People often tend to perceive mental pain less seriously compared to physical pain, but it’s the hardest to bear. Frequent attempts made by humans to conceal the mental pain in fact increases the burden. For someone like Soham, who had always lifted the weight of pain on his chest, it is not easy to move forward. Born and brought up in Kolkata, Soham spent his childhood being the ‘sheltered’ child, as his parents got separated when Soham was very young. Quiet on most days, chirpy on rare – Soham enjoys his own company the most! Soham has always complained about not being able to gel with other people well and before he knew it, he saw himself being stuck in a loop.
“I have phases where I don’t feel like doing anything. I would not feel productive at all. I was too young to realise this, but due to this, I started developing communication issues.”
Being raised by his mother and maternal grandparents, Soham encountered very few outdoor experiences in his young days. He even observed others feeling resentful of him due to his high grades. But, for Soham these things did not matter much at that age. As he grew older, Soham found himself keeping everyone at bay; including his feelings and emotions. Soham started bottling up his emotions, keeping this away from his mother too.
“My undergraduate days were comparatively a cakewalk, then when I came to IISC. All of my issues started circling around me and I was unable to cope up with it.”
Soham started pursuing his integrated PhD studies from prestigious IISC (Indian Institute of Science) and by the third year of his studies, his life took a turn. Soham was having some issues in his relationship which affected him deeply. As fate would have it, Soham’s grandfather’s passing during the same time disrupted Soham’s life. One thing after the other, and soon Soham had fallen back to the pit of low productivity and depression. Soham started encountering trust issues and that reflected in his way of thinking too.
“My productivity went for a toss. I made no progress with my PhD in the span of one month, to which I even got scolded by my guide.”
After realising the changes in himself, Soham decided to seek help from a professional. Though Soham is aware of psychiatrists and psychologists, it was tough for him to gain confidence over trusting a stranger. He even recalled an experience that went awry with his close friend and a psychiatrist. After months of beating around the bush, the scolding by his guide made an impact on Soham and he finally decided to reach out to a counselor.
“Private counselors and practitioners charge hefty money. YourDOST is IISC’s emotional wellness partner, so once I saw the opportunity of free of cost services provided to the students, I grabbed it.”
Upon contacting YourDOST, Soham got in touch with counselor Ms Ishita Attri. With the accommodating and patient nature of Ishita, Soham found his place to vent out. In his initial sessions, Soham spelt out his problems to Ishita and soon realised how comforting and liberating it is to acknowledge and let his own emotions free. As a counselor, Ishita suggested many techniques to Soham to help him with his depressive thoughts such as; muscle relaxation, breathing and meditation exercises. But, Soham did not indulge in any of these. Soham indeed, had found his solace in giving his emotions an outlet of expression.
Soham credits Ishita’s guidance for making him feel indifferent about his previous relationship. Soham is glad to see himself getting back to who he fundamentally is! With Ishita’s directions and his own dedication, Soham was finally able to push himself to do certain things with the motivation and enthusiasm he already had.
Summarising his counseling experience, Soham mentions, “my mind is freer now!” – and indeed, the progress made by Soham is commendable!
Factors like anonymity, accessibility, and cost of counseling by YourDOST is what caught Soham’s eye and he is now stigma-free. On a scale of 1 to 5, Soham gives himself a strong rating of 3. As per Soham, he will soon reach a spot-on 5, had he been free of depression and trust issues.
Although, from all of us at YourDOST, Soham, you’re a true mental health warrior who isn’t scared of taking a stand for himself and works continuously towards making yourself better!
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