Know Your Parenting Style

The other day I was watching Slumdog Millionaire on television for the nth time, and it got me thinking. Here are two brothers – Jamal and Salim. Two brothers with similar genetics and experiences, and yet who are diametrically different in every possible way. Which evoked the whole nature vs. nurture theory debate in my head.

There is no doubt in my mind that we all our predisposed to be a certain type of individual, and that is what governs our personality. However the events we experience, the kind of exposure we get in life and our learning from those, also has a huge impact on shaping us. But which has a bigger role – our genetic make up or our life experiences?

Either ways there is no doubt each has a contribution to creating the individuals that we are. The more important point to remember is that we cannot control the genetic make up of our children, but what we can control is the environmental factors that might influence them. Have you ever thought about what is your parenting style and is it helping your child to get the right opportunities to be the best version of them?

Here is a quick quiz for you to help identify your parenting style. Don’t worry the responses and results are only for you to know.

Q1. Your son wants to start soccer classes, what do you do?
(a)You enroll him in a sports academy that has an alumnus of good performers, and make sure he does not miss out on any class.
(b)You ask him for further information and together go see a few places and then enroll.
(c)You buy him an entire soccer gear and enroll him in the best academy in town
(d)You enroll him in a class closest to home, so that he can manage the routine on his own.

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Mental Health Care Act 2016

According to a rough estimate 60 million Indians suffers from mental health difficulties. Nearly 1-2% of the population suffers from severe mental disorders, such as Bipolar disorder and Psychosis, and 5% suffers from common mental disorders like depression, anxiety and stress. These numbers are based on a research conducted by National Commission for macroeconomics 2005.

However these figures are in all likelihood a significant understatement, as most of the times psychological difficulties are  unreported due to either lack of awareness, or stigma, or a combination of the two. This is also associated with lack of competent psychiatric consultations or simply the unavailability of qualified and trained persons to tackle these issues. There are only 3800 psychiatrists, 898 clinical psychologists, 850 social workers and 1500 psychiatric nurses across a nation of 1.2 billion people.

Mental Health Care Act 2016 (hereby referred to as The Act) passed in the upper house on 27th March, 17 is a big step in the right direction taken by the government. The mental health legislation that it replaces is outdated, and not fit for purpose. Since India is a signatory to the United National Convention for Rights of People with Disabilities (UNCRPD), the law had to be updated to make it compliant with this international rights convention. Some key provisions under the Act are:

  1. Rights of person with mental illness: Every person will have the right to access mental healthcare services which are funded or operated by the government. People will have the right to equality of treatment, right to protection from inhuman treatment, right to access free legal service and right to complain with regards to any discrepancies.
  1. Advance Directive: It empowers the patient to decide how he/she would like to be treated and the right to choose a nominated representative.

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Being ‘Mindful’ of Our Mood and preventing depression

 'Busy’ is the buzz-word of our life and the current times.

You set the alarm, then lay awake checking emails on your phone. Race against time to keep pace with the morning. You catch up on the headlines, wish your cousin for her anniversary, plan the work day ahead, all this on your commute to work. In this bid to fully utilise every moment, and ensure a smooth and well-planned future, what you may be missing out on is the present – the here and the now!

This constant jugglery leaves us with our minds always full, but seldom ‘mindful’. The frenzy, deadlines, emails, grocery, bills and presentations – you try and keep pace with it all, many a times at the cost of your own health and well-being.

Globally, the prevalence of depression has gone up substantially, sufficient for it to warrant being the theme of World Health Organisation's World Health Day on April 7 this year. Examining the Indian scenario in particular, a recent survey suggests that nearly one in 20 Indians suffered from depression (NIMHANS, 2016). Although typically presenting with pervasive sadness, it can also be commonly associated with anxiety, anger, impulsivity, loss of energy, a change in appetite, sleeping more or less, feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or suicide. Depression often coexists with excessive alcohol or substance use. In order to identify the most suitable treatment, an initial evaluation by a psychiatrist is required to establish the diagnosis, understanding factors that contribute to the condition and a treatment plan that includes psychological therapy to promote psychoeducation and lifestyle measures.

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