Best Ways to Control ANGER

Here we talk about some ways to control anger

Do you get angry easily?

Do you fume when something goes against your wish?

Does your blood pressure rocket when someone tells you something that you don’t like?

Anger is a normal emotion of human psychology, but it is equally important to keep your anger under control. Just like any other emotion, anger too varies from person to person, and the circumstances. Uncontrolled anger can lead to mental and physical stress. It also causes stress on relationships and damages your health. This may lead to Anxiety and Depression. Therefore, it is important to practice anger management exercises to control such extremes of emotions.

Here are some of the anger management tips that can help you control your anger:

  1. Think before you speak: We often say something out of anger and then regret it later. This is a common condition that has been faced by almost everyone at some point of time. Do not say things abruptly without thinking. Always take your time and think over what you are about to say.
  2. Express your anger once you are calm: Do not say things at the heat of the moment. Once you calm down, express your views on things that are bothering you. This will help you express better without hurting anyone.
  3. Exercise: Regular exercise is one of the best tools to reduce stress. Light meditative exercises performed on a regular basis such as a morning jog or deep breathing can control your anger to a great extent.
  4. Identify the specific cause: Instead of being grumpy about things that make you angry, try to find out the root cause of the issue and eliminate it, so that you don’t have to face it again. Remind yourself that anger won’t solve the problem and can only make situations worse.
  5. Hold no grudge: Holding on to the negative feelings can only have a negative impact on your own health. Learn to forgive others. Forgiving not only keeps the relationship healthy, but also keeps you away from stress and negative emotions.
  6. Practice relaxation tactics: When your temper reaches its height, put your relaxation tactics in action. A few tactics like deep breathing or repeating words to yourself like “Take it easy” or “Calm down” can actually calm you down during critical situations.
  7. Take a timeout: Take short breaks during stressful times of your day. This helps to release some of your stress and calm you down. You may also listen to music, take a light snack or do something that you like, to spend some time away from stressful conditions of your daily routine.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult the doctor get answers to your questions!

Medications OR Therapy in Mental Health Care

Medications Therapy Mental Health

I have mulled over this topic of – Medications OR Therapy – for quite some time now. However, there is invariably a question that comes to mind for a medical doctor who is trained in psychiatry. “Why do we even have to talk about this topic?” Nevertheless, I realize after being in the field of psychiatry for more than 10 years now, it is relevant to explain this in common man’s language. Consequently, this is because of the huge stigma that goes with the subject of mental health.

What are the differences?

Moreover, it is important to note the differences or similarities of Medications or Counseling in Mental health or as such General Health care. As such, Counseling is an art. Whereas, Medicine is as much of an art as it is about science. However, both are ways of approach towards a patient that involves speaking with, building rapport and empathizing with the patient’s condition. 

Nevertheless, while counseling involves different approaches by way of talk therapy using the mind as the subject and the various processes of the mind such as behavior, intellect, memory, insight, understanding, etc,. In addition, a psychiatrist would use medications in combination with counseling or in isolation depending on the time constraints that the patient load would impose.

While, we know that medications are effective in the treatment of mental health conditions, there is evidence in the scientific world that talk therapy or counseling is as effective for some mental health conditions as medications, if not better. 

Depression and anxiety are two such mental health conditions.  Whereas, medications are helpful in the above conditions, counseling or psychotherapy is as effective. Moreover, this fact has been proven that the combination of therapy and medication is more effective than either one of them alone or in isolation.

However, some do argue that psychotherapy is pseudoscience. 

Let us examine as to which ones are on the brink and which kinds of therapy are not useful at all.

Psychoanalysis, dream analysis, narco analysis, and childhood experience analysis are considered as having poor to no therapeutic evidence in the literature. So these are not effective treatments for any mental health condition. However, evidence for placebo or sugar pill being more effective or as effective as the above kinds of therapies exists. 

However, these kinds of studies are very difficult to do. This is because each of these therapies are different in their own regard. They maybe even come across as different to different individuals. Therefore, each one can form their own opinions.

We characterize mental health by a sense of purpose or coherence in the widely chaotic world of medications or psychotherapies. 

Modern thinking

We need to structure either therapies to make sense of this chaos – give some method to the madness. Only expose to traumatic experiences can develop flexibility and resilience.  Therefore, exposure to stress or difficult situations only teach the human mind how to overcome these stresses or difficult situations. Currently, there is evidence that these ingrained experiences in our DNA are passed on to the next generation.  While we know that humans are because of our DNA; we also know – now – that the life experiences also contribute to the DNA. 

Indeed, “epigenetics” is the name for this novel method of thinking. Therefore, although largely genetic, hardiness is also developed by exposure to stress and passed on to the next generation.  This would give new meaning to the phrase – “survival of the fittest.”

There is evidence for medications in large randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the scientific research world. This is regarding the efficacy of many psychotropic medications i.e. the medications used in treating mental health conditions.  

I also believe that there is a lot of usefulness of these medications routinely. I have used them with patients with mental health disorders for the many years. Evidently, I have practiced psychiatry here in INDIA as well as abroad. I was a resident trainee in couple of post graduate training programs in the United States.  

Cultural Variables:

However, there are cultural variables in the acceptance of these medications.  The cultural variables are explained by the fact that mental health was in general seclude. That is, all over the world, mental health was not a very well accepted pathology.  In a sense, mental health was not important till it was recognized most recently to be treatable.  

In the past mental health was considered as a curse or as a social malaise. People were institutionalized in penitentiaries or asylums and sometimes even put to the guillotine.  However, this fact has rapidly changed with the onset of scientific evidence. The existence of benefits with the use of psycho-therapeutic medications is immense.

Finally, now we have concluded. Firstly, therapy – either talk therapy or medication therapy or a combination of both, is helpful in depression and anxiety. Now let us learn about a few medications used in depression.  

When you get a prescription you should:
About medications

I also believe that acute psychiatric crises make use of medications to tide over them. They may be needed only for a short term in contradiction to the popular notion. Most people’s belief is that such medications for mental health conditions are used for a lifetime should be changed. Other misinformation is that they cause side effects and are “harmful” for the body.  This is NOT entirely true. 

