Brain Attack Prevention Tips From The 2016 New Orleans Stroke Awareness Month

The 2016 New Orleans Stroke Awareness Month was the first cerebrovascular-related thing that our family ever celebrated. You see, it was during the same year when my father survived a brain injury, which could have been fatal if the doctors did not attend to him at once. Because of that, we have decided since then to volunteer and take part in whatever activity that various concerned organizations want to do to boost everyone’s awareness about stroke.

Nevertheless, one of the aspects that become highlighted in such a celebration annually is the prevention of the brain attack. Check out some tips on how to reduce the risk of having a stroke.

1. Don’t Smoke

The first thing to get rid of is your smoking habit. Regardless if you use tobacco or e-cigarette, they both produce similar or worse chemicals than a regular cigarette. The nicotine will not only stain your teeth or cause plaque buildup; it will eventually thicken your blood vessels and lower the oxygen in your blood.

2. Look After Your Heart

You should also ensure that nothing’s wrong with your heart. To be specific, it is not supposed to beat faster than usual because too much blood will then pool inside the heart. That increases the chances of having clot, which may move to the brain and induce a stroke.

3. Make Sure Your Blood Pressure And Sugar Levels Are Normal

Diabetes and hypertension are two common illnesses that may cause brain attack. The reason is that fat or cholesterol build up can thicken the artery walls and cut the supply of oxygen in the brain when your blood pressure or sugar levels go through the roof. They need to remain within the normal range to prevent a stroke.

Final Thoughts

Stroke is among the most typical causes of death in the United States. In truth, one in every 20 deaths recorded is due to this brain injury. Nevertheless, you may avoid becoming a victim of a cerebrovascular accident once you follow the tips above.

 

7 Ways To Help A Depressed Family Member Turn Their Life Around

Seeing a family member face depression and continue to lose in life because it is undoubtedly difficult for anyone. It is already alarming to notice that they no longer leave the house to hang out with friends or rarely go to work. Their eating and sleeping habits have become extreme too, to the point that they sometimes either starve and stay awake in some days or binge on food and sleep during other days. But you know that things have gone south too far once the family member starts being aggressive to people or self-harms.

If you worry about your loved one who’s still struggling with depression, here are seven ways to help them turn their life around.

1. Realize The Symptoms Of The Disorder

The first thing you should do as soon as you find out that a close family member is dealing with this mental illness is to gain extensive information about its symptoms. Many of them are searchable online, and the explanations they come with are reliable too. In case you want more in-depth details about the relative’s condition, you may talk to a psychiatrist. These are extra steps you can take to understand what your loved one is going through due to depression.

2. Find Out What Caused The Depression

Once you have an idea of what symptoms a depressed person has to live with, you may have a direct chat with them about the root cause of their condition. You can start with easy topics, in the beginning, considering it is common for people with depression to avoid opening up about their issues. As they get comfortable with you, you can then assure your family member that they can tell you whatever’s bothering them. Don’t give up if you manage to receive no real facts on your initial attempt, though. Repeat the same process or try other tactics to get to the bottom of the problem.

3. Coax Them To Get Professional Help

Although the cause of depression is different for every individual who has this disorder, it seems hard to meet a patient who went to a clinic to obtain a diagnosis in their own accord. Some get dragged by parents or siblings who are afraid that they’ll do something drastic. Others, meanwhile, have been rescued by the authorities after a failed suicide attempt. Before things become worse for your troubled loved one, therefore, you should coax them every single day to set an appointment with a psychiatrist.

4. Have A Positive Attitude Often

Pessimistic words have no place in your world, especially if you are around a family member with depression. You can’t be mad, use profanities, or even look crestfallen regardless of how bothered you are by something. The reason is that a depressed person can quickly pick up your bad mood through your anger or frustration is directed to another individual or incident. Instead of helping them feel better, your negative attitude might push them further down the depression lane. Hence, it will be best to have a positive attitude often.

5. Try To Make Them Laugh

Keep in mind that one of the significant things that lack a depressed person is the ability to laugh and be happy. They always seem sad or as if their head is floating elsewhere. There may be times when you are chatting away, but then you realize that your loved one’s not even listening. Your only resolve at this point is to try to bring laughter in their hearts once more by cracking jokes or acting goofy whenever they are around.

