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A POINTER TO CHILDHOOD ANXIETY

childhood anxiety image 1

Everyone experiences feelings of worry and anxiety from time to time. These feelings can range from a little sense of uneasiness to full-blown panic (or somewhere in between), but it however depends on the person and the situation. It is only natural for unfamiliar or challenging situations to trigger feelings of anxiety or nervousness in anyone. You may feel it when you have a competition to participate in, for example, or when addressing an audience, etc.

As much as adult experience feelings of anxiety, it is one of the most common emotional issues faced by children — being singled out to face other students in class to answer a question, participating in a competition, when facing an important test or switching schools, for example. Children with anxiety problems may not be aware of what is causing the emotions, worries, and sensations they have. These experiences can trigger anxiety, thus making them to focus on the “what if’s”: What if I mess up? What if people laugh at me or make jest of me? What if things don’t go as I planned? What if I fail?

child anxiety 2

There is great beauty in going through life without anxiety or fear. Half our fears are baseless, and the other half discreditable. – Christian Nestell Bovee


Anxiety can be
experienced in diverse ways — physically, emotionally, and in the way people view the world around them. Anxiety mainly relates to intense worry about what might happen, i.e. worrying about things going wrong or feeling like you are in some kind of danger.


CAUSES

There are several factors that could cause anxiety in an individual, particularly children. These factors can range from genetic factor, environmental factor (learned behavior), past traumatic event, stressful life situations, etc.

  • Genetic factor: A child can be predisposed to developing an anxiety disorder as a result of having a family member who suffers from it. However, it is also important to note that not everyone with a family member who has an anxiety disorder will develop problems with anxiety.
  • Past traumatic event: events that occur in a child’s life can cause anxiety disorders in childhood or later in life. The loss of a loved one or parents’ divorce and major life transitions (like moving to a new town or new school, etc.) are common triggers. Children who have experienced abuse are also vulnerable to anxiety.
  • Environmental factor: Growing up in a family or in an environment where people are fearful, constantly worried or anxious also can “teach” a child to view the world as a dangerous place. Likewise, a child who grows up in an environment that is actually dangerous (if there is violence in the child’s family or environment, for example) may learn to be fearful, worried or expect the worst.
Girls standing apart from others in school

There’s just so much going on in my mind, sometimes I can’t keep up with what’s going on around me. – Amanda Jade Briska

 

Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health conditions. There are different types of anxiety disorders, each with its unique causes and symptoms. But they all have something peculiar in common — prolonged, intense, overwhelming, unrealistic, excessive worry that is out of proportion to the present situation and affects a person’s daily life and happiness. Symptoms of an anxiety disorder can occur suddenly or can grow little by little and eventually become full blown.

TYPES OF ANXIETY DISORDERS AND THEIR SYMPTOMS

  • Social Anxiety Disorder: this is characterized by an intense fear of social and performance situations and activities such as being called on in class or starting a conversation with a peer. This can significantly impair your child’s school performance and attendance, as well as his or her ability to socialize with peers and develop and maintain relationships.
  • Panic Disorder: Panic disorder is diagnosed if your child suffers at least two unexpected panic or anxiety attacks, which means they come on suddenly and for no reason. This is followed by at least one month of concern over having another attack, losing control, or “going crazy.”
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): If your child has generalized anxiety disorder, he or she will worry excessively about a variety of things such as grades, family issues, relationships with peers and performance in sports. Children with GAD tend to be very hard on themselves and strive for perfection. They may also seek constant approval or reassurance from others.
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder: This disorder is most common in children between ages seven to nine. However, older children can also suffer from this disorder too. When separation anxiety disorder occurs, a child experiences excessive anxiety away from home or when separated from parents or caregivers. Extreme homesickness and feelings of misery at not being with loved ones are common. Other symptoms include refusing to go to school, camp, or a sleepover, and demanding that someone stay with them at bedtime. Children with separation anxiety commonly worry about bad things happening to their parents or caregivers or may have a vague sense of something terrible occurring while they are apart.
  • Selective Mutism: this is characterized by refusal to speak in situations where talking is expected or necessary, to the extent that the refusal interferes with school and making friends. Children suffering from selective mutism may stand motionless and expressionless, turn their heads, chew or twirl hair, avoid eye contact, or withdraw into a corner to avoid talking. These children can be very communicative, expressive and display normal behaviors at home or in another place where they feel comfortable.

childhood anxiety image 4


Other Symptoms include;

  • Inability to relax
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Irregular breathing (rapid pulse or pounding, skipping, racing heart)
  • Nausea, chest pain or pressure
  • Feeling a “lump in the throat” or dry mouth
  • Feelings of dread, apprehension or losing control
  • Trembling or shaking, sweating or chills
  • Fainting or dizziness


EFFECTS

Some amount of anxiety is normal and can even be motivating. It helps us stay alert, focused, and ready to do our best. But when it becomes intense, or happens a lot, it can become overwhelming. It can interfere with a child’s self-confidence, self-esteem, sense of self-worth, social skills, relationship management skills, ability to get things done and, in severe cases, can start taking over the good and enjoyable parts of their life.

