6 Best Healthy Ways To Kill Boredom In Lock-Down and Quarantine

As social beings we are, being locked up in our homes is definitely an anxiety building block to most of us. As social interactions and physical interactions become limited to family and close friends, we often find ourselves overthinking and complicating things than they already are. Besides, loneliness is more common and especially if you are alone in lock down and the days and nights only gets tougher. We cannot ignore the boredom that accompanies the loneliness in both lock don and quarantine when you are alone or with your family.

However, it is wise to take a minute or two and reflect on how we really feel to be in a position to work on these feelings and improve to better. The team at kwisepsychology.com has gathered some activities that you can do alone or with your family to ease the boredom. Always remember the more you stay engaged, the more you will feel alive and hence less bored.

1. Move your body

Exercises benefits you both physically and psychologically, and there is a wide range of ways to exercise, whether alone or with family. You only have to pick your favorite.

Photo Credit NMG

Here are some of the fun work outs;

  • Search for Zumba sessions on YouTube. There is a variety of Zumba vloggers and videos in the internet and you will only have to pick the one you find interesting. Zumba is fun and enjoyable… you only feel a little tired later.
  • Take a belly dancing sessions from the internet. It will certainly make you feel good, boost your self-esteem and feel more desirable afterwards. Also, there is no shortage of belly dancing lessons from the internet.
  • Take morning runs or jogs this ensures that your day kicks off in an active mode. You can also take mid-day or evening walks away from the busy streets and appreciate it.
  • Search for yoga and meditation sessions from the internet and make it a routine. You can always put aside few minutes from your norm and practice yoga and meditation.

2. Learn to cook with your heart

Enjoy learning and trying new recipes and don’t be afraid to fail. You can enjoy this even when you are not a natural or a professional cuisine chef. The joy in this comes naturally more so when you love good food, who does not enjoy good foods anyway? Have you tried Mexican tortilla soup? Or waking up to the aroma of Kenyan samosa for breakfast?

You have been missing much in life, and it’s high time you try some of these fine dishes having crafted from the scratch.

3. Enroll for short online courses

There are different platforms that you can register or enroll to credible online courses that will improve your social skills, career, life skills or even basic technical skills such as designing or coding.

Some of these platforms offer free courses and all you have to give is your time and commitment to the, and within few days to weeks you have mastered a new skill. Learning a new skill is a healthy way of killing time and also enriching your skills, you can also pay a small fee to get a certificate thus enriching your resume.

4. Learn new languages

Do you want to tour the world without the need of a translator when the pandemic is over? Then all you need to do is search for an app and start learning a new language or register for an online class. Leaning a new language will not only help you kill your time, it will also add to the list of your skills and your resume. You can choose one or two of the UN languages.

5. Explore your artistic side

One of the famous quotes in art by Pablo Picasso claims “that every child is an artist, but the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” Therefore you don’t need to be a professional artist to produce an original piece of art.

All you need is to devote your time to creating. Art allows us to find ourselves and lose yourself at the same time- thus it is not the final result that counts but the process of arriving to the final piece which has a therapeutic effect to your mind and helps in stress and boredom therapy.

When drawing, coloring or painting, you will express your feelings to the process which is the definition of therapy.

6. Save the world by fighting boredom

Your free time, your energy, skills and motivation is what the world needs during the crisis. The world need saving in many ways and your skills and ideas is exactly what the world needs.

You can save the universe in your way and remotely from your house. Some of the ways that one can save the world are;-

  • spread mental health awareness
  • sensitize people on social problems such as domestic violence, cyber bullying online
  • spread kindness, fight condemn immorality
  • educate other people on your best skills
  • take part in a volunteer program
  • start a support initiative etc.

5 Important Things That Do Not Matter In Life

Have you ever scheduled a meeting with yourself and thought of the puzzle of life and all that happens around us? Or even ever thought the significance of all the things happening around us and others really pressuring us out? Here are some of the top 5 things that don’t matter in life though always driving us really crazy;

  1. Name Brand Clothes- to be honest, is there anyone that cares about the brand of clothes? In my opinion, what matters most is that the cloth on your skin fits and looks good. That’s the first thing you always consider before purchasing. For women color matters most as you will have to figure out you will color block or match to what outfit. To men, that is a non-issue, as long as it looks good and fits well. In my opinion, there is no point in spending $80 on a single pair of pants when you can get the exact same pants for $25.

