Category Archives: Anxiety Advandced Tips

Tips on Taking Care of Mental Health

Mental health issues affect nearly 15{07965d1a73f172391d248434f2d27e2a2315fb5c95eb3ba6629368cfee7d254a} of the population. This data can be alarming, considering that 2/3 of those diagnosed with mental disorder remains untreated. While mental disorders are sometimes caused by chemical imbalance in the brain, some of these are caused by the experiences that we need to deal with, such as death of a loved one or some other tragic or traumatic experience.

Hence, the goal is to maintain a good or positive mental health, where one is able to take control of his life and able to cope with any and all situations that come his way. Here are some tips on taking care of mental health.

Always stay happy. This may sound vague, but there are many ways to stay happy. Remain positive and optimistic. Look at the bright side of life always.



So how do we stay happy? First, we must learn to balance our time. After a busy day or week, take time to relax. Do something pleasurable with your friends or family. It can be a hobby, sport or a simple activity.

Aside from balancing our time, we must also manage time well. To minimize stress, make a schedule of the things you will do, and stick to it.

Be tolerant of others. All of us are different in many ways, so we must learn to accept each other’s ideas and opinion, even if it differs from our own. Learn to accept the weaknesses and shortcomings of others. Once we learn to accept, there is a lesser chance of conflict, which can be stressful and frustrating.

Spend time with your family and friends. Find time to talk to someone, even if you don’t make sense at all! What is important is the act of sharing your experiences, worries or problems with somebody.

You must also learn to listen to their worries for them to feel better. In effect, not only have you helped yourself but you’ve helped your friend too.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle. You know the basics. Eat healthy food always. Exercise regularly. Sleep well. Avoid drugs and alcohol. Quit smoking. Avoid doing strenuous activities. Take time to rest.

Sadly, though, depression and other mental disorders affect children and the young. Parents have an important role in the child’s mental health. Parents must learn to communicate with their kids and at the same time listen to them.

In their dealings, let the kid feel appreciated always. Acknowledge their strengths instead of focusing on their weaknesses.

Their coping abilities must also be developed. If they commit mistakes, explain so they will learn from them. Allow them to develop a sense of responsibility by letting them solve problems as well as make decisions. Teach them the importance of discipline and self-worth. Discipline them without making them feel unloved or unworthy.

Lastly, accept them for who they are. With acceptance comes love, respect, and everything else.

The key to taking care of mental health is being happy and in control of our lives. Once we know how to take control, we are able to cope with any and all situations that come our way.

Being happy is not just a one-time event – it is a lifestyle. Stay positive always. Learn to find joy in the simple miracles of life. And be grateful for each wonderful day.

Taking Control of Mental Illness

We are told that mental illnesses occur because of our genes, our upbringing, our personality, our temperament, our lifestyle and we can do nothing about them. Stress or no stress, we are told, if we have all these factors loaded in our personal history, we are prone to have a mental illness. Some psychiatrists adhere to this belief strongly.

This belief is then put across as the “gospel truth” of science. Naturally, this brings up a sense of low self-esteem and helplessness in the person who is suffering with the illness.

We are then made to believe that medications are man-made answers to mental illness, which is a curse of nature.

The whole area of mental illness is about losing a sense of freedom. When we find ourselves bound to emotional issues of our life, that we cannot rid ourselves of, we lose our freedom of thinking. This creates stress in our mind and our body bears the brunt of it.

This loss of freedom brings up a sense of fear or a sense of helplessness. Both such feelings bring up a sense of insecurity.

People lose confidence in their own worth. Self-esteem becomes low. With lack of confidence and low self-esteem, comes poor decision-making.

A person suffers with all these conditions when suffering with a mental illness. When a mentally ill person goes to seek help – confidence, self-esteem and sense of freedom are already lost.

Instead of helping the person become independent, there is a tendency to make the person dependent on medication.

Medication plays its role in controlling the condition or state of illness. It does nothing to improve the quality of life permanently.

