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1. DEPRESSION

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.

Sadness or down swings in mood are normal reactions to life’s struggles, setbacks and disappointments. Many people use the word “depression” to explain these kinds of feelings, but depression is much more than just sadness.

Depression is different from normal sadness in that it engulfs your day-to-day life, interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep and have fun. The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness are intense and unrelenting, with little, if any, relief.

 

Signs and symptoms of depression include:

Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness - A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.

Loss of interest in daily activities - No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.

Appetite or weight changes - Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.

Sleep changes - Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).

Anger or irritability - Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.

Loss of energy - Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.

Self-loathing - Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.

Reckless behaviour - You engage in escapist behaviour such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.

Concentration problems - Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.

Unexplained aches and pains -  An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.

 Causes and risk factors for depression

Loneliness

Lack of social support

Recent stressful life experiences

Family history of depression

Marital or relationship problems

Financial strain

Early childhood trauma or abuse

Alcohol or drug abuse

Unemployment or underemployment

Health problems or chronic pain

 The road to depression recovery

Just as the symptoms and causes of depression are different in different people, so are the ways to feel better. What works for one person might not work for another, and no one treatment is appropriate in all cases. If you recognize the signs of depression in yourself or a loved one, take some time to explore the treatment options. In most cases, the best approach involves a combination of social support, lifestyle changes, emotional skills building, and professional help.

 Ask for help and support

Feeling helpless and hopeless is a symptom of depression—not the reality of your situation. It does not mean that you’re weak or you can’t change. The key to depression recovery is to start small and ask for help. The simple act of talking to someone face to face about how you feel can be an enormous help. The person you talk to doesn’t have to be able to fix you; he or she just needs to be a good listener. Having a strong support system will speed your recovery. Isolation fuels depression, so reach out to others, even if you feel like being alone or don’t want to feel like a burden to others. So, let your family and friends know what you’re going through and how they can support you.

 Make healthy lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes are not always easy to make, but they can have a big impact on depression. Lifestyle changes that can be very effective include:

Cultivating supportive relationships

Getting regular exercise and sleep

Eating healthfully to naturally boost mood

Managing stress

Practicing relaxation techniques

Challenging negative thought patterns

Build emotional skills - Building emotional skills can give you the ability to cope and bounce back from adversity, trauma, and loss. In other words, learning how to recognize and express your emotions can make you stronger.

 Seek professional help

If support from family and friends, positive lifestyle changes, and emotional skills building aren’t enough, seek help from a mental health professional. There are many effective treatments for depression, including therapy, medication, and alternative treatments. Learning about your options will help you decide what measures are most likely to work best for your particular situation and needs.

 

 2. What happens to your body when you start walking?

Here's a minute-by-minute rundown of the amazing chain reaction walking and exercise has upon your body......

Minutes 1 to 5 - Your first few steps trigger the release of energy-producing chemicals in your cells to fuel your walk. Your heart rate revs-up from about 70 to 100 beats per minute, boosting blood-flow and warming muscles.

Any stiffness subsides as joints release lubricating fluid to help you move more easily. As you get moving, your body burns 5 calories per minute, compared with only 1 per minute at rest. Your body needs more fuel and starts pulling from its carbohydrates and fat stores.

Minutes 6 to 10 - Heartbeat increases from 100 to about 140 bpm and you're burning up to 6 calories per minute as you pick up the pace. A slight rise in blood pressure is countered by the release of chemicals that expand blood vessels, bringing more blood and oxygen to working muscles.

Minutes 11 to 20 - Your body temperature keeps rising and you start to perspire as blood vessels near the skin expand to release heat. As your walk becomes brisker, you'll be burning up to 7 calories a minute and breathing harder. Hormones such as epinephrine and glucagon rise to release fuel to the muscles.

Minutes 21 to 45 - Feeling invigorated, you start to relax as your body releases tension, in part to a dose of feel-good chemicals such as endorphins in your brain, as more fat is burned.

