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The ability to engage in goal-directed behavior despite exposure to stress is critical to resilience. Questions of how stress can impair or improve behavioral functioning are important in diverse settings, from athletic competitions to academic testing.
Controllability is a key factor in the impact of stress on behavior: learning how to control stressors buffers people from the negative effects of stress on subsequent cognitively demanding tasks. In addition, the impact of stress on cognitive functioning depends on an individual’s response to stressors: moderate responses to stress can lead to improved performance while extreme (high or low) responses can lead to impaired performance. Stress is part of life. Pursuing goals despite exposure to stressors, or better yet, showing enhanced functioning in response to stress, are abilities that are fundamental to survival and resilience.
For a broad range of daily goals, it is critical to know what type of stress can help or harm behavioral functioning. Musical concerts, athletic competitions, and academic testing are all settings in which stress may either impair performance or fuel pursuit of goals. To perform optimally, healthy humans must expose themselves to the types of stress that promote the most enhanced functioning possible. The effects of stress on cognitive functions, specifically, may mediate the helpful and harmful effects of stress in complex domains. Stress has yielded evidence for both positive and negative effects of stress and stress hormones on cognitive functions.
Working memory, a function thought to be very important for executive function , is particularly sensitive to such effects. Stress exposure can lead to improved performance and the same types of stress exposure can cause impaired performance. Controllability of stressors is also a key factor that influences how stress affects behavioral performance.
In India, I personally feel, there is low controllability which is a characteristic of stress that has been explored in “learned helplessness”. We notice people exposed to equivalent stress but they differ on whether or not it is possible to learn to control stressors. Learned helplessness research has provided evidence for the harmful effects of exposure to uncontrollable stress, as well as the protective effects of having behavioral control over stressors. Specifically, while exposure to uncontrollable stress leads to passivity, negative affect, and disrupted performance on subsequent cognitively demanding tasks, being able to learn how to behaviorally control the same stressor buffers you from these negative effects. Controllability of, and individual responses to, stressors influence the effects of stress exposure on cognitive and behavioral functioning.
Hope and hopelessness are two sides of the same coin. A person going through feelings of hopelessness can easily overcome it with cognitive thinking, healing, medication, behavioral therapy and positive attitude. In this article, we will quickly go through the reasons for feeling hopelessness and ways to come out of the such a mental state.
- Feeling Alienated- Alienated individual often go through a feeling that they are somehow different from others. As an extension of the feeling, they often include themselves in the group of unworthy of support, love, and care. Thus, they shut themselves off to refrain from further rejection and pain.
- Forsakenness- Forsakenness essentially means that an individual finds himself alone in the time of greatest need. This can lead to utter hopelessness leading to depression and lonely.
- Uninspired- This feeling of lack of inspiration can lead to hopelessness. This is especially witnessed in the underprivileged and minority category due to lack of opportunities and right role model within the social circle.
- Powerlessness- This is a major cause of hopelessness in one’s life. The feeling of getting stuck or unable to script the story of one’s life can lead to demoralization. The feeling of powerlessness can crop in when a person finds a hindrance to navigate the direction of their life as per their choice.
- Oppression- Oppression can result from the day to day pressure of life, leading to a feeling of getting crushed or flattened.
- Limitedness- Limitedness can crop into an individual who is struggling for survival coupled with limited abilities in establishing the desired goal. This is extremely common among handicaps with poor financial stability. The feeling of existing in the world without the adequate facilities can lead to a feeling of hopelessness, despondency, and despair.
- Captivity- Emotional and physical captivity can result in hopelessness. Often prisoners fall into this category. A woman might also go through this feeling if she is going through an abusive relationship leading to unhappiness.
Getting hope back in life:
Overcoming the feeling of being doomed can be easily achieved by studying the facts. A patient receiving a fatal diagnosis from a doctor always has the option to study further about the diagnosis and take multiple consultations instead of giving in.
The feeling of powerlessness mostly happens because of labeling, positive discounting and personalization. An individual suffering from self-blame leading to discounting the positive aspects of his own self can practice reattribution. This is nothing but studying the reasons of negative emotions and carefully analyzing them.
Labeling, on the other hand, can be countered by mastering certain skill sets which an individual is bad at. For instance, if a person is often called as stupid, he should analyze why is he labeled so. Post the analysis he or she can work on getting that one thing right for which he has been labeled. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a psychologist.
Marriage is perhaps the most important relation in an adult’s life. That’s why it needs extra care and attention, especially when things are not exactly gung ho. This is where marriage or marital therapy comes in.
Marriage counseling is the process of counseling the married couple to recognize and to reconcile or at least manage differences and repeating patterns of stress upon the marital relationship.