To improve their quality of life, the person needs to take responsibility for their own well being.

We live in a free society. The freedom to suffer is also one kind of freedom. We also have the freedom to look for answers to minimize our suffering.

Overview of Mental Health Counseling

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

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

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

For one, counseling psychology is used by psychotherapist and counselors to help patients with milder psychopathological concerns. On the other hand, clinical counseling deals with more severe and advance forms of psychological disorders such as schizophrenia and psychosomatic disorders.

Examples of disorders that could be treated by counseling psychology are the stress-related disorders. In essence, these are just minor mental health illness that requires very little (if there is any) medical interventions.

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

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

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

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

Because of a more comprehensive and intensive nature of this field, clinical counseling makes use of psychological assessment tools that further confirm the symptoms of disorders among people with disrupted mental health. Mental health assessment is a medium for evaluating symptoms that a person presents.

This gives insights to mental health professionals that will guide them in the preparation, administration and evaluation of treatment methods that are apt to the mental health needs of a patient. The process of assessment requires the use of interviews, physical examinations and clinical observations.

Also, assessment tools such as intelligence, symptoms questionnaires, personality and neuropsychological tests are widely used. All these contribute significantly to the diagnostic impressions that will be formulated after all data are collected and studied.

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

Loving Someone with Bipolar Disorder

Giving unconditional love for bipolar disorder patients is a tough job. If you do not understand what is happening to your loved one, then you will have difficulty relating to them.

Do not think of the illness as humiliation. If you will feel ashamed of your loved one because he is inflicted with such illness, then you are not helping him restore his good health, instead you are letting him do worse than expected.

Trust is essential to individuals with Bipolar disorder. They need you to trust them, not entrust them to other people or institutions such as the psychiatrists or an asylum. To build up trust, an open and honest communication is needed.

Keep the communication line open. An open and honest communication is vital. Encourage your loved one to talk about what he thinks and feels. Let him suggest ways on how you are supposed to relate to him.

Do not suppress what you feel. However, there are positive ways to let your loved know how you feel. It is recommended that you avoid nagging, preaching or lecturing an individual with Bipolar disorder.

Such negative actions will drive him to detach. If you are concerned about him, let him see how concerned you are in a gentle and encouraging manner.

Let him do things his way. Along with trust and communication, let the person experience what he can do for himself. Let him solve problems if he can find solutions.

Let him live the way he is supposed to live. By that, he will feel that he is important and has a good reason why he lives.

Be there. Although you allow him to do his own way, it does not mean that you will not be there when he needs you to. Let him do things his way but make sure that you are around to give assistance when needed.

Most importantly, apart from assistance, you need to offer your love, understanding and support.

Herbs That Help With Anxiety

Anxiety disorders are the most common of all mental health disorders. Fortunately, anxiety disorder is highly treatable, and with professional help, it can often be completely overcome. Many times, successful treatment depends only upon individual or group therapy and learned relaxation techniques.

In some cases, however, anti-anxiety prescription medication is also recommended. Medications can carry a risk of alarming side effects and can be highly addictive, spurring many people to seek safer, more natural alternatives.

There are many natural herbs for anxiety, which have been proven to effectively ease many of the symptoms of with a very low risk of side effects. Just as with prescription medications, everyone reacts differently to natural medications, and it can take time to find the right combination and dosage for your body.

Passionflower – an ingredient that is often used in natural medicine, alleviates hyperactivity, anxiety, insomnia, nervous tension — and is even sometimes used to treat Parkinson’s Disease. Passion flower soothes and calms and can lower high blood pressure.

Lemon balm – a general restorative for the nervous system, can reduce blood pressure and also calm the digestive system.

Lavender – an excellent anxiety treatment and one of the best natural panic attack treatments. Lavender is a general tonic for the nervous system and a natural relaxant.

Valerian – a popular natural ingredient that can be used as a sedative and a painkiller. It is often effectively employed as a treatment for anxiety and for insomnia, as well.

You may find that with psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation exercises or support groups, or some combination of all of them, you do not need any medication.

