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Mental Health
What exactly is an Anxiety Disorder?

In today’s world, anxiety has become extremely common among people. It is something that everybody experienced during their hard times. We consider it as a normal emotion like anger and stress.

Some people experience it way more than others and on a daily basis. Even on things that might be irrelevant or a very minor situation. But that person would not have any control over it as it becomes a part of their life and a part of who they are. Has this been incorporated in your life and now become a part of you? If yes, then it is a problem that needs to be dealt with so that your other areas of life do not suffer or get hindered because of your anxiety. 

It is very eminent that if a person faces severe or extreme anxiety, it will reflect on all his tasks. Be it school, workplace, housework, on his/her moods. Even on the conversations that you have with others. As because of your anxiety you might either act out or are not able to give the best appropriate response. We become engrossed inside our head with some different thoughts which the other person has no clue about. 

How does anxiety affect a person?

What anxiety does is, it alerts our body from some potential danger that is around us. Which later gives us the awareness that we have to handle the situation promptly. If a girl has a nightmare that she is followed by someone, then she will have extreme anxiety. Which is a body’s reaction to make her thinking process speedy so she can get out of the situation quickly. But on the other hand, if someone just faces anxiety during a normal conversation with someone new or in a crowd even when he/she is safe and even with a text message that pops up on your phone, that is something that needs help. 

We have normalized these reactions to even trivial matters. That is the reason majority of people are not happy these days. We do not realize the reason behind this because we ignore the signs associated.

What are the symptoms of anxiety disorder?

  • Panic, fear, and uneasiness 
  • Sleep problems 
  • Difficulty in staying calm and still 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Cold, sweaty, or numb 
  • Dry mouth
  • Overthinking  
  • Breathing faster 
  • Nausea 
  • Dizziness 
  • Inability to concentrate 
  • Obsessively avoiding feared objects, places or situations 
  • Trembling 
  • Difficulty in managing emotions and worry 
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Extreme nervousness

What are the types of anxiety disorder?

Generalised Anxiety disorder

  • In GAD, a person is consistent about worrying and being anxious about all big things in life. From even the tiniest stressful situation.
  • This person would worry about all the things in his life. He would feel that this behavior is out of his control to manage. 

Panic disorder

  • Panic attacks are psychological when there is intense fear which a person is not able to manage.
  • It portrays out in form of bodily symptoms which feel like a heart attack.
  • The person would feel shortness of breath, pain in the chest, increased heartbeat and thoughts of being dead. It is an aggravated form of anxiety. 

Agaraphobia

  • Agoraphobia forces people to stay inside their homes as they fear going out.
  • This fear is because they have experienced a panic attack once or maybe more times in life. It installs fear in them that they would experience it again.
  • They don’t want it to happen in a public place as it may be another trigger for the person.
  • So they avoid going out as they feel extreme fear anxiety due to this. 

Specific phobias

  • People fear various things enormously which ranges from a fear of heights, fears of snakes, fear of closed places, fear of public places, and the list goes on.
  • Phobias are acute irrelevant fears of some specific thing. It usually has a prior encountered traumatic experience which had led to their phobia in most cases.
  • For more clarity, if a person fears snakes, a person with a phobia from snakes will be different from us. As we would only be scared when there is an actual encounter with the snake. But people suffering from a phobia of snakes would even feel extreme anxiety by the thought of a snake or even when they hear the name snake.

Social anxiety

  • Social anxiety is one of the most common forms of anxiety that people experience.
  • One may feel embarrassed and can be too much critical of their selves by putting a great deal on what they wearing, how they are walking and excessive torture towards themselves for being out in public settings.
  • They might not be able to express themselves openly. Because this intense fear makes them want to stay unnoticed and they feel that everybody is looking towards them, judging them and criticising.

Other anxiety disorders

  • Separation anxiety disorder, substance-induced anxiety disorder and other specified & unspecified anxiety disorders.

What are the causes of anxiety disorder? 

In some cases, genetics plays a role but in most of them it’s a combination of a lot of factors of past experiences that an individual has had which leads to their current problem which might be:

  • Genetics: As we inherit our genes and characteristics from our families. So if somebody is already suffering from an anxiety disorder in your family the chances for you to acquire it through them becomes higher. 
  • Brain chemistry: According to some researches, anxiety disorder is a result of some faulty brain circuits because of which make it unable to handle anxiety-provoking situations. 
  • Drug usage: It can be either be prescribed to you by the doctor for some medical reasons or any recreational drugs. They will increase your likelihood to experience anxiety. As it will stimulate, your body’s response to those drugs or guilt or any negative feelings attached to using those drugs.
  • Childhood traumatic incidents are one of the most common reasons why anxiety disorder initiates. Sometimes it is only one small event that will remain with you all your life. You run for your life when a dog was chasing you. Because of this now you might have had a phobia of dogs for all your life. It can be anything and in most cases, people do not even realize where it started from. Until a Psychologist finds the root cause of the problem so it will not be resolved. 
  • Environmental factors: The conditions a person is staying in sometimes are too stressful and triggering. Because of which easily leads a person to have an anxiety disorder. 
  • One’s health issues can also be a reason for you to experience anxiety. But you should know that it jeopardizes your health more. Instead puts your health in a more grave situation.
  • A person’s temperamental traits and personality characteristics also can be a reason. It increases your chances to experience anxiety even in other incidents in life. Suppose if a person lost somebody close to them at a very young age. Then that person will remain fearful during all her life to not lose anyone which gets deeply embedded in the person’s personality for all life which can also make the person overly protected towards loved ones which becomes a reason for anxiety. If a person is shy, the chances of this person having social anxiety would be more than others. So a person’s own temperament and personality influences anxiety disorders in this manner.
  • If too much stress is accumulated over years. The mental pain or emotional instability is bound to turn into a grave outcome later on.

