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Psychiatry

Contact our Psychiatry Department: 641.494.5170


Addiction

Addiction is an uncontrollable dependence on a certain substance or activity. People become addicted to different things for different reasons, but they all can be affected both physically and psychologically.

Physical addictions are usually a result of a particular substance. After excessive use, people build up a tolerance so that they need a larger and larger dose to feel the same effects of the substance. If they do not use the substance, they may suffer from symptoms of withdrawal. Psychological addictions occur when there is an uncontrollable urge to use or perform their addiction. Some of the most common addictions include:

  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Caffeine
  • Nicotine/smoking
  • Shopping
  • Sex
  • Internet
  • Dieting

Quitting an addiction is an extremely difficult task. While recognizing your problem is the first major step, quitting takes hard work and commitment. It is often helpful to use psychotherapy to quit an addiction. Emotional support from friends and family is also crucial to your success. Continued determination will help you reach your goal and fight off any temptations for relapse.


Opioid Addiction Treatment (Suboxone)

Suboxone is used to treat opiate dependence.

Opioid dependence is increasingly a problem in many communities. An estimated 20% or more of individuals interested in getting help for their dependence avoid seeking treatment because of the stigma attached to the condition and limited treatment availability.

Physicians are specifically trained in office-based treatment of opioid dependence. Opioid-dependent patients often prefer office-based treatment because it allows greater privacy than more traditional forms of care. In addition, because the medication used (buprenorphine/naloxone) is available by prescription, office-based treatment is often more flexible and convenient than other treatments. It is an important part of an overall treatment plan for combating opioid addiction when used in conjunction with therapy and support.

Contact Dr. Ramos in our WestBrook office at 641.494.5170 to discuss treatment options.


Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a complex brain disorder that involves sudden mood shifts from high to low. These dramatic mood swings, known as episodes, are referred to as stages of mania and depression. Bipolar disorder affects over 5 million Americans. It most frequently develops in late adolescence or early adulthood but may begin during childhood, as well.

Episodes of bipolar disorder can last for days, weeks or months. Symptoms of each phase may be mild or severe but can include:

Mania

  • Euphoria
  • Increased energy
  • Restlessness
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Increased sexual drive
  • Inability to concentrate

Depression

  • Sadness
  • Hopelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt
  • Fatigue
  • Change in appetite
  • Loss of interest
  • Suicidal thoughts

The severity and frequency of these symptoms are classified into different types of bipolar disorder. The cause of bipolar disorder is not known, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic, biological and environmental factors.

If left untreated, bipolar disorder will worsen and can eventually lead to suicide. It is important to see your doctor if you experience symptoms, especially suicidal thoughts. Treatment usually includes mood stabilizing, antidepressant or anti-seizure medications and psychotherapy. Since the disorder is recurring, long-term treatment is usually recommended to maintain a balanced mood. Long-term treatment can help make this potentially life-threatening disease manageable. Talk to your doctor at the first sign of symptoms to help treat bipolar disorder.


Depression

While everybody feels sad or blue every once in a while, many people suffer from an actual medical condition, known as depression, that affects their lives on a daily basis. Depression is characterized by constant feelings of sadness or emptiness, and it may be triggered by certain events or co-exist with other illnesses.

There are several different depressive disorders, but major depressive disorder is the most common. Symptoms of major depression include:

  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Loss of interest in normal activities
  • Crying spells
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Aches and pains
  • Suicidal thoughts

Like other psychological disorders, the cause of depression is not specifically known, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic, biological and environmental factors. Depression often occurs with other illnesses, including anxiety disorders, substance abuse, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Although depression can be a serious condition, it is highly treatable. It is important to talk to a doctor if you are experiencing symptoms to help prevent the condition from worsening. Treatment of depression typically includes medication and psychotherapy. Following effective treatment methods can help make depression a manageable and much less dangerous condition.


More Psychiatry Services >>>

To learn more about our psychiatry services, please call 641.494.5170 today or use our online form to schedule an appointment. Our psychiatry patients come to us from Albert Lea, Algona, Charles City, Iowa Falls, Mason City, New Hampton and surrounding locations.

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