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PTSD Diagnosis Affects 1 in 11 Adults

PTSD diagnosis affects an estimated one out of every eleven adults at some point in their lifetime, yet research data shows that those with PTSD seek treatment less than with other mental health issues. Only one in three adults will access treatment within the year after meeting the criteria for having PTSD.

PTSD Diagnosis

Diagnosis of Post-traumatic stress disorder requires exposure to an event that involved actual or possible threat of death, violence, or serious injury, from situations that include natural disaster, a serious accident, or acts of violence. Exposure to the event can be through direct experience, being witness to the event happening to others, discovering that someone close to you was impacted by the traumatic event, or through repeated exposure to graphic details of the traumatic events.

PTSD Diagnosis Impacts Function

Those who may have PTSD typically continue to have intense or disturbing thoughts and feelings long after the event occurred which cause significant problems in ability to function, negatively impacting behaviors and interpersonal relationships in social situations, work settings, and home life.

PTSD Diagnosis Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of PTSD that may lead up to seeking help include the following:

  • Physical Pain – PTSD symptoms very often begin with common physical complaints that include headaches, migraines, fatigue, chest pain, breathing issues, digestive upset
  • Nightmares or Flashbacks – Commonly reported, re-living the traumatic even can occur in waking images with sensations of physical and emotional pain, fear. Flashbacks to the event may cause sleeping difficulties as well as anxiety when leaving the safety of their home or familiar surroundings
  • Mental phobias – these behaviors may lead to irrational and persistent fear, avoidance, paranoia, depression, or anxiety, related to certain objects, people, or situations, that remind one of the traumatic event
  • Repression – Intentional blocking of memories associated with a past traumatic event or experience is also a PTSD diagnosis symptom. Pictures, memorabilia, music, or newspaper clippings, for example may be destroyed or thrown away.
  • Emotional Numbing – Numbing emotional pain and feelings can lead to gradual withdrawal and isolation from social circles and interpersonal relationships. Numbing may be through self-denial of feelings or through substance abuse and other risk-taking behaviors.
  • Hyper-arousal – For those with PTSD it is common to feel “on edge” or “jumpy” making it difficult to relax. Fear of threats or injury often make those with PTSD easily frightened.
  • Irritability – For those with PTSD, being in a state of constant fear and paranoia may cause extreme PTSD-associated irritability, sleeplessness, lack of concentration, indecisiveness, and difficulty maintaining personal relationships.
  • Guilt and Shame – PTSD symptoms include immense shame and guilt when it becomes impossible to get past the negative traumatic experience and move forward with their life. Many with PTSD relive the event wondering how they could have prevented it from happening, or blaming themselves for the tragedy.

PTSD Diagnostic Psychiatrist

Help and treatment is available. Call Dr. Hege for a comprehensive and confidential evaluation. Take the steps needed to move forward with your life and end the fear and suffering that has taken control of your life.

 

Bipolar Seven Factor Diagnosis Gives New Insight

With almost 6-million Americans diagnosed with bipolar disorder many studies have examined data to help those with the diagnosis answer why they have the disorder. A recent long term research study has presented a new bipolar seven factor framework that may give answers, help to correctly diagnose, and make treatment decisions for those with the disorder.

Bipolar Seven Factor Experience

While one patient’s experience with bipolar disorder may vary from another’s with the same diagnosis, all of the different experiences include features that fall into seven classes of characteristics, also known as phenotypes, that can be observed and tracked. This new study from the University of Michigan’s Bipolar Research Program used a decade of data to develop a bipolar seven factor framework that provides a common ground for clinicians who study and treat the disorder to the patients who are living their life with a bipolar diagnosis.

Bipolar Seven Factor Standard Measures

The seven classes or characteristics of the framework include standard measures that are already being used by mental health professionals to diagnose and track the progress of bipolar disorder. Although bipolar disorder tends to run in families, the long term study has revealed that there is not one specific gene to explain the increased occurrence in families, but rather many genetic variances were found to be associated with bipolar risk.

