Mental Well-Being

How Caffeine Withdrawal Can Affect Mental Health


A cup of coffee can definitely make you feel perky and fresh. It is what most of us reach out for first thing in the morning and it is in fact the elixir that keeps us going. But what happens when it is more than one cup of coffee a day, maybe 4, 5, that too over the years?
If you ask any coffee drinker if they can go without their fresh cup of coffee, the answer would be a resounding no. Most times, it is “I cannot go even a day without coffee!”
While there are many benefits that have been cited by experts, too much coffee is definitely not good and there are proven side-effects when you stop coffee or try to cut down.
Here are a few symptoms of caffeine withdrawal and how it can affect your mental health.

1. Irritability
Coffee is often a great mood lifter for anyone used to it and denying them their cup of coffee can mean that they can become rather irritable and touchy.


Like any other addiction, coffee withdrawal can cause anxiety and panic attacks for hardcore coffee drinkers.


3. Nervousness
As surprising as it may be, a simple withdrawal from coffee can cause shivering and nervousness in regular consumers. This can inhibit them from doing their daily tasks.

Caucasian boy crossing fingers

4. Drowsiness
The biggest complaint any coffee drinker would put forth is that they don’t feel the same way when they stop drinking coffee. When they say this, what they often mean is that they don’t feel active and fresh. This is the effect that caffeine has on the brain and when that additional boost is not there, coffee drinkers feel a drop in their levels of activity.


5. Interacting with Other mental illness
While we saw the direct side effects of coffee on mental health, caffeine can also interact with any other mental condition that you might have. Whether it is anxiety, depression or even an insomnia, caffeine tends to make it worse.



Depression in teenagers has become very commonplace today – is it the stress, the pressure to compete or just how mechanical life has gotten? While one can point out many reasons, we cannot deny the indisputable fact that depression today starts early.

The easy thing to do is blame circumstances for it or wonder what could possibly affect them so much that it would push them to depression. However, the difficult thing part is to take the time to identify the problem and help them overcome it.

Here are a few common symptoms of depression in teenagers:


Teenagers do have the general tendency to get irritated when questioned – however, if someone is constantly irritated and seems put off by every small thing, it is a warning that it could hint of a deeper mental illness.


2.Frequent Crying

Crying often and for something that would not warrant crying is a sure sign that the person is suffering from depression. If your teenager is spending a lot of time behind closed doors and always seems to be sad or irritable, do watch out because it could point to clinical depression.

3.Lack of motivation

Teenagers do have the tendency to slack in school but is your teenager losing interest in stuff they used to love doing like continuously missing a dance class or football practice? If this is a trend you are noticing then make sure you sit them down and talk to them.


Observe their body language in different situations – are they constantly fidgety, nervous and restless? This kind of anxious behaviour could mean that there is something that is troubling them deeply that needs your attention.

5.Drop in performance

While there are many reasons and distractions for a drop in performance at school, a sharp decline can hint that they have something that is bothering them emotionally.

6.Unexplained aches and pains

Depression also has physical manifestations – if your teenager is constantly complaining of aches and pains that you cannot seem to find a cause for, the problem could be because they are really stressed and depressed.


10 Things That Happy People Do

10 Things That Happy People Do

Happiness is not a destination but a journey and if you have ever looked at someone who is so happy and wondered what they are doing right – don’t wonder for too long! Here are 10 habits that happy people who are emotionally strong inculcate that helps them to stay the way there.

1.The Art of Gratitude

Being thankful for what you have is almost like practising an art! This is something that those with good emotional strength do because how can you stay happy if you are not cherishing the things that you do currently have?

2.They understand the power of the “Self”

Being accountable for your own actions and not transferring blame or responsibility on someone else, helps people stay strong and happy. Those who are happy understand this very well and have a huge amount of accountability on themselves!

3.They have clear boundaries

Defining your personal boundaries is almost like giving other people guidelines as to how to treat you. This will help avoid any frustration or anger that you might harbour towards other people because if you tell them exactly how to treat you, the chances of them going wrong are lesser!

4.Being comfortable with the past

Happy people are those who have learnt to make peace with their past. Constantly dwelling on what happened is only going to keep pulling you from what happiness that life has to offer for you!


