“Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strengths.” – Carrie Ten Boom.
This is the story of twenty-two-year-old Manpreet Singh, who studies Computer Science and began his internship in January 2020. Like many of us, Manpreet had a head full of dreams and hopes when he moved to Mumbai for his new job, finally away from his overly protective and confining family. But, soon after coming to Mumbai and testing the sweet life of freedom, the Covid-19 lockdown was imposed, and Manpreet had to move back to his home.
“It was the time at home when I got my first panic attack; I got confused. Soon, the frequency of attacks increased, and I felt lost.”
Manpreet started noticing many changes in his behaviour and realised how lonely he has gotten. The lockdown situation was getting tougher for him than he expected. Manpreet describes himself as a self-sufficient person who can usually face any situation by himself, but he couldn’t get out of this one. He started feeling numb and emotionless and suddenly felt all the emotions at once. Manpreet was losing his mind and thought he might be having depression.
“I have been in the students’ counseling committee and have helped many students to seek professional help, but I never knew I would be put on this side one day.”
Manpreet would often complain about his parents’ interference and how much he felt bothered by that. Manpreet kept himself locked in the room, as his family members were acting as one of the triggers for him. Recalling his bad experiences, Manpreet said, “I constantly remained angry. Even when nobody bothered me, I would think when will they come and trouble me again – and the sheer thought of this made me even angrier.”. Seeing Manpreet in such distress, his friend suggested that he take counseling and told him about YourDOST services.
Manpreet was dicey to seek counseling at first, but he wanted to clear the air between him and his behaviour badly. Manpreet got connected with YourDOST counsellor Ms. Kangan Vohra. Contrary to what Manpreet used to think about him, Kangan told him that he was suffering from anxiety issues and was on the onset of OCD, also known as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Manpreet was soon able to understand the behavioural pattern based on Kangan’s inputs.
“Thank God I consulted her because otherwise, I would not have known I had OCD. I used to feel superstitious about certain things, and that would give me a crippling feeling. Now I know it was happening due to my OCD.”
Kangan suggested to Manpreet to create a checklist for his daily routine tasks; in this way, he will not overwhelm himself and have a clear idea about the entire day. Manpreet regulated his breathing pattern also, and that helped him control his rollercoaster of emotions. As the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic hit India, he stopped watching the news to keep his mind away from unnecessary negative thoughts.
“I felt liberated talking to Kangan. I used to think ‘Ladke Nahi Rote,’ but she made me understand how good it is to acknowledge my emotions rather than pushing them down. ”
Manpreet was asked to identify his main triggers and try to suppress them. Kangan stood still with Manpreet through his lowest of times and provided him with the guidance and warmth he needed. Kangan also advised Manpreet to follow the ‘Grounding Method’ as a coping mechanism for his anxiety.
All techniques combined, Manpreet today, doesn’t unnecessarily bother about things beyond his control. Instead, he has developed into an active listener who understands everything thoroughly and analyses every situation rather than losing his temper.
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