7 Reasons We Should Learn To Enjoy Our Own Company

7 Reasons We Should Learn To Enjoy Our Own Company

 

Let us first establish a fact:

 

Being alone is not the same as being lonely

 

Being alone is a voluntary act, where you detach yourself from the physical world, for a short duration, in order to spend some quality time with yourself. There are definitely some of us that simply don’t like to be alone. We feel like need to be around people all the time, to stay updated with the world and to keep ourselves occupied. With the emergence of social media, we now enjoy the company of others 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in the comforts of our own home. It’s like a party all day, every day. The thought of logging off can cause some of us a great deal of anxiety.

 

Shutting down has its benefits too. We get so wrapped up in tweeting, updating and hanging out with our friends that we tend to forget who we are. So, who are you, really? Can you enjoy your own company?

 

Here are 8 reasons why you should try hanging out with yourself for a change.

 

1.Explore your creative side.

 

When you are alone, you will have the time to nurture and grow your creative side. Maybe you like to do oil painting, read, play piano, write but haven’t had the chance, or time, to do so because you’re never alone. Take time to delve into the artistic side of you. It just may turn out that you are better at it than you think!

 

2.Quiet your mind.

 

In all the hustle and bustle around us, it is easy to pick up the negative energy and stress from others around us. When you take time to be by yourself, you will have the chance to do a brain detox. Get rid of the toxins from the day and just be with you and your thoughts. Free your mind.

 

3.Have a dinner date night.

 

This isn’t easy for everybody to do, going out to dinner alone, but try it. While you’re out, take the time to look around and observe others. By doing so, you can learn a lot about the behaviours of others and yourself. Do you see yourself in any of these people? Do you want to? You’ll just realise that treating yourself is much more satisfying than you expected.

 

4.Road trip anyone?

 

When was the last time you took a road trip or went backpacking by yourself? Windows rolled down, music blaring, singing to the steering wheel, GPS in off mode. It’s extremely liberating. You can make little pit stops along the way and feed your adventurous side. You may even make new friends along the way.

 

5.Respect, admiration, adoration.

 

People who can enjoy their own company usually gain more respect from others. An admiration, if you will. We are in awe of them because they are truly happy in their own skin, and being with their own company is something they clearly enjoy. Something that so many of us strive for. They exude self-confidence and self-respect. Who wouldn’t want more of that?

 

  1. Digital Detox

 

Relax. Turn off the phones, turn off the computer, TV and put some relaxing music on and just chill out.  Take this time to meditate, journal or read a book. This is your time with you. Embrace you and enjoy it.

 

7.Face fears head on.

 

This may seem rather odd, but yes, you can face your fears better when you are alone and learn to appreciate and enjoy you because of it. Many of us need a friend or partner to help us face any sort of fear, but when we are forced to do it alone, we realize how brave and courageous we really are. Just knowing that you were able to do this by yourself is good enough reason to start trusting yourself more.

 

If life and work demands get in the way of your alone time, try scheduling it on the calendar like you would a doctor’s appointment and stick to it. You are as equally important as your loved ones. Love yourself first.

10 Simple yet effective ways to Build Your Mental Strength

10 Simple yet effective ways to Build Your Mental Strength

 

Your mind is always one step ahead of the body.

 

Building your mental health is as important to you as building your speed, strength and stamina – it’s your mind that will give the orders to your body to find that extra last burst of energy in every situation.

So how do you build your mental fitness? Let us look at 10 ways of achieving a fit mind!

 

  1. Establish goals.

 

The human brain is naturally predisposed to reach for and achieve goals. And not just one big goal, such as I want to lose 10kgs. Also set more manageable short-term goals such as I want to work for 30 minutes without checking my phone or I want to reply to all of my emails by noon today.

 

With each goal you achieve, you’ll gain more confidence in your ability to succeed. You’ll also learn to recognize when your goals are unrealistically ambitious and when they’re not challenging enough.

 

  1. Set yourself up for success.

 

Becoming mentally strong doesn’t mean you have to subject yourself to temptations every day. Make your life a little easier by modifying the environment.

 

If you want to work out in the morning, leave your shoes next to the bed at night and sleep in your gym clothes. If you want to eat healthier, remove the junk food from your pantry. When you set yourself up for success, you won’t exhaust your mental energy trying to resist the urge to sleep in or to dig into a bag of potato chips.

