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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.

 

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.

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.

Multiple Psychiatric Diagnoses Need Skilled Management

Research data has shown that while approximately one out of every five Americans experience a mental health disorder, approximately 45% of those numbers have multiple psychiatric disorders, meeting the criteria for two or more mental health disorders. Multiple psychiatric disorders may occur at the same time or one after the other, with the combination often worsening the disease course, symptoms and complaints.

Multiple Psychiatric Disorders Also Known as Comorbidity

Having more than one medical illness is also known as having comorbidity or a comorbid condition, a fairly common occurrence. As an example, it is often found that many adults with substance abuse issues are nearly twice as likely to also experience mood and anxiety disorders; and vice versa. While substance abuse disorders commonly occur with other mental health issues, it does not mean that one causes the other even if one of the problems appeared first.

Multiple Psychiatric Illness a Challenge to Treat

Those who are diagnosed with multiple psychiatric disorders make treatment challenging. Adults in this group very often require higher doses of medication, longer periods of medication prescribed, and may be more resistant to treatment overall. It takes a skilled psychiatrist to make the correct multiple diagnoses and one experienced enough to accurately plan and strategize a successful treatment approach.

Multiple Psychiatric Disorders Evolve Over Time

Having one mental illness can change your life and the way you interact at home, on the job and socially. Having to live life with two or more mental illness disorders make everyday life more difficult and often impossible for many. Mental health diagnoses can evolve and change over time where combinations of issues can manifest in a variety of ways making a diagnosis even more difficult.

Examples of Evolving Multiple Psychiatric Disorders

There is no one set combination of multiple mental health disorders. Having one psychiatric illness such as PTSD for example can evolve into Social Anxiety Disorder, addictive disorders, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, eating disorders, and so on. A diagnosis of Major Depression may also be impacted by cocaine or alcohol addiction, panic disorder, or poly-drug abuse. The combinations that impact one’s life vary with severity, and degree of impairment with the multiple disorders each be severe or mild, or one more severe than the other; in addition the severity or impact of both or one can also change over time.

Multiple Psychiatric Diagnostic Psychiatrist

Diagnosis and treatment is often difficult to get right. Finding the psychiatrist that is able to evaluate and treat for multiple mental health diagnoses is critical in the development of the right plan for you. Call Dr. Hege for a convenient confidential appointment and comprehensive evaluation of your individual concerns.

Finding an Addiction Specialist in Georgia

Finding the right psychiatrist for you that understands the addiction process, who can perform accurate comprehensive evaluations, develop a successful treatment plan and has decades of experience that can meet your specific needs and issues often involves a long frustrating search. Finding a psychiatrist who is also an Addiction Specialist dramatically shortens the list of potential psychiatrists.

Addiction Specialists Board Certified

Addiction psychiatry is a sub-specialty of psychiatry with certification given by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Only psychiatrists may receive the addiction psychiatry sub-specialty certificate after meeting specific additional criteria and a certification examination.

Addiction Specialist Certification

A psychiatrist who is a specialist in addiction has professionally demonstrated the knowledge and skill to provide prevention, screening, intervention as well as the treatment for substance use and addiction. Any recognized psychological and physical complications of addiction are also addressed in the treatment plan. Addiction may include one or multiple types of substance abuse including either illegal drugs, tobacco, alcohol, or prescription medications.

Addiction Medicine

Psychiatrists who dedicate themselves to improving the quality of provided treatment, keeping up-to-date on current education and research data, educate others and promote the comprehensive care of patients with addiction may hold membership in The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). The ASAM is the leading addiction medicine professional society in the U.S. for those professional who focus on addiction and its treatment.

Board Certified Psychiatry

While physicians or psychologists need to be licensed, they can legally practice without having board certification. Board certification is an additional voluntary process where competence in a specialty area is demonstrated, where testing by peers has proven the level of skill and knowledge is at the very top of the medical profession. Board certified psychiatrists are often seen as leaders in their field who help shape the course of their medical profession for years to come.

Addiction Specialist Locally

Dr. Darvin Hege, psychiatrist, located in the Atlanta area, is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, as well as The American Society of Addiction Medicine, with more than 25 years of successful addiction evaluation and treatment. Call the office for a confidential appointment and put an end to your frustrating search for the right addiction specialist.

