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Mania Tips

What Makes Mental Illness Scary?

Dr. Ankita Mishra 91% (203 ratings)
MBBS, D.P.M, MD, PLAB, MRCPsych
Psychiatrist, Mumbai
What Makes Mental Illness Scary?

For centuries, mental illness has sparked many negative emotions amongst us ranging from fear, shame, guilt and pity.

Being a mental health professional, I have been closely connected to those with mental health issues and their loved ones. As a professional, I would say that being mentally ill is not the end of the world. However, it is not easy either. Sometimes I wonder, given a choice between a physical illness and a mental illness what will opt for? almost as a reflex, I say that physical illness is many times better that mental illness. But, if I pause and give this a thought, I wonder if my fears about being mentally unwell is justified.

Why are we all afraid of being mentally ill or scared of people with mental illness? there are many factors that sets mental illness apart from physical illness. Let us try to look into these factors closely and see if we can understand why is being mentally ill so different from any other illness.

 Fear of loss of control:

The biggest fear that mental illness brings in us, is the fear of a loss of control. If we lose control over our mind, well there is nothing much that we have a control on. We can no longer regulate our thoughts, emotions, behaviour and actions. But, is this actually true? if a person is suffering from mental illness, for instance depression, does he not a have a control over his behaviour and actions? a person with physical illness such as stroke is unable to control his body movements, his speech as well as loses bladder control and thus experiences an equally apprehensive loss of control.

Being mentally unwell is no doubt distressing and disabling, but the extend of disability depends on the severity of illness. Barring few severe mental illness, people with mental illness are still able to regulate themselves and have a control over their minds to varying extent.

Fear of never being well again:

Another fear that haunts people who are mentally unwell is will they ever be well again?

A person who has schizophrenia may have to continue the medications for life but so does someone who has diabetes. Majority of mental illnesses are for a short span of time and they can be effectively treated. The second category is those illnesses that come and go in episodes. For e. G, you may have depressive episodes or someone with bipolar disorder may have episodes where they have manic or depressive phases. However, in between these episodes they might be able to lead a productive life. There is a category mental illness which is severe, lasts for life and needs to be managed forever but so is the case with a lot of physical illnesses that are chronic, disabling and needs life long treatment.

Fear of medications that are used in psychiatric disorder

Every single medication that has ever been used can have some or other side effects, even the placebos. If you look into the side effect profile of even commonly used medications like flu medicine, you will be scared to use it. So, what sets the medications used for mental illness apart from their counterparts?

The general perception is that these medicines are addictive, have a lot of side effects, they will make you drowsy and sleepy and that once started it has to be taken for life. There are a vast range of medications that we use in psychiatry like antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety and sleeping tablets. As far as addictive potential is concerned, only a small fractions of these medication are actually addictive (for instance sleeping tablets). Most of the medications that are used to treat mental health disorders are not addictive. For using the addictive medicine, there are guidelines and recommendations to prescribe them so as to ensure that the person taking them does not get dependent on it.

Like any other medication, these medicines do come with side effects. However, there are many newer medicines available today with minimal side effects. And if a person develops a side effect with one of the medications, there is always an option of adjusting the dose or substituting the medicine.

Thinking about the durations of treatment, how long the medications needs to be continued depends on a lot of factors like the severity of illness, response to treatment and existing psychosocial support. Like any other long standing illness such as hypertension or diabetes which requires long term treatment, medications for mental health disorders may need to be taken for a long term, but not necessarily for life.

Fear of being locked down

The picture of being mentally ill, especially in a developing country like india is portrayed as someone who is tied and isolated in a mental institution. Only a minority of people who have mental illness need hospitalization at some point in their lives. The reason why a mentally ill person needs to be in hospital can be if there is a grave risk to their life or a risk to others due to their mental illness. Admissions are usually for a short term or for as long as it is needed.

Fear of not being understood by others

How can someone understand what I am going through if they have not experienced it themselves? fear of not being understood is something that refrains a mental ill person from sharing how they are feeling with their friends and family. It is hard, as a lot of people are not comfortable and are scared to talk to people about their mental health problems. This lack of understanding emerges from the lack of awareness about mental illness and the most effective way to increase the awareness is by talking about it.

