How do I get help for mental illness?

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One of the most challenges faced by individuals suffering from mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia or ADHD is that they don’t talk about it. Talking to a specialist is very important as most mental illness don’t improve on their own and if left untreated can lead to other serious problems.

Mental illness can be effectively diagnosed and treated by actively participating in suggested treatment plan by the mental health professionals.

How are mental health problems diagnosed?

A mental health diagnosis plan starts with evaluation of disorder by a mental health professional. The evaluation procedure begins with asking different questions to a patient and his/her family members and taking a detailed medical history of the patient.Depending upon the person’s symptoms and behavior, and medical history taken, the doctor will determine which kind of mental illness the patient suffering from and will design appropriate treatment plan accordingly.

How are these mental disorders treated?

There are various treatment plans and services available for treating mental health disorder. The choice and options depends completely on the type of mental illness the person suffering from and its severity. However, it is observed that most of the mental illnesses are treated successfully by combination of treatments and family support.

Most important people involved in mental treatment team are:

  • Primary care doctor
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Physician assistant
  • Psychiatrist or a psychotherapist
  • Family members

People suffering from mental health disorder benefits from range of various treatment plans.

Medications

Medications used for treatment of mental health disorder also known as psychiatric medications do not cure mental illness completely but they can significantly improve symptoms and promote better recovery. Therefore, they are recognized as the first line of treatment for most individuals.

The type of psychiatric medications is completely depends upon the mental condition of the patient and how body responds to the medication.

Some of the most commonly used medications include:

  • Antidepressants– these are used to treat symptoms like anxiety, sadness, concentration problems, etc.
  • Anti-anxiety medications–these medications are mainly used in treatment of anxiety disorders such as generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder.
  • Mood-stabilizing medications– these are used in the treatment of depression, bipolar disorder, etc.
  • Antipsychotic medications– also known as neuroleptics are used to treat psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.

Psychosocial treatments used in the treatment of mental illness program include:

Psychotherapy–is also referred as talk therapy, includes talking to your psychotherapist about your health conditions and related issues. This therapeutic treatment explores thoughts, behaviour and feelings, and helps the patient to develop management skills to deal better with the stress. This therapy can be combined with medication for promote better recovery. Examples of psychotherapy are cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behaviour therapy, exposure therapy, etc.

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) – The therapist analyzes how a person think, feels and behave with different condition and then develops the specific treatment plan. It is useful in treatment of depression, anxiety disorders and psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
  • Dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) –This is a type of cognitive behavioural therapy which is used to treat negative thinking such as suicidal thoughts and other self-destructive behaviours.

Psychoeducational interventions or psychoeducation includes a range of activities that combine education and other activities like counseling which help patient to empower and cope with condition in an optimal way. This type of interventions are either delivered individually or in groups to provide more information about the disorder, its causes, symptoms and various treatment plans.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy or psychoanalytic–This therapy aims to help mainly such people who are suffering from serious psychological disorders. This helps patients to understand and resolve their problems by increasing their awareness regarding the disorder and the treatment.

Self-help and support groups – A self-help plan is a kind of plan where a patient addresses his or her condition by implementing strategies which will help to promote their wellness. Self-help plans includes addressing recovery, wellness, triggers or warnings signs. On the other hand, a support group is as group of people who will guide each other and share experiences with the common goal of better recovery.

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Services at Texas Medical Concierge

Texas Medical Concierge understand the magnitude of mental health disorders and the various options available for the treatment, and therefore has teamed up with the leading international clinic – the Menninger Clinic to provide access to their members with best experts in mental well-being. The Menninger Clinic is a leading specialty psychiatric hospital that treats adults and adolescents with complex mental illness such as anxiety, severe mood, personality and addictive disorders.

In keeping with the holistic approach to emotional and psychological wellness, Texas Medical Concierge also offers its esteemed member’s benefits of complementary services like yoga, transcendental meditation and hypnotherapy, which will help to develop mental skills to cope with the stress of urban lifestyles.

So if you or any of your loved one is suffering from mental illness, please do contact www.texasmedicalconcierge.com to get started!

Mental health disorder: What should we know?

A mental disorder refers to a wide range of a condition that affects individual’s thinking, feeling or mood, which may also impact their ability to relate to others and daily base activities. These conditions vary from person to person as every individual experience different symptoms. A mental health problem is found to affect 1 in every 5 individuals every year where 1 in 20 will live with a major type of mental illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. About half of American population will develop a mental problem in their lives. This disorder can begin at any age of your life i.e. from childhood through any time in later adult life.

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Causes

A mental health condition isn’t the result of one event. Researchers believe that it has multiple interlinking causes which may include environmental, genetics and other lifestyle conditions. Firstly, your genes and family history plays major role in development of mental disorder. Secondly, your life experiences such as stress and history of abuse also matters. Like other diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart diseases, the mental problems are physical as well as emotional and psychological.