 

  1. Tolerate discomfort for a greater purpose.

 

Discomfort can lead people to look for unhealthy shortcuts. Rather than dealing with a problem, they reach for something that provides immediate emotional relief—drinking a glass of wine or binge-watching their favorite show, for example. But those short-term solutions can often create bigger long-term problems.

 

Practice tolerating discomfort by reminding yourself of the bigger picture. Push yourself to work on your budget even though it causes you to feel anxious; run on the treadmill when you feel tired—don’t escape the discomfort. The more you tolerate discomfort, the more confidence you’ll have in your ability to do difficult things.

 

  1. Reframe your negative thoughts.

 

Strive to develop a realistic yet optimistic inner monologue. Reframe catastrophic thoughts, such as ‘This will never work’ with ‘If I work hard, I’ll improve my chances of success.’

 

You can’t eliminate all of your negative thoughts. Everyone has rough patches and bad days. But by replacing those overly pessimistic thoughts with more realistic expectations, you can stay on course and equip yourself to manage the bad days.

 

  1. Balance your emotions with logic.

 

You make the best decisions when your emotions and logic are in sync. If all your decisions were emotional, you wouldn’t save for retirement because you’d be too busy spending your money on what makes you happy right now. But if all of your decisions were logical, you’d live a boring life devoid of pleasure, leisure and love.

 

Whether you’re buying a house or thinking of a career shift, consider the balance between your emotions and logic. If you’re overly excited or especially anxious, write down a list of the pros and cons of moving forward with the decision. Reviewing that list will boost the logical part of your brain and help balance out your emotions.

 

  1. Strive to fulfill your purpose.

 

It’s hard to stay the course unless you know your overall purpose. Why do you want to earn more money or hone your craft?

 

Write out a clear and concise mission statement about what you want to accomplish in life. When you’re struggling to take the next step, remind yourself why it’s important to keep going. Focus on your daily objectives, but make sure those steps you’re taking will get you to a larger goal in the long run.

 

  1. Look for explanations, not excuses.

 

When you don’t perform as well as expected, examine the reasons why. Look for an explanation to help you do better next time, but don’t make excuses for your behavior.

 

Take full responsibility for any shortcomings. Don’t blame others or the circumstances for your missteps. Acknowledge and face your mistakes so you can learn from them and avoid repeating them in the future.

 

  1. Do one hard thing every day.

You won’t improve by accident. Purposely challenge yourself. Of course, what’s challenging to you might not be to someone else, so you need to analyze where your comfortable boundaries are.

 

Then pick something slightly outside those boundaries and take one small step every day. That could mean speaking up for yourself when it’s uncomfortable or enrolling in a class you don’t feel qualified for. Push yourself to become a little better today than you were yesterday.

 

  1. Use the 10-minute rule.

 

Mental strength won’t magically make you feel motivated all of the time. But it can help you be productive, even when you don’t feel like it.

 

When you’re tempted to put off something, use the 10-minute rule. When you eye the couch at the time you planned to go for a run, tell yourself to get moving for just 10 minutes. If your mind is still fighting your body after 10 minutes, give yourself permission to quit.

 

Getting started is often the hardest part. Once you take the first step, you’ll realize it’s not nearly as bad as you predicted, and your other skills can help keep you going.

 

  1. Prove yourself wrong.

 

The next time you think you can’t do something, prove yourself wrong. Commit to doing one more pushup at the gym or closing one more deal this month.

 

Your mind will want to quit long before your body needs to give up. Prove to yourself that you’re more capable than you give yourself credit for, and over time, your brain will stop underestimating your potential.

 

Marrying into a joint family? 5 common situations you’ll face, and how to deal with them!

Marrying into a joint family?

5 common situations you’ll face, and how to deal with them!

 

Marriage sets a new course of life for you; may it be your routine, your choices & preferences, or even the people you interact with. At times, this sea of changes comes with a sea of people, especially if you get married into a joint family. Joint family brings with it a lot of love & support, but at the same time gaining the trust of each of them and building a strong bond with each individual can be challenging. So if you are considering getting married into a joint family, here are some of the most common situations that you’re likely to face, and the suggested approach to each of them!

