World Mental Health Day 2014

wmhd-2014Schizophrenia affects around 26 million people across the world and is the focus of World Mental Health Day this year.

Despite being a treatable disorder, more than 50% of people with schizophrenia cannot access adequate treatment, and 90% of people with untreated schizophrenia live in the developing world.
On 10 October we celebrate the most important day in the mental health calendar and shine the spotlight on “living” with schizophrenia. From those who face every day of their lives with it, to their families, friends, doctors and even society as a whole, we all have a part to play in raising awareness of schizophrenic illness.
We want to ensure that people with schizophrenia get the best possible care and support to manage their illness and to help them recover.
What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia affects how a person thinks, feels, and acts but it’s actually a word that describes a number of symptoms that psychiatry has labelled a disorder. Not everyone with schizophrenia has the same symptoms and the definition of the disorder is wide, including a number of combinations of different things.
Schizophrenia may make it hard for people to judge reality and key features of early psychosis include:

  • Sleep disturbance
  • Appetite disturbance
  • Marked unusual behaviour
  • Feelings that are flat or seem inconsistent to others
  • Speech that is difficult to follow
  • Marked preoccupation with unusual ideas
  • Ideas of reference – thinking unrelated things have a special meaning, ie people on television talking to you
  • Persistent feelings of unreality
  • Changes in the way things appear, sound or smell

Schizophrenia can occur in anyone but it’s a treatable disorder. Long term medication may be necessary for some people but talking therapies and self-help groups can also be effective.

If you’re dealing with Schizophrenia, depression, seeking treatment for abuse or having problems conquering other personal issues and would like to learn more about how hypnotherapy and other similar treatments available at our bespoke health retreats could benefit you, visit www.breakthrough-retreats.co.uk. There you’ll be able to claim your free copy of my new guide, “Unlocking your full potential: An introduction to the incredible impact of personal development retreats”, packed with information on everything from what a spiritual retreat looks like to the benefits of getting away from it all.

The effects of Bulimia on the Body

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder in which a person creates a destructive pattern of eating in order to control their weight. People with bulimia tend to go on eating binges, consuming large amounts of food in a short period of time. This is usually followed by an attempt to rid the food from their body using laxatives or self-induced vomiting. This behaviour is usually carried out in secret, taking a tremendous emotional toll.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, up to 3 percent of the population has bulimia. Roughly 9 out of 10 people with bulimia are female.

In addition to mental stress, continued bingeing and purging also puts great strain the body. Unlike the eating disorder anorexia, people with bulimia may not appear to have significant weight loss. However, complications due to bulimia are serious and can put your life at risk.

Bulimia nervosa is a mental health disorder that puts enormous strain on the body and the spirit.

The effects of Bulimia on the Body

The Effects of Bulimia on the Body

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder in which a person creates a destructive pattern of eating in order to control their weight. People with bulimia tend to go on eating binges, consuming large amounts of food in a short period of time. This is usually followed by an attempt to rid the food from their body using laxatives or self-induced vomiting. This behaviour is usually carried out in secret, taking a tremendous emotional toll.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, up to 3 percent of the population has bulimia. Roughly 9 out of 10 people with bulimia are female.

In addition to mental stress, continued bingeing and purging also puts great strain the body. Unlike the eating disorder anorexia, people with bulimia may not appear to have significant weight loss. However, complications due to bulimia are serious and can put your life at risk.

 

Mental and Emotional Health

Bulimia is a mental health disorder. People with bulimia tend to show signs of depression, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorders. They’re also at risk for substance abuse problems and suicidal behaviour.

Constant monitoring of food and weight can become an obsession. A person with bulimia may binge in secret and hide evidence of food and laxatives. Having to keep secrets contributes to the cycle of stress and anxiety.

Bulimia may cause moodiness and irritability. Compulsive exercising or preoccupation with appearance are common symptoms. It’s not unusual for someone with bulimia to spend a lot of time thinking about food and how to control it. This may be accompanied by feelings of embarrassment and shame. It’s hard to measure the emotional cost.

 

Digestive System

A sore throat or stomach pain may be the first obvious physical side effects of bulimia.

