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Abraham Maslow, by Rachel Smollock
I did my report over Abraham Maslow. I find it fascinating that he was able to bring the knowledge of his mentors and teachers together in one theory that revolutionized such a big part of psychology, and how we see people today.
Abraham Maslow’s creation of the “Hierarchy of Needs” presented in his book, Motivation And Personality brings psychology to every day life.
Maslow, Abraham Motivation and Personality, second edition, Harper and Row, Publishers, 1970,
+++ >MASLOW'S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS
from Psychology - The Search for Understanding
by Janet A. Simons, Donald B. Irwin and Beverly A. Drinnien
West Publishing Company, New York, 1987
Abraham Maslow developed a theory of personality that has influenced a number of different fields, including education. This wide influence is due in part to the high level of practicality of Maslow's theory. This theory accurately describes many realities of personal experiences. Many people find they can understand what Maslow says. They can recognize some features of their experience or behavior which is true and identifiable but which they have never put into words.
Maslow is a humanistic psychologist. Humanists do not believe that human beings are pushed and pulled by mechanical forces, either of stimuli and reinforcements (behaviorism) or of unconscious instinctual impulses (psychoanalysis). Humanists focus upon potentials. They believe that humans strive for an upper level of capabilities. Humans seek the frontiers of creativity, the highest reaches of consciousness and wisdom. **This has been labeled "fully functioning person", "healthy personality", or as Maslow calls this level, "self-actualizing person." **
Maslow has set up a hierarchic theory of needs. All of his basic needs are instinctoid, equivalent of instincts in animals. Humans start with a very weak disposition that is then fashioned fully as the person grows. If the environment is right, people will grow straight and beautiful, actualizing the potentials they have inherited. If the environment is not "right" (and mostly it is not) they will not grow tall and straight and beautiful.
Maslow has set up a hierarchy of five levels of basic needs. Beyond these needs, higher levels of needs exist. These include needs for understanding, esthetic appreciation and purely spiritual needs. In the levels of the five basic needs, the person does not feel the second need until the demands of the first have been satisfied, nor the third until the second has been satisfied, and so on. Maslow's basic needs are as follows:
These are biological needs. They consist of needs for oxygen, food, water, and a relatively constant body temperature. They are the strongest needs because if a person were deprived of all needs, the physiological ones would come first in the person's search for satisfaction.
When all physiological needs are satisfied and are no longer controlling thoughts and behaviors, the needs for security can become active. Adults have little awareness of their security needs except in times of emergency or periods of disorganization in the social structure (such as widespread rioting). Children often display the signs of insecurity and the need to be safe.
Needs of Love, Affection and Belongingness
When the needs for safety and for physiological well-being are satisfied, the next class of needs for love, affection and belongingness can emerge. Maslow states that people seek to overcome feelings of loneliness and alienation. This involves both giving and receiving love, affection and the sense of belonging.
Needs for Esteem
When the first three classes of needs are satisfied, the needs for esteem can become dominant. These involve needs for both self-esteem and for the esteem a person gets from others. Humans have a need for a stable, firmly based, high level of self-respect, and respect from others. When these needs are satisfied, the person feels self-confident and valuable as a person in the world. When these needs are frustrated, the person feels inferior, weak, helpless and worthless.
Needs for Self-Actualization
When all of the foregoing needs are satisfied, then and only then are the needs for self-actualization activated. Maslow describes self-actualization as a person's need to be and do that which the person was "born to do." "A musician must make music, an artist must paint, and a poet must write." These needs make themselves felt in signs of restlessness. The person feels on edge, tense, lacking something, in short, restless. If a person is hungry, unsafe, not loved or accepted, or lacking self-esteem, it is very easy to know what the person is restless about. It is not always clear what a person wants when there is a need for self-actualization.
The hierarchic theory is often represented as a pyramid, with the larger, lower levels representing the lower needs, and the upper point representing the need for self-actualization. Maslow believes that the only reason that people would not move well in direction of self-actualization is because of hindrances placed in their way by society. He states that education is one of these hindrances. He recommends ways education can switch from its usual person-stunting tactics to person-growing approaches. Maslow states that educators should respond to the potential an individual has for growing into a self-actualizing person of his/her own kind.
Ten points that educators should address are listed: We should teach people to be authentic, to be aware of their inner selves and to hear their inner-feeling voices.
- 1. We should teach people to transcend their cultural conditioning and become world citizens.
- 2. We should help people discover their vocation in life, their calling, fate or destiny. This is especially focused on finding the right career and the right mate.
- 3. We should teach people that life is precious, that there is joy to be experienced in life, and if people are open to seeing the good and joyous in all kinds of situations, it makes life worth living.
- 4. We must accept the person as he or she is and help the person learn their inner nature. From real knowledge of aptitudes and limitations we can know what to build upon, what potentials are really there.
- 5. We must see that the person's basic needs are satisfied. This includes safety, belongingness, and esteem needs.
- 6. We should refreshen consciousness, teaching the person to appreciate beauty and the other good things in nature and in living.
- 7. We should teach people that controls are good, and complete abandon is bad. It takes control to improve the quality of life in all areas.
- 8. We should teach people to transcend the trifling problems and grapple with the serious problems in life. These include the problems of injustice, of pain, suffering, and death.
- 9. We must teach people to be good choosers. They must be given practice in making good choices.
- 10. We must teach people to be good choosers. They must be given practice in making good choices.
His theory was nothing new, or unknown. It merely combined fragments and truths from colleagues
and peers into a single theoretical structure, which transcends psychology. This single combined theory is now considered in most all decisions that are dealing with, or relating to motivation and needs the of mankind.
Which is seen in this next video.
In the book, Humanism in Personology: Allport, Maslow, and Murray. By Salvaore R. Maddi and Pual T. Costa, Jr. They insinuate that Maslow’s own needs were direct motivation themselves. That the fact he grew up the son of Jewish immigrants not always knowing where his next meal would be coming from, and feelings of isolation and loneliness were directly related to his theories. Delving further into his work attempting to explain all human’s motivations helped him understand and actualize himself.
This makes sense then when you consider Mrs. Calliham’s comment about most all of us at one time or another wonder if we are normal. Abraham Maslow was a humanist, and came up with a workable theory that has proved itself.
ERIKSON'S STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT
by Kristania Besouw
Human beings go through constant development throughout their lives. One of the most important developments is in social and psychological aspect of a life of a person. Erik Erikson (1902-1994), a psychologist, believes that every human being goes through a certain number of stages to reach his or her full development. Erikson developed the Erikson’s stages of development. These stages are based on psychosocial perspective, where one, from his or her early age, needs the right social circumstances and fulfilled psychological needs in order to gain a good psychosocial skill and feel satisfied as a human being. If these needs are not fulfilled accordingly, negative outcome such as low self esteem and regret is the result.
Erikson’s Stages of Development:
1. Trust vs. Mistrust (Infant).
This stage occurs between birth and one year of age. Newborns are utterly dependent. Developing trust is the caregiver’s responsibility where the baby’s emotional and physical needs are fulfilled. Mistrust on the other hand, is in result of careless caregiver, unable to provide what the baby needs; emotionally unavailable, inconsistent, etc. Mistrust leads to fear and a belief that the world is unpredictable and inconsistent.
2. Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt (Toddler)
This stage is where little children between 18 months to 3 years learn to do things by themselves. Caregiver needs to let children explore and experiment the surroundings environment safely. This is to have the feeling of control, sense of independence, and self confidence. Children who did not complete these needs are left with a sense of inadequacy and self-doubt.
3. Initiative vs. Guilt (Preschooler)
During this stage, children between age 3 to 6 begin to assert their power and control over the world through playing and other social interactions. Failure of this stage leads to self-guilt and lack of initiative.
4. Industry vs. Inferiority (School-Age Child)
This stage covers children approximately age 5 to 11. Children begin to take pride of accomplishment through their social interactions. Children who are encouraged by parents and teachers develop a feeling of competence and belief in their skills. Those who receive little or no encouragement from parents and teacher will doubt their ability to be successful.
5. Identity vs. Confusion (Adolescent)
During adolescent (age 12 to 18), children begin to explore their independence and sense of self. Those who go through this stage with support and proper encouragement will have strong sense of self and feeling of independence and control. Those who are not sure will be insecure and confused about themselves and the future.
6. Intimacy vs. Isolation (Young Adult)
In this stage, a person (age 19 to 40) will develop close, committed relationship with others. This is where people start to get involved in marriage and have children in the result of love and sex relationship. Negative result of this stage will lead to fear of relationship with others. Studies says that those with poor sense of self tend to have less committed relationships and are more likely to have emotional isolation, loneliness, and depression.
7. Generativity vs. Stagnation (Middle-Age Adult)
This stage occurs between age 40 to 65. Those who feel success will take part and be active in their home and community, with sense of continuity to continuity of life. Those who are in the opposite will feel unproductive and uninvolved in the world.
8. Integrity vs. Despair (Older Adult)
This stage occurs in about age 65 to death. Those who feel proud of their accomplishment in life will feel a sense of integrity. Those who are not successful will feel that their life has been wasted and left with feelings of regret and despair.
“Psychoanalyst Erik Erikson describes the physical, emotional and psychological stages of development and relates specific issues, or developmental work or tasks, to each stage. For example, if an infant's physical and emotional needs are met sufficiently, the infant completes his/her task — developing the ability to trust others. However, a person who is stymied in an attempt at task mastery may go on to the next state but carries with him or her remnants of the unfinished task. For instance, if a toddler is not allowed to learn by doing, the toddler develops a sense of doubt in his or her abilities, which may complicate later attempts at independence. Similarly, a preschooler who is made to feel that the activities he or she initiates are bad may develop a sense of guilt that inhibits the person later in life. (Erikson's)”
cherry, kendra. "Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development Psychosocial Development in Young Adulthood, Middle Age, and Old Age." n. pag. Web. 10 May 2010. <http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/a/psychosocial.htm>.
"Erik Erikson's Stages of development." Web. 10 May 2010. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGFKAfixHJs>.
"Erikson’s Development Stages." n. pag. Web. 10 May 2010.
Incest: The Persistent Sex Taboo
By Destiny Mikkelson
Throughout the ages, incest has been prevalent across the globe, and even was accepted in some societies as normal. Egyptian and Incan societies, for example, practiced incest regularly to continue royal bloodlines and further political ambitions. Some cultures may believe that sexual relations and marriage are perfectly fine for first cousins, whereas other cultures are adamantly against this practice. Incest is defined as “sexual relations between persons who are so closely related that their marriage is illegal or forbidden by custom” (American Heritage Dictionary).
In the past, father-daughter incest was the highest reported and studied form of incest, although later research discovered that sibling incest is the most common form of incest, particularly older brothers abusing younger siblings. Recently, several extreme cases of incest have been reported in the media, further demonstrating that despite societal advances, this type of abuse is still occurring. Josef Fritzl is just one of the many perpetrators of this crime, though the severity of his actions and the resulting neglect and abuse inflicted upon his daughter and the children he sired with her are far more dramatic than the average case of incest. Elizabeth Fritzl, his daughter, was imprisoned by him for 24 years in a concealed part of the family home’s basement, suffering years of rape and abuse that resulted in the birth of seven children and one miscarriage. This bizarre case amplifies the wrongness of incest, and the innocent victims involved are tragically and horrifically scarred by the actions of Josef Fritzl, their very own father/grandfather.
In a similar case, a father dubbed the ‘British Fritzl’ to protect the anonymity of the daughters, was discovered to have been abusing his two daughters for the last 35 years, resulting in 18 pregnancies and seven surviving children. Like many incest cases, the abuse began when the children were very young, using fear, violence, and manipulation to control the young girls. If the girls tried to resist their father’s advances they would be beaten savagely, and even held to a gas fire, burning them until they cooperated with his demands. Cases like these shock the general population, but the truth remains that incest is still being practiced all around the world albeit in less tragic circumstances.
Beyond the moral objections many have against incest, it has been proven that procreation by those too closely related can result in serious medical problems for the resulting offspring. Inbreeding can cause severe deformities, diminished reproductive capabilities, mental retardation, and many other de-habilitating hereditary conditions undesirable to possess.
Taking a closer look at how incest works within families, there are two main family types in which incest occurs most often. One of the most prevalent types is the dysfunctional family. In the dysfunctional family the children are often neglected and take care of themselves as well as others in their family, and are more vulnerable to instances of abuse whether from within their own family or with outsiders looking to take advantage of them. Many times the parental figures in this type of family have addiction problems with alcohol, drugs, and other problems that have been present throughout several generations. The second type of family is harder to spot, because they appear to be like any other family unit, blending in well with society. This superficially normal family is often well respected by the community, financially stable, and usually consists of outwardly caring parents who have been in a committed and long term relationship. This type of family is rarely suspected and as a result the incest going on behind closed doors is rarely discovered. The parents usually had some experience with sexual abuse in their past and as they grow further apart as partners, they turn to their children to replace the love and sexual affection previously bestowed upon them by their spouse. The children in return, start seeking the same love and affection using sexual acts to gain those feelings by either participating with their parents willingly or even turning to their siblings to recreate the same experiences.
