• 08 Nov
    Sadaf Ambreen Saiyad

    A Peep Into The Mind Of A Schizophrenic

    Have you ever seen something that wasn’t actually there? Or heard a certain voice, but found no source for it on searching? If you have, you might have considered it as your mind playing tricks on you and forgot about it. Or you might have just concluded that it was a figment of your imagination. What if I told you that there are people who hear and see things which are not there in reality? As hard as it is to believe, such people do exist. Visual and auditory hallucinations are a part of a very serious mental illness and by writing this article I hope I can shed some light on it and why everyone should know about this disorder.

    schizophrenia

    The disorder is called “schizophrenia” and it is characterized by abnormal social behaviour and an inability to understand what is real. It affects how a person thinks, feels and acts. It affects about 0.3-0.7% of the population. Schizophrenia is often confused with dissociative identity disorder, commonly known as the split-personality disorder, but it’s an entirely different mental disorder.

    Symptoms of schizophrenia.

    Symptoms of schizophrenia usually start to show between late adolescence and early adulthood. These include hallucinations (mostly auditory), delusions, and disorganized speech and thinking. They go through distortions of self-experience. This includes feeling as though their thoughts are not really theirs, believing that someone else is inserting thoughts in their mind.

    There are positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Positive symptoms are those that are present in people with schizophrenia and are not experienced by normal people. These include delusions, hallucinations (auditory, visual, tactile, olfactory and gustatory), and distorted thoughts. These symptoms generally respond well to medications.

    Negative symptoms consist of deficiency of normal emotional responses or thought processes. These include lack of motivation, inability to experience pleasure, lack of desire to form relationships, flat expressions, little emotion, and poverty of speech.

    Another feature of schizophrenia is deficiencies in cognitive abilities. The extent of these cognitive deficits can determine how functional the individual will be, their quality of occupational performance, and how successful they will be in maintaining treatment. The impact of deficits in cognitive function are seen in areas such as long-term memory, working memory, semantic processing, verbal declarative memory, learning, attention, and episodic memory. These deficits are usually found in individuals before the onset of the illness, a review of literature shows that these deficits may be present in early adolescence, or even as early as early as in childhood.

    What causes schizophrenia?

    Causes of schizophrenia include a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

    Estimates of the heritability of schizophrenia are 80%. However, this estimate may vary because there might be difficulty in separating influences of genetic and environmental factors. The greatest risk factor is having a first-degree relative with schizophrenia. More than 40% of monozygotic twins of those with schizophrenia are also affected. If both parents are affected, the risk is about 50%, and if one parent is affected then the risk is at 16%.

    Environmental factors include prenatal stress, drug use, and the living environment. About 50% of schizophrenic patients are known to use drugs or alcohol excessively. Some drugs, and to some extent alcohol, can result in a transient stimulant psychosis, or alcohol-related psychosis that presents very similar to schizophrenia. Cannabis is also a huge contributory factor in the development of schizophrenia and is a potential cause for those who are already at risk. Maternal stress is also associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia. Maternal nutritional deficiencies and maternal obesity have also been identified as potential risk factors for schizophrenia.

    Diagnosis of schizophrenia.

    According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) released by the American Psychological Association (APA), two criteria must be met over the time period of at least one month to be diagnosed by schizophrenia. The first is, the person has to be suffering from delusions, hallucinations, or disorganized speech. The second criterion is that the person should be suffering from negative symptoms or catatonic behaviour.

    Management.

    The primary treatment is antipsychotic medications, often paired with psychological and social supports. Voluntary or if mental health legislation allows it, involuntary hospitalization may occur for severe episodes. Long-term hospitalization is uncommon. Some evidence also indicates that regular exercise has a positive effect on the mental and physical health of those with schizophrenia. There are different types of services that can help a person with schizophrenia which includes case management, psychological rehabilitation programs, self-help groups, drop-in centres, housing programs, employment programs, and counselling/therapy. Although schizophrenia cannot be fully cured, the symptoms can be reduced to a great extent.

