antipsychotic medications are the first-line treatment for many patients with schizophrenia. Medications are often used in combination with other types of drugs to decrease or control the symptoms associated with schizophrenia. Some antipsychotic medications include:

  • olanzapine (Zyprexa)
  • risperidone (Risperdal)
  • quetiapine (Seroquel)
  • ziprasidone (Geodon)
  • aripiprazole (Abilify)
  • paliperidone (Invega)

Schizophrenia Treatment – Medications (Continued)

Lamictal XR 25 mg tablet, Depakote 125 mg sprinkle cap, Zoloft 100 mg tablet, Cymbalta 20 mg capsule

Mood swings and depression are common in patients with schizophrenia. In addition to antipsychotics, other types of medications are used.

Mood stabilizers include:

  • lithium (Lithobid)
  • divalproex (Depakote)
  • carbamazepine (Tegretol)
  • lamotrigine (Lamictal)

Antidepressants include:

  • fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • sertraline (Zoloft)
  • paroxetine (Paxil)
  • citalopram (Celexa)
  • escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • venlafaxine (Effexor)
  • desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)
  • duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  • bupropion (Wellbutrin)

Schizophrenia Treatment – Psychosocial Interventions

Family psycho-education teaches family members problem-solving skills.

Family psycho-education: It is important to include psychosocial interventions in the treatment of schizophrenia. Including family members to support patients decreases the relapse rate of psychotic episodes and improves the person’s outcomes. Family relationships are improved when everyone knows how to support their loved one dealing with schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia Treatment – Psychosocial Interventions (Continued)

A psychiatrist, nurse, case manager, employment counselor, and substance-abuse counselor often make up an ACT team.

Assertive community treatment (ACT): Another form of psychosocial intervention includes use of out-patient support groups. Support teams including psychiatrists, nurses, case managers, and other counselors, meet regularly with the schizophrenic patient to help reduce the need for hospitalization or a decline in their mental status.

Schizophrenia Treatment – Psychosocial Interventions (Continued)

About 50% of individuals with schizophrenia suffer from some kind of substance abuse or dependence.

Substance abuse treatment: Many people with schizophrenia (up to 50%) also have substance abuse issues. These substance abuse issues worsen the behavioral symptoms of schizophrenia and need to be addressed for better outcomes.

Schizophrenia Treatment – Psychosocial Interventions (Continued)

A group socializes around a laptop computer.

Social skills training: Patients with schizophrenia may need to re-learn how to appropriately interact in social situations. This kind of psychosocial intervention involves rehearsing or role-playing real-life situations so the person is prepared when they occur. This type of training can reduce drug use, and improve relationships.

Schizophrenia Treatment – Psychosocial Interventions (Continued)

A woman helps a job applicant fill out forms.

Supported employment: Many people with schizophrenia have difficulty entering or re-entering the work force due to their condition. This type of psychosocial intervention helps people with schizophrenia to construct resumes, interview for jobs, and even connects them with employers willing to hire people with mental illness.

Schizophrenia Treatment – Psychosocial Interventions (Continued)

A doctor uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) intervention with a patient.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This type of intervention can help patients with schizophrenia change disruptive or destructive thought patterns, and enable them to function more optimally. It can help patients “test” the reality of their thoughts to identify hallucinations or “voices” and ignore them. This type of therapy may not work in actively psychotic patients, but it can help others who may have residual symptoms that medication does not alleviate.

Schizophrenia Treatment – Psychosocial Interventions (Continued)

Weight gain can be a side effect of some antipsychotic and other psychiatric medications.

Weight management: Many anti-psychotic and psychiatric drugs cause weight gain as a side effect. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating a well-balanced diet, and exercising regularly helps prevent or alleviate other medical issues.

What Is the Prognosis for Schizophrenia?

A family supports each other.

The prognosis for people with schizophrenia can vary depending on the amount of support and treatment the patients receives. Many people with schizophrenia are able to function well and lead normal lives. However, people with schizophrenia have a higher death rate and higher incidence of substance abuse. When medications are taken regularly and the family is supportive, patients can have better outcomes.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

Health and Wellness Associates
healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com
Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Poor Diet = Poor Mental Health

Poor Diet = Poor Mental Health

In this groundbreaking talk, Dr. Weil illuminates the worst trends in American nutrition, and the toll they are taking on our health.

Researchers at Loma Linda University in California have found that adults in the state whose diets are poor are more likely to have poor mental health regardless of their gender, age, education, marital status or income level than those with healthy diets. The team reported that increased consumption of sugar was associated with bipolar disorder and that fried foods, or those that contain a lot of sugar and processed grains, were linked with depression.

To reach these conclusions the researchers reviewed data from more than 240,000 telephone surveys conducted with California residents over a 10-year period. The team found that nearly 17 percent of adults were likely to suffer from mental illness – 13.2 percent with “moderate psychological distress and 3.7 percent with severe psychological distress. Those whose diets were poor (they ate more French fries, fast food, soda and sugar) were more likely to be among those with mental illness than people whose diets were deemed healthy Study leader Jim E. Banta, Ph.D., M.P.H., said the results are similar to those from earlier studies conducted in other countries that found links between mental illness and unhealthy diets. While the new findings don’t prove that unhealthy diets contribute to mental illness, Dr. Banta said evidence seems to be pointing in that direction.

May take? These findings are disheartening but not surprising. The evidence from previous investigations conducted in Europe that Dr. Banta referred to suggests that the trans-fats and saturated fats in some junk foods increase the risk of depression. In 2010 researchers from Spain who followed the diet and lifestyle of more than 12,000 men and women for 6 years reported that at the outset, none of the participants had been diagnosed with depression, but at the study’s end, 657 were found to be depressed. They noted that the risk of depression increased among participants who consumed junk foods. In 2009, British researchers reported that among nearly 3,500 midlife men and women participating in a 5-year study those whose diets were high in processed meat, chocolates, sweet desserts, fried foods, refined cereals and high-fat dairy products were 58 percent more likely to be depressed that those whose diets were composed mainly of fruit, vegetables and fish.Contact us and we can get you started on the right track.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Are You Taking Buspirone : Buspar or Vanspar

Buspirone (Oral Route)

 

Mayo Clinic: Opioid Prescribing Has Not Changed — Pain News Network

US Brand Name

  1. Buspar
  2. Buspar Dividose
  3. Vanspar

Descriptions

 

Buspirone is used to treat certain anxiety disorders or to relieve the symptoms of anxiety. However, buspirone usually is not used for anxiety or tension caused by the stress of everyday life.

