Monthly Archives: April 2014

Self-Harming behaviour: The act of harming or inflicting pain to oneself

selfharm2Have you seen someone slashing, cutting, inflicting pain to himself or herself? In the starting phase of my clinical career I was awe-struck and shocked one day. I saw a teenager bleeding profusely. He had self-mutilated his wrists and hands…neither once, nor twice but multiple times. Frankly speaking, I could not take up that case as it was too alarming for me. I referred the case. When I intervened later, I got to know that he suffered from huge psychological distress. He was offered extensive psycho-therapies and support. Finally he got well.

My therapy board today is thronged with many clients who suffer from self-harming behavior. The worst sufferers of it are mostly teenagers. When in normal conditions even a pin-prick hurts a lot, the question that arises is how can a person move about and harm himself/herself so badly? There are actually deep-seated factors in it, more than you can see. Let me tell you more about self-harming behavior.

As the name suggests, self-harming behavior is the act of causing harm or injury to oneself through different means. Though, the forms and means of self-harming behavior can vary from person to person, yet you should know that it has an underlying psychological issue for sure. Therefore, self-harm is something that is visible on the body, but is connected to one’s mind.

Self-Harming behaviors:

  • Cutting
  • Hand or wrist slashing
  • Self-mutilation in different parts of the body
  • Verbal or behavioral abuse of self
  • Addiction, like drugs/alcohol
  • Disturbing or refraining from one’s sleep, food and leading a sedentary lifestyle

Self-harming behavior has a deep-rooted psychological cause. It is very necessary to know about the psychological causes of self-harming behavior. This is a significant requirement because if the psychological issue goes un-treated or unresolved then in worst cases self-harming behavior can transform itself into clinical depression and suicide.

Underlying Psychological Causes of Self-Harming Behavior:

  • Faulty coping to life’s stressors and pressures
  • Stress, anxiety and depression
  • Personality Issues
  • Low self-confidence, low self-esteem and sense of self
  • Lack of feeling accepted in one’s family, peer group or social circle
  • Aggression and agitation
  • Clinical psychological disorders, hallucinations and delusions

How to deal with Self-Harming Behaviour:

  • Learn adaptive ways of dealing with the stressors and pressures of life
  • Try to pacify your anger and aggression surge. Practice of self-control. Thinking about alternative healthy behavior and relaxation techniques often help in this case
  • Believing in yourself, developing a strong and dynamic personality
  • Self-care: Maintaining a good physical and sound emotional health
  • Abstinence from alcohol and drug abuse
  • Communicating or sharing your feelings with someone who understands you
  • Proper treatment: If the self-harming behavior is too chronic, acute or if it is caused due to clinical categories of psychological ailments

If you or any of your loved one is suffering from self-harming behavior, then please don’t neglect it. Apart from psychological interventions the person needs intense care, support and empathetic understanding of one and all. Self-harming behavior is undoubtedly treatable and often clients lead a magnificently healthy life after proper treatment.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you or any of your near and dear ones are ailing from self-harm behavior. A strong and right decision taken by you can save a life for a lifetime.

Best Wishes,
Sareeta

Domestic Violence: It’s Psychological Aftermath

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Battered and shattered, wounded and bruised, bleeding and crying…Every now and then we hear different stories related to domestic violence or literally go through it. Needless to say, domestic violence is one of the most heinous acts done on a female (or male). Do you know who the worst sufferers of this are? Its women, children and significant others related to them. I remember coming across a woman who was a community worker in our NGO. Everyday I would see a new wound, cut or bruise in her body. I asked her about that, but she never told the truth.

But, one day she came to the office and was profusely bleeding. Her husband ran after her holding a knife. I was literally shocked. That day I realized that she was a victim of domestic violence. In this her husband and her in-laws were the main culprit. She was immediately taken to the hospital for treatment, and then we took her to the Women’s Welfare Cell in order to help her and impart her due justice. She got well within a few days. Her husband and her in-laws were put behind the bars. Though she got saved and her wounds got healed. But, the scars that the torture had left had a deep impact on her memories and emotions.

The community worker got out of the trauma through intensive care, counseling and support. However, every nook and corner of the world is filled with some or the other household where a woman is put into the hearth of domestic violence. Stories, situations and crimes may be silent or go unreported…but, it certainly rips off the soul apart. The body and mind getting wounded due to domestic violence is just another aspect.

Now let us know what the underlying cause of domestic violence is. In other words, why do people resort to this hellish act.

