It is not a disease

This is for those people who can’t differentiate a shy person from a quiet one.
Here’s an excellent piece by Jonathan Rauch, an introvert.

Some highlights that hit bull’s eye many times over:
Shy people are anxious or frightened or self-excoriating in social settings; introverts generally are not.

In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially “on,” we introverts need to turn off and recharge.

This isn’t antisocial. It isn’t a sign of depression. It does not call for medication. For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating.

If we introverts ran the world, it would no doubt be a calmer, saner, more peaceful sort of place. (ah hah!)

The worst of it is that extroverts have no idea of the torment they put us through. Sometimes, as we gasp for air amid the fog of their 98-percent-content-free talk, we wonder if extroverts even bother to listen to themselves. Still, we endure stoically, because the etiquette books—written, no doubt, by extroverts—regard declining to banter as rude and gaps in conversation as awkward. We can only dream that someday, when our condition is more widely understood, when perhaps an Introverts’ Rights movement has blossomed and borne fruit, it will not be impolite to say “I’m an introvert. You are a wonderful person and I like you. But now please shush.”

And the classic ending:

When you see an introvert lost in thought, don’t say “What’s the matter?” or “Are you all right?”
Third, don’t say anything else, either.

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Bipolar Depression

I was looking for an important literiture online. Instead, I found two very different but interesting websites. One is a free horoscope generating site. Though, it only gives you somewhat partial insights, it is equally interesting.

Here it is.

The other is on depression, rather on a type of depression called bipolar disorder.

Bipolar Depression
What is bipolar depression?
Bipolar depression is the depressed phase of the disorder, which is also known as “manic-depressive” disease. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes people to switch from feeling overly happy and joyful (or irritable) to feeling very sad. Because of the highs and the lows — or two poles of mood — the condition is referred to as “bipolar.” In between episodes of mood swings, a person may experience normal moods.

The word “manic” describes the periods when the person feels overly excited and confident. These feelings can quickly turn to confusion, irritability, anger, and even rage. The word “depressive” describes the periods when the person feels very sad or depressed. Because the symptoms are similar, sometimes people with bipolar depression are incorrectly diagnosed as having major depression.

Most individuals with bipolar disorder spend more time in depressed phases than in manic phases.

Symptoms
The dramatic and rapidly changing mood swings from highs to lows do not follow a set pattern, and depression does not always follow manic phases. A person may also experience the same mood state several times before suddenly experiencing the opposite mood. Mood swings can happen over a period of weeks, months, and sometimes even years.

The severity of the depressive and manic phases can differ from person to person, and in the same person at different times.

Symptoms of mania (“The highs”):
Excessive happiness, hopefulness, and excitement
Sudden changes from being joyful to being irritable, angry, and hostile
Restlessness
Rapid speech and poor concentration
Increased energy and less need for sleep
High sex drive
Tendency to make grand and unattainable plans
Tendency to show poor judgment, such as deciding to quit a job
Drug and alcohol abuse
Increased impulsivity

Some patients can become psychotic, seeing and hearing things that aren’t there and holding false beliefs from which they cannot be swayed. In some instances they see themselves as having superhuman skills and powers, or think they are god-like.

The symptoms of bipolar depression are the same as those of major depression and include:

Sadness
Loss of energy
Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
Loss of enjoyment from things that were once pleasurable
Difficulty concentrating
Uncontrollable crying
Difficulty making decisions
Irritability
Increased need for sleep
Insomnia or excessive sleep
A change in appetite causing weight loss or gain
Thoughts of death or suicide
Attempting suicide

Who experiences bipolar disorder?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over two million American adults have bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder usually begins in early adulthood, appearing before age 35. Children and adolescents, however, can develop this disease in more severe forms and often in combination with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some studies have indicated that bipolar depression is genetically inherited, occurring more commonly within families.

While bipolar disorder occurs equally in women and men, women with bipolar disorder may switch moods more quickly — this is called “rapid cycling.” Varying levels of sex hormones and activity of the thyroid gland in the neck, together with the tendency to be prescribed antidepressants, may contribute to the more rapid cycling seen in women. Women may also experience more periods of depression than men.

An estimated 60 percent of all people with bipolar disorder have drug or alcohol dependence. It has also been shown to occur frequently in people with seasonal depression and certain anxiety disorders, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).What causes bipolar disorder?A definite cause for any type of depression is difficult to determine but include genetics, changes in the brain, and environmental factors like stress and major life changes. More research is being done to determine the relationship that these factors have in bipolar disorder, how they may help prevent its onset, and what role they may play in its treatment.

How is bipolar disorder diagnosed?
A diagnosis of bipolar disorder is made only by taking careful note of symptoms, and their severity, length, and frequency. The most telling symptoms include severe mood swings (going from extreme highs to extreme lows) that don’t follow a set pattern. Reviewing collateral history from close friends and family is often very helpful in distinguishing bipolar disorder from major depression.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder, seek the advice of your family healthcare provider or a psychiatrist. A referral may then be made to an appropriate mental health expert.

