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Has #MeToo destroyed dating?

The #MeToo movement has certainly given some hope in having a supportive network and deter sexual predators, but the dating dynamics may never be the same again. Men shall continue to flirt but now they will need to be more cautious.

Doing what can be perceived as a sexual harassment is major concern faced by men today. Dating will be a challenge, esp. in the times when masculinity is getting blurred and women are seeking guy who can take the lead.

It can be very difficult to differentiate flirting from sexual harassment esp. when it is possible for something to still be considered sexual harassment even if it was unintentional.

The basic difference that lies between flirting and sexual harassment is of intent and reciprocation.

Sexual harassment is an act or behaviour of imposing yourself on the victim irrespective of their will. Flirting is about navigating waters of someone be interested in you and being charming, rather than imposing yourself onto that person.

Workplace relationships will need more caution, esp. in situations where the personal and professional boundaries could seem blurred like bar, hospitals, etc.

One should stay safe when going on first date, particularly if it is with someone you don’t know much about, or you have only known that person online. Seek out for help if something on a date makes you feel uncomfortable.

You can be more attentive for physical and verbal cues. Moving away, avoiding eye-contact could also be some indications for your behaviour being non-reciprocal and the person be not interested in you. You should stop if one expresses directly or indirectly their discomfort over your remarks and jokes.

Strictly avoid making superficial judgement particularly over someones clothes. What one is wearing is not your business and certainly not an invitation for you to touch them. ‘can I say she looks nice?’, certainly not a good idea!

While #MeToo might certainly play an important role in changing negative behaviours and attitudes, men paying for first dates shall no longer be a polite gesture. Even Bollywood stars might struggle on the dating scene!

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What You Need to Know About Depression?

1) There may not be any reason or cause for Depression.

Depression is often misunderstood as just feeling sad, but it is a complex medical condition. Sometimes people may feel depressed due to obvious reason. Most common stressors known are Career setback, relationship breakup, losing loved ones, etc. However, in many instances there doesn’t have to be a reason for how you feel. Our mood is regulated by chemicals in brain which if gets out of balance, it can make one feel bad even though when everything is going well.

2) The cause is Multi factorial.

It can never have a single causing factor. According to research the cause for depression is always multi-factorial. It is caused by combination of factors, such as environmental factors, genetic tendency towards depression, individuals coping abilities against stress, social support, etc.

3) Sadness is not Depression!

Being sad is very normal. Sadness is a normal emotional response to pain. Depression however is an illness that comprises certain set of symptoms, and most importantly, it causes difficulties in functioning at work, home and in society.

4) Depression can happen to all age groups.

No particular age-group is immune to Depression. Depression in adults is a well known fact. However, the trend of depression in children is increasing at an alarming rate in recent times. Struggle for peer acceptance, bullying in school are some unique stresses found to result depression in children.

5) Depression is real like any other medical illness.

Depression is not a sign of weakness, but it is a clinical entity, a medical illness. It can happen to anyone. It is now scientifically proven that an underlying chemical imbalance in the brain neuronal circuitry is a direct cause for depression. These chemicals are known as Neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters regulate our mood and emotional state.

6) Can Depression be treated? Yes!

Depression is like any other medical illness. It is definitely treatable. The treatment includes medications and psychotherapy. There has been major advances in the medications with minimal side effects and larger benefits.

7) It can worsen if not treated.

Depression is a leading most cause for disability. It is most common cause for suicide. According to recent Mental Health Survey, 90 percent of those committing suicide are suffering from mental illness.

Woebot – Your AI Cognitive Behavioural Therapist

Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide, and it can be fatal. The major challenge in the treatment of depression is that people are still afraid to speak openly about it. Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his recent speech ‘Mann Ki Baat’ has advised people to come out and speak about their battle with depression.

With the rising burden of the illness as in-person therapy with a doctor isn’t always an option. A new chatbot app, Woebot, could be an alternative.

What is Woebot?

Woebot is an automated chatbot that helps people monitor their mood and help them to know about themselves. It basically works on a framework of CBT- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, wherein it helps people to keep track of their feelings and triggering events. Woebot asks people about their daily experiences and records them in format of brief conversations.
A review of studies published recently in the journal World Psychiatry compared people who received CBT online to people who did it in person, and found that the online setting was just as effective.

