View 1 licensed therapists available in Starkville, Mississippi specializing in Women's Health (2024)

View 1 licensed therapists available in Starkville, Mississippi specializing in Women's Health (1)View 1 licensed therapists available in Starkville, Mississippi specializing in Women's Health (2)

9 common triggers for bipolar episodes

One morning, you wake up feeling invincible, like you can conquer the world. Your mind races, and your energy seems to know no bounds for a period of time. Then, down the line, you find yourself unable to get out of bed, overwhelmed by a crushing sense of hopelessness. The dramatic shifts of bipolar episodes can be disorienting and draining.Bipolar disorder is a complex mental health condition that requires careful management and understanding. By identifying the triggers that set off mood episodes, you can take proactive steps to reduce their impact. This informational guide can help you understand the different types of bipolar disorder, recognize the symptoms, identify common triggers, and address these triggers with coping strategies. Types of bipolar disorder Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by noticeable shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels from the person’s usual baseline. These changes range from periods of highly elevated, irritable, or energetic behavior (manic or hypomanic episodes) to very low, sad, detached, or hopeless periods (depressive episodes). There are different types of bipolar disorder, each with its unique pattern of mood swings. Bipolar I disorder Bipolar I disorder involves manic episodes that last at least 7 days or are so severe that immediate hospital care is needed. Depressive episodes also occur, typically lasting at least 2 weeks. These episodes can be extremely intense and disruptive to daily life. Bipolar II disorder Bipolar II disorder is defined by a pattern of depressive episodes and hypomanic episodes, which are less severe than the manic episodes in bipolar I disorder. Hypomanic episodes can vary in how they impair your daily functioning, but the depressive episodes can be very challenging. Cyclothymic disorder Cyclothymic disorder involves periods of hypomanic symptoms as well as periods of depressive symptoms lasting for at least 2 years (1 year in children and adolescents). However, the symptoms do not meet the diagnostic requirements for a hypomanic episode or a depressive episode. Symptoms of bipolar disorder Recognizing the symptoms of bipolar disorder can help you manage the condition. Varying widely, the symptoms could affect every aspect of your life. Signs of a manic episode Increased energy or activity levels Euphoric or irritable mood Racing thoughts or rapid speech Decreased need for sleep Unrealistic beliefs in one’s abilities Distractibility Impulsive behavior Symptoms of depression Feeling sad, empty, or hopeless persistently Loss of interest or pleasure in most activities Fatigue or loss of energy Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt Difficulty concentrating, remembering things, or making decisions Changes in appetite or weight Thoughts of suicide or death If you're thinking about acting on suicidal thoughts, reach out for help immediately. Call 911 if you’re having a mental health emergency. Text HOME to 741-741 if you're emotionally distressed and need immediate support. Call 988 for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline Common triggers for bipolar episodes Understanding the potential contributors of bipolar episodes can help you avoid or manage triggers more effectively. Here are some common reasons an episode is triggered: Stress Stressful life events, whether positive or negative, can trigger mood episodes. This includes work-related stress, relationship problems, or significant life changes such as moving or changing jobs. Lack of sleep Sleep disturbances can trigger both manic and depressive episodes. It's crucial to establish a regular sleep routine and ensure you get enough restful sleep each night. Medications Certain medications, especially antidepressants, can trigger manic episodes in people with bipolar disorder. Always consult your doctor before starting or stopping any medication. Negative life events Traumatic events or