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Saturday, December 31, 2011

beat back year-eve blues, Times of India, (AASRA has been mentioned) Beat back the New Year-eve blues Pratibha Masand, TNN | Dec 31, 2011, 01.55AM IST MUMBAI: Nitika Makhija, in her early 20s, has been restless every evening over the last few days. The strange feeling in the pit of her stomach makes her feel as if something will go wrong. When this spell comes, nothing-not even reading a book or watching television helps. "I just have to wait for this feeling to pass. Generally, it lasts between an hour and three. Not only does it cause a sickening feeling, sometimes it leaves me feverish, it also drains me. I don't feel like doing anything or going anywhere," says Nitika, who works for a media firm. Some like Sheldon Pareira, 28, feel the urge to go out drinking every evening. "I am only a social drinker. But in the last three weeks, I've been feeling like going out for a drink, even if there's no party to attend," says Sheldon, who works in an IT firm. Nitika and Sheldon are suffering from "Year-end Blues". Many in the city have been feeling low or depressed, restless and lonely, have been feeling either a great urge to drink every day, or do not feel like eating at all. Most of these feelings are unexplained and go just as abruptly as they come. Doctors say that the party season, change in weather or fear of the upcoming year might be among reasons behind these blues. "The blues are more common among the single or those who do not have plans for the New Year's Eve," psychiatrist Dr Anjali Chabbria explains. "Those who feel bad about being single or don't have anywhere to go end up feeling low or depressed. Some would rather go out to drink every day than go home each night." Johnson Thomas, director of AASRA, an NGO that works for suicide prevention, says there has been a jump in the number depressed people calling in, especially in the last three weeks. "These calls are more at night and mostly deal with relationships gone bad. It is a vacation after which most examinations are lined up. Also, with the onset of winter, evenings get darker and gloomy. There is a general increase in mood swings during this time of the year," he says. Psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty feels that year-end is the time when people start reviewing what they have achieved during the year. "Every person has something to be happy or sad about in a year. During this period, some harp on the bad things that have happened and feel low. Also, some get jitters thinking of what might happen in the new year, thus feeling anxious," he says, adding that peer pressure to have "happening" New Year plans might also be a reason for those who cannot or do not want to celebrate. The key, say doctors, is to accept what has happened and be positive about the future. "Feeling good is ones right," says Dr Shetty. "It is only a change of date, not a big deal. Spending New Year with family is as good as celebrating it in a party," Dr Chabbria adds.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Kids are stressed out in Mumbai India- some survey stats to prove the point. A times of India initiative

Pointers: The weight of the schoolbag is killing: primary kids are made to carry an average of 9 kg as against the recommended weight of less than 5 kg.This affects the head, neck, trunk and lower limb angles, changing the overall posture of the child. 62% kids have a personal computer at home 79% are mobile phone users. Most parents are unhappy with their levels of involvement in terms of time spent with their children. One study says that only 50% of parents are happy with their involvement in their kids lives. Children aged 6-17 watch 35 hrs of TV a week. On an average . 82% of teenagers spend 14-16 hrs playing video games. And 7% from this are pathological gamers spending over 20 hrs a week. 63% of students spend at least an hour online everyday. 40% of mumbai's children have been exposed to online adult content- more than in any other city. They are also victims of cyber bullying. (33% have been bullied at least once) 40% of children visit malls, supermarkets, at least once a month. 95% of Mumbai's children eat pre-dinner snacks like burgrs, pizzas, french fries, samosas, vada pav and noodles. 78% of parents have never discussed sex openly with their kids pocket money given ranges from Rs.3500 to Rs. 12000 per month and is spent on chlothing, physical appearance, gadgets and lifestyle products. 60% of of mumbai's kids think it's important to wear the latest fashion. mumbai has a green ratio of only 0.03 acre of open space for every 1000 kids against an ideal of 4 acres per 1000 kids. 16% of total educational expenditure is spent onprivate tuitions, coaching. Nearly 4% of children have asthma, while over 6% complain of breathing problems. 30% of children in private schools are overweight/obese, the second highest number in the country.About 88% boys and 85% girls don't walk the recommended 15000 and 12000 steps a day respectively. 28% of students sleep less than the recommended 8 hrs everyday. 17% of children suffer some kind of stress. studies show that children bear the brunt of an outbreak of any disease in the city. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Children are not taught to take no for an answer. Children with poor coping skills are a reflection of poor parenting. Kids are left with little unstructured time. Psychiatrists say that movies and video games have replaced outdoor play that boosted children's anti-stress mechanisms. Kids these days live in a bully environment at home.their own thinking and creativity are hampered by unrealistic expectations.Children do not anymore understand that when they commit mistakes they are accumulating experience for the future. Any failure becomes dificult to digest and they easily get demotivated. -Dr. Sanjay Kumavat, Psychiatrist. Parents can reach out to their little ones- Pick up early signs of anger in their children Watch out for impulsivity in children between 4-5 years. this may lead to violece at a later stage in life. monitor conent they watch on TV,video and internet. Improve play and sleep time of children Put your child through a life skills program Help the child share his or her feelings. Be a friend If your child appears violent then gently reinforce concepts of good and bad. If kids have a attention deficit disorder or emotional problems seek help.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Domestic violence in India, Causes,consequences and remedies

