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We have a tendency to be our own worst critics. This affects your self-esteem that in turn affects how you live your life. Self-esteem can be defined as how a person feels about himself or herself and his or her abilities. Here are a few tips that could help you boost your self-esteem.
- Make the right comparisons: It is human nature to judge yourself in comparison to other factors. However, comparing yourself to others is never a good idea. Each of us has different strengths and weaknesses. While one person may be great at outdoor sports, art may be another’s strong suit. Find your own strengths. If you must compare, make a comparison on how you have progressed. If you like writing, look at how your style has evolved. Similarly, if you like a sport, look at the improvements you have made.
- Set realistic goals: Whether its weight loss or career, it is important to set realistic and attainable goals. This should never be set in relation to another person. For example, setting a goal to get a promotion faster than your friend is a bad goal. Instead, set a timeline by when you want to reach the next step of your career. Ensure that these goals are realistic. You may have peers who have turned entrepreneurs but if you know that you do not have the necessary financial backing available, setting a goal to start up your own company may not be a good idea. Instead, if you do want to set up your own firm set a goal for the amount of money you need to put aside.
- Focus on things you can control: There are some things we can control and others that we cannot. Do not focus on the latter. For example, you have little control over the education you received as a child. However, you do have control over the training and education you want to receive now. If you feel that you need to learn something more, take steps towards it. Merely saying that you did not go to a top school will not help.
- Celebrate the small Stuff: Even small victories need to be celebrated. For a socially conscious person, simply going out for a cup of coffee with someone else is a victory. Similarly, booking online tickets could be a victory for a technologically challenged person. Celebrate these small things in life and you will soon be celebrating more things than dwelling on things you feel bad about.
Depression in children and young people affect people from ages 5 to 18. About one in four children in India suffer from childhood depression. Boys and girls up to the age of 10 and 16 respectively, are more prone to depression. As per the report released by WHO, among 10 South-East Asian countries, India has the highest suicide rate. An estimated rate of suicide per 1 lakh population of the age group of 15-29 is 35.5 percent.
Definition and Signs
According to Thompson (1995), depression is an overall lowering of normal functions which is not specific to any one component of the mind. Clinically, the signs and symptoms of depression have the following components:
- Mood Changes: sadness, irritability, sense of loss of interest even in cherished activities
- Cognitive changes: inefficient thinking, poor self-esteem, a feeling of hopelessness, loss of concentration, poor attention span, indecisiveness. Rarely, suicidal tendencies, delusions, hallucinations.
- Physical changes: low energy, apathy, tiredness, increase or decrease in appetite, disturbed sleep, low emotional responsiveness. Children in primary school stage may report of headaches and stomach aches, limb pain.
- Impairment in personal and/or social functioning: Self-harm, deterioration in school work without any specific reason, sudden and persistent levels of aggression and irritability.
- Marital or family disharmony
- Divorce and separation
- Physical and sexual abuse
- Domestic violence
- Problems at school: bullying, social isolation, exam failure
- Severe personal assault
- Children with parents suffering from depression
Diagnosis of Childhood Depression
Any child suffering from symptoms of depression for at least 2 weeks, should be scheduled to visit his health care provider. Parents and guardians should eliminate any physical reasons for the symptoms before visiting a mental health professional. There are no specific medical or psychological tests that can clearly diagnose childhood depression. Following measures can help to make an accurate diagnosis:
- Questionnaires for both the child and parents.
- Interviews and study of the patient's history by a mental health professional.
- Information from friends, teachers, and classmates can be useful to detect early symptoms of childhood depression.
- To alleviate depressive disorder
- To reduce concurrent related conditions like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) and learning disabilities
- To promote normal social and emotional development and school performance
- Relieve family distress
- To prevent or reduce the risk of relapse
Psychological therapy is the first line of treatment and includes:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy in group and individual format
- Interpersonal psychotherapy focuses on interpersonal issues like interpersonal conflicts, grief and loss and its effect on current feelings and problems
- Psychodynamic child psychotherapy where children are given a way to express their issues through playing, drawing, talking
- Family therapy deals with solving family-related issues and management of crisis
- Art therapy is an approach to vent out your negative feelings using creative expression as an outlet.
- Guided self-help helps you in understanding the core of the problems and finding ways to manage the same with the help of a professional.