2. Sex- for many years, most people have insisted that humans are naturally polygamous. If at all what the majority believe is true, then sex is not really a big deal, and we should all be in the idea of sharing each other. Or what is your take on that?

istock image

istock image

3. Celebrity News- the media of our generation does a ‘pretty good job’ of embellishing the little things done by our socialites. But come to think of it, what do the Instagram models add to our day to day lives. Our celebrities should be there to entertain us and not set the beauty and lifestyle standards. What Vera Sidika or Huda wore in their vacation in Dubai is totally useless information.

alarmy stock photo

alarmy stock photo

4. Your Life’s Achievements- at the end of it all, our clock in the universe is always ticking and time will eventually come to pass. Regrettably, we shall never be able to carry all that we spend our life building on earth past this point. What will matter most at the end of your time is not your possessions or accomplishments but whether you have to lead a happy and fulfilling life.

5. You- to more than 99.99% of the global population, you are simply an entity in their reality. You really don’t matter to them until the day you will become some sort of presence in their lives. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

How Do I Start A Conversation About Mental Health? The Best Way To Start A Mental Health Conversation

How Do I Start A Conversation About Mental Health? The Best Way To Start A Mental Health Conversation

There is no special training or a skill that is you need to start a conversation on mental health– and most often, just talking about it is the most important step you can make in efforts to understand where the other person stands with their mental health, offering them the requires support or treatment if need be.

Here are a few batons you can use for having meaningful conversations with those around you.

1. Let people know you are much willing to engage in conversations regarding mental health

Try to connect

Try to connect

The coolest and coolest way of doing this is opening up about yourself. Even if you have not had a mental health issue in your life, you have had some down moments or some forms of physical pain. Think about in the same way you were in physical pain or emotional stress. Allow the conversation to flow naturally, the same way you would engage with someone with physical pain.

You can also start the conversation like, “I have had struggles in my life. I opened up to someone and it helped me in a big way.”

 A casual example as the one above gives has a strong impact and assures the other person that you are a safe person to talk to and they can always reach you for help in the future when they are ready to open up.

2. What are some of the things to say to someone you suspect might be struggling?

If you suspect someone is suffering in silence, trust your guts. You can speak to them privately. You can start with a care expression and follow up with an observation.

You can let them know that you care and add that you have noticed some changes in recent days. Or let them know that you notice their lately frustration, or follow up on asking how they are doing.

You can also teach yourself to normalize mental health topics by asking them directly.

For instance, “is what that is happening at work stressing you out? I have noted that you barely have some off time these days”

Or

“I just wonder if you feel overawed by all that is happening in your family”

Statements like above basically shows that you get it, it is normal and much okay to be overwhelmed in response to life challenges.

3. You don’t have to give the perfect timing

Focus on Their Trust

Focus on Their Trust

In some cases, you may not be in a position to speak to someone immediately you notice the struggle. However, it is wise if you circle back some time soon. Again, it is not wise to wait for several days to pass.

Creating space at times is the safest thing to do. However, when you decide to talk to them, give a signal that you are free to have a conversation when the right time for them comes.

4. What happens if they hesitate?

In some cases, the other person might be worried or feel that sharing what they feel is a burden to others. It is good you give assurance for your support and care. Show them that you are ready to listen.

5. What if the person feels comfortable talking to someone else?

You can suspect that the person is free talking to someone else and not you. In this case, you can offer help to connect them to them.

You can also inquire from them if there is any change it makes when they talk to you and ask if there is a person they would feel comfortable talking to.

6. What do you do if they tell you they are having a really hard time?

First, give an assurance that it is much okay to talk and you are ready to listen.

Remind them that everyone goes through tough periods in their lives. You can say in your own words, “let me remind you that we all go through difficult situations and we come out of these situations. Because you are going through hard times does not mean you will always have it rough.”

After they know they can go through the dark places with you, ask for more details about the situation.

Depending on the situation, you can either recommend counseling sessions, or mental health professional.

7. How do you wind down the conversation?

memeworld

Conclude by reiterating about how glad you are for the chance to connect on deeper grounds in meaningful matters of life. Remind them that we all go through challenges in life from time to time and let them know that you are you will continue to be there to support them.

However, don’t stop there, follow up, and show care and support. This gives them the assurance that you are were and still is a “safe” person to speak to.