One should weigh the risks versus the benefits of the medications. Thus, one should only then ponder over the decision to take them or leave them. In addition, this is true with psychotherapy or talk therapy or counseling as well.  Finally, it may be best to consult your primary health caregiver for deciding what may be best for you.

Understanding Tumultuous Adolescence

Adolescence

Understanding Tumultuous Adolescence

Understanding Tumultuous Adolescence and Young Adults is NOT easy. Therefore, during teenage years, there will be a noticeable change in the behaviour of young people. Many mental illnesses have their onset in adolescence, including those that run a chronic course resulting in significant disability.

So what is so distinct about this age group? Understanding Tumultuous Adolescence and Young Adults is NOT easy. Therefore, during teenage years, there will be a noticeable change in the behaviour of young people. Adolescence is the period in life marking the transition from being a child to being an adult, and it overlaps with teenage. In other words, it is a phase where one gradually moves from being a dependant to becoming an independent person. This is the time when one’s personality starts to evolve. There is physical, social and intellectual development. This period is one of the busiest times of life; there is so much happening.

Imaging studies and brain development

Using structural and functional MRI scans in their research on adolescents, a team of scientists in London found that strangely the brain reduces in size by a tiny proportion, losing some nerve cells during the phase. It is reported that some connections between nerve cells are eliminated by discarding some neurons, while strengthening those connections is deemed important. The brain development that is correlated with hormone-related to puberty, usually occurs at the beginning of teenage for boys and just before teenage for girls. The scientists rightly argue that there is a biological reason for what happens during the adolescent period of life.

At this age they develop curiosity to explore and experiment. They have reduced communication with parents and start spending more time with friends in school and college. They come under peer influence easily. Scientists found that there is high risk-taking behaviour, especially if they perceive motivation by peers watching them closely. However, they seem to perform well when they are not being watched by peers. There is also an urge to perform an act to stand out or do something exciting. Because the front part of the brain is evolving, that creates inhibitions to certain kinds of behaviour. There will be mood swings, and decision-making is likely to be inconsistent.

Fear of peer rejection

It is common for young people to start spending excessive amounts of time with friends, more than with family members. Very few people prefer to remain aloof or alone during this period. Peers can influence ways of thinking, although thoughts are generated in their own mind. In fact, it is the individual who has to take responsibility for their own thoughts. If they feel they are having frequent and excessive intrusive thoughts, termed automatic thoughts, then they should seek advice without delay.

Being hypersensitive towards the reaction of peers is very common, but at the same time they can be hypersensitive in terms of emotional reactions towards family members. It is believed that the commonly occurring mood swings around this time can lead to conflicts about decision-making, hinder communication with family members as they easily misread the expression and body language of the family members.

Other reasons for low self esteem

Another reason for this is that their social development is still taking place and they are beginning to learn social interactions. Lots of activities occur as group activities and no one likes to be left out of a group. The person feels indirectly forced to accept an offer of alcohol or drug by peers, just to be part of a group, feeling that otherwise they will be isolated. There is the risk of using the substance weighed up against the risk of being isolated.

Individuals at teenage may become extremely anxious over the prospect of being rejected, and this could lead to using substances. Thus they become vulnerable to peer influence. On the positive side, peer influence motivates the person to attend college regularly and take part in physical activities such as sports or cultural activities. It can be difficult to pick and choose. Some peer group behaviours and activities can be highly unpredictable. Understanding Tumultuous Adolescence and Young Adults is NOT easy. Hence, during teenage years, there will be a noticeable change in the behaviour of young people.

Social development

There is a change in the social interaction patterns occurring due to changing roles. From being daughter or sibling, roles change to being a friend, college student, then employee. The individual is moving from dependency to independence during this time. The person is expected to take up new responsibilities. There will be direct or perceived family expectations that the person, after completing his or her education, could take up paid employment in the next few years. This could even create a conflict if goals that are set are not in line with expectations.

Impulse control and addiction

The urge to do an act develops through the stimulation of the limbic system, which is the area that deals with emotions, with the intention of seeking instant rewards. Therefore the acts that give instant fun to the individual through this process get reinforced. The person gets into the vicious circle of seeking immediate reward and performs acts. This can be one of the main reasons for behaviours such as smoking, and drug or alcohol use. Involvement in social media groups for prolonged lengths of time that affects daily functioning, academic performance and the ability to work towards their own goals needs early intervention.

Areas of the Brain involved

At this stage, the front region of the brain that is to do with inhibition of impulses, called the pre-frontal cortex, that is generally well-developed in humans, is slowly evolving, towards making a person’s mind mature. Teens also go with the trend of phone use, gadgets, social media use and clicking selfies. Several deaths have occurred during clicking of selfies due to risk-taking behaviour. Alcohol or drug use could persist through adulthood, and often such behaviour has its beginnings at this age.

Lots of Change

There are changes in so many dimensions, that the person may struggle to adapt if not given support. There is change in physical body structure in girls and boys. Girls start to have regular monthly periods. There are hormonal changes that can lead to changes in emotions and this in turn can affect thoughts. Sexual orientation develops and a few can have excessive sexual urges. Adaptations are required to cope with the new roles of the person. Career choices may need to be made. Generally they may feel under the influence of their parents and agree with them, but may later feel it was not their own choice. Some people may struggle in their careers and manage somehow, but it can trigger anxiety and depression in some.

Body image perception

In a survey, a majority of teens reported that they needed to maintain a certain body shape and size, being influenced by magazines. Media influences the image perception of self. An individual may develop a fear of gaining weight and appear obese, may become preoccupied by intrusive impulses, urges or thoughts, which take precedence over any other activity for them for weeks and months. These conditions are Anorexia nervosa and Bulimia nervosa, one concerning eating disorders that is commonly seen in a small percentage of girls. Again these may be due to the fear of being rejected by peers, or may even have been a result of bullying for being obese in the past.

Is It something else like an eating disorder?