It is not known exactly how buspirone works to relieve the symptoms of anxiety. Buspirone is thought to work by decreasing the amount and actions of a chemical known as serotonin in certain parts of the brain.

This medicine is available only with your doctor’s prescription.

 

Before Using

The Following Information was prepared by the Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN.

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

IBS, Celiac Disease, Hodgkins Lymphoma, Crohns Disease, Gastric ByPass Patients, and other digested conditions, taking it in tablet form my increase your symptoms.

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of buspirone have not been performed in the pediatric population. However, no pediatric-specific problems have been documented to date.

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of buspirone in the elderly.

Pregnancy

Information about this buspirone-oral-route
Pregnancy Category Explanation
All Trimesters B Animal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.

Breastfeeding

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Drug Interactions

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice, orange juice, tomato juice, or other heavily citric juices while you are taking this medicine.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Isocarboxazid
  • Linezolid
  • Phenelzine
  • Tranylcypromine

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Alfentanil
  • Almotriptan
  • Amitriptyline
  • Amoxapine
  • Amphetamine
  • Benzhydrocodone
  • Benzphetamine
  • Bromazepam
  • Bromopride
  • Buprenorphine
  • Butorphanol
  • Carbinoxamine
  • Ceritinib
  • Clorgyline
  • Clozapine
  • Cobicistat
  • Codeine
  • Conivaptan
  • Desvenlafaxine
  • Dextroamphetamine
  • Dihydrocodeine
  • Dolasetron
  • Doxylamine
  • Duvelisib
  • Escitalopram
  • Esketamine
  • Fentanyl
  • Flibanserin
  • Fosnetupitant
  • Granisetron
  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Hydroxytryptophan
  • Idelalisib
  • Iproniazid
  • Ivosidenib
  • Larotrectinib
  • Levomilnacipran
  • Levorphanol
  • Lisdexamfetamine
  • Lithium
  • Lofexidine
  • Lorcaserin
  • Lorlatinib
  • Loxapine
  • Lumacaftor
  • Meclizine
  • Meperidine
  • Metaxalone
  • Methadone
  • Methamphetamine
  • Methylene Blue
  • Metoclopramide
  • Midazolam
  • Mirtazapine
  • Moclobemide
  • Morphine
  • Morphine Sulfate Liposome
  • Nalbuphine
  • Netupitant
  • Nialamide
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Palonosetron
  • Pargyline
  • Pentazocine
  • Periciazine
  • Procarbazine
  • Remifentanil
  • Scopolamine
  • Selegiline
  • Sertraline
  • Sodium Oxybate
  • Sufentanil
  • Tapentadol
  • Toloxatone
  • Tramadol
  • Trazodone
  • Vilazodone
  • Vortioxetine
  • Ziprasidone
  • Zolpidem

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Diltiazem
  • Erythromycin
  • Fluoxetine
  • Ginkgo
  • Haloperidol
  • Itraconazole
  • Nefazodone
  • Rifampin
  • St John’s Wort
  • Verapamil

Other Interactions

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following may cause an increased risk of certain side effects but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

  • Grapefruit Juice

Other Medical Problems

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Kidney disease or
  • Liver disease—Effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Proper Use

Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex

Take buspirone only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of unwanted effects.

This medicine comes with a patient information insert. Read and follow the instructions in the insert carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.

You may take this medicine with or without food, but take it the same way each time.

Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice, orange juice, tomato juice, or other heavily citric juices while you are taking this medicine.

After you begin taking buspirone, 1 to 2 weeks may pass before you begin to feel the effects of this medicine.

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor’s orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage form (tablets):
    • For anxiety:
      • Adults—At first, 7.5 mg two times a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 60 mg a day.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.   ( We always recommend calling the local Veterinarian Office to see if he can use it)

 

Precautions

Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex

If you will be using buspirone regularly for a long time, your doctor should check your progress at regular visits to make sure the medicine is working properly and does not cause unwanted effects.

Do not take buspirone if you are also taking a drug with monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor activity (e.g., isocarboxazid [Marplan®], phenelzine [Nardil®], selegiline [Eldepryl®], or tranylcypromine [Parnate®]). If you do, you may develop extremely high blood pressure.

This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol, ( so no alcohol ) and other CNS depressants (medicines that make you drowsy or less alert). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, other allergies, or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; prescription pain medicine or narcotics; barbiturates; medicine for seizures; muscle relaxants; or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your medical doctor or dentist before taking any of the above while you are taking this medicine.

Buspirone may cause some people to become dizzy, lightheaded, drowsy, or less alert than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or are not alert.

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while you are using this medicine.

Do not suddenly stop taking this medicine without checking first with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are taking before stopping it completely. This is to decrease the chance of having withdrawal symptoms such as increased anxiety; burning or tingling feelings; confusion; dizziness; headache; irritability; nausea; nervousness; muscle cramps; sweating; trouble with sleeping; or unusual tiredness or weakness.

If you think you or someone else may have taken an overdose of buspirone, get emergency help at once. Symptoms of an overdose are dizziness or light headedness; severe drowsiness or loss of consciousness; stomach upset, including nausea or vomiting; or very small pupils of the eyes.

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.

Side Effects

Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Rare

  1. Chest pain
  2. confusion
  3. fast or pounding heartbeat
  4. fever
  5. incoordination
  6. mental depression
  7. muscle weakness
  8. numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in the hands or feet
  9. skin rash or hives
  10. sore throat
  11. stiffness of the arms or legs
  12. uncontrolled movements of the body

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:

Symptoms of overdose

  1. Dizziness or light headedness especially when getting up from a sitting or lying position suddenly
  2. drowsiness (severe)
  3. loss of consciousness
  4. nausea or vomiting
  5. stomach upset
  6. very small pupils of the eyes

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  1. Restlessness, nervousness, or unusual excitement

Less common or rare

  1. Blurred vision
  2. clamminess or sweating
  3. decreased concentration
  4. diarrhea
  5. drowsiness
  6. dryness of the mouth
  7. muscle pain, spasms, cramps, or stiffness
  8. ringing in the ears
  9. trouble with sleeping, nightmares, or vivid dreams
  10. unusual tiredness or weakness

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

 

 

People Start to Heal, The Moment They Feel They are Heard

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Weighted Blankets for Mental Health

Weighted Blanks for Mental Health

 

Image may contain: cat

 

A weighted blanket is a blanket filled with hypoallergenic, non-toxic polypropylene pellets. The pellets are sewn into self-contained small pockets that are evenly distributed throughout the blanket. These pellets give the blanket its weight, which should generally be around 10 percent of the user’s body weight, give or take a few pounds depending on the individual’s needs and preferences.

