• 26 Feb
    Oyindrila Basu

    The Small Mind-How to talk to children

     The Small Mind-How to talk to children


    The Small Mind- Your Kid’s mental well-being is the most important thing.

    A child’s overall growth and development depend largely on his/her mental wellness. If a child gets a good and healthy exposure, he/she will develop with a confident personality, wise understanding and quick thinking.


    What is most important is, a child learns from what he sees.


    Talking about well-being has become important for each one of us, but when we are concerned about mental health of a child, we mostly address the advices to his/her parents, because a huge responsibility lies on them as to how the child is treated.


    Try to understand your child. Kids are very sensitive, and they are easily moved with things. They can be happy without reason, again they can be hurt on simple things, so it is imperative that you understand what they are thinking, how they are thinking.


    • It's important how parents deal with their kids to make things do:

    Do not say too many things at a time, the child will not retain anything, or may be miss out on the important point. A child’s brain cannot take in a lot many inputs at one point of time. “Human brain can keep only four 'chunks' of information or unique ideas in short-term (active) memory at once. This amounts to about 30 seconds or one or two sentences of speaking," this has been recorded by a current psychological study. Be precise, to make your child understand.


    • Recurrent warnings will disturb your child, and he will be easily ignorant or confused. Let him learn his own responsibilities. For e.g. you want your child to wake up at right time and get ready for school. Tell him the time at which he is supposed to leave, with the consequences, if he fails to do so. There is no need to remind him, or coax him every five minutes. Let him be responsible for himself.


    • Your child will learn empathy on if he sees it in you: a child generally is not concerned about your problems; he doesn’t have the maturity to do so. He learns it in the process. If you are busy all day, don’t put your frustrations on your kid. If he has forgotten to complete an allotted task, remind him once, he will do it, no point humiliating him, that creates negative vibes, which affects the child’s mind.


    • Don’t ignore a child’s word: children are often fanciful, and they live in their own world, they make up stories, which may be incoherent, but has a sense to them; they need to share it. Spend some time with them, listen to them, your gesture will give them importance; they will be encouraged to create more things.


    • Try and understand what’s unsaid: kids are often quiet about their problems. May be they have been bullied in school, or they have had a fight, they may not tell you openly. Many a times, they feel they may get scolded, so they do not share many things with their parents. Try to be friends with your kids, and create the comfort zone where they can share every small thing with you.


    Talking out helps kids a lot freshen up their environment, which adds to their mental health. It gets difficult because we are often unable to read their minds, and they do not generally react much, so it’s important to spend time with them, so that you can analyze them and solve their problems.


    Child’s mental health has deep-rooted impacts on his/her adulthood, so it is crucial to deal with even the smallest of issue that a child is facing.


    It is a verified fact that 50 percent of adult mental problems are rooted early on, before the child reaches the age of 15.


    "Studies show that childhood disorders lead to more severe and sometimes multiplying disorders in adulthood," said Dr. Harold Koplewicz of the Child Mind Institute.


    The mental health of our children must be seen as every bit as important as their physical health.


    Image source

  • 24 Feb
    Oyindrila Basu

    How to minimize gender segregation in the society

    How to minimize gender segregation in the society


    As stated by the society, the role of a man is to be the breadwinner, and that of female....is to be the homemaker. Is it? 


    Down the ages, people have been claiming that men and women are fore and rear wheels of the same truck respectively, thereby, defining the gender roles in society, which means the back wheels can never come forward to the level of front wheels and vice-versa, and so can’t women.


    In our society, this rule is somewhat distinctly followed even today. Several sub-urban areas do not send their daughters for education, because they feel it is a waste of time and money.


    However, on a broader perspective, time has changed this mentality; women are into high educations and prestigious work roles (but of-course, besides being the homemaker, not without that), but gender segregation persists professionally, socially and legally, for both men and women in the relevant fields.


    • Dealing with gender segregation, should start from the core. Educational institutions should take up the initial responsibility to bridge the gap between boys and girls. More co-education institutions should be indulged in, rather than ‘boy’s school’ and ‘girl’s school’.


