Make Your Mental Health a Priority This New Year

Tis’ the season for New Year Resolutions!  We are all talking about shedding some holiday pounds, keeping ourselves more organized or just living our best lives in 2019.  While striving towards those goals, why not included your mental health in this years resolutions?

Did you know that mental illness affects millions of Americans, yet not surprisingly, many of those who need help do not receive it. There are many reasons why – it could be due to limited availability of services, or a strong distrust of others, or those who are mentally ill might have such a sense of hopelessness that they do not seek care.

While all of these are factors as to why someone doesn’t seek support, perhaps the biggest single reason is a sense of fear and shame associated with admitting help is needed. This sense of shame is very common and it is only reinforced by society, which has attached stigmas to mental illness. The beliefs the public has about mental illness leads those who need help to avoid it so they are not labeled as “crazy” and have their condition negatively affect their personal relationships and career goals.

Getting society to overcome the stigmas associated with mental illness is the key to having more individuals come forward, but unfortunately negative attitudes and beliefs toward people who have a mental health condition are common. These stigmas can lead to obvious and direct discrimination, such as someone making a negative remark about mental illness or it may be unintentional or subtle, such as someone avoiding an individual because they assume they could be unstable, violent or dangerous due to mental illness.

Those with mental illness should never be ashamed of their condition and here are some reasons why:

  • According to the World Health Organization, one out of four people will experience mental health problems at some point in their lives.
  • Shame is pretty much guaranteed to make things worse. Feelings of shame are proven to have detrimental effects on our mental and physical health
  • Mental illness is no one’s fault. No one asks to have a mental illness and it is definitely not a choice we make.
  • We’re not ashamed when our bodies get sick, so why should we be ashamed when our minds aren’t in top form.
  • There is no normal – our minds are complex things and no single brain is the same
  • Our mental health doesn’t define us. Don’t let your mental illness become who you are, it is just one aspect of you.

It’s time to speak out against the stigmas associated with mental illness and reframe the way we see it. Getting help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength.

Flushing Hospital advises anyone who feels they need help to get it.  Don’t let the fear of being labeled with a mental illness prevent you from seeking help. Treatment can provide relief and help you in life.

To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Outpatient Mental Health Center, please call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Today is World Health Day – Let’s Talk About Depression

In recognition of the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO), every April 7th people across the earth celebrate World Health Day.

Doctor In Consultation With Depressed Female Patient

Every year on this date, WHO and its partners select a different global health issue – The subject of their 2017 awareness campaign is depression and their campaign slogan is “Depression: Let’s Talk.”

Depression is a common mental health disorder that affects people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all countries. The risk of becoming depressed is increased by poverty, unemployment, life events such as the death of a loved one or a relationship break-up, physical illness and problems caused by alcohol and drug use. Untreated depression can prevent people from working and participating in family and community life. At worst, depression can lead to suicide.

At the core of the World Health Day campaign is the importance of talking about depression as a vital component of recovery. There is a negative association surrounding many mental health disorders, including depression. This connotation remains a obstacle that is difficult to overcome for people around the world   By encouraging those with depression to talk to others, whether with a family member helps break down this stigma. Also, by initiating conversations about depression in group forums, such as in schools, in the workplace and in social settings; or in the public domain, such as in the news media or on social media platforms will ultimately lead to more people seeking help.

Jamaica Hospital operates a outpatient mental health center where individuals can speak with trained mental health professional about depression or any other disorder. To make an appointment, please call 718-206-5575.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Tips to Keep Teen Stress in Check

Teacher helping a trouble teenager

As you may imagine, school-related stress is rated the most common source of stress for American teens. This was discovered through The American Psychological Association’s (APA) Stress in America report. The Stress in American report found that American teens report stress levels higher than what they believe is healthy (5.8 on a 10-point scale, healthy level rated 3.9). Although teens reported significant stress, they appear to be poor judges of the impact stress can have on their health and mental health.

