6 signs which suggest that your loved one has a personality disorder

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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.

 

Rising distrust

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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.

 

Social detachment

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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

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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

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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.

 

Socially handicapped

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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

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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.

Do you Emotionally Abuse Yourself? Let’s find out

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: –

  1. “Nobody loves me. I am not worthy of anything good.”
  2. “Don’t express your opinion. It’s most likely wrong.”
  3. “Better don’t express your needs, lest they think you are needy”
  4. “I can’t have friends. I am not cool enough”
  5. “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

5 tips to overcome your Social Anxiety Once and for all

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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: –

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Techniques in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy that can change your Life

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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: –

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

That day when you have to wake up early

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?

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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.wake2
  • 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.

7 Steps to Beat Exam Anxiety once and for all

Exam is not something everyone enjoys. Even if you think you are fully prepared, exams often turn out stressful. Do you find yourself jittery at the very mention of exams? Do you feel your heart pounding against your ribs the night before the exam? Do you wake up in the middle of the night with exam fright even when there is no exam the next day? If you are nodding yes to at least one of the above questions, you are facing exam anxiety.

Do not worry if you have exam anxiety. It is human to feel exam fright and it is perfectly normal. Though the title says “beat exam anxiety”, you must make peace with the fact that you cannot really beat it, but you can manage it constructively with a few mind tools that we are going to show you here: –

 

  1. Identify your needs

Make a list of your daily needs and prepare a daily routine that meets all your needs and allocates time for exam preparation. When you have your needs met as much as possible in a timely manner, you will have more energy and time to prepare for going into exam mode.

  1. Discover a Pre-Exam Routine

Experiment different learning strategies and variations in your daily routine and discover one configuration that works for you. Find a combination of activities that gives you maximum time and energy to prepare for exams.

  1. Segregate your consciousness into normal and exam-day configurations

To write your exam efficiently, you need to be in the zone, a consciousness level that is different from that of your normal day routine. You must separate and prepare your consciousness into normal day and exam-day performance configurations weeks before the exams and train yourself getting in and out of each mode.

  1. Enact the Writing of Exam physically on the morning of the examination

On the morning of exam day, enact writing the exam physically before a mirror to warm up your mind to go into exam mode.

  1. Check your Exam Equipment and ensure it’s all there

On the day before the exam, make sure you have all your exam equipment in place, like hall ticket, pen, pencils, refills, and other tools required to write the exam. Doing so will free your mind to focus on preparing your mind for the exam in the next day.

  1. Take Deep breaths

Try deep breathing techniques to relax your body and mind on the day of exam. Take a deep breath, hold it for 10 seconds and release slowly. This will relax your nerves and regulate your heartbeats. Deep breathing techniques can help you go into exam mode quicker.

  1. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a way of living in which you focus on everything in the present, keeping all your worries at a distance and looking at them rationally. Practice living at the moment, and you will realize you have much more energy than you thought you had. You will now have more energy to invest in your exam preparation.

Hope these steps help you in managing your exam stress. Let us know your experience in the comments section below. Tell us if there are any other mind tricks that worked for you. All the best for your exams!

Do you have the habit of putting things off for later?

Laundry, unwashed utensils, exercise routine, homework…

I decided to watch a movie first. It wouldn’t hurt if those things are done a bit later. Honestly, I don’t feel like doing any of it now.”

This line of thought is not strange. Because many people tend to procrastinate some or the other time, or all the time. ‘Lazy’, ‘irresponsible’, ‘no discipline’ are some of the labels that are tagged to such people.

We know it’s bad and are guilty about pending tasks, be it studies, work, relationship, family, health. We get temporary relief when we successfully avoid stuff that we don’t want to do. There’s always the last minute to manage them.

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Last minute productivity aside, deferring what we ought to do today amounts to deferring living itself. The prick of conscience gives unnecessary anguish and anxiety when we try to avoid doing it. And the task seems intimidating than what it actually is. Last minute outputs often do not employ the full extent of our capabilities, resulting in mediocre performance.

As I was saying, I watched a movie instead, because I have a passion to appreciate them. Incidentally, this movie was about a young boy in primary school who vehemently disliked doing Math homework and regularly received caning at school. He habitually postponed calculations to enjoy other interesting pursuits and slept off without even trying, wilfully forgetting.

