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[En] The Importance of Cultural Belonging on Mental Health

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Kesehatan Mental

Lampung.co – No matter who we are or where we live, having a sense of belonging is paramount to our mental health. The community in which we live plays a big role in that, influencing how connected and close we feel to others. Many people also belong to a specific culture that has certain norms and expectations. When someone doesn’t meet these expectations, it can make them feel disconnected from the group as a whole. In extreme cases, they may even be cut off from the group. Culture plays a big part in dictating our sense of belonging, and many people often feel caught in the middle of two contrasting cultures. For example, someone who has roots from one country but then moves to another might feel torn between the two. Not feeling connected to either culture can lead to mental health issues in which the person might need to talk to a therapist about what they’re experiencing. The most important thing is to be oneself and embrace your culture without feeling any shame. This looks different for everyone but having that sense of belonging is essential to your mental health. Here’s why…

Acceptance

Everyone wants to be loved and accepted exactly as they are. In fact, this is necessary for good mental health. When we’re a part of a group, it can feel scary to deviate from the group at all. As previously mentioned, several cultures have norms, rules, and expectations for those that belong to that culture. This is why it’s so important to keep an open mind, accept others as they are, and remember that it’s okay to be different. Many groups are drawn together because they share the same values. This should be the most important aspect. We create safer places for people to be themselves and belong when we accept them as they are.

Sense of Purpose

In order to live a meaningful life, people need to know they have a specific purpose. Of course, every human has value simply because they exist, but most people want to have a sense of purpose in their lives. This could mean a certain career, the chance to be a parent, or the creation of a book or work of art. It will be different for everyone, but it’s important for people to feel they’re contributing something to the world. Within cultures, people need to know they play an important role in keeping that culture alive.

People Who Care

At the end of the day, people want to know that there are others who care about and for them. It can be hard to live up to certain expectations, but it’s vital that everyone knows they’ll still be loved even if these expectations aren’t met. Culture can be tricky and confusing to navigate but can also provide people with the confidence to know they’re loved just as they are. Culture is a collective feeling from a group of people that shows support, keeps people connected, and reduces isolation.

It’s evident that everyone needs to know that they belong. Though this looks different from person to person, we all play a part in helping others to feel this sense of belonging. Practice being open-minded, putting in the effort to include others, and caring for people no matter how different they are from you. If you get the impression that you just don’t fit in with your culture or aren’t welcome, open up to someone about it. You are never alone in feeling this way. Culture is a beautiful thing that can bring people together like nothing else can. It is vital to good mental health and can be the deciding factor between feeling alone and feeling connected and supported. (Adv)

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Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with MyTherapist.com and Mind-Diagnostics.org. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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[En] The 10 Best Foods for Eating Disorder Recovery

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Eating Disorder Recovery
Ilustrasi : Foto: Ist.

Lampung.co – As you read this, nearly 9% of the world’s population is suffering from a debilitating eating disorder. That equals over 28.8 million people in the United States alone, with much higher numbers in impoverished countries where healthy foods are scarce. Thus, recovering from an eating disorder can be a lot harder than some people think.

Those who want to feel better faster understand that they’ve done major damage to their bodies. So, they’re constantly looking for the healthiest fruits and vegetables, the best exercise plans, the tastiest recipes, and the most fortified vitamin supplements on the market. They want to recover because they want to live more abundant lives. And here’s how they do it.

What does an eating disorder do to the body?

According to doctors and mental health experts, there are at least a dozen different eating disorders listed in the DSM-5:

  1. Anorexia nervosa
  2. Bulimia nervosa
  3. Orthorexia nervosa
  4. Muscle dysmorphia
  5. Diabulimia
  6. Drunkorexia
  7. Pregorexia
  8. Selective eating disorder
  9. Prader Willi Syndrome
  10. Compulsive overeating (COE)
  11. Binge eating disorder (BED)
  12. Other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED)

Each condition is different, has unique causes, and requires targeted treatment to cope. However, they all deprive the body of vital nutrients and can create major problems when it comes to immunities, digestion, and reproduction. Plus, a prolonged problem can transform the way you look and the way your body handles food in the future. Read more about eating disorders here: https://www.mind-diagnostics.org/blog/eating-disorder.