According to the APA Stress in America report, forty-two percent of teens indicated not doing anything to cope with their stress or not knowing what to do to manage it. Here are suggested tips from the APA on how to manage stress:

  1. Engage in physical activity.
  2. Do things that make you happy.
  3. Talk to someone.
  4. Get some sleep.

Parents would be surprised by the amount of stress and anxiety teens are dealing with involving social media. Teens are losing sleep worrying about tests, projects that are due, teams going to competitions, friendship dramas, and break ups. Parents can identity signs of stress and help their teen find a way to cope:

  • Help your teen monitor their schedule and activities.
  • Help teach your teen to identify the “stress signs.” These may include stomach pains, chest tightness, fast heartbeat, obsessive thoughts about being ready for things, and the inability to enjoy their day-to-day activities.
  • Practice what you preach. Parents should also limit their commitments and have more opportunities to talk with their children on a regular basis about school, friends and peer pressure.

 

If your teenager admits to being stressed, use the above tips to help manage stress. Jamaica Hospital’s Outpatient Mental Health Clinic offers special child and adolescent services. For more info, or to schedule an appointment, please call 718-206-5575.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day – JHMC Wants You to Know the Facts About Suicide Prevention

Suicide affects millions; over 800,000 people take their lives each year, and the number of people who attempt suicide is twenty five times that amount. In addition to the lives lost, suicide also affects the many friends and family members devastated by the loss of their loved one.

Suicide is largely preventable though. Through education and awareness, we can get those people who are contemplating suicide the help they need.

Educational and Creative composition with the message Stop Suicide

One of the best tools in preventing suicide is to know the risk factors. Over 90% of people who attempt suicide live with depression or another mental disorder. Alcohol or substance abuse is often a contributing factor. Adverse factions to traumatic events or stress can also lead to someone wanting to take their own life.

Other risk factors for suicide include:

• Family history of mental disorder or substance abuse
• Family history of suicide
• Family violence
• Physical or sexual abuse
• Keeping firearms in the home
• Chronic physical illness, including chronic pain
• Exposure to the suicidal behavior of others

Someone who is considering suicide usually displays certain behaviors. Loved ones should look for the following warning signs:

Always talking or thinking about death
Trouble sleeping and eating — that gets worse over time
Displaying reckless behavior that could result in death, such as driving fast or running red lights
Losing interest in things one used to care about
Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
Talking about suicide or killing one’s self
Visiting or calling people to say goodbye

If someone you know appears to be contemplating suicide, take the issue seriously. Let the person know that you care and understand and are listening and attempt to get them immediate help from a health care professional.

If your loved one appears to be in imminent danger of committing suicide, do not leave him or her alone. Remove any weapons or drugs he or she could use. Accompany him or her to the nearest emergency room or call 911.

September 10 has been designated World Suicide Prevention Day. Many organizations from around the world have joined this cause. Jamaica Hospital’s supports their efforts and the hospital’s Department of Psychiatry offers many inpatient and outpatient services to help those in need.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

YIKES! Did I Really Do That?

droppedchild

 

Whether you’ve accidently tripped over a child underfoot or walked into a doorway with your infant’s head in the lead, you’ve caused a child an accidental injury.

When you accidentally hurt your child, you may feel intense shame, even panic and a sense of self-loathing or blame.  Even when your head clears, you may feel like you are a terrible parent.

These feelings are confusing.  You may ask yourself, “How could I have done that?”  The truth is, children and accidents are synonymous; even the preventable ones.

It is hard to see your child in pain and even harder to know that it is your fault. Your mind will replay the event in your head many times while you are slowly accepting what happened.

In most cases, the child is not badly hurt and you can find comfort in realizing that while accidents happen, most of them are not serious and your child is not quite as fragile as you think.

As you tell the story of what happened to your child, you will realize that most people understand and, in fact, it has happened to the best of parents.  At this point, you will find it easier to forgive yourself.  Still, you and your child suffered a trauma and it will take time for both of you to heal.

Some reactions to trauma are:

  • Feeling numb or disconnected
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Sadness or depression

During this time, you should be kind to yourself and keep in mind that you will not always feel this way. After the guilt lessens, you should experience acceptance.

If you are having difficulty coping and the reactions have become prolonged symptoms, you may be experiencing a response to trauma called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  If the negative feelings persist, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help from a physician, counselor, clergy member, friend and family member.

Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Mental Health Center is centrally located and has convenient hours.  To make an appointment with a physician or licensed professional, call 718-206-7001.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Dealing With Holiday Depression

Holiday depression 524928563The holiday season may be a time of happiness for many but for others it can also be the time of year that they are likely to feel depressed.