But if you do decide to explore the option of medication, natural treatments for anxiety can provide you with safe, effective results, without the risk of side effects that prescription medications pose.

Natural medications are becoming increasingly popular as awareness of them grows, and you might find that they are the right treatment for you as well.

Elgin Mental Health Center – More Than Just a Psychiatric Facility

If a friend or someone in the family is to be treated in a mental facility, we try to find the best facility for them. After all, the goal is for them to get well, and we believe that our choice of hospital is vital for the person’s recovery. In Illinois, when we speak of psychiatric facilities, one hospital easily comes to mind. That is Elgin Mental Health Center or EMHC.

As the second oldest state hospital in Illinois, this facility opened in 1872 under its former name, Northern Illinois Hospital and Asylum for the Insane. The first-ever physiological measurements of mental patients were recorded by the Elgin Papers back in the 1890s. By 1997, the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations gave EMHC its commendation for two years in a row.

How the hospital was developed can be broken down into five phases. The first phase ended in 1893. A stable leadership was responsible for the gradual growth during this period.

After this phase, the hospital immensely grew to more than twice its size. This second phase, which ended by 1920, was characterized by a lot of politicking, leadership changes and power struggles in the system.

For the third period, growth was more rapid. Hospital population, which reached its peak by the 1950s, increased for both geriatric and veterans. This is because the period was post World War I and World War II.

By the time the third phase ended, hospital population declined. During this phase, psychotropic medications were introduced. Other milestones for this period include the development of community health facilities, deinstitutionalization, until the decentralization of decision-making and authority. This fourth phase ended until the 1980s.

The last phase is what some call the “rebirth.” It began in 1983, when hospital census was at its lowest. Because of this, the hospital was on the verge of closure. However, the state decided to close Manteno Mental Health Center instead.

During this time, the hospital was practically rebuilt. While the old buildings used a congregate model called the Kirkbride plan, new physical facilities were added such as cottages in order to adhere to a segregate plan. There are two divisions, civil and forensic. Each division has an acute treatment center, office and conference rooms which faculty and trainees can use.

Forensic programs were further developed, and new affiliations with medical schools were also made. Affiliations include that with The Chicago Medical School, among others. An increase in educational activities showed that EMHC is also concerned with the education of future doctors and medical graduates.

Hospital system operations were also modified. Activities of community mental health centers are integrated in the system operations. Community mental health centers refer their patients to EMHC. These community mental facilities include DuPage County Health Department, Lake County Mental Health Center, Ecker Center for Mental Health, and Kenneth Young Center.

At present, admissions are close to 1300 annually. Patients are usually African-American, Euro-American and Hispanic. The hospital holds 582 to 600 beds and about 40 full-time physicians.

Just like any health facility, EMHC is harassed with problems and controversies with respect to their policies and programs. Nevertheless, Elgin Mental Health Center continues to do what it is supposed to do, and that is to provide the best treatment for their patients.

Exposure Therapy: The End To All Anxiety?

Exposure therapy is nothing revolutionary, but it is now being recognized as an effective method of conquering people’s fears and anxieties. It is now regularly included in a program of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which itself is one of the most useful ways of treating a phobia or anxiety program

There is no doubt that exposure therapy is unpleasant. If someone has a clinical mental condition, it will usually be based around a fear of some sort. This fear can be totally irrational, but it can also be a rational fear of a genuine problem – except the level of fear is higher than is necessary, and is out of proportion with the actual threat. Whatever the reason behind it, when people have a fear of something, they will do all they can to avoid it.

Yet avoidance actually feeds a fear and gives it weapons. Subconsciously, when we avoid something we fear, we are actually building another block of dread. We are relieved to avoid the situation, and when we feel relief at avoiding it, we also feel extra fear for what we have avoided. The feeling of relief reinforcing our mind’s incorrect assumption that something is dangerous.

