The NBA is Ramping Up Their Mental Health Programs


The National Basketball Association (NBA) reminded players this week that they are offering mental health help for any players. Players were urged to look after their mental wellness and take advantage of the newly enhanced programs.


NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and National Basketball Players Association executive direction Michele Robert’s sent out a letter saying, “ Each of our offices has newly-enhanced mental wellness programs, which we encourage you to use to manage stress, anxiety and other challenges. It’s a critical step that can also encourage teammates and fans alike to understand that it’s a sign of strength, not weakness, to ask for help.”


Multiple players in recent years such as Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan have opened up about their struggles with mental health. Even coaches such as Cleveland Cavalier’s coach Tyronn Lue, who was treated for anxiety during the season, have been sharing their stories.


NBA players are hugely influential in today’s culture. Them speaking out about their mental health struggles is further breaking down the stigma around mental illness. Mental health is also not as widely discussed in minority communities or amongst men. Having POC males in powerful positions open about their mental health journeys is encouraging.





It’s World Suicide Prevention Day!

Every year on September 10th, the world observes World Suicide Prevention Day. This day is about providing worldwide awareness about suicide, and putting into place actions to prevent suicide, such as anxiety disorder treatment or individual therapy.


An estimated one million people die by suicide per year. It impacts people of all ages, genders, races, and backgrounds. More people die from suicide than murder or war and it is the 13th leading cause of death worldwide. These high numbers highlight the urgent need for this day and aid for preventing future suicides.


While mental health and mental illness have lost some of the stigmas around them, suicide still remains taboo. Openly discussing suicide can be challenging, but sharing stories, especially on this day, can help individuals who are struggling with the same things.


Show your support day by reaching out to those that you love. Whether or not you have attempted suicide or had suicidal thoughts, this day is about helping those in need. Share your stories, reach out, or write “love” across your wrist to let those around you know you’re here.


If you’re struggling and need help please contact us or reach out to a mental health professional.

Facts About Back to School Stress College Students Face


Back-to-school season is both exciting and stressful. Whether you’re a parent, a grade school student or a college student the new school year means a lot of change. College students are particularly vulnerable to mental health and stress issues. They’re facing being alone, limited resources, and entering a new phase of life. Here are a few facts about back to school stress that university student’s face that you might not know.


There Are Three Types of Stress

There are actually three different types of stress that people can have; acute stress, episodic acute stress, and chronic acute stress. Acute stress is the most common type of stress and can be positive or negative. Most college kids will experience acute stress. As long as it doesn’t last for too long or too intensely it’s normal.


Episode acute stress is stress that occurs frequently. It often pops up in a pattern, accompanied by worry and angst. Type A people tend to experience this more often. Chronic acute stress is a never-ending stress that is relentless. This type of stress can lead to long-term health problems and should be addressed as soon as possible.


There Are Four Types of Symptoms

College students face a few types of stress, but symptoms of stress can also appear in different ways. There are four types of symptoms, physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral. Because stress manifests in different ways it can be hard for people or those around them to identify the signs.


A Large Number of College Students Feel Stressed

College has a lot of stress attached to it. From academic stresses such as tests, papers, grades, to personal life stresses like living alone, balancing relationships, and thinking about future careers it’s not surprising that a lot of college students identify as being stressed. In fact, 20% of college students say they feel stressed “most of the time”. That means 1 in 5 University students feel stressed almost constantly.


Stress Leads to Depression Among Students

Being stressed can cause depression. Nearly 34% of college students report feeling depressed at least once within the last 90 days. This number is high; especially considering university campuses don’t always have adequate mental health resources.


Half of Students Feel Overwhelmed

About half of college students report feeling overwhelmed with stress and anxiety at least once within the last year. Stress can lead to a number of other mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts.


Contact us if you or someone you know is struggling. Back to school stress can be managed. Learning methods to manage stress, using mental health resources and getting help can all aid in relieving stress.

Facts About PTSD You Might Not Know


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder caused by severe traumatic events. Although it’s commonly associated with soldiers returning from war, any civilian can develop it. PTSD has a lot of negative stigmas attached to it, but it’s a common and difficult disorder. Here are a few facts you might not know about it.


