Is Stalking Considered A Psychological Disorder? Part 2

How to Respond to a Stalker

Stalking victims often struggle to understand and report the offense. They may believe that such behavior “isn’t that big a deal” or that “it’ll stop eventually.”

If stalking occurs after a breakup, it can be difficult to determine whether the person is struggling to move on or developing threatening tendencies. Society has also tended to romanticize the idea of a dramatic, relentless pursuit of love, which may contribute to the confusion.

Stalking ultimately crosses the line when the victim feels in danger or threatened. If they feel that their life is in jeopardy, they should call 911. Otherwise, they should report it to their local police department.

How can you protect yourself from cyberstalking?

In addition to a typical safety plan, victims of cyberstalking may want to investigate technology-oriented security measures such as changing passwords and PINs, setting up a new email address, purchasing a more secure phone or computer, and turning off GPS tracking on all devices.

What is the emotional cost of cyberstalking?

Cyberstalking can be equally or more distressing than other forms of stalking, even though the perpetrator is not physically present and may even be far away. With the victim unable to see or identify the stalker, or know when they will next act of cyberstalking is highly disturbing. It can lead to anxiety, obsessive thoughts, sleep disturbances, and other symptoms of depression or trauma.

The Psychological Toll of Being Stalked

Stalkers seek to gain control over their victims. Persistent communication, tracking, and threats lead the target to feel unsettled and on edge.

Stalking can lead victims to feel nervous, stressed, and anxious They may have trouble falling or staying asleep or experience nightmares. They may lose their appetite. And they may experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress or depression.

Research suggests that many women who have been stalked experienced symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder such as hypervigilance, flashbacks, and avoidance. The unwanted behaviors most associated with those symptoms are receiving threatening calls and texts.

Victims may also take measures to protect themselves that fundamentally alter or interfere with the way they would otherwise live their lives, such as taking time away from work or school, changing jobs, or moving away.

What do I do If I am being Stalked?

In addition to reporting a stalker, victims can take the following steps:

  • Avoid the stalker as much as possible.
  • Explicitly state that communication should end; do not respond to further communication.
  • Maintain a log of the stalker’s actions, including communication, unwanted visits, and police reports filed.
  • Become educated about technology-related security measures.
  • Find a local organization for support, information, and safety planning.
What does therapy for a stalker look like?
  •  The best methods of opposition to, and treatment of, stalking will depend on the stalker’s idiosyncratic psychological profile. Erotomanic or otherwise psychotic stalkers will prove to be extraordinarily resistant to treatment.
  • A primary problem in treating stalkers is motivating them for therapy.
  • By the very nature of the problem, stalkers are unlikely to report themselves for psychiatric or psychological treatment.
  • Legal protections for stalking often become available only after the victim is already facing severe distress or violence.
  • One avenue is to develop safe spaces in settings such as college campuses for individuals to disclose when they feel uncomfortable or at risk, such as after a breakup.
  • Providing screening instruments for intimate partner violence, stalking, depression, and PTSD could help as well.
Conclusion

Stalking is behavior that is considered dangerous and threatening to the privacy of a person being stalked. It leads to mental health issues. The stalkers themselves need psychological help for the correction of their behavior. Up to 1 in 20 women will be stalked during her lifetime. The majority of victims are female, while the offenders are usually male. Stalking behaviors range from surveillance to threatening aggressive or violent acts. The majority of stalking relates to failed intimate relationships. Stalkers may also suffer from erotomania or obsessional love with a primary psychiatric diagnosis. Victims may experience anxiety, depression, guilt, helplessness, and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

References
  • https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/stalking
  • Abrams, K. M., & Robinson, G. E. (1998). Stalking. Part I: An overview of the problem. Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie43(5), 473–476. https://doi.org/10.1177/070674379804300504

Is Stalking Considered A Psychological Disorder? Part 1

Stalking is defined as repeated and persistent unwanted communication or approaches that produce fear in the victim. Stalking is a behavior, not a mental disorder. It is important to understand that stalkers struggle with mental health or personality disorders that motivate this problematic behavior.

Stalking is a behavior, not a disorder

Stalking is a behavior and not a mental disorder. Many stalkers, due to mental health problems or personality disorders, are unable and lack the ability to socialize with others. For the most part, individuals who would be labeled a stalker often suffer from a lack of social skills and find challenging in communicating with other people. In reality, most stalkers do not suffer from hallucinations or delusions, although many do suffer from other forms of mental illness including depression, substance abuse, and personality disorders.

Types of Stalkers

Men are stalkers, but women can also become stalkers as well. About 80% of women are victims of stalkers. Some common characteristics of stalkers are discussed below.  

Obsessed: This type of individual constantly thinks about the person they idolize. Stalking is about obsession. It is clear that when people fixate on and stalk another individual they are psychologically unstable. These stalkers are relatively common and tend to be casual acquaintances or isolated ‘loners’.

Rejected: These perpetrators have been in a previous relationship usually abusing and controlling in nature. Many stalkers have a history of challenging relationships and find it difficult to communicate with others. They have a feeling of rejection within them and often keep an eye on their partners.

Incompetent: These stalkers would-be suitors seeking a partner. Given their ignorance or indifference to the usual courting rituals, they use methods that are, at best, counterproductive and, at worst, terrifying. Stalking provides an approximation of finding a partner.

Intelligent: Usually stalkers are intelligent and carefully plan their stalking behavior. Someone who falls into this category could meet the criteria for sociopathy. Sociopaths are adept at planning their “attack” and controlling others with charm or acting with glib.

Motivated: Most stalkers believe that their object of desire is the only person they could ever love and tend to be motivated to pursue based on this type of thinking.