Bipolar Seven Factor Key Findings

Some of the key findings that were discovered during the research in bipolar disorder include:

  • Gender differences were revealed which include poor sleep with links to severity of depression and mania in women, but not men
  • Those with bipolar disorder who also have a strong neurotic personality trait are more likely to have severe illness
  • Migraine headaches are 3 ½ times more common in those with bipolar disorder
  • Eating disorders, anxiety disorders, alcohol abuse are more common in those who have a bipolar disorder
  • Those with bipolar disorder tested lower on cognitive ability including memory, and executive functioning, than those without a bipolar diagnosis
  • There was an association between levels of certain fat molecules in the blood of bipolar patients and their mood or level of symptoms experienced; those with bipolar disorder also exhibited higher levels of saturated fats in their diets
  • A study of the key features of speech patterns were able to predict mood states which could be useful in predicting need for intervention in preventing episodes of mania or depression
  • Results from the study of neuron cells from bipolar patients were shown to be more excitable, as well as showing differences in how those cells interact and function

Bipolar Seven Factor

The seven factor framework will help in better understanding of the disorder, measure how symptoms change over time, and track response to treatment approaches for use in development of treatment planning and successful strategies. Working with a qualified psychiatrist with a long history of successfully working and developing individualized treatment plans for those with bipolar disorder can bring stability and satisfaction to your life, and the lives of those around you.

Atlanta Bipolar Disorder Doctor

For a comprehensive evaluation and accurate diagnosis of bipolar disorder or any mental health issues or concerns you may be experiencing, call the office of Dr. Hege for a personalized approach that is geared to your specific needs. Start living without the daily struggle. Call today.

CBT Non-Medication Option with Psychiatric Management

CBT, cognitive behavior therapy, has been found to be effective over hundreds of clinical trials as part of a comprehensive treatment program for many different mental health disorders. CBT focuses on the present, where the goal is to change patterns of thinking, or specific behaviors (cognitive processes), that have negatively impacted one’s life. CBT works to develop skills that can be used for a lifetime – skills where distorted thinking can be identified, beliefs modified, interaction and relationship skills enhanced, or destructive behaviors changed for the positive.

CBT and Mental Health Disorders

Cognitive behavior therapy is successfully used in the treatment of a wide range of issues including major depressive disorder, PTSD, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, substance abuse, ADHD, generalized anxiety, eating disorders, specific phobias, and numerous other mental health issues. Working with an experienced psychiatrist who is able to refer to qualified CBT providers allows for a fully personalized and individualized approach with the highest reported treatment success.

Medication and CBT

Working with a psychiatrist dedicated to providing the optimal care for his patients allows for the option to receive treatment with or without the use of medication. While some respond to treatment without the use of any medications, many disorders may respond better to a combination of both medication and cognitive behavior therapy – your psychiatrist will determine what strategies and treatment plan will best meet your specific needs and concerns.

CBT Focus in Treatment

Cognitive behavior therapists may need some information about past history, however the emphasis surrounds one’s current life. The focus of CBT is on moving forward, developing effective coping methods, learning to change ways of negative or destructive behaviors, thoughts, and emotions.

CBT Treatment Strategies

Throughout the course of cognitive behavior therapy, efforts are made to change problematic patterns of thinking, behavioral patterns, or prepare for problematic social interactions. Some of the strategies utilized may include:

  • Learning problem solving skills to cope with difficult or feared situations
  • Developing an improved sense of confidence in one’s self
  • Gaining a better understanding of how other’s behaviors may affect you
  • Learn to recognize and identify distorted thoughts that create problems
  • Learn how to evaluate inaccurate thoughts and feelings to make changes
  • Facings fears instead of avoiding them
  • Role play difficult situations or interactions
  • Learn relaxation techniques and strategies
  • Challenging one’s beliefs
  • Journaling or reflective writing exercises
  • Social, physical, and cognitive exercises related to emotional and behavioral patterns

CBT Referrals with Psychiatric Management

Atlanta based psychiatrist Dr. Hege is ready to provide comprehensive mental health evaluation and treatment planning which may include medication management and referral to a qualified network of cognitive behavior therapists in the community. Call the office for a confidential appointment offered at a time convenient to meet your lifestyle and needs.

