Recent events have brought mental health to the limelight. Finally, people are giving it the attention it deserves. We here at Mindbrews care a great deal about your well-being. So, we accepted all your questions about mental health and got them answered from experts. Here are the answers –
Q1. Which are the mental health issues bothering most of today’s youth?
A1. Social Media addiction, Drug/Alcohol addiction, Stress, Anxiety, Bad sleep cycle and most importantly boredom.
Q2. Can these mental health problems be cured at home? If yes, how?
A2. The curability of the aforementioned mental health problems depends upon multiple factors such as degree of advancement, age group, gender, etc. However, if the case is not severe, it may be treated with ease. Yoga and meditation have proved very helpful.
Q3. What is the correct way of meditating?
A3. Meditation must be accompanied with proper breathing exercises. A lot of people are under a misconception that meditation is a state of complete thoughtlessness. At initial stages you must let your thoughts flow. You must reflect on those thoughts and acknowledge their presence instead of trying to obstruct them. The state of complete thoughtlessness comes with practice.
Q4. How will I know if I’m depressed? Are there any specific symptoms?
A4. The signs of depression are category specific. Also, they depend on the point of reference. You must leave such decisions to the experts. Approach a psychologist or a therapist if you feel something is troubling you mentally.
Q5. Should I talk to a friend if I feel depressed?
A5. Yes. But make sure that you choose the friend wisely. Ask them for an honest opinion. Do not hesitate to follow your guts. The body has its own intelligence.
Q6. What special care should I take if my friend is depressed?
A6. Your task is quite critical. Make sure you do not impose your judgments on the listener. Even a small mistake you make might trigger your friend. Try to seek professional help.
Q7. How to handle inferiority complex induced due to social media?
A7. Social media is just for social reach out and not for creating a social image. Try to understand the difference between social image and the virtual identity both seem essential in today’s world but acceptance is the key. Try to know yourself and take control over your life. Presence of someone else’s happiness doesn’t mean you’re not happy. Learn to appreciate your uniqueness and individuality. Still, if you feel competitive, make sure that it’s healthy.
Q8. How to use social media properly?
A8. As mentioned above, try to build positive competitiveness. If you fail to do so, you might even start becoming passive aggressive. Try to really mean what you say. Don’t pressurize yourself and don’t let opinions get under your skin. It’s important to realize that success takes time.
Q9. How to handle anger due to a traumatic incident in childhood?
A9. Suppression of thoughts may have adverse consequences. The right way of handling trauma is by acknowledging its presence and trying to heal out of it one step at a time. Try to have control over yourself or else your reaction to trivial things may get out of proportion and you might end up hurting your dear ones. Rather than handling, the goal here would be to reduce the amount of rage and shame. There are many well developed therapies that have been helping people from all walks of life in such a situation. Try not to hesitate. Because, the earlier you start working, better are the chances to shift your focus from your trauma.
Q10. How does what we watch affect our minds?
A10. Whatever you watch on screen is food for your thought. So, you must choose wisely. Most of the series are designed to touch you till the deepest level through visual and sound effects. You’ll often find yourself behaving like the protagonist or your favorite character from the last series that charmed you. However, these effects are mostly temporary. You must keep reminding yourself that reel and real are different.
Q11. I don’t feel like I’m important to my friends. I always end up trying to please them. What should I do?
A11. Try to gain clarity of who you are to them and why are you friends with them. Remember that your worthiness is not a subject to other’s decisions. Try to understand the locus of control. Speak to them about the way you feel.
Q12. Even if everything around a person is perfect, beautiful and just the way that person desires, is the brain capable of putting a person in a place where he or she even thinks of taking their own life? If yes, Why? Is it something biological?
A12. Yes. Make sure that your definition of perfection is not based on someone else’s narrative. If you feel that you don’t deserve what you’ve got in life, try seeking help. Otherwise if your suicidal tendencies are completely impulsive, it might be something biological. Consult a therapist.
Q13. How to improve or say maintain your mental health?
A13. Spend quality time with yourself or with the ones you love. Acknowledge your thoughts and subject them to introspection. Latch on to good thoughts and memories. Find a hobby. Being physically active helps as well.
Q14. What is the solution for overthinking?
