Empowering Minds: Unveiling The Transformative Power And Importance Of Psychoeducation

In a world where mental health is increasingly at the forefront of our societal conversations, the power of knowledge and understanding cannot be overstated. Psychoeducation is a way to understand the complexity of psychological wellness. It is more than an informational resource. Psychoeducation is a tool for empowerment to connect individuals with their mental health.

In this article, we will talk about psychoeducation. We will explore its profound impact beyond clinical practice guidelines for the psychiatric disorders general principles on the patient and family members, and the broader community. Prepare to embark on a journey of discovery, understanding, and empowerment.

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The Role Of Psychoeducation In Mental Health

Psychoeducation serves several roles. These roles impact both family treatment of individuals with mental health conditions and their support systems.

It provides patients and their families – even adult schizophrenic patients with an understanding of mental health disorders, such as bipolar disorder anxiety disorders. This clears up the often intimidating world of psychiatric disorder diagnoses and treatments.

What Psychoeducation Does For Patients

The journey of a patient through the landscape of mental health is often fraught with confusion and fear. Knowing the importance of psychoeducation serves as a compass, guiding them through the complexities of their conditions. Psychoeducation empowers the patients with schizophrenia, to become active participants in their own care by educating them about their:

  • Diagnoses
  • Treatment options
  • Coping strategies

This empowerment leads to a sense of control and agency, which is crucial in managing a mental health condition. Furthermore, psychoeducation helps patients recognize early warning signs of relapse, enabling them to seek timely intervention and thus maintain stability in their lives.

What Psychoeducation Does For Families

For families and caregivers, understanding a loved one’s mental health condition can be equally challenging. Psychoeducation bridges this gap by offering them vital insights into the nature of mental illnesses and the challenges faced by their loved ones. This understanding:

  • Fosters empathy
  • Reduces stigma
  • Strengthens the support system around the patient

Families learn effective communication strategies and ways to create a supportive home environment, which plays a pivotal role in the patient’s recovery process.

Psychoeducation’s Impact To The Community

Beyond individual and familial spheres, psychoeducation extends its benefits to the broader community. By increasing awareness and knowledge about mental health, it contributes to reducing the stigma and misconceptions surrounding serious mental illness.

This increased awareness fosters a more supportive and inclusive community environment. Leading the environment becoming essential for the mental well-being of its members.

Benefits Of Psychoeducation

The benefits of psychoeducation and family education are both broad and profound. It impacts various aspects of the lives of those it touches.

1. Improved Understanding Of Mental Health

One of the most significant benefits of psychoeducation is the improved understanding it provides about mental health conditions. This knowledge is power. It demystifies mental health disorders, as well as psychiatric disorders and schizophrenic disorders. Individuals and families then understand the different factors contributing to these conditions.

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2. Better Management Of Symptoms

Psychoeducation equips individuals with the tools and knowledge to manage symptoms effectively. Patients learn about the importance of:

  • Medication adherence
  • Lifestyle modifications
  • Coping strategies to deal with stress, anxiety, or mood fluctuations

This proactive management leads to fewer hospitalizations, reduced severity of symptoms, and an overall better quality of life bipolar patients.

3. Enhanced Communication Skills

Through psychoeducation and family therapy, individuals learn how to communicate their needs and feelings more effectively. It also teaches families how to listen and respond in supportive ways. This avoids reactions of being dismissive or judgmental. Improved communication skills are crucial. It aids in building and maintaining healthy relationships. In doing family psychoeducation is applicable to both within family members and in wider social contexts.

4. Reduction In Stigma

Psychoeducation plays a key role in reducing the stigma associated with mental health conditions. Providing facts fosters a more compassionate attitude toward mental illness in society.

5. Increased Treatment Adherence

Understanding the importance and effectiveness of treatment is another key benefit. It is important to make sure patients are well-informed about their treatment options. In this case, they are more likely to adhere to their treatment plans. This is crucial for successful outcomes.

6. Empowerment and Self-Efficacy

Ultimately, psychoeducation empowers individuals with mental health conditions and their families. It builds a sense of self-efficacy. Mental health professionals allows people to understand psychoeducation to make them feel more confident in managing their condition. They can also advocate for their needs.

Psychoeducation In Various Settings

Psychoeducation is versatile and can be delivered in various settings, each with its unique advantages:

Hospitals and Clinics

Here, psychoeducation is often integrated into the effective treatment process, providing patients and families with information about diagnoses, treatment options, and coping strategies.

