Cure for a Troubled Mind
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1 June 2008
By Laxmi Birajdar
Help from a psychologist and a few steps, ranging from breathing techniques to a caring approach, can help overcome depression
Shreyasi Nikam (name changed) slipped into depression when her close friends turned their backs on her. “A few months ago, these were the people I confided in. I felt betrayed when they did this to me,” says Shreyasi, a senior college student.
It was her tendency of evaluating herself based on how her friends treated her that proved to be damaging. “I kept thinking what wrong I had done to them. I used to cry for hours together,” she recalls.
Now, after help from a counsellor and pyschologist who put her on medication, she is her old self again. “I’m out of depression. I don’t regret having lost my old friends, because I’m much more at ease with myself now,” she says.
Her case is typical of teenagers. But what is noteworthy is that a psychologist’s few simple measures can help overcome teenage depression.
Teenagers often don’t accept advice from well-wishers easily, as they don’t feel convinced enough. So, it takes a psychologist to get the message across in an effective manner. The psychologist then helps the youth overcome depression using a few methods.
“Different tools can help, such as striking an emotional balance and practising breathing techniques to calm the body and mind,” says psychotherapist Vidyadhar Bapat.
Besides, working on the self (for instance, by exercising), medication and counselling help teens tackle depression.
“The youth should realise that they can definitely change their internal being, which will then reflect positively in their environment,” says Bapat.
He adds that counselling for the teenager’s family is also equally important. Help from family and friends can go a long way in curing depression. Lots of love, compassion and care brings about a tremendous positive change in the teen’s psyche.
Since depression is often a result of poor academic performances and wrong career choices, aptitude tests after Stds X and XII may prove helpful in choosing the right academic path.
According to psychiatrist Vidyadhar Watve, increased awareness about pyschological problems is a silver lining. “In the last few years, even though the number of people suffering from depression has risen, there’s also been increased awareness and diagnosis of psychological disorders. This is a positive sign.”
Counsellor and psychotherapist Rujuta Vinod finds it heartening that teenagers are comfortable with speaking to a psychologist about their problems. “They open up very freely and want to find solutions to their problems,” she says.