Due to most cases of incest beginning in childhood, the damage done to the child often requires intense therapy and long-term treatment. Survivors of severe abuse normally display serious symptoms, including multiple personality disorder, other dissociative states, substance abuse and dependencies, and suicidal and self-destructive tendencies, all of which indicate a high need for long-term therapy. The goal of said treatment is to offer the patient support, reassurance, and help them to grieve in a healthy way so that they are able to let go of the trauma and distortions of memory and mood that they once depended on for survival. No matter which treatment approach is used, the following common goals are normally sought: acknowledgement and acceptance of the occurrence of the incest, recounting the incest, breakdown of their feelings of isolation and stigma, recognition, labeling, and expression of feelings incest caused, grieving, help with understanding distorted memories and beliefs, behavioral changes, self-esteem building, and education.
Ultimately, I think most of our current society can agree that incest is a serious issue not to be taken lightly, and is a practice that needs to be stopped. With education and societal advances we can only hope that less instances of incest will occur, and that the victims who suffer through this are able to get the help and support they need to lead a normal life.
Charmant Shawn Ollivierre
Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the control of sleep and wakefulness. People with narcolepsy experience excessive daytime sleepiness and intermittent, uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep during the daytime. These sudden sleep attacks may occur during any type of activity at any time of the day.
In a typical sleep cycle, we initially enter the early stages of sleep followed by deeper sleep stages and ultimately (after about 90 minutes) rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. For people suffering from narcolepsy, REM sleep occurs almost immediately in the sleep cycle as well as periodically during the waking hours. It is in REM sleep that we can experience dreams and muscle paralysis which explains some of the symptoms of narcolepsy.
Narcolepsy usually begins between the ages of 15 and 25, but it can become apparent at any age. In many cases, narcolepsy is undiagnosed and, therefore, untreated.
How common is narcolepsy?
The prevalence of narcolepsy is similar to that of Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. In the United States, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke estimates narcolepsy affects one in every 2,000 people. However, in some countries (for example, Israel), the prevalence of narcolepsy is much lower (one per 500,000) while in other countries (for example, Japan), it is much higher (one per 600). The American Sleep Association estimates that approximately 125,000 to 200,000 Americans suffer from narcolepsy, but only fewer than 50,000 are properly diagnosed.
Narcolepsy often remains undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for several years. This may occur because physicians do not consider the diagnosis of narcolepsy frequently enough. They may think of narcolepsy only in people who have the main symptom of excessive daytime sleepiness. Narcolepsy may not be considered in the evaluation of patients who come to doctors complaining of fatigue, tiredness, or problems with concentration, attention, memory, and performance, and other illnesses
What Causes Narcolepsy?
The cause of narcolepsy is not known; however, scientists have made progress toward identifying genes strongly associated with the disorder. These genes control the production of chemicals in the brain that may signal sleep and awake cycles. Some experts think narcolepsy may be due to a deficiency in the production of a chemical called hypocretin by the brain. In addition, researchers have discovered abnormalities in various parts of the brain involved in regulating REM sleep. These abnormalities apparently contribute to symptom development. According to experts, it is likely narcolepsy involves multiple factors that interact to cause neurological dysfunction and REM sleep disturbances.
Symptoms of narcolepsy include:
• Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS): In general, EDS interferes with normal activities on a daily basis, whether or not a person with narcolepsy has sufficient sleep at night. People with EDS report mental cloudiness, a lack of energy and concentration, memory lapses, a depressed mood, and/or extreme exhaustion.
• Cataplexy: This symptom consists of a sudden loss of muscle tone that leads to feelings of weakness and a loss of voluntary muscle control. It can cause symptoms ranging from slurred speech to total body collapse depending on the muscles involved and is often triggered by intense emotion, for example surprise, laughter, or anger.
• Hallucinations: Usually, these delusional experiences are vivid and frequently they are frightening. The content is primarily visual, but any of the other senses can be involved. These are called hypnagogic hallucinations when accompanying sleep onset and hypnopompic hallucinations when occurring during awakening.
• Sleep paralysis: This symptom involves the temporary inability to move or speak while falling asleep or waking up. These episodes are generally brief lasting a few seconds to several minutes. After episodes end, people rapidly recover their full capacity to move and speak.
Disturbed nocturnal sleep with frequent awakenings and increased body movements may develop after the onset of the primary symptoms of narcolepsy. This additional symptom, along with excessive daytime sleepiness and the REM related abnormalities (cataplexy, hypnagogic hallucinations, and sleep paralysis), from the so-called "narcolepsy pentad" (a set of five symptoms).
Automatic behavior may occur in 60% to 80% of patients with narcolepsy. Automatic behavior is when patients carry out certain actions without conscious awareness, often with the unusual use of words (irrelevant words, lapses in speech). This behavior occurs while the patient is fluctuating between sleep and wakefulness.
Other complaints associated with narcolepsy may include eye disturbances due to sleepiness, such as blurred vision, double vision, and droopy eyelids.
How Is Narcolepsy Diagnosed?
A clinical examination and exhaustive medical history are essential for proper diagnosis of narcolepsy. However, none of the major symptoms is exclusive to narcolepsy. Several specialized tests, which can be performed in a sleep disorders clinic, usually are required before a diagnosis can be established. Two tests that are considered essential in confirming a diagnosis of narcolepsy are the polysomnogram (PSG) and the multiple sleep latency test (MSLT)
The PSG is an overnight test that takes continuous multiple measurements while a patient is asleep to document abnormalities in the sleep cycle. A PSG can help reveal whether REM sleep occurs at abnormal times in the sleep cycle and can eliminate the possibility that an individual's symptoms result from another condition.
The MSLT is performed during the day to measure a person's tendency to fall asleep and to determine whether isolated elements of REM sleep intrude at inappropriate times during the waking hours. As part of the test, an individual is asked to take four or five short naps usually scheduled two hours apart.
How Is Narcolepsy Treated?
Although there is no cure for narcolepsy, the most disabling symptoms of the disorder (EDS and symptoms of abnormal REM sleep, such as cataplexy) can be controlled in most people with drug treatment. Sleepiness is treated with amphetamine-like stimulants while the symptoms of abnormal REM sleep are treated using antidepressant medications.
There has recently been a new medication approved for those who suffer from narcolepsy with cataplexy. This medication, called Xyrem, helps people with narcolepsy get a better night's sleep, allowing them to be less sleepy during the day. Patients with narcolepsy can be substantially helped — but not cured — by medical treatment.
Lifestyle adjustments such as avoiding caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and heavy meals, regulating sleep schedules, scheduling daytime naps (10-15 minutes in length), and establishing a normal exercise and meal schedule may also help to reduce symptoms.
Portrayal of narcolepsy in popular culture
Depictions of the disorder in fiction and pop culture can range greatly in the accuracy of how they depict the symptoms. Narcolepsy is often depicted in an exaggerated fashion in comedy films or TV shows. In the movie Rat Race, one of the main characters has narcolepsy and is very eccentric. This portrayal has been criticized for its inaccuracy and insensitivity to the disorder.
The Little Sleep, a detective novel by Paul Tremblay, portrayed the main character, Mark G. as having narcolepsy. In relating Mark's thoughts and experiences the author captures many esoteric nuances of the experience of narcolepsy. As narcolepsy is an "invisible" disease, most people don't really understand how pervasive the symptoms are—how the symptoms alter your perception of events, and may at times blur the boundaries between what is experienced when awake, and what was experienced in sleep. The character deals with daily, even hourly frustrations due to the general cognitive fog, not being able to trust his own memory and even not being able to drive. Many of these situations are presented as humorous, but the reader is always laughing with Mark, rather than at him. Mark shares the frustration felt by many with narcolepsy, that his disease is not taken seriously and that he is "the punch line in a joke".
Many people often wander why people sleep walk. Why the unusual behavior when you sleep. And what age group it affects more. Is there a diagnosis for it? Is it a disease or a condition?
Sleepwalking is characterized by complex behavior (walking) accomplished while asleep. Occasionally nonsensical talking may occur while sleepwalking. The person's eyes are commonly open but have a characteristic glassy "look right through you" character. This activity most commonly occurs during middle childhood and young adolescence. Approximately 15% of children between 4-12 years of age will experience sleepwalking. Generally sleepwalking behaviors are resolved by late adolescence; however, approximately 10% of all sleepwalkers begin their behavior as teens. A genetic tendency has been noted.
There are five stages of sleep. Stages 1, 2, 3, and 4 are characterized as non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is the sleep cycle associated with dreaming as well as surges of important hormones essential for proper growth and metabolism. Each sleep cycle lasts about 90-100 minutes and repeats throughout the night. The average person experiences 4-5 complete sleep cycles per night. Sleepwalking characteristically occurs during the first or second sleep cycle during stages 3 and 4. Due to the short time frame involved, sleepwalking tends not to occur during naps. The sleepwalker has no memory of his behaviors after awakened.
There are many Sleepwalking Causes for example:
Genetic factors: Sleepwalking occurs more frequently in identical twins, and is 10 times more likely to occur if a first-degree relative has a history of sleepwalking.
Environmental factors: Sleep deprivation, chaotic sleep schedules, fever, stress, magnesium deficiency, and alcohol intoxication can trigger sleepwalking. Drugs, for example, sedative/hypnotics (drugs that promote sleep), neuroleptics (drugs used to treat psychosis), minor tranquilizers (drugs that produce a calming effect), stimulants (drugs that increase activity), and antihistamines (drugs used to treat symptoms of allergy) can cause sleepwalking.
•The length and depth of slow wave sleep, which is greater in young children, may be a factor in the increased frequency of sleepwalking in children.
•Conditions, such as pregnancy and menstruation, are known to increase the frequency of sleepwalking.
Associated medical conditions:
•Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms)
•Gastroesophageal reflux (food or liquid regurgitating from the stomach into the food tube or esophagus)
•Nighttime seizures (convulsions)
•Obstructive sleep apnea (a condition in which breathing stops temporarily while sleeping)
•Psychiatric disorders, for example, posttraumatic stress disorder, panic attack, or dissociative states
As there are many causes there is also many Sleepwalking Symptoms. The most common are the following six symptoms.
1. Episodes range from quiet walking about the room to agitated running or attempts to "escape." Patients may appear clumsy and dazed in their behaviors.
2. Typically, the eyes are open with a glassy, staring appearance as the person quietly roams the house. They do not, however, walk with their arms extended in front of them as is inaccurately depicted in movies.
3. On questioning, responses are slow with simple thoughts, contain non-sense phraseology, or are absent. If the person is returned to bed without awakening, the person usually does not remember the event.
4. Older children, who may awaken more easily at the end of an episode, often are embarrassed by the behavior (especially if it was inappropriate). In lieu of walking, some children perform repeated behaviors (for example, straightening their pajamas). Bedwetting may also occur.
5. Sleepwalking is not associated with previous sleep problems, sleeping alone in a room or with others, or being afraid of the dark, or anger outbursts.
6. Some studies suggest that children who sleepwalk may have been more restless sleepers when aged 4-5 years and more restless with more frequent awakenings during the first year of life.
When unsure of your condition you should seek medical attention. For children and adults, sleepwalking is usually a sign of lack of sleep, intense emotional problems, stress, or fever. As these conditions resolve, sleepwalking incidences disappear. In most cases, no treatment is necessary because sleepwalking rarely indicates any serious underlying medical or psychiatric problem. In most children, sleepwalking disappears at puberty. However, it can occasionally persist into adulthood or may even begin in adulthood. Consult a sleep specialist if the person is having frequent episodes, injuring himself or herself, or showing violent behavior.
If sleepwalking is caused by a medical conditions, for example, gastroesophageal reflux, obstructive sleep apnea, periodic leg movements (restless legs syndrome), or seizures, the underlying medical condition should be treated. Medications for the treatment of sleepwalking disorder may be necessary in the following situations:
•The possibility of injury is real.
•Continued behaviors are causing significant family disruption or excessive daytime sleepiness.
•Other measures have proven to be inadequate.
Usually, no exams and tests are necessary. However, a medical evaluation may be completed to rule out medical causes of sleepwalking. Additionally, one may get a psychologic evaluation done to determine whether excessive stress or anxiety is the cause of sleepwalking. There are some medications that help you with this condition which are Benzodiazepines, such as estazolam , or tricyclic antidepressants, such as trazodone , have been shown to be useful. Clonazepam in low doses before bedtime and continued for 3-6 weeks is also usually effective. Medication can often be discontinued after 3-5 weeks without recurrence of symptoms. Occasionally, the frequency of episodes increases briefly after discontinuing the medication. Follow-up with your sleep disorders specialist if symptoms persist, or if injury to self or to others occurs.
