There exist a lot of misconceptions about hypnosis. The descriptions are given in certain books, films and picture stories also tend to promote such misunderstandings. Popular understanding is that some people have superhuman powers and mental powers gained through Pranayama, Yoga, training using skulls, activities facing the sun, training that claims to improve eyesight, etc. It is also believed that a mentally stronger hypnotist conquers the weaker ones and that hypnosis is the resultant phenomenon. Often times, the contributions of modern science are used to spread superstitions and turn people into mental patients.

What is hypnosis?

Does a hypnotist have superhuman powers?

Can we know the details of the past life of a person by hypnotizing her/him?

Are there any disadvantages in subjecting an individual to hypnosis?

Can all kinds of people be hypnotized?

These are some of the questions which normally people tend to ask about hypnosis. In order to find the answers to these questions, one has to understand what sleep is, what is the difference between normal and hypnotic state and the relationship between the mind and the body.

What is the Anatomy of Sleep? What Happens During Sleep?

During sleep, the muscles in the body are in a relaxed state. The heart functions slow down. The breathing becomes unhurried.

Sleep is regulated in the brain. Sleep is an incredibly important part of our biology, and neuroscientists are beginning to explain why it is so very important.

When you’re asleep, a part of the brain doesn’t shut down. In fact, some areas of the brain are actually more active during the sleep state than during the awake state. The other thing that’s really important about sleep is that it doesn’t arise from a single structure within the brain, but is to some extent a network property. Our biological clock tells us when it’s good to be up when it’s good to be asleep, and what that structure does is interact with a whole raft of other areas within the hypothalamus, the lateral hypothalamus, the ventrolateral preoptic nuclei. All of those combined, and they send projections down to the brain stem here. The brain stem then projects forward and bathes the cortex, this wonderfully wrinkly bit over here, with neurotransmitters that keep us awake and essentially provide us with our consciousness. So sleep arises from a whole raft of different interactions within the brain, and essentially, sleep is turned on and off as a result of a range of interactions in here.

So why do we sleep?

There are dozens of different ideas about why we sleep. The first is sort of the restoration idea, and it is somewhat intuitive. Essentially, all the stuff we’ve burned up during the day, we restore, we replace, we rebuild during the night.

What about energy conservation? Again, perhaps intuitive. You essentially sleep to save calories. Although, when you do the mathematics, though, it doesn’t really pan out. If you compare an individual who has slept at night, or stayed awake and hasn’t moved very much, the energy-saving of sleeping is about 110 calories a night.

But the third idea is brain processing and memory consolidation. What we know is that, if after you’ve tried to learn a task, you sleep-deprived individuals, the ability to learn that task is smashed. It is in fact hugely attenuated. So sleep and memory consolidation is also very important. However, it’s not just the laying down of memory and recalling it. What has turned out to be really exciting is that our ability to come up with novel solutions to complex problems is hugely enhanced by a night of sleep. In fact, it’s been estimated to give us a threefold advantage. Sleeping at night enhances our creativity. And what seems to be going on is that, in the brain, those neural connections that are important, those synaptic connections that are important, are linked and strengthened, while those that are less important tend to fade away and be less important.

So we have had three explanations for why we might sleep, and the important thing to realize is that the details will vary, and it is probable we sleep for multiple different reasons. But sleep is not an indulgence. It is not some sort of thing that we can take on board rather casually.

One of the things that the brain does is indulge in microsleeps, this involuntary falling asleep, and you have essentially no control over it. Now, micro-sleeps can be sort of somewhat embarrassing.

We need eight hours of sleep a night. That’s an average. Some people need more. Some people need less. All you need to do is listen to your body. Do you need that much or do you need more? It is as simple as that.

There is a belief that old people need less sleep. This is a misconception. The sleep demands of the aged do not go down. Essentially, sleep fragments and becomes less robust, but sleep requirements do not go down.

Sleep is regulated in the brain. The physical and mental functions are controlled by the brain. The brain can be divided into two hemispheres. Each of these has an Outer Cortex. And they both meet below at the Brain Stem. This then extends even lower till the Spinal Cord. The brain is covered by the skull.

When we are awake, the two hemispheres in the brain become active. The electric currents emerging from the brain stem, lying at the base of the brain, is the reason for aggravating activities in the outer cover of the brain and spinal cord. When the body is awake, the brain stem produces an electric current in the nerves. The hemispheres and spinal cord thereby become active. Being awake in this way helps us successfully face what is happening around us in a reasonable manner.

The brain center, which regulates the wakeful state, is located at the root of the brain. It is the cortex, the brain cover, which actually does the thinking.

The memories in the wakeful state do not disturb us during long sleep. Thoughts that disturb our mind produce vibrations in the brain stem. This inspires the body to remain awake to find solutions to those thoughts. This is how sleeplessness occurs.

What Are The Advantages Of Hypnosis?

Hypnosis is helpful for people who work in the artistic fields to rise high in their careers by involving in creative activities and management professionals to shine well in their activities. The possibilities of hypnosis have become beneficial to solving cases in the field of crime investigation. Familiarizing oneself with the primer of hypnosis is helpful in succeeding in the activities we get to involve in our daily life.

When the complex human mind is given instructions by focusing its attention after making them reach a calm and beautiful state, changes happen in its characteristics and behaviour. Learning is related to concentration. So hypnosis is able to make creative contributions in the field of education. The environment in which each one has grown up with affects her/ his education significantly. Each human being maintains her/ his uniqueness during various stages of growing up and development. Sociologists say that the damages occurring in the process of socialization are capable of adversely affecting education. Students face many problems related to studies. Exam fear, memory deficit, lack of interest in studies, lack of concentration, etc. are just a few of them. The method of learning is very important. Learning without understanding the ideas can affect memory. Learning becomes interesting when the idea has been understood and impressions are made on the unknown realms of mind after revving it onto a story. A swift advancement is then possible in the learning path.

Hypnosis is effective in overcoming memory deficits. It is possible to increase the memory power, concentration and imaginative powers available in human beings by giving instructions after mitigating any mental stress and getting the mind to a peaceful state. The memory power stimulated in the hypnotic state is known as Hypermnesia. Learning becomes interesting when the various subjects are stored in the mind after revving the ideas in a creative manner by stimulating the memory.

Hypnosis is making vital contributions to modern psychiatric treatment. Hypnotic methods are more effective than other treatment methods in solving certain minor mental disorders.


Of course, the amount of food consumed has an effect on the brain’s mental state. Excessive consumption of sugar can lead to muscle wasting and depression. But carbohydrate-rich foods such as fruits and whole grains will combat depression… writes Prasad Amor

For nearly two million years, humans lived on burning insects and animals, picking tubers and fruits. The men hunted and brought the meat. Women and women collected fruits and fruits. It has been almost seven thousand years since humans began to love cereals.

