Disorders

Grief Counseling

Grief is the reaction to the loss in whichever form. It is expressed in a variety of ways with emotions conveyed as the key way of expressing grief. The feelings are in a full range. It could be anger or sadness or regret all the same. How people adapt to loss is different and unique as there are individuals out in the world. There may be similarities in how different people will react to grief, and there are studies which many believe to be gospel truth, that the reactions to pain can be classified and categorized. The fact remains that dealing with grief is as unique as the individual going through a season of grief.

Grief counseling is a field in psychotherapy aiming to aid people through grievous seasons in their lives as they mourn the death of a dear one or a life change that may trigger painful feelings. Counselors will suggest that individuals who are grieving will grieve in a way that can easily be based and related to their backgrounds and cultural upbringing, hence the expectation of a broad range of emotional reactions and behavior that are associated with grief.

When grief overwhelms an individual, then it becomes necessary for them to make appointments with the grief counselors who will help them cope with the situation at hand. This is when grief details the individual from their regular schedules or when it affects them so badly as to have their productiveness suffer due to the underlying pain is fueling that. The whole process of counseling through grief is a journey which one will take, allowing them to face the challenge, leading them down to a path of acceptance and having them come up with ways to cope with the situation at hand.

Some red flags to show that grief is becoming a burden for individuals is such as, a change in appetite and mood swings, overpowering feelings of disorientation and disorganization, perpetual tiredness and insomnia or having trouble sleeping, poor concentration as well as more vivid dreams. Grief is displayed in two major ways, either instrumentally or intuitively. While instrumental grieving leads the individual down the path of problem-solving and less admittance as less emotion is conveyed in the person’s undertakings, intuitive grieving is an emotional roller-coaster where an individual will admit how they feel and talk about it openly.

Grief counseling becomes key especially when a grieving person is not grieving at all. Psychologists argue that bottling up the disturbing emotions is a dangerous journey that more often than not will end up in an explosion of the bottled up emotions. What may result in trauma or even psychosis if not handled correctly? Taking a step down the road of acceptance always is a golden beginning for the grieving individual as they are expected to continue down the path to recovery and finally manage to pick up their lives and move on from where they had left off.
Down the road of recovery, there is the stretch where one has to learn how to cope with grief. One of the scariest thoughts the grieving party has to deal with is the feeling of loneliness through the grieving period. This is a downside because this way, it’s hard to open up and share and this will lead them into bottling up their grief. This is opposed to how pain should be handled and because it can also lead to depression which could cause far more damage to their mental health and general wellness. This is among the reasons why seeking further assistance from professionals and having companions’ support all through the period of grieving, is important.

A healthy and happy life after the recovery period, having gone through grief is as achievable as successful treatment through many illnesses. It takes a personal decision and a lot of support from those who surround the grieving individual. It is paramount that as one grieves, they grieve the right way, dealing with it in such a way as to heal from it completely, never to resurface or to become a hindrance over their lives again. In the case of severity of grief, seeking professional advice is highly recommended.

Disorders

Different Types of Anxiety

They can be defined as the constant feeling of anxiety. This is because feeling anxiety occasionally is a normal occurrence for the average person. It is also relatively brief and mild in nature. On the other hand, individuals with anxiety disorders experience anxiety that lasts longer and is quite intense. They can be in the state of anxiety for several hours or a couple of days hence the name. It is the most common problem of mental health with women are the highest number of victims.

Anxiety disorders are manifested in 6 major categories. These include panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, phobias, acute stress disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder (popularly known as OCD).

All the above types of anxiety disorders are unique but have several similarities as follows:
• Victims tend to exhibit fear that is both excessive and irrational.
• Victims of these disorders also experience tense and apprehensive feelings.
• All victims also experience extreme difficulty in properly managing everyday tasks and tasks that have significant distress.

Types of Anxiety disorder

1. Panic disorder

It is characterized by panic attacks that are both unexpected and repeated. Sometimes it is accompanied by agoraphobia, especially one avoids or endures certain situations that had significant distress.

Symptoms – Symptoms can be categorized into physical, cognitive and behavioral. Some of the physical symptoms of the disorder include the following:
• Victim will experience some chest pain or some level of discomfort.
• The victim may fell nausea or dizziness.
• A victim may start shaking or trembling.
• The most common symptom in most victims is the feeling of shortness of breath.

Significant cognitive symptoms are the sense of suffocation and having a heart attack. Behavioral symptoms are majorly exhibited by the avoidance of areas the victim previously experienced panic attacks. Avoidance of malls, traveling, making queues and strenuous exercise by the victim.

2. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

This is popularly known to many as OCD. It is characterized by obsessions or compulsions that are recurrent in nature, can lead to severe impairment, significant distress or time wastage. Obsessions are images, thoughts, and urges that are intrusive or uninvited. These repeatedly surface on one’s mind. Compulsions, on the other hand, are rituals or behaviors that an individual uses to suppress or reduce obsessive thoughts.

Symptoms can be categorized into physical, cognitive and behavioral. Some of the physical symptoms of the disorder are muscle tension and discomfort. Cognitive symptoms are for instance a person thinking that if he touches a door handle, he will infect his whole family with germs. Behavioral symptoms, on the other hand, include avoiding public washrooms or doors. It can also be exhibited by excessive cleaning, washing or even checking things.

3. Acute Stress Disorder

It usually occurs after a person witnesses or experiences that were life threatening or posed some threat to physical injury. It is known to occur roughly a month the ordeal. The victim in most cases has disturbing memories of the traumatic event, and this causes an emotive reaction of reliving the ordeal.

