Palms Behavioral Health https://palmsbh.com/ Tue, 22 Feb 2022 20:01:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.1.1 https://palmsbh.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/cropped-favicon-32x32.png Palms Behavioral Health https://palmsbh.com/ 32 32 June Is the Month For World Elder Abuse Awareness https://palmsbh.com/june-is-the-month-for-world-elder-abuse-awareness/ Mon, 03 Jul 2017 19:42:00 +0000 https://palmsbh.com/?p=1195 In many countries and communities around the world, the proportion of young people is becoming smaller while the proportion of older people is increasing. Unfortunately, because of the increase in older people, there will be a substantial increase in elder abuse worldwide. Inaugurated in 2006 by the United Nations National Assembly, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15th) attempts to inform the entire world of this growing problem.

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In many countries and communities around the world, the proportion of young people is becoming smaller while the proportion of older people is increasing. Unfortunately, because of the increase in older people, there will be a substantial increase in elder abuse worldwide. Inaugurated in 2006 by the United Nations National Assembly, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15th) attempts to inform the entire world of this growing problem. For a long time, elder abuse has been very infrequently discussed or properly addressed. Here at Palms Behavioral Health, we firmly believe in the commendable goal of this awareness day and want to do our part to make the Harlingen, TX area more aware of this topic and a place where elderly persons will get the help they need.

What Does Elder Abuse Encompass?

Elder abuse comes in different forms, including emotional/psychological, physical, sexual, financial exploitation, and neglect. It occurs when someone trusted by the older person acts or fails to act, which puts the older person at risk. Abuse of elderly persons is even more detrimental because of their higher risk for overall deterioration of mental and physical health. Additionally, the risk of abuse (and consequences) is intensified if drug abuse, memory problems like dementia, physical disabilities, depression or drug abuse exist.

Difficulty in Identifying and Reporting Elder Abuse

Because much of elderly abuse is perpetrated by someone close to the victim, such as friends, family, and neighbors, it is often difficult for older people to get the help they need. The abuse may go unreported because of the lack of witnesses or the inability of the elderly persons to report or recognize it themselves both from embarrassment, shame, or depression, and from being unaware of reporting procedures. While there have been reports that have attempted to provide statistics, the actual frequency of elder abuse is certainly higher than most statistics would suggest. All of which means that the awareness of communities around the globe is vital to ending elder abuse and providing counseling for those who need it, and it starts right here in our community in Harlingen.

Reach Out to the Elder Persons Around You

While institutions and individuals are slowly becoming more aware, it is up to each and every one of us to make a difference. We all have older people in our lives, and because we know what elder abuse can sometimes be difficult to see, it’s important to dig deeper. Ask the older people you know about elder abuse. It may be difficult to have such a conversation, and we can certainly help with that at Palms Behavioral if you suspect that someone may be experiencing abuse. Abuse also requires behavioral, physical, mental health counseling, for which are interdisciplinary staff here at Palms Behavioral Health is trained and ready to help. For more information or to set up a free initial assessment, call Palms Behavioral at 956-365-2600.

Palms Behavioral Health is Ready to Assist

Offering behavioral health services, Palms is open for admissions seven days a week, 24 hours a day, and the initial assessment is of free of charge. We highlight individualized treatment in individual, group, and family settings. Our team members are trained to deal with all forms of elder abuse. Elderly persons deserve recognition, respect, and dignity. We need to be more aware of the abuse that affects this growing population worldwide and right here in Harlingen. Call us at 956-365-2600 if you have questions, concerns, or need to set up an appointment.

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What can you do for mental health month? https://palmsbh.com/what-can-you-do-for-mental-health-month/ Wed, 31 May 2017 19:45:00 +0000 https://palmsbh.com/?p=1197 What can you do for mental health month? May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and that means its time to focus on the other half of our personal selves that we neglect too often. As a society within America, we are undoubtedly focused on living a healthy lifestyle, but more often than not it is geared towards the physical aspects of our body. Eating healthy is absolutely a positive for the body as well, but we tend to overlook one area: our minds and mental wellbeing.

