Ailmemts & Remedies


A phobia is a form of anxiety disorder in which someone has an intense and irrational fear of certain objects or situations. Anyone suffering from high levels of anxiety is at risk of developing a phobia. One of the most common phobias is claustrophobia, or the fear of enclosed spaces. A person who has claustrophobia may panic when inside a lift, aeroplane, crowded room or other confined area.


Some other phobias, borne from anxiety, include social phobia – fear of embarrassing yourself in front of others – and agoraphobia, which is the fear of open spaces. The cause of anxiety disorders such as phobias is thought to be a combination of genetic vulnerability and life experience. With appropriate treatment, it is possible to overcome claustrophobia or any other phobia.

It is an anxiety disorder that involves the fear of enclosed or confined spaces. Claustrophobes may suffer from panic attacks, or fear of having a panic attack, in situations such as being in elevators, trains, or aircraft.

Conversely, people who are prone to having panic attacks will often develop claustrophobia.[citation needed] If a panic attack occurs while they are in a confined space, then the claustrophobe fears not being able to escape the situation. Those suffering from claustrophobia might find it difficult to breathe in enclosed spaces. Like many other disorders, claustrophobia can sometimes develop due to a traumatic incident in childhood.


Claustrophobia can be treated in similar ways to other anxiety disorders, with a range of treatments including cognitive behavior therapy and the use of anti-anxiety medication. Hypnosis is an alternative treatment for claustrophobia.

The name claustrophobia comes from the Latin word claustrum which means “a bolt, a place shut in” and the Greek word phobos meaning “fear”.

Causes :-

Claustrophobia can develop from either a traumatic childhood experience (such as being trapped in a small space during a childhood game), or from another unpleasant experience later on in life involving confined spaces (such as being stuck in an elevator).

When an individual experiences such an event, it can often trigger a panic attack; this response then becomes programmed in the brain, establishing an association between being in a tight space and feeling anxious or out-of-control. As a result, the person often develops claustrophobia.

If a person suffering from claustrophobia suddenly finds themselves in an enclosed space, they may have an anxiety attack. Symptoms can include:

*Accelerated heart rate
*Hyperventilation, or ‘overbreathing’
*Fear of actual harm or illness.

Specific symptoms of claustrophobia:-
When in an enclosed space, the signs of claustrophobia may include:

  • Inside a room – automatically checking for the exits, standing near the exits or feeling alarmed when all doors are closed.
  • Inside a vehicle, such as a car – avoiding times when traffic is known to be heavy.
  • Inside a building – preferring to take the stairs rather than the lift, and not because of health reasons.
  • At a party – standing near the door in a crowded room, even if the room is large and spacious.
  • In extreme cases – for a person with severe claustrophobia, a closed door will trigger feelings of panic.

The catch-22 of avoidance
Once a person has experienced a number of anxiety attacks, they become increasingly afraid of experiencing another. They start to avoid the objects or situations that bring on the attack. However, any coping technique that relies on avoidance can only make the phobia worse. It seems that anticipating the possibility of confinement within a small space intensifies the feelings of anxiety and fear.

It was found that 5-10.6% of people screened before an MRI scan had claustrophobia. Furthermore, it was found that 7% of patients had unidentified claustrophobia, and had to terminate the scanning procedure prematurely. 30% reported milder distress due to the necessity to lie in a confined space for a long time. For specific phobias in general, there is a lifetime prevalence rate of 7.2%-11.3%. Other forms of Claustrophobia include conditions such as Agrophobia and panic attacks.

The thought of treatment can be frightening
For someone with a disabling phobia, the realisation that this fear is irrational and that treatment is needed can cause further anxiety. Since most treatment options depend on confronting the feared situation or object, the person may feel reluctant.

Support and encouragement from family and friends is crucial. A person trying to overcome a phobia may find some treatment methods particularly challenging and will need the love and understanding of their support people. The therapist may even ask the family members or friends to attend certain sessions, in order to bolster the courage of the person seeking treatment.


