Breaking Through Cannabis use disorder

leaf-background-lines-foliageCannabis use disorder is when a person continuously inhales the drug despite any sign of significant clinical impairment experienced. There is the urge to consume cannabis even though it affects the overall well-being caused from harmful consequences. Once addicted to cannabis, the drug is given first preference from normal day to day activities. As the user continues to consume the drug he/she experiences increased tolerance and enters into a physical withdrawal state.

Problems associated with Cannabis Use Disorder:

The increased tolerance to cannabis results in significant cognitive impairment, if you are worried about a loved one being addicted to marijuana watch out for these behavioral and psychological symptoms.

Problems related to work and economic stability:

The addict will have trouble focusing on work and will not have cognition about managing finances.

Anti-social behavior:

The affected person withdraws from society, loses conscious perception and becomes suspicious.

Impulsive behavior:

The person becomes overly intoxicated and is prone to drinking and driving behavior

Due to impulsive behavior, the person engages in extreme high-energy risk taking dangerous activities and becomes irresponsible.

A person who is heavily addicted to pot loses sight of surroundings and is not even aware of family life. He/she neglects family to an extent of being charged with legal consequences.

Effect of cognitive impairment from cannabis intoxication:

The person suffers impaired motor co-ordination

The person’s refluxes is impaired and is slow in reaction time and movement.

The person suffers  with short term memory loss, becomes slow in processing and judgement and loses power of enthusiasm once he/she had.

In few cases cannabis intoxication triggers psychosis:

The person suffers paranoia or acute psychosis that could result in hallucinations and delusions.

In 4% of cases cannabis intoxication has resulted in schizophrenia

In few cases cannabis intoxication can result in delirium and the affected person loses sight of being mentally aware and mental reasoning.

Dependence on marijuana triggers a negative impact on the overall well-being of a person, to an extent that it interferes with personal growth and relationships. For a marijuana addict, cannabis is a source of comfort from day to day pressures and stress, but yet the long-term consequences of the drug is negative. It is a challenging task to quit the drug, and it is also taxing to remain in state of sobriety.

There are a great number of cases where people who quit cannabis use have experienced withdrawal symptoms. The effect of withdrawal varies for each person, according to a study conducted on 500 marijuana users, around 30% who have quit have entered into a state of relapse because it was difficult to bear the withdrawal symptoms.

Marijuana drug use is most prevalent in US and according to survey over 9% of the population have developed addiction. It has been reported that the percentage of adolescents engaging in cannabis use is 3.4% and among the older group between the 18-29 years of age the figure is 7.5%.

There are factors that determine the extent of experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as the quantity of the drug, number of times used and also other related mental health issues.

Cannabis use takes away the normal physical and mental health of the person, watch out for these symptoms caused from marijuana intoxication.

The person suffers from loss of memory

Problem with concentration and performing tasks

Vague pattern of thinking

Anxiety

Learning difficulties.

The possibility of relapse triggered when a person experiences cannabis dependence from adolescent stage is high and this is proven in 30% of individuals, compared to adults who have started developing marijuana addiction.

When a person becomes addicted to cannabis for a prolonged period of time, the brain is accustomed to the presence of the drug, to an extent that it does not recognize its very own endocannabinoids which are endogenous  lipid based retrograde neurotransmitters that combine with cannabinoid receptors that regulate cognitive and physiological processes in the body such as memory, mood, pain sensation, appetite, pregnancy and so on.

Entering into a state of marijuana withdrawal is hard, watch out for these symptoms

A regular addict who has smoked weed regularly for many months before quitting will experience

Anger, aggressive behavior and will get irritated easily

You will notice nervousness

Restlessness

Insomnia or bad dreams

Loss of appetite and decreased weight

Watch out for the presence of severe discomfort where you will notice the affected person suffering from stomach pain, headache, chills and frequent sweats.

What causes someone to get addicted to marijuana:

A person addicted to cannabis finds pleasure in the drug compared to other things in life, and in most cases he/she becomes addicted to alcohol and other drugs. The main characteristic of an addict is the non-acceptance of using the drug and their mind is filled with denial thoughts.

