Sahil Sehgal

Helping to Cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

This week, we have been talking about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  For those who still aren’t all too familiar with this, let me explain once again. When a person goes through a particularly traumatic event, they sometimes are left to deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Typical symptoms include extreme anxiety, flashbacks, out of control thoughts and nightmares, amongst other things. Seeking treatment for PTSD is imperative since it can lead to psychological damage in the long term. Symptoms tend to become stronger, and sometimes, the condition ends up lasting for years after the traumatic incident.

It is important to help a person who suffers from PTSD. But for that to happen, one needs to be able to recognize the conditions. Some common things to look out for include fretfulness, unreasonable guilt, depression, etc. People going through PTSD also tend to avoid places and situations related to their trauma. Some other unusual symptoms include, disturbed sleep, getting startled very easily, sudden angry outbursts and tension.

But how do you actually help said person? What are the things you can do? Fret not (pun intended). Your answer lies here. Getting familiar with the disorder is the biggest means of helping, because then you can relate to the person. Help the person calm themselves by encouraging soothing activities. Go for a walk with them, or join yoga or meditation lessons. Do make sure to participate in the activity with the person, as this will let them know that you’re with them in it.

Talk to the person about their thoughts and encourage them to do the same with others. Try to increase time spent with family and other loved ones since that is known to help people suffering from anxiety and depression, some of the key factors of PTSD. If the person doesn’t want to connect with them, try having them connect with someone who’s been through the same; talking to another PTSD victim, someone who’s been through the same helps to get better.

One thing to keep in mind is that while you’re dedicated to the care of your loved one, and want them to be able to have a happy life, do not forget to take care of yourself either. Being able to cope with the disease without letting yourself drown in it is an equally important part of helping those who suffer.

Be your best self, and help the ones you love be the same!

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Coming home with a burden.

PTSD is one psychological disease that people often ignore. They only address it after it becomes a real hindrance to their daily lives and start having very adverse effects. Most of the people aren’t even aware of such a psychological disorder and some others who are aware of it believe it to be nothing but something people are just faking for attention.

I came across an experience of a veteran from Australia. He was in the infantry and thus was always on the field. He accepts doing some pretty horrible things that usually comes with this job profile but he had always seem to get over them and when he couldn’t, beer would come to the rescue. Eventually experiences would be blocked out and happiness would be found again.images

That was until they went into this village, only a few hours after the militia had left. They suspected that the villagers were involved with the militia and wanted to set up an example. This ‘example’ ended up in massive destruction with homes burning, people screaming and crying over their own injuries or the bodies of their loved one. In the end, they did catch some of the militia and called in the medics but the horror was too much and it followed him home.

After coming back, he started experiencing flashbacks. His mind especially struck over this one child who had been mutilated but not killed. This affected his daily life. He started getting short tempered, shouting at his wife and kids. Eventually it got so bad that he could not think straight and only wanted to draw the curtains and lock himself up.

His wife realised what was happening and she heard of a similar experience of her colleague’s husband.  The veteran’s wife took him to a psychiatrist. He tried to do was talk about the experience but all he could do was cry. Fortunately, hes healing now. Finding his hope back again and having lesser and lesser of those flashbacks and nightmares but it will be a while before his fully alright.

To read the story from his point of view, please visit :-

He is one of many veterans who come back from the war with more than just their baggage and injuries. They most of the times also come with a burden but most veterans take no treatment to help carry this burden. So they go on in their lives, forever living in this misery.

If anyone you know is experiencing the symptoms of PTSD described in our previous article, please make sure they get the treatment they direly need.

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Precaution on the post trauma.

Psychology is the science
that helps us to be able to connect to other people in a better manner. It teaches us about perspective. Where the whole world watches one thing in a different manner, perhaps, like accusing an individual as mad, a psychologist can rationally detect the condition an individual goes through. One such disorder is PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which is a syndrome that develops after a traumatic event (in childhood or during a scary or shocking situation/accident). A body releases flight/fight response during a stressful situation and helps an individual cope with the same. The people who are unable to do so suffer from what is referred to as PTSD.

The Signs and Symptoms of PTSD might begin as soon as (roughly) three months after the event or as late as a year. To be diagnosed with PTSD one must showcase a series of symptoms for at least one month. At least one re-experiencing symptom like a flashback or bad dreams/thoughts, at least one avoidance symptom like avoiding places, events, losing interest etc., at least two arousal and reactivity symptoms like feeling tensed, difficulty in sleeping and at least two cognition and mood symptoms like negative thoughts about oneself, distorted feelings or loss of interest are a must to be detected with PTSD. Even children showcase such symptoms in a different manner like wetting the bed, forgetting to speak, being clingy etc.