Minutes 46 to 60 - Your muscles may feel fatigued as carbohydrate stores are reduced. As you cool down, your heart rate decreases and your breathing slows. You'll be burning fewer calories but more than you were before you started. Your calorie burn will remain elevated for up to 1 hour.

 

So take a walk from today at least for 30-40 min... For your good health.

 4.Diagramatic Representation Of PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome)

 

3. POSITIVE THINKING

 Positive thinking is a mental and emotional attitude that focuses on the bright side of life and expects positive results.

A positive person anticipates happiness, health and success, and believes he or she can overcome any obstacle and difficulty.

Positive thinker always thinks the best is going to happen, not the worst, whatever the situation is.

Positive thinking often starts with self-talk. Self-talk is the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head. These automatic thoughts can be positive or negative.

If the thoughts that run through your head are mostly negative, your outlook on life is more likely pessimistic. If your thoughts are mostly positive, you're likely an optimist — someone who practices positive thinking.

 The health benefits of positive thinking:- Researchers continue to explore the effects of positive thinking and optimism on health. Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include:

Increased life span

Lower rates of depression

Lower levels of distress

Greater resistance to the common cold

Better psychological and physical well-being

Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease

Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress

It's unclear why people who engage in positive thinking experience these health benefits. One theory is that having a positive outlook enables you to cope better with stressful situations, which reduces the harmful health effects of stress on your body.

 Focusing on positive thinking

 You can learn to turn negative thinking into positive thinking. The process is simple, but it does take time and practice — you're creating a new habit, after all. Here are some ways to think and behave in a more positive and optimistic way:

 Identify areas to change - If you want to become more optimistic and engage in more positive thinking, first identify areas of your life that you typically think negatively about, whether it's work, your daily commute or a relationship. You can start small by focusing on one area to approach in a more positive way.

Check yourself - Periodically during the day, stop and evaluate what you're thinking. If you find that your thoughts are mainly negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.

Be open to humour - Give yourself permission to smile or laugh, especially during difficult times. Seek humour in everyday happenings. When you can laugh at life, you feel less stressed.

Follow a healthy lifestyle - Exercise at least three times a week to positively affect mood and reduce stress. Follow a healthy diet to fuel your mind and body.

Surround yourself with positive people - Make sure those in your life are positive, supportive people you can depend on to give helpful advice and feedback. Negative people may increase your stress level and make you doubt your ability to manage stress in healthy ways.

Practice positive self-talk - Start by following one simple rule: Don't say anything to yourself that you wouldn't say to anyone else. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond with affirmations of what is good about you.

 

5. DREAMS

What are dreams? What do they mean & why do we have dreams?

These questions are the subject of debate for centuries. The content & purpose of dreams are not definitively understood, though they have been a topic of scientific speculations.

The scientific discipline of dream research is called ONEIROLOGY.

 Dreams are subjective experience of a series of thoughts, images, sounds/voices and sensations occurring during sleep.

The scientific definition of dreams is the mental activity containing thoughts, emotions, and images that occur while a person is asleep. This is normally in conjunction with rapid eye movement (REM). Dreams that occur during REM-sleep normally involve aggressive emotions while dreams that occur during non-REM (NREM) sleep normally involve friendly emotions.

 True dreaming was only been confirmed positively in humans for long time, but recently research reports are supporting a view that dreaming occurs in animals too. Animals certainly undergo REM sleep (rapid eye movement sleep - revealed by continuous movements of the eyes during sleep), but it is difficult to determine their subjective experience.

 In many cultures, it has reappeared in age after age, that Dreams ‘mean’ something.

In the Bible, dreams were believed to be the messages from God & thereby were assumed to have meaning.

In the Greek and Roman eras, dreams were seen in a religious context. They were believed to be direct messages from the gods or from the dead. The people of that time look to their dreams for solutions on what to do or what course of action to take. They believed dreams forewarned and predicted the future.

