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More than 40 million Americans suffer from a mental illness. So why is it so difficult to talk about it? Whatever the reason, the taboo surrounding mental illness leaves millions of people feeling isolated during the time they most need someone who understands them. Enter the world of mental health podcasts.
While most people shy away from talking about difficult mental health issues, these podcasts tackle these topics head on. They help people in pain feel less alone and shed some of the stigma around their illness.
Here is everything you need to know about mental health podcasts.
A mental health podcast is a podcast that focuses on a mental health topic in every episode. It may use expert advice, humor, debate, storytelling, and more to delve into these subjects. A mental health podcast will generally take one or a combination of two approaches.
Many podcasters do what they do in order to help other people. They have suffered from mental illness and found ways to manage, and they want to share what they’ve learned. They, therefore, provide self-help talks and discussions with plenty of practical advice.
Others take a different approach, exploring and sharing their own experience, in the hope that others will relate and feel less alone. Just speaking about mental illness takes the stigma down a notch, and it can be a huge relief for those with no one else to turn to.
Of course, many mental health podcasts combine personal experience with self-help. They create a safe space for understanding and support, telling stories and sharing what they have tried.
Anyone can be a podcaster. There are no rules dictating who can and cannot share their experiences and thoughts. No matter who you are, if you have something to say, you have the freedom and basic resources to do so. For many, the goal of listening to or creating podcasts is connection.
However, the best podcasters have the added resources necessary to make it part of their careers. They invest time and money into conceptualizing, researching, and recording high quality episodes that can reach millions of people.
The top mental health podcasts are run by people who either have the needed expertise or have access to expert knowledge. They recognize the power of their own honest sharing, but also understand the limits of their knowledge. They, therefore, provide an engaging mix of stories, information, interviews, and advice.
Mental health podcasts generally aim for similar goals: connection, exploration, and advice. However, they go about achieving these goals from a number of different directions.
Psychology podcasts explore topics in the field of psychology and mental health. They can be educational or entertaining, or both. They can open up discussions about a field that is more commonly spoken about in whispers.
The best psychology podcasts offer a mixture of information, candid discussion, humor, advice, and entertainment. They keep you engaged and make you feel less isolated, as well as providing resources to continue your discovery of the subject afterwards.
Self-help podcasts primarily aim to provide tools that listeners can utilize to improve their lives. This does not mean that the entire episode consists of advice. Self-help is often best dispensed within a context of storytelling and discussion. However, each episode will offer practical self-help that regular or first time listeners will be able to take into their daily lives.
Anxiety podcasts focus on the incredibly common struggle of anxiety. While millions of people suffer from anxiety on a day-to-day basis, individuals who do generally feel like they’re the only ones. They feel like they are weak for feeling anxious, especially when the source of their anxiety is something that seems so unproblematic for everyone else.
Anxiety podcasts relieve this burden for many people. When you hear others describe the source of their own anxieties, you begin to recognize that your feelings are actually very common. You will also realize that they are not due to a personal weakness. Learning this doesn’t necessarily relieve your anxiety, but it helps to diminish the power that the anxiety has held over you. Rather than seeing it as a terrible secret, you will perhaps learn to see it as something that many people live with.
Anxiety podcasts may include practical advice for dealing with anxiety. Different approaches work for different people and good anxiety podcasters understand and acknowledge this.
Every couple experiences difficulties at some point in their relationship. It is only natural considering that no two people think the same way, manage their feelings in the same way, communicate in the same way, or argue in the same way. It is, in fact, incredible when a relationship lasts for many years without serious dysfunction.
Nonetheless, few couples seek help unless they are already in crisis. Rather than actively learning how to communicate better and support each other, they hope to simply figure it out as time passes. Unfortunately, the opposite generally happens.
Couples therapy podcasts help couples to understand why it is so hard sometimes to just get along. They may include actual snippets from couples therapy sessions, or describe the sort of conversations that go on in the therapist’s office. For couples who have not yet gone to therapy, or don’t think there is value in it, a couples therapy podcast can provide important insights.
Usually, these podcasts also make it clear that going to therapy does not mean there is anything fundamentally wrong with your relationship or that your love is not real. Instead, it is a commitment to learning the important insights that no one is born knowing.
Your teenage years are some of the most vulnerable years of your life. Teenagers who are going through tremendous physical and emotional changes, begin to question just about everything. Life may have made perfect sense until now, but suddenly nothing seems certain. One’s teens can be a formative time and a time for exploring new things, but they can just as easily be colored by mental health issues and isolation.
Unfortunately, society often does not take teenagers seriously. Their problems are disregarded as insignificant next to the problems of adulthood, despite the fact that adults generally have more access to tools with which they can solve their problems.
Podcasts for teens provide a space where teenage issues are taken seriously. They help teenagers understand that their issues are not the results of being childish or overemotional, but rather the product of a confusing time of growth and self-discovery. They help teens recognize signs of mental illness in themselves (and their peers) and they also relieve the sense of isolation that so many teenagers experience.
Mental illness is a serious matter, but that does not mean humor is inappropriate. There are many mental health podcasts that use humor as a tool to make tough subjects easier to speak about. By no longer speaking about mental health issues only in whispers, humor helps deplete some of the stigma and taboo around the subject. It also means you’re more likely to speak about the subject without the heaviness that usually accompanies it.
Because of the stigma surrounding mental illness, you may not realize how widespread it really is. The following statistics should serve to comprehensively dispel this assumption.
You may be wondering why, if mental illness is so prevalent, the stigma still exists.
