Category Archives: Psychology

Somatic Symptom Disorder

Somatic Symptom Disorder, previously known as Somatization, is a condition which causes one to unconsciously develop physical symptoms due to psychological distress, sometimes related to an existing physical condition.

Typically, the symptoms cannot be explained by another physical or mental condition. In other words, there is no identifiable cause for the symptoms. However, the symptoms are real, not imagined.

 

Somatic Symptom Disorder is considered a form of mental illness, even though the symptoms are  real.

 

Somatic Symptom Disorder from Osmosis.org

 

Pain is one of the more common symptoms and naturally should be taken seriously in order to rule out other medical conditions. Always consult with a doctor when any new symptoms arise.

New manifestations of symptoms are sometimes related to fear – fear that one has a new condition or fear that a condition is getting worse.

As you might assume, this can be a debilitating condition that keeps patients isolated due to perceived or actual physical manifestations.

Examples

Somatization related to a physical condition

For instance, a person with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) may become stressed about having flare-ups in a particular situation, such as work or while out shopping. This added stress can exacerbate the condition and cause stomach pain, which leads to an actual flare-up.

 

Somatization not related to a physical condition

A person who has fainting spells or extreme pain not related to a physical condition. These are usually caused by health anxiety. Perhaps this person has had a previous health condition and is overly anxious about a recurrence.

 

Somatization or Hypochondria

Somatic Symptom Disorder is not the same as Hypochondria. A Hypochondriac has extreme anxiety regarding their health, just as those with Somatic Symptom Disorder. The difference is that there is usually no cause for alarm. Hypochondria consists of extreme stress and anxiety over imaginary physical developments, not actual symptoms.

This person may spend unusual amounts of time inspecting their own body; attempting to self-diagnose by doing their own research, calling someone for advice, or visiting their doctor or clinic.

 

References

 

Video from Osmosis.org

What is somatic symptom disorder? Somatic symptom disorder, sometimes called somatoform disorder, is defined as having unexplainable physical symptoms, which often lead to cognitive symptoms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits of Lithium Orotate

Benefits of Lithium Orotate

This article discusses the benefits of Lithium Orotate, a mineral supplement required by the body, that, when taken properly with supplementation, can have positive effects on specific conditions.

Warning: Lithium Orotate may not be safe to take if you are already on an antidepressant. It could be dangerous, potentially causing Serotonin Syndrome. Discuss all supplementation with your doctor if you are taking prescription medications.

Most notably, Lithium Orotate can help alleviate stress almost immediately in some instances, and can also help maintain a positive mood.

If you’ve ever been frustrated by well meaning individuals who tell you “How” to feel better by simply thinking good thoughts, then this information may be helpful to you.

Frustrating meme:

 

Obviously, thinking good thoughts is always a good idea and can actually be beneficial to all people some of the time. However, it’s not that easy for some people and it does not work for all people, all of the time.

Sometimes the mind spits out an equally effective thought form that negates any benefit from the original positive thought. Usually the new, negative thought form is simple and sarcastic, yet very effective.

Example:

“Good morning world! I am in a good mood today!”

Immediate mental response:

“Yeah, right. I’m healed. Hallelujah.

What idiot came up with that?”

 

There is hope.

In many cases, doctors will administer antidepressants to help foster a more positive outlook. Again, the SSRIs do not work for everyone. In these cases, alternative choices, such as supplementation, are a viable option, especially in this case.

Remember that lithium orotate is a mineral that is required by the body. The supplementation form is not the same as the prescribed medicine known as Lithium, which is given at high dosages that can have adverse side effects.

Cost of supplementation…

One of the biggest obstacles to self-treating with supplementation is the cost factor. The good news about Lithium Orotate is that it is affordable.

This is the brand I have used in the past:

This item: Weyland: Lithium Orotate – 5mg of Elemental Lithium per Vegetarian Capsule.

This product is manufactured in the USA at an FDA inspected cGMP and 3rd party rated facility. It comes in vegetarian capsules and is gluten free. No soy, no dairy. See label for more details.

 

Dose:

Most people begin with 5 mg tablets or capsules. This is a safe dose, taken once a day. If a smaller dose is preferred, you may want to look at Ionic Lithium, which is in liquid form administered with a dropper.

