Saturday, June 27, 2009

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: What Is ADHD

at 4:31 AM 0 comments
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is also known as hyperactivity or attention deficit disorder ADD. ADHD is a common condition that affects both children and adults.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) estimates that 3% to 5% of children have ADHD. Some experts, though, says ADHD may occurs in 8% to 10% of school age children. Experts also question whether kids really outgrow ADHD. What that means is that this disorder may be more common in adults than previously thought.

Children with ADHD generally have problems paying attention or concentrating. They can't seem to follow directions and are easily bored or frustrated with tasks. They also tend to move constantly and are impulsive, not stopping to think before they act. These behaviors are generally common in children. But they occur more often than usual and are more severe in a child with ADHD.

The behaviors that are common with ADHD interfere with a child's ability to function at school and at home.

Adults with ADHD may have difficulty with time management, organizational skills, goal setting, and employment. They may also have problems with relationships, self-esteem, and addictions.
What are ADHD symptoms in children?

Symptoms of ADHD in children are generally grouped into three categories: inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.

Inattention -- A child with ADHD:

  • is easily distracted

  • does not follow directions or finish tasks

  • does not appear to be listening when someone is speaking

  • does not pay attention and makes careless mistakes

  • is forgetful about daily activities

  • has problems organizing daily tasks

  • avoids or dislikes activities that require sitting still or a sustained effort

  • often loses things, including personal items

  • has a tendency to daydream

  • Hyperactivity -- A child with ADHD:

  • often squirms, fidgets, or bounces when sitting

  • does not stay seated as expected

  • has difficulty playing quietly

  • is always moving, such as running or climbing on things (In teens and adults, this is more commonly described as a sense of restlessness)

  • talks excessively

  • Impulsivity -- A child with ADHD:

  • has difficulty waiting for his or her turn

  • blurts out answers before the question has been completed

  • often interrupts others

  • For in depth information, see WebMD's ADHD in Children.
    What are ADHD symptoms in adults?

    Adult ADHD symptoms may be different than the symptoms in children. In addition, they may stem directly from ADHD or may be the result of behavioral issues. Symptoms include:
  • chronic lateness and forgetfulness

  • anxiety

  • low self-esteem

  • employment problems

  • difficulty controlling anger

  • impulsiveness

  • substance abuse or addiction

  • poor organization skills

  • procrastination

  • low frustration tolerance

  • chronic boredom

  • difficulty concentrating when reading

  • mood swings

  • depression

  • relationship problems

  • The exact cause of ADHD is not known, although researchers continue to study the brain for clues. They suspect that there are several factors that may contribute to the condition, including:

  • Heredity: The fact that ADHD tends to run in families suggests that children may inherit a tendency to develop ADHD from their parents.

  • Chemical imbalance: Experts believe an imbalance of brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) that transmit nerve impulses may be a factor in the development of ADHD symptoms.

  • Brain changes: Areas of the brain that control attention are less active in children with ADHD than in children without ADHD.

  • Head injury:There are reports of children with head injuries, particularly with concussions, developing behavioral problems that may mimic ADHD.

  • The following are other factors that may contribute to the development of ADHD or that may trigger symptoms:

  • Poor nutrition, infections, and substance abuse (including cigarette and alcohol use) during pregnancy may be contributing factors. That's because they can affect the development of the baby's brain.

  • Exposure to toxins, such as lead or PCBs, in early childhood can also affect brain development.

  • Injury to the brain or a brain disorder may play a part in the development of ADHD.

  • Eating too much sugar does not cause a child to develop ADHD. A proper diet is essential, though, for normal development in children. ADHD is also not caused by watching too much TV, a poor home life, poor schools, or food allergies.
    How common is ADHD?

    ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder of children and is more common in boys than in girls. It most often is discovered during the early school years, when a child begins to have problems paying attention. ADHD can continue into the teen years and on into adulthood.
    How is ADHD diagnosed?

    If symptoms are present, the doctor will begin an evaluation by taking a complete medical history and doing a physical examination. There are no laboratory tests for ADHD. The doctor, though, may use various tests -- such as X-rays and blood tests -- to determine if there is a physical disorder or other problem causing the symptoms.

    Certain mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety disorders, have some symptoms that are similar to those of ADHD. For that reason, a complete psychiatric assessment is needed to accurately diagnosis ADHD.

    If no physical disorder is found, the child may be referred to a specialist in childhood development disorders. That may be a child and adolescent psychiatrist or psychologist, a pediatric neurologist, a developmental pediatrician, or another health professional. It should be someone specially trained to diagnose and treat ADHD. The doctor bases his or her diagnosis on the child's symptoms and behavior. The doctor may ask for input from the child's parents, teachers, and other adults who are familiar with the child's symptoms.