Domestic Violence in India: Causes, Consequences and Remedies Posted at YouthKiAwaaz on February 7, 2010 in Editor's Picks, Society · 42 Comments Ankur Kumar: Introduction “Bride tortured to death for dowry”, “School going kid succumbs to his injuries after beaten by father”, “A seventy year old man killed over property dispute”, “Harassment of men in Chandigarh…” All these and what not, turn to any newspaper at random and you would find the reports of such kind of violence all over the country. These are all what we come to know through different forms of media. There are more such cases which go unreported every day. In fact, include the cases which we our self indulge in, or the ones which we witness in the neighbourhood but are hesitant in taking even a single step to reduce their occurrences. In our society, violence is bursting. It is present almost everywhere and nowhere is this eruption more intense than right behind the doors of our homes. Behind closed doors of homes all across our country, people are being tortured, beaten and killed. It is happening in rural areas, towns, cities and in metropolitans as well. It is crossing all social classes, genders, racial lines and age groups. It is becoming a legacy being passed on from one generation to another. The term used to describe this exploding problem of violence within our homes is Domestic Violence. This violence is towards someone who we are in a relationship with, be it a wife, husband, son, daughter, mother, father, grandparent or any other family member. It can be a male’s or a female’s atrocities towards another male or a female. Anyone can be a victim and a victimizer. This violence has a tendency to explode in various forms such as physical, sexual or emotional. Since times immemorial, domestic violence has been an intrinsic part of the society we are living in. The contributing factors could be the desire to gain control over another family member, the desire to exploit someone for personal benefits, the flare to be in a commanding position all the time showcasing one’s supremacy so on and so forth. On various occasions, psychological problems and social influence also add to the vehemence. The present essay deals with the various forms of domestic violence prevalent in India. Their causes of occurrence in households have been analyzed categorically. The variation in the intensity of the forms with change in the geographical location and culture has also been addressed. The aftereffects of different kinds of domestic violence and the possible remedies have been highlighted. Finally, a conclusion has been drawn after the complete analysis of the topic with the juxtaposition of facts and figures at hand. Different Forms of Domestic Violence in India and their Causes Domestic Violence Against Women This form of domestic violence is most common of all. One of the reasons for it being so prevalent is the orthodox and idiotic mindset of the society that women are physically and emotionally weaker than the males. Though women today have proved themselves in almost every field of life affirming that they are no less than men, the reports of violence against them are much larger in number than against men. The possible reasons are many and are diversified over the length and breadth of the country. According to United Nation Population Fund Report, around two-third of married Indian women are victims of domestic violence and as many as 70 per cent of married women in India between the age of 15 and 49 are victims of beating, rape or forced sex. In India, more than 55 percent of the women suffer from domestic violence, especially in the states of Bihar, U.P., M.P. and other northern states. The most common causes for women stalking and battering include dissatisfaction with the dowry and exploiting women for more of it, arguing with the partner, refusing to have sex with him, neglecting children, going out of home without telling the partner, not cooking properly or on time, indulging in extra marital affairs, not looking after in-laws etc. In some cases infertility in females also leads to their assault by the family members. The greed for dowry, desire for a male child and alcoholism of the spouse are major factors of domestic violence against women in rural areas. There have been gruesome reports of young bride being burnt alive or subjected to continuous harassment for not bringing home the amount of demanded dowry. Women in India also admit to hitting or beating because of their suspicion about the husband’s sexual involvement with other women. The Tandoor Murder Case of Naina Sahni in New Delhi in the year 1995 is one such dreadful incident of a woman being killed and then burnt in a Tandoor by his husband. This incidence was an outcome of suspicion of extra marital affairs of Naina Sahni which led to marital discord and domestic violence against her. In urban areas there are many more factors which lead to differences in the beginning and later take the shape of domestic violence. These include – more income of a working woman than her partner, her absence in the house till late night, abusing and neglecting in-laws, being more forward socially etc. Working women are quite often subjected to assaults and coercion sex by employees of the organization. At times, it could be voluntary for a better pay and designation in the office. Violence against young widows has also been on a rise in India. Most often they are cursed for their husband’s death and are deprived of proper food and clothing. They are not allowed or encouraged for remarriage in most of the homes, especially in rural areas. There have been cases of molestation and rape attempts of women by other family members in nuclear families or someone in the neighbourhood. At times, women are even sexually coerced by their partner themselves against their will. They are brutally beaten and tortured for not conceiving a male child. Incidents like, ripping off a woman’s womb for killing the female foetus when she disagrees for abortion have also come to light especially in rural areas. Female foeticide and female infanticide continue to be a rising concern. Also as expressed by Rebecca J. Burns in the following lines, “When I am asked why a woman doesn’t leave abuser I say: Women stay because the fear of leaving is greater than the fear of staying. They will leave when the fear of staying is greater than the fear of leaving.” A common Indian house wife has a tendency to bear the harassment she is subjected to by her husband and the family. One reason could be to prevent the children from undergoing the hardships if she separates from the spouse. Also the traditional and orthodox mindset makes them bear the sufferings without any protest. Other forms of physical abuse against women include slapping, punching, grabbing, burdening them with drudgery, public humiliation and the neglect of their health problems. Some of the other forms of psychological torment against them could be curtailment of their rights to self-expression and curbing the freedom to associate with the natal family and friends. Domestic Violence Against Men There is no question that domestic violence directed against women is a serious and bigger problem, but domestic violence against men is also increasing gradually in India. The supremacy of men in the society makes one believe that they are not vulnerable to domestic violence. Battering of men by their spouse and family members has become a concerned issue and is another form of domestic violence under purview of judiciary. In India, compared to violence against women, violence against men is less frequent but it has already taken a deadly shape in many of the western countries by now. Males have reported incidences of assault against them like pushing, shoving, slapping, grabbing, hitting which are intended to harm them and also take their lives on many occasions. Recently, hundreds of husbands gathered in Chandigarh and Shimla to voice their opinion for men’s rights and protection against domestic violence subjected to them by their wives and other family members. It reflects the need for a special law for curbing domestic violence against men in present times. If we contemplate over the reasons behind this form of domestic violence we would find some of the possible causes such as not abiding by the instructions of the wives’, inadequate earning of men, infidelity towards wives, not helping the partner in household activities, not taking a proper care of children, abusing the spouse’s family, infertility of men, spying the activities of partner, doubting the partner all the time and not trusting her, revolt by the wife when asked to look after in-laws etc. On many occasions the spat between men and women becomes public thereby influencing the society around especially in the villages. In urban areas such forms of violence may go unreported because of greater privacy. Also the families find their reputation at stake in urban areas. Domestic Violence Against Children/Teens Children and teenagers in our society are not spared from the evil of domestic violence. In fact, this form of violence is second in terms of number of reported cases after the ‘violence against women’. There is a lot of variation in the form of its occurrence in urban and rural areas and in upper/middle class and lower class families in India. In urban regions, it is more private and concealed within the four walls of homes. The possible reasons could be disobeying parental advises and orders, poor performance in academics or not being at par with other children in neighbourhood, debating with parents and other family members etc. In addition to this, factors like not being socially intelligent or as active as the parents expect them to be, abusing the parents or speaking ill about other family members, not returning home on time are some other factors. In rural areas the reasons could be harassment for child labour, physical abuse or harm for not following family traditions, forcing them to stay at home and not allowing them to go to school etc. Domestic violence against girls is in fact more severe at homes. As the common mob mentality of India prefers to have at least one male child after marriage, the girls in most of the occasions are cursed and assaulted for having taken birth in the home. This kind abuse is prevalent both in cities and villages but is more common in latter case. Then there are cases of paedophilia causing sexual harassment of children in homes by family member themselves. In fact the number of rape cases of pre-matured girls has been rising since last few years. A survey of teens and college students found that rape accounted for 67 percent of sexual assaults in girls. Apart from sexual abuse and rape, pushing, slapping, punching, stalking and emotional abuse are other forms of domestic violence against children. Adding to the above mentioned causes, there are also instances of abuse against children who are physically and/or mentally challenged. Instead of providing them proper health care and treating them politely, these children are beaten and harassed for not cooperating and attending to what family members ask them to do. They are even emotionally abused by cursing them having been in such retarded or handicapped state. In fact in poor families, there have been reports of selling body organs of the retarded children for getting money in return. It reflects the height of cruelness and violence against innocent children. Domestic Violence Against Olds This form of domestic violence refers to the violence which old people at home are subjected to by their children and other family members. This category of domestic violence largely goes under-reported in India. It is because of the dependency of olds on their children and having a fear of not being looked after or even ousted if the violence is revealed in public. The main causes of violence against aged people are – children being hesitant in bearing the expenses of the old parents, emotionally victimising the olds and beating them to death to get rid of them. On various occasions, they are beaten for doing something against the desire of family members. One of the very common reasons includes torture for property grabbing. A perturbing trend is the vulnerability of ageing women to domestic violence in various forms. Given existing structures of gender discrimination, old women are prone to a greater risk than men of becoming victims of material exploitation, financial deprivation, property grabbing, abandonment, verbal humiliation, emotional and psychological torment. When they fall seriously ill, it is more likely that it is the elderly women in the family who will be denied proper health care. There is also a widespread understanding that the neglect, deprivation and marginalisation of older women are the normal consequences of ageing. In fact the plight of young widows in homes as discussed above now becomes more serious as a result of the ageing of those women. They are cut off from the society they are living in, ignored, abused, cursed, and considered as bad omens. The atrocities of sons, daughter-in-laws, daughters and husbands could be another cause of domestic violence specifically against older women. They are restrained from cooking, housekeeping, or participating in activities outside the home. While it is difficult to accurately measure the extent of the problem on a national scale, given the fact that most families deny that such abuse but we do know that the number of old people in our midst is growing. A current estimate puts the 60-plus population at around 90 million in India and is projected to have a population of 142 million older people by 2020. Given this demographic reality an important concern is the kind of action the country can take at the individual and societal level to alleviate abuse and neglect of elderly class. Other Forms of Domestic Violence in India There are some more possible forms of domestic violence prevalent in India other than the ones listed above. On a serious note, family wars or clan wars are deadly forms of domestic violence across the country. The reason of such type of violence include dispute over property, physically or emotionally abusing any member of other family or clan, any religious cause or conflict arising during a religious ceremony, jealousy because of progress and financial status of other family, inter-caste marriage etc. This form of violence is common in many states like Haryana, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh etc. One of the other forms of domestic violence is ill-treatment of servants and maids in households. In many of the affluent homes, servants are deprived of their salary and basic necessities. They are harassed and beaten and to work without even taking adequate rest. Similarly maids are molested by males in the family. Atrocities against small children working as servants are common and increasing. To some extent media is also responsible for contributing to all the above forms of violence. The exaggerated news coverage of reports of domestic violence, the daily soaps screening the torture of a daughter-in-law at the hands of family members, the films portraying an element of violence against people of all age groups etc. are some of the menaces which media is causing. It is influencing the mindset of the viewers strongly. The problem arises when instead of taking a lesson from those news clippings, films, and television shows, people start enacting the same in their homes. Comparatively, the visual media is far more influencing than the print and electronic media in these cases. Illiteracy and mob mentality of majority of Indians misguides them in all these cases. Consequences of Domestic Violence There are varied consequences of domestic violence depending on the victim, the age group, the intensity of the violence and frequency of the torment they are subjected to. Living under a constant fear, threat and humiliation are some of the feelings developed in the minds of the victims as a consequence of an atrocious violence. The consequences of the domestic violence in detail can be broadly categorised under – the Effect on the victim himself/herself and the family , Effect on the society and the Effect on nation’s growth and productivity. The ‘Effect on the victim’ has been further subcategorized for women, men, children and olds. Effect on the victim and the family Consequences of Violence Against Women Battered women have tendency to remain quiet, agonised and emotionally disturbed after the occurrence of the torment. A psychological set back and trauma because of domestic violence affects women’s productivity in all forms of life. The suicide case of such victimised women is also a deadly consequence and the number of such cases is increasing. A working Indian woman may drop out from work place because of the ill-treatment at home or office, she may lose her inefficiency in work. Her health may deteriorate if she is not well physically and mentally. Some women leave their home immediately after first few atrocious attacks and try to become self-dependent. Their survival becomes difficult and painful when they have to work hard for earning two meals a day. Many such women come under rescue of women welfare organizations like Women Welfare Association of India (WWAI), Affus Woman Welfare Association (AWWA) and Woman’s Emancipation and Development Trust (WEDT). Some of them who leave their homes are forcefully involved in women trafficking and pornography. This results in acquiring a higher risk of becoming a drug addict and suffering from HIV/AIDS. Some of course do it by their choice. One of the severe effects of domestic violence against women is its effect on her children. It is nature’s phenomenon that a child generally has a greater attachment towards the mother for she is the one who gives birth. As long as the violence subjected to the mother is hidden from the child, he/she may behave normally at home. The day when mother’s grief and suffering is revealed, a child