 

Please Note.

This information is NOT about the prescription drug, Lithium, which is administered at much higher dosages and has different, sometimes adverse effects.

 

 

Benefits of Lithium Orotate.

  • Combats depression
  • Helps relieve anxiety
  • Improves cognitive function
  • Has anti-aging effects
  • Helps with OCD behaviors
  • Protects from environmental toxins
  • Supports the eyes
  • Supports the liver
  • Reduces inflammation
  • May help with conditions that cause involuntary muscle movement

 

Remember:

Thinking good thoughts can be beneficial to all people some of the time, but not often enough for some. #depression #anxiety #lithium Click To Tweet

 

For more information:

 

Disclaimer:

This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Consult a qualified medical professional before beginning or altering your medical regimen.

Psychologist Carl Rogers

Famous and noteworthy psychotherapists…

Carl Rogers (1902 – 1987)

Favorite Carl Rogers quote:

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.

 

Carl Rogers, an American psychologist, has the distinct honor of being known as the father of Person Centered therapy, also known as Client Centered therapy.

He believed the role of a psychotherapist was to enable a person to come to certain deductions and therefore solutions on their own, with a little help from the therapist.

Here is a video of Carl Rogers at a lecture on Empathy.

 

Rogers is also known for his philosophy regarding “arguments.” He believed one should not argue a point until they completely understood the other person’s point of view.

 

This polite and civil type of argument is known as a Rogerian Argument.

 

Here’s an easy explanation of Rogerian Arguments in a YouTube video:

 

Does Facebook Make You Happy

There is an article circulating that states that those who give up Facebook are happier.

Unfortunately, people reading such articles rarely read the entire article to see the actual findings, how many people participated, and where they were from. support_groups_on_facebook

This particular research included a mere 1095 Facebook users. The study was done in Copenhagen, so I would assume that is where the participants lived, but that is not necessarily so. The study was conducted by The Happiness Research Institute

Let’s break down the findings from the study of 1095 people, which does not even make up 1% of the people using Facebook, but that doesn’t seem to matter to researchers.

Scientifically speaking, it is perfectly fine to use a sample group and then make generalizations about the overall population. However, you would normally have a more inclusive representation of daily users. If you are going to use such a small sampling, then you should summarize the findings based on their common characteristics, which have to be more than the fact that they use Facebook every day.

Some of the questions I would want answered are:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Do they live alone, or with how many do they live?
  • Do they spend most of their time at home alone?
  • Are they working?
  • Are they taking care of others in the home, such as children or ill loved ones?
  • Are they disabled in any way?
  • Are they depressed regardless of their use of Facebook?

Now think about those questions and how they might affect someone who logs in to Facebook every day. If you live alone, then Facebook helps you have contact with the outside world. The drawback is that it can also make you envious of what others are able to do, but at least you have contact. The same scenario applies if you are disabled or stuck at home as a caregiver.

Perhaps your family lives in another state and you don’t see them often. Then Facebook becomes a vital tool in keeping those relationships current and active.

As you can see, personal circumstances and satisfaction with life in general will have an effect on all of your experiences, including your time on Facebook.

So how can we truly say that Facebook or the lack thereof will make you happier?

Now we’ll take a look at the findings of this “study.”

Take note of the numbers such as:

  • 39% are more likely to be less happy… which means 61% (majority) feel at least as happy if not happier than their friends.
  • 5 out of 10 which is half or 50% which is basically a coin toss, envy amazing experiences of others.  Interestingly, I also envy “some” amazing experiences regardless of where I learn about them.
  • 1 out of 3 envy the happiness of others on FB, which means that 2 out of 3 are not envious, which is the majority.
  • 4 out of 10 envying the success of others likewise means that they are in the minority because 6 out of 10 or 60% are not feeling envious of other people’s success or appearance of success on Facebook.

The actual quote on the findings:

“People on Facebook are 39% more likely to feel less happy than their friends,” reads the study. “Instead of focussing on what we actually need, we have an unfortunate tendency to focus on what other people have […] 5 out of 10 envy the #amazing experiences of others posted on Facebook. 1 out of 3 envy how #happy other people seem on Facebook. 4 out of 10 envy the apparent #success of others on Facebook.”

