Riverview Community Mental Health Blog

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How To Identify 5 Depression Symptoms | Find Help to Be Happy

Depression Symptoms            Depression Symptoms

People with depression often feel very low and unable to function. The worst depression symptoms are intense and persistent, affecting a person for weeks or even months. The person may not even care to get up in the morning or go to work, let alone do errands. The depressed individual will spend much of his or her time daydreaming about how much he or she hates their life. They will have little interest in daily tasks and may even have an inability to care about themselves.


There are several medical illnesses that are linked to depression and can cause depressive symptoms. These include diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Other factors that increase your risk for depression include prolonged stress at work and abusive relationships. Furthermore, certain life events, including pregnancy, can be triggers of depression in some people.  Fortunately, professional help is available to help you overcome these problems. If you feel that you are suffering from depression, you should consult a healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment options.

Depression symptoms can be difficult to recognize and describe. A physician can use a number of tools to make a diagnosis. Objective observations can be helpful in determining if someone is suffering from this condition. A doctor can also perform a series of tests to rule out other conditions. In addition to observing the physical symptoms of depression, a physician can also determine if the person has any family history of depression. In addition to looking at a patient’s symptoms, a physician will discuss possible causes of the depressive state as well as any recent traumatic experiences.

Other signs of depression may include physical health concerns and difficulties with everyday activities. A child who suffers from depression may become underweight, refuse to go to school, or become anxious. These are all symptoms of depression.

Help Is Available!

Getting professional help is the best way to overcome depression and return to a normal, enjoyable, and productive lifestyle. When you are dealing with this type of depressive state, it is important to get the proper diagnosis and you should consult with a professional.  Once you have identified the underlying cause of the depression symptoms, you can learn about your treatment options and decide on the best course of action to start feeling better.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has published guidelines on treating depression in both men and women. Different types of therapy may be more suitable for your situation. It is important to find a mental health professional who can diagnose and treat depression in the right way.

Medication can be extremely helpful to treat many cases of depression symptoms. However, the use of anti-depressants should be carefully considered and other treatment options such as talk therapy, diet changes, and an exercise routine should be included as viable courses of treatment.  If an underlying medical condition is the cause, this too must be properly diagnosed by a medical doctor. The NIMH website lists different types of treatments and includes information on how to choose the right treatment for your needs.

Symptoms of depression include loss of interest in almost everything. You may also be depressed or irritable. You may feel sad or lonely. There is nothing wrong with feeling sad or lonely. It is normal. You will feel low from time to time. However, if you have depression, you will have more difficulty coping with these feelings. It is essential to seek treatment as soon as you can. You can overcome this condition by getting the right treatment.

Riverview Community Mental Health Center has a caring well-trained staff to help you identify the cause of depression symptoms and plan effective treatment options. If you or a loved one is suffering from depression, please call today! We have offices in Stuart and Port Saint Lucie Florida.


Help For Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Anxiety

Millions of people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) seasonal affective disorder


It is believed that during winter months, less daylight increases the natural level of the hormone melatonin and decreases serotonin in the brain.  Serotonin is a key hormone that stabilizes our mood and emotional balance.  Low serotonin levels are often linked to depression and lack of energy.

SAD is often accompanied by a weakened immune system and may cause a higher than usual level of anxiety

Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

SAD symptoms may include those of a major depressive disorder characterized by the following

  • Feeling depressed
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Sleeping too much or not enough (hypersomnia or insomnia)
  • Feeling anxious or agitated
  • Feeling lethargic
  • Feeling of hopelessness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Depression symptoms that are attributed specifically to seasonal affective disorder (SAD) are changes in sleep patterns, lack of motivation, increased or decreased appetite, and social withdrawal.  People who suffer from SAD tend to experience more depressive symptoms during the winter months and can also suffer from fatigue and irritability during the spring and summer.  Symptoms will vary from person to person.  If you or a loved one is experiencing seasonal affective disorder symptoms, you should seek professional treatment and follow recommendations from your doctor.

Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Although there is no definitive cure for seasonal affective disorder, it can be managed effectively.  Symptoms of SAD can be controlled with light therapy, medication, psychotherapy, exercise, and diet or dietary supplements.

For people suffering from SAD, light exposure is an important factor in treating the condition. 

A psychologist may suggest light therapy which involves the daily use of artificial light.

Sunlight provides vitamin D which is often deficient during the winter months.  With the decreased sunlight during the winter, vitamin D may be obtained from certain foods.  The best food sources of vitamin D are fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and herring, as well as egg yolks, mushrooms, and cod liver oil.

If the condition does not improve with light therapy and diet changes, cognitive behavioral therapy can also be effective.  In addition to adding the recommended foods to your diet, you should also drink plenty of water, preferably with fresh lemon juice every day.

If the symptoms persist for several weeks, a psychological evaluation is recommended to ensure that the cause of the problem is not another illness.  This will allow the psychologist to decide on the right course of treatment for the patient.

Your doctor will recommend a physical exam that will reveal any underlying physical problems.

Light therapy is considered the most effective treatment for the condition.  By exposing the brain to light, the brain’s response to seasonal stress is improved, which may lead to improved mood and physical health.  A bright lightbox simulates the sun’s rays and can be effective in managing the symptoms of SAD.  It is also crucial to avoid stress as much as possible.  Meditation and outdoor walks can also be helpful to alleviate the condition and improve your overall mood.

While many people are unaware of their SAD condition, it is important to understand what causes it.  The symptoms of SAD can be unpredictable, but they can be treated.  A good approach to getting the condition under control is to combine cognitive-behavioral therapy with light therapy and diet changes.  It is also advisable to avoid caffeine and alcohol, as these can make SAD worse.

Seasonal Affective Disorder can affect every aspect of your life and can result in worsening symptoms of depression and anxiety.  Take the first step to understand this disorder and get the help you need to ease the symptoms.

The caring staff at Riverview CMHC are well-trained to treat seasonal affective disorder and we are here to help.

Bipolar Disorder Can Be Devastating, There Is Help and Hope


Bipolar disorder, also called manic depressive illness, is a serious psychiatric illness characterized by extreme emotional highs (mania) and lows (depression). People with it experience unusual emotional fluctuations – from extremely happy, sometimes referred to as “bipolar disorder mania” or “superman syndrome,” to extremely sad and depressed, sometimes referred to as “bipolar disorder depression.”

bipolar disorder

Bipolar sufferers experience alternating periods of mania and depression. They often go from highly active, seemingly energized, to extremely sad and inactive, seemingly paralyzed by depression. The sufferer can experience one episode of mania and depression or multiple episodes of both.

If you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from bipolar disorder, seek medical attention immediately                         

There are several ways to diagnose bipolar disorder. Your doctor will ask about your personal history and present you with a list of questions. The answers to these questions will help the doctor determine if your symptoms are related to another mental health issue, such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

When in doubt, get a thorough diagnosis from a psychiatrist or licensed psychologist?

Numerous studies have concluded that bipolar disorder is hereditary and approximately 80% of patients diagnosed with bipolar have some family history of mental illness.

Symptoms of bipolar disorder usually begin in the early to mid-teens and often go undiagnosed, as parents assume this behavior is due to puberty and normal stress associated with teenagers.

Bipolar disorder is widely believed to be the result of chemical imbalances in the brain. The chemicals responsible for controlling the brain’s functions are called neurotransmitters and include noradrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine.

To treat bipolar disorder, the most effective way is through a combination of medication and psychotherapy.

You can choose which medications you use and when to take them. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may be prescribed antidepressants or mood stabilizers, which are taken daily. You can also choose between lifestyle changes and other forms of treatment. No matter what treatment options you choose, you should try to find a healthy lifestyle and diet and maintain a regular sleep pattern.

For mild cases of bipolar disorder, lifestyle, and diet changes such as limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, avoiding too much stress, exercising, and eating a balanced diet may provide relief and decrease your symptoms.

