Is your spouse emotionally abusive? Here’s why that needs to stop

Karen doesn’t even have the strength to walk properly. She tells me anxiously that it feels like pins and needles in her left leg.

She is hoping that I would offer some explanation about her recurrent symptoms.

Internists and neurologists were unable to diagnose what was wrong with her.

Karen looks at me in confusion; I can tell that she is wondering how a psychiatrist would be able to help her.

My speciality is psychosomatic medicine, a subspecialty in psychiatry, focusing on medical symptoms caused by disorders. A simple example is when someone has anxiety-induced physical symptoms such as nausea or severe headaches.

In our field, patients are only referred to us by our counterparts in internal medicine once all medical causes of a patient’s illness have been ruled out. We treat any underlying psychological reasons that may be resulting in physical symptoms.

I ask Karen if she is facing any kind of stress in her life.

She quietly contemplates.

She then says that she is having a hard time juggling her job and kids.

But I point out that her symptoms tell a different story.

As I say that, she leaves my office with tears in her eyes.

However, I am not surprised that she eventually comes back.

She finally accepts that hiding her pain would not help her.

Trying to remain composed, she opens up about the insults, the passive aggressiveness, and complete lack of compassion on part of her spouse.

At the same time, she desperately wants her marriage to last since her husband is a good father.

But as his wife, she feels abused. He is never physically aggressive, but emotionally, he is not a kind partner.

In other words, Karen is in an emotionally abusive relationship, which is contributing to her current symptoms.

After evaluation, we diagnosed her with conversion disorder, which is a condition where a patient shows psychological stress in physical ways.

Research has shown that when someone is subjected to constant emotional stress, it can produce physical symptoms such as pain and numbness.

Karen is fortunate enough to receive help, as she is an American citizen living in the US. Had Karen been a Pakistani, chances are she would have been expected to continue enduring the pain and be a so-called good wife and mother.

Not only did she find a team of dedicated physicians, but her husband was also willing to consider couples therapy in an effort to support his wife.

Sadly, the same cannot be said for much of Pakistan, where when in an abusive relationship, the women suffer in silence.

This is also because there is an acceptance of the abuse — where society thinks women should accept it as a natural part of marriage.

But the result of this lack of compassion and micro-aggressions on part of the spouse not only contributes to depression and anxiety, there can also be devastating effects on the victim’s body.

However, this can only be fought if society starts seeing emotional abuse for what it is as opposed to accepting it as a natural part of the deal a woman gets in a marriage and sometimes even glorifying it in day-to-day life as well as through popular culture.

Promoting a woman as a ‘good girl’ who will accept come what may just to stay in a marriage is deeply harmful.

As a society, we need to seriously think about what we are doing with regard to the psychological — and by extension physical — health of our women.

Note: The patient’s name has been changed to protect privacy.

Alia Bhatt overwhelmed by working alongside Shah Rukh Khan, breaks down

Stars have their fan moments too, sometimes they’re told to ‘get lost’, while other times they get emotional. Real emotional.

Alia Bhatt, who is currently shooting for her upcoming film Dear Zindagialongside Shah Rukh Khan, had an emotional breakdown on the set of the film because of the superstar, reported DNA India.

Sources told the publication, Alia forgot her dialogues in the middle of a crucial scene. She was so overwhelmed at the thought of acting with SRK, that she broke down on the set.

Bewildered and confused, the cast and didn’t know how to bring the situation under control. The hero that he is, SRK came to the director’s rescue, and calmed the Udta Punjab actor.

The Fan star, probably having dealt with similar situations, took Alia to a quiet corner and calmed her down. Soon enough, she sprung back to her usual self and they resumed filming.

Being the daughter of Mahesh Bhatt and having worked with famed actors like Rishi Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan in the recent past, this incident comes as a surprise.

Google Allo chat app is smart, but enough to break though?

NEW YORK: Google wants to add a middleman to your mobile chats, a personal virtual assistant who’s not shy about interjecting itself into the conversation.

The new Allo app promises to be “smart,” ─ sort of.

