Hemanth, a 26-year-old student at the elite IIM Bangalore, is a staunch mental health advocate. He believes that just as people go for regular health check-ups or visit the gym for their physical health, similarly, they should regularly go for therapy for their mental health.
When you’re happy, your insecurities remain in the background. But once you face bad times, then you fall very hard. But if you go to counselling regularly, then the bad times are not that bad.
And this is exactly how counselling at YourDOST has helped Hemanth in his life as well.
“When I was younger, my dad used to get transferred a lot. So I had to shift around 6-7 schools. Because of that, I never made long-lasting friends. I wanted to learn how to create long-lasting bonds, and this is one of the reasons I went for counselling.”
Having approached an Expert at YourDOST, for the first time he felt as if someone was listening to him properly. This was in complete contrast to his earlier experience with counselling elsewhere when the psychologist and psychiatrist he had approached had been extremely dismissive of his concerns.
Fortunately, this experience did not give rise to any doubts about seeking help for mental health in Hemanth’s mind. This is because he feels that when you share your problems, as opposed to your friends, a mental health professional would be more equipped to give you unbiased advice.
“They will be able to tell you what works and what does not work,” and this was extremely important in helping Hemanth boost his self-esteem.
“I have always had a chink in the armour when it comes to self-esteem. But I didn’t know what my issues were, and what my triggers were. Counselling helped me figure this out.”
Counselling has also helped Hemanth deal with his body image issues.
“I have this condition, which causes me to have male breasts. And I have always felt conscious of my body, and hated buying clothes because I found them uncomfortable.”
But now, after having lost weight, as well as having boosted his self-esteem through counselling, Hemanth feels confident shopping for clothes too. Not only this but when his self-esteem increased, he found that the problems he was experiencing in his romantic relationships also reduced.
“When I am in a relationship, I have a fear of losing my partner. I let people walk all over me, and I let them do whatever they want because I am so afraid of losing them.”
But the best part about the process of counselling, Hemanth believes, was that he discovered these insecurities during his counselling sessions themselves.
To be honest, I didn’t know what I am at first, I didn’t know what was happening with me. To work on your problems, you have to first find a core problem, which then causes a chain reaction to all your insecurities. Counselling helped me find that problem
This is how, having found his core problem, Hemanth was able to improve himself in so many ways. One of the techniques in counselling that has helped him the most was gratitude journaling.
“I have always loved the books, “The Secret” and “The Magic”. Ever since 2015, I have been trying to practice gratitude exercises given in the book, but I never crossed Day 2. Now, with the help of counselling, I have been able to reach Day 17!”
Not only gratitude journaling but journaling his thoughts also helped Hemanth break his cycle of overthinking. Other techniques that helped Hemanth during his counselling sessions were self-affirmations or positive affirmations.
“My Expert asked me to write down five things I like about my body, and repeat them to myself every day in the mirror. This helped me incredibly with my body image issues.”
Hemanth feels like he has been able to become a better and more confident person because of all of these techniques, and he looks forward to continuing on this journey to a better version of himself.
Now I feel more confident in so many ways. Even when I went back to college, I could tell that my confidence has increased, because I am now able to speak confidently and use humour in languages other than my mother tongue, which I used to find very difficult earlier.
Hemanth is extremely thankful for the changes that counselling has made in his life.
“I am more positive, and I feel more empowered. All of this has happened within the span of one and a half months. My Expert has done something which is irreplaceable for me, and I can’t thank her enough for that.”
This is why he encourages everyone to take up counselling for themselves as well.
“It’s just a general conversation that you have with your Expert. It’s not like a Q and A, you don’t have to feel anxious, and you don’t have to worry about them judging you. They are a complete stranger to you, so it’s easier to open up as well.”
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