We are bombarded with information about the harmful effect of internet every day. Is it really a Pandora’s Box? Well, recent studies show that it can have beneficial effects on the elderly population. Yes, you heard it right. At an age when the mental faculties starts nosediving, the internet can help them revive their mental functioning.
We are not suggesting that all the seniors should turn tech savvy in order to improve their cognitive skills. Learning a few basic operations like browsing the web and using e-mail for communication are enough to start off. Once the basics are strong, they can move into other platforms such as social media.
Not a one stop solution
Though it is not an alternative for medication or homecare, digital literacy can help in reducing the intensity of issues like depression faced by the senior population. This in turn leads to lesser decline in cognitive functioning. It is correlated with improved memory and better handling of everyday tasks.
Coping with the Empty nest
When the children leave home for work and education, the parents are mostly left alone. If they are retired people, things can get worse. The probability for the occurrence of loneliness and depression are very significant. In such a scenario, the internet can be fun as well as informative.
Old school ties and other benefits
Being able to interact with old friends and family refreshes memory and provides immunity against dementia to a certain extent in most of the aged people. In addition to this, facilities such as online shopping makes life easier for those who find it difficult to travel.
To assist the elders in taking steps towards digital literacy, children and grandchildren can take the initiative. It might seem useless and time consuming in the beginning, but remember that your loved ones will be missing out on a lot of fun that is easily accessible to you. It isn’t fair to deny this to them just because they are old.
Personality disorders are characterised by a deeply ingrained and maladaptive pattern of behaviour of a specified kind, mostly noticed during puberty. It can create long-term difficulties in proper functioning and maintaining relationships. Having to live with a personality disorder or helping a loved one with the disorder can be a challenging job. According to Psychology Today, there are ten total personality disorders, which are divided into three clusters: odd or eccentric disorders; dramatic, emotional or erratic disorders; and anxious or fearful disorders.
Identifying the symptoms in the early stage can help in controlling most disorders and personality disorders are no exception. Here are some pointers to help you identify if there is a problem that is to be attended to.
A person suffering from personality disorder usually suffers from a constant sense of suspicion. They are more likely to keep hatreds towards others and become too sensitive in seemingly trivial issues and take offence for no apparent reason.
Isolating oneself from the world around is a symptom for some personality disorders. This translates into less social interactions and reduced communication. If you find your friend in such a state for a long period of time, don’t wait till the problem escalates.
I don’t care attitude
Do you know a friend or a family member who is perennially rude, perpetually unconcerned and not sensitive towards other’s feelings? Think twice before judging him as someone who is difficult to deal with. He/she might be suffering from the antisocial personality disorder. (Well, this can also be just another character trait and not really a disorder, so don’t jump into conclusions about those old uncles).
Passionately in love with themselves
Loving the self is extremely important and a healthy level of self-esteem is necessary for all of us. However, there are some folks who are too much into themselves. This can be an indicator of narcissistic personality disorder in many cases.
Your friend who never goes for a social function and is afraid of meeting people and mingling with them may not be just ‘different’. These symptoms are suggestive of avoidant personality disorder.
Obsession with order and detail
Though it might seem alright and even preferable for someone to be impeccable with minute things, it is not pleasant always. People with Obsessive Compulsive Personality disorder get annoyed and upset if their ordered scheme of things is tampered with. They create inflexible rules for everything and become unable to imagine a life outside it.
What is to be done?
If you suspect that your spouse/friend/relative is suffering from a personality disorder, it is very important to be non-judgemental and not to make hasty decisions. Sometimes, they might be going through just an unhappy episode and would recover soon. However, if the conditions prevail and interferes with normal functioning, professional help has to be sought.
Ask children what they want to become when they grow up. They all will answer “I want to become a doctor”, “pilot”, “teacher”, and the list will go on. However, this list shrinks as they grow older. It may sound sad, but it is even sadder to be stuck with a job that is not fulfilling your aspirations. Each of us is bestowed with particular talents and personality traits, and they play a major role in our career interests and aptitude different professions.
The process of finding out what you are born to do can be an arduous task without a proper approach to career hunt. It involves asking yourself the following three questions: –
How do I define myself?
How do you even begin defining who you are? It’s not quite easy, but not entirely impossible. Just look back at your life so far and find out instances when you have been absolutely passionate and enthusiastic doing something creative. Settle down on one thing that you consider as your greatest accomplishment. Most of the time, it will reveal who you are, what your talents are, and what you want to do with your life.
What do I want to do for a living?