Firstly, missing meals and significant reduction in quantity of food intake in order to lose weight are common. Sometimes, immediately after a round of binge-eating, to avoid the guilt, they induce vomiting to avoid gaining weight. However, these behaviours need early attention, so the deterioration to the extent of harm to physical health can be prevented. Even though, there may be significantly and morbidly low in weight or in body mass index, they still can get intrusive thoughts of feeling obese, or there is a part of their body seen in the mirror as fat. Consequently, this condition needs attention, and assessment by psychiatrists and suitable treatment must begin at the earliest.

Suicides and mental illness

Mental Illness and suicides are prevalent, and rising in this age group. As per Census in 2011, 30% of the population of India was between 10 and 24 years of age. The mental health care needs of the segment is increasing. Public health education and engaging teens are ways of early identification and prevention of breakdown, anxiety and depressive illness. Even if there is illness, with appropriate engagement and consultations with psychiatrists this can be treated.

Self-esteem and identity

At this age, individuals are searching their own identity — who they are and how they fit into the society. For some, they will not know what’s really going on with so many changes happening. They should try avoiding comparisons with their peers. They can start to set small achievable goals that they can achieve. With every small achievement, their self-esteem increases. Self-appreciation is something that needs to be emphasised in colleges. Because of low esteem they try seek attention, and they cannot cope with rejection by peers. They may slowly indulge in risk-taking behaviour, try drugs or alcohol or smoking. Patients need to be aware of the influence that their peers can have on them. Clients need to be able to weigh the pros and cons and learn to be assertive, and say “no” at times.

Coping mechanisms

Everyone tries to cope with stressful situations when face them and develop certain coping mechanisms. Mal-adaptive coping mechanisms include use of substances, self-harm, shouting, screaming, abusing or use of foul language. It is the time they need to learn adaptive coping mechanisms, which include sports, hobbies, ignoring, self-distraction, meditation, exercise, yoga and reading, and focus on higher achievement or charity work.

Cognitive behaviour therapy

Principles of cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) involves examining one’s own thoughts, challenging own thoughts and slowly changing them to adaptive thoughts, by understanding their influence on emotions and their own behaviour. However, a negative thought brings about anger or sadness, which leads to a person becoming less sociable, whereas a positive thought would cheer up, leading to more socializing. Thus, understanding their own thought patterns and working on them by keeping a diary of their own thoughts, might help. Remember that Understanding Tumultuous Adolescence and Young Adults is NOT easy.

Mindfulness

Lots of countries are reportedly trying to help adolescents learn to practise mindfulness, which is learning to experience only the present moment. Indeed, this may generally work well if it is combined with a suitable meditation technique. Practising meditation regularly will give the individual good control over thoughts. 

Tackling peer pressure

Remain aware of the extent of the influence. Set your own goals and focus on your disciplined routine, including with regard to sleep hygiene. Learn to be assertive. Examine your own self-esteem level and work on them. Take time to make decisions as you may have mood swings that have interfered with your decision-making. Discuss with mentors or even with your sibling or mother. You should believe in your abilities. Moreover, fear of rejection or even rejection would not be the end of the world in reality. It is just an anxiety of becoming lonely as people do fear loneliness.

Understanding Tumultuous Adolescence and Young Adults is not the most easiest of things. However, lots of reasons for lots of things happening around adolescence exist. Society should focus on them. They are able to start learning as it is considered the best time to learn what can sustain for life. Educating teens regularly about their behaviours can be made a part of their curriculum. In conclusion, positive changes brought about can bring them on the right track that can make their future bright, thus creating great advantage to society.

Migraine We Do Magic

Yes!!! That’s right.If you have migraine we do magic to relieve it  

Firstly, a migraine headache is characterized by a severe headache usually affecting one side of the head. In addition, there are other symptoms along with headaches like nausea/vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound. Nevertheless, some patients experience neurological phenomena like changes in vision, temporary loss of sensation and altered sensation, a phenomenon known as an aura (flashes of light, zigzag patterns, bright spots, tingling in the arms and the legs). A migraine headache can last for 2 to 3 days. Migraine ? We do magic!!

Symptoms

The symptoms depend on the stage of a migraine attack. The stages of a migraine attack can be: 

  1. Prodrome, Aura, Headache or attack, and Postdrome. 
  2. Prodrome: One to two days prior to the migraine attack, patient may experience; 
  • Mood swings. 
  • Cravings for food. 
  • Increased yawning. 
  • Stiff neck. 
  • Constipation and frequent thirst and urination. 

In case of an aura (during or before a migraine), there may be visual, motor, speech, and sensory illusions and disturbances such as, 

  • Loss of vision. 
  • A strange sensation of needles pricking an arm or a leg. 
  • One side of the body becomes weak and numb. 
  • There are visual illusions such as the appearance of flashes of light, zigzag patterns, bright spots. 
  • There is a problem in hearing and speaking. 
  • However, in some cases, there may be a hemiplegic migraine (the limb becomes weak). 
During a Migraine Attack (lasts for 4 to 72 hours), there may be 
  1. A throbbing pain on either one or both sides of the head 
  2. Blurred vision, light-headedness. 
  3. Nausea and vomiting 
  4. Sensitivity to light and sound 
  5. Sensitivity to touch and smell (though rare) 

Finally, in Post-drome (after a migraine), there can be 

  1. Mood swings. 
  2. A person may be sensitive to light and sound. 
  3. Dizziness and weakness 
  4. Confusion 
  5. Extreme fatigue 

Indeed, an amalgamation of environmental and genetic factors may be responsible for a migraine. Therefore, triggers varies for each patient: 

  1. Stress and extreme physical exertion 
  2. Obesity 
  3. Alcohol and caffeinated drinks and beverages 
  4. Salty and processed foods 
  5. Altered sleeping habits 
  6. Hormonal alterations in women (Constant fluctuation in the level of estrogen) 
  7. Oral contraceptives and certain vasodilators (nitroglycerin) 
  8. Preservatives like MSG (mono-sodium glutamate) and Aspartame (sweetener) 
  9. Sunshine, certain odors, travel, etc can trigger a migraine. 
Treatment and Prevention: 
  1. Medicines under supervision to abort an attack of a migraine and special drugs to stop attacks as well as to prevent a migraine from recurring, also known as maintenance therapy
  2. Finally, Lifestyle changes are helpful to decrease attacks: 
  • Avoid your trigger for a migraine. 
  • Follow regular sleep-wake cycle. 
  • Regular exercise, meditation. 
  • Avoidance of alcohol, caffeine-containing beverages. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions! Yes… Migraine We do Magic

When Should You Consult a Psychiatrist

Consult Psychiatrist

Life is rarely without its challenges. There are some, however, that can be so overbearing that it seems impossible to move on. Whether it’s the death of a loved one or overwhelming feelings of anxiety. Nevertheless, it is important you know that help is available for every problem life throws your way. So when should you consult a psychiatrist?

