Posts tagged with "disorders"

Mental Health Awareness illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Mental Health Awareness

Many people, including children and adults across diversity backgrounds, can struggle with social, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral health. These challenges can be situational, present for a season of life, or be a struggle across a lifetime. The symptoms may also turn on and turn off, be persistent every day, or resolve just to pop back up again.

Even though having complications with mental or behavioral health is common, it does not necessarily mean a person is functioning at their best or the symptoms should be left unaddressed. Early intervention can be more effective, than the choice to put off addressing a mental health concern for another time.

Awareness of mental health signs and symptoms are important. The first step is recognizing when we need support. Let’s set aside labels such as depression, anxiety, addictive behaviors, and disorders for a moment. Instead, let’s consider observations. Below is a clustered list of commonly experienced struggles we can lookout for to monitor our mental health:

Socially

  • Noticing a pattern of withdrawing or avoiding friends, family, or activities
  • Having interpersonal conflicts with friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, or even strangers
  • Having a difficult time understanding and/or relating to others or common life scenarios
  • Feeling disconnected from others or struggling to get close to others
  • Feeling lost about knowing who you are

Emotionally

  • Experiencing sadness, despair, distress, prolonged sorrow
  • You or others noticing changes in your mood from high to low
  • Enduring excessive worry, fears, or discomfort with the unknown
  • Experiencing extreme guilt, self-blame, or negative self-talk
  • Having bouts with excessive or persistent anger

Cognitive/Thinking

  • Noticing thought patterns that are confused, conflicted, indecisive, repetitive, or forgetful
  • Having a lowered ability begin or maintain focus
  • You or others noticing a disconnect between your thoughts and the world around you
  • Feeling fearful such as paranoia
  • Having repeat unpleasant or worrisome thoughts or images
  • Hearing, seeing, or feeling something that is not truly there
  • Thoughts of hurting or killing yourself or someone else

Behavioral

  • Having a reduced ability to cope or resolve daily living complications or stress
  • Struggling with adjustment to life changes
  • Experiencing problems related to alcohol, tobacco, and/or legal or illegal substances
  • Noticing changes in eating habits such as too much, too little, overly focused on eating
  • Observing patterns of overexercise
  • Changes in sex drive
  • Having episodes of violence towards others, yourself, animals, or objects
  • Challenges with impulsive decisions or risk taking

Physical

  • Seeing trends in energy level such as significant tiredness or grand amount of energy
  • Struggles falling asleep, staying asleep, waking up, or low quality of sleep
  • Having physical symptoms such as stomach pain, back pain, headaches, heart pounding, shortness of breath, or other unexplained physical symptoms
  • Experiencing medical providers do not take your symptoms seriously enough

Experiencing one or a few of these symptoms at one time may be a part of life based on the amount of lemons life just handed you. However, there may be a mental health concern worth seeking proper care for if you experience one or more of these symptoms for a short or an extended period of time. Due note, some symptoms are more serious than others, such as harm to yourself or someone else, that should not be ignored and need care immediately.

Another element we can use to monitor our mental health is awareness of how our mental health symptoms interact with our daily lives. Sometimes mental health struggles can become disruptive to daily life such as negatively impacting relationships with others, how you think or feel internally about yourself, employment, housing, finances, and/or legal issues. Other symptoms are manageable and do not cause a large disruption; however, beware some symptoms can fly under the radar, but that does not necessarily indicate all is well.

If you are unsure if you are experiencing mental health concerns and would like a better understanding, then consider completing a screener. Mental Health America provides a free, quick, screening tool that provides mental health you can use to make decisions about next steps for care. The results can also be used to start the initial discussion with a mental health provider.

There is hope! In most circumstances, symptoms can be managed, reduced in intensity, and relief increased when working with a mental health provider. There are various forms of care, and you can find the right fit for you such as talk based therapy in-person or online, activity-based therapy, and collaboration with medical providers for mediation as needed.

If you are ready to take the next step, then there are multiple resources available to help you find the right provider. In emergency situations such as thoughts of harming yourself or someone else as well as severe mental illness, then calling 9-1-1, going to a local emergency room, or contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or using live chat on Suicide Prevention Lifeline  may be the best routes.

In non-emergency situations there are options such as contacting a primary care provider for a referral, reaching out to loved ones, connecting to your religious or spiritual community, or finding a professional provider. Below is a list of resources for locating a provider in your area:

Mental health is just like it sounds….health. It can be scary or there can be a stigma to seek out care. However, removing the stigma, overcoming fear, seeking care, and taking steps to improving life takes courage. But you are worth it, and you deserve a better tomorrow.