6. Go To Therapy With Them

Assuming your family member agrees to meet a psychotherapist, it is ideal to have at least one of you to accompany them during every session. You may merely stay in the waiting room while the therapy goes on or be able to come to the clinic as well, depending on what type of treatment the patient wants to do. However, the fact that they are not doing it alone may encourage your loved one to take the doctor’s advice more seriously.

7. Remain On Their Side No Matter What

Lastly, whether they are ready to fight depression or not, you should remain on their side no matter what. Some people, after all, need a few tries before they find a therapy that works for them. Others spend years not wanting to accept that something’s wrong with them. Despite the frustration that you might feel towards their behavior, you can’t leave your troubled family member behind since they need your understanding the most now.

Final Thoughts

The healing of a person with depression cannot ever start with a mental health professional or even a concerned family member like you. The depressed individual has to want to overcome the disorder for any coping mechanism or treatment to work. Nevertheless, knowing that you will always be their #1 support system may stir their thoughts and cause them to strive to get better.

Good luck!

3 Stress-Reducing Tips That People Rarely Heed

No matter what your job is, the signs of stress are the same for everyone. Your once chirpy self goes away, to the point that the people around you shake when you open your mouth. You can’t do your tasks well because anger or frustration often gets the better of you. Worse, your body may not cooperate and merely ache all over.

When someone finds the courage to ask why you feel so stressed, different answers may come out. If it isn’t because of your flat tire, it’s because the barista spelled your name wrong on the cup of coffee. If it isn’t the fact that you need to add more papers to the Xerox machine, it’s due to your food delivery coming two minutes late.

Pray-tell, how are you still alive when you see the fault in everything and stress over it more than once a day?

If you don’t want to be the real-life version of the Grinch who steals happiness off your colleagues and loved ones, check out these stress-reducing tips that are very spot-on but people rarely heed.

1. Plan Ahead

One of the things you can do is envision yourself becoming burnt out because of random occurrences. For instance, someone accidentally spilled a colored beverage on your clothes, or a student driver crushed your taillight. You may feel frustration bubble up inside you, but you need to push that inside and dig deep down to figure out the best way to deal with such matters.

The reason why imagery may work is that any similar incident will no longer catch you by surprise. You already know that irritation is the first emotion that you show; hence, it will be great if you manage to stomp on that and allow your plan to take its place.

2. Feel Less

Individuals who feel exceptionally attached to something or someone tend to experience stress a lot. When a loved one mentions a dark yet harmless joke, for example, you may take that seriously to the heart and become sad about it for days. If you confront that person, he or she might laugh at you for overdramatizing, which can worsen how you feel.

The reality is that you cannot alter how people handle diverse situations. What you can modify is your sense of attachment. It is incredible that you are anchored to folks since that can keep you grounded, but you ought to loosen your hold to your emotions a bit so that you don’t get hurt and stressed all the time.

3. Accept What’s In Front Of You

Problems usually arise as well when you refuse to accept whatever fact is in front of you. Say, you were told beforehand that the meeting would start at eight o’clock; that’s why you were in the conference room 30 minutes before that. Someone informed you there, however, that the folks you are supposed to meet will come by 9:00 AM.

Instead of getting angry and insisting that they should all be there on the previous time agreed upon, you should stay chill and breathe. Your stress at that instant can’t change the fact that you are alone there. All you can do is accept what’s happening, and then firmly ask your colleagues later to at least text you if they want to move the meeting so that you don’t get hassled.

It may be easier to get rid of stress now after knowing some practical tips that can reduce it more than usual. Good luck!

A Quick Guide To Bipolar Disorder I And II

Within the last few decades, movements dedicated to raising awareness about mental illness have made great strides in helping many people worldwide. The World Health Organization reports an estimate of 1 in 4 people are or will be affected by psychological illness at some point in their lives, but two-thirds of those people do not seek professional help. As far as we’ve come as to getting people the help they need, there is still more work that needs to be done.

 

One such condition is Bipolar disorder, which affects an estimated 5.7 million people in the US alone. Confusing to many people are the two general classifications of Bipolar disorder, namely, type I and type II. This guide should help you learn the difference between the two kinds of bipolar disorder. If you notice any symptoms that you feel apply to you, consider meeting with a professional for help.

