Category Archives: Treatment

Online Treatment of Emetophobia – The Intense Fear of Vomiting

EmetophobiaHave you seen someone extremely afraid of vomiting, sickness or feeling nauseated every time? The intense fear of vomiting, fear of throwing up in public, feeling pukish under stressful and anxiety-provoking conditions… is known as emetophobia. It is derived from the amalgamation of two Greek words, viz. εμετός or emesis meaning to vomit and φόβος, meaning phobia or intense irrational fear.

I had a client of mine who would feel pukish under stressful conditions, while leaving home and in social settings. His phobia was so intense that he would eat ice cubes, chewing gum in order to pacify himself. In worst cases, he would also hold ice cubes in his hand to feel good. Emetophobia is not restricted to any certain age group. Starting from childhood to old age, it can affect people of any age range.

Emetophobia can seriously impair normal life functioning if it is not properly treated. Sometimes it presents itself with comorbid symptoms like agoraphobia, social anxiety, stress, fear of flying etc. Women in the reproductive age are pregnant women are among the worst sufferers of emetophobia. Since it is associated with vomiting, it makes the pregnancy phases even more difficult. You will be surprised to know that some women avoid getting pregnant due to profound emetophobia symptoms. They fear the vomiting episodes during pregnancy and morning sickness too.

Therefore, emetophobia is a serious condition for the ones who suffer from it. Not only the victims, but also the caretakers of emetophobia sufferers also have a hard time in helping them and dealing with them. Now, let us look into the pathological aspects of emetophobia:

Causes of Emetophobia

  • Possible traumatic experience with vomiting.
  • Experience of childhood abuse (physical/sexual).
  • Anxiety and its profound symptoms.
  • Lack of a sound locus of control or sense of self-control.
  • Environmental factors and effects one’s surroundings.
  • Illness, pregnancy or alcoholism.

Emetophobia is caused due to several reasons and each and every age group is vulnerable to it.

Symptoms of emetophobia

  • Restlessness and anxiety
  • Digestive upsets
  • Feeling nauseated or need to vomit
  • Palpitations, profuse sweating
  • Stomach pain

Though the symptoms may seem only a few in numbers, they are too difficult to bear. Sometimes, emetophobia is so severe that the patient falls into a trap of depression and suicidal tendencies.

Treatment of Emetophobia

This is another aspect that will surprise you even more. Usually people suffering from any psychological or physical ailment feel better by taking medications. But, emetophobia is one such condition in which people avoid taking medicines. Since some medicines lead to feelings of nausea and vomiting, therefore patients with emetophobia often avoid taking medications. In exceptional cases, some feel well after starting medicines, some also do well after taking gastrointestinal medicines too.

Effective treatment of emetophobia however, comprises of psychotherapies and counseling. Exposure therapies, systematic desensitization, behavior therapy, cognitive behavior therapies, etc. are the ones that are most beneficial in the treatment of emetophobia.

Emetophobia is a very critical ailment to bear and overcome. It affects one’s personal, educational, social, professional… almost all the dimensions of life. Therefore, people suffering from emetophobia need your empathetic understanding and care.

An introduction to “psycho-diagnostics”

Test-Yourself-Psychology-1

Confused by reading the title??? Psycho-diagnostics is nothing but the way through which psychologists diagnose different mental health problems. Either you or your loved one have a mental health issue or you are keeping good health. Both ways a sound knowledge of psycho-diagnostics is going to help you. Today, we are faced with varied situations and challenges. Starting from conception to education, examination to recruitment. Everywhere psycho-diagnostic tools are used. Some common examples are at a psychologist’s clinic, during a personal interview, in an educational/career counseling session, and so on.

Psycho-diagnostic tools are prepared by highly qualified and experienced personnels in the field of psychology. They are allowed for clinical and non-medical use after intensive and extensive research on their reliability, standardization, validity, usability, whether it adheres to a certain cultural norm or not and many such important factors. Based on their nature and usability the time to administer them varies.

Psychological testing or psycho-diagnostics can be used for multiple purposes. Some of them are:

Uses of Psycho-diagnostics:

  •  In medical settings for assessing behavioral and emotional problems
  • For mental health issues
  • While performing in an interview or test
  • In organizational settings
  • In forensics and insurance
  • Educational or school environment

Starting from simple paper-pen tests to machine-tests like CT-Scan, PET-Scan….Do you know psychological tests are of various kinds? See below for the multitude of psycho-diagnostic tests are in use in today’s era:

1.     IQ/Achievement Tests These tests test and quantify your intelligence and ability in various tasks/fields.
2.     Aptitude Test  Whether you have an aptitude or propensity in a certain field – aptitude tests measure this.
3.     Employment Test  These tests are widely used in employment settings. Often they assess your behavior, cognitive skills, and personality.
4.     Neuropsychological Test These are the ones that are designed to test your brain’s functioning, neurological functioning, etc
5.     Personality Test
 
As the name suggests, personality tests measure your personality functioning, type of personality, personality deficits or disorders, and the like
6.     Objective Test  Objective tests have definite responses and are often in true/false format.
7.     Projective Tests  They mostly come in the form of pictures and are meant to reflect your sub-conscious mind. Projective tests help a clinician in assessing the deeper roots of your problems/symptoms.
8.     Sexological tests These tests are used to look into the sexological issues, discomfort, problem or dysfunction pertaining to the sexological aspect of an individual.

