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Depression

Clinical depression goes by many names -- depression, "the blues," biological depression, major depression. But it all refers to the same thing: feeling sad and depressed for weeks or months on end (not just a passing blue mood). This feeling is most often accompanied by feelings of hopelessness, a lack of energy (or feeling "weighed down"), and taking little or no pleasure in things that gave you joy in the past. A person who's depressed just "can't get moving" and feels completely unmotivated to do just about anything. Even simple things -- like getting dressed in the morning or eating -- become large obstacles in daily life.

Symptoms of Depression
Not everyone who is depressed or manic experiences every symptom. Some people experience a few symptoms, some many. Severity of symptoms varies with individuals and also varies over time.
Depression

Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex Decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down" Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions

Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts Restlessness, irritability Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain

Depression Treatment Psychotherapy


There are a wide number of different types of effective therapeutic approaches utilized for the treatment of depression today. These range from cognitive behavioral therapy, to behavioral therapy (ala Lewinsohn), to interpersonal therapy, to rational emotive therapy, to family and psychodynamic approaches. Both individual and group modalities are commonly used, depending upon the severity of thedepressive episode and the local resources within an individuals community.

Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia nervosa is a complex eating disorder with three key features:

refusal to maintain a healthy body weight an intense fear of gaining weight a distorted body image

Because of your dread of becoming fat or disgusted with how your body looks, eating and mealtimes may be very stressful. And yet, what you can and cant eat is practically all you can think about. Thoughts about dieting, food, and your body may take up most of your day leaving little time for friends, family, and other activities you used to enjoy. Life becomes a relentless pursuit of thinness and going to extremes to lose weight.

Signs and symptoms of anorexia


Living with anorexia means youre constantly hiding your habits. This makes it hard at first for friends and family to spot the warning signs. When confronted, you might try to explain away your disordered eating and wave away concerns. But as anorexia progresses, people close to you wont be able to deny their instincts that something is wrongand neither should you. As anorexia develops, you become increasingly preoccupied with the number on the scale, how you look in the mirror, and what you can and cant eat.

Anorexia treatment and therapy


Since anorexia involves both mind and body, a team approach to treatment is often best. Those who may be involved in anorexia treatment include medical doctors, psychologists, counselors, and dieticians. The participation and support of family members also makes a big difference in treatment success. Having a team around you that you can trust and rely on will make recovery easier. Treating anorexia involves three steps:

Getting back to a healthy weight Starting to eat more food Changing how you think about yourself and food

Phobias & Fears


A phobia is an intense fear of something that, in reality, poses little or no actual danger. Common phobias and fears include closed-in places, heights, highway driving, flying insects, snakes, and needles. However, we can develop phobias of virtually anything. Most phobias develop in childhood, but they can also develop in adults.

Signs and symptoms of phobias


The symptoms of a phobia can range from mild feelings of apprehension and anxiety to a full-blown panic attack. Typically, the closer you are to the thing youre afraid of, the greater your fear will be. Your fear will also be higher if getting away is difficult.

Physical signs and symptoms of a phobia


Difficulty breathing Racing or pounding heart Chest pain or tightness Trembling or shaking

Feeling dizzy or lightheaded A churning stomach Hot or cold flashes; tingling sensations Sweating

Phobia treatment tip 1: Face your fears, one step at a time


Its only natural to want to avoid the thing or situation you fear. But when it comes to conquering phobias, facing your fears is the key. While avoidance may make you feel better in the short-term, it prevents you from learning that your phobia may not be as frightening or overwhelming as you think. You never get the chance to learn how to cope with your fears and experience control over the situation. As a result, the phobia becomes increasingly scarier and more daunting in your mind.

Exposure: Gradually and repeatedly facing your fears


The most effective way to overcome a phobia is by gradually and repeatedly exposing yourself to what you fear in a safe and controlled way. During this exposure process, youll learn to ride out the anxiety and fear until it inevitably passes. Through repeated experiences facing your fear, youll begin to realize that the worst isnt going to happen; youre not going to die or lose it. With each exposure, youll feel more confident and in control. The phobia begins to lose its power. Successfully facing your fears takes planning, practice, and patience. The following tips will help you get the most out of the exposure process.

Neurosis
The term neurosis encompasses a variety of very common mental health disorders. Neurosis is actually an outdated diagnosis that is no longer used medically. The disorders that were once classified as a neurosis are now more accurately categorized as neurotic disorders..

Symptoms of Neurosis: Introduction


The severity and types of symptoms of disorders that are considered a neurosis orneurotic disorder vary between the specific disorders and from person to person. Excessive anxiety and fear are common symptoms of and/or underlie many disorders that are considered a neurosis or neurotic disorder. Other common symptoms include complaints of physical symptoms that do not appear to have a medical cause. These may include palpitations, rapid heart rate, hyperventilation, muscle pain, abdominal pain, headache,numbness and tingling.

Treatments for Neurosis:


Disorders that are considered a neurosis orneurotic disorder are treatable to various degrees of success. In general, the sooner that the symptoms of disorders that are considered a neurosis or neurotic disorder are recognized and treated, the more effective treatment will be. The overall treatment goal is to for the patient feel better and to live as normal, functional and productive a life as possible. The most effective treatment plans generally include a multifaceted approach and may include medications and psychotherapy.

