Toronto, Aug 10 (IANS) Depression and anxiety symptoms have doubled in children and adolescents when compared to pre-pandemic times, according to an alarming study.Researchers at the University of Calgary conducted a meta-analysis, pooling together data from 29 separate studies from around the world, including 80,879 youth globally.The findings, published in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics, showed that an alarming percentage of children and adolescents are experiencing a global-wide mental crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic."Estimates show that one in four youth globally are experiencing clinically elevated depression symptoms while one in five have clinically elevated anxiety symptoms," said lead author Dr Nicole Racine, a postdoctoral associate, and clinical psychologist at the varsity. More alarmingly, these symptoms are compounding over time.The study -- which incorporates 16 studies from East Asia, four from Europe, six from North America, two from Central and South America and one from the Middle East -- also shows that older adolescents and girls are experiencing the highest levels of depression and anxiety."We know from other studies that rates of depression and anxiety in youth tend to ebb and flow with restrictions. When more restrictions are imposed, rates go up. Being socially isolated, kept away from their friends, their school routines, and social interactions has proven to be really hard on kids," said Dr Sheri Madigan, a Calgary varsity clinical psychologist.Older teens in particular have missed out on significant life events such as graduations, sporting events, and various coming of age activities."These kids didn't imagine that when they graduated, they'd never get to say goodbye to their school, their teachers or their friends, and now they're moving on to something new, with zero closure," Racine said. "There's a grieving process associated with that."While mental health symptoms in youth are rising, more mental health support should be put in place to help children and adolescents in this time of need."If we want to mitigate the sustained mental health effects of Covid-19, because of the chronic stressors our youth experienced, we have to prioritise recovery planning now. Not when the pandemic is over, but immediately. Because kids are in crisis right now," Madigan said.--IANSrvt/vd
<br>Being confined to a limited space, unable to meet peers and friends, unable to indulge in sports and physical activities, pursuing education via Internet on mobile and laptop screens or sometimes being left out of classes because the facility is not available, it's a difficult world to adapt to. And while everyone gets a say, they are asked to shut up and study, they are expected to be grateful that they are not getting infected.This causes immense stress on a child, leading to fear, anxiety, sleep disturbance, mood disturbance and behavioural issues. Many children who were already vulnerable have developed panic disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders and anxiety and mood related disorders. The impact on self-esteem and confidence is significant. Some have witnessed higher levels of family conflicts and domestic violence. The uncertainty associated with exams, future, career has further confused high school children. Internet and gaming addiction is on the rise and psychosomatic problems are widespread.<br> <br>The problem statement is huge but it needs to be defined to take effective steps. As psychiatrists, we often see children being referred for behavioural issues but parents are reluctant due to stigma associated with the word psychiatry. But closing one's eyes doesn't make the problem go away. We, as adults, need to anticipate the problem and take preventive measures. Taking into cognizance that children are vulnerable is the first step. Talking to them about their feelings, letting them express their emotions, taking guidance and counselling to manage stress are all measures which can help in avoiding negative outcomes. We need a proper routine, a mutually supportive social environment and discipline to engage in daily activities productively. The emphasis has to be on finding a balance with new way of life, apart from Covid-appropriate behaviour to avoid infection, there needs to be a strategy to ensure balance between physical, emotional and social aspects of life. Interacting regularly with friends and families in small groups, taking time out to play, getting off the screen to enjoy the beauty of nature surrounding us, cooking and eating together, music, dance, arts and crafts are all ways to add creative interest in daily life and de-stress regularly. Those who have lost close family members and parents need professional intervention to deal with the trauma associated with sudden loss.<br> <br>With foresight and empathy, we can find a way to adapt to the post-Covid world and hopefully make it even better.(Jyoti Kapoor is Senior Psychiatrist and Founder of Manasthali)--IANS<br>jyoti/tb
The more you procrastinate, the higher your risk of developing dental problems. Visiting your dentist regularly can actually make the entire process easier on many levels.
Richa Vats, a doctor and Geriatric Dentist shares how to deal with dental anxiety and overcome any fears:
Dental anxiety is just like any other anxiety: Choose your dentist wisely. Choose a dentist who will listen and acknowledge your fears if they can't be empathetic when you are talking to them, it's likely they won't be during the treatment either. The right dental team will make sure your dental and your emotional health are taken care of.
Fear of needles: The fear of needles isn't just restricted to dental patients make sure you talk about this to your dentist before the appointment. There are effective numbing gels that are given before injections. This means you won't feel anything.