6 Quotes on Mental Health Awareness

Quotes on Mental Health 

1. “It is Mental Health Awareness Month. Check out all the possible self care activities that you can do for your mental wellness”- kwisepsychology.com

Quote on Mental Health Awareness- kwisepsychology.com

Quote on Mental Health Awareness- kwisepsychology.com

2. “Mental health can make you unstable but you are still able. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. you will soon win”- kwisepsychology.com

Quote On Mental Health- kwisepsychology.com

Quote On Mental Health- kwisepsychology.com

3. “You spend most of your life inside your head. Make it a nice place to be.” kwisepsychology.com

Mental illness- kwisepsychology.com

Quote on Mental Wellness- kwisepsychology.com

4. “Let’s normalize mental health topics as we have normalized physical health topics. There can not be physical health without mental health”- kwisepsychology.com

quote on mental health awareness- kwisepsychology.com

Quote on Mental Health Awareness- kwisepsychology.com

 

5. “doing small things for yourself throughout the day can actually improve your mood”- kwisepsychology.com

self-care quote kwisepsychology.com

Quote On Self-Care- kwisepsychology.com

Schizophrenia Mental Disorder

Mental Health Awareness Month|Schizophrenia: What It Is, Symptoms,Causes, Prevention

Overview

Schizophrenia is a critical disorder affecting individuals’ actions, the way of thinking, and their feelings. Schizophrenia severely affects the patients’ performances where they experience difficulties in distinguishing what is real and imaginary; they have problems when expressing normal feelings in social circumstances and at times may be withdrawn or unresponsive to a situation. Schizophrenia occasionally results in delusions, disordered thinking, hallucinations, and behaviors affecting your daily functioning. It is a chronic condition that calls for enduring treatment.

Symptoms

Schizophrenia has a wide range of symptoms that range from cognition, behavioral and emotional symptoms. When the signs and symptoms may vary, they are marked by hallucinations, delusions, failed speech coordination and impaired capability to function.

Before a person develops the advanced symptoms, they may show or experience signs of;

  • difficulties in concentrating
  • loss of motivation
  • anxiousness
  • loss of focus
  • out of sorts

They include;

1. Hallucinations

This is one of the common symptoms. May include hearing voices, though in some cases it affects all senses; feel, touch, see, taste, or even smell things that are not there at that moment.

2. Delusions

An individual with delusions strongly believes that something is true when there is no evidence supporting it. For example, a person may believe that;

  • another person is pursuing them
  • that they are very important than other people
  • they possess extraordinary abilities or powers
  • another person is trying to control them remotely

3. Confused Thinking and Uncoordinated Speech

They tend to jump from one story to another without completion making it hard for you to follow up what they are trying to say.

Other symptoms

Emotional expressions: where someone may respond in a totally different emotion, i.e., a happy emotion for a sad situation

Social life: being withdrawn out of fear

Communication: difficulties while communicating with others

Motivation: one may end up neglecting daily activities such as self-care, school, or work. They may also experience catatonia.

Causes

Though the cause of the disease is unclear, most people associate it with genetic factors trending down the family tree, brain chemistry such as imbalances of neurotransmitters, immune disorders, and viral infections, or a combination of a number of these factors.

Neuroimaging research has shown a difference in the central nervous system and brain structures among the schizophrenic individuals, thus indicating it is a disease of the brain.

Schizophrenia Risk Factors

  • Genetic heredity where some individuals inherit the tendency of developing the disorder from their parents or very close relatives. Individuals with close relatives who are Schizophrenic or a history of other mental disorders have a higher chance of acquiring the same.
  • Faulty brain circuits responsible for the control and manage moods as well as thinking
  • Immune system disorders such as infections from viruses. For instance, kids from mothers infected by flu during their pregnancies have a high risk to schizophrenia
  • Environmental stress. These are factors such as malnutrition before birth, psychosocial factors, trauma during birth, and viral infections.
  • Imbalances in brain chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine as well as glutamate. They are responsible for affecting the way an individual responds to stimuli.
  • Use of certain drugs and medications. Past studies have proven that abuse of drugs such as cannabis can trigger schizophrenic symptoms. However, schizophrenic individuals stand at higher chances of abusing cannabis.

