You don’t need a psychologist! You are not mad! What will people say?
(One day Srishti was walking towards the station when she was suddenly stopped by Meera aunty.)
Aunt: Good morning Srishti! How are you doing? Are you going somewhere?
Srishti: Hello aunty. How are you? Yes, aunty, I’m going to the psychiatric clinic.
Aunty: (gasps) Oh no! Why are you going there? Is everything alright? Your mom never said anything to me. Do you want me to accompany you?
(Srishti was confused and didn’t know what to say. Before she could understand why her aunt had an extreme reaction, aunty hailed an auto and took Srishti.
Srishti could see the panic in her Aunty’s eyes and offered her water.)
Aunty: Is everything okay with you dear? You can share it with me. I have read articles about having psycho problems.
Srishti: Aunty that’s where I’m doing my internship! I’m a psychology student and I got this opportunity to intern with this Doctor.
Aunty: Thank God! I got really scared for a minute. I thought you have some serious problem with your brain.
Srishti: If it’s okay Aunty can I ask you a question?
Aunty: Yes beta! Go ahead.
Srishti: Why did you panic when you heard that clinic’s name? Have you had a bad experience there?
Aunty: God forbid! I’m very strong! I have gone through so much trouble and yet I never had any mental problems. I have always faced my fears and never cried. There won’t come a day in my life when I have to go to a psycho doctor. That is only for pagal log (mad people).
Srishti: Aunty who told you it’s for pagal log?
Aunty: I have seen it in movies. Remember when you showed me that movie with Manjulika? And then the psycho doctor helps her? That was very scary! I thought all mind doctors help such people. Beta, you need to be more careful.
Srishti: Aunty, didn’t you visit our family doctor yesterday? Is everything alright? I hope it’s nothing serious.
Aunty: No no! I had a little cold so I thought I should visit her. It’s better to take medication beforehand for cold or else it gets inconvenient for me. Then I’m not able to function and my daily routine gets disturbed.
Srishti: So why not look at a physician and a psychologist from the same lens. Psychologist and psychiatrists are not all about severe mental illness. Yes, we deal with them but there are many other people who seek help for other reason such as exam anxiety, job stress, loss of a loved one, relationship issues, academic issues etc. Many a time when we repress these situations they manifest into some physical problems. Just like a cough and cold, they interfere with a person’s daily functioning. Questions like what will people think of me? I’m so weak that I’m not able to deal with this, Am I crazy for visiting a counsellor often discourage people from visiting. It isn’t weakness this shows how strong a person actually is. It is high time that people understand the nitty-gritty of Psychology. Gone are the days when psychology was only about severe mental disorder. Nowadays it is about helping people deal with daily life problems and improving the quality of life.
If a cold and cough need medication before it turns into something severe, so does mental health. If you address these issues and nip in the bud it won’t grow into a grave problem.
Aunty: I never thought of this. In fact, this is very enlightening. I wonder why no one tells us these things. You made it so simple for me to understand. Maybe more of us should get together and help you in spreading awareness. If I’m ever feeling under the weather I won’t hesitate to seek help ever.
Srishti: I’m glad I could be of help to you, Aunty.