Thursday, March 22, 2012

Supplement For Mental Health - What Everybody Should Know About Diets

If you are one of the almost 60 million people in the USA suffering from some kind of mental disorder, then you may have thought about taking an antidepressant instead of a supplement for mental health. Let us look at the disorders that most commonly afflict Americans. Depression, stress, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are leading the field.

In a recent hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee at the USA Congress, several authoritative representatives from various medical bodies testified that prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions in America. There is a serious need to address the problem by limiting access to these drugs and also making sure that prescription abuse is carefully monitored. You can imagine that the use of benzodiazepines and painkillers are at the top of the list.

If you take the benzodiazepines (prescribed for depression and anxiety) in large does over an extensive period of time, then you are likely to suffer from disturbing dreams and also you will become irritable and even hostile. I know people who have had severe withdrawal effects when they tried to get off these drugs and they were similar in many ways to getting off alcohol.

This is why taking a supplement for mental health has many advantages. First, there are limited side effects and then there is no risk of abuse or addiction although normal precautions in taking any type of medication must be followed.

It may come as a shock to realise that the best possible supplement for mental health is a meal with the right nutrients. This is what is known as a 'mind meal' and is advocated by the UK based mental health charity called 'Mind' which is also closely linked to the Food and Mood Project.

Imagine having a super healthy meal which is gluten free but also contains such things as avocado, oily fish (rich in Omega 3s), fruit, oatmeal and a salad with lots of seeds and nuts. What is special about a meal like this is that it contains lots of tryptophan which is an important amino acid. This helps greatly because this can convert into serotonin which is the brain chemical associated with good mood.

Once we have sufficient levels of serotonin, we can overcome many mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. This is certainly not a cure for all mental illness but at least it is a step in the right direction. We can also try to get the right supplement for mental health by taking a look at the herbal remedies such as St John's Wort which is enormously popular in Germany and across the European continent.

Mental Health - How Crazy Are You?

We are all crazy - in someone else's eyes, and judgement!

We tend to think of mental illness as a description of profound psychiatric problems with a specific diagnosis, as categorized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association. These diagnoses usually have a corresponding pharmaceutical drug, or cocktail of drugs, as 'treatment' - although other methods such as Electro-Convulsive-Therapy still exist.

We have come a long way from the bedlam or asylum days of the past and yet mental illness is still rife in every society.

Lack of basic needs, such as adequate nutrition, care, shelter and education; and prolonged drug and alcohol use, and exposure to violent traumas, all exacerbate the onset and ongoing state of mental illness. Sadly these factors are common everyday experiences for a large and neglected sector of our society.

In recent days (March 2012) news reports in Britain have spoken of the intentional torture and murder of children by relatives who believed them to be witches who are 'possessed by evil spirits'. This seems crazy to most of us, and yet is a prevailing belief in parts of Africa.

Cultural differences bring with them beliefs and behaviours that others cultures judge as 'crazy'.

We live in a crazy world, where, surely all of the following could be deemed to be insane/crazy;

Racism - and discrimination, oppression and violence against another person, simply because their ancestors originated from a different continent. According to the experts, we ALL originated from East Africa anyway!

Homophobia - and violence against a person who has different preferences and needs.

Fundamentalist religions - whose followers threaten death to those who do not follow their code of behaviour and societal norms; or to those they deem as having insulted a prophet or leader.

Cultural norms - such as the stoning of women accused of adultery, the chopping off of a thief's hand, honour killing, and arranged marriages.

Slavery - the domination of, and cruelty towards, another human being.

Human trafficking and exploitation

Female circumcision forced upon young girls

Preventable diseases and poverty - whilst wealth exists elsewhere in the country.

Corporate greed - and the psychopathic personality traits of the few who control the flow of wealth in Western society.

Cruelty to children - particularly in the 'feral underclass', as they have been described in the media; children taught to cage-fight with one another for the 'entertainment' of the so-called Adult spectators.


Foreign aid - sent to countries with already enough wealth of their own for Space programs, or weapons designed and intended for war.

Destruction of much of the planet - fuelled by selfishness, greed, ignorance and arrogance.

Cruelty to animals - dog-fighting, badger baiting, fox-hunting; and 'festivals' where animals are sacrificed for 'pleasure/fun'.

Gender selection - the killing of newborns because they are the 'wrong' gender.

Huge Government waste - Unnecessary Quangos, consultants, independent reports/enquiries; moth-balled projects, and outright fraud.

Prohibition of contraceptives - by certain religious 'leaders' despite the prevalence of AIDS, HIV, Sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies.

Space travel - whilst people are starving and without basic medical care.

Excessive Legislation - such as Health and Safety rulings which have resulted in death (the recent media reports regarding emergency services being unwilling, due to the prevailing Health and Safety rules, to rescue a person who drowned in a few inches of water.)



They all show a lack of empathy, compassion, care or concern for the health, safety of well-being of others.

In some of the examples above, there is also a 'projection' of badness onto a 'victim', be it an individual, group, class, or culture/society. This projection is then used as a form of justification for, and a normalising of, crazy and cruel behaviours.

This is accompanied by a ruthless selfishness that says - "I matter more than you, I have the right to use and damage/destroy you."

We become de-sensitized to much of what we hear about in the world, because we simply cannot absorb it all and cannot do anything to prevent such crazy things from happening.

Having worked as a psychotherapist with some individuals who have committed assaults, even murder; and having all too often heard of intense cruelty having been inflicted upon a vulnerable child, by a parent/caretaker; I wonder why we don't scan the brains of the perpetrators and find out 'why' they do what they do - and then to give them the effective treatment, wherever it is possible, for those areas of the brain that are just not working properly.

The behaviours of such people, with deficits in their brain's functioning capacity, has far-reaching consequences.

Babies are born to parents who's brains are not fully functioning; and this is passed on to the baby; as well as inadequate nutrition to enable the baby's brain to develop properly. Damaged children become damaged adults who find other damaged adults and pass on their damage to their offspring...and the cycle continues.

