• 22 Jul
    Manaswini Venkateswaran

    Can Extroverts become Introverts?

    introverts vs extroverts
    Whenever we think of these two categories of people, introverts
    , and extroverts, we tend to assume that they are polar opposites. We think that introverts are introverts, extroverts are extroverts and that there’s no room for any kind of overlap. However, just like any other personality trait, introversion and extroversion lie on a spectrum. There are no airtight compartments that prevent the two dimensions from interacting.

    For example, a person may be reserved and spend a lot of time alone (a tendency of an introvert) but may be able to assert themselves when they need to and assume a leadership position (a tendency shown by extroverts). These differences would not exist if introversion and extroversion were as separate as we believe.

    In fact, a vast majority of us lie in between the two dimensions. A very small portion of the population shows predominantly introverted or predominantly extroverted behavior. These are extremes. Most of us show some behaviors from both sides.

    Here are some of the key differences between the two personality types that we should keep in mind:




    They have low arousal, which means that they need highly stimulating situations in order to feel energized. They prefer situations where there is a lot of interaction with others.

    They have high arousal, which means they don’t need highly stimulating situations to feel energized. In fact, these situations tire them out. They prefer situations with little to no interaction with others or engage in solitary activities.

    They tend to be spontaneous and don’t think much before making decisions.

    They are anything but impulsive and think a lot before doing anything.

    They have large social circles and have no trouble opening up to anyone.

    They tend to have a few close friends and don’t open up to people outside their inner circle.

    They easily accept change and are open to it.

    They tend to resist change.

    They tend to be talkative.                                                

    They tend to be listeners.

             They are more distractible.

    They can focus for long periods of time.

    Now that we know all about introverts and extroverts, another question that arises in our minds is whether we’re stuck with either of these two traits. Well, yes and no. There are certain age-related changes that occur as we go through life but they may not be particularly drastic. So if you are naturally more of an extrovert, the need you’ll feel to be alone as you grow older won’t be so drastic. It’s not like you’re going to go from being a social butterfly to a hermit in a day’s time. The level of change is relative for each person, it’s just the pattern and sequence that the changes follow which is common to most.

    Generally, it is seen that extroversion decreases with age. As we get older, our social needs seem to decrease. We all experience social pressures from time to time but it is generally seen that the need to abide by the unsaid “rules” is greater when we are younger and tends to reduce to the bare minimum as we get older and settle into adulthood.

    There is a reason why “peer pressure” seems to be a buzzword while interacting with adolescents and this is it. Teenagers are particularly high on the need to be liked and are susceptible to social pressure and being forced into doing things that they don’t want to do. As for children, they’re usually too young to know what they really want so they mainly emulate adults and succumb to authority in order to avoid punishments (if you’ve ever been dragged to weddings and family functions and couldn’t refuse due to the sole reason that you were too young, you’ll know what I mean).

    Young adults may not be as keen on being liked and accepted but may show extroversion for different reasons. They may want to further their career through networking or get into their supervisor’s good books by appearing approachable, confident and willing to take charge. Hence, competition can be another reason for extroversion going up – you may not want to go to a boring office party but you’ll probably put on a suit or a dress and go for the sake of exposure or to butter up your superiors.

    However, once you’re old and on the last leg of your life journey, there’s a marked change in your social needs. The awareness that you could kick the bucket any day now makes you less inclined to spend the limited time you have putting yourself through unpleasant situations or performing tasks that you don’t want to.

    This tendency is called socio-emotional selectivity theory, where you get picky about the people you want to interact with and the things you want to do. You might have seen your grandmother refuse to cut down on sugar and fried foods despite having health problems or your grandfather grumbling when people come over unannounced. Don’t worry, they’re not perpetually angry or defiant, they’ve just had it with people-pleasing and don’t want to waste any more of their limited time by doing things they don’t like.

    Another reason for this change is the fact that the focus of their activities changes from the future to the present. Younger people are more focused on achieving certain goals down the line and are hence, future-oriented. Older people are more present-oriented – they have usually achieved everything they needed to in life and don’t want to chase any more things. Hence, they focus on enhancing and improving their present lives.