To see if you will truly enjoy a line of work, ask yourself what you will rather do if there is no monetary compensation. This will reveal your interests, which will make it easier to shortlist the possible professions you would enjoy. Go to job fairs and trade shows related to the shortlisted professions, and find out more about the job requirements and responsibilities. Keep track of companies offering jobs in your area of interest, and read employee and client reviews to understand the worst and best-case scenarios in the field of work. By now, you would have shortened your list further, rejecting several possible lines of work.
How to seek the right opportunities?
Have a rough idea of the type of career you want to pursue. Once you have decided, it is time to work out how you want to accomplish it. You have to find out what qualifications can get you there faster, and what kind of skills you must build on to excel in the field. There are more than one way to achieve a goal. So, always have a backup plan for bouncing back if one way isn’t working out as planned. Ask yourself questions like “What will you do if you aren’t accepted into the preferred programme at university?”
When you have satisfactory answers to all the three questions above, it is very likely that your compass is already pointing at the right career direction.
Let us know if these tips have worked for you. Please tell us if you would like to add more to this article. Send your messages on the comments section below.
With the rising population of elderly in India, due to rising life expectancy the percentage of the population above the age of 60 is steadily rising. Ageing is a process that affects not only the physical capabilities of an individual, but also the psychosocial aspects of his or her life. To be declared mentally healthy, an individual must not only be psychologically stable, but also be able to use all the cognitive functions and thought process effectively.
In India, due to the changing social and economic realities, the mental health of the elderly is largely neglected. In a typical Indian household, the main factors causing mental health issues in the elderly are: –
The race of westernization and the resulting urbanization has severely damaged our traditional joint-family setup, leading the younger generation to belittle the responsibility of taking care of their elderly, and choose an independent nuclear family arrangement to escape from it. The weakening of this social structure has trapped an entire generation of elderly within four walls with no social security from the Government, and no one to share their grief and anxiety with.
Lifestyle Changes –
The ever-expanding generation gap has also brought with it rapid lifestyle changes, that the older generation is unable to cope with. Be it meal timings, choice of food, or quality of sleep, the rapid changes in lifestyle can cause great deal of mental stress in the elderly, which can lead to serious mental health issues.
Loss of Authority and Importance-
Once the head of the family, a parent might expect the same love and respect from his or her children to whom the yoke has been handed over. However, in most cases, with the loss of authority, the elderly are neglected and their requests and wishes are largely ignored by their children. This can lead to severe depression, and resulting memory loss and other physical changes in the elderly population.
Poor Adaptability –
Due to some personality traits, some individuals fail to accept or adapt with the changing lifestyle, and this can often lead to arguments and unnecessary war of words between the elderly and the care givers in the family. This can result in elder abuse by the care giver, which can cause further worsen the mental condition of the elderly.
Bereavement and loss of familiar environment –
Another major factor that affects the mental health of the elderly in the country is losing someone or something familiar. Bereavement or being unable to go back to a familiar setting can cause severe depression in the elderly, which might result in serious mental health issues.
If you are worried about the mental health of your ageing loved one, help is not far. While there are not enough government initiatives in providing adequate mental health care for the elderly, there are online networks like Insighte that can connect you with the brightest counsellors and psychotherapists specialised in handling the mental health of the elderly.
Are you that nice guy or gal who will go out of your way to be “nice” to someone just to be remembered as “good”, and be loved and respected? If yes, then you would also know the bitterness and the helpless feeling you get at the cold response from the other person. Hey, it is good to be nice! True! However, if you are sacrificing your wants, needs, and desires to walk that extra mile for a special someone, it could do you more harm than good. What you forget is the fact that there is a kind, passionate, intelligent, and creative person craving your love and attention – YOU!
Essentially, you are all that you have in any point in life. What you tend to forget in the frenzy of proving your “niceness” to others is that you are more important to you than anyone else in your life. Sounding a little narcissistic? Nah. A little selfish maybe. And why not? At the end of the day, your existence would be meaningful if only you have around you what you want for yourself. You are invaluable to yourself. You must love yourself more. When you love yourself, you will have happiness within you, and other people would crave to take part in it.
Here are 5 steps to recover from your self-destructive “niceness” misadventure, and love yourself more: –
Stop Worrying too much
Worries are good if they are constructive, but most often they are not! Stop worrying too much about anything. Stop worrying too much about what people expects of you. Focus on what you want from life and not what others want you to do. It takes a lot of courage to stand up for yourself in a sea of expectations, but the virtue of being true to yourself is much greater than sacrificing yourself to achieve someone else’s expectations.