Its Google Assistant will butt in with restaurant recommendations when someone types, “Want to get sushi?” It can also send daily updates on weather and sports or suggest replies to your friends’ messages.

The idea is to keep the conversation flowing, so you don’t have to constantly leave Allo to look up something else.

Google is releasing the free chat app Wednesday, just a week after Apple updated its own Messages app with the a ‘iOS 10 software update. Messages works on iPhones and iPads, while Allo will work for iPhones and Android phones, but not tablets.

Do you really need another chat app? Here’s more on Allo to help you decide.

Smart Replies

Allo can help cut down on typing on small screens by suggesting replies based on context. If a friend asks how you’re doing, you can tap “Good tnx.”

Allo preserves chatting shortcuts such as “u” for “you.” Apple offers something similar on its smartwatch, but not phones or tablets.

Allo will also analyse photos to suggest replies such as “beautiful smile” or “the skyline looks great!” at least for photos with smiles or skylines. Remember that this is software, so its suggestions won’t always make sense.

Of course, you’re free to type your own response. Sending a computer-generated reply to a friend can feel, well, deceptive. Worse, it might make your friend wonder if your response is genuine. And having the suggestions appear in oval bubbles in the chat can make it seem as though a stranger has joined the chat (though you can shut out Google by enabling incognito mode).

Personal Assistant.

When you’re chatting with someone, you’re often making plans. Google Assistant can retrieve information on nearby restaurants, movie times and even the weather. Everyone in the chat will see the Assistant’s replies and can weigh in on the choices.

In some cases, Google Assistant will even anticipate your needs, such as when someone’s asking about getting sushi. An oval bubble appears with an offer to retrieve nearby sushi restaurants. After choosing one, you can tap for opening hours, directions or the menu.

Reservations aren’t available yet, though Google is considering third-party integrations such as OpenTable for dinner and Airbnb for accommodations.

Apple’s Messages doesn’t invoke the Siri virtual assistant the same way, but it already offers integration with third-party apps so that you can make plans (and reservations) while chatting.

Beyond planning, Google Assistant can give you the latest news and sports scores, translate phrases or do math calculations. Asking for directions will bring up Google Maps.

Limited Smarts

The app’s intelligence still feels, well, limited. Though Google Assistant is an evolution of the Google Now feature that has long been on phones, it doesn’t do as much as Google Now in terms of identifying patterns or checking other Google services.

For instance, if a friend asks you when your flight leaves, Allo won’t try to suggest a reply, even though Google has your calendar. Likewise, Google Assistant won’t automatically offer traffic conditions or transit schedules for your regular commute the way Google Now does.

You can request daily updates on the weather, news and sports. But you can’t get automatic updates whenever the score changes or a game ends.

Google calls its Assistant a preview. Following its debut on Allo, it will arrive on a smart speaker called Google Home this fall.

Expressions

Plain text is boring, so Allo features a slider that can make your messages and emojis larger or smaller. You can send one of hundreds of virtual stickers specifically designed for Allo.

Apple’s Messages app has a variation on this. You can make a message “loud,: such that the chat bubble briefly gets larger. Or make it “gentle” and appear in small text. Sticker packs are also available through a new app store within Messages.

One problem with both of these apps is that your friends need to be using the same app to see the desired effect. Google will send text messages to non-Allo friends, but without the special effects.

Apple Messages will add notations such as “sent with Loud Effect” to those on Android or older versions of Messages.

Too many apps

Beyond making its Assistant smarter, Google will need to persuade people they need yet another chat app, something that could be tough given that Google already offers four of them.

Google’s Hangouts text and video calling service will be targeted at business users. Allo is the consumer offering, but won’t offer video calling.

That’s where the Duo app comes in. And while Allo accounts are based on your phone number, not your Google ID, you can’t use Allo to receive regular texts. On Android, Google has Messenger for that.

Receiving Test mace a historic moment in country’s cricketing history, says Waqar

KARACHI: Former Pakistan cricket coach Waqar Younis on Wednesday said clinching the number one position in Test ranking and receiving ICC Test championship mace from International Cricket Council (ICC) is a proud moment for the country.