Symptoms – Symptoms can be categorized into physical, cognitive and behavioral. Some of the physical symptoms of the disorder include:

• A general feeling of restlessness. Difficulty in concentrating and sleeping.
• A startle response that is exaggerated.
• The victim will feel tense and constantly on edge.

Behavioral symptoms are the avoidance of scenarios which instigate traumatic recollections. It can also be an emotional reaction that is intense or the lack of emotional responsiveness. Cognitive symptoms are, for instance, the feeling that you will get trapped and perish in a car crash.

4. Post-traumatic Stress Disorders

It is the development of individual symptoms due to exposure to a significant source of traumatic stress. It usually involves helplessness, horror or intense fear. Symptoms can take three months to manifest but may delay up to a couple of years. The traumatic event is relived via flashbacks, dreams that are4 distressing and intrusive memories.

Symptoms – Symptoms can be categorized into physical, cognitive and behavioral. Some of the physical symptoms of the disorder include:

• A victim having sleep disturbances and nightmares.
• A victim may experience outbursts of anger or irritability.
• A victim can also have hyper vigilance for danger.

Behavioral symptoms include avoidance of feelings, thoughts, conversations, places, people or activities that have some relation to the trauma. Cognitive symptoms, on the other hand, may include a victim saying people should not be trusted.

5. General Anxiety Disorder

It involves excessive worry and anxiety. It occurs for several days for a minimum period of 6 months. Victims are usually not able to control feelings of fear.

Symptoms – Symptoms can be categorized into physical, cognitive and behavioral. Some of the physical symptoms of the disorder include:

• Tension in the muscles.
• Being unable to relax.
• Feeling of restlessness and irritability.
• Sleep that is disturbed by the feeling of worry.

Behavioral symptoms include a victim avoiding news and newspapers. It can also be through the victim participating in limited activities because of excessive concerns over the possible outcome. Cognitive symptoms are for instance worrying that something is going to go wrong.

These disorders are typically misunderstood; it is only through learning more about them that we can understand and live better with their victims.

Disorders

What Causes Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?

Today there is an increase of awareness of Attention Deficit- Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD, consequently this has led to a better understanding for children and adults who once were considered a family or social problem.

It is important to discuss what does not cause ADHD, before addressing what does cause such a condition. A multitude of unrelated myths abounds and confuses many people as to its origins. Here you will find a list of disputed assumptions considered by research.

1. Diet – This assumption dates back to the 70’s as it was felt that the Disorder is caused by sensitivity or allergy to certain types of food, for the most part, baby food. Although, no research in decades past proves this claim to be the cause. The rumor that increased intake of foods like sugar tends to make children impulsive, and the media have reinforced hyperactive. Clinical research has established no relation between the intake of sugar and the behavior of children and their learning patterns.

2. Hormonal Imbalance – Although hormones do influence the moods and behaviors of an individual, hormonal imbalance does not cause the condition. Keep in mind that there has not been any substantial connection between an ADHD episode and hormone levels. Hormones may be at play while causing individuals to be out of focus or impulsive at various times but they do not cause ADHD and its many other symptoms.

3. Vestibular or Balance Problems – Research of the past has determined that learning and behavioral problems stem from the vestibular system of the brain, which controls a proper balance. The proposed treatment at that time for the condition was that of motion sickness. However, over the years of research has not proven the relationship between the vestibular system and ADHD. There has been no link found between the two.

4. Family Life and Parenting – Many individuals attribute poor parenting or family problems as the cause of the disorder since the symptoms involve behavioral problems. However, the parents have not raised these ADHD children poorly not do they come from ADHD dysfunctional families. For instance, an ADHD child is not encouraged by its parents to misbehave at school and not sit still. Rather their behavior can still be hard to manage even when receiving the proper disciple from their parents and perhaps even more, but since their problem also has neurological components.

5. Excessive Television Viewing – Popularly seen as a cause for the Disorder is television. Although research has shown that viewing violence on television can increase aggression in children may be comparable to the hyperactivity and impulsiveness in patients with ADHD, however, such behavior is not synonymous to ADHD. In reality, research has proven that the amount of time spent viewing a television show is not different from that of children of the same age group.

People can now focus on the more plausible causes the Disorder since these other factors play no part in causing ADHD. Research shows that the majority of the elements are found in prenatal, genetic and neurological factors. Knowing what does not cause, Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder helps many individuals to understand what causes the condition. Studies still have not determined a precise origin of the disease. Nevertheless, with more research, the mystery of illness may soon surface.

The treatment of ADHD can be dissected into many different parts. While there is no one method of treating ADHD, there is often a use of various combinations of therapy, counseling, medication and changes in lifestyle required for full recovery. It is more of a holistic approach towards treating ADHD, with the different treatments allowing for a gradual climb from the symptoms into a normal and healthy life. One of the more popular methods of treating this condition is the use of behavioral management and intervention, psychological therapies that have been around for decades, using ever changing and advancing cognitive techniques to improve behavior.

These include aspects of family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal skills and of course social skills training. These various forms of treatment are crucial to change the behavior patterns that Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder has instilled into the individual. There is also the use of stimulants and medication, being the most effective and cheapest ways to treat ADHD. Medication has been approved by various bodies within the psychology circles all over the world, but their long-term safety has not been well documented. Many of these medicines and stimulants are used to treat patients over a period for as long as 5 or even ten years at a time. These two are the primary methods of treatment when it comes to ADHD and so far, more than 70% of the children and individuals that have contracted ADHD use a combination of these methods to recover fully.

