A Message From Dr. Rayes

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Resilience Coaching Program

 for Individuals and corporations

Resilience is a critical skill to succeed in the 21st century. Resilience coaching is a way for businesses to thrive because it plays a vital role in fostering this essential trait within their teams.

H.R. Mental Wellness Centre offers personal and team-coaching programs designed to raise individual and team performance, strengthen team relationships, and help them reach their potential. The program offers hands-on experience to ensure that employees have skills to thrive in the face of adversity, maintain an optimistic attitude, and sustain their health and wellbeing to achieve business objectives.

The Mental Wellness Program integrates body, mind, and spirit and includes:

  • Stress management strategies to help employees work effectively under pressure;
  • Mindfulness to improve productivity and life satisfaction;
  • Personal development by increasing self-knowledge and self-awareness to enable the team members to understand their impact on others and begin to build strategies for change. Employees identify their unique talents and innate qualities to help them reach peak performance.
  • Positive psychology to broaden a personal mindset and become more resourceful and more connected.
  • How to maintain emotional stability; improve creativity and problem-solving skill; achieve authentic happiness and life satisfaction; improve productivity; create a healthy work environment; improve mental health, wellbeing, and creativity; promote collaboration and harmony; combat negativity by committing to savor positive experiences, and thrive under difficult circumstances.

For more information or to book an appointment, please contact Dr. Rayes by Email or by phone at 604-630-6865.

Is weed good for you?

Everything we know about the health effects of cannabis

Chemicals that cross the brain barrier are of great concern because we do not know their long term effect on the brain. These chemicals include psychiatric drugs, illicit drugs, or recreational drugs such as marijuana, which will become legal in Canada on October 17, 2018.

Researchers found that long-term of psychiatric medication was associated with dementia and other cognitive diseases as described in my video, The Natural Way to heal from Depression and Anxiety. Some other illicit drugs have been studied and their long-term effect on the brain is well documented.

Personally, I would refrain from using psychiatric drugs or recreational drugs like (marijuana) unless it is a must.
Currently, the marijuana industry is very active these days in promoting marijuana as a panacea for mental and physical health, the same way cigarettes, alcohol, and other psychedelic drugs were promoted. That is why you need to be very careful about using marijuana because of its unknown long-term effects on the brain. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Here is an article titled, Is weed good for you? Everything we know about the health effects of cannabis

The article raises flags you need to take seriously. What you could take from this article about the use of weed:
1. The health effects of cannabis have been a polarizing debate for the last century and it’s only in the last couple of decades that the substance has been legally used for medicinal purposes.
2. There are still many questions about how marijuana affects the body and brain, and scientists say far more research is needed.
3. The health industry hasn’t really invested in long-term health studies. So we truly don’t understand its long-term impact.
4. More research is needed to determine whether and how cannabis use is associated with heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. But some evidence suggests that pot smoking may play a role in triggering a heart attack.

Discover causes of depression-anxiety & How to Heal Using Mental Wellness Coaching Program

Mental illness is the second leading cause of disability because success rate of conventional treatment is too low and relapse rate reaches 89%. In addition, using psychiatric medication causes side effects and drains patients’ finances without a good outcome.
Based on scientific evidence (see references below), a person who suffers from depression/anxiety can heal without medication. Mastering the Mental Wellness Coaching Program enables patients to heal, stop depending on psychiatric medication, prevent relapses, and make the best out of their lives.
In the past 12 years, the Mental Wellness program has been very successful in helping thousands of clients in BC and around the globe to heal from depression or anxiety. In addition, the Coaching Program teaches many skills needed for personal growth and success in social life and professional career.
By the help of a Mental Wellness Coach, patients discover their issues and address them, follow a healthy life style, manage their stress, replace their unhealthy habits with healthy ones, and learn new skills to help them succeed in life.
Finding out the root cause of mental illness should be the first step to understand the healing process.
Two theories explain the cause of mental illness. The first relates mental illness to a chemical imbalance in the brain. The second attributes it to learned behavior and conditioning since birth (analytical rumination hypothesis). Today, the first theory (the chemical imbalance in the brain) is the foundation of the conventional treatment of mental illness and consequently, the huge psychiatric medication industry.

