Transitioning To Using Medication To Treat Mental Illness

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Medication is as necessary as therapy. However, I do recognize that taking drugs to treat mental illness is not a notion that everyone should do. I know a lot of individuals are not in total agreement with taking multiple medications for their mental health recovery, and that is entirely okay. Yes, it can be a tremendous asset in assisting many people that are suffering from signs and symptoms. But I also agree that it is not the only way that helps people in recovering from mental illness. Honestly, this article is not about proving if medication is good or bad. That is a different discussion to tackle. Instead, it targets more on those individuals who already chose to rely upon and experiment with drug therapy in aiding mental health conditions.

Helpful Tips In Using Medication

One of the essential things that patients should always put in mind is the importance of following instructions. That includes taking medicine as prescribed by a psychiatrist or a doctor. So, if a patient gets told to take only 30 milligrams of a particular drug every single day, then that should be it. The patient should follow the instruction of taking medication only on specific situations such as panic attacks. He should only consider taking the drugs every time the condition occurs. The point is, drugs should be taken accordingly. And under certain circumstances, the patients should never entirely stop taking the medication without doctor’s consultation.

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When a patient is taking drugs prescription, he is putting substances into his body. These substances are generally not there or at least are not that concentrated. Therefore, if a patient takes drugs, he can expect it to alter his brain chemistry. So it is not something he should mess around with. With that, the importance of not taking any triggering and other harmful substances appear to be extremely off-limits. It includes drinking alcohol and taking other unprescribed drugs, for instance. It is essential to recognize the severity of taking particular medications.

A patient must entrust his mental health recovery to professional health care. Therefore, it is his responsibility, to be honest with his doctor. It will allow for sufficient help. Yes, sometimes, a patient might have to change the dosage of his drugs, and that is entirely okay. True that it can be scary because there is a doubt of effectiveness when there’s a change in prescription. However, that is a regular occurrence in finding the right medication that fits the most.  The doctor must know what is going on in the patient for that change in prescription to happen. Regardless if it is bad or good, the mental health professional needs to do so; he can administer a new set of medication.

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The upgrades and getting higher medication is not always a negative thing. When a patient already feels better, then that means he is on the right medication. And if he is not, then a mental health professional can acknowledge that things need to change.

Cannabis Oil And Its Benefits On Lung Cancer

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Year after year, lung cancer has been found to be the number two most common type of cancer in America. There are over 200,000 people diagnosed with lung cancer annually. Chemotherapy is typically its treatment of choice, along with other targeted treatments. However, there has been an increasing number of doctors, therapists, and psychiatrists who recommend that their patients try cannabis oil for treating their lung cancer. Several clinical trials and studies now suggest that it might aid in stopping the growth of cancer cells. As it is, the oil is currently being utilized to reduce cancer symptoms and the side effects of chemotherapy.

Continue reading to learn more about the types of cannabis oils, its benefits, and its corresponding side effects on lung cancer patients.

Primary Types of Cannabis Oils

Before discussing the benefits of cannabis oil, it is vital to know that various types of oil are available in different forms. Cannabinoids, for example, are chemical components that have certain effects on an individual when taken by mouth. THC and CBD are two common cannabinoids, the former responsible for producing a ‘high’ and the latter is usually utilized for therapeutic reasons.

CBD Oil. As mentioned previously, this oil is used for therapeutic purposes and is a nonpsychoactive type of cannabis. It does not produce a ‘high’ but is popular for producing positive effects such as a general decrease in pain, anxiety, and chemotherapy side effects.

Marijuana-Derived Oil. This one has a high THC component, so it has psychoactive effects. It is oil extracted from an identical plant where the dried marijuana leaves and buds were removed.

Hemp-Derived Oil. Almost exactly alike with the cannabis, hemp can contain CBD but doesn’t have THC. It is, on the other hand, of lesser quality compared to cannabis. Still, it is often recommended as a good substitute for residents who are living in areas where cannabis has not been legalized.

