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There isn’t any person who doesn’t suffer from an irrational fear, but for most of the individuals, these problems are minor and under control. Unfortunately, there are some people who suffer from anxiety and fear to such an extent that it interrupts with their normal functioning and then it is termed as phobias. The good news is that you would be able to control and cure your anxiety and phobias with therapies and self-help strategies.
Understanding phobias and anxiety: Many kids develop different types of fears, which change from time to time and get completely eliminated when they grow up. This is absolutely normal and is a part of their growth and development. When a person reaches the age of seven, he/she is supposed to suffer from realistic anxieties such as academic performance, accidents, injuries and other similar incidents. But if the unnatural and unrealistic fear lingers on when an individual grows up to such severity that he becomes petrified with the thought of that specific thing, then it is crucial to pay attention to it.
Signs of anxiety and phobias: The signs of anxiety and phobias can be more or less and may vary in terms of severity. When you are able to understand a steady progression from mild feelings of apprehension to a full-fledged panic attack, it is a symptom of phobia. Normally, the closer the person is to the source of the fear, the more anxious and troubled he would be. It would take to devastating levels when the concerned individual is not able to get away from the difficulties.
Physical symptoms of the anxiety include
- Frequent breathing with difficulty
- Racing heartbeat
- Pain in the chest
- Trembling and shaking with convulsions
Individuals may also suffer from dizziness or light-headedness, churning in the stomach, tingling sensations along with cold or hot flashes and terrible sweating even when the temperature is considerably low.
On the other hand, the emotional symptoms of phobia or anxiety include feelings of overwhelming fear, panic and anxiousness. The concerned individual would feel like running off and remain detached from the rest of the world. It may make one feel that he is going to pass away and he is unable to control himself in spite of knowing that he is over-reacting.
Seek help at the earliest:
If the anxiety or the phobia one is suffering from doesn’t intervene in normal workings of a person’s life, then it should not be a cause of distress. But if it has taken terrible levels, then it is crucial to seek professional assistance. One may also help himself by taking the challenge of facing the fears one at a time, and it can be totally controlled with gradual and repeated exposure to the fear. If no therapy seems to help you, then it is best to consider seeking professional counseling.
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Epilepsy is a chronic disorder of the brain that affects people worldwide. It is characterized by recurrent seizures, which are brief episodes of involuntary movement that may involve a part of the body (partial) or the entire body (generalized), and are sometimes accompanied by loss of consciousness and control of bowel or bladder function.
Seizure episodes are a result of excessive electrical discharges in a group of brain cells. Different parts of the brain can be the site of such discharges. Seizures can vary from the briefest lapses of attention or muscle jerks to severe and prolonged convulsions. Seizures can also vary in frequency, from less than 1 per year to several per day.
One seizure does not signify epilepsy (up to 10% of people worldwide have one seizure during their lifetime). Epilepsy is defined as having 2 or more unprovoked seizures.
Fear, misunderstanding, discrimination and social stigma have surrounded epilepsy for centuries. This stigma continues in many countries today and can impact on the quality of life for people with the disorder and their families.
Signs and symptoms
Characteristics of seizures vary and depend on where in the brain the disturbance first starts, and how far it spreads. Temporary symptoms occur, such as loss of awareness or consciousness, and disturbances of movement, sensation (including vision, hearing and taste), mood, or other cognitive functions.
People with seizures tend to have more physical problems (such as fractures and bruising from injuries related to seizures), as well as higher rates of psychological conditions, including anxiety and depression. Similarly, the risk of premature death in people with epilepsy is up to 3 times higher than the general population, with the highest rates found in low- and middle-income countries and rural versus urban areas.
A great proportion of the causes of death related to epilepsy in low- and middle-income countries are potentially preventable, such as falls, drowning, burns and prolonged seizures.
Epilepsy is not contagious. The most common type of epilepsy, which affects 6 out of 10 people with the disorder, is called idiopathic epilepsy and has no identifiable cause.
Epilepsy with a known cause is called secondary epilepsy, or symptomatic epilepsy. The causes of secondary (or symptomatic) epilepsy could be:
- brain damage from prenatal or perinatal injuries (e.g. a loss of oxygen or trauma during birth, low birth weight),
- congenital abnormalities or genetic conditions with associated brain malformations,
- a severe head injury,
- a stroke that restricts the amount of oxygen to the brain,
- an infection of the brain such as meningitis, encephalitis, neurocysticercosis,
- certain genetic syndromes,
- a brain tumor.
Epilepsy can be treated easily and affordable medication. Recent studies in both low- and middle-income countries have shown that up to 70% of children and adults with epilepsy can be successfully treated (i.e. their seizures completely controlled) with anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). Furthermore, after 2 to 5 years of successful treatment and being seizure-free, drugs can be withdrawn in about 70% of children and 60% of adults without subsequent relapse.
Idiopathic epilepsy is not preventable. However, preventive measures can be applied to the known causes of secondary epilepsy.
- Preventing head injury is the most effective way to prevent post-traumatic epilepsy.
- Adequate perinatal care can reduce new cases of epilepsy caused by birth injury.
- The use of drugs and other methods to lower the body temperature of a feverish child can reduce the chance of febrile seizures.
- Central nervous system infections are common causes of epilepsy in tropical areas, where many low- and middle-income countries are concentrated.
- Elimination of parasites in these environments and education on how to avoid infections can be effective ways to reduce epilepsy worldwide, for example those cases due to neurocysticercosis.