Saturday, February 26, 2022

Personality Traits Which Are a Risk Factor For #Anxiety or #Depression

#Mental Disorders are on the rise,the most common being  Anxiety and Depression.Unfortunately these are much maligned and nebulous ailments.Many victims suffer in silence and seek no treatment because of their own reticence or the stigma attached to these disorders.The causes vary from environmental,genetic and medical factors to an imbalance in brain chemistry or hormones.

Looking at it from another perspective we can say that certain personality traits too can predispose one to a mental disorder.These traits may not be harmful in themselves but when combined with a serious problem or a critical situation they can generate excessive anxiety.Hence it is best to keep them in check.

  • Overthinking Overthinking about any prospect,person,relationship or incident confuses the mind by  generating unreasonable doubts and suspicions which give rise to Anxiety.
  • Cognitive Distortions :What's more,overthinking can easily lead to " A cognitive distortion — and there are many — is an exaggerated pattern of thought that’s not based on facts. It consequently leads you to view things more negatively than they really are."They  come in many garbs.Here are a few examples.Filtering, when a person remembers only the negative aspects of an experience,forgetting the good part.Maximization and minimization when he magnifies a problem and minimizes his own ability to solve it.Black and White Thinking,where he would judge even a moderate situation as a bad one because only the perfect one will do. Catastrophic thinking, which denotes  predicting dire outcomes at the onset of any development,the prophecies being negative as well as irrational.Obviously, these habits can become a breeding ground for anxiety.Then we have Overgeneralisation in which we take a single incident to represent the whole cycle. 
  •  Introversion :This causes anxiety in many ways.Generally introverts do not like to meet people or talk to them.As a result they do not share their worries or problems with anyone.Catharsis is a tall order for them.They spend a lot of time condemning their own habits and  ruminating about past follies or future challenges.Naturally this increases their anxiety. 
  • Pessimism.A pessimist views the world through dark glasses.Every turn of events is accompanied by a fear that it is going to be inimical for him.These fears accumulate and then transform into Anxiety.He even appraises a beneficial change as not so good or just a chance happening.No wonder he finds little  to be happy about.
  • Emotionalism versus Rationalism.In the face of a crisis highly emotional people are so overwhelmed by their emotions that finding a solution and working towards it becomes difficult.This prolongs their anxiety.Rationals can better manage their troubles.
  • Inferiority Complex is another possible cause of frequent bouts of tension.A person who believes he is not as fit,smart,intelligent or efficient as others around him fails to find peace. 

It is easy to see that one's personality and behavior patterns can either enable one to fight his way out of  troubles or push him into the dark chambers of  a #Mental  Disorder.So many things come in to play.An individual's past life and his rearing matter a lot.If his life till date has been spent in fighting against odds and finding a space for himself,  he might have the resilience and the confidence that he has done it before and he can do it again when things go wrong.On the other hand another misfortune knocking at his door could dishearten someone else completely.He may decide that he is totally exhausted and cannot do it again.

#Mental Strength and a #Positive attitude have a big role to play in  the sphere of mental disorders.Being grateful for what we have and optimistic for what may come in future helps a lot.It is best to remember that whatever happens,happens for the best.

Excerpt taken from PsychCentral.com 

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Use It Or Lose It

This adage is nowadays drumming in my ears.I have come across many individuals who used to be fit,smart,active and communicative but these days there is barely a faint glimmer in them of what they used to be.The spark which defined their personalities is absent.No doubt Covid 19 and the resultant isolation is responsible for this change.But totally?I don't think so.

Lock-downs and the ancillary restrictions compelled (?) us to give up many activities which had earlier made us who we were.In due course their advantages began to deplete.Seeing the repercussions of this change in my own life and that of my acquaintances,I was convinced about the veracity of this adage-"Use it or Lose it".

Take fitness for example.The compulsion to stay indoors led many of us to give up our exercise regimes.Some tried to replace them with exercising or walking indoors,but not with the same gusto.The time which used to be spent in vigorous work outs came to be spent in restful past times too.No wonder aches and pains surfaced and muscles sagged.

Equally deleterious has been the effect of these circumstances on sports or outdoor games .Absence of cricket,tennis,football or basketball etc in the daily routines of so many has led to loneliness, lethargy and loss of  agility.

 And what about social interactions? Social visits,friendly get-togethers,parties and myriad outings of various kinds suddenly came to an end.We tried to achieve the same connectivity through social media but by and by this changeover generated a kind of nervousness and antipathy about speaking out loud our reactions and feelings--whether positive or negative. Emojis took up this role.This habit detracted from our expertise in the field of social interactions.As a result making polite conversation,sharing feelings,helping friends or even asking for help-all this took a blow. Our speaking skills rusted.

Coming to my own experience,I took a long break from writing and blogging,as many of you might have noticed.To my horror when I finally did take up pen and paper I found that my vocabulary had dried up.It was very distressing. I immediately picked up pen and paper and got to work.Slowly the flow returned.It was not as bad as I had feared.Thank God I woke up in time.But I am convinced of the role of practice in maintaining our abilities at optimum levels.Hence this piece.

It is not merely a question of practicing an ability to save it from  from deterioration.An amalgam of interests and activities must have joined together to form our personalities before this epidemic invaded our lives.They all contributed to our health,happiness and prosperity.Obviously when we gave up some of those activities we also lost a part of the shine. 

Unforeseen events often barge in to spoil the pitch.We gain some and lose some.But  the factors which are essential for our health and happiness should not be neglected.Do,share your own experience, how has this calamity changed you and what has helped you to sail through these difficult times? 
 


Saturday, December 25, 2021

#Hypochondria

Hypochondriasis-the very word signifies a feeling of sickness.It is merely a feeling-mind you-not the real condition.The afflicted person thinks he is suffering from a serious ailment.This fear overshadows his whole life-whether personal,professional or social.

In order to live a fully happy,peaceful and creative life it is essential to get rid of this scourge.So rather than going to the whys and hows which have already been recounted in this post,I shall straightaway jump to 'the how to get rid of it' considerations.

  • Since all feelings stem from thoughts it is imperative to control your negative thoughts.The moment you think that a rumbling in your stomach portends the onset of a serious disease stop and consider what basis you have for jumping to this conclusion.Perhaps you are making a mountain of a molehill.
  • Get active.If you try to accomplish a task your mind will shift to a different track.That dreadful fear of a serious illness will be supplanted by a healthy thinking process.
  • Don't delve into the accounts of various diseases floating on the internet or shared by your acquaintances on the social media.
  • Are you given to catastrophic thinking?Recall how many times your similar worries had proven to be false.
  • If a dear person had voiced similar complaints,would you have prognosticated the same consequence for him/her,as you do for your own self?
  • Before retiring for night write down the complaints which had troubled you during the day.If the symptoms differ from day to day,it means that they do not reflect the presence of any disease but are the consequence of your negative thinking.
  • But if a specific symptom irks you every day then it would be better to consul a general practitioner.
  • Negative thoughts and a persistent feeling of sickness can be very depressive.Focus on the positive aspects of your life.Recount the ways in which your body is functioning normally and be thankful for it.
  • Control self pity.It will leave you lonely and despondent.
  • Hypochondriacs tend to consult various doctors till their forebodings are confirmed.Check this urge.Don't indulge in a wild goose chase.
Consult a psychiatrist or a counselor.Share your worries,reveal all that is troubling you and you will definitely feel better and lighter after that.