Basic practices of marital therapy
- The basic practices of marital therapy focus primarily on the process of communicating. Counselors use a method called active listening.
- Another method used is called “Cinematic immersion”. Both these methods have one important thing in common- they help counselors create a safe environment where each partner can express feelings and hear the feelings of the other.
- Emotionally focused therapy for couples or EFT-C is also used. This is based on attachment theory and uses emotion as an agent of change and target, both.
- Behavioral couples’ therapy is another method used. It is actually a proven way out of marital discord. This method focuses on integrating the twin goals of acceptance and change for couples in therapy.
The successful couples usually make concrete changes to accommodate the needs of the partner and also show greater emotional acceptance of the other.
Role of the relationship counselor
A couple therapist is usually someone with a degree in psychiatry or counseling. And her primary role is to listen, understand and facilitate better communication between the couple. The counselor also:
- Provides a confidential tete-a tete, which normalizes feelings
- Enables each partner to be heard and to hear themselves
- Works as a mirror to reflect the marriage’s difficulties to the partners
- Outlines the potential and direction for change
- Delivers important information
- Improves communication
- Identifies the repetitive, negative interaction cycle that drives a problematic marriage as a pattern
- Understands the source of emotions behind that negative pattern
- Re-organizes these key emotional responses to offset the pattern
- Creates new patterns of interaction
- Increases emotional attachment between partners
When should you seek marital therapy?
- When you avoid communicating or your communication has become negative- This usually means bad language, verbal abuse, and sometimes physical abuse.
- When you or your partner have sought out other sexual partners – Marital therapy can save a marriage after an affair if both partners want and work out the kinks in their relationship.
- Lack of intimacy in the marriage- This is the stage when partners just occupy the same space without communication, or exchange of feelings or touch.
Marriage counseling is a long process. And another thing to remember is that it can’t save a marriage that is unsalvageable. So, go in for marital therapy with an aim to do what’s the best for you and your partner. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychologist.
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the most common neurobehavioral disorders presenting for treatment in children and adolescents. ADHD is often chronic with prominent symptoms and impairment spanning into adulthood. ADHD is often associated with co-occurring disorders including disruptive, mood, anxiety, and substance abuse. The diagnosis of ADHD is clinically established by review of symptoms and impairment. The biological underpinning of the disorder is supported by genetic, neuroimaging, neurochemistry and neuropsychological data. Consideration of all aspects of an individual’s life needs to be considered in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD.
Multimodal treatment includes educational, family, and individual support. Psychotherapy alone and in combination with medication is helpful for ADHD and comorbid problems. Pharmacotherapy including stimulants, noradrenergic agents, alpha agonists, and antidepressants plays a fundamental role in the long-term management of ADHD across the lifespan.
The management of ADHD includes consideration of two major areas: non-pharmacological (educational remediation, individual and family psychotherapy) and pharmacotherapy.
I personally support Psychotherapy. Specialized educational planning based on the child’s difficulties is necessary in a majority of cases. Since learning disorders co-occur in one-third of ADHD youth, ADHD individuals should be screened and appropriate individualised educational plans developed. Educational adjustments should be considered in individuals with ADHD with difficulties in behavioral or academic performance. Increased structure, predictable routine, learning aids, resource room time, and checked homework are among typical educational considerations in these individuals. Similar modifications in the home environment should be undertaken to optimize the ability to complete homework. For youth, frequent parental communication with the school about the child’s progress is essential.
Symptoms in children and teenagers
The symptoms of ADHD in children and teenagers are well defined, and they're usually noticeable before the age of six. They occur in more than one situation, such as at home and at school. The main signs of each behavioural problem are detailed below:
Inattentiveness: having a short attention span and being easily distracted making careless mistakes – for example, in schoolwork appearing forgetful or losing things being unable to stick at tasks that are tedious or time-consuming appearing to be unable to listen to or carry out instructions constantly changing activity or task having difficulty organising tasks
Hyperactivity and impulsiveness: being unable to sit still, especially in calm or quiet surroundings constantly fidgeting being unable to concentrate on tasks excessive physical movement excessive talking being unable to wait their turn acting without thinking interrupting conversations little or no sense of danger
These symptoms can cause significant problems in a child's life, such as underachievement at school, poor social interaction with other children and adults, and problems with discipline.