Not all people who go through a traumatic event experiences PTSD, in fact most people, do not get the disorder. Even people who get PTSD do not need to go through a traumatic event. We often mistake people who suffer from PTSD as mad. A term which is ndownload (1)ow refrained to be used by professionals. Our generalization discourages such people to come out and face the world and perhaps that is one of the reasons why the cases detected are so less in number. It is important to be sensitized to such cases rather than being judgemental about them. A few years back, during the days when I had my board exams I came across a friend who had a lot in mind. He could not concentrate, he could not express but he wasn’t always the same. Turns out he had undergone a trauma where he lost a few of his loved ones. The pressure was so high on his mind that ultimately the guy committed suicide because he couldn’t bear the pressure and he had almost no one to understand it too!

There are various treatments and therapies used for curing a patient undergoing PTSD. One of the most important being the psycho-therapy. Proposed by Sigmund Freud, the treatment can only be used by the professionals over a long period of regular sessions. The most studied medications for treating PTSD include antidepressants, which may help control symptoms such as sadness, worry, anger, and feeling numb inside. Antidepressants and other medications may be prescribed along with psychotherapy. Exposure therapies are other way where the patients are exposed to their fears. Cognitive restructuring is a psychological way where people figure out what happened in a realistic manner.

PTSD is a disorder which is less known about. It is because of this lack of fame that no one really adheres to the fact that they might be affected by it. We should be able to spread the awareness by being informed ourselves. We should be sensitized towards the possibility of the occurrence of the disorder and be alert about it too!

“You Can’t Patch a wounded soul with a Band-Aid”  – Anonymous

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Modern-land Criminals?

The world has shrunk in size with the onset of the Virtual World. It isn’t just easier to access any kind of information only about world affairs. One can even extract the history of any individual in just a click. Privacy has become a myth like Santa and unicorns. As the residents in this virtual world, we shouldn’t only be worried about chain snatching, theft, burglary in a crowded street in day light! That is old school. Now, it is the time of stealing, cheating, bullying without even practically being present at a place. “Haath Ki Safaai”, as a Magician might put it!

eCrime or Cyber Crime or Cyber Bullying, one can refer to this internet abuse in many ways. Hacking, spreading rumors, Intimidating or threat emails, Mobbing Individual, Harassment, Stalking, looking into private details, online theft or fraud or espionage, all fall under the category of online anti-social behavior intended to cause harm, distress or loss to other individual. Every individual living in the virtual world is a potential target to the heinous crime but eCrime is like AIDS, in which no one believes that they can be affected by it! Not only as a target or a victim but even as a Bully.

‘Peer Pressure’ is an amazing concept. You do something you don’t wish to. It can make you do something very positive, it can make you feel alive. On the other hand, it can make you do something so distressing that you might not be able to forgive your own self. One might think that they are not a Cyber Bully but you might want to think again! Even if it is about a simple chain of messages that hurts somebody’s emotions, if you laugh at it or share it with friends and family, somewhere you become a part of the Bullying. Like an onlooker who is as much at fault as the person who commits a crime, similarly, a person who shares the offensive stuff on internet is equivalent to a bully.

Information-Technology Act, 2000 addresses all the new age crimes and computer abuses. When we come to the technical aspect of a cyber crime, we can distinguish the cyber attacks in two broad categories, one where device is used as a target, where one computer attacks the other like in hacking, Virus and DOS attacks and other where the device is used as a weapon like in Cyber Terrorism, IPR violations, Credit card frauds, EFT frauds, Pornography etc.!images (1)

As scary as it might sound but it is not very difficult to avoid such crimes against oneself. The thumbrule is to stick to the basics and take all necessary precautions. One shall definitely talk to someone you trust, one might be a parent, a teacher, a friend or anyone else. One should also be smart enough to be able to report the bullying to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) or mobile phone provider. Blocking the messages and emails is also a step towards curbing the bullying, where one can later ask for help. Taking screenshot and noting down the number to report it to the police is another smart step! Universities and Colleges today even have Zero Tolerance rule and Cyber Cells to monitor all these online anti-social activities. One needs to be aware about them too! The most important rule is to remember to not share one’s personal details and think carefully about each step one makes online.