As you have seen above, there are wide array of psycho-diagnostic tools available today. Either they are used for medical/pathological or treatment purposes or they are used for assessment in various settings. We at www.online-therapy.com have highly standardized, reliable and valid online psychological tests for various aspects of mental health and daily life functioning. If you or your near and dear ones are facing any of the below mentioned issues, then you can easily take the free online tests. However, for a final diagnosis a validation by our therapist or clinician is necessary. This will help ensure the clinical/medical or scientific nature of your presenting problem/symptom.

Online Therapy Program Links to the free online tests
Addiction https://www.online-therapy.com/addiction/test
Agoraphobia https://www.online-therapy.com/agoraphobia/test
Anger https://www.online-therapy.com/anger-management/test
Anxiety https://www.online-therapy.com/anxiety/test
Bipolar https://www.online-therapy.com/bipolar/test
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) https://www.online-therapy.com/bpd/test
Depression https://www.online-therapy.com/depression/test
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) https://www.online-therapy.com/gad/test
Insomnia https://www.online-therapy.com/insomnia/test
Obsessive CompulsiveDisorder (OCD) https://www.online-therapy.com/ocd/test
Panic Attacks https://www.online-therapy.com/panic-attack/test
Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) https://www.online-therapy.com/ptsd/test
Relationship Problems https://www.online-therapy.com/marriage-relationship/test
Social Anxiety https://www.online-therapy.com/social-anxiety/test
Speech anxiety https://www.online-therapy.com/speech-anxiety/test
Stress https://www.online-therapy.com/stress-management/test
Weight problems https://www.online-therapy.com/weight-loss/test

 

Always ready to help you,

Sareeta

 

Action against addiction: A success story…

what-is-addictionMany thoughts race in our minds when we hear the word “Addiction”. Some see it as a bad habit, while some see it as a way out of all problems. Whether it’s just addiction per say or whether it’s how one becomes addicted to something, getting rid of addiction is often seen as very difficult thing to do.

In my career as a therapist, I have often seen cases frightened of getting de-addiction problems. Do you know why? They are afraid of the withdrawal symptoms, they are afraid that after getting de-addicted they won’t be able to cope with their life’s problems. In fact, there are many people who got successfully out of their addiction issues. Other than therapy techniques, their own determination and will-power pulled them out of the dark and deadly clutches of their addiction problems. If you are someone who is struggling to get rid of your addiction problem…trust me, it’s possible. This blog post is an epitome of a successful victory in the battle against addiction. This is a true story of an addiction-survivor, the way he fought against his addiction problem and the messages he has given to us that addiction can be reigned over with persistent efforts and targeted intervention.

To maintain confidentiality and respect his dignity I have changed his name. He says:

“Hello everyone, 

I have masturbated on average everyday for the last 13+ years. I have tried to quit unsuccessfully several times. I was able to quite for 1 month on a couple of occasions but I always went back to watching porn and masturbating to cope with stress and anxiety. 

I have been molested as a child on a number of occasions, and obviously these early traumas have pained me deeply and confused me over the years in terms of how I felt about my sexuality especially that I’ve been secretive about them most of my life. 

Also, I went to a all-boy school and had a number of homosexual experiences, but I’m primarily interested in women, which lead me to think of myself as a “male lesbian” sometimes. 

My addiction to porn has worsened over the years that I had to look for novelty because I was bored from “normal” sex. So I developed foot fetish and now I’m struggled with ass fetish, so of course, I feel guilt and shame regarding craving these things and I fear this downward spiral because it can only get worse, so I need to bring more awareness to my situation to transform my suffering………

My first shock came to me when I experience erectile dysfunction that’s when I realized I had a problem. I was masturbating so much that I couldn’t have intercourse. I have had good days, but this problem is still with me to some degree. Also, I sometimes don’t feel comfortable in my body and it’s hard for me to open up sexually and be trusting……

Spirituality and a healthy lifestyle have helped me, too, but again I am still an addict. For some reason, part of me (the addict) is drawn to the dark world of prostitution and pornography because it’s kinky and it expresses my wild side, but it’s also very delusional because it’s all a fantasy. 

I also came to the realization that masturbation is a selfish act especially when overly done. Self-love can be expressed in other ways. 

