Did you ever see a parent anxious about their kid’s health? A father worrying about a child’s future?
I’m sure you all did, you might even say it was a silly question because that is what we see, feel and sense every moment. But so less do we hear about a parent’s concern for the emotional and mental well being of their kid. It is something unusual, something we all miss out, something we are not taught about and by chance, if we do know also, there is a much larger part we are unaware of.
Swara was 16 years old when she entered a well known college. It was her first time away from home and the tender affection of her family. With lots of dreams and a determined soul, she entered the college to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. The college was very good, good hostel , good campus, good faculty, infact everything was perfect. Her parents loved and supported her by all means to let her chase her dreams freely.
Starting was very tough, Swara felt terribly homesick but she understood that it was normal for anyone who is new to hostel life. There was a lot of pressure from the lecturers and staff and the time to relax was very less. Everyone around just wanted marks and ranks, nothing else, no one really tried to see from a student’s perspective.
She held on and waited to let her emotions subside. One month was over, there was no change. Two months were over, her spirits were becoming low and she felt extremely unwell. Lots of questions and doubts. Thoughts didn’t seem to leave her. In not more than 3 or 4 days her parents reached out to her and got her out of that place. Dont think it was easy. From her trying to explain to them how she felt, to……stepping out of the college was a heavy one.
Swara was feeling low, depressed and suicidal. She didn’t want to think, didn’t want to stay where she was, couldn’t figure out what was disturbing her. She tried to introspect but was not in a state to look through. Her parents also started questioning themselves where they went wrong? Was her condition because of them? , did they miss out something? Swara turned from an amazing girl to a weak and sensitive one.
Traffic in brain
Their daughter who is everything to them is crumbling down minute by minute. She was hitting herself, crying the whole day, scared to go out and what not. Everyone around started to question the family and invaded their personal space. Some started judging, while others gave their own solutions. People used to say – “take her to some person, maybe there’s some devil in her”. Some started suspecting if something wrong happened with her, which put her under a trauma.
She definitely was in a trauma, a shock of not being able to survive in the competition, not being able to study in one of the best colleges, though she had a chance to. A shock of not being able to do justice to her parents who have paid a lot of amount to join her in that prestigious college.
But seems like the definition of trauma or a shock was different for the people around.
Realising something unknown
Swara’s parents took her to a psychiatrist, after talking to friends who experienced similar issues with their children. The doctor diagnosed depression and a few other medical terms which were totally new to her family. Mental health seemed so new and strange to them .
Thriving in the present
Many students like Swara are going through these type of issues. The generation at present is running after fixed goals, readymade tips, short cuts and high ambitions. But in this rat race, many students are being shattered because they are not able to get what they want. Morever their own parents and the society are not accepting them as they are unaware of such issues.
Swara’s parents have provided her everything since childhood, as in financially, physically, educationally, morally, spiritually as well as emotionally also to an extent. But little did they know, of the kinds of pressure and thinking styles that would lead their child into something neither they, nor she knew of.
Lead the future
Every parent loves their kid and wants to provide everything to the maximum extent. But one thing they are unaware of, is the need for psychological support which is specific for each child, depending upon their genetic constitution and environment they are exposed to.
Parents and society needs to be educated.
The educational system needs to change.
Because the parents along with teachers nurture these children to grow as adults who in turn form society.
I know it is very hard and time taking. But it is not impossible, we can make it possible together.
What can we do?
- Love yourself and love others.
- Let’s not judge depending on what we see and feel.
- Try to widen your scope of knowledge about mental health and it’s importance in day to day lives, by reading blogs and many other trusted resources online or offline.
- If you feel that someone needs you or is in a bad state, please offer an ear and be an empathic listener.
- Identify if your friend or a family member is going through a tough time and lead him to a professional.
Everyone cannot do everything and have expertise in a particular field but everyone can do one thing, that is, to be aware of who has the expertise in that particular field. Direct your friend or your colleague or a family member who is having such mental health issues to the experts. Let’s try and follow this and make this world a better place to live in.