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Mental Health Issues Sleep Deprivation May Cause

Mental Health Issues Sleep Deprivation May Cause

How often have you faced the situation when you are trying to sleep, but you are not able to? You might end up spending the entire night tossing and turning in your bed. Situations like this may occur to anyone, maybe due to some worry or out of excitement for something that’s going to happen the following day. However, if it becomes a usual affair, it can be terrible, indicating sleep problems, such as insomnia, sleep deprivation, sleep apnea, etc. It can do more damage than one could imagine.

Since the mind and the body rely on correct sleep pattern to function normally, a good eight-hour sleep is much needed for a healthy life. Cutting corners on sleep could be detrimental for both mental and physical health. In other words, compromising on sleep to meet certain responsibilities or to get a bit of extra leisure time can have severe negative effects on both mental and physical health, causing a high stress level, irritability, cardiac morbidity and numerous other health issues.

While a lot of people are unable to get their forty winks owing to significant changes in their lifestyle, a few others may go through the ordeal due to various social or environmental factors. But whatever be the reason, sleep deprivation can be dangerous, resulting in mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.

It has been observed that most Americans are sleep deprived, and the condition is alarming for those with psychiatric conditions. Clearly, there is a strong relationship between sleep deprivation and the development of numerous mental health issues. Some common health issues that develop in people who are constantly sleep deprived are:

  1. Depression: Generally, an individual dealing with depression is first monitored for any symptoms of sleep disorders, following which the diagnosis for depression is made. Studies have shown that people dealing with insomnia are more likely to develop depression later in their lives as compared to those without any such problem. Moreover, depressed individuals with sleep problems are more prone to commit suicide than those who get a proper sleep.
  2. Anxiety: Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues that can be triggered by the lack of adequate sleep. A person may experience problems such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and panic disorder when deprived of sufficient sleep. On the other hand, if a person with an anxiety disorder has sleep problems due to it, can see the symptoms worsening, leading to delayed recovery.
  3. Bipolar disorder: Also known as manic-depressive illness, this disorder can make an individual either sleep excessively or experience restless sleep. Studies have shown that dealing with a manic or depressed episode of bipolar disorder along with difficulty in sleeping can pose significant hindrances in treatment, and hence, delay in recovery. The person might also feel low on energy, less motivated, and lack of interest in daily activities. Suicidal thoughts due to a combination of bipolar disorder and lack of sleep are also common in such individuals.

Recovery road mapA sound sleep not only ensures physical and mental health, but also helps in preventing the development of various mental illnesses. It is quite possible that mental disorders and physical illnesses coexist, but the cause-and-effect of this relationship may not be clear. A discussion of all symptoms with the doctor can help in identifying if a physical illness can be attributed to a mental ailment, or vice versa.

Your Guide To Natural Happiness: Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

Your Guide To Natural Happiness: Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

There’s ample evidence suggesting the incredible connection between our body and mind. This is why phrases like ‘too much stress makes you sick’ are true. A famous research called as the Whitehall study found that workers in low-level jobs, in which they have high levels of stress and low autonomy, had more than twice the risk of developing metabolic syndrome – a precursor of heart diseases and diabetes – compared with employees in higher-level jobs.

Today the breakthrough in our understanding of the mind-body connection have been translated into many forms of therapies in order to support patients with minor to serious health illnesses. “The Connection Between Mind And Body” written by The Bravewell Collaborative is a good read where they summarise the most ground-breaking studies and therapies available today.

Only a healthy body can bestow a healthy mind and vice versa. Then what can you do to make the most out of this phenomenon to your advantage? Below is a description of a famous study performed by Dr. James Blumenthal. It’s about fighting depression, but we can all learn a valuable lesson from it.

Fighting Depression: Exercise vs. Medication

Blumenthal gathered 156 adults suffering from mild to moderate cases of depression and they were divided into three different groups:

Group 1: Patients allocated in this group were treated with sertraline, an antidepressant drug (they go by the brand names of Zoloft and Lustral). In 2011 alone, over 37 million sertraline prescriptions were given out for various conditions including major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety and panic.

Group 2: Patients in this group were given a combination of medication and exercise. They used the same medication (same dose) as Group 1, along with regular exercise. The exercise programme given out to them were identical to the one given to patients under Group 3 below.

Group 3: Patients in this group only had exercise. Three times per week, they performed 45 minutes of exercise. This included 10 minutes of warm up, 30 minutes of walking or jogging at a pace that would maintain a heart rate that was 80% to 90% of their maximum, and then 5 minutes of cool down.

And here are the results:

Each patient were treated for 4 months under the supervision of researchers and professional staff. At the end of the treatment period, the researchers were surprised to find out that all three groups had equal results. Treating depression with exercise alone was just as effective as medication. But when the researchers took the experiment and recorded the results over a longer period of time, things got even more interesting.