“To receive test mace by ICC in Lahore is a historic moment for a country where no Test match has been held for the past seven years,” said Waqar while talking to tv Channel.

Waqar believed that credit for this achievement should be given to every single person who played their part to attain this position

“Credit must be given to the whole team; Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and Pakistan Cricket Board including all support and coaching staff of team Pakistan.”

“We often describe the team of 90s as best in history of Pakistan cricket, even that team did not make it to number one position in Tests,” said the former coach adding that efforts of Misbah and test team must be praised for this achievement.

The former fast bowler also rejected those who downplayed the performance of Pakistan test team by saying “Pakistan has played majority of Test cricket in UAE”.

“Test playing nations play Test cricket at home and prepare suitable pitches so how come Pakistan is doing anything different.”

“Pakistan plays home series away from home in UAE as a neutral venue and has won Test series by performing really well,” he said.

As compared to the Test cricket we have failed to adopt modern cricket unfortunately, which is a concern for shorter formats of game, said Waqar while referring to the performance of team in ODIs.

Waqar blamed domestic structure for the failures in 50 over game.

“We did not plan and neither adopted the changes in our domestic circuit which is the reason of failure in ODIs.”

He also demanded PCB to focus on domestic one-day tournaments in the same manner as they are focusing on Pakistan Super League.

“We need some hard hitters and match winners in ODIs.”

Govt raises almost Rs1 trillion revenue from oil, gas consumers

ISLAMABAD: With increasing tax rates, the country’s oil and gas sector has emerged as the single largest revenue spinner with more than Rs912 billion contribution to the national exchequer during the fiscal year ended on June 30, 2016 despite tepid international prices.

Official documents of the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) suggest that more than Rs330bn were netted during 2015-16 through non-tax and other taxes while indirect taxes contributed over Rs582bn the same year. This does not include provincial tax collections through oil and gas.

The finance ministry said the total collection of petroleum levy stood at Rs149.3bn in 2015-16 against Rs131bn of the same period a year before, showing a growth of about 14pc. The collection was also 11pc greater than the government target of Rs135bn in 2015-16.

Another Rs80bn was collected as Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) that was significantly higher than previous year’s collection of Rs57bn. The collection was, however, radically short of Rs145bn target because of delayed settlement of court cases.

An amount of Rs33bn came to the kitty as natural gas development surcharge which was higher than Rs30bn target and actual collection of Rs25.8bn during 2014-15. Another major contribution of Rs58bn came from royalty on crude oil and natural gas while Rs9bn were collected on account of discount retained on local crude production.

Apart from these taxes, the FBR said it had collected over Rs582bn from oil and gas as indirect taxes.

This included Rs279bn on account of general sales tax on domestic sales of petroleum products as the government kept charged highest ever rates to take benefit of declining international prices. This was around 11pc higher than Rs242bn collection of 2014-15. “The POL [petrol, oil and lubricants] is the top most contributor (of sales tax) with 42.1pc share in sales tax domestic collection,” said the FBR.

Another significant collection of Rs219bn was achieved through general sales tax at import stage. This was around 32pc higher than Rs166bn collection from the same head during 2014-15 despite 28pc decline in the import of POL products.

Moreover, the imports of petroleum gases increased excessively by 245pc resulting in 255pc growth in sales tax, the amounts were nevertheless not significant.

Likewise, the POL products are the second major contributor of customs duty. The collection of Rs38bn customs duty from POL exhibited a massive growth of 55.6pc during 2015-16. This growth is mainly driven by around 171.9pc growth in the dutiable imports and bringing items like motor spirit and crude oil from zero to 2pc and 5pc for furnace oil during 2015-16.

Also, general sales tax on domestic gas was reported at Rs18bn while another Rs37bn GST, mostly originating from fuel, was raised from electricity.

Early this month, the government increased GST on high-speed diesel by 25pc to 35pc (instead of 28pc) while GST on motor spirit was raised to 12pc from 8.5pc. Likewise, GST on light diesel and high-octane blending component was also increased to 20pc and 21pc, respectively, from 17pc a month ago.