Nighat Ara, Psychiatrist
I have twin sons. They are 19 years of age. A year ago one them got
admitted to a reputed university while the other one failed. They always
studied together their entire life. They shared everything including
class lectures and notes. This is their style. Now this separation is
effecting them. One of them (the one who failed) is becoming more and
more isolated from friends. He is not involved in anything. It seems
he is missing something. I am worried about both of them. Please help.
Your twin sons are separated for the first time in life and the reason
of this separation is awful. They are in their late teens, definitely
they are going through lot of changes in both their internal and external
world. Unfortunately, one of your sons "succeeded" and other
one "failed". We have different kinds of success "myths"
in this society- good grade, reputed university, specific job, bank
balance, big house etc. We define success from a narrow point of view
and tend to undermine the huge potential of the so-called unsuccessful
person and label them as "loser". In a fiercely competitive
society, parents also push hard their children to excel, this leads
them to believe that their whole worth lies in "success" or
"failure". Eventually life loses its natural essence and this
person suffers from toxic shame of failure, which makes him feel inadequate,
insignificant or unworthy. Shame is a very normal human experience and
drives people to work hard to achieve something desirable. However,
toxic shame reduces a person and initiates a downward spiral of self-destruction.
To cover up this pain, he puts on mask of indifference, arrogance or
isolation. Your son's social withdrawal and isolation could be an impact
of this "failure". Our present society and education system
teaches and promotes competition. Ironically, the more one becomes competitive,
the less one can sustain competition. There is also ample room to raise
a doubt how effective these admission systems are to detect the talents?
Isn't the system itself faulty with defective measuring techniques,
which allows lot of talents to fall through the cracks? Nevertheless,
competitions between two brothers are not at all a pleasant experience.
Sadly enough, the twin brothers are likely to be compared all the time.
Comparison is a direct insult to their individuality. In order to recover
from shame, a person needs to come out of hiding and seek support. Professional
counselling can help him to recover from shame, get back his grip on
life and grow to his fullest potential. Sometimes, teen-agers suffer
from mood swings and as a developmental task they need more privacy
and isolation to grow into an adult and separate them from their parents.
Talk to your son when he is receptive and try to understand his need.
do we dream? How can I see my father, who passed away recently in my
Dream is the product of activity of brain cells while we are sleeping.
In sleep, our voluntary part of brain doesn't work and the inhibitory
function of the higher centers of the brain remains turned off. Thus
in absence of higher control over the lower centers of the brain, the
unconscious mind comes into play. Sigmund Freud gave some explanations
of dream. According to him, dream has manifest content which are usually
symbolic. Dream also performs some important functions of brain, it
is not totally useless. Wish fulfilment (any suppressed wish may appear
in your dream as real!) and problem solving (if you've worked hard consciously
to find a solution of a problem, the unconscious brain may process it
and come up with a solution!) may also occur in dreams. However, your
desire to see your deceased father in dream indicates you probably have
some unfinished work left with him. The more you think about him in
your conscious moment, the more possibility of dreaming him. Some unsupported
evidences also claim that when two persons have very close and strong
emotional bondage, they can communicate through dreams. Dream analysis
gained much popularity in the past. At present, lack of advancement
in this field is noticeable.
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,
My son, age 20, may need some root canal treatment. What is a Root Canal?
Is it painful treatment? What is the procedure of root canal? He is
not diabetic patient, but is it possible to do his dental treatment
in BIRDEM hospital under your supervision?
Mr. Mohiuddin, What is a Root Canal?
Underneath your tooth's outer enamel and within the dentin is an area
of soft tissue called the pulp, which carries the tooth's nerves, veins,
arteries and lymph vessels. Root canals are very small, thin divisions
that branch off from the top pulp chamber down to the tip of the root.
A tooth has at least one but no more than four root canals.
it painful treatment?
No, not at all! Nowadays, dentistry is painless practice.
is a root canal procedure?
A root canal is a procedure done to save the damaged or dead pulp in
the root canal of the tooth by cleaning out the diseased pulp and reshaping
the canal. The canal is filled with gutta percha, a rubber like material,
to prevent recontamination of the tooth. The tooth is then permanently
sealed with possibly a post and/or a gold or porcelain crown. This enables
patients to keep the original tooth.
it is possible to do it in department of dentistry, BIRDEM hospital
under my supervision. You can consult with me from 7.30am to 2.00pm
(Except Friday, Govt. Holiday), room No. 258.
I am a 52 year-old male. One of my lower chewing teeth, which
had been filled around 20 years back, is now giving me some problems.
I feel pain in that tooth if I accidentally bite something hard. This
happens when a small but hard thing (e.g. chanachur, dal bhaja etc.)
gets pressed by the middle portion of that tooth. When I wake up in
the morning, I have a feeling that the tooth is having more weight than
others. I thought that the filling of the tooth has been somehow damaged
or dislodged but my dentist checked it physically with x-ray and did
not find any problem with the filling. He suggested some additional
effort to keep the tooth clean of bacteria especially where the floss
or brush can not reach. I am following his instructions but am still
not convinced about the status of filling. What is your opinion? Is
there any other way to check the condition of the filling and whether
it will be wise to remove the old filling and refill it again?
