Friday, December 7, 2012

SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (SAD ): THE WINTER BLUES


The gloom of winter seems to get inside some people, the dark affecting their moods as well as their days. Known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), this form of depression affects about 1% to 2% of the population. Although it strikes all genders and ages, women are more likely to develop SAD than men, and young people are more likely to develop it than older people.
SAD seems to be triggered by decreased exposure to daylight. Typically, it arrives during the fall or winter months and subsides in the spring. Symptoms are similar to general depression and include lethargy, loss of interest in once-pleasurable activities, interpersonal problems, irritability, inability to concentrate, and changes in sleeping patterns, appetite, or both.
Experts don’t fully understand the cause of SAD, but leading theories place the blame on an out- of-sync body clock or on improper levels of either the hormone melatonin or the neurotransmitter serotonin.
Some crisis event which may have taken during winter may drag this mood disorder every winter. Particularly there is not so much of suicidal ideation but a feeling of underachievement may continue to ruminate along with acute fear like in panic disorder. (Klub Psychology)
The mainstay of SAD treatment is light therapy, also called phototherapy. Phototherapy involves daily sessions of sitting close to a special light source that is far more intense than normal indoor light. The recommendation is typically to get 30 minutes of exposure to light at an intensity of 10,000 lux each day, but optimum dosing remains a major question. Some people need more light exposure than this, others need less.
The light must enter through the eyes to be effective; skin exposure doesn't seem to work. Some people feel better after only one light treatment, but most people require at least a few days of treatment, and some need several weeks. You do not need a prescription to purchase a light box to treat SAD; however it’s best to work with a professional to monitor the benefits of the treatment.
Some SAD light boxes look like medical equipment, while others are more like regular table lamps. The prices vary. Although professional groups and government agencies endorse light therapy, your insurance company may balk. If you are counting on coverage, better check first.
Reviewed by: Klub Psychology

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Restless and Excitable Child


For parents, care giver and anyone who works with young people



About this factsheet
This is one in a series of factsheets for parents, teachers and young people entitled Mental Health and Growing Up. The aims of these factsheets are to provide practical, up-to-date information about mental health problems (emotional, behavioural and psychiatric disorders) that can affect children and young people. This factsheet looks at the reasons behind why some children are more restless and excitable than others, gives advice about how to deal with an overactive child, and suggests where to go to get extra help if you feel you are unable to cope on your own.
Introduction
Young children are often restless and excitable. Their noisy liveliness is usually just a part of being young. Although it may be tiring, it is usually nothing to worry about.

Sometimes youngsters may be so active and noisy that it makes life difficult for their parents and other children. A child like this may be demanding and excitable, and chatter away nineteen to the dozen. They may be noisy, may not do as they are told, and will probably find it difficult to sit still. Adults may say that he's ‘hyperactive’, but the trouble with this word is that professionals use it to describe extreme, and sometimes dangerous behaviour, such as running out into a busy road.
What makes children overactive?
There are many things that can make a child overactive. The following should give you some guidance as to the reasons for your child's behaviour. Finding the reasons may help you to come up with some solutions to deal with them.

  • Being a parent
If parents are unhappy, depressed or worried, they tend to pay less attention to their children. They may find they can't spend the time they need to help them play constructively, or they may find that when they do play with them, they spend a lot of time telling them to be quiet. Children learn from this that they have to be naughty or noisy to get any attention from their mum or dad.


  • No clear rules
It is important to have simple rules about what is allowed and what is not. If two parents are involved, they both need to agree about the rules, and be consistent and fair when they say ‘no’. This will help the child to know what is expected and to learn self-control (see our Factsheets on good parenting and on behavioural and conduct problems).

  • Child’s temperament
We are all born with different temperaments. Some children are livelier, noisier and more outgoing than others. They may prefer going out and being with other people than quietly reading a book or playing with toys by themselves. Quite often, children who are active like this are also excitable and may go over the top while playing. Although this can be a nuisance, it is nothing to worry about, but you may need some help in finding ways to help your child calm down.

