Make Life Happen: Ask Sayeda

Published: March 10, 2013

I suffer from chronic headaches. Sometimes, they are so bad that I have to stay in bed for a day or two. What could be causing these and how can I improve the situation? PHOTO: REUTERS

Question: I suffer from chronic headaches. Sometimes, they are so bad that I have to stay in bed for a day or two. What could be causing these and how can I improve the situation?

Answer: Chronic pain such as headaches can come from a variety of reasons. The cause could be physical, mental or emotional. Have you had a thorough check-up with your doctor? Headaches could come from any number of causes including anaemia, dental or sinus issues, common colds, eye problems, dehydration or even stress.

First of all, make sure to have a thorough medical check-up. Ask your doctor to test for vitamin and mineral deficiencies as they too can cause inflammation and pain. Another way you can start helping yourself is to identify any patterns that could be the cause.

Make a note each time a headache occurs: record the time of day, what you ate and what was happening around you. You may notice certain types of events triggering the headaches. The wisdom behind recording them is that it helps you identify any patterns and therefore, the cause. Your headaches may be due to something simple such as dehydration which can be fixed easily or something more complex such as stress.

Another thing to do right now is to up your water intake just so you could put that cause to rest. Begin making changes one at a time so you can understand and notice what is working and what isn’t.

Question: I am facing a lot of issues in my marriage; my in-laws are always criticising me. I feel stressed and overwhelmed most of the time and I just don’t know what to do. Please help me otherwise I think I will go crazy!

Answer: I’m very sorry to hear that you’re having such a tough time; these kind of problems can really take it out of you. Firstly, may I suggest that you try to take a break from the whole situation? Go to your mom’s place or away with your husband on a short break if at all possible. It is advisable to remove yourself from a situation that’s likely to erupt if left as-is. Once you’ve had some time to rest, you will be better able to deal with the situation at hand.

The next step is to figure out what’s going on with your relationship with the in-laws; ask your spouse for his opinion. Try to be as objective as possible. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment and try to see how they perceive you. You may be able to see what the issue is.

Then ask yourself,

“Am I willing to put this situation in the past? Am I willing to truly forgive and let go?.”

If you find that the answer is yes, then I suggest the next step.

Ask someone, who all of you trust, to mediate. This is not normally accepted in our culture so first make sure to ask your in-laws if this would be alright. Remember, if the situation is difficult for you, it is very likely that they feel the same way too. If you approach it with the right intention (to improve things at home), and you come from love and respect, they may well agree.

If not, then make an attempt to do it with all the immediate parties involved. Sit down and discuss the situation and look for one or two practical ways to satisfy the needs of each side. Persevere, try something different and you will find a solution that works – good luck!

Drop us an email explaining your problem on [email protected] and read her response next week! All submissions will be edited for clarity and brevity.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Parvez

    Question : I think hard, write and re-write my comments, then spell check and read it through and then send………………AND IT DISSAPEARS. What do I do ?Recommend

  • Na


    haha but you are all over ET; very polite though. stop sending many.Some from across the border can be irritating. They speak with such authenticity about our society which is amazing.My question: a few irritate me a lot, so what should I do? second question: don’t Indian newspapers post comments of their citizens?Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Na: You’re so right and I do come across as faltu but you have to admit the ET site is brilliant in many ways and I find it excellent for what I term as ‘ mental calisthenics ‘.
    By the way I am very much this side of the border…………but in reality that should not make any difference.
    On the comments from across the boarder if you follow them they are ‘ the usual suspects ‘ and they are very intelligent. Most of their comments are relevant and they provide a deeper dimension to the debate. Yes, they become tiresome on the subject of India / Pakistan / politics and relations, they let emotions rule and refuse to conceed that may be, just may be there is more to the topic than what they perceive. But isn’t life too short to let small irritants bother us.Recommend

  • Na


    I have no problem if they comment on ET but seeing some of the recognizable names showing joy at the announcement of Dewan of Ajmer Sharif that he would not extend protocol to Pakistani PM was mind boggling. Ajmer Sharif is as much ours as it is is for Indians( not Muslims only) because saints should not be confined to parochial boundaries.Suppose tomorrow Pakistan’s relations deteriorate with Iraq, would it appear felicitous if supervisor of Iraqi shrine refuse to meet PM of Pakistan.
    After all Khawaja ghareebnawaz he. aur woh sab ke liye gharrebnawaz hain. Indians come to Data Sahib, we will welcome you with open arms and hearts. Data Sahib is not for Pakistanis only!Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Very well said – I agree even with the tiresome part. And it is people like you who help keep the discussion on an even keel – so the answer to your question is to keep trying :).Recommend

  • Parvez

    @BlackJack: Appreciated. Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Na: Now see, you have let a stupid incident of our PM’s visit to a shrine ( why did he go in the first place ? ) and the comments from a few Indian readers upset you………………not good.Recommend

  • Na


    Sometimes all of us get upset. I have great reverence for saint of Ajmer Sharif. This could be one reason. Thanks!Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Na: I can understand where you’re coming from because many a time I feel the same way. All I’m saying is to take a deep breath, count to ten, take a careful look at your adversary and his / her reasons for saying what they say and then carefully respond. Many a time you’ll find that no response is the best response.
    I enjoyed the exchange ………..keep well.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    Ola ! What’s going on in the comments section ?!

    I read BlackJack’s comment twice coz kind comments from him are a rarity.
    I think he’s smart,knowledgeable and I like interacting with him but kindness is not a quality I’d associate with him. ( That’s my perception of BlackJack – the reality could be different ) Recommend

  • Syme

    The comments are delight like always. Thanks Parvaz, Na and BlackJack.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Na: Dewan of Ajmer Sharif that he would not extend protocol to Pakistani PM was mind boggling.

    For Dewan of Ajmer Sharif beheading of an Indian soldiers by terrorists with help of ISI was mind boggling. Dewan just protested. Recommend

  • Hasni

    @ All

    No body took pain of commenting on the blog itself rather all are playing I praise you – You praise me . hahahahahaRecommend

  • Milind

    @Na – As someone watching this debate from “across the border”, I find the basis of your argument wrong. Why would you be offended if a caretaker of a religious shrine refuses to provide protocol to your PM? Your PM has gone there (or should have) as an ordinary devotee and as far as I know all religions advise devotees to discard their egos and remain humble in front of God.

    Ah.. if you’re talking about practicality and mundane political considerations, then the Indian Govt has already accorded the protocol to your PM – and that’s what should matter. Had he been invited to any business school or forum to speak, then the protocol would have mattered.

    The only thing that should matter is that the saint blesses your PM / politicans (and also ours) with wisdom to run both countries efficiently for uplifting the masses.Recommend

  • Na


    I agree with most of your arguments but it is my belief that politics and religion should not be mixed. So dewan should not have brought politics into it and he could have refused to accord him protocol for other reasons. I felt discomforted not because our dear good PM was rebuffed but dewan of shrine of reverential shrine could raise himself above partisanship.Recommend