Greek philosopher, Aristotle believed that dreams were a result of physiological functions. Dreams were able to diagnose illness and predict onset of diseases.

 During the Helllenistic period, the main focus of dreams was centered around its ability to heal. Temples, called Asclepieions, were built around the healing power of dreams.  It was believed that sick people who slept in these temples would be sent cures through their dreams.

 Dreams are a way to look into our soul, to unlock our unconscious. Our unconscious holds childhood wishes and desires that are deemed undesirable. Dreams are a way for us to fulfill these unconscious desires and wishes. Much of our struggle as humans is between these forbidden desires and trying to repress them. Through the analysis of dreams, we could discover the root cause of our problems, through analysing the symbols and feelings that we experienced during the dreams.

Various things keep us from remembering our latent desires, repressing them into our unconscious. It is through dreaming that the desires are brought back to the surface. Therefore, dreams act as a “fulfilment” of these repressed desires.

Dreams are a result of the electrical energy. This energy stimulates stored memories in various regions of the brain.

Dreams are one of the most fascinating and mysterious parts of the human experience.

 

Types of Dreams

  1. 1.Psychological Healing Dreams – Although these dreams can be disturbing, they differ from nightmares in that they represent situations from the conscious past and daily living. These dreams will often occur at times of stress or when important decisions arise. These dreams are not negative as they help heal and overcome negative emotions.

 

  1. 2.Belief Dreams – Dreams have played a part in shaping religions and belief systems across the planet. From Jacob’s dreams of angels in the Bible, to Mohammed’s dream inspiring his spiritual mission in the Quran, to the “dreaming” of the Australian Aboriginals. Subsequently, dream interpretation and analysis has been an ingrained component of human kind.

 

  1. 3.Problem-Solving Dreams – These dreams are designed to impart a message to the sleeper that will aid them in overcoming a problem in their conscious life. It is said that very often such messages are delivered by a messenger whose identity is of utmost importance in discerning the message.

 

  1. 4.Physiological Dreams – Some dreams are said to be direct reflections of our needs in the conscious world. For example, a dream where the sleeper is shivering in the snow may simply mean an extra blanket is required.

 

  1. 5.Dreams of Daily Life – Dreams that incorporate familiar faces and places do not necessarily reveal hidden symbolic messages from the subconscious. They are simply reflections of everyday life. These types of dreams can incorporate activities going on whilst we sleep. For example, a phone ringing may initiate a dream about communicating with a family member.

 

  1. 6.Compensatory Dreams – Some dreams reveal the “dark side” of our personality. This does not infer evil; it refers to what Jung described as the shadow-self. The parts of ourselves we repress. An example might be a Nun who dreams she is promiscuous. Such dreams are designed to balance our personality and give vent to emotions we would not usually seek to experience.

 

  1. 7.Recurring Dreams – Repeating dreams are signs that we are not paying attention to the message given. As such, ignoring the messages can lead to unresolved issues in our waking lives. The intent of the subconscious in these instances is to find a dream which impacts upon the dreamer in the most beneficial way. The subconscious may have tried numerous other attempts before implementing the dream that will be repeated. The subconscious does this because it believes it has found a means to “break through”, thus, repetition is used.

 

  1. 8.Lucid Dreams – Such dreams have been the subject of much research. In these dreams the sleeper is actually aware that they are in a dream state. The dream is so vivid it seems real, although events and characters will often be greatly exaggerated. Due to the sleeper being aware of dreaming he or she will often manipulate the outcomes. As such, it is thought these are not messages of deep symbolic value.

 

  1. 9.Psychic Dreams – Some consider there to be no such thing as psychic, including Prophetic Dreams. These are explained away as merely the subconscious absorbing information from the conscious world and making assumptions about likely behaviour. When these behaviours are played out at a later date the conscious individual perceives they have predicted the future in a dream. However, this does not account for incidents where premonitions of unforseen natural disasters and death have taken place.