Stress
Modern life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations, and demands. For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. Stress isnt always bad. In small doses, it can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best. But when youre constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price. You can protect yourself by recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress and taking steps to reduce its harmful effects.
Signs and symptoms of stress overload The following table lists some of the common warning signs and symptoms of stress. The more signs and symptoms you notice in yourself, the closer you may be to stress overload.

Stress Warning Signs and Symptoms

Cognitive Symptoms

Emotional Symptoms

Memory problems Inability to concentrate Poor judgment Seeing only the negative Anxious or racing thoughts Constant worrying Physical Symptoms

Moodiness Irritability or short temper Agitation, inability to relax Feeling overwhelmed Sense of loneliness and isolation Depression or general unhappiness Behavioral Symptoms

Aches and pains Diarrhea or constipation Nausea, dizziness Chest pain, rapid heartbeat Loss of sex drive Frequent colds

Eating more or less Sleeping too much or too little Isolating yourself from others Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax Nervous habits (e.g. nail biting, pacing)

Dealing with stress and its symptoms


While unchecked stress is undeniably damaging, there are many things you can do to reduce its impact and cope with symptoms.

Learn how to manage stress


You may feel like the stress in your life is out of your control, but you can always control the way you respond.

Bulimia
Bulimia, also called bulimia nervosa, is an eating disorder. Bulimia is characterized by episodes of secretive excessive eating (bingeing) followed by inappropriate methods of weight control, such as self-induced vomiting (purging), abuse of laxatives and diuretics, or excessive exercise.

What causes bulimia?


As with anorexia, there is currently no definite known cause of bulimia. Because of the complexity of the disorder, researchers within the medical and psychological fields continue to explore its dynamics.

How is bulimia treated?


Patients with bulimia present a variety of medical and psychological complications which are usually considered to be reversible through a multidisciplinary treatment approach. Treatment can be managed by either a physician, psychiatrist, or in some cases, a clinical psychologist. The extent of the medical complications generally dictates the primary treatment manager. A psychiatrist, with both medical and psychological training, is perhaps the optimum treatment manager.

Bulimia At A Glance

Bulimia (also called bulimia nervosa) is a psychological eating disorder. Bulimia is felt to be related to a person's dissatisfaction with their own body image, although the exact cause is not known. Bulimia is diagnosed according to defined criteria. There are two types of bulimia: the purging and nonpurging types.

Dementia
Dementia is not a specific disease. It's an overall term that describes a wide range of symptomsassociated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities.

Memory loss and other symptoms of dementia


While symptoms of dementia can vary greatly, at least two of the following core mental functions must be significantly impaired to be considered dementia:

Many people have memory loss issues this does not mean they have Alzheimer's or another dementia
There are many different causes of memory problems. If you or a loved one is experiencing troubling symptoms, visit a doctor to learn the reason. Some causes of dementia-like symptoms can be reversed. Learn more: Visiting Your Doctor

Memory Communication and language Ability to focus and pay attention Reasoning and judgment Visual perception

People with dementia may have problems with short-term memory, keeping track of a purse or wallet, paying bills, planning and preparing meals, remembering appointments or traveling out of the neighborhood.

Dementia risk and prevention


Some risk factors for dementia, such as age and genetics, cannot be changed. But researchers continue to explore the impact of other risk factors on brain health and prevention of dementia. Some of the most active areas of research in risk reduction and prevention include cardiovascular factors, physical fitness, and diet.

Schizophrenia
Dementia risk and prevention
Some risk factors for dementia, such as age and genetics, cannot be changed. But researchers continue to explore the impact of other risk factors on brain health and prevention of dementia. Some of the most active areas of research in risk reduction and prevention include cardiovascular factors, physical fitness, and diet.

Schizophrenia Types and Symptoms


Usually with schizophrenia, the person's inner world and behavior change notably. Behavior changes might include the following:

Social withdrawal Depersonalization (a sense of being unreal, hazy and in a dreamlike state), sometimes accompanied by intense anxiety Loss of appetite Loss of hygiene Delusions Hallucinations (hearing or seeing things that aren't there) The sense of being controlled by outside forces Disorganized speech A person with schizophrenia may not have any outward appearance of being ill. In other cases, the illness may be more apparent, causing bizarre behaviors. For example, a person with schizophrenia may wear aluminum foil in the belief that it will stop one's thoughts from being broadcast and protect against malicious waves entering the brain.

Schizophrenia Medications
In schizophrenia, antipsychotic medications are proven effective in treating acute psychosis and reducing the risk of future psychotic episodes. The treatment ofschizophrenia thus has two main phases: an acute phase, when higher doses might be necessary in order to treat psychotic symptoms, followed by a maintenance phase, which is usually life-long. During the maintenance phase, dosage is often gradually reduced to the minimum required to prevent further episodes and control inter-episode symptoms. If symptoms reappear or worsen on a lower dosage, an increase in dosage may be necessary to help prevent further relapse.