Spectrum of Mental Wellness

Spectrum of Mental Wellness

Processes usually move along a spectrum. Mental health is no different. Our individual mental health changes throughout our life as we develop and experience living in all its variety. We traverse the expanse of mental wellness as we move through the spectrum of mental health, changing as our experiences and coping skills shape us.

Currently, there is a wave of stress that is challenging even the most experienced mental health professionals, as we cope with the enormous changes that we face globally with Covid-19 still on the rise. Without even a chance to prepare for such moments, the required changes to how we behave have also left us with fewer buffers to ease the onslaught. That wave grows in intensity with social and financial stressors, and in many parts of the world, a failure of political leadership. But by recognizing the fluid nature of mental health, we can help mitigate some of the more difficult waves we encounter. Understanding mental health as a spectrum of wellness and illness is a first step towards actively shaping our individual wellbeing and providing support for our loved ones.

Most adults, and sadly more adolescents, live in an almost perpetual state of stress or stimulus overload. Our cultural climate (especially if consumed through social media), and the technology by which we consume it, generate their own levels of stressors. Even before the pandemic, and even if not already stretched by the responsibilities of making a living or supporting others – often experiencing lack of restorative sleep – day to day life has often been overwhelming. We know that we need to follow certain wellness practices to help relieve the pressure, ranging from exercise to meditation, as well as eating a healthy diet, and ensuring restful sleep. Especially in these extreme moments of change, we need to rely on all healthy modes of stress relief and create new modes of human interaction as many have been able to do. But not everyone can find alternative methods as easily. Left unchecked, high levels of stress will move one along the spectrum in the direction of mental illness – towards depression and other physical and emotional conditions. Find a way that works for you to channel that stress into an activity that brings you pleasure to maintain a more balanced mental wellness.

Traumatic life experiences that are left unresolved can also quickly move an individual along the spectrum to PTSD, or towards developing a substance abuse (or an excessive, risky behavior) especially if there is a predisposition to addiction in one’s family history. There are also mental illnesses that do not make themselves evident until a particular age is reached, often around late adolescence to early adulthood. Spotting changes in behavior can help us see early signs of mental health crises that need to be addressed.

The best care we can provide ourselves or our loved ones is to read the signs for help and seek the professional support needed. Social isolation, or changes in mood or energy levels might be easy to spot and may often be the first signs. For introverts, look for changes in behavior towards beloved activities. If you notice a decrease in productivity or activity for some time there may be more serious reasons than burn-out or disinterest. Also consider erratic behavior or distorted thinking as clear signs for help.

Ketamine Health Centers offers a myriad of procedures and therapies to help address the wide gamut of the mental health spectrum. We invite you to review our services to learn about the various therapeutic treatments and wellness options that Ketamine Health Centers provide. We are dedicated to helping our clients reach a balanced state of wellness.

Therapy vs Psychotherapy: The Debate

Therapy vs Psychotherapy: The Debate

Do you find that you struggle with your mental health or often just need someone to talk to? There are various mental health solutions that are catered to your specific needs and goals. While many use the words psychotherapy and therapy/counseling interchangeably because of overlapping methods, the two do have a few differences. Finding the right solution for you is a personal preference and Ketamine Health Centers aims to match you with the right type of sessions and medical professionals.

Therapy and Psychotherapy aim for the same outcome, are dependent on a strong relationship between patient and therapist, and rely on working through problems. The two are effective for a broad demographic, including adults and children. Different mental health professionals that conduct either therapy, psychotherapy, or both are tasked with understanding how their patients think, studying their behaviors, and helping them cultivate more positive futures for themselves and their loved ones. However, they have significant differences that are important to keep in mind when choosing which type of therapy is most suitable for you. Dr. David S. Soane uses this analogy to stress why knowing the difference between the two is pivotal: “It’s like blending and equating physical therapy and surgery. Physical therapy is valuable and exactly what some people need, but it’s not surgery. Counseling is valuable and exactly what some people need, but it’s not psychotherapy.”

