NEVER QUIT

By Alexis Musyoki

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We live in a generation where most people lack patience; folks just want things instantly. Young people want to get rich straightaway after finishing campus, married couples separate when a problem crops up. Unemployed youths who have degrees and masters would rather stay at home idle rather than think of how they can contribute to the society. Drink ourselves silly or get high when stressed; bet our money rather than save it. Students go to school just to get a good grade. We fear rejection so we disconnect quickly. To be honest, I feel like our generation has its priorities upside down.

Our education system is somehow to be blamed, it doesn’t stretch a person and let one explore their abilities. The system doesn’t make one think critically on life issues neither does it challenge our students to become solution oriented or tap in on student’s creativity. Though it teaches us to work hard, and be employed in a white collar job but not how to create employment.

Anyone born of a woman will face discouragement at one point of their life and it’s this discouragement that makes us to strive for success and connect with others. However, it’s not everyone who will be discouraged and will get up and strive to succeed others will give up. Nonetheless I want to encourage you to not fear. Fear is a normal reaction, though it should not rule our lives. You’ve tarmacked for years now, it’s time to think of other ways of getting an income. I believe if you have a diploma, degree or masters, it means you are a smart person who can think critically and be creative on how to start earning an income. Don’t sit, get up and work on your dream, tap on that creativity no matter how crazy it might seem, just work hard and smart on it and believe in it, and trust you me you will succeed.

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God himself never promised anyone a life without problems. We are not perfect beings, we all have to face problems in our social life, in our relationships and in our careers. I believe Instead of running away from your problems, try to sit down and look at the problem not just at the actual problem but look at the root of the problem. That way the problem will be dealt with properly. We need to stop complaining and throwing ourselves pity parties, we need to wake up, smell the coffee and become solution oriented people. Every day, wake up look at your goals and think of how you will reach them and of solutions if you are I a hard place, challenge yourself and allow yourself to be stretched mentally and with skills. Think about your future, not just your future but your family’s future. How do you want your great grandchildren to live? Put your finances in order don’t just bet what you have away or drink every dime you have. Invest in things that you know will help you and your future generation.

We need to practice patience remember, it’s a virtue. Work hard and smart nobody wants to be with a person who is poor mentally in that you don’t strive to think and try in every way possible to meet your goals. Dwelling on your problems won’t make them disappear, so get up and act!

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BULIMIA- AM I THIN ENOUGH?

By Alexis Musyoki

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December is here with us again and for most people this is a festive time to celebrate with family and friends. However, anyone who has experienced any feeding and eating disorder, the festive period can be a truly trialing time of year. All that focus on food, social occasions and drinking makes one not feel merry; it completely overwhelms and stresses one out. This is because instead of getting drawn along the wave of festive cheer, one spends weeks worrying and strategizing about how they are going to control their bulimia.

Feeding and eating disorders don’t care who you are, where you live, or how much money you make. They don’t care about your job or your marital status. They don’t respect class, social station, or pecking order and there are several celebrities who have suffered from bulimia such as Princess Diana, Karen Carpenter, Lady Gaga, Elton Johns, Paula Abdul just to name a few.

 

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So what is Bulimia nervosa and what are the symptoms?  

Bulimia is a serious eating disorder that occurs mostly in females than in males. It is usually characterized by compulsive overeating then followed by self-induced vomiting or laxative or diuretic abuse, and is often accompanied by guilt and depression. According to the diagnostic statistical manual IV(DSM5), it is characterized with recurrent episodes of binge eating. This means the person lacks  a sense of control while eating or eating at  specific periods of time large amount of food that is larger than what most individuals would eat in a similar period.

The person suffering from bulimia will also have recurrent inappropriate compensatory behaviors in order to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives or other medications.  This is because their self-evaluation is mostly influenced by their body shape and weight.

For one to be diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa, binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors both should occur, on average, at least once a week for 3 months.

 

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Causes of bulimia

The exact cause of bulimia nervosa is currently unknown; though it is thought that multiple factors contribute to the development of this eating disorder, including genetic, environmental, psychological, and cultural influences.  Some of the main causes for bulimia include: Stressful transitions or life changes, negative body image, history of abuse or trauma, poor self-esteem, professions or activities that focus on appearance/performance.