 

 

  • Added responsibility:

 

A joint family means it’s not just your husband and you, but an extension of other family members that you have to consider at all times. You’ve got to take everyone’s happiness & interests into consideration, ensuring that no one gets hurt or feels left out in the process.

 

Suggested Approach:

A bigger family comes with more expectations. Do what you can. Your new family will accept you the way you are. It’s a slow process that builds with time, so, have patience.

 

 

  • Ego issues:

 

The more the number of members in the family, the greater the number of opinions, disagreements and clashes. Ego issues are common and tough to deal with, especially when some of the elders in the family may demand higher level of respect.

 

Suggested Approach::

Make sure you don’t lose your cool; take this situation in your stride. Consider other people’s’ opinion and emotions before taking your stand. And if you have said something unpleasant to your elders, apologise. This won’t make you less significant; in fact, it’ll only make everyone else happy.

 

 

  • Comparison with other family members:

 

There’s bound to be a good amount of comparison if there are people of the same age or stature in the family. So, it’s pretty normal for the older family members to talk about how well-behaved one family member is as compared to the other. Yes, it can get intimidating!

 

Suggested Approach:

Take the criticism positively. Absorb the silver linings, and discard the unnecessary details.

 

 

  • Making adjustments:

 

 

If you are from a nuclear family, then a joint household can be overwhelming. Every household has its own set of unspoken rules that you have follow, and this one may have a few more than the ones you generally deal with.

 

Suggested Approach:

With a joint family there will be more people to please and more expectations to meet, but be calm and do your part right. Be nice! Be open and honest about the things that bother you and the things you find difficult to adjust to. You’ll be surprised at how people will find a way around it!

 

 

  • No ‘me’ time:

 

If you are the sort of person who loves walking into your room and being by yourself, it’s going to get a little difficult to get privacy when you’re living in a joint family that is bustling with activity.

 

Suggested Approach:

Try to strike a balance between family time and your ‘me’ time. Organize yourself in such a way that you can retire to your room and can spend time doing whatever you wish to, without constantly worrying about pending work or feeling that your privacy is being invaded.

5 Interpersonal & Social Skills for the Workplace

Before we could even speak our first word, we were learning socialization skills from the caregivers around us. In the workplace, these social skills are more popularly termed as interpersonal skills. Both social skills and interpersonal skills refer to the same thing—interaction with others.

So what makes interpersonal skills so essential? At your workplace, you deal with people every day. People of different designations, age, background, etc. Strong interpersonal skills will enable you to interact with them effectively. Interpersonal skills not only enhance your communication skills, but also help you develop sustaining relationships with people. Strong relationships with the people you work with will help you succeed at your workplace.

It’s a no-brainer; No research is required to prove that a lack of good interpersonal skills is the number one reason why people in the work environment don’t get along, don’t get promoted or, even worse, lose their jobs.

Here’s a list of 5 interpersonal skills tips which we feel are a must in order to develop strong relationships and a healthy environment at your workplace:

1. Managing relationships
2. Understanding the feelings of others
3. Cooperating with others
4. Great Attitude
5. Showing respect
6. Appropriate contact

1. Managing relationships
You spend most of your day with the people at your workplace. If you are a full-time employee, you can expect to spend a minimum of 40 or more hours a week with your coworkers. Considering that, you can begin to understand why it is so important to have good relationships with your coworkers and managers! Good relationships not only help you get along well with people, but also makes it much easier to do your job better.

Have a difficult coworker or manager? Always remain polite and professional towards them. If you need to confront that person, make sure you do it thoughtfully and in their best interest. You never know, a difficult coworker could become a friend over time.

2. Understanding the feelings of others
Empathy: The ability to understand and relate to the feelings of others. When you show empathy, people feel that you understand them and how they feel.

When people tell you about something important, it shows they feel comfortable around you. Do your best to put yourself in their shoes. Think about how you would want to be treated if you were in their position. What would you want someone to say to you? Behave accordingly.

3. Cooperating with others
Cooperating, or working well with others, is an important part of interpersonal skills in the workplace. Although individual tasks and goals would differ, but the entire team has one common goal: Work towards the success the company. Without cooperation, the workplace can be an unpleasant place, which in turn will affect the growth of the company.

