Monthly Archives: July 2018

Mental Health in the Cyber Age: The New Age of Therapy and Progress

Human psychology is an intriguing subject in the sense that it provides answers to some of the most common and relevant questions regarding human thought and behavior but at the same time, it is also a sophisticated subject that raises just as many questions as the answers it produces. This element of complexity and sophistication interests millions of people every year to lead them to study psychology at colleges or universities and pursue careers in the field, making human psychology related research and education a very vivid field. Psychology today is also a booming business that includes various services such as one-on-one sessions from Naya Clinics to provide millions of patients with the assistance they need while making mental health professionals significant sums of money. Much like any other field of business, the human psychology sector also requires further investigation to make sense of its strengths and weaknesses and most importantly to raise awareness to key issues and concerns prior to harm or damages.


Lindsay Holmes for the Huffington Post reports on the ways individuals can benefit from therapy to initially state that regardless of how confident or secure people feel about themselves and the issues they confront, there is always room for using “a little extra support in handling life’s challenges” such as “talking with a professional.” The author refers to how verbally expressing feelings creates a therapeutic effect on the human brain, which means that vocalizing problems is a good start for dealing with such problems. Holmes then refers to therapists and life coaches as the two main possible actors of psychological health assistance for the residents of today’s modern world and identifies the services they provide separately. According to the author, therapists are either psychologists or counselors who have received Master’s or Doctorate level degrees to obtain a legal license for their profession from their respective state authorities. They carry out talk therapy, which enables such licensed professionals to develop long-term relationships with their patients for creating strategies to understand their thoughts, moods and behaviors. Life coaches however, receive their certification through programs of accreditation such as the “International Coaching Federation” which require no academic degrees. Such coaches seek to help their clients by motivating them or offering them emotional support to develop confidence in them, which is why numerous former psychologists have become life coaches after realizing the potential associated with the practice. In either profession, the core teachings of human psychology are utilized to identify problems while life coaching is a lot more interested in and capable of interfering with the patient’s life to create change and improvement. Therapy on the other hand, is a more theory-based practice that seeks to develop a more academic comprehension of the subject matter to provide more in-depth and detailed explanations and remedies.


Elisabeth Harris for Forbes magazine reports on a brilliant mental health professional, Alison Darcy, whose project “Woebot” has raised significant interest and support among the psychology circles so far, following its recent release in the market. Darcy believes that computers can be very useful in bridging people with comprehension and explanation of mental health issues, who do not possess the financial resources to access extensive consultancy services for discovering the proper treatment they need. The robot utilizes “conversations based on understanding of cognitive behavioral therapies” through social media applications such as the Facebook Messenger in order to answer user questions, while utilizing emoticons to explain the situation of concern better. The inventor states that the main interest that she developed for producing such a solution was that in the recent years, mental health related issues have reached statistically concerning levels, leaving the mental health personnel at an incapable position to help their patients. Darcy left her prestigious position at Stanford University to test different technologies related to human psychology and psychiatry to be able to develop a consumer product that could directly enter the market and help patients. Darcy and her team’s consideration of the current situation in the world can be described with the statement, “everybody has mental health issues but few come through with them.” Woebot in this sense turns psychological assistance into a more fun and likable practice while implementing the practices of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to better help its clients. This is due to the fact that there exists significant evidence and research which show that it is possible to deliver CBT without a therapist physically existing alongside with the patient to produce compromising outcomes. Woebot’s algorithm in this sense becomes the perfect guide for such patients because its fast response system develops confidence in the patient, while its anonymous identity induces trust in them. As a result, the system delivers utile and functional psychological services at a very reasonable price and eradicates the need for physical spaces such as hospitals or clinics, providing patients with the right type of therapy at the comfort of their homes.


