Critical Care Procedures
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Treatment
Memory Improvement Techniques
Quit Smoking Techniques
Psychotherapy For Couples
Manual Therapy Treatment
Treatment Of Male Sexual Problems
Treatment Of Learning Disorders
Anger Management Therapy
Psychological Diagnosis (Adult And Child)
Psychoanalysis for Suicide
Treatment of Behaviour & Thought Problems
Psychoanalysis for Mourning
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Sleep disorders are often associated with substance abuse. The problems in sleep arise as a result of direct effects of a particular substance. Substance induced sleep disorders can be caused by many drugs, regardless of whether or not the substance is medically prescribed, legal or socially acceptable. It can also be caused due to alcohol abuse.
If you experience problems in sleep on not having resorted to any substance or even if you are trying to quit, it is called ‘withdrawal’. The severity of the sleep disorder depends on the type of substance used, and not much on whether or not the drug is illegal. A number of prescription as well as non-prescription drugs are capable of causing sleep disorders. However, the severity of the sleep disorders tends to vary among individuals.
Problems in sleep that can be caused due to prescription drugs such as:
- Hormonal drugs e.g. oral contraceptives
- Drugs for high blood pressure e.g. beta blockers
- Inhalable respiratory drugs
- Steroids, such as prednisone
- Medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
- Diet pills
- Seizure medications
- Some antidepressants
Non-prescription drugs that can cause problems in sleep:
- Medications along with caffeine: These may include many cold and cough medications.
- Illegal drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines as well as methamphetamines.
- Nicotine is capable of disrupting sleep and reducing the total sleep time.
Alcohol is often regarded to be a calming drug or a sedative. While alcohol is capable of inducing sleep, the quality of sleep tends to be fragmented during the second half of the sleeping period. Consumption of alcohol usually tends to increase the number of times you wake during the latter part of the sleep. This is because the relaxing effect of alcohol wears off eventually. Alcohol tends to keep you in the lighter sleep stages more and thus, is at fault of not inducing the much required deep sleep.
If you consume alcohol just before you go to bed, the sleep inducing capacity might decrease as the effects that are disruptive continue to increase. The alcohol induced sleep disorders may lead to sleepiness and fatigue during the daytime. With age, these problems tend to grow in severity. Consumption of alcohol before bedtime, among the elderly, might lead to unsteadiness while walking with a higher risk of injuries and falls.
Nicotine addiction or tobacco addiction refers to an acute dependence upon tobacco products primarily due to the presence of the nicotine drug. In other words, nicotine addiction refers to an inability to stop using tobacco products despite the knowledge and awareness that it is harmful to you. While nicotine only induces addiction, it is the presence of other substances in tobacco which makes it damaging and injurious to health.
Nicotine has the tendency to produce effects in the brain, both physical as well as mind altering, that give temporary satisfaction. This is precisely why people get hooked into the habit of tobacco consumption, which eventually leads to addiction. Unfortunately, stopping tobacco use immediately can also lead to several withdrawal symptoms, like agitation and restlessness.
The main reason why tobacco is so addictive is due to the fact that nicotine releases neurotransmitters such as dopamine in the reward centre of the brain, which in turn improves your mood and gives you temporary pleasure.
Causes of nicotine addiction can either be physical or behavioral, for instance situations or feelings, which make you crave for tobacco. These include:
- Specific times during the day, say after every meal or during breaks at work
- While defecating
- While drinking alcohol
- Stressful or depressive situations
- At the sight or smell of a burning cigarette
- Peer pressure
- While driving
Symptoms of nicotine addiction include:
- You are unable to quit smoking despite frequent attempts.
- You experience withdrawal symptoms after attempting to quit.
- You continue to smoke despite the awareness that it is injurious to your health.
- You forego social as well as recreational activities because of your need to smoke. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist.
Hallucinations are apparently real perceptions or sensations that occur when a person is awake, but are actually formed by the mind. Hallucinations could be heard, seen, felt, smelled or even tasted. They can not only be threatening, but pleasant at the same time and could be linked to imagery, sensations and past events, including unrelated experiences. Generally, hallucinations comprise seeing objects, hearing voices of people who are not present and the feeling of crawling under the skin. Due to the hallucination usually there is change in patient behavior, as they are responding to hallucination, Like: muttering to self, smiling to self, irritability.
