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In this competitive world, we all have aims & targets to achieve, to make ourselves successful, to build future for children, to look after parents, to maintain status. These cause people to feel stressed, burnt out and sometimes sad. We have our own de-stress strategies to fight the daily hassles.

But when in-between all the happenings,  a person starts feeling sadness, losses interest in daily activities, feels low energy in the body for long period of time that also interferes in his routine and functioning, it is definitely a matter of concern. If it lasts for more than 2 weeks, that’s when you need to check with doctor. Feeling uneasy and sad for few days is part of normal mood but long term changes must be taken seriously and should be consulted with professionals.

Common symptoms of depression in adults includes:

  •         Loss of interest in activities
  •         Change in appetite
  •         Difficulty sleeping, or sleeping more than usual
  •         Fatigue or lack of energy
  •         Agitation or irritability with co-workers and family
  •         Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, guilt or inadequacy
  •         Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  •         Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
  •         Unexplained aches and pains

A person suffering from depression has difficulties in maintaining their hygiene, routine, relationships with family members and colleagues and often has to bear the criticism at work for the disturbances depression causes at workplace.

Reaching out to mental health professionals such as psychiatrist, psychologist, counsellor, psychiatric social worker is recommended here, as they form the treating team and provide for medications and therapy for the illness.  

Feeling anxious is a natural phenomenon. It is felt when a person faces any kind of real or perceived threat. A person can experience anxiety when speaking in front of a crowd, facing a camera, or just before entering an exam. For some people this normal experience of feeling anxious becomes more common  and frequent. It starts to cause distress and interference with their daily work, life and relationships.

Anxiety related problems are common in people. Research studies say that these  generally begin in late childhood or early adulthood and are more common in females than males.

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder

Symptoms of anxiety disorder are physical as well as psychological in nature.

Physical symptoms:

  • nausea,
  • headaches,
  • shortness of breath,
  • sweating, hot flushes,
  • increased palpitations,
  • difficulty in sleeping,
  • raised blood pressure,
  • needing to use toilet more/less than usual,
  • churning in the stomach,
  • feeling dizzy,
  • tense muscles.

Psychological symptoms:

  • feeling nervous,
  • sense of dread,
  • sense of losing control,
  • racing thoughts,
  • feeling restless and numb,
  • difficulty in attention and concentrations.

 

Types of Disorders

Anxiety disorder includes different conditions, like:

Panic disorder: A person who experiences a panic attack might have racing heart rate, numbness in hands or fingers, severe chest pains, sweaty hands, difficulties in breathing, sense of terror, feeling loss of control. These symptoms can be experienced in a sudden and repeated manner. A person has a attacks of fear that last for several minutes or longer

Social anxiety disorder. Social Phobia it is, where the person gets self-conscious or start worrying too much about everyday social situations. The person worries about being judged or on being embarrassed or ridiculed.

Specific phobias. During anxiety, the person starts fearing a specific object or situation, for example fearing from heights or flying. The extremes could go to a point where the person avoids ordinary situations out of fear and constantly worrying about it.

Generalized anxiety disorder. You feel excessive, unrealistic worry and tension with little or no reason.

In general situation, we get panicked and take time to accept the facts. One may practice few way to manage symptoms. Like:

  • Diet Change. The person must cut down on some specific foods and drinks that contain caffeine, i.e. coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks, and chocolate. As caffeine is a mood-altering drug, and triggers the symptoms of anxiety disorder.
  •   Physical Fit. Regular exercise and better sleep practice improves mental wellbeing and reduces stress-causing brain chemicals.
  •  Relaxation and Good sleep. To better deal with situation, make sure you are getting good rest and follow a peaceful bedtime routine.

·  Doctor Recommendation. It is recommended that you must consult your doctor before popping any type of mind-relaxing or sleep pill. For herbal remedies also, one must consult certified doctor.

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness which causes extreme mood swings from highly energetic to low, sad mood. The extreme mood swings bring changes in sleep, energy levels, and the ability to think clearly. This illness can affect a person at any stage of life, teen or early adulthood. The extreme high’s are called mania and extreme low’s refer to depression.

Mania.

Mania, or a manic episode, is defined when a person shows the mentioned symptoms over a period of at least 7 days. Signs of a manic episode are:

  •         High energy and acute activity
  •         Excessively good mood
  •         Irritability or impatience
  •         Erratic talking
  •         Inability to concentrate
  •         Little need for sleep
  •         Feelings of power
  •         Poor judgment
  •         Inattentive
  •         Heavy careless spending
  •         High sex drive
  •         Alcohol or drug abuse
  •         Aggression

Depression

Depression refers to when a person experiences persistent sad mood, lack of energy in the body and interest in the activities which were considered pleasurable. If the mentioned symptoms are observed in a person for a period of 2 weeks or more then its important to consult the doctor.

  •         Sadness, anxiety, or a feeling of emptiness
  •         Hopelessness
  •         Feelings of guilt, feeling worthless or feeling helpless
  •         Lack of interest in activities that were once enjoyable, such as sex
  •         Low energy
  •         The trouble with concentration or memory
  •         Disturbances in sleep. need for less sleep or no sleep
  •         Changes in appetite or weight
  •         Pain or other physical symptoms not explained by an illness or injury
  •         Thoughts of death, or suicidal thoughts or attempts

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness. A person during the illness may not know that he/she is has a mood-related disorder. But the changes in the person’s mood, behaviour and thoughts can be observed by the others. Due to illness disturbances in routine, relationships and workplace are often observed.