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What can you do for mental health month? May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and that means its time to focus on the other half of our personal selves that we neglect too often. As a society within America, we are undoubtedly focused on living a healthy lifestyle, but more often than not it is geared towards the physical aspects of our body. Eating healthy is absolutely a positive for the body as well, but we tend to overlook one area: our minds and mental wellbeing.

With approximately one in every five adults in the United States experiencing some type of mental illness each year (that’s around 44 million adults!), it is undoubtedly critical that we continue to focus on mental health as a priority in our lives. If you had a broken bone or a sore leg, would you ignore it if it continued to persist? In the same way, we need to take care of our minds in the best way possible, and not be afraid to seek out help when needed.

So with Mental Health Awareness Month in mind, what are some steps you can take towards improving your mental wellbeing?

Be Honest with Yourself

To know yourself is true wisdom, and it certainly rings true in our personal lives. When facing a mental health challenge, it is important to realize that we cannot always face these issues on our own, nor is it always the healthiest option. If you are aware that you are struggling with a mental or behavioral health issue, reach out for help. Whether it’s a friend, a co-worker, a close confidant or even a mental health specialist, now’s the time to be honest with yourself and get the help you truly need.

Help Fight Stigmas

Believe it or not, there are still mental health stigmas that exist in 2017.  While there is no question that we have made tremendous strides in the realm of mental health awareness, care and fighting the various symptoms with new and scientifically-proven methods, we still experience pockets of stigmatization throughout the country.  Sometimes it will be pride-based, where individuals don’t want to feel that they have a particular mental health issue bothering them, and other times it may be peer-pressure oriented. You may see examples of this at times in the workplace, and even in some aspects of the military.  Everyone’s experience may differ, but ultimately it is up to you to battle against mental health stigmas every day.

Practice Self-Care

It is easy to overlook our base needs at times, and our mental and physical health is no exception. Take the time this month, and for future months, to practice self-care in terms of your mental health. This could include investing in a mental health therapist, taking the time to start working out and exercising or even engaging in activities that bring you great joy and happiness! Nurturing your mind along with your body will go hand-in-hand, and you will likely experience many benefits from it down the road.

Ultimately, take some time to reflect this month on what mental health means to you, and how you can apply it in your every day life. Make sure to encourage others who may be struggling with a mental health challenge as well, and develop a network with others so that you can all help encourage each other towards healing and a life that is beneficial to yourself and others.

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Good Mental Health Nutrition https://palmsbh.com/good-mental-health-nutrition/ Mon, 24 Apr 2017 19:47:00 +0000 https://palmsbh.com/?p=1198 What we put into our bodies can always affect us in different ways. Some individuals may be highly sensitive to sugar or gluten, while others may have issues being allergic to eggs or shellfish. The nutrients we also receive from food can impact us negatively or positively, which makes what we eat on a daily basis very important. You cannot live on a diet of ice cream or fatty foods and not expect to gain weight and experience some medical issues down the road. It may be fine at first, but overall you will likely not be in the best of health.

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and our mind works as well!

Good and Bad Chemicals in Our Food

Our brain is a fairly complex organism, and we often minimize its ability to adapt and react to various stimuli, be it a traumatic experience or even the chemicals found within our food.  We cannot underestimate the way that we can react to various chemicals or components of our food, such as sugar, nor can we attempt to control how they ultimately affect us. When we start to realize this, and begin to pay attention to the what we eat, how often we eat certain things and even keep notes such as food journals, we can grasp which particular items are giving us trouble.

Balance is Key

By integrating natural foods and a focus based around a balance of fruits, vegetables and modest servings of healthy meats, we begin to see significant results. While many will undoubtedly have convictions on what foods should enter their bodies, such as the practice of veganism or leaning more heavily towards the vegetable side of the spectrum, as with vegetarians, the important thing to understand is how your body works and functions for yourself. Arguments can be made for both sides of the equation, and this is healthy and important: as long as your intake is balanced, you will likely be receiving excellent health benefits for not only your body, but also your mind and brain.

