No Country for old men

Population ageing is a global issue, which has been recognized to have implications on the health care and social welfare systems. The process whereby the proportion of children in the population decreases and those of old persons increases is known as the “ageing of population”. The global population of elderly has constantly been increasing during the second half of the last century. This has been possible due to easy availability of life saving drugs, control of famines, and various communicable diseases, better awareness and supply of nutrition and health facilities and comparatively better overall standard of living. These achievements have resulted in drastic reduction in mortality rates and substantial increase in the life expectancy at birth and the overall span of people.

Ageing is a continuous, irreversible, universal process, which starts from conception till the death of an individual. However, the age at which one’s productive contribution declines and one tends to be economically dependent can probably be treated as the onset of the aged stage of life.With the rapidly increasing number of aged compounded by disintegration of joint families and ever increasing influence of modernization and new life styles, the care of elderly has emerged as an important issue in India.

The common psychological problems that most of the older persons experience are : feeling of powerlessness, feeling of inferiority, depression, uselessness, isolation and reduced competence. These problems along with social disabilities like widowhood, societal prejudice and segregation aggravate the frustration of elderly people.

#SpeakingCinema

We start our Speaking Cinema with a movie that is winning critical acclaim all over for its  tale  of emotional depth and understated paradox, Hotel Salvation (Mukti Bhawan) describes the tragicomic ordeal of an over-worked modern son who is forced to set his job aside and accompany his elderly father to the holy city of Varanasi to, presumably, die.

Driving Miss daisy is about an old Jewish woman and her African-American chauffeur in the American South have a relationship that grows and improves over the years.

The Bucket List features two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die.

The bolywood movie Baghban was a tell tale of the ignorance and loneliness that ensues after a family betrays its old ones.A love story of an elderly couple resonated with many.

Cheeni Kum was one standalone movie depicting the emotional and sexual desires of an aged man who falls for a girl much younger of his age.

Perhaps the greatest portrayal of one’s final years is Kurosawa’s Ikiru in particular the scene where Takashi Shimura unexpectedly sings in a crowded nightclub, the boys and girls around him silent, reminded of their own fleeting mortality.

As a standout portrayal of the elderly in film, Tatie Danielle stands out. for its delicious subversion of the kindly old lady role. At 82 years old Danielle is not sweet, considerate or cute, she can be smart, cunning and deliciously bad, non- angel types.

 

Just go to hell……….Ae Dil #J #AtoZChallenge

Let’s talk about one factor that leads to anxious days, sleepless nights and depressing moments- Toxic Relationships.

Courtesy- EliteDaily

Relationships turn toxic and because that’s how addiction is, trying to find comfort in the same thing that’s destroying you. But you still fight for it, you fight for same thing that has destroyed you.

This poem is for the toxic relationships:

“You grow up with the tales that fool you

the karmic relationships

The happily ever afte

The beautiful families that go on vacations

The kiss under the stars

The love that never fades

Walking on sand with hand to hand

Comes an emotionally unavailable man

You wake up to his texts

And nights that say “i miss you”

They aren’t toxic at first

and that is how you fall

Comes the anger, the desire, the shame

the outbursts, expectations and the pain

You knew that was not normal

Screaming, fighting and just fucking

The fact is

Nothing will work

That expensive hair cut in a posh saloon

Books that tell you to move on

Shopping spree that makes you broke

TED talks that friends suggest

Eat pray and love never exists

Love happens when you least expect it

and so does shit

 

Don’t act normal when you want him back

Don’t say you have moved on when you have not

Don’t date men and still look for him

You still want to make it work and don’t deny that

Just take your time and shake yourself up

Remember the expensive heels that you

never wore but regret buying anyways

Love happens when you least expect it

and so does shit anyways”

So if love is, being there for another person while things are good and then sprinting, the minute things get bad, that is not “Love”

Courtesy- TinyBuddha

 

 

How to speak about your mental condition #H #AtoZChallenge

OK. We have made a lot of hoopla around mental health and the forms of illness and we will continue that.

But the question that i was asked by a reader was how to speak about it. And gosh, that is important and we completely missed it.

If you recognize symptoms of any common mental health problem and are worried, or if you feel that something isn’t right but you can’t put your finger on why, we recommend that you speak to someone in family, someone who cares and then therapist.

Some of the most frequently experienced symptoms include:

  • loss of apetite
  • feeling low or constantly anxious or worrying
  • thinking negative thoughts about yourself
  • irritability or moodiness
  • finding it harder than usual to concentrate
  • not enjoying your life as much as you once did
  • finding day-to-day life difficult (not feeling up to washing or eating, for example)
  • trouble sleeping, or sleeping too much
  • seeing or hearing things that other people do not see or hear

One thing is important- You may be generally sad and not depressed even with these symptoms, it’s the persistence of these symptoms over a period of time that is crucial.