 

A Tale Of Two Symptoms

Bipolar disorder, also called manic depression, is generally classified as a mental illness characterized by shifts in mood, activity, and the ability to perform daily tasks. Mood changes can be described as “manic” or having very high energy levels and elation, and “depressive”, or generally feeling “down” and hopeless. There is also “hypomania”, a less intense kind of mania that lasts only for a few days compared to the longer possible manic periods.

 

The Powerful Emotion Of Bipolar I

Bipolar I is characterized by having at least one major manic episode lasting at least one week. While a major depressive episode is not needed to be diagnosed with bipolar I, it is not impossible for it to occur. A manic episode can consist of strange feelings of elevation or irritability, and high energy levels that can last for most of or for several days. The manic episode is usually preceded by a hypomanic episode or a major depressive episode.

 

People experiencing a manic episode may experience trouble sleeping, talking at a fast pace about many different topics, fast-paced thoughts, and a higher propensity for risky activities such as substance abuse or reckless relations with other people.

 

The Subtle Swinging Of Bipolar II

By contrast, bipolar II is characterized by having at least one major depressive episode, as well as incidences of hypomania not lasting more than four days. While hypomania shares elements of a manic episode, it usually does not carry the intensity or longevity to be categorized as mania.

 

Often harder to diagnose than bipolar I, it can be mistaken for unipolar (or non-bipolar) depression, leading to misdiagnosis. While the less potent hypomania may lead to being more outgoing, industrious, and adventurous, it may still lead to some of the problematic ends of mania, such as failing relationships or poor decision-making.

 

Major depressive episodes are characterized by a variety of symptoms, including hopelessness, an inability to enjoy things, forgetfulness, or suicidal thoughts among other things. While these are also symptoms shown by unipolar depression, the presence of hypomanic episodes is vital to lead to a correct diagnosis.

 

Treating Bipolar Disorder And Moving Forward

Bipolar disorders of both types are generally treated via medication, usually combining mood stabilizers and atypical antipsychotics. Sometimes these treatments may be combined with antidepressants as the former medications primarily treat manic episodes. However, it is recommended that the use of antidepressants is not long-term.

Apart from medication, psychotherapy is also vital in helping those with bipolar disorder come to a better understanding of themselves and help prepare for future manic or depressive episodes. Often people with bipolar disorder turn to denial to cope, and thus deny themselves medical treatment and further care, especially during adolescence. It becomes vital then that these people find a therapist who can best help understand their situation, and prescribe treatment that is effective and helpful.

 

While there is still a prevalent stigma against mental health, there is a concerted effort from people all around the world ready to champion the causes of those most vulnerable in society. The best we can do is to remain vigilant and open to giving help to those who need it the most.

 

 

Menopausal Symptoms And How To Deal With Them

 

Understanding Menopause

I remember when my mom was in her mid 50s. The family was so devastated because we thought she was going crazy or that she might have a serious illness that was getting into the terminal stage. She was constantly crying over the small and big things. She would sweat profusely and she was always angry. And when you can’t hear her calling, she would shout and say, “Does anybody listen to me anymore?”

Grief Is Transient, Memories Are Forever

Understanding Grief

 

Grief is the word used to describe the natural emotional response to loss. When faced with the loss of any kind, one feels a number of emotions in response to this. The word grief refers to the different emotions, such as what both psychologists and Betterhelp say is a feeling of emptiness when something or someone you love is taken from you.

 

Grief is commonly used to describe the emotions one feels in association to death.However, death is not the only type of loss that can cause a person to experience grief. There are a number of different emotions you can feel when you are faced with any type of loss including:

 

  • The loss of a loved one through divorce or the end of a relationship
  • Loss of your health
  • Losing your employment
  • Facing the loss of financial stability
  • The loss of a friendship
  • One can experience grief with the loss of safety after a trauma
  • Loss of stability such as losing your home
  • The loss of a family pet

 

The Symptoms of Grief

 

The symptoms of grief will vary from one person to another as loss affects people in different ways

 

The Emotional symptoms of grief include:

  • Disbelief
  • Shock
  • Sadness (you may have feelings of emptiness, despair or deep loneliness)
  • Crying or feeling emotionally unstable.
  • Guilt or regret
  • Fear or anxiety
  • Withdrawing and lack of interest

 

The Physical symptoms of grief include:

Grief is not only an emotional experience but can also give rise to a number of physical symptoms that include:

  • Nausea
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue

 

The Downward Spiral of Untreated Grief

 

The emotional and physical symptoms of grief, if left untreated or ignored can lead to more serious effects on the griever. Therefore it is important to seek out support from friends and family or even a therapist to help you through the grieving process.  Grief is a transient emotional period and with support, one can work through the emotions and find ways and learn coping mechanisms to deal with grief.

