Chronic Illness And Depression

Chronic depression and physical illness. I was diagnosed with Postural tachycardia syndrome or PoTS. This chronic condition shows cardiovascular disease – like symptoms as it affects blood flow due to an exaggerated heart rate increase in response to standing. But that’s not all I experienced with such medical illnesses like this.

It also impacts health issues such as depression. This chronic illness form usually shows lightheadedness, palpitation, an uncomfortable physical state, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, increased risk of heart disease, depression, tremor, and a rapid heartbeat. Not a lot of people know about this illness, but this health issue is directly related to cardiovascular response.

 

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The initial diagnosis of my chronic illness was the devastating and depressing part of it. Since some of the symptoms of autoimmune diseases can be associated with other clinical conditions such as pregnancy, fatigue syndrome, dehydration, hyperthyroidism, anxiety disorders, and more. Aside from that, there are no large randomized controlled trials for this type of illness, making this illness merely impossible to get one specific treatment.

Things in my life changed along with this chronic illness. Since my illness wouldn’t support such intense activity, my doctor said I should forget about it. And honestly, that one is the most depressive thing that I felt ill-doing. Unfortunately, this illness put me in antidepressant medication. But to get back on track with my life despite enduring some of the worse illness symptoms, I understand the need for professional help – that’s where counseling came in.

The counseling process occurs when a client and counselor set aside time to explore difficulties which may include the stressful or emotional feelings of the depressed and chronically ill client. This can enable clients to focus on feelings, experiences, or behavior, with the goal of facilitating positive change despite the illness.

Distressing Chronic Feelings

I told my counselor that the moment the physician told me that I should quit sports due to my depression and chronic illness, it felt like the whole world fell upon me. The news created a strong feeling of emotional dilemma that I began to endure almost every day. It was an exhausting battle, and I couldn’t find reasons to continue with my life. But my counselor managed to help me get rid of some unwanted heartbreaking feelings by teaching me how to become more appreciative of life despite my depression and chronic illness.

Ability To Handle Stress With My Depression and Chronic Illness

Of course, I can’t manage to deal with my emotional and depressive state all the time, especially with my chronic illness at bay. That explains why I often encountered severe mental stress, putting me in a chronically ill situation. The ill part of dealing with a chronic illness is the depression that comes with the recovery process. Thankfully, counseling made me realize that I shouldn’t try and force myself to deal with depression and my chronic illness.

 

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I admit that when I found out about my illness, I wanted to blame someone for this chronic illness. I became despondent and confused as to why this unfortunate chronic illness happened to me. Fortunately, counseling helped me realize that what I was doing was the worst thing ever. Counseling taught me to appreciate those willing to stick with me through this battle instead of making them feel depressed.

Chronic Losses/Gains From My Illness and Depressive Symptoms

Honestly, the one thing that made this whole PoTS battle so depressively and emotionally exhausting is the loss I will have to accept forever. Sports were my life, and it was the one thing that makes me completely happy and satisfied. With this, I will have to accept that everything about it should remain in the past. The process of accepting chronic illnesses is so overwhelming. But counseling ensures me that even if I lose something, I will gain another. Thankfully, I managed to see the beauty of life despite having this severe depression and chronic illness depression.

 

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Insight On My Symptoms Of Depression And Chronic Illness

The chronic diseases, depression and anxiety that I held on to for too long are now becoming a part of the past. Yes, I may still feel bad about my physical health. But as long as I open my eyes to new opportunities and paths, chronic illness and chronic pain won’t be in the way.

FAQs

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Alzheimer’s Disease Life Expectancy

How does Alzheimer’s affect the dynamics of a family? What does Alzheimer’s do to a person? How does Alzheimer’s create gaps between family members? It was a Sunday evening, and everyone in the family was having dinner at the table. My mom and dad discussed their tennis schedules while my brother and sister argued about who gets to wash the dishes after.

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On the other hand, I was busy scrolling my phone and just reading some stuff on social media.It was a normal day for us. But suddenly, I noticed that my mom and dad’s conversation is getting too repetitive as my dad told my mom that their tennis schedule was on the third Wednesday of the next month at 8 pm. Then I heard mom asking the time and day again. My dad sighed as my mom said, “Oh, okay, I get it.” I never knew that things would escalate quickly from there.

Start: Alzheimer’s

That particular Wednesday came, and I got off school early at that time. When I got home, I saw my dad anxious as my mom sits on the couch while his feet were on top of the table. I abruptly asked, “Isn’t it today that your tennis was scheduled?” My dad suddenly straightened up and said, “Oh, honey, we forgot.” My dad’s reply was confusing as I was sure that he never misses out on scheduled activities. I just let go of it, but my mom then asked, “We have a tennis schedule?” So I was, “yeah, mom. You and dad talked about it weeks ago”. She was like, “We talked about it?” while staring at my dad. At that point, I was too tired to make a conversation with them, so I went to my room not knowing that something could come up eventually.

Alzheimer’s Disease: My Mom

Alzheimer’s Disease And Devastation

For the next few weeks, my siblings and I busied ourselves with school activities, and we seldom see our mom at the house. Every time we share dishes, dad would tell us that mom was not feeling well and needed to rest to dine with us. We didn’t ask much about it and continued on with our daily routine. However, this one time, I skipped school and decided to spend my day in the house. As I was preparing food, I saw my mom in the kitchen. I asked her, “What’s for dinner?’ and she suddenly screamed at me. Like a dozen times,

she was going crazy, asking and shouting, “Who are you?!”