New Year’s Resolutions Include Mental Health

It is time once again to start thinking about setting New Year’s resolutions. While most people plan to work on or accomplish many great goals which include weight loss, working out, eating healthier meals, or quitting smoking for example, few think about setting mental health New Year’s resolutions.

Mental Health New Year’s Resolutions

Working to achieve or improve one’s own mental health is as equally important as becoming physically healthier. In fact, becoming more mentally clear, stable, or generally “happier” in life can have an impact on general health and feelings of well-being. It may seem easier to stop smoking, find a new job, make new friends, lose weight, or achieve any other goal you are working toward when your mental health is at its optimum level.

Changing “I Should” to “I Would Like”

With the New Year upon us it is a great time to take stock of how you are doing, or how you are feeling, as well as looking at where you may like to make a change. Mental health resolutions are positive goals – think of any changes you want to achieve as “I want to be,” or “I would like to be.” Avoid telling yourself that you “should” do this or you “should” do that as you are working to improve an aspect of your life, not judging current behaviors.

New Year’s Resolutions About You

When thinking about what resolutions to work on in the new year, make your mental health a priority. While losing weight or quitting smoking are very positive goals, remember that your mental health can make a big difference on how you and your family enjoy the new year together.

Mental Health Psychiatrist

Do something nice for yourself – make an appointment where any mental health issues you may be experiencing can be accurately evaluated and treated. Call the office for a convenient confidential appointment and put all your new year resolutions on the positive track to live better and feel better.

Mental Illness Affects 1 in 4 Americans

According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, the number of Americans experiencing at least one episode of mental illness over the past year continues to rise, up to 46%. The National Institute of Mental Health published a statement that 25% of North Americans suffer from a diagnosable mental condition. Along with a rise of those with a mental health disorder is a documented increase, of up to a third, in the number receiving treatment.

Global Mental Health Conditions

The most common mental health disorders which are diagnosed globally include anxiety, addiction, eating disorders, depression, ADD/ADHD spectrum, bipolar disorder, insomnia, and schizophrenia. Recent studies show that mental disorders and substance abuse are the leading cause of non-fatal illness worldwide.

Mental Illness Criteria

Looking at the criteria established by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), research of the National Institute of Mental Health found that 46% of adults were found to have at least one mental illness within the categories of anxiety disorders, mood disorders, impulse-control disorders, and substance use disorders. While the percentage indicates those with at least one disorder, most met the criteria for more than one diagnosis.

Common Mental Illness Categories

The mental illness categories reviewed fall into four broad groupings, with American adults having at least one, if not more, mental health disorder within one of these four categories at some point in their lives.

  • Anxiety Disorders including all types of anxiety, phobia, PTSD
  • Mood Disorders which include major depression and bipolar disorders
  • Impulse-Control Disorders which include various behavioral issues, ADHD
  • Substance Use Disorders including alcohol and drug abuse

Mental Illness Diagnosis and Treatment

Receiving an accurate diagnosis and treatment for your mental illness can change your daily struggles into living your life with a positive outlook and plan. Call Dr. Hege for a convenient appointment that meets your busy life schedule.

Chantix Neutralizes Nicotine’s Effect

Smoking related disease result in nearly 6 million deaths every year with tobacco claiming a human life every 5 seconds somewhere in the world. In the U.S. more than 16 million Americans lives with a smoking related disease. In addition, smoking accounts for 1 out of every 5 deaths in the United States. Chantix is a medication prescribed to help those addicted to nicotine stop smoking and begin living without the health risks and financial burdens directly related to smoking.

Chantix Helps People Quit Smoking

Chantix, varenicline tartrate, is a prescription medication that was developed specifically to assist those who want to quit smoking. Chantix has two unique qualities and works on two levels:

  • It mimics nicotine, giving the feeling of mild nicotine effects while it helps ease withdrawal symptoms
  • It blocks nicotine from binding with the nicotine receptors in the brain so that the smoker does not get a “nicotine boost or kick” making smoking feeling flat, bland or no longer pleasurable

Nicotine’s Effect on Brain Chemistry

Nicotine effects the brain’s chemistry within 7 seconds of the first puff on a cigarette. Nicotine attaches to receptors that not only affect breathing, and heart rate, but also influence other neurotransmitters that effect appetite, mood, and memory. When nicotine attaches to its brain receptors, dopamine is released, which is thought to be responsible for reinforcing the pleasure/reward associations with smoking.