It can be daunting to speak to someone that you may not know well about your mental health, but most people find that speaking  can make all the difference to their lives.

And this “Speaking Up” is not a cake walk and we know that. Make some pointers before you speak to your therapist:

  • Be patient, the treatment mat take time.
  • Communication is the key- Your doctor is not a mind reader or an astrologer, communicate clearly about your life events or thought process so that he/ she can come up with proper diagnosis.
  • State your expectations and understand his limitations
  • Be a good person with timely follow back.
  • Remember that diagnosing and treating depression takes time and expertise, so if your goal is to make your symptoms disappear immediately, you’re likely to be disappointed
  • Treat him/her as a friend rather than a doctor.

Speaking Cinema

One movie that hugely impressed me with a patient- therapist relationship is Dear Zindagi. This  exploration of the inner life of a young successful, ambitious woman confused with relationships (Sounds familiar……Na?) is fairly unprecedented in Bollywood. In Tanu Weds Manu 2, we do get a chance to see Tanu’s  bipolar struggles. But the shabby treatment of the movie and a predictable attempt to make it comedy with punchlines like

“Tu Kaun hai be?”

“Main kandha hun”( I am that shoulder on which girls lean). ………….Oh please, give me some better jokes.

Instead, in the opening scene, Tanu manages to turn marriage counselling into an opportunity to get her husband locked up in an asylum.(WTF) In Queen, Rani needs the trip to Paris to transform herself into this confident avatar (But we ain’t geeting Paris dear ladies)

It’s soothing, therefore, to hear Khan tell Kiara that she doesn’t have to forgive her parents or confront them for abandoning her. To hear Khan tell Kiara that she is not “cheap” but “superfine” to not settle for the first man who comes down the pike. Kiara has  nightmares about society judging her for being unmarried and unloved. (Happening with definitely me).It’s even more soothing when Khan tells Kiara that no society — no matter how judgmental — doesn’t have to think well of her, as long as she thinks well of herself.

The best part about this movie is how Gauri shinde doesn’t create any love angle between therapist and Kaira. And that is how it should be, we all are left crushing over Shahrukh and a rocking chair. But what we leave behind is :

When Kaira confesses about life being an interminable musical in so far as the new singer guy in her life is concerned, SRK’s Dr Khan is quick to retort with a good humoured jibe: “Aur tumhein to dialogue pasand hain (You like dialogues)”. Or when he himself says “we are all our own teachers in the school of life” and then comes back with “ye kuchh zyada heavy ho gaya (it’s too heavy-handed)”. Oh, we love you Shahrukh.

Dear Zindagi is a breezy change in the rare movies pertaining to mental health. I will leave you with a beautiful deleted scene of Dear Zindagi.

 

You think your friend acts weird at times……It may be Bipolar

Courtesy- EmpowHER

When out of all the poets who received the Pulitzer — the prize awarded to those who made the biggest contributions to the human spirit — 38 percent of them were bipolar, how can we simply label it a human disorder? Think how much more they could contribute to the human spirit if they knew it could be used as a gift to humanity, instead of something to hide from humanity?

Paul Dalio, Filmamker

What is Bipolar

Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, is a mental health condition that causes extreme mood swings that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression).

When you become depressed, you may feel sad or hopeless and lose interest or pleasure in most activities. When your mood shifts to mania or hypomania (less extreme than mania), you may feel euphoric, full of energy or unusually irritable. These mood swings can affect sleep, energy, activity, judgment, behavior and the ability to think clearly.

Episodes of mood swings may occur rarely or multiple times a year. While most people will experience some emotional symptoms between episodes, some may not experience any.

I will quote my one amazing friend i met at poetry retreat (and dude i love you ) “I admit that i have done things that I’ve regretted. The overdose, which sent me into hospital, was one of the things. I then knew i needed help. I don’t even bother to count how many times a year I have to go through this. Medication helps keep me in some control, especially with the manic side.Mania brings with it the thought that you’re this amazing person, who can do anything, someone who deserves to be with people. The bad side of mania is that loss of control. Nights become sleepless and the thoughts running through your head won’t stop.  You smoke up, you take weed, a lot of weed and you are always energetic.”

I tried to understand Bipolar through his life, his silence, his laughter and his poetry. So let’s come to movies that show Bipolar.

I start with Mr Jones(1993) where Richard Gere playing a manic patient is shown in a romantic relationship with her Psychiatrist played by Lina Orin, too much romanticizing bipolar was what this movie did wrong with the tagline ““Everything that makes him dangerous makes her love him more.”

George Clooney’s  Michael Clayton shows exactly what Bipolar people face in real life- Their real aggression is passed off as manic episodes. With Corporate corruption being the plot, Tom Wilkinson plays a bipolar character whose claims are always dismissed as those moods of paranoia.

