• 13 Jun
    Oyindrila Basu

    Orlando shooter- it is incorrect to blame his Bipolar alone for this tragedy

    Omar Mir Seddique Mateen

    “A total of 49 people were killed and 53 injured after 29-year-old Mateen opened fire in Orlando’s Pulse gay nightclub. Initially police announced that 50 people had been killed, apparently mistakenly counting Mateen as a victim. The shooting is considered the deadliest in recent US history,” says Sitora Yu Sufi, ex-wife of Orlando nightclub shooter, Omar Mateen.

    This New York born US citizen, Omar Mateen, professes Islamic State and is known to be brought up by a family of first-generation Afghan immigrants who are on FBI’s radar for quite a few years.

    His marriage lasted for four months, and now his wife is out to the media with real reason behind their divorce in 2011, which she claims is Bipolar Disorder. 

    Mateen used to beat up his wife and was abusive and violent for petty reasons; she had to call up her family so that they could come and save her from the rage of her husband.

    “Mateen showed signs of emotional instability and sickness and was mentally unstable and mentally ill [and] obviously disturbed and traumatized,” says his ex-wife.

    He was also vindictive towards homosexuality, as because Islam doesn’t support it.


    eWellness Expert's views

    "Bipolar can cause violent behaviour, but it CANNOT cause hatred towards a race, sexuality, religion etc. It can't make you a sympathazier of ISIS. Blaming mental illness for terrorism or such mass killing can further stigmatize people with mental health issues, which is completely against the vision of eWellness Expert"

    Let's understand Bipolar disorder in detail.

    Bipolar Disorder can be chronic and needs a proper treatment by mental health professional.

    Bipolar disorder, formerly known as manic depression, causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). A person can be dejected from life without hope at one moment, sulking in the bed, can also lead to suicidal thoughts; while on the other moment, he can just be charged up and behave in heightened mood of anger, or excitement.

    Throwing things, breaking objects in anger, hitting someone or hitting on the wall in rage suddenly, can be termed as bipolar behaviour.

    Manic symptoms can range from:

    • Long period of over-elated happy mood
    • Restlessness
    • High sexual drive
    • Boundless energy
    • Inflated self-esteem
    • Feeling of Grandiosity
    • Interest in a lot of new projects




    • Irritability
    • Agitation
    • Impractical plans
    • Psychosis, delusions and hallucinations.

    Depressive symptoms can be:

    • Teary eyes all the time
    • Fatigue
    • Anxiety
    • Loss of energy
    • Uncontrollable crying
    • Indecisiveness
    • Psychosis
    • Sleep disturbances and weight loss.

    Bipolar disorder can be caused due to problem in specific brain circuits or balance of brain chemicals or neurotransmitters. Sometimes, it can be hereditary, that is flowing in the family. Individuals and their relatives are found to behave similarly. Researchers conclude that the lifetime chance of an identical twin (of a bipolar twin) to also develop bipolar disorder is about 40% to 70%.

    The researchers also found that 40% of the 47 first-degree relatives of the bipolar II patients also had bipolar II disorder; 22% of the 219 first-degree relatives of the bipolar I patients had bipolar II disorder. However, among patients with bipolar II, researchers found only one relative with bipolar I disorder.

    It can be harmful to the individual and in some cases to his loved ones, especially wife or close relatives. A person may not have much control over his emotions and the outbursts so he can inflict violence on others. 

    Recently, in Kolkata a case of suicide has come up in the news where a husband burnt himself alive, and his wife was watching the television; neighbours have reported that the wife was generally too loud and rude in the house and often used abusive languages for people in the neighbourhood; here her husband's emotional responce is also to blame. Suicide is not a solution to any problem.

    Yo Yo Honey Singh, a popular rapper, singer and musician in India suffered from Bipolar disorder for almost two years, and we have spoken on it in a previous story, but he recovered from it with proper psychiatric help.

    Will power is very important. There should be the self-determination to get cured. You should resort to something creative and constructive so that the mood swings can be pacified and the huge energy be channelized in a positive way.

    Feel free to Ask A Therapist

    Read more

    Bipolar Disorder-Mood like a seesaw

  • 17 May
    Oyindrila Basu

    Another Story of Tragedy- Vineet Whig’s story.

    vineet whig

    Mental depression and despair is gradually eating away the population of the world. Slowly the earth is being led to destruction because the evaluation of life is decreasing; reason being- mental dissatisfaction, stress, anxiety and depression.

    The Encyclopaedia Britannica had ignited our childhood and teenage with wisdom, knowledge and enlightenment.