Community Centers

These settings allow for broader community engagement and can reach individuals who might not have access to traditional healthcare settings. Community-based psychoeducation can also be tailored to address the specific needs of the community.

Online Platforms

With the rise of digital technology, online psychoeducation has become increasingly popular. It offers accessibility and convenience, allowing individuals to access information and support from their homes.

Schools and Educational Institutions

Implementing psychoeducation in these settings can be particularly effective in basic psychotherapeutic intervention and raising awareness among young people.

Workplaces

Psychoeducation in the workplace can help create a more supportive environment for employees, reducing stigma, and promoting mental well-being.

Techniques Used In Psychoeducation

Psychoeducation employs a variety of techniques to effectively convey information and engage participants. These techniques cater to different learning styles, ensuring that the psychoeducational experience is inclusive, interactive, and impactful:

1. Group Discussions

Group discussions are a cornerstone of psychoeducation. They provide a platform for participants to share experiences, challenges, and successes. This peer interaction fosters a sense of community and understanding, making individuals feel less isolated in their experiences.

2. Interactive Workshops

Workshops that are interactive and hands-on engage participants actively in the learning process. These can include activities like:

  • Role-playing
  • Problem-solving exercises
  • Group projects

These activities can help in solidifying the understanding of the concepts and strategies discussed.

3. Multimedia Tools

The use of multimedia tools like videos, animations, and interactive software makes psychoeducation more engaging and accessible. Visual aids can help simplify complex information, making it easier to understand and remember.

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4. Role-Playing And Simulations

Role-playing exercises and simulations are effective in helping participants practice and understand various skills and behaviors in a controlled environment.

These activities can be particularly useful in teaching communication skills, empathy, and problem-solving strategies.

5. Written Materials And Handouts

Providing participants with written materials like handouts, booklets, and brochures allows them to review the information at their own pace. This also serves as a reference they can turn to after the program.

6. Case Studies And Storytelling

Using real-life case studies or storytelling can help illustrate complex concepts in a relatable and understandable manner. It also helps in highlighting the real-world application of psychoeducational content.
7. Online Platforms And E-Learning Modules
The integration of online platforms and e-learning modules allows for greater accessibility and convenience. It enables participants to engage with the material remotely and at times that suit them best.
8. Guest Speakers And Expert Panels
Inviting guest speakers or organizing expert panels can provide additional insights and perspectives. Hearing from individuals who give out mental health services, and have personal or professional experience with mental health issues can be inspiring and informative.
9. Question And Answer Sessions
Regular Q&A sessions allow participants to:

  • Clarify doubts
  • Ask specific questions
  • Engage directly with facilitators or experts

This also ensures that the program is responsive to the needs and curiosities of the participants.
10. Follow-Up Sessions And Support Groups
Conducting follow-up sessions or establishing support groups after the initial psychoeducation program can provide ongoing support and reinforcement of the skills and knowledge acquired.
Challenges And Limitations
Despite its benefits, group psychoeducation faces several challenges and limitations:

  • Accessibility: Reaching individuals in remote or underserved areas can be difficult. Additionally, there might be barriers related to language or literacy levels.
  • Cultural Sensitivity: One size does not fit all in psychoeducation. Programs must be culturally sensitive and tailored to the specific beliefs and values of different communities.
  • Maintaining Engagement: Keeping participants engaged over time can be challenging, especially in settings where attendance is not mandatory.
  • Resource Limitations: There may be a lack of trained professionals or financial resources to implement comprehensive psychoeducation programs.
  • Measuring Effectiveness: Assessing the impact of psychoeducation programs can be complex, making it challenging to continuously improve and adapt these programs.

By addressing these challenges, psychoeducation can continue to evolve and reach its full potential as a vital tool in mental health care and awareness.

To Wrap Up

As we conclude this enlightening journey through the realms of psychoeducation, it’s clear that its impact extends far beyond the confines of traditional therapy rooms. Psychoeducation emerges not just as a tool, but as a cornerstone in the edifice of mental health care. It builds a therapeutic relationship between clients and professionals. By demystifying mental health conditions, it empowers individuals and families, fostering resilience and understanding in the face of challenges.

The future of psychoeducation, brightened by technological advances and greater accessibility, promises even more innovative ways to support mental wellness. As we move forward, embracing the knowledge and strategies offered by psychoeducation, we step into a world where mental health is not just managed but truly understood and embraced.

Let us carry forward the insights and inspirations gained, transforming them into actions that nurture healthier, more informed communities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Are The Important Aspects Of Psychoeducation?

What Is The Purpose Of Psychoeducational?