Robbie Gonzalez for Wired magazine reports on a brand new Virtual Reality technology, Ellie, which helps soldiers returning from duty to open up on their psychological problems and complications. Every soldier in America is required to complete a written survey, the Post-Deployment Health Assessment, to help the military’s psychology department and its personnel evaluate individual and collective issues. One of the most frequent complications observed in such individuals is the “Post-Traumatic Stress   Disorder (PTSD)” which needs to be carefully surveyed and observed in order to produce the intended effect of relaxation and comfort on the patient. In such a pursuit, the traditional one-on-one surveys conducted by an actual human psychologist prove to be unreliable because they have a tendency to distort the actual reality. Similarly, paper-based surveys are also inefficient to fully comprehend the complications of such patients because they do not provide insight or detail regarding such issues, which means that this field of research direly and immediately demands for innovation. In order to overcome the issues associated with the lack of reliance and trust in such procedures, Gale Lucas of University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies has conducted a private study. This effort revealed that “soldiers are more likely to divulge symptoms of PTSD to a virtual interviewer” or “an artificially intelligent avatar, rendered in 3-D on a television screen,” meaning that “virtual interviewers could prove to be even better than human therapists at helping soldiers open up about their mental health.” Ellie was developed as a result of this given setup, while the Artificial Intelligence behind the virtual therapist was based on actual verbal interviews conducted with a prior beta bot. The system also utilizes machine vision to observe and evaluate facial cues produced by the test subjects to respond in accordance, which adds more power and focus to its question based procedures. It was observed so far that soldiers who were surveyed with Ellie reported a significantly higher number of PTSD symptoms which goes onto prove that the system functions pretty well to bring in more accuracy, honesty and productivity into the process.

Let’s talk about alternative medicine for children

Many parents dread talking to their children’s healthcare professionals for good reasons, given that it can be incredibly tough to do so. Alternative medicine remains very popular around the world today, however, and it’s important for parents to speak plainly about it when it comes to updating your child’s doctor. So, how can you talk to your doctor about your use of or curiosity about alternative medicines?

Here’s everything you should know about speaking to a healthcare professional when it comes to the intimidating world of alternative medicine, and what you should know if your child is going through alternative medical therapies.

Alternative medicine for children is incredibly common

While many deride alternative medicine, often unfairly lumping it in with other health trends, it’s a simple matter of fact that alternative medicine for children is actually quite common. According to at least one study, up to half of all children may be using complementary health approaches, though relatively little is known about the effects of many alternative medicine strategies. Thus, if you’re concerned you may be bringing up a vague topic with your child’s doctor, they’ve probably heard about alternative medicine long before you came into their office.

Many parents are giving their children alternative medical treatments without even realizing it; giving your children vitamin supplements, for instance, is widely considered to be an alternative approach to medicine given the scant amount of information we have about the benefits of taking certain vitamins. This is why it’s important to buff up on what official authorities actually consider to be complementary and alternative medicines, as ignorance shouldn’t be used as an excuse to avoid a conversation with your child’s doctor.

When discussing alternative medicine with your child’s healthcare professionals, it’s important to be upfront about it if you’re relying on an alternative medicine strategy. Some parents are hesitant when it comes to disclosing this information, but your child’s doctor simply needs to know, particularly if your child is to be prescribed traditional medical treatments like a prescription drug. Transparency should always be considered the most important thing here.

If parents and healthcare professionals aren’t having open and honest conversations about the kinds of treatment children are receiving, a potential healthcare disaster can be brewing under the surface. Two different types of treatment mixed together unknowingly can produce disastrous results, and if your child’s health is on the line it’s imperative to be willing to discuss what alternative medicines you’ve administered to them. Treatments of any nature should be thoroughly documented so they can be accurately recalled later.

Not all treatments are created equal

One of the most important things that any healthcare professional will tell you early on in the conversation if you’re discussing alternative medicines is that not all treatment options were created equal. Some parents have treated their children with alternative medicines with great success, whereas others have exacerbated existing issues thanks to clumsiness. It’s not uncommon to see a headline about a child whose condition has worsened thanks to a botched-application of alternative medical treatment. To avoid future health tragedies, it’s vital that alternative medicine be discussed in the open, especially by those parents who are choosing to rely on it for their child’s safety.

Many doctors acknowledge most forms of complementary and alternative medicine, particularly traditional Chinese medicine. According to research conducted on Canadian parents, however, more than half of survey respondents noted that they were giving their children alternative medicines at the same time those children were receiving traditional treatments from a doctor. If both parties in the treatment process are shutting one another out, the child’s health could potentially be endangered.

