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Bipolar disorder is the medical term for extreme depression and mood swings that are abnormal or too frequent. The mood swings may go from depression to mania, where the symptoms may border on suicidal behaviour, and other such dangerous tendencies. Find out more about Bipolar Disorder with this article.
- Main Symptoms: The major symptoms of Bipolar Disorder are hypomania and depression. The patient may swing between these two states on a sudden basis. The dramatic mood swings do not have a set routine or pattern and can strike at any given time. The patient may be in a certain kind of state for a prolonged period like many weeks and months, or can even be in a certain state for a matter of days, before the next mood strikes. While hypomania is a very severe outcome of Bipolar Disorder, many people do not recognise it as a problem until it gets out of hand. This state can actually make a person feel high on energy where the patient may also achieve all-time highs in terms of productivity and a sense of wellbeing. This state can switch to a state of depression and hopelessness within a matter of days or weeks.
- Types: Bipolar Disorder can be categorised into many types, depending on the level and severity of the mood swings. To begin with, Bipolar Disorder I has full blown cycles of ups and downs in the mood of the patient. The up mood never really manifests into full fledged mania. This is a more mild form of the disease, and the symptoms are often missed. Rapid Cycling is another form of Bipolar Disease where a patient may experience at least four or even more episodes of major mood swings within a period of 12 months. Further, Mixed Bipolar is a form of the disease where the depression and elevation may come together or in rapid succession of each other. Cyclothymia is another mild form of this mood disorder and comes with subtle changes in one's mood.
- Diagnosis and Treatment: While the diagnosis is done by a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist with the help of an examination of the symptoms, the treatment includes long term counselling and therapy as well as medication for more severe cases. The drugs and therapy aim at making the mind more stable with psychotherapy. Drugs like lithium or benzodiazepine can also be prescribed to control sleeplessness and hyperactivity as well as hostility and suicidal tendencies.
Talking and discussing things are the foremost methods used by psychiatrists when it comes to treating this disease. Persistent mood alterations must be run past a specialist in the field. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Addiction can be considered as a behavioural change where a craving for something specific intensifies to such an extent that the consequences are ignored. Addiction controls the brain by diverting it in such a way that it registers only pleasure and does not give any importance to other standard drives like motivation and learning. In general, breaking up an addiction is difficult, but it is not impossible and with strong determination, addiction can be broken.
Effects of Addiction
In general, people are subjected to addiction will not have self-control over what they do. If addiction is not treated or diagnosed on time, it may reach harmful proportions. Addiction is not only related to consumption of drugs and alcohol. It may include other habits too, that cannot be controlled. Sometimes even having a particular craving for a fruit or a vegetable can be termed as an addiction. Among other things, the most harmful can be the usage of drugs, sexual pleasures and other effects that over a period of time can become uncontrollable.
How a person can get addicted?
A human brain registers all types of pleasures in the same way they register a joy from a psychoactive drug, sexual encounter, monetary rewards or a satisfying meal. When any of these things happen, the human brain releases a neurotransmitter dopamine in the nerve cells. If these habits become regular, the enzymes will be released in high quantities leading to the addiction problem.
Drugs usage leads to addiction within a short period of time. Consumption of almost all types of drugs, starting from nicotine to heroin leads to a powerful surge of dopamine in the nucleus accumbency leading to high addiction. Addiction is not exactly a disease, but it is a condition that can occur at any age. It is likely to occur more during the young age where the required maturity is yet to be gained. So it is advisable to be careful during your adolescent period as this is the time when you are more vulnerable.
Various medical tests can diagnose addiction. People subjected to addiction can be treated easily by proper medications and therapies. If addiction is in the initial stage, it can be quickly addressed by counselling process, and if it is severe, then the counselling sessions along with certain medications are needed to curb the addiction habit.
A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, defined by a persistent and excessive fear of an object or situation. The phobia typically results in a rapid onset of fear and is present for more than six months. The affected person goes to great lengths to avoid the situation or object, to a degree greater than the actual danger posed. If the feared object or situation cannot be avoided, the affected person experiences significant distress. With blood or injury phobia, fainting may occur. Agoraphobia is often associated with panic attacks. Usually a person has phobias to a number of objects or situations.
Phobias can be divided into specific phobias, social phobia, and agoraphobia. Types of specific phobias include those to certain animals, natural environment situations, blood or injury, and specific situations. The most common are fear of spiders, fear of snakes, and fear of heights. Occasionally they are triggered by a negative experience with the object or situation. Social phobia is when the situation is feared as the person is worried about others judging them. Agoraphobia is when fear of a situation occurs because it is felt that escape would not be possible.
