Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder in Adults

Bipolar disorder is a serious condition that causes a major shift in moods, thinking, and change in a person's behavior. Behavior change usually ranges from low depression moods to extreme severe mania. Cycles of bipolar disorder differ from one person to the other, and can last for days, weeks and months because it is divided into bipolar I and bipolar II disorders. However, one can differentiate bipolar mood swings from ordinary mood swings because manic swings are intense and can hinder a person's normal functioning. For instance, in a manic episode, a person may feel quite restless even after long hours of good sleep. A person may also quit his or her job with no valid reason or impulsively. The causes of bipolar disorder are not clear; however, it runs in families and often occurs at teenage and early adulthood. There are various symptoms of bipolar disorder but with proper diagnosis and right treatment, a person can live a happy fulfilling life.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disorder in Adults can occur together with symptoms of depression and in such a situation, it is often referred to as mixed episode. Patients will experience poor judgment and low self esteem. As a result, one may feel sensitive over a particular issue and even cry. Euphoria and extreme optimism are also evident in patients suffering from the disorder. The patient will have racing thoughts and an aggressive behavior. When disturbed, a patient may be violent. He or she will often feel agitated over petty issues which never irritated him in the past. You will also notice increased physical activity where the patient may get involved in weird activities which requires lots of energy, or exercises such as weight lifting.

Similarly, many people with bipolar disorder will engage in risky behaviors such as excessive drinking and risky sexual behaviors. They will often make poor financial choices and engage in drinking or spending spreads such as unplanned shopping among other poor financial decisions. Increased sex drive and increased desire to achieve certain goals are evident in a person who could be suffering from the disorder. Some people also have a hard time concentrating, reduced need for sleep, absenteeism from school or at work, psychosis and poor or declining performances at school. These symptoms are very evident with mixed maniac while depressive stage of bipolar disorder also presents itself with different symptoms.

A person will often feel sad, abandoned and with sleep problems. They may also experience a loss of interest in many activities at work or school, fatigue, low or increased appetite, and a chronic pain where the cause can not be established. Many people under depressed phase will have suicidal thoughts, Irritability, anxiety and feel guilty over some issues.

Bipolar disorder symptoms can also be seasonal where a person experiences drastic mood swings during certain seasons of the year. Psychosis may also occur. It is a phase where a person is detached from reality and it is characterized with delusions and hallucinations. A psychotic break is often the first sign of a bipolar disorder in many people. A person with these symptoms requires a lot of support from family members and proper treatment from a psychiatrist.

{ Comments are closed }

Food, Mood and Time Of Day

What You Eat And At What Time, Can Influence How You Feel During The Different Stages Of The Day

Your body and brain require different nutrients at different times of the day, and when you know what they are, you can maximize your effectiveness.

As the day starts you need specific neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, as well as noradrenaline and nor epinephrine levels to rise. They give you the alertness and focus required to start your day off being wide-awake.

Interestingly, even while you are still sleeping, your levels of cortisol start rising, which is part of the reason that you wake when the sun rises. Your brain has been preparing you to wake up, by releasing hormones that will pilot you.

Low levels of these hormones, could be due to low levels of their precursors normally amino acids, two being particularly important, typically tyrosine and phenylalanine. Therefore, a breakfast with protein rich foods will ensure your feeling of alertness will extend into the late morning.

Consuming low fructose fruit and nuts, with a whole-grain cereal is a good start, as are some free-range eggs, with fresh tomatoes and herbs.

If you're not a breakfast person, think about a good, nutrient dense green drink, that has lots of natural vitamins and minerals in it, or a simple smoothie, with your choice of milk, a frozen banana, some frozen berries and nuts . It's easy to throw your Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's) into this blend, and whiz up a creamy, tasty nutritious breakfast.

Having a mid morning snack, of a carbohydrate and a protein, such as an apple and some almonds, means that your blood glucose will remain stable, and you'll get some good fats and protein to keep your brain – and body, nourished till lunchtime.

As your brain is the most energy hungry organ in your body, you should remember to keep it well nourished, and supplied with the nutrients that will keep you feeling alert, and positive. Its primary source of fuel is carbohydrates, but it requires protein to produce the neurotransmitters that are the communicators between neurons, so if you run short on them, your neurons will battle to talk to each other, so you could end up being irritable, unable to focus, or learn, and of course your memory will suffer too.

Acetylcholine, is another important neurotransmitter, which is actually involved in forming memories, and it is made up of choline, which is found in eggs and lecithin, a derivative of soya beans, as well as peanuts, brussels sprouts, wild salmon, cauliflower and almonds, beef, and liver, although liver is not recommended, as the liver is the detoxifying organ of the body, and would there be a full of toxic compounds from the animal.

Choose organic animal products, for health reasons.

Lunch should combine of unrefined carbohydrates, wherever you choose a salad, or whole grain sandwich, just ensure you also have some good protein with them.

Choose either a vegetarian source of protein, such as legumes, or nuts, or an organic animal source. This is also a great time to add your EFA's as they will keep your blood sugar even until your afternoon snack, which should once again be a combination of unrefined, unprocessed carbohydrate and protein.

You may choose to snack on come sun dried tomatoes and macadamia nuts, or celery sticks and natural, uncolored hard cheese, but ensure you eat something nutritious before the afternoon slip hits you, and you reach for a junky chocolate instead.

If you choose to consume refined carbohydrates, you will end up having a high glucose, and a false sense of energy, followed soon after by an energy slump, when your blood glucose dips again, and you'll end up feeling fidgety, irritable, as well as tired, and unfocused.

This is when you end up reading a page, and wondering what you've just read, only to start at the beginning again. This is because your brain has run out of energy, due to your poor food choices.

Dinner should once again be a balanced meal, with wholesome, unrefined carbohydrates, good, clean protein, and should be consumed before 7pm.

When your stomach is full, trying to digest its contents, your sleep will not be restored and rejuvenating.

Serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for helping you feel calm and relaxed is released when you consume foods that contain tryptophan. However, the other amino acids in these protein rich foods compete with the uptake of tryptophan into the brain, so you may not get enough of the tryptophan into your brain to get converted into serotonin. Tryptophan containing foods are avocadoes, cottage cheese, almonds, eggs and turkey. Remember, organic is always best.

Therefore, a carbohydrate rich evening meal, if you've had a good balanced protein at lunch time, may allow the tryptophan to be taken up by the brain, to be converted into serotonin, then into melatonin, the hormone that helps you to go to sleep when your eyes see darkness, as night falls.

If you are a vegetarian, you must remember to eat both legumes and whole grains to give your body a full complement of the amino acids. As animal protein contains all the amino acids, you do not have to be so careful if you are not a vegetarian.

If you choose to exercise in the evening, try to do so before 7pm too, as your body will create a number of chemicals, which could interfere with solid sleep later.

Endorphins are produced when you exercise, which are tiny chemicals that give you a feeling of well-being and satisfaction, even euphoria, increasing your self esteem and help you feel positive and happy.

Unfortunately, they are not the only compounds released, as cortisol is released too, and it can interfere with your ability to wind down, and reach a state of calmness and quiet, which is required for sound, good sleep.

Endorphins are also produced when you consume various foods, such as chocolate, cheese and even wheat, some researchers believe. Which may explain why these foods can be addictive. So, if you find yourself reaching for a snack, and it contains one of these substances, maybe a vigilous walk around the block would be a better choice, as it will leave you feeling happy and positive too, together all the other benefits that exercise bestows, versus the 'addictive' snack, that will only leave you wanting more of the same.

