Who Should get Neurofeedback?

What is Neurofeedback?

NEWSWEEK ARTICLE 2016………..NEUROFEEDBACK GOES MAINSTREAM
http://www.newsweek.com/neurofeedback-brain-regulation-neuroscience-457492


  • Neurofeedback is a technique in which we train the brain directly in its basic competences. The brain not only regulates all bodily functions, but also must take care of itself. In fact, most of the brain’s activity refers to itself. This activity must be organized, and we can attribute many of our problems in mental functioning to failures in such organization.  The EEG (Electroencephalogram) allows us to see the brain at work, and when the brain is not functioning well, the evidence often shows up in the EEG.   We can analyze the EEG into a variety of constituents, each of which appears to be responsible for some regulatory activity. By challenging the brain, much as you challenge your body in physical exercise, your brain can learn to function better.  But in contrast to physical exertion, in this particular exercise only the brain is working hard—and you don’t feel that!  What happens in practice is that we extract from the EEG the essential information on which we want you to train.  Typically this means showing you how large the EEG is at particular frequencies, what we call its amplitude. We ask you to try to change that amplitude over time, and we reward you for succeeding. How do you succeed, you ask?  We let your brain figure it out, and you have to “let” your brain do it, too.  We don’t really know how learning of any kind takes place, but we know that it does so.  And the brain can also learn about controlling itself better.  The brain manages many things with cyclical movement between the state of activation, and the state of relaxation, and we can observe this process in the EEG.  As we ask the brain to change its own activity level, we are effectively putting it on a “stair stepper.”   We ask the brain to change, it does so, and it also resists the change.  We ask it again, and it resists again.  In this push-pull fashion, the brain strengthens its regulatory capacities, and eventually the brain may be able to function well without the help of neurofeedback.  It will have learned better internal control.  Where does this matter?

 

  • First of all, it helps in managing our arousal level, our sleep-wake cycle. When you sleep more efficiently, you are more alert during the day.  It can help with anxiety and depression, and with pain syndromes like migraine or chronic pain.

 

  • Secondly, it can be helpful in managing attention–how well you can persist even at a boring task, for example. Thirdly, it can help you manage the emotions.  Emotions may feel like the real you, but your brain has something to do with how you feel and react.  If the emotions are out of control, that’s trainable. If they aren’t there—as in lack of empathy, for example—that, too, is trainable.

 

  • Finally, there are some specific issues where the Neurofeedback training can be helpful, such as in cases of seizures, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, autism, and dementia. In these instances the training does not so much get rid of the problem as it simply organizes the brain to function better in the context of whatever injury or loss exists.  Once you accept the possibility that this training might be effective for you, the next question is: Will this training change who you are? Well, yes and no. If a child is known for his temper outbursts and he does the training, and the rages fall away, he is certainly different.  But the parents would say, we have our real son now.  A person should not be defined by their worst features. The training takes you closer to who you really are. That is our experience. And because this training really allows your true self to emerge, others may notice the changes in you even before you do.  You may wonder, is there a completion to the training, or does it go on and on?  In order to reach a specific objective, the training generally just goes for a certain number of sessions.  If there is back-sliding after that, due to stresses in your life, a few booster sessions may be recommended. However, just as concert pianists practice more than the rest of us, rather than less, EEG training can be used without limit to enhance performance. This may be of interest to professional athletes, corporate executives, and performance artists who live in a very high-stress world.

If you are interested in scheduling EEG Neurofeedback or know of someone who needs to learn how to better regulate their emotions  because of  emotional or mood disregulation disorders such as Anxiety, depression, Bipolar Disorder or educational problems, ADD/ADHD, PTSD, Acute Stress Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder and much more…

If this describes you or a loved one please call and get an appointment Today! 727-505-0976

Visit Us at:  urgentcarecounseling.com   

6320 Rowan Rd, New Port Richey, FL. 34653

BUILDING BLOCKS TO A POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE SELF-ESTEEM (session 2 & 3)

  1. CRITICISM

We are most often our own worst critics. When we have a low sense of self-worth we feel that nothing we ever do is right, good enough or pleasing for others. If we sing we feel we are off tune; if we socialize and laugh at a joke we feel we laughed to loud; when we get brave enough to do a task such as bake cookies for another person, we claim we are bad at cooking and predict the cookies will be terrible.  We devalue our talents, and actions and what we produce. We self-doubt, and negatively predict negative criticism so that when it comes to us, we are in some way hurt less. Which never is the case, for most certainly someone will fulfill our self-damming prophecies resulting in inner pain and another broken block in our self- esteem wall.

