September 2, 2014

Your Questions About Common Medical Treatments For Depression

Donald asks…

Is it common for psycho-therapists to recommend marijana?

My (former) therapist kept bringing up pot and how it could help me (this is in California where it is legal). It made me feel uncomfortable so I stopped seeing him. I was afraid it would be in his medical records that I was a pot-head without him stating that he’s the one who got me into it, I just felt creepy about the whole thing. Is this a common procedure for therapists to recommend as a treatment for depression?

AttorneyJG answers:

In my state, the use if marijuana is illegal for any purpose. So ethically this would prevent me from recommending use of it for emotional purposes. And the possession or use of marijuana in California is NOT legal, contrary to popular belief….. It’s merely decriminalized. In some states, marijuana can be prescribed for treatment of certain medical conditions, such as glaucoma or nausea from chemotherapy.

Even if it was completely legal and ethical for me to encourage a client to try marijuana for some emotional difficulties, I would NEVER recommend it for a depressed client. Marijuana tends to not only have a sedating effect (the reason why lots of people smoke pot to get to sleep), but with many people it tends to be a mood-magnifier. Insecure or anxious people often get paranoid on pot. Some depressed people can get more depressed. So I would not run that risk.

Susan asks…

Do insurance companies have too much influence in what medical treatment you recieve?

My has been diagnosed with stage 4 oral cancer.The first medicine he received was MORPHINE.It never controlled the pain. Had alot of side effects.Confusion,dissiness,depression,over-tiredness.The doctor seemed reluctant to try a new medicine.When i told him how the morphine was reacting with him he would just double the doseage.When the dr. finally changed his medicine to oxycontin the side effects went away and i have my dad back,for now. Upon filling the new medicine i noticed there was over a thousand dollar price difference on one medicine alone. Does anyone believe that my father and people like him are suffering b/c doctors are putting the interests of the insurance companies over the patients. Is this common for doctors to prescribe the more financially conservative treatment over the more effective one first. Did my father lose this much precious time in the name of commerce? It’s all kinda hard to swallow for me right now.

AttorneyJG answers:

Ins. Companies don’t give a damn about your Father or his health. They are in the business of making money from pain and suffering.

Chris asks…

Does my paper about depression seem accurate? Convincing?

Did you know that, according to outofthedarkness.org more Americans suffer from depression than coronary heart disease, cancer and HIV/AIDS? Depression causes suicide, monetary losses, immense emotional suffering, and other diseases. The Uplift Program says that 15% of depressed people will commit suicide. This contributes to the 33,000 people in the United States that commit suicide every year. Outofthedarkness also says that 75% of people who die by suicide suffer from major depression. The Uplift Program also states that according to studies depression will be the second largest killer after heart disease by 2020. There is also the financial aspect. The previous source goes on to state that depression results in more absenteeism than almost any other physical disorder and costs employers more than US$51 billion per year in absenteeism and lost productivity, not including high medical and pharmaceutical bills. Studies are increasingly linking more illnesses to depression, including: osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, some forms of cancer, eye disease and back pain. Arguable the biggest consequence of depression is the deep emotional pain. Hopelessness, loneliness, and feelings of inadequacy are very common. The biggest symptom is just utter despair and misery with no hope. No one should have to live through that.

Depression is caused in the brain. It is a physical disorder, like asthma or a vitamin deficiency. With a combination of therapy and anti-depressants 80% of depression can be significantly improved. So why is it that 80% of depression goes untreated, leading to years in emotional pain or suicide? The answer is in the social stigma applied to depression and a lack of education. 54% of people believe that depression is a personal weakness, according to the uplift program. This leads to people hiding it, not wanting to be labeled as “emo” or weird. No one can deny how judgmental teens are, and this is why it needs to be discussed and talked about. There is also the fact that there is practically no education on depression. The Illinois State Board of Education’s website lists state goals for health education. They list that students should know how to wash hands by a certain age or talk about pollution’s effect on our health but nowhere do they mention the 3rd highest killer of teenagers. At any given point more people are suffering from depression than colds, yet our state thinks it is more important to educate us on the flu?! Health class is mandated all the way to high school, but they couldn’t find one week to dedicate to it?

