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Having a Psychological Test Done? Here is What You Need To Know.

The psychological testing and assessment process will help ensure that the client receives treatment that’s tailored to his or her individual needs.

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Psychological tests and assessments go hand in hand. 

If you or a loved one has been referred by a psychologist for psychological testing, you are probably wondering what to expect when taking this test. Or you may have heard about psychological tests and wonder if you should be tested. A psychological test may sound intimidating, but it’s designed to help you.

Why would a psychological test need to be administered?

A psychologist may want to have want to administer a psychological test or assessment if he/she observes symptoms of a psychological disorder. This person can be a child who experiences academic and social problems at school, or an adult who struggles to maintain personal and professional relationships and due to anger issues, aggression but the cause of the problems are not clear.

Psychological tasing and evaluation consists of a series of test that can help to determine the cause of a range of psychological symptoms and disorders, and to determine a proper diagnosis and follow up with an appropriate course of treatment.

Below is an example of one of the most widely use psychological test

maxresdefault-5Above is an image of one of the most widely used psychological test. RORSCHACH TEST.
personality tests Las Valley 702 flickrAbove is the Myers-Briggs Personality test, which is commonly used today as well.

What are Psychological Tests used for?

Psychological tests are used to assess a variety of mental abilities and attributes, including achievement and ability, personality, and neurological functioning.

Tests and assessments are two separate but related components of a psychological evaluation. Psychologists use both types of tools to help them arrive at a diagnosis and a treatment plan.

Testing involves the use of formal tests such as questionnaires or checklists. These are often described as “norm-referenced” tests. That simply means the tests have been standardized so that test-takers are evaluated in a similar way, no matter where they live or who administers the test. A norm-referenced test of a child’s reading abilities, for example, may rank that child’s ability compared to other children of similar age or grade level. Norm-referenced tests have been developed and evaluated by researchers and proven to be effective for measuring a particular trait or disorder.

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What does Psychological Assessments Include?

A psychological assessment can include numerous components such as norm-referenced psychological tests, informal tests and surveys, interview information, school or medical records, medical evaluation and observational data. A psychologist determines what information to use based on the specific questions being asked. For example, assessments can be used to determine if a person has a learning disorder, is competent to stand trial or has a traumatic brain injury. They can also be used to determine if a person would be a good manager or how well they may work with a team.

One common assessment technique, for instance, is a clinical interview. When a psychologist speaks to a client about his or her concerns and history, they’re able to observe how the client thinks, reasons and interacts with others. Assessments may also include interviewing other people who are close to the client, such as teachers, coworkers or family members. (Such interviews, however, would only be performed with written consent from the client.)

Together, testing and assessment allows a psychologist to see the full picture of a person’s strengths and limitations.

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Psychological tests are not one-size-fits-all. Psychologists pick and choose a specific set of assessments and tests for each individual client. And not just anyone can perform a psychological evaluation. Licensed clinical psychologists are expertly trained to administer assessments and tests and interpret the results. Psychologists who administer psychological tests will treat patients with psychotherapy. Some psychologists only focus on evaluating patients, and would refer the patient to other specialists for treatment after they have made a diagnosis.

Source:
apa.org
Disclaimer: I do not treat or administer psychological tests or assessments. This post is strictly for information purposes.

What is Learned Helplessness and How to Reverse it?

I believe that it is possible to reverse learned helplessness 

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What is Learned Helplessness?

The learned helplessness is a psychological prison where the person thinks that nothing of what he can do can change the circumstances. In this way he remains trapped in the past, accepting his role as a victim. In some cases, the learned helplessness is manifested only in certain contexts, just the ones in which it was born. An example of this phenomenon is when a child gets bad grades in math and then considers that all his life will be bad in this matter. learned helplessness is accompanied by a deep damage to self-esteem.

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Can learned helplessness be reversed?

Learned helplessness is not a mental illness, which does have a diagnosis. So what is good to note here is that it can definitely be reversed. It can be reversed with the right kind of guidance, preferably with the help of a therapist, a life coach, combined with self-help strategies, that you can apply as well.

believe-that-life-is-worth-living-and-your-belief-will-help-create-the-fact-william-james-3.jpgQuote: My first act of free will shall be to believe in free will”, said psychologist William James.

