Στήλη: Psychology

Depression: What is it and how do we recognize it?

By Tsipi Maria & Panagiotou Nefeli-Stavroula (A Class)

We’ve all heard of depression, at least once in our lives. We know that some people suffer from it, but do we really know what it is? Do we understand how these people feel? Probably not. And that’s the exact purpose of the article you’re about to read.

 Καταγραφή

Definition: What Is Depression?

Depression is a serious mood disorder, a state of low mood. Depression affects a person’s feelings, behaviour and even thoughts. Someone that suffers from depression usually shows no interest in lots of activities they used to be keen on, refuses to socialize or in serious cases attempts to commit suicide. Most people think that, depressed is someone who simply feels sad or lonely at particular times but in reality, these people suffer a lot more than we think, as depression can cause insomnia, eating disorders or even aches and pains without any physical causes. So, depressed mood can either be a normal reaction – as long as it doesn’t last for a long time – or a symptom of a psychiatric disorder such as major depressive disorder.

 

Types of Depression

  1. Major Depression is characterized by intense feeling of sadness.
  2. Dysthymic disorder is a less intense type of Depression, but it persists on a longer period of time.
  3. Adjustment disorders occur when an individual responds negatively to a stressful event.
  4. Postpartum Depression is Depression that occurs after giving birth.
  5. Manic Depression or bipolar disorders is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in a person’s mood.
  6. Psychotic Depression includes some features of psychosis, such as hallucinations or delusions.
  7. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of Depression that comes on in the winter months when the sun is sparse.

 

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

But how can we recognize depression? How can we understand if a person is depressed or not? Well, we usually acknowledge depression from its symptoms. People that experience these symptoms for a long period of time, almost every day for more than two weeks, are likely to have depression:

  • Feeling sad, anxious most of the time for no particular reason
  • Losing interest for activities they used to be keen on
  • Feeling tired, decreased energy
  • Thinking about death or committing suicide
  • Losing appetite, having some sort of eating disorder
  • Becoming a pessimist, having a continuous feeling of guilt and negativity
  • Suffering from insomnia, having a sleeping disorder
  • Suffering from aches or pains with no physical cause

 

Depressed people don’t always have these symptoms or show these signs, as each case of depression is different, depending on the person and how serious the case is. These symptoms may appear on the first stage of the illness or even on the final stage.

 

What YOU can do

If you realize you have some of the symptoms above, the first thing you should do is visit a doctor. They will give you a treatment that can help you. But beyond the treatment, there are some things you can do if you realize that you’re probably suffering from depression or you’re suspicious that some member of your family or loved one is going through a situation like this.

  • First of all, you should try to be more optimistic. Set goals and make yourself believe that you can achieve them.
  • Don’t be afraid to open up to people. Make friends and keep them close and don’t forget that you’re not alone and there are people who care for you.
  • Don’t give up on yourself easily if you feel you can’t achieve something. Situations change gradually and not immediately. So if you can’t achieve a goal, just wait and try again.
  • Finally, make sure you’re always aware and knowledgeable. Being ignorant can stop you from preventing a situation like this. If you’re well-informed about such problems then you can help yourself or somebody else to prevent it from getting worse.

If you’re going through something like this, then remember that you shouldn’t be alone. Don’t be afraid to speak about it. That way you can protect yourself or a loved one that could be suffering.

 

Sources:

  • https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml#part_145398
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depression_(mood)

How much of yourself can you actually be?

By George Tsapikounis (A Class)

 How much of yourself can you really be

Despite the fact that this question seems a bit confusing, when someone thinks of how he can possibly be anyone else than himself, it gets really interesting when we interpret it at a sociological approach.

In modern society, due to the given importance of a first impression, a large proportion of people, in their effort to accomplish a smooth socialization, lose sight of the target and tend to present an improved version of their self, rather than their own unique personality, in order to become appealing to others. However, most of the time their behaviour is not based on their personal choice but it is enforced in an indirect manner by the current social surroundings. As a result, apart from their hallucinatory feeling of inadequacy, their personality varies according to the current circumstances, ending up being many-faced persons that lack their own characteristic identity. Consequently, they fall victims of social conformism and cannot enter society as they truly are, while instead they become unable to enjoy the benefits of a smooth socialization such as self-confidence and seamless communication.

