Lithium Treatment For Bipolar Disorders

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Bipolar Disorder, which used to be called manic depression, is a difficult condition that affects  moods in a dramatic way. Sometimes the person will suffer from depression, when their mood is extremely low and they feel lethargic and unable to motivate themselves in any way. At other times their mood will swing completely to the other end of the spectrum and the person becomes incredibly active and their mood is very high, but this is above normal levels and is referred to as mania. This is a specialist area and treatment needs to be adjusted for each individual but Lithium For Bipolar Disorder is the preferred medication.

Lithium For Bipolar Disorder is effective as it works on both parts of the problem. It reduces the mania in both intensity and frequency but also helps to ward off the depression. Lithium has been around for many years but it still isn’t clear exactly how it actually works but it certainly does help to stabilize mood and behavior. It is however a strong medication and anyone taking it should be monitored carefully with regular blood tests to ensure their kidneys and thyroid continue functioning normally. It can also take some weeks for the full effect of Lithium to become apparent. It is important that anyone taking it realizes that there will be a delay before they feel an improvement otherwise they are likely to stop their medication before it has had a chance to work.
The dose will vary between individuals but it is always advised to ensure the person drinks adequate amounts of water to keep them hydrated whilst on this medication. They should also stick to a normal amount of salt in their diet as this can also alter Lithium levels.

Whilst there seems to be a lot of points to consider, overall the outcome for people taking Lithium is very good and their mood stabilizes and levels out. They should be encouraged to continue taking their medication at regular intervals and only alter the dose if their doctor is monitoring them.

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Teens’ Access To Drugs And Alcohol Increasing

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According a recent study, teenagers can now access prescription drugs, alcohol and marijuana much faster and easily than they did last year. Fortunately, easy access does not directly translate to increased drug abuse cases. For instance, marijuana use has been declining over the last few years. This paradox has raised serious questions about what drives teenagers to abuse controlled substances.

The findings of the study were recently released by the National Center on Addiction and Substance abuse, commonly referred to as CASA. The report raised nationwide concern as it was released at a time when more teenagers in the country are abusing prescription drugs than most controlled substances, except inhalants and marijuana.

A Calming Tide: Drug, Alcohol and Behavioral Resource is meant to shed some light on some of these substance abuse trends. We understand that substance abuse is a bigger problem now than ever before since kids do not need to find a drug dealer to get their daily dose. All they have to do is open their parent’s medicine cabinet and take as many pills as possible.

According to the study, 23% of teens aged between 12 and 17 years said they could get their hands on marijuana in less than one hour. 42% of them claimed they could get marijuana within 24 hours. These figures are considerably larger than figures obtained from studies in 2007.

While these figures may be scary, there is some good news – marijuana use by teens is falling steadily. Some studies we have looked at indicate teens are using 25% less marijuana than they did less than a decade ago. Unfortunately, usage of prescription drugs has not changed much. Since 2005, the number of teens using prescription drugs has remained at 1 in 5, still a troubling figure. Our experience with teenage drug abuse is that most parents are passive pushers. This is because many homes do not have locks on the medicine cabinet.

One of the main factors affecting drug use by teens is attitudes and perceptions. Before 2001, ecstasy was viewed by teens as a safe drug to get high on, which made it incredibly popular with teens. However, usage declined drastically once ecstasy was linked to several deaths.

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Recognizing Mental Health Issues In Your Child

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As parents, we are always looking out for our kids. If we notice odd behavior in our kids, we first look for signs of physical injury or discomfort. However, once physical injury has been ruled out, odd behavior in children could signal some form of mental illness.

Signs of Mental Illness in Children

If you suspect that your child may have a mental illness, these are some of the warning signs that you should look for. Your child processes information slowly,is easily distracted, cannot concentrate and has difficulty remembering things. Some children also believe that there are hidden messages in TV, radio and other forms of public broadcasting. If your child exhibits 2 or more of the above mentioned signs, you should then seek professional help. You are free to take your child to a pediatrician or GP and you may also take your child to see a psychologist and psychiatrist to determine if there really is a mental problem and to what degree it can affect your child.

One type of mental illness that seems to affect more children each day is bipolar disorder. A child who has bipolar disorder will experience severe and extreme mood swings. The child can go from extremely happy and jubilant to extremely sad and angry, without any justifiable reason. A child suffering from bipolar disorder may be mostly irritable, hyper active and is easily aggravated.