significant losses, such as the death of a loved one or a divorce, can trigger depressive episodes. It's important to seek support during these times. Drug or alcohol use Substance abuse can exacerbate bipolar symptoms and trigger episodes. Avoiding drugs and limiting or stopping alcohol use can help you manage bipolar disorder more effectively.Explore more: Can I Drink Alcohol With Bipolar Disorder? Seasonal changes Changes in seasons, especially the transition to winter, can trigger depressive episodes. Light therapy or other interventions can help manage symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Hormonal changes Hormonal fluctuations, such as those experienced during pregnancy or menopause, can affect mood stability. It's important to monitor these changes and seek medical advice if needed. Co-occurring medical conditions Other health conditions, such as thyroid disorders or chronic illnesses, can influence bipolar symptoms. Regular medical check-ups can help you manage these conditions. How to manage triggers Managing triggers to reduce or avoid bipolar mood episodes is a critical part of achieving a balanced life with bipolar disorder. Here are some strategies to help you manage these triggers and reduce the likelihood of episodes: Stay on your medications Adhering to your prescribed medication regimen is crucial for maintaining mood stability. Never stop taking your medications without consulting your healthcare provider. Stick to a healthy routine Maintaining a consistent routine, including regular meal times, exercise, and sleep schedules, can help stabilize one's mood. Get enough sleep Prioritize getting good rest every night. Create a relaxing bedtime routine and make your sleep environment comfortable. Manage stress Implement stress-reducing techniques such as mindfulness, yoga, or deep-breathing exercises. Learning how to manage stress effectively can prevent it from triggering mood episodes. Avoid drugs and alcohol Substance use can destabilize your mood and trigger episodes. It's important to stay away from drugs and alcohol and seek help if you struggle with substance abuse. Grow your support network Having solid support from friends, family, and support groups can provide emotional comfort and practical help. Don’t hesitate to reach out when you need someone. Talk to a therapist Regular therapy sessions can help you manage triggers and develop coping strategies. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other therapeutic approaches can be particularly effective for people with bipolar disorder.Explore more: A Guide to Finding A Therapist For Bipolar Disorder The role of online mental health services By expanding access, online mental health services have become a valuable resource for managing bipolar disorder. Cerebral provides several benefits, including: Convenience: Access therapy and medication guidance from the comfort of your home. Flexibility: Schedule sessions at times that work best for you — days, nights, or weekends — without the need to travel. Accessibility: Connect with state-licensed therapists and mental health professionals from wherever you are in your state. Lower costs: Cerebral patients can save up to 80% on some prescription medications, and the cost per therapy session is lower than traditional, in-person therapy on average. Cerebral offers online therapy and virtual medication management, making getting the help you need when you need it more accessible.Understanding and managing the triggers for bipolar episodes can help you maintain stability and improve your quality of life. By recognizing the common reasons mood episodes are triggered and implementing strategies to manage those triggers, you can reduce the frequency and severity of mood episodes. With the tools and support, you can lead a fulfilling life.Take the first step: Sign up to schedule your first session, where our mental health experts can better understand your current condition and collaborate with you on a personalized treatment plan. 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View 1 licensed therapists available in Starkville, Mississippi specializing in Women's Health (3)View 1 licensed therapists available in Starkville, Mississippi specializing in Women's Health (4)