Silence is another form of crime that one commits. It does nothing but boosts the morale of the sinner. One must know how to voice their opinions and seek for help, when required. Cyber-Crimes are the most recent and the most dangerous type of crime one can commit today. Internet, is a boon to the contemporary man, where all the information and entertainment comes on the doorsteps in just a few clicks. Let us not make it a bane for ourselves. As responsible human beings, it is our duty to make World Wide Web save for us as well as for others so that we can enjoy the benefits it bestows us!

Happy Browsing! Safe Browsing!

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Tips and Tricks for Basic Self Defence

From all the life lessons I have ever heard, the most common is “Expect the unexpected”. And it doesn’t really make sense most times. It has always sounded like something of a paradoxical statement, I mean, how do you expect something, if it is going to be unexpected? But it took a few experiences for me to understand the true meaning behind this phrase, experiences that I never saw coming, the same experience that taught me, that this phrase was simply telling me to prepared for anything in life.

One such thing to be prepared for is to protect yourself from harm, mental and physical. In this run down society, it’s each one for itself, and you need to know how to protect yourself. And protecting yourself physically is an equally important. You need to be prepared to defend yourself when you’re walking down an empty or shady street and you’re all by yourself, because these streets are filled with all sorts of dangers. And these dangers will be a part of every city, every state, every country. Even the most sophisticated and developed countries have muggers, thieves and other predators targeting the weak.

Being attacked by a stranger Is neither the most uncommon nor the most unimaginable scenario in our current lives. Yes, it’s scary that we live in such a world, but it is true. And being scared won’t help you, being prepared and being able to defend yourself will help you.

Here are a few things to help you protect yourself in such a situation.

  1. Be loud and create a disturbance, so that you can attract someone to help you. Being loud doesn’t mean just making a lot of noise, it means making coherent exclamations, for e.g. saying “Back off”, or “Get away from me”. These statements let the others know this isn’t just a brawl between two people.
  2. Aim for those parts of the body that are easy to target and can harm relatively easily. Go for the eyes, neck, knees, nose, etc. The groin is the best part to go for if your attacker is a male.
  3. To attack, use your own body parts carefully. Use your elbows, head and knees.
  4. If you have a set of keys, you can hold it between your middle and ring fingers and use it as a defence mechanism. Other things that you can use include a deo or perfume spray; target the yes when you use this.
  5. If you’re in an elevator with someone who seems suspicious, press all buttons for all floors. If the elevator stops on every floor, there are lesser chances of someone attacking you.
  6. If you’re attacked in your house, say by a burglar, rush to the kitchen. You’re the only person who’ll know where all the dangerous weapons such as knives are, and it’s good to use that knowledge to benefit yourself.
  7. Keeping the hair tied, for girls is a good technique, because the attacker may catch you by your hair.
  8. Consider joining a basic self defence class

These are just a few things you can try. Trust me when I say this, being able to protect yourself is something you will never regret.

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LGBT: Then and Now

Homosexuality has been defined as romantic inclination and attraction of a person towards a member of the same sex or gender. In some parts of the world, homosexuality has been accepted by members of the society, but the same cannot be said in India, where it is still a taboo. It is believed in many cultures and religions that homosexuality goes against the norms of nature and therefore cannot be accepted. To make matters worse, the legal stand in India when it comes to homosexuality is negative as well, given that it has been criminalized under the section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

Historically speaking, there have been incidences of homosexual relationships through various periods. For e.g. during the Ming Dynasty was prevalent in China, in some parts, females would bind themselves to other females through contracts in elaborate ceremonies. Similarly, in 1061, a same sex marriage between Pedro Diaz and Muno Vandilaz, two men, took place in Spain. The documents of this church wedding can be seen at the Monastery of San Salvadore de Celanova.

Since the 20th and 21st century, same sex marriages have been legalized in 11 European countries, including Belgium, Norway, Portugal, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, etc. Finland is in the process of passing a legislation that will leagalize same sex marriages.

In the recent case of Obergefell v. Hodges in the USA, the Court held that marriage as a fundamental right was guaranteed to even the same sex couples.

The hope for all the homosexual couples in India is a little bleak. But no, all is not lost. We will still hold on to what we hope and try to keep believing that a change will come and those in love won’t have to hide away.

