A commitment to self is the first stepping stone to one’s well-being. Shubhankar, 21, has proven the very meaning of self-awareness and care ever since he started facing spiralling thoughts.
I had difficulty focusing on things like academics or any task that I was supposed to do for a longer period of time. I tried solving the problems on my own, tried researching on the internet but I didn’t get anywhere.
Shubhankar believes in self-introspection. He realised that his confidence was nosediving which was something that he hadn’t noticed earlier. The thought of being the centre of attention made him feel self-conscious to such an extent that he started distancing himself from friends, college events and new tasks.
“Being in 1st year of college, I would rarely participate in any of the events. I didn’t want to go outside and was rather comfortable in my room even when I wasn’t doing anything.”
When problems start building up, they can appear very vague, leading to self-criticism and chaotic thoughts. Shubhankar also found himself battling such mixed feelings. As the feelings grew, he gathered himself together and accepted that he had to work on them for his own good.
“It was affecting my normal behaviour with people. I was not able to take a stand for myself, not able to put my point across during arguments. I then tried to take my chances and see if maybe just a conversation with a counsellor can help me.“
Shubhankar first connected with a YourDOST Expert in his 1st semester during his exams. The exam atmosphere back then had put his focus at stake which only pushed him deeper into the spiral of ruminating thoughts. He then decided that he needed to talk to someone who wouldn’t know him, wouldn’t judge him and just listen.
“1st year of college, you usually don’t have friends to rely on. I wanted to share my worries with a person who’d understand me and make me feel normal about my feelings and as I progressed through my counselling sessions, I then came to know that all this time, I had anxiety.”
Shubhankar finally had a name for the cause of all his discomfort and annoyance – anxiety. Soon after this, he started investing more time into exploring his symptoms, starting with the Internet.
You know what the Internet does to you, it’s full of symptoms. After my research, I thought that I had bipolar disorder. To my relief, my expert later told me that what I was experiencing was completely different and valid.
During this time, Shubhankar, with his dedication to becoming a better version of himself, started working on himself, adopting his expert’s suggestions.
“The suggestions from my expert really helped me. They made me feel better every day, made it easier for me to go to classes, be a little regular and feel refreshed.”
Both Shubhankar and his counselor worked together to help him gradually excel by finding goodness around him. As someone who used to see the dark side of everything, Shubhankar tried to look on the brighter side as well.
“I was into photography, and my expert made me realise that I was focusing a lot on gloomy things in my art. She asked me to try out something with colours, doodle something before going to bed, which would take my mind off of other things and bring in positivity.”
In his 2nd year of college, Shubhankar knew that the suggestions from his prior sessions had inclined him towards hope and if he dug deeper, he’d see good progress. He then decided to connect with the YourDOST counsellor who used to visit his college campus.
“It’s been more than a year since I started my in-person counselling with Neha Agrawal and this has built a foundation for my well-being.”
Shubhankar was relentless with his therapy sessions. After a couple of months when he found that all his symptoms were arising from anxiety, he could connect it all back to everything he had ever faced right from his 1st semester.
Sometimes my anxiety would shoot so high that I’d shut myself in my room, lay in my bed and eventually go to sleep. My sessions with Neha helped me make sense of my feelings. She suggested that I first needed to reduce my physical anxiety before dealing with the one in my mind.
Breathing exercises, stress balls, holding ice cubes to get sensations back into the body, and a warm shower were some of the activities Shubhankar adopted.
Of the many positive changes that Shubhankar experienced within, one is being grateful. He remembers how he’d have almost quit his therapy with Neha if it wasn’t for YourDOST.
“Initially, I used to visit my expert, Neha in a clinic. Had I not come to know that she’s with YourDOST as well, I might have quit counselling due to financial issues. They made it so convenient and I could visit her right from my classroom. If I didn’t have YourDOST as a medium, I don’t know what I’d have done. I’d probably be stuck in my phase of anxiety.”
For people out there who know that there might be something wrong but aren’t okay with seeking help, Shubhankar has a piece of strong word advice for them –
“When you feel something is off or you’re not able to do a certain task which you should be able to do, don’t dismiss it. If it’s happening repeatedly, don’t try to overlook it. That feeling is there to teach you that something is not okay. Try conveying your feelings and if it doesn’t work with friends or family, you should reach out to an expert.”
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