Jul 8, 2024


Differences in PTSD by Gender Identity

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) doesn't discriminate; it can affect anyone who has been directly or indirectly exposed to a traumatic event. However, the way PTSD manifests can differ between men, women, and other gender identities. Understanding these differences facilitates effective treatment and support. In this informational guide, we'll explore how PTSD symptoms vary by gender identity, what triggers them, and personal considerations you might take into account when managing this complex condition.While this content addresses general experiences of PTSD by gender identity and biological sex, it's important to remember that these are generalizations. We acknowledge that every individual is unique and may have different experiences and responses to trauma that differ from what we've outlined here. What is PTSD? PTSD is a mental health condition triggered by experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, which could include anything from natural disasters and serious accidents to personal assaults and military combat. Individuals with PTSD often relive the traumatic event through flashbacks or nightmares, leading to severe anxiety and emotional distress.PTSD symptoms typically include: Intrusive memories Avoidance behaviors Negative changes in thinking and mood Alterations in physical and emotional reactions These symptoms can be debilitating and interfere with daily life, but they can also vary significantly based on one’s biological sex and/or gender identity. PTSD in men vs. women vs. others PTSD affects individuals differently based on a variety of factors, including biological sex, gender identity, and gender expression: Biological sex: Refers to the physical characteristics (such as reproductive organs, chromosomes, and hormones) that are typically categorized as male or female. Gender identity: Refers to a person's internal sense of their gender, which may be male, female, both, neither, or somewhere along the gender spectrum. Gender expression: Refers to how a person presents their gender outwardly through behavior, clothing, haircut, voice, and other forms of presentation. Sexuality could also play a role, as it can be closely related to one’s gender identity and expression. Individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual may face unique stressors and traumatic experiences related to their sexual orientation, which can influence the development and manifestation of PTSD.Each group may experience distinct types of trauma, exhibit different acute responses, and adopt varying coping mechanisms. Understanding these differences helps to tailor effective treatment plans and provide comprehensive care for all individuals affected by PTSD. Prevalence of PTSD Studies show that the condition is more common in females than in males. Approximately 10% of females and 4% of males will develop PTSD at some point in their lives. PTSD in transgender and gender-diverse individuals is significantly higher, with estimates suggesting that up to 42% of transgender and gender-diverse individuals meet the criteria for PTSD​. The high rate may stem from compounded stress from societal stigma, discrimination, and frequent experiences of violence and harassment that transgender and non-binary people face​. Type of trauma The types of trauma that lead to PTSD in men, women, and transgender and non-binary individuals can also differ. Males: More likely to experience trauma related to accidents, physical assault, combat, or witnessing death or injury. Females: More likely to experience trauma related to sexual assault, childhood abuse, or domestic violence. LGBTQIA+ individuals: In addition to the common traumas related to any relevant gender(s), they are more likely to experience trauma from hate crimes, harassment, hom*ophobic/transphobic violence, and discrimination. Males in this community may also have experienced domestic violence or have endured childhood abuse. Transgender and non-binary individuals: May also experience trauma related to gender dysphoria. These differences in trauma types can influence how PTSD manifests and is treated. Immediate responses to trauma The immediate response to trauma can also vary by gender identity. Those who identify as men generally exhibit more externalizing behaviors, such as aggression, irritability, or substance abuse. In comparison, people who identify as women may show more internalizing behaviors, such as intense fear, helplessness, or anxiety. Gender-diverse individuals might experience a mix of these responses or different reactions altogether, influenced by their unique experiences and societal pressures. These differences in acute responses can affect how quickly PTSD is recognized and diagnosed. Neurobiological stress response Research indicates that the neurobiological responses to stress and trauma differ between gender identities: Men with PTSD: Tend to have a more pronounced ‘fight or flight’ response, characterized by physiological reactions like increased adrenaline, cortisol levels, and