Being there for a person with Cannabis Use Disorder:

It is essential for the addict to seek help from a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, along with these treatments, it is imperative for the addict to gradually resort to self help methods. It is important for loved ones to offer encouragement and support for addicts, to help him/her get rid of denial emotion running through their mind and help them realize the important of self-love and self-care.

For addicts the best way to feel good is to first admit you are dependent on cannabis, and give yourself space, inspiration and care. These factors will trigger the strength to give up.

Think about the consequences cannabis use has on yourself, on the negative outcomes, slowly work on whether you want to lead this kind of life or change for the better. You can write down your ideal kind of life, on how much you want to socialize or feel loved, or whether you want to lead an introverted life, where you are within your own space. Taking this kind of life into consideration, you can ponder upon whether marijuana use is really going to make you feel content and positive.

Whenever you feel like getting back into smoking weed addiction, aim to remove the old thoughts and focus on acquiring a new lease of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Overcoming Cocaine Dependence

a new pathCocaine dependence is a psychological need to constantly use cocaine drug and an increased use indicates cocaine dependence. The intense need to depend on the drug indicates increased appetite, cravings and fatigue.  People who are accustomed to regular intake of cocaine are tolerant to the euphoric effects of the drug, to an extent that there is a change in personality. The user will find comfort in cocaine than any other activity considered enjoyable. Addicts are also particular about keeping sufficient cocaine.

Increased intake of cocaine causes a person to enter into a euphoric state and it changes the emotional characteristic and thought process of a person. It takes fifteen minutes for the user to remain in a euphoric state and it results in the feeling of intense pleasure and this causes a person to become addicted. Such a reaction affects the central nervous system and brain, and the addiction results in increased social awareness and confidence and the user becomes more talkative.

Effect of withdrawal symptom:

Once addicted, what happens in the process of being less used to cocaine, the effect of less severe cocaine dependence is based on reduced euphoric effect of the drug and the person becomes depressed, tired and feels low, and this is called a cocaine crash. Once a person who is addicted to cocaine stops taking it, he/she experiences a low point caused by unexplained anger, lack of energy and anxiety. These are the physical withdrawal symptoms, and it can last for a short period of time. Users experience psychological withdrawal symptoms as well, where the brain is used to cocaine as a trigger point to experience intense pleasure. The affected person also believes cocaine is the focus to enjoy the pleasures of life such as become highly sociable or get attracted to the opposite sex.

Understanding and dealing with cravings:

It takes time for a user to come out of cocaine addiction, it is however possible to enter into complete recovery.  The urge to think of or use the drug even after stoppage of usage results in cravings and it occurs when a person relives past moments and connects to the environment where drug intake was high. The brain adapts to these memories resulting in strong urges to use the drug.

To really determine if a person is experiencing cocaine cravings, watch out for these physical and mental symptoms:

Increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, increase in sweat gland activities, increased anticipation, increased energy levels, increased awareness, mild to severe levels of euphoria, more clarity in thought process, increased mood levels, increased irritability,  insomnia, increase in body temperature, increased breathing pattern and lack of appetite.

The occurrence of cravings can occur few hours after discontinuation of the drug or after many days or weeks. An important point to remember is it is normal to experience cravings. The average high from inhaling cocaine lasts for 15 to 30 minutes, this is because the drug takes longer to enter the blood stream when inhaled.  However, in cases of smoking cocaine, the timeframe of the drug being absorbed into the blood stream is faster, and hence the euphoric feeling lasts for five to ten minutes.  After such a short span of intense pressure, the user enters a state of crashing low and craves for more cocaine in larger doses.

The transformation of cocaine use into addiction is not easy to break, it is a common case for a user to be broke after getting his/her paycheck. The following week starts with feeling of anxiety and depression due to reduced dopamine levels. The addict may consume less amounts of cocaine through the week, and once weekend starts the binge-high resumes.

Why does a person get addicted:

Cocaine is a stimulant and when consumed the brain is flooded with chemicals serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. In a brain that is not subjected to cocaine use these chemicals are produced and recycled, but in the brain of a cocaine addict these chemicals remain and this is the reason why people experience short euphoric feelings and they just crave for more finding it difficult to quit. Cocaine now becomes the main focus of everyday life and other regular activities like relationships and work take a backseat.