Chronic self-induced vomiting can cause a variety of symptoms in the digestive tract, beginning at the mouth. The high acid content of vomit can damage teeth, causing enamel erosion, tooth sensitivity, and gum disease. Puffy cheeks or jaws come from swollen salivary glands. Excessive vomiting may cause a sore or swollen throat.

Acid can irritate or tear the oesophagus. Blood in vomit may be a sign of a ruptured oesophagus. The stomach also becomes irritated. Stomach aches; heartburn, and acid reflux are common.

Putting your finger down your own throat is one way that people with bulimia induce vomiting. Doing this over and over can scar the skin on your fingers and hands, due to exposure to acidity.

Another way to rid the body of food is to use diuretics, diet pills, or laxatives. Overuse of these products can make it difficult to have a bowel movement without them. Misdirected use of diuretics may also damage the kidneys. Damage to the intestines can cause bloating, diarrhoea, or constipation. Straining to move your bowels can result in haemorrhoids.

Recurrent bingeing and purging is physically demanding and can bring on general weakness and fatigue.

 

Circulatory System

Frequent purging can cause dehydration, leading to dry skin, weak muscles, and extreme fatigue. Vomiting often can throw your electrolytes out of balance. Low levels of potassium, magnesium, and sodium are not uncommon. This is hard on the heart and can cause irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), weakened heart muscle, and heart failure.

Bulimia can cause low blood pressure, weak pulse, and anaemia. Throwing up can be a violent event. The sheer force of it can even cause blood vessels in the eyes to rupture.

 

Reproductive System

Bulimia can interfere with your menstrual cycle or stop it altogether. A hormonal imbalance and fatigue can kill your sex drive. If the ovaries no longer release eggs, conceiving a child becomes impossible.

Pregnant women who continue to engage in bingeing and purging behaviours face additional complications for themselves and their babies. These include:

  • Maternal high blood pressure
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Miscarriage
  • Premature birth
  • Breech birth
  • Higher risk of C-section
  • Low birth weight babies
  • Birth defects
  • Stillbirth
  • Breastfeeding difficulties

Use of diuretics or laxatives during pregnancy may be harmful to your unborn baby.

 

Source: http://www.healthline.com/health/bulimia/effects-on-body

Mental Health Statistics: Suicide

It’s estimated that around one million people will die by suicide worldwide each year. 

Suicide remains the most common cause of death in men under the age of 35 (Five Years On, Department Of Health, 2005).

Mental Health: Suicide

More than 5700 people in the UK died by suicide in 2010 (Samaritans Information Resource Pack, 2012).

British men are three times as likely as British women to die by suicide (Samaritans Information Resource Pack, 2004).

The suicide rate among people over 65 has fallen by 24% in recent years, but is still high compared to the population overall. (Samaritans Information Resource Pack, 2004).

If you’re dealing with depression, seeking treatment for abuse or having problems conquering other personal issues and would like to learn more about how our bespoke health retreats could benefit you, visit www.breakthrough-retreats.co.uk. There you’ll be able to claim your free copy of my new guide, “Unlocking your full potential: An introduction to the incredible impact of personal development retreats”, packed with information on everything from what a spiritual retreat looks like to the benefits of getting away from it all.

Information from here: http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/mental-health-statistics/suicide/

Mental Health Statistics: Men & Women

mental health men womenWomen are more likely to have been treated for a mental health problem than men (29% compared to 17%). This could be because, when asked, women are more likely to report symptoms of common mental health problems. (Better Or Worse: A Longitudinal Study Of The Mental Health Of Adults In Great Britain, National Statistics, 2003)

Depression is more common in women than men. 1 in 4 women will require treatment for depression at some time, compared to 1 in 10 men. The reasons for this are unclear, but are thought to be due to both social and biological factors. It has also been suggested that depression in men may have been under diagnosed because they present to their GP with different symptoms.  (National Institute For Clinical Excellence, 2003)

Women are twice as likely to experience anxiety as men. Of people with phobias or OCD, about 60% are female.  (The Office for National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity report, 2001)

Men are more likely than women to have an alcohol or drug problem. 67% of British people who consume alcohol at ‘hazardous’ levels, and 80% of those dependent on alcohol are male. Almost three quarters of people dependent on cannabis and 69% of those dependent on other illegal drugs are male. (The Office for National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity report, 2001)

 

If you’re dealing with mental health issues, depression, seeking treatment for abuse or having problems conquering other personal issues and would like to learn more about how our bespoke health retreats could benefit you, visit www.breakthrough-retreats.co.uk. There you’ll be able to claim your free copy of my new guide, “Unlocking your full potential: An introduction to the incredible impact of personal development retreats”, packed with information on everything from what a spiritual retreat looks like to the benefits of getting away from it all.

