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.

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.

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.

How a change of setting can work wonders for those dealing with depression

When it comes to dealing with depression and learning how to be at one with yourself, breaking your current patterns of behaviour is extremely important. Unfortunately, however, despite the fact that many people are unhappy or unsatisfied with the way their life is going, they still neglect to change their daily routine.

A spiritual retreat is the perfect way to get away from your day to day life. Whether you choose a weekend, 5-day or 7-day retreat, putting physical distance between yourself and your normal surroundings can be enormously helpful and allow you to evaluate your lifestyle more effectively.

Whereas therapy healing is usually a somewhat formal affair, in the context of a spiritual retreat, you will be having breakfast, lunch and dinner with your therapist as well as engaging in activities such as yoga with them. This far more informal approach not only creates an atmosphere more conducive to personal development, resulting in clients opening up about themselves much more freely, but also helps to get clients used to incorporating self reflection and development into their daily routine – something that is incredibly useful when the time comes to return to their day-to-day lives.

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 spiritual retreat can help, 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.

Autumn Stocks at Breakthrough Retreats

We are looking out on a wonderful display of trees, every colour of autumn and it reminds us of how important it is to be in tune with the seasons and to use each to advantage.  This time of the year is associated with honouring our ancestry and being grateful for resilience and the cycle of life. When our relationships are fraught we can lose sight of the bigger picture and forget to enjoy all the world has on offer.

autumn at Breakthrough Retreats

Autumn is a time for taking stock and making sure you have a full larder for the forthcoming winter months.  You can do this in all sorts of areas of your life by celebrating your achievements and planning for even more.  If you are ready for this but do not know what to do “pick up the phone” and arrange a “plan and prosper” session!

Image: porbital / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Was Amy Winehouse Crushed By Sudden Fame?

The kind of sudden popularity Winehouse achieved can be disorienting and paralysing, experts say. Breakthrough Retreats takes a look at the life of the great star.

amy winehouse breakthrough retreats

Some stars seem born to be in the spotlight, thriving in the attention and adulation of their adoring fans and finding a way to navigate the downsides of intense public scrutiny with seeming ease. Others, such as troubled singer Amy Winehouse, appear to have difficulty handling the harsh spotlight and retreat into a destructive cycle of substance abuse and self-harm from which they never return.

Winehouse died at age 27 on Saturday 23rd July 2011. And though her cause of death has not been determined, it would seem with her sadly short career, which saw her rocket from obscurity in 2006 to tragic demise just five years later, she is the latest example of an artist for whom fame was to be too much, too soon.

“Anyone who is thrust into that kind of celebrity with that kind of attention needs a solid, well-built foundation and support system that they can wrap around them like a blanket,” said Dr. Charles Sophy, a psychiatrist who has appeared on VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab” and “The Housewives of Beverly Hills” and is the author of a new book on conflict-free communication for mothers and daughters, called “Side by Side.”

“If you don’t have those key elements, you’re more likely to implode and hit a wall,” Sophy said.

Read what Winehouse producer Salaam Remi had to say about working with the singer.

Winehouse, a child of divorce, appeared drawn to destructive personal relationships — including a tumultuous marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil that resulted in a number of public spats and arrests. To the public at least, it seemed she lacked some of the foundation Sophy says is necessary.

And though it’s impossible for outside observers to know for sure, Sophy speculated that genetics may have also played a part in Winehouse’s difficulty in dealing with fame, especially if there is a history of addiction or mental health issues in her family. “If those things are not dealt with, then they are huge issues too,” he said. “And if all that hits at once, you need coping skills and if those aren’t there …”

Though her legend was based almost entirely on a single album, 2006’s Back to Black, which spawned just two singles that charted in the U.S. — “Rehab” and “You Know I’m No Good” — Winehouse was among the few young women in recent pop history to have attained worldwide critical and commercial success only to either spin out or retreat in the face of the rigors of fame.

Some, such as former Fugees star Lauryn Hill, continue to perform sporadically, but have been unable (or unwilling) to release a proper follow-up. Others, like Alanis Morissette, survive their moment and go on to solid careers that never quite reach the same zenith. And some live somewhere in between, such as Courtney Love, who cracked up for years before getting clean and continuing her career at a lower orbit, or Fiona Apple, who seemed uninterested in playing the fame game and retreated into privacy, releasing just three albums over a 15-year career.

None of those examples really fit the Winehouse mold, though, according to Jenny Eliscu, a Sirius satellite radio host and Rolling Stone contributing editor who profiled Winehouse for the magazine in 2007, as the singer’s star was about to go supernova.

“It would be easy and understandable to think that this is a phenomenon that afflicts female artists, but the parallel that makes the most sense for me is Kurt Cobain,” she said of the troubled Nirvana singer, who committed suicide at age 27, after years of battling with drugs and struggling to deal with the limelight.

“He had a band to say, ‘What the f—?’ But when you’re solo, it’s entirely your own operation with no one there to keep you in check,” Eliscu said. “You can languish in your problems. … It’s easy to get in your own cave.”

Even if you’re not abusing drugs or alcohol, getting it together to make a follow-up to a huge album is hard. But Eliscu said that if you compound that with the loneliness of being a solo artist, particularly one who probably never expected her authentically pained music to reach such a wide audience, you have a recipe for major trouble.

For every Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan who spin out after achieving early celebrity, there are Justin Timberlakes and Taylor Swifts, who appear able to handle the pressure. Sophy said that could be because they have that support system in place early on to help them deal with the pressure.

“Someone who is 27 is not necessarily 27 years old emotionally,” said Sophy. “A 27-year-old can often act like an 18-year-old, because oftentimes addicts stop growing emotionally at the age they started using.”

This is something that Maureen Courtney of Breakthrough Retreats supports.

Even if, as father Mitch Winehouse said in a statement released after Amy’s funeral, his daughter had been drug-free for three years, Sophy said it can take a long time for the brain’s chemistry to return to normal long after a patient leaves rehab.

Sophy said that any artist who puts themselves in the spotlight is taking a huge risk, regardless of their sobriety. As they look for affirmation that they’re talented enough, once success begins coming in a rush, it can make them doubt their skills more than ever.

“When they hit it and it becomes a big thing, then there’s more pressure on them and their self-esteem, which might have been an issue to begin with and that’s a bigger mountain to climb,” Sophy explained.

It’s hard for even the most self-assured person to say, “I’m really good at this,” and so, Sophy said, when that doubt creeps in while the world is watching, it sometimes makes it difficult to stay on the straight and narrow without self-medicating or finding some other way to cope with the pressure.   “Instant fame is like a drug,” he said. “It starts out slowly and then you can get a big rush from a big blowup and that little high you got from your first big interview or show is like a drug and you get addicted to the rush and adrenaline. Then you have that big [magazine] feature, and that really sends you over the top. And how do you beat that attention? You have to get another one.”

While Winehouse often seemed unaffected by the attention, if not downright uninterested in it, her music came from what seemed like a genuine wellspring of pain and emotion. Because of that, Eliscu said it’s not surprising that someone in that state of turmoil might retreat into a kind of cocoon of safety and escape the public world they’ve been thrust into.

“When you get to the level of someone like the Jonas Brothers, you have so many people protecting you that you can almost be sheltered from expectations of what people want,” she said. “But [Winehouse] never had that level of structure in place around her. Even after the success of the first album in the U.K., she could never have known how well [Back to Black] would have done.”

With Thanks To and Original article by By Gil Kaufman (MTV USA 2011) http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1668091/amy-winehouse-death-fame.jhtml