    The Britannica is the oldest English-language encyclopaedia still in production. It was first published between 1768 and 1771 in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, as three volumes.

    It is written by about 100 full-time editors and more than 4,000 contributors, who have included 110 Nobel Prize winners and five American presidents.

    Such was its success, and it inspired the 90s kids so much that they carried a Britannica like a Bible along with Oxford Dictionary.

    But on the 15th of May, 2016, a tragic news got associated with its name. The COO of Britannica committed suicide from the19th floor of a building in DLF Phase-III.

    Along with him, was found a suicide note according to which the suicide was a product of hopelessness and despair.

    47-year old Vineet, father of three kids; holding a responsible position in service signs off saying, "I am taking my own life, no one is responsible. I am unable to cope. I am sorry. I am depressed. I see no way out except for suicide. Yes, I am a coward. I should have faced life,” his note said.

    Starting in 1992, Whig worked in NIIT before becoming an associate vice-president in Wipro in 2006. Later, he worked with iDiscoveri before moving to Pearson VUE as head of operations -Asia Pacific in 2008. He returned to NIIT in 2011 before moving to Encyclopaedia Britannica in 2014 as an adviser. He became the COO in April 2015.

    Whig studied Economics from DU and did his MBA from Indira Gandhi National Open University. He was an alumnus of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Delhi Public School, Mathura Road, said a family member.

    According to his friends he was an inspiration; an epitome of honesty and perseverance and now the person claimed before death, that he could bear no more. That is really disheartening.

    "The loss is irreplacable", laments his family.

    Suicidal thoughts can come from several things – a few are loss, lamentation, humiliation, panic or too much of physical or mental pain.

    suicide graph

    News of suicides are never off media since the end of 2015. Bollywood glamour #JiahKhan was found dead in her apartment and she was despaired with her personal and professional life.

    Recently, the suicide of #PratyushaBannerjee moved the television and film industry and twitters are still getting flooded with the comments on the issue.

    While the death was not yet forgotten, there was the case of Kota suicide where a 17-year old boy jumped off the roof of his building and once again fate shows a #DoomsDay with the incident of Vineet Whig.

    suicide graph

    According to US records, rate of suicide decreased considerably from 1986 to 2000, but a swing of half-a year stopped all causes of celebration, as the rate kept increasing from then to 2012. Hence, it is not the sole problem of one country or Nation, it’s a global difficulty.

    Depression and frustration needs to be removed for stopping suicides.

    Deep counselling based on cognitive behaviour of a person should be implemented to patients with suicidal thoughts.

    More discussions should be done on the issue to spread awareness and caution about suicidal thoughts.

    eWellness Expert makes help easier to you. More online platforms should be there for mental health assessment. An interactive session with an expert can rejuvenate your ideas and delete many of the painful thoughts and memories.

    Self-help is also very much required. Practise mindfulness; indulge in exercise and good reads. These can help in motivating yourself. 

  • 12 May
    Oyindrila Basu

    Yuvraj Singh-Coping with cancer care stops the cure

    yuvraj singh

    “If I think of it my life is full of words beginning with C.  I was born in Chandigarh, I became a cricketer, and through my decade as an international cricketer all I craved, along with the rest of the India team, was the Cup…This story, though, is about the new C in my life.  It is the story of my cancer, - Yuvraj Singh, Indian Cricketer.

    This is humour is very much important, as it is being appreciated in the brave words of the player.

    Cancer is a serious accomplishment of a person’s life which doesn’t overwhelm him/her with joy, but leaves him numb with a range of mixed emotions. J

    If someone discovers he or she has cancer,

    • initially, comes ‘denial’ as obvious, because if the problem is serious, it cannot be with us.
    • Next when one knows it is there, he becomes anxious, anxious that his days are numbered, anxious that his family will be left alone, anxious that he will have to go through critical treatments, anxious that all the wealth cannot save him.
    • Your work-life suffers
    • Then your relations suffer. The ones who care for you, try to support you, become your biggest enemies. You feel they are sympathizing with your situation.

    Basically your care ruins your prospects of cure. You start worrying about it, and before anything ends, you accept that you have lost the battle.

    It is true that cancer still persists to be a scary word for the world. Treatments have been discovered, and they are being successfully practised, patients are being cured of cancer, it no longer means death. So what is it that makes Cancer so scary even today?

    It is because of the myth revolving around Cancer which most of us believe as NORMAL.

    • That cancer cannot be cured, it is fatal and will kill you.
    • That cancer is contagious and can spread from one person to the other.
    • Cancer means hair-fall.
    • Cancer means pain
    • Cancer can be genetically carried down.
    • Cancer has to be treated immediately.