 

For example, From Grief to Homelessness:

There are a number of reasons that a person can become homeless. One such reason can be grief. For instance, suffering the loss of a loved one can result in a number of emotions and physical symptoms.  These symptoms and emotions such insomnia, fatigue and lack of interest can lead to loss of employment as a result of poor performance or non-performance. This can spiral into the loss of financial stability and can be followed by the loss of their home or car due to the loss of income.

 

This is a worst case scenario but the point is that the emotions and symptoms of grief can have a serious impact on your quality of life. Finding support or seeking out therapy to deal with the emotions you are feeling can help you process the stages of grief and aid you in finding ways to deal with the loss you have experienced.

 

Support and Therapy

  • Lean on your family or turn to friends.
  • Accept the assistance others offer
  • Seek out and join a Grief Support Group
  • Talk to a therapist or grief
  • Seek out an online Grief Support group, there are a number of online support communities as well as on social media

 

From What’s Your Grief“Have you ever lost someone you love and wanted one more conversation, one more chance to make up for the time when you thought they would be here forever? If so, then you know you can go your whole life collecting days, and none will outweigh the one you wish you had back.” Mitch Albom, For One More Day

Ways To Ensure A Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a delicate period in a woman’s life when she creates another existence. This period is a time when a fragile being gets nourishment inside her womb. Women have to prepare and take precautions to ensure that it will be healthy at childbirth. Learning more about pregnancy can enhance the chances of having a healthy baby and a problem-free delivery.

Health Problems Caused By Obesity

Source: zdrowie.dziennik.pl

 

Medical professionals agree that obese people are more prone to health problems and diseases caused by the unnecessary weight. People diagnosed with obesity are advised by doctors and nutritionist to start changing their lifestyle for the sake of their well being.

To give you an overview of the adverse effect caused by obesity, here is a comprehensive list.

Understanding Transient Global Amnesia

My First-Hand Experience

 

I was walking in the garden with Granny and she was talking about how my dad would run around the house and hide by the plants when he was up for a spanking again. She said while she was watering the plants that my dad would itch like crazy because he’d squeeze himself in between flowers with thorns because he was so afraid of Granny.

 

She was in the middle of a funny topic when she turned around and asked me, “Who watered my plants?”. “You just did, Granny.” I was a bit confused at first. But the most frightening experience I had with her was when she looked at me and said, “Why are we here? What’s happening?”

 

I was so scared I called my dad at the top of my lungs so that he would hear me since he’s inside the house. He came running and I told him what happened. We decided to bring her to the hospital because we didn’t know what was happening to her. She seemed very disoriented and she was constantly asking me what happened to her and where she was going – she asked me that about five times.

 

Labs and scans were taken and while she was sitting across the doctor’s table beside me, she slowly began to regain bits and pieces of her memory. After a few more minutes, her memory went back to normal. The doctors came up with a diagnosis and it was transient global amnesia.

 

 

Transient Global Amnesia Defined

 

Transient global amnesia, which usually affects individuals between 40 and 80 years old, is technically a temporary loss of short-term memory. It is neurological in origin, which may be associated with epilepsy or stroke.

 

An individual suffering from this condition suddenly experiences loss of memory where he doesn’t recall what he just did, where he is and why he’s even there. He asks questions repeatedly because he is confused and disoriented, and he forgets the answers that were just recently given to him. He does remember himself and the people close to him, but he is unable to create new memories, which can make it very depressing for the affected individual.

 

 

Essential Symptoms for Diagnosis

 

 

Below is a list of the important signs and symptoms to watch out for in order to suspect transient global amnesia.

 

  • Abrupt onset memory loss, can’t recall recent events and unable to create new memories
  • Identifies oneself and those close to him
  • Asks repetitive questions
  • Ability to identify objects and follow instructions are retained
  • No other neurological affectation that involves arm or leg paralysis or impaired cognition
  • Memory loss lasts less than 24 hours and eventually returns to normal
  • Absence of epilepsy or seizure during the period of amnesia

 

Possible Causes of Transient Global Amnesia

 

The exact cause of TGA is still unknown and doctors and researchers continue to exert efforts into finding the origin of this disturbing condition. Although transient global amnesia is rare, it can cause depression and frustration to the individual and his family.

