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Music nourishes your soul. Sound therapy, relevant lyrics, unforgettable tunes, and entertaining beats have a profound impact on your mind. Other than reminiscing on the good old days, music can help cure emotional stress. It can trigger feelings that have powerful healing properties. If used creatively, it’s a tool that can positively impact millions of people across the globe.


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From simple anxiety feelings to serious and daunting situations, stress is part of every person’s life. According to statistics, 60% of American adults admit that they deal with stress and anxiety daily. This number is a considerable concern. Even so, what matters more is how you keep such fears under manageable levels to remain productive and enjoy life’s beauty amid the crises.

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In this article, you will learn nine simple ways to help you take control of your life by lowering your stress levels. Let’s see.

Let’s expound and see how each can lower your anxiety.

 

Number One: Get Quality Sleep

Are you sure of what causes your stress and anxiety? It may be your body asking for quality rest. Every subject’s body requires sleep to function optimally. Getting enough sleep positively boosts your energy, refills, and restores your body. It’s essential, and even a slight deprivation of sleep can lead to massive damage to your brain, cognition, and memory. Technically, your body can’t recuperate itself if deprived of enough sleep.

Research has it that if Americans could sleep considerably longer than they do currently, they would be healthier and happier. Lack of enough rest lists among the leading causes of negative moods and a lack of energy to carry out daily functions.

 

How is sleep related to stress?

If you don’t get enough night sleep, your body spontaneously increases stress hormones and keeps pushing the hormones. Consecutively, you wake up feeling more depressed and stressed the next day.

Similarly, being unable to sleep typically causes insomnia – a medical disorder that brings about an inability to sleep by keeping your mind at a hyper-arousal state.

 

effects of insomnia
Stress can ignite insomnia and many other health issues

 

So how do you give your body enough sleep?

Not having enough sleep can significantly affect your mental health, productivity, and performance. If you can’t seem to have enough sleep due to whichever reasons, try following these simple steps to boost your sleep quality.

 

Step 1: Follow natural and consistent sleep-wake patterns

It’s the first and very crucial step in your efforts to achieve a better night’s sleep. If you harmonize your body’s regular sleeping patterns, you’ll end up waking up more refreshed and energetic. Making even the slightest alterations in your sleep routines can stress your body while adjusting to the new changes. To achieve better sleep patterns, try the following tricks.

  • Try scheduling your sleep-wake up timings to be the same every day – This will allow your body’s internal clocks to enhance your sleep quality. If you practice the routine religiously, you will always wake up feeling refreshed and at your desired time, even without an alarm.
  • Do not extend your sleeping hours during the weekends and on off-days – You may think this habit will help you compensate for the shorter hours you sleep during the working/ school days. It may have a slightly positive impact, but it comes at the price of disturbing your sleep cycle.
  • Take small, powerful naps if you wake up still feeling drowsy after your regular sleeping hours.
  • Don’t encourage after-dinner laziness – You can do this by not staying too long on the couch, doing something productive like washing dishes, or taking a walk.

 

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Step 2: Regulate light exposure

Your sleep-wake patterns work following melatonin hormone release, a naturally occurring hormone regulated by light exposure. Biologically, you feel sleepier in the dark due to the free release of melatonin hormone. To maintain the melatonin hormone within the ideal levels, you need to control your exposure to light both in the day and night.

During day-time:

  • Get maximum exposure to bright sunlight. Try taking your morning coffee outside or reading your newspaper under the open sun.
  • Spread your yoga mat out in the sunlight and spring yourself around nature.
  • Keep your curtains open and let in as much sunlight into your house and workspace as possible.

At night:

  • Avoid using bright screens. You can dim the screens of your laptop and television if you must use them.
  • If you’re reading, avoid using backlit devices since they can negatively affect your vision and sleeping pattern.
  • Ensure your room is dim and cozy. Use thick curtains to conceal your windows, and if you can feel okay with it, try sleeping in a comforting dim blue light.

Step 3: Bedtime Snacks

Some people can’t fall asleep without taking a snack while others feel comfortable without taking anything after dinner. If you fall in the first category, ensure that you have a bite before retiring to bed. Some of the snacks you can try out include:

  • A small whole-grain meal
  • Half a chicken/ turkey sandwich
  • A glass of lukewarm milk
  • A banana
  • A mini bowl of yogurt.

Step 4: Make your sleeping environment peaceful

A quiet resting environment will instinctively divert your brain towards rest and sleep. On the other hand, a slight change in your sleeping environment will alter your sleep quality. These tips will help make your sleeping environment peaceful.

  • Ensure your bedding is comfortable. You can check if your mattress is in line with your body contours, and your bedsheets are sufficiently flexible to allow different postures while sleeping.
  • Ensure your breathing is comfortable and easy. You can do this by ensuring proper ventilation and keeping your room adequately warm.
  • Use earplugs to mask out road traffic noise.

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Step 5: Go back to sleep after a distraction

It’s normal to be distracted while sleeping. If this happens to you, try not to stay awake and slip back into slumber. If you have trouble going back to sleep after a distraction, try these tricks.

  • Just relax and avoid thinking hard about your inability to fall asleep.
  • Perform simple relaxation movements like deep breathing exercises, continuous muscle relaxation techniques, concentration, and visualization.
  • If you try the above tricks, but you’re still awake 15 minutes later, get up and attempt non-stimulant activities like reading under dim light. This action will strain your brain a little and bring back the urge to sleep.
  • In case you are staying up at night due to something or an issue consistently troubling you and making you nervous, note it down somewhere, go back to sleep and think about it the next day.

 

Number Two: Involve Your Senses for Your Revival

Your senses form your frontline defense against stress. If you can recognize the sensory feelings experienced by your body, then you can notice the wonders that come with senses. However, this requires some experience and preciseness. It requires you to narrow down into what stimulates your feelings and how they communicate to your brain. Identifying your external stimulus works magic into lowering your stress and anxiety levels quickly.

For example, if you’re a music enthusiast. You can try listening to a variety of music tracks of different genres and styles. Listen to as many songs as you can and spot which type soothes your heart and helps you to relax.

Apart from songs, you can explore a wide range of sensory experiences from wherever you are and how you relate to it. Some of the sensory activities you can try include:

 

  • Explore nature using your sight

You don’t have to think so much here. Simply look around you and see what excites your eyes. Enjoy the sight and divert your attention to it. Doing this will help to ease your brain and shift your focus from your worries. It can be as simple as looking at a photo of someone you adore or favorite moments.

Similarly, you can walk out and relish the beauty of nature. A waft of cool, fresh air will easily lift all your worries and stress. To pump it all up, try surrounding yourself with colors that make you feel comfortable. And lastly, you can top it up by adjusting your lighting to gentle blue hues.

 

benefits of salt lamp
The salt lamp has many benefits on your sleep and your health

  • Practice Aromatherapy

From ancient times, aromatherapy has been known and appreciated for its relaxation properties. It works by stimulating brain areas responsible for emotions and behaviors. Practicing this with essential oils is beneficial for reducing your stress levels since they aid in decreasing negative thoughts and feelings.

Some scents also have a massive impact on the brain. Therefore, you can try burning incense or lighting a fragrant candle and relax while your mind gets cozy with the fragrance. You can also experience aromatherapy by applying or inhaling essential oils. These oils can do wonders in easing your stress, treating insomnia, and lowering depression. Some essential oils that you can try out include:

  • Lavender
  • Bergamot
  • German chamomile
  • Jasmine
  • Melissa
  • Clary sage
  • Rose

Safety tip: A significant proportion of essential oils are mild and safe for use by adults. However, it’s necessary to follow the recommended dosage, use under proper guidelines, and look out for underlying respiratory conditions and allergies.

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  • Experience touch

During critical and stressful moments, it’s crucial to indulge yourself to deal with the hard times. Handling stress can sometimes be doing something as simple as covering yourself with a delicate and warm blanket. Similarly, you can try holding a stress ball or fiddling some toys. The texture and touch work magically in satisfying your mind and diverting your brain from the stressors.

The secret is in experiencing a soothing and warming touch. It doesn’t have to work uniformly with everyone. Simply explore and see what works best for you.

  • Treat yourself to a favorite meal

Reveling on your favorite meal can assist in lowering your stress levels, mostly if you do it mindfully. Mindless eating habits will end up increasing your stress levels, whereas eating in moderation will cheer up your senses and reduce your anxiety.

Certain foods are great at relieving and lowering your anxiety. The reason can either be the relieving properties in the nutrition or your attachment and pleasure towards having the meal.

According to studies, chewing gum works as a remedy to stress and anxiety. The sugarless chewing gums help in lowering the salivary cortisol levels during stressful moments. Similarly, a piece of gum assists in soothing nerves and deviates your focus from your stress source.

Options on what foods and meals to try are endless. It can range from an enticing piece of chocolate to a steaming cup of coffee. You don’t have to think deeply about this. Simply try simple things and see what works best for you. Sometimes a bunch of almonds or a carrot is just enough to do the trick.

  • Favorite sound

Music elicits a significant impact on your mood and brain. Listening to calming music has shown positive effects on lowering stress and anxiety. Many people fancy meditating and relaxing music. However, if the uplifting beats are your thing, then feel free to enjoy it.

 

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Number Three: Practice Yoga and Breathing Exercise

From the ancient years, yoga has been known as an effective antidote for stress and anxiety. Even today, celebrities and high-end individuals with nerve-racking routines, those with deskbound lifestyles and daunting workloads, use yoga to eradicate the stress that comes with their daily lives.

Yoga is a mixture of various techniques that all serve a similar purpose to relax your brain and put you in the best state of health. To successfully relieve your worries through yoga, you should set a consistent routine involving regular intervals and then stick to it.

Check out this yoga plan for a kick-start. It’s more straightforward and easily adaptable.

 

Which components of yoga are necessary for stress relief?

As mentioned earlier, yoga is a bunch of techniques that can quickly ease your nerves and help you calm down. Some of these activities include:

  • Workouts
  • Breathing and control exercises
  • Relaxation exercises
  • Clearing up your mind

Let’s now expound on each and see how you can benefit from practicing them.

  • Workouts

Yoga workouts include specific postures and stretches. The physical practice of these signs is termed as “hatha yoga.” There is a further difference in hatha yoga. It involves a slow-paced movement and stretches, while at other times, it involves a fast-paced action similar to a routine treatment exercise.

Because your primary goal for doing yoga workouts is to relieve stress and relax your brain, you can go ahead and experiment with both styles. Get what works best for you and stick by it.

 

How do workouts relieve stress?

Almost all workouts relieve stress by releasing endorphins. These are natural hormones that help the body eliminate stress. While doing exercises, remember to do some stretches because they are equally crucial in relieving anxiety and stress. They work wonders by relaxing your body muscles.

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If you frequently stretch your body, you help yourself by releasing tension in particular areas like the neck, shoulders, and lower back. Alongside easing your nerves and relieving you of stress, exercises and stretches are also very good for your general well-being.

  • Breathing and control exercises

Although breathing is an automatic function of your body, yoga can help you control its efficiency significantly. Practicing yoga increases your awareness of the breathing routine; hence you get to master how to regulate the cycle.

Deep breathing exercises are the most widely used remedy for stress in the modern era. Let’s see how breathing works the magic.

 

How do breathing exercises ease your nerves?

Over the years, Buddhists and eastern healers have held on to the belief that breathing is the central foundation of brain regulation and functioning. Research also proves that breathing exercises help improve the brain’s intellectual functions and allow positive thought generation. Consecutively, this phenomenon eases stress and anxiety.

A study done by Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience and the Global Brain Health Institute at Trinity in 2018 states that practical breathing exercises affect the human brain’s norepinephrine levels.

Norepinephrine is a chemical messenger released when you get emotionally aroused, challenged, or focused. Having a balance of the chemical means you will stay more positive, focused, and not nervous.