Before starting on a group project, make sure each person understands what is expected of them. Ensure each person is able to share his or her ideas or thoughts. Encourage your group to be a safe space for sharing and collaborating.

4. Having a Great Attitude
Having an overall positive attitude will affect many aspects of your work. A great attitude will help you cope with pressure and stress, as well as create a positive effect on others around you. Always sharing a positive attitude will help you grow in your position and ultimately help you move forward in your career.

How can you achieve a positive attitude?

Avoid negative thinking and complaining
Spend time with people who have a positive attitude
Be thankful for your job
Give yourself a chance to recharge
Reward yourself for doing a good job

5. Showing respect
When you show respect for others in the workplace, people will show respect for you. You can show respect for others by being polite and using your manners.

When people are talking to you, listen to what they are saying and make eye contact to show that you are listening. Wait until other people have finished talking before you respond.

Remember: Interpersonal skills impacts your growth more than your actual performance at work.

10 Ways To Help Your Partner Cope With Loss

We all wish we didn’t have to prepare for it, but one horrible day, the your partner will lose someone close to them; a parent, sibling, relative, or friend. As you two journey through time together, your partner will experience financial stress, self-doubt, job loss, depression, anxiety, etc. It is your responsibility to be there for them.

 

When romantic partners grow together, it becomes inevitable that they will see each other through life’s most tumultuous and traumatic experiences: death, loss, illness, failures, the list goes on. Often, you will be the first person that your partner turns to in times of trouble. It is a beautiful aspect of a strong partnership, but it can also be incredibly overwhelming for one person to handle. You want to do what is best for your partner, so knowing how to help a partner grieve is key.

 

Here are 10 specific ways that you can help your partner cope during tragic and stressful times:

 

  1. Let Them Cry

No one likes to watch the person they love break down. You feel powerless and desperate to ease the pain. But if your response to your partner’s tears is “don’t cry,” even if it is meant in a comforting way, you are essentially telling them not to feel their emotions. First of all, the act of crying can be extremely cathartic. Secondly, if your partner’s grief is causing tears, then crying is a part of their grieving process. It is something they have to go through. Let your partner know that it is safe to cry in front of you. You will support them and let them do whatever they have to do — your possible feelings of discomfort or powerlessness are irrelevant.

 

  1. Be Honest

Your partner needs genuine support. Saying “It will be OK” doesn’t help anybody because it isn’t OK now. Be real. Tell your partner, “I don’t know what to say, but I am so sorry and I’m here to help you in any way you need.” Your partner will be surrounded by well-intentioned but ineffectual sympathy; you need to be their source of honesty.

 

  1. Give Them Room To Grieve In Unique Ways

There is no right or wrong way to grieve after a loss. Don’t tell your partner that they should be over it by now. Don’t tell your partner that their grieving process is incorrect because it is different from yours. Don’t shame your partner for not crying or for crying too much. Again, you are your partner’s safe space. You need to give them room to experience mourning in their own personal way.

 

  1. Be Comfortable With Silence

Sometimes there truly are no words. Don’t feel like you have to fill the silence while your significant other grieves. Your partner just needs to know that you are there. Spend hours together with each other, saying nothing.

 

  1. Offer Practical Help

The only thing that your partner really wants is for their loved one to come back to life. You can’t make that happen, as much as you may want to. But you can help plan the funeral, buy your partner’s groceries, do their laundry, give them a massage, spend an afternoon watching TV, etc. Let your significant other know that you will take on all responsibilities, and suggest specific ways to help. Or just do things on your own, if you know what has to be done. Your partner can’t think in specifics about anything right now, other than what they have lost.

 

  1. Don’t Say Any Of These Things

“They’re in a better place.” “God works in mysterious ways.” “Look on the bright side.” “Everything happens for a reason.” “When my [insert loved one] died, I…”Maybe your partner doesn’t believe in an afterlife or a higher power. Maybe they do, but that still doesn’t justify their loved one’s death. “The bright side” doesn’t matter right now — what matters is that an important person is dead. Also, it doesn’t matter what you did when someone died. This isn’t about your experience, which is completely different from your partner’s. Make it about them, not you.

