Mental Health

Mental Health

How well you cope with life - your mental health - is just as important as your physical health. Worry, stress, anxiety affects everyone, but if it overwhelms your ability to cope, make good decisions, and have fulfilling relationships, you need help. Counseling, medications, and supportive friends can help strengthen your ability to cope - and improve your mental health.

Recently Answered

  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Gastroenterology, answered
    Patients diagnosed with factitious disorder intentionally manifest disease. Their sole purpose in assuming the sick role rests in an inner need to be seen as ill or injured rather than a need to achieve an external benefit, such as financial gain. An extreme example of factitious disorder is the Munchausen syndrome, in which the patient deliberately produces or exaggerates physical symptoms in various ways, such as lying about or faking symptoms, causing self-injury, or altering diagnostic tests. The self-induction of disease is often not recognized at first. Factitious disorder patients who feign a psychiatric illness can be even harder to recognize.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology), answered
    Ganser syndrome is a rare dissociative disorder previously classified as a factitious disorder.  It is characterized by nonsensical or wrong answers to questions or doing things incorrectly, other dissociative symptoms wuch as fugue, amnesia or conversion disorder, often with visual pseudohallucinations and a decreased state of consciousness. Symptomns include a clouding of consciousness, somatic conversion symptoms, confusion, stress, loss of personal identity, echolalia, and echopraxia. The psychological symptoms general resemble the patient's sense of mental illness rather than any recognized category.
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Adolescent Medicine, answered

    Adjustment disorders are diagnosed based on signs and symptoms and a thorough psychological evaluation. To be diagnosed with adjustment disorder, someone must meet criteria spelled out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

    • Having emotional or behavioral symptoms within three months of a specific stressor occurring in your life; 
    • Experiencing distress that is in excess of what would normally be expected in response to the stressor or that causes significant problems in your relationships, at work or at school; 
    • An improvement of symptoms within six months of the stressful event coming to an end.
  • 3 Answers
    A
    A , Adolescent Medicine, answered
    Panic is not necessarily precipitated by a recognizable circumstance, and it may remain a mystery to you. These attacks come "out of the blue". Excessive stress or other negative life conditions can trigger an attack.
    See All 3 Answers
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered

    Wondering if you're a total buzzkill?

    Try this little experiment: Walk into a room. Is the mood of the people in the room better or worse after you've been there for a short time? If it's worse, it's a sure sign that you're projecting some depressive symptoms. Docs can often diagnose depression because they themselves feel worse after talking to a patient with depression.

    It's okay to feel depressed sometimes. With more than six billion people on the planet, it'd be a pretty boring place if we all loped around like robotic machines - each with the same appearance, the same fashion sense, and the same preference in coffee flavors. There'd be little spice in life if every single person was a 5-foot-4, purple-skinned, helmet-wearing, latte lover. The beauty of life really centers around the fact that we're not just different from each other, but that we're quirkily different. We have nuances, subtleties, and personality traits that make us three-dimensional. Some of us are laid back, some are stuffy; some of us think jokes about bowels are funny, some don't; some of us like sports, some of us like soap operas; some of us like chicken parmesan, and some of us like chicken parmesan as long it's grilled with no cheese and served with extra sauce.

    In fact, minor versions of these disordered behaviors are part of what makes us whole. You can be very sensitive on the way to becoming depressed, you can be very thoughtful on the way to becoming compulsive, and you can hold yourself back from acting out inappropriately and escalating interpersonal conflict on the way to becoming passive aggressive. Extreme versions of mental illness destroy our sense of self-worth and make us feel ugly and useless.

    If you look into your own personality Crock-Pot, we're sure that you (and your family and friends) can pick out the main ingredients - the stock that forms your core moral and value system, the chunks that form your personal characteristics, and all the subtle aromas that give you the heat and flavor to make you the only one of your kind.

    It's worth taking a deeper look into the emotional roller coasters you may be riding to find out if there are any ingredients that don't belong or if you've added too much spice in some key areas. That is, explore areas in which personality quirks and traits can develop into things that actually can be harmful to you and to others - like depression, addiction, and various behavioral disorders.

  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Internal Medicine, answered

    The consensus is that most emotional disorders that don't have an overtly physical origin are caused by a mixture of three things: genetics, general temperament, and childhood experience. This is the important point: You need the genetic predisposition, but you also need the environment. That is, someone with a naturally low self-esteem can develop personality problems when exposed to the wrong environment. But ideally, you can control your environment - or at least many people can.

  • 3 Answers
    A
    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered

    You'd think that repeatedly telling someone not to drink, not to smoke, or not to download naked pictures to their work computer would be enough. But your brain can do very funny things. Your brain - specifically the part of the brain that influences cravings, your insula - hears "don't smoke" and reacts the same way it hears "smoke." And that stimulates the craving for a cigarette. A much better approach when you want to help someone get rid of their addiction: Flip the message. Instead of saying "Don't smoke," say "Breathe free." Instead of "Don't eat doughnuts," say "Have a handful of nuts." Instead of saying, "Don't look at naked pictures," say "Want to get naked?"

    See All 3 Answers
  • 2 Answers
    A
    A , Herbal Medicine, answered

    Keeping a Gratitude Journal helps to redirect your mind from negative thinking to positive thinking. The more you concentrate on what's good in your life, the more positive and happy you'll feel. Get my tips on keeping a Gratitude Journal here: http://youtu.be/27Ke0pTedVg.

    See All 2 Answers
  • 2 Answers
    A
    A , Internal Medicine, answered

    Feeling blue? Put on some music (though preferably not You're so Far Away by Carole King). Research suggests that music can improve moderately depressed moods. One study also showed improved heart rate and blood pressure.

    See All 2 Answers
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered

    We like to think of ourselves as rational decision makers - dispassionate information processors, coolly and calmly, logically evaluating the costs and benefits of each alternative we encounter. But we're much more primitive than most assume. We may look like a Wall Street type on the outside, but there's still a good deal of Fred Flintstone on the inside. We're hard-wired through the amygdala to react to emotions, not intellect, which is why we can have financial troubles. Just consider this example:
    Recently a team of Ivy League economists looked at how consumers reacted to various pitches by banks to take out a loan. A purely rational view would have predicted that interest rates would be the only factor that had an impact - the lower the rate, the more people will borrow money from that bank. But the scientists varied more than just the interest rate; they also tested how persuasive other approaches might be. For instance, some letters offered a chance to win a cell phone in a lottery if the customer came in to inquire about a loan. The researchers found that many non-financial factors had an effect equal to one to five percentage points of interest. An offer of a free cell phone increased demand among men by as much as dropping the interest rate five points. For a $50,000 loan, this meant some men were in essence willing to pay $16,000 more in interest to receive a $100 cell phone. So much for logical decision-making.