  • Learning and other problems
Some children find it hard to learn things that other children find easy. They may need special help at school. They may seem quite young for their age and find it hard to concentrate on work or control their behaviour as well as other children.

Some children may be affected by attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). If this is the case, seek help.

  • Hearing problems
Glue ear (ear infections) is a common example of a hearing problem. If a child has glue ear, they will find it hard to hear what other people say, will tend to shout and may want the television turned up very loudly.

  • Food
Some children do seem to react to certain foods by becoming restless and irritable. This is not as common as some people think, but occasionally it can be a real problem.
How can I get my child to calm down?
Try to make sure you spend time with your child on their own, so that they know you are interested in them. This will give you the chance to plan and praise.
  • Plan
Spend time with your children doing something they enjoy. Get into a routine and plan what they are going to be doing for the day or the weekend. It is helpful to arrange to have friends to come and play, (encouraging their social development) and gives you a break when they are invited back! It is also helpful to engage them in regular activities such as football or trampoline sessions, cubs, brownies etc. because this gives you a chance to meet other parents who can provide an informal support network. You can also make clear times when you expect them to play quietly on their own.
  • Praise
Take every opportunity to praise your child. Be as clear as possible. It is vital that they understand exactly what they have done to please you. For example, “you've been playing so quietly on your own … what a good boy you are” or “what a good footballer you are”.
Where can I get help?
Lively, excitable behaviour is a common problem for parents. Your health visitor will be used to giving advice about this. If there seems to be a problem with your child's hearing, or if there seems to be a reaction to foods, your general practitioner should be able to help and refer to a specialist if required. If they think that there might be a learning difficulty or a hyperactivity disorder, they will refer you to a clinical psychologist, paediatrician or Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) (see our factsheet on CAMHS).

YOG, particularly ASANAS can consume more of RESTLESS ENERGY in a child, sports and exercise can be good aid to channelize this energy. Using this energy in creative fields like art and craft, music, creative writing can slow down and stabilize the pace and psyche of the restless child. Avoiding fatty and junk food is best. Chewing 2 leaves of Ocimum Sanctum (Holy Basil leaves) twice a day can have an Ayurvedic effect making the child adaptive to stress. (Klub Psychology)

Source: The Leaflet Department, The Royal College of Psychiatrists
Adjunct information by: Klub Psychology

Our motto: One step ahead; everyday.

Monday, October 15, 2012

A festive season starts today in Nepal


WISH YOU A VERY COLOURFUL DASHAIN 2069! SHUVA DASHAIN!!




May the blessings and partyings be the everyday life from now onward!




Our motto: One step ahead; everyday.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Two ear to listen and one mouth to talk!


Neuroscience explains why your voice is more persuasive than a pen or keyboard. So When It's Important: Don't Write, Talk!!


If you have something important to say to someone, you already know that you should show up in person or pick up the phone. Don't send an email or text. But do you know the science behind why? It's not that your words might get misinterpreted. Sure, that's possible, but that's not the real reason why speaking to someone is more persuasive than writing to them. And it's not that emails are seen as less formal. Although that's true too, it's not the reason why you should speak to someone.

It's all about the brain -- When you listen to someone talking your brain starts working in sync with the speaker. Here's what researcher Greg Stephens discovered: He put some participants in his research study in an fMRI machine and recorded them speaking. He also recorded their brain activity. Then he had other participants listen to the recordings while they were also in an fMRI machine, and he recorded their brains too.

Brain syncing -- What he found is that as someone is listening to someone else talk, the brain patterns of the two people mirror each other. There is a slight delay, which corresponds to the time it takes for the communication to occur. He compared this with having people listen to someone talk in a language they did not understand. In that case the brains did not sync up.  

