Top Ways in Which Social Media is Changing our life

Rewind about 20 years from now, who would have ever thought about the smartphones, social media, twitter, facebook linkedin, etc. The Social Media Revolution has been in the corner since last one and half decade or so when it was present in some isolated places and with websites like Friendster and MySpace. Although they had decent adoption, still the population in general was not at all aware of such imminent revolution.

Fast forward to 2017 and the revolution has been converted to a buzzing trend in the current times. It has spread all across the world with Billions of people logging in to social media every day. It has not only attained the status of one of the most important part of modern lifestyle, but also a unique and surprisingly fruitful marketing channel for businesses types. My son once was stunned to know that cell phones (smartphones) was unheard of about 20 years back and we never carried phones earlier.

Things have been changing with a great pace and looking at the social changes it looks like things are changing permanantly. It has officially and diligently entered in our culture at all levels ranging from top to grass root level.

Effects of Social Media on People

According to Health experts we are more and more sitting than moving or walking. It is like sitting is the new smoking. Sitting is one of the worst thing we can do to our health and it can raise many disease vulnerabilities. There is similar risk carried by the things we are doing while we are sitting. If we are scrolling the social media accounts and news feeds mindlessly for either minutes, hours or days, it is ruining and affecting our mental health. This phenomenon is affecting our collective psychology.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued few warnings to parents about the negative effects of using social media on young kids and teens. They have shown increased risk of cyberbullying and facebook depression in children, same as like in adults.

Although there are few benefits of using Social media like getting connected with people far off and find all your old pals and relatives whom you have never talked since years. If you are looking at using social media as a time killing tool or using it for some emotional lift is a bad choice. Studies have shown that if you leave facebook or other social media activities, it is going to raise your psychological well-being.

Try to use this powerful tool in moderation and don’t let it become a emotional and psychological turbulence.

How Social Media has changed our daily lives

These brilliant communication tools have profoundly changed the world of communication and interactions all over.

1. Where We Get Our News – Now we rely on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin for the news from friends and family, rather than relying on the newspapers and online news.In this way, you can choose the people or groups you wish to read or know about and rest you can keep in the back burner.

2. Start and Do Business – Setting up and launching business has become easier and simpler with the proliferation of social channels of marketing. Earlier, the setup and operations of business was quite a task but now, interest-focused Facebook groups, Twitter searches, and niche social networks helps in doing business activities easily and become more trget focused.

3. Providing newer means and horizons for Interactions – We will not stop using large media organizations and neither will we stop communicating by phone or in person meet. We will now have another tool to help in communication in the form of social media.

4. It has opened up the channel between customers and businesses. Now the orders can be placed on twitter rather than waiting to talk over phones, faxes, meetings, etc.

Four Different Biotypes of Depression

Is there a role of Biological balance and Biotypes in the onset and prognosis of depression in people? Born with unbalanced biochemistry, many people struggle with depression for most of their life. After taking anti-depressants such as Prozac and Zoloft, or acid therapies like 5-HTP, etc. or other herbal remedies, people realize that over time, their symptoms have worsened rather than soothing. Some of these medications helped little, but due to presence of nasty side-effects they actually make you feel worse.

Lot of psychiatrists believe that depression is caused by low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which makes SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) to be the standard medication. This approach does not consider the unique biochemical imbalances and different symptoms of each individual.

There was a research conducted by William J. Walsh, Ph.D., at the Walsh Research Institute, and clinical applications by Drs. Albert Mensah. They condicted detailed study of about 300,000 blood and urine test results and 200,000 medical history from approximately 2,800 patients diagnosed with depression, They found that there are majorly 4 depression biotypes.

Typical symptoms of Patients with different Subtypes

Patient with Subtypes 1 and 2 – these people often report more fatigue. Subtype 1 were more likelier to benefit from transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Many people take the antidepresant based treatment although their subtypes wants them to be treated with TMS.

Patients of Subtypes 3 and 4 often have difficulty in feeling pleasure. Brain on one hand have reduced connectivity in its network causing depressive anxiety, fear, etc., on the other hand people with subtype 3 and 4 has hyperconnectivity between stimuli center and brain control.