    This needn’t always be an unpleasant or inconvenient change, though. Even though they may avoid a lot of social interactions, they value the close relationships that they already have, such as those with close friends and immediate family. They work harder on the relationships that matter and which they feel will enhance their lives and drop the ones that don’t do anything for them. This is one of the reasons why couples report increased closeness and marriage satisfaction in their old age as compared to middle age or young adulthood. Older couples focus on relationships that are rewarding.

    So yes, there’s a definite chance that you might get more introverted as you grow older. That being said, we should keep in mind that certain core traits of ours will survive these changes and still direct most of our behaviors (even though they may manifest in more balanced, less extreme ways). 

    Responses 1

    • Sanjna Verma
      Sanjna Verma   Aug 02, 2017 10:38 PM

      One can say that the stages of introversion and extroversion is related to the age group of an individual and the current scenario of their life. You are right in saying that there are extreme sides of both the things but those who adapt according to the situation of an individual. I could relate to this as even I think that I have the traits of intraversion and extroversion. Experiences teach us a lot about what is important and what is not and this is what happens during the change of our dispositions.

  • 21 Jul
    Ayushi Jolly

    Selfitis - The selfie disorder



    With the advancement of technology comes both the advantages and the harm. The technology has given us a lot of life hacks, but the harmful addictions seem to overpower the positive influence of technology on us. The last two decades have witnessed an increase in addiction to social media and its by-products. Smartphones seem to have intruded our lives in a manner that has led us to forget our real selves. The story does not end here, what follows is that the smartphones with the best features and the high definition camera have led to a rise in the number of selfies that we take. It is not that we did not take photographs earlier, but back then, we took pictures to preserve a meaningful moment. Unfortunately, now it is only a means of posting everything at the instant. We indulge in selfies to upload them on social media and keep others updated about ‘how happening our life is’. A selfie is self-portrait photograph typically taken by a digital camera or a selfie camera of a smartphone with a selfie stick or otherwise.
    It is high time for us to realize that times have changed and people do not always feel good about someone's success, rather, they feel envious. It would have been a little relieving if the story had ended with posting the selfie but, the sad part is how social media keeps us all hooked just to seek validation from other participants in the same game. This shows how the world is moving from independence to a constant state of seeking social attention. All this has led to a complex state of affairs and thereby addiction which can be termed as the selfie disorder.

    The American Psychiatric Association has officially confirmed that ‘taking selfies’ is a mental disorder, which will formally be known as ‘Selfitis'. It is defined as,

    an obsessive compulsive desire to take photos of oneself and post them on social media as a way to make up for the lack of self-esteem and to fill a gap in intimacy.

    The American Psychiatric Association has further defined the disorder at three levels-

    1. Borderline Selfitis-

    Taking photos of oneself at least three times a day but not posting them on social media.

    1. Acute Selfitis-

    Taking photos of oneself at least three times a day and posting each one of them on social media.

    1. Chronic Selfitis-

    An uncontrollable urge to take photos of oneself round the clock and posting them on social media for more than six times a day.

     The American Psychiatric Association has stated that there is no medication for the disorder. However, a lot of temporary alternatives are available. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, a talking therapy that helps us solve our problems by changing the way we think and behave, can be used as a measure if an individual is at the initial stage of selfitis.

    We all have heard of instances where the obsession to click selfies has taken lives, both in the eastern and the western world. Disturbing news regarding the same appear in the newspapers almost every week, and more frequently during vacations. People reaching at the peak of the mountains or walking towards the river bed or sitting on the edge of a cliff for that perfect post for their Facebook and Instagram profiles has led me to believe that people have started caring less for their lives and more for the 'likes'.

    Psychiatrists say that depression, obsession, loneliness and a lack of self-esteem can be the contributory causes to the obsessive disorder.The experts are not against selfie culture but the statistics make everybody worry about the increasing craze for a perfect shot and the extents to which they are ready to go for it. Selfitis can no more be categorized as a first world problem since third world countries can also observe its effects. Taking selfies at historical places has been banned in India, but the implementation is hard to find.

    Due to an early discovery of the selfitis disorder, there is fortunately a cure to it.