When suffering from an episode of mania or depression, lifestyle and diet changes aren’t always enough. Medications can sometimes help, as well as therapy. Antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants, and beta-blockers are commonly prescribed in the treatment. However, they are not for everyone and must be used under a doctor’s care.

Manic episodes and depressive episodes in bipolar disorder are classified as first-degree or major depression and mania.

  • A first-degree bipolar disorder episode lasts for at least four weeks and is directed at the sufferer.
  • A major depression, on the other hand, occurs less frequently and is characterized by at least four or more first-degree episodes that last for a period of six months or more. These episodes may include extreme unexplained anger towards others and may be difficult for loved ones to understand.
  • A manic episode is characterized by a sustained period of abnormally elevated or irritable mood, intense energy, racing thoughts, and other extreme and exaggerated behaviors.

Bipolar disorders are twice as likely to affect people who have first-degree depression or mania compared to those with second-degree depression or mania. Bipolar disorder is also more likely to affect people who have a genetic disposition.

Your medical history and will have a lot to do with your treatment options. Your medical history is often the only basis for the diagnosis, so it’s important to get all your tests and records from your doctor. Your medical history includes details about the types of medications you’re taking, including doses, length of time you’ve taken them, and the results of any diagnostic tests. It includes details about your family medical history, including whether any of your relatives have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder before. Keeping a medical history is critical to getting the right medications and the best treatment for bipolar disorder.                 

Riverview CMHC        

451 SW Bethany Drive, Suite 103
Port Saint Lucie, Florida


Alzheimer’s Disease | Best Medication and Treatments

Alzheimer's disease


Alzheimer’s Disease Symptoms and Treatments

Alzheimer’s disease amasses a frightening vocabulary of symptoms.

Some of the most common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include the following.

  • Forgetting words
  • The sense that one is not in control
  • Experiencing lapses in memory
  • A decline in social skills
  • Trouble solving thinking problem
  • Losing the ability to reason properly

Alzheimer’s is a progressive, sometimes fatal disease that causes nerve cells in the brain to deteriorate and die. The first symptom of this disease might be a person forgetting recent happenings or words. As the disease advances, a normal individual with Alzheimer’s may develop severe mental decline and lose the capacity to perform basic tasks such as riding a bike or operating a refrigerator.

Treating the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease


Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common causes of dementia and researchers have been in an ongoing effort to come up with treatments for this condition. In the United States alone, there are millions of people who are afflicted with Alzheimer’s, and the number of people diagnosed with this debilitating condition is expected to increase.

As medical technology improves, there is still a lot of research to be done to find new courses of treatment. It has yet to be proven conclusively that there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, though many researchers believe that early detection and prevention is the best treatment for this disease. This is because the earlier it is detected, the better chance there is to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s. Some of the best treatments for Alzheimer’s have already been developed and have proven to be quite effective.

A range of options exist for the treatment of Alzheimer’s, and patients can choose from using drugs, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and other methods.

One Alzheimer’s disease study conducted and funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) found that the most successful treatment method for Alzheimer’s was through using a combination of medications and cognitive behavioral therapy. Based on this research, the NINDS has developed standards for testing eligibility for Alzheimer’s patients. Generally, when evaluating mild Alzheimer’s patients, doctors check for the following symptoms: decline in attention, memory, understanding, language, judgment, and coordination; a reduction in the ability to make standard decisions; and a significant loss of social functions.

Another way to treat Alzheimer’s is with one drug or group of medications known as antipsychotic drugs. The NINDS also supports this approach by conducting a series of trials on mice that were specifically developed to be resistant to Alzheimer’s. In these studies, results showed that the mice treated with the new drugs showed a significantly higher survival rate than a control group that did not receive the new drugs. Also, people living with Alzheimer’s Disease who are given these drugs show an improvement in their moods and in balancing their mental activity.

