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Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry

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The Symptoms of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects how a person perceives the world around them. Their perception of reality is skewed and they have trouble dealing with day to day life. It can affect anyone from children to adults from all walks of life and it can be difficult to diagnose properly. 

 

Schizophrenia has many similarities to other mental illnesses but with the right help, you can find out if you or a loved one is affected by this mental illness.

 

Hallucinations

Schizophrenics tend to hallucinate and see the world in a different way than others. For those looking at someone with schizophrenia it may seem like they are overreacting to nothing at all. To them however, these hallucinations are as real as they can be and these can be debilitating to those experiencing them. These hallucinations can affect each of a person’s senses in different ways.

 

  • Touch: They might feel imaginary objects touching them, like hands and in some severe cases, sharp objects.
  • Smell and Taste: They might smell something that isn’t really there, like sewage or rotting meat. The hallucinated smells and tastes can affect a person’s ability to eat. 
  • Sight: They might see things that aren’t there, like a non-existent person standing just in the corner of their eye. This can cause a schizophrenic to be in constant fear.
  • Hearing: They might hear disembodied voices in an empty room. These hallucinations can vary in severity, from being as mundane as a whisper telling them to look over a bridge, to being as severe as a chorus of voices telling them to leap off a bridge.

 

Delusions

Delusions are thoughts that are not based on reality. A schizophrenic suffering from this can either be in great fear or overconfident depending on their delusion. Some can think that something is out to get them while others think that they’re a politician from another universe. These delusions work hand in hand with their hallucinations to make an experience feel even more real. 

 

The man in their head could just be in the corner of their eye, watching silently as they eat or looking over them as they sleep or the voices in their head could be screaming at him to make his next election speech in the middle of a class. To the schizophrenic, the phantom man and voices are as real as his Physics instructor. 

 

Disorganized Thought and Movements

Schizophrenics have trouble getting the right words out whenever they decide to speak. To a normal person, their statements might seem jumbled and not even related to the question. Having a conversation with a schizophrenic can be a challenge as they tend to veer off  topic very frequently. Most conversations can go from the south pole to cup noodles in an instant without warning.

Schizophrenics can also suffer from irritability and jumpiness stemming from being overly alert because of their hallucinations and delusions. Some might even have mannerisms that may or may not seem odd to a normal person. Foot tapping and repeated cracking of their hands and fingers can be an example of this symptom. Self harm is included in this symptom as well.

 

Negative Symptoms

These symptoms are the normal human habits that a schizophrenic stops showing. Schizophrenics could avoid social interaction over long periods of time and drop their group of friends out of the blue. When talked to, they can sound monotone or show no emotion despite the topic being something they formerly enjoyed. 

 

Negative symptoms can be the most debilitating set of symptoms of schizophrenia as it can force a person to just drop everything that mattered to them before it’s onset. They would quit careers that they excelled at, drop hobbies that they used to enjoy and throw away friendships that they’ve had for a lifetime. Schizophrenics just lose the drive to continue enjoying life.

 

August 1st, 2019

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Helping Someone with PTSD

Going through a life threatening event like illness and accidents can take a toll on anyone’s mental health. You might feel helpless, and unable to do the things you love after the event. Eventually, however, you’ll put the memory behind you. The same can’t be said of someone suffering from PTSD. The dread that they experienced from that traumatic event is nearly impossible for them to get rid of and it can last for months or even years.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD for short, is a mental disorder that can affect anyone at any time. All that has to happen is to experience or witness a terrifying or life changing event. Accidents and unpleasant experiences are the most common reasons for PTSD to manifest in a person. Fear is a normal response to danger and PTSD can be interpreted as an extreme version of fear.

Signs of PTSD

Someone with PTSD is not difficult to identify from another person’s point of view. You’ll see a drastic change in how they handle their day to day life and how they interact with others. They’ll be actively trying to avoid the topic of their trauma whether it be trying to talk it out with another or visiting the location of where the traumatic event happened. They are also harder to catch off guard or startle as they’ll be on edge almost all the time.

People suffering from PTSD also go through the extremes of emotions. One person suffering from PTSD might show signs of depression, another might have anger management issues, while another could show signs of both. Those suffering through PTSD are varied in how they handle this mental illness and it is important for loved ones to understand this.

Sleep is either a blessing or a curse for them as they either avoid it as much as possible or over indulge in it. Those who avoid it see sleep as an opportunity for the traumatic event to haunt them in their dreams. Those who spend too much sleeping on the other hand, use sleep as an escape to get away from the pain that they feel in day to day life remembering the traumatic event.

Seeking Professional Help

It’s rare for those with PTSD to ever seek help on their own and you might have to push them in the right direction to do so. It is best to seek professional help as soon as you notice a loved one suffering from the signs of PTSD as it can heavily affect a person’s personality and outlook on life. Younger victims of PTSD especially need professional help as it can affect them until their adult lives and it will be harder to cure by then.