Criticisms or perceived criticism causes great inner pain, feelings of being stabbed in the back, betrayed, let down, depleted of joyful feelings or experiences, down cast, sadden and even brought low to depressive feelings.

** What is one of the earliest criticisms that you can remember and whom did it come from?

** What is the result of this criticism?

** Did you in anyway allow the criticism to affect your life, goals, hopes or dreams?

** What message did you get that you have believed about yourself from this criticism early in your life?

** Have you ever challenged this criticism in your life, if so how and what is the result?

**Have you had a recent negative experience of criticism, if so how has it affected you recently?

Is There a Link Between Emotional Eating and Anxiety?

Is There a Link Between Emotional Eating and Anxiety?

Stephanie Dodier, a former fortune 500 company executive learned that her
poor health, and panic attacks were linked to her habitual emotional eating. In
the article attached by link below she share her story of a life of emotional
eating, anxiety and panic attacks. When she learned to deal with her past
unresolved issues, she also learned how to manage her emotional eating habits.
This led to losing 100 pounds and changing her high powered career to become a
health and nutrition specialist and educator. Her article below shares with
readers not just her testimony about losing 100 pounds but great insight about
diets and wellness. It is well worth reading.

In a WebMD article called  “Emotional
Eating What Helps” the authors lists suggestions on how to control emotional
eating. They suggest the following:

1.
Be kind to yourself.

2.
Make a list of stresses in your life and plans to
resolve these stresses. I would add seek counseling to learn better stress
management and how better to deal with the unresolved issues of the past. I
would encourage any person who identifies stress as a cause for the poor health
and emotional eating to investigate how EEG Neurofeedback can help elevate
anxiety.  See my other article: What is
Neurofeedback.

3.
Pause yourself before eating. WebMD says to take a few
minutes to let the impulse to eat when you’re not really hungry, go away.  In this moment of pause you could challenge
yourself to change your activity, or increase your activity if you are bored or
feeling sad feeling.  You can reflect on
what might be a healthy choice, or seek out someone to talk to.

For personal insight from an expert who
personally experienced emotional eating its consequences click on the link
below and learn how Stephanie Dodier overcame emotional eating and panic
attacks.

 

 

87: How to Stop Emotional Eating (From a Nutritionist Who Lost 100 Pounds!)

We’ve all been there. It’s midnight, we’re up late, and suddenly hunger strikes … for chocolate! But can craving chocolate really be hunger, or is it just emotional eating? It’s pretty easy to guess the answer. Emotional eating wrecks our healthy eat – source

STOP FIGHTING WITH YOUR KIDS

1.   Be slow to speak at your children and quick to listen to them. (James 1:19) We all need to be heard. From the youngest child to the oldest adult there is an innate need to be heard. One cause of conflict in parent and child relationships is that children often feel like their parents are not hearing them.  Ask yourself this question: When I get into conflicts and arguments with my child/children am I guilty of not hearing them and identifying their needs before I rush into ‘speaking’ at them? Try to lecture less, and listen more.

2. Remember that it is a fool who gives full vent to his anger. (Proverbs 29:11) Parents often have a sense of righteous indignation and reasons for being upset with their children, whether they have broken a trust or a valuable item or hurt someone. How we as adults and molders of our children’s sense of self-worth and emotional well-being must remain responsible and conscious of how we respond as opposed to react to our children’s errors. We must not over react like a volcano exploding molten lava on our children burning them and turning them into harden stones.

