Thursday, 28 April 2016

Finding Help Finding Hope

More than 5 million children in the world has been diagnosed with mental health issues and the numbers are increasing at an alarming rate. Disorders like ADHD, anxiety, pervasive development problems, mood issues, eating disorders etc has become an everyday fad and nerve wracking nightmares for many parents. Throwing in an apple of discord in this domain of mental health issue, stems from lack of trained personnel to help children and also inappropriate assessment of the disorders with the slack in initiating the right course of treatment. However persistent efforts of several mental health professionals  to raise awareness for children's mental health awareness has led to May 5th being celebrated as the National Mental Health Awareness Day in USA spear headed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA). This year’s event theme is "Finding Help Finding Hope" is all about access to these care services – what resources are available and how they can be found. For the first time all of you are invited to participate in the onstage discussion online during the Awareness Day Live! Webcast. If you’d like to get involved in the conversation, here is how:
·       Attend the free Event:  
May 5th, 7:00pm EST
The George Washington University School of Media & Public Affairs’ Jack Morton Auditorium
805 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20052
·   For those who cannot be present in person can watch live via Awareness Day Live!:
·       Tweet to join the conversation: Send questions, insights or ideas using #HeroesofHope

I hope all of you reading this will be able to discern this blog post as an opportunity to learn about children's mental health and also to seize the opportunity to spread the message to your circle of connect. Hoping this post will spill in to a domino effect to help the needy and deserving.

Image courtsey

Disclaimer: This post has been written with a lot of passion and concern. Thank you Faith James from Vanguard Communications for the nudge :)

Saturday, 19 March 2016

An ode to my muse

Image courtesy
"There is a special kind of love,
the love that makes you more than what you are,
more are than your past and more than your present,
the love which makes you feel that anything is possible,
Thank you God for making me fall in love ,
for giving me someone to love 
and making me realize that he and I are nothing but love."
- Saum

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

For my darling muse

"Like the dawn of an enigmatic sun, your clandestine presence inspires everyone,

You show up in the magnificence of an accomplished warrior, who is so brave , yet gentle that can make a beating heart a little more merrier,

May your presence continue to exude the beauty of a scintillating phoenix ,

For you remind me of a whirling dervish radiating bountiful self love like fire flies bursting to life at a dusky silent sun"

Monday, 14 March 2016

YourDOST: a tech review

Being a student in the field of psychology for the past 14 years, it's amazing to see a tide of change sweeping across India in people's response to mental illness as a whole. The review of the mental health care bill in the year 2013 was a welcoming change (it took 20 odd years for a change...hmmm...not impressed), but to be politically correct , a big "Shabash" to our fellow brothers at the Govt. Big bro from the west too went in for a makeover, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) restructured the psyche's bible "DSM IV" , which got an whopping upgrade to "DSM V", mashallah!! And hey who can forget our darling Deepika Padukone who spoke about her battle against depression! Let's all say cheers to her as well. From the govt., to the medical fraternity and the mass media , a huge domino effect has spilled on mental health, which is noteworthy. Mental health is now being viewed as a serious illness just like any other physiological one. 

It feels amazing to stand and watch the ripple effect but, hey something interesting caught my eye recently. I happened to stumble across an innovative start-up titled "YourDost". YourDost is an organisation which holds its presence online and specifically caters to helping anyone who requires anonymous counselling assistance from a splendid platform of over 200 trained and certified mental health experts. To address issues of discover-ability and comfort of talking to an expert, YourDost has built a platform (their website , and also mobile app, android app YourDost and apple app YourDost) where anyone can seek assistance for free. In a nutshell YourDost aims at reducing the stigma attached to seeking help for mental wellness in our country through their impeccable services. With the click of a button or a silent tap on your phone you can get help for yourself or a loved one from YourDost, now such an initiative calls for a standing ovation!!!

Disclaimer: I am not paid to endorse anyone or any institution in my blog :)

I am back

Dear fellow readers, I am back to my blog after three long years...phew!! Thank you all for keeping my blog alive which still reap so many hits and also for sending me wonderful emails since 2013. I had a baby in 2014 :) yup was blessed with a daughter. Pregnancy and being a Mom for the first time took a crazy toll on me. But all is well at the moment :)

Moi and my babe

This year has started off really pleasant for me...touch wood. I will carve out new sections in my blog which is based on recommendations from my beloved readers. Kick-starting my blog again with a tech review in my next post. Thank you all. Mwah :*

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

A lending hand

I'm Blogging for Mental Health.

Dear Readers,

I am back to blogging after a long hiatus. Today would be a great way to kick start my blog again as it happens to be Mental Health Month blog Day and this month is also the Mental Health Awareness Month.

                                                   Image taken from here

I heard true life story which touched my heart. I want to share it with you as well. Here it goes. In the town of Thiruvella, which is in Kerala , India, lived a wealthy aristocratic family. This family had loving parents blessed with two pretty daughters, Sandhya and Latha. These little girls had a poor maid named Mariamma who helped their Mother with the daily chores. All was well, years rolled by, parents grew older and so did the Mariamma. She never got married for her own personal reasons, she lived with the family despite having a small house of her own. Sandhya and Latha blossomed to beautiful young ladies who where busy with their studies in college in Mumbai.