Therapy, which can also be referred to as counseling, targets specific issues, or present events. A person may seek therapy for life-altering events such as a divorce, loss of a loved one, or loss of a job. The treatment aims to give individual advice or guidance on how to navigate a specific situation through personal actions and behaviors. Therapy takes place over weeks to several months individually or in group sessions. Therapy is a secondary process, a logical approach that involves creating more exact mental representations, judging the results of one’s actions, locating events in chronological order, solving problems, and communicating clearly. If a therapist concludes that their patient needs extensive care, the patient may be referred to a medical professional.

Psychotherapy explores past issues that gave way to present-day challenges. Individuals who suffer from chronic mental illnesses or emotional difficulties seek Psychotherapy. Those who suffer from anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder often choose to meet with a psychotherapist. Psychotherapy analyzes patterns or recurring concerns, it targets the root cause of current issues to incite lasting change. It is a long-term process that takes place continually/intermittently over a year or several years. Psychotherapy, in contrast to therapy, is a primary process, taking a more abstract approach by focusing on analyzing emotions, dreams, and instinctual demands or drives. Psychotherapy may incorporate cognitive behavioral therapy or talk therapy depending on the severity of the case.

While the debate may exist, it is not a matter of which one is superior to the other, but rather, which one is the right option for you. At Ketamine Health Centers, we offer therapeutic services and Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy with a team of experienced and licensed medical professionals. Our services go beyond in-person sessions, our team is available for virtual meetings as well! Whether you are seeking individual, couple, or family therapeutic options, we encourage you to speak to our team and find out the best solution for you based on your needs, circumstances, and payment options. Our consultations can be the start to your journey to a better tomorrow. We are here to help you get better and stay better. Schedule your consultation today!

Holistic Therapy and Healing for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Holistic Therapy and Healing for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Many of us experience trauma in our lives. In some respects, hardships are what help us create our character strengths as we grow. Life is hard. Full of great losses and unforeseen events that shape us along the way. But not everyone can overcome every situation as a learning experience, nor with time, reflection or even one’s character armor. Post-traumatic stress disorder may intervene in one’s ability to heal if trauma memories become entrenched and, for a myriad of reasons, block one’s ability to move past the experience. PTSD requires a multifaceted, yet targeted, approach to help an individual process the trauma and move beyond the crippling triggers that impede their healing. 

 Ketamine infusion therapy and trans-cranial magnetic stimulation treatment (TMS), along with the meditative arts and other holistic therapeutic approaches, offer the best way to help individuals who experience the debilitating consequences of PTSD finally heal. According to a 2016 study, only 59% of those afflicted with post-traumatic stress disorder find relief from traditional medications, thus alternative methods are required. The study, published in the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, highlights that “many existing treatments…do not directly target trauma memories that lay at the core of the PTSD pathogenesis. Notable exceptions are medications like ketamine,” among other treatments such as TMS, SGB (Stellate Ganglion Block) and using yoga and mindfulness. 

 It is important to pair PTSD treatment with yoga, tai chi or some type of movement meditation, which allows the body to release pent-up energy, that visceral body tension that helps trigger an individual. Releasing the energy throughout the body is very important. Muscles are controlled by the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, and the sympathetic system produces our fight or flight response. Releasing tension in the body is directly tied to healing the body’s nervous system at the muscular and molecular level. Stretching allows for healing at the physiological level with the release of endorphins. Releasing tension also helps one reach deeper sleep states which is necessary to fully process the experience at the subconscious level. Mindfulness and focusing on breathing allow for the release of healing chemicals such as serotonin, “the feel-good” neurotransmitter, thus working at the emotional level by helping strengthen neural connections. This is precisely the site of treatments such as Ketamine, which aims to dislodge entrenched trauma pathways. And Stellate Ganglion Block treatments which directly target the Stellate Ganglion of nerves that are mainly responsible for the fight or flight response.