Created to mimic the benefits of deep touch pressure therapy, weighted blankets have been shown to help ease anxiety, increase oxytocin in the brain and help individuals with sensory processing disorders feel more relaxed. DTP, as shown in the Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering, is about gently applying pressure to the body, which releases a calming chemical in the brain called serotonin to relax the nervous system.

Weighted blankets are perhaps most closely associated with sensory processing disorder and related conditions like autism, anxiety and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, weighted blankets may help with a wide variety of other health issues.

One study found that 63% of patients reported lower anxiety after use and 78% preferred the weighted blanket as a calming modality. A study from the Journal of Sleep Medicine and Disorders found it easier to settle with increased sleep duration, decreased movements and more “refreshed” feeling afterwards.

Researchers at Temple University found that 95 percent of participants with ADHD in a study improved when they received sensory intervention. The interventions offered included deep pressure touch therapy and a variety of strenuous exercise. As one researcher stated, “We found significant improvement in sensory avoiding behaviours, tactile sensitivity, and visual auditory sensitivity in the group that received treatment.”

Myofascial release, which involves the application of firm but gentle pressure over the fibromyalgia pain points can help sufferers find some relief from their pain. Weighted blankets can mimic this pressure, which may help fibromyalgia sufferers experience a reduction in symptoms.

 

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

How to Cope with Loneliness During the Holiday Season

Health and Wellness Associates

How to Cope with Loneliness During the Holiday Season

loneliness2

Tips to make your holidays brighter when you feel alone

Christmas evokes images of green and red for many. But for those suffering from loneliness, the holiday blues are also a very real thing.

Loneliness is common during the holidays. When we feel there is an expectation is to experience extreme joy or happiness, feelings of sadness and loneliness can strike even harder.

Whether you’re feeling alone or you want to be there for those around you, understanding what causes loneliness, as well as how to minimize it, can make your holidays much more joyful.

Understanding loneliness

Feeling lonely doesn’t mean you don’t have friends, family or loved ones who care. In fact, it’s very possible to feel lonely while having a loving support system in tow.

Some studies have called loneliness a disease, and others have called it a “hidden killer” of the elderly. While there are many studies on loneliness, there is no exact definition.

Loneliness is a subjective feeling. It can refer to a state of solitude, as well as the perception of feeling alone. While loneliness is a universal human emotion, it amplifies is different ways. Lonely people often dread the holidays, because of the perception that everyone around them is experiencing human connection in a way that they are not.

Examples of groups that tend to experience this more than others include those who are recently single, divorced or widowed, those who live far from family, and those who stay emotionally distant from others. Studies have shown that adults under age 30 tend to experience significantly higher levels of loneliness than other age groups, though those ages 80 and older can experience high levels as well.

How to beat loneliness during the holidays

One thing that is agreed upon is that there are ways to overcome loneliness. However, because these ways tend to involve emotional risk, many are slow to adopt them. Whether you’re feeling alone or you are in solitude, here are some tips to use this holiday season:

Tips to overcome loneliness when you feel alone

  • Practice self-care. While you may be thinking about giving gifts to others this season, don’t hesitate to give yourself the gift of a spa treatment, invest in a hobby, or other activities that will get you to socialize and enjoy the season. Taking your focus off feeling alone can help curb the feeling.
  • Choose the right people to surround yourself with. When you’re lonely, it may be tempting to call up your friend who loves to co-commiserate. But because loneliness is contagious, you won’t be doing yourself any favors. Choose to surround yourself with positive people.
  • Pursue gratitude. Whether you prefer journaling, meditation or prayer, taking the time to write or say what you’re thankful for can shift your attention away from what you don’t have, and spotlight what you do have. Always remember that thankfulness is a choice.

Tips to overcome loneliness when you are alone

  • Be vulnerable. If you’re waiting for your neighbor to be the first to say hello, take the risk and say hi first. Call a friend you haven’t spoken with in a while, or learn more about that person you always take a fitness class next to. Remembering that we’re all seeking human connection can take the pressure off the situation.
  • Give back. Helping others who have less than we do often reminds us of all we have to be thankful for. Bonus: you may meet some volunteers who have similar interests to you, and are open to helping others.
  • Release your expectations. In the age of social media, it’s easy to think the holidays are supposed to look as perfect as a Christmas card. Rethinking your expectations can stop you from playing the comparison game, at which point you may realize you have plenty to be thankful for.

 

Stepping out of your comfort zone is never convenient or easy, but it may be just the thing you need this holiday season.

Health and Wellness Associates

Dr Mark Williams

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

10 Proven Ways to Overcome Jealousy

Health and Wellness Associates

 

10 Proven Ways to Overcome Jealousy.

 

Jealousy has struck all of us at some point in our lives. In fact, we might have been under the spell of jealousy even before our very first memories. Jealous behaviors can be observed in human beings as early as infancy, but it’s one of those things that we likely won’t outgrow. Jealousy can intensify with age because the only thing worse than jealousy is romantic jealousy.

Think you’re too old or too “experienced” in relationships to be swept away by romantic jealousy? That’s unlikely. It can happen to anyone at any age. Jealousy usually has an interesting way of afflicting even the most (self-proclaimed) super-confident, “non-jealous” types.

The funny thing about romantic jealousy is that a) It’s never funny to the afflicted person, and b) People act like admitting to being jealous is like confessing to a crime. This could occur for various reasons, but it’s likely that the jealous person is already humiliated enough to discover that they can’t hide their jealousy (resulting in someone noticing it and pointing it out), therefore admitting to being jealous is only intensifying those uneasy feelings.

Like most things in life, romantic jealousy is okay in moderation. But what if you’re romantic jealousy goes overboard or even becomes obsessive in nature? This can not only affect your relationship, but also rob you of your happiness (and your sanity).

Below are 10 ways that are more than just band-aid solutions for overcoming romantic jealousy. Jealous feelings flare up for a reason and it’s important to look at yourself a little deeper and think about why you’re having these feelings. Romantic jealousy might begin a process of self-discovery and allow you to make some positive changes to not only better your relationship, but increase your overall happiness and wellbeing.

1. Don’t compare yourself

This tip is number one for a reason because if there is one thing that jealous people have in common it’s comparing themselves to others. The point of comparison is typically the individual that we believe our romantic partner is interested in or “likes” better than us.[1] The danger with engaging in this downward-spiral habit: It feeds into negative things like low self-esteem, bitterness, cynicism, envy…you name it.

What to do: We all give in and compare ourselves to others once in a while, but it’s important to combat this by acknowledging our positive traits and qualities. If you find yourself looking to another person and comparing your life to theirs, this could mean that you need to take some time to celebrate your own accomplishments and recognize your own uniqueness.