What are the signs of stalking?

Stalking behavior can include the following:

• Knowing the person’s schedule, tracking their whereabouts, or physically following them

• Repeatedly sending texts, calls, or emails

• Unexpectedly showing up at the person’s home, workplace, or school

• Delivering unwanted gifts

• Stealing the person’s possessions

• Threatening the person or their friends and family

• Other behaviors that lead to feeling unsafe, harassed or monitored

What is cyberstalking?

Cyberstalking refers to any form of stalking that relies on technology. It is a consistent pattern of behavior and the content is typically threatening, disturbing, or dangerous. Examples of cyberstalking include the following:

• Repeatedly sending unwanted messages via email or a social media platform

• Tracking someone via GPS without their consent

• Monitoring online activity without consent

• Releasing sensitive or personal information about a person online

• Impersonating the individual in chatrooms or online platforms

• Installing a camera on the person’s computer to view or record them without consent

Why do people become stalkers?

Perpetrators are often motivated to control, humiliate, frighten, manipulate, embarrass, or take revenge on the victim. Romantic motivations are also at play, such as wooing a new mate or scaring away other potential suitors.

Mental health conditions often appear in those who become stalkers—research suggests that half of one sample of stalkers had a disorder such as antisocial personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, or borderline personality disorder. Borderline is particularly prominent in women stalkers.

Why do people stalk celebrities?

A variety of factors can motivate celebrity stalkers. They may seek attention from the celebrity and become resentful when they don’t receive it. They may attempt to genuinely court the target, be a predator trying to gather information, and eventually assault the celebrity or have a delusion that they truly formed a relationship with the person.

The rise of social media and influencer culture has made it easier for people to feel attached to celebrities. Famous figures can regularly communicate directly—and intimately, seemingly—to their followers via YouTube or Instagram Live. They can respond to comments or messages. This can create the illusion of having a close, real relationship with celebrities when the reality is that the relationship is completely one-sided.

Can borderline personality disorder lead to stalking?

People with a borderline personality disorder often feel intense anxiety about being separated or abandoned from the people they care about. They may prefer not to be alone and come across as “needy” or demanding in the time, communication, and attention they seek from their spouse, family, or friends. They might go to extreme lengths, such as stalking a person by tracking their phone or following them. Indeed, research suggests that 45 percent of people who engage in stalking behavior may have a borderline personality disorder.

Can women be stalkers?

Stalking is often perceived as a crime committed only against women. Although three times more women than men are victims of stalking, women are also perpetrators of such behavior. About half of male victims of stalking report having female stalkers.

“Even though both sexes grapple with the urge to pursue, we are reluctant to take female stalking seriously,” writes Lisa Philips, the author of Unrequited: Women and Romantic Obsession. “Research shows we’d rather give female stalkers a ‘gender pass,’ perceiving what they do as less serious than if they were male.”

References
  • https://doctor.ndtv.com/emotions/is-stalking-a-mental-illness-1738062
  • https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/stalking
  • https://www.vice.com/en/article/3k94wj/psychology-of-stalking-treatment
  • Paul E. Mullen, Rachel Mackenzie, James R. P. Ogloff, Michele Pathé, Troy McEwan and Rosemary Purcell

Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online December 2006, 34 (4) 439-450;

teenage

Why Are Teenagers So Sleep-Deprived?

Normally, teenagers should have at least 9-10 hours of sleep daily, but nowadays teenagers get only 6-7 hours of sleep. Proper sleep is required every night in order to keep the mind relax and working. Sleep gives energy to the person which helps them to do all the work day long.

Almost all teenagers, as they reach puberty, become walking zombies because they are getting far too little sleep.”

—Cornell University psychologist James B. Maas, PhD, leading sleep expert

Teenage Sleep Deprivation Statistics and Mental Health

study of close to 5,000 teens found that depression and anxiety symptoms were closely linked with sleep deprivation in teens: Teenagers with depression symptoms got 3.5 hours less sleep on average than the control group. Moreover, sleep deprivation at age 15 increased the likelihood of mental health problems in the ensuing years.

“This longitudinal study confirms what we see clinically—that poor sleep during adolescence can be a ‘fork in the road,’ where a teen’s mental health can deteriorate if not treated,” said study co-author Michael Gradisar.

Recognizing Sleep Deprivation in Teens
  • Due to improper sleep of teenager, he/she feels exhausted throughout the day.
  • They don’t have the energy to do work.
  • They felt sleepy all day.
  • Their education also gets affected.
  • Irritable mood.
  • Lack of tolerance.
  • Poor decision-making.
  • Memory impairment.
  • Both health and mood are affected by irregular sleep patterns.
  • Sleeping late on weekends.
  • Anger outbursts.
Causes of teenage sleep deprivation

Some of the reasons why many teenagers regularly do not get enough sleep include:

  • Hormonal time shift: Puberty hormones shift the teenager’s body clock forward by about one or two hours, making them sleepier one to two hours later. Yet, while teenager falls asleep later, early school starts don’t allow them to sleep in. This nightly ‘sleep debt’ leads to chronic sleep deprivation
  • Using screen-based devices: Nowadays teenagers are using gadgets a lot, they are always busy using their smartphones, laptops, pads, etc. They find things interesting and spend all of their time on gadgets using those devices reduced their sleep because they find it interesting and sleep seems to be a boring thing for them.
  • Hectic after-school schedule: Homework, sports, and social commitments can cause a decrease in teenager’s sleeping time
  • Leisure activities: Entertainment such as television, the internet, and computer gaming can keep a teenager out of bed.
  • Light exposure: Light keeps the brain awake. Teenagers use mobiles, watch television, playing games on computers light of these devices prevents adequate production of melatonin, the brain chemical (neurotransmitter) responsible for sleep
  • Vicious circle: Insufficient sleep causes a teenager’s brain to become more active.
  • Sleep disorder: Sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome or sleep apnoea, can affect how much sleep a teenager gets.
Preventing sleep deprivation in teenagers – tips for parents
  • Allow your child to sleep in on the weekends.
  • Encourage your child to sleep early on Sunday night. A late night on Sunday followed by an early Monday morning will make your child drowsy for the start of the school week.
  • Decide together on appropriate time limits for any stimulating activity such as homework or screen time. Encourage restful activities during the evening, such as reading.
  • Avoid early morning appointments, classes, or training sessions for your child if possible.
  • Help your teenager to better schedule their after-school commitments to free up time for rest and sleep.
  • Assess your teenager’s weekly schedule together and see if they are overcommitted. Help them to trim activities if they are.
  • Encourage your teen to take an afternoon nap after school to help recharge their battery, if they have time.
  • Work together to adjust your teenager’s body clock.
Personal Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep
  • Sleep hygiene is a variety of practices that are necessary to have normal quality sleep and is essential to the health of not only adolescents and young adults, but individuals of all ages. The following tips have been shown to be effective at improving sleep hygiene for various ages:
  • Get up and go to bed at the same time every day
  • Go to bed only when sleepy
  • Develop sleep rituals
  • Optimize your sleep environment (Keep the room dark,
  • Minimize noises, Moderate room temperature)
  • Don’t take your worries and responsibilities to bed. If you can’t fall asleep to the point of becoming frustrated, get up and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy
  • Limit being in bed to times when you are sleeping, or sick
  • Do not watch the clock
  • Minimize napping
  • Stay away from caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol at least 4-6 hours before bed
  • Have a light snack before bed
  • Refrain from exercise at least 2 hours before bed

(Sleep HealthCenters)

Conclusion

Teen’s lack of sleep has a great impact on their daily lives. Poor sleep schedules make them irritated, they get easily unrest, felt sleepy all the time, unable to focus on their work. Chronic sleep deprivation can have dramatic effects on a teenager’s life, including affecting their mental well-being and reducing their academic performance at school. Different causes are explained why they are so sleep-deprived. And remedies are also discussed both for parents and teens as well.

References
  • https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/teenagers-and-sleep

Media Violence and Its Impact On Child’s Life

Media Violence can be defined as aggression displayed on-screen towards character/s, which has the potential to cause harm in some form. This could be either physical aggression that is commonly portrayed or relational aggression that involves harsh communication between characters. Movies and soap operas often portray violence to the extent that it has become anticipated.

We are Feeding Our Child

Everyday when an adult is watching television, it has great impact on our lives. Just imagine how much a child mind has imapct if he watches that television 2-3 hours daily. As children they don’t have knowledge about the world, they consider that what they are seeing on media is reality. They think that is real world. You might notice that after your child after seeing the cartoon full of fights and unrealistic things, he/she start taking like that character. Also fights like him, and show stunts on their younger siblings as well. Although 60% of television shows watched by children contain violence, 40% of it had high levels of violence. The child being an active participant in the video games, and the violence accounting for 94%in it, could have more impact on their behavior

Relationship between Media And Violence

Media has the potential to influence masses. When contents, such as body shaming, glorification of fair skin, slim body as a sign of beauty, treating women badly, harassing the women, treating poor badly, treating servants like slaves, treating black people as they are low humans, hype related to sexual acts and stalking, are not portrayed in a responsible manner, it can lead todangerous implications among public. Moreover, violence in the media is an area that needs a lot of attention.

Watching aggression on screen can increase the chances of aggression in real life. We may not always be aware of how this process occurs. This is due to priming, a subconscious tendency to be affected by stimuli that was watched previously. Children and adults who watch violence in media are likely to experience more aggressive thoughts and engage in more violent behavior.

Multiple studies show the tendency to be aggressive immediately after consuming a form of media with aggression. This could be while playing a sport, watching the aggressive content, or in experiments in the form of administering more severe punishments. The negative effects of media violence also include hostile attribution bias or a tendency to look at vague and ambiguous situations as hostile in nature. 

Types of Media Violence

Media violence has been classified based on its nature as

  • The reality of violence: When the fights show that is realistic, the chances for imitation increase.
  • Rewarding violence: When the hero or enemy goes unpunished for engaging in aggression, it is a kind of reinforcement for such acts.
  • Aggressive role models: An actor being the role model engages in aggression, it can lead to an increased chance of mimicry.
  • The extent of violence: High exposure to violence can lead to emotional numbing and desensitization.
  • Violent connection to character: When a child, especially, connects to the violent thoughts or behavior of a character, this increases the chances of the child copying their behavior.
  • Justification for violence: Justified violence is likely to encourage aggressive tendencies.

Effect of Media Violence on Child’s Mental Health

  • Impaired Attention of a child on different tasks.
  • Child engages in social isolation that tends to engage him/her in anti social acts.
  • Desensitization of aggression when continuous watching agression child doesn’t bothered by aggression in real life.
  • Increase frequency of nightmares
  • Perceived world as dangerous society as they think world is always engaing in some kind of violence and murders.
  • Poor social adjustment.
  • Increased suicidal behavior.
  • Unable to leave their gadgets alone, they got anxious while leaving their gadgets at home when going outside.

