|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 42, Tuesday March 23, 2004|
Interpreter of Maladies
Dr. Nighat Ara, Psychiatrist
Ans: Dear reader, I must say that I find you as a highly self-monitoring person (you understand what comes into play when you choose a friend, what stops you from falling in love etc.). I also appreciate your capacity to acknowledge your own strength (e.g.-"I understand my potential") Self-monitors are able to separate a part of their consciousness and observe their behaviour from a detached viewpoint. Good news is high self-monitors are usually skilful communicators whereas low self-monitors are not even aware of their own incompetence. However, too much self-monitoring can be problematic as well. In your case, it appears that you are quite critical and judgmental to self (e.g. never been able to develop habits, too lazy). People with poor self-image also suffer from low self-esteem. Inferiority/superiority complexes are different presentations of low self-esteem, it seems that you don't feel safe in relationships and easily get threatened by any change in status. Your self-image seems to be very shaky and vulnerable. I'm not really sure what you meant by never been able to develop any habit? Is it lack of initiative, lack of drive or procrastination? People with depressed moods often suffer from procastrination, which can also be linked to a vicious cycle of low self-esteem. What makes you afraid to fall in love? Fears of rejection, fear of intimacy and abandonment issues are some common underlying reasons. You've also expressed your doubt about your gut feelings ("can't judge anything with my own instincts")- further exploration is needed to understand what this insecurity is about. You are aware of your blockades but need some support from a professional counsellor (with expertise in self-esteem therapies) who will be a co-author in your self-discovery. Human intra-psychic life can be explained using the metaphor of an iceberg. Behaviour is the tip of the iceberg and the huge portion under the water level comprises of feelings-perception-expectation-yearnings etc. The most bottom layer is the true self. Your childhood experiences, your ability to process and analyse them, how you were treated by significant people of your life, how you've coped with adverse life situations- all these are important tools for self-discovery. Telling more about the therapies designed to recover self-esteem is beyond the scope of this column. I would recommend you to focus more on your positive aspects and to treat yourself more gently. Nobody is perfect; as humans we are not meant to be perfect, we can only try to improve ourselves. Listen to your inner voice and try to replace it with some positive messages instead of negative ones. It is important that you do some mental work under proper supervision to feel better about yourself, to make satisfactory progress in relationships and to improve the quality of your life.
DR. Mahfujul Haq Khan BDS, DDS, FSDCE (USA), PhD (Japan), Post Doc. (Japan) Specialised: Crown and Bridge work, and Periodontal plastic surgery (USA) Senior Medical Officer, Department of Dentistry, BIRDEM Hospital
Caries (Cavity) What is a Cavity?
And may involve
the tooth pulp.
The formation of a cavity is due to many factors. For example, the tooth itself plays a role (how strong it is); the mouth's ability to cleanse itself (your flow of saliva); diet (frequency and selection of sugary foods); the bacteria in your mouth (good or bad); and the length of time the tooth is under attack by the bacteria in your mouth.
Heredity: may play a major role in how susceptible you are to the formation of a cavity, for example; Tooth structure, size and shape of the tooth may be passed down through generations. This includes deep pits and grooves which are ideal "plaque traps", and therefore, are susceptible to decay. There may be a higher risk of cavities forming if your parents also had a large number of cavities teeth that are malpositioned in the mouth, that are hard to access with your toothbrush or floss may also provide an ideal breeding ground for the bacterial dental plaque.
Saliva: has a protective function in the mouth, for example: a good flow of saliva washes away food and bacteria that sit on the teeth and gum tissues. Salivary flow helps to neutralise the acids produced by bacteria from plaque, thus a good flow helps reduce the chances of a cavity formation
Diet: a well balanced diet from each of the four major food groups is essential for your oral health, as well as, your overall health. Avoid frequent consumption of high sugar foods, especially sticky foods the longer the time the food stays on your teeth, the greater the chance of forming a cavity.
Time: the actual amount of sugar eaten in one sitting is not as important as when and how often you choose a sugar containing food. The consumption of high sugar foods is best if eaten with a regular meal. This will confine the sugar exposure to one sitting. It's best to eat the whole chocolate bar at once instead of at different periods throughout the day
Bacteria: the mouth harbours many types of bacteria that are considered to be normal in the human mouth. Bacteria, in a healthy mouth tends to live in balance, but for reasons yet to be truly identified, that balance can be tilted and oral disease may result
Fluoride: fluoride provides many benefits. It is found in many products such as toothpaste, mouth rinse, fluoridated drinking water and periodic topical fluoride treatments applied by your dental professional. It aids in the development of sound enamel it helps reduce enamel solubility and increases enamel resistance to acid attack
It prevents demineralisation
(the white spot phase of the beginning stages of a cavity), and enhances
re-mineralisation of beginning stages of a cavity.
If it is a white spot, low concentrations of fluoride applied frequently can arrest further development. If the white spot phase progresses, further breakdown of enamel will occur. At this point, a visit to your dental professional is necessary. The cavity may be restored with a filling.
How Do I Prevent
Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
Clean between your teeth daily with floss or inter-dental cleaner.
Eat nutritious and balanced meals and limit snacking.
Check with your dentist about use of supplemental fluoride, which strengthens your teeth, and about use of dental sealant (a plastic protective coating) applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect them from decay.
Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral examination.
Just Kid's Stuff?
Decay around the edges, or margins, of fillings is also common to older adults. Because many older adults lacked benefits of fluoride and modern preventive dental care when they were growing up, they often have a number of dental fillings. Over the years, these fillings may weaken and tend to fracture and leak around the edges. Bacteria accumulate in these tiny crevices causing acid to build up which leads to decay.
By The Way
Protect yourself from passive smoking
You may not be a smoker but can you protect yourself from passive smoking? It is an important issue but hardly possible to assert the rights. Most of the time people in our country do not respect non-smokers. In a situation like this it is you who can do something about it. This is what you can do, "If you see anybody SMOKING around you, please TOUCH your NOSE with 3 middle fingers and make a SOUND of COUGHING twice." This is called "MA" method. This is a non-verbal communication from you and can help STOP SMOKING.
| Issues | The Daily Star Home|
© 2003 The Daily Star