The dreaded disease called Alzheimer’s kicked-in in that instance.

Alzheimer Disease

How Alzheimer’s Disease Impacts Us

I was so terrified that my mom acted frustrated enough to push me out of the house. I didn’t know that she has Alzheimer’s Disease so I called my dad and told him everything. I stayed outside until he got home. And when my dad was about to enter the gate, my mom threw stuff at him. He was like, “it’s me, it’s me,” But my mom’s condition made her go hysterically crazy. My dad grabbed her arms and instructed us to get some piece of cloth that I could tie her hands with. I wasn’t sure about what my dad was trying to do, but I went and got one anyway.

it was making my mom a different, uncontented person. My dad managed to control her rage, and he began crying.

“Honey, it’s me.” He was so sad, and his voice sounded so shaky that I began to ask, “What’s happening?” My mom looked so frightened and then all of a sudden she started crying. I was so confused. Then my mom asked us while crying her heart out, “Who are you, people?” Then that just struck me. I was now positive that something was wrong, and I looked at my dad, and he said, “Your mom is gradually losing her memory. She has Alzheimer’s disease. She wouldn’t be able to remember us”.

Alzheimer’s

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Emotional/Mental Dilemma

Hearing about this disease called Alzheimer’s was shocking. My dad told me that my mom had  Alzheimer’s disease which was currently in the worse stage. I couldn’t bear to hear additional Alzheimer’s information regarding the disease because the thought of my mom not remembering her family because of Alzheimer’s disorder is more devastating and heartbreaking. As I looked at my mom, I can see her fears and worries about having to sit in front of two people she doesn’t recognize with her hands tied up.

Mom Suffers From Alzheimer’s

I then slowly moved away as I try to hold back my tears.

And when I got into my room, I cried it all out. I couldn’t imagine life with my mom having Alzheimer’s and not knowing who I was. Accepting Alzheimer’s disease was so emotionally disorienting that I couldn’t think straight. The emotional disorder crawled up to me, and I knew from that day on, I would have to endure the disheartening fact that my mom would never be able to remember me due to her Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s

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Alzheimer’s: Final thoughts And Takeaways

I can dish that my mom’s Alzheimer’s disorder makes her feel all the dismissible emotions. But I can’t dismiss it. I can’t handle Alzheimer’s too. This Alzheimer’s disease was so disheartening. I wish my family could find enough courage to deal with this Alzheimer’s disease situation.

FAQs

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Depression Symptoms’ Differences In Women And Men

People used to say that I made every task look easy. I often credited it to the fact that both my parents were technically geniuses (they were members of MENSA), and so I inherited their intelligence. They also taught me early that learning was fun and that enjoying sports was just as important; that’s why I worked hard to juggle my academics and remain as the captain of the women’s basketball and football teams throughout high school. 

Before going to college, I received multiple scholarship offers due to my athletic skills. I declined many of them at first sight, considering they only planned to make me play all day long. That’s not what I wanted. Although I loved sports, I loved studying even more. Hence, I agreed to go to an Ivy League university to take up medicine and play football. 

When I informed my parents of what I would be doing in college, they expressed their concerns. It was not because they did not believe that I could do both. It was more because they were aware of how physically and mentally taxing both activities were. Besides, I would be playing as a hobby – I would go to that university on a football scholarship, so I was expected to train hard and play hard. However, my parents backed down when I insisted that I could do it and said that they would support me all the way.

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When Medical Issues Appeared

I mentally prepared myself for the exhaustion that I might experience once the semester started. I got ahold of my schedule early, so I even wrote my daily agendas on a massive calendar. In my head, that was all I needed to do to stay sane until the winter break when I could chill at home for at least a week. 

I managed to follow my schedule in the first month because my professors were busy with seminars and other stuff. Most of what I did was go to class, attend a lecture until the afternoon, and join the football training for newcomers until the evening. My parents called me one day, and I assured them that everything’s still going as planned. 

Then, after the winter break, I felt a shift in the winds. The professors started giving more assignments and pop quizzes, while my coaches wanted us to train up to nine o’clock at night. For the first time in my life, I experienced cramping, and I hated every minute of it. 

I had to do two projects simultaneously while eating my dinner most of the time. If I needed a bathroom break, I would bring my book there. In between practices, I would also play an audiobook version of some of my textbooks. I would still ace my exams and excel in the games, but I started feeling like I never have an opportunity to relax and sleep for more than five hours.

This unhealthy routine went on until my sophomore year. It ended around that time because I collapsed on the way to class and was hospitalized afterward. The doctor initially diagnosed me with fatigue and dehydration, so I had to take a week off school and guzzled water whenever I could. However, when I returned to my usual routine, the dehydration returned, along with vertigo, migraine, and worse, balance disturbance. Meaning, I would often trip and fall, which was awful for a footballer.

My parents eventually got me a new doctor, who diagnosed me with dysautonomia.

