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Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a disorder found in young children. Some common traits of a kid suffering from ODD include disobedient behavior, vindictiveness, manipulation, anger issues and irritability. These kids are known to have a negative mindset and are very difficult to get along with.
Here is a list of ways to deal with a kid suffering from ODD
- Communicate you expectations clearly: Kids suffering from this disorder feels an irresistible urge to control the environment they are residing in. It helps when you lay down simple, but mandatory house rules such as not raising the voice, being kind to others, refraining from hurting family and friends etc. This will not only keep their behavior in check, but will help them to make better choices.
- Be calm: Make sure you don’t give your kids any room to argue. Remind them that house rules apply for everyone. A back-and-forth argument will give your kids to impose his will on you. Explain in short the parental requirement that is expected. While giving instructions make sure you maintain a calm and collective dialect. Scolding or arguing your kid will do more harm than good.
- Use empathy: Instead of imposing parental will, it is best to be empathetic towards your defiant kid. For instance despite your repeated warnings, if your kid continues to watch TV or hook to the play station, remind them why it is important to go to bed early. Explain to them that you understand his feeling of having to leave the day for the night, but also tell them how his favorite activities can be continued the next day.
- Reward scheme: Kids with ODD reacts wonderfully to a reward system. For instance, if he successfully sticks to the rules laid in the house or behaves the way he is expected, he should be rewarded for the job well done. This reward scheme should be declared well in advance. As a parent, your job is to continuously remind him about the reward if he manages to do a job well. This incentive scheme will force your kid to be obedient.
- Don’t use false threats: Be very precise with your kid about the instruction you want them to follow. If you want him to brush his teeth before going to sleep, make it very clear to him what would be the consequences if the instruction is not followed. Do not use empty threats. As a parent, if you fail to keep your end of the bargain, your kid will not value your word anymore.
- Create a routine: A routine works well with kids suffering from ODD disorder. Every task should be time bound with more than one choice. For instance, between 5 PM to 7 PM allow them to do either of the two things like playing outdoor games or spending time with the play station.
Dementia is a disorder characterized by a decline in mental capabilities in a person. It is primarily caused by Alzheimer’s disease but can also be caused by damage to the brain from an injury or a stroke. The cells of the brain fail to communicate with each other in dementia. People suffering from dementia have difficulties in taking part in regular activities as their mental functioning is impaired.
The major symptoms of dementia are problems in recalling, ineffective communication, inability to concentrate and impaired reasoning abilities. It may also affect the short-term memory of a person when he/she may be unable to keep track of his/her belongings. Dementia can be progressive where the symptoms gradually increase with age.
Some early symptoms of dementia are-
1. Mood changes - Excessive mood swings along with changes in personality are very common symptoms of dementia. For instance- a reserved person suddenly becoming very outgoing is a commonly observed change in cases of dementia.
2. Problems in completing routine tasks - If a person suddenly starts to face problems in doing routine work such as maintaining simple accounts and paying bills then it can early signs of dementia.
3. Confusion - When a person starts to get confused in remembering small details and recognizing faces, it could point towards dementia.
4. Repetition - Dementia causes people to repeat words they have just said as the short term memory gets impaired. It also causes people to repeat small tasks a multiple number of times.
5. Losing interest - A person may start to lose interest in regular activities and avoid them altogether. They may appear devoid of emotions and not engage socially.
6. Communication - People fail to communicate effectively as they may be unable to express their thoughts clearly. They may also fail to understand when others communicate with them.
7. Impaired sense of direction - A person may fail to recognize places and wander around. He/she will face problems in going to places or in remembering places. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist.
Nowadays, drug abuse is a universally condemned action such that selling certain drugs are illegal. Children are not allowed to take drugs until they reach a certain age such as 21 for most states in India. Lots of problems start occurring when you are addicted to a certain drug. It is also nearly impossible to stop since the nerve cells change the way they function due to drugs.
These nerve cells overstimulate the 'reward circuit' of the brain. This means that your brain constantly needs to be 'rewarded' and this reward comes in the form of drugs. There are many reasons why people become addicts and here are some of them.
- People want to get high: This is perhaps the most common reason why people become drug addicts. The moment they take in one drug, they love the feeling they get so much that they keep wanting to go back to it.
- People want to fit in: This is also a very common reason. When all your friends and perhaps even your bosses and other superiors are taking drugs, you do not want to feel left out or ostracized by your friend group. This is why many people start taking drugs.
- Unintentionally taking drugs due to injuries or medical conditions: Sometimes a doctor prescribes a medicine for a certain time period but it does not work or works too well and so you keep taking the drug so that you will feel better. This happens more often than you think.