Long-Term Impacts Between Exercise and Medication

After the 4 months of treatment, the researchers gave all the patients the freedom of spending their next 6 months as they wish. They were welcomed to continue their treatment on their own or to try something new.

When the researchers followed up with the patients 6 months later, the results were the following:

· Group 1 (Medication only): 38% of patients relapsed into depression.

· Group 2 (Medication + Exercise): 31% of patients relapsed into depression.

· Group (Exercise only): only 8% of patients relapsed into depression.

Why Exercise Was More Effective Long Term

Dr. Blumenthal and his colleagues studied this result and commented that:

“One of the positive psychological benefits of systematic exercise is the development of a sense of personal mastery and positive self-regard, which we believe is likely to play some role in the depression-reducing effects of exercise.”

In other words, it was the discipline, commitment and the accumulation of “small-wins” over time that led to increased senses of self-worth and confidence. It’s not that medications don’t work, but the subtle shift in empowerment and confidence is what makes all the difference.

The Hidden Message

The immediate message of the study is obvious: if you are suffering from depression, exercise is a great alternative to medication, and long term wise, exercise may deliver superior results. But it’s irrelevant whether you are suffering from depression or not. The results of this study clearly shows that there is an intimate relationship between the human body and mind, and we can all use this information to our advantage.

Whatever goals you might have set for yourself, the very first step to actually achieving it starts from believing in yourself. They say the sky is the limit but really, it is your own self-limiting thoughts that limit you. We’ve seen it already. Having the correct mind-set of empowerment and confidence is much more potent than pills when it comes to changing how we feel, the way we move and ultimately, live our lives.

If you don’t have a healthy body, you can’t have a healthy mind and vice versa. Start feeding your body and mind with everything that’s good. Life is too short for anything less. So let’s make sure anything that we think, look, read or say adds value and health to our minds and body.

Your Guide To Natural Happiness: Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

Depression: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Depression is more than feeling sad. Each person’s experience of depression is different as there is a wide variety of symptoms.

Many people feel down occasionally, but have areas in their lives that make them feel good, for some people though, life is more of a struggle. They feel complete despair.
If you feel like this, then you may be depressed.

What is depression?

Depression is a prolonged and persistent mood, that affects all ages, races, economic groups and both males and females. For some reasons women suffer from depression about twice as much as men do. It is characterised by feelings of worthlessness, excessive guilt, sadness, loneliness, hopelessness, and self-doubt, suicidal thought may also be present.

Normal everyday depressions can last for minutes to a few days. These feelings are a normal part of being human.

On the other hand, depression that becomes intense and lasts for extended periods of time is beyond the everyday sort. For this more severe depression you need to consider getting help.

What may cause people to be depressed?

– Disappointment.
– Negative thinking.
– Unrealistic expectations.
– Significant loss.

Symptoms of depression:

1. Physical symptoms:

– Weight loss or gain.
– Sleeping too much or too little.
– Gradual loss of sexual desire.
– Constipation.

2. Emotional symptoms:

– Anger.
– Sadness.
– Hopelessness.
– Anxiety.
– Mood swings.

3. Behavioral symptoms:

– Getting angry easily.
– Crying for no apparent reason.
– Turning to drugs or alcohol.
– Loss of interest in one’s physical appearance.
– Loss of interest in activities which were once of interest.

Dealing with depression:

– Try to keep up with social activities even if you don’t feel like it
– Turn to friends and family members who make you feel loved and cared for.
– Ask for help. Others are usually very willing to listen.
– Don’t hold your feelings, cry and get angry if you need to.
– Make a weekly list of your positive accomplishments.
– Use the stairs rather than an elevator.
– Take regular exercises.
– Keep as occupied as you can with things that really interest you.
– Get professional help if symptoms persist.

Depressions is a distressing experience, but there are many kinds of help available.

Sadly you may not always get the help you need, sometimes because you may feel too hopeless about your situation to ask.

After reading this you may like to discuss it with family and friends.

Best Ways To Help People With PTSD

PTSD patients report that sometimes they are suffering from uncontrollable anxiety, sleepless nights, and unrealistic dreams by nature. This can lead to short-term memory loss, which may cause long lasting psychological issues. It is recommended to treat the victim as early as possible in order to avoid complications. When it is confirmed that the affected person is behaving in a dangerous way, it is important to address the issue so the victim will no longer be affected by the traumatic event.

Diagnosing PTSD

The first step is to make an appointment with a medical expert who can diagnose the problem thoughtfully and determine the patient’s state of mind. The practitioner will understand the symptoms and will decide the course of action effectively.

There are situations where the symptoms can go unnoticed for several weeks or even months. Also there are circumstances where the victim has recovered within 6 months, meaning that there is a lot of variance that comes with handling PTSD.

