Building blocks of life
My fiancé recently told me that she had sex with her first cousin who lives in London. I'm not being able to come to terms since hearing this. What should I do?
Name withheld, Noida
I think you should be happy that she has told you everything and hasn't kept you in the dark. You should also respect her honesty and let go of the past. It will be a bit difficult but the ghosts of the past shouldn't be dragged into the present. Both of you have a good life ahead and if the love is true, these things won't matter in the long run. Let go of the doubt before you get married. If the shadow lingers and haunts, then please give ample time to recover. Never bring back the incidents of the past during arguments and fights of the present. Trust and faith are absolutely mandatory and you cannot continue a relationship with any pinch of doubt.
I'm 28, I get too affected with situations and feel angry, hurt and uncomfortable. Please help me overcome this.
Chandrima, West Bengal
Every moment of pain or joy in our lives is defined by the story we create about an experience. You have the power to reframe your story about anything that has hurt you, and any of the circumstances surrounding it. If you're feeling angry, hurt, or betrayed, it's easy to get stuck in a rut and feel like a victim. Instead of feeling angry or victimised by someone's actions, try to find the silver lining in the experience. There is a gift in every situation, even the worst ones, if you look for it. The heart is a muscle. It only becomes stronger with use – so open up, take a risk and get comfortable with time.
My son is in the 7th standard and I get regular complaints about his bullying habit. Please suggest how I can put an end to it.
Vanita Sinha, New Delhi
It's important to tell your child that his bullying behaviour is not right. Try to be calm about it, but make sure he knows that you want it to end.
Here's how to start:
Explain to your child what bullying is. Talk with your child about what he's doing and why he might be doing it. Listen to him and try to avoid blaming him.
Help your child understand how his behaviour affects others – for example 'Would you like someone to do that to you?' or 'How do you think that made the other person feel?'
Keep an eye on your child's use of the internet and mobile phones.
Try to divert his energy on something that is constructive – sports, art, etc. He needs to feel good about doing something better.
I fear I'm suffering from depression. What are the signs to determine it?
Name withheld, Kolkata
Though depression is different for every person, there are a few signs that are hallmarks of the illness. You may have depression, if:
You feel worthless, helpless, or guilty without knowing why.
You're feeling hopeless about most aspects of your life and can't imagine that anything will improve for you.
You feel a decrease in your energy levels and are tired no matter what you do.
You feel restless at night and have trouble sleeping and/or waking up in the morning.
You've stopped feeling pleasure doing the activities that used to make you happy, such as spending time with friends, pursuing your hobbies or being intimate.
There has been a dramatic change in your sleeping habits, such as insomnia, early-morning wakefulness or excessive sleeping.
You have lost your appetite or are overeating but cannot stop.
It is much easier for you to be alone than to put the effort into interacting with others.
You constantly feel irritable for no reason.
You have had thoughts of suicide – if you are thinking suicidal thoughts, seek help immediately.
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