    To cope up psychologically with cancer, the pre-imposed image need to be damaged. Awareness about cancer is important.

    Most forms of cancer, when diagnosed in early stages can be cured completely, thanks to medical science, and hair-fall doesn’t come from cancer, but some treatments and radio-theraphies following it, can bring about this side-effect. However, one thing which is concern in this case, is that cancer cells keep multiplying themselves in your body.

    But if the mind can cope with the fear of cancer, half the disease is cured. It is not easy, but self-help is the best policy.

    • Mind is more powerful than the body-I have been through several stages in my life, where I was betrayed, falsified, humiliated, such that I felt there was no reason to leave, but a voice of determination always came back and said, ‘you are able’. A cancer patient should kindle this spirit within him, which will tell him that he can fight with any adversity.


    • Always be positive and try to live in the present-Expectations for future can damage the current happy moment, where you may be enjoying a party with your friends and family.


    • Conviction wins the race for you-If you are determined that you will fight cancer, (or anything dangerous) you will do it, by facing it. Once your will power prevails over your fears, you will find ways of treatment, you will be enthusiastic to know more about your problem, and find a solution.


    • Practice humour-good humour can bring you out from the gravest of situations. Laugh out loud with your loved ones. Make your disease a matter to laugh about.

    To cancer ko maaro sixer 

    • Personify your fear as the villain of your favourite video-game, like ‘Ra-one’, and your will to defeat it will get stronger. Awake the ‘G-one’ within you (well the movie was not at all inspiring :/) and use your ammunitions to score higher over your opponent, while taking a wild ride of your favourite video game, ‘Far Cry’ or ‘Cave of Darkness’.
    • Make your situation, an experience and derive strength to develop yourself. Even after treatment of cancer, a person is deeply affected, psychologically, it takes time for him, to regain the spirit of survival, but use this experience to envision life in new light.

    “I think cancer helps to transform a person… It affected me so much that it enabled me to grow, appreciate life and honour my body,” says Manisha Koirala, who has survived from cancer recently and says that this experience has changed her vision towards life.

    Even after diagnosis of cancer, Manisha stood up bravely, and continued to give awesome performances in Ram Gopal Verma’s ‘Bhoot Returns’ and psychological thriller “Chehere: A Modern Day Classic” with Jackie Shroff.

    Doctors can help a lot during this phase, admits Manisha Koirala.

    Doctors can help a patient develop awareness about cancer, which can reduce his/her anxiety and fear about the particular term. And the person coping with cancer, and develop a new idea and vision about the whole situation.

    Attitude matters most. Keep a positive attitude and you can fight the most difficult realities, ‘que sera sera..what will be will be…’, ‘haso, jiyo, muskuraao.. kyunki kya pata, kal ho na ho’, both are synonymous, but echoes the same ideology, #LiveLifeKingSize, live in the moment and enjoy to the fullest, cure will come automatically.

    Image source


  • 04 May
    eWellness Expert

    Thank you eWellness Expert for giving me a new life

    ewellnessexpert girl in anxiety

    My days were often black and white; I didn’t like communicating with my friends anymore; I was engrossed with my weaknesses; I was frantically looking for a solution and then there was a ray of hope when I began searching ‘mental health helpers’ on Google.

    Being from a small town like Rohtak, I never had good psychiatric clinics around me, and if there were a few in nearby cities, they were immensely expensive.

    Moreover, I couldn’t explain my anxity/panic attacks to anyone. Whenever, I had the shivers, I even had to bear sentences like koi is par kala jadoo kar raha hai, kisi mahatma ko dikhana padega, as our society is completely blind to mental health issues even today; they understand witchcraft and black magic and unnatural stuffs like that but they do not understand anxiety as a real problem in someone’s life.

    I was despaired; my mother advised me against any treatment fearing that my normal mental health setback will be viewed as a stigma on my character by the society, and there will be problems in me getting married.

    I was in dilemma; I knew I needed treatment but couldn’t take the step forward because my family was not supporting it.

    One day my friend informed me about a good lady psychiatrist who visited our local private hospital. I told her my problem was not something as serious as turning up to a hospital, but yes I needed help. I took an appointment on a Friday; it was the only good hospital in our neighbourhood and it generally remained crowded. However, there were not many people in the waiting list of the Doctor that day; I felt relieved. I waited from 11 a.m. in the morning till 4 p.m. in the afternoon but there was no sign of anyone; the staffs informed that she was travelling and would turn up only later in the evening.

    Small town hospitals don’t interest our mental health practitioners much because they know that they won’t have much patients in such areas.