How to Break Cycle

  • Limit Media Time: Parents can do interventions on their own by limiting the media time of their children. Set the time, in a day where they can watch media, play video games.
  • Keep an eye on content: Parents need to check what their child are watching and playing. They need to check on the content their child is watching. There should be television on a room where you visit more often not in the room of your child. Keep laptop and other gadgets in your house where you visit more often. Also change setting of gadgets to child mode, many apps have child setting that also limit the search. Ask child to not use earbuds or haedphones to watch content.
  • Explain the Consequences: Give your child media literacy, that is very important for them to understand that all the things that he/she sees are not true, they exagerrate things and glorify the things on media. In order to get ratings from viewers media exaggerate the content. All the things they have seen on video games that are nor real, there is no such kind of violence and manipulation in real world. Although the violence exists but not to this extent what they have seen on media.
  • Teach your Child to Resolve Conflict in a healthy Way: Tell your child when yu encounter any conflict their is always a way to resolve it without violence and fights. Practice your child to resolve their conflicts with friends, family and siblings in a healthy way not by shouting, fighting etc.
  • Use Healthy Alternatives: Keep your chil busy so that they can’t engage in playing video games, and watching media, instead engage them in some kind of indoor activities like arts and craft, board games, magic tricks, origamis. Outdoors activities like play catch, pickup a paddle, swing a racquet, plant a garden, playing cricket and football and so many other indoor and outdoor activities which your child can engage in.
  • Reject Peer Pressure: If your child think he will be left alone in friend who don’t play video games together with friends that ask child to play those games that he can involve their friends in it, that doesn’t involve screen time.

Conclusion

As the article highlights the impact of media on child behavior, with increase exposure to media and video games children engages in acts of violence and fights. Every other house their is a child whose is addicted to video games and media that has great impact on child’s mental health. Parents can use precautionary measures to prevent harmful effects of media. The amount of time children watch TV, regardless of content, should be moderated because it decreases time spent on more beneficial activities such as reading, playing with friends, and developing hobbies. If parents have serious difficulties setting limits, or have ongoing concerns about their child’s behavior, they should contact a child and adolescent psychiatrist or a mental health provider for consultation and assistance.

References

  • Media Violence Effects on Children, Adolescents and Young Adults -(https://www.chausa.org/publications/health-progress/article/july-august-2016/media-violence-effects-on-children-adolescents-and-young-adults)
  • The Impact of Electronic Media Violence: Scientific Theory and Research -(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2704015/#:~:text=Most%20researchers%20define%20media%20violence,human%2Dlike%20character%20against%20another.)
  • The Relationship Between Media Violence and Aggressive Thoughts -(https://sites.psu.edu/aspsy/2018/03/18/the-relationship-between-media-violence-and-aggressive-thoughts/)
  • Six Kinds of Screen Violence – And How Children Respond -(https://www.medialit.org/reading-room/six-kinds-screen-violence-and-how-children-respond)
  • Media and mental health -(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6198586/)

Simple Ways For Stress Relief

Stress is a reaction of the body when we feel threatened, or are under pressure. Stress usually occurs when the situation is out of our hands. E.g When there is a deadline in your office and you think it was very difficult for you to meet the demands of your client that’s when you have stress about your deadline.

When there is an assignment in your university or college but you can’t find specific data related to your topic that’s when you feel stressed.

Types Of Stress

  • Not all the stress we face is threatening some stress is positive stress that helps us in our growth. These are called Eustress.
  • Another type of stress is when the situation is not in our control, we feel threatened and the body’s response to that situation is stress. This is called Distress E.g lots of responsibilities if your family is going through a difficult time, such as bereavement or financial problems, during natural disasters or events like the coronavirus pandemic.

Stress can lead to Mental Health Problems

Stress can cause mental health problems. And it can make existing problems worse. For example, if you experience lots of stress, this might lead you to develop a mental health problem like anxiety or depression. Or a traumatic period of stress might lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Stress Management Plan Using 4 A’s

Avoid

Believe it or not, you can simply avoid a lot of stress. Plan ahead, rearrange your surroundings, and reap the benefits of a lighter load.

  • Take control of your surroundings. The traffic is really bad.Why not you leave early for work,or take less traveled route. If you hate waiting in line at the cafeteria? Pack your lunch and eat at your desk or in a break room.
  • Avoid people who bother you. If you have a co-worker who causes your jaw to tense, put physical distance between the two of you. Sit far away at meetings or walk around his or her cubicle, even if it requires some extra steps.
  • Learn to say no. You have a lot of responsibilities and demands on your time. At a certain point, you cross the line between being charitable and being foolish. Turn down the neighborhood sports league. Those around you will appreciate more time with a relax you. And you’ll have time to enjoy them, too.
  • Ditch part of your list. Label your to-do list with A’s, B’s, and C’s, according to importance. On hectic days, remove the C’s from your list.

However, some problems can’t be avoided. For those situations, try another technique.

Alter

One of the most helpful things you can do during times of stress is to take inventory, then attempt to change your situation for the better.

  • Respectfully ask others to change their behavior. And be willing to do the same. Small problems often create larger ones if they aren’t resolved. If you’re tired of being the target of a friend’s jokes at parties, ask him or her to leave you out of his/her comedy routine. In return, be willing to enjoy his or her other jokes and thank him or her for humoring you.
  • Communicate your feelings openly. Remember to use “I” statements, as in, “I feel frustrated by shorter deadlines and a heavier workload. Is there something we can do to balance things out?”
  • Manage your time better. Lump together similar tasks — group your phone calls, car errands, and computer-related tasks. The reward for increased efficiency will be extra time.
  • State limits in advance. Instead of worry over a colleague’s nonstop chatter, politely start the conversation with, “I’ve got only five minutes to cover this.”