- Relaxation and self-modelling can go a long way in dealing with depression. Relaxation techniques like exercising, meditating and yoga help your mind soothe and reduce stress and anxiety which in turn elevates the mood and reduces depression.
- Counselling has help people overcome loneliness and discuss the things that make them feel low openly. This helps in seeking a solution for that particular cause.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
It is a common trend among youngsters to smoke weed as they tend to think it makes them look cool. It is a common misconception that smoking pot relieves various social and personal problems. It is used as a form of escape mechanism that allows them to avoid problems in life.
The usual reasons why people turn to smoking pot are:
- Peer pressure: You may have friends who smoke weed on a regular basis, so you may be tempted to join in.
- Boredom: It is a usual resort to escape from boredom or craving excitement. It is said that smoking weed helps in filling the internal void that results from lack of excitement.
- Rebellion: Weed has also been connected and continues to be a symbol of rebellion among today's teenagers and youngsters.
- Smoking weed has been shown to shrink the size of the orbitofrontal cortex, a region of the brain that is important in making decisions and processing emotions.
- It can alter your mood, hamper body movement and impairs your ability to concentrate and execute tasks.
- It increases your risk of getting affected by phlegm and cough.
- The long term effects of marijuana comprises of impaired learning and thinking skills.
- It also affects the process where new connections are formed in the brain.
- Regular weed smokers have also been shown to have lower IQ levels comparatively.
- Apart from the mental effects, it may also cause breathing discomforts as the smoke may irritate the lungs.
- It also increases the chances of heart attack in the elderly.
- Weed has also been reported to impact the fetus if a pregnant woman smokes it.
- It raises the risk of behavioral problems in children.
- The complications that a child may face are impaired problem solving skills, attention and memory related disorders.
Thus, it is important to stay away from smoking weed as it is addictive and increases your chances of getting affected by numerous health complications.
Body dysmorphic disorder is a type of psychiatric disorder. It is when you cannot think about one or more defects or flaws in your appearance. These flaws are usually very minor and sometimes even unnoticeable. This is actually a much more serious disorder than many other people may think. This is because people with body dysmorphic disease may avoid many situations and also suffer from severe anxiety or shame. Here is everything you need to know about body dysmorphic disease.
Just like other psychiatric disorders, there is no known cause of body dysmorphic disease. However, there are a lot of factors, which increases your risk of developing it which include:
- Brain disorders: Many people with abnormal brain chemistry disorders suffer from body dysmorphic disease.
- Genes: People whose blood relatives have this disease or have obsessive compulsive disorder are more likely to develop this disorder as well.
- Environment: Cultural and social influences are a major cause of body dysmorphic disorder as well.
There are, however a lot of symptoms of body dysmorphic disorder, most of which are psychological in nature. They include:
- Having a preoccupation with a flaw in the body, which is very minor or perhaps even unnoticeable.
- Beliefs that people are mocking you in relation to your flaw.
- Being a perfectionist
It is also worth noting that this obsession can affect any part of the body and can also include several parts of the body or different parts of the body at different times. Here are the possible treatments of body dysmorphic disorder.
There are a variety of treatments, which a patient can opt for and a variety of methods of curing the problem. Here are the most common.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: This is when a therapist tries to stop you from thinking about the flaw that you have been focusing on way too much.
- SSRI: SSRI stands for Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. They are given in cases, where body dysmorphic disorder is caused by problems related to the brain chemical serotonin.
- Hospitalization: This is a severe measure, but may need to be taken if you are in danger of harming somebody or you cannot perform daily activities. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychologist.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Love:It does make the world go round. With millions of songs and movies that have this emotion in its center, can it really be any other way? From early life, love acts as a security blanket from our parents, a growing up adventure with siblings and an out of the world experience with pets. When you learn to care and love, it becomes a life habit that helps you find happiness in all situations.
In several Harvard studies over the years on finding the 'secret of happiness'and the connection between happiness, health, and love, one common undisputed fact emerged that love and good relationships keep you healthier and happier. There really is no medicine like having someone to love and share a life with. Note that you need these reasons for being in love but it is great to know them any way.
- The heart and love connection: Our heart has been connected with the emotion of love for so many reasons. Historically, the heart was thought to be the seat to thinking, emotions and memories. It beating extra hard during excitement and love gave an automatic connection to the two. This popular notion continued to take center stage even after it was scientifically proven that the heart only pumped blood while the brain took up other functionalities. The association remains strong until date where the beating heart as a life source is associate with love - which makes life a happy place.