    • Each of us, as individuals of society should train and educate our children from the very beginning on equality of genders, so that a girl doesn’t grow up with the notion that she is physically fragile, and cannot carry her own shopping bag, or cannot take part in athletic games, also at the same time, boys should not grow up with false ideas that they cannot cry, or can hit anybody, because they are strong.


    gender equality infographics

    A general study proves that women have 20% lesser annual wage than that of men, because they choose to be in professions, which are traditionally defined for them.

    This is the basic idea of gender segregation in the work field. For e.g. ‘teaching’ is a profession mostly pursued by women, which leads to crowding, and it can never match up with the wages and opportunities of male-dominated jobs like corporate houses or business.


    And if the profession is not a selective aspect, society themselves segregates the valuation for feminine roles and qualities, in spite of our constitutional declaration of “equal pay for equal work”.


    This discrimination is very prominent in bigger industries like the entertainment world. Recently, actress Anushka Sharma came up with her honest acceptance of this fact, that in the film industry, the film always belongs to the ‘hero’, his role is more dominant, as well as his wage.


    The actress is merely a beautifier. With evolving times, even though role of women in films have changed, and today we are having more of women-oriented films like the Madhur Bhandarkar ones, but a female actor never gets the same paycheque as that of a male actor, even though she works harder. The unsaid law, not for a single time, breaks in society.


    This can often lead to mental trauma. This kind of segregation has long-term impacts, like a person discriminated fails in self-evaluation, and over a period of time gets accustomed to the thought that this is what she deserves, she is inferior and should opt for roles that suit her, and not aspire for more influential positions.


    This can be quite shattering for human development. It can stop one’s genuine effort towards an ambition.


    • Employers should be sensitive about this issue. Logic-less statement by the society can change when people start thinking rationally.


    • Employers should put more effort in deciding wages for employees, and make policies identical for both men and women, doing an equal amount of work.


    • Government should allot seats in jobs for male and female candidates equally. (At least for professions which are getting overcrowded with any particular gender) this will maintain the equal number of candidates, without overcrowding, and will force the dominating gender to select other prospective careers apart from the ones, because seats are limited to her gender. 


    • Women themselves should also educate themselves such that they are capable of proper self-assessment, and can opt for more profitable jobs.


    • They should always stand up against inequality of wage, and not keep quiet in fear of losing a job or a role.


    • Often social subjugation trains a woman to choose her personal duties over a professional career, which also leads to this inequality in the workfield, and their efforts are valued less.
    • However, women should understand that their years-long education is as valuable as watching #CookItUpWithTarlaDalal J and that ignoring their work will just tag them unprofessional.

    Apart from the profession, even today, women have to face segregations in various social positions.


    For e.g. change of surname (though it is a matter of choice today), though you may not preach, but the society (your friends, relatives) poses to preach your husband’s surname in your name, as soon as the marriage date is crossed.


    It always causes an identity crisis for the woman, because she is asked to address herself with a different name from the next day, but she stands in a dilemma in between societal call for accepting the new family, and her habit of being a part of her own family, so finally, quite indecisive; she begins calling herself with a dual surname.


    • It is important to understand that calling out a surname does not stand for accepting or not accepting a relation. The Equal priviledge should be given to both men and women, to preach and propagate their heredity.


    • In such cases, dealing with gender segregation may be difficult, but women should be firm on their self-opinion, and what they want to do, and try to convince others on their notion, with a positive aspect.
    •  Social segregation is also prevalent in cases of opinion generation. Even today, many Indian homes hold the notion; the men should speak on financial matters, and women should speak when it comes to the ration of the house.


    But the concept should change immediately, because, “epistemic and instrumental rationality has no gender signature.”

    The "Big Five" personality traits of psychology -- openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism -- do not categorically vary between men and women, and that has been proven by popular science research, says Shaunacy Ferro.


    An MBA passed woman is equally competent on giving financial advices as men in the same field, or better, if there is no one in her family from finance and management studies.


    So make the factual data available to public whoever is saying otherwise, wherever you are being a subject of segregation. Don’t argue yourself; use the Internet with a humour message, to convince the person who thinks, “You are a woman, so you cannot do this work."


    Men are subject to same kind of segregations when it comes to paying alimony for divorce, or domestic violence.


    It is assumed by society that men are financially stronger, so they should pay a compensation to their ex-wives after divorce (even though the woman may be earning higher than him), law-false, logic-less.


