Tag Archives: Health

Forward-Thinking Psychiatry


190901zab77uqg3Talking Therapies reduce the risk of suicide or self-harm.

A few days ago an article was published in the media sharing the results of a Danish study. This study found that those who received 6-10 sessions of talking therapy after self-harming or suicide attempts were significantly less likely to self-harm or attempt suicide again. Participants were studied over a 20-year period.

New Ideas within Psychiatry

A week ago I attended the launch of Katie Mottram’s book Mend the Gap, an account of her unique experiences and perspective into psychiatric diagnoses and spiritual awakening. (You can read more about her book in my previous post: Mend the Gap: A New Hope for Mental Health.

Katie has first-hand experience having grown up with a mother who had repeated psychotic episodes and suicide attempts; Katie herself works in the mental health services; and also has experienced her own mental health issues. She explores the possibility that perhaps these ‘psychotic’ experiences and mental health issues are actually side effects of spiritual awakening.

Katie speaking at the launch of her book: Mend the Gap.

Katie speaking at the launch of her book: Mend the Gap.

The launch was extremely well attended and very well supported by Katie’s colleagues within the mental health services.

One of the supporters is Dr Russell Razzaque, a psychiatrist who has published his own book: Breaking Down is Waking Up.

He gave a fascinating talk about how he went into psychiatry having learnt all the tools of the trade at university, and over the years has found there to be something missing or lacking in mental health services and psychiatry. Having spoken to some of his colleagues, he found he was by no means the only one who felt this.

It wasn’t until he went on a retreat and began practicing mindfulness and meditation that he began to realise that some of his own experiences during meditation were not unlike those reported as mental health issues and psychosis.

Dr Russell Razzaque with Katie Mottram.

Dr Russell Razzaque with Katie Mottram.

Peer-Supported Open Dialogue

His experiences have lead to him running a new pilot scheme being trialled in various locations throughout the UK, and currently used successfully in Scandinavia, Germany and some of the US states.

Peer-supported Open Dialogue is a programme of talking therapy where meetings are attended by the patient, their family/social network and a psychiatrist or trained mental health worker.

What struck me in Dr Razzaque’s talk about the therapy was how the intention was for the psychiatrist to ‘leave his/her training at the door’ and to approach the meeting from a ‘human’ perspective, on the same level as the patient and attendees, rather than as an expert with greater power.

I think this is fantastic and will break down barriers between mental health staff and patients, which can sometimes feel like an ‘us against them’ process.

In Finland, of those who took part in the open-dialogue process, 75% who experienced psychosis returned to work or study within 2 years, and only 20% were still taking anti-psychotic medication after a 2 year follow-up.

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It gives me so much hope to think there are mental health workers who are really making a difference with their new ideas. Psychosis and other mental health issues can only become more normalised as a result, which in turn reduces fear and stigma, and supports and empowers patients.

Resources

Suicide Risk Reduced After Talk Therapy- BBC Article

Open Dialogue UK

The Open Dialogue Framework: NHS North East London

Hearing Voices Network

Mind Freedom: Finland Open Dialogue

Spiritual Crisis Network UK

How a Mental Breakdown Can Lead to a Spiritual Awakening: By Dr. Russell Razzaque.

How Many of these Spiritual Awakening Symptoms do you have?

Mend the Gap

Related Posts

Mend the Gap: A New Hope for Mental Health

Bipolar Disorder as Spiritual Awakening

Bipolar Disorder: A Spiritual Perspective for 2013

Bach Flower Remedies for PMS.

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After a lovely bout of PMS last week I thought it might be handy to share the Bach Flower Remedies I find most helpful to ease the symptoms.

For Irritability:

Impatiens: for impatience with others.

Beech: for when you feel you want to verbally lash out at someone.

Holly: calms anger/aggression.

For Low Mood:

Mustard: relieves depression.

For Tiredness:

Olive: revitalises when you are shattered.

For Anxiety:

Cherry Plum: for when you feel out of control or worry that you will lose control.

 

Bach Rescue Remedy is an alternative option- it will aid in balancing the emotions.

 

To learn more about Bach Flower Remedies and where to buy them please click here.