The drill: This instrument may sound and look scary. But it only dispenses air, water and rotates the drilling bur. When sufficiently numbed you won't feel any pain at all. Just some vibration is felt. If the sound troubles you keep your earphones handy and listen to your favourite song
Pain: If you had a bad experience previously you may be afraid of it happening again. This can be managed by learning ways to relax, deep breathing techniques, a dentist you are comfortable with and numbing gels.
Embarrassment about bad teeth: You don't have to be conscious of your teeth, we have seen worse. We as dentists won't ever judge you by your tooth health. That's the reason you are here to visit us. Keep a consultation appointment before your procedure so that you can talk to your dentist about your fears and they can make you more comfortable during the procedure.
Sedation fears: These fears can be categorised into two categories: Some feel they will not be numb enough and they will be in pain. While others fear being numb will cause them to doze off or suffocate, choke or unable to swallow. It is important to realise that the tooth in concern is the one that is being anaesthetized. Sometimes your cheek tongue may feel swollen when numbed but it won't be. Also, anaesthesia makes you lose the sensation in these areas but not the function.
Now let's talk about how can we help you overcome your dental fears and anxiety. Identify your fears. Once you know what exactly you are fearful about you can start working towards the solution.
Talk: You will have to speak about your dental anxiety and what caused it. It could be a past traumatic procedure with you or someone known to you, or it could be your fear of the unknown. Your dentist and the dental team would be able to cater to your needs in a better way if they know about your anxiety. You can plan your appointment in the morning when you are relaxed. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask your dentist to explain the entire procedure to you beforehand. If you experience pain even with the local anaesthetics, be vocal about it. Don't be shy to interrupt the dentist via a signal during the procedure if you are uncomfortable.
Distract yourself: This is an effective method to reduce dental anxiety. You can wear headphones if the sound of the drill bothers you and hear your favourite music. You can also squeeze a stress ball or play with a small handheld object like a fidget spinner while you are being operated upon. Mentally you can try imagining your happy place and visualise yourself at a relaxing beach or a garden etc.<br> <br>Mindful techniques: Relaxation starts in the mind so try deep breathing exercises to help relax tension in your muscles. You can also take short breaks in between the procedure. Count your breaths slowly and then exhale for the same number of counts. Concentrate on relaxing your muscles one body part at a time starting with your head and work all the down to your toe.<br> <br>Take someone with you: Some patients find it comforting to take a friend along.<br> <br>Ask for the perception of pain: Your dentist can tell you about the sensations you might experience, for instance, a tingle or a mosquito bite.<br> <br>Seek professional help: The best course of action is to deal with the root cause of your fear and unless you do this you will always fear trips to the dentist. These fears and anxieties may affect your quality of life if they are left untreated and may prevent you from having important treatment or visiting the dentist at all.
(This article is website exclusive and cannot be reproduced without the permission of IANSlife. N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe can be contacted at [email protected]
A healthy diet, exercise, yoga, meditation, listening to music, or engaging in a hobby are all known stress-reduction strategies. Vitamins are an essential component in your quest for perfect glowing skin, as well as numerous other health benefits. It boosts the immune system and increases the body's ability to withstand stressful situations. Dietician Vidhi Chawla lists down a few vitamin-rich food items to include in our diet:
Oranges, which are high in vitamin C, can help to lower stress hormones and strengthen the immune system. According to research on high blood pressure patients, increasing your Vitamin C intake can lower your blood pressure and levels of cortisol, or stress hormone.
Spinach is a nutritious leafy green vegetable high in calcium, B-vitamins, iron, and antioxidants. One of the foods that can help with anxiety is spinach. Magnesium is found in 157 mg per cup of spinach, which is 40 per cent of your daily requirement. In fact, a lack of magnesium can cause headaches, fatigue, and stress-related symptoms. They are low in carbs, can be used as part of a weight-loss diet, and are beneficial to people with high blood pressure.
Because of their high nutrient content, eggs are often referred to as nature's multivitamin. One of the few naturally occurring sources of vitamin D is whole eggs. Whole eggs are high in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants, all of which are required for a healthy stress response. Whole eggs are especially high in choline, a nutrient found in high concentrations in only a few foods. Choline has been shown to be beneficial to brain health and may protect against stress.
Nuts are high in nutrients, including B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. B vitamins are an essential part of a healthy diet and can help with stress reduction. Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts may even aid in the reduction of blood pressure. Nuts and seeds are also high in magnesium, which is beneficial because magnesium has been linked to improved anxiety management.
B vitamins are necessary for the health of our nerves and brain cells, and a B vitamin deficiency may cause anxiety. Avocados are high in B vitamins, which are known to help with stress relief. They're also high in monounsaturated fat and potassium, both of which help to keep blood pressure down.
