Many clients have recently asked Dr. Brandemihl how they can achieve their New Year's resolution of improving their mental health management in 2009. With the stress of a struggling economy and growing demands from their jobs and families it can be quite difficult. "There are several things you can do on a daily basis to find that balance, but self awareness and prioritizing are key," said Dr Brandemihl. "It's important to learn to recognize your stressful feelings and emotions, so you can quickly find effective ways of dealing with and preventing them."

Dr. Brandemihl said that, "Stress may often trigger anxiety. Anxious people may find themselves worrying excessively, not sleeping well, and feeling tense, on edge, distractible and irritable. Life stressors may also lead to symptoms of depression including sadness, crying spells, and lack of pleasure in life. Depression can sometimes trigger sleep and appetite disturbances as well as feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness or even suicidal thoughts."

"There are several things you can do proactively to prevent depression and anxiety from developing or worsening," said Dr Brandemihl. "Some mental health management techniques are very easy to implement."

1. Maintain a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time. Avoid naps longer than thirty minutes as they may disrupt your nighttime sleep.

2. Eat a healthy, balanced diet and get thirty minutes of cardiovascular exercise three times a week through something as simple as walking. The malls can be a good place to walk on cold, winter days.

3. Journal or blog to have an outlet for your feelings or emotions. You can even throw the paper away when you're done writing if you are a private person. The important aspect is having an outlet for the feelings.

4. If you are unemployed (or even if you are not) find somewhere to volunteer between interviews and searching. This helps your self esteem and also helps to maintain some structure and purpose in your life.

5. Participate in religious or spiritual practices, preferably with others, to foster a sense of fellowship and hope.

6. Communicate to your family and friends that you are feeling "sad", "stressed" or "anxious" so they can reach out a helping hand. If family or friends are not around consider a support group either online or in person.

7. Refrain from drug and alcohol use as this can exacerbate or cause depression and anxiety. Also avoid excessive amounts of caffeine as it can contribute to anxiety.

8. Find a new hobby or interest that involves socialization to help foster new relationships.

9. Adopt a pet (only if you are able to care for it). Their unconditional love and daily needs provide reassurance and structure to your life.

10. Consult a mental health management professional when in doubt! Meet with a psychiatrist and a therapist.

It has become more common and socially acceptable to utilize mental health management services. Dr Brandemihl said, "No matter how hard some people try to stay positive and be proactive they still may feel depressed and anxious. These people may have a chemical imbalance that requires psychiatric medication, but only a physician, or preferably a board certified psychiatrist, can determine that."

Author's Bio: 

Buckeye Psychiatry, LLC is located at 5060 Parkcenter Avenue, Suite F in Dublin, Ohio, just north of the Mall at Tuttle Crossing. Appointments may be made by calling 614-766-5205 and are generally available within 1-2 weeks. Additional information can be found on Buckeye Psychiatry's website at or blog at