Sunday, April 3, 2016

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Child abuse and neglect is a widespread issue that affects children and families for life. At times, the abuse and neglect lead to children losing their lives. We often turn a blind eye to child abuse, because we are afraid to cause a problem. Know it's better to cause a problem than to allow a child to be hurt. Go to the link below to educate yourself about child abuse and neglect. You may also find resources and ways to become actively involved. Together we can make a difference! 

http://pcav.org/child-abuse-prevention-month-2/

Monday, March 28, 2016

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a condition that affects many. Some of the individuals affected are individuals working in emergency services. These folks often have to compartmentalize their thoughts and feelings of traumatic events so that they can keep doing their jobs; however, this can cause significant psychological distress. Please go to the link below to see information on PTSD from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). If you or someone you know is living with symptoms of PTSD, please call Psychological Health Roanoke at 540-772-5140 for help.

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml

Thursday, March 3, 2016

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) -- Virginia

Finding resources can often prove to be difficult for individuals and families living with mental illness. Go to the link below to find more information out about programs offered by NAMI.

http://namivirginia.org/programs/


Monday, February 15, 2016

American Heart Month

February is American Heart Month sponsored by The American Heart Association. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports 1 in 4 deaths occurs due to heart disease each year. Health conditions do not only affect us physically, but also mentally and emotionally. For more information and resources, please see the information located at the links below.

http://healthfinder.gov/nho/februarytoolkit.aspx

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/

If you are experiencing difficulty coping with a health condition, please call our office at 540-772-5140 to schedule an appointment with a licensed professional who has the training and education to help you better manage your condition. 




Sunday, February 7, 2016

Understanding Depression

Depression is a condition that no one is immune to. It can affect anyone of any age, from any socioeconomic status, gender, race, ethnicity, or culture. Depression can be mild to major and can negatively impact all parts of a person’s life. Relationships can feel more difficult and not feel as joyful, job tasks can feel extremely challenging and more difficult to complete than usual, and a person experiencing depression may isolate themselves from others when they wouldn’t typically do so. In this newsletter you will find signs of depression, causes, risk factors, and treatment options. A person does not have to have all of the symptoms listed to be experiencing depression.

Signs of depression: (References 1 and 2)
Ongoing sadness, tearfulness, anxiousness, and/or feeling of emptiness. Some people find themselves thinking, I am really “emotional” lately; Ongoing negative thoughts and thought process; Feeling hopelessness, helplessness and guilt;  Loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable; Feeling more tired than usual, which seems persistent; Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions; Persistent sleep problems. In severe cases, difficulty getting any sleep or trouble getting out of bed; Moving more slowly than usual; Fixation on past mistakes; Feeling responsible or accountable for things that are not within a person’s control; Changes in appetite and weight. Some people overeat and some don’t eat enough when feeling depressed; Thoughts of death or suicide; Suicide attempts; Easily irritated, agitated, and having anger outbursts; Difficulty sitting still and focusing; Unexplained pain in the body. Sometimes described as aching and/or widespread pain.

Causes of Depression: (Reference 1)
1.       Biological: This is not completely understood, but it is know people who are depressed experience physical changes in their brain.
2.       Brain Chemistry: Think of this as electric circuits in the brain not transmitting the needed amount of energy, resulting in feeling depressed.
3.       Hormones: Changes in hormones affects how a person feels. A common hormone for women is estrogen and for men is testosterone. Thyroid problems can also cause depression.
4.       Genetics: This is undergoing more research, though it is known depression can affect more than one person related by blood.

Risk Factors: (Reference 1)
Negative thought pattern, low self-esteem, self-critical and overdependence on others; Experiencing traumatic events; Blood relative history of any form of depression and/or substance abuse; Feeling isolated or frequently criticized; Serious and/or chronic health issues; Particular medicines can cause or contribute to depression. 

No matter what the cause, it is important for a person to be evaluated for medical reasons causing their depression. Often times, men have much more difficulty asking for help than women. Depression is not anything to be ashamed of. It is just like any other illness. If a person has diabetes, we would expect them to see a doctor. The same needs to be expected of someone with depression.

Treatment Options: (Reference 1)
1.       Psychotherapy. This is typically on an outpatient basis; however, for more severe cases and stabilization this may be done in an inpatient hospital setting. A person receiving this service in a hospital will most likely be referred for outpatient psychotherapy after discharge. Psychotherapy may be performed by Licensed Clinical Psychologists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, or Licensed Professional Counselors. Psychotherapy is known for helping individuals explore the impact of their thoughts on how they feel and behave. The human brain is able to change in structure through the psychotherapy process.  

