Mental Health

Archived posts from this Category

What Is Schizoid Personality Disorder (SPD)? (DSM Criteria + Diagnosis + Symptoms)

Posted by on 10 Jul 2011 | Tagged as: Mental Health, Personality Disorders

Schizoid personality disorder (SPD) is something that affects certain individuals on a social level, making them lack interest in doing and participating in social activities with others. Although I haven’t had the chance to write about personality disorders in the past, I figured that I’d share what I know and have learned about them based on my research. Keep in mind that schizoid personality disorder is not the same thing as schizophrenia or schizotypal personality disorder; they are completely different diagnoses so make sure that you get that straight.

What is the definition of Schizoid Personality Disorder?

Since I’m going to try to be as official as possible, I’m going to go by what the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) says regarding this personality disorder. It is located in Axis II, Cluster A if you want to get all technical with the terminology. Anyways, so how can we break down someone that has and is affected by schizoid personality disorder? What is the correct and legitimate definition?

Basically a person with schizoid personality disorder: consistently avoids socializing with others and has a restricted range of emotional expression as well as emotions in social settings. The onset can be at any age, but typically people develop schizoid personality disorder by the time they are an early adult.

Official DSM Criteria for Schizoid Personality Disorder diagnosis:

*Note: Four or more of the following Schizoid personality disorder symptoms must be met for an official diagnosis.

1. Neither desires nor enjoys close relationships, including being part of a family
2. Almost always chooses solitary activities
3. Has little, if any, interest in having sexual experiences with another person
4. Takes pleasure in few, if any, activities
5. Lacks close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives
6. Appears indifferent to the praise or criticism of others
7. Shows emotional coldness, detachment, or flattened affect

Additional requirements that must be met:

A person cannot be diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder if they are already dealing with a severe mental illness which may mimic or share similar symptoms. In other words, you cannot be diagnosed with schizoid personality disorder during a flare up of schizophrenia, a mood disorder like depression, another psychotic disorder, or a developmental brain disorder.

Your mental health professional must be able to rule out other things that could be causing similar symptoms. That’s why it’s really important to deal with someone that’s an expert so that you don’t end up overlooking any other general medical conditions that may have been left untreated.

Would you know if you had schizoid personality disorder?

Generally after reading the symptoms, most people with the condition aren’t at all ashamed to admit that they fit the symptoms perfectly. In other words, if you know that you have schizoid personality disorder (SPD), you will likely be conscious of it after you read what the symptoms are.

However, that doesn’t mean you should self-diagnose because you don’t want to overlook anything else. Therefore, it is always recommended that you go into a professional psychologist to take the proper personality disorder test to figure out what the underlying problem really could be. Self-diagnosis can be accurate in some cases, but generally professional confirmation is required by a specialist.

Difference between schizoid personality disorder and introversion

After reading the symptoms, you may be wondering what the difference between schizoid personality disorder and introversion is because they both seem to involve less contact with people. The truth is that someone who has schizoid personality disorder desires no social contact whatsoever, while someone who is an “introvert” still desires social contact, they just prefer to “recharge” on their own for awhile. Schizoids don’t want friendships, while introverts still maintain friendships; they are two completely different things.

Difference between schizoid personality disorder and avoidant personality disorder

There is some dispute between schizoid personality disorder and avoidant personality disorder. Avoidant personality disorders generally involve a different set of criteria compared to that of schizoids. The difference between the two is that avoidant personality disorders tend to avoid social interactions because they feel inadequate and are afraid that people are negatively evaluating them.

Most people that know about personality disorders would say that a person cannot be both schizoid and avoidant at the same time; that statement is up for debate though among professionals. I personally think that it would be rare to have a person who has both avoidant personality disorder and schizoid personality disorder – usually people have either one or the other, not a combination of both. If diagnosed with both on a test, that should raise some kind of red flag as to whether: A) The person answered honestly on the test and B) Whether there are other factors that aren’t being taken into account.

How schizoid personality disorder differs from schizophrenia and schizotypal personalities

There is a lot of confusion among the general public anytime there’s something mental health related dealing with the “schizo” prefix to a label. This is a huge problem and I personally wish that the labels wouldn’t have been given such confusing (dumb) names in the first place by the people that discovered them. Anyways, if you are a mental health professional, hopefully you are able to tell the difference between different words that start with “schizo.”

In my personal experience, most people seem to group them all under “schizophrenia.” And to the general public, instead of them understanding the proper definition, they tend to think of schizophrenia as dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder). Anyways, I went off on a little tangent there, but I’m sorry, people need to pull their heads out of their asses and get the definitions right before they think they can play doctor.

Do everyone a favor and educate yourself on Schizoid Personality Disorder to raise awareness

Personality disorders differ from mental illnesses like schizophrenia because they deal with personality, which generally cannot be effectively treated through medication or therapy. If you read the definition at the top of the article about schizoid personality disorder, and look at the DSM criteria, you should get an idea of what it is and the general concept.