Causes of Domestic Violence:

  • Personality problems of the perpetrator
  • Self-esteem issues, behavioral issues, mental health issues, poor environment, aggravating factors including family n peers, lack of anger or impulse control
  • Addiction, drug abuse, personality deficits, bad childhood experiences
  • Underlying biological and psychological disorder
  • Faulty coping with life’s stressors, pressures and challenges; learning domestic violence from one’s own family or relatives (model behavior)
  • Marital conflicts, unfulfilled expectations, ego clash, hatred, jealousy
  • Overall causes of domestic violence include physical factors, social factors, family environment; learning and modeling behavior; peer – group influence, addiction, psychological and personality problems, etc.

Types of Domestic Violence:

Do you know domestic violence is not just a combination of two words; it is inflicted to a person in different hurtful ways. Here are some of the forms of domestic violence that a victim has to suffer:

  • Physical abuse: Includes beating, assault, aggression, etc
  • Sexual abuse: Worst form is marital rape, genital mutilation, criminal coercion, sexual violence, sexual slavery, etc
  • Emotional and verbal abuse
  • Economic deprivation
  • Honor killings, acid throwing, bride burning, dowry violence

In other words, there are many ways in which domestic violence can manifest itself. There is no one typical and distinctive form of it. It is often thought that domestic violence only occurs in a marital relationship and that to only on women. But, this is not entirely correct. Domestic violence also occurs in a live-in relationship, dating cohabitation, on men, and in same-sex relationships. Apart from the ovbious forms of physical, mental, social and economic torture sometimes the culprit also causes pain to the victim through criminal coersion, trespassing, kidnapping, harassment and stalking.

Psychological Repercussions of Domestic Violence:

I hope by now you must have understood how dangerous and hurtful domestic violence can be. Apart from the obvious physical afflictions, it leads to serious psychological impact too. Some of the common psychological problems caused due to domestic violence are:

  • Personality problems: Lowering of sense of self, self-esteem, self-confidence and dynamism in one’s personality
  • Emotional problems, mood swings, emotional tantrums, anger outbursts
  • Typical mental health issues like irrational fear, post traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and intense stress, etc
  • Self-harm and in worst cases suicide

We at www.online-therapy.com are committed to helping anyone suffering from the psychological issues due to domestic violence. If you or any of your loved one is going through this rough phase of life, then please don’t hesitate to contact us. As a victim, you should know about the law, support system available, helplines and virtually any and every way that can hep you get off the vicious clutches of domestic violence.

Dedicated to help you,
Sareeta

An introduction to “psycho-diagnostics”

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Confused by reading the title??? Psycho-diagnostics is nothing but the way through which psychologists diagnose different mental health problems. Either you or your loved one have a mental health issue or you are keeping good health. Both ways a sound knowledge of psycho-diagnostics is going to help you. Today, we are faced with varied situations and challenges. Starting from conception to education, examination to recruitment. Everywhere psycho-diagnostic tools are used. Some common examples are at a psychologist’s clinic, during a personal interview, in an educational/career counseling session, and so on.

Psycho-diagnostic tools are prepared by highly qualified and experienced personnels in the field of psychology. They are allowed for clinical and non-medical use after intensive and extensive research on their reliability, standardization, validity, usability, whether it adheres to a certain cultural norm or not and many such important factors. Based on their nature and usability the time to administer them varies.

Psychological testing or psycho-diagnostics can be used for multiple purposes. Some of them are:

Uses of Psycho-diagnostics:

  •  In medical settings for assessing behavioral and emotional problems
  • For mental health issues
  • While performing in an interview or test
  • In organizational settings
  • In forensics and insurance
  • Educational or school environment

Starting from simple paper-pen tests to machine-tests like CT-Scan, PET-Scan….Do you know psychological tests are of various kinds? See below for the multitude of psycho-diagnostic tests are in use in today’s era:

1.     IQ/Achievement Tests These tests test and quantify your intelligence and ability in various tasks/fields.
2.     Aptitude Test  Whether you have an aptitude or propensity in a certain field – aptitude tests measure this.
3.     Employment Test  These tests are widely used in employment settings. Often they assess your behavior, cognitive skills, and personality.
4.     Neuropsychological Test These are the ones that are designed to test your brain’s functioning, neurological functioning, etc
5.     Personality Test
 
As the name suggests, personality tests measure your personality functioning, type of personality, personality deficits or disorders, and the like
6.     Objective Test  Objective tests have definite responses and are often in true/false format.
7.     Projective Tests  They mostly come in the form of pictures and are meant to reflect your sub-conscious mind. Projective tests help a clinician in assessing the deeper roots of your problems/symptoms.
8.     Sexological tests These tests are used to look into the sexological issues, discomfort, problem or dysfunction pertaining to the sexological aspect of an individual.

