"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."
Michelangelo
Welcome! This blog is about my random thoughts, colourful pictures and paintings, some of my pencil drawings, reflections on things I feel strongly about and my experiences as I journey through life. Hope you enjoy it. Feel free to add your comments and suggestions, but please refrain from spam, racist or uncomfortable comments. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, 7 August 2021

Lost

The emotions are real. The feelings are endless
Of neglect, loneliness that eventually led to a lost identity.
Lost are the hopes and dreams of the person I once was
It is all so needlessly sad.
Gone are the days of carefree laughter and frivolous fun
I miss the joys of life, of love and every delight that the world has to offer.
The time is past, it is all too late.
Everyday is a groundhog day, monotonous and dull
Blending into each other and I know not the days or months.
I am afraid the future is devoid of love, light and warmth 
Until one day it all ends.

Mine

There was nothing said no words were spoken
Only a look was exchanged a connection felt
I don't know why or how but I know I always will
cherish you, adore you and want the best for you.
There is no need to explain
for every feeling is already understood.
Just the memory of you brings a smile to my eyes
And a song to my heart. I know that I'm happy
to have just met you.
I'm afraid of losing you despite the friendship
that has not yet formed. Yet I know
You were always meant to be mine.

You tie my shoelaces, laugh at my jokes
Tease me out of sadness and bring me hope.
I remember every spoken word 
And unexplained gesture. Every look of the eye
Everything that went unsaid. 
I went for days endlessly until I can see you
And when I do, it is a moment frozen in time.

Monday, 4 May 2020

Depression Help

The previous posts describe how our life is a series of decisions, our mind that makes the decision, the two states of thinking or minds which are the emotional and rational mind. I am writing these new series of posts to help understand our mind, the thoughts in an effort to understand the science behind the thinking and feeling process. All these are an attempt to help a mind that is depressed, to aid in understanding the emotions, to realize that it is definitely possible to overcome the negative aspects and lead a healthy, positive life and to become a better person.

There are plenty of people around the world who have mental health issues but are not aware of it. They do not have the knowledge that the feelings they experience (maybe due to the hand they were dealt with in life, trauma etc) is a mental health condition which is curable and they do not have to necessarily live with it. There are several ways to overcome these challenges and with the right treatment, various coping strategies and mechanisms, they can bear the hardships of mental health conditions and be happy. An awareness of what a mental health condition is, what are the symptoms and how to seek help is sadly not common knowledge.

What are the symptoms that there maybe a mental health condition?

Unexplained changes in eating habits and weight - weight gain or loss within a short period of time
Unexplained changes in sleeping habits - oversleeping or insomnia
Unexplained deterioration in performance - school, work, sports or professional
Feeling of loneliness, when you are alone or even amidst friends and family
Withdrawal from social activities, friends, relationships, family which you enjoyed earlier
Emotional outbursts and mood swings
Intense fear and constant worry about the future - anxiety
Inability to let go of the past mistakes, events, relationships
Inability to cope with daily activities - Unwillingness to get out of bed, inability to do daily chores etc
Feelings of sadness, anxiety, laziness, fear quite persistently and often
Often angry, rude, loud (shouting), annoyed and sarcastic tone
Inability to maintain an even temperament and calmness often
Unexplained physical pain
Substance abuse - alcohol, excessive drinking, drugs, pills
Thoughts of hurting yourself - self harm and hurting others
Thoughts of suicide
Confusion and memory loss, delusions, hallucinations
Thoughts of stealing, defying authority

First and foremost, we need to believe that it is normal to experience these conditions, there is nothing inherently wrong with the person who experiences these symptoms. We need to accept that help is needed. We need to understand that these are curable.

When there is a physical ailment such as a broken arm, we do not think that with passage of time, an arm can be healed or an appendix can be fixed. Similarly, a mental condition is not some random symptom or a feeling which (always) can go away with the passage of time. If any, they tend to worsen with the passage of time.