No Longer A Player

The diagnosis ended my football career. Mom and Dad said that it was a blessing in disguise since my condition could have gotten worse if I continued playing. Still, as I just said, it ended my football career earlier than I expected. I was so unprepared for it that the absence of the sport in my life caused me to fall into depression.

How does gender affect depression?

According to studies, the depression rates among females are higher than those of male rates. One factor is that females reach puberty earlier than their male counterparts, meaning that they reach a more emotional state first. Females typically develop depression at an earlier age, and this difference may continue as they age, as supported by studies that have also been published.

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Does gender count in depression?

Yes, gender does count in depression, as studies have shown that depression rates are higher with women than men. This is because women reach puberty sooner than men, leading to depression as their emotions are running high. The depression gap in rates for these two genders will continue with age. However, it has also been found that members of the LGBT community are also at a higher risk for depression due to many different factors directly connected with their gender identity.

What is the most reliable symptom of depression?

There are many different signs of depression that are usually the most common among those diagnosed. Among these symptoms is the loss of energy. This typically looks like a person being sluggish, and they seem always to be tired. Loss of energy can typically point you in the direction of depression immediately. Of course, it is still wise that you have this checked with a doctor to avoid self-diagnosing.

Why do more women experience depression?

There are different triggers for depression for both men and women. A study suggests that women tend to exhibit more internal symptoms, while men tend to show more physical symptoms. Women experience depression more than men because women go through more hormonal changes and brain chemical imbalances that cause irregularities in moods, leading to depression. Women also are susceptible to more forms of depression than men, especially during their monthly periods. 

How do I know if I’m bipolar?

It is always best that you have a doctor help you understand what you are going through to avoid further complications from self-diagnosis and self-treatment, and medicating. However, some signs of bipolar disorder you can look out for are: extreme changes in mood, extremely high periods of mania, very low periods of depression, and at times you might feel a mix of both an intense high and an extreme low or basically a mania and a depression at the same time. 

Are females more stressed than males?

A study suggests that men and women have the same stress levels; however, women tend to be more vocal and report their stress levels rising than men. According to this study, women will more likely report their physical and emotional signs of stress than men. So, women are not more stressed. Women are more vocal regarding the stress they experience.

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Who is most affected by stress?

No one specific group is most affected by stress more than the other as all of us experience a certain level of stress individually. Apart from this, what others may find stressful may not be stressful for you and vice versa. Stress can actually be a good thing for us to experience because it can keep us on our toes and keep us moving; however, unhealthy amounts can cause many other health issues both physically and mentally. 

What are the five emotional signs of stress?

We are all entitled to our own feelings, and whatever may cause us stress should never be invalidated or minimized. There are five emotional signs of stress: anxiety, fear, sadness, anger, and frustration. All these emotional signs can be caused by stress alone, and when you find yourself feeling this way, it might just be the perfect time to take a step back and breathe for a bit. A moment to yourself can never hurt.

What are the three causes of stress?

Many different factors can cause stress for other people. Of course, we all different triggers and limits. There is no specific cause for this, but it could be heavy workloads, pressure, being put on the spot, social gatherings, big life changes, and more. There will be an extra stressor for different people, so make sure that you take a step back and breathe when you start feeling stressed.

What diseases are caused by stress?

Many diseases are caused by stress, and most of them are pretty fatal, especially for specific age groups. We have cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and hypertension, depression, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and ulcers. There are more on this matter, which is why you have to ensure that stress does not take over your life. 

What are the three most stressful things in life?

Different people will have other stresses and triggers. We are all entitled to our own emotions and our own levels of sensitivity to things that may or may not stress us out. However, the most common stressful situations in life are the death of a loved one, major illness or injury, and divorce. Apart from these three events, of course, there are more triggers such as job loss, moving from one home to another, bankruptcy, and maybe even finding out that you are adopted. Generally speaking, there will always be a difference in people’s reasons for being stressed.

 What are the signs of poor health?

Be mindful of your body and what you may be feeling because it might just be a sign of having poor health. If you snore, or maybe the whites of your eyes are not white, perhaps you feel gassy. Even your pimples might be a sign of poor health. Ensure that you take extra care of yourself by eating healthy, drinking lots of water, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Remember, you only have one body, so if you do not take care of it, there is no redo. 

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 What does stress do to a woman’s body?

Generally, stress can tense up your muscles, while long-term stress can actually cause migraines, general body pains, and insomnia. However, for women, this can affect their reproductive systems where periods are delayed, which can negatively impact the ability to reproduce. Apart from that, stress can make PMS harder to cope with. Other things that could happen: irritability, frustration, and anxiety. As a woman, you should keep the stress levels at a minimum to make sure that there is lesser discomfort in your life. 

 How do females cope with stress?

 According to research published in 2015, women tend to cope with stress in a more emotion-centered approach. What women will do is they will change their emotional response to stress and do what researchers call a “tending and befriending” approach where they will be reaching out and talking to other people about how they are feeling and what has made them feel this level of stress. Studies show that women actually have a higher tendency to report their stress than men, which is why it appears that women are more stressed than men.

What are the behavioral symptoms of stress?

