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Patient Review Highlights
In most Indian homes, a family is not complete with just one child. Until about a couple of decades ago, a family with a single child was very rare. The most common response would be 'with whom the child will play'. Between the siblings, there is always so much love. Starting from getting attention from the parent to education at all stages of life, this is one relationship which just grows and grows. While it definitely is a feel-good factor, scientifically too, it has been proven to have multiple benefits.
Read on to know some benefits of having siblings and how it can help you stay healthy and positive.
- A constant companion: With a sibling around, there is no need to look for a play or study companion. There is always one available right in the same home. This provides for a happy, healthy equation with a lot of give and take that just extends through life.
- Continuous learning environment: With a sibling around, the learning never stops. There is a constant teacher/mentor-student relationship with the elder one having an upper hand and trying to teach the younger one all sorts of things from using a chalk to spoon to math to magic.
- Sharing begins at home: Whether it is your toys or colours, stationary or chocolates, siblings share a lot of stuff and so from a very young age, there is a behaviour that encourages sharing of all sorts of things. Studies have shown that children with siblings show a lot more sympathy and are more open to sharing things as compared to single children.
- Builds selflessness: The next time you see two siblings, notice how the elder one is always so protective of the younger one. The elder one is willing to give up their chocolate just so the younger one smiles. Similarly, the younger one also would give up a toy so that the elder one is happy. This selflessness is ingrained in children with siblings, which extends into their other relationships too later in life.
- Tougher individuals: Problem solving is something which gets built in early in life when children have siblings. This comes in handy later in life too, which makes them tougher individuals. They are also better skilled at negotiating, good at setting and achieving goals, managing relationships (both professional and personal), and are so more successful.
The relationship with a sibling just continues through life. The above are some pointers as to how having a sibling makes for a happy, healthier, and positive life. Anyone with a sibling would definitely vouch for these!!
Born as a male but feel like a female OR born as a female but feel like a male. Some persons are unable to feel comfortable in the physical gender that they are born in; their mind, brain, feeling and thoughts are all of the opposite sex. This uncomfortableness in their mind about their physical gender is termed as Gender Identity Disorder.
What's the cause?
We do not know the exact cause of this disorder, but it is hypothesized that developmental changes in the brain and the body do not sync, and the brain/mind is left with a different gender than the body. This is mostly an unidentifiable and unpredictable change.
What are the symptoms?
- Children might express a desire to dress up as the opposite sex.
- They might express replusion at one's own sex organs/genitals.
- As adolescence begins, they do not develop feelings of attraction towards members of the opposite sex. Some complain of revulsion about their pubertal changes.
- Males want to pee while sitting down, while females want to do it standing up.
- Their behavior is often more like that of the opposite sex, e.g. boys might display feminine gestures, while girls might indulge in risk taking and reckless behavior.
- As they become adult, a realisation that they are stuck in a body that they do not like causes depression and anxiety.
Diagnosis: A diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder (GID) is made based on a detailed assessment by a Psychiatrist, who is specially trained in this assessment. WPATH standards mandate that this is an ongoing assessment, and involves facilitating the process of Hormonal Treatment and eventual Sex Reassignment Surgery. The whole process can take 2-3 years.
Treatment: For those who have severe GID, eventual sex reassignment surgery is the treatment and outcome. However, support of family, friends and a Good Psychiatrist can enable a smooth transition. Psychiatrists will often use antidepressants and anxiolytics to make it easier for the person to cope with societal and family pressures.
Depression is defined as a mental state, which is typified by pessimistic sense of insufficiency and a hopeless lack of activity. This state could be so severe that it may require clinical intervention. 'Relapse' is the term coined for the reappearance of signs of depression within six months after the patient has been cured of depression. The time period of depression relapse may be smaller than depression recurrence, but it is equally frightening in both the cases. It becomes very difficult for the patient to combat all the signs of depression and cope up with gloom, fatigue, bad temper etc. The person starts alienating himself from the rest of the world. So, it becomes necessary for him to follow an apt strategy to survive a depression relapse.
First of all, the patient suffering from depression relapse should immediately consult his or her therapist or psychiatrist and get an adequate treatment for the same. The treatment procedure may include intake of antidepressants and psychotherapy. While the treatment is carried on, you may require some tips to survive that time interval. Below are some guidelines for the same:
- Accept the Truth: Though it is never easy to acknowledge the state of mental illness, but it is the key to cope up with depression relapse. Accepting that depression would strike again and again would help you to deal with it.
- Identify the Symptoms of Depression Relapse: Instead of neglecting the initial signs of depression relapse, it is necessary to accept that depression has hit you again. It is better to leave your shame or guilt aside and consider it as a normal event. Immediately go and make your therapist aware of the symptoms you identified, so that remedial action could be taken accordingly. The first sign of depression relapse may differ from person to person. It may be lack of sensation or any sudden surge of energy. Although these changes may appear subtle but should be noted down and conveyed to your therapist.
- Seek help from others: Depression relapse gets easier to survive with the help of friends, family and loved ones. Open up about your mental state and talk freely to others. You will find that you are not alone. Constant support from your nearby people will prove very beneficial. They will keep reminding you the fact that, 'this too shall pass away'. Do not alienate yourself, instead try to socialize. Hang out with your friends and indulge in activities which bring you pleasure. Primarily it will be hard to seek joy by socializing but it will prove fruitful in the long run. Pursue your hobbies and try to relax.
Depression relapse occurs again and again, no matter how hard one tries to run away from it. So, it is better to accept this harsh truth and start following the above measures to survive Depression Relapse.