I am grateful to share this with you all. And I’ve read all of your stories and I feel compassion with everyone here. 

Much love! May we all have happiness and all the causes of all happiness….”

The story of X does not end here. He gave his heart and mind to get rid of his addiction. He tried every way out of it and did not leave any therapeutic technique unattempted. As you have already read in his writing, Spirituality and a well-balanced lifestyle showed him a way out. Apart from these, following are some amazing and effective ways that helped him combat his addiction with greater efficacy:

  1. Healthy lifestyle with good food and regular exercise
  2. Spirituality, meditation
  3. A supportive community
  4. Supplements like Endorphinate, Bach flower remedy, etc
  5. 12-step Buddhist principles combined with psychotherapy
  6. Mindfulness Meditation
  7. Other meditation techniques like TM and Metta
  8. Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  9. Body-centered Psychotherapy

So folks, if you will try and analyze the steps taken by him…you would see that he has used a combination of therapies and strategies. He also had his bad days while getting rid of his addiction, but now he has successfully got rid of it.

I would like to say each one of you who is struggling with addiction…Addiction can be reigned over with a strong will-power, determination, regularity, positivity in every situation ‘n’ symptom, modern day therapy as well as alternative therapeutic measures. If you are afraid of the withdrawal symptoms or other problems that you may face, I would say that these may be your own mirage-thinking. I mean, it could be that you won’t face much trouble in your quest towards addiction.

Like this special person, I have seen many people win the battle against different forms of addiction. What is required is just taking that first strong step. Because unless and until you step out, you won’t know what the world has to offer you. If you are one among them who want to get rid of your addiction problem, then please do not waste a second – just contact us. With the help of our online addiction treatment program you can soon discover a “new you”! You can surely see a sunshine in which you get up one day and your addiction problem is all over.

With Best Wishes,

Sareeta

An introduction to alternative therapies

Did you know that other than popping pills in illness there are a lot of ways in which you can manage and prevent different physical and mental health issues? Yes folks! The planet that we dwell in offers us with many healing agents. These healing agents either keep diseases at bay or help us to cure different ailments. The only thing is we need to know how to utilize them for our health and well-being. As a clinical psychologist and an alternative therapist, I face many questions pertaining to the scientific validity of alternative therapies. Alternative therapies are nothing but the use of natural elements to heal diseases. Some of the natural elements used in alternative therapies are water, mud, stones/pebbles, plants, roots, music, colors, magnets, crystal ball, etc. I know you must be getting amazed by reading these names. But, yes when these healing agents are used therapeutically, they can lead to magical effects.

Working System

There are many characteristics of alternative healing agents that make the suitable for healing. Some of them are:

  • Their physical properties
  • Chemical composition
  • The energies that these agents radiate
  • The electro-magnetic waves and resultant effects that they create
  • The ways or methods in which they are used

Based on the above characteristics that I have mentioned, alternative healing agents give rise to healing potentialities. Now let me tell you about some alternative therapy techniques. These techniques are very effective when they are combined with mainstream treatment interventions. Moreover, these alternative therapy techniques can also be used during normal times for overall health and well-being. Some of the most effective forms of alternative therapies are:

Aqua therapy

This therapy will help to control the recurrent thoughts and combat the negative vibes encircling you. In this therapy just take a glass filled with salty water and keep it below the bed just at the point where you place your head. If that is difficult then you can also place the glass of salty water beside your head on a table. This should be done everyday during the night time before going to sleep. After keeping the glass at its place, just give an auto-suggestion to yourself that all your disturbing thoughts and negative energies are getting absorbed by the salty water and you are getting healed from within. The next morning you will get up more fresh, healthier and with a positive spark. Precautions: While throwing the salty water away in the morning make sure that you throw the water into a sink. The water should not fall on any of your body part or other living beings. You can either throw it in the sink or any other water outlet.

Color Therapy

Different colors have different healing capacities. Some colors boost our emotions and moods. While others, tend to pacify them. Some colors have direct healing effects on our body and mind. Though a traditional color therapy requires the supervision of a color therapy practitioner, there are still ways in which you can use colors and their therapeutic effects. You can either wear clothes of such colors; surround yourself with these colors (wall paints, etc) or use a night bulb with a colored sheet of that color You can see the table below for an overview of different colors and their effects:

Colors Effects
Red Strength, warmth, motivation, courage, excitement and energy
Blue Cool and calm feeling, trust, faith, mood pacifier, logic higher cognitive skills and efficiency
Yellow Color of spirituality and higher values in life, emotional strength, creativity, a well-defined sense of self
Green Rejuvenation, inspiration, life force, abundance, positivity, vitality and balance

Color therapy is extremely helpful in stress management and management of depression, sleep disorders, anxiety, heart ailments, mood swings, restlessness, lack of motivation, and so on.

