Perinatal Depression

Perinatal Depression

Perinatal depression is a form of depression that occurs during pregnancy or within a year of giving birth. Many women experience the “baby blues” a few days after giving birth, which can include feeling worried or down. Although these feelings are common, significant symptoms that persist over time may be signs of postpartum depression or perinatal depression.

SIgns and SYMPTOMS

Symptoms of perinatal depression may be over looked, and viewed as just part of pregnancy. However, these symptoms can be serious, and it is important to treat them as such. The signs and symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Sleep problems
  • Feeling low on energy
  • Loss of interest in once enjoyable activities
  • Anxiety
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Changes in eating habits, leading to weight loss or gain 

Causes

Perinatal depression can happen as a result of hormone changes during or after pregnancy. The hormone changes are typically strongest during the weeks before and after birth. These changes are linked to parts of the brain associated with depression.

Treatment

It is important to create a plan that works for you. Treatment vary but plans commonly include:

  • Support groups
  • Psychotherapy
  • Medication
  • Light therapy

Finding TREATMENT AND RESOURCES

Overview of Insomnia

Overview of Insomnia

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that makes individuals unable to get the amount of sleep needed to function efficiently during the daytime. Those with insomnia experience trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep. Insomnia is usually a symptom of another mental or physical illness, but other times it can be caused by one’s lifestyle or work.

Cause and Effect

  • 50% of insomnia cases are related to depression, anxiety, or psychological stress according to NAMI
  • Waking up earlier than desired and having low energy are often insomnia symptoms related to depression
  • Many anxiety disorders are associated with poor sleeping
  • Not getting sleeping poorly and/or not getting enough sleep can also worsen other symptoms of many mental health disorders

Treatment

 When treating insomnia, it is important to consider any underlying conditions that may creating or worsening insomnia symptoms. For many, the first-line of treatment is creating and sticking to good sleeping habits. In addition, other treatment options are available. Treatment may vary but plans commonly include:

  • Good sleeping habits is the first step for many and can include maintaining a regular sleep schedule, avoiding energizing activities in the evening, and creating a comfortable sleeping environment.
  • Relaxation exercises such as deep breathing and mindfulness can help an individual calm down and feel more in touch with their body.
  • Exercise during the day can help many sleep better at night. We suggest speaking with your health care provider to see what type of exercise might be right for you.
  • Herbal remedies including melatonin and valerian root are available “over-the-counter” and have been found to be beneficial to many. The effectiveness of these treatments has not been proven, however, and neither treatment has been approved by the FDA.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used to treat insomnia as it can help you control and/or eliminate negative thoughts and worries that keep you from sleeping. 
  • Medication may be used in the treatment of an individual’s insomnia, but only some medications are recommended by healthcare professionals for long-term use.

Finding TREATMENT AND RESOURCES

  • To learn more about insomnia, we recommend contacting your health care provider.
  • To read a further overview of insomnia, the following resources are suggested:

Finding A Mental Health Provider

Finding A Mental Health Provider

Although it may seem daunting, finding a mental health provider doesn’t have to be difficult. By following the steps below, we believe that you will be on the right path towards finding a mental health provider that is knowledgeable and you feel comfortable speaking with.

01

Think About What You are Looking For In a Provider

People may have different reasons for seeing a mental health professional, and with that, different needs. A good first step is to think about what you are looking for in a provider. 

You may want a provider who can prescribe medication, or you might just want to focus on emotional or behavioral therapies. Many people who want to focus on both of these sides of their mental health care actually work with more than provider.

02

Gather Referrals

If you have health insurance, call your insurance provider and ask for the information of professionals in your area who accept your insurance. 

When calling, it is also a good idea to ask any clarifying questions you may have about what your coverage entails.

For individuals who do not have health insurance, you may consider visiting a community mental health center. From there, specific information can be provided about local mental health care.

03

Make the Call

Making the call to the health care office is the next step in your process. If you are reluctant to make the call yourself, consider having a friend or family member who you trust help you.

When calling and attempting to set up an appointment, be aware that there may be a waiting period for new patients. If you can’t see the provider for a few weeks or months, still set up the appointment and you can always cancel if needed. If you can’t wait, see your primary care provider as soon as possible for more immediate help and support.

04

Ask Any Questions You May Have

When you first meet with your new provider, it is important to ask any questions you may have.

