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The Link Between Sleep and Depression

Any individuals who have encountered depression realize that sleep difficulties frequently surround it. It can be hard for persons with depression to feel sleepy and keep sleeping through the nighttime. They may also have extreme drowsiness during the day or perhaps even too much sleep.

Sleep disorders can worsen the acute depression at the very same period, leading to a decrease in the cycle between depression and sleeping that can be tough to crack. In certain individuals, sleep deprivation can also trigger severe depression. Knowing the dynamic link between sleeping and anxiety may be a significant factor in enhancing the effectiveness of sleeping and reducing depression symptoms properly.

Depression and its Connection with Sleep

A positive response to difficulties in life may be emotions of sorrow, anger, or helplessness. These emotions typically occur in stages, are connected to emotions or memories of stressful circumstances, last for maybe a tiny period of time, and do not interact with education, jobs, or love relations. Though doctors do not really know the correct symptoms of stress, the likelihood of experiencing this disease can be raised by a variety of causes. This involves possessing a history of mental health issues in person or in the household, suffering peak intensity or traumatic events, having some drugs, and getting particular diseases.

Research says that, response to fluctuations in the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain, prolonged sleep deficiency, or decreased sleep over time, contribute to anxiety and depression. Severe sleep loss, on the other case, can help battle depression, although this is not without adverse effects and further testing is required before this could be deemed an alternative for medication.

More Symptoms and Solutions

Although mental health problems such as depression have historically been recognized to frequently cause symptoms such as insomnia or sleepiness, new evidence shows that the association between poor sleep and depression is bidirectional. This suggests that the lack of sleep is not simply a function of depression. Depressive symptoms can also be induced or exacerbated by sleep loss or sleep disruption in itself. Because insomnia has been recognized as a cause of depression, studies claim that identifying and treating sleep disorders early on can help minimize the risk of insomnia or decrease depression and anxiety. You can take antidepressants or sleeping pills to fight this problem (only after consulting with a specialist).

More Research Needed

That being said, to even further investigate the possible effect of insomnia therapy on the likelihood of depression and symptoms mitigation, additional investigations are necessary.

Double Depression-: What It Is and What to Do If You Have It

Double depression is a psychiatric illness called Dysthymia. Dysthymia is referred to as mild, chronic depression with fewer symptoms, mostly low energy or low self-esteem that linger for a more extended period like two years in adults and one year in kids. This “dark mode” or “phase of sadness” can be prolonged for many years too. These fewer symptoms go on increasing and worsen the Dysthymia and can result in severe depression. This depression on top of Dysthymia is called Double Depression.

Causes

Researches are still going on to find the exact causes of Dysthymia or Double Depression. But studies show that there are various contributors to depression problems such as
i) genes

  1. ii) Family history of Depression

iii) Abnormal brain circuits regulating mood

  1. iv) Trauma events
    v) life stressors
  2. vi) Chronic illness
    vii) medications
    viii) Work stress
  3. ix) Relationship or breakups
    x) Loss of closed ones

All of the above reasons can cause Dysthymia, and the increasing symptoms can top depression more. The more time any person is exposed to the depression phase, the faster their chances to diagnose with double depression.

Symptoms

Depression symptoms are easily visible to a person who is watching a depressed. But it is often not visible to a depressed person him/herself even though he/she experiences it. The symptoms include:

i) Depressed or sad mood almost most of the day and every day

  1. ii) Extreme hopelessness

iii) Low on energy or restlessness that is visible

  1. iv) Weight gain or appetite
  2. v) Lack of focus or concentration
  3. vi) Insomnia or oversleeping

vii) The feeling of loss of control over life

viii) Existential crisis or low self-esteem

  1. ix) Loss of interest in life activities
  2. x) Suicidal thoughts, agitated behavior

    Not all of the symptoms need to show up together or be experienced at a time. There can be only 2-3 symptoms that might be significant contributors to driving the depression. Most of the time, depression starts with the isolation that is a preference to stay alone, a sense of worthlessness, running away from real-world and oversleeping or insomnia due to excessive negative thoughts.

Over some time, these symptoms go on increasing. One sign becomes the cause of others, and this prolonged phase over some time develops double depression that can even stay for decades.

Diagnosing Double Depression

Doule Depression is said to be the most severe treating depression as it has already crossed the two years of Dysthymia and has developed over the years because it has been not correctly diagnosed before. The solution of Double Depression is its prevention in early stages. But once this stage is crossed, the depression survivor has become a changed person, and depression has already taken over his mind.