While there is no guaranteed 100% cure for ADHD, and there are dangers of lapses, therapy and medication have been seen as the most effective treatments and management of this behavioral disorder. The symptoms that appear in ADHD often come in the form of impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and inattention, and this is a problem that is affecting more than 20% of the world’s population. Hyperactivity is very common among small children and even teenagers, but it tends to disappear when they reach adulthood.

What you need to know about these treatments is that they are entirely crucial and must be applied when the subject is in the early stages of ADHD. In fact, through professional appraisal and therapy, other co-existing conditions may pop up and require a different set of treatments. There is no one exact cause for ADHD, and science has narrowed the root of the problem to areas like genetics, environmental factors, diet, social activity and even the physical surroundings of a child. This is even more pertinent when the child is in the developmental stages of his learning when areas like behavior and temperament are beginning to form due to learning and environmental absorption. One of the best ways to treat ADHD is of course through prevention and knowing more about why it comes about on top of how to treat it is the best ways to ensure that it never happens.

Disorders

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety refers to a condition whereby you experience fear and uncertainty, due to a myriad of reasons usually involved with transition periods in life. There are many different anxiety disorders, named for their various characteristics, but the general underlying symptoms are that sufferers tend to worry in excess about the little details in everyday life. For each anxiety disorder, there are different cause triggers, symptoms and treatments available, hence the importance of identifying the correct stress disorder from which you are suffering. The different types of anxiety disorder include panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, to name a few. There are many different treatments available on the market, and it is not necessary to have to live with the fear and uncertainty that anxiety disorders bring.

People who suffer from anxiety disorder seldom seek help as they either feel embarrassed about their problem, or they are unaware of even having a problem. Safe to say, if you are reading this article, then you probably have an idea that you need help and that there is help available. There are many symptoms that people who suffer from anxiety disorder experience, ranging from the physical to the psychological. These include having a rapid heart rate, sweaty palms, and nausea, as well as inexplicable fear, loss of control and,  need to flee.

If you frequently experience such sensations, it would be advisable to seek a professional opinion. If you are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, there are different treatment options available to help you deal with your problem. These range from medication and therapy to alternative therapies. Some treatments include cognitive therapy, behavior therapy and medication, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other drugs or herbal supplements.

It is important to understand as much as you can about your problem, and the possible treatments before you speak to your doctor. This will help you be able to ask the right questions and understand the treatment options that are being offered to you. Anxiety disorder is a serious problem as they can affect your life. While it is possible to recover, there is no such thing as a quick fix for this issue. As the reasons for triggering your disorder are likely to be stress related, treatments should take the line of behavioral or cognitive therapy and not medication. Medication will suppress the symptoms, but it is advisable to solve the root of the problem to prevent recurrence of anxiety disorder. Usage of drugs such as Xanax is also likely to cause harmful side effects, such as hallucinations.

If possible, you should explain your problem to your family and close ones so that they can help you cope with and overcome your problem. This will ensure that they understand what you are going through, and can provide you with the emotional support that you will need. While the process of recovering is a long and tedious one, it is possible to live without anxiety disorder disrupting your life.

Anxiety disorder affects many people in today’s society. The added stress of situations and the sheer amount of different things people are exposed to can result in them having a fear that causes them an enormous amount of pressure and or anxiety over these situations. There are many types of anxiety disorder, and each has its different symptoms and characterizations.

A lot of people experiences panic disorders for various reasons. The common thing among these sufferers is that they experience an overwhelming feeling that they have lost control or that they could even be dying. This, of course, leads to things like a racing heart, chills, hot flashes or shortness of breath that make the condition even worse. If they have a more mild case of this condition, it may go away after a short period; others will continue to suffer wave after wave of panic.

We have all seen the ballplayers who must pull each glove up, tap their shoes and then spit. Or the pitcher that bounces the rosin bag on their hand three times before each pitch. What about the individual who must be the receiver of the phone with a disinfectant or immediately wash their hands every time they touch something. These are all examples of an obsessive compulsive disorder. These people fear that without that ritual or ceremony, there could be a horrible result.

Social anxiety is also one of the common types of anxiety disorders. Individuals who are suffering from this experience panic or fear when they are faced with certain social situations. They believe that they are judges at every corner, thus creating anxiety when they are confronted with these conditions. It is quite easy to understand while some of these individuals end up living a hermit style life if they cannot control these fears.

Phobias, their form of anxiety disorder, are also associated with many of these other disorders. It seems as though these phobias are what lead to the development of another condition. Being scared of flying, driving crowds or germs are all examples of phobias. People that fall victim to phobias often find themselves not being able to function at all when faced with the proposition of being exposed to one of their phobias.

Any anxiety disorders can be debilitating to those that are suffering from them. Imagine wanting to do nothing more than go to a ballgame and not being able to because you experience sheer terror when you are in a crowd. How about not being able to do a simple thing like grocery shopping because of suffering frequent panic attacks in the grocery store? How horrible would it be if your child was injured and you had to take them to the hospital but had a fear of driving? Anxiety disorders are severe conditions and need to be treated as such not only by those suffering from them but also by the people that often ridicule them as they do not experience these feelings.

Family

The Secret Of Blending Families and Ways to Make Them A Success

Blended families are complex and living in and being part of a blended family situation is a process, and you cannot expect an instant family. The process of blending families usually brings problem issues that must be faced. Blended family issues dealing with stepchildren are one of the most complicated matters in a second marriage. This article focuses on blending families problems involving children of minor age and ways to make your blended family a Success.

Blending families successfully involve more than the parents deciding to get married. It requires properly preparing children for issues that are sure to happen.