There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, it is important to keep in mind that the illness itself makes you feel bad about yourself, and ashamed to be honest about it. People suffering with mental illness tend to internalize it and blame themselves for being “weak.”
But the foundation for the stigma comes from society long misunderstanding mental illness. The field of psychology as a science is relatively new and it has existed in something resembling its modern form for just over a century. Unfortunately, not everyone has come as far as the science in this time. It is all too common for people to see mental illness as a moral weakness rather than a type of disease.
The shame, that sufferers therefore feel, stops many of them from admitting to suffering from mental illness which makes it seem like it affects far fewer people.
Mental health podcasts are an important tool in breaking down the stigma, making it clear that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of and that those who are suffering are not alone.
Thinking of trying out a mental health podcast? Here are 5 excellent podcasts that talk about mental health.
Mental Illness Happy Hour, hosted by comedian Paul Gilmartin, is the perfect starting point for anyone affected by mental illness. Gilmartin delves deep into a huge range of mental health topics, without ever forgetting how important humor and levity can be. While he treats every subject with the seriousness it deserves, he makes sure it never becomes overwhelming. Mental Illness Happy Hour is one of the oldest mental health podcasts, and has done a lot to lessen the mental illness stigma.
The Hilarious World of Depression utilizes humor to normalize the subject matter. Depression, when viewed through a certain lens, can be funny; and the laughs make the experiences shared all the more relatable. Hosted by John Moe, The Hilarious World of Depression has featured some incredible guests, including Maria Bamford, Paul F. Tompkins, and Jen Kirkman.
Mentally Yours, created by Metro.co.uk, is a British podcast that focuses on mental illness, treatment options, politics, and more. Yvette Caster and Ellen Scott are candid in their discussions; using honesty, empathy, and compassion to help millions of people feel less alone.
The Struggle Bus is an advice podcast hosted by Katharine Heller and Sally Tamarkin. They share their thoughts about a range of topics, and they have a lot of thoughts. While some podcasters shy away from sharing personal opinions, the hosts of The Struggle Bus do not. However, they are always open to changing their minds along the way.
Psych Sessions is hosted by LMHP, Dr Jimmy Morris. He invites experts, in every episode, to talk about a range of mental health subjects in more detail. Psych Sessions is informative and educational, but it is never dull. It’s one of the most popular mental health podcasts out there.
There are tremendous benefits when it comes to mental health podcasting, that go far beyond the undertaking of most podcasts to entertain and inform.
As we have mentioned, the social stigma surrounding mental illness exists in spite of its prevalence. By eliminating some of the social stigma, mental health podcasts can raise awareness and help save many lives.
Not everyone is comfortable attending talks on mental illness or going to therapy, as they often tend to worry that they might be seen. The anonymity in simply listening to a podcast makes it an excellent place for the wary to find information and advice.
Mental health awareness is far greater in and around cities than in remote areas. The resources available in remote areas aren’t always sufficient for people who are struggling with psychological issues. Mental health podcasts are highly accessible, no matter where you are.
Similarly, people with physical limitations may struggle to either access resources (such as talks) or to go into a therapist’s office. Mental health podcasts provide them with accessible resources.
Most podcasts are available for free on apps that come installed on most smartphones, whereas courses may cost time and money that you may not have.
Mental health podcasts are not just engaging and helpful, but they are educational too. They can help to build awareness in communities that are otherwise uncomfortable with the field of psychology. Mental health podcasts also provide informative resources to those in need and even offer additional knowledge to those who are studying to become mental health professionals.
Subscribing to a mental health podcast is easy, and it is one of the ways in which technology is increasing access to important resources. There is something for everyone online, so that no one has to feel isolated while suffering from mental illness.
Mental health podcasts are serving an incredibly important purpose these days, from which anyone can benefit.
One of the more controversial drug-based treatments for mental illness is called MDMA assisted therapy. MDMA is most commonly known as the “party drug” ecstasy. It is used illegally by people in the US and around the world for recreation. But research has shown that it can be useful for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
A direct consequence of the modern view of mental illnesses as actual medical issues, is that drugs have been developed to treat them. We now know that mental illnesses can be caused by chemical imbalances and other physical processes. Over the past century, antidepressants along with tranquilizers, anti-psychotics, and other forms of medication have helped millions of people around the world recover from various mental illnesses. However, the medicines we have available at present are not perfect, and not everyone responds to them in the same way. Some people find that they help with certain symptoms but not others. Some only experience temporary relief and for others they don’t work at all. There are even cases in which they can exacerbate the problem.
Which is why researchers are still at work developing and testing new ways to treat mental illness. While some are fashioned in the same mold as existing medications, others use very different processes.
Because MDMA is, at present, illegal in the United States, finding information on this therapy can be difficult. To give you a better understanding of the subject, what follows is a guide to MDMA assisted therapy.
There is a lot of optimism surrounding MDMA as a mental health treatment, but there is also much skepticism. Let’s discuss exactly what MDMA assisted therapy is.
MDMA is a synthetic, psychoactive (mind-altering) drug that has hallucinogenic and amphetamine-like properties. It is, in chemical terms, structurally similar to methamphetamine; but it impacts the body in a very different way. Users of MDMA experience intense joy (or ecstasy), a sense of love and affection, as well as high levels of energy.
But MDMA is not just a party drug. It has been used (mostly in a clandestine setting) by therapists to treat individuals suffering from mental illness, PTSD patients in particular. Proponents of MDMA assisted therapy claim that they have used it to help thousands of people. Also, the research that has been done up to now has supported the anecdotal evidence.
