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Alternative Medicine

Alternative medicine describes healing treatments that are not part of conventional medical training. It is not founded on evidence using a scientific method.

Alternative Treatment for Anxiety

Alternative treatment is available if you are suffering from anxiety

While a certain amount of anxiety is perfectly normal and does not require treatment, anxiety can indeed become very serious, preventing one from living life to the fullest.

Too Calm?However, because people do want to enjoy life fully, they may be opposed to taking medications that may make them “too calm.” For those people, there are alternative treatments for anxiety.

First and foremost, you need to discuss your anxiety with your doctor, and let him or her know that you prefer more natural treatment.
Let the doctor know that you would prefer not to take chemical medications. In most cases, your doctor will listen to you and will make suggestions for alternative treatment, although counseling may also be suggested.

Many herbs will help in the treatment of anxiety. These can be cooked with, in many cases, or taken as a tea. Green tea and kava tea are very popular choices, as well as chamomile tea.

Along with the ingestion of certain herbs, you may also want to include aromatherapy in your treatment. This is done with essential oil of certain herbs.

Scents that work well for calming include rose, basil, juniper, sage, marjoram, bay, ylang-ylang, lavender, cinnamon, sandalwood, hyssop, comfrey, patchouli, geranium, bergamot, cedar wood, frankincense, orange blossom, Melissa, cypress, and chamomile.

For the relief from stress, you should consider chamomile, sandalwood, lavender, peppermint, marjoram, geranium, and Melissa.

Aside from herbal therapy and aromatherapy, you may also want to consider acupuncture, massage therapy, and deep breathing exercises for the relief of anxiety.

Again, there is an alternative treatment available if you are suffering from anxiety, but you still need to work with your doctor to get the right treatment for you.

Note that not all treatments will work right away, and may require a little time and patience on your part. Make sure that your doctor stays up to date with what you are doing, and try to ease the anxiety.

Review of the product Yogi Kava Stress Relief Tea:

Yogi Kava Stress Relief Tea

I bought this Yogi Kava Stress Relief Tea in order to be able to fall asleep. I wasn’t expecting anything more than perhaps a placebo effect from drinking something warm. I did not know what Kava was and had never heard of it. Well, after one cup, I felt “carefree”, and yes, relaxed, but my mental abilities were sharp.

I didn’t believe it was the tea really, and waited another week to have another cup, and yes, had the same results.

It hasn’t made me sleepy or drowsy, just takes the nervousness and anxiety down one or two notches, allowing me to lay down and not think about things.

I have since done quit a bit of research on what is available and have decided that as long as the kava is prepared from the root and does not use ethanol or other chemicals, the risk of hepatotoxicity should be lessened if not deleted.

This stuff is much better than taking a drug such as diphenhydramine. You should be able to stay alert and focused with Kava, not so with diphenhydramine.

Highly recommend this tea for those occasions where anxiety or stress are impacting you negatively. I have not experienced any numbing, pain relief and any GI issues but I only have one cup a week, maybe one cup every 10 days.

Aromatherapy as Treatment of Depression

We are all affected by sights, sounds, and smells.

That is why aromatherapy is effective for so many different things that we may experience in our lives. It includes physical illnesses as well as mental setbacks, such as depression. In fact, aromatherapy is highly effective in easing the symptoms of depression.

LavenderLavender is one of the most effective scents for the treatment of depression. This scent increases the instance of waves in the back of the head, which promotes relaxation. Jasmine is also another well-known scent, as it increases the example of waves in the front of the head.

However, the waves increased in the back of the head with lavender are alpha waves — for relaxation — while the waves increased in the front of the head are beta waves — for alertness.

Aside from lavender and jasmine, other scents are also useful for various aspects of depression symptoms. These include clary sage (insomnia), basil (fatigue), rose (nervous system), and sandalwood (tension). Other prominent scents that may ease symptoms of depression include chamomile, patchouli, bergamot, rosemary, and geranium.

Essential OilWhile you can use candles for aromatherapy, the ideal method is to use essential oils of the herb scent that you require. Essential oils can be used as diffusers, in baths, massages, or even as perfume or body splashes.

Again, when using scents for aromatherapy, the oils are more effective than candles. These oils can be purchased from health food stores and online sources. In many cases, you will receive a small break on the cost when ordering larger quantities.

