Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mobile-d Insomnia

When we look around us we find that our world is inundated with problems. And the biggest problem with problems is, at times while they do manifest themselves, clearly there are times we can only feel the existence of a problem. But we cannot fathom as to what the problem is.

The commonest representation is, going down with fever, contrary to a general feeling of malaise. The latter could be due to any physical or psychological irritant(s). It is these non-apparent problems that cause more problems than the manifested problem. Sorry for adding so many ‘problems’ to the already burgeoning problems posed by life! But not to worry--solutions too are aplenty. Only thing of concern is how we approach a problem!

As a teacher I feel there are two approaches towards a curative goal. And I am sure people from the field of medicines too would agree with me, when I state that one is a symptomatic treatment, the other being the causative approach. While my learned Psychologist friends have been advocating and implementing the latter, being rightly of the view that for every apparent physical discomfort their lies an answer which is non-apparent—the cause. The cause for the psychologists though lies in the realm of psychology. And I too try to ascertain and hence assign a psychological cause for the various cognitive problems the students face. Because scolding doesn’t improve their understanding but definitely compounds their confusion. This in turn aggravates their misery and renders us failures—as teachers.

Thankfully, the movies have provided with infotainment and not mere entertainment—making people aware of some of the reasons behind cognitive deficits. Hopefully now the teachers and parents alike would think of dyslexia and autism before spanking a child.

And hopefully the doctors too would widen their horizon keeping pace with increasing elements, of diverse nature, that lead to ailments. Going by the symptoms do not always provide with ‘the’ answer. Symptoms are the reason we proclaim we are ill but causes are the actual reasons behind the illness. Fever is a symptom, but not the reason. There could be many reasons behind a fever.

On failing to ascertain the reason—consequently to treat the patient accurately—merely by symptoms, doctors prescribe pathological tests for a comprehensive diagnosis of the ailment. Pathology is study of diseases that tries to find the probable pathogenic causes—the causes capable of producing disease. Thus the causative approach—trying to search for the reasons behind the symptoms—is a pathogenic approach, if I am permitted to say.

I know I might be transgressing into an alien domain but I am forced to. I do accept that science is a bane too (apart from being a boon). In spite of that I never anticipated that scientific developments had the potential to be pathogenic. My anticipations have proved to be quite myopic! There have been various such cases and I feel pretty soon the society shall incubate many ‘Converted Insomniacs’—people who were not so earlier.

The mobile phone services have revolutionized telecommunication that allows us to stay connected with our near and dear ones. There is no denying the fact that life in today’s world seems improbable without a mobile connectivity. But we being (greedy as) human beings cannot defy the sops offered by the mobile service providing companies. They offer various apparently lucrative offers but these are quite revealing in what they conceal! The reason behind their reason of offering such sops is not what they actually claim. And by falling prey to it we lose on two counts—money (luring us to opt for offers to fill ‘their’ coffers) and health.

Health, because repeatedly, journals have been coming up with information galore on the contra-effects of its ‘excessive’ use. Using it only for a valid purpose is fine but not for gossip—we fail to accept that fact. We fall for those, forsaking rationale.

Thus the offers of ‘night talk pack’ are lapped up. And what they do? Apart from providing immense pleasure?! As one topic begets another, this leads to prolonged conversations—chain reaction—keeping us awake when we should be asleep. This when continued with, over a considerable period of time will not allow a person to sleep—we are slaves of our habits, habits that we form and that get enshrined in the subconscious pretty fast—when we are done with our ‘talking spree’. This very habit gradually becomes pathogenic. Result is a normal person converted into an insomniac—a pathetic condition.

All because of our inability to control our own impulses? Yes, of course. And if we are unable to raise ourselves above the vice of such negative impulse we would soon be suffering from Mobile-d Insomnia. And doctors would do well to diagnose and differentiate between—and treat accordingly—Normal Insomnia and Mobile-d Insomnia.

Sushmita Mukherjee,
29th July 2010.