Toll Free: 1-877-335-2455
Fax: 877-889-9157

brain

Understanding Addiction

addictions

The word addiction originates from a Latin term meaning enslaved to or bound by, which is a very apt way to describe it. Addiction’s influence on the brain is very powerful, which is why it is so challenging for you to overcome it. It hijacks the brain in three distinct ways:

  • A strong craving for a particular substance or activity
  • Loss of control of it
  • Continuing with it despite negative consequences

Experts in the field of addiction believed for many years that the only source of addictions were alcohol and drugs. Advanced diagnostic studies of the human brain and subsequent studies have proven otherwise, however. Pleasurable activities such as gambling, shopping, sex, and food can also take over your brain.

A Common Problem

Many people experiment with drugs or alcohol or find themselves engaged in an activity that they have become addicted to. Nearly 23 million Americans, approximately one out of every ten people, are addicted to alcohol, drugs, or some other harmful activity. The reasons are vast. Some of them are:

  • Curiosity
  • Relieve stress, anxiety, or depression
  • Pain management
  • Improve athletic performance
  • Fit in with others
  • To have a good time.

Engaging in these activities does not automatically lead to addiction, however. Everyone is different. The way to determine an addiction has less to do with what or how much you are participating in it and more to do with the consequences of it.

If the chosen activity is causing problems in your relationships, or at work, home or school, you probably have an addiction.

The Pleasure Center

Your brain reacts to all pleasures the same way. It doesn’t matter whether we are engaging in addictive behavior or not. Technically, pleasurable behavior causes your brain to release something called dopamine. It originates from a cluster of nerve cells located in the cerebral cortex portion of your brain. This connection is so consistent that doctors actually refer to this portion of the brain as the pleasure center.

The result of addiction is that your brain actually goes through physical changes of structure and function. It begins with recognizing pleasure and ends with compulsive behavior. It is a chronic disease not unlike other diseases such as heart disease or diabetes where the heart or pancreas is physically affected and changed.

The Addict’s Brain

Recent research has indicated that the changes to your brain are rather complicated. Every time you participate in addictive behavior and your brain’s pleasure center is flooded with dopamine, it causes a chain reaction. A portion of your brain associated with memory records the activity and creates a rapid sense of satisfaction while another area of your brain creates a conditioned response to it. Addiction stimulates this circuit of your brain and then overloads it.

When the pleasure associated with your addiction subsides, the memory centers in your brain remember it and cause you to want to recreate it. There are certain environmental cues that trigger those memories, at which time an intense craving develops.

Are You Addicted?

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, it is time to seek a professional evaluation:

  • Are you using or indulging in the activity more than before?
  • Do you go through withdrawal symptoms without it?
  • Have you ever lied to anyone about it?

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Understanding Radiation Therapy

Radiation-Therapy

If there is one illness that many people are afraid of, it’s cancer. This is because cancer is one of the most fatal illnesses that is hard to treat. Moreover, there is really no definite treatment for it yet.

Although chemotherapy is the most popular treatment for cancer, there is still no guaranty it can cure all types of cancer. This is why another type of treatment has been developed to treat cancer. This treatment is called radiation therapy.

Radiation Therapy Explained

Radiation therapy is the use of radiation such as gamma rays and X-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. This happens with the help of three types of radiation therapy such as:

  • External-Beam Radiation Therapy
  • Internal Radiation Therapy or Brachytherapy
  • Systemic Radiation

External-Beam Radiation Therapy

This type of radiation therapy is done with the use of a radiation machine. The machine is similar to the X-ray machine will release its charged particles through a beam radiation. The radiation will penetrate the cancer-infected area from outside the body.

Internal Radiation

Internal radiation, on the other hand, is the method of directly placing the radioactive materials in the area around cancer cells. The process is a bit complicated, but it can be more potent.

Systemic Radiation

Meanwhile, systemic radiation treatment is the use of radioactive substances that can move through the blood to reach the areas with cancer cells. This works like a regular medicine in the sense that the substances are absorbed into the blood stream. An example of a radioactive substance is radioactive iodine.

How Does Radiation Therapy Work Against Cancer?

Radiation therapy kills cancer cells by damaging cell DNA. This also can happen by creating free radicals within the cells that kills the cancer as well.

Does Radiation Therapy Kill Other Cells?

The drawback in using radiation therapy is that it kills not only the cancer cells but also other cells nearby. This problem causes side effects depending on which cells are damaged as the result of killing cancer cells. Nevertheless, our tissues have a certain level of tolerance against radiation. It’s your doctor who will determine such levels before this treatment is performed.