Most people exhibit neuroses of some sort, as well as mild 'personality disorder' traits. These may go unnoticed in the crazy world that we all inhabit.

So, what does good, robust mental health look like?

I think it includes the following:

Emotional stability and self-regulation

Rational thoughts, and an ability to control and disarm any irrational thoughts

Positive self-esteem and body image

The ability to withstand challenges and criticism

Not allowing the past to negatively affect the present or future - by therapeutically healing the past

Showing genuine care and compassion towards children, animals and the vulnerable in society

Having a sense of empathy and sympathy towards others

Congruence - what is felt on the inside is portrayed sensitively and assertively on the outside

Authenticity - being 'real' and genuine, and only wearing a 'mask' by conscious choice and for a short time, for a specific and valid purpose.

Let us not forget that our brains are not fully developed until we are about 25 years of age - and that they then have what is called 'plasticity' which allows the brain to change, and increase neuronal connections and pathways, in response to our physical and emotional needs and experiences.

It's never too late to learn a better way of relating to yourself and to others.

Profound mental illness and retardation are best treated by the psychiatric experts; but for the vast majority of us having mild personality disorder traits and neuroses, there is a way to 'fill in the gaps' - with psycho-emotional education and integrative psychotherapy, and by revising our negative and restricting sub-conscious belief system.

Then a crazy world becomes a little less crazy, each time someone takes responsibility for, and finds the right path towards, healing their own psychological and emotional wounds.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sales Principles & The Mental Health Profession - Strategies That Lead To Success In The Marketplace


Mental Health issues make their way across the newswire at an alarming rate. We hear about teenage suicide, random acts of violence, an increase in depression and anxiety across all ages, substance abuse, complex trauma at home and abroad. Even more alarming are societal maladies that are rarely discussed. Children forever lost in chaotic homes where violence and sexual abuse is pervasive with national and local systems ill equipped to effectively address these tragedies. Such is the world a mental health professional finds herself/himself thrust into as part of a calling to serve and help those suffering psychological and emotional pain.

A mental health career is a noble and courageous endeavor, which can come at a significant price. We see state governments use mental health services as a scapegoat for poor financial management and planning, choosing to balance their Medicaid books at the expense of community based mental health programs. As a result, mental health practitioners are asked to serve effectively with few resources, little pay and even fewer options to grow professionally.

Mental health services in the private sector are equally challenging. Insurance companies devalue these services as evidenced by limited reimbursement rates, few behavioral healthcare plans for employees, and the implementation of complex and convoluted systems that test the most patient and saint-worthy of practitioners.

In spite of all these challenges in the mental health marketplace, there are specific business strategies and approaches practitioners can adopt in an effort to overcome these obstacles and ultimately triumph in the profession. In this article I discuss many of the key strategies and will expound on them in greater detail in future publications. The understanding and use of best-in-class sales and marketing principles will serve to complement an already rich skill set that will help mental health professionals succeed in ways they may not have imagined possible!


The business world is changing at an incredibly fast pace and many of these changes have a profound impact on the way people do business. Most of us in the mental health field, however, remain blissfully ignorant and unaware of these subtle but powerful events. Those lucky few who become aware of some of these changes (e.g., technological advances that decentralize and empower people at all levels; new concepts in sales & marketing that enable you to grow your business at hyper-speed using a sophisticated multimedia approach) are presented with a window of opportunity that can lead to tremendous growth and independence. Opportunities abound for those who are open to some of these new ideas and willing to integrate new concepts into their mental health service model. The key lies in how highly skilled mental health professionals approach the marketplace and what tools they choose to use in order to succeed in a competitive environment. As a licensed clinician and mental health consultant for over 15 years I have seen many success stories that were the direct result of the effective use of the key principles I discuss in this article.

A key area most mental health professionals are sorely lacking and unaware is in understanding, utilizing and integrating sophisticated sales skills within their practice! Did you say sales skills?! Yes, indeed I did. Clinicians receive heavy doses of clinical training in graduate schools and continuing education programs. However, very little is offered in terms of how to succeed in the profession from both a financial and career development perspective. There are business seminars focusing on billing practices, business systems, and various administrative tasks but few if any discuss the power and importance of sales skills in our profession. This area is often so untapped that adopting even some of the more basic principles will immediately distinguish you in the profession and give you an extreme economic advantage in the mental health marketplace.

At first glance the idea of adopting sales principles conjures up images of self-serving, manipulative tactics and ploys. As a result, a sales approach is often the furthest from the mind of a mental health professional. However, this position is misguided and comes from a limited understanding of sales theory and practice in general. First and foremost, selling and the sales process is a critical element in all areas of commerce. No business takes place without a sales transaction of some sort or another. Mental Health services are not utilized unless a sale is made and someone chooses to use a specific service, you are not hired into a clinical position unless you effectively sell yourself to the hiring manager, a private practice does not last long without consistent sales for services, and funding for community programs is not awarded unless a government entity is sold on the need and importance of those services. As a result, our first step here is to acknowledge and accept that sales are a critical part of the process in the mental health business.

Once we come to recognize this fact we must also dispel the myth about sales being a sleazy and unethical profession that utilizes manipulative and self-serving tactics at the expense of others. Like any profession, there are theoretical frameworks and people within the business who would no doubt support these negative stereotypes. However, when we take a closer look at the sales profession we find that it can also be a highly sophisticated, philosophical and value driven profession that is perfectly suited for the helping professions.


Having taken a closer look at the importance and scope of sales our next logical step is to explore sales theory and application in greater detail. I have grouped various sales skills/approaches into 4 Core Principles in an effort to help clarify and organize these concepts in a way that makes sense. I must also emphasize that adopting these principles will quickly position you ahead of your competitors! They are extremely powerful principles in that they all contribute to a fundamental shift essential to success in business. What is this shift? The shift I am referring to is a movement away from participating in the selling process to becoming an important/critical part of the buying process. Lead sales experts such as Dale Carnegie, Frank Rumbauskas, and Jeffery Gitomer all emphasize the importance of this paradigm shift in order to achieve high levels of success.