    It is also assumed that if a woman is complaining of domestic violence, it must be true, because she is a timid, innocent, helpless woman. Society misjudges every individual on their self-construed notions.


    This can damage the prestige of the accused individual and traumatize him with insecurity and problems for the rest of his life. Effort should be made from us to change the situation.


    • Advantage taking can be reduced, when the victim himself explains the prosperous situation of the ‘other’ to the authority, rather than keeping quiet to avoid problems.

    Equality is a part of fundamental rights; equality is important for self-esteem and confidence of an individual who leads to growth, so segregations should be promptly stopped with a decisive hand.

    References: 1 2 3

    Image source 1 2

  • 23 Feb
    Oyindrila Basu

    Why Relations Fall Apart?

    Why Relations Fall Apart?


    “Namit, are you serious! You can’t even drop your washable clothes in the proper place. There is the laundry bag, why do you throw it here and there? It’s disgusting! I can’t do so much…

    Namit replies, ‘How can you talk to me like that Megha! I am back after a long day, I expect you will greet me with a cup of tea, and you start fighting over my shirt, that’s ridiculous! My mom was right! You can never be my proper wife’”- Anonymous.

    This is a common picture which signifies the beginning of a rift in a relationship. Do focus on the word ‘proper’ in the conversation.


    This is one of the major causes why relations often lead to a failed consequence.


    • Over Expectation: We always want that we will be with the ‘right’ person. Our society influences us to nurture this belief, that if we are married to a person, he/she must be the ‘right’ one, hence develops the concept of perfection in our mind. We feel our partner should be exactly like I want him/her to be. If it happens that way, means everything is ‘proper’, any deviation from that set pattern of expectation leads to despair. The created image of our partner in our mind distorts, and we start accusing “I never thought you were like this," and things begin falling apart, once you feel the person is not the right one. The moment the perfect picture in our mind is broken, we start finding faults with the other person. Small things lead to a big issue. Now we do not like anything about the person we live with.


    • Lack of trust: if we do not trust each other, we cannot be with each other. Trust and reliance on each other are  important factors for a relationship.


    • Lack of time: if partners do not have sufficient time for each other, both feel ignored at their own levels. Each one feels the other is not concerned. Over a long period of time, this leads to argument, and breakup, because both feel there is no reason to stay together.


    • Over-possessiveness: bothering too much about your partner is disturbing to the other. Possessiveness is good, and it is required, but if it continues overtly, it can actually harm your relation, for your partner will feel you don’t trust or respect him/her.


    • Lack of understanding: we often talk about compatibility. It is more about understanding each other. Most of the times, partners get self-obsessed and are not in a position to view the alternate perspective; this is the major harmful ingredient in a divorce recipe.


    • Ego: last but not the least, an inflated ego in a relationship can burst the balloon of love.


    How can you keep your relations from falling apart?

    • Try to understand that there is nothing called perfect. In a relationship, two individuals are two different human beings. They cannot be like each other. So do not set your expectation that your partner will comply to all your opinions are wishes.


    • Do not interfere with small things of your partner. Have faith at a certain level. You cannot control his/her life, if you try to do so, it will only alienate him/her further from you.


    • Always try to put yourself in your partner’s shoes. It is difficult, but do it, to understand the alternate perspective, once you do so, arguments will die down.


    • If there has been a conflict or problem, talk it out and solve it, don’t let your ego come in between. No-one is a superman; everyone has flaws, do not hesitate to accept if you are at folly.

    Break ups are a major reason for stress. And stress can damage your mental health badly.

    Hence there is no point of getting inspired with #LoveBreakupsAndZindagi, show your care when it is required.

    With advent of globalisation, what is lacking most is the time. However, if you want to be happy and keep your partner pleased, take out some quality time of your busy schedule and plan something for yourselves. Alternatively, you can just utilize that time to talk to each other. Maybe on the various issues that have disturbed you, but you could not say it. May be on the different problem you are anticipating, but you can’t always share it.

    If nothing like that, then just talk for the sake of talking. Laugh together, and that will refresh your mental health. It will also act as a stress buster in your work life.

    Keep some self-time as well. Too much time with your partner is also unhealthy for your relationship, you tend to get bored quickly. Have space and give space.

