Total 228 Blog Posts

  • 02 Aug
    Oyindrila Basu

    Hypothyroidism and Psychological Health

    hypothyroidism

    Hypothyroidism is a kind of ‘under-active thyroid’. This means that one suffering from it, shows a lack of thyroid hormones adequately necessary for proper metabolism of the body. Hence, one with hypothyroidism will show slow metabolism rate due to which he/she can feel fatigue and weight gain.

    As many as 10% of women show a deficiency in the thyroid hormone.

    There can be two major causes for this- firstly, inflammation of thyroid glands which damage a major portion of the mass required for normal functioning of the body.

    Second cause can be due to medical treatment of thyroid for prevention of other diseases like cancer; if a part of the necessary amount of thyroid gland is removed, it can show later problems like hypothyroidism.

    However, the bodily dysfunction is not entirely physiological. Hypothyroidism develops slowly and is associated with symptoms like, fatigue, lethargy, weight gain, coarse hair, hair loss, rough skin etc. but we cannot neglect the mental symptoms of this disease which are memory loss, irritability, depression, and stress.

    Hypothyroidism affects in poor mental health, and a major reason is hormonal imbalance, which has been considered a primordial factor for fluctuating moods in human beings, especially among women. The same reason is applicable for deterioration of mental health due to hypothyroidism.

    When the body doesn’t undergo proper digestion, we normally feel heavy, overweight and pulled down which is directly associated with swinging depression and sadness.

    Low mood, stress and abnormal worry about self is common in this case.

    Fatigue and lethargy, physically can affect you poorly in the mind, one feels distracted and dejected with life, when they lack energy.

    Abnormal menstrual cycles and decreased libido are caused during hypothyroidism which again relates to mental health condition; low self-esteem, anxiety and organic psychosis are easily observable.

    Hypothyroidism invariably affects the intellectual abilities of a common individual.

    However psychological disorders if prevailed before the development of this disease, cannot be related to lack of thyroid, but it is difficult to identify and distinguish them, because the psychiatric symptoms are similar for both, and hypothyroidism slowly grows in the body, hence changes are noticeable over a period of time. Hence proper diagnosis is very important.

    What can be the possible remedy?

    Of course, medical therapy indulging in psychiatric medications by specialized experts, is necessary.

    Thyroxine was earlier used for balancing the effects of thyroid deficiency, however today, lithium therapy is gaining popularity due to its natural properties and have been proved to be useful to middle aged women, who are most vulnerable to symptoms of hypothyroidism.

    What can you do to prevent this or improve your situation?

    During hypothyroidism, people develop numerous intolerances towards different kinds of food, temperature etc.

    Stay away from Gluten- avoid processed wheat products or dairy products from cow. If you take dairy, it can be from goat or sheep milk, to avoid inflammation of thyroid glands.

    Check your iodine level- If they are low, use more of iodised salts, kelp or iodine supplements.

    Detoxify your body- intake of detoxifying agents are remove those harmful metal generates from your cells and organs.

    Lower carbohydrate intake- reduce the intake of sugars and grains, and replace them with healthy fats; more carb has increase estrogen level, especially in women, which affect the thyroid negatively.

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  • 01 Aug
    Oyindrila Basu

    Fiction engages our brain in Empathy

    reading fictions

    We read fictions to fuel our imagination. We love entering a world which may be similar or different from the real existence and we admire the myriad hues of the characters painted by the author.

    We can associate with them, communicate with them internally, and we don’t realize when they become a part of our daily life and family. In other words, fiction give us an escape from the morbidities of our regular real existence; sometimes we read fiction to achieve company; characters which are similar to us; whose sufferings or problems, we can relate with, often inspire us to forget our drudgeries.

    fiction

    However, scientific researches prove that fiction does much more than that; reading a fiction affects our emotionality, it makes us more empathetic.

    Not only through books, any form of fiction including Television Dramas, engages us and we feel one with the characters of the narrative; we feel their joy and sorrow and empathize with their predicament the more we follow the visual or printed text.

    Keith Oatley, of the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development at the University of Toronto, Canada directs towards one such scientific study where it was observed that participants were not much affected, or never felt any empathy for TV documentaries or their characters, as they did for Television fiction series.