    Researchers all agree that ADHD is not an adult-onset disorder. To be ADHD, it must be verified as being present from childhood. Adults who are thought to have ADHD will be asked questions about their childhood. In particular, they will be asked about such things as:

  • behavior

  • development

  • relationships

  • achievement

  • grades

  • The answers will help the doctor make an accurate ADHD diagnosis.
    ADHD cannot be cured. But many of the symptoms that interfere with functioning and cause distress can be controlled. Treatment for ADHD often includes a combination of medication and various psychosocial therapies.

    Psychosocial therapies: These are treatment approaches that focus on the behavioral, psychological, social, and work/school problems associated with the illness. Psychosocial therapies that may be used for ADHD include:

  • Special education: Special education is a type of education that is structured to meet a child's unique educational needs. Children with ADHD generally benefit most from a highly structured environment and use of routines.

  • Behavior modification: Behavior modification includes strategies for supporting good behavior and decreasing a child's problem behavior

  • Psychotherapy (counseling): Psychotherapy can help a child or adult with ADHD learn better ways to handle their emotions and frustration. It can also help improve their self-esteem. Counseling may help family members better understand the child or adult with ADHD.

  • Social skills training: Social skills training can help a child learn new behaviors, such as taking turns and sharing. This will enable the child to better function in social situations.

  • Support groups: Support groups are generally made up of people with similar problems and needs. This can help with acceptance and support. Groups also can provide a forum for learning more about a disorder and the latest approaches to treatment. These groups are helpful for adults with ADHD or parents of children with ADHD.

  • It is very important for children and adults with symptoms of ADHD to seek professional care. Without treatment, ADHD can interfere with a child's performance in school as well as the child's ability to make and keep friends. This can have a negative impact on the child's self-esteem.

    In addition, children with ADHD are at risk for developing conduct disorder, depression, or an anxiety disorder. They are also more likely to have a learning disorder. Teens with ADHD are at greater risk for car accidents, early pregnancy, and tobacco and alcohol use. Adults with ADHD have difficulty with time management, employment, and relationships.

    But, when treated, most people with ADHD -- between 70% and 80% -- experience at least some relief of symptoms. Many of the symptoms of ADHD diminish by early adulthood. However, up to 50% of people with ADHD as children continue to have problems as adults.

    ADHD cannot be prevented or cured. However, early identification and diagnosis, as well as a carefully designed treatment and education plan, can help a child or adult with ADHD adjust to the disorder. Many people with ADHD learn to focus their attention, develop their personal strengths, minimize disruptive behavior, and become productive and successful.

    Article By Dr. Amal Chakraburtty, MD And Contributions from Daniel Emojevwe


    Friday, June 19, 2009

    What Is Bipolar Disorder

    at 1:45 PM 0 comments
    Bipolar disorders are one of several medical conditions called depressive disorders.Depressive disorders affect the way a person's brain functions.
    Depressive disorders are widespread. In the United States alone,it's estimated that more than 17.4 million adults have a depressive disorder each year.That works out to about 1 out of every 7 people,so there's a good chance that you or someone you know is dealing with a depressive disorder.Bipolar disorder goes by many names: manic depression,manic-depressive disorder manic-depressive illness,bipolar mood disorder, and bipolar affective disorder are medical terms for the same condition.

    Bipolar disorder is classified into four different types: Bipolar I, Bipolar II, Cyclothymic Disorder,or Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.Mental health experts separate the condition into these four types because the symptoms of bipolar disorder show up differently in different people.When doctors know what type someone has, they can tailor treatment to that person's specific needs.

    How Does It Affect People?

    Bipolar disorder affects both men and women.For many people,the first symptoms show up in their early twenties. However, research has shown that the first episode of bipolar disorder is occurring earlier: It often shows up in adolescence,and even children can have the disorder.Recent research suggests that kids and teens with bipolar disorder don't always have the same behavioral patterns that adults with bipolar disorder do.For example, kids who have bipolar disorder may experience particularly rapid mood changes and may have some of the other mood-related symptoms listed below, such as irritability and high level s of anxiety.But they may not show other symptoms that are more commonly seen in adults.Because brain function is involved, the ways people with bipolar disorder think, act, and feel are all affected. This can make it especially difficult for other people to understand their condition. It can be incredibly frustrating if other people act as though someone with bipolar disorder should just "snap out of it,"as if a person who is sick can become well simply by wanting to. Bipolar disorder isn't a sign of weakness or a character flaw; it's a serious medical condition that requires treatment, just like any other condition.

    What Are the Signs and Symptoms?

    A person with bipolar disorder will go through episodes of mania (highs) and at other times experience episodes of depression (lows).These aren't the normal periods of happiness and sadness that everyone experiences from time to time. Instead, the episodes are intense or severe mood swings, like a pendulum that keeps arcing higher and higher.