What is the most effective treatment for anxiety? 

  • Medications: In some cases when a person experiences too much anxiety. He/she may be prescribed the convulsants, beta-blockers, or antidepressants by a psychiatrist. But these medications are not healthy for being on a long time as it is just a temporary solution for the problem and one does not want to spend his whole life on medications.
  • Therapy: There are a lot of therapies that can help people suffering from anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the most used therapy for dealing with stress and anxiety as it helps in replacing distorted thoughts with healthier ones.
  • Learning to manage anxiety: Anxiety-provoking situations will always be there in your life for some or another. So what you can do is to learn how to manage those symptoms effectively and not let them impact your personal and professional life. 
  • Bringing in lifestyle changes with your diet, sleep, exercise, and many others. Becoming aware that how these things can impact you and enhance the anxiety you already experience. It will help you to get a better depth of dealing with this problem. But it would work if you stay consistent with it 
  • Do not hesitate in taking the help of mental health professional. If you are not being able to manage it or it has started to impact your life in different ways now 
19 Nov 2021
Anxiety
Emotion
Mental Health
Confused about your career? Things that you need to know

We all at some point in our life will be stressed out about our future. Our parents start thinking about it for us from a very young age. Be it at eighth standard or your masters. We are always in this turmoil about what to do next. 

And questions like, What is best for us? There will be times when you see everybody around you moving ahead in life. They all are completely focused and know what to do. And here we are, unaware of what to do next.

But that is alright. You are now just at the right place for it. Just like your unique fingerprints and eyes, your journey to your career would be distinctive. Some of us would be early and some late. It just doesn’t matter. Because what truly matters is you being on the right path, your own tailored path that was made for you alone. 

How does work influence life?

Well, one thing I want to tell you is that suppose when you start working at the age of 25 (it can be early or late, which is also perfectly fine), you’ll be working for an 8-hour job. If you start your own business then probably way more than that. So from 24 hours in a day, 8-9 hours we have to sleep.

So that means we have 15 hours to ourselves in the day. Out of which 9 hours we are working. And in the left hours, we have tons of other tasks to do. Like eating, Bathing, getting dressed, going to the office, etc. So how much time is left for yourself? Barely 1-2 hours.

Your maximum amount of time in your day is spent on your work. So if your work does not make you happy, you will never be happy in your life. NEVER. And imagine if you are spending most of your hours during the day doing things that you love. Work that doesn’t even seem like work. It should be something you love. 

Why is choosing the right career the most important thing in life?

Simply,

WORK SATISFACTION = LIFE SATISFACTION 

UNHAPPY IN WORK = UNHAPPY IN LIFE

This is why choosing a career that you love is so important. And for that, as mentioned above, we have to work on it from an early stage. One thing I tell everybody is that whatever you choose to build in your life, your foundation should be strong. So the same goes for us. 

We know the amount of competition that prevails in the world. If we aren’t on top of the list, we wouldn’t be able to achieve it. We have to stand out. And for that, our foundation of education needs to be strong. This is why choosing the right subjects, the right school/ colleges, and the right teachers is so important for us.

We should never dismiss this in our lives. As parents also, we should feel responsible for our children and guide them with the best. Mainly to bring them more clarity and coherence about what they like and how it can be transformed into a career.

So choosing the right career decision and making a smart decision keeping every statistic in mind is extremely important. As when we choose one career, it is just the beginning of everything. There are going to be so many things later in your life like promotion, standing out, being efficient, and scope of growth.

We are humans so we always learn more and more. It is a never-ending loop. So whatever decision you make, it should add more light to your life and more zeal. Rather than draining your energy out. Choose it wisely. 

Why does everyone not succeed in their field of interest?

A person just can’t go and choose a career and expect to succeed suddenly. We often see only a few exceeding in a certain field. That is because every field of work requires a certain aptitude and a certain understanding of what skill sets are required for a certain type of job.

Sometimes our interest doesn’t match with our skills set and vice versa. So knowing the inborn capabilities that you have within yourself is the key. In whichever field you decide to work in, there is going to be stress, overworking, exhaustion, and loss of motivation at some point or other. This is another reason why people tend not to succeed in their field. Because it is easy to get started in something but to retain it becomes difficult. And your consistency would later lead to success. So even before we get into a certain field, we should know if we can retain the pressures. 

Your career should always be in alignment with what you truly are and inhibit. If someone has a very high aptitude for being a doctor but gets into business instead. He would not be as successful in any other field as in the medical field. 

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. “ – Albert Einstein. 

Career reports

Career reports are one way of doing them. Above all, in these career reports, you get to know the skills you inhibit and the areas of improvement for your career advancement. You get to know your aptitudes, core potentials, recommended subjects, study habits, and also personalized career guidance.

It is designed to enhance your knowledge about the career that would suit you best. So if you feel confused about which course to choose or which subjects to choose. In addition, to know more about the best study habits for your children. It optimizes your framework to choose a specialization for you.