Chantix Breaks Cycle

The chemical process that occurs with smoking is tied to nicotine addiction. Since the effects of nicotine on the brain wear off within minutes, smokers continue to “dose” themselves throughout the day to prevent withdrawal symptoms and to continue to feel the pleasurable effects of nicotine. Chantix may take hours to wear off easing withdrawal complaints; in addition, Chantix blocks the “feel good” dopamine boost if a person does smoke while taking Chantix.

Side Effects of Chantix

Some of the most common side effects reported include nausea, headache, vomiting, drowsiness, GI upset, trouble sleeping, changes in taste, feeling dizzy, or difficulty concentrating. Your psychiatrist can help you manage any side effects experienced with other medication, nicotine replacement treatments, cognitive behavioral therapy, or adjunct therapy resources.

Stop Smoking Doctor

If you want to become an ex-smoker and enjoy the health and financial benefits that other non-smokers experience, call the office for a confidential appointment today.

Mobile Mental Health Apps Can Be Risky

Digital health smartphone apps have shown unprecedented growth in the medical field along with the development of mHealth (mobile health) technology. Psychiatry and mental health services are enjoying the potential of mHealth technology with Mobile mental health apps that put personal health information into easily accessible smartphones, smart watches, and personal health monitoring sensors.

Mobile Mental Health Apps Risk

With the explosion of smart apps that can be found and downloaded from the App Store or Google Play for example, come the question of the usefulness and risk of these mobile mental health apps. The majority of apps for mental health have been developed without research, lack of scientific evidence that shows proof of effectiveness, or may have poor protection of your personal data.

Mobile Mental Health Apps Evaluation

Digital health technology is still fairly new; however, the American Psychiatric Association has taken a proactive step by developing an App Evaluation Model to help guide clinicians and patients in the quality of a mobile mental health app or mHealth tool being considered.

Five Steps in App Evaluation Model

The APA’s App Evaluation Model has five steps where each step is a foundation for the next level. It is important to evaluate each app to make an informed decision before “trying it out.” Apps that make it through the fourth and fifth step are worth your consideration and review by you and your therapist for functional use in your treatment program.

Five Steps of Review in App Evaluation Model

  1. Background Information: Is there a fee for the app or is it free? If free how does it support its development? Who is the developer? Is there advertising within the app? What platforms does it work with? When it was last updated and what were the updates (security, glitches, added services, etc.)? Are there in-app purchases or upgrades?
  2. Risk, Security, and Privacy: Is there a privacy policy? What data is being collected? Is personal data de-identified? Can you opt-out of data collection? Are cookies placed on your device? What data is shared? Who is it shared with? Can your information be sold to third parties? Is data kept on the device or uploaded to the web or cloud? What are the security measures? Is data encrypted? Is the app HIPAA compliant?
  3. Evidence: If your app review has proven acceptable for the first two levels, then it is time to evaluate evidence for potential benefits. What does the app claim to do versus what it actually will do? Are there any peer reviews or published evidence about the tool or science behind the app? Is there any feedback from users available? Does the app appear to be of value for your needs?
  4. Ease of Use: Is it easy to access? Can it be used on a long-term basis? Can you customize the features? Do you need an active internet connection to use? Does it work on the platforms that you have? Is it appealing and simple to use? Apps that are difficult to understand or manage will most likely fail to be used.
  5. Interoperability: Can it work with other electronic tools and devices? Can you export or print the data from the app? Can you upload the data to an electronic health record that your psychiatrist or medical professional can use?

mHealth Psychiatric Treatment

Dr. Hege is a leader in offering convenient options such as video psychiatry, evening or weekend treatment scheduling, and use of new technology in providing the best psychiatric treatment available to you. Call the office today for a comprehensive evaluation of your needs. You may qualify for video sessions, so if that interests you please be sure to ask about it.