Thursday, October 16, 2014

Child Abuse-Mental and Emotional

Child abuse can be defined as acts of commission or omission which endanger or impair a child's physical or mental health.The abuse could be physical,sexual,emotional or mental.The first two are gross violations of the child's body,mind and soul;while the last two are less  obvious, and intangible in nature.

A thin line demarcates emotional abuse (EA) from mental abuse (MA) but both disrupt the child's psycho-social and physical development and distort his assessment of his own self,his capabilities and his place in the social milieu--thus denying him a fair chance to lead a happy,fulfilling life.
EA disastrously impacts the child's emotional life,he feels unloved,insecure and is unable to relate to people or form close ties even as an adult.
MA is more subtle, it  damages the child's self esteem and self confidence.It kills whatever spark,initiative or exploratory tendencies the child had.

The perpetrator of MA could be a well-meaning parent or caregiver who is a control freak,strict disciplinarian or merely very ambitious of the child's future.
But those who lash out EA on a child are likely to be unhappy,harried, overburdened or disgruntled individuals;or unwilling parents/caregivers.It is also possible that they themselves were the targets of child abuse and know no better.

Both MA and EA cut deep,leaving life-long scars because they come from persons on whom the child relies for his very existence and sustenance.No matter how horrendous the abuse;the child cannot pull back,protect himself,or even express his fury.

Mental Abuse
MA unfolds in the form of undue pressure to perform well,excessive or harsh criticism,negative comparisons,strict discipline,derogatory punishments,total control,not paying attention to the child or cutting off communication to make him tread the stipulated path.The worst kind of MA takes place when the adult does not recognize the child's limitations and pushes him to perform beyond his capacity.

Emotional Abuse
EA is much harsher and negative in nature,as well as in terms of it's effect upon the victim.The child is persistently rejected,called derogatory names,ridiculed,belittled,bullied,threatened,given degrading punishments and never hugged or shown affection.

Physical Ill Effects of Mental or Emotional Abuse
Emotional or mental abuse can damage the child's physical growth and well-being.It can also impair the brain's development and adversely affect his milestones and intelligence.An abused child is more likely to suffer from ill health,a shortened life span and  diminished immunity.
Adult survivors of child abuse are more likely to suffer from diseases like allergies,arthritis,asthma,ulcers and high blood pressure,than others.It has been suggested that they could be more susceptible to cancer too.
Psychological Ill Effects of Mental or Emotional Abuse
It is in the realm of psychology that victims of MA or EA suffer the greatest harm.There is a lack of trust.The child feels insecure and doubts if his parents or caregivers really care for him and will come to his aid when he needs them.This shows up in poor relationships in adult life.

There is loss of self esteem and self-confidence which disrupts the child's evolution as a normal, productive human being and lands him in an unsatisfactory,suboptimal way of life.

An abused child is likely to harbor a lot of suppressed anger and hatred for authority which may instigate him to indulge in anti-social acts or risky behavior.

A victim of MA or EA is vulnerable to many psychiatric disorders.He has lots of suppressed emotions which he dare not voice.As a result he may be overcome by myriad fears and anxieties which could degenerate into mental disorders at the end of the day.The piling up of so many frustrations coupled with a lack-lustre support system  can even push a child or an adult survivor of child abuse to take his own life.

At the end a caveat :--
Parents too are humans.Sundry instances of losing their cool or punishing a child do not count as child abuse;persistent ill-treatment of a child does.If a parent realizes that s/he is too full of anger/hatred towards a child s/he should see a counselor to sort out his/her own emotions.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Learning From #Water

Water is a life-giver,we all know,but it can also be a life-changer,a guru,to inspire us when we,or those connected to us come to a rough patch. 

The most obvious and universally appreciated function of water is that it not only quenches our thirst or soothes tired aching bodies through a bath but also propagates countless kinds of vegetation to satiate our hunger.Yes,we all know that, but how many of us can similarly extend succor and relief to tired beings near us who may be facing a tough situation in life?

An admirable quality of water is that it adapts beautifully to any given situation.Pour sea water in a cup and it is now a cup of water--quietly taking the shape of it's container.Does anybody hear it remonstrate that it had such a grand origin and it shall not stay put in a measly cup;or whine and rant about it's degradation?By contrast we humans always have something to crib about.