Another treatment option available for people living with Alzheimer’s is to take cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins. These drugs can lower the level of “bad” cholesterol in the body while increasing the levels of “good” cholesterol. This will help to reduce the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. Although statins are recommended for people with mild Alzheimer’s Disease, it is important to note that there is an increased risk of stroke in people taking these drugs. Also, a few months after stopping this medication, people may experience a withdrawal symptom which is called the “algia” or “malaise” that is associated with the lower levels of the cholesterol-lowering drug.

Alzheimer’s Disease is a difficult disease to live with, but fortunately, there are a variety of Alzheimer’s disease medications that exist. It is very important that if you are prescribed one or more medications that you discuss it thoroughly with your doctor and research the possible side effects that may occur. There are also many support groups, both local and online, for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s and for their loved ones. These groups are often a wealth of information and can help you through the process as well.

Riverview Community Mental Health Center

865 SE Monterey Commons Blvd
Stuart, Florida
United States

Port Saint Lucie
451 SW Bethany Drive, Suite 103
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
United States

Discover the Difference Between Psychologists and Psychiatrists

If you are considering mental health care options, you should know the difference between psychologists and psychiatrists.

Choosing to seek the help of a psychiatrist or psychologist can often be overwhelming for the person in need of mental health services. Many psychiatrists do not offer all the services that people are seeking.

Because many psychiatrists do not work in the specialized areas of treatment that people need, it can become confusing as to which services psychiatrists provide vs. psychologists.

When people are searching for mental health care treatment optioPsychologists ns, they often do not want to have to search among numerous psychiatrists, each with different services, waiting to find out if they will be able to treat their needs.

This type of situation can quickly become frustrating and can even cause the person who is seeking mental health care to lose interest and give up the idea of getting the help they need.

So What is the Difference Between Psychologists and Psychiatrists?

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness. Psychiatrists must complete four years of medical school after earning their bachelor’s degree, and then serve another 4-year residency in the psychiatric field.

Psychologists earn their bachelor’s degree and then continue to doctoral-level training. They do not go through medical school, but rather pursue a Ph.D. or a PsyD. A PsyD has a stronger focus on clinical training and behavioral therapy treatment and a Ph.D. focuses more on research.

The main difference between psychologists and psychiatrists is that psychiatrists are medically trained in the diagnosis of physical and mental diseases, and treatment with prescription medications

Most psychiatrists work in private offices. To ensure that a psychiatrist treats all the individuals in his or her office with a high level of care, the patient and his or her family or friends should be involved in the process of selecting a psychiatrist.

Having the patient’s close friends and family members be part of the selection committee can prove to be greatly beneficial. With this approach and the support of the patient’s loved ones, the mental health professional will always be able to receive feedback on the progress of the individual’s therapy.

If a psychiatrist is willing to stay in communication with those family members and close friends, this also indicates that the professional cares about his or her patients.  Often, the person seeking mental health services needs the encouragement and support of those closest to them.

In addition to the services that a psychiatrist provides through his or her private office, a psychiatrist may also refer the patient to alternative specialty services if the individual feels that his or her treatment methods are not working. For instance, a patient might benefit from group counseling.  A good psychiatrist will be able to make the appropriate referrals.

To avoid spending additional money for the services of a psychiatrist who offers specialty services, many patients turn to a psychologist who may be able to provide appropriate services for the individual. Because many psychologists are trained in a variety of behavioral treatment methods, they can offer a wide range of effective care solutions.

In conclusion, the main difference between psychologists and psychiatrists is that psychiatrists are trained medical doctors who prescribe medications. They spend much of their time with patients on medication management as a course of treatment.

Psychologists are a little different because they focus extensively on psychotherapy and treating emotional and mental suffering in patients with behavioral intervention. Patients often benefit the most from both services combined.


One way to make sure that a psychiatrist offers the services that will meet all your needs is to make an appointment to meet with him or her personally.

Whichever course of treatment is right for you, Riverview CMHC is here to help.

Contact us today. We have offices in Stuart and Port Saint Lucie, Florida.

