Understanding The Sickness of the American Psyche

There is a deep sickness beginning to take hold of the American psyche that threatens to undermine the already shaken stability of the lives of everyone in this country. 

Part 1 Continue reading

Are Children Medicated for Convenience, or Necessity?

Story at-a-glance 

A BBC documentary examines what drives parents to put their kids on potent brain-altering drugs with potentially dangerous side effects

Many children today are drugged for “parental convenience,” as opposed to being treated for Continue reading

Blood test identifies changes in gene which are linked to suicidal thoughts and behaviors

After analyzing three sets of different blood samples from 325 patients, a Johns Hopkins Center for Prevention Research Study determined that there are links between lowered levels of a gene called SKA2, plus a higher level of chemical changes that alter its function,and suicidal tendencies. Continue reading

Documentary Examines How Stress Kills

Story at-a-glance 

The documentary “Stress: Portrait of a Killer” illustrates how prolonged exposure to stress can ruin your health in a multitude of ways Continue reading

The Oft-Ignored Link between Mental Illness and Hypothyroid Disease

Story at-a-glance 

Thyroid hormone is critical for your mitochondrial function

When thyroid hormone is deficient or poorly functioning, you may experience symptoms ranging from fatigue and constipation, to hair loss, Continue reading

Manufacturing Madness: The Pseudoscience of Modern Psychiatry

Twenty-six years have passed since Prozac, the antidepressant drug, was introduced to the US market and quickly achieved the label of a “wonder drug.” In the decade that followed, other antidepressant drugs including paroxetine (Paxil), sertraline (Zoloft), fluvoxamine (Luvox), and citalopram (Celexa) would be released, Continue reading

Gluten: Bad for us All!

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher (1788 – 1860)

Here we present you with the evidence of the universal harm of gluten

Gluten: ZERO global

By this I mean a worldwide change to a gluten-free diet. Continue reading

The Hidden Deficiency Zapping Your Energy and Brainpower

Sadly, this affects 1 in 2 older adults.  Are you one of them?

Unfortunately, many of us are familiar with the hallmark signs of aging: declining strength and energy, brain fog and “senior moments,” irritability, difficulty sleeping, hearing and vision loss…the list goes on.  Most people attribute these symptoms to “getting older,” Continue reading

Alterations in Brain Activity in Children at Risk of Schizophrenia Predate Onset of Symptoms

Research from the University of North Carolina has shown that children at risk of developing schizophrenia have brains that function differently than those not at risk.

Brain scans of children who have parents or siblings with the illness reveal a neural circuitry that is hyperactivated or stressed by tasks that peers with no family history of the illness seem to handle with ease. Continue reading

Dangerous Association Noted Between Mental Illness and Obesity CME

Clinical Context

Obesity is common among patients with mental illness, occurring in up to 60% of patients with bipolar disorder, 70% of patients with schizophrenia, and 55% of patients with depression. A review by Taylor and colleagues in the current issue of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry analyzes why mental illness is associated with higher rates of obesity. Continue reading

Genetic Variation Increases Risk of Metabolic Side Effects in Children on some Antipsychotics

Associated with increased blood pressure and elevated blood sugar levels Continue reading

Kids’ ER Visits for Psychiatric Care Inching Up

Emergency room doctors are seeing more and more kids for mental health problems, and many of them are uninsured, researchers said at the annual conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics in Boston. Continue reading

Medical myths: Bizarre, but true…

Fat people are jollier

Ever since Falstaff, fatness has been associated with jollity. According to psychologists at Lakehead University in Canada, the “jolly fat” hypothesis might actually be true, at least among women. Not only have they found a link, they suggest a mechanism, too: estrogen.

They put forward the idea that body fat protects women again negative moods. In other words, the fatter a woman is, the less depressed she gets.

In the two-part research, the team looked at Body Mass Index (BMI), a measure that takes into account Continue reading

Herbal Remedies for ADD/ADHD

Modern science has now proven that ADHD treatment programs that include herbal remedies, boost concentration and memory. A recent study undertaken by the Sheba Hospital in Israel has reported that herbal remedies can often improve cognitive functioning in patients with ADHD.

Herbal remedies are often prescribed by holistic practitioners to treat mental illness and hyperactivity along with including riboflavin, magnesium, B-complex vitamins, and thiamine in the diet through foods or daily multivitamins.

Some herbs, such as 100% aloe vera juice, pumpkin seed extract, ginkgo biloba, evening primrose oil (an omega-6 fatty acid),and mahonia grape, can promote nutritional delivery to the brain and balance neurotransmitters. These herbs may be beneficial in the treatment of ADD and ADHD.

