About Sleep Deprivation

How often have you faced the situation when you are trying to sleep, but you are not able to? You might end up spending the entire night tossing and turning in your bed. Situations like this may occur to anyone, maybe due to some worry or out of excitement for something that’s going to happen the following day. However, if it becomes a usual affair, it can be terrible, indicating sleep problems, such as insomnia, sleep deprivation, sleep apnea, etc. It can do more damage than one could imagine.

Since the mind and the body rely on correct sleep pattern to function normally, a good eight-hour sleep is much needed for a healthy life. Cutting corners on sleep could be detrimental for both mental and physical health. In other words, compromising on sleep to meet certain responsibilities or to get a bit of extra leisure time can have severe negative effects on both mental and physical health, causing a high stress level, irritability, cardiac morbidity and numerous other health issues.

While a lot of people are unable to get their forty winks owing to significant changes in their lifestyle, a few others may go through the ordeal due to various social or environmental factors. But whatever be the reason, sleep deprivation can be dangerous, resulting in mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.

It has been observed that most Americans are sleep deprived, and the condition is alarming for those with psychiatric conditions. Clearly, there is a strong relationship between sleep deprivation and the development of numerous mental health issues. Some common health issues that develop in people who are constantly sleep deprived are:

  1. Depression: Generally, an individual dealing with depression is first monitored for any symptoms of sleep disorders, following which the diagnosis for depression is made. Studies have shown that people dealing with insomnia are more likely to develop depression later in their lives as compared to those without any such problem. Moreover, depressed individuals with sleep problems are more prone to commit suicide than those who get a proper sleep.
  2. Anxiety: Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues that can be triggered by the lack of adequate sleep. A person may experience problems such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and panic disorder when deprived of sufficient sleep. On the other hand, if a person with an anxiety disorder has sleep problems due to it, can see the symptoms worsening, leading to delayed recovery.
  3. Bipolar disorder: Also known as manic-depressive illness, this disorder can make an individual either sleep excessively or experience restless sleep. Studies have shown that dealing with a manic or depressed episode of bipolar disorder along with difficulty in sleeping can pose significant hindrances in treatment, and hence, delay in recovery. The person might also feel low on energy, less motivated, and lack of interest in daily activities. Suicidal thoughts due to a combination of bipolar disorder and lack of sleep are also common in such individuals.

Here How to Improve Your Mental Health

1. Limit Negative Self Talk – We all have those moments when we hear the chatter in our minds telling us that we’re not good enough or that we won’t be able to accomplish our goals. I like to call it the “itty bitty shitty committee.” Some days the shitty committee is quiet and we are full of confidence and roaring like a lion and then two days later the shitty committee is screaming loudly and we feel like we can’t do anything right. Here’s what you need to know about your negative self talk… It’s all a lie, don’t believe the hype! The key is awareness. When you catch yourself thinking those negative thoughts, tell the committee you’re not having it! Look at yourself in the mirror and say “I’m good enough to have peace, success and all my dreams.” Replace those negative thoughts with positive ones and you’ll soon find that the committee gets more and more quiet.

2. Practice Mindfulness – In our fast moving world, it’s becoming critical that we have the ability to quiet our minds, get still and connect with our inner being. Finding just 5 minutes a day to practice meditation or some other form of mindfulness can make dramatic shifts in your level of happiness and overall mental health. People who are depressed are usually spending too much time living in the past and people who constantly worry are spending too much time thinking about the future. Mindfulness allows you to just be in the present moment and develop an awareness and appreciation for what’s happening right now. This year I gave myself the challenge to meditate for 365 consecutive days… #meditate365. I’m on day 18 and I can already see the difference. Join me and develop your daily meditation practice.

3. Let Go and Forgive – The start of a new is a great time to address any old thoughts, feelings or emotions that we are holding on to that don’t serve us in a positive way. Hurt from past a relationship, resentment from not getting a job or promotion, or bitterness from a negative interaction with a family member can fester inside us and negatively impact our mental health. One of my favorite quotes says “Hating someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Learning to let go and forgive is for us, not for the person that harmed us. Forgiveness is a process but a journey well worth the travel. Spend some time reflecting on whether you are holding on to any grudges or ill feelings towards anyone or any situation and start the process of releasing it.

4. Practice Gratitude – We often take the power of gratitude for granted. We all understand the concept of being grateful but practicing gratitude is a little more than saying I’m thankful for all that I have. Being deliberate and intentional about expressing your gratitude for what you have and the little things that happen in your life every day can make dramatic shifts in your emotional state. Your practice could be verbally expressing gratitude every morning when you wake up or after you meditate. It could be keeping a gratitude journal or gratitude jar and writing down what you are grateful for each day. Or you could join an online gratitude group and share what you are grateful for by posting daily in the group. I am a member of a gratitude group on Insight Timer and I enjoy making my daily posts as well as reading what others are grateful for.