 

Article information from here: http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/help-information/mental-health-statistics/men-women/

10 Ways to Look After Your Mental Health

anxiety awareAnyone can make simple changes that have a huge impact on their mental health and wellbeing. We’ve come up with ten practical ways to take care of yourself and get the most from life.

Mental health is about the way you think and feel and your ability to deal with ups and downs. Making simple changes to how you live doesn’t need to cost a fortune or take up loads of time. Anyone can follow our advice.

 

Talk About Your Feelings

Talking about your feelings can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. It’s part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy.

 

Eat Well

There are strong links between what we eat and how we feel – for example, caffeine and sugar can have an immediate effect. But food can also have a long-lasting effect on your mental health.

 

Keep in Touch

Friends and family can make you feel included and cared for. They can offer different views from whatever’s going on inside your own head. They can help keep you active, keep you grounded and help you solve practical problems.

 

Take a Break

A change of scene or a change of pace is good for your mental health. It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning your kitchen, a half-hour lunch break at work or a weekend exploring somewhere new. A few minutes can be enough to de-stress you.

 

Accept Who You Are

Some of us make people laugh, some are good at maths, and others cook fantastic meals. Some of us share our lifestyle with the people who live close to us, others live very differently. We’re all different.

 

Keep Active

Experts believe exercise releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. Regular exercise can boost your self-esteem and help you concentrate, sleep, look and feel better. Exercise also keeps the brain and your other vital organs healthy.

 

Drink Sensibly

We often drink alcohol to change our mood. Some people drink to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary.

 

Ask for Help

None of us are superhuman. We all sometimes get tired or overwhelmed by how we feel or when things go wrong. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help.

 

Do Something You’re Good At

What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past? Enjoying yourself helps beat stress. Doing an activity you enjoy probably means you’re good at it and achieving something boosts your self-esteem.

 

Care for Others

Caring for others is often an important part of keeping up relationships with people close to you. It can even bring you closer together.

 

If you’re dealing with depression, seeking treatment for abuse or having problems conquering other personal issues and would like to learn more about how our bespoke health retreats could benefit you, visit www.breakthrough-retreats.co.uk. There you’ll be able to claim your free copy of my new guide, “Unlocking your full potential: An introduction to the incredible impact of personal development retreats”, packed with information on everything from what a spiritual retreat looks like to the benefits of getting away from it all.

Welcome to The Briers Country House; New Retreat Centre Review

We ran our first retreat at our custom Retreat Centre earlier this month. We were so bowled over by the review that we got from our very treasured Dr client that we had to share it with you. Our treasured client also provided us with some lovely pictures that we know you will appreciate. Please enjoy his words.

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The Retreat

The retreat was well organised and ran smoothly.  The experience sought to achieve a holistic healing of mind, body and spirit and involved a number of different psychological and holistic therapies/techniques.  In between specific therapies, there was ample time to chat with Maureen (Courtney) to explore issues and to provide feedback about therapies.

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Location-wise, the retreat centre could not have been better placed: The Briers is situated on the outskirts of Newcastle, County Down, in close proximity to the Tollymore Forest, the Mourne Mountains and the Irish Sea, an ideal place to “get back to nature” and a sanctuary to find peace and serenity.

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The Therapists

Therapists I worked with in the Breakthrough Retreats team included:

  • Gareth for Bio Cranial Sacral therapy
  • Joanne for Reflexology
  • Jacquie for EMDR
  • Janine for Massage
  • As well as Maureen for Hypnosis, reiki, journey therapy, regression therapy

All the therapists I worked with were very friendly, supportive and positive; it was very easy to build rapport with them.  Each therapist is very experienced and an expert in their field, and passionate about holistic therapy.

