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Mental Health Education – Turning Knowl.. by Mental Health Education Admin - 2M ago

By Vrunda Patel (Intern, Department of Mental Health Education, NIMHANS)

Schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder in which person lose the touch with reality. In this, the person is unable to cope up with his emotions and make any decisions. It affects the person’s ability to feel, behave and think. Although it is not as common as other disorders but it can severely affect the person and can last lifetime.

Signs and Symptoms:
The symptoms of Schizophrenia can be broadly categorized into three: Positive, Negative, and Cognitive. Positive symptoms relate to the behaviours that are not seem to be healthy instead they tend to lose the person’s touch with reality while Negative symptoms relate to the disturbance in normal emotions and behaviour. Cognitive symptoms, on the other hand are associated with the memory and thinking process.

  1. Positive Symptoms:
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Movement disorder
  • Thought disorder
  1. Negative Symptoms:
  • Reduced expressing of emotions through facial expressions
  • Reduced feeling happiness
  • Reduced speaking
  1. Cognitive Symptoms:
  • Trouble Concentrating
  • Working memory problems
  • Trouble executing functionality

Causes:
The various causes associated to Schizophrenia are:

  • Genes: Schizophrenia runs in families, the risk factor increases by 10% if the parent is diagnosed while for others with no such family background there are less than 1% chances of being diagnosed by it.

  • Brain Structure: Problems with the brain development during the birth can lead to schizophrenia. The brain majorly undergoes changes during puberty which is also one of the reasons for the distortion of heathy brain structure.

  • Family relationships: A healthy family environment is needed for the heathy mind. Family tension trigger relapses.

  • Environmental factors: Factors like malnutrition, exposed to virus, inflammation and autoimmune diseases have high risks of schizophrenia.

  • Substance abuse: Overuse of drugs like marijuana and LSD leads to schizophrenia.

Who is at risk?
Although schizophrenia can occur to a person at any stage of his life, it is most likely to occur for men is during his early 20s while it is late 20s and 30s for women.

Treatment:

  • Medication: Daily taken in the form of pill or liquid form. There are side effects of it which tends to go away after few days.

  • Psychological Counselling: Cognitive Behavioural therapy, reduce positive symptoms at a faster rate. Assertive Community treatment and supportive therapy, for self-care.

How to help a person with Schizophrenia:

  • Encourage them to get the treatment and continue it.

  • Their illusions can make them take drastic steps, always keep in mind to understand their delusions and hallucinations to help them according to the situation.

  • Be supportive and respectful towards them.

  • Look out for support groups for them.

During sever condition, call the emergency number 911 immediately or at least take the person to the nearby hospital safely.

References:
[1] Christian Nordqvist (2017, December 7). “Understanding the symptoms of schizophrenia”. Medical News Today. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/36942.php
[2] National Institute of Mental Health(2016).”Schizophrenia”. National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index.shtml
[3] National Alliance on Mental Illness. “Schizophrenia”. National Alliance on Mental Illness (nami.org).Retrieved from https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Schizophrenia

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OCD
Mental Health Education – Turning Knowl.. by Mental Health Education Admin - 2M ago

By Vrunda Patel (Intern, Department of Mental Health Education, NIMHANS)

Obsessions which lead to compulsions. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a kind of disorder in which the person has uncontrolling, unwanted thoughts, ideas or sensations that makes them to do a particular thing repetitively in a particular way. Some of the activities related to OCD are hand washing, checking on things, cleaning, ordering and arranging etc. These can interfere person’s daily activities and consume excessive amount of time causing great distress. It is difficult to supress the obsessive thoughts although some people hide the symptoms of OCD in fear of stigma and embarrassment.

Signs and Symptoms:

People with OCD has both compulsions and obsessions. Obsessions are an idea or thoughts that continually occupies a person’s mind while compulsions are an urge to do something in a certain way.

Some of the examples of compulsions are:

  • Cleaning

  • Ordering and Arranging

  • Repeating

  • Checking

  • Metal compulsion

  • Checking if the door is locked

  • Constantly wash hands

Obsessive thoughts include:

  • Need to keep the thing in an exact particular order

  • Fear of dirt and germs

  • Belief that certain colours or certain numbers are good and bad

  • Constant awareness of sensations

Causes:

  • Genes

  • Traumatic event

  • Physical or sexual abuse as a child

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

Who is at risk?
OCD is a common disorder that affects adults, adolescents, and children. Most people are diagnosed by about age 19, typically with an earlier age of onset in boys than in girls.

Treatment:
Medication helps in reducing the symptoms of OCD. Talk therapy like psychotherapy is very useful in maintaining the urge of compulsions and obsessions. Keeping the lifestyle and being aware of the warning signs of OCD helps in self coping and managing the disorder.

How to help people with OCD:

  • Encourage them to participate in various therapy sessions.

  • Avoid using words like, “Don’t worry, I’m kind of OCD too” or “Want to come over and clean my home.”

  • Be open about OCD.

  • Be patient, calm and non-judgmental.

  • Offer emotional support and often hug.