TREATMENT

  • Support: ranging from discussing practical solutions and contributing stresses, to educating family members.
  • Psychotherapy: also referred to as talking therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy.
  • Biofeedback Therapy
  • Audio-Visual Entrainment Therapy
  • Mindfulness Meditation Therapy

If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.

– Amit Ray

For more information on the therapy procedures visit our website on http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org and remember to follow @DrMorayoJimoh on twitter.

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One Random Act of Kindness!

offering helping hand

Offer your helping hand, not your judgment!

You are driving your car late at night and you see somebody stranded, looking completely dejected, and begging for a lift. You thought of stopping to help but instead you just kept driving on deciding you would rather not because of all the negative news flying around or what people would say?  Or perhaps a total stranger you are meeting for the first time needs a place to stay for the night or a place to live for a while; you have the means to help, could be a room in your apartment but you are not willing to help unless you get something in return for your help or not willing to help at all? Now let’s turn the table around. Have you ever been completely stranded somewhere with no money, no one to call, nowhere to stay and you are trying to get a lift to the safest place, to spend the night but nobody is stopping to help? How does it feel? I bet it doesn’t feel good! But there is a saying that goes ‘with one random act of kindness, we can change the world’Altruism, a selfless act!

helping others

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are – Theodore Roosevelt

Altruism is the principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others. It is doing things purely out of a desire to help and not out of duty, obligation, guilt, and loyalty or expecting something in return. ‘Altruism’ or ‘Selflessness’ is the opposite of selfishness. It doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have enough to share with another neither does it necessarily mean your helping hand should be limited only to people of the same societal class with you. It could mean you need to sacrifice the little or the only piece you have for another who clearly needs it at that point in time more than you do.

Altruism is usually considered a traditional and compulsory virtue that one must have in some cultures. It also forms the core beliefs of some religions. Altruism is putting others before you but the concept of “others” varies widely among cultures and religion. It could mean everybody or only people of the same tribe or only people of the same town or even only people of the same religion as you. Nevertheless, others mean others.

 

altruism

Help people whenever you can, don’t expect anything in return!

 

There are two types of altruism; the psychological altruism and the biological altruism. Psychological altruism means acting out of concern for the well-being of others, without regard to your own self-interest. Biological altruism refers to behavior that helps the survival of specie without benefiting the particular individual who is being altruistic.

Being altruistic could be good, nice and easy but sometimes, it could involve risking your own life to save another person. The old people need to teach the young to cultivate the habit of selflessness to everyone regardless of their tribe, ethnicity, race and religion.  It is important because the young don’t see it as needful or as a virtue.

Be altruistic. Every once in a while, place other people before yourself, help others, donate things to orphanages, help the poor and homeless without expecting anything in return.

altruism--U before I

It is more rewarding than you think!

When you are helping others, you are helping yourself!

Don’t forget to follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more interesting topics. You can also visit our website http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org.


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ADOLESCENT DEPRESSION MYTH? OR FACT!

depression 1d

You don’t have crawl into a dark corner; take a bold step, open the shut door to your emotions, feelings, thoughts and step out into the light.

You don’t have to keep up a smiling face when you are hurt or sad deep inside; take off that mask and seek for help!

Often in life, there are certain events that cause different emotional responses, ranging from excitement, happiness, enthusiasm to fear, anger, disappointment, weariness, tiredness, sadness, etc. This is only natural. But when you allow the feelings of sadness to last for days, weeks or perhaps months and it keeps you from living your normal life, interferes with your normal social activities, enjoyable interests, or schoolwork, such that you are now a shadow of whom you used to be; then what you are feeling is no longer sadness. You may be experiencing Depression.

depression 1b
Do you often feel so exhausted, not from a stressful day, that when you are asked the question “how do u feel”, the only explanatory response you can give is “Am fine, I just feel tired”? But then you try to sleep to relieve the feelings of tiredness and it doesn’t seem to be able to fix it. Do you feel the need to be alone just by yourself but at the same time not wanting to be lonely? Do you feel the need for friends but you don’t want to socialize or relate with others? Or perhaps you are in a pressurizing situation and you feel worthless, helpless, and hopeless that you decided to shut everyone out? You may be suffering from Depression.

depression 1c

Adolescence is always an unsettling time, with many physical, emotional, psychological and social changes that accompany this stage of their life. When the moods of teenagers disrupt their ability to function on a daily basis, this may indicate a serious emotional or mental disorder that needs attention.