5.They deal with failure

Emotionally strong people don’t let failure pull them down. In fact, they view failure and mistakes as opportunities to grow stronger and come back with an inclination to perform better.

6.They accept when they are wrong

Not accepting when you make a mistake can put a lot of pressure on you and accepting it in fact is a very healthy habit to practise that is vital for your own happiness!

7.They understand that emotional energy is limited

Happy people are careful where they spend their emotional energy because they understand it is limited. Instead of wasting it on pointless arguments and things that drain them, they only choose to do so when it is truly important.

8.They don’t over-think

Are you someone who imagines at least a hundred different possibilities to every situation? This might just be the habit that is keeping you from your happiness! While it is important to plan well, over-thinking is a definite happiness jeopardiser.hey are optimistic

9.They are optimistic

Optimism and having faith that good things will happen, define happy people – constantly thinking negative thoughts can pull you down and make you feel worse and imagine possibilities that probably only occur in your imagination.


10.They are comfortable being alone

Learning to be alone is a huge part of embracing happiness – people who constantly don’t depend on other people to validate, entertain or look out for them are much happier and stronger!


Borderline Personality Disorder

Mental illness has long been belittled by fiction and the name “Borderline Personality Disorder” probably brings to your mind something that is mysterious and scary.

However, the reality is far from it.

Like any other illness one might encounter, there is nothing that is mysterious about BPD. There is a list of symptoms that could mean someone has BPD and there are many ways to treat and reduce the intensity of both the symptoms and the disorder.

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental disorder marked by a pattern of ongoing instability in moods, behavior, self-image, and functioning.  The most important thing to keep in mind here is with these individuals there is always a sense of indecisiveness and instability about them.

Here are a few symptoms that are indicators of BPD:


1.Emotional Instability

People with borderline personality always tend to have a sense of emotional instability – they are constantly oscillating between different emotions that they are processing and a change in their moods or constant irritability is a definite symptom.


2.Instability in relationships

Difficulty maintaining relationships and friendships is sometimes a reality for a lot of us. However, if this is consistent and a pattern in your life, it might be a symptom of BPD.


3. Impulsiveness

People who have BPD tend to make impulsive decisions – whether it is shopping decisions or reckless driving or anything that gives them a momentary adrenaline rush.


4.Suicidal Behaviour

With BPD, the recurrent suicidal behaviour is a pattern that is unavoidable. If you find yourself feeling constantly suicidal or feel that your loved ones are feeling that way, it is a definite symptom of an underlying mental illness and there is a good chance it could be BPD.



5.Stress and Emptiness

BPD tends to drive you to perceive otherwise normal situations as ones that involve a great amount of stress and those with BPD tend to feel empty and lost in a lot of situations. If this feeling persists, it is a good idea to get checked.


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The first thing you need to know about your red blood cell is that they are round and flexible. It is this shape and characteristic that makes them move around easily through your blood vessels.

On World Sickle Cell Day, we try and explore what makes sickle cell anemia a feared disease. What happens to the blood cells and what are the things you should know about this disease?

In sickle cell anemia, the normal red cells turn sticky. They literally are in the shape of a crescent moon or a sickle instead of the healthy round shape that promotes their flexibility. The problem with the irregularity in shape is that these cells get stuck and are not healthy enough to carry blood. This prevents and blocks the flow of oxygen to the body.

Here are a few things you need to know about the Sickle Cell Disease

Birth defect

Sickle cell anemia is not a disease that is acquired during your lifetime. If someone has sickle cell anemia, it is present from their birth. However, the problems are not recognized until the baby is about a few months old.


Episodes of pain

Pain of varying intensity that lasts anything between a few hours to a few weeks can occur for those who suffer from the sickle cell disease. This pain can also occur in their bones and this can develop into chronic pain.



Swelling of hands and feet is a common symptom of sickle cell anaemia – this swelling is usually caused because the sickle shaped blood cells block oxygen flow to the hands and feet.



One of the major concerns with sickle cell anaemia is that it can damage the organs that help the body fight infections and this would mean that those with sickle cell anaemia are more prone to infections.