    Contrary to popular belief, a vast majority of people with schizophrenia do not pose a threat to others and are not violent or dangerous. It is not caused by childhood experiences, poor parenting or lack of willpower. Positive and negative symptoms can differ from person to person. Schizophrenia is an actual disease and people suffering from it need to be given proper psychiatric help. They need a lot of love and support, and with proper treatment, they will be able to live an almost regular life.

  • 07 Nov
    Rasi M Sethia

    Amazing Things about Children with Down Syndrome

    child with down syndrome

    Down Syndrome, a genetic condition is one of the most common conditions found among children. It is the result of the transfer of an extra chromosome 21 to the newly formed embryo. Down Syndrome happens when there are three copies of the 21st chromosome in an individual. The extra genetic material (of chromosome 21) which is transferred causes certain changes in the development of the foetus and leads to physical and mental abnormalities in the child. Down syndrome leads to intellectual and developmental delays and learning difficulties in the child. It also causes distinct facial features and short physique, eyesight and hearing issues, and heart diseases.

    Generally, a child with Down syndrome has a small head, short, tiny neck, flat face and upward slanting eyes, flat ears positioned a bit lower in comparison to those of the normal children, wide hands, and short fingers. The child’s tongue seems to be larger than the mouth and his or her muscles lack toning. A child with Down syndrome has growth retardation and does not grow much in height. A Down syndrome adult is mostly found short in height. Gross motor skills and fine motor skills develop in the child slowly and take more time. Thus, in a way children with Down syndrome are said to have low IQ too. All kinds of developments in such children are impaired.

     

    How does Down Syndrome occur?

    Generally, individuals have 23 pair of chromosomes and 2 sex chromosomes making it in total 48 chromosomes, 24 pairs. At the time of conception, new cell forms by receiving one chromosome from each pair of the chromosomes, one from the sperm and one from the ovum. This new cell multiplies itself to form an embryo, then a foetus and finally a child. Each cell in the child contains the same chromosome material from those 48 chromosomes. Down syndrome occurs when it is found that the child has 47 chromosomes,2 sex chromosomes instead of 46, 2 chromosomes. Thus, in total, a child with Down syndrome has 49 chromosomes instead of 48 as in most of the human beings. In such cases, one extra 21 chromosome is present in the child. This is a chromosome replication error where the new cell at the time of conception receives three copies of chromosome 21.

    diagram showing formation of down syndrome

     

     

    Interesting things we should know-

    • The child born with Down syndrome is not having an illness or a disease. It is just that, that the child has a genetic condition of having an extra chromosome.
    • As mentioned above that it is not a disease, children with Down syndrome lead a normal life just like others. They contribute to and help their families, their friends, their co-workers, their employers, and society. They go to school and colleges, work, and marry.
    • All children with Down syndrome are not same. Each of them is unique in his or her own way. They have their own individual talents and abilities. Their personality is specific to themselves.
    • These children are like other children. They have the same physical attributes as others. These children just have slow growth and development.
    • Children with Down syndrome are not retarded. The fact that a child has Down syndrome does not mean that the child is often sad or the family is sad. The child is happy, he or she experiences all the emotions as we all do. The family is blessed to have the child.
    • Children with Down syndrome brings happiness to others. These children have a remarkably adoring smile. Their smile is contagious. One cannot control his or her smile on looking them smile.
    • It is said that these children have distinct physical characteristics. This does not mean that all children with Down syndrome look alike. Yes, they do resemble their family members.
    • Children with Down syndrome are more understanding of emotions and feelings.
    • The stages of development are the same in these children like others. The only difference is that they develop and achieve milestones bit by bit and take time.
    • It is said that children with Down syndrome have low IQ but this is not specific to all children. Some of these children are intelligent and smart. Some of them will very easily and swiftly manipulate and convince you.
    • Children with Down syndrome are lovely. These children are patient and even teach others around them to be patient naturally as they take a bit time to take in and evaluate information from the environment.
    • These children have dreams and high aspirations and make efforts to achieve them.
    • It is fun to be around these children. They are joyful.