While aromatherapy will ease symptoms of depression, it should not replace therapy that is needed to treat depression, and it may not even replace medications used for treatment of depression.

Be sure to discuss treatment options with your doctor.

When aromatherapy is used as treatment of depression, oils are more effective than candles

Anxiety Treatment Method – Mental Imaging

Use of mental imaging as an anxiety treatment method

While there are many wonderful medications that aid in the treatment of anxiety symptoms, there are other methods for controlling anxiety as well. Mental imaging is one such treatment.

Mental ImagingMental imaging is used in many instances and professions. Professional sports players, speakers, and actors use mental imaging. For the purpose of anxiety, mental imaging works as a relaxation technique. It can be used to negate negative thoughts, and replace those negative thoughts with positive images that help one to face or get through a situation that makes them feel anxious.

To practice mental imaging, you must predetermine what your image will be. Will you see yourself handling a tough situation? Will you see yourself doing something that you didn’t think you could do? Again, you need to have your mental image ready to go before you need it.

The hardest part of mental imaging remembers to use it when you need it. This is not always easy to do when you are feeling anxious, and worries are clouding your mind. You may also need mental imaging aids at the beginning, such as cassette tapes to get you into the state of mental imaging. You may need to close your eyes to practice mental imaging in the beginning as well.

Mental imaging can also be used outside of anxious situations — when you are calm — to help build confidence in yourself.

In fact, people who suffer from anxiety disorders who practice mental imaging outside of anxious situations find that the anxiety episodes that they do have are fewer and far between — and that they don’t last as long.

While mental imaging is very easy, and can be done by anyone, it should not be used to replace medical treatment for anxiety. You still need treatment from a doctor, and you can discuss mental imaging with your doctor.

Mental Imaging and Anxiety

Why do Bipolar Patients Quit Taking Their Meds?

Why do bipolar and schizophrenic persons quit taking medicine?

Talk to any medical professional about the trials and tribulations of dealing with bipolar patients and they will tell you that the single most bothersome thing is the frequency with which manic-depressives quit taking their meds.

This problem isn’t unique to bipolar patients, but it is more insidious and often more surprising.  Schizophrenics, who quit taking their meds, are identified fairly quickly.  Those with depression who quit taking their meds stay in their houses – this is troublesome but not a public nuisance.

People with bipolar disorder are usually quite memorable both at the best of times and the worst of times.  They are vivacious; they are shining; they are exasperating; they are amazing, and they are irritating.  Generally in order to be diagnosed, a bipolar patient will present one of two ways – either severely depressed or psychotic but their illness has gone unnoticed or unaddressed for a long time.

To be fair, psychiatric patients of any type may quit taking their meds for a number of legitimate reasons.  Well, semi-legitimate.

Mood DisordersLegitimately, a psychiatric patient of any type will have consulted with his or her physician before quitting can be medically supervised while doing so.  Even with medical supervision, the only really legitimate reason for a psychiatric patient to quit taking their meds completely is a person who has been taking anti-depressants for a short period of time (less than one year) who has only had one episode of clinical depression.  In this case, a psychiatrist would agree that a patient who does not have a long term history of depression can taper off the medication because they may not need it forever.  This patient is rare. Once another episode of depression or mood disorder occurs, virtually everyone will agree that it is a chronic problem that should be addressed with medication.  Permanently.

One legitimate reason for temporarily discontinuing use would be pregnancy, to avoid potential harm to the fetus.  In most cases, the medication would be re-started as soon as the patient is able.

Patients may also approach their physician about discontinuing a specific medication to switch to another.  Reasons for this might be ineffectiveness, intolerable side effects or cost.

Unfortunately, for most psychiatric patients there is no legitimate reason to discontinue medication altogether.  The physician will suggest or even prescribe an alternative medication.  The patient may feel that they have been unheard by their physician and while this may be the case, for most patients who “quit”, it is actually more likely that they have not talked to the physician at all.

Bipolar patients and those with other psychiatric conditions most often quit taking their medication without medical supervision or intervention in secret.  Oddly, this is because the brain is a tricky thing – most often they quit when they are doing well.  When the medication is working, they begin to believe that they do not need the medication – that they are “OK”.