There is no cure for claustrophobia, however, there are several forms of treatment that can help an individual control her condition. Treatment for claustrophobia can include behavior therapy, exposure therapy, drugs or a combination of several treatments.
Treating phobias, including claustrophobia, relies on psychological methods. Depending on the person, some of these methods may include:

  • Flooding – this is a form of exposure treatment, where the person is exposed to their phobic trigger until the anxiety attack passes. The realisation that they have encountered their most dreaded object or situation, and come to no actual harm, can be a powerful form of therapy.
  • Counter-conditioning – if the person is far too fearful to attempt flooding, then counter-conditioning can be an option. The person is taught to use specific relaxation and visualisation techniques when experiencing phobia-related anxiety. The phobic trigger is slowly introduced, step-by-step, while the person concentrates on attaining physical and mental relaxation. Eventually, they can confront the source of their fear without feeling anxious. This is known as systematic desensitisation.
  • Modelling – the person watches other people confront the phobic trigger without fear and is encouraged to imitate that confidence.
  • Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) – the person is encouraged to confront and change the specific thoughts and attitudes that lead to feelings of fear.
  • Medications – such as tranquillisers and antidepressants. Drugs known as beta blockers may be used to treat the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as a pounding heart.

Alternative claustrophobia treatments include regression hypnotherapy, in which hypnotherapy is used to remember the traumatic event that led to the individual’s claustrophobia. The patient is taught to see the event with ‘adult’ eyes, which helps to decrease the sense of panic that it has instilled into their minds.

Length of treatment
The person may be treated as an outpatient or, sometimes, as an inpatient if their phobia is particularly severe. Generally, treatment consists of around eight to 10 weeks of bi-weekly sessions.


Click to learn about :->Open MRI reduces patient claustrophobia, study confirms

Anxiety Disorder Treatment

Where to get help

  • Sane Australia Helpline Tel. 1800 187 263
  • Your doctor
  • Psychologist
  • Psychiatrist
  • Trained therapist

Things to remember

  • A phobia is an intense and irrational fear of certain objects or situations.
  • A person who has claustrophobia may panic when inside an enclosed space, such as a lift, aeroplane or crowded room.
  • With appropriate treatment, it is possible to overcome claustrophobia or any other phobia.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.


News on Health & Science Pediatric

Your Son Is Defiant, Has Temper Tantrums

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Attention deficit hyperactive disorder or ADHD is erroneously considered to be a 20th century phenomenon affecting mainly children from developed nations. Actually, it was first described in 1845 by a psychiatrist in a boy called “fidgety Philip”. Today, the worldwide incidence is 3-5 per cent, irrespective of nationality. In referral paediatric clinics, it is as high as 15.5 per cent. The average age at diagnosis is eight years with a 6:1 male-to-female ratio.


Children who have the hyperactive impulsive type of ADHD are unbearably fidgety, restless and impatient, always running, jumping, climbing and blurting out inappropriate comments. They often receive corporal punishment from frustrated parents and teachers. Others, with the inattentive type of ADHD, are dreamy and bored, with difficulty in paying attention, learning something new or completing a task. Homework becomes a particular problem, with assignments forgotten, books misplaced and the final unsatisfactorily completed task full of erasures and errors.

Around 40 per cent of children with ADHD (especially boys) are argumentative, defiant, stubborn, non-compliant and belligerent. They lie, steal, fight, bully others, have temper tantrums and engage in vandalism. Eventually, as teenagers, they may gravitate towards drugs and alcohol.

To make a diagnosis of ADHD:

* The symptoms should have set in before the age of seven years and have lasted for at least six months

* They should cause difficulties in the child’s life, in school, at play, at home, in the community and in social settings

* The changes should not have been precipitated by a sudden traumatic event like the death of a parent

* There should be no diagnosed medical ailments like seizures, middle ear infections or a learning disability to explain the symptoms.

Society often finds fault with the parents of children with ADHD. They are criticised for faulty nurturing and lack of parental discipline. But parents are actually helpless, as ADHD has a genetic and neurobiologic basis. Scans have shown that the frontal lobes, temporal grey matter, caudate nucleus and cerebellum of the brains of these children are 34 per cent smaller than normal in volume. Also, the brain has lower levels of a signal-processing chemical called dopamine.