If you want to know how it differs from schizophrenia, look it up – schizophrenia involves positive (hearing things/seeing things) and negative symptoms (flat emotion); it’s different. Schizotypal personality disorder also has a different symptom set and generally involves odd thinking and unconventional (weird) beliefs.

Schizoid Personality Disorder Treatment and Prognosis

Although some individuals with schizoid personality disorder (SPD) may feel suicidal, the majority do not.  The majority of these people are self-sufficient and independent and just prefer solitary lifestyles.  Think of someone that could survive as a hermit without any social contact for long periods of time.  Most people would go crazy for socialization and crave social contact if they hadn’t talked to anyone for a long period of time, however, people with schizoid personality disorders would be perfectly content without social contact.

If people with Schizoid Personality Disorder want help getting treatment, they have a couple options:

  • Antidepressants – Known to help improve the mood and outlook for people with this disorder.  In some cases they are effective, while in others they do not improve the situation.  Generally, other options are advised first unless the person is really depressed.
  • Therapy – The right therapist can be very helpful for people with schizoid personality disorder.  However, they need to establish a level of trust with the SPD individual to make progress.  If they cannot establish a trustworthy relationship, it’s going to be tough to make progress.  Therefore, the therapist must have some good experience.
  • Socialization – Generally, if a person with Schizoid Personality Disorder wants to improve their situation and live a normal life, they need to recognize their symptoms, become conscious of them, and still make room for socialization.  Socializing is a basic human need to be part of a group and belong; if this need is not met, it can lead to a host of other problems.
The prognosis for these individuals is generally very good, they tend to be able to cope with their disorder just fine.  The kicker is though, most people with SPD fly under the radar so less is known about them than people with other personality disorders.  They tend to not have a lot of human contact and could be considered modern day “hermits.”

Updating the 4 Mind 4 Life Mental Health website

It’s been awhile since I last updated this website, but decided that I’m going to take the direction of the website towards mental health education as well as writing to try to help people’s lives. If you’ve been subscribed for awhile, I really have to apologize and say that I’m really sorry that I haven’t been updating on a regular basis. I’ve really had a lot of personal issues going on in my own life that needed to be addressed so I put this website on the backburner. However, after doing some thinking and soul searching, I’m going to try to help people the best I can with regards to mental health and illness here.

Anxiety Insomnia Treatment

Posted by on 25 Aug 2010 | Tagged as: Anxiety Disorders, Mental Health, Sleep

A condition that is very common in people with anxiety disorder is “anxiety insomnia.” This is basically insomnia that is induced by anxiety disorders, nervousness, or related tension. The reason that your anxiety keeps you awake is because your brainwave pattern is unable to slow down to the alpha brainwave range from the beta brainwave range. Beta brainwaves are normal to have during the day, but at night, when it is time to go to bed, most people (without anxiety) are able to shift into the alpha range without even trying. People with anxiety stay awake over thinking things and worrying about events that happened during the day.

Anxiety and insomnia: The relationship

Even if you have insomnia without anxiety disorder, your brainwave pattern is very similar to someone who experiences anxiety. You are over-stimulated and are unable to calm yourself down and get some sleep. People with things like stress anxiety insomnia really need to minimize stimulation before bedtime. In other words, you shouldn’t be drinking alcohol, caffeine, or surfing the web if you hope to fall asleep; all of these things change your state of mind and make it much tougher to fall asleep. Alcohol can actually help some people fall asleep quicker, but it also keeps others awake and is not a healthy substance to use to fall asleep (it is a toxin).

Anxiety insomnia treatment

If you need help with treating depression anxiety insomnia (or anything that is keeping you up at night), there are some fundamental steps that you should be taking. The very first thing that you should do is develop a relaxation routine that you practice for at least 30 minutes each day before you go to bed. Examples of things that you could do in order to relax include: meditation, deep breathing, visualization, and yoga. Anxiety and insomnia treatment go hand in hand, when you reduce one, the other will likely subside with it. So if you can keep your anxiety low, your insomnia will likely plummet; if you can reduce your insomnia, your anxiety will probably improve.

Other things that you can do to improve your condition

There are some other steps that you can take in order to reduce your general anxiety disorder insomnia. If you have had problems with anxiety for awhile now, it would be smart to consult some professional help from a licensed therapist. However, if you start doing some things like: eating the healthiest possible diet, exercising every day for at least 1 hour, and staying busy throughout the day, you should tire yourself out too much to be kept awake by your anxiety. Hopefully some of these strategies work for you if you were struggling with severe insomnia and/or anxiety. If not, you can always check out some of the related articles below for additional tips.

More Anxiety Articles to Check Out:

Natural Cures for Anxiety Disorder, Social Anxiety, Depression

Posted by on 25 Aug 2010 | Tagged as: Anxiety Disorders, Mental Health

If you have been dealing with anxiety for most of your life and it is holding you back from reaching your full potential, it is time to take action to get rid of it – permanently. Believe it or not, there are some natural cures for anxiety that you can implement into your lifestyle in order to overcome it. Wouldn’t it feel a lot better to be able to take control over your anxiety issues rather than having them control and rule your life? If you believe that you can take control of your disorder, then you will probably be able to easily do what it takes to overcome it. If you don’t believe it, then you are going to have to work on your beliefs (of being able to cure your disease) before you see results of it in your reality.