Why Is Psychoeducation Important For Children?

What Is The Importance Of Psychoeducational Assessment?

When Is Psychoeducation Used?

How Can I Improve My Psychoeducation?

What Are The Benefits Of Psychoeducation Groups?

What Is The Psychoeducational Approach To Teaching?

How Does Psychoeducation Affect Patients?

What Are The Benefits Of Psychoeducation For Parents?

Is Psychoeducation Evidence Based Practice?

Is Psychoeducation Evidence Based Practice?

What Is The Effectiveness Of Psychoeducational Intervention?

How Do You Evaluate Psychoeducation?

What Are The Benefits Of Psychoeducation For Depression?

Understanding The Signs Of Depression Among Adults

There’s more to depression than just feeling sad. It’s a pervasive sadness that doesn’t go away after several days. It’s more than just a feeling, too: clinical depression is a complex disorder characterized by a spectrum of emotional, physical, and cognitive symptoms that have a significant impact on a person’s health and quality of life.

Depression in Adults

Depression can manifest in various forms, ranging from postpartum depression to major depressive disorder, characterized by intense and persistent feelings of despair, including more chronic types like dysthymia, which entails a long-term but less severe mood dampening.

However, the effects of depression go very far beyond mental symptoms and its effects on quality of life, such as enduring sadness, loss of interest in once-pleasurable activities, and profound fatigue.

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Causes Of Depression In Adults

Understanding depression and bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) in adults requires understanding the individual thoroughly and holistically. Depression rarely has a single cause, so it’s vital to consider both the internal experiences of those affected and the external factors that may contribute to or exacerbate the condition.

It is difficult to pinpoint exact causes due to individual differences, but as with any mental disorders or illness, there are some factors in a person’s life that can make it more likely for them to develop the condition. By understanding and identifying these factors, it becomes easier to help someone who may have or is developing depression.

It’s important to note that depression is often the result of a combination of these factors, rather than a single cause. Also, one factor might have a significant effect on one person but do almost nothing to another person due to differences in physiology, personality, or something else entirely. Still, understanding these factors and causes can help with identifying at-risk individuals and providing them with the appropriate support and treatment, such as being prescribed antidepressant medications.

Depression in adults is common. Unfortunately, due to the significant stigma surrounding mental health, it’s not unusual for adults with major depression to go untreated and undiagnosed for a long time.

Genetic Factors

Research indicates that genetics play a significant role in the development of depression. Individuals with a family history of depression are more likely to experience it themselves. A genetic predisposition does not guarantee that someone will develop depression, but it can make someone more vulnerable to having it.

According to Stanford Medicine, someone with an immediate relative who has depression will be up to three times more likely to also have depression as compared to someone without a family history.

Biochemical Imbalance

Depression can also be linked to an imbalance of specific chemicals and neurotransmitters in a person’s brain. The human brain releases specific compounds that govern whether a person feels “positive” emotions such as happiness, joy, satisfaction, and fulfillment. If, due to a physiological problem, the brain is unable to produce or utilize these chemicals, a person might develop depression.

Hormonal imbalances, such as those occurring during menopause, thyroid problems, or other endocrine disorders, can also contribute to the development of depression.

Psychological And Emotional Factors

Personal characteristics and psychological factors play a crucial role in the onset of depression. Depression can also be the result of traumatic events and experiences, such as:

      • Childhood trauma
      • Loss of a loved one
      • Difficult relationships
      • High-stress situations

All these events are exacerbated if someone doesn’t have a supportive social network.

Environmental And Social Factors

Socioeconomic problems, such as long-term unemployment, living in an abusive or uncaring relationship, prolonged exposure to a stressful work environment, or chronic isolation and loneliness, are significant contributors to depression. Social factors, including poverty, social isolation, and living in an area with high rates of violence or deprivation, can also contribute to the risk factors of developing depression.

Chronic Physical Illnesses

Dealing with long-term physical conditions like diabetes, coronary heart disease, or cancer can lead to depression, especially due to the stress and physical strain of the illness.

Chronic pain and illnesses can cause depression in someone by limiting their ability to do things they once enjoyed. These things might include social gatherings, sports, physical activities, or even something as mundane as leaving the house. The inability to do these things can contribute to feelings of isolation, and feeling this way for an extended period of time can cause depressive symptoms in someone.

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Effects Of Depression In Adults

The effects of depression aren’t limited to feeling down. Depression can also have physiological effects on a person. The mental effects of depression, including people with prenatal depression or PTSD, can also extend to make it more difficult for an individual to function effectively in daily life, such as leading to a depressed mood disorder.