Michelle Perepiczka, PhD, LPC (CO), LMHC (NY), RPT-S, NCC

Core Faculty

University of Phoenix

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Eating disorder illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Eating Disorders × Covid-19

Eating Disorders and Covid-19

More than 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from eating disorders

COVID-19 can be a nightmare for thembecause of the following triggers:

  • Empty grocery shelves
  • Feelings of uncertainty and loss of control
  • Social media messages about avoiding the “Quarantine 15” pound weight gain are especially harmful to those with existing eating disorders.

A recent study conducted by the International Journal for Eating Disorders found that symptoms worsened across the board for people with anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorders nationwide since the lockdowns in March. Among respondents, 62% of people with anorexia have experienced more severe restriction and food fear during the pandemic, while 30% of those with bulimia and binge-eating disorder reported experiencing more binge-eating episodes, and a greater urge to binge.

Some of the facts about eating disorders are sobering:

  • 9% of the US population will suffer from an eating disorder in their lifetime
  • Almost 1% of us suffer from anorexia nervosa
  • Between 2-3% of us have bulimia nervosa
  • Binge eating disorder (BED) is experienced by between 2-3% of us
  • 10% of those with eating disorders lose their lives as a result
  • Eating disorders are second only to opioid overdose as the deadliest mental illnesses
  • About 26% of people with eating disorders attempt suicide

Eating Recovery Center is the nation’s largest eating disorder treatment center (with offices around the country, & virtual treatment options).  Eating Recovery Center provides comprehensive treatment for anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, and other unspecified eating disorders.

Protecting a Kid’s Hearing

For America’s youth, hearing loss is a growing epidemic. “As many as 16% of teens (ages 12  to 19) have reported some hearing loss that could have been caused by loud noise,” according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

The driving force of this growth is that 50% of teens and young adults age 12-35 are exposed to unsafe levels of sound from their personal music players. To put that in perspective, that amounts to roughly 1.1 billion teens and young adults worldwide that are listening to their music at unsafe sound levels.

Why does Puro Sound Labs care so much about Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL)?

In 2014 Puro Sound Labs founder, Dave Russell, learned that his youngest daughter, Niki, had developed Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL). The doctors told them the culprit was on her head every day…her headphones.

We’ve heard the problem.

After Niki’s diagnosis, Dave scoured the market, searching for headphones for all ages that would protect against this extremely preventable condition. He couldn’t find one brand of safe headphones that would sound good, look good and be durable enough for a kid’s lifestyle.

So, utilizing a background in the tech industry, Dave made some in 2014 – but not just any headphone – the Puro BT2200 Kids Bluetooth Headphones…the world’s only studio-grade Bluetooth headphone that puts the safety of kid’s ears first. Headquartered in sunny San Diego, California, Puro has dedicated their time and research in designing a product you, your family and your readers will love and enjoy for years to come. Puro’s mission is to protect kids against preventable Noise-Induced Hearing Loss without compromising style or sound…and have them enjoy it at the same time.

Over the past 4 years the BT2200 headphones have earned numerous awards and the highest praise for not only their protection, but also their sound quality. To make an even better kid’s headphone, Puro Sound Labs has recently launched their PuroQuiet Kid’s headphone with Active Noise Cancelling. ANC even further reduces background sounds in noisy environments. Puro has even made the PuroCalm earmuffs, for those times when listeners just want less sound overall.

Puro Sound Labs is now proud to partner with KultureCity, an organization that provides sensory-inclusive spaces and universal accessibility for children with disabilities.

For every pair of PuroCalm’s purchased, Puro Sound will donate a pair to the KultureCity Sensory Inclusive program, allowing individuals with autism and other sensory needs the ability to see and experience all the things the world has to offer without the sensory overload that often comes with the experience. Puro Sound Labs headphones are featured in all of KultureCity’s sensory initiatives, including at over 150 major sports arenas, zoos, schools and theaters, thus enabling autistic individuals a chance to cope with sensory sensitivities that so commonly interfere with their daily lives.

In addition, the partnership will feature a global social campaign and looks to join forces with celebrities, influencers and companies that are equally interesting in shifting  the autism conversation from awareness to acceptance…and provide safe listening devices from Puro Sound Labs to autistic children around the globe.  This first ever, large-scale campaign will represent a positive reflection of autism aimed at gaining acceptance and inclusion within the community at large.