Rich in Vitamins

Foods rich in vitamins or minerals can be extremely beneficial for your mental health. Let’s try an experiment: for several weeks, try and keep a food journal and document how you are feeling after eating specific meals and types of food. Try to shift towards a diet that eliminates all or most sugars and processed foods. You will likely be able to make a determination within several days on how you are affected! Ultimately, you will be best served by either consulting with a nutritionist and a mental health professional on how to best gear your eating habits in order to eliminate some mental health issues.

We’re here to help

If you have further questions, feel free to contact us at 956-365-2600 or a completely free and confidential assessment. We are available 24 hours a day and 365 days per year to answer any mental health related questions you may have, so please reach out to us at Palms Behavioral Health today!

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When Health Issues Become Mental Health Issues https://palmsbh.com/when-health-issues-become-mental-health-issues/ Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:48:00 +0000 https://palmsbh.com/?p=1199 When interacting with individuals who discuss psychiatric issues, we may often hear the phrases “Mental Health Issues” and “behavioral health” used interchangeably. While it may have been less clear in the past as to what each phrase or concept represented, in more recent times, medical professionals, doctors and mental health specialists have come to recognize that each of these problems is a different category, focused on specific differences. In order to better understand why each issue is different, and how they are focused on individually, w e should look a bit closer as to their meanings.

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When interacting with individuals who discuss psychiatric issues, we may often hear the phrases “Mental Health Issues” and “behavioral health” used interchangeably. While it may have been less clear in the past as to what each phrase or concept represented, in more recent times, medical professionals, doctors and mental health specialists have come to recognize that each of these problems is a different category, focused on specific differences. In order to better understand why each issue is different, and how they are focused on individually, w e should look a bit closer as to their meanings.

Mental Health vs. Behavioral Health

When we look at mental health issues versus behavioral health issues, we undoubtedly run immediately into the problem that “mental health” still has stigmas attached to it from over the past years. We you may hear someone interchangeably say “I heard they were suffering from a behavioral health symptom”, where they are really referring to a mental health issue. Behavioral health is a phrase that is viewed as a bit more politically correct and not as harsh to some, but in all actuality, it is usually referring to a completely different set of symptoms that set it apart from actual mental health conditions. Regardless of one’s personal preference when it comes to referring to mental or behavioral health issues, they both refer to different things.

Disorders

Mental health conditions usually refer to disorders or diseases that are often times biological or neurological, and an individual is most often born with these. Treatment is sought as a way of coping with the difficulties that these issues present when it comes to living a balanced life. The ongoing challenges can create upheaval in both one’s personal life and in the lives of those around them should they fail to get the care and help needed. The types of treatment or therapy that are often used for these issues can be everything from psychological therapy to different types of medication.

Here are some of the most closely-related examples of mental health issues:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Various types of substance abuse, such as alcohol and chemical abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Major depression and various Unipolar varieties of depression
  • Mental Health Issues related to childhood
  • Personality disorders
  • PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sexual disorders
  • Suicidal thoughts, behaviors and tendencies
  • Tourette’s and related Tic disorders

Now when we look at Behavioral Health, we should look at this definition given to us by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which states that “Behavioral Health is a state of mental or emotional being or choices and actions that affects wellness. These Behavioral Health disorders can include the misuse and abuse of various substances, addictions to drugs or alcohol, psychological distress, suicide and mental and substance use disorders.” In totality, behavioral health tends to fall under specific decisions that an individual makes that can affect themselves or another person specifically. Various life events can be the precursor to these issues coming forth.

If left untreated, behavioral health symptoms can eventually be exacerbated and at some point turn into a mental health issue or issues. The most important aspect of either issue is to get help and starting treatment at the earliest sign of symptoms.