Director’s David.O.Russel struggle as a father seeing his bipolar son dealing with his mental condition led to the making of Oscar winner amazing movie dealing with mental illness- Silver Lining Playbooks. Bradley Cooper plays Pat Solitano, who is trying to get his life back together after a court-ordered psychiatric hospitalization. The main plotline concerns Pat’s efforts to win back his ex-wife by agreeing to enter a dance competition (it’s complicated). His dance partner, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is a sex addicted widow dealing with depression. And his father, played by Robert De Niro, has obsessive-compulsive tendencies and a gambling problem that drives a lot of the action. from De Niro to Cooper, this movie is one hell of acting.

Writer and director Maya Forbes writes the story of her own father in Infinitely Polar Bear Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana play a mixed-race couple raising two daughters,The father doesn’t work because of his bipolar disorder, so the mother decides to accept a scholarship to graduate school in New York City so she can make more money for the family. The kids are left with their dad, who makes parenting mistakes making it one beautiful film.

What’s the treatment?

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong condition. Treatment is directed at managing symptoms which include medications from mood stabilizers, anti psychotics, anti depressants to substance abuse treatment. Visit your nearest psychiatrist and seek medical help if you face such kind of symptoms. Drop us a mail at Bachpan Project if you think your child is dealing with Bipolar disorder.

Bipolar robs you of that which is you. It can take from you the very core of your being and replace it with something that is completely opposite of who and what you truly are. Because my bipolar went untreated for so long, I spent many years looking in the mirror and seeing a person I did not recognize or understand. Not only did bipolar rob me of my sanity, but it robbed me of my ability to see beyond the space it dictated me to look. I no longer could tell reality from fantasy, and I walked in a world no longer my own.”
― Alessa Reyans, Letters from a bipolar mother.

I am participating in A to Z Challenge with Blogchatter

 

 

A – Tracing Autism through Dustin Hoffman to Darsheel Safary

 

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. Autism’s most-obvious signs tend to appear between 2 and 3 years of age. In some cases, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months

In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association merged four previously distinct diagnoses into one umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These included autistic disorder, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome

Children with AS will display some symptoms of autism in quite a pronounced way. They may engage in obsessive routines, odd speech patterns and other peculiar mannerisms but are less affected overall. They display an unusual sensitivity to sensory stimuli, e.g. they may cover their ears to block out sounds in the environment or they may prefer to wear clothing made only of a certain material or avoid eye contact.

AS is characterised by poorly impaired social skills. In spite of having normal to above average intelligence and language development, children are unable to communicate effectively with others and have poor coordination. They are sometimes described as active but odd, they tend to relate in a narrow way. Their activities are usually centred on their needs and peculiar interests. They have few facial expressions and have difficulty in reading the body language of others.

A puzzling feature of individuals with AS is their inability to comprehend what friendship is all about. Most are either indifferent to the idea of friendships or have no idea how to make friends

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in 68 children in the United States. This includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.
  • An estimated 50,000 teens with autism become adults – and lose school-based autism services – each year.
  • Around one third of people with autism remain nonverbal.
  • Around one third of people with autism have an intellectual disability.
  • Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism. They include gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and phobias

The first grand exposure of Autism in cinema was  Barry Levinson’s Oscar-winner Rain Man  in 1988. But there it did some damage, when i recently suggested a friend when i observed their child that he may be autistic, he had this vague idea of autistic children being genius with incredible memory skills, when the vast majority of them aren’t.

In the case of Bollywood mega hit My Name Is Khan (2010), Shahrukh Kahn’s title character’s Muslim faith is just as important, and as much an engine for the film’s baroque melodrama, as the fact that he has Asperger’s syndrome, a form of high-functioning autism.

Of the recent crop of features about people on the spectrum, one of the strongest is biopic Temple Grandin about  the world’s most famous person with ASC. Of the ones hovering near to reality are The Autism Puzzle made in 2003 but still very relevant, and Neurotypical

One of my most favorite and an eye opener film was Taare Zameen Par featuring Darsheel Safary as dyslexic child, Ishan Aswasthi is ridiculed at school and at home for not being able to write and read properly. He has developmental dyslexia.The discovery of Ishan’s artistic talent and the way it blooms under the care of his art teacher is the most important (and joyous) neurocognitive phenomenon in the film.In remedial training in children with dyslexia, it is important to facilitate the development of their unique artistic and other abilities to its full capacity rather than to overemphasize on the correction of the disturbed coded symbol operations. This film should be an eyeopener to parents of dyslexic children. The entire team and in particular the young artist, Darsheel, who so vividly portrays the helplessness of a disabled child, deserve our appreciation.

Drop us a comment or mail us at drpoojatripathi1902@gmail.com, We at “The Bachpan Project” will help you sail through understanding your child’s condition.

I am participating in Ato Z blogging challenge 2017.