Clinically Speaking is a blog that will allow anyone to learn about Social Work, case presentations in psychotherapy, and the relationship of pop culture in psychology. Come one...come all!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Attention: Clean up on aisle six! Food and Mood!

Food and mood for the right attitude(see what I did there). I recently ran a group on the effects of physical ailments and anger management(Jealous you weren't there? You should be!) That led me to a whole host of different ways to view the body and mental health. I knew that there is data that supports that if you have a balanced diet it has numerous effects on your mental health. I decided to take the liberty with the help of Mind Sanctuary to list a few easy ways to incorporate certain food and vitamins to ensure good mental health. Most of these you probably eat already so at least you can feel good when you eat them!

Oranges(Vitamin C)
Strawberries (Vitamin C)
Bell Peppers (Vitamin C)
Fish(Omega 3)
Fish(Omega 3)
Did I mention Fish?(Omega 3)
Bran/Rice/ Wheat/Oat (Magnesium)
Almonds, Cashews, and Mixed nut, Pine Nuts(Magnesium)
Low Fat Roast Beef(Zinc)

Vitamin C – Depression
Omega 3 – Depression and Poor Memory
Magnesium – Anxiety, Depression, Irritability, Stress, Insomnia
Zinc – depression, confusion, blank mind, loss of appetite, lack of motivation

You eat all of the above and now you should eat more of that stuff because of all the added benefits it comes with!

Short post for your Thursday!
Have a good one!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Dog's are a man's best friend...and Therapist? Pets and Therapy!

Weird topic right? Totally I agree. Yet it did catch your eye, right? When I read that there is significant impact a pet can have on a person's mental health I was immediately intriguing and very very skeptical of the impact it would have. Alas, let's go fetch a bone!!!!

I read via that animal assisted therapy has been able to decrease feelings of depression and anxiety due to the animal giving compassion during the visit which automatically makes a person feel happier. That's nice and all, but is there data to suggest that something more is going on?

As reported by psychiatrist Dr. Carole Lieberman, author of Coping With Terrorism: Dreams Interrupted. She noted that it has tremendous amount of impact on people who have been Dx with PTSD as she stated "Being around an animal can cause biochemical changes in our brains that make us feel calmer, safer and happier. In addition, caring for a pet can help take our thoughts off our own fears. “[When you] prove to yourself that you can take care of another living creature,” Dr. Lieberman says, “It “reassures you that you can take care of yourself.” This makes pet therapy especially useful for men and women coping with trauma such as returning veterans, who are relearning how to live in the civilian world."*1

OK, now we're getting somewhere, we are in the store looking around but I am not sure I want to buy what you're selling...

In a study that was conducted by Joan Esnayra Ph.D. & Craig Love, Ph.D. of A Survey of Mental Health Patients Utilizing Psychiatric Service Dogs, the results concluded that "Most are severely mentally ill by any number of reasonable measures. They are medicated but continue to experience refractory symptoms. Mood and Anxiety Disorders predominate. Importantly, a majority report that use of a Psychiatric Service Dog has diminished symptoms. A substantial minority report reduced psychotropic medication usage subsequent to canine partnership. This is true more so among those with anxiety-related disorders. This finding is consistent with the claims of Mason, who report that among a cohort of psychotherapists, animal-assisted therapy (AAT) was deemed most successful with clients who have Anxiety Disorders (Mason and Hagan, 1999)".*2

Have a good Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Some interesting links for you!

Here are some links to interesting articles that are "trending" right now on the web.

New post tomorrow on "Dog's are a man's best friend...and therapist? Pets and Therapy!"

Here is a link about the debate whether to allow psychologists to prescribe medication:

Here is a link about Teen usage of Pot could hard memory and IQ:

Enjoy! Happy Tuesday!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Yoga and Mental Health

As we read in the previous post, depression effects 12 million people year round I was interested in alternative ways to treat depression and came across one interesting treatment that not only helps treat depression but anxiety, ADHD and PTSD too. Yoga! So gals throw on those mental yoga pants and guys break out those mental under armor shirts and let’s get our mats ready!! 

When some of you think yoga, you probably think "I can’t bend like that" or "I'd rather relax at home with the TV...that's meditation". Though there are many positive effects of participating in yoga for many types of people.  

Earlier this month there was a study published by University of Michigan Health System about the correlation between expectant mothers and depression. The study reported that "Pregnant women who were identified as psychiatrically high risk and who participated in a 10-week mindfulness yoga intervention saw significant reductions in depressive symptoms...mothers-to-be also reported stronger attachment to their babies in the womb".* If this could work with pregnant women who have a whole host of different things going on hormonally, I wonder what could it do to a man with PTSD? or even a child with ADHD? 