Stuart, FL office  772-266-4713

Port Saint Lucie, FL office at 772-301-1354


The 4 Types of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) Explained


borderline personality disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is one of the most misunderstood mental conditions in the US.  Some believe it is a mental disorder caused by genetic predisposition and chemical imbalances in the brain, while others think the affected person is simply difficult to handle. A few mental health professionals believe that BPD is nearly always brought on by childhood trauma, or PTSD.

The truth is, we are still learning and experimenting with medication and therapy treatments. The good news is the success rate for easing severe symptoms has improved and showing better results than ever before.

A borderline personality disorder is often confused with bipolar disorder. Most patients suffer from more than one condition. Both borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder include anxiety and depression disorders and may manifest in eating disorders, substance abuse, and other physical illnesses.

Further, the perception of the severity of the mental illness may be subjective, and the diagnosis is often based solely on information the patient provides the therapist. Severely depressed people are often mistrustful by nature and have difficulty communicating or admitting the symptoms of their condition. 

Learn how to recognize the 4 types of borderline personality disorder and understand the signs, symptoms, and treatment options

If you or a loved one suffers from BPD, it is helpful to understand and recognize the four different types of borderline personality disorder. 

After reading this article, you will know more about the symptoms, causes, and treatment options, as well as the similarities and differences of bipolar disorder. 

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is defined by its psychological impact on emotional regulation, impulse control, and interpersonal relationships. 

The difference between borderline personality disorder and bipolar is that BPD manifests with an outburst of anger triggered by an interaction with a person the borderline perceives as critical or judgmental. 

Bipolar disorder is a physical affliction where the person experiences a manic-depressive state with periods of emotional depression (with lack of energy and fatigue) and alternating manic episodes (feeling high with excessive energy and euphoria). The bipolar state can last from days to months. Unlike borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder manic episodes are generally triggered by seasonal weather changes, disrupted sleep patterns, or stressful events.

To be officially diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, an individual must have four of these characteristics: 

  • Feelings of sadness or guilt for even the smallest of things
  • A constant overwhelming need to control the lives of others
  • Experiencing significant swings in emotions (such as anger or fear)
  • Experiencing chaotic emotions that can include rage, jealousy, helplessness, and fear of abandonment.

Additionally, a sufferer will have impulse-based thoughts that are unreasonable and unrealistic. This negative perception causes intense distress and leads to detrimental behaviors and strained relationships. These thoughts and actions usually stem from deep-seated feelings of inadequacy, shame, fear, and helplessness. 

Most people who suffer from BPD exhibit behaviors that overlap all four of the subtypes. In most cases, the illness is predominantly one of the four types. 

The 4 Subtypes of Borderline Personality Disorder are defined as follows:

  • Impulsive – The impulsive BPD is prone to reckless and risk-taking behavior and often acts without regard for the consequences. This type demands to be the center of attention and often complains of chronic or recurring illness to gain attention and sympathy. 
  • Petulant – Characterized by childish and ill-tempered behavior. The petulant BPD exhibits uncontrollable anger and feeling of worthlessness and self-loathing. They possess an intense need to control and manipulate others, and their volatile mood swings and rage can lead to violence and conflict in their relationships.
  • Discouraged – These traits are overly dependent on others, low self-esteem, hopelessness, depression, and anger. The discouraged borderline personality is susceptible to substance abuse. They may have an intense fear of rejection, anxiety, vulnerability, and weakness.
  • Self-Destructive – This BPD is prone to be overly sensitive to perceived criticism. They cannot empathize with others and lash out in hostility when they feel threatened. The self-hatred and bitterness may be so severe and deep-seated that they tend to react irrationally and push away the people who care about them the most. The self-destructive type is impulsive, moody, and prone to risky behavior and self-harm.


Borderline Personality Disorder treatment combines psychotherapy and medication. The goal is to help the client recognize and manage their debilitating emotions. Effective medications such as antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs are the most prescribed for BDP. These medications are an effective tool to control mood swings and behaviors out of the patients’ control. 