Risk factors that could break the cycle of recovery:

Recovery from cocaine addiction is treated through medication and psychotherapy, it is important to seek help from a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. However it is also essential for an addict to control his/her own thought process. There are factors that will compel a person who is in total recovery to get back to addiction such as

Stress: Research has proven that stress is directly related to increase in cocaine cravings. Researchers from University of Michigan have discovered that there is a drastic increase in adult brain’s sensitivity towards addictive effects of cocaine caused from stress based changes in glucocorticoid receptors during early growth and development.

Environment: Being in an environment where the person took the drug for the first time or often can result in increased cocaine cravings or relapse.

Believing that taking in a little cocaine will not lead to relapse: People are of the view that they can control cocaine addiction and will ingest only small amount of cocaine. This is a risk and little intake can lead to relapse.

Not having a proper preventive plan: Not having an effective prevention plan can urge a person to get into relapse, particularly when his/her thoughts are flooded with stress, guilt and denial emotions.

How to remain calm and stay in the complete recovery phase:

Ponder upon the circumstances that is stressful or sad and work towards finding peace and positivity and gradually work on these aspects.

Whenever you get into a blank state or feeling of boredom and worthlessness, try to do an activity that is enjoyable such as your favorite hobbies or meet up with friends and family or decorate your house.

Try to stay around people who provide you with support, positivity and happiness than negative people.

Maintain a diary and write down your prevention plan and tick the goals achieved.

Pamper yourself with a new outfit, jewelry or perfume.

Browse through positive quotes.

Find inspiration through developing a new passion or hobby.

It takes just self-worth and determination to get over cocaine addiction and live in a happy and positive world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being there for someone with stuttering

 

The feeling of expression for a person with stuttering is no easy task, mainly because of the different views of people living in a society. There is a section of the society that is unaware of what it is to have a stuttering problem. Stuttering also referred to as stammering or childhood-onset fluency disorder is a kind of speech disorder that obstructs normal flow of speech. A person who stammers knows what is going on in his mind and knows what to say, but is just unable to say it. This is the kind of speech difficulty faced, the person will either prolong, repeat or even stop while trying to say a syllable, phrase or word. Such a situation is certainly not comfortable and hence it is the responsibility of people around such as family and friends to make the person feel comforted.

As part of the growing phase, young children do stutter because the part of the brain responsible for language and speech ability is still developing. With time, kids outgrow this issue, however if the condition is diagnosed as stuttering the problem will persist into adulthood. How to really know if a person has a stammering problem. Take note of these symptoms.

Trouble during the initial pick of conversation with regard to starting a phrase or sentence

The person will have an issue with continuing a conversation noticed in issues with prolonging a sound or word within the uttered word.

When faced with difficulty in moving to the next word the person will incorporate certain sounds such as um to just have control over tone.

You will notice silence in between words and sentences.

You will notice excessive tension, movement or tightness on face or upper body while uttering a word.

The person becomes anxious while speaking

Irregularities in process of communication

Notice these physical symptoms of stammering

Rapid blinking

Head jerks

shaking of upper lip or jaw

clenched fists

facial tics.

An important point to note is stammering becomes highlighted when a person gets excited and anxious. However a person who stutters is comfortable in certain situations such as while being alone and speaking to oneself or being with a close friend.

When to take appointment with doctor or speech language pathologist

Look out for these signs of stammering in order to get medical attention

If stammering appears to be a persistent problem as the child grows older

You will notice a struggle in communication visible on discomfort in speaking or muscle tightening.

The person is unable to communicate effectively in school, work or during social gatherings.

The person will avoid situations where speaking among a large crowd is necessary such as being on stage or in a corporate environment.

What really causes stuttering

Medical experts have not been able to determine the real cause of stammering, however these are the possible causes.

Defect in speech motor control- Based on few evidences research has shown stammering is caused from defects in brain responsible for speech motor control. The areas that are affected are sensory and motor coordination and timing.

Genetics- There has been evidence of stuttering being genetic and experts say the cause of it is abnormalities in regions of the brain responsible for language.

Medical conditions such as trauma, stroke or any brain related diseases increases chance of acquiring stuttering.

It is to important to understand the feelings of a person with stuttering problem, because only the person with the condition knows how it feels to stammer. These people are just differently made and they too have strengths.