    In the late 2015, scientists at Stanford University concluded with the strong scientific support that the disorder cannot be treated by medicines or psychotherapy but by CBT. The researchers, after studying hundreds of patients who were suffering from selfitis, declared that the newly discovered mental disorder can be cured by a simple method of 'groupfie'(a group photo taken like a selfie). According to them, by participating in groupfies, individuals suffering from selfie disorder, can recover quickly from inflammation of their personal ego which is the hidden cause of the disorder.


    death by selfitis


    The next time you find yourself posting too many selfies on social media, at a personal level you should not ignore this habit and try working on it. You must engage in real life activities and visit places without the camera. Altogether, if you feel, the habit of taking selfies is disrupting your everyday functioning, do not hesitate in visiting a mental health expert to prevent further damage.

    To live the moment is better than to show it off!

    Responses 1

    • Sanjna Verma
      Sanjna Verma   Aug 19, 2017 08:31 AM
      Thanks for sharing this information. You are very right in saying that in this age of social media, everyone is trying to seek attention and validation amongst their friends on social media and getting good amount of likes on them. I loved the point of living a moment not to enjoy it but to click and post it. This has led to various accidents in India as well. In a few months or so, such kind of news made headlines wherein people lost their lives because of taking selfies. I don't like taking a camera or a phone along with me as it acts as a barrier between enjoying the moment and taking it's picture so as to brag about it in social media. Moderate or less usage of things is okay but excessive usage and it's addiction, only creates more harm than good.
  • 21 Jul
    Reshma Venugopal

    Media's false portrayal of mental illness - 6 common myths busted!

    psychology meme

    The above meme does not seem to lie as far as its expressions are concerned. It is a common battle most psychology students and experts go through on a daily basis. Numerous attempts of people from the field try to break the myths and annoying stereotypes about mental health and psychotherapy, all because of our dear friend, Le media.

    Remember that one episode of Two and A Half Men when Charlie Sheen went for therapy? The therapist seemed so unprofessional. Due to such portrayal of a therapist, those who have never seen a therapist before in their life, are bound to believe what they see. But that’s just not how it is.

    It has been noted by various experts that amidst whatever little the news illustrates about any mental illness is shown in a negative and shady light. When news reports of suicides, violent shooting by children or teenagers, and much other news are depicted, they only show the outcome and not the real cause or the factors that aggravated the issue. In the light of this issue, here are some myths about how the media portrays psychologists, counsellors, and therapists, in a rather unrealistic way.

    Myth #1: Psychologists can read minds.

     I think the only person who can remotely know what you are thinking might be your mother or best friend, or anyone with whom you can connect on a mental level (thanks for having my back mom!). Jokes apart, if you have any friends who study psychology or are pursuing a career in psychology, please don’t ask them that. Their job is not to know what you are thinking, but to try and understand the paths of your thinking, the reason why you think in a certain way, and how you can modify your thinking for better mental health.

    Myth #2: Every psychologist/psychiatrist can hypnotise you.

    Although it would be really cool to learn hypnosis along with our work, it is not something every psychologist is meant to know. To quote "Hypnosis and Mental Health," WebMD, 2017,

    Hypnosis or Hypnotherapy, uses guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to achieve a heightened state of awareness that is sometimes called a trance.”

     Many of us don’t believe in hypnosis, mostly because we are not completely aware of the process, and that is why a lot of criticism has been made by clinical psychologists and psychiatrists about hypnosis. No psychologist/psychiatrist can attempt hypnosis without training whatsoever.

    Myth #3: Those who consult therapists are crazy.  

    If that were true, then the world would have been a more chaotic place. Many marriages would have ended over a small quarrel, childhood abuse would be a myth, depression, and self-harm and all of that would be an everyday thing. But the truth, folks, is that mental health is as important as your physical health. Mental health disorders or illnesses, in fact, are far more difficult to identify. For all, you know the funniest guy in your class might be the depressed person at home. So really, let's stop assuming that psychotherapy is only for crazy people.

    Myth #4:Your friends and family can do the same job as a therapist.

    While we all find ourselves more comfortable with friends and family members, and I am guilty of using my friends to calm me down at times too, but is that always the first choice for everyone? There are some or many things that one can’t just openly discuss with their loved ones because of the judgment and biases that they might have to offer. Also, let's admit this, we all tend to take the side of our friends at times, even when they are wrong. With a therapist, however, you will get more honest, non-judgemental and unbiased advice. Along with that, they can train you to get a hold of yourself in a better manner and help you get a positive outlook.