Syncing + anticipation = understanding -- In Stephen’s study, the more the brains were synced up the more the listener understood the ideas and message from the speaker. And by watching what parts of the brain were lighting up, Stephens could see that the parts of the brain that have to do with prediction and anticipation were active. The more active they were, the more successful was the communication.
Social parts light up too -- Stephens noted that the parts of the brain that have to do with social interaction were also synced, including areas known to be involved in processing social information crucial for successful communication, including the capacity to discern the beliefs, desires, and goals of others.

There is always the release of comfort hormone Endorphin when we interact in a live manner rather than using electronic gadget like cell phone. The release of this social hormone let you feel backed up, secure, lively and accelerate communication to a further level and also relieves some physical signs. This particular idea has a great therapeutic value in treating Autism Spectrum Disorder. (Klub Psychology)

So the next time you have something important to say, say it, don't write it. Hearing someone speak is more powerful and persuasive than reading.

Uh oh, I guess that means I should have recorded this blog post! 
What do you think? Have you experienced a difference in written vs. spoken communication?
Revised by: Klub Psychology

Our motto: One step ahead; everyday.

Friday, October 12, 2012

STRESS ASSSESMENT AND PSYCHOSOCIAL SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE


KLUB PSYCHOLOGY

Please fill the form and mail us!

Socio-demographic information
gfd÷Name:.......................................................            gful/s÷Nationality:.................................
pd]/–ln·/Age–Sex:..............................................         Period of stay in Nepal:.............................
a}aflxs l:ylt÷Marital status:...............................           i) Since:.....................................................
lzIff÷Education:..................................................        ii) For/ Purpose:........................................
k]zf÷bIftf÷Occupation/Proficiency:.......................................................................................
7]ufgf÷Address: i) :yfoL÷Permanent:......................................................................................
ii) c:yfoL÷Temporary:............................................................................................
Od]n÷Email ID:....................................kmf]g÷Phone No.:..................... ldlt÷Date:................


Stress Asssesment and Psychosocial Survey Questionnaire:
A.  Stress Asssesment / tgfj ljZn]if0f
!= lat]sf !% lbgdf jf s]lx ;do cl3 b]lv 36]sf k|d'v # 36gfx? pNn]v ug'{xf];\ h;n] tkfO{sf] lbgx'Fsf] hLGbuLnfO{ Psbd} tgfjdo agfP .
      List 3 major life events that occurred within 15 days and have created an unbearable stress on your day to day living.
      i)_________________________________________________________________________________________
      ii)________________________________________________________________________________________
      iii)________________________________________________________________________________________

@=   lat]sf ^ dlxgfdf 36]sf k|d'v # 36gfx? pNn]v ug'{;\ h;n] tkfO{nfO{ Psbd} lrGtLt agfP .
      List 3 major life events which have elevated your anxiety since 6 months.
      i)_________________________________________________________________________________________
      ii)________________________________________________________________________________________
      iii)________________________________________________________________________________________
#=   s] tkfO{;Fu oL tgfj / lrGtfx?;Fu h'‰gsf nfuL s]xL cfkm\gf / To:tf t/Lsf / pkfox? 5g\ < 5g\ eg] pNn]v ug'{xf];\ .
      Do you have your own coping mechanisms and solutions towards these stressful situations and anxieties? If any, list some of them.
      i)_________________________________________________________________________________________
      ii)________________________________________________________________________________________