Treatment

Treatment for bulimia nervosa involves psychological counseling and sometimes medicine such as antidepressants. Counseling helps improve one’s self-esteem, by removing negative thoughts and help concentrate on recognizing and changing irrational beliefs about weight, body shape, and dieting. It also revolves around focusing on the emotional issues that may have caused the eating disorder. Treatment may address interpersonal relationships and can include cognitive behavior therapy, dialectic behavior therapy, and other related therapies. For one to recover it may require weeks or months before one to notice significant results.

Hopefully this article will help those who are suffering from bulimia to face their fears or stop being in denial and seek treatment. Also to those who have relatives or friends suffering from this, be positive around them, spread positive vibes and try to encourage them to get help.

 

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LEARNING DISABILITIES

By Alexis Musyoki

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Hi guys😊hope all is well with you. I just met up with an old friend, who recently got a child who has sadly has a learning disability and we talked about how its been for her and her child. I  personally feel that nobody is obligated to do everything a healthy person does. I know some of you may be struggling with this or a friend who has a learning disability. so whats a learning disability? A Learning disability is a problem that affects the brain’s ability to receive, process, analyze, or store information. This can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading and writing. It is important to realize that learning disabilities can affect an individual’s life beyond academics and can impact relationships with family, friends and in the workplace.

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There are many kinds of learning disabilities and one can’t tell by just looking at a person and conclude that the other person has a learning disability. This makes learning disabilities hard to diagnose. However, it usually shows up when a person has difficulty speaking, reading, writing, figuring out a easy math problem, communicating with a parent, or paying attention in class. In fact, it’s the teacher who notices it first most time.The most common and best-known verbal learning disability is dyslexia.  It’s a learning disability that affects reading and related language based processing skills. The severity of dyslexia can differ in each individual but can affect reading fluency, decoding, recall, spelling, and sometimes speech and can exist along with other disorders.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a learning disorder. People with ADHD have a hard time focusing enough to learn and study. Students with this are often easily distracted and have trouble concentrating. Although ADHD is not considered a learning disability, research indicates that from 30-50 percent of children with ADHD also have a specific learning disability, and that the two conditions can interact to make learning extremely difficult.

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Dyscalculia is a specific learning disability that affects a person’s ability to understand and learn numbers and math. Individuals with this type of LD may also have poor comprehension of math symbols, struggle with memorizing and organizing numbers, telling time, and counting.

Visual Perceptual/Visual Motor Deficit is another disorder that affects the understanding of information that a person sees, or the ability to draw or copy. It is a  characteristic seen in people with learning disabilities such as Dysgraphia or Non-verbal LD, it can also result to  misidentifying shapes or printed letters and struggle with cutting, holding pencil, or poor eye or hand coordination.

Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities (NVLD) is usually characterized by a significant discrepancy between higher verbal skills and weaker motor, visual-spatial and social skills. Typically, an individual with NVLD has trouble interpreting nonverbal cues like facial expressions or body language, and may have poor coordination.

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So what causes a learning disability? No one is sure what causes learning disabilities , but information leads us to different possibilities. One of of them is genetics. Most children with learning disabilities have parents or relatives with similar difficulties. However, a parent’s learning disability may appear different from a child’s disability. For instance, a parent who has difficulty reading may have a child who has a writing disability.

A learning disability can also be caused by problems during pregnancy and at birth by illness by injury during or before birth. It may also be caused by low birth weight, lack of oxygen, drug and alcohol use during pregnancy, and premature or prolonged labor. A learning disability can also be caused by incidents after birth like, head injuries, nutritional deprivation, and exposure to toxic substances like lead. While sometimes it’s caused by neglect, or a lack of mental stimulation early in life.

Children with a LD are more vulnerable than any other children in developing mental health problem, and this may be caused by the environment they are in. Psychologists can help parents understand the nature of the child’s problems and shape the environment to make it more adaptive for the children. We can also try to care and love them for who they are and try not to put them down. Hope this posts help you to understand and know what your child needs or what your friend needs, and how to better their lives.

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Patience, is it the key to your problems?

