January 19, 2015

Mental Health & Counseling!

Today I was reading Deepika Padukones interview in the newspaper, wherein she openly shared her problem of anxiety and depression.  Mental problems have existed even before counseling was ever recognized, and people have used different forms of help to deal with psychological problems. For more information read here http://www.buzzfeed.com/andreborges/deepika-padukone-spoke-out-about-battling-depression.

In most cultures, individuals experiencing psychological difficulties first tend to seek help from their social support systems-close friend, family member or religious leaders before seeking professional help (Perdersen,1981; Prathikanti, 1997; Ramisetty-Mikler,1993; Rule & Gandy, 1994; Sue &Morishima, 1982; Tinsley, de St. Aubin, & Brown, 1982). 

Conceptions of mental well being and illness come from the prevailing worldview and life philosophy of society. In a society such as India, this viewpoint is influenced by the religious framework that people live within (Ramisetty-Mikler, 1993).

This perspective can be frequently seen in Asian Indian families, where the family handles a problem by seeking help from the elders of the family or from close family friends. As mentioned earlier, religious leaders and holy people are sought for advice with many types of psychological problems (Prathikanti, 1997).

India has a long, ancient culture, and individuals hold mystical and religious beliefs which help them cope with daily life stresses. This belief as enumerated by Jayakar (1994, p.112) explains how Indian women "would accept medicines, prayers, or rituals, or even severe punishment under the guise of treatment before seeking insight oriented psychotherapy" which may hold true for both sexes.

Mental health in India has historically not been considered an important issue and is still perceived relatively callously among the general population that consists of poorly educated individuals. Mental illness and severe psychological disorders are associated with counseling in India (Ramisetty-Mikler, 1993). This means that a person going to counseling is not seen as a normal individual with adjustment or other minor issues, and he/she is catapulted into the realm of the abnormal, something that is to be avoided as far as possible.

Thanks to the efforts of a few dedicated professionals, the field of mental health counseling is gaining positive recognition, and people are slowly losing their inhibitions about seeking help for coping with stressing life situations. Working in a psychological counselling centre as a counsellor for the last 4years; the most common problem I encounter all the time is students having fear, anxiety, adjustment and the next common one is Depression. 

If you are a youngster/a student who is reading this post; understand that Anxiety is more than just a feeling. As a product of the body’s fight-or-flight response, anxiety involves a wide range of physical symptoms. Because of the numerous physical symptoms, anxiety sufferers often mistake their disorder for a medical illness.

They may visit many doctors and make numerous trips to the hospital before their anxiety disorder is discovered. Common physical symptoms of anxiety include the following, if you have several of the signs & symptoms, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.

·         Are you constantly tense, worried, or on edge ?
·         Does your anxiety interfere with your work, school, or family responsibilities ?
·         Are you plagued by fears that you know are irrational, but can’t shake ?
·         Do you believe that something bad will happen if certain things aren’t done a certain way ?
·         Do you avoid everyday situations or activities because they make you anxious ?
·         Do you experience sudden, unexpected attacks of heart-pounding panic ?
·         Do you feel like danger and catastrophe are around every corner ?

Similarly Depression varies from person to person, but there are some common signs and symptoms. It’s important to remember that these symptoms can be part of life’s normal lows. But the more symptoms you have, the stronger they are, and the longer they’ve lasted—the more likely it is that you’re dealing with depression. When these symptoms are overwhelming and disabling, that's when it's time to seek help. Common signs and symptoms of depression are as follows:

  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness.
  • Loss of interest in daily activities.  .
  • Appetite or weight changes. 
  • Sleep changes
  • Irritability or restlessness.
  • Loss of energy. 
  • Self-loathing.
  • Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
  • Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
  • Unexplained aches and pains.
  • An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.
Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. The deep despair and hopelessness that goes along with depression can make suicide feel like the only way to escape the pain. Thoughts of death or suicide are a serious symptom of depression, so take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously. It's not just a warning sign that the person is thinking about suicide: it's a cry for help.

If you are suicidal or are having thoughts of harming yourself, please seek help immediately If you are in Hyderabad you can call 040-27682451 between 10 am and 4 pm or 040-46004600 from 10 a.m. – 7p.m. Monday to Friday everyday of the week. Or you may visit your local hospital/doctor.

Be Blessed & Be Happy !

Adapted from:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Recent Comments

Recent Comments Widget