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

PTSD: https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/ptsd/what-is-ptsd

Being born in India is like being born with a head tag that reads out one’s career. Right when the baby drops out or sometimes even before the sperm has hit the egg, they are destined to become something. “Hey, I want to have kids” both the parents talk. But it’s a bit different here, it’s like “Shit my favourite uncle died of cancer! Let’s have sex and give birth to doctor?” 

The kid learns unscrewing a bolt, and the parents are already proud. They are pleased because they want to make the kid a mechanical engineer, and this unscrewing somehow makes them feel like it’s progress. Doesn’t make sense? Shouldn’t either! “I always wanted to make you a doctor, son” Come, one dad, I always wanted to be born in a mansion with 24 servants. I couldn’t choose my parents, neither can you determine what happens to me.

When I was a kid, I always dreamed of holding guns and standing at the border, chanting slogans of my country. If the tables had turned and my country was to be vanished and occupied, I would still be holding a gun, but I would be called a militant. Career is a joke! Professions are just labels we created to make things easy; they are only labels.

 I felt relieved when my schooling was finished. Didn’t even know what those subjects had to do with my life, but I was promised that they would somehow help me. I happened to visit an uncle who lectured me for an hour. He said I should take engineering as my bachelor’s degree and also study my masters in some foreign university. I never knew why people would do those things. Like studying in international institutions, as they cost a lot! I thought they were going for the quality of education. But it was only later that I realised they needed quality of certification and not professional training.

An MA History from Danayya Institute from Dilshuknagar looks blech. But the same certificate with beautiful words and designs looks attractive. Who doesn’t “Woah” at a guy who had done ‘Masters in Liberal Arts’ at Stanford University? Did they feed him with diamonds? I don’t think so. But you can definitely buy diamonds with the expense of studying outside. 

Many people talk only about what they studied in the US or the UK. They won’t tell you how they paid their tuition fee. “What are you doing in the UK, Kaushik?” “Ah! MS! The US not the UK!” they say. They won’t tell you how many drinks they served to the customer as a bartender. They won’t tell you how many windshields they have wiped to be able to buy the flight ticket home. Their struggle is real, and their pain is genuine. Just because a parent’s uncle died of cancer, they decided to donate their kid to health services. They had the kid brainwashed from school and pushed towards medicine. 

While you sit here watching TV and telling your neighbours and relatives that your son is studying ‘Doctor’ in the US, he is cleaning pukes out of bar tables! Congratulations, It’s a bartender! The destined doctor you gave birth to had to see a hard life in a place that is not home because of your little fantasy. You could have instead donated your sperm if you wanted to help people medically! Maybe give something once in a while to hospitals? No! You had to have a kid that does what you can not!

Somewhere after realising that he actually wants to become a dancer, your son has already spent half of his life satisfying your doctor-doctor fantasy. You dream of your son becoming a top surgeon, buying you a car and a luxury villa. It is not wrong to imagine such things. But why doesn’t it strike to you that your kid has the mind to have some dreams too? What if he/she is dreaming of singing on a stage? What if she wants to be a stripper? That surely is a possibility!

Have a kid, if you want a kid, or your condom broke! Your dead uncle is dead. People who want to become an engineer will become an engineer. People who want to treat your madness will become a therapist. Just because you can’t fix your flat tyre, don’t have kids and make them a mechanic.

The Human mind is very mysterious,

With loads of emotions and thoughts;

It is always curious to learn things.

It helps to think and get elegant solutions,

But we always overthink and create complex problems.

The definition of life is a reality to be experienced,

One of the most vital things required to live is emotions;

Without emotions, life cannot be balanced.

Two of the most important emotions are happiness and sadness.

Instead of expressing sadness as an emotion, we get addicted,

When emotion becomes an addiction, it is madness.

Sadness is nothing but a situation, which didn’t go as planned,

When we feel sad, we share it with our loved ones;

Some times they get bored, that doesn’t make them bad,

You want them to listen to your tears, without expecting solutions;

But if we don’t accept the moment, none can change our mood.

In the end,

We may feel dwelling with thoughts in the calmness of night may give a sense of peace and understanding to life. The only difference between living a life and leading a life is accepting the moment. The squeaky cry of the heart may be unheard at night, but the musical sound of birds chirping in the morning will always give the energy to start everything fresh.

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