    Symptoms of mania include:

  • racing speech and thoughts

  • increased energy

  • decreased need for sleep

  • elevated mood and exaggerated optimism

  • increased physical and mental activity

  • excessive irritability, aggressive behavior,

  • and impatience

  • poor judgment

  • reckless behavior, like excessive spending, making rash decisions, and erratic driving

  • difficulty concentrating

  • inflated sense of self-importance

  • Symptoms of depression include:

  • loss of interest in usual activities

  • prolonged sad or irritable mood

  • loss of energy or fatigue

  • feelings of guilt or worthlessness

  • sleeping too much or inability to sleep

  • drop in grades and inability to concentrate

  • inability to experience pleasure

  • appetite loss or overeating
    anger, worry, and anxiety

  • thoughts of death or suicide

  • Sometimes episodes have a seasonal pattern.Mania in the spring,for example may be followed by depression in the winter.Between episodes,a person with bipolar disorder usually returns to normal (or near-normal) functioning.For some people, though,there is little or no "break period" between their cycles.These mood swing cycles can change slowly or rapidly,with rapid cycling between mania and depression being much more common in women, children,and adolescents.
    Some people with bipolar disorder turn to alcohol and drugs because they feel temporarily better when they're high. But using alcohol and drugs can have disastrous results for people with bipolar disorder.Substance abuse can actually make the symptoms worse,as well as making the condition hard for doctors to diagnose.

    What Causes Bipolar Disorder?

    Doctors and scientists don't know the exact cause of bipolar disorder,but they think that biochemical,genetic,and environmental factors may all be involved.It's believed this condition is caused by imbalances in certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.If the neurotransmitters aren't in balance, the brain's mood-regulating system won't work the way it should.
    Genes also play a role.If a close relative has bipolar disorder,a person's risk of developing the condition is higher. This doesn't mean,though,that if you have a relative with bipolar disorder you will automatically develop it! Even in studies involving identical twins raised in the same home,one twin sometimes had bipolar disorder whereas the other did not.

    Researchers are now working on identifying the gene or genes involved in bipolar disorder.
    Environmental factors may play a role in bipolar disorder.For some teens, stresses such as a death in the family,their parents' divorce,or other traumatic events could trigger a first episode of mania or depression.Sometimes,going through the changes of puberty can set off an episode. In girls, symptoms can be tied to their monthly menstrual cycle.

    How Is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed?

    Most people with bipolar disorder can be helped -but a psychiatrist or psychologist must first diagnose the disorder.Sadly, many people with the condition are never diagnosed or are not diagnosed properly.Without proper diagnosis and treatment,the disorder can become worse. Some teens with undiagnosed bipolar disorder can end up in a psychiatric hospital or residential treatment center, in the juvenile justice system,abusing drugs, or committing suicide.
    Because children and teens with bipolar disorder do not usually show the same patterns of behavior as adults who have the condition, a mental health professional will observe a teen's behavior carefully before making a diagnosis.This includes getting a complete history of a person's past and present experiences. Family members and friends can also provide helpful insights into the person's behavior.The doctor may also want a teen to have a medical exam to rule out other conditions.
    Diagnosing bipolar disorder can be difficult.As yet, there aren't any laboratory tests like a brain scan or blood test that will diagnose it. In teens,bipolar disorder can sometimes be mistaken for illnesses like schizophrenia and post traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other depressive disorders.

    That's why a complete, detailed history is so important.How Do Doctors Treat It?

    Although there's no cure for bipolar disorder, treatment can help stabilize a person's moods and help the person manage and control symptoms. Like other teens with long-lasting medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or epilepsy),teens with bipolar disorder need to work closely with their doctors and other medical professionals to treat it.
    This team of medical professionals, together with the teen and family, develop what is called a treatment plan.Teens with bipolar disorder will probably receive medication, such as a mood stabilizer, from a psychiatrist or other medical doctor.A psychologist or other type of counselor will provide counseling or psychotherapy for the teen and his or her family. Doctors will watch the symptoms closely and offer additional treatment advice if necessary.

    Article by David V Sheslow PhD



    Tuesday, June 16, 2009

    Symptoms and Treatment of Compulsive Behavior and Obsessive Thoughts

    at 11:35 AM 0 comments
    It's normal, on occasion, to go back and double-check that the iron is unplugged or your car is locked. But in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors become so excessive that they interfere with daily life. And no matter what you do, you can't seem to shake them.
    If you or someone you love has OCD,you may feel isolated and helpless,but there is help available. Many treatments and self-help strategies can reduce the symptoms of OCD.

    OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts and repetitive, ritualized behaviors you feel compelled to perform.If you have ,you probably recognize that your obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors are irrational - but even so,you feel unable to resist them and break free.

    Like a needle getting stuck on an old record, obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD causes the brain to get stuck on a particular thought or urge.

    For example, you may check the stove twenty times to make sure it's really turned off, you're your hands until they're scrubbed raw, or drive around for hours to make sure that the bump you heard while driving wasn't a person you ran over.
    Understanding obsessions and compulsions
    Obsessions are involuntary, seemingly uncontrollable thoughts, images, or impulses that occur over and over again in your mind. You don't want to have these ideas -in fact, you know that they don't make any sense. But you can't stop them. Unfortunately, these obsessive thoughts are usually disturbing and distracting.
    Compulsions are behaviors or rituals that you feel driven to act out again and again.

