Friday, May 17, 2019

Things about Depression that you must know

It is common to feel low, exhausted, and loss of interest in daily activities as a sign of regular depression that everyone goes through in their lifetime. But if these continue for a longer period of time and affect your life, then you may be suffering from clinical depression and requires treatment. It can affect anyone of any age group and the reasons are not always known.

Depression or Clinical Depression is the most common but the most serious type of mood disorder. It is not the common sadness phase that passes by, but it is a persistent condition that lasts for months or years and should be treated. The treatment may be medication from psychiatric or Psychotherapy. It interferes with our ability to think, feel and behave and disrupts our functionality to carry on our lives.  

There are many types of depression, some of which results from the experiences in your life while the others are caused by the chemical changes in the brain. Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder are the most common ones.

Depression can be caused due to many reasons and are not always preventable. Some of the common causes include:
  • Imbalanced Neurotransmitters in Brain: Neurotransmitters are the chemical substances in the brain that helps in communication of brain with different areas and involve in mood regulation. So the imbalance in neurotransmitters or the shortage may lead to clinical depression.
  • Female sex hormones: Women suffer from depression about twice as often as men especially during their reproductive years. The occurrence peaks during their menstrual period, childbirth, and perimenopause. This suggests that the hormonal flux can be cause of their depression. Eventually, the woman's depression risk declines after she goes through menopause.
  • Poor Diet: From our childhood, we are always said to have balanced diet as the poor diet leads to many adverse effect in our body. Depression is also one of them. A variety of vitamin and mineral deficiencies are known to cause symptoms of depression especially the diets low in omega-3 fatty acids and high in sugar and simple carbs.
  • Physical Health problems: The physical and the mental health go hand in hand and both can trigger each other. Depression can cause certain heart diseases and dementia. Similarly, certain illnesses, such as thyroid disorders, Addison's disease, and liver disease, can cause depression symptoms.
  • Drugs: Alcohol and drugs leads to many depressive disorders but some of the prescribed medicines such as anticonvulsants, stimulants, benzodiazepines, and many more drugs are also the contributing factors. Thus, it is always advised to review your medication.
  • Stress: In today’s life, Stress has become one of the major contributing factor of mental illness. Researchers suspect that that during stress, there is an increment in the level of hormone, called cortisol which affect the neurotransmitter serotonin and contribute to depression.
  • Grieves: Grieving over the loss of loved ones, are expected to subside over time. But when symptoms get worse, it may turn into depression.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Healthy Mind at Work place

The statistics suggest that one out of six people suffers from mental health problems which mainly include depression and anxiety. Earlier it was said that a person must be active and working to avoid mental health problems. But with the increase in workplace competition, workload and negative work environment (such as harassment and bullying), nowadays, it has become one of the major reasons for the mental illnesses, leaving behind the stress due to debts and financial problems.

Though unemployment is a well known risk factor for mental illness and getting work is said to be protective, a negative working environment, however, may lead to physical and mental health problems, substance abuse and addictions, absenteeism and lost productivity. Stress from work can also hinder family relations and friendships, and even increase risks for chronic illnesses and heart attacks.

Risks to mental health in the workplace include:
  • High and unrelenting workload;
  • Low levels of support for employees;
  • Minimal wage growth;
  • Lack of opportunity to advance;
  • Inflexible working hours;
  • A work environment that does not encourage teamwork;
  • Unclear tasks or organizational objectives;
  • Poor communication and management practices;
  • Bullying and psychological harassment and many more

Creating a Mentally Healthy Workplace
Creating a healthy surrounding to promote mental health not only results in the better mind but also in better and increase productivity, reduction in absenteeism, and few other benefit from associated economic gains. In a healthy workplace, a person feels valued, supported, and energetic towards their tasks with the respectful surrounding.

There are a number of different strategies and plans for organizations to achieve a healthy workplace. Some of them are:
  • Educate and create awareness about mental health: create such an environment so that a person will free to share their loads and problems;
  • Productive atmosphere: respectful, appreciated, incentivized, and rewarded surrounding with no signs of intimidation, bullying, sexual harassment, and fear. Good working relationship with all staff.
  • Liveable wage: encourages a committed and sustained workforce.
  • Open and effective Communication
  • Act and Support: Create opportunities and promote work-life balance
With the various measures taken by the organizations, we should also look for our health as it is or mind and health which is getting affected. Following are the tips that help to restore your mental wellness:
  • Do not work overtime unnecessarily
  • Take necessary breaks
  • Go for holidays
  • Give time to your family and friends
  • Allocate time to do the things you enjoy
  • Eat healthy and take adequate sleep
  • Look for your body weight and fitness

Friday, May 3, 2019

The genetic association of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder or the manic depressive illness is a mental disorder that causes depression episodes and manic episodes (abnormally elevated mood). Earlier it was thought as only a psychiatric illness with behavioural and mental patterns that causes distress and impairment of personal functioning. Later with the advancement in the field of Neuropsychiatry and Neuroimaging techniques and Molecular studies, it has been revealed that Bipolar Disorder (BD) is a multifactorial brain disorder with radical shifts of mood.

Although it was long known that both environmental and genetic factors play an important role, the cause was not clearly understood. For instance, it has been known that exposure to high levels of stress for a longer period, especially during childhood, is responsible for the development of BD. But now, it has been revealed that which genes need to be blamed. In most cases, no single gene is responsible for bipolar disorder.

A class of genes known as Immediate Early genes (IEGs) respond quickly to environmental stimuli, such as in stressful condition. It activates other genes that lead to neural plasticity and thus the brain responses as per the changes in the environment, adapting new experiences. One type of IEG gene known as EGR3, which normally responds to environment and stressful stimuli is found to be repressed in the brain of BD patients which suggest that during stressful condition, the EGR3 in BD patients does not respond to the stimulus appropriately, making them vulnerable to higher levels of stress and have more difficulties dealing with stress or adapting to it if compared to healthy individuals.

Some of the other candidate genes responsible for bipolar disorder include G72/DAOA, DISC1, NRG1, TPH2, BDNF, 5-HTT, DAT1 and many more. With the changing lifestyle and increase in the stressful environment, Bipolar Disorder (BD), along with depression and schizophrenia has become one of the most serious mental illnesses and one of the top 20 causes of severe impairment in everyday life. With the current findings of genes, the exploration has started the role of several of these mutations in BD pathophysiology using in vitro and animal models and is serving as a very promising area in molecular and neuroscience research.

Things about Depression that you must know

It is common to feel low, exhausted, and loss of interest in daily activities as a sign of regular depression that everyone goes thr...