High Divorce Rate in Second Marriages

It’s hard to know how many marriages end specifically because of problems blending families. It is reasonable to assume that difficulties in merging families are responsible for the breakup of many second marriages. The second marriage divorce rate is higher than 60%. With so much riding on successfully blending families, it makes sense to plan for issues before they harm family relationships.

Counseling could prepare a family to deal with future problems. It may be helpful for both spouses and children to take part in premarital counseling. Taking the time to address blended family issues can be worth the time and effort.

What Step-Parents Must Recognize

Stepparents must understand that they are not the biological parent of the stepchild and not attempt to overpower a child with their parenting style. Instead, go slow. Be sure to show the children that you care for them and respect them. Listen to what the children have to say and offer advice when asked.

Recognize that blending families with young children may require a different approach than for older children. Communication and interaction should be based on age and maturity.

The Ex-Spouse

Show respect for the ex of your spouse. Never criticize or act negatively toward a stepchild’s biological parent in the presence of the child. Attempt to keep up an active relationship with the biological parent. Positive relationships with an ex-spouse reduce tension and removes the child’s fear of being forced to choose between parents or families.

If you and your spouse have custody of all the children, you should set strict guidelines that all children must follow. Do not play favorites between your biological and stepchildren. Both spouses must have a precise understanding of how children will be treated within the home. Leave the disciplining of stepchildren to your spouse, especially in the beginning of your relationship with the children.

Are Blended Families the Same as Other Families?

Understand that a blended family is not the same as a family with both biological parents in the home. Sometimes it may be difficult for parents and children to understand their roles in the home. When you are not the custodial parent, it is helpful to recognize that rules may change for children when they move between homes which can at times cause some confusion.

As you can see, it requires some thought on how to handle possible problems that are likely to occur when putting families together. Finding help to stop blended marriage problems from sinking your wedding is not difficult. You can find help online at some marital aid resources.

Ways to Make Your Blended Family a Success

Blended families which include parents, stepparents, and children not born of that union have become more familiar, but that still doesn’t make the almost-unnatural situation any easier. As a step-parent myself, I know the ups and downs of a step-parent’s life, the problems of dealing with both step-kids and biological kids, and the pressures the entire situation can put on a marriage. There will be days that go fairly well, and other days when you may wish you’d joined a convent instead, but there are ways in which to make the situation work better for everyone. Even if you only have the step-kids on the weekends, they can become a source of resentment unless you learn how to deal with the constant changes in your life.

There’s no way that your step-kids are ever going to evoke the same feelings in you that your children do, so you’re best not trying to push the issue. The step-kids are going to consider you an unnecessary person in their lives and wish that their parents were back together again. You’re going to feel greater love and protectiveness towards your kids, no matter how hard you try to treat everyone fair and equal. Fighting with yourself about your inabilities to erase any prejudice that may affect you is only going to cause more problems. Being realistic about what you can and can’t do and then handling yourself accordingly is the first step to a successful blended family.

The chances are that if you’re a woman, your husband is never going to appreciate everything you do for his children. After all, taking care of children comes naturally to women. Doesn’t it? For most of us, taking on a ready-made family is a challenge, especially if you’ve never had children of your own. With a new baby, you can learn gradually as the child grows, with an immediate family you can feel thrust into the middle of an impossible situation and that you’re being suffocated. Just keep in mind that everyone involved is only feeling their way in the beginning, and do your best to ignore remarks the children make and the looks of disparagement you’ll receive from your husband over your best-intentioned words and actions.

You aren’t your step-kids’ mother, and you can’t expect them to treat you as if you are. Allow them to call you by your given name instead of insisting that you should be called “mom.” Show them that there are different kinds of people in the world and that although you and their mother are going to do things differently, there is no right and wrong, and it’s possible to love more than one person. Never make negative remarks about their mother, no matter how you feel. If you’ve prepared yourself to give and give and to receive nothing in return, you’ll never be disappointed.

Health

Your Mental Health

One of probably the most neglected field of health sciences, particularly Behavior Management, is Mental Health. Most people have this notion that everyone is born with a perfect mental health condition. Everyone is mentally healthy. If one claims to suffer from mental health, more often than not, it is believed to be induced by the affected individual. Hence, it’s cure also relies on the affected individual. Not all people realize, a person who has problems with his or her mental health can either or both be biologically and environmentally induced.

By definition, mental health pertains to the psychological well-being or the absence of any form of mental illness. In layman’s terms, this refers to the capability of an individual to enjoy life, despite all the challenges and situation it brings. The ability of a person to satisfactorily adapt to the uncontrolled changes within his or her immediate and surrounding environments are also covered.

While most people are still in denial about the existence of mental health, experts in the field tried their best to simplify the understanding of the topic. A few of the common indicators of positive mental health include the following.

  1. Ability to cope with the demands and sources of stress in life – All individuals have their burdens and sources of stress. This differs across ages and sex. Regardless of the demographic factors, the ability of a person to address all the complexities of their everyday environment is a clear indicator of good mental health.
  1. The capability to become productive – Everyone needs to be productive. Productivity in the sense of Mental Health being able to accomplish all expected tasks and responsibilities. Being productive means that a person is acutely aware of his or her duties, knowing the consequences of failure and having full control of one’s life is a manifestation of good mental health.
  1. Having dreams, ambitions, and positive outlook – Everyone has dreams. The goal may range from the shallowest to the most ambitious scale. Regardless of the extent of anyone’s dream, a good mental health is said to be grounded in excellent mental health. Whether that dream is to become rich, acquire a particular material possession, promotion at work, having the vision to look forward. However, the perseverance and the willingness to pursue such dream is another story. If a person fails to continue his dream, it does not necessarily translate to poor mental health.
  1. Relationship with people within immediate surroundings – While there are always different types of personalities and their ways of handling people, the state of one’s interpersonal skills provide a sign of one’s mental health. While there are individuals who are naturally aloof, people who suddenly become detached are suspected to have problems with their mental health. Likewise, individuals who are suddenly needing attention may indicate problems about mental health.