The exact reason for these changes is not known. However,

* ADHD runs in families. About 25 per cent of the close relatives of ADHD children also have similar disorders as opposed to 5 per cent in the general population

* Women who smoke and drink during pregnancy have a higher incidence of children with ADHD

* High blood lead levels have been demonstrated in some children with ADHD. This, however, is not a consistent finding

* A sugar high has been blamed for some of the symptoms. This is a label for the increased level of activity following the ingestion of highly refined sugars or carbohydrates, which enter the bloodstream rapidly and produce fluctuations in blood glucose levels. This is particularly true if (as in the case of cola drinks) the food also contains caffeine (a stimulant) and food additives. Diet restrictions reducing the quantities of such food help in some cases.

Children with ADHD hate change in any form. They need a scheduled, regimented life with the same routine  every day. All their belongings should also be organised and kept in specific places. With structured care, these children show a great deal of improvement and are able to integrate into society. About 30 to 70 per cent of children with ADHD continue to have symptoms in adult life. Academic excellence — a prelude to higher studies and a good job — may remain elusive. This is aggravated by poor social skills. They remain easily distracted, hyperactive and impulsive and have difficulty with deadlines, prioritisation and social engagements. Decision-making is an almost insurmountable hurdle. They also have problems holding down a steady job. Many are able to function on computers and are intelligent enough to do programming and other jobs which do not require social interaction. Around 80 per cent need to continue to live with parents or siblings.

Some children do not improve despite psychotherapy and a structured environment. They require medication with mental stimulants like methylphenidate and atmoxetine. They do well if they take their medication, which may need to be continued into adult life.

Competition is fierce in India, for education, jobs, promotions and success. Reservations and capitation fees are a way of life. In this scenario, parents may find it difficult to cope with a hyperactive, inattentive, disobedient and impulsive child who does not conform to social norms.

It is often difficult for the parents to accept that their child has ADHD. They feel depressed and guilty, even though it is not their fault. And despite all folklore to the contrary, an arranged marriage to an unsuspecting spouse does not cure the problem.

Source:The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

Ailmemts & Remedies

Anxiety Disorders

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Temporary feelings of nervousness or worry is stressful situations are natural and appropriate. however, when anxiety becomes a general, response to many ordinary situations and causes problems in coping with normal, everyday life, it is diagnosed as a disorder.

Anxiety disorders occur in a number of different forms. The most common is generalized anxiety disorder or persistent anxiety state, characterized by excessive and persistent anxiety that is difficult to control. Another type of anxiety disorder is panic disorder, in which there are recurrent panic attacks of intense anxiety and alarming physical symptoms. these attacks occur unpredictably and usually have no obvious cause. panic attacks may also feature in generalized anxiety disorder. In another type of anxiety disorder known as phobia, severe anxiety is provoked by an irrational fear of a situation, creature, or object.

Generalized anxiety disorder affects about 1 in 25 people in any one year in the us. The condition usually begins in middle age, and women are more commonly affected than men. sometimes anxiety disorders exist alongside other mental health disorders, such as depression or schizophrenia.

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What are the causes?
An increased susceptibility to anxiety disorder may be inherited or may be due to experiences in childhood. for example, poor bonding between a parent and child and abrupt separation of a child from a parent have been shown to play a part in some anxiety disorders. Generalized anxiety disorder may develop after a stressful life event, such as the death of a close relative. however, frequently the anxiety has no particular cause. Similarly, panic disorder often develops for no obvious reason.

What are the symptoms?
People with generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder experience both psychological and physical symptoms. However, in generalized anxiety disorder, the psychological symptoms tend to be persistent while physical symptoms are intermittent. In panic, attacks, both psychological and physical symptoms come on together suddenly and unpredictably. The psychological symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include:

· A sense of foreboding with no obvious reason or cause.
· Being on edge and unable to relax.
· Impaired concentration.
· Repetitive worrying thoughts.
· Disturbed sleep and sometimes nightmares.

In addition, you may have symptoms of depression, such as early waking, or a general sense of hopelessness. Physical symptoms of the disorder, which occur intermittently, include:

· Headache.
· Abdominal cramps, sometimes with diarrhea and vomiting.
· Frequent urination.
· Sweating, flushing and tremor.
· A feeling of something being stuck in the throat.

Psychological and physical symptoms of panic attacks include the following:

· Shortness of breath.
· Sweating, trembling and nausea.
· Palpitations.
· Dizziness and fainting.
· Fear of choking or that death may be imminent.
· A sense of unreality and fears about loss of sanity.

