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Mental Health

EGADS! GAD: Anxiety Overview

EGADS! GAD: Anxiety Overview
“GAD” means Generalized Anxiety Disorder. GAD is defined as an exaggerated state of persistent worrying that is uncontrollable and impairing and which occurs more than 50% of the time over at least 6 months. It is often accompanied by distress, apprehension, mood irritability and even physical manifestations, such as fatigue and muscular tension.1 An excellent definition is all well and good, but what exactly is it? Why does it strike only certain people? Why is it uncontrollable?   Where do you live? In the USA, it strikes between 1 in 10-20 people, but in Europe it is less, between 1 in 30-50.2 It is twice as common in women as men and is very common in the elderly. It is at its worst when combined with major depression, which significantly increases the chances of it continuing well into the future. It is possibly inheritable from a parent with depression, passing on the family genes that affect the neurotransmitters in the brain, such as norepinephrine, ...

Psychosis and Antipsychotics - A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste

Psychosis and Antipsychotics - A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste
Psychotic mental illness has always been very challenging to deal with because it’s always been difficult to classify. Generically defined as a break with reality, the psychosis spectrum of classification is changing constantly; but over the years it has seemed to settle into a spectrum that ranges from bipolar disorder to schizoaffective disorder to schizophrenia psychosis. Of these, the bipolar disorders—what used to be called manic-depression—can have some features of psychosis and therefore may benefit from the antipsychotics, too. Neurotransmitters and the brain The brain is a very busy place, day and night, and the traffic of neurotransmitters is relentless, which is what gives it its amazing capabilities. “Balance and imbalance” of brain chemicals are not entirely accurate words in assessing mental health, because it is seldom a give-and-take of only two things, but a mixed consortium of perhaps hundreds of things that need to go right to keep ...

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