Now look at it's perspicacity.Put it in a tight container,if there is a tiny hole in it, water will find it's way out--much faster than a human does when he is thrown into a tight spot.

When water comes across a boulder it cannot cross over,it gently goes around it--a valuable lesson for us again.Certain obstacles cannot be surmounted;it is best to circumvent them and learn to LIVE with them.

What happens when water is thrown into a ditch?This is a situation where it cannot find a way out--but it does.It simply elevates itself,goes up in the form of vapor and comes down again in the shape of blessed,beneficial rain.Given sufficient time,even dirty,disease-ridden water will transform itself into pure unadulterated rain water.How many of us can evolve and refine ourselves,post a serious lapse or misconduct?

Another commendable quality of water is it's tendency to move on,go forward.It does not go back but always on and on,till it reaches the sea,it's final resting place.Emulating water in this aspect is difficult for many of us because sometimes we waste a lot of time and energy ruminating about the past or obsessing about an unpalatable event which we cannot get out of our mind.Go with the flow.Do not fight incontrovertible changes.Forgive,accept and move on,is what water teaches us.

Water maintains it's level.We too can do this by being equanimous in all weathers-avoiding peaks of emotions-- whether good or bad.

Tiny trickles of water come together to form a stream and then a mighty river.They combine,join together and make a powerful,unified whole.If we could put aside our egos to connect and collaborate we too could find a never before strength.

Water is something we touch and utilize every day.If only we paid attention to it's unique qualities and took inspiration from it to reorganize our life we would find greater fulfillment and satisfaction.Do you agree?Tell me if I have missed something.

Image courtesy google.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Apply The Brakes ; Take a Break.

It is a paradox indeed that despite the many time-saving devices which we use,our lives today are busier than ever ; and despite the umpteen labor-saving gadgets at our disposal,we are pooped out by the end of the day.Our physical and mental health is tottering under heavy demands and as a result we often find ourselves in the clutches of stress,anxiety and depression.There is a dire need to adopt some relaxation techniques in order to replenish our energy--tiny diversions which break the monotony,uplift our spirits and energize us to finish the day's toil comfortably.

* A brief nap or a shut-eye is what we all crave in the midst of a grueling day but if you do this in the middle of an important meeting you could become talk of the town ;) .

* Deep breathing is something you can do on the sly,even if there  are people around you.Stress increases the heart rate and blood pressure while deep breathing helps them to come down to normal.A nervous system which was on the edge,stabilizes and helps you to relax.

*Try Visualization if you are desk-bound and need some change. Close your eyes and transport yourself to a place which  captivated you with it's beauty.If it was a garden then visualize yourself sitting on a lush green lawn amid beautiful bright flowers emitting heady scents.Try to recall all the details of that scene.In no time at all you will forget your worries and feel much better.

*If you are not good at imagining scenes then make use of Mindfulness-the latest buzzword  in relaxation techniques.Just gaze at the various objects around you minutely,as if you are seeing them for the first time--go into the details.For example,take that glass of water you are drinking.Savor it fully.Appreciate it's taste,enjoy it's cooling effect,take your mind back to the place it must have come from.These idle thoughts will divert your mind from your work-load for some moments and then you will return to it refreshed and energized.You can play this game with anything around you.

* You must have heard that sitting is the new smoking.Whenever you feel that you need a break get up,walk over to a colleague's table,exchange small talk with him and come back refreshed :) .

*Feeling tired?Drink a glass of water.It has an amazing rejuvenating effect. 

* Or maybe you need some nourishment.Have a cup of tea or any other drink you fancy.It is a good idea to keep a pack of almonds,walnuts or biscuits in your drawer ;nibble at them as you resume your grind :( .

*Another way of taking a break is to organize your work station.Believe me it is not another spell of drudgery.As you sort out the essentials from the disposables,you will feel less overburdened and more in control.A dishevelled work place is not only counter-productive but also tiring and irritating.

At the end of the day it is for the person to decide which relaxation technique is feasible and which one works best for him;but it is essential to give some sort of respite to your tired body and mind in order to avoid a burnout.

Video and image courtesy google