 

  1. Let Them Talk About Things Over And Over

One of the most important roles that you will take on during this difficult time is that of a listener. Your partner may initially react to the loss by not wanting to open up at all. Let them know that you are ready to listen whenever they are ready to talk. Once that moment comes, your partner may need to vocalize the same emotions or memories over and over. That’s extremely beneficial for the mourning process. Let them do that. Don’t tell your partner that you have already heard the story. Just listen again and again.

 

  1. Be A Spokesperson

Following the loss of a loved one, multiple people reach out to those in mourning. Their sympathy is usually beautiful and appreciated, but also extremely overwhelming. Take on the role of a spokesperson. Your partner does not have the energy or peace of mind to respond to countless phone calls, emails, or messages. Doing so may even be triggering; people who mean no harm may ask invasive questions. Instead, you can acknowledge and thank those people for your partner.

 

  1. Remember That Grief Doesn’t Have An End Date

Your partner will eventually stop crying. Their routines will return to normal. They’ll laugh again. It will be easier. But grief doesn’t really ever end. If you are in the relationship, you have to be there for your partner for the rest of your journey together.

 

You should employ similar methods when helping a partner cope with stress, especially making yourself available to take on practical responsibilities and comfortably sharing silent moments together.

 

  1. Be A Stress Reliever

Most of the times, comfort Is more important than anything else. Your instinct may be to help your partner find a solution to the stress. However, their brain is already overworked and anxiety-ridden. They have brainstormed and over-analyzed enough on their own. What they really need from you is relief: a long hug, a good laugh, etc. Sometimes, simply reminding your partner that you are there is the solution that they need.

ADHD – Facts checked & Myths Busted

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is defined as a brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that affects 9.5% of children all over the world.

Some of the misconceptions about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) include the following:

Myth Fact
1. ADHD isn’t a real medical disorder. It is just a condition. ADHD is a medical disorder, not a condition of the child’s will. A child with ADHD does not choose to misbehave. Research shows that it is a result of an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Its primary symptoms are inattention, impulsiveness, and, sometimes, hyperactivity.
2. Having ADHD means the person is simply lazy or dumb. ADHD has nothing to do with a person’s intellectual ability or their motor skills. Some highly intelligent people, such as Mozart, Benjamin Franklin & Abraham Lincoln, have ADHD. People with ADHD typically face difficulty with aspects of daily life, including time management and organizational skills.
3. If a child has ADHD, he or she can always be easily diagnosed in the doctor’s office. A child may not always show symptoms of ADHD, especially in an unfamiliar setting. Evaluating a child from one office observation may result in failure to recognize or diagnose symptoms.
4. Children with ADHD are learning to use the condition as an excuse for their behavior. ADHD is a disability, not a voluntary privilege. Children with ADHD have to learn ways to deal with their symptoms (inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity) that cause them to have difficulties in life. Special accommodations, such as extra time on tests, simply level the playing field so that kids with ADHD can learn as successfully as their classmates.
5. ADHD is caused by bad parenting. All the child needs is good discipline. ADHD is not caused by bad parenting. But parenting techniques can often improve some symptoms and make others worse. When a child with ADHD blurts things out or gets out of his seat in class, it’s not because he hasn’t been taught that these behaviors are wrong. It’s because he cannot control his impulses. The problem is rooted in brain chemistry, not discipline. In fact, overly strict parenting — which may involve punishing a child for things he can’t control — can actually make ADHD symptoms worse.
6. Children outgrow ADHD. About 70 out of 100 children with ADHD continue to have symptoms during their teen years and about 50 out of 100 have symptoms into adulthood.
7. Medicine prescriptions for ADHD have greatly increased in the past few years, because the condition is being “overdiagnosed.” ADHD is estimated to affect about 3 to 7 out of 100 school-age children in the United States. There is little evidence to support claims that ADHD is overdiagnosed and that ADHD medicines are overprescribed.
8. The diagnosis of ADHD is confirmed if certain medicines (psychostimulants) have a positive effect on what seem to be symptoms of ADHD. Children without ADHD respond to psychostimulants similarly to children with ADHD. A trial of medicine cannot be used to diagnose the condition.
9. Medicine for ADHD will make a person seem drugged. On the contrary, properly adjusted medicine for ADHD sharpens a person’s focus and increases his or her ability to control behavior.
10. ADHD is a life sentence. Although ADHD symptoms usually continue into adulthood, the person learns ways to cope with the symptoms. People with ADHD have plenty of energy, are creative, and can often accomplish more than people who do not have the condition.