So what does it mean when you talk about moving from the selling process to the buying process? Simply put, your current efforts to sell your services can be a difficult and unrewarding process. At its core it is a process whereby you are not in a position of strength, where you tend to focus on your own interests and where you must seek out others and convince others to use your services. Now what would life be like as a mental health practitioner if people recognized you as an authority in the field or as someone who adds tremendous value and can help them with their needs? When a change occurs where you are viewed as a valuable resource and partner people begin to seek you out without any soliciting on your part. Business comes to you and you find yourself in what sales professionals refer to as being a key part of the buying process. The best thing about this approach is that its foundation is based on integrity, honoring your unique attributes, bringing value and helping others - all hallmarks of the mental health profession.

Let me offer an example to clarify my point. Let's say you are a mental health clinician who has been in the field many years, you have an expertise in family/child issues and you decide to offer a group on parenting skills. You attend networking events but find that everyone at those events is pitching their own service and not seeking services to buy. Attendees shower you with praise and tout your service as "much needed" and "long overdue", however, you generate little to no business from those events. You advertise your group to doctors offices and through basic networking channels such as local counseling chapters and school systems. Still no one comes.

The issue here is not necessarily missing the mark in terms of community needs nor is it an issue of skill and competence. People are not coming to you because you have not tapped into the buying process. In the buying scenario, you have built a level of credibility in the community and positioned yourself in such a way that they must go through you in order to access these specific mental health services. Your sales approach and philosophy prompts those in the community to recognize you, talk about you and value you as an important resource. In addition, you create communication channels/systems and remove barriers/obstacles that encourage and allow others to take the next step toward utilizing your services. If you can create this shift your ability to grow as a practitioner multiplies exponentially and with half of the effort! The principles outlined here all contribute to making that change.

Let's take a closer look at each of these principles.

Principle 1: Be Solution/Customer Focused

Many people in all areas of business mistakenly take an approach where they sell their services versus selling solutions. A distinguishing factor for most people who are successful in their industry is that they are customer focused, meaning they sell the way the customer wants to buy. They focus solely on the needs, problems, wants of the customer and work to find solutions that will help that customer. This concept sounds basic and simple, however, it takes dedication and a high level of skill to be customer focused in the way I am referring to here. Below are some key factors associated with this approach.

* Sell the way customers want to buy. (Take time to understand customer needs, concerns, problems and wants. Show them you understand them and offer solutions even if it means referring them to someone else who can help.)
* Give Value! (Use an altruistic approach. Deliver something to potential customers without any expectation of something in return.)
* Recognize the only way you get others to do something is if you give them what they want. (Manipulative tactics and high-pressure sales tactics do not work. Be persuasive not manipulative and know the difference!)
* Go above and beyond and be remembered! (Over-deliver on services, give of yourself to the community in unique ways, follow-through in ways that highly impress.)
* Create a buying atmosphere. (Study customer needs, business systems and their unique market. Provide solutions and remove barriers/obstacles that gives them permission to buy.)
* The Power of Presence: Listen First, Talk Last and Ask Excellent Questions! (It is the rare individual who truly focuses on the customer in the here and now. Use your clinical skills to understand the needs of the customer.)

Principle 2: Build Credibility & Legitimacy

Do you want to attract high quality referrals for your business? Develop a plan that will position you as an expert in targeted areas within your profession.

* Become an expert in something. And share that knowledge for free!
* Understand and study social dynamics and the psychology of power. (Know its role in the sales process and in your profession. Use this knowledge to be in a position of strength with regards to the buying process.)
* Build credibility and attract what you view as "high-quality referrals" by giving yourself to the community. (e.g., free advice, free services, helpful hints/tips.)
* Become Published. (Opportunities abound to become published - See Mark Joyner's e-book "Rise of the Author." There is tremendous power in being published.)
* Study the art of presenting and find opportunities to present. (This is perhaps the best value proposition for you as a mental health professional! It builds credibility and creates powerful networks.)

Principle 3: Think Long-Term

Too often we focus on short-term immediate business needs and neglect longer lasting more powerful methods that lead to much greater growth. Focus on relationships and you will create solid sales processes and networks that will enable you to reach much higher levels of success.

* Stop focusing on the short term and work to build lasting relationships that will lead to referrals and other opportunities.(Sales expert, Jeffrey Gitomer, in his great sales book, The Little Red Book of Selling, says it this way, "Think End of Time not end of Month.")
* Focus on others first.(Help colleagues, community members and prospective clients without expectation of something in return.)
* Always be a resource! (Offer assistance and solutions even if it has nothing to do with your area of expertise. Leverage the expertise of others and share the wealth! Helping professional colleagues will also lead to your long-term success.)
* Let go of the need/want to benefit yourself and act with the intent of helping others. (In today's self-serving world it is the rare individual who functions in this manner. And yet, it is a distinguishing factor in a competitive marketplace.)
* Long-term strategies are equally effective in one's career development as they are in business development.(Strategies such as informational interviewing and volunteering often lead to significantly better career and advancement opportunities.)

Principle 4: Use Intelligent and Technically Advanced Marketing Systems

Top sales performers in all businesses create effective systems that free up their time for more value driven activities and help create communication and buying vehicles that produce a powerful buying environment for the customer.

* Leverage technology to market yourself and to create a buying atmosphere.(e.g., website development, public relations & media opportunities such as e-articles, e-books, audio programs, video snapshots.)
* Automate business activities that are non-essential to your core growth opportunities. (Use technology to automate key activities and identify personnel that can help you work more efficiently.)
* Build communities that allow for sharing of ideas and networking opportunities. (e.g.,online forums, lunch & learns, supervision meetings.)
* Understand marketing principles that will effectively brand you.(Social marketing and Viral Marketing are two powerful concepts that leverage the incredible growth in technology. Learn these and others to increase your growth as a successful mental health practitioner and businessperson!)
* Know the sales cycle for your profession and be persistent with your value messages. (Market Research tells us it typically takes 6-10 exposures to your message before a buying decision is made. Create vehicles that give you a high level of visibility.)