 

  1. 10.Nightmares – These are the most emotionally draining of all dreams. They represent major issues in our waking lives that the subconscious drives the sleeper to acknowledge through fear. A great portion of people however ignore the cues and engage in the terror. It must be remembered that all dreams, even nightmares, are designed by the subconscious to help us.

 

 

6. OBESITY

Obesity is a complex disorder involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn't just a cosmetic concern. It increases your risk of diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Being extremely obese means you are especially likely to have health problems related to your weight.

For adults 35 and older, having a BMI greater than 30 is considered obese. The body mass index is calculated using a person's height and weight. The body mass index (BMI) equals a person's weight in kilograms (kg) divided by their height in meters (m) squared. Since BMI describes body weight relative to height, it is strongly correlated with total body fat content in adults. An adult who has a BMI of 25-29.9 is considered overweight, and an adult who has a BMI over 30 is considered obese. A BMI of 18.5-24.9 is considered normal weight.

Even though medications and diets can help, the treatment of obesity cannot be a short-term "fix" but has to be a lifelong commitment to proper diet habits, increased physical activity, and regular exercise. Obesity is difficult to treat and has a high relapse rate. Most people who lose weight regain the weight within five years. For patients with a BMI over 40, life expectancy is reduced significantly.

Obesity also increases the risk of developing a number of chronic diseases, including the following:

Insulin resistance. Insulin is necessary for the transport of blood glucose (sugar) into the cells of muscle and fat (which is then used for energy). By transporting glucose into cells, insulin keeps the blood glucose levels in the normal range. Insulin resistance (IR) is the condition whereby the effectiveness of insulin in transporting glucose (sugar) into cells is diminished. Fat cells are more insulin resistant than muscle cells; therefore, one important cause of insulin resistance is obesity. The pancreas initially responds to insulin resistance by producing more insulin. As long as the pancreas can produce enough insulin to overcome this resistance, blood glucose levels remain normal. This insulin resistance state (characterized by normal blood glucose levels and high insulin levels) can last for years. Once the pancreas can no longer keep up with producing high levels of insulin, blood glucose levels begin to rise, resulting in type 2 diabetes, thus insulin resistance is a pre-diabetes condition.

Type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes. The risk of type 2 diabetes increases with the degree and duration of obesity. Type 2 diabetes is associated with central obesity; a person with central obesity has excess fat around his/her waist, so that the body is shaped like an apple.

High blood pressure (hypertension). Hypertension is common among obese adults. A Norwegian study showed that weight gain tended to increase blood pressure in women more significantly than in men.

High cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia)

Stroke (cerebrovascular accident or CVA)

Heart attack. A prospective study found that the risk of developing coronary artery disease increased three to four times in women who had a BMI greater than 29. A Finnish study showed that for every 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) increase in body weight, the risk of death from coronary artery disease increased by 1%. In patients who have already had a heart attack, obesity is associated with an increased likelihood of a second heart attack.

Congestive heart failure

Cancer. Obesity has been linked to cancer of the colon in men and women, cancer of the rectum and prostate in men, and cancer of the gallbladder and uterus in women. Obesity may also be associated with breast cancer, particularly in postmenopausal women. Fat tissue is important in the production of estrogen, and prolonged exposure to high levels of estrogen increases the risk of breast cancer.

Gallstones

Gout and gouty arthritis

Osteoarthritis (degenerative arthritis) of the knees, hips, and the lower back

Sleep apnea

 

What causes obesity?The balance between calorie intake and energy expenditure determines a person's weight. If a person eats more calories than he or she burns (metabolizes), the person gains weight (the body will store the excess energy as fat). If a person eats fewer calories than he or she metabolizes, he or she will lose weight. Therefore the most common causes of obesity are overeating and physical inactivity. Ultimately, body weight is the result of genetics, metabolism, environment, behavior, and culture.

