Collaborative Care: Setting Milestones in Mental Health

When it comes to delivery of mental health services across the age groups, older adults are likely to get the short end of the stick. Although great advancements have been made in the reduction of mortality rates and improvement of health and overall well-being, mental health care providers continue to predominantly exclude older adults. This is a major public health concern that not only threatens the United States, but the entire world.

For most Americans, old age is an important phase when they want to remain jovial and adventurous like before. Since people are now living longer and healthier than before due to the advancements in the field of medicine, it has caused a dramatic increase in the proportion of the older population. The World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted that the growing global population of older people will almost double from 12 percent to 22 percent between 2015 and 2050.

On the one hand advancements in the field of medicine have proven to be a boon for older adults, on the other far too many older adults have to deal with difficult life situations and mental illnesses that affect their ability to draw out the most from life. Considering such a contradictory situation, it calls for greater commitment from both government and private organizations to develop policies and mental health services that are particularly aimed at older adults coping with the symptoms of mental illnesses.

Collaborative care – a remedy for depression in old

Old age is often accompanied by the weakening of organs and deterioration of mental sharpness. Moreover, compared to the youngsters older adults are more prone to developing problems like depression, anxiety and dementia. Other physical and social factors, such as loneliness, lack of appropriate facilities and support, etc., further accentuate the risk of developing mental disorders.

Such conditions usually arise due to other health complications, major life stressors, or the use or cessation of certain medications. Therefore, older adults require an approach that is different from the standard approach used for screening mental disorders. Until recently, collaborative care for older adults was believed to be capable of alleviating the symptoms of only the severe cases of depression. However, a recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests that older adults with subthreshold depression can also benefit from collaborative care.

Simon Gilbody, Ph.D., University of York and colleagues had randomly assigned 705 older adults with subthreshold depression (as per the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -IV (DSM-IV)) into two groups for delivering depression treatment.

One group received the usual care from their physician, while the other received collaborative care and primary care. The patients in the collaborative care group had participated in six 30-minute sessions spanning over seven to eight weeks that focused on the need to address the behavioral repercussions of depression, such as the lack of social interaction and absence of rewarding activities. Some key findings of the study are as follows:

  • Progression of subthreshold depression did not vary between the two groups at the four-month mark; however, at the 12-month mark, it reduced greatly for the collaborative care group compared to the usual care group (15.7 percent versus 27.8 percent).
  • The collaborative care group also witnessed improvement in anxiety, functional status and more compared to the usual care group.

These findings suggest that short and relatively cost-effective methods can alleviate subthreshold depression in older adults before the disorder becomes severe. However, before widening the scope of collaborative care among all forms of depression, there is a need for conducting more studies and researches.

Seek collaborative care to leverage benefits

Oftentimes, older adults in the U.S. do not receive mental health services for their problems. Various factors, such as denial of the problem, inadequate funding, and other barriers like the existence of stigma around mental illness prevent the deliverance of treatment to those who need it the most.

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Mental Health Hacks – Best Ways to Fight Depression and Anxiety

Life has become more demanding, we are expected to perform the best, work all kinds of hours in different aspects of life including personal and professional. The pressure, stress, and the demanding deadlines put a tremendous amount of pressure both on your body and mind. We do so much for everyone else but what do you do for yourself? Have you ever thought about your mental health? Did you know exercise and supplementation can contribute to your overall wellness and mental health!! Yes, you’ve heard right our body and brain needs supplementation whether it be meditation, natural supplements or just a well versed conversation with a friend or counselor. In the following article, you will come to know how the natural remedies and exercise can contribute to your mental health while reducing the symptoms of many brain related diseases.

Can we cure depression and anxiety?

Would you consider depression as a disease? We take it as a normal phase of life. But in reality, depression can create many severe health complications. You can be deprived of sleep; you could possibly lose interest in work and in life. You could feel lonely and isolated. You may feel unhappy even when the regular things you used to get pleasure from, gives no pleasure anymore. If you feel physical symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, lack of sleep, irritability, restlessness, tightness of the chest, stomach churning, and a overwhelmed feeling you may want to look at making some changes in your life. Many people go through this phase in their life and turn to alcohol which only makes matters worse. The intelligent one is the one who takes the adequate steps to overcome the conditions. If you have become depressed or anxious for a period of time, take action and get the necessary treatment.

There are many things you can do to treat the symptoms when you feel them:

Increase the happy chemicals

There are four primary chemicals in the brain that effect happiness: dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins which help us achieve a stable mood and a happy mood. Busy lifestyles do not offer you the time to achieve happiness within your life nor the ability to maintain the chemicals and fitness levels needed to maintain this. The work pressures and the responsibilities we have in life make it difficult for most of us to be happy. When we feel stressed, we feel anxious and sometimes depressed, we do not allow the time to enjoy the company of our family and friends. At some point in our life we all know we are going to face these issues. It is imperative to find a solution in order to enjoy your life and take advantage of the small things that make you happy!!

