Mental illness

Mental health statistics estimated that one in five adults in the U.S. lives with mental illness. Mental illness is categorized into a broad category, ranging from mild to severe, any mental illness (AMI) and serious mental illness (SMI). AMI encompasses all recognized mental illnesses, SMI is a small yet severe subset of AMI.  According to the National Institute of Mental Health,  AMI and SMI are defined as follow:

Rainawithchronicillness is pleased to have a special guest blogger, Ralph Macey, a professional writer, and a  medical health/patient care coordinator at Savantcare since 2014. Ralph writes articles on all mental health-related subjects. He holds a degree and two professional certifications in his field and continues to upgrade his knowledge with additional classes and seminars. He has provided mental health consultations and private fitness instructions for free in his local community.  Below is an article he wrote about how to cope with stress and anxiety during the pandemic.

Feeling stressed and anxious during the pandemic?

The coronavirus pandemic is creating stress and anxiety in people all over the world. The fear and anxiety regarding a new disease can be overwhelming and may cause strong emotional turbulence in your mind. Apart from that, a good number of people also change their lifestyle to stay home and to stop the spread of the coronavirus. This situation can be considered as an isolation period from society, from friends, and even from family members. As a result, people can experience severe stress and anxiety throughout the entire lockdown period. Are you feeling stressed and anxious during the pandemic?

If you also feel stressed and anxious during this pandemic,  you should take measures to manage your stress and anxiety as soon as possible. During these tough times, people would be required to help each other to overcome such difficult situations.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), anxiety is – “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.”

Anxiety disorders have already ruined 40 million lives in the United States. It is one of the most common mental illnesses here. Unfortunately, only 36.9% of patients with an anxiety disorder receive proper treatment.

If you want to cope with the anxiety and stress caused by the pandemic, you may need to identify the symptoms first.

Types of anxiety disorders

There are several types of anxiety disorders that people may experience during the pandemic. Below is a list of different types of anxiety disorders:

  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Specific phobias
  • Panic disorder or Agoraphobia
  • Separation anxiety disorder
  • Substance-induced anxiety disorder
  • Illness anxiety disorder (hypochondria)
  • Social anxiety disorder

 

Signs and symptoms of anxiety disorder:

  • Tiredness
  • Muscle tension
  • Muscle aches
  • Headaches
  • Sudden numbness
  • Excessive tension
  • Restlessness or agitation
  • Sleepy Sickness
  • Irritation
  • Sweating
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Feeling edgy
  • Lack of concentration
  • Racing thoughts
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Frequent urination
  • Trembling frequently
  • Feeling disconnected from others
  •  Apprehension about going to public spaces

How to reduce anxiety and stress

Consult a professional and follow proper medication

First of all, you may need to consult a doctor and discuss your symptoms. Mental health experts may suggest a few antidepressants to reduce anxiety, such as – escitalopram and fluoxetine. Doctors may also suggest a few anticonvulsant medications if you experience epilepsy. Most of the time a low-dose antipsychotic drug and anxiolytic can be helpful to reduce anxiety.

You might opt for psychotherapy and undergo proper counseling. Mental health experts will understand how to proceed and treat your anxiety issues. But know this, it won’t be cured in a day. You need to be patient and believe in your doctor.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is another effective method of psychological treatment that can treat several mental health issues like anxiety, stress, depression, substance abuse, and many more.

Stay connected to your loved ones

To fight anxiety and stress, it is important to believe in yourself and find or create your support system. It is quite difficult to maintain a positive attitude when dealing with anxiety. Due to the lockdown, people remain trapped inside their houses. This is one of the major causes of loneliness which may trigger stress and anxiety.

Due to severe anxiety and stress, you might feel less interested in talking with others. But you should do the opposite and stay connected to other people as much as possible. You won’t feel stressed or helpless if you reach out to others and help them. Talk to your friends and relatives via video chat or social media. Your loved ones care about you. Make new friends, they will help improve your mental health.

Maintain your day-to-day activities and follow a healthy routine

Having a healthy routine can be helpful to give a positive impact on your thoughts and feelings. This way, you may reduce your stress levels, and lower anxiety. Initiate healthy habits such as – eating healthy meals, physical exercising (e.g., walking, stretching, running, cycling), follow proper sleep timing, and do things you enjoy.

Reduce the consumption of caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks, etc. You should also avoid alcohol and smoking cigarettes. You may try these foods – Salmon, Green tea, Turmeric, Yogurt, Chamomile, Dark chocolate, etc. Drink plenty of water, usually, people drink less water when they are at home. So, drink as much as possible to remove toxins from your body and keep your kidneys healthy.

For staying active and keeping bad feelings away from your mind, you should do regular exercise, and get enough sleep. A proper workout will keep you in shape and also keep your brain cells active. You may try meditation or yoga to get a good night’s sleep every day.

Try to get outside of your walls at least once a day. Go for a walk in your garden, and get some fresh air while enjoying the sunlight. If you have a pool you may relax over there with your family.

Try to spend at least 1 hour with your kids. You may help them with their homework, or play with them in the garden. You may tell them how to take care of themselves during this pandemic by teaching them a few important lessons.

You may suggest they wear a mask when they are outside, frequently washing their hands with soap and water – especially before eating, cleaning their room every day, wearing clean clothes, taking a bath every day, etc. Spending quality time with kids can help you reduce stress and anxiety more than anything.

Stay informed but limit exposure to social media

It’s essential to stay informed about the situation around you, especially during such a crisis.  You need to follow the safety measures suggested by the government and do your part to slow COVID – 19 spreading. But through news and social media, there’s a lot of fake news and misinformation spreading in the community. This fake news and information may create panic and trigger anxiety and stress in the citizens.

