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What is it?

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder influenced by over-active thoughts causing you to have unwanted urges that don’t leave your brain until they are fixed. OCD causes the brain to stay focused on the one issue that needs to be fixed before you are allowed to think about the next issue. It’s obsessive and completely uncontrollable.

If you have OCD you typically will fall under the following categories:  

Washing: If people enjoy washing or cleaning, OCD would enforce a more obsessive way of doing so. For example OCD patients would be afraid of contamination so they over-actively wash or clean themselves and items around them much more frequently and aggressively than the average person.

Hoarding: People who hoard are attached to certain objects that they feel they must keep and either refuse or have an extremely difficult time getting rid of. People who hoard often feel like they are physically unable to let go of an item. Those who suffer from hoarding can also be suffering from depression, PTSD, ADHD skin picking or tic disorders. 

Checking: Next, people who are used to double checking to make sure they did something can be turned into an obsession for OCD.  They feel like they repeatedly have to check to see if they locked the door, closed the windows, shut the lights off or check to see if they turned the stove off even if they have already checked 5-6 times. Some compulsions are done up to 20 or more times.  

Doubting/Superstition: Next, people who have OCD tend to doubt many things and feel like if everything isn’t perfectly done, something horrible will happen either to themselves or to the people they love.

Symmetry: Lastly, people who have OCD can be obsessed with symmetry of certain products and the order of them. They have certain superstitions about numbers, colors and arrangements.

Symptoms and ways to help:

If you notice someone who has constant fear of contamination, losing control, excessive focus, fear of losing items, and obsessed with order and symmetry they may be suffering from OCD. It is best to talk to them and discuss what they can do to get help. It’s best they don’t avoid their fears, because the more you avoid them the scarier and more severe they can become.  Recognizing OCD urges before it turns into an obsession is very important. If you or someone you love is currently suffering from OCD, please fill out the information below to see if you qualify for a research study we are enrolling in.  A study representative will contact you shortly to discuss qualification and participation.

Resources:
https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/obssessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd.htm

If you are living with OCD and are seeking new treatment options, you may qualify for our research study.  If you or someone you know is interested, please fill out your information HERE and a study representative will reach out to you shortly to discuss participation and qualification.

 

 

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Migraines cause unbearable pain, usually on one side of the head, which causes discomfort and in some cases, the inability to carry out every day activities. Across America, 39 million people suffer from migraines and experience symptoms including:

  • Sensitivity to light and sound

  • Throbbing pain on one, or both sides of the head

  • Blurred vision

  • Nausea and vomiting

By tracking the foods and drinks you consume, you can better determine the triggersof your migraines. . Some common triggers are usually dairy products, chocolate, eggs, meat, nuts, tomatoes, onions and apples. Also, beverages, like red wine, regular alcoholic drinks and caffeine drinks are associated with migraine triggers. Be aware that the food you consume three weeks prior to a migraine could be a factor.

Ways to help:
Some simple ways to decrease migraine activity is to eat foods with high calcium, magnesium, complex carbohydrates and fiber. These foods include cooked vegetables, brown rice, collards, spinach, broccoli and dried non- citrus fruits. Also, acupuncture is another form of migraine relief.

If you suffer from migraines, you may qualify for one of our research studies.  To learn more, click the link below to fill out your information and someone should be in touch with you shortly.  

http://bit.ly/2IVyBhl   

Resources:
http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/a-natural-approach-to-migraines


 6/11/18

6/11/18

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings.  These mood swings will range from emotional highs and lows, highs being mania or hypomania (which is less extreme), and lows being depression. During mania and hypomania individuals may experience symptoms including, but not limited to:

  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Racing thoughts
  • Exaggerated sense of wellbeing and self-confidence
  • Participating in impulsive and risky behavior

The lows of bipolar disorder include severe depression. Symptoms of depression include, but are not limited to:

  • Sadness
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Lack of interest
  • Anxiety

Statistics

It is proven that bipolar disorder affects men and women equally. It is possible to develop this disorder at any point in your life, but studies show that the average age is to develop the disorder is 25 years old. It is suggested that almost 3% pf the population every year is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and 83% of those cases are severe.