 

benefits of exercise
Daily exercising can diminish your stress level

 

  • Clearing up your mind

During stress conditions, the human mind is always racing, and the thoughts usually come one after another. These will then result in overthinking or dwelling on the incidents that caused your stress, which will do nothing more than heighten your panic levels. The result is you remain with a tired and stressed mind.

Yoga is an effective way to clear your mind and resolve all the unsorted matters. One successful way of clearing your mind is concentrating on your breathing pattern. This method utilizes a combination of yoga and breathing.

In this process, you have to concentrate on every exhale and inhale and stop overthinking about whatever is troubling your brain. Try eliminating the negative thoughts out of your mind whenever you exhale.

This regimen requires a lot of concentration to make your brain divert from stress and attain maximum calmness. If you master it, you’ll enjoy the peace you’ll experience afterward.

  • Relaxation Exercises

Every yoga session has a span of 10-15 minutes of relaxation spent in a specific posture called “savasana.” It may be hard to attain an enforced peace at first, but you will gradually notice your full body resting and every part at a relaxed stance.

Savasana (the act of slowly relaxing one body part at a time, along with a single muscle, while meditating on one thought at a time) is a fragment of relaxation that drags your body from the uncertainties to a peaceful and refreshed state of mind. It enables you to fight daily life stress and help you to reset back to a calm state.

Relaxation exercises offer a more promising way of achieving most of the meditation, and impressively reduce your anxiety and nervousness.

 

Number Four: Avoid Procrastination

On many occasions, you may fiddle with various things like a financial burden, deadlines, emotional needs, or even life-threatening events. All these occurrences intensify your stress, and you may feel helpless or lack the willpower to face your stressors.

Almost everyone in America is conversant with the phenomenon of procrastination. It makes you spend all your free time worrying about your vital tasks, which you’re unable to accomplish, and they remain a continuous cause for dispute and fear in your brain.

The long-term procrastinators have this stress pattern circled up for their entire life by postponing the critical things, slugging on responsibilities, and continuing in a state of depression.

Don’t allow procrastination to ruin your life by boosting depression and stress. Here are precise steps you can take to stop procrastination. They are straightforward and can easily apply to your stressful life.

Don’t let procrastination and other mental issues ruin your goals – fix it today by clicking the button below!

 

 

Step 1: Try changing the environment

Different environments have various impacts on your brain and productivity. If you’re stressed due to any cause, such as your work task, what feeling will you get by staring at the papers’ stack? I bet it’s NEGATIVE.

In stressful moments, your work area starts looking like a torture cell. It will make you flee from the task; procrastinate about how horrible it is, or just sleep. Try altering the location or shifting to another room as this will make you feel rejuvenated and relaxed.

You can also spend some time on the lawn or terrace. A waft of fresh air will calm your brain and help you focus again, and then you can start working on your task over again, with positivity and a better mindset.

Step 2: Hangout with inspirational individuals

The kind of people you spend time with have a significant influence on your behavior and moods. Conversing with an inspiring or motivating individual can significantly change your perception of how you see things even for just a few minutes.

Surround yourself with people who can lift your mood and help you eliminate your agitation through their intelligent and intellectual management skills.

A productive chat with a hard worker or a go-getter instills positivity in you and can help you manage your unsettled matters to eradicate stress.

Step 3: Avoid overcomplicating your situation

Are you in any of these situations, waiting for the correct time to act on everything, or hoping for things to improve on their own or stress washing away suddenly? Then it’s time you change your perspective.

Nothing will materialize unless you put your efforts into creating a peaceful change to your life. Discard all your troubling thoughts and try to disconnect yourself from all the chaos in your brain.

Believing in superstition, overthinking, pondering, over-stressing, or making assumptions are all fertile grounds for developing long-term depression and stress.

Be realistic and straightforward. Instead of overcomplicating your situation, take small steps, and work towards resolving your issues.

One of the reasons many people drown into depression entails running after perfectionism. Go for natural conditions and their real results. When your situation is less complicated, it becomes easier to face, resolve, and get out of your stress and frustration.

 

effects of procrastination
Procrastination can have dreadful effects on your mental and physical health

 

Step 4: Clarify your goals

Procrastinating over a long time often diverts your brain, seemingly making you busy worrying about other less-important issues instead of growing your goals and aspirations. You, in turn, start feeling frustrated and allow in nervousness and anxiety. Stress then diverts your focus from your pursuits and the actions you need to take to achieve them.

So, how can you remedy the concern? Get some time off your day to cool down in a quiet location, pause, and meditate on your goals. Re-visit the achievements you desired to accomplish and figure out the steps you have taken into achieving them.

Ask yourself how relevant the actions you need to take are, or else think about the flaws and the adjustments you need to make.

You also need to ask yourself if the actions you take are in line with your goals. If they don’t, then figure out what you can do to achieve what you want.

Doing proper planning will help you in achieving what you want and avoid getting stressed again.

Step 5: Strategize and take actions

When going through a worrying phase, many people continuously lament the terrible situation but take no action. Sadly, no changes occur if you don’t act. As a result, you don’t have a reason to sit idle and keep worrying over the pending tasks. What you need to do is put some quality time into strategizing and planning on how you can solve the situation.

Procrastination is like a chain, and breaking through it isn’t easy. If you want to be free, you must first take charge of your will-power and thoughts.

 

Number Five: Get an Emotional Support Animal

An emotional support animal is your animal companion during tormenting moments like stress, depression, emotional disorders, or disability. They offer affection, companionship, and support to reduce the psychological impacts of health conditions and problems.

To many people, dogs are the best emotional support animals, but some still prefer other animals like cats or miniature horses. People relate differently to different animals, so whatever your choice is, go for it.

 

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How Can ESA Help in Easing Your Nerves?

Having a furry friend during your worst moments could be the ultimate therapy you need to calm down. Some of the ways your furry friend can help you feel relaxed and relieved include the following.

 

  • Keeping an ESA can enhance the release of neurotransmitters

Because of their binding capabilities and love, ESA’s boost the release of mood-regulating neurochemicals such as dopamine. This chemical is associated with stimulating the feeling of pleasure and can help you calm down fast.

Looking in the dog’s eyes is associated with boosting these neurotransmitters. The experience leads you to feel less stressed and diverts your attention to caring more about the feeling and attachment.

When feeling stressed, like many others, you may want to be alone or away from other people. However, depriving yourself of love and affection at this time could be dangerous and aggravate your condition much further.

However, having a supportive animal friend will compensate for the loneliness your heart may feel and simplify your recovery process. They also give a sense of security and eliminate stress.

An ESA can help you regain your mental wellness again – click the button below!

 

  • An ESA helps in staying stress-free, especially those having a height phobia

Many people experience a lot of stress when commuting by airplanes. Some don’t do planes completely due to phobia of height. If you also dread heights, then this could be your chance to enjoy life without fear.

Many states allow people diagnosed with mental problems, including stress, to board airplanes with their emotional support animals.

If you tend to encounter stress attacks, carrying your ESA to the plane will benefit your condition.

Petting and taking care of animals relieve anxiety and will divert your brain away from what’s happening around you. Since the pet will most probably require your attention the entire flight, you won’t have a chance to stress about the height anymore.

    • The unconditional attachment you have with your ESA, irrespective of the time or place, will help even-out your mood and thoughts.
    • An ESA can be incorporated into your treatment plan to hasten the process.

ESA helps as a treatment model and relieves several mental health complications supplemented by pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments.

They work perfectly with cognitive-behavioral treatments to ease symptoms’ impacts and enable you to go about your daily life without concerns surrounding stress and other underlying mental issues.

 

  • Stabilize Stress Attacks

Matters get complicated and difficult to handle in case of a stress attack caused by emotional dysregulation. At such moments, these animals give generous support and make the situation more manageable.

While stressed, you mostly find yourself fearful, anxious, and unable to settle down. The ESAs can offer you a stable state supportive posture to help you deviate your focus from the stressors.

The whole idea of emotional support animals works wonders with animals in a neutral state. More so, if you opt for ESAs that are neither stressed nor depressed and cuddle around you, notwithstanding your condition.

 

esa and stress
Companionship of Emotional Support Animal can help in fixing stress issues in life

 

Number Six: Exercises – the Evidence -Based Method That Has Proven to Be Effective

Do you have a list of ongoing stressors, or have you tried many methods to relieve yourself but to no avail? Are you on the verge of giving it all up? Don’t do that just yet. There are simple lifestyle options you can try out first. Exercise is one of them and has been tested and proven to be a very effective stress reliever. The reason being—physical activity aids in relieving pressure in the entire body and brain.

 

So how does exercise ease stress?

Exercise causes physiological variations that improve general body oxygen and blood supply. It also enhances the release of endorphins_ the “happy-state” neurotransmitters, which actively fix your mood. When released, they bring about a feeling of wellbeing and euphoria.

Besides lowering your stress levels, exercise also aids in keeping you fit and in good health condition.

 

How much exercise do you require?

According to the American Heart Association, a human needs 150 minutes of moderate aerobic workouts every week.

  • Breaking the duration to 30 minutes daily for five working days makes it more achievable and reachable.
  • If you have commitments and you lack much time to concentrate on one thing, the 30 minutes a day plan can work well for you.
  • While doing workouts, engage your more extensive muscle group and infuse stretching exercises at the end of every session.
  • Ending your workouts with stretching exercises helps relieve pain and continuous pressure over your joints, making you feel relaxed.

 

What type of exercises do you need?

Any type of exercise can help in easing your worries and stress. However, you should consult your physician. A certified doctor can help you watch out for red flags before you start.

If you suffer from cardiac and respiratory issues, you’ll need to be more careful because some of the exercises may not be good for your well-being.

Although no single program can be suitable for everyone, don’t go overboard thinking of the right exercises for you. Try these activities and see how much relaxation they bring to you.

  • Playing games outdoor
  • Brisk walking
  • Cycling
  • Jogging
  • Dancing
  • Swimming

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If you want to incorporate more stretching and strengthening activities, you can use external weights and stitching bands.

Exercise can be any bodily activity that helps raise your cardiac output, relieves your stress, and maintains general body fit.

To some, physical activities such as gardening, washing dishes, or cleaning may prove to be satisfactory. If you find these exciting, you can go ahead and enjoy it.

 

Number Seven: Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is your essential ability to understand and acknowledge your surroundings and mental state, and reactions to your external environment.

Since it’s an inherent natural phenomenon, it’s always available, especially when undergoing stress and panic, as long as you practice it daily.

The necessary steps involved in practicing mindfulness

Mindfulness offers an excellent opportunity to create some positive space between you and your reactions.

Stress is caused when you fail to understand and react accordingly with issues and the surrounding environment. Practicing mindfulness at this point will save you a lot—here are the steps to follow to master mindfulness.

Step 1: Plan some time

You do not require any special equipment or special preparation.  You only need to set aside a particular place and time. Take some time off your schedules, go to your secret and quiet place. Focus on the process.

Step 2: Focus on the present

Alongside achieving inner peace and calming your brain, you’d also want to emphasize the present. You need to understand what causes you stress without being judgmental or biased.

To achieve this, you have to train your troubled and worried brain to stay neutral and attempt to find a typical perspective of circumstances and moments resulting in panic.

 

traveling and stress
Traveling means taking break from your daily life routine and also a way to relieve from stress

 

Step 3: Ignore your judgment

When going through a stressful situation, your brain pulls out negative thoughts and draws conclusions on all things happening around you. You lack positivity in how you think, and the condition worsens as the stress develops further.

To fight this, simply pay attention to your present without judging or drawing negative conclusions and thoughts. Just focus on the positive features of the whole situation.

Step 4: Hold on to your focus point

Brains are typically carried away with thoughts. Practice staying grounded with your focus, besides, keep concentrating on it. The main goal of mindfulness is to help you get back to your thinking point repeatedly.