may become upset about the happening deeply. Children may not even comprehend the severity of the problem. They may turn silent, reserved and express solace to the mother. When the violence against women is openly done in front of them since their childhood, it may have a deeper and gruesome impact in their mindset. They get used to such happenings at home, and have a tendency to reciprocate the same in their lives. It’s common in especially in rural homes in India which are victimised by the evil of domestic violence. In cases of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), violence against women leads them to maintain a distance from their partner. Their sexual life is affected adversely. Many of them file for divorce and seek separation which again affects the life of children. Some continue to be exploited in lack of proper awareness of human rights and laws of the constitution. Consequences of Violence Against Men The consequences against violence against men in India, is largely emotional and psychological in nature. The physical harassment resulting from domestic violence, also affects their lives and productivity but it is still more inclined towards the emotional problems which men face in India. It is largely because many such cases go unreported, as compared to cases of physical assault of women. An emotionally harassed and depressed man may lose interest in the occupation he is associated with. If he is the only bread-earning person in the family, the family may find it difficult to survive. There has been a spate of farmers’ suicide in recent years in Karnataka. Several farmers have committed suicide not only because of indebtedness but also because of discord in family and depression resulting out of it. According to statistics of Save India Family Foundation (an NGO), around 1.2 lac harassed husbands have committed suicide in the country in the last four years. Consequences of Violence Against Children/Teens The consequences in case of children are far more drastic and its effect is long lived. Children are sensitive to issues related to violence of any kind as they are not mature enough to comprehend them. In their growing years they try to imitate things which they see happening around them. In the process of following their parent’s advice or instructions they become firm in their opinion and approach towards life. Now if the approach of parents itself is negative, children are bound to get influenced by it. They may adopt the negative traits of the ill they see around them or develop a hostile approach in life because of the ill-treatment they are subjected to. If a child is beaten badly for under performing in school, he may do the same to his children, thinking it might be the only possible way of making a person to work hard. Whenever a child is dropped out of school because of poor financial condition or when he is engaged in some form of child labour, there is a sudden leap which the child tries to take from his childhood to the manhood. In this process he misses out the values and morals a person should inculcate in him as a good human being. He fails to develop a vision to see things from an unbiased point of view. All these factors make a child insensitive towards the society and the societal needs. Every instance of child abuse causes a callous indifference to suffering. However in the process of comprehending the wrong being done to them, many children are traumatised and psychologically disturbed. They find it unsustainable and may lose out their mental soundness. Children who are victimised by physical violence may become handicapped as well. In some cases children prefer to run away from home and try to become self dependent. Some commit suicide. Some indulge in malpractices because of improper education and bad company they become a part of after leaving the home. Some even reciprocate the violence they are subjected to by harming the family members. Girls also develop a feeling of insecurity in their homes when they are sexually exploited. They lose their self-confidence and desire for living. A girl child from violent home can withdraw from society and become completely depressed. Children from violent homes become disobedient and violent – and start using aggression to solve their problems. Adolescents may succumb to drugs and alcohol when treated harshly. Some helpless and abandoned children are picked up gangs who sell their organs for making huge amount of money. In most of the cities, the group of beggars at traffic lights or railway platforms are the abandoned children who are physically deformed forcefully for begging. The children who escape being a part of this vicious circle are looked after by children welfare organizations like, Indian Child Welfare Association (ICWA), Child Relief and You (CRY) and ChildLine etc. Consequences of Violence Against Olds The elderly abuse is one of the most unfortunate happening for the elderly class in their lives. They would rather like to be more at ease and calm in this phase of their life than being prone to such kind of shameful treatment by the family or society. Ironically elderly class itself also indulges in harming each other. Many of the elderly men continue to beat and harass their wives throughout their lives. Some of the olds are ousted from home by their children, some are beaten until death and some are exploited socially. A sense of insecurity dodges them all the time. They are isolated and cut off from society in some cases where son and daughter-in-law do not let them interact and move around freely in the society. The old people are not looked after properly and their health problems are neglected. Due to the abuse and mental trauma they suffer, some of them leave home and stay in old age homes like HelpAge India, Senior Citizen Home Complex Welfare Society (SCHCWS) and many others. Effect of Domestic Violence on the society All the different forms of violence discussed in this essay adversely affect the society. Violence against women may keep them locked in homes succumbing to the torture they face. If they come out in open and reveal the wrong done to them for help and rescue, it influences the society both positively and negatively. At one hand where it acts as an inspiration and ray of hope for other suffering women, on the other hand it also spoils the atmosphere of the society. When something of this kind happens in the society, few families may witness the evil of domestic violence knocking their door steps. Some families try to imitate what others indulge in irrespective of it being good or bad for the family. Effect on the productivity As mentioned earlier, domestic violence affects the productivity level of the victim negatively. Men and women lose interest in household activities. If they are employed they fail to work with full capabilities in workplace. Children are found to concentrate less on studies. They drop out of school and do not get the education which otherwise they might have got if they were not tormented and thus the country loses a productive asset. Therefore, the nation’s productivity altogether gets affected because of domestic violence in homes. When old people are tortured and physically abused, they separate themselves from family members and their daily activities are restricted to themselves. The guardianship they can provide out of their experience, the moral values which they can instil in the grandchildren are all not done as they are unwanted in their own homes. People need to spend their part of income for medication when they are met with worse forms of domestic violence which again leads to loss in productive use of a family’s income. The cumulative effect of the domestic violence at all levels and across all regions is the country’s hindered development and slow economic growth. Remedies for Domestic Violence What exactly do we want? A very important question in wake of domestic violence remedies is that what exactly we are looking for in the process of minimising their occurrences. Is it so that we want to gather more information about such cases for just expressing our concern over this issue with more accuracy, having facts and figures at hand? Or instead of just raising our voices, we want to clean up the mess with shear force and determination? Fighting the ‘Domestic Violence’ Evil A recent study has concluded that violence against women is the fastest-growing crime in India. According to a latest report prepared by India’s National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a crime has been recorded against women in every three minutes in India. Every 60 minutes, two women are raped in this country. Every six hours, a young married woman is found beaten to death, burnt or driven to suicide. The response to the phenomenon of domestic violence is a typical combination of effort between law enforcement agencies, social service agencies, the courts and corrections/probation agencies. The role of all these has progressed over last few decades, and brought their activities in public view. Domestic violence is now being viewed as a public health problem of epidemic proportion all over the world – and many public, private and governmental agencies are seen making huge efforts to control it in India. There are several organizations all over the world – government and non government – actively working to fight the problems generated by domestic violence to the human community. Need for Stringent Laws In 1983, domestic violence was recognised as a specific criminal offence by the introduction of section 498-A into the Indian Penal Code. This section deals with cruelty by a husband or his family towards a married woman. The main legislative measures at the national level for the children who become a victim of child labor include The Child Labor Prohibition and Regulation Act -1986 and The Factories Act -1948. The first act was categorical in prohibiting the employment of children below fourteen years of age, and identified 57 processes and 13 occupations which were considered dangerous to the health and lives of children. The factories act again prohibits the employment of children less than fourteen years of age. The Government of India passed a Domestic Violence Bill, 2001, “To protect the rights of women who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto”* An act called Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 [ DVA, 2005 ] also has been passed”. This Act ensures the reporting of cases of domestic violence against women to a ‘Protection Officer’ who then prepares a Domestic Incident Report to the Magistrate “and forward copies thereof to the police officer in charge of the police station within the local limits of jurisdiction…”** Unfortunately, at present there is no single law in the Indian Constitution which can strictly deal with all the different forms of ‘Domestic Violence’ as discussed in this essay. There is an urgent need for such a law in the country. In fact, there has also been misuse of section 498-A and DVA, 2005 because of restricted definition of cruelty subjected to married women. Role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) The role of non-governmental organizations in controlling the domestic violence and curbing its worse consequences is crucial. Sakshi – a violence intervention agency for women and children in Delhi works on cases of sexual assault, sexual harassment, child sexual abuse and domestic abuse and focuses on equality education for judges and implementation of the 1997 Supreme Court’s sexual harassment guidelines. Women’s Rights Initiative – another organization in the same city runs a legal aid cell for cases of domestic abuse and works in collaboration with law enforcers in the area of domestic violence. Your browser may not support display of this image. In Mumbai, bodies like Majlis and Swaadhar are doing meaningful works in this field. Sneha in Chennai and Vimochana in Bangalore are working on many women’s issues arising from domestic abuse. They are also doing active work in issues related to labour. Services ranging from counselling, education and outreach, giving provisions, and mobilizing them for gaining self-confidence are provided to them. Anweshi is a women’s counselling centre in Kozhikode providing meditation, resource and counselling for battered women. All the above bodies have their own registered offices, contact numbers and websites for those who want to seek help. There are at present only few NGOs for welfare of men like Social Welfare Association for Men (SWAM) in Chennai. Few more such organizations need to be opened for the help of abused men. These NGOs continue to spread awareness amongst people regarding the legal rights they have in hand for fighting against the atrocities they are subjected to. They are encouraging more and more people to report any case of domestic violence so that proper action may be taken against the culprits. Police and Health Care Police plays a major role in tackling the domestic violence cases. They need to be sensitized to treat domestic violence cases as seriously as any other crime. Special training to handle domestic violence cases should be imparted to police force. They should be provided with information regarding support network of judiciary, government agencies/departments. Gender training should be made mandatory in the trainings of the police officers. There should be a separate wing of police dealing with women’s issues, attached to all police stations and should be excluded from any other duty. Authorities should take steps to recognize Domestic Violence as a public health issue. A crisis support cell needs to be established in all major Government and Private Hospitals with a trained medical social worker for provide appropriate services. Training programmes must be organized for health professionals in order to develop their skills to provide basic support for abused people. Documentation on the prevalence and the health consequences of domestic violence should be undertaken by the concerned government departments, health care institutions, NGOs and counselling centres. A nodal agency should also be set up for the annual consolidation of the documented work and publish the same for wider publicity among the masses for increasing awareness. Conclusion Having looked at a sensitive topic of “Domestic Violence in India”, we can sense the importance of discussion of such a topic. The varying causes which can spark the violence within the four walls of homes need to be analysed carefully and a wise study of the factors causing the violence may prevent a family to suffer from the menace of domestic violence. The domestic violence may have a far wider and deeper impact in real life than what has been covered in this essay. What is required is to see closely the association of the factors provoking a particular form of domestic violence. If these factors can be controlled then more than one form of violence can be prevented from harming an individual or our society and India would be a much better place to live in. References 1) Panda, P. and Agarwal, B. 2005. Marital Violence, Human Development and Women’s Property Status in India. World Development. 23(5): 823-850. 2) Panda, P. 2004. Domestic Violence Against Women in Kerala. Kerala Research Programme on Local Level Development Centre for Development Studies. 6: 1-44. 3) Koenig, A. M., et al. 2006. Individual and Contextual Determinants of Domestic Violence in North India. American Journal of Public Health. 96(1): 132-138. 4) Martin L. S. et al. 1999. Domestic Violence in Northern India. American Journal of Epidemiology. 150(4): 417-426. 5) UNICEF. 2000. Domestic Violence Against Women And Girls. UNICEF Innocenti Digest. 6: 1-29. 6) Centre for Women’s Studies & Development the Research Institute. 2005. A Situational Analysis of Domestic Violence Against Women In Kerala: 1-31. 7)Kishwar, M. 2005. Laws Against Domestic Violence. Retrieved from on 25/08/2009. 11:15:13 pm : 1 -6. 8) Joshi, M. M. 2001. The Protection From Domestic Violence Bill. Government Bill. Bill No. 133 of 2001 9) Domestic Violence Statistics. Retrieved from on 22/08/2009. 10:00 am. The writer is a Goa based Correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz and also a student at BITS, Pilani – Goa Campus. Previous Post Shri Ram Debating Fest partners Youth Ki Awaaz Next Post Child Labour: We Keep Talking, But Never Act Share this article Digg it Add to Delicious Stumble it Publishing policy 37 total comments on this postSubmit yours Reply Ashish Kumar February 8, 2010 wooooaaaahhhhhhhh !!!! what a write up…..too much of thinking and elaboration….. I think it deals with each and every possible reason for sparking domestic violence in a home…Consequences discussed are also elaborate and reflect deep understanding of the author abt this social evil prevalent in our society…..Thumbs up :-) Reply Bell Bajao March 8, 2010 This is great information. Our goal has been to ensure that people become aware of domestic violence. Although the situation doesn’t seem to improve at all. There have been campaigns like Flat No. 303 ( ).. where group owners found out that many think that domestic violence doesn’t exist and later when admins educated … many accepted that domestic violence is in front of their eyes… its just that they couldn’t see it! Reply atul phatak April 27, 2010 Resp Sir, I’m as well a victim of domestic violence residing in nasik (maharashtra) & desperately in need of legal help for the same. Kindly help me by giving concerned organisation add/email add/contact nos as soon as possible, so that I’m able to fend myself from the concerned further atrocity by my wife against me. Regards, Atul.Phatak Reply YouthKiAwaaz April 28, 2010 @Atul: Dear Atul, the details have been emailed to you. Please act now and seek their help. Reply Pratima August 25, 2010 Dear sir, I ama victim of domestic mental torture.Pleaseeee… help me by giving address of some organisation which can help me get out of this situation .I am in Mumbai till 17th Then at Baroda late