  • Accept that sometimes it will be impossible to deal with them, find your way out to deal with it.

  • Work out together to deal with the compulsions associated with that person.

References:
[1] National Institute of Mental Health(2016).” Obsessive-compulsive disorder: When unwanted thoughts or irresistible actions take over” and “Obsessive-compulsive disorder.” National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-when-unwanted-thoughts-take-over/index.shtml
[2]Neha Patha (2018, December 2). ”Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.” WebMD. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/obsessive-compulsive-disorder#1

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Mental Health Education – Turning Knowl.. by Mental Health Education Admin - 2M ago

By Vrunda Patel (Intern, Department of Mental Health Education, NIMHANS)

From every now and then people suffer from irritation and sadness. Variation in mood, and their general emotional state is directly associated with mood disorders. Being extremely sad or happy, empty or irritable, or even the periods of depression are directive towards it. These include bipolar disorder and depression. Bipolar Disorder is also known as manic depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks while depression is persistent and prolonged periods of extreme sadness.

Signs and Symptoms of Mood Disorders:

  1. Symptoms of Major depressive disorder:

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Loss of interest in day-to-day activities that were once pleasurable

  • Feeling of emptiness

  • Feeling of worthlessness, hopelessness and helplessness

  • Unyielding anxiety and sadness

  • Constant body or head ache

  • Difficulty remembering details, making decisions.

  1. Symptoms of Bipolar disorder:

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Restlessness

  • Extreme irritability

  • Excessive energy

  • Prolonged period of feeling sad or hopeless

  • Feeling tired and slowed down or sleeping little and not being tired

  • Easily distracted

  • Having racing thoughts

There are various causes of bipolar disorder. One of the potential reasons is the one due to genetics. Bipolar disorder tends to run in families. Some research has suggested that people with certain genes are more likely to develop bipolar disorder than others. However, most children with a family history of bipolar disorder will not develop the illness. Although researchers and professionals did not point particularly towards the major causes of mood disorders but some traumatic event that took place in a person’s life, substance abuse, dysfunctional family life are directly linked to mood disorders.

Mood disorders are most likely to occur in a person’s late teens or early adult years. At least half of all cases start before age 25. Some people have their first symptoms during childhood, while others may develop symptoms late in life.

When done in combination with medication, psychotherapy can be an effective treatment for mood disorders. It can provide support, education, and guidance to people with bipolar disorder and their families. Some psychotherapy treatments used to treat mood disorders include cognitive behavioural therapy, it helps people with mood disorders learn to change harmful or negative thought patterns and behaviours. Family-focused therapy, it helps enhance family coping strategies, such as recognizing new episodes early and helping their loved one. Psychoeducation, it teaches people with mood disorders about the illness and its treatment.

To help a friend or relative, you can:

  • Offer emotional support, understanding, patience, and encouragement.

  • Learn about bipolar disorder so you can understand what your friend or relative is experiencing.

  • Talk to your friend or relative and listen carefully.

  • Listen to feelings your friend or relative expresses and be understanding about situations

that may trigger mood disorders symptoms.

  • Invite your friend or relative out for positive distractions, such as walks, outings, and other activities.

  • Remind your friend or relative that, with time and treatment, he or she can get better.

  • Never ignore comments from your friend or relative about harming himself or herself. Always report such comments to his or her therapist or doctor.

When you feel that the situation is going to an extreme level then by understanding the severity of the situation contact the therapist, psychiatrists, counsellor any professional who could help. For further immediate help, look for the online available hotlines.

Vandrevala Foundation: 1860-2662-345 or 1800-2333-330
Sneha Foundation: 044-2464-0050

References:

[1] Mayo Clinic Staff. “Bipolar disorder.” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bipolar-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20355955
[2] The National Institute of Mental Health (2016, April). “Bipolar Disorder.” The National Institute of Mental Health Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/bipolar-disorder/index.shtml
[3] WebMD (2017, March 31).”12 Ways to Help Someone with Bipolar Disorder.” WebMD. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-life-17/slideshow-help-someone-with-bipolar

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Mental Health Education – Turning Knowl.. by Mental Health Education Admin - 2M ago

By Vrunda Patel (Intern, Department of Mental Health Education, NIMHANS)

A normal reaction to stress is anxiety. Experiencing anxiety occasionally is normal part of life while dealing with day to day work like problem at work, dealing with a life changing decision, confronting someone, etc but the persistent, intense and excessive fear and anxiety leads to the anxiety disorders which has to be treated as it gets worse over time. These directly affects the normal routine. Anxiety Disorders include different conditions leading to different types of anxiety disorders.

  • Panic Disorder: It causes panic attacks which sudden change feelings of danger without any real danger.

  • Social Anxiety Disorder: It causes anxiety due to the fear of society putting labels on them, getting rejected by people or being judged.

  • Specific Phobia Disorder: Due to the exposure of specific object or situation, it triggers anxiety within a person.

