The Peaceful Nature of Yoga

Want to learn an activity that is both peaceful and beneficial for your mental health. Try yoga. Yoga is a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline in where meditation along with breath control and adoption of specific bodily posture is used for relaxation.

There has been a growing love for yoga because of the many benefits regarding your mental state. It increases attention, reduces stress, helps with keeping a positive mindset, and much more. This is something you can do at home, clinic, or even your gym. During a yoga session, our brain goes from an anxious state to a more relaxed state, hence building up our ability to help calm our nervous system and be in a freer state.

If you tend to be nervous all the time, try doing simple yoga in the mornings to help free up all the anxiety and start the morning off fresh. This will not only help your mornings but you will be in a positive mindset throughout the day.

September is National Yoga Awareness Month. Try some fun yoga activities to help with anxiety and see how you feel afterwards. Any time of the day try to spend about 10-30 minutes doing yoga and see how you feel afterwards.

The Rising Stress of Youth Sports on Kids

Sports are a great way for children to learn many important life skills. However, youth sports have changed a lot in recent years in where more stress has been put on young athletes from many directions. It’s important for parents to know how their kids are doing mentally. Pressure from parents, coaches, friends, and life can really make youth sports into something other than a fun learning time.

Knowing when kids are being pushed too hard in youth sports is important because if not done, they can start experiencing depression, anger, and other mental disorders. They might think they are not good enough for something and start to lose interest in activities they once loved. Recently, parents have been placing their children up for a single sport, instead of encouraging them to try many different types of teams. 

There are many ways for parents to help children going through depression or other mental disorders due to youth sports. First, is being supportive, always telling them they are doing a great job and being positive so they know they always have a support system. Second, do not push them too hard because then this becomes more of a duty than a fun activity for many kids. In order to help this issue, allow your children to participate in different sport’s teams and remind them that the purpose of playing the game is too have fun.

Medication Management

There is research that shows that when treating behavioral health issues medication can improve your symptoms by over 60% and therapy by over 40%. Finding the right medications is very important to your overall treatment. Here are a few things that may help with the medication part of feeling better.

First, take a little time assessing your symptoms before meeting with your provider. Write them down if you have to. This will help reduce the chance of forgetting to tell the prescriber something that was important to you.

Next, learn about your medications and any potential side effects or interactions. Always make a list of all your medications and the dosage every time you meet with your prescriber. Make sure you take your medications as prescribed.

Lastly, Don’t Give Up! Just like treating any other types of physical symptoms it may necessary to try different types of medications to find the right one. By discovering which medications don’t work for you can be very helpful in finding the one that does so it may not be a waste of time when you don’t have a positive result.

Medication management is a very important part of your treatment and when combined with therapy can give you a life you desire and deserve.


Steve Spohr M.A., L.P.C., Board Registered Interventionist II

Bridging the Gap Between Physical and Mental Illness

Mental illness is widely misunderstood in society and it is still being researched for its causes.  There are still stigmas and taboos surrounding the topic of mental disorders, and unfortunately, these stigmas undermine efforts to understand the functions of such disorders. Recently, however, research has been geared at correlating physical illnesses and autoimmune diseases with developing mental disorders. Many risk factors can lead to developing mental illnesses, but this new research sheds light on possible connections between physical ailments and mental disorders.

According to the JAMA Psychiatry Network, a study was conducted using a Danish database of people born between 1945 and 1995 who had a mood disorder.  Of the 95,000 with a mental disorder, “36,000 had suffered a severe infection or developed an autoimmune disease (such as type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, lupus, and the like) at some point before being diagnosed with the mood disorder.”  Such research could possibly indicate a direct link of infections and diseases being a risk factor for developing mental illnesses.

More specifically, a link between Strep Throat and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) was explored in a Harvard Health Publishing article written by Jeff Symanski.  According to Dr. Symanski, “antibodies to the infectious agent cross the barrier that protects the brain from what’s circulating in the bloodstream.” Once this occurs, the antibodies inflame a structure known as the basal ganglia, which accounts for motor movements, thinking, and emotions. The research potentially links the two illnesses together.

By understanding a possible direct link between physical illnesses and mental health, society can progress towards de-stigmatizing mental illnesses and disorders. Research is constantly being conducted to find the causes of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and OCD.  Hopefully, /this will yield new results connecting physical illnesses being a risk factor in developing mental disorders.