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Hoarding Disorder

What is Hoarding Disorder?

Hoarding Disorder is categorized under Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders in the DSM-V and is an illness that makes individuals feel the need to collect things. Their need is so big that over time, the individuals house may be covered with these things, their tables, their couches, or their beds to say the least. For example, an individual may have the need to collect newspapers or clothing while another individual may have the need to collect dogs or cats. Also, some individuals may have a hard time getting rid of personal belongings because they may either feel personally attached to them or they feel that they will need them someday in the future. The need that an individual needs varies from person to person. In addition, the individual may feel ashamed of their behavior and may not accept it however, they cannot control it and the idea of getting rid of an item is truly upsetting.

Furthermore, it is believed that out of 100 people, 2 to 6 of those individuals will be diagnosed or will suffer from Hoarding Disorder.

IMPORTANT NOTE: A hoarder is different from a collector. A collector is usually proud of their collections and often displays them while a hoarder feels shame in their behavior.

What are the symptoms of Hoarding Disorder?

  • An individual begins to collect many things that starts to interfere with their everyday life
  • An individual’s home is cluttered and blocked (there is barely enough space for the individual to walk through)
  • An individual may find it hard to make any decisions, plans or stay organized
  • Individual feels great distress when giving things away

What causes Hoarding Disorder?

Although the cause is not known, genetics is believed to play a huge role. Also, it has been found that many people who are diagnosed with Hoarding Disorder, have also experienced a stressful or traumatic event. In addition, individuals who suffer from Hoarding Disorder, often suffer from depression or some kind of anxiety disorder or even Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

How is Hoarding Disorder treated?

  • Counseling and/or Psychotherapy
    • An individual learns how to gradually get rid of their need without having feelings of anxiety for example
    • Individuals may learn organization, relaxation, and decision-making skills
    • An individual can learn how to resist to the urge of acquiring more items
    • An individual will learn how to categorize their items so that it is easier for them to decide what they really need
    • An individual will learn how to reduce isolation and increase social involvement
  • Medication

What can I do for myself to help cope with Hoarding Disorder?

  • Ask for help
    • This may be the hardest step, but you can start by telling a loved one (i.e. friends or family) or calling a health center. Once you do this, everything else will fall into place one step at a time.
  • Seek for a medical evaluation
    • When seeking professional help, keep the following in find:
      • Make a list of the symptoms you are feeling
      • Tell them about the challenges that you are facing
      • Share key personal information (i.e. a traumatic event)
      • Share your medical information/history
      • Have any questions ready that may help you understand yourself better and what you are experiencing
    • Follow through with the treatment that you are given (i.e. therapy or medication)
      • Therapy will help you change the behaviors and get to the root of the problem. However, it may be more of a help if your family is with you.
    • Try to keep personal hygiene and bathing
    • Ensure that you are getting proper nutrition
    • Take small steps

Dependent Personality Disorder

What is Dependent Personality Disorder?

Such disorder is considered to be part of the “Cluster C Personality Disorders,” in which an individual has an extreme reliance on other people to meet their emotion and/or physical needs. Such individuals often feel the need to be taken care of, which makes them have a submissive and clingy behavior. In turn, they often have a hard time separating from individuals and fear separation.

What are the symptoms of Dependent Personality Disorder?

  • An individual has a hard time making decisions (i.e. what shirt to wear)
  • Individuals do not trust their own ability to make their decisions
  • Individuals often needs the reassurance of others when making decisions
  • Extreme passivity
  • Individuals have a hard time contradicting others
  • Individuals often avoid personal responsibility (depend on spouse or parents to make decisions)
  • An individual may avoid being alone
  • Tend to have a hard time meeting the ordinary demands of life
  • An individual becomes easily hurt by disapproval or criticism
  • The individual often tolerates being mistreated or abused by others
  • Individuals do not tend to take the initiative (i.e. on projects)
  • Individuals have an intense fear of abandonment
    • When a relationship ends, the individual may feel useless, devastated, and may even move on to a new relationship fairly quickly

What can Dependent Personality Disorder lead to?