Two Indian herbs, GotuKola and Ashwaganda, have been shown to be effective for concentration and release of anxiety. Chamomile, passionflower and skullcap have also shown great promise.

Generally, these herbs have dosage recommendations on the supplement package, but in rare cases where doses are not given, doses of ½ teaspoon into a well diluted tincture, three times a day and mixed with fruit or vegetable juice is usually appropriate.

Other recommended herbal and homeopathic remedies include Hyoscyamus, which is known to help alleviate over-excitability and restlessness. It also provides relief from frenetic outbursts and tic-type involuntary twitching.

Another one is Verta Alb. This herb can help stabilize a person with ADHD. Arsen Iod is often used for the hyperactive-impulsive type child. A fourth remedy, Tuberculinum, is also touted as a treatment for the symptoms of ADHD.

The International Cod Liver Omega-3 Foundation recommends the use of a Cod Liver Oil based (CLO3) as one of the alternatives to traditional prescription medications, such as Ritalin, to treat mental illness and hyperactivity in children. Omega-3 (also referred to as n-3 or w-3) is the name of a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Oil-based fish and dietary supplements are the richest and most generally available sources of omega-3. Some of these sources include fish oil and cod liver oil. Krill, bread and fruit juices are also effective.

The compounds referred to as omega-3s are Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA), and Docusahexaenoic Acid (DHA). Omega-3s found in plant and vegetable sources are not as effective as cod liver oil or other fish oils.

The best and most effective source is only found in fish such as mackerel, salmon, fresh tuna, and fish oil, specifically cod liver oil. Experts recommend a minimum daily intake of 450 mg of fish oil omega-3s in order to fortify joint, brain and cardiovascular health, particularly in children with ADD or ADHD.

A research study published in 2002 concluded that there is a significant benefit to using Omega-3 dietary supplements to treat ADD/ADHD.

Unfortunately, the prescribing of multiple medications to treat ADD/ADHD has created a “polypharmacy” culture in a drug obsessed society, where we first turn to drugs to mask the symptoms rather than changing nutrition, lifestyle or adding herbs to treat the cause.

Your first and best single form of treatment should be with natural remedies. If these do not appear effective then talk to your doctor or psychiatrist to explore other options.

Experts Say Men More Vulnerable to Mental Illness

NEW DELHI – Don’t reprimand your son for sobbing over a problem he is facing or tick him off for “behaving like a sissy”. It would only make him bottle up his emotions and lead to serious implications on his overall well being. Experts say men are more vulnerable to mental illness and depression than you would imagine.

Praveen Thapar, chairperson of the Sanjivni Centre for Mental Health, said while it’s true that women are more prone to depression, it’s equally true that women are better at sharing their emotions and problems than men – as a result most men keep their problems to themselves which has serious implications later.

In our society we co-relate the word man with power. From the time he is a child, a boy is told not to cry ‘like a sissy’ and be strong. Thus from an early stage he grows up with this learning that he should hide his emotions behind a serene face, Thapar told IANS ahead of World Mental Health Day Saturday.

This however can have serious implications later in life. This habit of bottling up one’s feelings and frustrations may lead to a breakdown later, she said.

Akhila Vasudev, a counselor, agreed.

“While women are more open about their problems and emotions, with men, even when they are with friends, the discussion rarely goes beyond the football match or finances. Often it’s because they have been molded that way.”

”A number of male patients that I have therefore admit that they feel much better after simply talking about their problems. It helps that I am a stranger, they say. Opening up in front of the family is harder,” said Vasudev.

Quoting an example, Thapar said at a post-retirement conference that she attended recently, all that was being discussed about was how to manage your finances.

Post-retirement phase is a different experiences altogether. You have more time on your hand, your expectations may increase, you may feel worthless and useless sitting around – but all that the men talked about was finances, she said.

According to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), mental illness will be the biggest health risk in India by 2010.

The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) further says that while 20 million Indians suffer from major mental ailments, 50 million suffer from milder forms.

Depression, anxiety, panic attacks and hysteria are all mild forms of mental illnesses which people often ignore, experts say.

According to R.C. Jiloha, head of the department of psychiatry at the Maulana Azad Medical College, among the most common form of mental disorders that men suffer from are anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Because of an increasing awareness on the issue, I have a lot of men coming to me for counseling. But the best way to tackle this is for the corrective measures to begin in the families itself,” Thapar said.

“Parents should interact more with their children and encourage them to be themselves. They should not have a different attitude towards their sons and daughters, she advised.