Being there for a person with stuttering:

Shame is a constant feeling of a person with stammering:

Someone who is unable to express himself because of stammering will feel shame, due to stuttering he may say different words than intended. In such a case counsellors or speech therapists should aim at understanding the feeling of shame and help the person block such thoughts and feel confident and wanted.

Guilt:

A person who stutters will feel guilt when uttering a word unintended to while stuttering, this situation is common in normal speakers as well, where one will accidently misspell a word. Such a scenario makes a person feel guilty and they feel fear as well, the combination of guilt and fear is no easy task to handle. It is important for loved ones to be understanding and non-judgmental.

Situations that trigger stammering and the importance of being there for people

Young children who stammer are fearful of making friends and fear being teased and bullied. In such a case it is essential for parents and loved ones to make the child feel wanted and confident, and teachers too should help such students and help build their self-esteem by treating them equally as other students.

People who stammer fear seeking employment into the corporate world, due to the fear of lagging behind, not being understood by boss and other colleagues. In such a case it is essential for the boss and co-workers to be more understanding and give the person respect and chance to blossom.

Fear of public speaking is common with a person who stammers, because it isn’t easy to speak in front of a crowd fearing stammering. It is necessity for loved ones to build confidence in the person and make him feel comfortable.

Self-help methods for people who stammer

A person who stammers will suffer from social anxiety and will remain isolated, it is important for him to find strength to overcome anxiety and gradually work on mingling with people.

A stutterer will shy away from entering the corporate world due to fear of being in a crowd or public speaking. It is essential to gradually work towards being in a work place and have the confidence to excel.

For someone who is not comfortable being among a large crowd in a workplace, there are other alternatives such as work from home, one on one sessions of teaching young children and so on.

Pay a visit to a speech therapist who will teach you exercises to control stammering

A stutterer has the same level of intelligence and creativity as anyone else and with support towards such people, the talent and creativity network across the globe will increase two-fold. They can enter any profession they desire to and excel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ensure You Don’t Drink and Drive

Everybody enjoys partying, not just to have fun, but also celebrate joyous and celebratory moments, such as birthdays, promotions, enterprise success and so on. In some cultures, drinking is an integral part of celebration, and there is no better feeling than to just rejoice and have loads of fun and drink to good measure. However, an important point to remember is to be careful, while having fun and do not overload your system with many drinks to a point of not being aware of your surroundings. It is imperative to be conscious particularly for those people who have to drive. There have been increasing cases of drinking and driving, hence it is necessary to enjoy your party and be completely sober before you head home, to avoid any untoward incidences, which is detrimental to your life, life of passengers and the people on the road. According to a recent report around 70% of road accident cases in India is caused from drunken driving. South Africa has the highest number of drunken driving cases, the occurrence of death reported in the country is 25.1 for every 1000 people. Every 6 out of ten deaths in South Africa is from drunken driving.

The thought of going out after a week of work is fun and relaxing and enjoy it to the core, but be careful before you head home to just avoid any kind of unnecessary incident. While enjoying the outing always think about the consequences of going home after enjoying a meal with a drink. Always bear in mind the dangers of drinking and driving and in order to be safe, follow these tips.

Tips to prevent drinking and driving:

It is important to include food while drinking and eat sensibly

Drink a glass of water after each drink and drink controlled amounts no more than you can handle, keep it moderate and maintain breaks in between. Also, make sure to measure the ratio of water to alcohol. Avoid fizzy drinks, because these drinks keep pylorus (connection between stomach and duodenum) open causing alcohol to rush to bloodstream faster. Pylorus regulates food entry into duodenum.

Have a good dinner

A good dinner is essential, chose food which are packed with whole grain, healthy fat and protein, you can even try a combination of seafood, rice and vegetables. These combinations help to maintain stable blood sugar. While snacking, with a drink eat something salty and spicy and then consume sufficient water to stay hydrated. Alcohol reduces blood sugar levels, and protein stabilizes blood sugar and helps avoid feeling of nausea. The goal is to drink lots of water to keep your system hydrated and mind alert.

Start early

In order to avoid leaving a venue inebriated, it is important to start early, this way there is ample time to enjoy a drink or two along with consuming food rich in proteins and drinking water in between. If you start early there is enough time to absorb the proteins consumed and sober down and be alert when going home.