Step 5: Be patient with your struggling mind

This is the most crucial part of the process. Learn to keep calm and tolerate your wandering brain. Desist from judging or blaming yourself in any way. It’s okay if you can’t feel optimistic about anything. Accept the thoughts crossing your mind and drive back to your focal point gently.

The practice isn’t easy, and mastering it requires consistent practice and patience. However, the results are worth the struggle and more.

 

Number Eight: Play Reviving Video Games

Dealing with stress from time to time isn’t a new aspect of today’s life. If your condition is unwavering and a long-term concerning the situation, you may want to forget your worries and feel relaxed. Try video games. Many people think that video gaming is childish and a waste of time. Well, many of these games are created with a lot of emphases and are very good for the health of your brain.

Some of the exciting video games that you can enjoy anytime anywhere include:

  • Bubble Wrap

This game is excellent for killing stress. Its idea is drawn from the original bubble wrap, in which people enjoy popping out bubbles. It’s so sweet that you can now get it in your device and play it virtually anywhere.

If you press the bubbles on your screen, they burst and carry your worries away with the popping movements. When they pop, they also assist you in doing away with destructive thoughts.

Find the free app and download it for free. It’s easy to play, and so you can kick into the game even in the queue, at the bus stop, or while on a journey.

The app is optimized with various colors, and calming sounds perfect for kicking the stress out of your system.

  • Colour Break

Are you an artist, or you just find it fun experiencing colors? This app allows you to dig into digital skills and forget about your worries. To draw the patterns, you will use either your finger or a stylus if you have one.

It makes you concentrate on your creativity while effectively diverting your brain from your stressors the entire day. What’s even better? You get an opportunity to share your patterns with friends from anywhere.

It has an exciting, colorful build, interactive features, and grants you the ability to share your finished patterns with anyone through email; these features make it an awesome option. Download the app today and build your painting skills while you keep your nerves calm.

  • Personal Zen

This is another excellent opportunity to keep stress at bay. This app is designed with the help of neuroscientists. It has shown positive impacts on users battling mental disorders and anxiety.

According to many research pieces, the researchers say that playing it a few times weekly 5-10 minutes is beneficial.

If you have much time at your disposal, continue playing it because the longer you play, the better your results. Similarly, it trains your brain on creating a focus on positive thinking.

 

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Number Nine: Seek Stress Medication and Counselling

If you don’t deal with stress sooner, it may manifest itself through several symptoms that affect your mind and body’s chemically driven functions. However, chronic stress and anxiety may take longer to diminish.

If you tried all the other remedies and nothing seems to change, then it may be time you thought of seeking medication, counseling, or both to help you calm down.

Before using any medication, ensure that:

The most prominent drug categories commonly prescribed to curb stress and anxieties include:

 

Central Nervous System Depressants (Sedatives)

These drugs act by constraining the central nervous system (brain) and inducing favorable impacts such as reduced anxiety, relaxation, and sleepiness. Even so, if taken in high dosage, they can lead to adverse effects including:

  • Breathing impairment
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Slurred speech
  • Poor cognition

They can also be fatal if a subject overdose.

The most widely used are benzodiazepines (alprazolam, Diazepam) and barbiturates. Both types perform on various GABA neurotransmitter sites situated in the brain and produce relaxing effects.

Antidepressants

As their name suggests, so is their function. They are used in extreme depressive disorders and relative conditions. They are often given for stress management due to the strong correlation of depression with anxiety and the fact that their medication can be used interchangeably.

The strongest antidepressants used today are known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

Serotonin hormone regulates mood and behavior changes in the brain and taking it generates adverse emotional effects such as anxiety, stress, and depression.

SSRI ensures that serotonin remains for more extended periods and goes on regulating mood and emotional balance. They’re not addictive, but known side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep disturbance.

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Nutritional Supplements

Nutritional supplements are commonly used to treat stress and anxiety as a form of herbal antidote. Some of the widely used herbal medications include:

Although most of these substances occur naturally and are harvested, you should still be very cautious. Some specific combinations and doses may affect other body health conditions.

As a result, you should only take medication (whether herbal or clinical) strictly under the recommendations of a certified health practitioner.

Counseling

Whatever the cause of your stress, the pressure will consume your life if you leave it unattended. You can use many ways to relieve yourself from stress, and counseling is one of them.

 

What’s stress counseling?

Stress counseling refers to the involvement of a professional or certified psychotherapist in consultations and treatment for your stress management plan. Counselling offers various strategies, and you may need to go for several treatment sessions, depending on your mental conditions.

 

Benefits of Counselling

Counseling is a tried and tested an effective method of managing stress. It works perfectly in conjunction with other management methods.

Cognitive behavior therapy is one of the most successful strategies and most commonly used.

Some of the benefits of counseling include:

  • Offering the opportunity to diffuse the effects of stressors
  • Lessen long-term and short-term work-related issues
  • Assists you in experiencing the brighter side of life
  • Improve cognition
  • Integrates different exercises and techniques to manage stress
  • Boosts self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Talking therapies gives you room to let go of your worries and unsettled disputes.

The list goes on and on. Counseling opens doors to a lot of possibilities.

 

Conclusion

Stress is part and parcel of human life. But still, your health is way more important than the issues that keep worrying you. The best weapon to arm yourself with is how to combat it because you will have to deal with problems in one way or the other. This article has expounded in several ways you can manage stress and remain productive even in the worst storm.

Select what works best for you and follow the routine. Book an appointment today to restore your mental well-being.

 

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From the time the novel coronavirus appeared, governments and organizations put various measures in place to contain it. The most effective include sanitizing, social distancing, wearing PPEs, and quarantines. Although isolation plays a role in slowing the spread, it also makes things worse for people with or at risk of mental disorders.

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The Risks of Isolation on Mental Health

Health experts already expect a surge in cases of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and even suicide due to prolonged isolation. Just as with COVID-19, the health system isn’t adequately prepared to handle this surge. What’s more, not everyone eligible for treatment will seek or receive it. This situation has serious long-term implications.

According to a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, 56% of US adults experience worry, stress, and other adverse mental effects. The national hotline for people suffering emotional distress has seen a nearly 900% increase in calls during the coronavirus pandemic, compared to the same period last year.

Of the trillions of dollars set aside for coronavirus relief through the CARES Act, the amount committed to mental healthcare is insufficient. Even before the pandemic began, 1 in 5 American adults suffered some form of mental disorder. The figure is likely to rise exponentially due to prolonged isolation.

 

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Impact of COVID-19 on the American youth

 

Signs and Symptoms of Mental Illness During Isolation

Isolation causes loneliness, which can lead to more serious mental, emotional, and even physical health issues. Some of its symptoms and adverse effects include:

  • Stress: The pandemic had many unexpected outcomes. They include job losses, minimal access to health facilities, gym closures, communication breakdown, and complicated housing situations. Isolation makes the situation worse because your mind focuses on these adversities.
  • Depression: Although COVID-19 has affected everyone, some have suffered more. Maybe you caught the virus, or know someone who did. In some instances, it could have caused the death of a friend or family member. Such developments, coupled with loneliness, are enough to cause depression.
  • Cognitive decline: Research shows that lonely people are more likely to suffer disorders such as dementia. Social interactions are an important stage of cognitive development for all humans.
  • Alcohol and drug abuse: Isolation causes boredom, which increases the likelihood of overindulging. Alcoholism and drug abuse can worsen mental disorders, such as depression.
  • Erratic sleep patterns: Sleep deprivation can be both a result of and contributor to mental disorders. You’re more likely to have erratic sleep patterns if you also have anxiety, ADHD, depression among other conditions. The uncertainty caused by isolation makes it harder to sleep soundly.
  • Personality disorders: Schizoid personality disorder and borderline personality disorder are just two of the conditions that are linked to loneliness.

In extreme circumstances, isolation causes suicidal thoughts. When coupled with circumstances such as winter and the death of a loved one, it could result in serious mental problems. Loneliness can also lead to physical health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Overcome obesity during the Covid-19 isolation period!

 

Who’s Most at Risk? 

Although all of us deal with isolation and loneliness from time to time, some people are more prone to its negative effects. The elderly have been most affected by both the coronavirus and the resulting containment measures. Some already suffer from dementia and similar conditions, which are only made worse by isolation.

Children who suddenly can’t go to school or play with their friends are also likely to be affected. If they don’t understand the cause of this sudden isolation, conditions such as ADHD and anxiety can grow worse. Others are young adults, immigrants, and divorcees.

If you had some physical health problems, isolation might also affect you mentally. Restricted access to physical therapy facilities, medication, nurses, and other support structures may trigger depression and anxiety.

How to Survive Isolation?

Although it doesn’t completely solve the problem of isolation, technology can make the situation more bearable. Phone calls, texts, and video conferencing tools help you stay in touch with distant colleagues, friends, and relatives. You can also keep in touch through social media platforms.

 

tips to survive isolation
Tips to survive isolation in a healthy way

 

Technology provides ways of passing time that distract you from destructive habits such as alcoholism and drug abuse. They include movie streaming, online games, and participating in live webinars. Try to organize fun activities for the entire family, such as game nights, treasure hunts, backyard obstacle courses, and water activities.

You can also do home workouts to help keep you in shape, both physically and mentally. Remember to check on your neighbors and other members of the community, especially the elderly and vulnerable. You can help them with errands such as buying groceries, picking medication, getting them reading materials, and delivering other essentials to their doorsteps. Your short visit or phone call might do wonders for their mental wellbeing.

Keep your mental wellness at an optimum level by booking an appointment today!

If you consistently experience anxiety, stress, irritability, mood swings, and related symptoms during isolation, it’s time to seek professional help. Mango Clinic’s competent and experienced physicians are skilled at making accurate diagnoses and creating effective treatment plans. Apart from mental disorders, we also treat a variety of health problems affecting both men and women.

Please contact us today for more information.

 

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No one is like your mom. That is why every mom is like an angel roaming the earth. All moms play a crucial role in their children’s lives. For instance, your mother strives to balance her life beautifully while paying attention to your needs. Just like other mothers elsewhere, your mom is also smart, pretty, and versatile in her own way. Together with other big-hearted mothers, she is an inspiration to not only you but also to any stressed-out mom out there. She can empower or help other mothers to grow stronger and live happily.


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Often, we ignore the early signs of ADHD as childhood hyperactivity. Children are supposed to play, sweat it out, and have fun. However, children who suffer Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) find it challenging to focus, sit still, and accomplish small tasks. They will exhibit a restless behavior— always on the go, talking incessantly, and get bored quickly.

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ADHD doesn’t stop in childhood. Unfortunately, it can proceed past adolescence and plague your adult life. ADHD can affect your adult life adversely, because how can you make progress in your professional life when you can’t settle?

 

How Does ADHD Reduce the Quality of Your Life?

ADHD, like most mental health disorders, doesn’t get the attention as diseases with more physically pronounced symptoms. It might, therefore, aggravate because it takes longer to diagnose. Besides, most people who have ADHD do not even know it’s a severe thing until the symptoms come crushing.

ADHD can cause anxiety— you’ll intensely be worrying about everything. And this robs you of a goodnight’s sleep, which later summons lethargy. Now you can think of an exhausted brain being hyperactive. Such a level of turmoil can substantially reduce the quality of your life— every facet of it.

 

ADHD in children
Research shows that ADHD is affecting young boys more than it is affecting girls

 

Sleep is essential for the body’s natural renewal and to slow brain activity, but ADHD takes it away. You are also more susceptible to sleep-related issues like snoring and restless leg syndrome.

Due to the strain this disorder puts your brain through, you might struggle to keep up the pace at work. You’ll find it hard sitting for long in those boardroom meetings. Even taking instructions from your superiors becomes hectic because your attention can’t stretch long enough to get the little details. This can lower your performance at work and make it hard for you to keep jobs.

This disorder can decimate your life in many ways; that’s why you should know the right medication. The only sure way to know you’re getting medicated is when you use FDA-approved ADHD drugs. But here’s why you should use an approved drug for treating this disorder.