TEST DETAILS 

8th/9th 

Career foundation factors

  • Core potential 
  • Study habits 
  • Relation adjustments 

10th std 

Stream Locator 

  • Recommended stream with subject group 
  • Aspiration fitment analysis
  • Core potential areas and improvement areas 
  • Study habit improvements 
  • Personalized career guidance 

11th/12th std 

Career, Course & College Locator 

  • Aspiration fitment analysis 
  • Core potential & improvement areas 
  • Study habit improvements 
  • Personalized career guidance 

Graduation 

Career Path Locator PG/MBA/ JOB ENTRANCE

  • Recommended specialized career, course and college.
  • Aspiration fitment analysis 
  • Core potential areas and improvement areas. 
  • Job skill requirement 
  • Personalized career guidance

Professional 

Career switch or enhancement

  • Potential & personality analysis 
  • Strength & improvement areas 
  • Sector fitment 
  • Profile fitment 
  • Personalized career guidance for career switch/advancement

These career reports are available on ShopDoc with our Mental Health Practitioners who specialize as career coaches as well. Duo combination in one.

In conclusion, the only thing stopping you from optimizing yourself to the fullest is your own self. No one else. When we know there is someone in our life hindering us from growth. What do we do? We will distance ourselves from them. But what if that person is you. Then what do you do? 

Seek help or Just talk to a professional. 

RAVNEET KAHLON  Counselling Psychologist

16 Nov 2021
career
success
Mental Health
Dogs as therapy

Human-Animal connection

A Human-Animal connection, symbolic of lifelong love, comfort, fierce devotion, and intense loyalty. We receive unconditional love from them. They will always accept us no matter what. Not caring if you’re rich, poor, angry, or soft. They will always love you. They also create secure attachment which fosters the development of one’s self. It is a relationship that is mutual and beneficial for both humans and animals. All dog owners say and accept that this is the one relationship in their lives that will never hurt or disappoint them.

Our relationship with dogs dates back to 15000 years. It started as dogs giving humans protection and service during hunting, farming, and other tasks. From being alone in the World War to be the daily companions of our households. They’ve been with us in all possible ways. They are naturally and historically attuned to us.

Dogs as emotional support in Olympics and in schools.

Dogs provide us emotional support and are stress busters which is why a lot of people refer to them as ‘therapists’. Even in the Olympics 2020, in order to take care of the daily mental health battles. Some schools also have kept dogs as full-time employees after COVID-19. So that they help children with stress and anxiety which they still hold after the lockdown period.

Adoption of dogs by working people and their impact.

The importance of dogs is also highly present on the professional front. That is why they’re using it as a method for improving the mental health of athletes, students, and others too. 

– We have all faced stress, anxiety, loss, and loneliness during a hard time of 2020 and even 2021. Dogs comfort us, provide us with emotional support, and help us with healing from any sort of trauma. During the lockdown, we were all stuck in our homes. The adoption rate for dogs drastically increased and as everyone’s work was from home.

They got to spend a lot of quality time with their pets. And now the pets have grown with having their owners completely around them. They fear that their dogs would have separation anxiety if work gets back to the office. This change because of these factors was drastically seen as most of the people who then came back to work wanted to have a pet-friendly work environment. And companies like Google, Amazon, and Ben & Jerry are implementing new pet-friendly policies. All because of employee requests and their satisfaction.

Dogs and our well being.

  • They have the ability to instantly cheer up our moods, their little simple gestures just put a smile on their face. As even a simple touch comforts us when we are in need. Cuddling with our pets also increases our oxytoxin (happy hormones) which is why we always feel good with them. They are linked with positive emotional states and stress hormones like cortisol fall when we’re around them. And many researchers have shown a decrease in blood pressure.
  •  Even in India, the retired K9 dog heroes after serving their life for the police have now started with the second innings as therapy dogs at ITBP hospitals for the patients undergoing medical treatment and specially challenged children where these trained dogs provide their emotional support to those going through hard times.

Dogs impact on our daily lives

– Once you get a dog, your own physical activities increase as you have to take them out for a walk which eventually helps you with your physical health. 

– It also increases your social circle as you meet new people in your neighborhood. It would ignite conversations with them eventually leading to new friends and circles.

– Studies show that people who have dogs, met their daily exercise needs because they add a structure or a routine to the day. No matter how you’re feeling you will have to get out of bed to either feed them, take them out, or care for them which eventually helps you also.

Dogs adapt to our own personality. 

Another interesting fact about dogs is that they are a reflection of your own personality so if you meet someone’s dog, they would tell you about the owner also. This is a fact. Just like the child of the house will have the personality traits of the family members. The same goes for dogs because we raise them too like kids. Eventually, with time they adapt to our personalities and because of our own reflection. 

These are some of the reasons why you should adopt a dog or a pet. They have truly been an essential part of us during the pandemic. Go ahead and verify all the facts stated here with someone who has kept one and they will agree to them all and also add to them. The pandemic made people adopt dogs as they were lonely in this time period. And dogs were a source of providing them with the companionship which they have been providing us since day one.

RAVNEET KAHLON  Counselling Psychologist

15 Nov 2021
mental health
mental wellbeing
Health
Infectious disease
Mental Health
How has the year 2020 been good?

A year that has already been carved in the history of our coming generations. A word whose meaning remained unrevealed to most of the population. The rampant event that made every single mortal being walking on any side of the 5th largest planet and the so-called the only life-sustaining planet come on their toes.

To save them from something which for the first time united the whole world. And reminded the whole world that they are the same homo sapiens just living on different sides of the world. Just politically and physically separated. Otherwise the same beings with the same traits, emotions, vulnerabilities and going through the same thing, acting as a gentle reminder to everyone that the whole world is one family. 