Fortunately, if you are consuming the right kinds of EFA's, your synapses will be capable of releasing neurotransmitters effectively, so your neurons will be able to communicate well. EFA's also contribute to a stable mood and the lifting of mild depression.

Coffee also has the ability to give you a surge of energy, and although its most peoples choice of early morning, mid-morning and mid-afternoon 'pick-me-up' it may simply be giving you a surge of energy due to its ability to release adrenalin, so it may be doing you more harm than good in the long term. Herbal teas, as well as plain, filtered water, offer more benefits, with no down sides.

People have become very good at self-medication, as experience has taught us that we can regulate our moods with what we consume. Your food can be your best medicine, helping you to avoid artificial stimulants like sugar and caffeine, as well as sleeping tablets and anxiolytics, to calm you down.

Once you understand that what you eat does influence your state of mind, you can become more productive, happier and less sooner to mood swings.

{ Comments are closed }

Mental Health, Social Stigma and the Well Mentally Ill

People with mental health issues are still stigmatized. The media portraits most people with mental illness as violent or flat out crazy. Yet, that is not an accurate portrait of a person with mental health concerns. First, if we were to remove all the mentally ill people from the population: violence would only decrease by 3% according to Dr. Phillip Resnick, MD psychiatrist (served as an expert on the Unabomber and other criminal cases).

Secondly our picture of mental illness is at the peak of symptoms. When most people think of mental illness they think of: 1) The person with anxiety who can not leave the house or attend social situations; 2) The person who is depressed who can not get out of bed, can not go to work or school and who is suicidal; 3) The person with bipolar disorder or schizophrenia who is floridly psychotic, hallucinates, hears voices and has delusions; 4) The veteran with PTSD who can not function in public, has an extreme response to a car backfiring and who can not sleep for days; Egypt 5) The person with any kind of mental illness who self-medicates with alcohol, street drugs and sometimes is homeless.

This portrait of mental illness would be like believing people who have cancer are all bald, weak, bedridden, vomiting, and ill. Yet people, who have had cancer treatment, hold jobs, are parents, are siblings, run races for the cure and get to celebrate another year of recovery.

The person with mental illness, who is in treatment generally looks and is very well! They too hold jobs, go to school, get married, parent, have goals and friendships. Frankly you run into people every day that are among the healthy, with mental illness. It could be your doctor, a salesperson, dentist, school teacher, banker, lawyer, engineer, carpenter, or banker, boss, coworker or friend. However, we rarely see the functioning mentally ill because of the stigma. They do not announce another year without psychosis, being afraid to leave their home, or not being bed hidden or suicidal. So, we have a skewed view of mental illness.

We do know that most mental illness, which really is a neurological brain function illness, is a combination of genetics and luck of the draw. Shake the family tree of someone with mental illness and you'll generally find a variety of family members with anxiety, depression, “strange behavior or eccentric behavior”, hospitals, suicides, and addictions. caused by extreme neglect, abuse or trauma.

What does good treatment look like to produce the highest level of functioning? Let's look at the top 4 supports to insure the best outcome:

• A loving, supportive family who is supported themselves. Family members must go to their own counselor or to a support group. This is to help them get through the unfair of lost potential, fear and help them know how best to help and not enable.

• A great psychiatrist and continuous individual counseling for the patient. Medical management is essential and hospitalization needs to be available in the acute phase. Counseling is essential too. It's in the counseling session that the patient learns skills, is supported, problem solves, develops a relationship and learns about their illness.

• Medication compliance. Again because of stigma most first time – fourth time patients resist medication. When the patient's life falls apart, sometimes some times, they finally accept that medication is necessary for treatment. I know of one psychiatrist who medically supervises her patients' titration down from medication. When the psychosis or depression or anxiety returns, it's in a safe environment and the patients then can admit they have an illness.

• The patient's desire and hero's journey to get well. Mental Illness is a chronic, relapsing, and sometimes debilitating condition where residual problems occur with each episode. It is not easy to be well and hopeful when you've lived through such a soul robbing experience. Others can assist by simple kindness and acknowledging the sheer strength, stamina and courage it takes to get well and stay well.

{ Comments are closed }

3 Herbs to Boost Your Mood Naturally

Do you know a misery merchant ? Just like your bank manager, a misery merchant always knows just how to bring you down. They're the sort of person that no matter what happens, always feels down, unhappy or blue?

While it is natural to have days when you're feeling a little out of sorts, regular problems with moods can really make life, well miserable … pardon the pun!

The long term solution for mood disorders and anxiety is to correct underlying nutritional deficiencies. Unfortunately, this is not always a quick process. This is where herbal medicine can help you obtain short-term relief.

Sage – More Than Just Sore Throats

Sage is probably not the first herb that springs to mind for mood disorders; even most folk herbal remedies use sage more as a natural antiseptic in the treatment of sore throats and coughs. Sage though, has far more to offer than just this. Research is only now unaware of what the Chinese have known for centuries and sage is taking its rightful place as a powerful herb to support mood and nervous system function.

What really makes sage stand out from the crowd is its rapid action. Studies have shown reductions in stress and improvements in mood as quickly as one hour after taking the powdered form of the herb. Other mood boosting herbs require several days of consistent use and even then, only make their effects known gradually.

If you've ever tried sage tea, you will know it does not make the nicest brew. This taste though can easily be masked by the addition of other strong flavors such as peppermint or liquorice. Alternately, some health food stores stock powdered sage in capsules that can make this herb a little easier on the stomach.

The use of sage oil internally and strong sage preparations should be avoided during pregnancy. It may also exacerbate some gastric disorders and complaints.

Passion flower – Beautiful & Effective

Passion flower has a long history of use in traditional medicine, and not just in the treatment of mood disorders and anxiety. It has been suggested that the early North Americans used passion flower in the treatment of epilepsy; and like a lot of other herbs in human history, it did not take long for us to figure out it could be smoked.

Research has shown passion flower's effectiveness on mood is not just folklore. Studies comparing passion flower extract with common pharmaceutical drugs used in mood disorders, have found it to offer similar results without the risk of addiction found in pharmaceutical remedies. Anxiety, insomnia, and stress symptoms all responded normally well and results can be obtained in as little as two weeks of use.

Passion flower is available available in most health food stores as either capsule or a loose leaf tea. Capsule and tablet forms are most effective for stress and anxiety, while the tea, particularly when prepared with valerian, is a great way to prepare for bed.

Guarana – Not Just a Quick Hit

Not just in energy drinks any more, guarana is increasingly found in herbal mood and anxiety formulas.

Most people are probably familiar with guarana as the healthy form of an energy drink. Did you know that in addition to giving a quick energy boost, guarana can also be beneficial for mood? It's not just a caffeine boost either, as lower doses have been shown to be more affective than higher doses.

The use of guarana in the treatment of mood can be controversial due to its stimulatory effect which can worsen symptoms for those that are already highly strung. It can however be useful where mood disorders are accompanied by high levels of fatigue or low energy and lethargy.

Make Sure to Consult a Naturopath

If you're influenced by mood disorders or anxiety, it's important to consult with your Naturopath. While herbal remedies can provide short-term relief, lasting mood improvements will only come from addressing underlying nutritional deficiencies.

It is also important to ensure that your mood disorder, is not related to a more complex condition requiring treatment from a qualified psychiatrist or counselor.

