Archive for the 'Mental Health' Category

Mar 01, 2011 Posted Under: Mental Health

Diagnosing ADHD and Autism

Diagnosing ADHD and Autism is clearly the preliminary step to their treatment. Yet vice versa, an effective yet specific treatment can help in confirming and diagnosing ADHD and Autism, by virtue of its results. By definition a test is an assessment intended to measure a test-taker’s knowledge or skill in a topic or topics. A performance test is an assessment that requires an examinee to actually perform a measurable task or activity or produce a predictable response to the experience offered by the examiner.

Researchers in two separate studies have concluded that hyperactivity in the brain in children with ADHD is causative in an inability of these children to control impulsive hand movements. A study of mirror hand movements on children with ADHD showed that testing the non-dominant hand (successively tapping each finger of that hand to the thumb) produced twice as many mirrored hand movements in the other hand during the test. This was four times more predominant in boys with ADHD than boys without the condition. “The findings reveal that even at an unconscious level, these children are struggling with controlling and inhibiting unwanted actions and behavior,” researcher Stewart Mostofsky, MD, of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at the Kennedy Krieger Institute of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, says in a news release. Another finding is that on motor development tests, children with ADHD and Autism also scored nearly 60% worse.

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The cranium or skull is made up of several flat bones joined at the sutures (joints) to make up the cranial vault that houses the brain. The sutures allow for movement between the cranial bones. Dr. John Upledger, DO, developer of craniosacral therapy and founder of the Upledger Institute in Florida discovered that the craniums, especially the temporal bones (these are located on either the side of the head and commonly known as the temples) of children with ADHD and Autism are very tight with little or no movement between the cranial bones. This could explain the hyperactivity if the brain, in its wait to break free from this entrapment. Releasing the cranium, with special focus on the temporal bones at their sutural link to the sphenoid in front, the parietal bones above and the occiput behind, is all that it takes to set free the cranial vault in order to decrease the pressure on the internal milieu of the brain. This has such a powerful effect, that some of these children have even been able to integrate into normal classrooms.

The method described above is known as craniosacral therapy and along with lymph drainage therapy and visceral manipulation, more or less completes the circle of healing (sensory integration is also an important treatment here but falls outside the confines of this topic). Lymph drainage therapy offers relief through drainage of the dura, a tissue that completely encases the brain and spinal cord. This technique helps in decongesting the brain and brings relief from pressure. Visceral Manipulation helps to reduce gastrointestinal problems. These treatments help to:

  1. Rebalance the nervous system in the release of both temporal bones resulting in improvement in language, learning and focus/ attention, eye contact, social interaction and reduced sleep difficulties.
  2. Improve motor control.
  3. Improve intestinal health to reduce gastrointestinal problems (diarrhea or constipation) and ease up toilet training.

Diagnosing ADHD and Autism will soon be based on clear and specific clinical symptoms rather than being labeled as spectrum disorder. Just from this article it is obvious that among others, the following three symptoms are specifically present in these children.

  1. Mirrored hand movements.
  2. Delayed milestones. This may vary from very mild to more severe.
  3. Tight cranial sutures.

Since “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”, the very fact that predictable results are obtained with craniosacral therapy, lymph drainage and visceral manipulation confirms that these are powerful tools in diagnosing ADHD and Autism. The value in diagnosing ADHD and Autism is that it will allow management via diet control, drug therapy and special schooling to give these children the best opportunities available to break free and come into their own to live a full life.

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Feb 23, 2011 Posted Under: Mental Health

How To Care for an Adult With Autism

The ability of an adult with autism to live a functional life outside of a group home is a direct result of the level of needs-based education the autistic person received as a child. If a child with autism is instructed, preferably on a one-to-one basis, the socially acceptable responses to situations, they are generally able to function quite well outside of autism care homes. Even with appropriate childhood training to prepare autistic children for life in normal society, they often find themselves as adults living at home with their parents or in care facilities.