The right ways to diagnose the depression are seeking out help, and a lot of depression victims exactly fail at it, which results in worsening the situation. Treating the Dysthymia first is the only way to reduce the level of double depression.
Here are some possible ways of treating Double Depression:

i) Antidepressants: Antidepressants drugs help to balance chemicals in the brain that affect moods.
ii) Psychotherapies: Cognitive therapy or Cognitive psychotherapy can help to understand details and treat the patient to change their negative thoughts or perspective to develop a positive approach.

iii) Interpersonal therapy: Therapy that involves breaking the person’s fears or overcoming them by putting them in various situations during counseling.

Hopeful on COVID-19 Research- Not one, but Two Vaccines show promise.

COVID-19 pandemic has spread all over the world and has brought everyone’s life to a standstill situation. Everyone has been holding back in their houses from the last 4-5 months, and no one knows when this will come to an end.

Scientists and researchers are hopeful that the COVID-19 vaccines will definitely and effectively treat this virus and vanish it off from the world. But making these vaccines is not an easy task. Everyone is trying their level best to find the best solution for this pandemic, and some have become successful in it all these months. We are slowly discovering the right treatment to remove this virus from the human body and this world.

From the last few days, the researchers can find some adequate solutions to this problem. They are finding vaccines that will effectively treat COVID-19 patients in this world.

Vaccines researched till now that can become a solution to this virus:-

The two vaccines that have proved to treat the COVID-19 patients effectively from the last few days of day and night research.

The two vaccines are stated and described as follows-

  1. Covaxin:

Covaxin vaccine is a product form the Bharat Biotech and has proved to be very useful since the time of its launch. The Bharat Biotech has launched it in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Covaxin needs high protection in its preparation and complete safety norms to adhere as outlined by the regulatory authorities; that is why the company has prepared it in its highly protected and containment area.

Covaxin vaccine is vital to destroy the future of COVID-19 from the world and erase its existence and make it disappear forever. The vaccine will surely prove to be very efficient in healing the COVID-19 patients and will bring a healthy tomorrow for the whole world without any doubt.

 

  1. ZyCoV-D:

ZyCoV-D vaccine is popularly launched in the DNA vaccine platform all over India, and the trials have already begun in humans. The test for this vaccine will be conducted on not only some but 1000 volunteers, and everyone is very excited and anxious about the launch of the same.

This vaccine is successfully launched by the Zydus Cadila Company and is very active and productive according to the company’s recommendation.

This vaccine, if successful, will bring a new tomorrow for the people all over the world as it will raise new hopes among the people that the pandemic can be abolished.

The success of this vaccine, against the Covaxin, is critical and crucial for the whole world at this stage.

Conclusion:-

The above vaccines are the best solutions available to date for the most disastrous and dangerous pandemic that has occurred in our lives. If we want to erase this pandemic from our lives forever, then we will surely have to do something meaningful and essential in our lives, at least for ourselves. Keeping ourselves healthy and safe is the only thing that makes a lot of meaning at this time. Protection, precaution, and safety are all it takes to throw out this virus from the world.

Using CBD Oil For Depression: Does It Work?

Depression is a type of disorder that affects your mental health most. It is a feeling of fear, anger, or loss that can interfere with the daily schedules. It will change your working capacity and productivity. Depression is a severe issue, and it requires a timely solution. The signs of depression vary from one individual to another.

There are many causes of depression, including drugs, medication, family problems, and early childhood trauma. Depression is one of the fastest-growing problems of the world, and according to WHO, more than 264 million people are suffering from this issue. There are many harmful effects of depression; some of them are listed below.

  • Physical pain
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Suicide
  • Panic attacks

It is necessary to deal with depression at an early phase. The use of antidepressants is the most common way to treat depression. But according to a study, 33% of total sufferers of depression don’t get relief by medication. Hence, some people recommend the use of CBD oil to deal with depression. Here we discuss the usefulness of cannabinoids for the patients of depression.

What Is CBD Oil?

CBD Oil is a compound made from cannabinoids. What is Cannabinoid? It is a naturally occurring compound extracted from the hemp plant. The use of the hemp plant was illegal in the USA before 2018. Then the government passed a bill according to which use of the hemp plant is safe for medical purposes.