    Respect each other’s ideologies. Yours may not be the same as hers, but if you cannot follow it, respect it, and let her follow hers.

    If you find something out of place in the household, try rectifying it yourself, rather than blaming your partner for the small small things.

    Life will become much simpler and relationships will stay healthy, if a little sensibility is implied.

    References 1 2 3  

    Image source

  • 22 Feb
    Dr. KV Anand

    How to tackle Dementia of your loved one

    How to tackle Dementia of your loved one



    Mid-to-late stage Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease frequently displays challenging conduct issues and behavioral problems.The anger, paranoia, sadness, fear and confusion that people with the disease are experiencing can result in oppositional, aggressive and sometimes violent speech or actions.


    Living with the elderly people who are affected by Dementia is challenging. Understanding Dementia is the key.

    Dementia is a chronic or persistent disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory disorders, personality changes, and impaired reasoning. Dementia is a general term for a decrease in mental capacity sufficiently serious to meddle with day by day life.

    About Dementia

    Dementia is not a specific disease. It's an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities.

    Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular Dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common Dementia type. But there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of Dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.

    Dementia is regularly inaccurately alluded to as "senility" or "senile Dementia," which mirrors the earlier far reaching however mistaken conviction that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging.

    Memory loss and other symptoms of Dementia

    While symptoms of Dementia can vary greatly, at least two of the following core mental functions must be significantly impaired to be considered Dementia:

    • Memory
    • Communication and language
    • Ability to focus and pay attention
    • Reasoning and judgment
    • Visual perception

    People with Dementia may have difficulty with short-term memory, keeping track of a book, pen or a spectacle, paying bills, planning and cooking meals, remembering appointments or taking a walk out of the house to the neighborhood.


    Understanding Behavior Caused by Dementia

    At the point when a friend or family member begins experiencing mid-to-late stage Dementia, the resulting changes in behavior can be overwhelming for family members who up until that point have been the person’s primary caregivers.

    Dementia causes the sufferer to show flashes of anger, sadness, paranoia, aggression and confusion. Now and again, the individual can even get to be violent.

    How you react to your cherished one can have the effect in in their behavior management.

    How to Respond to Aggressive Speech or Actions

    DO – Rather than responding to your cherished one's forceful discourse or activities, attempt to discover what is bringing on their conduct.

    Make sure they are not putting themselves or anyone else in danger and then calmly try to divert their focus to something else.

    Speak in a calm and reassuring manner. On the off chance that your cherished one's conduct keeps on exacerbating, then ensure they are unequipped for hurting themselves and leave the room to give them the space they need to calm down.

    DON’T – Never take part in a contention with somebody who is in an episode. You ought to additionally abstain from attempting to coercively control them unless it is totally vital for their safety.

    How to Respond to Confusion about Place or Time

    DO – In the event that your adored one gets to be confused about where he or she is, attempt to give them basic clarifications about where they are. You can follow this up by showing them pictures and other tangible reminders.

    On the off chance that your adored one is going overboard to their new helped living surroundings, you can attempt to redirect their consideration by taking them for a walk or taking part in an activity. In some cases, when your loved one asks you what time they will be leaving to go home, you may have to tell them a “therapeutic lie,” such as “we can’t leave until traffic lightens up some,” or “it’s too late to leave tonight, we’ll stay overnight and leave in the morning.” Ultimately, you need to make sense of what to say that will convey solace to your adored one.

    DON’T – Abstain from going into long clarifications about where they are and what you're doing. This will just serve to confuse them significantly more.

    How to Respond to Poor Judgment

    DO – If the adorable elderly person is exhibiting poor judgment, for example, the failure to ensure their bills are being paid, then you can offer to help organize your loved one’s home. This will help you pick up an ideal opportunity to look over their accounts and guarantee that their bills are being paid on time.

    DON’T – Maintain a strategic distance from out and out scrutinizing your loved one about their capacity to deal with their records or checkbook. On the off chance that your adored one supposes you are blaming them for poor judgment, then a contention will normally result.
    Communication with the affected person could be challenging.

    Try following the rules.