During the month of July, one rainy night the phone rang and Mariamma answered it. It was a call from Sandhya's hostel warden. Sandhya was ill and she was hospitalised. Mariamma panicked and rushed to tell Sandhya's parents. The parents took the next flight to Mumbai, leaving Mariamma behind to take care of their house. On reaching Mumbai, the parents was received by a highly disturbed Latha. Latha drove them to a mental health care centre. On seeing the board of the centre, the parents were quite shocked as to why they were being brought there, they expected to go to a regular hospital to meet their elder daughter. Latha requested her parents to meet the doctor first before meeting Sandhya. They met the head psychiatrist Dr. Prahlad who was in charge of Sandhya. He told them that their daughter has been diagnosed with catatonic schizophrenia. On hearing this the mother fainted and the father stormed out of the doctor's room and took the next flight back to Kerala. On regaining consciousness the mother went to meet Sandhya. She was devastated to see Sandhya's condition. Sandhya wouldnt talk to her and refuse to move from her bed. She looked dazed. The mother wanted to take her back to Kerala but Dr. Prahlad suggested the Sandhya be under observation and medication for some time. The mother stayed with Sandhya at the centre for a while.

After a few weeks the father asked the mother and Latha to come back to Kerala. She went back to Kerala with a heavy heart. On reaching home she realised that her younger daughter, Latha's marriage has been fixed without her consent or her knowledge. Latha was upset, she refused food and water for a few days. Her father cajoled her into consenting to the marriage alliance as it would be difficult for her to get a good alliance if the society came to know about the mental ailment of her elder sister. Within the next ten days Latha got married. The mother was upset with the forced marriage of the younger daughter and the poor health of the older one. The father refused to let the mother to go back to Mumbai after the marriage. He told her to forget that they ever had an older daughter. He said he was ashamed to have a mentally ill child. He told his relatives and friends that Sandhya had died in a car accident has he cremated her in Mumbai. He burnt all the old photos of Sandhya. He wrote a will leaving all his assests only for Latha. The old maid, Mariamma silently witnessed all this drama. One fine day she quit her job and took a train to Mumbai to meet Sandhya. Dr Prahlad permitted Sandhya discharge as she had not shown any improvement and all her medicals bills had not been paid for over a month. He sponsored Sandhya's and Mariamma trip back to Kerala. For the next two years Mariamma did various odd jobs to take care of Sandhya's medical bills, food and clothing. The two of them lived in Mariamma's one bedroom hut. She was getting weak from old age and doing multiple jobs was taking a toll on her health.

Out of the blue the word had spread around about Mariamma's generous heart and an NGO intervened to take care of Sandhya and Mariamma. Mariamma did not want charity, so the head of the NGO negotiated with her pay her in exchange of services rendered. Mariamma now gets a decent salary to take care of her self and Sandhya and the job she chose to do was to make food for physically challenged children.

As for Sandhya' health, she is much better, she has joined the NGO which sheltered her due to the absence of support groups in her town. But she is still on medication. Her father still refuses to acknowledge her presence on this planet. Her mother and sister do not make any attempt to contact her fearing being ostracized from their community.

Its a shame that despite being educated people Sandhya's family has chosen to abandon her due to her mental ailment. In a dark world where we live in going about our daily lives there are heaven sent angels like Mariamma who choose to help despite not being related by blood and overcoming hurdles of social stigma.

Image taken from here

Disclaimer: All names has been changed to protect privacy. Any resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental.

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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

A Story for Every Parent

Once upon a time there lived a young happy married couple, John and Anita. They were software professionals residing in Mumbai. Both were employed in an MNC and were financially sound. After two years of married life they were blessed with a healthy child. They were a happy family.
Image taken from here

After the customary three month maternity leave Anita had to leave her child under the care of her mother in law Joanne, as she did not trust any care taker due to the high incidence of child abuse. She had heard lot of stories which her friends and family had told her. Anita loved her child and as any mother she was fiercely protective of her child. The presence of Joanne was a soother for Anita. She felt she could leave her child under Joanne's care, whom else to trust other than your own in law?

Joanne adored her grand child and did her best to keep the baby healthy and comfortable at all time. The little bundle of joy kept her on her toes and she would get fatigued by the end of the day. Luckily for Joanne she became friendly with her next door neighbors. Her neighbors was a family of four which consisted of Ram the father, Tina the mother, Pinky their twelve year old daughter and Vicky their fifteen year old son. Every weekday at 6 pm Joanne would take her grandchild to her neighbors house. She and Tina would go for their evening walk, leaving the baby under the care of Vicky as he was old enough to babysit the child. Pinky had her ballet classes at 6 and her father only returned home from work at 9 pm just like John and Anita.

