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Sensitisation over despondency: Having a mentally disabled kid

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Credit: http://www.webindia123.com/ (Image for representational purpose only)

By Sreyashi Mazumdar

New Delhi: Wading through the tumultuous reveries of life, a 28-year-old decided to give up; she couldn’t bear the pangs of her little one. Despite trying hard to put up with the situation, her trepidation scuttled her courage to face the harsh reality. Pondering upon the plausible difficulties of her child, she decided to put an end to the situation. She strangled her kid and hung herself from the fan, fending off the reality. This isn’t an isolated case in a nation like India. Even though there has been a drastic change in the field of medical science, societal sensitization is still in the nascent stage. People continue to look down upon a mentally disabled child.

Picture credit: newindianexpress.com
Picture credit: newindianexpress.com

“The main problem is the lack of acceptance. Parents at times find it difficult to accept their children’s mental condition, owing to which many a time they repent their decision; decision of giving birth to a mentally disabled child. There was a time when I used to curse myself for giving birth to an autistic child,” said 45-year Bina Dutta, mother of an autistic boy.

Tears trailing down her eyes, she shared her reveries with her neighbor Priya, “I must have committed a sin in my past life, what wrong did I do.” It has been often seen that parents find it difficult to put up with the societal ostracism their kids often face owing to their mental or physical disability. Things become more complicated once the child enters his or her teenage.

“Lack of proper guidance, lack of medicinal/ educational infrastructure in India, social stigma, societal acceptance,financial burden, emotional disturbance and the implicit disparity which at times becomes quite obvious; these are some of the causes owing to which such children fail at garnering a wholesome experience, both on professional and personal level,” Dr Jyoti Rao, a psychologist and a counsellor, was quoted as saying as she dealt with mentally disabled child for a prolonged period now.

Though there are rehabilitation schools, the problem doesn’t come to an end. “Special schools are a part of rehabilitation process but to begin with as a parent or as a society acceptance is important. Empathy is the key not sympathy. So, more than infrastructure it is the mindset which needs to get overhauled,” she said.

Picture credit : icddelhi.com
Picture credit : icddelhi.com

Financial crunch is one of the major impediments wherein mental or physical ailments lead to untoward incidents like suicides. For instance, in the year 2010, a couple killed their 18-year-old son in East Delhi as they failed to afford his medical expenses thereafter committing suicide, according to a Hindustan Times report.

” Instead of considering it as a disability the best way to deal with such kids are treating your kid as a special child. The moment you start considering your child as a special one, you tend to lay off your frustration and despondence,” said Sister Premila, a spiritual leader and counsellor.

One needs to put oneself into the shoes of people in vicinity of mentally or physically compared individuals, be it in the family or ones school or college. Both infrastructure and sensitization is needed to plummet the level of suicide cases owing to reasons related to mental disability.

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Can Obligation Affect Relationship During Social Distancing? Find it Out Here

Obligation can hamper relationships during social distancing, says a recent research

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relationship
Obligation is sometimes the "glue that holds relationships together," but it often carries negative connotations. Pixabay

Does a sense of obligation — from checking on parents to running an errand for an elderly neighbour – benefit or harm a relationship especially at a time where social distancing is in place and people are relying on their immediate social circles more than usual?

According to researchers from Michigan State University, obligation is sometimes the “glue that holds relationships together,” but it often carries negative connotations.”We were looking to find whether obligation is all good or all bad,” said William Chopik, assistant professor of psychology at MSU and co-author of the study.

“We found that people were responding to types of obligations in different ways. People distinguished between requests that were massive obligations and requests that were simple. There’s this point that obligation crosses over and starts to be harmful for relationships,” Chopik mentioned.

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A sense of obligation — from checking on parents to running an errand for an elderly neighbour – benefit or harm a relationship especially at a time where social distancing is in place. Pixabay

The findings suggest that there’s a distinct point at which obligation pushes individuals to the brink of feeling burdened, which can start to harm their relationships. “We found that some obligations were linked with greater depressive symptoms and slower increases in support from friends over time,: said Jeewon Oh, MSU doctoral student and co-author of the study.

However, other obligations were linked with both greater support and less strain from family and friends initially. “While engaging in substantive obligation can benefit others and make someone feel helpful, it is still costly to a person’s time, energy and money,” the authors noted. Until now, similar research showed inconsistencies in how obligation impacts relationships.

This ranges from light obligation, like keeping in touch with a friend, to substantive obligation, like lending that friend a considerable amount of money. “In a way, major obligations violate the norms of friendships,” Chopik said. “Interestingly, you don’t see that violation as much in relationships with parents or spouses”. Friendships are viewed as low-investment, fun relationships that make people feel good.

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If someone doesn’t have a great relationship with a parent or partner, a quick phone call to check in isn’t enjoyable, it’s an encumbrance. Pixabay

“Our longest lasting friendships continue because we enjoy them. But if obligations pile up, it might compromise how close we feel to our friends,” Chopik noted in a paper appeared in International Journal of Behavioral Development. Because friendships are a relationship of choice, people can distance themselves from friends more easily than other types of relationships when faced with burdensome obligations.