Beyond asking the provider questions, ask yourself how you feel around this person. It is important that you feel comfortable around the provider, especially if you hope to work with them long-term. You may want to also learn about what their education and what their specialties are to make sure they line up with your specific needs.

05

Trust Your Gut

When choosing a health care provider of any kind, it is important to trust your gut.

We suggest giving the relationship time to build and strengthen with a new provider, however, if the provider isn’t a good fit, you can always move on and call another number on your list.

The relationship between a mental health care professional and their patient is built on trust and understanding. If you do not feel that the fit is right, that is okay. With time, you will find the right provider for you.

06

Ready to Move Forward?

For those who are ready to move forward in their search for a new mental health provider, we recommend filling out a patient inquiry form for NW Mind-Body Wellness as we are currently accepting new patients at all of our locations.

To learn more and/or fill out a patient inquiry form, click the following link to our contact page: https://nwmind-bodywellness.com/contact-us/

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Taking Care of Your Mental Health During the Holidays

Taking Care of Your Mental Health During the Holidays

Taking care of your mental health during the holidays by reducing, eliminating, or replacing holiday related burdens is important for your overall health and well-being. While the holidays may bring celebration and joy, they also can bring stress. The winter season and all it brings can take a toll on the mental health of many individuals. According to NAMI, 64% of people with mental illness report holidays make their conditions worse. In hopes to help you maintain good mental health this season we have prepared the following list of wellness tips.

Focus on Gratitude

Reflecting on what you are grateful for is an excellent way to help yourself focus on the positive things in life. Making a list of the things that you are thankful for can serve as a visual reminder of the good in your life. NAMI of California has reported that practicing gratitude can improve mental health.

 

Manage Your Time and Priorities

Try to recognize what your priorities are and what can wait. If you take on too much, it is easy to feel burnt out. Managing your time and tasks can provide great stress relief. 

 

Practice Relaxation

Everyone has different preferences on how to relax, but it is important to discover what makes you feel healthy and relaxed. Meditation, reading, drawing, walks, and more can all have calming effects.

Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough sleep, and having it be good quality rest, can help you feel happier and more energized during the daytime. According to the CDC, adults aged 18-60 should be getting seven or more hours of sleep each night. 

Spend Time In Nature

With cold weather and added stress, many avoid spending time outside during the holiday season. Studies by NAMI have found proof that spending time in nature can provide benefits to our mental health, such as reduced levels of stress. However, when outside, make sure that you wear proper clothing for the cold weather.

Make Time for You

It can be easy to forget about yourself during the holiday season. Make time for yourself and your needs. It’s okay to prioritize “me time.”

 

Find Support From Friends, Family, Or HEalthcare Professional

Reaching out to friends or family about how you are feeling can help relieve stress. It is okay to need some extra help and support. If your stress is becoming too much to handle, or you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, you should seek help right away. A healthcare professional can help you get the care and help that you need.

If you or a loved one is having thoughts of suicide, call the confidential toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

 

Men and Depression

Men and Depression

This November for Men’s Health Month, we aim to help others recognize and better understand the relationship between men and depression. Both men and women experience depression, but their symptoms can vary, and depression in men may often go unnoticed. In addition, men are less likely to talk about and seek treatment for depression. Yet depression affects millions of men each year. Together, we can help bring awareness to depression in men and provide proper support.

SIgns and SYMPTOMS

The signs and symptoms of depression in men include, but are not limited to:

  • Feeling anxious or “on edge”
  • Overeating or not wanting to eat at all
  • Anger or irritability
  • Lack of or lowered sexual desire, and/or problems with performance
  • Not being able to concentrate
  • Loss of interest in work, relationships, or pleasurable activities
  • Feeling very tired, and not being able to sleep enough or sleeping too much
  • Feeling sad or empty
  • Engaging in high-risk activities
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts

Causes

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders. Current research suggests that it is caused by a combination of risk factors including, but not limited to:

  • Genetic factors such as having a family history of depression
  • Environmental stress whether it is financial stress, loss of a loved one, work troubles, or anything stressful else can sometimes trigger depression
  • Illnesses can sometimes make developing depression more likely, or worsen depression symptoms

Treatment

Men often avoid talking about their depression and getting treatment. It is important that friends and family that recognize depression symptoms in their loved one encourage them to receive treatment. Treatment may vary but plans commonly include:

  • Psychotherapy
    • Various types of psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” can help treat depression. Therapy can help one teach new ways of thinking and how to create better habits. Therapy can also provide an outlet for men to discuss things that might be contributing to their depression.
  • Medication
    • Antidepressants can be helpful for many in the treatment of depression. However, medications can take time to become effective and often have risks of side effects, so it is important to learn about the medication you take before starting.

