Dr. Pritika. B. Gonsalves: Mental Health in India

Indians are modernised in this 21st century but our deep rooted thoughts regarding certain issues still remain in our subconscious mind. Being educated, most of the times we act as uneducated. Times have changed but when we touch certain topics, we go backward in times. When will we stop having stigmas attached to certain issues? Is there ever going to be a day in our country that we live without a stigma? In our country, there is so much stigma associated with divorcees, singles, sexuality, status and yes, mental health too. Yes, you heard it right mental health. I would like to throw some light on this as I am a counsellor and I know the things which I face on day to day basis.

Mumbai: City of dreams where some dreams get shattered too.

I’m a counsellor in Mumbai, India. Mumbai is supposed to be ‘city of dreams.’ Several people come to my city with dreams in their eyes and to fulfil them. Some get fulfilled and others don’t see the dawn of it. People feel heart broken as they have done so much to achieve these dreams but it doesn’t see the light of the day. To make matters worse the city is so fast paced that nobody has time for anyone. With people around we feel lonely. Imagine those who come alone in this city and everything is unknown. They live as PG’s or alone in a building where one doesn’t know anyone. To top it all, in this city you can’t put your heart on your sleeves and roam because if you do it then you will be cheated and manipulated by others. These people have no one to fall back because they told their parents they will become something. The people have so much to say but no one to listen to. So many expectations and little money left to survive. The city has everything skyrocketing from buildings to prices of things. Life is not easy here. People go through a lot to survive. Even those who are successful live in a closet. They only feign their happiness but deep down they have lot to express.  But they too can’t share it with people, as you never know who is your rival a wolf in sheep’s clothing. These people are also suffocating in their lives.

Counsellors: A life line to many

The word ‘counsellors’ gets people’s antenna’s up. The people who are successful or dreams crushed can’t go to friends or families to talk about their problems. They think about going to counsellors but few really go. As from childhood, we have been ingrained by society that counsellors treat mad people. These people think if I go to a counsellor what will people think? Thinking about the reactions of people, we have spoilt so many lives. People keep their skeletons in their closet due to societies reaction. Some don’t care about society they want to vent up their emotions which is deep rooted. Many have counsellors numbers stored on their contact list and many dial but stop on the thoughts of people’s reaction. Some hide and go to counsellors and then tell their counsellors please don’t tell anyone that I came. I as a counsellor meet so many people on day to day basis. Many people cry in front of me and they say I’m feeling better and it’s been years I cried. Some of them don’t want you to give solutions but just listen to them and they know counsellors don’t judge. Counsellors give only suggestions and listen to their clients point of view. Their the lifelines when nobody is there around for that person. They bring the real smile back on the person who forgot to smile wholeheartedly. They make them believe that they can bounce back with greater energy. People think why successful people need counsellors? Hello, they are also humans. They know that hardly minuscule people are happy about their success. They have got success but they know that people are always ready to bring them down. That time they need their lifelines the counsellor to go to. When they are confused the counsellor gives them direction. The counsellor becomes their life coach. Counsellors are those lifelines to give positivity.

Mental Block for Mental Health: remove the block

  I know India, will take time to remove the block on mental health. But don’t discourage others who need a mental health professional. Let people live their lives and let them believe in their selves again with the help of mental health professionals. Everyone needs someone to talk to and these professionals are best. As these professionals, keep their things about their clients confidential. We can’t break this confidentiality. People remember it’s your life and don’t think about others reaction. At the end, you need to live your life and not others. If you get an important advice or suggestions from experts it’s better to take it. These professionals are your guiding light. The more we think about our societies reaction the more will be drowned in our emotions. It’s high time we start taking action for ourselves and do that is right.