heart rate. Women with PTSD: Might exhibit a stronger emotional response, potentially due to hormonal variations like estrogen and cortisol, and can often have a ‘tend and befriend’ response, involving nurturing behaviors and seeking social support, driven by the hormone oxytocin. LGBTQIA+ individuals with PTSD: May have unique stress responses influenced by how they express their gender identity and the ongoing societal pressures and discrimination they face. Stress responses can influence the development and severity of PTSD symptoms, so it’s important to recognize and consider them based on how you identify. Comorbidity rates PTSD often occurs alongside other mental health conditions, and these comorbidity rates can vary by gender identity. Men with PTSD: More likely to have concurrent issues with substance abuse or anger management. Women with PTSD: More likely to experience depression, anxiety disorders, or eating disorders. PTSD in transgender and non-binary individuals: Higher rates of co-occurring mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Understanding these — as well as other — comorbidities is important for developing comprehensive treatment plans. Coping styles Men, women, and gender-diverse individuals will often use different coping styles to manage PTSD symptoms. Males: More likely to use active (‘fight or flight’) coping strategies where they either confront the trauma head-on or avoid it altogether, both of which can provide temporary relief but also often exacerbate PTSD symptoms in the long run. Females: More likely to use relational (‘tend and befriend’) coping strategies, such as seeking support from friends and family or engaging in caregiving activities, which can be beneficial for emotional healing but may not address the root causes of PTSD symptoms. Transgender and non-binary individuals: Coping mechanisms can vary and may include both active and relational strategies. These coping styles can influence the effectiveness of different PTSD treatment approaches. Seeking help Across the spectrum of genders, there are significant differences in one’s willingness to seek help or ability to access help for PTSD. Men with PTSD: Could delay seeking help due to societal expectations of toughness and self-reliance, though mental healthcare is becoming more and more accepted among this group. Women with PTSD: Generally more willing to seek professional help and participate in therapy. LGBTQIA+ individuals with PTSD: Might hesitate to seek help due to previous negative experiences with the healthcare system or fears of encountering hom*ophobia, discrimination, or prejudice from providers. PTSD in non-binary and transgender individuals: May face additional barriers to seeking help, including lack of access to gender-affirming care. These differences can impact treatment outcomes and highlight the importance of tailored outreach and support strategies. PTSD treatment considerations Treating PTSD effectively requires understanding the unique needs of each individual, which can vary based on gender identity, type of trauma experienced, and personal history. Treatment options for PTSD Treatment for PTSD in women, men, and gender-diverse individuals often involves a combination of options. These are some of the commonly prescribed medications and frequently used types of therapy: Medication: Antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are often prescribed to help manage PTSD symptoms. They can help stabilize mood and reduce anxiety, augmenting other forms of therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This type of therapy focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors associated with PTSD. Prolonged exposure therapy (PE): PE involves repeated, detailed imagining or recounting of the trauma in a safe environment to reduce the distress it causes. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR): EMDR uses guided eye movements to help the brain process and integrate traumatic memories. Therapies such as CBT, PE, and EMDR offer structured ways to process and manage trauma. Both therapy and medications like SSRIs can provide symptom relief. Transgender and non-binary PTSD treatment To provide effective PTSD treatment for transgender and non-binary individuals at Cerebral, we focus on providing gender-affirming mental healthcare, including using correct pronouns and preferred names, creating a safe and inclusive environment, and being knowledgeable about the unique experiences of transgender and non-binary individuals. Our mental health professionals can also tailor treatment plans to address the specific types of trauma and stressors faced by transgender and non-binary individuals. This might include addressing issues related to gender dysphoria and societal discrimination.At Cerebral, we are committed to delivering personalized care by professionals who recognize that each person's path to mental wellness is unique to them, and that absolutely includes individualized mental healthcare for the LGBTQIA+ community. 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Jun 28, 2024