This subtyping helped in greater diagnostic precision, as well as finding accurate prognosis for patients bringing lot more relief with proper indivisualized treatment.

Different Biotypes in Depressive population

1. Type 1 – Undermethylators

2. Type 2 – Overmethylators

3. Type 3 – Pyrroluria or Pyrrole Depression

4. Type 4 – Copper Overload

Traits of Longer Life – Tips to Live longer and Healthier

Old is Gold, well yes or no both. We spend most of our lives lost in our reactive mind—worrying about the future, regretting the past. This way of living brings about the opposite of the personality traits associated with a long life. If we are alert and rooted in the present moment, we’ll be more conscientious, open, emotionally stable, friendly, and emotionally expressive, which are the five traits of leading a long and healthy life. Mindfulness is one of the trait which can bring out the other fundamentals found in people who tend to live long, healthy lives.

There is a delimma though, throughout history, elderly people were seen as respected leaders, pillars of wisdom for the community. And yet today, seniors are largely relegated to the corners of our society, marginalized and disrespected, which is partly because growing old is equated with becoming sick, decrepit, and senile.

Five key traits for longevity

1. Conscientiousness – Thorough and efficient people who are less likely to take risks lived longer.

2. Openness – You should be quick to listen to others. Always give a open ear to listen to other person’s feelings and ideas. This will ensure longer life span.

3. Emotional stability – Be emotionally stable which can be the strongest links to living a long life.

4. Friendliness – For women, friendliness is the second highest character quality associated with a long life.

5. Emotional expression – People who lived longer were openly expressed their emotions.

A New Way to Understand the Narcissistic Male

though many people can be selfish and conceited from time to time, some individuals take it to a whole other level. When these traits define the person – and they negatively impact everyone who is part of their life for as long as they are a part of it – they usually signal a mental health condition known as Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Like all personality disorders, naricissism can have far-reaching consequences for both the one suffering from it and the people who care about them.

Some typical characteristics of Narcissistic Males

Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder have a very distorted sense of self. They are generally “grandiose”, which means they have an inflated or exaggerated opinion of their positive traits and / or abilities. Even though some are very attractive, highly intelligent, or exceptionally talented, narcissists typically regard themselves as elite or exceptional compared to everyone else.

The Statistics of Narcissism

There are no firm statistics available in regard to the frequency of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). Psychologists state that 1% of the population is diagnosed with NPD, and that 75% of the cases in therapy are men. Remind yourself that this 1% statistic is gathered only from individuals diagnosed in therapy.

By definition, narcissists severely lack humility and will avoid admitting there’s something wrong with them at all costs. Most narcissists in therapy are forced there by the courts, or have arrived for ‘other’ reasons such as alcoholism or a divorce. They usually don’t show up to deal with ‘narcissistic’ behaviour.

According to experts estimates there are up to 16% of society who are severely narcissistic. This is almost 1 in every 6 people. I believe this is a much more accurate assessment. What is frightening is: narcissists are extremely emotionally insecure.

Narcissists thrive on the praise and admiration of others. Their air of superiority is exaggerated often quite obvious, although some narcissists are very skilled at pretending to be humble when necessary.

Symptoms of Narcissistic Persons

  1. Exaggerated sense regarding their accomplishments and talents
  2. Use of others to get what they want in life
  3. Belittlement of others to boost their fragile self-esteem
  4. Obsessive self-involvement
  5. Inability to feel empathy; lack of a sincere interest in others
  6. Slightest criticism is met with rage and/or shame
  7. Inability to maintain healthy relationships
  8. Unreasonable expectations of favoritism
  9. Striving for constant admiration and attention
  10. Fantasies revolving around personal success and attractiveness

Treatment or Handling options

While medication can help treat symptoms of depression or anxiety that may also be present, there is no medication that is effective for the treatment of narcissistic personality disorder.