Psychological and Physical Effects

Depression can lead to a range of psychological issues, such as persistent sadness, feelings of hopelessness, low self-esteem, and a lack of motivation. It can also increase the risk of developing anxiety, substance abuse, or other mental health disorders. In severe cases, depression can lead to suicidal thoughts or actions that can be prevented with brain stimulation therapy or talk therapy.

Depression doesn’t just affect the mind; it can also have significant physical consequences. It can disrupt sleep patterns, cause changes in appetite, and lead to physical fatigue — and all these effects tend to be involuntary. Some physiological effects include an increased risk for chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and weakened immune function. The stress caused by depression can exacerbate existing physical health issues.

Adults with depression may also find it difficult to perform daily tasks and responsibilities. This includes challenges in doing tasks that they would be able to do normally, such as:

  • maintaining personal hygiene
  • household chores
  • waking up on time
  • managing finances

The lack of energy and motivation can make even simple tasks feel overwhelming.

Social Withdrawal And Relationship Struggles

Depression often causes individuals to withdraw from social interactions and lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. This can lead to strained relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. Isolation and feelings of loneliness are common, further exacerbating the condition.

Because depression can significantly impair concentration, decision-making skills, and memory, it can also affect an individual’s performance at work or school. This might result in decreased productivity, absenteeism, and in severe cases, job loss or dropping out of school.

Substance Abuse

Some adults may turn to alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with their depression. This can lead to a cycle of dependence and exacerbate depression symptoms, creating a complex situation that makes treating depression a challenge.

Overall, depression can severely impact an individual’s quality of life. The combined effect of psychological symptoms, physical symptoms, and social symptoms can make life seem less enjoyable, fulfilling, or meaningful.

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Seven Signs Of Depression In Adults

Depression in adults can manifest in various ways, and symptoms of depression can differ from person to person. However, there are seven significant signs commonly associated with depression in adults:

Persistent Sadness Or Low Mood

Low mood and a perpetual feeling of sadness is the most common and well-known sign of depression. An individual may feel overwhelmingly sad or empty, and these feelings don’t just pass but persist over time.

Loss Of Interest Or Pleasure In Activities

People with depression often lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. This could include hobbies, social activities, or even basic daily tasks.

Changes In Appetite And Weight

Depression can lead to significant changes in eating habits, resulting in either weight gain or weight loss. This is not due to a conscious change in diet but rather a loss of appetite or excessive eating as a coping mechanism.

Sleep Disturbances

This could manifest as insomnia (difficulty falling or staying asleep) or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping). Irregular sleep patterns are common in individuals suffering from depression.

Fatigue Or Loss Of Energy

People with depression often feel a persistent sense of tiredness or a lack of energy. This fatigue is more than just feeling sleepy; it’s a profound exhaustion that can affect everyday functioning.

Feelings Of Worthlessness Or Excessive Guilt

Individuals may experience intense feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt. They might overly blame themselves for past failures or feel an unwarranted sense of guilt about everyday occurrences.

Difficulty Concentrating, Making Decisions, Or Remembering

There can be noticeable difficulties in focusing, making decisions, or remembering things. This symptom can affect performance at work or in other areas of life.

It’s important to note that these signs are not exhaustive, and having one or two of these symptoms does not necessarily mean a person has depression. However, if someone experiences several of these symptoms consistently for more than two weeks, it may indicate that they have depression.

Addressing Depression In Adults

Depression in adults is a complex mental health disorder. Its symptoms and causes can vary from person to person, making it difficult to identify, diagnose, and treat. However, some common signs and symptoms are good things to watch out for in your loved ones.

People often wonder how is depression treated? But don’t lose hope — depression is a treatable condition. There are several ways to assist someone who has depression, like going to a mental health professional or, at the very least, managing its severe symptoms and giving them proper mental health care.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Are Symptoms Of Adult Depression?

What Are The Most Common Signs Of Depression In The Older Adult?

What Is The Most Common Cause Of Depression In Adults?

What Feeling Is Most Likely To Be A Symptom Of Depression?

What Are The Minor Signs Of Depression Among Adults?

What Are 4 Major Causes Of Depression?

What Are 4 Common Predictors Of Depression In Older Adults?

What Type Of People Suffer From Depression?

When Do Most People Get Depression?

Who Is Most At Risk Of Depression?

What Are Signs Of Anxiety?

Can Depression Change Personality?

Who Gets Depression More Often?

Can Depression Turn Into A Mental Illness?