The human body uses more energy than the brain and anatomy. The total size of the human brain is 2 .5% of the total body but the brain consumes 20% of its energy. Increased energy consumption has necessitated the need for meat. Consuming carbohydrates with proteins contributed to the development of the brain. Cooking and eating was an evolutionary stage of human life. Cooking has been shown to break down complex fats and meats, ease digestion and reduce disease risk.

Food is myth and reality

Consuming almonds every day does not lead to autism. There is widespread propaganda that apple paprika does not cause heart disease. The propaganda that some cuisine can have a miraculous effect is just an excessive claim.No one has eaten such foods and lived for more than two hundred years. But eating a regular diet is a wise decision. Despite a balanced diet, a person can only care for the physical qualities available at birth. Genes are determined by lifespan and metabolism. It is the organism from which the person is born that determines one’s growth and development. While the conditions favourable to the biological nature will influence its development, each organism retains the common characteristics and characteristics of its own species. They are all biologically modified. Millions of years of experimentation and observation have made it possible for humans to understand the variety of foods. Although we have tens of thousands of species around us, we eat only a small percentage of them. In fact, the delicacies we enjoy today are the result of tens of thousands of years of human experience.

Does food affect mood?

The features available through the brain of another species make the human a better organism. The brain is the most complex organ. The genetic structure of the diverse neural network and the formation of new neural networks differentiate the human brain from that of animals.

The nervous system produces innumerable nerve fibres. Isn’t the diet involved in the formation of complex brain cells important? Is there a dietary regimen that helps alleviate the accumulation of neurons and slow down the available intellectual capacity?

Of course, the amount of food you eat influences the brain’s mental function. Excessive diets deplete the production of neurotransmitters in the brain. Excessive consumption of sugar can cause muscle wasting and depression. But carbohydrate-rich foods and proteins, such as fruits and whole grains, contain amino acids that help in the production of a chemical called serotonin, which can combat depression. Foods that contain a lot of choline require the combination of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. It also helps to break down the substance called homocysteine, which accumulates in the brain due to metabolic activity. Almonds, nuts, leafy vegetables, spices, and spices are rich in choline.B vitamins improve the function of the brain. Folic acid and B12 increase blood production, while B 6 and niacin are essential for nerve cell development. The amino acids of tryptophan and tyrosine are essential for the efficient functioning of the brain. Vitamin C is required for conversion of the amino acids into L-tyrosine and L-phenyl alanine to nor-adrenaline and to convert tryptophan to serotonin. Vitamin C is rich in fruit gooseberry and gram lemon.

healthy food

The fats present in legumes and herbs support brain function. Protein and the amino acid micro-nutrients and glucose are all the building blocks of the brain. Each of these influences the activity of the brain. The fatty acids Omega-3 and Oberga-6 are effective in preventing brain damage. Fish like sardines and mackerel are rich in fatty acids such as nuts and fatty fish seeds. They help in the regeneration of cells.

Trans fats and stratified fats should be avoided. Food items such as bakery and junk foods may be radiant and refreshing. This is because excessively fatty foods slow down the production of neurotransmitters.

It is not always possible to eat according to the quantity and proportion of nutrients present in the food. It may be harmful to eat only one food, for good. For example, consuming a good amount of meat may accelerate the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which in turn may lead to increased stress. Food has to be balanced. Each nutrient plays different functions in the body.No one nutrient can fully fulfil the functions of another, so it is important to make sure that each nutrient is contained in the right amount of food.

Eating healthy foods such as starch, meat and fats, minerals and vitamins daily is healthy. Leafy vegetables, eggplants, egg and fish are all present in the liver. Twenty amino acids need to be consumed on a regular basis in order for the body to make protein. These include meat and eggs. Those who are vegetarian can get a balanced vegetarian diet. Rice and alfalfa can be eaten either as pulse or seaweed.

When food becomes a complex problem

Man eats food not just for the sake of glue but for enjoyment. Food that is high in energy for humans is tempting. The new senses are all stimulated by the sense of smell and taste. A wide variety of dishes exploit human taste and make them taste fresh. All of the food additives that make up addiction make modern civilians sick of eating too much. In urban fireplaces, the quality and quality of food has changed.

In the pre-forest era, the cuisine was not easy to find. He used to occasionally eat fast food and occasionally suffer from fasting. The human body has evolved into such an order of magnitude. As food began to be cooked, farming started, and the possibilities of a wide variety of food emerged, people were getting more and needier. Starch is the main food that breaks down glucose, allowing cells to absorb energy and to use excessive amounts of glucose as glycogen in the liver and muscle to be used when necessary. The loss of the frequent nob eliminated the possibility of the glycogen being re-used as glucose. It caused the human body to rub.

Technological advances in the food processing industry, changes in the agricultural system and the composition of the food have created new flavours in the food. With the stoppage of the production of food, human behaviour changed. The farmland is being lost. Due to global warming, grain production is declining. The old tribal tradition of using very few grains will help mankind. Humans can live on starchy fruits such as tapioca, potato, and yam, as well as jackfruit, mustard and nutmeg.


Is your child addicted to smartphones?

A couple of days ago, an incident happened in the Southern state of Karnataka that shook people’s consciousness. A 60-year retired police officer was brutally murdered by his 25-year-old son. Devan* the father was upset with his son Kumar*, for not clearing his college exams. Off late, the son was addicted to playing the game PUBG on his smartphone. He was also under the influence of drugs. One day, when Devan scolded his son Kumar and snatched his phone away from him, an enraged Kumar beheaded his father with a sickle. When the police came to their house, the son did not let them into the house as he was not done cutting the body yet!

Why did something like this happen? When people talk about addiction, people often think about alcohol and drugs. And to a lesser extent gambling, etc. But there are more addictions in the world, apart from the obvious alcohol and drug addiction; people can also be addicted to gaming, gambling, food, sex, praying, shopping, social networking, etc. The latest research shows that there are more people addicted to their smartphones than they are addicted to alcohol. When talking about smartphone addiction, people aren’t necessarily addicted to their phones but certain apps or applications in them. These could be social media apps, shopping site apps, gaming apps or even watching pornographic content regularly on the internet.

What is Addiction?


Addiction is an incredibly complex behaviour and always results from interaction and interplay between a person’s genetic predisposition, their personality, attitudes, expectations, beliefs, their social environment and the nature of the activity itself. Some key risk factors are highly associated with developing almost any (chemical or behavioural) addiction such as having a family history of addiction, having co-morbid psychological problems, and having a lack of family involvement and supervision. Psychosocial factors such as low self-esteem, loneliness, depression, high anxiety, and stress are all common among those with behavioural addictions.

To know more about addiction, we must understand how addiction works and how it gradually develops.

The first step is known as Salience This is when the activity becomes the single most important activity in that person’s life and dominates their thinking, feelings and behaviour. For example, even when the person is not using the phone, they will be constantly thinking about the next time they get to use the phone.

Next is Mood modification This is a subjective experience but many reports that as a consequence of using the phone, they experience an arousing buzz or a high or a feel of escape or numbing.