 Genetics. A person is more likely to develop obesity if one or both parents are obese. Genetics also affect hormones involved in fat regulation. For example, one genetic cause of obesity is leptin deficiency. Leptin is a hormone produced in fat cells and also in the placenta. Leptin controls weight by signaling the brain to eat less when body fat stores are too high. If, for some reason, the body cannot produce enough leptin or leptin cannot signal the brain to eat less, this control is lost, and obesity occurs. The role of leptin replacement as a treatment for obesity is currently being explored.

Overeating. Overeating leads to weight gain, especially if the diet is high in fat. Foods high in fat or sugar (for example, fast food, fried food, and sweets) have high energy density (foods that have a lot of calories in a small amount of food). Epidemiologic studies have shown that diets high in fat contribute to weight gain.

A diet high in simple carbohydrates. The role of carbohydrates in weight gain is not clear. Carbohydrates increase blood glucose levels, which in turn stimulate insulin release by the pancreas, and insulin promotes the growth of fat tissue and can cause weight gain. Some scientists believe that simple carbohydrates (sugars, fructose, desserts, soft drinks, beer, wine, etc.) contribute to weight gain because they are more rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream than complex carbohydrates (pasta, brown rice, grains, vegetables, raw fruits, etc.) and thus cause a more pronounced insulin release after meals than complex carbohydrates. This higher insulin release, some scientists believe, contributes to weight gain.

Frequency of eating. The relationship between frequency of eating (how often you eat) and weight is somewhat controversial. There are many reports of overweight people eating less often than people with normal weight. Scientists have observed that people who eat small meals four or five times daily, have lower cholesterol levels and lower and/or more stable blood sugar levels than people who eat less frequently (two or three large meals daily). One possible explanation is that small frequent meals produce stable insulin levels, whereas large meals cause large spikes of insulin after meals.

Physical inactivity. Sedentary people burn fewer calories than people who are active. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that physical inactivity was strongly correlated with weight gain in both sexes.

Medications. Medications associated with weight gain include certain antidepressants (medications used in treating depression), anticonvulsants (medications used in controlling seizures such as carbamazepine [Tegretol, Tegretol XR , Equetro, Carbatrol] and valproate [Depacon, Depakene]), some diabetes medications (medications used in lowering blood sugar such as insulin, sulfonylureas, and thiazolidinediones), certain hormones such as oral contraceptives, and most corticosteroids such as prednisone. Weight gain may also be seen with some high blood pressure medications and antihistamines. The reason for the weight gain with the medications differs for each medication. If this is a concern for you, you should discuss your medications with your physician rather than discontinuing the medication, as this could have serious effects.

Psychological factors. For some people, emotions influence eating habits. Many people eat excessively in response to emotions such as boredom, sadness, stress, or anger. While most overweight people have no more psychological disturbances than normal weight people, about 30% of the people who seek treatment for serious weight problems have difficulties with binge eating.

Diseases such as hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome, and Cushing's syndrome are also contributors to obesity.

Social issues: A link between social issues and obesity has been established. Lack of money to purchase healthy foods or lack of safe places to walk or exercise can increase the risk of obesity

 

What is the role of physical activity and exercise in obesity?

 The National Health and Examination Survey (NHANES I) showed that people who engage in limited recreational activity were more likely to gain weight than more active people. Other studies have shown that people who engage in regular strenuous activity gain less weight than sedentary people.

 Physical activity and exercise help burn calories. The amount of calories burned depends on the type, duration, and intensity of the activity. It also depends on the weight of the person. A 200-pound person will burn more calories running 1 mile than a 120-pound person, because the work of carrying those extra 80 pounds must be factored in. But exercise as a treatment for obesity is most effective when combined with a diet and weight-loss program. Exercise alone without dietary changes will have a limited effect on weight because one has to exercise a lot to simply lose 1 pound. However regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle to maintain a healthy weight for the long term. Another advantage of regular exercise as part of a weight-loss program is a greater loss of body fat versus lean muscle compared to those who diet alone.

