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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is possible to fight binge drinking

Binge drinking is consuming large quantities of alcohol within a short span of time, heavy drinking for men is drinking five or more drinks and for women it is four or more drinks in two hours. The intension to binge drink is to feel the pleasure of intoxication.

Why do people binge drink and how they get into the habit?

It is visibly evident that binge drinking is common among people of all ages, what is the reason behind this behavior?

The most common desire behind binge drinking is to have fun:

People binge drink to have fun, to just enjoy a relaxed weekend and celebrate their hard work. Individuals who are experiencing high levels of stress drink in large amounts to feel relaxed and tide away from pressure. The place where binge drinking is enormously high is in parties and here the main focal point of enjoyment is liquor.

To socialize and feel more confident:

People with high levels of social anxiety find it a challenge to socialize and they hence drink to feel less anxious. For people who are socially anxious drinking is considered to be a good way to fit in among an excited large crowd.

To feel dominant:

This holds good for people who hold high positions in work place and who want to show-off their elite image. Such individuals participate in binge drinking competitions to showcase their high authority image.

To let go of their issues:

One of the primary reasons to binge drink is to let go of daily stress, and this enables people to drink continuously within a short span of time. The affected person is involved in drinking to a vast degree of not knowing or being aware of the consequences of alcohol abuse. They use alcohol as a coping mechanism.

To fight peer pressure or the challenge of being accepted:

Drinking is perceived to be cool among high school and university crowds, and the concept of drinking is strong emphasized. It is forced among people to drink to fit in and people among friends circle who binge drink are forced into this crowd to a larger degree.

Curiosity:

First time drinkers want the taste of alcohol from just being curious about what it is all about. This is particularly true among teenagers and university students after hearing about another person’s experience.

The other reasons to binge drink are genetics and family history of alcohol abuse.

How to determine if there is a drinking problem?

If you are concerned that either you or close friends and family having drinking problem then watch out for these signs.

The person tends to feel huge levels of guilt or shame about drinking

Tendency to hide binge drinking behavior or lie to friends

Friends and family who are overly concerned about the affected person’s binge drinking problem.

The urge to drink to feel relaxed

Drink in greater quantities than the normal amount.

Behavioral symptoms of binge drinking:

Binge drinking obstructs normal day to day functions and relationships, and this happens when the person drinks to an extent of not being aware of children’s responsibility and performing badly in school and work place.

Being under the influence of alcohol in unsafe situations, here the person is intoxicated while driving and he or she also mixes prescription medication with drinks.

He/she continues to drink even while being aware of the fact that it is causing a strain on relationships and day to day life.

A majority of people drink to relieve stress and they indulge in alcohol after encountering stressful moments with family, colleagues or boss.

Major symptoms of alcohol dependence:

Alcohol use disorder also referred to as alcoholism is when a person is habituated to uncontrolled drinking. He/she uses increased alcohol consumption as a medium to fight life’s issues and also becomes dependent on it even when it hinders relationships and daily routine performance.

When a person is extremely pre-occupied with alcohol and uses it as a primary medium to beat reality, then he/she has alcohol dependence problem.

The first major warning sign of alcoholism is tolerance:

He/she is tolerant to excessive alcohol consumption that goes beyond the legal moderate drinking limit. This is a regular habit and the person consumers many glasses or bottles and develops tolerance and the same habit continues regularly.

Withdrawal is the second major warning sigh of alcohol dependence:

When a person becomes alcohol dependent he/she is unable to control the urge to reduce the amount of drink. The affected person will drink to let go of withdrawal symptoms, when excess alcohol is consumed the body is accustomed to the increased level and if he/she tries to cut down withdrawal symptoms emerge.

Watch out for these withdrawal and physical symptoms:

Headache, reduced appetite intake, fatigue, irritability, depression, lack of sleep, nausea and vomiting, sweating, shivers, anxiety or impulsivity. The other more severe symptoms are agitation, fever, seizure and confusion. Long term alcohol abuse damages liver and causes problems with brain, nervous system, stomach, heart. The other major medical complications are osteoporosis, cancer, sexual problems and high blood pressure.

How do people develop alcohol dependence?

Alcoholism or alcohol dependence is a kind of addiction and there are two variations physical and psychological.

