Articles on 50 great myths of popular psychology

Myths and Facts About Suicide

Dr. Riddhish K. Maru, Psychiatrist
MYTH 1: A person who talks about committing Suicide, won’t actually do it.FACT 1: About 80% of persons who commit suicide express their intentions to one and often more than one person.MYTH 2: Suicide usually occurs without warning. FACT 2:  A person planning suicide usually gives clues although in some cases, suicidal intent is carefully concealed.MYTH 3: A suicidal person fully intends to die. FACT 3: Most suicidal people feel ambivalent toward death and arrange an attempted suicide in the hope that someone will intervene.MYTH 4: If a person attempts suicide once, he or she remains at constant risk for suicide throughout life. FACT 4:  Suicidal intentions are often limited to a specific period of time, especially if help is sought and received. Person is at highest risk to repeat suicide in the 1st year following the act. Help can be effective. MYTH 5: If a person shows improvement after a suicidal crisis, the risk has passed. FACT 5:  Most suicides occur within three months or so after the onset of improvement, when the person has the energy to act on intentions.MYTH 6: Suicide occurs most often among the very rich and the very poor. FACT 6:  Suicide occurs in equal proportions among persons of all socioeconomic levels. MYTH 7:  Families can pass on a predisposition to suicidal behavior.FACT 7:  Suicide is not an inherited trait, but an individual characteristic resulting from a combination of variables. One of which is positive family history.MYTH 8: All suicidal persons are mentally ill, and only a psychotic person will commit suicide.FACT 8:  Studies indicate that 95% suicidal persons have mental illness.

Five Popular Dental Myths and Facts

Dr. Mona Mittal, Dentist
MYTH: Teeth cleaning or scaling weakens the teeth.TRUTH: Scaling removes the calculus (deposits)from the teeth and gums and keeps them healthy.It prevents loss of bone around the teeth.Also it prevents the problem of bad breath and gum bleeding.Thus it is beneficial for healthy gums and teeth.Thus one should get a professional cleaning done by a qualified dentist.MYTH: Only sugar causes cavities.TRUTH: Cavities occur when bacteria produce acids in the mouth which begins by any carbohydrate intake.To reduce cavities one should practice good oral care as well as reduce intake of refined foods.MYTH: Pregnant women should not brush their teeth.TRUTH: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to exaggerated response to the bacteria and plaque in the teeth.This causes gum infection and bleeding. Hence pregnant females must make an extra effort to keep their teeth clean and avoid dental problems (this is a very popular practice in rural as well as urban parts of our country where expecting females are asked not to brush their teeth during the term by elderly people of the family).MYTH: Any dental treatment during pregnancy is not safe.TRUTH: Dental treatments can be done at any time during pregnancy.However the best time to perform any elective procedure is second trimester.Emergency dental treatment can be performed immediately.Regarding the dental X rays,the exposure of X rays during a dental radio graph is not sufficient to cause any harm to the growing fetus. No such case has been reported till date but it must be done only in cases of emergency and should be avoided if possible.Cosmetic dental treatment such as bleaching, veneering,orthodontic treatment etc. should be postponed.MYTH: Children’s teeth do not need dental treatment as they have to go anyway.TRUTH: The milk teeth in children not only help them in mastication but also act as space maintainers. They guide their permanent successors in proper position so children need to get regular dental checkups done and proper oral health maintenance just like adults.