 Other benefits of exercise include

  • Improved blood sugar control and increased insulin sensitivity (decreased insulin resistance),
  • Reduced triglyceride levels and increased "good" HDL cholesterol levels,
  • Lowered blood pressure,
  • Reduction in abdominal fat,
  • Reduced risk of heart disease,
  • Release of endorphins that make people feel good.
  • Remember, these health benefits can occur independently (with or without) achieving weight loss. Before starting an exercise program, talk to a doctor about the type and intensity of the exercise program.

 

General exercise recommendations

  • Perform 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise five to seven days a week, preferably daily. Types of exercise include stationary bicycling, walking or jogging on a treadmill, stair climbing machines, jogging, and swimming.
  • Exercise can be broken up into smaller 10-minute sessions.
  • Start slowly and progress gradually to avoid injury, excessive soreness, or fatigue. Over time, build up to 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day.
  • People are never too old to start exercising. Even frail, elderly individuals (70-90 years of age) can improve their strength and balance.
  • Exercise precautions

 

The following people should consult a doctor before vigorous exercise:

Men over age 40 or women over age 50

Individuals with heart or lung disease, asthma, arthritis, or osteoporosis

Individuals who experience chest pressure or pain with exertion, or who develop fatigue or shortness of breath easily

Individuals with conditions or lifestyle factors that increase their risk of developing coronary heart disease, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cigarette smoking, high blood cholesterol, or having family members with early onset heart attacks and coronary heart disease

A patient who is obese

General diet guidelines for achieving and (just as importantly) maintaining a healthy weight

A safe and effective long-term weight reduction and maintenance diet has to contain balanced, nutritious foods to avoid vitamin deficiencies and other diseases of malnutrition.

Eat more nutritious foods that have "low energy density." Low energy dense foods contain relatively few calories per unit weight (fewer calories in a large amount of food). Examples of low energy dense foods include vegetables, fruits, lean meat, fish, grains, and beans. For example, you can eat a large volume of celery or carrots without taking in many calories.

Eat less "energy dense foods." Energy dense foods are high in fats and simple sugars. They generally have a high calorie value in a small amount of food. The United States government currently recommends that a healthy diet should have less than 30% fat. Fat contains twice as many calories per unit weight than protein or carbohydrates. Examples of high-energy dense foods include red meat, egg yolks, fried foods, high fat/sugar fast foods, sweets, pastries, butter, and high-fat salad dressings. Also cut down on foods that provide calories but very little nutrition, such as alcohol, non-diet soft drinks, and many packaged high-calorie snack foods.

About 55% of calories in the diet should be from complex carbohydrates. Eat more complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole-grain bread, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid simple carbohydrates such as table sugars, sweets, doughnuts, cakes, and muffins. Cut down on non-diet soft drinks, these sugary soft drinks are loaded with simple carbohydrates and calories. Simple carbohydrates cause excessive insulin release by the pancreas, and insulin promotes growth of fat tissue.

Educate yourself in reading food labels and estimating calories and serving sizes.

Consult a doctor before starting any dietary changes. You doctor or a nutritionist should prescribe the amount of daily calories in your diet.

 

What is the role of medication in the treatment of obesity?

Medication treatment of obesity should be used only in patients who have health risks related to obesity. Medications should be used in patients with a BMI greater than 30 or in those with a BMI of greater than 27 who have other medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high blood cholesterol) that put them at risk for developing heart disease. Medications should not be used for cosmetic reasons.

Medications should only be used as an adjunct to diet modifications and an exercise program.

Like diet and exercise, the goal of medication treatment has to be realistic. With successful medication treatment, one can expect an initial weight loss of at least 5 pounds during the first month of treatment, and a total weight loss of 10%-15% of the initial body weight. It is also important to remember that these medications only work when they are taken. When they are discontinued, weight gain often occurs.

 

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