Palms Behavioral Health is poised as a leader in the Harlingen, Texas region, and understands the need for quality mental and behavioral health treatment. These issues can truly overshadow one’s personal life and affect everything from their personal relationships to their immediate safety.

Talk with us today

If you would like to talk to us about an mental health issues or potential issue you suspect you may be struggling with, please feel free to contact one of our mental health professionals at 956-365-2600, as we are available for a completely free and confidential assessment 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

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Advocacy Center’s Support https://palmsbh.com/advocacy-centers-support/ Mon, 13 Mar 2017 19:51:00 +0000 https://palmsbh.com/?p=1202 Thank You Cameron County Children’s Advocacy Center for supporting Palms Behavioral Health. We appreciate your help and are proud to be a supporter of the community.

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Thank You…

Cameron County Children’s Advocacy Center for supporting Palms Behavioral Health. We appreciate your help and are proud to be a supporter of the community.

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Can One Phone Call Help? https://palmsbh.com/can-one-phone-call-help/ Mon, 13 Feb 2017 19:53:00 +0000 https://palmsbh.com/?p=1203 How does a person get mental health help? Can one phone call really make a difference? When it comes to struggling with mental health issues, there is no doubt that picking up your cell phone or home phone and dialing a number for help or to get answers is a key element towards recovery. Many men and women make the mistake of suffering in silence, thinking that there may be no hope for their particular situation; they could even be afraid of ridicule or the stigmas that are often associated with these types of conditions

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How does a person get mental health help? Can one phone call really make a difference? When it comes to struggling with mental health issues, there is no doubt that picking up your cell phone or home phone and dialing a number for help or to get answers is a key element towards recovery.  Many men and women make the mistake of suffering in silence, thinking that there may be no hope for their particular situation; they could even be afraid of ridicule or the stigmas that are often associated with these types of conditions. Regardless of what particular issue one is struggling with, being able to talk with a mental health professional can be a life-changing event.

Mental health conditions can become a very disruptive part of our daily lives. Take anxiety for example: being anxious and suffering from a host of fears can completely eliminate our abilities to get through many “normal” situations on a daily basis.  It can be difficult to manage anxiety for a host of reasons.  It can cause health problems such as high blood pressure, or it can cause you to fear even the slightest deviations in your life, be it at home, work or school.  Getting help should always be a priority.

However, we fully understand that reaching out for help is an issue for many individuals, from young to old. It is hard to admit that you are struggling with a problem, and we understand that it really does take an enormous amount of courage to seek out help for any mental health issue.  The process of getting fully healed from a mental health or behavioral health problem can be arduous at times, but with the right amount of support and courage, many will often find that the help they need does exist out there; be it through the help of a personal doctor, a mental health specialist, or a psychologist.

Palms Behavioral Health is a dedicated behavioral health care center located in the Harlingen, Texas region. Poised to be the leader for mental health care, Palms BH consistently emphasizes the need to seek out proper mental health care, along with a specific regimen of therapy to address each and every need.  We additionally are able to offer our patients a fully free and confidential assessment by calling 956-365-2600.  Since we are open 24 hours per day, seven days per week, one of our mental health experts will be able to assist you with any questions, concerns or fears that you may have.

Calling our facility allows us to be able to perform an assessment, which is one of the first actual steps you can take towards improving one’s overall well-being.  This clinical interview, for lack of a better term, helps to determine what exact behavioral or mental health services will fit one’s particular needs.  Touching upon one’s past mental health history, as well as medical history and taking that together can provide the mental health expert with the exact reference points needed to make an accurate diagnosis.

A phone call can save a life: yours!  Suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts or ideations that can lead to self-harm can also be avoided by speaking up, taking a leap of faith and developing a relationship with your mental health provider.  The first step is understanding that speaking to a mental health professional is the best possible choice that you can make; don’t try and face this challenge on your own any longer!