Ketamine Health Centers offers these new mental health tools such as Ketamine infusion and ketamine assisted psychotherapy, TMS, and SGB treatments; especially important alternative methods for patients with treatment resistant PTSD (TR-PTSD), but also effective for a wide range of mental health concerns. The meditative arts help enhance these targeted treatments. A holistic approach allows trauma patients to dislodge old neuropathways and create new connections, working through various levels in the body matrix. The key to lending efficacy to these deeper healing methods. 

The meditative practices that should accompany these various alternative treatments are numerous and should be tailored to an individual’s disposition. Contact one of our clinics today to learn more regarding new PTSD treatment options, and a specialist will help you create a treatment plan that best fits your needs. Treatment can be initiated via telemedicine services. Ask about available insurance options at our Coral Gables clinic. We are here to help you, or your loved one, create a path to mental health and wellness.

Curbing the Rise in Mental Illness

Curbing the Rise in Mental Illness

Mental illness has been on the rise for many decades in the United States. There are various reasons for the increase in individuals diagnosed with a mental disorder. Before the turn of the century, we became more informed of mental health in general as we began to chip away at the stigma surrounding it. As a result, many individuals were able to seek help openly. Over the last twenty years, we have learned a great deal more about the social and neuro-physiological ground of mental illness, helping us diagnose cases earlier on. Still, there has been a growth in mental health cases over the last decade, particularly among adolescents and young adults. And suicide ideation has been on the rise within the adult population (see The state of mental health in America.) These numbers surely speak to more than simply highlighting the problem. Our changing environments have outpaced our ability to adapt to them. Financial disparity is growing. Environmental anxiety is on the rise as many more individuals become concerned by the imbalance in nature. Currently, emotional stability is strained by this onslaught to our public health, the abrupt upending of our lives and the financial fall-out of the coronavirus outbreak.

There is such a wide spectrum of experiences during this pandemic, as most of us shelter-in-place, but all of them carry their own weight of challenges; depending on where you live in respect to hot zones, but also by how you live. Do you live alone or are you with family? Is it a loving family situation, or is someone experiencing trauma in the home? Are you in a struggling relationship made more difficult during quarantine? Are you tasked with juggling too many roles as a parent and employee, turned part-time teacher? A caregiver with no relief in sight? Or are you furloughed and bored, maybe drowning in social media? Perhaps you lost a loved one.

At a time when more individuals need mental health support and services, Ketamine Health Centers is pleased to provide an effective alternative to medications. Ketamine infusion therapy is over 90% effective for treating anxiety, major depression (particularly for treatment-resistant patients), and those suffering from suicide ideation. Ketamine therapy is also effective among a range of other mental disorders with a high success rate.

A study conducted in the early 2000s, reported by the NIMH – National Institute of Mental Health, states that “19.1% of U.S. adults had suffered some sort of anxiety disorder in the past year, with an estimated 31.1% of U.S. adults experiencing any anxiety disorder at some time in their lives”. According to the American Psychiatric Association, one in 15 (6.7%) adults experience depression in any given year, and 16.6% will experience depression at some point in their lives. And these statistics are pre-pandemic numbers from 2017. We now face a new set of unknowns that heightens the anxiety felt by many. The need for mental health support to manage this increase grows acutely, especially among our heroes – the healthcare workers on the frontlines. Ketamine Health Centers can provide mental health support that is effective and immediate. Immediate relief is essential for some individuals during this pandemic.

Hopefully you are among the many that have had time to spend with loved ones and reconnect. Or learn a new hobby. Maybe finally putting that bike to use after so many years. I hope this time has afforded you blessings. But if you or a loved one seeks support during these extraordinary challenges, Ketamine Health Centers can provide a range of services to address your needs. Telemedicine services are in place, and we are happy to announce that insurance coverage is available at our Coral Gables clinic, a blessing during these financially trying times. We are working to provide insurance coverage at our other clinics. Ketamine Health Centers can provide an avenue to healing that is more direct and efficacious. Together with a follow-up plan devised with your therapist, you can find that calm to see past the stressors and focus on the opportunities that these challenging times present us. Contact us today for a consultation.

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