- People take drugs to relieve stress: This is another very common reason why people take drugs. You may easily rationalize with them thinking that taking drugs is a good way to relax from work and family pressures. However, the long term effects of taking drugs are much worse than the stress.
- Boredom from daily life: In young teens and adolescents especially, life can be so boring that they want to try something new and thus resort to drug abuse.
Borderline personality disorder is connected with the mental health of the patient and is usually seen in the way the patient perceives himself or herself. This has a deep impact on the brain and overall functioning of the patient. It leads to problems in the personal life and relationships of the patient. These problems are usually triggered by a fear of abandonment. Let us explore the signs and symptoms of this condition to understand it in a better manner:
- Discouraging Attitude: One of the earliest signs of this disorder includes having an attitude that is very discouraging. This attitude may remain limited to the patient or may extend to the people around him or her.
- Self-Identity: This disorder has a marked impact on the self-identity of the patient. There is usually a rapid decline in the way the patient may view himself or herself. A self-deprecating attitude will usually be seen among patients suffering from this condition, where the self-esteem hits an all-time low along with low self-confidence.
- Relationships: Whether it the patient's personal relationships, family, friends or work based relationships, there will be a sharp decline in the quality of interactions that the patient indulges in, due to this disorder. The interactions and dynamics of all relationships will usually take on an intense turn as the patient will have varied unfounded concerns that come from the fear of abandonment. This usually stems from some form of childhood trauma triggered by parental separation or loss.
- Impulsive Behavior: Patients suffering from this disorder will also display impulsive behavior that may lead to gambling, and other risky behavior. This kind of behavior can usually lead to accidents and losses as well as further lowering of the sense of self-esteem that the patient may experience. Also, abuse and binge eating are some of the symptoms of this kind of behavior.
- Suicidal threats: There may be threats of suicide by patients who are suffering from this disorder. This usually happens because most of these patients end up feeling lost and empty, which makes them think that their life and all its activities are completely futile. If you happen to meet someone who consistently talks about how useless he or she is and how nothing in life seems to have a purpose, then you may want to recommend this person to a psychiatrist as these are the earliest signs and symptoms of borderline personality disorder.
- Mood swings: The patient will also suffer from intense mood swings. These could last up to several days and even weeks. These mood swings could go from happiness to severe anxiety and even shame. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Psychiatrist.
Warning Signs of Mental Illness
The mind or the brain is the master computer, the site of our consciousness, thoughts and memories. We often tend to think of our mind as a separate entity, but the mind and the body are linked and just like our body, the mind too is susceptible to illnesses. The idea of mental illness makes us feel vulnerable and helpless and we dismiss the possibility of mental illness as something that “will not happen to me” or “is in my control”. But like all other illnesses, mental disorders too, are ultimately not in our control. More importantly, they are readily treatable with medications and therapy.
Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions/disorders that affect our mood, thinking and behavior. They include depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, eating disorders, alcohol/drugs abuse and many others. All of us feel sad, anxious, stressed and have occasional sleepless nights. So when does a mental health concern become a problem? When the signs and symptoms persist and affect our regular day-to-day activities, it’s probably time to seek help.
Awareness is the first step to treatment. Learning about the signs and symptoms will allow you to seek help early and get back to a healthy and happy life.
If several of the following symptoms are recurring, it is advisable to consult a mental health professional.
1. Withdrawal: Recent social withdrawal and lack of interest in others are a common sign that you may have a problem in hand.
2. Drop in functioning: There is a sudden unusual drop in functioning at school, work or other social activities such as withdrawing from sports, failing in school or difficulty in performing ordinary tasks.
3. The problem with thinking: You face complications with concentration, memory or rational thoughts and speech that are hard to explain.
4. Increased sensitivity: There is a heightened sensitivity to sights, sounds, smells or physical contact and a tendency to avoid stimulating situations.
5. Apathy: There is a loss of desire or initiative to participate in any social activity.
6. Feeling disconnected: You experience a vague feeling of detachment from yourself or your surrounding and a sense of unreality encircles you (paranoia or hallucinations).
7. Illogical thinking: You have an exaggerated belief about your personal powers to understand meanings or influence events. You suffer from irrational or magical thinking, typical of childhood in an adult.
8. Nervousness: You have a feeling of fear, you are skeptical of others or have a strong nervous feeling.
9. Sleep or appetite changes: You experience sleep disorders, significant tiredness and appetite changes and even decline in personal care.
10. Mood swings: There are rapid or dramatic shifts in feelings ranging from excessive anger; hostility or violence to suicidal thoughts.