Serotonin

Serotonin is the well-known happiness chemical can be improved by a few different methods and supplements. The use of Tryptophan and or the intake of foods that contain Tryptophan can help improve your serotonin levels. Rhodiola is also widely used to increase levels of serotonin and help mental and physical fatigue. One of the best and easiest methods on how to increase this feel good chemical is exposure to the sun and or a sun lamp in the darker months.

Dopamine

Dopamine is the reward chemical in the brain. When you achieve a personal goal, find satisfaction in accomplishments, help out people, the brain releases the “good job” chemical and we feel very happy and content. Make sure you engage in volunteer work and set personal goals for yourself to improve this chemical output.

Endorphins

Endorphins are produced by the central nervous system most of you are probably familiar with the release of the chemical when you finish a workout or a run. They make us feel lightheaded at times, help us deal with pain and help us feel euphoric. That is why we need to ensure that exercise and diet is conducted as much as your schedule allows promoting the release of this compound.

Oxytocin

Oxytocin is the “warm and fuzzy” chemical being released when we cuddle and have interaction with family and friends. Loving and touching animals and pets also assists in making us release this very complex compound. Deep tissue massage and acupuncture is one of the best ways we can combat the effects of depression and anxiety.

You can improve all of these chemicals by visiting a gym taking tai-chi and yoga! Supplements such as Vitamin B-100 complex, Omega 3 fish oils and Ashwagandha are very beneficial in boosting your overall mental health and well-being. Diet, conversations with family and friends, exercise will release all of these feel good chemicals as mentioned above and create positive blood flow in the body which creates a state of well-being. Mindfulness training can help you combat stress and anxiety when used in the appropriate fashion. Try supplementing with probiotic foods and supplements to increase the release of happy chemicals in your gut (90% of serotonin is in the gut) this will also boost your immune system.

Cortisol

It is important to note that when in a state of distress and hard times our bodies are releasing a huge amount of Cortisol. This has a huge impact on how we look and feel. It is a stress hormone that is released when our body is undergoing any kind of stress. Cortisol controls the body’s blood sugar levels and thus regulating metabolism, acting as an anti-inflammatory, influencing memory formation, controlling salt and water balance and influencing blood pressure. If we can reduce the amount of Cortisol released in our bodies we can achieve a feeling of wellness throughout the body. Supplementing with Omega 3 and Vitamin C can assist you in this battle!

Mental health and confidence

One major aspect in which people really don’t think of is our confidence levels and mental health, it is important for all of us in this regard. We have all lost confidence on a few occasions here and there but if you are finding it hard to restore your confidence and work to a specific potential, then you need to think of how you can rebuild it. Low confidence can severely affect your performance and your ability to deal with people and stress. According to many studies, exercise can help build a positive image and a positive mind-set. Anyone irrespective of age and gender can practice workouts to boost the self-esteem. Boosting self-esteem and confidence goes a long way toward improving mental health fitness and well being!

How to prevent the mental decline

There are so many items in our lives that contribute to our mental decline; cell phone use, other electronic devices, work, poor diet, toxin intake, lack of exercise. How do we attack these disorders and help put mental issues on the decline. You have to recognize the symptoms and the feelings in your body and not ignore them in order to treat these disorders.

Exercise and supplementation as well as some of the items already mentioned can both relax your body and mind. If you’re totally exhausted and looking from some effective ways to get the relief that you deserve, considering spending a half an hour in the gym when you can and it will rejuvenate your mind. Find the proper balance in your life!! You will feel more positive, confident and relaxed. Remember the supplementation as noted above can really help you improve your mental health they can be a great addition to fight many mental disorders and get relief from depression stresses and anxieties.

High THC Marijuana Use and Mental Health

With the legalizing of marijuana for recreational use in California and other places, we find the industry alive and well. Maybe too well. You see, there are lots of specialty commercial growers who are pumping up the volume on the THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content. THC, as you know, is the active ingredient in marijuana that gets you high. It has an almost immediate psychological effect that puts the user in an altered state-of-mind.

The non-THC cannabis market is touting the health benefits – some proven with empirical data, some not – for supplements, skin cream, protein powders, and an assortment of other products (cite:1). Buyer be advised there is a big difference between the stuff people smoke to get high, and the cannabis by-products people use for health and wellness.