 

Learned helplessness is not a weight that the person has to carry forever. It is necessary to work on self-esteem and to rearrange the traumatic experiences of the past.

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These exercises can be useful to reverse Learned Helplessness:

1. Change your mind with metaphors

If you have suffered learned helplessness for a long time, your conscious mind will be accustomed to this coping style, so at first it will resist to change. That means you can not fool yourself by repeating phrases like “I am a valuable person” or “I can do it”.

However, metaphors are a great tool to begin changing mental models at the subconscious level and then at a conscious one.

For example, you can imagine being a bird that has been kept caged for a long time. That bird was not guilty for being locked in a cage. However, one day the door of the cage went open and the bird hesitates to exit. That bird must realize that he still has wings that will allow him to fly far away. That he is no longer trapped.

As a general rule, people who suffer from learned helplessness respond very well to metaphors, you can create your own metaphor and imagine it in your own way, until gradually your conscious mind assumes that the protagonist of the story is you and you can fly away because there is nothing more that binds you to the past.

2. Find out the origin of your thoughts

People who suffer of learned helplessness often have a very negative, depressing and demoralizing inner dialogue. Normally they do not realize it, but those thoughts are those that, in a way, nourish and consolidate their condition.

An excellent strategy to counteract them is to find out their origin. Every time you think you can not do it, you are not able or not worth trying, try to find out who talked to you this way in the past. These words are likely to come from your parents, a brother, a teacher, or even your partner.

When you realize that this demotivating dialogue is just the opinion of someone you have introjected, it loses its strength immediately, because it is not your thought, but corresponds to the image someone wanted you to have of yourself.

3. Live the Difference!

Learned helplessness means assuming that we are experiencing a new situation where we do not have the same limitations of the past. It means understanding that there are many other alternatives as every situation is always different, and we also have changed.

Unfortunately, very often the person hangs in his past, to get out of it, he needs to realize that he is no longer the same person and that the circumstances have changed. To achieve this, it is convenient to highlight the differences.

For example, a child who has been subjected to violence and has been ridiculed by his parents every time he expressed his opinion, is likely to be afraid to speak at work. That person can make a list of the differences between the two situations:

What happened at that time?

How were you at that moment?

Who was the person who humiliated/ridiculed you?

What is happening now?

How are you now?

How are the people around you?

By putting it black on white you will notice that there are big differences between the past and the present, and this opens the mind to new ways of reacting.

4. Take the control by solving problems

Everything that is learned can be lost, but it is necessary that the person be willing to change. An excellent strategy in treating the learned helplessness is to promote the problem solving, because with each solution that the person encounters and practices satisfactorily, he will experience a sense of power that will help him abandon the psychological jail.

The person who suffers of learned helplessness usually takes a passive attitude in life, letting the circumstances or the others decide for him. He has to take on the reins of his life and deal with problems by leaving emotions out of the way.

To achieve this goal, there are some questions that can guide you along the way:

– What can I do to avoid this?

– What did it teach me this experience?

– What alternative solutions do I have at hand?

The most important thing is that you feel you have the control of your life and that you can do something to change. Focus on those things you have some power on and, little by little, do something to change them.

5. Connect with your “inner self”

People who suffer from learned helplessness often disconnected completely from their “inner self”. The pain they suffered in the past has led her to that emotional disconnection. However, to heal it is essential that you come back to connect with your essence.

An exercise that is usually not used in treating the learned helplessness but which is very effective in rediscovering the person you are, is simply meditating in front of the mirror.

Sit in a place where no one can bother you, preferably in front of a mirror where you can see yourself completely. You just have to look at you, without any expectation. You can stare at each of your features. After a while, you will notice that you start distancing from the reflected image in the mirror.

Some people experience a great tenderness for the image in the mirror, others barely recognize how distant they were from themselves. Many people notice that this “other person” feels depressed, lonely or helpless.

The idea is that to reverse learned helplessness you have to make peace with that person, that you realize that you need her.

