Health, Life, Opinion

Postnatal Depression Happens To Men Too

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I recently this article on Daily Life, My husband was diagnosed with postnatal depression. I was genuinely surprised, and then realised that this makes perfect sense. The entry of a newborn baby into the lives of couple changes everything. I used to think that only mothers could get overwhelmed from the demands of a newborn, but it only makes sense that a father could be too.

I did some research, and found an article titled Fathers at risk of postnatal depression. Here’s a quote from the article:

…postnatal depression hits fathers and mothers equally in the first 12 months of a newborn’s life.

Young fathers are particularly vulnerable, with those aged under 30 facing a 40 per cent increase in the risk of developing postnatal depression compared with fathers aged over 30.

Again, the emphasis on younger parents having it tough! Hm. Food for thought. I hope that with the passage of time, there’ll be more research and advertising campaigns which highlight that fathers can suffer from postnatal depression. Talking about mental health issues makes it much easier for people to get the support that they need from healthcare providers.

The world has come a long way when it comes to recognizing that mothers do suffer from postnatal depression. The Black Dog Institute describes that one in seven mothers will suffer from postnatal depression (PND). I hope that new fathers will get similar levels of support.

If you know a loved one – male or female – who fits this description, and if you’re in a position to offer genuine advice, please encourage them to seek help.

 

 

 

Book review, Life, Opinion

Eulogy for a library & Last of The Mohicans

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I loved this piece on Daily Life, by Alecia Simmonds: Eulogy for a library.

As much as I enjoy my Kindle and the ease of accessing all kinds of books, there will always be a place in my heart for the sacred silence of a library.

In my brief time at the University of Sydney, I also have fond memories of Fisher Library. I remember borrowing an ancient copy of The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper. It felt like I was touching a piece of history – the musty tome, the yellowed pages….that book took me back to 1757, to the wildnerness that was America. I discovered that it was a very different story to the movie adaptation, but no less powerful. My favourite parts had to do with descriptions of the Native Americans, the lush descriptions of the rugged terrain, and, of course, the doomed love story between Uncas and Cora Munroe – not Alice, as seen in the movie.

Spoilers ahead!

In the book, Cora Munroe is actually not the all-white American heroine seen in the movie. Her mother is African American, and she is described as the stronger of the two sisters, compared to her waif-like sister Alice. Uncas and her fall in love, but back then, interracial marriage was a complete no-no. The solution? Killing off Uncas and Cora, so they could be together in the afterlife!

I was really shocked to read that America only legalized interracial marriage in 1967! Prior to the Loving v. Virginia case, it was literally illegal to marry someone of a different race. This boggles my mind. I’m of mixed ancestry (Malay, Indian and Chinese), and my future children will be too.

Book review, Books, Life, Opinion

When The World Ends, NY Times Fiction Piece

799138_battle_begins_iiThe New York Times ran a great fiction piece today: When The World Ends, by Elyse Pitok.

Elyse’s piece is short and powerful, much like a punch to the gut. It really makes you think – what would happen if we were at the end of the world? All these luxuries that we take for granted will vanish. We’ll all be stripped down to the basic act of survival. How will that change you?

She very cleverly juxtaposed the protagonist having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) with, well, the world ending. That takes mastery. One of my favourite lines:

But you realize that there is so much healing to be done, and no more. Tomorrow you will still be skinny. The next day you will still be obsessive. The day after that you will still be compulsive. No amount of therapy or medicine or patience is going to change that, but somehow you will find a way to coexist with your neuroses.

Her piece reminds me of Cormack McCarthy’s The Road, a novel which disturbed me for weeks. At this point, I wouldn’t re-read it. I have no intention to watch the movie, either. But was it a good book? Yes, so good I think it might have given me nightmares. Apocalyptic fiction is not for the faint of heart. The scary thing is that at the rate humankind is burning up resources – how far away are we from the point of no return? It’s a harrowing thought.

As one of my teachers taught me – tread lightly upon the earth. It’s the only one we have.

Gaming, Life, Opinion

My First Gamer Article, Front-Page Featured on Bitmob!

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Great news! I wrote my first gamer article on Bitmob, and it got featured on the front page!

I’m so thrilled! Thank you, Layton Shumway, for featuring my article 🙂 That gives me a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling that hey, I do belong somewhere in the gaming world. And, of course, it gives me a great incentive to keep gaming and writing about it lol. What XBox/Playstation/Wii games are you playing right now?

 

Opinion

My article ‘Are You Too Sensitive?’ is up on Daily Life!

My article “Are You Too Sensitive?” is up on Daily Life! The topic of sensitivity is very dear to my heart, being a Highly Sensitive Person myself, and I hope that my article sheds some light on what makes us special. It’s not a bed of roses, as any HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) can tell you. Here’s to more understanding and acceptance of who we are!

Beauty myth, Health, Opinion

Perfection Is No Panacea

My article on the beauty myth just got published on Lip Mag! You can find it here.

I was inspired to write this article after discussions with my teenage sister. Back when I was seventeen, I remember being worried about my grades, but it seems like the teens of today have far more on their minds. I know, we were all self-conscious teens back then, but I honestly do not remember being overly bothered by the rise of eating disorders, or media pressure to look a certain way i.e. THIN IS IN. Times have changed, and if I didn’t have the emotional resilience of a 29 year old, I would probably be very affected by all these toxic messages about body image.

For what it’s worth, I hope that if you’re reading this, and you have girls in your life whom you love, tell them that they’re already beautiful, as they are. Losing weight isn’t going to make them more worthy of love. That’s all too often a slippery slope into an eating disorder. If you do have a loved one who is suffering from an eating disorder, then seek help. The Butterfly Foundation is a wonderful institute that helps eating disorder suffers and their families.

Opinion, Writing

On writing opinion pieces

I’ve always been a lover of fiction. Since I was a little girl, I’ve had my nose in some kind of book. I always imagined myself as a writer of fiction, especially after focusing my English major on creative writing. That’s how Finding Jamilah came about – I had the tools and motivation to craft a fictional story from the bits and bobs of my own life experience.

Over the past few months, however, I’ve started to delve into writing opinion articles for the mainstream audience. What It’s Really Like To Wear Hijab received a lot of FB likes, which is always exciting. HSC: The Not-So-Final Frontier was just published today, and I’m feeling all kinds of happy by the positive responses. I was also very pleased with my piece From Lakemba To Lane Cove. Opinion articles require a different style of writing entirely, and I’m enjoying the break from writing fiction. There’s a whole new level of vulnerability and honesty that comes with writing opinion articles. There’s also the ongoing challenge of refining my writerly voice. I can’t hide behind a character in an opinion piece. It’s all me.

Because I’m still new to the world of opinion articles, great editors have made all the difference for me – Sarah Oakes from Daily Life and Josephine Mandarano from Lip Mag have been nothing short of supportive.

The world of writing and getting published is always fraught with rejection, and it helps to remember that the key is to keep trying and refining your work, and not to take an article rejection personally. Because really, it isn’t. What you’ve written probably isn’t suited to the publication, in which case, look for another one. Look at J.K. Rowling! It took a lot of courage for her to keep sending her manuscript after multiple rejections (12 publishing houses turned her down!), but it finally paid off, and well, the rest is history. This article describes why rejection is good for you. Think of it as an exercise of pushing yourself, and then growing as a result. If you don’t try, then you’ll never know.

Keep writing! Your opinion is an important one, and the only way to get it out there is to keep at it.