70% of U.S. Adults Experience a Traumatic Event

An estimated 70% of adults in the U.S. will experience at least one traumatic event in their life. Of those that do, 20% of them will go on to develop PTSD. Traumatic events can be anything from a car crash to a natural disaster.


13 Million People Have PTSD

It’s been estimated that 5% of Americans have PTSD at any given time. That’s 13 million people living with this disorder daily. Getting help for this disorder can be challenging. If you or someone you love is struggling with PTSD please contact us.


Women are Twice as Likely to Develop PTSD

Although PTSD is a disorder commonly associated with males, women are actually twice as likely as men to develop it. An estimated 1 out of 10 women will get PTSD at some point in their lives. Sexual and domestic abuse is commonly the causes of PTSD in women.


Trauma Alters Brain Chemistry

Research suggests that trauma can actually disrupt and alter brain chemistry. This can lead to the development of PTSD in some people. So when people tell those living with PTSD to “get over it”, it’s not helpful and not possible.


There are “Clusters” of Symptoms

PTSD symptoms fall into one of three clusters, used to categorize them. The first is reliving the event, either through nightmares or intrusive images. The second is avoidance, in which people avoid certain places, people, thoughts or activities that may trigger the trauma. The last is being hyper-aroused, which can cause irritability, sudden anger, or make sleeping difficult.


Treatment is Possible

Although PTSD can consume one’s life, there is treatment available. A combination of medication and psychotherapy are often prescribed. There are also newer treatments such as TMS that can be explored. Contact us if you have any questions about treating your PTSD.

Deep TMS Receives FDA Approval to Treat OCD


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just granted BrainsWay’s deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (dTMS) system approval in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in adults.


This is the first every non-invasive device to receive clearance for the treatment of OCD. It also marks the second time TMS was approved by the FDA in the treatment of a mental disorder. Previously, TMS was only FDA approved in the treatment of treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (MDD).


“With the clearance of our BrainsWay OCD device, we are now able to provide an effective and safe treatment option for US patients who are suffering from OCD,” said Yaacov Michlin, president and chief executive officer of BrainsWay. “With more than two million US adults suffering from OCD, this clearance provides us with a significant market opportunity. Importantly, this clearance further establishes Deep TMS as a platform technology that will provide treatments for additional psychiatric indications, subject to successful completion of our currently ongoing multi center studies and regulatory approvals.”


There are more than 2 million adults in the US suffering from OCD. It’s a disorder characterized by a pattern of obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors. It’s a difficult cycle to break, making treating it hard. Current treatment options include medications, CBT, or a combination of these treatments. It’s a difficult disorder to treat though since many patients do not respond to the traditional medications or therapy. OCD patients also have a difficult time tolerating the side effects of medications.


TMS is a form of non-invasive brain stimulation that sends targeted electromagnetic pulses into the brain. Deep TMS is a newer method of TMS that can stimulate deeper parts of the brain.


News of FDA approval is great. It means that more patients can receive the procedure and get it covered by insurance. Contact us to learn more about TMS or to see what other OCD treatments are available.

Eating Disorders You Probably Haven’t Heard Of


Eating disorders are one of the most common mental illnesses in the US. They affect people from all backgrounds and don’t discriminate based on gender, race, or socioeconomic status. Much of the conversation around eating disorders focus on the more well-known ones such as bulimia and anorexia. However, there are more eating disorders out there that aren’t commonly known that people suffer from.


Compulsive Overeating

People often mistake Compulsive Overeating (COE) for binge eating disorder. They’re similar but have one key difference. People with COE habitually graze on large qualities of food throughout the day, rather than binge on large quantities at once, which is typically for binge eating disorder. COE often suffer from food addictions, where they are unable to control how much they eat.


Orthorexia Nervosa

Orthorexia nervosa is a term used to characterize individuals that have an obsession with a “pure” diet. These individuals become obsessed with avoiding unhealthy foods to the point where it interferes with their life. It takes healthy dieting to an extreme. This eating disorder is different from other ones. Orthorexia patients are focused on the quality of food they intake, as opposed to the quantity like with anorexia.