Physical addiction:

Physical addiction towards alcoholism stems from the need to drink to get high. Increased amount of drinking results in chemical changes in brain and it causes the person to get high and experience pleasurable feeling. This kind of sensation compels a person to get into binge drinking and the body develops tolerance towards pleasurable high.

Psychological addiction:

Psychological addiction stems from dealing with stress, and this is not related to chemical changes in the brain. The intension behind depending on alcohol is to ease emotional strain, and the intensity of addiction causes a person to develop guilt, despair and shame.

Helping a person with binge drinking:

A person with an alcohol dependence problem will deny that they ever have an issue because of the constant feel of guilt and shame. It is however possible to get over binge drinking from medication and psychotherapy. It is achievable to fight drinking through self-help methods as well.

The power to fight binge drinking happens gradually, and it is first important to recognize the fact that you have a tendency to binge drink and try to remove the feeling of shame and realize you are not alone.

Once you feel comfortable coming to terms with binge drinking, slowly develop thought process about yourself and family and the enjoyable and productive life you want to lead.

Once you have reduced consumption of alcohol write down your rewards and celebrate it with the activities you enjoy.

Whenever you experience alcohol cravings think about how successful you were in reducing intake and it will compel you to get into recovery and over time beat the addiction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fight drug addiction and feel good

Drug addiction is the compulsive urge to take drugs and this is a chronic disease where the addict is unable to curb drug cravings despite the negative changes experienced. A person who is keen to try out drugs for the first time will do it voluntarily, but when he/she becomes addicted to the consequences of taking the drug, it leads to changes in brain that fights the need to stop taking the drug and this change is constantly enabling the person to lack self-control or facilitating them to continuously take the drug.

Brain of a person who takes drugs:

What compels a person to take drugs to an extent that they enjoy the feeling tremendously. These drugs target brain’s reward system and this center is flooded by a chemical messenger called dopamine responsible for controlling pleasure and behaviors such as spending moments with loved ones, movement, motivation, emotion and eating. The level of dopamine that floods the reward system is excessively high compared to the normal amount and this induces a person to experience a pleasurable high feeling compelling them to take the drug often.

When the person continues to take drugs the brain adjusts to increased amount of dopamine by reducing the amount of this chemical or by lowering dopamine receptors and the ability of the cells in the reward circuit system to respond to dopamine. This response reduces a person’s ability to feel the pleasurable high compared to the first time when they took the drug. During such a situation the person will continue to take the drug, till they encounter a dopamine high that was experienced when they took the drug for the first time. The affected person is now not interested in anything else, not even the activities which they find to be highly enjoyable.

Drugs affect the normal functioning of the brain, drugs such as heroin or marijuana have similar structure to neurotransmitters. Due to this similarity they are able to fool brain receptors and activate nerve cells to release abnormal messages. Drugs like cocaine stimulate nerve cells to release large amount of neurotransmitters thereby avoiding normal recycling of brain chemicals required to shut down normal communication between neurons. This irregularity  produces large amount of false messages and therefore disrupting normal communication process.

Negative effects of drug addiction and abuse:

Drug addiction is a serious problem, it changes the way a person functions and behaves, mainly because drugs affects the body to a great extent. An important point to remember is drugs are chemicals, and each drug has a different structure that affects the body in various ways. There are drugs that are absorbed through ingestion, inhalation and injection. The drugs that are injected moves into the blood stream directly and drugs that are ingested passes through digestive system.

The pleasure of addiction emerges from the flooding of dopamine a neurotransmitter in the brain’s reward circuit. Dopamine is responsible for feelings of pleasure, emotion, movement and cognition. The high levels of dopamine causes a person to experience a state of euphoria and this is what leads a person to get addicted.

Drug addiction affects relationships with family, friends, work colleagues, and the person is also prone to self-harm, accident, domestic violence and even death.  Drugs have an adverse effect on physical health, and the affected person suffers stroke and severe brain damage resulting in problems with decision making, attention and memory and the individual is unable to function normally with his/her day to day activities.

Drug addiction causes cardiovascular conditions that range from infected heart valves and blood vessels, collapsed veins from injected drugs and abnormal heart beat that can progress to heart attacks. The other harmful effects on the body caused by drugs are nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting and weakened immunity system increasing susceptibility to infections. When a person is addicted to drugs he/she looses self-control and is not aware of their surroundings, and you will notice these behavioral changes, which are loss of self-control, extreme activity, lack of judgement, aggressive behavior, paranoia and hallucinations.

