Saturday, December 1, 2018

5th January 2050: A Visit to An AI (Artificial Intelligent) Doctor With Mitron

Rex had just come back from a vacation to earth’s moon a couple of days back. He had already been intimated by his personal assistant “Mitron v” (an AI assistant) by the doctor that there had been a slight increase in the white blood cell.”Mitron v” was a belt which Rex wore around his wrist was a super robot grade 5 which was also connected to his circulatory system. It would monitor his blood parameters and help him to coordinate chores daily with other AI gadgets like the car, mobile etc. Each human had a specially designed Mitron as per his status. This was tested since last 5 years with other humans and now the higher grade was used for the important humans like Rex.
        Rex had been worried about his future health conditions since the blood started showing early myeloblast(cells forming White blood cell)with some malignant changes. Though they were at a very initial stage and would not be detected by any machine or human 30 years back it was creating a lot of anxiety in Rex’s life. He had quit smoking last year after he was informed by the doc about these changes. Although he was against it initially, he was thankful to his parents who had forced him to attach a diagnostic patch which was the part of the techno scientist team who made it as complex and effective as it was. The diagnostic patch was downloaded in Mitron(the super robot) and was being used to monitor important humans  24 by 7 by an AI doctor. Amazon Global had made it compulsory last year for all their employees to have Mitron and be under continuous surveillance. There were very few humans who were very skillful in analyzing the complex data and the company was very keen on maintaining their good health and have their offspring with perfect genetic was very difficult for anyone to be employed by these companies unless you have the super ability to understand, read and analyze the massive data from billions of customers every second. There were only a handful of employees the company hired and Rex because of his expertise in data analysis and the strong CHRM2 gene was able to be in the elite group. These were the few individuals who were still working unlike his friend Sam who had been a part of a universal income group and had very few rights left.
The Group of CEO of fifty mega-companies (known as the Digital Rulers) had recently decided to give a free health insurance to all the people across the globe and compulsory be under surveillance with Mitron IV. Rex however still had the choice to refuse the advice given by the AI doctor. He now also had little option as most human doctors were not allowed to work and interact directly with people in hospitals across the globe. This decision was taken in regards to better healthcare and precise treatment to all. The doctors, however, could be a part of the surveillance group and would have to work only when the AI had a problem in analyzing the disease or its treatment. The Human Doctors were, however, happy as they had no work to do but could enjoy most of the facilities by enrolling into this program.
Rex heard a beep on Mitron reminding him to meet the doctor by 3 pm. The car was waiting and had parked itself as per Mitron’s instructions. Rex reached the hospital with the AI nurse waiting to escort him in a special wheelchair cum stretcher car to be on time for his appointment. As Rex reached the doctor's cabin, he was updated by “Mitron” with the latest blood reports. His white cells had come to normal because of the medicine administered by “Mitron”.The AI doctor had already sent 605.09 mg of Acetaminophen which was called CROCIN OR TYLENOL with AI Mailman when the white cell had risen because of the sudden weather change because he had come back after a vacation from the moon. The medicines were administered as per the weight and the dose efficacy (dose calculated as per the weight and the chemical and hormonal balance per individual at that time). These medicines were only available with AI Pharmacist and could be prescribed only per AI doctor. Since there were no medical colleges offline anymore. Most of the humans were attending Virtual classes conducted by AI doctors with exams held by AI doctors. It was very difficult to get good grades for most humans. The ones who did well were picked by the Digital rulers.
 Ted 0.2211(the Ai Doctor) welcome Rex in the room. He had received the information from Rex’s Condo. There was a mild constriction in his pupils with 3.5%increase blood flow in Rex’s face which showed he had anxiety. There was also a 10%surge in his cortisol levels (stress hormone). He had also got the data from the Condo that Rex had similar episodes in his vacation when he was remembering his twin brother. Ted told Rex to relax. He knew Rex would get calm by hearing his mother voice so he imitated her voice which made Rex feel calm. He put on his favorite music composed as per his choice which would calm down his thoughts. Rex was waiting for Ted so he could discuss the probability of eliminating the similar cancer gene which could be eliminated from his DNA. The one his brother was lucky enough to be eliminated by the technogenecist before his birth.
Important people were not allowed to give birth through natural way but were inseminated in an artificial womb after a thorough genetic analysis. Ted already knew what was playing on Rex’s mind and he had already instructed his AI team to work and collect more data and find a solution to his problem. Rex’s parents had been carrying a dormant stomach cancer gene. When Rex’s brother was born the AI scientist were able to eliminate the dormant gene as science had a made a breakthrough then but in Rex’s case, they were unable to delete after his birth. This as worrying Rex as the dormant gene had a probability of causing the malignant changes by the age 35 years and Rex was already 18. Rex was one of the very few important humans in the world and hence the CEO had given special instructions to the AI team to make a breakthrough. They had already tried unsuccessfully with 1530 humans which resulted in flaring up of the disease and premature deaths. The global organization permitted a trial on 1 million humans with a casualty rate permitted up to 10000 humans who were on universal pay scale schemes. Human enrolled in the scheme got all the facilities from the group of 50 mega corporates and need not worry about working. They would get a fixed amount of bitcoins every month in return for letting the company use their data. They could travel, eat and have all the worldly pleasures at a subsidized rate.
 The subtle changes in Rex Blood had a 50%chance of cancer manifesting with a lifespan of not more than 60 years. This would have been ok in the year 2018 but in the year 2050 for a very important human, it was simply not acceptable. The company wanted him to live longer. Ted made Rex realize that research had not progressed at the speed with which the company had anticipated but still they would be able to remove the dangerous gene from his DNA sooner or later. He was given another dose of minimal chemotherapy as per his body weight as a precautionary measure by Ted. Rex was wondering why the technogenecist in Amazon Global was taking so much time as compared to the ones in Shenyang. It was probably the inter-company rivalry between the mega-giants why he was not able to get rid of the problem. The technology had already been tested successfully by Shenyang a Chinese company. Shenyang wanted Rex to join the company in return if he wanted to eliminate the risk.

