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Dr K K Aggarwal

Managing grief by free expressive writing

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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The loss of a loved is often painful. The resultant grief makes it hard to eat, sleep and leads to loss of interest in routine life, affecting behavior and judgment.

Some can feel agitated or exhausted, to sob unexpectedly, or to withdraw from the world and others may find themselves struggling with feelings of sorrow, numbness, anger, guilt, despair, irritability, relief, or anxiety.

It is well known that disclosing deep emotions through writing can boost immune function as well as mood and well-being. Conversely, the stress of holding in strong feelings can increase blood pressure and heart rate and increase muscle tension.

One can write on a piece of paper, in his personal book, on the open website or keep it in the mind. One doesn’t have to preserve the emotions and can throw away the writings.

In absence of deeply troubling situations, such as suicide or a violent death, which are best explored with the help of an experienced therapist, one can choose writing as a way to express the grief.

  • Start writing for 15 to 30 minutes a day for 3 to 4 days.
  • Continue up to a week if it is helping.
  • Continue writing for 15 to 30 minutes once a week for a month.
  • Writing has stronger effects when it extends for more number of days.
  • Remember, writing about grief and loss can trigger strong emotions (one may cry or feel deeply upset).
  • Several people find journal writing valuable and report feeling better afterward.
  • Don’t worry about grammar or sentence structure.
  • Truly let go. Write down how you feel and why you feel that way.

(Source: Harvard News Letter)

Eating disorders are contagious

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Quoting a study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders, Padma Shri & Dr. BC Roy National Awardee, Dr. KK Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India & National Vice President-Elect IMA said that eating disorders are contagious.

According to the researchers, binge eating, fasting, use of diet pill and other eating disorder symptoms cluster amongst young adolescent females. In the study, it was found that a pair of students from the same state was 4 to 10% more likely to share an eating disordered behavior compared to pairs in which each person came from a different state.

Dr. Aggarwal said that most students try to copy the eating fads of one another. The study explains why people follow each other and attempt weight loss programmes even if they are not scientifically proven.