    • Converse with the individual in a manner of speaking that passes on respect and dignity
    • Keep your clarifications short. Utilize clear and adaptable language.
    • Maintain eye contact by positioning yourself at the individual’s eye level. Look directly at the person and ensure that you have their attention before you talk. Always start by identifying self and clarify what it is you propose to do.
    • Use visual signals at whatever point conceivable.
    • Be sensible in expectations
    • Observe and endeavor to translate the individual's non-verbal communication.
    • Paraphrase and utilize a quiet and consoling manner of speaking.
    • Speak slowly and say every word unmistakably. Use strategies to diminish the impacts of hearing impairment.
    • Encourage discuss things that they are acquainted with
    • Use touch whenever found appropriate.

    • Talk to the person as if you are talking to a child.
    • Use complicated words or phrases and long sentences.
    • Glare at the person you are talking to.
    • Begin an assignment without clarifying who you are or what you are going to do.
    • Talk to the person without eye contact, for example, while scavenging in a drawer to choose attire. Try and compete with a distracting environment.
    • Provoke a disastrous response through unlikely desires or by requesting that the individual accomplishes more than one task at once.
    • Disregard your own non- verbal communication.
    • Disregard talk that may seem to be rambling.
    • Shout or talk too fast.
    • Interrupt unless it would not benefit from outside intervention.
    • Attempt to touch or invade their personal space if they are showing signs of fear or aggression.


    Though difficult to garner the co-operation of the loved people affected with Dementia or Alzheimer, the list of do’s and don’ts should go a long way in providing guidelines for the caregiver.

    Image source

  • 21 Feb
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    Types of Mental Health Professionals and their roles

     Types of Mental Health Professionals and their roles


    Mental health is a complex phenomenon and needs a holistic approach in order to be holistic. There are so many layers to the mind – of thoughts, of feelings, and the effect of our social and physical environment.

    There is also the biological base in terms of brain growth and neurochemical balances.

    Below some of the main mental health professionals are mentioned along with their role.



    This professional is perhaps the most well-known because of Sigmund Freud and movies.

    A counsellor or a therapist has received some training in psychology and/or human development and tops it up by learning counselling skills.

    There is a debate whether counsellor and therapist means the same thing, some say that counselling maybe for shorter periods and everyday issues, while therapy is long-term and intense, and may look at deep-seated issues.


    Clinical psychologist:

    Clinical psychologist deal majorly with psychological testing and treatment of a range of psychiatric diagnoses.

    They receive special training in testing and psychopathology. They are more likely to work in clinic or hospital setups.

    For example, for a person suffering from depression, they may give them a test to see the level of depression and design the intervention according to it, like working on the negative thought cycle, behavioural activation and so on.



    Psychiatrists have a medical training, a general MBBS followed by an MD or a relevant degree.

    They study about the brain and its mechanisms in detail, as well as the various disorders and psychiatric medicine and what it would help with.

    Ideally, psychiatrists work along with psychologists and counsellors so that both the thinking patterns as well as the biochemistry can be tackled.


    Occupational and speech therapist:

    Occupational and speech therapy may be required for certain mental health concerns, especially those which affect children, like autism, ADHD and other pervasive developmental disorders.

    These professionals work on the fine motor and gross motor skills of the child so that he gains more control on his limbs and muscles and also manages all the excessive energy in case of ADHD.

    Speech therapy helps to tackle issues that may occur with regards to language and speaking because of slow brain development


    Psychiatric social worker:

    Psychiatric social workers help to get people with mental illnesses their rights, including jobs and self-respect.

    They know about organizations that work with patients of mental illness and help them out.

    Often, they may also tackle the family and let them know what their duties and responsibilities are.


    Psychiatric nurse:

    They help in the care of someone who may be extremely affected by mental illness and is bed-ridden or not functional.

    They are trained in how to take care of a person who is suffering from a mental illness.


    Couple and Family Therapist:

    These professionals work with the communication patterns and boundaries with a couple or a family.

    They do not look at any one person as sick but rather, they think of the system as faulty and try to change the system from within for everyone’s health.



    These professionals are not very common unless there is a memory deficit or coordination issue.

    They do the testing for memory and coordination and then help to address these issues.

    They may work with traumatic brain injury, dementia, parkinsons’ and alzheimers, among others.

    Image source

    Resources 1 2 3

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