What does the word Pandemic mean?

Originating from the greek the word ‘Pandemos’ pan meaning ‘all’, demos meaning ‘people’, was present in the dictionaries since the 17th century. It always makes itself prevalent from time to time and yet again in 2020. 

Our time stopped for a while which otherwise was impossible.

Isn’t it hard to believe that one virus, coronavirus can shut the whole of mankind down and force everything to be closed. And also will constraint the man in four walls. When we are the race of unstoppable and hence nature keeps on reminding us.

By the unpredictable kinks on our ways which we even while using our full potential cant get rid of from our way. So we here need to stop for a while and reflect on the time and need to decide that what can be controlled even in the time of turmoil. 

Learned new skills and discovered new passions.

Everybody across the globe had their battles to grow from. People have been surprising their selves by discovering new things about themselves. It was all over social media. We all saw that majority of people started to cook by themselves even those who did not even look for food for their own selves.

People who never went for a walk had now started to do lunges on their own lawn. Instead of seeing cars polluting on the road, you now saw calories being burned by cycles down the road.

More people discovering and coming up with their new passions were hitting everyone like a thunderbolt. Everyone, not even the privileged ones could use their power and step out of the four walls. Once for all everyone was on the same page.

This pandemic has no doubt put us down the hill. It is now going to take time to get back to what we were before. But on the other side, it has also pushed us further in a lot of ways. Online classes, courses, and even work from home which was all a rare thing before got escalated so much because of the pandemic. 

Less was more for us.

We are all distracted by superficiality. Everyone needed some time to sit with their own selves and decide what they actually wanted for themselves. This pandemic forced us to sit with our long-lost families. This made us realize that this world had just consumed us alive separating us from what is and will always be our life. As Joshua Becker says “ If buying stuff hasn’t made you happy, maybe getting rid of it will.” 

Nature needed it. 

This pandemic healed our nature. The researchers were on the lookout for an answer for preventing pollution and saving nature. With the closure of the whole world, wild animals started to come out to the roads. Even the busiest cities like Delhi with the highest pollution showed clean air. The air quality drastically improved. Even the ozone layer started to make the moves. We just by sitting in our homes could breathe a new form of ambiance in the rooms and even outside. 

Learned to live only on survival needs.

We all needed this break to realize that everything is temporary around us. Our survival needs are way too little compared to how much we have been consuming all our lives. But most importantly what we need to learn here is to know that we would not always have power over what is happening around us.

What we do can change what is happening around us. The only thing we exert real power is over us alone. If we know how to manage and balance it, not even the perfect storm will be able to shake you from your ground. 

Nature needed this break. To heal, although it took a lot of lives away from us. But haven’t we humans have been taking the rooted lives away ever since we have come their way? 

RAVNEET KAHLON  Counselling Psychologist

30 Oct 2021
covid 19
mental health
Health
Lung health
Let’s breathe healthily

Overview

For a healthy life, it is crucial to look after our lungs. Lungs are sponge-like organs that are occupied in the chest area. Lungs work nonstop to provide oxygen to our bodies and to remove carbon dioxide. 

Your lungs expand and contracts hundreds of times every day to take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. Lung illness can develop when any portion of the respiratory system is compromised.

Lung diseases are not something new nowadays. Every other person has some kind of lung disease. There are different types of lung diseases like cold, flu, cough, asthma, allergies and the list goes on. Let us make sure our lungs are doing just fine, our lungs are worth it.

Let’s breathe

People take breathing for granted. On average, we inhale 12-20 times in a minute. And when the oxygen was totally free back then, we started polluting the air and now it is no more free. Inhalation of polluted air can cause lung disorders. We have a tendency to put off dealing with our health problems until they become serious. 

The structure of the lung tissue is affected for many reasons. The lungs are unable to expand adequately due to scarring or inflammation of the tissue (restrictive lung disease).

The lungs have a hard time taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide as a result of this. People who suffer from this sort of lung disease frequently describe themselves as “wearing a too-tight sweater or vest”. As a result, they are unable to take deep breaths. Lung tissue diseases include pulmonary fibrosis and sarcoidosis.

Lung cancer is most common in smokers, although it can also strike persons who have never smoked. The amount of time and number of cigarettes you smoke raises your risk of lung cancer. You can dramatically reduce your risk of developing lung cancer if you quit smoking, even if you’ve been smoking for a long time.

Other than inhaling polluted air, lung diseases can occur for a number of reasons like hereditary, smoking, and more. Some of the most common respiratory diseases are:

  • Cough 
  • Allergies 
  • Colds 
  • Asthma 
  • Tuberculosis
  • Lung cancer
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD 
  • Bronchitis,
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Sarcoidosis, 
  • Pulmonary hypertension. 

Asthma

Asthma is a condition in which your airways are inflamed and spasm, resulting in wheezing and shortness of breath. It can be triggered by allergies, infections, or pollutants. 

Acute Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is a condition in which the lungs become inflamed. A virus is typically to blame for this rapid inflammation of your airways.

Emphysema

When the weak linkages between alveoli are broken and thereby hindering the flow of air. The most common cause is smoking. Emphysema also affects your airways by limiting airflow.

Lung Cancer

It can take many different forms and begin in any area of your lungs. It usually occurs in or around the air sacs in the major section of your lung.

Cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a disease that affects the lungs. You have problems removing mucus from your bronchi if you have this disorder. This results in recurrent lung infections.

