5 Ways To Spot A Psychopath.

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1. They’re extremely charming.

Psychopaths are almost always well-liked. They come across as delightful people who are great at making small talk. Their quick wit tends to draw people to them.

They usually have interesting stories as well. Their convincing tales portray them in a favorable, yet believable light. People walk away from conversations with a psychopath feeling pretty good.

2. They don’t experience any remorse.

A lack of guilt might be the first red flag that signals someone might be a psychopath. Psychopaths don’t accept any responsibility for hurting other people’s feelings. Instead, they blame other people and deny any responsibility.

A psychopath may say someone “deserved” to be treated poorly. Or, they may shrug off reports that they offended someone by saying things like, “Well, she just needs to be less sensitive” or “Oh, well, guess she can’t handle the truth.” They aren’t capable of feeling any genuine remorse.

3. They’re really arrogant.

Psychopaths have an inflated sense of importance. Much like narcissists, they think the usual laws and rules don’t apply to them.

They also tend to have grandiose ideas about their potential. They believe they deserve to be the CEO or they’re convinced they’re the best at everything they do.

4. They take big risks.

Psychopaths have little regard for safety issues, especially other people’s safety. They often lie, cheat, and steal to get ahead. Their behavior can be very toxic. While not all psychopaths engage in illegal activity, those who do plan their crimes well in advance. Their misconduct is usually well-organized, and they leave few clues behind. Psychopaths tend to be very intelligent, which makes them great con artists.

5. They’re master manipulators.

They don’t experience genuine emotions toward others. But they can mimic other people’s emotions, and often they come across as very genuine. As a result, their loved ones often have no idea they’re incapable of truly caring for other people.

Psychopaths are really good at manipulating other people’s emotions. They flatter others in a subtle yet effective manner, and before long they persuade others to do things they wouldn’t normally do. They also use guilt trips or gain sympathy to get their needs met.

 

7 Calming Strategies For BPD.

7 CALMING STRATEGIES FOR PERSONS WITH BPD

 

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These calming strategies are used depending on what mood you’re in.

What you could do to get through it?

  1. Angry, frustrated, restless
  • rip up a newspaper
  • hit a pillow
  • throw ice cubes into the bath so they smash
  • do some vigorous exercise
  • listen to loud music
  • do a practical activity like gardening or woodwork.

2. Depressed, sad, lonely

  • wrap up in a blanket and watch your favourite tv show
  • write all your negative feelings on a piece of paper and tear it up
  • listen to a song or piece of music you find uplifting
  • write a comforting letter to the part of yourself that is feeling sad or alone
  • cuddle a pet or a soft toy.

3. Anxious, panicky, tense

  • make yourself a hot drink and drink it slowly, noticing the taste and smell, the shape of the mug and its weight in your hand
  • take ten deep breaths, counting each one out loud
  • write down everything you can think of about where you are right now, such as the time, date, colour of the walls and the furniture in the room
  • take a warm bath or shower – this can help change your mood by creating a soothing atmosphere and a distracting physical sensation.

4. Dissociative, spaced out

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  • chew a piece of ginger or chili
  • clap your hands and notice the stinging sensation
  • drink a glass of ice cold water.

5. Want to self-harm

  • rub ice over where you want to hurt yourself
  • stick sellotape or a plaster on your skin and peel it off
  • take a cold bath.

6. Keep a mood diary

Recording your moods in a diary could help you spot patterns in what triggers difficult experiences for you, or notice early signs that they are beginning to happen.

You could also make a note of what’s going well. It’s really important to be kind to yourself and recognize difficult steps you’ve taken, or new things you’ve tried.

7. Make a self-care box

You could put together some things that might help you when you’re struggling – a bit like making a first-aid kit for your mental health.

For example:

  • favourite books, films or CDs
  • a stress ball or fiddle toy
  • helpful sayings or notes of encouragement
  • pictures or photos you find comforting
  • a soft blanket or cosy slippers
  • a nice-smelling candle or lavender bag.

please note that this list of strategies most centered on BPD.

Dangers Of Self-Diagnosis!

DANGERS OF SELF-DIAGNOSIS 

Self-diagnosing, I have come across this so called diagnosis many times in the past, where individuals believe that they can go on the internet and compare their psychological symptoms with the ones found on Webmed.com or the DSM-5 and “Boom” magically form their own diagnosis. But what some people fail to realize are the dangers of self-diagnosis.

SELF-DIAGNOSIS

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ARE YOU A DOCTOR? WHY ARE YOU FORMING YOUR OWN DIAGNOSIS WITHOUT ANY EXPERIENCE OR QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED TO FORM AN ACTUAL DIAGNOSIS?

When you self-diagnose, you are essentially assuming that you know the subtleties that diagnosis constitutes. This can be very dangerous, as people who assume that they can surmise what is going on with themselves may miss the nuances of diagnosis. For example, people with mood swings often think that they have manic-depressive illness or bipolar disorder.

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Mood swings are a symptom that can be a part of many different clinical scenarios: borderline personality disorder and major depression being two examples of other diagnoses. The clinician can help you discern whether you swing from normal to down or down to up, and by considering how long the mood swings last, the clinician can make the appropriate diagnosis. Here, the danger is that you may misdirect the clinician or even yourself.

diagnosisOne of the greatest dangers of self-diagnosis in psychological syndromes is that you may miss a medical disease that masquerades as a psychiatric syndrome. Thus, if you have panic disorder, you may miss the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism or an irregular heartbeat. Even more serious is the fact that some brain tumors may present with changes in personality or psychosis or even depression. If you assume you have depression and treat it with an over-the-counter preparation, you may completely miss a medical syndrome.

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Then there is the fact that we can know and see ourselves, but sometimes, we need a mirror to see ourselves more clearly. The doctor is that mirror. By self-diagnosing, you may be missing something that you cannot see. For example, you may be overwhelmed by anxiety and think that you have an anxiety disorder. The anxiety disorder may be covering up a major depressive disorder. Approximately two-thirds of people who present to outpatient clinics with anxiety have depression as well. In general, when two or more syndromes occur in the same person, we call this comorbidity. When people self-diagnose, they often miss the comorbidity that exists.

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Another danger of self-diagnosis is that you may think that there is more wrong with you than there actually is. For example, if you had insomnia, inattention, and depression, you may believe that you have a sleep disorder, ADD and major depression. However, major depression can account for all of these symptoms. Thus, you may make things worse by worrying more as well.

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Self-diagnosis is also a problem when you are in a state of denial about your symptoms. You may think that you have generalized body aches that started when your mood got worse, but a doctor may elect to do an EKG for chest pain that reveals possible coronary artery disease. You may have been trying to avoid the chest pain or you may have minimized this.

source: The Dangers of Self-Diagnosis

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.

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Quote: 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.

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