Then Tolerance happens In this stage, an increasing amount of the same activity are required to achieve the former mood modifying effects. For a smartphone user, they will gradually increase the amount of time they spend using the phone every day.

Withdrawal symptoms – These unpleasant feeling and physical effects (shakes, moodiness, irritability, etc.) occur when the person is unable to use the phone.

Next is Conflict – This refers to the conflicts that happen between the person and those around them (friends and family members), conflicts with other activities (school, college, work) or from within the individual (loss of control of thought and behaviour).

Even when people consciously keep away from the activity, Relapse can occur – When a person reverts to the previous levels of usage of smartphones because they are unable to control themselves.

How Does Our Brain work?

how mobile affects brain

Our brain rewards healthy behaviours – like exercising, eating, and spending time with loved ones. It does this by switching on certain brain circuits that make you feel wonderful, which then motivates you to repeat those behaviours to experience these wonderful feelings again. In contrast, when you’re in danger, a healthy brain pushes your body to react quickly with fear or alarm, so you’ll quickly get out of harm’s way. And when you’re tempted by something – like eating ice cream when you are dieting or buying things you can’t afford – the prefrontal regions of your brain help you decide if the consequences are worth the actions.

But when you’ve become addicted to a substance, that normal hardwiring of brain processes begin to work against you. Addictions hijack the pleasure/reward circuits in your brain and hook you into wanting more and more. Addiction can also send your emotional danger-sensing circuits into overdrive, making you feel anxious and stressed all the time. At this point people give in to their addictions, not to feel good but not to feel bad!

Brain imaging studies of addicted people show decreased activity in the frontal cortex. When the frontal cortex isn’t working properly, people can’t decide to stop using a drug or stop their behaviour.

Scientists haven’t yet understood why some people become addicted while others don’t. Addiction tends to run in families, and certain types of genes have been linked to different forms of addiction. But not all members of an affected family are necessarily prone to addiction. As with heart disease or diabetes, no one gene makes you vulnerable.

Drugs & Alcohol change brain structure

addicted to alcohol

Autopsies conducted on patients who have been long-term drinkers have shown that their brains are often lighter and smaller than non-drinkers of the same age and gender. Through tests like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) scans, and computed tomography (CT) scans, scientists have been able to notice this shrinking effect even on living patients.

Drug addiction especially harms and kills brain cells. For example, methamphetamine damages cells that produce dopamine, a chemical in the brain that helps to create feelings of euphoria. Methamphetamine use even triggers a process called apoptosis, where cells in the brain self-destruct.

Human beings are wired with nerve cells (neurons) that extend from the brain and spinal cord throughout the body. However, the strands are not continuous. Between neurons is a small space called a synapse. Neurons pass signals to each other by sending chemical impulses across synapses. These chemicals are called neurotransmitters. The constant exchange of neurotransmitters makes it possible for the brain to send messages through the vast chains of neurons and direct our thoughts, feelings and behaviour.

Addictive chemicals and behaviour can wreak havoc with this normal exchange of neurotransmitters in countless ways. For example: flood the brain with excess neurotransmitters, stop the brain from making neurotransmitters, block neurotransmitters from entering or leaving neurons, and countless other harmful ways.


Dopamine is one of the primary neurotransmitters involved in addiction issues. All the major addictions increase dopamine levels. Temporarily, the excess dopamine creates powerful feelings of pleasure. But then the excess levels take a long-term toll on brain chemistry and promote further addiction.

Our brain always seeks to maintain a constant level of cell activity. That stable level is critical to regulating our behaviour. When supplies of dopamine remain constant, we can experience the ordinary pleasures of life, such as eating and having sex, without the compulsion to seek those pleasures in self-destructive ways.

But when our brains are subjected to artificially high levels of dopamine, the brain stops depending on its internal supply of this neurotransmitter. The brain comes to depend on artificial dopamine levels to maintain homeostasis and function normally.

And if the extra dopamine supplied by addictive behaviour is missing, the addict feels less pleasure. These people can experience symptoms such as depression, fatigue and withdrawal. To the addict, it seems that the only relief from these symptoms is to consume more and more of their addiction. It creates a constant feeling of craving towards the thing the person is addicted to.

Teens and Addictions

teen addiction

Childhood and adolescence are times when parents can get involved and teach their kids about a healthy lifestyle and social activities. Physical activity is important, as well as getting engaged in schoolwork, science projects, art, and sports.

Teens are especially vulnerable to possible addiction because their brains are not yet fully developed, particularly the frontal regions that help with impulse control and assessing risk. Pleasure circuits in adolescent brains also operate in overdrive, making smartphones, drug and alcohol use even more rewarding and enticing.

How to Treat Addiction

There are several medications and behavioural therapies, which when used in combination can help people suffering from addictions. There are many forms of evidence-based behavioural treatments for substance abuse. Some of these are:

Cognitive-behavioural therapy. – CBT can help patients overcome their addictions by teaching them to recognize and avoid destructive thoughts and behaviours.

Motivational interviewing. – This form of therapy involves structured conversations that help patients increase their motivation to overcome their addictions.

Mindfulness Therapy and Repetitive Magnetic Stimulation of the brain are other forms of therapy designed to strengthen the brain circuits that have been harmed by addiction.

Help is Near

DE addiction

Although addictions induce a sense of hopelessness and feelings of failure, as well as shame and guilt, research in this field shows that recovery is very much possible. Therapy and psychological interventions can lead to individuals improving their physical, psychological, and social functioning.

The road to recovery is often difficult. Relapse or recurrence of addiction is common but it is not the end of the road.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a form of addiction, get help through the services of credentialed professional immediately.

* Names have been changed to protect the identity of the victims.




According to the National Mental Health Survey of India 2015-2016 by R Srinivasa Murthy (Retd) Formerly of NIMHANS, Bangalore. 1 in 6 Indians needs mental health help. While drug treatments are widely used in mental health issues and can be effective, they sometimes come with troubling side-effects such as weight gain, headaches, and fatigue. Psychotherapy which includes talking therapy, and along with a host of other physical and mental exercises can be just as effective for many mental health conditions including anxiety and depression. These can be a good add-on therapy for those who are finding success with medications.

Psychotherapy also has the added benefit of not just treating the symptoms but also finding out the reasons behind the problems, the trauma and the non-conducive environment that perhaps contributed towards your problems in the first place.

So, what are your options for treatment?

Find a psychologist you feel comfortable around

caring psychologist

For any psychological treatment to be highly effective, you must have an engaging relationship with your psychologist. If you don’t hit it off within the first couple of sessions, treatment is unlikely to be effective.

This, of course, doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you or your psychologist. No, it’s just that this particular relationship isn’t going to be helpful. And that is why you should seek out someone you can connect with. When you do connect with a psychologist, it is important to find a method of therapy that suits you the best.

Some people like to get clear instructions and advice, while others prefer to take time to discover their solutions. And that is why different people need different types of therapy and psychologists.