 

Late Diagnosis Adult ADHD Promotes Positive Change

Late diagnosis for many with ADHD or ADD does not happen until adulthood even though their symptoms have been present, in one form or another, since childhood. Undiagnosed and untreated ADHD can lead to a lifetime of emotional turmoil and difficulty.

Late Diagnosis versus Inaccurate Diagnosis

Often a diagnosis, when finally given, is not an accurate one, leading to a common reason for a late or delayed ADHD diagnosis. Adults with ADHD tend to receive a diagnosis of depression with the focus of treatment and medications used dealing with the depressed mood, leaving ADHD undiagnosed and untreated. While depression may be present along with ADHD, it is common for the inexperienced mental health professional to treat the “most obvious” leaving their patient with continued frustration, life disorganization, and social difficulties.

Late Diagnosis ADHD Steps of Acceptance

Many adults find difficulty in coming to terms when they finally received an accurate late diagnosis of ADHD. Some of the common steps to self-acceptance through the treatment process include:

  • Denial – even with relief that a correct diagnosis and treatment is in place, it may take a period of time to accept the diagnosis and understand how treatment will change your life
  • Anger – many feel anger over past lost opportunities, at others for not seeking help for them sooner, at the unfairness of life in general, or with all the difficulties faced in life because of the undiagnosed ADHD
  • Depression – medication may not cure all the difficulties experienced with life and social relationships even though there is much improvement with less overall frustration. Many need time to adjust to a new lifestyle, sometimes wanting to return to old familiar ways even with all the daily struggles involved.
  • Acceptance – with support, education, medications prescribed, cognitive behavioral therapy, adjustment to a different type of lifestyle, or just with the passage of time, most are able to accept the late diagnosis of adult ADHD and enjoy the positive changes.

 

Late Diagnosis Adult ADHD Implications

The serious impact of failing to treat ADHD continues throughout adulthood. Adults with unmedicated ADHD are 78% more likely to be addicted to tobacco and 58% more likely to use illegal drugs than those without ADHD. Additionally, 79% of adults with ADHD report symptoms of anxiety, depression, and physical ailments. Symptoms of ADHD interfere with personal relationships and reduce chances of personal satisfaction with life choices. Left undiagnosed and untreated ADHD is among the most debilitating disorders to live with.

Late Diagnosis Adult ADHD Psychiatrist

Left undiagnosed and untreated ADHD is among the most debilitating disorders to live with. If you feel you may have ADHD, call Dr. Hege for a comprehensive evaluation for an accurate diagnosis which may include late diagnosis adult ADHD.

Mental Illness Treatment Improves Quality of Life

Over 40-million adults in the U.S. experience at least one diagnosable mental illness in their life. With 18-20% of the adult population in America suffering from a mental health disorder at any point during the year, research has shown that 70-90% of those who receive mental illness treatment exhibit reduced symptoms and improved quality of life. Receiving an accurate complete diagnosis allows for the development of the proper treatment plan that gives the optimal effective results.

Mental Illness Treatment Defined

Mental illness refers to changes in the thought process, emotions, or behaviors that create distress and impaired life functioning for a person. Mental disorders and complaints can affect a person of any age, race, religion, or income. The treatment of mental illnesses requires intervention by trained mental health practitioners who can prescribe medications or refer to other adjunct treatments and therapy.

