Posts by Planet Therapy

Mental Illness – A Commentary on the Situation of the Mentally Ill Within the National Institute of Corrections

Posted by on Jul 23, 2012 in Living with illness | 0 comments

What Happens When the Mental Illness Collides With Mental Illness

Being locked behind bars is never easy. Being locked behind bars while lacking the mental capacity to comprehend all that has happened evokes a state of depression beyond measure.

In June of 2001, a 49 year old adult male spent three months in the Hillsborough, NC country jail. Eleven other prisoners shared with him the crowded confinements of a cell designed to house eight men. It was there that he made acquaintances with a mentally troubled, illegal Mexican immigrant. For two years, the Mexican man had remained locked within that tiny block of Hillsborough real estate. He was incapable of contacting relatives, unable to understand what requirements the U.S. government expected him to meet and uninformed as to when or how his period behind bars would come to an end.

The depth of this man’s pain is clearly expressed in the words of the prisoner who shared the story, “I have never, in my entire life, witnessed such a haunted expression on the face of a fellow human being.”

If you have a loved one or a friend caught up within the current legal system, expect strange behavior. When incarcerated, even people without prior mental disorders will go through stages of depression, paranoia, anger and irrational displays of blame and confusion.

Loved Ones, Mental Illness and Jail

In a joint report issued by the National Sheriffs’ Association and the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC), mentally ill people are three times more likely to end up incarcerated rather than hospitalized. Additional TAC figures suggest that:

  • Local jails book approximately two million individuals with complex mental illnesses every year.just in the images folder
  • Thirty percent of incarcerated females suffer some measure of mental turmoil, including complications such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
  • In most cases, the mentally ill offender is booked and incarcerated for minor, non-violent wrongdoings.
  • Among previously arrested mentally ill prisoners, the average rate of re-arrest runs nearly fifty percent. Rather than new offenses, the primary cause of return to prison is related to the offenders inability to comply with the written and verbal conditions of release as stated in parole or probation specifics.

Get on the Forefront of the Battle Against Wrongful Incarceration of the Mentally Ill

According to the National Institute of Corrections (NIC), some estimates suggest that mental illness may affect as many as two million incarcerated individuals. The problem often involves co-occurring substance abuse disorders.

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Hello world!

Posted by on Jun 14, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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Treating Eating Disorders

Posted by on Jun 6, 2012 in Anorexia & Bulimia - Eating Disorders, Binge Eating - Eating Disorder, Eating Disorder - Members | 0 comments

Eating disorders are a classification of conditions in which the individual suffers from an unhealthy obsession with food, exercise and weight loss, often as a result of self esteem or poor body image. Eating disorders are highly dangerous, and can be life threatening in extreme cases. It is important for individuals suffering from eating disorders to get proper treatment as soon as possible.

Types of Eating Disorders

There are a variety of types of eating disorders, and many that most people don’t realize are disorders. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are the two most common eating disorders. People suffering from anorexia typically have a complete refusal to eat, while those with bulimia go through stages of starving themselves, to binging and purging. An additional type of anorexia is called anorexia athletica, where the individual is obsessed with excessive exercising in order to lose weight, and may occasionally be combined with other eating disorders.

Binge eating is another type of eating disorder, in which the individual eats a large amount of food in a very short amount of time, for two or more times a week. Overeating is the eating disorder defined as someone who feels out of control, and constantly eats more than they need to, specifically far past the point of being full. Night eating is a fairly new eating disorder, which is characterized by someone who regularly eats large amounts of food, primarily at night, and is linked to obesity.

Symptoms of Eating Disorders

The signs and symptoms of eating disorders vary based on the type of eating disorder. Common symptoms of anorexia nervosa include a refusal to eat or denial of being hungry, a fear of gaining weight, negative self image and low self esteem, exercising excessively, a lack of emotion, constant irritability, fear of eating in front of others, social withdrawal, thin appearance to the point of looking ill, dehydration, irregular heart rhythms, and abdominal pain.

Signs of bulimia include the most obvious which are binge eating and self-induced vomiting, using laxatives to dispel food, excessive exercising, a distorted body image and low self esteem, feeling out of control when it comes to food, constantly running to the bathroom after eating, damaged teeth, and swollen salivary glands as visible in the cheeks.

Other eating disorders are usually easy to spot as well, as their symptoms are directly related to the disorder. Someone who is binge eating, is often eating very large amounts of food in a short period of time. On the other hand, symptoms of someone suffering from anorexia athletic will exercise obsessively and excessively without slowing down.

Treatment for Eating Disorders

A variety of treatment options are available for those suffering from eating disorders, with treatments ranging from medications to deal with underlying causes of the eating disorders, psychotherapy and counseling, nutrition education, family counseling, and possibly hospitalization. Therapy and counseling is often the first step as it is necessary to stop the cycle of bad eating habits and to get to the root cause of the eating disorder. If someone has serious healthy problems, hospitalization might be required before therapy can begin.

In addition to ongoing counseling, nutrition education is also essential. It is important to educate the individual on proper eating habits, as well as what their healthy weight is, and how to properly care for themselves. Many times, individuals with eating disorders are placed in a treatment facility, until they come to terms with normal, healthy eating and exercise habits. Medications are not used to treat the disorder, rather to help treat causes of the disorder, such as medication for anxiety or depression.

Benefits of Treatment

The benefits of treatment for eating disorders involve treating the adverse side effects of having the disorders, such as heart problems, organ failure, depression, suicidal thoughts, menstruation issues, bone loss, digestive issues, kidney damage, tooth decay, irregular blood pressure, and stunted growth.