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As the organiser of the retreat, Maureen was the therapist with whom I spent the most time.  She was very friendly and approachable, and in between specific therapies, I found it easy to chat to her about my issues and also about my own developing interests in holistic healing.  In her capacity as hostess, Maureen was always keen to make sure that my stay at The Briers was comfortable and pleasant.

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NI Bootcamp Activities

Incorporating outdoor / adventure activities into the retreat was inspirational.  Ian, from NI Bootcamp (Who Breakthrough Retreats work in conjunction with to produce the outdoor leg of their Retreats), was a joy to work with; a gentleman, professional, passionate about what he does, he provided me with support and motivation in all activities we did together (running + circuits, mountain biking, hill walking, indoor climbing).  Ian was very easy to talk to, and share personal experiences with; we found that we had similar personalities and issues and I found chatting with him to be inspiring and illuminating.

First Retreat Kim Ian April 2014

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Food, Accommodation & Hospitality

The Briers Country House was like a home away from home; very comfortable and peaceful, an ideal place to escape from the hustle and bustle of 21st Century life.  The room I had would have been able to sleep 3 people (one double bed and one single) and had an en suite toilet and bath/shower.

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The home-cooked food was wonderful and well-portioned: with a choice of breakfasts, including full, cooked Ulster breakfast, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, porridge, cereals, toast, fruit and yoghurt. The three-course dinners were always tasty and satisfying.

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Maureen was a wonderful host.  She was keen to make my stay as pleasant and as comfortable as possible. Maureen was also very kind enough to do some laundry for me (after I had got a bit muddy doing some of the NI Bootcamp activities).

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If you are interested in hearing more about our Group Retreats at The Briers then please Contact Us.

What is Shamanic Healing?

Dating back thousands of years, Shamanism is a truly ancient method of spiritual healing. Rather than treating the physical manifestations of an issue (for example, for individuals dealing with depression this might be an inability to get to sleep), Shamanism looks at identifying and resolving the spiritual causes of the problem.

Perfect for people seeking to achieve oneness of body and spirit, this treatment involves the Shaman engaging and communicating with the spirit world via alternate levels of consciousness inaccessible to you and me. For those who embrace these sessions, they can go a long way in showing you how to be at one with yourself.

In doing this, the Shaman receives guidance which they will then use to ensure your mind, body and spirit are functioning in unison. With individuals this may involve anything from repairing the soul to tackling spiritual blockages.

Though this method of healing will require an open mind, there is a reason Shamanism has stood the test of time – it really does work! Whether you’re dealing with depression, seeking treatment for abuse or having problems conquering other personal issues, shamanic healing can produce remarkable results. For this reason, it is one of the key therapies we offer at our spiritual retreats.

For more information and to discover what other treatments are available at our spiritual retreats, visit www.breakthrough-retreats.co.uk. There you’ll be able to claim your free copy of my new guide, “Unlocking your full potential: An introduction to the incredible impact of personal development retreats”, packed with information on everything from what a spiritual retreat looks like to the benefits of getting away from it all.

What exactly is transpersonal psychotherapy?

Having trained for five years to become a transpersonal therapist, this is an area of particular expertise for me.

Forming a large part of our health retreats, this incredibly effective form of therapy healing involves searching for the origin of your problem (be it stress, depression, anxiety or addiction) and helping you recognise negative behaviours in yourself and develop the means to tackle them effectively. Transpersonal psychotherapy sessions may also involve looking at your situation on a spiritual level. Lots of people have spiritual beliefs which are different to those of their family, which can be extremely difficult to come to terms with. Similarly, dream analysis can form an important part of these sessions.

In short, transpersonal therapy, like other effective mental therapy treatments such as hypnotherapy, is concerned with tracing everything back to its root cause. Often this won’t be immediately apparent, but will emerge gradually after several sessions at your retreat centre. For example, if you are struggling to deal with stress and anxiety, though you might initially think work is to blame, we may discover in the course of the therapy that the real cause is an inability to deal with abuse suffered in the past at the hands of parents or partners. Whatever the origin of your problem, identifying it is a huge step towards tackling and overcoming it, and essential if you are to be able to live the life you want in the future.