Woebot, an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot designed using cognitive behavioral therapy is not a replacement for the traditional therapy, but addition to clinical approaches to treating depression.

Understanding the Stigma in Mental Health

Stigma in mental health has been prevalent for centuries. Most of us within society still view the symptoms of mental health problem as unpredictable and dangerous. For decades, individuals suffering with psychiatric problems, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, are considered insane or “mad”. They often have to face exclusion either within society, workplace, and at times even within ones own family.

Anxiety, Depression, Substance use are still considered as signs of weakness and not as biological disorders of brain. These are treatable health problems like any other medical conditions to which people refuse to seek professional help due fear of exposure and stigma.

There is no denying that the society is becoming more aware than before, especially with many high profile celebrities such as Deepika Padukone or Catherine Zeta-Jones discussing openly about their illnesses in media. Yet, there are some firmly held beliefs and stigmatising attitudes that continues to prevail in our society.

The stigma can be of two types: A social stigma, which is a discriminating attitudes against those suffering from mental health problems as a result of the psychiatric diagnosis/label they have been given. The second is a perceived stigma, which is their perceptions of discrimination, internalised by mental health sufferers. It can significantly lower their self esteem, instil a feeling of shame, and most importantly leads to poor treatment outcome.

Following are some commonly held misconceptions and beliefs-

1) The common being that people suffering from mental health problems are dangerous and violent, especially those with schizophrenia or bipolar.
2) Some believe that problems of depression and anxiety are part of normal living and can be dealt with by just “being positive”and “being more social”.
3) There is a general belief that eating disorders and substance abuse are self inflicted.
4) Still many consider that people suffering from mental health problems such as schizophrenia, depression, bipolar are unemployable.
5) Getting “dependent” or “addicted” to psychiatric medicine is another common misconception that is widespread, even amongst the educated.

Research suggests that significant number adolescents with mental health problems face stigma and discrimination within their own family, peers, teachers and school staffs. Surprisingly, there is a widespread stigma amongst the medical professionals as mental health is given low priority by hospitals, physicians and doctors of other specialties.

What has caused stigma?

Historically, the cause of mental health problems were believed to be due to demonic or spirit possession, such explanations would almost certainly give rise to reactions of fear and discrimination. Media too had played an important role in perpetuating stigmatising stereotypes of people with psychiatric problems. The cinematic depictions of ECT (electro convulsive therapy) or so called “Shock treatment”, or schizophrenia are often stereotypic and characterised by misinformation about mental health symptoms and its treatment. There is strong negative portrayal of schizophrenia in movies, showing the schizophrenia characters as being violent, homicidal and aggressive.

Stigma not only leads to social exclusion, low esteem, poor quality of life, but also poorer treatment outcomes and recovery from mental problems. It has been seen that people tend to hold to these stigma regardless of their age, background or education. Stigma is evident in the way laws, social services, and the justice system are structured as well as ways in which resources are allocated. The solution may not be so simple but needs to be multifaceted. Simply raising voices and providing information will not help, but their is a need to challenge the existing negative stereotypes especially as they are portrayed in general media as well.

How To Handle A Breakup: 7 Effective Ways

Going through a break-up?

Going through a relationship breakup is like getting trapped in the stormy brain chemistry of loss and rejection. The feelings include of anxiety, depression, feelings of grief and addiction, also the desperate attempts to deal with the emotional pain of rejection; this all is a result of the drops in serotonin and dopamine levels during the phase of a relationship breakup. One would often struggle to resist the temptation to stalk, plead, and make a needy fool of oneself. The ultimate goal here is to come through this ordeal in one piece and perhaps even stronger.

Following are some healthy coping ways to help you deal with a breakup:

1) Block them from your facebook/whatsapp.

Unfollow or block them; because you need space and time to heal. Seeing your ex on Facebook wall or seeing him pop up on Whats app/Instagram, can trigger flashbacks of your past memories with your ex and can send you in obsessions of stalking him/her on social media.

2) Don’t trash-talk your ex too much.

It may feel good to talk about your ex with your best friends, and hearing them bring down someone who made you feel sad, but your happiness need not be contingent on someone else’s pain.

3) Don’t consider to “stay friends’.

During this awkward breaking-up period, its very difficult to know whether you both can be friends or not. Generally, one person wants to be friends and other wants more. You gotta work this out before it can be a healthy relationship.