Different Types of Therapies

cognitive therapy

Cognitive behaviour therapy

CBT or Cognitive behaviour therapy is one of the most widely used and well-known therapies.CBT refers to a range of scientifically proven approaches that are based on the assumption that often the way a person feels influences what a person thinks and how they eventually behave.The treatment then uses activities to target and correct what people think (what is known as cognitions) and the things they do (their behaviours).

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

ACT or Acceptance and commitment therapy is a form of treatment that can be effective across a wide range of situations and problems.ACT, unlike CBT, doesn’t try to change a person’s way of thinking. It looks at the thoughts and situations that one is trying hard to avoid and creates greater psychological flexibility in their lives.ACT teaches us to accept our thoughts as our own. ACT tries to achieve a state of mind where we can notice our many problematic thoughts, feelings, or behaviours but not get overwhelmed or consumed by them. We also learn about commitment in the ACT. This is done by encouraging people to identify principles and morals that are important to them and implement those in their day-to-day life.

Behavioural Activation

Behavioural activation was initially developed for the treatment of depression but has since gained traction in resolving a host of other mental health issues. The idea behind it is to identify and then implement activities that promote enjoyment or reduce stress.It helps people identify things in their environment that are contributing to their problems, and how these events are contributing and influencing their behaviour.Then the focus shifts to activating rewarding behaviours. This is concerned with developing goals and plans that people can engage in that are creative and achievable.Behavioural activation is similar to CBT but the focus here is more on a person’s behaviour than their thoughts.

What if nothing works?

Behavioural Activation

These are but a selected few of the many psychological treatments available, and many psychologists will employ more than one treatment or may even combine different treatments. The most important takeaway is that if you shouldn’t despair if a particular treatment or a psychologist doesn’t work out for you. You will find someone you will relate to, who is interested in monitoring your progress regularly, and who will work flexibly with you about the things you’re troubled by.

Just like in life there are no guarantees of quick results or even of results in themselves. Psychological treatment is simply a source by which people can make sense of things that previously seemed senseless, and try to restore contentment & satisfaction in your life. It is YOU who can make treatments work.

* Get in touch with your local psychologist today and seek help for the troubles ailing you.



I had short hair until I finished my schooling, and it made my life miserable. I was often forced to explain to strangers why I had breasts or why I didn’t have enough hair (for a girl). Teachers would call me out and advise me on how to be more like a girl. They would body shame me and that was okay. For my peers, I was the beginning of a harmless joke that passed as acceptable to everyone around me. I was called all sorts of names. I was very tomboyish and my mannerisms were masculine. My body language suggested something else than the gender assigned to me at birth based on my sexual genitalia. It wasn’t acceptable. I never realized that I had an option to be neither boy nor a girl and I was put through the constant pressure of choosing one. I was put in a state of conflict as the people around me tried to label me. This was my beginning in understanding gender and sex. I felt stuck with labels that never described me. And I haven’t managed to get free from this dilemma of ticking boxes. I still don’t consider myself entirely a girl, when someone asks me, I say I think I am a woman or I am not sure. I still haven’t figured out what gender category I belong to and I think it’s not gonna be easy. I am not calling myself anything as of now. But for my sexuality, it didn’t start to pop up that soon. I had time to experiment with my likes and dislikes.

When I got on the bus, people stared at my hair then at my breasts and then they would just gaze from my head to toe and right back up finally deciding that yeah, it’s a girl. I was so fed up explaining myself everywhere. I got my ears pierced because I was just tired of being the bud of jokes. But then again, hair was the prerequisite to being a woman and not a vagina. My friends from my same gender would go out with me calling me their boyfriend. They enjoyed my company; they said they felt safer with me than with anyone else. Their parents would ask me to pick them up and drop them off. Take care of them every single day. I had girlfriends who were allowed out only with me, I still do. They admired my independence but failed to inculcate the same in their children. I think it’s sad how they fail to recognize their inability to do right by their children and their failure in parenting to develop these children into capable and independent adults.

short haired girl

But when I went out amongst crowds and travelled in crowded buses, the men didn’t think of me as anything other than a body with breasts and ass. Nobody bothered about my hair when they got a chance to grope me, molest me or rape me in their minds. I was just a woman but not quite enough.

It’s so agonizing when the whole world is just trying to make you choose something that you don’t even consider options. It makes you question everything that you do. It affects your confidence, your self-esteem. The consistent conflict that we are put through for something as basic as my gender and many other things is inhumane.

So, I tried to conform to the requirements of being a woman. I grew my hair out. I joined a college in my home town. My mother was feeling protective of leaving her 17-year-old kid in a metro city, so instead, she played it safe. One the first day of college, I was stared down by everyone. Teachers, non-teaching staff, classmates and batchmates. I didn’t understand. I had a good bed of hair. I went shopping to find decent clothes for the first day of college. And I was sure I looked fine. Then a teacher came up to me asked me – how dare I wear jeans to the college? Jeans. An ordinary pair of denim. In college. How rebellious of me!



I didn’t know there was a dress code set in place only for girls. The college diary stated that girls had to wear a three-piece churidar whenever they entered the college premises. And the boys could wear whatever they thought was appropriate. I wasn’t given attendance until I started wearing a churidar for a week. My class teacher called my mother and sent me to the principal. He allowed me to wear cotton pants Kurtis and a scarf. My attempt at fitting into society was changing everything that I stood for; how I expressed myself as an individual.

I felt the weight of society pouring down on me. It didn’t matter how well I did in class or not, nobody bothered. It didn’t matter what was inside my head, I had a lot of trouble initially. But after, my first two months, after people got to know me, I made friends and people were accepting of me. I was elected class representative unanimously the first year and voted in again the second year. Later I elected as the Association Secretary of the psychology department of my campus.


During my third year in under graduation, the women’s cell was being reinitiated as part of the NAARC visits to the campus. I was elected president of the same. The women’s cell staff coordinator was not happy with me as I didn’t fit the description of a good student. The staff coordinator excluded me from all the activities of the functioning of the cell. On the eve of the first seminar organized by the women cell on the topic- ‘’Restrictions on women due to clothes’’, the staff coordinator called me up and asked me to wear my shawl properly so that it would cover my chest. I was disgusted at the hypocrisy. She warned me not to attend the seminar. I felt dejected and disheartened. After this, I took it upon myself to set up a program for Women’s day. I faced criticism for aiming too big and wasn’t encouraged to do anything. The administration put all my proposals down. They weren’t interested in Women’s day. And on the Women’s day that year, the women cell to my surprise conducted a talk on Women’s Safety, and the panellists were a select few men. And these learned men shared their valuable insights on women’s safety, such as – women staying at home after a designated hour and dressing appropriately. It was appalling to have found that the floor was offered to privileged sexist men to spread more sexism and misogyny. It was repulsive and violating.

Free and independent women celebrated International Women’s Day. It was in the press. Empowered finally. All thanks to a couple of powerful men who graciously set limits for us women!