  • Depression
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Susceptibility to physical, emotional, and physical abuse

What causes Dependent Personality Disorder?

Although the cause is not known, it is believed that individuals who may have experienced a chronic physical illness or separation anxiety disorder, are at higher risk. Also, if individuals experience an authoritarian or overprotective parenting style, their risks is also higher. Furthermore, individuals tend to develop such disorder during your adulthood or adulthood.

How is Dependent Personality Disorder treated?

  • Psychotherapy
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
      • Focuses on replacing the maladaptive thinking and allowing an individual to recognize their irrational thoughts
    • Medication
      • Antidepressants
      • Sedatives
      • Tranquilizers

If I have Dependent Personality Disorder, what can I do to help myself? How can I help someone that I know?

  • Create a list of things you fear doing and then categorize the fear (i.e. fear at home, work, or school). After categorizing them, write down different things you can do to tackle the fear and find a few exercises that will help you do so.
  • Seek professional help
  • Educate yourself on the subject and educate those around you
  • Treat yourself, do things that you want to do
  • Focus on the people around you
  • Present your concerns as an opinion
  • Use “I” statements when talking to an individual with Dependent Personality Disorder
  • Use concrete examples when trying to help them out
  • Follow up with your loved one
  • Set limits on your responsibilities

Delirium

What is Delirium?

Delirium is a type of Neurocognitive Disorder that causes a serious disturbance in mental abilities where an individual then experiences confused thinking and is not fully aware of what is going on in the environment.

What are the symptoms of Delirium?

Symptoms of this disorder tend to happen over a period of hours or within a few days.

The following are symptoms of reduced awareness of the environment:

  • An individual tends to switch topics or has the inability to stay focused on a topic being discussed for example
  • An individual may get stuck on an idea rather then expressing a response to a question or conversation
  • An individual tends to get easily distracted by the things of less importance
  • An individual is withdrawn and has very little or no response to their surroundings

The following are symptoms of cognitive impairment:

  • An individual experiences poor memory (recent events)
  • An individual may constantly not know where they are at
  • An individual has a hard time speaking or recalling words
  • There is rambling or nonsense speech
  • They have difficulty understanding speech, reading, or writing

The following are symptoms of behavior change:

  • An individual begins to exclaim that they see things that do not exist (hallucinations)
  • An individual feel restless or feels agitated
  • An individual tends to call out, moan, or make any other sounds
  • An individual will often withdraw from others
  • An individuals’ movement delays
  • Individual experiences sleep disturbances
  • An individuals’ sleep cycle may be reversed

The following are symptoms of emotional disturbance:

An individual may experience the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Depression
  • Irritability or anger
  • Euphoria
  • Apathy
  • Unpredictable mood shifts
  • Sudden changes in personality

It is important to note that symptoms tend to worsen during the night when the setting appears less familiar to the individual. However, it is also important to note that there are a variety of deliriums

Hyperactive Delirium:

  • Most recognized
  • May include restlessness and rapid mood changes
  • Hallucinations

Hypoactive Delirium:

  • May include reduced motor activity
  • An individual may appear to be in daze

Mixed Delirium:

  • Includes both deliriums mentioned above

What causes Delirium?

  • A medical condition and medication toxicity
  • Alcohol, drug abuse, or drug withdrawal
  • Metabolic imbalance (low sodium or low calcium)
  • Severe/chronic illness
  • Fever or acute infection
  • Dehydration or malnutrition
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Pain
  • Surgery or any other medical procedures that include anesthesia

It is important to note, that sometimes no cause is found.

The following are factors that can increase the development of Delirium:

  • Brain disorders (i.e. dementia, stroke or Parkinson’s disease)
  • Older age
  • Visual or hearing impairment
  • Suffering from several medical conditions

How is Delirium treated?

The primary step in treatment is to figure out whether there is an underlying cause such as medication. Once that is figured out, treatment will be developed to create the best environment for the individual for them to heal and calm the brain. However, medications are often used.

How can I help myself cope with Delirium?