    Myth #5: Therapy is paying someone to listen to you rant.

    In that case, why isn’t half the population of the world therapists? Sounds like a super easy job to just listen to people rant and get paid for it. In reality, however, psychotherapists and counsellors use complex methods to improve one’s mental health. Only a psychologist or therapist knows how difficult it is to work with people who are asked to change their attitude and their way of thinking. It is not as easy as it looks, so you need to stop believing TV shows.

    Myth #6: All your mental health issues are all rooted in your childhood.

     While there is a little truth in that depiction, it isn’t always the same for everyone. Almost in every show or movie that shows a scene of therapy, the protagonist lays down on the couch and suddenly goes way back into their childhood. There are equal chances of people being affected by more recent events of stress or trauma. You can have a great childhood and still have mental health disorders when you are older.

    These were the 6 most common myths about psychotherapy that we have seemed to form all due to the media. While there are shows and movies with an accurate description of what goes on in psychotherapy and counselling, unfortunately, a majority of the ones that people watch don’t really show the entire truth.
    Follow the wise saying: 'Don't believe everything that you see.'

    Responses 2

    • Sanjna Verma
      Sanjna Verma   Aug 02, 2017 10:51 PM

      These misconceptions are so true that one must have encountered one or two false portrayals or maybe even all. Psychology is a study of what we do and think and it is pathetic to see the sorry state of the subject. There are stigmas attached to this field like in the case of mental disorders where there is a belief of spirits inside a person and all that. This needs to be changed. People need to be sensitised about psychology and it's importance towards improving mental health. This will also help to make this world a better place to live, but all this has a long way to go.

    • Radhika Goel
      Radhika Goel   Jul 25, 2017 03:14 PM

      Hii! Thank you so much for writing this article. The skeptical eyes I see when a person hears that I am studying psychology really bothers me. The first myth that psychologists can read minds is very prevalent in even middle-class families and plays a major role in discrediting the science of psychiatry. It adds to the stigma of superficial science and prevents people from approaching a psychologist or show respect to those who study it.  

      Today, there are some movies who have tried to show psychological problems in the right light but they end up showing one of the above-mentioned myths or the other. For example, Dear Zindagi, it represents the questions people raise when a family member approaches a psychologist, it shows how a psychologist may approach a patient, it represents how a patient may transfer positive feelings onto the psychologist but it also shows that all the characters problems were associated with only one incident of isolation from her childhood. Thus, Dear Zindagi, in my opinion, was a step forward for Indian cinema but still needs to go a long way. Today, there are a number of foreign shows like Suits, The Mentalist and Monk who represent psychological disorders and the work of a therapist as it actually is and not according to the circulating myths.

  • 21 Jul
    Radhika Goel

    Is porn healthy?


    Recently, porn was banned in India and it created a lot of debate on whether everyone has a right to view what they want or is the government taking away a basic freedom from the people? Whether the ban curtails or does not curtail the freedom of viewership of the citizens of India does not concern this article. This article is to make you aware if watching porn, an activity most people engage in, is healthy or not?

    There is a difference between watching porn occasionally and porn addiction. Porn addiction is extremely harmful and has different behavioral, social and physical effects. It can manifest in the following four stages.

    Early Exposure

    There are a number of stigmas attached to sexual behavior that prevents teachers in schools and parents at home skeptical about talking about it with children. Their apprehension also makes children skeptical about approaching the subject with adults and thus reserve to talking to their equally unaware peers about it. They usually start watching porn to get to know about sexual acts and what sexuality comprises of. The average age of a person who looks at pornography today is 13 and most users lie between the ages of 12 to 17 years. 30 percent of pornography addicts are women. Due to the stereotypes attached to women watching porn, most women do not admit that they watch porn leading to a lack of data to study the effects of pornographic material on women and their mental health.

    This seems natural enough? Children start watching porn to educate themselves and satisfy their curious mind.


    The problem starts when children get addicted to it. They keep coming back to porn and making it a regular part of their life. This creates multiple problems:

    1. Interferes with daily tasks: Instead of studying or working, they spend their time watching porn
    2. Problems in real life relationships: It creates different or higher expectations that their partner may not be able to fulfill.
    3. Negative energy: Watching porn is associated with shame. Thus they would spend time hiding their activities and create a negative energy around themselves. They would prefer watching porn rather than meeting people and hence become anti-social. It can lead to the development of social and performance anxiety.