By Alexis Musyoki

About a decade ago, we’d send letters and wait for a fortnight or so to get a response; television programs used to start showing from 5 p.m. and one would have to walk to queue in a phone booth to make a call. People those days were more mindful of others, with more connection to mankind and to the universe. Technology advancement has made life easier; therefore we are able to achieve a lot within a short time, and as a consequence we have become impatient. We easily get irritated or angry if things are not done as fast as we expect and that has become a common and acceptable way of reacting.

What should you do when you find yourself in situations that require you to be patient, like being stuck in traffic? First, try relaxation techniques that involve taking in deep breaths slowly to help calm your nerves. Secondly, identify which goal is not being fulfilled then decide rationally if you should find a short cut to fulfill your goal, and lastly, be at peace with the current situation or switch goals. Whichever decision you make out of the three, make sure at the end you are in control of the situation.

Remember this, there are things that can’t be rushed and you can’t always get what you want when you want it. The world doesn’t revolve around you.

Let’s learn to analyze situations before we decide when to be patient, and when not to be patient. This is because if you’re too impatient, you can make rash decisions with terrible consequences and when you’re too patient, you can waste vast stretches of your life pursuing the wrong goals. Patience can earn us a lot, you just have to know when to exercise it and when not to.

Positive Psychology

By Alexis Musyoki

We normally assume psychologists are able to read our minds or spot mental disorders that we might have. There is nothing wrong with this analogy, since psychologists focus for many years has been psychopathology. This has made me wonder whether there’s any affirmative action psychologist can offer, hence, my focus on positive psychology which is a new branch of psychology.

Positive psychology is a scientific approach studying human thoughts, feelings, and behavior, with focus on strengths instead of weaknesses, building the good in life instead of repairing the bad, and uplifting the lives of average people instead of solely focusing on those who are struggling (Peterson, 2008). This means that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within them, and enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.

If you’re looking to enhance your own sense of authentic happiness and well-being, chasing or seeking positive emotions alone is not a very effective way to boost your well-being though, experiencing key moments in the present without worrying will; enjoying and excelling at something you are currently engaged in; having a deep, meaningful relationship with others and dedicating ourselves to a cause or recognizing something bigger than ourselves. This way positive self-esteem, self-image and attitude will be fostered in our well-being. Remember happiness alone will likely not propel you towards flourishing, but well-being will, so go out there, do what you love, volunteer, spend time with your loved ones and make life worth living.

Forgiveness

by Alexis Musyoki

Psychologists define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance towards a person who has harmed you, regardless of whether they deserve your forgiveness or not. Since we were toddlers, we’ve been told to forgive; we’ve heard it a million times. People normally claim to have forgiven those who’ve wronged them, which is not the case more than half the time.

We automatically say we forgive people who hurt us, whether they ask for forgiveness or not. This is a response we have learnt from the society and the society expects us to forgive as a norm; it is the right thing to do. We may also forgive due to the pressure we get from people around us. They usually put this pressure so that the issue is dealt with fast and that they can resume normalcy. Lastly, we forgive because we think it allows us to move on and heal quickly. We more often than not end up reliving the pain until we accept to forgive in the right way and for the right reasons. Forgiveness shouldn’t be an automatic response or a way to please people. However, it should be said and done for the right reasons and most importantly, should be done in your own time.

It is important to realize that forgiveness is meant to set us free from pain and anguish we endured. When you choose to say those three words it should translates to say, “I recognize what you did though it wasn’t okay, I still recognize you are more than what you did. I do not want to be a captive to the way you made me feel since I can heal myself.” Once you say that you aren’t a prisoner of what that person did. With real forgiveness, one has to let go of all expectations. Forgiveness is tricky, it is one of those tools that when properly wielded and healed, you have nothing left to lose. You may not be ready to forgive but it’s never too late to let go of your villains and reclaim yourself.

Intimate Moments.

By Alexis Musyoki

For the last 15 years, social media usage has been on the rise and the world today requires one to stay current with latest technological advancements (Jonathan & Collins, 2018). We live in a world where smart phones are the first and the last thing that we look at every morning and night thus making it hard for us to live without it.  Everyone is putting their best foot forward on social media and showing off where they are and what great thing they are doing; it has led to social media anxiety which can greatly reduce your ability to enjoy real life.