Crisis Help

If you or a loved one is in a crisis, it is important to get help immediately. If in danger of suicide:

  • Call 911
  • Go to the nearest emergency room
  • Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889)
  • Veterans can call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255

Finding TREATMENT AND RESOURCES

 

Listening to Your Body

LIStening to Your Body

Listening to your body can help provide you vital information about what your body needs. Both physical and emotional signals can offer insight as to how to keep our bodies healthy. These signals may not always seem clear, but with practice you can learn how to better listen to your body.

 

Emotional and Physical Signals

It is important to begin to recognize the signals your body gives you and what they indicate in terms of your health.

Signs can be emotional, meaning you may be feeling “sluggish” or fatigued. These signals could be your body telling you that you aren’t getting enough rest or nutrients. They also could be warning signs of a mental health issue. 

Signs can also be physical, such as pain. Pain may be an indicator that your muscles are strained or that it is time to seek medical assistance for a more serious problem. Physical symptoms can also include you feeling tense and like your heart is beating fast, which could possibly point to you experiencing stress or anxiety.

 

Taking Action

Recognizing these signs will allow you to think about what may cause them and how to create the necessary change. Learning to better recognize and manage symptoms can be beneficial, but it is also important to speak with your healthcare provider about distressing emotional or physical symptoms you may be experiencing. Consider making a list of what your body is feeling, and what it might be a reaction to, and share these things with your provider.

 

Resources and Finding Treatment

 

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Overview of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a common disorder characterized by recurring, unwanted thoughts, ideas, or sensations (obsessions) that make them feel driven to do something repetitively (compulsions). Individuals with OCD are unable to stop the compulsions even if they may know that their thoughts and behaviors don’t make sense. These behaviors can significantly interfere with one’s work, relationships, and daily life. However, for those struggling with OCD, there is hope as treatment is available and has been proven to be beneficial for many.

SIgns and SYMPTOMS

Obsessions are recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or mental images that can cause anxiety. Common symptoms include:

  • Extreme concern with order, symmetry, or precision
  • Doubts about having done something right, like locking a door
  • Disturbing sexual thoughts or images
  • Fear of germs or contamination
  • Thoughts about harming or having harmed someone

Compulsions are repetitive behaviors that a person with OCD feels driven to do in response to an obsessive thought. Common compulsions include:

  • Constantly seeking approval or reassurance
  • Excessive cleaning and/or handwashing due to fear of germs
  • Ordering or arranging things in a specific, precise way
  • Repeatedly checking locks, switches, or appliances

Treatment

Treatment may vary but plans commonly include:

  • Psychotherapy
    • Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used as it helps teach individuals how to better understand and control obsessive thoughts and compulsions.
    • Exposure response and therapy helps teach individuals how to respond to the anxiety associated with obsessions and not respond with the compulsion.
  • Medication
    • Antidepressants can be helpful for many in controlling obsessions and compulsions.

Finding TREATMENT AND RESOURCES

 

Overview of Bulimia Nervosa

Overview of Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder in which individuals have recurrent episodes of feeling out of control and eating large amounts of food, after which they take desperate measures to try and rid themselves of the extra calories. This repeating cycle can be devastating to one’s mental and physical health. Understanding the symptoms and warning signs of bulimia is important, as identifying them can help individuals receive proper treatment as soon as possible.