Aasra in The daily Pioneer, Saturday, 17/12/2011 LOVE BREAK-UP & DEATH Saturday, 17 December 2011 17:19 pioneer User Rating: / 0 PoorBest Be it a break-up gone public on Facebook or a mother not allowing her child to access the net in a cyber cafe, or even when a parent raises his voice on his child, reasons to end a life have become very casual and flippant. With more than four persons committing suicide a day over not so serious issues, this has become a massive problem to handle. Neha Verma brings you a report Worst person ever, I hate you. Revenge is best when serve cold!” — These were the lines of the suicide note found on Malini Murmu’s laptop. She had hung herself to death in her hostel room. On September 19, 2011, the 22-year-old MBA student Murmu, a native of Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, committed suicide by hanging herself in room number 421, L-block of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. Reason: She was dumped by her boyfriend on Facebook. She left a suicide note saying that she was killing herself over the public announcement that her boyfriend had made about the break-up on a social networking site. “Murmu had been depressed for quite a while and had not been taking her classes seriously. When her classmates noticed her absence on September 19, they went to her room. The security guard was called to open the door. It was only then that they found her hanging from the ceiling fan,” Mohan Kumar, investigating officer at the Mico Layout police station in Bangalore, tells you about the shocking incident. Just a day before this incident, Murmu had gone to Delhi to meet her boyfriend 24-year-old Abhishek Dhan, an IIT-Roorkee pass out who is working in Delhi with HP Pvt Ltd. The couple had an argument, which resulted in the break-up. Later, Dhan posted on his Facebook page: Feeling super cool today. Dumped my new ex-girlfriend. Happy independence day. After seeing the post, Murmu lost her patience and decided to commit this act. The incident has left the family cursing their fate. “My wife and I spoke to Malini at between 2 pm the same afternoon but we couldn’t make out that she was depressed. I was more like a friend to her than a father, but it came to me as a shock that she was in a relationship. She never shared anything about this relationship,” says 50-year-old Bishwanath Murmu, Malini’s father. The family lodged a complaint and a case of abetment to suicide was filed against against Dhan. According to the father, his daughter was outspoken and courageous, not the kind who would take such an extreme step. “My daughter was outspoken and confident in her demeanour. She was very active on Facebook. According to what has been told to us, it was Dhan’s derogatory remarks that forced her to take this step. She was forced to commit suicide following the mental torture that came with this simple update,” adds Bishwanath. Her professors held a good impression about Malini who was regarded as a bright student. “Before getting into IIM-B, Malini did her training with Infosys and left the job to take up further studies. She had completed her engineering from KIIT, Bhubaneswar in electronics and telecommunications,” Bishwanath said on phone from Jamshedpur. With over a million people hooked on to social networking sites, privacy has long gone out of the window. It is one of the main reasons for some of the noticeable mental problems that we witness in youngsters today. “It is true that with the advent of technology, we are becoming more and more dependent on such sites. If a fight happens between a couple on the road side, a crowd of 10 odd people might gather, but they disperse as soon as the matter is over. However, if there is a verbal duel happening in the public domain on FB, 1000 friends see the post and it remains there till someone removes it. The update also has a lingering impact as friends post comments on it. We have analysed Malini Murmu’s case and feel that this was the cause which forced her to take this extreme step,” explains Dr Sandeep Vohra, a reputed clinical psychiatrist with Apollo Hospital, New Delhi. Off late, incidents of youth committing suicides for petty issues have grown manifold. Initially the reasons for committing suicide used to be the fear of failing an examination and other work-related problems. But now youngsters want to end their life at the pettiest of reasons that they can think of. Psychologists opine that this is because the younger generation is intelligent, but not mature. The fact that statistics of such suicides jumped by 26 per cent in the last four years bears credence. “The increase in suicide cases is a reason to worry. In the last few years, people have become impatient and their tolerance level has also gone down immensely. They are so stressed that they always jump to the conclusion of committing suicide even when the problem is not very big. More often than not, it is the society that is to blame. Working parents barely have enough quality time to spend with their children. The communication patterns have changed drastically, which could be a reason why young people don’t think twice before taking an extreme step,” Dr Vohra says. While most people have ended their lives because of problems in relationships, there are many others who committed suicide because of no reason at all. Take for instance, the incident on November 20, 2011, where 14-year-old Saumya Kumar, a class X student of LPS Vijayant Khand branch in Gomtinagar, Lucknow ended her life after she was denied permission by her mother to go to a cyber cafe. According to investigating officers, Saumya sought her mother’s permission to visit a cyber cafe. When her mother refused, Saumya ended her life by hanging herself from a ceiling fan later that evening. The family is completely shaken up by this sudden incident and they refused to comment on the case. “We are deeply grieved by this act and do not wish to speak with the media,” Saumya’s close relative tells you. While students have ended their life due to the most flippant of reasons, it is the parents and teachers these days who live in a perpetual state of fear that their behaviour might become a reason for their children to commit suicide. “We can’t be too harsh with our own children because they have become so rebellious that they tend to commit suicide for the smallest of things,” says Professor Neera Bhalla Sarin, a reputed sociologist in JNU. In another freak incident, on December 12, 2011, Akansha Singh alias Juhi, daughter of Rakesh Singh and a native of Azamgarh district committed suicide by hanging herself in the police quarters in Lucknow. The 18-year-old was pursuing her graduation and staying with her constable aunt when things started to go wrong. On November 11, her mother, Seema allegedly scolded Akansha for not paying attention to studies and that apparently drove her to commit suicide. While the family is still trying to cope with Akansha’s death, the police is busy investigating the real reason for the suicide. Why are more and more youngsters getting inclined to committing suicide? “The problem lies in the fact that children these days lack patience. They do not want to hear a ‘no’ for anything and do not want to be treated as children either. We can not determine the exact reason for this trend. It could either be because of the influence of cinema or simply peer pressure, but these children do not want their freedom to be curbed,” adds Dr Vohra. Fifteen-year-old Satish Reddy, resident of Nellore district in Andhra Pradesh, ran away from his home on August 2, 2011 after being treated harshly by his parents. His body was recovered from the Hussain Sagar Lake on August 9, 20011. According to a police report, Satish, a student of Class X, was negligent in studies and that pushed his worried parents into scolding him. As a consequence, the boy left his home and arrived at Hyderabad and then jumped into the Hussain Sagar Lake. Another 19-year-old girl Deepa died after drinking a mosquito repellent at her house in Nerkundram town in Tamil Nadu. She was scolded by her mother for watching too much TV. She was an undergraduate student of the Annamalai University. After having an altercation with her mother, Deepa walked up to a mosquito repellent plugged near the TV seat and emptied its contents into herself. “There has been an increase in number of such freak cases of suicide. We get 25-30 calls daily on all our helpline numbers. Surprisingly, the age group that calls up the most is between the 15-45 years. From school students to college passouts to even youngsters, everyone needs counseling to come out of depression and suicidal thoughts. We are a crisis intervention service exclusively aimed at suicide prevention. We provide them with non-judgmental listening therapy focussed on draining their negative feelings and emotions. This alleviates their pain and helps them think of other options besides suicide,” says Johnson Thomas, director AASRA NGO, a suicide intervention and prevention organisation. “What is more shocking is that most of the cases that we get are of jilted lovers. Or of misled school children,” Professor Sarin tells you. Surya, a 14-year-old schoolgirl in Melathukurichi, set herself ablaze after allegedly being accused of theft by her headmistress at school. According to the investigating officers, Vijayalakshi who is the headmistress of the Union Middle School asked Surya to repay Rs 500swhich had allegedly stolen from one of her classmates. When Surya refused to have committed the crime, she was beaten up mercilessly. Following the incident, Surya attempted to commit suicide by setting herself ablaze with kerosene. She succumbed to her injuries on October 15, 2011. The 14-year-old stated in her dying declaration that the reason behind her suicide attempt was the treatment meted out by her headmistress. Vijayalakshmi is being questioned. In another incident at Guduvanchery, Meltalson Sinha died after consuming poison at the hostel room inside the SRM college campus on October 27, 2011. Police said Sinha was depressed after a failed romance on campus. Sinha was staying with two of his classmates , Amas and Piyas, both from Meghalaya, in the hostel. It is they who found Sinha’s body lying unconscious after they returned from shopping. They informed the warden, who alerted the police. Sinha was admitted at a private hospital where he died later that day. Although he didn’t leave any suicide note, the Police have closed the case and ruled out any other cause of death. “Sadly, it is not the case that only young school children fall prey to this depression. More often it is well placed adults who feel the need to end their life if something goes amiss,” Shefali Dutta, a psychiatrist with the Vimhans hospital in New Delhi, explains. In the wee hours of November 23, 2011, the railway police discovered the body of a 21-year-old boy who had committed suicide by coming under a train. Avinash K, a fifth semester student of mechanical engineering at the National Institute of Engineering (NIE), Hyderabad, was run over by a train near Jayanagar railway gate. According to police reports, Avinash, when he left home to attend an examination, sent an SMS to his elder brother Vijay, stating that he will commit suicide. Shocked at the message, Avinash’s parents, Krishnamurthy K and Sumathi, reached the spot, between Ashokapuram and Chamarajapuram, only to find their child’s body. Avinash and Vijay were chess players. Their father Krishnamurthy is an employee at the Rare Materials Plant (RMP) and a resident of RMP Quarters in Kuvempu Nagar, near here. According to Krishnamurthy’s statement to Railway Police, he did not find any reason for their son’s extreme step. Relatives and friends of Avinash, who gathered at the mortuary of Mysore Medical College and Research Institute, where his body was transferred for a post-mortem examination, said that he was good at studies and had obtained an engineering seat on merit. AFFAIR TO REMEMBER? June 29, 2011, a 26-year-old IT professional, Surender Singh abruptly ended his life in his posh flat in DLF City in Gurgaon. He was a native of Panipat in Haryana and was working at Wipro. He was found hanging in the balcony of his house by one of his roommates. He used a cable wire to hang himself. “Surender might have committed suicide because his five-year-old relationship with his girlfriend had taken a bitter turn lately. However there was no confirmation,” Rajendra Kumar, sub-inspector, tells you. “We don’t know yet if he was in a relationship. We used to speak with him daily on the telephone and he often visited home but never spoke to us about a relationship. We don’t even know who the girl was. Surender was a lively person and never faced any problem at his workplace,” recalls 80-year-old Karan Singh, father of the deceased. Surender was the youngest of four siblings and shared a good relationship with his family members. “We keep wondering what drove him to take this step. He should have told us the problem and we could have tried doing something to sort out whatever issues he was facing,” says the 40-year-old brother Sanjay Singh. November 29, 2011: A 21-year-old software engineer committed suicide at his rented apartment in Sector 21 over a failed relationship. Saumitra Kumar, the deceased, was the son of a senior medical officer at Shahbad, Kurukshetra. He hanged himself from the ceiling fan of his room. His body was spotted next morning by his housemates. After completing his BTech he had come to Gurgaon for work six months ago. On Tuesday night, he had his dinner with his friends at the apartment. When he did not open the door in the morning, friends grew suspicious and opened the room. He, reportedly, used to talk to one girl for long hours in the night. He was depressed over the sour relations. OUTNUMBERED Suicide is one of the top three causes of death among the young in the age group of 15-35 years. Suicide estimates suggest fatalities worldwide could rise to 1.5 million by 2020. National Crime Records Bureau statistics reveal that last year 93,207 adults committed suicide in the country. Student suicides increased by 26 per cent from 2006 to 2010, with metros Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru having most victims. While 5,857 student suicides were reported in 2006, the figure jumped to 7,379 in 2010. This shows 20 students killed themselves every day in 2010.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Happiness and Health: Or is it a question of survival?