MDMA assisted therapy provides hope to many people suffering from treatment-resistant PTSD. But, like any other medical treatment, it has its pros and cons.
MDMA assisted therapy is primarily used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is a mental illness that affects people who have gone through a major trauma or who have a loved one who has experienced something traumatic. Their physical and emotional response to that trauma continues for months or years after the traumatic event has passed.
People who are diagnosed with PTSD generally have 3 primary types of symptoms:
Traditional treatment for PTSD has implemented both medicinal and therapeutic approaches. The FDA has approved serotonin and norepinephrine-based medications as treatment for PTSD. These medications increase the chemicals in our brains that allow us to feel positive.
Therapeutic treatments include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy. CBT trains the individual to test intrusive thoughts against reality, thereby decreasing their power. Exposure therapy involves exposing the individual to the stimuli that provoke responses. Or the places and sounds that are associated with any trauma they may have experienced. This allows the individual to begin to loosen these associations.
Traditional treatments do not work for everyone. Many people are treatment-resistant when it comes to both medicinal and therapeutic approaches. For this reason, alternative approaches are being explored, including MDMA assisted therapy. These treatments are used to catalyze the therapeutic process rather than treat the symptoms of the illness. Often, this makes it easier for the individual to explore their trauma.
Recent statistics show that over 13 million Americans suffer from PTSD at any specific time. If it is left untreated (or treated inadequately) PTSD can lead to a number of other problems, including alcohol and drug abuse.
Sadly, many people who receive treatment do not see positive results and they usually drop out of treatment in the end. There is a drop-out rate of 35% to 55% as far as traditional PTSD treatment is concerned.
MDMA assisted therapy has been used as an alternative to traditional PTSD treatments. Due to its legal status, many people are skeptical about its efficacy and worry about its safety.
To help demystify the process, here is some information on how MDMA assisted therapy is used in the treatment of PTSD.
MDMA assisted therapy is not meant to be a holistic cure for PTSD. Rather, it is intended for use in conjunction with psychotherapy. The aim of using MDMA is to catalyze the processing of one specific trauma or various traumas. It facilitates trauma processing, which leads to a decrease in hyper-arousal symptoms. It may also lesson the individual’s sensitivity to the negative, or fear-inducing, aspects of people and situations.
Practitioners of MDMA assisted therapy claim that they have seen thousands of people use MDMA to help them recover from PTSD. Those who are licensed mental health professionals, however, put their license and reputation at risk by administering this treatment due to their conviction that it works.
In addition to this anecdotal evidence, there is research that supports the usefulness of MDMA in treating PTSD.
When administered by a professional in a therapeutic setting, MDMA may be safe. The practitioner should be sensitive to all the potential reactions that the individual may have, as well as any dangers that the environment might present. People using antidepressants have a higher risk of experiencing adverse effects in the days after their treatment. Practitioners should be aware of this and they should take care to monitor the person’s well-being.
The FDA has deemed MDMA safe enough to approve clinical trials. Adverse side effects such as jaw-clenching, nausea, and dizziness are temporary and manageable. This is also true for the potential fatigue and depressed feelings that may follow its administration.
Government-sanctioned research on the efficacy of MDMA in the treatment of PTSD has been ongoing since 2008. Thus far, the finalized studies show a remission rate of around 66%, with evidence that the changes are maintained over time.
There are a number of studies that are currently ongoing, and the future of MDMA assisted therapy looks promising. However, it will likely take a number of years still before it reaches legal status as an FDA-approved treatment.
MDMA assisted therapy has also been used for treating social anxiety in adults with autism. Early studies have shown promising results, but more research is still needed.
A typical MDMA assisted therapy session will occur in the context of a broader treatment program. The therapist will work with the individual beforehand to establish whether MDMA is right for them.
An MDMA assisted therapy session will take place in a quiet and safe environment. The person will be given MDMA tablets to take. They will then put on an eye mask after which they are encouraged to surrender to the experience. The person will feel intense somatic and emotional reactions. These feelings will not necessarily be positive or negative. This is the stage at which the trauma is processed. It occurs internally, with the therapist there to guide the individual if they need to talk.
Later on, the therapist will help the person process their experiences on MDMA in between sessions.
There are critics who consider MDMA assisted therapy unscientific. They argue that not enough studies have been done to draw conclusions on its efficacy and that practitioners are relying mostly on anecdotal evidence. Whereas other treatments that have not been scientifically proven to work may be innocuous, the legal issues with MDMA lead some of these critics to disregard it as a potential treatment (at least for now).
Some people may consider MDMA assisted therapy to be dangerous. They worry about the addictive potential of MDMA. Their perceptions of MDMA are likely shaped by its use as a party drug. Indeed, when used in excess; it may cause serious health issues, including brain damage. However, the levels used in therapy are nowhere near significant or regular enough to cause such problems.
The fact remains that MDMA assisted therapy is faced with having to contend with the substance’s reputation. There are undoubtedly people who will never be able to see it as anything other than a dangerous drug taken by impressionable individuals. On the other hand, it is interesting to know that even FDA-approved medications are viewed with suspicion by certain groups of people.
MDMA assisted therapy is one of a number of alternative therapies associated with mind-altering or psychedelic substances. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (also known as MAPS), a non-profit research and educational organization, mainly aims to engage regulators and researchers regarding the potential use of these drugs in the treatment of mental illnesses. To date, studies that test the efficacy of MDMA, LSD, ibogaine, ayahuasca and marijuana for treating a number of illnesses are ongoing.
