Several factors can cause us to visit a psychologist. Although the reasons can be as varied as the people who have them, the most common is Depression. It is estimated that in the next 25 years, Depression may become the second most common illness, next only to heart diseases in India. Depression, if left unattended, can wreck a person from within and cause great loss of personal productivity and effectiveness.
Other equally strong reasons can be Anxiety, Stress, Jealousy, Distress and Grief – situations wherein one wants to share feelings with a non-judgmental person, who would help them cope better.
A psychologist can also offer valuable support during other difficult times, such as
|Feeling low, worried, shy, or plain stressed out|
|Dieting or overeating for too long (eating disorders)|
|Self-destructive behavior like cuts, burns, or self-inflicted injuries|
|Suicidal tendencies, Suicidal and Para-suicidal attempts|
|Dealing with an attention problem (ADHD) or a learning problem|
|Coping with chronic illnesses like diabetes or asthma, or a new diagnosis of a serious problem such as HIV or cancer|
|Dealing with major life-changing family events like birth of the second child, separation and divorce|
|Handling addictions like alcoholism or smoking, other substance-abuse conditions|
|Coping with an intensely personal and traumatic event such as the death of a loved one.|
|Worrying over events beyond their control (Economic, Political and Natural)|
|Trying to overcome habits such as nail biting, hair pulling, over-spending or dependency on medications.|
|Trying to handle problems like managing anger or coping with peer pressure.|
|Trying to build self-confidence, to become more ‘socially active’ and to make new friends.|
|Worried about one’s child’s behaviour and development|
|Facing career and workplace problems|
|Worried about own or a family member’s ‘abnormal’ development --- intellectual, social, academic or behavioral.|
Teenage is typically portrayed as a period of great stress and strain, storm and strife. A teenager, who is neither a child nor an adult, is in a unique, unenviable position wherein he has to traverse both the world and cater to their divergent demands. Suddenly overwhelmed with hormonal changes and the subsequent bodily, emotional and other changes, teenagers develop a common tendency to question themselves, their parents and the world around them, which can create problematic situations at home and school.
They may feel sad, angry or overwhelmed at changes in their immediate world and need help with sorting out their feelings. Teenagers facing a tough time like family or school troubles, seek out an understanding and compassionate professional --- a psychologist to help them. Timely and competent counseling can do wonders to help a teenager come out of this phase and develop into a normal, healthy adult. The psychologist, with his patient listening and empathy, enables the troubled teenager to understand the situation more realistically and maturely. Consequently, he develops a much better understanding of the problem and is better able to shape his own responses, leading to a well-adjusted personality.
Most of us love to keep our private problems to ourselves in the belief that letting them out does us no good. Given the social scenario in India and the long-held, deep-rooted stigma for psychological illnesses, it is no surprise that the affected person is reluctant to seek out a psychologist. The person may have to risk social criticism, embarrassment and personal labeling.
But it has to be understood that asking for professional help when it is required most, is actually a sign of maturity and self-awareness. Remember, it’s your own life ! Going to a psychologist for personal counseling is as “normal” as visiting a doctor for common cold or fever.