In conclusion, as much as acceptable we want to be, we should question ourselves whether it is really worth it to change our true personality to achieve it.

I am happy!

 By Kollarou Dimitra (A Class)

αρχείο λήψης

Being happy is nothing but a state of mind. Everyone is seeking happiness. But where can it be found? Is there a map?

If there has been one time in my life when I truly felt happy and complete, I think it was last year. It was a hot, mid-August, summer night, so my friend Caroline and I decided to take a walk on the beach. After looking at the ocean for a while we decided to lie down and gaze at the stars. For a moment there I closed my eyes and carefully listened to the waves crashing onto the shore. The feeling I got when I opened my eyes…. was “happiness”. That simple – yet magical – moment was my moment of happiness. Nature made me happy with its simple and yet magical beauty. The combination of the ocean, the stars and the moon was so ordinary and unique at the same time. Such a paradox I thought at the time.

Many people associate the feeling of happiness with possessions and money. Well, definitely having some money contributes to a feeling of happiness, but real happiness is not hidden in material things but in moments shared with our beloved ones. Giving and sharing is another way which might lead someone to be happy because it has been scientifically proved that, when we give and we make other people happy, we ourselves become happier! For me, the most important thing to understand in order to feel happy is to feel gratitude. Every single one of us should start appreciating what we have: simple things, nature, food, water. People should stop chasing something bigger and start feeling thankful for what they already have. That is why, in my opinion, the pursuit of happiness is pointless. Happiness is going to come to every single one of us if we stop chasing it. We need to stop and catch our breath for a moment and thank ourselves for where we have arrived and then thank nature for all it has offered us.

Happiness is like love, it comes whenever you are ready to receive it. It is out there in the simplicity and at the same time complexity of nature. Happiness is out there in nature as Oscar Wild said: ‘’ with the moon, the stars and a book who couldn’t be happy?‘’

 αρχείο λήψης (1)

———————————————————————————————————————————————————-

There is a very interesting talk of Michael Norton, a Social science researcher, about how money actually CAN bring happiness. Read it at: https://www.ted.com/talks/michael_norton_how_to_buy_happiness#

 

Positive vibes…

By Natalia Kalou (B class)

In the noisy confusion of life, where problems and stressful situations are common, especially among young people, we need to adopt an optimistic life attitude and realize that a positive worldview can have plenty of benefits in our lives. So here are some ways you can try to reach a more positive perspective of things:

1)   Use positive words

Words like “I can’t” or “It’s not possible” should not belong in your vocabulary. Try using words that express power and success.

2)   Try repelling negative feelings

There is no need to vanish them. Yes, these are normal, too. Just don’t let them drag you down.       

Καταγραφή

3)  Remember that everything can be better

We people have the power to change things. We just have to be patient and try.

4)  Dream big

Be a dreamer! Dreams give you hope. Who knows, maybe your dreams one day will be your reality!

Καταγραφή1

5)  Name your obstacles to opportunities

When you overcome your obstacles, you will see that they only made you stronger…

6)  Take a deep breath

Relax, take your time to think, observe and feel! Don’t let rapid lifestyle affect your serenity.

Καταγραφή2

7)  Surround yourself with positive people

People that make you feel good about yourself are important in your life. Share your thoughts and feeling with them and you will be really blessed if you even manage to help them in a way…That’s true happiness!

8)  Smile

Is it not obvious? Smiling makes you happy!!

Καταγραφή3

9)   Find what makes YOU happy

Read books, dance, hang out with friends, watch movies, do whatever completes you! Every single one of us has different preferences…

10)  Love yourself!

Last but not least! If you don’t love yourself, no one will do it…When YOU decide to be happy, you will!