B.   PSYCHOSOCIAL SURVEY / dgf];fdflhs ;j]{If0f
!=   s] tkfO{nfO{ dfgl;s of zf/Ll/s :jf:Yo ;DaGwL cGt/lqmofdf efu lng] rfxgf 5 <                                                       5÷5}g
     o; cl3 klxn] o:tf sfo{qmddf efu lng' ePsf] lyof] <                                                                                    5÷5}g
     s] s:tf] ljifodf cGt/lqmof ug]{ jf hfgsf/L kfpg] tkfO{df OR5f 5 <                                                                     
      Do you want to participate in interactions about mental or medical health ?                                                           Yes/No  
       Have you ever participated in such talks before ?                                                                                                          Yes/No
      Let us know the topic you would like to interact about.                                                                                       
      __________________________________________________________________________________________
@=   dfgl;s :jf:Yo af/]df tkfO{sf] 5/l5d]s÷kl/jf/÷;fyLefO{x?nfO{ s] slt hfgsf/L 5 <                                                   
     o; cl3 slxNo} s] tkfO{n] cfkm\gf] ufpF, zx/ jf If]qsf] dgf];fdflhs l:ylt yfxf kfpg] k|of; ug'{ePsf] 5 < s;/L < slxn] <                   
      Can you share how much do you, your family, friends & neighbour know about the mental health ?
      Have you ever tried to know the psychosocial scenario of your village, town, region, etc. before? How? When?
     __________________________________________________________________________________________
#= cfkm\gf] 5/l5d]sdf dfgl;s ;d:of ePsf JolQmx? / dgf];fdflhs ?kdf lj5§sf] JolQmTjsf] af/]df tkfO{sf] s] wf/0ff 5 <                                            What is your attitude towards psychosocially abnormal & different people seen around your neighbourhood ?   
     __________________________________________________________________________________________

$=  o:tf ;d:of ePsf sf]xL 5g\ eg] M  If you know any one of them please tell us their:
      Name / gfd M_____________________________________Age / pd]/ M ___________            Sex / lnª M ________________            Adress / 7]ufgf M_______________________________________________________            Phone / kmf]g M______________    

C.  YOUR SUGGESTION / tkfO{sf ;'emfjx? M
     tkfO{nfO{ xfd|f] kl/rofTds cGt{lqmof sfo{qmd s:tf] nfUof] <===========================================================================================================================
     o;nfO{ cem k|efjsf/L agfpgsf] nflu s]xL /fo ;'emfj n]lvlbg'xf];\ .===============================================================================================================
      How do you rate our orientation and interaction progrmme?______________________________________________
      Can you helps us to make it more effective? __________________________________________________________
;"rgf s]Gb|Klub Psychology
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                                                                                                             Seto Ghoda, Sabhagriha Chowk, Pokhara, Nepalemail:klubpsychology@gmail.com
http://www.klubpsychology.blogspot.com

Our motto: One step ahead everyday.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A FULL MONTH FOR THE CELEBRATION OF MENTAL HEALTH: END THE STIGMA

Lets celebrate this month of October as a Mental Health month against Mental Health stigma.

A rally was organized in the Capital Wednesday on the occasion of the World Mental Health Day.

The rally started from Bhadrakali and reached Basantapur after going through various places including Martyr’s Gate and New Road.

This year’s World Mental Health Day is being celebrated under the slogan “Depression a World-wide Challenge” to create public awareness about ‘Depression’ and to wipe out misconceptions about the disease.

According to RSS, on the occasion, various organizations associated to mental health said that the state should move ahead by making strategic concepts based on community for the treatment of integrated mental health service.



They expressed worries over non-protection of rights including discriminatory behavior to patients suffering from mental diseases, hiding mental health problems in the society as far as possible and not getting treatment and care.

Director at the Mental Hospital, Lagankhel, Dr. Surendra Sherchan, urged the government to bring a separate law related to mental health to provide rightful health services to patients suffering from mental problems.

Around 350 million people are victims of mental problems in the world and around one million persons commit suicide every year due to the reason, it is learnt.

Around 10- 20 per cent population has been suffering from one or the othertype of mental problems in Nepal. 