The material presented here is merely an introduction to the powerful concepts of selling and how they can be effectively utilized and integrated within a mental health practice. Each of the areas outlined above contain a tremendous amount of depth and richness that require further discussion and clarification in order to gain the full benefits. In the coming months I will look at each principle in greater detail in an effort to clarify concepts, introduce new tools and offer excellent resources from some of the experts in the world of sales and marketing.

Thank you for your attention and all the best in your future endeavors within the field!

Copyright 2008 - David Diana. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

David Diana is a Licensed Professional Counselor and sales manager for Palmetto Behavioral Health, a private behavioral healthcare organization in South Carolina. In addition to his sales role, David provides consultative services to mental health practitioners in the community by helping them to market and grow their business. He is an experienced Licensed Professional Counselor and business consultant where he has focused on the integration of psychological, cultural and business principles to improve organizational growth and positive change. He has worked for many organizations in both the public and private sector to include IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers, HayGroup, AVON Cosmetics, U.S. Customs, and the IRS.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bodybuilding Improves Mental Health

Is there really a connection between bodybuilding and mental health? The answer is yes. Before we get into the details and analyze the facts and the proofs that indicate this connection, we have to see the general connection between sports and mental stability.

More than two thousand years ago the ancient Greeks acknowledged the importance of sports and healthy way of living. They had adopted the mentality that in order to maintain a healthy mind you need to have a healthy body.

This connection between body well-being and mind health went on until the recent years where money and profit invaded the sports community leading to a series of negative things like steroids, drugs, over-training, etc. However, for those who still like to train just for their own health things are much simpler.

Bodybuilding and especially amateur bodybuilding, where the demand for high performance is less, can give you a fit and healthy body, but it can also work as a getaway from your daily stress and routine pressure and help you improve your mental health. Let us see how:

Energy Consumption in a Positive Way

Our modern way of life makes it extremely hard to spend our excessive energy. The great majority of the people works at the office or does a job that gives them few opportunities to actually consume the energy that every individual keeps inside him. Bodybuilding is a very creative way to spend this energy and in the same time improves your looks and of course your health. Scientific studies have shown that people who work out are mentally balanced and clear-minded.

Bodybuilding Is Not Just Weights

Many people wrongly believe that people who are in bodybuilding end up looking like the muscle-monsters on the cover of the magazines. Well, bodybuilding is a lot more than that. It combines weight training, cardiovascular training, fitness, and proper nutrition. So, by following all this you improve your muscular percentage, get rid of fat, increase your physique level and as a result you benefit your mental health.

Setting Goals and Having Perspective

Once you start working out in a regular basis you will be the witness of your own metamorphosis. You will be excited by seeing how you add muscles, you start shaping up and how you generally look and feel better. You will be happy every time you reach a goal you have set. This new perspective in your daily life is going to be extremely beneficial for your mental health.

Mental Health Counseling

When you think about it, our experience of the universe should be nothing short of amazing. The universe offers us a place to have great times to meet strangers and eventually become friends, develop bonds between them which may enable us to live and have a superb life every day. But life isn't always about happiness, like winning millions and spending it to the fullest. In order to succeed, we need to go through ups and downs, thus life can also be tough. Even the strongest, bravest and fittest person can flounder sometimes. Times like when you are feeling sad, when nobody seems to understand, even your own self. However, there is no need to feel that way because pressure like this can usually be handled in time. Yet some people find themselves too far down the road to recover on their own. These are the ones who need mental health counseling.

Actually, the concept of 'counseling' has existed over centuries and describes the need for one person to ask for help and advice from another. Counseling in its broader sense is all about helping people to resolve mental problems or issues, often related to work or social matters. The main role of the counselor is as problem solver. Through direct advice or non-direct guidance, his aim is to help the person to make balanced decisions. There are various different kinds of mental health counselors: counseling psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, as well as social workers, and pastoral counselors.

The role of clinical psychologists is to deal with severe disorders like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and learning disabilities. Clinical psychologists frequently work in teams, offering mental health assistance. Counseling psychologists specialize on daily-life problems, as oppose to extreme psychological disorders. These kinds of counselors spend a lot of time working in the community, in schools, hospitals, clinics, as well as private locations. They help with issues related to personal matters, such as relationships, grief, work and other stresses of every day.

Psychiatrists are medical doctors. They usually possess both medical degrees and psychology degrees, and are qualified to treat mental disorders using a combination of counseling therapy and prescription medication. Psychiatry frequently involves the prescription of drugs like antidepressants, but psychology is more about trying to bring about changes in behavior with no medication. Clinical social workers can often be found in hospitals or out-patient facilities. These counselors are mainly interested in the way that the person's problems relate to their life situation and social life. Pastoral counselors are experts in psychology and theology. They try to provide spiritual and religious insights that can help to solve psychological problems and give guidance.

Mental health counselors come to understand the information of clients through observations, interviews and tests so they can decide the best course of action to help their client. They often help their clients think and make positive choices. Mental health counselors are an extremely valuable part of the healthcare system. Common work activities in mental health counseling includes scheduling client appointments, completing risk assessments on clients as required, talking and counseling with clients (to help them make informed decisions about themselves, their lives and even relationships and future goals), providing consistent care and treatment programs for clients, keeping accurate client records, files and documentation and planning the most effective treatments.

Mental health counseling is probably the best aid for people experiencing psychological dilemma. It is not a contagious disease that can spread from person to person, and it is good to seek the guidance of a counselor. People having psychological issues should not be afraid or feel embarrassed when they need to undergo mental health counseling because it is for the benefit of their own health and future.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Substance Abuse Treatment Programs - Mental Health Terms and Most Likely Victims

The World Health Organization defines mental health as "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community". Mental health is a widely used term that includes a number of mental health disorders.

As you read the above definition it may leave one to think that there is no concrete definition of who is mentally healthy and who is not and why. However, we do suspect that the definition is subjective and there are components that play a huge role in the assessment of ones mental health. In this article, we will make references to a few different kinds of mental health disorders and who is a more likely candidate to experience unhealthy mental health behaviors.