What are some natural cures for anxiety disorder?

1. Exercise – One thing that will quickly erase stress and anxiety that you may be experiencing is exercise. If you get your heart rate up by doing cardiovascular exercise, you will feel better because you won’t have as much pent up energy inside of your body – it will get burned up. People that don’t exercise are much more prone to anxiety, stress, and feeling fearful (e.g. the opposite of relaxation) in most situations.

2. Meditation – Another awesome natural cure for anxiety is meditation. There are several types of meditation that you should try out before giving up. Meditation produces changes in your brain’s neurochemistry and it helps your brain form new neural connections. If you keep up a daily meditation practice for 365 days for 20 minutes a day, your brain will be incredibly different than it was in comparison to when you started this practice. Start as soon as possible to get the most benefits.

3. Self-Exposure Therapy – What are you afraid of? Probably one of the best natural cures for social anxiety is to get involved in as many social situations as possible. In other words, you want to expose yourself to whatever you are afraid of. Do yourself a favor and make a list of things that you are afraid of and go down it – crossing off each fear as you overcome it.

4. Supplements – There are many supplements that claim to be natural cures for depression anxiety symptoms. It is important to read reviews of these natural products like St. Johns Wart, 5-HTP, Sam-E, to make sure that you are not buying something that isn’t proven to be very effective.

5. Develop empowering friendships – Easily one of the best natural cures for anxiety and depression is to hang out with people that don’t have these problems. If you spend enough time with people that don’t have these problems, you will be able to come up with solutions for your problem and adapt to this new reality. If you don’t come up with solutions, they will likely help you overcome the problem – listen to the advice that they give and do your best to roll with the punches. It will seem tough at first, but eventually you will overcome your anxiety and feel awesome about it.

More Mental Health Posts:

How To Overcome Depression and Anxiety (Severe)

Posted by on 19 Aug 2010 | Tagged as: Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Mental Health

Are you trying to learn how to overcome depression? If so, it is going to take a lot of work, but you definitely have the power within you to get over this problem. I don’t like to refer to it as a disease because “disease” implies that you have no power to overcome it. Let’s just label it as a temporary problem for now that you can definitely get over. So what are some things that you can do if you are feeling depressed? You have probably read that you need to go to the doctor and get medication prescribed and take it for awhile to get relief, right? Well, that way works fine for some people that want to be on meds for the rest of their lives, but there are alternatives.

Depression how to overcome it

1. Counseling – If you want to figure out how to overcome depression and anxiety, and other mental health issues, counseling is one of the best options. It can be scary to share your feelings with a counselor, but if you are working with a competent counselor, it is probably the best way to make progress.

2. Eating the right foods – Is your diet healthy? Eating bad foods is probably the easiest way to not only become depressed, but to have anxiety and gain weight. If you want to learn how to overcome anxiety and depression, a fundamental component of your life that you need to take control over is your diet.

3. Exercising often – How often do you exercise? Yeah, you might say that you have no energy to because you are depressed. Which came first the lack of exercise or depression (e.g. the chicken or the egg)? It doesn’t really matter because once you push yourself to exercise every day, you will start feeling improvement.

4. Positive social support – If you want to learn how to overcome severe depression, you are going to need to spend time with positive people. These people let nothing bring them down and will help you take the focus off of being depressed. It will be tough for you initially to adapt their perspective, but eventually you will get the hang of it and make progress. The more time you spend with positive people, the easier it will be to get out of a depressed state.

5. Believe in yourself – If you don’t believe that you can overcome depression, you are right. If you believe that you can overcome depression, you are right. It all comes down to having the right set of beliefs. If you empower yourself with the belief that you can overcome, then you definitely will be able to.

Related Mental Health Articles:

Finding Natural Anxiety Relief and Stress Reduction

Posted by on 19 Aug 2010 | Tagged as: Anxiety Disorders, Mental Health

Are you looking to find natural anxiety relief? If you have bad anxiety attacks or just experience a lot of tension on a daily basis, it would be a good idea to try some things that could potentially help you reduce your stress level. Stress and anxiety can lead to a number of different health problems including: high blood pressure, heart attacks, weight gain, and insomnia. If you have been having a lot of trouble lowering your level of anxiety, it is important that you never give up in fighting the battle against it because you definitely will find relief if you keep trying new things. The whole key though is to have an open mind and be willing to do what it takes to keep your anxiety level as low as possible.

Stress anxiety relief techniques

1. Daily relaxation – If you are finding some way to relax for at least 25 minutes each day, you are going to make significant progress towards reducing your anxiety. Relaxation helps you take control over your thoughts and stay calm. Although it is not going to immediately lower your anxiety, over the period of a year, practicing things like meditation, self hypnosis, and deep breathing will have a significant impact on your physiology. Different genes will become activated in your body and your brain will change all as a result of daily relaxation. It takes time to see results, but will be worth it in the long run.