Blueberries may appear small, but they are high in antioxidants and vitamin C, making them effective stress relievers. Our bodies require vitamin C and antioxidants to repair and protect cells when we are stressed. While blueberries are delicious on their own (try freezing them for a cold berry snack), there's no better way to boost the nutrition in a serving of yoghurt or high-fibre cereal than to add them to it.
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that can help you cope with physical and mental stress. Here's a unique way to incorporate ashwagandha into your diet. Take a 1 teaspoon of ashwagandha powder in ghee and mix in some date sugar, honey, jaggery, or coconut sugar (any one of these sweetening ingredients). Consume the mixture approximately 20 minutes before breakfast or later in the day with a cup of milk. If stress is making it difficult to sleep, it is best to take ashwagandha at night as it can help induce sleep. Ashwagandha has also been linked to lower cortisol levels in the morning.
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Toronto, June 21 (IANS) Masks have become an integral part of life due to Covid-19. However, people who struggle with social anxiety might experience increased distress related to mask-wearing during and even after the pandemic, finds a study.
Social anxiety is characterised by negative self-perception and fear that one's appearance or behaviour will fail to conform with social expectations and norms. Social anxiety disorder is an extreme manifestation that affects up to 13 percent of the population.
The study by researchers from the University of Waterloo also has implications for those who haven't necessarily suffered from social anxiety in the past.
"It is also possible that many people who didn't struggle with social anxiety before the pandemic may find themselves feeling more anxious than usual as we emerge out of the pandemic and into a more uncertain future -- especially within social situations where our social skills are rusty and the new rules for social engagement are yet to be written," said David Moscovitch, Professor of clinical psychology at the varsity's Department of Psychology.
For the study, published in the journal Anxiety, Stress and Coping, the researchers reviewed existing literature addressing three factors that they hypothesised might contribute to social anxiety associated with mask-wearing: hypersensitivity to social norms, bias in the detection of social and emotional facial cues, and propensity for self-concealment as a form of safety behaviour.
"We found that mask-wearing by people with social anxiety is likely to be influenced by their perception of social norms and expectations, which may or may not be consistent with public-health guidelines and can vary widely by region and context," said lead author Sidney Saint, an undergraduate psychology student at Waterloo.
The study also highlights that people with social anxiety have difficulty detecting ambiguous social cues and are likely to interpret them negatively. These individuals also tend to worry about sounding incomprehensible or awkward.
Another impact is that masks can function as a type of self-concealment strategy that enables people with social anxiety to hide their self-perceived flaws. Therefore, the desire for self-concealment may motivate their use of masks over and above their desire to protect themselves from contagion.
"Due to their self-concealing function, masks may be difficult for some people to discard even when mask-wearing is no longer required by public health mandates," Saint said.
Have you ever seen someone who worries too much about the future constantly and has this constant fear of uncertainty? Like they will think every negative prospect of a situation. Why do they have this fear? Is it normal to feel this way? How can we get rid of these feelings? You will find all these answers in this article.
Table of contents
• What is anxiety?
• Symptoms of anxiety
• Causes and risk factor
• When you need to see your doctor
• General tips for anxiety
• What to eat and avoid?
• Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Also, Read► Combating Stress And Anxiety With Natural Herbs
What is Anxiety?
In Ayurveda, there are three qualities of mind(mano guna) primarily i.e. sattva, raja, and tama.
Sattva guna is associated with positivity, consciousness, spirituality, and lightness. It represents knowledge and intellect and brings calmness to life.
Raja guna is the most active quality among the three. It is associated with excessive movement and stimulation. It is more focused on achievement and passion.
Tama guna is related to heaviness and inertia. It brings a negative attitude on the front leading to letharginess, excessive sleep, etc.
In Ayurveda, Anxiety is correlated with chittoudvega. Chittoudvega can be defined as chitta(mind) + udvega(anxiety) = chittoudvega (anxious state of mind). Chittoudvega is a psychiatric disorder due to vitiation in raja and tama doshas along with vata and pitta. People having alpa sattva is more prone to anxiety.
Anxiety mainly comprises of two factors:
Fear: unpleasurable feeling in response to danger and threat.
Worry: thinking about unpleasant things that makes you feel unhappy and upsets you.
So chittaudvega or anxiety disorder is characterized by uncontrollable, irrational, and excessive worrying about everyday things that are not even going to happen.