During the last few months on the campus, we were celebrating Boy’s Hostel day. The girl hostlers who were the guests for the function were humiliated and ridiculed by men performing sexist programs on stage which were screened beforehand by the management. It was horrific and disgusting to watch. The girls boycotted the program and it incited masochistic chauvinism from the men. They shouted, threatened and verbally abused their guests. The next day my classmate who was the first to leave was targeted and harassed by the male students the entire day. They threatened her in between classes. While leaving the campus and to my horror, I found my friend in a terrible situation. She was enveloped by men shouting and screaming at her. I saw her faint, another friend and I jumped to rescue her. These men then started to verbally abuse me and threaten me. I vaguely recall 15 men who had surrounded the three of us. I saw my professors, classmates, and juniors walk by without coming to help us. It was like we didn’t exist. I was deeply hurt and I registered a formal complaint in the nearby police station. I was pressurized by the entire student, faculty and management body to withdraw my case. I was turned into a heartless ignorant human being by these men in the coming days. None of my friends whom I stopped to help showed me any support. she testified for them. I was neglected and ignored by everyone. Strangers came to ask me why I was hell-bent on destroying innocent lives. But my family was with me throughout my fight. All three of them showed me that I was not wrong to stand my ground and I had every right to feel violated. They showed me the support that no other family would dare to.

The explicit portrayal of discrimination and dejection was very damaging to my wellbeing. I was excluded from my classmates. I was the class representative for two years out of the three but nobody lends me a hand. Nobody saw me as a victim but as a witch sent to destroy lives. I felt alone and abandoned. The whole process of trying to get justice from these men ended up emotionally destroying me. They were celebrated after their return back to the campus. The whole campus was perpetuating misogyny and nobody even seemed to care. This was the education that was being awarded to these students. What were the lessons that were being taught?

lesbians kissing

I don’t know but I sure learned my lesson. I made a friend who was equally abused by these same men. They used to body shame her. They used to throw stones at her behind. Like she was some mute abandoned pest that you see on the road. But it was always our fault. This incident affected my college life even though it was towards the end of the course. I felt lonely and neglected by my friends when I needed them the most.

This incident took away my confidence and trust. I was left alone to struggle for my future. It was the darkest period of my life. I avoided contact with those few who remained as friends. I found it impossible to trust anyone. I retracted my room and spent my time watching movies and TV series. Then out of the blue, a piece of information swept right into my life and managed to lift my spirits. I had just been accepted into one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the country.

Hyderabad Central University was a different story altogether. But I was still distrustful of new people and it hindered my social life. My course department wasn’t any better than the one in Kerala, in fact, it was worse. They had a system where they rewarded and punished students through internal marks. They cut marks of students who didn’t follow the culture of the department, and once again I was targeted. I was targeted because I didn’t wear traditional Indian ethnic clothes to class. I was judged for the company I kept. The people I spent time with were also judged by my professors. But my batch mates made all the difference. We supported each other throughout the two years. We started an initiative called Udhavi. It was a support group for students to tackle academic anxiety and it served its purpose very well.


Madhavi was our attempt to stay alive. We were so desperate to find help, we decided to help ourselves and others like us. We started with a small group. It took time to build an audience. It was steady and small, we did activities that helped increase self-esteem, trust and coping with stress. There was once a meeting, in which we asked everyone to write down a problem that they wanted to get help on anonymously. We collected the chits and picked them out randomly by each member. The activity was what would you do if that was your situation. We were trying to foster empathy. It was so enlightening, as we tend to get stuck in our heads and forget that there are other people out there, with their problems and issues. It was very hurtful to know that we found ourselves talking about sexual abuse a lot in our meetings. Everyone thinks that their problem is the biggest or is unsolvable. We encouraged activities that build trust with each other. We were able to make a space safe and non-judgmental so that people felt safe to express themselves and me. It gave a lot of peace and satisfaction with Udhavi.

Here I also found people who had different identities, like me they too were different, but we never felt different together. This was something that couldn’t even be imagined in the conservative society I lived through in my previous college. I found myself in a queer support group. We had a limited number of members and the meetings were often held in secrecy. It was difficult to organize and arrange a group of people together who had non-compliant sexual and gender identities. We had so many hurdles to overcome every week and limited time to spend together. People were unsurprisingly hostile towards the LGBTQIA+ community. And there were also extremely violent right-wing activists within the campus. Two of my friends who were transsexual used to talk about how stressful it was for them to live in a men’s hostel while they identified as transwomen. During this time, we witnessed a hate crime against an open transwoman, who after coming out was raped by a man inside the men’s hostel in HCU. This news wasn’t worth much to the media and the university couldn’t care less. The transwoman couldn’t go to the police as Section 377 was still in place back then. The victim was not very cooperative with the support group and I didn’t know them. We were not able to reach out to them. This is a major drawback of the community as we find it difficult to forge meaningful and deep relationships with our own.


The group’s primary objective was to create group coherence. We set up meetings all over the campus with the sole aim of understanding each other. We talked about our unique experiences and upbringing. Most of us hadn’t come out yet to our families and we talked in-depth on how best to break the news. We encouraged each other to educate ourselves more and in-depth about our own identities. Before meeting up with this group I was unsure of my queerness. The question of how queer you are is always asked to those who are trying to come out. We held long conversations on the issues that we faced in our daily lives. For some identities example, who had a different sexual orientation, they were excluded from visual judgment as most times their physical appearances never gave them away. For a gay person, him being gay only came into the picture when he wanted to make intimate relationships. It was easier for them to not come up on the cisgender heterosexual radar. But for the other half, it was a daily struggle. I met a friend online.  She sent me pictures of her, I saw a full-grown man, dressed up as a man. He had a shirt on, pants and shoes. He had ties and watches that were all masculine. This person lived in Kerala disguised as a man.  But I knew she wasn’t a man. I got closer to her. I saw her struggling to put up a face that didn’t belong to her. She didn’t like looking at herself in the mirror because she saw a man. She told me she liked girls. She is a lesbian transwoman. But right now, she was nothing. She was being destroyed as a person. She was lonely and unsatisfied with her life. And it wasn’t her fault. Last I heard, she was struggling to find enough resources to migrate to a more accepting country, a place where she can finally be herself.

A bird forced to abandon its home, made to search for a new home because it isn’t allowed to spread its wings over this land, a land they loudly claim doesn’t belong to her and the likes of her.


After finding peers who could understand me, respect me and moreover love me for who I am, I found peace within myself. These people helped me understand my own emotions. When I used to try and talk to my cissexual and cisgender friends about my emotions and feelings, they never understood what I was talking about. They gave me sympathy but most of the time they ignored me. They told me I was hypersexual, some even called me a sex addict because they never understood what I was talking about. When I talked about sex with my gender or the other gender they were more or less clear. But when I told them that for me gender didn’t matter as long as I could like the other person as a human being they didn’t understand. They called me a whore who would sleep with anyone. They couldn’t comprehend when I used the term pansexual. These people said that it’s just another term for a ‘’whore’’.