2. Confronting fear – If you are anxious about something, the best thing that you can do is confront it. If you are scared to ask a girl out on a date, go ask her out. If you are afraid to talk to someone, talk to them. If you are afraid to live out on your own, then go get a place for yourself. Don’t panic, learn to keep pushing through your fears and they will eventually subside.

3. Supplements – Certain supplements can provide relief for anxiety and tension, but they do not always work well for everyone. Omega 3 fatty acids can help regulate anxiety, but they do take a few months to actually kick in. Other things like 5 HTP, Sam-E, and St. Johns Wart have been found to have slight effects towards reducing anxiety (see: Herbs for Anxiety).

4. Adequate exercise – If you want anxiety stress relief quick, then getting good enough exercise each day is essential. Sure it takes 1 hour to get a good workout, but everyone has an hour that they can work with for their own personal health. If you don’t have an hour, get rid of some meaningless task in your day; and don’t make any excuses.

5. Healthy diets – Eating candies, sweet treats, and drinking sodas and beers taste good, but they are terrible to be having if you are overweight, have anxiety, and/or depression. Reconstruct your diet to include only healthy foods and see how much better you feel. If you can get rid of all the junk and fuel your brain with healthy foods, they will change the way that your brain works and make it less susceptible to stress. It will be easy to find anxiety relief if you are eating the right foods.

Related Anxiety & Mental Health Articles:

Best Natural Herbs for Anxiety and Depression

Posted by on 18 Aug 2010 | Tagged as: Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Mental Health

If you are interested in finding some natural herbs for anxiety attacks and depression, there are many that you can try out. Not all herbs are going to have the same effect in all people, so just because one has worked for a friend or family member does not mean that it is going to have the same effect on you. It is important to always eat a healthy diet and exercise if you are trying to reduce anxiety and depression as well as making sure that you use relaxation techniques to further relax. Many of these herbs can help alleviate mental tension, stress, and anxious feelings that may accompany you throughout your day.

Natural herbs for anxiety and depression

St. Johns Wart – This is easily among the most common herbs for depression and anxiety treatment. There are people who have had success with this herb for anxiety, so it would be something that you should consider if you have never tried it. It has been clinically tested in comparison to popular antidepressants and has actually been found to be just as effective, if not more effective than some (e.g. Paxil).

Sam-E – This is an over-the-counter herb that you can buy in order to help with anxiety and depression. There isn’t as much support for its effectiveness as there is for St. Johns Wart, but some people swear by it to help reduce their symptoms.

Valerian – Valerian is a common aid for insomnia, but has an effect on reducing anxiety and depression. The way that it works is by influencing the GABA neurotransmitter receptors in the brain. It will have a significant impact on the way that your brain works and help it to relax.

Lemon Balm – Researchers have found that the components of this particular herb can really help people calm down from their anxiety attacks and depression. It has a lot of health benefits, mostly because it has Phenolic acids and Flavonoids which are super healthy.

5-HTP (5 hydroxytryptophan) – This has been shown to alter serotonin levels in the brain. There is some evidence that serotonin is linked to both depression and anxiety. Although it is not the only neurotransmitter that causes depression and anxiety, it is a contributor. Consider trying 5 HTP to see whether it works out for you.

Chinese herbs for anxiety

Bupleurum and Dong Quai – This is a combination of herbs that can really reduce depression and anxiety issues. These are Chinese herbs that are believed to significantly lower symptoms after a month or so of taking them. You aren’t going to see immediate results with these, but they can really help.

Siberian Ginseng – Some have said that this is one of the best herbs for anxiety because it has effects on dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, as well as serotonin. It has been used in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years and it has proved to be very helpful to some.

Magnolia Bark – This has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Newer scientific research has indicated that it helps lower anxiety due to a couple of biphenyl compounds that are released in the body. It also reduces the amount of cortisol cycling throughout the body.

More Anxiety-Related Articles:

Best All Natural Anxiety Relief

Posted by on 18 Aug 2010 | Tagged as: Anxiety Disorders, Mental Health

If you are looking for all natural anxiety relief, there are many things that you can try to minimize your stressful and anxious feelings. Anxiety can be extremely tough to cope with for most people, but once you are able to find some relief, life becomes much easier. Whether you have anxiety in social situations, a specific phobia of something, or just have generalized anxiety disorder, there are some natural things that you can try out to see whether they provide any relief. Read below to figure out whether any of the recommendations are anything that you would consider trying out.

Best natural anxiety relief

Meditation – Although there are many different types of mediation strategies that you can use, most people that meditate find that it really lowers their stress level. I personally have practiced meditation and each time that I do it my body and mind feels a lot less vulnerable to everyday stressors. All that it really takes is sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing for about 20 minutes per day to be a significant help.

Neurofeedback – The goal of neurofeedback would be to target certain areas of your brain and change your brainwaves. This can be also done with brainwave entrainment (e.g. Neuro Programmer 2), but it doesn’t have quite the same effect. Consider going to a neurofeedback specialist to find natural stress and anxiety relief if you can afford it. Sessions can cost hundreds of dollars, but your insurance may pick it up.