How Do People Act With Anxiety And Depression?

The Basics Of Bipolar Disorder

 

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Mood swings among children, most especially adolescents, are a regular part of their growing up but if this affects their performance in school or relationship with their peers, probably it is bipolar disorder. Also known as manic-depression, bipolar disorder is a severe brain illness in which symptoms can occur in early childhood but usually visible in adolescence or adulthood. This type of illness can be dangerous to adolescents because some of them try to hurt themselves or even attempt suicide.

Continue reading “The Basics Of Bipolar Disorder”

10 Mistakes People Make When Suffering from Depression

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Suffering from a psychological disorder like depression, OCD or dementia could adversely affect your thought processes, preventing you from thinking and reasoning in the same way as a normal and healthy individual. “Research has suggested that processing speed — the ability to take in information quickly and efficiently — is impaired in individuals who are depressed,” explains Natascha Santos, PsyD, a psychologist and behavior therapist in Great Neck, N.Y. If you have panic attacks time and again or you feel unduly anxious, then, you’re most likely to have a distorted view of yourself, your illness, and everything directly or indirectly impinging on your wellbeing. You could also end up making mistakes without even realizing that you’ve done so, which could aggravate your suffering.

Continue reading “10 Mistakes People Make When Suffering from Depression”

The Nature Of Suicide

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Robin Williams. Chester Bennington. Chris Cornell. Kurt Cobain. What do they have in common aside from being a famous Hollywood celebrity? They all committed suicide.

Suicide is a deliberate act of killing oneself. Persons who are suffering from major depression, chronic medical conditions and serious mental illness are prone to suicide. Some experts say that it is an act of expressing an internal conflict related to perceptions of hopelessness and despair while others justify the act as a form of liberation and being free from all the hardships.

“Even though the majority of youth victimized by bullying/cyberbullying do not commit suicide, in many cases bullying increases a young person’s risk of thinking about suicide and making a plan.” says psychologist Margaret R. Paccione, PhD.

Continue reading “The Nature Of Suicide”

You Are Not Alone In This

Life Events Impact Your Mental Health

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Some cases of depression are often triggered by a traumatic event. Being diagnosed with cancer can affect your emotional health. Feelings of depression, fear and anxiety are very common and normal responses to this life-changing news. Often, people with depression after getting the news of a cancer diagnosis will pretend everything is okay so as to not feel that they would further burden family members.

“The nightmares or recollections may come and go, and a person may be free of them for weeks at a time, and then experience them daily for no particular reason.” John M. Grohol, Psy.D. said.

It is important that you deal with your feelings and you should consider seeking out help from a number of online resources such as online Depression Chat Rooms. It’s impossible to predict how you will react or feel about being diagnosed with cancer. You could experience a number of feelings and emotions such as:

  • Shock and disbelief
  • Anger
  • Denial
  • Guilt and blame
  • Sorrow and sadness
  • Fear and uncertainty

Are you feeling depressed?

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Depression is a medical illness that negatively affects your emotional well-being and impacts your ability to function in your daily life. Depression also not only affects those who have it but also those around depressed individuals. The symptoms of depression will vary between people. You may experience a few or all of the symptoms. These symptoms can also present between mild and severe levels and can include:

  • Feeling sad
  • Feelings of hopelessness, restlessness, anxiety and low self-esteem
  • Loss of interest in the activities you used to once enjoy
  • Changes in appetite
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions

 

Give Depression Chat Rooms a Try  

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Speaking to someone about your thoughts and feelings is a good start. You can try talking with people close to you, doctors or even therapists. Always remember depression is treatable.

There are a number of different forms of therapy and supports resources you can use. Seeking out support and getting help can sometimes feel very challenging. We often fear that people may judge us or feel afraid about burdening other people with your problems.

Most often we fear people would see us as weak so we pretend everything is okay. One of the support resources people with depression can use is stranger chat, where you can freely and without prejudice seek support and advice.

“Some people, particularly men, are more likely to externalize their depression.” says Shannon Kolakowski, PsyD.

Take Advice to Heart

“A cancer diagnosis strikes at the core of our being. We may feel that life as we have known it is over and we face a dark and painful journey into the unknown with no light at the end of the tunnel.” The Upside of Cancer: How a Terrifying Illness Can Lead You to a New Life by Christopher Foster

Being diagnosed with cancer is not the end. It is okay to go through the emotions, it is alright to feel afraid and you are allowed to ask for help. You do not have to deal with this alone. Find the support platform that works for you and start your journey toward healing your mind. Ask for advice, voice your emotions and feelings and take from that what works for you.

