Top10MD Blog

STRESS IS EVERYWHERE!

 4 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



Managing stress in the 21st century can feel like an overwhelming task. The demands placed on achievement, work-life balance, and shuffling between computers, tablets, and smartphones can easily flood your brain with overstimulation. When you’re unable to process the information adequately, it can lead to health problems with heart disease, stomach ulcers, and stroke.

Don’t let the everyday hustle and bustle get you down – there are simple steps you can take to get your mojo going again. Consider taking a few small steps towards relaxing your mind and body.

  • Don’t sit and simmer – move your body! If you work a desk job, set an alarm that goes off hourly to remind you to take a walk or get some fresh air. Movement can have a tremendous affect on your mental health.
  • Make time to do something you enjoy every day. It’s important you have YOU time.
  • Get enough sleep! Although it varies per individual, the average is eight hours per night to feel rested and rejuvenated the next day.
  • Don’t forget to breathe! A deep inhale and exhale can do wonders for clearing your mind and relaxing your muscles.
  • Find what is triggering your anxiety or stress. Is it work? School? A relationship? The first step to addressing your stress is by finding out where it’s coming from.

If you find these steps just simply are not enough to change, alter, or rid of your stressors, you can always turn to professional help. A board-certified psychiatrist can help.


IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S ME!

 6 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



“It’s not you, it’s me!”

We typically hear this phrase when someone is lightly breaking the news to a partner when ending the relationship. Relationships are hard; there’s no doubt about that, but when you deal with silent killers, it may complicate things further. Silent killers are not serious health conditions like aneurysms or diabetes. In fact, they are not physical problems at all. Silent killers are emotional concerns and are typically unnoticeable. When you enter into a relationship, a physical problem may be evident while an emotional issue may be not. It is time to uncover the silent killers and treat them before they affect, or even ruin, a future relationship.

Building Relationships

We all have our varying emotional issues. Most of the time, we ignore these problems and avoid addressing them altogether. Relationships truly have a way of revealing our inner demons, even when it concerns our interactions with friends and family. But for intimate relationships, emotional issues tend to have a strong effect. For instance, if you met someone whom you were interested in dating but felt a sense of unease about their emotional state, would you stick around? Understandably, it is easier to practice patience with a family member or friend versus a stranger or new acquaintance.

Managing Silent Killers

Silent killers include everything from anxiety and depression to Attention Deficit Disorder. Often, many of us have these issues and are unaware of them. When symptoms of stress or uneasy feelings are consistent, it may be due to a clinical problem. Anxiety may prevent us from branching out and trying new things while depression can stop us from forming connections with people. When you are depressed, you can be a drag in a relationship. ADD, which is usually diagnosed early on in childhood, can be easily managed with medication. Some, however, continue in their lives unaware they have a disorder that may be affecting their relationships negatively.

All of these potential silent killers can lead to bad communication, abusive behavior, and/or cause you to lose focus on what matters in your relationship. You can take control of these issues by talking to your partner, friends, and family. If further action is needed, reaching out to a psychiatrist may be your best option.

Dr. Ken Hopper and The Hopper Group welcome you to their practice. Having practiced Psychiatry throughout his twenty-five-year career, Dr. Hopper is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Hopper has been named a Top10MD, an honor only 1-in-3 doctors succeed with this recognition in the United States. Contact Dr. Hopper’s office at 817-274-8800 to schedule your appointment today!


THE PAINFUL TRUTH OF PTSD

 6 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



During the holiday season, sufferers of PTSD tend to have a more difficult time dealing with their symptoms. There are a number of issues that surface around this time of year, such as feeling like an outsider in a gathering of family and friends, having an overwhelming a sense of guilt or irritability, and a general hypersensitivity to interactions with the world around them. The diagnosis and management of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) should be performed by a Psychiatrist who is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. PTSD is a complex diagnosis that often presents with signs and symptoms of psychosis, clinical depression, and severe anxiety.  Whether you are completing a military deployment, a firefighter, police officer, EMS worker, physician, athlete, school-teacher, a loving mother, or suffered from events such as the Dallas Police shootings, PTSD can find you.

When To Know It’s PTSD

The diagnosis of PTSD requires five criteria to be met.  While the criteria in the DSM-V have been modified, the core remain intact.

