Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Denial--A Kind Of #Self-Sabotage

It is a given:we yearn  for the old,the familiar,and the comfortable.These give us a sense of security,a conviction that no earth shaking change is looming on the horizon.We snuggle in our cocoons even when contrary vibrations erupt.But life is not static,the future does not follow our roadmap,and unpleasant changes too,arrive.When this happens,we ignore it as long as possible,not knowing that this could worsen the imminent.

Those who are physically and mentally strong will pierce the fog to perceive what is in the offing,but all are not adequately blessed with such attributes.If it is not deficit bodily strength which spews denial in some,it could be a fearful mindset or even misplaced optimism in others.This tendency to bury our heads in sand manifests itself in many spheres.

The first is:
Mental Illness
Our mental health is the worst casualty of denial.At the first inkling of anxiety,depression,O.C.D,or any other mental disorder,we tend to brush it off as a chance happening.No harm,if it really was that!But when the symptoms recur or exacerbate,ignoring them can worsen the prognosis.

Admittedly,it is extremely difficult to accept that our mental faculties are diminishing or the pressures of life are more than we can handle,but this is exactly what happens if we ignore the rumblings.If anxiety or depression continue for more than two weeks or significantly disrupt our routines,it is best to put on our shoes and consult a doctor,preferably a psychiatrist. 

Physical Diseases 
Not far behind is the impulse to ignore serious aberrations in our health. We often turn a blind eye to the emergence of a symptom which might denote a serious disease. Pain in the chest? It must be due to gas. Numbness in the hands?Naturally,because it is so cold.

We do this because knowing the symptoms of many ghastly diseases,we shudder to hear a doctor's diagnosis.But if the verdict is worrisome it is best to know it at the soonest,and if not then too,a prompt consultation will allay our fears.By delaying a doctor's consultation we lose a chance to combat a disease in the initial stage itself.

However,a word of caution is absolutely necessary at this point.It is good to be aware of marked changes in our well-being;but rushing to the doctor for minor ailments could bring in it's wake certain unsavory procedures which might in fact be,detrimental to our health;as enumerated by me in this post. 

Personality traits and Behavior
Coming to our personality traits and behavior,we are often ignorant of how our habits,attitudes,presumptions,prejudices,and mannerisms impair our goals and aspirations.Even after an indication to this effect,we shy away from admitting that our behavior has been in any way responsible for a debacle.An inability to look at the reality squarely in the face prevents us from amending our behavior and curtailing our losses.

We can do nothing to avoid the calamities which strike all of a sudden, but many unfavorable events show some signs of their coming in the nascent stage.We can take a lead on what is about to come by recognizing those intangible signals and taking suitable precautions. 

It is human nature to cringe from things unpleasant or unfavorable,but side-stepping adverse reality can harm us at many levels.A deleterious element left unattended,will later on make it's presence felt in a more concrete manner.Early awareness facilitates maximum preparedness and minimizes the damage.Fore-warned is fore-armed. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Small Mistake Can Sometimes Bounce Back Badly--All Facts No Fiction

Amit,a young boy of barely 18 yrs of age,was brought to my office by his father.A mere look at him revealed that he was severely depressed.He sat quietly with his head bowed down while his father narrated his problem.

Amits' cousin sister who had been staying with them for the last 10 months,had got married 6 weeks ago but was reluctant to go to her in-laws'house. Amit suggested that they go to their grandfathers' home which was in a nearby city.The girl agreed and they went there.

Over there,his maternal uncle ticked him off for having taken this step.Ever since then he had been like this,sitting mutely,doing nothing.His father took him to a psychiatrist.He had been taking psychiatric medicine for the last 3 weeks but he did not want to continue it since it did not agree with him.

I counselled him as per need but he was neither receptive nor responsive.I could see that he did need medicines to bring him up to near-normal levels before he could take some positive measures to help himself.

I referred him to another psychiatrist in whom I had greater faith.They did not return after that.

At first glance it seems that his impulsive decision to take his cousin to their grandfather' house was the cause of his depression,but his inability to accept genuine criticism too was responsible.He could not handle his family's censure and rebuke.Perhaps his guilt pangs too mortified him.

Life does not cosset anyone and excessive sensitivity or vulnerability is not conducive for health and happiness. 

Follow Up:--

I phoned Amit after about six months.His father came on the line.He told me that the medicine given by the second psychiatrist was on the last legs.He was better and doing good in studies too.He thanked me profusely for my help and thus I closed the case.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Negative Outlook,and How to Change It.

Contrary circumstances will evoke negativity in anyone,but it generally subsides when things get back to normal.However, a negative outlook becomes a prominent character trait in some people.They see flaws and disadvantages in everything.There are plenty of complaints and criticisms but no constructive suggestions.A proclivity to denounce and not appreciate is also seen in negative people.For them,the glass is always half empty and not half full.It becomes an instinctive reaction-coming spontaneously from their guts.

A negative mindset distorts reality and presents it as much more alarming and depressing than it really is.The result is a flush of disturbing emotions like fear,despair,anger,hatred,jealousy,anxiety and pessimism.

This kind of outlook has a deleterious effect on all aspects of life.However dissatisfied you might be with your current state of affairs-whether it be in the sphere of your job,home,marriage or the city you reside in-you hesitate to introduce changes or make a new beginning because you can only see snags in the available options.

Even when you do make a new beginning,since you do not hope that anything worthwhile will come out of it,you make half hearted efforts and thus prove yourself right.This accentuates your negativity even more.As the famous personal development guru Zig Ziglar said "positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will".

Changing from negativity to positivity can bring about a refreshing change in your life.If you  want to achieve this:

Stop complaining!

Wherever possible,focus on the humorous aspect of things which irk you.

Appreciate any service rendered to you.

Check the habit of criticizing others.

Think up their good qualities and comment on those instead.

Resist the tendency to contradict what others say.

Don't pick flaws in others' performance.

Acknowledge the good work done by them.

Recount your own talents,abilities,achievements and strengths-however dormant they might be in your mind at that point of time-whenever you take up a new task.

Spruce up your self esteem.

Build up your self confidence.

Finally,take a moment before you form your opinions,trash the thoughts which are not factually correct,bite your tongue if you are about to say,or even think something negative;and the world will soon see you in a positive avatar.You will realize that your life, the people around you and the world on the whole is not as bad as you had taken it to be. You will find greater joy and success in life.