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Interpreter of Maladies

Dr. Nighat Ara, Psychiatrist

Q. I'm a 50 year old married woman. I'm quite healthy for my age except I find it difficult to fall asleep. Sometimes I sweat a lot at night and have nightmares. I don't have any anxiety in my life. I'm happy with my children and spouse. Can you suggest how I can improve my sleep?

Ans: A woman of fifty can be in or around her menopause. At this phase since the body is adjusting to a new hormonal level, some women may suffer from sleep disturbance along with sweating. Sometimes nightmares indicate anxiety states. However, if you don't have any such reason, just ignore it or add a happy ending to it as you wish.
Some of the tips to good sleep are physical activity in the day time, avoid taking nap at noon, avoid tea/coffee after six p.m, use the bed only for sleeping purposes, don't be a clock watcher if you cannot sleep at all. Instead get up and do something else (reading, watching tv, etc). Taking a bath or drinking a glass of warm milk before going to bed, listening to music, making the room dark and cozy, etc are some other ways to get a good night's sleep. Infrequent experiences of sleep disturbance are not alarming and do not require any medical intervention. However, if this is persistent and is affecting your daily mood, function, activity, etc then consult a physician or psychiatrist.

Q. I am a first year university student. When I was younger, several incidents at Hawker's Market overbridge, Gulistan bus-stand and similar crowded places where men attempted groped me. I now wear a burkha to protect myself, even though I find men staring at my face with an expression of lust, which makes me feel sick. Can you suggest what else I can do?
Ans: You are wearing the burkha in order to protect yourself from the losers who have no self respect, want to humiliate others and show no remorse. Wearing burkha for some religious commitment is surely different from this situation. I find it really painful to accept such a defeat. This beautiful earth is not meant for perverts. Then why are you surrendering your own freedom and allowing the sick person to enjoy his? The shame and humiliation you suffered was certainly not what you deserved. It lies in the act of sex offenders. Leave it to the person who can neither control his impulse nor has any intention to do so. Wearing burkha and hiding yourself cannot be an answer to this problem. The more you take the blame, the greater will be their aggression. This is an unfortunate reality of living in a society where personal safety is always under threat, which subsequently affects your mental health. Until there is widespread social awareness and a collective effort to resist this kind of offence, you have to balance your safety and freedom. In order to create safety, know your friends well, try to be in a group of similar minded people, avoid risky situations (overcrowded or isolated places) and people who are aggressive or can be possible perpetrators.


Anwara Chowdhury Guidance Counselor

Dear Anwara,
I am having a difficult time with my five-year-old son. He becomes very angry and moody when he does not get the things he wants. I am unable to handle his "Temper Tantrums"? Please advice me on how to handle his behaviour.

Dear Milly,
There are many reasons why children have temper tantrums and there are many different ways to handle them. Normally I would require more information about the child before I give advice. But one method you could use is the "Calm down" time. This is a safe and effective way to handle this type of situation.
As a consequence for his behaviour choose a safe place in the home. Send or take your son there for a set of period of time. This safe place must be used every time to handle this particular behaviour. He could be made to face a boring wall or a corner.
The period of time should be strictly limited to 3/4 minutes for a child under 6 years old. It is important that the calm down time is not pleasurable but frightening places must be avoided. Explain to your child the action you intend to take every time he misbehaves. It is vital to keep the time limited because it prevents him from getting restless and resentful throughout day.
At first the problem may appear to get worse, which could annoy or upset you. This is a normal sign and shows that it is having an affect. Once the period is up, explain to your son why he was put in the corner. But it is also very important to give him plenty of praise when he does good behaviour too.

For further details or advice contact Anwara Chowdhury
Email: AnwaraChowdhury@hotmail.com


Housework: Enjoy It!