3.   Let nothing “unwholesome” come out of your mouth but only that which is useful to build up and edify your children. (Ephesians 4:29)  I often think of the gruesome experience I had way back in kindergarten in the early 70’s. Every day the milk lady would bring a tray of milk into the class room and place it on top of the heater at about 9:00 AM and after lunch at about 11:30 the teacher would hand out 1 pint size carton of milk with the word “Wholesome” written on it. One day the milk turned sour and you can just imagine the unwholesome rain of vomit that came out of our little mouths all over that stuffy kindergarten classroom.  When using words with our children such as: calling them a name, comparing them to someone or something else or using profanity to express our feelings of disapproval with them it will increase the hostility that may exist and decrease any chance of cooperation. The most powerful thing we have for good is our words, which can be wholesome and build up our children, when a parent uses vile and wicked words they tend to leave destructive emotional scars in our children’s minds that destroy them over a span of a life time.  So, let nothing unwholesome come from your mouth but only that which is useful to build up and edify your children.

4.   Apply the following phrase to all of your requests when there is any form of resistance and let this phrase become a natural and positive way of redirecting your children:  When you _________ then you can__________.

a.    When you clean your room then you can play video games.

b.   When you eat (age of child i.e. 5) 5 bites of  each item of food then you can have dessert.

Apply this phrase to your own situation and see this powerful phrase work for you.  Here are some important rules to follow: Don’t yell the phrase instead say it with a calm yet stern voice. Don’t say it without expectation of completion; instead hold out your expectation of compliance to your well stated expectations that also takes into consideration what your child’s wants, desires or interests are. Be firm, be consistent and be reasonable in what you expect of your children based on their age, ability and skills. Last, give your child time to complete the task without allowing the positive reward or any other change of activity until the task is followed through as you stated it.  This could mean that if the stated phrase is: “when you finish all of your homework you can play;” then your child may take as long as they need to finish their homework, but until it is done they are not allowed to play: this should include go outside, skateboard, ride bikes, play on a phone or other video or electronic devices. If they delay completing their homework, they alone are keeping themselves from the reward. You do not need to add a punishment, yell at them, or do anything else. Just remind them to help motivate them every (age of the child in minutes).

Please share with others!

What is Neurofeedback?

What is Neurofeedback

Neurofeedback (EEG biofeedback) is a non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical, collaborative training method for rebalancing and re-regulating the brain wave frequencies that determine behavior, mood, memory, performance, sensory decoding (pain or pleasure) and thought creation.  Using a combination of cutting edge brain research, high-speed computer tracking, and algorhythms (behavior predicting formulas), neurofeedback helps you move your brain away from old, painful, self-defeating thoughts and behaviors, and creates new neural (brain) connections that are associated with focus, calmness, clarity, and motivation.

Neurofeedback begins with an assessment that helps you form 4 behavioral goals (i.e. increase length and depth of sleep, decrease anxiety or depression, increase memory and focus, decrease addictions, increase academic, sports or vocational performance), and then asks 90 specific questions that allow that program to tailor your training for your specific brain and goals.

Training takes place in a quiet and comfortable environment. Sensors that are attached to your scalp monitor minute fluctuations in brain wave frequencies as the program coaches you towards change by giving auditory and visual feedback (in real time) of how your brain waves are changing. This rewards the brain for formation of new, more productive thoughts and behavior, and inhibits old, non-productive thoughts and behavior. People who experience EEG neurofeedback report that they feel relaxed, less stressed, more focused, and are responsive rather than reactive to what life presents.

EEG neurofeedback has been approved by the FDA to treat stress, and has been found effective in reducing or alleviating PTSD, ADD/ADHD, Anxiety, rage and anger, pain associated with muscle tension held around injury, increasing athletic performance, and job effectiveness.

Sessions usually take place 2 – 3 x  per week for a 5 -10 week period (though they can be done as often as 5 times per week over a 4 week period). Research has shown that 50% of neurofeedback clients experience a sense of change after 2 sessions. We are looking for significant long lasting change and this is achieved in 90%  of clients after 20 sessions.

