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The Season of S.A.D

Have you ever had episodes of sadness, passivity and lack of inspiration to do anything during the season change? Perhaps you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder a.k.a SAD.
Seasonal affective disorder as the name suggests is a disorder that relates to changes in mood with the shifts in weather. It is a type of depression, also known as the Winter Depression or Summertime Sadness. It usually begins from fall and sails into winters, lowering your energy levels and hence leading to mood swings. SAD is most commonly experienced during fall and winter but in some cases, people may experience it in summers as well.
Its preponderance is between 1% and 10% and women are more affected than men. It is also common in regions that are farther in the North, indicating areas away from the equator, where the daylight lasts for a few hours (Winter Sadness)

S.A.D is more than just mood swings and feelings of not wanting to do anything.
According to research, it has been observed that in S.A.D, the individual’s biological clock is disturbed, and diminished levels of happy hormone Serotonin, lead to depression and feelings of despair. Along with decreased serotonin production, increased melatonin, a hormone that causes drowsiness and lethargy in reaction to darkness, makes it more difficult to cope up with the changing weather. Lack of sunlight plays a major role in inciting S.A.D.

Symptoms of S.A.D includes a feeling of sadness, loss of interest in doing things that are usually relished, appetite changes, eating more and staying in bed all day leading to weight gain, in summers it may cause weight loss, drowsiness, loss of energy, lack of inspiration, pessimistic thoughts, all of which disturbs the day-to-day routine.

There are certain different treatment options available for combating the disorder. It ranges from light therapy, antidepressants, to taking part in friendly activities to keep your mind drawn away. Light therapy is considered to be the first-line remedy, as it may help to imitate the sunlight effect and keep the mind and body at peace. Aromatherapy is one of the common therapies these days for relaxing the mind and body. Having a decent range of essential oils and incorporating them into your daily ritual may also be of great help. Taking an adequate amount of Vitamin D is also crucial to maintaining mental health.
Other than these picks, you may also keep a journal and pen down your emotions and day to day actions which may help you take the burden off your shoulders.
It is also advisable to make a schedule, plan out your everyday activities and stick to it rigorously.

Never disregard the clues and visit your doctor if you notice any changes in your routine life because it is important to take care of your mental health.

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Domestic Abuse: A Misdemeanor

Domestic violence, also identified as domestic abuse or family violence is one of the most common issues of all time. It is generally regarded as the mishandling executed by any one of the partners in an intimate association. However, it is not limited to intimate relationships. Domestic abuse in its broadest sense involves violence against children, parents etc. It can take the form of physical, verbal, sexual, emotional or religious abuse. Mainly, women around the globe are the victims of domestic abuse, the reason for which is assumed to be gender inequality.
Globally, around 736 million women have been abused in one way or the other. If we take a look at the statistics of Pakistan, 1422 cases of domestic violence were reported in the first few months of 2020 and the numbers are still going up.
Domestic abuse not only harms a person physically but can have a long-lasting impact on one’s mental health. It can lead to a lifetime of trauma and can destroy one’s self-esteem altogether.


The positive side of the story is that steps are being taken to overcome this issue. Madadgar helpline in Pakistan is one of the initiatives that encourage women and children facing abuse to come forward and seek help.
Nonetheless, it will take time for the people to accept it because as much as our society is progressing, talking about abuse is still stigmatised.
The question here is, how can we play our role in beating the curse? We can play our role by disseminating awareness about abuse, for which it is important to educate ourselves first and then pass the knowledge to others. I think being vigilant of your surroundings and working on improving your reflexes is the need of the hour. So, let’s make ourselves strong and sufficient enough for ourselves and others too.

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Growing up is Weird..

Nobody ever told you how difficult the process of growing up is. They always said it’s weird, it’s no fun but what the process is like, nobody ever understood and I believe that is the reason why they say, you have to experience life to understand life.

The number of letdowns and remorses that comes with it, you were never warned of that. The irony is, we all wanted to grow up fast at one point in time and be independent but we never thought that managing bills and jobs won’t be as easy as we initially thought and now all we crave for is that time when we were all nonchalant and celebrated our lives to the fullest.

