OCD Explained

By:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/1b/OCD_handwash.jpg/737px-OCD_handwash.jpg

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by repetitive thoughts, impulses, or images that are intrusive and inappropriate and cause anxiety or distress, or repetitive behaviors that the person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession or rigid rules that must be applied. Those suffering from this condition recognize that the obsessions are a product of their own mind. The obsessions or compulsions are time consuming or interfere with role functioning.

Click here for the original article: http://scitechconnect.elsevier.com/ocd-explained/

How I Manage My Bipolar Disorder

by Krystal Reddick

 

I went six years between my first (2007) and second (2013) hospitalizations. I pride myself on that. I was hospitalized for a third time in 2014. Through my three hospitalizations and three IOPs (Intensive Outpatient Therapy) I’ve met people on their 10th or 15th hospitalization. Some people are chronically unemployed or on disability. Their illness dictates the course for their life.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be this way.

To make sure I stay stable and highly functioning, I do a number of things:

  1. For the past seven years, I’ve seen my therapist every three weeks and my psychiatrist every three months.
  2. I’m a compliant patient; I take my medicine faithfully and go to all follow-up appointments.
  3. I make time for leisure (reading, hanging out with friends, going out to eat, getting massages, shopping, watching TV, etc.).
  4. For the past year I’ve been getting acupuncture regularly. I’m trying to balance out my reliance on Western medicine with more holistic practices.
  5. I’m protective of my sleep. Not getting enough sleep can trigger depression or mania.
  6. I exercise two to four days per week. There are numerous health benefits gained from exercise.
  7. I try to eat healthy. I can definitely do a better job at this. I saw a nutritionist this summer and have made the dietary changes she suggested.
  8. I try to minimize my stress triggers. Keeping up with all of the paperwork for my job usually takes a toll on me. So I try to manage my procrastination. I don’t always succeed at this. But I’m trying.

A stable life is highly doable. You have to take stock of your life and shape one you’d be proud and happy to live. It is a lot of work. But what in life isn’t?

 

Click here for original article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/krystal-reddick/how-i-manage-my-bipolar-d_b_5559720.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living

Bright light helps depression

Harvard Women’s Health Watch

depression light therapy seasonal affective disorder
Image: Thinkstock

Research we’re watching

Light therapy has been the treatment of choice for seasonal affective disorder (SAD)—the gloom that descends on some people as the days grow short. The therapy typically involves spending about 30 minutes a day—usually immediately after waking—in front of a box that emits bright fluorescent light. A study published online Nov. 18, 2015, by JAMA Psychiatry demonstrates that light therapy can also alleviate major depressive disorder.

Researchers randomly assigned 122 women and men with major depression to four groups—31 received fluoxetine (Prozac) and light therapy, 32 received light therapy and a placebo pill, 31 took fluoxetine and underwent a sham (placebo) treatment using an ion generator in place of the light box, and 30 took a placebo and underwent sham therapy. At the end of the eight-week treatment period, depression was alleviated in 17 of those who had both light therapy and fluoxetine, 14 of those who had light therapy and took placebo pills, six who took fluoxetene and had sham light therapy, and nine who had only placebo treatments.

If you’re battling depression and searching for a new treatment, light therapy may be worth a try, either alone or in conjunction with an antidepressant. There are few side effects.

Original post:http://www.health.harvard.edu/depression/bright-light-helps-depression

Follow the poodle? Alternatives to prescription sleep medications

Stuart Quan, MD

Posted February 10, 2016, 9:00 am

Stuart Quan, MD, Contributing Editor

A contemporary author once wrote, “The night is the hardest time to be alive and 4 a.m. knows all my secrets.” If you haven’t been sleeping well for a while, this quote might feel like your new reality. You might even find yourself tempted by the happy poodles and free-floating butterflies on TV imploring you to ask your doctor about their new drugs for insomnia. But, before answering their siren call, you pause. You notice the side effects are rattled off rapidly and are difficult to understand. You are worried about being “hooked” on them forever. You ask yourself, is there another way to get better sleep? The answer is an emphatic “Yes!”