Unfortunately for anyone diagnosed with autism, it is an extremely difficult disease to live with. There is some debate as to general advice that is acceptable for all cases of autism, as the disorder is considered a spectrum disorder. Each patient diagnosed with autism reacts to the disease in an extremely individual manner. Some patients need intensive personal care for their entire lives, while other patients are brilliant in one or two areas and live highly functional lives. There are support groups around the country who exist to assist adults with autism in helping themselves outside of a care home setting. Past research indicates adults with autism are better suited working in positions which utilize their specific strengths. As adults with autism generally have very limited short-term memory, but have excellent long-term memory, they can exist quite well in society when working in strength specific positions.

Although special services are sometimes necessary to assist adults with autism in performing simple, day-to-day, common tasks, most adults with autism can live quite successfully outside of a care home setting. Even those residing in autism care homes can work independently outside of their care home and earn money to live successful lives. Research has indicated the most common concern among adults with autism is the worry that other, “normal”, people will see their behavior as weird or unacceptable. With the appropriate training in how to react to social situations, this worry can be significantly lessened. The inability to react appropriately to social situations is not something that is optional in a person with autism; it is an inherent symptom of the disease itself. There are a large number of autistic adults in society today which have educated backgrounds and even college degrees. These people are considered brilliant in their field and have learned to overcome any social oddities in their behavior.

It is extremely important for everyone to educate themselves on the symptoms and behaviors associated with autism. Modern medicine and technology have not prevented the incidences of diagnosed autism in children from rising to 1 in every 166 children. With such a high rate of diagnosed childhood autism, it is highly likely a person will meet or know someone in their life with the disease. Autistic care homes are not available in abundance in the United States and many adults with autism still reside at home with their parents. Autistic people need special attention the same as any person with a mental or physical handicap. Though they can be significantly different from normal people, with the proper attention and training they can live highly successful and independent lives.

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Feb 16, 2011 Posted Under: Mental Health

Five Easy Ways to Tackle Stress

It is becoming difficult these days to meet the high demands of life and still ensure work-life balance. The advent of technology has thrown open a myriad of opportunities, where people can choose to work night shifts or from home. However, we still struggle to lead a happy life. What is the purpose of toiling hard? Should you let your stress overtake you? Managing stress is imperative as unattended stress could lead to depression and lack of confidence. There are some simple and practical ways to handle stress.

While at stress, your mind fancies many things like: being alone, idle, think negatively, being frustrated and angry and finally makes you feel “why do such things happen only to me”. However, the simple ways to tackle stress is “Do not let your mind conquer you”. So let us take it one by one:

1. Meet People: This would be difficult if you are an introvert. However, being an introvert is also an area you should work. So push yourself to socialize. Choose the appropriate set of people / friend to spend your time. There are two ways of doing this: 1) Meet a huge crowd and talk about different topics including the happy old days 2) Meet your close friend and discuss the problem you have in hand. However, when you do this make sure you do not succumb to their advice and go unstoppable. Suit yourself and handle it on your own. If you feel your friend has not understood your problem do not invest your time in making him understand, this will lead to frustration. So choose a friend who can match your wavelength.

2. Work Out: This is one of the best ways to keep your mind fresh. You do not have to force yourself to a gym. Brisk walking for 45 minutes in the morning is the best medicine for a stressed mind. The reason to do this in the morning is that it lifts up your confidence and builds the stamina for you to manage the entire day. Yoga is another way of de-stressing your mind. Make this a routine, you will see the difference yourself.

3. Be Positive: It would be difficult to bring your mind to the stream of thinking positive however, it is important for you to focus on this area. Meditation is one of the best ways to bring your mind under control or focus. Believe that if there were a problem there would be a solution. Look at your problem from a third person’s eye. Think about what you would have suggested if your friend had walked up to you discussing the same problem. This would be the ideal solution for you. Boost up your confidence by talking more positively to people. Encourage others, you will feel strong. Keep yourself occupied. Take up more challenges or additional work, every success reinstates the lost confidence.

