Is it possible to cheer up an asthenic and how to do it
Some babies from the first days of life are distinguished by vigor, good appetite and vitality, others barely suck, sleep a lot and are indifferent to their surroundings. From the first, active, vigorous people grow, from the second – slow and painful. Sometimes asthenia – impotence, loss of vital energy – is associated with physical or mental illness, sometimes it is a consequence of the temperament and characteristics of the organism.
When the mood is at zero
Even a non-specialist can diagnose asthenia – the symptoms of the disease are quite typical. A person literally exudes despondency, he has tragically lowered corners of his lips, sad eyes, and meager facial expressions. The movements are slow, sluggish, the gait is shuffling, as if the patient is very tired, the speech is quiet. Sitting down, the asthenic usually slouches, the hands hang limply, the head is lowered. Appetite is usually reduced, most are thin or even suffer from anorexia.
The physique in people sick from childhood is called asthenic. These are narrow shoulders, a narrow, slightly sunken chest, thin arms and legs, a protruding belly, flat feet, pale, flabby skin, poorly expressed muscles. If rickets was one of the causes of asthenia, a large convex forehead and a small, sloping chin are added. With acquired asthenia, a curvature of the spine often appears, a person looks shorter than his height. Vision and hearing sometimes suffer, but more often asthenics show hypersensitivity and hyperexcitability – they can hardly tolerate loud sounds, bright light, etc.
Health in general is poor, there is increased fatigue, sharp bouts of complete loss of strength. A thorough examination can reveal hypotension, vegetative-vascular dystonia, gastritis, cardiac arrhythmias or even compensated heart disease, changes in the thyroid or pancreas, early impotence, or ovarian dysfunction.
The psyche of such people is characterized by lability, some instability – the mood is changeable, tearfulness, suspiciousness, irritability, outbursts of anger, unreasonable whims and aggression are often found. Asthenics sleep restlessly and poorly, but at the same time they often suffer from hypersomnia, falling asleep in the most inappropriate places and at the worst time. Intelligence does not suffer, often turns out to be even above average, but due to the slowness and awkwardness of asthenics, they make an unfavorable impression.
Learning and efficiency are not easy. In favorable conditions, with the support of friendly teachers or staff, a leisurely quiet man can work wonders, show his best qualities. An inexperienced or rude teacher, an aggressive employer, in a noisy, stuffy room, asthenics will not give results.
If the diagnosis is made in childhood, the disease can be compensated if not cured. Asthenic can grow into a positive, light and active person to the best of his ability, able to keep himself in good shape. If asthenia occurs in adulthood or old age, it all depends on the cause of the syndrome.
Seven reasons to be discouraged
What is the cause of asthenic syndrome? There are a lot of reasons.
1. Features of the constitution. If the father and mother are asthenic, their children are likely to also turn out to be thin, sad and slow, while either completely healthy or suffering from family diseases – Marfan syndrome, heart disease, biliary dyskinesia, casein or gluten intolerance.
2. Features of the development of pregnancy and infancy. Toxicosis, vitamin deficiency, starvation, serious illness, alcoholism or drug addiction in the mother, fetal hypoxia, premature birth, mother’s abandonment of the child, hospitalism (a long stay without a mother in the hospital), severe operations or infectious diseases, malnutrition.
3. Exhaustion. Alimentary dystrophy, a chronic lack of essential nutrients and vitamins. Anorexia and strict adherence to unbalanced diets can also lead to asthenia.
4. Unbearable living conditions. Constant cold, lack of light, impossibility of solitude, crowding, humiliation and threats. Associated with this is asthenia in prisons, barracks, orphanages and nursing homes.
5. The proximity of death. Asthenic syndrome manifests itself as a concomitant diagnosis at the terminal stages of cancer, tuberculosis, pernicious anemia, renal failure, AIDS, etc.
6. Severe stress. Feelings of powerlessness, coupled with an unwillingness to live, can be the result of serious physical or mental trauma, falling into a dangerous situation. Asthenia occurs in victims of war, hostages of terrorists, victims of car accidents, earthquakes and other disasters, in people who have lost loved ones. Sometimes the trigger is pain shock, limb amputation.
7. Mental illness. Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and dementia all trigger asthenia. Depression, especially chronic depression, also plays a role.
If we consider asthenic syndrome in a simplified way, the patient always lacks vital resources, or the brain seems to lack strength. The production of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin is impaired, and less oxygen and nutrients are supplied than needed. And the body, instead of looking for additional sources of nutrition, begins to save energy – just like, for example, emaciated people fall asleep from hunger, and freezing from cold.
Treatment of asthenic syndrome is not an easy task; it is far from always possible to eliminate the cause of the disease. Doctors recommend vitamins, fortifying agents, antidepressants, but they are also not always enough. We need natural sources of strength, energy and good mood.
A good rest is especially important for asthenics – both complete rest in a quiet room, in a comfortable bed, and a change in activity. Fresh air is needed, especially in the bedroom. Moderate physical (walking, swimming, gymnastics) and intellectual (reading, crossword puzzles, logic games) loads are very useful. Needlework (knitting, embroidery, modeling) not only distracts the patient from gloomy thoughts, but also stimulates the brain by activating fine motor skills.
It is necessary to figure out what exactly raises a person’s mood – delicacies, books, films, telephone conversations? And to provide access to the necessary resources, even if the desire seems absurd or dangerous. Kuprin’s story “The Girl and the Elephant” is a wonderful description of how a dying child was brought back to life by the fulfillment of a cherished dream – a meeting with a circus elephant.
All kinds of positive impressions, contact with loved ones, friends, pets, houseplants, and nature energize. Crowded events, noisy concerts are contraindicated for asthenics, but small friendly parties give them strength.
Bedridden patients need to provide contact with the outside world by any means – from open windows and terraces to computers for people with disabilities. For pain, adequate pain relief is necessary, since chronic pain syndrome aggravates asthenia. Psychological trauma should be worked through with a psychologist until the grief passes into the stage of acceptance.
It is better for asthenics to eat often and little by little, choosing sufficiently high-calorie, vitamin-rich food. Most of them are not threatened with obesity, so you should use natural stimulants – chocolate, bananas, nuts, fish oil, ice cream. Care should be taken with coffee, tea, mate, and other tonic drinks to avoid hyperexcitation and pressure surges.
Even if asthenia cannot be cured for objective reasons, it is quite possible for such a person to adapt to a full life in conditions of constant loss of strength. This is a problem, but not a verdict!
It is imperative to establish the cause of the sudden onset or sharp increase in asthenic syndrome – the earlier the diagnosis is made, the higher the chance of recovery. The cause may be hypothyroidism, anemia, onset diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cerebrovascular accident, etc. If you or someone close to you have become unreasonably weak, sleepy, tearful, irritable, inattentive and forgetful, be sure to contact a therapist and get tested.