Most psychiatric patients don’t want to have a mental disorder – or more likely they don’t want to be told that they have a mental disorder.  This may be in part due to the social stigma, but it may also be because they really like the way they are.  Medication often takes away the “spark” that has made them vivacious, memorable, brilliant and even irritating or dangerous.

It is very difficult to go from “outstanding” – whether it is good or bad to normal.  Bipolar patients in particular also quit taking their medication because their brains are bored.  The brain is used to go up and down, backwards and forwards, in and out.  When medication is working, the roller coaster goes away.

This may be good for a while, after the crisis because life has gotten way out of whack, they need time to recover, rest, and breathe.  But when the fires are put out, and the dust clears, the brain begins to crave the excitement.

Again, this really means the medication is working, and they will quit, yet again, starting the cycle all over again.

So, what can a caretaker, a parent, a spouse, or a friend do?  Likely any attempt at supervision or intervention will be met with anger, avoidance or outright denial.

Bipolar CaosAs bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia most often emerges in the late teens or early adulthood, is should be predictable that they do not want supervision.  They do not want to be told that someone else knows best.

When confronted or even questioned, the bipolar will almost always say that everything is OK – even if it is far from OK.  In short, they will lie.

Again, what can a caretaker, a parent, a spouse, or a friend do?  In short, especially in the newly diagnosed (and for a bipolar or schizophrenic the definition of newly would be likely less than 10 years), there will be no opportunity for supervision.  They will be secretive and untruthful.  You must wait for the crash and be there to assist with the crisis and recovery – only to repeat it again in a few months or years.

The good news is that eventually, the periods between “the crashes” will likely lengthen. When they are thinking clearly, when the medication is working – ask them why they do it.  Encourage them to participate in therapy, join a bipolar or mental disorder group. Realize they may not always go.

Over a period of years, perhaps decades – the patient may eventually become to accept that they truly do need the medication.  Likely they will never be completely compliant but one can always hope.

A caregiver, a parent, a spouse, a friend can look for signs – if you are close, you may be able to keep track of their medication, physician visits, refills but you may not be able to.  You should prepare yourself when you see signs: a developing increase in communication, vivacity, anger – likely followed by erratic behavior and hiding.

Intervene as much as you can but know that your may not be able to stop them.  They quit medication when it is working because it makes them….normal.

Melissa Lind

Vitamins for Your Mental Health

Vitamins help you body in a number of different ways.

First published on http://bipolarmentalhealth.com

Many people do not realize that vitamins are also crucial for helping the health of your mind. Depression is one of the many mental illnesses that can really help to ruin a person’s life if left untreated. If you are hoping to deal with your depression in a way that is healthy to your body but does not include the use of drugs, you might want to gain a better understand of just how vitamins can work for your depression.

Vitamin supplements can help you fight your depression.

Norwegian Salmon - Vitamin B12 FoodFirst and foremost, study the B vitamins.

B-complex vitamins are essential to your well-being, including your mental and emotional health. They are water-soluble, which means that they cannot be stored in the body over time to be used at a later date, and so you must eat foods rich in B vitamins every day or take vitamin supplements.

B-vitamins that could cause or add to your depression, include thiamin, which provides energy to your brain, and pantothenic acid, which is crucial in the formation of certain hormones that suppress depression.

Most other B vitamins affect your mental and emotional state as well, and because they are broken down in the body by alcohol and sugar, many people find it a struggle to eat enough food rich in the B vitamins. You should talk to your doctor about vitamin supplements in these areas in order to treat your depression.

Vitamin C is also extremely important in the fight against depression.

Normal levels are usually easy to achieve in the body, but you might find that you need a boost from vitamin supplements if you have recently had surgery or an inflammatory illness. Lack of vitamin C is common if you are stressed or pregnant, so be particularly observant of your depression during these times of life.

A variety of minerals, like magnesium, calcium, and zinc can also help you to fight your depression. The bottom line is that it is important for you to talk to a doctor if you believe that you are depressed.

Vitamin supplements and medical care can help you to fight depression in many cases. You doctor will be able to recommend brands that are of high quality and instruct you on how to take the vitamin supplements so that your body can get all of the nutrients it needs to stay happy and healthy, both physically and mentally.