6 Myths and Facts About Weight Loss

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Weight loss is a long journey with many misconceptions attached to it. So, let us talk about more in detail about some common myths, facts  and logics behind weight loss.First MythYou can lose 10 kgs in a month.➤LogicMany health centres have use this marketing line to sell their products. Actually,it is  a very unhealthy and unsustainable process of losing weight. One should always think about long term benefits when it comes to health. Scientifically, the healthy weight loss range falls between 2 to 5 kgs only. ➤FactYou cannot lose 10 kgs in a month.Second MythExercise is enough, no need of dieting.➤LogicExercise is beneficial for many reasons but when it comes to weight loss, a proper weight loss diet plays a vital role.If you eat 1 chicken sandwich, you consume 400 to 500 calories, you need to burn these calories by working out for at least for an hour. Now imagine a scenario where you would have made a healthier choice. In that case a half an hour workout would have been enough. Get to know about how much exercise you need to lose weight?➤FactExercise is not enough, proper dieting is absolutely essential.Third MythFasting and Skipping meals help you to lose weight fast➤LogicFasting and skipping meals slow down the metabolism due to which you shed weight slowly. Besides that, later in the day you feel really hungry and binge on unhealthy stuff.Learn to get more information on Increase body metabolism to lose weight.➤Fact Fasting and Skipping meals never help you to lose weight fast.Fourth MythCarbohydrates make you gain weight . So, cut down carbs in your diet➤LogicCarbohydrates never make you gain weight. It is the calories that make you gain weight.The sugar and fat that carbohydrates often contain makes you fat. Opt for other good carbs like whole grains.  ➤FactCarbohydrates never make you gain weight. You have to avoid bad carbs like Sugar , added sugar, refined flours.Learn to know more about good and bad carbohydrates.Fifth MythFad diet helps you to lose weight faster.➤LogicFad diets are comprised of only 800 to 1000 calories which is difficult to follow. It has many adverse effects in the long run. One should always avoid this kind of diet.➤FactFad diet is that kind of weight loss diet which actually results in weight gain  Sixth MythA fruit- only diet is best for weight loss➤LogicFruits also have calories . However, if you live only on fruits, you deprive your body from variety of nutrients and can face long term health problems            ➤FactFruit only diet is not good at all.

Sensitive Skin: Facts and Myths

Dr. Jeetendra Khatuja, Dermatologist
WHAT IS SENSITIVE SKIN?Sensitive skin is less tolerant to frequent and prolonged use of cosmetics and toiletries. It is self-diagnosed and typically unaccompanied by any obvious physical signs of irritation. WHAT CAUSES SENSITIVITY?With the change in lifestyle and also with increased opportunity to use many new brands of cosmetics and toiletries, there has been an increase in females complaining of unique sensation in their facial skin.PROBLEMS CAUSED BY SENSITIVE SKIN?Subjective perceptions (stinging, burning, pruritus, and tightness) of sensitive skin are noticed immediately following cosmetic product application or delayed by minutes, hours, or days,especially on face skin.WHO IS AT RISK FOR DEVELOPING SENSITIVE SKIN? The condition is found in more than 50% of women and 40% of men, creating a sizable demand for products designed to minimize skin sensitivity.Commonly affects females, young adults aged between 18 and 50 years, hormonal differences in women producing increased inflammatory sensitivity, cultural habits in developed countries, and environmental factors like winter, stress, and atopic dermatitis are thought to promote sensitive skin HOW TO DIAGNOSE SENSITIVE SKIN?It is self-diagnosed and typically unaccompanied by any obvious physical signs of irritation.Good numbers of invasive and non-invasive tests are designed to evaluate and predict the sensitive skin.WHAT IS THE SOLUTION FOR SENSITIVE SKIN? Management includes guidelines for selecting suitable cosmetics and toiletries in sensitive skin individuals.Certain "do's" while selecting the cosmetic for sensitive skin are the following:Powder cosmetics preferredUse cosmetics which are easily removable by waterAlways use fresh cosmeticsUse black-colored eyeliner and mascara\Select pencil form of eyeliner and eyebrow cosmeticsSelect light earth tone eye shadowsSelect physical sunscreen agentPurchase cosmetics products with less than 10 ingredientsNo nail polishesUse powder/cream formulations of facial foundations.Myth 1: HYPOALLERGENIC MEANS NON-IRRITATINGTruth: It doesn't necessarily mean gentle or free of allergens. There are no set standards for this term. You need to know what you're allergic to and look for it on the label.Myth 2: SENSITIVE SKIN TYPES CANT EXFOLIATETruth: Yes, rosacea and allergic types should skip it—those dead skin cells act as a protective barrier to block irritants. But acne-prone skin needs exfoliation to keep pores clear.Myth 3: RETINOIDS ARE OFF-LIMITSTruth: Anyone can use a retinol. Just lessen its harsh effects by layering it over a moisturizer so absorbs less into your skin.

Don't Believe in These 6 Hyped Cancer Myths!