Start with drinks with low alcohol content

If it is a house party, ensure to have a stack of fruit juices and water, and these can be consumed in between drinks to ensure great amount of alcohol is removed from the system. Also, make sure there is sufficient amount of food and remember being safe is the key. People who are high late into the night can decide to sleepover and not leave until the next morning. Head home only when you feel sober.

If you are headed to a bar or restaurant make sure you consume good quantity of food, especially when you know you are high. Ensure to just relax and leave the place only when you feel sober and alert. Friends and family should protect one another and encourage each other to head home only after feeling sober.

Party with responsibility

Party with responsible people so that each one can look out for the other. Besides this way there is less likelihood of anybody losing their bearings. Keeping responsible party people around prevents the dangerous incidents of drinking and driving.

Calling a taxi is a good option

Even when calling for a taxi it is important to study the driver, whether he shows signs of heavy drinking. Ensure to tell the driver to drive you to your residence carefully, also enquire whether he has emergency contact numbers.

It is good fun to party and celebrate moments, but remember moderation is the key, it is essential to not binge on excess alcohol on a regular basis. Even when on the road while driving please be aware of your surroundings and other drivers, if you find any sign of reckless driving, steer away from the meandering vehicle. Be aware of distracted drivers and rule breakers and notice these signs

  • Vehicles that take a wide turn
  • Meandering and drifting away from the regular path of driving
  • Unsteady path of the vehicle because of drivers who are on their mobile phone and their attention is diverted from the road
  • There are drivers who throw caution to wind after 10:00 pm not following regulations and taking a chance on one ways
  • Be aware of vehicles that come to an abrupt halt.
  • Do not be belied by a slow-moving vehicle, the slow speed could be because of distraction and therefore a hazard on the road.
  • Slow response to traffic signals are also a hazard as they tend to brake suddenly as a delayed reaction to the signal.
  • Abrupt or illegal turning is also hazardous we have to be alert to notice them
  • Some people tend to drive late in the night without headlights because they forget to turn them on.

Remember drinking and driving is irresponsible behavior, and there is an impending danger for the driver, passenger and other vehicles on the road. It is essential to follow safety measures such as wearing a helmet while riding, a seatbelt when driving and ensure airbags in your car. It is best to party with a designated driver, also, heed at check points, it enables the police to do their duty and reduce the number of drivers who are driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI).

 

 

 

 

Stress is a likely trigger to smoking

A good quality of life is what we all strive for, and people work around the clock or ponder upon ideas that will trigger success driving enterprise. Alongside striving for a good life packed with happiness and wealth stress comes in between. The reason being unpredictability of the future or present and out of the blue unexpected situations or challenges arise.

It isn’t a great feeling to feel stressed and in order to cope with it, people resort to various behaviors and smoking is one among them along with drinking, drugs and binge eating. There are individuals who smoke for pleasure as well, just to experience the feel of having a good time. In such cases, the reason for smoking is just a way to get away from normal day to day life, but it is not necessarily a set off from stress. When normal levels of smoking turns into an addiction, then stress is one of the reasons for it. The affected person is termed to be a stress smoker. A recent study has revealed smokers, particularly heavy smokers have higher levels of depressive symptoms and anxiety compared to non-smokers.

What are the stressful circumstances that elicit smoking behavior?

Whether it is a single person who is studying or working or a working parent, there are many responsibilities to handle. A single person who is studying will have to balance between university, work and assignments and a working woman will have to balance work hours and there is the stress of being financially independent. A working parent needs to work around balancing professional and personal life and there are so many thoughts embedded in the mind simultaneously. On analyzing the lifestyle of people in different life phases what are the stressful circumstances a person encounters. It is the challenge to multitask, get ready for sudden surprises such as a work deadline, child or loved one falling sick and change in economic scenario and so on.

Smoking causes stress:

Individuals who are unable to bear stress take into smoking to feel relief and calmness, but the fact is smoking does not reduce stress, it actually causes stress. When a person smokes, the nicotine (addictive substance a psychoactive or mood altering drug) enters the bloodstream and moves to the brain where it releases a feel-good chemical called dopamine. The effect of pleasure or feeling good caused by dopamine is short lived, and as a person continues to smoke till the level of this chemical reduces making a person feel worse than the first inhalation. When a person experiences perceived feeling of relaxation from the first light up from dopamine, the craving for cigarettes increases. During this period, the body experiences low levels of oxygen, muscle tension and increased heart rate and blood pressure and these reactions increase stress levels in the body and the individual now feels more stressed than before.