Neurofeedback is a technique in which we train the brain directly in its basic competences. The brain not only regulates all bodily functions, but also must take care of itself. In fact, most of the brain’s activity refers to itself. This activity must be organized, and we can attribute many of our problems in mental functioning to failures in such organization.  The EEG (Electroencephalogram) allows us to see the brain at work, and when the brain is not functioning well, the evidence often shows up in the EEG.   We can analyze the EEG into a variety of constituents, each of which appears to be responsible for some regulatory activity. By challenging the brain, much as you challenge your body in physical exercise, your brain can learn to function better.  But in contrast to physical exertion, in this particular exercise only the brain is working hard—and you don’t feel that!  What happens in practice is that we extract from the EEG the essential information on which we want you to train.  Typically this means showing you how large the EEG is at particular frequencies, what we call its amplitude. We ask you to try to change that amplitude over time, and we reward you for succeeding. How do you succeed, you ask?  We let your brain figure it out, and you have to “let” your brain do it, too.  We don’t really know how learning of any kind takes place, but we know that it does so.  And the brain can also learn about controlling itself better.  The brain manages many things with cyclical movement between the state of activation, and the state of relaxation, and we can observe this process in the EEG.  As we ask the brain to change its own activity level, we are effectively putting it on a “stair stepper.”   We ask the brain to change, it does so, and it also resists the change.  We ask it again, and it resists again.  In this push-pull fashion, the brain strengthens its regulatory capacities, and eventually the brain may be able to function well without the help of neurofeedback.  It will have learned better internal control.  Where does this matter?   First of all, it helps in managing our arousal level, our sleep-wake cycle. When you sleep more efficiently, you are more alert during the day.  It can help with anxiety and depression, and with pain syndromes like migraine or chronic pain.  Secondly, it can be helpful in managing attention–how well you can persist even at a boring task, for example. Thirdly, it can help you manage the emotions.  Emotions may feel like the real you, but your brain has something to do with how you feel and react.  If the emotions are out of control, that’s trainable. If they aren’t there—as in lack of empathy, for example—that, too, is trainable.  Finally, there are some specific issues where the Neurofeedback training can be helpful, such as in cases of seizures, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, autism, and dementia. In these instances the training does not so much get rid of the problem as it simply organizes the brain to function better in the context of whatever injury or loss exists.  Once you accept the possibility that this training might be effective for you, the next question is: Will this training change who you are? Well, yes and no. If a child is known for his temper outbursts and he does the training, and the rages fall away, he is certainly different.  But the parents would say, we have our real son now.  A person should not be defined by their worst features. The training takes you closer to who you really are. That is our experience. And because this training really allows your true self to emerge, others may notice the changes in you even before you do.  You may wonder, is there a completion to the training, or does it go on and on?  In order to reach a specific objective, the training generally just goes for a certain number of sessions.  If there is back-sliding after that, due to stresses in your life, a few booster sessions may be recommended. However, just as concert pianists practice more than the rest of us, rather than less, EEG training can be used without limit to enhance performance. This may be of interest to professional athletes, corporate executives, and performance artists who live in a very high-stress world. centerforintegratedtherapies.com

Several years ago while I was studying for my Masters of Science degree in Mental Health Counseling, I read a study about the amazing results of EEG Bio-neurofeedback. The article claimed that this form of “Brain Training,” could help people who suffer from depression to feel better without the use of pharmaceutical medications; it helps to relieve anxiety in the distressed and trains the brain to focus, helping people with ADHD and other concentration problems. At the time I read this article I did not know of anyone in my area who worked with EEG Neurofeedback, I searched for an internship in my area and could not find anyone who even knew what this modern technology was. So, I moved on to other interests of study and focus.

After years of searching for a way to learn more about EEG Neurofeedback and to train in it, I made contact with Dr. Curtis Schindeler. Dr. Schindeler invited me to learn how to use EEG Neurofeedback in the practice of Mental Health Counseling.  I visited him at his office and interviewed his clients who were treated with the Brain Paint Training (R), an EEG Neurofeedback system. I was amazed at how individuals who came to him with severe depression and suicidal thoughts had improved in just a few weeks, an individual who was a veteran of the war in Afghanistan was treated for PTSD with constant flashbacks, night terrors, intermittent explosiveness and suicidal thoughts was accomplishing his 20th session and reported how he no longer has flashbacks, anxiety, panic, depressed or suicidal thoughts, is reunited with his family and is no longer angry all of the time.  These and many other  testimonies from  Dr. Schindeler’s  clients convinced me that I was indeed connecting to the missing component in psychotherapy today, that is direct treatment of the brain as part of mental health counseling, through EEG Neurofeedback.