  • Provide yourself or someone you know with good sleeping habits
    • Calm & quiet environment
    • Keep lighting appropriate
    • Maintain a schedule
  • Remain calm and oriented
    • Maintain a clock and calendar so that you can refer to them regularly
    • Keep environment familiar (i.e. objects and pictures)
    • Approach an individual calmly
    • Avoid arguments
    • Keep loud noises to a minimum
    • Provide and maintain eyeglasses and hearing aids

 

 

Factitious Disorder

What is Factitious Disorder?

Factitious Disorder is believed to be a serious mental disorder in which an individual pretends to be sick, injured, or may exaggerate their symptoms to deceive others. Although the individual is aware that they are causing their symptoms or making them up, the do not know the reason as to why they are behaving the way that they are. Such individuals not only make up the symptoms, mimic or produce their illness or injury, but they can get to the point where they are tampering medical exams to be able to deceive those around them.

What are the symptoms of Factitious Disorder?

  • Inconsistent or vague symptoms
  • An individual may have an extensive knowledge of medical terms & diseases
  • Conditions appear to get worse without a logical reason
  • A condition does not respond to treatment as it should be
  • An individual may seek treatment from different doctors (individuals may even use different names)
  • An individual is hesitant or does not allow the doctor to talk to their loved ones
  • Individual has frequent stays at the hospital
  • An individual tends to have an eagerness to have frequent testing or surgery don
  • An individual has many surgical scars
  • There are few visitors when hospitalized
  • Individuals tend to argue with their physician

Individuals with Factitious Disorder often risk their lives in order for others to see them as sick. As a result, individuals may experience several complications such as injury, death, severe health problems from infection, unnecessary surgery, loss of organs when unnecessary surgery is performed, alcohol or drug abuse, and significant problems in daily life activities.

How do individuals fake their condition?

  • Exaggerate the existing symptoms
  • Make up stories
  • Fake the symptoms
  • They may harm themselves
  • Tamper & manipulate

What causes Factitious Disorder?

Although a precise cause is not known, stressful life experiences and other psychological factors are believed to play a role in the development of such disorder.

What can increase the likelihood of the development of Factitious Disorder?

  • Childhood trauma (i.e. physical, emotion, or sexual abuse)
  • Serious illness in childhood
  • Abandonment or death of loved one
  • Poor sense of identity
  • Personality disorders
  • Depression
  • Desire to associated with medical staff
  • Working in a health care field

How is Factitious Disorder treated?

Treatment for such disorder is often difficult because individuals want to be in a sick role and have little interest for treating such symptoms, injuries, or illnesses. However, the following treatment options may be used to manage the condition:

  • Having a primary care doctor
    • Having only one doctor may help reduce the number of visits to the doctor, which in turn helps manage the type of care that is needed.
  • Psychotherapy
    • May help an individual develop coping skills and ways to control their stress.
  • Medication
    • Can help treat other mental disorders such as depression or anxiety
  • Hospitalization

What can I do for myself to help cope with Factitious Disorder?

  • Stay consistent with your treatment plan
    • Attend therapies and take your medication
    • Be honest with your doctor
  • Have one primary doctor
    • Your condition will be easier to control and manage
  • Remember the risks
    • Remember that you can face a permanent injury for example, as a result of faking or causing symptoms
  • Resist from visiting new doctors (stick to ONE)
  • Connect with an individual that you are able to confide in, one who supports you

Alzheimer’s Disease

Does your loved one or yourself have difficulty remembering things? Or they are often confused? Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive disease that potentially destroys memory along with other important mental functions. It is believed that Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common cause of dementia, which in turn causes an individuals intellectual and social skills to decrease. In addition, it is the brain cells that die, which then cause an individuals ability to remember things to decrease.

What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease?