Types of disorders:

  • Bipolar I disorder:  Individuals who have experienced one manic episode
  • Bipolar II disorder: Individuals who have experienced at least one major depressive episode
  • Cyclothymic disorder: Individuals who have experienced hypomania symptoms and periods of depressive symptoms

Ways to help:
If you or a loved one are struggling with irrational outbursts of emotion or continuously struggle with mood swings, these symptoms may be caused by bipolar disorder. If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, please talk to a mental health expert or a doctor to receive the proper care.

If you are living with bipolar disorder you may qualify to participate in our research study. To learn more please visit: http://bit.ly/2IVyBhl

Resources: https://www.weincluded.com/disorder/2017/06/07/bipolar-disorder/


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As the marijuana legalization movement continues to push forward, the conversation on marijuana’s effects on certain conditions are becoming more prevalent among medical professionals and researchers.

A study was recently conducted by scientists from Washington State University where they used data from medical marijuana users to get an idea of the severity of their symptoms before and after smoking. In this specific study, symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress were being researched.  The data was pulled from an app called Strainpoint where they were able to gather data from 12,000 anonymous entries. This data also helped researchers dig deeper into the effects of the two main compounds in marijuana: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

Results:
Results of this study showed that a majority of users reported a reduction in symptoms, meaning their symptoms improved. There were also some reports of increased symptoms, meaning the smoking made their symptoms worse, but was significantly less than those who reported positive results.

Below is a breakdown of the results pulled from the data.

Depression: Symptom ratings were reduced in 89.3% of the sessions, increased in 3.2%, no change in 7.5%.
Anxiety: Symptom ratings were reduced in 93.5% of the sessions, increased in 2.1%, no change in 4.4%.
Stress: Symptom ratings were reduced in 93.3% of the sessions, increased in 2.7%, no change in 4%.

Both women and men reported an overall reduction in symptoms, but women reported a greater reduction in anxiety symptoms.

An analysis of the strains smoked also presented some interesting findings.  Different outcomes were shown depending on the percentages of THC and CBD in the marijuana.

For depression, strains higher in CBD and lower in THC produced the largest reduction in symptoms.
For anxiety, CBD and THC percentages seemed to make little difference in the results.
For stress, users reported significant symptom reduction when using strains high I n both CBD and THC.

Read the full article here.

 

If you are currently struggling with depression, you may qualify for a research study we are currently enrolling in.  For more information on this study, please fill out a form by clicking the link below and a member of our team will reach out to you shortly.

http://bit.ly/2IVyBhl


 5/9/18

5/9/18

Similar to many other mental disorders, there is a stigma attached to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  Many people misinterpret the disorder for simply being tidy, perfect and clean.  While these are definitely symptoms of the disorder, there is so much more to OCD that people overlook because the term is so loosely thrown around. 

According to Psychology Today, OCD is an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, images, and sensations (obsessions) and engage in behaviors or mental acts in response to these thoughts or obsessions. The disorder affects a reported 2.2 million American adults, and thousands more who are undiagnosed.

In order to help put an end to the popular stigma that OCD is simply perfectionism, we wanted to shed light on the cruel reality of life with OCD and the variety of symptoms different people with the disorder live with. 

Different types of OCD

Constant checking and inspection.  Constant checking and inspection can surface both mentally and physically. Mentally, individuals with OCD find themselves checking their memory to make sure that an intrusive thought they had was just a memory and didn’t actually happen.  Physical symptoms include constantly checking to make sure windows, car doors, knobs and doors are locked or to ensure they blew out a candle, turned their gas or water off in terrible fear that something awful will happen.  Sometimes these “checks” are followed through anywhere between 10-50 times as a result of the anxiety disorder. 

Contamination.  Contamination is another very popular form of OCD.  Individuals suffering from the disorder are in constant fear that everything around them in dirtying them and as a result go to the extreme to shower, wash their hands and brushing their teeth. Some cases are so extreme that skin starts to deteriorate, rub off and leaves these victims with visible wounds from the excessive cleaning.  Yes, some people are very self-aware when it comes to germs, but the difference is that people with OCD  often carry out this out a concerning amount of times, often accompanied by rituals, until the person “feels clean” rather than someone without OCD who will wash or clean until they “see” they are clean.