Schizophrenia Complications

If unattended, schizophrenia may result in the effects of all areas in your life. Complications include;

  • Depression
  • Social isolation
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts and self-harm
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorders
  • Being victimized
  • Health issues and medical problems
  • In a few cases, aggression
  • Alcohol and substance use disorders

Prevention

There are no established methods of preventing schizophrenia, however, sticking to your medication helps to manage symptoms and prevent relapse or development of other mental health disorders.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder|PTSD

Mental Health Awareness Month|Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)- What It Is, Causes, Symptoms, Prevention And More

OVERVIEW

It was once known as ‘shell shock’ in WW I and ‘combat fatigue’ in WW II. It is a mental health disorder that occurs in individuals who have gone through or witnessed traumatic events. PTSD symptoms are characterized by nightmares, severe anxiety, and flashbacks, or uncontrollable thoughts about the traumatizing events.

Most of the individuals who go through the traumatic events may have difficulties in coping in the initial days but with good self-care and support, they get better with time. However, if the symptoms fail to get better with time, let’s say in months and interferes with your daily normal life, then you may be developing PTSD and you should seek effective treatment to manage the symptoms.

What Are The Symptoms Of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Symptoms of PTSD vary in severity from one individual to the other. In some people they might show a few weeks after the traumatic experience while in others it may take months or several years to appear after the event. These symptoms cause variance and significant difficulties in day to day normal activities, work, social, and well as family relations. In work case scenarios, they interfere with your normal daily life.

The symptoms of PTSD are grouped into four categories;

  1. The avoidance
  2. Intrusive memories
  3. Negative changes in mood and thinking
  4. Changes in emotional and physical reactions

Avoidance Symptoms

In this stage, you may;

  • Try as much as possible to avoid thinking or discussing the traumatic events
  • Avoiding activities, people, objects and places that remind you of the traumatizing events

Intrusive Memories

In the intrusive memories stage, you may;

  • Have recurrent and unwanted memories of the traumatizing events
  • Experience nightmares or distressing dreams about the traumatizing events
  • Have flashbacks of the traumatizing events
  • Physical reactions and emotional anguish to things or people that remind you of the traumatizing events

Negative Changes In Mood And Thinking 

In this stage, symptoms may include;

  • The feelings of hopelessness about the future
  • Deprived memory capabilities and mostly remembers more of the traumatic events
  • Trust issues on other people and the life events
  • Negative thoughts about yourself and other people
  • Difficulties in keeping close relations
  • Emotional numbness
  • Lack of the ability to enjoy the present or live the present moment
  • Drastic lose of interest in things that you once enjoyed doing
  • The feeling of being disconnected from family and friends
  • Feeling emotionless
  • Difficulties in feeling positive vibes

Changes In Emotional And Physical Reactions

  • These are also known as arousal symptoms and marked by symptoms change from physical to emotional. They may include;
  • Cognitive such as challenges in concentrating
  • Overwhelming shame and at times guilt
  • Difficulties in sleeping
  • Being effortlessly frightened
  • Angry outbursts, irritability, and aggressiveness
  • Self-harming behaviors such as alcohol and substance abuse
  • Always being on watch for the threat

However, in younger children (often 6 years and below), symptoms may also include;

  • Constant nightmares that may not include the actual traumatizing events
  • Acting out the traumatizing events or showing the aspects of the traumatic events through play

Causes Of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

You can develop PTSD when;

  • you experience, go through, learn about, or get involved in a horrific incident that is life-threatening, got seriously injured, or sexual violations.
  • Some people develop PTSD symptoms while others do not after these experiences. There is no clear scientific research to explain this. However, like most mental health disorders, PTSD is attributed by a mix of:
  • Past stressful experiences which depend on the severity and the amount of exposure to these experiences in your life
  • Temperament or inherited personality features
  • Your brain response to stress and how it regulates hormones and chemicals relating to stress management
  • History of mental risks such as anxiety or depression

  Types Of Traumatic Events

  • Sexual violence
  • Physical assaults
  • Combat exposure
  • A fatal accident
  • Physical abuse in childhood

Other traumatic events can also lead to PTSD such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks, torture, chronic medical diagnosis, fire, robbery among others

Complications of PTSD

Most PTSD if it goes untreated can disorient your whole life costing you your job, relationships, or the ability to drive a happy normal life. It may increase you’re the development of mental conditions such as:

Prevention  Of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder               

In most cases after surviving a traumatic event, most of us end up experiencing PTSD- like signs and symptoms and we cannot help to stop thinking of the event. Anger, fear, guilt, anxiety, depression; which is very normal as are reactions to trauma. However, not all people exposed to traumatic events end up developing post-traumatic stress disorder.

However, when you develop these symptoms, it is wise to seek help. Turn to trusted friends and family who will lend your ears and comfort you.