Effective ways to fight drug addiction:

Whether in rehabilitation or recovery, it is common for an addict to experience cravings, the need to crave drugs is present even in a person who has recovered from the addiction for many years. Holiday periods and celebration moments are also a trigger to encounter cravings and the frequency of wanting drugs is at its peak. It is certainly tough for a person in complete recovery to let go of addiction during holiday periods, but the addict should not feel under-confident during such a circumstance and he/she should relate the craving to just a feeling. An important point to remember is cravings surface every now and then, and there are ways of tackling these cravings.

When craving hits do not panic:

It is possible to feel cravings, but when it hits you do not panic and feel you are likely to get into relapse. Just consider this to be a feeling and think of the pleasurable things life has to offer, or think of a good and commendable moment. Practice meditation and even prayers will help. Most importantly try to switch from thoughts of craving into victorious moments encountered in life.

Aim to get into a social circle:

Any person who has recovered from addiction treatment would certainly want alone time to ponder over cravings. It would be great to get into a social circle or reach out to close friends and family and even speak to someone who has recovered fully to know what it feels like to be in recovery and overcome cravings.

Get into a regular activity:

A good way to beat cravings will be to get into a regular physical activity, it releases feel good chemicals called endorphins that promotes good mood and takes a person’s mind off cravings. You can jog or brisk walk with a large group of friends or even swim or play a fun sport. You will only have fun and feel the fantastic rhythm of recovery, and you can also indulge in great hobbies like music, books, painting, art, music and so on.

Make a list of your efforts in tackling every step of overcoming addiction:

An excellent way to beat cravings is to make a list of the efforts you have made to overcome every step of addiction. Remember every step of addiction overcome is a reward to not only yourself but other people around. Every time you get cravings, think of how victorious you have been in overcoming the addiction and you will experience good vibes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quit smoking now

Smoking addiction is when a person is addicted to tobacco, and the addictive substance is nicotine. Nicotine changes the balance of two chemicals noradrenaline and dopamine in the brain. When the level of these two chemicals are altered by nicotine, the concentration and mood level of a person changes and smokers find this feeling to be pleasurable. When a person inhales nicotine the change in the level of noradrenaline and dopamine happens quickly and the drug immediately moves to the brain and such a reaction reduces anxiety and stress and increases the feeling of pleasure and this is why smokers become dependent on nicotine.

Why do people smoke:

Smoking is a strong addiction, and once a person starts, it is difficult to stop, in many cases individuals start smoking during their teenage years, and they find it tough to break the addiction once they reach adulthood. There are many reasons why people start smoking, and it is life stresses and peer pressure that trigger this habit.

Young individuals smoke to look mature, and they get influenced from friend circle or family, who give a wrong impression on smoking indicating that people smoke to look cool and mature.

Adults get into smoking for many reasons, and the main reasons are stress and anxiety from work and financial issues. People also smoke when they feel depressed, when they are in a broken relationship or when a family member or loved one is suffering from a life-threatening disease.

The environment is a major factor that influences smoking, people who grow in an environment where parents or family members smoke from depression are likely to get influenced and take on the habit head strong.

Low self-esteem also plays a big role in getting addicted to smoking, people who are socially anxious and who are conscious about being in a crowd, take in to smoking to just find something to do and relieve themselves from stress.

Some people indulge in smoking to maintain weight because nicotine increases energy expenditure and reduces appetite. This is the reason why smokers have a lower body weight than non smokers.

Harmful effects of smoking:

People who smoke are not only at a high risk of suffering from lung and throat cancer. An important point to remember is smoking affects the overall health of an individual. Whether you are a light smoker or chain smoker, tobacco is severely harmful to overall health.

A person who smokes suffers from various body complications such as poor vision, poor appetite, anxiety and irritability, persistent cough, cold and flu, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung, throat and various other cancers such as cancer of stomach, bowel, bladder, liver, ureter, ovary, cervix, kidney, bone marrow, pancreas, nasal sinus, larynx, esophagus, tongue and nose. The other diseases caused from smoking is  bronchitis, high cholesterol, heart disease, wrinkled skin, yellow finger, diabetes, gum disease, pregnancy problem, health issues in new born, early menopause, erectile dysfunction, infertility, osteoporosis and ulcers of digestive system.