Many of these symptoms can be misinterpreted as signs of a serious physical illness, and this may increase your level of anxiety. Overtime, fear of having a panic attack in public may lead you to avoid situations such as eating out in restaurants or being in crowds.

What might be done?
You may be able to find your own ways of reducing anxiety levels, including relaxation exercises. if you are unable to deal with or identify a specific cause for your anxiety, you should consult your doctor. It is important to see a doctor as soon as possible after a first panic attack to prevent repeated attacks. There are several measures you can try to help control a panic attack, such as breathing into a bag. For any anxiety disorder, your doctor may suggest counseling to help you manage stress. You may also be offered cognitive therapy or behavior therapy to help you control anxiety. A self-help group may also be useful.

If you are coping with a particularly stressful period in your life or a difficult event, your doctor may prescribe a benzodiazepine, but these drugs are usually prescribed for only a short period of time because there is a danger of dependence. You may be prescribed beta-blocker drugs to treat the physical symptoms of anxiety. If you have symptoms of depression, you may be given antidepressant drugs, some of which are also useful in treating panic attacks.

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In most cases, the earlier that anxiety disorders are treated, the quicker their effects can be reduced. Without treatment, an anxiety disorder may develop into a life-long condition.

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Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.


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Ailmemts & Remedies

Facts About Depression

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Learn the facts about depression, and what you can do to treat it.
In any given one-year period, 9.5% of the population, or about 18.8 million American adults, suffer from a depressive illness. The economic cost for this disorder is high, but the cost in human suffering cannot be estimated. Depressive illnesses often interfere with normal functioning and cause pain and suffering not only to those who have a disorder, but also to those who care about them. Serious depression can destroy family life as well as the life of the ill person. But much of this suffering is unnecessary.


Most people with a depressive illness do not seek treatment, although the great majority — even those whose depression is extremely severe — can be helped. Thanks to years of fruitful research, there are now medications and psychosocial therapies such as cognitive/behavioral, “talk,” or interpersonal that ease the pain of depression.

Unfortunately, many people do not recognize that depression is a treatable illness. If you feel that you or someone you care about is one of the many undiagnosed depressed people in this country, the information presented here may help you take the steps that may save your own or someone else’s life.

What’s a Depressive Disorder?
A depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with a depressive illness cannot merely “pull themselves together” and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who suffer from depression.

Types of Depression:
Depressive disorders come in different forms, just as is the case with other illnesses such as heart disease. Brief descriptions of the most commmon types of depressive disorders are given below. However, within these types there are variations in the number of symptoms, their severity, and persistence.

Major depression is manifested by a combination of symptoms that interfere with the ability to work, study, sleep, eat, and enjoy once pleasurable activities. Such a disabling episode of depression may occur only once but more commonly occurs several times in a lifetime.

A less severe type of depression, dysthymia, involves long-term, chronic symptoms that do not disable, but keep one from functioning well or from feeling good. Many people with dysthymia also experience major depressive episodes at some time in their lives.

Another type of depression is bipolar disorder, also called manic-depressive illness. Not nearly as prevalent as other forms of depressive disorders, bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes: severe highs (mania) and lows (depression). Sometimes the mood switches are dramatic and rapid, but most often they are gradual.

When in the depressed cycle, an individual can have any or all of the symptoms of a depressive disorder. When in the manic cycle, the individual may be overactive, overtalkative, and have a great deal of energy. Mania often affects thinking, judgment, and social behavior in ways that cause serious problems and embarrassment. For example, the individual in a manic phase may feel elated, full of grand schemes that might range from unwise business decisions to romantic sprees. Mania, left untreated, may worsen to a psychotic state.

Symptoms of Depression and Mania:
Not everyone who is depressed or manic experiences every symptom. Some people experience a few symptoms, some many. Severity of symptoms varies with individuals and also varies over time.

Depression :
Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”
Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
Insomnia, early morning awakening, or oversleeping
Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
Restlessness, irritability
Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain .
Mania :
Abnormal or excessive elation
Unusual irritability
Decreased need for sleep
Grandiose notions
Increased talking
Racing thoughts
Increased sexual desire
Markedly increased energy
Poor judgment
Inappropriate social behavior
Causes of Depression
Some types of depression run in families, suggesting that a biological vulnerability can be inherited. This seems to be the case with bipolar disorder. Studies of families in which members of each generation develop bipolar disorder found that those with the illness have a somewhat different genetic makeup than those who do not get ill. However, the reverse is not true: Not everybody with the genetic makeup that causes vulnerability to bipolar disorder will have the illness. Apparently, additional factors, possibly stresses at home, work, or school, are involved in its onset.