 

If you’re still interested in this study in spite of the fact that they misspelled focusing and in spite of the fact that it is utter nonsense, you can read more about it where I discovered it at SocialMediaWeek.com.

You can also download the report from the Happiness Research Institute.

Meanwhile, don’t worry. Be happy that millions of people can connect with each other using Facebook, or can connect with support groups, hobby groups, religious groups and political groups as well as fan groups and so much more.

The risks and the dangers of Facebook are minimal when compared to the benefits of its existence.

Thank you Mark Zuckerburg.

MarkZ

 

 

Mindfulness for Schools

According to UrbanDictionary.com, the term “urban youth” refers to young black people living in the city. I don’t know if that’s correct or not, but it does have relevance to what I am about to talk about.

Earlier today, I saw an article on FaceBook, posted by the American Psychological Association (APA) regarding urban youth and the problems they face. What disturbed me was the comment by an obviously disengaged viewer. I have included a snapshot of the comment below.

The post stated:

Many urban ‪#‎youth‬ are repeatedly exposed to significant negative stressors including violence, poverty, and substance use. A new study suggests that a ‪#‎school‬-based ‪#‎mindfulness‬ program may lessen effects of these stressors. apapsy.ch/school-mindful‪#‎mentalhealth‬

The post linked to this article:

School-Based Mindfulness Program May Help Urban Children Deal With Negative Stress, which is linked to PsychNews.org.

Ignorant comment

As you can see, I did not black out my name with my response to this person. I am still shocked by such disregard for the problems that face people today. Those with no problems seem to have no heart or mind for hearing about the unpleasantness of growing up without money and resources.

What this male does not understand is the definition of pathetic. What is pathetic is the attitude of people sharing his belief that education should not include teaching people how to cope with desperate situations, how to have hope in the midst of trouble, and how to remain focused on preparing a better future for yourself.

There are many mindfulness curriculums already in effect in many inner city schools.

Goldie Hawn has had success with her curriculum on mindfulness, which is sold through Scholastic. You can read more about her program, MindUp, and the many great reviews at the Hawn Foundation.

You can also follow their progress on their FaceBook Page.

Mind Up provides this extremely affordable curriculum in three age groups, covering ages 3 to 14. You can find them at http://store.scholastic.com.

It is never too late to learn to be mindful, to learn to still the mind and focus on this moment, which is all we truly have for certain.

Become mindful of your power to create a better future.

Become mindful of your power to create a better future.

You can also purchase tools for using at home. If you know a student who would benefit from the art of mindfulness, perhaps consider becoming a mentor and teaching this unique yet simple approach to a small group.

Meanwhile, let us continue to expand the awareness of those people who are out of touch with the realities and suffering of young people all over the world.

Namaste.

 

 

Misconceptions of Schizophrenia

A recent article focused on Separation of Church and State because a governor in the US does not believe in mental illness.

Van Gogh

Van Gogh

In that article, I spoke of the mentally ill who become violent through no fault of their own.

However, in my passion for writing about the interventions that are needed across America, I neglected to point out that not everyone who is mentally ill becomes violent.

I was shocked to realize that I had contributed to the misconceptions and stigmas associated with mental illness, and for that, I am deeply ashamed and am committed to be more mindful while writing content in the future.

Michael Hedrick’s article on “5 Things You Should Know About People With Schizophrenia revealed how important it is to make sure people understand the many nuances of a mental illness, or a physical illness.

While it is true that some people can become violent or threaten violence, it is certainly not the case for all people coping with schizophrenia. I know people with schizophrenia that are coping well with their illness.

I’ve also known of precarious situations, such as when a friend pulled a gun on a person she loved because the patient thought the loved one was spying on them for the government. This particular situation did not end in violence or harm. The problem was that the patient was not on medication because she had not been properly diagnosed, even though she exhibited symptoms.

Doctors cannot read minds. It is up to the family and the patient to properly inform a physician so that proper referrals and a diagnosis can be made. Another problem in receiving proper treatment is that often the patient will not allow anyone to accompany them to the doctor, therefore the doctor has no information other than what the patient gives him or her.

But – there are also people like Michael.

Read Michael’s story at Psychology Today. In it, he successfully dispels some misconceptions of Schizophrenia.