Factitious Disorders

I was in search of article-worthy topics when my sister put forth an interesting question- can mental disorders be feigned? I had never thought about it and thus began my research.

Lets begin with the fact that mental disorders can be faked, with that said and done, allow me to shed some light on the reasons behind this factitious/feigned disorders- the main reason being that the individual is seeking special attention, support, and/or sympathy. The cause behind this reason lies in the childhood of that person. Abuse or neglect in the early years are among the main causes, these causes then build into the individual having emotional difficulties.

Psychologists need to be careful when trying to diagnose an individual with factitious disorders, hence, the first thing to do would be to rule out actual physical illness and then refer the patient to a psychologist/psychiatrist. Another way to the understand whether the individual is faking the symptoms would be by asking them in detail about their symptoms along with asking them questions with “non-hinting” answers. Other symptoms to look out for are – dramatic and inconsistent medical history, symptoms seeming to become more severe or change once treatment has begun, reluctance to meet with health care professionals, etc. However, we should understand that when an individual fakes an illness that in itself is a mental illness since such people have emotional difficulties when it comes to relationships.

The Sixth Sense

I was recently making a list of psychological thriller movies that I wanted to watch and happened to stumble upon this one.

The movie is about a child psychologist, Malcolm Crowe, who tries to help a troubled boy, Cole Sear, who can see and talk to dead people. The only reason Malcolm is determined to help this child is that the boy reminds him of a similar patient whom he had “failed to help”. It’s an innocent movie, not heart racing at all, with a surprise ending in the last five minutes of the movie which will definitely blow your mind.

However, the movie’s got me thinking from a different perspective since it had been revealed that Malcolm’s former patient who was also able to see dead people was diagnosed with various disorders. Allow me to explain my thoughts, there are two kinds of people ones who blame your sub-conscious/unconscious mind for dreams and the others who interpret your dreams from a religious point of view. As a psychology student and a firm believer in religion, I’m torn between interpreting my dreams as a projection of my sub/unconscious mind or if they have a religious explanation. What I’m saying is that this could be similar to the supernatural factor being depicted in the movie (I am not saying that dead people can be seen by certain people). I think that psychology as a scientific branch should consider incorporating different psyche into it, in order to understand

I think that psychology as a scientific branch should consider incorporating different psyche into it, in order to understand why individuals pin down certain explanations to situations; for example, Godly messages being sent through dreams.


-Watch the movie if you haven’t already and to understand what I’m trying to say.

6th sense

Insured Mental Health

This article talks about why more insurance companies need to start including mental health as part of their insurance plan.

As a psychology student, I firmly believe that mental health should be covered most insurance companies. Allow me to clarify the fact that there are insurance companies, here in the UAE, that does cover mental health but are first, limited and; second, limited to a specific population.

The UAE has made it obligatory that employers provide insurance to their employees but here’s the thing, the employers are in charge of the company they choose for their employees, which in other words means ‘Nevermind the quality of the insurance company, I need to obey the rules and regulations of the land I work and live in’. Now, it is obvious enough that employers are always looking for cheaper methods in order to increase profit, but what I do believe is that either the employers should choose an insurance company by means of a checklist (mental health being a ‘must’) or that the government should create a checklist which would be made into a policy, hence resulting in employers picking up quality insurance companies.

Here’s why I’m rooting for insurance companies to include basic mental health care as a part of their insurance plan:

  • According to an article published in The National reports that workers who leave their closely-knitted families behind in their home country are usually the ones to suffer from mental illnesses mainly depression. The treatment of mental health care as a whole is expensive not just in the UAE but in the majority of the world as well.
  • Another article reports that many individuals pretend to have a serious mental illness/ require emergency treatment in order to qualify for free treatment including medications.

An article published in Gulf News reports that mental health is among the top 5 health problems in the UAE. Keep in mind that this is a country whose population increases at a rapid rate and will continue to be on the rise.

So, until then, we, as residents need to look for cheaper methods to tackle mental illness; here’s a list of some cheap/affordable treatments.

Psychological “Facts”

Disclaimer: This article is not going to list psychological facts instead it talks about whether posts from these so called psychology sites are in fact psychological or not.

Every now and then we come across “psychology-related” posts be it on Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter. Now, this is what exactly happens; we come across a post we read it and we think “Wow! I didn’t know that” or “Wow! That is very accurate!” but can we be really sure that these so-called facts aren’t basic statements thrown into a very fancy picture?