In some families, major depression also seems to occur generation after generation. However, it can also occur in people who have no family history of depression. Whether inherited or not, major depressive disorder is often associated with changes in brain structures or brain function.

People who have low self-esteem, who consistently view themselves and the world with pessimism or who are readily overwhelmed by stress, are prone to depression. Whether this represents a psychological predisposition or an early form of the illness is not clear.

In recent years, researchers have shown that physical changes in the body can be accompanied by mental changes as well. Medical illnesses such as stroke, a heart attack, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and hormonal disorders can cause depressive illness, making the sick person apathetic and unwilling to care for his or her physical needs, thus prolonging the recovery period. Also, a serious loss, difficult relationship, financial problem, or any stressful (unwelcome or even desired) change in life patterns can trigger a depressive episode. Very often, a combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors is involved in the onset of a depressive disorder. Later episodes of illness typically are precipitated by only mild stresses, or none at all.

Evaluation and Treatment:
The first step to getting appropriate treatment for depression is a physical examination by a physician. Certain medications as well as some medical conditions such as a viral infection can cause the same symptoms as depression, and the physician should rule out these possibilities through examination, interview, and lab tests. If a physical cause for the depression is ruled out, a psychological evaluation should be done, by the physician or by referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist.

A good diagnostic evaluation will include a complete history of symptoms, i.e., when they started, how long they have lasted, how severe they are, whether the patient had them before and, if so, whether the symptoms were treated and what treatment was given. The doctor should ask about alcohol and drug use, and if the patient has thoughts about death or suicide. Further, a history should include questions about whether other family members have had a depressive illness and, if treated, what treatments they may have received and which were effective.

Last, a diagnostic evaluation should include a mental status examination to determine if speech or thought patterns or memory have been affected, as sometimes happens in the case of a depressive or manic-depressive illness.

Treatment choice will depend on the outcome of the evaluation. There are a variety of antidepressant medications and psychotherapies that can be used to treat depressive disorders. Some people with milder forms may do well with psychotherapy alone. People with moderate to severe depression most often benefit from antidepressants. Most do best with combined treatment: medication to gain relatively quick symptom relief and psychotherapy to learn more effective ways to deal with life’s problems, including depression. Depending on the patient’s diagnosis and severity of symptoms, the therapist may prescribe medication and/or one of the several forms of psychotherapy that have proven effective for depression.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

From: The National Institute of Mental Health

News on Health & Science

Being thin is in the genes

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BLAME YOUR GENES: According to studies, if a person has a family member suffering from anorexia nervosa, he or she is 12 times more at risk of developing the illness.


TULSA, OKLAHOMA: A researcher at a US clinic says that a decade-long study into anorexia nervosa is beginning to reveal that those who suffer from the disease might have a genetic predisposition toward it.

The study, known as the Genetics of Anorexia Nervosa collaboration, is conducted in eight cities in North America and two European cities. It is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Researcher Craig Johnson said that if a person has a family member who has had anorexia nervosa, he or she is 12 times more at risk of developing the illness.

Genetics loads the gun. Environment pulls the trigger,  said Johnson, the director of the eating disorders unit at Laureate Psychiatric Hospital in Tulsa and one of the study’s principal researchers.

Johnson said researchers have devoted much attention during the past 40 years into looking into how a culture that promotes dieting provokes eating disorders.

We now know that the illnesses occur when there is a perfect storm of events that include genetic vulnerability and a culture that is promoting thinness through dieting and exercise,” he said.

People with anorexia nervosa –most of them young females –develop a strong aversion to food and have a distorted body image.

Johnson said the research has helped to identify groups most at risk of developing the disease, such as girls ages 11 to 14.

Girls are expected to gain a third of their adult weight during that time, or about 40 pounds, he said.

If a young woman is uneasy with the weight gain, and a parent, coach, girlfriend or boyfriend says something about their weight, it can provoke an episode of dieting.

Johnson called dieting and exercise   the royal road to eating disorders.

Source:The Times Of India