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The Benefits of Equine Therapy for Mental Health

Equine Therapy

Equine therapy, also known as horse therapy or equine-assisted therapy, has emerged as a unique and effective approach to promoting mental health and emotional well-being. The inherent connection between humans and horses transcends the equestrian realm, extending into the realm of therapeutic interventions. Through purposeful interactions and activities with horses, individuals can experience a range of benefits that touch on various facets of their mental health. This holistic approach acknowledges the interconnectedness of emotional, psychological, and physical well-being, offering a distinctive avenue for personal growth and healing. The benefits of equine therapy for mental health are diverse and encompass various aspects, such as:

  • Emotional Regulation: Interacting with horses can help individuals develop emotional awareness and regulation. The responsive nature of horses often mirrors and reflects human emotions, providing immediate feedback and promoting emotional self-control.
  • Building Trust and Confidence: Establishing a connection with a horse requires trust, patience, and effective communication. For individuals struggling with trust issues or low self-esteem, working with horses can be a powerful tool for building confidence and fostering a sense of accomplishment.
  • Communication Skills: Horses communicate primarily through non-verbal cues and body language. Engaging with them enhances individuals’ non-verbal communication skills, helping them become more attuned to others’ emotions and improving their own ability to convey feelings without words.
  • Stress Reduction: The calming presence of horses and the serene environment of equine therapy settings contribute to stress reduction. Spending time outdoors, engaging in physical activities, and connecting with animals can positively impact the nervous system and reduce overall stress levels.
  • Mindfulness and Present Moment Awareness: Working with horses requires individuals to be present in the moment, fostering mindfulness. This practice can be particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with anxiety or depression, helping them focus on the present rather than dwelling on past events or worrying about the future.
  • Social Skills and Relationship Building: Group equine therapy sessions provide opportunities for social interaction and collaboration. Participants learn to work together, solve problems, and build positive relationships, contributing to improved social skills and a sense of community.
  • Empowerment and Independence: Taking responsibility for the care and management of a horse can empower individuals, fostering a sense of independence and self-efficacy. This empowerment can translate into increased confidence in dealing with life’s challenges.
  • Physical Exercise: Engaging in equine-related activities, such as grooming, riding, or leading a horse, provides physical exercise. Physical activity is linked to improved mental health, as it releases endorphins and reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Coping Skills Development: Equine therapy offers a unique environment for individuals to practice and develop coping skills. The challenges and successes experienced in working with horses can be translated into effective coping mechanisms for handling life’s difficulties.
  • Holistic Healing: Equine therapy is a holistic approach that addresses the physical, emotional, and mental aspects of an individual’s well-being. The interconnectedness of the horse-human relationship can lead to comprehensive healing and personal growth.

Equine therapy stands as a powerful and holistic modality for fostering mental health and emotional resilience. The symbiotic relationship between humans and horses taps into a profound connection that extend beyond conventional therapeutic approaches. Its capacity to address the mind, body, and spirit, exemplifies the profound possibilities that arise when the human-animal bond is harnessed for therapeutic purposes.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

The Role of Music Therapy in Mental Health

Music Therapy

Music therapy plays a crucial role in promoting mental health by harnessing the therapeutic potential of music. Psychology Today asserts that all forms of music “may have therapeutic effects, although music from one’s own culture may be most effective. In Chinese medical theory, the five internal organ and meridian systems are believed to have corresponding musical tones, which are used to encourage healing. Types of music differ in the types of neurological stimulation they evoke.” Music can be used as a regulating or calming agent for anxiety or for dysregulation, as it acts as a medium for processing emotions, trauma, and grief. Formal music therapy was defined and first used by the United States War Department in 1945 to help military service members recovering in army hospitals with occupational therapy, education, recreation, and physical reconditioning.

Music Therapy Basics

Music therapy is an evidence-based therapy that, according to Cleveland Clinic, relies on “the clinical use of music to accomplish individualized goals such as reducing stress, improving mood and self-expression… [and] may include listening, singing, playing instruments, or composing music.” Rather than focusing on verbal articulation and communication, music therapy emphasizes listening to and creating music as a form of healing. Music therapy stimulates cognitive functions and memory, making it a particularly advantageous method of treatment for people with conditions like dementia. Music therapy is administered by a board-certified music therapist. It may be conducted in an individual or group setting and can be used in conjunction with other therapeutic modalities or on its own.