Rapid Remedy – This is a substance that you actually spray on your tongue and it tastes kind of funny, but it definitely provides great natural relief for anxiety. If your stress level is high, all it takes is a couple sprays and you begin to settle down. This stuff isn’t that expensive either, so this would be perfect to carry around with you for whenever you get nervous.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids – If you want some great natural anxiety relief, try taking omega 3 fatty acid supplements (a.k.a. fish oil). You will not notice immediate relief, but over the period of months, they will actually stabilize your brainwave patterns and regulate your anxiety. There aren’t any negative side effects (unless you buy unpurified oil – check on the label to make sure that it has been lab tested).

Facing all fears – The best natural relief from anxiety is to actually face your fears. This is the toughest cure for relief, but it is without a doubt the most effective thing on this list. Make a list of everything that you are scared of, and confront the fear. Cross each fear off of the list as you overcome them and congratulate yourself for pushing through your fears. Start with easier fears and as you build momentum, try confronting harder ones.

More Anxiety Tips:

Best Anxiety Natural Remedies (Herbal and Lifestyle)

Posted by on 15 Aug 2010 | Tagged as: Anxiety Disorders, Mental Health

Having anxiety issues can really lead to feeling awkward in social situations because the individual with it is afraid of being judged by others. In most cases, anxiety is more than just a general fear of what others are going to think of them, it’s an internal feeling of unease even when the individual with anxiety isn’t around other people. If you have been dealing with anxiety for most of your life, you are certainly not alone; there are millions of people with anxiety and stress. Although many people like psychiatric treatment for this condition, there are anxiety natural remedies that you can try out; most are just as effective.

Best Natural Remedies for Anxiety

1. Meditation and relaxation exercises – Although meditation doesn’t work well for everyone, there are plenty of relaxation techniques that you can try out. If you take time to relax each and every day for at least 25 minutes, you are going to be a lot calmer in most situations than someone who doesn’t. You are not going to see immediate results from relaxing every day, but over time, you will notice that you become much calmer.

2. Face your fears – This is probably the best natural remedy for anxiety that there is. If you are able to confront your fears head-on (e.g. without running from them), you are going to overcome social anxiety and all other types. This is probably the hardest tip to actually “do” that is on this list, but it is easily the most effective. If you can think of some fears that you have (e.g. asking a girl out on a date, ending bad relationships, giving a speech, etc.) and you face them, you will build a ton of confidence and your fears will go away.

3. Dietary changes – Believe it or not, a lot of animal products (e.g. meat, eggs, fish, etc.) can induce anxiety in most people. If you eat a lot of meat in your diet, you are basically ingesting the fear-energy of the animals at the time in which they were slaughtered. Although this energy doesn’t affect everyone the same, it could really induce a state of severe anxiety, tension, adrenaline, and/or fearfulness.

4. Valerian – This is a great natural remedy anxiety supplement that you can take if you want some additional help with overcoming your fears. As with any supplement, there are going to be side effects that need to be dealt with. You should also ask a medical professional before you take this stuff so that you know more about how it works to relax your body.

5. Melatonin – In some people with high levels of anxiety, they are low in melatonin. Additionally, people who experience a lot of insomnia on a daily basis also have low levels of melatonin compared to most people. You could try to take some melatonin supplements to increase the amount that is present in your body. Once again though, this isn’t a long term solution because you don’t want to make your body dependent on this stuff.

Other Natural Remedies for Anxiety

There are other anxiety natural remedies that you can try that weren’t mentioned in this article such as: Kava, St. Johns Wart, Fish Oil, Passionflower, and Motherwart. With that said, as someone who has actually experienced anxiety, I have found that the top three things mentioned really work the best. Taking supplements is usually not a great long term solution, but it can help you if you need some temporary relief.

More Anxiety-Related Articles:

Anxiety Headaches and Tension Headaches

Posted by on 15 Aug 2010 | Tagged as: Anxiety Disorders, Mental Health

Anxiety headaches are very common for people that experience stress on a daily basis. Even people that have anxiety disorder may develop severe anxiety tension headaches; which can hurt to the point that they get confused with migraines. It is very tough to distinguish an anxiety headache from a migraine because they can both be very severe. The real way to tell whether you have been experiencing an anxiety-headache is by asking yourself whether you’ve been under a lot of stress lately. If you’ve really been stressed out from work and/or other changes in your life, you may be experiencing these types of headaches.

Chronic Anxiety and Headaches

There is definitely a relationship between anxiety and having headaches. A headache and anxiety really go hand in hand. Tension is what leads to these headaches (e.g. when your muscles, especially in your head and neck) are unable to relax. This tension can build up in a very short period of time, but if you are experiencing chronic anxiety tension headaches, then you probably have been stressed out for a long period of time. If you just recently started getting these headaches, you may have recently gone through a very stressful experience in your life that could have caused them to develop.