There are measures that one can take by a person who has sleepwalking disorder. The list below are some:
•Avoid alcohol intake
•Get adequate sleep.
•Meditate or do relaxation exercises.
•Avoid any kind of stimuli prior to bedtime.
•Keep a safe sleeping environment free of harmful or sharp objects.
•Sleep in a bedroom on the ground floor if possible.
•Lock the doors and windows.
•Remove obstacles in the room.
•Cover glass windows with heavy drapes.
•Place an alarm or bell on the bedroom door and if necessary, on any windows.
Sleepwalking is not considered a serious disorder, although children can be injured by objects or falls during sleepwalking. It may be disruptive and frightening for parents over the short term, sleepwalking is not associated with long-term complications. Although, prolonged disturbed sleep may be associated with school and behavioral issues.
Yahoo images http://www.emedicinehealth.com
by: Nathan Reed
There are many diseases and disorders that cause people problems everyday. Disorders can be phsycological. Some disorders are worse then others, and some are easier to treat or take care of. Any disorder can vary from person to person. Sleep disorders can be vary harmful and cause very many problems for an individual with them. There are many types of sleep disorders. Some are far less harmful then others, but a few can cause problems, or even death. A few of these disorders are as follows, Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy, and Restless Leg Syndrome. Each of these disorders have several symptoms of their own. These are the symptoms and short a synopsis for the previously mentioned disorders.
Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep, or stay asleep all night, waking up early, and even daytime drowsiness. Usually people don’t fall asleep during the day unless the insomnia is caused by another disorder. In most cases insomnia is a symptom to most other sleep disorders. Usually its not considered “insomnia” unless the inability to fall asleep lasts more then one month. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services in 2007 64 million Americans suffer from insomnia each year. There are three kinds of insomnia. Transient, acute, and Chronic insomnia. Transient usually lasts a very short amount of time, and is caused by certain changes the body isn’t use to. Such things like timing of sleep, depression, or even stress. Acute insomnia is when a person can’t sleep well for less then one month. Chronic insomnia lasts for longer periods of time. It can cause hallucinations, and mental fatigue. Sometimes the people with chronic insomnia show increased alertness. Most people treat it with sleeping pills and other sedatives, which one can get addicted to. Plus these pills take away from the deep sleep periods of sleep. One way people can help solve this is to work out more, eat healthy, and even using relaxing techniques to help calm themselves to sleep better.
Sleep apnea is one of the more dangerous sleep disorders. While asleep the person will gasp for air because they can not breath for almost a whole ten seconds. People can have up to five periods of not breathing for several seconds through the night. This disorder causes a person to take more naps during the day. The most common way for treating sleep apnea is with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device. CPAP is functional in sleep apnea and cost-efficient for the health care system, but it is a symptomatic therapy and does not cure the disease. In contrast, although not well known, surgery is more expensive and can treat directly the causes of sleep apnea: The Stanford Center for Excellence in Sleep Disorders Medicine achieved a 95% cure rate of sleep apnea patients by surgery.
Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder, or dyssomnia, characterized by excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) in which a person experiences extreme fatigue and possibly falls asleep at inappropriate times, such as while at work or at school. Narcoleptics usually experience disturbed nocturnal sleep and an abnormal daytime sleep pattern, which is often confused with insomnia. When a narcoleptic falls asleep they generally experience the REM stage of sleep within 10 minutes; whereas most people do not experience REM sleep until after 30 minutes. The fact that a person with narcolepsy can fall asleep at any time makes it very scary, and even dangerous. It can also be very hard for a person with it to adapt and learn to live with it. Treatment is tailored to the person who has narcolepsy. Medication is one of the most frequent ways it is treated.
*Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome (RLS), also known as Wittmaack-Ekbom's syndrome, is a condition that is characterized by an irresistible urge to move one's body to stop uncomfortable or odd sensations. It most commonly affects the legs, but can also affect the arms or torso. RLS causes a sensation in the legs or arms that can most closely be compared to a burning, itching, or tickling sensation in the muscles. This is also caused by other underlying diseases or disorders. Some ways to help lessen or to get rid of RLS is to stretch the muscles in the legs. This disorder is less sever and not as bad as other disorders. This disorder can make someone tired because it can make you wake up at night. The more tired one is the worse their judgment, and more likely something bad can happen.
Just like any disorder, sleep disorders can be not so bad, or even sever and scary. Most of these disorders can cause people problems every day weather severe or not. They are also very treatable and some even easy to fix. If someone experiences things like this they should talk to a doctor and see if there is a treatment for their disorder.
A dream can sometimes feel incredibly real as if the sensations experienced are actually happening, but then we wake up to an everyday reality we cannot make sense of anything we dreamt and wonder what it all meant.
Most dream analysts believe that dreams are not meaningless but littered with messages from our unconscious. They are inner communications that, if heeded, have the potential to set us on the road to richer, more fulfilling path in waking life. Sadly, many of us forget our dreams upon waking and this is a great loss. If we could all remember and interpret the meanings of our dreams we could unlock the the messages, possibilities and wisdom of your dream world.
Dreams. They tantalize us with their mystery. What are they? Why do we have them? Where do they come from? What do they mean? Are they a preview of things to come or glimpses of the past? Many questions lie with just this topic. Dreams happen in a state of unconsciousness. Some dreams happen in sleep.
Sleep is absolutely crucial for physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing. It is during sleep that we abandon conscious control of our physical body and the unconscious mind is allowed to roam free, giving rise to dreams. To this day we now know more about dreams, but their purpose is not yet fully understood.
There are many different types of dreams such as ordinary, lucid, telepathic, premonitory, and nightmare and these often blend and merge with one another. Other dreams are amplifying, anticipating, cathartic, daydreaming, contrary or compensatory, daily processing, childhood, false awakening, incubated, inspirational, mutual, night terrors, out-of-body experiences, past-life, physiological, problem-solving, psychological, recurring, sexual, telepathic, vigilant, wish-fulfillment, walking and talking in your sleep.
During the day our conscious minds are active, but at night the subconscious takes over. Ordinary dreams are based on the activity of the unconscious in response to what we have seen or heard in our waking hours. Even a single thought can trigger a dream. Events of the day and from years past are mirrored in the sleeping mind, as seemingly long-forgotten memories can resurface in dream imagery.
A lucid dream is one that you can control because you are aware that you are dreaming. You can also decide what to dream about before going to sleep and then dream about the very thing that you planned to.
Telepathy, known as “the language of the angels,” allows the dead and the living to speak in dreamland. In this meeting place, death is no barrier, and the living cross the threshold into a heavenly sphere of existence. This mental communication can also be mind-to-mind between two living people. We may send our own or receive others' intentional or unintentional thoughts as mental visions in dreams. Extended telepathy during sleep is a communion between two worlds, the nighttime world of the soul and the daytime world of the body.
Premonitory dreams are similar to telepathic dreams in that your spirit leaves your body and ventures on a voyage of discovery. Premonitory dreams are special because they reveal the future and allow the dreamer to see truths that are not accessible in waking life. In telepathic dreams, we can also detect information about an imminent event. Dreams are the catalyst that put your body into motion to follow and fulfill your wishes and desires.
Most nightmares are linked to early childhood, when we are inexperienced and therefore dependent on others. Before the age of three, we have not yet developed a sense of conscience and of right and wrong. Nightmares are representations of a suppressed, original fear commonly created by excessively strict parental or sibling moral standards and the threat of punishment in the face of innocence.
In nightmares you may perceive a warning for yourself or for a loved one. To be forewarned is to be forearmed: if you first see a frightful event in a dream, you can prevent harm from happening in waking life. For example, nightmares can warn against acting on impulse, as well as show that certain feelings and emotions are unhealthy. Not all nightmares are nasty predictions or unwholesome signs.
A nightmare may also relate to an old, unsolved problem that is so frightening to face that we are unable to continue to dream and the emotional terror wakes us in distress without offering a solution.
This is the kind of vivid dream in which you wake up convinced that what happened in your dream(s) really happened.
When you are in your conscious mind and think about dreaming one particular thing before sleeping. Such as thinking of a loved one over and over again before you go to sleep so your unconscious responds to the suggestion.
A mutual dream is a dream that two people share at once. Dreams can be spontaneous or incubated.
They are just like nightmare but when you awake you have only a feeling of dread and no idea why you feel that way.
Dreams that are bring things to our unconscious minds that we don’t want to face in life. They make us face parts of our lives or ourselves that might be hindering our progress in life. They are most about fears, anxieties, resentment, guilt, and insecurities.
Dreams that reoccur happen when the dreamer is worried about a situation that isn’t resolving itself in the waking life.
This type of dream is when someone dreams someone specifically and they are having distress. When you find out in reality that that person is having stressful times with something means you are connected with the individual in a closer manor.
These are processing dreams that involve our sense. Like when you hear a song playing in your sleep and in your dream it is changed into something else you the actual thing such as a ring tone on your phone.
Dreaming something amazing you would like to be real such as winning money, going on a dream vacation, these dreams happen is our unconscious helping with the disappointment in our life or our dissatisfaction with our current circumstances in waking life.
By:Jessica Gilgenbach and Hansie Pretorius
What is sleep apnea?
The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, “Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.” Pauses in breathing last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Often occuring up to 30 times or more an hour. Normal breathing then reoccurs with a loud snort or choking sound. The Townsend Letter states that “Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by recurrent periods during sleep in which the individual stops breathing or underbreathes (hypoapneas) that can, in turn, cause significant oxygen desaturation.” The American Sleep Apnea Association states, “The Greek word “apnea” literally means “without breath.””
Why is diagnosing sleep apnea difficult?
Most doctors can not properly diagnose sleep apnea at a routine office visit because it only happens at night or when one who has it is sleeping. The person who has sleep apnea would only know they had this sleeping disorder would be if a family member or spouse told them.
Types of sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea. The main cause of this type of sleep apnea is that the airway has collapsed or is blocked during sleep. Shallow breathing or breathing pauses could be caused by a blockage of some kind. Any air that squeezes past the blockage can cause loud snoring. This kind of sleep apnea usually occurs in people who are overweight, but can happen to anyone. As stated in the Townsend Letter, “Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type, contributing to 95% of apnea cases.” Systemic hypertensions are common in 50% of OSA patients. (Townsend) Medicinenet.com states, “High blood pressure (hypertension), heart failure, heart rhythm disturbances, atherosclerotic heart disease, pulmonary hypertension, insulin resistance, and even death are some of the known complications of untreated obstructive sleep apnea.”
According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, “Central sleep apnea is a less common type of sleep apnea. It happens when the area of your brain that controls your breathing doesn’t send the right signals to your breathing muscles.” The Townsend Letter says, “CSA generally arises from damage to the respiratory centers in the brain from cardiovascular disease, such as lack of oxygenation to the brain from stroke or poor cerebral circulation.” Patients with insufficient circulation, heart disease, or stroke have CSA. (Townsend)
A combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea is known as complex sleep apnea. (Townsend) Individuals who suffer from cardiovascular disease and central sleep apnea can also have obstruction in their airways. (Townsend)
Causes of obstructive sleep apnea.
The Mayo clinic staff says, “Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax.” Your airway narrows or closes as you breathe in, and breathing momentarily stops. (Mayo) Mayo clinic also states, “Your brain senses this inability to breathe and briefly rouses you from sleep so that you can reopen your airway. This awakening is so brief that you don’t remember it.” The frequent drops in oxygen levels and lack of sleep often cause or trigger the release of stress hormones.
Causes of central sleep apnea.
Mayo clinic staff states, “Central sleep apnea, which is far less common, occurs when your brain fails to transmit signals to your breathing muscles.” Awakening with shortness of breath or having a difficulty getting or staying asleep. (Mayo) Mayo also states, “The most common cause of central sleep apnea is heart disease, and less commonly, stroke. People with central sleep apnea may be more likely to remember awakening than people with obstructive sleep apnea are.”
Causes of complex sleep apnea.
Upper airway obstruction may occur just like those with obstructive sleep apnea, but have problems with the rhythm of breathing and occasional lapses of breathing effort. (Mayo)
Sleep apnea, a disruption of breathing while asleep, is deceiving sleep disorders about 90% of people who have sleep apnea don't know that they have it! Although episodes of choking or gasping for air might occur hundreds of times throughout the night, you may not have any recollection of struggling for breath. Usually it is the bed partner who first notices that the person is struggling to breathe. If left untreated, this common disorder can be life-threatening.
Some common signs and symptoms of sleep apnea are frequent silences during sleep due to breaks in breathing (apnea)
Choking or gasping during sleep to get air into the lungs.
Sudden awakenings to restart breathing or waking up in a sweat.
Daytime sleepiness and feeling unrefreshed by a night’s sleep, including falling asleep at inappropriate times.
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person's breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means the brain and the rest of the body may not get enough oxygen.
There are two types of sleep apnea:
• Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): The more common of the two forms of apnea, it is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep.