Steps to Take to Help Someone with PTSD

When a friend or family member has PTSD, there are a few ways to help. Primarily, it is important to express love for the person affected and show them the good things in life in some way or another. Sometimes it is useful to talk to this person directly about the problem. Depending on the severity of the condition, it may be possible to relieve them of stress through conversation. Otherwise, talking to the victim as if he or she did not have PTSD is an effective way to help the victim maintain his or her sanity. Supportive behavior like this can sometimes be enough to help a sufferer return to a healthy mental state. Positive energy is also important, although do not overdo things if the resulting effect is negative. Recommending certain relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga are also possible strategies when dealing with a PTSD victim.

If money shortages occur when trying to pay for medical expenses, start a fundraising campaign by spreading awareness about the effects of PTSD.

In order to help the victim assimilate a normal life again, conduct family reunions, neighborhood gatherings, or club conferences so as to show love and affection through many other people. It is important to note, however, that this could backfire if it reminds the afflicted individual about any events from their past that could possibly contribute to the current problem.

Finally, show support or spread awareness using printed shirts, caps, events, campaigns, and so on. In recent times, people have started using a unique tool to for spreading awareness: silicone wristbands. These are highly durable, long lasting, and suitable for people of all ages. Silicone Wristbands, especially those sold online, are available in various colors, sizes, and designs and are customizable. The main advantage of using wristbands in order to raise awareness and show support for PTSD victims is that messages can be spread to the public with ease. Using printed messages like “SUPPORT PTSD VICTIMS”, “HELP OUR PTSD FRIENDS”, and “SHOW PEACE AND HARMONY” allows the general public to learn more about the cause. Since wristbands are customizable accessories – pick a style that complements the message or anything that is appealing. Various styles and designs include embossed, debossed, dual layer, multicolored, and swirled.

Living with PTSD isn’t easy. Support those who are affected by PTSD and show them the beauty in life that they’re missing. They will appreciate it and you might possibly save a life.

Importance of Stress Management

Importance of Stress Management

Mental Health can be overlooked in our everyday lives but it plays a huge role in our health. Our mental state can affect us in many ways both positively and negatively. This article will be discuss the importance of Mental Health with a concentration on stress management. Stress is a significant cause of mental illness today and although we can’t eradicate it, we can manage it. It is important to understand that not all stress is negative. Stress may occur prior to weddings, graduations, or even social gatherings, but no matter the source of stress, your bodies respond the same. Also, some stress is good for you in order to manage skills needed for survival such as fight or flight. Experts suggest a combination of physical, social, environmental, and psychological approaches to managing stress. When we are stressed, we encounter General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS). GAS is your complex physiological responses that happen as a result of the stress and has three phases. The first phase of GAS is the alarm phase. The alarm phase occurs when we sense there is a stressor present (Body doesn’t sense whether it is a good or bad stressor), everything becomes heightened and hormones respond. The seconds phase of GAS is called the resistance phase. During the resistance phase your body resists stress to get your it back to homeostasis. If you can’t rid the stress you move into exhaustion The last phase, exhaustion, occurs when your body is tired and can’t fight anymore to get it back to homeostasis. Physical or emotional tension is often a good indicator of stress. Below is a short list of symptoms from stress.

  • Tension and irritability
  • Fear and anxiety about the future
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Being numb to one’s feelings
  • Loss of interest in normal activities
  • Loss of appetite
  • And many more.

We all experience some level of stress on a regular basis but as I mentioned before, too much can be harmful to your body. Below I have listed ways in which you can deal with and reduce stress levels.

  • Take Care of Yourself

Taking care of yourself seems self-explanatory for many but as we enter the exhaustion phase our attention to self-care begins to decline. Eat a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep, treat yourself, and maintain your normal routine.

  • Stay Active

It is often said that exercise is the most underused stress reliever and this is 100% true. Working out forces you to take your mind off of the stressors and focus on what you are doing and nothing else. Get in a gym or go for a run to lower your stress levels.

  • Social Support

Being able to talk to someone during stressful times is very important. Connect with a friend or family member that you will listen to what you want to get off your mind. This can be very helpful for stress reduction.

  • Avoid Alcohol or Drugs

People often turn to drugs and alcohol in times of stress but fail to realize they only provide temporary relief. Once your “high” or “buzz” wears off, you will more than likely feel worse than before. Alcohol and drugs add to stress and do not help to reduce its impact.

I hope this information helps you to recognize when you are stressed and how to handle it. Stress is a serious issue that we tend to overlook. Stress is usually a catalyst for other illnesses such as anxiety to occur. For this reason, be mindful of your stressors and take relieve yourself from your daily burdens.

Importance of Stress Management