Early risers are happier, healthier and slimmer, says study Posted on: 16 Sep 2011, 02:28 PM London: People who get up early in the morning are likely to be happier, healthier and slimmer than those who do not, says a study. The researchers from London's Roehampton University have found those who watch more TV are more likely to skip breakfast. It could be since they snack in the evening when watching TV, making them less hungry when they wake up in the morning, daily reported. In the study, experts quizzed 1,068 adults to see if they were morning or evening people. They found that morning people tend to be happier, thinner and more conscientious than evening people. They are also more likely to eat breakfast. Joerg Huber, the researcher, said: "These findings bear out the consensus that there are morning people and evening people, and that morning people tend to be healthier and happier, as well as having lower body mass indices." (Agencies) Tags: Early risers are slim healthy and happy, Early risers are slim and trim, Early risers are more fit, Early risers are healthier, rise early to look slim and happy, Study done on early risers health, Research on early risers health ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Quit smoking to be happier and healthier Posted on: 15 Dec 2011, 01:12 PM Some smokers have concerns that their quality of life may deteriorate if they stop smoking but research shows that those who kick the butt feel more satisfied and healthier than those who continue with the habit. A new research by Megan Piper from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and her team looks at whether quitting smoking can improve psychological well-being. "Our findings suggest that, over the long-term, individuals will be happier and more satisfied with their lives if they stop smoking than if they do not," says Piper. Positive experiences of quitting smoking, including improved well-being, could be used by clinicians to educate and motivate individuals to stop smoking, reports the journal Annals of Behavioural Medicine. The authors assessed quality of health, positive versus negative emotions, relationship satisfaction and stressors among 1,504 smokers taking part in a smoking cessation trial. They were assessed at one year and three years, according to a university statement. The authors found that smokers who quit successfully, long-term, see some noticeable. Tags: Quit smoking, how to quit smoking, effects of smoking, latest on smoking, why should you quit smoking --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Working women have unhealthy children, says survey Posted on: 06 Nov 2011, 04:41 PM ShareThis « Previous Next » Working women have unhealthy children Working women have unhealthy children New Delhi: Most of the working mothers have unhealthy children with problems like obesity, while kids whose moms work part time are better off, a lifestyle study by Assocham said. As many as 56 percent of working women have children with problems such as overweight which may aggravate into lifestyle diseases like cardio-vascular disorder and fatty liver when they grow into adults, it said. The problem was far less with the women who take up part time assignments. Only 28 percent of these women have kids with unhealthy physical attributes. On the other hand, homemakers' kids are a lot healthier as they are less into junk foods like pizza, burgers, pasta and aerated drinks, the study done by Assocham Development Foundation said. The study was done on 2,000 students in 25 schools in different cities, including the metropolis Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Chandigarh. "One in five kids in the metropolitan cities is overweight and they are more likely than normal weight children to grow up to be obese adults and suffer from obesity-related conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and fatty liver disease," Assocham said in a statement quoting its Health Committee Chairman B K Rao. Rao, who is also chairman of the Critical Care Medicine Department in Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said: "A healthy diet plays a preventive role in relation to nutrition-related conditions such as overweight, obesity and dental disease and osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus, later in life." The chamber said that the canteens in schools have a role to play. "With child obesity levels rising and physical activity declining, it is important that canteens provide healthy and nutritious food," it said. These comments also reflect concerns in a public interest litigation filed recently seeking ban on sale of junk food in Delhi school canteens. Working parents tend to spend more of their food budget eating out and on fast foods. They may also have less regular family meals, the chamber said. Over 67 percent of children mostly eat crisps or sweets between meals and 75 percent mostly drink sweeten drinks, while a total of 81 percent watch television or use the computer for at least two hours a day. Changes in the children's physical activity, time spent unsupervised or watching television, the survey said. The study found that children of working mothers have more freedom to eat unhealthy fast food and watch television for hours and have less time to prepare more nutritious. It also observed that pressure of job leave women short of time to prepare healthy family meals, so their children will have TV dinners more often. Mother who work part-time or are able to work more flexible schedules have children that are more likely to have healthy diet and exercise behaviours. About 60 percent parents liked their children to carry home-cooked food to school on all six days, though 51 percent of them also give Rs 20-40 to their children to buy canteen food. Also, around 46 percent children spend Rs 50 every day at canteens with burgers and noodles selling the most 45 percent and 40 percent, respectively. (Agencies) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Divorced women in dire straits: Survey Posted on: 20 Dec 2010, 08:16 PM ShareThis « New Delhi, Dec 20 (Agencies): Approximately 80 percent of divorced or separated women in India live below the poverty line, with a monthly income of less than Rs.4,000, a survey said. Conducted between October 2008 and September 2009, the survey to determine the economic rights and entitlements of divorced and separated women involved interviewing 405 women across the country. Most of them belonged to middle class and lower middle class backgrounds. Divorces and separations are increasing in India. Yet not much attention is being given to the way separated and divorced women live, often with their children, and what their rights and entitlements are," Advocate Kirti Singh, who headed the survey, said Monday at a conference to share the findings. The survey found that in most parts of India the majority of separated or divorced women belonged to the 23-32 age group. "Seventy-five percent of these women live in their natal homes because they have no economic support, and they are not always welcome there. Eighty percent of them have their children staying with them," Singh said. The survey said that only 1.7 percent of the respondents were earning a "handsome" amount of Rs.35,000 per month. The majority, approximately 80 percent, earn less than Rs.4,000 per month and live below the poverty line. Another significant finding was that almost half the number of women surveyed had not asked for maintenance. The reasons ranged from ignorance to lack of resources for legal action. A shocking 83 percent of those surveyed said they opted out of the marriage because of cruelty or domestic violence in their marital homes. Tags: Divorced, women, dire, straits, Survey ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Home Nation World States Business Sports Entertainment Lifestyle Special India Vs West Indies Women Home » Lifestyle News » Jobless men, not women more prone to divorce Search Go Jobless men, not women more prone to divorce Posted on: 22 Jun 2011, 08:17 PM ShareThis « Previous Next » Unemployment may doom divorce for men Unemployment may doom divorce for men Washington: It's quite painful even to think about the possibility of losing your job. But for men, the pang of unemployment can be more severe as their wives are most likely to divorce them, a new study has found. However, in the case of a woman, whether she has a job or not has no effect on the likelihood that her husband would decide to leave the marriage, the Ohio State University study found. The study also found that despite more women entering the workplace, the pressure on husbands to be breadwinners largely remains, a Science website reported. In addition to upping the chances their wives would leave them, unemployed men themselves were more likely to initiate divorce - even if they reported being happy in their marriage - than guys with jobs. Unlike unemployed men, unemployed women were less likely to initiate divorce than their employed counterparts, the researchers said. Employed women were more likely to initiate a divorce than women with jobs, but only when they were highly unsatisfied with the marriage. "These effects probably emanate from the greater change in women's than men's roles," the researchers wrote in an upcoming issue of the American Journal of Sociology. "Women's employment has increased and is accepted, men's non-employment is unacceptable to many, and there is a cultural ambivalence and lack of institutional support for men taking on 'feminised' roles such as household work and emotional support." A woman's unemployment status or decision to enter the work force is not a violation of any marriage norms. Instead, the researchers found that employment provides women with financial security, which enables them to leave a marriage when they become highly unsatisfied with their husbands. The study, which was led by Liana Sayer of Ohio State University, was based on data from more than 3,600 couples that had been collected from three waves of the US National Survey of Families and Households. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Working moms happier than stay-at-home moms Posted on: 13 Dec 2011, 12:49 PM ShareThis « Previous Next » Working moms happier then stay-at-homes Working moms happier then stay-at-homes Washington: Moms who hold jobs are healthier and happier than those who stay at home during their children's infancy and pre-school years. Researchers analysed the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development Study, beginning in 1991 and involving interviews with 1,364 mothers shortly after childbirth, including subsequent interviews and observations for a decade. "In many cases, the well-being of moms working part time was no different from moms working full time," said Cheryl Buehler, professor of human development and family studies, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, who led the study. For example, mothers employed part time reported better overall health and fewer symptoms of depression than stay-at-home moms, The Journal of Family Psychology reports. There were also no reported differences in general health or depressive symptoms between moms employed part time and those who worked full time, the study said. The analysis found that mothers employed part time were just as involved in their child's school as stay-at-home moms, and more involved than moms who worked full time, according to a California statement. Part time mothers appeared more sensitive with their pre-school children and they provided more learning opportunities for toddlers than stay-at-home moms and moms working full time. Particularly in tough economic times, employers looking for cost savings hire part-time employees because they typically do not receive the same level of benefits, such as health insurance, training and career advancement, the authors pointed out. "Since part-time work seems to contribute to the strength and well-being of families, it would be beneficial to employers if they provide fringe benefits, at least proportionally, to part-time employees...," said study co-author Marion O'Brien, professor and Buehler's counterpart. (Agencies) Tags: Working moms are happier than stay at home moms, Working moms are much happier, Working is better for mother’s health, Study done on working moms health ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dont think , Be happy