{ Comments are closed }

How Does Your Food Affect Your Mood

While certain diets or foods may not ease depression (or put you instantly in a better mood), they may help as part of an overall treatment plan. There's more and more research indicating that, in some ways, diet may influence mood. We do not know everything yet, but there are some interesting discoveries being made.
Basically the science of food's affect on mood is based on this: Dietary changes can bring about chemical & physiological changes in our brain structure that can lead us to an altered behavior.

How You Could Use Food to Boost Mood
So how should you change your diet if you want to try to improve your mood? Try these nine suggestions below. Try to combine as many as possible, because regardless of their effects on mood, most of these changes offer other health benefits as well.

1. Do not Banish Carbs – Just Choose 'Smart' Ones
The connection between carbohydrates and mood is all about tryptophan, a nonessential amino acid. As more tryptophan enters the brain, more serotonin is synthesized in the brain, and mood tends to improve. Serotonin, known as a mood regulator, is made naturally in the brain from tryptophan with some help from the B vitamins. Foods thought to increase serotonin levels in the brain include fish and vitamin D.

Here's the catch, though: While tryptophan is found in almost all protein-rich foods, other amino acids are better at passing from the bloodstream into the brain. So you can actually boost your tryptophan levels by eating more carbohydrates; they seem to help eliminate the competition for tryptophan, so more of it can enter the brain. But it's important to make smart carbohydrates choices like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, which also contribute important nutrients and fiber.

So what happens when you follow a very low carbohydrate diet? According to researchers from Arizona State University, a very low carbohydrate (ketogenic) diet was found to strengthen fatigue and reduce the desire to exercise in overweight adults after just two weeks.

2. Get More Omega-3 Fatty Acids
In recent years, researchers have noted that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (found in fatty fish, flaxseed, and walnuts) may help protect against depression. This makes sense physiologically, since omega-3s appear to affect neurotransmitter pathways in the brain. Past studies have suggested there may be abnormal metabolism of omega-3s in depression, although some more recent studies have suggested there may not be a strong association between omega-3s and depression. Still, there are other health benefits to eating fish a few times a week, so it's worth a try. Shoot for two to three servings of fish per week.

The best health benefits are that Omega-3 Fatty Acids have 2 great effects on fat. Firstly these acids are lipogenic, meaning they turn OFF the fat storing gene. Yes, they stop you storing fat! Secondly they are lipolytic, which means they promote fat burning. Think of this for a second, they stop you storing fat and make you burn more. This is not some cheesy sales pitch or just bold outright lie – it's TRUE!

Whether it's baked, broiled or raw sashimi, eating salmon and other oily fish like mackerel and sardines can bring a smile to your face.

These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, the latest wunderkind of the mood world. Though they may be best known for their heart-healthy qualities, omega-3s are also good for boosting your mood. “They are probably the hottest thing currently in terms of helping the brain heal and helping mood through eating properly,” said George Pratt, a clinical psychologist at private practice at Scripps Memorial Hospital in LaJolla, California.

The body uses omega-3 fatty acids for building neurotransmitters like serotonin in the brain, and some studies have shown that eating plenty of these fats has depression-preventing qualities. If fish is not part of your diet, you can find these nourishing oils in flaxseeds and walnuts.

In fact, countries where oily fish are a part of the diet, such as Japan, have lower rates of depression than other countries. These countries often have a healthier diet and lifestyle overall, but their omega-3 intake is higher as well.

So, depending on your mood, swallow that spoonful of cod liver oil, just as your grandmother said.

For best results you should really take 1gram of Omega-3 Fatty Acids per 1% of bodyfat that you have. This can be a little expensive for some of us though, so aim to get at least 3-9 grams per day.

3. Eat a Balanced Breakfast
Eating breakfast regularly leads to improved mood, according to some researchers – along with better memory, more energy throughout the day, and feelings of calmness. It stands to reason that skipping breakfast would have the opposite, leading to fatigue and anxiety.

And what makes up a good breakfast? Lots of fiber and nutrients, some lean protein, good fats, and whole-grain carbohydrates.

4. Keep Exercising and Lose Weight (Slowly)
After looking at data from 4,641 women between the ages of 40 and 65, researchers from the Center for Health Studies in Seattle found a strong link between depression and obesity, lower physical activity levels, and a higher calorie intake. Even without obesity as a factor, depression was associated with lower amounts of moderate or vital physical activity. In many of these women, I would suspect that depression feeds the obesity and vice versa.

Some researchers advise that, in overweight women, slow weight loss can improve mood. Fad dieting is not the answer, because cutting too far back on calories and carbohydrates can lead to irritability. And if you're following a low-fat diet, be sure to include plenty of foods rich in omega-3s (like fish, ground flaxseed, higher omega-3 eggs, walnuts, and canola oil.)

5. Move to a Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet is a balanced, healthy eating pattern that includes plenty of fruits, nuts, vegetables, Cereals, legumes, and fish – all of which are important sources of nutrients bound to preventing depression.

A recent Spanish study, using data from 4,211 men and 5,459 women, shown that rates of depression tended to increase in men (especially smokers) as folate intake declined. The same occurred for women (especially among those who smoked or were physically active) but with another B-vitamin: B12.

This is not the first study to discover an association between these two vitamins and depression.
Researchers wonder whether poor nutrient take may lead to depression, or whether depression leads people to eat a poor diet. Folate is found in Mediterranean diet staples like legumes, nuts, many fruits, and particularly dark green vegetables. B-12 can be found in all lean and low-fat animal products, such as fish and low-fat dairy products.

6. Get Enough Vitamin D
Vitamin D increases levels of serotonin in the brain but researchers are unsure of the individual differences that determine how much vitamin D is ideal (based on where you live, time of year, skin type, level of sun exposure). Researchers from the University of Toronto noticed that people who were suffering from depression, particularly those with seasonal affective disorder, tended to improve as their vitamin D levels in the body increased over the normal course of a year. Try to get about 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day from food if possible.

7. Select Selenium-Rich Foods
Selenium supplementation of 200 micrograms a day for seven weeks improved mild and moderate depression in 16 elderly participants, according to a small study from Texas Tech University. Previous studies have also reported an association between low selenium intakes and poor moods.

More studies are needed, but it can not hurt to make sure you're eating foods that help you meet the Dietary Reference Intake for selenium (55 micrograms a day). It's possible to ingest toxic doses of selenium, but this is unacceptable if you're getting it from foods rather than supplements.

Foods rich in selenium are foods we should be eating anyway such as:
· Seafood (oysters, clams, sardines, crab, saltwater fish and fresh fish)
· Nuts and seeds (particularly Brazil nuts)
· Lean meat (lean pork and beef, skinless chicken and turkey)
· Whole grains (whole-grain pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, etc.)
· Beans / legumes
· Low-fat dairy products

Thinking of Brazil Nuts, if an apple a day keeps the doctor away, some brazil nuts each day might keep the psychiatrist at bay.

Brazil nuts, native to South America, are rich in the mineral selenium. Although scientists are not certain of the mechanism, selenium is essential for maintaining a good mood and getting enough selenium may prevent depression. These rich nuts are also a good source of B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc, which can help calm stressed nerves and keep you alert.

If you really do not want any of these foods, or do not want to overload them, then you can get a high quality source of selenium for your diet from here.