Exposure therapy removes this element by forcing people to face what it is they fear. It works particularly well with phobias, as well as people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It is the epitome of confronting your fear. Yes, doing so is unpleasant and distressing, but with continued exposure therapy you will soon learn there is nothing to fear. Over time, and the help of a mental health professional, any anxiety or mental health condition will improve immeasurably.

The Benefits of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

It may seem like a bit of a mouthful, but Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (known as CBT) is one of the foremost treatments for anxiety and panic disorders – and also one of the most effective. Many patients find a combination of CBT and traditional psychiatrist help and assessment is just what they need to combat their anxiety problems.

CBT is based on retraining the way they brain thinks. When someone suffers from an anxiety problem, it is because their mind is making a subconscious decision or overreaction to a particular stimulus. CBT is designed to find the root cause of the problem, and persuade the mind through therapy sessions and workshops to see things differently. This can remove the element of fear and whatever else may be causing the anxiety, but not by riding over the top of the problem as medication might. Instead, CBT focuses on retraining the brain.

In terms of efficacy, CBT is perhaps the most realistic way of overcoming problems with anxiety. It is replacing conventional psychiatric treatments for some people, who prefer the less intensive and intrusive elements of CBT. A session with a psychiatrist can be quite taxing mentally, whereas CBT is designed to move at your own pace.

CBT is generally conducted by psychologists’, and tends to work as an intensive program of six or eight weeks. Patients can have as many programs as they wish, until they feel they have grasped the problem. When CBT is grasped and the new methods learned, a patient may need nothing more than an occasional refresher course for the rest of their life.

Anxiety Disorders & Medications

We live in a fix-all society, where we are all programmed to think that problems can be fixed quickly and easily. This “have it all, now” mentally extends throughout our lives, and even into our health. It is therefore understandable that, for most people, going to see a doctor and getting medication is the obvious answer to any malady.

This is proven in mental health in that Prozac, an anti-depressant, is one of the most prescribed drugs in the world. Anti-anxiety medication, such as Diazepam, and other suppressants are also freely marketed and used as an answer to anxiety problems. Yet it is worth considering the downsides of such medication.

The problem with medicating yourself through periods of severe anxiety is that, at some point, you are going to need to stop taking the medication. The only other option is to medicate forevermore, and spend the rest of your life in a drug-addled state. All the anti-anxiety medications have a sedative quality, even if it is mild, which can make you feel sleepy and lethargic. This is the point, of course, as in quelling your conscious mind the medication in turn quells anxiety, but this is nothing more than a short fix solution.

While medication can dull an anxiety attack, they can’t cure it. No prescription medication can definitively “cure” a mental illness, they can only lessen its impact. So unless you are willing to accept that you will be heavily medicated for the rest of your life, it is more beneficial to seek psychiatric and psychological therapy rather than reaching for the pills. It may take longer, but the results will last longer, too.

When Anxiety Strikes

Panic attacks can be the bane of your existence, and can make being out and about in the world extremely daunting. Never knowing when – or why – an attack can hit makes life unpredictable, and searching for a way to control your anxiety is a natural step to take.

Most anxiety attacks come on suddenly – however, there are usually warning signs that one is about to strike. It may only be a few seconds warning, but try and identify the signs that things are about to get complicated. You may feel your chest tighten, feel lightheaded or begin to shake – all are the immediate signs of a rush of adrenaline, which is one of the main identifiable psychological reasons for an anxiety attack.

As soon as you feel an attack beginning to develop, stop what you are doing. If you’re driving, pull over, and try and sit down if you’re standing or walking. As the attack begins to flower, take slow, steady breaths. Breathe in for five seconds, and out for five seconds. One of the main things people do when they are experiencing an anxiety attack is to breathe in short, sharp gasps; by slowing and focusing on your breathing, you are distracting your mind and resetting the scales.

Keep breathing in this fashion. If necessary, close your eyes and tilt your head back so you have a clear throat passage for air to move through. You may also find some form of self-comforting useful; try rubbing the side of your wrist with a fingertip. Remain calm, focus on your breathing and rest until the feeling has passed.

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