At first, an individual may only experience the following:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Mild confusion

Although it is common for us to occasionally forget where we have left our keys or forget the name of colleagues that we may have just met, the ability that an individual with Alzheimer’s has to remember such things, only worsen and persist, which in turn affects their ability to work or socialize with others. Therefore, such individuals may experience the following:

  • An individual may ask the same question or make a statement over an over (they are not aware that they’ve already said or asked such thing)
  • An individual may forget they have appointments or the conversations they’ve had
  • Individuals tend to misplace items and often, such misplacements are in illogical locations
  • An individual tends to get lost (i.e. they may go out for a walk and not know how to get back or where they are)
  • An individual may forget their loved ones’ name or the names of everyday objects
  • Individuals may have a hard time finding the right words to describe an object

Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease tend to have a hard time concentrating, thinking, and especially multitasking. Such difficulties may then lead to an individual not being able to recognize or deal with numbers. Not being able to then conduct the minimal task can then lead an individual to experience one or some of the following:

  • Apathy
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • An individual may then begin to isolate and avoid social situations
  • Change in their sleeping habits
  • Delusions (i.e. think their objects have been stolen because they cannot remember where they placed them)
  • An individual may also become irritable and aggressive
  • Have a hard time trusting others

What causes Alzheimer’s Disease?

Although the cause is not known nor is research clear, scientist’s belief that for most people, such disease is caused by genetics, lifestyle, and environmental factors. In addition, it is believed that such disease damages and kills brain cells, and when looking at brains affected by such disease after the person has passed, scientists have found tangles and plaques in the brain. Furthermore, Alzheimer’s is not a part of normal aging, but the risk of an individual developing such disease does increase after age 65.

How is Alzheimer’s Disease treated?

  • Medications
    • Cholinesterase inhibitors
    • Memantine

How can I help myself or someone I know cope with Alzheimer’s Disease?

  • Minimize memory-demanding tasks
  • Strengthen routine habits
  • Always keep items in the same place (i.e. keys, wallets, phones)
  • Make your bills & payments automatic
  • Carry a mobile phone that has a location capability (have numbers in contacts)
  • Make sure your regular appointments are the same day and at the same time
  • Keep a calendar
  • Avoid mirrors
    • Individuals with Alzheimer’s may find them confusing and frightening
  • Keep meaningful objects around the house (i.e. photographs)
  • Exercise
    • May help prevent cognitive decline & improve mood

Delusional Disorder

What is Delusional Disorder?

Delusional disorder, previously known as Paranoid Disorder, is a mental illness in which an individual who suffers from such disorder, cannot tell reality from imagined. However, in order for an individual to be diagnosed with such disorder, delusions must have been present for at least a month (if not longer). Unlike Schizophrenia, Delusional Disorder does not tend to impair individuals functioning nor cause their behavior to be odd. Furthermore, it is believed to affect men and women equally and usually tends to appear later in life (i.e. late adulthood). It is important to note that there are various types of Delusional Disorders, including the following:

  • Erotomanic
    • An individual tends to have the belief that someone of higher social standing is in love with them.
  • Grandiose
    • Individual tends to believe that they have some unrecognized talent.
  • Jealous
    • Individuals tend to have the belief that their partner has been unfaithful.
  • Persecutory
    • Individual has the believe that they are being mistreated (i.e. has feelings that they are being spied on or are being followed).
  • Somatic
    • Individual strongly believes that they are experiencing physical sensations or bodily dysfunctions.
  • Mixed
    • Individual experiences a combination of more than one of the above.
  • Unspecified
    • An individuals’ delusions cannot be identified nor, do they fall under one of the delusions mentioned above.

What are the symptoms of Delusional Disorder?

  • Non-bizarre delusions (most obvious symptom)
  • Low, angry, or irritable mood
  • Hallucinations (i.e. seeing, hearing, or feeling things that in reality are not present)

What causes Delusional Disorder?

Although the exact cause is not known, and it hasn’t been profoundly studied, it is believed that genetics may play a role. An individual who may have family members with Schizophrenia or Schizotypal Personality Disorder, have a higher chance of developing and/or experiencing the disorder. In addition, it may also develop as a way for individuals to manage extreme stress or to deal with a history of trauma.

What can Delusional Disorder cause an individual?

  • Individuals may become depressed as a result of the difficulties faced because of their constant delusions
  • Legal problems
  • Such delusions can lead to an individual isolating themselves

How is Delusional Disorder treated?