4. Pep yourself: Go for a makeover. Change your wardrobe if possible. Shed those extra pounds and get some new attire. Go shopping. If you are a fashion freak, make sure you line up those fashions clothing in your wardrobe. This will again boost your confidence. Pamper yourself. Buy things that you like and would cherish or flaunt for a while. By doing this you will divert your mind to your likes.

5. Resolve: To solve a problem you need a stress-free mind. Now that you would have almost cleared your mind off stress, make sure you solve the problem at hand. When you do this, your mind will be 100% stress free. Diverting your mind in different activities will help solve the stress to an extent but does not solve it completely. Your mind will circle back to the unattended problem whenever it finds time. So it is very important to take the right step to solve your problem and never get into the groove of taking stress for the same problem again.

You may see that all five ways to handle stress revolve only around you. You will not have people walking up to you to sympathize or spend time with you to pep you up. So it becomes more important for you to focus and take the right step to de-stress your mind. There is a solution to every problem. Just believe it and stay focused.

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Feb 02, 2011 Posted Under: Mental Health

Proven Ways To Deal With Children’s Panic Attacks

There is a common misconception that children’s panic attacks do not exist. Many people assume that children are so far removed from the stresses and strains of adult life that they couldn’t possibly suffer anxiety in the same way that grownups do.
Unfortunately this belief is false. There are a great many children with panic attacks and anxiety issues, however the actual symptoms and reasons for the episodes do differ from what adults with the same disorder experience. No parent wants to see their child in pain or distress, and that is why having a child that suffers from panic attacks and anxiety can be so upsetting for the parents.

So how can we recognize children’s panic attacks, and what can be done about them?

Symptoms of anxiety will vary from child to child, and will depend on what has triggered the episode in the first place, as well as the age of the child. Generally symptoms will range from crying and tantrums, to actual shaking and sweating. What are the possible causes of such symptoms in children?

Some of the most commonly occurring reasons for children with panic attacks are:

Separation anxiety

This is where the child cannot bear to be separated from their parents even for a short period of time. Even if they are left in the next room and can hear their parents an episode can be triggered.

Imagined fear

Children’s minds work very differently to an adult. They are not yet able to rationalize like we can and may become very frightened by something that we perceive to be incidental. A very young child who has a nasty shock when a balloon pops near to them may become very stressed when they encounter balloons in future.

They can also create things in their head that do not really exist. Monsters under the bed for instance. As adults we know that such things do not exist yet in the mind of a child they can be very real and absolutely terrifying.

Social anxiety

Although most children are quite confident and down to earth, there are many who find it very hard to mix with other children. This makes going to school very distressing for a child with this sort of anxiety.

They may often pretend to be ill in order to avoid the situation, and can become very upset and tearful when mum or dad takes them to the school gates. Making friends is also very difficult which can often make the situation worse as the child begins to feel isolated. So what can you do?

The first thing you need to do is to try and identify what is causing your child’s anxiety. Look for patterns in behavior and try to spot what it is that triggers the situations. Sit down and try as best possible with your child what upsets them or is making them scared.

Often if it is something simple you may be able to help them yourself with steps like positive reinforcement, rewards, and some general fun time and reassurance. If however you think you have a more serious issue then the best thing you can do is seek the help of a professional. Children’ panic attacks can be cured almost totally with the right treatment, so it makes sense to get help as early as possible to avoid the situation worsening.

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Jan 27, 2011 Posted Under: Mental Health

Overcoming Mental Stress Through Meditation

Life can become quite exhausting when you suffer from mental stress. Even the smallest tasks seem difficult and overwhelming leaving you tired from the effort. Mental tension can be a joy killer, taking all the pleasure and fun out of daily living. It is a sad state to fall into; however, it need not be a permanent state. Once you recognize some of the symptoms of this affliction, you can begin efforts to overcome its effects and regain your joy of living.