Music Therapy

This is one of my favorite forms of alternative therapies. For therapeutic purposes you can use instrumental music, sounds of nature (like waves, sounds of birds, waterfall, rains, etc). To make it even more effective you can combine music with meditation too. The reason why I recommend music therapy is you can use it anywhere and everywhere. Music therapy is drastically effective in depression, stress, anxiety, cardiac ailments, blood pressure ailments, insomnia, as a combined therapy in trauma care, during hypnosis induction, pregnancy and childbirth. Apart from this, you can use the rhyme and rhythm of music any time you feel like. It is like an all-round therapy with minimal or no side effects at all.

The magic of mud and stones

If anyone of you has a spa experience, then you might understand the effects of these healing agents. Mud is specifically effective in stress, depression, aggression, increasing body’s feel-good hormones, stomach ailments, etc. Pebbles also have cooling effects and provide relief from illnesses related to general mental health, joint and muscle problems, etc. The shape and size of pebbles are important points to take care of here. As you have seen by now, nature and our surroundings provide us with many therapy agents. If done in the right manner and at the right time, alternative therapies can boost your health quotient to unimaginable levels. So you can either use them by yourselves. Or visit an alternative therapy practitioner for more intensive treatment and care. If you have further queries on the technical know-how of alternative therapies, benefits or how to do them, please don’t hesitate to contact us via live chat/ email/ forum or comments in the blog section.

Happy to help, happy to cure!

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

How to Survive a Panic Attack

Panic attack

Panic attack

A panic attack is certainly not welcome. Once it comes it takes a toll on you and makes your life horrible. Though it only lasts for a few moments, these moments can become the most difficult moments of your life. That is why it is very necessary to know about some major techniques to prevent and manage panic attacks. If you are someone who wants to know more about panic attacks, who is suffering from it or who’s loved one is struggling with it…then this blog post is meant for you.

A panic attack is a sudden onset of intense anxiety and panic episode. It is often accompanied by high anxiety levels and physiological problems like palpitations, shortness of breathe and nervous breakdown, trembling, shaking, etc. Whenever it strikes, it can be too overwhelming to handle. Here are some important proactive tips on how to  prevent or deal with panic attacks:

  •  An early diagnosis and timely treatment can help a lot in developing a chronic panic attack. When you start feeling overly anxious over a long period of time or if you feel panicky over small things, do not neglect it. Seek the help of a psychiatrist or a psychologist as soon as possible.
  •  Do not let your potential problems overpower you. Of course, there are times when situations become too hard to bear. This is quite natural and happens with almost everyone. When you face such situations in life, try not to freak out. Try to stay as calm as possible. Take your own time to come over it. Do not leave it remain unresolved since the same issue or similar issue may keep on haunting you over and over again.
  •  Maintain healthy eating habits, exercise regime and lifestyle. A daily workout, walk, balanced diet, meditation, massage, stress management, hobbies, relaxation can go a long way in helping you prevent or manage panic attacks.
  •  Yoga, meditation, massage, alternative therapies (color therapy, aroma therapy, etc), music therapy, breathing exercises can help a lot in this too.
  •  Try to abstain from alcohol and drugs as much as possible. If that is not possible then, try taking alcohol within the safe drinking limits.
  •  Certain medicines lead to anxiety and panic attacks. So whenever you get any medical condition, do not self-medicate or resort to taking over-the-counter pills. Always consult a doctor for your ailments and also remember to enquire about its possible side-effects. It is always wise to share all your problems, allergies in detail with your Doctor.
  •  Journal writing (diary writing), time management, proper planning and execution of work or things, staying in a clean environment are also important to avoid unnecessary anxiety and panic attack.
  •  Do not run away from your fears or problems. Always learn to accept your weaknesses and celebrate your strengths. Try to challenge your weaknesses, face your fears and tackle your problems strongly. Believe in yourself and your potentialities. There is no problem without a solution. You just need to strike it off in the right manner and at the right time. So rather than fearing the problem, avoiding it or crying over it, learn to resolve it positively and effectively.

What to do during a panic attack:

  1. Loosen all tight clothing first.
  2. Try to go to an open place where you can have plenty of fresh air.
  3. Take deep breaths again and again.
  4. Have a list of phone numbers (family, friends or relatives, doctor, ambulance, etc), as emergency numbers whom you or people around you can easily and quickly contact.
  5. Try to distract your mind from the attack to some other positive thought. Doing this can be next to impossible during an attack. But, if you force or push yourself to do this, you will yourself see the positive change.
  6. If you are on medication, then always keep your medicines ready with you as a SOS help during distressing times.
  7. See a therapist as soon as you can.

Anxiety and Panic Attacks can be managed properly if you are well-informed about them and if you know the right things to do under the influence of an anxiety or panic episode.