Selective Eating Disorder

Selective eating disorder (SED) is also known as picky eating. This type of eating disorder is characterized by the inability to consume certain foods based on the food’s appearance, smell, taste, or texture. This disorder is commonly found among children and adolescent.



Drunkorexia happens when individuals self-imposed starvation or binge eating/purging behavior in order to reserve calories for alcohol intake. Patients essentially don’t eat, or binge eat and then purge, and instead take in most of their calories from alcohol. Excessive exercising is also common.


Gourmand Syndrome

Gourmand syndrome is a rare condition that sometimes develops when people sustain injuries to their right frontal lobe. These patients develop a post-injury passion and obsession for gourmet or fine foods. It’s characterized by an obsessive focus on eating, thinking, talking, and writing about fine foods.


Final Thoughts

Eating disorders, even the more rare ones, are serious and impact thousands every day. Eating disorders can have lifelong consequences and are one of the most deadly mental illnesses. If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder please contact us. Treatment is difficult but possible!

Florida Students Will Have to Report Accessing Mental Health Services


After the tragic shooting at Parkland, Florida’s government has been working to ensure a situation like that doesn’t happen again. Legislation has recently passed that will increase funding for mental health screenings. However, it will also ask students to report if they’ve ever received mental health services.


Mental health advocates are already concerned. The language in the law around this is vague and doesn’t clarify what needs to be reported. Many parents are concerned that having that information on school records could impede children’s future such as getting into college.


Mental health professionals are also concerned about how that information will be used. The Department of Education hasn’t clarified and is leaving it up to local school districts to enforce.


Forced reporting could lead to stigmatization and bullying. The law also doesn’t make clear what mental health services have to be disclosed.


Overall, further clarification is needed. Parkland was a tragedy, but school officials knew the shooter had mental health issues even without this law requiring reporting, leaving many wondering how useful this law will really be. There have been few laws put in place since to address how to help and stop those suffering from mental health problems from committing similar acts.


If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, or you believe someone may be a danger to others, please contact a mental health professional right away.

Opioid Addiction Is Beginning To Decline

One of the United States’ top insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield, reported that new opioid addiction diagnoses had dropped. Blue Cross Blue Shield insures 1 in 3 Americans, which mean this data might signal a turning point in the opioid epidemic.


There are an estimated 2 million people in the US alone with an opioid use disorder, either by prescription painkillers or illicit drugs like heroin or fentanyl. Many opioid addictions begin after being legitimately prescribed painkillers by a doctor. Opioids are highly addictive though, and once their prescriptions run out people turn to other means to satisfy their addiction. The US shut down most of their Pill Mills a few years ago, leading to a surge of heroin and fentanyl usage, which has a high overdose rate.


The good news is that the Blue Cross report found there was around a 5% decline in opioid addiction diagnoses in 2017. This is the first recorded decline in years. Although Blue Cross is optimistic, they still encourage the medical community to remain vigilant. The report also showed the highest rates of opioid addiction was in New England, Appalachian, and the South.


One reason opioid addictions might be dropping is that there has been a decline in the number of opioid prescriptions, which has fallen 29% since 2013. This drop is due to tighter new CDC guidelines, which encourage doctors against prescribing opioid painkillers. A recent study showed that around 7 out of 10 doctors have cut back on opioid prescriptions in the past two years. Mississippi, Ohio, and New England have seen the biggest decline in prescriptions.


Although this decline is good, it’s still modest. There are still millions in America struggling with opioid addiction. Death certificate data from the CDC suggests around 48,000 people died of opioid overdoses in 2017, which was an 8% increase from the year before.


This study brings hope that this epidemic will end. Citizens still need to remain vigilant though. We encourage anyone struggling with opioid addiction to seek treatment as soon as possible. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact us.

What is Kratom and How Does it Work?