The behavioral symptoms of stress consist of these signs: not eating much or overeating – irregular and abnormal of the person, no drive to do work and keeps on delaying, more interested in drinking alcohol or taking substances unlike before, showing nervous ticks and behaviors such as nail-biting or fidgeting. Also, there will be a chance of insomnia that can cause you to feel more tired by the day. When you see someone or experiencing any of these symptoms, make sure to relax and give yourself a moment to breathe and rest.

Final Thoughts

Luck must be on my side, considering my psychologist prescribed psychotherapy to me. I got diagnosed during a summer break, so all I did was see my therapist every other day for four weeks. It helped me understand that I still had another passion for focusing on – medicine. I even worried that the end of my football career also signaled the end of my

scholarship, but she also helped me see that my parents were willing and able to pay for my education out of their pockets. And if I didn’t want that, I could get student loans. Hence, when the next semester came, I studied hard, managed to join a sorority, and pretty much enjoyed my life as a student.

 

 

Social Anxiety Forums: Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

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You could be searching for a social anxiety forum to interact with others who have the same life experiences. Social anxiety forums are places to communicate with people who may have solutions to your issues, as they have tried being ‘in your shoes.’ A great forum provides a support system with active members that are swift in responding empathetically.

Although it is best to get into a forum committed exclusively to social anxiety disorder, other general mental health forums could also have certain boards focused on various disorders. The perfect forum is a combination of proactive mediators who keep track of posts and block improper content, a large-scale membership, and a convenient-to-use platform. Remember, though many forums provide moderators, they are probably not licensed mental health professionals.

Additionally, it is relevant to note that social anxiety forums are usually asynchronous in character, which means you and other participants can post and read any time you want. This varies from chat rooms, wherein it is commonly expected that you will get in and constantly chat for a particular time before exiting. This would mean that discussion forums don’t take as much time and can be joined when you are not that busy.

The best SAD forum for your personal situation is dependent on how calm and comfortable you are with other participants and how convenient it is to navigate the webpage. You can try getting into different social anxiety forums that you see online and choose which one matches your needs. Hopefully, after some time, you will develop new friendships in certain forums, and that could be the one you are most comfortable with.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

 

How can I get rid of social anxiety fast?

 

  • Practice controlled breathing
  • Be physically active.
  • Learn progressive muscle relaxation.
  • Don’t focus on yourself. Think about other people and things.
  • Begin with small steps.
  • Challenge your negative thoughts.

What does social anxiety feel like?

 

When you need to perform in front of a big crowd or audience and have social anxiety, you tend to sweat, tremble, and blush. You will feel that your heart is racing and your mind is going blank. Sometimes, you feel sick to your stomach, and you are nauseous. When you are speaking, you don’t make eye contact, and you tend to speak with a very soft voice.

 

Does social anxiety make you awkward?

 

When a person has a social anxiety disorder, social events or events where he needs to do a presentation or make a speech triggers anxiety and can elicit panic attacks, which is actually different compared to feeling awkward when you talk to others.

 

Why is social anxiety so common now?

 

Sadly, nobody seems to find the answer to this question, but many people blame this increase in anxiety on issues like sleep deprivation, decreased stigma, and social media.

 

What is the root cause of social anxiety?

 

The precise cause of social anxiety is not clear, but recent studies found the idea that it may be a result of a combination of genetics and the environment. Additionally, unpleasant experiences also may lead to illness, including abuse and bullying.

 

What can trigger social anxiety?

 

Stressful life events and environmental factors trigger social anxiety. These include divorce, teasing, abuse, death of a loved one, or maternal stress.

 

Does social anxiety ever go away?

 

It can be devastating and can have a tremendous effect on one’s life. For some, it improves as they mature, but for many others, it doesn’t disappear by itself without any treatment or medication. It is vital to seek help if you are experiencing symptoms.

 

Are you born with social anxiety?

 

Most experts agree that anxiety is hereditary, but environmental factors can also cause it. Meaning that it is likely to develop anxiety even without having someone in the family that has it. There is a significant connection between anxiety disorders and genetics that most of us do not understand, and more studies are necessary.

 

Can parents cause social anxiety?

 

Parents can cause their children to develop anxiety without knowing it, just with how they deal with their children. For instance, permitting your child not to go to school when they feel tense or anxious about going more likely pushes the child to be even more anxious when he goes the next day.

 

Can fighting parents cause social anxiety?

 

According to current research, young kids whose parents constantly fight or are too involved with their children’s lives have a higher likelihood of developing anxiety and depression.

 

Can you self-diagnose social anxiety?

 

You’ll know if you have social anxiety if you are worried about a presentation or a coming speech for weeks or months before it even happens. You not only feel tense, but you don’t get enough sleep. On the day of the feared event, you have extreme anxiety symptoms, including shortness of breath, trembling, sweating, and a racing heart.

 

What’s the best medication for social anxiety?

 

Despite the many types of medications available in the market, SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are frequently the front liners recommended and prescribed for longstanding social anxiety symptoms. Your mental health provider may recommend sertraline or paroxetine.

 

What helps social anxiety naturally?

 

Natural remedies that help reduce social anxiety include:

 

  • Regular physical activity or exercise
  • Learning stress reduction techniques
  • Sufficient amount of sleep daily
  • Participating in social events by communicating with people you are comfortable with
  • Avoiding caffeine and alcohol
  • Maintaining a healthy and well-balanced diet.

 

How bad can social anxiety get?