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Does Your Child Need Mental Health Help? https://palmsbh.com/does-your-child-need-mental-health-help/ Mon, 19 Dec 2016 19:55:00 +0000 https://palmsbh.com/?p=1205 When it comes to mental health issues in children, it is important to realize that these problems can often be mistaken for behavioral challenges that may be unrelated. As a parent it truly can be difficult trying to figure out what these issues may or may not be, especially without any guidance. By the same token, it is also important to understand how serious mental health issues can affect children and adolescents, especially when it is left untreated for years at a time.

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When it comes to mental health issues in children, it is important to realize that these problems can often be mistaken for behavioral challenges that may be unrelated. As a parent it truly can be difficult trying to figure out what these issues may or may not be, especially without any guidance. By the same token, it is also important to understand how serious mental health issues can affect children and adolescents, especially when it is left untreated for years at a time.

When you consider the statistics that around 50 percent of all lifetime cases of mental illnesses usually begin by the age of 14, it is a sobering thought. Especially when we also see that the average delay of time between the beginning stages of mental health symptoms and actual intervention is in the range of 8 to 10 years. That is a long time for symptoms to set in, which can make it even more difficult to diagnose and treat than if it would have been dealt with earlier.

Seeking out mental health help for your child or children is never an easy thing to admit or do. Many times parents feel as if they are failures, or extremely guilty for not recognizing these symptoms earlier in the life of their children, but parents need to have grace to not hold themselves to that standard. It truly is a difficult thing to detect at times, and many times it is also difficult to even fathom that your child may be suffering from a mental or behavioral health problem. However, mental health professionals have made helping diagnose these problems much easier than in the past decades, and with a focus and plan of attack, many of these psychiatric and behavioral problems can be addressed.

So let’s say that you do suspect that your child is suffering from an actual mental health issue, such as severe and unwarranted anxiety, or is consistently depressed. What should your next move be?

The first step you should take is to consider all of the facts, and pay attention to the warning signs that children with mental and behavioral health issues usually exhibit. Let’s take a look at some of the more common “warning signs” that could tip you off:

  • Your child may suddenly experience unexplained fears and anxiety for no reason, and it may come out of nowhere. Physical aspects of this may include an increased heart rate, sweating, rapid breathing and other types of physical signs highlighting fear and discomfort.
  • You notice a distinct change in their eating habits. This may include your children refusing to eat, or eating far less than they normally do, as well as going in the other direction, such as eating more than they have before. Significant weight loss or gain will likely be paired with their change in their food intake.
  • Being unusually sad or withdrawn for a period of more than two weeks. It is normal for children to experience regular human emotions, such as sadness, depression, fear, uncertainty and others. However, when it occurs for a longer period of time, generally over two weeks, you can be sure that there is something deeper at work and may want to consider looking into it.
  • You may notice a dramatic drop in their grades and concentration at school. The issues that your child may be dealing with can potentially affect their ability to concentrate and perform at their consistent level of performance.
  • Fears and worries that plague them throughout the normal activities of each day, and create such an issue that they tend to avoid normal activities such as conversation, hanging with friends, and so on.

These are just a few of the more common areas to be aware of when a mental health issue is usually affecting your child. There can be so many different reasons behind why these symptoms appear, but the reality is that it is important to recognize them and consider the next steps. Usually a good next step is to either talk to your child’s doctor and ask for a referral to a mental health specialist or facility, or contact a mental health facility personally, such as Palms Behavioral Health, and reach out for a free assessment. If it is determined that your child is likely suffering from a mental or behavioral health issue, you can then discuss with the mental health professional what the next steps are to take.

If you can draw your child out and touch base with them on where they are at in their lives regularly, it will make it far easier to establish whether there are significant changes in their behavior patterns, and get them the help that they need.

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Human Trafficking https://palmsbh.com/human-trafficking/ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 20:00:00 +0000 https://palmsbh.com/?p=1209 One of the more serious issues that the world has been facing, and one that one is not often in the public eye, has been the subject of human trafficking. In short, human trafficking is essentially a form of modern-day slavery, where women and sometimes men are coerced or forced against their will to become involved with commercial sex acts or various types of labor. While this might seem to be more of an issue in other parts of the world, especially in poorer countries, the reality is that it also happens here within the United States.

