Stories about health

Do you need a ‘reason’ to be depressed?

‘An unemployed man, tired of the financial crises, hangs himself to death.’ ‘A woman takes her own life before killing her children due to conflicts and problems at home’. ‘A jilted lover shoots himself in front of the girl he wants to marry.’ The lack of awareness about mood disturbances, including depression, are obvious by the kind of media coverage of the incidents of suicide, which often broadly and superficially look at the obvious external stressors and fail to highlight it as a mental health issue that can affect even those who apparently may not have any external social or/and financial stressors. The recent ...

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Would you get your jaw-wired to lose weight?

“Hey, you have lost weight?” This is a question almost every woman in this world hopes to be asked. Every day, we discuss, think about, act on and cheat on this weight monster. Recently at work, one of my female co-workers proudly announced that her family friends got their daughter’s jaws wired so that she cannot eat or chew. The poor 17-year-old will be living on liquids for the next two years. What is the end result? Of course, she will shed all those ‘extra’ pounds and probably will be able to grab an acha rishta, but how inhumane is that? While listening to ...

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Stop ridiculing the mentally ill

Individuals with mental health disorders are often the victims of violence and there is wide-spread discrimination directed towards them, whether by intent, ignorance or insensitivity. They are often the victim of jokes or are ridiculed for their behaviour. This attitude can make life difficult for them and present major obstacles to recovery. It is hard for them to find stable employment, living arrangements and relationships because of diminished self-esteem and weak social support. I came across two instances recently of major discrimination against people with mental health disabilities in Pakistan. In the first instance, a TV host, on a recent Ramazan ...

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Let’s have a cup of chai together, India

It is a truth acknowledged in the subcontinent that no meeting is complete without a cup of chai (tea). The freshly brewed combination of masalas, cardamom or a frothy cup of doodh pati touches the tip of the tongue, instantly refreshing one’s mind. Some have even argued that chai purifies their souls. We all certainly love our tea!  The addiction is tremendously mind-blowing, in its literal sense, and on a serious note, I often think Pakistani and Indians need a tea rehabilitation centre. When have you last visited a household where you weren’t offered chai? The alternative options are, of course, thanda (cold drink) or pani (water), but the fervour of making fresh chai for the guests is ...

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An ‘Hummazing’ way to eat right in Ramazan

Chop the veggies, whip up gram flour with seasoning, make a paste with water, dip the veggies and fry! Fasting and pakoras are insanely intertwined. Roadside vendors, kiosks, and general stores – all have flaming hot oil pans, centered neatly on busy roads, frying away these crunchy, deep mustard, vegetable fritter devils. Admittedly, they are best eaten after a hot day of fasting, right after gobbling up a mushy sweet date and right before sipping a deep red cold drink. The scrunch, the spice and the saltiness are all addictive. But I protest against this addiction. And this alluded me to think ...

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We should have seen it coming…

In hindsight, I suppose we should have seen it coming. Karachi had been a great city, once called the Queen of the East, but for a long time now it had become unlivable, given the daily killings, terrorist attacks, the rampant looting of pedestrians and motorists by armed gangs. We should have seen it coming. The city was the most highly taxed in the country, but no one knew what happened to the hard-earned money we gave as tax. It was widely believed, though, that our corrupt rulers were siphoning away most of the budget amount into their foreign ...

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Summer mocktails and a juicy Ramazan

The blazing heat of the June sun is slowly giving way to the sweltering, scorching July summer wave, as always. However, this year, July is host to the holy month of Ramazan as well. Along with the piety and prayers, Ramazan heralds the beginning of sumptuous iftars and sleepy sehris. But this time, there will be an added twist. With the power supply playing its agonising game of hide and seek, looming visions of extremely thirsty summer afternoons coming ahead have taken over our minds. Reprieve from this can come only in the form of cooling, sweat-beating summer drinks that are easy to prepare but ...

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My life with the fire-tipped devil

At what point does one call oneself a non-smoker? I myself have been guilty of premature declaration. I was told that I must publicise my attempts to quit smoking, thereby putting my reputation at stake. My ego would then kick in and do the needful. So I was told. That’s why, the last 14 times I tried to quit, I told the world about it – initially via email. And then, as social media took over our lives, I posted and tweeted my way into shame and ignominy. However, this time feels different; because it is different. Today, I reach my thousandth un-smoked ...

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World Thalassemia Day: Is Pakistan not charitable enough?

My dear homeland not only lingers behind in valuable energy resources but also lacks in philanthropy and benevolence. Very few people endeavour to promote human welfare and even fewer perform charitable tasks in our society. We hardly desire or care about doing something to help the less fortunate. A spider bite may not be able to transform you into a superhero but a tiny needle prick and a little bit of your time definitely can. Yes, you can become a super hero and for that, all you have to do is donate blood. All of us know that giving blood provides an essential lifeline ...

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Did you know that basil leaves fight cancer and help you quit smoking?

While you might only think of basil as an ‘herb in your pasta sauce’, it can also provide various surprising health benefits. As we all know, the basil plant is the best and most beneficial plant that we can grow in our homes or in any garden. It is the perfect source of different vitamins and potassium. In addition, it also shields us from different diseases and harmful insects. A basil plant has immense benefits but I will be discussing the 10 major benefits a person can get from this plant. Bone Strengthen This plant is an excellent source of Vitamin K, the overlooked ...

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