Kratom is relatively unheard of to the general public, but there is a fiery debate raging in the US about it. Kratom is an herb that offers relief from pain, depression, and anxiety. And more importantly, it’s being touted as a tool to combat opioid addiction and quell the opioid epidemic the US is going through currently. But not everyone is convinced its as good as it says it is.


So what is Kratom?

Kratom is a tree found in Southeast Asia whose leaves have been used for hundreds of years to relieve pain. The leaves can be eaten raw, and are often chewed by local farmers, but it’s more commonly crushed, brewed into tea, or turned into capsules, tablets, and liquids. In low doses, Kratom acts like a stimulant giving the user increased energy. In larger amounts, it acts like a sedative relieving pain and depression.


How does Kratom work?

Kratom targets the same parts of the brain that opioids do, such as drugs like heroin, morphine, codeine, and fentanyl. Unlike opioids though, kratom doesn’t have the same harmful side effects like slowed breathing and physical dependency.


Why do opioid addicts use it?

Most deaths from opioid overdoses are from slowed breathing, called respiratory depression. Since kratom does not have this deadly side effect, it’s a safe alternative. Opioid addicts looking to stop using drugs such as heroin also turn to kratom as a form of relief from the physical and mental pains of withdrawal. Kratom is also supposedly less addictive than other withdrawal medications like methadone and suboxone.


Is Kratom safe?

The thing is, we don’t know. The DEA and FDA are currently looking into banning and regulating the substance. They also want to do further studies to see just how safe and or how addictive the drug is. While it does offer many benefits, there is much that is unknown about the drug still. Because kratom is sold as an herbal supplement and is unregulated, there have been cases where it is contaminated with salmonella and other bacteria. Due to all of the unknowns, and the way it binds to the brain similarly to dangerous opioids, many doctors are still hesitant to recommend it.



There is a lot that is still unknown about kratom. While it does offer many benefits, in its current state it’s not safe to take. People risk swapping one addiction for another. Feel free to contact us to learn more; Dr. Rodriguez is one of the state’s leading experts on Kratom so we are more than qualified to discuss it with you.

Common Causes of Depression


Feeling sad, alone, or depressed is natural. But anyone who has experienced major depressive disorder knows that it feels anything but normal. Major depressive disorder can be difficult to live with, and it causes many people to wonder what causes it. The exact cause of depression is still unknown, but scientists have theories and ideas about what can cause it, including a combination of nature and nurture. These are the most common causes and risk factors for depression.



On the nature side of the causes debate, genetics is thought to play a major role in whether someone will develop depression. Because doctors still aren’t sure what causes depression, it’s hard to determine which genes play a factor. What scientists do know though is that depression runs in families. People whose immediate family members have depression have an increased risk of also developing it.


Substance Abuse

People who suffer from alcohol and drug addiction often also have depression and anxiety. Nearly 30% of people with substance abuse problems have major or clinical depression too. The depression could come either before the addiction, in which case many people try to self-medicate through drugs and alcohol. The depression can also come afterward, due to changes in brain chemistry or from negative life events from the addiction.


Major Illness

Depression sometimes co-exists with major illnesses or is triggered by another medical condition. People with chronic or major illnesses, such as HIV/AIDS, asthma, or Parkinson’s may have what is called “secondary depression”. The change in the quality of life that comes with these disorders is thought to be the cause of secondary depression.



Some medications carry the risk and side effects of depression. Doctors warn patients about this ahead of time, and urge them to report any depression or suicidal thoughts. Patients that take drugs that carry the risk of depression are closely monitored.



Abuse, either physical, sexual, or emotional, can increase one’s vulnerability to depression. Past abuse, especially childhood abuse has an even higher risk. Depression may not develop until years after the event.


Major Life Events

Major life events, even happy ones, can bring stress into people’s lives. Events such as starting a new job, moving, graduating, getting married, or having kids are positive, but can still lead to depression. Negative events can also cause depression such as losing a job, getting divorced, retiring, or losing a loved one.



If you or someone you love is struggling with depression do not hesitate to contact us. Depression makes you feel as if there is no hope or end to the struggle, but that is not true. With the right treatment, you can feel like yourself again.