Chemical imbalance and Use of Psychiatric Medication

Conventional treatment of mental illness is based on a hypothesis that chemical imbalance in the brain causes depression and use of medications such as SSRIs restores that balance.
The concept of chemical imbalance in the brain is just a hypothesis. No medical research has proved its validity, but the medical community talks about it as if it is a fact. Mental health professionals, the media, and the pharmaceutical industry keep promoting it because it is the foundation of their industry. It generates billions of dollars for all involved in the mental health business, but patients get the short end of the stick. They waste their precious time and money, and suffer from medication’s short- and long-term side effects.
Since 1950’s, some mental health professionals have been challenging the fallacy of the chemical imbalance. Since 1960, Professor Thomas Szasz discussed in his book, The Myth of Mental Illness. Szasz indicates that mental illness is not a disease of the brain and attributes it to personal behavior. He continued his fight against conventional psychiatry until he passed away in September 2012 at the age of 92.
In his recent research, Professor Scott M. Thompson of the University of Maryland, School of Medicine challenged the chemical imbalance theory. He concluded that depression stems from miscommunication between brain cells, rather than lack of serotonin in the brain.
Over the past century, treatment of mental illness has been failing patients and contributed to the stigma of mental illness.
Some psychiatrists believe that mental health patients would have to take medication for the rest of their lives, but they do not tell patients that medication would not resolve their underlying issues.
Despite its side effects and high relapse rate, mental health professionals are not taking notice. On the contrary, when a patient relapses, they suggest changing medication without examining the big picture. If depression is due to chemical imbalance, why does the medication stop working?
One can conclude that treatment of “mental illness” with psychiatric medication is unfounded, and the high rate of relapse shows that this approach is evidently ineffective.

Depression/Anxiety is Learned Behavior & Can be Healed without medication

In the past century, many mental health professionals believed that mental illness is not a brain disease. It is triggered in some predisposed individuals by chronic stress, personal habits, and behaviors, which have been developed since birth. We can heal if we replace old habits with good ones, prevent chronic stress, and learn new skills to help along the way.
This theory is the foundation of the Mental Wellness Coaching Program and the result of the work at H.R. Mental Wellness Centre can speak for itself. Patients succeeded to stop using medication without relapses (some of them have taken it for 30 years or more). They are more successful in their personal life, social life, and professional career. By using the Mental Wellness Coaching Program, there is nothing to lose and a lot to gain.
Should you have any questions about the Mental Wellness Coaching Program, please call us at 604-630-6865 or contact Dr. Rayes at drrayes@mentalwellnessbc.ca.

Andrews, Paul W., J. Anderson Thomson, Jr, July 2009, The bright side of being blue: Depression as an adaptation for analyzing complex problems.
Thompson, Scott, March 2017, Depression stems from miscommunication between brain cells: Study challenges role of Serotonin in Depression, Science News.
Kevin Loria, February 2017, Depression may be our brain’s way of telling us to stop and solve a problem, Business Insider.
Medical Disclaimer
The information in here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in here.

How to live longer and healthier using strength training

Regular physical activity promotes general good health, improves psychological resilience, reduces the risk of developing many diseases, and helps you live a longer and healthier life. Exercise is not just walking, jogging, treadmill work, or other activities that get the heart pumping. It important to invest in strength-building exercises. At young age, strength building exercises help you build stronger muscles mass. Once you reach your 50s and beyond, strength (or resistance) training is critical to preserving your muscle mass and the ability to perform the most ordinary physical activities of daily living without getting injured— and to maintain an active and independent lifestyle.
The average 30-year-old will lose about a quarter of his or her muscle strength by age 70 and half of it by age 90. By just doing aerobic exercise is not adequate. You will become weaker and less functional unless you are doing strength training.
Strength training encompasses any of the following:
• Free weights, such as barbells and dumbbells
• Ankle cuffs and vests containing different amounts of weight
• Resistance (elastic) bands of varying length and tension that you flex using your arms and legs
• Exercises that use your body weight to create resistance against gravity.
A beginner’s strength-building workout takes as little as 20 minutes a day. Develop a well-rounded program, performing the exercises regularly. Within four to eight weeks, you will experience noticeable gains in strength.
You could buy a basic introductory-weight dumbbells and do the exercises at home, or you could go to a health centre. It is much cheaper and easier to commit buying your own weights than to join a health club. You could get started with a simple routine from books, videos or youtube, Learn some basic moves and start developing your routine. If you need guidance, you may join a health club or hire a personal coach if you could afford it. Many senior centers and adult education programs offer strength training classes, as well.
However you start, go slow so you don’t injure yourself. Discuss your new exercise plan with your doctor and explain the level of workout you expect to achieve. Mild to moderate muscle soreness between workouts is normal, but back off if it persists more than a few days.
All the best in the New Year.