8. Do not Overdo Caffeine
In people with sensitivity, caffeine may exacerbate depression. (And if caffeine keeps you awake at night, this could certainly affect your mood the next day.) Those at risk could try limiting or eliminating caffeine for a month or so to see if it improves mood.

Coffee can boost mood on many levels. In the morning, the aroma of a rich Columbian roast can be enough to make you feel more alert. After two cups, the mind is alert, the eyes are bright, and the tail is bushy.
Of course, the sensory effects of coffee, and other warm beverages, like tea or cocoa, can lift your spirits. But the caffeine is the key ingredient when it comes to how a cup of java can affect your mood. The chemical can induce feelings of happiness and euphoria. “A small amount of coffee or caffeine may help you feel more energized and alert,” said the ADA's Lona Sandon. “Too much may backfire, leaving you feeling more stressed and jittery.”

Excess amounts of caffeine – say, more than four or five cups each day – can have effects on their own. The body becomes accustomed to the caffeine boost, and when it does not receive it, can go through withdrawal-like symptoms, which can lead to irritability and depression. Drinking caffeine after noon can interfere with sleep patterns, leading to further risk of fatigue and depression.

The effect of caffeine is magnified in people with an existing mental condition.

“A patient with bipolar disorder may react positively to coffee when depressed, where as mania could be exacerbated,” said Carla Wolper, a nutritionist at the Obesity Research Center at St. Louis. Luke's Hospital in New York.

The expert dictict: A small cup of coffee in the morning is permissible, beneficial, even. More than that, however, and your mood is at risk.

9. Steer Clear Of Alcohol
Most high school children learn, through drug and alcohol education, that alcohol is a depressant – literally. Alcohol can dull your central nervous system and damage important brain functions. But that's not the only thing alcohol can dull.

“Sugar and alcohol elate momentarily while they shoot excess sugar into the system … but the resultant insulin response drives the blood sugar to low low, creating brain and ultimate mood changes such as anxiety, depression, hopelessness, and / or sadness,” said Adele Puhn, a clinical nutritionist who has written extensively about diet.

When taken responsibly, a small quantity of alcohol can have calming, sedative effects. But while a glass of red wine with dinner may have a soothing effect after a hard day at work, downing martinis or scotch will do the opposite.

“Alcohol will help you go to sleep, but you will wake up very quickly,” Pratt said, when the alcohol is converted to sugar in the body. Sleep disruption can contribute to feeling tired, anxious, and depressed. “You just want to be very kind and loving to yourself.”

What Else Can / Should I Eat?
To list every food type and say yes or no would take this from a relatively simple article to War & Peace, and I'm not going to do that to you (and to be honest, I have not gotten that much time either! )

Here are a few other things to consider adding in to and removing from your diet.

Perhaps the spider that scared Little Miss Muffet away was hip to the nutritional value of her curds and whey. Whey is the natural by-product of cheese. It is the thin, slightly cloudy liquid that is left behind once milk has been curdled and strained.

The mood benefits of whey come from the high concentration of tryptophan, that essential amino acid that gets converted to serotonin in the brain and lifts your mood.

If the thought of liquid whey does not set your mouth watering, it is often sold as whey protein, a powdered supplement found in health stores.

Maybe spinach helped Popeye the sailor strengthen up to fight for his love, Olive Oyl, but spinach has more effect on mood than Popeye let on.

Spinach is a potent green. Part of the family that includes kale and chard, spinach is a rich source of several minerals that are good for anxiety and depression.

People with anxiety may benefit from a cup of cooked spinach, according to Trudy Scott, a nutritionist and spokesperson for the National Association of Nutrition Professionals. Spinach contains magnesium, a mineral with relaxing and calming effects.

Green leafy vegetables are also high in folic acid, low levels of which have been linked to depression in several studies.

Comfort Foods
Comfort foods are different for everyone. It may be a pasta dish ate as a child or a sweet given as a reward for doing well in school. But the effect of these foods is always the same: they make you feel good.
“There's no question that when we eat something that really pleases us … probably it sets off certain reward centers in the brain,” said Alan Gelenberg, emeritus professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona. “It is not dissimilar to the centers associated with drug abuse and sex.”

Because of the strong emotional component, comfort foods increase the production and release of the pleasure neurotransmitters, serotonin and dopamine, in the brain to give a sense of well-being and even euphoria.

Comfort foods may be simple in themselves: mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, chocolate cake, ice cream. In general, though, these foods taste good and immediately distract from a bad mood. But most often, we crave carbohydrates-rich foods when our mood is low because they are easy to digest and quickly release serotonin for a calming effect.

“They do not require much work for the body to break down,” said the ADA's Taub-Dix. “Your body is saying,” Do me a favor, let's just take it easy, I do not want to work hard. “But this urge can backfire when unchecked. which can also cause poor self-image and depression.

Gelenberg said the best way to head this off scenario is to maintain a balanced diet and be physically active. “Then you can feel good and have selected number of deeds as a favor to yourself,”.

Fast Food
Unequivocally, fast foods are mood downers. While it may be cheap, fast, or just easy to reach for a donut, a bag of chips, or a hamburger, ever, your mood will pay the price.

The immediate effects of a high-fat or sugary snack can be misleading. Often, they give a quick burst of energy and may reduce tension. But these effects run in reverse rapidly, said Robert Thayer, a professor of psychology at California State University at Long Beach. “They shift to increase tension and reduce energy,” he said.

Fast food and junk food are usually the most processed foods, where the nutrients are identified to the point where they are immediately immediately or not at all, leaving no long-term sustenance for the body to feed off of. “It is addictive to eat that sort of lipid-laden diet,” said Gelenberg.

Besides the poor nutrient content, fast food often contains many additives and preservatives that can affect mood negatively. Food coloring and preservatives, like benzoate, and added flavorings like monosodium glutamate (MSG), can cause anxiety, according to Scott.

Studies have shown that the omega-6 fatty acids often found in these foods can compete with omega-3 fatty acids and an imbalance between the two can lead to obesity and depression. Since Americans often do not get enough omega-3s in their diets, consuming too many fast food items puts them at risk for mood problems.

Most of us are busy … and many people put themselves last. Fast food is horrible – for the salt content alone, never mind the fat and calories – but when we're stressed we're looking for rapid solutions … Emotionally centring yourself will be immensely helpful.

So, there you have it: how your food can make or break your day.

{ Comments are closed }

Smile More As You Find The Best Cure For The Anxiety Attack

An anxiety attack is the cause of extreme panic or anxiety caused in a person. This can be due to distress or even provoked. Some people react to stress in this fashion. It is so very essential to control our mind. It is just about replacing it with thoughts. A therapist can actually help a person with anxiety disorder deal with the problem. Initially, one may face a lot of confusion but with confidence it is surely possible to improve the way we think and behave. Some medicines may also be given initially to create a calming atmosphere around the person.

We need a society. An anxiety attack can make the person retreat to a shell. This can cause further problems as loneliness never did anyone good. The best way to deal with the anxiety attack is to understand that this is a passing phase. Conditioning the mind is the trick. The moment you know that something is about to happen, you can keep repeating positive quotes to yourself. A good deal of support and care that you receive from your family must never be ignored. It is good to be open about the problem and confide in some trusted people. Actually the reaction is the key and how to change the mindset will be taught to you by a therapist.