Rex dared not harbor the idea for too long as Mitron would soon find out which would create a problem for him. This was the precise reason why he resisted putting the Mitron for a year or two but finally gave in as he had no choice. Rex sighed at his mental state as Mitron informed him about the rising stress levels and was waiting for the breakthrough by his AI team. He left the hospital And Mitron his assistant connected him to the AI CEO of Amazon Global who reassured Rex he would be well soon.
This sounds like a Sci-fi movie but it is a very much reality which is going to hit the human race one day. Maybe not the exact same but definitely AI is going to play a major role in our lives. The speed with which Technology is progressing signifies the human abilities to deal with complex procedures through machines. The complex and mysterious world of medicine which rested in the hands of a few humans like myself will soon be made perfect by the use of Artificial intelligence.
Many countries, including developed ones such as the UK, have a shortage of medical staff. For example, there are simply not enough well-trained doctors to be able to accurately diagnose the early signs of eye disease. AI could provide a solution to help human practitioners improve their capabilities. And with diagnosis taken care of, medical staff can spend more of their time actually caring for their patients.
Google recently successfully put its Deep Mind artificial intelligence system to work recognizing eye diseases. With AI also being used to diagnose cancer, and the launch of AI-driven smartphone apps that can discuss symptoms and triage patients, it might sound like we’re not too far from the creation of a fully-fledged AI doctor.
Take Babylon Health for instance, which in June said its AI chatbot was able to diagnose medical conditions as accurately as a doctor. The firm's chatbot scored a higher-than-average test score on a practice exam compiled for physicians.
Babylon's chatbot passed 82 percent of the test's questions, versus the average mark for human doctors of 72 percent.
A game like Go, no matter how complex, is still governed by a finite set of rules and possibilities. A computer program is very efficient to process conditions & outcomes of all possibilities by evaluating these rules. It will be able to do this in orders of magnitude faster and more accurately than any human being could.

Identifying patterns from data is another class of problems that computers are extremely good at. This is where you present the algorithm with large datasets (or evidence) and it is able to identify patterns in the data & fit statistical models to it, models that define the data. 

In the case of medicine, these algorithms are able to see patterns in these datasets that a human doctor cannot. This is because the changes in data points are often subtle, spatially distributed and complex, escaping detection by visual inspection. 

An impossible task for human senses. When repetitive tasks are represented with big data and rules, algorithms can be built and optimized to outperform human doctors at specific tasks. But, is that enough?

A doctor’s intelligence, however, is far more complex than mere rules and pattern recognition. It is obvious that to arrive at decisions and judgments one requires a very different mental process. 

Rather than only learning from data, rules, and patterns, humans also use pre-formed observations and knowledge from first principles, reasoning, planning, creativity and intuition to arrive at decisions. 

These algorithms, however fast and accurate they are at what they do, lack conceptual understanding of fundamental medical concepts and even basic reasoning to evaluate new situations. In some advanced AI implementations, they may be able to form hypotheses, but may still lack the ability to prioritize and test them. 
A doctor’s intelligence and intuition will, therefore, be required to counterbalance these limitations of AI in the years to come. This is the only reasonable goal and possibility for AI in healthcare today. Be assistive to human intelligence. It is a partnership.

There are also significant hurdles to overcome to get to this state. Seemingly, data is both the solution and the problem. Machine learning algorithms get better with more data they see, but access to this data, its privacy, inherent biases that may exist in the available set of data, remain points of concern. The more the availability, the better the algorithms work, the better the partnership works and better is the clinical outcome.

This also means that more trust from consumers and healthcare professionals is required to make data more available for research and development. 
It is evident that machines will outperform doctors on specific repetitive tasks. In due course, rather being defensive or over aggressive with the thought of an AI doctor, they will need to morph into a more symbiotic one with the machine.