“But why hasn’t he/she posted me or liked my picture?” I am sure we have asked ourselves this question or heard it from a friend, but have you ever asked yourself how your relationship would be without this third party which could be Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. There are many positives and negatives with the use of social media. One positive impact is that It gives us the ability to connect us from every corner of the world while on the other hand, I see the way it puts pressure on our relationships to be perfect, increases infidelity and jealousy. With things like “relationship goals,” “friendship goals” and “family goals,” there is a sense of failure if your relationships aren’t “picture perfect.” According to Joan & Michael Arntfield (2016), there is pressure to prove a relationship is going well through an out pour of highly visible romantic messages, but how much of what we portray online is reflective of reality? And does our public performance of love hurt our real relationships?

What I’ve noticed is that social media breeds unrealistic expectations. Once you’ve have gone public, we begin to compare our relationships with those of others who are public too. They are giving each other gifts, taking amazing trips, and posting a video of their engagement. All of a sudden, the questions hits, why aren’t we engaged? Or they seem so much more into each other than we are, why is it so? Social media users compare themselves to other users and feel as if they can’t measure up to the “ideal” lives that their connections depict (Gregory L. Jantz, 2012). We tend to forget that every relationship is unique and nobody ever knows what goes on behind the scenes. People will always post what they want you to see and so you try and stop bringing those profile to your partner.

According to Jonathan & Collins (2018) jealousy It is part of every type of relationship and its normal. However, there seems to be an outflow of what we get jealous of. We tend to ask who is the girl or man that tweeted your boyfriend, who commented on his or her Instagram picture. This creates such a strain on relationships that they usually are more likely to fail. Without the use of social media, I believe that relationships would focus less on jealousy and more on caring for the other individual. Social media has no doubt increased the likely hood of jealousy occurring in a relationship.

The other impact of social media on relationships is that it has the tendency to increase unfaithfulness. Unfaithfulness can be anything from physically cheating on someone to flirting with someone over text (Clare Edwards, 2018). What I would like to make clear is how easy it is to do this without the other partner finding out. Which is why I think it increases the temptation to be emotionally unfaithful to your boyfriend or girlfriend. Without social media, I doubt there would be as many situations where the boyfriend or girlfriend is lying about who they talk to or who they have feelings for.

Social media has the ability to make relationships both easier and more difficult. Don’t let this third party ruin your relationship. If it is causing problems, try limiting your use of social media when it comes to your relationship. Keep your problems private, and don’t tweet about them, it will just lead to more issues. Focus on who the person is not how you can show them off on Instagram. Just be true with your significant other and everything you see on twitter and Instagram won’t matter so much anymore.

BEHAVIOR

By Alexis Musyoki

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From the moment we are conceived to the day we die, all that we do is behave. Behavior is the way we conduct ourselves towards others and also when we are by ourselves. It’s response to stimuli that we get from the interactions we have as social beings and from our environment. We pick up behavior consciously and unconsciously and we behave according to what we have picked up. As human beings, we are so used to behaving that we rarely reflect and analyze our behavior.

Throughout our lives we go through so many experiences that shape us as individuals. Some people may have been abused as children while others were loved and supported. Others may have been bullied as teens while others relished their teenage years. Partners may have cheated while others were aggressively loyal to their partners. These experiences influence our behavior as we go on with life whether knowingly or unknowingly. Let’s not forget also the environment that we grew up in, and the one we are in currently also influences our behavior. You can easily differentiate a person who grew up in an urban area and the one who grew up in a rural area.

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We all know the famous saying that bad company corrupts good morals. People who think wrongly invariably behave wrongly. Wrong behavior comes from wrong thinking, from wrong beliefs and wrong standards. However, most people don’t realize that those behaviors have some type of influence or impact on those around you. It is impossible to associate regularly with wicked people without being contaminated both by their ideas and by their habits. It shouldn’t be hard to see that the further one allows oneself to be taken in by such bad company, the more difficult it becomes to disentangle themselves, and also the more difficult it becomes to find in themselves the extreme humility it takes to describe how they were taken advantage of.  Even if one does not indulge themselves in those bad behavior, you’ll just find yourself being tolerant of those behaviors and not seeing anything wrong with them.