     

    Down syndrome is the most common genetic condition. One in every six hundred babies is born with Down syndrome. Children with Down syndrome are no less than another, they are no different from other children. Most families are living and loving life with Down syndrome. If you don’t know anyone with Down syndrome, you are missing out. They are beautiful and make people’s life around them beautiful.

    “Down Syndrome isn’t a burden. How people react to it is.” – Stephanie Holland

     a quote on down syndrome

     

  • 04 Nov
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    Organization is the key to success

    Time and again, we have fallen victim to a day when we were unable to complete a good chunk of our work that we had planned to do. The sole reason for this issue, I believe, is the way we approach the tasks. To put in other words, probably our way of doing those tasks wasn't "organized"! Now some people out there might ask me "Are there really any benefits of being organized ?. Isn't it more relaxing and fun to live on the edge and let the things fall into place on their own?" Well, if you are asking this to me, then at some point in time you would have asked a similar question to yourself also. If that's true, then probably you are not aware of the many benefits of actually being organized. It's not about forcefully holding back the fun or spontaneity in your life, but about getting the best from your life that you can have every single day. 

    Being organized is vital for not only one but all the people out in the world. It makes life easier, saving time as well as your belongings. Consider the following example to understand as well as relate to your daily basis issues when you are not organized. 

    " Two friends, Ananya and Aashima are getting ready to go to their school. Ananya and Aashima are both running late for their school. But Ananya is stuck because she is unable to find her geometry box for her geometry class whereas Aashima, who always puts her study material as well as all school belongings at her desk, quickly grabs her geometry box and rushes out of the house just in time to catch her school bus. Aashima is already seated in the school bus whereas Ananya, who is still searching for her geometry box eventually misses her school bus." 

    organize

    Nothing more to say, this example shows how organizing is important as well as vital for our life because it makes life so much easier. It surely makes a difference and hence, shows how important organization is since it makes life, nonetheless, convenient to live. The second positive effect of organization is to have a proper balance in life. We tend to spend a very little amount of time on little things and a good chunk of our time on things that are actually important in our lives, like family, your health, hygiene etc. Like the saying goes:- 

    Amazing balance = Amazing life  

    Another positive effect of organization is about being able to set and achieve our goals.It also helps us in setting a good example for our friends, colleagues, and children in the family who are watching and learning from us each passing day. To show them the power of organization, is a lifelong lesson for them and someday, they will thank you for it. 

    organization

    But the issue is how to be organized? It's not going to be something magical that will occur overnight. You have to go through a set of measures to ensure that you are organized both at home and at your workplace. You can adopt the following measures and can see the change from Day 1. These techniques are:- 

    1) Make the target list 

    ● It is really essential to write down each and every thing that you want to accomplish because it is not easy for our brains to remember each and every detail of our workload. 

    ● Make a to-do list on a regular basis so as to keep track of your workload as well as to see how much are you able to accomplish. 

     2) Habit of "Put in place" 

     ● This is the main reason for the clutter that surrounds us. We usually have a tendency to use a particular object and in place of putting them back; leave it wherever we wish to. So it is important for us to exercise the habit of putting things back in their places so as to avoid the clutter that forms, otherwise. 

    3) Regular cleaning up  

      ● This technique might sound gross to people who usually do not indulge in cleaning and keep running away from it. But if you actually want to be organized, this is something you have to do. It is up to you on how you want to do it- either on an alternate-day basis or on weekly basis. 

     4) Cornell's Method  

      ● Organization is not only limited to your home but also to the educational institutes you attend - be it a school or a college. This method was quite new to me but after using it for my notes; it proves to be really effective. 

      ● To follow this method, draw a horizontal line about 6 lines from the bottom of your lines paper. Then, draw a vertical line about 2 inches (5.1cm) from the left side of the paper. This will create a total of three boxes. Use the left-hand vertical box to take down key points, the right-hand pather box to take down general notes and the bottom horizontal box for summary after class.  