Bid Goodbye Unrealistic Expectations
Keep your ambitions and expectations simpler and achievable. When you find yourself completing each of them one by one, you will find greater satisfaction and happiness than you would have otherwise. If you have set your eyes on a massive goal, break it down into smaller ones and climb the ladder one step at a time. Be “nice” to yourself for once, and keep manageable expectations for yourself.
Shake off the dust, and Rise!
You need to love yourself more when you fall. Be kind to yourself and don’t beat yourself when you face a failure. Shake off the dust and rise like a child learning to walk. You will get there eventually. Right now, be there for yourself at all times.
One way to express your love to yourself is to celebrate and congratulate yourself at the completion of your goals. Breakdown your ambitions into little goals and celebrate each milestone reached with a tangible reward like a bottle of wine or a box of chocolate.
Build a life of your own
Irrespective of your relationship status, always have something to do that you are passionate about. Have a hobby or something that you like to indulge in. This not only gives you happiness, but also makes you attractive. You will also gain the respect of those around you when you have a life of your own.
Let us know how these steps worked for you. Let us know if you want to add more to it. We would love to hear from you. Leave your additions in the comment section below.
Do you feel you are the odd one in your peer group? Do you feel you don’t deserve the good things in life? Do you hesitate to express your opinion, fearing you might be wrong? If yes, you are most likely abusing yourself emotionally. Emotional abuse could be detrimental to your self-confidence. You might even tend to unconsciously inspire your external environment to confirm your inner-criticisms and end up becoming a social outcast.
Here are a few common misbeliefs it builds in yourself: –
“Nobody loves me. I am not worthy of anything good.”
“Don’t express your opinion. It’s most likely wrong.”
“Better don’t express your needs, lest they think you are needy”
“I can’t have friends. I am not cool enough”
“I am worthless. Yes, but I am honest about it.”
If you feel this way, the first step in rescuing yourself from this self-destructive routine is to identify the source of such feedbacks. Once, you find out whether these judgements come from an external agency or internally, you can make the necessary changes. If it is some individual whose influence is causing you emotional abuse, then either confront him or her about it, or avoid that person entirely for your own good. If the criticisms are from the inside, you must decide if you would like to deal with it yourself, or seek a psychological counselling.
If you decide to change your situation yourself, you must start by identifying negative criticisms and turning them into constructive ones. It may not be as easy as it sounds, but once you learn how to see yourself in a more positive light by changing the tone of your inner criticisms into more constructive ones, you will notice a change in your overall outlook towards life.
If you need help from an experienced counsellor, you can easily find a reputed online counsellor on the Internet. Check out popular mental health networks like Insighte who can connect you with the right psychotherapists in the country who can help you solve your situation.
Once you start confronting your life’s challenges more realistically than abusing yourself emotionally at every move you make, you will find your splintered sense of self healed and reinforced on every level. It is indeed worth a try. Let us know if it worked for you.
Tell us if the article has helped you look at life more positively. Let us know if we have missed anything. Feel free to share your opinions about the article on the comments section below
Do you feel like hiding under a desk every time you are asked to face an audience? Do you feel anxious and uncomfortable at the very thought of being put in awkward social situations? If yes, it is very likely that you are shy and suffering from chronic social anxiety. It can be extremely debilitating and you might miss a lot of good opportunities. You tend to think too much and overanalyse each and every step you take in life, and you fear getting involved in awkward confrontations with others around you.
Here are 5 tips on how to overcome your social anxiety and live a tension-free life: –
Join an Acting/ Public Speaking Class
You may wonder why you would even think of joining a public speaking or acting classes, when you faint at the very thought of facing an audience. Surprising as it might seem, this is a tried and tested way to overcome your shyness and social anxiety. Even though you might struggle with the sessions, but eventually, you will see a gradual change in your attitude towards public performance.
Stop being confined to your Comfort Zone
The first step in overcoming your shyness is to attack it in its foundation. Your shyness and social anxiety is rooted in your comfort zone, which is a mental space that your mind walled you within. Instead of lurking in your comfort zone, jump out of it and confront your fears. If you are too shy to speak in public, make sure you use all the opportunity to speak or perform before a public audience.
List your Goals and Make a plan to Achieve them
Invest some time in thinking what you want to achieve in the days ahead. When you set goals, also think of an activity that will get rid of your shyness. Make a list of such activities and include them in your life goals. One such activity would be to have a conversation with someone in your office or college you have never spoken to. This will help you get over your shyness in meeting new people and make you more open to small talks.
Regular Breathing Exercise
Anxiety can cause our breathing to be quick or shallow, which in turn worsens the situation. You can reverse the situation by practicing mindful breathing routines that focuses your attention to the way you inhale and exhale. This can reverse the symptoms of anxiety and work in resolving whatever is triggering your anxiety.