We have behaviors that limits us to meet our true potential. Personally, I believe that the fact you can learn behavior; you can unlearn it. Speaking about behavior change is easy however, actually implementing those changes is where the rubber meets the road. It’s not an easy process to unlearning a certain behavior. You might have gotten used to for example binge eating or being short tempered and might have decide to drop that behavior. One can’t just wake up and find that they have unlearned a behavior it takes time. For change to happen one has to make a decision and work towards the change. Learning to self-regulate is crucial for behavior change since it means you are conscious of your actions. I want to challenge you, what behaviors are you aware of and know that they are affecting you and the people around you negatively. Identify them and try to drop them.

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BIPOLAR 1

By Alexis Musyoki

 

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Sharon is a 22 year old college student. She has had trouble sleeping for the past one week, heightened state of grandiose activity. She is usually very tidy but since she began having a flight of ideas which appear ground breaking to her, she has become messy. She has also been in an extraordinary depressing state which prevented her from attending her classes. Moreover, she suffered from insomnia, decreased appetite and even has had thoughts about suicide.

Living with any type of bipolar can be very challenging. However, with the right medication, one can live to the fullest. What inspired me to write about this is that the number of people living with bipolar is increasing and in most cases it goes untreated due to the erratic behavior observed and mostly confused with the need for attention from others which is never the case. According to Health Groove, people in Kenya suffering from bipolar have increased by 15.2%. However women are the ones who are most affected by it at the age of 25-29 than men.

WHAT IS BIPOLAR?

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Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness in which common emotions become intensely and magnified unpredictably. Individuals with bipolar disorder can quickly swing from extremes feelings of happiness, energy and clarity to sadness, fatigue and confusion. These shifts can be so devastating that individuals may choose suicide as the only way out.

For one to be diagnosed with bipolar 1 they to have a series of symptoms which start  when one starts having a manic episode that lasts for a week. This results to the person undergoing a period of extremely elevated mood.

Nonetheless, bipolar manic episodes not only constitute feeling good and excited but also influences moods that are beyond reason cause major distress and impair life. Some of the symptoms of a manic episode include: extreme grandiose,  high self-esteem, a perceived connection with God, the flight of ideas which are thought to be brilliant and extreme elation or irritability.

Other symptoms include reckless spending, going on gambling sprees, drug use, dramatic increase in sexual behavior, insomnia, and an increase in goal directed activity either socially, at work or school. Outward cues of a manic episode include putting on clothes hastily, being openly combative with zero tolerance for anyone. Being hyper-vigilant and making bad decisions in all aspects of life are additional external cues.

The manic episode is usually followed by hypo-manic episode which may also count as major depressive episodes. These hypo-manic episodes last for 4 days consecutively and affect a person’s daily functioning without any psychotic symptoms. The hypo-manic episodes are similar to the manic episodes but less severer. The depressive episodes last for two weeks. At this time the person experiences depressed moods, lack of interest in everything, has a change in body weight, experiences fatigue regularly becomes insomniac. The person can also have a poor concentration and have thoughts of worthlessness and death especially suicide.

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Treatment.

The exact cause of bipolar disorders is not precisely understood. It seems to be a combination of 3 things namely genetics, chemical imbalances in the brain and stress that trigger events that somehow “activate” an inherited predisposition to bipolar. When you go for an assessment, just like for any other illness, you will be asked about family history. A close relative such as a parent with suspected or diagnosed bipolar disorder greatly increases the likelihood of also an individual having the illness. One often takes a bipolar test to eliminate any uncertainties in the final diagnosis.

So far, there does not seem to be any way to prevent the illness, but you can prevent some episodes of mania or depression once a doctor establishes that you do in fact have Bipolar Type 1. The key factor for stabilization is regular therapy, steady diet and exercise and most of all is mood stabilizing medications such as lithium can greatly reduce the frequency and severity of Bipolar Type 1 episodes.

Hopefully this article will help you know to relate with family and friends who are suffering from Bipolar and what it entails. This article should not be used to make any diagnosis, however if you think have similar symptoms one should go to a primary physician or to a mental health professional as soon as possible to get a proper diagnosis.

