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Exercise can have a very positive effect on one's mental health and can help to reduce the likelihood or symptoms of depression. It is important, however, that athletes also develop other coping skills in their toolkit in case they are unable to exercise due to injury or lack of access. Transcript: "Exercise can have a very positive effect on one's mental health. I know there's been research to show that 120 minutes per week of moderately intense exercise can reduce the likelihood or the symptoms of depression. So there's clearly some benefits here. Now one thing I will say is for athletes, usually one of the main coping strategies for dealing with anxiety or stress or low mood is exercise. And the one caution that I would offer is that if an athlete is for some reason not able to exercise due to not having access or perhaps due to injury, it's important to have other positive coping skills in one's toolkit. So working with a sports psychologist you can help develop other coping skills outside of exercise. But to summarize, exercise is an effective coping skill for bettering one's mental health."
The most successful treatment for panic attacks is cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps people learn to recognize their thoughts, feelings and behaviors and separate them. This can help reduce the fear of having a panic attack, so that people can live more freely. Medications can also be helpful in bridging the skills learned in therapy. Transcript: "Okay, so how to beat panic attacks. Well, I would say that the biggest or the most successful treatment that we have for this is something called cognitive behavioral therapy, which is a type of psychotherapy in which folks learn to recognize their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and separate them and try and interfere when a thought leads to a feeling, which leads to a specific behavior, behavior being the panic attack in this case. One of the biggest problems with panic attacks and panic disorder is the actual fear of, am I going to have another panic attack? And that oftentimes is a precipitant of panic attacks or often really disable people from living their lives freely and doing the things that they want to do. And so part of cognitive behavioral therapy is to kind of recognize these clues and stop them before they happen. And over time you build the strength and the confidence to kind of squash one of these attacks before it comes full blown. Obviously medications can be helpful too. They can certainly be like a bridge to the skills you learn in therapy."
Irritability is often associated with underlying mood disorders and personality types. To reduce your level of irritability, it is important to recognize when it is happening and use cognitive behavioral therapy as a way to address it. Additionally, treating the underlying mood disorder can help reduce the irritability. Transcript: "Okay, so this question is how can I reduce my level of irritability after something annoys me? So irritability, excuse me, is an interesting concept in that it has been related to, you know, organic structural brain changes. But more often than we see irritability associated with specific personality types, but also with underlying mood disorders. And I will say that oftentimes folks with personality disorders also have underlying mood disorders, so they're not mutually exclusive. But when irritability is associated with an underlying mood disorder, treating that underlying mood disorder really often resolves the irritability that's associated with that. We see this really commonly in depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, we see it in psychotic disorders, and we see it in borderline personality disorder, narcissism. So these things are very closely related. The other thing about irritability is that it's hard sometimes to recognize. It's a habit that sets in, it's very quick, it's a kind of a defense mechanism in a lot of ways. And so one way to resolve that is to recognize when it's happening and before it kind of gets to a point where it's problematic. And cognitive behavioral therapy is really one of the ways to do that."
Yes, medical marijuana has been linked to a decrease in attention, learning, and processing speed in young people. Structural changes may occur if they continue to use cannabis, even after months of abstinence. Transcript: "Okay, can medical marijuana affect learning? The short answer is yes. I will get into that more, but I want to start by sort of really making it clear that medical marijuana should not be distinguished from any other kind of marijuana. Marijuana is marijuana and the effects on the brain are the same. In fact, one might argue that medical marijuana is far more potent and therefore have greater effects or long-lasting effects on the brain, especially in young folks, which is where we think about, you know, in adolescence, particularly when people generally start to experiment with marijuana, their brain is developing and so they're really susceptible to the effects of cannabis on the brain. I'll say the first thing that we think about with specifically related to learning is a decrease in attention, learning, and processing speed. This has been related to a decrease in activity of the prefrontal cortex, changes in perfusion of the brain that potentially also have nefarious effects on cognition. It's really scary when young folks begin to experiment with cannabis because although sometimes these effects can resolve with months of abstinence, sometimes they don't and structural changes do occur, so it's pretty scary."
Transference is when a client subconsciously associates the present relationship with a past one. Countertransference is when the provider has this same association. It's important to address transference in session, while countertransference should be discussed with a supervisor or mentor. Transcript: "All right, how do you handle transference and countertransference in the therapeutic relationship? So let's start off by defining these. So transference is sort of the subconscious association of a person in the present with a relationship in the past. What does that mean? That a client comes into session, they have their therapeutic relationship with their therapist or provider, and subconsciously there is a lot of similarities, whether it's in behaviors or emotions that come up for that client that are reminiscent of an experience that they've had in the past. What is countertransference? You can kind of think of it as the opposite. It's the exact same process, but instead the provider or the therapist having this subconscious sort of association of a person in the past with their patient. This comes up all the time. You can't get away from it. And so it's important to address, particularly transference. So when it's addressed in session, the patient can become aware of it and take the skills and the awareness of it outside of the session. Because typically if it comes up in session, it's not the first time it's come up and addressing it can be really helpful when it comes to awareness and recognition. As far as countertransference, also very common, you can't get away from it, but it's really not helpful to discuss in session. Typically a therapist will have a supervisor or somebody that, a mentor that they address these things with, recognize them within themselves and are able to manage them in session with the patient. So I hope that's helpful."
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder and the most effective treatment options for it involve altering the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Stimulants and nonstimulants are two classes of medications used to treat ADHD, both of which work by boosting the levels of these neurotransmitters. This can lead to an increase in focus, concentration, memory, organizational skills, as well as a decrease in hyperactivity and impulsive behaviors. Transcript: "Okay, what are the most effective treatment options for ADHD and how do they work? I'll start off by saying that ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder. So it's not something typically that you sort of grow into having. Certainly mood disorders can lead to problems with attention and concentration, but we really think of ADHD being a separate diagnosis. The treatments for ADHD really have to do with altering the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. There have been lots of studies showing deficient levels of these neurotransmitters or chemicals in the brains of folks that suffer from ADHD. The two classes of medications that we mostly consider is stimulants and non-stimulants. Within stimulants, there are the stimulant class, there are different types of stimulants, but those medications don't always work for everybody. Folks with substance use disorders might abuse these medications. They oftentimes will have side effects that are intolerable to people. So it's not the only way to go about treating ADHD. The other class or sort of group of medications we think about is non-stimulant medications. Within that class, we have selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. We also have alpha-1 agonists. The common theme among these two, sort of the stimulants and the non-stimulants, is they do change the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Folks with ADHD, they actually boost those. Boosting those levels can actually lead to an increase in focus, concentration, memory, organizational skills, and also a decrease in that hyperactivity and impulsive behaviors that we see in ADHD."