Why Is Radiation Therapy Needed?

Radiation therapy is a powerful treatment against cancer. It’s so strong that other cells may also be sacrificed in the process. Nonetheless, the result is significant. It’s needed when the purpose is to completely eliminate the cancer. This means radiation therapy is used for curative intent, and it can also be used for palliative care to shrink tumors.

On the other hand, radiation therapy can also be applied along with chemotherapy. It can also be used for curative intent, control treatment, and palliative care at the same time.

How Is Radiation Therapy Scheduled?

Before radiation therapy is scheduled, your oncologist will ask you to undergo several tests such as CT scans, MRI, PET, and ultrasounds. All such tests will determine the location and the position of cancer infections inside the body. Once identified, radiation therapy will be applied in the target areas.

Conclusion

Radiation therapy may be much stronger than chemotherapy. However, there are risks involved as the radiation can also damage other non-cancer cells. Radiation therapy is ideal for curative intent as it requires patients to be much healthier and tolerant against certain radioactive materials and substances.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What is Oral Cancer?

Image result for oral cancer ad

Oral cancer is a persistent growth or sore inside the mouth that is caused by an uncontrollable growth of cells that invade and cause damage. It will not go away on its own. It includes the following surrounding tissues:

  • Throat
  • Tonsils
  • Sinuses
  • Hard and Soft Palate
  • Floor of the Mouth
  • Cheeks
  • Tongue
  • Lips

What are the Symptoms?

There are numerous symptoms associated with oral cancer. The most common ones are:

  • Any lesions or swelling on the lips, gums, or other areas inside your mouth
  • Unexplained oral bleeding
  • Unexplained numbness, tenderness, or pain in any areas of the mouth, face or neck
  • Persistent sores in the mouth or the neck and face that do not heal within two weeks.
  • Red, white, or red and white speckled patches in your mouth
  • A feeling that something is caught in the back of your throat
  • Difficulty speaking, chewing, swallowing, or moving the tongue or jaw
  • Chronic sore throat, hoarseness, or change of voice
  • Earache
  • A change in your teeth or the way your dentures fit together
  • Large weight loss

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to make an appointment with your dentist or primary care physician as soon as possible.

Who is at Risk?

It is estimated that over 40,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. Men face twice the risk than women, and men over the age of 50 face the greatest risk of all.

Oral cancer risk factors include:

  • Smoking. Whether you smoke cigarettes, cigars, or a pipe, you are six times more likely to contract oral cancer than nonsmokers.
  • Using smokeless tobacco. Chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip makes you 50 times more likely to develop cancers of the lining of the lips, gums, or cheeks.
  • Drinking a lot of alcohol. You are six times more likely to contract oral cancer than nondrinkers.
  • Family history of cancer. If cancer runs in your family, then you are more genetically predisposed.
  • Too much sun. If you have excessive exposure to the sun, especially when you are young, it increases your odds of contracting oral cancer.
  • If you have been diagnosed with HPV (Human Papillomavirus), some strains put you at a higher risk for contracting oral cancer.

It is important to note, however, that 25% of diagnosed cases of oral cancer do occur in nonsmokers and social drinkers.

What Can You Do to Prevent a Diagnosis?

There are some things you can do to lower your risk, such as:

  • Drink alcohol in moderation, and do not smoke or use any tobacco products.
  • Maintain a well-balanced diet.
  • Limit your exposure to the sun, and when you are out in the sun, apply UV-A/B sun blocking products on your skin and lips.

Early Detection is Key

The earlier you see any symptoms, the greater the chance of successful treatment. You can also take an active role in early detection by doing the following:

  • Do a Self Exam Once per Month – Use a bright light and a mirror to examine all the surfaces of your mouth and lips. Feel for lumps and thoroughly look over every part of your mouth, throat, and gums. Check for enlarged lymph nodes in the neck. If you find anything suspicious, contact your health care professional immediately.
  • See your Dentist Regularly – No matter how thorough, you can’t always see everything, so ask your dentist to conduct an exam at your next visit.

Remember, understanding what oral cancer is and how to detect it increases your chances of successful treatment.

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cataract Awareness Month

examining-eye

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is a clouding of the clear lens that filters light in your eye. Cataracts can interfere with your vision and can slowly develop over time or can enlarge quite suddenly. Cataracts are often diagnosed on routine eye exams, but sudden changes in vision should be reported to an eye doctor.

