Category Archive Emotions

ByAnxious Minds

Diagnosing Depression

It is unfortunate that there is no test known to detect depression. A diagnosis is generally made if an individual suffers from a persistent low mood. This low mood has a tendency of affecting the everyday life of an individual. If one encounters five or more symptoms for a period of two weeks , they are diagnosed as suffering from depression.

When seeking treatment for depression your general practitioner can most commonly treat you if you are suffering from depression. Often one may have to seek the help of a counsellor, which are attached to GP surgeries. If one’s diagnosis is found to be unclear , or the individual seems to be particularly ill,

The GP may prefer to send the individual to a psychiatrist. Often there are community psychiatric nurses, that may be referred by an individual’s GP or psychiatrist. Others suffering from depression may be seen by psychotherapists. Often humans experience bad times in their lives. At times one may be able to sit down and down to a friend or neighbor and talk through the problem.

There are often times when that isn’t enough, and one may need to seek professional help. Just remember that depression is treatable. Treatment may include medication as well as psychotherapy. You may wonder what psychotherapy is. This is being able to simply talk to someone or your doctor about your problems or situations , which can help to a great degree. It is always better to talk your problems out , than to keep them bottled up inside of oneself. If you should need formal psychotherapy counseling that would include cognitive behavioral therapy; interpersonal psychotherapy; or psychoanalysis. Psychotherapies are very effective just like medication if taken properly. For more severe cases of depression , medication is just likely to be needed ,but is supplemental with psychotherapy.

The type of therapy depends on the problems one may be suffering from. This is the doctor’s call. There has been no indication that one therapy is better than another. Antidepressant medicine is used to help correct one’s low mood, and any other problems one may be suffering from during one’s episode with depression. They don’t change one’s personality and they are not addictive. There have been many new antidepressant drugs in recent years.

The main advantage to these medication is that they tend to have less side effects than past drugs and they seem a lot more pleasant in taking. Your doctor will choose the correct medication for you and your particular symptoms. Antidepressants do act on the chemicals in the brain in trying to correct the abnormalities which may be causing one to suffer from depression.

ByAnxious Minds

Yoga: a Cure for Modern Day Stresses

Yoga is a 3,000-year-old, Hindu discipline of mind and body that became known in Western society with the hippie generation of the sixties and early seventies. Its image as a mystic practice is disappearing as fast as the stressful aspects of the eighties are appearing.

As an effective method of stress management, yoga is spreading into the business world, the helping professions, nursing and old age homes, and is used in the treatment of alcoholics, hyperactive children and youngsters with learning disabilities. Yoga centres are getting stiff competition from adult education classes of community colleges, boards of education and parks and recreation departments.

The meaning of yoga is a union of the body, mind and spirit with the truth. There are many kinds of yoga to study, and there can be endless years of practice for the willing student.

Hatha Yoga is among the most popular forms in the west. It emphasises the practice of postures, which stretch and strengthen the body, help develop a sense of balance and flexibility, as well as body awareness and mental concentration. All forms of yoga incorporate the practice of proper breathing techniques for relaxation, to rest the mind from its constant chatter, to experience an internal calm, and to energise and purify the body.

As stress levels in society reach new heights, Raja Yoga, the yoga of meditation, is growing in popularity in Western society, while others, such as Kriya Yoga, the yoga of cleansing, and Mantra Yoga, the yoga of chanting, not surprisingly, have little appeal for newcomers.

Stretching and toning, though beneficial, aren’t the primary reasons people turn to yoga. Newcomers are hoping that yoga will provide them with a means for handling stress and diffusing tension. The difference between exercise and yoga is that yoga has a meditative quality.

A lot of people are exercising for the psychological benefits and trying many of the Eastern activities, like yoga and tai chi. Yoga seems to have a calming effect on people.

And the techniques work on children as well as adults. When your children are quarrelling, ask them to stop what they’re doing, raise their arms over their heads, lean forward and breathe deeply to help diffuse their anger. It definitely helps them to calm down..

ByAnxious Minds

Managing Bipolar Disorder

Effectively managing the manic-depressive illness.

To be able to function properly in society, you have to consider that you need to have a good physical health. You may have heard this over and over again. However, you have to consider that physical well-being is not the only thing you need to obtain in order to function productively in society. It is a fact that there are quite a lot of people who are considered to be physically healthy but cannot function well in society. You have to consider that your mental health is also very important.

The brain is the most important part of the human body and without it, you will not be able to live. The brain is needed for your basic motor skills, for speech, and also for controlling your moods and emotions. The brain simply acts like a microprocessor in a computer and your nervous system as the wires that connect all of your body to it. However, there are certain mental disorders that can affect your daily life where you will have no control over some aspects of your body.