All is not possible in a day's time. A counseling session may take a few sentences. But is not about preaching to you how to be. There will be interaction and videos will be shown to you about how people react in varying expressions. If you see a person displaying symptoms of anxiety attack you can rush to their side and see that the person does not harm them self. The person is suffering and you can just accept the person as they are. It is quite possible to heal yourself completely of an anxiety and disorder but you must be willing to take the first step towards reality. All inhibitions will have to be shed and it is essential that you understand the importance of positive affirmations.

Symptoms that occurs during the anxiety attack:

1. It is not identical always.
2. There can be confusion and lack of clarity.
3. Breathlessness and difficulty in talking.
4. Perspiration and redness of the skin.
5. Dilated pupils and difficulty in maintaining posture.

How to help a person suffering from anxiety attack? If you notice a person showing symptoms of panic then you can secure him or her with positive words about things will be fine. In certain cases where the sufferer is aggressive, you can move the person from the place. Usually people who are suffering go through a lot of guilty complex and are very conscious about themselves. The loving care and help of family and friends is necessary for them to heal. The treatment is always step wise and will help you gain more control on yourself and completely understand the situation. Sometimes it is a particular issue that is bothering a person and causing emotional trauma. A therapist and the best in medication will reinstall the faith in the person.

People who are sooner to an anxiety attack must confide in an associate. This will help others understand your feelings. There could be minor chest pains or shortness in breath. This needs to be checked to avoid confusing it with any other medical condition. A person who has this problem will be very shy and also in some cases would love to stay at home. A couch potato syndrome extremely sets in which gives rise to other health diseases. The anxiety disorder requires to be detected and treated in the right way to avoid future complications. A good hobby and the company of friends is the best way to ring the benefits of well being.

In several cases people go through it everyday. The feeling of anxiety may come and go and since it has to be treated. Certain people also are allergic to certain type of sounds and this may trigger an attack. This type of anxiety combined with depression is another common condition. An anxiety attack if not cured can cause complexities in the life of a person. Health care centers provide many facilities and counseling for people and there is cure for the same. Having a good outdoor life, exercise and moderation in food also promotes self esteem which helps in a great way to treat the problem.

{ Comments are closed }

Anxiety Attacks Need Not Put Your Life To A Standstill

Life is pleasant when health is fine. Our mind can channelize so many positive thoughts that can make it easy for us to survive. It is an ordinal at times and if you are sooner to worrying unnecessarily you must lighten up your lifestyle. More people are now becoming prone to anxiety attacks. But people are also admitting their reaction to a situation which can be termed as a panic disorder. There is a lot that can be discussed and new approaches in medical science can be taken up to know what the actual cause of the problem is. A person with the anxiety problem will need to assess what are the priorities in life and then know how to deal with the situation.

Anxiety attacks can cause distortions in a person's life but an understanding family and the advice of a doctor can really put things straight. Anxiety affects all of us. It is the high standards of performance and juggling too many things that makes us more prone to panic. A panic situation can be very difficult to analyze. People may term as fear of a particular situation but if it affects frequently then it is a cause of concern. Kids also term it as feeling not fine and her it may go unnoticed. The breathlessness or choking sensation can make a person dizzy. Anxiety can be cured via therapy.

Relaxing before the situation or taking a few deep breaths is the key to knowing how to control the panic situation. Each person has a separate mental make and psychological structure that can start anxiety attacks. Here the response to treatment will also be different. The stress factor has to be treated well. If the person is already have some pills to take care a medical problem that too will have to be deal with specifically. The physical reaction to anxiety is also noticeable. Sometimes the person may turn net or there is quite a change in the pallor of skin. Sweating is another condition. The person may also feel as though he is having an electric shock. It is highly essential to take care of the person to avoid any kind of harm

How to know the anxiety attacks?

1. The palpitation of the heart may increase.
2. The person may feel disoriented for a short span.
3. Frequent changes in decision making.
4. Twitching of facial muscles.
5. Not getting the right words to express.

Anxiety attacks can cause a psychological impact. It is hard for the family members too. A person may recover immediately or take a few days. Pondering about the scene will not work at all. It is possible that the person is shy about the experience and will not be ready to move out of home. But a bit of care and loving friends can really help the person. Feeling overwhelmed or caught in a situation can be changed if the person suffering is willing to go through treatment. The fear of the unknown is also a common reason for the people to suffer. The sick feeling can persist and also go away but the effect can stay for a long time. The reminder of the scene can again cause the attack.

People worry a lot about the tiniest details. But overcoming the tension and stress will be easy with proper counseling. Relaxing is the key factor. It makes a person realize that it is quite possible to change the perspective so that life can be simple. The usual symptom is often mistaken as a heart condition or some deep physical problem. Once the tests are done and things are clarified it can be seen as a reaction to stress. The feeling of not knowing how to deal with the situation can also be the cause of anxiety. The wrong thoughts manifest in the mind of a person to cause confusion and hence they are often inconsolable. Anxiety attacks require treatment and only a therapist can bring the best in the person.

While dealing with anxiety attacks people have to be doubly careful to notice any harm the person may do to the person. People are also very conscious of themselves when they understand that they are prone to panic attacks. The truth lies in treating it with proper care. People with disorder must have a proper support group which is also available online. Health care units also give you tips to relaxation and certain affirmations that work so well with the problem. There are quick fixes here and since the intricate details will help a therapist carry on the session in the most effective way.

{ Comments are closed }

Say No To Panic Attacks And Yes To A Happy Life

Panic attacks can be changed with the help of proper cognitive therapy. Stress is a common factor today and children too feel the same. A panic attack is a feeling that is very much overwhelming. Enthusiastic and happy people know the essence of living life. Simple joys exist in a stroll in the garden or cooking your favorite meal. Me-time is the most essential thing in today's life. People from all walks of life feel stressed and when it is beyond control, the manifestation develops physical or psychological problems. A panic situation can be cured with self help and control.

During panic attacks a person may feel as if the whole world is falling apart. It can be there for a few minutes or can take a long time. Most times the trauma is the most incurable part. People also feel as though they are having difficulty in breathing or if they are having a heart attack. The basic realization that something is going to happen helps the person change the course of mind. When you are anticipating a panic attack, you can change the situation with self control. The therapies are conducted in a way that you can visualize a positive outcome of situations. Several rounds of counseling and practical help are given to you to help you with the problem.

Panic attacks can be cured with special care and attention. A lot of emphasis is also on workouts and aerobic movements. Certain people respond to swimming exercise or even there are others who respond to breathing exercises. It is certainly important to tell the health care counselor about all your phobias. A routine check up will be recommended to check if your health is fine. A fast beating heart is also a symptom which is always confusing to the patient as well as the relatives of the person. Sweating and labored breathing along with confusion are some of the symptoms of a heart attack.

Is there a cure for panic attacks?

1. Self help method is proven to be a good cure.
2. Positive thinking is needed.
3. Reinforcing beliefs and an open mind helps.
4. Sometimes medical treatment with drugs will be necessary.
5. Video sessions demonstrated in a staged sequence create a positive attitude.

Panic attacks can also be caused due to depression. The psychological make up of the person has to be explored. It is so very essential to know that life can be lived normally despite the disorder. A proper treatment includes counseling, therapy, medication and also self help techniques. A person may not feel the calm despite the quiet in the area during the panic attack. It can be a terrible feeling and people may also turn out to be a recluse. This creates more damage. A sufferer may develop more complexes and this may cause a standstill in their lives. There is so much hope in cognitive therapy that works wonderfully for people.