CBT: A clear winner for insomnia

Sleep specialists now agree that behavioral (non-drug) techniques should be the first approach to treatment of most cases of chronic insomnia. The best studied of these is cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. The goal of CBT is to address harmful behaviors and misbeliefs that are causing and perpetuating insomnia. Components of CBT include restricting time in bed, disrupting the negative association between failure to sleep and the bedroom environment, and correcting any negative or inaccurate beliefs about sleep.

In large-scale studies, CBT has been shown to be equally effective as drug treatment for insomnia. Importantly, improvement in sleep is longer-lasting after CBT than with drug treatment or the combination of drug treatment and CBT. Until recently, the use of CBT, which normally requires several in-person sessions, has been limited because of the lack of qualified therapists. However, studies now have shown that brief interventions (using only 1-2 sessions) as well as therapy administered via online programs can be as effective as conventional CBT.

Relaxation therapy also can be effective for insomnia treatment. However, although improving sleep hygiene (e.g., limiting caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and exercise close to bedtime) is effective when incorporated into CBT, it’s not effective when used alone, without being part of a larger treatment plan.

What about other complementary therapies?

Non-conventional or complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches are used by approximately 45% of Americans with insomnia. Such remedies include herbal or natural products (e.g., valerian, melatonin), yoga, and acupuncture. But are CAM therapies effective and worth your time and money?

Unfortunately, there have been relatively few studies of CAM therapies for insomnia, and most of them have not been done well. However, acupressure, tai chi, yoga, and other mind-body activities can be effective, but the status of acupuncture and L-tryptophan is unclear. There is no or little evidence that herbal compounds (valerian, chamomile, kava, wuling), aromatherapy, and homeopathy are useful. As for melatonin, it is useful for the treatment of circadian or body rhythm disorders; its role as a therapy for insomnia has not been clearly established.

The bottom line for getting more shut-eye — without any butterflies

Chronic insomnia affects approximately 10% of Americans and results in poorer quality of life. Behavioral or non-drug approaches are effective and should be the initial treatment. A few CAM remedies have been shown to be useful, but most are not. Moreover, you should be aware that most claims about the effectiveness of CAM treatments for insomnia are not supported by good evidence.

Original post: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/follow-the-poodle-alternatives-to-prescription-sleep-medications-201602109162

Tips for Managing School Stress – ft. Study With Jess

Self-Harm Behaviors – Mental Health with Kati Morton

Kati Morton

Self Injury & how it can develop over time. There are many reasons that someone may self or harm self injure. It can be as a way to feel our emotional pain physically, or we may do it as a way to express our anger.

How I Manage My Bipolar Disorder

by

 

I went six years between my first (2007) and second (2013) hospitalizations. I pride myself on that. I was hospitalized for a third time in 2014. Through my three hospitalizations and three IOPs (Intensive Outpatient Therapy) I’ve met people on their 10th or 15th hospitalization. Some people are chronically unemployed or on disability. Their illness dictates the course for their life.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be this way.

To make sure I stay stable and highly functioning, I do a number of things:

  1. For the past seven years, I’ve seen my therapist every three weeks and my psychiatrist every three months.
  2. I’m a compliant patient; I take my medicine faithfully and go to all follow-up appointments.
  3. I make time for leisure (reading, hanging out with friends, going out to eat, getting massages, shopping, watching TV, etc.).
  4. For the past year I’ve been getting acupuncture regularly. I’m trying to balance out my reliance on Western medicine with more holistic practices.
  5. I’m protective of my sleep. Not getting enough sleep can trigger depression or mania.
  6. I exercise two to four days per week. There are numerous health benefits gained from exercise.
  7. I try to eat healthy. I can definitely do a better job at this. I saw a nutritionist this summer and have made the dietary changes she suggested.
  8. I try to minimize my stress triggers. Keeping up with all of the paperwork for my job usually takes a toll on me. So I try to manage my procrastination. I don’t always succeed at this. But I’m trying.

A stable life is highly doable. You have to take stock of your life and shape one you’d be proud and happy to live. It is a lot of work. But what in life isn’t?

 

Click here for original article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/krystal-reddick/how-i-manage-my-bipolar-d_b_5559720.html?utm_hp_ref=healthy-living