An example of a mental disorder is bipolar disorder. This particular illness can affect the area of your brain that controls your way of thinking, your emotions and your moods. Bipolar disorder can significantly and negatively affect your daily functions. Normally, people have some ups and downs in terms of moods. If something pleasant happens, you feel happy, and if something bad happens, you will feel depressed about it. This is a normal reaction of the brain and the body. However, with bipolar disorder, the moods can cycle from being manic to being normal to being depressive and back to being manic at some intervals.

Bipolar disorder can have a negative impact on your daily life as it can impair the way you think. It can affect your social life, your relationship, and can also negatively impact your performance at work and at school. You should also consider that bipolar disorder is a very dangerous disorder that can lead to death. There have been cases where severe bipolar disorders have forced people suffering from it to think of death and suicide during the depressive episodes and some have actually attempted to commit suicide.

Bipolar disorder can cause harm to the person suffering from it and also to the people around them. This is why it is important that the family should actively participate in the treatment. Treatments can include psychotherapy and medications. During the therapy sessions, the family of the people who are suffering from bipolar disorder should be actively involved during the long and sometimes hard process of treatment. You have to consider that bipolar disorder is a long term illness and has no cure. The treatments are usually needed throughout their entire life and it also needs carefully managing it.

Family and friends should know how to support the person suffering from this disorder and should understand all about bipolar disorder in order to effectively treat them and also effectively manage the illness. It is also important that you should choose a reputable psychotherapist in order to make sure that they can effectively treat the patient.

Bipolar disorder is a kind of illness that needs support from members of the family. It does not entirely mean that the person suffering from it needs to be alone in the treatment process. It is important to realize the fact that the family plays a very important role during the treatment process. Without family support, the treatment for the illness can have little or no effect at all. You should consider that people suffering from this mental disorder are suicidal and during the treatment process, they will need emotional support in order to get their thoughts off about death and suicide.

These are the things you should consider when you have a family member suffering from bipolar disorder. With the proper treatment and support, you can be sure that they will be able to recover from their illness and effectively manage it throughout their lives. In time, they will be able to live independently and function productively in society again.

ByAnxious Minds

Dealing with Phobias

One of the most common kinds of anxiety disorders are phobias, which are irrational fears surrounding a specific object or situation. With this type of disorder, the fear is persistent and reoccurring, even though the feared object or situation entering a person’s life is often out of control of that person. This anxiety disorder  is the second most common mental illness among men and the most common mental illness among woman. For many, phobias interfere with daily life.

Luckily, there is help. There are many ways to treat phobias, no matter how they have developed. If you think that you suffer from a phobia, no matter what it may be, see your doctor immediately. He or she can recommend a treatment plan for you so that you can begin to overcome your fears and take back the control of your daily life. Phobias do not have to stay with you forever.

Clinical phobias are separated into three main categories:-

  1. Social phobias. Where a person fears involvement with people and social situations.
  2. Specific phobias. Where a certain trigger like heights, spiders, water, or flying can cause fear.
  3.  Agoraphobia. Where a person fears leaving the comfort and familiarity of home or a safe area, often to venture outside.

There are many different treatments you can try in order to cope with any of these phobias.

Virtual reality is a relatively new kind of treatment used specifically to desensitise a patient. With virtual reality, a person is immersed in fear until becoming immune to it. You can also actually put the patient in a fearful situation, but this can sometimes be dangerous or expensive, so virtual reality is a great alternative. It also gives patients the chance to pull the plug, both literally and metaphorically if needed, so more patients agree to this treatment.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) may also work to help overcome a phobia. With this method, you examine your specific thoughts and behaviors and work to overcome them. You can do this one-on-one with a therapist or in a group setting. By understanding your fears, it may be easier to realise that your fears are irrational.

Anti-anxiety drugs may also help you make strides towards overcoming your phobias. These medications are prescription strength and are available for both long-term and short-term use. One example of a drug that has help people with phobias is benzodiazepine. Often, medication works best in conjunction with other types of therapy treatments.

ByAnxious Minds

6 Simple Breathing Exercises To Deal With Stress

Breathing is something we all do during our lifetime. We all know we are going to die if we are not breathing. Breathing is a reflex action done by our body to provide the flow of oxygen around the body to the vital organs.

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, describes humans breathe between 12 and 20 times per minute, with children breathing faster than adults.

Babies may breathe as much as 40 times per minute. Adults normally breathe about 500-700ml of air at a time. An average 14-year old takes around 30,000 breaths per day.
However, we can control our breathing. We can be more relaxed by breathing in and out so deeply. The more we allow our body to be filled by deep breathing, the less stress we place on our body and mind.