Source: nepalnews.com
Our motto: One step ahead, everyday.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Freely Happy

Freely Happy
 

Bottom of Form
I wrote about happiness because I found myself debating every thought on the matter I ever encountered. The stakes of my intra-personal debates were high because we humans suffer above and beyond all other animals. All beings want to survive, utilizing various strategies. Death, disease, decay causes all species to suffer, but only human beings add misery whenever we can.
We hang onto thoughts and feelings, making them a painful, but safe harbor to which we return compulsively, regardless of changing conditions. The rain’s gone, the sun’s come out, but we keep seeing clouds. Plagued with worries and regrets, hopes and expectations, our minds are muddled. We are intelligent, but rarely clear. Riddled with anxiety, we hasten from moment to moment without noticing much at all. Life feels short as the good flies by unnoticed. The only times we look up and pause is when we see an advantage or something bad happening.
Bottom of Form
We are in this predicament even though we actually have more potential to reduce suffering than any other creature. Unlike others, we can decide not to compete and instead widen the narrow circle of kinship, pouring compassion over strangers, enemies, even other species. Instead of aiming at power, we can aim at love and “follow our bliss” (as Joseph Campbell suggested). We can climb the mountain top of awareness and direct our lives from that vantage point, instead of from desire.
I have always found that survival at the expense of others is sad and a disgrace to our creative, human potential. Each and every single one of us deserves to fulfill this potential with which we are all born. Happiness is the antidote to unnecessary suffering that we inflict by either trying to be better or preventing others from being better. Happiness is the experience of our aliveness, not just the experience of staying alive.
Because of all that and more, happiness is not and ought not to be treated like a superficial state of mind or light matter. Yet, what do we usually hear in the media? Promises. Fantasy. Single-pointed approaches, suggesting, “Just do this,” “Just think that,” or, “Just be happy.” I passionately believe that to be happy, we must work on a variety of skills, train our mind in a variety of ways, and look at life within and around us from a variety of vantage points. No single approach or aspect will do. Life is too grand to have but one good response to it. What we need is a grand, multifaceted response to the whole of life. What we need is honest happiness.
Taking into account science, direct experience, many schools of thoughts, modern and ancient, western and eastern, I think that honest happiness must entail,
• Occasional bad feelings (“Smiles come best from those who weep”--Rumi)
• Occasional bad thoughts (Don’t trust the alligator)
• Bad events (Death and taxes really do happen; Life happens…)
• The human condition of imperfection (I am, therefore I err)
• De-identification with the perfect “other” (“Be a light onto yourself”--Buddha).
Allowing the occasional “negative” to play a part in happiness helps create the necessary space for a grand response to life. Also, the very aspects of life we shun, come back to haunt us eventually. Unable to live up to our ideal self, we end up with self-punishing and self-loathing. In the long run, inflexible positive rules cause inflexible negative responses. Honest happiness cannot come about when we try to be joyous always; look at the bright side compulsively; deny pain; hope to become super-human; or feel compelled to emulate some super-human “other,” be it an idealized person or superior set of thoughts. All this is designed to avoid real life.
Seeing the dark side in us and even experiencing it occasionally is not the problem. However, seeing only the dark side and experiencing it without good reason is the problem. We must be able to see whatever is. Any rigid idea about our inner or outer reality makes us attach to negative experiences. It is difficult to open our eyes to our ever-changing reality with all its greatness, beauty, strength, and opportunities when our mind has formed fixed, particular opinions about reality. Fixations keep our eyes closed. Therefore, honest happiness rests upon mindfulness that is awareness, which is what Buddhists have known for ages.
The best thing we can do for ourselves is to slow down our mind, observe, and focus. This will sharpen our sense of existence which we need to see opportunity in difficulty, the “good” in the “bad,” the little flower on which we almost stepped, the clear sky beyond the clouds. As we so begin to live with awareness of the whole of life, fixations dissolve and give way to the fluency of life. It is this fluency of life to which we can learn to respond in flexible ways. Many skills must be learned, applied, and practiced. In my opinion, honest happiness is the result of a skillful, flexible consciousness that corresponds to the grand flow of life.
While inviting honest happiness into our lives takes devotion and time, we can immediately stop ourselves from dreaming about the one-size fits-all approach to happiness, the simple solution, or the one thing missing. Instead we can begin to pay attention to the whole of our life with the utmost kindness. We can whisper “yes” to life the way it is, until, one day, we can shout out with confidence that having a sharp sense of life is better than fantasy and better than the best of all dreams.
By: Andrea F. Polard, Psy.D.
The "How" of Honest Happiness