So what are some common reasons people see a Psychiatrist?

1. Loss – Grieving is a normal process, however bereavement, when prolonged, can be a cause for depression. However, loss of life is not the only issue that can make one depressed. However, it can be material things like ownership of property – movable or immovable, money, relationships, etc,.

2. Stress and Anxiety – This has been discussed in previous posts and can cause you to have physiological problems. For example, sleep difficulties or overthinking resulting in loss of daytime peace and incoherence at work.

3. Depression – Although causes are usually external and modifiable, sometimes getting help in terms of handling the physical symptoms is useful. Also, confiding in a neutral environment that is nonjudgmental is useful. Biological depression without any physical or external cause is also something one should be aware of.

4. Others include Phobias, Family and relationship problems. Sexual problems, Habits and addictions, Performance enhancement, Finding Mental Clarity, and other Mental disorders. Aches and Pains, and even Headaches that are persistent and Medically Undiagnosed Problems.

A psychiatrist is someone who has first studied medicine to, later on, specialize in psychiatry. This means that a psychiatrist is a doctor, to which you can come for psychological problems. The most important difference compared to a psychologist is that a psychiatrist is allowed to prescribe medication. In addition, he has not had as much communication technique training as a psychologist. So a psychiatrist may prescribe medication and will more quickly use medication as treatment than a psychologist will.


So that’s when should you consult a psychiatrist. Help is not far away and our expert senior psychiatrist is here to help.


You may reach out by clicking the button to call now and book an appointment or to find help…

Insomnia and Sleep Difficulties

Can it affect your Emotions?

Insomnia Sleep Difficulties

Firstly, there is a distinct relationship between sleeping disorders and your emotional health. In fact, both influence each other. However, insomnia and sleep difficulties, are common sleeping disorders, is generally caused due to stress and tension.

In fact, depression and anxiety also account for insomnia. Indeed, it has been proven by research. In fact, people who experience sleeplessness or cases of insomnia are at a higher risk of depression and similar psychiatric disorders.

In fact, insomnia and sleep difficulties are an important factor which cause depression, and many people affected by it commit suicide. However, researchers have found dysfunctional activity in the area of the brain where emotions are processed and regulated. In fact, among people with insomnia, their study explains the mechanism by which insomnia affects and influences emotions. In addition, in people, this leads to depression and other disorders.

The ways in which insomnia and sleep difficulties affect your emotions:

In fact, there is a clear difference in the brain activities of people with insomnia. However, this is when compared with normal people who get good sleep. In fact, there is usually a great difference between the activities of the amygdala. Indeed, these are neurons in the temporal lobe of the brain. Thus, the amygdala is very important in regulation and processing of emotions.

Signs and symptoms
  1. Insomnia disrupts the ability of the brain to process negative emotions.
  2. Nevertheless, insomnia causes neural change and problems with regulating emotions.
  3. Insomnia disables the ability of judging or sensing any kind of emotion by looking at the face of a person. However, it is difficult to judge emotions such as anger and sadness in people suffering from insomnia. This impairment occurs more in women.
  4. Insomnia and similar sleeping disorders affect our inhibition and disrupt our impulse control mechanism. An insomniac person is likely to develop increased impulsiveness to negative stimulus.
  5. People suffering from insomnia develop a perception towards negative stuff and perceive most things in a negative way. However, rather than looking at the bright side which a normal person tends to do. Insomniacs are characterises by a negative mood and are pessimism.
  6. A sleep deprived or insomniac patient shows greater activity around the limbic area of the brain. Emotional regulation and processing undertakes in the limbic area.
  7. A person suffering from insomnia develops a cranky personality. The patient is in an irritable mood. The slightest and pettiest of circumstances triggers him. However, insomnia characterizes other symptoms. Examples include, swinging moods, high temper and general fatigue, which result due to lack of sleep.

Insomnia is a sleeping disorder which directly affects a person’s emotions and the processing and regulation of emotions. There is a direct and important link between insomnia and emotional disorders.  Indeed, if you believe you have insomnia or sleep difficulties then it may be best to contact our psychiatrist. Click HERE for the best advice that we can offer for you.

Natural Secrets for a Refreshing Sleep

Natural Secrets Refreshing Sleep
Natural Sleep Secrets Tailored to Your Nightly Needs

Natural Secrets for a refreshing sleep sounds elusive. Sound slumber results in increased energy and productivity, improved heart and immune system health, a better mood, even a longer life. And hey, you just feel so much better after a satisfying 8 hours of rest. But chances are, you’re not getting it. Sleep issues are epidemic among women today,

Plan.

Not surprisingly, women tend to get less sleep than men do overall. Even if you don’t have children, levels of sleep-promoting estrogen sink regularly during menstruation and then permanently in menopause. And symptoms related to both—cramps, headaches, hot flashes, and night sweats—also disrupt slumber.

But experts agree that these biological facts don’t mean that sleep deprivation has to be your destiny. Feeling tired should never be considered normal. Yet there are no stock sleep solutions, either: Finding out what works for you takes some trial and error, but it’s well worth it. Sleep is a basic biological necessity—just like eating—and it has an impact on every aspect of your health and your life. Here are the natural secrets for a refreshing sleep.