 

Why it’s essential to use FDA approved ADHD drugs only

Drug companies make drugs, but the drugs must pass through the FDA to get approval before they can be administered. The drug companies have their own procedures that test if the drugs are safe for the people it’s made for, and if they’re effective for the conditions they treat.

Use safe ADHD drugs by booking an appointment today!

The FDA, however, can only approve a drug for single use. It is doctors who will use their discretion backed up by medical research to prescribe medication off-label where the drugs can help alleviate the symptoms. That’s why some medications used for ADHD can be used for anxiety. Off-label prescriptions are effective, but the drug must be approved by the FDA, even if for a different condition.

FDA Approved Drugs assures safety and effectiveness

Drugs that do not pass through FDA don’t assure users of their safety. A drug company can’t make the drugs, test them in-house, and stamp an approval stamp on them. Using non-FDA approved ADHD drugs can cause severe damage, including liver damage, heart problems, and affect your cognitive abilities. It is only by using FDA-approved drugs that you know your safety was prioritized.

Also, non-FDA approved drugs can cause serious problems when prescribed off label. For off-label prescription, since the medicine wasn’t approved for the condition, there is no written dosage for the disease. The doctors have to depend on their training to know the right dosage to administer. Non-FDA approved drugs got away without passing any tests, depending on a doctor’s training to administer a dose of such drug for a mental health disorder is a health risk to anyone.

 

non FDA drug side effects
These side-effects are common in both stimulant and non-stimulant ADHD drugs

 

Some ADHD patients have other health conditions

Before drugs get approved, the FDA tests them to know if they are safe and effective for patients with other health conditions. That’s why you find drugs that are not good for lactating mothers and others that shouldn’t be used during pregnancy. Unapproved drugs lack this information, as the manufacturers bypass some tests.

For instance, psychostimulants like methylphenidate and amphetamines are effective at treating ADHD but are not recommended during pregnancy. These drugs expose the fetus to harm. Expectant ADHD patients can, therefore, go for another option— we know this because the FDA tested the drug, unapproved drugs don’t have this information, and so puts your health at risk.

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In conclusion, ADHD is a serious condition that can maim your personal life and drain your professional life. Though it is common in children below six years, it can plague your adult life too. Using FDA approved drugs for this condition assures effectiveness and safety.

However, your safety begins with entrusting your health to medical professionals. Book an appointment with us to find help with ADHD-related issues.

 

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It is common for some people to come forward and make their New Year Resolution in the hope of sticking to it throughout the year and beyond. Their resolutions come in different forms known better to them. But have you ever thought of something different such as a mental health resolution? If not, this is the best time to think about it and make a sound decision.


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Today, let’s dig into nine little known facts about depression that will blow your mind away. The facts are well researched with lots of evidence to back them up. Following these facts, there has been a lot of emphasis on depression and resulted in a new way of looking at this mental health disorder. You will find these facts interesting to know.

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Contents

Fact 1# Brains of people with depression look different

Fact 2# Depression is triggered by multiple factors

Fact 3# Over 65% of depression is confused with anxiety over time

Fact 4 # One of the main causes of suicide is untreated depression

Fact 5# Children also suffer from depression

Fact 6 # Depression can be cured using magnets

Fact 7 # Over 80% of people with depression aren’t taking their meds

Fact 8 # Depression isn’t someone’s choice

Fact 9 # Women are more prone to depression than men due to postpartum depression

 

Let’s begin, shall we?

 

Fact 1# Brains of people with depression look different

By now, you know that depression is a complex disease. It has different factors going round in the background. Among the things that go on behind the scenes include trauma, changes in chemical composition, medical conditions, and genetics. All these factors lead to changes in the brain structure, which makes it look different from a person who isn’t suffering from depression.

The following are the significant changes that are evident in the brain of a person suffering from depression:

  • Differences in Brain Structure

Following comprehensive scans on the brains of people with depression, major changes in the structure were witnessed. One of the major concerns is changes in white matter, which was prevalent.

What’s the role of the white matter in the brain?

White matter is the communication channel of brain cells. The white matter contains signals that pass information between cells in the brain. Through this signaling, information moves around the brain. When the white matter is interfered with, one develops problems touching on emotions, cognition, and the thought process.

When one has depression, their brain may not function properly. Some of the areas that are under threat when one has depression include:

  • Thalamus
  • Amygdala
  • Frontal
  • Prefrontal cortices

Brain shrinkage may occur, and its severity depends on how long one has suffered from depression.

 

Physical effects of depression
5 Ways Depression Can Physically Affect the Brain

 

Is depression classified as an inflammatory disorder?

When one has persistent depression, they may develop inflammation. However, it’s yet to be established whether it’s depression that causes inflammation or vice versa.

  • Functional differences

Let’s look at these top things:

The three areas of the brain that undergo significant changes include:

  1. Hippocampus– Damage on this part of the brain leads to impaired memory
  2. Prefrontal Cortex – Affects attention
  3. Amygdala – Alters one’s behavior and attention

During the last stages of depression, the changes to the brain’s functionality may penetrate the victim’s genes.

Hormonal imbalance is also common in people suffering from depression. In these people, the stress hormone, cortisol, is produced more than that in normal people. A person with elevated levels of cortisol is likely to suffer from ‘Cushing syndrome.’ As you can see, the process is cyclical. High levels of cortisol are a major cause of significant depression disorder.

  • Biochemical differences

Any type of damage caused by a disorder isn’t superficial. It begins at the molecular level and piles up through many biochemical changes that cause havoc on the entire body. Following these changes, you will start experiencing the effects on every part of your body.

There’s nothing romantic about the chemistry of depression.

Here’s the thing, the brain is in charge of all the body’s functions. When one has depression, things begin to go wrong. Every molecular activity in the body starting from the brain is affected. These changes shift the body from its normal operation to fight and flight mode. The shift results in a chemical imbalance that may be influenced by genes, trauma, or the environment.

  • Changes as seen on a Brain Scan

The future of medicine is hopeful that an MRI will help detect all types of brain issues. While you might assume that changes are limited to functionality and structure, such an assumption is wrong. Before we look at the difference between the two, let’s explore some interesting knowledge about a brain scan. Things that a brain scan can detect.If there’s a diagnostic wonder in the world of medicine, it’s a brain scan. Whether it’s a tumor, changes in brain structure, lesion, unusual formations, or anything else, a brain scan will pick it up.

Brain scans fall into two main categories: a Computed Tomography (CT) scan and a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The two offer highly diagnostic insight on various brain-related diseases.

Between an MRI and CT scan, which is better? The two are equally good and have been endorsed by doctors in the detection of brain anomalies. The two can detect four different types of brain disorders. As you may know, depression has time and may relapse. When a depressive period occurs, you may not be aware of the triggers. There are specific triggers that cause depression.

In the following fact, you will get to learn about different triggers of depression.

 

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Fact 2# Depression is triggered by multiple factors

We all feel low from time to time. Various factors, such as losing a job, arguing, or the presence of grey clouds in the sky, can make one sad. In some cases, depression may set in from nowhere without any triggers. However, clinical depression is different from ordinary depression. It’s a medical disorder that has specific triggers. Such depression usually manifests in a myriad of symptoms. Let’s dig into some of the triggers.

  • Being overworked at the workplace

Reports by the American Institute of Stress, the primary causes of depression disorder are caused by stressors at the workplace. However, most people who can’t handle extreme pressure at the workplace are at substantial risk of developing many mental health disorders, including depression. Work pressure may be out of our control. The two available options are looking for an alternative job or developing a coping mechanism for the work overload.

  • Body Inflammation

There’s a new radical approach to comprehending depression that links the disorder to inflammation in the body. Is depression caused by inflammation in the body? Most people don’t know this, but inflammation in the body is a big problem. Complex systematic inflammation affects various critical symptoms in the body, such as the respiratory system or the musculoskeletal system. The impact of these disruptions causes a big mess in the body. It’s not a coincidence that there’s a connection between the brain and inflammation.

What are the common causes of inflammation?

  1. Trauma
  2. Sleeping disorder
  3. Illness
  4. Infection

Inflammatory proteins such as cytokines contain an active inflammatory cascade. When such proteins reach the brain, they lead to reactive oxygen species, among other byproducts, which may cause stress on the body and lead to depression.

 

Depression triggers
5 Emotional Factors that Trigger Depression

 

Jumping on to,

  • Financial distress

There’s a high correlation between financial woes and depression. The two are like milk and butter. Why is this? When one has financial problems, they can’t make money, and they lag on bills, pile up tickets, and other liabilities that drag their mood down. Furthermore, the lack of money entangles one in a vicious cycle. 50% of people with depression are usually on leave or don’t have a job. I hope you can see the chain here? When you compare yourself to your peers who are ahead of you financially, you may end up getting depression. People suffering from depression due to lack of money may isolate themselves, which makes the situation worse.

  • Sexual dysfunction

There’s a co-existence between depression and sexual dysfunction. How so? When one experiences problems in their sexual life, they may not open up to anyone, including their physician. As a result, depression keeps growing inside them. What’s worse is that your antidepressants can cause sexual dysfunction. Between 16 and 20% of American women are taking antidepressants. The above high figure shows that women are prone to depression due to the sexual dysfunctions that they may be experiencing. Moving on to,

  • Obesity

We live in a world where being big is perceived as unhealthy. People with weight issues often fall into depression due to the stigma associated with the extra pounds. Most of you here would also struggle with depression if you added weight excessively. The worst thing that drives people into more depression is when they can’t seem to shed the extra weight.

 How Does Obesity Trigger Depression?

Obesity is a tough conversation among most people. Those suffering from it are in denial and don’t want to admit that there’s a problem. Most of these people keep quiet about any struggles they may be going through due to their excess weight, and this leads to chronic depression. When feeling like your weight is pulling you down, seek therapy. It works!

  • Excessive Consumption of Alcohol

Most people may not know that their mental health is greatly influenced by what they eat or drink. Social drinking has been on the rise among Americans, and more people are slipping into alcohol addiction by the day. Various types of depression are occurring due to alcohol and substance abuse. The main problem is that people are using alcohol to help them forget about their problems. Drinking alcohol is seen as an escape from one’s problems. Such a mentality can cause depression.

Here’s an essential question:

What’s the effect of alcohol on one’s mental health?

Once you start drinking, there’s this euphoric feeling, and one gets into a mellow mood. But once you sleep and the effects of the alcohol wear out, you are brought back to reality. The wake-up call triggers episodes of depression and anxiety. Once sober, you may even contemplate suicide.

So, why do you feel worse once you stop drinking?

Alcohol and most other substances manipulate your body’s physiology and can be highly addictive. Once you stop drinking, you will go through withdrawal symptoms as the body tries to wean itself the effects of the alcohol. Alcoholic beverages contain high amounts of carbohydrates. Withdrawal from taking these drinks deprives the body of these carbohydrates and may cause mayhem. As you stop taking alcohol, the body craves these carbohydrates, and the result is depression and becoming irritable.

Get your depression treated today!

 

Fact 3# Over 65% of depression is confused with anxiety over time

It’s common to confuse depression with anxiety or vice versa. The two mental health disorders have similar symptoms. Since they revolve around once thought pattern, 65% of the people confuse depression with anxiety. So how can you tell the two conditions apart? Don’t worry; you are in the right place to get the information you need about these mental health disorders. The two common disorders that are often interlinked are ‘Major depressive disorder (MDD)’ and ‘Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).’ Surprisingly, most people are suffering from both. Are you wondering whether you have both anxiety and depression? Here are some symptoms that may help you figure that out:

When you have anxiety and depression, the symptoms may be intense. The truth is that if you have anxiety, the chances of getting depression is high. It’s common to be diagnosed with both depression and anxiety. The treatment options available for the two are almost similar, especially if you are experiencing them at the same time. For both, you may be prescribed antidepressants. The two also involve cognitive behavioral therapy, making some lifestyle changes, and correcting sleeping patterns. While both disorders have different features, most of their attributes often overlap. It’s highly common for people to suffer from the two at the same time.

