“Wellness: the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind; a conscious, dynamic, and ever-changing process of physical, mental, and emotional well-being….”
Anxiety is a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. These disorders affect how we feel and behave and can cause physical symptoms.
The term “anxiety disorder” refers to specific psychiatric disorders that involve extreme fear or worry, and includes generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder and panic attacks, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, selective mutism, separation anxiety, and specific phobias. Anxiety disorders are real, serious medical conditions – just as real and serious as physical disorders such as heart disease or diabetes. Anxiety disorders are the most common and pervasive mental disorders in the United States.
Chronic pain is often defined as any pain lasting more than 12 weeks. Whereas acute pain is a normal sensation that alerts us to possible injury, chronic pain is very different.
Chronic pain persists—often for months or even longer. Chronic pain may arise from an initial injury, such as a back sprain, or there may be an ongoing cause, such as illness. However, there may also be no clear cause. Other health problems, such as fatigue, sleep disturbance, decreased appetite, and mood changes, often accompany chronic pain.
Chronic pain may limit a person’s movements, which can reduce flexibility, strength, and stamina. This difficulty in carrying out important and enjoyable activities can lead to disability and despair.
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic (lasting greater than six months) pain
condition that most often affects one limb (arm, leg, hand, or foot) usually after an injury. CRPS is believed to be caused by damage to, or malfunction of, the peripheral and central nervous systems.
The central nervous system is composed of the brain and spinal cord; the peripheral nervous system involves nerve signaling from the brain and spinal cord to the rest of the body. CRPS is characterized by prolonged or excessive pain and changes in skin color, temperature, and/or swelling in the affected area. CRPS symptoms vary in severity and duration, although some cases are mild and eventually go away.
In more severe cases, individuals may not recover and may have long-term disability.
Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.
Some forms of depression are slightly different, or they may develop under unique circumstances, such as: Persistent depressive disorder, Postpartum depression, Psychotic depression, Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and Bipolar disorder.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.
Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event. Symptoms include widespread pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and cognitive difficulties.
Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression.
Migraines are a recurring type of headache. They cause moderate to severe pain that is throbbing or pulsing. The pain is often on one side of your head. You may also have other symptoms, such as nausea and weakness. You may be sensitive to light and sound.
About 12 percent of Americans get migraines. They can affect anyone, but you are more likely to have them if you: are a woman (Women are three times more likely than men to get migraines); have a family history of migraines. Most people with migraines have family members who have migraines; have other medical conditions, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, and epilepsy.
There are four different phases of migraines: Prodome, Aura, Headache, Postdrome. Migraines are more common in the morning; people often wake up with them. Some people have migraines at predictable times, such as before menstruation or on weekends following a stressful week of work.
POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)
PTSD is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.
It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. Fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a typical reaction meant to protect a person from harm. Nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma, yet most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. Those who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with PTSD. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they are not in danger.
Symptoms include flashbacks, bad dreams, recurring thoughts, avoidance behaviors, hyperarousal, agitation, cognitive difficulties, and mood disorders. PTSD is often accompanied by depression, substance abuse, or one or more of the other anxiety disorders.
Not every traumatized person develops ongoing (chronic) or even short-term (acute) PTSD. Not everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event. Some experiences, like the sudden, unexpected death of a loved one, can also cause PTSD. Symptoms usually begin early, within 3 months of the traumatic incident, but sometimes they begin years afterward. The course of the illness varies. Some people recover within 6 months, while others have symptoms that last much longer. In some people, the condition becomes chronic.
Suicidal thoughts, or suicidal ideation, means thinking about or planning suicide.Thoughts can range from a detailed plan to a fleeting consideration. It does not include the final act of suicide.
Suicidal thoughts are common, and many people experience them when they are undergoing stress or experiencing depression. In most cases, these are temporary and can be treated, but in some cases, they place the individual at risk for attempting or completing suicide.
Most people who experience suicidal ideation do not carry it through, although some may make suicide attempts. Causes of suicidal thoughts can include depression, anxiety, eating disorders such as anorexia, and substance abuse. People with a family history of mental illness are more likely to have suicidal thoughts.
A person who is experiencing or could experience suicidal thoughts may show the following signs or symptoms: feeling or appearing to feel trapped or hopeless; feeling intolerable emotional pain; having mood swings, either happy or sad; being agitated, or in a heightened state of anxiety; experiencing changes in personality, routine, or sleeping patterns; consuming drugs or more alcohol than usual, or starting drinking when they had not previously done so; engaging in risky behavior, such as driving carelessly or taking drugs; experiencing depression, panic attacks, impaired concentration, and more.