Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 6th 2018 Contents A18
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
As we commemorate International Women’s Day this
week, our headlines are telling. Another man has
confessed to killing his wife, several more cases of
domestic abuse will either be reported or covered up
quietly and deflected, and there’s a good chance that
concrete steps to address the hard issues affecting
women in this country won’t be taken.
In her address to an audience at UWI yesterday, wife
of the Prime Minister, Sharon Rowley acknowledged that
domestic violence continues to be an area of concern.
Mrs Rowley recognised that while challenges exist
in addressing the issue, the reality cannot be simply
ignored or excused.
For thousands of women there is little support; feelings
of shame, embarrassment, pride and defeat are all mixed
together. The truth is, adequate support networks for
women across socio-economic brackets don’t exist in
this country. Policies and speeches are fine, putting them
into practice takes effort and action.
The old guard and politics
Would the return of Basdeo and Mickela Panday to
active politics make a difference to the Opposition some
have described as inconsistent? Dr Fuad Khan seems to
think so. While Khan isn’t leader of the party and has
been defined by his unpredictable independence, his
self-described leading by “conscience” has often been
unsettling to party loyalists.
Khan’s call for the return of the Pandays was also
accompanied by a suggestion for Jack Warner to do the
same. None of the three named have ever gone on record
as having confidence in the party’s current leadership.
Mid-term polls done late last year showed declining
ratings for the ruling PNM. The numbers pointed to
opportunity for the UNC. The party, however, did little to
change its game plan. Kayaking through a few floods and
stymieing amendments to acts in Parliament didn’t rally
the kind of popular support strategists had hoped for.
As with the PNM, a potential return of an “old guard” is
never a guarantee of future success. As popular as some
characters may be, good politics should be based on
sound policy and concrete plans.
Keyboard vs real warriors
Fay Ann Lyons-Alvarez seems to be among the most
refreshing “celebs” on social media these days. After the
nameless, faceless (and often fact-less trolls) aimed fire
and picong at a pic of her feet posted on Instagram, the
young mom and soca star took on her critics bare faced
and without batting an eye.
Gone are the days when those who are criticised, body
shamed and bullied, “have to” move on without right of
reply. Pushing back with class, is a quite a thing.
Where’s the help?
Drummers from the Siparia Police Youth Club entertain guests during the club’s annual awards ceremony in Siparia
PICTURE KRISTIAN DE SILVA
If he was told this by the doc-
tor, change him quick, the doc-
tor either made a mistake or was
mamaguying him or was trying
to impress him by pretending he
knows how to treat leukemia, no
doubt using the current fashion-
able panacea, coconut oil. There
very few people in T&T who know
how to treat leukemia.
In fact, saying that you have a
“little leukemia” is a sign of men-
tal illness. It called denial or “fool-
ing yourself ”. It’s called using the
language to comfort yourself.
There is so much mental illness
in T&T yet I keep hearing from
my “real” psychologist friends
that their offices are near empty.
That’s astounding in this country
where there is so much mental
illness. Not that this is unique to
us. International figures show
that mental illness especially the
so-called minor ones, anxiety and
depression, are going up.
ne in four people in
the world will be af-
fected by mental or
ders at some point
in their lives. Around
450 million people currently suf-
fer from such conditions, placing
mental disorders among the lead-
ing causes of ill-health and disa-
bility worldwide. (http://www.
I myself have begun seeing
children with anxiety disorder
over the last two years. Either I
never saw this before or it was
not brought to my attention and
in the same way that I pointed
out 10 years ago that I was see-
ing obese children, I have started
seeing children with generalised
anxiety disorder related to the
Figures from just one phar-
macy in town show that they fill
out five to six prescriptions a day
for each of the three most com-
mon sleeping pills, anti-anxiety
and anti-depression medications
and that most of these people
come in month after month for
their “fix.” They don’t think they
are addicts. “Addicts” are home-
less, poorly dressed and beg.
Another example of Job’s dic-
So you have a “little leukemia”?
A bit of anxiety? Depression?
Small ting, man! Take some tab-
lets and drink some vervine. The
PM appoint a minister who under
investigation by the police? Small
ting, man! Take ah drink and try
today’s Play Wey. The mark is 15.
o the other day I was
walking around the Sa-
vannah and I passed two
young men walking in
the opposite direction
and heard one of them
saying, “I went to my doctor and
he did some tests. He found out
that I had a little leukemia. He
treat me and I fine”.
That is like saying a small can-
cer or a touch of pregnancy or a
bit of Aids.
The only people who should
talk like that are old people, in my
case, from the top going down, I
have a little problem with my
eyes, and if is not the eyes, is the
sinus, and if is not the sinus, is the
teeth, and if is not the teeth, is the
back and if is not the back, is the
knee. All of this comes with age or
perhaps after ChickV.
You can talk about a touch of
this or a touch of that when you
are over 65. When you are in your
thirties, forties, there is no such
thing as a touch of leukemia or
a touch of hepatitis or a small
stroke or a minor heart attack.
When you are young these things
are not supposed to happen and
you are fooling yourself by talking
nonsense like that.
Morgan Job, who has more in-
sight into the Trinbagonian psy-
che than most of our so called
“psychologists”, says Trinis use
language to encourage them-
selves, to make themselves feel
good in the face of bad news.
This is a good example. You have
a “small leukemia!” You have a
minor heart attack. You have a bit
of high blood pressure. No such
creatures exist. You either have
leukemia, cancer of the blood, or
you don’t. By definition leukemia
is large. Huge. Life-changing!
Dr David Bratt
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