 

Anxiety and depression
Difference Between Anxiety and Depression

 

Let’s proceed to the next fact:

 

Fact 4 # One of the main causes of suicide is untreated depression

The rate at which people are committing suicide due to depression is rising at an alarming rate. The mental disorder causes major changes in behavior in the victim.

The thing is, knowing what’s going on in one’s mind is extremely difficult. Unless someone takes you through their thought process, you will remain in the dark. When it starts having problems and falls into depression, they may start isolating themselves from friends and family. They also withdraw from social interactions that they used to find enjoyable. If you notice such trends in a person, chances are they are slowly slipping into depression. The worrying thing is that such behavior may lead to suicidal thoughts. A person suffering from depression often believes that taking their own life will put them out of their misery. Usually, suicidal thoughts are passive. The victims begin to fantasize and ask themselves,’ ‘what if I was dead?’ or ‘what if I die?’ ‘Could suicide be the permanent solution to my problems?’ Some red flags to look out for a suicidal person is when they start giving away personal belongings or when they start acquiring a firearm. These are indications that the person could be contemplating suicide.

Never ignore any red flag that points to suicidal thoughts. Over time, there’s a trend in the correlation of suicide to depression between genders. For men, about 7% are prone to suicide as a result of depression compared to 1% of women in a similar situation.

 

Suicide facts
Suicide Facts in the USA

 

How can you detect if someone can be suicidal?

Predicting whether someone is likely to commit suicide isn’t easy. However, some warning signs point to the possibility of suicide. They include:

  • Prolonged periods of mental instability
  • Social isolation
  • Loss of meaning in life
  • Drastic changes in one’s behavior and personal hygiene
  • Mood swings
  • Disposing of personal possessions

Apart from these, there are other warning signs such as:

Verbal cues – A suicidal person may repeatedly utter specific phrases such as ‘I want to die’ or ‘You will miss me.’ Most suicidal people will try to reach out to the people around them using such phrases, which is usually a cry for help.

High-risk peopleDepression often manifests in different ways in people and alter their thinking patterns. For people at a high risk of killing themselves, they are often preoccupied with death and often wonder how it can’t be reversed. Such people tend to be fierce and impulsive. When these people know of someone close to them who committed suicide due to depression, they may be motivated to do the same to also get out of their despair.

Suicidal people fall into two categories: those that are determined to die or those that are desperate for help. Simple.

Get your depression treated today!

 

Let’s move on to the fifth fact:

 

Fact 5# Children also suffer from depression

Is your child always unhappy? Are they pulling away from their friends? Naturally, children hate darkness. Is your child always isolating themselves and staying in a dark room for hours? Well, you will be amazed to learn that children are not immune to depression. As sad as that sounds, it’s a fact.

Why do kids fall into depression?

Let’s explore this together. According to statistics, about 2 to 3% of children under the age of twelve suffer from clinical depression. While this number may be low, it’s still sad to think about it. Kids are always full of life and have lots of energy. However, mistreating or abusing them steals this innocent joy from them. While not every child that’s abused may suffer depression, it’s still a significant trigger of depression in kids. The correlation between child abuse and depression is high.

The rate of depression among teenage girls has skyrocketed over the past decade. Over the same period, the rate of suicides has doubled among this age group. Parenting the current generation is no easy fete. Children are under a lot of pressure nowadays. At this age, children don’t know how to express sadness or open up about any emotional issues they may be having.

Another contributing factor is the generational gap in how things should be in society. Most children don’t see anything wrong with playing violent video games or using their smartphones to access social media and participate in the hype there. However, most parents believe that this is a big NO.

 

Depression among children
Causes of Depression Among Children

 

There’s no denying that children in the current generation spend a huge amount of time on the internet using their smartphones and laptops. It can be tough to supervise what they are watching and what’s in their mind. However, it’s your responsibility to monitor them and check their phones once in a while. You can also look into their social media accounts or browser history to try and understand what’s going on in their mind. Don’t overlook depression in children. Ensure there’s an open communication channel between you and your kids.

 

Fact 6 # Depression can be cured using magnets

How cool is that? This little piece of information right here is revolutionizing the treatment of depression. Sometimes depression can be resistant, and the solution lies in Transcranial magnetic therapy. I am sure you think that this method involves the physician placing a magnet on your head that sucks out the depression. No. Transcranial magnetic therapy (TMS) involves the use of powerful electromagnets similar to those used in an MRI. Your brain is an electric organ, and there’s a high correlation between electromagnets and electricity.

How do magnets help your brain?

The newest research on neurocognitive abilities involved the use of magnets. The solution can be used to improve one’s sleeping patterns and eating habits. Magnets can manipulate your brain. Using them may help one’s cognitive ability and improve memory. In 2008, the FDA approved the use of magnets to improve brain functions. Over the years, the success of the treatment has increased tremendously. Some therapists believe that TMS has similar effects to taking antidepressants. Combined with other psychotherapy techniques, the results are amazing.

REALITY CHECK!

According to the World Health Organization, over 350 million people are suffering from depression around the world. This figure makes it the leading cause of disability. 30% of the world’s population is said to be resistant to various forms of depression treatments. The term resistant to treatments refers to the situation where a patient is still exhibiting symptoms of depressions even after two or three cycles of taking antidepressants.

The science behind how TMS operates is still sketchy, but there are different procedures of carrying it out. TMS is painless and works by sending electric impulses to the brain, which in turn stimulates the cells, which helps control one’s mood and behavior. However, the method is relatively new and comes with certain risks. Let’s check them out.

Transcranial brain stimulation is a non-evasive procedure – there’s no surgery involved. Repeating the process hasn’t caused any adverse effects. However, there are some side effects, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Tingling
  • Scalp pain
  • Twitching of facial muscles

Unlike other treatments such as electroconvulsive therapy that cause seizures, TMS doesn’t require sedation or the use of anesthesia before the procedure starts. Speaking of the procedure, you will need multiple sessions of therapy to achieve the desired results. Eventually, the symptoms will reduce and completely disappear over time.

 

Depression treatments
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Depression

 

Want more facts? Keep reading.

 

Fact 7 # Over 80% of people with depression aren’t taking their meds

When you think about it, that’s an extremely high number of people not taking their depression medicine considering how severe the disease can be. Due to such statistics, it’s no wonder depression is the leading mental disability disorder and has led to the growing number of suicides. How come this number is so high? Why don’t people seek help or get their depression treated? Let’s look at some reasons:

High cost of treatment

Depression can be treated using medication and non-medical ways. However, the expenses of people with comorbidities is thrice that of those without. In America, the treatment options for mental health patients include out of pocket costs, insurance, and government-funded programs. However, there’s no guidance on how to seek to treat these conditions. Most people want to get treated for depression, but they have no idea where to start. Another problem is that individuals are in denial and don’t want to open up about what they are going through. They don’t want to accept that they could be having a mental disorder. Unlike other major diseases, there are still no clear guidelines on how one should go about when they suspect they may be having depression. There’s also limited platforms for people to express themselves.

Disbelief that the treatment will work

Another reason why most people with depression don’t take their meds it because they don’t believe that the medicine will work. The non-medical treatment options call for patience, time, and lots of positive attitudes. There are many treatment options for various types of depressive disorders. Some are experimental treatments that may fail at times. Most patients often get disappointed when a particular treatment doesn’t seem to take the symptoms away. In most cases, re-evaluation is required, and patients don’t want to do it again. Most of the individuals don’t look at the bigger picture or the long term positive outcome of the treatment.

Mistrust and loss of confidentiality

Fear of opening up is one of the main reasons why people don’t seek treatment for depression. Most of the people feel insecure and may not have the confidence to express their emotional turmoil to anyone. The negative thoughts build up. An emotional connection or bond needs to exist for people to open up to each other. In most cases, this bond is missing. Older people, especially those between 60 and 70 years of age, fiercely guard their independence and don’t want to ask for help. They fear that they may lose their integrity and look desperate, which makes the situation worse. Most people prefer to commit suicide due to fear of judgment and loss of self-esteem.

 

Depression medications
Effective Depression Medications

 

Lack of health insurance cover

When one doesn’t have health insurance, they may fail or delay in getting the necessary treatment. About 4.4 million Americans don’t access to health insurance, and a further 38 million have minimal access. The implication is that this population won’t get the primary care and prevention needed for most medical conditions. Lack of access treatment may lead to irreversible damage.

 

 Fact 8 # Depression isn’t someone’s choice

You don’t choose to be depressed. Period. There’s a difference between emotions and emotional disorders. Emotions such as happiness, sadness, joy, or sorrow are in one’s control. You can overcome such emotions easily.  However, the same isn’t the case for depression. One doesn’t choose to be depressed. You can’t tell to snap out of it or be happy. Most people think that depression is a mood swing or random behavior. It’s important to understand that depression is a disease and not a habit. About 8% of Americans develop depression when they are around 12 years and don’t seek medical help. Only 50% of the population gets treatment for these conditions despite living in a first-world country. There are many myths associated with how one gets depression.

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What are some of the common misconceptions of getting depression?

There’s this belief that depression is the outcome of negative events in people’s lives. Therefore, it’s believed that the easiest solution out of it is making the person happy. Another belief is that depression affects only people in a certain age group. However, depression doesn’t discriminate against age, ethnicity, or area. Anyone can get depression.  Depression doesn’t necessarily need to have a cause. It’s not automatic that tragic events in your life will drive your depression. Many people turn to worse things to deal with their pain. When depression goes untreated, it may lead to alcohol abuse or suicide attempts. Once depression is diagnosed, treatment needs to be administered quickly. Sometimes, the patient may need something more than medical and non-medical intervention.

Now that we have addressed some of the misconceptions related to depression let’s look at the actual causes of depression.

 

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What Causes Depression?

Underlying medical conditions- When one has certain underlying medical conditions such as chronic pain, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, among others, they are more prone to depression.

Drug abuse- There’s a lot of evidence showing that substance abuse of stimulants and non-stimulants always leads to long term depressive disorder. Drugs, especially those that alter the central nervous system, contain active ingredients that result in dependency on the drug. As time goes by, you need the dosage. Failure to do so leads to the development of withdrawal symptoms and, eventually, chronic depression.

Genetics- Sometimes, depression is genetic. You may be prone to depression if your mother or father’s side has a history of the disease.

Does Genetic Composition Lead to Depression?

Over the last decade, research has shown that depression runs in families. The significant genetic composition may lead to a probability of developing depression in the long run. Ever wondered who is likely to get depression between men and women? Have you ever heard of the term ‘ baby blues’? Learn more about this in our last fact.

 

Read on.

 

Fact 9 # Women are more prone to depression than men due to postpartum depression

Depression is prevalent in both men and women. However, women are seen as more prone to depression because they talk about it most of the time. Men, on the other hand, bottle up their feelings and are in denial of the symptoms. They end up drinking excessively or abusing drugs to cope with what they are going through. The main difference here lies in the hormonal composition between men and women.

That’s why women suffer from postpartum depression while men can’t experience such a thing. Women experience a lot of hormonal changes between their puberty and menopause, which makes them twice susceptible to depression compared to men.

How long does postpartum last?

The most severe period for postpartum depression is usually six weeks after a woman gives birth. The first six weeks are a crucial period between the mother and her newborn. The mother usually experiences lots of emotional and physical changes. After these first weeks, the reproductive parts start to go back to their normal state before the pregnancy slowly. The recovery from a vaginal birth is different from that of caesarian delivery.

 

Depression among women
2 Most Prominent Types of Depression Among Women

 

Understanding postpartum depression

The sad thing is that society doesn’t understand the strong emotions felt by a mother who just gave birth. The people around her believe she’s only feeling the overwhelming joy of giving birth. However, while most women are joyful about the newborn, they also get into postpartum depression.

