You scraped your knee a few days ago. Now your cut is surrounded by angry, red skin that’s sore, warm to the touch, and emitting a gross amount of pus. Are you suffering from an infected wound? Chances are the answer is “yes.” Here’s what to … Read More
Worry and anxiety can become so severe that a person is no longer able to go to work or function in his or her day-to-day life. This phenomenon is sometimes called a nervous breakdown. It’s not a real medical term, but rather a description of symptoms. The inability to function is serious, and it requires help from a mental health provider.
Stress and anxiety affect everyone from time to time. But sometimes the stress becomes so overwhelming that a person is entirely unable to function. The extreme reaction that sometimes follows excessive stress was referred to in the mid 20th century as a nervous breakdown, although the term is used less often today.
A nervous breakdown isn’t a true medical condition or diagnosis. Instead, it’s an unhealthy response to stress that produces severe and life-altering symptoms. Essentially, the body just shuts down, no longer able to cope. Someone who has been working around the clock, or who has been under intense pressure to perform may be more vulnerable to having a nervous breakdown. An underlying mental health issue, such as depression, can often precipitate a nervous breakdown.
Nervous breakdowns typically come with warning signs. Some people began hallucinating; seeing or hearing things that aren’t really there. Others may become listless, losing energy and interest in activities they once enjoyed. A nervous breakdown can come on slowly, or someone may “snap” and be immediately rendered unable to function.
In the midst of a nervous breakdown, a person may completely withdraw from life. He or she might repeatedly call in sick to work or school, avoid interactions with friends, stop eating, and sleep all day.
If you notice any signs of intense stress or an impending nervous breakdown, try to take time off to do things you enjoy. Exercise, go to a movie, or get a massage to ease the building tension. Relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation can often calm the worries that precipitate a nervous breakdown. If relaxation and breaks don’t help, get evaluated by a mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor. Today, what was previously referred to as a nervous breakdown will be more specifically diagnosed as depression, an anxiety disorder, or another mental health issue.
Fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains and low-fat/fat-free dairy products, are cornerstones of the heart- and blood-pressure-friendly DASH diet. Not only are they generally low in sodium, but many of them are good sources of other nutrients that are associated with lower blood pressure:
- Potassium: Good dietary sources include … Read More
The sensation of twitching while sleeping is a common occurrence, but many people who experience sudden but brief muscle movements at night aren’t even aware that they’re happening. Sometimes, however, the twitching or jerking of your hand or foot—a condition known as sleep myoclonus—is enough to … Read More
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a rating system that measures how much a carbohydrate-containing food raises your blood-sugar levels. The lower a food is on the GI, the lower the effect on your blood sugar. Low-glycemic foods also can reduce your risk … Read More
Alternative treatment options can be a good adjunct to medication when it comes to managing arthritis symptoms. Some of the options address physical causes of pain, but don’t forget that chronic pain is complicated.
In arthritis, tissue inflammation, bone erosion, and nerve impingement can combine to “rewire” your nervous system, making … Read More
Have you ever been warned that you should cut bread out of your diet because it's full of carbohydrates, makes you gain weight, and is bad for your health? If you’re a bread lover, sourdough bread may be a great option.
Sourdough bread's health benefits make it an … Read More
Close your eyes and sit up straight. Take a deep breath while you count to five, then count to five again as you exhale. Go ahead and try it right now for six breaths. It feels good, doesn’t it? Here’s what happens when you do easy breathing exercises:
- First, you … Read More
There are several reasons why certain foods are good for your cholesterol and your heart health. Some have direct effects on reducing LDL and/or triglycerides. Others are more filling and, if they’re low in calories, will help with weight loss. Plus, by filling up on these healthier options, you’re not … Read More
The “abs” get most of the attention in advertisements for strength devices, and a big waist is something almost everyone tries to avoid. But the first sign of weak core muscles is poor posture—both standing and sitting. Other signs are back pain and muscle weakness.
The American Physical Therapy Association … Read More
SIBO treatment (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) is often needed for many people with chronic gas, bloating, and abdominal pain. (Find a full discussion of SIBO symptoms by clicking here.)
An increasingly recognized problem, SIBO occurs when bacteria that normally occupy the colon migrate to the Read More