Adolescent depression is a disorder that occurs during the teenage years. It involves persistent sadness, discouragement, loss of self-worth and loss of interest in activities they previously found pleasurable or enjoyable. Depression is associated with an increased risk of suicide and prior studies have revealed that suicide rates among adolescents have nearly tripled in recent times.

Depressive symptoms among adolescents are often attributed to the normal stress seen at this stage of life. This is often misdiagnosed as primarily conduct or substance abuse disorders. Neglecting depression among adolescents can have a tragic effect. Regrettably, adolescents who experience depression at an early age often struggle with depression throughout their lives.


LITERATURE REVIEW

A study carried out in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria (2015) on depression among adolescents in secondary schools between the age range of 9 – 18 years, revealed that the prevalence of moderate depression in adolescent was lowest at the age of 10 and highest at the age of 13. It further revealed that the prevalence of severe depression in adolescents was lowest at the age of 11 and highest at the age of 12. Furthermore, the study revealed that children whose parents are separated showed higher incidences of depression with the female gender at a higher risk.

Another study carried out in Greece (2015) on depression in late adolescence among students in senior high schools between the age range of 16 – 18 years, revealed that 49.38 % of the adolescents with depressive episode had at least one comorbid anxiety disorder. Only 17.08 % of the adolescents with depression have visited a doctor due to a psychological problem during the previous year. It further revealed that anxiety disorders, substance use, female gender, older age, having one sibling, and divorce or separation of the parents were all associated with depression. In addition, the presence of financial difficulties in the family was significantly associated with an increased prevalence of both depression and depressive symptoms in adolescents.

CAUSES

There’s no single known cause of adolescent depression. Some of the factors that could lead to depression in adolescents include:

  • Genetic factors: a family history of first-degree relatives with depression could put a child at higher risk of having depression. Most especially, it could be passed from parent to child.
  • Environmental factors: heartbreak, academic problems, health concerns, or acute stress.
  • Past traumatic event: the loss of a family member or friend; sexual abuse (rape), physical abuse (beating), or emotional abuse (insults, bullying, words of discouragement).
  • Hormonal changes resulting in irregularity in mood and behavior.

Having a pessimistic mindset or thought: a child being surrounded with people or an environment where negative thoughts or way of life, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness is a norm instead of facing challenges head on and a winning attitude; such child can end up not being able to feel positive when in distressing situations.


SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS TO LOOK OUT FOR
depression 1a

Most times it is often difficult for parents to know that their children are suffering from depression. Parents often mistake it for stress, adjustment issues or growing up/puberty. Some of the depressive signs to look out for are:-

  • A decreased interest in activities your child once found pleasurable.
  • Appearing sad, irritable, or tearful.
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness or helplessness.
  • Changes in appetite or unintentional weight gain/weight loss.
  • A decrease in energy (fatigue) and regular complaints of boredom.
  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • A decline in academic performance.
  • Substance abuse (Drug or Alcohol).
  • Withdrawal from social situations, friends, or after-school activities.
  • Major changes in sleeping habits (Insomnia or Hypersomnia).
  • Recurrent thoughts and talk of suicide, death or attempted suicide.
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment.


EFFECTS

Depression is associated with high levels of stress, anxiety, self-harm and in the worst possible scenarios, suicide. It can also affect a child’s:

  • personal life
  • school life
  • social life
  • family life

This can lead to social isolation and other problems.


TREATMENT

  • Support: ranging from discussing practical solutions and contributing stresses, to educating family members.
  • Psychotherapy: also referred to as talking therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy.
  • Mindfulness Meditation Therapy
  • Biofeedback Therapy
  • Neurofeedback Therapy
  • Audio-visual entrainment Therapy
  • Drug treatmentantidepressants medications.
  • Regular Exercise
  • Adequate sleep
  • Hygienic and balanced diet
  • Avoid substance and alcohol intake

You may be bent, but you are not broken; you may be scarred but you are not disfigured; you may be sad but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost; you may be tired but you are not lifeless; you may be afraid but only you has the power to change that; you may be angry but you don’t have to be bitter. All in all, you may be depressed but do not give up!

– Anonymous

For more information on the therapy procedures visit our website on http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org and remember to follow @DrMorayoJimoh on twitter.