You can also schedule a short course therapy session with a health professional.

If you are spiritual or have a faith that you follow, it may be helpful to join up a faith community.

Support may help you in PTSD management.

depression

Mental Health Awareness Month| Depression Disorder: What It Is, Causes, Symptoms, Prevention And More

Overview

It also referred to as clinical depression or major depressive disorder. It is mental health or a mood disorder causing constant feelings of loss of interest and unhappiness. It affects your thoughts, behaviors, and moods leading to a variety of complications in physical and emotional well being.

In most cases you may have trouble functioning daily while other times you may question your cause of existence.

Although depression requires long term periods of treatment, it is not a weakness and most people have ‘snapped out’ of it. Most people feel better through either psychotherapy, medication, or both of them.

Symptoms Of Depression

Depression is more than the unending state of feeling blue or sadness and can also cause a mixture of a variety of symptoms to develop. While it is known to affect the mood, it also affects the body and the symptoms may come and go.

The symptoms are shown by changes in;

  • Emotional
  • Physical
  • Behavioral
  • Thoughts

These symptoms express in unique ways in children, women, and men.

Children may have the symptoms related to their:

Emotional where they may have constant feelings of incompetence and inferiority, intense crying and sadness

Physical such as deprived energy, stomach upsets, and digestive problems, changes in appetite that affect the body weight

Cognitive capabilities which may affect school performances and difficulties in concentrating

Mood changes such as increased anger, and irritability

Changes in sleep patterns whereby the child might sleep more or sleepless

Women may have symptoms related to:

Emotions where they have increased levels of anxiousness, feeling sad and empty

Changes in the sleep pattern where they end up either sleeping more or sleeping for fewer hours than usual

Cognitive abilities, affecting their ability to coordinate speech normally and end up talking more slowly

Behavioral such as loss of interest in things that previously enjoyed, suicidal thoughts and self-harm, social withdrawal, eating disorders

Physical changes such as general aches and pain, increased cramps, deprived energy, fatigue, variations in appetite which affects the body weight

Men may develop symptoms related to the:

Sexuality where most lack sexual desires and record reduced sexual performance

Changes in the mood to aggressiveness, restlessness, anger, irritability, and anxiousness

Cognitive capabilities such as deferred responses while conversing, poor concentrations, failure to complete tasks

Behavioral changes such as alcohol and substance abuse, engaging in high-risk behaviors, loss of interests in favorite activities, suicidal thoughts and self-harm behaviors

Changes in sleep patterns where they end up developing insomnia, sleeping less or for longer hours

Physical changes such as constant pains and muscle aches, fatigue, digestive problems and headaches

Causes of Depression

Like all the mental health disorders, depression lacks a single cause and the causes range from circumstantial to biological factors.

  1. Genetic or family history. Members of a family with a history of depression or any other mood disorders stand at a higher risk of developing depression. They are more prone if the family member is a close relative.
  2. Brain structure. Studies have shown than individuals with a less active brain front lobe are more likely to develop depression as compared to those with a normal functioning brain front lobe. However, there is no link if the lobe is affected before or after the depression incident.
  3. Earlier childhood trauma. A significant number of depression cases are linked to past traumatizing experiences exposed for a longer period. These effects affect how you as an individual respond to fear or anxiety.
  4. Hormones. Changes in hormonal balance can trigger depression symptoms development. This is common in young women; a few weeks after pregnancy and after delivery.
  5. Medications. Certain chronic health conditions may put you at a higher risk of depression, these include insomnia, chronic pains, ADHD, etc.
  6. Drug use. Individuals with a history of alcohol or substance use can put you at a higher risk. Research has shown that an average of 21% of individuals with a history of drug and substance abuse develop depression.

Other risk factors of depression are;

  • Stressful experiences such as the loss of someone close
  • Personality traits
  • History of mental illness
  • Specific medications

If untreated, depression can develop complications such as;

  • Relationship issues or unstable relationships with your spouse, family or friends
  • Substance and drug use disorders
  • Bodily pains
  • Suicidal thoughts or even suicidal attempts
  • Panic attacks
  • Thoughts of self-harm and self-harm behaviors
  • Drastic loss or gain of weight
  • self mutilation behaviors such as self cutting

Types of Depression Disorders

Depression disorders can be split into two categories depending on the levels of the symptom’s severity. Some people experience severe and constant episodes of depression while others experience mild and irregular depressive episodes.

