Mental Health Disorders


SCHIZOPHRENIA  Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder that causes changes in the person’s thinking, perception, mood and behaviour. It  is a biochemical disorder of the brain and affects about 1% of the population. The onset occurs between age 17 and 29 in about three quarters of the people who have schizophrenia.   There are acute and chronic […]

Toxic People. Toxic Relationships.


What They Are and Why to Avoid Them by Marcia Purse Long ago, before I was even diagnosed with depression (my first psychologist had said I was “highly neurotic”), I was a transcriptionist at an insurance company in Iowa. The woman who sat in front of me would sometimes become upset about something that happened and […]

What is Relapse?


A relapse occurs when a person in recovery re-experiences problems or  symptoms associated with his or her disorders. With substance usedisorders, a relapse means a return to problem substance use after aperiod of abstinence or controlled use. With mental health disorders,a relapse is a flare-up of symptoms that are associated with thedisorder. A relapse of […]

Substance Abuse and Mood and Anxiety Disorders


It is difficult to deal with any of these issues on its own, however, when both are presented, figuring out the best approach to treatment can be confusing and difficult. Both substance abuse and mental health problems can be chronic,  recurring, and requiring some immediate interventions and ongoing monitoring and support. Mental health symptoms may  be exacerbated by […]

Treatments for Mental Health and Addiction


Most people who have a mental health and/or substance use disorder can be effectively treated— including those with disorders that are very disabling such as schizophrenia. The future is even more promising as we better understand mental illness and develop new treatments. Treatments for the various disorders depend on the disorder itself. We have listed […]

Thougts, Urges or Desires


Most people experience strong desires, urges or thoughts about drinking alcohol when they start to cut down or quit. It helps to recognize that these urges, desires and thoughts are natural. We all have different ways to cope with desires, urges or thoughts about drinking. The following are some of the most common ways used by […]

Exercise and Mental Health


Why bother with exercise? To work properly, your body needs regular exercise – and most of us feel good when we are active.  Until the last 100 years or so, you had to be quite active to just live your everyday life. Now, in modern Western societies, so much of what we used to do […]

Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome


What is Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome? Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a severe memory disorder usually associated with chronic excessive alcohol consumption, although the direct cause is a deficiency in the B vitamin thiamin. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR), the professional handbook that aids clinicians in diagnosing patients’ mental disorders, refers to Korsakoff syndrome as […]

Addiction & the Brain’s Reward Pathway


Addiction & the Reward Pathway From the lab to the legislature, the push is on to recognize and treat addiction as a mental illness. Getting hooked on alcohol or drugs is not the result of bad behavior or a weak character, researchers say; rather, it’s caused by genes and by biochemical disruptions in the brain […]

Defenses and Denial


Being in recovery means we don’t need or want to lie to ourselves. Denial is our escape from reality, our fantasy. It’s lying to ourselves. All is fine, and we are in control. Denial keeps us from the truth. A spiritual reality is that when we experience faith, we can change and transform. Many of […]

COPING SKILLS: Mind Body and Spirit


Stress is non-discriminating, and integral part of everyone’s life. Coping with stress comes naturally for all of us. We successfully deal with  most of our stressful experiences. The problem is that we tend to use  a skill or two over and over again. It is important to develop a whole set of skills to chose […]

Supporting a Family Member with Mental Illness


If someone you love is sick, it can be scary. When they are sick with a mental disorder it can be especially scary. It can be hard to see someone you love in pain and it’s confusing when someone you know well is not acting like themselves. You know how you would take care of […]

Questions About Marijuana and Schizophrenia


Marijuana use has been shown to trigger and worsen psychosis in young people who are vulnerable to psychosis and may even cause psychotic illnesses in people who would not otherwise suffer from them. Can marijuana use trigger psychotic illnesses like schizophrenia? Yes. There is increasing research evidence to show that, particularly when someone starts using […]

Marijuana Induced Psychosis


Young adults who used marijuana as teens were more likely than those who didn’t to develop schizophrenia and psychotic symptoms including hallucinations and delusions, an Australian study found. Those who used the drug for six or more years were twice as likely to develop a psychosis such as schizophrenia or to have delusional disorders than […]

Coping Strategies


Everyone deals with stress differently. You need to figure out a flexible set of coping strategies that work for you. Below are just a few proven stress relief techniques. 1. Eat well, feel great – There’s nothing wrong with the occasional brownie, but do your eally need to eat the whole pan? When stress hits […]

Coping with Stress


Because each of us is different, there is no one “correct” way to cope with stress. However, there are a number of different things that can be done, and it is helpful to look at both short and long-term solutions to reducing stress. Identify your problems. Is your job, your relationship with someone, or money […]

Stress Management


Managing stress effectively is an important part of maintaining overall wellness.  Stress management skills do not come automatically; they must be learned and practiced. They are necessary to a successful recovery. Everybody experiences some stress in their lives. Some stress is positive and helps us stay healthy and feel active, but when stress becomes a […]

All About Depression


Diagnosis of Clinical Depression Mental health professionals and physicians are careful and deliberate when evaluating their clients for clinical depression. It takes more than just tearfulness or a feeling of sadness on the part of the client to indicate the presence of depression. A professional should take the time to gather a good deal of […]