ADHD and ADD

Should You Be Concerned About ADHD Meds?

A few weeks ago, we published an article that described the sleep problems that children and teens may experience while taking a medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Most people who are diagnosed with ADHD or attention deficit disorder usually wind up on a stimulant medication.

While we know that such medications help most people who take them, like all medications they also come with some unwanted side effects. One of those side effects for stimulants is disruption of a person's sleep.

So how bad a problem is it? And is it something you should consider taking your kid off of these meds?

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Alternative and Nutritional Supplements

Top 5 Hidden Causes of Depression

Last year, I was seeing four different doctors: a psychiatrist for my mood disorder; an endocrinologist for my pituitary tumor and thyroid issues; a cardiologist for my aortic valve regurgitation; and a primary care physician for some digestive problems and fungus growth.

I suspected that all of my health problems were connected, but each doctor refused to look beyond her specialty to achieve a systemic, balanced perspective of how the conditions were related. I searched for an integrative doctor who could piece together all of my broken parts and help me determine underlying causes for all of the ailments.
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Bipolar

Need Help Managing Depression or a Depressive Bipolar Episode? Try This

Managing an episode of serious clinical depression -- whether stand-alone or as a part of bipolar disorder -- can be a challenge. For people who've never experienced depression, they don't understand the black-hole feeling depression creates. Nothing seems do-able, even simple things like making something to eat or getting out of pajamas. The world seems to close in around you, and you feel utterly, completely and helplessly alone.

Depression is rarely cured quickly and many people who have a depressive episode will be more likely to experience future depression too. That's why it helps to have some tips to actively manage your depression and the feelings that accompany these kinds of episodes.

Here's a few things that have helped others.

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Memory and Perception

Tell Your Therapist About the Abuse

“Unresolved emotional pain is the great contagion of our time -- of all time.” ~ Marc Ian Barasch
Imagine you are seeing a therapist and have an abuse history. It's safe to assume that you've already talked to the therapist about the abuse. Right? It would make sense, and yet, again and again I hear other abuse survivors say they've postponed talking to their therapist about the abuse.

The phrase “child abuse” becomes easily stuck in a victim’s throat. The abuser may distort the events that occurred so we aren’t sure of what happened. Sometimes, we’re so young when the abuse occurred we barely understand what was going on. Memory also plays tricks. In an attempt to insulate us from terrifying experiences, memory can become a block of Swiss cheese with holes in it everywhere.
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Caregivers

Coming to Terms with a Chronic Illness

It can be difficult to deal with a diagnosis of a chronic illness. News of a long-term or lifelong condition can take its toll on both your physical and mental health. It can also affect your relationships, home, career and finances.

Each person diagnosed with a chronic illness likely will react differently. There will be challenging times ahead, but adopting certain strategies and knowing that you are not alone can help you cope in the best way possible.

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Addiction

Mental Health in America: A Shakespearean Tragedy

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 16 million adults in the United States experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2012. Major Depressive Disorder is defined as “Depressed mood and/or loss of interest or pleasure in life activities for at least two weeks and symptoms that cause clinically significant impairment in social, work, or other important areas of functioning almost every day.”

Along with diagnostic criteria for depression, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-V is also notorious for a whole doctrine of pathologies under which the field of psychiatry preaches its creed; a grim gospel for any ardent disciple to follow. Social factors, environmental triggers, and increased stress in modern life all influence mental health, including the onset of depression. With healthcare expenditures approaching $3 trillion, our disorders and diseases are helping to keep the U.S. economy rolling.

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Disorders

What I Want You to Know about Mental Illness

Even on my worst days, I feel extremely lucky to have my job. It grants me the opportunity to hear stories and engage with people in the most raw, vulnerable way possible.

I have the privilege of studying, knowing, and working intimately with mental health issues; placing me on the front lines of this issue.

But it is easy to forget that an all-too-real stigma exists within the four walls of a therapy room.
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General

Free Mental Health Care Makes Financial Sense

Often people fret about who will pay for "free" healthcare. One solution more communities should look at is a private-public partnership between the local hospital and the government.

In Orange County, Florida, a mental health clinic that opened in 2010 has served over 1,100 patients. And they did it without charging a dime to the poor, uninsured patients they serve.

How does this make any fiscal sense? You may be surprised by the answer.

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Addiction

Alcoholism & Depression: Frenemies Forever

I’ve heard a thousand variations of this problem: “My brother is depressed, but he also drinks a lot, which is probably causing the depression. So which do you treat first? The alcoholism or the depression?”

The two conditions are so intertwined that it can be impossible to separate them.

Just last week I met with an executive director of a behavioral health program here in Annapolis. We were discussing how to start a faith-based initiative.

“Should we also include substance abuse?” he asked.
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Disorders

Schizophrenia is Best Treated with Combination of Meds & Psychotherapy

Going against decades of conventional wisdom, new, robust research from the National Institute of Mental Health suggests that schizophrenia shouldn't just be treated with antipsychotic drugs. Instead, a multidisciplinary approach that includes both psychotherapy and family support, combined with lower doses of antipsychotic medications, appears to work much better than drugs alone.

This new research should act as a wake-up call to all mental health professionals, people with schizophrenia, and their families.

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Addiction

In-Depth: The Curious Websites of American Addiction Centers, Including MentalHelp.net

Continuing the tradition of questionable online marketing practices by addiction treatment centers -- which are a huge and growing industry -- the company behind American Addiction Centers (AAC Holdings, Inc., ticker: AAC) over the summer acquired a little online marketing company that virtually nobody had heard of: Referral Solutions Group (RSG). The company was acquired by AAC for $32 million in cash in addition to stock.

Referral Solutions Group (now known as Sober Media Group) operates a whole bevy of websites, including everything run by Recovery Brands. But on most websites run by this group today, you won't see any mention of who owns or operates the site.

Why would a company seemingly want to hide the fact that they own or operate a particular website? It's anyone's guess, but it appears such actions are meant to make it seem like a website is independent and not associated with any particular treatment center.

This illusion of independence is important, in my opinion. As a consumer, if you go to a website and believe it's not affiliated with a treatment center, I suspect you're more likely to use its treatment referral hotline or directory. And if you're on one of these websites operated by AAC Holdings, you may even get a referral to an American Addiction Centers treatment facility.

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