Doctor’s future tasks in the near future could include setting goals for these machine agents, designing them by modeling the foundational knowledge, formulate a hypothesis, perform evaluations and be the final authority in decisions and suggestions offered by AI. 

AI will do what it is really good at, computationally intensive work that must be done to prepare the outcomes and suggestions for insights and better decision making in diagnosis and treatment plans. It is easy to put information and updates in a machine rather than human. Machines are designed to follow protocols and patterns, unlike humans which are unpredictable.
The present-day AI is not able to reciprocate to human emotions which is one of the key factors in a doctor’s consultation. Like a dishwasher or washing machine, humans had a doubt and cast aspersions on it but it is an important and indispensable part of our family.
Care is not just about diagnosing or prescribing medicine. It’s about knowing your patient is going to be able to cope with the chemotherapy you’re proposing for them, knowing that their family will be able to offer them the support that they’re going to need for the next few months. Currently, there is no software that’s going to be able to replace that.
Although the above scenario doesn’t look possible in the near future but I strongly believe that if doctors work hand in hand with newer AI engineers we can provide a better and universal healthcare to all the patients globally. Even if it does reach to that level, Doctors would adapt to a bigger role in the days to come.



Friday, November 16, 2018

How Failure kicks your butt to become successful?

It is in human nature to want to only think positive thoughts about our heroes.
The image created of our heroes is of larger than life. We do not want our sports heroes to cheat or use performance-enhancing drugs. We don't want our humanitarian or political heroes to be involved with sordid scandals or criminal activity. And we don't want our scientific heroes to commit the greatest of all scientific sins: the sin of having been wrong.
And above all, we feel justified to criticize them when they fail to meet our expectation….We feel they deserve this humiliation.

History has always looked down at people who have failed and questioned the ones who supported the people who have failed.

People react to the high unattainable standards they set, and are ever ready to judge themselves for the smallest of act like proving a political point or winning an argument. For many failure is not an option and they end up in bitter arguments and ruminate about it for days for no reasons.
But Life is not an endeavor, one undertakes all by themselves, but rather as a part of a worldwide community. And being wrong is not a death sentence, but rather is often a stepping-stone to an even greater success.

 "Once a failure, always a failure" couldn't be further from the truth. While it's true that even our greatest heroes have had their flaws, some of history's greatest failures were followed by a success that no one could have predicted.
But still, in spite of so many instances, we pursue and believe that perfection and precision are the two comrades in our journey to glory. But does failure actually weaken our thought processes? By embracing failure are we making the opposite person less determined and callous? If the answer is yes then it will relieve the majority of the people that being tough on failures is the right way to stimulate growth?

Science behind Failure
1.    A MRI study by USC and a group of international researchers have discovered that an opportunity to learn from failure can actually turn it into a positive experience – only if the brain decides to learn from its mistakes.
Scientists have since years have understood that learning happens in our brain in two distinct ways.
Avoidance learning, which is by punishing or criticizing mistakes thereby creating a negative experience that trains the brain to avoid repeating mistakes.
However, there is another way which is not so popular i.e reward-based learning, a positive, creating an experience again and again, in which the neurons in the brain are redefined and feel rewarded for reaching the right answer.
In situations where we get enough information to evaluate and analyze the choices, then our brain essentially moves towards the redefining mechanism, instead of turning toward avoidance,
2.    Scientists at Oxford University have made a startling discovery: they’ve discovered a region of the brain that makes you wonder if you’ve erred and whether you have been advised to learn, take in your stride and work on the errors.
Scans from 25 men and women showed that this part of the brain is made up of a dozen smaller sections. These scans were then compared with monkey brains.
Surprisingly the scans showed that there were regions significantly different from the brain of the macaque monkey, despite it being one of our closest relatives. This probably explains to us why we are so good at working with our species and growing to the point which none of the other species have reached distantly close.
Eleven of the 12 sections in the network were similar – they were found in both humans and monkeys and connected up to other, more distant, brain areas in similar ways.
But one, the lateral frontal pole prefrontal cortex, was missing in the macaques, despite it being one of our closest relatives.
Differences in the human and monkey brain have been found before, but this is interesting because it is the first time such a clear change has been spotted in the region behind having a flexible thought process.
Other parts of the brain keep tabs on how well decisions are working, but this new region thinks over what we might have done instead.
To put it simply, the lateral frontal pole is like a spouse who is ever ready to inform you that you've blundered and bungled it when it would have been so easy to get it right. It's the kindly-but-firm voice of authority that tells you to go to your room and mull over what you've done, so you'll be sure not to do it again in future...

 So failing actually stimulates this parts. Of course without the negative feedbacks which distract the brain which in turn stimulates our emotional brain (amygdala) and create stress. This self-judgment or criticism from sources is responsible for ruminating and disappointment after failure.