Warning Signs – Lung Diseases

If your breathing rate is under 12 or over 25 while resting then it is abnormal. We can consider consulting a pulmonologist if we have the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Severe cough
  • Chest pain while inhale and exhale
  • Blood or mucus is coughed out
  • Fatigue
  • Regular respiratory infection

If you are struggling with any other symptoms then please do consider visiting a pulmonologist. Early diagnosis can help to provide proper treatment and thereby can save lives.

25 Oct 2021
asthma
emphysema
lung health
Health
Infectious disease
More people are dying of malaria than any specific disease

Table of Contents

What exactly is malaria?
What are the 4 types of malaria?
How do you know if you have malaria?
When should you see a doctor?
How is malaria caused?
Who is most affected by malaria?
How is malaria diagnosed in hospital?
What is the best treatment for malaria?
What are the ways to prevent malaria?

There are more people dying of malaria than any specific disease”

What do we know about malaria? Is it only a mosquito-related disease? We are going to clarify all your doubts.

In this article, we are going to discuss all that you need to know about malaria, its causes, treatment, and ways to prevent it.

What exactly is malaria?

Malaria is a disease that is caused by parasites that carried by infected organisms like mosquitoes (usually female anopheles mosquitos). When the infected mosquitos bite humans, these parasites get transferred and it results in malaria.

Malaria is not so common in semi-arid regions. They are usually found in tropical as well as subtropical regions. It is estimated that each year about 290 million people are getting affected and about 4 lakh people die due to the disease.

What are the 4 types of malaria?

The main four types of malaria are Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum), Plasmodium malariae (P. malaria), Plasmodium vivax (P. vivax), Plasmodium ovale (P. ovale), Plasmodium knowlesi (P. knowlesi)

But Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax are the most common types which usually spread in humans.

How do you know if you have malaria?

If you have malaria, then you will experience any one or many of the following symptoms such as:

  1. Fever
  2. Chills
  3. Cough
  4. Headache
  5. Nausea
  6. Vomiting
  7. Stomach pain
  8. Diahrrea
  9. Joint pain
  10. Fatigue
  11. Uneven heartbeat
  12. Fast breathing
  13. Bloody stool
  14. Anemia
  15. Continuous sweating

When should you see a doctor?

You should immediately visit a doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms such as:

  1. A very high body temperature
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Jaundice
  4. Renal failure

Signs and symptoms can only be seen a few weeks after you are affected. So if you are experiencing severe symptoms, you should not ignore them carelessly because your carelessness can lead to many complications 

How is malaria caused?

Malaria is mainly caused if a mosquito which is affected by Plasmodium parasites bites us. Other than the bite from an infected mosquito, other factors which are responsible for malaria include:

  1. To an unborn child from mother
  2. Due to blood donations
  3. Usage of used syringes or needles

Who is most affected by malaria?

The cause of malaria depends on the local preventive methods, seasonal changes, and individual precautions taken. Malaria can spread more on people such as:

  1. Old people
  2. Young children
  3. Pregnant women and infants
  4. People with HIV/AIDS
  5. People with low immunity

How is malaria diagnosed in hospital?

When you approach your doctor, they will first analyze your medical history and your recent travel history because it gives a clear idea about the source. Your doctor will also perform a physical examination to understand more about your condition.

If your doctor suspects that you have the symptoms of malaria, then you will have to undergo a blood test. This test will help your doctor to determine

  1. If you have malaria
  2. The type of malaria you are having
  3. Whether the condition has caused anemia
  4. If the disease has affected other organs

What is the best treatment for malaria?

For treating malaria, your doctor will provide you with medications and these medications will depend on the type of parasite that caused the condition. 

Some types of parasites are not resistant to malaria. So the medications provided by your doctor alone cannot cure the disease. In such cases, your doctor will prescribe you to take more than one type of medicine.

Sometimes the treatment method chosen by your doctor can vary depending upon the factors such as  :

  1. The severity of the symptoms
  2. Age
  3. Health conditions
  4. If you are pregnant

What are the ways to prevent malaria?

You should be cautious if you are traveling to an area where malaria is common. The only way to prevent malaria is by taking all the necessary steps to avoid mosquito bites. Some of the common methods that we could adopt to protect ourselves from mosquito bites are:

  1. Wear protective clothing such as full sleeves
  2. Use a mosquito net over the bed 
  3. Spray insect repellents in cases on your exposed skin and light clothes
  4. Ensure that your surroundings are neat and clean
  5. Take antimalarial tablets prescribed by your doctor

As always prevention is better than cure. Even though malaria is not so common in temperate climate regions, without proper preventive measures there is a chance that these diseases can spread at a higher rate.
If you suspect that you have any symptoms associated with malaria, then you should immediately consult a general practitioner as soon as possible.

20 Oct 2021
malaria
prevent malaria
Fitness
Health
How many calories should I eat a day?

Calories is a commonly heard word especially for those who are concerned about physical health. But what is the appropriate amount of calorie intake we should intake daily? This is a common doubt. 

In this article, we are going to give you a clear idea of the proper amount of calorie intake. So that the next time when you plan your diet you will not be confused.

What is calorie in a food?

Before knowing the proper amount of calorie intake, let us have a look at the term calorie. Let us not make it complicated. In simple words, a calorie is a unit of energy. It is the amount of energy that we get while we eat food and drinks.

Most of us have a thought that calories are only associated with food. But the fact is everything that has energy contains calories. Let us consider an example. 1kg of coal contains about 7,000,000 calories! Such a huge amount right.

A calorie is usually classified into two. They are:

1. A small calorie(cal)

Small calorie or cal is defined as the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree celsius.

