Mental Health for teenagers!

Mental Health for teenagers!

Many young people today are experiencing problems that effect their psychological well-being. These include high levels of anxiety, lowered mood, low self-esteem, poor concentration . In some cases the problem is severe and medication may  be needed, in other cases the problems are not as acute but lead to misery.

We run clinics for teenagers to boost mood, lower anxiety and worry and increase concentration and focus and address self-esteem. We recommend several treatment sessions to start effecting change. These sessions combine  Cognitive behavioral therapy, Craniosacral therapy and Nutrition. Our aim is to make the treatment  affordable (55 euros per session) and run on a sliding scale where necessary.

We frequently see teenagers who are struggling with mood, anxiety and attention. Sometimes parents and practitioners consider medication. Research indicates that though medication can provide answers in the short-term, it may not provide answers in the long term. For example, In terms of mood, recovery rates from lowered mood are no better now than they were 50 years ago before the advent of medication. Teenagers with Attention Deficit disorder who have never been medicated typically do better in the long term than those who have been medicated. There is evidence to suggest that long term medications for mental health conditions may not be the answer. Numerous studies support the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for mood, anxiety, self-esteem and managing stress.  We combine CBT with a nutritional analysis and protocol as there is plenty of research to indicate that a nutrient dense diet is really important for improving mental health in teenagers. We also use a hands on approach called Craniosacral therapy which helps alter brain rhythms to help improve responses to stress and lower anxiety responses on a physiological level.

At Vico Health we combine the three approaches to help the teenager reclaim positive mental health.

OUR APPROACH

Nutrition

The importance of Nutrients in the treatment of Psychological well-being cannot be trivialized. A better nourished body and brain is better able to withstand stress, and diet is an effective and inexpensive method for improving mental health. Research shows that the more processed foods you eat the more likely you are to develop depression. A high consumption of sugary foods, refined grains and takeaways strongly increase risk of depression. A high intake of nutrient dense wholefood is associated with positive mental health. The foods from our grandparents days, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, fish, nuts, pulses and whole grains, all help us to feel well mentally and physically well.

For example, if a diet is deficient in B6 (found in wholegrain brown rice, leafy green vegetables, seafood), this deficiency alone can lead to anxiety, restlessness, lowered mood and fatigue. If the diet lacks Magnesium (wholegrains, nuts, green leafy vegetables) this can lead to feelings of nervous tension, muscle spasm and difficulty falling asleep. If a diet lacks essential fatty acids or zinc, it may lower levels of serotonin or dopamine which help mood and focus.

Unfortunately advertisements for processed foods often target young people and supermarkets often offer processed foods more cheaply. There is no such thing as cheap food as the foods that may appear cheap and therefore good value are often at a cost to health. Suboptimal nutrition and the use of foods that are really poor in nutrients are contributing to an epidemic of poor mental health.

Research also indicates the importance of really good gut health (the gut microbiome) in supporting good mental health. This microbiome is effected by junk foods, fizzy drinks, sugar, stress and overuse of antibiotics. Simple dietary changes that help repair the gut can help reduce feelings of anxiety and increase resilience. During our treatment sessions we evaluate gut health and diet and help the teenager understand the link with good psychological health. 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

 CBT is a collaborative, practical, problem-solving approach that helps to treat stress, anxiety, worry lowered mood and low self-esteem. It is an evidence-based approach to the improvement of mental health and wellness.

It can help break the circle of unhelpful thinking and behavior.  It is based on the concept that how we think, act and feel, and what we experience in our bodies, all interact with one another. The therapy focuses on the thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes that we hold, the personal meaning we associate with these, and how this relates to our behavior. CBT empowers the teenager by teaching a more useful way of thinking and coping. It also helps them to unravel their beliefs about themselves, others and the world around them. CBT can also include techniques such as goal setting and breath-work.

Craniosacral Therapy

 

CST is a very gentle, non-invasive therapy which uses light touch to bring the central nervous system back into balance.

The CranioSacral System consists of the brain, spinal cord, membranes and fluid within it. The fluid has a rhythm of its own, similar to the tide of the ocean or your heartbeat and pulse. When there is a disruption in the flow of this fluid, imbalance in the body and mind can occur. And it works the other way too…When we have emotional responses to anxiety-provoking experiences and we hold our emotions in (which can happen a lot during the teenage years) the emotions can be stored in the tissues of the body. During craniosacral therapy, the body relaxes, the brain activities slow down and the ego with its defence mechanisms relaxes its hold. The stored emotions will often come to the surface and be gently released. Craniosacral therapy calms the mind and restores its connection with the body. It is profoundly relaxing and restorative.

Craniosacral therapy can help address the root causes of anxiety and depression without the use of medications. It calms the central nervous system, allowing the body and mind to be stronger and more resilient. Objective studies show an increase in Theta wave frequencies after treatment, theta waves are associated with mental quieting. Parents often see quite immediate changes in their child or adolescent after treatment. It can lower overall anxiety levels and improve mood.

To inquire about our teenage clinic or to book an appointment: Contact us on 087-2140064

 

 

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