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Rick Simpson Oil. RSO has very little or no amount of CBD and high levels of THC, making it a psychoactive oil.

Evidence Of Positive Outcomes

Despite having no concrete proof, experts have found some favorable evidence through the years.

In 1975, a group of scientists reported that a specific cannabinoid, cannabinol (CBN), and THC decreased the growth of lunch cancer in their experimental study on mice.

In 2014, another study revealed that CBD and THC might be able to help primary cancer cells respond positively to radiation therapy. But the study was done on cells, not on human or animals.

This year, a case report was documented about a male with lung cancer who refused traditional cancer therapy and instead opted using CBD oil. His cancer responded to the use of this oil.

These pieces of data, however, cannot present solid evidence of cannabis curing lung cancer, as none of the studies mentioned involved humans for testing. Additionally, these were small-scale trials that were not duplicated into a larger-scale trial.

 Benefits Of Cannabis On Cancer

While evidence of cannabis oil curing cancer is not clear, there are confirmed benefits of its use, some of which include reduction or relief of:

  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Depression

Cannabis Oil Side Effects

Though generally considered safe, cannabis oils may cause several side effects, particularly those that derived from marijuana leaves. For one, THC in marijuana-derived oil produces psychoactive effects. Also, there are psychological side effects, and these include hallucinations, disorientation, paranoia, anxiety, and depression. Physical effects may also be present, such as bloodshot eyes, damaged motor functions, increased appetite, sleeping problems, decreased blood pressure, and compromised memory.

Generally, the side effects are not permanent, and they last only until the high is present. Thus, they do not have long-term health hazards, although you may feel quite uncomfortable, especially if cannabis use is not prescribed for you.

Ways To Use Cannabis Oil

Cannabis oils can usually be bought as concentrated liquid extracts which vary in ratios and type of chemical component. If the seller is legal, these ratios should be seen on the bottle.

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One way to use cannabis oil is through the application on the tongue. You can apply a few drops on the tongue and then swallow. If you cannot tolerate the bitter taste, you can also drop some on your tea or any drink you prefer.

Some of these oils can also be added in a vape, although this method has been reported to irritate the lungs. Therefore, vaping cannabis oil is not recommended for lung cancer patients.

Hemp-derived cannabis is known to be a good choice, as it has no substantial side effects. However, some people present with some side effects, and when they do, they present with stomach problems and fatigue.

Conclusion

Evidence that cannabis oil can be used solely for the treatment of cancer is not overwhelming. Conversely, it has proved to offer a reduction in cancer symptoms.

Source: cancer.gov

In the end, even if you, as a lung cancer patient, or someone you love has cancer, and are experiencing positive results from cannabis oil use, you are advised to continue visiting your primary physician and follow his recommended treatment regimen. Stopping your traditional treatments and replacing them with cannabis oil without your physician’s knowledge could ultimately compromise your future cancer treatments.

 

 

Most Effective Alternative Cancer Treatments

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The advanced type of cancer can’t be cured by alternative medicine, but they can offer some comfort and pain relief. It doesn’t take a psychologist or any medical health expert to know that some of these commonly used therapies have been proven to be tremendously effective in alleviating cancer pain, depression, and stress.

A lot of cancer patients are eager to try almost anything that can help decrease the pain that they’re feeling, and this includes alternative cancer therapy. Most often, for people with cancer, you feel as if you no longer have control over your health. Alternative therapy may provide some control, although not all types of alternative treatments have been proven to be very effective for the longer term, and some even pose a danger to other conditions.

 

To help you choose the effective from the not so recommended, here are a few commonly used alternative treatments that are proven and tested to be universally safe. Additionally, there has been increasing evidence that the cancer treatments listed below may provide mild to moderate benefit.

If you’re thinking about trying these alternative treatments, talk to your doctor.