Depression: is a term that the medical professionals uses to describe the way that you feel at that moment of time about yourself

Here are a few signs of depression E.g. despair, sadness, emotionless. Depression can be a suffocating experience. It can also leave you feeling hopeless, like there is no tomorrow. It is a lonely and low emotion. Who does depression affect, it can affect the most aggressive individual down to the timid and shy. It crosses color, age, social economic, or fame boundaries.

There are two terms that best explain the levels of depression; diathesis-stress model and biopsychosocial model. Psychiatric hospitals or community centers are where most services are treated. The individuals there are diagnosed by medical professionals.

Mental Abuse: What is mental abuse? Mental abuse is exactly what is sounds like, however, there are non-verbal forms of mental abuse. I am pretty sure we have all heard that old adage; sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you... well that is only partially true. Verbal abuse can be just as detrimental as physical abuse. If you are hearing degrading comments like you are "stupid", "too fat" "unattractive" or "worthless" chances are you are a victim of mental abuse. Additionally, if you are constantly walking on egg shells to get along with friends and family members that is another sign of mental abuse.

Physical Abuse: is also brought on by persons that are suffering from mental illness. Many times it is encouraged when drinking excessively, high on drug or if that person was a victim of past physical abuse. Unlike mental abuse that may go unnoticed by friends or family members, physical abuse is often times detected mainly because of the evidence of the attack. Physical abuse often times leave its victims seriously wounded or dead. Here are a few commonalities of persons that may have a higher increased chance of being physically abused:

1. If you are in a relationships with a substance abuser or alcoholic

2. If you have been molested as a child or adult

3. If you come from a family of abusers

4. If you have low self-worth or low self-esteem

5. If you are unemployed and strapped for money.

There you have it, a few of the most recognized mental health disorders. Substance abuse and mental disorders comes disguised in many forms. Be sure to get educated and informed. There are medical health facilities that can assist any persons that are experiencing any of the above symptoms.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mental Health Nursing - The Best Career

If you want to work in an environment that is interesting, challenging and rewarding a career in nursing (Mental health in nursing) will give you plenty of scope to do exactly that. With a nursing degree, you are not limited to work in hospitals only, there a variety of positions in businesses that a nurse will fit. There are different specialties in nursing like Aids care nurse, ambulatory care nurse, cardiac rehabilitation nurse, case management, Genetics Nurse and many others.

Different types of nursing jobs in the market have given this Nursing career flexibility, which have drawn many peoples attention to pursue the course. The qualifications of Nursing are in whatever work you do are the same. Receive an associate of science degree or Bachelor of Science and become a registered Nurse.

Mental Health nursing is one of the most demanding areas of nursing.A big percentages of people who are having health problem are suffering from mental illness. Mental illness happens because of crisis in life like when person losses their partner depression comes in. Alcohol and drug abuse are also a major cause of mental illness. The conditions of mental illness vary from one another and are very many, they include Psychological, personal disorders, psychoses, neuroses and others.

Mental health nurses watch over the biological dimension of mental illness by giving medication, administration observing their behavior and interpretation. Their main duty is to establish a beneficial relation with those people who are mentally ill and their families. This relationship helps the patient to recover from the illness or bring a solution to make long their lifespan. A mental ill person's welfare is monitored in a community health care center. Nurses work as a team to deliver the best and this happens to mental health nursing. They liaise with occupational therapists, social workers, psychiatrists, and other health care workers to deliver the best service to the patients.

Other duties of a mental health nurse;

- They apply techniques to help people manage their emotions and behavior

- Providing evidence based individual therapy such as cognitive behavior therapy for depression and anxiety.

- Organizing and encouraging the mental ill people to take part in social events, dramas and other activities to gain skills, which improves their health.

- When patients are distressed they talk to them and handle them in a responsible way without threatening them.

- They encourage the patient, take care of the medication as prescribed and monitor the performance of the patient.

- They provide a quick recovery approach to improve their health.

Mental health nurses pay is high due to their involving job and their hard work. The main tool for a nurse is body strength and communication skills that they have acquired. Mentally ill people act sometime irresponsibly and the nurse should handle that situation with care and love. Everybody regardless of the age, whether young or old can have mentally illness and the nurses educates the society on how to control this problem. For nursing student there is high demand in this specialty.

Search for accelerated nursing programs and 2nd degree nursing programs right now in our full directory of accelerated nursing programs in the United States at our online accelerated nursing guide by following the highlighted links in this paragraph.

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Friday, March 2, 2012

The Importance of Mental Health

What is mental health?

Though no concise definition exists, mental health is basically your attitude and approach to life. Psychological, environmental, genetic, or physiological factors have a profound effect on overall mental development.

What is mental illness?

Mental illness impairs your ability to perform routine tasks, foster healthy relationships, or cope with anger or stress. It may be classified on the basis of extreme mood swings, irrational or destructive thought patterns, and behavioral problems.

How important is mental health?

Your mental health has a huge impact on every aspect of your life.

o Self-image

Good mental health means appreciating your achievements and accepting your shortcomings. A mental illness can cause an inferiority complex, a negative body image, and intense feelings of self-hate, anger, disgust, and uselessness, which could mutate into extreme depression, psycho-social disorders, or eating disorders.

o Education

Students with mental problems socially isolate themselves, and develop anxiety disorders and concentration problems. Good mental health ensures an all-round educational experience that enhances social and intellectual skills that lead to self-confidence and better grades.

o Relationships

Mental health largely contributes to the functioning of human relationships. Mental illness can hamper even basic interactions with family, friends, and colleagues. Most people suffering from mental illness find it difficult to nurture relationships, have problems with commitment or intimacy, and frequently encounter sexual health issues.

o Sleep

An inability to handle stress or anxiety can cause insomnia. Even if you mange to fall asleep, you may wake up a dozen times during the night with thoughts of what went wrong the day before or how bad tomorrow is going to be. You may develop severe sleeping disorders which leave you exhausted and less productive.

o Eating

People with mental disorders are more prone to indulging in comfort eating or emotional binges. Finding comfort in food is something we all do from time to time. But with a mental illness, it becomes difficult to control yourself. Overeating can lead to obesity, which puts you at a risk for heart disease and diabetes, in addition to creating an unhealthy body-image.

o Physical health

Your mental state directly affects your body. For example, stress can lead to hypertension or stomach ulcers. People who are mentally healthy are at a lower risk for many health complications.

