Gooden Center
A residential drug treatment center for men located in Pasadena, CA. The Gooden Center is a proud member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP).

(626) 356-0078
191 North El Molino Avenue Pasadena, CA 91101 US

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Posts Tagged ‘mental disorder’

Is There Room for Humor in Mental Health?

Posted on: June 13th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Humor In Mental Health

Laughter and humor have existed in every society as a means of human well-being, divinity and society. Everyone feels uplifted after a good laugh with friends or just watching a comedy. Humor can help us forget our troubles temporarily but it can also help change our mental attitudes in a way that can improve our health. Laughing and appreciating humor can also have numerous benefits to people who are struggling with a mental illness.

Many studies have proved that humor not only is laughter good for overall mental health, but a strong coping mechanism for a number of mental disorders. Evidence based research from the science of humor concludes humor can “relieve pain, strengthen immune function, improve positive emotion, moderate stress, dissociate from distress and improve interpersonal processes.”

Laughing is a way to improve our mind, body and spirit and even bring us together so that we connect with others in a meaningful way. Humor has been proven to cause physical and emotional changes in the body that can help heal people. Laughter can relax the whole body, relieve stress and tension, release endorphins, boost the immune system and may even extend our life span.

Humor can have immediate mental health benefits by stopping distressing emotions such as anxiety, anger and sadness. It can act as a great coping mechanism to relieve stress and prevent tension from building up. Most importantly humor can shift your perception of situations so that things can seem less serious or threatening.

Someone who is able to develop a humorous perspective can create psychological distance from feelings of depression, anxiety or being overwhelmed. Humor can quickly diffuse difficult feelings and conflict while lifting a person’s mood. Laughing with other people can strengthen relationships, foster a sense of closeness and help diminish feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Achieving good mental health is a combination of many different factors, but humor can play an important role in maintaining and developing positive feelings. Sharing humor with others and keeping a humorous mentality in life can make day to day struggles much easier and prevent depression from escalating. When it comes to mental health, laughter really is some of the best medicine.

I’m not Schizophrenic I am Schizoaffective

Posted on: May 12th, 2018 by The Gooden Center No Comments

Schizophrenic or Schizoaffective?

I’m not Schizophrenic I am Schizoaffective

Schizophrenic or Schizoaffective? What do you think? Although such disorder is a mental illness that is closely related to schizophrenia, the two problems are distinctly different diagnoses. Many people mistakenly believe that schizoaffective disorder is a subtype of schizophrenia but this is not the case. They are both separate mental disorders that have their own unique set of symptoms.

People who are schizoaffective often receive a diagnosis of schizophrenia in the early stages of their illness because the two problems are so frequently confused. There are many similarities between the two illnesses which can cause some physicians and psychiatrists to misdiagnose their patients. However, there are also significant differences that make it possible to categorize one separately from the other.

Even though schizophrenia is the more well-known disorder that is often considered very severe, the truth is that schizoaffective disorder is much more complex and difficult to diagnose and treat. A diagnosis of the schizoaffective disorder can be problematic because it combines characteristics of different disorders. However, with the right treatment it is still possible for a schizoaffective individual to improve their condition and function as well as they can.

What is Schizoaffective Disorder?

Someone who is schizoaffective is experience a hybrid of different conditions that combines characteristics of schizophrenia and certain mood disorders such as bipolar disorder and depression. The fact that it is a hybrid condition affecting a person’s mood is what sets it apart from schizophrenia which is related to thoughts and behavior but not directly to a person’s mood. Schizoaffective disorder blends different health conditions and affects a person completely including their thoughts, feelings, behavior and mood.

One way to understand how schizoaffective disorder combines different characteristics of disorders is to think of it as a part of a spectrum. On one end of the spectrum would be schizophrenia and on the other would be a mood disorder such as bipolar disorder. Schizoaffective disorder would fall somewhere in the middle of these two illnesses.

People with such disorder can often exhibit symptoms that are experienced by people with bipolar disorder including extreme mood swings. They will feel the high of mania and the low of depression through different phases of their life in a similar way to bipolar disorder. However, a schizoaffective person will also experience symptoms normally associated with schizophrenia such as hallucinations and delusions.

Understanding the Symptoms of this Disorder

A schizoaffective person, may suffer unnecessarily if they receive an inaccurate diagnosis of either schizophrenia or a mood disorder. They need treatment for all of their symptoms rather than one aspect of them so it is important that they have a correct diagnosis in order to improve. These are some of the signs and symptoms of this disorder:

  • Auditory hallucinations in the form of voices that may be hostile or accusatory
  • Delusions or false, irrational beliefs that cause fear, paranoia and mistrust of others
  • Disorganized thinking as exhibited by thought or speech patterns that lack coherence
  • Thought blocking where the mind suddenly goes blank
  • Excessive, repetitive or agitated body movements that have no obvious purpose

As well as manic symptoms such as:

  • talking too fast
  • Racing thoughts
  • Difficulty thinking and concentrating
  • Inflated self-esteem and delusions of grandeur

They might also have depressive symptoms including:

  • Low energy and motivation
  • Appetite and weight changes
  • Talking too much or too little
  • Trouble completing projects
  • Apathy about school, work or relationships
  • Feelings of hopelessness or thoughts of suicide

Diagnosing Schizoaffective

Because there are many different sets of symptoms and one individual may not exhibit all of them it can be very complex to recognize and diagnose schizoaffective disorder. It requires more extensive exploration of a patient’s medical and psychological background. Psychiatrists must be cautious about diagnosing someone as schizoaffective and have enough expertise in order to make an official diagnosis.

In order for someone to receive a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder they will need to have experienced psychotic episodes for at least a month that involved delusions, hallucinations or disorganized thinking. They will also need to have a mood disorder that is dominant more than half of the time. If either mania or depression have been present for an extended period of time along with psychotic episodes then they will most likely be diagnosed as schizoaffective.

Although schizoaffective disorder is complex, like most mental illnesses it is treatable with the help of medication and psychotherapy. Antipsychotics can be helpful for any schizophrenic symptoms and antidepressants or mood stabilizers can help treat a mood disorder. Individual psychotherapy along with group therapy can be very beneficial to help treat the sources of their symptoms.

An inpatient treatment program for a period of time can be very helpful in allowing a person, to learn to manage their disorder and minimize their symptoms. If you think you or someone you love might have this disorder then contact a mental health professional for assistance.