Some of the symptoms that a woman experiences after childbirth include; poor sleeping patterns, low appetite, mood swings, and extended fatigue. Some of the symptoms associated with postpartum depression are restlessness, stress, and rejection of the baby.

The following are the risk factors of getting postpartum depression:

  • Isolating oneself
  • Family history of depression
  • Increased number of children
  • Economic distress

The easiest way to cope with postpartum depression is by accepting the condition and focusing on the baby. You will have some good and bad days, but it shall come to pass. Allow family and friends to help you when you feel overwhelmed.

Conclusion

So, depression can kick in at an early age. These nine facts are some crucial things that not many people know about depression. Depression is multi-faceted and presents itself due to many factors. The good news is that if detected early, it’s manageable and treatable. Visit Mango Clinic to get rid of depression.

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What’s holding back mental healthcare access? There is a lot of information on the general issues that bar people from seeking help to treat their mental illnesses. Sure, there are people that have managed to access successful treatment, but a good number of those battling mental illnesses aren’t getting the help they need. This gap between patients and treatment trickles down to multiple factors.

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Ideally, knowing all the reasons that are keeping you from accessing treatment could change your life. If you would like to know some of the reasons why accessing mental healthcare is tough, this is the post for you. It includes five of these barriers.

The points included in this post are not only an inside view of the mental healthcare industry but also evidence-based insights into why accessing treatment options have been a problem. It will answer the many questions in your mind right now.

 

Number One – Structural Barriers

Mental health issues are common all over America. While all states have been working on creating an environment favorable for mental health treatment, there still exists a large gap between access to treatment and the prevalence of the illnesses.

The Treatment Gap

The treatment gap is used to refer to the difference between the number of patients who need specific treatment and those who actually receive the care. Among the primary reasons for this large gap is the availability of unpredictable and insufficient data on the American population. This is exacerbated by the scarcity of resources for collecting this data.

According to the survey:

  • America’s weighted mean for the treatment gap for mental illnesses stands at 71.2%
  • The mean for the treatment gap stands at 57.6% for severe disorders
  • The mean for the treatment gap stands at 65.7% for critical to moderate disorders

In the case of severe mental disorders, the treatment gap is as follows:

  • 5% in North America
  • 9% in Latin America
  • 4% in Mesoamerica
  • 8% in South America

For severe to moderate mental disorders, the treatment gap increases substantially:

  • 2% in North America
  • 7% in Latin America
  • 7% in Mesoamerica
  • 1% in South America

Tackling the treatment gap that exists among alcohol and substance abusers is the biggest challenge for first-world countries such as America. The treatment gap among American adults is also exceptionally high, further adding to the global mental health disorder burden.

Poor Mental Health Policies

Policies are supposed to aid in meeting the needs of the population. Historically, America has been more than adamant in creating mental health policies aimed at helping people with war-related chronic mental health problems. This includes a centralized system of procedures that have been around since 1960. Services might no longer be available to the seriously ill citizens because the centralized approach didn’t factor this target demographic.

The present situation concerning public health policies isn’t that different from the post-war one. Instead of targeting the population that needs them, today’s health policies are aimed at therapeutic services for outpatient settings. As such, this scenario results in inadequate resource allocation for the mental health sector.

Here are a few trends recorded in 2020, according to Mental Health America’s published article:

  • There has been an increase in the prevalence of depression and anxiety from 8.66% to 13.01%
  • More adults are attempting suicide than ever
  • While most American have insurance, they lack treatment
  • The youth and adults lack treatment requirements
  • There is still a large proportion of the youth that goes unidentified despite struggling with mental health illnesses

 

Mental health professionals
Which Mental Health Professionals are More at Risk?

 

Mental Health Professional Shortage

In general, America doesn’t have enough health professionals, but this inadequacy can be felt most in the mental healthcare sector. According to mental health resources, a good number of Americans, 89.3 million, live in federally designated areas of mental health shortage.

These statistics can be tied back to a variety of factors. Other than rural areas being highly deprived of diagnostic and treatment services, they typically lack access to mental health professionals. On the flip side, while urban areas have more health professionals, most have long waiting lists. Patients often have to wait for months before accessing these services.

This matter is further aggravated by government-sponsored and private insurance plans. Also, doctors often shy away from taking up mental healthcare careers.

The Organization of Mental Healthcare Services Is Fragmented

The fragmentation of mental health services makes accessing mental healthcare tougher for most people. Mental health services are referred to as ‘de facto’ in many areas. While people do report their problems, they often find themselves stuck in a maze of disorganization before they can get any help. This increases the urgency of having an efficient service system to facilitate direct contact with the community.

Some of the reasons for the disorganization of mental health services include:

  • Desperate administrative resources
  • Historical reforms
  • Variation in eligibility criteria rules
  • Misconducted funding streams

 

When combined, these factors have created widespread artificial boundaries between the patients and access to treatment. It is rare for popular communities to offer their past and present medical histories for assessment. When these communities actually present this data, processing the examinations usually takes months.

A severe lack of mental health services is also common among large minority communities, which is why people who dwell in rural areas are known to commit suicide at a rate that’s higher than their urban counterparts.

 

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Ignorance of the High-Risk Population’s Treatment

Whenever reform and guidelines are being designed, the high-risk population is often neglected. Mental healthcare isn’t advanced enough to ensure that all aspects that require consideration are addressed. However, the leaders in advancement also use outdated and general approaches when making decisions on mental healthcare.

Here is some of the high-risk population that is often ignored during mental healthcare reforms:

Geriatric Population

Mental health disorders and suicide are highly prevalent among the older generations, so providing this age group with treatment is necessary. For older people, ‘Medicare’ is their primary financer for health issues. The sad truth is that Medicare offers limited services and options for the mental healthcare sector. This inadequacy is linked to:

  • Limits to hospitalization
  • Limited coverage of office visits
  • Little to no coverage of prescription drugs

Around 25% of this demographic claim that these Medicare restrictions bar them from seeking healthcare. Since the treatment offered to older people isn’t as receptive as that offered to other adults, most resist seeking treatment. Under Medicare, general outpatient medical services require a 20 percent copayment, while most outpatient mental health services require a 50 percent copayment. It also rigidly limits the lifetime hospitalizations to 190 days.

Suggested Citation: “9 Barriers to Effective Treatment and Intervention.” Institute of Medicine. 2002. Reducing Suicide: A National Imperative. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. DOI: 10.17226/10398.

The under-diagnosis and under-treatment of the older generation also pose a greater risk to access to treatment. Since a good number of physicians’ view depression and mental illnesses as part of growing old arising from anatomical, physiological, and psychological changes, special treatment considerations do not seem necessary for this group. However, this mindset can negatively impact the importance of seeking mental healthcare.

Adolescents

The reasons behind poor mental healthcare access are the same for the adolescent population; low utilization, limited access to care, low help-seeking behavior, and diagnosis problems have all contributed to the limited access to mental health treatment.

Another significant factor is that the unemployed status of most adolescents makes affording treatment expenses an uphill task. This age group also doesn’t adhere to appointments and follow-ups as required.

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Number Two – Limited Awareness/Education About Mental Health

The lack of mental healthcare awareness can be quite consequential. Stories about mental health complications can be found everywhere, including in newspapers, media, and TV. The responsibility of spreading and understanding mental health awareness falls on the government, treatment providers, and family members. Why aren’t people that struggle with bipolar disorder or chronic depressive disorder or schizophrenia getting the treatment they deserve? For those who do, why are treatment rates quite high?

The best excuse for this situation would be ‘Anosognosia’ – an inadequacy in self-awareness. If the person suffering from a mental disorder isn’t well-educated about their condition, they will have a lot of questions about their wellbeing. ‘Broken brain’ is a term commonly used to refer to people struggling with mental illnesses who have to deal with the continuous change in their brain or its damage without sensing that they have a mental illness.

50% of patients who are suffering from mental illness often don’t accept the fact that they have a mental disorder. While their health providers, friends, or family might try to inform them of their condition, it can be tough for them to understand or be mindful of their mental wellbeing. Addressing anosognosia is challenging since it is also a symptom of mental illness. Those who aren’t at home with their mental illnesses might react differently, including through:

Irritation

Other than being uncomfortable to deal with at first, mental disorders do get worse with age and time. Those struggling with these illnesses may face pressure in the form of work, financial burden, memory loss, a decline in cognitive skills, and stigma, which can breed anxiety while socializing.

Fear and Anger

The experience of being told that you have a mental disorder is typically painful and terrifying. People react towards fear in a completely unpredictable way. For those with psychiatric disorders, it can be tough to take things positively.

The language used to address the different disorders could also be an issue to the point where people suffering from mental illnesses become susceptible to specific words. For instance, calling such people’ mentally disturbed’ can be humiliating and cause anger reactions.

Why Mental Health Awareness Matters

Mental health awareness and the awareness of existing healthcare choices are necessary for early diagnosis and for spotting red flags within a specific demographic. This awareness also speeds up recovery from mental disorders.

Knowledge of all things mental health-related could help those in need figure out how to access healthcare resources. In fact, half of Americans might not access healthcare resources due to not knowing how to go about it.

They may not be aware of the resources that exist for their specific disorder; non-profit organizations, insurance policies, government-sponsored low-budget insurance coverage, and funding all offer great opportunities for improved mental health for the population. However, the lack of education, cultural and language barriers, superstitions, and conservative mindsets hold back people from leveraging healthcare options and treatments.

 

Psychiatric health in USA
Limitations of Psychiatric Health in the USA

 

Awareness offers both hope and a large recovery window. Attention to the possibilities of mental illnesses creates the perfect environment for decreasing comorbidities and improving how people approach life.

In the United States of America, a variety of organizations is working overtime to improve mental health awareness in their communities. These initiatives are targeted at improving the mental health of the population as well as increasing awareness of available treatment options. Some of these initiatives include:

  • Helpful Educational Resource for Mental Disorders and Healthcare In The U.S
  • CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

The CDC offers a rich source of data concerning mental health disorders. It has databases that are broadly based on public data and statistics. In recent years, the organization has been a huge advocate for mental health awareness. It has been promoting this cause by describing mental health to the public and outlining the benefits of mental health awareness as well as the available treatment options.

MedlinePlus

MedlinePlus is the service behind the most extensive medical library in the world, the ‘National Library of Medicine.’ The organization’s main goal is to offer high-quality information concerning health and wellness. By using English and Spanish, it achieves its goals of spreading healthcare awareness through all possible mediums. As an online resource, MedlinePlus is among the most trusted sources of information for individuals and their friends and family.

Mentalhealth.Gov

The U.S government uses this website as a one-step access door for a wide variety of mental health resources. Visitors can learn all things related to mental health by visiting the site. It targets a number of areas, including:

  • The general public
  • Policymakers
  • School systems
  • Health and emergency preparedness professionals
  • Local communities
  • Government and business leaders

National Center For PTSD

This organization’s target demographic is American veterans, both men, and women. It claims to offer all employees of the VA respect, excellence, and a baseline of standards.

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National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

NIMH has been one of the greatest champions of establishing evidence-based research on mental illnesses. As a leading federal agency in the mental health field, it falls under the 27 institutes of the National Institute of Health, which has been acclaimed as the world’s largest biomedical research agency.

In the coming five years, NIMH has created a strategic plan on how it wants to push mental health awareness forward. The plan includes (2020 updated):

  • Highlighting efforts aimed at improving therapeutic and preventive mental health interventions
  • Monitoring the trajectory of mental illnesses to establish the perfect way to intervene
  • Advancing the basic science of the brain, behavior, and genomics to understand mental illnesses better
  • Ensuring that people suffering from mental disorders can benefit from improved services and outcomes, and better knowledge to practice

 

Number Three – Racial Barriers and Social Stigma

The disorder isn’t the only complication that people struggling with mental illness have to deal with. While the disorder itself can be daunting to deal with, the whole experience is worsened by social stereotypes and prejudice.

