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What Is Asthma-COPD Overlap?

Asthma-COPD overlap, also known as ACO, “happens when you have symptoms of both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)”. In order to understand this form of asthma, one must first have a firm understanding of Asthma and COPD separately. The reason why is because these diagnoses are two different things. Asthma is “a condition in which a person’s airways become inflamed, narrow and swell, and produce extra mucus, which makes it difficult to breath” while COPD is “a group of lung diseases that block airflow and make it difficult to breathe.”

When these two conditions are put together, and one begins to experience asthma-COPD overlap, it makes it a whole lot harder for him/her to be able to breathe. The two correlate because having asthma can eventually lead to COPD if one is not careful – and/or doesn’t already have it. The causes for it are also similar to asthma because “long-term exposure to other lung irritants – such as air pollution, chemical fumes, or dust – also may contribute to COPD.” This includes cigarettes and other such things.

But even though the causes for both are closely related, the symptoms may differ in some areas. Those who have COPD may experience “having to clear their throat first thing in the morning, due to excess mucus in their lungs, a chronic cough that may produce mucus that may be clear, white, yellow, or greenish, blueness of the lips or fingernail beds, frequent respiratory infections, lack of energy, unintended weight loss; swelling in ankles, feet or legs.”

Fortunately, there are ways to help the person feel less discomfort than they would without treatment. One of the options is through a bronchodilator which is “a drug that causes widening of the bronchi.” This, in other words, helps the person to breathe a whole lot better by the expanding of airways. Such medicine is also “taken by inhalation for the alleviation of asthma.” Steroids are also an option along with other things such as oxygen therapy which “provides extra oxygen to the lungs.”           

In conclusion, it’s possible for those who are faced with an asthma-COPD overlap to receive treatment and experience some sense of normalcy as treatment ensues. This can help them to learn how to better cope with their condition, while still being able to enjoy their everyday lives without struggling to breathe as much in their normal day-to-day activities. In turn, it’s always important for one to seek out the help of a medical professional so that further action can be taken to not only ensure his/her safety, but better his/her lung health.

Substance Abuse VS. Addiction

Substance abuse is defined as “a pattern of repeated drug or alcohol use that often interferes with health, work, or social relationships,” whereas addiction is “the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.” Consequently, a wide range of people will assume that both of these terms mean the same thing – but they can differ for a number of reasons. One example of this can be seen through someone who abuses a substance to handle certain difficulties that he/she have undergone – or are currently undergoing – in their life.

First and foremost is substance abuse which many misinterpret as addiction. However, this doesn’t mean it can’t lead to addiction – especially if the person begins to abuse frequently; the term itself applies to drugs and alcohol – which are both important to be on the lookout for. In fact, it only takes one time, or more, of someone consuming the substance – for them to become addicted – but even so, a number of people may only binge them occasionally; mood plays a big role in this because how someone is feeling mentally or emotionally can have a huge impact on how they treat their body physically. After all, it can serve as an unhealthy way to temporary numb what they’re feeling. 

Second is addiction – which prevents the person from enjoying his/her life to its fullest degree. Instead, some individuals will do anything – and everything – that they can to obtain the drug. Consequently – this can become quite severe – as they find themselves submitting wholly to the substance. Eventually, one may even find his/her life in complete ruins – as he/she sacrifices relationships, jobs, and other such things, while trapped in the pitfall of addiction. Fortunately, there is help for those who struggle with addiction – as well as substance abuse; in accepting it they can eliminate destructive behavior from their lives before it grows to be too much, and results in life-long consequences. 

In conclusion, knowing the difference between substance abuse and addiction can help you to better determine what stage you are in. As a result, you can then come to terms with what action you must take in order to get better – by assessing the reason behind why the substance is being abused, and/or why it’s become a full-blown addiction. In doing so, you can discover all the treatment options, and support systems, available to you – despite what you’re going through, or how helpless you may feel.

Ecotherapy and Mental Health

Ecotherapy is “based on the idea that people are connected to and impacted by the natural environment”. In turn, we oftentimes fail to realize just how big of an impact that nature can have on our mental health, and/or well being. For, it is through it that we can find a number of benefits, such as; peace and growth.