2. Focus on your relationship

jealousyRomantic jealousy not only takes up a lot of your mental space, but also physical space between you and your partner. When your conversations with your partner are characterized by arguments related to jealousy, you’re taking up time and energy that you can be spending and enjoying together.

 

What to do: One of the mysteries behind romantic jealousy is that the core fear of the jealous person is losing their partner, but the very acts that accompany jealousy can make that possibility come true. In other words, your biggest fear is losing your partner, but by letting jealousy interfere with your relationship, you might be pushing your partner away from you. Give your relationship priority over your jealousy.

 

3. How do you see yourself?

Self-esteem issues are an important root cause of romantic jealousy. Working on increasing self-esteem can be a lifelong process for some, but you can start by thinking about how your jealousy is influenced by your beliefs about yourself. If you feel you are not “enough” for your partner (i.e., smart enough, good looking enough, funny enough, rich enough, etc.) then you are prone to suffering from romantic jealousy.

What to do: One of the most effective ways to work on increasing your self-esteem is by participating in one (or more) activities or hobbies that you enjoy that provides you with a sense of meaning and accomplishment. This is not as complicated as it sounds. This hobby or activity can be anything you enjoy (e.g., cooking, singing, drawing, swimming, dancing). The point is that you’re doing something that makes you feel good about yourself, something that reminds you that there is more to you than the list of “enough’s”. You have many positive qualities and abilities that make you a special person. Practice acknowledging and celebrating this fact.

 

4. Forgive and forget

Romantic jealousy is often ridden with not just jealousy about things going on in the present, but things in your partners past as well. These “things” can be anything from baggage from a past relationship to an ex that is still somehow in your partner’s life. Forgetting the past is not an easy task, but it is critical if you want to enjoy a positive and lasting relationship with your partner.

What to do: There is a prerequisite, though, in your quest to forget your partners past: You must accept your partner for who they are. Neither you nor your partner can change what happened in the past. If you are accepting to be in a relationship with your partner, you should also agree to accept and respect the “life baggage” that they carry.

 

5. It might be you, not them

Oftentimes, people who are jealous fail to accept their own role in the problem and feel that it’s their partner who is triggering the jealous feelings and actions. In your pursuit to overcome romantic jealousy, consider that these feelings might actually have nothing to do with your partner.[5]

What to do: In many cases, jealousy is a personal, internal state of insecurity and self-doubt. You could be trying to ease the burden on yourself by blaming your partner for “making” you jealous. Taking responsibility is key in order to begin addressing the problem.

 

6. Talk to your partner

Discussions between couples about romantic jealousy often appear more like an interrogation than an actual dialogue. Your partner will likely become defensive, tune you out, label you “jealous,” and dismiss anything you have to say.

What to do: If after you have thoroughly thought about your role and responsibility for your jealous behaviors you continue to feel like your partner is partly to blame, then it’s time to talk about it. This conversation should occur at a “neutral” time (i.e., not during or shortly after an argument or disagreement) and should consist of the following:

  • Express your feelings to your partner. This is not the time to pretend that you’re not jealous. Your partner already knows you are, so leave the pride aside.
  • Be specific about what bothers you. Don’t make general or arbitrary statements that leave your partner guessing or confused.
  • Try to arrive at a solution together. Talking about a problem without participating in offering a solution comes off like you’re just complaining. Tell your partner how you would like to resolve your concerns and let your partner come up with solutions too.

7. Who you surround yourself with

A couple went for marriage counseling for issues unrelated to jealousy. After a few months of counseling, the wife suddenly began to bring up issues related to romantic jealousy. It was later revealed that the couple had recently rekindled an old friendship with another couple. The wife in the other relationship was extremely jealous towards her husband and would vent all of her jealous suspicions to her friend.

What to do: We all know the importance of surrounding ourselves with positive people, but we really understand this when we notice someone else’s issues or negative qualities rubbing off on us. If you are struggling with romantic jealousy, having a group of friends who either egg you on or speak negatively about relationships in general will only bring you down. Strive to surround yourself with other people that you would like to emulate.

8. Stop stalking…

People struggling with romantic jealousy often spend hours trying to dig up information on their partner. They search emails, social media sites, personal belongings, cell phones, or even try to secretly follow their partner. Finding no evidence to substantiate their jealousy theories does not discourage them. It only seems to make them search longer and harder. Stalking feeds into the obsession aspect of romantic jealousy. It is time consuming and distressing for the jealous partner. When the other partner finds out about the stalking behaviors, they might feel angered at the mistrust and the violation of privacy.

What to do: Think about how you are investing your time, the way it makes you feel when you are stalking your partner, and what else you can be doing with your time instead. This can help put things in perspective. If you ask someone who has overcome romantic jealousy, they will likely tell you that they took a “let the chips fall where they may” approach to their relationship: If their partner is doing something wrong, sooner or later the truth will be revealed. They refuse, though, to let negative behaviors rob their happiness and well being.

9. …so you can stop and smell the roses

stalkingImagine yourself enjoying your relationship without putting in all the energy that jealousy takes from you. Once you free yourself from some of the negative thoughts and behaviors that accompany romantic jealousy, you will be amazed to rediscover all of things you’ve been missing. You will also find that you are enjoying your partner and your relationship so much more.

 

What to do: Visualize what your ideal relationship with your partner would look like. Write your ideas down if needed. Once you set the intention to work on yourself you will be more likely to actively put effort towards your goals.

 

10. Confidence is key

When we want to make personal changes, sometimes there is an inevitable focus on the negative: Your issues, your problems, and your negative traits. Change can also successfully take place by focusing on and building upon something positive that will counter or outweigh the negative behavior that you want to change. Confidence is the direct opposite of jealousy. When you build self-confidence, feelings like jealousy, doubt, and insecurity don’t have room to grow. Those feelings will always be present to a certain extent because we’re human, but your confidence and belief in yourself will prevail.

What to do: Developing and increasing your self-confidence works in much the same way as the other tips on this article. You must acknowledge and accept your own uniqueness and dedicate your time to activities that make you feel good about yourself and give you a sense of purpose. If your self-confidence is based on what others think or say about you or what you think your partner expects from you, then your beliefs about yourself will likely be unstable and ever changing. When your self-confidence is based on what you feel and know about yourself, then you alone are in charge of your own happiness.

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Medicine

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Red Flag for Early Learning Disabilities

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

Red Flag for Early Learning Disabilities

 

redflag

 

Learning a new subject may involve many mistakes. But when they are too frequent and long-lasting, they may be symptoms of a learning disorder, the National Institutes of Health says.