As you have seen above, there are wide array of psycho-diagnostic tools available today. Either they are used for medical/pathological or treatment purposes or they are used for assessment in various settings. We at www.online-therapy.com have highly standardized, reliable and valid online psychological tests for various aspects of mental health and daily life functioning. If you or your near and dear ones are facing any of the below mentioned issues, then you can easily take the free online tests. However, for a final diagnosis a validation by our therapist or clinician is necessary. This will help ensure the clinical/medical or scientific nature of your presenting problem/symptom.

Online Therapy Program Links to the free online tests
Addiction https://www.online-therapy.com/addiction/test
Agoraphobia https://www.online-therapy.com/agoraphobia/test
Anger https://www.online-therapy.com/anger-management/test
Anxiety https://www.online-therapy.com/anxiety/test
Bipolar https://www.online-therapy.com/bipolar/test
Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) https://www.online-therapy.com/bpd/test
Depression https://www.online-therapy.com/depression/test
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) https://www.online-therapy.com/gad/test
Insomnia https://www.online-therapy.com/insomnia/test
Obsessive CompulsiveDisorder (OCD) https://www.online-therapy.com/ocd/test
Panic Attacks https://www.online-therapy.com/panic-attack/test
Post traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) https://www.online-therapy.com/ptsd/test
Relationship Problems https://www.online-therapy.com/marriage-relationship/test
Social Anxiety https://www.online-therapy.com/social-anxiety/test
Speech anxiety https://www.online-therapy.com/speech-anxiety/test
Stress https://www.online-therapy.com/stress-management/test
Weight problems https://www.online-therapy.com/weight-loss/test

 

Always ready to help you,

Sareeta

 

Disabled or Differently-Abled

disabled_means_differently_abled“I am conscious of a soul-sense that lifts me above the narrow, cramping circumstances of my life. My physical limitations are forgotten- my world lies upward, the length and the breadth and the sweep of the heavens are mine!”
― Helen Keller, author The story of my life

During my school days I had a friend who was very beautiful. She was an amazing student, very intelligent, talented and a genuine human being. But, her right leg was crippled. Other students made fun of her and despised her. However, she was my silent inspiration. She was my first motivation who taught me how to paint, to write with good handwriting, to be a good person altogether. Though her right leg was not working, she was a true fighter. I remember we had a sports competition in our neighborhood. All our friends including me were wearing brand new sports shoes for the running race and she was in old slippers. Everyone laughed at her and made fun of her. Do you know who bagged the first prize? It was her!!!

That day was a new life-changing learning and experience for me. I thought we had perfect bodies but could not achieve anything. But, my friend even with her own set of challenges stood first in three competitions at once! From that day till date I have come across many people with such physical conditions. Even with their situations they are doing pretty well in their lives and are successfully adding many feathers to their cap. The world may see them as “Disabled” but in real life they are real heroes and are in fact: “Differently-Abled”. Recently I was watching “India’s Got Talent” and saw a one-legged young lady dancing to the tune of a wonderful dance number. I simply could not believe my eyes. The sway and rhythm of her moments, the subtle nature of her expressions, her mesmering smile….everything was no less than a normal well-trained and experienced dancer. I wonder how people can be so rude to these persons some times! People with disabling conditions are ill-treated, bullied, called by names, banished from the mainstream society and seen as failures. Sometimes the situations with them are very debilitating and distressing conditions.

I know life can be so busy with its own ups and downs, light and shade. But, let us take our time today and spend some time thinking about our real life heroes, their challenges, perspectives about them, their quest and pathway to victory.

Statistics on World Population by the World Health Organization state that in an estimated world population of 6.5 billion people, nearly 100 million people are moderately or severely disabled. Now the question arises that what exactly is disability and how does it occur. Technically, “Disability is the consequence of an impairment that may be physical, cognitive, developmental, etc”. A person may have disabling conditions at birth or due to other situations in his/her life.

Causes of disability:

•    At birth
•    Due to accident
•    Mental health problems
•    Nervous system disorders
•    Musculoskeletal Problems

Challenges due to disability:

Life of a person with disabling conditions is not an easy journey. They have to go through different challenges day in and day out. Though mere words cannot express the physical and emotional turmoil they confront on a regular basis, yet for the purpose of psycho-education I am going to list some common crises and challenges that they go through:

•    Inability to adjust and cope with the condition
•    Challenges in treatment and after-care
•    Physical and emotional turmoil
•    Indifference or lack of support from family, peers and significant others
•    Possible stigma and discrimination in family, peer group, profession and society at large
•    Mental health issues like depression, stress, social anxiety, and post-trauamtic stress disorder, suicidal feelings, possible drug/alcohol abuse, self harm, etc.

Human civillization and history is a witness to the marvels and milestones that people with disabling conditions have achieved. Famous personalities like Hellen Keller, Sudha Chandran, Marla Runyan, Vincent Van Gogh, Beethoven, Stephen Hawking, etc have shown that disability does not limit one’s potential to aspire and achieve. What makes the difference is the way we accept and challenge situations in life.