Mental Illness Treatment Statistics

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) both track and report on the incidence of mental health disorders, issues, and concerns in America. Some of the statistics related to their research include:

  • 18.1% of U.S. adults experience an anxiety disorder every year
  • 6.9% of American adults, or 16 million, had at least one major depressive episode during the course of the past year
  • 2.6% of U.S. adults are living with diagnosed bipolar disorder
  • 20% adults in the United States have a diagnosable mental disorder in any given year
  • 50.5% of adults in U.S. who have a substance abuse disorder also have a co-occurring mental health disorder

Mental Illness Treatment Specialist in Atlanta

With up to 90% of those who receive mental illness treatment reporting improved functional and quality of life, it’s time to take the first step and make the call for a comprehensive evaluation and individualized treatment plan. Call Atlanta mental health specialist, Dr. Hege for a confidential appointment.

Opioid Addiction Recovery with Suboxone

Opioid addiction recovery often results in as many as 91% relapsing. The statistics for addiction relapse with opioid addiction recovery have higher numbers than for any other drug addiction. Research has also shown that at least 59% of those who had an opiate relapse do so within the first week of sobriety, 80% with a month after detox.

Opioid Addiction Recovery with MAT

Medication assisted treatment (MAT) with Suboxone significantly reduces relapse through its unique properties and therapeutic effects – relapse does not have to be an inevitable part of recovery from opioid addiction.  With prescription pain reliever drugs that contain opioids turning into a national crisis for substance and opioid addiction, there is treatment now available that benefits patients by helping keep them sober while reducing the side effects of withdrawal and curbing the cravings that typically lead to a relapse.

Suboxone MAT

Suboxone, which can only be prescribed by a qualified and certified professional, is a growing preferred option in the medication assisted treatment of opioid addiction. Suboxone can allow those in recovery to regain a state of mind that is free of withdrawal symptoms, free of cravings, and free of the drug-induced highs and lows of opioid addiction.

Opioid Addiction Recovery Plan Successful

Suboxone is a unique treatment medication for opioid addiction. One of the ingredients that make up Suboxone is Buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is not used as a replacement for opiates, as an opioid blocker, or as a substitution for anything else – rather it is a partial agonist to the opioid receptors in the brain which activates the opioid receptors without allowing the “high,” yet allowing for some of the opioid effect of its own which functions to suppress withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Opioid Addiction Recovery Psychiatrist

If opioid addiction is interfering with your family relationships, work, daily functioning, and health, call the Suboxone doctor in Atlanta to begin your recovery. Return to living life to the fullest once again. Call Dr. Hege for a confidential appointment to discuss the treatment options which will work for you.

High Functioning Anxiety Makes Success a Struggle

High functioning anxiety affects 18% of the 40-million adults who must deal with an anxiety disorder at any given time. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that this type of anxiety brings struggle and stress into their daily lives impacting overall satisfaction with a busy lifestyle.

High Functioning Anxiety Described

Most adults typically viewed as being successful, an overachiever, or even as having an “A” personality, are prone to having high functioning anxiety. While the general public perceives the positive outcomes from having this type of anxiety, it fails to see the struggle involved in getting there, staying there, dealing with constant worry, or with keeping up the effort of presenting a false persona to the rest of the world.

High Functioning Anxiety Diagnosis

In speaking about anxiety disorders, the type, high functioning, is not a real medical diagnosis, but rather a term being used more and more by mental health professionals to describe actions, symptoms, and emotions. This type of anxiety may exhibit many features of an anxiety disorder without the criteria for an actual diagnosis – they may have symptoms but are able to function through the struggle without life disruption.