  • Acupuncture. The acupuncturist inserts small needles on the trigger points of the patient’s body. Indications for acupuncture include cancer pain relief and decreased nausea caused by chemotherapy. Family members must make sure that the needles are sterile, and the practitioner doing the treatment is qualified to do so. For patients who have been prescribed with blood thinners, they’ll have to check with their doctors first.

 

  • Exercise. Gentle exercises that are structured and prepared by a certified instructor can help control the signs and symptoms that present during cancer treatment. These exercises are indicated for stress and fatigue relief, better sleep, and improvement of quality of life. Patients will be started slowly and are progressed depending on his performance. They can do their programs three to four times weekly.

 

  • Aromatherapy. This type of therapy is calming in relaxing, as it utilizes scented essential oils that are applied during a massage or added to bath water. The oils are heated so that the scents of lavender, peppermint, lemon, or chamomile are released into the room. Aromatherapy has been found to help in alleviating stress, nausea, and painful joints.

 

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Cancer patients can contact an aromatherapist if he wants a more organized session, but he can do aromatherapy by himself. The oils are very safe to use on the skin and don’t cause skin allergies. However, patients with estrogen sensitivity should be cautious in applying too much lavender and tea tree oils.

  • Massage. For cancer patients, massage should be done gently. The massage therapist uses kneading and effleurage techniques to relieve pain, stress, and muscle tension and promote rejuvenation and relaxation. Mild to moderate pressure can also be applied.

 

Massage looks easy but only if it’s done without structure and organization. The real message that has a process is done by a seasoned and certified massage therapist who knows what to do and not to do when it comes to cancer patients. They must know that massage is contraindicated for those with low blood count and those with the involvement of the bones.

 

  • Hypnotherapy. This involves a deeper state of focus. In a hypnosis session, the therapist usually talks in a gentle voice to help the patient relax. He then walks you through your goals, dreams, and hopes for the future, or whatever you were there for. For the cancer patient, it is a pain relief and stress reduction. It may also help in preventing nausea from chemotherapy. A certified therapist must do this.

 

  • Yoga. Yoga is a practice that combines deep breathing and stretching. There are poses that the yoga instructor teaches you that will require you to bend or twist. There are many variations of yoga, depending on the kind of yoga that you want to try. This therapy is effective in relieving pain and stress and improving sleep. Just for caution, the patient may want to choose a yoga instructor that is used to handle people with specific illnesses like cancer so that she will know what poses are more beneficial and appropriate for him.

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  • Tai Chi. The Tai Chi instructor combines slow and organized movements with deep breathing to promote relaxation and reduce stress. It is generally safe to try for everybody provided that no pose causes pain or discomfort. It doesn’t even require much strength. Initially, the cancer patient starts with an instructor and can do tai chi on his own later.

 

The alternative therapies mentioned above are also safe to combine, for example, tai chi and aromatherapy or yoga and massage.

 

 

 

 

Traditional And Alternative Medicine

When dealing with overall health, one always considers seeking professional advice so they can proceed to traditional treatment. There’s this urgency to gather all the information needed to be able to come up with a better solution for a diagnosis. However, there are some who chooses to undergo alternative treatments as well. But the subject of comparing the traditional and alternative medicine has been causing a lot of people with anxiety due to considerable speculation and scrutiny. It is essential to understand that both procedures share the same objective and that is to provide a safe and healthy body to everyone who considers each method.

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The Different Approach

As we all know, traditional medicine includes modern health science, surgery, medical technology, and associated skilled practices. It refers to Western or contemporary medicine. Alternative medicine, on the other hand, is the collection of all the skills, knowledge, and practices, which runs on old-aged experiences and theories. Almost all alternative medicinal method comprises a wide range of procedures native to different cultures around the world due to the combination of eccentric practices. While expert differs on the view of these subjects, it is vital that people know the pros and cons of the treatments. Because even though there’s a significant difference in their method, both are still essential in preventing, diagnosing, improving, and treating any form of health condition.