For the management of the symptoms, hospitalisation is recommended. Also as there are risks to self and others, inpatient treatment helps manage it better. 

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness in which an individual loses touch with reality and don’t know which thoughts and experiences are true and real and which is not. It affects person’s way of thinking, feeling and behaviour. Someone with schizophrenia can find it difficult to distinguish real & imaginary. This illness is not as common as other mental health conditions. People develop this illness in their late adolescence and early adulthood.  According to NIMH the prevalence rate for schizophrenia is approximately 1.1% of the population over the age of 18.

Symptoms of schizophrenia include:

  •         Hallucination: Hearing or seeing or feeling something that isn’t there
  •         Delusions: A constant feeling of being watched
  •         Disordered thinking and speech: Peculiar or nonsensical way of speaking or writing
  •         Strange body positioning
  •         Feeling indifferent to very important situations
  •         Deterioration of academic or work performance
  •         A change in personal hygiene and appearance
  •         A change in personality
  •         Increasing withdrawal from social situations
  •         Irrational, angry or fearful response to loved ones
  •         Inability to sleep or concentrate
  •         Inappropriate or bizarre behavior
  •         Extreme preoccupation with religion or the occult
  • The negative symptoms of illness such as withdrawal from society, social gatherings, loses interest – in any activity, interacting and Emotional flatness.

A group of conditions that bring changes in sleep pattern, and impacts mental and physical health is Sleep disorder in adults. Good sleep is essential for healthy living and to balance hormone levels, keeping positive mood and right weight.

Today’s work pressure or family requirements make most of the us sleepless. Regular interruption during sleep is a matter of concern.

Sleep problems includes:

  •         Snoring
  •         Sleep apnea
  •         Insomnia
  •         Sleep deprivation
  •         Restless legs syndrome

If this disorder is ignored or left untreated, this might result into other mental or health problems. A combination of medical treatment and lifestyle changes are usually required to treat sleep disorders.

Different types of Sleep Disorders

Insomnia: People with insomnia persistently face problems falling and staying asleep.

It hampers the overall health and quality of life, increases chances of:

  •         mood disturbances
  •         difficulty in concentration
  •         irritability
  •         weight gain
  •         damage work or school performance

Sleep Apnea: It is a serious disorder where the person faces problem in breathing while sleeping. People with sleep apnea abruptly stop & start breathing. The occurrence goes upto 100s. The person cannot lie on back, has to sleep in elevated mode. It could trigger problems like high-blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, diabetes and headaches.

Parasomnias

Parasomnias patients suffer from abnormal movements, emotions, behaviors, dreams and perceptions, that occur while sleeping or between sleep stages. These include:

  •         sleepwalking
  •         sleep talking
  •         groaning
  •         nightmares
  •         bedwetting
  •         teeth grinding or jaw clenching

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless Leg Syndrome is a neurological disorder where there is an overwhelming itch to move legs (or arms) during sleep. This disturbs the sleep and causes daytime problem like drowsiness.

Lifestyle modification can significantly improve your quality of sleep, along with suitable medical treatments.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is described by disturbing obsessions and intense compulsions. In OCD patients, there have been obsessions–persistently intrusive and undesirable thoughts, emotions or images, and compulsions–repetitive, ritualized behaviors which they often feel obliged to perform, in an attempt to address or alleviate obsessional distress.

What does OCD look like in adults?

Each person has its own unique symptoms, but there are some common patterns. To manage the disorder and lead a healthy life, the therapy is essential but only after a thorough diagnosis. One may begin by understanding what OCD might look like in various settings— especially at home and at work.

Symptoms of OCD might look like:

  •        Withdrawal from society, friends and then family because of obsessions with infectivity, or our of fear
  •        Having no intimate relationship with a partner because of fear of germs, or intrusive violent thoughts
  •        Obsessively involved in checking stoves, locks, or light switches  before going out
  •        In habit of stacking household things like old newspapers, utensils
  •        Unable to deal with any change in daily routine
  •        Afraid of socializing because of worrying on being judged or mistreated.
  •        Obsessive about being cleaned, unnecessary spending time only on washing hands.
  •        Socially inappropriate ways of interaction with co-workers like touching them abruptly
  •        Keeps on checking finished work, missing deadlines, incomplete work
  •        Always busy in arranging desk or workspace, bringing everything on table in order again and again
  •        Sudden anxiety attack due to worrying or fear or because of an obsession
  •        Don’t feel comfortable in shaking hands, attending work gathering due to fears of germs and infection
  •        Constantly worrying that colleagues will find out about the symptoms

 

People with OCD are preoccupied with the obsessional thoughts and compulsions which causes lot of distress in them. Hence it is very important that right kind of help is taken to treat it. Medicines and therapies (Exposure and response prevention ERP) are effective treatment options for this illness. If you feel that you experience such symptoms it is must to visit a mental health professional for help.