• Central sleep apnea: Unlike OSA, the airway is not blocked but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe due to instability in the respiratory control center.
The effects of sleep apnea are: High blood pressure, Stroke, Heart failure, irregular heartbeats, heart attacks, Diabetes, and Depression.
Easiest Sleep Apnea Treatments
Here are some alternative sleep apnea treatments that are the easy to do, but they will not completely cure your apnea. What they will do is help you to get a better night’s sleep while you are looking into permanent apnea solutions.
1. Change your sleeping position.
This treatment involves sleeping on your side, instead of on your back. Sleeping on your back is perhaps the worst position to aggravate snoring and apnea events, because sleeping on your back allows the jaw to fall back, as well as the tongue which cuts off your airway.
2. Breathing solutions
This solution is appropriate for people with mild to moderate apnea, and who have obstructions that are primarily in the outer nasal areas.
Example of breathing solutions includes nasal strips and saline drops.
3. Didgeridoo therapy
This alternative sleep apnea treatment involving breathes control therapy focusing on strengthening the airway muscles and calming.
4. Singing therapy
This is similar to didgeridoo therapy, but more commitment is required to strengthen airway muscles.
Sleep Apnea Treatments That Require More Effort
5. Lifestyle changes
Lifestyle changes that can improve apnea include the reduction or elimination of drinking, smoking, and drugs.
6. Dental device (also called Oral device)
A dental device is worn in the mouth to bed and holds your jaw in a forward position, which opens your airway. After a referral from your doctor, a dentist will make a mold of your teeth and create a mouthpiece. You can also buy a generic mouth piece and trim it (or heat it) to fit your mouth.
During acupuncture treatment, very fine needles are inserted into areas of your body. This stimulation may facilitate release of body-healing hormones.
Surgical Sleep Apnea Treatments
8. Throat surgery
Surgery can sometimes be an effective way of treating sleep apnea, especially if your apnea is caused by a problem with the structure of your airway.
There are a number of surgical procedures that can open your airway, which involve the removal of tissue. These include the removal of the uvula, adenoids, and tonsils. Other procedures involve stiffening of the upper throat with implants, and repositioning (advancement) of your tongue.
The common causes of sleep apnea is Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain does not send the signal to breathe to the muscles of breathing. This usually occurs in infants or in adults with heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, or congenital diseases, but it also can be caused by some medications and high altitudes.
Under normal circumstances, the brain monitors several things to determine how often to breathe. If it senses a lack of oxygen or an excess of carbon dioxide in the blood it will speed up breathing. The increase in breathing increases the oxygen and decreases the carbon dioxide in blood. Some people with heart or lung disease have an increase in carbon dioxide in their blood at all times.
Central sleep apnea usually occurs in adults with other medical problems. In infants, it usually occurs with prematurity or other congenital disorders. In both patient groups it is usually suspected by the primary care doctor. Central sleep apnea can be diagnosed with a sleep study or overnight monitoring while the patient is in the hospital.
In infants, central sleep apnea is treated with an apnea alarm. This alarm monitors the infant's breathing with sensors and sounds a loud noise when the infant experiences an apnea. The alarm usually wakes the infant and the parents. Most infants usually "out-grow" the central apnea episodes, so the alarm monitoring is stopped after the episodes resolve. In infants with other congenital problems, apnea monitoring may be needed for a longer period.
Sleep apnea is one of those types of disorders can affect how people life their everyday life’s and specially somehow they sleep at night.
COPYRIGHT 2010 The Townsend Letter Group
By: Keesa Wright
What exactly is Narcolepsy?
Narcolepsy is a disorder that has to do with sleeping. It usually happens to people, however, it can happen to any animal. This disorder bothers the part of the brain that affects when to sleep and when not to sleep. It affects the brain in knowing how to stay awake. It can affect anyone of all ages. However, it tends to affect ages ten to twenty-five the most. Anyone who is narcoleptic may fall asleep in the middle doing any sport, activity, or even while working. The person or animal will be doing something one second and completely fall asleep the next second. A more serious time would be if a narcoleptic patient falls asleep while cooking. This could cause a very dangerous problem.
What are some of the symptoms?
One of the symptoms would be the patient having hallucinations. A person can have small simple sleeps as well as a symptom, which is called Microsleep. Another symptom would be staying awake a lot at nighttime when a person should really be in need of the sleep. One last symptom would be cataplexy. Cataplexy is losing control of all the muscles in one’s body.
Why does narcolepsy happen?
Researchers and scientists are still on the search to find what actually causes narcolepsy in the brain. There are many general thoughts on what actually goes on in the brain during this. Most people have concluded, however may not be true, that each person or thing with narcolepsy tend to be a bit short of a chemical in their brain. This particular chemical is called hypo-cretin. By not having enough of this chemical, it causes the patient to not stay awake through simple and important things in the everyday life. Furthermore, there are many other factors that scientists think relate to narcolepsy. For instance, one factor would be that this chronic disorder seems to be hereditary.
What do doctors say about it?
It is not uncommon that doctors tend to misdiagnose narcolepsy. This is caused because of the symptoms that are a factor are pretty common in other disorders and health problems as well. The work to find out that a patient has narcolepsy could take up to at least and year along with a whole lifetime.
What do patients think of this chronic disorder?
Many people with narcolepsy could think that this disorder is simply embarrassing. On the other hand, people without narcolepsy seem to think it’s funny when narcolepsy takes over the brain.
What are some of the effects of Narcolepsy?
There are many effects to this dangerous disorder. One effect could be a simple memory loss. People with narcolepsy tend to forget important things due to the fact of falling asleep. Another effect caused by this could be problems in someone’s intimate relationships. The loss of sex drive is a factor in this case. One more effect could be simply the dangerous acts of falling asleep while cooking, working, or even driving. Narcolepsy can also cause depression due to the fact that it bothers people a lot during their every day things to do. One last effect of Narcolepsy would be the laziness someone is thought to have due to this disorder. Bosses or businesses seem to think that one is unmotivated and rude during work while falling asleep.
What do patients do to treat Narcolepsy and still go on with their lives?
Seeing the inside to the fact that Narcolepsy can cause some major damage to someone’s life, there are many little factors to help treat it. One might be to take short “cat” naps throughout the day to hold back some of the sleep possibilities. Another treatment could be to avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. Why? These drugs cause the brain to stay awake and could cause problems with the sleep that one might need. One more would be to avoid doing things that could cause something bad to happen. For instance, driving and cooking could cause very dangerous acts. Exercising is crucial to help the human bodies health as well in staying active. Using a recorder can also help, therefore, someone may not forget certain conversations that they have had with people that day. Some with Narcolepsy like to just focus on one small thing at a time. If someone focuses on one thing, it can help with the redundant falling asleep. However, there are also medication out to help those in need. There will always be medication to help treat those who have or will have symptoms of Narcolepsy.
Narcolepsy is something that not many people think of happening, however, it could ruin a life on a different concept. Many problems for a human can arise at a huge rate for someone with this chronic disease. Others seem to deal with what their body has and try, as much as possible, to go on with their everyday lives.
Benedictis, Tina de. "HelpGuide.org". 16 May 2010 <http://helpguide.org/life/narcolepsy_symptom_causes_treatments.htm>.
"Sleep Disorders Guide". Web MD. 16 May 2010 <http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/narcolepsy>.
Obsessive Compulsive Discorder in the Young Child
by Kyra Hastings
As a parents, we all worry about our children's health, both physical and mental. We also worry about their emotional and social life as well. All children have their own little quarks and ways of doing things, so how do you know when there is a problem. After doing some research on behavior in young children I was lucky enough to catch the fact that one of my own children had OCD and get him treated. It made a dramatic change in not only his life but to all six people in my direct family and all others that he was around. His schooling improved and his life in general.
Some Signs and Symptoms
Here are a few things to watch for: but remember all children are different and may or may not show any or these
- fear of dirt or messes
- emotional changes when any life changes may accure
- set routines that MUST be followed
- keeping everything symmetry
- starts playing by putting toys in lines
- self distruction
“Obsessive compulsive disorder is a type of anxiety disorder which is characterized by obsessions and compulsions.”(Symptoms of OCD…) It is not much different in children than it is in adults, it still is based on the same signs and symptoms and has the same treatments. OCD is based on a persons fears and how they manage them. Children have unusually fears at times which can make them hard to confront. For example they may have imaginary fears of giants, trolls, or even fears of abandonment. This can make it hard to face and conquer them. It has been shown that those who have OCD also have a more active brain activity in their frontal lobe than those who don't and that it may be genetic (Symptoms of OCD…). You don't normally here of children with ocd because unless it is a sever case most parents just dismiss the behaviors as being odd personalities, the age they are, or disciplinary problems. Studies show that now a day 1 in every 200 kids are seen with OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Dis….). The average child with ocd is diagnosed between the ages of 7-12 however with new studies children are being diagnosed as young as 4-5yrs old (OCD Frequently…). The obsessions of children can be hard to detect not only because they have different fears than adults but also due to children having problems with expressing their thoughts and emotions. This is shown in the following clip.
To actually diagnose a child with ocd they need to go through several steps. First thing is that they need to go to see a psychologist or psychiatrist for a thorough assessment. This consist of a family history from the parents and then a series of questions for the child based on their age. They may ask you to keep a log of the child's behavior for a certain period of time to help them catch everything in their assessment. (Symptoms of …) After the child has been diagnosed with this anxiety order it is important to get them the correct treatment for them.
There are several kinds of treatments that you can discuss with the psychologist or psychiatrist. One very successful treatment is psychotherapy, preferably cognitive behavior therapy or CBT. In this kind of therapy they work on identifying the fear that is causing the anxiety in the child and conquering it or learning way to deal with it to lower their anxiety. Another kind of treatment it medication treatment, usually the medications prescribed are anti-depressants. However, using prescriptions will only work as long as they are being taken and usually are accompanied with some side affects that may or may not be worse than the original disorder. Besides these two treatments there are also many home remedies as well as herbal. These can also be affective and don't have the side effects as the medications. The best treatment, however, is usually a combination of these and is individually based on each child. If you think that you may have or know a child with obsessive compulsive disorder you should check in to it and do some research. The sites mentioned in this paper can be very helpful so check them. What can it hurt?
"Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)."12/19/2008.MayoClinic.com.4 May 2010<http://www.bing.com/health/article/mayo-117207/Obsessivecompulsive-disorder-OCD?q=ocd+disorder&FORM=K1RE&qpvt=ocd+disorder>.
"Symptoms of OCD in children and natural OCD treatment for children." Native Remedies the Natural Choice. 4 May 2010<http://www.nativeremedies.com/ailment/ocd-in-children-info.html#question2>
"Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder In Children And Adolescents." June 2001. AACAP.4 May 2010<http://aacap.org/cs/root/facts_for_families/obsessivecompulsive_disorder_in_children_and_adolescents>
"OCD Frequently Asked Questions." BrainPhysics.com. 4 May 2010.<http://www.brainphysics.com/ocdfaq.php>
"OCD Symptoms in Children." eHow.4 May 2010 <http://www.ehow.com/video_4908903_ocd-symptoms-children.html>
By Raymond Sandoval
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder has been around for centuries, but until the end of “Desert Storm,” has never been taken seriously by the U.S. military or our country. In 490 BC/BCE, the Greek historian Herodotus, described during the “Battle of Marathon,” an Athenian soldier who suffered no injury from war, but became permanently blind after witnessing the death of a fellow soldier (1).
PTSD symptoms may result when a traumatic event causes an overactive adrenaline response, which creates deep neurological patterns in the brain. These patterns can persist long after the event that triggered the fear, making an individual hyper-responsive to future fearful situations (2).
In addition, most people with most people with PTSD also show a low secretion of cortisol and high secretion of catecholamines in urine, with a nor epinephrine cortisol ratio consequently higher than comparable non-diagnosed individuals (3). This is in contrast to the normative fight-or-flight response, in which both catecholamine and cortisol levels are elevated after exposure to a stressor (4).
Brain catecholamine levels are low (5), and corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) concentrations are high. Together, these findings suggest abnormality in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.
A great deal of research has attempted to identify those parts of the brain whose
function may be altered in PTSD. Three key areas have been identified, the prefrontal
cortex, amygdale and hippo campus (6).
In a study by Gurvitis et al., combat veterans of the Vietnam war with PTSD showed a 20% reduction in the volume of their hippocampus compared with verterans who suffered no such symptoms (7).
In human studies, the amygdale has been shown to be strongly involved in the formation of emotional memories, especially fear-related memories.
Combat veterans actually experience physical changes to the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in learning and memory, as well as in handling stress.
Some medications have shown benefit in preventing PTSD or reducing its incidence, when given in close proximity to a traumatic event. These medications include:
Alpha-adrenergic agonists- Anecdotal report of success in using clonidine (“Catapres”) to reduce traumatic stress symptoms.