    I gave up the idea of taking up any further appointments as I realised that going for treatment in these hospitals meant giving up a whole day’s work. My job was suffering; I was not on leave but had to remain out of office the whole day; I needed an alternate option.

    My marriage got fixed to happen after about four months on 20th October. My would be husband was from Delhi. My panic attacks had not ceased. In fact, they haunted me more often now. Whenever a task needed urgent completion, I would be anxious and suddenly the shivers and jitters would appear followed by profuse sweating and foaming in the mouth. Everyone in my house was worried as to how I am going to manage all this in a different city! in a different household! I was worried too.

    We shifted to Delhi at the end of October 2015. Now I was a housewife trying to set up my new home, my own way. There was no regret as I was happy with my husband, however, anxiety never left me. Many a times, at night, I would suddenly wake up in sleep to wonder what my future will be like without a job; what if, my in-laws come and stay with me! How will I presumably adjust? And then the profuse sweating and nausea would start all over again. One night my husband found me in this state; he served me water; he was concerned about my health because I had not revealed my problem to anyone in these 2 months of marriage.

    One day, I was lazily surfing sites; as because I had least work to do now during the day when my husband was away to office. I often browsed through career websites uploading my resume wherever applicable. That day, I was doing the same, when I felt, “what is the use of looking for a job! My problem has not been solved yet! Amit planned to consult a mental health expert for me, but he was too busy. Now if I join a job, my problem would be revealed to the new society here”, I felt scared. My last job location had witnessed a few incidents of my vulnerable condition, and I don't want same thing to recurr in this new location.

    I started searching on Google ‘mental wellness expert psychologist’ (as I was assuming that here I can get better results, as Delhi was a big city)

    The top result on the first page of Google result was something very different for me- an online mental health clinic; wow! The world is changing to online model; now counselling can be done online! Amazing!

    However, lack of trust is always there initially. I checked on their website- www.ewellnessexpert.com

    There were a few sections defining their work. I started going through their blogs and stories and surprisingly there I found numerous articles on anxiety and panic attacks and how they can be dealt with in the daily life. I read through them carefully; I really liked the simple tips they suggested for getting rid of anxiety without much hassle or medical help.

    I found the ‘Free question’ area; I thought this would be the best way to try out- I posted there, “Do I have anxiety disorder?”, and to my surprise, it was responded within an hour on the site itself. The next day I again visited www.ewellnessexpert.com, I felt much relieved. I started reconciling with myself. I was not the only one suffering and my problem is not something out of the world as my relatives made me feel.

    Immediately, I discussed with Amit and decided that I will opt for an online counselling session; it required no extra time for visiting a clinic; it didn’t mean losing work time, neither for me, nor for my husband; I could sit at home and consult an expert who would analyse my problem and help me.

    I gave it a try; I booked an appointment for one of the counsellors on eWellness Expert and I was amazed by their punctuality, as they appeared immediately at the time fixed for the appointment. It was easy, I just had to sign in as a user before taking the appointment. The practitioner ensured that anxiety was quite a general problem in the mass; nothing to be worried about. He suggested a few exercise which I am supposed to practise each day in the morning. He spoke with me in detail about the social and professional setback that I was facing each day in Rohtak and it comforted me a lot. I spoke at lengths on my worries which are usually long-term thought processes and for the first time I was actually heard in these 12 years. That made me feel much better. He suggested a routine plan for me for three weeks and I followed it religiously. I am really satisfied with eWellness Expert. Nowadays, I join their forum discussions too which are intriguing and interests me a lot.

    Most importantly, the charges are moderate as anything. It breaks the myth that counselling is for the rich and whimsical beings.

    I wish more people get to know about this user friendly platforms eWellness and reclaim their happy life back. I really congratulate eWellness expert for their incredible work and wish them luck for their future work. I am really grateful to them; I am viewing quick recovery in me; I feel free now; I feel I have a helping hand next to me which I have never felt with my family also, in all these 12-13 years that I have been suffering with anxiety.

    Image: Just a representative image from Times of India

    Responses 1

    • Sanjna Verma
      Sanjna Verma   Aug 24, 2017 08:28 AM

      Yes, the concept of sites like eWellness Expert is very good. Especially for someone who hardly gets time to visit a therapist or a counsellor due to job or lack of medical facilities, such online counselling platforms can turn out to be handy. 

      Counselling is a field of understanding why others behave as they do and this can only be realised through talking about these issues. For the client, it will also help in making them release their tension and also finding solution to their issues they are facing.

      I fail to understand why people are stigmatising such things. Mental health is as important as physical health and is essentially towards making people live and look at life in a positive manner.