  1. Major depressive disorder

This is a severe type of depression. It is portrayed by persistent moods hopelessness, feelings of worthlessness, and sadness. These feelings rarely fade on their own.

  1. Persistent depressive disorder

Its a more mild but chronic type of depression. It was previously known as dysthymia.

Prevention of depression

Medically, depression is not considered preventable. This is because its hard to establish a single cause, making the preventive measures hard as well.

However, once you experience a depressive episode, you better brace yourself in preventing future episodes through making some lifestyle changes which include;Ensure you get enough sleep

Exercising regularly

Engage in stress-reducing ways

Focus on building strong relationships with others

Follow up and maintain therapies and treatments

7 mental health challenges faced by single moms

7 Mental Health Challenges Single Moms Face & Tips To Cope With Them

7 mental health challenges faced by single moms

image courtesy: utep.edu

The number of single moms rises every hour day in day out where they keep their heads held high on occasion for their children. Regrettably, most single moms don’t seek for help and never buy the idea of them needing help.

 

In some single moms, stress does pile up and create mental health challenges. Some others struggling with depression and PSTD, and others self-medicating with unhealthy methods.

 

Kwisepsycology.com gathered the most common mental health challenges faced by single mothers daily and tips for coping with these challenges;

1. Unending Conflict With Your EX

Divorce or even separations are always tough to go through, but ongoing conflict with the father of your child erodes you as a single mom. Some of the challenges the single mothers from the Ex are; bullying, violation of the divorce agreements, manipulation, and conflict over child support.

2. Deprivation Of Sleep

Most single mothers never get enough sleep. Reason? Because the only time you can accomplish much is when your kids are asleep.

Doing the home cleaning, laundry, studies, among other responsibilities limits your rest time when you are a single mom. Lack of enough sleep often affects your ability to cope with other challenges.

3. Financial Insecurity

One of the repercussions of a loss of a partner or even divorce, most single moms frequently become more vulnerable economically. This is especially if you have an unstable income.

Unfortunately, minimum wages and work instability often put the majority of single mothers below the poverty line even when they have full time jobs.

Most of the single mothers end up settling in informal settlements and slums to feed their children. Economic hardships and poverty are highly linked to depression and anxiety cases.

4. Inadequate Self-Care

Not surprisingly, the majority of single mothers rarely take care of themselves neither do they find time for recharging. Reason? As a single mom, you have all your focus on your children and their well being. A ‘getaway’ is just dream for single moms and even finding time for exercise is close to impossible.

Self-care is one of the ways that we as human beings find joy and helps us cope with daily life challenges, unfortunately, most single moms put self-care as last in their to-do list, others it does not appear at all.

5. History Of Abuse

The incidents and cases of domestic violence have constantly increased in society. A noteworthy number of married women seeking support and others are leaving abusive relationships. Although this might be considered a bold move to make, they are carrying with the psychological trauma which may trigger mental stability in women. Domestic violence and sexual abuse is in fact the largest cause of PSTD among women.

6. Weak Support Networks

In most cases, when a woman becomes a single mom; whether by circumstances or choice, her close allies tend to drift away from her when she needs them most. While some friends may choose to pick sides, others feel awkward in relating to the newly single mom reality.

Disconnection from the community gives a single mom or any human being the feelings of hopelessness, empty, and alienation.

7. Stigmatization And Judgment By Society

The society is always quick to judge or stereotype single mothers. Unfortunately, these judgments come any time and from different corners; some from co-workers, your child’s teacher, another parent, neighbors, friends, and even some family members.

For single mothers experiencing the above mental challenges causing stress, here are five tips to help you cope with the situation;

1. Look for your tribe. Try as much as possible to connect with moms whom you share comparable challenges

2. Seek for help. All women, strong and independent need support systems and help now and then. No one is capable of doing it alone.

3. Networking. Build your strong support system of friends, acquaintances, and connections. These support groups can be from the chamas, merry go rounds, spiritual groups, online support groups, etc.

4. Put self-care in reach on your to-do list. You are a gem and you should take care of yourself. It does not have to be expensive, neither does it have to be time-consuming, although very important.

5. Seek professional help. When you feel or discover the pressure is too much or start to show signs of mental health disorders, it is high time to seek professional help.

