What are Phobias?

A phobia is an excessively irrational or unrealistic fear of an object, activity, creature or situation. It is persistent disorder in which an individual experiences an unreasonable fear of an object or situation. When confronted with the source of the phobia, a person might experience extreme distress and think it is dangerous enough to cause serious harm.

About 50 million people in the United States suffer from some type of anxiety. Depending on the severity of the condition, a sufferer might experience emotional pain and chronic stress even when there is no real threat. Persistent anxiety can evoke a very unusual experience in the brain. Subsequently, the body reacts with an atypical stress response to elude the made-up situation. 

Different Types of Phobias:

Phobic disorders can be broadly classified into three major categories:

1. Social Anxiety Disorder
This condition is marked by an extreme fear of normal social situations. People with the disorder are constantly worried about being judged by others. They can go to great lengths to avoid routine social settings for the risk of being embarrassed or singled out. 

2. Agoraphobia
Individuals suffering from agoraphobia are afraid of being trapped in a desperate and inescapable situation. Sufferers might dread the thought of traveling in trains or buses and avoid crowded places or tight spaces, such as cafes, shopping malls and movie theaters. 

3. Specific Phobic Conditions
There are four different types of specific phobias:

  • Medical – injections, the sight of blood, doctor visits or any other trigger
  • Animal – the fear of snakes, spiders, rats or other species
  • Environment – water, lightning, thunders, storms or other natural occurrences
  • Situational – specific triggers, such as flying, heights, driving through a tunnel or an elevator ride
Symptoms of Phobic Disorders

Phobic symptoms typically occur upon exposure to the particular object or situation in question. Sometimes, even the thought of the object can trigger intense anxiety. Common symptoms associated with the condition include:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Anticipatory symptoms, such as extreme nervousness
  • Nausea
  • Panic attack symptoms, such as sweating, dizziness, heart pounding, numbness and trembling
  • Fear of death

Depending on the patient’s specific condition and type of phobia, a combination of several treatment approaches might be recommended. The primary objective of treatment is to help the patient overcome his or her anxiety and live as normal a life as possible. Treatment might include one or more of the following:
  • Self-help techniques, such as regular exercise and a healthy diet regimen
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy, such as exposure therapy and systematic desensitization 
  • Hypnotherapy with guided relaxation and focused attention to achieve a heightened level of awareness
  • Medications to reduce anticipatory symptoms or to treat clinical conditions, such as depression 
In most cases, phobic conditions can be treated successfully with appropriate therapy, medications or both. 

Why Men Choose Vasectomy and Its Consequences

Deciding whether or not to have children (or have more children) is obviously something that both men and women ponder. And decision making regarding birth control impacts both sexes as well. For women, there are options such as the birth control pill and other devices that are very effective at preventing pregnancy. Surgical options are also available, especially if women are absolutely positive that they do not want children. However, surgical options for preventing pregnancy in women are invasive and carry their own risks. But for men, vasectomy is a simple procedure that is often done on an outpatient basis and requires very little downtime from normal activity.

Getting a vasectomy does not endanger health and is considered a minor surgery. It also does not affect ability to have sexual relationships. The whole procedure does not take very long. There is very little discomfort during the procedure or afterward. This is a highly effective cheaper than sterilization for women way of preventing pregnancy. There is much less recovery for men than women who choose to undergo a tubal ligation. While both are done on an outpatient basis and are considered to be safe, sterilization for women requires general anesthesia. A vasectomy only relies on local anesthesia, making it a much less risky procedure.

One important thing to keep in mind is that this method does not protect a person from the possibility of getting an STD. It does very little to protect agains sexually transmitted infections other than abstinence, condoms, and being faithful to each other. If you are a sexually active male who is not in a committed relationship it is still a good idea to wear condoms to protect yourself.

A vasectomy is usually considered a permanent change. However, there is a small chance of being reversed in some cases. Doctors may be able to go back in and reconnect the tubes, allowing for fertility to be restored. However, this procedure has a very low rate of success. That's why getting it done should not be taken lightly. Many doctors require a waiting period after the initial consultation and will counsel patients on whether or not this is the best option for them.

Sports Nutrition

We all know that nutrition is an important aspect of being healthy. Paying attention to what you put into your body can result in weight loss and more energy. And if you are active, what you ingest can play a huge part in your performance. Athletes such as cyclists, swimmers, and weight lifters definitely need to have detailed and technical nutrition plans so that they can keep and gain an advantage above their competitors.