Remember there is no safe means of smoking, and you cannot replace cigarettes with hookah, pipe or cigar. According to American Lung Association, cigarettes have 600 ingredients, and when you burn a cigarette over 7,000 chemicals are generated, and at least 69 of these chemicals are carcinogenic. Cigar is not a safer substitute, based on information produced from National Cancer Institute, there is a greater amount of tar, toxins and carcinogens in cigars than cigarettes. When you inhale hookah you are inhaling more amount of smoke than that of a cigarette because it has more toxic compounds and thereby has more amount of carbon monoxide, which is extremely harmful to the body.

According to research conducted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smokers are at a higher risk of a shorter life by three times compared to individuals who have not smoked in their life. Smoking is one of the biggest killers in the preventable diseases category.

Smoking cessation tips:

Any amount of smoking is harmful in the long run, and this holds true for a person who is a light smoker or a chain smoker. It is important and beneficial to consider different means to quit. There is help available, there are doctors, counselors, and psychologists who offer best support. However, an individual has to have the willpower to quit smoking.

Initially there are going to be challenges while trying to give up smoking, the affected person will experience withdrawal symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, drowsiness, mood swings, frustration, extreme anxiety, headache, increased appetite, sleep problems  dry mouth and severe cravings.

Just because a person experiences withdrawal symptoms, they should not lose hope about quitting and think it is impossible. Experience strength and positive thinking by working on great methods to fight withdrawal symptoms.

Powerful ways to fight withdrawal symptoms:

Binge on a healthy diet:

It is natural to experience cravings during the period of giving up smoking, and it increases a person’s appetite. When an individual encounters cravings, encourage him/her to binge on healthy foods that consists of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. Remember that a healthy diet lowers the urge and severity of withdrawal symptoms.

Get into a regular exercise regime:

Nicotine is an addictive substance that elevates a person’s mood and he/she experiences pleasurable feeling that makes them get addicted to smoking. Once a person is off smoking he/she begins to suffer mild depression and a good way to fight this is regular exercise. Scientific studies have discovered exercise triggers release of endorphins in the body and this is a chemical known to enhance good mood. So exercise to keep yourself occupied and fight withdrawal.

Confide in close circle of friends and family:

Everybody knows smoking is harmful for health and it kills, it is visible on many mediums such as television, newspaper, advertisement banners and so on. A smoker also knows the addiction is harmful, but it is difficult to give it up easily. A good way is for smokers to confide in close friends and family and speak to them about the addiction and willpower to give it up. Friends and family of smokers should provide encouragement and empathize with smokers, and help them with the issue they are facing and also work together in fighting the addiction. Each time a person overcomes a withdrawal barrier throw out good words of achievement.

Celebrate, write down an achievement and mingle around good company:

Every time you feel you have achieved the quit smoking goal, celebrate and reward yourself, by taking a walk, reading a book, listening to music, visit a library, bowling center or binge on a nice healthy meal. Also maintain a diary and note down your achievements in overcoming the initial and final steps of smoking.

Get into a company of non-smokers and be around people who appreciate you for who you are. Do not mingle with people who let you down, otherwise you will start feeling depressed. One of the best ways to overcome withdrawal symptoms is to move around with people who make you feel good.

Decorate your home with color and positive vibes:

If you are into interior decoration, then decorate your house with items that smell good like a scented candle and flowers. You can even decorate your house with nice decorative items like paintings, accessories that represent different cultures and so on. You will only get good vibes when you enter your home, and there will be no room for withdrawal symptoms.

It is possible to give up smoking, feel good about yourself and enjoy life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fight Anorexia nervosa and rediscover life

 

People around the globe are concerned about the harmful effects of obesity, and it is a global killer. Every year 35.8 million people die all around the world from the side effects of being overweight or obese. Around 2.3% of global disability-adjusted life year (DALY) which is defined as the number of years lost from disability, ill-health or early death is caused by overweight or obesity.

With the occurrence and awareness of obesity being prevalent worldwide, being thin is considered to be a mark of respect. Men and women all around the globe are conscious about their body weight and desire to maintain a slim or thin figure. In many parts of the world, people just want to be thin, to an extent of being unhealthily underweight. They do everything to remain as thin as possible and they fear gaining even a little bit of weight.