Don't Overthink Life! Think Less and Get Happy Babies have the charisma to melt anybody’s heart instantly; no one escapes the twinkling eyes or the innocent smile. Just their presence will cheer you up, make you forget your worries and tempt you to indulge into their world. What is it about the young ones that we so fondly adore: their innocence or their ignorance; their cheerful nature or their worry-less attitude? Though I don’t have answers to the above questions, I wonder as to what makes their aura so desirable. Every adult misses their younger days, the thought, “I wish I was a kid again,” resonates with most of us. This is probably the only aspect of life where egoistic adults can leave their success, money, freedom and independence behind for just another chance. Things they might be hesitant to leave even for their loved ones are simply a no-brainer here. When you ask people if they would do it all over again, most respond with an immediate “Yes”. Physically going back in time is not an option yet, but is there anything we can learn from the young ones? Here are some of my ideas. What would you add? Make Work Play The only way you can catch a child’s attention is when you make things seem like play. From learning to count to getting potty trained, everything must feel like fun if you want any success. So what about ourselves? Is your work something you look forward to? If not, is there anything you can do to make it enjoyable? I personally believe that if potty training can seem like a fun activity, anything can; it’s just a matter of perception. Forgive and Forget Babies can laugh and giggle all day because they don’t keep grudges against anyone. Their heart is pure and their mind empty to laugh out loud and enjoy the moment. Do you think they’ve constructed an evil plan against you because you refused them candy last time? Probably not, life moved on and so did they. So why do we hold on to our past and refuse to let go of the emotional baggage? Does it do us any good except prevent us from laughing wholeheartedly? Depending on how you made the kid feel, there is a minute possibility that they may be hesitant to give you a hug the next time they see you. But they are more than willing to give you another chance to make things right. Don’t think candy is good for their health? That’s ok; they are willing to negotiate, are you? Never-ending Curiosity Endless questions of young kids can sometimes be enough to drain the adult mind. They are always busy wondering how things work or why things are the way they are, leaving no room for boredom. Their curiosity gives them an exponential learning curve; they pick up new things quickly and are not repulsive to change. So why does life get boring as we grow older? We all can identify times in our past where time was scarce and desires limitless, fear was unknown and rules were redefined. Then what happened? Are we so engrossed in our daily lives that we miss to see the opportunities the world still has to offer? Unconditional Love Kids have a hug and a kiss for anyone and everyone who wants one. They don’t judge you before they come running into your knees and they don’t walk away if you don’t give them the same in return. They have no expectations from you and simply do what their heart desires. You want a hug, they’ll give you a hug, you want two, and they’ll give you two. So how did the adult world become so materialistic that we decide what we give based on what we think we might receive? Smile Have you ever seen kids smile as they stare at thin air, and wonder what made them giggle? I have, and I’ve concluded that either they can see things that we cannot or they simply don’t need a reason to smile. If there is only one thing I could learn from them, it would be to smile more. Not only does it make you feel good, it makes people wonder what you are smiling about. They’ll come to one of two conclusions: you’re in love or you’re crazy, either ways it will make them smile. Being happy and living life to the fullest is not a difficult task; you just need to have the right attitude and an open mind. Don’t envy the serene life of a baby, start living it yourself! [Vibha Dhawan] Written on 2/18/2011 by Vibha Dhawan. Vibha enjoys writing about life, from questioning the bases of our existence to wondering why we feel the way we do. She's fascinated by little things in life. It doesn't take much to make her smile. Visit her at Curious Lounge. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Don't worry, be happy! Comments (0) Add to My Stories Beat worrying for good Do you worry so much that you're worried about how much you worry? It's perfectly natural to have some stress in your life. However, if your anxiety becomes chronic you could be causing yourself unnecessary suffering. Fortunately, it is a habit which can be broken. To discover if anxiety is taking over your life, take our simple test. Then learn how to stop. How anxious are you? Read through these statements and rate how closely each one resembles you. Use a scale from one to nine, where one is 'not at all' and nine is 'very much'. Then, add up your scores and check the results. 1. Worrying makes me restless. 2. I get tense and uptight when I am anxious. 3. My heart races when I worry. 4. Worrying causes a tightness in my chest. 5. I react strongly to things. 6. I react first and think second. 7. Anxiety comes from nowhere. 8. I often overreact. 9. I fret about what I should do. 10. I fret about what others think. 11. I feel guilty about things. 12. I worry about being alone. 13. I imagine the worst that could happen. 14. Many of my worries begin with 'What if?' 15. I worry that something terrible will happen. 16. I notice negatives in situations. 17. My thoughts race from one concern to another. 18. Sometimes the kind of thing I worry about scares me. 19. When I am anxious I have a onetrack mind. 20. I'm afraid not to worry. 21. I worry when things are not done the way they should be. 22. I'm a perfectionist. 23. I worry about small flaws and errors. 24. I'm stressed about not doing well enough. 25. I worry about being calm and in control. 26. I worry about going crazy. 27. People think of me as a strong person. 28. I cannot control my worrying. 29. I am on guard all the time. 30. I pay attention to anything irregular. 31. I'm very watchful, even when resting or playing. 32. I like things to be predictable. 33. Anxiety keeps me awake at night. 34. Worrying interferes with my life. 35. I avoid things that I am anxious about. 36. I worry myself sick. If you scored 36-126: Relax, you keep your concerns under sensible control. However, notice any high scores and check them with our worry traits later. If you scored 127-234: You worry moderately but have the potential to become a chronic worrier. Take steps to contain your anxiety before it takes over your life. If you scored 235-324: You are hooked on worrying and it is detracting from the quality of your life. You can take control of it if you take firm steps right away. Find your 'worry place' A 'worry place' is a special place where you do nothing else but worry, which helps contain and control your fears, says Dr Potter. One woman picked the fire escape at work. When she felt the urge to fret, she would go there, she says. You can curb stress further by limiting the time you spend at your 'worry place' to, say, the last five minutes before lunch. Your 'worry place' should be accessible, slightly uncomfortable and boring - so that getting back to your life becomes more attractive. By worrying on schedule, you learn to control it. Keep a list of your anxieties and fret about them only in your 'worry place'. Do something pleasant afterwards. What's your problem? Notice where you scored nine, eight and seven in the test. Check below to find your predominant traits - you may have several - then try the tips that follow. If you scored high in questions: One to four, your problem is physical. Learn breathing, stretching and relaxation techniques, try exercise and cut down on caffeine. Five to eight, you are emotional and overreact. Gain perspective by thinking, 'How important will this be in a year's time?' Nine to 12, your focus is social anxiety. Make a list of everything that makes you feel good for a more positive focus. Thirteen to 16, your problem is catastrophic thinking. Challenge it by focusing on the facts. What are the logical possibilities? Then use your imagination to think about a happy ending for a change. Seventeen to 20, you are an obsessive thinker. Try distraction - concentrate on a simple mental task such as memorising a poem. Or phone a friend - conversations can dispel worry. Twenty one to 24, you are prone to being too judgmental. Drop the words 'should', 'must' and 'ought' from your vocabulary, and use 'like' or 'prefer' instead. Twenty five to 28, your problem is controlling behaviour. Give yourself permission to be less than perfect, and don't be so self-critical. Twenty nine to 32, your trait is hypervigilance. Allow small changes in your life, shift everyday routines, such as walk a different route or try a new cafe, and learn simple breathing and meditation techniques. Thirty three to 36, worry is causing dysfunctional behaviour. Learn self-relaxation to help you sleep. Note your worries and use techniques from the other traits to help you gain perspective. If anxiety is getting out of control, seek help from your GP or a counsellor. Extracted by Jane Alexander from The Worrywart's Companion by Dr Beverly Potter (Wildcat Canyon Press, £10.99). Mail order on 0800 018 5450. Read more: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- People who make snap decisions are happier: Study Posted on: 17 Dec 2011, 04:08 PM ShareThis « Previous Next » People making snap decisions are happier People making snap decisions are happier London: Don't be too fussy over making a decision, for a new study says people who make snap decisions are happier than those who agonise over life's big choices. Researchers have found that thinking too much to get decisions spot on can become a vicious circle leading to obsessiveness and unhappiness. But instinctive, unfussy decision-making leads to a worry-free and healthier life. For their study, the researchers divided people into "maximisers" who obsess about everything and curiously named "satisficers" who breeze through life. Maximisers never really know if they get the big decisions about jobs and choice of partners right because theyn dwell on decisions long afterwards. On other hand, satisficers have the happy knack of instinctively being content with whatever choices they have made. The researchers claim that the indecisiveness of maximisers means they can never enjoy the "psychological benefits" of commitment and cause themselves grief, the 'Daily Express' reported. Their indecision can drive away partners, cost them a potentially lucrative career and even damage their health. Maximisers even get nervous at the sight of a final reductions signs during Christmas sales because it makes them feel pressured and forced into commitment. Lead author Professor Joyce Ehrlinger said: "Maximisers miss out on the psychological benefits of commitment, leaving them less satisfied than their more contented counterparts, the satisficers. "It's not just coffee-maker purchases that Maximisers stress over -- it's also the big life decisions such as choosing a mate, buying a house or applying for a job. Maximisers get nervous when they see a 'final reduction' sign because it forces them to commit." (Agencies) Tags: how to be happy, how to become happy, decisions and happiness, latest study