People often get confused between hemp and marijuana, both the plants contain CBD, but they are different from each other based on the amount of THC present. The hemp plant comprises less than 0.3% of THC, where marijuana gives more than that amount. Hence the government allows the only hemp for usage because it has less THC, but why?

This is because THC is a compound that makes you high. It is not ideal for your brain and mental health. Hence only hemp plants are used for making CBD oil. CBD oil is 100% legal, and it doesn’t cause any severe side effects to your body.

Should We Use CBD For Depression?

CBD is helpful for the patients suffering from depression. In many studies, CBD is found as a promising compound for the treatment of depression and anxiety. Research shows that the intake of CBD has a positive effect on serotonin receptors present in the brain.

Serotonin is an essential receptor of the body, and it controls many functions of the body. It controls a person’s emotional and happy states. It has a profound impact on our well being, and it is essential to maintain serotonin to recover from depression.

Other studies also showed the effectiveness of CBD for individuals facing depression. The use of CBD produces both antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects. CBD’s use is non-addictive, but it has some side effects depending on the person and its usage. Individuals who are allergic or sensitive to CBD found the below side effects.

  • Diarrhea
  • Change in weight
  • Tiredness

There may be good results of CBD, but it doesn’t mean you stop the intake of antidepressants. You must consult your doctor before switching to CBD.

What Else Can I Do To Fight Depression?

  • Never leave alone. Make friends and build a network. If you feel depressed, talk to your close ones.
  • Sleep adequately. Proper sleep reduces the pressure of mind and helps you feel refreshed.
  • Eat a balanced diet, and stop eating junk and street food.
  • Meditate daily. Medication is the best way to reduce the symptoms of depression.
  • Try listening to your favorite music or watch movies.
  • Stay connected with nature, go for exercise, and walk in a field or park.

Dissociative Amnesia

Dissociative Amnesia

The essential feature of dissociative amnesia is a sudden inability to recall important personal information that can’t be explained by ordinary forgetfulness. The patient typically can’t recall all events that occurred during a specific period, but other types of recall disturbance also are possible.

This disorder commonly occurs during war and natural disasters. Although it’s more common in adolescents and young women, it also is seen in young men after combat experience. The amnesic event typically ends abruptly, and recovery is complete, with rare recurrences.

Causes

Dissociative amnesia follows severe psychosocial stress, often involving a threat of physical injury or death. Amnesia also may occur after thinking about or engaging in unacceptable behavior such as an extramarital affair.

Symptoms

The most common symptom of dissociative amnesia is memory loss. Shortly after becoming amnesic, a person may seem confused. Many people with dissociative amnesia are somewhat depressed or very distressed by their amnesia.

Diagnosis

The doctor carefully reviews the person’s signs and symptoms, and performs a physical examination to exclude physical causes of amnesia. Tests, including electroencephalography and blood testing for toxins and drugs, are sometimes needed to exclude physical causes. A psychologic examination is also performed. Special psychologic tests often help the doctor better characterize and understand the person’s dissociative experiences to develop a treatment plan.

Treatment

Psychotherapy aims to help the patient recognize the traumatic event that triggered the amnesia and the anxiety it produced. A trusting therapeutic relationship is essential to achieving this goal. The therapist subsequently attempts to teach the patient reality based coping strategies.

Prevention

Strategies for the prevention of child abuse might lower the incidence of dissociative amnesia in the general population. There are no effective preventive strategies for dissociative amnesia caused by traumatic experiences in adult life in patients without a history of childhood abuse.

Video

References

Depersonalization Disorder

Depersonalization Disorder

Persistent or recurrent episodes of detachment characterize depersonalization disorder. During these episodes, self-awareness is temporarily altered or lost; the patient often perceives this alteration in consciousness as a barrier between himself and the outside world. The sense of depersonalization may be restricted to a single body part such as a limb, or it may encompass the whole self.

Although the patient seldom loses touch with reality completely, the episodes of depersonalization may cause him severe distress.

Depersonalization disorder usually has a sudden onset in adolescence or early in adult life. It follows a chronic course, with periodic exacerbations and remissions, and resolves gradually.

Causes

Depersonalization disorder typically stems from severe stress, including war experiences, accidents, and natural disasters.

Symptoms

The primary symptom of depersonalization disorder is a distorted perception of the body. The person might feel like he or she is a robot or in a dream. Some people might fear they are going crazy and might become depressed, anxious, or panicky. For some people, the symptoms are mild and last for just a short time. For others, however, symptoms can be chronic (ongoing) and last or recur for many years, leading to problems with daily functioning or even to disability.