Dr. Sandeep Nayak, Surgical Oncologist
Try a Google search on ‘cancer’ and you’ll be hit with millions of web pages. And same is the case with YouTube videos. Not only does an online search brings up a wealth of credible information about the disease and its treatment, but also pages spreading common myths and misconceptions. So how do we know what’s accurate when some of these myths can sound perfectly logical?Certain popular notions about how cancer starts and spreads—though scientifically wrong—can seem to make sense, especially when those ideas are rooted in old theories. But wrong ideas about cancer can lead to needless worry and even affect good prevention and treatment decisions. It is always advisable to check the source of the article. Medical professionals writing an article or blog on their specialties would always be more reliable than an unknown source. Here are some common cancer myths and misconceptions:Myth 1: Cancer is a man-made, modern diseaseCancer is not just a ‘modern’, man-made disease of Western society. Cancer has existed as long as humans have. There is evidence of cancer in historical scriptures and archaeologists have found remains of people who died of cancer thousands of years ago. Our lifestyle and longevity might have increased the risk of cancer.Myth 2: Superfoods prevent cancerBlueberries, beetroot, broccoli, garlic, green tea… the list goes on. Despite thousands of websites claiming otherwise, there’s no such thing as a ‘superfood’. It’s a marketing term used to sell products and has no scientific basis. These foods rich antioxidants may reduce the risk, but cannot completelyprevent it.  Myth 3: ‘Acidic’ diets cause cancerThis is biological nonsense. True, cancer cells can’t live in an overly alkaline environment, but neither can any of the other cells in your body. There’s no good evidence to prove that diet can manipulate whole body pH, or that it has an impact on cancer. However, it is true that the acid secreted by stomachhas a role in reducing cancer risk. Myth 4: Cancer is a fungus – and sodium bicarbonate is the cureProponents of this theory say that cancer is caused by infection by the fungus candida, and that tumours are actually the body’s attempt at protecting itself from this infection. As far as we are aware, there have been no published clinical trials of sodium bicarbonate as a treatment for cancer. We do wish it was that simple.Myth 5: There’s a miracle cancer cure…From cannabis to coffee enemas, the internet is awash with videos and personal anecdotes about ‘natural’ ‘miracle’ cures for cancer. Some wild fruits have been portrayed as miracle cure for cancer. Medical science specialises in extracting the chemicals available in naturally occurring in the environment to see the effect on cancer cells and make to available to patients. Many of the treatments available to days have been derived from naturally occurring chemicals. Myth 6: Alternate medicine can cure cancer without side effect…Contrary to popular belief, alternate medicines are not side effect free. Many of the products used in alternative medicine have heavy metals which are poisonous and can affect the function of vital organs. The naturally occurring chemicals in plants that have medicinal property need to be extracted to give best results. When these products are administered without purification, the other chemicals in the product can cause severe side effects.Modern medicine may still be lagging behind in the treatment of some cancers. However, what is provided by modern medicine is tested, researched and documented. It is important that the patients don’t take treatment based in myths and loose valuable time when cancer could be cured. 

