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Conditions

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.

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 the toilet more/less than usual,
  • Churning in the stomach,
  • Feeling dizzy,
  • Tense muscles.

Psychological symptoms:

  • Feeling nervous,
  • A sense of dread,
  • A 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 the loss of control. These symptoms can be experienced in a sudden and repeated manner. A person has attacks of fear that last for several minutes or longer

Social anxiety disorder. Social Phobia 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 a general situation, we get panicked and take time to accept the facts. One may practice a few ways 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 the 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 a certified doctor.

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 behaviours 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 the 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
  •        Inhabit 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 the 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 a lot of distress in them. Hence it is very important that the 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 visit a mental health professional for help.

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 the doctor. Feeling uneasy and sad for a 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 include:

  •         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 the workplace.

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

What is substance use disorder?

Substance use disorder is an addiction where the person experiences discomfort or withdrawal symptoms when they are unable to use the substance. Their lives are dominated by getting and using the substance. These can be legal (alcohol) or illegal (poppy husk). When a person is using substances in a dependent fashion, they continue to use them despite evidence that using substances is having a negative impact on their:

Physical health e.g. developing infections, liver damage from drinking
Psychological health e.g. depression, irritability, anger, insomnia
Social health e.g. poor pro-social support, limited progress in education and employment avenues

What changes occur in a person’s behaviour when they use drugs?

As a carrier you may notice that the person is:

  • Profound craving for the substance rather than dealing with other things
  • Angry if confronted about their substance use
  • Secretive and evasive
  • More often intoxicated, or appears to be under the influence of something
  • Tired, irritable and looks dishevelled
  • Less interested in everyday things
  • Unable to say ‘no’ and has a strong desire for the substance
  • Using more and more of the substance to get the same effect
  • Involved in criminal activity
  • Anxious, depressed or shows symptoms of other mental health problems.

What types of drugs are there

Alcohol is the commonest substance that is misused. Other than this, poppy husk has been used very commonly by individuals until recently. Other opiate drugs include opium, heroin and some medical drugs such as tablets and cough syrups that contain codeine. Cannabis is another commonly used substance. Stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamines and hallucinogens such as LSD are other drugs that are misused by younger adults.

Why do people use drugs?

Many individuals start to use drugs for experimenting with friends and recreationally. Some of these individuals are able to restrict their drug use to occasional use but large numbers start to experience negative feelings when they do not use the substance. Gradually the amount of substance used increases up to a point where the person becomes dependent. Once addicted, the individual has less control over their behaviour and is unable to stop on their own. They require professional help, and sometimes to be admitted in hospital for detoxification and rehabilitation. During treatment, techniques to remain well after discharge are taught and discussed.

What can family and friends of an addict do to help them?

  • Get to know the addiction: Drug and alcohol abuse has alarming effects on the nervous system. Drug addiction should be viewed as a chronic disease and not a choice. However, the initial experimentation can be a decision but soon the user develops a dependence thus thinking the substance to be vital for their comfort and survival. This kind of understanding can go a long way in helping the family understand the addict and ensuring proper treatment.
  • Set your boundaries: Family members must abstain from helping the addict financially. It is important to understand that such action would rather escalate the addiction. Chronically addicted individuals tend to use family and friends to their advantage to sustain the addiction. The family needs to put up a brave face and set boundaries for themselves and the addict.
  • Do not enable: any behaviour that supports the addiction is called ‘enabling’. It can be financial help, hiding the addiction from authorities or making excuses.
  • Consider professional help at the earliest: Counselling the people with drug addicted loved ones is also of utmost importance. Dealing with a drug addicted loved one can be a harrowing experience and thus requires a lot of patience, getting help from a psychologist in this kind of a scenario can be comforting.
  • Confront the addict: Although difficult, but it can prove to an important step towards recovery. Voice your concern in a way that shows concern and not blames. However, if your loved one seems indifferent to the idea of treatment then an intervention may be considered.

At Mind plus we offer comprehensive biopsychosocial treatment for various types of drug addictions. With an experience of over two decades in this field, we are able to offer unmatched, evidence-based treatment for drug de-addiction. We use modern treatment modalities such as the SMART (Self-management and recovery training) philosophy – based on CBT in addiction. Besides the long term residential treatment wherein we focus on the resocialization we also provide outpatient drug treatment depending on the patient’s needs. The treatment is started with a drug detox and medically managed withdrawal. But detoxification alone does not resolve the psychological, social and behavioural issues associated with drug addiction. Therefore it is followed by formal assessment and drug addiction treatment. We use the latest medication to ensure no discomfort during treatment and best chances of remaining well post discharge. We, therefore, provide the best substance abuse treatment in Ludhiana (Punjab) with the help of our able clinical team, consisting of psychiatrists and psychologists who have had extensive national and international training and experience.

With our comprehensive treatment, we ensure that we provide an individual with the best possible chance of developing the type of insight, motivation and ability to manage themselves in such a way that has perhaps not happened before, ensuring long term recovery, productivity and success in life.