4 Major Types of OCD

Living with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can feel overwhelming, but understanding the different types and their symptoms can provide clarity and help you manage this condition. In this guide, we’ll explore the major types of OCD and the various available treatment options. What is OCD? OCD is a mental health condition characterized by persistent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions) that individuals feel driven to perform to reduce the distress caused by obsessions. These behaviors are often aimed at reducing anxiety or preventing a feared event, but they provide only temporary relief and can significantly interfere with daily life. OCD signs and symptoms Recognizing the signs of OCD is an initial step towards getting the help you need to manage this condition. OCD obsessions Obsessions are intrusive and distressing thoughts, images, or urges that repeatedly enter your mind. Common examples include: Fear of contamination or dirt Aggressive or horrific thoughts about harming yourself or others Unwanted forbidden or taboo thoughts involving sex, religion, or harm Need for symmetry and order In response to the anxiety caused by these obsessions, most people with OCD feel driven to perform compulsions. OCD compulsions Compulsions are repetitive behaviors or mental acts that a person feels compelled to perform in response to an obsession. Examples include: Excessive cleaning and handwashing Ordering and arranging items in a particular, precise way Repeatedly checking things, such as locks or appliances Compulsive counting Additionally, individuals with OCD may experience significant anxiety, distress, and impairment in their social, occupational, or other areas of functioning. They may also avoid situations that might trigger the cycle of obsessions and compulsions. Common types of OCD OCD can manifest in various forms, and understanding these types can help in recognizing and addressing the condition. Checking This type of OCD involves compulsive checking behaviors driven by fears of harm or danger. Individuals may repeatedly check locks, appliances, or their own physical state to prevent perceived harm or danger. Order and symmetry People with this type of OCD have an intense need for order and symmetry. They may spend excessive amounts of time arranging and rearranging objects until they feel ‘just right.’ Contamination Fears of contamination by germs, dirt, or other substances characterize this OCD type. Compulsions often include excessive cleaning and avoiding perceived sources of contamination. Ruminations or intrusive thoughts This type of OCD involves unwanted, distressing thoughts that are often of a violent or sexual nature. Variations of this type include: Sexual orientation OCD involves intrusive doubts and fears about one's sexual orientation, often accompanied by compulsive checking or seeking reassurance. Relationship OCD includes obsessive doubts and fears about the health or suitability of one's relationships, leading to compulsive behaviors such as seeking reassurance or analyzing the relationship. Harm OCD involves intrusive thoughts about causing harm to oneself or others, leading to avoidance behaviors and constant checking. Scrupulosity OCD is characterized by obsessive fears of moral or religious transgressions, leading to excessive praying, confessing, or seeking reassurance. The thoughts that come with these types of OCD can be incredibly distressing and lead to severe anxiety. Related conditions OCD can co-occur or have overlapping symptoms or similar patterns of behavior to other conditions, including: Collecting or hoarding: Individuals with hoarding disorder excessively collect items and have difficulty discarding them, leading to cluttered living spaces and significant distress. Skin picking disorder: Also known as excoriation, this condition involves repetitive skin picking that results in skin damage and lesions. Trichotillomania: This disorder involves recurrent, compulsive urges to pull out one's hair, leading to noticeable hair loss. Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD): Individuals with this condition are preoccupied with perceived flaws or defects in their physical appearance, often leading to excessive grooming or cosmetic procedures. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder: This condition involves a chronic preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and control, but without the presence of true obsessions and compulsions. Tourette syndrome: This neurological disorder is characterized by repetitive, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics, which can sometimes overlap with OCD symptoms. Understanding these related conditions can provide a more comprehensive picture of the challenges individuals with OCD might face, highlighting the importance of a personalized OCD treatment options Treatment for OCD often involves a combination of medication, therapy, and coping strategies. Let’s explore some of the options. Medication Formulated to increase the levels of serotonin in the brain, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly prescribed to help manage OCD symptoms.Because serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in mood regulation and anxiety, SSRIs can help reduce the intensity of obsessive thoughts and the urge to perform compulsive behaviors. Therapy Several therapeutic methods have proven to be particularly effective for treating OCD, helping individuals manage symptoms and improve their quality of life. Therapists may use: Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a highly effective treatment for OCD that helps individuals identify and challenge their obsessive thoughts and develop healthier behavior patterns. Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is a type of CBT that involves gradual exposure to feared situations or thoughts while preventing the associated compulsive behaviors. Deep-brain stimulation is a surgical treatment that involves implanting electrodes in specific areas of the brain to regulate abnormal brain activity. It’s usually considered for severe cases of OCD that haven’t responded to other treatments. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS): TMS is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain, and it can be helpful for individuals with treatment-resistant OCD. A mental health professional can work with you to determine the right treatment plan for your needs. Coping strategies In addition to medication and therapy, developing effective coping strategies is essential for managing OCD symptoms and improving overall well-being. Here are some strategies that could be added to your daily life: Mindfulness and relaxation techniques can help manage stress and anxiety. Support groups offer community and understanding from others facing similar challenges. Establishing a consistent routine can help manage OCD symptoms by providing structure and predictability. Engaging in exercise and hobbies to reduce stress. These coping strategies can enhance your treatment and help you live a more balanced and fulfilling life.Understanding OCD and its different types is key for managing this condition effectively. Whether you or a loved one is dealing with OCD, knowing the signs, types, and treatment options can make a significant difference. Finding a combination of treatments and coping strategies with Cerebralcan lead to better management of OCD and an improved quality of life. Our team of licensed professionals provides tailored treatment plans to meet your unique needs. Learn more about our plans. Images by freepik and on Freepik.

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View 1 licensed therapists available in Starkville, Mississippi specializing in Women's Health (2024)


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