Stay healthy and stay safe!

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

OCD: Prevention, Management and Treatment Procedures

ocd_treatment

Hi all! Hope you have read my previous blog post  “OCD: An Overview”. Today we will learn on how OCD can be prevented, managed and treated.  Let us see the various ways in which OCD can be prevented:

OCD Prevention

  • Learn good coping skills to different life transitions
  • Maintain a good lifestyle, balanced diet and exercise regime
  • Take things with ease, in a cool and composed manner. Do not get overly stressed out or too much anxious on things and situations
  • De-stressing exercises, anti-anxiety exercises, meditation, mindfulness meditation, hobbies, walking, socializing are some of the good ways of keeping unnecessary and unwanted thoughts at bay.
  • Routine health check-up of oneself and family
  • Living a moment/day at once and not getting worried about the future/unknown
  • Abstinence from too much alcohol etc
  • A healthy balance of physical, mental and social life.

It is normal to wash hands if they are dirty, it is normal to double-check door locks and electric switches…but if you tend to overdo it again and again, then it can paralyze your daily life-functioning. The major problem in OCD is to break free from the shackles of compulsions. Paying heed to the orders of obsessions and doing compulsions repetitively can crumple your energy levels, physiological functioning, mental equilibrium, social life and your life as a whole. That is why it is very important to recognize OCD and take proper treatment for it right from its very inception. Following are some of the management and treatment techniques used for OCD. They are best effective when imparted by a mental health practitioner. Once you start the treatment regime for OCD under the supervision of your mental health professional, then you can start with some self-help techniques too.

Treatment Interventions in OCD

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy: The best therapy technique for OCD by far. You can opt for CBT in a face-to-face setting or on a virtual basis too. If you are a working professional, stay in a remote area, want to avoid unnecessary discomfort of traveling then you can opt for online/virtual CBT. CBT helps you with reconstruction of adaptive forms of thinking and behavior. It works in an all-round way.
  • Cognitive Therapy: Cognitive therapy is also a widely used technique. It is effective in mild to moderate levels of OCD.
  • ERP or Exposure and Response Prevention: This is like a switch on-off technique. In this form of therapy your therapist would expose you to the source of your obsession repeatedly and you would need to refrain or abstain from your compulsion/compulsive act.
  • Pharmacological Interventions: In some cases pharmacological treatment or medications are also necessary. Usually anti-anxiety and anti-obsessional medications are prescribed after in-depth symptom evaluation, assessment and diagnosis.
  • Milieu Therapy: It is a form of group therapy. It is done in group settings only after your consent.

If you know what to do in the right way and at the right time then neither OCD nor any other ailment can bother you and hinder your healthy living. So keep yourself calm, cool and composed; psycho-educate yourself and march forward in each and every step of your life.

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

OCD – an overview of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

OCD - an overview

If you are someone who is constantly checking switches, cylinder knob, door locks; washing hands and feet over and over again for fear of contamination; or if you do a ritualistic behavior for a certain number of times…then this blog post is for you. OCD, the full-form of this acronym is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It is an anxiety disorder in which repetitive obsessive thoughts compel you to do repetitive behavior, termed as compulsion. The medical definition of OCD is: “a psychoneurotic disorder in which the patient is beset with obsessions or compulsions or both and suffers extreme anxiety or depression through failure to think the obsessive thoughts or perform the compelling acts.”

OCD starts with a small anxiety then slowly and slowly it intensifies and interferes in your daily life functioning. For some, the ritualistic behaviors become so automated that they don’t even realize that they have OCD. Following are some of the core signs and symptoms of OCD:

Obsessions Compulsions
Feelings of fear and apprehension that something might go wrong Getting compelled to perform certain ritual behaviors to avoid the things from going wrong
Fear of contamination from germs, other people, diseases, etc Constantly washing hands, checking door locks, etc
Constant fear of harming self and others Excessively checking for one’s safety and safety of near and dear ones
Getting highly superstitious and under the influence of blind beliefs Performing ritual behaviors again and again, many times a day
Excessive striving for order, symmetry and perfection Keeping things in perfect order, getting anxious or reacting even in a slight deviation in things

For some people OCD can be a minor case to handle but for some it is a very hard issue to handle on an everyday basis. It literally churns you to the core. The frustration of performing the compulsions is very grueling. The worst sufferers are the persons themselves and their care-takers too. OCD can arise due to genetic factors, situational variants, neurochemical disturbances in the brain, faulty coping to life’s stressors and pressures and so on. There are certain categories of OCD behaviors. They are as follows:

  • Washers: Constantly wash or clean their hands/legs for fear of contamination.
  • Checkers: Keep on double checking, rechecking doors, locks, switches, etc for fear of impending danger.
  • Doubters: Keep on doubting whether or not everything is OK. If not, they can go to any limits to make everything OK.
  • Sinners: They fear that they will be punished if something goes wrong.
  • Arrangers: Keeping everything in a well-arranged manner, in certain numbers or unique patterns are the main characteristics of arrangers. If something goes amiss in the arrangement they will keep on arranging things over and over again.
  • Perfectionists: They strive for perfection in anything and everything.
  • Hoarders: Hoarders never throw anything. They fear that if they throw away certain things then something bad will happen.