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WHAT IF I FAIL AGAIN?

PIX 1

Failure is the opportunity to begin again, only more intelligently. – Henry Ford.

Are you scared of taking on a challenge all because you think you might not succeed? Are you holding yourself back from starting that project because you are scared you might fail? Or are you just so afraid of failing that it causes you to be stuck or moving on? Or you hesitate from trying, thinking you are not good enough?

Everyone has experienced failure at one point or another but that doesn’t have to hinder you from trying neither does it have to be the end of it. More often than not, to succeed at times we need to have failed at a point. Failure is a way of learning to think of better ways to achieve our set goals in order to come out with excellent outcomes better than we ever thought.

PIX 2

Funny it may seem that what a person may categorize as failure may just be an opportunity to learn for another. The thought of failing can be scary, true; but when you are so scared of failing that you allow it stop you from doing something that will bring your progress, hence, causing you to be stuck and hinder you from progressing, you are experiencing what is referred to as ‘Atychiphobia’ – fear of failure.

Presentation1

A person is said have phobia when he/she has an extreme, unreasonable or irrational fear of something or situations as a result of being exposed to certain situations, objects, places or creatures. A person is said to have ‘Atychiphobia’ if he/she is experiencing persistent, recurrent and irrational fear of failure.

Phobias like ‘Atychiphobia’ can be so extreme that they completely paralyze you, making it difficult to carry on with your tasks at home, school, or work. You may even miss out on important opportunities in your life, both personally and professionally.

PIX 4

Failure does one of two things: it will either keep you stuck or get you moving!

CAUSES OF ATYCHIPHOBIA

It may be difficult to say what the real cause behind one’s fear of failure is but one is likely to have a fear of failure if:

  1. You have watched other people fail and perhaps not able to recover from it. This is called ‘Observational Learning Experience’.
  2. You heard or read stories about other people’s experience and as a result, you developed fear of failure. This is called ‘Informational Learning Experience’.
  3. You have had personal past experiences of failure that resulted in serious consequences; for example, losing a job.

SYMPTOMS OF ATYCHIPHOBIA

The symptoms range in severity from mildly severe to extremely severe. You may experience some of these symptoms if have a fear of failure:-

  1. You may feel reluctant to explore new things or ideas or take on challenging tasks.
  2. When you have a low self-esteem or lack of confidence in yourself.
  3. Uttering negative statements like ‘I am not good enough to take on that project’.
  4. When you are fond of procrastinating; that is, postponing your set out goals because you too scared of starting.
  5. If you are only willing to try as long as you certain that the outcome will be positive – perfectionism.

Other symptoms may include;

  1. Intense feeling of panic or anxiety.
  2. A serious need to escape a situation that produces the fear.
  3. Feeling detached from yourself.
  4. When you feel you don’t have control over a situation
  5. When you generally feel powerless over your fear.

HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR FEAR OF FAILURE

  • If you are experiencing Atychiphobia, the first step to overcoming it is to believe in yourself that you are good enough and try again.
  • It’s best to seek the help of a professional, a psychotherapist or perhaps a Certified Psychologist for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This will give you exposure to the tools that you need to overcome your fear of failure.

For more information on the therapy procedures visit our website on www.mobilehealthconsult.org and remember to follow @DrMorayoJimoh on twitter.

 


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DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE, DO IT NOW!

image 1

The habit of always putting off an experience until you can afford it, or until the time is right, or until you know how to do it is one of the greatest burglars of joy. Be deliberate, but once you’ve made up your mind – jump in.

– Charles R. Swindoll.

Have you ever sat down to complete an important task — and then suddenly discovered your eyes were fixated on your TV screen watching movies or engrossed in surfing the internet? Or perhaps you suddenly realize that your dog needs to be fed, you need to respond to some chats, your house needs cleaning — or maybe you should go ahead and have lunch, even though it’s only 11 a.m.?

image 2

Next thing you know, it’s the end of the day and your important task remains unfinished.

Everyone puts things off until the last minute sometimes, but when you chronically avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions, you are procrastinating. You may believe you perform better under pressure, but more often than not that is just a way of you justifying putting things off.

Procrastination is the habit of delaying an important task, usually by focusing on less urgent, more enjoyable, and easier activities instead. It is different from laziness, which is the unwillingness to act.

You may delay but time will not

– Benjamin Franklin

Sometimes, procrastination takes place when you ignore things to be done until the “last minute” before a deadline. Procrastination can take hold on any aspect of life—putting off cleaning the stove, repairing a leaky roof, seeing a doctor or dentist, submitting a job report or academic assignment or breaching a stressful issue with a partner.

image 3

Procrastination usually results in sorrowful regret. Today’s duties put off until tomorrow gives us a double burden to bear; the best way is to do them in their proper time.