     5) Treat Yourself  

    The is the final step in organization is to reward yourself for all the tasks that you have completed. Psychology has numerous such examples where giving a positive reinforcement after completing a particular task, increases the chances of occurrence of desirable behavior substantially. So, if you treat yourself for being organized and for completing your tasks on time, it will become a habit of yours and would help you lifelong. 

    timetable

    All the best guys!

    Author: Akshita Reviewer: Sadaf

  • 03 Nov
    Sadaf Ambreen Saiyad

    Parenting Aggressive Children

    parenting aggressive children

     

    Most of us have heard stories from our parents about how strict their parents were and how one beating session would be enough to bring the children back on track. Life was pretty simple back then, with more leisure time to play instead of spending nights stressing over project assignments and other things young people have to worry about these days. Times are changing, and no matter what kind of parenting our parents got, it just cannot be the same for us or the coming generations. We see little children throwing tantrums at every little disappointment and sometimes they even exhibit aggressive behaviors. While temper tantrums are quite normal, consistent aggressive behaviors can make the parents worried about the child, and at the same time, they have no clue why their child is behaving in such an aggressive manner, or what needs to be done to help them. With this article, I’m hoping to shed some light on the possible reasons and some parenting tips that could help.

    Solution to any problem can only be found when reasons due to which the problem has occurred are clear. Here are some possible reasons that could explain aggressiveness in children:

    • Mood disorders: Children suffer from mood disorders too, and it could be one possible reason to explain the aggressive behavior. Children suffering from bipolar mood disorder are found to frequently become aggressive during their manic episodes. They become really impulsive and often do not have any control over themselves.
    • Psychosis: Certain psychotic disorders can also result in aggressive behavior. For instance, schizophrenic children are usually responding to their internal stimuli and thus behave in an aggressive manner because they aren’t really in touch with reality.
    • Agitation: Children suffering from intellectual impairment or autism can also exhibit aggressive behaviors. Their aggressive behavior is a result of their frustration due to difficulties in dealing with their problems, and also because of their inability to express their feelings in words.
    • Impulsivity: In children with disruptive behavior disorders, such as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), the aggressiveness occurs due to their impulsivity and lack of proper decision-making. These children don’t really realize or consider the possible outcome of their actions which may come across as callous, when in fact, they’re just not thinking.
    • Conduct disorder: If your child shows aggressive behavior frequently, there is a high possibility that they may have conduct disorder. Conduct disorder is usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence. It presents itself through repetitive patterns of behavior in which norms related to age appropriateness are not considered and basic rights of others are violated. Unlike disruptive behavior disorders, aggressive behaviors in conduct disorder are not the result of innocence. Here, the aggression, and the maliciousness are well-intended. Lower level of fear is one symptom of conduct disorder. One research shows that negative emotionality or fear can predict a toddler’s level of empathy in response to stressful situations. The findings state that if the immediate caregiver is not able to respond to infant cues and the kid doesn’t learn to handle their fears, they might lash out at others, especially on other children.
    • Stressful situations: Children exposed to extremely stressful situations, those that they aren’t ready to deal with yet, can cause frustration which may lead to aggressive behaviors. The stressors can include unhealthy or harmful environment, abuse, violent neighborhood, neglectful parents, or similar conditions.

    Apart from these reasons, it is also likely that your child just needs a better parenting to teach them about the reasons and ways to keep their emotions in check. Some children behave aggressively just to attract attention. It is very important to understand when you can handle your child’s aggressive outbursts by yourself, and when you should consider getting help from a professional psychologist. I’m listing down certain dos and don’ts that you, as a parent, can use to regulate your child’s behavior. I would like to bring to your attention four major advises that are necessary for you to follow to make sure that your child learns to let go of the aggressive attitude and become a compassionate person. These are: teaching self-control, stopping aggression at the moment, modeling good behavior and connecting with the child.

    aggressive child

    Teach your children self-control.