2. A large calorie(kcal)

Large calorie or kcal is the amount of energy required to raise 1 kilogram (kg) of water by 1º C. It is also known as a kilocalorie.

What do calories do to your body?

The basic idea is that we all need calories so that our bodies will get enough energy. Our body needs a specific amount of energy to work and function properly.

When we do not intake sufficient food that contains calories, our body will not get enough energy. As a result, our cells would not function properly, our internal organs stop their function and ultimately it results in serious health issues and even death.

To have a healthy life we need to consume only enough calories demanded by our body. Both high and low-calorie consumption can lead to health problems. 

What affects calorie needs?

Not everyone requires the same amount of calories. Everyone in your family, among your friends, needs a different amount of calories according to the needs of their body to function properly. Some of the factors which determine calorie intake are:

1. Age

We all need more calories at the growing age. Childhood is the basement of our body’s growth. So sufficient energy is required by our body to function and to grow.

2. Lifestyle

Normally, people who are into physical work need more calories. Let us take an example of an athlete and a person working in an office. The athlete needs more calories to meet his/her daily energy needs.

3. Physical size

Physical size defines the shape, weight, and height of your body. If you are tall or have a good physique then you need more calorie intake than those who are short or slim in body size.

Besides, there are many other factors such as:

  • Hormones
  • Gender
  • Medications you are using
  • Hormonal status
  • Pregnancy
  • Dieting structure
  • Genetics

So it is very important to decide and plan your diet according to your body’s requirements. Everyone’s physique and the work they do vary. So the number of calories that you intake should be ruled by those factors.

What is the best time to eat?

You may be wondering about the above question. What is the relation between the time you eat food and calories? The time that we consume food is very important as it determines the utilization of calories in our bodies.

Studies show that the breakfast that we eat should contain 700kcal. This meal is very ideal for supporting weight loss. Heavy breakfast in the morning is also useful in reducing the risk of diabetes, cholesterol, and heart attacks.

What are empty calories and why should you avoid them?

Are you familiar with the term ‘empty calories? Empty calories are those calories that provide energy but very less energy. Most of us are fond of foods containing added sugars. But they all contain empty calories and are unhealthy.

Some of the foods that have empty calories include:

  • Icecreams
  • Cakes
  • Pastries
  • Cheese
  • Pasta
  • Soda
  • Energy drinks
  • Bacon

These food items can do no favor if you wish to have a proper diet with the right calorie levels. Consuming these foods regularly can also make you unhealthy.
The bottom line is to know the requirements of your body. You should not consume extra or very-low-calorie level foods. So If you have any doubts about the correct calorie intake level required for you, consult a dietician as soon as possible

20 Oct 2021
calorie
diet
fitness
Health
Mental Health
Types of mental health professions

Table of Contents

Psychiatrists
Clinical Psychologist
Counseling psychologist
Psychotherapist
Therapist
counselor

Unhappiness has increased among people. Life satisfaction has decreased among people and now there is a drastic increase in the awareness for caring for one’s mental health. People have started to reach out to mental health professionals but while approaching them they face this very common problem to which one to choose. 

There are a lot of mental health practitioners to help you with your problems so this article will help you in assisting the right one for you. As it can be confusing because there is a long list of professionals out of which you have to choose one for yourself. 

Find the right mental health professional for yourself. Here is a description of the difference between the most common ones that you have heard of. Because mental health is a broad and complex thing, and that’s why different professionals specialize in different parts for our ease.

1. PSYCHIATRISTS

 A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of emotional, behavioral, and mental disorders. People seek psychiatric help for many reasons. The problems can be sudden, such as a panic attack, frightening hallucinations, thoughts of suicide, or hearing “voices”. They may be more long-term, such as feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or anxiousness that never seem to lift or problems functioning, causing everyday life to feel distorted or out of control.

 Psychiatrists usually focus on prescribing medicine and in some cases, it is mandatory but not in others. I personally have seen a lot of cases in which these medications were even misused so if you think that the problem is too severe and needs medical attention also only then one should go to a psychiatrist. But if the problem can be solved by therapies or needs assessment. Then going to a psychologist is a better option.

Degree

 Psychiatrists are medical doctors who have an MBBS degree, and then a master’s degree with a specialization in psychiatry ( MD degree). A Psychiatrist is the only mental health professional who will prescribe medicine so if you need some drastic and immediate changes in life, you should go to a psychiatrist. If you can’t sleep or have difficulty eating or have any other psychotic symptoms then a psychiatrist is the right person for you. 

2. CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST

 A clinical psychologist is a mental health professional. They highly specialize in the diagnosis and psychological treatment of mental, behavioral, and emotional illnesses. Clinical psychologists do not prescribe medications to treat mental illness. Rather, they use psychological techniques and have RCI registration for practicing. Being fully trained for severe cases of psychological problems so they can handle them with all the interventions except medicine. So if you are someone who prefers being treated without medicine, should choose a psychologist.

They are trained in primary care centers or medical centers with giving patients proper inpatient treatment for their concerns so they are better at dealing with more severe cases.

Degree

 A Clinical Psychologist has a master’s degree (M.A.) and an M.Phil in clinical psychology which is both for 2 years. M.Phil includes practice entirely but no theory which makes them have more practice in the field. A Clinical Psychologist also cannot prescribe medications but works with or under a psychiatrist. So they can easily work with cases that are more diverse.