A thorough medical evaluation should be performed. Your doctor will ask questions about your personal and family history of mental illness. You may also be asked to complete a depression-screening questionnaire — a series of structured questions that you will be asked to answer verbally or in writing.

What are the treatments?
Bipolar disorder is a long-term illness that requires management throughout a person’s life. People who have numerous (four or more) episodes of mood changes (rapid cycling) in a year can be much more difficult to treat. Medication is the primary form of treatment, but the additional use of psychotherapy or “talk” therapy is sometimes recommended to help prevent future episodes.

There are many medications available to treat depression. In 2004, Symbyax, a combination of the antipsychotic olanzapine and the antidepressant fluoxetine, became the first drug specifically approved to treat bipolar depression.

Lithium (brand names Eskalith, Lithobid, Lithonate), a mood-stabilizing drug, is the most commonly prescribed medicine for people with bipolar disorder. It has proven helpful in controlling mood swings in both directions from mania to depression and from depression to mania. Lithium will reduce symptoms of mania within two weeks of starting therapy, but it may take weeks to months before the condition is completely controlled. Thus, other drugs like antipsychotic drugs or antidepressant drugs may also be used to help control symptoms.

Can bipolar disorder be prevented?
There is no known method to prevent bipolar disorder. Because its exact cause has not yet been determined, it is especially important to know its symptoms and seek early intervention. Some people who experience bipolar disorder may become suicidal. By knowing how to recognize these symptoms, there is a better chance for effective treatment and finding coping methods that may prevent long periods of illness, extended hospital stays, and suicide.

Last evening

After days (erm two weeks to be precise) of listening to Peter Pan, I tuned to a local Tamil radio channel on my way back home. What a pleasant surprise it was to hear the song Malayoram mayiley moments after. This song, for some reasons unknown, lifts up my spirits whenever, wherever I am. Whether it’s the marvel of Ilayaraja sir, or the two outstanding singers ( I sincerely believe Malaysia Vasudevan is underated) or even the lyrist (who?), I don’t know. But the song definitely deserves a super thumbs up!

After a futile search at Music India Online, I went over to http://www.rakkamma.com and found out the movie name. Here is the lyric from http://www.dhool.com.

Film – Oruvar vaazhum alayam
Song – Malayoram mayiley
Music – Ilayaraja
Singers – Malaysia Vasudevan, Chithra

malaiyoaram mayilae vilaiyaadum kuyilae
vilaiyaattach cholliththandhaaru.
..mmm…
vilaiyaattach cholliththandhaaru

malaiyoaram mayilae vilaiyaadum kuyilae
vilaiyaattach cholliththandhaaru.
..mmm…
vilaiyaattach cholliththandhaaru
 
poomarak kaaththu saamarandhaan
veesudhu ingae vaasanadhaan
poomarak kaaththu saamarandhaan
veesudhu ingae vaasanadhaan
maanirap poovae yoasanai aenoa
maamanaiththaanae saeranum neeyae
a a aa…

malaiyoaram mayilae vilaiyaadum kuyilae
vilaiyaattach cholliththandhaaru.
..mmm…
vilaiyaattach cholliththandhaaru

kaaviri aatrangaraiyinilae
kaatrinil aadum poongodiyae
aadidum poovum kaadhalaiththaanae
koorudhu ingae maamalaith thaenae
a a aa…
 
malaiyoaram mayilae vilaiyaadum kuyilae
vilaiyaattach cholliththandhaaru.
..mmm…
vilaiyaattach cholliththandhaaru

People who outlive gratitude

This post by MumbaiGirl made me realise another issue that has kept me in the dark for quite sometime now.

How are we to deal with people who outlive the gratitude that we shower upon them?

Say, for instance, an aunt helped, during my time of distress by being there for me. This, I have kept in heart for many years and have always, when opportuned, returned the kindness without any expectations, as should rightly. Mostly, the intention is not to repay but to give the kindness uncalculated and without restraint. However, now that we are geographically closer to each other, the ‘real’ self of that aunt is gradually showing her other face.

No, I’m am not referring to the overly protective, concerned, possesive out of care aunt, but of an aunt with a sword for a tongue kind.

If I were to tell her off , does that make ‘me’ ungrateful? Or should ‘I’ put up with it for as long as she or ‘I’ live? Nevermind, it hurts ‘me’ deep? Nevermind she humiliates ‘me’ in public and in private for mundane stuff?

Am ‘I’ being taken advantage of?’

Why aren’t you married?

Fool 1
“What?! You are 20+n and not married? Why? All this while I thought you were much younger. What is the problem?”

That was the first time I saw that fool in one of my relatives’ housewarming dinner. No idea who he was!

Fool 2
“Jay, get married soon. Your parents will be happy. They are longing to carry their grandkiddos. You don’t know how they feel deep inside.”

