Bulimia

Filed under: Types of Disorders - 05 Nov 2012  | Spread the word !

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Bulimia nervosa, usually known as bulimia is an eating disorder. People who suffer from it, eat huge amounts of food and then they purge, feeling guilty and trying to get rid of extra calories. Some may exercise intensely, while others may force themselves to vomit. Sometimes, they purge even if they have eaten a small meal.


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In other words, bulimia is a life-threatening easting disorder that has three primary symptoms such as:

  • regular intake of huge amounts of food
  • losing control over eating
  • inappropriate and compensatory behaviors including vomiting, laxative and diuretic abuse, as well as compulsive exercise
  • exaggerated concern with body weight and shape

Warnings

Bulimia can become very severe if it’s not treated soon. The main warnings are:

  • binge eating, meaning that food in large amounts is eaten very fast
  • purging behaviours, such as frequent trips to the bathroom after meals, smells and signs of vomiting, as well as wrappers or packages of diuretics and laxatives
  • swelling of the cheeks and jaw area
  • rigid exercise regimen-despite weather, fatigue, illness, injury, the deep need to burn off calories as fast as taken in
  • discoloration or staining of the teeth
  • social withdraw even from close friends and family
  • calluses on the back of knuckles and hands from self-indulged vomiting
  • creating rituals to make time for eat a lot food and purge sessions
  • generally, any other attitudes, behaviours that indicate weight loss, dieting, are sometimes the main concerns

Consequences


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This disorder can harm your body very much. The first thing that happens is a damage of the entire digestive system and purge behaviors that lead to chemical and imbalances in the body. Then, this starts to affect other organs. The main consequences are:

  • inflammation and potential rupture of the esophagus from frequent vomiting
  • irregular heartbeats caused by electrolyte imbalances that can lead to heart failure and so, to death
  • dehydration and loss of potassium
  • tooth decay
  • staining from stomach acids released during vomiting
  • gastric rupture is less common, but not impossible, being caused by binge eating

Bulimia is also characterized by panic, which emerges when people include vomiting or start to take various laxatives and diuretics. Bulimia also means going on extreme diets, which also harms the body very much.


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If you want to know if you’re bulimic, ask yourself a few questions such as:
1. Are you obsessed with your body weight?
2. 2. Is it food so important in your life that actually dominates it?
3. Are you afraid that once you start eating, you won’t be able to stop?
4. Do you eat very much and continually, even when you are sick?
5. Do you take laxatives or induce vomiting after eating to control your weight?
6. Do you feel ashamed or depressed after you eat?


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Bulimia is difficult to overcome because it’s not related only to food, but more to self-image, Fortunately, an effective people and psychotherapy can help you avoid complications.

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Depression

Filed under: Types of Disorders - 10 Oct 2012  | Spread the word !

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Depression is a serious condition that causes damage to the brain. About 20 million people in the United States suffer from depression nowadays. This mental disorder can have numerous causes, including genetic and environmental factors. Treating depression is a must, as otherwise it may lead to the development of a series of other conditions.

Symptoms of depression

Depression can cause numerous symptoms. Below are listed some of them:

  • Sadness;
  • Pessimism;
  • Feeling of guilt and hopelessness;
  • Change in weight;
  • Loss of interest in all type of activities;
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping;
  • Severe energy loss;
  • Difficulty concentrating;
  • Poor memory;
  • Fatigue;
  • Anxiety, agitation, irritability;
  • Suicide thoughts;
  • Feeling that life is not worth it.

Naturally, symptoms can vary from one patient to another. Some patients can experience more symptoms, while some can only feel some of them. 


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Causes

What causes depression is not known completely today. However, there are some risk factors which can lead to the development of this condition.

  • Patients who have been diagnosed with depression appear to have physical changes in their brains.
  • Changes in the body’s balance of hormones may also lead to the development of this disease.
  • Certain traumatic events, including the death of someone dear, can also lead to depression.
  • High stress can cause depression, too.
  • Traumatic events during childhood, including abuse, can determine permanent damage to the brain.


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Risk factors

People of all ages can be diagnosed with depression. However, the disease is commonly found in people aged between 20 and 30. Risk factors of depression include:

  • Having relatives suffering from depression;
  • Having traumatic experiences as a child;
  • Not socializing;
  • Being lonely;
  • Having few friends;
  • Leading a stressful life;
  • Experiencing stressful events;
  • Having a serious illness;
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs.


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Diagnosis

Depression is usually diagnosed by health care providers after a physical exam. Doctors may ask questions about mood, thoughts and daily routine. Through various physiological tests, doctors can find out if you are suffering from depression.

They may also recommend the following tests for diagnosis:

  1. Physical exam during which your general state of health is checked.
  2. Laboratory tests are recommended to test your thyroid.
  3. Psychological evaluation checks for signs of depression. Patients will be asked about symptoms and various other aspects linked their general state of health.


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Treatment

Depression need to be treated as soon as possible. To overcome this condition, patients can undergo a series of therapies. Both medication and support are needed. Actually, the most effective treatment for depression is considered to be the combination between medication and psychotherapy. Treatment will vary from one case to another, depending on the needs of each patient. Support can be offered to both patient and his family.

Overcoming depression is a complex process that will most likely take months. It requires time and commitment. Even though the patient starts feeling better, the treatment has to continue until the specialist tells you that you have managed to cure your health problem.

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Personality Disorders are the Second Axis of DSM IV

Filed under: Types of Disorders - 12 Jun 2012  | Spread the word !

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Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is a manual published by the American Psychiatric Association that includes all curently recognised mental health disorders. The coding system utilised by the DSM-IV is designed to correspond with codes from the international Classification of Disease, commonly referred to as the ICD. Many people suffer from personality disorder and the causes of this illness are the subject of considerable debate and controversy. Some experts believe that personality disorders are caused by early experiences that prevented the development of normal thought and behaviour patterns. Other researchers believe that biological or genetic influences are the root cause of personality disorders. In order to be diagnosed with a personality disorder, an individual must exhibit symptoms that meet the diagnostic criteria established in the DSM IV.

These patterns of behaviour must be chronic and pervasive, affecting many different of the individual’s life, including social functioning, work, school and close relationships. The individual must exhibit symptoms that affect two or more of the following areas: thoughts, emotions, interpersonal functioning, and impulse control. The pattern of behaviours must be stable across time and have an onset that can be traced back to adolescence or early childhood. These behaviours cannot be explained by any other mental disorders, substance abuse or medical conditions. Personality disorders are described on Axis II of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. The DSM-IV lists a total of ten different personality disorders. These disorders are classified into there separate clusters: cluster A -- odd or eccentric disorders, cluster B -- dramatic, emotional or erratic disorders and cluster C -- anxious or fearful disorders.

Before a clinician can diagnose a personality disorder, they must rule out other disorder or medical conditions that may be causing the symptoms. The symptoms that characterise personality disorders are often similar to those of other disorders and illnesses. Personality disorders also commonly co-occur with other illnesses. The following are potential differentials that must be ruled out before diagnosing an individual with a personality disorder: substance abuse, anxiety disorders, depression, dissociative disorders, social phobia, post traumatic stress disorder and schizophrenia.

The DSM has attracted praise for standardising psychiatric diagnostic categories and criteria. It has also attracted controversy and criticism. Some critics argue that the DSM represents an unscientific system that enshrines the opinions of a few powerful psychiatrists. There are ongoing issues concerning the validity and reliability of the diagnostic categories.

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