SYMPTOMS

The behavioral symptoms of bulimia nervosa may vary depending on the person. Common behavioral symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating
  • Recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior to try and rid body of excess calories by self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, fasting, or excessive exercise
  • Feeling out of control
  • Hoarding food
  • Depression or mood swings

The physical symptoms and complications of bulimia nervosa may vary depending on the person. Common symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Erosion of tooth enamel
  • Gum infections
  • Sore or inflamed throat
  • Dehydration
  • Gastroparesis
  • Lowered sex drive
  • Irregular heartbeat

Treatment and Therapies

Treatment and therapies may vary but treatment plans commonly include:

  • Psychotherapy
    • Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used as it helps teach individuals how to create normal eating habits and be aware of triggers that might cause one to binge or purge. Focus is placed on replacing negative thoughts with more positive ways of thinking.
  • Nutritional Therapy
    • Nutritional therapy can be beneficial to some as they work with a dietician to recognize the needs of their body
  • Medication
    • For some people, medication such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs may be prescribed to treat bulimia. Currently, there are no medications directly for treating eating disorders, but eating disorders are often co-occurring with other illnesses such as depression or anxiety, and medicine can help treat these underlying issues.

Finding TREATMENT AND RESOURCES

 

  • To contact the NEDA Hotline, call or text (800) 931-2237
  • If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs immediate help, call the toll-free  National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL)  at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

 

Finding Motivation While Depressed

Finding Motivation While Depressed

Finding motivation while depressed can be difficult, but it is possible. Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common, yet very serious, mental health condition. The symptoms of depression can affect how you feel, think, and function in day-to-day life. Learning steps you can take to help find motivation while depressed can help you combat depression symptoms head on. Remember, however, everyone’s needs are different, and we recommend speaking with your healthcare provider about treatment options specific to you.

The following list includes tips to help stay motivated while depressed. Remember, it is okay to start small, as every step counts.

01

Go For a Walk

Going for a walk is a great way to get some exercise, which helps your body release endorphins, the feel-good hormones. Other forms of exercise can be just as beneficial, so you can choose an option that sounds fun and manageable to you.

02

Know Your Priorities

Identifying what is important and what can wait, can help you narrow down what tasks you need to be focusing on. It is easy to get overwhelmed by a long to-do list, so consider shortening the list by focusing on what has to be done.

03

Stick to A Routine

Creating a routine can help provide a clear outline of what you need to be doing during the day, and leave less room for the unknown. Creating routines around sleep time, meals, work, and more, can all provide structure in your life.

04

Create A Support Network

Creating a support network of positive people can be very beneficial. When feeling overwhelmed or low on motivation, it can be uplifting to have people to talk to or comfort you.

05

Get Help From A HealthCare Professional

If depression is becoming too much to handle, or if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, you should seek help right away. A healthcare professional can help you get the care and help that you need.

If you or a loved one is having thoughts of suicide, call the confidential toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

 

Treating Insomnia

Treating Insomnia

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder in which individuals struggle to get the amount of sleep needed to function efficiently. Even when in the right environment and having time to sleep, individuals with insomnia may have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting good quality sleep. Short-term insomnia is very common and can be caused by stress, travel, and more. Long-term insomnia lasts for more than three weeks, and those experiencing it should speak with their health care provider for further help. Treating insomnia can help get individuals back to normal sleeping habits, which can lead to many improvements in day to day life. 

SYMPTOMS

For those with insomnia, common symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Lying awake for extended periods of time before being able to fall asleep
  • Having poor quality sleep that leaves you feeling unrested or sleepy after waking up
  • Waking up earlier than desired and not being able to fall back asleep
  • Sleeping for only short periods and being awake for most of the night

Complications

Sleep is vital to a healthy mind and body. Chronic insomnia can affect how your brain, heart, and other parts of your body function. These conditions are serious and include:

  • Heart problems such as high blood pressure, arrhythmia, or coronary heart disease
  • Breathing problems such as asthma
  • Metabolism problems as sleep can change the levels of hormones that control hunger and help break down food
  • Immune system problems which can make it harder for your body to fight off germs and sickness
  • Mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression

Treatment

Treatment and therapies may vary but treatment plans commonly include:

  • Stick to a schedule with a consistent wake up and sleep time
  • Make your bedroom “sleep friendly” meaning keep sleeping environment comfortable and free from artificial light or bothersome sound
  • Avoid naps in the daytime, especially the late afternoon as this can make it harder to sleep at night
  • Eat meals on a regular schedule and avoid eating late dinners
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine before sleep
  • Relax and find stress management techniques that will help you wind down before bedtime
  • Medications or over-the-counter remedies such as melatonin and valerian root, but before taking these we suggest speaking with your healthcare provider
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy can be used to treat insomnia as it helps teach individuals how to fall asleep faster and stay asleep through the night

Finding TREATMENT AND RESOURCES