A Quote From Candice's Parents

A quest for an understanding of mental illness as deep as the roots of an oak tree; and a desire to develop connections as strong as it's branches.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Positive Therapeutic Techniques

Hello, I hope every one's week went well and you enjoyed time spent with friends and family. Creating a positive environment for one’s self, your friends, and family can prove challenging. On any given day, one can find numerous valid reasons to indulge in negative thoughts, ranging from the current state of the economy to something as simple as the weather. Our thoughts play a huge role in how we feel and interact with others in our life. Negative thoughts encourage low self-esteem, thus feeding our mental attitude and directly affecting our relationships with others. Positive thoughts and actions can make a tremendous difference in your current life, while on your path to mental wellness. Having a positive attitude is elemental to being happy and leading a successful life. Negative thoughts and behavior patterns only continue to create a vicious cycle. However, there are several techniques you can use throughout the day to help to change these negative thoughts and instill a more positive way of thinking. Integrating different forms of cognitive therapy and therapeutic techniques can be a very effective way to deal with negative thoughts and feelings, helping us stay in harmony with the world around us. While various techniques can be effective, they should be integrated with traditional medicine from trusted medical professionals. I can not emphasize enough, the importance of taking your medication and remaining on task with any other prescribed treatment plan. It is never a wise choice to take your health in your own hands, but to balance any therapeutic techniques with the existing medical remedy. Positive therapeutic techniques can make you more confident, grounded, and self assured, changing your life for the better. Below, I have included various therapeutic techniques that my daughter has used with varying degrees of success. Using positive techniques to over come negative thoughts and behaviors can impact your life for the better.

Positive Affirmations-
An affirmation is a technique that is used to change negative subconscious thoughts that can overwhelm your current day to day thoughts. Positive Affirmations help change your thought pattern, making your life more fulfilling and reassure a more positive attitude. Positive affirmations can be used throughout the day anywhere and at anytime you need them. The more you use them the easier it will be for positive thoughts will take over negative ones. An affirmation is a simple technique that is used to change negative self-talk that we are rarely even aware of. Most of us have engaged in negative thoughts, so changing your thoughts and the way you think won’t happen overnight. If you are consistent with affirmations they will work once you have retrained your way of thinking. Our thoughts play a huge role in how we feel and interact with others in our life. Negative thoughts encourage low self esteem, thus feeding our mental attitude and directly affecting our relationships with others. An example of a positive affirmation.
Healing-I am created in the image of God, blessed with strength and wholeness.

Find somewhere quiet where you are able to relax for 15 or 20 minutes. This is most effective if you close your eyes, and relax your mind of all thoughts and feelings. During this time you can pray, repeat your affirmations, or just listen to relaxation music. What ever method you use it is essential to use this time to decompress. It is pivotal you use words of encouragement and believe in what you are saying.

Tune out and Turn up the Positive Technique –
This technique can be used anywhere and whenever you catch yourself thinking a negative thought. When you realize you are having a negative thought, think of yourself turning down a volume knob inside your head. Turn it down low enough so as not to hear it any longer. Then think of a positive affirmation to replace the negative thought with. Turn the volume back up repeating it to yourself.

The release technique-
If you have negative thoughts write them down on piece of paper, crumble the paper, throw it away or burn the paper. By doing this you are telling yourself these thoughts are nothing and you are infusing a positive mindset.

Credit is given to Dr Andrew Weil for these next three techniques which are Breathing Exercises. Dr Andrew Weil states, "Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.” Andrew Weil, M.D. Since breathing is something we can control and regulate, it is a useful tool for achieving a relaxed and clear state of mind. I recommend three breathing exercises to help relax and reduce stress: The Stimulating Breath, The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise (also called the Relaxing Breath), and Breath Counting. Try each and see how they affect your stress and anxiety levels.

Stimulating Breath (also called the Bellows breath)-
The Stimulating Breath is adapted from a yogic breathing technique. Its aim is to raise vital energy and increase alertness. Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Your breaths in and out should be equal in duration, but as short as possible. This is a noisy breathing exercise. Try for three in-and-out breath cycles per second. This produces a quick movement of the diaphragm, suggesting a bellows. Breathe normally after each cycle. Do not do for more than 15 seconds on your first try. Each time you practice the Stimulating Breath, you can increase your time by five seconds or so, until you reach a full minute. If done properly, you may feel invigorated, comparable to the heightened awareness you feel after a good workout. You should feel the effort at the back of the neck, the diaphragm, the chest and the abdomen. Try this breathing exercise the next time you need an energy boost and feel yourself reaching for a cup of coffee.

Relaxing Breath (or 4, 7, 8 breathing)-
This exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths. Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply. This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it but gains in power with repetition and practice. Do it at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently. Do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice. Later, if you wish, you can extend it to eight breaths. If you feel a little lightheaded when you first breathe this way, do not be concerned; it will pass. Once you develop this technique by practicing it every day, it will be a very useful tool that you will always have with you. Use it whenever anything upsetting happens - before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep. This exercise cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it.