Try these 20 ideas to find the sleep formula that works best for you.
Set a Sleep Schedule

If you do only one thing to improve your sleep, this is it: Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning—even on weekends. A regular sleep routine keeps your biological clock steady so you rest better. Exposure to a regular pattern of light and dark helps, so stay in sync by opening the blinds or going outside right after you wake up. 

Keep a Sleep Diary

To help you understand how your habits affect your rest, track your sleep every day for at least 2 weeks. Write down not only what’s obviously sleep related—what time you go to bed, how long it takes you to fall asleep, how many times you wake up during the night, how you feel in the morning—but also factors like what you ate close to bedtime and what exercise you got. Comparing your daily activities with your nightly sleep patterns can show you where you need to make changes.

Stop Smoking

Reason number 1,001: Nicotine is a stimulant, so it prevents you from falling asleep. Plus, many smokers experience withdrawal pangs at night. Smokers are 4 times more likely not to feel as well rested after a night’s sleep than nonsmokers, studies show, and smoking exacerbates sleep apnea and other breathing disorders, which can also stop you from getting a good night’s rest. Don’t worry that quitting will keep you up nights too: That effect passes in about 3 nights.

Review Your Medications

Beta-blockers (prescribed for high blood pressure) may cause insomnia; so can SSRIs (a class of antidepressants that includes Prozac and Zoloft). And that’s just the beginning. Write down every drug and supplement you take, and have your doctor evaluate how they may be affecting your sleep.

Exercise, But Not Right Before Bedtime

Working out—especially cardio—improves the length and quality of your sleep. That said, 30 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise keeps your body temperature elevated for about 4 hours, inhibiting sleep. When your body begins to cool down, however, it signals your brain to release sleep-inducing melatonin, so then you’ll get drowsy.

Cut Caffeine After 2 p.m.

That means coffee, tea, and cola. Caffeine is a stimulant that stays in your system for about 8 hours, so if you have a cappuccino after dinner, come bedtime, it’ll either prevent your brain from entering deep sleep or stop you from falling asleep altogether.

Write Down Your Woes

“The number one sleep complaint I hear? ‘I can’t turn off my mind,'” – To quiet that wakeful worrying, every night jot down your top concerns—say, I have to call my insurer to dispute that denied claim, which will take forever, and how can I spend all that time on the phone when work is so busy? Then write down the steps you can take to solve the problem—I’m going to look up the numbers before breakfast, refuse to stay on hold for more than three minutes, and send e-mails tomorrow night if I can’t get through—or even I can’t do anything about this tonight, so I’ll worry about it tomorrow. Once your concerns are converted into some kind of action plan, you’ll rest easier. Are You Nice To You?

Take Time to Wind Down

“Sleep is not an on-off switch,”. “It’s more like slowly easing your foot off the gas.” Give your body time to transition from your active day to bedtime drowsiness by setting a timer for an hour before bed and divvying up the time as follows:

First 20 minutes: Prep for tomorrow (pack your bag, set out your clothes).

Next 20: Take care of personal hygiene (brush your teeth, moisturize your face).

Last 20: Relax in bed, reading with a small, low-wattage book light or practicing deep breathing.

Sip Milk, Not a Martini

A few hours after drinking, alcohol levels in your blood start to drop, which signals your body to wake up. It takes an average person about an hour to metabolize one drink, so if you have two glasses of wine with dinner, finish your last sip at least 2 hours before bed.

Snack on Cheese and Crackers

The ideal nighttime nosh combines carbohydrates and either calcium or a protein that contains the amino acid tryptophan—studies show that both of these combos boost serotonin, a naturally occurring brain chemical that helps you feel calm. Enjoy your snack about an hour before bedtime so that the amino acids have time to reach your brain.

Some good choices:

  • One piece of whole grain toast with a slice of low-fat cheese or turkey
  • A banana with 1 teaspoon of peanut butter
  • Whole grain cereal and fat-free milk
  • Fruit and low-fat yogurt
Listen to a Bedtime Story

Load a familiar audiobook on your iPod—one that you know well, so it doesn’t engage you but distracts your attention until you drift off to sleep. Relaxing music works well, too.

Stay Cool…

Experts usually recommend setting your bedroom thermostat between 65° and 75°F—a good guideline, but pay attention to how you actually feel under the covers. Slipping between cool sheets helps trigger a drop in your body temperature. That shift signals the body to produce melatonin, which induces sleep. That’s why it’s also a good idea to take a warm bath or hot shower before going to bed: Both temporarily raise your body temperature, after which it gradually lowers in the cooler air, cueing your body to feel sleepy. But for optimal rest, once you’ve settled in to bed, you shouldn’t feel cold or hot—but just right.

…Especially if You’re Menopausal

During menopause, 75 percent of women suffer from hot flashes, and just over 20% have night sweats or hot flashes that trouble their sleep. Consider turning on a fan or the AC to cool and circulate the air. Just go low gradually: Your body loses some ability to regulate its temperature during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, so overchilling your environment—down to 60°F, for instance—will backfire.

Spray a Sleep-Inducing Scent

Certain smells, such as lavender, chamomile, and ylang-ylang, activate the alpha wave activity in the back of your brain, which leads to relaxation and helps you sleep more soundly. Mix a few drops of essential oil and water in a spray bottle and give your pillowcase a spritz.

Turn on the White Noise

Sound machines designed to help you sleep produce a low-level soothing noise. These can help you tune out barking dogs, the TV downstairs, or any other disturbances so you can fall asleep and stay asleep.

Eliminate Sneaky Light Sources

“Light is a powerful signal to your brain to be awake:. Even the glow from your laptop, iPad, smart phone, or any other electronics on your nightstand may pass through your closed eyelids and retinas into your hypothalamus—the part of your brain that controls sleep. This delays your brain’s release of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin. Thus, the darker your room is, the more soundly you’ll sleep.

Consider Kicking Out Furry Bedmates

Cats can be active in the late-night and early morning hours, and dogs may scratch, sniff, and snore you awake. More than half of people who sleep with their pets say the animals disturb their slumber, according to a survey from the Mayo Clinic Sleep Disorders Center. 