Treatment

Psychotherapy aims to establish a trusting therapeutic relationship in which the patient can come to recognize the traumatic event and the anxiety it evoked. The therapist subsequently teaches the patient to use reality-based coping strategies rather than to detach himself from the situation. A person in treatment for a dissociative disorder might benefit from antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication.

Prevention

Some clinicians think that depersonalization disorder has an undetected onset in childhood, even though most patients first appear for treatment as adolescents or young adults. Preventive strategies could include the development of screening techniques for identifying children at risk, as well as further research into the effects of emotional abuse on children. It is also hopeful that further neurobiological research will lead to the development of medications or other treatment modalities for preventing, as well as treating, depersonalization.

References

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa

The key feature of anorexia nervosa is self-imposed starvation resulting from a distorted body image and an intense and irrational fear of gaining weight, even when obviously emaciated. An anorexic patient is preoccupied with her body size, describes herself as “fat,” and commonly expresses dissatisfaction with a particular aspect of her physical appearance. Although the term anorexia suggests that the patient’s weight loss is associated with a loss of appetite, this is rare.

Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa can occur simultaneously. In anorexia nervosa, the refusal to eat may be accompanied by compulsive exercising, self­induced vomiting, or abuse of laxatives or diuretics.

Anorexia occurs in 5% to 10% of the population; more than 90% of those affected are females. It occurs primarily in adolescents and young adults but also may affect older women and, occasionally, males.

Causes

The cause of anorexia nervosa is unknown. Researchers in neuroendocrinology are seeking a physiologic cause but have found nothing definite. Clearly, social attitudes that equate slimness with beauty play some role in provoking this disorder; family factors also are implicated. Most theorists believe that refusing to eat is a subconscious effort to exert personal control over life or to protect oneself from dealing with issues surrounding sexuality.

Signs and symptoms

One important sign that someone may be suffering from anorexia nervosa is grossly distorted body image, meaning that the person feels they are overweight and, in fact, appear thin. Other symptoms may include unnatural fear of weight gain, compulsive exercising, self-starvation, loss of energy, and, in girls who have started menstruating, amenorrhea, or absence of at least three consecutive menstrual cycles. Those with anorexia nervosa may begin to appear emaciated.

Over time, the disorder may cause serious health problems including sudden death, congestive heart failure, dental problems, growth retardation, stomach rupture, swelling of the salivary glands, anemia, abnormalities of the blood, loss of kidney function and osteoporosis.

Treatment

Appropriate treatment aims to promote weight gain or control the patient’s compulsive binge eating and purging and to correct malnutrition and the underlying psychological dysfunction. Hospitalization in a medical or psychiatric unit may be required to improve the patient’s precarious physical state. Hospitalization may be as brief as 2 weeks or may stretch from a few months to 2 years or longer.

A team approach to care – combining aggressive medical management, nutritional counseling, and individual. group, or family psychotherapy or behavior modification therapy – is the best approach. Treatment is difficult, and results may be discouraging. Many clinical centers are now developing inpatient and outpatient programs specifically for managing eating disorders.

Treatment may include behavior modification (privileges depend on weight gain); curtailed activity for physical reasons (such as arrhythmias); vitamin and mineral supplements; a reasonable diet, with or without liquid supplements; subclavian, peripheral, or enteral hyperalimentation (enteral and peripheral routes carry less risk of infection); and group, family, or individual psychotherapy.

Supportive care by health care providers, structured behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, and anti-depressant drug therapy are some of the methods that are used for treatment. Severe and life-threatening malnutrition may require intravenous feeding.

Prevention

Preventive measures to reduce the incidence of anorexia are not known at this time. However, early detection and intervention can reduce the severity of symptoms, enhance the child’s normal growth and development, and improve the quality of life experienced by children or adolescents with anorexia nervosa. Encouraging healthy eating habits and realistic attitudes toward weight and diet may also be helpful.

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anorexia_nervosa
  2. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/anorexia/

Delusional Disorders

Delusional Disorders

According to the DSM-IV. delusional disorders are characterized by false beliefs with a plausible basis in reality. Formerly referred to as paranoid disorders, delusional disorders are known to involve erotomanic, grandiose, jealous, or somatic themes as well as persecutory delusions. Some patients experience several types of delusions; other patients experience unspecified delusions that have no dominant theme.

