Psychiatry Associates Blog

Burl Forgey, MD

Recent Posts

The Impact of Chronic Disease on Mental Health

Sometimes, sources of anxiety or stress are fleeting, offering the promise of a reprieve in a matter of days, weeks, or even months.  While the struggle may feel endless, we often ultimately realize that there is an end in sight.  However, when it comes to living and managing day-to-day life with a chronic illness, there may be no such promise ahead.   As a result, chronic diseases can have a drastic impact on not only a patient’s physical health, but on their mental health as well.  In fact, as many as one-third of those diagnosed with a chronic illness will also experience symptoms of depression.

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Healthy Levels of Narcissism vs. Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The term “narcissist” is tossed around regularly.  We often hear it used to describe someone’s ex, their boss, celebrities, or politicians.  But, is it likely that all of these individuals are truly suffering from narcissistic personality disorder?  What amount of appreciation for one’s self is healthy and appropriate, and at which point does it cross a line into problematic?  Let’s dive into some of the specifics regarding this personality trait and how to tell when it can no longer be classified as normal.

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Mental Health by the Numbers [INFOGRAPHIC]

Mental illness comes in many different forms and affects as many as 1 in 5 Americans.  These disorders can occur alone, but they often coincide with other mental health problems and can result in a wide range of complications from substance abuse to suicide.  Here are just a few of the most telling and important statistics regarding mental health in America:

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Beyond Major Depressive Disorder: 5 Other Types of Depression

Everyone is familiar with the concept of depression, and many have experienced it firsthand.  Estimates state that as many as 15 percent of adults will suffer from depression at some point in their lives.  Still, despite its prevalence, there is a lot about depression that many do not understand.  When, how, and why depression strikes can look vastly different from one patient to the next, largely based on the specific type they are battling.  Unbeknownst to a large portion of Americans, there are actually several forms of depression outside of the well-known Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), including the following five.

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Mental Health and Addiction: How One Impacts the Other

It is often observed that addiction is a great equalizer, impacting people of all ages, races, genders, and socioeconomic classes.  The factors influencing who suffers from addiction and why are expansive and not entirely understood.  While we know that nature and nurture both carry some degree of weight in the struggle of addiction, there is continuing research to better grasp how the cycle begins and how to best help patients overcome it.  What we do know for sure is that there are many connections between mental health and addiction, with each one having the capability to drastically influence the other. 

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PTSD Triggers: Ways to Identify & Cope

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a common mental illness impacting those who have experienced or witnessed particularly traumatic events.  While it is commonly associated with combat veterans, anyone can suffer from PTSD.  Events such as assaults, car accidents, or natural disasters can all leave a lasting impact on the brain, leading to problems such as anxiety, insomnia, agitation, and self-destructive behaviors.  At times, these symptoms may be worse than others.  This is often due to thoughts or events that serve as “triggers.”  Learning how to identify these triggers and cope with them effectively is an important step in living a healthy, successful life with PTSD.

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Understanding Schizophrenia Subtypes: The Distinguishing Factors

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding schizophrenia.  Those who are unfamiliar with the condition often incorrectly believe its sufferers have split personalities or a tendency to be violent.  In reality, however, these individuals do not have secondary personalities and are more likely to be the victims of violence than its perpetrators.  Likewise, many believe that all cases of schizophrenia are largely the same, but each case has its own distinguishing factors.

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Persistent Depressive Disorder: When Depression Hides in Plain Sight

Picture someone who is depressed.  What do you see?  You may envision someone who looks tired and unkempt.  Perhaps they are crying and struggling to get out of bed.  This is the image of depression that has been projected for decades.  Depression is supposed to be a major disruption of someone’s life, a drastic shift from who they normally are, right?  In the case of major depressive disorder or a depressive phase of bipolar disorder, these images may be somewhat accurate.  However, depression is a chameleon, and it can look and feel different in nearly every individual.  In some cases, this means that spotting the signs of depression is far more difficult than we would like to believe.

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Bipolar Medication Options for Baton Rouge Patients

For those suffering from bipolar disorder, much of what they perceive about the world around them depends on whether they are in a manic or depressive phase or somewhere entirely in between.  Striking a balance between these two extremes and the problems that may arise from each makes living a seemingly normal life exceptionally challenging, particularly when the condition is not being effectively treated.  Fortunately, psychiatrists are more familiar with the condition and how to best treat it than ever before.  Today, those living with bipolar disorder are finding that the right doctor and the right treatment protocol allows them to live day-to-day lives that are largely untouched by the disease.

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Baton Rouge Telemedicine: The Advantages for Mental Health Care

Increasingly, more and more aspects of healthcare have been shifted online.  You likely notice more electronic charting and fewer handwritten notes when visiting with your primary care physician.  You may use a portal to message them, keep up with appointments, request prescription refills or get test results.  As, this shift toward technology continues, the benefits are becoming more obvious.  Digital records mean easier access and ease of communication between various members of your healthcare team, and for a growing number of patients, it means having the ability to visit with a physician through virtual appointments.

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