8 Strange Psychological Disorders, You Probably Haven’t Heard Of.

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Here are 8 of the strangest mental illnesses

  1. Autophagia

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You might want to put your food away for this one. Autophagia refers to the condition of eating yourself, or parts of yourself—often by simply biting and chewing impulsively. This disorder doesn’t have an official place of its own in the DSM-IV, but it would fit in with impulse control disorders in general.

One man apparently began by merely biting his own nails—but ended up with such a problem that he severely mutilated his fingers. As with most disorders, this one can range from very mild to life threatening.

2. Mary Hart syndrome

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If you wanted bizarre, then you’re about to get it. It turns out that there are reported cases of people experiencing seizures upon hearing the voice of Mary Hart, a TV personality.

A doctor who studied one of these claims said that the woman concerned really did fall into a seizure at the sound of Hart’s voice; he reported that the woman would also grip her head, looking distracted and confused. It is important to note, however, that this strange syndrome seems only to affect those who already have seizures for other reasons.

3. Caffeine-Induced Anxiety Disorder

Caffeine can induce serious anxiety, and a good portion of the world is high on caffeine at any given time—which means there is a good chance that many people are suffering from this right now.

While researchers have long acknowledged that caffeine increases the chances of anxiety, they have additionally found that people who already have a regular anxiety disorder are far more susceptible to the psychological effects of caffeine. So if you’re already prone to panic attacks, ingesting caffeine could well lead to an even greater risk.

4. Boanthropy

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Boanthropy is a strange delusional disorder whereby a person believes himself to be a cow or an ox. Some people think that the disorder usually starts out as a dream and goes on to pervade the waking mind, eventually taking hold as a full-blown delusion. It’s also possible that the condition can be induced by hypnotism, provided that the subject is more than a little suggestible.

Nebuchadnezzar, King of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, is generally thought to have suffered from this condition—at least according to the Book of Daniel, which states that he “was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen.”

5. Aboulomania

Aboulomania isn’t a very well-known disorder; essentially, it involves the occasional onset of crippling indecision.

Aboulomania sufferers are normal in practically every other way, physically and mentally—they simply run into very serious problems whenever they’re faced with certain choices, to the extent that they struggle to regain normal function.

Some aboulomania sufferers face incredible difficulties in everyday life, finding it nearly impossible to do simple things; even wondering whether or not they should go out for a walk can paralyze them with indecision. Many sufferers report that their incapacity to do what they want comes in spite of that fact that they’re aware of being physically fine—and so they seem to be imprisoned by the inability to fulfill their own will.

6. Landau-Kleffner Syndrome

Landau-Kleffner Syndrome is an odd disorder; children who suffer from it—generally between the ages of five and seven—frequently lose the ability to properly express and understand language. Some people with this syndrome also suffer from seizures, and scientists are yet to understand why the disorder occurs.

It’s all made stranger by the fact that the children usually develop their language skills just fine, and then seem to lose them randomly. Certain speech therapies can be helpful in managing the condition, but it is fairly difficult to treat.

7. Erotomania

Erotomania is a pretty strange disorder; essentially, it refers to people who are deluded into thinking that someone else is in love with them. But what makes this disorder especially bizarre is that the person who is supposedly in love with the sufferer is usually someone of much higher status than themselves—and often a celebrity.

This delusion can be difficult to break; even if the supposed lover directly denies any feelings of love, it is often not enough to convince the deluded individual. Unfortunately, there isn’t much known about this particular disorder, especially in regard to its treatment.

8. Riley-Day Syndrome

Riley-Day Syndrome is also known as Familial Dysautonomia; and it’s a disorder that is genetically inherited. To actually show signs of having the condition, however, the relevant gene has to be passed on by both parents.

Basically, Riley-Day syndrome affects the autonomous nervous system. While there are many extremely unpleasant symptoms (such as frequent vomiting, and difficulty swallowing), it does also have some arguably cool features. Chief among these is the fact that many people with the condition are almost entirely insensitive to pain.

Of course, though a painless life sounds great in theory, it doesn’t work so well in practice. Pain is actually your friend; it sends signals to your brain to let you know when something needs fixing—so to go without it altogether isn’t necessarily going to be a pleasant experience.