3.     Antoine Bechara, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Southern California had recently isolated two equally sized centers in the prefrontal cortex, one that he claims is responsible for the fear of failure and the other for the lure of success. It is between these, he says, that the debate between risk and reward occurs. These are similar to the devil and angel on our shoulders, these areas interact during the decision-making process. The one wins takes the cake. So our reactions are very much dependent on the outcome of the debate. If our previous experiences have already hardwired our neuron about the negative impact on failure, there lies very little scope for us to rewire and improve the outcome.

4.    When we experience success, our brains release endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin, which encourage us to engage in a task again. 
When we experience a failure, our brains release cortisol and do not leave us with feelings of acceptance and safety.

Neuroimaging studies reveal….there are specific and reproducible patterns of changing neural activity and brain structures associated with stress. In the high-stress state, scans reveal less activity in the higher, reflective brain. The more activity in the lower, reactive brain that directs involuntary behaviors and emotional responses. As the density and speed of the neuron-to-neuron connections in the emotion-driven reactive networks of the lower brain increase and corresponding connections in prefrontal cortex conscious control centers decrease.

Basically, dwelling on outcomes can make the neuronal pathways stronger and autonomous, so a more helpful activity is to rewire your brain to get used to the feeling of succeeding, rather than the expectation of failure. Hence we react to failure immediately before our conscious mind can actually realize what has happened. You can recollect the end number of times when you get a sinking feeling just before the results are announced.
Failure can be a stimulant for us to analyze, rethink our strategy and convert the negative situation into an opportunity.

To make it more lucid there are essentially two types of mindsets— one which pushes for perfection and the other demands it. When one strives for perfection and can accept that mistakes are part of the process, failure can be quite motivating.

 On the other hand, we know that perfection is almost unattainable; therefore, a lot of negative experiences can come from demanding it.
People who think failure is not an option will eventually experience some form of emotional burnout, or put incredible levels of pressure on themselves by creating an unattainable standard of perfection and are emotionally exhausted all the time because nothing they do is ever good enough.

Reality Check

“Failure is the best teacher” is an old saying, but most of us deep down our heart have championed 'errorless learning'. In today’s fast-paced world, failure is no longer seen as an option. Educators, Managers, and Parents strongly believe that if they encourage failure it will end up creating a bad tomorrow for the person who has failed. Some end up creating a bad experience, only with the thought that they will never repeat the mistake again.
The rise in number of suicides, mental health cases in schools and colleges. This is not limited to one country but it is a universal phenomenon. The burn out in workplace and the drive to get a change every next day is nothing but pursuing to live up to the unattainable standards one keeps. The most common disease of the last decade is boredom and it is nothing but the human brain’s way of saying “it is enough”.

What can be done

·       Love what you do and failure will sound like music to ears. It will become your source of motivation.
Set goals that allow you to experience “frequent recognition feedback of incremental progress. Reaching these goals will release dopamine, which creates feelings of satisfaction, increases motivation, curiosity, perseverance, and memory.”

·        Rewire your brain’s expectations so that your efforts will yield progress, even though increasing challenge, you need to really want the goal. This is not the time to challenge yourself with something you feel you should do but won’t really look forward to doing, such as dieting, climbing stadium stairs, or flossing after every meal. Select a goal that you would enjoy en route and at the finish.

·       Remember that stress has an upside. When you’re overwhelmed (or focusing on failures) is to make a list of the stresses you’re under.  Separate them into two groups – the ones you can control and those you can’t  – and then choose one item that you can control and come up with a small, concrete step you can take to reduce it. In this way, you can nudge your brain back to a positive—and productive—mindset.
Learning the art of giving positive criticism to the people around you. Surprise your husband or your child with giving positive feedbacks to their mistakes. This will have a cascading effect on your approach to failure.

 Making Failure a growth Machine
It is not easy to think and be positive especially when we fail after putting in all the hard work. It is not a one-day affair to change of perception of failure. We need to break the automation created in our mind and rewire our brains. So the next time when we come across a failed relationship or poor performance we see the opportunity it presents us rather than ruminate about the consequences.
One of the ways is to make learning and dealing with failure a part of the education system, so from early days we get prepared and learn how to stimulate the gamma waves in our mind. Learning to respond rather than react to failure will make us more resilient and reach great heights.
So next time when we come across failure in our life, we need to remember, ”Leaders who have created a growth story have befriended their greatest fear “Failure” and made them their escorts to drive their success wagon”.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

The Science Of Addiction

Addiction is commonly associated with substance abuse such as alcohol, tobacco and drugs. National Institute on Drug Abuse has listed different reasons (as below) for why people take drugs.

To feel good: Feeling of pleasure, “high”

To feel better: To relieve stress

To do better: Improve performance


Peer pressure

Not just drugs, some behaviors too can be categorized as addictive. Addiction to video games is one such addictive behavior. Mounting evidence shows that the effects of video games simulate those of drugs of substance abuse and that video game addictions also alter the brain neurochemistry unlike the previously held belief that a person addicted to games lacked willpower.

The limbic system of the brain also known as the “brain reward system” is the part involved in addiction. When activated it releases neurochemicals such as dopamine, “the feel good” neurotransmitter.