Living a normal life is a priority to all of us. There is so much zest in life. But making time to meet friends and having a great weekend are some of the basic necessities. A few minutes in a day must be devoted towards self examination. Are you doing the best for yourself? When is the last time you hummed a song? When you ask these questions to yourself you will realize that life is not about living but including a lot of happiness. People who worry a lot have always ignored this in the past and since they face the problems of panic attacks. A change in lifestyle is recommended to lead a fruitful life.

Panic attacks can be really awful if you do not treat it. The treatment is simple and effective. A counselor will gather a lot of personal information and analyze your situation. It is required that you open up in the best possible manner so that all your inhibitions will be shed and you receive a proper treatment. People who are nervous by nature my also be a victim of an anxiety attack. There are methods by which you can change the thoughts and understand that life can lead in a simple pattern if you are willing to accept help. Staying excited about a project, about a picnic or joining a laugh club can do wonders. A high self esteem can also make you more confident.

{ Comments are closed }

Learning New Ways Of Unwinding Will Also Help To Ease A Panic Attack

A panic attack can be effectively cured if one is able to identify the trigger. What can cause a panic attack is a question that is debatable. People of any age including small children can get a panic disorder. The basic symptoms are breathlessness, a choking sensation, confusing thoughts and the feeling of being lost. Sometimes when a person is already into addictions, the panic attacks can be severe and because it is required to go much more beyond self help and seek a proper medical treatment. Chronic worry can cause a person to constantly change decisions and also create negative patterns in the mind. Expecting the worst is another pessimistic attitude which can be changed with behavior therapy.

The panic attack can also be the result of hyperventilating or not able to understand a situation properly. Anxiety also curbs the appetite and it can alsoplete a person's ability to take decisions. Triggers can also be caused owing to addictions and hence worrying habit has to cease. All problems have solutions and may sometimes take time to resolve. It is good to know that medical help is certainly available to people suffering from this disorder.

During the panic attack the person may feel the need to talk but there could be no words coming out of the mouth. Excessive dryness of the mouth and confusion is present and this hampers the decision making process. Some people also face the problem of excessive sweating and also pain in the chest. Phobias can also cause these attacks. This can be fear of crow and heights too. Children can have a traumatic experience when they have the problem of panic situation arising intermittently. This can cause havoc in the lives of their parents too. There are several self help notes available but consulting a good doctor is desirable.

Causes of a panic attack can be:

1. Chemical changes in the body.
2. Hormonal disorders.
3. Fear of certain things or phobias.
4. An untreated psychological problem.
5. Emotional issues and stress.

A panic attack can be cured. The studies reveal that many people find it difficult to relax. Stress builds up and the repercussions can be felt in a noticeable way. The best way to stay out of anxiety is to find some time for oneself. Breathing exercises work wonders. There are a lot of relaxation techniques in yoga or tai chi. An expert will get you the best benefits. For people who have a chronic worry syndrome, it is best to seek help in a positive way. Excessive indulgences must also be avoided. It is best to understand that the best way to relax is without these drugs and alcohol. It is good to have the wealth of friends and a recreational facility. Trying new hobbies will also work well.

Before one knows that you are going to get a panic attack, you can be prepared. That's what exactly self help is about. A therapist will show you how to make those changes and stay prepared. A panic syndrome is completely reversible. There is no need to be conscious of the fact as awareness of this disorder is present. People are ready to accommodate others with a panic problem and since it is desirable that one changes the perspective. Usually people with this syndrome want to avoid the problem but prolonging the issue will create more complications.

Changing the fear complex or cultivating distractions is one unique way one can find more solutions to a panic attack. Gaining control is desired and that is what a therapist works on for a few weeks. If there are other health issues then those must be taken care off too. Other ways to combat stress and proper diet therapy also works wonderfully. Going more out often to get sunshine, staying organized and believing in you is the key to success. Some people also face heart pressure or palpitations akin to a heart attack. Here all kinds of medical problems must be ruled out before taking help. Getting drug free must be the aim though a few medicines will be prescribed to stabilize the recovery process.

{ Comments are closed }

What Is Lithium Toxicity? Can Lithium Orotate Cause Lithium Toxicity?

The risk of lithium toxicity is larger than alternative medications, as a result of the effective dose of lithium is close to the toxic dose. Lithium, a salt chemical, is a drug often used to treat mental and emotional instability, particularly mania and suicidal bipolar disorder.

While most medications may be toxic at higher dosages, effective dosages are sometimes far below the toxic levels would be. Lithium toxicity is common because the effective dose is in close range of the toxic dose. When using this drug in the prescribed carbonate form, blood tests requiring regular measuring of lithium levels within the blood are there beyond extraordinarily important.

Lithium Orotate, sold as a natural supplement for mood stabilization, may be a type of lithium that differs from lithium carbonate, the medication that Dr's normally prescribe. Lithium orotate requires lower dosages as it is claimed to be a lot more absorbent than the carbonate lowering the danger of lithium toxicity and making the drug more effective at the same time.

Lithium orotate is sold over the counter with less supervision required for its use.

Several individuals wonder if promoting lithium orotate as a supplement is a safe plan. Is it advisable to take something as powerful as lithium, without being regulated and watched by a doctor?

Unfortunately rigorous testing has not been performed to validate these findings. Testing for the efficacy of drugs is typically solely done when there is a patent pending, but if a drug can not be patented funding for significant analysis is mostly not possible.

Lithium orotate will hence most certainly not be in a position to be tested as completely as it is necessary to substantiate all the claims created for this supplementary kind of lithium.

As a result of it's low dosage, the supplement is allowed to be sold over the counter (OTC) and is usually sold as a nutritional supplement.

Those against the utilization of lithium orotate claim that even in this low dose, lithium may be a drug that needs tight monitoring. Lithium toxicity can be a true danger as it may have damaging effects on the kidneys, especially when taken over longer periods of time.

The advantages of lithium orotate can not be underestimated though. At a fraction of the cost and reduced toxicity compared to calcium carbonate, lithium orotate is nothing to be sneezed at particularly as anecdotal results are very forthcoming.

Relying on anecdotal evidence may not be enough for a few people to give this new prospect a chance.

It may seem unsafe to rely on your own or others experiences, the facts are it might still be a safer option than the medically prescribed drug. Your own health is your own responsibility and sorting out what works for you is typically the most effective approach for individuals to search out the answers and cures to their illnesses.

When using lithium in the carbonate type, some amount of Lithium toxicity could generally have to be tolerated by the patient so as to induce the therapeutic results.

Symptoms of liver toxicity may vary from gentle to severe tremors of the hands, diarrhea, frequent urination, vomiting, and thirst. Coordination issues and muscle weaknesses, along with a sense drowsiness and giddiness with blurred vision and ringing within the ears also are experienced by some, the long time they're taking lithium.

Because of the pharmaceutical industry's lack of support for un-patentable drugs does not mean you would like to suffer. Anecdotal experiences accompanied by your own self testing could just be what you need to discover what is best for you.

The smart method concerning the use of any supplement that has not been rigorously tested, is to find a doctor who will work with you. Your doctor can make sure you are taking the necessary blood tests to be certain that you are safe and well, when making any attempt to try a new supplement you find yourself unsure of.

Taking part in helping yourself progress towards health is often the simplest thing you can do to help yourself. Is it worth it to end high levels of lithium with potential toxicity, and future danger to the kidneys, when there might be a less toxic alternative?