When you come across a person with such condition do not look at him or her with sympathy. They need your empathetic understanding. Even if they have lost a limb or are suffering from other issues, yet their conscience and souls are very much intact. If you or your loved one is ailing from mental health issues due to this, then please do not hesitate to contact us at the earliest.

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): The Clinical Perspective

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): The Clinical Perspective

“Our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strengths.” 
― Charles H. Spurgeon

24/7 anxiety about anything and everything…in technical terms this is known as “Generalized Anxiety Disorder” (Acronym: GAD). There are times when you would feel anxious about certain event like an examination, a presentation, a blind date or an interview etc. These are common situations in which almost everyone tends to shiver with fear or apprehension. But, GAD is something more profound. People with GAD get anxious about anything and everything. They worry a lot about health, money relations, illness, death, profession…..virtually everything that life beholds.

When you would come across such people you would understand that they are too much worrisome and tend to apprehend worse than the worst. Living life with GAD is not easy. It is challenging from the one suffering from it as well as his/her care-takers. What makes it difficult is the high anxiety level that interferes in the daily life living or functioning of the individual.

Often GAD is misdiagnosed and misunderstood as an Anxiety Disorder. Therefore, it is very important to know and comprehend GAD from the clinical perspective. Let us look into some of the clinical signs and symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Physical Symptoms:

•    Trembling
•    Tiredness or fatigue
•    Sleep disturbances (Insomnia)
•    Palpitations
•    Shortness of breathe
•    Numbness in hands and feet
•    Excessive sweating
•    Hot flushes , rashes and excessive perspiration
•    Body aches and muscle tension

Psychological Symptoms:

•    Excessive worry, irrational fear
•    Continuous negative apprehension about events and life situations
•    Restlessness
•    Agitation and fidgeting
•    Insomnia
•    Irritability
•    Difficulty in concentration
•    Mind going blank due to worry and tension

Surveys state that in a given year approximately 6.8 million American adults and 2 percent of European adults suffer from GAD. Not only this, gradually GAD is also spreading its ill-effects in many other parts of the globe. So, it is considered as one of the most prevalent mental health issue of the era. Do you know why and how GAD is caused? Well, there are several reasons for it. Some of them are:

•    Genetic predisposition or family history

•    Neurochemical disturbances in the brain

•    Excessive use of caffeine or dependence on caffeinated drinks

•    Long-term use of psycho-pharmacological drugs (especially benzodiazepines)

•    Situational factors like a job interview, prolonged sadness, stress and tension, etc

If you or someone related to you are experiencing the above mentioned symptoms, then you should immediately seek appropriate treatment. With regular and proper treatment GAD can be managed and rooted out up to a substantial level. Many treatment interventions are available for GAD treatment. Some of them are through use of medications, behavior therapy, commitment therapy, relaxation therapies and so on.

However, one of the best treatment interventions for GAD is Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). CBT treats your mind as well as your behaviour (physiological symptoms included). This is the reason why it is regarded as the most effective form of psychotherapy for CBT. It can be imparted by a Clinical Psychologist or a well-trained CBT Therapist. With the increase in popularity of Information Technology and given to the rush and commitments in everyone’s life…

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Take Time to Tickle Your Mind

Change Your Thoughts

Sometimes our mind loves to be in its comfort zone. We just love to stay inside our cocoons and enjoy the way we are, the way we think and the way we behave. This is okay to a certain extent but getting obsessed with it may land you in a lot of turmoil. Sometimes we tend to be so tightly clutched to our prejudices, mindsets, attitude and stereotypical thinking that we hardly see the flip side of people, things and situations.

Have you come across a situation when you fought over something in a stubborn way and later you realized that you were foolish to do so and there was some alternative to it? This phenomenon is quite common. It is because we tend to tightly stick to our own thinking and understanding. We don’t look into the other alternatives. This leads to turbulent situations in our health, relationships, profession, family life, social life and so on. The moment we start looking at other possible alternatives….our world changes!

Here are some of the different ways through which you can find variations in your thinking and perceptions:

The world is a mirror

The way you look at the world, it will reflect the same thoughts and energies towards you. If you radiate happiness, you will receive happiness. Similarly, if you cry or frown at someone, you would receive the same reaction. I had read somewhere that: “A smile is a curve that straightens many problems in life”. When things, people and situations try to make you feel awful, try not to react with the same negativity. Instead, try to calm yourself down and deal with them with empathetic understanding and genuineness. People may take wrong paths but if you tread along the right route, nothing wrong can happen to you. If not today, one fine morning you will experience your own share of sunshine and happiness.