Delayed growth

Red blood cells are the ones that provide oxygen and nutrients to your body and a problem with them means that your body is not getting the nutrients it needs to grow. This is why delayed growth and puberty is often a sign of sickle cell anemia.



7 signs to know that you have ADHD

7 signs to know

Attention deficiency hyperactivity disorder or ADHD as it is commonly referred to is a complex disorder that has caused quite a stir in the medical world especially when it is present among adults.

When someone says ADHD, the first thing you would think of is a child who is unable to focus on his or her homework as this disorder is believed to be widely prevalent among children. However, adult ADHD is a real thing and it is believed that some children carry these symptoms into adulthood!

Do you think you just can’t “focus”?  Are you missing out on little things or does attending to details make you tired?

Here are a few signs to know if you have ADHD.

Inability to Focus
This is not just about being distracted at work or being distracted when given a task. Do you find yourself drifting off to your own world when someone is talking to you? Do you think you easily lose train of thoughts or conversations? This is a sure sign that you might be suffering from ADHD!



Ability to focus on certain tasks
While ADHD is often about being scattered and not concentrating, people with ADHD can also focus with great details on tasks they enjoy doing. If you find yourself doing with excellent precision the tasks you love doing, it might be because your brain is choosing to selectively focus!



Being Forgetful
From forgetting where you left the car keys to missing out on deadlines because they just slipped off your head, forgetfulness that is a notch higher than every day forgetfulness for people is a sign of ADHD.



With ADHD, anxiety is another complication that arises. If you find yourself fidgety and anxious about tasks that need to be done or you get apprehensive a lot, it might be because of ADHD.



Issues in relationships
With ADHD, people find it very hard to sustain emotional relationships. It can be because of distractions, getting bored, anxiety or the inability to focus but if you have constant trouble holding on to relationships or find yourself in relationship issues every very often, ADHD might be the culprit.



While multi-tasking is considered an invaluable trait in the modern world, if you are constantly shifting between one task to another because you are bored or just cannot focus on one task at a given time, it is because of scattered attention. At a given point of time, a person with ADHD might be working on 10 things just because he or she will get bored working on one!



Impulsive Behavior
With ADHD, there is a tendency to act impulsively without paying much heed to the consequences. If you find yourself acting out of impulse every once in a while despite your actions being inconsiderate or socially inappropriate, this is a definite warning sign of adult ADHD.


How to deal with mid-life crisis?

mid life crisis

Many of us do hit a stage of life where we realize that time may have caught up with us in which we may suffer a crisis of confidence that impacts our lives and careers. Getting through a midlife crisis is a challenge, but it is something which can be dealt with.

Here are four strategies for coping with this difficult stage of life:

1. Nurture yourself

With midlife challenges, a fast pace lifestyle can be stressful. Taking time off for yourself can make a world of difference and allow you to put events and challenges into perspective. Turn off the cell phone, television or your computer and pursue fun or out of the ordinary activities, such as visiting a park, getting a massage or going for a bike ride.



2. Exercise

Physical activity is the best way to relieve stress and elevate your mood. Even a 20-30 minute brisk walk around the neighborhood will help. Fitness activities are necessary to maintain mental and physical health. You can also include your friends or family members in your fitness activities for additional support.



3. Create New Goals

Taking steps towards positive changes can bring new energy to your life and career. Make a list of everything to accomplish in the next year, in the next five years, and in the next twenty years. Talk to your loved ones about your new personal goals, and how they can be achieved.



4. Talk to someone

Don’t bottle your feelings up. Talk to someone you trust, it can be your friends, family or a therapist. Alternatively, keeping a journal can help you make a sense of your thoughts and feelings and understand the stresses in your life or career.



Importance of Medication in Curing Mental Illness

Medication in Curing Mental Illness

Did you know 1 in 5 people experience mental illness in some form? And this is not the scary part. What is scary is the fact that this illness is more common than other deadly diseases yet the most neglected because of the stigma attached. With the advancement in science and research, these disorders can be treated and corrected by medications.

In simpler terms, getting help for mental illness should be equivalent to getting treated for other physical illnesses such as headaches, TB or eyesight problems. Researchers have proved that mental illness is a result of chemical imbalance in a person’s brain and it can be addressed with the help of medication and just like with any other medication, this treatment will also take time to show its effects.