 

 

 

Relax with Gentle Meditation Music

One of the most effective methods I’ve found of inducing relaxation is by listening to gorgeous meditation music. The track below is one I find particularly peaceful and I find I’m deeply relaxed after 5-10 mins.

This type of music is also great for insomnia- something which I am very familiar with- and I would say 99% effective in getting me back to sleep.

There are also some very effective relaxation meditations available on You Tube, for example:

Music and Meditation are a great way to calm the racing thoughts of anxiety or hypomania! The deeply relaxed state you are guided towards is perfect for releasing tension & stress too.

Related Posts

Yoga Benefits for Mental Health

Self-Forgiveness: A Work in Progress

Self-Forgiveness Meditation

 

My New Blog!!

Hi everyone- I have a new blog!! (I’ll still be writing here too).

I’m writing for John Levine’s Alphamusic which I’m very excited about!

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I met John at a Mind, Body, Spirit Fair in Norwich (UK) and was inspired by his music, which is spiritually channelled and healing for many different conditions including depression & anxiety!!

He has also composed music for each specific chakra and for each Archangel.

My first post is Overcoming Insomnia.

Here’s a little sample of his music:

Free Meditations with the Chopra Centre’s 21-Day Meditation Challenge

It’s a little late in informing you, but the Chopra Centre are half way through their 21-Day Meditation Challenge with Oprah Winfrey. It’s not too late to join though as the majority of meditations are available for 10 days online. It’s really easy to sign up (it’s even easier if you’re on Facebook-one click only!!):

Sign-up for the Chopra Centre Meditation Challenge

The Meditation Challenge happens about 2-3 times a year and is a fantastic opportunity to access some great-quality meditations by health guru Dr. Deepak Chopra. This season the theme is creating perfect health- hey, we could all do with some of that!!

The meditations are completely free and are sent to you via email each day.

Meditation has many health benefits including lowering stress levels, boosting the immune system and lowering blood pressure. It is also practiced to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

I’ve been doing the meditation challenge for about 5 seasons now and each time it helps to bring me greater inner peace and to connect to who I am and what I want out of life.

It’s a great time to start meditating!

Related Posts:

Benefits of Meditation & Free Meditations via The Chopra Centre

5 Benefits of a 10-Minute Meditation Practice.

What is Mindfulness and Mindfulness Meditation?

100 Benefits of Meditation- ineedmotivation.com.

Changing the Mind-Programming

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Me and our rescue dog, Cassie.

I’ve been working on some really deep issues in my journal today. It’s been difficult as I’ve been admitting some painful truths.

A few weeks ago I looked at personal power and how I have been “giving it away”.

Self-sabotage and quitting have been strong themes in my life thus far, as well as identifying myself as a “victim”, which is an attitude I am in the process of changing.

The beliefs I have instilled in my mind as a powerless victim are:

  • I am unable to cope in life.
  • I am too sensitive and thin-skinned.
  • I can’t take care of myself, I need to be looked after.
  • I am sick/emotionally unstable/have something wrong with me.
  • I’m not good enough.

I learnt these beliefs whilst growing up. I was rewarded when I displayed behaviour that exhibited these beliefs. I was treated less favourably if I showed independent and powerful behaviour.

Throughout my adult life I have attracted situations which have reinforced these beliefs- often very painful and destructive experiences.

I am now going to work on changing my beliefs in order to drastically improve my quality of life!!

My new mind-programming will be based on the following:

  • It is safe for me to be powerful and independent.
  • I have many talents and abilities that I can successfully utilize in my life.
  • I give myself permission to take care of and love myself.
  • I am free to express the true essence of me.
  • I am worthy of love, joy, fulfilment, success, health, fitness, abundance and wonderful life experiences!

My empowering reading has been:

Stop the Excuses, by Wayne Dyer.

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Quick Life Update

  • Brilliant day out at Center Parcs on Monday for a spa-day with friends. Also visited the brilliant swimming pool where we went on the insane new waterslide: Cyclone.

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    Cyclone

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    Cyclone- surprisingly scary!!