Related conditions in children and teenagers
Although not always the case, some children may also have signs of other problems or conditions alongside ADHD, such as:
anxiety disorder – which causes your child to worry and be nervous much of the time; it may also cause physical symptoms, such as a rapid heartbeat, sweating and dizziness
oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) – this is defined by negative and disruptive behaviour, particularly towards authority figures, such as parents and teachers
conduct disorder – this often involves a tendency towards highly antisocial behaviour, such as stealing, fighting, vandalism and harming people or animals
sleep problems – finding it difficult to get to sleep at night, and having irregular sleeping patterns
autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) – this affects social interaction, communication, interests and behaviour
epilepsy – a condition that affects the brain and causes repeated fits or seizures
Tourette’s syndrome – a condition of the nervous system, characterised by a combination of involuntary noises and movements called tics
learning difficulties – such as dyslexia Symptoms in adults In adults, the symptoms of ADHD are more difficult to define. This is largely due to a lack of research into adults with ADHD.
ADHD is a developmental disorder; it's believed that it can't develop in adults without it first appearing during childhood. But it's known that symptoms of ADHD often persist from childhood into a person's teenage years, and then adulthood. Any additional problems or conditions experienced by children with ADHD, such as depression or dyslexia, may also continue into adulthood. By the age of 25, an estimated 15% of people diagnosed with ADHD as children still have a full range of symptoms, and 65% still have some symptoms that affect their daily lives. The symptoms in children and teenagers, which are listed above, is sometimes also applied to adults with possible ADHD. But some specialists say that the way in which inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness affect adults can be very different from the way they affect children. For example, hyperactivity tends to decrease in adults, while inattentiveness tends to get worse as the pressure of adult life increases. Adult symptoms of ADHD also tend to be far more subtle than childhood symptoms.
Some specialists have suggested the following list of symptoms associated with ADHD in adults:
carelessness and lack of attention to detail
continually starting new tasks before finishing old ones
poor organisational skills
inability to focus or prioritise
continually losing or misplacing things
restlessness and edginess
difficulty keeping quiet and speaking out of turn
blurting out responses and often interrupting others
mood swings, irritability and a quick temper
inability to deal with stress
taking risks in activities, often with little or no regard for personal safety or the safety of others – for example, driving dangerously
Additional problems in adults with ADHD As with ADHD in children and teenagers, ADHD in adults can occur alongside several related problems or conditions. One of the most common conditions is depression. Other conditions that adults may have alongside ADHD include:
personality disorders – conditions in which an individual differs significantly from an average person, in terms of how they think, perceive, feel or relate to others
bipolar disorder – a condition that affects your moods, which can swing from one extreme to another
obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) – a condition that causes obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour
The behavioural problems associated with ADHD can also cause problems such as difficulties with relationships, social interaction, drugs and crime. Some adults with ADHD find it hard to find and stay in a job. If you notice any of the above in your child or yourself , it is worth making the effort and spending some time and money to have your child and or yourself assessed on a priority basis as ADHD causes neural changes in the brain. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychologist.
Language disorder is commonly known as language impairment, it is a common childhood disorder, which makes it difficult for kids to understand what the people around them are saying to them and to face difficulty in following simple directions, it also includes difficulty in expressing the thoughts and feeling through speech.
Language disorder can be classified as:
- Receptive language disorder: This disorder makes it difficult to understand what the other person is saying to the one suffering from it.
- Expressive language disorder: Kids suffering from it are not able to express themselves and their thoughts.
- Mixed receptive expressive disorder: These kids have combined symptoms of receptive language disorder and expressive language disorder, making it difficult to understand and to make someone else understand.
Symptoms of language disorder:
- Difficulty in understanding: The ones suffering from language disorder, finds it difficult to understand what the people around them are saying.
- Limited vocabulary: It is one of the prominent symptoms, in which the vocabulary of the kids is very limited as compared to other kids of that age.
- Trouble learning new things: Learning new things is a difficult task for the kid suffering from language disorder
- Repeat usage of certain phrases: Kids tend to use the same phrase again and again, which is one of the basic symptoms.
- Frustration: As the kid is either not able to understand or to make other understand or both, kids with this disorder tend to remain more frustrated in comparison to other kids, as they are unable to do things.
- Sentences which do not make sense: Making incomplete or senseless sentences is a key indicator of language disorder.
What you should do?
- Speech therapist: The treatment may include speech therapy, in which the speech therapist will work towards building the vocabulary and improving the grammar of the kids suffering, making the kids more confident and feel good about themselves.
- Psychotherapy: If the kid is also suffering from emotional issues because of the language disorder, then one should also undergo Psychotherapy, as it not only improves the morale of the patient, but also provides the guidance on how to keep improving further from the language disorder.
- Positive Atmosphere: The kids suffering from such a disorder should be made comfortable enough to enjoy their being, giving plenty of time to your young ones is the best way to cure such disorder, so one should always communicate well with his kids and make them learn new things, sing to them, listen to various sounds, show different pictures, colours, shapes to make them learn.