20 Tips to Understand Child Psychology

Dr. Manchala Hrishikesh Giri Prasad, Psychiatrist
Increasing familiarity with psychology of children is a daunting task indeed. You are expected to be really patient while trying to understand your child’s requirements. The following tips can help you to create a friendly relationship with your child while understanding him/her better:Observance Is The First Key:One of the best ways to under the psychology of your child is to observe his or her activities.This will help you to know the way he or she plays, eats food, draws, sleeps, communicates with others, and the like.You will find many traits that are consistent in nature.Observe whether your child is able to adjust to changes easily or takes time to settle down.Not all kids have similar traits as they tend to differ in personality.Remember that your child too will have a special personality.Distinguish Your Role As A Parent And As A Friend:You need to clarify your role as a parent and as a friend by setting a few limits on your own.You need to be a good friend at times because it would encourage your kid to have a pleasant interaction with you.Do not let your ‘parent-side’ take over while having a friendly conversation with your child. Instead, offer a wise judgment as a friend would do, without blaming your child for any mistake he or she might have committed.This is important because when you think like a parent, your judgment tends to get a bit different and would prevent the kids from discussing various issues further on.Make sure you don’t spoil your kid, but offer sufficient space to make him understand about your view too.Spend Time With Your Kid:When you spend very less time with your kid, you might not have an intimate relationship with him/herYou have to spend more time with your child and get yourself involved in his life, know his friends and such.This would make him comfortable in discussing his issues openly with you.Whether you have a tight work schedule or an important meeting, set aside a few minutes, to stay in touch with your kid and let him know you are there for him.Teach Your Child To Be responsible:This can be the toughest thing in your life as a parent.As a parent you have to make your kid realize his responsibilities at an earlier stage. This will help your child in the future.If your child pours milk in his mug without spilling, encourage his actions and praise him for being responsible.If your child puts back all the toys in the box after playing, it indicates he is responsible.Encourage your kid, as it would help him realize his responsibilities and be independent.Listen To Your Kid:Children expect their parents to take them seriously and listen to what they are saying.Listen to your kid without being judgmental.Understand his point of view and reasoning.If you do not agree to something, discuss with him what your concerns are.Do not make it into a blame game.Support and encourage him. If required, tell him that what he did was not good, but you still love him.Instill Confidence In Your Kid:As a parent, you are the main source of instilling confidence in your child.If your child has faced a first day at school, ask him or her about the school.Ask them what was taught and if he liked the teacher.Ask about any new friend your child may have made.Though making friends immediately is not an easy task, you can improve his or her confidence and prepare to face the new school in a better way.Ask Your Kids’ Opinion In Some Family decisions:Children feel really important if given a chance to be part of any decision making. It makes them more responsible, and you would be surprised at how mature they suddenly seem!If you are setting up a new home or rearranging the rooms ask your kid’s opinion and listen to what he says.You must understand the idea behind the opinion of your kid rather than judging the mistakes in it.This would offer the confidence in your kid to discuss about his decisions in smaller and bigger things.This in turn would help him make good decisions while he grows up.Stay Updated About Your Child’s Interests:Apart from monitoring your child’s development, you need to stay updated about his likes and dislikes as it would tend to change as he grows.Talk with your kid to know which subject he loves in school, the game he loves to play, his favorite TV show, movie stars, music, etc.Take him for a movie he is interested in or plan to go for a favorite match.This will help in nurturing a bond between you and your child.This would also help you understand your child in a better way.Keep Your Promises:Just as you teach your child to not break a promise, so should you!You must first make sure that you win your kid’s affection by keeping up the promises you make him.Whether it is a trip to the beach or a walk to the supermarket, make sure you keep your promises.This will encourage your child to always be honest.Give Them Some Space:This is something that most parents battle with.Each child needs his or her own space.Don’t barge your child’s life and be a hyperactive parent.Allow him to enjoy a bit of activity he loves, but be around to ensure they don’t go overboard.You can guide him whenever help is needed.Ask Small Questions:When you are interacting with your kid, you must remember to gather lots of information from him or her.This would help you to understand your child’s psychology.If you have small kids at home, their communication would be more of facial and body expressions than speaking it aloud.When you ask your kid small questions, it would be easy for him to answer and share his feelings.This will help you to know whether your kid is facing any issues at school like bullying, etc.Allow Your Kid To Be A Kid:Your kid is after all a child. Allow him or her to be.If he makes a mistake, let him learn from it.Do not have too many expectations.Tell him in a gentle way to be careful instead of banning an activity altogether.Let Your Kid take Time To Develop Social Skills:Some kids can become very friendly with others while some may not be comfortable at all.Some kids develop social skills at an early age, while some would not develop it until a certain age.You can encourage your child to develop the social skills in a gentle way.Remember not to force him as he might take it in a negative way.Understand Fears Or Apprehensions Of Your Kid:When your child is apprehensive about certain things, do not label him/her as being afraid.Try and figure out the real issue that is bothering him.Help him overcome the fear by digging deeper and finding out what factor induced the fear.Even if your kid is not able to express the reasons behind the fear properly, you can try to bring out the real reason by letting your child express his inner feelings.Explain Your Side:If you have taken a decision that your child is not happy with, let him know the reasons that led you to take that decision.This way, you are helping him to grow up as a good decision maker.Even if it is about the time you have fixed for your child to get back home, you can tell him that you have concerns regarding his safety.Even if your kid is not happy with it at the moment, he would appreciate it as he grows into an adult.Be Flexible:It is good to set some rules and follow it. • You have to remember that there can be few exceptions when such instances arise. • You can bend a few rules at such occasions and make sure your kid stays happy and know that their happiness means a lot for you. • This rule can be applied while watching a match of your kid’s favorite sport or a popular movie that you are watching with him.Discuss Your Interests To Avoid Arguments:The main key to understand children psychology is to know what features are common between your kid and you.It might be food, music, games, subjects, hobbies or any other thing.Discuss about your interests with your kid and have a plan about how to develop it further and have fun.This would help you avoid small fights or big quarrels such as who is going to have the TV remote, or which place you should visit for a family vacation.Don’t Stop Talking Even If Your Child Is Not Listening:As a parent of a growing child, you will agree that your kid does not listen to whatever you tell him.Though he might argue with you, your advice would stay etched in his mind as he grows up.Even if he might not agree with what you say, the essence of your advice sticks on.So do not stop your advice session as it will help your kid as he grows and matures.Enhance Self Esteem:Creativity can influence kids psychology in a positive way.As a responsible parent, you can try to enhance your kid’s creativity through motivation.Hang up his artwork on the wall, frame them for your living room display or post them on your blog to encourage them further.This would help your child to build his self-esteem and concentrate more on his creative activities.Create A Peaceful Sleeping Time:Do not let your kid indulge in video games or watch TV before bedtime as it will prevent him from falling asleep faster.Offer a peaceful environment before he/she gos to sleep by setting the room with night lamps.You can also read out a story as a bedtime routine.If your kid gets enough amount of sleep, it is best for developing a positive attitude.