3. COUNSELLING PSYCHOLOGIST

Counseling psychology is a general practice and health service provider specialty in professional psychology. It focuses on how people function both personally and as well as in their relationships at all ages. Counseling psychology addresses emotional, social, work, school, and physical health concerns. People may have various concerns at stages in their lives, focusing on typical life stresses and more severe issues with which people may struggle as individuals and as a part of families, groups, and organizations. 

Counseling psychologists help people with physical, emotional, and mental health issues as they improve their sense of well‐being, alleviate feelings of distress, and resolve crises. They also provide assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of more severe psychological symptoms because they want to use the proper psychometric tools available. 

Degree

 A Counselling Psychologist has a master’s degree in Psychology (M.A).

4. PSYCHOTHERAPIST

Psychotherapists are similar to counseling psychologists and the two can overlap. Psychotherapy is deeper and addresses the underlying causes of the problems, as well as helps the person solve them. The different mental health professionals can have different licenses in their respective fields of work and interests. They can be, licensed professional counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and mental health nurse practitioners. ‘

Psychotherapy can be helpful in a number of problems. It usually aims at understanding the person at a very deep level which goes back to childhood as well.

5. THERAPIST

 A therapist is a broad designation that refers to professionals who are trained to provide treatment and rehabilitation. The term is often applied to psychologists, but it can include others who provide a variety of services, including social workers, counselors, life coaches, and many others. There are different types of therapists having different specializations. 

  • Art therapists
  • Child therapists 
  • Marriage and family therapists 
  • Music therapists 
  • Occupational therapists 
  • Psychotherapist 
  • Yoga therapist 

And the list goes on….

These are therapists who are trained specifically in these fields which can help you.

6. COUNSELLOR 

 A counselor is a very broad term and does not cover only mental health professionals but also other professions too. In the field of mental health, a counselor is a person who uses “Talk Therapy”. Counselors can also be a person who is psychologists, counseling psychologists, etc.

So now you know the difference between them all. Before you start your therapy, ask your professional about their specializations which will give you more clarity.

Well, reading the above descriptions of the working professionals. It might still be a little confusing for you as you might not find a huge difference between what they all practice but in the same place it is a good thing that we have so many options to choose from. 

In these descriptions, you should be able to figure out which one would work for you and would bring out the best results. 

Ravneet Kahlon, Counseling Psychologist

20 Oct 2021
counsellor
mental health profession
psychaiatrits
psychologist
psychotherapist
Health
Mental Health
Do not normalize depression

Table of Contents

What is the real meaning of depression?
What exactly are the symptoms of depression?
What are the usual causes of depression?
What are the general methods used to treat depression?
How can we prevent depression?

Do you feel depressed often? Do you have doubts about your mental health? Are you sure that you are mentally fit and healthy? Don’t worry. We are here to answer all your queries. So in this article, we are going to discuss depression, its causes, treatment, and prevention.

What is the real meaning of depression?

Depression is a common medical condition that affects your mood. It can also affect the way you feel, the way you think, and the way you act. Luckily depression can be medically treated. Sometimes depression is associated with sadness, loss, anger, and loneliness.

People who are experiencing depression need to be cured as soon as possible. But, if not it can affect their social, personal as well as the financial environment. It is also possible that a depressed person will be having a lower productivity.

Depression is mainly classified into two. They are:

  1. Major depressive disorder
  2. Persistent depressive disorder

Depression not only affects you mentally, but it can also affect you physically. So depression should be cured as soon as possible. A person experiencing depression can worsen persisting physical conditions such as:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Asthma
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Alzheimer’s disease

It is normal that at some point in our life we will be feeling sadness. But if you are feeling low or sad frequently, then you must be depressed. However, you should understand this situation before it defeats you.

What exactly are the symptoms of depression?

Depression can cause a variety of symptoms. Sometimes these symptoms can vary differently in males and females too.

Symptoms in men

Usual symptoms of depression associated with men may include:

1. Mood changes

Mood changes that are commonly found in men may include:

  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiousness

2. Behavioral changes

Major behavioral changes caused due to depression in men are:

  • Loss of interest
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Drug usage

3. Sleep pattern changes

Depression can also cause sleep disorders such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Restless sleep
  • Excessive sleepiness

4. Physical problems

The main physical problems that are caused due to depression are:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Digestive problem

Symptoms in women

Usual symptoms of depression associated with men may include:

1. Emotional disturbances

Usually, depression can cause emotional disturbances in women such as:

  • Feeling sad
  • Hopelessness
  • Anxiousness

2. Sleep pattern changes

Most common sleep pattern changes in women caused due to depression include:

  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Sleepwalking
  • Sleeping too long

3. Cognitive ability changes

Cognitive ability changes associated with women due to depression include:

  • Thinking too much 
  • Talking too slowly

4. Behavioral changes

Women who are experiencing depression can also undergo many behavioral changes. Some of them are:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Withdrawing from hobbies 
  • Less interest in social engagements

What are the usual causes of depression?

Many factors cause depression. Each factor may differ from person to person. The usual factors that cause depression are:

1. Family history

Hereditary can also affect depression. You are at a high risk of having depression, especially if any of your family members possess factors like mood disorder or any other mental health issues.

2. Childhood trauma

Events that happened in your childhood can influence your mind and can persist even after many years. Some events that happened so long can alter your body’s reaction towards fear or stressful situations.

3. Drug usage

People who are addicted to drugs can have depression and other mental health-related issues. Substance abuse can increase feelings such as sadness, loneliness, and hopelessness which are usually related to the symptoms of depression

4. Brain structure

Brain structure can seriously affect the symptoms and intensity of depression. In addition, if the frontal lobe of your brain is less responsive, then it can support the onset of depression and other mental health issues.