Accept

Sometimes we may have no choice but to accept things the way they are. For those times try to:

  • Talk with someone. You may not be able to change a frustrating situation, but that doesn’t mean your feelings aren’t legitimate. Phone or schedule a coffee break with an understanding friend. You may feel better after talking it out.
  • Forgive. It takes energy to be angry. Forgiving may take practice, but by doing so you will free yourself from burning more negative energy.
  • Practice positive self-talk. It’s easy to lose objectivity when you’re stressed. One negative thought can lead to another, and soon you’ve created a mental avalanche. Be positive. Instead of thinking, “I am horrible with money, and I will never be able to control my finances,” try this: “I made a mistake with my money, but I’m resilient. I’ll get through it.”
  • Learn from your mistakes. There is value in recognizing a “teachable moment.” You can’t change the fact that procrastination hurt your performance, but you can make sure you set aside more time in the future.

Adapt

Thinking you can’t cope is one of the greatest stressors. That’s why adapting — which often involves changing your standards or expectations — can be most helpful in dealing with stress.

  • Adjust your standards. Do you need to clean your house and dust twice a week? Redefine success and stop striving for perfection, and you may operate with a little less guilt and frustration.
  • Practice thought-stopping. Stop gloomy thoughts immediately. Refuse to replay a stressful situation as negative, and it may cease to be negative.
  • Reframe the issue. Try looking at your situation from a new viewpoint. Instead of feeling frustrated that you’re home with a sick child, look at it as an opportunity to bond, relax and finish a load of laundry.
  • Adopt a mantra. Create a saying such as, “I can handle this,” and mentally repeat it in tough situations.
  • Create an assets column. Imagine all of the things that bring you joy in life, such as vacations, children, and pets. Then call on that list when you’re stressed. It will put things into perspective and serve as a reminder of life’s joys.
  • Look at the big picture. Ask yourself, “Will this matter in a year or in five years?” The answer is often no. Realizing this makes a stressful situation seem less overwhelming.

Conclusion

We are very busy with different things because we want to achieve everything in our lives. We are in a race with each other to achieve more, which is a good thing but if you think that things are going out of your control then why not seek help from those who can help you to relieve the stress that you face in your life?

Here is a link to Perceived Stress Scale so you can check your stress level with the help of this scale. It helps you to measure your stress level, and according to the stress level, you can use those 4 A’s as stress management.

References

Habits

How Habits Can Be Changed?

Habits are hard to kill. It became a part of your life, especially your personality. You think you can’t live without it and you repeatedly perform those because they are time savers of the brain.

“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”Warren Edward Buffet

You unconsciously did the particular thing without even noticing, you might not able to notice all of your habits for example, when you opened your eyes in the morning first thing you do is check your mobile, and you see if there is any notification you’ll receive on your cell. It is your habit. You came into the kitchen and check the fridge in order to have something to eat even after having dinner that’s my friend you do it because it is your habit.

To Change Your Life Change Your Habits

Some habits are healthy ones, we like to stick to them for example yoga, exercise, walking, always eating breakfast, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, waking up early in the morning, etc. These are healthy ones but there are which are not healthy and you want to get rid of the particular habit.

Habit Loop

What you have to do is change the habit loop if you really want to change it. There are three things in the habit loop:

  • Cue
  • Routine
  • Reward

A cue is basically a trigger for your brain as I already mentioned that you woke up and check your cell that is the cue.

Routine is you are compelled to perform that particular task, it’s like you are compelled to check your cell because this is what you do every single day.

Reward you gain benefit from the behavior you actually do.

You need to understand how the habit operates by diagnosing its cue, routine, and reward. This will help you to gain power over it and begin making changes you seek to make.

  • What is the Habit? _________________________
  • What is the Cue? __________________________
  • What is the Routine? _______________________
  • What is the Reward? _______________________

Things you actually do to get rid of bad habits are as follows:

  • Make a list of habits you want to get rid of. It can be any kind of habit either smoking cigarettes, biting fingernails, drinking tea, hair picking, etc.
  • Identify the cause. In order to change the habit you need to identify why you actually do that. If you are using way too much social media may be because you felt bored. To identify the cause behind it.
  • Remove the cause. If possible once you know about the cause then you will be able to remove it in order to change your habit.
  • Replace the habit. Research in 2011 suggests that replacing a habit with an alternate behavior is a good way to change or break a habit. Instead of reaching for a cigarette when you’re stressed, try stress management techniques — such as taking a walk or meditation — to find relief. When anxiety has you chewing on your nails again, some deep breathing exercises might help ease your feelings.
  • Start with small changes. You don’t need to change all of your bad habits at once try with the little ones and try one by one and stick to changing only one bad habit at a time.
  • Allow slip us. You are a human being with feelings and emotions. Every human is allowed to make mistakes, maybe there is a time come when you fall back, but that’s okay. You don’t need to beat yourself up but try not to repeat that.
  • Give Rewards. If you are trying to change your habit and you make progress even if it’s a little one but it is still progress, reward yourself. It helps you motivate and encourages you for the effort that you made.

References

Duhigg, C. (2014). The Power of habit: Why we do what we do in life and business. New York: Random House. Habit Formation Basics. (2015). Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/habit-formation

Adriaanse MA, et al. (2011). Breaking habits with implementation intentions: A test of underlying processes.
journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167211399102

How to break bad habits and change behaviors. (2018).
heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/mental-health-and-wellbeing/how-to-break-bad-habits-and-change-behaviors

mental health

Ask, Listen, And Respond To Mental Illness

We are living in a world where everything and everyone is so busy in his/her life that we don’t have time for others, neither we have time for ourselves. We ignore the most important thing in our life which is our mental health. Some of you may think that what is mental health. Mental health includes a person’s physiological and emotional well-being.

According to a report by the World Health Organization in 2019 More than 20 million Pakistanis (10% of the country’s population) suffer from some form of mental health condition. In 2019, 1 in every 8 people, or 970 million people around the world were living with a mental disorder, with anxiety and depressive disorders are the most common ones.