Meanwhile, many eating disorder side effects can be permanent, meaning you can’t wait too long to do something about it. Improper nutrition can affect your entire body and change your mood too. There are behavioral, cognitive, and developmental repercussions as well. So, here are some of the signs you need to start eating better ASAP:

  • Indigestion
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Extreme weight loss or gain
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • Delayed growth
  • Mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Low body temperature
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Brittle nails
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Headache and migraine
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Social isolation

Prolonged, untreated eating disorders can also lead to osteoporosis, heart disease, obesity, gastrointestinal disorder, and diabetes. Therefore, changing your dietary standards today is essential to protecting your brain and beauty tomorrow.

Eat these 10 foods to heal from an eating disorder

If you’re having trouble stomaching food, don’t sweat it. Just select some bland recipes to fill your tummy without triggering your tongue. Certain items are better for finicky bellies than others, especially when there’s a psychological component or textural issue attached.

Try chewing on small bites at least 5 or 6 times each day to begin retraining your digestive system, and start with one (or all) of these 10 healthy options:

#1. Whole Wheat Toast
Toasted whole wheat bread provides much-needed carbohydrates to fuel a malnourished or improperly satiated body to recover after an eating disorder.

#2. Whole Grain Pasta
Healthy pastas are bland enough to slip past the tongue yet extremely filling to the belly in small doses, especially if it’s eaten with a glass of water.

#3. Brown or White Rice
Vitamin-rich rice serves the same purpose as pasta without all the gluten and sugar. Eaten in moderation, this food can help heal a weak or overworked stomach.

#4. Potatoes
There are a thousand different ways to make potatoes and each one is delicious. Add your own spices to give it the flavor you desire most.

#5. Salted Crackers
Crackers expand in your stomach and make you feel fuller, all while passing the tongue test too. Salted crackers promote thirst, which leads to liquid consumption as well.

#6. Leafy Green Vegetables
These veggies are dense in essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to recover from an eating disorder. So, try to add some into every meal.

#7. Wild Caught Salmon
This is a terrific source of fresh, easily digestible protein that also boosts cell production to help rebuild broken tissue bonds from malnutrition.

#8. Organ Meats
Certain animal organ meats provide a power-packed dose of crucial vitamins, minerals, and proteins, even in small doses or as a simple soup broth.

#9. Protein-Packed Nuts Organ Meats
Nuts are a low calorie alternative to most meats and can help energize a tired or fatigued body after it has suffered through a lengthy eating disorder.

#10. Berries
Fresh berries give the brain and body something special to run on, including vital antioxidants that can help reverse the damage you’ve already done.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of healthy foods for eating disorder recovery. Plus, some of these options may have an opposite effect if you’re allergic or have psychological aversions to certain dishes. So, talk to a medical doctor for tips on how to choose the right recipes. And seek professional help from a nutritionist or a mental health expert to start rewiring your brain toward food.

The takeaway

A healthy diet can play a tremendous role in how you look, feel, and behave. Meanwhile, prolonged eating disorders may make it more difficult to recover from mental, emotional, and physical disrepair. So, start rethinking your views on food and begin selecting dishes that strengthen your mind and body. Meanwhile, don’t forget to seek help when you need it.

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[En] Common Myths about Schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia
Ilustrasi Schizophrenia | Foto: Ist.

Lampung.co – Less than 1% of the global population suffers from schizophrenia, yet 99% of people believe certain facts to be true. The problem is that some facts are based on myths, misconceptions, misunderstanding, and miseducation. So, what’s the truth about the disorder? And what should you do if you have it?

What is schizophrenia?