Beta blockers-Propranolol (“Inderal”), similar to clonidine, may be useful if there are significant symptoms of “over-arousal”. These may inhibit the formation of traumatic memories by blocking adrenaline’s effects on the amygdale.
Glucocorticoids- Several studies have shown that individuals who receive high doses of hydrocortisone for treatment of septic shock, or following surgery, have a lower incidence and fewer symptoms of PTSD.
Opiates-In analysis of combat injury field data for US troops in Iraq, it was found that those who received morphine in the early stages of their treatment had a lower rate of
PTSD, when compared with those who did not receive morphine at the time.
Results of PTSD can be devastating or tragic to a relationship. In the article by Cathie Palmer, “War Torn: PTSD Ruined Our Relationship,” she describes how her ex-partner, Ken Lukowiak, was unable to cope with what happened in the Falkland Wars.
It had been nine years since his return when he finally snapped. Cathie escaped before any damage could come to her. She called the police and they responded immediately with respect to the ex-soldier.
Over a period of time Mr. Lukowiak was given medication and evaluated by psychiatrists, but Cathie didn’t think that was enough. She sought help from organizations who were experienced in PTSD. She had finally found one in “Leather-head Centre.”
Ken and Cathie tried to make their relationship work, but to no luck it ended. Ken moved out to London with some friends and attends the center on a regular basis.
Another example of what PTSD can do to an individual is the case of Iraq was veteran, Jessie Bratcher. Bratcher was facing 25 years in prison for the 2008 murder of Jose Ceja Medina, when a jury found him guilty but insane due to PTSD. On Aug. 16, 2008, Bratcher bought a gun at a local hardware store after Bratcher’s pregnant fiancée, said that Ceja Medina had raped her. She told him the baby might not be his.
Bratcher went to Medina’s house and called him out. Bratcher shot him repeatedly on his front yard.
As a combat veteran of Desert Storm.” I believe I suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress. There is a difference in the two. PTSD is usually incurable and can be controlled
by use of medication. PTS is not as dangerous and usually goes away after a certain
period of time.
My stress came from the “adrenaline rush” I was getting during combat. It was a “high” I had never experienced before. After I had gotten out of the military in 1993, I was always looking for some type of adrenaline rush to take place of that which I had experienced. I was willing to move to Denver to become a police officer. Anything that would provide me with excitement, anything except drugs. Drugs scared me more than that so when I couldn’t find my “high”, I would get depressed, angry, and after awhile, suicidal.
Truthfully, I don’t know how I came out of it without any help. I strongly believe that soldiers coming back from some type of conflict should seek help; or any other person who has had a traumatic shock. Not just for you, but also for your family and friends. Believe me when I say, “You’ll be better off”.
Swartz’ Textbook of Physical Diagnosis: History and Examination
PBS Series “The Secret Life of the Brain” episode 4, 2001.
Mason JW, Griller EL, Kosten TR, Harkness L (1988). “Elevation of Urinary nor epinephrine/cortisol ratio in post traumatic stress disorder.” J Nerv Ment Dis 176 (8): 498-502.
Bohnen N, Nicholson N, Sulon J, Jolles J. Coping style, trait anxiety and cortisol reactivity during mental stress. J Psychosom Res. 1991: 35 (2-3): 141-7.
Geracioti TD Jr, Baker DG, Ekhator NN, West SA, Hill KK, Bruce AB, Schmidt D, Raunds-Kugler B, Yehuda R, Keck PE Jr, Kasckow JW (2001). “CSF nor epinephrine concentrations in post-traumatic stress disorder.” Am J Psychiatry 158 (8): 1227-1230.
Newton, Phillip. “From Mouse to Man; the Anatomy of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”
Carlson, Neil R. (2007). Physiology of Behavior (9 ed.) Pearson Education, Inc.
Disease of the Soul
By: Rachel Cromer and Eric Blanton
Though so many people suffer with this illness very few people understand it. PTSD can develop at any age, including childhood, but research shows that the median age of onset is 23 years. The disorder frequently occurs after violent personal assaults such as rape, mugging, or domestic violence; terrorism; natural or human-caused disasters; and accidents. While less than 10 percent of the general population will develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, one in six soldiers returning from Iraq will suffer. This obviously makes this disorder widely seen in the military. PTSD was brought to public attention after the Vietnam War, and a formal name was given to this disorder around the 1980’s. So in actuality this illness has only been formally documented in the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) for about 30 years. Before other names were used such as shell shock, battle fatigue, and accident neurosis.
Though only recently named PTSD, this disorder has plagued humans for centuries. Prior to this century, Russian medical officers were referring to “diseases of the soul” among their soldiers, Americans referred to “neurasthenia” prior to World War I as well as “irritable heart”. In turn, it was looked at more as a personal weakness or cowardice. A well known and respected principal scientist, Dr. John L. Trimble, Ph.D., notes that many literary heroes and heroines such as Shakespeare’s Henry IV seem to meet many of the diagnostic criteria for PTSD. In more modern times the Vietnam War brought significant public attention to PTSD. Around this time doctors and veterans started to push it as a legitimate medical disorder.
Symptoms and Diagnostic Criteria
Psychologists recognize four kinds of symptoms: Intrusive, avoidance, symptoms of hyper arousal, and associated features. According to DSM the capital feature of PTSD is the development of characteristic symptoms following exposure to an extreme traumatic stressor involving direct personal experience of an event that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury, or other threat to one's physical integrity; or witnessing an event that involves death, injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of another person; or learning about unexpected or violent death, serious harm, or threat of death or injury experienced by a family member or other close associate.
With that said, let me explain the categories for which psychologists file away the symptoms. Intrusive symptoms are the most distinct and identifiable. With the intrusive symptoms the event remains a dominating psychological experience. The event or stimuli there after evokes panic, terror, grief, despair and other feelings of regret or wrong doing. This category also includes such things as re-experiencing the event through night terrors or dreams. The person can experience dissociative states that can last from a few seconds to several hours9 in some cases even days). In these dissociative states the person can relive the components of the event as though they are experiencing the event at that moment. With the avoidance symptom a person will deliberately avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations about the traumatic event. This also includes avoiding places, people or activities that arouse the recollection. Decreased responsiveness to the outside world referred to as “psychic numbing” or “emotional anesthesia” occur soon after the event. Lastly, the diminished or lack of emotions towards people (especially those associated with intimacy, tenderness, and sexuality). Hyper arousal basically means increased anxiety or arousal. In this case hyper arousal pertains to a person having symptoms of arousal or increased anxiety that were not there before. This includes having a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep (which may be due to nightmares where the event is relived), irritability or outburst of anger, and difficulty concentrating or completing tasks. Lastly we have associated features. People who suffer from PTSD can have feelings of painful guilt about surviving the event when others didn’t or the things they had to do to survive. With all those feelings and emotions or lack thereof, other disorders can arise making life especially hard. These other disorders can include; Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Social Phobia, Specific Phobia, Major Depressive Disorder, Somatization Disorder, and Substance-Related Disorders. It is not known to what extent these disorders precede or follow the onset of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
Studies have been done to identify PTSD symptoms and see if they would match up with a loss of neurons in the hippocampus. They first performed these tests on veterans of the Vietnam War. Through an MRI they noticed that the veterans had an eight percent decrease in the right hippocampal.
Treatment for PTSD can range anywhere from therapy to medication. Cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT seems to be the most effective type of counseling for PTSD patients. Within CBT you have cognitive therapy and exposure therapy. Cognitive therapy involves a therapist helping the patient understand and change how they think about the trauma and the results of it. In cognitive therapy the goal is to help the patient understand how their thoughts about the incident cause them stress and how that makes their symptoms worse. The result of this therapy is to understand the tragic outcome was not the patient’s fault in turn helping that person to continue his or her life on a functional level.
Exposure therapy is more like the old “practice makes perfect” rule. The more you talk about the traumatic event and remember what happened the less you will fear the event. Sequentially, the patient should be better at dealing with traumatic event or memories from it.
A third therapy called EMDR or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is moderately new. The theory on this therapy is that by having a patient talk about his memories while small distractions such as eye movements or hand taps are administered the patient can change how he reacts to his memories. With research still being done on this little is known on how it actually works and it the eye movements are really necessary in the treatment.( meaning that simply talking about the event is what might possibly be effective not the distractions).
Medication such as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or SSRI can help with feeling less sad or worried. Since studies show that PTSD patients can suffer from depression this medication can be helpful to some people. Some of these include, citalopram ( celexa), fluoxetine ( Prozak) and sentraline ( Zoloft). Self medicating may not be a psychologist’s idea of treatment but can also be loosely fitted into the medication category. Since the patients of PTSD feel the need to forget or to numb themselves, conscious altering drugs are commonly used as an outlet.
Different traumas create different issues. Really the recovery is on a patient to patient basis. Most people that are subjected to events outside the normal realm of human experience never develop such extreme symptoms. Recovery can take anywhere from 3 months to 64 months. In about 50% of patients recovery occurs within 3 months. These are the patients that were functioning at a high level prior to the onset of symptoms, have no other mental illness and seek treatment early, have good support and are not exposed to trauma again. In some cases people never recover and learn how to control the symptoms with therapy or the combination of therapy and medication.
Antisocial Personality Disorder
by: Meladee Turley
Ever wondered why or how some criminals can do what they do without going crazy out of their minds? Behaviors of some criminals can be explained through antisocial personality disorder. Antisocial Personality Disorder is a condition where a person disregards, or would rather do wrong to people among them.
Antisocial Personality Disorder not only associates with criminals but can be called sociopath or psychopath. People with this disorder (mainly men) really have no control over right or wrong decisions. This disorder may be able to spot around the age of fifteen. One percent of women and three percent of men have Antisocial Personality Disorder in the United States. They show no guilt as laws repeatedly get broken. Some signs Antisocial Personality Disorder may begin with the inability to keep a job, irresponsible with their roles in life, and move on to being a murderer.
A major question concerning Antisocial Personality Disorder is if it is genetic or not. Like many personality and mental disorders alike, Antisocial Personality Disorder results in a combination of both biologic/genetic and environmental factors. Biologic factors are understood to be the reduction of the amygdale (plays a key role in emotions). A person diagnosed with this disorder more like has been exposed to life events, for instance, abuse or neglect. Both substance abuse and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder effects the risk of being diagnosed. If not treated an antisocial personality diagnosed patients are vulnerable to mood disorders, such as depression or bipolar disorder. People affect by this disorder are at high risk for other personality disorders, especially borderline (BPD) and narcissistic personality disorders (where patient shows lack of self image, mood, or behavior toward close relationships they have) and self mutilation or harm; suicide, accidents, or homicide.
Antisocial Personality Disorder describes a long term pervasive personality disorder that is very resistant to treatment. History has shown us a tremendous impairment in social, marital, and occupational functioning. Therapists see patients have a lack of emotional attachment toward surrounding people. Patients’ tend to be personable, charming, and engaging and are usually above average in intelligence. Therapy should focus mainly of that on creating or maintaining a close relationship, such as a child to parent or spouses.
Works Cited“Antisocial Personality Disorder—Causes, Symptoms, Treatments…”
“Antisocial Personality Disorder.”1997-2010.
“Antisocial Personality Disorder.”
By Kalen Rasmussen
Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depressive disorder is a serious mental illness caused by a brain disorder which produces shifts in mood, activity level, energy, and the ability to carry out day to day activities. It has been known to damage relationships, careers and even cause possible suicide tendencies in individuals. This was formerly called manic-depressive disorder because victims tend to have large mood changes from one pole to another. Mood occurrences include symptoms from both the depression and mania. It is not uncommon for individuals affected to show explosive and irritable behavior. Moods can shift from manic to depressive many times a day, to only a couple times a year; in spite of this one extreme or the other may last for weeks, months, or even years. Nevertheless it is not uncommon for those affected to experience normal moods as well.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health each year it is estimated that 57.7 million or twenty six percent of Americans suffer from some sort of mental disorder within the given year. However only about one in seventeen or six percent suffer from a serious mental illness. Of those six percent, many will suffer from more than one mental disorder at a time. Bipolar disorder affects about 2.6 percent or 5.7 million Americans within a given year.
Doctors have concluded that there are three different bipolar diseases; bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, and cyclothymia. These disorders are differentiated by severity and length of manic symptoms. Bipolar I disorder is when a singe episode of mania or mixed episode during the course of a person’s life occurs. Usually these episodes last seven days or longer. It is not uncommon for the individual to need hospital care. While they may or may not be suffering any current symptoms, the disorder can drastically change their normal behavior. This disorder is quite rare, and only about one percent of people will suffer from Bipolar I.
According to Psych Central Bipolar II Disorder is a milder form of the bipolar disorder because it lacks full-blown episodes. Instead, it is associated with patterns of phases that transfer back and forth from depressive to hypomanic periods. Hypomania is a milder form of the manic state. During the hypomania stage, individuals usually have an increased level of energy, are more active, and sleep less. In between episodes many people are able to live normal lives.