Common Symptoms of High Functioning Anxiety

Some of the common signs that you may be struggling through life with high functioning anxiety include:

  • You are often told you are a Type A personality or a perfectionist.
  • You may have unrealistic expectations of yourself along with a fear of not meeting them.
  • You exhibit controlling patterns, habits, or strict routines
  • You find your life constantly busy and packed with plans and tasks to accomplish
  • You do not sleep well, tossing and turning throughout the night
  • You find yourself with frequent complaints of aches or pains, feel like there is a knot in your stomach, or find yourself biting nails, tapping your foot or cracking your knuckles as a sign of suppressed anxiety
  • You often keep your emotions bottled up, presenting a “false face” to others making it difficult for others to really know how you are feeling
  • You have a fear of disappointing or letting others down, often talking negatively about yourself
  • You cannot say “no” to the requests of others, often taking on more than you can realistically handle.

High Functioning Anxiety Psychiatrist

Even if the anxiety symptoms experienced are not interfering at work, home, or in social situations, they can still impact enjoyment and quality of life. Reducing the high functioning anxiety symptoms can end the struggle and lead to a more satisfying life all around. Call Dr. Hege for a confidential evaluation and determine the more effective treatment strategy for your needs.

 

Opioid Withdrawal Triggers Lead to Relapse

Combining the pain, fear, and opioid withdrawal symptoms often trigger relapse during recovery from opioid addiction. Proper management of symptoms during all phases of recovery can significantly improve the rate of success in recovery by alleviating common opioid withdrawal triggers that many fall victim to.

Opioid Withdrawal Triggers

Withdrawal from opioid addiction is often a physically and psychologically painful process where fear, pain, and physiological cravings often lead into a situation where relapse occurs. An addiction specialist can work with you to manage the opioid withdrawal symptoms which include emotional and physical distress, through medications such as Suboxone, Cognitive Behavioral therapy, or utilization of a network of adjunct recovery services.

Opioids in Both Prescription and Illegal Drugs

Opioids are drugs that are typically prescribed to treat pain. Opiates include prescription and illegal drugs such as morphine, Kadian, codeine, heroin, opium, hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxycontin, methadone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), Vicodin, Percocet, Fentanyl (duragesic). Opiates may be naturally manufactured from the opium poppy or synthetically formulated. Prescription opioid medications are frequently misused and abused leading to addiction.

Millions Abuse Opioids in U.S.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse report that over 4-million people in the U.S. abuse opioids. Withdrawal occurs when stopping or decreasing the amount of opioids you have become accustomed to taking.

Common Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

Opioid withdrawal triggers and symptoms vary from one person to another. Withdrawal symptoms may begin as early as 6 hours after stopping the drug. The most commonly reported withdrawal complaints include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep
  • Agitation, irritability
  • Hot and cold sweats or goosebumps
  • Racing heart rate
  • Anxiety
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Depression
  • Drug cravings
  • Excessive yawning
  • Teary eyes and runny nose

Suboxone Addiction Specialist

Treatment, which includes management of opioid withdrawal triggers by a certified addiction specialist who is able to prescribe Suboxone, is vital to successful recovery and prevention of relapse. Call Dr. Hege for individualized attention to the complex process of addiction recovery.

Suboxone Vital in Opioid Addiction Recovery

Suboxone is vital in successful opioid addiction recovery. In the U.S the statistics show we have a national crisis on our hands – a government report published in March of 2018 indicate more than 115 Americans die every day after overdosing on opioids. The opioid addiction crisis includes misuse of prescription pain relievers where addiction to the medication takes over their lives, leaving them unable to just walk away from the drug.

Suboxone Prescription Restricted

Suboxone is a prescription medication designed for the treatment of opioid dependence and addiction. Following the enactment of the 2000 Drug Addiction Treatment Act (DATA) Suboxone was one of the first medications impacted where prescription privileges were restricted to only qualified Suboxone doctors who have successfully completed specific training and met certification requirements.