 Καταγραφή4

CONSCIENCE

By George Karagiannis, George Andrikopoulos, George Galanopoulos and George Thanopoulos (B class)

images

Conscience is an aptitude, faculty, intuition or judgment that assists in distinguishing right from wrong. Moral judgments may derive from values or norms (principles and rules). In psychological terms conscience is often described as leading to feelings of remorse when a human commits actions that go against his/her moral values and to feelings of rectitude or integrity when actions conform to such norms. The extent to which conscience informs moral judgment before an action and whether such moral judgments are or should be based in reason has occasioned been debated through much of the history of Western philosophy.

In psychology, there is a specific domain which is called consciousness. This is the area where the human emotions ‘’live’’. Though there is no map for our brain, scientists speculate that in that specific centre, neurocells are called to make decisions. That is the area that most people connect and sometimes confuse with the entire organ, our brain.

Morphology

 Our brains consist by two hemispheres and are divided in three sectors. The left hemisphere is often accused to be the one that creates our emotions, and alters our mood. The right one will embrace and incarnate the term conscience. The right hemisphere creates reason, logic, and sometimes informs the left one, when it’s time for the emotions to take control. The three sectors are the back, middle, and front areas as we see them from up front. The front one is responsible for the well-being of our organism. The middle one is dedicated to craft emotions and the back one receives messages from the rest of the human body. Although this is the simplest representation of our brain, it tends to be the only one we’ve got.

 images

CONSCIOUSNESS

 Consciousness is the area where decisions are made. Though we cannot accurate pinpoint the exact location, we tend to believe that consciousness is heavily related with unconsciousness and its activity expands throughout the entire brain. We are our consciousness, our sub-consciousness and mostly our unconsciousness. Our personality, our thoughts, our way of living, all of our lives are attached to and depended on these three. Scientists claim that our character stops forming around the age of three. This theory is partially true, because in that age we actually establish the criteria with which we are going to judge the word around us. Thus practically our personality and everything related to us, is pretty much formed. Though, we’d make a great mistake if we claimed that people cannot change. We control our lives and we can change no matter how old or young we are. Decisions, thoughts, ideas, everything can change as long as someone inputs the correct ideas in our brain.

 

HUMOR

We all tell jokes. Some of them are funny, some of them are not as funny as others and some are not funny at all. We claim that humans that have the ability to distinguish good (a.k.a. funny) jokes have good sense of humor. But what is humor? Our brain, and especially conscience, has the ability to predict outcomes. When an outcome is not predicted, usually creates stress and fear. Of course, when you are in a comfortable spot, your brain cannot detect any threat so it feels relieved. This relief creates a sense of joy and this joy is translated into laughter. So humor is actually the inability of our brain to predict outcomes. That’s the exact reason why a joke repeated endless times, doesn’t make us laugh.

Closing

Our brain is unique; it is the only organ of our entire body that has not been fully explained yet.

‘’Everyone is a genius, though if you judge a fish from its ability to climb a tree, you will think it is stupid for the rest of your life‘’

Albert Einstein

untitled1

What is optimism?

By Danae Bakouni (A class)

untitled

Optimism is a form of positive thinking that includes the belief that you are responsible for your own happiness, and that more good things will continue to happen to you in the future.

 

Ever heard the expression “the glass is half full?” It usually refers to how optimistic people see the world. But what does it mean? It means that when you see the glass half full you are an optimistic person because you see everything positively but when you see it half empty you are pessimistic. There are 45 reasons that show the benefit of being optimistic. Firstly, it gives you a reason for living. Also Research shows that it increases longevity. That means that when you do a task you do it without stress because stress is sometimes bad for our health. You are always happy because it creates a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. Every obstacle that is in front of you face it calmly .It enables you to handle and put your emotions in check which creates a positive anticipation of the future.

 

In work it promotes self confidence and boosts self esteem, self respect and integrity and it enhances various coping skills developed in order to combat life’s struggles.  Moreover it forges persistence which is an essential trait required for achieving success and that increases your level of productivity.

 

As we can see being optimistic is only beneficial for us because when we believe in something everything can happen.