Breath Counting-
If you want to get a feel for this challenging work, try your hand at breath counting, a deceptively simple technique much used in Zen practice. Sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight and head inclined slightly forward. Gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then let the breath come naturally without trying to influence it. Ideally it will be quiet and slow, but depth and rhythm may vary... To begin the exercise, count "one" to yourself as you exhale. The next time you exhale, count "two," and so on up to "five." Then begin a new cycle, counting "one" on the next exhalation. Never count higher than "five," and count only when you exhale. You will know your attention has wandered when you find yourself up to "eight," "12," even "19." Try to do 10 minutes of this form of meditation.


  1. Great techniques for relaxation breathing. We can all use some calming techniques in this stressful time in which we live!

  2. So true. As well as being a mentwl health patent and on drugs, I also happen to be a licensed trainer of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and find the toolkit that provides very helpful, but it is in addition to the drugs.

  3. Your Blog explains Positive inspiring techniques to improve Wellness and enhance Wellness.

    I have recovered from Bipolar Disorder using most of those techniques.
    But my Breakthrough is listening to a meditation CD called Alpha Beta each night, slowing down my brainwaves and curing my insomnia. http://www.karentyrrell.com


Free or discounted medication:


I trust if you are reading this blog you or someone you know is living with mental illness. It is a very important and integral part of healing to work together with medical professionals on a treatment plan and to take the prescribed medication. It is the opinion of some individuals that success can be found in alternative treatments, i.e. hypnosis or acupuncture, however it is only advisable if integrated with traditional westernized medicine. With today's rising health cost and the state of the economy, receiving adequate health care can be a challenge. Additionally, individuals with mental with mental illness can find it difficult to maintain employment thus making health care difficult or impossible. Below I have included a list of resources for free or discounted medication. I hope you find these resources helpful and wish you all the best of luck on your path to healing and wellness.

Free Prescription Drugs
Free Medicine from 270+ Programs For Low Income, Uninsured Under 65 - http://www.scbn.org/

Patient Assistance Programs
Join the millions of people who are receiving Free Prescription Meds. - http://freemedicinefoundation.com/

Save on ADHD Treatment
Receive up to $50 off an approved ADHD treatment for your child.- http://www.vyvanse.com/

Free Drug Card -USA
Save up to 75%, no fees, download card online. As seen in USA Today. - http://www.freedrugcard.us/

Prescription AssistanceOver 1400 medications available Annual income under $42k to qualify - http://www.myrxadvocate.com

MORE INFORMATION: Try switching your prescriptions to generics that are covered by the WalMart/Target/Walgreens programs. There are always generics that aren't in the covered lists. If you do encounter a prescription not, covered try using a mail-order company. Xubex is a great resource and additionally is much less expensive than buying some generics at pharmacy cost. For example, you won't find Zolpidem, genereic Ambien on any of the pharmacy $5 lists, because it's a controlled substance. Xubex has it on their 90 days for $30 list. A substantial savings that beats out any pharmacy. I am sure you would be surprised to find out that Xubex offers a free 30 day supply of your medication. The catch, you ask? To get you to try Xubex's prescription service. Their list of medications that are covered is extensive. One element to using mail order that is a minor draw back is that it can take two weeks to receive your prescription, so please prepare accordingly. One last resource not to be overlooked is to apply directly to the drug companies, Astra-Zeneca and Glaxo.
If you have any information that might be helpful to some who is sharing the same challenge, please post a comment to this blog.

Trusted resources on mental illness:


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From its inception in 1979, NAMI has been dedicated to improving the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness.
For three decades, NAMI has established itself as the most formidable grassroots mental health advocacy organization in the country. Dedication, steadfast commitment and unceasing belief in NAMI's mission by grassroots advocates have produced profound changes. NAMI's greatest strength is the dedication of our grassroots leaders and members. We are the families, friends and individuals that serve to strengthen communities across the country.


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NIMH envisions a world in which mental illnesses are prevented and cured.
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The mission of NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery and cure.
For the Institute to continue fulfilling this vital public health mission, it must foster innovative thinking and ensure that a full array of novel scientific perspectives are used to further discovery in the evolving science of brain, behavior, and experience. In this way, breakthroughs in science can become breakthroughs for all people with mental illnesses.

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The purpose of this blog is muti-faceted. It serves to share and express our emotions. To inform and to educate, and to be educated. Also, to fund our daughters' care, be it medical or basic. We are paid by our advertisers as you take the time to read their very important messages. Additionally, you are enabling us to provide quality care while continuing to keep her living in the safety of her home, as her physician works to find the right balance with her treatment. We graciously thank you for helping us achieve our goal.