Between the 1950s and’ 90s a revolution in psychiatry took place, which continues to this day, and which has changed the prevailing perceptions in the understanding and treatment of mental disorders. Unconscious conflicts as the cause of mental illness were strongly challenged and research focused on the brain itself.
It is now clear that when a person suffers from a serious mental illness, this is due to both the genetics and the biology of the brain, as well as the stress or early childhood experiences. Now, in the daily worries or the mild depressions, that could concern any of us, the appropriate treatment (medication or not) can eliminate the symptoms.
Schizophrenia and Psychotic Disorders
Schizophrenia is defined as a syndrome characterized by a marked alteration of internal and external reality, to which the individual responds in ways that may harm his/her life. This alteration, the distortion of reality is the psychotic core of the disease and is presented with disorders in perception, thinking, emotion, speech and motor skills.
Mood Disorders / Emotional Disorders
Mood disorders or emotional disorders are a group of disorders characterized by a disruption in one’s emotions or mood. Emotion can greatly affect all aspects of a person’s behavior, as well as, the perception they have for the world.
Physical Disorders are mental disorders that are characterized by physical symptoms for which the existence of organic pathology cannot be demonstrated and which often appear to be associated with psychological factors or conflicts.
Stress is defined as “stress or tension”, and is the body’s response to physiological and psychological attacks, as well as pleasant or unpleasant emotions that require the person to adjust. Stress is considered abnormal if it creates problems in the daily functioning, in achieving goals or in the emotional calm of the person.
Every person has a distinct set of elements or characteristics of his personality, which are resilient and enduring types or ways of perceiving and thinking about the environment and himself. Which come to the surface in a wide range of social and personal situations.
The use of various substances, such as alcohol or caffeine, etc., in order to change mood and behavior is allowed in most parts of the world. But where do we draw the line and declare substance use a mental disorder?
Eating Disorders have gained a lot of interest in recent years. Two clinical syndromes appear to be predominate in adolescence and adulthood, Psychogenic Anorexia and Psychogenic Bulimia
The characteristics of Sleep Disorders is the existence of a pathological event during sleep or on during the verge of sleep and wakefulness. Insomnia is the first category of Sleep Disorders and includes the various forms of Insomnia, Hypersomnia and Sleep-Awareness Disorders.
Psychogeriatric disorders refer to the mental disorders of the elderly. Aging is a complex process, which takes on special characteristics for each person. The mental disorders of the elderly are similar to those of adults, with some differences.
By practicing a wide range of health services, the doctors, the nurses, the psychotherapy and occupational therapy departments of our clinic ensure the stabilization of the patients’ condition and their reintegration into society.
Our clinic has the necessary licenses and certifications to provide treatment and hospitalization to patients facing all forms of psychiatric disorders. We offer hospitalization during the acute phase in order to stabilize the patient, but also during the chronic phase, as long as it is necessary.
We contribute to the treatment of the patient by monitoring them as an outpatient on the premises of our clinic or through video interviews in case their permanent residence is outside Athens.
Psychiatric Care at Home
The purpose of this intervention is to avoid hospitalization to the extent it is possible.
Psychiatric care at home intends at:
- the patient’s consent to the treatment and its progressive responsibility
- active participation of the patient in the treatment
- active involvement of the family
- reducing the stigma of mental illness
- mobilizing the patient and continuing treatment outside the home
It is human nature to communicate and share. The mentally ill have difficulty controlling reality, are driven to isolation and find it difficult to develop interpersonal relationships. The proper treatment is based on the synergy of medication and psychotherapy. We cannot talk about one without the other.
Psychotherapy sessions take place in a stable and predictable space. The patient develops a relationship with the therapist based on trust and empathy. In the individual sessions, the patient is provided with a safe “space” in which he will not be judged for his feelings, thoughts and choices. She/He is given the opportunity to delve into issues that concern him/her and make it difficult for him/her to understand, perhaps, better the mechanisms he/she uses that do not allow him/her to be functional.
Group sessions take place in a protected context with a particular emphasis on interpersonal interactions. Contact with other members strengthens the patient, and lays the foundation for mental processes, which can lead to personal changes.
Family Support Groups
The family is the natural environment of the individual, the main support system and the main source of care for a person with mental health problems. The family environment needs responsible information (to understand and treat the mental disorder), education (to acquire skills to deal with the illness and its problems) and support (emotional and practical). The scientific team of our clinic provides this support and transfers the knowledge that family members need to arm themselves against ignorance and help in understanding, accepting and managing the disease.
Psychometric tests do not, of course, replace clinical assessment and evaluation. They are, however, a useful tool for assessing the symptoms of social and personal dysfunction and can make a significant contribution to shaping clinical diagnoses and creating effective treatment strategies.
The starting point of our occupational therapist’s operations is the activities of our patients’ daily life – care and hygiene, clothing, nutrition, money management. In addition, in the specially designed areas of our clinic, our patients participate in structured individual or group activities with the aim of:
- the Practice of cognitive functions – crossword puzzles, board games, computer use, memory games.
- Stress management – relaxation techniques exercises, therapeutic games.
- Leisure activities – cinema, music, reading, coffee / food outing, party organization, festive bazaar.
- Physical exercise – motor games, sports.
Music Therapy / Dance Therapy
In the music therapy process, music is a bridge between emotion, thought and mood, but also between our inner and outer world. The psychotherapeutic side of music therapy refers to helping patients find meaning and mental fulfillment through the music that they create or listen to. The aim of these activities is to mature their verbal and non-verbal communication, but also to improve their ability to cooperate. In music therapy and dance therapy groups, members interact with each other and without always requiring the use of speech, they learn to express themselves both physically and emotionally.
Visual Arts - Art Therapy
Extensive research highlights the importance of art as a factor in promoting mental health. Recognizing that the most fundamental thoughts and emotions of man, coming from the unconscious, find their expression more in images than in words, the therapist encourages patients to create and express themselves through visual means and materials such as clay, wax, paints, storytelling and writing.