Anorexia nervosa commonly referred to as anorexia is an eating disorder where the affected person is extremely thin and fears gaining weight and he/she is excessively pre-occupied with their thin figure and they equate excessive thinness with self-worth. The main pre-occupation of people with Anorexia nervosa is to prevent weight gain or lose weight although their BMI is in most cases is much below the normal range. In order to achieve maintaining a thin body image, they try various methods to prevent weight gain or continue losing weight, by indulging in diuretics, diet aids and laxatives and all these are used in unhealthy proportions. They exercise abundantly as well with the ambition and intention to lose weight. There are people who use methods of binging and purging to lose weight or maintain weight and this behavior is similar with people who suffer from Bulimia.

Anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric disorder, and the root cause of it is mental disorders that affects the overall wellbeing of a person. The affected person commonly suffers from these mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, mood disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, personality disorders and substance misuse.

It is not healthy to suffer from Anorexia nervosa, the behavior of wanting to remain extremely thin, by throwing out food through unhealthy methods of misusing diuretics and laxatives causes serious physical symptoms that can be life-threatening. Below are the physical symptoms of Anorexia.

Extremely thin body weight

Insomnia

Fatigue

Abnormal blood count

Low blood pressure

Soft thin hair

Appearance of bluish discoloration on fingers

Dry or yellow skin

Constipation

Low blood pressure

Irregular heart beat

Dehydration

Dizziness

Swelling of arms and legs

Osteoporosis

Anorexia nervosa causes severe complications on the body and it is a strain on the mind as well. Food is not the main pre-occupation for a person who is suffering from this condition. It is the emotional burden of being thin and pondering on the thought that being thin is equated to being normal and accepted. What goes on in the mind of a person suffering from Anorexia nervosa, let us browse through the behavioral and emotional symptoms.

Emotional symptoms of a person suffering from Anorexia nervosa:

No interest in eating

Denies recognizing hunger

Intense fear of weight gain

Preoccupation about how much to consume

The person lies about the amount of food they eat

They tend to exhibit reclusive behavior and withdraw from society

Reduced desires in sexual activity

Constant irritation

Depressed mood

Suicidal thoughts

Watch out for these behavioral symptoms in a person with Anorexia nervosa:

The person will restrict the amount of food consumed, and will use weight loss methods to maintain weight or lose weight through exercise, fasting or dieting.

The person is uncomfortable about eating more food than they desire, and will use various methods to get rid of what according to a person with Anorexia is called excessive food consumption. They use methods of diet aids, enemas or laxatives and even bingeing and self-induced vomiting to get rid of extra food consumed.

These are the signs to notice in a person who is suffering or is likely to have Anorexia nervosa:

The person develops fear of eating and tends to skip meals and makes excuses for not eating

A person with Anorexia is conscious about weight gain even though they are extremely thin. He/she will binge on foods considered to be safe like low calorie food or food with low fat content.

Restricted eating is a common behavior, he/she will tend to spit out the food instead of chewing.

The affected person is constantly on the weighing scale ensuring that they maintain their weight or lose weight.

They constantly complain about being fat

They avoid eating in public and cover themselves in many layers of clothing

After inducing vomiting, you will notice eroded teeth and calluses on knuckles.

Cause of Anorexia nervosa:

Till now scientists have not been able to determine the cause of Anorexia nervosa and the only experimental proof is it could be a combination of biological, environmental and psychological factors:

Biological:

It is unclear whether Anorexia is transmitted through genes, but experts say genetics is likely to play a role, in people who strive for perseverance, perfectionism and sensitivity and all these characteristics are present in a person with Anorexia.

Environmental:

Asian and western cultures emphasize on thinness, here it is cool to be thin and it is equated with success and being assured. It is the influence of ideologies of peers that puts a strain on individuals to be thin, and this is causing a lot of pressure especially with young girls.

Psychological:

Emotions play a major role in Anorexia, the affected individual particularly young women avoid the urge to eat even while feeling hungry. They maintain strict diets and binge on low calorie foods. Although society views them to be thin, they are not convinced, they consider themselves to be fat although they are not and it leads to high levels of anxiety causing them to eat less and restrict certain foods.

Risk factors that increase occurrence of Anorexia:

Media:

When individuals particularly girls are exposed to media, it increases chances of Anorexia, mainly because the media showcases series of skinny models and actors and here being skinny is associated with being beautiful and popular.

Being female:

Girls and women are at a higher risk of suffering from Anorexia, and there have been increasing incidences of boys and men also suffering from this condition and the main cause is growing peer pressure.