Given the different indicators of mental health, the field also offers different ways on how to address problems related to mental health. To prevent mental health related problems, the following are advised.

  1. Having regular body exercise – Surprisingly, exercise prevents the chances of experiencing mental health. The popular belief is that exercise releases the happy hormones or endorphins. Scientifically, exercise aids in normalizing the body’s condition. On the biological side, exercise tends to prevent mental health problems.
  1. Eating healthy meals – Overeating or undereating are both bad. When one overeats, one is prone to become overweight and develop other health related illnesses. This in return is contributory to other problems that lead to the possibility of worries and mental health related illnesses. Under-eating works the same. Depriving oneself of food will eventually lead nutrient deprivation. If the body does not receive its much-needed nutrients, the biological functioning of the body will be affected. Catching illnesses and other diseases will be easy. Being sick in the long run brings worries, depression, and other mental illnesses.
  1. Having friends – Friends brings us happiness and become our source of strength when in need. The point is not to have a lot of friends. The more pressing concern is to have reliable friends to count on, in times of despair and happiness. Friends can divert our attention. Friends believe what seems to be a heavy burden we carry. In the end, friends in one way or another drive us away from suffering from related mental problems.
  1. Have dreams, ambitions, and goals in life – While this can serve as an indicator of good mental health, it also acts as a way to achieve excellent mental health. When one is filled with dreams and ambitions, one is driven to commit to hard work, perseverance, and positivity. Fulfilling one’s dreams can serve as a substantial diversion to the possibility of getting related medical problems.

Despite the research and proven ways to maintain good mental health, no one can predict when one will experience problems about mental health. The sad thing about mental disorders is that there are only a few professionals trained to address it. In the end, most mental health doctors advise the path to prevention. If for some reason, the occurrence of mental disorders persists, treatment not usually done overnight. The process is a joint effort between the patient and the immediate family members, friends or people around. There are therapy sessions and consultation provided. Through this, the doctor can trace out the causes or drivers of the mental health problems. Doctors also prescribed medicines. These drugs will not address the problem but helps the patient cope with the problem. Usually, medications allow the patient to sleep, relax and normalize his hormonal condition. But then again, medications can also work on the biological system.

For the family members, doctors usually advise spending more time and engaging in worthwhile activities. A way to divert the patient’s attention and to make the patient realize that there are far more valuable things that make their life meaningful.

Taking in the last statement, achieving good mental health is a lifelong journey.

Stress

Stress Management – Different Ways to Lower Your Stress Levels

The modern way of life is inevitably full of stress, the grueling commute to work, the pressures of your workplace and the further stresses of family life; all of us deal with these issues in a different way – some more useful than others – but it is undeniable that is unavoidable.

The structure of adult life, and stress, in the modernized state, isn’t going to change anytime soon, but there are increasingly prominent and successful methods of managing your stress and even removing it completely.

Therefore if you’re struggling with stress in your daily life, so much so that it is beginning to have a negative impact on your health and mental state, it is time to take action. Stress management can teach you not only effective ways of dealing with stress but healthier ones as well, as opposed to the standard go-to methods of alcohol and cigarettes.

The first thing to do when attempting to deal with your issues with stress is to pinpoint the common causes of stress; something that is more complicated than it sounds.

It’s easy to forget your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that contribute to your stress levels. You may be quick to associate the pressing matters that constantly worry you with stress; work deadlines, bills, broken appliances, but maybe it’s your procrastination in avoiding the task at hand, rather than the actual job demands, that is causing the stress.

To identify the real causes of your stress, look closely at your habits, attitude, and excuses:

  • Do you blame your stress on other people or outside events, or view it as entirely normal and unexceptional?
  • Do you explain away stress as temporary (“I just have a million things going on right now”) even though you can’t remember the last time you took a breather?
  • Do you define stress as an integral part of your work or home life (“Things are always crazy around here”) or as a part of your personality (“I have a lot of nervous energy, that’s all”)?

As you can see the causes of stress outlined above aren’t usually the situations themselves that cause your stress, rather it’s the way you conceive and interpret the issues that are causing your stress.

There are numerous short-term strategies for reducing the stress that is accepted within society but in actuality cause more damage in the long run. Examples of this include: smoking, drinking heavily, relying on drugs, binging on comfort food, zoning out for hours in front of the TV, avoiding family and friends and taking out your stress on others.

There are much more effective long term ways of dealing with stress that is not only good for your stress levels but is also good for your health.

The healthiest way is physical exercise. Numerous studies have proven the massive benefits that as little as half an hour of exercise can have on your body and mind. Just about any form of physical activity can help relieve stress and burn away anger, tension, and frustration. Exercise releases endorphins that boost your mood and make you feel good, and it can also serve as a valuable distraction to your daily worries.

No one’s expecting you to run a marathon or become a world class climber; instead, just take your dog for a walk, walk instead of drive to the store, join a sports team or, pair up with a friend and go for a run. Once you’ve started to exercise, try your hardest to work it into your daily routine, not only that try and make that precious half an hour a day something you look forward to, a break from life, a time to clear your mind.