The significant aspect of traditional or science-based approach focuses on the factors causing an ailment. Its goal is to reach remedies and prevention of the abnormalities of an independent entity that affects the person. Traditional method also considers the significant source of the disease such as the negative contribution of the environment. All process is limited to the anomaly and study of ways to remove the specific ailment. The alternative approach, on the other hand, is an ancient concept that varies according to different persons. Some of its practices include yoga, Ayurveda, naturopathy, and homeopathy. The underlying principle of this system is the same as traditional ones where the focus is to get better treatment resolution. However, it considers the disease as an upset of the balance between the body and the things that surround it. It is why the focus of alternative treatment is cleansing rather than eliminating the immediate cause of the disease.

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The Practices

Traditional medicine does not consider other processes without basis and findings. The method treats the disease based on research. It is entirely concern with the only organ affected and needs treatment. Though a lot of people believe that traditional process may adversely affect other parts during healing, it is still the first choice for remedy and treatment. However, in alternative practices, the disease is considered as the deviation of the body and the mind’s normal function. That’s the reason why it takes so much time in identifying the background, environmental, and social conditions that trigger the disease.

Though the two types of medical practices differ, both have significant advantages over each other. Let’s say for example in an emergency where an urgent surgical procedure is needed; the conventional method becomes superior to the latter. That’s because the alternative process requires time and may not be suitable in demanding situations that require instant result. Therefore, traditional ways are much more appropriate in addressing critical situations. But it is essential to understand that in some unfortunate cases, the conventional system rarely helps in such cases and sometimes unnoticingly affects the other organs and parts of the body. So with that, the alternative options can become a great approach to better psychological healing because its process contains no side effects. It also supports a long-lasting eradication of simple maladies because it allows rejuvenation of the entire body.

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Traditional healing has a valid and legal status which is handed over by authorities such as the medical associations of a country or the local government. That’s why it is the first option for health and recovery because there are medical training and educational qualifications involved. And although alternative medicine seems primarily practiced in different areas of the world, it doesn’t support regulatory bodies that can monitor its system and procedure. But then again, it can become superior in addressing “some” ailments that the traditional ones can’t.

5 Ways To Handle Anxiety Caused By Chronic Illness

The adverse effects of suffering from a chronic illness include depression, anxiety, and stress.

According to Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S., “Unchecked stress can sabotage a relationship and lead to dissatisfaction and disconnection.“

“The physical symptoms of depression can be surprising to experience, and be particularly debilitating in concert with the mental symptoms of sadness, guilt, and hopelessness. When it comes to Major Depression, physical symptoms are almost always a part of the picture and play a key role in disrupting a person’s ability to cope with life,” according to mental health therapist Alicia Clark PsyD.

“Anxiety disorders can severely impair a person’s ability to function at work, school and in social situations. Anxiety can also interfere with a person’s relationships with family members and friends,” according to Shannon Sauer-Zavala, PhD, Lynn Bufka, PhD, and C. Vaile Wright, PhD.

Unfortunately, it would be difficult on your part to control the way you think and react when you have a chronic disease. Because of the difficulty and challenges, you will start to feel that you are helpless. You want to get better, but sometimes, no matter how hard you try, your sickness will keep on coming back. If this happens in a long period, there is a high possibility that you will end up stressed and anxious at all times.

 

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In this article, allow us to share some of the practical and smart ways on how you can handle anxiety caused by chronic illness. At this point, it is vital to highlight the fact that you have what it takes to alter or change the course of your life. Just because you are suffering from an illness that is difficult to cure does not mean that you will no longer get your shot at happiness. Be sure to learn these things:

 

Let Go Of Negativity

You have to learn the art of thinking positive at all times. Say goodbye to your negative thoughts. Always put in mind that negativity will only bring you down. When this happens, your anxiety will start to grow bigger to the point that you will lose sight of your direction and goals in life. As such, accept the fact that you are sick but do something about your situation. Remind yourself of all the great and happy memories you have with your friends and loved ones so that you can find the will to keep going and start embracing positivity.