 

Addressing ADHD at iThrive

At iThrive, we:

  • Conduct the Assessments needed for ADHD
  • Provide Education and Training Programs for the parents. These programs help parents to understand and accept their child, teach them how to help their children organize the environment and cope with frustrations
  • Customize the Medical and Behavioral Therapy plans as per need of the children
  • Provide a combination of therapy and medication

Medication can help reduce symptoms of hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsivity in children. Through Behavior therapy, the child learns to strengthen his positive behaviors and reduce unwanted or problem behaviors, which later transforms into a habit.

Hence, ADHD can be successfully MANAGED and dealt with, if timely intervention and assistance is provided to the child.

Who can diagnose ADHD and how?

A Doctor or a psychologist can diagnose the child with ADHD using various assessment tools. If and when diagnosed, the parents will learn the real cause of their child’s behavior which will help them accept and take measures for dealing with it.

A combination of therapy and medication, which is the most helpful treatment, is provided at iThrive.

Behavior Therapy

‘Give a man a fish feed him for a day;

Teach a man how to fish and feed him for a lifetime’

 

Behavior therapy – also referred to as “behavioral therapy”, “behavior modification” or “applied behavior analysis” – is a form of psychotherapy that involves reducing or eliminating behaviors and habits that are destructive, unhealthy, or undesirable and learning or increasing more appropriate behaviors.

People learn to be anxious, compulsive, or inattentive. Yes, that’s true. We are all shaped or “conditioned” by our environment, by the people around us, and their behavior towards us or each other. We tend to involuntarily pick up on these behaviors and learn to continue doing behaviors that are reinforced in some manner.

Behavior therapy has been used to treat a variety of disorders and problems in people of all age groups, including addictions & phobias. The goal of behavior therapy is to reduce or eliminate undesirable behaviors and teach or increase acceptable behaviors. This is accomplished through the use of behavioral techniques and strategies such as systematic desensitization, modeling, reinforcement, and aversive conditioning.

 

Benefits and Advantages of Behavior Therapy

Possibly the greatest advantage of Behavior Therapy is that it helps improve the quality of  life. For example, someone who’s been unable to quit smoking or is suffering from a debilitating phobia for years can often learn to overcome the problem by working with a skilled behavioral therapist. This can be life-changing, as it can also help the person gain confidence and use the newly acquired skills to make other desired changes in his or her life.

Behavior therapy can help people learn to manage and reduce aggressive impulses, compulsive behaviors, and anger outbursts. It can help them improve their current coping skills or learn new ones so that they’re more equipped to handle challenging or unfamiliar situations. This type of therapy can also teach people to become more socially adept.

Compared to other types of psychotherapy, one of the primary advantages of behavior therapy is that it’s a relatively short-term treatment. Treatment goals can often be reached in several weeks, rather than several months or a few years. This makes it a more cost effective treatment than longer-term therapies. The techniques and strategies used in behavior therapy are also fairly straightforward and easy for most clients to understand and learn.

 

Potential Disadvantages of Behavior Therapy

As with all types of therapy, behavior therapy has some limitations and disadvantages. Many mental health professionals believe that behavior therapy is not appropriate or sufficient for the treatment of many psychological problems. This is because it focuses on learned behaviors and the impact of one’s environment on those behaviors, while ignoring the role that thoughts, feelings, and unconscious processes play in human behavior.

Another potential disadvantage of behavior therapy (as well as other types of psychotherapy) is that the therapy process may trigger painful emotions. The therapist must be prepared to help the client learn and implement coping techniques to handle these treatment challenges.

Behavior therapy can be very effective for modifying and changing undesirable behaviors and helping people improve their lives. Children, as well as adults, benefit from behavioral counselling in altering undesirable behaviours to supplant them with healthier and more desirable ones.

 

At iThrive, we provide the following services:

  • Assessments
  • Remedial Education for children facing Learning disability
  • Play Therapy
  • Behavior Modification
  • Personality Development modules-leadership, self esteem etc
  • Study skills

Let’s talk about the Mental Health issues faced by the Women of today

This Women’s Day 2018, let us talk about a topic most often overlooked as ‘I am not crazy’: Mental Health.