Unlike activities like food, drinking, reading, music, which produce the optimum levels of dopamine, addictive substances or behaviors can release up to 10 times more dopamine leading to the “high” associated with use of drugs.Recurring activation of the “reward system” due to repeated use of addictive drugs leads to addiction.

“Dopamine surges in the reward circuit cause the reinforcement of pleasurable but unhealthy activities, leading people to repeat the behavior again and again. Over time, the brain adjusts to the excess dopamine, which reduces the high that theperson feels compared to the high they felt when first taking the drug—an effect known as tolerance. Theymight take more of the drug, trying to achieve the same dopamine high” (National Institute on Drug Abuse).

Recent studies also implicate serotonin, besides dopamine, in the development of addiction. Serotonin is responsible for feelings of well-being and contentment. Low serotonin levels can also increase the risk of drug addiction.

A study from the Victoria University of Wellington showed that serotonin levels during initial drug use affect the chances of a person becoming drug dependent. Higher the serotonin levels, lesser are the chances of somebody becoming addicted. The study suggests that “once drug use escalates and becomes frequent, the anti-addiction effect of serotonin is decreased. Another brain chemical, dopamine, seems to be the critical determinant of drug addiction during this phase”.

Drugs that modify dopamine affect motivation, motor functioning, sense of pleasure and important events a person experiences. While, drugs that affect serotonin affect the ways how a person learns, remembers, sleeps and feels emotions.

A person addicted to gaming can spend anywhere between 10 and 14 hours a day playing. Most of these people have some underlying social and psychological conditions as well. They are either suppressed, depressed, need appreciation or need compliments.

Addiction may worsen an underlying mental disorder or trigger a mental disorder such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, depression etc. Such persons are more at risk of addictions.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has now included video game addictions as “Internet Gaming Disorder” in its latest revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). It described the addiction as a ‘pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior’ that becomes so extensive it ‘takes precedence over other life interests’.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

#Metoo-A psychological triumph by women against their worst fears!

As we are seeing in the last few days, more and more men in powerful positions find themselves suddenly out of a job because of the brave women who’ve come forward to share their traumatic experiences in public, it’s very easy to forget how serious the problem sexual assault is today. Many men (and even some women) simply brush off such accusations or behaviors with trite but insulting excuses, such as, “Boys will be boys.”
What Is Sexual Assault?
Sexual assault is a serious and devastating violent criminal behavior. It leaves a permanent traumatic scar on the victim which no amount of time can heal or lets the victim forget the event. It is time our culture and society stop making excuses for these dishonorable (mostly male) criminals.
Sexual assault (and its twin, sexual abuse) is not about the act of sex to the abuser.
Rather it is about the power differential between the abuser and the victim. Most of these crimes are committed by men toward women, and most people know their abuser. Sexual assault usually refers to the behavior when it is of short-duration or infrequent, but for the victim of such crimes, such distinctions don’t matter much.
Sexual assault in India as we see the cases popping out is sadly common.
One in five women has reported being raped at one point in their lives (and one in 71 men). On college campuses, that number rises to one in four women (and one in seven men). Over 92 percent of the time, it is either by their intimate partner, or by an acquaintance. About 91 percent of victims of rape and sexual assault and rape are women, while nine percent are men.