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MEMORY LOSS

By Alexis Musyoki

tochki-za-masazh-protiv-umora-hremaAt some point of our lives we’ve forgotten a name, turning off our cooking gas and the most annoying for me is entering into a room and forgetting why i went in there. It’s normal to forget, its part of our genetic makeup. However, forgetting close family members, where you are or forgetting completely your way back home may be a serious indication of severe  memory loss. Hopefully, this post will help you in identifying serious memory loss, its causes and how it can be treated and also how family,friends and the individual can cope with it.

For the longest time, human memory has been studied and has become one of the major topics of interests in cognitive psychology. In the brain, there’s no actual specific place where a person can think, remember or learn. These processes are spread throughout different parts of the brain, especially in the ‘grey matter’ of the cerebral cortex. The outer layer of the cerebrum which receives messages from the senses does most of the thinking and stores facts and events.  The hippocampus plays the single largest role in processing information gathered as memory while the amygdale helps imprint memories that include emotions. Although a memory begins with perception, it is encoded and stored using chemicals. There are billions of neurons in the brain, each one capable of connecting with over 1000 others. Each time the brain receives new information, the brain creates a new pathway of nerve connections called a memory trace. As the connections break down due to lack of use causing a person to forget certain information.  

So why do we forget? One may say, as humans we have faults and that’s true however,  we forget because either the information is stored in our memory but we are unable to retrieve it or its because the memory has completely disappeared from our memory and its no longer available.

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So what causes memory problems?

There are Certain medical conditions that can cause serious memory problems such as having a bad reaction to certain medicines that cause depression, not having enough fluids in your body which can cause dehydration, not eating enough healthy foods, or too many or few vitamins and minerals in your body, having minor head injuries and also having thyroid problems.

We are all emotional however, in older people negative emotions can cause serious memory problems. Feeling sad, lonely, worried, depressed or bored can cause one to be confused and forgetful. They should be encouraged to be active, spend more time with family and friends, and learning new skills can help  to keep at bay memory problems.

Alzheimer’s also causes serious memory problems. This is because of a large numbers of brain cells die. It may look like simple forgetfulness at first, but over time, people with Alzheimer’s disease have trouble thinking clearly. They find it hard to do everyday activities like driving, cooking and even having a conversation. As the illness gets worse, people with Alzheimer’s disease may need someone to take care of all their personal needs such as feeding, bathing either at home or in a nursing home.

Many people have never heard of dementia. Like Alzheimer’s disease, it is a medical condition that causes serious memory problems. Unlike Alzheimer’s disease, signs of dementia may appear suddenly this is because the memory loss and confusion is caused by small strokes or changes in the blood supply to the brain. If the strokes stop, you can get better or sadly stay the same for a long time. If you have more strokes, it will get worse.

Treatment

Treatment for memory loss depends on the cause and in many cases, it may be reversible with treatment. Memory loss from medications can be resolved by changing medication. Nutrition supplements can be useful against memory loss caused by a nutrition deficiency. When depression is a factor it`s necessary to go for proper treatment since this can also cause memory loss. In some cases such as a stroke therapy may help people remember how to do certain tasks such as walking or tying shoes. This may improve, memory over time. There are drugs which are available to treat memory problems related to Alzheimer’s, help lower blood pressure  which can help reduce risk of more brain damage from dementia related to high blood pressure.

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How to cope with serious memory problems

If you’re worried about your memory, see a doctor. If your doctor thinks it’s serious, you may need to have a complete checkup, including blood and urine tests. You also may need to take tests that check your memory, problem solving, counting, and language skills. In addition, you may need a CAT scan of the brain. These pictures can show normal and problem areas in the brain. Once the doctor finds out what is causing your memory problems, ask about what is the best treatment for you. You can do the same for your family or friend,  encourage and also be there for them.

Family members and friends can help you live as normal a life as possible. They can help you exercise, visit friends and basically help you keep up with your daily routines. They can remind you of the time of day, where you live and what is happening at home and in and around the world. Some families use the following things to help with memory: having big calendars, listing plans for each day.

In conclusion, memory loss can be managed when proper techniques and services are put in place. The caregivers should also be taken care of so as to cope with the situation more effectively.

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