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One of the more serious issues that the world has been facing, and one that one is not often in the public eye, has been the subject of human trafficking. In short, human trafficking is essentially a form of modern-day slavery, where women and sometimes men are coerced or forced against their will to become involved with commercial sex acts or various types of labor.  While this might seem to be more of an issue in other parts of the world, especially in poorer countries, the reality is that it also happens here within the United States.

The victims of these terrible crimes are often caught in a trap, where it is nearly impossible for them to escape, since their captors often use the threat of violence or actual violence, or hold some sort of coercive threat over their heads in order to make them comply. It truly is one of the darkest aspects of humanity, and to drive that point home, keep in mind that in North America and the European Union, there are an estimated 1.5 million victims. Worldwide the number stands at around 20.9 million victims. There is a perception among traffickers that it is a low-risk and high-reward industry, which makes it a rampant undertaking for many criminal enterprises.

Governmental task forces around the world work every year to eliminate these avenues of slavery, save women and men from the clutches of their captors and give them their lives back. However, that is just one piece of this entire puzzle: while their bodies may be free, their minds are often not. Survivors of human trafficking face a road to recovery that can be one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome in the entire process such as relearning the ways to change their thinking, address mental health issues and behavioral health issues such as anxiety, depression, addiction issues and so forth.

There is a significant need for quality mental health care facilities throughout the country to help address this issue. Studies have indicated that survivors of human trafficking have reported very high levels of PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  In addition to PTSD, depression and suicidal behavior are other critical symptoms. A study completed in England showed that 43% of adults who were trafficked were victims of abuse during their childhood. 60% of trafficked adults were also the victims of abuse such as sexual assaults, domestic violence and others, both before, during and after the abuse.

Sex and human trafficking is a serious issue that continues to plague our global society. But without a strong infrastructure of support, guidance and help with the issues surrounding recovery, we will not be able to find this battle adequately. The good news is that governments are making a strong push towards solving these issues around the world; however, we still have a ways to go in terms of wiping this method of control from the earth.

If you are aware of someone who may be involved in human trafficking, or someone who is recovering from being trafficked and is suffering from various mental health issues, have them reach out to a mental health facility for an evaluation today.

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Benefits of Psychiatry https://palmsbh.com/benefits-of-psychiatry/ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:59:00 +0000 https://palmsbh.com/?p=1208 The state of our nation when it comes to mental health issues is a bit precarious. While the country has made greater strides within the past 50 years in terms of how we perceive individuals with mental health challenges, as well as investing in better treatments and methods of discovery, there is still much to be addressed. There are still numerous stigmas associated with having mental health issues, especially in places such as the average workplace, the military and other venues.

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The state of our nation when it comes to mental health issues is a bit precarious.  While the country has made greater strides within the past 50 years in terms of how we perceive individuals with mental health challenges, as well as investing in better treatments and methods of discovery, there is still much to be addressed. There are still numerous stigmas associated with having mental health issues, especially in places such as the average workplace, the military and other venues. On the other hand, the good news is that awareness is growing, and there are strong pushes to get a better balance with our mental health in our lives, and receive the treatment we need to live a well-rounded life.

So when it comes to mental health treatment, what makes psychiatry so important? The ability to have access to proper mental health care is increasingly critical, and has been highlighted by the growing number of children, adolescents, adults and seniors who are struggling with particular behavioral health issues or mental health conditions in this country. We are seeing an increasing number of addictions on the rise, such as opiate use, alcohol and other drug abuse. Depression rates have continued increasing as well, and there is a serious issue within our military, as the suicide rate has skyrocketed.