  • Enjoyed the Oscar highlights immensely on Monday. Loved Jennifer Lawrence’s dress and Joaquin Phoenix falling asleep- genius!! 
  • Shame to see Hugh Jackman miss out on Best Actor. Don’t think Daniel Day Lewis really needed another Oscar- greedy!
  • Had fun with my little niece last week, who is now 7 months old.
  • Saw “Flight” at the cinema- another amazing Denzel Washington performance. Great film.
  • Still not working, but am constantly thinking about what-on-earth I’m going to do to earn money. I’m currently ruling out a regular job at the moment, as it just never works out for me. Maybe that’s a mind programme I need to change.
  • Found a massive, enclosed field where we can let our rescue dog off the lead. This is a miracle as we’ve never been able to let her run free before- she’s always run off. We’ve found a secret weapon in her squeaky ball and some chicken!!
  • Favourite stuff on TV at the moment- The Following, Revenge, Got to Dance, Girls and looking forward to series three of Game of Thrones. Hoorah!!

Related post: Take Back Your Power

Dance, Dance, Dance!!!

ID-10046699Yesterday I went to my usual monthly healing group. It involves a thoroughly relaxing evening of meditation, crystal healing, angel card readings and massage. Our therapist is fantastically psychic and usually tells us which chakras each of us is having an issue with. For the last two weeks I’ve had a very tense jaw and have been getting regular headaches. She told me it’s related to my fifth/throat chakra and that I’m not “speaking my truth”.

I’ve been thinking about that all day today. Does it literally mean I’m not speaking my truth? I think partly, in that I haven’t entirely come out of the spiritual closet yet, even to Chris (boyfriend). I’m worried he’ll think I’m going off the wagon.

But I think it also means that I’m not living my life as ME, my true self. I know I need to eat healthier, exercise more, but also begin working on my passions again.

One of my passions is dancing. Heaven knows I watch a ton on TV, so perhaps it’s time to actually get off the sofa and shimmy away. So I’ve created my own dance workout!!!!

Rachel’s Magical Movie & Musical Workout!!

This involves dancing to all my favourite musical tracks on my favourite movies and dance videos. Today was Hairspray!! I danced to:

Good Morning Baltimore,The Nicest Kids in Town, Ladies’ Choice, Welcome to the Sixties and Run and Tell That- picking up bits of the choreography on the DVD and making up other the rest.

It was more fun than a regular exercise DVD that’s for sure! Tomorrow: Mamma Mia!!

You May Also Like:

Yoga Benefits for Mental Health

Photo Credit: freedigitalphotos.net

 

Turn the Day Around: Shifting the Gloom

I’ve just had one of those mornings where I’m feeling down in the dumps and resigned to having a bad day. I started the day getting up late and eating sugar- not my usual start!! It made a big difference to how I felt though: low and negative and I’d genuinely given up on improving things for the day- I’d written the day off! I just wanted to sleep through it and start again tomorrow!

I managed to snap out of it a little- enough to do a bit of meditation and just accept the place where I was at. Sometimes it helps to just go:

“I feel like *%$@ and that’s OK.”

“Just because I feel low doesn’t mean I’ve failed.”

“It hasn’t been the best of starts, but I’ve been reminded what does and doesn’t make me feel good.”

“I can still enjoy the afternoon.”

Following this I made a mini-plan of actions to help myself feel better. This included a dog walk in the fresh air and countryside, drinking loads of water, and eating some raw carrot- a very low GI food to counter-balance the sugar I ate earlier. Balancing blood sugar seemed like a sensible thing to do as I feel horrid when my blood sugar plummets after a sugar binge. I also added cleaning the bathroom to the list: not my favourite job, but I really like the bathroom to be clean!

The walk was great- we ended up being over an hour. The weather was perfect- sunny but cool- and we didn’t see another soul! The squirrels and jays entertained us with their antics around the woods and farmland. I came home feeling refreshed and revitalised.

The Importance of Shifting Energy

The walk worked for me as it shifted the negative energy which was clinging to me and allowed new positive energy in!

Low, gloomy energy, once accumulated, can stick to us like glue in the energetic field around us- our aura. Once stuck it keeps us feeling down, which in turn attracts more negative energy. Like attracts like.