A borderline personality disorder is a serious condition that needs to be treated by professional therapists. It often goes untreated for long periods. Family members are often afraid to seek help, as they fear the consequences and possible outbreak of anger if they suggest counseling or drug therapy. 

When left untreated, the disorder can worsen very quickly, and the person’s quality of life can suffer. Because Borderline Personality Disorder has so many potential symptoms and complications, it is imperative to identify them when they first occur.

If you suspect that someone close to you may be displaying these symptoms, do not hesitate to make an appointment with a physician. The doctor will perform diagnostic tests and determine if the patient has a borderline personality disorder.

Your doctor will also be able to offer helpful information and referral options for treatment. If you are diligent about seeking treatment, you can get your loved one the help needed to gain control over their life. It is possible to regain the ability to love yourself and live as independently as possible.


Medications will not cure borderline personality disorder, but they can effectively manage the symptoms, including mood swings, impulsivity, and obsessive-compulsive behavior. 

Common medications used to treat mood swings are sedatives like Valium and Ativan. Other common medications to treat the symptoms of BPD include antidepressants and mood stabilizers.

Antipsychotic drugs like Ritalin, Concerta, and Temoxazole can also be helpful to treat borderline personality disorder symptoms. 

However, all these medications carry risks and possible complications. You will have to work closely with your doctor to find the best course of drug therapy.

Behavioral Therapy

A very successful treatment approach for borderline personality disorder is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This treatment approach focuses on changing how a person thinks and how they respond to situations. CBT is sometimes combined with medications to treat people who suffer from BPD. Some doctors will use antidepressant medications alongside therapy to treat people with a borderline personality disorder. 

People who suffer from BPD tend to experience more severe emotional symptoms than those with other personality disorders. Because of this, it can be more complicated to treat co-occurring conditions when they are part of borderline personality disorder. Although some people with borderline personality disorder have enjoyed successful treatment for co-occurring conditions. 

The best way to treat borderline personality disorder is with medications to treat the symptoms and not the disorder.

If you choose to use medication to control your symptoms, make sure that you select FDA-approved drugs. Some prescription medications can cause your symptoms to get worse rather than better, however, medications remain one of the most effective treatment options available for people diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder.

Call  Riverview CMHC today.  Offices in Stuart and Port St. Lucie FLA – Contact Riverview CMHC


Medication Management – 5 Things You Need To Know Today

Managing medication can get confusing for those that require multiple medications on a daily basis. For the patient and their loved ones, the management of medication can seem a bit daunting. With the proper steps and techniques in place, the process becomes much more manageable.

Medication Management Today

The following five steps will help you to safely and effectively manage your medications, or the medications of your loved one that requires them:

  1. Listen to the doctor and pharmacist. When you listen to the doctor and pharmacist, you are given proper instructions to reduce chances of negative reactions. Some medications require you to take them with food. Others require you to have an empty stomach. Some may make you feel tired, while others may keep you awake. Knowing what to expect from the medication being administered is the first step. If something seems unclear, ASK. Do not be afraid to ask questions when it comes to the care of yourself or a loved one.
  2. Organize medications. At the beginning of the week, set up all medications that are needed, in order of the times they are taken. A medication dosage organizer is a great help. They are available in date and time formats that allow you to put the pills in the certain slot where they are required to be taken. There are even applications available on smartphones to assist with organizing medications. Taking the correct amount at the correct time is imperative, and having all doses set up in advance will assist with ensuring that the medication is taken appropriately.
  3. Keep information handy. You need to have a complete list of medications that are taken ready and available in case of an emergency. Medical professionals need to know what you are taking and what is in your system in the event of an emergency, when determining how to give emergency care. Some medications can not be mixed with others. Keep a list of your medications with you in your wallet, so you have it at all times. Make sure it is up to date regularly.
  4. Keep the correct supply in your possession. Make sure that you refill prescriptions when you notice that the bottle is getting low. Usually, a week or two notice should be given for a refill at the pharmacy. Don’t leave it until the last minute, or you may run out.
  5. Notice changes in the medication. If you refill a prescription and the pill or bottle looks completely different, consult with the pharmacy or doctor to make sure that the correct medication is given. Over time, the appearance of the pill or bottle may change, but errors can also occur. Making sure you have the correct one is important to your health.