Psychiatric disorders (Most common cause in clinical cases), like psychotic depression and schizophrenia
When you are high or drunk or under the effect of such drugs as LSD, cocaine, marijuana, heroin, PCP, to name a few
Epilepsy which involves a section of your brain known as the temporal lobe
Sensory issues, like deafness or blindness
Delirium in severe illness, which include kidney failure, liver failure, brain cancer and AIDS.
Dementia (visual hallucinations are quite rampant) and
Listening to voices when no one is around
Hearing different types of sounds, like footsteps, music, doors or windows banging
Seeing people who are not present in reality
Smelling a pleasant or foul odor
Experiencing bodily sensations, like movement of your internal organs or creepy feeling on your skin
In most of the cases of hallucinations due to psychiatric illness, patient do not accept they are ill. So, it become moral responsibility of family members to bring patient in treatment. Firstly, your physician needs to know the actual cause behind hallucinations.
So, he/she will study your medical history, perform a physical examination and mental status examination. Following this, he'll study your symptoms. In some case investigations may be required to find out cause of hallucinations.
Treatment is given in the following different ways:
Treatment with Antipsychotic medicines, in case hallucinations are due to psychiatric illness.
Treatment of medical or surgical issue leading to hallucination.
Even if you try to stay happy always, at times it is hard to keep depression at bay. Being depressed can not only make you feel hopeless, less energetic and helpless, but can also adversely affect your mental and physical health. Depression may also disrupt your daily work. So, it is absolutely essential for you to overcome depression before it becomes severe and persistent.
The following ways may help you to deal with your depression in an effective manner:
As depression affects your mood, the common tendency will be to alienate or isolate yourself. But, you must realize that locking yourself up in a room and refusing to communicate with others, can never help you to overcome your depressed situation. You will feel like spending time alone, but avoid doing that and instead connect with others. Make new friends or meet up old pals. You can also spend time with your family members or try and stay connected with others through social media.
While you are depressed, you will not feel like working at all, even the things you love doing will appear to be monotonous. You will be feeling lethargic. But stay away from laziness and set new goals for yourself. Start by setting small goals for yourself that you can easily achieve. This will boost up your confidence and prevent you from feeling worthless.
The common tendency during depression is to skip meals and not getting enough sleep. Try to avoid this. Eat healthy food and try to get some sleep. Before going to bed, you may consider reading or listening to instrumental music to help you to fall asleep.
- Get yourself a new pet. You can engage yourself by playing with your pet or learning new ways to deal with them during your free time. This can also help you to distract yourself from the disturbing thoughts.
- You may also consider learning something new. You may learn a new instrument or a new language. This way you can keep yourself busy.
- Try to take new responsibilities or volunteer for some good cause. This will make you confident and also help you to feel good about yourself.
- Practice yoga or meditation. This will help you to calm down from within and stay more focused. Also, avoid negative thoughts even if they keep coming back to you.
- Avoid darkness for few days. Switch on the night lamp while going to bed at least for a few days. You may not feel good with the light always on and prefer darkness. But, avoid that as much as possible as this will help you to keep away your negative thoughts.
- Most importantly, never give up and try all possible means to make yourself happy again. It will be time consuming but avoid getting frustrated. Inspire yourself and try till you get over your depression completely.
If nothing works for you and in spite of trying everything you are still unable to get over your depression, feel free to seek help. You must visit a psychiatrist and ask for professional help.
Brain is just like other muscles in the body; stimulation of the brain cells on a continuous basis will lead to a well-functioning brain. In fact, exercising your brain through various brain exercises helps in forming new neural pathways inside it. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change and adapt when it is stimulated.
The various methods you can adopt to improve your mental health are:
- Learn a musical instrument: Start taking music classes to learn an instrument such as guitar or piano as it helps in improving mental health. It also helps in delaying age related problems such as Alzheimer's disease.
- Do math exercises in your head: Try figuring out various mathematical sums inside your head, as this will keep your brain sharp. It has also been known to improve intelligence quotient.
- Try to Recall Past Events: When you try to recall past events, the section of the brain dealing with memory is stimulated and thus, leads to stronger neural connections.
- Learning a New Language: Learning a new language is good for the brain as well because it helps in delaying the process of decline of cognitive functions. Chances of being affected by mental health disorders decrease significantly.
- Aerobic Exercises: You should follow a regular exercise regimen consisting of aerobic exercises and cardiovascular exercises as they help in improving your blood circulation. Apart from keeping you fitter and lean, it also improves your overall wellbeing.