There are several ways one can seek help. Talking to a trusted friend, close relative, an understanding spouse or a loved one will help. It is important that the person you choose understands depression, loves you unconditionally and is willing to actively listen you and help you. There are several online depression chat forums, support groups available where we can meet people who go through similar problems, who can relate to what you are going through and offer guidance and support. The most effective is however, seeking out a professional.

It is a daunting and often a disillusioning experience when we go about seeking a professional for a mental condition. This is because of the nature of the problem and the way remedy is given. It does not involve just a set of already established, tried and tested procedures, anesthetics, drugs, surgery etc. It involves talking to a person during the consultation process and goes much beyond the usual doctor - patient trust and confidentiality. An ability to connect with the health care professional, a willing to expose the vulnerability on the part of the person with mental condition, a mutual understanding, respect and trust takes time and does not happen easily. We need to be willing to speak to as many professionals as possible until we find the right one we are comfortable with. The explanations of the symptoms, analysis and repeating the past events to every new professional you see is emotionally draining. Nevertheless, we must persist for our own good and seek help from the person who is right for us.

With help from a right professional, the problems can be solved, underlying root causes can be identified and with the right kind of treatment and support, changes in lifestyle and attitudes can be achieved and we can go on to become a better person and lead a happy, satisfying life.

As always, please remember love yourself and life can be much more rewarding.

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Which is better? Rational or Emotional


Humans have two systems of thinking - The Rational brain and the Emotional brain.
In the last post, the features of both the brains were explained. Intuitive / Emotional brain is responsible for decisions that need to be made fast and instinctively for our survival. Ration brain analyses all the data that is available and logically concludes to arrive at a decision. While the intuitive brain aims at immediacy and sufficiency, rational brain looks for optimization, reasoning and explanations.

Given that, which is better? Should we act intuitively trusting our impressions and gut feeling or should we analyze the situation and act rationally? Is it better to act rationally or is it better to act intuitively? If we act rationally, does it mean that we are devoid of emotions? And if we act intuitively does it mean we give up reason?

The answer is we need both Rational and Intuitive brain and apply both to our decision making. Even we apply rationality, our emotional brain still provides its inputs in the form of tacit knowledge, pattern recognition, past experiences. There is no 100% rational decision. There can be 100% intuitive decision where we can purely based on instinct or our emotions. This is because we need to apply our fore brain for emotional control. In situations that threaten our survival, we do not think rationally but act emotionally out of pure instinct to avoid the threat. Why? Because, we evolved from animals, our natural urge is survival. While the intuitive brain has existed for millions of years, our rational brain has evolved only over a few hundred thousand years.

Intuitive brain makes rapid decisions for sufficiency using heuristics such as recognition heuristics and Tacit Knowledge. Though effective in several ways it has the disadvantages of Sensory illusion, Rational anomalies and Cognitive biases. (More on these in future posts)

While our instincts are often accurate, acting without a rational thought is not always wise. The reason for this is our current way of life. In a civilized world, there is no immediate threat to survival. The perceived threats to survival, except for a few life threatening situations are not a threat to our life. They do not warrant the same reaction as a life threat that triggers a fight or flight mode.

We will not lose our life during an argument with people who we come across, a difficult situation that we encounter, a conflict that needs to be resolved. Several of the other emotions that arise in our intuitive brain and cause extreme distress such as fear of things, losing our savings, losing love, anxiety about the future, past events that can no longer be controlled, lost love, grief, an abuse that was encountered in the past, a traumatic event or experience are extremely painful and can lead to serious difficulties. What we need to remember is they are not life threatening if we do not let them to control us. This is where we need our Rational brain to control the emotions of the intuitive brain, indicate that they do no threaten our life, we can survive without any of these and thrive in the future. We are here, now and the past or future do not control the present. We can think things through logically, we have all the time in the world to work out things, apply reason and take decisions.

Thus both Intuitive and Rational brain are necessary for our survival. When we look at the basic activity of our life, which is decision making, we need both rational and intuitive brain. However, we need to be aware of the limitations of our intuitive brain and let our Rational brain be more assertive and control the emotions of Intuitive brain.