Brain’s Alertness Circuitry Conserved Through Evolution

NIH-funded scientists revealed the types of neurons supporting alertness, using a molecular method called MultiMAP in transparent larval zebrafish. Multiple types of neurons communicate by secreting the same major chemical messengers: serotonin (red), dopamine and norepinephrine (yellow) and acetylcholine (cyan).

Using a molecular method likely to become widely adopted by the field, researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health have discovered brain circuitry essential for alertness, or vigilance – and for brain states more generally. Strikingly, the same cell types and circuits are engaged during alertness in zebra fish and mice, species whose evolutionary forebears parted ways hundreds of millions of years ago. This suggests that the human brain is likely similarly wired for this state critical to survival.

“Vigilance gone awry marks states such as mania and those seen in post-traumatic stress disorder and depression,” explained Joshua Gordon, M.D., Ph.D., director of the NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), which along with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, co-funded the study. “Gaining familiarity with the molecular players in a behavior – as this new tool promises – may someday lead to clinical interventions targeting dysfunctional brain states.”

Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D., Matthew Lovett-Barron, Ph.D., and Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, colleagues, report on findings using a neural activity screening technology they call Multi-MAP (Multiplexed-alignment of Molecular and Activity Phenotypes) online Nov. 2, 2017 in the journal Cell.

For the first time, Multi-MAP makes it possible to see which neurons are activated in a behaving animal during a particular brain state – and subsequently molecularly analyze just those neurons to identify the subtypes and circuits involved.

In this case, the researchers used the technique to screen activity of neurons visible through the transparent heads of genetically-engineered larval zebra fish. They gauged vigilance by measuring how long it took the animals to swish their tails in response to a threatening stimulus.

A molecular analysis revealing subtypes led to identification of six suspect circuits composed of distinct populations of neurons that modulate neuronal activity, only one of which had previously been linked to vigilance. Virtually the same players were operative in follow-up experiments examining such reaction time-related circuitry in mouse brain. Using optogenetics – another breakthrough exploratory tool developed by Deisseroth and colleagues — the researchers narrowed the field to three circuits that definitively boost alertness in mice, including the one previously known. The other three are thought to play a reportorial rather than regulatory role.

Depression’s Transcriptional Signatures Differ in Men vs. Women

Divergent illness processes may point to sex-specific treatments

Brain gene expression associated with depression differed markedly between men and women in a study by NIMH-funded researchers. Such divergent “transcriptional signatures” may signal divergent underlying illness processes that may require sex-specific treatments, they suggest. Experiments in chronically-stressed male and female mice that developed depression-like behaviors largely confirmed the human findings.

NIMH grantee Eric Nestler, M.D., Ph.D., of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and colleagues, reported their findings online August 21, 2017 in the journal Nature Medicine.

Discovering the likely differing causes of “depression” may lead to more precise diagnosis and treatment. Sex differences could hold clues. Women are 2-3 times more likely than men to develop depression. Evidence has been mounting of sex differences in symptoms, treatment responsiveness and brain changes associated with the disorder. But, until now, little was known about molecular mechanisms in specific brain regions that might underlie such differences.

To explore these, Nestler’s team sequenced the transcriptomes of six suspect brain regions in postmortem brains of 13 males and 13 females who had depression and 22 unaffected people.

In both sexes, all six regions showed illness-linked changes in transcription, when compared to brains of controls. But there was little overlap (5-10 percent) between male and female brains in depression-linked gene expression patterns across the regions. Upon further analysis, males showed only 31 percent of illness-linked modules of co-expressed genes seen in females, and females shared only 26 percent of such modules with males. Moreover, functions of the depression-associated modules largely differed between the sexes. The transcriptional changes affected several brain cell types in males, but mostly neurons in females. Yet, despite the lack of overlap at the level of gene transcripts, several of the same overall molecular pathways were ultimately implicated in depression in both men and women.

Similarly, genetically identical male and female mice showed little (20-25 percent) overlap in transcriptional signatures associated with depression-like behaviors experimentally induced by chronic stress. In the brain’s executive hub and reward center, expression of dozens of the same implicated genes increased and decreased in the same sex-specific directions in both humans and mice. This indicated that both species may share sex-specific stress-induced pathology, converging on several of the same biological pathways.