While there is no easy way to “cure” depression overnight there are many things to do to provide help. Depression CAN be treated. What needs to happen is people need to recognize depression and seek help. A little education can do a lot. One week of health class curriculum devoted to warning signs and how to get help can drastically change people’s views. According to ABC news a group of more than 3,500 students took a test on knowledge on depression, completed a depression curriculum, and then took the test again. The number of students scoring 80 percent or higher more than tripled after the program. This shows that a little education can educate a lot. With 80% of people with depression not seeking treatment for a variety of reasons including shame or not recognizing their symptoms education could help a lot. People could go from thinking their depression is shameful to realizing it is a disorder that can be treated. Students should be taught the warning signs of depression and suicide, that way they can recognize it. 80% of teens who committed suicide showed warning signs. If people recognized these the people could get help. Education is key. With proper education depression will go from being taboo to a disorder that should be treated.

In conclusion depression, which is very prevalent, causes suicide, monetary losses, and deep emotional pain. A large part of the problem is people’s lack of education, which leads to people not getting help, along with the feelings of shame associated. This can be changed if people are educated. If people were educated on the warning signs, what causes it, and that it could be treated fewer Americans would suffer every day. Every person can help solve this problem. Learn the warning signs. Learn the cause. Learn how to help a friend. If you suspect someone you know may be suicidal tell someone. If you are feeling depressed or suicidal call 1-800-SUICIDE for help.
Did you actually read it?
I am giving at as a speech
so yeah, talking kind of sounds like babble
The only problem is technically it is a speech not a paper, for competetive public speaking, so I can’t do the number thing, and you are supposed to say things like “in conclusion”, it is kinda how it works

AttorneyJG answers:

Instead of saying ‘according to (blank)’ cite it by putting in a little number and the citation on teh bottom (more to it than I can explain here). All you need is the number, don’t mention in words who you got info from.

Try having less details/facts in teh opening paragraph, put those instead (great facts by the way) in the body paragraphs.

You began a tangent on the financial effects in the introduction and then never wrote more of it in another paragraph. Either delete the sentences or write another paragraph.

Yeah it was really convincing though, GREAT facts.

Oh and try not to say ‘in conclusion’. It’s very… 5th grade. Just delete those two worsd, the sentence will mak it apparant that it is a conclusion on it’s own.

Charles asks…

Can anyone please help me with a few psychology questions i had trouble with?

1. _______ therapy involves using various psychoactive drugs to treat mental disorders.
Moral
Medical
Meta-analytical
Eclectic

2. Your friend believes that psychotherapy is useless and that emotional problems are just as likely to go away without treatment. You disagree because evaluation studies have found that psychotherapy:
has an approximate success rate of 50 percent
is more effective than no treatment
is more effective than drug therapy
may be effective because the patient expects it to be effective

3.Which of the following is not a technique developed by Freud as a part of psychoanalytic treatment?
progressive relaxation
free association
analysis of slips of the tongue
dream interpretation

4. According to Carl Rogers, the therapist’s role was to:
provide specific programs for behavioral change
elevate the client from a laziness that Rogers believed to be inborn
help the client discover unconscious motives that are the root of the client’s problem
demonstrate understanding and positive regard

5. Therapists from the client-centered approach assume the importance of empathy and reflection in producing change. The research:
has supported their assumption
has supported the importance of empathy but not reflection
has supported the importance of reflection but not empathy
has indicated that empathy and reflection may not be as important as previously believed

6. One of the common assumptions of cognitive therapy is that:
maladaptive behaviors are learned through one’s environment
environmental improvement will result in improvement in the client
it is important to identify the unconscious conflicts
treatment primarily involves changing the client’s maladaptive thought patterns

7. Dr. Johnson is a behavior therapist. The techniques she uses are based upon the principles of:
classical and operant conditioning
Freudian psychoanalysis
attribution theory
the medical model

8. Monitoring one’s thoughts, setting specific goals, learning to reinforce oneself, and substituting positive for negative thoughts are characteristic of:
psychoanalysis
short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy
cognitive-behavior therapy
systematic desensitization

9. A psychoanalyst would view a phobia as a symptom of:
some unconscious conflict
an irrational belief
other anxieties in the person’s life
a poorly learned behavior

10. ECT is a controversial treatment for depression because it:
has serious side effects, such as memory loss
is based on the use of antidepressant drugs
has no effect at all on many patients
is prescribed by psychiatrists but not by clinical psychologists

AttorneyJG answers:

1- disorder
2- 3
3-4
4-
Good Luck.

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Your Questions About Generalized Anxiety Disorder And Social Security Disability

Charles asks…

Why do people say I use my disability as an excuse, handicap, or crutch for my downfalls?