Stigma

Last but not the least, there is this whole issue of stigma that is attached to being mentally ill. This stigma can affect various domains of the lives of people with mental illness. It can affect their personal relationships, their jobs as well as their social lives. A lot people are discriminated on the grounds of mental illness and I believe that is what makes being mentally ill so scary. Majority of people are not able to sustain a job or form a lasting relationship not because of the mental illness itself but because of the stigma associated with it.

It is high time that we deal with the emotions that comes with the term mental illness. Once we as a society are able to fight the fear, shame and guilt that is linked with being mentally ill, it will be far more easier to treat mental illness as well as live with mental illness.

1 person found this helpful

Causes And Symptoms Of Genetic Sexual Attraction!

Dr. M.S Ambekar 95% (20844 ratings)
MD - General Medicine
Sexologist, Nashik
Causes And Symptoms Of Genetic Sexual Attraction!

In the realm of sexual relations, Incest is one of the longing social taboos. In order to curb this social taboo, many governments have introduced law banning incest. Basically, this is a sexual relationship between those who are blood-related, which is also called as Consanguineous relationship. This is also called as Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA) which can be between siblings, half siblings, donor children, adoptees, biological mother and father, nephew and so on. This is a social evil, and experts have some remedies so that you can deal with genetic sexual attraction.

Causes:

According to an article published in Spanish Magazine AFIN in July 2013, separation of siblings for quite a long time is one of the known causes for genetic sexual attraction. At the same time, the magazine points out that there are instances that even those who are not separated have this mania of genetic sexual attraction. Some of the other interesting aspects of GSA can be explained as follows:

  1. It is said that children who grow in close proximity since their childhood develop reverse sexual attitude or imprinting with their siblings, parents and with other consanguineous relationships. This reverse sexual attitude actually suppresses sexual desire with consanguineous relationship. This theory is also called as Westermarck Effect. This can be the pointer to the question How to deal with Genetic Sexual Attraction because consanguineous relationship separated for years may not have the Westermarck Effect.

  2. It is pointed out that when siblings who are separated for long duration of time are sexually mature when they meet each other. In other words, they were not members of the nuclear family, and this long absence can attract each other for a closer relationship. In addition to this, the siblings are biologically and mentally so grown up that they have made their own hard imprint of their character, taste and so on. It is a combination of these factors that makes them an exception to the Westermarck effect.

Symptoms of GSA:

Extreme awareness about the other person, hard desire to stay or talk, distractible behavior, unnecessary talking, holding hands or touching or making use of every opportunity to have some kind of physical contact, daydreaming are some of the known symptoms of GSA.

Remedy Available:

One of the ideal remedies for those suffering from GSA is to seek help of appropriate medical fraternity in the earliest possible time. This is one of the most ideal approaches to deal with genetic sexual attraction. It is also suggested that you should ensure that the siblings meet at regular intervals. This can help the siblings to have Westermarck Effect. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.

5960 people found this helpful

Genetic Sexual Attraction - Causes And Symptoms

Dr. Rishabh Kumar Rana 91% (814 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Community Medicine, CCIP
Sexologist, Ranchi
Genetic Sexual Attraction - Causes And Symptoms

In the realm of sexual relations, Incest is one of the longing social taboos. In order to curb this social taboo, many governments have introduced law banning incest. Basically, this is a sexual relationship between those who are blood-related, which is also called as Consanguineous relationship. This is also called as Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA) which can be between siblings, half siblings, donor children, adoptees, biological mother and father, nephew and so on. This is a social evil, and experts have some remedies so that you can deal with genetic sexual attraction.

