Category

Mental & Emotional Health

DepressionMental & Emotional Health
May 10, 2018

Looking into antidepressants? Read this first

Are you feeling down, or lost your motivation in life? Do you think you could have depression? Before you get started on treatment, it’s useful to know what exactly is out there, so you can make an informed decision. What is Depression? Depression is a medical illness that affects your mood, body and thoughts. With the right treatment you can be on your way to recovery and live a normal life. It is highly treatable, and between 80-90% of people have a good response and find relief from their symptoms. The condition is commonly treated with antidepressants and psychotherapy. According…
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Mental & Emotional Health
March 7, 2018

This is how your body handles fear

Fear is an involuntarily reaction to potential threats. Think of it as your body’s way of surviving. Your brain activates certain reactions when your senses detect a threat: the reactions in your body, is what you experience as fear. When that happens, you’re faced with two options: run for your life or fight and give it your best shot. This is a common reaction amongst mammals. It’s known as the fight or flight response. When you face your phobia of dogs, heights, lightning or dolls, a part of your brain regulates fear within the temporal lobes known as the amygdala.…
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AddictionMental & Emotional Health
March 7, 2018

How do you know if someone is an addict?

We usually think of addiction as something extreme; associated with drugs, alcohol or substances, but you can become addicted to many different things. For many years experts believed that only alcohol and certain drugs could lead to addiction. But recent research suggests that seemingly harmless activities like eating, social media, video games, sex, and even working, can become objects of addiction. How an addiction forms Some of us are more prone to addiction than others. Genetics, psychology, upbringing and various factors play a role. The first phase, is where your body develops a tolerance and an affinity for that substance.…
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AnxietyMental & Emotional Health
February 28, 2018

The dark side of anti-anxiety medication

It’s normal to worry and feel stressed, but if you worry to an extent where it consumes your thoughts, making you constantly anxious, you might be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is a term for a group of disorders that cause nervousness, fear, and worrying. It affects how you feel and behave and you may experience physical symptoms like a pounding heart, headaches, sweating, an upset stomach and muscle tension. Anxiety can range from mild to severe. Mild anxiety is unsettling and it’s possible to cope, but severe anxiety affects your day-to-day living, filling your life with endless worry.…
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Mental & Emotional Health
February 20, 2018

Why boredom is good for you

There’s something to do, even when there’s nothing to do. We’re all busy and constantly on the go; so, it’s a strange experience when you’re suddenly at a loose end with nothing on your list. This is when boredom kicks in. It is hardly something to panic about, and rather an opportunity to bask in the moment. Strange as it might seem, boredom has wonderful benefits for your wellbeing. Cindy Strydom, a clinical psychologist based in Johannesburg gives us insight into the psychological benefits of boredom. Why do we get bored? Boredom describes a state of “down time” or being…
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Mental & Emotional HealthStress
January 5, 2018

Could you be suffering from burnout?

Your alarm rings; it’s time to get ready for work. But that’s the last thing you feel like doing. You’re strung out and even the thought of facing your day is just too much. Is this just normal stress, or could it be burnout? Think of burnout as a car running out of petrol, and the engine giving out. This is your body, packing up, giving out, and yelling, “Emergency!” It’s a state of physical and emotional exhaustion, as a result of long-term stress. Unlike normal stress, burnout doesn’t allow you to leave the negative feelings behind once you leave…
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Mental & Emotional Health
January 5, 2018

Are you feeling paranoid? Here’s what to do

Do you constantly feel like someone’s watching you? Or maybe calling your name? Do you sense that danger may be upon you and it makes you intensely anxious and fearful; even if you don’t have any real evidence that it’s true? If you tend to assume that people have negative motivations, or you find yourself obsessing over trivial things that people do, you may be paranoid. Paranoid personality disorder is a long-term mental health condition. It involves intense feelings of mistrust, suspicion, and hostility toward people. The disorder makes you feel that people are constantly out to hurt or take…
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AddictionMental & Emotional Health
December 8, 2017

The dangers of Ritalin if you don’t have ADHD

Campus life can be crazy and rewarding all at once. Hopping between classes, social events, new relationships and extracurricular activities can take its toll by the time exams roll around. You’re stretched thin, and the pressure to perform can be unbearable. This can be dangerous territory if you start scouting around for illicit substances to give your performance a boost. The dark side of study drugs So-called “study drugs” are common at universities, with students misguidedly assuming they’re the best options for mental focus during crunch time.  Ritalin is one such culprit. This medication is normally prescribed for Attention Deficit…
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Mental & Emotional Health
December 8, 2017

Do you really have OCD, or is it something else?

“I can’t sleep without turning the light on and off three times. I’m OCD!” “I hate the colour yellow, it’s my OCD coming out.” It’s such a common turn of phrase that most of us aren’t aware that obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is really a psychiatric disorder. It’s characterised by obsessions and compulsions, which mean that unwanted ideas, thoughts, impulses and images repeatedly play on the mind and manifest in your behaviour at times. What is OCD is NOT… Being organised and methodical about everyday routines and having set habits is NOT obsessive-compulsive disorder. Washing your hands every time you go…
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DepressionMental & Emotional Health
November 13, 2017

How to prevent the suicide of a friend

It's awful to think about. So often, the loved ones of someone who committed suicide will say: "We never saw it coming!" It's not their fault, either. We all miss the clues and warning signs of someone who struggles with suicidal thoughts: it can be easier than you think to hide feelings of depression, anxiety, fear and substance abuse, and those who suffer can often be too ashamed to talk about it. So how can we be better prepared to help those in need? Here's what to look out for: Warning signs include: Talk: A suicidal person will drop hints of…
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