After completing a time of training with Dr. Schindeler at his Sarasota Fl., practice: The Center for Integrated Therapies, he joined with me at my practice, Urgent Care Counseling, LLC and continue to train and assist me in bringing this amazing Brain Training to my practice. Now, I too have seen clients who had been tormented by years of disassociation from ritualistic childhood physical and sexual abuse find peace and calm in their life for the first time. Others who suffered with self-defeating thoughts of depression, and manic depressive disorders have found the joy of living daily with renewed love for life and energy. Clients who were previously not sleeping are now reporting improved sleep, better sexual experiences, decreased or diminished anxiety, panic and unfounded fears. Headache suffers are reporting that they no longer have headaches or migraines. These are just a few of the amazing results our clients are experiencing through the use of EEG Neurofeedback with psychotherapy.

Since I have brought EEG Neurofeedback into my practice I have seen tremendous improvement in my clients from better concentration and improved socialization in my clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and ADD/ADHD, to reduced anxiety, panic and mania for those that I have seen suffering with  Anxiety disorders, PTSD or Bipolar disorders. I have seen depression and lack of motivation lifted in individuals who were suicidal and often confined to their homes. My Facebook page has a special interview with a client who had a traumatic brain injury from a car accident over a decade ago; check out how she not only was relieved of her depression from the loss of use of the right side of her body, see how she also regained control over her foot that had otherwise dragged when she walked. urgentcarecounseling@facebook.com.

If you know of anyone in the West Central Region of Florida who is suffering from PTSD, ADD, ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depression, Anxiety Disorders, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or any other dysregulation disorder, and is not finding relief from medication alone please contact us at:  urgentcarecounseling.com, in the greater Tampa Bay area North of Tampa and St. Petersburg, or  centerforintegratedtherapies.com referral to a provider anywhere else in Florida.

More information from Brain Paint (R)  about Neurofeedback.

What is EEG biofeedback, also known as, neurofeedback?

Think of your brain as a race car, capable of incredible performance. Now imagine a driver behind the wheel who does not know how to properly shift gears. It is for this reason that people find their brain encumbered by problems. Brain wave training teaches the brain to work at its fullest capacity, to switch gears as needed to improve its self-regulation of thoughts, feelings and focus.

For more information, please watch the following video: What is neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback – Efficacious and Specific (Level 5 Research Outcome) for ADD and ADHD

Neurofeedback applied to developing a practice of mindfulness or “MindSight” (a form of mindfulness)

http://neurofeedback-video.com/

http://neurofeedback-studies.com

 

 

Children who have experienced trauma need help now!

Children who have experienced trauma need help as soon as possible

Webb, RT, Antonsen, S, Carr, MJ, Appleby, L, Pedersen, CB, and  Mok,(2017)  recently released a Danish study of children who were admitted to the hospital as a result of trauma before they were 15 years old. This study found that when compared to peers who were not victims of childhood trauma,  those who did experience trauma before the age of 15 have experienced an ongoing extremely high ratio of self-harming behaviors, violent offending behaviors and a complexity of mental health issues with increased rates of depression, anxiety and personality disorders.

The statistical ratios show that this population group is in need of early mental health intervention. Many in this  group are misdiagnosed because of their hyper arousal states and are often confused as being  ADD/ ADHD, Oppositional Defiant, Bipolar or Major Depressive. The symptoms and behaviors of PTSD often appear to be another diagnosis. It is important for individuals to be treated by a counselor who is experienced in “Trauma Informed Care,” whether they are adult survivors of childhood trauma or children in the mist of trauma in their developmental years. Don’t put getting help off if you or a loved one is a child trauma survivor.

Here are some stunning statistics revealed in the Webb, et al (2017) study.

  • Increased personal or family vulnerability to trauma.
  • Later self-harm (women, self-harm: incidence ratio 1·94 [95% CI 1·85–2·02]; men, self-harm: 1·61 [1·53–1·69])
  • Violent behaviors & violent criminality: women, 2·16 [1·97–2·36]; violent criminality: 1·58 [1·53–1·63]). One in four males admitted to hospital for interpersonal violence in childhood were convicted of a violent offense in adulthood.
  • One in four girls admitted to the hospital due to self-harm or violence had later hospital admissions for self-harm. Childhood hospital admissions due to self-harm or interpersonal violence were more strongly associated with later harms than admissions with accidental injury. (Webb, et al (2017).