Sport activities:

Sport activities is one of the biggest triggers of Anorexia, here coaches favor skinny players and will advise the bigger ones to lose weight and it builds pressure on the mind of an individual, increasing susceptibility of the disease.

Family history:

A person whose first degree relative has Anorexia such as parent or sibling are at a higher risk of suffering from the disease.

Coping with Anorexia nervosa:

A person with Anorexia lacks self-worth and they are influenced by societal pressures of being thin, and they feel being even excessively thin is not good enough. They are unable to accept themselves for who they are, and believe being thin is equal to being accepted, being responsible and looking good.

An individual with Anorexia needs help to change the way they think and start accepting themselves. It is important for close family and friends to help such individuals. The affected individual can also gradually start practicing self-help techniques in overcoming this disease. The best form of recovery is to start accepting yourself for who you are and recognize your good personalities. Once you are aware of your good qualities you can build self-confidence and start loving yourself and enjoy the good things life has to offer.

Aim to recognize the emotion you are feeling, if you feel fat and don’t feel good about yourself, ask yourself what is bothering you, and write down your thoughts and feelings in a diary. Mingle with people who make you feel good about yourself and this way you will be able to rediscover yourself by recognizing your good qualities. Gradually work on giving little attention to your thoughts about being fat and try to do fun activities which you enjoy like music, reading, writing, movies and so on. A good way to accept yourself is to reward yourself, do something that makes you feel happy like enjoy the fresh breeze, go to a place where you can relax like a library or bowling center, buy some amazing cosmetics and home decorations like perfume, fruity lotion, scented candles and so on.

It is important to recognize your Anorexia nervosa condition and seek help from a doctor, therapist and nutritionist. Fight this condition and rediscover the good moments of life.

 

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Depression should induce power of togetherness

Depression is a feeling of constantly experiencing sadness and low mood. The affected person is no longer interested in the activities once enjoyed. It is common to experience sadness every now and then because life itself is a challenge and it is unpredictable. We never know when a bad news strikes, but for a person with depression the feeling of sadness and low mood is persistent.

Have you ever noticed a family member, friend or colleague who was energetic and happy is now non-energetic and unhappy? People do go through a phase of intense depression, and we need to take cognizance of it. Depression is rampant all over the globe, In United States one in six persons experience a depressive episode, and only 50% who experience high level of depression are given treatment. Based on data produced by National Institute of Mental Health, in United States 11% of adolescents experience a depressive disorder before they reach adulthood. The prevalence of depression in boys and girls is the same before puberty. From the period of adulthood till menopause, the rate of depression in women is 50% more than men.

Types of depression:

Although the emotions experienced by a depressed person is the same, which is feeling of deep sadness. The kind of depression one person experiences is varied from the type another person experiences. To get an idea about the kind of sadness a loved one is experiencing, let us browse through the types of depression.

Major Depressive Disorder:

People with this type of depression are depressed constantly for long periods of time and  many days of the week. This is a severe kind of depression, and if you notice your loved one is depressed for long periods of time, then encourage him/her to visit a doctor or mental health professional. In order to be able to determine if a close person is suffering from major depressive disorder, watch out for these symptoms.

Total loss of interest in the activities once enjoyed

The person has trouble sleeping or feels sleepy through out the day

The person loses or gains weight

Feeling of being worthless or unwanted and guilt

Constant feeling of tiredness or lack of energy

Difficulty making decisions and concentrating

Suicidal thoughts

Persistent Depressive Disorder:

This type of depression lasts for more than a couple of years, and another term for it is dysthymia. These are the signs to notice if you feel someone is or is likely to suffer from Persistent Depressive Disorder.

The affected person overeats or is not interested in eating

The affected individual tends to sleep a lot or get very little or no sleep

Constant feeling of tiredness or fatigue

Difficulty making decisions or concentrating

Feeling of hopelessness

Bipolar Disorder:

Bipolar Disorder is referred to as manic depressive illness and here the affected person experiences extreme emotions, mood swings and activity levels. At one moment the person feels elated and at another time the same person feels depressed and experiences a total lack of energy.

Seasonal Affective Disorder:

This type of depression occurs mostly during winter months, and it can also start during fall. It is the lack of sunlight that transforms a persons mood and the person experiences low energy and mood swings. It is important to not take Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) lightly and write it off as winter blues. It is important to encourage the affected person to seek help.

