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Mental Health Explained: The What, Where and Why of Anxiety
Mental Health Explained: The What, Where and Why of Anxiety
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Article Author : csatchell (March 29, 2013)

Anxiety seems like a drain on your mental wellness, but it can actually save your life. The adaptive and life-saving function of anxiety serves as a warning of threats to your wellbeing, but anxiety damages your mental health when it overwhelms you to the point where you cannot function. This is known as an anxiety disorder, which potentially stems from abnormal neurotransmitter functioning or psychological causes.

The common types of anxiety disorders are social phobia, simple phobia, panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder. When you have had an especially traumatic experience, this can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. However, the causes of other common phobias are more difficult to discern, and often arise out of a combination of factors.

There are biological causes of anxiety disorders, (genetic, neurophysiological and neuroanatomical changes), and cognitive ones, involving the way you learn to perceive yourself and threats in the environment. How you cope with unconscious fears and conflicts, or psychodynamic causes, can lead to anxiety disorders, and there are also developmental causes which involve the way you build secure relationships to protect against threats.

So that’s what they are, where they come from and why they occur, but how can anxiety disorders be treated? The way your anxiety disorder is treated will depend on your particular circumstances, such as who your therapist is, who you are as a person and what the presenting situation is. Generally, you will often be treated with medication, psychotherapy or a combination of the two. It is not something you can just ‘snap out of’ and those who tell you that you should just increase your feelings of guilt and helplessness.

In terms of completely overcoming the condition, 55-65% of those who are given medication or cognitive-behavioural therapy to treat their anxiety disorders respond to the treatment. The results vary depending on the type of medication used, concomitant therapy and the population studied. According to certain studies, a combination of medication and cognitive-behavioural therapy is the best way to prevent relapses in the long-term. If you think your mental wellness may be affected by an anxiety disorder, don’t suffer in silence but consult your doctor and look online for more information and resources to help you.