“The mouse work allows investigation into the cellular mechanisms by which the observed changes in gene expression lead to changes in neural circuit function and behavior,” explained Laurie Nadler, Ph.D., chief of the NIMH Neuropharmacology Program, which co-funded the study.

Using genetic engineering, the researchers uncovered molecular mechanisms underlying the sex-specific effects of changes in activity of two genes never previously linked to depression or stress responses.

The study results suggest that depression-related stress susceptibility is mediated by mostly different genes and partly different pathways across the sexes, although these converge in some common outputs. Since genome-wide studies have not turned up sex differences in genetic variation (DNA) associated with depression, the researchers suggest that the differences instead take place at the level of gene transcription. Such changes in similar gene modules organized and expressed differently across brain regions in males and females may disrupt coordinated neural activity needed to cope with stress, they propose.

These findings illustrate the importance of examining sex differences in neuropsychiatric phenomena,” said Dr. Nestler. “They also provide insight into possible approaches for the treatment of depression that selectively target women or men.

Researchers found little overlap between illness-related gene expression changes in postmortem prefrontal cortex (an executive decision-making hub) of depressed men (blue) compared to those found in depressed women (pink). They found more, but still limited, overlap between gene expression changes in the comparable brain region of chronically stressed male and female mice. They say the latter finding is particularly striking, given that the mice were genetically identical, exposed to identical stresses, and subsequently showed equivalent depression-related behavioral abnormalities. The study suggests that depression appears to involve fundamentally different molecular abnormalities in men versus women.

The Art of Nostalgia

“The Art Of Nostalgia” is a elaborate collection of nine personal essays of Lauren. These essays aim to capture nostalgia’s essence on how does it effects the person and the thought process. The essays bring the reader on a journey as Lauren crafts a timeline of memories that reflect a deep-rooted nostalgia for places, people, and transient phases of life. She, inadvertently, strings together pieces of herself, pieces that shape who she is at her core, daring us to ponder our own stories, our own past that vitally remains within us.

Here is some insight on how to tame the phenomenon that is nostalgia.

The cycle of Nostalgia

Keep in mind that you’ve missed things a thousand times before, and it always becomes easier. It may take weeks, or months, but it always does. Whether it’s a place, a person, or your favorite food that you can no longer eat because you just found out you’re gluten free, it always gets easier.

Be Realistic: The most dangerous part of nostalgia is the tendency to romanticize. When you look back, look back on the past as it actually was. Doing so will prevent you from ranking the past as better than the present.

Look Forward: Avoid excessive planning, but when that new movie tells you how enlightening your twenty-something years are, or how incredible your forties are, listen. Your grandmother is right when she says you have a lot to look forward to. Be excited for, and do not fear, what lies ahead.

Always Live In The Moment – Try to embrace how exciting life can be when you truly live in the moment. Respect the epitomic Cards and try new things everyday.

Balance – Try to find a balance between the past and the present. Keep in touch with old friends, and remember the events that made you the person you are today. Most importantly, always participate in Instagram’s “throwback Thursday.”

The first and probably the most important consideration is the attitude with which we approach our material. Since nostalgia serves no immediate purpose besides providing pleasure it is a fundamentally aesthetic memory experience, which means we should approach our material with the mindset of an artist.

Judging Trustworthiness From a Face?

There has been a research conducted by scientists wherein they have found that our brains are able to judge the trustworthiness of a face even when we cannot consciously see it. This has shown some light on the fact that we make snap judgement about people by just looking at them.

Trust as well see is the fundamental ingredient of the human beings mutual interdependence. As an example on how trust is embedded in our daily life, just look at the following examples:

1. The server brings us a meal in a restaurant, trusting we’ll pay after we’ve eaten it.
2. We put in long hours at work, trusting that our employer will give us our wages at the end of the month.
3. We zip through green lights, trusting that cross traffic will stop at their red lights.