  • There has to have been a significant trauma; this can be a near-death experience, sexual assault, a car accident – some form of trauma that involved the threat of death or severe injury.  Also, the response has to include intense fear, helplessness, or horror.
  • You must be re-experiencing in the form of flashbacks or nightmares. These painful recollections must produce some reactivation – putting you back in that fear or helplessness state.
  • The trauma must create some form of avoidance; you will go out of your the way to avoid people or places or thoughts associated with the prior traumatic event.
  • You will display some form of hypervigilance, typically with irritability towards other or anger outbursts.
  • The combination of these symptoms must result in a significant change in behavior that leads to impaired social functioning, negatively impacting the patient’s job and meaningful relationships.
  • People who develop PTSD also have a high rate of psychiatric comorbidity.  Unfortunately, substance abuse and dependence rates are high once PTSD symptoms develop.  Obviously, these patients are prone to high rates of major depression and panic disorder as well.

How Is PTSD Treated?

The treatment of PTSD is complicated and continues to evolve.  Large population, properly designed clinical trials are lacking.  Our best evidence points to the use of high-dose Selective Serotonin Reuptake medications to limit anxiety and depressive symptoms.  There may need to be off-label augmentation with L-methylfolate, Aripiprazole, or lithium to achieve a response or remission in symptoms.  While prazosin has shown mild promise to limit nightmares, other medications (atypical antipsychotics like quetiapine and risperidone) have not been as efficacious as hypothesized.  No sleep benefits have shown when Zolpidem (Ambien) and benzodiazepines like Clonazepam or Alprazolam are used in the PTSD population.  Even with proper medication choices and proper dosing, patients may need to stay on medications for a substantial length of time, which can bring side-effects into play.

In addition to medications, psychotherapy is becoming an increasingly valuable tool to remove symptoms associated with traumatic events.  Specifically, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing or EMDR is an empirically validated therapy that targets unprocessed memories connected to adverse experiences, like war, sexual abuse, and physical abuse.  By processing these traumatic memories, there can be rapid symptom relief:  fewer flashbacks, fewer panic attacks, and less obsessive thoughts.

EMDR reprocessing typically involves a series of repetitive eye movements that is a simulation of the rapid eye movement that occurs during REM sleep.  This reprocessing happens through the eye movements, which are guided by the EMDR therapist.  The eye movements allow the brain to free associate to related memories, thus linking the past and present.  By using these eye movements, we think processing of past trauma is initiated by the idea of dual attention or focusing on the eye movements while focusing on the memory, or through encouraging the brain to access both the left and right hemisphere causing the memory to be processed from a highly charged emotional memory to a more adaptive form.  However, the reality is we aren’t 100% sure why or how this therapy works, but with over 30 extensive clinical trials, we know it is very effective when performed by a trained and experienced therapist with a patient who desires to improve the quality of their life.

If you or a loved one are suffering from past trauma, don’t hesitate any longer.  Good, quality help is available.  Here at Rabjohn Behavioral Institute, we have two board-certified psychiatrists, Dr. Pat Rabjohn and Dr. Sandra Davis who can make an accurate diagnosis and prescribe appropriate and safe medication.  Also, Ms. Tiffany Mylett works alongside these experienced clinicians as a certified EMDR psychotherapist.  Help is available; you just need to ask.

Dr. Patrick Rabjohn is a Dallas Fort Worth and Mansfield, Texas Psychiatrist. Dr. Rabjohn is Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology and Medical Director of Rabjohn Behavioral Institute treating psychiatric conditions including depression, anxiety disorders, adult ADD and more. Dr. Rabjohn has been named 2014, 2015, 2016 Top10MD an honor only 1 in 3 Doctors in the United States succeed with this recognition in the United States. To schedule an appointment contact Dr. Rabjohn for medication management or Ms. Tiffany Mylett for EMDR at 817-539-2282.


FINDING TIME FOR YOU

 7 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



Are you able to self-soothe? Are you aware of your emotions, thoughts, feelings and behaviors? Do you utilize healthy ways to cope with stress and problems? Can you empathize with the emotions and feelings of others? If so, then more than likely you have good emotional health. However, living in today’s world, in the hustle and bustle and the roller coaster of gains and losses our emotional health can be disrupted and leave us feeling sad, stressed out, or anxious.

Instances That Disrupt Your Emotional Health

  • The death of a loved one
  • Losing your job
  • Getting divorced or married
  • Financial strain
  • Moving
  • Having a baby
  • Getting a job promotion

As you can see, perceived “real” changes in our life can cause as much strain on our emotional health as “bad” changes. Your body is the perfect gauge of your emotional health. It instinctively responds to how you think, feel, and act. You may have heard of this referred to as the “mind/body connection.” If you are feeling sad, stressed out or anxious, your body tells you. For example, a stomach ulcer may develop after an incredibly stressful event.