 

If you ignore your social anxiety, it can definitely dominate your whole life. Anxiety can negatively affect your school, work, and other relationships. It can also lead to the development of negative behaviors like decreased self-confidence.

 

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Takeaway

 

If you decide to join a social anxiety forum, be certain that you have read the specific forum’s guidelines. Most of today’s forums have a list of new subjects and which subjects are not supposed to be discussed, or whether or not you are allowed to post images and place links, among other things.

 

A social anxiety forum is a great way to reach out to others and share stories online, but it is not the proper platform to find help during moments of extreme anxiety or stress. In these moments, it is best to visit your doctor or mental health provider.

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Science And Happiness

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Do you know how some people receive a cancer diagnosis and get depressed initially but manage to shake it off so that they could get treated better?

It did not happen to me when I found out that I had dysautonomia, an autoimmune disorder. It was technically not as scary as any form of cancer, but I felt like I was on the brink of death at the time. That was especially true since my doctor was super honest that there were no available cures for autoimmune disorders.

“But the silver lining is that you can reduce the symptoms by living healthy,” he said.

It was rude of me to say it out loud, but I screamed in my head, “Was that a pep talk? It did nothing to me.”

I went on a hermit phase soon after that. I already lived alone and worked from home, so I did not have to have awkward conversations with other people and pretend that I was okay. For at least two weeks, I managed to get by with the bare minimum. I only slept when I could not keep my eyes open anymore; I only ate when it felt like my large intestine had consumed my small intestine and wanted more. However, my parents’ monthly visit to my house slipped from my mind, so we all had the shocks of our lives when I opened the front door for them.

For me, it was because I had not seen anything outside of my house in a while, and the bright light almost blinded me. In my parents’ case, various things almost gave them a heart attack – the darkness shrouding my place, the dust covering the floors, and the smell coming off my body due to not bathing for God knew how long. My mother dragged me to the bathroom, turned the shower on without a word, and pushed me under the water – clothes and all.

“Mom!” I exclaimed as I fumbled for the shower knob frantically. The water was cold, and I was not ready for it. 

Instead of taking pity on me, my mother crossed her arms over her chest. “What happened to you, baby? I had seen you get heartbroken before, but you never did anything this stupid.”

I looked at my mother and saw that her eyes were filled with concern, even though her stance showed toughness. That’s when I broke down and told her everything I felt about my autoimmune disease.

“Aw, baby girl, I’m so sorry to hear that,” Mom said, her features softening. She helped me clean up and get fresh clothes on my body. When we left my bedroom, my father already started cooking lunch while vacuuming my place. I cried again because I suddenly realized that I was too lucky in life to stay depressed.

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When all the emotions subsided, my mother handed a book to me. “I know you love reading, and I’m glad to pick up a book that you seem to need right now. You can check it out later,” she uttered.

My parents stayed until dinner, so I only got to crack my new book open around 10 o’clock. Its title was The How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky.

What is happiness Sonja Lyubomirsky? 

 According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, you experience happiness when your positivity and sense of contentment are mixed with the thought that you are blessed and live a meaningful life.

What determines happiness according to Sonja? 

 Based on research, half of your happiness depends on your genes. However, the same study reveals that the environment affects it. If your genetics make you susceptible to experiencing pleasure, but you are surrounded by mean people, poverty, or famine, your happiness can take a dip.

What are the 12 strategies of happiness? 

  • Count Your Blessings: Take time to appreciate every single favor or blessing you have received over the week. You may also thank everyone who has helped you achieve them.
  • Cultivate Optimism: Since problems are inevitable, you should try to be as optimistic as possible all the time. Though it may not resolve your issues, it may give you the strength to stay resilient.
  • Avoid Comparing/Overthinking: Overthinkers tend to experience less happiness than those who remain calm and chill. The same goes for people who love to make social comparisons. You can only be happy when you stop doing both.
  • Practice Acts of Kindness: Practicing an act of kindness does not essentially mean that you need to offer to tithe or give money to homeless folks whenever you see them. It can be as effortless as assisting a senior citizen in crossing the street, carrying the groceries for your heavily pregnant neighbor, etc.
  • Nurture Relationships: No man should remain alone because that prevents you from being infected by others’ happiness and affection. Thus, it would help if you started nurturing your relationship with everyone in your life.
  • Try Engaging Activities: Boring activities will never make you happy. If you don’t feel satisfied right now, try looking for some activities that you have always found fascinating.
  • Enjoy Momentary Pleasures: You may have little moments of happiness every day that you may not always pay attention to due to your busy schedule. In case happiness lacks in your life, it is best to enjoy such momentary pleasures to get by.
  • Commit to Goals: It feels depressing to start working on a goal and leave it after some time. You will only be happy when you commit to it and achieve your goals.
  • Develop Coping Mechanisms: Pain, hurt, and grief is parts of life. No matter what you try, you cannot avoid feeling them all the time. But once you develop coping mechanisms even before experiencing those feelings, it may not be impossible for you to be happy.
  • Learn to Forgive: Being unable to forgive entails that your heart and mind are clouded by anger and pain. Such emotions push away your ability to experience happiness; that’s why you should learn how to forgive.
  • Practice Spirituality: Atheists and agnostics may not believe it, but many spiritual and religious people feel happy with the thought of a higher being watching over and protecting them. Though you need not follow any religion, you can explore your spirituality and find happiness in the process.
  • Look After Your Body: Taking care of your physical health can make you happy since you have no ailments to deal with. Hence, try to exercise, laugh, eat healthy stuff, and sleep as much as possible.
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What determines the happiness pie chart? 