A learning disability isn’t a measure of how smart a child is. It’s caused by a difference in the brain that’s present from birth, or shortly after. This affects how the brain handles information, and may cause problems with reading, writing and math.

 

Some of the early warning signs of a preschooler having a learning disability.

Trouble interacting with others, plays alone

Easily frustrated

Hard to manage, temper tantrums

Has difficulty following directions or focusing for long periods of time.

 

The agency says your child should be evaluated for a learning disability if the child has:

 

Difficulty reading or writing.

Issues with learning basic math concepts.

Difficulty remembering.

Trouble following directions.

Problems staying organized.

 

Do not count on a teacher to determine things by this behavior.  They have their own experiences with this, but can not tell the difference with a learning disability or an early mental health disorder.

 

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized, Vitamins and Supplements

The Nightmare Pill!

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS – Telehealth

 

1 in 6 Women Take This Nightmare Pill While Many Studies Suggest It’s Useless

 

Use of Antidepressants Continue to Rise

wingsandclaws

 

Major depression is one of the most common disorders in the U.S., with 16 million adults reporting at least one major depressive episode in the past year. When you look at all forms of depression, that number goes even higher. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 24 million Americans experience some form of depression, which can interfere with personal and work relationships, reduce work or academic performance and affect physical health.

 

Depression reduces your ability to care for yourself properly and make adequate decisions about your health, including nutrition and sleep. Imbalances in nutrition, weight fluctuations and poor sleep habits may lead to compromised immune function.

 

If ignored, depression can become chronic and can lead to self-harming behaviors such as drug or alcohol abuse6 and even be terminal if the person commits suicide. Up to 70 percent of people who commit suicide are clinically depressed, and 90 percent of people who struggle with suicidal thoughts experience a combination of depression and substance abuse.

 

Antidepressant Use Continues to Rise

According to the latest statistics use of antidepressants in the U.S. rose by 65 percent between 1999 and 2014. As of 2017:

 

  • Nearly 1 in 8 Americans (13 percent) over the age of 12 reported being on antidepressant medication

 

  • 1 in 6 women (16.5 percent) reported antidepressant use compared to 1 in 11 men (9 percent)

 

  • About one-quarter of those who had taken an antidepressant in the past month reported being on them for 10 years or more

 

  • Caucasians were more than three times more likely to use antidepressants than Blacks, Hispanics or Asians (16.5 percent compared to 5.6 percent, 5 percent and 3.3 percent respectively)

 

In Scotland, researchers also warn that antidepressant use among children under the age of 12 has risen dramatically.13 Between 2009 and 2016, use in this age group quadrupled. Use among children under 18 doubled in the same time frame.

 

Research Reveals Antidepressants Are Rarely the Right Answer

Unfortunately, the most widely used remedy for depression is also among the least effective. In addition to a long list of potential side effects (which include worsening depression and suicide), 40 percent of people with major depressive disorder treated with antidepressants do not achieve full remission.16

 

Perhaps more importantly, studies have repeatedly shown antidepressants work no better than placebo for mild to moderate depression, so you’re taking grave risks for a very small chance of benefit. As noted in a 2014 paper on antidepressants and the placebo effect:

 

“Antidepressants are supposed to work by fixing a chemical imbalance, specifically, a lack of serotonin in the brain … But analyses of the published data and the unpublished data that were hidden by drug companies reveals that most (if not all) of the benefits are due to the placebo effect …

 

Analyzing the data we had found, we were not surprised to find a substantial placebo effect on depression. What surprised us was how small the drug effect was. Seventy-five percent of the improvement in the drug group also occurred when people were give dummy pills with no active ingredient in them.

 

The serotonin theory is as close as any theory in the history of science to having been proved wrong. Instead of curing depression, popular antidepressants may induce a biological vulnerability making people more likely to become depressed in the future.”

 

Placebo Effect Accounts for 82 Percent of Drug Response

The author of that 2014 study, Irving Kirsch, is a psychotherapist who has performed a number of analyses on antidepressants. In 2002, his team filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), asking for the trial data provided by drug companies as part of the drug approval process.

 

The FDA requires drug companies to provide data on all clinical trials they’ve sponsored, including unpublished trials. As it turned out, nearly half of all clinical trials on antidepressants remained unpublished. When both published and unpublished trials were included, 57 percent showed the drug had no clinical benefit over placebo. What’s more, the placebo response actually accounted for 82 PERCENT of the beneficial response to antidepressants!

 

These results were reproduced in a 2010 study using another, even larger set of FDA trial data. According to Kirsch, “Once again, 82 percent of the drug response was duplicated by placebo.” A major benefit of evaluating FDA trial data was that all of the trials used the same primary measure of depression, which made the drug-to-placebo effects very easy to identify and compare.

 

The primary measure of depression used in these studies was the Hamilton depression scale, a 17-item scale with a possible score of 0 to 53 points. The higher your score, the more severe your depression. Importantly, the mean difference between antidepressants and placebo was less than two points (1.8) on this scale, which is considered clinically insignificant.

 

To illustrate just how insignificant of a difference this is, you can score a 6-point difference simply by changing sleep patterns without any reported change in other depressive symptoms.

 

EMFs — A Not Well-Known Cause of Anxiety and Depression

About one year ago Dr. Martin Pall published a review in the Journal of Neuroanatomy showing how microwave radiation from cell phones, Wi-Fi routers and computers and tablets not in airplane mode is clearly associated with many neuropsychiatric disorders. I recently did an interview with him that will air on September 3. In the meantime, you can view my interview on EMFs that I discussed on my recent trip to visit with Dave Asprey, founder and CEO of Bulletproof.

 

These microwave EMFs increase intracellular calcium through voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs) and the tissue with the highest density of VGCCs is the brain. Once these VGCCs are stimulated they also cause the release of neurotransmitters and neuroendocrine hormones leading to not only anxiety and depression, but neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and brain cancer.

 

So, if you struggle with anxiety or depression, be sure to limit your exposure to wireless technology. Simple measures include turning your Wi-Fi off at night, not carrying your cellphone on your body and not keeping portable phones, cellphones and other electric devices in your bedroom.

 

Studies have also confirmed the therapeutic effects of spending time in nature.  Ecotherapy has been shown to lower stress, improve mood and significantly reduce symptoms of depression. Outdoor activities could be just about anything, from walking a nature trail to gardening, or simply taking your exercise outdoors.

 

Breath work such as the Buteyko breathing technique also has enormous psychological benefits and can quickly reduce anxiety by increasing the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in your body. These three techniques are a perfect complement to each other, and cost nothing. Simply turn off your electronics, head outside and practice proper breathing.