Our motto: One step ahead; everyday.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Art and Value of Good Listening

3 steps to becoming a good listener
A wise old owl lived in an oak,
The more he saw the less he spoke
The less he spoke the more he heard.
Why can't we all be like that wise old bird? – Unknown author
In the first few years of life, we're all taught to speak. In fact, it's an important developmental milestone, a sign that a child is developing normally. However, listening is an equally, if not more important skill that is often overlooked by parents, educators, and bosses. 
Yes, we were all taught (hopefully) to listen to our parents and to listen in school. However, few of us were taught good listening—the active, disciplined kind of listening that helps us examine and challenge the information we hear in order to improve its quality and quantity, and thereby improve our decision-making
Bottom of Form
Why is this important? According to Bernard Ferrari, author of Power Listening: Mastering the Most Critical Business Skill of All, good listening is the key to developing fresh insights and ideas that fuel success. Ferrari says that although most people focus on learning how to communicate and how to present their own views more effectively, this approach is misguided and represents missed opportunities.
So what does it take to become a good listener?
In an article for McKinsey Quarterly, Ferrari writes, "The many great listeners I’ve encountered throughout my career as a surgeon, a corporate executive, and a business consultant have exhibited three kinds of behavior .... By recognizing—and practicing—them, you can begin improving your own listening skills and even those of your organization."
The three steps are:
1. Be respectful
The best listeners recognize that they cannot succeed without seeking out information from those around them and they let those people know that they have unique input that is valuable. When you show respect for other people's ideas, they're more likely to reciprocate. They're also more likely to continue to share their ideas, which foster growth and increase the likelihood of success. 
Being a good listener also involves drawing out important information from others to help them brainstorm and uncover fresh ideas and solutions. In other words, good listeners don't jump in with answers or give lectures about what was done wrong; they actively listen and then ask respectful questions that will ultimately help uncover solutions or plans of action.
It's also important to note that asking respectful questions does not mean that the questions can't be tough or pointed questions. The key is to ask questions in a manner that will promote as opposed to hinder the free and open flow of communication and idea-generating.
2. Talk less than you listen
Ferrari says that he has developed his own variation of the 80/20 rule, which is that his conversation partner should be speaking 80 percent of the time, while he should speak only 20 percent of the time. He also tries to use his 20 percent of the time asking questions rather than trying to have his own say. Although he acknowledges that it's difficult to suppress your urge to speak more than listen, with practice and patience you can learn to control the urge and improve the quality and effectiveness of your dialogues by "weighing in at the right time."
Finally, Ferrari points out that interrupting with a question from time to time might be needed to move the conversation along or redirect it. However, his advice is to do so judiciously and respectfully so as to not inhibit productive sharing of information that will ultimately better inform your decisions.
3. Challenge assumptions
In his McKinsey Quarterly article, Ferrari writes, "Good listeners seek to understand—and challenge—the assumptions that lie below the surface of every conversation." He believes that one of the cornerstones of good listening is that in order to get what you need to know from your conversations and make good decisions, you must be willing to challenge long-held and cherished assumptions. Just because something has always been done in a certain way in the past doesn't mean there isn't an equally good or better way to do it.
Again, this change of attitude is not an easy feat to accomplish. Change is hard. There's a reason the saying, "Why fix something that isn't broken?" is so popular. In addition, doing something different adds an unknown risk to a venture. Yet, there also is risk to closing your mind to new ideas. If you always take the position that you know what's best, you will miss opportunities to discover something better. 
Ferrari concedes that just like some people are better writers than others, some people naturally are going to be better listeners than others. However, by recognizing your individual strengths and weaknesses, and by incorporating these straightforward listening strategies, he believes that everyone can become better listeners, and therefore better decision-makers.
 By: Dr. Sherrie Bourg Carter
Our motto: One step ahead, everyday.