Nice to meet you

Article by Dr. Mark Ritzen

 

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Meeting other people is a very common, and for our mental health important part of our daily life; Meeting others can ensure us to be part of a group, which gives us the feeling of being accepted, protected, integrated. Furthermore, meeting others can help us fulfill some of the intentions or plans we have in life; Here, a meeting gives us the feeling of opportunity. Last but not least, a meeting can help us to develop ourselves in all possible ways : by meeting people we learn about the existence of other values, lifestyles, ideas, convictions, intentions, etc. and might enrich ourselves with this. By learning about other ideas, intentions, believes , we can reflect more profoundly about ourselves, put things in perspective and place ourselves better in the complex and fascinating heterogecity of being human.

The other person we meet presents us a rich diversity of individual characteristics that are the result of his genes (nature), as well as his education and life experiences (nurture).

Some examples of the many characteristics that define a person are his sex, weight, size, personality, temperament, interests, know-how, intentions, social intelligence, strengths, weaknesses, desires and worries, and of course we can define many many more.

When two persons meet, two different worlds of individual characteristics are voluntarily or involuntarily confronted with each-other ; this can be a very enriching, never-ending process of dialoging/ experiencing/ discovering. It can also be a challenge to adapt oneself to avoid greater discomfort.

Fortunately, during most of our meetings we are rather pragmatic ; during a meeting, we reduce the complexity of the other to those dimensions that are important to us in the given specific situation. That might for example be a specific know-how (for example if we consult a lawyer), or a shared interest/ habit (like religion, to reassure us being part of a group).

Knowing all this, we can imagine that meeting others is a very complex event for the brain that is accompanied by differentiated and precise perceptions, priorisations, interpretations, curiosity, expectations, hopes, fears, desires : We try to estimate/ inventorying the other’s individual characteristics, especially those, that are important to us in a given situation; In the meantime we have to reflect about/ look at/ eventually re-define our own characteristics ; furthermore, we have have to estimate the chance to reach our goals with the available/ detected ressources in ourself and in the person we meet. Finally we have to develop or adapt a strategy to reach (if defined already) our goals.

Meeting others is necessary for our mental health ; on the other hand it is a very complex challenge for the brain. Therefor, If the brain is affected by a a psychiatric illness it might have difficulties to manage all the necessary processes in order to have a « good meeting »; as a result, many psychiatric patients don’t feel at ease with other people and tend to isolate themselves, to draw themselves back from society. Meeting others is so important to experience happiness ; Without it, how can we feel ourselves accepted, wanted and integrated ?

Exactly here I think that society (that means everyone) can really help people, suffering from psychiatric problems. By being sensitive, tolerant, inviting and supportive, especially to those who have a risk to loose connection to society ; By doing this, society has an opportunity enrich itself, by rediscovering other values than competition, power and wealth-related successfulness, by reactivating ressources as patience, observation, fascination, compassion, heterogenicity and flexibility.

 

Mark_Wand_klein

Dr. Mark Ritzen – Psychiatrist in Luxembourg.

Visit his Medihoo profile HERE

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Has your loved one recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder?

Here Are Some Ways to Support Your Partner With Bipolar Disorder

If your spouse or loved one has recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you may be wondering what to expect and how to best show your support. Here are suggestions for helping them cope with the disorder.


Boost your partner

Boost your partner’s confidence

If you can make your partner or loved one feel good about him or herself, their treatment will be much easier.

So will both of your lives.


Take an active role in bipolar treatmentTake an active role in bipolar treatment

Remind your partner to take their pills. Don’t count on them to stick faithfully to their medication regimen, as they may slip from time to time. If they are seeing a psychiatrist or counselor, it could be helpful to join him or her for a session. At minimum, if you have questions or concerns, write them down so your partner can take them to doctor appointments.


Recognize there are things a bipolar patient canRecognize there are things a bipolar patient can’t do

Some everyday tasks are difficult for people with bipolar disorder to handle. For example, bill paying can be stressful, creating anger and frustration.

Try to be understanding and help your partner.


Remember your partnerRemember your partner’s strengths

Appreciate your partner’s strengths and superhero abilities that come from bipolar disorder. For instance, go along during a hypomanic phase when he or she wants sex multiple times per day.

But also understand that medication may lead to a reduced sex drive at times.


Be there during bad timesBe there during bad times

When he or she is in a bad frame of mind, don’t be afraid. Don’t put up a defense or brace yourself for something bad. Be there to talk and support your loved one. While they may be nasty during a bad phase, stay with them.


Embrace your partnerEmbrace your partner’s bipolar diagnosis

Accept your partner’s bipolar diagnosis. It’s not going to change. His or her condition may not improve. Medication can control bipolar, but your partner won’t be “cured.” Realize that a bipolar diagnosis is not always a bad thing. Your loved one is the same person he or she has always been.


Your partner may embarrass you at timesYour partner may embarrass you at times

Your partner may do something bold, brash or stupid. Step up and support them in a non-condescending way, even though you may be embarrassed. Don’t say “that’s the bipolar disorder talking” or openly blame it on the condition. Accept your loved one, don’t dwell on it, give them a hug to show that you understand and move on. Your partner will be grateful.


Remember that life wonRemember that life won’t be easy

A bipolar diagnosis takes its toll on every relationship. Remember that things may not be easy. When bad episodes come, they may be more dangerous and volatile than before. Rather than using his or her old coping techniques, after a bipolar diagnosis your partner may try harder to rein in their behavior. And this could make things worse.


Watch for triggers and behavior changesWatch for triggers and behavior changes

Watch for clues of upcoming changes to your partner’s mood or frame of mind.

You are in the best position to recognize the signs and help them identify and understand them.


Source (text & pictures): HealthCentral

Leaky Blood Vessels In The Brain May Lead To Alzheimer’s

Leaks in a barrier between blood vessels and brain cells could contribute to the development of Alzheimer's.

Researchers appear to have found a new risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease: leaky blood vessels.

An MRI study of found those experiencing mild problems with thinking and memory had much leakier blood vessels in the hippocampus. “This is exactly the area of the brain that is involved with learning and memory,” says Berislav Zlokovic, the study’s senior author and director of the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute at the University of Southern California.

Read more: NPR