So folks from the above examples it is quite obvious that the root of OCD is anxiety. If this basic anxiety is rooted out from the thoughts then more than half of the battle against OCD will be won. If you or any of your near and dear ones experience OCD symptoms then please don’t ignore it. OCD can aggravate into more acute as well as chronic phases if not treated in a timely manner. Just don’t overlook it or take it carelessly.

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Understanding Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms and Management

bipolar-symptoms

The world statistics states that approximately 1.0 – 1.2% of people experience bipolar disorder in their lifetime. Did you know? People who have bipolar can be very successful and creative. Want some proof? Some historians think that following people may have shown signs of bipolar disorder: Abraham Lincoln, Hans Christian Andersen, Theodore Roosevelt, Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Sir Isaac Newton and Ludwig van Beethoven.

If you are not introduced to the word bipolar disorder yet, let me give you a short introduction to it. Bipolar Disorder is basically a mood disorder in which one experiences profound mood swings. It is called Bipolar as it oscillates between to poles of moods i.e Mania and Depression. The other names of bipolar disorder are Bipolar Affective Disorder, Manic Depressive Disorder or Manic – Depression.

Now that you know a lil’ bit about bipolar disorder can you remember seeing someone with it? Research reveals the prevalence rate of bipolar illness in men and women is somewhat similar. Bipolar often starts with simpe mood swings turning into major bipolar episodes if left unattended or untreated. Bipolar Disorder is of 3 major types:

  • Bipolar I Disorder: It comprises of rapid cycling episodes between mania and depression.
  • Bipolar II Disorder: In this type of bipolar depression is the primary symptom with mild episodes of mania.
  • Bipolar III Disorder: This is characterized by major manic episodes with mild depression in between.

Now let me tell you the difference between Mania and Depression:

Mania Depression
Highly energetic state Low energy levels
Decreased need for sleep or sleeplessness Increased need for sleep
Hypervigilance, spending too much, too much talkative, hyperactive Slow, sluggish, hopelessness, helplessness, hypoactive
Unstable relationships, engages more in pleasurable activities Tries to escape from social settings, lives more in isolation.

So these were some of the major differences between Mania and Depression. They also constitute the symptoms of Bipolar as well. The causes of bipolar can vary from genetic linkage, environmental factors, psychological factors, and evolutionary causes too. If you suspect bipolar disorder in someone, the best way is to direct him or her towards immediate treatment. The early it is diagnosed and treated, the better is its prognosis.

Management:

  • Psycho-education about bipolar illness
  • Psychotherapies: CBT, Behavior therapy, etc
  • Pharmacologic Interventions
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in acute and chronic cases
  • Other therapies like Group therapy, Support therapy, Milieu therapy, Light therapy and so on.

Prevention:

You can prevent bipolar disorder in the following ways:

  • Regular exercise, balanced diet
  • Healthy coping in different life situations
  • Effective stress management
  • Effective emotion and mood management
  • Abstinence from alcohol and drug abuse

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Food that boost your mood

Food that boost your mood

Picky eaters, food lovers, creative eater, vegetarians and non-vegetarians… This entire globe is made of people with manifold eating habits and styles, isn’t it? Hey friends, did you know that how you eat, what you eat, when you eat, the way you cook,etc has deep impact on your thought processes, emotions, moods, behavior patterns and overall personality. It is said that “Mens Sana in a Corpore Sano”. It means that “A healthy mind resides in a healthy body”. So how does the body become healthy? The most simplest and significant way is through food. This blog post is a guide to what is the significance of food in our lives, how it should be cooked in order to gain optimum physical-psychological health out of it, food etiquettes and specific foods that boost your mood.

Food serves as the building block for your body and brain. If I ask you to eat full stomach for a day and remain starving for the other day, you can yourself see how your thoughts and activities get influenced by it. When your stomach is full it will give you a lot of vital energies so that you can work and stay energized. However, when you are starving you will feel low, gloomy, energy-less and weak. Similarly when your stomach is full you are likely to get energizing thoughts, and when you are hungry you feel irritated, low, sad, frustrated and so on. This simple exercise shows how important food is for our body as well as brain. It is like petrol or gas that we fill in our cars. When it’s full it runs fast and trendy, but when the petrol or gas is empty, the car becomes literally immobile.