    Usually, compulsions are performed in an attempt to make obsessions go away. For example, if you're afraid of contamination, you might develop elaborate cleaning rituals. However, the relief never lasts. In fact, the obsessive thoughts usually come back stronger. And the compulsive behaviors often end up causing anxiety themselves as they become more demanding and time-consuming.
    Most people with obsessive-compulsive disorder fall into one of the following categories:
    Washers are afraid of contamination. They usually have cleaning or hand-washing compulsions.
    Checkers repeatedly check things (oven turned off, door locked, etc.) that they associate with harm or danger.
    Doubters and sinners are afraid that if everything isn't perfect or done just right something terrible will happen or they will be punished.
    Counters and arrangers are obsessed with order and symmetry. They may have superstitions about certain numbers, colors, or arrangements.
    Hoarders fear that something bad will happen if they throw anything away. They compulsively hoard things that they don't need or use.

    Just because you have obsessive thoughts or perform compulsive behaviors does NOT mean that you have obsessive-compulsive disorder. Many people have mild obsessions or compulsions that are strange or irrational, but they're still able to lead their lives without much disruption. But with obsessive-compulsive disorder, these thoughts and behaviors cause tremendous distress, take up a lot of time, and interfere with your daily routine, job, or relationships.Signs and symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD):
    Most people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have both obsessions and compulsions, but some people experience just one or the other. The symptoms of OCD may wax and wane over time. Often, the symptoms get worse in times of stress.

    Common obsessive thoughts in OCD

    Fear of being contaminated by germs or dirt or contaminating others
    Fear of causing harm to yourself or others
    Intrusive sexually explicit or violent thoughts and images
    Excessive focus on religious or moral ideas
    Fear of losing or not having things you might need
    Order and symmetry: the idea that everything must line up "just right."
    Superstitions; excessive attention to something considered lucky or unlucky

    Common compulsive behaviors in OCD include:

    Excessive double-checking of things, such as locks, appliances, and switches.
    Repeatedly checking in on loved ones to make sure they're safe.
    Counting, tapping, repeating certain words, or doing other senseless things to reduce anxiety.
    Spending a lot of time washing or cleaning.
    Ordering, evening out, or arranging things "just so."
    Praying excessively or engaging in rituals triggered by religious fear.
    Accumulating "junk" such as old newspapers,magazines,and empty food containers, or other things you don't have a use for.

    Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms in children

    While the onset of obsessive-compulsive disorder usually occurs during adolescence or young adulthood, younger children sometimes have symptoms that look like OCD. However, the symptoms of other disorders, such as ADD, autism, and Tourette’s syndrome can also look like obsessive-compulsive disorder, so a thorough medical and psychological exam is essential before any diagnosis is made. It’s also important to note that OCD is an anxiety disorder, and in children, the symptoms of anxiety usually change over time. So a child with OCD symptoms will not necessarily have OCD as an adult. What’s most important is to make environmental and behavioral changes to reduce your child’s anxiety.
    Therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)

    There are many effective treatments for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), ranging from therapy to self-help and medication. However, the treatment for OCD with the most research supporting its effectiveness is cognitive-behavioral therapy.

    Cognitive-behavioral therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder involves two components:

  • Exposure and response prevention

  • Cognitive therapy

  • Exposure and response prevention for OCD

    Exposure and response prevention involves repeated exposure to the source of your obsession. Then you are asked to refrain from the compulsive behavior you’d usually perform to reduce your anxiety.

    For example, if you are a compulsive hand washer, you might be asked to touch the door handle in a public restroom and then be prevented from washing up. As you sit with the anxiety, the urge to wash your hands will gradually begin to go away on its own. In this way, you learn that you don’t need the ritual to get rid of your anxiety – that you have some control over your obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors.

    Studies show that exposure and response prevention can actually “retrain” the brain, permanently reducing the occurrence of obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms. This type of OCD therapy can even extinguish compulsive behaviors entirely.
    Cognitive therapy for OCD

    The cognitive therapy component for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) focuses on the catastrophic thoughts and exaggerated sense of responsibility you feel. A big part of cognitive therapy for OCD is teaching you healthy and effective ways of responding to obsessive thoughts, without resorting to compulsive behavior.