Symptoms of Anxiety
As symptoms of anxiety may differ from person to person but some symptoms are common in all of them like persistent unrealistic worry often associated with muscle tension, insomnia, impaired concentration, feeling ‘on edge’, or restlessness. Other symptoms of anxiety are:
7. Anidra( Insomnia)
8.Nidra nash(Disturbed sleep)
9.Shirash shoonyata(Numbness of mind)
10.Unmattachitattavam(Lack of concentration)
Also, Read► Low fitness may increase depression and anxiety: Study
Causes And Risk Factor of Anxiety
In ayurvedic literature, it is believed that weak sattva leads to anxiety. Vitiation in raja and tama along with vata and pitta is responsible for this psychiatric disorder. Factors that cause anxiety are:
1. Genetic Factor: In some families, it runs from one generation to the next.
2. Traumatic Events: stressful events in life like workplace tension, Financial stress, death of a loved one can lead to anxiety.
3. Excessive Use of Alcohol: Alcoholic tendencies leads to vitiation of raja and tama doshas.
4. Health Issues: Some diseases like heart diseases, thyroid disorders can lead the person to depression. Slowly with time, it results in anxiety.
When You Need To See Your Doctor
It is very normal that you feel anxious before taking an exam or a job interview. But when a person starts having problems in making daily life decisions and worries too much that he/she can't concentrate then they need to consult a doctor. Generally, a diagnosis of anxiety is made when a person continuously feels anxious about everyday problems for more than 6 months.
General Tips For Anxiety
In today's world lifestyle is changing so fast and everybody is trying to fulfill all the physical desires. Everybody seems like he is carrying a weight across their shoulder. So psychiatric disorders like anxiety are quite often seen even in the younger generation. But some of the following tips may help you in relaxation and relieve that mental burden:
1. In Ayurveda weak sattva is considered responsible for mano roga(mental disorder). So sattvavajaya chikitsa(bringing the mind under control) is recommended for peace of mind. For this we should follow these tips:
A. Following ritucharya(seasonal regimen) and dinacharya(daily regimen):
* We should include certain things in our daily lifestyle(dinacharya) like praying, having gratitude towards what we have, cleanliness and vyayam(exercise), etc. This will have a positive impact on our life.
* In certain seasons people feel more anxious like in summers. So we should follow a particular regimen to avoid seasonal anxiety.
B. Sattva guna can be improved by following sadvritta(code of virtues). This includes:
• Moral and ethical conduct
• Truth, non-violence
• Personal hygiene etc.
The practice of sadvritta(behavioral approaches mainly) will reduce stress and anxiety.
C. Annapanavidhi(dietary rules):
Here are few tips:
• Avoiding rajasic and tamasic foods like chili and caffeine.
• Eating meals at the same time.
• Including foods like kshira(milk), ghrita(ghee), draksha(grapes) in the diet to balance vata and pitta dosha.
2. Abhyanga(Body massage): Body massage is a great way to relieve tension and anxiety. One can simply have a tila taila(sesame oil) or sarshap taila(mustard oil) massage.
3. Shirodhara(Streaming of medicated oil, milk, decoction on the forehead): Pouring medicated oils like chandanadi taila or even simple oils like sesame oil over the forehead can calm down those stressed nerves.
4. Pranayam(Breathing exercises): Pranayam have some really good effect on anxiety. One should focus on inhalations and exhalations, and try to lengthen them with some pause. Pranayam like Anulom-vilom(alternate nostril breathing), kapalbhati, bhastrika, and bhramari can soothe your nerves.
5. Yoga and meditation: Some asanas in yoga can help to relieve symptoms of anxiety when practiced regularly like dhanurasan(bow pose), setu bandhasana(bridge pose), marjariasana(cat stretch), shirshaasan(headstand), etc.
Also, Read► Ways to deal with coronavirus anxiety
What To Eat And Avoid?
In ayurvedic literature, dietary habits held great importance in determining a person’s health. As in anxiety, we see symptoms like anannaabhilasha(anorexia) and avipaka(indigestion) related to the gastro intestinal system, it seems more important to focus on the diet of the person. So one should follow these rules:
• One should have regular meals at the same time.
• Eat warm food that is cooked in little oil or ghrita(ghee) to balance vata dosha.
• Include more sattvic foods in the diet like seasonal fruits and homemade simple meals.
• Drink milk mixed with kesar(saffron) before bedtime as it will help in sleep.
• Avoid processed foods like bakery items, frozen food and deep-fried food.
• Avoid rajasic and tamasic foods like chili, caffeine, and processed meats.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What is anxiety?
Ans. Anxiety or as we call it chittoudvega in Ayurveda is characterized by constantly worrying or feeling anxious all the time that a person might feel difficulty in his everyday life. One can also develop physical symptoms gradually like angamarda(body aches), anannaabhilasha(anorexia), anidra(insomnia), etc.