    Some signs to notice porn addiction in the user are:

    • Attempts to keep porn hidden from friends and loved ones
    • Showing anger and hostility if asked to stop using porn
    • Giving up opportunities at work to find time to watch porn
    • Continuing to watch porn despite partner's disapproval or deteriorating relationship
    • Unsuccessful in practicing self-control over time spent watching porn

    Escalation and Desensitisation

    Users become desensitised to the type of pornography they use, get bored with it, and then seek more perverse forms of pornography. Pornographic content that would have disgusted t, in the beginning, is now the only type that can excite them.

    Researchers have compared porn addiction to drug addiction as it creates similar effects in the brain and on a person’s life including similar withdrawal effects. When a person watches porn the brain releases chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and epinephrine.  When a person consumes hard drugs or watches pornographic material there is an excessive release of these chemicals leading to a development of tolerance for the drug or porn. To experience the same high or rush one has to watch more pornography or consume drugs further developing the tolerance. Men also search for innovative and new pornographic material as they are not able to experience the release with the same content. When one tries to stop using both pornographic content and drugs they experience similar withdrawal symptoms too. Thus, one can see how porn addiction and drug addiction leading from the release of chemicals in the brain create similar effects on a person.


     Acting out sexually

    Statistics show that there are over 75 million porn addicts across the world and in 2007 global porn revenues were estimated at 20 billion dollars. Once users of pornographic content are desensitised they start acting out sexually leading to abuse of women and children that they have watched being objectified and used in the pornographic material. Prolonged consumption of pornography by men creates stronger notions of women as commodities and sex objects.

    This epidemic can be blamed for the rise in divorces, child molestations, and an increase in rape cases. Kind of internet porn that circulates and is produced objectifies women. Nature of porn encourages men to look at women’s bodies and look at potential sexual gratification opportunities.

    Myth associated with porn addiction

    The primary reason for porn addiction is not the need and search for sexual gratification. The gratification works like rewards and helps in reinforcing of the addiction. However, pornographic consumption increases as the viewer experiences excitement by the novelty and the nature of the content.

    Educating children and increasing awareness about what consists of pornographic content and the consequences of its addiction is crucial.


    Responses 1

    • Sanjna Verma
      Sanjna Verma   Aug 10, 2017 09:49 PM

      This is a grave issue. Now that the access towards World Wide Web and Internet is increasing and there is lack of sex education in our country, this arises the watching of porn. The young minds can get influenced in the wrong direction. Parents should keep an eye on what their children are watching and aware them about stuff. Otherwise the child may indulge into acts harmful for himself and the society. 

      I fail to understand that why parents are hesitant towards discussing things related to sex as it is one of the essential biological need. Then the child watches porn secretly and as this article states that all such things are watched secretly and also leads to loss of social interaction which is so important.


  • 20 Jul
    Sneha Chauhan

    IQ vs. EQ - Which is more important to lead a successful life?

    Albert Einstein quote

    Intelligence Quotient (IQ): 
    Intelligence Quotient is a score to assess human intelligence, deriving from various standardized tests. William Stern was the psychologist who came up with the concept of "Intelligence Quotient". He devised a method for scoring intelligence tests at The University of Wroclaw in the book he wrote in 1912. He defined intelligence quotient as

    "a general capacity of an individual consciously to adjust his thinking to new requirements,...a general mental adaptability to new problems and conditions of life."

    He took the mental age (the measure of an individual's intellectual attainment based on their age) and divided it by the chronological age (biological age), and named this ratio the intelligence quotient.

    Intelligence Quotient is a fancy word for how well one can relay a piece of information. It assesses one's written and verbal abilities to analyze facts and knowledge. An individual with high IQ is most likely to possess traits like precision, multi-tasking, accuracy, and efficiency.

    A boy standing in front of blackboard

    Emotional Quotient (EQ)

    Emotional Quotient (EQ), or Emotional intelligence (EI), is the ability of individuals to have a precise knowledge of their own and other people's emotions. Recognizing different patterns of feelings and reflecting upon them appropriately, adjusting emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one's dreams, and using emotional information to guide thinking and behavior are the traits of emotionally intelligent people.