Certain conditions have popular alternative medical treatments that may help, whereas others are bereft of alternative and traditional medical solutions alike. Despite how rare your child’s sickness may be, or how specific your alternative medicine regime may be, it needs to be discussed with a medical official. In vague cases of obscure alternative medical treatments, a failure to be transparent could cause health complications. If both the child’s doctor and parents are fully up to date on that child’s treatment, the best possible outcome will become more likely.

Be honest when discussing alternative medicine with your family’s pediatrician, and keep thorough records of any treatment options you rely on. If you don’t keep a careful list of results and side effects, you may never know if your alternative medicine is having a positive impact. Medical officials, too, will want to know about the alternative medicine you’ve administered thus far to your child if they’re going to help out themselves. Above all else, don’t be shamed or embarrassed into thinking it’s not the right time to discuss alternative medicine with your child’s doctor.

Why the mental health of new mothers is vitally important

The overwhelming joy that mothers feel when they feel their baby kick, or hold their baby for the first time, is spoken highly of consistently – and so it should be. But what is equally as important – and not nearly as talked about as it should be – are the mothers that struggle with postnatal depression, perinatal mood disorders, and other mental issues that some women experience after giving birth to their child. Maternal health is a global issue, with new mothers all over the world being diagnosed every day.

The stigma around the mental health issues that new mothers experience is harrowing, with one in six women experiencing issues like postpartum depression after they give birth to their children. New mums often feel afraid to be open about their feelings when they do experience feelings of discontent and depression after the birth of their child – this is when the issue tends to snowball. Adjusting to the reality of being a new parent – or the parent to another child after one’s first, for that matter – can be challenging for some more than others. Early solutions include hiring a caretaker or attending a child care center. Therapy also helps.

The importance of seeking therapy when women feel the symptoms and effects of postnatal depression and the like cannot be overstated. Moreover, there are now virtual therapy options readily available. These kinds of centres specialise in providing the best care available to mothers, with a much higher rate of time slot availability. As a new mum, one of the most trying parts of dealing with postpartum illnesses is the reality that, regardless of how the mother feels, life cannot (and does not) stop, and so responsibilities often lead to the mother feeling at a loss and quite guilty for feeling the way that she does. With this guilt weighing on her conscious, a new mother can easily put her own mental health on the backburner to care for her child. Online therapies build trust and communication with clients to ensure that the best and most appropriate level of care is given to them.

With the willingness and the expertise to help mothers understand, cope, and get the help to gain control of their mental health back, clinics offering online therapies are paving the way for mothers that might not otherwise have access to therapies and assistance. With this in mind, young mothers looking for help can rest assured that they are in the best and most capable hands.

The effects of paternal mental illnesses can be triggered from a variety of circumstances or events, including traumatic labour. What is also quite important is understanding that realities like family history and comfortability can profoundly contribute to these kinds of issues. The stigma around postnatal illnesses must be eradicated, but what is equally important is that women are made completely aware of the support systems that are available to them – not only their families and loved ones, but online therapeutic support systems as well.

False truths that drinking perpetuate

We’ve all had a drink, but not many of us actually know what happens to our body when we have a couple glasses of wine or some shots. Of course, we all know that drinking alcohol can end up with you becoming drunk, not to mention the nasty hangover the day after. But is that the only thing alcohol does to the body? We’d like to think that’s the only side effect of alcohol but the truth is, that’s only just a small portion of what happens after you have a drink. Here are the 5 truths behind drinking.

  1. The guidelines are wrong

The guidelines that define moderate drinking include no more than 10 drinks a week for women, with no more than 2 drinks a day and no more than 15 drinks a week for men, with no more than 3 drinks a day. However, the study by the Lancet shows that there’s no difference between the amount of alcohol consumed by men and women. The actual ideal standard for weekly alcohol consumption is 100 grams per week. Current guideline actually aid in reducing life expectancy in both men and women.

  1. Moderate drinking has no health benefits

For years we’ve been told that moderate drinking contains health benefits but that’s wrong. A study by the Lancet, which collected data from 600,000 people over 19 high-income countries illustrated that there are no signs of alcohol lowering the risk of heart attacks, but in fact, promotes diseases such as strokes, heart failure, and aortic aneurysms. Plus, it was found that moderate alcohol consumption also raises the risk for several types of cancer. So, though you may think having a couple glasses of wine is doing your body some good, it’s not. That pint of beer isn’t looking too good right now, right?

