Alexander Sinu, MD is a Resident Psychiatrist doing his residency training in the New York City area. He is the founder of DSMReady, a podcast focused on mini mental health episodes with the aim of bringing people together to achieve a happier and healthier state of mind. Dr. Alexander’s three main goals:
1) End mental health stigma and normalize mental health 2) Provide a safe and nonjudgmental place to share thoughts, feelings and advice about mental health 3) Maximize happiness and well-being 😎
We’re all surrounded by negative people; some are our friends, family members or even coworkers. At what point do you draw the line and stop interacting with them? Many times, we love these people and find them funny, entertaining, attractive and fun to be around, but their negative temperament often causes you to feel sad. It’s very important to keep this in mind because who you surround yourself with influences your thoughts, behavior and expressions. Being around negative people for too long will slowly turn you into a negative person as well.
In therapy, the psychiatrist can only help you as much as you want to be helped. It’s very important to find that comfort zone and open up about your symptoms so that your doctor can better understand you. Withholding your symptoms will only delay the process to your mental health recovery and you will suffer more during the process. Find a psychiatrist who makes you feel comfortable and divulge to them everything going on in your mind like an open book. Your doctor can’t wait to help you but you have to want to help yourself as well.
Exercising is not just about physical health. The point of exercising is to also feel good mentally. Exercise helps decrease your anxiety, improves your mood, promotes the birth of new neurons in your brain and elevates your self-esteem and confidence. Not to mention, exercising feels amazing! When you feel physically and mentally good, you radiate that positive energy into the world and people can sense it; this can lead to an improvement in your relationships! Start with baby steps if you don’t currently exercise: every day, go for a 20 minute walk on the street. After doing this for a week or two, include some jogging, fitness bikes, weights or whatever you enjoy. You’ll notice soon enough how beneficial exercising can be for your mental health.
Everyone talks about what they love about social media, but the negative aspects are often left out. Social media can be toxic and detrimental to your mental health when you are exposed to negative comments. These negative comments can be very powerful and make you feel sad at times. Social media is also toxic if you are constantly comparing yourself with people on Instagram who post exotic and wealthy pictures. This can make you feel sad as well by comparing your life which lacks those elements of materialism. When using social media, keep your mental health in mind and learn to spot and eliminate the negative aspects of them.
When psychiatrists inform you of your diagnosis, they are not doing it with the intention of labeling you with an illness to make you feel bad. A diagnosis is given to you to inform you of what we think may be going on and as a guide for treatment. Psychiatric diagnoses do not define you as a person. It’s important to mention this because many patients experience an uncomfortable feeling when certain psychiatrists slap a diagnosis on to them. Informing patients of their diagnosis is very important when it comes to delivery of the information; empathy and being nonjudgmental are crucial to making patients feel comfortable. At the end of the day, we are here to help you overcome your symptoms and lead a happy and fulfilling life again.
Psychoanalysis is based on the Freudian school of thought that our unconscious mind contains repressed thoughts, drives, traumatic experiences, memories and unresolved childhood conflicts that influence our present thoughts and behaviors. By accessing your unconscious mind through analysis of your transference during therapy, you can gain a better understanding of yourself and why you say and do the things that you do. Besides formal psychoanalytic therapy with a therapist, you can also analyze yourself when you have free time on your hands. This is helpful to better understand your interactions and behavior, but make sure that you’re not overdoing it; too much self analysis can potentially make you rigid if you’re always thinking about why you said this and did that. A healthy dose of analysis is the best way to go.
Manipulators are all around us. Sometimes they are our friends, family members, acquaintances, coworkers or strangers. Manipulators can also use fear tactics to further attempt to control your thoughts and behaviors. It’s important that you learn how to catch onto manipulative behavior so that you can protect your mental health.
Millions of people all over the world experience panic attacks. These occur out of the blue and involve a great sense of doom, fear and sometimes even physical symptoms. Panic attacks can be treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and/or antidepressants.
Approaching your day by being thankful is something we always hear about but rarely apply. It’s such an easy tweak to your mindset but gets lost in your daily stressors and struggles. By being thankful more often, you will notice your mental health improving.
Many of us experience fatigue at the start of the week but feel great on the weekends. This mental fatigue is likely related to burnout at work. Counteracting burnout involves instilling a consistently positive mindset every day.
Many of us underestimate the power and benefits of a good night’s sleep. Consistently going to sleep around 9-10pm will help your mood, concentration and memory. Establishing an excellent sleep hygiene will pay off in the short and long run!
Some of us never felt isolated prior to the pandemic while many of us became even more isolated during this pandemic. Either way, isolation is a breeding ground for mental illness. Three ways of dealing with it include going outside, socializing and exercising.