First and foremost is peace, which one is able to experience as they engage with the nature which surrounds him/her. He/she no longer feels overwhelmed by the noises that routinely resonate through both of his/her ears in crowded places, but instead are granted with a state of rest. His/her brain receives more oxygen as he/she takes in the air around him/her, and are able to further interact with various aspects of the world. This allows for peace, rather than the anxiety that comes with the constant sound of car horns, trains belting out, and/or the loud conversing of nearby masses. As a result, those who disconnect themselves from the world, and avert their attention solely to nature, if only for a brief while, can experience a plateau of health benefits.

Second is growth, which can come in the form of not just the nature which surrounds us, but the individual himself/herself as she takes in the nature around him/her. It is through watching growth take place in the various plant life, etc. that one can begin to be helpful of his/her own growth. As he/she watches the seasons change before him/her from cold winter, to warm spring, he/she may begin to see the changes reflect in that of his/her own being. The air can cause one to have both a clear and sound mind, and ease him/her out of his/her normal state of anxiety, dependence, etc. because nature can heal a plethora of things, and be an area of great result, in comparison to remaining isolated indoors.

In conclusion, individuals who subject themselves to nature may find their emotions to be more at peace, rather than feeling enraged or irritated by the smallest inconvenience. It is through such that they can further develop a sense of self, as well as patience, no matter the circumstances that they might experience within that of their day to day life. In turn, no matter what one is facing he/she can find both peace and growth simply as a result of the amount of nature that they chose to take in, interact, and/or engage with.

Combating and type of mental health can sometimes lead to substance abuse, whether it is alcohol or drugs, but have to know that there is an answer by seeking professional help. Help from christian substance abuse treatment centers will provide direction and peace of mind.

Nature as Healing from Addiction and Mental Disorders

nature mentally soothingNature has a great many healing properties and has been proven to help alleviate symptoms of addiction and mental disorders. We have long known that nature possesses therapeutic qualities, but when they are applied specifically to addiction and mental disorders, the results are astounding. This is why so many addiction treatment centers and mental health clinics recommend nature therapy and even include it in their treatment plans. Nature has the ability to calm and reset the mind, restoring it to its original health. Nature also inspires and protects mental space for reflection and introspection, which are vital in defeating addiction and mental disorders.

It has been proven in studies that one week of camping literally resets a person’s biological clock and puts them into a perfect sleep rhythm. Think about the mental health benefits that nature has, comparatively. If time in nature naturally resets a person’s biological rhythm, it has the ability to restore the mind to its most natural condition. Nature has a calming and soothing effect on people, allowing them to take a more relaxed pace than they would in the civilized world. Nature is responsible for strong feelings of inner peace within people.

Most importantly, for those suffering from addiction or mental disorders, nature inspires the kind of reflection that can help a person make cognitive behavioral decisions to change their life. Amid the chaos of the civilized world, where we build our lives, our homes, our professions and our relationships, there is very little time and mental space for reflection. In fact, our socialized existence promotes constantly being busy and not allowing time for reflection, which is not to our mental health benefit. A critical element of changing your behavioral psychology and thought patterns is personal reflection in the form of critical thinking, journaling, engaging in self-help exercises and envisioning what you want your future to look like. Time in nature holds everything that clutters the mind at bay so that you can take some much needed time to personally heal.

Nature’s Therapeutic Qualities

therapeutic natureBefore mankind began constructing cities and houses, nature was literally our home, as well as our living environment and recreation space. We are intrinsically connected to nature, sharing its molecules and chemical compositions. It stands to reason then that immersing ourselves in nature returns us to a peaceful and nature state of existence. Incidentally, scientific and psychological studies arrive at the same conclusion. Interacting with nature helps us heal from wounds, cope with difficulties and find our inner peace through its basic life elements: fresh air, naturally occurring things and silence.

Merely breathing in fresh air has been found to have immense physical and mental health benefits to people. Physicians have been recommending to people with ailments for years to travel to somewhere with clean air for recuperation. Polluted air carries toxins, but the fresh air found in a protected natural area brings more oxygen to the body and cleanses the system of toxins. It also helps restore and regulate brain function for mental clarity.

