Thursday, 18 May 2017

Debunking Three Myths About Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, is a serious mental illness affecting millions of Americans and countless more worldwide. Alarmingly, the number of bipolar cases has been steadily rising in the last few years. Moreover, its prevalence has led to rampant misconceptions as well -- with some being actually harmful to patients as they are stigmatized.

Image Source:health.com


In order to provide proper care for those who are diagnosed, it is essential to debunk certain myths about the disease. Listed below are three of the most commonly accepted myths on bipolar disorder:

Bipolar disorder is just mood swings; people are being over-dramatic: Perhaps the most insidious of all myths surrounding the disorder is the belief that this is just another term for mood swings. 

While everyone experiences the highs and lows of life, bipolar people experience these emotions very differently. People with the disease typically undergo extreme emotions, sometimes for months, without knowing why or having absolutely no trigger at all. Most importantly, these ways of thinking can severely impact their lives, with some people being unable to function in normal society. It is important to remember that what a normal person feels is usually experienced at greater degrees by a bipolar person.

People with bipolar shift back and forth between mania and depression: This is otherwise known as the Jekyll-and-Hyde personality. This is not necessarily the case for most people with bipolar disorder. They do not shift -- like a pendulum -- from sad to euphoric. Each case of bipolar disorder is different, but for the most part, bipolar people will be depressed more often than manic. There are also periods of “rest” where a bipolar person can feel normal and experience typical emotions without being depressed or manic.

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Manic people are happy: This can be true for some but not usually for others. The main symptom of mania is an elevated mood, which may or may not mean happiness. In fact, most people undergoing their manic state are often irritable and edgy. Mania is also more dangerous in that people tend to lose control of their thoughts and actions. When mania sets in, bipolar people usually indulge risky behaviors.

Those who are suffering from the disease, or for family members with a loved one with the condition, should always be open about how they feel about the condition. Proper support involves engaged communication between the patient and the family.

Ines Cano Uribe is studying to be a clinical psychologist. For more information, follow this blog.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Preventing Eczema Flare-Ups In The Summer

Seasonal transitions mean a different thing for those who have eczema. While the cold, dry air of winter is notorious for causing flare-ups, summer’s humidity and hot temperature can bring about the same symptoms.

Eczema treatment, no matter what the season is, is important. Seasonal challenges like heat, perspiration, and seasonal allergies can trigger eczema. Here’s how one can prevent flare-ups during the hot summer months.

Image source: webmd.com
Avoid dark and fitted clothes

Choose clothes that are made from soft fabric to avoid skin irritation. These kinds of clothing will also keep the body cool even in intense weather conditions.

Moisturize regularly

Eczema is triggered because of the skin’s moisture barrier, and not because of the moisture in the air. Choose moisturizers with less greasy formula on hot summer days.

Do not dip too long in the pool

Chlorine and extended water dips can cause more harm to the skin. Avoid dipping too long in pools with high chlorine levels, or skip it altogether.

Use hypoallergenic sunscreen or lotions

While sunlight can help eczema, wearing hypoallergenic sunscreen is a must. Avoid products with dyes, alcohols, and perfumes.

Image source: webmd.com
Take antihistamines

Manage allergies before it strikes by taking antihistamines when needed. This way, the body will be prepared to battle heat and humidity.

Ines Cano Uribe established Moonky, a clothing line for children with eczema. The brand is currently in its early research and development stages. Visit this page to learn more.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

The Road To a Cure: Scientists Have Discovered What Triggers Eczema

Eczema has continued to be a medical enigma in the absence of a cure. Based on National Eczema Society data, it affects one in five children and one in 12 adults in the U.K. There are plenty of remedies or treatments that provide relief for eczema symptoms, but none of these results in the elimination of the disorder.

Thankfully, a recent breakthrough by a group of researchers from Newcastle University has brought the development of an eczema cure one step close to fruition.

Image source: everydayhealth.com
Several years ago, University of Dundee researchers discovered that human skin that lacks a working protein called filaggrin can acquire a condition similar to eczema. The protein, which protects the skin from irritants, can stop working properly due to genetic mutations.

Armed with this knowledge, the Newcastle professors and researchers created a human skin model and simulated a deficiency of the filaggrin on the barrier of the skin. They found out that filaggrin loss impacts other proteins and pathways in the skin, which can trigger eczema.

Now that a root cause of the disease has been documented, it becomes more likely to design drugs or treatments that target the triggers and not just manage the symptoms.

Image source: dermplasticsaz.com
Having worked in several parts of the world as a language teaching, training, and employment professional, Ines Cano Uribe is currently working towards a clinical psychology degree and developing Moonky, a brand that produces garments that are suitable for children with eczema. Read more about her work by visiting this website.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Defining Mindfulness

Image source: cardiosmart.org
People who want to get in touch with themselves for a spiritual awakening turn to mindfulness. It is the state of active attention to the now, where people observe their own thoughts and feelings without judging if they’re good or bad. Mindfulness also keeps people connected to their bodily sensations and environment.