If you are training for a specific event, such as a half-marathon or a bike race, it would be well worth it to pay attention to your diet. You are going to need to keep track of your daily intake of calories. Making sure you get the correct amount of proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats will help improve your performance. Getting all of that plus the essential vitamins and minerals for muscle growth will help you lift more during training sessions, as well as help you go for longer and outperform the competition.

Getting specific amounts of the right stuff into your body will take some practice at first. It might be helpful to follow recipes and measure ingredients just to make sure you are getting exactly what your body needs. Following a special diet might seem like a lot of work, but if you're going for the win it will definitely be worth it.

Some people think that as long as they are training hard they can eat whatever they want and the calories won't matter. But that isn't true. Food is fuel for the body - and eating the good stuff will help you improve performance and stamina. Keep in mind that participating in sports requires a fair amount of energy. If you don't replenish your body during your workouts you run the risk of running into the infamous wall - otherwise known as bonking.

Just as muscles need recovery time to heal and grow, they also will benefit from added protein. This should be done soon after your workout. This will help during the recovery process. And keeping your energy levels up will also require healthy amounts of complex carbohydrates. Try to eat as many whole foods as possible - stay away from empty calories and foods full of preservatives. You'll soon find your energy levels will be soaring, meaning that your workouts will improve.

Catching Stuttering Problems Early Can Be a Life Saver

Stuttering is an example of a speech pattern that can affect the way we communicate with others. It affects speech fluency. People who do this often find themselves saying repetitions of words or parts of words. It can also involve prolongations, which is simply drawing out the first part of a word. The good news is that it is a treatable condition. If needed, a speech therapist can help those who have a severe problem or who may have a risk of developing a problem.

Being able to communicate has to do with everything in our lives: work, school, and relationships. Being self conscious about our speech can affect our self esteem and our social life. For some people, intervention is needed at a young age. Treatment can help reduce shyness in school and overall being successful at social interactions in general. Some of the other symptoms that might indicate treatment is needed include if it leads to emotional problems, lasts longer than six months, or causes a child to avoid social situations.

It is common for children between the ages of 2 and 5 to stutter, as they are just learning speech patterns and learning about the world around them. Some may need extra help at that point, but many will outgrow it. Experts agree that 50-80% of children who stutter will grow out of it as they age. By the time kids hit puberty, the issue seems to diminish.

One of the treatments for this includes behavioral therapy or controlled fluency. They are two very effective ways for helping people consciously change speech patterns. Sometimes electronic devices are used as well. It depends on the severity of the problem as well as someone's age. Usually speech therapy is a very effective form of treatment.

Stuttering begins in childhood. It often occurs in children who have a family history of stuttering. Overall it is estimated that around 55 million in the world have some form of speech difficulties due to this condition. It is important to address the issue and not to ignore it, but it is also important not to make people feel self conscious about it.

Breast Feeding for Better Health

Breast feeding is a hot topic among parents. And there are numerous reasons why it is such a positive action to do for your child - and for yourself as a mother. Some of those reasons are emotional. For example, it is form of bonding. It helps mother and child to forge a stronger connection. Babies love to be warm and snuggled up to their mother's it is an instinctive safe spot that they need to be near especially during the first few months (or years) of their lives.

Of course, breastfeeding your new born is also good for your budget. Baby formula is expensive. And there are many different brands, making it difficult to choose the best one for your little one. Breast milk is free. The human body makes it naturally. Some women worry that they aren't producing enough, especially during the first few days following birth. But that is usually an unfounded fear. This is due to the fact that the body is producing colostrum, a very nutrient rich liquid for infants. And that is generally all the baby needs at first. Another bonus is that it digests easily, which may not be the case for many of the formulas that are on the market. Many new borns have very sensitive stomachs.

Yet another reason breastfeeding is a good idea is due to the fact that it can strengthen the immune system of your child naturally. The milk contains antibodies that are passed along, along with much needed vitamins and minerals that help support brain growth, as well as physical growth. Babies don't have much of an immune system when they are born so they are very susceptible to all types of illnesses. Breast milk can help protect them from many types of potential viral process and bacteria that can make them sick.

