Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Z - Z Gen & Mental Health #AtoZ #MentalHealthAwareness


Generation Z — the group of young people born roughly between 1995 and 2015, who are currently between 4 and 24 years old. Today, one in three teens between the ages of 13 and 18 has an anxiety disorder.


Members of Generation Z are the most likely of all generations to report poor mental health. Psychologists believe what stresses today’s young people out could be a product of what their parents experienced while they were very young. Youngsters today are less hedonistic, better behaved and more lonely than ever before. Z'ers having grown up with a smartphone has led them to expect information and entertainment on-demand, instantly, and in phone-sized bites.


The American Psychological Association found that almost one-third of teens say they feel sad or depressed and overwhelmed due to stress. A report by the Association finds the rate of adolescents reporting symptoms of major depression increased 52 percent between 2005 and 2017 — from 8.7 percent to 13.2 percent — among youth from the ages of 12 and 17.



The increase was even higher — 63 percent from 2009 to 2017 — among young adults between the ages of 18 and 25. Depressive symptoms among “Generation Z” – teenagers born at the turn of the millennium – are around two-thirds higher than the “millennial generation” born in the early nineties.


They are also more likely to self-harm, suffer from poor body image, skip sleep and be overweight

School and the pressure to get good grades appears to be the leading source of stress for many young people. Work, finances and health-related concerns all stressed out more Gen Z adults than adults overall, the report says. Money was the most common source of stress, affecting 81% of Gen Z adults and 64% of adults overall.

Research has shown that a strong social network can help mitigate the effects of stress and improve mental health overall. Social media doesn’t seem to be helping, either — while about half said it was a source of support, another 45% said social media made them feel judged, and 38% said it made them feel bad about themselves.




Just like our bodies develop a biological immunity through exposure to threats, our psychological system can also develop immunity through exposure. In today’s over-protected Generation Z when parents fight too many battles for their kids, it doesn’t allow children to develop the coping skills they need to deal with adversity.

Teenagers from poorer households tended to report a wider range of behavioural problems than those from rich households, but concerns about mental health seemed to affect both groups equally.

While Generation Z might be more likely to report poor mental health, they’re also more likely than older generations to be aware of their mental health and seek out help when necessary.


DISCLAIMER: All the information being provided her has been sourced from the internet and books and some also via personal experiences. It has no medical authentication per se so suggestions if followed must be done in consultation with a trained mental health professional.

References:


This post is a part of April Blogging from A To Z Challenge
You can find all my posts here




Monday, April 29, 2019

Y - Yoga for Mental Health #AtoZ #MentalHealthAwareness


The eight limbed path of yoga includes: Yama (moral codes), niyama (self-discipline), asana (postures), pranyama (breath practices promoting life force), pratyahara (sensory transcendence), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), samadhi (state of bliss). “Yoga is the practice of quieting the mind” - Patanjali Sutras

Yoga originated in India several thousand years ago as a system of physical and spiritual practices. It was formalized in the second century BC in the form of the Yoga Sutras, attributed to the scholar Pantanjali. The word roots of yoga mean “to join” in Sanskrit.

Joining mind and body, and individual and collective selves is the essence of this ancient South Asian practice.

Yoga has minimal side effects and is cost-effective in comparison with pharmacological treatments and psychotherapy. Yoga’s added benefit is that it improves physical fitness and encourages self-reliance.


Yoga has been shown to enhance quality of life in people who are healthy and ill. A review study found that yoga is as effective or better than exercise at improving a variety of mental and physical health measures such as stress, quality of life, mood states, heart rate variability, pulmonary function and so on.







From a yogic perspective, the breath is a bridge between mind and body. Slow diaphragmatic breathing is common to almost all forms of yoga. The key to quieting the mind is slowing and deepening the breath. Practicing yoga helps to regain mental stability, calmness, and tranquility, primarily because of this kind of breathing.


Practitioners are able to connect internally through this stillness and silence. Virtually all yogic practices, including asana (postures), pranyam (life force practices), dhyana (meditation), encourage quietness and listening within. Being kinder and gentler to oneself and others is part of the practice on and off the mat.


More than any other aspect of yoga, researchers have investigated how it affects individuals with mental health conditions. The results are overwhelmingly encouraging, suggesting that yoga helps improve mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, among others.