Some Possible Remedies for Anxiety Headaches

If you experience anxiety headaches on a daily basis, you are going to want to figure out what can be done for you to get some relief, right? Well, if you want to overcome these headaches, you are going to have to do the exact opposite of what caused them: relax. You are going to need to find some way to relax if you want to overcome your headache pain. Sleeping and taking naps do not count as relaxing either – neither does watching TV. Actually do some relaxation exercises and you will probably start to get better within a week or so. If those don’t work, you can always ask your doctor what he/she recommends.

Personal Experience with Tension Headaches

I personally have experienced tension headaches as a result of stress, anxiety, and anger. They are definitely no fun to deal with, but I have been able to keep mine under control by simply taking time to relax each day. Usually I plan to relax for at least 20 minutes each day and I focus on consciously relaxing each muscle in my body with progressive relaxation techniques. If you are making no progress towards overcoming your headaches, you should seriously consider taking time each day to chill out and relax because it may be very helpful.

Related Anxiety Articles:

Best Natural Cures For Depression and Anxiety

Posted by on 13 Aug 2010 | Tagged as: Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Mental Health

If you are depressed, you will be probably a little bit happier to know that there are some natural cures for depression. Although not everyone will respond to these natural treatment options, many people can find relief by taking advantage of natural remedies. If you know someone with depression or have experienced it yourself, then you are well aware of the fact that depression hurts. Many people with depression also have anxiety symptoms as well that they would like to minimize or get rid of. Hopefully you are able to use a method provided in this article to help you get your life back under control.

Best natural cures for depression and anxiety

1. Omega 3 Fatty Acids – These are commonly found in healthy foods such as: salmon, mackerel, and other types of fish. You can take fish oil pills as well to get more omega-3’s in your diet. Studies have shown that people eating a diet enriched with fish (e.g. more omega 3’s) tend to have less mood problems with depression and anxiety than those who don’t eat enough fish.

2. 5 HTP – This is a common supplement that people take because it is listed everywhere as being one of the top natural cures for anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, not everyone gets very good results with this supplement. I have personally tried it in the past and didn’t really notice much of an effect. If you are trying to learn how to stop depression symptoms, this may be worth trying out.

3. Meditation – The best part about meditation is that it is absolutely free. You have control over your mind and body and can literally influence the way that you perceive reality. People that practice meditation have been studied on multiple accounts and have been found to be calmer and happier people than average. So if you really want to change your situation, consider learning how to meditate.

4. Therapy – If you are depressed, probably the last thing that you want to do is go to a therapist. But, therapy is one of the best ways to get rid of your depression symptoms. As far as natural cures for depression are concerned, working with a good therapist is going to make a huge difference in your situation. I highly recommend reading reviews and/or asking friends about where you can go for some therapy.

Everyone is different – these methods may not always work

It is important to understand that not everyone will improve from doing the methods described above. They are worth giving a shot since they are natural and don’t involve any prescription medication. Although they may cost you a little bit of money, your quality of life should matter more than the money that you pay to make improvements.

Related Depression & Anxiety Articles:

How To Stop Depression Without Medication Naturally

Posted by on 13 Aug 2010 | Tagged as: Depression, Mental Health

Learning how to stop depression can be a tough task for someone that has been sad for a long period of time. Some people have even been diagnosed with “clinical depression” or “major depressive disorder” and it is very difficult for them to overcome. However, there are many people (including myself) that have had to learn how to stop depression naturally. For most people, it is completely possible to overcome depression. Even if it currently seems impossible at the moment, if you can get yourself to believe that it is possible, you will begin to make some progress. As you shift your beliefs from it being impossible to overcome to it “being very possible to overcome” your entire reality and motivation will change and you will be able to figure out how to stop depression without medication.

What to do if you are seriously depressed

Most people that are really depressed understand that depression treatment centers are a great option. Working with a therapist can be an awesome way to help you overcome some problems that you have with your thinking. This will help you realize that even though you are depressed, you don’t need to let it rule your life. Although treatment centers for depression aren’t meant for everyone, they can be super helpful in treating your problem. Seeing a licensed therapist though, is probably one of the most beneficial things that you can do for yourself if you are depressed. A quality therapist can help people learn how to stop depression and anxiety if you are plagued by nervous thinking as well.

Depression is a state of mind, leading to many other problems

It can be tough to realize that depression is a state of mind that leads to many other problems such as: depression eating, social phobia, fatigue, and excessive sleeping. Some people have a really tough time learning how to stop depression eating (e.g. consuming a bunch of extra food while feeling depressed). No matter how many self help tapes you listen to, they are probably not going to change your state of mind. If you are depressed, the best thing for you is stimulation of your brain by doing a lot of activities and getting involved.

What is the best natural remedy for depression?

The best natural remedy for depression is brain stimulation. What is meant by “brain stimulation?” Well, being social with your friends, exercising, listening to music, meditation, and moving around are all going to change your state of mind. Although you may not notice immediate effects, the more that you engage in activities that someone who is happy would do, the more likely you are to become happier yourself. Sitting around moping and feeling sorry for yourself is not going to get you anywhere. Even if “not doing anything” seems like it is a result of your “depression,” you still have willpower to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Use your will to stimulate your mind and work your way out of your dark state. It takes time, but it can be done; I dealt with it myself and know that it will work.