MDMA assisted therapy is not yet legal, but it has strong backing from many practitioners who attest to its efficacy in the treatment of PTSD. Clinical research is underway and has, up to now, indicated that their claims are in accordance with the evidence.
PTSD is one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States. Unfortunately, many individuals suffering from PTSD are treatment-resistant. MDMA assisted therapy may offer them an alternative way to recover. For now, however, they will need to actively seek a practitioner out and be willing to take the legal risk.
For older folks, the word Psilocybin may possibly conjure up youthful memories of carefree tripping on “magic mushrooms.” It may remind them of a profound mystical experience. Of course, in the 60s wild mushrooms and fungi containing psychedelic compounds were used all over the world for recreational purposes. Especially by the youth. They have also long formed part of traditional Native American rituals. These mushrooms are also used by many other indigenous peoples around the world. Lately, people seem to be turning toward using this Psilocybin for its possible mental health benefits. This is probably why Psilocybin assisted therapy has become an extremely popular topic for discussion.
Recent studies indicate that the active ingredient of the mushrooms, known as Psilocybin, could be a very effective treatment option for depression and other mental illnesses. Serious research is now underway to fully investigate the therapeutic potential of Psilocybin.
Currently, Psilocybin Assisted Therapy is not legal in the USA. However, there are healing centers in other countries that offer it. Many individuals have personally experimented with controlled micro-doses of the drug with beneficial results. We should not, however, condone or encourage the use of psychedelic drugs outside of a controlled and approved situation.
Psilocybin Assisted Therapy is basically used to reboot the brain. One single micro-dose of psilocybin can break down the connections within the brain that are most often responsible for causing depression and negative emotions. After this “breakdown” new, more positive connections are allowed to form.
Brain scans reveal that the area of the brain that is associated with depression is more stable after treatment. Also, the areas associated with stress, fear, and emotional processing display a reduced flow of blood.
Psilocybin (O-phosphoryl-4-hydroxy-N, N-dimethyltryptamine) is the active ingredient of “magic mushrooms” and “psychedelic truffles”. Psilocybin is known as a psychoactive medicine as it affects the way in which the brain functions resulting in changes in perception, thinking and behavior. It is also classified as a classic hallucinogen.
Psychedelic medicines are known to shake up the brain. The most commonly used Psychedelic Medicines are Psilocybin, LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide) (Acid), Mescaline (Peyote), and DMT (dimethyltryptamine) (Ayahuasca).
Sometimes, the brain develops unhealthy thought patterns which can be reinforced by other influences. These patterns can become more and more entrenched and unchangeable and they can cause debilitating behaviors and emotions.
When you take Psilocybin, these unhealthy connections and patterns are broken. For a while there is a sense of disorder, but then the brain naturally seeks to restore order to promote health and happiness. Your brain will instinctively redefine connections which are positive and beneficial.
The positive mental health effects of taking psilocybin are reinforced when it is used along with psychotherapy. A trained therapist can help someone to modify their destructive thought patterns or misguided beliefs. This can assist them in maintaining the positive effect of their re-configured brain.
A psychedelic dose of psilocybin for recreational use is typically about 3.5 grams of dried mushrooms for the average person. A therapeutic micro-dose, on the other hand, is about 0.35 grams which is a mere one tenth of the recreational dose.
A hallucinogenic dose of psilocybin disrupts certain receptors in the brain. In short, this enhances divergent thinking and cognitive flexibility along with promoting creative insights. Moderate to high doses can generally enhance someone’s mood, perception, motivation, and their overall consciousness.
Micro-dosing aims to harbor the same positive effects without the risk of experiencing hallucinations and a possible “bad trip.” It creates a feeling of well-being, as opposed to uncontrolled euphoria along with optimism and openness towards other people. Basically, this substance allows people to reconnect with their emotions.
Psilocybin is used in therapy to help people with depression and other mental disorders to reprogram their brains.
Due to some very promising initial studies, the FDA has given a Psilocybin-based drug the designation of a “Breakthrough Therapy” which enables the fast completion of trials. This makes it possible for Psilocybin Assisted Therapy to be offered as quickly as possible as an alternative treatment for patients with depression who have not responded to other treatments. The approval could be put through as soon as 2021.
Many people suffering from depression do not respond to the currently available drug treatments and therapies. Treatment-resistant depression leaves thousands of people stuck without effective treatment options, lost in the dark world of depression and at an increased risk of potential suicide.
Moreover, many of the existing drugs used for treating depression produce unwanted side effects. These less than welcome effects can cause patients to drop out of treatment. Commonly used Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), for instance, frequently produce a feeling of decreased global mental functioning as well as a loss of interest in sexual activity.
Investigating alternative treatments for mental illnesses is vital, as currently, many people are suffering and they have no hope of relief using available drugs and therapies.
Numerous substances that have been used for recreational purposes in the past are now being investigated for their therapeutic potential. One example is Epidolex which is an epilepsy treatment derived from cannabis. It obtained FDA approval last year. Esketamine is another alternative treatment for depression that is derived from Ketamine. It is also currently seeking FDA approval.
The exact ways in which of many of the drugs used to treat mental illnesses (including the drug of choice for bipolar disorder called Lithium) work, is still unclear. To this day, we still have a very limited understanding of how the brain functions and what causes mental illness. Therefore, we do not really know which treatments actually work.