- Love can boost your immune system: A research by Ronald Glazer and Jan Kiecolt-Glaser suggested that couples who engaged in positive conflict resolution had a higher functioning immune system than those who didn't. Which means, if you get into an argument, you need to play fair and play nice. Couples who argued and stonewalled showed a larger decline in their immediate immune system functioning. Some connection!
- Love more, live longer: According to a 2004 study by the CDC, married couples had the lowest mortality rates. Generally speaking, people who are in committed, loving relationships experience less stress which translates to improved heart health. Happy and loving relationships also coax us into giving up risky behaviours like smoking, especially when you want to raise a family. This in turn propels a healthy lifestyle.
- It can reduce your pain: Pain is a feeling when we are physically harmed internally or externally and its intensity is controlled by our brain. But the heart plays an equally important role in its intensity - i.e. reducing it. If you hold the hand of the person you love, it can minimize your feelings of pain. No wonder then that women in labor hold their husband's hand to tide through the pain!
- Love can keep your heart happy: Love increases the feeling of bliss and elevates you into a different sphere of optimism, energy and sense of well being - all of which go into keeping your heart healthy.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
With today's lifestyle, it is almost impossible to avoid stress. Each person experiences stress in a different way and can tolerate different levels of stress. For some work is a source of stress while for others it could be strained relationships or financial trouble. Stress, if not dealt correctly can harm a person mentally, emotionally and physically. Stress can also make a person age faster. Hence. it becomes essential to understand how to deal with the wear and tear of stress.
- Cut back on caffeine, alcohol and nicotine: Stress can fasten your heartbeat and lead to anxiousness and depression. Turning to nicotine, alcohol or any form of caffeinated drink may temporarily make you feel better but will worsen the situation in the long run. This is because all three of them are considered stimulants. Instead hydrate your body with plenty of water, fresh fruits juices and herbal teas.
- Exercise: Regular exercise is beneficial for a healthy mind and body. Exercising give you some time to yourself and gives you a break from whatever may be triggering your stress. Stress also causes the release of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. This can make you jumpy and tense. However, by exercising these hormones can be put to use and your body can be brought back to a calmer state.
- Talk to someone: Stress can lead to anxiety and depression. This can make you socially withdrawn and lead to even more stress. Hence, it is essential to find someone who you can open up to and share your thoughts and experience with. This will also help you make better decisions as stress can cloud your judgement.
- Get a good night s sleep: Stress can affect your sleep cycles and make you either an insomniac or make you sleep excessively. In both cases, you wake up feeling tired and sans any energy to take on the next day. Give yourself a routine of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day to fight these effects of stress and to give your mind time to refresh itself. It will also help to avoid watching television or working on laptops or mobiles for an hour before going to bed.
- Prioritize: Seeing a never ending to-do list is one of the most common stress triggers. In such situations, stress can make you unable to complete your tasks efficiently and you re left either feeling overworked or with an even longer to-do list for the next day. Hence, it is important to learn to prioritise tasks and get them done one at a time. Also, learn to say NO to people when you know you do not have the time to take on additional tasks. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychologist.
Emotional abuse is a lesser known topic that is very important to talk about. Most individuals are oblivious to the fact that such a term even exists. This article is mainly about educating people about what emotional abuse is, how it affects children, thereby, affecting the upcoming generation altogether.
Like physical abuse, emotional abuse too is very real and harmful enough to cause enormous damage to a child’s mental health. So what exactly is emotional abuse?
Any sort of persistent, emotional neglect or emotional maltreatment can become emotional abuse to children and may cause havoc in their emotional development. The world runs at a very fast pace and parents usually are caught up in earning well for the family, raising the children properly and transforming them into respectable adults. This entire process brings about enormous stress and frustration. As such, unknowingly or knowingly, these parents end up emotionally abusing their children. No, that is not the end of it. It is not only the parents who can cause emotional abuse, but also there are numerous other factors to be considered.
So to make the explanation process easier, here are some points that explain what emotional or psychological abuse includes.
- Scaring or humiliating a child deliberately and regularly
- Isolating or ignoring a child
- Telling a child that he/she is worthless, inadequate or unloved
- Not providing the children any opportunity to express him/her by deliberately silencing them or making fun of their expression
- Age inappropriate or developmentally inappropriate expectations from children. For example, making a child believe that topping the class is necessary and is a shame otherwise.