 

 

What Condition Does the Joker Have?

THE JOKER’S CONDITION DOES EXIST!

The movie Joker is a very interesting movie, I actually watched it 6 times. I mean it’s really a great movie with a truly amazing actor. The movie seems to blame mental illness for the crimes the Joker committed. However, the movie does not portray mental illness correctly. Most people who are mentally illness are more likely to harm themselves rather than to harm others. But I guess these kinds of movie sells and crossed $1Billion globally.

About three weeks ago I was asked Is the condition that causes continuous laughter in the movie “Joker” a real condition?  Unfortunately it does exist. One must remember that this condition is painful for the person suffering from it, these outbursts of laughter are uncontrollable even with tremendous efforts to stop it.

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The movie Joker never names what specific illnesses that the joker has been diagnosed with. However, these symptoms or fits of uncontrollable laughter are based on an actual disorder called the Pseudobulbar Affect, or PBA.

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In the above photo you can see that the Joker is clearly in pain from these uncontrollable fits of laughter.

The condition causes bursts of uncontrollable laughing or crying and usually manifests in people who have ALS, MS, neurological conditions or traumatic brain injuries.

These episodes can go on for minutes at a time and can cause embarrassment, social isolation, distress and depression.

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Scientific Research: Scientists believe that pseudobulbar affect may result from damage to the prefrontal cortex, the area of your brain that helps control emotions. Damage to other parts of the brain as well as changes in brain chemicals linked to depression and hyper moods (mania) could also play a role.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this movie.

How To Heal The Scars of Abuse Amnesia?

Abuse can have the most devastating effects on you, both physically and emotionally. But have you ever considered the effects abuse has on your brain and how it affects your recollection of particular evens, directly affecting your memory? Trauma leaves life long scars that may take forever to heal. Ever wondered why some people don’t see red flags, signs of an abusive partner?

Below I have put together 9 ways one could start the healing process.

What is Abuse Amnesia?

Abuse Amnesia is a form of cognitive suppression where an abuse victim has trouble remembering episodes where their boundaries have been violated. In some cases, not-so-positive traits are used to adapt to an abusive situation. These include minimizing, denial, rationalization, pretending/fantasizing, “spacing out,” alcohol and drug use developing symptoms of anxiety and depression, and posttraumatic stress.

An exacerbating condition occurs if the person experiencing abuse grew up in an abusive household. In this case, the person may have been conditioned to adapt to an abusive environment by utilizing the above-listed coping styles. People in this situation do not typically respond to “red flags” because they have become accustomed or desensitized to them during their developmental years. They have most likely honed the art of abuse amnesia.

HOW DO YOU HEAL FROM ABUSE AMNESIA?

If you suspect that you have abuse amnesia, then action is required to change. I would highly suggest speaking with your therapist.

Here are some practical steps to take to stop the patterns of abuse:

Realize you have value and should be treated accordingly. You do not deserve to be treated poorly by your partner. You deserve dignity and respect. Settle for nothing less.