Better Sex

How to Improve Disappointing Sex With Your Pa...
    There are many happily married couples out there, but how many of them are enjoying equally happy sex lives? Marriage is about far more than just sex, but there’s no denying that it does play an important role. If your sex life leaves a lot to be desired, it could end up putting a strain on other areas of your relationship - it’s the kind of thing that affairs are made of. There are several ways to improve your sex life though, without you needing to stray from the bonds of your marriage. The first one is simple - be honest. If you aren’t enjoying the bedroom antics with your partner, you need to tell them and explain what it is that is not doing it for you. Nobody wants to hear that they are a lousy lover, and the number of people wanting to tell someone that kind of news is equally low. However, no-one can improve if they don’t know what they’re doing wrong. Lying to your partner about your sex life is only making the issue worse. Be open with them and explain that while you aren’t enjoying the sex at the moment, you are willing to work at it to improve and better your relationship. While they may be sad to hear it initially, the silver lining is that you’ve communicated it honestly and are willing to try and work things out. Try to soften the news with compliments and praise outside of the bedroom, so that they know you aren’t disappointed in every aspect of your marriage. Be honest about what turns you on and explain this to them - perhaps you may want to share some fantasies together to get each other in the mood and broach the subject in a flirty way. If the way they kiss you doesn’t do it for you, tell them. Be honest if you’ve never been able to orgasm with them, or if something they do during sex really turns you off. It’s embarrassing, but no more so than lying to your partner about something as vital to a relationship as sex. Educate each other about how to turn each other on, so that you can both do a better job of making each other sexually satisfied. Criticism is only constructive when you offer advice and alternatives, so don’t tell your partner they’re a bad lover without offering ways they can improve. You need to verbalise and show them exactly how to touch you and the ways that you want them to turn you on. Most importantly, during this early stage in the game, be supportive. It’s never easy to hear that something you’ve been doing for so long isn’t actually working. It’s vital that you express pleasure when they do something even slightly close to what you want, so that they know when they’re getting it right. It’s likely that at this stage they are dealing with a new set of insecurities on top of any they already have, so don’t make it worse by leaving them in the dark about what they’re doing. Maintain the intimacy between you and be sure to spend time together, romantically, outside of the bedroom too. Your relationship is about more than just what goes on in the bedroom, so don’t forget that. If all else fails, and you’ve given it time to try and work things out, there’s also professional help. There are many couples therapists available to help you work through any rough patches, so don’t be worried about speaking to someone if you’re finding things difficult.  
Aphrodisiacs: Well-Known Foods to Get You in ...
    A night of passion with that special someone is just what the doctor ordered for your emotional health and wellbeing, so it’s important to set the stage for success. You look amazing, the stars are out, you’ve got your go-to make out song ready on the stereo, so what’s on the menu? This is no time for takeaway curry or a ready meal my friend, you want to hit him with a taste sensation to awaken and arouse his senses – and this is where aphrodisiacs come in. Tempt him with these tasty treats and you’ll have sexual wellness sorted.   1. Oysters: Well-known red-hot lover Casanova was said to eat oysters by the dozens, which is perhaps why they’re the most famous aphrodisiac on this list. As well as the fact they visually represent a woman’s, ahem, womanhood, they’re associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. We get the word aphrodisiac from Aphrodite herself, who even sprang from an oyster shell! Aside from these subconscious associations, oysters possess massive amounts of zinc which aids in a man’s sperm count and fertility. Plus, oysters pack a real iron punch which is great for preventing fatigue – the enemy to any couple’s night of passionate love-making.   2. Chocolate: You see it practically jumping off the shelves when Valentine’s Day rolls around and with good reason; chocolate is another well-known aphrodisiac. While originally people went loco for cocoa simply because it was so rare and luxurious (potatoes were considered mood-boosters for the same reason), studies have linked chocolate lovers with higher libidos. This is because chocolate contains serotonin, which is a chemical that makes you happier and thus more likely to show your partner some affection. Plus, the caffeine and sugar content in chocolate gives you the energy you need to take care of business. However, the real secret weapon in chocolate is phenylethylamine. This is the natural neurotransmitter version of amphetamine, high levels of which are associated with love.   3. Carrots: There’s a reason why Bugs Bunny is so good with the ladies (come on, Lola Bunny was far too hot for him); he’s always munching on a carrot. Much like oysters get you thinking of lady parts, carrots are phallic symbols (in case you were wondering, the female equivalent of “phallic” is “yonic” – who knew?!) Phallic symbols hold power over the mind as a way to get your partner’s parts moving into action. In fact, the power of many aphrodisiacs relies upon a medieval philosophy known as the "Doctrine of Signatures." The belief goes that the Good Lord created things to resemble their purpose; herbs meant to treat the liver look like the liver etc. This is why carrots and other phallic foods supposedly get you going; it’s practically divine intervention.   4. Real Phalluses: While many aphrodisiacs look like male genitalia, some cultures take the idea one step further: consuming the actual penis of other animals. If you want to emulate the masculine prowess of a tiger, you might want to take a bite of the king of the jungle’s crown jewels. Meanwhile, animals with a particularly randy lifestyle, like dogs, are thought to hold this libido secret in their reproductive organs. The idea is that eating these animals' organs enables you to take on some of the animals' powers. However, if you can’t stomach the idea of eating an animal’s penis (after all, you’re not trying to kick-start your career on I’m a Celebrity) there’s always animals that look like human penises; snakes. Snake blood has been used as an aphrodisiac in the past, simple because a human male's penis is often likened to a snake. Still, I think I’d rather stick with chocolate and oysters.  