Causes:

According to an article published in Spanish Magazine AFIN in July 2013, separation of siblings for quite a long time is one of the known causes for genetic sexual attraction. At the same time, the magazine points out that there are instances that even those who are not separated have this mania of genetic sexual attraction. Some of the other interesting aspects of GSA can be explained as follows:

  1. It is said that children who grow in close proximity since their childhood develop reverse sexual attitude or imprinting with their siblings, parents and with other consanguineous relationships. This reverse sexual attitude actually suppresses sexual desire with consanguineous relationship. This theory is also called as Westermarck Effect. This can be the pointer to the question How to deal with Genetic Sexual Attraction because consanguineous relationship separated for years may not have the Westermarck Effect.

  2. It is pointed out that when siblings who are separated for long duration of time are sexually mature when they meet each other. In other words, they were not members of the nuclear family, and this long absence can attract each other for a closer relationship. In addition to this, the siblings are biologically and mentally so grown up that they have made their own hard imprint of their character, taste and so on. It is a combination of these factors that makes them an exception to the Westermarck effect.

Symptoms of GSA:

Extreme awareness about the other person, hard desire to stay or talk, distractible behavior, unnecessary talking, holding hands or touching or making use of every opportunity to have some kind of physical contact, daydreaming are some of the known symptoms of GSA.

Remedy Available:

One of the ideal remedies for those suffering from GSA is to seek help of appropriate medical fraternity in the earliest possible time. This is one of the most ideal approaches to deal with genetic sexual attraction. It is also suggested that you should ensure that the siblings meet at regular intervals. This can help the siblings to have Westermarck Effect. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.

3375 people found this helpful

How To Deal With Phobia Of Genetic Sexual Attraction?

Dr. Masroor Ahmad Wani 93% (4406 ratings)
MD
Sexologist, Srinagar
How To Deal With Phobia Of Genetic Sexual Attraction?

In the realm of sexual relations, Incest is one of the longing social taboos. In order to curb this social taboo, many governments have introduced law banning incest. Basically, this is a sexual relationship between those who are blood-related, which is also called as Consanguineous relationship. This is also called as Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA) which can be between siblings, half siblings, donor children, adoptees, biological mother and father, nephew and so on. This is a social evil, and experts have some remedies so that you can deal with genetic sexual attraction.

Causes:

According to an article published in Spanish Magazine AFIN in July 2013, separation of siblings for quite a long time is one of the known causes for genetic sexual attraction. At the same time, the magazine points out that there are instances that even those who are not separated have this mania of genetic sexual attraction. Some of the other interesting aspects of GSA can be explained as follows:

  1. It is said that children who grow in close proximity since their childhood develop reverse sexual attitude or imprinting with their siblings, parents and with other consanguineous relationships. This reverse sexual attitude actually suppresses sexual desire with consanguineous relationship. This theory is also called as Westermarck Effect. This can be the pointer to the question How to deal with Genetic Sexual Attraction because consanguineous relationship separated for years may not have the Westermarck Effect.

  2. It is pointed out that when siblings who are separated for long duration of time are sexually mature when they meet each other. In other words, they were not members of the nuclear family, and this long absence can attract each other for a closer relationship. In addition to this, the siblings are biologically and mentally so grown up that they have made their own hard imprint of their character, taste and so on. It is a combination of these factors that makes them an exception to the Westermarck effect.

Symptoms of GSA:

Extreme awareness about the other person, hard desire to stay or talk, distractible behavior, unnecessary talking, holding hands or touching or making use of every opportunity to have some kind of physical contact, daydreaming are some of the known symptoms of GSA.

Remedy Available:

One of the ideal remedies for those suffering from GSA is to seek help of appropriate medical fraternity in the earliest possible time. This is one of the most ideal approaches to deal with genetic sexual attraction. It is also suggested that you should ensure that the siblings meet at regular intervals. This can help the siblings to have Westermarck Effect. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Sexologist.

5395 people found this helpful

11 Symptoms Of Manic Depressive Disorder!

MBBS, MD - Psychiatry, Senior Resident Psychiatrist
Psychiatrist, Ahmedabad
11 Symptoms Of Manic Depressive Disorder!

Manic depression, also known as bipolar disorder in recent days, is a major mood disorder characterized by hypomanic or manic episodes (deviation from one's usual mood along with abnormally high energy levels). Mania involves sleeplessness, along with psychosis, hallucinations, rage, grandiose delusions or paranoia. Mania or hypomania isn’t usually harmful to the patient and they might exhibit increased capacity for work and creativity. Depressive episodes however, can be debilitating and often life threatening as the person becomes self-destructive and suicidal in many instances. 