However, alternative drug treatments can be considered based on their potential for alleviating symptoms and reducing mental illness. This can be the case if patients experience symptomatic relief and the substance has been tested to rule out any major detrimental side effects, .
Psilocybin Assisted Therapy uses a synthesized form of psilocybin in capsule form, not the actual mushrooms.
Depressed patients normally receive drug-free psychotherapy sessions both before and after receiving a dose of Psilocybin. During these sessions, patients are given a standardized dose of synthesized Psilocybin in a safe clinical environment where they are observed and their reactions are noted. They are usually accompanied by a professional mental health worker throughout the therapy process.
Normally, the the therapist will encourage the patient to be introspective and to concentrate on their thoughts, feelings and memories. Although if they want to, they can communicate with the person accompanying them.
In subsequent sessions, the therapist will encourage the person to verbalize their experience. They will also be taught ways in which they could reinforce and maintain the newfound insights and understanding regarding themselves.
Psilocybin Assisted Therapy can be effective after just one dose, but more commonly two doses are administered with a short interval in between the two.
Most people who participate in Psilocybin Assisted Therapy say that they feel better and that they experience a lasting relief from the negative symptoms which they were previously bothered by. They tend to feel more positive and optimistic and they generally have more energy. These people are also able to experience deeper feelings of empathy.
Studies have shown that Psilocybin Assisted Therapy can also help people who have very rigid thought patterns or people who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, end-of-life anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and addictions.
People with a family history or personal history of psychotic behavior may not be the best candidates for Psilocybin Assisted Therapy. The substance could exacerbate psychotic disorders in those with a predisposition.
Both human and animal studies have shown that it is very unlikely for Psilocybin to provoke abuse and it is, in fact, a useful tool for overcoming substance addictions. Also, it won’t cause physical dependence.
In the “Psychedelic 60s”, some experimentation was done into the potential therapeutic effects of Psilocybin. However, with the widespread recreational use of LSD, these mind-altering substances were soon made illegal and investigations were stopped. In 1959, the drug company Sandoz, isolated the structure of Psilocybin. As a result, in 1961 they launched a drug called Indocybin for the treatment of depression and anxiety. This was withdrawn from the market in 1965 after incidences of misuse in the light of a growing anti-drug culture.
It was not until the late 1990s that experimentation began again with the so-called “psychedelic renaissance”.
A study using psychedelic truffles was conducted in Holland by the Psychedelic Society of the Netherlands in a natural setting in 2018. The effect of a micro-dose, of 0.33 grams on 36 volunteers was measured using accepted standardized techniques and control subjects. The subjects were able to identify a single solution to a problem as well as to discover many possible solutions after receiving the dose. It is hoped that further placebo-controlled studies will confirm that controlled psychedelic use can optimize the balance between cognitive flexibility and persistence.
A small study done on nineteen people last year, at Imperial College London, showed promising results for psilocybin. The study discovered that patients who were suffering from depression (and who had not responded to traditional treatments) showed improvement for up to five weeks after receiving two doses of psilocybin.
Last October, the FDA gave a psilocybin-based drug (which is being tested by COMPASS Pathways), a “breakthrough therapy” designation. COMPASS Pathways is a consortium founded in 2016 whose aim is to accelerate the access of new evidence-based innovative mental health treatments to patients.
Studies clearly show that Psilocybin therapy can produce an immediate and sustained decrease in depressive symptoms after just one treatment. During the next year to eighteen months COMPASS will be running the first clinical trial on a large scale, with more than 400 patients from North America and Europe. The aim of this clinical trial is to investigate the potential of using Psilocybin Assisted Therapy as a treatment for depression.
Psychedelic drugs have long been used in shamanic medicine around the world. Ancient cultures have also traditionally employed the medicinal potentials of the plants in their surroundings. These natural remedies were used to promote mental health and to achieve transcendental and meditative states as well as spiritual enlightenment.
Clinical studies will hopefully prove the potential that Psilocybin has for healing to make it available for sufferers of depression. As more serious research is conducted, it is possible that we will discover many more beneficial substances contained within traditionally used medicines and recreational drugs. Psilocybin Assisted Therapy could revolutionize the way we treat mental illness and provide relief for thousands of people.
Does therapy seem kind of mysterious to you? Despite the fact that tens of millions of people around the world go to therapy, not so many speak openly about it. It retains a sort of hushed aura. Somewhere between being a shameful confession and a mystical initiation. We are all familiar with the stigma connected to mental illness. You may feel hesitant to ask your therapist relevant questions. Or perhaps, you have no idea which questions to ask your therapist.
The truth is that psychotherapy is neither shameful nor mysterious. Instead, it is a process based on scientifically-tested principles in which you will deal with your problems in a grounded and practical manner. It is important to know that you are not a “patient”, but rather a “partner” in the treatment process. In other words, the direction that your treatment plan takes will depend on you.
Therefore, it is necessary for you to have an idea of what you want out of therapy beforehand. Questioning is not a hindrance. In fact, you should come prepared to your first session with questions to ask your therapist.
In this article, we hope to guide you in coming up with the questions relevant to your specific therapeutic process. By the time you speak to your therapist, you will be prepared to ask for what you need and retain a sense of agency.
You may be wondering if you should have questions to ask your therapist. They are the expert, after all. Isn’t questioning undermining them?
If you think about it, every professional needs to take your input into account in order to help you. A doctor (GP) cannot give you treatment without you describing your symptoms first, right? Questions, in therapy, serve a similar purpose.