 

Surround Yourself With The Right People

Stop denying to yourself that you do not need the help of other people. The truth is that you have to connect with the right individuals in your life. Do not shut other persons just because you have issues with your chronic illness. Instead, accept their support and assistance because you need it at this challenging moment in your life. Believe that you are worthy of their care and affection. Most importantly, you must instill in your mind that they are helping you not because they pity your situation but because they value your health and wellness.

 

Calm Your Mind

Learn how to calm your mind so that you can become happier despite the presence of chronic illness. Find time to meditate so that you can start clearing your mind from the stress and anxiety. It is not going to be easy, especially if you continue to feel discomfort and pain. There will be a complete struggle on your part. However, do not give up easily because everything is going to be worth it in the end. All you have to do is to master some relaxation techniques that can help in calming all your adverse and anxious thinking. You can also try yoga and other breathing exercises to accomplish this goal.

 

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See Your Doctor

As much as possible, do not forget the importance of booking an appointment with your physician. If you are suffering from a chronic illness, it is vital for you to have regular checkups so that you will be updated with the status of your condition. Avoid making self-diagnosis as it can only increase your stress and anxiety levels. Take note that you can ask your doctor anything about your condition, which makes it easier on your part to know what is going on with your body and how the medication is helping your medical condition. The more you know or keep yourself updated about your illness, the calmer you can become.

 

De-Stress At All Times

Invest your valuable time and attention in things that will make you happy. Conversely, avoid those that will only bring a lot of pressure and tension in your life. Remember that what you do regularly affects your mental health. If you continue to do what you love, it will not be difficult on your part to be gleeful despite your condition. At the same time, having a stable mental condition can also help in improving your health. A recent study shows that mindset is an essential factor when it comes to battling with an illness.

 

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Always remember that you can defeat anxiety and stress!

What Is Traditional Chinese Medicine And How It Can Help Your Family?

Back to basics. More people nowadays are opting to go back to basics to address their health issues. These people believe that if these medical practices have worked for their ancestors, it can also help them and their family as well. Traditional Chinese medicine is one of these ancient medical practices that withstood the test of time and rapid medical advancements.

Get to know what traditional Chinese medicine is and how you can use TCM to achieve wellness.

What Is Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is already in practice as early as two thousand years ago. However, TCM, as it is now, started when the Chinese began to incorporate their medical knowledge into a more cohesive practice.

A person possesses yin and yang energy, which harmonizes bodily functions. Traditional healers in Chinese society, therefore, believe that physical maladies come about as a result of imbalance the yin and the yang in a person’s body. As a result, healers don’t pinpoint a specific organ to heal. They try not just to treat the entire person’s body. Traditional Chinese medicine also strives to strike a balance in all body systems, both physical and mental.

Essentially, traditional Chinese medicine is a holistic process which includes different forms of healing such as acupuncture, Qi Gong, and herbal medicine. 

Acupuncture

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Acupuncture is the use of specialized needles to address specific body aches and pains. A trained acupuncturist strategically places these needles in the patient’s body for complete healing. 

Pros

Acupuncture helps relieve stress and releases oxytocin in the body. Furthermore, acupuncture helps trigger the patient’s body to heal itself after several sessions. Acupuncture is mostly pain-free. Most patients only feel a tingly sensation during sessions.

Cons

To reap the full benefits of acupuncture, you should go to reputable practitioners only. Needles are susceptible to carrying infections and should be sterilized before each use.

Best For Whom?

When used correctly, acupuncture can benefit everyone in the family. Parents can go for acupuncture to relieve after-work stress. Newly married couples can also try acupuncture to increase their chances of conceiving a child.