The more we practice our deep and controlled breathing, the more natural it becomes and we can call on it at any time of day to help us through those tired or stressed out moments.

With all the problems we have — either we feel stressed out at work, or at the end of a long hard day and we can’t sleep, or if we just want a few minutes to our self — we will find this simple breathing exercise really beneficial.

Here are some steps to do breathing exercise:

1. You can lie down, sit down or stand up as long as you are comfortable. Breathe in slowly through your nose to the count of four. Breathe very deep until all your body feels expanded.

2. Hold on that deep breath for four counts, and then exhale slowly through the mouth to a count of eight.

3. Repeat the breathing in and right down so your tummy expands. Hold on to it and then exhaling nine more times.

4. You can breathe deeper once you get used to the above steps by leave one hand on your stomach and place the other lightly across the chest. Breathe right down so your tummy expands

5. When it can’t go any further, breathe in some more and fill the tops of your lungs. Inhalations and exhalation are the same lengths, eight counts each, without holding in between.

6. When you exhale, let the old air out from your chest than from your tummy. So, you are going to be relaxed.

ByAnxious Minds

5-HTP – Nature’s Anti-Depressant

What is 5-HTP?

The Griffonia Extract is rich in 5-HydroxyTryptophan (5-HTP), which comes from an African vegetable, the Griffonia simplicifolia seed, and contains 30% 5ñHTP. 5-HTP is an amino acid that is a direct precursor of serotonin, an important neurotransmitter having pain soothing and relaxing effects. 5-HTP is not present in significant amounts in a typical diet. The human body manufactures 5-HTP from L-tryptophan, a natural amino acid found in most dietary proteins. However, eating food that contains L-tryptophan does not significantly increase 5-HTP levels.

5-HTP and Serotonin

HTP is the precursor to serotonin. It improves mood, anxiety and is beneficial in weight loss. 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid that is the intermediate step between tryptophan and the important brain chemical serotonin. There is a massive amount of evidence that suggests that low serotonin levels are a common consequence of modern living. The lifestyle and dietary practices of many people living in this stress-filled era result in lowered levels of serotonin within the brain.

5-HTP and Carb Cravings

Researchers believe that inadequate serotonin levels are in part responsible for the desire to overeat. Not surprisingly, obese individuals who crave carbohydrates usually show abnormally low levels of serotonin. Taking a 5-HTP supplement half an hour before a meal can ” turn off” cravings and hunger pangs by feeding the brains carbohydrate satiety centre. In this way, 5-HTTP can be a great asset as part of a weight-loss regime.

5-HTP and Addiction

The use of many addictive substances, such as tobacco, alcohol, caffeine and certain narcotics, elevates serotonin levels. When these substances are eliminated, serotonin levels drop drastically, causing anxiety and cravings. Taking 5-HTP can stabilize serotonin levels and help minimize the symptoms of withdrawal.

5-HTP and PMS

PMS sufferers report pain relief, as well as decreased irritability and mood swings from using 5-HTP. The supplement works by countering the hormone-induced decrease in serotonin levels that occur naturally during menstruation.

5-HTP and Sleep

Because of its calming effect, many rely on 5-HTP to alleviate stress-attacks, as well as to encourage restful sleep. Unlike sedative drugs, 5-HTP is not associated with unwanted side effects, such as disturbed sleep patterns or grogginess. It can be taken regularly one hour before retiring as a remedy for insomnia.

Side Effects

Very high intakes of 5-HTP have caused muscle jerks in guinea pigs and both muscle jerks and diarrhoea in mice. Injected 5-HTP has also caused kidney damage in rats. To date, these problems have not been reported in humans. Serotonin syndrome, a serious but uncommon condition caused by excessive amounts of serotonin, has not been reported to result from supplementation with 5-HTP; in theory, it could be triggered by the supplement. However, the level of intake at which this toxic effect might potentially occur remains unknown.


5-HTP should not be taken with antidepressants, weight-control drugs, other serotonin-modifying agents, or substances known to cause liver damage, because in these cases 5-HTP may have excessive effects. People with liver disease may not be able to regulate 5-HTP adequately and those suffering from autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma may be more sensitive than others, to 5-HTP. These people should not take 5-HTP without consulting a knowledgeable healthcare professional. The safety of taking 5-HTP during pregnancy and breastfeeding is not known at this time.
Conditions with low serotonin levels helped by 5-HTP:

Carbohydrate craving
Sleep apnea
Migraine headaches
Tension headaches
Chronic daily headaches
Premenstrual syndrome