Intrusive thoughts. Intrusive thoughts are one of the more mentally challenging forms of OCD.  Individuals with OCD have continuous, invasive and many times inappropriate thoughts that can be horrifying, torturous and detrimental to their state of happiness. Because these thoughts are repetitive and not voluntarily produced by the individual, it causes the sufferer to extreme distress because they feel so terrible that they are capable of thinking such thoughts.

Intrusive thoughts can include the following:

  • Sexual thoughts
  • Inappropriate relationships
  • Religious beliefs
  • Violent thoughts

If you are one of the many people who contribute to the stigma of OCD and throw the disorder around as if it were simply a term, try your hardest to change that habit and make a point to spread awareness about this awful disease that affects millions. 

If you have OCD, you are not alone.  If you live in the Los Angeles area and are suffering from OCD, we have a research study that you may qualify for.  You can fill out the form below and someone will be in touch with you shortly.

 4/24/18

4/24/18

According to Psychology Today, OCD is an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, images, and sensations (obsessions) and engage in behaviors or mental acts in response to these thoughts or obsessions. The disorder affects a reported 2.2 million American adults and thousands more who are undiagnosed. 

New research has found that patients with OCD lack coping skills, and therefore have a hard time keeping their OCD under control.  Because OCD is a daily, difficult and in some cases debilitating disorder, it’s important for patients with OCD to understand coping skills and how to get into a routine in order to keep their OCD at bay.

Check out some tips from thiswayup.org!

After you’ve created your list:

5. Go through your list and rate how anxious you think you would be if you tried to resist your compulsions in the different situations. Rate your anxiety on a scale of 0-10, 10 being severely anxious.

6. Choose one thing on the list that you think you could resist with only mild to moderate anxiety. Next time you are in that situation, try as hard as you can to resist that compulsion without giving in. Pay attention to how anxious you feel at the start, and to the way this anxiety fades over time.

7. Repeat this same activity, resisting the compulsion, every time you are in that situation (at least once every day). You should notice that, with practice, it gets easier and easier to resist, because your anxiety is fading.

8. Once you become more comfortable with this compulsion, choose another, slightly harder compulsion and repeat step 7. Continue until you’ve worked though all compulsions on your list.

9. When you have OCD, the doubts get stronger the more you give in to them, and weaker the more you resist them, so keep resisting and keep coping!

If you have OCD and are looking for treatment options, please consider a clinical trial with us. To learn more please call us at 310-208-7144!


 4/12/18

4/12/18

Can your diet make a difference with your depression? Research conducted by Deakin University's Food and Mood Centre in Australia sought to explore that. The participants were divided into two groups.  Half of the group adjusted their diets to become healthier, while the other half continued to eat their previous not-so-healthy diet.

The results:

The half who maintained a healthy diet for 3 months saw a significant decrease in their common depression scale, an average drop of 11 points.  Of the participants who maintained a healthy diet, 32% of them had scores so low that they could no longer be considered depressed. On the other hand, the half who consumed the unhealthy diet only saw a 4 point drop and only 8% were considered no longer depressed.

In light of this research, we thought it was important to shed light on the foods that can have a direct impact on your depression.

Foods that will help your depression:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  •  Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Eggs
  • Fruits
  • Fatty fish (includes: salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout)
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Vegetables
    • Dark leafy greens (includes: spinach, chard, kale, lettuce)
    • Cruciferous vegetables (includes: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, radish)

Foods that will not help your depression:

  • Sugar
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Processed meats
  • Trans fats
  • High sodium foods
  • Salty snacks
  • Highly refined, processed oils
    • Canola
    • Corn
    • Soybean

If one can regulate depression by eating a healthy diet, why not? Not to mention all of the other positive aspects of maintaining a healthy balanced regimen. Food for thought!

If you are currently suffering from depression and are looking for new treatment options, please contact us and learn more about our depression research opportunities.
Contact Us: 310-208-7144

Resources: https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/20/health/food-depression-stress/index.html

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Depression can rob you of motivation and can make you feel like you don’t matter. Hobbies can be a necessary source of joy and enthusiasm for people coping with depression. On the days where getting out of bed feels impossible, having a hobby and the promise of enjoying a few hours of doing something you love can be the extra push you need to get through the day. Here are some ideas for hobbies to take up to help cope with depression.