Above its significance, food has its own unique properties. If you choose the right kind of food to eat, if you eat the quantity that is enough for your body, you will surely reap good and healthy benefits of healthy eating. Here are some tips to help you in the above process:

  • Try to get ample knowledge on the various nutrient-graph of food. That is which food is rich in what, as in vitamins, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, etc. This will help you to plan your platter accordingly.
  • Watch your weight, height-weight proportion and have food on that basis.
  • I have seen quite a lot of people who starve themselves to death in order to lose weight or look fab. For those folks out there, I wanna say that “balanced eating is far much better than no eating”. Instead of starving yourselves try to have a balanced diet. Cut out foods that increase bad cholesterol, unhealthy fats, etc. Rather than making your plate a “zero food’ scene, try eating food varieties that are rich in different nutrients. A little dose of every nutrient will not only help you have a balanced weight but will also enhance life-force, well-being, feel-good factor, positivity and goodwill.
  • Do not over-eat or under-eat. This will leave you either too much full or starved respectively.Try experimenting on different food quantities. You need to focus on the proportion of food to number of servings. For example number of servings in a whole meal will be different than eating fruits. So you need to mix and match on what fits the size of your tummy. I said do not over-eat or under-eat because filling your stomach to the wrong proportion will affect your body metabolism and digestion process.
  • Do you have a habit of drinking water between meals? Do you drink water right after having food or do you give some temporal space between water and food intake? Here, I would like to add that drinking water immediately after food or in between a meal is one of the most important factor leading to disastrous health hazards. So try to give at least half an hour break between food intake and water intake. This habit will help you to keep many health issues at bay. It will also improve metabolism, homeostasis, digestion, and so on.

The way food is cooked has an enormous impact on our thought processes. If you cook food in an angry and grumpy mood, the outcome of that phase of cooking will be obviously different from the phase when you cook food in a calm and pleasant manner. This is a very common phenomenon, isn’t it? However, do you know the science behind it? For this you need to understand the macrocosmic and abstract nature of food and the human body. Each and every thing and being is made up of matter, right? And matter consists of protons, neutrons and electrons. Similarly, food and the human body is also made up of these. Due to free electrons, there is energy flow from one matter to the other. If you know that energy flows from a higher source to a lower level, you can understand this easily. If you have a full-on load of positive energies while cooking, that higher level of positive energy will flow from your hands to the food or cooking-in-process and vice-versa. That is why it is always said to cook food in a good, calm and composed manner so that you pass on positive, healthy energies into the food. The same phenomena works while seasoning, garnishing and serving food too. This was a brief idea of how your body or energy system affects food.

Now let’s see how food affects your body and mind on a subtle level. In the Yogic Perspective, our body is made of five koshas or sheaths above our skin. These sheaths are related to the food we take, our thoughts, our behavior, etc. The Annamay Kosha or the food sheath is the first outer covering of human body. So whatever you eat, depending on the nature of that food and with what intention you eat will have a tremendous impact on your body, psyche and soul.

Keeping this higher science of food dynamics in focus, here are some tips of “effective cooking”, I would like to share with you:

  • Before cooking try to make yourself calm and composed.
  • While putting the first ingredient in the cooking vessel, it’s always good to say a few lines on thankfulness for the food you got.
  • You can also make your wishes or positive affirmations while cooking. This will help your sub-conscious mind to prepare ground for those actions. Moreover, it will also enhance self-confidence, motivation and positivity.
  •  While serving food, try not to serve with a disturbed mind because that ways you will be serving disturbed energies too. Serve with goodwill and optimistic thoughts.

Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.
Dorothy Day

As I have said earlier, the way in which you eat food, serve food, cook food reflects you personality and behavioral patterns. Some people are picky eaters, some are messy eaters, some eat too fast, while some eat very slowly, some prefer discipline while eating, while some eat by dancing and hopping, some throw food, others preserve food…So folks there are variety of food habits. And your food habits are the reflections of your personality, healthy and moods. All the above ways depict whether you are clam or anxious, depressed or angry, disciplined or messy, introverted or outgoing, stressed out or relaxed, frustrated or happy. Following is a brief sketch on the different variety of foods and how they affect you:

 Mango  “King of fruits” : Improves overall sense of wellbeing, vitality and emotional balance.
 Tomato  “Love Apple”: It is the rich source of vitamin and is said to help immensely in depression and mood swings.
 Chocolate  “All time favorite across all ages”: Gives a boost to feel-good hormones or endorphins. So it enhances feel-good factor. Helpful in depressive feelings, feelings of low moods and stress. Chocolate is an effective stress-buster.
 Cucumber  “Cool and pacifying”: Helps relieve tension, anger, frustration, hot flushes during anxiety and panic attacks, helps in balancing moods.
Fish and Walnuts “Mood Regulators”: Help in controlling depression and mood swings.
 Almonds  “Brain Stimulators”: Effective in enhancing concentration, memory, will-power and cognitive skills.
Coconut “Hard Vs Soft”: This is a balancing fruit that helps in pacifying anger, frustration, tantrums and provides cool, serene effect to the thought processes.
Strawberries and Rosemary “Aroma therapy”: Nutrition, passion along with aroma therapy that works on the overall physical and psychological health of the eater.
 Turmeric “Negativity fighter”. Strengthens the immune physical and psycho-immune system.