This ‘clairvoyant’ is in the first in all known relatives ‘annoyers’ list. Why? I am not surprised.

Fool 3
“Don’t get married soon. Your father will miss you. Mine died after I got married, out of sadness. That’s how it is when daughters marry off.”

Woman, no 1, you don’t anything about me or my family. No 2, just because I say hi to you every morning, it doesn’t give you the right to talk about my marriage. No wonder people ignore you.

Ps: I heard your father died at the ripe old age of 80, due to cancer. So, stop crapping.

Fool 4
“Why don’t I see you often? You know, it is good for girls like to attend huge family gatherings. Parents of eligable boys are always in the look out for brides, in places like this, you know?”

Why do YOU think you don’t see me around, woman?

Fool 5
“My niece who is as old as you, got married last month. You should, too.”

*sigh*

Career growth – What you ought to do

Come in late. When boss is not around, come in later. If questioned by boss or other superiors, just put on a tired face and sigh. With a barely audible voice, lie through your teeth that you had stayed back to complete a very important task. Nevermind that the important task was something that you had put aside or simply ignored due to personal reasons. By the way, the important task is nonexistent.

If you have screwed up on something, try blaming it on everyone else beside you. If that doesn’t help, back to lying through your teeth. Say you were too busy and did it unintentionally. Nevermind you didn’t understand a single thing that was asked of you in the first place.

If your customer or colleague has screwed up, complain with all your might or till it reaches your boss’s ears. Tip: The louder it is, the better. The aim is to imply that you have an eye for detail and that you do not tolerate such service failure.

Use bombastic words, even if it makes no senses. The more you use, the better the chances of your presence being felt by the higher management.

Be on the know. It is important to keep abreast of the happenings in your office. How else are you going to entertain your boss with the purpose accidental tongue slip about your colleague who ignoramously told you his or her personal troubles.

Never ever ever, I can’t be more stern than this, submit/handover any task, no matter how miniscule, on time. This might make your superior, gasp, think, that you, you are inefficient and bad in time management. The rule is; be consistent in whatever you do!

It is very important for you to be at you desk when your boss leaves the office for the day. Give yourself, say, a window of 10 minutes. Then, run out to the door to get out the office. Don’t waste a precious second, afterall, the head has left the building. Why waste time anyway?

Other vital rules to ascend the corporate ladder include:
Backstabbing
Self promotion
Call yourself the best
Be friendly

Never ever gossip or bad mouth a colleague or your boss unless the other person is another prototype of you. You don’t want your success mantra to fail, do you?

This works.

Otherwise, I wouldn’t be working for fools, would I?

A letter to the Tamil movie director

Dear Mr Director,

I, a regular viewer of your movies, have taken the liberty to kindly inform you that it’s about time for you to think out of the box.

Whether you like it or not, I have listed the what NOT to do list for your own goodness and mine.
•The comedy actress/vegetable seller/heroine’s friend’s/seductress/any other female character who has no direct input to the movie besides being present just to extend the length of your movie need NOT show cleavage, in purpose misplacing the saree munthani, deliberately exposing areas that need not, deliberate forward leaning etc etc.
•Please do not attempt to include dialogues with double meaning if it sounds bad even to you. It says alot about where you stand as a director in the hierarchy of movieland.
•Enough of the annoying hero/heroine introduction background music. It works only for Rajini. I am bias. So?
•Enough of blue tinted jokes that your college students characters make. They sound so bad so much so the real college students cringe in shame whenever your movies are mentioned. We might be naughty but never crude.
•Never ever include first night scenes in a devotional movie
•You may experiment with technicolours in any other movie, not in a devotional one. Definitely not by depicting a goddess in many variants of colour.
•Seductresses/sexy ladies are just that. They are what they are because of what they desire for. It has nothing to do with their clothes or rather the lack of it as shown in your movies. When they do dress up to bait, they do it with class. Not like what is shown in your movies.
•Men who ogle at forward bending ladies, skipping heroines etc etc are disgusting.
•Enough of: close shots of heroine’s chest, hips, butt, lips, back
•Close shots of body parts of heroines being grabbed by heroes do not turn us on. I repeat, it does not turn us on!

Oh, puhleeze! Don’t blame the stars from the northen region as being open to anything.

Let me tell you a small analogy.

A person with a toothache goes to the dentist. Now, tell me, oh wise one, if the dentist extracts the wrong tooth, can he or she blame the patient? The same logic applies here.

Aiyo, director saar, the patient is the heroine from north. While the dentist is you. I don’t care why they are open to all that nonsense that you dictate, but the fact it you dictate and they act!

So stop whining like a kiddo and take responsibility to what you have done. No matter how stupid it makes you feel and look. You should have thought of it before embarking on your project. Not after.

With kind regards,
A tamil movie fan

Ps: When is your next movie slated for release?