THC is a Potent Psychological Chemical and Is Classified as a Neurotoxin

As recreational use marijuana growers compete for top-bidding – the most THC concentrated product – users are loving it. With higher levels of THC, the users can get higher, quicker. Unfortunately, since THC is a neurotoxin/poison it can also do damage to the brain. Over time it can be quite serious, as the THC kills more brain cells than the body’s natural process through creating stem cells can produce. If this doesn’t sound serious to you, then perhaps we should explore some of the real ramifications.

If you use marijuana with high, very high, or ultra-high THC levels you could bring on early Alzheimer’s or end up with Parkinson’s Disease. Now, that’s pretty serious, right? This is what happens to people who use too much and/or too high a concentration level. THC prevents the brain temporarily from forming long-term memories and from learning new things. To form long-term memories, you must first create short-term memories, but you can’t because your brain is disrupted in the process (cite: 2).

Perhaps you can see why people who smoke a lot of marijuana often have trouble remembering things? Maybe you can see why people you know who smoke a lot of marijuana sometimes appear to have dementia. The biggest problem now is, no one knows how bad this problem will become in the future, as THC levels have never been this high before. Now they are, and there are no real guidelines as to how concentrated the THC levels that are sold to the public can be.

The Pot of the 1960s and Today’s High Potency THC Marijuana

Indeed, you might be thinking to yourself right now; “If all those people smoked so much weed in the 60s, how come they seem to be doing fine now?” That’s a fair question and a great debating point, but consider if you will that the highest THC levels back in the 1960s were clocking in at 9%, most much lower than that, around 3 to 5%. Today, we have specialty marijuana that is 30%.

If someone in the 1960s was growing a little bud in their backyard, they were at the lower levels. Compare that to the high 30% THC levels now available which is six to ten times higher? Are you beginning to see the problem? Many chemists, botanists, and GMO researchers are all working very hard to produce the most THC intensive marijuana. There is a lot of money involved in producing high-grade potent marijuana, it’s in high demand by consumers and marijuana enthusiasts. Sometimes for bragging rights, sometimes in search of the ultimate high.

Marijuana dispensaries and sellers often tout that they have the highest THC marijuana for sale, some are overhyped sales nonsense. Still, even if they claim it is 35%, but it’s only 25%, it’s still way too concentrated for daily use.

References:

1.) “Going Help Wild: Understanding the Challenges and opportunities for FDA Regulation of CBD in Food Products,” by Hannah Catt, published in the Journal of Food and Policy, Volume 15, Number 2, Fall of 2019.

2.) “High-potency cannabis and the risk of psychosis,” by Marta Di Forti, et. al. Published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, Br J Psychiatry. 2009 Dec; 195(6): 488-491. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.109.064220. Second article (PDF) of High TCH Research.

Mental Health – Depression

The early stage of depression is very important. Most people quietly suffer depression and are never diagnosed, while some treat themselves without them knowing by adjusting to nature and exploring their chances of hope.

We all feel depressed sometimes but get well over time. After all, being sad is a part of living, we can’t all have it good all the time.

Depression is an illness that affects both the mental state and mind. It affects the way you feel and think, increasing your thought of hopelessness and sadness.

The majority of people will suffer from depression at least once in their lifetime, this could be from grief, stress or illness which can lead from mild depression to severe depression.

What causes depression:

Research shows that the brain plays an important role regulating our mood, this could have a major impact on depression, but some factors contribute, including change in hormones, where the body cannot manage stress and experience positives mood.

Who can have depression:

Depression can happen to anyone at any age, depression is an illness of mental state. Appropriate therapy for mood swings in children and teenagers will reduce the chances of having depression.

Symptoms of depression:

o Inability to think or concentrate

o Hopelessness

o Inability to make decisions

o Guilt

o Changes in sleep

o Loss of interest

o Loss of energy

o Sadness

o Suicidal thoughts

o Weight gain

Unfortunately Depression is common and a serious illness. Immediate help or treatment is advisable.

The majority of people will suffer from depression at least once in their lifetime.

Cure for depression:

As depression is an illness of the mental health, there are lots ways symptoms can be cured

o Antidepressant: It’s a popular treatment for depression. There are over 30 types of antidepressants tablets, if one doesn’t relieve your symptoms, you can always try another one and chances are you will find one that works well for you.

o Exercise: it’s one of the natural ways of reducing the symptoms of depression and there is evidence that it helps in improving your motivation and mood.

o Religion: This is the most common and natural way of totally curing depression. Majority of people choose religions as their choice of depression treatment. Most religion preaches faith that gives hope to believers, Even though religion can bring guilt of past troubles, after all memories are the only treasure that cannot be changed but remembering the hope of forgiveness elevates the mood and mental state.

Research shows that 90% of people suffering from depression in Africa are not diagnosed. Are you suffering from depression, or do you know anyone suffering from depression? Talk to someone today, it helps. Talk to us today.