Exercise. You’ve probably heard it before but in addition to keeping you physically fit, exercise can shape up your mental health as well. Exercising releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins that trigger positive feelings. If working out isn’t currently a part of your life, start small, say 10-15 minutes a day being active.

Take care of living things. Forging connections with living things around you can counter how depression makes you feel unimportant.

  • Offer to babysit or pet sit for friends or neighbors
  • Get a houseplant
  • Build a small garden with flowers or vegetables

Join a group. Break through how isolated depression can make you feel by spending time with people you have something in common with.

  • Volunteer
  • Join a book club or create a new one
  • Find a support group
  • Join a recreational sports team

Get creative. There’s a particular sense of gratification that comes with making something, which can be a rewarding boost when depression has you feeling down.

  • Musical activities like singing or play an instrument
  • Drawing or painting
  • Crafting
  • Knitting, sewing, or crocheting

Whether it’s something you used to love that you’ve lost interest in or an activity that’s totally new to you, having a hobby can help you get back on track and feeling like yourself again.

If you or someone you love suffers from depression, fill out the contact form here to see if you may qualify for CalNeuro’s clinical research opportunity for depression.

 


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2/21/18

There Are More Than 10 Common Warning Signs of Mental Health

Trying to tell the difference between expected behaviors and the signs of a mental illness isn't always easy. There is no simple test that allows an individual to understand whether or not they have a mental illness or if their actions and thoughts might be typical behaviors.  However, there are many signs and warnings of mental health to look out for. 

Each illness has its own symptoms, but common signs of mental illness in adults can include the following:

  1. Excessive worrying or fear
  2. Feeling excessively sad or low
  3. Confused thinking or problems concentrating and learning
  4. Extreme mood changes, including uncontrollable “highs” or feelings of euphoria
  5. Prolonged or strong feelings of irritability or anger
  6. Avoiding friends and social activities
  7. Difficulties understanding or relating to other people
  8. Changes in sleeping habits or feeling tired and low energy
  9. Changes in eating habits such as increased hunger or lack of appetite
  10. Changes in sex drive
  11. Difficulty perceiving reality (delusions or hallucinations, in which a person experiences and senses things that don't exist in objective reality)
  12. Inability to perceive changes in one’s own feelings, behavior or personality (”lack of insight” or anosognosia)
  13. Abuse of substances like alcohol or drugs
  14. Multiple physical ailments without obvious causes (such as headaches, stomach aches, vague and ongoing “aches and pains”)
  15. Thinking about suicide
  16. Inability to carry out daily activities or handle daily problems and stress
  17. An intense fear of weight gain or concern with appearance

 
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2/5/18

More than 42 million adults in the United States live with some type of mental illness - that’s about 1 in every 5 people 1. Whether it is depression, bipolar depression, schizophrenia, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mental illness is a medical diagnosis that should be taken seriously.  Many of those who have never experienced mental illness do not understand these disorders and at times do not take them seriously.  The current stigma surrounding mental illness negatively impacts those living with them and it’s important we do what we can to try and table that stigma.  

Here are some things you can do to end the stigma against mental health:

·         Change your language:  It is insensitive to throw around the words lunatic, psycho, and crazy. By doing so you are adding to the stigma surrounding mental health. Change your language and encourage others to do the same. You would not want someone using derogatory language to describe you.

·         Show compassion: One of the most important things you can do is show compassion and try to understand that people living with mental health disorders are dealing with different challenges.  If you can show that you have a desire to understand what they go through, it can make a significant difference in how you view one another. Displaying love and respect towards everyone, including those with a mental illness, is what’s most important. 

·         Educate one another: If you want to be compassionate and empathetic, you need to seek out information about mental illness. Furthermore, you should respectfully challenge others when you believe they are perpetuating stereotypes. Instead of taking the back seat, inform them.

·         Push against stigmas in the media: In the media and on social media, people with mental illness are portrayed in a negative way. When you see this in articles, social groups and by politicians, it is your job get the story straight. Write a letter and respond online to those that blame the mentally ill in order to deflect the real issues.