    Article by Daniel Emojevwe

    Thursday, June 11, 2009

    How to Get Rid of Acne

    at 10:26 PM 0 comments
    Acne vulgaris (commonly called acne) is a skin disease caused by changes in the pilosebaceous units.So that's the scientific definition of acne. But we all know what acne is and how embarrassing it is. There is nothing worse than waking up in the morning to find a big zit on your face.
    This condition can strike at any age.Here's how to treat existing acne so that it disappears.
    STOP popping the spots, also known as pimples and zits. This may make the pimple look worse due to inflammation and irritation. Popping a zit can spread infection under the skin and produce even more pimples than before. If you do pop a spot then immediately clean it with soap and water or rubbing alcohol in order to prevent infection. If a pimple erupts in a particularly bothersome place, learn how to target a single pimple. And if you're determined to pop, learn how to pop a pimple safely and properly. If you do pop a pimple and you want to avoid anything resembling Western medicine, one thing to try is put a mixture of honey and ground cinnamon on the spot. Put a band-aid on it also. You may also want to stay away from stress.
    Remove any make-up you have on.Wearing make-up can clog pores, making them dirty and causing pimples.Use a mild soap for sensitive skin but it doesn't matter exactly what type of soap you use.It can be designed for acne-prone skin or not, but you will want to treat your skin gently.Harsh antibacterial soap may actually make your acne worse by irritating skin.
    Remove dead skin cellsregularly by exfoliating. Use a gentle scrub with natural defoliants like ground walnut shells, or use an over-the-counter chemical defoliant like salicylic acid or glycolic acid. Adding ground walnut shell to a thick moisturizer like cocoa butter can be effective too.Take caution, because over-exfoliating can actuallyincrease the likelihood of acne by irritating the skin.Pat dry, rather than rubbing,since rubbing can cause irritation to the fresh skin you've just revealed.Use a good toner.Spray onto face or wipe on with a cotton ball and wipe off with a clean, dry cotton ball. This gets rid of excess cleanser and tightens pores. Good, inexpensive choices include plain witch hazel for normal to dry skin, lemon juice, or 3% hydrogen peroxide for oily skin. 70% ethyl rubbing alcohol can also be used for severe oiliness,but it can really dry out your skin and irritate it more.Some toners are medicated, and this stage is the best for using a medicated product if you're only going to use one medication.
    Bacteria in pores is one cause of spots.Reduce the amount of bacteria by using toners containing anti-bacterial agents like alcohol, peroxide and benzalkonium chloride,and by using creams that contain benzoyl peroxide (ask your doctor about benzaclin,with moisturizer if you have dry skin as it works better than just plain benzoyl because benzoyl takes up to 8 weeks before improvement is seen) which kill bacteria as well as cause the skin to regenerate faster.
    Maintain a routine. Most acne treatments take time to work. It usually takes between two and eight weeks before you see any significant improvement, so you are going to have to be patient. Once you've gotten your acne cleared up, it's important to continue with the treatment that's working so it does not return.