- Parental Support: The parents should also understand the issue well, be patient, and should support the kid to work out on the disorder. Parents should also interact with other parents, who have been there, to learn more about the language disorders and how their kids overcome the disorder.
As language disorder is one of common issue in kids, this can be managed and cured well to improve after all the required knowledge and best practices to follow. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychologist.
Raising a child with dyslexia can stir up a lot of emotions. You may look ahead and wonder if this learning issue will affect your child's future. But dyslexia is not a prediction of failure. Dyslexia is quite common, and many successful individuals have dyslexia.
Research has proven that there are different ways of teaching that can help people with dyslexia succeed. There's a lot you can do as a parent too.
What are the symptoms of dyslexia?
Because dyslexia affects some people more severely than others, your child's symptoms may look different from those in another child. Some kids with dyslexia have trouble with reading and spelling. Others may struggle to write or to tell left from right.
Dyslexia can also make it difficult for people to express themselves clearly. It can be hard for them to structure their thoughts during conversation. They may have trouble finding the right words to say.
Others struggle to understand what they're hearing. This is especially true when someone uses nonliteral language such as jokes and sarcasm.
The signs you see may also look different at various ages. Some of the warning signs for dyslexia, such as a speech delay, appear before a child reaches kindergarten. More often, though, dyslexia is identified in grade school. As schoolwork gets more demanding, trouble processing language becomes more apparent.
Here are some signs to look out for:
- Warning Signs in Preschool or Kindergarten
- Has trouble recognizing the letters of the alphabet
- Struggles to match letters to sounds, such as not knowing what sounds b or h make
- Has difficulty blending sounds into words, such as connecting C-H-A-T to the word chat
- Struggles to pronounce words correctly, such as saying 'mawn lower' instead of 'lawn mower'
- Has difficulty learning new words
- Has a smaller vocabulary than other kids the same age
- Has trouble learning to count or say the days of the week and other common word sequences
- Has trouble rhyming
Warning Signs in Grade School or Middle School
- Struggles with reading and spelling
- Confuses the order of letters, such as writing 'left' instead of 'felt'
- Has trouble remembering facts and numbers
- Has difficulty gripping a pencil
- Has difficulty using proper grammar
- Has trouble learning new skills and relies heavily on memorization
- Gets tripped up by word problems in math
- Has a tough time sounding out unfamiliar words
- Has trouble following a sequence of directions
Warning Signs in High School
- Struggles with reading out loud
- Doesn't read at the expected grade level
- Has trouble understanding jokes or idioms
- Has difficulty organizing and managing time
- Struggles to summarize a story
- Has difficulty learning a foreign language
Skills that are affected by Dyslexia
Dyslexia doesn't just affect reading and writing. Here are some everyday skills and activities your child may be struggling with because of this learning issue:
- Appears bright, highly intelligent, and articulate but unable to read, write, or spell at grade level.
- Labelled lazy, dumb, careless, immature, "not trying hard enough," or "behavior problem."
- Isn't "behind enough" or "bad enough" to be helped in the school setting.
- High in IQ, yet may not test well academically; tests well orally, but not written.
- Feels dumb; has poor self-esteem; hides or covers up weaknesses with ingenious compensatory strategies; easily frustrated and emotional about school reading or testing.
- Talented in art, drama, music, sports, mechanics, story-telling, sales, business, designing, building, or engineering.
- Seems to "Zone out" or daydream often; gets lost easily or loses track of time.
- Difficulty sustaining attention; seems "hyper" or "daydreamer."
- Learns best through hands-on experience, demonstrations, experimentation, observation, and visual aids.
Vision, Reading, and Spelling Skills:
- Complains of dizziness, headaches or stomach aches while reading.
- Confused by letters, numbers, words, sequences, or verbal explanations.
- Reading or writing shows repetitions, additions, transpositions, omissions, substitutions, and reversals in letters, numbers and/or words.
- Complains of feeling or seeing non-existent movement while reading, writing, or copying.
- Seems to have difficulty with vision, yet eye exams don't reveal a problem.
- Extremely keen sighted and observant, or lacks depth perception and peripheral vision.
Reads and rereads with little comprehension:
- Spells phonetically and inconsistently.
- Hearing and Speech Skills
- Has extended hearing; hears things not said or apparent to others; easily distracted by sounds.
- Difficulty putting thoughts into words; speaks in halting phrases; leaves sentences incomplete; stutters under stress; mispronounces long words, or transposes phrases, words, and syllables when speaking.
