Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of threat or demand. The stress response if the body’s way of protecting you in every problematic situation. Anxiety, on the other hand, is a general term for many disorders that can cause worrying, apprehension, fear and nervousness. It can also cause physical symptoms.read more
Doctor in Dr.Kukreja's Clinic
Patient Review Highlights
With age, most body organs begin to deteriorate in their function. This happens to the brain also, thereby reducing the overall speed of functioning of most organs. While slowing of bodily movement is visible, the internal organs functioning also slows down, which is not that obvious. Memory loss or dementia is one of the main manifestations of this degeneration of the brain.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, and the associated symptoms includes reduced reasoning abilities and cognitive defects. Though it is seen only in the elderly, not all elderly people will have Alzheimer’s. The overall quality of life of the affected person is reduced with difficulty remembering things that were recently learned. It is a progressive disease and as it gets more severe, a full-time caretaker may be required.
Causes: The brain cells are affected by protein masses known as plaques and tangles. These hamper the way communication between the brain cells happens as well as affect nutrition from reaching all parts of the brain. This leads to shrinking of the brain, eventually leading to memory loss and other problems. There is also a strong genetic linkage, as most people with Alzheimer’s have the lipoprotein A gene.
- Being confused about places, people, and times
- Inability to find the right words during conversations
- Regular objects are misplaced
- Becoming irritable, (in someone who was not so previously)
- Mood swings
- Personality changes
- Inability to organise thoughts
- Not able to make the right decisions
- Repetitive talks and actions
- Forgetfulness (not something the person always does)
- Difficulty with numbers (again, not something calculations
- Difficulty managing everyday tasks and minor problems
- Suspicion of others (like immediate family members and friends)
Risk factors: While age is definitely a risk factor, the fact that not all aged people develop Alzheimer’s is to be borne in mind. Other risk factors include the history of stroke, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, obesity, and poor lifestyle choices.
Diagnosis: While there is no definitive way to diagnose Alzheimer’s, symptoms along with brain scans and neuropsychological function testing are useful ways to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment: This is aimed at two things reducing the rate of disease progression and treat (or reverse) symptoms if possible.
Cholinesterase inhibitors improve cellular communication in the brain and also manage depression and agitation. Memantine is used to slow the pace of disease progression.
In people with the disease, small changes are useful to help them with the symptoms. These include keeping essential things like keys and wallet in the same place, keep a daily diary to help them remember things, keep pictures of friends and family within visible distance.
Sometimes when a person has too much on their plate, he/she is left feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.
Here are a few ways in which you can manage being overwhelmed and return to a place of control, contentment and relaxation:
- Venture out: Trying to work and get your tasks done despite your confusion and feeling of helplessness will not lead you anywhere. You need to step away to have the capacity to see your conditions from a new point of view. Move to an alternate room, get up from your work area, sit on a different couch, go out for a walk or go sit at a bistro. Venturing out from the present circumstance and changing your physical surroundings will help you gain clarity, and move you far from the overwhelming perspective. This is when you can see the solution more clearly.
- Vent it out: When you are occupied, it is very easy to lose any feeling and sense of priority and the panic makes everything seem urgent. In reality, there will be things that may require your consideration for a brief span. Hence, the key thing is to have clarity and gain visibility on what you are managing. Attempt a "mind download", where you record everything, with the goal that you can figure out what is obstructing your brain and its functioning.
- Requesting help and allowing help: You would be surprised at what number of individuals will offer assistance. Usually, our limited thinking is because we become a problem for ourselves as we disallow others to help us. Sometimes we also think they will say no, thus we do not ask for help. Simply try it out. Request help, and get ready to be surprised at the generosity you might get from others.
- Phase out noise: When we feel overwhelmed, it feels soothing to do something to loosen up and relax, such as watching the TV, listening to music, watching the news or playing a game. What we overlook during this time is that the additional data that comes in clutters our mind that further tangles our already overwhelmed senses.
- Make continuous improvements: Concentrate on one area at a time. Question yourself: what kind of change would be good for you? Concentrate on little, easy-to-do portions, not an instant upgrade. Say, your employment. Experiment with ten minutes of a sustaining pace. Appreciate how that feels. At that point expand on it. Check whether your well being moves forward. Try to feel positive energy in the bargain.
Treat the sentiment of overwhelming nervousness as a companion, for it is an indicator telling us that we have to slow down. It tells us to readjust our centre of focus and prioritise something else that makes us feel positive and better.
Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of threat or demand. The stress response if the body’s way of protecting you in every problematic situation. Anxiety, on the other hand, is a general term for many disorders that can cause worrying, apprehension, fear and nervousness. It can also cause physical symptoms.
Being away or oblivious to social media is synonymous to not following the herd. Social media probably is no more the latest fad; it is the given code to take a deeper look into the present age. The rewarding fact about social networking sites is their ability to transport us to people and places millions of miles away from us. This epoch with its dictates of overproduction and maximum utilization of labor, snatches away the boon of communication.