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Excessive and persistent worry about number of things at a time.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Feeling restless and nervous

  • Sweating

  • Chest pain

  • Breathing heavily

  • Having trouble sleeping

  • Dry Mouth

  • Dizziness

  • Not being able to stay calm and still

  • Trembling

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Feeling weak and tired all the time

Causes:

Inherited traits are one of the factors leading to anxiety. Some traumatic event triggers anxiety disorder in a person. Medical causes like heart disease, thyroid problems, drug misuse or withdrawal, diabetes etc are also linked to anxiety disorders.

Risk Factors:

Some factors that have high risk of leading to anxiety disorders are:

  • Stress build-up

  • Trauma

  • Personality

  • Substance abuse

  • Stress due to illness

  • Other mental disorders (depression)

To help a person with anxiety disorders:

  • Help the person break-free avoidance behaviour

  • Destigmatized the person’s experience of anxiety

  • Give them their space and let them calmly open up to you

  • Take them to mediation, yoga, or even for a walk

  • Match your support to their preferences

  • Offer support, but do not take over

In severe cases, encourage them to seek help from professionals. Psychotherapy involves talking with a trained clinician, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, or counsellor, to understand what caused an anxiety disorder and how to deal with it. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can be useful in treating anxiety disorders. It can help people change the thinking patterns that support their fears and change the way they react to anxiety-provoking situations.

References:
[1] Laura Martin (2016, November 23). “What are Anxiety Disorders?” WebMD. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/anxiety-disorders#1
[2] Alice Boyes(2018, July 25). “Seven Ways to Help Someone with Anxiety.” Greater God Science Centre at Berkeley. Retrieved from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/seven_ways_to_help_someone_with_anxiety

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Mental Health Education – Turning Knowl.. by Mental Health Education Admin - 2M ago

By Vrunda Patel (Intern, Department of Mental Health Education, NIMHANS)

Is it difficult for you to pay attention? Is it happening to you be an overactive person? Are you taking decisions and acting impulsively? All these are the triggering warning signs of ADHD; Attention-Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder. It is a kind of behavioural disorder. People suffering from ADHD generally have difficult time concentrating and focusing on work. They tend to take decisions without even thinking of its consequences. It generally affects children and teens which can be continued to the adulthood. ADHD can’t be cure but various measures can be taken to manage the symptoms of ADHD through various therapies.

Signs and Symptoms:

ADHD has been diagnosed in three parts: inattentive, hyperactive and combined. Some people tend to have only inattentiveness while some have impulsiveness and some of them tend to have both inattentiveness and impulsiveness. ADHD often lasts into adulthood. To diagnose ADHD in adults and adolescents age 17 or older, only 5 symptoms are needed for younger children while six for adults.

  1. Inattentiveness
  • Fails to pay close attention to the details
  • Makes careless mistakes
  • When directly addressing to that person, doesn’t seem to listen
  • No proper way of organizing tasks and activities
  • Often procrastinate tasks which require a lot of thought process
  • Forget things easily
  • Often distracted
  • Appearing to be unable to carry out instructions given to them
  • Often lose things easily
  1. Hyperactivity or impulsiveness
  • Talks excessively
  • Trouble having waiting for his/her turn i.e. often impatient
  • Runs about and extensively portray excitement when there is no need
  • Blurts out anything without thinking and giving it a second thought
  • Little or no sense of danger
  • Often try to interrupt others
  • Excessive physical movements
  • Fidget with, or taps hands or feet.

Causes:
Various causes that leads to ADHD are

  • Hereditary: Generally, ADHD tends to run in families.
  • Brain changes: Often due to brain injuries. Areas of brain maybe smaller in person with ADHD. Imbalances in the number of neurotransmitters in brain.
  • Substance abuse: Due to excessive amount of intake of drugs and alcohol.

Who is at risk?

  • Children born prematurely or with a low birthweight.
  • Children with epilepsy.
  • People with brain injury because of head injury or problems in brain in the womb itself.

Treatment:
Quite a lot of medications are there to improve the concentration level along with that parents and the people around the patient are given guidance on what should be the positive feedback by them to the negative behaviour of the patient. Psychoeducation is thus very important in the treatment process. This also allows the role-play by the patient in order to treat them how to behave in a particular situation. Behaviour therapy helps the patient to learn the process of making decisions and control the behaviour.

If you are a parent of a child with ADHD:

  • Create a routine to be followed every day.

  • Make sure the General Practitioner makes you aware about the particular incontrollable situation and guide you on how to maintain it.

  • Get organized with all the stuff of children like school bags, school work, clothes etc and also encourage them to do so.

  • Limit the choices of the children for few things which can make them impulsive.

  • Praise the children when they do something in a right manner, that way it will encourage them to do more of it.

  • Provide a healthy and nutritious lifestyle and keep in mind the keep the healthy environment around them.

  • Make them understand of their mistake in a polite way rather than yelling

  • Keep in mind to find out the side effects of medications and work accordingly

  • Always maintain communication with child’s teachers and friends.

References:

[1] The National Institute of Mental Health (2016, March). “Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder”. The National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml
[2] NHS (2018, May 30). ” Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)”. NHS. Retrieved from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/

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Mental Health Education – Turning Knowl.. by Mental Health Education Admin - 3M ago
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