    Article by Daniel Emojevwe


    Lose the Love Handles

    at 7:46 PM 0 comments
    I have been working on a routine that incorporates exercises that will help you work your love handles (the oblique region of the torso) over time and effort. Personally, I like to work my "obliques" on days I work my legs, so I created the Legs and Love Handles workout seen below.
    As with any abdominal fat loss goal, you need to concentrate on three areas to help firm your mid-section.
    Here are the three areas of concentration:
    1) Healthy Diet (to build energy and burn fat);
    2) Cardio-vascular and resistance training (to burn fat and build muscle), and;
    3) Targeted Abdominal exercises (to help firm the muscles under the fatty area)
    *Note-You cannot target fat loss. Fat will be used as energy for your workouts and will be reduced after time performing cardio, resistance training, and eating healthy.
    The number one item if you will notice is food intake. As with any fitness and health goal - nutrition and exercise are always the main ingredients to success. Neither can be missing or you will not have the energy to exercise or you will be part of the yo-yo diet crowd, buying a new diet book every year. Here is how I would break it down to get rid of those "love handles":
    1) Healthy Diet
    The most important factor in acquiring washboard abs is eating a healthy diet. Here is a list of recommended healthy ways to help you lose a few inches:
    - Drink at least three liters of water per day (100 oz)
    - Eat five servings of vegetables and fruits per day
    - LIMIT fried foods and cheese
    - LIMIT processed sugar (for example: sodas, cookies, candy)
    - Eliminate fatty red meat -only lean red meats (1-2 times weekly)
    Diets like the Atkins and other high protein diets may help at first if you are over 50 lbs. overweight or more, but to get rid of that last 10-15 pounds, it is recommended to follow a more realistic eating plan that does not ELIMINATE any vital nutrients (such as carbs) from your diet. I do not like to endorse certain diet plans because if you eat healthy, drink plenty of water and exercise, the fat will come off too AND you will be healthier and not lose lean muscle than just dieting alone.
    2) Cardio-Vascular Exercise
    Losing love handles (stored fat) and increasing the metabolism so you can lose weight more effectively are all tied into a consistent cardiovascular / resistance training program. The stored fat around your mid-section (for men) is typically the last to leave your body even after months or years of an exercise plan.It is difficult to lose those last few pounds. For women, the last few pounds of fat is is typically stored in the hips / buttocks / thigh region.
    Whether you are a man or woman, you should do 20-45 minutes of activities like walking, running, biking, or swimming daily 4-5 times per week, but also mix in 2-3 times a week of basic calisthenics like pushups, bench dips, squats and lunges. It takes a few weeks before you start to see the physical benefits or your diet and exercise program. You will see almost immediate results in your energy level, overall mental alertness when exercising daily. The sample routine below will help you better organize exercise into your week:
    Monday & Thursday
    - Upperbody Program
    - Warmup 5:00 / stretch
    Repeat 5-10 times
    - Pushups - 10-20
    - Regular Crunches - 20
    - Bench dips - 10-20
    - Reverse Crunches - 20
    - Pullups - max reps or pull-downs - 10
    - Hanging Knee up
    - Stretch abs/lowerback
    Cardio option 20-30:00
    Run, bike, walk, swim etc
    Tuesday & Friday
    - Legs and Love Handles
    Repeat 4-5 times
    - Walk, bike or jog 5:00- Stretch legs
    - Squats - 20
    - Lunges 10 / leg
    - L - Left crunches - 25
    - Right crunches - 25
    - Hip rollers - 10/side
    - Stretch abs / lowerback
    Cooldown walk or bike
    5:00 / stretch
    LONG Cardio Day
    - 45-60 minutes of walking, running or combination of the two
    - Or biking, swimming, elliptical gliding machines
    The workout above is just a basic guide to getting started with a calisthenics or resistance training plan or adding cardio to your workout.
    Below are some abdominal exercises taken from every eBook sold online. Sample exercises to help build muscles of the core (stomach and lower back) are the following:
    Hanging Knee-ups
    Bring your knees as high as you can as shown.
    Advanced Crunch -(Legs up)
    Lie on your back with your feet straight in the air . Keep your legs straight up in the air for the advanced crunches.Cross your hands over your chest and bring your elbows to your knees by flexing your stomach. (Do not do if you have previous lower back injury - place feet on the floor.) Check out "Achieve Washboard Abs" for more information.
    Reverse Crunch
    In the same position as the regular crunch, lift your knees and butt toward your elbows. Leave your head and upper body flat on the ground. Only move your legs and butt. (Do not do if you have previous lower back injury).

    Article by Stew Smith


    Get Bikini-Ready Abs

    at 7:07 PM 0 comments
    Read this first: six ab mistakes that may be holding you back.
    Bikini season is right around the corner. Have you seen your abs? If not, you still have time to make a noticeable difference in the way you look on the beach or at the pool through diet and exercise. Before you start, read these six exercise myths from Marie Claire and learn why when it comes to ab workouts quality, not quantity, is the name of the game.
    1. Myth: To get rock-hard, you have to work your abs every day.
    Why: Abs need rest and recovery: It's only during rest that your muscles build. "Three to five days a week of consistent, dedicated abdominal training should get you strong, sleek abs," says Kathy Kaehler, trainer and author of Kathy Kaehler's Celebrity Workouts.
    2. Myth: A good ab workout takes half an hour.
    Why: "If it takes you that long to feel them working, you're doing something wrong," says Kaehler. "I trained Jennifer Aniston about three days a week, and we did no more than five minutes of abs each time." Check your form, don't use momentum and focus on quality rather than quantity.
    3. Myth: Super-slow crunches make you stronger.
    Why: Taking as much as a minute per crunch doesn't make you stronger than regular crunches do. In fact, ultra-slow ab work is less effective. Ideally, your workout should help you do everything better, from kickboxing to picking up a suitcase - neither of which you do in slo-mo.
    4. Myth: The best time to train your abs is at the end of your workout.
    Why: "It makes no physiological difference when you train abs, it only matters that you do it consistently," says abs researcher and physical therapist Gilbert Willett, M.S., associate professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. So the best time to work them is simply whenever you're most likely to do it. " "But if you do abs at the beginning of your workout, make sure you warm up first. Getting blood moving prevents many types of injuries during a workout."
    5. Myth: You can't get a six-pack by doing Pilates.
    Why: "Pilates exercises your core, so if you practice it regularly and combine it with diet and cardio, it can give you a six-pack," says Kimberly Lyons, a personal trainer in L.A. But Pilates isn't a six-pack guarantee. "How your abs look has a lot to do with your genes, how lean you are, how long your torso is and how tall you are."
    6. Myth: You won't get firm without a weight machine.
    Why: You don't need weights to build sleek and sexy abs, although some competitive athletes do use them to build extra strength. "Many weighted ab machines aren't designed for women," says Lyons. "If you don't fit into the machine properly, you might stress your body in the wrong spot." Her advice: Stick to the floor -it's cheap, effective and available everywhere.