Confidence

Should Women Leave Body Hair to Grow Naturall...
    Written by Jenny Catton   Every few years a female celebrity hits the headlines for being pictured with underarm hair. But why does the media find this so shocking? Body hair is completely natural and yet in a survey conducted by Soft Paris only 1% of women surveyed said they would grow their underarm hair. So should women leave body hair to grow naturally?   Yes – Bridget I find it very strange that millions of women are spending time, money and often subjecting themselves to pain, all in the pursuit of being hair free. Body hair is completely natural and so we should embrace it – not hide it. The reason that a lack of hair is so fashionable is purely down to marketing. Beauty companies make millions of pounds selling lotions and devices that remove body hair and so they promote an image of a smooth hairless woman and tell us that’s what we should aspire to. Sadly, lots of women buy into this and throw their money at the companies that are creating insecurities and profiting from them. I often get told that having body hair is unattractive but I think the opposite is true. It’s a sign of being a mature woman and if you’re confident enough to keep your body hair then I think that confidence can be very sexy. The argument that body hair is unhygienic is also ridiculous. There is absolutely no reason why body hair should be unhygienic. In fact, removing hair can cause its own problems – there’s certainly nothing sexy about a shaving rash, stubble or in-growing hairs. Why should any woman be made to feel strange or unclean for choosing to keep her body hair? We need to fight back against the marketing that’s gone too far.     No – Fiona I don’t believe anyone can truly believe that body hair on women is attractive. There’s certainly nothing sexy about hairy armpits and I’m very happy to remove my excess body hair. There are so many ways to deal with body hair that there really is no excuse for letting it grow. I prefer waxing but if you’re worried about pain, then you can shave or use creams – there really is something for everyone. I’m all for personal choice but I do believe that personal hygiene affects other people. I live in London and when I travel on the tube, I don’t want to be offended by smelly, hairy armpits! Being clean shaven makes it much easier for women to stay clean and free from sweat. I’ve never met a man who would prefer a woman to let her body hair grow naturally and I think anyone who says it is attractive is just trying to get a reaction. From time to time you hear about a female celebrity who has been photographed with underarm hair but they are not letting it grow because it’s attractive – they are doing it just to get attention. People might say women should let their hair grow in order to support the feminist movement but I think there are much more important issues to address such as equal pay for women. Saying that a woman has to let her body hair grow in order to be a feminist is ridiculous.  
Orthodontics: 3 Reasons Why You Want a Straig...
  When you look in the mirror, you might see teeth that are crooked because there isn't enough space in the mouth for all of them to grow in properly. There could be teeth that have gaps in between them. You might have difficulty eating or talking because of the condition of your teeth. Orthodontics gives more than just a beautiful smile. It can change the entire layout of your mouth.   Self-Esteem One of the reasons why you might want to consider orthodontic treatment is to increase your self-esteem. If you don't see straight teeth that give you the beautiful smile that you want, then it can play a factor on how you feel about the rest of your appearance. When you start seeing that the teeth can be straight with orthodontics, then you can feel better about the way that you look. Orthodontic treatment isn't just for teenagers who feel as though they want to have straight teeth. Adults can have the treatment as well so that they have teeth that are aligned properly to give the desired appearance.   Biting Down If you notice that you have problems with biting on foods, then orthodontic treatment can solve this issue. According to the Coquitlam Centre Dental Clinic, braces can help pull the teeth into an alignment so that you have a natural bite. You won't have the top teeth that extend over the lower jaw or bottom teeth that seem to appear as though they are in front of your mouth. Creating a natural bite can take some of the tension off of the jaws. This can decrease any headaches that you might have as well as relieve pressure on the gums and teeth.   Crowding Some people have a mouth that doesn't have enough room for all of the teeth inside. This can cause the teeth to be crooked, and if the teeth are crooked, it can be hard for them to function properly while you're eating. When the wisdom teeth grow in, there likely won't be room, so they will either grow under the back teeth or further push the teeth together in the front of the mouth. After a few teeth are pulled, orthodontic treatment can be used to get the teeth back in a straight line. When the teeth aren't crowded, there will be a decrease in bacteria build up, which will decrease the chances of cavities forming or teeth chipping.   Orthodontic treatment is ideal for teenagers and adults who want a straight smile or if there are issues involving the teeth that need to be corrected for your overall health. The treatment doesn't last long. Most people are out of braces or other methods of treatment in only one or two years. The smile that you have as a result will be something that you want others to see.  

Depression

How To Cope With Depression And Anxiety After...
  We all face challenges in life, but how do you recover when a debilitating injury has left you unable to enjoy life the way you once did? After a major injury, you may experience feelings like sadness, anger, denial, worry, and fear. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help yourself recover and get back to the life you once enjoyed.

Acknowledge Your Emotions

Acknowledging that it is normal for you to feel sad, helpless, or anxious, can go a long way in helping you recover. Try not to hold these feelings back. Surround yourself with supportive people who will listen to you and help you work through these feelings without judgment. Allow yourself time to accept what has happened, and do not try to rush the recovery process.