Changes in Trustworthiness perspective

As we grow adult, there is a big change in the way people judge trustworthiness from appearances. These judgements are not known in children. All age groups from 5-7 or 10 years old or adults have rated the trustworthiness of trustworthy and untrustworthy faces with neutral expressions. Ability to evaluate the trustworthiness of faces emerges in childhood, but may not be adult like until 10 years of age.

According to research we have two modes of thinking — a quick, intuitive mode and a slow, rational mode. Each has strengths and weaknesses. When making snap judgments in the social atosphere, the intuition will usually yield better decisions than reason. In all other cases, reason tends to triumph over intuition.

The bottom line for making social judgements – If you do not have any information to rely on, trust your intuition or guts; it will be right more often than not. But keep in mind that your gut is far from foolproof, so don’t ignore contextual cues of untrustworthiness.

How Many Ways Can We Measure Well-Being?

The definition of well being is different for different people. Everyone has a different opinion about it. But most of the people now believe that it is just not material possessions and consumptions. It is more and more related to other aspects as well such as health and good social relations. Can the happiness and its levels in life can be quoted as the fundamentl attribute towards well being? So what is the real measure of well being? Is it happiness, social progress, or combination of all factors of good life?

How to Measure happiness and Well being?

One possibility of finding this is through some opinion survery where the participants respond to simple questions on their degree of happiness or life satisfaction. According to some of these surveys it has been found that money, econimic progress, financial wellbeing has lesser than expected contribution towards satisfaction.

Some Expert opinion about Well Being

Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen has pointed out that knowing well-being on the basis of feelings of satisfaction, pleasure, or happiness has below two issues.

The first is called physical-condition neglect wherein, human beings adapt at least partially to unfavourable situations, meaning the poor and the sick can still be relatively happy.

The second issue is called valuation neglect wherein valuing a life is a reflective activity that should not be reduced to feeling happy or unhappy.

The Office for National Statistics in the UK was asked by the Prime Minister David Cameron to know what is happiness and wellbeing and can they be measured. After six months of project the Jill Matheson, the director of the program reported that happiness is one intangible thing and wellbeing is measurable in the same way our economy is.

Some key aspects for Well Being

Children’s happiness
Economy and inequality
Health
Work/life balance

Harvey Weinstein Proves Sex Addiction Doesn’t Exist

Harvey Weinstein is been in news recently for allegations of sexual misconduct. He is reportedly seeking treatment at a center in Arizona currently which focuses on sex addiction. He has some serious more than 20 allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment and assault. He stated in one of the emails to the CEO’s and directors the following: “All I’m asking is let me take a leave of absence and get into heavy therapy and counseling. Whether it be in a facility or somewhere else, allow me to resurrect myself with a second chance,” Weinstein reportedly wrote. “A lot of the allegations are false as you know but given therapy and counseling as other people have done, I think I’d be able to get there.”

After Weinstein’s resolution for seeking treatment for sex addiction and the corresponding mental illness can wrongly make such abusive actions stand along with sexual addiction for comparison.

It is not only sexual addiction which can be seen as a mental issuess in Weinstein. There could be other mental problems, too, and why not see his primary problem as

• The abuse of power?
• The incredible lack of empathy?
• Self-destructiveness?
• The fear of being insignificant, of not even existing?
• The inability to keep marital vows?
• The lack of integrity?
• The inability to feel sufficiently nourished by an incredible career?
At the end with the Weinstein’s case it is being discussed deeply that there’s no such thing as “sex addiction,”. So what does Weinstein and others suffer from then?

The difference of offending behavior and ‘sex addiction’

Chris Samuels, director of the Sexual Addiction Treatment and Training Institute in New York, stressed that these are two separate issues. “The perpetrator (of sexual misconduct) is opportunistic, often motivated by power dynamics and often self-justifying and remorseless,” she said. “The sex addict, by contrast, is fairly constantly dealing with compulsive urges to act-out as a coping modality, is seeking emotional relief from stress rather than seeking to exercise power over another, and is rarely without shame or guilt about his or her behavior.”