Delusional disorders commonly begin in middle or late adulthood, usually between ages 40 and 55, but they can occur at a younger age. These uncommon illnesses affect less than 1 % of the population; the incidence is about equal in men and women. Typically chronic, these disorders often interfere with social and marital relationships but seldom impair intellectual or occupational functioning significantly.

Causes

Delusional disorders of later life strongly suggest a hereditary predisposition. At least one study has linked the development of delusional disorders to inferiority feelings in the family. Some researchers suggest that delusional disorders are the product of specific early childhood experiences with an authoritarian family structure. Others hold that anyone with a sensitive personality is particularly vulnerable to developing a delusional disorder.

Certain medical conditions are known to exaggerate the risks of delusional disorders: head injury, chronic alcoholism, deafness, and aging. Predisposing factors linked to aging include isolation, lack of stimulating interpersonal relationships, physical illness, and diminished hearing and vision. In addition, severe stress (such as a move to a foreign country) may precipitate a delusional disorder.

Symptoms

The presence of non-bizarre delusions is the most obvious symptom of this disorder. Other symptoms that might appear include:

  • An irritable, angry, or low mood
  • Hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not really there) that are related to the delusion (For example, a person who believes he or she has an odor problem may smell a bad odor.)

Diagnosis

Patients with delusional symptoms should undergo a thorough physical examination and patient history to rule out possible organic causes (such as dementia). If a psychological cause is suspected, a mental health professional will typically conduct an interview with the patient and administer one of several clinical inventories, or tests, to evaluate mental status

Treatment

Effective treatment of delusional disorders, consisting of a combination of drug therapy and psychotherapy, must correct the behavior and mood disturbances that result from the patient’s mistaken belief system. Treatment also may include mobilizing a support system for the isolated, aged patient.

Drug treatment with antipsychotic agents is similar to that used in schizophrenic disorders. Antipsychotics appear to work by blocking postsynaptic dopamine receptors. These drugs reduce the incidence of psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, and relieve anxiety and agitation. Other psychiatric drugs, such as antidepressants and anxiolytics, may be prescribed to control associated symptoms.

High-potency antipsychotics include fluphenazine, haloperidol, thiothixene, and trifluoperazine. Loxapine succinate, molindone, and perphenazine are intermediate in potency, and chlorpromazine and thioridazine are low-potency agents. Haloperidol decanoate, fluphenazine decanoate, and fluphenazine enanthate are depot formulations that are implanted I.M. and release the drug gradually over a 30-day period, improving compliance.

Clozapine, which differs chemically from other antipsychotic drugs, may be prescribed for severely ill patients who fail to respond to standard neuroleptic treatment. This agent effectively controls a wider range of psychotic symptoms without the usual adverse effects.

However, clozapine can cause drowsiness, sedation, excessive salivation, tachycardia, dizziness, and seizures, as well as agranulocytosis, a potentially fatal blood disorder characterized by a low white blood cell count and pronounced neutropenia. Routine blood monitoring is essential to detect the estimated 1 % to 2% of all patients taking clozapine who develop agranulocytosis. If caught in the early stages, the disorder is reversible.

Prevention

Effective means of prevention have not been identified.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4874764/
  2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/delusional-disorder

Conversion Disorder

Conversion Disorder

Previously called hysterical neurosis, conversion type, a conversion disorder allows a patient to resolve a psychological conflict through the loss of a specific physical function, for example, by paralysis, blindness, or the inability to swallow. Unlike factitious disorders or malingering, the patient’s loss of physical function is involuntary. However, laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures don’t disclose an organic cause.

Conversion disorder can occur in either sex at any age. An uncommon disorder, it usually begins in adolescence or early adulthood. The conversion symptom itself isn’t life-threatening and usually has a short duration.

Causes

The patient suddenly develops the conversion symptom soon after experiencing a traumatic conflict that he believes he can’t handle. Two theories explain why this occurs. According to the first, the patient achieves a “primary gap,” when the symptom keeps a psychological conflict out of conscious awareness. For example, a person may experience blindness after witnessing a violent crime.

The second theory suggests that the patient achieves secondary gain from the symptom by avoiding a traumatic activity. For example, a soldier may develop a “paralyzed” hand that prevents him from entering into combat.