Even toddlers can go for acupuncture sessions. Specifically, acupuncture for toddlers can help address recurring back pains, headaches, and even sleep-related problems!

Cupping

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Ever felt that your body’s aching all over for no apparent reason? It could be that your body’s blood flow became obstructed over time. It could be because of stress, wrong food choices, or a fast-paced lifestyle. Whatever the reason, cupping can help your body go back to having a perfect balance.

Cupping uses heated glasses placed at a patient’s back. The heated cups will then act as a suction to help increase blood flow and relax your muscles.

Pros

Patients can feel relief even after one session. It is a quick and cost-effective alternative to chemical-based pain relievers. 

Cons

Cup-sized bruises all over your back. Because cupping uses suction to relieve body aches and pains, the process tends to leave bruises on the body. Don’t worry. It will fade away after several days. 

Best For Whom?

The elderly constantly suffering from backaches and stiff neck. Cupping is a stress-free remedy for these ailments.

Herbal Medicine

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Traditional Chinese medicine relies on medicinal herbs and plants to complement acupuncture and other healing methods. 

Pros

Chinese herbal medicine is useful for a wide array of diseases, including skin disease, respiratory diseases, and even psychological conditions. Traditionally, Chinese herbs are boiled and then included to make tea. In dried form, Chinese herbs are considered highly effective in addressing the disorders mentioned above. They also have little to no side effect on patients. 

Cons

There are many dietary supplements all over the US market claiming to have Chinese herbs as their primary ingredients. Some products even claim to have healing properties, even if the FDA does not recognize the product itself. Some of these supplements can also be life-threatening. It is still best to consult your physician before taking in any dietary supplement. 

Best For Whom?

Chinese herbal medicine is best for teens and adults who are looking for alternatives to pills and other chemical-based drugs. In the right dosage and formulation, Chinese herbal medicine is an excellent alternative to liver-damaging over-the-counter medication.

Qi Gong

What differentiates traditional Chinese medicine from western medicinal practices is its emphasis on holistic wellness. TCM does not only focus on counteracting physical ailments, but it also tries to heal the body through mindfulness techniques. Qi Gong is one of many exercises practiced in TCM. Qi Gong combines movements with breathing exercises for better circulation of chi throughout the body.

Pros

Soft and airy movements are perfect even for beginners. Moreover, Qi Gong is very relaxing but can be considered as physical activity as well.

Cons

Qi Gong takes time and effort to finish a specific exercise. It can be a problem for those who work on tight schedules.

Best For Whom?

This one works for teenagers, working-age people, and the elderly. Qi gong can help relax raging hormones present in teenagers. On the other hand, the elderly can benefit from a relaxing physical activity that does not put additional stress on their joints and muscles.

In summary, traditional Chinese medicine can be beneficial for the whole family. Even babies and toddlers can go for acupuncture for relief of specific conditions.

Understanding Grief Better (Therapy Discussion)

Grief is a tricky emotion because it makes someone feel uncomfortable. When it immensely affects both emotional and psychological states, it can cause severe damage. That’s because a person begins to think about the negative things which will slowly deteriorate his brain’s function. When a person is grieving, the emotional and psychological target is unclear.

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Continue reading “Understanding Grief Better (Therapy Discussion)”

Placebo Effect: Is It All About Expectations?

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Have you heard someone says that medicines are only effective if you believe it to be that way? Some people argue that the medical or herbal treatments are helpful only because that is how you see it. The most common term for this is called as the “placebo effect.” This can be confusing at all. In this article, we will attempt to provide more detailed information about this matter.

Continue reading “Placebo Effect: Is It All About Expectations?”

Top Traditional Herbal Medicines

Herbs are the broadest form of cure since ancient history. Every culture and civilization in the past possesses their own set of traditional medicine from the mixture of plants and herbal essence. Some of these herbs are so effective and risk -free that they are currently present in contemporary medicine.

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Continue reading “Top Traditional Herbal Medicines”