The way you have presented your complaint, seems to me that
you may need root canal treatment. I think you have "Crack Tooth
Syndrome" (Micro fracture) and some times it is quite difficult
job for us to detect by only x-ray. Nowadays we are using a very special
type of electric device (pulp tester) to check the vitality (dead or
alive) of that particular tooth. The line of your treatment plan should
be; First check the vitality by pulp tester and remove the old filling.
After removing that old filling, it will give us clear view whether
the pulp is exposed or having any micro fracture. Finally you may need
root canal treatment if the vitality test indicate that this is a dead
one. If the vitality test indicate it is vital, then refilling should
be done instead of root canal. Please do not wait, save your valuable
you concentrate on what you add to your meals rather than what you take
away, you never feel deprived. Fad diets can be seductive. Anorexic
thinking pivots on the myth of control: that controlling caloric intake
might ease the sense of overwhelming enormity of other challenges. Healthy
bodies and brains need every wholesome calorie that can get. Cutting
out junk food will keep a body healthily slim.
A DIFFERENT SKY
A New York Penthouse,
a red Mercedes and an endless chorus line of blonde Baywatch babes,
what an alluring dream for many bachelors living in and around the
Sub Continent.ÊThe story goes, Boy goes to school, gets a higher
degree, Boy's best friend moves to U.S.A while Boy tries to make a
decent career with the means that the Third World provides. Boy gets
calls from his best friend living in America who apparently landed
the best of job, and now busy cherishing his newfound fame and money
with a Britney Spears look alike. Hanging up the phone Boy goes to
sleep under his mosquito net, sweating in summer heat and dreaming
of the better life that America offers.
In reality, the
Boy's best friend is most probably a busboy or gas station attendee,
earning minimum wage, sharing a one bedroom apartment with eight other
roommates and throwing ideas out of the window of going back to school
for a higher degree. This is a common story, so common that film producers
and directors have made oodles of money making movies around this
theme, like 'The Guru,' or "Green Card Fever."
I admit that most
immigrant men do not end up in the pornographic industry or become
a religious leader in search of a career as they showed in "The
Guru." However, "The Guru," does give a true picture
of immigrants lying shamelessly about their whereabouts and lifestyles
in U.S.A to their relatives and friends back home. I once knew someone
from New York who told people in Bangladesh that he worked for NYSDOT
(when something is said in acronyms it sounds important, and if one
does not know what NYSDOT stands for, one would dare not to ask in
fear of sounding foolish). So hearing he works for NYSDOT impressed
relatives and friends gave him a "wow" and an "aha"
covered with envy.ÊNYSDOT stands for New York State Department
of Transportation, and this particular man who said he worked for
NYSDOT was not fully wrong either, he was a taxi driver in New York
City. A tinted lie can take you far you see.
If you are living
in Bangladesh, have you noticed how people in America are starting
their careers making in average $60,000 at least?Ê Have you
realized how everyone just finds a job right after they graduate from
the universities and how they can afford the coolest of cars and mostly
spend their time shopping in expensive stores and going club and bar
hopping? The truth of the matter is, the average income for a recent
graduate stands somewhere around $35,000. This figure varies of course
from career to career. According to a research done by Wagner college,
a recent Bachelors degree holder in Computer Science receives $25,000,
in English receives in average $31,000, in Mathematics $38,000 and
in Biology $40,000.
According to the
Business Journal, the national average living cost in the United States
is $2,159 a month.ÊTherefore, in average a person spends $25,908
in a year for just living cost. From this, we can conclude a recent
computer science graduate earning $25,000 is $908 short of meeting
his essential living costs, and the ones graduating with an English
degree has an access of $5,092, which will buy neither a penthouse
nor a Mercedes. These living costs do not include overseas trips or
luxurious items such as a surround sound system, which all Bengalis
have to have, or a flat screen television without which Ashwariya
Rai just does not look as appealing. One would think looking at the
average earnings and living costs, the general population is barely
just tying their ends. There is no such thing as bragging cost, however.
So the immigrant making minimum wage or average salary can color his
present all he wants when he talks to friends and relatives back home
using a $5 calling card which lets you talk for 6 hours to Dhaka (about
the only great deal $5 in America will get you).
I knew a Bangladeshi
gentleman who was a hiring manager for a very reputable company in
USA. To help other young men he made a business trip back home planning
to recruit freshly graduated students from Bangladesh for his company.
He visited all the top universities and spoke to candidates, offering
them $35,000 as starting salary with sponsorship to America. No one
from Bangladesh responded to his offer; in the end, he traveled to
India and recruited the necessary number of people. The Bangladeshi
candidates thought the hiring manager was giving them a raw deal,
since they heard their friends abroad boasting about making way more
than a mere $35,000. They let go of what might have been an excellent
opportunity, trusting lies of the immigrant friends who are feeding
their egos with made-up stories.
We Bengalis are
romantic and imaginative. We are dreamers. We grow up reading Tagore
and Saratchandra; our minds are full of creative stories and ideas.
Perhaps this strong imagination makes the failed immigrants cook-up
such make believe stories. They speak of their dreams pretending it
is true, and people in Bangladesh believe it and make it more real.
I cannot stop people from telling lies but I hope this piece of truth
opens some eyes.