With one in four people affected by mental health disorders at some point in their lives, many people are viewing yoga and mental health retreats as effective strategies as an effective strategy that can help protect and restore the mental health of individuals throughout the world.





Yoga has been shown to increase the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, a chemical in the brain that helps to regulate nerve activity. This is especially relevant to people who have anxiety disorders in which GABA activity is low.


However, patients with mental disorders should not try yoga on their own but only after consulting their psychiatrist and psychotherapist. For minor everyday anxiety, simple yogic breathing techniques might be worth a try as a self-care strategy.

DISCLAIMER: All the information being provided her has been sourced from the internet and books and some also via personal experiences. It has no medical authentication per se so suggestions if followed must be done in consultation with a trained mental health professional.

References:



This post is a part of April Blogging from A To Z Challenge
You can find all my posts here





Saturday, April 27, 2019

X- Expressing Mental Health #AtoZ #MentalHealthAwareness

Artwork and psychiatric disorders are often linked. Accomplished artists with psychiatric disorders express themselves and their emotional distress through their works, and art therapists use the visual arts to help clients understand their problems and cope with them.


Several notable artists with psychiatric disorders have expressed their thoughts and moods in their artwork. Mark Rothko, Edvard Munch, and Bernard Buffet stated that their artwork reflected their depressed mood. Art historians and writers have interpreted the paintings of some artists (including Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, and Jackson Pollock) as showing evidence of a psychiatric disorder.

Psychotherapy clients are often at a loss to describe how they feel. The discipline of art therapy is devoted to helping individuals express themselves without the need for language or logic; their lack of artistic skill or training is no barrier to self-expression.



Artists, psychologists, and sociologists have weighed in on this topic for more than 200 years, without a resolution. Benjamin Rush, the “Father of American Psychiatry”, thought a connection between mental illness and artistic creativity was likely. The Italian criminologist and psychiatrist Cesare Lombroso,theorized that artistic genius was also a form of mental illness.

Art Therapy

The first documentation of art as therapy was in the mid-19th century, in Scotland when asylum inmates were given art materials and encouraged to draw and paint. Since then, art therapy has evolved into a professional discipline with study at the Masters level leading to certification.

Art therapy is used with hospitalized patients with severe and persistent mental illness, inpatients with depression and anxiety disorders, and outpatients with any emotional disorder. Some addiction recovery programs use art therapy, as do programs for autistic children, incarcerated prisoners, and multi-lingual programs where verbal exchange between clients is limited.







Anyone who feels overwhelmed or pressured by the hectic world we live in should try art therapy. Creating art will give you a chance to slow down and explore any issues you may be having. 

Art therapy improves the mental health of people who are dealing with addictions, anxiety, attention disorders, grief and loss, dementia, depression, eating disorders, physical illness, PTSD, trauma, relationship issues and much more.

Since the focus is on the process and not the final product, art therapy is not about becoming a great artist but about finding meaning and connection in your life. All you need for it is a willingness to experiment.

Mental Health Benefits of Art Therapy Activities
Art therapy can be used as a complement to traditional mental health treatment.  The aims are:
  • ·         Self-discovery
  • ·         Self-esteem
  • ·         Emotional release
  • ·         Stress relief

DISCLAIMER: All the information being provided her has been sourced from the internet and books and some also via personal experiences. It has no medical authentication per se so suggestions if followed must be done in consultation with a trained mental health professional.

References:



This post is a part of April Blogging from A To Z Challenge
You can find all my posts here.


Friday, April 26, 2019

W - Women & Mental Health #AtoZ #MentalHealthAwareness


Mental ill health among women is on the rise. One in five women (19%) experience a Common Mental Disorder (such as anxiety or depression), compared with one in eight (12%) men.

Mental disorders can affect women and men differentlyWomen are more likely to have mental health problems than men, with young women at particularly high risk. Some disorders are more common in women such as depression and anxiety. There are also certain types of depression that are unique to women. Some women may experience symptoms of mental disorders at times of hormone change, such as perinatal depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and perimenopause-related depression.

The origins of much of the pain and suffering particular to women can be traced to the social circumstances of many women's lives. Depression, hopelessness, exhaustion, anger and fear grow out of hunger, overwork, domestic and civil violence, entrapment and economic dependence. Understanding the sources of ill health for women means understanding how cultural and economic forces interact to undermine their social status.