8 Myths You Thought Were Facts!

Dr. Shalini Joshi, Internal Medicine
Today people from all walks of life are living under more stress - spouse, aging parents, difficult kids, demanding boss. Add to this a never ending and never moving traffic and pollution.Amidst all this, you are trying to lead a healthy life. Sometime you get facts, sometimes fiction. And sometimes you don’t know which is which. Here are 8 of the most common ones busted for you.1. Myth: Eating banana causes weight gain because it has high calorie content.Fact: On the contrary, it is a very healthy snack, rich in fibre and potassium. Its sweetness comes natural fruit sugar - fructose.2. Myth: Taking Calcium supplements causes kidney stones.Fact: Calcium strengthens bones. Growing kids and elderly people need extra calcium supplements in addition to milk and curd.3. Myth: Drinking milk makes you fat.Fact: It is a good source of calcium and protein which keeps blood glucose steady. You don’t feel hungry. It is good to drink in breakfast and before sleeping at night.4. Myth: Juice is a complete health drink.Fact: Juices have high glycemic index and cause weight gain. They don’t have any fibre content as well. It is far better to eat the whole fruit.5. Myth: Weight loss in elderly is a sign of old age.Fact: Unintentional weight loss in any age group should be a cause for concern nd needs prompt medical attention. Doctor should be consulted to rule out several possible diseases.6. Myth: Diabetes and high blood pressure occurs only in elderly people.Fact: In fact, in India, it is diagnosed in the late 20s and early 30s due to sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy eating habits.7. Myth: Watching TV before going to bed at night is relaxing.Fact: Watching TV at night stimulates the brain and causes difficulty falling asleep, and may even lead to insomnia.8. Myth: Early morning sun is beneficial for Vitamin D3 synthesis.Fact: Sun exposure between 10 am to 3 pm is advisable to boost vitamin D3 production in the skin.Live healthy, be wise.

Spot Fat Reduction: Myth or Reality?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Quite often you come across advertisements like “loose belly fat within 5 days” or “inch loss within a week”. But in reality, there is no such thing as spot reduction. Fat reduction occurs throughout the body, not in specific areas.According to Refine method founder and exercise brainiac Brynn Jinnett, “There’s no evidence that working a muscle inspires your body to mobilize the fat next to that muscle group.”Spot Fat reduction refers to the belief, long viewed as a myth, that fat can be targeted for reduction from a specific area of the body. This is a common view, although many people believe that view is misguided. It is not possible to achieve spot reduction through exercise of specific muscles, such as exercising the abdominal muscles in an effort to lose weight in or around one's midsection. You might have a tendency to put on more weight in a certain area, for eg.; men tend to put fat on the belly while women on the hips.You will never attain a flat stomach just by performing abdominal exercises. The reason for this is simple: a muscle does not own the fat that surrounds it. Sit-ups, for example, will definitely strengthen your abdominal muscles, but sit-ups alone will not get rid of the layer of fat that is covering the muscles. To lose fat anywhere on your body you need to burn calories by following a program that involves both cardiovascular training and weight training. In doing so, you will decrease fat stores throughout your body; including the problem areas.So what's the right way to blast your fat (especially in the abdominal region)? We suggest working your body's largest muscle groups with multi-joint strength exercises, such as squats, push-ups, shoulder presses, and deadlifts. Besides burning more calories than crunches (one pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, after all), working larger muscle groups is linked with the greatest muscle formation and resulting metabolic after burn possible. What's more, high-volume, low-rest exercise protocols (such as performing 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps with no more than 60 seconds rest in between) stimulate the greatest release of growth hormone and testosterone—both of which are necessary for building calorie-torching, physique-making muscle. Aerobic exercise helps burn calories and therefore should be encouraged for weight reduction in general. Cardiovascular exercise performed 3-5 days per week for 30-60 minutes per session will help shed body fat.The ideal program for fat loss would include the combination of proper diet, weight training, and cardio exercise.