·         Openly speak about mental illness: Whether it is you or a friend, or a family member, it is important to speak about mental illness. Speak about the struggles, the transitions, the tough days and the brighter days. Mental illness is very common and yet it seems to be a secret. Don’t shy away from the topic.

1.        http://www.newsweek.com/nearly-1-5-americans-suffer-mental-illness-each-year-230608
 

 

Understanding Hypo-Active Sexual Desire Disorder

1/25/18

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Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) is essentially the same as a “low libido” and is one of the most common sexual dysfunctions in women.  The most common symptom in HDSS is a disinterest in all activities and thoughts related to sex.  According to everydayhealth.com, as many as 43% of woman have experienced sexual dysfunction at some point in their life. While this is true, you may only be diagnosed with the HSDD if the disorder is causing distress in your life.

“Some people don’t want to have sex. If it’s not causing distress, it’s not dysfunction,” says sexual dysfunction expert Raymond C. Rosen, PhD, chief scientist at the New England Research Institutes in Watertown, MA.

HSDD Symptoms Include:

  • Sexual dissatisfaction
  • Low sex drive
  • Disinterest in sex
  • Disgust and physical symptoms such as pain

Risk Factors Include:

  • Changes in hormones
  • Physical health conditions
  • Emotional or mental issues including general life stress
  • Medication interference (Certain drugs can interfere with sexual function, including codeine, chemotherapy drugs, morphine, and some psychoactive drugs)

If you or your partner are suffering from Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, treatment is available! Treatment options include therapy options such as: hormone therapy and individual/couples sex therapy. Besides therapy, CalNeuro is currently seeking participants for clinical trial opportunity in Los Angeles, CA testing a gel.  If you are interested, please call CalNeuro at (310)208-7144.


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Living with OCD | The Do's & Don'ts

01/11/2018

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is the name given to a condition in which people experience repetitive and upsetting thoughts and/or behaviors.  OCD has two main features: obsessions and compulsions and living with it can be overwhelming and difficult to understand/cope with.  People with OCD are not able to control or ignore unpleasant thoughts, which in turn causes frequent distress, anxiety and suffering.  If you have OCD, you are not alone! OCD is more common than people think, affecting 1 in 44 U.S. adults. 

The Do’s:

Get Help: If you are experiencing symptoms of OCD, reach out to someone and seek professional help. OCD is more common than you think and is not something to be ashamed of.

Be Proud:  You have an illness that some people can’t begin to understand living with, yet you do... everyday. Be proud of your ability to live with an overwhelming illness and recognize your efforts. Be proud of your strength. Be proud of your progress, whether big or small.  You do what you need to do despite your OCD, and THAT is something to be proud of.

Forgive Yourself: Rid yourself of the past and focus on improving your future. People living with OCD tend to be very hard on themselves. Remember: You have an illness and that’s okay. Continue to move forward and try to put any regretful thoughts or behaviors behind you. It’s a new day.

Accept Risk and Challenge: When you least expect it, life will throw risk and challenge your way and it’s important to confront it, not run from it.  Risk is unavoidable, so when presented with it, try to accept it and look at it as a positive opportunity to potentially make some progress.

The Don’ts

Speaking of Progress: Don’t Get Impatient With Yours:  Don’t get irritated if you aren’t making the progress you think you should be, and DON’T compare yourself to anyone else. We all move to the beat of our own drum!

Live with Guilt: OCD has a way of carrying painful or regretful memories. Put the past behind you. Every day is a new day, and with every new day comes new opportunities for progress and advancement. Try not to dwell on things you cannot change, and focus on the things you can!

Give Up Hope: Hope is so important! Always keep hope in your pocket and never lose sight of it.  Hope will guide you down the path of success and potentially rid you of your OCD in time.

Think You Are Alone: 1 in 44 adults in the United States alone are living with OCD.  And if you don’t want to talk to someone with OCD, you have professionals and countless resources like hotlines, chats, and support groups.

 

If you are struggling with OCD and are living in the LA area, we are currently enrolling patients diagnosed with OCD. Please call us at 310. 208.7144!