The Mental Stress Traps

The reasons people fall under mental or psychological stress varies with the individual. Some people succumb to pressures in their workplace due to work overload, too many timely deadlines to meet, not getting along with their boss or colleagues, lack of skill or knowledge to accomplish their tasks, complications in assigned projects, competition, etc. Other people may experience stress due to family affairs – arguments with siblings, children or spouse; disagreements over financial matters; sickness or death in the family, etc. We live in an extremely stressful world surrounded by stressful people and situations. However, we can learn to rise above these situations, find solutions to our problems and overcome tension and fear in our lives.

The Effects of Psychological Stress

Nervous tension affects people negatively in different ways, physically and mentally. Mental effects may include lack of focus and concentration, lack of sleep, inexplicable fears, tension, irrationality, anger, indecision, moodiness, etc. Physical effects may range from headaches and migraines to problems with digestion, ulcers, strokes, heart attack, dizziness, nausea and more. Though there are many treatments and medications you can try to help relieve these symptoms, more and more people today are discovering how they can overcome stress using meditation.

Guided Meditation for Relaxation

Meditation provides a natural means of reducing the strain and pressures in your life, especially when practiced on a regular basis. The simple process of taking time from your busy schedule regularly to meditate on the positive aspects of your life, enjoy creation, listen to faith building stories and quotations, relax with your favorite music and enter into a state of peace and rest can eliminate tension and fear. During this time you are focusing your mind and heart on that which is good and positive and uplifting. You refuse to allow negative thoughts and emotions to build up and overpower you. You learn to look for and be thankful for the good, count your blessings and dwell on the positive aspects of your situation. By dwelling on the positive, you maintain peace of mind and spirit which in turn enables you to find solutions to the problems you face.

Meditation has been tried and proven to help reduce stress. It is a simple process to put into practice and can help you live a more enjoyable life. You can start incorporating meditation into your life today and reap the positive results of a more peaceful, happy existence.

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Jan 11, 2011 Posted Under: Mental Health

Symptoms of Depression, Causes and Treatment

There are many symptoms of depression, which may actually weaken how you perform the daily activities of life, but there are treatments that can help deal with this condition. If you are unsure, and you suffer some of these symptoms or or some of this sounds similar to the list provided it is always best to consult a doctor.

The American Psychological Association has stated that eight to ten percent of Americans that are eighteen years old or older suffer from some form of depression each year. Generally, this is accredited to a dysphotic mood or a basic sense of sadness or melancholy, but most people are unusually oblivious to the sweeping symptoms and can go on for months not understanding what they feel.

Although there are times when an external factor may contribute to strengthening the symptoms and its influence on your life, depression is a chemical defects in the brain that causes the brain’s neurons to become incapable of receiving endorphins and you experience a loss of joy, happiness or just being able to feel good about yourself. There is no known cure to completely rid the brain of these feelings, but there are several medications that can be used to fight against effects and symptoms you feel when it hits you.

The symptoms of Depression and the disease is classified by professionals in the field of psychology as a disease that disrupts the physical, psychological and emotional happiness of person.

Symptoms of Depression

Thoughts of suicide and feeling worthless
Feeling Hopeless
Unable to concentrate
Low levels of sex drive.
Trouble with sleep patterns, oversleeping and lack of sleep
Low energy level or restlessness
Crying without reason, feeling mournful
Unimportance toward things and people
Headaches, Stomach aches
Loss of appetite, weight loss or weight gain from over-eating

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Oct 27, 2010 Posted Under: Mental Health

Learn the Basics of Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal feeling experienced by a person every once in a while in his or her life. It is a subjective emotional state whenever the ego is threatened and provoked by the unknown. In simple terms, it is fear of the unknown. There are different levels of anxiety ranging from mild, moderate, severe to panic. Each level has different psychological and physical characteristics and the appropriate management that needs to be done.

Mild Anxiety is the first level of anxiety. The person with mild anxiety still has intact problem solving skills. Physical symptoms include restlessness, fidgeting, and sensations of having butterflies in the stomach, difficulty sleeping and hypersensitivity to noise. What needs to be done during this period is to assist the anxious person to tolerate the anxiety for it is the first step to problem solving.