- Improve your Hand-eye Coordination: Do activities such as painting, knitting or solving puzzles as they help in improving your hand eye coordination. It fine tunes your motor skills and keeps you mentally sharp.
- Cooking: Learning to cook helps in activating various parts of the brain such as sight, smell and taste. This is related to different parts of the brain resulting in an overall development.
Recently most of us were shaken by the death of the well-known television actress, Pratyusha Banerjee. Her sudden death has brought to light the very common yet under-addressed problem - Depression - that a number of youths are living with.
Most mental and emotional health issues are inconspicuous in nature and, therefore, cause more harm than they otherwise should, most people still live with a number of symptoms of depression without even realizing it or do little to address it. When the depressive symptoms last for more than 2 weeks and affect the individual's personal, social or occupational life, it is known as clinical depression or major depression. There is often a delay in opting for the treatment because of the social taboo associated with depression.
Although cases of depression can vary from an individual to the other, there are signs that one can look out for, to identify a depressed person:
- Low mood most of the time of day along with frequent crying spells
- Feeling of unworthiness and low self-respect are very common in a depressed person. Due to these feelings, the affected person may become very critical and disapproving about himself or herself.
- Lack of enjoyment and loss of interest in a depressed person makes them no longer derive pleasure from things that once gave him or her happiness.
- Exhaustion and insomnia are signs that one should look out for in a depressed individual. These are usually due to changes in sleep patterns, from sleeping a lot because of feelings of constant fatigue or due to instances of wakefulness.
- From indulging in comfort eating to losing the will to eat, predominantly loss of appetite characterizes a depressed person.
- Difficulty in recalling details and tendency to over generalize as also problem-solving issues can point to the presence of depression
- Unexplained bodily pains and aches are another characteristics of the condition.
What are the different types of depression?
Regarding the different forms of this mental health issue, it comes in several forms along with their distinct symptoms, effects, and causes. These are:
- Major depression
- Recurrent depressive disorder
- Seasonal affective disorder
- Bipolar disorder
How can it affect your life?
More than 90% people who commit suicide suffer from some form of psychiatric illness and depression is the most common reason. The despair that usually accompanies depression makes the thought of taking one's life as the only means available to escape the pain. In addition to suicidal thoughts, it can also affect one's functioning in day to day life if help is not sought in time.
Depression is as curable as any other illness. Both medical management and psychotherapy are helpful in treatment. Type of treatment depends on patient's condition, the severity of illness as well as availability.
The risk of a mental illness increases if one or more of your family members have a mental disorder, but this increased risk doesn't guarantee that you will develop a mental illness. Not only have some mental illnesses been found to be hereditary in nature, but certain studies have found that some major mental illnesses can be traced to the same genetic variations.
Some hereditary psychiatric disorders are:
1. Obsessive compulsive disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is a disorder of the brain and behavior. A person suffering from OCD has uncontrollable, recurring thoughts and behaviors they cannot stop repeating. Ocd also causes severe anxiety in such people. In 2000, a study conducted by researchers in Washington d. C. And Baltimore concluded that having one or more ocd family member (s) may increase the chances of you developing it too. In 2010, a study tracked down possible chromosomes that may be responsible for OCD.
Schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness that affects and dictates how a person feels, thinks and behaves. Those suffering from schizophrenia may lose touch with reality and experience delusions, hallucinations, thought disorders and movement disorders. It has been seen that people who have an identical twin with schizophrenia are 50% more likely to develop the disorder and those who have one parent suffering from schizophrenia are 18% more likely to inherit the illness.
Major depression or clinical depression is a common though severe mood disorder. It is characterized by an episode of sadness or apathy along with other symptoms that last at least for two consecutive weeks. Those suffering from depression may feel helpless and worthless, lose all interest in daily activities or activities they used to enjoy and feel unable to take part in normal day-to-day activities. Other symptoms of depression also include sleep pattern and appetite changes, chronic fatigue, concentration or focus problems and physical discomfort. Some patients with depression may become suicidal.
In 2011, a study pinned down a specific chromosome that may trigger depression development. Research on the hereditary properties of depression within families shows that some people are more prone to develop the disorder than others. If you have a parent or sibling that suffers from depression, you might be 1.5 to 3 times more likely to develop depression than those who do not have a close family member suffering from this condition. You are also more prone to developing bipolar disorder in such a scenario.
Related Tip: What Really Causes Personality Disorders?