Today on the blog is an interview with Dr. Vania Manipod, D.O. on the importance on mental health. I was lucky to “meet” her virtually via social media this past year, and was drawn to her sweet personality and passion for helping others.
Wonderland Organics: Hi Vania! How did Freud & Fashion come about?
Dr. Vania Manipod, D.O.: Freud & Fashion came about in 2010 as I was sitting in my lonely apartment in Oregon. Having recently moved from southern California (where I grew up) to Oregon to complete my psychiatry residency training, I initially didn’t have many close friends and felt quite isolated those first few months. As I was reading various fashion blogs, I was inspired to start my own blog for the following reasons: 1) I always enjoyed writing and needed an outlet to express my creative side; 2) I believed blogging would provide a way to connect with people and help alleviate the senses of isolation I experienced living in a new place; and 3) I wanted to give readers a glimpse of the life of a new doctor and therapy pearls that I learned throughout my psychiatry training.
Wonderland Organics: Definitely love your blog! Tell us a little about your background.
Dr.Vania Manipod, D.O.: As the oldest grandchild in a family that consists of >30 grandchildren, I’ve always strived to be a positive influence and leader in my family. My grandfather was the biggest influence in my life — he raised 11 successful children in the Philippines on his small salary as a school principal. My parents are 1st generation since my dad joined the U.S. Air Force, but we were fortunate to not have to move around so much, so I grew up in both northern and southern California. The mentality of being a high-achiever manifests in my professional life, though becoming a physician has challenged me in various aspects of my personal life and led me to a much needed process of self-discovery (ie, self-care, balancing a busy schedule, managing priorities, learning about myself in the context of interactions with my patients, etc), which I share in my blog.
Wonderland Organics: Your grandfather sounds incredibly inspirational. Why did you decide to become a D.O.? What do you enjoy about it?
Dr.Vania Manipod, D.O.: I’m asked this question quite often and have contemplated how to best answer this question as concisely as possible, especially since it’s one of the more common questions I receive. I wrote a blogpost several months ago titled “What Being a D.O. Means to Me,” which has been my most viewed post to date, so in order to fully understand my perspective and do my degree justice, please check out my post! http://freudandfashion.com/2015/04/30/what-being-a-d-o-means-to-me/
Wonderland Organics: Great response! So why should we be concerned about mental health and keep ourselves healthy?
Dr.Vania Manipod, D.O.: Mental health correlates strongly with our physical health (and vice versa). In a general sense, maintaining physical and mental stability is dependent on our lifestyle. Important lifestyle components such as diet, sleep, and exercise influence both emotional and physical health. A great example is lack of sleep – not only can poor sleep lead to increased anxiety, irritable mood, poor concentration, etc, it can also contribute to physical symptoms such as increased pain, increased appetite and subsequent weight gain, and fatigue. Any time that you go to the doctor with a specific physical complaint, a psychiatric diagnosis is usually considered as a possible diagnosis, especially if the medical workup comes out normal (for example, panic attacks consist of physical symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, etc). And successful recovery from various medical conditions, including major surgical procedures, are also dependent on the person’s mental health especially since motivation and drive to follow treatment plans for rehabilitation is needed.
Wonderland Organics: Couldn’t agree more– it’s a huge part of our overall health. What common misconceptions do people have about mental health?
Dr.Vania Manipod, D.O.: There are several misconceptions about mental illness such as the belief it’s a weakness and character flaw rather than being a true neurological disease, that people living with mental illness can’t live normal lives, etc. Basically, such stigmatizing beliefs can be perpetuated by negative attitudes, inappropriate use of language, and lack of willingness to look at one’s self in order to be more open to connecting and understanding what it’s like to live with mental illness. Another common misconception is that people aren’t aware of how common it is — 1 in 4 people in the United States have struggled with mental illness, so the likelihood that each individual has a connection to someone with a psychiatric diagnosis is quite high.
Wonderland Organics: Thank you for sharing! Who should see a psychiatrist?
Dr.Vania Manipod, D.O.: If anyone is experiencing impairment in their daily life as a result of a possible psychiatric issue (such as high stress, mood changes, paranoid thoughts, addiction, insomnia, etc), then seeing a psychiatrist for an evaluation would be a great step. If psychiatric medications are indicated, then psychiatrist would be able to prescribe. Primary care physicians may also feel comfortable treating and prescribing medications for certain mental illnesses, however, more complex medication regimens and symptoms would be better addressed by a psychiatrist.
Wonderland Organics: What would you recommend for relaxation?
Dr.Vania Manipod, D.O.: I practice a patient-centered approach, so I recommend that each individual discover their own preferred methods of relaxation. The most important factor for utilizing such relaxation practices on a regular basis is that it’s enjoyable, feasible and accessible to perform on a regular basis, whether it’s attending a yoga class, hiking, getting a massage, meditating, etc.
Wonderland Organics: Yoga is one of my favorites. And finally, what do you love most about Wonderland Organics?
Dr. Vania Manipod, D.O.: What I love most about Wonderland Organics is the founder, Alice! Her journey as a skincare entrepreneur who is passionate about creating and constantly refining her organic skin care line of products is inspiring! Her warm personality and connection to her customers and many followers demonstrates the pride and motivation she has to ensure they receive clean, natural, high quality products.
Thanks so much for talking to me Vania! If you’re interested in learning more, be sure to check out her website and social media:
Love my interviews with inspirational people? Be sure to check out Natalie of Sustainably Chic here.
What do you do personally for relaxation? Let me know in the comments below!