The year 2020 hit us all by surprise for all the wrong reasons. There is a lot of awareness that is spreading in the world, especially on mental health. This is a very good move considering most of us are staying home and socially not active. It is important that we spread this awareness and help each other out.
There are few norms that generally say it is a bit tough to identify a person suffering from initial stages of depression or trauma, which is right to some extent. The people suffering from depression, anxiety, trauma or any mental health issue communicate very less compared to others and it is tough to understand what is going on with them. So how can we identify these people and try helping them? Let us find out.
To be very honest with you all, I’m not a Psychiatrist or a Psychologist, but I have seen a person very closely suffering from this. As a student of science, I have researched a lot, read a lot of books to help that person. Now I’m sharing the same with you so that you can help anyone in need and try bringing them out of the darkness and show the colors of life.
Before that, I’ll narrate the person’s story to you so that we can debunk it and understand the same. They are a friend of mine and here is the story. To make it easy let us name them John. John is a very active kid and is always fond of paintings. They used to use all types of colours and paint very unique portraits. In 5th grade, they also won a prize for painting.
John is also fond of science. In 7th grade, John did a project on Earth’s ozone layer and won the third price in school. John mind is very active and is always searching for something. Little did john knew that he is about to get trauma in his life. John didn’t write science notes for 2 months in his 6th grade. His teacher made all the class of the boys hit John on the cheeks. Trust me guys this is a real story.
More than the physical pain it was hit on Johns mental health, it first led to embarrassment and then shame. After this, no one in class really talked to John, he was alone and didn’t express much. In 8th grade, a new student in the middle of the year joined John’s class. Let us name them Robert. Robert is a very fat kid and everyone used to bully him. People used to bully John as well so both Robert and John became friends.
You might think wow finally they got each others company now everything must be good, but life is a bitch isn’t it? Robert and John used to hang out all the time and became good buddies. John is always fond of LED lights. He said the same to Robert. Robert one day invited John saying he glued batteries to an old unused glue bottle and connected them to LED’s and made a small light.
John has no idea what is happening with him, he is moving his legs and trying to escape but as Robert is very huge, John is unable to move past him. Robert sat on John and started slapping him. Robert tore down the pants of John and tried inserting his private part in John’s mouth. As it was not successful, Robert slapped him, bet him to pulp and tried raping him.
John somehow tried kicking Robert but was unsuccessful, he somehow managed to punch Robert on the face, kicked him and got out of there. He went home and cried for 3 hours. Then the after-effects of that trauma are what changed his life forever. After this John barely talked to anyone. He developed fears, nightmares, sleeplessness, weight loss, depression and many other things. His social life became a null set.
John now avoids people, communicating with strangers, social gatherings, apologises very frequently, sleeplessness, has very less social connections, don’t want to lose people, has very low self-esteem, he always turns back to check if anyone is attacking him, always checks his watch for the time, cries for every two nights, always fails to express his thoughts and many more psychological implications.
There are other implications such as feeling very emotional for a sad event or news, mood swings, sitting idle for hours, overthinking of scenarios that don’t happen and few others. According to science, this condition is PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder). General symptoms include intrusion, avoidance, alterations in cognition and mood, alterations in arousal and reactivity.
People who suffer from PTSD get misunderstood as they don’t express themselves properly, they are mocked, bashed and even ignored when they are stating an opinion. So what can be done to help people like john if they are around you? To help people like John, we must know how to find people like John.
If your loved one suffering from the above symptoms for a longer duration of time, there is a high chance that the person is suffering from depression or trauma. Mind you sadness is different from depression, sadness will last for few days and the person will rebound to his normal day to day activities a person in depression will suffer for long periods of time and shows above symptoms.
Studies show that depression or trauma spotted early can be cured very efficiently. So if you see anyone around you sad or isolating themselves for a long time, talk to them and seek medical care if needed. In the times like this where people are claustrophobic, let us keep an eye on our loved ones and keep a virtual connection, by a message or a call. By this, we can try spotting them at the early stages, and we can keep them safe and secure.
Links For Reference:
Common reactions to sexual assault: https://www.loyola.edu/department/counseling-center/services/students/concerns/sexual-assault/reactions