How to Deal with Suicide Risks

Risk of Suicide
Suicidal thoughts can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, or background. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people and is often the result of mental health conditions that effect people when they are most vulnerable. Suicidal thoughts and suicide occur too frequently but should not be considered common because they may be indication of more serious underlying issues.
Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death among adults and the third leading cause of death among adolescents. Each year in Canada, more than 3,400 individuals commit suicide, leaving behind thousands of friends and family members who struggle with the pain of loss and the impact of the tragedy on their lives.
A suicidal person becomes so desperate and in so much pain that they see death as the only way out. However, in hindsight, survivors of suicidal attempts have indicated how wrong they were. They appreciate that survived and found their way to a better life.
Suicidal thoughts or behaviors are considered a psychiatric emergency because both they are damaging and dangerous. If you experience these thoughts, you should seek immediate assistance from a health or mental health care professional.
Warning Signs
• Suicidal ideation – It begins with seemingly harmless thoughts like “I wish I wasn’t here” but can become more overt and dangerous. They threat or comment about killing themselves
• Increased alcohol and drug use
• Aggressive behavior
• Social withdrawal from friends, family and the community
• Dramatic mood swings
• Talking, writing or thinking about death
• Impulsive or reckless behavior
A person exhibiting the following behaviors is at imminent danger and should get professional healthcare immediately to assess the risk and take preventive measures:
• Putting their affairs in order and giving away their possessions
• Saying goodbye to friends and family
• Mood shifts from despair to calm
• Planning, possibly by looking around to buy, steal or borrow the tools they need to commit suicide, such as a firearm or prescription medication
Risk Factors for Suicide
Research shows that about 90% of individuals who die by suicide experience mental illness. The following factors may put a person at risk of suicide, including:
• A family history of suicide
• Substance abuse – Drugs and alcohol can result in mental highs and lows that exacerbate suicidal thoughts
• Intoxication – More than one in three people who die from suicide are found to be currently under the influence
• Access to firearms
• A serious or chronic medical illness
• Gender – Although more women than men attempt suicide, men are four times more likely to die by suicide
• A history of trauma or abuse
• Prolonged stress
• Isolation
• Age – People under age 24 or above age 65 are at a higher risk for suicide
• A recent tragedy or loss
• Agitation and sleep deprivation
How to Prevent Thoughts of Suicide
The Mental Wellness Program can help you understand your feelings and improve mental wellness and resiliency. The program is a holistic approach that addresses body, mind, and spirit. It incorporates principles of cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. It can help you change your perception of yourself and your worldview, understand your thoughts of suicide, recognize unhealthy patterns of thinking and behavior, validate your feelings, and learn new skills to handle life difficulties.
Medication may be used if necessary to alleviate symptoms, treat underlying depression and anxiety, and lower your risk of hurting yourself.

Top causes of depression/anxiety and low self-esteem and how to heal and become the best you

Do you suffer from low self-esteem? Difficulty making decisions? Difficulty maintaining your relationships?

Were you told that you might stay on medication permanently? Have you suffered from depression/anxiety and have not completely healed?

Medication may make you feel better, but depression/anxiety might recur and last for longer time and affect your physical health, relationships, or personal life. This workshop is designed to help you address the underlying causes.

To heal from depression/anxiety and succeed in your personal and professional life, improve your self-esteem, and be the best you, we are offering a 2-day workshop designed to explain the causes of your depression/anxiety, and to guide you through an easy way to heal and end your struggle with depression/anxiety for good. The program is based on medical scientific research to help you use your brain plasticity to change your life.

You may have persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain. You may have more conflicts in your life; your mood changes, and you become at risk of losing your job because you are unable to perform your duties. In addition, depression/anxiety may cost you financial losses and peace of mind because of the loss of work and conflicts with family members, friends, and colleagues at work.

When you suffer from depression/anxiety, your mood changes as you feel restless and irritable. You may lose your temper more often than you used to. You may feel persistent sadness or anxiety, worries and fears. You lose interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy. You feel numb and lose interest in intimacy. These symptoms may cause a breakup with your partner and other close friends. You have unexplained fears that may lead to panic attacks. You do not sleep well or sleep too much, have low energy and feel fatigued, have difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions; suffer from feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, and pessimism; lose your vitality and life becomes unbearable. Your productivity at work decreases. You may make more mistakes, have more conflicts, become unable to focus on what you are doing and may reach a point where you are unable to work.

Mental Health Month

May is “Mental Health Month”. It has been celebrated in the USA in 1949 to raise awareness of mental health conditions and available help to address them.

The focus on mental health and treating the symptoms of mental illness have proven to be an unsuccessful policy to rid the society of mental illness. On the contrary, studies show that mental illness has been on the rise. Severe depression is ten times more prevalent today than it was 50 years ago, and now it strikes a full decade earlier in life on average than it did a generation ago. Consequently, the economic cost of mental illness has been escalating. In Canada and the USA, the annual economic cost of mental illness is estimated to be more than $33 billion and $318 billion, respectively, with the single biggest factor being depression. In 2005, there were estimated 24.9 million adults aged 18 or older in the USA with serious psychological disorder. This represents 11.3 percent of all adults in the country.