According to research conducted by National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, nicotine damages the blood vessels and also has an effect on skin health causing wrinkles. Nicotine has an adverse effect on the lungs by causing oxygen starvation. Nicotine increases risk of heart problems, with increase in number of cigarette smoking, there is an increase in the level of plaque buildup in arteries. People who smoke are at a greater risk of suffering from breast and lung cancer.

Smoking affects mouth and throat health; excessive smoking causes stained teeth and bad breath. Smokers are at an increased risk of suffering from cancer in esophagus, throat and tongue. Over 93% of reported oropharyngeal cancers are due to smoking, however an important point to remember is a person who has remained smoke free for twenty years has a lower chance of suffering from neck and head cancer.

Smoking affects reproductive health and causes male impotence, it damages sperm and increases occurrence of testicular cancer. There have been reported incidences of 120,000 men in UK being impotent and the main reason for this is smoking. Based on inference from recent research men who smoke are at a higher risk of having reduced sperm count when compared to non-smokers. Smoking affects fertility in woman as well, and females who smoke are at a 72% risk of unhealthy reproductive system than non-smokers. Pregnant woman who smoke are at a higher risk of having stillbirth, premature birth and miscarriage.

Stress management to fight cigarette cravings:

When succumbed to stressful situations it is difficult to fight cigarette cravings, it is however possible if we have the willpower to get over the addiction.

Tell yourself you are determined to quit smoking and set a quit date, develop will-power and you will have the courage to reduce number of cigarettes and throw away cigarettes.

Whenever you experience cravings, tell yourself it is short lived (cravings last for few seconds to one minute). Tell yourself smoking is no longer an option and remember the 5Ds which is drink water, delay, distract, deep breathing or discuss problems with loved one.

Always have a positive outlook through visualization- Surround your thought process with something beautiful. If you are someone who likes to be in calm surroundings, imagine yourself to be in a scenic place such as among greenery or on the beach. Such thoughts of being in a place that is calm will help you get into a state of relaxation with no room for anxiety.

During free time gradually work on activities you enjoy doing such as reading a book, listening to music, watching favorite shows and so on. Remember, in order to beat stress you need to make time for hobbies, and not think of it as a waste of time.

In order to make yourself feel better you can decorate your home or wear an outfit which according to you is nice.

If you are experiencing work related stress, work out your savings and work on something that will make you less stressed and happy. For example-If you are the type who prefers to have your own business, work on a business plan and get it going.

Regular exercise helps beat stress- Exercise regularly to beat stress and it need not be a complex exercise, a good regime would be brisk walking, swimming or biking. Regular physical activity boosts endorphins which are neurotransmitters that induces a feel good effect. The American Heart Association recommends a 30 minute daily exercise schedule.

Get help from doctor and counsellor

Always remember there are healthy ways of combatting stress that will make you feel good and happy with yourself.

 

 

Understanding Body Dysmorphic Disorder

The theme looking nice is engraved in many individuals, this is true particularly during fun and significant occasions such as parties, home gathering, celebration moments and so on. During such events people put in their best effort to look good and spend hours just deciding on what outfit to wear and how best to look attractive. There are also people who are just unhappy with the way they look and they consider themselves to be ugly and such individuals suffer from (BDD) Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

People with BDD have characteristics similar to eating disorders and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The distinction between people with BDD and eating disorder is people with eating disorder are pre-occupied with body and weight and individuals with BDD are concerned about how a particular part of their body look. The similarity between BDD and OCD is performing rituals such as picking the skin and standing in front of the mirror for hours.

People who suffer from BDD are totally unsatisfied with the way they look and there are parts of the body which they are uncomfortable with. The areas of the body that appear totally unappealing are size and shape of nose, body weight, color of hair on head and body hair. The affected person is also unhappy with blemishes, acne, scars and wrinkles on skin. The sufferer is also unhappy with the shape and size of any part of his/her body which includes thighs, arms, feet and so on.

How can we really determine if a person has BDD? Watch out for these behavioral characteristics.