This is defined as a chronic psychotic disorder with a wide range of unique symptoms. It’s generally characterized by frequent delusions, hallucinations, and/or an altered state of reality. Those with it might also experience scattered thoughts, inorganized speech, unnatural movements, and ultimately social isolation. However, the symptoms aren’t always easy to spot and they never affect two people in the exact same way.

As of now, there is no cure for schizophrenia. However, there are some effective coping strategies and techniques to help minimize the symptoms. Usually, those diagnosed with this disorder must continue under a doctor’s care for the rest of their lives. So, in the meantime, we need to start squashing the myths and misconceptions that surround the disorder because it’s not fair to those who have it.

5 common myths about schizophrenia

To find out whether you or someone you love has schizophrenia and/or the symptoms thereof, go to Mind Diagnostics for more information or to take a test. Then, learn these 5 truths about the disorder so you can become a better ally:

MYTH #1. People with schizophrenia are volatile.
FACT: Schizophrenia has been portrayed as dangerous by the mainstream media and in movies.
TRUTH: Studies show that nearly 80% of movies featuring schizophrenic characters depict them as violent. But when there are no co-occurring conditions, most people with schizophrenia are perfectly safe, although somewhat unpredictable.
NOTE: Darrell Hammond from SNL spoke openly about his schizophrenia diagnosis in a viral CNN interview.

MYTH #2. Schizophrenic people can’t be successful at work.
FACT: With treatment, sufferers of this condition can participate as valuable members of the economy.
TRUTH: It’s possible to be productive and dependable despite having this condition, especially if effective coping mechanisms, medications, and therapies are used to mitigate some of the negative psychosocial issues.
NOTE: Those who get diagnosed by a doctor can apply to receive Social Security benefits.

MYTH #3. Schizophrenia is caused by childhood trauma.
FACT: There’s a genetic component that combined with environmental risk factors, which means schizophrenia is not the result of bad parenting.
TRUTH: Each one of the tiny genetic factors plays a role in the development of schizophrenic symptoms. Thus, a difficult childhood doesn’t necessarily cause the disorder. In fact, research shows that certain infections can be the primary culprit in some cases.
NOTE: A deletion in chromosome 22 has been linked to schizophrenia and other developmental disorders and/or birth defects.

MYTH #4. People with schizophrenia must live in the hospital.
FACT: Most people with this disorder live comfortably at home with their loving relatives.
TRUTH: Not everyone with schizophrenia must be confined to a hospital. Some live with family while others stay in managed group homes with other individuals who have a mental illness. Then, they’re only hospitalized if they exhibit symptoms despite treatment.
NOTE: The amount of knowledge about schizophrenic behaviors has increased drastically since 1990.

MYTH #5. Schizophrenia equals a high IQ.
FACT: Schizophrenic disorder has little impact on a person’s level of intelligence or creativity.
TRUTH: According to the most recent studies, there is an inconsequential connection between a person’s IQ and the development of schizophrenia. So, while there may be some people with exceptional intelligence and this disorder, correlation and causation remain separate here.
NOTE: One study found that IQ scores actually drop after the onset of schizophrenia.

This disorder has been around for a long time, although modern science is just now starting to understand it better. As such, you may encounter other myths such as:

  • The symptoms are the same for everyone.
  • There’s only one type of schizophrenia.
  • There will be many unpredictable mood swings.
  • None of the available treatment options are effective.

Truth be told, each person experiences schizophrenia is a unique way. There are also several different types of this disorder, and mood swings are most commonly associated with schizoaffective disorder or bipolar instead. Meanwhile, many of the treatment options produce positive results, especially cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (RTMS), and deep brain stimulation.

Get professional help with your schizophrenia symptoms and/or medication side effects by consulting with a mental health expert or licensed physician.