So if you or a person you know is suffering, we request to you break the stigma and get the right treatment. The first step towards treatment is getting diagnosed. Only through diagnosis can a doctor prescribe the option that suits you best.

Below are the medication categories from which doctors generally prescribe:

1. Anti-psychotic – Used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, this drug helps reduce or eliminates the tendency to hallucinate and helps maintain a balance in mood. It also promotes focus on reality, sleeping habits and effective communications.

2. Antidepressants – Used to treat insomnia, depression and anxiety, this drug is helpful in suppressing the chemicals in the brain that upset one’s mood and emotions while promoting sleep and concentration.

3. A mood stabilizer – As the name suggests this drug helps one maintain a balance in their mood and helps to cope with life’s ups and downs with ease. This drug is more commonly combined with antidepressants to treat severe forms of depression.

4. Stimulants – Are prescribed to treat people diagnosed with ADHD – a disorder that causes hyperactivity and reduced attention span in an individual. This drug stimulates the brain and paves way for it work more effectively.


While these medications help treat the actual illness, the patient undergoing the treatment might experience a few side effects. It is highly recommended that the patient or the care taker is watchful and in touch with their doctors periodically to face undesirable situations.



Anger & Hypertension

Hypertention day

You live in India where – the roads are bad, the traffic is worse, the power cuts in summer are frequent and of course the gundas and the politicians are a class by themselves. Just reading that sentence must have you nodding and possibly a little angry right? Imagine how you react when you are faced with all of the above and many other scenarios and people – irritation and maybe even full-fledged anger!

Reports indicate that low to moderate levels of anger are ok but explosive anger can definitely lead to long time problems. Remember the ‘Fight or Flight’ stress hormone from your childhood textbooks? Well uncontrolled anger triggers the ‘Fight’ hormone causing your heart to beat faster and your arteries to constrict, leading in the long run to – Hypertension as a condition.

If all this sounds like you, than we suggest that this World Hypertension Day, you take some time off and go check on your blood pressure numbers.  We have 5 quick tips to help you stave off the anger:

1. Take a break: Take a deep breath, count till 10 or step away from the problem.



2. Think first, react later: Give yourself time to think things over and if getting angry about the situation is really worth it.

3. Exercise regularly: All categories of physical activity – moderate to extreme – can offer a channel for your emotions, particularly when you’re about to explode.


4. Talk through the problem: Express your frustration in a non-confrontational manner with the person or persons involved.


5. Look for solutions: Analyze the situation and see how you can prevent it from happening again or what the solution to the problem is.



All said and done, always remember that you are not in it alone. There are many like you out there and there are professionals who can help you deal with the anger and its management so that you do not end up with a dangerous condition such as hypertension.




mood and weather SOH

Happiness and sunshine are almost synonymous to most of us. Think of a moody day –  an image of dark clouds that refuse to pour flashes before our eyes. Not just this, why is it that we feel like getting started on work when the weather is warm and all we want to do is sit by the window with a cup of coffee on a rainy day?

Does the weather affect our moods? Most definitely!

Here are 4 ways in which the weather can affect your mood.

Lack of sunlight

“Get outdoors more often!” Have you heard someone say this when you tell them you have been feeling low? Getting outdoors is important because the lack of sunlight can affect your mood and appetite. It is not without reason that we say some people are like the sunshine – sunshine is well, an actual mood lifter!



Physical lethargy during cold

By reducing your sensory feedback, dexterity and muscle strength – cold weather actually makes you feel lazy. If you find yourself continuously feeling lazy in winter, make sure you stretch for at least a couple of minutes every morning.


Rain and hunger

A cup of coffee, something fried or at least junk food – why do we crave for such foods when it rains?  While you might think it has something to do with you, it has a lot more to do with the weather. With a dip in your serotonin levels because of lack of sunlight during rains – your carbohydrate craving naturally increase and you feel hungrier.


Pleasant weather and creativity

What has the weather and creativity got to do with each other?  A brisk walk in pleasant weather when it is sunny or breezy can improve not just your mood but also your productivity and ability to think. It is also said to be a good memory booster!



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