A14. Long story short – you can’t. I know this not something you want to hear but, you can’t control what pops up in your head. If you are trying to block a particular thought, you’re basically trying to achieve the unachievable. When you try to stop thinking, you unintentionally end up strengthening the focus over the thought. You only have control over the actions you take thereafter. You need to stop looking for the meanings of your thoughts. Just ignore them and let them automatically disappear. Do not try to refrain or replace them. It’s an art you’ll have to learn with time. Imagine your thoughts as trains. You can either board them or let them go. Even if you get on board, you can easily get off whenever you want. You’re the one who decides.
Q15. Many a times a person seeks attention from everywhere they can. But it’s not a good sign for them. What should they do?
A15. Your brain has probably been programmed to seek attention. But whatever has been programmed can easily be un-programmed depending on the way it was programmed at the first place. Nevertheless, always remember that you matter whether people attend to you or not.
Q16. Loneliness, don’t have any trusted one to share my thoughts.
A16. You’ve probably had a bad experience with sharing your thoughts earlier, quite possibly multiple times. Choose the shoulders to cry on wisely and don’t generalize. Try speaking out what you feel.
Q17. Is it normal to have dreams of you crying shouting on a daily basis?
A17. No. Please consult a therapist ASAP.
Q18. So, I am having anxiety from quite a long time now. I sometimes experience breathing problem and chest pain while I am tensed about something. And as I try to distract my mind, I find myself drowning inside this whole ocean of thoughts. I overthink a lot and i know that I won’t do it any better but i still continue overthinking. The more I try to distract, the more i find myself dragged in it. Earlier I used to scratch myself, punch the wall, and hurt myself because everything felt so heavy and incurable. But now I try to take deep breaths, look at the positive sides of everything but then sometimes it just doesn’t work and i feel helpless and numb. Why is it so and how do I stop all this overthinking?
A18. Please get an appointment with a therapist ASAP, and till then try practicing the exercise for overthinking mentioned earlier. You can only control your overthinking but if it doesn’t improve at all, get a therapy.
Q19. How to deal with strict parents?
A19. Fostering negative feelings for them will do more harm. It’ll give rise to a cycle of resentment and dependency. Try letting it out in front of people who’ll give a positive feedback. Initiate conversations with them. It will definitely seem difficult if you’re doing it for the first time. For those who have tried and it didn’t help, try initiating conversations in a different way. You lashing out in response to them will shift their focus to your reaction. Remember that their upbringing plays a role in the kind of person that they are. Try to know those aspects. Empathy goes a long way and leads to better outcomes.
Q20. What is your message to parents?
A20. Please listen to your kids. We know you were a kid once but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you really understand them. There are things they might want to tell you but are scared. Your kids should respect you and not be terrified of you. Refrain from overreacting. Don’t nag about things and respect their privacy. Try to be as friendly as possible. Spend quality time with your kids.
Q21. Is dog therapy helpful?
A21. Dogs provide companionship, comfort, affection, unconditional love, joy, happiness, enthusiasm and activeness. They distract your focus from negativity. Studies have shown that playing with a dog reduces stress inducing hormones like cortisol and increase oxytocin levels. Research suggests that people who don’t like dogs or pets have also benefited from the therapy.
Q22. I have been longing for a person for a long time and I seem to be doing everything keeping him into consideration. I know our feelings are not mutual. I try avoiding him but, he makes sure that he stays in touch with me. It’s very stressful for me. I want to let him go but, I also want to keep him close to me. How should I get over him?
A22. Metaphorically speaking, the relation is stored in the heart but memories are stored in the head. The memories have been created by another person but, the reason they matter to you is because of your own emotions. And when it comes to emotions there’s no right or wrong. Now let us see how to not keep hanging on to this emotion.
Do not focus on trying to detach or forget the person itself. The signals you repeat will be important for your brain. If you keep on associating the person with events or things, the brain will keep on receiving the signals that the person is important, no matter what. So, stop knowingly or unknowingly revising the same pattern. Generally, our first response is to block the person from social media platforms. The reason why it doesn’t work is because they soon start to regret their decision. The brain gets constant signals again and marks the person as important. Although, blocking someone if they’re troubling you is perfectly reasonable. You will have train your brain to label that person as ordinary. As ordinary as someone outside your friend circle.
Meet the experts: Express Station
Express Station is a student-run initiative for psychological aid and awareness under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Arati Kandolkar. It’s a non-judgmental, non-directive, comfortable and confidential space for everyone to explore their mental health issues. This initiative is active on two social media platforms – Instagram and Facebook. People can also reach out to us via emails and DMs.
Email ID: [email protected]