That sounds so much like ourselves, doesn’t it? That fetched me some psychological expert opinions in the net. No, I’m not beginning on how to manage your time effectively, how to achieve self-discipline and the like. We would want some deeper and lasting answers.

  • We put off doing things when we lack the desire to do it. Agreeable, right? If you do not have a driving force, a motivation to begin something and keep going till the end, you don’t like bothering. The reason why I ended up watching the movie. I love music as it energises me. Got a speaker and created a playlist of my favourite peppy songs. I didn’t know how time went as all the clothes, plates, homework were done in less than three hours, and I made up for the exercise by moving around and doing some smart rhythmic moves in between my chores. I’m a perfectionist, hence didn’t compromise on the quality of cleanliness and order while completing my tasks.

The resolution: Do what you love to do, what’s exciting for you. Or else, infuse love in what you have to do. Consider the values you uphold as a person and act accordingly.

  • We put off doing things when we have a fear of something. Fear is subjective and can appear in many forms, like fear of uncertainty, pain, lacking self-worth, failure, rejection, hardship etc. To know your fear, you need to ask yourselves why you don’t like doing something. Usually fear sets in on account of misconceptions we are conditioned to believe from a younger age.

In the movie, God asks the boy why he didn’t like Math. Surface reasons/excuses like he is dumb at math, his math teacher hates him, he has to keep up to his reputation as a lousy classmate who is thrown out of class, math is mentally challenging, his parents can’t find time to do homework for him, he is too mischievous to care etc. are overlooked by God. Finally he thinks it over and confesses that once when his teacher ridiculed him for doing a sum wrong on the blackboard, he got scared and pissed through his pants in class. Every time math homework reminded him of this early humiliating experience and suffers from mental block.

Who knows, all of us would have some deep-seated fears like this that make us procrastinate. Realizing what’s at the root of our fear helps resolve the habit. Uncovering subconscious fears is enough to realise that they are baseless and can be worked upon. Knowing yourself is the best knowledge.

3 Easy Steps to Strengthen your Mind

You have that manuscript to complete, but words are not flowing as usual. Your mind wanders and you find yourself in the middle of a thousand unrelated thoughts. You wonder if only you had a way to focus your mind on the task at hand. Don’t be daunted by the impasse for there is a way to fortify your mind against the torrent of random thoughts.

Follow these 3 steps to strengthen your mind and train it to bend to your will: –

  1. Detach yourself from your Thoughts

As the first step, you must acknowledge the stream of thoughts to be discrete and identifiable. Now, stand back and observe each of them as a third person, without getting involved in it. Just sit back and watch them pass not letting them have anything do with you.

  1. Identify and Name your Thoughts

When you are “witnessing” your thoughts, name each of them for what they do to you, like “sadness ball”, “fear thorn bush”, etc. When you give a name to each of your feelings, you process them more rationally than otherwise. When you identify and recognize negative memories, you reduce its emotional impact significantly.

  1. Clear away the Negative Thoughts

Once you have named and classified your thoughts, the final step is to let go of the negative ones. Keep the lessons learnt, but let the memory never haunt you again. Just let the memory just pass by like a dry leaf whenever it returns, not affecting you in any way.

Make sure you spend a little time every day to practice this 3 step ritual. The rewards can be life changing. Imagine a calm and clear head a day before an exam or a presentation. What more would you need than a functioning mind that is in your complete control. Let us know how this 3 step formula has worked for you. You can type in your messages into the comment box below. We would love to hear from you.

Respecting Individuality: Be an Ally of Alternate Sexualities

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All of us want to be accepted for who we are and to be able to love whoever we want. That’s exactly what those who are labelled as LGBTQ fight for. Even if you are sure you are not one, it is a sign of open-mindedness and humanity to accept and respect alternate sexual orientations. They are people just like us who deserve equal rights and fair treatment. Such people were around in all cultures at all times.

It is going to be tough experience when someone you love (a child, sibling or friend) comes out to you declaring his/her difference. You may go through mixed emotions.

As the current generation, we can bring changes to anti-LGBT attitudes that we are accustomed to and show our support by being an ally to their cause. Ultimately it is your personal call. Read on to find a better footing before you decide how to respond.

