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Euphoria- The word derives from Greek "power of enduring easily, fertility”. Euphoria can be described as a heightened or exaggerated sense of happiness or well-being and is medically recognized as a mental and emotional condition in which a person experiences intense feelings of well-being, elation, happiness, excitement and joy. Euphoria is an affect but the term is often used to define emotion as an intense state of happiness combined with an overwhelming sense of contentment. It has also been defined as an “affective state of exaggerated well-being or elation”.
Euphoria can occur naturally as a normal or non-pathological condition during such situations as sexual organism, athletic victory or other competitive victory, or as a result of meditation or a spiritual experience. This type of euphoria occurs briefly.
Euphoria, especially longer or regular periods of euphoria, can also be a symptom of a variety of diseases, disorders and conditions. These include drug use, alcohol use, bipolar disorder, cyclothymic personality and head injury.It may occasionally be seen in other psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, in which emotional responses and perceptions of reality are abnormal.
Depending on the cause, euphoria can be short-term and disappear relatively quickly, such as when it occurs due to sexual orgasm.
SYMPTOMS OF EUPHORIA
There are many symptoms that can occur with euphoria. Symptoms vary depending on the disease, disorder or condition that is at the root of the euphoria. Common coexisting symptoms include:
TYPES OF EUPHORIA
A study by using PET scans and a mood questionnaire shows that runners exhibited high levels of endorphins binding to opioid receptors within several regions of the brain, mostly frontal regions involved with positive emotions. This analysis also showed that the subjective euphoric level of an individual runner directly corresponded with the amount of endorphin activity that occurred within the brain. This study didn't prove that endorphin release is the sole cause of euphoric experience caused by exercise, but was at least a greatly contributing factor.
This study shows that endurance exercise can be therapeutically utilized in benefiting the condition of those who experience anxiety or depression.
CAUSES OF EUPHORIA
Diagnosing euphoria and its root cause begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination, including a neurological examination.
Depending on the suspected cause, tests can include blood tests, urine tests, and imaging tests, such as CT scan and MRI of the brain.
Drug screening and alcohol tests on blood and urine are performed if euphoria is suspected to be due to alcohol or drug use. Thyroid tests and blood, such as T3, T4 and TSH, are performed if the cause of euphoria is suspected to be due to hyperthyroidism.
Treatment of euphoria due to disorders or diseases involves diagnosing and treating the underlying cause. Some conditions can be easily and successfully treated and cured, while others may require more intensive treatment and may not have an optimal prognosis.
Treatment plans for euphoria are individualized depending on the cause, the presence of coexisting diseases, the age and medical history of the patient, and other factors. Treatment generally involves a multifaceted plan that addresses the underlying or associated cause and helps to moderate behavior so a person can function effectively and lead as active and normal a life as possible.
Treatment of mental health disorders may include a combination of medications, regular ongoing mental health care and psychotherapy. Treatment of drug and alcohol use that results in alcoholism or alcohol abuse includes medical detoxification programs, rehabilitation programs, addiction recovery programs, psychotherapy and ongoing medical and psychological monitoring.
Alzheimer’s disease can cause euphoria, but there is no treatment that can cure or slow the progression of the disease. However, medication may help people with Alzheimer’s disease to improve cognitive functioning and moderate extreme emotions, such as euphoria.
Euphoria can be an early symptoms of hypoxia(a lack of oxygen in the body's tissues)Hypoxia is treated with supplemental oxygen and by treating the underlying cause of hypoxia such as COPD.Treatment of altitude sickness includes moving to a lower altitude, ensuring good hydration and supplemental oxygen in some cases.
Treatment of hyperthyroidism includes anti-thyroid medications. Radioactive iodine may be used to destroy the thyroid and stop the excess production of thyroid hormones. In some cases, surgery may be needed to remove the head injury, petit mal seizures that cause euphoria generally need to be evaluated and treated by a neurologist and/or neurosurgeon. Petit mal seizures and temporal lobe epilepsy are treated with antiepileptic drugs, such phenytoin, primidone, valproate, carbamazepine and phenobarbital. Special diets and surgery may be done in some cases.
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