Understanding A life past trauma and depression.

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

The Gamble Of Precious Lives.

The ongoing discussion in India is about JEE and NEET exams. As there is a pandemic around the world, people have divided themselves on conducting or postponing the exams. But are we debating on the correct premise? Let’s find out.

Let us rely on numbers and data as they don’t lie. They say the facts whether we like it or not. Total medical seats in India are 1,18,316 in which, NEET marks allocate 85% of them and 15% by management quota. The total number of JEE seats are 39425 in which there is no management quota.

If you look at the number of students applied for JEE and NEET, the seat to student ratio is out of the roof. The number of seats available under NEET for 2020 is 76,928 for which a whopping 15.97 lakh students have enrolled. By the math, approximately twenty-one students are competing for one seat.

Same goes for JEE, the total number of seats available are 12,463 for which 8,58,273 have applied. So approximately seven students are competing for one seat. So if we combine both the streams, around 23 lakh students won’t get admission for NEET or JEE.

According to the official government websites of NEET and JEE, over 85% of students have downloaded their admit cards and are ready to give the exam. These are the numbers and the official data we have as per government and news channels.

If we look at the other side of the numbers, the situation is terrible, according to the same government data, 28 students commit suicide every day! Most of them are due to academic-related issues. The 2014-18 period saw a 26% increase in suicides compared to the previous five years.

The increase rate of seats and colleges is a snail walk compared to the number of students enrolling to write the examination. By the above numbers, 23 Lakh students are risking the lives of themselves and their family members to attend the exam.

The new education policy is a ray of hope in the darkness. If implemented correctly, it paves the way for the betterment of the next generation in all the aspects. It reduces the gap between getting trained and getting educated.

In the end, we needed a pandemic to realise the importance of the health of our future generations in physical form. Even now, we are not caring about their mental health. If we had the right debates and requested the government to increase colleges and improve our education rather than pointing out at the student and killing them mentally, those many precious lives would not succumb to educational pressure.

A tale of two stories

By – Mourya Koundinya

It was early morning on a spring day. A teenager named “Kamal” woke up and peeped through the window. The light from the sun, travelling at 299,792 km per second, hits his face. He feels the warmth of it as he looks into the rising sun and looking into the past. Birds chipping and the cold breeze blows by his ear. He smiles and closes the curtains, goes to wash his face.

As he is about to leave his room, he sees two tiny, thumb-sized creatures talking to each other. He startles for a second and tries to touch them. His finger passes through them. He panics and tries to observe. He observes that they are talking about something very serious. He starts listening to them. There are two voices male and female. Here is how their conversation goes.

Male: Hello! How are you? Nice meeting you after a long time! I have heard that you have moved to a different place? How are things going for you?

Female: Hi! I’m fine,
Hoping you are on cloud nine.
Yes, I moved to a different place,
So that I can find some peace.
Things are good on my side,
Tell me about your side.

Male: That is glad to hear! I just got a promotion. I was waiting for that for a long time! I’m finally happy! What are you doing?

Female: I’m happy for your movement,
I hope you are proud of your achievement.
I narrate to pay my bills, honey,
I’m happy to write, which gives me money.

Male: Writing? I mean okay, but does it pay you enough? You used to study well. What suddenly happened to you? If you need a job, I can do arrange an interview right now. Are you interested?

Female: If money made the world live in smiles,
The world would be a much better place by miles.
I do something that makes me involved,
If I do anything for money, I will be self-ignored.
Human life is short and unpredictable,
Let me work on the thing that makes me perceivable.

Male: Okay, whatever! As long as you are happy. But why are you talking poetically lol? You know you are not in the office, right? Just chill.

Female: I tried to explain this to many in a usual talk,
People would just ignore me and walk.
I started telling them in the form of this art.
Hoping people will think about this part.

There is suddenly a bang on Kamal’s door. It was his dad with the lab reports of Kamal. Kamal had a psychiatric analysis the other day. Kamal’s dad is extraordinarily furious and is banging the door very hard. Kamal opened the door, and here goes their conversation.