Webb, RT, Antonsen, S, Carr, MJ, Appleby, L, Pedersen, CB, and Mok, PLH. Self-harm and violent criminality among young people who experienced trauma-related hospital admission during childhood: a Danish national cohort study. (published online June 1.)Lancet Public Health. 2017;

Click on the link below to see this important study found on  thelancet.com.

If you or someone you know is a survivor of childhood trauma, please help them to find a trauma informed therapist to help them learn how to let loose of the events that have bound them emotionally. If they are in Florida’s  greater Tampa Bay, Clearwater, Trinity or New Port Richey area visit us at: www.urgentcarecounseling.com 

Childhood trauma: psychiatry’s greatest public health challenge? Self-harm and violent criminality among young people who experienced trauma-related hospital admission during childhood: a Danish national cohort study .         thelancet.com

Veterans Need Help!

Currently, per the 2016 Military Times there are over 8400 veterans a year committing suicide. This averages out to about 23 veterans a day. TWENTY THREE Veterans a day. 22% of all suicides in the U.S. are veterans. There are roughly 16000 calls to the VA suicide hotline every month. There is some research that believes this number, 23 per day, is as high as 35. If the veteran overdosed on prescribed medications or illegal drugs, there is a good possibility that the death was classified as unknown or accidental overdose.

These are men and women who fought for our freedoms. These are our brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, friends and loved ones. They have put themselves in harm’s way, in horrible situations, in horrible places so that those of us back home do not have to face those evils. It is unacceptable to us that when these brave men and women return home they are not provided whatever they need to return to a normal and healthy enjoyment of life. We spend untold billions of dollars on equipment, food, travel, weaponry and ammunition, uniforms, clothes, tents and housing yet we allow these heroes to just walk off the bases after discharge into a world that may no longer make sense to them. EVERY soldier who comes home should be put through a trauma resolution protocol. Instead, they are guilt and/or shamed into signing their release papers stating that they have not experienced trauma and are ready to reintegrate back into society. Yet, the suicide rate for veterans is 5x that of the regular population in the US.

PROJECT 23 TO ZERO

A non profit organization created with the goal of reducing daily veteran suicides from 23 to ZERO

Established in 2016,  Project 23 to Zero is a charitable non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that directs nearly 100% of  all donated dollars directly to veteran care.

MISSION STATEMENT

Our mission is to stop the untenable loss of our veterans to suicide through the use of evidence based Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) resolution protocols using EEG Biofeedback (Neurofeedback).  We know that we can help them resolve their PTSD which very quickly washes away the suicidal ideation.  Once the individual begins to feel in control again there comes hope.  Once there is hope, anything is possible.  Our mission is to help our veterans get their life back through the  resolution of PTSD with Neurofeedback and then help them get into school to create a new career or reenter the workforce successfully.  

We, the founders of Project 23 to Zero have been doing this work for several years now with great success.  The issue is that most veterans in crisis are unable to attain effective services due to expense.  Most veterans in crisis are at the end of their rope and either cannot afford effective services and/or do not believe they work.  

For More Information about how you or a loved one can donate to this endeavor to help save and change the lives of our most deserving veterans  contact Dr. Curtis Schindeler, click on the following Hyperlink:     project23tozero.com or centerforintegratedtherapies.com

Project 23 to ZERO 

We are a non-profit organization created with the goal of reducing daily veteran suicides from 23 to ZERO through intensive counseling and neurofeedback

Established in 2016,  Project 23 to Zero is a charitable non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that directs nearly 100% of all donated dollars directly to veteran care.

 

Mission Statement

Our mission is to stop the untenable loss of our veterans to suicide through the use of evidence based Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) resolution protocols using EEG Biofeedback (Neurofeedback).  We know that we can help them resolve their PTSD which very quickly washes away the suicidal ideation.  Once the individual begins to feel in control again there comes hope.  Once there is hope, anything is possible.  Our mission is to help our veterans get their life back through the  resolution of PTSD with Neurofeedback and then help them get into school to create a new career or reenter the workforce successfully.