It’s a whole different and brutal world out there, that is opposite to our little world full of fantasies.
From relying on parents and siblings for even the trivial things to being independent and taking hardships head-on, the transition is real. And sometimes it does take a toll on you, your mental health and peace.

The thought of losing our youth is frightening to some and comforting to others, it exhibits how people have different perspectives about the very thing. I think it is mostly related to their experiences, the traumas they have faced that made them think otherwise.

Growing up is all about learning to be independent, applying for jobs, paying your bills, buying groceries for yourself, facing failures and still standing strong, accepting the fact that it is okay if you get rejected, it’s not the end of the world.

Growing up is seeing your parents getting old and worrying about them each day, praying to God for their long healthy life and acknowledging their efforts and sacrifices. It is seeing your friends move away and getting busy with their lives, and realizing that you still have not achieved much in your life but being happy for them because they were the once who made your life amazing.

Growing up seems a blessing when everything is running flawlessly in your life, and it is, for sure, but the struggle that comes with it, the disappointments, in relationships, in the profession, in everything that forms the basis of your whole being, makes it a little too difficult to deal with at times.

But growing up also brings a lot of new opportunities other than troubles. It means finding a loving partner by your side to spend the rest of your life with. Growing up means chasing your dreams, learning from your mistakes and realizing the importance of family and friends. It means letting go of things and people that were once dear to you and accepting that it was a beautiful phase of your life that has passed and now a new chapter is going to start which will be more beautiful than the previous one. So for once, let all your worries go and feel the beauty that surrounds you now.

To everyone out there, hope may be the very last thing that we hold on to but let’s just go with the flow and hope for a better tomorrow. Let’s spread love and support everyone out there 💜

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Ethical Violation In The Health Communication Interventions:

The word ‘Intervention’ refers to the action of interference in something to bring some changes or to stop it from taking place. Intervention by the state can happen in any field like military, politics, medicine, counselling etc.

Health communication intervention basically refers to meddling with all the issues that are related to health and medicine. The intervening process here means to take in account health related issues of the general population, go through them and then come out with solutions that will either make people believe into something or will make them change their views regarding a certain ailment. The communication intervention here points towards the medium through which this involvement takes place. In today’s world this medium can be anything from corporates to the secret agencies.

Now comes the question that what do we mean by the ethical violation in the health communication interventions? Ethics are morals & principles by which someone’s behavior and conduct of an activity can be governed. Taking it out towards the community, it is everyone’s basic right to do or think what is best for them. When intervention takes place, it forms up in a way as to somewhat persuade or manipulate people into thinking that a certain habit is healthy for them and certain things should be avoided. Most of the times the matters most intervened with includes diabetes, AIDS, obesity, malnutrition, pregnancy, psychological issues, rehabilitation etc.

When we talk about interventions; we should know that it does not only effect one or two people but it brings changes to the whole population even if it is to some extent. The general idea might be to make things better but does it really make things effective for everyone? Does manipulating peoples’ beliefs the right way to go about? Does it not mean that this is basically invading privacy of individuals? It is as simple as this; no one can actually decide on their own what can be the best for the whole community.

In today’s era, where communities are made up of people practicing all kinds of different cultures and beliefs, having a ton of different habits & living life in every odd way possible; how can one be so sure that what works for them, will work for everyone else as well? Having a free will to do what you think is right for you; and getting this will snatched from you, goes way out of the chart that defines ethics. For example; let us say that there are two groups of people living in one community. One group has no prohibition on eating pork meanwhile the other group’s religion and cultural beliefs say otherwise. So even if the digital marketing campaigns that promote health communication interventions, say that eating pork is healthy, will this be truly justified for both the groups living together? Will this not be called a biased campaign? Will this not allow heated arguments to grow between both the parties? Yes, it will. This will in turn risk the private life of every individual, hence coming out as ethical violation.

In a time where everyone is running after success, trying to turn their businesses into empires, it is not so hard to understand that people will easily go towards the exaggeration, manipulation and misleading of information if it will in turn provide them with benefits. So, how can one keep track of all this information? Making sure that the content being watched by the masses is properly scrutinized and filtered and is not breaching the privacy of any individual? To make sure that no one is getting harmed, both physically and mentally, we need to see that health communication interventions have strict boundaries set for them.