Writing and Motor Skills:
- Trouble with writing or copying; pencil grip is unusual; handwriting varies or is illegible.
- Clumsy, uncoordinated, poor at ball or team sports; difficulties with fine and/or gross motor skills and tasks; prone to motion-sickness.
- Can be ambidextrous, and often confuses left/right, over/under.
- Math and Time Management Skills
- Has difficulty telling time, managing time, learning sequenced information or tasks, or being on time.
- Computing math shows dependence on finger counting and other tricks; knows answers, but can't do it on paper.
- Can count, but has difficulty counting objects and dealing with money.
- Can do arithmetic, but fails word problems; cannot grasp algebra or higher math.
Memory and Cognition:
- Excellent long-term memory for experiences, locations, and faces.
- Poor memory for sequences, facts and information that has not been experienced.
- Thinks primarily with images and feeling, not sounds or words (little internal dialogue).
- Behavior, Health, Development and Personality
- Extremely disorderly or compulsively orderly.
- Can be class clown, trouble-maker, or too quiet.
- Had unusually early or late developmental stages (talking, crawling, walking, tying shoes).
- Prone to ear infections; sensitive to foods, additives, and chemical products.
- Can be an extra deep or light sleeper; bedwetting beyond appropriate age.
- Unusually high or low tolerance for pain.
- Strong sense of justice; emotionally sensitive; strives for perfection.
What can be done at home for dyslexia?
Helping your child with dyslexia can be a challenge, particularly if you're never been confident in your own reading and writing skills. But you don't have to be an expert to help work on certain skills or strengthen your child's self-esteem.
Keep in mind that kids (and families) are all different, so not all options will work for you. Don't panic if the first strategies you try aren't effective. You may need to try several approaches to find what works best for your child. Here are some things you can try at home:
- Read out loud every day
- Tap into your child's interests
- Use audiobooks
- Look for apps and other high-tech help
- Focus on effort, not outcome
- Make your home reader-friendly
- Boost confidence
What can make the journey easier?
Dyslexia can present challenges for your child and for you. But with the proper support, almost all people with dyslexia can become accurate readers. Your involvement will help tremendously.
Wherever you are in your journey, whether you're just starting out or are well on your way, this site can help you find more ways to support your child. Here are a few things that can help make the journey easier:
- Connect with other parents. Remember that you're not alone. Use our safe online community to find parents like you.
- Get behavior advice. Parenting Coach offers expert-approved strategies on a variety of issues that can affect children with dyslexia, including trouble with time management, anxiety and fear, frustration and low self-esteem.
- Build a support plan. Come up with a game plan and anticipate what lies ahead.
Understanding dyslexia and looking for ways to help your child is an important first step. There's a lot you can do just don't feel you have to do everything all at once. Pace yourself. If you try a bunch of strategies at the same time, it might be hard to figure out which ones are working. And do your best to stay positive. Your love and support can make a big difference in your child's life. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a neurologist and ask a free question.
Depression is an addictive state, which is hard to get rid of. Everybody who suffers from it encounters it in an unexpected way, yet we all agree that it can be a major well-being issue. It makes a person miserable, disappointed, restless or numb for long and tedious timeframes, and is debilitating, particularly when you can't demonstrate your feelings and worries to anybody. It can meddle with your productivity and can become a concern not only in workplaces, but also in social circles.
So here's how to deal with a friend or family member in a depressed state of mind:
- Never Say 'You're Too Much': When someone with depression is told "you're too much," particularly by somebody near them, it can send them spiralling into blame and nervousness and bitterness. Being encouraging and empowering is likewise useful.
- Try not to Shame People for Being Negative: Dejection changes the world into a scene of pessimism. Discouraged individuals don't just focus on the negatives, but they also disregard the positives.
- Do Understand That Depression Doesn't Mean "Trouble": Melancholy is a condition with an assortment of side effects like exhaustion, confused mind state and rest issues. These are all side effects of melancholy. Crabbiness is an exceptionally basic side effect, which once in a while is encountered by many individuals, and can lead to an expanded sensitivity. Normally, it's difficult to be sympathetic with someone who is behaving grumpily. But you need to make a conscious effort to still see the positive in depressed individuals and lead them to hope.
- Do Validate: Approval can help manage a depressed state, and can wean a friend or family member out of depression. Remember that someone with dejection is not living in the same universe as you. The laws that oversee your universe don't exist in theirs.
Depressed individuals require your understanding, your empathy, and your affection, considerably more when they are having a troublesome day, week or month. It is hard, but possible. Discouraged individuals value a positive backing in particular.
Related Tip: "How To Recognize Depression In Adults"