The extent of mood swings can vary from extreme to very mild. They can occur progressively or suddenly and might last for few days to weeks. Patients affected by bipolar disorder may experience disturbances in thinking apart from depressive or manic episodes. Distortions of perception and impaired social functioning are also not uncommon. The cause of bipolar disorder is not fully understood like most mental health conditions and is often thought to be hereditary.

The extent of the seriousness of the bipolar symptoms varies from person to person. In some people, the disorder is not full blown and they don’t exhibit all the symptoms. Others who aren’t that lucky might have to be hospitalized multiple times in their lives as the symptoms creep into their work and personal life and make living a normal life a tough challenge. 

Psychotic symptoms such as disorganized thinking, hallucinations and delusions might make a person do things that demand the urgency of hospitalization to keep them safe from their suicidal impulses. These symptoms might need to be urgently addressed by a psychiatrist and with the help of medications, the person might be able to regain control of their lives.

The symptoms of bipolar disorder are many and can be mainly categorized into two (sometimes overlapping) categories of mania or hypomania and depression:

Manic symptoms include: 

  1. Grandiose delusions (delusion of grandeur) 
  2. Racing thoughts which are often disconnected
  3. Sense of euphoria or false elation
  4. Irritability without cause
  5. Hampered social functioning
  6. Increased sexual inclination and risky sexual behavior
  7. Hyperactivity
  8. Increase in talking volume or speed
  9. Impaired judgment
  10. Reduced sleep requirements owing to extra energy levels
  11. Increased productivity and creativity

Depressive symptoms include:

  1. Abnormal eating patterns like over or under-eating to the extent of severe medical complications accompanied by drastic changes in weight
  2. Difficulty in concentration, making decisions and remembering
  3. Lack of energy or fatigue 
  4. Contemplating about death for prolonged periods of time and suicidal behavior
  5. Oversleeping, insomnia or early awakening
  6. Persistent pessimism 
  7. Irritability and restlessness
  8. Feeling of hopeless and negative attitude

Mood stabilizers, such as lithium are commonly employed to treat bipolar disorder. Anticonvulsants, benzodiazepines and anti psychotics can also be used in the treatment. Along with medications, support from family and friends is of the utmost importance as they need to help provide all the support required in making the person functional and healthy. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist.

2516 people found this helpful

How Homeopathy Can Help You With Mood Disorders?

Dr. Sonali Sawale 85% (36 ratings)
MD, BHMS
Homeopath, Navi Mumbai
How Homeopathy Can Help You With Mood Disorders?

Mood disorders are characterized by emotional disturbance in the patient and are of different kinds. This further leads to disruption in physical, social and thought processes in an individual. The two major mood disorders are mania and depression. In case of mania, the patient develops intense, unrealistic feelings, and in depression the patient becomes extremely sad and feels dejected. In some cases, a person may experience both mania and depression, while in other cases, a person only goes through depression. Mood disorders are classified into two major categories:

  1. Unipolar, where a patient experiences only depression.
  2. Bipolar, where a patient experiences mania and depression at the same time.

Homeopathic medicines are extensively used for treating mood disorders. Homeopathy works effectively on mood disorders and gives satisfactory results. There are several homeopathic medicines for mood disorders, which are prescribed on the basis of the causes of a certain mood disorder. Here is a list of common homeopathic remedies for mood disorders and when they are used:

  1. Anacardium: It is a homeopathic medicine used in curing mood disorders where the patient talks foolish and imagines foolish, baseless things. The patient turns irritable and quarrelsome as he loses self-confidence. Stupidity and childishness are indicated. The patient laughs on serious matters and feels like having a dual personality.
  2. Belladonna: Belladonna is used to treat mood disorders, which fall under the category of mania. The patient’s will power gets deranged, develops extra sexual excitement, and talks without sense. The patient becomes wild and offends others without any reason. He feels like touching every person and objects around and uses offensive language.
  3. Stramonium: This medicine is used in mood disorders where a patient develops weird ideas, talks with imaginary friends, becomes unclean and unhygienic and experiences fear. He looks frightened and in horror. The patient desires company.
  4. Arsenic album: Arsenic album is used for the cure of mood disorders where a patient develops a tendency of self mutilation. He feels worthless and is in despair. The memory gets weak, and any slight dispute makes the patient furious; he feels a rush of blood to the head. He fears death and fears of getting deserted by others. Acute melancholia is indicated.
  5. Hyoscyamus: This is another homeopathic medicine, which treats mood disorders. Hyoscyamus is used when a patient becomes idiotic and silly. The patient becomes lewd and lascivious. Lews gestures are likely among patients with this disorder. The patient becomes a nymphomaniac. This mood disorder arises from jealousy, fights and failed love relationships.

Homeopathy treats mood disorders effectively and most naturally. For each kind of mood disorder, there is a homeopathic remedy. When taken correctly, successful results are attained. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a homeopath.

4915 people found this helpful

Mood Swings - Can You Treat it With Homeopathy?

Dr. Ankush Rai 88% (75 ratings)
BHMS
Homeopath, Delhi
Mood Swings - Can You Treat it With Homeopathy?

What are mood swings?
There are days when you feel a sudden surge of excitement and days when you find yourself beating the blues and on those days you struggle. You will be surprised to know that even emotional problems have a cure that is natural and without any side effects.

What causes Mood Swings?
Most people know that our brain produces a “good mood” hormone called serotonin. If we do not produce enough of it or it gets broken down too quickly, then a low mood results. Various genetic factors and your surroundings also play a huge role in determining your mood, but the way you perceive things can change your attitude towards them.

  1. Physical Illness: A physical illness can be followed by depression, esp. those like cancer, AIDS, and heart diseases etc which carry serious implications..
  2. Result of diseases: Depression or mania could be the presenting feature of cerbrovascular disease, neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis.

Symptoms of Depression

  1. Depression of mood is the primary symptom. There may be a diurnal variation of mood, depression being most distressing early in the morning or at the end of the day.
  2. Loss of pleasure in life (anhedonia)
  3. Loss of interest in oneself and others
  4. Low self esteem
  5. Self blame
  6. Hopelessness
  7. Suicidal thinking
  8. Feeling of guilt and worthlessness
  9. Sleep disturbance (initial insomnia, early morning wakening or hypersomnia)
  10. Poor concentration
  11. Fatigue

How can you treat depression with Homeopathy?
Most treatments comprise of drugs and other anti depressants that take a toll of a person’s mental and physical health because of this various side effects. Therefore treatment like these may not always solve your issue completely, this is when homeopathy comes to your rescue.

Homeopathy offers very good treatment possibilities for depression with good results. There are a large number of medicines which can be used and the selection of medicine depends not just on the symptoms, but also on the cause. Like all psychological disorders, depressive illness also requires good case study and continuous monitoring by a competent homeopath. One should not try any form of self-medication
Some of the commonly indicated medicines are anacardium, arsenic-alb, aurum-met, ignatia, acid-phos, pulsatilla, natrum-mur, sepia, antim-crud, naja, nux-vom, stann, psorinum etc. The selection of medicine varies from case to case. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a homeopath and ask a free question.

3222 people found this helpful

All About Bipolar Disorder

Dr. Shruti Kirti Rai 91% (153 ratings)
DPM Psychiatrist
Psychiatrist, Lucknow
All About Bipolar Disorder

We all have mood swings but not all mood swings have the same intensity. People who have extreme mood swings ranging from depression to manic highs are said to be suffering from bipolar disorder. These extreme moods are known as episodes and usually, last for a few days or even a few weeks. A person suffering from bipolar disorder could have an episode several times a year. This is a very common psychological problem and can affect both children and adults. Though it cannot be cured, this disease can be managed with medication.