Some of the mental health problems that you may suffer from due to a social media addiction are discussed below:
- Peer Pressure- Social media use also creates the fear of missing out because you want to do what everyone else is doing. This evokes anxiety and will give rise to negative feelings and emotions, which again create mental health problems and stress and anxiety disorders
- Fatigue and Stress- When you are using social media, you are constantly switching from one task to another because there is just so much to do and see. This information abundance can tire out your brain, especially when it is received chaotically. Your brain needs time and room for absorbing the data and processing the information, but multitasking on social media makes your brain work overtime. This can prevent it from relaxing and it will become exhausted as it tries to deal with the barrage of information. Hence, the fatigue puts your mind under a lot of stress and you may not be able to concentrate on anything at all.
- Social Anxiety- Even though the whole point of social media is to allow people to stay connected with others, it doesn’t have the same satisfaction and element associated with actual human interaction, which is a crucial human need. In fact, in some ways, it is too distant and this is not a good thing for those who become dependent on social media as it can lead to social anxiety. Those who are already suffering from this problem will find it even more difficult to indulge in face-to-face interaction. Real human interaction can become extremely scary for people as it is becoming common to hide behind your computer screens and not go out at all.
- Distraction- Social media is just tailor-made for decreasing our productivity because you spend hours looking at everyone else’s life when you could be doing something else. This means that most of your time is spent on viewing photos, liking posts, and writing comments and these activities don’t really require the use of your intellectual abilities. They aren’t intellectual at all and distract you from activities that are such as reading, studying informational articles on the internet, etc. Your brain doesn’t get enough food for development and your intellectual abilities can decline in this way. Your brain will slow down and not be able to respond quickly in various situations.
- Insecurity- One of the major problems with social media is that posts typically present an idealized version of what’s going on in everyone’s life. Usually, what you see isn’t actually reality because everyone has their problems and issues. Nevertheless, you end up comparing your own life with that of others and think less of your own. If people in your newsfeed seem to be having a good time, it will make you envious and affect your mood negatively. Research has shown that widespread use of social media can demotivate people, make them aggressive and cause a decline in confidence.
- Low self-esteem.
- Feeling low when you see other people's images and lifestyle.
- Envy of others people lives - wishing your life was like someone else's.
- Finding social media as your first and only choice of activity done for enjoyment.
- Not having as many face to face conversations with your relatives and friends and feeling disconnected.
- Being unable to do anything without feeling you need to share it online.
Sleep is known to most as a period of rest and relaxation, but there are multiple disorders which are associated with sleep too. Hypersomnolence or hypersomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders. This is characterised by excessive daytime sleepiness and prolonged periods of sleep at night. They wake up fresh in the morning, but can easily go back to sleep any time of the day without feeling strained or tired. There is again no freshness associated upon waking up. Funny as it may sound, they can doze off even during a meal or in the middle of a conversation.
Causes: This condition is most common in men and in the early adolescent days.
- There is no underlying cause that has been identified, though there is a genetic predisposition.
- People with history of head trauma are more affected
- People with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, epilepsy, and other mental disorders are also more likely to be affected
- People with sleep apnea often are hypersomnolence
- Restless legs syndrome, narcolepsy
- Neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s tend to sleep more.
- Sleeping for longer hours at night time
- Excessively sleepy during daytime
- Able to doze off anytime during the day
- Inappropriate and involuntary sleeping pattern
- Having difficulty getting out of bed after waking up, even after prolonged sleep
- Feeling of disorientation
- Feeling agitated, anxious, lethargic, and irritated
- Impaired cognition and memory
- All these lead to extreme state of drowsiness
- Increased tendency for hallucinations
- Reduced appetite and even weight loss in some people
- There is restlessness, reduced pace of thinking and speaking
- Overall reduced energy levels
- Social interactions are affected including work life, social functions, etc.
- If a person happens to sleep more at night or falls asleep during the day easily for more than 3 times a week, it is usually concerning.
- The added feature of no tiring physical activity can also lead to suspicion
- In acute cases, these symptoms are present for at least a month and in chronic cases, it could be seen for up to 3 months
- It cannot be explained by lack of sleep on a regular basis
- One or more of the above conditions could be present, which can help in making the diagnosis
Most cases of hypersomnia would need treatment only to improve their energy levels and improve the quality of life. Very often, treating the underlying condition can lead to improvement of hypersomnia. The tired, lethargic, restless feeling affects the overall performance of a person, leaving them with a lowered self-esteem. Brain stimulating drugs like amphetamines are used to improve daytime alertness and also reduce sleepy feeling during the day.
Business world has evolved in the past few decades in such a manner where small businesses grow to become corporate. The world is increasingly being dominated by corporations and a significant number of people also work in these places.
Stress and The Corporate World:
One of the things that come along with the corporate environment is stress as it brings with it an entirely new lifestyle. Irregular food habits, odd shift durations, insufficient sleeping hours and extremely tough work situations are all part and parcel of this corporate world. Although highly rewarding in the path of materialistic pursuits, it squeezes out your life-force and pushes you to stress and other diseases such as:
Acidity and other gastrointestinal problems just to mention a few.