While getting to know your therapist, you will spend a lot of time describing your life. You will probably focus on the problematic areas. This helps your therapist to understand the narratives you’ve constructed and it should give them a good idea of where you’re struggling with your mental health.
However, it doesn’t show them where you stand within these narratives. What stands out as an issue to your therapist, might not be a cause for concern in your life. For example, you may have recently lost a job. For some people, that can lead to major practical and emotional difficulties. But, the work environment may have been toxic for you and losing the job has actually given you newfound freedom.
Basically, what you want out of the therapy process is oftentimes more important than what would otherwise appear to be a focal point. Asking questions about the therapy process gives both you and your therapist a better understanding of what you’re looking for. It could also help you decide if they’re the right person to help you with your problem.
Furthermore, having the right questions to ask your therapist can benefit your treatment plan immensely. You can use the opportunity to ask them to clarify how they can help you and whether they have ideas to help with your particular needs. When they are going in a direction that you feel isn’t really helping you, asking questions can lead you to a better understanding of why they are doing so. It could also allow them to identify more relevant treatment areas.
If you’re still a bit skeptical about the whole “therapy experience”, asking questions can give you the peace of mind that you need to fully commit to the process.
It is also important to ask for what you need. You may have questions to ask your therapist in mind regarding what you want from them. Therapists are not mind-readers and you shouldn’t expect them to always know your exact thoughts. Most therapists are very good at active listening and they are excellent at interpreting where your problems lie. Nevertheless, asking for what you need will help them get a clearer idea of the issue with as little speculation as possible.
Many people fear that having too many questions will undermine their therapist. This should not be your concern. Your therapist is there to help you, and they will understand why you need to know more about the mental health treatment process.
The more important question to ask yourself is whether you are listening to the answers or whether you are looking for a way out. You can discuss this with your therapist if the line seems a bit blurred to you.
Psychotherapy has been evolving for more than 100 years. As our understanding of the human psyche developed over the years, it has become increasingly effective. That does not mean the therapy process is always the same. There are no “cookie-cutters” in the field, as each person has a unique personality and their own particular set of issues.
It is necessary for your therapist to construct the therapy process around each individual client. They need your input to successfully help you grow. As mentioned before, you are not a patient, but rather a participant in the therapeutic process.
Having questions to ask your therapist will both heighten your sense of agency and give your therapist a deeper understanding of who you are and what you are feeling. It is necessary that you take an active interest in your own mental health and that you make sure you understand why you’re doing what you’re doing.
While coming to a session with questions to ask your therapist is important and necessary, you must ensure that your questions are relevant. Ask questions about your specific therapy process, rather than questioning the field as a whole. It is essential that you ask questions regarding your therapist, rather than therapists in general. Ask questions about yourself and your own issues, instead of focusing on others and their problems.
Relevant questions are just what you need to make you an active participant in the therapy process. Irrelevant questions can be a barrier that prevents you from moving forward on your own journey.
To ensure that you stay on the relevant trail, come prepared with questions to ask your therapist. These will be particular to you, and no one else. Everyone’s process is somewhat different and what you want is going to differ from what the next person wants.
Coming prepared with questions guarantees that you will not forget to ask some of the most important questions. Otherwise, you might feel pressured in the moment and ultimately lose track of what you have and have not asked. You don’t want to end the session only to realize that you did not get the answers you really needed.
Choosing to see a therapist is a huge step. You shouldn’t just go to the first therapist you find. How do you go about choosing a therapist?
Wherever you are, there are certainly good therapists near you. There are excellent therapists throughout the United States and the rest of the world. However, the best option for you might be a bit too far away. They could also be fully booked for months with existing clients. Online therapy may be the perfect option for you, as you no longer have to choose whoever is closest.
When searching for the right therapist, keep in mind exactly what you’re looking for. Why did you feel that you wanted to see a therapist in the first place? There are specialists in anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses as well as therapists who will focus on helping you find purpose and meaning in life.
You can learn more about a therapist by asking fellow mental health professionals, searching online directories, and visiting their personal websites. With online therapy, you will find a biography written about each potential therapist.
Asking your therapist questions will help you to decide if they are the right therapist for you. It gives you the opportunity to see what they can offer you. It also allows you to get to know them better and you can get an idea of whether you’ll be able to build a strong rapport with them. You should feel comfortable with your therapist.
The right fit is not always the person who makes most sense on paper. It is often a very personal thing and, most likely, you won’t know if it’s a good fit until you have actually spent time talking to them. Maybe you take a little longer to warm up to others, but you should get some sense that you will be able to build a beneficial therapeutic relationship.
Your mental health should be one of your main priorities. It affects every aspect of your life and, if you don’t take care of it, everything else might start to teeter. You should want to work towards improving it. Investing in your mental health involves more than simply allocating resources towards getting help. Choosing to see a therapist is a huge step and investing in the process itself will take you a long way. You should invest the time you have available, as well as your “mind space”, in making your mental health journey a priority.
Therapy should not be a mysterious or intimidating prospect. Rather, you should come prepared with questions to ask your therapist that will help you clarify what you can expect. You should be ready to listen to the answers and to ask any relevant questions that come up along the way. This way, you will be fully committed to taking care of your own mental health!
Stress, anxiety and emotional distress are experienced by millions of people all over the world each year. And while medications and therapy have become the mainstay of treatment for mental health disorders like depression and anxiety, some people find relief with less conventional treatment options. Many people suffering from emotional distress or mental health problems find that spending time with their pets or other animals makes them feel content. This beneficial effect on mental health has been studied, and it turns out that having a pet just might help!
