“Have faith in yourself” 18 December 2022


Q. I am a student in under-graduate college in Nagpur. I come from another city and belong to a large joint family. My friends tell me I am home-sick and often start crying for no reason. Actually I am taking medicines for anxiety and depression since a year from my home-town. I have not told this to my friends for fear of being made fun of. They are good people but I can’t make up my mind to share them. My mother always says ‘don’t tell anyone, it will spoil your reputation’. So I don’t talk about it. I have told only one girl from my school whom I miss a lot. She has gone to another city and I cannot call her often. I am struggling with my friends and my studies as well. I am feeling scared whether I can complete my course at all? I just joined last year and I am missing home. Please help me.

Ans. There are a number of things you mention. One, is that you are in a hostel in another city and this maybe the first time you have left home for hostel. You may be finding it difficult to adjust, make friends and trust someone to share your problems. Second, you are suffering from depression and anxiety since some time and are taking medicines for the same. You feel like sharing it with a friend but is afraid of the stigma attached to mental health issues that have been reinforced by your mother. The stigma is unfortunate for mental health issues are like any other physical illness and can be treated and cured. We unnecessarily make a mountain of it and a bad thing. It should be talked about in a normal way. You seem to be losing confidence about your course as well. Please do not lose hope and your confidence. Take your medicines regularly and keep in touch with your doctor. You should consult a local psychologist for counselling and therapy which will help you tremendously. It will help you develop coping skills for better adjustment and adaptation in the new surroundings. You must learn mind control techniques to control negative thoughts, your feelings of anxiety. There are multiple methods used by psychologists to do that which are very effective. Do not rely on medicines alone. They play a different role at the bio-chemical level but do not help at the psychological level. Both the levels are important. Be assured that you will be alright and that you are competent enough to handle all the problems of your life, whether physical, mental, social and educational.   

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