Project a Confident body language
A simple action like folding your arms across your chest can betray the fact that you are a shy and guarded person. Appearance can play a major role in the way you see yourself. Change your body language in such a manner that it exudes a confident and charming personality, so that you start believing in it and eventually overcome your shyness.
Rome was not built in a day. Have patience with each step and you will eventually see results that will boost your confidence further. Let us know how these tips have worked for you in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you.
Agree it or not, Indian Cinema does play a vital role in bringing key issues to the foreground. Occasionally we receive a popular film that comes under the domain of mental health also. This is in spite of the stigma prevalent around mental illness and mental healthcare. Awareness raising through mainstream cinema is questionable in its accuracy, yet, cine-goers are informed, if not enlightened by the portrayal of abnormalities and their consequences.
Here’s a list of mental health disorders which thickened the plot of Bollywood flicks post-2000s. You wouldn’t miss the medical perspective next time you watch them.
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Condition: Range of developmental disorders manifested as difficulty in social interactions, repetitive behavior, limited interests and activities. On the other hand, they are blessed with strengths such as above-average intelligence, memory power, audio-visual perception and excellent taste in arts, math, science etc.
On Reel: Barfi! (2012)
Condition: An autism spectrum disorder characterized by poor communication skills, obsessive or repetitive routines and physical clumsiness. Person is socially awkward, and will have all-absorbing interest in specific topics.
On Reel: My Name is Khan (2010)
Condition: Mood disorder that affects a person’s daily life on account of hopelessness, melancholia, irritability, depressive thoughts, fatigue, loss of interest, restlessness, concentration difficulty, sleeping problems, appetite/weight changes, suicidal thoughts etc. It could be persistent, seasonal, baby blues after delivery, psychotic or bipolar.
On Reel: Anjaana Anjaani (2010); Hasee Toh Phasee (2014)
Condition: A brain disorder in which person interprets reality abnormally. It is a chronic condition where person can see or hear things that are not real. Symptoms are delusions, hallucinations, unusual ways of thinking, movement disorder, lack of expressions, reduced speech and cognitive dullness.
On Reel: Karthik Calling Karthik (2010), Woh Lamhe (2006), 15 Park Avenue (2005), Shabd (2005), Tamasha (2015)
Condition: It is a consumption disorder where the drinker has craving and physical dependence on drinks, cannot control the urge and tolerates more alcohol to have the same effect. Alcohol abuse can put the person in dangerous and problematic situations at home or work.
On Reel: Aashiqui 2 (2013)
Condition: A reading disorder the symptoms of which are late talking, learning new words slowly and a delay in learning to read. Most children with dyslexia can succeed in school with tutoring or a specialized education program. It is different from reading difficulties caused by insufficient teaching or hearing/vision problems.
On Reel: Taare Zameen Par (2007)
Condition: A progressive neurological disorder that destroys memory and other important mental functions. Most common early symptom is difficulty remembering newly learned information. Severe symptoms include disorientation; mood and behaviour changes; deepening confusion about events, time and place; unfounded suspicions about family, friends and professional caregivers; difficulty in speaking, swallowing and walking. Signs of dementia may be more obvious to family members or friends.
On Reel: Black (2005); U Me Aur Hum (2008)
Condition: Loss of ability to create new memories after the event that caused amnesia, leading to a partial or complete inability to recall the recent past, while long-term memories from before the event remain intact. Often person loses declarative memory i.e. cannot recollect facts like what they ate for lunch, but retain procedural memory i.e. things like how to use phone, ride bicycle.
On Reel: Ghajini (2008)
Condition: Loss of memory-access to events that occurred, or information that was learned, before an injury or the onset of a disease. New memories can still be created.
On Reel: Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012)
Dissociative Identity Disorder
Condition: Person’s identity is fragmented into two or more distinct personalities. The characteristics of alter egos contrast with those of the primary identity. Certain circumstances or stressors can cause a particular alter to emerge and take control of the person, who experience extensive memory loss. The various identities may deny knowledge of one another, be critical of one another or appear to be in open conflict.
On Reel: Bhool Bhulaiyaa (2007)
Borderline Personality Disorder
Condition: Features are unstable moods, behaviour and relationships. Symptoms include emotional instability, feelings of worthlessness, insecurity, impulsivity and impaired social relationships.
CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is systematic program that involves training an individual to think and act in a healthy and constructive manner. However, the basic elements of CBT like mindfulness and detachment have been around for over a thousand years as a part of Buddhism and Hinduism. What makes this program stand out is the variety of techniques that you can combine and test. Here are a few popular techniques used in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that can change the way you look at the world: –
Mix and Match Perspectives
You can test different thoughts and perspectives about different aspects of your daily life and thereby counter certain negative notions and solve pressing problems in your life. For example, let us suppose you want to give up smoking. You begin with the thought – “If I sprint whenever I feel like smoking, I will smoke less.” Alongside, you can also test a thought like – “If I eat a chewing gum whenever I feel like smoking, I will smoke less.” Try these two approaches on different occasions and see which gives a more effective result.
List and Review your Thoughts
Our thoughts are formed from our immediate and long-term experience, but those formed out of immediate experience tend to dominate our mind, which need not always be valid. In order to check the validity of a stream of thought, make a list of such thoughts and seek evidence for and against it. For example, let us suppose you are writer, and your latest manuscript was rejected by the publisher. These are the thoughts running in your head- “I am not a good writer”, “I am not as good as I used to be”. Consciously, make a list of such thoughts and collect evidence for and against each of them. Use positive evidence like, “I am still being paid for all my published works”, “I am still able to write 5000 words every day”, and balance out your negative thoughts.
Plan Positive Activities
Make a weekly or monthly plan of fun activities you would like to do for yourself. For each day of the week, plan a small activity that you think would give you more happiness and satisfaction. Do something that you don’t do every day, like learning to play a music instrument, surprising an old friend, etc. These will build more positive emotions in you that can help you view your reality more positively.
Grading Fears and Gradual Exposure
List out your worst fears and rank them in the order of 1 to 10 or more. For example,if your worst fear is driving, mark it 1. You also feel a little apprehensive talking to women, which you can grade in between 5 to 10 according to the severity of the condition. Now that you have graded your fears or things you avoid, you can start by solving the one on the 10th position, and slowly move up the ladder. As you overcome one fear after the other you will gain a lot of confidence in the process. You will be able to build enough confidence by the time you reach the number one in the list.
Deep analysis of a Negative Experience
One popular belief is that the best way to overcome a negative experience is to stop thinking about it. However, it is found that it never goes away unless it is given the attention it demands. Perform a detailed analysis of the memories of the experience and focus on its imagery as long as it takes for the distress to dissipate. Once you thus train your mind to deal with a negative memory productively, you will find a lot of energy and happiness at your disposal.
Hope the above techniques have helped you gain a better understanding of your mind. Let us know your comments and feedback in the comments section below.
Unless you are a morning person, many of us like to sleep in, provided there are not serious responsibilities to be met in the morning. Sunrise is often a rarely seen phenomenon for today’s youth.
Yet, some days, we are bound to wake up early. What to do then? You’ll have no peace of mind until that day comes and goes. How to bear the D-day without feeling grumpy?
Moreover, waking up early is a challenge. And you plainly hate to wake up to that annoying alarm, hit snooze button, take a nap and finally wake up late as you feared, swearing. And you don’t fancy your mom or sibling/roommate pouring a bucket of cold water over you.
Read our Positive tips to wake up occasionally early for that important day in good cheer and warm expectations. Waking up in a good mood definitely assures a great day ahead.
Make an effort to go to bed early the previous night or at your usual time, whichever is earlier than the small hours of next morning.
Have a light supper early in the evening, no coffee or chocolate that night, no late night movie/chatting/net surfing. Relieve your bladder before hitting the bed.
Drink a glass of cold water/ warm milk before sleep, listen to cool melodies or read short story/ previously read favourite fiction, sleep in dim light and comfortable temperature.
Before being swept off into Dreams-villa, think about how you really mean to, and will, wake up early next morn. Get excited about something that you would like to do in the morning, something you are looking forward to. Plan step by step what’s going to be your morning to do list, a pressure free, relaxed schedule.
Fix a mild alarm tone at least 15 minutes earlier to the time you intend to wake up, just in case. You don’t have to depend on anyone else for proving that you can wake up early if you want to.
Keep the windows half-open so that you are open to the sounds and light of the morning.
On that 95% possibility that you are going to wake up early by following these steps, as you rise to the morning rays, deactivate the alarm, sit up and meditate for 3 minutes. That is to say, do nothing, feel glad that you did it. Well begun is half done. Be grateful that you didn’t just die in sleep for there are exciting times coming up in life, you can’t afford to miss them while you’re alive.
Have a cup of hot tea/coffee/milk/ cold water, take a shower, put some happy tunes in loudspeaker, stretch, do few exercise moves, take a shower, move around, feel the warmth of the sun on your body.
Have self-control to not find excuses to sleep in or go back to bed.
Yay, you did it! Get dressed, relish breakfast slowly, reach in time and surprise everyone.