It is estimated that almost 70% of households in the US have pets. Of those who have pets, 95% consider their pet as a member of their family. This strong bond between pets and their owners has made people wonder how that interaction could impact a person’s health.
The human-animal bond has been studied to evaluate the impact that “interactions with animals” has on people’s lives. With such a strong bond between humans and their pets demonstrated in surveys of pet owners, it makes sense that these animals may, in fact, influence the lives of their owners. There has been extensive research in this area to determine the benefits that animals and pets provide. Through this research, it has been discovered that direct interaction with certain animals can actually improve some measures of mental and physical health.
There has been a lot of research evaluating the benefits of human interaction with animals. Some of the research done in this regard has demonstrated the physical health benefits of interacting with a pet. It has been found that children with pets have lower BMIs and adults with pets tend to have lower blood pressure. In addition to these physical health benefits, pets have also demonstrated a huge impact on mental and emotional health. Research has shown that pets reduce anxiety, depression and feelings of isolation. They may also improve a person’s daily routine and, moreover, having a pet could encourage social interactions with others. The research in this area has been extensive. Many studies, that look at specific mental health conditions and how pet therapy may or may not benefit these conditions, can be found online. It should also be noted that some conflicting evidence exists that does not support pet therapy for mental health conditions.
Pet ownership has been shown to improve the mental and physical health of many people. Pets provide an unconditional love that offers comfort and support for their owners. This can lead to a reduction in feelings of emotional distress and, ultimately, improved mental health. Pets also require their owners to establish some form of routine. This type of routine can be therapeutic for those who suffer from anxiety or feelings of overwhelming stress. In addition, many owners feel a sense of responsibility for their pet’s physical health. This often means that having a pet encourages owners to be more active, improving their physical health as well.
A surprisingly high number of people are thought to suffer from mental health conditions in the United States. It is estimated that 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 5 children suffer from a mental health disorder each year. With such a high incidence, there has been extensive research into medical and non-medicine therapies for those who experience the struggles of mental health conditions. When looking at how pets impact mental health, research has found that people who have pets have lower rates of depression, anxiety and feelings of loneliness. When surveyed, 74% of pet owners said that they felt their pet provided them with relief from their mental health problems. In addition, 75% of these pet owners had witnessed an improvement in a friend or family member’s mental health issues when they had pets. These high numbers support the idea that interaction with animals can benefit those who suffer from mental health disorders.
Emotional support animals are animals that provide emotional support for people suffering from mental or emotional health problems. Most often, emotional support animals are dogs or cats. However any animal that provides comfort or stability can be considered as an emotional support animal. For example, there are studies showing that guinea pigs, fish and even horses can have a positive impact on mental and emotional health. Animals that are considered dangerous to their owner or others are not able to become emotional support animals. Having an emotional support animal requires a letter from a licensed medical health professional. This letter provides the owner with legal protection and financial assistance in some cases.
While emotional support animals and service animals are both beneficial for the health of their owners, there are differences between the two. Emotional support animals help to improve the emotional and mental health of their owners, but they are generally not specifically trained to do so. Most of the time their mere presence in a person’s life is what benefits the owner. Service animals, on the other hand, receive special training to be able to provide aid and perform skills to assist with their owner’s health. Service dogs can be used for mental health problems, but they are used to help people with certain medical conditions as well. There are also differences in how emotional support animals and service animals are treated by certain establishments. Service animals can enter public places, like restaurants and workplaces, while emotional support animals often cannot. However, both can travel and live with you free of charge.
Pets can be beneficial for reducing rates of depression and also for improving some of the symptoms of depression. Spending time with a dog or cat can actually increase levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain; this is similar to the way in which antidepressant medications work. In addition to the effect that a pet can have on the brain, owning a pet requires the owner to take care of it, which in turn encourages them to also take care of themselves. This includes getting exercise (such as taking the pet for a walk or playing) and also regaining a sense of purpose each day (because your pet relies on you for food and bathroom needs). Pets also have a way of providing unconditional comfort and love, both of which can help those suffering from depression feel less isolated.
Owning a pet can reduce the incidence of anxiety. There are studies showing that children who had a pet dog suffered from anxiety less often than those who did not have a dog. Similarly, a study done in children with autism found that those who were allowed to play with guinea pigs experienced reduced anxiety levels and they showed improved engagement. Petting or playing with an animal can help take the focus off an anxiety-inducing situation and provide comfort for someone who feels anxious. This interaction also boosts the release of oxytocin and endorphins in the body. These are chemicals that induce calmness and relieve pain, respectively.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety-related disorder and people who suffer from this condition can benefit from animal interaction. Animals provide the anxiety-relieving characteristics discussed above. In addition, some people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder benefit from a service animal that is trained to help them through difficult times. These service animals can be trained to comfort their owners through panic attacks and alert them to dangerous situations. They can also be trained to ensure that their owner gets their medications. Through their comforting actions and unwavering love, these animals can give their owners the support they need to face their insecurities each day and get back to living their lives.
People suffering from various mood disorders can experience some relief in the presence of animals. They improve symptoms by reducing feelings of loneliness and improving daily mood. Service animals can also be utilized in patients with mood disorders, such as bipolar depression. For these people, service dogs can be trained to recognize mania, reorient their owner to reality and help alert emergency services if necessary.