Mindfulness has been around for years and generations. It is rooted in Buddhist practices, but can be practiced even outside of Buddhism. A lot of studies have confirmed its mental and physical benefits. It is commonly practiced during psychotherapy sessions.

The practice is great for the body, as it can relieve stress, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and lower blood pressure. It also works as a soul food for the mind, as it can help people who are going through mental health problems like anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and eating disorders. Mindfulness brings people new perspectives about themselves.

Image source: 7efitspa.com
How can people cultivate mindfulness? It is about living one’s life every single moment. The following should be practiced during mindfulness sessions 
-Practice breathing, and pay attention to it especially during intense moments. 
-Notice sounds, smells, and views that usually go unnoticed. 
-Acknowledge good and bad thoughts, and think of it as fleeting emotions.

Ines Cano Uribe is currently working on her clinical psychology degree at the University of Catalonia. She is also a Buddhist who practices the art of mindfulness. Learn more about her by visiting this page.



Friday, 10 February 2017

The Importance Of Utilizing Authentic Materials In Language Teaching

A lot of language teachers focus on teaching grammar, reading, and even accent, employing worksheets, guides, and language books in their classroom lessons. While these materials aid in learning basic to advanced language functions, language learners who want to go the extra mile would want to learn from materials that are true to life, or used by native speakers in their every day lives.

Image source: how-to-teach-english.ontesol.com

Authentic materials are resources that are made for native speakers of a learner’s target language. These are great for learners who want cultural immersion, even if they are not in a place where a lot of people speak their target language. With authentic materials, language learners can apply what they have learned in the classroom to real situations.

Television shows, movies, travel brochures, magazines, radio commercials, movie posters, and labels are examples of authentic materials. These materials boost students’ confidence, improve their comprehension, and teach them to improvise with language use. They can also learn words and constructions that they have never encountered in their books and notes.

Image source: eslbase.com

Students will also have a deeper understanding of linguistic appropriateness, or the contexts that either call for certain words, expressions, and other linguistic structures, or disallow them.

Authentic materials work as a bridge between the classroom and real life as students deepen their linguistic understanding through cultural immersion.

Ines Cano Uribe is a global citizen passionate about language teaching and training. Visit this blog to read similar articles.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

The Importance Of Utilizing Authentic Materials In Language Teaching

A lot of language teachers focus on teaching grammar, reading, and even accent, employing worksheets, guides, and language books in their classroom lessons. While these materials aid in learning basic to advanced language functions, language learners who want to go the extra mile would want to learn from materials that are true to life, or used by native speakers in their every day lives.


Authentic materials are resources that are made for native speakers of a learner’s target language. These are great for learners who want cultural immersion, even if they are not in a place where a lot of people speak their target language. With authentic materials, language learners can apply what they have learned in the classroom to real situations.

Television shows, movies, travel brochures, magazines, radio commercials, movie posters, and labels are examples of authentic materials. These materials boost students’ confidence, improve their comprehension, and teach them to improvise with language use. They can also learn words and constructions that they have never encountered in their books and notes.

Image source: eslbase.com

Students will also have a deeper understanding of linguistic appropriateness, or the contexts that either call for certain words, expressions, and other linguistic structures, or disallow them.

Authentic materials work as a bridge between the classroom and real life as students deepen their linguistic understanding through cultural immersion.

Ines Cano Uribe is a global citizen passionate about language teaching and training. Visit this blog to read similar articles.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Can Emotional Stress Trigger Eczema Flare-Ups?

Some people with eczematic skin experience flare-ups when there’s an important event coming up such as a presentation at work, exams, a series of all-nighters, and other stressful experiences. On the other hand, there are also people who suffer from chronic eczema who experience stress due to their condition. Applying and taking medication could be tedious, especially if it has to be done multiple times a day.

Image source: Lt360.com

Low immunity due to personal tension, lack of rest and nutrition can aggravate the discomfort a person already experiences with sensitive skin. The anxiety brought about by a certain event can lead a person to mindlessly scratch on irritated patches of skin, which worsens the situation.

Image source: Casaquiropractica.com

While the link between stress and eczema still needs to be backed by more research, the National Eczema Association suggests coping with psychologically stressful events and controlling scratching behavior to reduce irritation that could lead to dermatitis. On the other hand, some recommend mindfulness activities that take a person’s mind off stressful events while managing their condition.

For some, just sharing what they go through with their condition and daily experiences that worry them are good enough methods to deal with stress-induced eczema. Others deal with their condition by engaging in safe workouts such as yoga, which help them release tension.

Whether it’s emotionally-triggered or not, eczema can be combatted by subscribing to a healthy diet and lifestyle and the continuous improvement of well-being.

Ines Cano Uribe aspires to help people with skin conditions like eczema. The UK-based mother and clinical psychology student is currently developing a clothing line suitable for those with sensitive skin. For more updates and insights, visit this blog.