Check Your Pillow Position

The perfect prop for your head will keep your spine and neck in a straight line to avoid tension or cramps that can prevent you from falling asleep. Ask your spouse to check the alignment of your head and neck when you’re in your starting sleep position. If your neck is flexed back or raised, get a pillow that lets you sleep in a better-aligned position. And if you’re a stomach sleeper, consider using either no pillow or a very flat one to help keep your neck and spine straight. 

Breathe Deeply

This technique helps reduce your heart rate and blood pressure, releases endorphins, and relaxes your body, priming you for sleep. Inhale for 5 seconds, pause for 3, then exhale to a count of 5. Start with 8 repetitions; gradually increase to 15. To see if you’re doing it right, buy a bottle of children’s bubbles, breathe in through your belly, and blow through the wand. The smooth and steady breath that you use to blow a bubble successfully should be what you strive for when you’re trying to get to sleep.

Stay Put If You Wake Up

“The textbook advice is that if you can’t fall back asleep in fifteen minutes, get out of bed,”  “But I ask my patients, ‘How do you feel in bed?’ If they’re not fretting or anxious, I tell them to stay there, in the dark, and do some deep breathing or visualization.” But if lying in bed pushes your stress buttons, get up and do something quiet and relaxing (in dim light), such as gentle yoga or massaging your feet until you feel sleepy again.

Exams and Concentration Difficulties

Exams and Concentration difficulties are all too common. ADHD, CDD, short-term memory loss, forgetfulness, insomnia and so many more terminologies we would have come across very often.

They all seem to have evolved from a common origin and that is concentration issues. Have you pondered on these questions!! Why can’t it be easy to concentrate? Why can’t it be easy to remember everything? If yes, then read on to know more.

Concentrate! Focus! Pay attention! These are not just words but one huge and complicated process in itself. Many children and as well as adults often develop this issue wherein they find extremely difficult to concentrate.

Science behind exams and concentration difficulties: 

When an individual performs a single task; for example reading a book, the image of what he is seeing hits the retina. From the retina, the nerve fibres carry the image to the brain which stimulates the brain cells to fire an action potential. The signal from here moves to the thalamus and proceeds to the visual cortex. This signal activates locus coeruleus which is a brain stimulant. It targets the particular area of the brain becoming the deciding factor as to how one responds to a stimulus, which in this case is an image. When there is deregulation of the locus coeruleus, it is then that a person develops disorders like

ADHD, anxiety, depression, insomnia and others.

Factors influencing concentration:

Concentration is a skill that requires you to prioritize your senses while doing any work. It is an ability to block out distractions.
  • Dedication to the task
  • Interest in the task
  • One’s ability to complete the task
  • Physical and emotional state
  • Conducive environment with few distractions.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and concentration deficit disorder (CDD)


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and concentration deficit disorder (CDD) are the two predominant concentration issues. The first one is more common among the children while the latter is observed in mostly the adults. Any individual with ADHD or CDD can show abnormalities in their behavior and social life.

ADHD individuals tend to be forgetful and face problems sticking to one task and may even display excessive fidgeting. CDD individuals tend to be lethargic, move slowly and have trouble in staying alert. Adults may become socially withdrawn and exhibit slow information processing.

Solutions for concentration issues:

Concentration issues require a lot of time to be overcome. You can try to figure out what causes the distractions and avoid them as much as possible by refocusing your mind only on what you are doing. You can give yourself timers which comprise of “distraction time” and “focus time”. This strategy helps if one’s mind is actively processing other things.

You may also create subtasks by listing the things you need to do and then ruling out one by one once you accomplish them.

Always breathe better and try for long inhalation and exhalation. This helps to bring down your anxiety levels which hinder the concentration.

Though the above-mentioned strategies are just to help you improve your concentration they are not the ultimate cure for any of the issues.

Every individual is unique and sometimes accepting oneself can solve many complications as it reduces the need for unnecessary thinking. Always bear positive thoughts in your mind as it will act as a driving source.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

How to Help Your Child Learn to Read

Help Learn Read Reading Disorders

As a parent, you feel a special deep panic when you realize that your child—your beautiful, clever, funny child, who regularly surprises you with precocious bons mots, who built an ingenious bow out of tubing and rubber bands that can shoot a chopstick across the living room with remarkable accuracy—is having trouble learning to read.

Meanwhile, all the other kids appear to be breezing along, polishing off Harry Potter books while your child stumbles over the difference between “how” and “now.” You don’t want to be one of those hysterical parents who gets all crazy about every little developmental bump in the road, but, hey, your kid can’t really read yet, and the others can. In your darker moments you feel the desolate urge to ratchet down your ambitions for your child from valedictorian to graduating at all. So, How to Help Your Child with reading disorders Learn to Read…

Such fears may be exaggerated, but they’re not irrational. Reading ability does predict school achievement and success (which is, of course, related to income, health, and other factors), and reading gains ever greater importance beyond school, as more jobs are now based on information and technology. Failure to read places significant limits on how one fares in other parts of life. And a lot of people never do learn to read well: Approximately 40 percent of fourth grade children in the United States lack basic reading skills; 20 percent of all graduating high school seniors are classified as functionally illiterate (meaning that their reading and writing skills are insufficient for ordinary practical needs) ; and about 42 million adults in the United States cannot read. So, you’re not nuts to take a reading problem seriously.

Perspective

Now for some perspective. First, let’s take a moment to recognize that compared with the development of oral language, the acquisition of reading is unnatural. Speech and the ability to understand speech can be considered the result of a natural process in the sense that the requisite skills emerge without formal training. Several species of animal employ sounds such as clicking, whistles, song, or foot tapping in a fashion that constitutes focused and targeted communication (and dolphins actually seem to have names for one another). Before children can speak fluently, they move from sounds to words, words to phrases, and so on, acquiring their growing expertise from exposure to the speech around them. They then make efforts to speak, with little formal guidance. By contrast, children must be taught to read.

The good news for kids who have trouble reading is that while a deficiency in reading may look like an across-the-board failure, it is often a local problem in just one or two of the components that add up to the ability to read. Reading, like golfing or playing the guitar, is not one big global skill but a constellation of many smaller ones. When we read fluently, the little skills weave together so seamlessly that they look like a single expertise.