Symptoms of a Cataract

Signs and symptoms of cataracts can vary depending on the size of the cataract and how far advanced at is. Some of the most common symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Blurry or clouded vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Problems with glares
  • Frequent eyeglass and contact lens prescription changes
  • Clouding of the middle part of the eye
  • Halo effect when looking at lights
  • Double vision in only one eye
  • Needing increased light to do activities such as reading, sewing, or puzzles

A cataract may start as a small spot of blurry vision in your eye and get noticeably worse as time goes on. Regular check-ups with your doctor will help to track the development of the cataract and come up with a proper treatment plan.

What Causes Cataracts?

While cataracts typically develop as you age, there are other issues that can lead to cataracts. Injuries to your eye or surgical procedures can damage the lens of your eye leading to cataracts later in life. Genetics and long-term medical conditions such as diabetes also increase your risk of developing cataracts.

Types of Cataracts

There are four different types of cataracts that you may be diagnosed with. These usually differ by how they develop as well as their location.

  •      Nuclear Cataracts

A nuclear cataract usually begins with a disturbance in your near-sighted vision. As the cataract develops, it will become yellow and more cloudy before becoming brown and will eventually cause a disturbance in both close and far vision.

  • Cortical Cataracts

Cortical cataracts will begin as white streaks throughout the lens that will eventually spread to the middle, causing more vision disturbance as more light is blocked.

  • Posterior Subcapsular Cataracts

This type of cataract typically starts a small opaque area towards the back part of the lens that sits directly in the pathway of the light trying to come through. Posterior subcapsular cataracts will often spread quicker than most and tend to affect reading vision and vision in bright lights. It often creates halos and glare issues.

  • Congenital Cataracts

Congenital cataracts are ones that a child is born with or they develop sometime during their childhood. This can often be the result of genetics, infection in the uterus, trauma, or medical conditions such as rubella or myotonic dystrophy.

Cataract Surgery

If your cataracts begin to interfere with your ability to read, drive, or perform routine daily activities, cataract surgery may be the best option for you. During the cataract surgery, the doctor will remove your clouded lens and replace it with a new clear lens that will significantly improve your vision.

Cataract surgery is very safe and is an outpatient procedure that does not require a hospital stay. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits or surgery with you if it is the recommended course of action.

While cataracts can cause significant problems with everyday life, they are most often treatable with surgery. If you have any vision disturbance or think that you may have a cataract, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month

Image result for Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness

Many people think that Alzheimer’s is just part getting older. Sometimes, it becomes comical when older people get forgetful. However, this is not funny because Alzheimer’s is not part of getting older. Instead, it’s a disease that needs to be prevented.

As a matter of fact, even those who aren’t that old can suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Although this is not contagious nor inherited, it can still be epidemic in a way people are not aware how to avoid it. It is a lifestyle-based disease which can also be avoided by changing your lifestyle. There is more to teach about Alzheimer’s, and this is what Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Months strives to achieve every year in June.

Ways to Participate in Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Months

Learn About Alzheimer’s

The most important thing you should do in Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Months is to learn everything about Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders. You don’t have to wait for any scheduled seminar to do so. You can learn about it on your own for free by reading blogs, and other articles you can browse on the internet.

However, if there are some awareness seminars to be held in your local area, don’t hesitate to join and ask questions. You can also visit a specialist and ask about all that you need to know about Alzheimer’s disease.

Donate Cash

There are many organizations and associations that are actively helping people with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and brain abnormalities. If you have some extra money, you can donate cash to any such organization. This is because most organizations that help and care for people with brain disorders depend upon the generosity of the public.

Teach Others About Alzheimer’s

If you are already knowledgeable about Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases, you can teach others in your own little way by telling your friends and relatives about the ways to prevent Alzheimer’s. You can also blog about it and share information to your social media following, so that more people will become curious and interested to learn about it, too.

Volunteer for Alzheimer’s Campaign

If you really want to go the extra mile in participating Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Months, you can volunteer for the campaign and work with organizations or associations that propagate information.

Usually, campaign work for awareness month such as this involves organizing a series of seminars and forums. You can volunteer in any related associations or movement and help them organize or schedule such events. Along the way, you can also teach people more about Alzheimer’s.

Go Purple

Purple is the color of Alzheimer’s awareness campaign. You can dress yourself up with anything purple and encourage others to do the same. You may also go purple on your Facebook account by changing your theme to purple color.

In this way, many people will become curious about the color. Not only does it catch attention, but it also leads to explaining what it is all about. Why not go purple together with your family and friends?