The arguments goes each way.

But the most important factor is … Do you want to be in control and do your own analysis? Or do you want to be controlled completely by your Dr. who is large controlled by the big Pharmacuetical industry, that does not care about you, but only the amount of the profit they can make off of you being sick?

Would it's honest to those who can actually be helped by the supplementary form of Lithium called Lithium orotate to keep it off the market as a result of it's not been searched, when it is practically not possible to do any kind of in depth analysis as lithium orotate is not patentable, and there is no money for research?

Lithium orotate has helped many individuals. People can take a far lower dosage and nonetheless get the same effects. For individuals who are sensitive to lithium and are at risk of lithium toxicity , this is often a miracle supplement!

{ Comments are closed }

How to Help Someone With Bipolar Disorder

Fate of a Bipolar Child

I can walk and talk with you and share my experiences in living with and loving a person with emotional challenges. I can put into words descriptions of the roller coaster ride absent the obligatory squeals you hear at an amusement park. And as a fellow caregiver you'll understand, because we wrestle with a common demon that is like no other. No viral induced high fever to treat. No torn ligament needing time and liniment to heal. This demon does not go away with two aspirins at bedtime. This robber of emotional balance and sound reasoning infects the basis of conscious behavior, leaving the thoughts and actions of its wearers out of control. This demon is a disease that has numerous names, Bipolar Disorders, Depressions, mania and many others.

You and I will never truly know the suffering of those we care for. Nor will they understand the pain that their loving caregivers endure. As individual as a fingerprint the disease behaves differently in each person. It's a disease as unique as the DNA that houses its complexities, charting the destiny of the enfant. It extends to the afflicted and to all who love them a constant changing panorama of moods that can send you to blissful heights, then swiftly to dreadful and scary lows. It snatches the feelings from your loved one and carries you along for the ride. There is no mistake here. You are now a part of the process. Because it attacks all who love the sufferer. Driving them away and leaving the afflicted deep in sorrow and alone.

Loving words of comfort and encouragement delivered by you will often seem to fall to the floor and shatter like brittle glass – gone unnoticed by the recipient. The person you care for has taken up residence behind a milky wall of glass, clouded and obscured from your view. You press your cheek and beat your fist against the cool surface, begging for admittance. Then slowly, sometimes suddenly deafening silence becomes part of your life. Uninvited the disorder takes up residence and slowly gobbles at the love and trust. Always oblivious of any pain or suffering it causes. And like a terrible creature cloaked in black, apathy comes and takes away what is left of your beloved.

Yet the day will come when you'll understand how to look for those brief glimpses of light flickering behind dull expressionless eyes. Over time when the wellness slowly returns that small flickering light becomes a beam. Your love one is returning from a long journey to wellness. And still you know that this hard won battle is only a small part of the war. All is not won and the battle it's not over. Still yet to come is the high drama of lightning speed thoughts. They race producing brilliant conversations and moments of creative genius that leave you exhausted. Oftentimes anger and harsh words are followed by cold sober apologies, which can never patch the rift in your soul that they've caused. You're still catching your breath when again comes the sweet calm. You get a soldier's well-earned rest.

What weapons do you have to fight with? Learn, learn and learn about your enemy the Mental Disease. Study hard and understand this term well. For this is what will bring you some knowing, therefore comfort. Depression, Bipolar Disorders and the host of conditions running tandem are diseases of the mind and body. Just as all other afflictions of the body, those suffering the ravages of biochemical imbalances often have little control over emotions or reactions during their daily lives. This phenomenon is the most important thing to understand for your own survival. Confirm everyday your love and patience. Find sources of unbridled support outside your relationship and do daily affirmations in faith. These things will get you through.

For this is a battle forged in the venue of a relationship. The battle field is your heart and soul. This is not a noble fight. And winning this war requires more than two warriors, you the caregiver, a host of talented and caring psychologists, your pharmacists and most important the person who has the disease. And if you're very blessed, you'll also have the support of family and friends.

And as my friend while we stroll and talk of these things you may feel as I often do the utter despair and pain of frustration. Tears may choke your words when you ask me how long you can live this way. And I can only say this. How long you can endure is as unique as the disease. For when you feel your soul bleed from the emotional pain to the point where you find yourself lost. Then you must make the decision to withdraw your loving support. For if you truly care for your loved one you must understand and know that survival for both of you depends on your strength as well as their need to fight. You can not fight their battle for them. There may come the time when you walk away to fight another day. Regroup your forces. And never never lose yourself.

Bobann From Dome for Writers July 22, 2005

{ Comments are closed }

Three Ways Psychotherapy Provides Immediate Relief

Fast acting relief in therapy?

Clients often report that they feel better even after their first session in all styles of psychotherapy …


One: The relief of having taken action to help yourself.

Social psychology researchers have described hope as being made up of “agency” and “pathways”. Taking concrete action by beginning therapy establishes a feeling there is something to be done about your problem and that you are a person able to do it. This creates hope.

Two: The comfort of feeling that a professional is involved who can understand your situation and offer resources to help.

The psychological experiences of anxiety and depression often interfer with a person's cognitive ability or motivation to look at their situation and search for solutions. Depression slows down the body physically. It may be difficult to get out of bed or out of the house to do even the things that you know are good for you. Anxiety may lead to rumination, repetitive or circular thinking. Anxious insistence on safety at any price rules out many possible solutions to the anxiety producing situation. The anxiety or hopelessness can be catching. Friends and family can be infected by the same ineffective patterns of thought and lose their ability to contribute helpfully. Conversational contact with a person who has professional experience and knows what steps to take is often very calming and reassuring.

Three: The experience of speaking about your disturbing or shameful experience and discovering that it can be compassionately accepted by another person is healing.

Feelings of difference and isolation that come with the keeping of important secrets are a major intensifier of psychological distress.

  • Hearing from an expert that others also feel as you do also reduces painful shame and isolation.

Shame, anger and other unacceptable emotions may simply be stamped down and looked away from. rather than being dealt with effect or constructively. When we try to keep distracting experiences out of our minds, we also prevent ourselves from working to change or repair our situation.

  • Describing and naming your experience often makes it less frightening and unmanageable.

Psychological distress is a common human experience.

Almost no one will be able to get through a normal human life without having periods of anxiety, depression, or self-doubt. It is part of human emotional life to sometimes feel emotionally weak or out of control. These experiences exist on a continuum from mild to intense and from fleeting to life-long.

Statistically, most of these episodes resolve them within a reasonable period of time but if you feel that you are trapped in a state of emotional distress and are not able to work your way out by yourself, it may be helpful to look for help from a trained psychologist, counselor or other mental health practitioner

Many other people have walked these difficult paths before you … and the trail out is not unknown.

{ Comments are closed }

Diagnosing Mood Disorders – Signs You Might Be Bipolar

Each year approximately 5 million people suffer the consequences of Bi-polar disorder. It is a serious illness and sometimes since you are reading this you might be wondering if it affects you. Although everyone experiences ups and downs in their life, if you are suffering from bi-polar disorder your ups and downs will be extreme. These extreme ups and downs are referred to as cycles of mania and depression. These cycles could significantly damage your finances, interpersonal relations and career. Although diagnosis of a mood disorder is best done under the care of a physiatrist, there are common symptoms or signs that could tell you that you might have a mood disorder.