Sexual violence is even more common.
Sexual abuse can take many forms, but it always includes a component of unwanted sexual activity forced on the victim. That activity can, and most often does, involve direct contact with the victim, but may also be forcing the victim to watch the perpetrator engage in a sexual activity on their own, or inappropriately show their genitals. Perpetrators of sexual abuse think nothing of making threats to get what they want, using force, or taking advantage of a victim’s role (such as an employee).
Perpetrators of sexual abuse take pleasure in inflicting their will onto the victim, as well as the victim’s powerlessness. Some sexual abusers use alcohol or drugs to ensure a compliant, intoxicated victim. Using drugs and alcohol seems to reduce the likelihood of the victim reporting the crime to the police, as the victim will often blame herself or himself for taking the drugs or alcohol (although the administration of drugs is often non-consensual).
Many powerful, prominent men who engage in sexual assault believe they are owed the right to both verbally harass and sexually abuse whomever they want, whenever they want. They believe their position of power — whether it comes through wealth, family background, work role, politics, or corporate leadership — negates ordinary cultural and societal norms. “I’m owed this, and you can’t do anything about it — who would believe you over me?” is a common refrain for these men.
Why Some men sexually abuse women?
There are many excuses and motives to why the perpetrators commit such crimes. According to the case study done by Jaydip Sarkar of Institute of Mental Health of Singapore, the perpetrators rationalize their actions by stating that the other party was triggering the perpetrator to display molesting behavior. Sarkar states that upon evaluation of the rape offenders, they used the five theories to rationalize their past behaviors, which Sarkar refers to them as cognitive distortion:
1.     Women are unknowable: Rapists believe that women are fundamentally different from me and, therefore, cannot be understood. Encounters with women will, therefore, be adversarial and women will be deceptive about what they really want. An example of such a Cognitive Distortion might be ”…she is dressed in hot pants and her cleavage is visible. This means she wants sex and it is okay for me to have sex with her” when she says “no” she actually wants to turn me on further.” (Sarkar 2013)
2.     Women are sex objects: The Cognitive Distortion is that women are constantly receptive to men's sexual needs but are not necessarily always conscious of this. Their body language is more important than what they say and women cannot be hurt by sexual activity unless they are physically harmed, that is being beaten or punched. An example of this might be ”…when she looks furtively at me when I make lewd comments, she is actually interested in me. So when she says “no” she is actually playing with me to turn me on further. (Sarkar 2013)
3.     Male sex drive is uncontrollable: Men's sexual energies can build up to dangerous levels if women do not provide them with sexual opportunities and once they are aroused it is difficult not to progress to orgasm. In India, with its culture-bound syndromes of “male sexual weakness” or dhat syndrome, one manifestation of such a Cognitive Distortion might be “… I am going to become weak if my “dhat” (semen) flows out (premature ejaculation while molesting or sexually harassing a woman) and a woman does not offer herself to me.” (Sarkar 2013)
4.     Entitlement: Men's needs, which include sexual needs, should be met on demand by women. In a nation like India with major gender-based inequalities, such Cognitive Distortions of male entitlement, especially if the victim is from lower status for whatever reason (socioeconomics, caste, etc.) can lead to marital rape (recommended to be considered a crime in the Verma Commission report). (Sarkar 2013)
5.     Dangerous world: The world is a hostile and threatening place and people need to be on their guard, but there is no safe haven. An example is “…. I have been wronged in many ways, and so it is not wrong for me to do wrong to others." (Sarkar 2013)
Trauma inflicted Can Be Lifelong, Relentless
Criminal sexual assault behavior by a perpetrator onto their victim usually results in the victim dealing with the aftermath of the trauma throughout their life. 81 percent of women (and 35 percent of men) will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, major depressive disorder, or some other disorder due to the assault.
“Survivors of sexual assault appear to be at substantially increased risk for suicidal ideation and attempts; indeed, relative to other conditions, sexual assault was associated with the highest increases in risk for suicidality” (Dworkin et al., 2017). These same researchers, in a comprehensive analysis of the sexual assault research literature, also found that victims are at increased risk for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and bipolar disorder.
Perpetrators rarely think of, much less care, about the impact of their behavior on their victim. When they do think about it, it is almost always in the context of believing the victim only has themselves to blame for putting themselves into a situation with the perpetrator.
Psychotherapy can often help a victim of sexual assault.
The healing process is usually lengthy, as many victims blame themselves (as society too often does as well) for somehow helping to bring on the sexual assault. Nobody would ever want such a thing to happen to their best friend, much less themselves, but this kind of cognitive distortion is common among victims. Time also helps to heal the pain caused by sexual assault, but in most people, time is usually not enough on its own.
Why don’t most sexual assault victims report the crime to the police?
Because victims often feel like they are victimized a second time by having to go through the details of the incident (often more than once) with law enforcement officers. Most of these folks are well-meaning, but not all of them are properly trained on how to handle sexual assault reports, and how to do so in a compassionate and empathetic manner.
Nearly every such law enforcement contact will include questions that suggest the victim might be partially to blame, such as, “What were you wearing at the time of the assault?” and “Did you have anything to drink?”

What is the Society’s Role in Perpetrating Sexual Assault?
Society needs to stop re-victimizing the victims of sexual assault (“What were you wearing?” “Did you drink too much?” “Did you resist?” “Are you sure he knew you didn’t want to?”) and focus its efforts on teaching perpetrators of this crime that people’s boundaries and rights must be respected at all times.
Lack of consent during sexual activity is not consent.
Just because a person is in a position of power over another person doesn’t give them the right to act out their violent behaviors. Society and family members need to stop making excuses for perpetrators behaving badly (“Oh, that’s just locker-room talk” or “They were only 18, what do they know?”), and start enforcing the idea that honor and respect carry far more weight and value. Women are not there to be subjugated or victimized.
Get Help & Helping Others
If you’re a perpetrator of sexual assault, you need to get help immediately. This dysfunctional behavior has likely caused significant harm to one or more people in your life — harm that will likely never go away completely for them. There are many psychologists and other therapists who specialize in helping perpetrators of sexual assault. Reaching out to one today is a proactive sign of strength.
If someone shares with you that they’ve been a victim of a sexual assault, please listen to them without judgment. Be an active listener and offer them unreserved emotional support. Help them figure out what kind of assistance they want and need, and then, if they need it, offer to help them with accessing those resources. Do not ask questions about the assault unless they indicate that they’d like to talk about it. Encourage them to get help — but don’t nag them or suggest there’s only one “right” way to react to the assault.