The most important factor here is the safety of each and every individual, who is known to be affected by these interventions. It is to be noted that no harm should come to someone’s health either physically or mentally. Let us say for example, there is a campaign going about obesity or malnutrition. There are hundreds of reasons why one can be obese or suffering with malnutrition, if a campaign going on about certain medication is produced in a way that it gives the idea to the general public that it can be consumed by everyone suffering from obesity or malnutrition; and this in turn harms any individual either physically or mentally, then it simply means ethical violation is taking place. Hence, in order to intervene with health communication; all aspects that will benefit the society as a whole should be kept in mind.

To sum up, every single person involved in the intervention business, has a responsibility to care and to cater to the needs and rights of every individual living in the society. The system should be made as such that it does not include the ethical violation of health communication interventions i.e., it should be completely just, unbiased and promotes healthy habits as a whole.

 

 

 

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Alternative Vs Allopathic:

Alternative and Complementary Medicines have been in use for a long time in Pakistan. These alternative therapies are the first line of preference despite all the new progressions in medicine due to different cultures and beliefs. The traditional method of healthcare is still prevalent as Pakistani people are very much inclined towards the use of medicinal plants to treat various ailments. Most commonly the diseases that are treated by alternative medicines are skin diseases, gut problems and are also used to alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy.


But what is alternative and complementary medicine? 🌿


CAM is a term for medical products and practices that are distinct from standard care.
Surprisingly, WHO fully supports the idea and role of CAM for promotive, preventive, and curative health.

Sounds interesting?

Let’s dig in a bit deeper!

So, the most common CAM used in developing countries are Homeopathy (whole body system), Mind-body (prayer, meditation, healing), Biological based therapies, Energy medicine (Reiki), and lastly, Manipulative and Body-based practice (massages)
The field of alternative medicine is so vast about which most of us are oblivious.

One interesting fact about CAM in Pakistan is that 51.7%, almost half of the population of Pakistan choose CAM over biomedicine. It also exhibits the deep-rooted link between CAM and cultural heritage which is one of the reasons why Pakistani people prefer Alternative Medicines.

The field of CAM has emerged greatly and presently, degree and postgraduate level courses are being offered in Unani, Ayurvedic, and Homeopathic medicine in various parts of the country.

In Pakistan, the first college of Homeopathy in Punjab was established in the city of Lahore. Since then, thousands of people have graduated and are qualified Homeopaths.

Primarily, the homeopathic system is widely under practice in Pakistan. The homeopathic system was developed in Germany, more than 2000 years ago. Homeopathy simply is treating diseases with remedies prescribed in minute doses and the basic concept behind is “likes are cured by likes” also known as “similia similibus curantur”. In homeopathic treatment, various animals and plants are used to formulate medicines.

However, there is a conflict of interest between Allopathic and Homeopathic doctors which seems never-ending. If we look at it from a patient’s perspective, certainly the reason for opting for homeopathy is low cost and lesser side effects.

But in my opinion, it should solely be a patient’s choice to opt for whatever treatment he is comfortable with. However, the doctor must inform the patient about the pros and cons of a certain treatment.

Despite approval from WHO, there is still a lack of evidence to support Alternative treatments like homeopathy. There still are queries regarding the use of both allopathic and homeopathic medicines side by side and it will take a lot of research to form a consensus.

As much as CAM is being used in Pakistan, there is a need to upgrade the system and bring it to the forefront because at the end of the day it is the patient whose consent is important for the type of treatment they would like to prefer.

Despite all the fors and againsts, I believe that we should promote the perpetual evolutions in the medical field, be it herbal or allopathic because both will prove to be beneficial in some way or the other if appropriately utilized!

Medicine can be either herbal or allopathic but all you need is some faith for it to work! 💊

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Changing Times Call for Changing Strategies

Working towards making the world a better place.

It’s about time that we adapt ourselves to the fast-changing world and here we are trying to deliver a message to the world!

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Quintessential Fat Girl: Beautiful is not a Size

What an absolutely brilliant piece of writing by Hina Shamsi 👏

I always adore and enjoy reading books by our Pakistani Authors because it gives me a sense of ownership. We have so many competent writers in our country but unfortunately, the literary community here in Pakistan is still in its struggling phase.