The person is constantly looking in the mirror and in order to cover the perceived unattractive part, he/she will wear clothes to cover the area that is termed unlikable. He/she will even meddle with skin.

The sufferer will frequently consult with loved ones if he/she looks good and whether they have covered the undesired part.

You will notice the person will repeatedly experiment with the disliked body part

The person is obsessed with the way he/she looks and his/her mind is regularly focused on what is considered the ugly body part. Such as obsession has a detrimental effect on professional and personal life.

The affected person becomes anti-social and feels uncomfortable in public fearing being judged.

The sufferer will often visit dermatologist or plastic surgeon to just be able to fix the body part that is considered to be ugly.

What causes a person to suffer from BDD?

How do people get BDD and repeatedly dislike their appearance caused by the dislike of certain parts of their body? This disorder starts during adolescent period and men and women are equally affected. BDD occurs in people with anxiety disorders and major depression, researchers are not able to predict the actual cause of this disorder and it is said this condition emerges from environmental and biological factors such as improper functioning of serotonin in the brain, personality disorders, neurobiological factors and genes too is known to play a significant role.

The main factors that increases a person’s likelihood of suffering from BDD is

When a person is constantly criticized by loved ones about appearance

Lack of self-esteem

Experience of emotional and mental abuse during childhood.

Helping a person with BDD to cope with what they consider to be body flaws:

It isn’t a good feeling for people with BDD to hate themselves because of the dislike of certain parts of their body and the way they look. Everybody wants to lead a normal life feeling good about themselves and so does a BDD sufferer, but they are just uncomfortable in their own skin. A visit to the doctor and psychologist is important for treatment, there are also self-help methods as well. It is important for loved ones to recognize the emotional trauma of a BDD person and help them feel important.

Also if you are suffering from BDD you can gradually work towards liking and accepting yourself. You can work on these self-help methods.

Focus on your admirable qualities:

When you are frequently worried and embarrassed about certain parts of your body and your appearance being deformed, it is not easy to let go of negative thoughts. However uneasy it may be aim to focus on your good qualities. You certainly do have strengths that makes you a good person, ponder upon all the good qualities you possess and successes you have earned. Maintain a diary and write down the good things you have done such as helping an elderly person, taking care of children, taking dog for a walk and so on.

Get rid of negative thoughts with activity:

For people who are not happy about being overweight or obese, tell yourself you look good, but you want to be healthy. To get distracted from negative thoughts do activities that are fun like dancing, or simple exercises at home. You can even form a group and go for a fun run or jog.

Respect yourself:

Gradually try to respect yourself and consider your body to be a gift, without which you would never exist. Tell yourself it is your body and you have to cherish it nobody else will.

Keep a distance from negative source:

However perfect a person is there will always be external sources who will criticize, it is important for a person with BDD to stay away from negative influence. It will only build the feeling of anxiety and embarrassment. Media is also a negative source, but it is not always easy to avoid the portrayal of perfect bodies and looks on television. If such a scenario makes you feel uncomfortable remember it is what you see on TV, real life situations are different.

Find your kind of individuals:

Remember you are not alone there is a significant number of people who are dissatisfied with the way they look. In order to feel better help yourself and others who are also suffering from BDD and form a group. The group can comprise of two to four people, it is just about finding people who are just like you.

Slowly fight BDD and accept and respect yourself for who you are.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overcome Bulimia nervosa and feel good about yourself

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by binge eating followed by ways to remove excess food as perceived by the affected person by purging or using laxatives. This is called purging type of Bulimia. There is also the non-purging type and here people deal with not appreciating their self-image through excessive exercising and fasting.

We live in a world where the awareness of being healthy is prevalent evident from the increased number of health apps. People do inculcate healthy eating habits and find ways to stay healthy, but for someone with Bulimia the pre-occupation with body image is excessive to an extent that he/she suffers from mental and emotional trauma. The individual suffers self-harm, depression, loneliness, anxiety, alcohol and drug addiction and low self-esteem. An important point to remember is people with Bulimia are of normal weight or a little overweight. People who are underweight and purge suffer from purging type of anorexia.

What goes on in the mind of a person suffering from Bulimia?