It's a Mad, Mad World! Mental Health - An Ayurvedic Perspective

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 450 million people worldwide are affected by mental, neurological or behavioral problems. However, determining that someone has a mental illness, and which one it could be, is one of the greatest challenges psychiatrists and psychologists face today. To date, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (the psychiatrists bible), lists over 400 disorders.

It's quite normal to sometimes feel happy or sad, anxious or fearful, forgetful or confused. These are the hills and valleys of emotion in our daily lives. But when a person's emotions, thoughts or behavior frequently trouble them, or disrupt their lives and those around them, they may be suffering from mental illness. Even though as many as one in five people are thought to suffer from a form of mental illness, it still carries with it stigma and discrimination. Because of this people are reluctant to admit they have a problem and seek help and treatment. Unfortunately, when mental illness goes untreated the result can be suicide, which claims 873,000 lives a year. The economic costs of these conditions are also enormous and growing. According to the WHO, depression is expected to account for more lost years of healthy life than any other disease by 2030, except for HIV/AIDS.

What Causes Mental Illness?

Western scientists can tell us what happens as a result of certain mental health issues, but they cannot give us the underlying cause. For instance, brain scans have directly linked depression with changes in levels of neurotransmitters - chemicals that convey messages across neurons - people suffering from depression often display lowered levels of neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin's main effects include improving mood and giving you that "satisfied" feeling from food. It's also thought to help promote sleep and relaxation. Alzheimer's disease, a major source of dementia and memory loss in the elderly, is a result of an accumulation of protein plaques, which choke neurons in the brain. Untreated HIV infection, syphilis, Lyme disease and malaria are also thought capable of triggering a variety of mental illnesses. Modern medicine does not recognize a link between the body, mind and emotions. They look at the body as a machine, working independently of the mind.

The 5,000-year-old holistic science of Ayurvedic medicine, on the other hand, views the human being as body, mind and spirit, including the emotions and psychology, on all levels. It incorporates longevity, rejuvenation and self-realization therapies utilizing herbs, diet, yoga; breathing and physical exercises and meditation, massage, aromas and mantras. Ayurveda uses the concept of three biological humors; vata (air), pitta (fire), and kapha (earth) that if become unbalanced can affect us mentally, with disturbed emotions and thoughts, this will usually be reflected on a physical level also and visa versa. Through recent scientific research Dr. Candace Pert has come to a similar conclusion in her book Molecules of Emotion. Pert refers to the mind-body connection or a network of emotions linking the mind to the body. She demonstrates that cells throughout the body secrete 'emotional' hormones; these are then picked up by nerve impulses to produce the corresponding changes in mood and behavior. The immune system is linked with the brain (pituitary gland) and the endocrine system. Endorphins are the body's natural 'opiates' or pleasure hormones and are known to be increased by pranayama (yogic breathing) and yoga asana. Stress affects the body by releasing hormones, adrenaline and corticosterone from the brain and the immune system. Once in a stressed state the body itself can continue the stress cycle by the continuous activation of corticosterone. Depressed and traumatized people have high levels of corticosterone and often have a decreased level of immunity. This physiological state can be deactivated when the trauma and stress are released. In Ayurveda this means transforming the negative emotions, like fear, pain, anger and grief into positive ones.

The Function of the Astral Body

In Ayurveda and many other natural healing methods a subtle astral or emotional body is recognized to exist simultaneously with the physical body. It is linked to the physical body by energy centers or chakras. Subtle channels known as nadis transport prana or the essence of life energy and thought to corresponding glands around the body. Disruption in the flow of these energies causes psychological disease. As mentioned yogic breathing can keep these energies circulating, as can certain herbs such as calamus, basil, turmeric, guggul, myrrh, frankincense and cedar.

There is a shield between the astral and physical bodies, which protect us from negative thoughts or energies that are within the astral atmosphere. For instance, there is so much accumulated fear within the world projected from wars, the slaughter of billions of animals, pain and suffering of women and children that exists in the astral plane that if the link becomes weak we can no longer discriminate the physical from the astral. The fear, pain and anger "out there", affects our thoughts, fantasies and emotions, and we lose control. A physical trauma such as a severe blow to the head, sexual or physical abuse, excessive alcohol and mind-altering drugs such as LSD, ecstasy, cannabis and heroine can weaken this shield. Persons who are channelers open themselves up the astral plane also. One striking example of this is schizophrenia. This is a distorted view of reality, which may include hallucinations, hearing voices, delusions, and paranoia. Ayurveda recognizes this to be a symptom of a destructive astral force or entity entering the physical body commonly known as possession. Many Hindu priests, as well as Catholic priests, are taught a certain practice through prayer and sanctified water to rid the sufferer of the negative energy. Calamus, Holy basil and Gotu kola are then administered with perhaps some time being spent in a 'sattvic' or loving monastic environment.

Allopathic Psychiatric Treatments

Psychiatric treatment for mental illness can take many forms. The patient is encouraged to recognize their problems, understand what may trigger undesirable behavior, and develop coping strategies. Mood-stabilizing aim to moderate manic episodes of bipolar disorder and may also reduce recurrences of depression. Recently, however, some experts think there has been a rush to medicate and have questioned the effectiveness of many drugs. There is also controversy about using these drugs - such as Ritalin or amphetamines to treat children.

Various Mental Disorders and Ayurvedic Treatments


Among the most common mental illnesses is clinical depression. It is described as a prolonged, debilitating sadness, and feelings of hopelessness that is often accompanied by no highs or lows, just a bland existence which will ultimately lead to thoughts of suicide. The numbers of adolescents suffering from clinical depression have risen alarmingly in the last 10 years. Statistics show that suicide is the third leading cause of death in youths between 10 and 19 years old.

Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) is an affective disorder that causes periodic mood swings in which they cycle from depression to mania. Depression may be characterized by having a lack of motivation, difficulty doing tasks, short attention span, decreased appetite, crying spells, difficulty in getting to sleep or sleeping too much, and in the more severe cases thoughts of self harm. Mania is separated into two types: Full mania and hypomania. Mania may be characterized by a decreased need for sleep, decreased self-control, overspending, increased sexual activity, irritability, rage, risk-taking behaviors, and in the more severe cases psychotic states. Hypomania is described as having the same behaviors, to a less extreme level.

Ayurvedic Treatment

A need to arouse the sufferer's interest and enthusiasm in life is introduced to the sense of taste. Spices like ginger, cardamon and basil are used to open the heart and mind. Calamus teas are given with a little ginger and honey. Mints and sages of all types are useful. Triphala is given to alleviate constipation. Color therapy is used with warm tones of yellow and gold. Long walks are encourages in nature at her best; sunshine, river, lakes and forests. All these places are filled with pranic energy.

Cutting or Self-Injury

Self-injury involves self-inflicted bodily harm that is severe enough to either cause tissue damage or to leave marks that last several hours. Cutting is the most common form of SI, but burning, head banging and scratching are also common. Other forms include biting, skin-picking, hair pulling, hitting the body with objects or hitting objects with the body. Although suicidal feelings may accompany SI, it does not necessarily indicate a suicide attempt. Most often it is simply a mechanism for coping with emotional distress. People who select this emotional outlet may use it to express feelings, to deal with feelings of unreality or numbness, to stop flashbacks, to punish themselves, or to relieve tension. Although SI is recognized as a common problem among the teenage population, it is not limited to adolescents. People of all sexes, nationalities, socioeconomic groups and ages can be self-injurers.

Ayurvedic Treatment

Often, the sufferer feels the need to stimulate themselves by pain. Ayurveda uses nervine herbs like Trikatu, cayenne, cardamom, cloves and calamus. Warming and nourishing these feed the emotional heart. Pippali is good also, 1/4 teaspoon with honey every few hours. Avoid sleeping during the day.

Anxiety Disorders

These include post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anger disorders, hypochondria, and phobias such as agoraphobia (open spaces), claustrophobia (small places), acrophobia (heights), arachnophobia (spiders) and social phobia (being around people). These are all characterized by powerful feelings of panic and physical signs of fear, sweating, and a racing heart - due to some cue in the environment, or for no obvious reason at all. Many sufferers believe they are either going insane or going to die.

Ayurvedic Treatment

Anxiety is mainly a Vata disorder and Ashwaganda is generally given am and pm in warm milk. Aromatherapy, using rose and jasmine is used. Warm massage and gentle, slow yogic techniques. Maha Mantra and Shrim mantra should be spoken.

Eating Disorders

There are three common eating disorders; anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. Each disorder has different affects on the human body. A disease that used to be associated with young women is now appearing in young men. Anorexia is characterized by a significant weight loss, which is usually resulting from excessive dieting. Sufferers see themselves to be overweight, or fat, no matter what their actual weight may be. Anorexics may also use compulsive exercise to control their weight. Anorexics commonly strive for perfection in all the things they do. They set extremely high standards for themselves, and feel that they always have to prove themselves. They may also feel that the only thing they have control over in their lives is their weight. People with bulimia engage in cycles of gorging or binging themselves on large quantities of food and then purging through vomiting or use of laxatives. This can have a disastrous effect as with repeated purging the sufferer will lose their teeth from stomach acid and the use of laxatives will eventually render the bowel muscles useless.

Ayurvedic Treatment

To begin with the patients should fast on orange juice and water for first three to five days. After the juice diet the patient may adopt an all fruit diet for a further five days, taking three meals a day of juicy fruits, such as apples, pears, grapes, oranges, pineapple, peaches at five hourly intervals. Thereafter they may adopt a restricted diet of easily digestible foods, consisting of lightly cooked vegetables, juicy fruits, and buttermilk for about ten days. During the first three to five days of the juice fast, the bowels should be cleansed with a warm water enema each day. Teas of cardamom, fennel, and fresh ginger to help regulate digestion and stop vomiting; valerian, nutmeg, herb ashwagandha. Massage with sesame oil, and sandalwood.

Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD

ADHD, sometimes known as ADD, is a common behavioral disorder that affects an estimated 8% to 10% of school-age children. Boys are about three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with it, though it's not yet understood why. Children with ADHD act without thinking, are hyperactive, and have trouble focusing. They can't sit still, pay attention, or attend to details. Recent research links smoking during pregnancy to later ADHD in a child. Some studies have even suggested a link between excessive early television watching and future attention problems. It has been advised that children under 2 years old should not have any "screen time" (TV, DVDs or videotapes, computers, or video games) and that kids 2 years and older should be limited to 1 to 2 hours per day, or less, of quality television programming.

Ayurvedic Treatment

Child's diet should consist of fruit, grains and vegetables full of natural vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Eliminate caffeine, sugar and other sweets, processed food, MSG, aspartame (NutraSweet) and other sugar substitutes, and any foods that contain preservatives, food dyes or other chemicals and eating at fast food chains. Drink water, fresh homemade vegetable and fruit juices. Eliminate sodas and caffeinated beverages. No white bread. No processed peanut butter: It contains aflatoxin, a fungus that causes cancer. Instead use almond butter from your health food store. Children need a lot of rest and should go to bed early. Proper exercise daily- outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine. Play with your children!

Note: Ritalin closely resembles an amphetamine. It is a cocaine-like drug that induces zombie-like behavior in children. The public school system's idea of ADHD treatments is prescribing Ritalin which, like all toxins, come with a long list of side effects including nervousness, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, insomnia, joint pains, headaches, increased blood pressure, fever, rapid heartbeat, abdominal pain, and psychosis.