It was only from my queer friends that I got the acceptance and dignity that I deserved. This has always been true. When I was 12 years old, my mother took into our home a lesbian couple who had eloped from their homes. They had no other option and had to flee their home town because of the stigma and the shame that they supposedly inflicted on their parents. My mother let them stay with us and we were a family from then. I have queer sisters who helped me understand the difficulty and hurt that they were subjugated to by society. I saw how they struggled to get the basics – rightful education, a house to live in and someone to love. They weren’t the last couple or person my mother supported. We were able to give them, the unaccepted and the shunned sons and daughters, true acceptance and care. We realized early on how love and care were all that we needed to become a family. Unconditional love and consideration were all that it took to bring these hurt souls to the shores of hope.

While completing my formal education in psychology, I also learned something else. Theories and assumptions about human nature that textbook psychology talked about was completely ignorant of the minority population. Psychology with its never-ending fancy jargon and empiricisms has neglected the subjectivity of the voices and identities unknown or unaccepted by society. Great thinkers have talked about sexuality and gender outside the realms of psychology. But psychology as a subject is unwilling to address and incorporate learning from fields that cannot always be scientifically quantified and it has led to the formation of blind spots in its leanings. The traditional psychologists are as adamant as they get. They hold on to their outdated concepts of morality and sexuality and they try to impose that on us. They try to advise and change people who are different and convert them into ‘’normal’’ people. Those who are trained to help, end up putting more pressure and stress on individuals who are already vulnerable. But all hope is not lost as psychology is trying to rectify these mistakes.

We all are human

My experiences have led me to believe that being a queer health professional is an added advantage when I deal with queer clients. There are better chances of understanding and developing trust that can help speed up the helping and healing process. The knowledge that you are not being judged or stigmatized at the least from a health care professional is an important prerequisite to accepting help.

Mental health in itself is much stigmatized and to talk about the mental health of further stigmatized individuals is not an easy feat. Starting my professional career as a queer centred health care professional has been a dream come true. Softmind, the mental health clinic in Kerala has given me and the LGBTQIA+ community the long-awaited safe space to talk about queer mental health. Here we have queer-friendly and queer health professionals who are sensitized to the needs and requirements that a queer person in distress demands. I hope that I can help elevate the quality of life of the queer folks who come in contact with me. It is also my ambition to help other psychologists understand the specific needs of the queer community to enhance their mental health.

Only when we feel at peace with ourselves can we live better lives. Talking about emotions is a must. Because what we think and how we think is the foundation of creating attitudes, and attitudes dictate how we express ourselves. The understanding of the importance of a sound mind is primal. And for those of us who are discriminated, abandoned and face social injustice, life itself becomes a cause for declining mental health and increased mental disorders. And that is why we all have to stick together. And for my queer siblings, we finally have trained professionals from among us to help take care of our own.



For centuries, especially in the western civilization our society has divided genders into two categories. Male and Female. Everyone was included in one of these categories when they were born. If they didn’t behave and act as per the societal norms of the time as assigned to each gender, such people were considered crazy, misfits, aberrations and abominations. And according to this category, human sexuality was quite simple. Men should feel attraction towards women and women should feel attraction towards men.

We have known this isn’t the truth for a very long time. The murmur of dissent and opposition has grown only stronger and louder in the past century. And now we know better. The human sexuality spectrum is much broader than what some people may have you believe.

Progression of human sexuality

prgression of human sexuality

For centuries before, only the human sexual organs were considered the precursor to a person’s sexuality. A person born with male sexual organs was considered a man and he was supposed to feel sexual attractions towards a woman. Likewise, a person born with female sexual organs was considered a woman and she was naturally supposed to be attracted towards a man.

Things were seen in either black or white. But fortunately, more of our society has opened up at least to the idea that human sexuality exists outside the set patterns. And the monochrome black and white colors have given way to the rainbow colors as often seen on the LGBTQ flag

Nowadays, we have stopped limiting people’s attraction towards others based on their gender. And we have been able to differentiate between heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuality, pansexuality, etc.

Science behind sexuality

science behind sex

In biological terms, male is a person who has one X chromosome and one Y chromosome. And a female is someone who has two X chromosomes in their genetic make-up. It has been found that the Y chromosome is essential for the formation of a testis and the testosterone from the testis has an impact on the brain.

This testosterone plays an important role in the development of human sexuality. Testosterone acts on many other organs but to stick to our subject, we will focus on its effects on the brain. It activates a complex protein in the brain known as the androgen receptor. If a mutation in the androgen receptor occurs, then the brain may not respond to testosterone. It would be like as if the testosterone didn’t even exist. Examples in human beings include embryos with XY chromosome who are insensitive to their own testosterone. They are born looking like females, and grow up in that belief (i.e. their gender identity is female).

They are discovered to be XY individuals only at puberty because of non developmental of primary and secondary sexual characteristic as per the biological gender. Such people are said to be suffering from AIS or Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome. They often have normal and properly developed testes, but it is hidden inside their abdomen.

A converse situation, i.e. excess testosterone in XX embryos isn’t that common. But a condition called Congenital Adrenal Hypertrophy (CAH) results in abnormally high amounts of testosterone in females, but this occurs much later in pregnancy. Such individuals do have a higher than expected incidence of bisexual or homosexual behavior, but nothing that can point it as its cause. Such people may also have doubts about their gender identity, but it’s not as common or as striking as AIS. The difference may be a result of timing. The effect of testosterone affecting our sexuality and sexual development becomes less as overall development proceeds. Although pre-natal testosterone is a powerful determinant of sexuality in humans it is not the only one. Science is yet to pinpoint a gene or a genetic marker responsible for influencing a person’s sexuality.

Sexuality in humans in all its forms is also greatly influenced by social and experiential factors to an extent.  People don’t decide who they are attracted to, and therapy, treatments and persuasion won’t change a person’s orientation. You cannot also turn a person gay. Although sexual orientation is usually set early in life. It isn’t all uncommon for your desires and attractions to shift throughout your life. This is called fluidity.



Pansexuality is a relative modern way in which human sexuality can be conceived. It means that sexual orientation is characterized by a physical and emotional attraction to an individual and it has nothing to do with their sex or gender identity.

Pansexuality isn’t restrictive and individuals that belong to binary genders and non-binary genders can also be pansexual.

Difference between pansexuality and bisexuality

difference between pansexuality and bisexuality

It is quite easy to mess up the differences between pansexuality and bisexuality. A bisexual person finds both men and women attractive. So in a way, bisexuals associate people to the two conventional genders of either male or female. On the other hand, pansexual individuals don’t take into account a person’s sex or gender identity. To put it in simple words, a pansexual feels a physical and emotional attraction toward a person regardless of these things.