 

It can be hard to support someone with PTSD but with the right help they can once again live fulfilling lives. All you need is to give them your support and be patient with how their perception of the event has affected them. Soon enough they’ll be back in control of their lives so long as they’re given professional help and the right treatment as soon as possible.

July 19th, 2019

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5 Tips to Improve Your Mental Health

Mental Health

Everyone wants to be physically fit. To be able to run several miles without breaking a sweat. But not everyone shouts out to the world that they want to be mentally fit. What does running 100 miles matter if your thoughts are clouded and you start lashing out at those running in the game of life with you? If you want to know how to improve your mental health, read on.

 

Eat a Proper Diet

A proper diet is a great way to maintain your mental health. Go for health food like lean meat, green leafy vegetables, and fish. If the food is filled with sugar, and fat avoid eating too much of it. Avoid food like chips, fast food, and sodas.

 

And no, a Diet Coke is not an exception.

 

Eating the wrong kind of food can cause a multitude of problems like hormonal imbalances and an uneven sleep schedule which will definitely affect your mental health in the long term.

 

Exercise

Exercise isn’t only a great way to improve your physical health but also your mental health. It is even prescribed by professionals to cure mild depression and anxiety. Exercise releases endorphins in your brain that gives you that happy feeling after a good jog.

 

Communicate

Being alone doesn’t help one’s mental health as we are social beings. Surround yourself with people with a positive outlook in life. You’ll eventually end up smiling in the face of adversity as well.

 

Make sure to let your friends and family know when things are becoming too much for you to handle. They’ll be more than happy to support you and help you figure out what to do in your darkest hours.    

 

Manage Stress

Life is stressful. There is no getting around that, but don’t let stress eat away at your life. Do your best to think of stress as a way to temper your resolve for the future and not as a problem to be worried about. Look for ways to fix the sources of your stress. 

 

Is it your neighbor who keeps playing loud music in the middle of the night? Communicate with them and share your woes. It’s better than bottling it up to yourself. 

 

Is it your job? Try to find creative ways to make your job more meaningful and fun. 

 

Not all problems can be solved however and that neighbor might be too stubborn or your job is just difficult to enjoy. In the end, the best way to manage stress is to throw it out the window every once in awhile and enjoy life.

 

Enjoy Life

Do what you love. Take some time out with friends and family while forgetting about the stresses of your job. Take that hiking trip that you’ve always wanted to go to.You deserve to enjoy life. 

 

Don’t let anyone or anything tell you otherwise. 

 

Mental health is just as important as physical health and it shows in day to day life. If you have a friend or family member with a cloud above their head, don’t hesitate to show them how to lead a mentally healthy lifestyle or this blog to shine a little sunlight in their life. 

July 10th, 2019

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Dissociative Identity Disorder Myths

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), sometimes called Multiple Identity Disorder, is a
mental disorder characterized by two at minimum, distinct personality states. DID is one
of the most talked about illnesses. (more…)

April 18th, 2019

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Understanding Eating Disorders

Oftentimes, people dismiss eating disorders as a bad lifestyle choice; however, they are actually serious and, sometimes, fatal mental conditions that can cause severe disturbances in a person’s eating behavior. They are characterized by irregular eating habits and obsession about body weight or shape. (more…)

February 21st, 2019

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How Does ADHD Challenge Your Kid’s Performance in School?

Most of the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) show before
kids reach school age. However, if these symptoms have been observed in school, then
chances are these kids are already having trouble keeping up with other children their
age. (more…)

October 15th, 2018

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Overcoming Eating Disorders: Anorexia

Today, we are living in a society where image is of really high importance. While it’s
normal to be conscious of our appearance, constantly worrying in staying as thin as
possible that it affects the eating habits, perspective in life, train of thoughts and overall
health of a person can be alarming. This can be a sign of having an eating
disorder—one that is called Anorexia. (more…)

October 7th, 2018

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Overcoming Eating Disorders: Bulimia

Food can be a good friend to us when we feel down. But sometimes, our strange
relationship with food may lead to troublesome eating disorders. One of which is what
we call bulimia.

Bulimia nervosa or simply bulimia is a serious eating disorder that follows the cycle of
binge eating and then making up by doing extreme means to avoid weight gain. (more…)

September 18th, 2018

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Overcoming Eating Disorders: Binge Eating

It is common for most of us to eat too much from time to time. However, if you find
yourself overeating regularly, to the point that you feel that you’re not able to stop
yourself, then you might be suffering from binge eating disorder or BED.

It can be difficult to spot someone who has binge eating disorder. If you are suffering
from BED, you may feel ashamed of your eating habits that you try to hide your
symptoms by eating away from people. (more…)

September 14th, 2018

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How to Calm Down Quickly During an Anxiety Attack

If you have experienced having an anxiety attack before, then you probably know how
terrifying it can be. The moment you are having an anxiety attack, making it stop may
seem impossible. Luckily, there are some steps you can try to manage the intensity of
the symptoms.

These are some steps you can try to calm down when having an anxiety attack. (more…)

September 5th, 2018

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