4) Moderate to intense physical exercise or work out does help.

Working out can be a great stress-buster. May be some intense sport like badminton, boxing, etc. It can really help you get rid of that negative tension and physical stress.

5) Spend more time outdoors.

Make a routine where you spend at least couple of hours under sun in fresh air. Create an ex- free environment by getting rid of stuff that reminds you of your ex. Donating them is one good way to do it.

6) Deal with your emotions and not avoid them.

It’s okay to feel ‘bad’. Do not try to distract yourself or escape from whatever you are feeling, but observe your feelings gently and without judgement. The more you observe, the better you’ll know that no emotion is static or permanent.

7) Finally, stop blaming yourself.

The problem wasn’t just you, but you two as a couple. It always takes two to breakup a relationship.

Spend your time with people who appreciates you. Feel confident, optimistic, and authentic, and remember that your success is the best revenge!

 

For more information and related topics visit us on www.onlymindmatters.com

Defeat Anxiety Disorder with Yoga

How Yoga can benefit you in Anxiety Disorders?

Traditionally, Yoga has been thought of as a form of physical exercise, and its practice is often limited to maintaining physical fitness. However, research has shown significant benefits in terms of psychological well being, especially anxiety disorders.

The therapeutic potential it has for psychological and medical disorders, or so called “yoga therapy”, has become highly popular in the general public.

Stress reduction, physical relaxation, positive effects on mood, improved cognitive functioning, are some well researched psychophysiological benefits of yoga. It has shown to have significant therapeutic benefit in psychiatric problems of anxiety and depression, which by no doubt are the two most prevalent conditions in psychiatry and general public.

Furthermore, there is proven benefits of yoga in other psychiatric conditions like schizophrenia, post traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, addiction problems and even childhood disorders.

An overall improvement in physical and mental well being is likely to cause an additional reduction in disease severity.

Yoga promotes the phenomenon of “self-realisation”, which not only is a key for one in being peaceful but also helps one get detached from the materialistic gratifications and frustrations that are the root cause of many psychiatric disorders.

 

Ways yoga can improve your mental health

 

Promotes relaxation

With the practice of yoga you can gain more control over your body state, you become more relaxed and experience less anxiety. Yoga strengthen our parasympathetic nervous system over sympathetic system that promotes more relaxation and calmness.

It slows down the sympathetic nervous activity which is overly active in various anxiety disorders, which is also responsible for flight-or-fight reactions in our body.

Helps you become more confident

Through yoga, you understand yourself and become nonjudgemental. It helps resolve multiple conflicts within yourself. It promotes self-trust. Eventually, your relationship with your own self is what matters the most.

It is only if you are confident and in peace with yourself, have a balanced ego, that you can develop healthy relationships with others.

Benefits relationship with your partner

An inner peace helps instill compassion and unconditional love in a relationship with your partner. You become less reactive against your partner and more tolerant, which are important qualities of a healthy relationship.

Self awareness

With yoga you become more aware and conscious of your qualities and emotions. By being more mindful, you will have some sort of emotional release that can be psychologically soothing. It also relieves you of any physical tension in body.

With one in four people affected by mental health disorders like depression and anxiety, at some point in their lives, many people are finding yoga as an effective way to protect themselves from mental health conditions throughout the world.

Remember, yoga is not a complete solution to mental health concerns, but can be an adjunctive to primary psychiatric treatment.

For more information and related topics visit us on www.onlymindmatters.com

What makes Football a really good sport for your Mind?

How Football affects your Mental Health?

Football benefits Mental health by giving an opportunity to have a time away from stresses and strains of life. Seeing your team do well, prompts a feeling of collective euphoria and joy.

Basking in reflected glory (BIRGing) not only lifts the mood of an individual but also of the entire community. BIRGing fans associate themselves to the success of team. Identification with the teams success enhances ones self esteem and instills a sense of accomplishment.

The perception of having such attributes makes one feel more confident and thus more desirable to others.

While watching football, fans shout, scream and chant, these ways often encourage ‘a cathartic release of tension’. It is also a socially acceptable way of venting out emotions of frustration and sadness. Young age group, in whom depression is very common and is at a highest risk for suicide, is also a dominant age group in football crowds across the country.

