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How to Manage Chronic Stress from Natural Disasters

Twig’s StressLess Series for Getting Through Wildfires and Other Natural Disasters

Twig on a respite following the firestorm around his homestead – 2014.

Now with the urgency of the fires somewhat behind us, we have to find ways to move to the next phase, to keep from becoming trapped in the stress cycle. As usual, one of our patients had a great resource, and sent us a link to this podcast series, from Anthony Twig Wheeler, a therapist who lived through the Washington fires in 2014. He produced a series of podcasts on how stress, especially chronic, long lasting stress, such as that from recovering from a major fire event, affects the body. He also gives a series of things you can do to interrupt the unnecessary stress response that we can get locked into. I posted it on our Facebook page a few days ago, but want to bring it up again so everyone gets a chance to take advantage.

The podcasts are free, each are only 5-25 minutes long, and are intended to be listened to over days, so that you can put into play each tip that he gives. I have been listening to them since we got the suggestion, and am finding them incredibly helpful. Some of the things about the stress response I knew, some I was not aware of. Either way, the simple, practical, often physical actions to take have been deeply helpful for me, and I want to be sure everyone has a chance to use them. I find just playing one of the talks when I get stressed helps remind me to let go, and actually doing what he suggests takes it even further. If you find they help you, let Twig know.

Sonoma County Strong

From the County of Sonoma Facebook page

Twig’s StressLess Series for Getting Through Wildfires and Other Natural Disasters

A Series of Public Service Announcements to help reduce the impact of trauma and stress from longer lasting events like wildfires and other natural disasters.
Originally produced for local radio in the Methow Valley, WA during the Carlton Complex Fires in 2014, by Anthony Twig Wheeler, a trauma specialist and somatic educator.

Links to Twig’s StressLess Series Episodes Online

Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS

 

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Healing Mental Illness with Chemistry

The Cutting Edge of Health and Wellness Today
Friday, July 31, at 2 PM Pacific

Healing Mental Illness with Chemistry

Today, I am delighted to be joined by Dr. William Walsh, the author of “Nutrient Power“, a ground-breaking book which reviews his 30 years of research and clinical experience. Dr. Walsh has authored more than 200 scientific articles and reports and directs an international physician-training program and has developed biochemical therapies used by doctors throughout the world to help patients with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and autism. Please join us for this important program.
[Read more…]

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Feds boosting mental health access, treatment

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act was signed into law in 2008 but not enforced
  • Insurance companies often cover mental illness in a more limited fashion than physical illness
  • Kathleen Sebelius’ announcement applies only to private insurance
  • HHS secretary to unveil new rules at Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy

(CNN)— In a move aimed at boosting mental health treatment, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Friday announced new rules that will put teeth in a 2008 mental health equity law.

TheMental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, signed by President George W. Bush, requires doctors and insurers to treat mental illness the same as physical illness.  Sebelius made the announcement to applause at the Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy in Atlanta.  The move “finally puts mental health and behavioral health on equal footing,” Sebelius said. On paper, the law made mental health more accessible, but there has been virtually no enforcement of it, said Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, president of the American Psychiatric Association and a Columbia University psychiatrist.  “Up to now, the law has not been complied with,” Lieberman said. “Companies have only sort of adhered to it.” [Read more…]

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Obama Administration Expected To Release Mental Health Parity Rule Today.

Today, the Obama Administration is expected to issue its long-anticipated and final regulations defining parity in mental health benefits and treatment. Only one major newspaper, the New York Times, has covered the story. The Times is also the only source pointing out how the Administration believes the new parity regulations to be essential to the President’s program to counteract gun violence, saying that better access to mental health treatment may help reduce shootings and mass murders.

In a 1,300-word article on its front page, the New York Times (11/8, A1, Calmes, Pear, Subscription Publication) reports that today, the Obama Administration “will complete a generation-long effort to require insurers to cover care for mental health and addiction just like physical illnesses when it issues long-awaited regulations defining parity in benefits and treatment.” An unnamed senior official said, “Here we’re doing full parity, and we’ve also taken steps to extend it to the people covered in the Affordable Care Act.” What’s more, the White House, according to the Times, sees the regulations “as critical to President Obama’s program for curbing gun violence by addressing an issue on which there is bipartisan agreement: Making treatment more available to those with mental illness could reduce killings, including mass murders.” [Read more…]

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Antiinflammatories, Antibiotics Boost Treatment of Depression

treament imageInternational Congress of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) 2011.

June 30, 2011 (Brighton, United Kingdom) — Adding an anti-inflammatory medication to an antidepressant may augment efficacy and enhance depression treatment, researchers said here at the International Congress of the Royal College of Psychiatrists 2011.

Carmine Pariante, MD, PhD, from the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College, London, United Kingdom, told delegates attending the International Congress of the Royal College of Psychiatrists 2011 that a series of studies published during the last 5 years offers clear evidence to support the combination therapy with anti-inflammatory drugs and antidepressant medication.

“Inflammation is a key element in the pathogenesis of depression, and using anti-inflammatory drugs is a novel strategy that uses a completely new antidepressant approach, finally, after 20 years of me-too drugs,” Dr. Pariante told Medscape Medical News.

Speaking on behalf of the Psychiatric Research into Inflammation, Immunity and Mood Effects (PRIME), a consortium of UK researchers in biological psychiatry, Dr. Pariante said that it is well known that long-term illness is a trigger for depression and that people with chronic disorders also have high levels of inflammatory markers or cytokines. [Read more…]