From apathy to empathy

Sometimes we do not understand the state of mind or situation of others and react in an undesired manner. When something goes wrong or someone does something wrong to you, do not indulge in “tit for tat” behavior. Before reacting or responding back try to understand the actual reason of the person’s behavior or why did an unwanted situation crop up.

Many a times what is visible to our mortal eyes is just half of what the actual scenario is. Deep down a person or situation there may be much possible raison d’être or reason that you would not be aware of otherwise. So it’s always good to nurture an empathetic understanding towards people and situations.

Do not lead a calculated life

As a therapist, I have seen many clients in pain just for a simple reason that they lead a calculated life. As in, they can’t cope with a slight change or challenge. If they go to the office by their car means they will go by a car. If the car breaks down then they will get panicky. This is just a simple example. Life is an unknown road guys. There are times when life will take unknown turns and we will not always be on the driver’s seat to control it. So what should be the solution to this?

The best possible way is to remain prepared for the best and for the worst. You need to balance between the odds and evens of life. So what if the car did not start on a Monday morning when you are already late to the office? Things will not be easy, but rather than lamenting and kicking the car’s tires you can take another mode of conveyance instead!

In short, life never leaves us hopeless. It is always full of chances and solutions. We just need the creativity and vigour to explore it and utilize it to the best of our needs.

Recognize, love and value yourself first; don’t be malleable and ductile

If yo do not know yourself, if you do not love and value yourself enough….you can be very malleable and ductile. As in, anyone can mold you in any way he or she wants. Suppose if you are a very beautiful or handsome person If you yourself do not believe in this fact…then if I will tell you that you look old, ugly and shabby, the next moment you will jump in front of the mirror and apply all techniques to look elegant and fab again!

Don’t let this happen to you. Believe in yourself, recognize your worth and love yourself first. Only when you are beautiful and peaceful inside out you can face the world and any challenge in it. Doing so will also capacitate you to stand strong in every walk of life. (Of course, there should be room for improvement too. I mean to say that value yourself but do not get obsessed by it so that you would stop respecting others.) Balance is the key.

From pressure to Passion and Perseverance

It takes efforts to transform obstacles into stepping stones and building blocks. But, if you successfully do so, then no one can stop you in achieving your goal or aspiration. No matter how frustrating or a big failure life seems to be…just go ahead and flip the graph. Rather than getting churned up by your setbacks, try to learn from the loopholes and use the learning as strong weapons to win the battle.

Each and everyone start their journey towards living a happy and fulfilling life. Only the ones who fell down, got up and kept walking could reach their desired destinations. Similarly, life will manifest itself with many challenges and thorns. In order to walk strongly on it, you need to look into alternatives and possibilities. If you will be stubborn and keep walking on that thorny road, you will only hurt yourself. So try not to be too hard on yourself and others. Just remember that “This too shall pass”. You just need to exercise your mind on different variations and solutions.

Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Exam Phobia Management Tips: For Parents and Students…

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Hello everyone, hope you have read my previous blog post on Exam Phobia. If you haven’t read it yet, I would suggest you to read that first. That post will tell you more about exam phobia and the extent of damage it can do to someone’s life. Here we will learn about some important management tips for exam phobia. These tips will help you to effectively deal with exam phobia, if you are experiencing it. Moreover, these pointers will also help you to prevent it. So, here we go…

Exam Phobia Management Tips for Parents

  1. Take it easy when it comes to communicating the aims and aspirations you have with regard to your children. If you try to be too edgy or strong with them, then they may end up being scared from failures and challenges in life. This in itself would be the first step towards exam phobia.
  2. Dominant, aggressive parenting styles do irreparable damage to a child’s or student’s life. Being a democratic parent is worthwhile both for you and your children. Being too dominant, aggressive, and punitive on your children when it comes to studies and achievements often creates or aggravates exam phobia.
  3. Never not to compare your ward with others. This is the worst mistake that often parents do. This hampers your child’s personality, thought processes, self-worth, self-esteem and confidence.
  4. Try to build a conducive environment where your child or the aspirant can study without getting disturbed.
  5. Often rewarding a successful achievement or consoling a failure helps a lot in effectively dealing with or preventing exam phobia.
  6. Try to be a role model for your children. If you yourself are struggling with your own failures, challenges and issues, you can never do justice to your children too. Life would obviously set many thorns in your path. It’s how you deal with these thorns and at the same time be a role model for your ward too.
  7. Make your child have a certain vision, ambition and mission in his/her life. The clearer he/she is about his/her future, the more he/she will be capable of making dedicated efforts to achieve such goals.
  8. Rather than making success or failure as an aim, try making healthy participation an aim for your child. This will help him/her to understand the worth of his/her studies and achieve milestones accordingly.