A new world

new world

Some bisexual and pansexual people like to identify themselves as queer. Queer is more of an umbrella term for sexual orientations outside the heterosexual norms and also has a political and activist root to it. At the end of the day, everything is just a label. But this mustn’t be confused with dismissing it as – it’s just a phase, and that the individual will come out of it. It is not a phase. Instead, be respectful towards everyone. And help those who seek it. For this big world can seem even bigger for abandoned and persecuted sexual minorities.


  1. Wikipedia.org
  2. Psychologytoday.com





Somatic symptom disorder is characterized by an extreme focus on physical symptoms, such as pain or fatigue, that causes major emotional distress and problems in normal functioning. You may or may not have another diagnosed medical condition associated with these symptoms, but your reactions to the symptoms is not normal.

What this means is that you often end up thinking the worst about your symptoms and frequently seek, medical care, continuing to search for answers even when other serious medical conditions have been excluded.

Health concerns then end becoming such a central focus in your life that you are unable to function normally and this ends up becoming a liability and disability.



Pathogenesis - somatoform disorders

While we haven’t been able to completely understand the causes of somatoform disorders, contributory factors include depression and anxiety. These can also manifest as an obsession with interpretations of somatic symptoms as evidence of a disease, excessive concern with physical illness and a tendency to seek medical care for everything. A family history of a particular condition may have shaped the patient’s beliefs. Doctors also sometimes inadvertently contribute towards the symptoms by either dismissing the patient’s complaints or by over-emphasizing and investigating the possibility of a disease.


Somatoform disease can present itself in several different ways:


Somatoform Autonomic Dysfunction

Somatoform Autonomic Dysfunction - heart complaints

This refers to somatic symptoms referable to bodily organs that are largely under the control of the autonomic nervous system. The most common examples involve the cardiovascular system (cardiac neurosis – heart complaints for which no organic cause can be found), respiratory system (psychogenic hyperventilation – respiratory disorder, where you are breathing either too deeply or too rapidly), gut complaints (psychogenic vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome)


Somatoform Pain disorder

Somatoform Pain disorder - occupational areas of functioning

This describes severe, persistent pain that cannot be adequately explained by a medical condition. The pain causes clinically significant distress, impairment, in social, academic and or occupational areas of functioning. The pain is not intentionally produced or accounted for by a mood disorder.


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

It is characterized by excessive fatigue after minimal physical or mental exertion, poor concentration, dizziness, muscular aches and sleep disturbance. This pattern of symptoms may follow a viral infection and symptoms often overlap with those of depression and anxiety.


Dissociative Conversion Disorder

Dissociative Conversion Disorder - amnesia

Dissociative conversion disorders are characterized by a loss or distortion of neurological functioning that is not fully explained by an organic disease. These may be psychological functions such as memory (dissociative amnesia – when a person cannot remember important people, events from their life), sensory functions such as vision (dissociative blindness –a person has selective paralysis or blindness). The causes are unknown but there is an association with recent stress and adverse childhood experiences, including physical and sexual abuse.


Somatization Disorder

Somatization Disorder

This is defined as the occurrence of multiple medically unexplained physical symptoms affecting several bodily systems. It is also known as Briquet’s syndrome after the physician who first described the presentation. The symptoms start often early in childhood but can also present itself after a bout of physical illness. The disorder is much more common in women. They are characterized by recurring, multiple and current, clinically significant complaints about somatic symptoms.


Hypochondriacal Disorder

Hypochondriacal Disorder

Patients with this condition have a strong fear or belief that they have a serious, often fatal disease (such as cancer) and that fear persists even after repeated medical assurances and tests done. They are typically highly anxious and seek many medical opinions and investigations in futile but repeated attempts to relieve their fears. These often resemble OCD, but in a small proportion of cases, the disease reaches delusional intensity.


Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

This is defined as a preoccupation with bodily shape or appearance with the belief that one is disfigured in some way (previously known as dysmorphophobia). People with this condition often make inappropriate requests for cosmetic surgery.


Management of Disease

Management of disease

The general principles to medically manage such symptoms are by:


  • By taking a full sympathetic history
  • Excluding disease but avoiding unnecessary investigations and referral
  • Seeking specific treatable psychiatric symptoms
  • Demonstrating to the patient that you understand their complaint
  • Establishing a collaborative relationship
  • Giving a positive explanation for the symptoms but not over emphasizing psychological factors
  • Encouraging them to return to normal functioning




Patients should be reassured and effort should be put in to find out more about their condition. It isn’t wise to categorically state that they don’t suffer from any disease. However, it may be emphasized that the probability of them having this disease is low.



Patients need a positive explanation for their symptoms

Patients need a positive explanation for their symptoms. It is unhelpful to say the symptoms are psychological in nature or it is all in their head. When possible, it is useful to describe a plausible physiological mechanism that is linked to psychological factors such as stress and imply that the symptoms are reversible.


Drug Treatment

Drug Treatment

Antidepressant drugs are often helpful, even if the patient is not depressed.


Psychological Treatment

Psychological Treatment

A mix of talk therapy and cognitive behavior therapy can be employed. Behavioral therapy can be used to modify dysfunctional behavior. CBT has shown reduction in anxiety, depression and improved physical functioning.



References –

1. Mayoclinic.org

2. Davidson’s Principles and Practices of Medicine, Medical Psychiatry


Homosexuality and mental health go hand in hand.

Now that I have your attention, it clearly does not in the way that you think. Being gay, trans, questioning isn’t a mental illness in any way. But studies done worldwide has shown that lesbians, gays, bisexuals, inter-sex, trans people show greater levels of anxiety, depression, suicide ideation, as well as substance addiction issues than regular population. The reason for this is the overwhelming opposition and stigma that they face and not because of their sexuality.

LGBT people can, of course, have a mental illness like any other person, but the important takeaway is that being queer is not a mental illness.

Homosexuality and / or transsexual per se doesn’t imply any impairment in judgment, memory, perception, consciousness, stability, reliability, or general social and vocational capabilities.

This is why it is high time all mental health professionals came forward and took the lead in removing the stigma of mental illness that has long been associated with LGBT individuals.


LGBT Mental Health Issues

lgbt couple

Various studies have concluded that members of the LGBT community are often discriminated by the very forces and institutions that are supposed to protect them. Stories of abuse at the hands of police, law and even hospitals are common within the community. So it is understandable that the LGBT community are at a higher risk of mental health issues like:

  • Depression
  • Suicidal feelings
  • OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Anxiety disorders, including panic attacks
  • Self-harm
  • Substance use and abuse

What’s more disturbing is the fact that many LGBT mental health issues often start in the childhood and teen years. But it often goes unnoticed and undiagnosed. The statistics show that LGBT teens show a higher risk for suicide than their heterosexual peers.

Getting Help for LGBT Mental Health

lgbt help

But don’t lose hope. It’s important to know that though the facilities and resources are less and the awareness is low. There are many affirmative and safe avenues available for the LGBT community to tackle their mental health issues.