- Overprotecting the child and hindering their exploration and learning
- Preventing them from participating in an absolutely normal social interaction. For example, asking girls not to mix with boys and punishing them for doing so.
- A child seeing or hearing utter ill-treatment of another child or person
- Serious bullying by other children and cyber bullying
- Threatening a child and calling names
- Making a child perform any sort of act that might be degrading
- Exposing a child to distressing interactions like domestic abuse or drug abuse.
- Not expressing positive or congratulatory feelings to the child
- Not showing any sort of emotional attachment or interactions with the child
- Causing physical abuse to the child.
- Trying too hard to control the child’s life and not allowing him/her to recognize their individuality.
Yes, there is no such thing as good parenting or bad parenting. However, parents need to know how much any sort of emotional abuse may affect the future development of their child. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Mental Health is all about mental and emotional well-being. Being mentally healthy means being at peace from within, being able to deal with life's challenges and being able to manage emotions and relationships, etc.
There is a lot of misunderstanding about "mental health" and 60% of mentally sick or disturbed people are not taken to doctors or other medical health professionals. Instead, they are taken to astrologers, or tantriks and some are even punished for being crazy.
In today's highly stressful world people do not have time to think and plan their lives. Because of fast-paced modern lifestyle and nuclear families, people don't know how they can express their intense emotions and to whom. Sometimes emotional wounds like hurt, insults, neglect, shaming, physical and/or sexual abuse during childhood, may cause personality or behavioral disorders. People with behaviors, such as someone who loses temper for any small thing, is suspicious all the time, breaks down or cries at slightest provocation, is jealous and extremely possessive to the extent of being obsessed, is anxious all the time etc. need to understand his/her feelings and find out the root cause of such feelings and behaviours or consult a medical professional and get help.
Following are a few tips that can help improve a person's mental health, when practiced periodically:
- Learn to express feelings assertively
- Become aware of their emotions and feelings
- Understand how to manage emotions on day to day basis (anger, fear, jealousy etc.)
- Review and nurture relationships and infuse new life into them
- Periodically get rid of past baggage, something that hurts severely, spoilt relationships, unresolved issues, by resolving them in mind
- Have a daily routine where they need to balance their needs and what others expect from them
- Develop a positive attitude and focus on good events in life and positive affirmations
- Be in the company of positive people
- Devise methods for de-stressing
- Keep away from any kind of substance abuse
- Develop an exercise regime
Anger is good. It protects you. But intense, uncontrolled anger may destroy valuable relationships. Anger is a result of anxiety and fear. When we assume that our expectations will not be met, we become anxious. When we feel unsure about our own capabilities we become anxious. This anxiety creates fear. Anxiety comes from our beliefs. All beliefs can be modified.
Anger has lots of energy. Avoid arguments/confrontations when you are very angry. When you are very angry you are likely to use rough language which may damage your relations and you are likely to behave impulsively. All this you might regret later on. Following are a few techniques which will help you to manage your anger in difficult situations :
- Sit down and have a glass of water, slowly. This will help you to calm down a little.
- Avoid or go away from that room or situation. Tell the people concerned, that you are angry and would like to discuss it some other time.
- Deep breathing exercises help a lot. Close your eyes, take 10 deep breaths, turn your attention towards your body. See what is happening to your body. Tell your body muscles to relax. If your heart is beating fast, if you are breathing fast, continue deep breathing, till it normalises.
- Now understand what is making you angry. Understand your own anxiety and fear related to the issue.
- Let the other person know how you are “feeling”. Start your statements, “I feel hurt/insulted/let down/neglected etc. when you do this”, instead of saying “You hurt/neglect me”. When you express your feeling in this manner, the other person does not feel blamed, which makes the other person more receptive.
- Focus on the current issue, don’t bring in past situations.
- Tell the other person, what you want or expect, instead of telling what you do not want. E.G. Instead of saying “I don’t want you to go out now”, say “I would like you to stay at home today”.
- Listen carefully what the other person wants to tell you. Give others a chance to voice their opinions.
- Make an eye contact and be firm but polite while communicating your point of view.
- Understand everyone’s responsibility in the situation. Try to see, what is your share in the problematic situation? Work on that.
- Understand what change you want.
- Have realistic expectations from others and also from yourself.
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.