This activity is also good for helping mothers lose weight. It actually helps the body to burn more calories, therefore helping mom to lose much of the weight more quickly than if breastfeeding wasn't done. And since many new moms are concerned with that, it is definitely a bonus to know that doing good for your baby is also helping you out as well.

So if you are ready to save money, improve your baby's immune system and strengthen the bond between you, give breast feeding a try.

Anxiety Occurring Frequently

If you are one of the millions of people who experience anxiety, you should know that you are not alone. According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, approximately 18% of U.S population struggles with this condition. It is very real and can be extremely uncomfortable. It can range from mild symptoms of generalized unease to completely debilitating symptoms that can interfere with daily life.

There are a multitude of reasons that people have anxiety about. Some of those include things such as children s education costs and how they are going to pay for college, mortgage or other financial woes, fear of joblessness, problems with a spouse - the list goes on and on. Fear of failure and fear that any success they may have will be taken away are two more common themes. Some people just have feelings of impeding doom and aren't sure why but know that it affects them to the point that their lives are being affected in a negative way.

Unfortunately, one of the ways this doom plays itself out is during panic attacks. Some times there is a specific reason for these attacks, other times there may be no apparent reason. The panic feelings may lead to symptoms such as a pounding heart or rapid heart rate, fear of losing control, lightheadedness, and nausea. Some people also start sweating profusely or have hot or cold flashes.

If you suffer from anxiety attacks and are worried for your mental health, rest assured that there is help available. This is true even if you have them on a regular basis. One of the options might be to avoid certain social situations that you know might be triggers, or at the very least try to figure out what causes the trigger to occur. Other ways to overcome this type of disorder is to speak with your doctor about it. Treatments such as medications known as beta-blockers. They can help control some of the symptoms of an anxiety attack. Some of them have side effects that may affect your ability to drive, or make you drowsy, so it may take a few changes to get the medications that will work for you. Be patient and don't worry, the process may take some time.

Trying to mask the problem by not seeking treatment is unhealthy. You may need support in the form of psychotherapy. Doing so may help you get to the root cause of the problem, something that might be able to eliminate the negative feelings altogether.

Maintaining Your Car

Maintaining your car is a responsibility that shouldn't be overlooked. After all, the your safety, the safety of your passengers, as well as other drivers on the road is something that should be a top priority. It can help you avoid a car accident or keep you from getting stranded on the side of the road. There are some basic steps that should be taken that are both simple yet very effective.

Getting (and keeping) your car weather ready is a good first step. This means making sure you have the proper tires and other equipment. For example, do you live in an area that gets inches and inches of snow throughout the winter months? You might need to invest in some type of snow tires or chains to minimize your risk of sliding on the road or getting into an accident.

Other common items that need regular maintenance include window wipers and regular oil changes. Not getting your oil changed can wreak serious havoc on your engine. Get your brakes checked regularly and replace them as needed. Transmission maintenance is another smart option, because regular checks in that area can help you avoid long term costs down the road. Also, keep your mirrors in top condition. Don't drive with cracked or missing mirrors that don't allow you to see the road and other cars around you. By doing regular car maintenance you are doing your part by keeping everyone else safe on the road.

Following the speed limit and other rules of the road go a long way toward helping you be the best driver possible. Know your limits - don't be a distracted driver. Put the phone down while behind the wheel and keep your eyes on the road. If you need to wear glasses to see better, do so. This is especially important at night or in rainy conditions when visibility is poor already. And of course, buckle up. Make everyone else in the vehicle do the same. Statistics show that the amount of serious injuries and death decreases as seat belt usage increases. Following these simple safety guidelines can help you as you navigate the roads.

Our Best Effort to Stay Healthy When We Travel

Traveling around the country (and beyond) is one of life's great pleasures. The chance to get out into the world and experience different things is a desire many of us hold near and dear to our hearts. However, becoming ill during our travels is a distinct possibility. There are a few things you can do to minimize the risk of that happening to help safeguard your health - whether you are simply a few hours from home or halfway around the world. It might not be fun to plan for the worse, but it is a smart idea.

