Common Illness

Generalized anxiety disorder :
An unpleasant state of inner turmoil that is persistent and uncomfortable, often accompanied by nervous behavior, such as pacing back and forth, with feelings of fear, worry, and uneasiness, usually generalized and unfocused as an overreaction to a situation that is only subjectively seen as stressful. Often accompanied by restlessness, fatigue, problems with concentration, muscular tension and poor sleep. Somatic complaints are common. This disorder involves excessive, unrealistic worry and tension, even if there is little or nothing to provoke the anxiety and is chronic.

Panic disorder :
People with this condition have feelings of utter terror and an impending sense of doom that strike suddenly and repeatedly with no warning. There might or might not be a trigger. They may make the person feel like he or she is having a heart attack or "going crazy." Or "I am going to die" Common symptoms include: Palpitations, and or Accelerated Heart Rate, Dry Heaving, and or Gagging, Sweating, Trembling or Shaking, Sensations of Shortness of Breath or Feeling Smothered, Choking, Chest Pain, Nausea or Abdominal Distress, Feeling Dizzy, Unsteady, Lightheaded, or Fainting, Feelings of Unreality or Feeling Detached from Oneself, Fear of Losing Control or Going Insane, Sense of Impending Death, Numbness or Tingling Sensations, Chills or Hot Flashes.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) :
People with this disorder are plagued by constant thoughts or fears, rational and or irrational that cause them to perform certain rituals or routines in a repeated manner. The disturbing thoughts are called obsessions, and the rituals are called compulsions. An example is a person with an unreasonable fear of germs who constantly washes his or her hands. Intrusive thoughts produce uneasiness, apprehension, fear, or worry; followed by repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing the associated anxiety. Symptoms of the disorder include excessive washing or cleaning; repeated checking; extreme hoarding; preoccupation with sexual, violent or religious thoughts; relationship-related obsessions; aversion to particular numbers; and nervous rituals, such as opening and closing a door a certain number of times before entering or leaving a room. These acts may at times appear paranoid and psychotic. Although the ritual may temporarily alleviate anxiety, the person must perform the ritual again when the obsessive thoughts return. This OCD cycle can progress to the point of taking up hours of the person's day and significantly interfering with normal activities.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) :
PTSD is a condition that can develop following a traumatic and/or terrifying event, such as a sexual or physical assault, being in or witnessing a severe motor vehicle accident, the unexpected death of a loved one, or a natural disaster. People with PTSD often have lasting and frightening thoughts and memories of the event and tend to be emotionally numb. It includes a group of symptoms such as disturbing recurring flashbacks, avoidance or numbing of memories of the event, and hyper arousal, increased vigilance, nightmares, social withdrawal and continue for more than a month after the traumatic event.

Anxiety disorders described above are treated very successfully with anti anxiety, anti depressant, anti OCD, mood stabilizing medications, along with anxiety relieving and coping skills development, cognitive behavior therapy and psychotherapy
Depression :
It is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, feelings and sense of well-being. People may feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, worried, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, hurt, or restless. They may lose interest in activities that once were pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions, and may contemplate or attempt suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, loss of energy, or aches, pains, or digestive problems are often present. Crying spells are at times observed for no real obvious reason.

Mania :
It is a state of abnormally elevated or irritable mood, arousal, and/or energy levels. In a sense, it is the opposite of depression. Mania varies in intensity, from mild mania (hypomania) to full-blown mania with extreme energy, distractibility, significantly decreased need for sleep (can go without sleep for 48 or 72hrs at a stretch), increased goal directed activity, psychotic features, including hallucinations, delusion of grandeur, suspiciousness, catatonic behavior, aggression, and a preoccupation with thoughts and schemes that may lead to self-neglect or at times total physical exhaustion.

Manic Depression :
It is also known as bipolar affective disorder or manic-depressive disorder. It is a mental illness where patients experience episodes of a very high mood and either euphoria or irritability known as mania, followed by and alternating with episodes of depression. Some patients experience a mixed state in which features of both mania and depression are present at the same time. Manic and depressive episodes last from a few days to several months and happen several times during a calendar year.

Depression, Mania and Manic Depressive disorder are often treated successfully with anti depressant medications, adjuvant thyroid hormone or lithium supplementation, with mood stabilizers and neuroleptic medications along with cognitive behavior therapy and psychotherapy.
Schizophrenia :
It is a mental disorder characterized by a breakdown of thought processes and by a deficit of typical emotional responses. Common symptoms are paranoid or bizarre delusions, auditory / visual hallucinations, and disorganized thinking such as thought blocking, disorganized speech, and behavior and it is accompanied by significant social or occupational dysfunction. The onset of symptoms typically occurs in young adulthood. Poor upkeep, social withdrawal, isolation, anger outbursts, associated ethanol and drug abuse characterize this condition Schizophrenia is often treated with anti psychotic medications and interpersonal skills development, social skills development. The patient's quality of life as well as that of close family members can be vastly improved.

Schizophrenia is often treated with anti psychotic medications and interpersonal skills development, social skills development. The patient's quality of life as well as that of close family members can be vastly improved.
Abuse, Addiction :
Abuse is an overuse or overindulgence in the consumption of a drug, habit or behavior for pleasurable outcomes Addiction is habitual psychological or physiologic dependence on a substance or habit or behavior practice that is beyond voluntary control which is affecting social and occupational function. Examples:, ethanol abuse, drug abuse, exercise addiction, food addiction, sexual addiction, computer addiction and gambling etc. Addiction is typically characterized by instant gratification (short-term reward) to the detriment of cost or consequence. Physiological dependence occurs when conditions for tolerance and withdrawal are met. Tolerance is the process by which the body continually adapts to the substance and requires increasingly larger amounts to achieve the original effects. Withdrawal refers to physical and psychological symptoms experienced when reducing or discontinuing a substance that the body has become dependent on and generally include anxiety, irritability, intense cravings for the substance, nausea, hallucinations, headaches, cold sweats, and tremors, agitation, and can lead to delirium and even death if left untreated.

Inpatient medical management of acute withdrawal and detoxification followed by long term outpatient rehabilitation and relapse prevention is how addiction is addressed. Use of antabuse and other craving reducing medications , support groups, sponsors and mentors play a part in long term de-addiction and recovery.