There are many things to be learned about Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases, and this can’t be discussed in just one sitting. This is why it should take a month to campaign for it.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Types of Metabolic Disorders

blood-clotting-disorders

Numerous types of metabolic disorders exist in the contemporary world. While some are relatively minor, others are major and can be life threatening. The moment you notice symptoms of any metabolic disorder, it is prudent to visit your doctor to have it attended to before it escalates into something dangerous.

The primary cause of metabolic conditions is a malfunction in the body’s metabolism. In some instances, though, metabolism disorders arise from inadequate chemical reactions. Below are some of the main metabolic disorders:

  • Obesity

Obesity can be brought about by a plethora of factors. Among these factors are metabolic problems. There are diseases which have been confirmed to be a trigger factor for obesity. Some of those diseases are thyroid disorders among others. Individuals who have a low basal metabolic rate tend to be fatter than their counterparts who have high metabolic rates.

  • Hyperthyroidism

This is another major metabolic disorder characterized by too much hormone being produced by the thyroid. The thyroid is located in the area front of the larynx and is a key gland for metabolism. It is the organ responsible for the production of thyroxine and triiodothyronine, the two thyroid hormones critical to body metabolism of fats, emotional heats as well as heat. If these hormones are produced in excess, the result is the triggering of an entire series of metabolic disorders that is capable of producing serious or less serious damage to an individual’s health.

  • Hypothyroidism

This is a condition brought about when the thyroid produces insufficient thyroid hormones. It is also a major cause of the occurrence of goiter. Goiter is brought about when there is an increase in the size of the thyroid. The increase is seen in the appearance of a bulge on the front side of the neck. The proper weight of the thyroid gland is usually about 20-30 grams. The weight of an enlarged thyroid gland can be as serious as one kilogram. This can easily become one of the leading causes of difficulty in breathing as well as swallowing.

If left untreated, hypothyroidism can cause cretinism. Cretinism is a physical condition which is characterized by poor physical and mental development. Other characteristic physical symptoms may include waxy skin, belly and speech problems.

Low thyroid hormones can also be a cause of other far-reaching conditions including myxedema coma. This condition is preceded by characteristic symptoms including hypotension, slow breathing, extremely dry skin, and hyposensitivity to cold.

  • Diabetes

This is a metabolic disorder characterized by excess sugar in the blood and urine. Diabetes is of two types.

– Diabetes insipidus which is a result of the lack of vasopressin hormone.

– Diabetes mellitus which is as a result of the alteration in sugar metabolism.

Diabetes mellitus is further subdivided into:

– Insulin dependent diabetes type 1. This is a disease that is most prevalent in children and youths. Its characteristic is the deficiency of insulin in the blood. Resulting from a pancreas which produces too little insulin.

– Non-insulin dependent diabetes (type II). This condition, on the other hand, is prevalent in individuals aged 40 and above. Here, the cells find it difficult to absorb insulin from the blood. This may happen even with a normal insulin production by the pancreas. The evolution of this type of diabetes is much slower than that of juvenile diabetes.

The above are some of the metabolic disorders that are prevalent among humans in the modern world. If you fall victim to any of them, be fast in opting for medical solutions before it’s too late.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Awareness

pat-home-slider-3

Alcohol has been shown to statistically cause more teenage fatalities than all other drugs put together.

Because alcohol has been shown to be strongly correlated with the three leading causes of death among young adults – suicide, murder, and accidents , such as car accidents – the threat that alcohol poses to young populations needs to be taken more seriously.

The health care costs of both drug and alcohol abuse are staggering as well. The National Institute of Drug Abuse found that alcohol abuse costs $27 billion every year in health care costs and drug abuse collectively costs $37 billion for illicit and prescription drug abuse combined. Those numbers are worrying.

More worrying still is the fact that these numbers are only a drop in the bucket compared to the overall costs that alcohol and drug abuse take on a nation in terms of lost productivity, increased crime, and as already alluded to skyrocketing health care costs.

When you add up these three costs (lower productivity, higher crime, and higher health care costs) you’re talking about nearly a quarter-trillion or $249 billion annually for alcohol abuse and over a quarter trillion for illicit and prescription drugs combined.

The Monitoring the Future study’s results show some promising trends as well as areas for continued concern with respect to today’s youth and tomorrow’s future. Alcohol use among 12th graders, for instance, has gone down about 7% over the last 3 years whereas illicit drug use has pretty much stayed steady with about half of 12th graders indulging in illicit drugs.