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of mental illness can vary depending upon the type of disorder, circumstances and other factors involved. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Stress and inability to cope with daily problems
  • Feeling sad all the time
  • Poor concentration
  • Tiredness and sleeping problems
  • Reduced ability in understanding and relating to situations
  • Excessive worries and fears
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Weakened immune system

Sometimes individual may also suffer from physical problems such as stomach pain, headache, back ache or any other unexpected pains along with above symptoms for a long period. During extreme situation, person may experience other set of symptoms like:

  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Social isolation
  • Excessive anger and violence
  • Detachment from reality or hallucinations
  • Increased risk of vehicle accidents
  • Suicidal thinking
  • Heart attacks or other major health problems

Therefore it is said that mental illness is a leading cause of disability and untreated individuals can suffer from severe emotional, behavioral and even physical health problems. Not only that, but it can also lead to legal and financial complications. Moreover, sometimes the normal behavioral changes and personality of an individual may mask the symptoms of a mental illness and therefore it is recommended that early management and support are crucial in improving their state. Hence it becomes very crucial to talk to your family doctor or a mental health expert such as psychiatrist or psychologist to cope with this kind of disorder in the initial stage only.

Types of mental illness

Following are some of the conditions which are recognized as mental disorders:

  • Anxiety disorder
  • Mood disorder
  • Psychotic disorder
  • Eating disorder
  • Personality disorder

The individual suffering from the anxiety disorders respond to certain situations or towards certain objects with fear and dread. These are usually accompanied with physicals symptoms such as stress, body pain, increase in heartbeat and sweating. Anxiety disorders are further categorized as panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorders, social anxiety disorder and other specific phobias.

Mood disorders are also known as affective disorders that are characterized by presence of persistent feelings of sadness or extreme fluctuations from extreme happiness to extreme sadness. These disorders include depression, bipolar disorder, etc.

Psychotic disorders include conditions like lack of awareness and decrease of thinking capacity. Mainly in psychotic disorder an individual experience two common symptoms namely hallucinations (experiences images or voices which are not real in life) and delusions (false beliefs are accepted as true). The most common example of psychotic disorder is schizophrenia.

Eating disorderis another type of mentalillnesses in which people experience severe disturbances in their eating behavior and related thoughts and emotions.  Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorders some of the common eating disorders.

Individuals with personality disorders suffer from extreme personality traits that lead to problems at work and in social life. In addition, his or her individual thinking pattern and behavior will also changes from the rest of society. Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, paranoid personality disorders, etc. are some of the common personality disorders.

If you or your loved ones are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms of a mental illness, it is always better to consult a doctor or mental health specialist immediately. Talking to a specialist is very important as most mental illness don’t improve on their own and if left untreated can lead to other serious problems.

To know more about mental illness treatment and how the Texas Medical Concierge helps such patients to deal with mental problems, do read our next blog!

 

How Proton Therapy Works?

Proton therapy is an advanced type of external beam radiation therapy which unlike X-ray radiation therapy uses a beam of special particles called protons to treat cancers. In proton therapy, doctors can aim proton beam precisely onto a tumor area, thus causing less damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. This allows doctors to use a higher dose of radiation with proton therapy vis-a-vis conventional radiation therapy.

Proton therapy is generally preferred to treat cancer cells that are situated close to very critical organs of the body and also when it is still not spread to majority of the area inside the body.

Why use protons?

  • Tumor killing properties
  • Decreased radiation dose to normal tissues by 50–70%
  • Treating tumors close to critical organs such as spinal cord
  • Increased cure rates
  • Decreased side effects and complications

How proton therapy works?

A machine called a synchrotron or cyclotron is being used in proton therapy to deliver high-speed protons. These protons travel with controlled speed to a specific depth in a body depending upon their tumor location, thereby causing very minimal effect on the neighboring healthy tissues. However, X-rays on the other hand deposit more radiation doses in healthy tissues beyond the tumor, potentially causing more side effects.

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During the procedure, doctor plans the proton treatment by locating the tumor using computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests and marks the tumor’s exact location on the patient’s body. During the course of proton therapy, patient is often fitted with a device that restricts the patient’s movement so that tumor can receive exact amount of proton beam. The device used mainly depends on where the tumor is located. For example, a patient is equipped with custom-wear mask if the tumor is located in the eye, brain or head.

As mentioned earlier, the proton therapy is mainly used to treat specific area of the patient’s body so that this therapy can shrink tumors that have not spread to others parts of the body. It is especially useful in treatment of critically important tissues such as the optic nerves that travel between the brain and the eye which are needed to protect from radiation damage.

Proton therapy is particularly useful in treating cancer in children as it has minimal effect on healthy and developing tissues as compared to conventional radiation therapy. Children may receive proton therapy for rare cancers of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the eye such as orbital rhabdomyosarcoma and retinoblastoma.

