Whether you are a parent, teacher, or student, the beginning of a school year and the end of the summer season can bring about a mix of emotions. A schedule change and new activities bring added workload and pressure into the picture.Continue reading
We know that the social & political climate we are living in can have damaging effects on our ability to maintain a positive mindset and stay motivated. Still, it turns out that the physical climate can have a negative impact too.Continue reading
In this article, Dr. Mason breaks down 5 common myths about mental health and therapy. Myths that reinforce the stigma around mental health make it more difficult for individuals to seek treatment and invest in their mental well-being. Let’s destigmatize mental wellness together!Continue reading
November is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and at The Mind Spa, we want to do our part in educating our community on the relationship between mental health and Alzheimer’s disease.Continue reading
October is Health Literacy Month, and at The Mind Spa, we are humbled by the role we play in our community to help embrace the importance of maintaining good mental health and wellness.
1 in 5 adults (or 20%) suffer from mental illness. That means that mental illness is a lot more common or “normal” than people realize. Let’s reduce the stigma by learning about the three most common mental health conditions today:
1. Anxiety Disorder
A mental health disorder characterized by worry, anxiety, or fear that is intense enough to interfere with one’s daily activities
Common symptoms of anxiety include:
- Rapid heartbeat
- Feelings of dread
- Panic attack episodes
- Body disruptions (sleep, bowel movements, etc.)
When it comes to some of these symptoms, many of us may have experienced them at some point in our lives, whether we were in a high-stress situation or environment. However, for those who suffer from an anxiety disorder or GAD (General Anxiety Disorder), multiple symptoms can linger at once for a prolonged period – without an identifiable trigger.
When looking for treatment, always seek the guidance of a medical professional first. They will be able to do a thorough examination and prescribe a tailored solution. Treatment for anxiety disorder may include medication such as SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and therapies such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy). Alternative therapies may also include hypnosis and more.
2. Major Depressive Disorder
A mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.
Common symptoms of depression include:
- Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
- Long term fatigue and changes in energy
- Feelings of emptiness, loss of self-esteem
- Thoughts of suicide or wishing to die
These symptoms may or may not originate from a traumatic event in a person’s life, and sometimes, they may not appear to have any cause at all. Regardless, it is important to reach out to a medical professional if these symptoms are persistent.
When looking for treatment, always seek the guidance of a medical professional first. They will be able to do a thorough examination and prescribe a tailored solution. Treatment for Major Depressive Disorder may include antidepressants and other psychotropic medications. Complementary therapies such as psychotherapy may also be recommended. Emerging treatments also include alternative therapies such as DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) and more.
3. Bipolar Disorder
A disorder associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs.
Common symptoms of bipolar disorder include
- Extreme shifts and swings in mood and behavior
- Increased irritability or short fuse and temperament
- Reckless activities that put the individual (and sometimes others) in harmful situations
- Reduced need for sleep in manic stage and low energy in depressive stages
When it comes to these symptoms, these can originate from environmental and genetic factors. It is important to reach out to a medical professional if these symptoms are persistent.
When looking for treatment, always seek the guidance of a medical professional first. They will be able to do a thorough examination and prescribe a tailored solution. Treatment for bipolar disorder may include mood-stabilizing medications such as SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), antipsychotics, and anticonvulsants. Complementary treatment options such as psychotherapy are also recommended.
If you have had difficulty managing emotional discomfort over the past 18 months, know you are not alone.
In the United States, we have seen an unimaginable spike in mental illness over the past year. It is reported that 40% of adults have experienced an increase in anxiety and depressive symptoms – compared to just 10% of individuals reported in 2019 by the CDC Household Pulse Survey.
What can be done?
Here at the Mind Spa, we understand the many challenges individuals face living under the uncertainties of a global pandemic. If you have found yourself struggling to manage your mental well-being during this time, feel free to read our 3 – step mindfulness approach below for managing feelings of discomfort during this crucial time.
A 3-Step Mindfulness Approach
It is not uncommon to feel frustration, despair, sadness, or hopelessness during this time.
Many of us have had our livelihoods, social activities, work settings, and time with family stripped away from us. Some of us have lost loved ones to the virus itself, while others have lost others to conflict about the best ways to manage the virus (e.g., masks vs. no mask, vaccine vs. no vaccine, etc.).
Almost all of us are struggling to establish or re-establish balance in our lives, whether it be working at home while homeschooling or keeping our households safe. At the same time, our unvaccinated children attend school in the spirit of maintaining a healthy level of socialization and education for them.
To begin the process of healing, ask yourself the following questions:
- How has my life changed with the global pandemic?
- How do I feel about these changes?
During this time, it is beneficial to acknowledge these life-changing events to know exactly how to address these related feelings and manage them for a better future.
If you have carried feelings of guilt or shame for being unable to perform as you may have wanted to over the past 18 months, know that you are not alone.
Many individuals have reported feelings of guilt and shame during this time; much of it is related to work productivity, career advancement, financial stability, family well-being, socialization, and more.
During this time, it may be beneficial to sit with any pandemic-related feelings you may be experiencing, judgment-free.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What feelings am I currently experiencing?
- How do I want to feel in the future, given that some changes are made?
Accepting these feelings without attaching labels or shame to them can bring a much-needed form of self-care into the picture.
Too often, we are quick to judge and blame ourselves for unforeseen circumstances that occur in life. However, it is important to remember that you are experiencing these feelings, but they do not define who you are, and with the proper support, it is possible to move past them.
If you have been unable to take actionable steps to support your mental health during this time, do not worry. Too often, when larger-than-life situations occur, we as human beings become paralyzed as to what steps to take next.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What am I doing now to take care of myself right now?
- What are mental health resources currently available to me?
- What steps can I take to help me move towards feelings of empowerment and progress?
Thankfully, we have the resource of mental health professionals who can help us create a safe space to acknowledge, accept and act for our well-being.
It’s easy to feel cynical and left out from what can seem like a giant party for twos, if you think of the day as a celebration of only romantic love.Continue reading