Zara Maqbool

  • Almost everyone I know has been talking about how the world has changed as we cover our faces with masks and stand 6 feet apart from each other and jump if anyone mindlessly comes near us. We have been reflecting on feeling disconnected to each other as we hide behind our laptop screens via zoom ...

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  • I always knew that sexual abuse existed, preying on girls and boys of all ages, a predator that along with physically, mentally and emotionally hurting its victims, silenced them into carrying the burden of a secret that keeps them in a spiral of shame for years at end; a shame that never belonged ...

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  • On June 14, a promising handsome Indian actor, Sushant Singh Rajput committed suicide by hanging himself in his bedroom. It was stated that the actor suffered from depression for the last six months. His suicide shook people across the subcontinent, and I saw many people shocked and sad at the ...

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  • More than any other time in our lives, this pandemic is the most important reason to start making our mental health a priority. I can’t say it enough; along with all the vitamins, desi totkas and healthy eating, mental health needs to be understood and paid close attention to, in order to ...

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  • There is no easy way to say this, so let me come out and say it bluntly: as a society, we are perhaps one of the most judgmental ones in the world. Period! We judge and we judge and we judge. Ever since I connected back to my writing, this got reconfirmed for me as I receive condemnatory feedback ...

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  • We are all currently aware of the recent Uzma Khan scandal and her reported affair with a married man, her harassment by the man’s wife etc. and to me it seemed like a well-timed distraction from the heaviness we have all been experiencing post the ill-fated air crash. Now, social media is ...

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  • Every day at some unexpected moment, a huge wave of sadness engulfs me wanting to overthrow all the positivity that I try to gather like a destructive demonic force. As a therapist I questioned if this unexpected occurrence could classify as clinical depression. Traditionally it did not but ...

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  • There are so many areas in Pakistan that need serious looking into and effective changes to take place immediately. There are overwhelming issues like education and health that have been grossly neglected but so many invisible ones that do not get talked about, where only those involved are ...

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  • I heard this term ‘smoking up’ for the first time as a young therapist in training, having to Google after the client left to understand what it meant. It’s the process of using drugs like hash or weed that evokes a ‘high’; a false feeling of euphoria, well-being and ...

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  • Every year as Ramadan is approaching, I start feeling what in psychology terms is called ‘moral anxiety’ originating from shame for feeling like someone who is not spiritually sound, as I find fasting extremely difficult. The famous psychoanalyst Freud coined the word ‘moral ...

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  • When we are hit by trauma, as human beings, most of us tend to divide life into two parts; life before the trauma and life after it. We draw reference to the before to draw safety from it and the latter to fantasise about the possibility of even better times. These days everything seems to be ...

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  • It’s been a fascinating experience to see how the world has responded to the lockdown; a unique and unprecedented experience hopefully never to be faced again. We all keep saying this pandemic has brought the world to a united front and we are all experiencing a shared space of uncertainty ...

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  • I have been practicing as a therapist for almost four years and more than any other time, I realise now what image some of my clients have about me as having an untroubled processed individual who, like Joan of Arc, can fight any inner demons and smile at them, coming out unscathed. For a long ...

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  • I sometimes wonder when all of this started.  When did we start running on the road to self-obsession so fast that there became simply no looking back? All of us used to enjoy the occasional photo sessions on weddings, birthday parties and gatherings. It was fun dressing up when going out and ...

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  • There is nothing more stressful and worrisome for a parent than to see their child unwell and going through pain or trauma. But perhaps a little more distressing is that even though they are lucky enough to afford the best medical care available in the city, they are not sure where to rush off with ...

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  • I recently saw Saba Hameed break down in tears on a TV show while speaking of the problems in Pakistan. Many of us must have raised our eyebrows thinking about why she was crying over these matters. I read one comment on Facebook stating she was depressed with just a hint of disdain, as though ...

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  • I find a quote by Clint Eastwood on marriage very apt and pertinent: ‘They say marriages are made in heaven. But so is thunder and lightning.” Being happily married myself for 13 years I find this quote truly catches the spirit of matrimonial bliss. I always say that marriage is ...

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  • When my 8 year old son told me, “The Taliban is my enemy,” I knew that life, especially school life, would never be the same for our children. When I asked him what he knew about the Taliban, he told me they were men who wanted to kill us all.Life has changed for most of us post ...

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