Since January 2006, H.R. Mental Wellness Centre has been established to promote mental wellness for all–whether you are seeking to heal from depression and anxiety or you are pursuing self-actualization to become the best you.

It is time to change the month from “Mental Health Month” to “Mental Wellness Month” for many reasons.

Mental health is defined as the absence of a major mental-health condition, as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Mental health focuses on ridding the patient of symptoms of mental illness. Individuals are deemed mentally healthy if they are not suffering from psychological dysfunction or impairment, such as anxiety or depression. If you do not have symptoms that meet the diagnostic criteria, you are deemed mentally healthy. However, freedom of symptoms does not mean that you are mentally well or your mind is functioning as well as it could be.

Mental wellness, on the other hand, goes beyond the concept of mental health. It presents a shift in focus away from illness and symptoms to a holistic approach that emphasizes a view of the entire being and the ability to reach the peak of psychological health‒‒self-actualization.

Mental health is a static state of being—you are either mentally healthy or mentally ill. In contrast, mental wellness is an active life-long process of making choices that will guide you to reach your potential and live life to its fullest. We can see here that mental wellness is our way to well-being. It is better for us to pursue as individuals or as a community. When we can become our best, we have a healthier, happier society. Most importantly, it unites us as a community with an a well defined goal to pursue, without any discrimination between those who are mentally healthy or mentally ill.

EU regulations on herbal medicines come into force

April 29th, 2011, new European Union rules come into force banning hundreds of traditional herbal remedies.

BBC News/Health.

I hope that the Government of Canada adopts the new European Union rules to:

  • Ensure consumer safety from deleterious materials that may be present in these medicine and not mentioned on the ingredient list
  • Protect the consumer from the risk of interference of Chinese medicine with the Western medicine patients are using
  • Ensure what medicine labels claim are accurate
  • Make sure that these herbs have undergone the tests Western medicine are required to pass before being introduced to the consumer

When herbal medicines were introduced to the consumer in Canada, they were backed by a powerful advertising campaign that led the public to believe that these medicines offer what we can not find in conventional western medicine. The manufacturers claimed whatever they wanted to sell their products and we did not have any authority to validate their claims. Many of these herbs was proven ineffective at best. Others were very harmful and contained many toxic heavy metals that led to banning in Canada.

When the issue of sales control of herbal medicine was raised in the Canadian Parliament (Bill C-36), it was politicized and a huge public campaign was launched by the vendors and their association to prevent the Parliament from passing these rules. But it was not for the benefit of the consumer as the new European regulations show.

Make healing from depression and anxiety your first priority

Healing from depression and/or anxiety is a very serious matter. It is important to make it your first priority for many reasons:

  1. The longer you suffer from depression/anxiety, the more difficult and the longer it will take you to heal. In addition, you lose time you could have enjoyed.
  2. If you heal a day earlier, it is a day you gained and can fully enjoy.
  3. Your healing will contribute to improving the quality of life of those who you interact with at home, work, and in your daily life.
  4. Your healing will improve your life quality significantly as you will be able to:
    • Enjoy life much more broadly and deeply
    • Enhance your success in everything: your career, relationships, and well-being
    • Live longer and healthier. A healthier brain makes your body healthier
    • Restore your brain health faster and protect it from deterioration in older age – studies show that being depressed for a long time changes the structure of the brain and may affect it in older age
    • Reach your human – be able to use more of your skills, talents, and gifts to benefit yourself and the world around you
    • Achieve your goals much faster and easier
    • Enjoy the beauty of the world around you. That is worth all the money in the world.

Some people may put their healing as a second priority because they are too busy, have something they have to do, etc. They usually don’t pay attention until their body stops them in their tracks and they fall into deep depression. As you may know, the next depression bout will be much deeper, and last longer.

The time and the money you spend on healing is your best investment. Every skill you learn to help you grow and every bad habit you get rid of will help you along your life journey. I encourage you to try individual coaching and/or the support group. In the long run, the more you attend, the better off you will be.

So, make healing your First Priority. You will be happy that you did.

10 Things you can do to make a difference in your life

  1. Be true to yourself
  2. Follow your heart
  3. Be there for your friends
  4. Be a loving person – You will get more of it back
  5. Do more acts of kindness
  6. Live mindfully (in the present moment)
  7. Don’t judge yourself – just enjoy being yourself
  8. Celebrate what you have and be grateful for it
  9. Give more than you take
  10. Don’t expect to be given back