Although Delusional Disorder can be very hard to treat, psychopharmacology and psychotherapy are often used to treat it. However, hospitalization may be considered if an individual presents self-harm or if there is existing violence. In addition, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy may be used with some clients to help them identify problematic thinking and replace it with a more adaptive thinking. Also, Family Therapy can be employed to help an individuals loved one understand their disorder and help contribute to a better outcome for the individual.

What can I do to help someone cope with Delusional Disorder?

  • Pay attention to the individuals feelings and/or emotions
  • Discuss the way you both see the delusion
  • Express your concerns to the person
  • Offer the individual to seek therapy
    • Offer them your support and that you will be with them though it all
  • Be open-minded and ask them why they believe what they do
  • Avoid getting frustrated with the individual
  • Educate yourself about the disorder

Enuresis

Does your child continue to wet their bed at night? Enuresis is a type of elimination disorder in which a child or individual continues to involuntary experience bed-wetting. Nocturnal enuresis is the most common type of elimination disorder in which a child continues to wet their bed throughout the night. However, when a child wets during the day, then it is referred to as diurnal enuresis. It is important to note that while some children experience one or the other, there are some children that experiences a combination of both. However, a diagnosis cannot be made unless the child is at least 5 years of age. Furthermore, it is believed to affect 7% of boys and 3% if girls by the age of 10. It is also important to take in mind that bedwetting does not occur because the individual was too lazy to get out of bed to go to the bathroom, but it is something that they cannot control.

What are the symptoms of Enuresis?

  • Repeated bed-wetting
  • Constant wetting in the clothes
  • Throughout a period of 3 months, the child wet the bed at least twice a week every week
  • Constipation
  • Training, dribbling or other unusual symptoms when the individual urinates
  • An individual may have a cloudy or pinkish urine (including blood stains)
  • Children may urinate as often as 10 to 12 times a day while adults may urinate 3 to 4 time

What causes Enuresis?

It is believed that the following factors may be associated with the development and diagnostic of the disorder:

  • Small bladder
  • Severe stress
  • Persistent urinary tract infections
  • Any developmental delays that may interfere with toilet training
  • Other behavior disorder or emotional disorders (i.e. anxiety, sleep apnea)
  • Sexual abuse
  • Consuming an excessive amount of fluid before bedtime
  • Associated with Tourette’s Syndrome
  • Hormone problems
    • Individuals may not produce enough antidiuretic hormone (ADH)
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic Constipation
  • An individual cannot recognize when their bladder is full
  • Having a family history (i.e. parent or sibling) who has experienced Enuresis increases the risk of an individual developing such disorder

How is Enuresis treated?

Although it is not treated for majority of the cases because the child eventually outgrows the disorder, the following may be used for severe Enuresis:

  • Alarms
    • Having an alarm every time the child wets the bed will help the child to effectively reply to bladder sensations throughout the night
  • Bladder training
    • Schedule the trips to the bathroom, which will challenge the child to get used to “holding” urine for a longer period of time
    • Helps the child stretch the size of the bladder
  • Rewards
  • Medications

How can I help myself or loved one outgrow Enuresis?

  • Limit the amount of fluids you consume before bedtime
  • Make sure your child goes to the bathroom when beginning their bedtime routine and then again right before they actually go to sleep
  • Ask the child to change the bed sheets themselves every time they wet their bed
  • Create a reward system for yourself or your loved one
  • Use an alarm system that rings every time you wet the bed
  • Train your bladder, force yourself to hold in the urine for a longer period of time
  • Be sure to know and acknowledge that its not the individuals fault

Nightmare Disorder

Do you tend to wake up at night, terrified or threatened?

Nightmare disorder is described as a state in which an individual has repeated dreams in which they feel threatened or frightened, which the fear then causes the person to wake up. An individual who suffers from Nightmare Disorder experiences constant nightmares, which in turn cause distress, disrupts their sleeping patterns, and causes them to have problems with their daytime functioning or may even make them have a fear of going to sleep.

What are the symptoms of Nightmare Disorder?

Nightmares tend to happen during the second portion of the night and may occur rarely, frequently or even several times throughout the nights. In addition, such episodes tend to be brief, but long enough to cause you to awaken. Individuals who suffer from such disorder tend to also have difficulty falling back asleep after they have experienced a nightmare.