Fortunately, the number of 8th graders choosing to partake in alcohol use has gone down since 2013 when it was 27.80% – today that number is 22.80%, which means that fewer than one in four 8th graders is choosing to use alcohol. The number of 12th graders using marijuana, though, has remained fairly constant at around half (~48%) over the last three years.

The frightening reality for many substance abuse, mental health experts, politicians, and concerned parents is that youngsters that drink are more than 7 times more likely to partake in other illicit drugs. And get this: A kid who drinks who 50 times more likely to use cocaine illicitly and on a recreational basis than another kid who abstains from alcohol altogether through his or her middle school, high school, and early adult years.

Recent data shows that among the nearly 4 million people who were treated in 2005 for substance abuse a full 2.4 million were also treated for alcohol abuse. That’s because there’s a big comorbidity (or co-occurrence) between the two kinds of abuse. There also happens to be a big correlation between drug abuse, alcohol abuse, anxiety disorders, and depression.

This is still a chicken or the egg question that psychologists and mental health professionals are trying to work out but it’s currently believed that anxiety disorders, major depression, or bipolar disorder could predispose certain people to start using certain illicit substances and alcohol in order to self medicate. This is never appropriate and a mental health professional and substance abuse counselor should always be called in to help.

Help is needed more desperately than ever because more Americans are falling prey to drug and alcohol abuse. Worryingly, a full 40% of violent crime has been associated with alcohol use, according to the United States Department of Justice. In a single year (2007) alcohol-related traffic fatalities topped 10,000 people. That’s more than should ever succumb to these kinds of accidents.

If you or a loved one are struggled with drug abuse or alcohol abuse contact a substance abuse counselor today for help.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What is Red Ribbon Week?

red-ribbon-week

Each year, the nation celebrates Red Ribbon Week. However, many people aren’t quite sure what it is, or how it got started. Red Ribbon Week is a campaign dedicated to bringing awareness to drug, alcohol, and violence prevention. It is observed during October each year in the United States. It is the largest, and oldest, drug prevention program in the country.

Red Ribbon Week’s Origins

In 1988, the National Family Partnership organized the first Nationwide Red Ribbon Week in partnership with President and First Lady Reagan. Red ribbons began showing up in 1985, in response to the murder of Special Agent Enrique Camarena. Camarena was a DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) Agent, who was kidnapped, brutally tortured and killed by the drug traffickers he was investigating in Mexico in 1985. He joined the DEA to make a difference, and his death angered parents and children across the country.

Red Badges

In honor of Camarena’s memory and the work he did to rid the country of illegal drugs, Camerena’s childhood friend, Henry Lozano and Congressman Duncan Hunter created “Camarena Club”. They began wearing red satin ribbons to show their opposition to drugs. The symbol spread across the country. Soon, parents who were sick of the destruction caused by alcohol and drugs joined them. They formed coalitions, coalitions that adopted the symbol of Camarena’s memory, the red satin ribbon.

Red Ribbon Week Today

Today, Red Ribbon Week is celebrated during the last week of October each year. It is a way for schools, businesses, and families to educate their youth and get them to participate in drug prevention activities. Red Ribbon Week activities reach millions of people each year. Wearing red ribbons during the month of October represents a pledge to live drug free and honors the sacrifice of Special Agent Camarena and others who have lost their lives fighting against drugs.

From Red Ribbon Week photo contests to Red Ribbon Week-themed essays, schools take part each year in a big way, and parents are always encouraged to participate. Businesses often hand out Red Ribbons, and employees wear them to show their support. Rallies are often planned in cities, and even in the nation’s capital to bring awareness to this important subject.

Now, even the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts can earn a DEA Red Ribbon Patch.

See what your community is doing this year to commemorate Red Ribbon Week, and make sure to wear your ribbon.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Symptoms of Depression

Feeling blue

Over 16.1 million people in the United States suffer from depression. For some, it is mild. There are other people who suffer from persistent depressive disorder (PDD), which continues for at least two years. Some people become depressed after serious life events such as chronic illness, the death of a loved one, or the end of a relationship or a marriage. There are others who become depressed due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. There are several symptoms that are related to a major depressive episode.

Feelings of Sadness

Everyone feels sad at one time or another, however, if your sadness persists and doesn’t seem to go away, you could be suffering from depression. Feelings of emptiness is also a symptom.

Feelings of Hopelessness

If you once felt hope about your life and your future and suddenly you are experiencing feelings of hopelessness, you could be suffering from depression.