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When the Gun Went Off

On 12th June 2016, the United States of America faced its largest mass shooting which left 50 people dead and 53 injured. The shooting took place at Pulse which is a gay club. The shooter identified as Omar Mateen was an American born to parents of an Afghan background. Omar was apparently a frequent visitor of this night club and had also joined several gay dating sites. He swore allegiance to ISIS but this shooting may only be ISIS- inspired and not ISIS-driven.
Omar had acquired his guns through a legal process even though he’s been called by the FBI for questioning atleast twice. This just brings to light the need for gun control in America. In the previous few years, the instances of mass shootings have also increased most of which are committed by legally obtained guns.
There seems to be controversy regarding the reason behind this shooting. At first, it appeared to be an act driven from homophobia as Omar’s father had made a statement in which he explicitly said that Omar had shown considerable anger and disgust when he saw two men kissing. But what seems to be the most confusing riddle in all of this controversy is if he was so disgusted by gays, then why was he a frequent visitor of pulse and why had he joined all these gay dating sites? Plus he didn’t act only as an observer but was seen trying to pick up guys at the club too.
Omar was also seen laughing like a maniac while shooting and the police described him as calm and peaceful after the shooting. Both of Omar’s wife and ex wife have accepted that Omar may have had mental issues. He had always been violent, even towards his spouse.
America had basically given a man like Omar the power to take away the lives of so many, reason for which seems to be a mystery.
With the growing incidences of taking lives, what we desperately need now is a call for peace. In a world where humanity is fast disappearing we have to remember that we are still human and act like it.

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One for the Environment

The planet Earth has had a long life, 4.5 billion years to be exact. And life on Earth originated around 3.8 billion years ago, at which point it was single celled organisms such as bacteria. Multi cellular life evolved a billion years later and the life forms that we are now familiar with, have only come to exist over the last 570 million years. Mammals, a life form that we as humans form a part of came into existence 200 million years ago. As for us specifically, the Homo sapiens, came around 200,000 years ago. So if you were to do the math, humans have only been on Earth for a tiny 0.004% of its history.

So what’s the point of discussing this? After all, we are here and we will continue to be here, right?

No. In fact, if we continue in our current form, life won’t stay the way it is right now for much longer. The fact is that in our existence of a mere 0.004% of the whole time, we have managed to bring Earth to an all time low. Starting from climate change, to depleted natural resources and all the way to over population and large scale deforestation, humans are destroying earth, on an hourly basis.

Yes, practically everything we do is capable of making matters worse for the planet. However, carefully calculated measures can reduce the impact significantly. The year 2016 saw temperatures going higher than ever recorded.

Now for a look at India. The Biennial Update Report from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the energy sector in India which consists of manufacturing, electricity and transportation amongst other things, comprises of 71 percent of the Green House Gas emissions.

The climate change has already manifested itself in the form of delayed and lower rainfalls in various parts of the country. The food production is at a low and not anywhere close to being enough to feed the overly hungry of our over populated country.

My point is, that it is time that we stopped taking the environment for granted and started taking measures to improve conditions. And these are measures that need to be taken by individuals and government alike. The problem is that the ordinary people expect government to work on this and the government expects the people to do things on a personal level. This however, will not work. What is needed is a joint effort wherein both people and the government work together; Government designing plans and schemes, ones that work, and people working on these plans and schemes for real, rather than just claiming to, while doing nothing so much for real.

So this World Environment Day, let’s try and make a difference to the world.

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An experience.

Water is one of the most basic of all needs and we cannot live for more than a few days without it. And yet, most people take water for granted. We waste water needlessly and don’t realize that clean water is a very limited resource. More than 1 billion people around the world have no access to safe, clean drinking water, and over 2 million people die each year because of unsafe water – and most of them are unfortunately children !
I AM STILL HUMAN started a campaign “Water For All” and i was more than glad to have the opportunity to serve the poor and the needy and thus i am ecstatic to pen down and share my experience with all.
It was around 5 in the evening, some of my friends and i got a few bottles ready with chilled water and left. We left with a aim to serve as many as we could and reached a construction site with labourers working hard under the heat of sun. With fear in our minds as to what their reaction would be we took our first step and served a old man busy with some cement work and suddenly all eyes turned towards us and we called as many as we could to the spot. Initially people were scared and apprehensive about taking water because they thought there might be something mixed in it and i had to drink it myself and show to make them believe. We went person to person to serve water and they were extremely happy to know that we were working without any condition for their happiness and we also got a wonderful chance to converse with few people.
It was the most satisfying pleasure of my life till date, seeing their happiness and bright wide smiles and this is when i realized how important small things are for people and how small efforts of ours can make up someone else’s day. Everything we do, even the slightest things, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side.

This was submitted to us by our intern, Mannat Mehta.

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