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Clinic sees spike in mental health patients

Appeal-Democrat - 4/18/2019

April 18-- Apr. 18--Mental health issues are on the rise in the Yuba-Sutter area, according to local health care professionals. Many residents are struggling with conditions such as depression and anxiety, and are looking for ways to relieve the burden.

"The demand for service is so high that care providers have not been able to schedule patients sooner than two months in advance," said Jagmohan Thiara, a psychiatric nurse, mental health practitioner and family nurse practitioner at Harmony Health, Marysville. "We're seeing an influx of mental health patients. It's not just here, it's everywhere. It's a huge problem."

Problems can be posed by a chemical imbalance in the brain, but Thiara attributes much of the increase in mental health issues to the workloads people are taking on these days, poor diets, and lack of proper sleep hygiene.

"People are not paying attention to their stress load. They're trying to do more than what their body and mind can handle," Thiara said. "We're not taking care of ourselves the way we're supposed to."

Seeking professional help is one method of treatment for mental conditions, but Stephanie Fischer, a licensed marriage and family therapist at her own office in Yuba City, said that self-care is crucial to treating mental conditions.

"Generally, self-care is healthy activities or behaviors that make a person feel better: exercise, mindfulness and meditation, healthy eating practices, positive hobbies and interests, and healthy and supportive relationships with others can all serve as self-care," she said. "What may be self-care to one person may not work for another. Self-care is very personal depending on an individual's personality."

Fischer said she has noticed an increase in people calling for counseling in approximately the last two to three years for depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder. She's also seen an increase in the amount of teen clients with anxiety and depression.

"People need to actively listen to their bodies and minds. When you are starting to feel that things are not good and are not going right, find help as soon as you can," Fischer said.

Fischer said depression is common and people shouldn't be embarrassed to admit they're suffering from it and seek treatment.

"If we neglect positive self-care, we can get out of balance. Once our bodies and minds are out of balance, it can cause a cascade of effects," Fischer said.

Thiara agreed that not seeking treatment for mental issues can be dangerous.

"Depression can get so severe that suicide becomes an option to get out of the sadness. Suicide is the worst outcome. If they delay treatment. symptoms get worse and worse until they do something about it," Thiara said.

Anyone struggling with thoughts of suicide should seek help or call the 24-hour, toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.


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