Anxiety

anxietyThe mental disorder anxiety is one that is very prevalent in our society. Anxiety conditions are very present within our cultural fabric. Many people mistakenly assume that an anxiety disorder can be described simply as someone who gets scared a lot, in the same way other people get scared but more regularly. This is not an accurate description of anxiety. The attacks and episodes that a person experiences when they have anxiety are debilitating. They may hyperventilate and feel like they are going to have a heart attack. In fact, many people who have an anxiety attack go to the hospital, thinking they are having a medical emergency. The symptoms are severe and alarming.

Anxiety is a condition that sets in over time. It can have a variety of underlying causes but the symptoms are very similar between people diagnosed with it. They have an exaggerated sense of danger and an overactive fear response. The reaction that would be typical of a person meeting a bear in the woods strikes a person with anxiety at random in every day situations. They will frequently interpret someone or something as threatening even if the person or thing poses no real threat to them. Their fear response is very extreme. Their brain becomes flooded with cortisol and they are no longer able to interpret stimuli rationally. Physical responses include shortness of breath, racing heart, tightness in the chest and feelings of faintness.

Treatment for anxiety includes medication and counseling, both of which are very important to the management of this condition. Medication helps stabilize the brain chemicals that become out of control during an anxiety attack. Counseling helps teach a person with anxiety how to cope with its symptoms and how to identify when their anxiety is affecting them. Living with anxiety can be challenging, but its symptoms are manageable for those who take their treatment seriously. If you or someone you care about is struggling with anxiety, reach out to the services of a mental health professional today.

ADHD

ADHDOur understanding of ADD and ADHD has grown immensely in recent years. Over the past 20 years, ADD and ADHD have gone from being challenged as an unreal mental condition to discovering nine different varieties and variations of them. Psychologists and psychiatrists very much acknowledge the reality of ADD and ADHD in the present time. There are many statistics available to illustrate what living with one of these conditions is like. There are many treatment options available to people with ADD or ADHD, which focus on medication and counseling. The type of medication prescribed to people with this condition needs to prescribed very carefully, given that there are so many varieties of it. One type of medication may be very successful for one variety of this disorder while another type of medication may be detrimental.

ADD is considered to be a lesser condition than ADHD. The symptoms are not as strong or pervasive. ADD is characterized as a general inability to focus or a tendency to bounce around between focuses often. The impetus for the lack of focus may vary, as may the expression of the broken or scattered focus, but ADD serves as a blanket term for the general dysfunction. People with ADD frequently do not medicate or seek counseling because many find that they can manage their ADD and lead successful lives. Many people diagnosed with ADD are found “quirky” because of their condition, but often not dysfunctional.

ADHD, on the other hand, can prove more difficult to live with if the individual does not receive treatment. ADHD typically requires medication and counseling in order to manage properly. This form of the condition is much more pervasive than its close relative ADD. It is a more serious executive function disorder because it results in much more scattered concentration and immense difficulty organizing. A person with ADHD typically has a lot of trouble accomplishing tasks and executing activities because of their inability to manage their own thought process. Medication is extremely helpful with ADHD because it increases focus enough to allow the person to function.

Bipolar

bipolarThe mental disorder bipolar used to be something that was swept under the rug in our culture, but in modern times, we are all discovering together how common it is. Some elements of our culture still wish to turn a blind eye to it and stigmatize it, but with the availability of mass media, we are identifying that people who are bipolar are our friends, family members, neighbors and coworkers. We are also learning that there is no need to stigmatize a condition like bipolar because people are able to manage it and live with it very functionally when they take their treatment for it seriously. Bipolar is a challenging condition to live with, but millions are doing just that and having success.

Bipolar is identified by its two distinct extremes in mood. A person with bipolar will be in a very high, energetic mood for a period of time, then will slip into a depressed, lethargic mood for a period of time. Though they can also come into even, steady moods, they are usually short lived. The highs a bipolar person goes through are often referred to as mania. They are not like a good mood the average person experiences. They are unstable and not grounded in reality, frequently featuring delusional thinking and unrealistic goal setting. The lows a bipolar person experiences are deep and dark, sapping them of energy and clear thinking, paralyzing their effectiveness.

These cycles can last days, weeks, or even months in some cases. Bipolar is closely related to manic depression, which is characterized by general mood instability and deep depressive periods of extremely low function. Bipolar is typically treated with medication and counseling. There is no curing bipolar, but there are many success stories of living with it and managing it. Medication brings a bipolar person’s brain chemicals under control to curb the extremity of the mood cycles, while counseling gives the person tools to cope with their disorder and resources for identifying when their disorder is in effect. They also receive resources to turn to in times of crisis, such as support groups, sponsors and mental disorder support services.