There are components to – How to Help Your Child Learn to Read – It is important to look at the components because a holdup in the development of any single one may be at fault in a child’s poor performance in reading. If we can identify the component that’s not doing its share, we can do a great deal to improve reading.

The components that make up reading are interrelated and overlapping, but distinguishable:

  1. Vocabulary: knowing the meanings of words. A child’s comprehension of what is read depends on this. Better vocabulary better prepares a child for reading.
  2. Comprehension: understanding and being able to interpret what is read, connecting the printed words and sentences with human experience.
  3. Phonological awareness: identifying and manipulating units of oral language, such as words, syllables, onsets, and rimes. Children who have phonological awareness can recognize that sentences are made up of words, words can be broken down into sounds and syllables, sounds can be deleted from words to make new words, and different words can begin or end with the same sound or have the same middle sound(s).
  4. Decoding: breaking down words into their constituent sounds and building words from those sounds. This begins with blending sounds (“puh” plus “al” equals “pal”) and extends into sounding out words the child has never seen before by recognizing the sounds of letters and syllables that form them.
  5. Fluency: reading smoothly with accuracy, speed, and expression that conveys the sense of what’s being read.

As a parent with no particular professional expertise in teaching literacy, there’s a lot you can do on the level of normal play and routine home life to promote reading—and without turning it into a chore or a high-pressure struggle.

To start with:

Parents can begin working on the components of reading when their child is still an infant and extend the process throughout childhood. To begin with, the more the child knows about oral language, the better. When she begins to read, she will draw upon a reserve of expertise that she first built up as a speaker and listener: vocabulary, comprehension, phonological awareness, connecting words to things.

With infants, talk to the child and encourage him to make a range of talk like sounds. Begin reading to the child, and keep books around, including some within the child’s reach. Do what you can to make reading fun, enjoyable, peaceful, and engaging, setting the stage for what comes next at the toddler level. You are building command of sounds, love of reading, and an appreciation of the value and importance of books.

With toddlers and pre-schoolers, it helps to connect reading to some routine such as bed time, nap time, or a pre or after meal lull. Select topics she likes; let the child select books for you to read. Get in the habit of activities or games that rhyme and otherwise play with sounds: songs, jingles, made-up phrases (e.g., “Billy is silly” to catch the rhyming sounds, “Sally sounds silly” to catch the sound of the initial S). Nursery rhymes are especially rich in words, rhyming, and other fundamentals. Talk about a greater range of subjects, even very mundane ones—like pointing to the parts of a car or animal in an illustration and labelling them.

As you read, stop and ask a gentle question: “What do you think Babar is thinking here?” or “What do you think will happen next?” These are great for comprehension. If the question is too difficult, offer a little more guidance by attaching a statement: “I’ll bet Babar is a little lonely. What do you think would make him feel better?” Also, you can encourage your child to experiment with writing, which helps reading because she uses sounds to try to write the word. You might see the child write “sn” for “sun,” a great start that shows awareness of sounds and the breakdown of words into sounds.

How to Help Your Child Learn to Read:

As your child continues in elementary school and begins to work hard during the school day on reading, it’s a good idea to continue reading with and to him, mixing in casual writing practice (some kids will go for the idea of alternating entries in a journal with a parent) and talking over dinner and in other family settings about what the child has read.

If there’s a series of books that speaks to one of your child’s enthusiasms, helping him get into that series will allow him to become familiar with continuing characters and engage with a larger story, which makes even new books seem familiar.

Keep a dictionary around and easily accessible, and use it once in a while. Thus, inviting your child to do this with you. The dictionary not only reinforces vocabulary and comprehension, it helps your child decode words. Hence, by showing that they are composed of syllables that can be sounded out.

Make up word games to play while driving or in a store. “Think of words that sound like snow” is good for a first or second grader. However, you can work up to more complicated games for older children. If you make the play competitive (if your family is into that), please resist the temptation. The temptation to rattle off 50 words in a row and then do your special taunting wiggly victory dance.

Next Steps:

And, of course, continue to show by your actions. Not just your pronouncements – that reading is engaging, relevant, and a path to fresh experiences. Keep books around where your child can pick them up in the natural course of things. And don’t forget to pick up a book yourself. Model the desired intimacy with books; don’t just preach it.

You can’t add becoming a fulltime reading tutor to the already fulltime demands of parenting. Nonetheless, children will vary in interest, ability, and attention. So, you’ll inevitably have to select just a few of the many possible activities to promote reading skills. In general, go for regularity—a little almost every day. And, as part of a routine that links reading to the more relaxed moments in the day. Rather than a Shakespeare marathon one Saturday a month. That is How to Help Your Child Learn to Read.

And when setting priorities, bear in mind that two activities are clearly the most critical:
  1. Firstly, read aloud to the child. So, it shows that reading is important, part of everyday life, and fun. Also, it allows you to model the basic component skills. However, it’s fine to read the same books over and over, as many children like to do. Research indicates that repeated readings help a child to integrate words better; comprehend meaning; and connect sounds, words, and meaning. Even on the 50th time through the same story, interact during the reading to bring the child into the activity. “What is Pooh doing? What do you think is in the jar?”
  2. Secondly, help the child understand that letters are related to sounds and that words can break down into sounds. Finally, the child’s reading will advance by being able to sound out words, not by memorizing individual words. There are alphabet books to help you work with your child to connect letters to sounds. In the middle of reading, stop and sound out a word. “Let’s sound this out together: Err … un. Run! He’s getting ready to run.”
Conclusion

Reading may be important and complex and very scary when your child has trouble with it. However, parents should take heart. And remember that mundane low-pressure practice during games and other activities with you can make an enormous difference. Even a slightly increased sensitivity to breaking down sounds or rhyming may help. Also, a slightly heightened familiarity with books and motivation to engage with them, can provide a significant boost at school. Reading preparation is at the top of the list of factors that make a difference in school achievement. Such preparation need not – and should not – feature threats, severity, and drudgery. Instead, help your child to read by doing what you do anyway. This includes, playing with him, talking with her – in a slightly more purposeful manner. How to Help Your Child Learn to Read may be difficult. Indeed, you may need a school counselor or a child psychiatrist.