    • Discuss their feelings: It is important to talk to children when they are young and make them understand what emotion they may possibly be going through, so that when they get a bit older, they will be able to identify the emotions and it will be easier for you to talk to them about it.
    • Set limits and boundaries: Parents need to make it very clear to their children about which behaviors are acceptable and which ones are not. This is necessary to guide their behavior. The set limits must be consistent with no scope of bending the rules whatsoever.
    • Teach coping strategies: Sometimes, aggressive behaviors are results of children not being able to cope with their emotions. In such situations, teach them healthy strategies to express their feelings. Ask them to slowly breathe in and out, or count numbers to ten. This will give them a moment to themselves and they will learn self-control.
    • Identify what triggers the aggressive behavior: Children are usually aggressive when hungry or sleepy. You can keep track of your kid’s aggressive behavior and recognize what triggers them, and then work on it. For instance, if your child gets cranky when sleepy, make sure they follow a bed time routine every night and they have a fixed nap timing for the day.

    Stop aggression at the moment.

    • Don’t let things escalate: Yelling or hitting the child when they’re behaving aggressively might seem like a good idea, but it’s not. When you hit your child or shout at them, they will feel that it’s okay to yell at or hit someone whose actions they didn’t like. Instead sit down with them and talk empathetically with a calm voice.
    • Discuss their behavior: Sometimes all it takes for the aggressive behavior to come to an end is to just point it out that their behavior is hurtful to others. Tell them, properly, the right way to behave and redirect them to the coping strategies that you’ve taught them. Maintain eye contact and touch them in an empathizing way as you do so.
    • Change the environment: If your child doesn’t seem to calm down, just take them away from the current environment to help them reset. Go for a walk or a short ride with them. Or if you’re in a situation from which you cannot walk out, like a funeral, give them a snack to munch on or some game to play on your phone. It might help in distracting them for a while.
    • Encourage making amends: Encourage them to apologize when they have acted aggressively and make amends with the person involved. By learning to repair the relationships, your kid will develop a conscience which is important for long term relationships.

    Be a good role model.

    • Try not to show aggression: When your child sees your aggressive outbursts, they begin to think that it’s okay to be that way. Instead of yelling or shouting, keep your tone calm and even. Don’t hit your children on behaving aggressively because they might start thinking that it’s okay to hit others.
    • Teach them how to interact in a healthy way: Interact with others in a kind and respectful way so that when your child sees you, it becomes an unsaid expectation from them to behave similarly. You can show them that hitting isn’t necessary to resolve conflicts.
    • Be respectful towards your child: Children learn to behave by seeing how you treat others and them. Addressing your children in a calm and respectful tone will make them feel compelled to do so also. Being angry or frustrated with them often isn’t going to help, if you feel frustrated take a few deep breaths to calm yourself first before addressing them.

    Connect with your children.

    • Spend time with them: Lack of attention can also result in aggressive behaviors sometimes. Spend time with them to make them realize they are loved and cared for. Do fun activities and play together to strengthen your bond.
    • Don’t expect too much from them: As growing children, they are meant to make mistakes, so don’t be angry when you experience setbacks. Stay calm and teach them again and don’t think of it as a failure on your part.
    • Criticize constructively: While discussing behaviors, make sure that you are being constructive. Praise them for their good behaviors first and then when it comes to their mistakes, suggest ways that they could have done better and what the child needs to do to rectify that mistake now. Don’t tell them that they are a bad person for behaving in a certain manner, make them understand that it is not acceptable, but at the same time, they are still loved.
    • Physical contact is necessary: When you’re talking to your child about their behaviors, make it a point to hold their hand or put an arm around their shoulders in a loving manner. It will help keep their attention on you.

     If you feel these parenting tips aren't working, and your child must be suffering from a mental illness, visit a psychologist immediately.

  • 01 Nov
    Sadaf Ambreen Saiyad

    Significance Of Communication In Relationships

    communication significance

    Relationships are a huge part of everyone’s lives. Everybody has a different role in different people’s lives and to be able to survive in the big bad world, we need to keep relationships healthy.