  • 03 May
    Oyindrila Basu

    Lakshmi Agarwal-within me lies the strength

    lakshmi agarwal

    When you are frantically looking out for brands like #DollarClub or #LuxCozy, hoping that the best among them, will make you ‘fit’ or ‘rough and tough’, or even better one can give you your best ‘luck’, then you are just grossly wrong. 

    Nothing is tougher than the toughness of your mind. It may not be visible from your attire, but slowly grows within you, and develops into a strong personality.

    Mental strength refers to a collection of attributes which helps a person survive through the gravest of life events.

    Mental tenacity makes a person more resilient to emotional conditions. It acts as a shield against the hardships of life, or we can say, that, we cannot control what comes to us, but we can control as how to react to them.

    Lakshmi Agarwal, a survivor of acid attack has been listed among 13 brave Indian women, whose fight changed the system. She continues to be an inspiration for everyone, who requires mental strength and agility.

    She loved music and dance, but her first day of music lesson, in April 2005, is marked as ‘doom’s day’ because it has changed the course of her life. A stalker, double her age, bathed her in acid, because she refused his advances, and that not only deformed her appearance, but also her existential situations.

    She has had seven operations so far and needs many more. But she never laid back for a day. She has been a part of several campaigns, since then, starting with one, that was for regulations on sale of acid (she had to take 27000 signatures for the petition). But music has laid back for her.

    Eight months back, a beautiful child is born to her, and 10 years after the incident, she is reconsidering music. Her child is her solace today. But it has been a difficult journey.

    “My incident had taken a toll on my family’s life, but they had never complained. My father was my biggest strength. He was the one who told me to file the PIL in the Supreme Court in 2006 (which resulted in a change in the law governing the sale of acid). Without him, I felt bereft,” she says.

    She also unfolds, how each day in the hospital would be a moment of apprehension, and how she would try hard to get a glimpse of herself in the bowl of water which the nurse brought for her.

    “Laxmi was quite apprehensive in the beginning about how Pihu would react to her. But I tell her she’s such a brave person and has done so much to bring attention to the cause and to help other survivors that Pihu will be proud to have her as her mother. Pihu is growing up among brave women. Hopefully, she will not need to be taught about empathy. She will imbibe it on her own,” says her husband, Alok Dixit declares proudly.

    Laxmi was bothered that her looks would scare her child, but when she takes her in arms, her fears disappear, and a new strength emerges.

    She's the director of Chhanv Foundation that helps other survivors of acid attacks, and is also a TV show host. Laxmi received a 2014 International Women of Courage award by US First Lady Michelle Obama. She was also chosen as the NDTV Indian of the Year. Her achievements do not end here. Her determination has saved many acid attack survivors, and helped them get justice.

    Recently Viva N Diva apparel brand has chosen Laxmi, as the brand ambassador, for their #FaceOfCourage campaign, which is a revolutionary step in the fashion world. May be its true, that “what does not break you, makes you stronger”.

    Mental strength is a habitual development, which one nurtures and grows within self. Sometimes, survival from a bad incident develops this strength within you, sometimes you have to create it as a survival strategy for yourself.

    • A strong person stands bravely at the face of adversity. Controlling your emotions is the main criteria. It is a process, a habit that you develop, not to be vulnerable to situations that can hurt you.


    • A person with mental strength, learns from his mistakes, never mourns on the after effects of a wrong decision or misfortune, but takes it as a lesson and experience for future actions.


    • It is important to set your expectations right. Do not expect much with soaring dreams and high hopes in the mind. Life can bring you surprises, which can give you joy suddenly, but if you expect too much and unrealistically, then unfulfilled dreams can leave you shattered.


    • Find a motivation for self-development. It can be a good book, music, goal for achievement or may be just a cup of coffee on a lazy evening. You should know what you are living for.


    • Be thankful for what you have rather than brood over what you don’t, or cannot have.


    • Yoga and meditation increases concentration and mental stability, and a strong person, always practice them for self-improvement, so that he turns into a more rational and sensible person.


    • Mental toughness comes with small physical wins, like giving up your lust for chocolates and fatty foods, or keeping your self-promise of not smoking for 3 consecutive days, or continues workouts for a month and alike. When you can forgo some relaxations, you build up a tough body, but what automatically comes in, is a tough mind.


    Mental toughness makes a person more consistent, determined, and firm. It gives him/her integrity and strength to complete what proposed. A mentally strong person has clear vision and firm opinion. And the positive qualities gradually add up to build a mind which is stronger than any #Fevicol adhesive pasting. This strength of mind is within you, and you don’t need to find or derive it from elsewhere, and it always supports you in distress and tough times.

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