What are the general methods used to treat depression?

Treatment of depression is very necessary, to live our lives to the fullest. Treating depression can increase the quality of life too. The general methods used to treat depression include:

1. Medications

If you are struggling with depression your health expert may use certain medications to treat depression. The most common medications associated with treating depression include:

  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Antipsychotic medications

2. Light therapy

Light therapy is a common treatment used to treat depression. It is also proved that when a person is exposed to white light it can improve mood and reduce the symptoms related to depression.

3. Talk therapy

This method is also known as psychotherapy is a method to treat depression. It includes talking with the therapist. During the talk session, your doctor will be able to know the reason and suitable method to reduce the issues related to your depression.

How can we prevent depression?

Depression is a very hard medical condition to prevent. Many causes affect depression. But once you have experienced depression, it will be easier for you to prevent it. Some of the simple steps we could adopt to prevent depression are:

  1. Get sufficient sleep
  2. Engage in physical activities
  3. Eat a healthy diet
  4. Talk to your family and friends also during hard times
  5. Consult a therapist without hesitation so that you can take help.

Moreover, depression is a common medical issue nowadays due to lifestyle changes and other factors too. Our medical system has proven ways which help you to combat depression.

Depression is a case of mental health. So if you feel depressed you should immediately consult a psychologist as soon as possible.

20 Oct 2021
depression
mental health
Health
Sexual Health
Shh! We are going to speak about sex education

Many of us experienced an education where our biology teacher skipped the chapter ‘Reproduction in humans’. We are living in a country where people are ashamed when talking about sex whereas the number of rape cases happening each day is growing.

Most families in India don’t have a clear answer when their children ask “How babies are born?”. Why are you ashamed? Lack of sex education can lead to many relationships and social problems including the boom of rape cases.

It’s high time that our educational system needs a change. We need a society where children and parents can speak openly, clear their doubts, and not be ashamed when speaking about sexuality. In this article, we will discuss all that you need to know about sex ed.

What is sex education?

Sex education is nothing but simple guidance to people to gain information, skills, and motivation about sex and relationships. It is a high-quality educational method to learn about the values, correct wrong beliefs, and take care of one’s sexual health too.

Sex education usually has to take place at schools and at home. But in countries like India, proper sex education is not provided both at families or educational institutions. Proper sex education should comprise the following elements such as:

1. Human Development

Including reproduction, puberty, gender identity, and sexual orientation

2. Relationships

Including families, friends, dates, and romantic relationships

3. Individual skills

Including communication and decision-making skills

4. Sexual behavior

Including temperance and sexuality throughout life

5. Sexual health

Including sexually transmitted diseases, contraception, and pregnancy

What is the need for sex education?

There is a myth that sex education is only associated with sexual relationships. Sex education covers all topics including the safety of each individual. Every person from a very young age should know who can touch them.

We all know that puberty can bring a variety of changes in children physically and mentally. Sex ed prepares them how to handle these situations too. Everyone has the right to know about their body. But most people explore it through poor methods such as the internet.

Parents also have the responsibility of teaching a child about sex education. Many people think that sex education can increase the engagement of children in sex. But actually, it does the reverse. Sex education helps a person to figure out what is right and wrong too.

Here are some of the reasons why we need to have sex education in a country like India where the population is increasing day by day.

1. It provides safer options to teenagers

Unprotected sex among teenagers is one of the major factors for the transmission of many diseases. Also, it is a major factor in contributing to population growth in India. It is seen that students who are sexually aware take less chance of unprotected sex.

Sex education teaches students about the positive and negative impacts of sex, thus making it easier for them to take decisions. It also awards students about contraceptive methods to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Teenage pregnancies can be mentally shocking to most teenagers. Sex education plays an important role in making teenagers responsible when it comes to sexual behaviors too.

2. Develops values and respect

Saying ‘NO’ is sometimes very difficult. Yet it is very important when it comes to sex. Sex education helps to increase respect and highlights the value of consent among partners. Sex ed also helps to increase comprehensive understanding of bodies.

Also through sex education, students will learn about the changes, mental and physical struggles each one has to suffer. So this makes them more responsible citizens as they develop more values

3. Helps to adapt to changes

Many mental health issues have been found among teenagers when it comes to physical changes. Those unaware of body changes sometimes feel it is very annoying. Sex ed helps children to prepare themselves mentally and emotionally.

In some cases, it is very difficult for teenagers to get out of mental health issues. In such cases, you should immediately seek help from your health expert. Mental health programs like U OK? Is very effective for resolving such issues.

What is the best age for sex education?

There is no specific time to educate children about sexuality and changes occurring in his/her body. For example, some girls experience menstruation at a very early age like when they are nine years old.

Sex education should begin at home. It doesn’t mean that parents should know everything to clear the doubts of their children. To make them aware of the changes parents can seek help from medical health experts.

Children are very curious about everything. So when changes happen in his/her body, they clarify their doubts. But sometimes they can gather wrong information from different mediums. So it is the responsibility of parents to educate their children about sex too.

Moreover, having open communication in the family about sex can make children feel more secure. So they will have the confidence to discuss the physical, mental and emotional problems.

Sex education is a must in each individual’s life. The education system must teach students to deal with all kinds of problems. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Sexuality is part of human life. Giving proper advice can remove doubts, complexities and increase respect for one another.

16 Oct 2021
sex education
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