Causes of Increase in Mental Illness

In Pakistan we choose not to give importance to our mental health, which leads to mental health problems, there are several reasons for that:

  • Mental Health Literacy: is defined as knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders which aid their recognition, management, or prevention. The area of mental health literacy in Pakistan has been comparatively neglected. People living in this region have a low level of information about mental health, there are people in the country who have no idea what is mental health, and why it is important to get therapy if anyone is suffering from any kind of mental Illness.
  • Prejudice: If people seek help from the concerned profession, they have to bear the stigma prevailing among the people of Pakistan. Negative attitudes held by the general public toward people with mental illness more than physical health, are based on a lack of awareness and may largely be shaped by the media
  • Black Magic and Possession by demons: People in Pakistan think if someone is suffering any kind of mental illness they are possessed by some kind of jinn. Although these things exist many people are suffering from mental illness as well not all are possessed by black magic
  • Evil Eye: People think that illness is because of the evil eye. Although the evil eye exists, I am not denying it but again, it’s not necessary if someone got ill it’s because of the evil eye.
  • Poverty: Because of unemployment which leads to poverty in the country, people are more concerned about financial issues rather they focus on mental health issues
  • A low number of government Institutes According to the latest report, over 15 million people in Pakistan are suffering from some form of mental illness. But for a population of 220 million, only 400 trained psychiatrists exist with few state-run psychiatric hospitals and a small number of psychiatric units in teaching and general hospitals.
  • Short Coming of Character: In a traditionalist society, there is frequently a social disgrace together with abnormal behaviors as mental health problems which are generally described as a “shortcoming of character.”
  • Expensive Fees: Due to less amount of government psychiatry departments. People have to go to private hospitals which have very expensive fees that they can’t afford.

Ask, Listen, And Respond

There are things that are useful in helping people who suffer from any kind of mental health problem.

  • Just ask them how they have been. How was their day, week, or month?
  • Give them your time, Remember time is money.
  • Assure them you won’t tell other people about your suffering
  • Encourage them to seek help from mental health professionals.
  • Listen to them, maybe they just want someone to listen to them so they can do their catharsis.
  • Don’t judge them. We all are human beings and we all have ups and downs in our life.

Conclusion

In Pakistan, seeking help regarding your mental health is very difficult for people, people usually don’t want to talk about their mental health problems because we are the people who make things difficult for them by judging them, and by attaching a stigma to them. By making fun of them. By not accepting that someone need therapy for his/her problems, We make the lives of people difficult by labeling them as ‘Pagal’ or are possessed by a jinn or evil eye. But now we need to change our attitude towards people who need mental assistance from professionals.

References

  • WHO-AIMS report on mental health system in Pakistan. Geneva: World Health Organization. [Jan;2019 ]; World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/mental_health/pakistan_who_aims_report.pdfWHO. 2009 1:6.
  • Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation. Global Health Data Exchange (GHDx), (https://vizhub.healthdata.org/gbd-results/, accessed 14 May 2022).
  • Rhydderch D, Krooupa A-M, Shefer G, Goulden R, Williams P, Thornicroft A, et al. Changes in newspaper coverage of mental illness from 2008 to 2014 in England. Acta Psychiatr Scand 2016; 134(S446): 45–52.
  • Begum, Rubina & Choudhry, Fahad & Khan, Tahir & Safina, Faizah & Al-Worafi, Yaser & Munawar, Khadeeja. (2019). Mental health literacy in Pakistan: a narrative review. Mental Health Review Journal. ahead-of-print. 10.1108/MHRJ-08-2019-0026.
  • Bashir A: The state of mental health care in Pakistan. Lancet Psychiatry 2018; 5: 471
  • Javed A, Khan MN, Nasar A, Rasheed A. Mental healthcare in Pakistan. Taiwan J Psychiatry [serial online] 2020 [cited 2022 Sep 10];34:6-14. Available from: http://www.e-tjp.org/text.asp?2020/34/1/6/281107
Climate change

Climate Change and Its Effects on Mental Health

Climate change has an impact on the whole world but Pakistan is among the countries that are highly affected by climate change. Pakistan has a great impact on its weather such as extreme weather events, lack of water, flooding, melting of glaciers in northern areas, increased coastal erosion, and reduced agricultural productivity. These are the biggest threats for Pakistan and all over the world regarding the sustainability of life on Earth.

Flooding in Pakistan has an impact on people in millions. People became homeless overnight. They leave their houses because of flood warnings. They are suffering from both physical and mental health problems. People who are affected by floods they have lack basic needs, and they are striving hard to survive this crisis. Their family members died in front of them but they can’t help them. Their children have nothing to eat.

Who are At Risk

Children

Children especially those under 8 years old had more impact of the flood on their minds than older adults. as children are unable to understand that because of a flood they have lost everything, and their life wouldn’t be normal. They miss their schools, toys, and other things they had before the flood. They are at risk of mental health issues because they can’t understand why they haven’t had certain things, or why they can’t meet their friends. All these things affect children’s physical health as well which has a direct impact n their mental health.

First Responders

These are people who help them like workers, doctors, and soldiers they help them in difficult times and gave support to affected people who are on the verge of having PTSD, depression, and other substance use disorders.

Prior Traumatic Survivors

Those who have already experienced trauma in their lives are at risk of having another trauma attack or their condition may become worsen because having another traumatic experience may be more dangerous for them than the previous one.

Mental and Emotional Phases of a Disaster

Pre-Disaster

The Pre-disaster phase can be as short as minutes but if there is no warning of disaster it can last for months. Feelings of fear and uncertainty define the pre-disaster phase, and people in this phase may feel a sense of vulnerability and lack of control to protect themselves and their families.