Not a mental illness or disorder

One’s sexual identity and orientation are not something you could or should try to change. It is as much a human variation as being left-handed. Don’t assume that a professional counsellor or reparative therapy will help be ‘normal’.

Not a phase one goes through

Sexual orientation is not an either/or situation. One may “feel different” or find one’s gender identity not matching parental and social expectations, as early as a kid or when an adolescent or as an adult. One need not be sexually active to know who one is attracted to.

Coming to terms

Realise that you are responsible for your negative reaction, because that’s how we are conditioned to think. So don’t tease or criticise for being different. Don’t try to brainwash to conform to your notions of proper sexual behaviour.

On their shore

An LGBTQ person goes through different stages of accepting of his/her own self before confiding in another person. Talk to someone who has been through this directly, or to their parents/friends or seek information from literature. Understanding from their point-of-view makes it less perverted.

Rights

As otherwise normal beings, they deserve to live openly free from violence and discrimination. Defend them against prejudice, rejection and bullying. They have the right to pursue individual goals and to form committed and loving relationships.

Morality

One’s gender identity and orientation have no effect on one’s ability to be moral and spiritual. Coming out implies such a person sharing a part of his/her identity to you. He/she is being honest with themselves and holding onto who they are.

Who is Gay/Lesbian?

You can’t assume anyone to be LGBTQ. They don’t look a certain way nor confine to stereotypes. There is no test or questionnaire to give a definite answer to your identity.alt

Friendly atmosphere

Create a safe space for them by showing support so a loved one can come out when they feel ready without fear of negative consequences. Openly discuss matters like same-sex marriage and LGBT rights in workplace.

Self-doubt

It is okay to sometimes feel attracted to someone you’re close to or admire, be it a close friend or teacher; it doesn’t mean you are homosexual.

Trust

Whatever your sexuality, be honest with your partner about your feelings and attractions to other people.

 

How to ensure your Teenager’s Emotional Well-being?

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Teenage years can be really challenging for both the child and the parents. Adolescence can be a struggle for your little one, who is confused between the desire to become independent and being attached to parents. Added to this agony, the emotional and physical changes they experience can often become unbearable. Another challenge most adolescents face is fitting in the peer groups at school, while at the same time building their own individuality.

How can I help in ensuring my Teenager’s Emotional Security?

The first and foremost thing you can do as a parent is reassuring your child of your constant emotional and moral support. Teenagers rely a lot on parental feedback in calculating their response to the changing environment. During this time you must make sure that your child feels secure and confident to adapt to the new situation.

However, do not neglect your responsibility to communicate your expectations and restrictions. When you promise them total support, make sure that you insist on moral values like honesty, respect for one another, and self-control, so that while they build their own personality, they adhere to these values.

Provide constructive feedback for your kids, instead of constantly criticising them for every little mistake. It is found that positive feedback inspires better response from the children, and it helps them grow more confident and successful.

Teach your child how to be responsible with one’s privileges by defining the limits or boundaries. Teach them to make peace with the limits to help them grow into law-abiding citizens. Make sure that you encourage your child to talk openly with you when faced with any kind of problem. Create an environment free from the fears of judgement or punishment, so that your children may feel safe and secure at home and maintain a healthy relationship with you, founded on trust and honesty.

How to find out if your Teenager is going through an Emotional problem

Children in their teenage years are more susceptible to self-destructive behaviour. Reasons can vary from sexuality and low self-esteem to social acceptance issues arising from peer pressure. The typical symptoms include anger and restlessness, drastic changes in weight, a drop in academic performance, chronic gloominess, and a complete lack of motivation. When you notice these signs, make sure that your child is able to confide in you about what is bothering him or her.

Most parents are puzzled at these drastic changes in their children’s behaviour and often end up reprimanding them aggressively. This can do more harm than good. Maintain an open communication with your children, and be patient when they express their frustrations. Ignoring even a seemingly silly problem can lead to larger implications in your child’s emotional growth. If you feel you aren’t able to provide a complete solution to the problems, do not hesitate to seek help. There are a number reputed online mental health networks like Insighte.in who provide the expert services of highly experienced counsellors and psychotherapists. Help is just a phone call away.