    Article by LimeLife


    Wednesday, June 10, 2009

    What is Bulimia?

    at 8:57 AM 0 comments
    Bulimia, also called bulimia nervosa, is a psychological eating disorder. Bulimia is characterized by episodes of binge-eating followed by inappropriate methods of weight control (purging). Inappropriate methods of weight control include vomiting, fasting, enemas, excessive use of laxatives and diuretics, or compulsive exercising. Excessive shape and weight concerns are also characteristics of bulimia. A binge is an episode where an individual eats a much larger amount of food than most people would in a similar situation. Binge eating is not a response to intense hunger. It is usually a response to depression, stress, or self esteem issues. During the binge episode, the individual experiences a loss of control. However, the sense of a loss of control is also followed by a short-lived calmness. The calmness is often followed by self-loathing. The cycle of overeating and purging usually becomes an obsession and is repeated often.
    Bulimia was only diagnosed as its own eating disorder in the 1980s.
    People with bulimia can look perfectly normal. Most of them are of normal weight, and some may be overweight. Women with bulimia tend to be high achievers.
    It is often difficult to determine whether a person is suffering from Bulimia. This occurs because bingeing and purging is often done in secret. Also, individuals suffering from Bulimia often deny their condition.Sufferers consume huge quantities of food. Sometimes up to 20,000 calories at a time. The foods on which they binge tend to be foods labeled as "comfort foods" -- sweet foods, high in calories, or smooth, soft foods like ice cream, cake, and pastry. An individual may binge anywhere from twice a day to several times daily.

    A Family Member has an Eating Disorder
    If you have a family member that with an Eating Disorder, your family member needs a lot of support. Suggest that your family member see an eating disorder expert. Be prepared for denial, resistance, and even anger. A doctor and/or a counselor can help them battle their eating disorder.
    What Causes Bulimia?
    There is currently no definite known cause of bulimia. Researchers believe it begins with dissatisfaction of the person's body and extreme concern with body size and shape. Usually individuals suffering from bulimia have low self-esteem, feelings of helplessness and a fear of becoming fat
    Medical complications from bulimia Some of the most common complications of bulimia are:
    Erosion of tooth enamel because of repeated exposure to acidic gastric contents.
    Dental cavities, sensitivity to hot or cold food.
    Swelling and soreness in the salivary glands (from repeated vomiting).
    Stomach Ulcers.
    Ruptures of the stomachand esophagus.
    Abnormal buildup of fluid in the intestines.
    Disruption in the normal bowel release function.
    Electrolyte imbalance.
    Irregular heartbeat and in severe cases heart attack
    A greater risk for suicidal behavior
    Decrease in libido
    Symptoms of Bulimia
    Some of the most common symptoms of bulimia are:
    Eating uncontrollably
    Strict dieting
    Vigorous exercise
    Vomiting or abusing laxatives or diuretics in an attempt to lose weight.
    Vomiting blood
    Using the bathroom frequently after meals.
    Preoccupation with body weight
    Depression or mood swings. Feeling out of control.
    Swollen glands in neck and face
    Irregular periods
    Dental problems
    sore throat Weakness
    Bloodshot eyes
    Risk Factors of Bulimia
    There are certain professions where eating orders are more prevalent. Thinness is usually emphasized in these professions. The professions are: modeling, dancing, gymnastics, wrestling, and long-distance running.
    Good news about Bulimia
    Bulimia can be overcome.
    Bulimia Statistics
    Bulimia affects about 10% of college age women in the United States.
    About 10% of individuals diagnosed with bulimia are men.
    10% of individuals suffering from bulimia will die from either starvation, cardiac arrest, other medical complications, or suicide.
    Bulimia in the News
    In a new study, Dr. Walter Kaye, a University of Pittsburgh psychiatry professor, has found evidence that bulimic women have altered brain chemistry, possibly from birth, which puts them at higher risk for eating disorders-even long after they've recovered from bulimia.
    A new study adds to evidence that the eating disorder bulimia springs at least in part from a chemical not merely from excessive desire to remain thin ,researchers say.

    Articles by Jenna Segal PhD


    What is Multiple Personality Disorder?

