Emotional and physical abuse are as damaging

Parents love for their children can’t be measured. Yet, almost all emotional abuse cases that have been detected were carried out by parents or their caregiver. Some justify it as a form of discipline, and some aren’t even aware that they are harming their children. Most parents were raised that way and the circle continues because they don’t see the harm in it. They don’t notice that their inability to cope with their frustration has a damaging effect on their child.A parent commonly shouts to take out their frustration on their children as they believe that it will teach them how to behave. Children are led by example – if they notice that their parents are violent or shout when they are angry, they will repeat the same in their future interactions.

Parents have a hard time accepting that their way of discipline can be abusive. Another person cannot hit or bully their children but if they do it — it’s because they love them and they want what’s best for them.

Emotional abuse doesn’t hold the same weight as physical abuse or neglect. Pain, like everything else socially, has a hierarchal system. The most disturbing fact is that emotional maltreatment is habitual and unlike psychical abuse, the scars are invisible.

However, psychological and physical pain trigger the same parts of the brain. According to David Vachon, a McGill [Canadian university] professor in its department of psychology, “people assume physical abuse is more harmful than other types of abuse, but we found that they are associated with similar consequences”.

Children who suffer from mental abuse have a long road ahead of them. Most adolescents who grew up in a household that tolerated emotional abuse suffer from low self esteem and prolonged self doubt. As adults, they either end up repeating their parents’ mistakes or allow others to mistreat them.

Communities should offer prevention methods and remedies. An effective way to educate parents is by allowing hospitals and schools to offer parents free lectures on how to deal with children when they misbehave or how to regulate and control anger.

My original article is posted in Gulf news your views page

Sara. H

To all those all-night binge watchers

Show of hands, how many of you spend more than three hours a day watching TV series? In my case three hours a day is considered a slow day.
Netflix analysed viewers of more than 20 shows from 16 countries; the data revealed at which episode the viewers fell down the rabbit hole. None of the viewers were ever hooked on the pilot episode. Dramas like ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘The Killing’ took the viewer two episodes to get them hooked, while ‘Arrow’ and ‘How I met your mother’ took up to eight episodes. Essentially, the ‘hooked’ episode pinpoints the episode that got viewers to start binge watching.

Earlier this year, a survey was conducted at the University of Texas to study the connection between binge TV watchers and depression. The research revealed that “the more lonely and depressed the study participants were, the more likely they were to binge-watch TV”. Watchers use their shows as a getaway from reality, however; it becomes unhealthy when it interrupts daily schedules.

Watching one episode of ‘Homeland’ or ‘The Walking Dead’ can offer you the mental break you were looking for. While ‘normal’ functioning people spend an hour but what about the rest of the people, like myself, who get too comfortable and end up watching the entire series of ‘Office’ in a month? Moderation is incomprehensible. A fun break from reality can easily be abused and turned into an addiction.

The sedentary lifestyle commonly known as the ‘potato couch’ syndrome is almost always allied with an all-night marathon TV session. Not to neglect mentioning the late-night snacks combined with sitting or laying down for hours has its toll on the body fat accumulating. It can then result in obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. Other noticeable health symptoms are the undeniable headaches and eye strains from staring at the blue screen for hours.

Side effects of pulling off an all-nighter emerge the next day when the level of productivity decreases, accompanied by the short attention span and irritability from lack of sleep.

I cannot count on the number of times I postponed or cancelled a social gathering. An iPad next to me, a cup of tea in one hand and the other holding a chocolate bar will always win over dressing up and leaving the house for a girls night out.

The first step to recovery, as the saying goes, is admitting you have a problem. What worked for me is setting a time and sticking to it. Have a plan for the next day.

My original article is posted in Gulf news your views page
Sara. H