Victims of mental illnesses are often robbed of both a healthy, happy life and access to mental healthcare facilities. They end up being deprived of adequate healthcare, good jobs, and access to freely available resources.

Why Mental Health Stigma Is Prevalent?

Stigma arises whenever the society or those closest to the victim term them as less desirable. It can be manifested in a variety of ways, including negative attitudes, ignorance, or discrimination. The victim is often referred to as ‘other.’

This stigma could easily be fueled by society’s negative attitudes and lack of awareness. In other cases, people struggling with mental illnesses often become society’s soft targets of violence in a variety of ways. For instance, people who have schizophrenia are often regarded as violent and a danger to others.

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Five Common Societal Misconceptions About Mental Illness

1.     Mental Disorders Are A Weakness

It is common for the mentally ill to receive a lot of backlash for their mental health status. Their condition often raises questions about their abilities, intelligence, and physical output. Such perceptions about them often lead victims towards a path of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness, which is often a big hurdle to their motivation to seek mental healthcare.

Also, seeking treatment for mental disorders is often regarded as a lack of mental strength. The truth is that mental strength isn’t affected by mental illnesses. In fact, many people dealing with mental health disorders are quite influential and are known to handle their condition incredibly well.

2.     It Is Impossible to Overcome Mental Health Problems

Some contributing factors are non-modifiable, such as age, genetics, sex, and family history. However, it is quite possible for people struggling with mental illnesses to manage and recover from their conditions. A lot can be done to their daily living to lead them on the road of recovery. This includes:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Embracing psychotherapy
  • Practicing good sleep hygiene
  • Taking FDA-approved medication
  • Engaging in regular physical activity and exercise

3.     Violence Is Normal for People with Mental Disorders

The media has made a significant contribution to the negative portrayal of the mentally ill. Mental illnesses have been tied to ghost possessions, domestic violence, spooky mental asylums, serial killers, and more.

Hollywood movies, news, and documentaries have easily earned the mentally ill a ‘crazy’ label. In reality, people struggling with mental illnesses tend to be innocent and polite and are often not the perpetrators of violence, but victims of it.

The ensuing backlash, false portrayal by the media, constant label, and linkage of mental illness to criminality have all contributed to creating an unsuitable environment for those with mental illnesses to recover or open up about their struggles.

 

Mental health problems in USA
USA Mental Health Stats of Previous Years

 

4.     Seeking Mental Healthcare Is Considered as a Sign of Failure and a Source of Embarrassment

Around 50% of Americans are embarrassed and hesitant to seek help, regardless of their mental condition. This can be linked to the myths, baseless opinions, and stereotypes that are constantly exchanged within society. Mental health disorders are far from being a choice. Seeking mental healthcare should be seen in the same light as getting help for other health conditions. It should be viewed as a choice to prioritize your health enough to seek treatment and enjoy a better life. Owning up to your mental disorder and seeking help is, in fact, a sign of strength, which shows you have the spiritual power and will to design a happier life for yourself.

5.     Mental Health Practitioners Aren’t Doctors

Studies in the field of psychiatry and psychology are of great importance. These health professionals play a key role in diagnosing mental disorders, treating them, and coming up with advanced ways of managing mental illnesses. Psychologists cannot be called doctors until they earn their PhD. in their fields and get authorized licensure. Attending medical schools isn’t a requirement for them. On the other hand, psychiatrists have to attend medical school to completion and take licensing exams before reaching their degree. In both cases, these professionals are referred to as doctors after fulfilling the required criteria.

While there is a significant difference in salary and education, this difference neither takes away their title nor questions their expertise. The fact is that both professions have a significant role to play in decreasing mental health stigma and improving healthcare accessibility with an excellent prognosis.

Stigma Can Be Divided into Two:

  • Public stigma
  • Self-stigma

Public Stigma:

Stereotype: The mentally ill are negatively perceived by society. (violent, different, weak, dangerous)

Prejudice: Rigidity towards these negative beliefs.

Discrimination: Often, this leads to the avoidance and withholding of common living opportunities.

On average, the American and European population has a very negative perception of people with mental health disorders. Even professionals in the mental health sector do practice some form of stigmatization.

Some of the general thoughts about mental health within the public domain are:

  • People struggling with mental illness should be isolated from society
  • The mentally ill are immature
  • Others should make the life decision of the mentally ill since they are incapable of making these decisions themselves

Double standards and discrimination in thoughts and opinions around the mentally ill are quite common. Family members might shy away from socializing with the mentally ill. An above-average portion of society will also have negative thoughts concerning marriages with the mentally ill. This public stigma hurts the chances of the mentally ill to access good jobs, free treatment options, safe housing, social club memberships, public parks, etc.

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Self-Stigma:

Stereotypes: Having a negative perception about oneself (feeling helpless, weak, and crazy, etc.)

Prejudice: Agreeing with and settling to the false beliefs of society

Discrimination: Failing to seek help and missing out on treatment opportunities

It is common for people living within a society that stigmatizes against them to endorse this backlash. With time, a mentally ill person might find themselves thinking that they inherently deserve less, and often lose hope for their future. Low self-esteem and dignity are significant contributors to the low rates of the mentally ill seeking resources and screening.

Moving onto this chapter’s last section

Racial Disparities

Unlike in the case of general health, there are petty differences among the public regarding accessing quality mental healthcare. The minorities in the United States, such as African Americans, access poor quality mental healthcare, whereas the situation is much better for accessing general healthcare.

Studies show that the prevalence of mental health issues among African Americans is less than or equal to that of the other American ethnic groups. However, the outcomes for blacks aren’t anywhere close to being as good as those of the whites.

 

Number Four – Barriers in Primary Healthcare and Suicidal Detection

Globally, mental health problems are quite common. In fact, the morbidity and mortality rate has seen a steady increase recently due to inadequate primary care and screening for the mentally ill. Primary care plays a pivotal role in the detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of mental illnesses. Most people struggling with mental disorders complain about inadequacies in primary healthcare facilities and limited access to the available ones. According to a study conducted by De Hert and colleagues, the poor management of mental illnesses can be tied back to several barriers, which include:

Patient Barriers:

Low Socioeconomic Background:

The unavailability of resources like aids, funding, family support, and insurance coverage hold back people from affording mental healthcare. One of the most significant problems for people with low socioeconomic backgrounds is that the mentally ill are often regarded as disabled and problematic. As such, these individuals have to primarily depend on their own financial abilities due to inequality, social stigma, and low self-confidence.

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Poor Mental Health Experience:

Some of the social experiences people have had with mental health make patients shy away from opening up to society and health experts. For instance, the media has been painting a terrorizing picture of common mental healthcare resources such as doctors and hospitals. Famous Hollywood movies have created the perception of the mentally ill being victimized through experimentation, torture, bloodshed, and violence. This negative image makes it tough for people with mental illnesses to believe that the real world is any different.

Service Provider Barriers:

Three factors drive the quality and capacity to address and treat mental health disorders:

Knowledge

Inadequate knowledge about the different mental health conditions among healthcare providers complicates access to mental healthcare. While there are diverse mental health disorders, a single disorder could affect two people in varying ways. Lacking the knowledge of the multiple aspects of the different disorders makes managing patients an uphill task. Education is necessary among doctors and nurses for them to deal with mental health emergencies with efficiency.

Scope of Practice

The scope of practice of a good number of healthcare providers excludes mental illnesses. While a physician will claim that they have a license to treat the body, they may emphasize that they don’t treat the brain. Such individuals believe that dealing with mental health issues is outside their scope.

Attitudes and Values:

A lot of people find dealing with new primary healthcare workers tough. Making a connection with them and opening up can be a challenge for most people. This especially holds true for people with a history of alcohol and drug abuse as they experience rejection from primary healthcare workers who might see them as “drug-seeking.”

Barriers to Suicide Detection and Management:

In the United States, suicide has grown into a significant concern. Mental health disorders and suicide attempts often go hand in hand.

What Are the Mental Health Disorders Associated with The Risk Of Suicide?

Some of the mental health disorders that result in suicide include:

  • Major depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Schizophrenia
  • Alcoholism
  • Emotional stress
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Personal disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Suicide rate in USA
Prominent Factors Contributing to Suicide in the USA

 

Here are some of the problems that hold back suicide detection:

Suicide Screening

Most countries have embraced a grim suicide detection strategy. In most cases, this involves conducting primary health surveys on depression and assessing the probability of suicide occurring among the target audience.

While there are a variety of tools that can help screen suicide, their applicability is often questionable. Having conversations with the patient about their condition as well as their family and medical history is often the best alternative.

People who fit the following description often have a high risk of suicide:

  • People facing fatigue
  • Clients with chronic pain
  • People struggling with financial burdens
  • People going through sudden changes in their life
  • People who are socially isolated
  • People going through postpartum depression
  • People who are sleep-deprived
  • People with a history of substance abuse
  • People struggling with more than one chronic disease
  • People whose first-degrees biological relatives have a history of depression
  • People living in impoverished home environments
  • The geriatric population that lives alone

Often the sensitivity and availability of the screening tools aren’t always at 100%. Picking the ideal screening tools trickles down to a variety of factors, including personal preferences, availability, time consumption, and other factors.

The fact that screening tools are also known to lead to false-positive results is also a major drawback. This can lead to high medical care costs, which could complicate the lives of people who lack private insurance.

 

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Number Five – Financial Barriers

The adverse effects of economic and psychological issues have had a significant role to play in the increasing burden of mental health disorders around the world. According to recent research, about 56% of the population with depression and 86% of people struggling with alcohol abuse go untreated due to the high cost of accessing treatment.

Globally, the inability to afford mental healthcare treatment is the main cause of treatment denial. Many of America’s insurance companies, especially Medicare, either allocate inadequate resources or completely fail to cover mental healthcare services. Reversing this is largely in the hands of authorities, caretakers, and the policymakers.

WHO has already confirmed the significant threat that lies with mental illnesses? Millions of Americans find accessing psychiatric healthcare challenging. Often, those who access the care often have to go through a maze of fragmentation and financial obstacles.

Some of the main reasons behind these financial issues include:

  • Unemployment
  • Insurance companies’ high rate of denial of care
  • Health insurance networks lacking mental health experts
  • Mental healthcare facilities demanding high out-of-pocket costs

These issues will exist, whether the person seeking mental healthcare has private or public insurance coverage. Here is a list of the opportunities for healthcare treatment offered in the United States and the financial aspect that hold them back:

Insurance

Ideally, having insurance coverage is meant to make accessing treatment easier. There is a scheme under the American health system that allows all deserving populations to access treatment under a specific insurance plan.

Many insurance sources under this scheme do cover mental health treatments. For instance, employers can provide insurance to their employees. As for young people (those below the age of 26), they can always rely on the coverage provided by their parent’s employer. On the other hand, college students can enjoy low-cost insurance provided by the school’s state.

The Financial Drawbacks of These Insurance Options

A good number of these plans might exclude mental health conditions from their coverage. Despite the government trying its best to be strict, many insurers could exclude previously diagnosed illnesses from their coverage. In other cases, the mentally ill might struggle to afford common insurance plans, with some working under employers who don’t offer insurance!

For people who can’t access insurance through family support, school, or work, there is always the option to access government-sponsored plans through:

  • Medicare
  • Affordable Care Act Marketplace
  • Medicaid

Medicare And Medicaid

The U.S government sponsors Medicaid and Medicare. These services are provided based on qualifications, disability status, income, and age. For you to gain access to the service, you will need to work with a social service agency to fill social security disability applications.

 

Psychiatric health in USA
Limitations of Psychiatric Health in the USA

 

The Limitations of Medicare:

Limited Providence of Facilities

Other than the popular Medicare plans to have a variety of financial restrictions, the services that you can access under the insurance are limited to a specific budget. For a majority of these plans, you will need to pay higher fees if you can only access out-of-network healthcare providers. While other plans can give more choices, they often come with a high price tag that is difficult to afford.