Women tend to experience mental illness slightly differently than men. Specifically, women are more prone to internalizing mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, while men are more prone to externalizing mental illnesses such as drug abuse, alcoholism, and antisocial behaviors. An internalizing mental illness is one which causes a person to turn inward. It often leads to withdrawal, ruminating, loneliness, and feelings of sadness. Women who find themselves retreating from life and internalizing their emotions should consider the possibility of a mental illness when this sign is combined with other factors.

Some women specific mental health issues include Post-partum depression.  Having a baby can be an exciting time in a couple’s lives. However, the process can also trigger some mental health concerns. Aside from experiencing postpartum complications, such as depression, anxiety, or birth trauma, there are also experiences with infertility, pregnancy loss and reproductive complications (PCOS, endometriosis, etc.) that can crop up during this stage of life. Postpartum depression may occur in women who have a history of depression, anxiety or trauma.

Women in poverty are more likely to face poor mental health, with 29% of women in poverty experiencing a common mental health disorder compared to 16% of women not in poverty. Women in poverty who have experienced abuse are even more likely to experience poor mental health.

Females are generally more predisposed to hormonal fluctuations as well. Biological differences alone can prove key to the development of some mental health issues.



Men and women still have different levels of control over the determinants of mental health such as access to resources, status, roles, options and treatments. As such, gender is important in defining susceptibility and exposure to a number of mental health risks. Gender can also explain differences in mental health outcomes.

DISCLAIMER: All the information being provided her has been sourced from the internet and books and some also via personal experiences. It has no medical authentication per se so suggestions if followed must be done in consultation with a trained mental health professional.

References:



This post is a part of April Blogging from A To Z Challenge
You can find all my posts here.




Thursday, April 25, 2019

V - Violence & Mental Health #AtoZ #MentalHealthAwareness


 Research has shown that people receiving effective treatment for a mental illness are no more violent or dangerous than the rest of the population. People with a mental illness are more likely to harm themselves – or to be harmed – than they are to hurt other people.


Public opinion surveys suggest that many people think mental illness and violence go hand in hand. In fact, research suggests that this public perception does not reflect reality. Most individuals with psychiatric disorders are not violent. Although a subset of people with psychiatric disorders commit assaults and violent crimes, findings have been inconsistent about how much mental illness contributes to this behavior and how much substance abuse and other factors do.

 Violence is not a symptom of psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia. There is a slightly increased possibility that someone with a psychotic illness may be violent if they:
  • ·         are not receiving effective treatment
  • ·         have a previous history of violence
  • ·         misuse alcohol or drugs.





Symptoms of psychotic illnesses may include frightening hallucinations and delusions, as well as paranoia. This means there is a small chance someone who is experiencing these symptoms may become violent when they are frightened and misinterpret what is happening around them.

However, it is true that a minority of people with schizophrenia can become aggressive when unwell. One reason for such a response could be a fear of symptoms, such as hallucinations. These people normally express their aggression towards themselves, or to family and friends – rarely to strangers.

Research suggests that violence by people with mental illness — like aggression in the general population — stems from multiple overlapping factors interacting in complex ways. These include family history, personal stressors (such as divorce or bereavement), and socioeconomic factors (such as poverty and homelessness). Substance abuse is often tightly woven into this fabric, making it hard to tease apart the influence of other less obvious factors.



Mental health workers, people with a mental illness and their families all agree that the most important step in preventing violence is to make sure people receive effective treatment as early as possible.
Mental health workers need to know who is most at risk of being violent or of being a victim of violence and make sure they receive the most effective treatment – as quickly as possible and for as long as they need it. This is especially important in a person’s first episode of illness.
It is important for everyone in the community to understand that mental illness is not a choice. It can happen to anybody. It is equally important to understand that violence is always unacceptable, and must be addressed in certain cases as a public health issue.

DISCLAIMER: All the information being provided her has been sourced from the internet and books and some also via personal experiences. It has no medical authentication per se so suggestions if followed must be done in consultation with a trained mental health professional.

References:



This post is a part of April Blogging from A To Z Challenge
You can find all my posts here.




Wednesday, April 24, 2019

U - Untreated Mental Illness #AtoZ #MentalHealthAwareness


About 50% of individuals with severe psychiatric disorders (3.5 million people) are receiving no treatment. By 2020, mental health disorders are projected to overtake all physical diseases as a more recurrent cause of disability.