If you already exercise to some degree, or would prefer to pursue another method for stress reduction, the quickest, easiest and most efficient way is social engagement. Although being social doesn’t carry with it the health benefits that engaging in physical activity does, there is nothing more calming to your nervous system than communicating with another human being who makes you feel safe and understood. Feeling safe, or more accurately making your nervous system think it is safe, results from the nonverbal cues that you hear, see and feel while engaging in a friendly conversation with someone you trust.

When your body feels safe and is thus relaxed hormones that reduce stress are released; their calming effects can last longer than the conversation and even make you less likely to become stressed upon encountering a difficult situation.

On the flip side of being social active is becoming lonely and isolated, which increases your vulnerability to stress.

Of course, it’s not always realistic to have a buddy close by to lean on when you feel overwhelmed by stress, but by building and maintaining a network of close friends you can improve your resiliency to life’s stressors. Also, it is well known that regular sexual activity does wonder for reducing your stress levels.

A final recommendation that can be made for successfully managing your stress levels is: if you can’t avoid a stressful situation, try to change it. Often this involves altering the way you communicate, engage and interpret a situation that occurs in your daily life.

If a situation has the potential to become stressful, be more assertive and communicative of your concerns in a polite and explanatory way to your peers. It only takes a minute to ask a neighbor or a friend to keep the noise down when you’re trying to concentrate on something. To go along with this, be willing to compromise. When you ask someone to change their behavior to respect your wishes, be ready to do something for them in return; always find the middle ground.

You cannot avoid stress in life, but you can make conscious efforts to reduce its presence in your daily life, which can have noticeable benefits for all factors of your person. Whether it’s making time to see that friend you haven’t seen in too long or simply walking the dog, you must ensure that you look after yourself as work through the responsibilities of life. Or, alternatively, make a mental effort to engage with potential stress-inducing situations in a more balanced and appropriate manner.

Disorders

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Some people have gestures or habits to make them feel better such as rubbing the nose, tugging the ears, or scratching the head. These are OK if done in moderation and may be removed any time. What’s worrying is when these actions are done repeatedly and uncontrollably. It may qualify as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by thoughts and behaviors that are recurring and seemingly unstoppable. The repetitive thoughts urges, or images are the obsessions while the actions done to satisfy these three are the compulsions. People who suffer from OCD are aware of what they do; yet, they cannot control it.

OCD can affect anyone, but is usually diagnosed at the age of 19 or earlier for boys. A study shows that 2-3% of the world population is affected by this disorder. The causes are still unknown, but if a person has any of the following, he or she may be at risk:

  1. Immediate relative who suffers from the disorder, especially if it was developed during childhood or teenage years
  2. Abnormalities in the brain such as different frontal cortex and subcortical structures
  3. Physical or sexual abuse or trauma

Signs and Symptoms

Some of the signs and symptoms that a person is suffering from this disorder are 1) frequent cleaning or washing as he or she is worried about being contaminated or contaminating someone else; 2) persistent checking of doors, locks, or stove as the person wants to ensure safety; 3) periodic counting or repeating of phrases to check his or her memory and perception; 4) incessant arranging and rearranging of objects because he or she has a strong inclination for symmetry. These actions do not necessarily make them feel better, but they get instant yet brief relief from their obsessive thoughts.

Aside from the actions mentioned above, persons suffering from OCD have other psychiatric and physical symptoms. Some experience anxiety and depression, tic disorder, eating disorder, and impulse control disorder among others. Physically, the person may have skin eruptions caused by excessive washing, hair loss because of too much hair pulling or combing, and other skin lesions due to overindulgent skin picking.

Because other psychological and psychiatric abnormalities may coexist in a patient with OCD, diagnosis proves to be a challenge. Hence, the American Psychological Association (APA) has provided screening questions to identify people with OCD clearly. An example of which is identifying the individuals involved in the fear. A person with OCD would usually involve another person in his or her fear, e.g. fear of contaminating someone else; a person with depression is mainly focused on himself or herself such as feeling guilty for previous actions.

Treatments

Despite the seemingly irremediable case of having the disorder, treatments and therapies are available to alleviate the persistent urge and hence the compulsive acts. Medicine-wise, the patients, may be given SRI or SSRI. These stand for serotonin reuptake inhibitor and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor respectively. Clomipramine, fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, and sertraline are the most common prescriptions for these patients. People with OCD are believed to be lacking serotonin; hence, these medications are prescribed. They help the brain provide enough neurotransmitter serotonin. Antipsychotic medicines are also prescribed if the both SRIs and SSRIs do not improve the patient’s condition.

In prescribing drugs, doctors opt for augmentation instead of replacement, as the latter may take longer to exhibit positive effect. Augmentation means increasing dosage or prescribing another medication to be taken along with the existing one.

Along with the medication, psychotherapy is also recommended for patients with this disorder. Cognitive behavior therapy and habit reversal training are the most common. The former teaches how thoughts and behavior are interrelated and promotes stress management and problem-solving skills. For example, if a patient does not want to sit on public chairs for fear of germs, the therapist may ask him or her to sit on one repeatedly. This will be done until the patient learns to resist the urge to clean the chair thoroughly before using it. The latter, on the other hand, is helpful for tic disorders as it fosters tic awareness and teaches how to respond to these tics. This training has three stages: first, identification of the behavior and the urge for doing the behavior; second, devising competing for action for that conduct; and third, relaxing to diminish the behavior that was replaced.