The elements of nature, such as plant life, rocks, rivers and more actually play a part in our health as well. Recent studies have found that being in close proximity of growing trees has health benefits for humans. There are also a variety of plants found in nature that are used as natural food and medicine. We all know which plants we can put into a garden or farm for food, but plants of the wild outdoors also have medicinal and nutritional benefits.

One of the most important things nature offers us is silence. Much of the stress and mental hardships we experience in our lives can be attributed to merely being overstimulated by the world we live in. We are required to process more information in this age than we ever have in the past and we are truly bombarded by it. Immersing ourselves in nature is the ultimate way of decluttering our minds and resetting our biological clocks, which is vitally necessary to our mental health.

Addiction and Mental Disorders Thrive in Chaos

chaotic mental disorders and addictionIf you are serious about defeating your addiction or properly coping with your mental disorder, one of the first things you should do is think critically about all of the elements that make up your life and determine which ones are contributing to, facilitating or simply triggering your dysfunctional behavior. Addictions and disorders will find footholds to re-enter your life through the chaos and unhealthiness that you associate with. This may be in the form of financial concerns, job and school stress or relationship difficulties.

Financial troubles take a lot out of us, and sap us of energy that we need to keep our heads above the water in other areas of our lives. Financial problems are known to set off addiction tendencies and mental disorder symptoms because financial problems are stress inducing. If your addiction or disorder is repeatedly affected by financial trouble, do whatever you have to do to change your financial life, such as redoing your budget or using the services of a financial adviser.

In a similar sense, the stress that comes with a profession or with schooling can prompt destructive behavior. Jobs and school can apply enormous pressure to perform well, and some people choose to cope with this stress through addiction, or may have an emotional meltdown if they have a disorder. For those whom this applies to, it is very important to strengthen your coping abilities so that your behavior does not turn dysfunctional under the weight of high expectations.

And lastly, when you are having struggles in a personal relationship, whether it is romantic, familial or friendly in nature, stress can be at an all time high. We are in a peaceful state when our relationships are going smoothly, but if they are in turmoil, people with addictions and disorders can be set off. It is important to learn to approach relationships in a healthy manner, with an open heart but also with defined boundaries. This will prevent stress that leads to addiction binges and mental disorder breakdowns.

Natural Settings for Inner Peace

inner peace natural settingThe world can be a very stressful place. It is difficult to find an adult who is not busy with work or school, social and family obligations, extracurricular activities, housekeeping and more. One only has to do a little research into stress to learn how pervasive it is, and how desperately people are seeking an escape from it. Professional counseling and anti-anxiety medications are costly. Substance abuse and addiction are horribly destructive, mentally and physically. Why spend money or turn to something harmful to escape when the outdoors have proven to be the most effective remedy for stress and hardships in the world? In order to have a spiritual recovery from addiction and mental disorder, consider taking the time to revisit the natural world.

People have been drawn to the great outdoors since the beginning of time. There is a beauty and wonder in nature that we cannot quite explain or comprehend, and contemplating it can be a very pure kind of therapy. Regardless of how one spends time in nature, there is always something beneficial they can take from the experience. The wide open spaces give us a sense of freedom, the natural aromas soothe our senses and the aesthetic beauty moves us emotionally in a positive way.

Nature therapy is so effective that there are professional counselors and mental health experts that lead nature therapy retreats and seminars for people looking to cope with stress and center themselves. These retreats can last anywhere from part of a day to several weeks and usually consist of meditation and activities in nature. It is wise to combine mental exercise and physical exercise in nature when looking to clear the mind of stress. It has been proven that the brain processes information more efficiently when more parts of it are operating at once. When the brain is sorting out a life issue, doing a physical activity will apply more of the brain to solving the problem.

If you are experiencing stress due to work, school, relationships or anything else, or if you are battling a mental disorder or addiction, go to a peaceful natural setting that you know of and try doing a physical exercise as well as a mental exercise you enjoy. You may be surprised at how therapeutic these activities can be.