Additionally, substantive obligations may create strain in a friendship as we try to encourage our friends to do the same even when they might not be able to do so, Oh said. “Although we may feel good when we do things for our friends, and our friends are grateful to us, we may start to feel like we are investing too much in that relationship,” Oh added.

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Still, some types of relationships can make even minor obligations seem daunting. If someone doesn’t have a great relationship with a parent, a quick phone call to check in isn’t enjoyable, it’s an encumbrance. “Even for things we would expect family members to do, some in the study did them begrudgingly,” Chopik said. (IANS)

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Babies Born in Urban Areas Are Less Fussy: Study

Where you live may influence your baby's behaviour

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Babies
Babies born in big cities, typically are less fussy and not as bothered by limits set by their caregivers. Pixabay

Researchers have found that babies from rural families tend to display negative emotions such as anger and frustration more frequently than their urban counterparts.

The study, published in the the Journal of Community Psychology, revealed that babies born inurban cities, on the other hand, typically are less fussy and not as bothered by limits set by their caregivers.

“I was shocked, quite frankly, at how little there was in the literature on the effects of raising an infant in a rural vs urban environment,” said study lead author Maria Gartstein from Washington State University in the US.

“The fact that rural mothers in our study reported more frequent expressions of anger and frustration from their infants may be consequential as higher levels of frustration in infancy can increase risk for later attentional, emotional, social and behavioural problems,” Gartstein added.

For the findings, the researchers analysed and compared data from two previously conducted studies of mother-child interactions and infant temperament.

The first study consisted of 68 participants and their infants in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the second consisted of 120 rural mothers and their infants from Whitman and Latah counties in the Inland Northwest of the US. Mothers used a questionnaire to record the frequency of 191 different behaviours their child displayed at six and 12 months after birth.

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Babies from rural families tend to display negative emotions such as anger and frustration more frequently than their urban counterparts. Pixabay

The researchers then analysed babies along 14 different dimensions that ranged from cuddliness to vocal reactivity. Parent-child interactions, where mothers were instructed to engage their infants in play in a typical fashion, were also video-recorded in the laboratory for analysis.

The researchers found urban moms tend to be better at picking up on when their babies wanted or needed something, or were ready to be done with play, and responding accordingly.

This in turn could have led to their infants generally being calmer and less easily upset, they said.

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Gartstein said one of the more surprising findings from the study was that contrary to predictions, her team found no statistically significant differences in levels of parenting stress between urban and rural caregivers.

“This may be a result of different, but functionally equivalent, risk factors,” Gartstein said.” (IANS)

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Here’s why You Should Let Your Babies “Cry it Out”

It's OK to leave your baby 'cry it out' said a recent study

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Researchers have found that leaving an infant to 'cry it out' from birth up to 18 months does not adversely affect their behaviour development or attachment. Pixabay

Should you let your babies “cry it out” or rush to their side? Researchers have found that leaving an infant to ‘cry it out’ from birth up to 18 months does not adversely affect their behaviour development or attachment.

The study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, found that an infant’s development and attachment to their parents is not affected by being left to “cry it out” and can actually decrease the amount of crying and duration.

“Only two previous studies nearly 50 or 20 years ago had investigated whether letting babies ‘cry it out’ affects babies’ development. Our study documents contemporary parenting in the UK and the different approaches to crying used,” said the study’s researcher Ayten Bilgin from the University of Warwick in the UK.

For the study, the researchers followed 178 infants and their mums over 18 months and repeatedly assessed whether parents intervened immediately when a baby cried or let the baby let it cry out a few times or often. They found that it made little difference to the baby’s development by 18 months. The use of parent’s leaving their baby to ‘cry it out’ was assessed via maternal report at term, 3, 6 and 18 months and cry duration at term, 3 and 18 months.

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Researchers found that whether contemporary parents respond immediately or leave their infant to cry it out a few times to often makes no difference on the short – or longer term relationship with the mother or the infants behaviour. Pixabay

Duration and frequency of fussing and crying was assessed at the same ages with the Crying Pattern Questionnaire. According to the researchers, how sensitive the mother is in interaction with their baby was video-recorded and rated at 3 and 18 months of age.

Attachment was assessed at 18 months using a gold standard experimental procedure, the strange situation test, which assesses how securely an infant is attached to the major caregiver during separation and reunion episodes. Behavioural development was assessed by direct observation in play with the mother and during assessment by a psychologist and a parent-report questionnaire at 18 months.

Researchers found that whether contemporary parents respond immediately or leave their infant to cry it out a few times to often makes no difference on the short – or longer term relationship with the mother or the infants behaviour.

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This study shows that 2/3 of mum’s parent intuitively and learn from their infant, meaning they intervene when they were just born immediately, but as they get older the mother waits a bit to see whether the baby can calm themselves, so babies learn self-regulation. (IANS)