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Posted by on Jun 5, 2012 in Alcohol and Drugs Misuse, Problems | 0 comments

Drug detoxification, commonly known as detox, is any procedure that removes drugs from a patient’s body. The patient is typically under the influence of these drugs at the time of the detox treatment. Detox programs typically take place on an inpatient basis where health professional can monitor the patient’s vital signs continuously.


The purpose of detox is to eliminate the patient’s physical dependence on drugs. It is the first phase in a drug treatment program and must be followed by rehabilitation, which addresses the patient’s behavioral, psychological and social reasons for taking drugs.

Detox generally begins with evaluation, where medical professionals test the patient to determine the specific drugs that are present in the patient’s body. They may also evaluate the patient for existing conditions, especially psychological disorders. The stabilization stage includes informing the patient about what to expect during detox in addition to the actual detox process. The end of drug detox prepares the patient for rehabilitation and enrolls the patient in an appropriate program.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms occur when a patient who is physically dependent upon a drug suddenly stops taking it. The onset of withdrawal symptoms depends primarily on the type of drug. For example, withdrawal symptoms from heroin typically begin 12 hours after the last use. Methadone withdrawal symptoms take about 30 hours to appear.

The early symptoms of withdrawal can vary according to the specific drug, but typically include the following:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle aches
  • Runny nose
  • Sweating
  • Watery eyes
  • Yawning

The late symptoms of withdrawal are more severe and include the following:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Goose bumps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting


Detox programs may be classified into two basic types. The most common type involves gradually reducing the dosage of the drugs, which minimizes the severity of the withdrawal symptoms. A rapid detox program withholds all drugs from the patient, which requires less time but also has more severe withdrawal symptoms. This type of detox program may include sedating the patient while the withdrawal symptoms are at their most severe.

The length of time required for a detox program depends on the specific program and degree of addiction. A traditional detox program has an average length of two weeks, although this can range from a few days to a few weeks. The majority of the withdrawal symptoms will be gone when the patient awakes from a rapid detox program.


Drug use typically causes users to distance themselves from friends and family members as they spend more of their time trying to acquire drugs. A detox program generally allows patients to begin rehabilitation, so they can resume their normal lives. It also removes the physical, mental and legal risks caused by chronic drug use.

Alcohol abuse impairs a person’s ability to perform daily tasks and increases the risk of violent behavior. Cirrhosis of the liver is a common physical risk of alcohol. The legal risks of alcohol abuse also include being arrested for drinking while under the influence. Insurance companies often will not pay a claim for an accident that occurs while the policyholder is intoxicated.

Opiates are a class of drugs found in the opium poppy and include other drugs derived from natural opiates. They generally slow the functioning of the central nervous system and produce effects similar to those of alcohol. Opiates carry a higher risk of strokes than alcohol.

Stimulants such as meth amphetamines increase blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart failure. Their use often causes cramps, headaches, insomnia, irritability and vomiting. Some stimulants also result in a high body temperature, which can lead to seizures.

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Antidepressants And Weight loss

Posted by on Apr 25, 2012 in Depression | 0 comments

antidepressants and weight lossStudies have shown that there is a close relationship between antidepressants and weight loss, depending on the type of antidepressant used. There are many medications that have been researched and shown to have a link between antidepressants and weight loss. How the relationship between antidepressants and weight loss is dependant on several factors, such as a major increase in a patient’s metabolism, the ability to burn off more calories which overlap with faster metabolism, and can reduce appetites in patients, causing the patients to ignore or eliminate food cravings and avoid sudden binging on food. Better mental states such as higher happiness and optimism are also shown to be a link between antidepressants and weight loss.

One of the leading factors in the research between antidepressants and weight loss include reports of a faster metabolism in patients. This a chemical process deep within our bodies; the right types of antidepressants alter our thyroid glands, which produces hormones that aid our metabolisms and aid in weight loss. Antidepressants and weight loss research also show that antidepressants can decrease the release of a hormone called prolactin, which allows more thyroid hormones to be produced. When all of this occurs, there are ultimately more thyroid hormones in our system, which really jump starts our metabolism and causes rapid weight loss.

The studies between antidepressants and weight loss have also shown reports that patients are granted more energy from the medications, which then allows them to run out and burn calories more easily and more quickly. Some of the top antidepressants that are capable of this effect include Wellbutrin, Adderall, and Dexedrine. While prescribed for other problems such as ADD and ADHD in this day and age, they can still be used for antidepressant purposes, as well as being shown to be a link between antidepressants and weight loss and boosting the efficiency of other medications.

One of the mental side effects that have been shown through antidepressants and weight loss research is the increase of happiness and optimism in patients. When this occurs in a patient, it leads to more confidence and energy to move around a lot more and partake in physical, productive activities. Needless to say, changes such as these aids greatly in helping to lose weight, and this is one of the greatest benefits that have come about through antidepressants and weight loss research.

Even with all of this information, be careful not to rely on these medications too much for weight problems, as there is still nothing better than proper dieting and exercise. However, if you need medication for depression and could stand to lose a few pounds, the studies between antidepressants and weight loss should aid you immensely. As the research between antidepressants and weight loss is carried out daily, more benefits are discovered, and techniques to refine medication to take advantage of this research are uncovered, look forward to better and stronger medication that will work more effectively than any other medication before it.

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