Mental health refers to emotional, cognitive, and behavioral well-being. It is described by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” Music therapy is a well-regarded and versatile intervention that can address various aspects of mental health. There is a plethora of advantages to music therapy, including psychological, emotional, physical, spiritual, cognitive, and social benefits. The American Music Therapy Association explains that participating in music therapy can help:

  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Improve respiration.
  • Reduce heart rate.
  • Improve cardiac output.
  • Relax muscle tension.
  • Lower levels of anxiety.
  • Increase pain threshold.
  • Improve memory.
  • Enhance motivation.

Music therapy plays a significant role in mental health treatment, offering a unique avenue for expression and communication. It serves as a valuable and integrative component in mental health care, contributing to the well-being and healing of individuals across diverse contexts.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

The Role of Spirituality in Mental Health

Spirituality

The World Health Organization (WHO) explains mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” There are a variety of factors that can affect one’s mental health. Spirituality, for example, can have a profound impact on one’s mental health and well-being. Spirituality, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, “involves the recognition of a feeling or sense or belief that there is something greater than [oneself], something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater whole of which we are part is cosmic or divine in nature.” Although the notion of spirituality is globally acknowledged, there is no clear consensus about its definition among health researchers. Spirituality is a broad and complex concept which varies its understanding according to different cultural, religious, and academic backgrounds. Nevertheless, a robust body of evidence-based studies underscore the role of spirituality in mental health.

Extensive research indicates that spirituality is important in treating psychological conditions. According to a review published in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, “Lack of spirituality can interfere with interpersonal relationships, which can contribute to the genesis of psychiatric disturbance.” Conversely, spirituality can help address various mental health issues (e.g., poor self-esteem, low confidence, lack of self-control, fear of daily tasks, etc.), lending it to be a useful extension to mental health treatment plans. Leading expert in the psychology of religion and spirituality, Kenneth I. Pargament, PhD., refers to “Empirical studies of many groups dealing with major life stressors such as natural disaster, illness, loss of loved ones, divorce and serious mental illness show that religion and spirituality are generally helpful to people in coping, especially people with the fewest resources facing the most uncontrollable of problems.” Spiritual exercises, as asserted by McLean Hospital, can help people increase acceptance, decrease negative emotions, find meaning, and deepen their relationships with others. Spirituality incorporates healthy practices for the mind and body, which can yield an array of positive mental health benefits.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

The Role of Nutrition in Mental Health

Nutrition in Mental Health

Mental health exists on a continuum, and much like physical health, is intertwined and often informed by behavioral health. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” While one’s mental health encompasses several factors (e.g., one’s biology, one’s psychological condition, and one’s habits) behavioral health examines how one’s habits impact one’s overall physical and mental well-being. Good behavioral health means engaging in behaviors that help to achieve an ideal mental and physical balance. Nutrition, for example, plays a significant role in mental health, as a growing body of research suggests that what one eats can have a profound impact on one’s mood, cognitive function, and overall well-being.

Nutrition is defined as “the biochemical and physiological process by which an organism uses food to support its life.” Nutrition comes from a variety of sources such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, lipids, enzymes, carbohydrates, and more. Nutrients are substances required by the body to perform its basic functions (e.g., provide energy, contribute to body structure, and/ or regulate chemical processes in the body). These are vital, basic functions that allow us to detect and respond to environmental surroundings, move, excrete wastes, breathe, grow, and reproduce. Essential nutrients are compounds that must be obtained from our diet as the human body cannot make them or cannot make them in sufficient quantity. Essential nutrients are divided into two categories: macronutrients and micronutrients. Nutrients (i.e., carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins) that are needed in large amounts for the body to function optimally are called macronutrients. Micronutrients include all the essential minerals and vitamins and are required by the body in lesser amounts. The relationship between nutrition and mental health is complex and multifaceted.

The neurotransmitters (brain chemicals that are responsible for regulating behaviors) in one’s body are controlled by what an individual ingests. Hence, poor nutrition can lead to detrimental physiological outcomes, whereas proper nutrition can enrich an individual’s mental health. Certain foods, for example, can increase the production of dopamine and/ or norepinephrine that boost an individual’s ability to think more clearly, remain more alert, and heighten their focus. Including certain foods (e.g., those rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, etc.) into one’s diet can provide an individual with the energy and strength required to be physically active, which paves the way to develop a healthy exercise regimen. The Academy of Neurological Therapy asserts that “exercise has been shown to help improve and prevent many conditions, including: weight management, stress levels, emotional regulation/ mood, memory, attention, strength, endurance, balance, flexibility, and blood pressure regulation.” Epidemiological studies have revealed that diet impacts mental health, and intervention studies confirm this relationship. Cultivating healthy nutrition habits is essential for any individual as eating a varied and nutritiously balanced diet can inform one’s physiological health and promote mental wellness.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