Physical Signs of Disrupted Emotional Health

  • Increase or loss of appetite
  • Chest pain
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Back pain
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia

To gain your personal emotional health back; it’s important to make changes to your lifestyle. Lifestyle changes alone can help relieve depression or anxiety and resolve stressful situations. If you don’t feel relief in symptoms after a few months, seek professional help. Also, if you are suffering from moderate to severe depression or anxiety seek professional help.

Lifestyle Changes That Can Help

  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Meditate
  • Get massages
  • Cultivate a positive social circle
  • Sleep at least 7 hours every night
  • Try to choose a different thought or positive perspective

To have good emotional health, take care of yourself. And seek help when you aren’t able to resolve feelings of sadness or stress, there’s no reason to go through life feeling anything but happy.

Dr. Ken Hopper and The Hopper Group welcome you to their practice. Having practiced Psychiatry throughout his twenty-five-year career, Dr. Hopper is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Hopper has been named a Top10MD, an honor only 1-in-3 doctors succeed with this recognition in the United States. Contact Dr. Hopper’s office at 817-274-8800 to schedule your appointment today!


TIME MAY NOT HEAL ALL WOUNDS…

 8 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



At Rabjohn Behavioral Institute, an advanced and unique psychotherapy called Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing, or simply EMDR, is helping people with PTSD, panic disorder, anxiety, low self-esteem, and other issues resulting from past trauma.

What is EMDR?

It has been known for awhile that early adverse life events may be the basis for a variety of negative and damaging psychological symptoms. EMDR is an empirically validated therapy that targets unprocessed memories connected to adverse experiences, like war, sexual abuse, and physical abuse.  While your body survives these events, your mind may not heal as you would like leaving you with nightmares, flashbacks, high anxiety, and a very negative self-outlook.  By processing these traumatic memories, there can be rapid symptom relief:  fewer flashbacks, fewer panic attacks, and less obsessive thoughts.
You have probably heard the phrase ‘time heals all wounds’.  Not necessarily true is it?  If you are suffering from past trauma, obsessive-compulsive disorder, phobias, depression, performance anxiety, medically unexplained physical symptoms, low self-esteem, or have a history of adverse life experiences, EMDR may be a very useful therapy for you.

How Does EMDR Work?

The brain is a very complex organ with a variety of roles to perform each day.  One of the brain’s primary functions is to process a wide degree of incoming information.  So basically, it is an information processing system.  Throughout the day, this information processing system will take in a variety of emotions and feelings via our day-to-day experiences.  We want the brain to be ‘adaptive’ in that the brain will take what is useful and disregard what isn’t.  We want these emotions and experiences to be resolved or ‘processed.’
For example, let’s say you have a very bad argument with a family member.  You are angry, upset, frustrated, and sad.  You are probably also upset and disappointed with yourself.  But you walk away, you go home and stew about it and play the conversation over and over in your head and then you eventually go to sleep.  The next morning you wake up and don’t feel so bad about what happened.  Maybe you have ‘adapted’ or reached a ‘resolution.’  This occurs because the brain’s ‘adaptive information processing system’ was activated.  We think this mainly occurs during REM sleep, a stage of sleep where scientists hypothesize that memories are processed and modified – or when the ‘adaptive resolution’ takes place.

EMDR Phases To Expect

EMDR therapy is an 8 phase treatment protocol that uses the Adaptive Information Processing Model, which states that “memory networks are the basis of pathology and health” and that the body is “naturally geared toward health.”  The goal of EMDR therapy is to create an adaptive resolution of a past trauma and to assist the client in responding to life’s current and future demands.  Before the actual reprocessing session, the EMDR therapist works to identify the memories needing adaptation and the related negative beliefs about the patient.  Throughout the course of treatment, you will also identify situations in the future that you anticipate having similar anxieties and develop an alternate pattern of response to those as well.

EMDR reprocessing typically involves a series of repetitive eye movements that is a simulation of the rapid eye movement that occurs during REM sleep.  This is NOT hypnosis because unlike hypnosis you are the one in control and it will be your brain doing the healing.  This happens through the eye movements, guided by the EMDR therapist.  The eye movements lead the mind to free associate to related memories, thus linking the past and present.  By using these eye movements, we think processing of past trauma is initiated by the idea of dual attention or focusing on the eye movements with an emphasis on the memory, or through encouraging the brain to access both the left and right hemisphere.  This causes the memory to be processed from a highly charged emotional memory to a more adaptive form.  However, the reality is we aren’t 100% sure why or how this therapy works, but with over 30 extensive clinical trials, we know it is very effective when performed by a trained and experienced therapist with a patient who desires to improve the quality of their life.