It is much easier for positive energy to accumulate around us once the negative energy has been shifted- it clears space.

The things which help us to feel better are usually things that shift the negative energy. One of the best ways to shift energy is exercise, or any type of movement eg. cleaning or gardening. Once we’ve shifted the negative energy we are then in a position to attract new positive energy to us. This usually occurs through enjoyment of an activity. We feel good. Our thoughts become more positive. Like attracts like, so more positive energy is attracted to us.

Other ways to shift negative energy include:

– chatting, laughing with friends.

– breathing exercises: imagine breathing in beautiful, clean, loving, positive energy and breathing out old, stale, stagnant negativity. Breathing deeply into your lungs and imagining the new energies shifting the old really helps this exercise work.

– expressing yourself through creative activity.

– spending time in nature: the energy of trees, plants, the Earth etc, neutralises any negative energy. Sitting by rivers or the sea can be especially healing as you imagine the negativity being washed away. Even visualising this is helpful.

– music- screaming and shouting out any anger to angry music can help. As can putting on upbeat tracks that make you want to dance. Dancing’s great too!

– massage/spa.

– doing something you love.

Seeing these activities as shifting negative energies really helps motivate me to take action if I’m feeling low. I know that if I don’t act towards shifting the energy, I’ll very likely feel rubbish the rest of the day- maybe even getting worse by ruminating.

When we find ourselves ruminating negatively- it’s time to take ACTION through distrACTION!!  Don’t let those thoughts get their icy grip on your heart. Say NO!! You’re not sucking the life out of me!!! I’m going to create some positive energy instead to push you away!

Positive Intentions

Keep your mind focused on:

– high energy levels and vitality.

– fun and laughter.

– passions eg, people/pets you love, hobbies etc. Things you love.

PLAY!! One of my favourite games to play is to imagine I’ve been given £100,000. I then go about “spending” it online! It’s fun planning a holiday or some courses I want to take, and imagining what it would be like. Childish but fun! And a good way to use the Law of Attraction!

Give yourself a great day- you deserve it!

Photo Credits:

Sun by digitalart; Rainy Boy by Simon Howden; Waterfall by Evegeni Dinev all via freedigitalphotos.net

Complementary Therapies

Song of the Day: The Only Exception by Paramore.

After a tense few weeks which have resulted in a hostile, aggressive and extremely negative mood, I decided I needed a pick-me-up. So I booked an appointment with one of my favourite complementary therapists for another Reiki treatment. Reiki is a healing energy therapy, not everyone’s cup of tea, but I find the hour-long session extremely relaxing. You basically lie on a couch whilst the therapist lays her hands on certain areas of the body and acts as a channel for the natural energy all around is. Yes it does all sound a little bit voodoo, but all I know is that it really works for me. It could be psychological I guess and a placebo effect, but even if it is, as long as it works I don’t mind!

Whilst I was having the treatment on Wednesday I noticed a distinct change in my thought patterns. Before I went in I was feeling agitated and irritable after work. I felt very negative about myself, particularly my poor eating habits and body shape, and felt pretty hopeless about ever making any significant improvement in these areas. But whilst on the couch and as I started to relax, my mind became more peaceful and much more positive thoughts would pop into my head about starting the gym again, that I really could take control of the issues I was worried about, that people really do care about me and that I don’t have to strive to be perfect all the time and am fine the way I am. These more hopeful thoughts have stayed with me all week so far and I feel much more motivated to start the gym again and put healthy foods in my body! This noticeable change is enough for me to believe that Reiki makes a difference to me, and I am grateful for it!

I would totally recommend complementary therapies to anyone who has regular bouts of negative mood states, or who easily succumbs to stress. Massages are also amazing, especially if you have body image issues. Having someone else completely accept your body for what it is, whilst easing out all the tension in your back, neck and shoulders is extremely soothing and kind of helps you to accept your own body. I particularly love Indian Head Massage as I have regular tension headaches and very tense neck which feels really relieved afterwards.

Think I’m gonna try to take up Yoga again too. This is a much cheaper way to get the same effects! (Just more effort!)