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Symptoms, types and treatment of Depressive disorders
Stress affects every part of your life including your love life. If you’re feeling too overwhelmed and tense, chances are that you’re libido and appearance will suffer. Studies have shown that being stressed increases the production of cortisol in the body, which makes you less appealing to members of the other sex.
Take a look at five ways stress can affect your love life.
- It changes your perception of the relationship: Being under pressure makes you irritable and snappy. Relationships exposed to high levels of stress most often turn negative with time. This is because stress alters our perception of reality and understanding of people. When you’re stressed, you tend to focus more on what’s wrong with the relationship than what’s right. This can lead to an increase in conflicts between partners.
- It lowers your confidence: For any relationship to work, you must first love yourself. Stress causes self doubt and lowers your self confidence. If you’re looking to start a relationship, this can increase your inhibitions in talking to new people or going on a date. If you’re already in a relationship, this lowered self confidence can lead to problems in bed.
- It affects your appearance: Stress affects not only your emotional and mental frame of mind but your physical state as well. Being under pressure to perform can result in binge eating and make you put on weight. Stress itself increases the production of cortisol in the body which in turn makes the skin secrete more oil. Stress can also cause brittle nails and hair loss. Stress also lowers your energy levels and makes you withdraw from social life.
- It lowers your sex drive: Stress makes it difficult to focus on anything other than whatever is troubling you. It has a direct connection to your libido; the higher the stress, the lower your libido. For men this can lead to erectile dysfunctioning while for women it can reduce the amount of natural lubrication produced and make sex uncomfortable.
- It can suppress fertility: Cortisol can also prevent women from ovulating. This can lower your chances of conceiving a child. this is noticed especially in cases of sudden spikes in stress levels and varies from woman to woman. It can also cause fertility problems in men.
The good news is that stress can easily be managed to improve your love life. Meditating and exercising are two effective stress busters that can enhance your love life. Doing this along with your partner not only helps reduce stress but can also bring you closer. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult the doctor and ask a free question.
In many cases, the body responds to a stressful or traumatic situation by disassociating with it. This can result in the development of a dissociative disorder. A dissociative disorder or dissociative amnesia is a mental illness that involves the breaking down of memory, consciousness, identity and perception. It can interfere with a person's general functioning, social life and relationships. People suffering from dissociative amnesia can have long gaps in their memory of the accident and the time before and after it.
Women are at a higher risk of suffering from this condition as compared to men. It has also been found to have a genetic link as people suffering from this condition often have other members of their family who experience something similar. Manmade and natural disasters such as wars, floods, earthquakes etc that cause overwhelming stress is said to trigger this disease.
The inability to recall past events is a primary symptom of this disease. Other symptoms include
- Depression or anxiety
- Inability to remember personal information
- Substance abuse
- Mood swings
- Sexual dysfunction
- Panic attacks
- Obsessive compulsive symptoms
- Hallucinations and
- Social withdrawal
Treatment for this disease is a two step process. The first step involves relieving symptoms and controlling any behavioral changes. The second step aims at helping the person to recall and process their memories. Developing coping skills and rebuilding relationships is also focused on. Depending on the individual and the severity of symptoms showcased a doctor may choose to treat the patient using any of the following forms of treatment.
- Psychotherapy: This form of treatment is designed to encourage communication and give the person insight into their problems. It uses a number of psychological techniques.
- Cognitive therapy: Changing dysfunctional thinking patterns and their resulting emotions and behavior patterns is the focus of this form of treatment.
- Medication: Dissociative amnesia patients who also suffer from depression or anxiety can benefit from medication such as anti depressants and anti anxiety drugs. However, this medication does not treat the dissociative amnesia itself.
- Family therapy: In some cases, along with the patient it is also necessary to counsel the family. Family therapy involves educating the family members about the disorder and symptoms of recurrence.
Clinical hypnosis: This type of treatment uses intense relaxation and focused attention techniques to access the unconscious part of the mind and allow people to explore their thoughts, emotions and repressed memories.
Early to bed and early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy and wise. We have all heard this age old adage since time immemorial. Yet, how many of us actually adhere to it? Staying up late and waking up even later has become a lifestyle problem that many of us have succumbed to. It has become common to hear people complaining that they simply cannot make it out of bed on time. This can lead to various health problems in the long run.
So what are the health advantages of rising early. Read on to find out more!
- Healthier Appetite: When you wake up early, you have given your body a six to eight hour period of fasting time, which has been recommended by doctors for ages now. This basically helps the body in asking for the right food at the right time, which creates a healthy appetite and healthy food intake as a consequence. When you wake up early, you eliminate healthy eating because you end up grabbing whatever it is that can quell the ravenous hunger that you feel after prolonged hours of sleep.
- Depression: People who wake up early are generally less prone to depression. A medical study has also shown that there are definite links between the tendency to hit the bed late and depression. It is a well known fact that a lack of routine can lead to a state of imbalance in the mind and body. This can also have an adverse effect on the hormonal balance of the person and lead to depression and mental conditions along the same lines.
- BMI: People who wake up early and work their way into the day with proper meals and eating habits tend to have a more balanced BMI. A healthy BMI is where you weight is appropriate for your height. This may differ for men and women with the same height.
- Exercise: When you wake up late, you actually have that much more of catching up to do, which can lead to grogginess and sudden jerks to the nerves and neurotransmitters as well as the signals that they emanate. All this has a profound effect on the amount of time that we allot for other activities like exercise, which can help one destress even as it keeps us healthy.
