Monday, July 26, 2021

Isolation & the Brain, 5

There are things you can do to minimize the effect of social isolation as experienced by many during the COVID-19 pandemic. For one, select the behaviors you choose to exhibit with care, to avoid being incarcerated and placed in solitary confinement! This can result in the development of or exacerbations of many emotional problems including psychosis. There is an old saying, “Those who eat alone, die alone.” One of my favorite activities has always been eating with people I dearly love. Since I live alone, that ran into a cement wall when lockdown occurred. At first, I tried playing music while I ate. That probably helped my digestion but did little if anything for the isolation from human contact. My best solution was to find a documentary, favorite sit-com, National Geographic programs, or Blue Planet and watch that as I ate my meals. Not only do I find those programs very interesting, but the visuals and sounds of human voices made a huge difference. I no longer have a live dog, what with so much traveling, and cats make me sneeze and my eye’s run. I do have a fluffy white Persian “adult” toy cat that sometimes sits on my lap. Try strategies until you find what works for your brain. Know that when you reach out to connect with others, they can be benefited as well.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Isolation & the Brain, 4

 

Kinesthesia is my second sensory system and when my English heritage is showing, I am relatively uninterested in touch. When my French heritage pops up, I crave being touched and hugged by my best friends. When that is not possible, I recall in my mind’s eye what that feels like. I score as an ambivert, leaning toward the introverted side of the EAI continuum (extrovert, ambivert, introvert). Most of the time I am okay working alone—and do my best writing or composing in solitude. Periodically, I crave in-person connection and when that happens, I canvass my close friends until I find one who has time to connect with me in person. I am clearly auditory, and my best friends know that. Several times a week, my iPhone vibrates with a call from a best friend. It is a matter of knowing who you are, knowing what you need and what works for you, and taking responsibility to make that happen in a healthy and productive way.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Isolation & the Brain, 3

Other factors play into the impact of social isolation. These include an individual brain’s uniqueness. For example:

 ·       Sensory preference (60 percent of the general population is visual, 20 percent is auditory, and 20 percent is kinesthetic). Kinesthetics are very sensitive to touch and extremely discriminating about who they touch and by whom they are touched. They enjoy touch that they choose and reject touch that doesn’t “feel” right.

·       Familial and cultural imprinting influence how social isolation impacts the person, which is impacted on how much physical touch is familiar. Studies have found that Americans touch family and close friends once per hour when they are together. Brits tend to touch less than Americans or not at all. French and Italians touch family and close friends 100 times an hour.  

·       EAI preference, meaning whether they are extroverted, ambiverted, or introverted.

 

More tomorrow. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Isolation & the Brain, 2

There are strategies you can embrace to minimize the effect of social isolation as experienced by many during the COVID-19 pandemic. Select the behaviors you choose to exhibit with care, to avoid being incarcerated and placed in solitary confinement. This can result in the development of or exacerbations of many emotional problems including psychosis. There is an old saying, “Those who eat alone, die alone.” One of my favorite activities has always been eating with people I dearly love. Since I live alone, that ran into a cement wall when lockdown occurred. At first, I tried playing music while I ate. That probably helped my digestion but did little if anything for the isolation from human contact. My best solution was to find a documentary, favorite sit-com, National Geographic programs, or Blue Planet and watch that as I ate my meals. Not only do I find those programs very interesting, but the visuals and sounds of human voices made a huge difference. Try strategies until you find what works for your brain.

 
More tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Isolation & the Brain


I live alone and except for my cell phone, some zoom calls, and delivery persons, I have been isolated. My memory seems much worse that it was at the beginning of the pandemic. Some days I feel like I’m going crazy!

 You are not alone. A Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2018 found that 1 in 10 Americans feel lonely or isolated all or most of the time—and that was before COVID-19. Social isolation brings with it its own health cost and can affect mental health. The human brain is relational. Granted, different brains need more relational connection than others—but regular human connection is vital. A correlation between viral attacks on the brain and resulting mental-health symptoms has been well-documented since the 18th Century. Social isolation during the early postnatal period of development can lead to several abnormal and lasting behavioral and pathophysiological features resembling the core symptoms of some neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia.  Estimates are that social isolation is the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day. 

 More tomorrow.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Advertising & the Brain

I do not understand the reason companies show a picture on the Internet with a catchy title . . . then when you click on it the process begins with 6 lines about something entirely different with a “next” button—37 frames later you may get the answer to the first title question—or not. Drives me crazy! What’s the deal and what do you do?

 Since I am not privy to these companies, I can only guess it’s an advertising strategy—perhaps so you are exposed to all the adds surrounding the “6 lines.” This is my personal modus operandi: If I see an advertisement that looks interesting and I see “next”, I stop. The same with medical promotions that ask you to turn up the volume and listen, only to discover 57 minutes later that the answer is only available by purchasing a product. If the promotion offers a “script” I am more likely to read that and y to do that and have even made a purchase or two. Otherwise, my time is worth much more than that. If you really want to know an answer, google it. You’ll likely find it without having to sufferingly pace yourself hitting “next” or listen to someone drone on and on—unless you have nothing better to do. If you think that is harsh, remember that your time is valuable and does not last forever. Ask yourself, “How do I want to spend it?”

Friday, July 16, 2021

Narcissism Questions, 5

What can a parent do to avoid providing risk factors for a child to develop a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)?

 Some believe that narcissism in adulthood may be the response to anguish from a troubling, difficult, abusive, and inconsistent environment; one in which Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) occur. The healthier and more functional the parent, the healthier and more functional the parenting style is likely to be. For example:

 Be consistent, make sure your words and actions match.

Aim for balance, avoid erratic actions/reactions, unpredictability.

Be calm. Parental anxiety can trigger insecurity in children.

Be kindly realistic in terms of praise and criticism. Avoid extremes: lavishing exaggerated praise and/or criticizing them far too harshly.

Give loving attention. Negative attention is still attention.

Role model the behaviors you want to see in the child. Training by example is generally the most successful style.

The child is not “bad,” but loved, even when behaviors need tweaking.