  1. Get support. You need to find healthy relationships to be part of and safe people to talk to. Abuse is damaging to your personhood. In order to heal, it is essential that you be around people who will not abuse you under any circumstances. Find support from kind, compassionate people who are good listeners. Consider meeting with a therapist.
  2. Write a list of abusive incidents and keep adding to it. Write down what the abusive person is doing to you and keep adding to it. It might look like this: (1) Called me a name; (2) Blamed me for our last fight; (3) Didn’t follow through with a commitment; (4) Threw a cup at my head; and so on. In healthy relationships, keeping a “record of wrongs” is unwise because it is counterproductive to focus on a partner’s failings; however, in an abusive relationship, different rules apply.
  3. Write a recovery plan for yourself. To do this, you need to know what you want to change about yourself—not the other person. This list can contain as many goals as you want, but three may be a manageable start. For instance, you could have goals such as these: (1) I will pay attention to my needs and take care of them at all times; (2) I will not sacrifice myself for a relationship; (3) I will live in an abuse-free environment. Your list should contain personal boundaries and bottom-line behaviors. Carry these written goals everywhere you go.
  4. Stop pretending and live in truth. Tell yourself, “I will not push things under the rug anymore and instead will hold my partner accountable.” How do you hold someone accountable? You tell them, “I will not put up with this behavior one more minute. You either get help or I will not be able to invest my emotional energy in this relationship until you do.” Follow through.
  5. Value yourself. Realize you have value and should be treated accordingly. You do not deserve to be treated poorly by your partner. You deserve dignity and respect. Settle for nothing less.
  6. Find your voice. Start talking about your situation to others. Abuse thrives in secrecy.
  7. Set boundaries. There may be many boundary violations in an abusive relationship. Learn to identify what boundaries you need to incorporate in order to break the cycle of abuse and protect yourself. Remember: boundaries involve your behavior, not the other person’s. You can only change yourself. People who perpetrate abuse hate boundaries, so recognize the more you try to implement them the more you may be challenged.
  8. Learn abstinence. An abusive relationship is akin to an addiction. Both partners become addicted to the patterns and the brain chemicals involved in the toxic interactions. A primary ingredient for working a recovery plan is to implement abstinence. You must abstain from toxic encounters. One thing you can abstain from is abuse amnesia—refuse to allow yourself to just “move on” after an abusive encounter.
  9. Journal. As you attempt to heal, write your feelings in a journal. Keep track of what is happening in your relationship. Notice the patterns and write your feelings down so you can realize what is happening in your life. Journaling can help you feel your emotions, process your thoughts, and get to a place of healing. The first step for any type of recovery involves awareness. As you become aware that you have been overlooking abuse, you actually implement the first step of recovery. Awareness precedes action and impedes denial. Awareness involves the idea of realization—that is, understanding that “this is really happening, it is happening now, and it is happening to me.” source: Abuse Amnesia: Why We Stay with Our Abusive Partners

The Walking Corpse Syndrome, The Scariest Mental Disorder

What is Cotard Delusion?

Recently, I was asked what psychotic disorder is the scariest? Although, Cotard Delusion is an extremely rare mental disorder it seems to be one of the scariest mental disorders I have ever heard of. Below I have written a brief description of this mental disorder.

Cotard Delusion

This scary mental disorder causes the sufferer to believe that they are the walking dead (literally) or a ghost, and that their body is decaying and/or they’ve lost all blood and their internal organs. The feeling of having a rotting body is usually a part of the delusion, persons suffering from Cotard Delusion experience severe depression. In some cases, the delusion causes sufferers to starve themselves to death. The terrifying disorder was first described in 1880 by neurologist Jules Cotard, fortunately, Cotard’s Delusion has proven to be extremely rare.

The most well-known case of Cotard Delusion actually occurred in Haiti, where a man was convinced he had died of AIDS and was living in hell.

What is Trypophobia?

THE FEAR OF SMALL CLUSTERS OF HOLES

Is Trypophobia a real mental mental illness?

Trypophobia is not recognised by the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 as a phobia. However, I recently had the opportunity to speak with someone who believes that he has Trypophobia, he is not in treatment or on any kind of medication to treat this phobia as it only occurs when he sees or is in direct contact with small clusters of holes that looks like the image below.

What exactly is Trypophobia?

Trypophobia is a condition where a person experiences a fear or aversion to clusters of small holes which is thought to be triggered when a person sees a pattern of small clustered holes, bringing about symptoms, such as fear, disgust, and anxiety.

Trypophobia is not currently recognized by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), although the term trypophobia has been in use since 2009.

Look at some facts on trypophobia:

  • There is limited current research on the condition, yet some theories do exist and some researchers question the validity of trypophobia as a condition or phobia, as suggested by a recent study. Since some potentially dangerous animals have similar ‘holey’ patterns on their bodies, people may make an unconscious association between these patterns and the animals.

A person with trypophobia experiences symptoms, such as fear, disgust, anxiety, goosebumps, and panic, on seeing clusters of small holes.

There is conflicting research as to whether the condition is, in fact, a genuine phobia. More research is needed in this area to validate the condition.