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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.