The symptoms vary from person to person which makes bi-polar disorder difficult to diagnose. However, there are common signs to watch for in your behavior if you suspect that you have bi-polar disorder. The important thing to remember you may not notice the behaviors as they occur, you will feel as if, no matter how bizarre or damaging the behavior that you are normal. Often only during the normal phases that occurs between the manic and depressive cycles will you be able to notice or see that you behaved abnormally. The consequences of your behaviors may be the tip off. Therefore, if you feel you are suffering from bi-polar disorder seek help immediately.

When trying to decide if you suffer from bi-polar disorder look for the following signs:

* Abnormal or excessive euphoria or energy – If you suffer from bipolar you will have periods of excessive euphoria or elation. This elation could be at odds with the real status of your life. In addition, this overly optimistic mood may be accompanied by a break from reality. This makes self-diagnosis extremely difficult. As a result of this extreme optimism, inter-personal relationships may suffer, especially at work.

* Racing thoughts and / or racing speech – During periods of mania, you may experience flights of ideas, or racing thoughts. Your mind will dart from idea to idea with no connection. These flights of ideas often lead to pressured or racing speech. You will become loud, people will have difficulty understanding you, your speech will often be disconnected and one thought unrelated to the other. During these periods, you may not recognize your own symptoms or have difficulty accepting them. This is why an impartial friend or physician is necessary to make an correct diagnosis.

* Grandiose Thinking – When mania sets in an exaggerated sense of your own self-worth is common. You may believe that you are more important than you are; you have more power or knowledge. This grandiose thinking and behavior often leads to problems at work, with friends and family and could potentially cause significant legal problems. Grandiose thinking is dangerous to you, and unfortunately, during this phase you may not recognize that your behaviors are abnormal.

* Sleep Problems – Depending on whether you are experiencing mania or depression, your sleep problems differ. For example, during depression you may sleep longer and still feel tired and have little energy. Although during mania you might sleep very little, it is not uncommon to go days without sleep, and still feel as if you have unlimited amounts of energy.

* Depression – As the term manic / depression describes forms of both depression and mania is necessary to be diagnosed with manic / depression or bi-polar disorder. A manic depression is similar to normal depression with symptoms of lack of energy, loss of appetite, sleep and focus problems. However, a manic-depressive distinguishing itself by irritability and of course the alternative phase of mania.

Although knowing the signs of bi-polar disorder could have helped in diagnosing the illness, often during the mania phase of the illness, you will be unwilling or unable to recognize your own symptoms. Should you feel you have bi-polar illness seek medical attention immediately before the symptoms and behaviors of the illness damage your life, family and career.

{ Comments are closed }

How to Cure Panic Attacks While Driving

Panic attacks while driving is a harrowing experience. Panic attacks (also known as anxiety attacks) in the street or at home are bad enough, but while driving, they can cause an extremely terrifying state of mind. Most people require a car to travel to work or maybe dropping children off at school. These everyday circumstances can drill fear into people who suffer from attacks.

There are various reasons why people suffer attacks while driving:

Previously involved in crash

Witnessed a bad crash

Enclosed space of car

Feeling of being rushed by other motorists

Feeling blocked in when heavy traffic

Does any of the above sound familiar. If so then please continue reading as help is at hand …

Panic attacks in general, can kick in at any time without notice. The intenet fear is harrowing. I used to have social phobia panic attacks while out shopping and they caused me to stay clear of driving as I was constantly in fear of having another attack. It made my life dependent on others – like friends and family – to get me around. And public transport made me feel very uncomfortable.

My condition was initially calmed by medication prescribed to me by my doctor, but I found this actually impeded my recovery as the medication made me drowsy and generally unmotivated. This is all well and good if you want to sit around the house all day, but when you have a job and you want to get to work on your own, it is soul-destroying. But I just did not have the confidence to put my hands on the wheel.

The drugs were not working for my driving phobia. I still kept thinking my condition would extremely cause cause damage to someone. I still had a fear of losing control of the car. But now I know that many forms of attacks can be cured productively and for the long term …

The first step in my recovery was to be positive and believe that long term help was available. The quicker you realize that there is something out there for you the quicker you will have your hands on the wheel again, and, driving without the fear of a panic attack. For me, natural techniques worked far better than prescribed drugs. There are no side effects and they are still working for me today.

The techniques I used to cure my panic attacks while driving is to use Muscle Tension training and relaxation. In essence these techniques train your brain to recognize the signs of an oncoming anxiety attack. I used to think that Panic attacks were sudden but they are not. They build up and kick in when your not expecting it.

The Muscle tension training is conducted once a day for 15 minutes. You actively tend to part of your body starting from your hands up to the neck and down through the body. Squeeze and release the different muscle groups. After time you train you brain to recognize what part of the body is tense, when you pick up on this sign it's now time for relaxation.

Relaxation training requires you to sit upright, not laying down, with you hands by your side. A kitchen chair works well for me. You relax your brain by thinking of the most wonderful quiet place you have always wished of and take in the smells, temperature, the scenery … Think of this place for 10 minutes.

Now join the two techniques together. If your driving and you recognize your tense in a particular part of your body you know you have to use the relaxation technique. In a calm state, pull over where safe and sit in your car thinking of the wonderful place, calm your body and drive again. I even did this on the motorway in a huge traffic jam, I managed to control my anxiety.

These are just two techniques that I found invaluable. There are many more techniques that you will find extremely beneficial. Remember … You do not have a condition, it's only a state of mind …

{ Comments are closed }

Panic Attack Origins And Care For the Disease

Panic attack signals may indicate that there is a serious situation which could have an effect on you over a long phase of your life. A medical doctor should be seen after a panic attack occurs. Symptoms may be a fear of impending death, feeling lightheaded, headache, chest pain, hyperventilation, tightness in the throat, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, abdominal cramps, trembling, a rapid heart pace, heart throbbing, hot flashes, shallow breath, sweating and chills.

An individual may experience a few, or many of these symptoms. Panic attacks may last about a half hour, and someone may feel very tired after the incident. They may become very fearful of suffering from another incident.

If someone suffices from panic attacks more frequently, they may be experiencing panic disorder. These accidents can obstructive greatly in the lives of the persons suffering from these accidents, and also the people near them. Panic attacks can happen at any point without word of warning. It can become so troublesome that the sufferer may well even acquire agoraphobia (fright of the outside or open spaces), since someone may be troubled that they may have another incident in the open.

Causes and Risk Factors
There is no surefire way to recognize the root of a panic attack. It may be hereditary, caused by pressure, or caused by alterations in the way parts of the brain operate. It may be caused by a fight-or-flight reaction to risk. There are reasons that can increase the likelihood of experiencing a panic attack, or suffering from panic disorder. Some may include an unexpected death in the family, analysis of an ailment, significant pressure, childhood sexual, emotional, or physical neglect; a family history of panic attacks or panic disorder, and so forth.

Prevention And Care
Antidepressants may be prescribed by doctors, psychoanalysis or counseling can help treat panic disorders.

There's no surefire way to avoid panic attacks from occurring, but seeking medical assistance quickly after suffering an incident may stop it from getting worn or from occurring frequently. Practicing relaxation methods, yoga, and meditation may also help relieve pressure. Staying away from caffeine, recreational drugs and alcohol are also effective. Finally, physical activity and getting enough rest helps. If you ever need to get help, you should always find support groups and people you can call right away for any issues. There is also a national 211 number that you can call to find help for immediate contact for many medical situations. You can also find them online at .

{ Comments are closed }