– Ida Scott Taylor

Procrastination can restrict your potential and undermine your career. It can also disrupt your teamwork, reduce morale, and even lead to feelings of guilt, inadequacy, self-doubt, depression and job loss. So, it’s crucial to take proactive steps to prevent it.

Looking on the bright side, it is possible to overcome procrastination — with effort.
The first step to overcoming procrastination is to recognize that you’re doing it. Then, identify the reasons behind your behavior and use appropriate strategies to manage and overcome it.

HELPFUL TIPS TO AVOID PROCRASTINATION

1. You have to recognize the fact that you are procrastinating: if you start postponing things you need to do, the tasks before you or you direct your focus unto something else because you want to avoid doing your task, then you are probably procrastinating.

2. Ask yourself, what are the reasons you give: For instance, are you avoiding a particular task because you find it boring or unpleasant? If so, take steps to get it out of the way quickly, so that you can focus on the enjoyable aspects of your job.

3. Make lists of things and chunk them: this will prevent you from ‘conveniently’ forgetting about those unpleasant and overwhelming tasks.

4. Set deadlines and priorities: The priorities will help you to easily identify the activities you should focus on doing and the ones you can ignore. The deadlines will keep you on track in achieving your set goals and will mean that you don’t have time for procrastination!

5. Tackle the hardest tasks at your peak times: Do you work better in the morning or in the afternoon? You need to identify when you achieve your best results in doing things, that is when you are most effective and do the tasks that you find most challenging at these times.

6. Act on it!

 

 

The only difference between success and failure is the ability to take action.

– Alexandre Graham Bell

7. Don’t be a perfectionist: Sometimes you would rather avoid doing a task that you feel you don’t have the skills to do than do it imperfectly. You don’t have to wait until you are certain about the outcome of your task before you start working on it. So what do you do? Something, Anything. As long as you are not just sitting there idle. If you screw it up, start over. Try something else.

8. Reward yourself: Celebrate small victories for having completed your tasks. The reward may be a short water-cooler conversation with a colleague, a stroll to a nearby café for a coffee pick-me-up, or maybe a larger reward such as treating yourself to a movie. Let your brain know that you will reward it for focusing and being attentive.

For more information visit our website www.mobilehealthconsult.org and remember to follow @DrMorayoJimoh on twitter.


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New Beginnings Starts With You

starts with you

It’s interesting to know that you can actually run a self-analysis without having to be a professional Psychologist. Yes it’s possible.

So let’s talk about you… Give yourself a sincere answer to these questions.

How well do you know yourself?

How much can you really say about yourself?

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Do you know your limits?

Do you know when you need to stop and take a break?

How much pressure can you really handle?

How much warning signs are you ignoring?

It’s funny how we can easily say that people don’t know us when we actually don’t even know ourselves well enough. As a matter of fact, when you don’t know yourself, you’ll always want to live your life like someone else by striving to do what others are doing regardless of your own capabilities. This fruitless effort often results in stressful living. What you are unaware of is that such individuals that you are trying to emulate have possibly developed resilience over the years as a result of their experiences in life.

Keep in mind that we are all unique and therefore what applies to one may not necessarily go for the other. This is why it is expedient that we learn to study ourselves in order to gain an understanding of what we can handle and vice versa.

So also it is with how well we can handle events in our lives that have potential to cause stress. Remember that stress is our body’s reaction to events that are perceived as threatening.

The first step towards solving any problem is to identify it!

There are various common stress triggers encountered daily and being armed with a wealth of knowledge regarding your own bodily “perception” and “reaction” to these events will surely keep stress away. Ignorance should therefore no longer be an excuse for becoming weighed down with stress.

How do you perceive and react to the following common events of everyday living:

  • Relationship demands (commitment and expectations to family, marriage and other relationships)
  • Work demands (increased work load, long working hours, dead lines)
  • Major life changes (relocation, marriage, getting pregnant, loosing a loved one)
  • Environmental triggers (traffic, unstable cost of living, noise, pollution)

perceptionTake out time to become conscious of your physical as well as emotional responses to these common stressors. Become aware of events that cause your heart to pound, make you anxious as well as change your mood.

If you perceive these events as being capable of getting you overwhelmed and you ALLOW them, then they will. Adjust your perception because not all life’s events are aimed at defeating you!

Remember to follow me on twitter at @Drmorayojimoh for more life changing updates on #NewBeginnings.