Remember that, if you’re a victim, help is available. And if you’re a victim of sexual assault, please know that it is not your fault. Professionals and your friends will believe you, even if your own family or certain people in your life don’t.
Please, reach out and get help today.
1.     Dworkin, ER, Menon, SV, Bystrynski, J, Allen, NE. (2017). Sexual assault victimization and psychopathology: A review and meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 56, 65-81.
2.     Davis, KC, Neilson, EC, Wegner, R, Danube, CL. (2018). The intersection of men’s sexual violence perpetration and sexual risk behavior: A literature review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 40, 83-90.
4.      Malamuth, N. M., & Brown, L. M. (1994). Sexually aggressive men's perceptions of women's communications: Testing three explanations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67(4), 699-712.
5.      Sarkar, J. (2013). Mental health assessment of rape offenders. Indian Journal of Psychiatry55(3), 235–243.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Unhappy People: The Things They Do to us and How to Deal with Them

We have all had come across an unhappy individual at some point in our lives who have stung us with their negative thoughts. Sometimes it simply creates havoc in our lives. Unsatisfied people are drawn to the sensible ones and I am sure every one of us has likely had (or have) at least one irritating person in our lives who have forced us into changing ourselves in endless attempts to please them – only to realize that it is an endless circle.
What makes them so toxic? Their past experiences, their judgmental attitude, their negative approach or simply their sadist nature. It is seen that most of these people are suffering from some psychological disorder which is undiagnosed and we are trying to understand them. It becomes all the more important to identify these individual so we can deal with them more maturely and not get driven into self-guilt.
Their strengths lie in their subtlety and the way they can make you believe so cunningly for every fault, ‘It’s not them, it’s me.’ They can make you question your ‘over-reactiveness’, your ‘oversensitivity’, your ‘tendency to misinterpret’. If in a relationship you’re the one who’s continually hurt or the one who is constantly changing your own behavior to avoid being hurt, then the probabilities are more than the problem is not you and it is not much you can do except not get drawn into the toxicities.
Like I said being able to pick up their harmful behavior is the first step to blunting their impact. You may not be able to change what they do, but you can surely change what you do with it, deal with that unhappy sulking individual and stop them from ruining away your mental peace and get away with it.
There are a number of things these people do to manipulate others and situations to their advantage. Here are 12 of them. Knowing them will alert you to avoid falling under the influence:
1.      They will love to keep you in a fix about what they really are.
They’ll be nice one day and the next day you’ll be actually guessing what you’ve done to upset them. Most of the time, there wouldn’t be anything obvious that could explain the change of attitude – you will get the gut feeling that something isn’t right. They might be irritable, unhappy, cold or cranky and when you ask them, if there’s something wrong, the answer will always be ‘nothing’ – but they’ll hint you just enough to make you realize that there’s something. The ‘just enough’ might either be a heaving sigh, a raised eyebrow, a cold shoulder. The moment this happens, you will find yourself making excuses for them or doing everything you can to please them. See why it works for them?
Stop trying to make them happy. Unhappy people have figured out a long time ago that most people will go out of their ways to keep the people, they care about happy. If your repeated attempts to please aren’t working or aren’t lasting for very long, maybe it’s time to stop. Leave it for a while and come back when the mood has shifted. You are not responsible for anybody else’s feelings. If you have unknowingly hurt someone, ask them, talk about it and if required, apologize. Under any circumstances, you shouldn’t have to guess and be gullible to this traumatizing experience.

    They’ll make you prove yourself to them.
They’ll regularly put you in a position where you have to choose between them and something else – and you’ll always feel obliged to choose them. At times just out of sympathy. Unhappy people will wait until you have committed, then they’ll unfold the drama.  ‘If you really cared about me you’d skip your exercise class and spend time with me.’  The problem with this is that enough will never be enough. Few things are fatal – unless it’s life or death, chances are it can wait.

 They love to manipulate.
If you have felt as though you’re the only one contributing to the relationship, you’re probably right. Unhappy people have a way of sending out the vibe/the signals that you owe them something. They also have strange ways to manipulate that you are responsible and you need to change even if the fault lies in them. This is very common in workplaces or relationships where the balance of power is an ever-changing phenomenon.. ‘I’ve left those reports for you’. I thought you’d appreciate the gesture and make use of the opportunity to learn your way around making the report. Remember it is a favor and I had to learn the hard way’ Or, ‘I’m having a get to gather tonight. Why don’t you bring dinner? For 10 people. It’ll give you an opportunity to show of favor cooking skills and make new contacts?’
Remember! You don’t owe anybody anything. If it doesn’t feel like a favor to you, then probably it’s not. 