 

America Struggles With Notable Decline in Mental Health 

While prescriptions for psychiatric drugs keep increasing (when you include other drugs beside antidepressants, such as anti-anxiety drugs, nearly 17 percent of American adults are medicated, several parameters show mental health in the U.S. is declining.

 

Suicide rates are at a 30-year high, mental disorders are now the second most common cause of disability, having risen sharply since 1980, and prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths have become a public health emergency. While opioid pain killers are among the most lethal, psychiatric drugs also take their toll. In 2013, anti-anxiety benzodiazepine drugs accounted for nearly one-third of prescription overdose deaths.

 

All of these statistics suggest that far from being helpful, antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs are making the situation worse. Sure, these drugs may be helpful for a small minority of people with very severe mental health problems, such as schizophrenia, but clearly, the vast majority of people using these drugs do not suffer from severe psychiatric illness.

 

Most are struggling with sadness, grief, anxiety, “the blues” and depression, which are in many ways part of your body’s communication system, revealing nutritional or sunlight deficiencies and/or spiritual disconnect, for example. The underlying reasons for these kinds of troubles are manifold, but you can be sure that, whatever the cause, an antidepressant will not correct it.

 

Women also need to be mindful of the fact that use of antidepressants during pregnancy can significantly increase your chances of having a child with autism. One study found antidepressant use during the second or third trimester was associated with an 87 percent increased risk of autism. The use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors was associated with double the risk of autism in the child, while the use of two or more antidepressants increased the risk more than fourfold.

 

Which Treatments Actually Work?

If you’re at all interested in following science-based recommendations, you’d place antidepressants at the very bottom of your list of treatment candidates. Far more effective treatments for depression include:

 

  • Exercise — A number of studies have shown exercise outperforms drug treatment. Exercise helps create new GABA-producing neurons that help induce a natural state of calm, and boosts serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which helps buffer the effects of stress.

 

Studies have shown there is a strong correlation between improved mood and aerobic capacity, but even gentle forms of exercise can be effective. Yoga, for example, has received particular attention in a number of studies. A study published this spring found 90-minute yoga sessions three times a week reduced symptom of major depression by at least 50 percent.30

 

  • Nutritional intervention — Keeping inflammation in check is an important part of any effective treatment plan. If you’re gluten sensitive, you will need to remove all gluten from your diet. A food sensitivity test can help ascertain this. Reducing lectins may also be a good idea. As a general guideline, eating a whole food diet as described in my optimal nutrition plan can go a long way toward lowering your inflammation level. Certain nutritional deficiencies are also notorious contributors to depression, especially:

 

◦ Omega-3 fats. I recommend getting an omega-3 index test to make sure you’re getting enough. Ideally, you want your omega-3 index to be 8 percent or higher.

 

◦ B vitamins (including B1, B2, B3, B6, B8 and B12). Low dietary folate can raise your risk by as much as 300 percent. One of the most recent studies showing the importance of vitamin deficiencies in depression involved suicidal teens. Most turned out to be deficient in cerebral folate and all of them showed improvement after treatment with folinic acid.

 

  • Vitamin D — Studies have shown vitamin D deficiency can predispose you to depression and that depression can respond favorably to optimizing your vitamin D stores, ideally by getting sensible sun exposure.In one such study, people with a vitamin D level below 20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) had an 85 percent increased risk of depression compared to those with a level greater than 30 ng/mL.

 

A double-blind randomized trial38 published in 2008 concluded that supplementing with high doses of vitamin D “seems to ameliorate [depression] symptoms indicating a possible causal relationship. “Recent research39 also claims that low vitamin D levels appear to be associated with suicide attempts. For optimal health, make sure your vitamin D level is between 40 and 60 ng/mL year-round. Ideally, get a vitamin D test at least twice a year to monitor your level.

 

  • Probiotics — Keeping your gut microbiome healthy also has a significant effect on your moods, emotions and brain. You can read more in my previous article, “Mental Health May Depend on the Health of Your Gut Flora.”

 

  • Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) — EFT is a form of psychological acupressure that has been shown to be quite effective for depression and anxiety.40,41,42,43 For serious or complex issues, seek out a qualified health care professional that is trained in EFT44 to guide you through the process. That said, for most of you with depression symptoms, this is a technique you can learn to do effectively on your own.

 

One of my new favorites.  My mom passed away unexpectedly in July and I am very grateful she did not have cancer or struggles with any abuses from the conventional health system that many of our readers do. However, losing my mother was a major challenge in grief management for me.

 

I realize grief is not depression but the book “Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender”45 by Dr. David Hawkins, was one of the best books I have read this year and helped teach me the useful tool of how to free yourself of painful emotions. I have read many of Hawkins’ previous books but this was his last one as he also recently passed.

 

Other Helpful Treatment Strategies

Here are several other strategies that can help improve your mental health:46

 

Clean up your sleep hygiene

 

Make sure you’re getting enough high-quality sleep, as sleep is essential for optimal mood and mental health. A fitness tracker that tracks your sleep can be a useful tool. The inability to fall asleep and stay asleep can be due to elevated cortisol levels, so if you have trouble sleeping, you may want to get your saliva cortisol level tested with an Adrenal Stress Index test.

 

If you’re already taking hormones, you can try applying a small dab of progesterone cream on your neck or face when you awaken during the night and can’t call back to sleep. Another alternative is to take adaptogens, herbal products that help lower cortisol and adjust your body to stress. There are also other excellent herbs and amino acids that help you to fall asleep and stay asleep. Meditation can also help.

Optimize your gut health

 

A number of studies have confirmed gastrointestinal inflammation can play a critical role in the development of depression. Optimizing your gut microbiome will also help regulate a number of neurotransmitters and mood-related hormones, including GABA and corticosterone, resulting in reduced anxiety and depression-related behavior.

 

To nourish your gut microbiome, be sure to eat plenty of fresh vegetables and traditionally fermented foods. Healthy choices include fermented vegetables, lassi, kefir and natto. If you do not eat fermented foods on a regular basis, taking a high-quality probiotic supplement is recommended.

 

Also remember to severely limit sugars, especially fructose, as well as grains, to rebalance your gut flora. As a standard recommendation, I suggest limiting your daily fructose consumption from all sources to 25 grams per day or less.

Visualization

 

Visualization and guided imagery have been used for decades by elite athletes prior to an event, successful business people and cancer patients — all to achieve better results through convincing your mind you have already achieved successful results. Similar success has been found in people with depression.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

 

CBT has been used successfully to treat depression. This therapy assumes mood is related to the pattern of thought. CBT attempts to change mood and reverse depression by directing your thought patterns.