If you’re dealing with depression, seeking treatment for abuse or having problems conquering other personal issues and would like to learn more about how a break at one of our retreat centres could benefit you, visit www.breakthrough-retreats.co.uk. There you’ll be able to claim your free copy of my new guide, “Unlocking your full potential: An introduction to the incredible impact of personal development retreats”, packed with information on everything from what a spiritual retreat looks like to the benefits of getting away from it all.

Discovering Reiki: an underappreciated form of therapy healing

Reiki (meaning ‘wheel’ in Japanese) involves looking at the 7 energy centres, or ‘chakras’, in your body.

If you’ve suffered a trauma or accident – this can be anything from a miscarriage to a shunt in your car – your chakras may well have become misaligned. Once they are out of sync, this can have a distinctly negative impact on the way you feel.

During a Reiki session (which will usually last about an hour), your practitioner will place their hands over your body whilst channelling energy through a higher source in order to realign your chakras so they can work in harmony once more. Don’t worry – you will remain fully clothed throughout!

Often clients will require more healing in one part of their body than in another. For example, if you have particularly low self esteem and self confidence, meaning that you find it difficult to cope with conference calls and speeches, your treatment might focus largely on the throat and neck.

What you experience will be unique to you and may vary from session to session. Some people experience heat coming from my hands, others may experience a tingling sensation, and some nothing more than a deep sense of absolute calm and relaxation. Despite the physical nature of this treatment it is very much a mental therapy too, and can be remarkably effective.

Although this type of treatment can often meet with a certain amount of cynicism from some clients, it can be incredibly effective, especially for those struggling with self esteem and self confidence. For example, I was recently working with a woman who had been diagnosed with a severe blood condition and after only four sessions she returned for a check-up to find that her blood was completely clear!

Suffice to say, the healing power of the mind should never be underestimated.

If you’re dealing with depression, seeking treatment for abuse or having problems conquering other personal issues and would like to learn more about other treatments available on our spiritual retreats, visit www.breakthrough-retreats.co.uk. There you’ll be able to claim your free copy of my new guide, “Unlocking your full potential: An introduction to the incredible impact of personal development retreats”, packed with information on everything from what a spiritual retreat looks like to the benefits of getting away from it all.

What results can I expect to see following my bespoke health retreat?

Although it is impossible to provide statistical evidence of the benefits of a bespoke health retreat given the extremely subjective nature of personal development, the transformative power of a health retreat is astonishing.

Having spent anywhere from 1 day to 7 days with us, every single client we have helped has achieved a breakthrough of one sort or another during their stay, whether this comes in the form of an ‘aha!’ moment or at the end of a gradual process of self evaluation and therapy.

Among the most common results clients enjoy is finally being able to let go of memories, traumas and unhelpful attitudes which prevent them from being able to fulfil their true potential. Whereas people will come to us dealing with depression, low self esteem and self confidence, anxiety, anger or other such issues, we will help them get to the bottom of their problems, confront and conquer the root cause and develop a fresher and more positive approach to life.

“Can I claim treatment on my health insurance?”

As treatments such as psychotherapy and hypnotherapy are increasingly gaining recognition in medical circles, it is now possible to claim for certain treatments on your health insurance – or even via the NHS! Indeed, many of my clients have contacted me following their stay at one of our retreat centres to inform me that their insurance were willing to cover the treatment they received – no doubt thanks in part to the fact that the transformative power of the health retreat meant that the individual would most likely need no further treatment in the future.

By checking with your insurance provider or contacting your local GP, you should be able to find out whether or not this is possible for you.

Find out more…

If you’re dealing with depression, seeking treatment for abuse or simply looking for advice on how to be at one with yourself and would like to learn more about what a health retreat can do for you, visit www.breakthrough-retreats.co.uk. There you’ll be able to claim your free copy of my new guide, “Unlocking your full potential: An introduction to the incredible impact of personal development retreats”, packed with information on everything from what a spiritual retreat looks like to the benefits of getting away from it all.