Benefits of proton therapy over conventional X-ray radiation therapy

  • It reduces the risk of radiation damage to surrounding healthy tissues.
  • It has fewer severe side effects such as nausea, fatigue, low blood count.
  • It allows higher radiation dose to be directed to specific tumor cells which will prevent the tumor from growing or spreading more. This allows a higher dose of radiation to be deliver directly to where it needs to be and therefore it is also known as precision therapy.

Services at Texas Medical Concierge

Texas Medical Concierge is dedicated in helping their patients to achieve best healthcare through their collaboration with esteemed international centers worldwide. The MD Anderson Cancer Center – Houston, Texas, which is constantly ranked as one of the top most hospital for cancer treatment in USA is one of them.

The MD Anderson Proton Therapy Center offers the most advanced radiation therapy available to treat cancers of the lung, head and neck, prostate, esophagus, brain as well as for the treatment of lymphoma, pediatric cancers and other rare tumors. They have the highest number of reputed cancer specialists and experts who have done extensive research on cancer treatment.

Texas Medical Concierge located at ITC Maurya, New Delhi can get priority access to this latest treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Visit www. Texasmedicalconcierge.com to get started.

 

Understanding the concept of Proton Therapy

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Proton therapy

Proton therapy or proton beam therapy is the most advance form of radiation therapy available today for the cancer treatment. Proton therapy is a type of radiation therapy in which external beam of charged particles called protons are directed towards target cells with a great precision. Proton therapy is effective in treating a broad range of tumors of different body parts such as the brain, prostrate, head and neck, central nervous system, breast, etc.

Proton therapy allows for a higher radiation dosage to be delivered to the tumor site, while minimizing damage to healthy tissues that surrounds the tumor. On the other hand, X-rays used in traditional radiation therapy releases radiations  to the surrounding parts of the tumor, thus causing potential damage to the healthy tissues and other surrounding organs.

History

Although the development of proton technology for the treatment of cancer is exciting but it is not new, as it was first suggested as early in 1946 by Robert R. Wilson. In 1974, proton therapy was used for the first time for the treatment of cancer in the United States at the Physics Research Laboratory, but the applications were limited to few body parts. Due to its various advantages over the traditional radiation therapy, its applications are increased off late.

Proton therapy is mainly used to treat the following cancers:

  • Central nervous system cancers (including chordoma, malignant meningioma and chondrosarcoma)
  • Head and neck cancers (including nasal cavity and some nasopharyngeal cancers)
  • Eye cancers (including choroidal melanoma or uveal melanoma)
  • Liver cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Pelvic  and spinal sarcomas (cancers that occur in the soft tissue and bone)

 Understanding the proton therapy concept

Understanding how the proton therapy works will help to provide patients and their families more insight into this mainstream treatment modality.

As we know, fundamentally all tissues are made up of molecules containing atoms as their building blocks. An atom is made of nucleus in the center with negatively charged electrons revolving around in different orbits. Protons are positively charged subatomic particles. When such energized charged particles such as protons or any other forms of radiation pass near these orbiting electrons, the positive charge of the protons attracts the negative charged electrons. This process is known as ionization, which leads to the changes in the characteristics of an atom and subsequently in the molecule structure. This crucial change forms the basis for all kinds of beneficial aspects of all forms of radiation therapy and so as for proton therapy which is explained in detail below.

During the proton radiation treatment, radiation causes ionization which damages the molecule within the cells, especially the genetic material. In normal cells this damage is repaired by the repair enzymes, while in the cancer cells, they don’t possess the adequate cell’s ability to repair their damage molecules. Due to the lack of this repair system, cancer cells sustain more permanent damage than the normal cells that subsequently leads to death of the cell. Therefore, proton therapy permits selective destruction of cancerous tissues while preserving the healthy tissues of the body.

Whereas both standard conventional X-ray therapy and proton therapy works on the same principle of selective cell destruction, the major advantage of proton therapy is that the proton energy can be directed and deposited into targeted tissues. This feature of proton beam therapy therefore provides greater control and precision to physicians and thereby resulting in superior management of cancer.

Features of proton therapy

  • Proton therapy is an advanced form of radiation therapy that destroys cancer cells by preventing them from dividing and growing.
  • Proton therapy uses high-energy positively charged protons to treat diseases instead of high-energy X-rays.
  • Proton therapy uses proton beam typically ranging from 60 to 1000MeV maximum energies. Higher energies achieve deeper penetration within the tissues.
  • Proton therapy is used to precisely target the tumor tissues with incredible accuracy.
  • Proton therapy gives fewer side effects as compared to conventional radiation therapy as it has minimal effect on surrounding healthy tissues.

To know more about proton therapy and how it works in detail, read our next blog!