disorders – HTV https://htv.com.pk Wed, 25 Nov 2020 12:47:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Winter Depression https://htv.com.pk/health/winter-depression-causes Fri, 30 Nov 2018 07:12:56 +0000 https://htv.com.pk/?p=41406

When winter approaches, the days get shorter and the nights colder, darker, and longer. You may notice a tendency to recede into yourself, everything you do and every thought you have may be tinged with melancholy. The dreaded winter blues, as they’re often referred to – but is there any truth to this supposed malaise? […]

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When winter approaches, the days get shorter and the nights colder, darker, and longer. You may notice a tendency to recede into yourself, everything you do and every thought you have may be tinged with melancholy. The dreaded winter blues, as they’re often referred to – but is there any truth to this supposed malaise?

Hafsa Rafique, a Karachi-based clinical psychologist, commented, “Yes, winter blues do exist. We all experience them at some point or another when the nights grow longer and the days get shorter.”

Naturally, it’s worse for countries where the lack of sunlight is intermingled with the cold – the colder and darker it gets, the worse your ‘winter blues’ get until it increases in intensity to a point where it sometimes transforms into Seasonal Affective Disorder. Winter blues are obviously low in intensity; if it gets to a point where it interferes with your social and occupational functioning, then it can likely be classified as S.A.D.”

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Seasonal Affective Disorder, is essentially used to classify depressive episodes that follow a seasonal pattern. The symptoms associated with S.A.D. rise to prominence in the late fall and winter season, going on to gradually improve come springtime. Symptoms such as depressive mood, anxiety, mood swings, loss of appetite, insomnia, etc. can significantly incapacitate an individual.

There is considerable evidence to suggest that exposure to light plays a big role in the onset of mental and physiological symptoms. With fewer daylight hours, colder temperatures, and weak light, S.A.D. can take hold of anyone in the winter months.

“Sunlight plays a critical role in the decreased serotonin activity, increased melatonin production, disrupted circadian rhythms, and low levels of Vitamin D associated with symptoms of SAD,” states a 2015 research conducted by clinical health professional Sherri Melrose.

For one thing, this makes it clear that the winter blues don’t just manifest as an abstract emotional or mental state, but that S.A.D. has a physiological cause as well. Natural light has an impact on the circadian rhythms our sleep cycles operate on, affecting the production of melatonin – a natural hormone that is responsible for regulating sleep and wakefulness. Less daylight means more melatonin, which results in lethargy and drowsiness.

Treatment Options

Medication

The main symptom that needs to be addressed in treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder is understandably the depression. For this purpose, many individuals afflicted by the problem are prescribed antidepressants to combat the issue of serotonin imbalance in the brain.

Counselling

Getting the help of a professional equipped to offer adequate support and guidance is also a favored treatment for S.A.D. The depression can be managed with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and a therapist may even recommend some much-needed changes to make in your daily routine in order to better handle the impact Seasonal Affective Disorder can have on your quality of life.

Lifestyle Changes

Whether it’s a mild case of the winter blues or full blown Seasonal Affective Disorder, a few adjustments in the daily routine can go a long way in alleviating the symptoms. There’s a certain atmosphere that winter brings into town – one that makes it all too easy to curl up into bed and spend a quiet night in. Waking up in the mornings seems to get gradually more and more difficult as the dawn of each day gets all the more chilly.

A lack of activity can mean a lower level of daily exercise, which is hardly ever a good thing for both the body and the mind. People with S.A.D. are advised to get out there and get some exercise, and soak up as much sun as possible.

Cuddling into your couch with a warm cup of coffee is great as an introspective night once in a while, but habitually doing so in the cooler months means becoming inadvertently isolating yourself. A little social stimulation can go a long way in lifting spirits up, so it’s no wonder why the quiet nights in on long wintry nights can have you feeling a little blue. Making plans with loved ones and getting emotional support from those around you can go a long way in helping you battle your wintry demons.

Light Therapy

Considering the sensitivity of S.A.D. sufferers to light, treatment in the form of light therapy is also used with a good degree of success. The individual in question is made to sit near a source of full-spectrum light, starting off with smaller 15 minute sessions to much longer ones that can last up to 45 minutes.

If you find yourself consumed by unexplainable melancholy during winters – one that hinders your daily functioning considerably – then maybe it’s time to consider the fact that you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder.