Exam Phobia Management Tips for Students/aspirants

  • Try to build loads of self-confidence and self-worth within yourself. Do not let others overpower you. Do not let failures pull you back or a success make you over-confident. Balancing is the key.
  • Try to maintain a good and healthy lifestyle first. If you yourself are unhealthy or if you would lead an unhealthy lifestlye this would affect your body and mind leading to different physical and psychological problems.
  • Daily exercise, a good peer group, having a definite aim in life, good dietary habits, a healthy and consistent sleep regime, abstinence from addiction, etc are some of the healthy and worthy ways to keep exam phobia at bay.
  • Most students do not read at the starting of a semester. They get serious only when the exam dates are hanging on their heads. If you are also one of them, then you need to seriously work on your studying habits.
  • Maintain a good and strategic studying habit. Read from the starting of a year or semester. Be regular in attending your classes. Apart from that make your notes with dilligence and finesse, clear doubts…these habits will not only help you prevent and manage exam phobia but will enhance your knowledge and help you pass your exams with flying colours.
  • Just rote learning or surface memorization is not enough. Try to go to the deeper concepts of the topics.
  • The more you have expertise on a topic, the more you practice it…the stronger would be its impressions in your brain (memory chunks) and will be remembered for a longer time.
  • Proper time management will help you keep decent pace in your studies, preparation, project works, practical works, and other assignments from time-to-time.
  • Exams often foster competitive spirit among students. While a healthy competition with others is appreciated. But, the actual competition should be with you and within you. How much you know, how much you should know and how can you know more….these aspects matter more than comparing and competing unnecessarily with others.

Always remember that success and failures are all a part of life. With persistent efforts you can attain your goal one day. What is important is your participation.

If you have read my previous post on the technical know-how and symptoms of exam phobia, if you or anyone related to you are struggling with exam phobia, then please don’t hesitate in contacting us. Through our online phobia therapy program we offer expert online cognitive behavior therapy interventions for exam phobia.

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” 
– Vince Lombardi

With Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Exam Phobia: Phobia of the Era

Stressed Asian Female Student

Suddenly a teacher enters and announces a surprise tests….can you imagine the reaction of the students in the class? Some will be quite okay with it, while others will be petrified of it. Gone are the days when education was not held quite important in our society. Now a generation has come where it’s hardly easy to survive without education. In order to grow up as a responsible citizen, to do something worthwhile, to attain knowledge-wisdom, to acquire the comforts and luxuries of life and to stand with one’s chin high in today’s competitive world…..education has a vital role to play. But, along with that, examinations of different types, competitions, tests, etc come as free gifts. In order to succeed we are bound to confront these.

Well, in the rat-race of securing one’s place for a meaningful survival now-a-days exam phobia has raised its ugly head. The worst victims of this kind of phobia are young children, adolescents and young adults. At first, you may laugh by listening to this term, “exam Phobia”. But, you may never know your ward or the student next door might be suffering from it. Since at different phases of life and studies students and aspirants have to face exams…therefore, the inception of this blog post!

The repercussions of exam phobia can range from simple discomfort, stress to serious irrational fear, mental health problems, self-harm and suicide. So, what is exam phobia then? In layman terms, it is high or intense irrational fear of exams. The causes of exam phobia are manifold with different variations as well. Sometimes, you may not know about these reasons yet bringing up your child under this threat. Here are some of the common risk factors and causes of exam phobia:

Parental Expectations Being a parent it’s quite obvious to have certain expectations on your children. But, the way you put your expectations in front of them will have a deep impact in their mind and behavior. Keeping forth expectations in front of children without assessing or realizing their risks can lead to phobic reactions and other mental health issues.
Faulty Parenting  Some parents are too dominant or aggressive on their children. They tend to scold or punish their children when they fail to achieve something. In even worst cases they compare their children with others. Doing this, they are not seeing the silent damage they are doing to the psyche of their ward.
Peer pressure  Pressure and challenges from the peer group is also one of the most important causes of exam phobia. In order to pay heed to be the hero of the peer group, especially if the student does not know how to handle such pressures, exam phobia can peep in.
Social demands  To fulfill the responsibilities of the society, to achieve the materialistic pursuits of life, to set an example before significant others many a times a person is bound to fall prey to such mental health issues.
Improper time management Not studying right from the start, not following a routine in study can do a disaster when exams are at the door, hence leading to exam phobia.
Lack of proper reading habits Lack of proper reading habits, reading styles, ways of learning and memorization fall under this category.
Erroneous Lifestyle Improper diet, addiction, consumption of caffeine, alcohol, drugs, etc, no exercise or adequate sleep and rest…in short an improper lifestyle can make the brain chemicals go disturbed and lead to different ailments including exam phobia.