Are they just ignorant? I have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Tourette Syndrome, & Generalized Anxiety Disorder. My family falsely accuse me of being schizophrenic & crazy because they do not understand. They also tell me that no one is going to cater to me, and that I have to conform to society, and that I use my disability as an excuse for my symptoms of the disorders. The symptoms of the disorders are the behaviors. This is really getting to me. Also, many people are telling me that no one is going to hire me on the job. If my family feel like I’m crazy, then why do they get upset when I do what’s not normal? Ex: washing my hands 50 times/day. Why do I deserve to be excluded from society because of my personality?

I’m a very good person, and I’m the 1st person in my family to get a college degree. I don’t expect to live off of low income & be dependent all my life. I want to be an INDEPENDENT woman and do things for myself. I’m tired of being on SSI & Social Security.

admin answers:

You may want to find out if there is an organization or support group in your community that will help you live independently. You are not alone. If you made it through college with your “challenges” then you are to be congratulated. You obviously know how to behave, ignore the people who try to discourage you and just keep on succeeding.

Sandra asks…

Borderline Personality Disorder?

I was Diagnosed with BPD five years ago, as well as Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Dissociative Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Depressive Disorder, and Anorexia. I underwent treatment for about a year, and I am still taking meds (Prozac), and I am alot better, though I still have relapses of self injury at times. My question is, can I still get help for these disorders now that I have children without having the risk of having them taken away from me? They are my world, and I do not want to risk welfare getting involved. They do not even factor into reasons why I want to get help. I have self issues. Another thing is, am I eligible for any time of social security or disability? When I was diagnosed, the therapist said that my disorders could very well become a problem with holding a day to day job, which I have never been able to do, even before my diagnosis. Any advice would be appreciated.

admin answers:

As with other mental disorders, the causes of borderline personality disorder are complex. The name arose because of theories in the 1940s and 1950s that the disorder was on the border between neurosis and psychosis. But that view doesn’t reflect current thinking. In fact, some advocacy groups have pressed for changing the name, such as calling it emotional regulation disorder.

Treatment

Treatment for borderline personality disorder has improved in recent years with the adoption of techniques specifically aimed at people with this disorder. Treatment includes:

Psychotherapy. This is the core treatment for BPD. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) was designed specifically to treat the disorder. Generally conducted through individual, group and phone counseling, DBT uses a skills-based approach to teach people how to regulate their emotions, tolerate distress and improve relationships.

Medications. Medications can’t cure BPD, but they can help associated problems, such as depression, impulsivity and anxiety. Medications may include antidepressant, antipsychotic and antianxiety medications.

Hospitalization. At times, people with BPD may need more intense treatment in a psychiatric hospital or clinic. Hospitalization can also keep them safe from self-injury.
Because treatment can be intense and long term, people face the best chance for success when they find mental health providers with experience treating BPD.

Living with borderline personality disorder can be difficult. You may fully realize that your behaviors and thoughts are self-destructive or damaging yet feel unable to control them. Treatment can help you learn skills to manage and cope with your condition.

Other things you can do to help manage your condition and feel better about yourself include:

1. Sticking to your treatment plan
2. Attending therapy sessions as scheduled
3. Practicing healthy ways to ease painful emotions, rather than inflicting self-injury
4. Not blaming yourself for having the disorder but recognizing your responsibility to get it treated
5. Learning what things may trigger angry outbursts or impulsive behavior
6. Not being embarrassed by having this condition
7. Getting treatment for related problems, such as substance abuse
8. Educating yourself about the disorder so you understand its causes and treatments better
9. Reaching out to others with the disorder to share insights and experiences

Remember, there’s no one right path to recovery from BPD. The condition seems to be worse in young adulthood and may gradually get better with age. Many people with the disorder find greater stability in their lives during their 30s and 40s. Their inner misery may lessen and they go on to sustain loving relationships and enjoy meaningful careers.

Donald asks…

How hard is it to collect SSDI?

I have just recently left work due to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder with Agrophobia, and Depression. I am trying to apply for Social Security Disability. How hard is this to get? I truly cannot work right now and I am afraid I will lose everything.

admin answers:

Mental issues will take about 3-5 years to prove…..your arrest record will make it almost impossible.,…people with arrest record try for ssdi….they are not stupid people..they will never approve you..

George asks…

What can be some goals for me?

I’m asking this, I think, because for the first time in my life, I feel I have no goal other than to try and survive. I need to do better than that so I welcome ALL your ideas.