It’s essential to understand the fact that S.A.D. is indeed an actual disorder, and not just a cleverly coined term used for harmless gloom around wintertime. With the right information and a treatment that works for you, you too can make it through the lows of the winter blues!

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Menstruation https://htv.com.pk/health-a-to-z/menstruation https://htv.com.pk/health-a-to-z/menstruation#respond Wed, 18 Jul 2018 07:40:25 +0000 https://htv.com.pk/?p=37933

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Overview

Menstruation is the process of expulsion of blood and the endometrial lining of the uterus, for 3-7 days, every month. When an egg is released from a female’s ovary, the uterus prepares for pregnancy by thickening its endometrial lining. If during this time, a woman has sex, and the egg is fertilized by a sperm cell, the female becomes pregnant, and the newly formed embryo is implanted into the wall of the uterus. However, most of the time, the woman does not become pregnant, and so the thickened endometrial lining must be shed, along with the egg.

Causes

As discussed above, the cause of menstruation is that the woman does not become pregnant, even though the uterus has prepared for it by thickening of the endometrial lining.

Symptoms

Since menstruation is a natural physiological process that should normally occur in all females, it has very mild symptoms:

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of menstrual bleeding is only necessary to exclude other dangerous causes of bleeding such as bleeding disorders, postpartum bleeding, vaginal trauma, or malignancies of the reproductive tract. The time duration and frequency of menstrual periods is enough to diagnose that the bleeding is menstrual.

Treatment

There is no need to treat menstrual bleeding as it is a natural physiological process. However some of the symptoms associated with menstrual bleeding such as cramps, bowel problems, and bloating can be treated with painkillers, and maintaining a healthy diet.

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Stereotypes: Studying psychology? Tum psycho ho kiya? https://htv.com.pk/news/stereotypes-studying-psychology-tum-psycho-ho-kiya Tue, 21 Jul 2015 05:08:47 +0000 http://htv.com.pk/?p=9031 stereotypes-studying-psychology-tum-psycho-ho-kiya

When you enter the field of psychology, the foremost thing that you learn is that there is a huge stigma associated with mental health and hence your profession.

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stereotypes-studying-psychology-tum-psycho-ho-kiya

When you enter the field of psychology, the foremost thing that you learn is that there is a huge stigma associated with mental health and hence your profession. It’s quite easy for people to tease you that ‘after your studies, you will surely go mad’ or call you ‘psycho’ but only your fellow colleagues understand how hurtful it is. It’s not the teasing that puts you off but the sad way people perceive a psychologist or a psychiatrist.

However, does psychology only deals with people who are, for lack of a better word, ‘mad’ or mentally unstable? Many of the myths and perceptions that exist in society at large are wrong by a great margin. What people fail to understand is that we humans exist on two interacting planes: physical and mental. And as important as the physical well being of an individual is, so is the mental health, in order to lead a fully functioning and productive life.

To be physically fit and fine, what do we do? We follow the preventive measure given by our nutritionists or doctors and, in case of some serious kind of disorder, we consult them for treatment, spend all of our life-savings in order to get back to our routine and healthy life. In a similar manner, to be mentally healthy, we have to follow the directions of a psychologist or a psychiatrist and in case of any psychological change, we need to consult them so that maximum level of well being could be achieved.

The questions that now arise are that what really happens when a mental illness develops in individuals or their loved one? Do people really take help or encourage others for taking help? Are the measures taken quickly or people wait for the last possible moment until no other option remains? Sadly the answers to these questions are quite negative.

Researches constantly show that the prevalence rate of psychological disorders continues to increase but the ratio of people seeking professional help is at an all-time low – such behavior is very alarming. One of the contributing factors of this approach is lack of awareness regarding importance of mental health and this requires immediate attention. The other more important factor is the disregard for mental health and the huge stigma associated with it. For this reason the gap between prevalence of the diseases and help seeking attitude, also called ‘service gap’, continues to remain and is a huge matter of concern.

Ending my note I would say that, be brave. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Being afraid of people and the society will only restrain you from living your life fully and freely.

Article source AFP

About the author: Sarwat Amin Rattani completed her A levels from Beaconhouse School System and is currently enrolled in the Psychology Bachelors Program at University of Karachi. She has been volunteering with Family Educational Services Foundation (FESF) and Aga Khan University along with voluntary teaching in the community (since 3 years).

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