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    What Is Psychotic Depression?

    Last updated 8 days ago

    Mental health issues, such as depression, are much more than just occasional feelings of sadness. They require medical treatment from a behavioral health expert. This is particularly true when an individual has a dual diagnosis of depression and another psychological health challenges, such as substance abuse or psychosis. If you or a loved one begins to experience the symptoms of psychotic depression, it’s imperative to get help right away to prevent the possibility of self-harm or suicide.


    Psychotic depression is a type of major depressive disorder. It may also occur in those with bipolar disorder. A behavioral health expert will diagnose psychotic depression if an individual displays symptoms of both major depression and psychosis.

    Signs and Symptoms

    Those with major depressive disorder often suffer from symptoms such as irritability, lingering feelings of sadness or worthlessness, and changes in diet, sleep and energy. Without treatment, depression can worsen and an individual may become psychotic, experiencing symptoms that indicate a break from reality. These can include hallucinations and delusions. If your loved one is suffering from psychosis, it may be difficult or confusing to communicate with him or her. You might notice that your loved one neglects self-care activities, becomes angry without cause or exhibits illogical thinking patterns.

    Treatment Options

    Help is available for those with psychotic depression. Often inpatient care may be recommended, particularly if the individual has exhibited self-harm tendencies. Usually, a mental health professional will prescribe antipsychotic medications and psychotherapy. Sometimes, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) may be recommended.

    Lawnwood Regional Medical Center is a full-service hospital with comprehensive healthcare services, including mental health professionals with extensive experiencing in treating depression and psychotic depression. If you or a loved one is suffering from psychological health issues, turn to the caring experts at our community hospital for help. If you have any general questions, feel free to give us a call at (772) 828-2486.

    Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury

    Last updated 12 days ago

    There are many reasons why a person might go to the local emergency room, such as experiencing symptoms of a possible heart attack or severe psychological health issues. It’s also important to seek emergency care if you or a loved one have suffered an injury to the head. Since some of the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) can develop long after the incident, it’s best to err on the side of caution and seek medical help, even if the injury appears mild at first.

    Common Causes

    Among young children and senior citizens, a TBI is often the result of a fall. Those in military service are at risk of sustaining a TBI due to explosive blasts. Other common causes of a TBI include sports injuries, particularly from activities such as football and hockey, in addition to motor vehicle collisions and acts of violence.

    Physical Health Issues

    There are a wide range of physical symptoms that can arise from a TBI. Upon sustaining the injury, the individual may lose consciousness. Some of the symptoms associated with a mild TBI include headache, nausea, dizziness and changes in sleeping habits. With a moderate or severe TBI, these symptoms are also possible, along with convulsions, loss of coordination, weakness or numbness, pupil dilation and discharge of fluid from the nose or ears.

    Psychological Health Challenges

    TBI is associated with many mental and cognitive symptoms, including confusion, concentration impairment, depression, mood changes and anxiety. Some individuals may display unusual agitation or combativeness, while others have trouble with self-control. The symptoms of a TBI can persist on a long-term basis.

    The Treasure Coast Level II Trauma Center at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center provides prompt care with a multidisciplinary approach to those suffering from serious injuries. Our community hospital also provides outpatient and inpatient rehabilitation services, in addition to services such as mental healthcare, heart surgery, women’s healthcare and children’s services. Families in the Fort Pierce community and the surrounding areas are welcome to call our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (772) 828-2486 to learn more.

    A Look at How Stress Affects Your Health

    Last updated 16 days ago

    You likely already know that taking care of your body by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly is critical for your well-being. However, your psychological health is equally as important. In fact, your psychological health directly influences your physical health—and vice versa. When you’re subjected to severe or constant stress, you’re more likely to develop unhealthy habits that can contribute to a number of health problems, including obesity, heart disease, asthma and cancer.

    Watch this amusing and informative animation to hear more about the effects of stress upon your physical health. You’ll be encouraged to visit your primary care physician and work with a psychologist to learn how to make small changes that can add up over time.

    The team at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center wants to help you achieve your physical and mental wellness goals. Call (772) 828-2486 to ask our Consult-A-Nurse referral line about our psychological health services.

    The First Case of Chikungunya Has Been Discovered in St. Lucie County

    Last updated 17 days ago

    The Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County on Wednesday announced the first case of locally acquired chikungunya fever in the area.

    Chikungunya can cause symptoms similar to those of dengue fever, and is spread by the same types of mosquitoes as dengue fever.

    The first case is an adult who lives in an area north of Dan McCarty Middle School,
    according to the Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County. Dan McCarty is in the 1200 block of Mississippi Avenue in Fort Pierce. This person didn't need to be hospitalized and is recovering.

    If you experience symptoms of chikungunya fever (see below) consult with your health care provider immediately and protect yourself against further mosquito bites. Avoiding mosquito bites while you are sick will help to protect others from getting infected.

    Avoiding mosquito bites is the key to preventing infection with chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases,  said Larry Lee, St. Lucie County Health Officer. Floridians and visitors are encouraged to take precautionary measures to help reduce the chance of being bitten. Remember to drain and cover.