This book caught my attention, not only because of its vibrant cover but also because of its title.

Hina Shamsi has undoubtedly proved herself in her debut book. She has highlighted one of the most critical issues existing in this era, that is, body shaming.

The story revolves around a girl, who in order to survive in this so-called modern society, is compelled to lose the extra bag of flesh on her body.

Moreover, she has also discussed other social ills in Pakistan, like the treatment of servants, mental health, etc.

She has also talked about the most favorite hobby of all Pakistanis, yes you guessed it right, F O O D, which makes this book more relatable 🙈

Here’s how it is: I feel guilty about every single bite of food that goes into my mouth

With a satirical tone, she has very well delivered the message that one should never judge someone on their appearance, furthermore, it’s totally not acceptable to pinpoint shortcomings of the other individual and make them suffer.

Laundry is the only thing that should be separated by color.

It also delivers a message of self-acceptance. Often times, in order to please others, we forget to live in the moment. Remember, you’re not answerable to anyone, it’s your life and you’ve all the right to live it your way!

There should be ‘limits’ for giving advice that is not welcomed or needed. How often we cross out limits we don’t even know.

All in all, it was a fun and light read with a powerful message and incredible quotes!

10/10 recommended

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Last 10 Days of Ramadan: Blessings ✨

Ramadan is a sacred month. It is not only the month of fasting but also asking Allah for forgiveness and his mercy!

We are honored to be able to enjoy the blessings of the divine month this year as well! Alhumdulillah ✨

The last Ashra (10 days) of Ramadan is very important as well as the most blessed of all.

We should increase our worship in the final days to get the maximum rewards from Allah. In these 10 nights there is one night of Laila tul Qadar (The Night of Power) which the Quran has told us is better than 1000 months. It may fall on 21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th Ramzan, so it’s really important to pray every night of the last Ashra.

Therefore, in order to get the most of these nights, we need to prepare ourselves accordingly.

•Here are some tips to follow to gain gratification from Allah:

1) Take bath and put on your best clothes

2) Apply Itr, It’s Sunnah.

3) Pray Isha and Taraweeh

4) Pray 2 Rakat of Salat Tauba

5) Pray 2 Rakat of Salat Tasbeeh

6) Recite the Quran and make lots of Dua

7) Do Zikr: Recite Kalma Tayyaba, Astaghfar, Subhan Allahi Wa bi Hamdihi, Subhan Allahil Azeem, as many times as you can

8) Pray for yourself, pray for your parents well being and pray for your loved ones

9) Give charity especially during these 10 days so if it falls on Laila tul Qadr, it is as if you gave charity for 84 years

10) Eat less and focus more on your Ibadah. Full stomach makes you lazy and drowsy.

Since we are under lockdown, this is the best chance to get closer to Allah, to change our unhealthy habits, to get rid of all the negativity, and to learn something new on a day-to-day basis, be it an Ayat or a Surah from the Quran or getting to know the life of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and obey his teachings.

Thus, don’t even waste a second, make the most of it, we don’t know if we’ll get to witness Ramadan the following year.

Let’s stay at home and grab this opportunity! 😊

May Allah make it easy for us and accept our prayers.

May Allah bless Us All! ♥

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ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE DEADLY CORONA VIRUS 🦠

The world is presently experiencing a deadly pandemic called Covid-19.
A disease caused by SAR-COV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). It is a part of large family of viruses known as corona viruses.
The mode of transmission is from animals to humans.
This particular strain of corona virus emerged from a seafood market in Wuhan, China, in late December 2019.
Symptoms range from fever, cough, shortness of breath to abdominal pain and nausea.
Age group mostly affected is 50 years and above but it is also infecting young ones.
People who are Immunocompromised, are Diabetic, have Heart Disease all are at a high risk of catching the deadly virus.
WHO has been regularly updating the world with the preventive and precautionary measures in order to minimize the spread of this fatal virus.

Initially fake news were being circulated all over the social media about the virus being airborne but WHO has clearly stated that the Virus is a droplet infection meaning that it transmits through direct and indirect contact.
It is airborne only in certain setups where the procedure or support treatment generates aerosols.