 

A Message from the Founders

We, the founders of Project 23 to Zero have been doing this work for several years now with great success.  The issue is that most veterans in crisis are unable to attain effective services due to expense.  Most veterans in crisis are at the end of their rope and either cannot afford effective services and/or do not believe they work.

Currently, per the 2016 Military Times there are over 8400 veterans a year committing suicide.  This averages out to about 23 veterans a day. TWENTY THREE Veterans a day. 22% of all suicides in the U.S. are veterans.  There are roughly 16000 calls to the VA suicide hotline every month. There is some research that believes this number, 23 per day, is as high as 35.  If the veteran overdosed on prescribed medications or illegal drugs, there is a good possibility that the death was classified as unknown or accidental overdose.

These are men and women who fought for our freedoms.  These are our brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, friends and loved ones.  They have put themselves in harm’s way, in horrible situations, in horrible places so that those of us back home do not have to face those evils.  It is unacceptable to us that when these brave men and women return home they are not provided whatever they need to return to a normal and healthy enjoyment of  life.   We spend untold billions of dollars on equipment, food, travel, weaponry and ammunition, uniforms, clothes, tents and housing yet we allow these heroes to just walk off the bases after discharge into a world that may no longer make sense to them.  EVERY soldier who comes home should be put through a trauma resolution protocol.  Instead, they are guilted and/or shamed into signing their release papers stating that they have not experienced trauma and are ready to reintegrate back into society.  Yet, the suicide rate for veterans is 5x that of the regular population in the US.

 

Figure 11. Average Number of Suicides Per Day Among Veterans and Civilians by Year. Reprinted Suicide Among Veterans and Other Americans: 2001-2014, by U.S. Department Of Veterans Affairs, August 3 2016, retrieved from http://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/docs/2016suicidedatareport.pdf

project23tozero.com

Mental Health Issues Sleep Deprivation May Cause

Mental Health Issues Sleep Deprivation May Cause

How often have you faced the situation when you are trying to sleep, but you are not able to? You might end up spending the entire night tossing and turning in your bed. Situations like this may occur to anyone, maybe due to some worry or out of excitement for something that’s going to happen the following day. However, if it becomes a usual affair, it can be terrible, indicating sleep problems, such as insomnia, sleep deprivation, sleep apnea, etc. It can do more damage than one could imagine.

Since the mind and the body rely on correct sleep pattern to function normally, a good eight-hour sleep is much needed for a healthy life. Cutting corners on sleep could be detrimental for both mental and physical health. In other words, compromising on sleep to meet certain responsibilities or to get a bit of extra leisure time can have severe negative effects on both mental and physical health, causing a high stress level, irritability, cardiac morbidity and numerous other health issues.

While a lot of people are unable to get their forty winks owing to significant changes in their lifestyle, a few others may go through the ordeal due to various social or environmental factors. But whatever be the reason, sleep deprivation can be dangerous, resulting in mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.

It has been observed that most Americans are sleep deprived, and the condition is alarming for those with psychiatric conditions. Clearly, there is a strong relationship between sleep deprivation and the development of numerous mental health issues. Some common health issues that develop in people who are constantly sleep deprived are:

  1. Depression: Generally, an individual dealing with depression is first monitored for any symptoms of sleep disorders, following which the diagnosis for depression is made. Studies have shown that people dealing with insomnia are more likely to develop depression later in their lives as compared to those without any such problem. Moreover, depressed individuals with sleep problems are more prone to commit suicide than those who get a proper sleep.
  2. Anxiety: Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues that can be triggered by the lack of adequate sleep. A person may experience problems such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and panic disorder when deprived of sufficient sleep. On the other hand, if a person with an anxiety disorder has sleep problems due to it, can see the symptoms worsening, leading to delayed recovery.
  3. Bipolar disorder: Also known as manic-depressive illness, this disorder can make an individual either sleep excessively or experience restless sleep. Studies have shown that dealing with a manic or depressed episode of bipolar disorder along with difficulty in sleeping can pose significant hindrances in treatment, and hence, delay in recovery. The person might also feel low on energy, less motivated, and lack of interest in daily activities. Suicidal thoughts due to a combination of bipolar disorder and lack of sleep are also common in such individuals.