    Emotional quotient is the quantification of emotional intelligence. It assesses one's ability and perception of how one can fit in the room and how the information that one carries will influence others. EQ is required to understand people in a better manner, to empathize, and to negotiate with other people. It’s about creativity, intuition, determining the emotions of others and yourself, and managing different feelings and emotions.
    A workplace situation

    Which is more important?
    Everyone is well aware of what importance having the factual knowledge and verbal abilities hold. But is that all that is required to achieve success? In our society, the traditional intelligence (IQ) is highly appreciated. There have been people with an extraordinary IQ but low success. One of the reasons being that they might not love the thing they are supremely talented in. Having high IQ is like having great potential, but getting successful depends on the person whether he or she develops and nurtures his or her potential or not. For example, a person may have the physique and strength required for wrestling, but he may not have the desire or interest to perform in wrestling tournaments which would not outshine his potential. Having a good IQ does not define how successful a person is, it's more about how he uses it.

    We have heard so much about the traditional intelligence (IQ) and how people with high IQ have changed the world, but we rarely come across words like Emotional Quotient or Emotional Intelligence. Earlier, IQ was considered the primary determinant of success. Gaining knowledge meant being smart. But it’s not just about gaining knowledge anymore, it’s about how you use the knowledge and benifit people. People with high EQ are found to have better performance at work. They have healthy connections with their colleagues and are good at problem solving and decision making. They also tend to have a better mental stamina because of the stress busting environment that they try to create.

    IQ and EQ

    There’s a belief that employers look for outstanding people with extraordinary skills. While true to some extent, there's more than just knowledge ans skills that the employers are looking for nowdays. Most employers look for people who want to be a part of their team, and who have the same goals and values as the company. Every employee can work brilliantly in their field with knowledge, but it's important to be able to work with other employees and the given work environment as well.  Dealing with problems at work and creating good work atmosphere is something that comes from within an individual, which is why companies are willing to work with people with high EQ and further train them to become more efficient and enhance their skills.

    A study was conducted in an insurance company where it was discovered that the employees with higher EQ had brought in more costumers and had better sales than those with lower EQ. Nobel-prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman has found that people would rather deal with a person that they find trustworthy and likable rather than someone they do not, even if that means paying more for an inferior product.

    Components of Emotional Intelligence

    Can EQ be enhanced?
    Yes, in fact, there are just a few things to remember to enhance yourself emotionally: 

    1. Be respectful of oneself and others. If you treat someone with respect, they will treat you with the same respect that you gave them.
    2. Reduce negative emotions and try to build positive ones.
    3. Stay cool and manage your emotions.
    4. Express your emotions appropriately whenever necessary. 
    5. Bounce back from adversities that difficult situations throw at you.
    6. Verbal and non-verbal cues are very important to convey and to perceive accurately.
    7. Maintain healthy social behaviors with other people, groups or societies.
    8. Self-awareness is crucial in having a higher EQ because you can’t possibly know about others without knowing yourself.

    So it leaves us wondering - am I emotionally ready to go out there? Do I have the right intellect to do so? Both the aspects are equally important, for you would obviously need the information that is required for your job and a good behavior is only an added factor to your character. Both, EQ and IQ can be measured, and enhanced by working on it to produce the best results possible for you. You are therefore encouraged to go out there and develop your EQ and IQ both and become the best version of yourself.


    Responses 2

    • Sanjna Verma
      Sanjna Verma   Aug 05, 2017 11:19 PM

      It is a good piece of information as many do not know about Emotional Quotient and the importance of both EQ and IQ where on one side IQ describes your potential and EQ describes your will to do so.

    • Shruti Gupta Dehradun
      Shruti Gupta Dehradun   Jul 25, 2017 10:45 PM


      A very well written article Sneha! It is a must read for someone who doesn't have much knowledge about both the terms. 

      Your article highlights the misconception that people hold about Intelligence Quotient and Emotional Quotient and the fact that people with high IQ are considered above the people who have high EQ. This article shows that how successful one becomes in life is not only determined by high IQ but is also determined by high EQ. Both your IQ and EQ work together to make you stand out in the crowd. Therefore, when one wants to work on his or her IQ he or she must not ignore the importance EQ has. The article also provides ways through which one can actually improve his EQ. 

      Best wishes.

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