It’s essential to verify what you read and watch these days. Stick to trustworthy sources such as the CDC, the World Health Organization, and your local health authorities. Limiting your TV time, such as constantly watching the news and social media feeds can increase anxiety rather than reducing it. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t watch news and updates on coronavirus. You may watch 30 mins regularly, no more than that.

When you use social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or any other platform to share your views, make sure you verify any news that you share with your friends. We all need to do our part to avoid spreading rumors and creating an unnecessary panic that may cause severe mental health disorders such as anxiety, stress, or depression.

The meaning of having faith

We’ve all heard people talk about having faith in God, but what does having faith and having faith in God really mean? Faith is the belief in something one cannot explicitly prove. It’s the belief in a higher power, the belief in an eternal, omniscient, and an omnipotent god. Having faith is having confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Faith is the result of believing in the Bible, in the Quran, and a Higher power. When we allow the reality of this belief to affect every part of our lives, it changes the way we think which changes the way we behave. This is the meaning of having faith.

 

having faith in God is important to dealing with life's struggles
Image by Gert Altmann from Pixabay

Suffering

Having faith does not mean that troubles won’t come. Every one of us, sooner or later, walks through hell. The hell of hurting someone or the hell of being hurt, the hell of cancer, the hell of divorce, the hell of a loved one in trouble, the hell of addiction, or the hell of grief. The point is to make your life worthy of your suffering. I believe there is profound power in the suffering we endure if we transform it into a more meaningful life. I am not glorifying or suggesting that the lessons we learn from pain are somehow worth the cost, but the truth is that most often for most people, real change is the result of real pain. They are able to survive and get through that real pain because of having faith in God.

 Mental illness definition

A mental illness, according to APA, is a health condition involving changes in emotion, thinking, behavior, or a combination of all these. It is associated with distress or problem functioning in society, work, or family activities. And just like the phrase “physical illness” encompasses many different types of physical problems, mental illness might describe a vast array of mental illness issues. And remember, having a mental illness does not mean someone is crazy as many of us think. It means that there are changes in chemical production, either too much or too little, in the brain. But what causes these chemical imbalances? What causes mental illness?

Raina with a chronic illness is pleased to introduce her guest, Elizabeth Holly, from chronic wonderer. picture of Elizabeth HollyElizabeth Holly is a Women’s Fiction writer and blogger with a BA in English & Creative Writing. She writes about chronic and mental illness, self-care and loves talking about books. Check out her blog, A Chronic Wanderer where Elizabeth shares her journey as a writer living with chronic and mental illness and encourages others to create and thrive despite their illnesses. You can find her on her blog at www.elizabethholly.com, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Depression

Everyone gets sad, frustrated or struggles with sleep from time to time. That is a normal part of life. Depression, as in major depression or clinical depression, is a common but severe form of depression that lasts for longer than 2 weeks. It is a combination of symptoms, including irritability, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, …changes in appetite or sleep patterns, feelings of worthlessness or guilt or helplessness, a loss of enjoyment in your usual activities, and possibly suicidal thoughts. Depression affects the ability to feel, think, and handle daily activities. Yet, men and women display their symptoms differently making it difficult to diagnose men in a timely manner.

Mental illness

Mental illness is a general term used to describe a group of illnesses that may impact individual thoughts, perceptions, and behavior. It can affect a person’s professional and personal relationships.  Mental illness can be treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or medications, sometimes doctors use a combination of both. There are different types of mental health issues.

Types of mental health issues

Anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorder is a group of mental health disorders…

 

Rainawithchronicillness is pleased to have a special guest blogger, Malinda, author, and creator of Mohr From Life–  Plugin Editora blog dedicated to mental health and self-improvement. She is going to take us on her personal journey of the aftermath of an anxiety attack. Imagine what her life is like living with anxiety and having to deal with the aftermath.

Anxiety episode

If you haven’t experienced an anxiety attack (also known as a panic attack), then you might not realize how it affects people. The aftermath of an anxiety attack can be deliberating. Let me share a personal story with you.

I woke up tremendously excited for the day ahead. In a few hours, my family and I would drive to the airport and fly to Queensland. Later that day I would see Taylor Swift perform at the Gabba. However, my excitement quickly turned to extreme dread and a panic attack.

My 16-year-old brother decided he wasn’t going to come on our holiday. He refused to get out of bed and get ready. Firstly, Dad and I both tried to change his mind; I begged and… pleaded with my little brother. As a result, I started to cry uncontrollably as my anxiety went through the roof.

Are you a people pleaser?

People-pleasers are often individuals with low self-esteem and self-worth issues. They feel responsible for how others feel, and they often apologize. While praise and kind words can make anyone feel good, people-pleasers depend on validation. Their self-worth depends on what others think of them. People- pleasers go to a great length to avoid conflict at all costs and feel uncomfortable when people are angry at them. They can’t say no…

  1. What is depression?

Clinical depression (major depression) is a common and serious mental illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you act or think. Depression Causes a feeling of sadness, loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It often leads to both emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home. Fortunately, depression is treatable.

what is depression?

 

What it feels like to live with depression

My depression started with sadness…

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a disease that affects your bones and muscles. It is characterized by a widespread muscle-skeleton pain followed by fatigue, insomnia, mood swing, memory issues, burning and tightness. Fibromyalgia amplifies your pain sensation by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals. Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men are.  Fibromyalgia co-exists with anxiety, depression and irritable bowel syndrome.

SEO-YOAST Fibromyalgia

What are the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

You ache all over…