Methods to Deal with Stress in the Corporate World:
In the corporate world, the level of stress proliferates quickly and very few workplaces actually harbor a healthy atmosphere to look after their employees. Thus you have to take steps to reduce stress by yourself. Here are some of the ways by which you can save yourself from the parasite of stress.
You may often feel everything around you going haywire in your workplace. The next time you have this notion, try gathering your focus on everything that is going right instead. Let optimism fill your day and keep your cool knowing that losing it will only cause you harm.
At work, when hours fall short for achieving your target, keep a To-Do list to manage your priorities in an efficient and organized way.
For most people work seems to engulf their entire life. Do not allow this to happen at any cost. Maintain a healthy balance between your office and your personal commitments. Make time for the people you love.
Take short breaks in between your work to rejuvenate your energy level.
Assess your work at the end of the day as well as set a schedule plan for the tasks to be completed on the following day.
Engage in hobbies like drawing, painting, dancing and gardening or music to disconnect from the pressures of the corporate world.
Pay a visit to a psychologist or a stress management workshop to de-stress yourself.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Choosing a life partner
In my practice, I often see clients on the verge of either divorce or a nervous breakdown due to a failed marriage/relationship. Without exception, each of them tells me they made a mistake in getting married to their respective partner. I find thatone of the absolute biggest mistakes people make when choosing a life partner is not assessing compatibility.
Rather than take adequate time and effort to assess compatibility, many people jump head-first into a relationship based upon items that are not very good indicators of relationship success. Two major reasons couples link up include physical looks & shared interests. “Oh, she likes sports too,” or “We both have an interest in movies/theatre,” are not reasons to link up for a lifetime. While you most certainly want to be physically attracted to your partner, looks are bound to change. And common interests, well…how many of us have all the same interests today as we did as teenagers or early adulthood? Find any couple who has been married 25+ years and see if they tell you that shared interests or physical attraction are what keeps them going in tough times.
Honestly I don’t understand how so many significant issues like “Do you want children? How important is sex to you?,” and “What religions/traditions do you follow and would you expect me to follow them?,” are not discussed prior to getting married or moving in together. Relationships involve investing time and emotions. There is no sense doing all that if you aren’t compatible with someone.
So, what should couples be focusing upon before commitment? Here is a pretty extensive list of Compatibility Checklist that I believe all couples should discuss before agreeing to be life partners (or even just getting too serious with each other).
Lifestyle- What kind of lifestyle do you want to live? How often do you want to travel? What do you think about living with parents/extended family?
Life Goals- what are some of your most important life goals—both long & short term? How do you plan to reach these goals? Do you prefer a partner who helps you meet these goals or just supports you from the sidelines? Do you want to have similar life goals as your partner?
Children- do you want children? If you want children and one partner cannot have them, would you adopt or use alternative methods? How many children are ideal for you? How soon after marriage would you want children? Will one of you stay home full-time to raise them? What is your outlook on childcare & outsiders raising children?
Individuality and space in a relationship- do you view your partner and you as one entity or as different individuals with their own thought process and point of views, interests, social life, professional growth and habits? Are you able to respect each other’s differences and agree to disagree peacefully on certain issues?
Finances- how well do you manage your money? How do you view saving, investing, and retirement? Do you expect to have a dual-income household? Do you expect to combine finances or keep them separate after marriage? Does either partner have any financial liability/loans/debts and what is expected of the other partner in handling these?
Sex- how important is sex to you? How often do you ideally want to have sex? How important is variety in the bedroom to you? Are there other items related to sex that are important for you to discuss?
Family- how important is family to you? Who will take care of your parents/siblings if they need it? How will your parents influence your life together & child rearing? If your parent steps in and meddles in your relationship, how will you handle it? Are both of you willing to draw boundaries with your respective families when it comes to your relationship?
Religious beliefs- how religious are you? Are religious traditions important to you? If so, which ones? If you are from different religious backgrounds, how will you balance this? What religion will you want your future children to be raised?
Interests- while interests are not dealbreakers, they can help you to better know what is important to your partner. How flexible are both of you to learn about the other’s interests and encourage each other to pursue them?
Disagreements- how do you react when you get mad or angry? How will you handle an argument with your partner? Do you have to settle all disputes before going to bed that night or do you prefer to sleep it over and talk when you have cooled down?
Deal-breakers- what are your deal breakers in a partner? What is it that you will absolutely not tolerate from your partner and is he/she able to handle that?
The reasoning behind discussing this Compatibility Checklist is that although humans certainly change over the years, their basic principles and values stay the same. For example, one’s desire to have children, religious practices, and beliefs on caring for elders are more likely to be stable over the years. If you don’t want kids today, you’ll more than likely never want them and if you absolutely can’t handle not marrying a person of a certain religion today it is highly unlikely you will change that opinion several years from now. Mutual trust and respect are the foundations of a lasting and loving relationship. A marriage takes a lot of effort to build and sustain, one needs to see if both the partners are up for it!