The Effects of Substance Abuse on Anxiety and Mental health

Anxiety

Substance abuse is defined as “the use of a substance for a purpose not consistent with legal or medical guidelines.” There are different ways that an individual could misuse drugs. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines alcohol abuse as a “pattern of drinking alcohol that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 percent – or 0.08 grams of alcohol per deciliter – or higher. For a typical adult, this pattern corresponds to consuming 5 or more drinks (male) or 4 or more drinks (female), in about 2 hours.” Prescription drug abuse occurs when a person abuses a medication that was prescribed to them by a medical professional or takes prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them at all. It also includes taking more medication than prescribed, mixing the medication with other drugs, ingesting the medication in a way other than prescribed (e.g., crushing and snorting a pill that is meant to be swallowed), and/ or taking the medication more frequently than prescribed. Using any illicit substance is considered drug abuse. Habitually abusing drugs and/ or alcohol will affect the way one’s brain functions, as one’s body becomes increasingly accustomed to functioning with the presence of the abused substance in its system. The psychological distress associated with substance abuse can trigger anxiety and adversely impact one’s mental health.

Alcohol and Anxiety

Anxiety is defined as “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.” Drinking alcohol is known to exacerbate anxiety. Alcohol reduces the amount of serotonin (the neurotransmitter that works to stabilize one’s mood, happiness, and feelings of well-being) in the brain, and low levels of serotonin are associated with increased anxiety. While drinking alcohol can result in fleeting feelings of relaxation, it is not uncommon for an individual to experience increased feelings of anxiety after the initial effects of alcohol wear off. A 2014 University of Missouri-Columbia study found that drinking alcohol as a method of getting to sleep disrupts the body’s sleep homeostasis, or sleep regulator, and adversely affects one’s natural sleep cycles. The disruption in sleep patterns caused by alcohol can affect one’s energy levels, mood, and increase one’s susceptibility to anxiety.

Substance Use Disorder and Anxiety Disorders

Studies show that substance use disorder increases one’s risk of mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and psychosis. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) assert that nearly half of the people “who have a mental health disorder will also have a substance use disorder at some point in their lives and vice versa.” When an individual is diagnosed with substance use disorder and another co-occurring mental health illness it is referred to as a dual diagnosis. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that people diagnosed with substance use disorder are twice as likely to suffer from a mood or anxiety disorder than the general population. The 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found approximately 8.1 percent of individuals in the United States are living with mental illness and substance use disorder. Anxiety disorders and substance use disorders frequently co-occur. These two disorders have such high rates of co-occurrence that they are among the most prevalent psychiatric illnesses.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

The Link Between Childhood Trauma and BPD

Childhood-Trauma

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a chronic, complex psychological condition that is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). It is characterized by a pervasive pattern of high affective instability, impulsive behaviors, unstable interpersonal relationships, and an inconsistent self-concept. Borderline personality disorder is associated with a diverse range of signs and symptoms. The cause of borderline personality disorder remains unknown. However, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) alludes to research that “suggests that genetics, brain structure and function, and environmental, cultural, and social factors play a role, or may increase the risk for developing borderline personality disorder.” Recent research has shown that 1.6% of the population in the United States has BPD, which amounts to over four million Americans.

Trauma is defined as any type of distressing event or experience that can have an impact on a young person’s ability to cope and function. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), childhood trauma is defined as “the experience of an event by a child that is emotionally painful or distressful, which often results in lasting mental and physical effects.” Childhood trauma may be caused by examples such as abuse (such as sexual or physical), witnessing domestic violence, neglect, accidents, chronic or sudden medical illness, a death in the family or parental illness, substance use, divorce, or incarceration. Any experience that threatens a child’s sense of security and leaves a young person feeling overwhelmed and isolated can be traumatic. Data indicates that one in four children living in the United States experiences a traumatic event before reaching adulthood.

Childhood Trauma and BPD

Empirical evidence confirms the notion that humans store memories, experience, and emotions on a cellular level. Hence, early childhood experiences play a large role in how the brain develops and functions. A report from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University asserts that childhood trauma can derail healthy development and cause damaging effects on learning, behavior, and health across the lifespan. Trauma and adversity in childhood raise the risk of numerous health problems (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, etc.) in adulthood. Further, the effects of childhood trauma have repeatedly been linked to the development of maladaptive personality traits and personality disorders. According to University of Manchester research, people with borderline personality disorder are 13 times more likely to report childhood trauma than people without any mental health problems.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options. 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

The Importance of Self-Compassion in Mental Health

self-compassion

Mental health refers to emotional, cognitive, and behavioral well-being. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” Wellness is an active and dynamic process of change and growth to reach one’s fullest potential. According to The National Wellness Institute, wellness is a “process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.” There are eight dimensions of wellness, and devoting time to each of these dimensions in one’s daily life, can improve one’s mental health and emotional well-being.