Cyclothymic disorder is the third kind of the bipolar disorders. Also, this is often the mildest form of the bipolar disorder. While symptoms are present for two or more years they are less prominent, often alternating from mild depression to mild mania. These highs and lows can last for more than months at a time. This type of bipolar disease is the most common of the three and is thought to affect around four percent of people.
According to the Utilization Review Accreditation Commission and Harvey Simon, bipolar disorder affects both sexes equally. However, early-onset tends to occur more frequently in men and is often more severe. These same men often have higher rates of substance abuse then women. Nonetheless, women are more likely to experience a more depressive or mixed state of episodes than men do.
Research has shown that bipolar disease can present itself at any age, although it normally first noticed around the age of 25. It is not uncommon for bipolar disease to occur within families. Thus, scientist believe at may be partially caused by genetics. Simon Harvey stated that children who have parents with bipolar disease are four to six times more likely to be affected by it later in life. On the other hand however, the majority of the children will not develop the disorder. Nevertheless, genetics are only believed to account for sixty percent of cases.
While doctors do not understand the exact cause or causes of bipolar disease they do believe it is caused by an imbalance of the neurotransmitters. Within these neurotransmitters, there are two chemicals that have been linked with various mood disorders, noradrenalin and serotonin. Experts also believe that the disorder may lie dormant for years, be activated on its own, or may be triggered by an external stimulus. Some of these stimulants may be stress, drug or alcohol abuse, a lack of sleep, or social incident. Some results of bipolar disease include recklessness, rage, hyper sexuality, suicide and hallucinations. Researchers also found a common link between hormone levels and bipolar disease. Therefore, females are more susceptible to it during the onset of puberty and throughout their lives within their monthly cycle.
Diagnosing and treating bipolar disease is difficult and time consuming. Doctors have a series of tests each patient must undergo to ensure that there is no underlying disease causing or contributing to their mood swings or changes in behavior. After doctors determine the specific type of bipolar disease that the individual has, and what stressful or traumatic experience in life may have caused or enhanced their disease. After that long and extensive process doctors are still stuck with how to treat it. Some doctors prefer to treat the disease with medication, in hopes that the drugs will balance out the noradrenalin and serotonin levels. Also the doctors must have faith that the patient will continue to take their medication on a daily basis. If the patient does not continually take their medication the treatment is completely useless. Other doctors prefer to treat them with cognitive behavioral therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy purpose is used to teach the clients to recognize when they are manic or depressed, and how to deal with the symptoms associated with each type of episode. Bipolar Disorder is a serious mental illness, but with treatment that support those affect can get though the tough times and live a normal life.
Harvey Simon. (2006). Bipolar Disorder Risk Factors. Retrieved May 8, 2010, from http://www.healthcentral.com/bipolar/therapy-000066_2-145.html
MayoClinic. (2010). Bipolar Disorder Symptoms. Retrieved Feb. 23, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bipolar-disorder/DS00356/DSECTION=symptoms
National institute of Mental Health. (2008). The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America. Retrieved May 10, 2010, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-numbers-count-mental-disorders-in-america/index.shtml
Psych Central. (2010). Bipolar Disorder. Retrieved May 10, 2010, from http://psychcentral.com/disorders/bipolar/
Have you ever wondered what schizophrenia really is? Schizophrenia is defined in the text book Exploring Psychology seventh edition by David G. Meyers. Schizophrenia literally means split mind. “It refers not to a multiple-personality split but rather to a split from reality that shows itself in disorganized thinking, disturbed perceptions, and inappropriate emotions and actions.” Basically what schizophrenia means in our language is that people who have it generally hallucinate, act out or show emotion in weird almost obscene ways. In this essay I will describe the side affects of schizophrenia, tell how one obtains the disorder, also name a few famous people who have the disorder. I will also tell a story of when I came into contact with a person who was diagnosed with the disorder.
Schizophrenia was first diagnosed in 1911 by Eugene Blueler. This actually was the first time the term schizophrenia was used. There were people that had showed the symptoms of schizophrenia but everyone just thought they were crazy. Schizophrenia is not just one single disorder it is made up of a cluster of disorders. “People who have schizophrenia have both positive symptoms and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms include are labeled as the presence of inappropriate behaviors. Negative symptoms are defined as the absence of appropriate behaviors. When one shows positive symptoms they may experience hallucinations, experience inappropriate laughter, rage, they may also talk in weird or deluded ways. The people who experience negative symptoms have toneless voices, expressionless faces, or mute bodies.” David G. Myers Exploring Psychology 7th edition
Many people who have schizophrenia cannot control their thoughts or images in their heads. They often blurt out what they are seeing. It is very hard to understand because their words come out in no logical order. For example if one might talk to one with schizophrenia it might sound like this: “I was married once. I went to the market and was surrounded by lots of rich and famous people. My cat got ran over 4 days before after I graduated high school.” Many people who have schizophrenia experience objects, voices, tastes, and smells that aren’t really there. The most common type of hallucinations are mostly auditory voices. These voices often give orders or make remarks to the individual.
The emotions that patients with schizophrenia have are sometimes very disturbing. They will often laugh at something that would make others cry. They will also cry or get angry that a regular individual will fine funny. Also one might go into a cyclone of one or more emotions for no apperant reason. Sometimes a patient with schizophrenia will go into a mute almost zombie like state physically. Some perform disturbing physical behavior such as rocking back and forth or scratching one arm. Many people who have schizophrenia find it difficult to have a relationship or work. During a period of time a person with schizophrenia may go through a rough time. They live in their own little world occupied by things or ideas that don’t exist.
What causes schizophrenia? Some say that schizophrenia is caused by bad genetic dispositions, others say it is caused by abnormalities of the brain. “Scientists are clarifying the mechanism by which chemicals such as lsd produce hallucinations. These discoeveries hint that schizophrenia symptoms may have a chemical key. Researchers discovered one such key when they examined schizophrenia patients’ brains after death, and found an excess of receptors for dopamine.” (David G. Myers Exploring Psychology 7th edition.). Dopamine is the brains natural stimulater and pain pill. Scientists suspect that because people with schizophrenia may have more natural dopamine in the brain, it might trigger the brain to become more stimulate and produce hallucinations. Drugs that block the dopamine receptors lessen the symptoms of schizophrenia.Another cause that has been pin pointed is the abnormal brain activity and anatomy. Scientists took pet scans of people with schizophrenia and found that when schizophrenia patients were hallucinating or when they heard a voice their brain activity would increase dramatically in the thalamus. “ The bottom line of various studies reports Nancy Anderson (1997,2001), is that schizophrenia involves not one isolated brain abnormality but problems with several brain regions and their interconnections.” David G. Myers Exploring Psychology 7th edition.
What are some statistics of schizophrenia? Nearly 1 in 100 people will show symptoms of schizophrenia. There are 24 million people (estimated) worldwide who suffer from the disorder. Schizophrenia generally gets young children who are making the jump from child to young adult. Schizophrenia is all over the world it does not dominate in one country more than another. The disorder affects both men and women, however it generally affects men when they are younger. It also attacks men more harshly than women. One can become schizophrenic as a bad reaction to stress. However schizophrenia can gradually build up over time as a result of social adequacy. When schizophrenia gradually builds up over time there is little to no chance of making a recovery. When schizophrenia is a result of a stressful situation the chances of coming out of the disorder are more likely.
Here are some people you may know who suffer from schizophrenia: Tom Harrell, Jazz Musician, Meera Popkin, Broadway Star, John Nash - Mathematician/Nobel Prize Winner,Albert Einstein's son - Eduard Einstein,Lionel Aldridge - Superbowl-winning Football Player, Peter Green, Guitarist for the band Fleetwood Mac, Syd Barrett of the band Pink Floyd.
In conclusion, I feel that schizophrenia is a serious mental disorder. It should not be taken lightly and it is very real. People suffer from the disorder are from all parts of the world. Schizophrenia is for real!
Myers, David G. Exploring Psychology. 7th edition.
By: Pat Pallotto & Chris McIntosh
Schizophrenia?! Many of us have heard this term, but do we really know what it means? Many of us are not familiar with this disorder because it only affects about 1% of the entire US population. Common symptoms with this disorder are the thought or sense of hearing voices that are not actually there in actuality. Many people with this illness rely heavily on the help of others as they have difficulty of holding jobs or properly caring for themselves. This is just a brief intro about schizophrenia and further into this page you will see more information and we will go into more detail on schizophrenia. There are a few different definitions or ways to define schizophrenia, here is a just a few.
+Schizophrenia is a challenging disorder that makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, think clearly, manage emotions, and relate to others. These obstacles can get in the way of your ability to function normally and take care of yourself. But that doesn't mean there isn't hope.
The truth is, schizophrenia can be successfully managed. The first step is identifying the signs and symptoms. The second step is seeking help without delay. The third is sticking with treatment. With the right treatment and support from family, friends, and health professionals, a person with schizophrenia can lead a happy, fulfilling life.
What is schizophrenia?
+Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that has affected people throughout history. About 1 percent of Americans have this illness.
People with the disorder may hear voices other people don't hear. They may believe other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. This can terrify people with the illness and make them withdrawn or extremely agitated. People with schizophrenia may not make sense when they talk. They may sit for hours without moving or talking. Sometimes people with schizophrenia seem perfectly fine until they talk about what they are really thinking. Families and society are affected by schizophrenia too. Many people with schizophrenia have difficulty holding a job or caring for themselves, so they rely on others for help.
Treatment helps relieve many symptoms of schizophrenia, but most people who have the disorder cope with symptoms throughout their lives. However, many people with schizophrenia can lead rewarding and meaningful lives in their communities. Researchers are developing more effective medications and using new research tools to understand the causes of schizophrenia. In the years to come, this work may help prevent and better treat the illness.
What are symptoms of schizophrenia?
+The symptoms of schizophrenia fall into three broad categories: positive symptoms, negative symptoms, and cognitive symptoms,Positive symptoms Positive symptoms are psychotic behaviors not seen in healthy people. People with positive symptoms often "lose touch" with reality. These symptoms can come and go. Sometimes they are severe and at other times hardly noticeable, depending on whether the individual is receiving treatment. They include the following:
Hallucinations are things a person sees, hears, smells, or feels that no one else can see, hear, smell, or feel. "Voices" are the most common type of hallucination in schizophrenia. Many people with the disorder hear voices. The voices may talk to the person about his or her behavior, order the person to do things, or warn the person of danger. Sometimes the voices talk to each other. People with schizophrenia may hear voices for a long time before family and friends notice the problem.
Other types of hallucinations include seeing people or objects that are not there, smelling odors that no one else detects, and feeling things like invisible fingers touching their bodies when no one is near.
Delusions are false beliefs that are not part of the person's culture and do not change. The person believes delusions even after other people prove that the beliefs are not true or logical. People with schizophrenia can have delusions that seem bizarre, such as believing that neighbors can control their behavior with magnetic waves. They may also believe that people on television are directing special messages to them, or that radio stations are broadcasting their thoughts aloud to others. Sometimes they believe they are someone else, such as a famous historical figure. They may have paranoid delusions and believe that others are trying to harm them, such as by cheating, harassing, poisoning, spying on, or plotting against them or the people they care about. These beliefs are called "delusions of persecution."
Thought disorder are unusual or dysfunctional ways of thinking. One form of thought disorder is called "disorganized thinking." This is when a person has trouble organizing his or her thoughts or connecting them logically. They may talk in a garbled way that is hard to understand. Another form is called "thought blocking." This is when a person stops speaking abruptly in the middle of a thought. When asked why he or she stopped talking, the person may say that it felt as if the thought had been taken out of his or her head. Finally, a person with a thought disorder might make up meaningless words, or "neologisms."Movement disorders may appear as agitated body movements. A person with a movement disorder may repeat certain motions over and over. In the other extreme, a person may become catatonic. Catatonia is a state in which a person does not move and does not respond to others. Catatonia is rare today, but it was more common when treatment for schizophrenia was not available.
Negative symptoms, Negative symptoms are associated with disruptions to normal emotions and behaviors. These symptoms are harder to recognize as part of the disorder and can be mistaken for depression or other conditions. These symptoms include the following:
• "Flat affect" (a person's face does not move or he or she talks in a dull or monotonous voice)
• Lack of pleasure in everyday life
• Lack of ability to begin and sustain planned activities
• Speaking little, even when forced to interact.
People with negative symptoms need help with everyday tasks. They often neglect basic personal hygiene. This may make them seem lazy or unwilling to help themselves, but the problems are symptoms caused by the schizophrenia.
Cognitive symptoms Cognitive symptoms are subtle. Like negative symptoms, cognitive symptoms may be difficult to recognize as part of the disorder. Often, they are detected only when other tests are performed. Cognitive symptoms include the following:
• Poor "executive functioning" (the ability to understand information and use it to make decisions)
• Trouble focusing or paying attention
• Problems with "working memory" (the ability to use information immediately after learning it).