    at 6:03 AM 0 comments
    Multiple personality disorder is now more usually termed dissociated identity disorder. It is one of the more misunderstood types of mental illness, frequently capturing the interest of writers and filmmakers, who tend to portray it in its most exaggerated form. What is most important to understand is the multiple personality disorder is not schizophrenia. The two are often confused. However, in very rare cases, a personality, or alter, as it is sometimes termed, suffers from schizophrenia.
    Multiple personality disorder is almost always caused by persistent trauma, or past trauma such as early childhood sexual or physical abuse. When trauma occurs over a long period of time, the affected person may begin to cope by completely disassociating from the events that cause the trauma. This can lead to "alters," separate personalities within the same person who either are aware of, or are unaware of the abuse. Alters can be childlike, strong, male, or female, and often emerge as a coping device.
    Psychiatrists make the distinction between a person having several personalities, and believing they have several personalities. In general, multiple personality disorder is the belief on the part of the patient that several personalities seem to exist within the self.
    One of the main characteristics of multiple personality disorder is that people seem to "lose" time. They seem unaware that time has passed; yet someone observing them may see them acting in many different ways. The afflicted however, tends to have no idea what has occurred. This generally central personality seems most likely to dissociate if the person is exposed to situations which can evoke earlier traumas, or if the person is still enmeshed in a traumatic situation.
    Other symptoms of multiple personality disorder include depression, confusion, suicidal thoughts, phobias, differing levels of ability to function "normally," anxiety, and self-medication, such as alcoholism or drug abuse.Additionally, those with multiple personality disorder may hurt themselves such as in cutting the skin, may have a high degree of panic or panic attacks, may have eating disorders or be prone to headaches.
    As portrayed in films, multiple personality disorder seems to consist of a number of very distinct personalities, which is usually not the case in reality. Rather, those with multiple personality disorder may pass from greater awareness to less, without putting on a different accent or assuming a completely separate identity. Multiple personality disorder that results in crimes, as presented in several television series and with great effect in the Richard Gere film Primal Fear rarely exists.
    The primary treatment for multiple personality disorder is therapy, which may include play therapy, hypnosis, art therapy, and/or talk therapy. Medication is usually not preferred because of the likelihood of overdose, and because the dissociative state is not chemically induced. The goal is to get alters in communicaation with each other, so that the person does not continue to dissociate from reality. A secondary goal is to be sure the person is removed from any ongoing traumatic situations, such as removing a child from an abusive home.
    When the person has reintegrated different personalities, there may still be need for treatment, possibly drug therapy to treat underlying psychological conditions like chronic depression or schizophrenia. However, while the person is still "losing time," drug treatment may be completely ineffective because the person may not remember to take the medication or may accidentally overdose.
    Therapy is usually a long process, particularly when one has suffered repeated trauma. It can take several years for the patient to begin to feel fully conscious at all times of his/her actions and thoughts. However, clinical research suggests that therapy for multiple personality disorder is effective, if the therapy is continuously pursued.

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    Friday, June 5, 2009

    What are the symptoms and signs of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD)?

    at 9:43 AM 0 comments
    To understand antisocial personality disorder (ASPD),its necessary to learn what having any personality disorder involves.

    As defined by Diagnostic and statistical manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR,2000),a personality disorder (PD) is a persistent pattern of thoughts,feelings and behaviors that is significantly different from what is considered normal within the person's own culture.

    Professionals group personality disorders is based on a commonality of symptoms.

    Cluster A personality disorders are those that include symptoms of social isolation,and/or odd eccentric behavior.These disorders include

    *Paranoid personality disorder.

    *Schizotypal personality disorder.

    *Schizoid personality disorder.

    Cluster B Personality disorders are those that include symptoms dramatic or erratic behaviors (counter social behaviors).These personality disorders include:





    Cluster C personality disorders are dominated by difficulties with anxiety and inhibited behavior.These disorders are referred to as and include

    *Avoidant Personality disorder.

    *Dependent Personality Disorder.

    *Obsessive Compulsive Personality disorder (OCD).

    Antisocial personality disorder is specifically pervasive pattern of disregarding and violating the rights of others.This pattern must include at least three of the following specific signs and symptoms:

    *Lack of confirming to laws,as evidenced by repeatedly committing crimes.

    *Repeated deceitfulness in a relationships with others such as lying,using false names,or conning others for profit or pleasure .

    *Failure to think or plan ahead (impulsivity).

    *Tendency to irritability,anger,and aggression shown by repeatedly assaulting others or getting into frequent physical fights.

    *Persistent lack of taking responsibility,such as failing to establish a pattern of good work habits or keeping financial obligations.

    *A lack of feeling guilty about wrong doing.

    Other important characteristics of this disorder include that it is not diagnosed in children(individuals younger than 18 years of age),but the person must shown symptoms of this diagnosis at least since the age of 15 years.

    Additionally,it cannot be diagnosed if the person only shows symptoms of antisocial personality disorder at the same time they are suffering from schizophrenia or when having a manic episode.The disorder tends to occur in about 1% of women and 3% of men in united states.

    *Borderline:Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods,interpersonal relationships,self-image and behavior.

    *Narcissistic:Narcissistic personality disorder is one of a group of conditions called dramatic personality disorders.People with these disorders have intense,unstable emotions and a distorted self image.

    *Anxiety:Generalized anxiety disorder or GAD is characterized by excessive,exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life events.

    *Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD):Is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by the sufferer experiencing repeated obsessions and/or compulsions that interferes with the person's ability to function socially,occupationally or educationally either as a result of the amount of the time that is consumed by the symptoms or the marked fear or other distress suffered by the person.

    *Schrizophrenia:Schrizonphrenia is a chronic,severe,and disabling brain disorder that has been recognized throughout recorded history.


    Medical Author:Roxanne Dryden Edwards-

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