Reading Disorders

How Do I know If My child Has Reading Disorders

Reading disorders occur when a person has trouble with any part of the reading process. Reading and language-based learning disabilities are commonly called dyslexia. These disorders are present from a young age. Thus, usually result from specific differences in the way the brain processes language.

There are many different symptoms and types of reading disorders, and not everyone with a reading disorder has every symptom. People with reading disorders may have problems recognizing words that they already know and may also be poor spellers. Other symptoms may include the following:

  • Trouble with handwriting
  • Difficulty reading quickly
  • Problems reading with correct expression
  • Problems understanding the written word

Reading disorders are not a type of intellectual and development disorder. Also, they are not a sign of lower intelligence or unwillingness to learn. People with reading disorders may have other learning disabilities, too, including problems with writing or numbers. Visit learning disabilities for more information about these problems.

Types of Reading Disorders

Dyslexia is a brain-based type of learning disability that specifically impairs a person’s ability to read. Individuals with dyslexia typically read at levels significantly lower than expected despite having normal intelligence. Although the disorder varies from person to person, there are some common characteristics among people with dyslexia. They are difficulty with phonological processing (the manipulation of sounds), spelling, and/or rapid visual-verbal responding. Dyslexia can be inherited in some families. Moreover, recent studies have identified a number of genes that may predispose an individual to developing dyslexia. Examples of specific types of reading disorders include:

  • Word decoding. People who have difficulty sounding out written words; matching the letters to sounds to be able to read a word.
  • Lack of fluency. People who lack fluency have difficulty reading quickly, accurately, and with proper expression (if reading aloud).
  • Poor reading comprehension. People with poor reading comprehension have trouble understanding what they read.

A related problem is alexia (pronounced uh-LEK-see-uh), or an acquired inability to read. Unlike most reading disabilities, which are present from when a child starts to learn to read, people with alexia were once able to read. However, they lost the ability after a stroke or an injury to the area of the brain involved with reading.

How will I know if my child has a reading problem?

The news usually comes in one or more of three ways.

  1. School feedback. If your child’s teacher alerts you to a problem, resist falling into the blame games. If the teacher asks, “Do you ever read to him at home?” don’t come back with, “Aren’t you teaching him to read at school? Whatever you’re doing isn’t working.”
  2. Your child’s statements. The child may well make general or specific comments. Like “I don’t want to read.” or “I can’t do this”. “I don’t get what’s happening in this story.” More likely, your child will just express frustration. Strong resistance against practicing reading, including blanket statements like “Reading is dumb” is an obvious sign.
  3. Behavior’s you can observe. Reluctance to be read to, getting stuck on most words in a sentence. And slow or no reaction when you ask a simple question. For example, “What is the sound of that letter?” Another warning sign would be if the child’s reading is very slow. Accuracy in early reading is much more important than speed. However, if you can wash and dry the dishes before the sentence is completed, fluency is a problem. Or you may notice that the child gets the beginning of the word but guesses at the rest of it. Like, reading “smoke” as “smile,” for instance—which suggests she is trying to memorize whole words. Instead of breaking them down to sound them out.
Reading Disorders

Can’t I just wait until the child gets to school, where they have teachers trained to teach reading?

You could, but it would be better if you did not. Practicing the components of reading in the home doesn’t mean you force reading before your child is ready to. However, you can help develop important skills without rushing the process. Also, the child who does practice those skills will do better when he does get to school and is ready to read in earnest. Studies show that having more of the component skills in place at age 5 predicts better school achievement at ages 7 and 15.

What do I do if I think my child has a reading problem?

Indeed, a reading evaluation can be very important. A trained specialist can identify weakness in any of the component skills and will know how to work on it. Bear in mind that the child’s negative reaction to reading alone will not necessarily show you where the problem is. Your best bet is to ask your child’s teacher, school psychologist, or principal to bring in a reading specialist. Or if you prefer to seek out help on your own, you can do your own search. Search for a reading specialist online or in the phone book.

Moreover, a little respectful tact in dealing with your child’s teacher may well be necessary. However, you’re not questioning the teacher’s competence or going over her head by consulting a specialist. Thus, reading is a well-developed area of educational specialization, with masters and doctoral level professionals. Hence, they can offer very focused assistance that goes beyond what can happen in the classroom. So, plan to work with the teacher as will any reading specialist your child ends up seeing.

However, there are more serious problems—auditory disorders, dyslexia, pervasive developmental disorder—that can lead to reading impairment. Thus, one reason to go to a specialist is that there are different strategies. Hence, these are associated with addressing each of the many causes of a reading problem.

What if my child can read, but just won’t? What if my child just has an attitude problem?

You can be certain of motivational problems only if all of the component skills are well established. So, as a parent, you probably cannot determine this on your own. However, if you’ve taken your child for a reading evaluation and problem is just motivational then you might try these. So, establish more reading routines and engage in more talking about reading at the dinner table and have the child select a book to read together at the bookstore; switch to engaging magazines or something else other than a book that has words to read; read stories connected to movies, and see the movies with the child.


My child is pulled out of class for an intensive reading program. If I enroll her in an outside program for a few weeks, will that bring her up to speed?

Nevertheless, a few weeks in an intensive reading program, all by itself, probably will not be enough. A program that is sustained and supported in the home is more likely to have staying power. Also, research suggests that much can be done to help the child and build the skills needed. In addition, that steady progress takes precedence over a quick fix. Therefore, notably the mundane game like activities I’ve discussed above will go far to improve reading and complement school activities. Thus, if you can start early, all the better. Then, you have the option, select day care, preschool, and kindergarten that emphasize sounding out, rhyming, and other pre-reading skills.

But do not leave the teaching of reading to the school. Without becoming a whip cracking achievement monster, you can accomplish a great deal. This is as part of a regular routine of play and home life.