A mental illness rarely fits its textbook mould. Every case is unique, and many different factors interact to form the symptoms experienced by each individual.

Statistics show the alarming consequences of an undiagnosed or untreated mental illness:
  • ·         People with schizophrenia die from health complications at twice or triple the rate of the general population.
  • ·         In the U.S., suicide claims a life roughly once every 15 minutes, with the alarming majority having an undiagnosed mental illness.  This makes suicide the 3rd leading cause of death for young adults in the U.S.
  • ·         Roughly a quarter of all young adults in trouble with the law have symptoms of a serious mental illness.
  • ·         People living with serious mental illnesses live on average 25 years less than those without.





Mental health problems take a toll not only on those directly affected, but on friends and family members as well. Thy symptoms of mental illness are often misunderstood, and a significant amount of false information and stereotypes are perpetuated about people with mental illnesses. Education is the most important step to understanding mental health problems, and the best thing loved ones of a mentally ill person can do is to learn about the nature, symptoms and treatment options of the mental illness in question.


Many mental disorders go undiagnosed because the sufferer is simply unaware their symptoms aren’t normal. They might feel the need to internalize the problems they’re having for fear others won’t understand, or they might not see the pattern of dysfunction their behavior is causing in their everyday life. It’s vital for friends and family members to speak up when they see a problem because that’s often the only way a person will realize the need for help.




Persistent symptoms often drive people to self-medicate, which is the act of abusing drugs or alcohol in order to get temporary relief from their symptoms. This behavior is typically observed in those with a chronic condition, particularly mental disorders, and can be a more accessible than professional treatment depending on the individual case. However, self-medication is only initially effective. After it becomes the standard solution for symptoms, it shortly becomes the same for any ills whatsoever. This progression soon gives way to substance abuse and addiction followed by patients turning one mental condition into two, each enabling the other to spiral out of control.

A crippling delay between the initial appearance of symptoms and the beginning of treatment allows for the condition to become more severe, the potential co-occurrence of other mental illnesses, and a lower treatment success rate as people age and their disorders become ingrained in their identities.

DISCLAIMER: All the information being provided her has been sourced from the internet and books and some also via personal experiences. It has no medical authentication per se so suggestions if followed must be done in consultation with a trained mental health professional.

References:




This post is a part of April Blogging from A To Z Challenge
You can find all my posts here.



Tuesday, April 23, 2019

T - Teenage Mental Health #AtoZ #MentalHealthAwareness


1 in 5 young people suffer from a mental illness. Mental health conditions account for 16% of the global burden of disease and injury in people aged 10–19 years. Half of all mental health conditions start by 14 years of age but most cases are undetected and untreated.
Teenage (13–19 years) is a unique and formative time. Whilst most adolescents have good mental health, multiple physical, emotional and social changes, including exposure to poverty, abuse, or violence, can make teenagers vulnerable to mental health problems

Promoting psychological well-being and protecting adolescents from adverse experiences and risk factors which may impact their potential to thrive are not only critical for their well-being during teenage, but also for their physical and mental health in adulthood.

Teenage is a crucial period for developing and maintaining social and emotional habits important for mental well-being. These include adopting healthy sleep patterns; taking regular exercise; developing coping, problem-solving, and interpersonal skills; and learning to manage emotions. Supportive environments in the family, at school, and in the wider community are also important.



Multiple factors determine the mental health of an adolescent at any one time. The more risk factors adolescents are exposed to, the greater the potential impact on their mental health.

Factors which can contribute to stress during teenage include:
  • ·         A desire for greater autonomy
  • ·         Pressure to conform with peers
  • ·         Exploration of sexual identity
  • ·         Increased access to and use of technology


Media influence and gender norms can exacerbate the disparity between an adolescent’s lived reality and their perceptions or aspirations for the future.

Other important determinants for the mental health of adolescents are the quality of their home life and their relationships with their peers. Violence (including harsh parenting and bullying) and socio-economic problems are recognized risks to mental health. 

Children and adolescents are especially vulnerable to sexual violence, which has a clear association with detrimental mental health.

Harmful use of substances (such as alcohol or drugs) are major concerns in most countries. Worldwide, the prevalence of heavy episodic drinking among adolescents aged 15-19 years was 13.6% in 2016, with males most at risk. Harmful substance use in adolescents increases the likelihood of further risk-taking such as unsafe sex.