In an effort to answer these questions as I always do I go surfing...the net. I found a website called, which reported a study that was conducted with veterans of war who have a Dx of PTSD. The article reported that "they (veterans) engaged in a program featuring guided meditation, yoga asanas (stretching poses), stress reduction techniques and breathing exercises. After six weeks the group had an overall decrease of 15 points on the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), moving the group from moderate to severe anxiety down to mild through moderate. The improvement was dramatic and the control group showed no improvement." Umm...awesome! No words!

One of the pillars of yoga is being able to improve concentration. With the combination of the stretching and poses it has been known whether you have ADHD or not to improve concentration. (Just something to think about-if the child can’t concentrate to begin with how will he/she be able to do the stretching or poses? A different post for a different day)

Anxiety? The other pillar, which I always thought the real reason people do yoga is for the deep breathing and relaxation techniques...need I say more when we are talking about anxiety?

Whether you go now to your closest gym or not, you cannot deny the positive attributes that yoga can play in a person with mental illness.

Thank you class- NAMASTE!
Have a good day and good weekend!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Postpartum Men?

As a newly father(for the second time) it dawned on me that here at ClinicallySpeaking, we have never done a blog post of postpartum, thought this would be an appropriate time to do one. So lets do this!!!

Lets start at the beginning, What is Postpartum Depression? Depression suffered by a mother following childbirth, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue. Not all Postpartum Depressions are created equal, not all mothers will have the same symptoms as one another much like any diagnosis or disease that can be treated. They have similar qualities and must meet criteria but never the same in all. 

This is such an enormous topic that there are many mental health websites that are dedicated to helping women find the right treatment and help. The specific website that I research with the best information was While perusing the website for interesting topics for this particular blog post an interesting topic came up....Postpartum for Men? What? Really? No???...Turns out Yes! As reported on the website "A study published by the Journal of Advanced Nursing indicates that 24 – 50% of all men that experience postpartum depression within one year have a partner suffering from the same condition." Are you shocked? If you break it down to its simplicity about 6 million men suffer from depression every year. This is about 7 percent of the population. Nearly twice as many women (more than 12 million) suffer from depression each year. If you look at it from that standpoint it isn't so surprising. Often the men who have children begin feeling that they feel no connection with their newborn, or feel overwhelmed with having to care for another person which could spiral into depression and anxiety. 

There is more and more research being done in this area of Postpartum Depression for Men, this is just a taste and to be aware if you are an expectant soon to be father or mother. It would be a good idea for both of you dad and mom to brush up and make sure you are aware of the different  services you can obtain if either of you are feeling the "baby blues" when your little one come around. If you have just given birth there is a social worker in every hospital and if you are feeling depressed you can administer a quick quiz to determine if you are suffering from Postpartum Depression. Here is the link to the quiz: Postpartum Depression Quiz

Have a good Monday!

Friday, August 17, 2012

ADHD and Suicide...Chicken or Egg?

There is much debate over the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder aka ADHD and the legitimacy of it. The common phrase that everyone likes to say is "oh don't worry its not you, its my ADHD" or "c'mon this is taking too long my ADHD is kicking in". All joking aside, research has shown that there is concrete linkages between ADHD and other mental illnesses. Today in an article by Connie K. Ho on titled, Risk of Self-Injury and Suicide Attempts for Girls with ADHD, she reports that there is a link between ADHD and self-injurious and suicidal behavior in girls. She reported that a study was done at the "UC Berkeley showed that these girls tend to internalize their feelings of inadequacy and their struggles with the disorder. As a result, they are two times more likely to harm themselves and three times more likely to commit suicide than their peers". 

While this is really astonishing, two questions come to mind when reading this....Is it because they have this disorder and then they felt inadequate or do they feel inadequate to begin with and this reinforces those feelings? What I like to call the Chicken or Egg phenomena. 

Good question right? (Thank you inner monologue) I am not sure that there is a right answer, but if you think its the former that, disorder+inadequacy= self-injures behavior, than you might believe get the child the right treatment and you will see a confident child in 6 months. If you think its the latter, inadequacy+disorder=self injures behavior, than you might believe that no matter the disorder the child will have negative self-worth and self-esteem having this label exacerbates an already existing problem which will effect her for years and years to come.

Again don't have the right answer....

With all types of mental illnesses you get different prognosis and outcomes depending on a lot of variables. While I believe there is much validity to that research article, I question the participants mental health before being given the ADHD diagnosis and other factors such as, parental involvement, social skills, and stressors that the child may have been incurred or exposed to.   

Agree? Disagree? Let us know.

Have a good weekend!

Aaaaannd We're Back (and Sorry)!!!

On June 13th of this blog we here at ClinicallySpeaking made some list of different content that was going to be available within the coming months. Clinically Speaking did not come through with any of those. But as they old adage says "Better late than never". We at Clinically Speaking would like to offer all the readers a proverbial olive branch in hoping you will return and read this blog as often as you had done in the past. We are truly sorry and would like to thank you for all those who continue to support and read this blog.

Stay tuned later today for a brand new post!