From being more sedentary to leading a lifestyle where eating right is the last priority, the lives of those who wake up late seems to be bereft of a proper life rhythm. Waking up early leaves people with the energy to pursue a little bit of everything for a balanced day and life, in the long run.
Pets can be amazing companions and help you cope with your life problems. There can be times when you might feel low and lack motivation to do anything; a pet can change that scenario and bring about a positive change in your life. They keep you engaged and help you take your mind off from various problems in your professional and personal life.
Here are few reasons why having a pet can significantly improve your mental health:
- Petting lowers stress levels: Petting your furry friends is a major stress buster. It has been observed that petting a dog or a cat releases the hormone called oxytocin, which is associated with lowered anxiety and stress levels. When you connect with your pet and engage yourself in grooming and petting, it naturally reduces your blood pressure and lowers the level of cortisol, thereby, producing a calming effect.
- Pets reduce loneliness and isolation: Pets can constantly keep you company, if you don't like being lonely. Dogs and cats can make friends easily and due to their intuitive nature, they can sense it when you are feeling low. They refuse to leave you alone and provide your mental support. Pets also help you socialize especially if you take them out for a walk. They help you interact with other pets and their owners.
- Pets are great listeners and they keep you engaged: Pets can distract you from your problems and stressful situations, which plague your mind. You and your furry mate can spend a wonderful time playing games or by simply clicking pictures together. Pets are also good listeners and hence you can vent out your feeling without the fear of being judged. They help you heal and get over certain things which would otherwise be a lot more difficult to overcome.
- They love you unconditionally and keep you happy: Seeing your pet welcoming you after a hard day at work can instantly lift your mood and make you smile. They love you no matter what mistakes you made and keep you energized, positive and motivated. Caring for your pet and reciprocating their love can make you less self centered and more motivated towards your goals.
Related Tip: "Effects of Alcohol on Mental Health"
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is defined as a mood disorder that affects one's interaction and relationships with others. It generally develops during adolescence and persists into adulthood. It has been seen that those with a traumatic history of neglect or emotional, physical or sexual abuse are more prone to developing it. Though it affects people varyingly, these are some symptoms that help diagnose BPD.
1. Emotional instability - Intense feelings of rage, sorrow, anger, guilt and emptiness or loneliness are experienced by some sufferers of BPD. Extreme mood swings, lasting for a short span of time, are common in BPD. They may also have issues with their self-image where they cannot place themselves and don't know what they feel about themselves or who they are.
2. Disturbing thoughts - One may experience disturbed thinking and the range of severity is rather wide. One may question his or her existence and need constant reassurance to believe other, or hear voices that tell one to harm oneself or others. In some cases, hallucination and developing delusional beliefs become a common phenomenon that greatly upset the mental condition of the sufferer.
3. Impulsive behavior - Indulging in impulsive behavior is a common sign of BPD. Those suffering from BPD may develop suicidal tendencies and threaten to self-harm. Partaking in risky and irresponsible behavior such as gambling, drinking, drug abuse, having unprotected sex with strangers, going on unrestrained shopping sprees and shoplifting are not uncommon for those with BPD.
4. Intense but unstable relationships - Sufferers of BPD live in a fear of abandonment and feel that the people they love might leave them. They make all possible efforts to prevent being left alone. They may beg, cling and track their loved ones to avoid being left alone. The opposite may also occur and sufferers might feel that they are being smothered by others. This results in actively pushing away loved ones. A combination of these feelings leads sufferers to give out mixed signals which is confusing and often hurts them and their loved ones.
Related Tip: What Really Causes Personality Disorders?
3 Things You Did Not Know You Should See a Psychologist For
Most people consider seeing a psychologist an act of weakness or embarrassment. Therefore, they never think that their prolonged periods of stress, anxiety, grief and conflict could be a sign that they need professional help. They fail to understand that psychotherapy is nothing but a strategy to relieve stress and make life easier to live and that often, it does not require you to get stuck amidst expensive treatments or prolonged medication and consultation sessions.
Here are 3 times when you did not know but you needed to see a psychologist.
1. You feel intense emotions way too much
It is common for everybody to feel angry or sad at times in their life but if you feel these emotions too intensely, frequently and for prolonged durations, it may be the right time for you to see a psychologist. If your emotions overpower you to such an extent that your ability to function is impaired, it is a sure shot sign that you need professional attention. Also, if your anxiety levels are so high that you immediately imagine the worst case scenarios associated with any challenging situation that comes your way, you should not delay your visit to the psychologist because it may lead to panic attacks and paralysis.
2. You cannot stop thinking about the trauma that you had faced sometime in your life
If you are too grieved with the pain of death, loss of job, fear of accident etc. that you once faced in your life and there is no way how you think that you can get over it, you should seek immediate help from a psychologist. You may think that these feelings are natural and that you cannot do anything about them but in reality, it is not so. In fact, if left untreated, these conditions can lead you to a lifestyle where daily functioning is impaired. So if your trauma is too hard for you to handle, consider visiting a psychotherapist to prevent further damage.
3. You fall ill too quickly and headaches are a persistent problem
Being emotionally upset can affect your body in more ways than you think. So every time when you fall ill, the cause may not always be a physical medical condition. Stress and anxiety can lead to chronic illnesses like frequent stomach ache, reduced sexual drive, frequent cold, severe neck pain etc. So if you fall ill too quickly and the reasons for your illness are far beyond the comprehension of the general practitioner, it is high time that you consider visiting a psychologist.