If you are going outside of the United States to a foreign country, it is always a good idea to make sure your vaccines are up to date. Keep in mind that not all countries have access to the healthcare that we have. Therefore, many of them still have diseases that aren't prevalent in North America. Examples include polio, mumps, measles, and other airborne viruses. By making sure you are fully vaccinated you can prevent many illnesses from invading your body and turning your vacation into extended hospital stay. Another caveat: make sure the drinking water is safe. And it would be a good idea to bring healthy snacks, such as granola bars or other easy to pack items that are also convenient to eat and don't require the usage of a microwave or refrigerator.

Don't leave your medicine at home or go with only a partial prescription thinking that you can get a refill. Chances are it won't be that easy, especially if you are out of the country. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before you leave and adjust your prescription refills accordingly. Even if you are staying in the United States it is always good to have a back-up plan. You may also want to talk to your health insurance company about health insurance coverage for travelers. It can offer you extra options that you may need if you're going out of the country.

One of the best things you can to do ensure your health and safety is to some research on the internet about any current health epidemics in the areas that you'll be in. Also find out where the near by hospitals are. Communicate your itinerary to friends and loved ones and make sure your emergency contacts are clearly marked in your phone as well as with any paperwork you carry with you.

Internet a Great Hobby To Pick Up for the Retired

Seniors are increasingly turning towards the Internet. According to data from the Pew Research Center, well-educated and affluent seniors tend to be quite active online. Nearly 60 percent of older adults are going online at least occasionally and often regularly. Almost half of these Internet users are accessing the web using broadband connections, which allow them to get online faster and more easily, and more than 75 percent of older adults have cell phones.

Unfortunately, older seniors and those with physical or cognitive disabilities tend to be more disconnected in real life and are more likely to be offline. Staying connected with others can help expand support networks, and the Internet offers us virtually unlimited ways to connect. It can improve our access to governmental services, give us valuable information and provide older Americans with the social support they need to live healthy, vibrant, productive lives.

People often begin to step back from work during their golden years and follow their passions. For many seniors, these years are an opportunity to engage in fulfilling hobbies and indulging their personal passions in their spare time. Going online can play an important role in their lives. Social networking is one great way to stay connected with children and grandchildren and can combat boredom. Social media also allows you a way to make new friends or meet new potential romantic interests through elderly dating.

The Internet also gives older adults easy and more accessible ways to learn new things. Whether you want to find instructions on a much-needed DIY project or you are planning the vacation of a lifetime, you can do it online. You can even go back to school and obtain a new major. The possibilities are endless.

Learning new things and staying close to the people you love can keep neural pathways open and strengthen your cognitive function. Those who have strong support systems online and in real life are less likely to get depressed and more likely to remain fully engaged with the world around them. If you are not yet online, there is no better time to sign on and get started than right now. You have nothing to lose and an entire world of information to gain.

The Hard Task of Parenting and Overcoming Obstacles

Starting a family can be both an exhilarating and exhausting endeavor. From the day they are born, children have the capacity to bring joy into our lives. Every parent wants what is best for their sons and daughters. We want to give them the world and help build their confidence as well as teach them right from wrong. However parents are not perfect and we all need help from time to time.

There are many books about parenting and raising kids. However, not all of them offer the same advice. And there's no perfect manual to help us avoid every mistake or every pitfall. To be honest, making mistakes is the best way to learn. And that goes for both the parent and the child. No one is perfect. And making a family is definitely hard work.

One of the best ways to be a good parent is to try to avoid common mistakes, especially regarding discipline. From the toddler years through the teenage years, kids need boundaries. They also need consistency. Setting up rules regarding what is expected from them is a step in the right direction. But again, let them make their own mistakes sometimes. This will teach them about using judgement. Being fair regarding punishments is another important topic that you will no doubt be tested on through the years. Do your best to keep a steady head - and sooner or later you'll look back through those times and marvel - and maybe even laugh.

One of the biggest mistakes new parents make is panicking over nothing. Remember, every child is different. They all mature at their own pace. Some talk and walk earlier than others do. Some of them are very sociable, others are very shy. Don't fret about it by comparing your child with others. As for school work and sports activities, remember we all have strengths and weaknesses. Some kids are more interested in artistic endeavors, others will be raring to get on the basketball court or the football field.

Raising a family can be a truly beautiful and enlightening experience. And most parents find that their dreams and hopes for their offspring evolve as they grow. However, the main goal of most parents is to raise happy, healthy, and well-adjusted kids - who will hopefully some day bless them with grandchildren!