HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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tendency to assume youth are being youth or teenagers are being teenagers [when they act out], and high school years are tough,” Timmerman said.


Sometimes the hardest part is identifying the problem. “If someone is missing a lot of work and that is uncharacteristic of them or if someone’s mood changes suddenly with no clear trigger, those are signs,” Timmerman said. Hopelessness is another red flag. It is important for people to feel they have value and others want and need them.


Be patient with yourself or a loved one after diagnosis. “One of the big misconceptions about mental illness in general is people think it is a disabling condition,” Timmerman said. “People can recover from mental illness. There are working people who are fine on medicines with additional therapy.”


If you are seeking treatment, contact your insurance company and act right away. “It often takes people 10 years to get assistance for mental health issues because there is usually a 10-year lag between symptoms becoming bothersome and getting treatment,” Timmerman said.    

January – the beginning of a new year – is a good time to consider your mental wellness. “We all have mental health,” said Marcie Timmerman, executive director of Mental Health America of Kentucky. “It is a spectrum between how bad it might be, such as one bad day, or something clinically relevant.”


Knowing the signs of mental illness is the first step to helping yourself or others. “Typically the line is when sleep, work or day-to-day living is affected for two weeks or more,” Timmerman said. “If [your feelings are] pervasive and persistent for several days a week, if you are anxious about things that other people are not anxious about, if you have worries that are keeping you up at night or interfering with your ability to work or drive, you want to get help as soon as possible. That is when you need to see a physician or therapist.”


The Bluegrass State just got a state mental health report card that was not impressive. The report said almost 22 percent of Kentuckians have a diagnosed mental illness of some kind. “Kentuckians have mental illness at higher rates than other places as well as higher rates of youth getting treatment for mental health issues,” Timmerman said. Depression, bipolar and anxiety are most frequently diagnosed.


The reason for the big numbers is unclear. “One suspicion is a shortage of child therapists and psychiatrists throughout the state and a

RECOGNIZING AND COPING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS

JAMIE LOBER

Jamie Lober is a Staff Writer for Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Jamie Lober


Fortunately, families are talking about mental health more, especially at this time of year when some people may experience seasonal affective disorder. Something as simple as light therapy or medication can help in that situation.


“People who have holiday- related stress, anxiety or depres- sion need to set better personal boundaries, have a better sense of planning and learn how to prioritize their time and efforts,” Timmerman said.


When you recognize the issue and have a tool box of coping strategies at your fingers, you will be fine. Self-care is critical to mental well-being. “Take a mental health day or do something you like every day, whether it is a hobby, talking to a friend or making sure you have one person in your life you can depend on,” Timmerman said. Social gatherings and support groups can be helpful, as well as therapy. If you feel more comfortable in an online space, that is an option too.