 

Eating Disorders

Mental Health Awareness Month| Eating Disorders

Overview

There is a societal apprehended delusion that eating disorders are lifestyle individual choices. Often, eating disorders end up being more serious when they are not attended to where they result in fatalities and the development of severe health issues. The common severe disturbances are related to emotions, thoughts, and eating behaviors. The common eating disorders include;

1. Bulimia Nervosa

With bulimia nervosa, you tend to have frequent episodes of eating large portions of foods where you completely lack control of what you eat or when you eat. The eating behaviors are more likely to be followed by activities to compensate for the eating habits of overeating such as the use of laxatives, or vomiting. Women and men suffering from Bulimia nervosa live in constant fears of their body shapes and sizes. You can be normal weight, overweight or even underweight

2. Anorexia Nervosa

This is where you may see yourself as overweight. When you have anorexia, you end up weighing yourself more often and putting restrictions on yourself of the foods and amount of foods that you eat, enhance the excessive exercise, use of laxatives to lose weight or force yourself to vomit more often. With Anorexia, most people die of suicide or starvation

3. Binge-eating Disorder

This is where you completely lose control over your eating. Unlike in Bulimia, in Binge-eating, episodes are not accompanied by compensatory behaviors, and therefore most people suffering from binge eating disorder end up being obese, increased risk of health complications due to unhealthy eating such as cardiovascular health conditions.

Signs and symptoms of eating disorders

Signs and symptoms of eating disorders vary from one type to the other. However, like all mental illnesses, eating disorders have some common or related signs and symptoms. When suffering from eating disorders, you are likely to show the below signs;

  • Obsession with certain types of foods such as foods with high calories or fats
  • Consistent fluctuations in weight
  • Chronic dieting even after being dangerously underweight
  • Depressions stages or lethargy episodes
  • Regular switching from fasting periods to overeating periods
  • Avoiding social functions or becoming isolated or socially withdrawn
  • Development of ritualistic food patterns such as hiding food, or cutting tiny pieces while eating

What Causes Eating Disorders?

Like most mental disorders, eating disorders have more than one known underlying factors and we cannot establish a single cause.

  1. In one of the genetics studies, two twins on adoption studies showed evidence of eating disorders in both twins although having been oriented by different families. This concludes eating disorders may be hereditary.
  1. Personality traits. Some personalities are more likely to develop eating disorders than others. These personalities include impulsivity, neuroticism, and perfectionism.
  1. Perceived pressures to attain a certain body shape or size. These are more likely to be the effects of social media, peer influence, or the society description of the ‘perfect’ body.
  1. Brain structure is also established to play a vital role that may cause eating disorders. This includes the levels of brain messenger’s serotonin and dopamine might be factors.

Treatment of Eating disorders

Eating disorders are complex and at times severe. Therefore, professional treatment is fundamental in establishing healing and full recovery.

Treatment of eating disorders may include either one or more of the following which is administered by a nutritionist, a medical doctor, and therapist for complete care:

Nutrition. This may include the incorporation of individualized meal plans which will help in the stabilization of the condition. It highly focuses on guidance to normal eating

Therapy. Includes different types of psychotherapy such as group, family or individual; important in defining the underlying impacts behind eating disorders

Monitoring and medical care. The ultimate goal of treating eating disorders is addressing the health issues which results from eating disorders or behaviors

Medications. 

Bipolar Disorder

Mental Health Awareness Month| Bipolar Disorder:Myths, Facts, Symptoms, Self-Help Tips

Overview Of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder can better be described as a mental health disorder causing unusual shifts in mood, activity levels, energy, concentrations, and your ability to carry out with your daily activities. In the past, bipolar disorder was referred to as manic depression or manic-depressive illness.

There are three recognized types of disorders with all of them involving changes of moods from manic episodes (irritable and energized behaviors) to depressive episodes (indifferent, sad, or hopeless periods). The less severe maniac attack is hypomanic episodes.

Despite the bipolar condition being referred to as a lifelong condition, it is very possible to manage your mood swings and other symptoms with the correct treatment plans. Bipolar disorders are treated through both psychotherapy and medications.

Myths And Facts About Bipolar Disorder

Myth 1: bipolar disorder only affects mood

Fact: bipolar disorder affects all body systems and your daily activities. It affects your energy levels, concentration, sleep quality, appetite, judgments, self-esteem, and sex drive. In some cases, bipolar disorders have been linked to substance abuse and alcoholism, anxiety, and health issues such as heart diseases and high blood pressure.

Myth 2: People living with bipolar cannot lead a normal life

Fact: there are the majority of bipolar individuals who are leading successful careers, satisfying relationships, and happy families. While living with bipolar is a bit challenging, proper, and healthy coping skills and support give a fulfilling life and makes it easy to manage the symptoms.