They will never own their feelings.
Instead of owning up and speaking up about their own feelings, they’ll act as though the feelings are yours. It’s called dumping, as in dumping their feelings and thoughts onto you. For instance, someone who is irritated but won’t take responsibility for it might accuse you of being irritated with them. It might be as subtle as, ‘Are you okay with me around or Am I irritating you?’ or a bit more specific, ‘Why are you irritated me,’ or, ‘You’ve been in a foul mood all day.’
You’ll find yourself justifying and defending and often this will go around in circles – because it’s not about you. Bring clarity to your mind. What’s yours and what’s theirs. When you start feeling that you’re defending yourself too many times against lame accusations or questions that don’t fit, you might be being dumped on to.
Remember, You don’t have to explain, justify or defend yourself or deal with a misfired accusation.
They hate to and will never apologize. 
They’ll lie before they ever apologize, so there’s no point arguing. They’ll twist the story, change the way it happened and reframe it so convincingly that they’ll believe their own version.
People don’t have to apologize to be proven wrong. And you don’t need an apology to move forward. Just let go and move forward – without them. Never surrender your truth but don’t keep the argument going. There’s just no point. Some people want to be right more than they want to be happy and you have better things to do than to provide fodder for the right-fighters.
They’ll be there in a crisis but they’ll never ever share your joy.
They’ll find reasons your good news isn’t great news. The classics: About a promotion – ‘The money isn’t that great for the amount of hard work you’ll be doing.’ About a holiday at the beach – ‘Well it’s going to be very hot. Are you sure you want to go?’ About being made the best worker– ‘Well the Company is just trying to please you and I’m pretty sure they will exploit you.’ Get the idea? Don’t let them dampen your spirit or shrink you down to their size. You don’t need their approval anyway – or anyone else’s for that matter.
 They’ll leave a conversation unfinished – and then they’ll go offline or simply disappear.
They won’t pick up your call. They won’t answer texts or emails. And in between rounds of their voicemail message, you might find yourself playing the conversation or argument over and over in your head, guessing about the status of the relationship, wondering what you’ve done to upset them, or whether they’re dead, alive or just ignoring you – which can sometimes all feel the same.
Remember People who care about you won’t let you go on feeling rubbish without attempting to sort it out. That doesn’t mean you’ll sort it out of course, but at least they’ll try. Take it as a sign of their investment in the relationship if they leave you ‘out there’ for lengthy sessions.
8. They’ll use sweet words with a toxic tone.
The message might be innocent enough but the tone conveys so much more. Something like, ‘What did you do today?’ can mean different things depending on the way it’s said. It could mean anything from ‘So I bet you did nothing – as usual,’ to ‘I’m sure your day was better than mine. Mine was awful. Just awful. And you didn’t even notice enough to ask.’ When you question the tone, they’ll come back with, ‘All I said was what did you do today,’ which is true, kind of, not really.
They’ll bring unnecessary details into a conversation.
When you’re trying to resolve something important to you, unhappy people will bring in irrelevant detail from five arguments ago. The problem with this is that before you know it, you’re arguing about something you did six months ago, still defending yourself, rather than dealing with the issue at hand. Somehow, it just always seems to end up about what you’ve done to them. 
 They’ll point out the way you’re talking, rather than what you’re talking about.
You might be trying to resolve an issue or get clarification and before you know it, the conversation/ argument has moved away from the issue that was important to you and on to the manner in which you talked about it – whether there is any issue with your manner or not. You’ll find yourself defending your tone, your gestures, your choice of words or the way you belly moves when you breathe – it doesn’t even need to make sense. Meanwhile, your initial need is well gone on the pile of unfinished conversations that seems to grow bigger by the day.

Unhappy people exaggerate.
‘You always …’ ‘you never …’ It’s hard to defend yourself against this form of manipulation. Toxic people have a way of drawing on the one time you didn’t or the one time you did as evidence of your shortcomings. Don’t buy into the argument. You won’t win. And you don’t need to.
Unhappy people are judgemental.
We all get it wrong sometimes but unhappy people will make sure you know about it. They’ll judge you and take a swipe at your self-esteem suggesting that you’re inferior because you erred. We’re all allowed to get it wrong at many occasions in our day to day life, but until we’ve done something that harms them or affects them nobody has the right to stand in judgment.
Knowing the favorite signs for unhappy people will sharpen your radar, making the manipulations easier to spot and easier to name. More importantly, if you know the characteristic signs of the individual, you’ll have a better chance of catching yourself before you tie yourself in double knots trying to please them.
You need to lock it in your mind, some people can’t be pleased and they won’t be good for you – and many times that will have nothing to do with you. You can always say no to unnecessary craziness. Believe in yourself . Be confident and own up your mess, your bluffs and the things that make you shine. You don’t need anyone’s certificate but remember if someone is working hard to manipulate, it’s because probably because they need your approval. You don’t always have to give it but if you do, don’t let the cost be too high and get driven into it. If you are the unhappy dude, it’s time to realize these things don’t get you anywhere. They simply make yours and others life miserable. Happiness increase with sharing and so does unhappiness

5th January 2050: A Visit to An AI (Artificial Intelligent) Doctor With Mitron

Rex had just come back from a vacation to earth’s moon a couple of days back. He had already been intimated by his personal assistant “ ...