5. Practice Self Care – Taking some “me time” every week can boost your positive mental health in ways you can’t imagine. We are so busy doing things for everyone else that we often forget about ourselves. I always tell my clients that you can’t serve from an empty vessel. You can’t be the best parent, spouse or friend if you are overworked, tired and emotionally drained. Make a commitment to designate at least one day a week that you will do something to show self love. This year I am working on this by designating Sundays as Self Care Sunday. It’s the one day a week that I am not allowed to do any work and must do something just for me. For those of you who fall in the workaholic category this can be challenging but the benefits far out weigh the challenge. Give it a try, you’ll be glad you did.

The Psychiatric Emergencies

Many of us have come in direct contact with a mentally-disturbed person; some even have a family member who is psychotic. Because of the mental and emotional disturbances involved in a psychiatric emergency and the unpredictability of the victim’s actions and reactions, this situation calls more for interaction skills – tact, kindness, confidence and firmness – than for medications (as a first resort).

Here are some of the conditions that produce mental illness and abnormal behavior in people – with or without any physical disease.

Acute psychosis: This can be a manifestation by itself, or it can be part of a mentally disturbed state like Schizophrenia or Mania. It could occur in a person predisposed to psychosis such as one having a schizoid or maniacal personality. There is acute restlessness, agitation and also thought disorder, delusions and hallucinations.

In delusions, a rope may appear like a snake to the person affected, while in hallucination he will hear sounds or see things that don’t exist, e.g., he may hear God’s voice urging him to kill someone, or he may see pink elephant flying about shooting him with arrows, so he may actually respond to these – kill someone or throw things at the imaginary creatures, hitting a person in the process.

Patients of Mania or Hypomania can have delusions of grandeur; imagining themselves to be extraordinary beings like God or Hitler. They might even start giving long speeches, consisting of utter balderdash, to all and sundry.

Diseases like Mania – also, its treatment drug, Chloroquin – can precipitate an attack of acute psychosis in an apparently normal person.

Acute confusional state: Here, the higher functions of the brain are affected by illness/disease such as Respiratory Failure, Infections, Alcohol/Drug intoxication, Head Injury etc. There could be hallucinations, repetitive behavior, anxiety and terror.

Acute anxiety: In this case the patient’s anxiety is out of proportion to the normal. He can become agitated, restless and frightened, suffer from tremulousness, sweating and palpitations, go into a state of panic and become uncontrollable.

Personality disorder: Patients of this condition could be quite frightening to manage. They comprise the psychopaths and sociopaths who may appear normal but could become extremely dangerous if caught red-handed trying to commit a crime, and provoked to unreasonable anger when they are denied what they want.

Post-Partum Psychosis: This is the extreme form of post-partum depression. In it, women who have recently delivered a child become abnormal doe a certain period of time which may extend up to days or weeks. They could get restless, aggressive, violent, suspicious, and totally indifferent to their child. No one knows exactly why this happens, but it is thought to be the culmination of the extreme stress of carrying a foetus for nine months and the sudden release of this after delivery, plus the excessive strain and tension of labour. Of course, the condition is commoner in women who have hysterical or immature personalities, or those who have been minimally psychotic for several years previously.

Psychosis in childhood: Children could also become acutely disturbed mentally. Trigger factors include sudden conflict between parent and child, aggravation of a chronic physical ailment, injury, a recent operation, and so on. Such children might belong to mentally-disturbed families.

Like an adult, a disturbed child could show anxiety, aggressiveness, violence, even culminating in injury or murder, suicidal attempts, hysteria, psychosis, arson attempts and abnormal sexual behavior.

How to handle a psychiatric emergency: The aim is:

(i) to control the affected person so that he may not cause injury to himself or to others around him, especially children, and may not damage objects and property.

(ii) to reduce the acute phase of violence or aggression so that adequate treatment can be given by a medically qualified person:

    • Do not crowd around the patient.
    • But don’t leave him absolutely alone, so that he can harm himself. One sensible, physically strong person should keep the patient within earshot and range of vision.
    • Don’t let small children near such a patient, and especially never leave them alone with him.
    • Don’t let a person that the patient dislikes come near him, he could become more agitated. If a violent patient needs retaining, do so with the help of strong friends. Never try to physically control him yourself.
    • Make sure there are no heavy, sharp, dangerous objects in the room which he can hurl at someone or hit himself with.
    • Don’t make sudden movements towards the person, no threatening gestures and no sign of aggressiveness.
    • On the other hand, don’t go overboard in your trust of the patient and never approach him too closely or too carelessly, especially if he has had a history of violent behavior in the past – you could literally be caught unawares by him, and many a relative or attendant has been known to have been strangled or hit on the head by a psychotic patient while off guard. So, watch his eyes, especially when he appears suspiciously meek or obedient – if you sneak a glance at his face when he’s not aware, you might catch a cunning gleam in the eyes which will warn you that his mind is making devious plans to attack or rebel. Keep your distance and mark out the exit beforehand – so that you could quickly make a dash for it if the person suddenly lunges at you. Most mentally disturbed people are extremely strong and will not stop to consider what they are doing in a sudden fit of violence. Many types of psychotic patients feel they have been obtained God or their dead parents to kill all their family members (or all males, or all females), so they’ll be only too happy to hasten your exit from this world without worrying about – or even realizing – the consequences of doing so.
    • Say what you have to say firmly, looking the person in the eye, but keep your tone absolutely normal. An everyday tone of voice is best. Put conviction in your voice – a wavering speech is of no use.
    • Remember, kindness always helps mentally disturbed people. Most psychotics believe that people are harming or persecuting them – it’s your job to convince them that you’re not one of those people. So, keep your manner and tone kind.
    • Never laugh at or make fun of a mentally-unbalanced person, no matter how ridiculous he looks or how funny and outrageous his statements. Mental patients react very violently to being mocked at.
    • If you see a psychotic making a dangerous move towards any person, stop him with a firm, but unexcited, voice and reassure him, or distract his attention from his ‘victim’ by pointing out to the opposite side of the room – then then, with the other hand, gesture to the other person to slip out as quickly and quietly as possible from the room. If the patient says that he has been ordained by God to kill so and so, and makes a move to do so, tell him that God did not mean this person but someone else with the same name. Use your tact and imagination in such a situation – but don’t dither.
    • But otherwise, if a mentally disturbed patient says something he believes in and if it’s harmless, go along with and humour him, especially if you feel that he might get excited and violent if you don’t accept what he says. However, when the patient is no longer violent and it isn’t necessary to humour him any longer, you must deny what he says if it is a repetitive or obsessive thought that keeps troubling him. Say in a firm but non-argumentative voice, “I don’t think this is quite right.” Or, “No, John that stuffed tiger won’t eat you up.”
    • Never hit a psychotic or push him about. Also, never chain the violent patient or tie a rope around his hands – this is a very inhuman thing to do.
    • If he is very violent and needs to be restrained properly, slip a makeshift strait-jacket around him, arms and all, and tie up both ends with a flat piece of cloth – this will have to be done with the help of others. Such a strait-jacket can be fashioned out of a large, strong pillow case, with the closed end ripped open, or a shirt or coat forced on the wrong way round. This measure will prevent him using his hands and hurting others.
    • Never try to restrain a strange female patient if you’re a male (and vice versa) unless you’re asked to do so by her relatives – and then always do so in their presence – you can avoid medico-legal complications this way.
    • If you’re female or weaker than the patient, don’t try to restrain him yourself, but try to lock the room he’s in and phone or yell for help.
    • If a family member is such a patient, always keep the doctor’s prescription at hand, as well as the routine and emergency medicines advised – and administer the emergency medicine marked ‘SOS’ by the doctor if the patient starts getting out of hand.
    • If the patient is disinclined to take the medicines out of a feeling of suspiciousness or rebellion, quietly add the required dose in a glass of water, tea or fruit juice and give it to him, saying casually, “How about a nice cup of tea, John?” But don’t say “Here, drink this” in a forceful voice – the guy will most probably accept the stuff with a smile and then toss it back into your face. Psychotic people don’t like being ordered about but they usually respond to a request; but don’t overdo such persuasion either – too much coaxing might make them suspicious. However if the medicine is spat out or thrown away, try again after some time. Many anti-psychotic drugs come in the form of liquids or drops which make them easier to administer.
    • In psychosis due to organic causes like fever, brain damage etc. it is important to prevent delirium or correct it by promptly bringing the high fever down with medication (Paracetamol) and with cold sponging.
  • If the patient gets too violent restrain him with the help of several people and get to a doctor quickly so that he can be given an emergency injection – most probably this will also have been written in his prescription and might be ready for use.

For Post-partum psychosis more or less all the points listed above help deal with the patient, but there are a few additional facts that need remembering:

No matter how non-violent the patient appears, never leave the new-born infant alone with its psychotic mother – it could get accidentally or deliberately hurt or killed. If breast-feeding the baby is important, a female attendant should hold the child while sitting next to the patient; otherwise, bottled powder or buffalo milk, or milk expressed from the mother’s breast with the help of a breast pump and collected in a bottle, will do just as well – unless the patient is on strong drugs that are excreted in the milk and can harm the infant.