Suboxone Vital Ingredients

Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone with each ingredient having a specific purpose:

  • Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist which means that while it does activate the brain’s opioid receptors to help relieve withdrawal and cravings, however works to help break the pattern of compulsive drug seeking behaviors
  • Naloxone is an opioid antagonist which works by discouraging people from trying to get high by injecting the Suboxone. For someone who is opioid dependent, the result of injecting Suboxone leads directly to withdrawal symptoms

Suboxone Vital to Recovery in Two Ways

The ingredient buprenorphine in Suboxone tricks the brain into thinking an opioid is in their system, suppressing the withdrawal symptoms and cravings, yet they do not feel high or get a euphoric effect. Buprenorphine is part of the Suboxone vital key as it blocks the brain’s opioid receptor for approximately 24 hours so that prescription or illegal opioid cannot “get in.” This 24-hour opioid block helps to prevent relapse, one day at a time.

The important second benefit to buprenorphine is the “ceiling effect” which means that taking more Suboxone than prescribed will not result in feeling high. For someone addicted to opioids this is an important feature of the medication that assists in your working toward recovery.

Benefits of Suboxone Treatment

If you are addicted to opioids and need help in your recovery process, Suboxone vital in your comprehensive treatment program when prescribed and managed by a Suboxone doctor. The major benefits of Suboxone treatment include:

  • Reduction in cravings
  • Reduction in painful withdrawal symptoms
  • Stabilization of symptoms experienced through recovery
  • Ability to focus on your addiction treatment program
  • Management by a qualified and certified addiction expert

Suboxone Doctor in Atlanta Area

If the time has come to take control of your life and recover from your opioid addiction struggle, call Dr. Hege, Atlanta psychiatrist, a certified addiction specialist and certified Suboxone doctor.  Confidential and convenient appointments available evenings and weekends to meet your individual life needs.

Avoiding ADHD Diagnosis Affects Life Satisfaction

People may avoid going to the doctor when they fear what the medical test results may reveal. Other times they may avoid seeking treatment for troubling conditions or concerns that they are experiencing. When an issue or problem is suspected, seeking help or treatment is often delayed and sometimes never sought. With adults, avoiding ADHD diagnosis and treatment, even when they feel they may have ADHD, is a common occurrence.

Avoiding ADHD Diagnosis Impacts Whole Life

For those who think they have “a little” ADHD, or feel they have ADHD that is “not too bad,” it is difficult to understand and see the full extent of how their symptoms are impacting their lives and the lives of those around them. While recognizing they may have a “little issue,” they may not realize how diagnosis and treatment for adult ADHD can potentially be life-changing, life-improving and allow greater life satisfaction.

Reasons for Avoiding ADHD Diagnosis

There can be any multitude of reasons for avoiding ADHD diagnosis and treatment, however some of the more common explanations include:

  • Belief that treatment will not improve your life very much
  • Thinking that symptoms are not that bad or if they tried harder their symptoms would go away
  • Feelings that their symptoms are normal as they are used to living with their symptoms
  • Previous bad experience with mental health professionals – either through personal opinions or through listening to others giving their own opinions
  • Thoughts of appearing weak or crazy for seeking mental health treatment
  • Telling yourself, “I’ll get to it later,” but that time never comes around
  • Feeling that the only treatment option is long-term medication and want to try managing the ADHD on their own
  • Other personal, family, or cultural reasons that interfere with decision to work toward positive changes through diagnosis and treatment

Avoiding ADHD Diagnosis Keeps Problems in Place

While there can be many reasons to delay or avoid mental health evaluation for possible adult ADHD diagnosis, it is important to remember that the problem will not go away on its own. The benefits gained from accurate diagnosis and treatment may continue to be missed, and the life struggles currently impacting on you and your loved ones will continue to interrupt and challenge on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis.

Adult ADHD Psychiatrist in Atlanta

Gaining insight into an accurate diagnosis along with seeing what your life could be like without the interference of ADHD symptoms will allow you to make an informed decision as what is right for you and your life. Call Dr. Hege for a complete comprehensive evaluation and discussion of a treatment plan individualized to meet your needs and lifestyle.