These five steps should assist in making medication management easier. Keeping a list of medications, dosage amounts, and dosage times, and using a pill organizer are the simplest and most effective ways of managing medication. If you still feel like you could use more help, contact Riverview Community Mental Health Center


Mental Health & Physical Health: Most Likely Tied Together?

Mental and physical health are often thought to be separate, unrelated areas when in reality they affect each other more drastically than most people realize. Poor mental health can lead to problems with physical health, and vice versa, physical ailments can lead to issues with mental health. The sooner that we start to realize that these two are closely related, we will be a healthier society as a whole.

How Are Mental & Physical Health Related?

Mental health issues can have a devastating effect on your physical health. According to mentalhealth.org those that suffer from mental health issues are also less likely to receive the preventative medical care they need to identify physical illnesses before they become serious. Physical concerns in patients with mental health problems include heart disease, respiratory disease, cancer, and more.

Physical issues can also affect mental health without patients even realizing it. Cancer patients, for example, are typically referred to both an oncologist to treat their cancer but also a psychiatrist or counselor to help them work through the mental side effects that this type of diagnosis can cause. However, the majority of physical disease diagnoses do not come with any sort of mental health consideration.

Psoriasis is one such physical health issue that doesn’t come with any mental health consideration. Patients that suffer from psoriasis have red, flaky skin rashes on the surface of the skin which have been shown to cause anxiety, depression, relationship issues and even suicide due to embarrassment and humiliation.

Lifestyle Factors

There are several lifestyle factors that can impact both mental and physical health. Lifestyle can have a much larger impact than most realize, and making minor changes in your daily habits can yield amazing results.

Diet & Exercise

A balanced diet is something that so many people neglect when it comes to considering mental and physical health concerns. Eating a healthy diet, consisting of the right amount of protein, healthy fats, fiber, etc can really improve both your physical and mental health. The same can be said for an unhealthy diet as it can obviously negatively affect your physical health but it can also leave a lasting impression on your mental state.

The same can be said for exercise, as physical activity has been proven to elevate your mental state through the release of endorphins while obviously also having a positive effect on your physical state. Diet and exercise both play crucial roles when it comes to overall health.

Drugs & Alcohol

Nicotine has been proven to help increase the levels of dopamine released in your system, which is the key chemical to happiness. Therefore, those that suffer from depression or other mentally related issues turn to nicotine or other substances to make them feel better.

This type of behavior only increases the negative feelings of self-loathing, depression, addiction, etc as you become convinced that without this substance you cannot function.

Overall mental and physical health are undoubtedly tied together. As a society we have to begin to take both into account in all circumstances if we want to be able to live happy and healthy lives.

Below is an excerpt from an article in everydayhealth.com.  You can find the full article by clicking the link provided.

How Should You Care for Your Emotional and Physical Well-Being?

It’s hard to do, but slowing down and simplifying routines can go a long way to strengthening your mental and physical health.

  • Eat right. A healthy, regular diet is good for the body and mind.
  • Go to bed on time. Losing sleep is hard on your heart, may increase weight, and definitely cranks up the crankiness meter.
  • If you fall down, get back up. Resilience in the face of adversity is a gift that will keep on giving both mentally and physically.
  • Go out and play. Strike a balance between work and play. Yes, work is a good thing: It pays the bills. However, taking time out for relaxation and socializing is good for your emotional health and your physical health.
  • Exercise. A study published in October 2017 in Reviews in the Neurosciences shows that exercise improves your mood and has comprehensive benefits for your physical health.
  • See the right doctor, regularly. Going to the right doctor can make all the difference in your overall health, especially if you have a complicated condition that requires a specialist. But if your emotions are suffering, be open to seeing a mental health professional, too.

