Study Says Americans Value Mental, Physical Health Equally

Anxiety and Depression Association of America Image:
Anxiety and Depression Association of America


The founder and director of the Mandel Center of Arizona, Alyssa Mandel is an experienced psychotherapist who offers counseling to her clients in a safe and nonjudgmental environment. As part of her ongoing education in the field, Alyssa Mandel belongs to several professional organizations, including the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

A recent survey conducted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans–nearly 90 percent–placed equal value on physical and mental health.

The survey also shows that almost a third of those same Americans have no access to adequate mental health care, and more than 40 percent feel that the expensive costs associated with mental health care are a significant barrier to getting the help they need.

According to survey, a large majority of people understand that depression can be a major contributing factor to suicide, but far fewer realize that related conditions, such as anxiety and other panic disorders, can also play a significant factor in increasing a person’s risk for suicide.

Harris Poll conducted the online survey of more than 2,000 adults in the United States in Fall 2015, with the primary focus being the understanding of Americans about the specifics of mental health care, as well as suicide prevention and awareness.


Eating Disorders – Bulimia

Mandel Center of Arizona pic
Mandel Center of Arizona

Alyssa Mandel is the director of the Mandel Center of Arizona, which treats people with eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa. In addition, Alyssa Mandel is a member of the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals.

Patients with bulimia nervosa often eat great quantities of food within very short amounts of time then engage in purging. That is to say, they use vomiting or other means to prevent themselves from gaining weight. The bingeing and purging behavior often arises from self-esteem problems linked closely to body image. Bulimia is a serious health problem that may result in the loss of life.

If allowed to progress unchecked, bulimia may harm the body by repeatedly exposing the tissues in the mouth and throat to stomach acids. Frequent vomiting may cause tooth decay, swelling, and even esophageal tears. Moreover, purging behavior may lead to electrolyte imbalances that could, in turn, cause dangerous heart arrhythmias.

Patients may benefit from bulimia support groups, talk therapy, and nutritional therapy. Since bulimia may be associated with depression, patients could benefit from antidepressant medication.

Addiction – Alcohol Abuse

Mandel Center of Arizona pic
Mandel Center of Arizona

A provider of therapeutic resources for people in need of mental health support, Alyssa Mandel works as the CEO and director of the Mandel Center of Arizona. In her leadership role, Alyssa Mandel helps clients with a variety of illnesses, including alcohol dependency.

Individuals who have trouble controlling the amount of alcohol they consume or who continue to consume alcohol despite the disruptive problems it causes may have alcohol use disorder. Usually called alcoholism, the disorder is typified by behavior like binge drinking that gives rise to distress and difficulties participating in daily life.

Advanced alcohol use disorder sometimes involves dependency such that the body goes into withdrawal if the patient stops drinking. Heavy alcohol use can harm essential organs like the brain and liver. If consumed during pregnancy, alcohol can interfere with fetal development.

People struggling with alcohol dependency often improve with treatment. However, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, only a small portion, as low as 8.4 percent, of the people who need professional help get it.

Warning Signs of Anorexia

Mandel Center of Arizona pic
Mandel Center of Arizona

Alyssa Mandel is a master of social work graduate of Columbia University and the founder of the Mandel Center of Arizona in Scottsdale. In her practice, Alyssa Mandel collaborates with psychiatrists, social workers, and nutritionists, to provide the highest level of comprehensive care for clients.

Individuals with anorexia often are adept at hiding their eating habits. With that in mind, here are some warning signs to watch for if you believe someone close to you may have the disease.

Early warning signs typically manifest themselves as an unhealthy preoccupation with food intake and/or obsessive dieting. This preoccupation with food and its relationship to body image will eventually morph into disordered eating patterns. Consistently skipping meals, denying hunger after long periods of not eating, obsession with body image, and making excuses for lack of eating are all early warning signs.

In the more advanced stages, individuals typically tend to push themselves to excessive and unhealthy levels of exercise and weight themselves constantly. Obsessively checking the mirror and complaining about weight are other signs that tend to manifest themselves, as well as decreased and/or flat moods, displaying a lack of emotional response to the world around them.

Left untreated, anorexia can be a life-threatening condition, even if the individual is not dramatically underweight. The behavior can bring about abnormal heart function and electrolyte imbalances that can eventually cause significant heart complications.

Facts about Bulimia


National Institute of Mental Health Image:
National Institute of Mental Health

Alyssa Mandel is the founder of the Mandel Center of Arizona in Scottsdale. Using a holistic approach to therapy that incorporates various techniques, including cognitive therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, and family systems therapy, her practice offers a full range of supportive psychotherapeutic services. Alyssa Mandel often treats individuals who have eating disorders.

While bulimia is typically classified as an eating disorder, it’s important to note that this condition is a mental health disorder rather than a physiological condition. Depression is often a concurrent diagnosis with bulimia. Suffers experience guilt and shame for their condition, which is characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight. Some are often driven to suicide. While bulimia has some characteristics of binge eating disorder, it is differentiated by induced vomiting after a binge. The combination of all these factors highlights the importance of addressing bulimia as a mental health disorder above and beyond simple dysfunctional eating.

Current data from the National Institute of Mental Health indicates that young women are more likely to experience bulimia than any other demographic. Overall, women of all ages show increased instances of the illness as compared to men, although bulimia does stratify across gender, age, and economic categories. In total, about 1 percent of adults experience bulimia in some form throughout the course of their lives.

Eating Disorder Myths


Mandel Center of Arizona pic
Mandel Center of Arizona

Alyssa Mandel holds a master of social work from Columbia University and is the founder of the Mandel Center of Arizona in Scottsdale. In her practice, she works in collaboration with psychiatrists, social workers, and nutritionists, to provide comprehensive treatment to clients. In addition to other issues, Alyssa Mandel is passionate about helping individuals overcome eating disorders.

A good deal of misinformation exists within the public consciousness about the causes and effects of eating disorders. Here are some of the most common myths and the reasons why they aren’t valid.

Myth: Eating disorders are only about food.
Truth: There are always underlying issues beyond food itself that cause a person to have an unhealthy relationship with their eating. Some use food as a means of comfort or escape from pain and trauma in their lives. Others have dysfunctional self-image issues that cause them to either starve themselves (anorexia) or binge and purge (bulimia) in the belief that they must attain a certain physical standard.

Myth: Eating disorders are a choice.
Truth: While some believe that a person can simply stop their unhealthy eating behaviors, the causes of disordered eating are deep-rooted, and sometimes out of a person’s ability to control without intervention via mental treatment and/or hospitalization. By the time a person transitions into a full-blown disorder, they have gotten to the point where the behavior is entrenched as the primary coping mechanism for dealing with intense or unwanted emotions.

Myth: Only women experience eating disorders.
Truth: While the majority of those with eating disorders are female, it is not an exclusive club. Approximately 10 percent of suffers are male. Depending on the type of disorder, those numbers can be higher. For example, when only examining binge eating disorder demographics, the number of males jumps to nearly 40 percent. Current data suggests that adolescent boys are also among those seeing the fastest rise in eating disorders.