 Various theories state that the happiness pie chart is divided into genetics (50%), state of mind (40%), and life circumstances (10%). Meaning, if you only think of genetics, you have a 50% chance of feeling happy all the time. However, if your brain is filled with worrying thoughts and finds yourself in a sticky situation, it may alter your happiness level.

What are the three keys to a happy life? 

  • Healthy eating
  • Exercising
  • Nurturing relationships

What are the seven keys to happiness? 

  • Live However You Want: The primary key to happiness is living a life you have chosen. Other people may dissuade you from doing so and force you to do otherwise, but that will bum you out in the end.
  • Live in the Present: Harboring regrets about what you could have done in the past would never make you happy. You need to let go of those and move forward.
  • Stay Grateful: Ungratefulness leads to unhappiness, considering you cannot appreciate anyone or anything. To be happy, you should stay grateful for what you have.
  • Start Exercising: Exercising regularly allows your pores to open and gives the toxins in your body a way out. Besides, it causes the body to produce endorphins, which are knowns as happy hormones.
  • Practice Generosity: People say that it’s better to be the giver than the taker to ensure that happiness will fill your life. Thus, you can be generous by helping the less-fortunate folks in any way possible.
  • Smile and Laugh a Lot: Laughing and smiling genuinely can do wonders for your mood. Not only will it boost your happiness, but it will also make others happy when they see what you’re doing.
  • Be Surrounded by Positive Thinkers: It matters to surround yourself with positive-thinking individuals, especially when you are sad. They can uplift your spirits and influence you to find something to feel happy about.  

What is the best way to be happy? 

 The best way to be happy is by smiling, even when you have no reason to do so. It may feel challenging to smile if you are angry or blue, but you need to force the corners of your lips to turn upwards. This is when you must embody the fake-it-till-you-make-it saying. Though your smile is fake at first, it may eventually become real once the endorphins get released.

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What is the difference between joy and happiness? 

 Happiness is a positive emotion we experience when we feel satisfaction and contentment after doing something. For instance, you feel happy when you finish an exam, say ‘yes’ to your boyfriend’s marriage proposal, or get the keys to your new house.

Meanwhile, joy is felt when we see something good come out of our selflessness. For instance, you donate an internal organ to your ailing loved ones, let neighbors stay in your house after a hurricane, or send your siblings to school. It is not as common as happiness, considering not everyone is willing to sacrifice for others. 

What percent of happiness is genetic?

Genetics occupies 50% of happiness.

Final Thoughts

I got so engrossed in Sonja Lyubomirsky’s book that I did not put it down until I reached the back cover. The next day, I called my doctor to tell him that I was finally willing to find a way around dysautonomia. I was ready to be happy again.

 

Ways To Support The Mental Health Of Patients With Dysautonomia

Being an individual living with dysautonomia or autonomic disorder is very challenging. It is a complex condition brought about by the dysfunction in the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Some of the complications and forms of dysautonomia include Neurally Mediated Hypotension (NMH), Vasovagal Syncope, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Birth Dysautonomia, and many more. 

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What’s unique about this sickness is that most symptoms are invisible. The symptoms are difficult to recognize from the outside. Only the patients themselves can acknowledge that they are housing such a condition. This is because all signs are related to heart rate issues, fatigue, dizziness, migraines, blood pressure issues, insomnia, etc. 

Individuals tend to keep their pain within themselves since many people do not know what’s going on in their bodies. They don’t share it because of the fear of getting judged. The fear stems from the fact that they’re afraid others won’t believe what they’re saying. This reality takes a toll on their mental health. 

If you know someone who’s experiencing dysautonomia, it is essential to show your support to them. Here are ways on how to go about it: 

Learn About Their Condition

It’s hard to empathize with a person if you don’t fully understand what they’re going through. Therefore, the first step that you should look into is the details of dysautonomia. Ensure that you know what the sickness is all about, its symptoms, its possible treatments, etc. This way, it’s easier for you to relate to what they’re going through, especially if they’re frustrated about something. 

Be Understanding

Understand that dealing with dysautonomia is not easy. You’ll feel complicated emotions day in and day out. It can be a rollercoaster ride of good and bad days due to their chronic conditions. 

On days that they’re doing well, they can proceed with life as if they’re normal. Yes, they may need some medication to address the medical situation, but they still look like the person they were before housing dysautonomia. 

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On their bad days, however, things are very different. They might feel a little bit sluggish and out of energy brought about by their condition. It’s also difficult for them to force themselves to move since they need to be careful about their blood pressure as well as migraine attacks. Life under this condition is pretty unpredictable, so they have to think twice before doing something. 

To give them a little bit of peace of mind, your role as friends or family members is to treat them normally. The situation makes it challenging when they feel that the people around them are walking on shattered glass. 

Although you know that they cannot join some activities, they still feel good that they get invited on certain occasions. Invite them to go to movies or walk around the park should your circle of friends decide to hang out together. Yes, they might reject your offer. However, they’ll feel happier because they remain included despite their condition. 

