The Project: Kuwait

Dr. Juliet Dinkha: Freud, PTSD and LSD, Technology Detox, Cyberbullying, Social Media, Social Masks and Body Image

July 01, 2019 Season 1 Episode 52
The Project: Kuwait
Dr. Juliet Dinkha: Freud, PTSD and LSD, Technology Detox, Cyberbullying, Social Media, Social Masks and Body Image
The Project: Kuwait
Dr. Juliet Dinkha: Freud, PTSD and LSD, Technology Detox, Cyberbullying, Social Media, Social Masks and Body Image
Jul 01, 2019 Season 1 Episode 52
Mahdi Aloun Guest Dr. Juliet Dinkha
Summary: Dr. Juliet Dinkha is a professor at the American University of Kuwait and a clinical psychologist. She joins Mahdi on this episode of the Project Kuwait podcast to discuss all things psychology, both generally in humanity and specific to Kuwait. She says that while the emergence of social media has had an impact on the mental health and behaviors of young people, the root of their issues with body image and self-esteem have deeper roots that are often neglected. Additionally, it is important for people of all ages to surround themselves with positive people, establish values, and focus on the here-and-now rather than dwelling in the past or worrying about the future. If and when you do experience anxiety or other issues that feel like too much to handle, get past the stigma and seek professional help. This, in addition to a healthy lifestyle and setting boundaries for social media use, can set you up on a good path for life.
Show Notes

Time Stamps:

1:13 – Mahdi and Dr. Dinkha reminisce about the topics they talked about when Mahdi took her class.

3:35 – Mahdi’s love for psychology started in Dr. Dinkha’s classes.

4:34 – There has recently been research to support the use of low dosages of hallucinogens to treat PTSD and other mood disorders in the US, but nothing like this is being done in Kuwait.

6:44 – During Dr. Dinkha’s abnormal psychology class, she takes students on a field trip to the psych hospital and drug rehab unit.

8:23 – She emphasizes the importance of not trying to diagnose yourself or people you know based on your limited knowledge of psychology.

10:58 – Dr. Dinkha discusses the influence on young adolescents of social media. It is dangerous to compare yourself to others’ distorted realities that are curated to make you think they are always happy.

14:17 – She is seeing increases in the amount of loneliness people feel as well as a decrease in social skills and the ability to express your feelings. This is the perfect formula for cyberbullying, eating disorders, and other harmful actions.

17:50 – While Kuwaitis are known to be more impressionable, research has shown that narcissism levels have not really increased with the wider adoption of social media.

22:16 – Dr. Dinkha recommends a regularly set-aside time for technology detox to allow yourself a break from the expectations and pressure that are so prevalent there.

23:38 – Mahdi asks if social media is influencing unhealthy habits such as poor nutrition, use of steroids, and surgeries for appearance purposes. While social media could be a factor, the truth is that plastic surgery is more affordable than it has ever been and people would rather eat the way they want to and then have surgery than stick to a healthy diet.

29:00 – Playing into this phenomenon is the element of “social masks” and putting forth only the best parts of your life on social media.

31:09 – Mahdi shares his observations about several of his friends and relatives who have had surgery for this purpose and have fallen right back into their old habits afterwards.

32:58 – Dr. Dinkha underscores the need for working on the root of the problem and developing self-discipline and self-involvement. There is still a stigma about mental health, but there shouldn’t be. There needs to be a culture shift that encourages people to be honest and reach out for help when they need it, learning how to focus on the present moment rather than the past or the future.

37:25 – Dr. Dinkha talks about simple steps people can take to increase their productivity and satisfaction.

41:08 – Oprah is famous for saying that her phone is the last thing she grabs before walking out the door, placing the priority on herself in the morning rather than checking her phone before even getting out of bed, like most people do.

42:11 – Regret about the past and fear of the future are really just excuses for why you can’t live in the present moment. Use your past as a learning tool for the future, which you can’t control, and realize that everything you have gone through is building up your “psychological immune system.”

47:10 – Dr. Dinkha talks about the factors that could contribute to the difference between someone getting into drugs/crime as a coping mechanism.

50:29 – Dr. Dinkha has started her own podcast intended for common people with common problems and questions. She wants to break down the barriers between people so we can see how much we have in common.

55:02 – Ways to get in touch with her (links below).




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