Technically, that is how horoscopes work. They literally tell you that you will have a stressful day unless you go out and de-stress yourself, of course, all of that will be written with fancy words. The above statement is true every single day of your life. It is exactly like stating that you will starve unless you eat food.

Sorry, went off track there.

Anyways, my point is that there is a great possibility of psychological facts just not being scientifically proven psychological facts.

Image result for psychology facts


Image result for psychology facts

Oh wow! Psychology said it!

Let’s take the above pictures as an example. How can you be sure that the first picture is a psychology fact and not some random old & wise quote? I’m sure most of you have seen that symbol just because someone retweeted it, posted it, or just because you may follow the account.

Also, take note of how the second picture reads ‘psychology says’. When has psychology said that? The second picture, to me, looks like an individual was trying to prove something to their friend and just threw in the words ‘psychology says’ to validate their friendship.

I only speak of this issue because psychology is a subject that is widely misunderstood by many and such sites, accounts, or posts only seem to increase this misunderstanding. As a psych. student, I want to work towards this issue, to lessen this misunderstanding.

One Year.

By now, you (my readers) would’ve finally known that I barely post anything here. Anyways moving onto the title of this post, one year, marks the end of my first year at university. Phew, feels like I have accomplished something great.

Two more years to go! Motivation at its best!

Looking back at this year I think I have learnt two extremely important things about myself; one, my procrastination levels have skyrocketed to an insane level; and two, my cussing has increased along with my ability to turn meaningless words into gold. Jokes aside. I know that I have learnt a lot; so much so that in my daily routine I try to incorporate psychology in every situation possible. The counselling skills that I have acquired seem to pop up every now and then while talking to people. And I know that I have a lot more to learn, which I look forward to!


-Also, I will try and put up posts that are more based on psychology than just me rambling on and on about how I am growing as a person.


Rape myths and other issues: A Broadchurch review

Scattered thoughts of a Dubai girl

I am a sci-fi girl. I love my Doctor Who, Westworld, Stranger Things, and a whole bunch of Marvel and other sci-fi movies. Not that I delve too deep into the ‘nerdiness’ of things though because I have no idea what really happens in the comic books. I am just guilty of enjoying the overly glorified money-making franchises. But that leaves me very little room to consume non sci-fi television, and may I say that Broadchurch (a crime drama) has managed to make it to my ultra strict process of selecting new TV shows to watch.


Set in a small town in England, season three of Broadchurch deals with issues relating to rape when a woman called Trish Winterman is gagged and sexually assaulted at her best friend’s birthday party. So the story line revolves around the question, “Who raped Trish?” I am tempted to go into details and use…

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The Fifth National Conference of Applied Psychological Research in the Middle East

Yesterday our university had this conference held which was all about new research ideas and topics apart from that there were a few talks that were held by professors who spoke about their area of expertise. Some of the talks that I found interesting were about Indicators and Predictors of Creative Cognition, The role of literacy skills in bilingual and biscriptal schoolchildren on education, Lessons from psychiatry in the Arab world, Analysis of 196 cases of ADHD seen in a Dubai clinic with focus on environmental factors and, Men’s mental well-being: Life after 40.MDX


I was especially interested in Lessons from psychiatry in the Arab world; the talk was basically held by a psychiatrist and his experiences in Libya. He had spoken about his experiences through photographs, which I found extremely moving.


A second topic which I was particularly interested in was the one about the analysis of ADHD (Attentional Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder) cases. The expert who had given this talk is the owner of a clinic-based in Dubai. The talk was splendid even more so when the statistics were shown which suggests that boys or rather the male population are more prone to ADHD. This was something that I had been taught in high school without any reason given. Naturally, I thought that this was a great opportunity to question the reason behind such statistics and so I asked; the expert gave a pretty long explanation but I will shorten it (only because I don’t remember it correctly and I don’t want to post incorrect information) it is purely biological. Basically it’s like there is evidence that says it is completely based on biology when it comes to inheritance of ADHD but personally I think that there needs to be research conducted that digs deeper, which obviously means that it will shift its focus from psychology to biology. However, any deeper biological research on ADHD in the future will always be there to help, us, psychologists; as the (completely made up) saying goes – One man’s treasure is also another man’s treasure.