State-Specific Limitations on Coverage

Although Medicare services can be accessed throughout America, the advantage plans will often be strictly restricted to specific areas or states. This will prove to be disadvantageous to the demographic that travels frequently; their health insurance might not work outside their residential area.

The Additional Cost of Healthcare Coverage

At face value, Medicare looks like a reasonable plan that comes with premium charges that are automatically deducted throughout the project’s many parts. However, it might have user-specific hidden charges. These charges could include specialist visit copays, add ups on the advantage plans, and drug deductibles.

Free Clinic and Health Services

While insurance will cater to most parts of healthcare, there exist a couple of cost-free options. These options are easy to obtain through Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC). However, you need to meet stringent requirements to gain access to these services.

Another popular option is to reach out to local non-profit organizations. While some therapists under these organizations can offer their services at no cost, such opportunities are often luck-dependent.

What Are the Possible Issues?

Cost-free options are often offered by healthcare candidates like part-time workers, observers, and trainees. These candidates might fail to match the quality services and treatment regimens offered by experts. People seeking treatment for their mental health disorders could easily experience a lack of professionalism and malpractice.

Funding for The Mentally Ill Working Population

Finding employment as a mental health patient is often a struggle. However, job seekers can always leverage the disability quota for a chance at landing minimum role jobs. The government also provides supported employment options and vocational rehabilitation services. The former offers people with mental illnesses an excellent opportunity to make enough money and afford their treatment.

In order to get supported employment, you might have to contact mental health agencies. Your employment could be restricted to specific sectors, such as teaching the mentally ill. Once you are employed, your employer will take the responsibility of eliminating any barriers to how you work. Often, this involves stringent supervision to ensure high levels of quality and create an ideal corruption-free environment.

The Difficulty of Maintaining Jobs With Mental Disorders

It is often difficult to find and maintain jobs with mental illness. While 60% of Americans suffering from mental illnesses are ready to work, it can be surprising to learn that their unemployment rate lies at 80%. Sure, seeking a job with a mental illness can be a great idea, but the underlying illness could complicate relating with others in the workplace.

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Conclusion

There is a diversity of barriers to accessing ample care for mental health disorders, with most of the above-listed obstacles having several contributing factors. The ensuing stigma and lack of healthcare access could arise from both the society or the patient himself. The ultimate goal is to work on ways for breaking these stereotypes and barriers to eventually allow victims to enjoy a healthy and functional life like the rest of the population.

Now that you have learned enough about mental health care aspects, you can do your part to change this narrative. Whether you or your loved one have a mental illness or not, you are always welcome to seek care at Mango Clinic. Feel free to leave a comment and visit this site anytime for more knowledge. Book an appointment today!

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Did you know that it is a normal occurrence to experience anxiety and depression at some point in life due to the irrational dread of everyday situations? While you may group it generally as a mental health disorder, anxiety and depression is an umbrella term defining psychiatric disorders manifesting in the form of extreme fear, panic attacks, selective mutism, social anxiety disorder, and agoraphobia. Whenever such conditions are persistent, severe, uncontrollable, and capable of disabling you from undertaking daily activities, it turns out to be a serious medical condition with a similar level of seriousness as physical illnesses such as heart attacks.

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Anxiety and Depression Symptoms

One of the facts about the condition is that it is different from the normal experience of nervousness, causing reactions that may be out of proportion. Depression and anxiety may manifest in the form of emotional symptoms, physical symptoms, or a combination of both. Specific symptoms that you should watch out for include:

  • Lethargy
  • Poor sleeping patterns
  • Reduced self-confidence
  • Feelings of agitation
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • A persistent low mood
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Lack of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • A sudden decline in appetite

 

causes of anxiety in men
What Causes Depression and Anxiety in Men?

 

What Causes Anxiety and Depression?

Although anxiety is caused by a build-up of stress in most cases, your children may develop the condition due to the use of certain medications, and perhaps this is why approximately 8% of the children develop the condition from an early age. Specific medical conditions that may bring anxiety include diabetes, thyroid problems, diabetes, chronic pain, rare tumors, and certain heart diseases. These conditions will cause anxiety and depression because they drive you to a state of flight or fight which is associated with extreme stress. If you have attempted to withdraw from drugs and substances of abuse, this could be a cause of anxiety and depression as well, rendering it necessary to seek addiction help alongside treatment for the two conditions. You should understand that it is one of the most prevalent mental health issues, affecting up to 30% of adults in life. It is worth noting that anxiety and depression occur separately in most circumstances, but almost half of the people diagnosed with anxiety end up developing depressive symptoms, which renders it difficult to treat the combined mental health conditions.

 

How about the Role of Genetics in Anxiety and Depression?

Genetics plays a contributory role in the development of this condition, especially if one or both of your parents suffered from the condition at any point. Genetics is even more influential whenever it is combined with environmental experiences such as the trauma of losing your loved one. If you underwent any form of abuse while growing up and it was repressed without professional mental help, this could also work alongside genetics to contribute to the two conditions.

 

Is depression a genetic disease?
Does Depression Pass Down Genetically?

 

There are Natural Remedies which Mitigate or help in Managing Symptoms of Anxiety

It is evident through medical research and therapy that even 20 minutes of physical exercise occasionally could help in easing pressure and subsequently reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety such as extreme fear. Meditation is also recommended as another natural remedy, alongside foods or diets which could help you in reducing such symptoms. If you consume clean and healthy foods that contain probiotics, Omega-3 fatty acids, and b-vitamins, you are likely to experience less severe symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Anxious? You are more likely to be Sensitive and Reactive to Changes in Facial Expression

If you are depressed or anxious, it is more likely that you will be quick to notice and react to changes in facial expression, especially in social situations. It is associated with the perception that people have noticed your mental health problem, but statistics indicate that you are less accurate in most of the cases. It should not be a cause for social isolation because, with increased visibility, you will benefit from greater social support, considering that there is no shame in seeking help.

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Anxiety and Depression are Manageable

Anxiety and depression are treatable and sometimes manageable, although the speed of recovery differs from one individual to another. It is a fact that only one-third of the people suffering from these conditions receive proper treatment and education, a direction that you should avoid because it could exacerbate the condition from mild to severe. There are a variety of treatment options, including medical therapy using antidepressants. The lifestyle choices that you make will also determine how well you manage the conditions, and the most preferred include:

  • Exercising with friends
  • Seeking greater social support
  • Engaging in meditation
  • Eating meals with plenty of nuts and Omega-3 fatty acids

Conclusively, depression and anxiety are not conditions that should push you into social isolation because the mood swings in such a state only exacerbate the condition. Professional advice is your portion of healthy living, even when battling with depressive symptoms. It is time to book an appointment with Mango Clinic and mitigate the conditions through our multi-modal strategies.

 

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More often than not, constant stress leads to its more debilitating ally: anxiety. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 31% of Americans will have anxiety disorders at a certain point in their lives. Also, adults and teen women are at a far higher risk as compared to men.

Risk Factors

Anxiety disorders arise from an intricate set of causative agents, including:

  • Genetics
  • Brain chemistry
  • Personality
  • Life events

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What’s the Difference Between Anxiety & Depression?

Briefly, anxiety entails an excessive feeling of worry, whereas depression applies to extreme feelings of hopelessness and/or worthlessness. What’s more, subjects can have both conditions (anxiety and depression) concurrently.

Feeling out of control over a situation can cause stress, anxiety, or else depression. Yet, recognizing their differences can help you make the right diagnosis and lead to the correct treatment.

So, how can you diagnose these medical disorders? Well, let’s find out.

 

Diagnosing Stress Disorders?

Stress describes a feeling of physical tension or an emotional response to an event. It can stem from any situation or thought that elicits a sense of frustration, anger, or nervousness. Stress is your body’s response to a challenge or demand.

Once your mind gets these threatening signals, it releases a flood of chemicals that may overwhelm the rational—a more evolved part of your brain referred to as the prefrontal cortex.

Next, neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine stimulate the amygdala—a considerably primal part of your brain designed to prepare your body’s “flight or fight” reaction when you’re facing adversity.

Another biological process that takes place involves a blend of nerve and hormonal cues that trigger your adrenal glands to discharge two hormones; adrenaline and cortisol.

As a result, your heart rate may increase, while your breathing rhythm becomes shallower to prep your body to react to a situation.

Typically, this makes it a challenge to reflect with relaxed emotions, measured logic, and restraint the prefrontal cortex offers.

In the past, this complex process was considerably beneficial to our lives. But today, the presence of daily stressors serves to threaten the intricate balance of our mental health.

 

Stress, anxiety and depression commonalities
Common Factors between Stress, Anxiety, and Depression!\

 

When stress continues uninterrupted for long periods, it no longer serves it’s initially intended biological purpose of alerting you. Instead, its function becomes corrupted (chronic), a situation that is relatively difficult to turn around.

Symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances
  • Chest pain
  • Insomnia
  • Grinding of teeth

Without treatment, chronic stress can potentially increase a subject’s likelihood of developing high blood pressure (BP), heart conditions, diabetes, and weight issues (obesity).

Experts also consider chronic stress as a causative agent of autoimmune diseases—linking it to a weakened immune system that leaves you more vulnerable to opportunistic infections such as colds, among others.

Anxiety Prognosis

Anxiety and stress have identical physical and biological attributes. But here are the differences;

  • Stress-induced neurotransmitters and hormones mostly will stay ramped up, and the subject’s mind gets stuck in repetitive worrying
  • Panic-driven thought loops

Anxiety is a normal reaction to a situation when you feel pressured, or to some extent, fearful due to unknown elements or perceived danger.

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But the condition becomes a clinical concern when the feeling fails to subside even when the threat dissipates and subsequently begins to interfere with your daily functioning and interactions.

Discerning the context is critical. A physician will conduct a thorough evaluation of the patient’s existing environment and current circumstances to interpret better their feelings and experiences based on their reality.

Depression Signs, Symptoms & Causes

Unlike stress and anxiety, there’s far less information available relating to the causes, symptoms, and drivers of depression.

Likely Causes:

  • Multifaceted interaction of social, psychological or even biological factors
  • Adverse life events, including grief, trauma, loss of livelihood, health concerns

Its debilitating impact on people can lead to loss of ability to function in many areas of their lives, in particular work and relationships.

According to the World Health Organization, depression is a leading cause of disability globally. Similarly, the disorder is detrimental mainly when it contributes to suicidal thought or planning.

 

Stress, anxiety and depression treatments
Effective Treatments for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

 

Physical Symptoms:

  • Weight loss or gain
  • Insomnia
  • Physical pain
  • Lethargy

Mentally, the condition manifests itself in the following manner:

  • Persistent sadness
  • Feeling of hopelessness
  • Heightened anxiety
  • Mental paralysis

Where the subject tends to feel like a burden, they’re also less likely to engage or reach out to others and may end up withdrawing socially.

Individuals with depressive conditions can also have ruminative episodes alongside feelings of guilt, leading to an impaired ability to think, concentrate, or form memories.

Over time, researchers have moved away from only considering depression as a biochemical imbalance of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

As such, the understanding shifts to a more complex view of the condition that includes considering changes in electrical activity in the brain involving the interactions between neurons and nerve cells. This assessment is because depression reduces the ability of neurons to interact with each other.

Due to the disparities in thinking, treatment for depression differs on an individual basis and may involve a blend of medication and therapy.

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Conclusion

As with many other conditions, certified medics tailor stress, anxiety, and depression treatments to a specific diagnosis. Meaning the physician designs the treatment plan to help the subject manage and limit the symptoms of each of the above disorders, and often simultaneously.

Overall, stress, anxiety, and depression list among the most common human experiences. Regardless of your experience with these feelings or disorders, one thing you should know is you can seek professional help. You’re not alone. Reach out to us at Mango Clinic for mental health problems!

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Book an appointment with MangoClinic
Book an Appointment Today!

 


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