Psychiatric Treatments, Achieving Wellness

Psychiatric Treatments, Achieving Wellness

Basic Psychiatric and Medical Treatments and Paths to Recovery.

Acute episodes of severe Depression, Bipolar Disorders and Schizophrenia are serious medical conditions that affect mental and physical wellness. They often require combinations of short-term psychiatric inpatient hospitalization, medications and counseling to stabilize an episode. While this often is quite helpful, additional psychiatric outpatient and adjunctive treatment strategies may result in further improvement and include:


1. Compliance with prescribed psychiatric and medical medications to maintain stability. Optimization of medications and management of side effects. Compliance with laboratory investigations, mood charts, and personal diaries.


2. Biomedical Supplements: Omega-3, NAC or N-Acetyl Cysteine, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12, Curcumin Turmeric, Ginko Biloba


3. Dose reduction or abstinence from recreational drugs, marijuana, cigarettes and alcohol.


4. Lifestyle changes including balanced daily routines and activities, social interaction, education, work and hobbies. Regular sleep cycle, modest eating habits, daily exercise and avoidance of smoking.


5. Relaxation Therapies, Yoga Therapy, Meditation and Mindfulness Training. CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for anxiety, for Depression and Psychosis, DBT or Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Psychosis and Borderline Personality Disorder.


6. Special therapies such as TMS, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, ECT

Beyond Basic Psychiatric and Medical Treatments: Achieving Wellness:

Thriving instead of just surviving: While conventional medical treatments achieve a reduction in symptoms and hopefully a recovery from illness, there are many other improvements  needed to achieve overall physical, mental and spiritual wellness.  It has been enshrined by the World Health Organization Definition.Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life, a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” 

Achieving and maintaining wellness requires practicing healthy habits on a daily basis to attain better physical, mental and spiritual health outcomes. Several key areas of our lifestyle are considered dimensions of overall wellness. They include: Avoid self-harm, develop regular routines, regular exercise, nutrition, sleep, social connectedness, and mindfulness. Always start with small changes within each dimension and take it one day at a time – you don’t have to run a marathon or go on a restrictive diet to implement wellness into your everyday life.

Avoid Self Harm: Avoid unnecessary risk taking, extreme sports, reduce or quit cigarette smoking, recreational drugs, marijuana and alcohol.
Regular Routines: The brain does better with regular daily routines, by helping us to feel more in control of everything and make room for all that’s important. Routines aid our mental health, help us to cope with change, to form healthy habits, and to reduce our stress levels.
Regular Exercise: 20 or 30 minutes of daily exercise has a positive impact on your overall sense of well-being and helps improve your mood. Examples are brisk walk at your lunch break or opt for the stairs instead of the elevator when you can.
Regular Sleep: For sleep hygiene avoid caffeine after 12pm, include quiet and calm activities before going to bed, and wake up at the same time every day, a simple way we can begin our journey towards becoming a successful sleeper.
Nutrition: By adding wholesome ingredients to your plate, you’ll be taking steps towards becoming a healthier you. Some food for thought: pack an apple and some raw veggies in your bag to keep as a handy snack. This may help you avoid vending machines or fast food when you’re on the go.
Social Connectedness: Connecting with friends or loved ones is a great way to help improve your physical and mental health. Take 10 minutes out of your day to call someone you’ve been thinking about. This is a great way to connect and catch up with the people that matter the most to you.
Mindfulness: Mindfulness is good for the body and mind, helps with focus and also changes the brain. Consider your own mind and how you are feeling. The more you tap into your own thoughts, the more you may become aware of how you react to stressful events.


Useful Links:

Bipolar Network News

NAC Therapy: Berk et al 2010 Article Re NAC (N-acetylcysteine) useful in mood disorders.