Make sure your cholesterol levels aren’t too low for optimal mental health

 

You may also want to check your cholesterol to make sure it’s not too low. Low cholesterol is linked to dramatically increased rates of suicide, as well as aggression toward others. This increased expression of violence toward self and others may be due to the fact that low membrane cholesterol decreases the number of serotonin receptors in the brain, which are approximately 30 percent cholesterol by weight.

 

Lower serum cholesterol concentrations therefore may contribute to decreasing brain serotonin, which not only contributes to suicidal-associated depression, but prevents the suppression of aggressive behavior and violence toward self and others.

Helpful supplements

 

A number of herbs and supplements can be used in lieu of drugs to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. These include:

 

  • St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum). This medicinal plant has a long historical use for depression, and is thought to work similarly to antidepressants, raising brain chemicals associated with mood such as serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline.

 

  • S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe). SAMe is an amino acid derivative that occurs naturally in all cells. It plays a role in many biological reactions by transferring its methyl group to DNA, proteins, phospholipids and biogenic amines. Several scientific studies indicate that SAMe may be useful in the treatment of depression.

 

  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). 5-HTP is another natural alternative to traditional antidepressants. When your body sets about manufacturing serotonin, it first makes 5-HTP. Taking 5-HTP as a supplement may raise serotonin levels. Evidence suggests 5-HTP outperforms a placebo when it comes to alleviating depression, which is more than can be said about antidepressants.

 

  • XingPiJieYu. This Chinese herb, available from doctors of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has been found to reduce the effects of “chronic and unpredictable stress,” thereby lowering your risk of depression.

Guidelines for Safe Drug Withdrawal

If you’re currently on an antidepressant and want to get off it, ideally, you’ll want to have the cooperation of your prescribing physician. It would also be wise to do some homework on how to best proceed. Dr. Joseph Glenmullen from Harvard has written a helpful book on how to withdraw called “The Antidepressant Solution: A Step-by-Step Guide to Overcoming Antidepressant Withdrawal, Dependence, and Addiction.”

 

You can also turn to an organization with a referral list of doctors who practice more biologically or naturally, such as the American College for Advancement in Medicine at http://www.ACAM.org. A holistic psychiatrist will have a number of treatment options in their tool box that conventional doctors do not, and will typically be familiar with nutritional supplementation.

 

Once you have the cooperation of your prescribing physician, start lowering the dosage of the medication you’re taking. There are protocols for gradually reducing the dose that your doctor should be well aware of. At the same time, it may be wise to add in a multivitamin and/or other nutritional supplements or herbs. Again, your best bet would be to work with a holistic psychiatrist who is well-versed in the use of nutritional support.

 

If you have a friend or family member who struggles with depression, perhaps one of the most helpful things you can do is to help guide them toward healthier eating and lifestyle habits, as making changes can be particularly difficult when you’re feeling blue — or worse, suicidal. Encourage them to unplug and meet you outside for walks. We should not underestimate the power of human connection, and the power of connection with nature. Both, I believe, are essential for mental health and emotional stability.

 

If you are feeling desperate or have any thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a toll-free number: 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or call 911, or simply go to your nearest hospital emergency department. You cannot make long-term plans for lifestyle changes when you are in the middle of a crisis.

 

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Chemical Bending DNA and Young Children

Health and Wellness Associates

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Chemical Bending DNA Disorder in Young Children

depressedchild.jpg

Young children with Chemical Bending DNA, or Chemical Balanced Behavior show symptoms similar to depression in the lay world.   These young children get “labeled” with the symptoms related to depression or manic or even bi-polar at an early age.

In this day and age this is a mis-justice to label children with anything, especially when the healthcare industry only treats the symptoms and not the cause.  Society has label these young children Generation Stress.

 

Does your child show any of these symptoms?

 

impaired performance of schoolwork,

persistent boredom,

quickness to anger,

frequent physical complaints, like headaches and stomachaches,

more risk-taking behaviors and/or showing less concern for their own safety.

Examples of risk-taking behaviors in children include unsafe play, like climbing excessively high or running in the street.

 

Parents of infants and children with incorrect “labels” often report noticing the following behavior changes in the child:

 

Crying more often or more easily

Increased sensitivity to criticism or other negative experiences

More irritable mood than usual or compared to others their age and gender, leading to vocal or physical outbursts, defiant, destructive, angry or other acting out behaviors

Eating patterns, sleeping patterns, or significant increase or decrease in weight change, or the child fails to achieve appropriate gain weight for their age

Unexplained physical complaints (for examples, headaches or abdominal pain)

Social withdrawal, in that the youth spends more time alone, away from friends and family

Developing more “clinginess” and more dependent on certain relationships (This is not as common as social withdrawal.)

Overly pessimistic, hopeless, helpless, excessively guilty or feeling worthless

Expressing thoughts about hurting him or herself or engaging in self-injury (like cutting or burning him or herself), reckless or other potentially harmful behavior

Young children may act younger than their age or than they had before (regress).

 

These may be symptoms of depression, bi-polar problems, ADHD, PTSD, and others, but they are symptoms of Chemical Bending DNA Disorder.   These children should not be treated as a mental health child.

Even the best pediatrician will state there is no clear determining factor, except to rule out autism or something more serious.  Interesting is autism is a Chemical Bending DNA disorder.  Some pediatricians will even prescribe thyroid medications, and this medication will clearly affect these children if they take this before puberty.

Chemical Bending DNA is a serious problem that we are seeing more and more in this young generation.  If your doctor or pediatrician is not familiar with Chemical Bending DNA problems, run, and find someone who is.

 

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Himalayan Salt for the Bath!

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Himalayan Salt for the Bath!

bath

 

The Himalayas, the world’s tallest mountains, extend approximately 2,500 kilometers across Asia, along the border between India and Tibet.

Two-hundred-fifty million years ago, when the planet was a pristine ecosystem, a primal sea existed where these iconic mountains now stand. The Himalayas formed approximately 40-50 million years ago when, due to plate movement, India collided with Eurasia.

 

As the plates clicked into place, the sea evaporated, and its life-sustaining minerals beautifully crystallized beneath the sun’s rays—forming what is known as Himalayan pink salt. Due to these unique conditions, the purest form of sea salt was produced.

 

Himalayan pink salt is believed to be one of the best sources of natural minerals on earth and gets its pink shade from the high mineral and iron content.

 

Himalayan salt is a natural mineral made up of two electrolytes, sodium and chloride. Natural salt is one of the fundamental components for life and all living creatures need a supply for survival.