What Is Self-Compassion?

Self-compassion is defined as “compassion directed inward, relating to oneself as the object of care and concern when faced with the experience of suffering.” Kristin Neff, Ph.D., one of the leading researchers in this field, explains that self-compassion is comprised of the following three central components:

  1. Self-kindness versus self-judgment: being kind and understanding toward oneself rather than being self-critical.
  2. Common humanity versus isolation: Seeing one’s fallibility as part of the larger human condition and experience rather than as isolating.
  3. Mindfulness versus overidentification: holding one’s painful thoughts and feelings in mindful awareness rather than avoiding them or overidentifying with them.

When these interrelated elements combine and mutually interact, we can cultivate a self-compassionate frame of mind when encountering personal mistakes, failure, perceived inadequacies, and/ or various experiences of life difficulty.

Benefits of Self-Compassion

There is an array of benefits to practicing self-compassion. Research indicates that self-compassion is strongly associated with psychological well-being. More specifically, experts assert that “higher levels of self-compassion are linked to increased feelings of happiness, optimism, curiosity, and connectedness, as well as decreased anxiety, depression, rumination, and fear of failure.” A 2021 paper in the Journal of Positive Psychology, asserts that self-compassion induces a feeling of security and calmness as it produces a chemical response by activating the parasympathetic system, which triggers the release of oxytocin (commonly known as the “love hormone”). This creates a sense of emotional safety, even in the face of uncertainty, which in turn lowers stress and stress-related behaviors. According to Michigan State University, “practicing self-compassion helps us to accept our own humanness and imperfections with kindness and increases people’s motivation to learn, to change for the better and to avoid repeating past mistakes.” Self-compassion research reveals that individuals who practice self-compassion are far less likely to suffer from mental health conditions and are more resilient. Empirical literature further indicates that self-compassion appears to reduce psychopathology through lessened automatic and negative thinking, reduced avoidance of negative emotions, decreased entanglement with negative emotions, and greater emotion regulation skills, all of which lead to greater life satisfaction and enhanced mental health. 

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options. 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

What Does The Term ‘High-Functioning’ Bipolar Disorder Mean?

bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic-depressive disorder or manic depression, is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as a chronic mental health illness. Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that is characterized by noticeable, unprovoked, sometimes extreme, changes in mood and behavior, that typically present as severe episodic mood swings, shifting between emotional highs (manias) to emotional lows (depressions) with intervals of stable moods. According to the diagnostic criteria outlined in the DSM-5, bipolar disorder is diagnosed when a person experiences three or more manic symptoms and five or more depressive symptoms. Bipolar disorder can develop at any age, but it is most diagnosed in individuals younger than age twenty-five. Bipolar disorder affects nearly 4.4% adults in America. A 2020 study suggests that nearly 23% of those with bipolar disorder could be considered high functioning.

High Functioning Bipolar Disorder

High functioning bipolar disorder (HFBD) is not an official clinical diagnosis. Further, there is no technical definition for the term “high-functioning” bipolar disorder, but HFBD generally refers to how well a person can deal with bipolar disorder and, in large part, mask its symptoms. Since people with bipolar disorder can experience both depression and mania simultaneously or consecutively, the same individual may appear highly productive (mania) as well as unproductive (depression) at different points in their lives.

It is important to note that although people with HFBD are able live their lives with less interference from the symptoms than a lot of other people with the same diagnosis, being labeled as high functioning has no bearing on the severity of their condition. The main difference between bipolar disorder and high functioning bipolar disorder is the person’s ability to perform under the demands of their symptoms. Most people with HFBD are highly adept at concealing their symptoms, contributing to the fact that it is not uncommon for their condition to go overlooked, undiagnosed, or untreated. The name “high functioning bipolar disorder” is both misleading and stigmatizing, which is why many now use the term “bipolar disorder with low support needs” in its place.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

Eating For Mental Wellness: Myths About Healthy Eating

Mental Wellness

Mental health refers to emotional, cognitive, and behavioral well-being. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” Wellness is an active and dynamic process of change and growth to reach one’s fullest potential and strives to enhance overall well-being. According to The National Wellness Institute, wellness is a “process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence” by focusing on its eight dimensions. When it comes to food and nutrition, there are countless misconceptions, erroneous myths, and inaccurate messages that have circulated throughout time, including things related to:

  • Food Groups:
    • Myth: Some groups of food are unhealthy or bad.
    • False: Although all foods are not made equal, there is no objective standard to qualify any treat, food group, or nutrient as inherently bad.
  • Vitamin C:
    • Myth: Vitamin C can keep you from catching a cold.
    • False: Research has shown that vitamin C generally does not ward off colds.
  • Carrots
    • Myth: Raw carrots are more nutritious than cooked carrots.
    • False: Antioxidants may be enhanced when some vegetables are cooked, such as carrots. Researchers in a 2008 study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, found cooking carrots increases their nutritional value.
  • Eggs
    • Myth: Eggs should be avoided because of their cholesterol content.
    • False: In a 2018 study in the journal Nutrients, researchers found eggs do not contribute to high cholesterol. In fact, eggs are an inexpensive source of many nutrients, including zinc and iron, antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin D, and the brain-boosting chemical choline. Further, the American Heart Association says one whole egg or two egg whites a day can be part of a healthy diet.
  • Carbohydrates
    • Myth: Cutting carbohydrates from your diet improves your health.
    • False: Integrating healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, is essential to your overall well-being. Several studies, including a 2016 study in the British Medical Journal, show that people who eat whole grains have 20 to 30 percent less heart disease, and researchers further concluded that an increased intake of whole grains is associated with a decreased risk of chronic diseases and premature mortality.

Common food myths can greatly influence the habits and patterns one develops surrounding healthy eating and nutrition. Eating is a fundamental necessity of life, and even a minor nutrition deficit can have a significant effect on your physical health and mental wellness.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.

 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

Covid’s Impact On Mental Health

man wwearing a mask suffering from mental illness

The 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), also known as COVID-19, is a new disease that has not previously been seen in humans. Clinical Microbiology and Infection (CMI) asserts that COVID-19 “is associated with a respiratory illness that may lead to severe pneumonia, and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).” The fact that the method of transmission, severity of symptoms, and long-term affects of coronavirus-19 were largely unknown not only caused worldwide panic and but also initiated the surge of a global pandemic. In efforts to slow the spread of the virus, states all across America instituted social distancing guidelines, implemented sporadic stay-at-home orders for all non-essential workers, prohibited in-restaurant dining, closed schools, theaters, exercise studios, museums, public libraries, and more. Many hospitals around the country prohibited individuals that were not there for treatment from entering the building (e.g. loved ones of patients). Further, due to its highly contagious nature a strict no visitor’s policy was established both in healthcare settings (e.g. designated COVID-19 unites) as well as in the general public (e.g. mandatory quarantine for a minimum of 14 days) for those that tested positive for the virus. Sadly, this too meant that for individuals who became terminal from COVID-19 they would be unable to be in the company of loved ones in their last living moments. 

Mental Health Impact

Nearly every person in America has experienced the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even in rare situations where an individual does not have a direct connection to someone who has contracted COVID-19, the pandemic could still negatively affect their mental wellbeing. For example, extroverted individuals that thrive on social interaction were required to adhere to the stay-at-home orders and social distance mandates for extended periods of time, which surely affected their mental state. Some individuals lost family members and/ or loved one’s to COVID-19 and were unable to visit with them, see them or be by their side as they passed, which could gravely imprint an individual’s psyche. Depending on the individual, when contracted, the physical toll the virus can take on an individual can be immense, and the recovery process from COVID-19 can leave an individual vulnerable to lingering adverse effects. Having to deal with newfound, seemingly long-term physical complications can contribute to one’s mental state, and could ignite any dormant mental health ailment. The fear surrounding the unknown was palpable, not only in the United States, but all over the world. There is an endless list of all of the known ways COVID-19 impacted society: individuals developed thorough/ obsessive cleaning rituals to avoid unnecessarily contracting the virus, people spent months on end inside their homes, people stopped obtaining medical services for pre-existing conditions for fear of contracting the virus, and many, many more. Every individual living through these unprecedented times is bound to experience a slew of emotions, some of which may be difficult to navigate as they are directly related to unparalleled times. There are countless layers of how COVID-19 could impact an individual’s mental health. Much like many of the long-term effects of contracting the virus itself remain unknown, the long-term mental health effects of living through this pandemic are unknown yet are sure to be both extensive and profound. 

Disclaimer: 

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health.  As such, please do not use any material provided above as a means to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.

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