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mindfulness Training boosts CBT in social phobia

Mindfulness training boosts CBT in social phobia by Diana Mahoney BOSTON -- Mindfulness training was shown to enhance cognitive-behavioral task-concentration techniques used to treat social phobia, Susan M. Bogels, Ph.D., reported at the annual meeting of the Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy. Dr. Bogels' findings are based on the preliminary results of a Dutch study involving 10 patients diagnosed with social phobia, as measured by the Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory. Patients were randomized to receive either combination therapy--mindfulness training plus task-concentration techniques--or task-concentration therapy alone. Those who received combination therapy showed more significant improvements based on self-report measures in levels of anxiety caused by negative thoughts and worry, compared with patients in the task-concentration control group, said Dr. Bogels of the University of Maastricht (the Netherlands). All of the patients were evaluated before and after the trial using a detailed structured interview (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV) conducted by trained researchers, as well as various measurements of symptom severity and symptom impact on quality of life, and all patients received nine sessions of the therapy. As part of their therapy, patients in the experimental group received mindfulness training from therapists experienced in using the technique, which aims to change unhelpful and negative patterns of thinking that have become habit. Studies have shown that such thinking contributes to depressed mood, stress, and anxiety. "The [mindfulness training] approach focuses on the here and now, starting with body and breathing awareness--incorporating the advantages of applied relaxation--but also includes perceived negative aspects of self," Dr. Bogels said. The mindfulness exercises were used as the "starting point" for the implementation of task-concentration techniques, she explained. The latter involve first directing one's attention toward a task instead of oneself, then implementing coping strategies in both neutral and social phobic situations. The focus of task concentration stems from the assumption that social phobic individuals process themselves as social objects being negatively evaluated, ultimately leading to anxiety and possibly to cognitive and somatic symptoms, which in turn reinforce and increase the anxiety. The investigators evaluated the effect of the two therapies on four dependent variables: social phobia, cognition, attention, and other psychopathologies. Preliminary results showed significant improvements in both the social phobia and cognition composite scores, but no effect was reported on attention or other types of psychopathologies, Dr. Bogels noted. "The mean [posttest] effect size in terms of reducing the discrepancy between ideal and actual self--the general measure of happiness with oneself--was 1.8, which is significant," she said. Follow-up evaluations are ongoing. The combined approach may be successful because it enables patients to reduce such negative processes as attentional avoidance, self-focused attention, and mindless worrying while providing them with a sense of control over their attention and fostering improved self-esteem, Dr. Bogels said. Although a longer-term study with a larger sample is needed to validate the findings, the early results suggest that the combined approach may be an effective, efficient therapeutic alternative to existing methods. "Significant improvements were achieved in 9 sessions vs. the 12-16 sessions for current cognitive-behavioral therapy for social phobia," Dr. Bogels said. BY DIANA MAHONEY New England Bureau COPYRIGHT 2004 International Medical News Group COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning All ResourceLibrary

Low work status, job worries boost depression risk

Low work status, job worries boost depression risk • Mental health and Psychiatry news • May 16, 2006 Being low on the totem pole at the workplace increases the risk that a woman will develop symptoms of severe depression, a new study from Denmark shows. And while low workplace status doesn’t appear to affect men’s depression risk, job insecurity does—men who reported feeling that their jobs were in danger were twice as likely to become depressed. Dr. Reiner Rugulies of the National Institute of Occupational Health in Copenhagen said he and his colleagues were surprised by the gender difference in the findings, which they report in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Rugulies and his team surveyed 4,133 men and women on symptoms of depression and factors in the workplace in 1995, and then resurveyed them in 2000. Because the study was prospective, and the researchers were able to use statistical techniques to adjust for other factors that could influence depression risk, Rugulies said, he and his team are fairly certain that the findings show a cause-and-effect link. They found that women who reported having low influence at work—meaning they had little power to regulate their work pace, involvement in planning work, or information on decisions affecting their workplace—were more than twice as likely to develop severe depressive symptoms over the five-year period. Those who reported low supervisor support, meaning they said that they “usually not” or “never” received support and encouragement from their supervisors, also were at two-fold increased risk of severe depression. Among men, job insecurity—defined as being worried about becoming unemployed, transferred against their will, laid off because of new technology, or having a hard time finding another job if they lost their current one—doubled depression risk, but none of the other factors had an effect. Both workload and co-worker support appeared to play no role in the risk of depression for men or women. Depression is believed to be due to an interaction between a person’s individual vulnerabilities and environmental factors, Rugulies noted. The work environment “might be one important part which interacts with other factors.” SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology, May 15, 2006. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mothers turning to drink to cope with supermum stress- The Daily Mail
Mothers turning to alcohol to cope with pressure of being 'supermum' putting their children's mental health at risk By Daily Mail Reporter Last updated at 1:26 AM on 13th December 2011 Comments (43) Share A new study says mothers are turning to the bottle, to cope with the pressure of being 'supermums', putting their children at risk of depression and anxiety. Alcohol misuse within families is an "escalating concern" according to Turning Point, which provides services for people with complex issues, including drug and alcohol misuse and mental health problems. The report, Bottling It Up: The Next Generation, has warned that 2.6 million children in the UK are living with a parent who drinks at hazardous levels. Worrying: Millions of children are being put at risk of depression thanks to parents who drink hazardous levels of alcohol Worrying: Millions of children are being put at risk of depression thanks to parents who drink hazardous levels of alcohol Between 2010 and 2011, 12,248 people used Turning Point's alcohol treatment services, half of whom (5,326) were parents with mothers making up more than a third (1,925) of that figure. The average alcohol consumption of parents was 30 units per day (10 times recommended limits) - 24 for mothers and 33 for fathers - the equivalent of three bottles of wine or up to 15 pints of beer. Turning point's report stated: 'A key issue was that mothers often felt under pressure to be "perfect" and that alcohol was a way of coping with the demands of motherhood. 'Some said a lack of support from their partners was a trigger for their drinking. 'Others were drinking at least three nights a week and consuming more than 70 units - the equivalent of nearly eight bottles of wine. 'Their drinking was often in secret when their children had gone to bed.' Under the influence: The report found that children with parents who drink a lot were more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol at an earlier age Under the influence: The report found that children with parents who drink a lot were more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol at an earlier age One 35-year-old mother explained: 'I was trying to be Superwoman and I was too stubborn to ask for help. 'I felt I had to be the best mother I could possibly be. I was having two bottles of white wine a night, then I switched to vodka because people wouldn't smell it on me. 'I'd only drink after I'd put (my son) to bed so on the outside I appeared to be functioning.' The report found that children's mental health could be affected by parental drinking, with eating disorders, depression and even psychosis developing in adulthood. Children living with affected parents were also found to be more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol at an earlier age and to progress to problematic use, the report added. Of 100 parents surveyed, 28% said their drinking meant their children often either missed school or found it difficult to concentrate at school. More than half (55%) believed it had led to increased anger, anxiety and depression in their children. A separate poll of more than 1,000 people across the country found that almost a quarter of parents are concerned about their own drinking, on a scale from slightly to very concerned. More than half (52%) had allowed their children to drink. Of these, 77% let their children drink under the age of 16. A worrying total of 6% allowed children aged 10 and under to drink alcohol. Regional manager Darren Woodward, from Turning Point's substance misuse services, added: 'Alcohol misuse is a hidden and growing problem which affects the whole family. 'When an adult has an alcohol problem, children suffer too. 'This can impact on how well they do at school, their job prospects and their mental health.' Read more:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Aasra feedback session pics

aasra feedback session, Aasra statistics, Aasra(bookmarks,poster) at Landmark book store Inorbit, vashi

