The Psychologist's Role in Responding to HIV/AIDS in South Africa

Despite advances in the treatment of HIV / AIDS in South Africa, people living with the infection still face many challenges. It is known that HIV / AIDS generates a psychological impact that can threaten a person's internal well-being and cause significant emotional distress. As a result, infected individuals develop a so-called crisis framework that affects all areas of their lives, be it relational, professional, social, or intrapersonal. In this case, they demonstrate a level of ineffective adaptation, which presents in different ways. This can include being more confrontational or showing weak coping skills.

Besides the aspect of how to deal with the illness mentioned above, one cannot help but point out the difficulties faced by South Africans infected with HIV and AIDS, and that these challenges can generate prevailing conditions such as depression and anxiety symptoms. Precipitating factors include living with the infection, the impact of the diagnosis, the disease's progression, and the related psychosocial impact.

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6 Reasons To Talk About Sex With Your Child

While in Western society sex is no longer a taboo subject, in many South African homes talking about sex is still a complicated issue. These days, sex appears on television, in movies, in magazines and even billboards. But, inside the house, it remains an uncomfortable and often embarrassing topic that leaves many parents reluctant to speak to their children about.

The world - and South Africa - has changed in recent decades thanks to new technologies. Exposure and media coverage of sex necessitates proper sexual education from various educational agents, especially the family. Research confirms the importance of talking about sex in the household and shows that it is beneficial for children to have open discussions about sex with their parents. This is especially important for teenagers - treating sex as something forbidden can negatively condition them for the rest of their lives. Proper sex education can prevent sexually transmitted diseases, sexual disorders, improve relationships in the future, and can enhance a child's emotional and physical well-being.

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Parent Reactions to a Gay Child Coming Out

Coming out is considered a crucial component in the formation of any gay South African man’s sexual identity. Identity development theory posits that gay men progress through a chain of developmental stages. This includes disclosing one’s sexual orientation to family members, appraising the responses received, and internalising the reaction. Coming out is central to being a homosexual man and forms a significant milestone in each gay person’s unique journey. The positive response from important individuals in the gay person’s life, such as parents, encourages the development of a healthy gay identity. A negative reaction, however, may result in adverse psychological outcomes. These include depression, internalised homophobia, low self-esteem, and high-risk sexual behaviour - all important issues in South Africa.

The process of disclosure is not always stress-free. There are often many challenges that a gay person must undergo. Research in South Africa and abroad shows that most parents react negatively to a son coming out. One reason may be that homosexuality has, for many years, been recognised as a triad of sin, disease and crime. Thus, striking rejections are still frequent in the family context of gay men, making this population the most likely to receive prejudice, intolerance and discrimination – even from parents.

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10 Foods That Improve Mood

Psychology and nutrition are two disciplines that are interrelated, and in recent years has received increasing attention. There is a greater awareness of how our emotions affect how we eat and how we eat affects our emotional state.

In this blog post I will review one of the most important aspects of the psychology of eating and I will share with you the different foods that research has show to have an impact on our emotional state. But first...

Food and Emotions

The relationship between food and emotions is a phenomenon that has attracted interest from researchers who want to understand not only how food affects our mood, but also the influence of our emotions on eating behaviour. For example, when we are stressed we tend to eat more. The same can be said for when we're bored.

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Homophobia at Work - a perspective from South Africa.

While in some parts of the world legislation is still discriminatory, the law in South Africa has changed to support the legal rights of gay people. South Africa took a global lead to include gay rights in the country’s Bill of Rights. Stemming from this, various policies and acts have been propagated to enshrine equality and non-discrimination of previously deprived populations. This includes The Employment Equity Act, which protects employees from unfair judgement based on their marginalised status.

However, while legislation has safeguarded the rights of homosexual South Africans, it has failed to change people’s perceptions of homosexuality. Being gay is still considered ‘unAfrican’). South African people hold negative attitudes towards gay individuals. In fact, 61% of South African people think that society should not accept homosexuality. Additional research indicates that 88% of South Africans believe that same-sex sexual relations are wrong.

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5 Tips To Finding Happiness

1.) Let go of negativity.

Learn to forgive and forget. See every challenge as an opportunity for further growth. Express gratitude for what you have. Cultivate optimism for the future. And know that none of us is perfect. 

Do not worry about the little things. Train your mind to stay away from negative thoughts. If you want to be more positive, surround yourself with positive energy and people. Cultivate positive relationships with the people you know that make you feel good. And spend less time trying to please others. Instead, spend more time with your higher self.

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Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

This memoir follows a marriage in crisis and a woman's painful journey of self-discovery. It presents one of the most enlightening definitions of love and the human soul. 

Raised by her parents, Melton always felt out of place and worthless. Like many young girls, she found an escape from this dark world in bulimia. This started a cycle of binging and purging. Soon after that, Melton escapes her feelings even further. She disguises her vulnerabilities with shallowness, drinking, and emotionless sex. Being thin, attractive and a boy magnet became her new reality. All underpinned by an eating disorder, alcoholism and self-loathing. 

During this period of unacknowledged hardship, she met her future husband, Craig. She believed he encapsulated the goodness of humankind and would rescue her from her self-destructive life. The two got married when Melton fell pregnant. This would not be her first pregnancy since she aborted her first pregnancy.

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What's the number one problem I see in people who want to change their lives? A lack of patience. Meaning, they want to see changes in their life in a short period. Four weeks. Twenty-one days. Seven days. Twenty-four hours. You name it. They want change as quickly as possible. They want to feel less stressed. Be happier. Think clearer. Feel less angry. They believe that 20 or 30 years of bad habits can be overturned in some eight-week program.

But it can't. It can't be a simple fix. You can't just follow some program and get to where you want to be. You're not going to be able to control your anger in fourteen days. You're not going to rekindle your relationship with your daughter in a couple of weeks. You're not going to feel more confident by following a fourteen-day plan. It's just not going to happen.

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