Sometimes, voicing your emotions out loud can be distressing. “When people come to us with a problem, it is almost instinctual to attempt to solve it. This is due to us wanting to help as well as our desire to solve problems.” says Jennifer Artesani Blanks, M.Ed., LMHC. Often people find it difficult to speak about how they feel. This is where Depression Chat Rooms are most helpful. Putting your feelings and emotions into written words could be easier for you. Speaking to others with depression also helps in understanding that what you feel is not uncommon or a sign of weakness. There are millions of people across the globe that share similar emotions, symptoms and even anxiety and fear about being diagnosed with cancer. You are not alone and all that is needed is for you to reach out.

5 Things To Realize About OCD

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Telling people that you have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can imaginably be difficult. Some people may doubt if you are making up your condition, which is something that a lot of millennials get accused of nowadays. Others say, “At least it is not depression or anorexia or autism.” Yes, there can be discrimination when it comes to mental health disorders as well. According to Patrick W. Corrigan, PsyD, “people with mental illness were significantly less likely to get cardiac care compared with another group that was not labeled that way.[2] I would argue that the general healthcare system is one of those bodies that tends to treat people with mental illness differently.”

It would be a blatant lie to claim that it is not bothersome at all.  You are not a saint; you can be sad or feel upset towards the individuals who are trying to invalidate your illness. However, you should not be surprised as well if that’s what’s happening. Even in the past, the people who come out with rare psychological conditions end up in asylums. Being born in the 21st century is one thing you should be glad about because everyone is more accepting than ever towards folks with mental disorders.

Nevertheless, it is too evident that there’s so much that people do not understand about psychological conditions, particularly obsessive-compulsive disorder. In hopes of reducing the confusion about it, here are five things you should realize regarding OCD.

1. It Is Somehow Connected To Anxiety

You can think of the actions of a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder as a set of routine. For instance, if they have to go to the bathroom at precisely 8:30 AM and be out of the house after an hour, both activities have to happen at those specific times. If a minute or two passes, and they still cannot do either, that is when an anxiety attack comes. They start worrying about their body, work, traffic, and everything else. According to Jennifer Alosso, PsyD, “Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) can range in severity from slightly annoying to completely debilitating. Obsessive thoughts and their associated compulsive behaviors create significant anxiety. They tend to be distracting, time-consuming and can interfere with work, school and relationships with loved ones.”

2. OCD Is Difficult To Overcome

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Someone with OCD may try to break their routines, but it will undoubtedly be tough. Their mind and body are programmed to do the same things on time. Even if they no longer want to do it, they cannot control their movements. Many patients sign up for therapy to get rid of the disorder, but they tend to find that the coping mechanisms only work during the sessions. Once treatment is over, they unintentionally slide back to old habits.

3. People Think It’s An Imagination Disorder 

Some individuals say that obsessive-compulsive disorder is more of an imagination disorder. After all, the mind is in control of everything we do. If it means that you should organize everything, you cannot disagree with it — you have to do it. Still, over time, you will get used to knowing what’s real and what’s a product of your imagination.

4. Doubt Worsens Everything

OCD patients are extremely unsure of themselves, in the sense that they keep on doing the same things because they have second thoughts about what will happen if they don’t do that. Hence, the doubt that they feel causes them to become obsessive with specific activities. “Most people experience occasional doubt about relationships, but for people experiencing relationship OCD, anxiety and doubt hijack their relationships,” according to Misti Nicholson, PsyD, director and clinical psychologist at Austin Anxiety & OCD Specialists.

5. Only You Can Help Yourself

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As mentioned above, therapy is not a sure way to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder. A lot of individuals have done it, but not all of them have come out with fewer symptoms than ever. That should tell you that OCD, in this case, is no different from depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. None of the treatments will work unless you focus on helping yourself, not letting others help you.

 

Let’s be kind to one another, why don’t we? OCD is a real psychological condition — no one with this illness should feel invalidated merely because it is not as common as the other diseases.

Signs You Have Anorexia According To Psychologists

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Earlier symptoms of anorexia nervosa can be mistaken for regular dieting; the only difference is the person starts to become preoccupied or somewhat obsessive with food and dieting that it consumes their entire life and may disrupt relationships, careers, self-image, etc. Psychologists site that anorexia nervosa is common in most women and can be easy to conceal from other people. If you feel that you or someone you know is overwhelmed by their body image, and are becoming quite obsessive towards eating and weight loss, here are the mental, behavioral and physical signs you may have anorexia.