2.       Medications may also be prescribed by your doctor for treatment of depression. Some primary care physicians are comfortable treating less complicated/ severe depression. If you are experiencing a moderate to severe case of depression, you may benefit more from services from a Psychiatrist. A Psychiatrist is especially trained in working with mental and emotional challenges and medication treatment.

3.       Other treatment options may include nutritional and supplement support. Treatments focusing on the “mind-body” connection, such as “acupuncture, yoga or tai chi, meditation, guided imagery, massage therapy, music or art therapy, spirituality”/ spiritual support, and “aerobic exercise” are also known for helping support recovery from depression.     

Your healthcare professional may recommend all or part of the above treatment/ recovery support options depending on your specific needs, preferences, and available resources. “Mind-body” treatments are not typically used as the primary treatment for depression, but may be used in conjunction with psychotherapy and/or medication.

References:
1.       Mayo Clinic. Depression. Retrieved February 7, 2016 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/basics/definition/con-20032977.
2.       National Institute of Mental Health. Depression. Retrieved February 2, 2016 from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml.


Monday, January 25, 2016

The Capacity of the Teen Brain

Check out the below link to see how a teenager's brain differs from a fully mature adult brain.

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-teen-brain-still-under-construction/index.shtml

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Benefits of Physical Activity

With the New Year, a lot of us often set goals for ourselves. The “resolutions” can involve the amount of time we’ll spend at work, with our family and friends, how we would like to change how we manage stress and other difficult life situations, to making goals to be healthy and physically active. Ask any gym employee where they see the heaviest spike in membership and they’ll tell you the month of January.

Reevaluation the past and setting goals for the future is a healthy way to improve our quality of life. When focusing on the goal of increase physical activity and focusing more on our health, we must remember life is a journey and not a literal sprint. Making realistic goals and working at a steady pace will help you make long lasting changes that go beyond the month of January that you can carry with you through life.

Throughout the rest of this newsletter, you will find the benefits of incorporating regular physical activity into your lifestyle. Physical activity does not have to be something we dread. It can be something we enjoy and reap the benefits from for our entire lives.

Benefits of Physical Activity
Live longer and prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels, stroke, type 2 diabetes, metabolic and hormone imbalances, and colon and breast cancers.
2.       Strengthen your heart and lung function and build muscle and strength.
3.       Increase your metabolism (Ability to burn more calories and lose weight).
4.       Reduce and help manage stress, anxiety, and depression, including improving your mood and mood regulation.
5.       Increases sexual arousal in women and help prevent erectile dysfunction in men.
6.       Improve and maintain brain function.
7.       Gives you more energy and helps you sustain it throughout the day.
8.       Helps you maintain healthy digestion and bowel movements.
9.       Increases your bone density (Stronger bones).
1-   Helps you maintain a more youthful look and keeps you more agile (Able to move and be physically active).
  -   Helps improve your sleep.
--   Helps improve your overall quality of life.

You do not have to buy an expensive gym membership to begin making some lifestyle changes. There
are many activities you can incorporate into your current daily activities that can help move you to a
healthier lifestyle. A general rule of thumb is to engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily. If
you are a smartphone user, there are many free apps you can download that help you improve your eating
habits and increase your physical activity level. With all changes in life, make sure you speak with your
doctor before you begin and lifestyle change. Your doctor can help you better understand benefits and
specific limitations you may need to be aware of.  

Reference Links:




Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Relaxation Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNmIIqJqHUo


Click on the above link for a short relaxation video.

Gender Dysphoria

On November 18, 2015, Alison Allsbrook,LCSW, and Wesley Brusseau, LCSW, gave a heartfelt and eye opening presentation to the Roanoke Chapter for the Virginia Society for Clinical Social Work (VSCSW). If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulty related to gender identity, please call 540-772-5140 to reach a competent, caring, and accepting clinician. We are ready to assist you on your journey to personal growth and discovery.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Bedside Manner Awards

PHR is proud to announce the following honors for our clinicians:


First place: Steve Strosnider

Third place: Jackie Wilkerson

Honorable mention: Alison Allsbrook, Emily DeFrance

PHR has talented, committed clinicians to serve you and your family! Please call 540-772-5140 to inquire about our services and to make an appointment. You can also visit us on the web at http://www.psychhealthroanoke.com/


Friday, November 20, 2015

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today, November 20, 2015, is Transgender Day of Remembrance. The Human Rights Campaign defines this day as, "an opportunity to come together and remember transgender people gender-variant individuals, and those perceived to be transgender who have been murdered because of hate."

Hate come from misunderstanding and fear. Innocent lives are lost and families are torn apart. On this day, take a moment to challenge yourself to think about those different from you and think about how boring this world would be if we were all the same. We are all people, we all deserve to live life free of fear and hate.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mindfulness Channel

Please take a moment to visit Dr. John Heil's Youtube channel to experience a short mindfulness exercise.