Recovery road mapA sound sleep not only ensures physical and mental health, but also helps in preventing the development of various mental illnesses. It is quite possible that mental disorders and physical illnesses coexist, but the cause-and-effect of this relationship may not be clear. A discussion of all symptoms with the doctor can help in identifying if a physical illness can be attributed to a mental ailment, or vice versa.

Your Guide To Natural Happiness: Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

Your Guide To Natural Happiness: Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

There’s ample evidence suggesting the incredible connection between our body and mind. This is why phrases like ‘too much stress makes you sick’ are true. A famous research called as the Whitehall study found that workers in low-level jobs, in which they have high levels of stress and low autonomy, had more than twice the risk of developing metabolic syndrome – a precursor of heart diseases and diabetes – compared with employees in higher-level jobs.

Today the breakthrough in our understanding of the mind-body connection have been translated into many forms of therapies in order to support patients with minor to serious health illnesses. “The Connection Between Mind And Body” written by The Bravewell Collaborative is a good read where they summarise the most ground-breaking studies and therapies available today.

Only a healthy body can bestow a healthy mind and vice versa. Then what can you do to make the most out of this phenomenon to your advantage? Below is a description of a famous study performed by Dr. James Blumenthal. It’s about fighting depression, but we can all learn a valuable lesson from it.

Fighting Depression: Exercise vs. Medication

Blumenthal gathered 156 adults suffering from mild to moderate cases of depression and they were divided into three different groups:

Group 1: Patients allocated in this group were treated with sertraline, an antidepressant drug (they go by the brand names of Zoloft and Lustral). In 2011 alone, over 37 million sertraline prescriptions were given out for various conditions including major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety and panic.

Group 2: Patients in this group were given a combination of medication and exercise. They used the same medication (same dose) as Group 1, along with regular exercise. The exercise programme given out to them were identical to the one given to patients under Group 3 below.

Group 3: Patients in this group only had exercise. Three times per week, they performed 45 minutes of exercise. This included 10 minutes of warm up, 30 minutes of walking or jogging at a pace that would maintain a heart rate that was 80% to 90% of their maximum, and then 5 minutes of cool down.

And here are the results:

Each patient were treated for 4 months under the supervision of researchers and professional staff. At the end of the treatment period, the researchers were surprised to find out that all three groups had equal results. Treating depression with exercise alone was just as effective as medication. But when the researchers took the experiment and recorded the results over a longer period of time, things got even more interesting.

Long-Term Impacts Between Exercise and Medication

After the 4 months of treatment, the researchers gave all the patients the freedom of spending their next 6 months as they wish. They were welcomed to continue their treatment on their own or to try something new.

When the researchers followed up with the patients 6 months later, the results were the following:

· Group 1 (Medication only): 38% of patients relapsed into depression.

· Group 2 (Medication + Exercise): 31% of patients relapsed into depression.

· Group (Exercise only): only 8% of patients relapsed into depression.

Why Exercise Was More Effective Long Term

Dr. Blumenthal and his colleagues studied this result and commented that:

“One of the positive psychological benefits of systematic exercise is the development of a sense of personal mastery and positive self-regard, which we believe is likely to play some role in the depression-reducing effects of exercise.”

In other words, it was the discipline, commitment and the accumulation of “small-wins” over time that led to increased senses of self-worth and confidence. It’s not that medications don’t work, but the subtle shift in empowerment and confidence is what makes all the difference.

The Hidden Message

The immediate message of the study is obvious: if you are suffering from depression, exercise is a great alternative to medication, and long term wise, exercise may deliver superior results. But it’s irrelevant whether you are suffering from depression or not. The results of this study clearly shows that there is an intimate relationship between the human body and mind, and we can all use this information to our advantage.

Whatever goals you might have set for yourself, the very first step to actually achieving it starts from believing in yourself. They say the sky is the limit but really, it is your own self-limiting thoughts that limit you. We’ve seen it already. Having the correct mind-set of empowerment and confidence is much more potent than pills when it comes to changing how we feel, the way we move and ultimately, live our lives.

If you don’t have a healthy body, you can’t have a healthy mind and vice versa. Start feeding your body and mind with everything that’s good. Life is too short for anything less. So let’s make sure anything that we think, look, read or say adds value and health to our minds and body.

Your Guide To Natural Happiness: Healthy Mind, Healthy Body