Part of the solution is to help fight against stigmas associated with having mental health conditions, and making sure that men and women are able to get the help that they need to treat their conditions. Psychiatry is beneficial in this way, by:

Helping to Make a Significant Personal Change

Psychiatry helps give an individual the power to make major changes in their life, and to help target the exact issues relating to their mental or behavioral health challenges. The guidance and support an individual receives is usually a key aspect of being able to diagnose, address and help put specific plans into motion in order to heal and alleviate symptoms.

To Pinpoint the Specific Issues

Sometimes mental health issues are directly related to an individual’s emotional state, their previous experiences and the challenges that they have faced in their life. At other times, it can stem from more psychological issues, or potentially even biological challenges. Sometimes it is difficult to identify until one is able to be examined in detail by a mental health professional, psychiatrist or doctor.

Improving Your Quality of Life

Mental health or behavioral health conditions can really interrupt an individual’s personal life at times, especially in severe cases. Having the ability to be free from depression, anxiety, addictive tendencies or other psychiatric illnesses can free one to live the life they were meant to live.

Psychiatry continues to play an incredibly important role in our society more than ever. For those who may be suffering from mental health challenges, or who have a friend or family member who is struggling, it is never too late to start getting the help that you or they might need. Reach out to your local mental health professional and begin to improve your life in ways you never thought possible before.

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Geriatric Depression https://palmsbh.com/geriatric-depression/ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:57:00 +0000 https://palmsbh.com/?p=1207 Depression is often a natural part of our emotional canvas, one of many emotions that we can experience within normal parameters. You may have a bad day at work and feel a bit depressed. You may have had plans that got cancelled and you ended up feeling disappointed and a bit sad. Ultimately, the point is that it is normal to feel some depression now and then, and it can be determined by not only our circumstances, but also what we eat, our environment and other outside factors.

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Depression is often a natural part of our emotional canvas, one of many emotions that we can experience within normal parameters. You may have a bad day at work and feel a bit depressed. You may have had plans that got cancelled and you ended up feeling disappointed and a bit sad. Ultimately, the point is that it is normal to feel some depression now and then, and it can be determined by not only our circumstances, but also what we eat, our environment and other outside factors.

When it comes to severe or clinical cases of depression and their associated symptoms, however, we more often than not think of it as something that adolescents might suffer from, or adults. We tend to forget that seniors and geriatrics can suffer from depression just as much as you and me; in fact, it is more common than one would think! In the latter stages of life, there can be multiple factors that can lead to geriatric depression; this mental health issue can create symptoms that are mild in nature to symptoms that can completely make an elderly individual unable to deal with their daily lives.

One of the first things to address is realizing that having depression is not a sign of weakness – people might mistakenly assume that just because a man or woman has lived 60, 70, 80 or 90 years, that there is nothing else that could possibly bother them after all they have experienced throughout their long life.  In fact, some of the main reasons that depression in seniors is overlooked are for reasons such as these:

  • The assumption that they might have a reason to be depressed for the simple fact that they are aging.
  • Older individuals tend to be more isolated, and isolation can cause an increase of depression symptoms if one is not aware of the signs.
  • Physical complaints and ailments can also be signs of depression

Sometimes an elderly individual may just be reluctant to talk about their particular depression symptoms; whatever the reason, it is important to understand that depression can happen with the elderly, it is ok to have it and that there are answers.

Some of the more common symptoms are:

  • Feelings of despair or sadness
  • Changes in one’s eating habits, with either weights loss or weight gain
  • Memory problems and trouble focusing
  • Feeling hopeless or helpless
  • Feeling far less motivated, as well as drained of energy

These are just some of the signs to be aware of in the elderly. If you are caring for a senior such as a parent, relative or friend, it would be useful to learn some of these symptoms. In addition, if you yourself are a senior, and are unsure if you have been suffering from depression, it doesn’t hurt to reach out to your local mental health facility for a screening. Palms Behavioral Health in fact offers a free and confidential evaluation. Depression can affect millions of individuals across the country each year; don’t hesitate to take the step for treatment today!

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