Psychology Beyond Mental Illnesses

The word psychology is familiar to everyone but what is the subject matter of psychology has always been colored by  myths and misconceptions. Some overestimate the role of psychology while some undermine its value. Despite it being among top five majors in most  universities across globe  many people yet believe that psychology is just a study of abnormality and mental illnesses. The word psychology brings two images in their minds; Coutch and Hypnosis. But this is far from reality. Nevertheless psychology studies mental illnesses and their treatment but this is not the end; psychology deals with much more. It is the study of mind, behaviour and personality. Psychology studies why people behave the way they do; how two individuals differ in thinking, reasoning, intelligence and in their social interactions. Why some people are sociable, talkative, happy go lucky and adventurous while some are reserved, shy. Why some people get angry easily and some are calm tempered and why some people get anxious easily while some cope up easily even with great problems. Why a failure seems a bubble to one and end of life to other. Psychology studies these individual differences and helps people to know themselves and others. Although it is important to remember that psychology is not face or  mind reading. It is about observing the behaviour and making inferences about the present situation of person in specific and about his personality in particular. Psychology studies interests, aptitudes, aspirations, adjustment and intelligence of individuals. Psychology helps in identification ,diagnosis and rehabilitation  of individuals with various psychological ,behavioural or emotional issues like Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, learning disability, separation anxiety disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobia , conduct disorder , intellectual disability , downs syndrome and schizophrenia. Interventions include various forms of psychotherapy like psychoanalysis, behavioural therapy, cognitive behavioural techniques like  reinforcement, assertive training, anger management , time out , systematic desensitization, CBT(Cognitive behavioural therapy).  The branch of psychology that aims at understanding and treatment of psychological and behavioural issues is called “Clinical psychology”.

Psychology aims at helping people to lead a meaningful, productive and satisfied life; it aims at helping people identify their strengths and achieve happiness and meaning in life; to gain control over the circumstances. It aims at helping people to become optimistic, resilient, and to reach to the fullest potentialities. It aims at inculcating emotional intelligence, Coping Grit, creativity and well being among individuals and communities. It enables individuals to live life to the fullest ; to thrive. The branch of psychology that studies positive strengths and helps people in living a happier and meaningful life is called “ Positive psychology”.

Needless to say; we live in a world  of technology and advancement. From education, business, health care, shopping to recreation, internet has revolutionised everything . It is a biggest boon that has make our lives easier but at the sametime over use of internet has posed various threats like internet addictions,  online gaming disorders, cyber bullying, cyber pornography and other cyber scams ; all these have added to the mental burden and led to various emotional, psychological and behavioural problems like infomania, FOMO, depression, anxiety, impulsivity and deteriorated the personal, social and occupational lives of people especially of youngsters and the science that studies these cyber behaviours and deals with helping people to cope with internet addiction, sensitise them about various cyber threats is called “cyber psychology”. Although this field is still in infancy.

Organisational Psychology one of the important areas of psychology  deals with the behaviour of an individual in work settings. It studies how to select best fit personnel for work, how to reduce absenteeism and make workers motivated and enhance their productivity. It deals with organizational factors that can  increase the job satisfaction which is a key element in organisational productivity in specific and life satisfaction of worker in particular.

Peace Psychology is one of the areas of psychology that studies the psychological impact of violence and conflicts on people and aims at making people the pioneers of peace by changing their thinking from pro violence to non violence by teaching them viable methods of non violent conflict resolution strategies like dialogue, diplomacy and reconciliation.

Islamic Psychology is the study of psyche from the Islamic perspective. It is the study of psychological functioning of humans from Islamic perspective. Role of religion and spirituality and ways to happiness and well being are studied from  quranic point of view.

Psychology studies every aspect of human functioning be it work, sports, recreation, education and law. We have Educational psychology, Behavioral economics, Forensic psychology, Biopschology, sports psychology, women psychology and cognitive psychology to name a few.  Psychology helps us to know ourselves and others and make us competent enough to thrive in life .It teaches us life skills and ways to better manage ourselves. Psychology develops positive outlook and help us cope with challenges of life.

It is my appeal to higher authorities that psychology be introduced in all higher secondaries and colleges so as to create resilient and productive minds. Above all the skill subjects related to psychology taught in colleges at under graduate level like Early childhood care and education(ECcE), personality development and mental health education be taught as skills rather than as mere theoretical subjects ;only then they will serve any fruitful purpose. Like other states;more and more online courses on emotional intelligence ,stress mangement and personality development should be introduced by and large.