Monthly Archives

June 2016

Stigma and confidentiality

Stigma surrounding mental health is almost a big a problem as mental issues themselves.

Every year, 4 out of 16 young Australians experience a mental health issue, but only one of those four will seek help. Stigma accounts for this extraordinary divide amongst young Australians seeking mental health care. The mental health promotion group headspace have launched a new campaign called The Big Stigma which aims to reduce that stigma. Part of the approach is a hub providing links to various resources and tools for family and friends seeking to support people with mental health issues.

Stigma also spreads into the adult population and with just as alarming figures. There are many reasons why stigma prevents people seeking help for mental health problems. The Big Stigma and other organisations stress that stigma is the misconceptions and fears about mental health and psychological help.

Those fears are very strong but not seeking help can only lead the delays in seeking help or not seeking it at all. And if that is the case then the negative effects that a person may have been feeling make study harder, finding a job harder, establishing relationships and maintaining them harder too.

And it can carry into adult life.

Mental health treatment aims to be confidential which helps work against that stigma, as people are too often fearful others will know they are in treatment. At Retreat South, we take confidentiality very seriously. If you are considering treatment and have any concerns about treatment confidentiality, then talk to us today about them. We are committed to creating a treatment environment where you feel safe and secure. It’s a cornerstone of good treatment. Are staff are will totally respect your confidentiality and privacy. Our treatments, sessions and classes are individually, not group, based. You can even come to Retreat South using an assumed name.

Pets and our wellbeing

Pets are wonderful companions. But they can be more than that. There has been a great deal of research into the psychological and even physical well being pets and companion animals can bring. A study conducted here in Australia found that pet owners had lower blood pressure and even lower cholesterol risk than no pet owners. Another study found that new pet owners had significantly lower minor health problems. When it comes to emotional well being studies have found that owning a pet helped reduce stress with non pet owners even making more doctor visits than pet owners.

So if you are considering a therapeutic retreat and have a pet, it stands to reason that if you bring your pet along it will benefit your stay.

Animal facilitated therapies even becoming a highly regarded health and mental health treatemnt. At Retreat South we even have Equine Therapy as one of our treatment options.

With the amount that research showing how pets help our well being, it stands to reason that your pet can be a valuable part of your recovery.  A structured routine can be helpful manage symptoms of anxiety or depression. What better routine than walking your dog? It’s great physical and emotional therapy.

That is why companion animals and family pets are welcome at Retreat South when you come to stay with us. Of course we need to ensure a few things when pets do come along, and your pet will need to be your responsibility while you stay with us. But we really know the important part they have in our health, so talk to us today if you are considering coming to Retreat South and have a pet.

Is work addiction worse for our wellbeing?

Addiction is widespread problem in life today. It causes problems in our private lives and can affect our ability to work. It can even become the addiction itself. A recent study from Norway has shown that addiction to work can even bring about more mental health problems than just the addiction.

Work addiction or ‘Workaholism’ is when we feel compelled to spend our time working and driven by an uncontrollable need to spend more and more time at work. It can cause us to spend less time on leisure and other important parts of our life too.

Workaholism may be something we take lightly, calling someone a workaholic is often something we say in fun but the more workaholism is studied, the more serious it is found. The Norwegian study was one of the largest to be conducted and discovered that workaholism often exists with Anxiety, Depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

The study also identified that managers and self-employed people are most likely to be considered workaholics. In our busy lifestyles, anxiety and depression can be a problem in the workforce, especially for business owners where workaholism involves wanting to make even more time available for work, cutting down on leisure and recreation time to devote more time for work and ignoring being told to cut down the amount of time devoted to work.

The research involved over 16,000 people aged between 16 and 75 years and found that nearly eight percent could meet the criteria for workaholism. Being a workaholic is no fun either, as the study showed that from the work addicts it surveyed, over 30 percent met the criteria for anxiety and ADHD. A quarter also showed for OCD, and nearly 10 percent of them for depression. Whether workaholics were more prone to other mental health conditions or if workaholism caused them is uncertain but interventions to help workaholics were recommended.

Beating those Winter Blues

It’s June and Winter is upon us here in Australia. Winter is a time when we run the risk of catching colds and other aliments, exercise and socialise less and even feel depressed. It is also a time when we can feel pretty low and even depressed.

It might be harder in Winter to do some of things that make us feel good but keeping up the following few things can help you beat those ‘Winter Blues’.

Exercise has a proven effect on our mood, we even blogged about some thought provoking research earlier on the relationship between exercise and positive mood. So some regular exercise can keep you happy and healthy through the colder months.

Nutrition and eating well is important for physical and mental health all year round. Regular, well balanced meals throughout the day keep the energy up and mood consistent. Sleep is probably not far from everybody’s mind in Winter. Nothing sounds better than a nice, warm bed to most of us during winter and sleep is one of the best things for resting the mind and body and ensuring good mood. So is daylight, so try not to spend all your time indoors as regular exposure to daylight has been proven beneficial in reducing depression.

Regular exercise, adequate sleep and a healthy diet are also good immune system boosters if you look after your physical health you are looking after your mental health as well.