 

Some possible causes that are associated with the condition include:

  • Exercise, including sexual intercourse
  • Emotionally draining or stressful events
  • Pre-existing vascular disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Migraine

 

 

When to See a Doctor

 

When something like this happens to someone we know, it is important that we remain calm. NEVER yell at the person, as he is already confused and frustrated. He needs all the support he can get. Talk to him in a calm way and try as much as you can to answer his questions, which requires that you be patient because he will be asking the same questions over and over again.

 

Although the person involved does not appear to be in pain, do not wait for the condition to prolong without treatment. It is not normal to experience memory loss. Bring the person to the nearest hospital and have him checked immediately. It would be wise to keep him there until his memory returns, which will be soon.

 

Don’t worry too much. Studies prove that once you’ve experienced transient global amnesia, you’ll never have it again. You just need to get through it the right way.

 

Do You Know What Kind Of Cough You Have?

 

You wake up in the morning feeling the pain in your throat when you swallow. You cough and cough and then, you spit blood. You begin to panic and become very anxious about the type of cough you have. Could this be something serious?

 

You hurriedly went to your doctor and have yourself checked, and the doctor auscultates your chest and back. She tells you that it’s nothing to be worried about, although your tonsils are red and inflamed and you’ll need to buy some Bactidol for that. She tells you that the blood was just because the coughing irritated your throat, which may be coming but has not yet reached the chest or lungs. You pay the doctor’s fee and go home, still feeling anxious and doubtful if there really is nothing wrong with you.

 

Knowing the Type of Cough You Have

 

The initial cause of a cough is usually because you are trying to get rid of an irritation in your throat. However, it would be helpful if you have sufficient information on the basics of cough – the types of cough and its causes. Anxiety from coughing is common, especially if the cough has persisted for weeks and you don’t have the time or resources to go and see a doctor.

 

Here are some common types of cough and how you can approach them.

 

Asthma

A wheezing cough is the hallmark of asthma. You often cough and make a sound when you inhale. People with asthma have inflamed airways, which results in wheezing and difficulty in breathing. Coughing often worsens at night or early morning.

 

Asthma is chronic and it can happen to people of all ages, but it usually begins in childhood. When your doctor suspects asthma, he might ask you to take a spirometry test, which helps determine the efficiency of your lungs. Exercise, too much hot or cold, and severe anxiety can trigger an asthma attack.

 

For fast relief, you can take medications such as albuterol, a bronchodilator that can be taken orally or through a nebulizer. It helps dilate the airways and makes it easier for the individual to breathe.

 

Postnasal Drip

It’s an irritating feeling when some fluid from the nose moves down your throat and you swallow it, or you attempt to spit it out by coughing. That fluid is called postnasal drip. This is usually a result of an allergic reaction to dust or pollen. It can also be released through sneezing. Inhaling steam is a natural way to get rid of postnasal drips.

 

Taking an antihistamine also calms down the symptoms and helps the individual relax and sleep. If the cough persists, though, you should see a doctor to rule out sinusitis.

 

Pneumonia

Unlike the first two types, pneumonia is a serious type of cough. It initially begins dry then progresses to become wet and may be filled with red, green, or yellow mucus. You should be worried when you start having low-grade fever, chills, and difficulty breathing along with a painful cough.

 

Children with pneumonia are usually hospitalized, as they need careful monitoring. For adults, they may take antibiotics if the infection is bacterial. Over-the-counter cough medicines, rest and hot soup are some remedies for viral pneumonia.

 

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

 

 

COPD is mostly seen in chronic smokers. Coughing in COPD is persistent, lasting for more or less three months. There is plenty of phlegm, which can be green, yellow, or even bloody. Bronchitis and emphysema are two kinds of COPD.

 

Other types of cough are those which are medicine-related. There’s also a cough that makes a whooping sound called pertussis.

 

If you are unsure of the type of cough you have, you can always read through this article or find other helpful information online to help you ease your anxiety. If, however, your coughing disturbs your daily activities and the symptoms do not alleviate with simple remedies, then, you must see your doctor immediately.