Financial stress, increased alcohol or food consumption, Seasonal Affective Disorder and loneliness are common contributors to depression during the holidays.

While the source of depression may vary from person to person, there are chronic behaviors and health problems that are widely recognized as symptoms of the disorder.  Some of these include:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Sleeping excessively
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that were once enjoyable
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness

People who experience bouts of depression during the holidays can reduce these symptoms by:

  • Asking for help when holiday stressors become overwhelming
  • Moderating alcohol consumption
  • Spending time with loved ones
  • Exercising
  • Eating a healthy and balanced diet
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation

If symptoms of depression persist or progress into self-harming thoughts, please seek the help of a mental health professional immediately. It is important to remember there is no shame in receiving assistance from mental health professionals; they will help you to identify the source of your depression and offer several options for treatment.

To schedule an appointment with a mental health professional at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-5587.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Is Your Constant State of Nervousness and Worry a Sign of an Anxiety Disorder?

Anxiety-509985137Anxiety is an emotion we all experience. Feeling anxious is a normal reaction to stressful situations such as waiting for the results of a test, speaking in public or preparing for a job interview.  Anxiety is often synonymous with feelings of distress, nervousness, panic and fear.  These reactions are normally triggered when our bodies feel that there is danger or there is a threatening situation.

For most the feeling of anxiety is temporary and will subside once stressful or threatening circumstances are resolved.  However for an estimated 18.1 percent of adults living in the United States, anxiety does not go away and develops into a serious mental health disorder that affects their ability to lead a normal life.

There are six major types of anxiety disorders: panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorders, social anxiety disorders, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorders. Symptoms can be specific to a condition and can differ based on the individual.

The following symptoms of anxiety may be indicative of a developing problem, especially if they continue for an extended period of time:

  • Experiencing a constant state of worry or fear.
  • Having trouble concentrating.
  • Insomnia or other chronic sleep related problems.
  • Heart palpitations or chest pain during a state of panic.
  • A fear of being around people or being in public places.
  • Suffering from overwhelming compulsions, such as constantly washing hands.
  • Irrational fears of objects or activities that pose little to no danger.
  • Experiencing anxiety as a result of a traumatic event.

If the preceding symptoms occur on a regular basis and have become so great that they are interfering with your ability to function daily, it is recommended that you seek the help of a mental health professional.

The Department of Psychiatry at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center offers psychiatric consultation and treatment services.  Our team of mental health professionals consists of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, creative arts therapists and support staff who are dedicated to positive outcomes and work closely with each patient to provide necessary clinical treatment and services. To learn more about the Psychiatry Department at Jamaica Hospital visit www.JamaicaHospital.org  or call 718 206 5575.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

What is Binge Eating?

BingeEat2.516509191Most of us have overeaten at some point in our lives and felt guilty immediately afterward. It usually happens at a holiday gathering or at one of your favorite restaurants, but what if it happens regularly? Consistently eating large amounts of food at once, and feeling upset after doing so can be considered a binge eating disorder (BED).

A binge is when you consume a large portion of food in a short amount of time – as much as 20,000 calories at once. BED is not the same as bulimia, another eating disorder that involves eating a great deal of food in a short period of time. People with bulimia are very concerned with their body image and attempt various methods to avoid gaining weight, including vomiting, taking diet pills or laxatives, or exercising too much. Those with BED, however, are not concerned with excess weight and therefore do not participate in these compensatory behaviors. For this reason, people with BED are often overweight or obese.

Characteristics of BED include: eating until uncomfortably full, eating when not physically hungry, eating alone, or waking up at night to eat. Binge eaters are usually excited while planning a binge and are frightened of being caught. After a binge, they feel a range of emotions including guilt, shame, disgust, self-loathing, or general numbness.

Binge eating may arise out of stress and an inability to deal with emotions, boredom, depression, or outbursts of hostility. It is very important to recognize binge eating disorder in its early stages and seek treatment before it leads to other health problems, such as hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, or heart disease. Therapy sessions can help the individual deal with these psychological aspects of binge eating disorder.

If you exhibit binge eating behavior, it’s important that you seek professional help. This kind of eating will lead to increased weight gain, low self-image and other related health issues. To make an appointment at Jamaica Hospital’s Mental Health Clinic, please call 718-206-5575.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.