So, those were some of the common causes of exam phobia. Now let’s see the symptoms of Exam Phobia:

  • Intense, irrational fear of exams
  • Heightened fear of failure in exams
  • Avoiding attending exams
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Physical symptoms like palpitations, frequent urination, nightmares, profuse sweating, increased/decreased blood pressure, muscle tension, sleep disturbances, changes in diet, restlessness
  • Aggression
  • Problems in memory, concentration and attention
  • Self harm
  • Addiction problems
  • Suicide, in worst cases

To everyone who is reading this post, exam phobia may seem simple to look at, but it can create havoc in a person’s life. If you want to know about how to manage exam phobia or how you can prevent / help a person with exam phobia…then check out my next blog on “Exam Phobia Management Tips: For Parents and Students”!

With Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Creating Magical Moments with the Powerful words, “Thank you!”

thanks“In this dreary world so hazy, true hearts are only a few; they brighten lives of others in every way…with the beautiful word thank you!”

Life is so beautiful and bright when it is filled with love and affection, sharing and caring, support and motivation. These aspects tend to make our lives so colorful and worth-living. They cater to an overall sense of well-being in an individual and take him to the highest planes of a happy and healthy life both physically, mentally as well as spiritually. Since time immemorial man has been striving for true happiness and contentment. Some find the solution in living a materialistic life, while rest sees the solution in shedding their lives for others. However, life has bestowed man with some marvels that he can utilize in order to make his life a celebration and to add magical moments into the lives of his fellow beings too. Out of all the marvels the best is grateful living and the power of saying “Thank you”. It not only makes us feel good but also makes others feel so special and confident. Even the fiercest enemy becomes the best friend when we utter those magical words to him. And with the flow of these wonderful words all other aspects like love and affection, sharing and caring, support and motivation fall into the perfect picture.

From cradle to grave we are taught to be grateful in different life situations. When we are a kid and someone gives us a lollipop our mother prompts us to say “Thank you”; when we enter school and a friend shares his notes with us our teacher teaches us to say “Thank you”; when we enter into college and our professor gives us highest marks in a subject, we humbly say the words, “Thank you”; when we enter into our profession the words “Thank you” tends to follow with us like our shadow. We express these words before our colleagues, manager, and leader, etc; when we enter into a family life we again teach these words to our children too. So in a nutshell, the words “Thank you” does not seem to part ways from us. We use it in each and every phase, ebb and tide of life.

However, in this rat race of telling “Thank you” to everyone who does something for us, do we really understand the true meaning and implication behind these words? Do we use it for the person who actually deserves it? Do we even know what ripples it can create in the life of the one it is meant for? Well, dear readers it is high time when we should take a flashback ride in our lives and remember the wonders of these Divine words again. In a practical side, these words simply mean a way to express our gratitude toward someone who has done something for us. But when we look into the deeper aspects of life, the words “Thank you” really means a lot. In the Devnagri Script or according to the Hindi language we say the words as “DhanyaVad”. If we split the word Dhanyavad into two halves it becomes Dhanya+Vad. It means “I express my gratefulness towards the great deed you have done”. When such vibrant words are said to a person he would feel like he’s in the top of a mountain. His sense of self-respect, respect for the person who has said, self-confidence, motivation…everything would touch the skies. Such vast is the power of saying “thank you” or expressing deep sense of gratitude to someone.

From our childhood formative years till this juncture we have told “thank you” to everyone – our family, friends, relatives, teachers, colleagues, seniors, etc. But do we remember to say these words to some other important persons without whom our lives would have been like hell? We are surrounded by people without whose presence we would have been like a straw in the storm, knowing not where to go. The maid servant who cleans our house, the little kid who washes our car, the workers who build our homes, the municipality man who cleans our roads – locality – dust bins, the plumber who mends the broken pipes of our house, the human scavengers who clean our environment, the watchman who spends sleepless nights to keep us safe…well the list would go on and on. This is high time for us to accept these wonderful persons without whom our life would have been down in the dumps. Expressing gratitude should not be restricted to a certain category of people, instead we should say “Thank you” with open arms to this marginalized group too. They not only owe our gratitude for years and years but also deserve our respect, affection and goodwill. The real meaning of “Thank you” or Dhanyavad would reflect in totality if we learn to say it before these people.