Aasra Volunteers at Bade Miyan , Colaba

Aasra volunteers letting their hair down at Bade Miyan, Colaba with Kebabs and Bheja fry on Nov 19th 2011 after the Suicide Survivors Day program organised at HELP library

Stress Management Workshop for CDA(Navy) Training cell conducted by Johnson Thomas, Aasra

Stress Management workshop conducted by Johnson Thomas,Trainer/ Director Aasra, for CDA(Navy) Training cell on 9th Dec 2011 between 3.00 and 5,30 pm. No of participants : 20 (AO's and AAO's) Venue: Knowledge Center, 1st Floor, Varuna, Pr.CDA(Navy) Response- Very positive. 90 + & success based on 'Expectation Game'

Sleep deprived teens, Mumbai city, study by Jaslok Hospital

8 out of 10 young teens suffer from sleep deprivation • Jaslok Hospital study throws up alarming figures; blames internet, television for poor sleep patterns • Docs say lack of sleep could lead to early heart problems Jyoti Shelar Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Freakin' Awesome! Mail this article Mail this page Print this article Print this page Translate this page Translate this page Rate me.... Share Share Share Share 0digg Posted On Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 02:35:48 AM It is not only you who is constantly deprived of a good night's rest. Your child, too, could be suffering from serious sleep deprivation. A study conducted by doctors at Jaslok Hospital has revealed that what was so far considered an adult problem in urban India has percolated down to teenagers as well. The survey, Sleepiness Patterns in Urban Adolescents in Western India, says that one in every four teenagers between 13 and 15 years of age is suffering from “significant sleep deprivation” (only 4-6 hours per night), and 57 per cent others from “moderate sleep deprivation” (6-8 hours), both conditions that could lead to serious health problems in the long run. The main reason for this alarming trend, the study says, is excessive exposure to technology: long hours spent in front of the TV, on video games, on mobile phones, and on the Internet. “An adolescent in this 13 to 15 age-group should sleep for between eight-and-a-half hours to nine-and-a-quarter hours to remain in good health. But this mandatory target was consistently met by hardly any of the 314 teenagers covered in the survey,” said Dr Preeti Devnani, with Jaslok hospital’s department of neurology and neurophysiology. Doctors found that lack of sleep led to teenagers constantly operating below their potential during the course of any normal day. They discovered that 32.16 per cent of kids surveyed felt drowsy soon after they reached school, 25 per cent towards the day’s last class, 20 per cent on their way back, 30 per cent after they got back home, and 55 per cent in the early evening. As many as 20 per cent got ‘sleep attacks’; in other words, they did not realise they had fallen asleep until they were woken up. While these short-term effects of sleep deprivation are bad enough, the long-term dangers are far more worrying, starting with fatigue, body-ache and hypertension, and going all the way up to early heart trouble. Dr H N Mallick, president of the Indian Society of Sleep Research, said the figures indicated it was about time parents and children started realising good sleep was vital for the body. “We talk about health issues, nutrition, cardiac problems, and so on, but we are yet to understand the importance of sleep,” Mallick, a professor with the department of physiology at New Delhi’s All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, told Mumbai Mirror. “Lack of sleep results in slow learning, lack of concentration, and dip in energy levels in the short term, and may lead to stress, and from there to early cardiac problems,” he said, adding that the dangers were far greater in big cities, which took pride in how they ‘never sleep’. Peer Pressure Parents, on the other hand, said that they were constantly failing to enforce a healthy regimen because excessive school work took up most of their kids’ day, and the temptation of various sources of entertainment kept them up late at night. “My daughter often bunks because she is unable to get up in the morning for her 7.10 am school,” said Anuja Keer, mother of 14-year-old Manvi, who studies in class 9. “She spends most of her time on the computer, watching TV, and on the phone. I’ve tried to discipline her but it’s hard to fight peer pressure. All children seem to have the same routine these days. They never go to bed before midnight, and are therefore never able to get good sleep,” she said. Other parents we spoke to, 14-year-old Aryan’s father Rajiv Patel and 13-year-old Atharva’s mother Pallavi, blamed their kids’ lack of sleep on excessive school work. “Aryan’s school starts at 6.50 am, but by the time he sleeps at night it’s past 12 because there is homework, projects, and so on. He is stuck to his computer with that all day. I have now made it compulsory for him to sleep in the afternoon for 2 to 3 hours,” Patel said. Koli said that even if Atharva slept by 10pm, he had to be up before 5 in the morning to get ready for school. “In the afternoon, he has classes and then goes to play in the evening. It leaves him stressed throughout the day,” she said. • Lack of sleep results in slow learning and may lead to stress and from there to early cardiac problems - Dr H N Mallick, president of Indian Society of Sleep Research --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This refers to the article titled ‘8 out of 10 young teens suffer from sleep deprivation’ (MM, December 10). The world is moving at a rapid pace, and it feels like people do not have time for their children anymore. Kids themselves lead very busy lives, with school, tuition, sports classes and so on. Many parents don’t even get to see their children, except on weekends. Thus kids have no choice but to turn to their TVs, phones and computers. This calls for a larger change in parenting. People need to stop spending so much time at their jobs, and devote a little more to their children instead. – Raju Iyer The results of the study, conducted by doctors at the Jaslok Hospital, are disturbing. It is a wake up call for parents, who need to think about the pressure they put on their children. Also, even if the children protest parents need to be assertive and ensure that their kids get sufficient sleep. – Deepak Chikramane The frightening statistics of both youngsters and adults suffering from a number of ailments, and the doctors’ suggestions, seem a little unbelievable. Let us not rely completely on remedies doctors suggest. Instead of getting tense about every new statistic that survey’s throw up, we need to relax and live easy lives. – Mukund Kumar ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sleep deprivation linked to depression in teens By Anne Harding, June 9, 2010 -- Updated 1220 GMT (2020 HKT) Health The rate of depression among the students was very high in the study of high schoolers and sleep. The rate of depression among the students was very high in the study of high schoolers and sleep. STORY HIGHLIGHTS Daytime sleepiness appears to be the new normal for adolescents It's not clear from the study whether sleeping poorly is a symptom of depression Parents can help by setting household rules and keeping an eye on computer, phone use RELATED TOPICS Depression Education Mental Health Mood Disorders ( -- Sleep-deprived high school students who doze off in class aren't just risking the wrath of their teachers. They're also three times more likely to be depressed than their alert classmates who get enough sleep, a new study has found. "Sleep deprivation and depression go hand in hand among teenagers," says the study's lead author, Mahmood Siddique, D.O., a sleep medicine specialist at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. "Instead of giving them medications, I'd rather give them a chance to sleep better, and more." Daytime sleepiness appears to be the new normal for adolescents. More than half of the 262 high school seniors who participated in the study were "excessively sleepy," according to a commonly used scale that gauges how likely a person is to doze off during everyday activities such as reading, watching TV, or sitting in a traffic jam. Foods to boost your mood The students reported sleeping an average of about six hours on school nights and eight hours on the weekend, far less than the nine hours a night--at least--that the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends for high school students. How to cope with less sleep at work The rate of depression among the students was very high. Thirty percent of the teens had strong symptoms of depression, while an additional 32 percent had some depression symptoms, according to the study, which was presented today in San Antonio at SLEEP 2010, an annual meeting of sleep researchers. The students who were excessively sleepy during the day were three times more likely to have strong depression symptoms than their well-rested peers, Dr. Siddique and his colleagues found. However, it's not clear from the study whether sleeping poorly is a symptom of depression, or vice versa. "It makes sense that daytime sleepiness would be associated with depression," says James Gangwisch, Ph.D., a psychotherapist and sleep specialist at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, in New York City. While the ill effects of depression on sleep are well known, he adds, mounting evidence suggests that sleep deprivation in and of itself can contribute to depression. What's keeping you awake at night? Though the study was relatively small and limited to a single high school, experts say the findings likely reflect the experience of American adolescents as a whole. High school students in particular are facing greater academic pressure and college competition than ever before, and all those AP classes and extracurricular activities can eat into sleep time. How to sleep easier and avoid midday fatigue "To get into a good college, it's not enough to be an A student," says Dr. Lisa Shives, M.D., the medical director of Northshore Sleep Medicine, in Evanston, Illinois. "You've got to play football and be captain of the chess team, too." Thanks to social media websites and cell phones brimming with text messages, teens' social lives are increasingly hectic as well. "They want to stay in the loop," Gangwisch says. "Their peers are so important that if there's a way to be in touch with them in the middle of the night, they want to do it." No-cost ways to fight depression Parents can help their overburdened and over-connected teens get enough sleep by setting household rules and keeping an eye on computer and cell-phone use, says Ann Niles, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in New York City who works with middle school students. "They'll go in their room at a certain time, but nobody's really monitoring them or watching how they're settling down or relaxing," she says. Turning off the TV and computers after a certain hour and keeping technology--even cell phones--out of teenagers' bedrooms may be a good start. "Any electrical stimulus in the bedroom in the middle of the night is certainly going to impair sleep," says Lauren Hale, Ph.D., an assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Stony Brook University Medical Center, in Stony Brook, New York. Old-school parenting is still important in the digital age, Niles says. "Before computers it was the telephone, and before the telephone it was playing with the neighbors," she says. "Regardless of the technology or what kids are spending their time on, we have to set limits and rules and try to ensure that kids are watching out for their own health." Copyright Health Magazine 2011