Sticking by them no matter what will not only improve their mental health but will also boost the trust he or she has on you. 

Join Them Do Their Creative Outlets

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Dysautonomia patients often find themselves stressed with their everyday lives. Their physical condition bothers them, but their stress often comes from the mental aspect. Their worries stem from the difficulty in completing day-to-day tasks, conducting stressful doctor checkups, and explaining their illness to the people around them. 

To be able to address this, experts recommend pursuing some creative outlets. It includes painting, listening to music, reading, watching TV, writing, and more. These are creative activities that will distract them from thinking about the stressors they are facing. These activities also provide their body with tranquility and more control which may improve their symptoms. 

Exploring these stress management activities with them will inspire more especially because it’s more enjoyable to do these things with friends and family. Add to this the friendly competition that can add thrill and enjoyment. 

Keep In Touch With Them

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Individuals with dysautonomia also experience social isolation. It’s harder for younger people to attend school since they get exempted from activities. Meanwhile, older ones isolate themselves because they feel ashamed of having this particular illness. They feel embarrassed that they’re vulnerable and not as strong as they were before. 

As a friend or family member, you must keep in touch with them to keep them from feeling abandoned and left out. Make sure to call them once in a while, so they know that you’re always there for them. You may even visit them at times, should your schedule permits. 

Keep in mind, however, to not be too pushy. Don’t force yourself if they’re still not ready to let you in. Ask how they’re feeling once in a while but if they’re unwilling to answer and open up, let them. Just letting them know that you’re there is enough. 

Living with an illness, such as dysautonomia, is challenging. Individuals experiencing this condition need a support system that will help them go through this journey. Being there for them makes it easier for them to overcome these roadblocks. 

 

The Importance Of Family For Dysautonomia Patients In A Public Health Crisis

In these trying times, having a reliable support system may already be considered a luxury. The current public health crisis stripped off the “normal” people knew. The pandemic brought about increased uncertainty and heightened anxiety to those already suffering from it. People wake up every day not knowing when everything would be stable again.

According to Allison Abrams, LCSW-R, a licensed psychotherapist and mental health advocate, “Each one of us is dealing with the consequences of this public health problem in various forms, whether health-wise, economic, or other.” She adds that “All of us will react differently depending on our external and internal resources, our strength and our psychological wellness. Don’t hesitate to seek support.”

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The effects, however, of this public health crisis may be more severe for people having dysautonomia. They are more at risk of developing mental health illnesses or even aggravating the current situation. At this point is where the role of their family as a support system comes into play.

Dysautonomia As A Disease

Dysautonomia is a disorder of the nervous system affecting other parts of the body, such as the heart and the blood vessels. There is no known cure to this disease. Usually, the treatment of dysautonomia is supportive.

Although dysautonomia is not a psychological disease, it still affects brain functions. Also, it may contribute to the stress experienced by patients daily. Medical experts say that strategies and techniques relating to psychological support are helpful for dysautonomia patients.

In line with that, stress management techniques are helpful not only in providing for temporary distractions but also in relieving symptoms and giving a sense of order and control. These techniques include yoga, meditation, massage, and acupuncture.

Increasing Escapism In A Public Health Crisis

In the context of a public health crisis, finding and maintaining a support system is vital. Most people are stuck at home or have their movements limited due to fear of contracting the virus, thereby further increasing the numbers. With that, there is no more separation between personal space and workspace. The tendency then is for people to feel burned out faster.

To compensate, people resort to different coping mechanisms, which may be healthy or unhealthy. Some people turn to activities that alleviate stress and help contribute to increased wellness. These activities include working out, meditating, gardening, baking, cooking, making music, writing, dancing, and walking.

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On the flip side, other people resort to activities such as excessive sleeping, playing games, binge-watching television shows, and occasional drinking or smoking. These activities may well be a sign of “escapist” behavior, a mental diversion habit resorted to by people when faced with various stressors.

How The Family Can Help

Friends, apart from family members, also form part of a support system for dysautonomia patients. Patients can communicate with friends through various platforms, such as email, text messaging, and video calls or conferencing. However, for the following reasons, the family may be considered primary support for said patients.

  • Providing Immediate Support

As most families live together under the same roof, family members can provide immediate support, whether emotional, financial, or psychological. It is in contrast with the patient having to resort to seeking help from friends, who, because of the public health crisis, may be living at a distance from the patient.

  • Sense Of Togetherness

More than anything, dysautonomia patients have to feel that they are not alone. It helps in managing the stress that they accumulate. Having family members who are living under the same roof, probably a few doors away from the patient, can help tremendously, especially during times when the patient resorts to unhealthy coping mechanisms to alleviate stress.

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  • Better Understanding

Having family members who have lived with the patient for a longer time than any other friend or loved ones can help the patient be better understood. This advantage is visible in terms of the patient’s reaction to particular situations, or in dealing with the patients’ stressors. In turn, the family members can extend help faster and more effectively.

Conclusion

In sum, handling stress can be challenging, especially when we have a public health crisis. There are stressors on a regular basis. But there may be additional anxiety on top of those stressors since there is no certainty on how we move forward with the situation.