Family and the people around the patient are also encouraged to act accordingly when the person is around. Some of the recommended actions are:

  • Not arguing with the patient about his or her behavior. The person is aware that what he or she is doing is nonsense, but that person cannot control the actions. Hence, arguments are not helpful.
  • Not avoiding things that trigger anxiety. Patients must be taught how to cope with them instead.
  • Being prepared for sudden onsets of the disorder. It may happen anytime regardless of the mood in the environment.
  • Joining family counseling or asking for support from other people who experienced the same things. Their experiences and experts’ advice help a lot.
  • Celebrating small victories.

Another treatment doctors use for such disorder is deep brain stimulation (DBS) although it is not regarded as a cure. Instead, it reduces or treats the symptoms of OCD. DBS is done by placing a thin strip of the metal electrode where needed. It is then attached to a pulse generator that is implanted below the collarbone. A programming computer will then be placed near the pulse generator and adjusted according to the needs of the patient. This process changes the abnormal brain activity by delivering constant pulses of electrical charge until normal brain rhythm is achieved. This treatment takes time, however, for the optimal results to be visible. Hence, the patient opting for this should be committed to long-term treatment. Also, this option is only for patients who have not responded positively to medicines and psychotherapy.

For all the above mentioned treatments and therapies, one thing is incontestable: consistency. Not being able to finish treatments may result in worse signs and symptoms. However, it should be noted that, according to a study, only about 10% completely recover from OCD with the help of treatments. Nevertheless, 50% show improvement. Therefore, a patient must be assisted and encouraged not to stop trying.

Stress

Top 8 Stress Management Tips

It goes without saying that being under some pressure is a typical part of human life. In some cases, it can be a major drive that helps you feel more energized, take action, and get a satisfactory outcome. Nonetheless, if stress often overcomes you, then those feelings are bound to yield a problem in the long run. Though stress is not a psychiatric diagnosis, it is mostly linked to your mental health. Stress can lead to mental health problems or make any existing mental issues worse. For instance, if you often find it hard to manage the feeling of stress, you are bound to develop a psychological problem such as depression and anxiety. On the other hand, mental health issues can lead to stress. For example, you might find it hard to cope with the symptoms of your mental health problems, health care schedules, and the need to manage your medication. Hence, it becomes a source of stress. Therefore, many people have the feeling that there is nothing you can do about stress. Nonetheless, through proper stress management, you will have more control over stress than you might think. Hence, this write-up is aimed at giving the top eight stress management tips.

Connect with people

Social engagement has proved to be one of the most efficient ways of managing stress. It is by socializing with friends, family, and colleagues that you can ease any troubles and avoid overreacting to external or internal issues that you perceive as aggressive. It is by communicating with other people that your nervous system gets calm making you feel understood and secure. Often, the activities that you do with your friends help you relax. Furthermore, talking some issues through with friends helps you to find solutions to most of your problems.

Take control

Stress can be prompted by a problem that may on the surface appear impossible to tackle. Hence, it is important to take full control of the situation and find a solution to the problem. You can choose to note the problem on paper and try to come up with a broad range of options. After that, figure out the bad and good points of each solution, and select the most appropriate. Furthermore, it is important to note that taking control is not only empowering but also helps in finding that fully satisfies you and not someone else.

Get enough sleep

Needless to say, lack of enough sleep is a key cause of stress. Hence, rather than having full reliance on medication, it is advisable to maximize your relaxation before going to sleep. Therefore, you should make sure your bedroom is always serene with no reminders of anything that cause you stress. Always avoid excessive alcohol or caffeine in the evening if you know that it is bound to stress due to a disturbed sleep. It is recommended to avoid doing any work that is mentally demanding some hours before going to sleep so as to prevent a disturbed sleep. Furthermore, read a calming book or take a warm bath to relax your body, make your eyes tired and help you forget those things that worry you. It is also advisable to have a regular time of sleeping so that both your body and mind get used to a predictable sleeping schedule.

Exercise

Exercise does not necessarily imply powerlifting at a gym. A brief walk around your office can offer an immediate relief in a stressful condition. It by exercising that you get your blood moving and release endorphins that play a fundamental role in allowing for quick improvement of your mood. Furthermore, going for a workout will help you reduce the emotional intensity that you are currently feeling, clear your thoughts, and enable you to deal with your problems in a calm manner.

Spend some time alone

Though you need to have some time for socializing, exercising, or relaxing, it is advisable to set aside some hours every week to spend alone. The “me time” is vital for such things as meditation and conducting a mindful prayer. Both meditation and mindful prayer can help both your body and mind to relax. Furthermore, mindfulness can help you develop self-compassion and see new perspectives. Therefore, when you spend some time alone, you are bound to release those emotions that might have been causing you stress.

Avoid unhealthy habits

Never rely on smoking, caffeine, or alcohol as the way of coping with stress. Alcohol acts a depressant when taken in large quantities, but it is a stimulant when taken in smaller amounts. Hence, using alcohol is never an ultimate way of managing stress. Therefore, it is advisable to swap both alcoholic and caffeinated drinks for herbal tea, water, or other natural fruit juices. Furthermore, it is desirable to reduce the intake of refined sugars which are often contained in most manufactured foods. Refined sugars can lead to energy crashes which lead you to feel irritable or tired. Therefore, always try to exercise healthy eating habits.

Exercise proper time-management

It is crucial to make a list of all things you intend to do and always list them putting more focus on priority. Nonetheless, it is vital to accept that you cannot do everything at a go since it can cause stress. Therefore, having a list of all the tasks that need to be attended to immediately, in the next week, or when time allows will help you manage stress. It is advisable to break every task to smaller and manageable sections so as to avoid being overwhelmed by huge tasks that are hard to administer. Furthermore, it is imperative to create buffer times to handle any emergency or unexpected tasks.