Knowledge is Empowering

Many people take medication to help control or manage the symptoms of their mental illness. A clear knowledge and understanding of medication and possible side effects combined with knowledge and understanding of both oneself and one's illness is often important in achieving a sense of personal control over the symptoms of the illness. Knowledge enhances your ability to self manage your medication to get the maximum benefits from it while reducing the potential for side effects and the risk of relapse. Acquiring knowledge also enhances your ability to negotiate effectively with the treating doctor about dose, frequency and the types of medication choices. Keeping up with current advances in medication research and the new drugs as they become available also increases your medication and treatment options. Remember it is your body and mind, and your decision what treatment you are going to choose.

Jennifer (Yogamaya) is a director of the Vedic Cultural Fellowship and Pecos Valley Yoga and Ayurveda Center. Born in North Africa, and raised in the UK, as child she was introduced to yoga asana and pranayama by her aunt. During the 1990's she studied homeopathy, massage, reflexology, nutrition and became a certified instructor by the British Wheel of Yoga. Naturally she was drawn to the sister science of Ayurveda and has studied under Doctors Vasant Lad and David Frawley. In 1998, she returned to the US with her husband Howard Beckman, to establish the Vedic Cultural Fellowship and in 1999 they founded New Rishikesh, in Pecos, New Mexico. In 2003, she was certified as a Planetary Gem Advisor, by the Planetary Gemologist Association in Bangkok Thailand due to her advanced working knowledge of using gemstones in accordance with Vedic astrological principles. Today she and her husband, together with Dr. David Frawley, are developing the VCF's New Rishikesh as a major teaching and retreat center.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Restroom Dispensers for Mental Health

The human race is beset by a curious array of challenges, both in the external world of things and objects, and the internal universe of, well, worry over getting one's hands dirty. While such concerns are in no way as dire a prospect as, for example, being stalked by tigers, eaten by hyenas, falling off of things from on-high or contracting curious diseases and infections, obsessions and compulsions often drive our lives with an undeniable force that outweighs our more pressing external stimuli considerably. Every person is slightly different in respect to what internal forces or concerns move them to act or not act, but speaking personally, the thought of touching any object within a public restroom prompts me to reach for the prescription psychotropic and some means of distracting myself, quickly.

Restrooms can be improved by adding restroom dispensers of all sorts. The public restroom is an absolute petri dish of filth and disease. I have it on good faith from a friend who passed multiple exams in our biology class that the modern-day Ebola virus came from public restrooms attached to pubs, taverns and bars of ill repute. I trust him. Nobody passes those tests and does not come out the other side wise to the ways of Ebola and the common frog's thoracic cavity, both valuable sums of knowledge to have with one in today's world. It never fails to impress me how often from thoracic cavities and Ebola virus knowledge finds some useful application, such as now, when I consider the horrors of the modern restroom.

Consider the sorts of things that people touch in restrooms, the things that are attached to themselves and doubtless carriers of all manner of horrific disease and contagion; then, consider the things in the restroom not attached to themselves that they touch, rub all over, caress and fondle, and the bacterial load that they transmit from their genital-polluted hands to soap bars and soap dishes. That pile of soaking-wet paper towels perched precariously atop the toilet, the one with no privacy stall or seat? That pile of soaking-wet paper towels will give you Ebola, and three-to-seven days later, a person will turn in to wet, bloody soup, all from visiting the public restroom and touching things indiscriminately.

Meanwhile, those of us ostensibly cursed with some variety of obsessive-compulsive disorder, one that is fixated almost entirely upon germs, viruses, diseases, dirt, contagion and human waste, will be relatively disease-free, at least free from the sort of things that we have discussed as being endemic to public restrooms. Both parties can enjoy this safe harbor of health by only patronizing restrooms that include up-to-date contemporary restroom dispensers for soap, paper towels, and fragrances, indeed, anything that would otherwise require significant and prolonged contact with other people's diseases.

Restroom dispensers come in attractive and durable designs, are readily mounted to walls or other fixtures with a minimum of skill and effort, using only the things found in the common household toolbox, and for some of us, they are the only difference between using a public restroom and holding it until we get home.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I Have a Dream For Writers

Feb. 18, 2012I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the lowest point in the history of American writers.Two score and nine years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand, gave a speech known as “I Have a Dream.” A great statesman and great writer, he spoke of another American who had lived a hundred years before, also a great statesman and

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Harnessing Advanced Health Technologies to Drive Mental Health Improvement Project

The National Institutes of Health, also called NIH, is federal government agency operating in the United States Department of Health and Human Services that is essentially answerable for supporting the nation's biomedical and health-related research studies.

The programs and grants of the NIH are all aimed towards the realization of its overall agency mission which is to "seek basic knowledge about the nature and behaviour of living systems and the application of that data to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce the burdens of sickness and disability."

In accordance with this mission, the National Institutes of Health has collaborated with National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in order to constitute the establishment of the Harnessing Advanced Health Technologies to Drive Mental Health Improvement Program.

The primary goal of the program is to check and evaluate the innovative utilization of present technologies that work towards the substantial improvement of the access to and quality of mental health care along with the collection and use of actionable mental health information that would substantially improve outcomes of people with psychological disorders.

The NIH strongly believes that the access to quality mental health services, such as face to face interventions and scheduled clinical visits, is vital to the improvement of the outcomes in people afflicted with mental health anomalies.

Because of this, the agency searches for"high risk, high reward" Research investigations that intend to employ novel technologies that would improve access to, and quality and delivery of mental health services.

The agency has stated that they are going to give utmost priority to proposals and applications which contain novel applications of techniques and initiatives that would possibly generalize across suggestions and target populations, as well as in multiple operating systems.

The NIH and the NIMH are willing to administer funds in the amount of $3,000,000 to financially support the Harnessing Advanced Health Technologies to Drive Mental Health Improvement Program.

The institutions and affiliations who will be considered eligible to take part in this programme are the following:

a) State Governments

b) County Governments

c) City or Township Governments

d) Special District Governments

e) Independent School Districts

f) Public and State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education

g) Native American Tribal Governments

h) Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities

i) Native American Tribal Organizations (apart from Federally recognized tribal governments)

j) Nonprofit Setups

k) Private Institutions of Higher Education

l) For-profit organizations other than small businesses

m) Small Businesses.