Don't Push Yourself Too Much

It's natural to want to do the same things as before the accident as quickly as possible, but it's important to understand that it won't happen soon, and things may never be the same. Don't be afraid to say “no” to things you could have easily done before. Don't push yourself physically or emotionally to avoid more stress.

Talk to a Counselor

Counseling can be a very effective tool in helping you deal with your emotions after the injury. However, many people feel uncomfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings with a complete stranger. Remember, talking to a third party can help you get an objective look at your situation and show you what steps to take to improve your condition. Your counselor can also advise you of any beneficial support groups you can attend.

Stay Active & Healthy

Staying active has proven to help the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Talk to your doctor about what kind of physical activities would be beneficial for you to enjoy while recovering from your injury. Also, make sure you are eating a well-balanced diet and avoid the use of alcohol or drugs. It can also be beneficial to engage in some of the hobbies you enjoyed before the injury such as painting or reading.

Consider Speaking to a Lawyer

After an injury, the last thing you may want to endure is a long legal battle. However, if the injury is no fault to your own, you deserve a chance to rectify the wrongdoing. There are lawyers in your area who are committed to helping their clients cope with life after the accident and receive any compensation they may be entitled to.   Depression and anxiety after a major injury can cause normally productive, socially active, independent people to withdraw into a world of emotional pain that is often far greater than the physical pain they are experiencing. However, by following a few of the suggestions above, it is possible to find yourself enjoying life again free of your psychological handicaps.   Informational credit to Howard Yegendorf & Associate.  
Could Depression be Linked to Disease Resista...
Diseases such as cancer are thought to be best treated using both the body and the mind, in order to boost the immune system in every way. Our immune systems do far more than simply fend off the common cold. Social support, for example, can significantly improve a person’s condition and extend the life of a cancer patient. In studies looking at victims of cancer, researchers found that women who attended support groups lived twice as long as those who didn’t, on average. A study in Los Angeles at the University of California found that patients who had survived cancer for a minimum of five years and attended group therapy lived three times as long as those who didn’t attend any therapy sessions. It seems that relying on others to boost our mood when we’re ill could help us fight conditions and diseases far more effectively. When people are grieving, their T-cells and the natural killer cells in the body, both of which are important for defending the immune system, function far less effectively. By being supported and comforted by friends and family members, this aspect of the immune system may well be bolstered. However, people who are depressed and anxious may suffer the opposite effect.    

In a study involving 4825 healthy individuals, 146 of them were depressed. In those who had been depressed for a minimum of six years, the chances of developing cancer were far higher. This is thought to be because of the fact that this condition kills of the natural ‘killer’ cells, so the body doesn’t fight off diseases. This isn’t to say that depression can cause cancer, but it does signify that depression and related issues such as anxiety can lower one’s immunity to the disease. This makes it not only a risk for cancer, but also other diseases. There are however other theories that suggest that cancer may cause depression, with a study discovering that in 43 liver tumour patients there was a direct link between clinical depression and an immune modulator. The chemical which is released when our immune system fights cancer is the same substance that may trigger depression biologically. Although this may seem like bad news, it is actually the opposite. It provides researchers with new tools for treating cancer - it also highlights the link between the mind and other diseases. Taking the time to meditate and de-stress is important in order to strengthen the immune system, so that we can better fight off illnesses.

Leading a stress-free lifestyle as best you can is one of the best ways to fight off anxiety and depression. This means doing plenty of exercise, which can boost your mood and release endorphins to keep you happy, as well as eating a balanced diet that’s rich in brain-healthy foods. Oily fish, plenty of fruit and vegetables, and omega-rich nuts and seeds will ensure that you’re happy through your food. Take time to meditate and relax at least a few times a week, so that you don’t overload your mind with worries and stress - this can be anything from some alone time each week to spending time with friends and loved ones. Lowering your stress levels and ensuring you lead a healthy lifestyle will not only help to reduce the risk of depression but it will also stave off other health concerns such as heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. If you think you’re at risk of developing depression, or think you’re displaying signs of cancer, speak to your GP as soon as possible for advice on the situation.