Signs and symptoms

Common signs of a conversion disorder include:

  • Sudden onset of physical symptoms
  • Recent history of a stressful experience
  • Inappropriate lack of concern over the physical symptoms

The symptoms of conversion disorder involve the loss of one or more bodily functions. These may include blindness, paralysis or the inability to speak. The loss of physical function is involuntary and diagnostic testing does not show a physical cause for the dysfunction.

Treatment

Psychotherapy, family therapy, relaxation therapy, behavior therapy, or hypnosis may be used alone or in combination (two or more) to treat conversion disorder.

References

  1. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000954.htm
  2. https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/psychiatric-disorders/somatic-symptom-and-related-disorders/conversion-disorder

Autistic Disorder

Autistic Disorder

Autistic disorder is a severe, pervasive developmental disorder marked by unresponsiveness to social contact, gross deficits in intelligence and language development, ritualistic and compulsive behaviors, restricted capacity for developmentally appropriate activities and interests, and bizarre responses to the environment.

The disorder usually becomes apparent before the child reaches age 3, but in some children the actual onset is difficult to determine. Occasionally, autistic disorder isn’t recognized until the child enters school. when his abnormal social development becomes obvious.

Autistic disorder is rare, affecting 4 to 5 children per 10,000 births. It affects four to five times more males than females, usually the firstborn male. Although the degree of impairment varies, the prognosis is poor and most patients require a structured environment throughout life.

Causes

The causes of autistic disorder remain unclear but are thought to include psychological. physiologic, and sociologic factors. Previously, it was thought that most parents of autistic children were intelligent, educated people of high socioeconomic status; recent studies suggest that this may not be true.

The parents of an autistic child may appear distant and unaffectionate toward the child. However, because autistic children are clearly different from birth, and because they are unresponsive or respond with rigid, screaming resistance to touch and attention, parental remoteness may be merely a frustrated, helpless reaction to this disorder, not its cause.

Some theorists consider autistic disorder related to early under stimulation that causes the child to seek contact with the world through self-stimulating behaviors or consider it related to overwhelming over stimulation that leads to regression, muteness, and unresponsiveness to external stimuli. Controlled studies haven’t confirmed this etiology.

Recent studies have pointed to an association between neurobiological factors and autism. Defects in the central nervous system that may arise from prenatal complications (such as rubella or phenylketonuria), high maternal stress in the first trimester, and genetic factors appear to playa role in the development of autism.

Signs and symptoms

  • does not socially interact well with others, including parents
    • shows a lack of interest in, or rejection of physical contact. Parents describe autistic infants as “unaffectionate.” Autistic infants and children are not comforted by physical contact.
    • avoids making eye contact with others, including parents
    • fails to develop friends or interact with other children
  • does not communicate well with others
    • is delayed or does not develop language
    • once language is developed, does not use language to communicate with others
    • has echolalia (repeats words or phrases repeatedly, like an echo)
  • demonstrates repetitive behaviors
    • has repetitive motor movements (such as rocking and hand or finger flapping)
  • is preoccupied, usually with lights, moving objects, or parts of objects
  • does not like noise
  • has rituals
  • requires routines

Treatment

The difficult and prolonged treatment of autistic disorder must begin early, continue for years (through adolescence), and involve the child, parents, teachers, and therapists in coordinated efforts to encourage social adjustment and speech development and to reduce self-destructive behavior.

Behavioral techniques are used to decrease symptoms and increase the child’s ability to respond. Positive reinforcement, using food and other rewards, can enhance language and social skills. Providing pleasurable sensory and motor stimulation (jogging, playing with a ball) encourages appropriate behavior and helps eliminate inappropriate behavior. Pharmacologic intervention may be helpful. Haloperidol often
mitigates withdrawn and stereotypical behavior patterns, making the child more amenable to behavior modification therapies.

Treatment may take place in a psychiatric institution, in a specialized school, or in a day-care program, but the current trend is toward home treatment. Helping family members to develop strong one-on-one relationships with the autistic child commonly initiates responsive, imitative behavior. Because family members tend to feel inadequate and guilty, they may need counseling.

Prevention

Until the causes of infantile autism are known, prevention isn’t possible.

References

  1. https://www.chw.org/medical-care/child-development-center/developmental-disorders/pervasive-developmental-disorders-pdd/autistic-disorder
  2. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/autism-spectrum-disorders-asd/index.shtml
  3. https://medlineplus.gov/autismspectrumdisorder.html