Many doctors, psychologists and therapists also self-identify as being queer themselves or as gay friendly or specializing in issues of homosexual mental health. You can find these resources through local LGBT support groups such as:

  1. http://queerala.org/ Contact – +91 80756 45060
  2. http://orinam.net/
  3. https://snehaindia.org/new/ 24 Hours Helpline


You may also get in touch with Softmind to know more about mental health issues and therapy practices.



According to the National Institute of Mental Health – Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling.

According to available public records, the term Schizophrenia was first used to describe an illness in 1887, more than 100 years ago by a pioneer psychiatrist called Eugen Bleuler. And since then we have come to accept two things – that schizophrenia means a loss of touch with reality in a patient and secondly, that it is rare.

But newer studies conducted by scientists have begun to question both these points. They are trying to redefine schizophrenia, and are also coming to the conclusion that it is more common than once thought of among the general population.

Which means that now schizophrenia isn’t looked at as a specific and rare single illness, but more of an amalgamation of different type of symptoms and conditions which can also be seen in people not suffering from any mental illness.

The main problem with diagnosing someone as a schizophrenic is because of how limiting the diagnosis method is. Even a well-qualified practitioner of mental health usually looks for the following factors in a person to diagnose them as suffering from schizophrenia. Conditions like – hallucinations (hearing voices, seeing sounds that aren’t there), thought disorder (being unable to think straight), paranoia, grandiosity (delusional beliefs that one possesses special powers or is famous), and anhedonia (inability to experience pleasure).

The problem arises when the symptoms mentioned above doesn’t affect all the people and not with the same intensity also. And having one symptom doesn’t mean that you will develop any of the other either.

health professional

So what happens in the offices of a mental health professional? Most of the diagnosticians tend to look at the main problems faced by the person. And the patients too will choose to focus on problems that give them the most difficulty. And when the doctors see these problems in isolation, they quickly club the problems as the symptom of a single illness.  And when you start defining illness based on the symptoms of people in hospitals, then you end up with a definition that doesn’t take into account the problems and symptoms of majority of people who do not enter the hospital system.

at prison - prisoner

And it isn’t even that difficult to trigger the common symptoms associated with schizophrenia. Prisoners in our jails who spend vast amounts of time in solitary often ‘lose’ their mind and their thought processes. People who go without sleep for more than two nights consecutively see hallucinations and have delusions. Overdosing on alcohol and drugs can also bring about symptoms usually associated with schizophrenia.

What this suggests is that schizophrenia isn’t one specific, rare, and rigorously defined illness. Not at all, in fact, it consists of a wide range of unrelated conditions which are also seen in people not mentally ill. The severity of the conditions themselves can range from the minor to the severe. It is just that the people diagnosed as a schizophrenic often have conditions that fall on the extreme end of that spectrum.


What all could be the causes behind such conditions? What causes hallucinations and delusions and paranoia in people? According to research, the modern man living in big cities often face unprecedented stress that former generations of people before him have not faced. Lack of space, pollution, stressful jobs all contribute towards it. As does childhood experiences like poverty, early drug and alcohol abuse, migration, etc. People who have been victims of violent assaults also tend to be on top of the list of people likely to suffer from these conditions. Conditions like paranoia are also seen in people with anxiety and depressive episodes.

Family and genetic factors also play a part, but so far research hasn’t been able to single out a single specific gene responsible for causing schizophrenia. There’s likely to be different genes that are responsible for contributing to it. And like with all genetic factors, it is ultimately our environment that decides which way these genes end up shaping our lives.

At the end of the day, the idea isn’t to retell or redefine schizophrenia for the current generation. But it is simply an impetus for an idea or a thought that there’s more to mental health than what meets the eye. And that we must spend more time and resources to better understand our psychotic problems. Like with all illnesses, the diagnostic criterions change over time and I’m sure this will happen with schizophrenia as well.

If we start focussing on specific problems, then we will be able to get help to a person while targeting their specific problem. This is the only way forward, and not by planning treatment for a loosely defined illness that affects different people differently.




Morning or evening best time to share bad news? According to a new study, they say the morning is the best time to share bad news. because in the morning we know how to handle it but in the evening we will off plumping from this. So we suffer less a physiological stress response at this time

If someone hurt us physically or mentally the pain doesn’t disappear soon. The hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) is our central response system. HAP acts when we get stress.HAP it increases the level of the hormone cortisol, which helps to release the glucose for energy into the bloodstream. The stress response gives extra fuel to handle the situation.

When our body gets stress or threat our midbrain release stress hormones that are primarily cortisol and epinephrine.

There is a daily pattern in the baseline level of cortisol. There are many kinds of factors influence an individual’s cortisol level at any given time age, sex, wakeup and sleep time exercise pattern and general stress level. The level of cortisol raises the possibility of how we respond to stress in the day time.

Findings of Yujiro Yamanaka

group of people

Yujiro Yamanaka at HokkaidoUniversity and colleagues recruited 20 male and 7 female having same sleep duration and average wake/sleep time and they have no hormonal, psychiatric or sleeping problems. They collect the saliva samples of the participants every two hours for one day with saliva they can evaluate the typical daily cortisol level of the participants.

How they measure stress?

The researchers used the Trier social stress test, the test gives participants presentation and mental arithmetic performance of the participants videoed of studies. The researchers also collect the saliva sample before the test, immediately after the test and every ten minutes for half an hour.

Side view at female employee relaxing from computer work holding hands behind head, young woman stretching at workplace taking short break for rest in office to increase productivity

After the test the researchers found that the group was stressed in the morning showed a statistically significant increase in the cortisol level of participants after the test when we compared with before cortisol level. This shows a large stress response in the morning but in the evening the cortisol level is low so it does not reach statistical significance.


The researcher says that the HAP axis responds more powerful against psychological stress in the morning rather than in the evening. Animal researchers say it’s because of adrenal cortex become less sensitive to a hormone called ACTH produced by the pituitary gland that triggers the release of the cortisol for our daily process.

Addison Disease

The low cortisol level condition is known as primary adrenal insufficiency or Addison disease. The efficiency of cortisol affects the psychological stress response. if a person with Addison disease experiences psychological stress that can lead to an Addisonian crisis.


Smiling young relaxed man enjoying pleasant morning sitting on rattan chair on terrace outdoor, happy successful businessman rests outside luxury house in peaceful place, stress free weekend concept

The study was done by Yujiroshows the individual cortisol level and respond to the stress and how it responds in morning and evening. Our body is designed to be under constant stress our body naturally lowers the cortisol level during normal time. The researchers say that if stress in the evening doesn’t raise the cortisol level so it does not have to increase the glucose availability and we will become more vulnerable to any threat, it would be harder to respond in the evening. The respond in lower cortisol is always better higher cortisol level affect our health. We can say the morning is the best time to share bad words.


We’ve experienced practising clinical hypnotherapist, consultant psychologist and Forensic Hypnologist in our team to work with people with a full range of mental health problems and emotional distress.

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