Cognitive symptoms often make it hard to lead a normal life and earn a living. They can cause great emotional distress.
When does schizophrenia start and who gets it?
+Schizophrenia affects men and women equally. It occurs at similar rates in all ethnic groups around the world. Symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions usually start between ages 16 and 30. Men tend to experience symptoms a little earlier than women. Most of the time, people do not get schizophrenia after age 45. Schizophrenia rarely occurs in children, but awareness ofchildhood-onset schizophrenia is increasing.
It can be difficult to diagnose schizophrenia in teens. This is because the first signs can include a change of friends, a drop in grades,sleep problems, and irritability — behaviorsthat are common among teens. A combination of factors can predict schizophrenia in up to 80 percent of youth who are at high risk of developing the illness. These factors include isolating oneself and withdrawing from others, an increase in unusual thoughts and suspicions, and a family history of psychosis. In young people who develop the disease, this stage of the disorder is called the "prodromal" period.
Are people with schizophrenia violent?
+People with schizophrenia are not usually violent. In fact, most violent crimes are not committed by people with schizophrenia. However, some symptoms are associated with violence, such as delusions of persecution. Substance abuse may also increase the chance a person will become violent. If a person with schizophrenia becomes violent, the violence is usually directed at family members and tends to take place at home. The risk of violence among people with schizophrenia is small. But people with the illness attempt suicide much more often than others. About 10 percent (especially young adult males) die by suicide. It is hard to predict which people with schizophrenia are prone to suicide. If you know someone who talks about or attempts suicide, help him or her find professional help right away. People with schizophrenia are not usually violent.
What about substance abuse?
+Some people who abuse drugs show symptoms similar to those of schizophrenia. Therefore, people with schizophrenia may be mistaken for people who are affected by drugs. Most researchers do not believe that substance abuse causes schizophrenia. However, people who have schizophrenia are much more likely to have a substance oralcohol abuse problem than the general population.Substance abuse can make treatment for schizophrenia less effective. Some drugs, like marijuana and stimulants such as amphetamines or cocaine, may make symptoms worse. In fact, research has found increasing evidence of a link between marijuana and schizophrenia symptoms. In addition, people who abuse drugs are less likely to follow their treatment plan.Schizophrenia and smoking Addiction to nicotine is the most common form of substance abuse in people with schizophrenia. They are addicted to nicotine at three times the rate of the general population (75 to 90 percent vs. 25 to 30 percent).The relationship between smoking and schizophrenia is complex. People with schizophrenia seem to be driven to smoke, and researchers are exploring whether there is a biological basis for this need. In addition to its known health hazards, several studies have found that smoking may make antipsychotic drugs less effective. Quitting smoking may be very difficult for people with schizophrenia because nicotine withdrawal may cause their psychotic symptoms to get worse for a while. Quitting strategies that include nicotine replacement methods may be easier for patients to handle. Doctors who treat people with schizophrenia should watch their patients' response to antipsychotic medication carefully if the patient decides to start or stop smoking.
What causes schizophrenia?
+Experts think schizophrenia is caused by several factors. Genes and environment. Scientists have long known that schizophrenia runs in families. The illness occurs in 1 percent of the general population, but it occurs in 10 percent of people who have a first-degree relative with the disorder, such as a parent, brother, or sister. People who have second-degree relatives (aunts, uncles, grandparents, or cousins) with the disease also develop schizophrenia more often than the general population. The risk is highest for an identical twin of a person with schizophrenia. He or she has a 40 to 65 percent chance of developing the disorder.We inherit our genes from both parents. Scientists believe several genes are associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia, but that no gene causes the disease by itself. In fact, recent research has found that people with schizophrenia tend to have higher rates of rare genetic mutations. These genetic differences involve hundreds of different genes and probably disrupt brain development.
+Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that makes it difficult to tell the difference between real and unreal experiences, to think logically, to have normal emotional responses, and to behave normally in social situations. Schizophrenia only affects 1% of the population, and usually comes around in young adulthood. There is no cure and no way to prevent this disease, however there is medication to calm the outbursts; however there are many side effects. Side effects are one of the most important reasons why people with schizophrenia stop taking their medication, it is very important to find the medication that controls your symptoms without causing side effects. Newer drugs known as atypical antipsychotics seem to have fewer side effects. They also appear to help people who have not improved with the older medications. Treatment with medications is usually needed to prevent symptoms from coming back. Some researchers believe that events in a person's environment may trigger schizophrenia. For example, problems during development in the mother's womb and at birth may increase the risk for developing schizophrenia later in life. As you can see schizophrenia is nothing to mess around with and can be very harmful. If you or a loved one experience any of these symptoms contact your local health care providers: Agitation, Decreased sensitivity to pain, Inability to take care of personal needs, Negative feelings, Motor disturbances, Rigid muscles, Stupor. Anger, Anxiety, Argumentativeness, Delusions of persecution or grandeur, Child-like behavior, Delusions, Flat affect, Hallucinations, Inappropriate laughter, Not understandable, Repetitive behaviors, Social withdrawal.
Definition: Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that makes it difficult to tell the difference between real and unreal experiences, to think logically, to have normal emotional responses, and to behave normally in social situations.
Symptoms: Schizophrenia may have a variety of symptoms. Usually the illness develops slowly over months or even years. At first, the symptoms may not be noticeable. For example, you may feel tense, or have trouble sleeping or concentrating. You can become isolated and withdrawn, and have trouble making or keeping friends.
As the illness continues, psychotic symptoms develop:
• An appearance or mood that shows no emotion (flat affect)
• Bizarre motor behavior in which there is less reaction to the environment (catatonic behavior)
• False beliefs or thoughts that have nothing to do with reality (delusions)
• Hearing, seeing, or feeling things that are not there (hallucinations)
• Thoughts "jump" between unrelated topics (disordered thinking)
Symptoms can be different depending on the type of schizophrenia.
• Decreased sensitivity to pain
• Inability to take care of personal needs
• Negative feelings
• Motor disturbances
• Rigid muscles
• Delusions of persecution or grandeur
• Child-like (regressive) behavior
• Flat affect
• Inappropriate laughter
• Not understandable (incoherence)
• Repetitive behaviors
• Social withdrawal
Undifferentiated type may include symptoms of more than one type of schizophrenia.
Residual type — symptoms of the illness have gone away, but some features, such as hallucinations and flat affect, may remain.
Causes: Schizophrenia is a complex illness. Even experts in the field are not sure what causes it. Some doctors think that the brain may not be able to process information correctly. Genetic factors appear to play a role. People who have family members with schizophrenia may be more likely to get the disease themselves.
Some researchers believe that events in a person's environment may trigger schizophrenia.
For example, problems (infection) during development in the mother's womb and at birth may increase the risk for developing schizophrenia later in life.
Psychological and social factors may also affect its development. However, the level of social and family support appears to affect the course of illness and may protect against the condition returning.
Treatment: During an episode of schizophrenia, you may need to stay in the hospital for safety reasons, and to provide for basic needs such as food, rest, and hygiene.
Antipsychotic or neuroleptic medications change the balance of chemicals in the brain and can help control the symptoms of the illness. These medications are effective, but they can have side effects. However, many of these side effects can be addressed, and should not prevent people from seeking treatment for this serious condition.
Common side effects from antipsychotics may include:
• Sleepiness (sedation)
• Weight gain
Other side effects include:
• Feelings of restlessness or "jitters"
• Problems of movement and gait
• Muscle contractions
Long-term risks include a movement disorder called tardive dyskinesia, in which people move without meaning to.
Newer drugs known as atypical antipsychotics appear to have fewer side effects. They also appear to help people who have not improved with the older medications. Treatment with medications is usually needed to prevent symptoms from coming back.
Supportive and problem-focused forms of therapy may be helpful for many people.
Behavioral techniques, such as social skills training, can be used during therapy, or at home to improve function socially and at work.
Family treatments that combine support and education about schizophrenia (psychoeducation) appear to help families cope and reduce the odds of symptoms returning. Programs that emphasize outreach and community support services can help people who lack family and social support.
Complications: People with schizophrenia have a high risk of developing a substance abuse problem. Use of alcohol or other drugs increases the risk of relapse.
Physical illness is common among people with schizophrenia due to side effects from medication and living conditions. These may not be detected because of poor access to medical care and difficulties talking to health care providers. Not taking medication will often cause symptoms to return. The symptoms a schizophrenic experiences occur in cycles known as relapses and remissions.
As many as 51 million people all over the world suffer from schizophrenia. Many people believe that someone that has schizophrenia has a “split personality”, but the truth is that people with schizophrenia can’t tell what is real and what is imagined.
Scientists in the U.K. are using non-brain cells to identify the biomarkers of schizophrenia, so they can speed up the development of new diagnostic tests. One of the scientists stated that schizophrenia doesn’t just involve the brain, but the abnormal levels of a certain protein are present in other parts of the body. The scientists are working with another company to introduce a blood test that can diagnose schizophrenia, so patients that are positive for the disease can get treatment earlier.
Synonyms: Bulimia, eating disorders
What is it?
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by the ingestion of large quantities of food (binge episodes or bulimic episodes), followed by compensation methods, such as vomiting autoinduzidos, use of laxatives and / or diuretics and strenuous exercise as way to avoid weight gain by the exaggerated fear of gaining weight. Unlike anorexia nervosa, bulimia may not be weight loss, and so doctors and families have difficulty in detecting the problem. The disease occurs most often in young women, although it can occur rarely in men and older women.
What does it feel?
• Binge-eating and too much food.
• Self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives and diuretics to prevent weight gain.
• Overeating, without a proportional increase in body weight.
• Obsession with exercise.
• Obsession with exercise.
• Eating in secret or hidden from others.
• Sore throat (inflammation of the lining of the esophagus by the effects of vomiting).
• Face swollen and painful (inflamed salivary glands).
• And caries lesion on the enamel. Dehydration.
• Electrolyte imbalance.
• Vomiting of blood.
• Muscle aches and cramps.
As in anorexia, bulimia nervosa is a syndrome multi-determined by a mixture of biological, psychological, familial and cultural factors. The cultural emphasis on physical appearance can have an important role. Family problems, low self-esteem and identity conflicts are also factors involved in triggering this condition.
How does it develop?
Often, it takes time to realize that someone has bulimia nervosa. The main feature is the episode of binge eating, accompanied by a feeling of lack of control over the act and sometimes done in secret. Behaviors directed at weight control include fasting, vomiting, self-induced of laxatives, enemas, diuretics, and strenuous exercise. The diagnosis of bulimia nervosa requires episodes with a minimum frequency of twice a week for at least three months. The phobia of fatness motivator is the feeling around the table. These episodes of binge eating followed by compensatory methods, the family can remain hidden for long.
Bulimia nervosa affects adolescents a little older, around 17 years. People with bulimia are ashamed of their symptoms, so avoid eating in public and avoid places like beaches and pools where they need to show the body. As the disease progresses, these people are only interested in issues related to food, weight and body shape.
How is it?
The multidisciplinary approach is most suitable for the treatment of bulimia nervosa, and includes individual and group psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy and nutritional approach at outpatient clinics. The cognitive-behavioral techniques have proved effective. Antidepressant medications also have proven effective in controlling bulimic episodes.
The nutritional approach is to establish a healthier eating habit, eliminating the cycle of "binge eating / purging / fasting."
The guidance and / or family therapy it is necessary because the family plays a very important role in patient recovery.
How is it prevented?
A decrease in the emphasis of physical appearance, both in terms of cultural and family may eventually reduce the incidence of these pictures. It is important to provide information about the risks of strict regimes for obtaining a silhouette "ideal", since they play a key role in triggering eating disorders.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Children With Oppositional Defiant Disorder
All children are oppositional from time to time, particularly when tired, hungry, stressed or upset. They may argue, talk back, disobey, and defy parents, teachers, and other adults. Oppositional behavior is often a normal part of development for two to three year olds and early adolescents. However, openly uncooperative and hostile behavior becomes a serious concern when it is so frequent and consistent that it stands out when compared with other children of the same age and developmental level and when it affects the child’s social, family and academic life.
Even the best-behaved children can be difficult and challenging at times. Teens are often moody and argumentative. But if your child or teen has a persistent pattern of tantrums, arguing, and angry or disruptive behaviors toward you and other authority figures, he or she may have oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).
As a parent, you don't have to go it alone in trying to manage a child with oppositional defiant disorder. Doctors, counselors and child development experts can help.
Treatment of ODD involves therapy, special types of training to help build positive family interactions, and possibly medications to treat related mental health conditions.
It may be tough at times to recognize the difference between a strong-willed or emotional child and one with oppositional defiant disorder. Certainly there's a range between the usual independence-seeking behavior of children and oppositional defiant disorder. It's normal to exhibit oppositional behaviors at certain stages of a child's development.