  1. We’re not responsible drinkers

Though we all have seen commercials about drinking drunk and have seen friends and family even affected by drunk driving, very few of us are being responsible while drinking. We like to think that we’ll make the right choices when under the influence but for most of us, that isn’t the case. In 2013, 28.7 million people in the United States admitted to driving under the influence. If you’re caught drinking and driving, you’ll most likely need to consider Googling drinking and driving lawyers, as the laws against drinking and driving aren’t kind.

  1. There is medication to help with alcoholism

Many people are unaware of this, however, there are medications that help treat alcoholism. Currently, the most popular form of treatments is the 12-step program and rehabilitation centres. However, medication is highly underutilized as a form of treatment. A study found that only 1 in 10 Americans take on treatment in the form of prescription medication. Let’s use Disulfiram as an example. It aids to disrupt the metabolism of alcohol, making patients feel ill if they drink. Of course, battling alcoholism simply with prescription medication isn’t the only solution, however, it can help.

  1. Heavy drinking has been normalized for women

Even though we don’t like to admit it, the fact is, heavy drinking has been normalized for both men and women. However, it’s clear that women are drinking more and more due to the cultural shift which liberated women. The promotion of heavy drinking particularly for women can be seen through social media and popular culture such as movies. In 2013, in the United States, over a million women ended up in the ER due to heavy drinking, this is a 40% increase since 1997.

Common superfoods often overlooked

Image result for blueberries avocado bowl

These are some ingredients that are worth incorporating into a diet. They serve a range of effects that could prevent disease.

  1. Blueberries

Blueberries are one of everyone’s favorite super-foods. They help heart health, bone strength, skin health, blood pressure, diabetes management, cancer prevention, and mental health, according to Medical News Today. An interesting benefit is that blueberries can reduce cognitive damage and improve memory.

  1. Chile peppers

It is a well-known fact that spicy foods boost the metabolism. Chili peppers also have other benefits. Chili peppers are high in vitamins and minerals such as: Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K1, Potassium, Copper and Vitamin A, according to Health Line.  These have benefits ranging from bone health to kidney health.

They also contain other plant compounds such as: Capsanthin, Violaxanthin, Lutein, Capsaicin, Sinapic acid, and Ferulic acid. These can have benefits such as increase in immune function, heart health and metabolism.  With this many benefits, it might be worth getting accustomed to the spice of chili peppers.

  1. Avocado

Avocados are a great way to incorporate healthy fats into a diet. The amount of fat makes them great for vision, the heart and preventing osteoporosis. Avocados also lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Another plus is that they are loaded with fiber and have more potassium than a banana.

  1. Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice that should not be overlooked. Turmeric root is in the ginger family and is native to Southeast Asia. It contains nutrients and bioactive compounds that are great for health.

Eatingwell listed Turmeric as one of the worlds 8 healthiest spices.  It helps wounds heal and is great for relieving colds. This spice is a must in all spice cabinets. It is sold in forms of tablets and spices.

  1. Sweet potato

Like the avocado, sweet potatoes are also high in potassium. Sweet potatoes also are a great source of magnesium, which is an anti-stress and relaxation mineral. Magnesium is also great for healthy bone, blood, heart and nerve function.

Sweet potatoes are sweet but don’t cause blood sugar spikes, which is also ideal. They are a healthy way to satisfy a sweet tooth without going overboard.

  1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is full of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It has anti-diabetic effects and helps improve sensitivity to insulin. It can also cut the risk of heart disease and protect against HIV. It is one of the healthiest spices and deserves a place in the spice cabinet next to Turmeric.

  1. Salmon

Salmon may be one of the tastiest health foods, but it also has many amazing benefits. Salmon is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential to have in the diet since the body cannot create them. Salmon also has protein, which is also essential to a healthy diet that offers energy. It is loaded with B Vitamins, which are some of the best ones since they work together to help the functioning of the brain and nervous system.

These 7 foods all deserve prime real estate in kitchens around the world due to their amazing taste and health benefits.