Currently there is no cure of this lethal virus, however, WHO has issued guidelines on infection control and prevention which are as follows:
1) Wash hands for 20 seconds and sanitize frequently.
2) Maintain social distancing of 6 feet.
3) Avoid large gatherings
4) Avoid going out unnecessarily
5) Cover mouth while you cough or sneeze.
6) Avoid touching face and Nose.
7) Self Quarantine if you feel sick.

As of April 30th, 3.25 million cases have been reported world-wide.

China reported its first case on 31st Dec 2019. With each passing day the number of cases were increasing due to which the government decided to put Wuhan and other severely affected cities under lock-down.
On the other hand, cases were being recorded from various parts of the world including USA, Italy, Spain, Pakistan, India, Thailand, so on and so forth.

With the deadly rise in the number of cases, WHO on 30th January, declared Corona Virus as global emergency.
On February 9th, the death toll surpassed that of SARS 2002-2003.

The countries severely affected by the lethal virus are USA, Italy, Spain and China, where thousands of people have lost their lives.
Pakistan reported its first case on 26th February 2020, when a student who returned from Iran was tested positive.
Gradually, cases were being reported from all 4 provinces which eventually led to a strict lock-down.
Bans were imposed on congregational prayers because 27% cases in the country were linked to a Tablighi Jammat.
At present, the number of cases in Pakistan are 16, 117.
The cases around the globe are increasing exponentially and so are the difficulties of people living under a lock-down situation.
How long the pandemic will last is hard to forecast but it has halted the normal life around the globe and has shaken the world’s economy to the core.
Even the most medically advanced countries are facing hardships.

Manufacturing, aviation, tourism industries are going through tough times as well as stock market and food chains have crashed badly.
Slow-down in Chinese manufacturing has also harmed countries with economic links to China.
OECD has predicted that the pandemic could downgrade global GDP from 2.9% to 2.4% in year 2020.
This virus has proven to be the 3rd and greatest economic shock of 21st century.

Apart from the financial catastrophe the novel virus has drastically affected Mental Health of Human Beings.
Witnessing the deaths of loved ones due to this minute virus is a huge trauma.
With each passing day, the fright of running out of basic necessities is creating a state of trepidation.
The lockdown has led to severe traumatic stress, confusion and anger which is aggravated by fear of financial instability.
The under developed countries are in dire straits. The rate of unemployment is increasing exponentially. 50 billion jobs are at stake world-wide.
Daily wagers are the ones to bear the brunt.
However, most of the government’s have taken measures to safeguard the jobs and support the self employed.

This pandemic has left the world in a tight spot, nonetheless, it has proven to be beneficial for the environment.
The Earth is healing, wildlife is returning, a drastic dip in air pollution has been observed.
Reduction in the levels of poisonous gases such as carbon and nitrous oxide has led to a clearer sky and breathtaking views.

This pandemic has made us realize that humanity is not the most powerful thing. With all the negative things being said, This virus has also given us an opportunity to start from scratch and be a better version of ourselves. Be grateful for whatever we have before its too late!

At present, there is no cure of this deadly virus but the pharmaceutical companies and various hospitals are trying their best to develop vaccines, they are also arranging clinical trials to test the drugs that could prevent the disease.
Chloroquine, an antimalarial drug, gained attention but WHO clearly stated that there’s no evidence that this drug works for corona patients.
Trials are being done at a faster pace, let’s pray that we find a cure to this lethal disease soon.

For now, all we can do is pray for the best and play our part by staying in! This small initiative taken by you will go a long way.
Stay home, Stay safe!! ☺️

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Ramadan Mubarak! 🕌

May We All find Peace in this Holy Month of Ramadan ❤️

This is the best time to connect with Allah and ask for forgiveness. We are lucky enough to witness and enjoy the blessings of Ramadan this year as well. Alhumdulillah!

I’ve decided to do following things this Ramadan (regularly):

1) Zikr

2) Recite Quran

3) Pray Nawafil

4) Make lots and lots of Dua

5) Lastly, I’ll try to stay positive and spread positivity