Stress: “a devious enemy”

By Anna Sergiou (B class)

 It is fact that the most of us feel the state of stress daily. We feel that everything seems to have become too much and difficult and we wonder if we really can deal with our responsibilities. This state of worry and fear is usually experienced before confronting something challenging like a test, an examination, a performance, or an interview.

Καταγραφή1

 Generally, stress is our body’s method of reacting to any kind of challenge or threat. It has symptoms, such as the acceleration of heart’s pounds, the rise of breath, the muscles’ tightening  and the increase of blood pressure. All these are due to the stress hormones our nervous system releasing when we are in threatening situations.

 

Maybe stress is a natural, biological situation but when it becomes overwhelming, it can create important damage in our health.

So, in this case, we must strongly cope with it.

 Καταγραφή

The first and the most important thing we can do is to make sure myselves that we have done everything we could in order to reach our goal. Then, we must believe in myselves and focus to our aim. If this doesn’t work, we can do something which will distract our attention and will make us forgot the state of fear, such as a sport, a walk in the nature or bicycling. Finally, we must realize that we can’t be perfect, so that not being so afraid of doing something wrong. Then, the state of stress will disappear.

 

Stress has already become so commonplace that we rate it a way of life. However, as we saw, it damages our health so we must take it out of our life.

 

Sources:

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-symptoms-causes-and-effects.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress_(biology)

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/145855.php

 

 

 

 

 

SMALL TIPS FOR SELF-IMPROVEMENT

By Eleni Androutsopoulou-Agiotatou (B Class)

untitled

As human beings, we constantly seek to improve ourselves and become ever better. For those who are passionate about personal growth –including me-, I’ve made a list with tips that actually work ;)

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.

Forgive people and move forward. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is the remedy.  It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened. Remember, the less time you spend hating the people who hurt you, the more time you’ll have to love the people who love you.

Let go of the past. Is there any unhappiness from the past which you have been holding on? If so, it’s time to let it go. Holding on them prevents you from moving on and becoming a better person. Break away from the past, forgive yourself, and move on

Face your fear of failure. – You might fail.  And that’s OK.  The biggest mistake you can make is doing nothing because you’re too scared to make a mistake.  If you can’t handle failure, then you can’t handle success either.

Overcome your fears. All of us have fears. Fear of uncertainty, fear of public speaking, fear of risk… All our fears keep us in the same position and prevent us from growing. Recognize that your fears reflect areas where you can grow, if you try to.

Acknowledge your flaws. Everyone has flaws. What’s most important is to understand them, acknowledge them, and address them. What do you think are your flaws? What are the flaws you can work on now? How do you want to address them?

Know Your Weaknesses. One of the hardest parts about getting started down the path of self-improvement is acknowledging that we’re not perfect or that there are areas of our life that could use some improvement.  Once you acknowledge that, make a plan to change them.

Accept the things you can’t Change. Change the things you can’t accept. When something bad happens in our lives, we try to fix them or change them. But sometimes we can’t. Often this leads us to spend hours moping and falling in to depression. If you can make yourself accept the things you cannot change – you will become a much happier person. Acceptance of these situations also allows us to start finding a way to cope much faster.

Moral Dillemmas: Yes or No?

         By Alpohority Danai (B Class)

untitled

In a situation that you have two choices and the best one for you is very obvious it is very easy to decide. But not in all the situations it is easy to make a decision. Sometimes you are in a moral dilemma. A moral dilemma is when it is necessary to make a distinction between ethics, values, morals, laws and policies because the answer is more complicated.

An example of a moral dilemma is the next one:

A madman who has threatened to explode bombs in crowded areas has been arrested. But he has already planted the bombs and they are scheduled to go off in a short time. It is possible that hundreds of people may die. The authorities cannot make him divulge the location of the bombs. He refuses to say anything. In exasperation, some high level official suggests torture. Do you agree? If you do, would it also be morally justifiable to torture the mad bomber’s innocent wife if that is the only way to make him talk?

 

70% answered: yes

30% answered: no

 

What would you have answered?

What would you have done if you were the one dealing with the specific situation?

Top