Dr. Patrick Rabjohn is a Dallas Fort Worth and Mansfield, Texas Psychiatrist. Dr. Rabjohn is Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology and Medical Director of Rabjohn Behavioral Institute treating psychiatric conditions including depression, anxiety disorders, adult ADD and more. Dr. Rabjohn has been named Top10MD for two years an honor only 1 in 3 Doctors in the United States succeed with this recognition in the United States. To schedule an appointment contact Dr. Rabjohn for medication management or Ms. Tiffany Mylett for EMDR at 817-539-2282.


CHILLS & THRILLS | LATROPHOBIA – THE FEAR OF DOCTORS

 8 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



Latrophobia, better known as “white coat syndrome” is the medical term for fear of doctors and affects about 20% percent of the US population. This phobia is more common in children, but few adults still suffer from this.

Cause of Latrophobia

Although it is very common in children, it is not uncommon for adults to suffer from this.  Approximately 40% of Americans believe that doctors do not care as much as they did a decade ago. A few examples of what may trigger white coat syndrome or Latrophobia:

  • A negative experience
  • Accidents
  • Alcoholics or substance abusers – they feel like doctors might ask them to confront their issues
  • Deaths
  • Medical malpractices
  • News reports about “botched up” surgeries
  • Patient trust in doctors are declining
  • Trauma
  • Trouble the following authority

Symptoms of Latrophobia

A patient who has Latrophobia is comfortable talking in front of thousands of people, however, when in front of a doctor their confidence is not nearly as high. Symptoms include:

  • Children run, hide and scream
  • Fear illness/injuries
  • Muscular Tension
  • Nausea
  • Normal blood pressure at home but raised when done by a doctor’s clinic
  • Postponing appointments
  • Shaking
  • Trembling
  • Worry about the smallest things fearing that they will need medical treatment

Coping with Latrophobia

The answer is simple – take a deep breath and think positive. Remember, doctors, are here to help you and want your best interest. Discussing Latrophobia with the physician also helps. If speaking to a doctor is just too much to handle, there are other options to consider:

  • Ask questions to find out about the pain you might feel and how long this will last
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Confront anxiety and do your best to deal with it rationally
  • Identifying what makes you feel uneasy
  • If you have a fear of needles, ask for sedatives or anesthetics
  • Seek a new doctor – your gut feeling is often right, you may find a doctor that makes you feel more comfortable
  • Take someone with you for comfort

These are proven methods that have shown to help with relieving a fear of doctors. Dealing with the problem first requires opening up and admitting the fear exists. Share your experiences with a family member, a friend, or a person you trust. After all, some of the most powerful fears are the ones we avoid facing.


CHILLS & THRILLS | THE FEAR OF LOVE

 8 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



Do you get giddy when your crush comes around? Or have “butterflies” in your stomach just at the thought of seeing them? There’s no feeling like it in the world. But, for some, it can be the worst feeling in the world.

Love has the ability to leave us vulnerable and feeling exposed. For those who suffer from Philophobia, love is more than emotional turmoil; it can leave sufferers with a poor quality of life both physically and mentally. “Philo” means loving or beloved and “phobia” means fear. Philophobia tends to develop after a previous traumatic emotional experience. Often when we begin a new relationship, we are leery of jumping in too fast. Love can stir up past hurts and remind us to take it slow. For others, emotional scars can lead to a life of solitude.

Symptoms of philophobia include

  • Anxiety and nervousness at the mere thought of commitment
  • Suppressing your inner most feelings
  • Avoiding places that couples are known to frequent – such as movie theaters or restaurants
  • Avoiding not just marriage, but the wedding ceremonies of others.
  • Almost complete exclusion from the world for fear of falling in love
  • Physical symptoms such as shaking, sweating, racing heartbeat, or nausea at the very thought of love or romance.

For those suffering from philophobia, however, there are ways to deal with the fear. Various options like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Exposure Therapy, or in extreme cases, medication. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of philophobia, schedule an appointment with your Board Certified Psychiatrist today.


TRAIN YOUR BRAIN– COGNITIVE FUNCTION TODAY

 9 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



Improving your cognitive function can be a game changer. Ask yourself what the definition of cognitive performance is. Chances are you have heard of the term cognition and may have even used it in conversation. We seem to intuitively understand that cognition is the way we learn about the world around us, and it includes our perceptions, intuitions, and reasoning. Cognitive performance is our ability to gain and use this knowledge.

Daily Habits to Enhance Your Cognitive Function

You may have heard about brain fitness lately. Select games on smartphones and tablets promise to stave off mental decline and improve cognitive function. Most of these games have benefits, but you can’t maximize the growth of new neurons in your brain while sitting sedentary in a chair or playing a video game on a two-dimensional screen. To work out your full brain, you need to engage both hemispheres of your cerebellum and cerebrum. Learning new things in the three-dimensional real world is best for improving cognition. It’s best to stay away from sedentary time in front of screens and cyber-realities.