Mental Health “Red Flags” parents/families/schools should be alert for:
  • ·         Excessive sleeping, difficulty in sleeping, insomnia, and other sleep disorders
  • ·         Loss of self-esteem
  • ·         Abandonment or loss of interest in favorite pastimes
  • ·         Unexpected and dramatic decline in academic performance
  • ·         Weight loss and loss of appetite, which could indicate an eating disorder
  • ·         Personality shifts and changes, such as aggressiveness and excess anger that could indicate psychological, drug, or sexual problems.


Identifying teenage mental illness symptoms can be difficult. That’s because most teens are moody and emotional during this time of dramatic physical and mental changes. However, mental illness in teens involves behavioral and mood changes that are far more extreme than average.






DISCLAIMER: All the information being provided her has been sourced from the internet and books and some also via personal experiences. It has no medical authentication per se so suggestions if followed must be done in consultation with a trained mental health professional.

References:



This post is a part of April Blogging from A To Z Challenge
You can find all my posts here.




Monday, April 22, 2019

S - Suicide Prevention #AtoZ #MentalHealthAwareness


TRIGGER ALERT: The following post talks about suicide, if you have had a history of self-harm or suicidal tendencies or someone close to you has, please use discretion while reading this or avoid it , as this could act as an unintended trigger.

Every 40 seconds, someone, somewhere in the world, dies by suicide. Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is a global phenomenon and occurs throughout the lifespan. There are indications that for each adult who died by suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide.


Suicide is when people direct violence at themselves with the intent to end their lives, and they die because of their actions. It’s best to avoid the use of terms like “committing suicide” or a “successful suicide” when referring to a death by suicide as these terms often carry negative connotations.

A suicide attempt is when people harm themselves with the intent to end their lives, but they do not die because of their actions.

For people with severe depression, it is not uncommon to think about suicide. Suicide often stems from a deep feeling of hopelessness. The inability to to see solutions to problems or to cope with challenging life circumstances may lead people to see suicide as the only option to what is really a temporary situation. What must be re-asserted :
  • ·         Suicides are preventable.
  • ·         It is okay to talk about suicide.
  • ·         Asking about suicide does not provoke the act of suicide. It often reduces anxiety and helps people feel understood.




Warning signs that someone may be seriously thinking about suicide:

  • ·         Threatening to kill one self.
  • ·         Saying things like "No-one will miss me when I am gone."
  • ·         Looking for ways to kill oneself, such as seeking access to pesticides, firearms or medication, or browsing the internet for means of taking one’s own life.
  • ·         Saying goodbye to close family members and friends, giving away of valued possessions, or writing a will.



Who is at risk of suicide?

  • ·         People who have previously attempted self-harm, suicide.
  • ·         Someone with depression or an addiction problem.
  • ·         Someone suffering from severe emotional distress.
  • ·         Someone suffering from chronic pain or illness.
  • ·         Someone who have experienced war, violence, trauma, abuse or discrimination.
  • ·         Someone who are socially isolated or discriminated against.



What you can do
  • ·         Find an appropriate time and a quiet place to talk about suicide with the person you are worried about. Let them know that you are there to listen.
  • ·         Encourage the person to seek help from a professional, such as a doctor, mental health professional, counsellor or social worker. Offer to accompany them to an appointment.
  • ·         If you think the person is in immediate danger, do not leave him or her alone. Seek professional help from the emergency services, a crisis line, or a health-care professional, or turn to family members.
  • ·         If the person you are worried about lives with you, ensure that he or she does not have access to means of self-harm (for example pesticides, firearms or medication) in the home.
  • ·         Stay in touch to check how the person is doing.
  •  




Knowing how to get help for a friend posting suicidal messages on social media can save a life. Many social media sites have a process to report suicidal content and get help for the person posting the message. In addition, many of the social media sites use their analytic capabilities to identify and help report suicidal posts. Each offers different options on how to respond if you see concerning posts about suicide. 

For example:
Facebook Suicide Prevention webpage can be found at www.facebook.com/help/594991777257121/ [use the search term “suicide” or “suicide prevention”].

DISCLAIMER: All the information being provided her has been sourced from the internet and books and some also via personal experiences. It has no medical authentication per se so suggestions if followed must be done in consultation with a trained mental health professional.

References:


This post is a part of April Blogging from A To Z Challenge
You can find all my posts here





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