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Thread: Mental health

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Default Mental health

    Mental health is considered more than the absence of mental illness. Even though many of the people don't suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder, but still it is clear that some of us are mentally healthier than others. Moreover, the ability to enjoy life is essential to maintain good mental health. Here are some of the types of mental disorders described, which are generally suffered by human beings, they are:


    All of us have experienced some form of anxiety in our lives; those sweating palms before the start of an examination; the pounding heart on going to the stage are all features of anxiety.
    AnxietyA little anxiety is good in the way that it helps us focus on the task at hand and the body also channels it resources to meet the demands of the job. All of us experience milder forms of anxiety - stress, worry or tension - but when these symptoms collect (or are denied), they can quickly build upto a crescendo. This kind of an anxiety can be severly incapacitating.

    Features of Anxiety
    People who suffer from anxiety tend to experience physical symptoms such as palpitations, tremors, sweating, gastrointestinal discomfort, diarrhoea, muscle tension, shortness of breath, blushing and confusion. The first step in diagnosing an anxiety disorder is to rule out a physical cause: asthma, diabetes, seizure disorder, inner ear problems and hypothyroidism can all produce symptoms associated with anxiety.

    Physical conditions can create or exacerbate anxiety as well. Also, those who suffer from cumulative stress may create a physiological condition (such as insomnia or impotence) that in turn makes the stress worse - initiating a destructive cycle. Over time, stress can raise blood pressure,contribute to ulcers, or impair neuroendocrine regulatory systems in the brain - the very one which control mood and anxiety disorders.

    Without early intervention, some anxiety cases can become chronic. But many people - especially men - feel that seeking help is a sign of weakness. This is true for nearly all anxiety or mental health problems.

    Experts believe that some of the fault lies in our culture, in which men aren't supposed to be fearful. Men buy into this myth themselves, say psychologists. They'll insist that it's a medical condition, like a cardiac arrest, even after that's been ruled out. The fact is, with true panic, the experience in the body feels almost the same as a heart attack.

    10 ways to cope

    * Admit your need, and then seek professional help.
    * Have a physician check for a physical cause of anxiety symptoms.
    * Practise muscle relaxation and abdominal breathing regularly.
    * Engage in regular physical exercise.
    * Eat nutritiously. Eliminate caffeine. Stop smoking.
    * Practise meditation and creative visualization.
    * Learn positive self-talk and disregard negative messages.
    * Identify and express your fears.
    * Determine what meditation and / or alternative therapies are right for you.
    * Explore the deeper side of your anxiety; give meaning to your suffering.

    What will help:

    Dietary Changes:
    Doctors recommed eating plenty of complex carbohydrates
    Vegetarian diet; it has been shown that people with vegetarian diet tend to be calmer than meat eaters.
    Vitamin supplements also tend to help.

    Lifestyle Changes:

    Avoiding sugar and caffeine
    Stop Smoking
    ExerciseStudies show that people with vegetarian diet tend to be calmer than meat eaters. Meat and dairy products leave acid residues in the body, which can slow down the digestive tract. The result is the under-absorption of vitamins and minerals, which adds to the body's stress load. Physicians often use vitamin supplements to treat anxiety: 100 milligrams of a complete B-complex vitamin daily and 1000 milligrams of time-released vitamin C twice a day.

    Exercise is vital, having a direct impact on the physiology that supports anxiety. Tension can be relieved by music workouts, which allow for more rapid metabolism of excess adrenaline. Exercise also stimulates the production of endorphins, the natural body chemicals that spur a sense of well-being and relaxation.

    Another mind-body connection happens when people hyperventilate, which both reduces and alkalizes carbonic acid in the blood, sensitizing the nervous system and heightening anxiety. Diaphragmatic breathing is a key to calming the body and balancing the emotions. Learning breathing techniques allows the person to relate to anxiety in a new way.

    Identifying specific anxieties can help clarify both the work that's needed and how best to cope, though some techniques seem effective across-the-

    board. Psychologists recommed a regular form of meditation, employing creative visualization and positive affirmations, in which the anxiety sufferer can find peace through images of comfort. This starts the process of acquiring a sense of control. Through meditation, a person can begin seeing himself more positively.

    Anti-anxiety drugs provide relief, even if temporarily, while beta blockers (cardiac and anti-hypertension medications) stabilize the fight-or-flight response. Although some people report side effects to these drugs, remarkable successes have been recorded.

    Given the potential for addiction, behavioural therapy is an important adjunctantive treatment to medication. The important thing is to reach out to people coping with such ills, say psychologists, so that they are able to control the symptoms rather than. the symptoms controlling them.

    Keywords: Mental health, health care, anxiety, psychologists

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005



    Depression is a "whole-body" illness, involving your body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you think about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with a depressive illness cannot merely "pull themselves together" and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who suffer from depression.

    Depression treatment tips:

    * Learn as much as you can about your depression. Itís important to determine whether your depression symptoms are due to an underlying medical condition. If so, that condition will need to be treated first. The severity of your depression is also a factor. The more severe the depression, the more intensive the treatment you're likely to need.
    * It takes time to find the right treatment. It might take some trial and error to find the treatment and supports that works best for you. For example, it might take a few tries to find a therapist that you click with if you decide to pursue therapy. Or you may try an antidepressant, only to find that you don't need it if you take a daily half hour walk. Be open to change and a little experimentation.
    * Donít rely on medications alone. Although medication can relieve the symptoms of depression, studies show that other treatments, including exercise and therapy, can be just as effective or even more so. What's more, they don't come with unwanted side effects. If you do decide to try medication, remember that medication works best when you pursue therapy as well.
    * Get social support. The more you cultivate your social connections, the more protected you are from depression. If you are feeling stuck, donít hesitate to talk to trusted family members or friends. Asking for help is not a weakness but a sign of strength.
    * Treatment takes time and commitment. All of these depression treatments take time, and sometimes it might feel overwhelming or frustratingly slow. That is normal. Recovery has its ups and downs.

    Lifestyle changes that can treat depression

    * Exercise. Regular exercise is a powerful depression fighter. Not only does it boost serotonin, endorphins, and other feel-good brain chemicals, it triggers the growth of new brain cells and connections, just like antidepressants do. Best of all, you donít have to train for a marathon in order to reap the benefits. Even a half-hour daily walk can make a big difference. For maximum results, aim for 30 to 60 minutes of activity on most days.
    * Nutrition. Eating well is important for both your physical and mental health. Eating small, well-balanced meals throughout the day will help you keep your energy up and minimize mood swings. While you may be drawn to sugary foods for the quick boost they provide, complex carbohydrates are a better choice. They'll get you going without the all-too-soon sugar crash.
    * Sleep. Sleep has a strong effect on mood. When you don't get enough sleep, your depression symptoms will be worse. Sleep deprivation exacerbates irritability, moodiness, sadness, and fatigue. Make sure you're getting enough sleep each night. Very few people do well on less than 7 hours a night. Aim for somewhere between 7 to 9 hours each night.
    * Social Support. Strong social networks reduce isolation, a key risk factor for depression. Keep in regular contact with friends and family, or consider joining a class or group. Volunteering is a wonderful way to get social support and help others while also helping yourself.
    * Stress Reduction. Make changes in your life to help manage and reduce stress. Too much stress exacerbates depression and puts you at risk for future depression.

    Keywords: Mental health, depression, anxiety, stress, health care,

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