    When we read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, we do feel an innate pride for the self-empowered heroine Elizabeth; we acknowledge her self-respect and get inspired to behave rationally like her in ourselves; at the same time, we empathize with her due to her social situation and her wrong decisions due to prejudice.

    However, Oatley suggests, that reading fiction make a person more social and develops his/her communication skills.

    In the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, he refers to a study conducted by him and his peers, studying the impact of novels on reader’s brain function in daily life.

    While in the field of psychology, functional magnetic resonance imaging(FMRI) which is a form of brain imaging, had already shown that imagination-encouraging phrases like pitch “pitch black night” or “reddish orange carpet”, instigated the hippocampus, the part of the brain mostly responsible for memory, the “Mind In the Eyes” research by Oatley et al. showed that subjects reading fictional books scored much higher than subjects who read non-fictional books after viewing 36 images of people’s eyes.

    This proves that reading fiction makes a person more empathetic, sensible and socially successful, and also develops their ability to interpret human beings.

    "The most important characteristic of being human is that our lives are social. What's distinctive about humans is that we make social arrangements with other people - with friends, with lovers, with children - that aren't pre-programmed by instinct. Fiction can augment and help us understand our social experience.", says Keith Oatley.

    The next time, someone asks you the utility of watching a TV serial or reading Romantic literature, you can scientifically back your answer with logic. It’s a great way to have a great mental health.

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  • 22 Oct
    eWellness Expert

    Psychological violence in family requires immediate action

    psychological abuse

    We have laws in our country for domestic violence, though it means physical and mental violence, but how do you know if you are psychologically threatened?

    Someone may be causing you psychological pain, but you bear with it, giving an attitude that all relationships have disproportions.

    Well, we don’t advice, that if you have a small fight it means, it is the time to give up, NO, but identifying and proper remedy of family related psychological problems, is important.

    First let us see why is it harmful?

    Psychological abuse is harmful, as

    1. It disturbs your personal well-being.
    2. It disturbs your social life
    3. Your brain stops functioning rationally; you are instigated to behave the way you don’t want to.
    4. If you are sad, you cannot concentrate on your professional life too.
    5. Your self-esteem is destroyed.
    6. If you are sad, your children and your loved ones will suffer too.

    If your partner abuses you psychologically, you tend to ignore it most of the times, but you don’t try to move out fearing you have to stay alone.

    This is the problems with most couples in a relationship for a long time.

    They are subject to various kinds of pressures from their partner or family, but they sometimes surrender, sometimes adhere to it, thinking its normal, all five fingers are not the same size.

    Women are more affected by such subjugation in general, and hence women around the world are more prone to depression and anxiety than men.

    In India, psychological violence doesn’t always come from the partner but also from the in-laws who are new to a bride.

    And as a matter of social custom, daughters are taught to bear as long as they can.

    However, being happy should be the biggest priority of a person, relationships, people and everything else comes because you want to be happy; if that is not there, what is the use of all the other things?

     

    How can you identify when you are being exposed to psychological abuse?

    The journal #YoungMinds speak about the symptoms of an unhealthy relationship-

    • Brain-washing
    • Provoking jealousy (openly talking about other woman)
    • Being emotionally/physically distant
    • Requiring permission for actions
    • Criticism
    • Disrespect
    • Lying (both from the victim and the abuser)

    When these factors enter your relationship, you should be decisive that it is time to move on.

     

    Accommodation and adjustment are not always required. Even today, in the 21st Century, India is plagued with cases of bridal suicide, and housewife murders; domestic violence has not taken exit from any society, it prevails in the household silently, either on a man or woman, and it can, because we remain silent in shame or insecurity.

     

    Bearing the above things leads to anxiety and depression, neither you are happy nor your loved ones around you.

    Hence before it gets too late, it is time to find a counselling service first who can diagnose the problems and find a solution.

  • 20 Jul
    eWellness Expert

    Autism-Be the best therapist of your child with special needs.

    autism child with mother

    Its utterly shocking and depressing for parents when they come to know that, their child is suffering from some psychological problem, for the first time.