Mental And Behavioural Signs Of Anorexia

  • Frequent skipping of meals
  • Obsession with weight on the scale
  • Avoiding eating out with friends/relatives
  • Adopting certain eating rituals, such as slicing food into smaller portions/pieces or spitting food out after chewing
  • Not admitting to hunger
  • Fasting for multiple hours on end
  • Exercising tirelessly even without having eaten anything
  • Lack of energy
  • Lack of emotion
  • Weighing yourself repeatedly
  • Always check the mirror for flaws, usually after eating
  • Counting calories
  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • Using natural or chemical laxatives
  • Use of Dietary supplements
  • Use of non-prescription drugs that are said to cause weight loss (Marijuana, Cocaine, Heroine, etc.)
  • Smoking
  • Consuming appetite suppressants

Anorexia occurs when an individual becomes obsessed with their weight, particularly losing it, and developing a fear of gaining more. According to Dana Harron, PsyD, “An eating disorder is about using food and the body as a way to cope with deep and complex emotional issues.” The eating disorder may develop commonly through life experience related problems, genetic inheritance, or the general pressure society weighs on the idea of being “skinny” and losing weight. It also develops more within young women in their adolescent years.

Anorexia can be recognized with two inter-related patterns:

  • The refusal to maintain healthy body weight or BMI for a man/woman, mainly wanting to be underweight
  • Incredibly distorted self-image (Body dysmorphia) and settling with the idea that the individual is overweight even when he/she is not.

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Physical Symptoms Of Anorexia

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Weak nails
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dry/pale skin
  • Gets cold easily
  • Drastic weight loss
  • Irregular or loss of menstruation
  • Thinning hair
  • Dehydration

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Anorexia occurs when an individual starts to go through extreme measures to restrict eating and lose weight drastically. Most individuals with anorexia nervosa also exercise excessively even while fasting. Anorexia is a mental illness that can push an individual to starve up until he/she is severely underweight, and even then this person can still perceive themselves as overweight. In an article she wrote, Lauren Muhlheim, PsyD, states that “Research suggests that when combined with the intense fear of weight gain or fat and significant body image disturbance experiences, as little as a 5 percent weight loss may indicate clinically meaningful eating pathology, qualifying the patient as having a diagnosis of atypical anorexia nervosa.”

Experts mostly associate anorexia nervosa with excessive dieting and the stereotype that someone who has anorexia is automatically skinny. In an article she wrote, Heather Gallivan, PsyD, states that “Dieting can lead to anorexia when a diet becomes so restrictive you have an imbalance of energy intake and energy expenditure.” Anorexia is much more than disordered eating patterns; it is a severe mental illness that takes a heavy toll towards someone’s mental health and self-image. Signs of the eating disorder can be actions of coping with stressful life experiences and an obsession with being physically “perfect.” Therefore the illness can come in any shape or form and can affect each person differently.

Many other mental disorders may accompany anorexia nervosa (Co-occurring disorders) such as:

  • Alcoholism
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Bingeing
  • Purging

Most aren’t fully diagnosed with co-occurring disorders due to the difficulty in identifying such in each patient. Anorexia nervosa is a mental illness that has established itself as the voice in your head that tells you to stop eating. Over the years anorexics are a broad audience online through multiple websites and apps filled with people who help each other restrict and maintain food intake or weight. Most individuals with anorexia call the voice in their heads “Ana” and go on these “Pro-Ana” websites to live their lives trying to reach an unhealthy and unattainable body goal.

Effects Of Anorexia

  • Infertility
  • Brain damage
  • Heart attacks
  • Heart palpitations
  • The shutdown of major body systems
  • Death

Anorexia usually develops itself at an early age, as the youth are more prone to caving into superficial standards the media push onto young women and men every day. It is essential to recognize that anorexia does not have a particular body type, and can exist within different kinds of people in different ways.

Anorexia is a mental illness that convinces an individual that the body they are in is “too fat” even when the person is at an average weight. This mindset and assumption, therefore, pushes the body to severe and deadly limits to lose weight. If you or anyone you know, show or have any of the signs and symptoms, see, numbers on the scale does not define who you are. Do not be afraid to talk to someone or seek professional help.