If the patient is violent, aggressive or hostile, make sure she does not have access to the baby. Keep the child in a separate room, of which the patient has no knowledge, and ask a female relative to look after it.

In childhood psychosis, if you have to restrain a panicky, uncontrollable, frightened child, never do so with anger or force – it’s always best to hold him in a firm embrace so that he feels secure, at the same time realizes that you are in control of him. Hold him like this and reassure him till the attack subsides.

Always make sure the child cannot run towards a dangerous area – either in confusion or with deliberate intent to kill himself.

We ‘humans’ have got the life a billion years ago. There have been five mass extinctions in earth’s history. We are living through the sixth. And now we too are running at a pace to end it all. This time it will be our fault.

The new discoveries and inventions have made our lifestyle full of convenience. But our bodies require work. Just like the sedentary water starts smelling, the sedentary lifestyle has given rise to many chronic diseases like the heart problems, diabetes and hypertension.

Today, the health researchers are suggesting that most of the chronic diseases that have appeared in man’s life are due to STRESS. From where it has come. It is the bi-product of our so-called modern lifestyle.

We are standing at the edge of cliff. Immediate actions are required to bring back the healthy days. We must incorporate exercise, balanced diet, sound sleep, and the most importantly happy and positive thoughts to our lifestyle to get rid of all health problems.

I believe “The opposite of great truth is also true.”

Day and Night, Work and Rest, Art and Science… they all looks opposite but my viewpoint is they compliment each other.

The more you relax, the more you active. Life is a balance between what we can and what we cannot. Learn to live between effort and surrender.

The ADD and ADHD Treatments

Children are subjects to a wide range of distractions and stimuli that can have an adverse effect on their concentration. This can happen at home and in school settings and for those who suffer from ADD and ADHD, the effects from these distractions can be severe. It can impair their ability to form relationships and it certainly can impact their educational potential. While removing distractions can help, children with ADD and ADHD require additional skills to help maintain their concentration. The best way to provide these skills is by engaging with programs that are designed to foster concentration and thereby give those with ADD and ADHD the skills the need to succeed.

Helping Them, Help Themselves

There are two main ADD and ADHD treatments that are proven to help increase concentration in those with ADD and ADHD. Both Interactive Metronome Therapy and Neurofeedback Therapy have a proven track record in helping those with ADD and ADHD maintain higher levels of concentrations long after they have discontinued the treatments. What these treatments do is provide those with ADD and ADHD the brain training necessary to help them maintain concentration and focus and thus it also improves their personal wellbeing as they are able to concentrate on their own. While not a cure, it is a way for those with ADD and ADHD to manage their symptoms to help them in other areas of their life and thereby improve their ability to succeed.

Interactive Metronome Therapy

Interactive Metronome Therapy (IMT) uses hand and foot motions to coincide with a computer generated tone. The repetitive motions to the tone provide an immediate feedback and a score is tabulated allowing the participant the opportunity to improve their reaction time score. As more and more correct timings are made, the score improves. This trains the mind to develop the skills relating to concentration and as more and more sessions are performed, the corresponding skill level also increases. Interactive Metronome Therapy has been proven to work with both children and adults and peer-reviewed research has shown that the skills are long-lasting. In addition, a recent 2016 paper in Brain and Language titled “Incorporation of feedback during beat synchronization is an index of neural maturation and reading skills” Carr, Fitzroy, Tierney, White-Scwoch, Kraus; indicates that IMT can also be used in addressing language based learning concerns.

Neurofeedback Therapy

Similar in some respects to IMT, Neurofeedback approaches the development of concentration skills using both visual and auditory signals. Using a computer, the participant is provided with visual and auditory stimuli that generate a brain wave response and as this response is monitored, the participant is rewarded each time their brain wave patterns are maintained in the optimized training patterns, thus providing an increased level of concentration. While the exact methodology can vary from provider to provider, the end results of increased levels of concentration and focus are identical. Neurofeedback therapy is backed by over twenty-five independent, peer-reviewed studies published in science journals, including a recent article in the journal Nature, titled “Closed-loop brain training: The Science of Neurofeedback” that also discusses the long-term viability of this ADHD treatment and the science behind it.

Finding the right ADD and ADHD treatments can seem challenging but there are highly skilled providers that can help you achieve the skills that you or someone you know who suffers from ADHD need to succeed. Both Interactive Metronome Therapy and Neurofeedback Therapy are proven ADHD treatments that improve concentration and focus. This leads to a better outcome for those who have to deal with ADD and ADHD and an increased opportunity for a bright future. If you are looking for a way to help you or someone you know manage ADD or ADHD, then contact a provider today.