Dad: “What do you think of yourself? What are you doing inside? Doing one of your dumb things? How did you cheat the doctor? Your report says acute case of “Schizophrenia”. Are you trying to fool me?”

Kamal: But dad, I didn’t do anything. I just answered doctors questions and did a few activities as he suggested.

Dad: Do you think I will listen to your bullshit? Are you trying to cover up your fewer marks and failure with this report? There is nothing as such. I saw you smiling and laughing. You are not a “pagal” (mad). Stop acting

After this, his dad starts hitting Kamal. Kamal starts crying and gets very emotional. At the peak of emotion, he pushes his dad and remembers the conversation above, and Kamal says the following.

Kamal: Dad I’m really in depression,
I couldn’t tell anyone because I’m out of expression.
I’m not trying to cover up my marks sheet,
I’m just trying to come out of this shit.
Please try to understand me in real,
Please do not be surreal.

After this, Kamal’s dad walks away from the room and starts thinking, comes back, hugs his son and says sorry.

33% of mental illness caused in children are due to parental pressure. Please don’t pressurise your or any child in any way. And for the children or anyone who wants to come out of the closet reading this, once one of the most excellent philosophers of the world said: “If the deaf are to hear, the sound has to be very loud”. I’m not saying your parents or elders or deaf; I’m saying they are unable to hear you. Please be as loud as you can so that they can listen to and understand you. Yes, it will be tough at the beginning, but the end result will be beneficial.

Infertility? Take it with a smile, it’s not a taboo!

By – Gayatri Agarwal

She can’t bear a child! What a shame! She can’t even keep her man and the family happy! Is she fit for anything?

Why can’t it be him? Why can’t we have a holistic analysis of any problem? Why is it that we blame the women first?

Infertility! It is NOT a taboo!

In India, about 1 in 6 couples are impacted by it. Nearly 27.5 million couples actively trying to conceive, suffer from it. India is a country with a wide diversity. There is diversity in customs, traditions and quality of living. All these factors contribute to Infertility along with our lifestyle, the food we eat, our habits, the climatic conditions and the stress levels too. 

Misconceptions about Infertility run deep; from family members to society at large, people widely hold opinions about it. Infertility is often considered as a subject which is not to be spoken or discussed off because of the lack of awareness and the fact that people tie it with religious norms, status symbol and family pride even today, oh yes, by even today. I mean this is the 21st century!

The myths and the judgements that are attached with Infertility are numerous. They are such that they will instigate the person who wouldn’t have thought about it even in his/her dreams, such is the power of the society. Instead of relating Infertility to one’s karma or playing the blame game, one must be supportive of the couple without making them feel like their social or personal identity is being compromised. 

As per recent stats, in cases of Infertility, female factors account for 40%, men 40% and the other 20% is from both. So we can clearly say that there is equality here at least and that too with a proof. So, why is it that we assume that something must be wrong with the women if the couple doesn’t have a child? Why is the manhood never questioned? And even if it is why the ego clash? Nobody is born perfect and making peace and understanding with the imperfections is what makes a couple a real couple! Why is the focus on women when it should be on both? Child-bearing is as much responsibility of men as it is that of the women.

Whether it is a low sperm count, low sperm motility, or abnormal sperm, male Infertility can result from many causes. Admitting that the male could be infertile can help the couple save a lot of treatment time, procedures and lessen the pressure and stress on them. Getting the right help for the right person at the right time can empower the couples and make their lives move at ease.

With the medical advancements available now, it’s time to look beyond the petty things of blaming; by understanding and acknowledging Infertility to be like any other medical condition which can be treated easily. As a society, what an Infertile couple needs the most from us is to be held up and assured with empathy, maturity, and most importantly, to be listened to without being judged. Let’s make them feel welcome so that they can address this condition as healthy people and move forward with their lives happily!

And for any men dealing with this situation, a little understanding, a fist full of maturity and lots of support for your women is what will get you through this situation with ease and lots of love! Only after the thunderstorm and rain comes the rainbow.