DR. SCHUESSLER'S BLOG
Do you (or your child)...
Have difficulty focusing?
Have a problem staying organized?
Act before thinking things through?
If you've answered "yes" to any of these questions, you may have attentional problems and possibly Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD). ADD/ADHD is a mental and neurobehavioral disorder characterized by significant difficulties of inattention or hyperactivity or both.
There are three subtypes of the disorder:
ADHD-I (sometimes described as ADD) inattentive behavior is predominant
ADHD-H hyperactive/impulsive behavior is predominant
ADHD-C both inattentive and hyperactive behaviors are present
SYMPTOMS of ADD/ADHD
Symptoms usually emerge before age seven and can include restlessness and acting impulsively, impairing children's ability to learn properly. Adult symptoms include disorganization, chronic lateness, forgetfulness and feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities.
CAUSES of ADD/ADHD
Causes are unknown, however research demonstrates that genetics play a role in a high percentage of cases. Diet and social and physical environments may contribute to or exacerbate ADD/ADHD.
Neurofeedback is a safe, noninvasive intervention. It is an effective method of decreasing stress and improving ability to focus in both children and adults. In addition, Neurofeedback eliminates the possibility of side effects often associated with medication. The American Board of Pediatrics has approved Neurofeedback for ADHD and supports Neurofeedback as being as effective as medication for this disorder.
Are you having trouble sleeping?
You're not alone! According to a recent study by Consumer Reports, 50 per cent of Americans who were asked about their most recent night of sleep report problems including: trouble falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep and awakening too early. In fact, more than a hundred million Americans of all ages regularly fail to get a good night's sleep.
Many factors can cause you to lose sleep: high stress levels, physical pain, and problematic habits can all contribute to difficulty with sleep. Sleep deprivation can in turn lead to irritability, mood swings, depression, memory loss, chronic illness and many other problems.
Using a multi-step process, I can work with you to evaluate the underlying causes of your sleep problems. We will then develop a program tailored to your individual needs. I believe that medication should be a last resort and I will work to help you find natural, noninvasive ways to address your problem. I use a combination of approaches and techniques including: Neurofeedback, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, behavioral therapy and sleep hygiene education. In some cases I may determine that a referral to a sleep clinic is indicated.
Many patients have seen significant improvement in their sleep patterns after using my approach. If you're interested in meeting for a free consultation please contact me.
Do you feel worried about health, finances, relationships?
Are you restless, keyed up, or on edge?
Do you have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep,
or feeling rested after sleep?
If you answered yes to any of these questions,
you may be suffering from anxiety.
Anxiety is a feeling of nervousness, fear or worry, which can be a normal reaction to stress. For example, a moderate degree of anxiety can help one study hard for an exam, deal effectively with a difficult situation at work or at home, or stay focused on an important presentation. Sometimes, symptoms of anxiety can become so intense that they're overwhelming and paralyzing. When this kind of problematic anxiety persists over a period of time, it can be described as an "anxiety disorder." Both acute and chronic anxiety can lead to physical symptoms. For example, anxiety can contribute to high blood pressure, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal distress and difficulty sleeping. If you suffer from anxiety, you're not alone. Over 20 million adults in the US have experienced some form of anxiety disorder including: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
WHAT CAUSES ANXIETY?
The cause of anxiety and anxiety disorders is not fully known, however, brain chemistry, genetic predisposition and environmental stressors can all play a role in the development of anxiety. For example, anxiety may be associated with abnormal levels of certain neurotransmitters (chemicals which transmit information from one brain cell to another in the brain). Research has also demonstrated that problems with anxiety tend to run in families and may be passed on from one generation to another. Finally, traumatic or stressful events such as abuse, the death of a loved one, divorce, or a change in job or school can all trigger anxiety.
Most anxiety disorders are treated with Psychotherapy and/or medication such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs such as Xanax or Ativan, or beta-blockers. Medication has potential side effects however. Approaches such as Neurofeedback, Guided Imagery, and Mindfulness techniques are alternatives for dealing with anxiety which are safe, noninvasive, and eliminate the possibility of side effects. These approaches can be used alone or in combination with each other and with Psychotherapy. Although I do not prescribe medication, if you decide you would like to explore this option, I would be happy to refer you to a professional who can talk with you about this aspect of treatment.
Does life feel overwhelming to you?
Do you find that you're not enjoying activities which
used to give you pleasure?
Do you feel hopeless about the future?
If you answered yes to any of these questions,
you may be suffering from depression.
Depression is a medical illness that involves both the mind and the body. It affects your thoughts, feelings and behavior. Depression is a more common disorder than many people realize, in fact depression has been referred to as the "common cold" of mental illness. About 12% of men and 20% of women will experience a major depressive episode in their life-times. Additionally, 50% of people who have experienced one depressive episode are vulnerable to experiencing another. Characteristics of depression vary from one person to another and include: sadness, irritability, a sense of hopelessness, loss of interest in activities, loss of pleasure, negative thinking, difficulty sleeping and fatigue. If you are feeling depressed, the world can seem dark and gloomy. You may experience difficulty getting out of bed and have trouble doing normal day to day activities. When depression becomes severe, it can even cause you to feel that life isn't worth living.
WHAT CAUSES DEPRESSION?
While the exact cause of depression is not known, researchers believe that it is caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. Some people seem to be vulnerable to depression because of their genetic make-up. In addition, stressful life events, such as the loss of a job, divorce, or loss of a loved one can trigger a depressive episode. Depression usually results from a combination of factors. It is important to keep in mind that depression is not a weakness, but a sign that there is an imbalance in your life. It is a serious condition, not just a "bad mood" that you can snap out of spontaneously. It is very important to take steps to reduce your risk for depression and to find good ways to address depression when it occurs.
TREATMENT FOR DEPRESSION
Research consistently shows that Psychotherapy is an effective treatment for depression. In addition, other techniques can help reduce or eliminate symptoms of depression. One of the most common approaches is medication. However, for those who are concerned about side effects, a number of medication-free alternatives are available. Neurofeedback, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Relaxation and Guided Imagery can be used alone or in combination with each other and with Psychotherapy to address depression. Although I do not prescribe medication, if you would like to discuss medication options with a professional, I will be happy to refer you to a Psychiatrist who can help with this aspect of treatment.