Seven Habits to Improve Your Cognitive Function

  • Be open to experiences
  • Staying mentally active and flexing your memory helps you learn.
  • Like any muscle, you have to use your brain or lose it.
  • Learning new and demanding skills while maintaining a social network is key to staying sharp as you age.
  • Learn a new instrument, memorize a poem, take a dance class.
  • When you are inside your comfort zone, you are outside of enhancement zone.

Physical Activity

Certain hormones increased during exercise help improve your memory function. A particular molecule that is released by your body during endurance exercise protects your brain against degeneration and improves cognition.

The brain-based skills used in cognitive performance are in every action you take, without you even realizing it. Sense perceptions (sight, hearing, smell, etc.), motor skills, decision-making, intuition, and language proficiency are all part of cognition. Your cognitive performance/function has less to do with actual knowledge; instead, it is about your ability to use that knowledge to carry out your goals. Having better cognitive performance can help you in many areas of your life, and the simple act of concentrating on improving it can help you more than you realize.

Dr. Ken Hopper and The Hopper Group welcome you to their practice. Having practiced Psychiatry throughout his twenty-five-year career, Dr. Hopper is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. Hopper has been named a Top10MD, an honor only 1-in-3 doctors succeed with this recognition in the United States. Contact Dr. Hopper’s office at 817-274-8800 to schedule your appointment today!


YOUR FOOD & MENTAL HEALTH

 11 months ago    Leave a comments (0)



You have most likely heard the phrase “you are what you eat.” But did you know that your personal nutrition can help curb (or exaggerate) your already existing depression and anxiety? Anxiety isn’t caused by what you eat, but if you are eating foods that are known to create anxiety symptoms and avoiding foods that fight anxiety, you could be contributing to your levels increasing. What you eat affects how you feel.

There are several foods that lead to healthy hormonal functioning, an improved sense of well-being, and a better case of your anxiety. Good foods include the following:

  • Fresh Fruit: Fruits like blueberries and peaches contain sugar that can be converted into energy and better nutrient content than refined sugars.
  • Magnesium Rich Foods: Found in black beans and tofu. Magnesium is the very important vitamin that few people get. 25% of people in the United States are magnesium deficient.
  • Omega- 3 Fatty Acids: Found in fish, flax-seed, and winter squash.
  • Tryptophan-Rich Foods: Found in oats, soy, poultry, and sesame seeds. Tryptophan has a natural relaxation component.
  • Vegetables: Because vegetables are so rich in fiber, and contain many vitamins that get regularly depleted if you have anxiety.
  • Water: Did you know that a significant part of the population is regularly dehydrated? Drinking too much of liquids that aren’t water causes you to not drinking enough water, which leads to dehydration and anxiety.

Improving your diet is not just about eating healthy foods, it is also about avoiding the unhealthy, anxiety-triggering foods that can worsen your depression.  Treat your anxiety symptoms by creating a diet that contains a lot more vegetables. You should avoid the following foods:

  • Acid Forming Food: Certain foods produce acid and cause a drop in your magnesium levels.  Foods like yogurt, eggs, pickles, sour cream, liver, and wine need to be eaten in moderation to help curb your anxiety.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol, besides contributing to most unwise decisions you will make in your life, does horrible things to your body and health. Dehydration, hormone alteration, and nutritional imbalance, and other physical symptoms caused by the toxins in alcohol can trigger anxiety attacks.
  • Coffee: A known anxiety stimulant that may not be harmless if it is just one cup in the mornings. However, the more you drink coffee, the more you increase your risk of anxiety. Rapid heartbeat and other sensations that create a sense of panic can cause anxiety.
  • Dairy Products: These heighten your adrenaline levels and contribute to a more anxious state.
  • Fried Food: Everyone knows that fried things are terrible for your body. We all know that fried foods are difficult (sometimes even painful) to digest, have little to no nutritional value, and contribute to heart issues. So why do we still eat fried things? It turns out that fried food has an effect on your brain; it stimulates the same centers that are stimulated by depressants like heroin and alcohol. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to reduce your anxiety if your body is poorly processing your food.
  • Refined Sugars: Unlike sugar that is found in fruit, white sugar is never good for your body. It stimulates your body like caffeine, in a way that creates a jitteriness that makes anxiety symptoms worse. Not to mention the inevitable crash that follows.

FROM TOP10MD TO YOU…

 1 year ago    Leave a comments (0)

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