Generally, people have different ways to cope with stress. However, dysautonomia patients may have a tougher time dealing with the current situation, in addition to worrying about battling their disease.

Therefore, the family is an essential mix in the recipe for a dependable and effective support system for dysautonomia patients. Family members can offer help in various forms, all of which would likely contribute to the overall increase in the health and wellness of the patient.

 

 

How It Is To Be Sickly During The Pandemic

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The coronavirus outbreak has tested the resilience of humanity. Because of this pandemic, almost everybody has been affected. While government and health officials are busy thinking of ways on how to lessen the impact of this pandemic to its people, each of us is looking for ways to survive on our own. We need to learn and survive amidst this lockdown. Though government and private organizations are offering help in one way or another, we still need sustainable ways to help us get through amidst this pandemic, especially for families with low income and for those who have many family members.

Continue reading “How It Is To Be Sickly During The Pandemic”

Physicians Want You To Ask Them These 3 Things In Diagnosing POTS

The Dysautonomia International Conference 2019 brought together clinicians, patients, caregivers, and advocacy groups to discuss Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and discuss the most current research among medical doctors. Specialists from the University of Utah, Mayo Clinic, and Brown Medical School, among others, presented ways on how dysautonomia impacts specific organ systems.

For POTS patients, it is a collective experience to suffer from symptoms that a physical test cannot diagnose. Through panel discussions, the medical conference shed light on the practical approaches that physicians have used to diagnose dysautonomia.

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1. “Will you listen first before checking my medical history?”

Most of the time, we dread going to the doctor for fear they will see something wrong with us. It’s not often that we meet physicians who can sit with us longer than ten minutes, listening carefully to our symptoms and patient history. Expert clinicians suggest that patients’ beliefs could change the diagnosis journey immensely, citing examples of treating options that didn’t require looking at previous medical records that may contain biased information. 

2. “Why do you think my illness is not a rare disease?”

We don’t want to tell doctors they are wrong, but we want them to think that they could be mistaken. Asking questions that consider even the rarest of diseases can benefit patients because it encourages searching for information. It rings true, especially for POTS patients who have been suffering from the wrong diagnoses or lack thereof.

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3. “What else can I do to learn more about my condition?”

When doctors feel that they have your support as a patient, they open up to you more and vice versa. This relationship can transform our healing journeys and help others along the way, too. As more studies emerge, patients are encouraged to seek each other, share experiences, and add to the growing research that fund treatments and medical conferences.

On your next medical check-up, open up to your doctor and try to ask these questions. If it helps in managing the pain, doctors will do what they can to help.

POTS Patients Must Follow Stay-At-Home Order

Last year, I finally came at peace with the fact that I have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). I got diagnosed with this illness in 2018 at the height of my career as a marketing consultant. The news hit me so hard that I soon fell into depression, and it did not feel like I could continue living again.

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But my family and doctor this never lost hope in me. My parents stayed in my house for the most part, while my doctors called me to check on how I was doing. My bitterness started to dissolve gradually until I no longer felt like ending my life. Soon enough, I was able to accept that POTS would forever be a part of me and that I would have to work around it.

I picked myself up and contacted my old clients so that I could work from home. This setup was more ideal for me than going back to the office because I did not need to push myself to get up when I was hurting. I managed to regain my social life, too, and even attend some parties.

However, my life changed again when the governor of California ordered us to stay at home amid the coronavirus outbreak. The regulation was notably stricter for me than anyone else because I was technically immuno-compromised. I had to get my groceries delivered; none of my friends could visit me.

Did it sadden me? Yes, of course. But did I wish there was no quarantine? No way—not with the coronavirus still on the loose. Here’s why I won’t ever break the stay-at-home order.

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It Is Safe At Home

Your house is the best place to be at the moment—walls shielding you from the people who may be carriers of the virus. You are not brushing against strangers who may not even know they have it, either.

Because of the POTS, it is effortless for you to catch the coronavirus. But there is no need to keep on thinking if you already have COVID-19 if you avoid going out.

I Don’t Have A Death Wish

That’s correct—I have no dream of dying before I even turn 40 years old. Perhaps during my depressed days, I did; however, it’s very well at the back of my head at present. I love the life that I have, even though it does not seem too exciting for other people.

This is the reason why quarantine is ideal for me. I can imagine myself contracting COVID-19 in less than an hour of staying outside. If POTS’ extreme symptoms have not killed me before, the overlapping effects of the coronavirus may do it.

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It Saves Everyone From Worrying

I heard from the news that COVID-19 patients were not supposed to accept visitors wherever they might be. Their parents, siblings, and close friends, therefore, had no other choice but to talk to their infected loved ones online. However, we all know that it does nothing to reduce their worries.

Now, I am aware that I already brought a lifetime worth of stress to my parents when I developed depression after my POTS diagnosis. They no longer need to go through that again, so it is best not to risk my health by breaking the stay-at-home order.

Final Thoughts

I feel a deep sense of appreciation for life now more than ever. Sadly, a lot of people have not been so lucky to get away from or win against the coronavirus. However, those of us who do not have COVID-19 have an opportunity to avoid becoming new hosts of the virus by staying at home. Thus, whether you have an incurable disease like me or not, follow what the governors tell you to do at this time.