Total health depends on a healthy mind and body. Take time to nurture both.

mental health

Has COVID-19 Impacted Your Mental Health? Feel Better Today!

Mental Health During The Covid-19 Pandemic

Just as it is important to take your temperature regularly, as a COVID-19 precaution, it is equally important to do a mental health check. COVID-19 is weighing heavy when it comes to our mental health and overall well-being.

Those that have never experienced a mental health condition are finding themselves wondering what is wrong with themselves, and what they can do to get back to their “happy place.” It may be difficult to pinpoint a fracture in mental well-being for those that have never suffered from a mental health condition before.

Some symptoms that could indicate a mental health condition are:

  • Feeling sad for more than half of your waking hours
  • Excessive worry or fear
  • Frequent uncontrollable mood changes
  • Fatigue and low energy levels
  • Impaired concentration
  • Thoughts that the world or others are better off without you
  • Inability to cope with daily stressors
  • Drug or alcohol dependence
  • Changes in diet

Of course, the above list is not all-inclusive; However, if you find yourself suffering from one or more of the bulleted symptoms above, you should seek the assistance of a medical professional at your earliest convenience.

For those that have suffered from mental illness in the past, COVID-19 is increasing the chance of relapse. If you feel triggered to go back to old habits, it is important to consult with a mental health professional. It may be a bit easier for those that have suffered or currently suffer from mental illness to pinpoint that they need to seek help than for those that have not experienced it before.

Keeping up with your regular self-care regime is important. Taking care of yourself is the first step to maintaining your mental health. This will better prepare you to cope with the challenges that you are faced with. Do your hair. Buy the new face mask. Continue yoga. Do what makes you feel good.

If you are feeling a bit off, talk to a friend or loved one. It may be difficult to talk about your feelings, but it can help! If you still feel like you could use more help, speak to your primary care doctor for a referral to a mental health professional, or contact a mental health professional directly. They will give you professional advice, and guidance that is specifically tailored to your needs. In-person and virtual meetings are available at Riverview CMHC, depending on your comfort level during the ongoing pandemic.

Mental Health

How to get help with mental health during COVID-19?

Coping With Mental Health During Covid-19

In the past year, lives have been taken, jobs have been lost, and many businesses have shut their doors for the last time. Vacations and celebrations have been put on hold, and people are becoming depressed and overwhelmed. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a mental health crisis, and those that have never experienced a mental health issue previously, may not know where to turn. If you find yourself wondering how to get help with mental health during Covid-19, keep reading.

Telehealth to address concerns about mental health during covid-19 is an option that has expanded greatly during the pandemic, and those that need support for their mental health have the ability to consult with a professional remotely. This is the safest way to have a session with the doctor, as no one has to leave the comfort of their own space or come in contact with others. For those that have seen a mental health professional on a regular basis before the pandemic to keep their mental health at an optimum level, telehealth may seem like a difficult transition. While there is less of an in-person connection with virtual meetings, it is still a starting point, or a way to continue monitoring mental health for relapse. 

If you think that you may be suffering from a mental health issue, ask yourself the following:

  • Am I having severe negative thoughts?
  • Am I relying on substances, such as drugs or alcohol, to cope with day to day stressors?
  • Have my eating habits changed?
  • Are people constantly asking if I am okay?
  • Do I constantly feel like I am just in a mode of survival?
  • Has my sleeping pattern changed?
  • Am I restless most of the time?
  • Am I more tired than before?

If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, you may be suffering from deteriorating mental health. You can get assistance with this by scheduling an in-person or telehealth appointment with your primary care physician, trying to talk it out with a trusted individual in your circle, or by contacting a mental health professional directly.

If you feel overwhelmed more often than not, it is in your best interest to be seen (in-person or virtually) by a mental health professional. Their main job is to help in determining the cause of your mental health deteriorating and to come up with a plan in order to combat the issue. 

Most importantly, if you have thoughts that your life isn’t worth living or you seem to be feeling hopeless, this is a mental health emergency. Go to your nearest emergency room, or contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.