It may sound awkward to many but these amazing words would really create magical moments in your life and in the life of these people who do every important thing for us (however small / dirty it may be) but never get to listen our appreciation or words of gratitude. Uttering these incredible and influential words would not only make us healthy, happy and contended but also make them feel special and motivated too. So let us all take a pledge today to spread our love, affection, respect and gratitude to not only the ones who are related to us but to the lesser mortals who really need us and owe our gratitude. Remember from the day we are born till the time when you are all reading these lines…we all have lost precious moments of saying “Thank you” and enkindling its magic to many people who are the unseen and unsung heroes of our lives. So let us all make a strong resolution today to spread the fragrance of our love, affection, gratitude and respect with a smile on our faces and with the amazing word “Thank you”…

With Best Wishes,

Sareeta

Action against addiction: A success story…

what-is-addictionMany thoughts race in our minds when we hear the word “Addiction”. Some see it as a bad habit, while some see it as a way out of all problems. Whether it’s just addiction per say or whether it’s how one becomes addicted to something, getting rid of addiction is often seen as very difficult thing to do.

In my career as a therapist, I have often seen cases frightened of getting de-addiction problems. Do you know why? They are afraid of the withdrawal symptoms, they are afraid that after getting de-addicted they won’t be able to cope with their life’s problems. In fact, there are many people who got successfully out of their addiction issues. Other than therapy techniques, their own determination and will-power pulled them out of the dark and deadly clutches of their addiction problems. If you are someone who is struggling to get rid of your addiction problem…trust me, it’s possible. This blog post is an epitome of a successful victory in the battle against addiction. This is a true story of an addiction-survivor, the way he fought against his addiction problem and the messages he has given to us that addiction can be reigned over with persistent efforts and targeted intervention.

To maintain confidentiality and respect his dignity I have changed his name. He says:

“Hello everyone, 

I have masturbated on average everyday for the last 13+ years. I have tried to quit unsuccessfully several times. I was able to quite for 1 month on a couple of occasions but I always went back to watching porn and masturbating to cope with stress and anxiety. 

I have been molested as a child on a number of occasions, and obviously these early traumas have pained me deeply and confused me over the years in terms of how I felt about my sexuality especially that I’ve been secretive about them most of my life. 

Also, I went to a all-boy school and had a number of homosexual experiences, but I’m primarily interested in women, which lead me to think of myself as a “male lesbian” sometimes. 

My addiction to porn has worsened over the years that I had to look for novelty because I was bored from “normal” sex. So I developed foot fetish and now I’m struggled with ass fetish, so of course, I feel guilt and shame regarding craving these things and I fear this downward spiral because it can only get worse, so I need to bring more awareness to my situation to transform my suffering………

My first shock came to me when I experience erectile dysfunction that’s when I realized I had a problem. I was masturbating so much that I couldn’t have intercourse. I have had good days, but this problem is still with me to some degree. Also, I sometimes don’t feel comfortable in my body and it’s hard for me to open up sexually and be trusting……

Spirituality and a healthy lifestyle have helped me, too, but again I am still an addict. For some reason, part of me (the addict) is drawn to the dark world of prostitution and pornography because it’s kinky and it expresses my wild side, but it’s also very delusional because it’s all a fantasy. 

I also came to the realization that masturbation is a selfish act especially when overly done. Self-love can be expressed in other ways. 

I am grateful to share this with you all. And I’ve read all of your stories and I feel compassion with everyone here. 

Much love! May we all have happiness and all the causes of all happiness….”

The story of X does not end here. He gave his heart and mind to get rid of his addiction. He tried every way out of it and did not leave any therapeutic technique unattempted. As you have already read in his writing, Spirituality and a well-balanced lifestyle showed him a way out. Apart from these, following are some amazing and effective ways that helped him combat his addiction with greater efficacy:

  1. Healthy lifestyle with good food and regular exercise
  2. Spirituality, meditation
  3. A supportive community
  4. Supplements like Endorphinate, Bach flower remedy, etc
  5. 12-step Buddhist principles combined with psychotherapy
  6. Mindfulness Meditation
  7. Other meditation techniques like TM and Metta
  8. Cognitive Behavior Therapy
  9. Body-centered Psychotherapy

So folks, if you will try and analyze the steps taken by him…you would see that he has used a combination of therapies and strategies. He also had his bad days while getting rid of his addiction, but now he has successfully got rid of it.

I would like to say each one of you who is struggling with addiction…Addiction can be reigned over with a strong will-power, determination, regularity, positivity in every situation ‘n’ symptom, modern day therapy as well as alternative therapeutic measures. If you are afraid of the withdrawal symptoms or other problems that you may face, I would say that these may be your own mirage-thinking. I mean, it could be that you won’t face much trouble in your quest towards addiction.

Like this special person, I have seen many people win the battle against different forms of addiction. What is required is just taking that first strong step. Because unless and until you step out, you won’t know what the world has to offer you. If you are one among them who want to get rid of your addiction problem, then please do not waste a second – just contact us. With the help of our online addiction treatment program you can soon discover a “new you”! You can surely see a sunshine in which you get up one day and your addiction problem is all over.

With Best Wishes,

Sareeta