Depression is another severe mental illness that affects many adolescents. They experience feelings of hopeless and worthlessness and have a general lack of luster for life. They either have trouble sleeping or sleep too much. Fatigue and loss of appetite is another warning sign that all is not well with your child. Both bipolar disorder and depression should be treated immediately or as soon a you know for sure that your child is struggling with it. This is crucial since most sufferers exhibit constant suicidal behavior.

Parents should try their best to educate themselves about Mental Health Issues In Children and spend plenty of time with their children encouraging, motivating and bonding with them.

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Meth Use And The Risk Of Schizophrenia

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Evidence is growing that heavy methamphetamine use may lead to an increased risk of schizophrenia. Research indicates that patients hospitalized for meth use could face a 1.5 to 3.0-fold increased risk of being diagnosed with schizophrenia compared to users hospitalized for cocaine, alcohol or opiate dependencies. These are patients who had not previously had psychotic symptoms. Although the link has been previously discounted in many circles, new findings raise interesting questions.

Nature of the Research

Methamphetamine and other amphetamine stimulants represent the second most frequently used type of illicit substance in the world. Recent research noting the possibility of a link between heavy meth use and schizophrenia focused on comparisons to non-drug users and heavy users of other drugs. The research featured an exploration of California hospital admission records spanning ten years.

Records were examined for patients with a diagnosis of dependency on various substances. The substance dependencies included cannabis, alcohol, cocaine, opioid drugs and meth. Researchers excluded patient records if they included an existing diagnosis of schizophrenia or psychosis for the initial hospital stay. The research included a control group of patients only diagnosed with appendicitis. The research further examined records of patients in the drug groups who were readmitted with a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

How it Works

Why heavy methamphetamine use might increase the risk of schizophrenia remains unclear. One possibility is that the repeated use of the substance can trigger latent schizophrenia in individuals who are susceptible. This would happen by sensitizing the patient’s brain to dopamine, a chemical that may be associated with psychosis. Similar findings are found with heavy use of cannabis. The circumstances would only apply to heavy usage of methamphetamines and cannabis, it is noted, rather than with lighter use of a medical nature.

Repeat Studies

Since evidence is still relatively sparse, more study of the possibility is necessary. Additional research would help to confirm the results seen thus far. Long-term study of methamphetamine users is indicated, particularly follow-up studies. Further research might reveal the nature of the relationship between drug addiction and schizophrenia, perhaps leading to more effective therapies for both of these conditions.

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See Just How Beneficial Luxury Rehabs Are For Successfully Treating Addiction

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We at A Calming Tide have long touted the benefits of drug and alcohol rehab programs for addicts — no matter whether it be a local outpatient program, a clinical inpatient rehab, or even a luxury rehab. Getting help in some way is the most important thing, and where you get help from has long been secondary. That being said, a recent article we read in Vanity Fair Magazine really made us go back and visit the subject of luxury rehabs, and why they are so often successful at treating those with addictions, and providing a long-term recovery solution.

This recent article focused on one rehab in particular — The Dunes in East Hampton. Sure, the facility is in a luxurious residential home in one of the most sought after neighborhoods in the country; but the opulence of the grounds aside, it was there approach that really stands out.

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From the very beginning of the article, and the interview with owner Joe McKinsey, it is evident that the success this recover facility and program has endured is more attributed to the caring nature of the staff, and dedication to recovery and sobriety, rather than the rich appointments on the grounds.

The Dunes is much more than just a business that is looking to provide run-of-the-mill care for a large sum of money or insurance payment. The staff is truly looking to provide those in recovery with an environment where they can learn how to integrate sobriety into every aspect of their personal lives. The 7,400-square-foot home on four acres of beautiful property is the perfect setting for recovering addicts to relax, reassess their day-to-day lives, and to formulate a plan for long-term sobriety.

To quote owner Joe McKinsey:

“Their [addicts] lives have become really small as addicts, whether they live on a park bench or on Park Avenue. We try to expand that.”

Read The Full Article In Vanity Fair Magazine Below:

The Dunes East Hampton: What Life in a $75,000-per-Month Hamptons Rehab Looks Like