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06/Jul/2022


Since the death of the late actor Sushant Singh Rajput, we finally started talking about suicide and not just in hushed whispers. Often we associate suicide as a consequence of one or the other pre-existing mental health disorder, and rightly so. But what we often forget to address is suicide as an impulse decision. Not every person has a long impending history of depression or chronic pain. While calling it a ‘phase’ is also incorrect, it can be a thought, strong enough to take action upon it.

Like most mental health problems, the thought process can not be overtly seen. So even an a fleeting moment is unrecognisable to an outsider. In cases like these, it comes as sudden and hits the hardest due to the sheer unpredictability of it nature. Even when you search risk factors of suicide, a pre-existing mental and often, physical condition is mentioned. The common thought on mentioning impulsive suicided is that the person would be impulsive in nature. However, studies have disproved this theory. Four impulsivity traits were identified using the UPPS Impulse Behaviour Scale- urgency (rash response to negative emotions), poor premeditation (lack of foresight of consequences of actions), poor perseverance (giving up easily) and sensation seeking (preferences of excitement).

However, other studies found little relation between impulsivity and suicide attempts due to reasons of pain and fearful thoughts of death. Studies have also shown that impulsivity in itself serves as a symptom of mental health disorders. Those who contemplate it, more often than less exhibit signs of distress including social withdrawal, and parting with personal belongings and making a will. Time from ideation may vary from five minutes (what we call impulsive suicidal behaviour) to even months. Studies can only have participants who either have contemplated or attempted suicide, which are two groups afar from the required population. Impulsivity in suicide attempts is a concept that continues to remain blurred.

Till a few years back, suicide was an illegal act in the country and those who survived an attempt would be liable to punishment. Any person who attempted or assisted suicide would be be imprisoned up to a year or pay a fine or both, according to Section 309. However, our country had finally decriminalised the act of suicide through the Mental Healthcare Act (2017) which restricts the application of Section 309.

Another concept to be spoken is assisted suicide, or commonly called euthanasia. The Indian Law bans all forms of active (use of lethal substances to stop life), non voluntary and involuntary euthanasia. Only patients with chronic terminal illness and in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) can opt for passive (stopping food and treatment needed to ensure continuation of life) voluntary euthanasia.

Quotes-

There is but one true philosophical problem and that is suicide.
—Albert Camus

Suicide doesn’t end the chances of life getting worse, it eliminates the possibility of it ever getting any better.
— Unknown

If you want to show me that you really love me, don’t say that you would die for me, instead stay alive for me.” – Unknown


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06/Jul/2022

Relationship is no longer an alien word requiring a wedlock. Adolescents as young as 13 years are in a relationship. Being in a relationship comes with certain responsibilities, so to speak. However, the question, is would you consider ‘remaining faithful’ to your partner, a duty or a moral? The complexity of a relationship doesn’t just end at two people being with each other ‘forever’. The concept of open relationships needs to thus be addressed. Every couple individually defines there boundaries to be or not to be crossed in a relationship. Morally demeaning and shaming people with out complete knowledge of their relationship is absurd and unnecessary.

What is considered cheating may also vary from one individual to another and understandings of the same may differ in different relations. For some, flirting serve as grounds for breakup. Others may feel that only being completely intimate is cheating on them.

A person may not be content in their partner. Every individual has an idea, even a tinted one, of what their healthy relationship looks like. They may simply not find that one thing they look for, and may discover that outside the realm of this relationship. In friendships, we don’t necessarily find every aspect and quality in one friend. We may have work friends whom we speak to for our office troubles, our 3 a.m. buddies and even drinking pals. This doesn’t mean that we need to have a different partner for every different role in our life. Let’s say they do, then why do we feel we have the right to belittle someone of their morality? If their respective partners of the person being with multiple people at the same time, the society, which is us, need not put in our long noses and sniff for gossip.

More absurd is that we accept cheating if it is an unhealthy relationship, or an abusive one. Women in cases of domestic violence are judged less when they cheat. Furthermore, if the ‘cheater’ apologises and comes clean, the whispers become more subtle.

 


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06/Jul/2022

Lockdown and online causes have put a strain on children’s education. Indian education curriculum has not yet been developed to explore a child’s full potential through digital mediums. ‘Children’ being fourth graders and below. This shift can veil learning disabilities that start showing symptoms early on. A very common example of this is Dyslexia, yes, it’s what Ishaan Awasthi from Taare Zameen Par had.

The diagnosis and treatment is one leaf, the other is to see the people living with dyslexia scores more than just the disorder. Like a finger is just a part of you, and your biological anatomy, dyslexia is merely a finger sized part of the individual. The identity of a child may sometimes be reduced to a learning disability. Prevention of these labels need to be ensured from all aspects, including parents, the child itself, teachers and even children who are ‘merely’ classmates. This plays a major role in two spheres; a healthy development of the child, and destigmatisation of mental health disorders right from a young age.

The earliest diagnosis of the same can be made by third grade. The criteria for diagnosis is that a child having average level of intelligence and given all possible opportunities, is performing two grades below his current grade.

Even in a pre-pandemic world, it was no shocker to me when most of the these children missed an early diagnosis. Therefore, they face a constant battle, making it more stressful. Consequences include loosing interest in studies, behavioural issues, anxiety before the tests and exams, humiliation on not performing in the class, and lowered self esteem possibly leading to depression, among many.

The concern I wish to address is that an earlier diagnosis will reduce the stress on both, the child and parent. Schools are becoming increasingly supportive in such cases. According to the CBSE Disability Act, a child can drop the the third language, or subjects like maths and science and opt for more practical and artistic subjects. Subsequently students get extra time, a scriber to write, also later receive school assistance in getting admission in colleges too. Furthermore, an earlier diagnosis also means early intervention for the child with special educators.

Dyslexia risk factors include family history of dyslexia or other learning disabilities, premature birth or low birth weight of the child, mother’s exposure during pregnancy to nicotine, drugs, alcohol or infection that may alter brain development in the foetus, and individual differences in the parts of the brain that enable reading.

Dyslexia is the most common learning disability and people with this medical affliction are having trouble in the language processing areas. Yes, the Dyslexic brain is larger than the average brain, and usually much more imaginative. A Yale study found the ratio of girls to boys with Dyslexia to be nearly equal. Dyslexia is not a disease therefore there is no treatment for it. It’s a learning disability that involves difficulty in using / processing verbal and symbolic symbols, alphabetic letters describing speech sounds or numbers and quantities.

Before your child begins school signs of dyslexia may be difficult to detect, but some early clues can suggest a problem. Once your child reaches school age, the teacher may be the first to notice an issue. Severity varies but sometimes the disorder becomes evident when a child starts to learn to read.

Psycho-educational assessment for any learning disability should be done by a trained and licensed clinic psychologists who should be registered with RCI i.e. Rehabilitation Council of India.


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