New AI app reduces back pain by 40%

Boston based digital therapy startup Kaia Health launches a new app that uses AI and patent pending motion tracking technologyto personalize treatment programs tomanage and treat chronic low back pain(LBP) which has been shown in clinical studies to reduce chronic back pain by 40% and could save the US economy billions each year.

Created by Kaia Health the motion tracking technology requires no additional hardware.The app has been registered as a Class 1 medical device with the FDA which allowsusers to self-manage their back pain through physical exercise, behavioural exercise (e.g. relaxation and meditation) and education.

Earlier this year the digital therapy startup launched the Perfect Squat Challenge App, the world’s first Artificial Intelligence-powered motion tracking fitness app that turns a smartphone into a personal trainer. In Q4 2018 the company intends to roll out20 more motion tracking exercises for the app.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) LBP is the single leading cause of disability worldwide. In fact, according to the American Chiropractic Association(ACA) 31 million Americans experience LBP,and one half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.

The epidemic of prescription opioid overuse and abuse has also led many health groupsincluding the ACA, the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the American Association of Pain Management (AAPM) to reconsider the value of a non-pharmalogicalapproach to common conditions such asLBP.

The ACP, the largest medical specialty society in the world, updated its LBPtreatment guidelines in 2017 to support a conservative approach to care. Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and based on a review of randomized controlled trials and observational studies, the ACPguidelines cite heat therapy, massage, acupuncture and spinal manipulation (a centerpiece of chiropractic care) as possible options for non-invasive, non-drug therapies for LBP. The guidelines state that only when such treatments provide little or no relief should patients move on to medicines such as ibuprofen or muscle relaxants, which research indicates have limited pain relief effects. According to the ACP, prescription opioids should be a last resort for those suffering from LBP, as the risk of addiction and overdose may outweigh the benefits.

The Kaia app has been developed by aleading digital therapy company Kaia Health in conjunction with physiotherapists, pain management physicians and clinical psychologists.

The app uses a multidisciplinary digital approach which offers users online video-based learning programmes that covereducation, physiotherapy (includingexercises for the lower back and lateral muscles) and psychological strategies(including mindfulness and muscle relaxation).

The AI tailors treatment programs for each user from over 120 exercises, and motion tracking technology ensures that the exercises are performed correctly using a smartphone, tablet or iPad without the need for additional hardware.

Each session lasts for 15 minutes and can be accessed anywhere 24 hours a day. The app also features a chat function whichconnects users to a physiotherapist or sport scientist for motivation and exercise related questions.

Two clinical trials into the Kaia app show a significant reduction in LBP by 40%, well above the clinical threshold of pain improvement. The second study shows a40% long-term retention of users for aminimum of 6 months.

The Kaia app was developed in Germanywhere it has been downloaded over 100,000 times in its first year. The Kaia app is now being reimbursed for over 20 million patients globally.

Kaia Health is member of the Digital Therapeutics Alliance (DTA), an association of international manufacturers for digital therapeutic products that are evidence-based.

Konstantin Mehl, CEO of Kaia Health says:Opioid addiction and overdose is a huge issue in the US, and is, according to the ACP, a last resort for those suffering from LBP. Their 2017 LBP treatment guidelines support a non-pharmalogical approach to care using non-invasive, non-drug therapies. A holistic, multidisciplinary treatment of LBPhas always been a resource-intense, costlyundertaking which makes it hard forpatients to get access to the therapy.However, with the Kaia app we’re digitising therapy which offers as many patients as possible access to effective treatment ofLBP. This empowers and motivatesindividuals to take control, and self-manage their condition with evidenced-based, non-pharmacological, cost-effective alternatives and this could save the US economy billions each year. The Kaia app, and advances in technology, demonstrates why we need to rethink how we treat diseaseconditions such as LBP, and make digitalself-management a more realistic part of treatment.

The Kaia app is available on iOS and Android, and can be downloaded via GooglePlay and AppStore. The first 7 days of the program are free. To unlock the full functionality the costs are: 3 months: $23.99, 6 months: $64.99 and 12 months: $94.99.

About Kaia Health www.kaia-health.com
Founded in 2016, Kaia Health is a leading digital therapy company that creates evidence-based treatments for a range of disorders including back pain, Parkinson’s disease, osteoarthritis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Kaia Health uses innovative technology including artificial intelligence and apps, and works with experts in each medical field to create an interdisciplinary digital approach. This empowers and motivates individuals to take control and self-manage their condition with effective, non-pharmacological, digital alternatives at low costs.