By Paonam Thoibi

Q. Dear Madam, this is about my eight years old son. He easily gets distracted during his study, though he will concentrate well when he has the mood. His 11 years sister is quite the opposite. Is there something wrong with his personality? Kamlesh, Wangkhei, Imphal (E).

Ans: Dear Kamlesh, it is very natural for small kids to shift attention very often. There is nothing wrong with his personality. However, if it gets too often then there are some tips which you can follow. Give him enough freedom of space and let him pace up and down while reading his books loudly. He can even engage in an activity he is interested while in study. Let him change position often or even shift subjects when he gets bored. The secret is to make study fun. Lastly, avoid comparing between siblings as they are different individuals with different capabilities and limitations. Comparing only instigates sibling rivalries which are often difficult to manage.

Q. I am a home maker, middle aged. I have had physical problems since the past ten years. Doctors have told me that there is nothing to be worried about as my problems are not serious. But I have doubts. My children are all grown up, reading in high school. My husband takes proper care of me. What is troubling me is that I can’t control myself when I have this problem of sudden irritation without reasons. Should I try sedatives? Please help. Name withheld, Langol Game Village.

Ans: Dear Madam, an exact mention of your age would have been substantially beneficial for giving the right suggestions. The reasons for irritability can be quite an external factor which is dependent on your environment. One of the reasons can also be internal- due to hormonal changes and physiological discomforts. I would advise you to consult a medical doctor and get some routine tests done to rule out the biological factors. Also, psychotherapy which includes training for anger management and stress reduction is most needed for you. Medications are advised only when the situation is too overwhelming for you to handle which I believe is not the case for you right now.

Q. Dear Madam, I have a friend who loves to talk of so many philosophies. We are in college first year. We have been friends since school days. But I have started disliking his talking habits of late. Does he need counseling? Kh. Byron, Loklaobung, Imphal.

Ans: Dear Byron, first of all I’d say you are very lucky to have a friend with whom you can engage in dialogue on philosophies. But I can understand how you are feeling when it won’t stop. I would suggest that it would be much better if you undergo a ‘social skill training’ or an ‘assertive training’ so that you get to handle this situation and many more similar ones to your advantage. Through that I’m sure you will be better able to affirm your point of view or differences without offending or threatening the other person. Furthermore submission by letting him ignore your opinion can lead you to stress and this can be avoided.

Q: Madam, could you please explain what is bipolarity? I have tried looking through the internet but there are full of technical languages that I can’t understand. Is it same with depression? Name withheld, Thangmeiband Imphal.

Ans: Bipolarity or bipolar disorder is a psychological condition where a person experiences both episodes of elevated mood of euphoria- wellbeing and positivism and episodes of depression or sad feelings. Both these episodes are often unrealistic and can affect a person’s daily functioning. Reasons are mainly biological but environmental factors like stress, childhood adversities and dysfunctional family backgrounds can pose a high risk. Very often it is confused with similar conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, major depressive disorder, certain personality disorder etc. Management of bipolar condition can be done by medication after proper psychological assessment and also psychotherapy by mental health professionals.

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