Psychotic Depression:

A sign of psychotic depression is you will notice an individual to have major depressive  symptoms and periods of psychotic symptoms. Watch out for these symptoms in a person suffering from Psychotic Depression

Delusions or false beliefs- The affected person dwells in false beliefs and is unable to differentiate between what is real and false.

Paranoia- This is a thought process that is heavily influenced by fear or anxiety to a point that the affected person engages in delusions (false beliefs) and irrational thoughts. The person feels others are out there to cause threat or harm.

Hallucination- The affected person loses sense of real-world perception and actually begins to hear and see things that don’t exist.

Causes of depression:

Depression should not be ignored and considered to be just a period of intense sadness and low mood. It is more than periods of sadness and it should be taken seriously, because this is a serious illness. It is medical factors along with life’s circumstances and challenges that causes depression such as change in hormone levels, genetics, grief or stress. One or a combination of these factors causes a change in brain chemistry and it leads to depressive symptoms. As mentioned earlier, depression is a series condition to look into and World Health Organization classifies this to be one of the most damaging disorders around the globe.

An important point to remember is depression does not happen only to a particular kind and section of society. It affects men and women equally from any type of socio-economic background. It is the circumstances in life that causes this condition like marriage, finance, career, parenting and friendship. The illness becomes more severe when it occurs with life’s challenges along with medical symptoms and behaviors like cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, substance abuse, grief and stress.

How to really know whether you or a loved one is suffering from depression, and it is a disorder that affects the overall well-being of a person. Take a note of these symptoms of depression:

Depression affects the thought process of a person, and the affected individual suffers from difficulty in assimilation, has trouble with concentration, and has thoughts of self-harm. The occurrence of hallucinations or delusion happens when the person is suffering from a serious case of depression.

A person with depression experiences feelings of intense anger, guilt, hopelessness, moodiness, sadness and lack of interest in activities once enjoyed.

Observe these behavioral changes in a person with depression. The affected person attempts self-harm, misses school, work and regular commitments, indulges in substance abuse and is not interested in meeting friends or people in general.

Ways to cope with depression:

It isn’t a great feeling at all to go through depression, it makes a person feel down and helpless, and lack of drive to find hope and contentment. It is important for the affected person to gradually cope with issues that is causing him/her to feel depressed and it is also essential for friends or families to offer a source of encouragement.

Get into a social circle like a language class, dance class or a social club, here you will meet people who think alike or people who are also going through depression.

Exercise is important, go for a morning walk or do exercises at home, it releases feel good chemicals such as endorphins, endocannabinoids and neuro-transmitters that reduce immune system chemicals that can increase the severity of depression. The best exercises to fight depression are rhythmic ones where there is no pause in between such as walking, swimming, dancing, weight training and martial arts.

Steadily try to get your mind into the hobbies you enjoy like music, poetry, gardening, cooking, funny movies and shows and so on.

On a day you feel like relaxing take a long hot shower.

Maintain a journal and note down your thoughts and feelings and get inspired to overcome sadness and feel better.

Fight and overcome negative thinking and picture a positive and happy reflection of yourself. To do this write down your fears and the kind of life you desire with the intension of overcoming your fears and working towards the life you want to feel content and full-filled.

If you are upset about not being good enough, gradually work on your weakness and emerge content and victorious.

Try to avoid people who make you feel bad about yourself and mingle with people who admire and cherish you.

Maintain a healthy diet, do not skip meals, and take a note of these foods that fight depression. Turkey and other lean proteins help fight depression; these foods release feel good chemical serotonin. Walnuts and fatty fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids known to effectively fight depression. Low fat dairy like low-fat cheeses, yoghurt and skim milk contain calcium, protein and vitamin D and all these are effective in fighting depression.  The healthy high-fiber carbohydrates found in whole grains like whole wheat pasta, sweet potato, oats meal, brown rice and whole-grains are excellent in improving positive mood symptoms by helping the body release serotonin. Amino acid Theanin present in green tea leaves has excellent anti-stress properties. Dark chocolate releases serotonin and excellent in fighting depression. Turmeric is an excellent mood enhancing food.

Most importantly if you feel you or a loved one is suffering from depression, find treatment immediately. The condition is treated with medication and psychotherapy.

It is important to not ignore a person who is suffering from depression, encourage them and it will help the world grow into a productive and caring place.