Related Articles About Depression:

Residential Treatment Centers For Depression

Posted by on 09 Aug 2010 | Tagged as: Depression, Mental Health

Suffering from depression can have a debilitating effect on your life. Because of years of research and studies, finding help for your condition can be much easier than in the past, but your situation can be a paradox. It’s easy to get a diagnosis, but treatment can be difficult, especially with the rising costs of health care and prescription medications. Finding a depression treatment center once you’ve been diagnosed is imperative in order to get the balance you need in life. Most treatment centers have a lot of help for depressed individuals, including substance abuse counseling if substance abuse was the root cause of depression.

Finding Residential Treatment Centers for Depression

Finding a suitable depression treatment center is not always easy, especially if you have a tight budget or don’t believe in traditional treatment for depression. Sometimes people of religious influence (e.g. Christian) may want to stick with Christian treatment centers for depression; know what type of treatment center you are looking for before you start searching. Many centers are privately owned and run and can have high costs involved. Private insurance can cover many of these costs, but you can still be left with high expenses. If you don’t have insurance, and these centers won’t accept such government coverage as Medicaid or Medicare, then the services they offer might be out of financial reach.

Evaluating a Treatment Center for Depression

Evaluating the services of a depression treatment center doesn’t need to be a frustrating search, however. Many state governments require mental illness to be covered regardless of ability to pay. If you cannot pay the high cost of treatment for depression or the anxiety that often accompanies it, you can still find a way to afford services by finding your state government’s statutes and searching for local offices that will sign you up for services. These services are sometimes as good as or better than the alternatives offered in the private health care sector. Although some people are able to use a natural remedy for depression and feel better, not everyone does; for the people that don’t, depression treatment centers are a great option.

Research the Quality of Services Provided

The most important thing to remember when looking at the options various depression treatment centers may offer is that you want your illness treated by more than just a doctor’s visit and medication. Effective treatment for depression goes beyond pills, requiring group therapy as well as an individual therapist in order for maintenance to be effective. Never settle for less in your search for a treatment center. Your needs are the most important, and respect for your illness goes hand in hand with your treatment.

Finding the Best Treatment Center for Depression

Finding the right depression treatment center can be an involved process, but it doesn’t need to be a depressing task. These centers are a lot more effective than listening to self help tapes all day and hoping to get better. They provide real and extensive support and help teach you how to fight depression on your own. By doing your research and finding what options are available to you, treatment for your depression can be a rewarding process, allowing you to function the way you want. The truth is that depression hurts everyone that has it – so if you are affected by it, keep in mind that depression treatment centers can help you out of the darkness of depression and back into the light.

How To Deal With Anxiety Attacks

Posted by on 09 Aug 2010 | Tagged as: Anxiety Disorders, Mental Health

Most people that have anxiety disorder have a tense/stressful thinking habit (or “internal feedback loop”) ingrained in their mind. This stressful habit of thinking can be overcome, and you can learn how to deal with anxiety attacks if you are currently bothered by them. An anxiety attack is a state of panic caused by a thought that induces significant amounts of fear in the person that experiences it. These thoughts are extremely painful to deal with, which is why many people trying to figure out how to deal with anxiety attack symptoms take medications. However, some people are able to out-think their anxiety; becoming conscious of how they can overcome their nervous thinking.

How To Deal With Anxiety and Panic Attacks

1. Detached awareness – Try thinking of your anxiety as something wrong with your brain, but something that you can overcome with your own thinking. Be aware of your anxiety attack the next time you have one, but don’t engage in any panic behavior. Just tell yourself that your brain is acting up again and do another activity to take your mind off it.

2. Refocusing your thoughts – As soon as you realize that you are having an anxiety attack, do something else to take your mind off of it. Try gardening, playing video games, watching TV, reading a book, etc. Refocusing your thoughts will help you train your brain to rewire and will promote neuroplasticity of your neural connections.

3. Meditate during the day – If someone asked me how to deal with anxiety disorder, I would tell them to try meditating for at least 20 minutes each day. This will definitely help calm their mind and it will help them become aware of their condition so that they don’t react to an “attack” in the future.

4. Face your fears – This is by far the toughest thing for people with anxiety to do, but probably the single most helpful thing that you will ever do. Try making a list of every single fear that you have, and go down that list and overcome them one by one. If you can overcome your fears, you really have nothing to feel anxious about.

5. Diet and exercise habits – If you are eating healthy (e.g. no soda, no junk food, etc.) you will have a much better chance at keeping anxiety at bay. Exercising and having a healthy lifestyle are among the best natural remedies for anxiety. Attacking anxiety and depression should be done in all areas of your life – including diet and physical activity.

Considering A Counselor?