    For more information on chikungunya, visit the Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County

    Chikungunya (pronunciation: \chik-en-gun-ye click to hear pronunciation) virus is transmitted to people by mosquitoes.

    The most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. Outbreaks have occurred in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

    In late 2013, chikungunya virus was found for the first time in the Americas on islands in the Caribbean.

    There is a risk that the virus will be imported to new areas by infected travelers.

    There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat chikungunya virus infection.

    Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites. When traveling to countries with chikungunya virus, use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, and stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens.

    -No vaccine exists to prevent chikungunya virus infection or disease.
    -Prevent chikungunya virus infection by avoiding mosquito bites (see below).  
    - The mosquitoes that spread the chikungunya virus bite mostly during the daytime.

    -    Use air conditioning or window/door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.  If you are not able to protect yourself from mosquitoes inside your home or hotel, sleep under a mosquito bed net.
    -    Help reduce the number of mosquitoes outside your home or hotel room by emptying standing water from containers such as flowerpots or buckets.
    -    When weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
    -    Use insect repellents

    -Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide long lasting protection.

    -If you use both sunscreen and insect repellent, apply the sunscreen first and then the repellent.  

     -Do not spray repellent on the skin under your clothing.

     -Treat clothing with permethrin or purchase permethrin-treated clothing.
     -Always follow the label instructions when using insect repellent or sunscreen.

    More information about insect repellents can be found on the CDC West Nile virus website, "Insect Repellent Use & Safety".

    TRANSMISSION: Through mosquito bites
    - Chikungunya virus is transmitted to people through mosquito bites. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites.
    - Chikungunya virus is most often spread to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. These are the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue virus. They bite mostly during the daytime.

    Aedes mosquitoes* transmit chikungunya virus to people. These types of mosquitoes are found throughout much of the world.

    Rarely, from mother to child- Chikungunya virus is transmitted rarely from mother to newborn around the time of birth.

    Rarely, through infected blood - In theory, the virus could be spread through a blood transfusion.  To date, there are no known reports of this happening.  

    *Aedes mosquito: also called the Asian tiger mosquito because its legs are black with white scales.

    -Most people infected with chikungunya virus will develop some symptoms.
    -Symptoms usually begin 3-7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
    -The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain.
    -Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.
    -Chikungunya disease does not often result in death, but the symptoms can be severe and disabling.
    -Most patients feel better within a week. In some people, the joint pain may persist for months.
    -People at risk for more severe disease include newborns infected around the time of birth, older adults (>65 years), and people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease.
    -Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future

    -The symptoms of chikungunya are similar to those of dengue, another disease spread by mosquitoes.
    -See your doctor if you develop the symptoms described above.
    -If you have recently traveled, tell your doctor.
    -Your doctor may order blood tests to look for chikungunya or other similar diseases.

    -There is no medicine to treat chikungunya virus infection or disease.
    -Decrease the symptoms:
    -Get plenty of rest
    -Drink fluids to prevent dehydration
    -Take medicines, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen, or paracetamol, to relieve fever and pain.

    More detailed information can be found on the CDC's Chikungunya web page.

    Mental Health Spotlight: Bipolar Disorder

    Last updated 1 month ago

    Bipolar disorder or bipolar depression is a mental health condition that causes extreme emotional highs, called manic episodes, alternating with emotional lows or depression. While it is normal to feel excited and sad, bipolar disorder causes emotional changes that make it difficult or even impossible to function normally. There are many treatments available for those who suffer from bipolar disorder to reduce the effects of this condition and restore quality of life.

    Types of Bipolar Disorder

    There are four classified types of bipolar disorder. Bipolar I disorder causes recurrent and severe episodes of manic symptoms, which are followed by episodes of depression. Patients who suffer from bipolar II disorder experience less severe mania episodes followed by symptoms of major depression. Bipolar disorder not otherwise specified, or BP-NOS, is diagnosed when patients express the symptoms of bipolar disorder but do not fit the specific patterns of bipolar I disorder or bipolar II disorder. Cyclothymia is characterized by manic episodes similar to those in bipolar II disorder, which cycle with lengthy episodes of depression lasting up to two years.

    Treatments for Bipolar Disorder

    Treatments for bipolar disorder vary depending upon the severity of the condition and other mental health factors that may affect the patient. Medications such as mood stabilizers, antidepressants, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, and antiseizure medication can be used to manage the symptoms of bipolar disorder. In addition to medication, behavioral treatments such as counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and family therapy can help to manage mood. In some cases, patients who do not respond well to other treatments can benefit from electroconvulsive therapy.

    The Treasure Coast Behavioral Healthcare at Lawnwood Regional Medical Center offers free mental health assessments 24/7 to ensure you receive the behavioral care you need as soon as possible. Our experienced team of physicians and psychiatrists provides comprehensive and compassionate treatment for bipolar disorder, depression, substance abuse and addiction, and more. Please call us today at (772) 828-2486 to speak with a registered nurse or look through our website for the information you need about mental and behavioral health.


The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials does not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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