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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

Getting into a world of Binge Eating

Food is an essential component of our lives, we need it for general survival, people work hard for hours to get access to basic food supply. The nutrition we acquire from food is our fuel to maintain healthy body and remain energized throughout the day. Without it we are a lost cause, and people who have minimal access to food suffer from a condition called malnutrition. The most common symptom is uncontrolled weight loss and the affected person loses great amount of weight within the range of 5 to 10% or even more over a period of six months. The infected person is also prone to high risk of infection or illness, low mood, fatigue and weak muscles.

There is also a section of the population that has access to food and they are able to hold a good income. For such people, food is not only a means of just basic survival, but also a mode of comfort and celebration. When food becomes too comforting, it results in over-consumption, leading to binge eating disorder. It is well-known that a large section of the population are foodies, and there are people who think about food 24/7, even though they aren’t hungry and eat uncontrollably like there is no tomorrow and such a type of uncontrolled eating behavior is called binge eating disorder. The affected person eats huge amount of food and is unable to stop eating, even after feeling full or when not hungry.

Reasons for binge eating:

Food is a comfort feeling for millions, and when it is tasty there is no stopping, it is difficult to stop getting tempted to delicious food and desert. Once in a while it is normal to binge, particularly during holidays and celebration moments. There are people who are prone to binge eating often and they do it on an average minimum of two times a week for a period of six months. The causes that trigger binge eating are

When a person is totally dissatisfied with the way he looks, he suffers from low self-esteem and depression, and these emotions trigger the perpetual habit of binge eating.

Biological abnormalities also result in binge eating and the cause for it is hormonal irregularities.

Social and Cultural factors also increase risk of binge eating and the causes for it are previous experience with sexual abuse. When a person is teased by society about his weight, he becomes so depressed and over-sensitive about his body image and is therefore prone to binge eating.

Behavioral pattern and emotional trauma experienced by a person suffering from binge eating disorder:

People who binge eat are not happy about their behavior, particularly people who are overweight or obese. They are embarrassed about what they are doing and are sensitive about revealing their behavior in public. They even hide in a corner and eat, hoping that nobody would watch them. It is the hiding behavior that needs to be observed in a person with binge eating disorder. It is only when they are isolated they eat a lot, otherwise they consume normal amounts of food.

The affected person will eat large amounts of food even after a threshold of feeling uncomfortable and they reserve food to have at a later period.

People who binge eat are not happy with themselves and they are stressed about something. The emotions that run through their mind is stress and anxiety and food is their main source of comfort.

They are so engrossed in eating that they are unable to get a feel or taste of food.

Understanding what it is to have a binge eating problem:

For people with a binge eating disorder, food is comforting to tide away from the situations they are facing be it depression or stress. Foods that are high in fats and carbohydrates release feel good chemical serotonin, and this process induces happy feelings into a person. Foods that induce pleasurable feeling are cakes, cookies, pastries and all kinds of deserts. When employees work for hours on end and have had a stressful day, they just want to come home and have something sweet to just feel good, and also release the pain of tension headaches.

It is the stresses in life that trigger people to binge eat, when there is so much work to do in a day, people want to spend few moments to relax and they tend to do it by drinking cups and cups of coffee or tea or snacks, and this is probably the fastest way to take a short break then indulging in music or reading.

Many people around the world love food, but individuals with binge eating disorder tend to overindulge in food on a regular basis. They consume large quantities in a short span of time and eat even after feeling full.

A person with binge eating disorder is unable to resist food temptation, he/she would have had a good dinner meal, but is still not satisfied and will have desert cravings. Here it is the emotional triggers of depression, anxiety or fatigue that is triggering a person to binge eat. It is important to judge between physical hunger and emotional hunger.

People who are overly conscious about their health, tend to restrict themselves only to healthy foods like fruits and salads. It is important to go with your cravings and consume required quantities, too much restriction can also trigger binge eating.

Ways to fight binge eating:

When there is so much of work to do in a day, take coffee or snack breaks, but do not overconsume, instead listen to music or read a few lines, or do breathing exercises, all these activities will consume same amount of time as a cup of coffee or a bite.

For individuals who are addicted to sweets, try to reduce the intake and ensure to restrict it to once a month.

For people who just want to get rid of binge eating, keep the foods you like away from you, and when you are in a department store, stay away from what you call comfort food.

Ensure to never skip meals, eat at regular intervals, if you starve, you will feel hungry and binge on the food that increases your appetite to a greater than normal level.

If there is a particular food you like, and if it is front of you and you are too tempted, restrict yourself to small servings and eat it slowly. This way you will feel satisfied and you will not want another helping.

Make a diary and list of the things you want to do, and if you are constantly tempted to eat what you like to an unhealthy limit, reduce your visits to such places. When you have the food you like in healthy proportions, you will enjoy it more.

Try to fill your day with lots of activities, so that you will think of food less often, and get less tempted.

Always remember binge eating not only causes strain on mental health but physical health as well. Besides depression and  anxiety individuals who binge eat are prone to suffer from insomnia, type-2diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, muscle or joint pain, gastrointestinal problems or gallbladder disease.