Impact

The impact phase is typically the shortest of the six disaster phases. People in this phase can experience a range of intense emotions corresponding to the type of disaster, including shock, panic, confusion, and disbelief. After the initial shock, individuals may feel a strong sense of self-preservation or family protection.

Heroic

 The heroic phase occurs after a disaster strikes and is often associated with altruism. Community members may engage in rescue activities driven by adrenaline, though their risk assessment may be impaired in this phase. The heroic phase often passes quickly.

Honeymoon

Emotions climb to a high in the honeymoon phase, which usually lasts for a few weeks after a disaster. This phase is characterized by community bonding and optimism and provides an opportunity for assistance to affected groups.

Disillusionment

The disillusionment phase can last for months or years after a disaster, and it can be extended by triggering events such as the anniversary of a disaster. There may be an increased need for relief services, but those affected by disasters realize the limits of relief available during the disillusionment phase. This phase is characterized by negative mental health outcomes, including feeling discouraged, stress, exhaustion, substance use, and feelings of abandonment.

Reconstruction

Reconstruction typically begins a year after a disaster occurs and may last for years. This phase is associated with a sense of recovery as stakeholders take responsibility for rebuilding their lives, adjust to a “new normal” and continue to grieve.

What strategies help mental health recovery after natural disasters?

The American Psychological Association offers the following tips for adults recovering emotionally from disasters:

  • Take time to adjust to difficult circumstances.
  • Ask for support from friends and family.
  • Express your feelings through talking, writing, or creative activities.
  • Join a support group.
  • Engage in healthy behaviors, including getting adequate sleep, eating well, and drug use.
  • Reestablish routines and build positive activities.
  • Avoid making major life decisions.

How can parents and caregivers support children’s mental health after disasters?

The National Institute of Mental Health offers the following tips for parents to support children’s mental health after disasters:

  • Teach children how to cope with distress in everyday life.
  • Allow children to be sad and cry.
  • Encourage children to communicate their feelings through talking, writing, or drawing.
  • Limit children’s access to news coverage of the disaster event.
  • Keep usual routines as much as possible.
  • Help children cultivate independence and agency.
  • Reduce stressors including changes in living situations, pressure to perform well in school, periods away from family and friends, and fighting within the family.
  • Contact health providers if children are unable to perform normal routines after a month or if they develop new behavioral or emotional problems.

How can community members offer emotional and mental health support after disasters?

The National Institute of Mental Health offers several suggestions for community members to help those in need after a disaster, including:

  • Help people connect with family and friends and find food, shelter, access to medical care, and information about recovery.
  • Offer buildings as gathering centers for support groups.
  • Help families find mental health professionals to counsel children.
  • Hold meetings for parents to discuss strategies for helping their children cope.
  • Be sensitive to diverse cultural responses to stress and trauma.

Conclusion

Pakistan is facing the worst climate change and millions of people in Pakistan are suffering from floods. We need to take precautionary measures to protect ourselves from devastating floods in future otherwise the damage will be much more than today.

References

  • https://www.publichealthdegrees.org/resources/mental-health-natural-disasters/
Procrastination

Procrastination (Should I Read this Now or Maybe Later)

Procrastination starts in my title when you know that blog is out you think that should read this right now or maybe tomorrow, when tomorrow comes it will become the day after tomorrow, and so on…

It is avoidance of a task that needs to be done no matter how much you avoid it but in the end, you will to complete that task. You are engaging yourself in things which you like and ignore those that are not important that cause delaying of your urgent work. For example, you have a presentation to make and you are busy doing some lame chores of yours.

Joseph Ferrari

According to Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago and author of “Still Procrastinating: The No Regret Guide to Getting It Done,” around 20% of U.S. adults are chronic procrastinators.

“To tell the chronic procrastinator to just do it would be like saying to a clinically depressed person, cheer up.”

Types Of Procrastination

  • Passive Procrastinators: Delay the task because they have trouble making decisions and acting on them
  • Active Procrastinators: Delay the task purposefully because working under pressure allows them to “feel challenged and motivated”

Causes of Procrastination

  • Rewards that are far from the future.
  • Indecisiveness. One procrastinates because he/she is unable to make decisions in time. The more options you have the harder the decision to make.
  • Feeling of being overwhelmed. One may feel overwhelmed because of all the work he had.
  • You may procrastinate because you feel anxious about the particular task that need to be done.
  • If you are perfectionist you unable unable to start their work until they’ll 100% sure about what they actually want otherwise you’ll procrastinate.
  • You procrastinate because you are afraid of failure in the task, fear of failure and perfectionism has a strong link between them.
  • You will procrastinate when you find tasks uninterested.
  • You will procrastinate when you get distracted very easily during their tasks.
  • If you don’t have strict deadlines they are likely to procrastinate.
ProcrastinationLazziness
1. Procrastination is when you choose to do other task instead of task you should be really doing.1. Lazziness is when you are unwilling to do work.
2. In Procrastination you choose to ignore the important task.2. In Lazziness you show apathy and inactivity to do work.
3. Procrastination is you are delaying that task.3. Lazziness is straight that you don’t want to do any task.

Ways To Prevent Procrastination

Get Organize

You need to arrange the things, and it’s affairs according to specific schedules. You need to manage the time according to the timetable so you’ll less likely to procrastinate.

Nature Of Procrastination

You need to know the nature of procrastinating, why you are actually doing that, and figure out the nature what is the exact problem. You can identify this by realizing when you procrastinate, what is the time, what is the situation, when you did that, and most importantly why you did that.