The following may be associated with a nightmare:

  • Dream appears to be vivid and real in addition to it being very upsetting and disturbing as it unfolds
  • An individuals dream is often related to threats to safety or survival
  • The dream awakens an individual
  • Individual feels scared, angry, anxious, sad, or disgusted as a result of the dream
  • An individual may feel sweaty or have a pounding heartrate while in bed
  • An individual can often think clearly when they awake and recall majority or all details of the dream
  • An individual becomes distressed enough that they are not able to fall back asleep quite easily

However, nightmares are only considered a disorder if the following occurs:

  • Frequent occurrences
  • An individual experiences daytime sleepiness, fatigue, or low energy
  • Individual experiences behavior problems related to their bedtime ot fear of the dark
  • Individual has a hard time functioning at work, school, or social situations
  • Individuals have a hard time concentrating or with memory or cannot stop thinking about the images that appeared in their dreams
  • Individual experiences major distress or impairment during the day (i.e. anxiety or persistent fear)

When should an individual seek medical help?

Although nightmares may be common however, if the following applies it is important to seek help as soon as you can:

  • The nightmares occur frequently or persist over time
  • It is constantly disrupting sleep
  • You may be afraid of going to sleep
  • They are causing you daytime behavior problems, or you have a hard time functioning

What causes and/or triggers Nightmare Disorder?

  • Stress or anxiety (i.e. death of a loved one or a move)
  • Trauma (i.e. injury, physical or sexual abuse)
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Medications (i.e. antidepressants, blood pressure medication, or drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease)
  • Substance abuse (i.e. alcohol)
  • Other disorder (i.e. depression, heart disease, or cancer)
  • Scary book and movies

How is Nightmare Disorder treated?

Although treatment is usually not necessary, the following may be used:

  • Medical treatment
  • Stress or anxiety treatment (i.e. counseling, therapy, stress-reduction techniques)
  • Imagery rehearsal therapy
  • Medication

What can I do for myself or someone I know to help treat Nightmare Disorder?

  • Establish a regular, relaxing routine before bedtime (i.e. read a book, make a puzzle, or take a warm bath)
  • Offer yourself or loved one reassurance
  • Talk about the dream
  • Rewrite the ending (i.e. imagine a happy ending)
  • Put stress in its place (i.e. practice stress-relief activities, talk about it)
  • Provide comfort measures (i.e. leave the door open)

 

Caffeine Intoxication

Do you like your coffee? Your tea? Your chocolate bars?

Caffeine Intoxication is believed to be a condition in which the consumption of caffeine causes an individual to distress and as well as impaired functioning. Furthermore, caffeine is believed to be the worlds most popular psychoactive drug and it is also believed that an average American consumes about 300 mg of caffeine on a daily basis (i.e. in coffee, tea, energy drinks, candy, chocolate, or soft drinks). However, although many of us may enjoy caffeine and some of the feelings that it may bring along such as an increase in energy, too much of it can result in caffeine intoxication. It is important to note that caffeine can remain in an individual’s blood for 1.5 hours up to 9.5 hours. In addition, it may have a significant impairment and serious consequences in an individual’s work and school and may lead to social indiscretions and failure to fulfill obligations.

What are the symptoms of Caffeine Intoxication?

For an individual to reach Caffeine Intoxication (a typical high dose will exceed 250 mg), 5 or more of the following must be present during or shortly after the caffeine consumption, according to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM-5):

  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Excitement
  • Insomnia
  • Flushed face
  • Diuresis (increased production of urine)
  • Gastrointestinal disturbance
  • Muscle twitching
  • Rambling flow of thought & speech
  • Tachycardia (abnormally rapid heart rate) or cardiac arrhythmia
  • Periods of exhaustibility
  • Psychomotor agitation

Other symptoms may include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Confusions
  • Fever
  • Increased thirst
  • Dizziness
  • Convulsions
  • Trouble breathing

What causes Caffeine Intoxication?

Environmental factors seem to play a role in the cause of Caffeine Intoxication. For example, such intoxication is seen more often among individuals who do not typically consume caffeine or in those who recently increased their caffeine consumption.