The takeaway

Schizophrenic causes, triggers, and symptoms are still somewhat shrouded in mystery, but disregarding the myths can help you understand a diagnosis and develop better coping mechanisms or advocacy plans. (Adv)

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[En] How Identity Impacts Mental Health

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Mental Health

Lampung.co – From pandemics to school to work and daily life, all sorts of factors influence our mental health. Even our identity can dictate how we feel about ourselves and the world around us. If you’ve ever wondered “who am I?” you’re not alone. Millions of people are asking themselves the same question every day. We all worry about our purpose, what we’ll accomplish with the life we have, and who we truly are deep down. Some people seem to know who they are much more than others do. They walk around confidently, share their opinions boldly, and seem to know exactly what they want out of life. Others still have no idea what they want to do and tend to get confused about their beliefs. Sometimes, people are just too afraid to share their true feelings, and other times they genuinely don’t know what they believe or who they are. Unfortunately, not having a strong sense of identity can impact one’s mental wellness in more ways than one.

Positive Self-Esteem

Those with good self-esteem also tend to have a strong sense of identity. This is because they know exactly who they are, and they don’t care who knows it. They take others’ opinions into consideration but ultimately don’t let what others think control their life. Those with positive self-esteem are normally happier, healthier people. It’s good to think highly of oneself and to be your biggest fan. Of course, there is such thing as too much self-love, as in the case of narcissists, but in general, you should strive to have as much self-esteem as possible. When you’re comfortable in your own shoes, you accomplish more and also encourage others to be completely themselves too.

Self-Confidence

Self-confidence describes the ability of someone to go after what they want. These people don’t hold back and know they have what it takes to succeed. There are many ways to build your self-confidence, but one of the most striking is having a strong sense of identity. When you know who you are, failure is less damaging to your spirit and instead becomes more motivation to reach your goals. Self-confidence and self-esteem tend to go hand-in-hand, so improve in one area and you’ll likely improve in the other as well.

Separating Mental Illness from Self

Those who have poor mental health, or a mental illness, often have a hard time deciding what parts of themselves are them and which parts are their mental illness. For example, those with depression might assume they’re just a naturally sad person, not realizing the impact this condition has on their mind. They may think they’re worthless as a person. Those with anxiety may think they’re someone who is just scared of life and beat themselves up about it. Of course, these things simply aren’t true, but it can be hard to separate the real self from the false self with mental health struggles in the picture. If you have a mental health condition, realize it doesn’t define you or say anything about your identity. There is an endless number of stigmas surrounding mental health but recognize that they’re not based on truth. Everyone is more than their mental illness, so try not to label yourself and don’t let others do it either.

Being Open with Others

The more open you are with other people, the better. It shows vulnerability to disclose things about yourself to others but doing so will help you grow, and it keeps you authentic. Those who are shameful about the person they truly are tend to be more private and don’t open up to others as often. They keep secrets and are more prone to feelings of shame. Shame is detrimental to one’s mental health and overall well-being. You’ll find that you’re often much more judgmental of yourself than other people. So, what seems so awful to you might not seem like a big deal when you tell another person. Practice being open with people, especially those close to you.

How to Build Identity

Start by thinking about what is most important to you in life. These could be people, values, morals, or goals and aspirations. Write them down, and don’t forget them. Let these be what drive you to succeed and to wake up each morning. Before responding to someone, consider whether your response is actually what you believe or is just an attempt at people-pleasing. Get comfortable with saying exactly what’s on your mind. Practice self-compassion instead of trying to change yourself and learn how to spend time alone. If needed, seek out the help of a therapist to help guide you through the process of building your personal identity. This will look different for everyone, but the process is worth your time and effort.

Developing a sense of self is vital to one’s well-being. Not having this sense of self can lead to mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression. It can be difficult to form an identity if you allow the opinions of others to influence your own thoughts and feelings. Try to block out unhelpful opinions, but also recognize those people probably think they’re just trying to help you. It’s normal to take years to develop a strong sense of self but think of it as a journey. There isn’t any rush to figure out who you are even if it feels like it. Always treat yourself with compassion like you would with a friend and when you forget who you are, lean on trusted friends and family members who have your best interest at heart. Sometimes it takes others to believe in us before we can start believing in ourselves. Once you discover who you are, you’ll likely feel happier, healthier, and more confident to take on the world one step at a time. (Adv)

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