Get Rid Of Distraction

Nowadays we are living in an era of social media so people got distracted very easily just by getting a notification you want to check their mobile what they got. There are a few things to do in order to limit distraction.

  • The set time limit for apps
  • Put your cell out of your sight while you were working on a project.
  • Focus on the small parts don’t focus on the larger part people get distracted by this.
  • Control your inner distractions as well these are something that remains with people the whole time, so have a proper timetable, should have a proper place, a table, etc.

Time To Yourself

When you have a lot of workloads and chores to do, so you can’t complete the work without break. Neither do the work continuously because that caused mental fatigue as well and you will definitely procrastinate? So spend some time alone with yourself that’s good for your mental health as well.

Use Incentives

In order to keep yourselves motivate you need to use reinforcements for yourselves for example if I complete an assignment on time then I’ll watch my favorite show on Netflix or I’ll eat ice cream of my favorite flavor.

Hard Stuff Done First

The most difficult thing needs to be done first because when you start your work you have energy and you are usually willing to solve the difficult tasks at first so the worrisome stuff will be off from the table and the easy stuff left on a plate.

References

Emotional Intelligence

What Does It Mean To Be Emotionally Healthy?

A person who is considered emotionally intelligent is one who has an ability to synchronize his emotions, who is the one that can able to manage them effectively regardless of any situation…..

You might hear intelligence, we all know what is intelligence, but the question here is do you know about emotional intelligence at all? here is the answer….

When it comes to success or one wants to get achievement in any particular thing. People always give importance to the Intelligent Quotient. We think that the rate of success depends on a person’s Intelligence, the higher the IQ the more successful one can become. But you seriously need to stop fantasizing about these things and let’s talk about your emotions.

“Our emotions have a mind of their own, one which can hold views quite independently of our rational mind.”

Daniel Goleman (1995, p. 20)

No Separation of Mind and Emotion

I realized that there are many people who have above-average IQ but they are at a very low level of EQ. They don’t know how to simply regulate their emotions. For any kind of success just like IQ is important EQ is important too. Many people think that we are only allowed to talk about emotions is happiness. If you’re one of those people then you seriously need to check your emotional quotient because there are several other emotions you need to talk about as well.

Emotional Intelligence and Gender

Daniel Goleman wrote a book on emotional intelligence he describes both qualities of men and women who are high in emotional intelligence

Men who are high in emotional intelligence are confident, outgoing, and cheerful, they are not prone to fearfulness. They have a notable capacity for commitment to people, take responsibility for their actions, they are sympathetic and caring in their relationships. Their emotional life is rich but appropriate; they are comfortable with themselves, others, and the social environment they live in.

Emotionally intelligent women, by contrast, tend to be assertive and express their feelings directly, and feel positive about themselves; life holds meaning for them. Like the men, they are outgoing and sociable, and express their feelings appropriately (rather than, say, in outbursts they later regret); they adapt well to stress. Their confidence lets them easily reach out to new people; they are comfortable enough with themselves to be playful, spontaneous, and open to sensual experiences.

According to Daniel Goleman, there are five key elements of emotional intelligence. There are five ways that help you to increase your emotional intelligence.

Self Awareness

It is basically when you are aware of yourself. You know about your emotions. What are your feelings in a particular situation? What are your thoughts about it? How you react to certain circumstances. Your behavior is according to your values regardless of the situation.

Managing Emotions

When you have the ability, you can understand your feelings and your behavior and you can manage things surrounding you, regardless of what’s going on. You can’t pour out your extreme emotions on others. For example, if you are frustrated and you start to shout at others that is not self-regulation. You have control over your emotions.

Motivating Oneself

You have an ability to inspire yourself, you encourage yourself to achieve goals that you set for yourself. You are so focused on building yourself that it gives you the inner strength to achieve them regardless of any hurdles that come your way.

Empathy

You have an ability to understand what other is going through. You can feel their pain and understand their problems. You put yourself in others’ shoes. Simply you are able to understand what the other person is suffering from.

Social Skills

When you know how to behave in front of people, and how to communicate with them by listening to them actively. You have an ability to interact with people effectively. You have respect for others. Disagreement arises in any situation but how you handle those things defines your social skills.

After reading the above five elements ask yourself how much of these elements are present in you. I can solve your problem by providing you with an emotional intelligence questionnaire. Fill out that questionnaire at the end of this article and tell me in the comment section how emotionally healthy you are. Also which area needs attention?

8 ways to improve your emotional intelligence

  • Keep a journal, record your observations and responses and get to know yourself.
  • Ask for feedback from others “Am I aware of what’s happening around me? Do I appear motivated? Am I empathic? What are my social skills like?
  • Take responsibility for things and stop blaming everyone around you.
  • Take things slowly and don’t react to everything, take a minute to think and breathe about things.
  • Practice seeing the good in things.
  • Put yourself in other people’s shoes.
  • Watch body language, and ask yourself “What does that posture mean?
  • Practice responding to emotions, whether you’re reading a book or watching the TV, take a second and think about how you would comfort, or support a person in need.

What is Emotional Intelligence from The School of Life

Leadership Toolkit For Emotional Intelligence

The Leadership Toolkit is a specialized handbook designed for professionals working in leading positions. There are 50 questions in the assessment that are answered on a 5-point scale, and the scores evaluate E.I. on the five dimensions – self-awareness, emotional regulation, self-motivation, empathy, and social skills.

References

  1. Goleman, D. (2008). Working with emotional intelligence. Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group.
  2. Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ. New York, NY: Bantam Books.
  3. Channell. M. (2021, October 13). Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence In Leadership: How To Improve Motivation In Your Team. https://www.tsw.co.uk/authors/matthew-channell-profile/