Watching a live game of football is like participating in group activity with people who share common values and interests. It not only provides a sense of belonging but also an identification and inclusion within a larger group.

For most fans, football is a part of their lives. However, for whom it becomes the main focus, on their team losing they can experience significant psychological problems of anxiety and depression.

Football provides a platform to gossip, communicate and exchange views, which are often known as protective factors in mental well-being. It also provides people a reason to meet up regularly, which helps them to maintain strong relationships. In particular, for those who are shy, are from different cultural and social backgrounds, football allows to connect with each other easily.

To some it can present an opportunity to re-enact their ritual of battle, which if taken too far can lead to serious violence. Such acts of violence differentiate a fan from ‘football hooligan’. An opportunity for competition, achieving ‘honor’ and inflicting shame on opponents is often a motivation behind such violent behaviour. Heavy alcohol drinking is often a key element in many violent offences by football fans.

Football as a sport can be even more beneficial to physical and mental health if taken to the field as an exercise.

How Does Our Environment Affect Mental Health?

World environment day

Its June 5, a World Environment Day.

On this awareness day, people around the world are encouraged to participate in activities that benefit the environment. Although, it may appear to be just a step towards keeping our planet functional, there is more at stake. Connection with the environment, and living in a healthy nature can impact general health and especially Mental health.

Technology, Automation and Disposability have resulted in the environment being something we “consume” rather than “partner with”, and is contributing to the isolation that many struggling with psychiatric illness also struggle with.
Caring towards environment often reflects how you take care of yourself. Respect for environment often emanates from a respect for self.

Mental health benefits greatly from being more social, being more connected with the outer world and from spending more time outdoors. Besides, it can also infuse a sense of meaning and purpose, and even result in modelling healthy behaviours for children.

Not only we feel a sense of belonging on connecting with something larger than us, but also Seeing our investment and actions result in something good, can instil a sense of well-being.

Being in nature, we feel relaxed and safe. We heal. It heightens our sensory perceptions and enhances our living experiences. Most importantly, we learn to appreciate our lives and others more deeply!

Take some time out in nature on this World Environment Day. Try it out for yourself, and bring others with you.

How to quit smoking? Ways to overcome smoking

Quit Smoking

Here are some strategies that can help you quit smoking.

To quit smoking may not be an easy task. For many, it may take multiple attempts to overcome smoking. If you have failed at your previous attempt, think about the possible factors that led you to relapse. What helped you to deal with the cravings and what didn’t? Don’t give up! If last attempt at quitting didn’t work, consider this time.

Quitting to smoke abruptly, may not always work. A process of gradual cutting down on your smoking might actually work.
It can be done by
1. Delay your first smoke of the day as late as possible.
2. Smoke only half of each cigarette.
3. Progressively increase the time duration in between smokes.
4. Restrict to Buying only one pack of cigarettes at a time.

Learn to cope with the cravings.

Don’t give in. If you do feel like smoking, wait for 10 more minutes. Cravings are like waves. They come and they go, and last only for some minutes. You must find a way to distract yourself from the urge, since tobacco cravings usually pass within minutes.

Exercising physically is a good way to distract you from tobacco cravings. A moderate level of physical activity for 30 min can reduce the craving considerably.

Situations where you smoked or used tobacco most often, triggers an urge or craving to smoke. Identify these situations that triggered tobacco cravings, and avoid them.

Do not hesitate to seek expert or professional help for tobacco smoking. Easy and affordable treatment options are widely available. Anti craving medications, nicotine patches, gum etc are very effective, and can help reducing the withdrawal symptoms. Underlying stress, Depression, Anxiety problems are very commonly associated and must treated accordingly. Developing a supportive social system is key. With professional help and suitable treatment, one can successfully be able to quit smoking within couple of weeks.

Schizophrenia, what is it?

What is schizophrenia?

Something about Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder. Although it is not as common as other disorders like depression or anxiety problems, the symptoms can be very disabling. It not only impairs work and occupational functioning, but also day to day activities and social life.

It’s characteristic symptoms are profound distortions in thinking, language, perception, and sense of self. The individual suffering from this disorder may show loss of touch with the reality, false beliefs, being suspicious without reason and hearing of imaginary of voices.

The typical age of onset is late teenage or early adulthood. It is not only treatable, but with timely expert psychiatric intervention one can lead a productive life.