    We live in an era where technology is so overpowering that it has started to control us instead of it being the other way around. It has many benefits, no doubt about it, but technology being a friend, or a foe is a highly debatable topic which is going to continue as long as technology keeps on advancing. The value of face to face communication has almost vanished because of other, more convenient ways like texting, voice calling, and video calling. People have started to text someone that they are outside their home instead of just ringing the doorbell. Everything, from our clothes to food, whether we are studying or partying, whatever we do has to be uploaded on social media.

    Amidst all this, somehow, we have forgotten the importance of effective communication. Because most of our conversations are done by the means of social media, it is quite easy to ignore someone, and this privilege is being exploited to a great level. People start ignoring their friends or partners after getting into a fight rather than being mature and talking everything out and resolving the issue. Since we are looking at the negative side of how social media affects us, I would also like to point out that there are many social media celebrities that are being followed by thousands, or sometimes millions of people, majority of them being youngsters. Among these celebrities are celebrity couples who post pictures portraying themselves as the perfect couple, and while it’s not their intention, them showing off their relationship creates unrealistic expectations in youngsters.

    People, especially teenagers, are now living in an illusion where they believe that relationships should come easy, they enjoy it in the beginning but as soon as they are faced with a slight inconvenience with regards to the relationship, they take the easy way out and flee instead of being mature and talking it out. People are so focused on taking the perfect selfies, to posing for fake candid pictures, to writing the perfect message for their partners for captioning the pictures, that they forget to look up from their smartphones and have an actual conversation with the person they are supposedly in love with.

    technological

    Communication is the key to any and every successful relationship, be it with your family members, friends, or your significant other. Lack of effective communication will always lead to a downfall of relationships. Here, I am going to talk about why exactly communication is so important and how it can help us manage relationships efficiently.

    Good communication leads to better understanding. When you have a good rapport with someone, when you are comfortable with having all sorts of conversations with them, when you can share everything about you with them without any inhibitions, you start to develop a certain level of understanding with them that will only strengthen your bond.

    Communicating is the best way to ward off misunderstandings. The major reason for most misunderstandings is lack of communication. You misunderstand when you assume something and don’t clarify it with the other person, or vice versa. Sitting down and talking it out, explaining yourself and letting the other person explain themselves is the best and easiest way to clear misunderstandings. It can save relationships from a terrible doom.

    Communication leads way to better trust and respect. When you have a great communication with your partner, it automatically leads to building of honesty between you two. With honesty comes trust and vice versa. You know that a person is trustworthy when they are being honest with you, and you know your partner is honest with you when you’ve established trust between youselves. And inevitably, there will be a great degree of respect for someone you can trust and be honest with. Honesty, trust and respect are all interdependent and equally important in any relationship.

    It makes you a great listener. Communication is a two-way thing. You speak, but you also listen, and good communication demands rapt attention when you are on the listening end. When you pay attention, it enhances your listening skills. You become good at understanding emotions behind the spoken words, and you also understand what is left unsaid with the emotions that a person shows.

    It becomes easier to express your feelings. When you have a healthy communicating relationship with someone, you find it easier to express your emotions without any hint of awkwardness or anxiousness about what the other person might think of you. Just like you can express your feelings, your partner too is equally inclined to share their emotions with you.

    Problem solving gets ten times easier. There are problems in every household, between every couple, and among all groups of good friends. Sadly, more people tend to avoid the problem for as long as they can until it’s too late to mend things. If instead of avoiding the problem, we start addressing them, it will become very easy to solve the issue and you can go back to the way you were without doubts.

    I believe everyone should encourage and establish communication in all their relationships, and since  relationships are a huge part of our lives, everyone should try and keep them as healthy and fruitful as they can because when the burden of the world gets too much, it is your loved ones who help you take it off your shoulders and you would not want to lose them just because you had not established a communicating relationship.

    Responses 1

    • Vinny aggarwal
      Vinny aggarwal   Jan 26, 2018 05:57 AM

      It's very motivating if someone has about to lose all confidence in a relationship !!!! There're huge misunderstandings between me n my partner ... just bcz of lack of effective communication . I hope I will make my relation more healthy after reading n crashing the main idea of this paragraph . Thank u ewellnessexpert

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