Do not be afraid to speak about your binge eating problem to your physician, psychiatrist, physiotherapist or dietician, who will help you get over compulsive overeating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the healing power of Music Therapy

What is life without music, and how was it before music was discovered, one can only imagine. For years music is known to be a stress reliever, and it is extremely calming for the body and soul. Life is really incomplete without music and it is the reason why it is present any and everywhere in discos, restaurants, coffee shops, health clubs, department stores and so on.

Music is comforting, and a great way to relax after a hard day’s work, people listen to music before sleeping at night, to just absorb fantastic relaxation vibes. It is commonly known that music is an excellent therapeutic tool, the concept of the healing power of music was discovered in ancient times. Hippocrates a Greek physician and Father of Western Medicine is known to have treated his patients with music and Apollo was the God of music and healing.

Awareness about music therapy and how it is done:

The utilization of music as a source of therapeutic healing to treat psychological, physical, cognitive, emotional and social needs of people is referred to as music therapy. A person who practices music therapy is called a music therapist, and once the therapist has identified the needs of the client, about the issues that are bothering them, he/she uses music as a medium of healing and how is this done. The therapist first identifies the issues the client is struggling with it and then uses music as a mode of treatment in the form of creating a lyrics, listening, playing an instrument, singing and so on. Here music is the atmosphere of treatment and comfort, and it helps clients and families express their feelings, it is hence different from talk therapy form of counseling.

History of Music Therapy:

The concept of music therapy is not only popular in current times, this practice was well known and practiced widely in the 20th century and even before that. The perception of using music as a healing medium to calm aggression and promote good behavior was present in ancient scriptures of Plato and Aristotle. During the 20th century music therapy was a popular practice post World War One and World War Two, here nurses and doctors hired musicians to play for war patients who were suffering from emotional and physical trauma.

The earliest medical reference of music therapy was sighted in 1789 and the article was published in Columbian Magazine and was called ”Music Physically Considered.”There were a couple of dissertations on the therapeutic value of music by Edwin Atlee in 1804 and Samuel Mathews in 1806 and both these were students of renowned physician and psychiatrist Dr. Benjamin Rush.

Therapeutic power of music therapy:

Music is fun and it can rarely be boring, and we all have our own individual taste in it, an important point to remember is, music is not only a highly enjoyable past time, it has excellent therapeutic properties. It is used to treat all kinds of diseases such as stroke, Dementia, Alzheimer’s and so on. A scientific evidence from 2011 issue of Harvard Review of Psychiatry emphasized on the calming effect of music to treat depression and anxiety disorders. Scientists have also discovered the wonderful effect of music as  medicine to treat a wide range of symptoms in individuals suffering from heart condition such as pain, anxiety, respiration, heart rate and blood pressure.

Researchers have discovered the remarkable power of music to ease pain and anxiety levels in patients before and after a surgical procedure. It is a nerve-wrecking moment indeed to step into surgery and music is known to calm nerves and make patients feel less tense. Music is an excellent therapeutic model to treat stroke, and this was proven in a 2008 study revealed by University of Helsinki researchers in Finland, the results revealed patients with stroke who listened to music daily for two hours had better attention and verbal memory and positive thoughts compared to individuals who did not listen to music. In a 2013 study by scientists from Korea showed stroke patients who underwent neurologic music therapy for a month developed improved language ability compared to patients who did not listen to music. Music therapy has also proven to be extremely beneficial in treating Parkinson’s disease and autism.

Music is an excellent medicine for a healthy mind and body, it has a fantastic positive effect on not only physical illness but mental health as well. It sharpens mental ability and capacity by strengthening cognitive, social, emotional and physical defects and it also helps in improving mood and reducing stress and depression. It also improves memory and concentration, and the phrase Mozart effect was introduced from the result of an experiment that revealed college students were able to crack math problems while hearing music. Music therapy is often used to treat pain, and behavioral problems, paranoia and schizophrenia.

Feel better with music vibes:

There is no better feeling than to listen to some amazing music, especially after a hectic day. We are aware about music being a remarkable stress buster and it is among the favorite hobbies of many, we however do not utilize the stress relieving power of music to the optimum and we do not think of music while feeling depressed.

Individuals around the world are adept in musical instruments, for some it is a hobby and for others a profession. Why not soak into amazing tunes after a hard day’s work to just relax the mind and body. There are several stress situations we face in current times, there is a section of employees who work for hours and night shift has become common, and such individuals burn out easily. For those who are accustomed to long working hours and feel excessively tired, play a musical instrument, sing or listen to music from laptop or YouTube.

Loneliness has become a common scenario in current times, and it needs to be taken care of, or else the consequences are severe to a point of being fatal. The common cases of loneliness are with people who are living in another city or country and are not able to cope with the ways of life of a different culture. Lack of friendship leads to loneliness and there are times when an individual feels stressed out or depressed about something and has no one to talk to. Heart break causes loneliness the affected person feels worthless and detached, aging too causes loneliness and people who are addicted to gadgets also tend to feel lonely. The feeling of being lonely can be devastating, and music is a great way to fight the feeling of loneliness it makes a person feel better. Music therapy alsp works extremely well in people who suffer addiction and for people in palliative care.

School, college and university going individuals can listen to music to beat exam stress, just spend few minutes listening to music in between study brakes and it does wonders to reduce stress and improve memory and concentration.

Millions of people around the world love music, but only a handful are aware of the therapeutic value of it. So whenever you feel stressed, depressed or isolated, or are suffering from an illness, listen to music and life becomes positive and content.