    Till the child is 6 years old, you cannot predict his/her behaviour, because children are different from each other and may take time in responding or reacting to things, so many parents are under the assumption that may be with time things will get right, but when parents come to know that their kids are suffering from some kind of special abnormality, they almost shatter, they cannot accept the fact, sometimes they are angry, sometimes despaired, hopeless and sad, and they tend to vent it on the child initially.

     

    Teacher asking to Antara-“How much is 25+7? Antara! Antara! Can you hear me? Speak up”,

    The teacher fidgets to push the child and make her answer, she doesn’t respond.

    Principal-“Mrs. Anuradha, we are really sorry but Antara cannot study with us, she will has to go”……….

    Anuradha upset and despaired runs to her child’s doctor from where she discovers

    Doctor-“Antara is not normal, as the results are concerned, she seems to be autistic, it is a special mental condition, please keep your courage up”…………….

    Anuradha is in tears, she never could have imagined that her child will not be normal like all other children, she is in shock, trauma, but she cannot express it to her 5-year old kid who cannot even understand what is going on with her.

    She promises her child: “You don’t worry, mama is there, I will give you all the happiness of the world, you won’t ever feel neglected, you will grow up with all other kids, it’s your mama’s promise.” Aap Ki Antara-Zee TV, episode 2.

     

    Here are a few cautions and tips for parents as to how they will cope in such a situation, where their child is in some kind of special mental health condition:

    Do not vent your frustrations or anxiety on the kid- if you are upset with the discovery, do not vent it upon your ignorant child, he doesn’t understand, but he/she can feel the emotions, the vibes. Your anger or depressed attitude towards your child will negatively impact him/her. Instead to curing, you are adding to his/her discomfort.

    Always keep yourself composed: Dealing with a child who is different from others is a complex thing. Your job is significant, but it is difficult too. Do not lose hope. Things will be better when you want to make it. Keep yourself healthy first, only then can you help your child. Keep your mind on track, be composed, practice it through meditation.

    Read and learn more about the Psychological disorder your child is going through. As your knowledge increases, your mental health will be restored.

    Do not blame yourself: Often parents blame themselves for their child’s suffering because he/she is born out of them, or they feel that they have not trained the child properly from the beginning.

    They also hold themselves responsible for not discovering the problem earlier.

    However, it is important to note here, that psychological problem is never inherited genetically, it is a natural psychological condition with which the child may be born due to some biological dysfunctions or just acquire it after birth due to external socio-environmental factors.

    The parents have hardly any role in causing the child a mental health problem, unless and until they are attacking the kid regularly with assaults of some kind.

    Be compassionate with yourself: You have to be in a stable mental health first. Use your compassion and sensibility towards yourself, then can you be compassionate towards the needful child.

    Even if your child bears similar symptoms which you reflected in the past, even then there is no point blaming yourself for it.

    If you have to change the situation, you can only do it towards betterment. What had to happen has happened, you did not do it on purpose, so proceed towards a solution.

    Guide yourself through similar case studies and enlighten yourself. Feel yourself special, that you are adorned with this big responsibility.

    You have a lot to do, and you are the best at it, and you will do it.

     

    Seek compassion from others: Just sharing your situation with some close friends can help you keep calm. A few words of condolence can cheer you up again. Just the statement “everything will be all right”, can create the magic. You will start feeling better all over again.

     

    Involve the family: Taking all the responsibility on your shoulders can affect your mental health badly.

    You can be depressed, or anxious about your role. You may also suffer from the fear that if you are unable to help your child, the society will blame it on you.

    Involve other members in the family in your situation. Their mental support will guide you, and knowledge and advice from different sources is always helpful, though you will decide what is best for your kid.

     

    Be tactful while dealing with your teenager: If your child is a teenager, and is having behavioural problems, their sudden outbursts of anger and frustration can also affect your mental health gravely.

    You can feel humiliated, insulted and be in pain, but do not put yourself in this state, rather ignore the reactions, and focus on the causes.

    The more you ignore their outbursts, the better you can work at understanding them.

    Merely caring for their words will only make you aloof and reluctant.

     

  • 20 Jul
    Oyindrila Basu

    Online Counselling is proving helpful for Women.