Moderate Anxiety is the second level of anxiety which is characterized by muscle tension, excessive sweating, headaches, and fast speech. The goal of management is to reduce the anxiety and eventually understanding the cause and identifying possible ways to control it.

Severe level is the third level of anxiety that renders the person feelings of dread and horror. Excessive crying, severe headache, trembling, vertigo, chest pain and pallor are among the physical symptoms. During this level, anxiety must be channelled and lowered to moderate or mild level.

The last and most severe form of anxiety is the Panic Stage. The person who experiences this cannot effectively process environmental stimuli and has a distorted perception. Physical symptoms include becoming totally immobile or mute, increased blood pressure and increased pulse rate. Symptoms basically revolve around three possibilities: fight, flight or freeze. Management needs to be supportive or protective towards the person in panic. If a person is in a panic mode, you need to make yourself available for the person and assurance of never leaving the person must be made. A calm environment must be achieved and stressors must be limited. If hyperventilation is experienced, provide a brown bag to facilitate return of normal breathing. Encourage the person to express his or her feelings by allowing the person to cry, pace or even shout. Avoid touching the person as it may trigger the attack more. These interventions are effective in dealing with a panic attack.

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Oct 19, 2010 Posted Under: Mental Health

Fighting Phobias

If you search for the varieties of phobias that exist among the people around the globe, you will certainly be astonished. With time, people have built up numerous kinds of phobias, most of which really don’t exist. Any sort of phobia, no matter whatever it is related to, creates an immense level of fear in the person who is facing it and it is an extremely unimaginably tough situation to be in. Many instances might be responsible for the existence of a particular type of phobia in any person. It may either be in the person from childhood itself, or it might have occurred due to any particular incident which, obviously, does not hold good memories in his/her mind. The worst thing in phobia from anything is that whenever any person experiences the situation of which he is very fearful, or even in the case if he just imagines that particular situation, a very unpleasant sort of anxiety occurs, which is certainly not a good thing to experience. The people are to blame for the conditioning of others to be fearful towards most of the things, which is a very common situation.
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The primary step that you should take, in case you have decided to identify and combat your phobia, is to search for a well-experienced and trustworthy hypnotherapist, who can really help you out with your

particular phobia. The best way to eradicate the problem of phobia of any person is to go deep inside the thinking of the client on various aspects of life and his past, while he/ she is in deep state of hypnotic sleep. This is where the amazing science of hypnotherapy works. Two of the most effective hypnotherapy models to remove phobias are mentioned as under:-

Hypnosis Method:- This major type of method used to remove phobias is to identify the Initial Sensitizing Event (ISE). ISE is an event or instance which happened to you for the first time and has now become your worst fear or phobia. This does not mean the first time you experienced the fear. It focuses upon tracing the event’s first happening to you and it is quite possible that you might have ignored that event at that time but it came out to be a really fearful situation for you later on in your life. After identifying this ISE, the hypnotist feeds hypnotic suggestions in you to remove the negative or fearful feeling towards that particular thing acting as a trigger for your fear. Up to a great extent, you will find your fear diminished to a considerable level due to the hypnotic suggestion fed in you.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming:- This NLP method is another effective method of eliminating the fear of the concerned client. This method uses the ISE aspect as well. But, the differentiating factor between this method and the normal hypnosis method is that in NLP, when the hypnotist identifies the ISE related to the client, he/she uses certain techniques and suggestions which allow the client to be free from re-living the situation of which, he/ she is afraid. Both the methods are very effective and satisfying for any person suffering from serious phobias. But, the precautions have to be present to be sure of the positive outcomes.

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Oct 15, 2010 Posted Under: Mental Health

Anxiety – Causes and Medication

If you have ever wanted to know all about anxiety, this article will deal with anxiety, signs of anxiety and how to deal with anxiety. Many of us have felt stressed when we were asked to do something and we were not able to do it. This feeling gives rise to anxiety. It is a feeling of apprehension, worry, stress tension, uncertainty etc. It can also be defined in physical terms such as palpitations, sweating and feelings of stress. When a person goes though a major life changing event like accident, illness, divorce it ends up in increased anxiety.