Life With Reiki, Yoga, And Meditation – Enhanced Mental Health

Source: pixabay.com

 

Laura Castro is a Reiki Master at Blue Osa at the Osa Peninsula, South of Costa Rica. In 1998, back when she was still a student at Gaia Institute and taking up her massage course, she was also introduced to Reiki, Yoga, and other meditation techniques to improve her skills and supposedly, her mental health. In an article he co-wrote, Jeffrey E. Barnett, PsyD, states that “Meditation is used to treat a variety of symptoms, such as elevated blood pressure, anxiety, stress, pain and insomnia, as well as to promote overall health and well-being.” Laura was suffering from issues which required therapy but didn’t go to the treatment at that time.

She claimed that after her first Reiki session, there was a sense of calmness, her body was more relaxed, and she was in a better mood. According to Michaelene Ruhl, PsyD, “Reiki is a simple, sacred, and safe method for healing your physical, emotional, and energy bodies – mind-body-spirit.” And in 2001, after her graduation, she chooses to apply the Reiki technique because she loves how her hands would feel warm every time she channels out her energy. However, those times, she is still completely ambivalent as to how Reiki and yoga works and how it could change her life.

How Reiki Made Me Who I Am And Where I Ended Up!

When Laura was in her late twenties, she turned her back to yoga and Reiki as she followed what her heart dictates. But all did not go well while overseas, she broke off her engagement and went back to Costa Rica depressed and defeated. A year has passed, and she has not still gathered herself, feeling miserable and lost at the same time. And it was also then that she felt the urge to find the meaning and purpose of her life.

While searching for positive changes in her life, she remembered the experiences she had while doing Yoga and Reiki and that was when she also decided to go to the Osa Peninsula, specifically to Puerto Jiménez with the determination to deal with her life in the most positive way.

 

Source: pixabay.com

 

Upon arriving at Golfo Dulce, she was welcomed by large red Macaws and the crystal green waters of the sea. She was stunned by the beauty of Osa and right then and there, she felt that her soul was summoned to the place.

In the early days of her stay at Osa, she began with her healing process doing yoga and Reiki. More so, she also started eating healthy and regularly. She would go hiking to a nearby forest with a bottle on hand and a full stomach, immersing into the beauty of nature while continuously doing breathing meditations and more importantly living the moment.

Through her daily rituals, she came to realize that over the past years with all the hardships, she has forgotten about herself. This realization was the start of the real healing process of Laura. She came to realize what was holding her back and making her miserable in life. It was also then that she stopped blaming other people for her misfortunes and started to take all the responsibilities of her actions.

She seriously changed how her outlook in life was. She stopped judging herself and started to change, heal and grow together with the “present.” She started to be more accepting, compassionate, forgiving, patient, and simple especially to herself. And this, according to her, was the first part Reiki changing her life.

 

Source: pixabay.com

 

Over the years, Laura felt she was becoming more in tune with her old self, and when the second phase of the Reiki initiation was right in front of her, she was blown away with the experience which is far more different from the first phase.

Laura’s perception of the world has shifted positively. It was also then that she realized that everything around her is vibrating energies only at different frequencies. With all new learning about different Reiki symbols, she can now send Reiki to other people despite the distance.

She has found fulfillment in sharing with other people the opportunities that Life has given her using yoga and Reiki healing. Although she still believes that one is responsible for finding their path, Reiki can be a great tool to reach the emotional and psychological issues that are affecting the physical body.

After which, Laura continued to practice yoga and Reiki, read self-help books, and therapy. She found healing and inner growth especially with her Reiki sessions and yoga practices. Later on, she received her third Reiki level together with the master symbol. After all that she had gone through, she was now left with the choice whether to be a Reiki practitioner or to prepare herself for the final Reiki initiation to which she gladly chose the previous.

At present, Laura is now a Reiki Master and still residing at the Osa Peninsula. She works at Blue Osa as a Reiki healer, yoga instructor, and an integral masseuse.

According to her the changes in her life because of Reiki were intense. And to give back, she is happy to continuously spread the Light and help those who want healing change, spiritual awakening, and also spreading their light. Susan Franklin, PsyD, said “Reiki is helpful for many physical ailments like pain, injury, and healing from illness as well as emotional challenges like anxiety, life transitions, grief, confusion, or depression.”

Reiki has changed her life, and that is the same reason why she is offering Reiki to others as among her treatment modalities.

Anxiety Psychology: What Happens Inside The Anxious Mind 

Anxiety disorders, as well as mental illnesses in general, have historically been treated with less importance than other diseases, partly due to its effects manifesting more on the mind than on the physical body. “Anxiety comes in waves, and managing the disorder means learning coping tools and strategies to help surf those waves rather than expecting the waves to disappear entirely.” says a licensed mental health counselor  Caitlyn McKinzie Bennett.

 

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