Plus, don’t tell me to just get a job. I was working excellently for 19 years until my mental disability took over, and I mean really took over (I am 33 now, female). Panic attack disorder, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, bulemia, avoidant personality disorder, I can’t work with all this, period. Spent every dime I had on therapy and hospitals for 14 years, but now I am worse than ever.

I have a fiance I live with and when I say I’m feeling extremely sick with anxiety or depression, he just doesn’t know what to say/do, which is understandable since he isn’t a doctor and none of my doctor’s have been able to help me anyway.

For me, being able to do a few chores around the apartment and show love and care for my employed fiance is it. What more can I do? I feel very low that mentally disability has taken over my life and will receive social security payments for another two years before I’m re-evaluated.

What is life like at the tiny apartment here? My fiance does work 40 hours/week but will automatically glue himself to the recliner in pjs and play video games, and smoke weed non-stop until bed every single day (for over 2 years now). Absolutely NOTHING ELSE! He has no interest in what I need/want (yet he wants to marry me and gets suicidal when I say I don’t feel it’s right). I seriously need him to take me out for a walk once in a while (since I never get out and need some help doing so, due to my phobia) and rarely say anything to him about it, but when I do he gets EXTREMELY angry. You’d think I’m asking for his kidney.

That is it. This is my destiny.

Or can it change?

What do you think can be done? Any goals/ideas that could help?

admin answers:

Firstly i understand exactly how you feel i have depression and it has now gotten to the point where i carnt leave my house and i never have any energy to do anything my partner doesnt understand any of this! I think firstly you need to talk to your partner and tell him how your feeling and if he still doesnt understand then you need to have a think if you want to put up with that for the rest of your life because it will only make you more unhappy. Also start thinking more positive and spending time with friends even if its having a cuppa and chat at home you are not shutting yourself off from the world and you will start to feel happier and more confident. Also join a chat site and start makin new friend and chatting

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Bright Light Therapy as Treatment for Major Depression

Time Magazine reports in its online January 4, 2011 edition that Dutch scientists have completed a 4 and 1/2 year study testing the effect of bright light therapy to treat patients diagnosed with major depression.   Researchers theorize that bright lights reduce the presence of cortisol, a hormone known to cause stress in humans.

The Dutch scientists conducted their experiment on patients those who have little regular exposure to sunlight and patients with medical conditions that prevent the eyes from absorbing and processing light.

The results: a statistically significant number of patients who had been exposed to bright light therapy reported a significant reduction of symptoms.  In these cases, bright light proved just as effective as prescription medication in reducing symptoms of severe depression.  Bright light therapy had previously been used to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD), but now it appears that this same type of non-invasive, non-medication therapy can play a role in the treatment of chronic depression. [Read More...]

Telephone Talk Therapy for Depression

Many people can attest to the fact that when they are feeling upset, angry, or even worried they can pick up the telephone and call a close friend or relative to talk about things.  In fact, most of us are encouraged to reach out to someone that we trust when we feel down.  It seems to ease our minds when we have the opportunity to discuss those circumstances that cause ugly emotions to surface.  A new study is giving credence to this belief, showing that talking on the telephone can actually ease the signs and symptoms of depression.

Researchers from Brigham Young University conducted the study with thirty participants who had been diagnosed with severe depression.  According to Better Health Research, these individuals usually attended therapy sessions at a clinic.  These sessions could range from a couple of times a week, over the span of a month, or when needed.  During the study, the participants received their therapy over the telephone with the therapist rather than going into the office.  What’s more is that during the study and throughout the telephone therapy sessions, the participants did not take antidepressants.

The researchers found at the conclusion of the study that forty-two of the study’s participants showed no signs of depression.  This is compared with the fifty percent of patients who recover from their depression during in office therapy sessions.  One of the co-authors of the study, Dr. Diane Spangler noted that “offering a phone or webcam option for psychotherapy does appear warranted from an efficacy point of view.”  She also stated in Behavioral Therapy where the study has been published that telephone therapy is “more user-friendly with no commutes, more flexible use of time and place, and with no side effects.”

If this type of remote therapy actually works it could revolutionize the way that depression treatment is conducted.  People could simply call their therapist to discuss any problems or concerns.  This would allow them to remain in the comfort of their homes while receiving treatment which could hasten recovery.  Depression can be such a disabling condition that some individuals cannot work or even engage in everyday activities.  Knowing that a therapist is just a phone call away may ease some of the severe effects of depression and lead to a faster recovery.

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