People with Bulimia do not feel comfortable in their own skin; their mind is constantly filled with negative thoughts about the way they look. In order to know what really goes on in the mind of a person with Bulimia, watch out for these signs and symptoms. The affected person feels:

Depressed thinking about the way he/she looks and is totally dissatisfied with their body

They are anxious about the way society looks at them, mainly emerging from the dislike of appearance.

Social isolation sets in from the lack of confidence of looking good

Constant obsession with body and weight

How does it feel to be constantly engrossed in body shape and weight? The person is continuously thinking of food and finds ways to satisfy the urge of being uncomfortable. A person with Bulimia will eat in large amounts and then find ways to eliminate excess food through purging or misusing laxatives. This cycle of binge eating followed by purging is referred to as binge-purge cycle. There is the opposite effect as well where a person is immersed in fear of gaining weight compelling him or her to exercise or fast excessively to an unhealthy limit.

If you are concerned about a loved one having Bulimia, watch out for these behavioral patterns:

The person will indulge in a binge eating episode by eating huge amounts in a short span of time than indulging in regular eating patterns.

Once the person is compelled to binge eat, he/she feels uneasy and thinks this behavior cannot be stopped.

The person will spend money on buying more than needed groceries and will come up with excuses on why so much money was spent.

The person will eat until he/she feels totally uncomfortable.

Along with bingeing you should notice or recognize signs of purging if you or a loved one has Bulimia

He/she will visit the bathroom regularly during a meal or after a meal

You will notice unhealthy teeth and gums

Regular occurrence of sores in mouth and throat

Swollen salivary glands in cheeks

Caused by the side effects of vomiting you will notice scars, calluses or sores on hands or knuckles.

Harsh sounding voice

An important point to remember is Bulimia is fear of gaining weight and not looking good, a person with this condition suffers from lack of self-esteem. It is also necessary to understand the physical side effects such as abnormal bowel movement, dehydration, bloating, fatigue, fainting, seizure, irregular heartbeat, dry skin, no menstruation or menstrual irregularities, muscle cramps and tingling in feet or hands.

Bulimia nervosa results in imbalances in professional and personal life, the affected person is so unhappy about his/her appearance to an extent that it hinders leading a regular and productive life. The person gets into extreme social isolation, finds it difficult to get regular sleep, loss of interest in faith or religion, the person gets into drug and alcohol addiction from the need to fight being depressed about body image. The other severe side effects are internal bleeding, infertility, self-harm, heart attack, suicide and death.

What causes a person to become Bulimic?

It is the strive for perfectionism that triggers Bulimia and it stems from fitting in well into a society. In schools and universities there is peer pressure of being thin and according to reports this condition can be genetic. Media plays a big role and here the concept of beauty is equated to being thin and it has a negative consequence on the minds of people who are unhappy with the way they look.

People with history of emotional and sexual abuse are prone to suffer from Bulimia and their mind is constantly filled with the feeling of low self-worth and guilt. The co-occurring mental disorders associated with Bulimia are personality disorders, anxiety disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), mood disorders, personality disorders and self-injury.

Helping a person with Bulimia:

A Bulimic person is totally dissatisfied with their self-image and they are constantly thinking about food and weight. They are of the view that being thin is considered to be normal and being responsible. A person suffering from this condition needs help and it is advised to visit a psychiatrist or counsellor. It is important for family members and friends to help those suffering from Bulimia. Along with a visit to doctor and psychotherapist, there are self-help methods as well.

The most important aspect is to accept yourself, and you can do this gradually by recognizing your good qualities like how creative and kind you are. Ponder upon the impact of your presence in workplace, friend circle, charity organization and so on.

Recognize that everybody has flaws and nobody is perfect, there is always some part of your body that is beautiful. Also, remember that there are people who will appreciate you for your kind words and good actions more than your self-image.

Whenever you feel negative about your self-image think about the people who appreciate you for the person you are. If you really want to change the way you look indulge in healthy exercise habits but don’t overdo it.

Stay away from people who criticize you and be around people who appreciate you, and write down every good deed you have done which can be as simple as feeding your kid or pet, taking your dog for a walk, cooking a good meal and so on.

The most important aspect about feeling better is try to eliminate negative thinking and work towards self-appreciation and self-confidence.

Whenever you feel stressed or anxious think about the positive deeds you have done and feel happy with yourself. It will take a while, but remember nobody is perfect and slowly bend towards feeling good about yourself.