The effects and symptoms of anxiety change from person to person. It is important to understand what is the triggering factor that causes it and then do what is appropriate. One of the best ways to deal with anxiety is to exercise regularly and also meditation. There are also many drugs available to treat anxiety. These drugs act by slowing down the central nervous system. The fact that these medicines help people relax and calm down has made them very popular. Such medications can also help with insomnia and muscle relaxants. Just like with any other medicines, these medications also have side effects.

The most common and effective drug in dealing with anxiety is Benzodiazepines. There are many kinds that are available and these drugs must be carefully selected, based on the patients profile. These medications act fast thereby bringing relief in less than one hour. Their speed makes them the right choice to take at the time of an anxiety attack. They immediately help calm down the central nervous system and provide relief to the patient. When you take Benzo diazepines, the brain activity reduces. This surely helps reduce anxiety, but it can have a negative effect on the constitution as a whole. Therefore choosing the right professional to help you is extremely critical in order to ensure the right treatment plan.

There are many side effects of these medications. depending upon individual tolerance level The common ones are drowsiness, slurred speech, feeling disoriented, depression, stomach problems, blurred vision, dizziness, impaired thinking, memory loss and reduced speed in reflexes. Some people are extremely sensitive to these medications and side effects even with low doses of anti anxiety medication. They may feel sleepy, foggy and find it hard to focus on work, school, driving etc. There may be some people who can feel the effects of the medicine even on the next day.

As with all options in life, it is very important to take the option that is least pervasive and most beneficial. There are many natural and healthy ways of dealing with anxiety. Keeping a positive outlook on life, avoiding stressful situations and having a stress free life are some great ways to help keep it away. A regular exercise routine, laughing more, spending time with friends and family etc will go a long way to keep anxiety away. Doing work for the needy and helping out with serving them is a great way to cope with anxiety. Having a good social life and an active program of exercise supplemented with good diet will go a long way in keeping anxiety away.

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Oct 04, 2010 Posted Under: Mental Health


Finding out that your child is suffering from ADHD is probably one of the worst and most devastating news that you could ever hear and perhaps the most difficult thing for you to accept. When this happens you tend to feel depressed and down knowing that your child will be going through a lot and will be facing a lot of challenges as he moves on with his life. But your child does not have to feel pain, depression, or even embarrassment knowing that he has ADHD if you know how you can help your child. Your child needs all the help he can get to be able to live well and become successful in the future. You as the parent must keep a positive outlook as this will definitely help your child be able to cope with what he must have to go through.

If you do want to help your child have an easier way of life, then you must have to understand what ADHD and how greatly it affects your child in different aspects. One important thing you have to bear in mind is that ADHD affects your child’s performance especially at school. This is the most common factor that children with ADHD exhibit. There are some studies made that shows that a certain number of children with ADHD also have other learning disabilities like problems with handwriting or dyslexia. You must understand though that ADHD is not a learning disability itself but it does interfere with your child’s concentration and performance and this makes it really hard for your child to be able to perform well and do better in school.

ADHD affects your child’s performance significantly. This is because your child inability to be attentive and his inability to focus on certain tasks prevent your child in excelling in class. This then make teachers place children with ADHD who are having a hard time coping up with what the whole class is learning placed in separate classes for special needs. Here, children with ADHD are able to get the proper tutoring according to their own pace. Since ADHD affects your child’s performance it would definitely be beneficial to you if you are able to keep a close relationship with your child’s teacher as you will be able to monitor your child closely and you can ensure that your child’s needs are continuously met when you work hand in hand and discuss your child’s progress with your child’s teacher.

Though ADHD affects your child’s performance there are still ways of helping your child be able to cope in school. This includes understanding his condition and making sure that you provide your child with all the help he needs and provide all the support you can give.

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