Food is said to be one of the priceless gifts to mankind. Respecting and consuming food in a proper way will not only help us butt also help our fellowbeings to survive in a meaningful way. So from now on:

Let us eat to live and not live to eat. The time you are wasting food in some part of the world, some other is just dying out of hunger. Food is precious, respect it and share it.

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

 

 

The A, B, Cs of Addiction – Psychoeduction

The A, B, Cs of Addiction“Hate addiction and not the addict”… If you are someone who is struggling to come out of the clutches of addiction, if you are someone who wants to know more about addiction and its treatment, then you have come to the right place. Technically speaking, addiction means getting used to a certain substance/behavior, etc. Addiction can be in the form of alcohol, drugs, pain pills, masturbation, smoking, gambling and so on. Addiction is different from a habit. Habits can be easily changed and manipulated with simple efforts. However, once you get addicted to something you will need strategic interventions to deal with it and come off it.

Let me give you an example: Let us assume that you brush your teeth three times a day. Without that you may feel that your day is incomplete. Suddenly one day you realize that there’s no need to brush your teeth three times, only two times is enough. Then you start working on it and soon you will get used to brushing two times a day. Sounds great, right! But, once you are addicted to something, say alcohol, you will get a variety of physiological and psychological problems/symptoms if you do not consume it. So that’s the symptomatic dimension of addiction. Getting recurrent thoughts of the addictive substance, getting frequent urges to satiate your addiction, changes in diet-sleep-thoughts-behaviour, experiencing a lot of stress-anxiety-depression-mood swings-hot/cold flushes-palpitations, etc. when the addiction urge is not gratified are some of the common symptoms of addiction.

Usually addiction starts under some common situations like:

  • Loss or death of a loved one
  • Faulty coping mechanisms to life’s challenges
  • Peer pressure
  • Social challenges
  • Lack of knowledge about a certain addictive substance
  • Lack of abstinence and self-control
  • Other intrinsic and extrinsic factors

Whatever be the source of cause of addiction, it literally shatters your life in a manifold ways. Once you are addicted to something it will have a negative impact on the vital organs of your body and important psychological functions like memory, attention, concentration, cognition, emotions and affect as a whole. The social stigma that strikes as an aftermath of addiction cannot be denied too. Sometimes you may be the center of fun and bullying due to addiction; family members may start de-tangling themselves from your company, moreover your professional life will also get affected in this muddle.

So what to do now? The first and foremost thing to do in case of addiction is to get loads of information about the same. Secondly, look out for the source of your addiction, how it started and what aggravates it, and thirdly, look out for support system, as in, people who can help you to get rid of it. People from different spheres can help you with your efforts in de-addiction or getting rid of addiction. Some of them may include your family members, friends, teachers/colleagues who understand you and empathetic towards you. The world fraternity is filled with professionals who are trained to help you in your de-addiction problem. So taking the help of a psychologist or a doctor will be of immense help too.

Addiction treatment and the virtual world

Given to the complex world of addiction and its pros and cons, the best solution is offered by online system of treatment or online therapy. Online mode of therapy will help you to deal with your addiction and at the same time protect your dignity, integrity, confidentiality and therapy expectations. If the addiction is too acute and chronic, you can opt for both in-patient treatment and online therapy. This will benefit you in both the ways. On one side you can get care and support of face-to-face health care workers/professionals and at the same time you can contact your online therapist as and whenever you need.

Online therapy of addiction treatment has many benefits over the traditional form of treatment. Some of them are:

  • You can access your online therapy sessions anytime
  • You will get 24/7 support and feedback from your online therapist
  • It is economic and less time consuming
  • You may forget the doctor’s treatment plans for you in a face-to-face setting, but in online therapy mode you can always save a copy of all the therapies your therapist imparts you and keep it for your future reference.
  • In case, you feel that there is a relapse you can again start working on those therapies or contact your online therapist immediately.

In the fast paced world today, virtual therapy in treatment of addiction is becoming the favorite of many people who are struggling with addiction. Many have already reached the safe shores of a normal life and others are continuing to get help via the online mode.

If you feel that you are addicted to something, if you sense that addiction is taking a toll of your life, if you are badly addicted and going to hospitals and clinics seem impossible due to lack of time, money, fear of stigma and discrimination; please don’t waste even an ounce of a second.

Best Wishes,

Sareeta