However, your child's issue may be ODD if your child's oppositional behaviors:
-Have lasted at least six months
-Are clearly disruptive to the family and home or school environment
The following are behaviors associated with ODD:
Hostility directed toward authority figures
These behaviors might cause your child to regularly and consistently show these signs and symptoms:
-Refusal to comply with adult requests or rules
-annoyance of other people
-Blaming others for mistakes or misbehavior
-Acting touchy and easily annoyed
-Anger and resentment
-Spiteful or vindictive behavior
-Aggressiveness toward peers
-Difficulty maintaining friendships
Related mental health issues
Oppositional defiant disorder often occurs along with other behavioral or mental health problems such as:
-Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
The symptoms of ODD may be difficult to distinguish from those of other behavioral or mental health problems.
It's important to diagnose and treat any co-occurring illnesses because they can create or worsen irritability and defiance if left untreated. Additionally, it's important to identify and treat any related substance abuse and dependence. Substance abuse and dependence in children or adolescents is often associated with irritability and changes in the child's or adolescent's usual personality.
When to see a doctor.
If you're concerned about your child's behavior or your own ability to parent a challenging child, seek help from your doctor, a child psychologist or child behavioral expert. Your primary care doctor or your child's pediatrician can refer you to someone.
A child presenting with ODD symptoms should have a comprehensive evaluation. It is important to look for other disorders which may be present; such as, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities, mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder) and anxiety disorders. It may be difficult to improve the symptoms of ODD without treating the coexisting disorder. Some children with ODD may go on to develop conduct disorder.
Treatment of ODD may include: Parent Management Training Programs to help parents and others manage the child’s behavior. Individual Psychotherapy to develop more effective anger management. Family Psychotherapy to improve communication and mutual understanding. Cognitive Problem-Solving Skills Training and Therapies to assist with problem solving and decrease negativity. Social Skills Training to increase flexibility and improve social skills and frustration tolerance with peers.
Medication may be helpful in controlling some of the more distressing symptoms of ODD as well as the symptoms related to coexistent conditions such as ADHD, anxiety and mood disorders.
A child with ODD can be very difficult for parents. These parents need support and understanding. Parents can help their child with ODD in the following ways:
-Always build on the positives, give the child praise and positive reinforcement when he shows flexibility or cooperation.
-Take a time-out or break if you are about to make the conflict with your child worse, not better. This is good modeling for your child. Support your child if he decides to take a time-out to prevent overreacting.
-Pick your battles. Since the child with ODD has trouble avoiding power struggles, prioritize the things you want your child to do. If you give your child a time-out in his room for misbehavior, don’t add time for arguing. Say “your time will start when you go to your room.”
-Set up reasonable, age appropriate limits with consequences that can be enforced consistently.
-Maintain interests other than your child with ODD, so that managing your child doesn’t take all your time and energy. Try to work with and obtain support from the other adults (teachers, coaches, and spouse) dealing with your child.
-Manage your own stress with healthy life choices such as exercise and relaxation. Use respite care and other breaks as needed
Many children with ODD will respond to the positive parenting techniques. Parents may ask their pediatrician or family physician to refer them to a child and adolescent psychiatrist or qualified mental health professional who can diagnose and treat ODD and any coexisting psychiatric condition.
Excerpts from Your Child on Oppositional Defiant Disorders
All children are oppositional from time to time. There are also times in normal development when oppositional behavior is expected. This is especially true when the thrust towards separation is most intense, around the ages of two and three, and again in early adolescence.
However, openly uncooperative and hostile behavior becomes a serious concern when it is so incessant and fierce that it stands out when compared with other children’s behavior and when it affects the child's social, family, and academic life.
Excerpts from Your Adolescent on Oppositional Defiant Disorders
At times, all teenagers are oppositional, argumentative, and inattentive. Absorbed in their own thoughts and concerns and more interested in their peer group, teenagers frequently turn a deaf ear to the adult world. Even when the demands are reasonable, a teenager may respond with belligerence or passivity. Because the thrust toward separation is especially intense, adolescence is a time when oppositional behavior is sometimes expected.
Disrespectful, defiant, and hostile behavior, however, must be carefully examined in a teenager when it begins to affect the youngster’s social, family, and academic life or seems extreme compared to the teen’s peers.
“Childeren with Oppositional Defiant Disorders.”June 2009.<http://www.aacap.org/cs/root/facts_for_families/children_with_oppositional_defiant_disorder>
Mayo Clinic Staff. “Oppositional Defiant Disorder.”<http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/oppositional-defiant-disorder/DS00630/DSECTION=symptoms
Attention-deficit hyperactive disorder
Attention-deficit hyperactive disorder is also known as ADHD. This is a psychological disorder marked by the appearance or symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. ADHD can usually be noticed at an early age in most kids. Signs can show up and be noticed in early years of grade school on terms of being fidgety, distractible, or don’t follow directions.
ADHD falls under the category of a psychological disorder which is described as a persistent train of harmful thoughts, feelings, and even actions. Behavior has to throw your life into and un functional spin before it is considered a disorder. Behavior is usually deviant or distressful and keeps you from having a fully functional life.
The reason why ADHD is a disorder is because your behavior can’t be one without the other. This means in order to diagnose a disorder it can’t only be a deviant behavior it has to be deviant and distressful to be considered a true disorder. There can also be a dysfunctional behavior as well with diagnosing a disorder. I believe that the dysfunctional behavior plays the biggest part in ADHD because this makes it hard to live a good functional life. But as well with the dysfunctional behavior you still have to have a distress behavior with it to still be a disorder. I think this means with a dysfunctional behavior, which is not being able to stay on task or focused, brings you the distress behavior of not being able to concentrate or finish a task without having the temptation to go do other things.
So how do you get ADHD? Researchers think that ADHD is highly heritable. So this means that if ADHD runs in your family you are at high risks of getting this disorder as well. Researchers also believe that ADHD often coexists with a learning disorder or sometimes even a behavioral disorder.
Is ADHD treatable? The answer is yes ADHD can be treated and handled easily so that people with this disorder can live normal everyday lives. ADHD medications include Ritalin and Adderall, which are stimulants that help calm the persons hyperactivity and increase their ability to focus and stay on task. Other ways to help treat ADHD is psychological therapy. This is mainly focused to help shape behavior and help with the distress of the disorder.
Why ADHD is so hard to diagnose is because an energetic child could attend a boring public school and show signs of ADHD when all it could be just that the kid is energetic, and not have the ADHD disorder. ADHD is a disorder that has been in a controversy swirls over the frequent diagnosing of children with the ADHD disorder. Critics say the acknowledgment of ADHD diagnoses can be subjective and sometimes inconsistent. Nevertheless, ADHD is a real neurobiological disorder that can be justified by neuroimaging done by telltale brain activity.
How does the disorder of ADHD come about? ADHD is caused by one single most genetic variation, a Y chromosome.
ADHD is diagnosed two to three times more often in boys than in girls. 10 percent of American 13-17 year old kids are being medicated for ADHD. In the last decades since 1987 ADHD in American children has nearly quadrupled. Also 80 percent of children medicated for ADHD still require medication as teens, as do 50 percent or more as adults.
ADHD is a disorder that may never be diagnosed. Some people may have ADHD and not even know it, and still live fully functional lives. Others who have ADHD that can’t live a fully functional life have to seek help. By seeking help ADHD is very treatable and can be lived with and taken care of by medication and maybe some therapy. ADHD is like most disorders if you can catch it quick and in its early stages, you can cope with it without a problem usually. But the longer it goes unrecognized the worse it can get. So the best advice to take is if you feel fidgety or restless all the time get it checked out and catch this ADHD in its early stage to help get a better grasp on it and get it taken care of with a simple medication and live a much fuller and happier life.
ADD and ADHD
ADD and ADHD's characteristics were first discovered in 1902 and have since been called many names. Originally such characteristics were labeled as a “Morbid Defect of Moral Control”, shortly followed by “Post-encephalitic Personality Disorder” in the 1920's, “Hyper kinetic Reaction” in the late 60's, and finally the term “Attention Deficit Disorder/Hyperactivity” was concocted in the 80's. ADD was widely studied in the 60's and 70's with the main focus on hyperactivity. That focus however, shifted when clinicians and researchers made the connection between the daydreaming and the inability to focus.
Doctors found that stimulants appeared to help calm the symptoms and treatments for ADD and ADHD began in the 30's with the introduction of amphetamines, Ritalin was integrated soon after, with a collection of others following. Since the use of stimulants came about, the market for them has skyrocketed. More and more people are taking them and new medications are arising to meet the demand. Never before has there existed so many people taking “ADHD medicine” as exists today.
Despite the long history of ADD and the tons of children and adults taking medication, there's still a lack of available data to know about the long term effects they may have. Some of the short term side effects can be as simple as a reduced appetite, jittery feelings, gastrointestinal upset, and/or headaches. Some more serious effects are sleep disorders, addiction (which can act as a gateway for other drugs), rebound, development of tics, paranoia, and seizures. So when feeding this to yourself or your child, be sure to notice anything unusual.
Several theories have been developed about ADD and ADHD, but the actual cause has yet to be determined. One theory is that there's a chemical imbalance between neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are responsible for the brain's ability to store information and memories, recall information, form and process thoughts, and translate thoughts into actions. Two of which are found abnormally low in people diagnosed with ADD and ADHD, Dopamine and Acetylcholine. The low Dopamine levels can be attributed to the memory and attentiveness in people diagnosed. Acetylcholine is also responsible for controlling cognitive functions like awareness, perception, attention and memory. Researchers believe that this problem with neurotransmitters can be self-balanced by the brain over time, which is why some people seem to grow out of it.
Another theory is linked to diet. More and more research suggests that even a slight change in diet can alter the effects of ADD and ADHD. Cutting out processed and packaged foods and those containing a lot of sugar can lessen the hyperactivity. Creating a more natural diet with specific vitamin and mineral supplements can lead to improvement.
Not everyone diagnosed with ADD has low levels of dopamine or a poor diet. Which has lead researchers to believe the problem is all their heads. Literally. The forebrain is the front part of the brain and is responsible for emotions, behavior, and thoughts. A part of the forebrain is the frontal lobe which is responsible for judgment, behavior, memory and motivation. Research has found that the brains of people with ADD are about 10% smaller than the brain of a “normal” person's.
Living with ADD, even without the hyperactivity element, is challenging. ADD and ADHD are commonly misunderstood and undiagnosed. Those who have it are often stunted mentally as well as socially during the course of their lifetime. ADD is an invisible handicap, and without proper understanding of the disorder, it can leave a person unable to function in the mainstream of life.
Attention Deficit Disorder carries with it social difficulties. The person with ADD or ADHD is often described as being immature, lacks self-awareness, and has a high demand for attention. The person may be irritable and easily upset. He or she may have difficulty expressing feelings or accepting responsibility for behaviors. Since people with ADD/ADHD often have a difficult time verbalizing a problem or complaint, they may become victims. Poor social skills are often associated with ADD/ADHD as a result of low-self esteem and a fear of criticism. A lack of impulse control and a difficulty considering consequences can put those with the disorder in physical danger. Many of the symptoms of ADD and ADHD make daily activities difficult. Since those with it are often distract-able, they may not be able to complete simple tasks. The lack of short term memory may cause a person with ADD to forget relevant details to function fully at work, home, or school. Attention to detail is nearly impossible for those with Attention Deficit, and this often results in careless mistakes on work. Those with ADD/ADHD may be misjudged by their peers and viewed as careless or unintelligent. If left untreated, ADD/ADHD can negatively affect many aspects of adult life.
ADD/ADHD has no cure. But treatment options for it can vary. Although prescriptions are the most common, there are other roads to take. Some non-prescription alternatives are vitamin and mineral supplements, implementing an exercising pattern and changing diet. Adults and children who have been supplemented with natural constituents in their diets have shown positive changes. Such constituents include, Magnesium, Zinc, Acetylcarnitine, and lemon balm. Therapy can be helpful. Behavioral therapy teaches people how to calm their mind and body, which is beneficial when dealing with ADD/ADHD. Cognitive therapy suggests how thoughts can trigger certain symptoms. Talk and literary therapy simply incorporates speech, books, and other reading materials into healing. Talking is the most natural way of communication to humans, and the simple act of talking about one's problems can help the healing process.
ADHD Individual Drug Risk Studies To Be Considered By Drug Safety Committee. Press release. February 8, 2006. http://www.fdaadvisorycommittee.com/FDC/AdvisoryCommittee/ Committees/Drug+Safety+and+Risk+Mgmt/020906_ADHD/020906_ADHD-P.htm. Web. 6 May 2010
"Causes of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder." Health Center (2006): n. pag. Web. 6 May 2010.
"History of ADHD and Attention Deficit Disorder." Attention Deficit Disorder Help Center n. pag. Web. 6 May 2010.