It is recommended that specific phobias be treated with exposure therapy where the person is introduced to the situation or object in question until the fear resolves. Medications are not useful in this type of phobia. Social phobia and agoraphobia are often treated with some combination of counselling and medication. Medications used include antidepressants, benzodiazepines, or beta-blockers.
Specific phobias affect about 6–8% of people in the Western world and 2–4% of people in Asia, Africa, and Latin America in a given year. Social phobia affects about 7% of people in the United States and 0.5–2.5% of people in the rest of the world. Agoraphobia affects about 1.7% of people. Women are affected about twice as often as men. Typically onset is around the age of 10 to 17. Rates become lower as people get older. People with phobias are at a higher risk of suicide.
Almost all digestive complaints/problems have psychological origin. If stress is handled properly the stomach/abdominal/ digestive problems will be taken care of.
Everyone forgets things once in a while, but for some people this forgetfulness can be a sign of a bigger problem. People who cannot remember important information about their life may be said to be suffering from dissociative amnesia. This can cause memory loss of specific events and themes or make the person forget a majority of their identity and history in general. This dissociative disorder can be mild or be severe enough to affect the daily functioning of a person.
Lost memories cannot be brought back with treatment but treatment can help a person suffering from this disorder reconnect with people and feel secure in their surroundings. The treatment of this condition must be customized to the person’s symptoms. Some forms of treatment for dissociative amnesia are:
- Psychotherapy: This is also known as talk therapy as it largely involves conversations between the patient and doctor. It is the main form of therapy used to treat this condition and can also act as an umbrella for many other types of therapy.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: Cognitive therapy focuses on changing the person’s behaviour. It focuses on thinking patterns and feelings that are harmful to the person self-image.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: Dissociative amnesia is often associated with traumatic events. In such cases eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is used to address symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorders such as nightmares and flashbacks.
- Dialectic behaviour therapy: People who have suffered from abuse or trauma may have severe personality disturbances which may include dissociative amnesia. In such cases, dialectic behaviour therapy may be used.
- Family therapy: Dissociative amnesia is often a recurrent condition and affects not only the life of the patient but that of his or her family as well. Hence therapy for the entire family is often necessary.
- Creative therapies: Cognitive therapy includes art therapy, music therapy etc. This allows patients to explore different ways of expressing their thoughts and feelings.
- Meditation: Meditation and practising relaxation techniques make people more aware of their internal stress levels and equip them to better handle their symptoms.
- Clinical hypnosis: When being used to treat this disorder, hypnosis allows a person to express thoughts and emotions they may have hidden form their conscious minds. Through hypnosis the patient can achieve a different state of consciousness through relaxation techniques, concentration and attention.
- Medication: Dissociative amnesia cannot be treated through medication but antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication can help deal with the disorder by calming the mind.
Depression or clinical depression is a very common, yet serious mental disorder. It causes extreme symptoms that impact how you feel, think, and handle everyday activities, for example, sleeping, eating or working. One must demonstrate symptoms for at least two weeks to be diagnosed with depression.
Psychological weakness to depression is a tendency to concentrate on one's negative state of mind and to think about it regularly. It appears to have a contagious impact, where this vulnerability to depression can rub off and make you more prone to create depressive side effects yourself. Here are a few ways in which depression can be contagious:\
- The negative psychological group of three: There are three fields in which depressive thinking is negative. Discouraged people see themselves, others and their future through dim and dark glasses. Eventually, you start to agree with the person undergoing depression. Their bad mood can bring you down to their emotional level.
- Negative energy: Just walking into the same room as the person in depression can sink your energy levels. Now and again you avoid conversations with them. You might feel like your positivity is being drawn out which also makes you vulnerable.
- Being socially isolated: The depressed patient might never want to leave the house and prefers to stay in, alone. There are times when the person that is with them, tends to isolate himself or herself, as well. Taking them to social gatherings can be a challenge. Other people in the patient’s life tend to stay away since the dark cloud tends to appear contagious to them also.
- Learned defenselessness: There is a depressive phenomenon named "learned powerlessness." When individuals are genuinely depressed, attempting to do anything feels overwhelming. For instance, for quite a long time, one might have shared household responsibilities, In the end, however, one tends to have forgotten his capacity and responsibility to see what should have been done and deal with it. When this pressure is put on the other person, he or she feels tense and is more prone and vulnerable to depression.
- Submissive and dominant interactions: An episode of depression and misery is usually activated by a prevailing dominant-submissive interaction. This may include being told what to do or a decision in which someone is dominated and tends to give up on what he or she wanted. For instance, your hostile relation with your boss gets you fired. This can act as a trigger to your already existing negative environment.
Since depression is a very common mental disorder, one should look out for signs and symptoms in themselves as well as around them. For patients undergoing depression, it is beneficial to see a psychiatrist or a therapist to vent out their negative emotions since therapists are trained to handle such an environment. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!