Lack of Interest in Activities that Once Caused Pleasure

If you once had hobbies and activities that you enjoyed and suddenly, you don’t find pleasure in any of them, you could be suffering from depression. For example, if you once looked forward to your Saturday afternoon basketball game and suddenly you would rather stay home, depression could be the underlying reason. Also, if you once enjoyed sex and suddenly you have no sex drive at all, you could be suffering from depression.

Lack of Energy

Lack of energy is a common symptom of depression. If you suddenly have no energy and you feel tired all the time, it could be that you are working too hard and spreading yourself too thin, however, it could be a sign of depression. If you find that you are sleeping several more hours each day than usual or that you would rather be sleeping than doing anything else, you could be suffering from depression or PDD.

Insomnia

While fatigue and sleeping more is a symptom depression, insomnia is as well. If you have trouble sleeping at night even though you are tired, you could be suffering from depression.

Changes in Appetite

Changes in appetite is a sign of depression. For some people, they lose their appetite, resulting in a weight loss. There are some people who overeat when they are suffering from depression which results in weight gain. If you notice changes in your appetite, it is a warning sign.

Irritability

If you were once a happy, easy going person and suddenly you find that you are irritable, it could be a sign of depression. There are some cases when irritability is caused by other issues, such as stress and lack of sleep, however, if you find that you are feeling irritable often, you could be suffering from depression.

Persistent Physical Symptoms

There are cases where depression can manifest itself in physical symptoms. There are people who suffer from depression who complain of frequent headaches, digestive disorders, and pain that have no medical explanations. While depression manifesting itself as physical symptoms is rare, it does happen.

Cognitive Problems

Depression can result in cognitive problems such as difficulty concentrating, difficulty making decisions and short-term memory loss. Since these problems are signs of other health problems, depression can be difficult to diagnose if these are the only symptoms.

Thoughts of Suicide

Thoughts of suicide are the most danger

ous symptom of depression. Many depressed people who think about committing suicide eventually attempt it.

Depression is a very serious illness. It can result in physical ailments and in more severe cases, death. Fortunately, through regular visits with a mental health professional and with medication, depression can be treated.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

How to Handle Domestic Violence

domestic-violence1

 

Domestic violence is a very serious problem in the United States. Statistics show that 20 people are physically abused by an intimate partner every minute. If you suspect that a friend or family member is being abused, it is up to you to intervene. If you don’t do something early enough, your loved one could be severely injured or possibly killed. When it comes to domestic violence, there are a few ways that you should handle it.

Look for the Signs

Most victims of domestic violence don’t want to admit that there is anything wrong with the relationship. Even though it is not the victim’s fault, they often take the blame. Many victims are too embarrassed to admit that they are being victimized. Finally, many victims still love their abusers and they don’t want people to think poorly about them. If you suspect that your loved one is being abused, you should look for the signs.

  • Becoming isolated from family and friends
  • Being sad or withdrawn
  • Mysterious bruises on their body
  • Nervousness and jumpiness when their partner is around.

Ask Questions Without Berating

If you suspect that a loved one is being abused, you should ask them straight out. If they don’t admit it, you should press them without berating them. Let them know the reasons that you suspect that there is abuse. If you have recognized the signs, let your loved one know. In many cases, they will see that they are not hiding it as well as they thought they were and they will come clean.

Help Them Create a Safety Plan

If your loved one is willing to admit to you that they are being abused, it doesn’t mean that they will be ready to leave the relationship. If this is the case, it is up to you to help keep them as safe as possible. You should help your loved one come up with an emergency plan if their partner hits them. This means coming up with a place for them to go where they can be safe. When they leave, they are going to need to get away as quickly as possible and be away for a few days. It is a good idea for your loved one to pack a safety bag. It should include a few days worth of clothing and medication. If they have children, make sure that the victim has packed clothing and toys for them as well. If they feel safe, they can hide the bag in the trunk of the car. If the victim is worried that their partner will discover the bag, you can keep it at your house so that their partner won’t find it.

Encourage Them To Get Help

As mentioned above, most victims of domestic violence don’t want to go to the police. They worry about getting their partner into trouble, even though they are being abused. If you cannot get your loved one to go to the police, you should talk them into getting counseling. Many people who are victims of domestic abuse suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This can cause panic attacks, depression, anxiety, nightmares, and insomnia. Your loved one will need the help of a mental health professional to treat the PDSD. Also, the therapist might be able to get your loved one to understand that it is not their fault and they need to report the violence to the police.

If you believe that someone you love is being abused, it is up to you to be there for them. You could be the one to save their life.

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,