Q2. How can we avoid it?
Ans. As Ayurveda believes in nidana parivarjan(removal of the cause) as its first line of treatment, adopting a yogic lifestyle may help in preventing anxiety. The yamas and niyamas(principles) of yoga can help you achieve that sattvic lifestyle. For instance, the shaucha principle is all about the cleanliness of the mind and body. The Santosh principle talks about contentment with whatever you have in your life. Also, the aparigraha principle can help in controlling our desires to possess more.
One should also eat nutritious food and lead a healthy lifestyle with the help of yoga, pranayama, and dhyana(meditation).
Q3. How can I relieve stress and anxiety naturally?
Ans. Most natural ways to combat anxiety are getting good sleep, exercising, reducing caffeine intake, laughter therapy, practicing breathing exercises, and reducing the causes of stress in your life. Mindfulness, physical connection with your partner, and spending time with your family and friends can also do wonders in this scenario. Just take things slowly and follow one day at a time rule.
Ayurvedic Treatment For Stress And Anxiety
Ayurveda not only talks about physical health but also the mental health of a person is equally important which makes it a complete science for a living. For anxiety also, Ayurveda focuses on both prospects.
Acharya Charak has recommended 3 methods of treatment:
• Daivavyapashraya chikitsa (Spiritual or divine treatment)
• Yukti vyapashraya chikitsa (Logical therapy)
• Satwavajaya chikitsa (Psychotherapy)
1. For daivavyapasraya chikitsa, one should pray to god, give charity, chant different mantras, etc. These practices will lift the spirits of the patient and they can feel more contented in themselves.
2. Yukti vyapashraya or as we may call it drug therapy, targets proper diet, medication, and rasayanas also.
Shodhan therapy (Body detoxification) like nasya(nasal instillation), Abhyanga(body massage), virechana(purgation), basti(enema), shirolepa, taildhara can be helpful in effectively treating this condition.
3. Satwavajaya chikitsa also plays an important role in this. In this, we provide counseling for managing different issues, replace negative thoughts, and restrain the mind from unnecessary thinking by analytical thinking, courage, and knowledge. Different mental disorders which can induce anxiety-like anger issues, PTSD and different type of phobias can also be treated under this.
Ayurvedic Medicine For Stress And Anxiety
There are several medicines in Ayurveda to treat anxiety that have shown amazing results. Medicines like Brahmi ghrita, ashwagandha churna, kalyanak ghrita, panchagavya ghrit, saraswatarishta, sarpagandha, jatamansi, etc are being used by ayurvedic practitioners to tackle this situation.
Q4. What herbs are good for stress and anxiety?
Ans. Herbs like Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), and bhringraj (Eclipta alba) are well-known herbs for anxiety disorder. They help in reducing stress levels, detoxifying the body, and calm your mind. You can simply incorporate them into your lifestyle as tea, oils, or powdered form and get various benefits. Even external application is beneficial in some cases.
Q5. Can anxiety go away naturally?
Ans. Mild cases of anxiety can go away after the issue causing it is resolved. But if you have an anxiety disorder or repetitive attacks, then you might need to see your doctor.
Q6. What is the 333 rule for anxiety?
Ans. As anxiety can flare up at any time of your day, it's really important to take care of your mental health as you do for your body. 333 rule can be really helpful to manage your anxiety attacks. For this, look around you and name 3 things you see. Then focus on your hearing and name 3 sounds that you hear. At last move 3 of your body parts like your fingers, legs, or arms. During this whole process remember to take slow and deep breaths. This is a proven effective method to stop your mind to overthink and calm down your mind.
Q7. What foods to avoid if you have anxiety?
Ans. Different processed foods like bakery goods, frozen food, refined cereals, candy, and fried food are not good for you if you are dealing with anxiety. Also, caffeine, chili, and processed meat should be avoided.
• Agnivesh, “Charak Samhita” revised by Charaka & Dridhbala with “Ayurved Deepika commentary”, by Chkarapanidatta, edited by Vd. Jadavaji Trikamji Acharya, published by Chaukhamba Surbharati Prakashan, Varanasi, Reprint-2008, Ch.Vi 6/5 pp.254.
• Acharya YT. Charaka: Charaka Samhita with Āyurveda Deepika Commentary of Chakrapani: Chaukhambha Orientalia; Varanasi 2002, 383,384
• Acharya Jadavaji Trikamji, editor. Charaka Samhita of Agnivesha, Sutra Sthana, Ch. 1/Ver. 54; 5th ed. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Sanskrit Sanst han; 2001.
Read More► Anxiety: Causes, Symptoms And Ayurvedic Treatment