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06

July

Neurotransmitter #1: Acetylcholine

Neurotransmitter #1: Acetylcholine

 

Introduction to Neurotransmitters

Rochester Holistic Psychiatry specializes in neuromodulation using transcranial magnetic stimulation therapy, or TMS.  Today, we want to talk about neurotransmitters, which are the chemical messengers in the brain that respond to the TMS treatment to help improve brain function.  One of our most important neurotransmitters is acetylcholine.

What Is Acetylcholine?

Acetylcholine (ACh) is a chemical compound built from acetic acid and choline.  Acetylcholine is released by nerve cells to communicate with cells in our muscles, brains, and glands.  It is produced in humans and a wide variety of

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01

July

Major Depressive Disorder and Lupus

Major Depressive Disorder and Lupus

 

When the Body Fights Itself

What is lupus?  The proper name for lupus is systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE.  Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that is a chronic condition among sufferers.  Symptoms of the disease vary among patients, but it is essentially the immune system mistaking healthy cells for pathogens and lashing out at them.

Lupus affects the central nervous system, causing physical and psychological distress.  When lupus causes psychiatric symptoms that affect the sufferer’s quality of life, this is called neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus, or NPSLE.

Depression and

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23

June

Depression in Pre-Teen Children

Depression in Pre-Teen Children

 

An Ageless Problem

In this post, when we use the term “depression,” we are using it as a general term for MDD, or major depressive disorder.  Depression doesn’t care who the sufferer is, how old they are, or what people see when they look at the sufferer’s life.

Children today live in a very busy world, and though they may be lively and energetic, their minds can become overloaded the mind, which impedes the brain from processing things well and lessening the amount of rest they get.

Circumstances are extremely

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09

June

Occupational Mental Health Hazards

Occupational Mental Health Hazards

 

Work Woes

Mental health problems follow us everywhere.  Even if our work is fulfilling and our co-workers friendly, the workplace can offer mental health hazards along with physical health hazards like sharps and caustic inhalants.  Work can put us under great stressors.  For example:

Will works on electric power lines at great heights.  He and his work partner are in danger from the elements every day, and a tiny mistake can mean disaster.

Riley is a security guard in a building that is a frequent target of armed robberies.  They

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25

May

Depression Part 7: PMDD

What is PMDD?

PMDD stands for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.  This is a condition that causes significant mental and physical upset before women (we’ll use this general term for our purposes today) and AFAB individuals in their reproductive years begin their menses.

Statistical studies indicate that about 1 in 20 women globally suffer from PMDD, and the number is likely higher.  PMDD is often misconstrued as PMS, and there is a significant amount of stigma and ignorance around these issues.

Symptoms of PMDD

PMDD can have its root causes in past trauma or genetic predisposition

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21

May

What Stress Does to the Brain

A Familiar Pain

Stress is something we’re all familiar with. Oftentimes, it’s something we can’t do a lot about in regard to removing the source of the stress. We’re stressed about money, our future, our kids, our relationships, our health, etc. We want to do the best we can about all that is important to us, but when our efforts don’t yield the results we need and we have way too many tasks going on at the same time, that’s when stress digs into you.

What Does Stress Do to the Brain?

When

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29

April

COVID and Comorbidity

COVID and Comorbidity

COVID-19 stands out among physical illnesses right now for its unprecedented affect on mental illness. A study of over 69 million people in the United States revealed disturbing results. Out of those diagnosed with COVID, nearly 20% developed a new mental health issue, like anxiety or dementia.

“Given the novelty and scope of the pandemic, there is little-to-no framework, particularly during the lifespan of the majority of the population alive, for how to manage the threat to health, lifestyle, and societal change,” says Jessica Stern, PhD, a psychologist and

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12

April

Depression Part 6: Manic Depression/Bipolar Disorder

Depression Part 6: Manic Depression/Bipolar Disorder

A Painful Spectrum

What is bipolar disorder?  Bipolar disorder, also called manic depression, is defined as a depressive disorder that swings between two “poles,” a state of mania and a state of depression.  The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) divides bipolar disorder into three types:

Bipolar 1 involves manic episodes over 7 days long or exhibiting symptoms that require hospitalization.  Depressive episodes tend to last about 14 days.  A mixed state with characteristics of both depression and mania has been observed in some cases.
Bipolar 2 involves

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05

April

The Facts on Phobias

The Facts on Phobias

 

More Than Fear

Phobias are a particularly unsettling form of anxiety and source of much distress to sufferers. What is a phobia, what forms do phobias take, and what can be done about them? Can they be reduced or eliminated? There are resources available, and things tend to be less frightening once they are better understood.

What Is a Phobia?

It’s normal to have things that scare you. Most of us are scared of something. Some common fears are heights, dark spaces, enclosed spaces, creatures like spiders and snakes,

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18

March

MDD and Hormones

A Common Crossroads

Today, we’ll talk about how hormones affect major depressive disorder (MDD). Imbalanced hormones are a common issue we hear about from our patients. For more on hormones and mental health, check out our posts on postpartum depression and menopausal depression.

What Are Hormones?

Hormones are chemical signals that travel around the body influencing the functions of different organs and tissues. Hormones work with the chemical signals of the brain, called neurotransmitters. Hormones are produced and released by glands placed around the human body:

Adrenal glands
Thyroid glands
Pituitary glands
Testes
Ovaries

Major hormones include cortisol, estrogen,

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