Mental Health Basics

Mental Health Basics

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    A , Health Education, answered
    Can I worry too much about being clean?
    You can worry too much about being clean, especially if it tips into perfectionism, which creates tension and stress. In this video, sociologist Christine Carter, PhD, discusses some ways to create balance in your home between clean and disorderly. 
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    While researchers are working internationally to develop culturally-specific anti-stigma programs, there are steps to take to combat stigma in your community:
    • Recognize that most mental illnesses are disorders of the brain.
    • Be respectful of people with mental illness.
    • Don’t use disrespectful terms in referring to people with a mental illness, such as retarded, crazy, or lunatic.
    • Refer to a person, not just their illness, such as "a person who has schizophrenia" instead of "a schizophrenic."
    • Emphasize a person’s abilities and strengths rather than his disability or limitations.
    • Help dispel myths about mental illness.
    • Promote greater awareness of mental illness.
    • Encourage people to seek help for mental health problems.
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    A , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    Each of us spends time in the thought-free state every day. We just don't know it. The thought-free state is that instant when you're looking at a gorgeous sunset and your mind stops. Then the thought "Oh, what a gorgeous sunset" arises and takes you out of it. Any time our attention is on sensation -- what we are seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, or tasting -- and we're not caught up in thoughts or feelings, we're in the thought-free state. In these moments, we dive between our thoughts and align with our true self. You can rest in the thought-free state when you're waiting in line, walking to your car, or even folding your clothes. All you have to do is notice that you're thinking and ask yourself, "Where's the quiet?"
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    A Family Medicine, answered on behalf of

    Mental illness from my perspective as a family physician has been shaped from watching a revolution over the last ten years in the understanding and treatment of mood and though disorders through the lens of neuroscience - how the brain works in both health and in illness. From the chemical messenger molecules that are released from one nerve cell (neuron) to another, and how patterns of neurons fire, say from the cortex that processes sensations and emotions and integrates them into thoughts, and from the limbic brain that generates emotions and ties them together with memories and meanings, it has become clear to me that a reasonably happy person utterly depends on some very complicated machinery to stay focused and positive. Conversely, there are many influences that disrupt this mental engine, that cause distortions of perceptions or negative feelings. These in turn cause self-destructive or self-neglecting beliefs, which in turn drastically influence behavior.

    With today's understanding of brains and moods and thoughts, more and more psychiatrists and therapists and primary care physicians are able to better diagnose and treat more types of mental illness, regardless of the cause. Therapy can be directed more toward specific targets in the brain and in the environment that push people toward negative perceptions, feelings, beliefs, and then behaviors.  

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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    How good is balance? Try this self-test: Stand on one leg; close your eyes. The longer you can stand without falling, the younger your brain (15 seconds is very good if you are 45 or older). That balancing act isn't only a good gauge of your balance; it's also a sign of your brain strength.

    YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger
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    A , Adolescent Medicine, answered

    The signs of emotional abuse can sometimes be difficult to spot. The most obvious, of course, is if you see or hear one person in a relationship being openly verbally abusive to the other one.

    Look for the more subtle signs, too. “The person is often frightened of the abuser or fearful of angering or displeasing the abuser,” says Donnenfeld. “As a result, actions and access are controlled, and the person often seems to have no freedom or capacity to make independent decisions." She adds that the victim of emotional abuse judges everything according to how the abuser will react to it — whether it's with approval, disapproval, or rage. The victim may also withdraw from friends and family without warning, often at the request of the abuser.

    Keep in mind that you may never witness the abuse within a relationship, but you may notice the effects of emotional abuse in a friend or loved one. “In some situations, the abuse takes place behind closed doors, so then you may observe the victim’s loss of self-confidence, depression, or sleeping or eating disorders,” says Dr. Collins.

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    A Family Medicine, answered on behalf of
         As a family physician with a fairly extensive background in mental health diagnosis and treatment, I concur with the 80 percent recovery rate. I also am convinced that those with mood and thought disorders need a supportive and insightful 'family' of friends and a few mentors to keep challenging old thought patterns and confront negative feelings. A skilled therapist along with a well trained mental health physician are crucial in maintaining mental health. No one recovers alone, and bad company ruins good recovery work, so be diligent and wise with choices in how you treat your brain and relationships. 
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    A , Psychiatry, answered
    Adjustment disorder-implies there is a clearly identifiable stressor that has caused some change in a person’s behavior or emotions as a result of the stress associated with it. Major life changes are often times of stress for most people- moving to a new city, starting a new job, losing a job and even positive changes including getting married etc. In an adjustment disorder- we may see some symptoms such as depressed mood, tearfulness, or anxiety- worry or jitteriness (in kids, fear of separation from parents or major behavioral problems- acting out in school, fighting, truancy, vandalism). The distress seen in an adjustment disorder is greater than what might ordinarily be expected, usually occurs within 3 months of the stressor and often goes away when the stressor/its consequences remit. For example, a child has to be apart from a parent that travels abroad, on only one occasion, for a few month. The symptoms typically resolve when the parent returns. However, if the stressor (parent traveling) continues, so can the symptoms. Usually the symptoms of adjustment disorder are not of great enough severity to meet criteria for a major depressive episode or anxiety disorder nor are as disruptive to social/school/occupational functioning as other depressive/anxiety disorders typically are.
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    A , Adolescent Medicine, answered

    Depersonalization is a common symptom of many psychiatric disorders and often occurs in dangerous situations, such as assaults, accidents or serious illnesses.

    Depersonalization as a separate disorder is quite rare.

     

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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered

    Believe it or not, your body naturally wants to take you to your optimum weight, as long as you don't get in its way. That's right. For almost everyone, no matter what your genetics, the systems, organs, and processes of your body all want you to function at an ideal weight and an ideal size. These are the major principles of achieving your very best and very healthiest body:

    • Choose elegance over force. Dietary battles are won not when you work hard, but when you work smart. Most dieters try to defeat their cheese doodle/custard pie infatuations with will, with deprivation, with sweat, with a "my-brain-is-stronger-than-your crust" attitude. But trying to beat your body with mind power alone may be more painful than passing a melon-size kidney stone. Instead, you have to learn about the systems and actions that influence hunger, satiety, fat-storing, and fat-burning to fine-tune your corporeal vehicle so it runs on autopilot - and takes you to your ultimate destination: A healthy, ideal body.
    • Make your eating plan automatic. Train yourself over 14 days to make appropriate choices, and you'll re-program your body so that you never have to sweat over what you're eating again. To help make eating automatic, pick one meal a day to alter and have the same foods every day for all other meals.
    • Remember that waist is more important than weight. Belly fat is one of the strongest predictors of health risks associated with obesity. Ditch the scale in favor of the tape measure.
    • Know your body. Understand the beauty of your internal organs to appreciate what you can do to influence them. Learn how brain chemicals make you crave foods - so you can learn to overcome these cravings.
    • Stay satisfied. To lose weight, you need to eat. Eat throughout the day so that you're constantly satisfied. The less you eat, the more likely you are to sink into starvation mode and make your body want to store fat. Keep a log of how hungry you are on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 being famished, 7 being gorged). Try to stay in that 3 to 4 range at all times by eating moderate amounts of food.
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