Many people that experience attacking anxiety could really benefit from counseling. There are plenty of awesome counselors out there that know exactly how to treat anxiety as well as how to stop panic attacks without making you take nasty medications. Realize that everyone can overcome their anxiety, but it is tougher for some than others. A healthier lifestyle is certainly going to help you out a lot more than self help tapes, but the #1 thing that you can do is to face all of your fears – despite how anxious you feel.

Best Natural Remedy For Depression

Posted by on 08 Aug 2010 | Tagged as: Depression, Mental Health

If you are depressed, have you considered trying a natural remedy for depression? A lot of people assume that medications are their only option, so they don’t even try out some natural remedies. As someone who has actually tried medications, I think that the natural route ended up being more beneficial for me in the long run. For some people, I’m sure the medications are necessary, but it is important to keep in mind that antidepressant medications only cover up the underlying problem; they are never going to cure you of your depression.

What is the Best Natural Remedy for Depression?

The best natural remedy for depression is whatever works best for you. There are tons of natural remedies for depression, and I’ve taken the time to list some of my personal favorites below.

1. Staying Very Active – If you are not active and are depressed, lack of exercise may have something to do with it. I recommend exercising for at least 1 hour per day (6 out of 7 days per week). If possible, get an exercise buddy to workout with so that you are not alone; it’s always more fun to be around people.

2. Being Around Others – Forcing yourself to get involved socially will probably take your entire focus off of being depressed. Be as social as possible and get as involved in positive activities as you can; this will make you feel more alive and inspired.

3. Focusing on the Positives – Focusing on the negatives in life does absolutely nothing to serve you and it certainly won’t help you get out of your depressed state. Focus on things that you are grateful for and you will experience at least a temporary shift in your state of mind.

4. Avoiding Alcohol and Drugs – This is one of the most effective natural remedies for anxiety and depression. And all that you need to do is avoid alcohol and other drugs. I realize that it can be tough to do if you are addicted, so consider working with a substance abuse counseling service if you need some extra support.

5. Relaxation – A lot of depression is caused by stress/distress – so taking at least 20 minutes each day to relax can be a huge help. If you are depressed and haven’t tried calming your mind, you could really benefit from this.

Find Something Empowering to Focus On

Finding something that inspires you and gives your life direction can instantly erase depression in some people. Do you really like music? Do you really like helping other people? What do you like to do? Following your passions can really be a great way to get rid of your depression. I know that depression hurts hard, but you have got to learn how to fight depression if you are going to hope to overcome it.

If a natural remedy for depression and anxiety doesn’t work for you, then it may be appropriate to consider going to depression treatment centers for a better evaluation. If you don’t like the idea of going to a treatment center, you could even consider joining depression chat rooms to express some of your emotions with strangers that may provide advice online.

How To Fight Depression

Posted by on 06 Aug 2010 | Tagged as: Depression, Mental Health

Anyone who has suffered through depression at some point knows what a difficult process recovery can be. There is no script or timeline, and no magic cure in the fight against depression, but bringing a few useful strategies into play can facilitate the process and provide much needed healing during a challenging time. Learning how to fight depression takes work, but fighting it is better than letting it take over your life. The truth is that depression hurts deeply in the lives of people that are affected by it.

How Can I Fight My Depression Effectively?

The most important thing for anyone with depression to remember is that it is eminently treatable. This does not, however, make it wholly preventable. There are some forms of depression which are the result of a chemical imbalance, and which require the treatment of a physician to alleviate. Other forms of depression can be treated without the assistance of a professional or medication, although such alternatives are available and often helpful.

Getting Support from Others

If one chooses to forego a visit to the doctor when fighting depression, there are several relatively simple techniques that may prove useful. The first is to reach out to someone. Whether the person suffering from depression talks to a friend, relative, or counselors at depression treatment centers, the simple act of talking over problems with someone who is a skilled listener is often enough to begin alleviating the symptoms of depression. The listener may provide advice, or merely a sympathetic ear; depression chat rooms online can even be helpful. Either way, it helps to share the burden of stress with a confidante who can be understanding and supportive. Although you can learn how to fight depression on your own, it helps to have support from others along the way.  If your depression is the result of a drug addiction, you may want to try substance abuse counseling to improve your situation.

Doing Something Productive

Another useful tool is to do something productive that you enjoy. Consider taking part in a volunteer activity like serving a meal to the homeless or helping children learn to read. Experiences such as these lift a person outside of their own worries, and let them focus on other people for a time. This can be a tremendous relief for someone whose mind has been trapped in an endless loop of worry. In addition to volunteer work, consider joining a club or civic group that focuses on an enjoyable pastime and that meets on a regular basis. Having regular social events to anticipate often helps relieve the symptoms of depression.

Learning Stress Management

People who are prone to depression can also fight it by learning to manage stress appropriately. Practice yoga, meditation, or deep breathing techniques. People should also observe what triggers their stress levels and then challenge themselves to alter their reactions to those situations. Although there is no magic cure for depression, people can bring their lives back from the grip of depression by staying connected, being involved, and managing their stress effectively.

Next Page »