This routine of Joanne went on for a few months, when her grand child was seven months old, the baby became cranky, would have crazy crying spells, had mild fever and had other typical symptoms of stomach ache. John and Anita rushed to a pediatrician and got their child examined. the doctor assumed the baby is suffering from gastroenteritis and prescribed an over the counter anti gas bubble medication for the child. Anita started the medication for the child and observed for a week. Sadly there was no improvement.
Image taken from here

Anita took her child to the doctor for re-examination. This time the doctor recommend an abdominal scan. The scan shocked the doctor. He ran a few tests again and asked Anita to meet him the following day to collect the results of the tests. Anita and John came to meet the doctor the following day. The doctor requested for the baby's daily routine. He specifically probed on whom the child was interacting with, did they have any domestic help , or any relatives living with them. All these questioned puzzled the couple. The doctor requested Anita to take her child home and assured that he would discuss what needs to be done for her child with John. 

After Anita left, the doctor again questioned John about the baby's daily routine and also whom all was the child interacting with. He replied that his child was being taken care of by his mother and in the evening while she would go on her walks she would leave the baby under the supervision of his fifteen year old neighbor Vicky. The doctor looked disturbed and remained silent for a few minutes. This made John highly anxious. "Why is the doctor so quite?? What is wrong with my child? "

The doctor showed the lab results and the scan and broke out the heart breaking news to John. The baby had stomach ache because there was sperm deposited in the tummy of the child. The neighbor boy Vicky had apparently abused the child on a regular basis by exploiting the child's sucking reflex. John cried out in disgust and broke the doctor's glass table top. He was shocked and terrified. He yelled and screamed. The doctor pacified him after a few minutes. He explained to him the dangers of today's world and advised him that parents should never blindly trust anyone. After an hour of tutoring and consoling John finally left the doctor's room.

The doctor had many file cabinets each named after the common ailments like Viral, Chicken Pox, Measles  etc. He  opened one of his several file cabinets and placed John's child's file with the numerous other patient files.This particular file cabinet had more than two hundred files in it under the current financial year and it was labelled " Child Abuse".

Note: Dear readers, child abuse is on the peaks globally. Laws have to be revamped to punish those who indulge in such deeds. Parents need to be more vigilant on their children irrespective of the child's gender and age. Most importantly trust no one. For more info on child abuse please click the following link,

                                             Image taken from here

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Anima- Animus Indian view- Ardhanarishvara

What am I? Male or Female? Masculine or Feminine? Either of the two? or two in one? Gender stereotypes has been subjected to hair splitting speculation for quite a while, till Carl Jung threw light on this concept from the unconscious perspective and christened it Anima- Animus. thanks to him, he made it human understandable. A quick preview is available on wikipedia for those who find this new, click here.

Moving to the eastern view of the unconscious, a lot of importance on the same has been emphasized. To the question "What am I? The scripture replies "Tat tvamasi" it means " You are that". Throwing another question "You are that? ....what does the THAT signify?", the scriptures replies "Aham Brahmasmi" it means "You are part of the Universe". Throwing in the last question "Which part of the Universe", the scriptures replies " Antaryami" it means " the super soul within you aka the God which resides within you". The quintessential seeker bluntly wonders " The God within me? Is God a thing or a concept? Is God a "He" or a "She"? If God is within me, am I God? How can I be God? Is God working through me?"

God can create, preserve and destroy, history has stood the test of time to prove to us that we too can do the same, or rather we are doing the same. Diving into the deep waters of ones mighty unconscious, scriptures quote that the self is a beautiful subtle union of masculine and feminine qualities. This has been explained in detail through the Hindu concept of Anima- Animus which is called Ardhanarishvara in sanskrit. Ardhanarishvara is the cosmic representation of the divine parents, where in Lord Shiva is the father and Goddess Parvati is the mother. Lord Shiva occupying the right signifies the male principle, the passive force (Purusha) and Goddess Parvati on the left signifies the female principle, the active force (Prakruthi), both are inseparable, interdependent and attracted to each other. The left side is associated with feminine characteristics like intuition, and creativity where as the right side is associated with masculine characteristics like logic, valor and systematic thought. If God is residing in us, then one has to adhere to both the gender roles in one's lifetime. Natures way of reminding us is the presence of both the male and female hormones (testosterone and estrogen) in all of us.

Humans would have had to adhere to societal norms on the segregation of duties to both the sexes in the past. Shifting focus to current times, one can easily view people breaking rigid tradition where in both men and women have openly sharing or swapping gender roles. Modern fathers take interest and play an active role in raising children which was predominantly a mother's role. Women too have broken the shackles of being associated to only the kitchen to climbing corporate ladders and playing an equal and important role of the family's bread winner. To the conventional thinkers who ridicule the gender role shift, too bad this is here to stay!!

Has mankind spiritually evolved to accepting universal oneness and abandoning segregation just like Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati?Is this shift a divine evolution of mankind or a forced societal norm is yet to be ascertained?