 

When Himalayan salt dissolves in water, it creates a concentrated, electrically charged blend containing 84 trace minerals that match those found in our body. These traces are not found in commonly used refined, bleached and processed table salt.

 

The reason this ionic, mineral-rich solution is so nourishing is because the sole solution that is created makes the salt the right size to be easily absorbed and metabolized by the cells in the human body.

 

Many people indulge in this therapeutic salt for bathing to align with the phases of the moon. This is known as Moon Bathing or Moon Rhythm Bathing.

 

When the moon is full, our healing potential peaks and mineral absorption is optimized. During a new moon, cleansing is peaked, and the body’s potential to internally and externally cleanse and detoxify peaks.

 

Rejuvenating salt baths have been known for their therapeutic benefits for thousands of years. The first known account was between 460-370 B.C.E when Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine,” noticed that seawater and salt water naturally cleansed, soothed, and healed the infections on fishermen’s rough, cracked, and swollen hands.

 

Soon after, Hippocrates began to advise his patients to bathe in warmed seawater and called the therapeutic treatment Thalassotherapy. It is common in thalassotherapy spas for several people to share the same bath, as salt is a disinfectant.

 

Simply by adding Himalayan salt to a bath, we can create a rejuvenating, detoxing, and relaxing in-home-spa experience.

 

There are many types of salt we can add to our bath water, however, I recommend Himalayan pink salt, as it is rich in vital minerals that our skin and body readily absorb including, bicarbonate, bromide, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, sulphate, and zinc.

 

Taking a mineral bath is known as balneotherapy, and the process of absorbing minerals through the skin is known as “dermal absorption.” It is believed that the health benefits of soaking our skin in minerals are greater than if we were to orally consume the minerals.

 

Estimates suggest that every day we are exposed to anywhere between 700,000 and 2.1 million different toxic chemicals from our food, water, the air we breathe, clothing, and personal and household products.

 

Mixing mineral-based salt to water creates a unique ionic solution that helps to extract these toxins from our skin and tissues through a process known as reverse osmosis.

 

Himalayan salt not only pulls waste toxins out of the skin, which block pores and cause a dull complexion, but it also draws water out of the body, preventing water retention.

 

In a regular bath, moisture is extracted from the skin, as our body fluids are a salt solution rather than solely water. However, adding natural sea salt to our bathwater that contains 84 different nutrients that easily absorb into our skin is significantly less drying, and due to the minerals blend, the pH balance of the skin is restored.

 

After bathing, we will immediately notice that our skin feels soft, supple, and has a radiant, healthy glow as our pores and cells have been cleansed and purified from the inside out.

 

Salt has anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiseptic qualities, which makes it the perfect antidote to skin

irritations, infections, and rashes. The high mineral content in Himalayan salt helps to lightly plump the outer skin and creates a protective barrier over it.

 

Himalayan salt reduces inflammation, therefore it can help us to wind down and relax after a stressful day, making it easier to achieve a restful sleep.

 

Due to the presence of magnesium and other trace minerals, salt baths can offer relief from cramped, tired, and aching muscles with studies finding that regular salt bathing can alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and improve rheumatological diseases.

 

Salt air has anti-bacterial, ant-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties, so when we naturally inhale the salty water from the bath, the minute particles flow through our respiratory system. The lungs absorb these tiny particles, and this process can alleviate respiratory conditions such as hay fever, coughs, chest and sinus infections, asthma, and allergies.

 

The first and most obvious benefit we notice when soaking in a salt-water bath is that once we immerse ourselves in the bath our worries, anxiety, and stress quickly subside, and peace and harmony are restored.

 

To get the most benefit from this refreshing and energizing salt-water bath, shower and wash with your regular choice of shampoo and soaps prior to soaking in the bath.

 

Mixing elements, such as, air, fire, and water is known to be spiritually cleansing and healing, so open a window a little, light a few candles, and play some relaxing background music.

 

Dry brushing the skin, known as French bathing, removes toxins, loosens dead skin cells, increases circulation, reduces inflammation, increases muscle tone, and opens the pores to intensify the detox process.

 

To remain hydrated during the bath, regularly sip water, which also releases toxins.

 

The concentration of the salt bath should be around the same salt concentration in our body fluids, which is approximately 0.9 percent salt solution.

 

An average bath uses between 25-35 gallons of water, so to achieve a similar balance, mix approximately one ounce of salt per gallon of water, which will work out to around 1.5 to 2 pounds of salt.

 

Fill the bath about four inches deep with hot water, then add the Himalayan pink salt and stir the water until the flakes have dissolved. Then fill the rest of the tub with lukewarm water.

 

It is essential that the water temperature is not too hot or too cold, and it is advisable to bathe in water as close to body temperature as possible, which is approximately 37° Celsius or 97° Fahrenheit. This allows for maximum absorption of the minerals.

 

The salt bath resembles the temperature and ionic make up of the amniotic fluid we are submerged in when in the womb, which is one of the reasons it feels so safe, relaxing, and healing.

 

There is no need to adjust the water temperature once you are in it, as the bath will remain at a constant temperature because of the biophysical composition of the salt, which is so strong that it causes the molecules to move in a constant rhythm.

 

The body’s organ functions resonate with the natural rhythm of the molecules, which recharge the body and mind, reactivate the body’s regulatory mechanism, boosts metabolism, and triggers cellular healing.

 

At least once a week, at the end of the day, soak in a Himalayan salt bath for around 20-30 minutes—the experience is known to be similar to soaking in an ocean of energy.

 

Don’t rinse the skin in the shower at the end of the bath, just lightly towel dry to achieve the optimum benefits.

 

After this therapeutic body, mind, and soul experience, your muscles will be relaxed and may feel a little weaker than usual, so indulge in some well-earned rest, with a good book and a cup of warm herbal tea,

and relax for at least 30 minutes.

 

On regular bath days, you can cleanse and exfoliate the skin with a bar of Himalayan salt soap.

 

Disclaimer: While there are many benefits to taking these baths, to be on the safe side, if you are pregnant, have diabetes, low or high blood pressure, heart, kidney, or liver disease, any other circulation problems, recent or current illness or any other health concerns please consult a doctor or health professional for advice before bathing in salt water.

 

If you feel dizzy, sick, or unwell when taking your bath, slowly get out, rest until you recover—and if concerned, contact a health professional. Sipping on a glass of water may alleviate adverse reactions.

 

When purchasing Himalayan salt, it is advisable to choose an ethical company committed to sustainable sourcing, which entails mining by hand instead of blasting.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr. Mark Williams

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