Wara Karim

Housework seems like a hassle to most. We often feel too lazy to tidy up our houses on a regular basis. But ultimately, it's us, who turn out to be the sufferers. It takes a greater deal of time to clean up when you let those clutters collect at your home for a little too long. But cleaning can be fun! If you feel the cleaning task too gruelling then put on your favourite record on the stereo. Work with fun as you dance to the tune of your favourite music. Your cleaning task will seem less tiresome.
Then there are those easy tricks for quicker cleaning. Choose your weekend to straighten up your entire house. Carry a basket filled with cleaning materials as you move about the house. This basket will save you the time of moving back and forth to get cleaning materials. While you start cleaning, remember not to jump on to a new room before you are done with the first one. Make sure you have enough time on your hands if you really wish to tidy up those hard-to-reach nooks of your rooms. We often save up those old magazines, which we know we won't read anymore. These magazines and newspapers only cast a messy look on our rooms. So stop saving them. Besides, eliminate anything that you haven't used for more than 2 to 3 years. You can free up your shelf-space if you stop collecting unnecessary things.
While cleaning, as you move around the house, pick up the things, which don't belong to those particular rooms. Later on, put them in their appropriate place. You can also rearrange your kitchen cupboards or the wardrobe while you are talking over your cordless receiver. This 2-in-one idea will help to cut your actual time into half.
If you suddenly hear that a pack of guests is about to invade your house, then instead of freaking-out, rush to the living room and tidy it up in a jiffy. How? Pay attention to obvious clutters. Remove the dead flowers, empty the ashtray, and straighten up the cushions, rugs, chairs and decorative pieces to give the room a sense of order. Then finally, turn on a lamp and spray the air freshener. In a few minutes, your chamber will change its appearance. Housework can actually be simple and fun if you really want it that way. Since we'll have to tidy up the house anyway, then let's learn to enjoy it.



Sad News

We mourn

Gregory Peck was my mother's first crush. Gregory Peck was my first crush, and I am totally convinced that when my seven year old reaches sixteen he will be her first crush too (provided she doesn't see Sean Connery or Harrison Ford before then). I mean after watching Roman Holiday, who could resist falling in love with this 60's silver screen super hero.
Even at 87 Peck was one of the best looking man living over whom ladies could still go all mushy again.
In a motion picture career that spanned more than 50 years, Gregory Peck demonstrated a wide range as an actor of sensitivity and intelligence.
Gregory Peck, who won an Academy Award for best actor for his portrayal of Atticus Finch in 1962's "To Kill a Mockingbird" and was nominated for an Oscar four other times, died Thursday in Los Angeles. He was 87. Peck, who embodied decency both onscreen and off, died at about 4 a.m. at his home, according to his spokesman, Monroe Friedman.

Peck worked with virtually all of the top directors of the mid-20th century: He starred for Alfred Hitchcock in "Spellbound," Raoul Walsh in "Captain Horatio Hornblower," Vincente Minnelli in "Designing Woman," King Vidor in "Duel in the Sun," William Wyler in "Roman Holiday" and John Huston in "Moby Dick," in which he starred as Captain Ahab. During the filming of Herman Melville's novel, Peck was nearly killed when, after an unexpected squall, both he and the 80-foot mechanical whale disappeared into a rough sea, luckily saved by alert crew members. One of the actor's last honors was a Golden Globe he won in 1999 for a TV remake of "Moby Dick," in which he played a supporting role.
Other memorable performances include the title role of Gen. Douglas MacArthur in "MacArthur" and his turn as an American ambassador whose young son is the Antichrist in the horror film "The Omen."
Peck was born April 5, 1916, in La Jolla, Calif., and originally intended to become a physician, enrolling in pre-med studies at UC Berkeley. While in college, Peck was a standout athlete until a spinal injury forced him to quit sports. He turned to college theatricals and with much encouragement decided to shift from medicine to show business. He earned a degree in English literature and, following graduation, set out for Broadway in 1939.
In addition to his wife, Veronique, Peck is survived by four of his children -- Stephen, Carey, Anthony and Cecilia -- and six grandchildren.

- LS Desk


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