Listen to music

If you are overwhelmed by a stressful situation, it is advisable to listen to calm and relaxing music. Playing relaxing and calm music has a positive effect on both your body and brain. It reduces cortisol, lowers blood pressure, and lowers the hormones that are linked to stress. Furthermore, you can choose to listen to both ocean and nature sounds if the music is not your favorite. The natural sounds have yield similar soothing effect to the music.

Health

Healthy Mind is a Healthy Life

Being healthy refers to a balance between mental and physical functioning and well-being of an individual. It is an individual’s overall mental and emotional state of mind. It usually embraces the way people feel about themselves, the quality of your relationships and marriage, ability to handle problems, how meaningful you think your life is.

Mental health is defined as an individual’s potential to deal with different situations in life and it is not just about dealing with issue like how one can cope up with stress, anxiety, overwhelming emotional state and still can work fruitfully by making any contributions to life and society and also the positive traits and characteristics that people have . Individuals with strong emotional stability tend to have more control their reactions, behaviors and attitudes such individuals faces. The stay firm in every situation how hard it may be and they can handle any life challenges. Such individuals tend to build healthy and long marriage relationships and have a good pace of recovery from unpleasant events and setbacks. People with good mental health can do their family counseling by practicing activities which lead to better and healthy life.

Working on the stability of mental health leads to self-improvement and is like rewarding yourself by enhancing your positive temperament, building flexibility, and adding meaning and joy to life. One should continuously strive for self-development and work on improving the mental health overall by incorporating few activities which boost up the emotional stability of an individual.

Practice healthy thinking

Our thoughts effect in everything we do.It reflects the way how we react in a given situation and handle difficulties. You should practice positive thinking by reading books which bring up the perspective of life. But anyone cannot think positive all the time no matter how optimistic to you. To deal with the pessimistic thought process, one should deal with the current situation without linking it to other negative factors. Exercising healthier and more stable rational thinking can help to address different life events and relationships effectively and can enhance your self-confidence and self-image.

Importance of social interaction:

Human is not meant to live in isolation. People are introvert and extrovert, but that does not imply them to sit in isolation. One should interact, socialize and meet people face-to-face to avoid hesitation and be more open to ideas and opinions. Meet people with common interests. If you need advice go and ask because reaching out to someone is not a sign of your weakness. It rather helps you to share your worries and get a better perspective of dealing with any problem or situation.

Get pumped, Get moving:

Physical and mental health is closely associated with one another, and a minor change in any one of them can cause an equal impact on the other. Body and mind both are intrinsically linked with one another. Workout not only strengthens your muscles but also controls your breathing patterns which help to live up the mood and energy. Exercise and other meditation tactics help to relax the mind, reduces stress, controls anxiety, improves memory, and helps you to sleep more peacefully.

Start managing your stress:

Human nature and stress go side by side. One cannot eliminate the stress factor from life. You don’t have just to remove the stress, instead find out healthy ways to manage and reduce the stress. Yoga, Deep breathing or muscle relaxing exercises can put the cap on stress and would bring your body back to normal state. Moreover, other amazing tactics to manage stress is listening to relaxing and soothing music and instrumentals which help to reduce stress level effectively. Practicing little things can give you a peace of mind and help you to have control over situations without getting involved in any family counseling programs you have can have complete control over every situation.

Diet that support your brain

Mental health is also linked to the way we eat. Eating habits and patterns can significantly impact the way one reacts sometimes. Our bodies usually respond differently to different foods, depending on heredity and other fitness factors. Rather than going on a complete diet or just getting obsessed with few fruits and vegetables decide to adjust your eating habits and patterns. Take six small meals a day. In this way, your metabolism increases giving a boost to your immune system. Reduce caffeine, sugary and fried snacks, artificial or canned food containing preservatives and chemicals. Replace them with fresh fruits and vegetables, proteins, and nuts.it would boost your thinking ability and mental health.

Start giving more

Be a helper, Volunteer yourself to help someone. Helping someone selflessly may seem unrewarding, and one may not be motivated to do so. But it’s a behavior that can be learned and developed. It would give you an inner peace and would develop a sense of pleasure by improving your generosity towards others resulting in happiness and joy.

Comfort Yourself

Let yourself be pleased with activities which make you relax and happy. Start doing what you love. Having Fun is not sympathizing with you; it’s a necessity for emotional and psychological well-being. Travel to the places which make you happy. Spend time in pampering yourself. Get proper 7-8 hours of sleep to avoid mental fatigue and tiredness.

Activities in not to do list

Avoid excessive use of medication and stop using excessive muscle relaxant medicines. Quit using drugs and alcohol because they have adverse effects in long-term. Don’t limit yourself to just a few people. Start making new friends and socialize more.

Everyone should exercise good mental health activities. It helps individuals to stay away from different mental disorders. Working on physical and psychological health helps an individual to lead a happy life and value every relation in life. A stable mental health helps an individual to create a good balance in personal relationships such a marriage and the professional life. It’s never too late to work on your life by maintaining a healthy physical and psychological health. People who are emotionally healthy are in control of their feelings, moods, attitudes and behaviors and they can always keep every problem in perspective and tends to have a successful experience in marriage. Take out time for things which makes you happy and try to focus on the only positive side of every situation. Realize your full potential in everything you do. Don’t give up on yourself too early. Start valuing yourself and your decisions so that others value you which would lead to increased self-worth. Start accepting yourself the way you are so that others start accepting you.