How is Caffeine Intoxication treated?

Typically, such intoxication is treated through medications. For instance, medication is used to manage certain symptoms of the intoxication such as anxiety, nausea, or stomach pain.

How can Caffeine Intoxication be prevented?

It is important for an individual to carefully monitor the amount of caffeine that they intake. However, the amount of caffeine that your body tolerates will vary from one individual to another. Researchers suggest limiting yourself and not have over 400mg of caffeine however, it may be less if you are more sensitive to it.

What can I expect if I seek treatment?

Typically, Caffeine Intoxication is treated without creating long-term problems however, it is important to note that the intoxication can be deadly, especially for young patients such as infants and toddlers. Now, you may be asking yourself, how can a toddler or an infant have a Caffeine Intoxication? It often happens when the mother consumes caffeine and as a result the breast milk that is being fed to the toddler has an excessive amount of caffeine.

How can I help myself deal with Caffeine Intoxication?

  • Drink water (aim to drink one glass of water for every cup of coffee that you drink)
  • Exercise, if you can (i.e. walk, stretch, lift weights or get on an elliptical)
  • Snack on healthy, low-sugar foods (i.e. bell peppers, cucumber, or celery)
  • Try some breathing exercising

How Can I Deal with Agoraphobia?

Do you ever experience fear when you are in a specific place or situation? Does such place or situation make you feel trapped, helpless, or even embarrassed?

Agoraphobia is a type of anxiety disorder in which an individual may do all that they can to avoid a certain place or situation because it causes them to panic and gives them a sense of feeling helpless, or they feel embarrassed, and/or trapped. For example, individuals may fear using public transportation, being in opened or closed spaces, being in a crowd, or even stand in line. Such fear may be caused by the fact that there may not be an easy way to avoid the situation if they do get an anxiety or panic attack and as a result, such individuals often don’t feel safe in public spaces.

What are some of the symptoms of Agoraphobia?

  • Individuals are scared to be leave home alone
  • Individuals tend to be fearful of crowds or waiting in line
  • Individuals tend to avoid and are fearful of enclosed spaces (i.e. elevators, small stores, or movie theaters)
  • Individuals also tend to avoid open spaces and may be afraid of them (i.e. parking lots, malls, or bridges)
  • Individuals tend to be afraid of public transportation (i.e. buses, planes, or trains)

When experiencing such fears, individuals may:

  • Have feelings of feeling hot or cold
  • Nausea or diarrhea
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness or feel that they might faint
  • Their heart begins to pound at a fast rate
  • Have trouble swallowing
  • Sweat, tremble or shake

What causes Agoraphobia?

Although there is not one known cause, it is believed that genetics, health conditions, an individuals temperament, environmental stress, and learning experiences may all play a role in the development of such disorder.

What are some of the risk factors that can trigger the development of Agoraphobia?

  • Existence of panic disorder or other phobias
  • Having an excessive fear or avoidance when responding to panic attacks
  • Experiencing stressful life events (i.e. abuse or death of a loved one)

How is Agoraphobia treated?

  • Psychotherapy
    • The most effective form to treat Agoraphobia is believed to be Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which teaches an individual some strategies on how to better tolerate their anxiety, it teaches them how to recognize the factors that may trigger their attacks, and how to cope with them
  • Medication
    • Anti-depressants may be used to treat such disorder, and in some cases, anti-anxiety medication can be prescribed

What can I do to help myself deal with Agoraphobia?

  • Stick to your treatment plan
    • Stay consistent with the treatment plan that has been prescribed to you whether it is therapy or medication. Ask questions and check in on a regular basis with your therapist and/or primary healthcare provider
  • Challenge yourself and try not to avoid those situations or places that cause you fear
  • Learn calming skills
    • Work with your therapist so that you can find different ways to distract your mind from that that causes you anxiety (i.e. yoga, meditation, or massages)
  • Avoid alcohol and other drugs, including caffeine
  • Practice self-care
    • Stay active
    • Eat healthy
    • Get enough sleep
  • Join a support group
    • Connect and learn from those that may be experiencing similar situations as you are