Pet therapy has a place in mental and emotional health treatment. With the guidance of a licensed mental health provider, you can find an appropriate way to incorporate an animal into your therapy. A provider can help you to determine which type of animal would be most beneficial for you and if you would benefit from an emotional support animal or service animal. As evidence continues to grow in this area, it will be beneficial to learn more about the roles that animals can play in therapy and how they impact mental health.
Animals provide us with unconditional love and a sense of comfort. They are being utilized more and more to help stressed-out college students and lonely nursing home residents improve their mood and reduce their anxiety.
As we continue to learn more about the interaction between humans and animals, the ways in which animals can be utilized to improve mental and emotional health will continue to expand. For now, you should consult your mental health provider to determine how animal therapy may benefit you.
Have you been diagnosed with a mental illness? If you feel overwhelmed, it’s important to realize that you’re not alone. Good treatment along with the needed support can go a long way. Things will get better with time. Learning more about mental illness and your different treatment options can help you to recover a sense of well-being. Talking to your mental health professional about different coping strategies can also be beneficial.
In order to obtain a diagnosis, you’ll need to consult with a mental health professional. They will take your symptoms and behavior into account while determining which mental illness you are struggling with. Your therapist will also talk to you about your thoughts and feelings. You may need to complete a questionnaire during your psychological evaluation. Mental health professionals are generally guided by the DSM-IV when making a diagnosis. Obtaining an accurate diagnosis is important because, with the right treatment, things will get better.
Depression is a common mental health issue, which is characterized by persistent sadness that affects your ability to cope with daily activities. One in ten adults struggles with depression each year. While feelings of sadness are a part of life, depression is diagnosed by mental health professionals using the DSM-IV. If you have suicidal thoughts, it’s essential to seek help immediately.
The pressures of our busy lifestyles can be a lot to handle. Therefore, anxiety disorders are another common mental health issue. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by excessive worry, which affects your quality of life. You may find yourself adjusting your behavior to avoid certain situations if you’re suffering from anxiety. Other mental health issues in this category include phobias, panic disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Psychotic disorders are associated with a disconnection from reality. You may be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder if you’ve experienced delusions or hallucinations. Another symptom that may accompany these types of disorders is disorganized thinking. Schizophrenia is a well-known mental health issue that falls into this category.
Bipolar disorder is associated with alternating periods of mania and depression. If you’re diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you may have experienced high levels of energy and excitement which were followed by persistent sadness that made it difficult to for you to cope with your life.
Personality disorders typically involve emotional instability as well as unhealthy behaviors which could disrupt your life. You may also find that your symptoms have a negative impact on your relationships. Mental health issues that can be listed under this category include borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder.
Having a support network can make it easier to cope with mental illness. Consider joining a support group where you can share your experiences with other people who are also having a hard time dealing with mental illness. If there are no groups in your community, think about joining one online. It can be helpful to stay in contact with friends and family who can offer you support during tough times. Another useful coping strategy is to keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings.
The period that follows your official diagnosis can be a confusing time. You may not understand how it happened. How you got to this place. Perhaps you feel like your world is shattering around you like broken glass.
When you receive a mental illness diagnosis, you may experience a range of emotions. Relief, hope, shock, and fear are just some of the feelings that may accompany your diagnosis. You may also find yourself asking, “why me?”
You may be stuck wondering what caused your mental health problem in the first place. You may even start blaming yourself for your problems. It’s important to understand, however, that there are various factors that cause mental disorders and that you are not to blame for your illness.
A diagnosis is just the beginning of your journey towards reclaiming your life from mental health problems. Next, you’ll need to learn more about mental illness and work together with a therapist to develop a treatment plan.
Your mental health professional will determine which treatment option is best for you based on your diagnosis. Many professionals prefer using a combination of different treatments to get the best results.
Psychiatric medications may help you to find relief from your symptoms. This type of treatment is usually much more effective when it is combined with psychotherapy. Common psychiatric medications include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotic medications.
Psychotherapy could help you to get your life back on track. This type of treatment involves talking to a mental health professional about your symptoms, thoughts, and feelings. These sessions may help you to gain insight into your mental illness and to learn about useful coping strategies.
Brain stimulation treatments are considered a last resort if other treatments haven’t been successful. There are risks associated with this type of treatment so it’s important to consult with a mental health professional that you can trust before considering this type of treatment.
You can support your treatment plan by changing your lifestyle and by using home remedies. It’s important to adhere to your treatment plan. Beneficial lifestyle changes include avoiding alcohol as well as eliminating recreational drug use. Eating healthy food and exercising regularly can also be supportive for your recovery. Lastly, you can decrease your stress levels by making your priorities clear and by decreasing your workload.
Did you know that by participating in your own mental health care, you can possibly achieve greater results sooner?
You can get better results from your treatment by getting involved in your own mental health care. Improving your understanding of your diagnosis can be useful in guiding you towards the best treatment. Read up on mental illness to discover more about your symptoms and treatment options.
Effective communication with your therapist guides your treatment plan so that you can receive the best possible care. By working together with your therapist, you can ensure that your treatment plan matches your personal preferences. With help from your therapist, things will get better faster than if you tried to cope with your mental illness by yourself.
Feeling confused and overwhelmed when you first hear your diagnosis is a normal reaction. However, your therapist can help you to process these difficult emotions so that you can focus on your treatment and recovery. Don’t allow your diagnosis to limit your possibilities. Lift your head up and think of what you can achieve beyond the symptoms that are associated with mental illness.
It’s important to remember that things will get better with the right treatment and with support from loved ones or others suffering from mental illness. Let your diagnosis be the first day of the wonderful life that lies ahead of you!