According to a recent study, 23 percent of the female population has experienced a diagnosable mental health-related disorder. And those are just the known instances! These figures are growing exponentially by the day, many of them going unnoticed and untreated.

 

Which Mental Health issues do Women most likely suffer from?

While men experience higher rates of early onset schizophrenia, antisocial personality disorder, and alcoholism, some mental health conditions occur more often in women, which include:

  • Depression: Women are twice as likely as men (12 percent of women compared to 6 percent of men) to get depression.
  • Anxiety and specific phobias: Although men and women are affected equally by such mental health conditions as obsessive-compulsive disorder and social phobias, women are twice as likely as men to have panic disorder, generalized anxiety, and specific phobias.
  • Post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD): Women are twice as likely to develop PTSD following a traumatic event.
  • Suicide attempts: Men die from suicide at four times the rate that women do, but women attempt suicide two or three times more often than men.
  • Eating disorders: Women account for at least 85 percent of all anorexia and bulimia cases and 65 percent of binge-eating disorder cases.

 

What Mental Health Symptoms do Women portray?

Even when men and women share a common mental health diagnosis, the symptoms, and subsequently the treatment, can be drastically  different.

For example, a man who is suffering from depression is likely to report job-related problems, while a woman is more likely to report physical issues, like fatigue, appetite or sleep disturbances. Women are more likely to use religious and emotional outlets to offset the symptoms of depression compared to men, who often find relief through sports and other hobbies.

 

So why the gender differences when it comes to mental health?

What goes on in the brain and body of men and women to differentiate these responses to mental illness?

  • Biological influences. Female hormonal fluctuations are known to play a role in mood and depression. For example, the hormone Estrogen can have positive effects on the brain, protecting women suffering from schizophrenia by maintaining the structure of neurons in the brain, which protects against some aspects of Alzheimer’s. On the less positive side, women tend to produce less of the mood stabilizer Serotonin and synthesize it more slowly than men, which may account for the higher rates of depression.
  • Socio-cultural influences. Despite strides in gender equality, women still face challenges when it comes to socio-economic power, status, position, and dependence, which can contribute to depression and other disorders. Women are still the primary caregivers for children which adds stress to a woman’s life.
  • Behavioral influences. There is some thinking that women are more apt to report mental health disturbances than men and that doctors are more prone to diagnose a woman with depression and to treat the condition with mood-altering drugs. Women are more likely to report mental health concerns to a general practitioner, while men report tend to discuss them with a mental health specialist. However, women are sometimes afraid to report physical violence and abuse.

As more research is carried out in this area to get a greater understanding of women’s mental health issues, experts are hopeful that targeted treatments will bring better results and more positive outcomes for women with mental health conditions.

 

Wishing all the women around the world a very Happy Women’s Day 2018!

Fear Therapy? Group Therapy might just be the thing for you!

Meeting other people who are dealing with something similar and hearing their story has always had a very comforting effect. It not only lets people know that they’re not alone, but also gives them a broader perspective on the issue they are facing. Things like depression or bereavement can be really isolating and make you feel like you’re facing the world alone. Group counselling can be a good way of getting over those feelings of isolation, and realizing there are other people in the same boat.

It can also be easier to talk to people who share the same issue. They can understand how you feel a bit more than family members or friends who haven’t had firsthand experience of the problem you’re dealing with.

 

Let’s look at some advantages of Group Therapy:

 

  1. Group therapy provides a chance for people to look in the mirror.

Therapy sessions are most often needed to express and let go of negative thoughts, actions, or behaviors. At times, when an individual is trapped in this cycle of negativity, it can be difficult to express exactly what they feel. By seeing others with similar thinking patterns, it can become possible to address or express a personal negative cycle by seeing similar cycles in others.

 

  1. There is often less judgment in a group therapy session.

Within a group therapy session, there is more sympathy and less judgment because there is a greater understanding of the thinking cycles and behavioral choices. Even if there are outbursts or destructive behavior, judgment levels are much lower. It also adds an additional layer of comfort if the individual has a certain level of ‘anxiety’ towards opening up with the therapist, fearing that he/she may be judged.