    Women are proactive members of our society. They are educated, established, self-dependent, ambitious, productive, caring, sensitive, multi-tasking, motherly, hard-working, professional and family-oriented experts. There are lot more attributes to their character, however, women often have to take extra pressure to live upto these adjectives.

    Women are burdened with more than average responsibilities.

    We have already discussed in Secrets Of Striking A Work-Life Balance as how women need to multi-task in their daily lives and miraculously, they are able of that; for e.g. a woman can cook, at the same time, she can listen to her TV serials and instruct her child to revise his/her lessons.

    A working woman has a more hectic schedule. If she also has a family, then she has to attend to both; her profession as well as her family demands priority, and she is pressurized with the dilemma of choosing which one gets more time and care.

    Non-working women face frustration due to a lack of professional activity, too much household chores, insecurity due to economic factors and many more.

    All these social and psychological factors lead to a lot of stress in women. Working at home and outside, taking up motherhood, as for Indian scenario, getting married and moving into a new house, all these are much too stressful, and whenever you do not have a solution to the problem, you get anxious and depressed. Mental health among women is deteriorating day by day.

    • Women are more likely than men (28 percent vs. 20 percent) to report having a great deal of stress (8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale).
    • Almost half of all women (49 percent) surveyed said their stress has increased over the past five years, compared to four in 10 (39 percent) men.
    • Women are more likely to report that money (79 percent compared with 73 percent of men) and the economy (68 percent compared with 61 percent of men) are sources of stress while men are far more likely to cite that work is a source of stress (76 percent compared with 65 percent of women).
    • Married women report higher levels of stress than single women, with one-third (33 percent) reporting that they have experienced a great deal of stress in the past month (8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale) compared with one in five (22 percent) of single women. 
    • Similarly, significantly more married women report that their stress has increased over the past five years (56 percent vs. 41 percent of single women). Single women are also more likely than married women to say they feel they are doing enough to manage their stress (63 percent vs. 51 percent).

    They need help; they want to restore their mental wellness, however, they often do not have enough time to for regular check-ups and appointments at clinics or hospitals, as a result, their problem often remains unaddressed and un-diagnosed.

    In such cases, online counselling is proving to be a huge help for busy women.

    With increased popularity of online counselling clinics and techniques, women all across the world are getting benefitted with healing therapies for a good mind.

    They can just browse through the web and find a suitable online mental health clinic to put forward their problem; sometimes, they can find an answer immediately.

    The fact that someone is listening and is there to respond is pretty much of a help.

    TA-ICBT for PPD was adapted from a TA-ICBT program for depression offered through the Online Therapy Unit for Service Education and Research (www.onlinetherapyuser.ca) in Saskatchewan, Canada.

    The intervention included 7 modules, and participants were encouraged to complete one module per week although more time was often taken.   Each module included a range of media (e.g., text, graphics, animation, audio, video), as previous research has suggested that multimedia options enhance the effectiveness of Internet-delivered treatment.

    The efficacy of the treatment was investigated at 7 and 10 weeks. TA-ICBT participants were also contacted four-weeks following treatment completion.

     

    Women receiving TA-ICBT experienced a greater reduction in depressive symptoms than women in the waitlist group (average reduction of 6.24 points and 2.42 points on the EPDS, respectively).  These results were maintained at four-week follow-up.

    Women receiving TA-ICBT also demonstrated a reduction in postpartum anxiety, general stress, and parental distress, and an improvement in quality of life as compared to the waitlist control participants.

     

    Women living in remote areas, devoid of much health facilities are no longer deprived of a healthy counselling therapy.

    Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) imparted by experts, online is proving to be a huge success in the field of mental health and wellness for women.

    A survivor, herself, reported to us in her story, how online mental health clinic, eWellness expert, not only identified her problem, but also suggested useful techniques to evolve out of anxiety and depression.

    For young and recent mothers, the CBT therapy proves really helpful in coping with perinatal depression. Women at this stage, cannot go out much due to her own health reasons, as well as for the responsibility of the new-born child, and online therapy is a miraculous remedy for them.

    We hope that online therapy will continue to grow as a health sector and will foster better mental health to women all over the world.

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