Myth 3: there is nothing that a bipolar individual can do to manage the symptoms apart from the medication

Fact: even if medication is viewed as a solid foundation in bipolar treatment, psychotherapy and self-help play a vital role in managing the symptoms.

Myth 4: individuals with bipolar disorders swing moods between mania and depression.

Fact: some individuals have episodes alternating from the two extremes, some are depressed more often, some experience manic episodes more often, some have very minor mania episodes while in others the bipolar disorder symptoms might go unnoticed.

Signs And Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder

This highly depends on the individual and the type of the bipolar disorder they have where the symptoms vary extensively in their frequency, pattern as well as severity. In some individuals, maniac episodes express more, others the depressing episodes, and in others the two alternates equally. In some people the symptoms shift more frequently and less frequently in others.

There are four kinds of mood episodes with each showing unique symptoms;

  • Mixed episodes
  • Hypomania
  • Mania
  • Depression

Mixed Episodes

Mixed episodes illustrate both symptoms of depression and mania where symptoms include;

  • Insomnia
  • Racing thoughts
  • Distractibility
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Depression

Hypomania

Hypomania bipolar individuals are likely to carry on with their daily activities without major challenges while others may only experience unusual good mood. Symptoms are;

  • Energetic
  • Poor decision making that may harm your career, or relationships
  • Feeling euphoric

Mania

  • Disrupted sleep pattern
  • Racing thoughts or hovering from one idea to another
  • Difficulties in concentrating
  • Unrealistic beliefs of one’s ability
  • Feeling highly irritable or optimistic
  • Unfair judgments
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Rapid talks that other people cannot stand you.
  • Recklessness without putting in mind the consequences

Bipolar Disorder Depression 

  • Feelings of guilt or worthless Failure to experience pleasure
  • Difficulties in sleeping
  • Weight and appetite loss
  • Feeling empty or hapless Suicidal thoughts
  • Deprived energy and fatigue
  • Memory problems
  • Mental and physical sluggishness
  • Irritability

Bipolar Disorders And Suicide

Past research shows that more people with bipolar disorders are at a higher risk of committing suicide as compared to those suffering from normal depression and the suicides tend to be more toxic. More suicide cases are likely to register from the individuals with a family history of suicide, depressive and mixed episodes, alcohol and drug abuse history, or onset of health complications.

Suicide warnings in Bipolar Disorder individuals

  • Self-harm and frequently talking of death
  • Feeling empty and worthless
  • Hopelessness
  • Getting affairs in order
  • Being reckless as if one has a single death wish

Triggers And Causes Of Bipolar Disorder

Like most of the mental health disorders, bipolar disorders have several triggers and there no single cause that is known to result in the condition. Of course, some cases have shown hereditary causes, though since not all cases that result from an inheritance from close kin them we cannot establish that genetic factor is the single cause.

Imaging studies have shown a difference in the physical appearance of the brain of the individuals with bipolar disorder. Other research studies have linked the bipolar disorder to circadian rhythm disturbances, hormonal imbalances, higher levels of cortisol which is the stress hormone, and anomalous thyroid function.

The external environment that can result in bipolar disorder is known as triggers. However, one can become bipolar even without these factors.

Alcohol and substance abuse- substance abuse does not always result in bipolar disorders. However, abuse of drugs such as cocaine can trigger mania while alcohol abuse can trigger depression.

Irregular sleep patterns and sleep deprivation- skipping sleep or sleeping for fewer hours can trigger mania episodes.

Stress- this is commonly experienced in individuals with genetic susceptibility which affect the mood episodes.

Medication- some medications and especially antidepressants have shown evidence to triggering mania. Other drugs causing mania include and not limited to corticosteroids, appetite suppressants, and thyroid medications. However, your physician should advise you accordingly.

Self-Help For Bipolar Disorder

1. Keep moving. This includes exercise, such as walking, running, dancing, swimming, and other exercises that keep the leg and arms moving. Aerobic exercises have a great benefit to your brain and nervous system.

2. Be educated. The more you know about the bipolar disorder, the more you can support yourself and others.

3. Seek support. Always be quick to seek support form family and friends you trust or a health professional.

4. Avoid highly stressful situations as much as you can.

5. Keep connections with friends and family.

6. Keep in check of your moods for signs swinging out of control

7. Choose more healthy choices such as regular eating and sleeping habits.