 

  1. It is a chance to benefit from practical wisdom.

Therapists can create the foundation required to take necessary forward steps on almost any issue. The process of taking the actual steps, however, is wisdom that can only be provided by someone who has already “been there” and “done that.” Group therapy allows people to benefit from the wisdom of others who have had similar struggles, but found a way to overcome them to reach their goals. This type of information can be invaluable to those who feel like they are struggling.

 

  1. It can help to develop healthy coping skills.

Many people are under the delusion that they have developed coping skills, but in reality that they’ve really done is developed a “distraction” skill. Listening to music might calm a person down, but it doesn’t address the core issues that led to uncomfortable thoughts or decisions in the first place. Group therapy provides a place where the option to run away is virtually eliminated. That makes it easier for a person to determine which coping mechanisms can work well for them.

 

  1. It can create a sense of belonging.

In today’s world, it is very common for a person to feel like an outsider (Irony). Opinionated comments are everywhere. Within the confines of a group setting, there are similar mental issues that are being addressed. There are similar social issues being discussed. Group therapy becomes a place where a person feels like they can finally be understood. It gives them a space to open up without the fear of being judged.

Feel Overly Anxious? Watch out for these 5 signs of Anxiety Disorder!

Anxiety: A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.

 

Anxiety Disorder: A mental health disorder characterized by feelings of worry, anxiety or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one’s daily activities.

 

Anxiety is good in very small doses. However, the distinction between anxiety disorders and “normal” anxiety isn’t always clear, which misleads us into thinking “It’s okay, it’s just normal human behavior”. No, it isn’t.

 

How can you tell if your ‘normal’ anxiety has crossed the line to  become a disorder? It’s not easy. Anxiety comes in many forms—panic attacks, phobia, social anxiety—and the distinction between an official diagnosis and “normal” anxiety isn’t always clear.

 

Here’s a start: If you experience any of the following symptoms on a regular basis, you may want to talk with your psychologist.

 

1)Muscle tension

Constant muscle tension—be it clenching your jaw, balling your fists, or flexing muscles throughout your body—is often a sign of anxiety disorder. The horrifying part about this symptom is that because it can be so persistent and pervasive, people who have lived with it for a long time may stop noticing it after a while, making them ignorant about their disorder.

Regular exercise can help keep this under control, but the tension may flare up if an injury or other unforeseen event disrupts a person’s workout habits.

 

2)Self-consciousness

If you’re having a hard time making one-on-one conversations at a party, or eating and drinking in front of even a small number of people, do not mistake it for being an ‘introvert’. Social anxiety disorder doesn’t always involve speaking to a crowd or being the center of attention.

People with social anxiety disorder tend to feel like all eyes are on them, and they often experience blushing, trembling, nausea, profuse sweating, or difficulty talking. These symptoms can be so disruptive that they make it hard to meet new people, maintain relationships, and advance at school or work.

 

3)Sleep problems

Again, anxiety in very small doses is good. It’s not unusual to toss and turn with anticipation on the night before a big speech or job interview.

But if you chronically find yourself lying awake, worried or agitated—about specific problems (like money), or nothing in particular—it might be a sign of an anxiety disorder. Statistically, half of all people with GAD experience sleep problems!

Another tip-off that anxiety might be involved? You wake up feeling wired, your mind is racing, and you’re unable to calm yourself down.

 

4)Chronic indigestion

Anxiety may origin in the mind, but it often manifests itself in the body through physical symptoms, like chronic digestive problems. Do NOT ignore physical symptoms! Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition characterized by stomach aches, cramping, bloating, gas, constipation, and/or diarrhea is basically an anxiety in the digestive tract.

The gut is very sensitive to psychological stress—and, vice versa, the physical and social discomfort of chronic digestive problems can make a person feel more anxious.

 

5)Irrational fears

At times, anxiety is attached to a specific situation or thing—like flying, animals, or crowds—factors much distinct from ‘general’ anxiety. If the fear becomes overwhelming, disruptive, and way out of proportion to the actual risk involved, it is a strong sign of phobia, a type of anxiety disorder.

Phobias may not be obvious at all times. In fact, they may not surface until you confront a specific situation and find yourself incapable of overcoming your fear. A person who is afraid of snakes can go for years without having a problem, but when their kid wants to go camping, and they realize they need treatment.

 

Don’t mistake anxiety for a adrenaline rush. Consult a clinical psychologist before it grows onto you.