There are no known causes for bipolar disorder but genetics may play an important role in triggering Bipolar Disorder. Hence, if a parent or sibling suffers from this condition, you have a risk of developing it as well. An imbalance in the neurotransmitters in the brain may also play a part in the development of this condition. Stress or traumatic events like the loss of a loved one can also increase your risk of suffering from this condition. Given that mood swings affect almost each one of us, bipolar disorder can be difficult to diagnose. Some of the things to look out for are:

  1. Change in self-esteem
  2. Unusual talkativeness or quietness
  3. Being increasingly prone to distractions
  4. Decreased need for sleep
  5. Agitation
  6. Recklessness in terms of spending decisions, relationships etc

It must be kept in mind that a person must display at least 4 of the above symptoms simultaneously to be diagnosed as bipolar. Also, none of these symptoms should be a result or side effect of any kind of medication, drugs, alcohol or other intoxicants.

There are four main types of bipolar disorder:

  1. Bipolar I: In such cases, the person has at least one episode of elevated moods and associated abnormal behaviour in his or her life. This may be preceded or followed by depressive episodes.
  2. Bipolar II: In these cases, the person must have suffered from at least one depressive episode. It is very similar to bipolar I except that in bipolar II the highs never reach the manic stage.
  3. Rapid Cycling: Some people can have 4 or more manic and depressive episodes a year. In such cases, they are said to be rapid cycling. This condition affects 10-20% of bipolar cases.
  4. Mixed Bipolar: Usually, bipolar patients show mood swings that alternate between manic and depressive moods. However, sometimes a person may experience both elation and depression simultaneously or in rapid succession of each other. These cases are known as mixed bipolar.

Once diagnosed, bipolar disorder can be managed with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. In some cases, electroconvulsive therapy may also be needed. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist and ask a free question.

2551 people found this helpful

Frequent Mood Swings - 4 Ways to Manage them!

Dr. Milind Barhate 88% (208 ratings)
DPM, MBBS
Psychiatrist, Mumbai
Frequent Mood Swings - 4 Ways to Manage them!

What are mood swings?
Mood swings are defined as sudden and abrupt changes in mood. These mood swings can sometimes help promote problem solving abilities, but a stronger form of these can be associated to a more complex disorder namely, bipolar disorder that is characterised by the cyclical shift from manic to depressive and vice versa.

What causes mood swings?
There are several things that can trigger mood swings starting from your brain chemistry to substance abuse. The most common cause of moods swings can be-

  1. Abnormal levels of neurotransmitters (NTs) in the brain (ex. Serotonin is majorly responsible for change in moods, changes in emotional state and sleep)
  2. Anabolic steroid abuse
  3. Borderline personality Disorder
  4. Autism or other pervasive developmental disorders
  5. Epilepsy
  6. Premenstrual Syndrome
  7. Schizophrenia
  8. Major depression
  9. Post traumatic stress disorder

How to deal with mood swings?
Mood swings can make life difficult for yourself and those around you as well. It is advisable to keep your mood swings under control in order to get along with your life normally.

  1. Try to remain positive: May be you have had a string of heartbreaks off late or failed interviews, but do not let that define a trend in your life. This can lead to depression and make you upset. Keep your mind open to other possibilities and never lose hope. Hope is something that keeps one going; it gives someone a purpose in life.
  2. Balance your life: Learn to maintain a balance between work and leisure. Don’t make your life all about work, take small breaks to do what you like (perhaps read a book, or play an instrument).
  3. Accept the grey in your life:  “Life is like a box of chocolates”. You will never know what comes your way. It is never just black and white. Learn to accept that life can go a little downhill sometimes, but don’t be too alarmed by that. Enjoy the best and always keep yourself prepared for the worse.
  4. Learn to laugh:  Enjoy and appreciate the little things around you. It might surprise you, if you consciously look around with an open mind, you will see the miniscule things that may make you laugh. Maybe that neighbour you find annoying is actually a fun guy to be with or that aunty who is always badgering you with questions is actually concerned about you. And most of all learn how to laugh at yourself! People have made a career over doing that. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. You are more fun than you expected to be. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychiatrist and ask a free question.
2941 people found this helpful
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