Overcoming Covid-19 Panic Attacks Through Counseling

6 minutes

Overcoming Covid-19 Paranoia and Panic Attacks Through Counseling

“Sometimes being too nice can be dangerous, so you have to make your stand once in a while in order to avoid getting hurt.”

This is the story of 22-year-old Varun belonging to a nuclear family from the city of Noida. Being a person with varied interests, Varun enjoyed football as well as reading. His interests were also spread towards mountaineering which led him to participate in a trekking expedition. But what fascinated him the most was his interest in basic sciences. He was hungry for knowledge regarding the vast universe. His curiosity was stirred from childhood when his mom used to read to him from an encyclopaedia. Soon Varun went ahead to pursue Basic Sciences with an integrated degree in BSc and MSc as his career with a major in Physics. 

Everything was going well until Covid-19 kicked in. Soon, Varun found himself trapped within four walls following a drastic change in his environment. As the sensitive person that he is, Varun seemed to develop a fear for his parent’s well-being during this dark hour. As his isolation turned into little episodes of anxiety, his paranoia gradually increased too.

“I didn’t even want to get out of my bed, I just wanted to sleep because interestingly I was having very good dreams.”

He would often wake up in the middle of the night with a dry throat which added up to his distress. Varun being a person who would stay awake to play video games or study had developed a habit of escaping reality by sleeping more. As his mind reached a new level of dismay, so did his body. Varun’s gastric problem was being accompanied by panic attacks.

This was the moment when Varun decided to get an ultrasound done as his mind had already assumed a possibility of cancer.

“One day after my daily jog, I came back home to find blood in my urine. I decided to get an ultrasound as soon as I could.”

This was the moment when Varun decided to get an ultrasound done as his mind had already assumed a possibility of cancer. Nonetheless,  it turned out to be kidney stones which still wasn’t a fragile issue.

“My brain was telling me that you’re gonna die. I didn’t know what to do. My mind entered a phase of an extreme dilemma.”

Meanwhile, what made things worse for Varun was his grandfather’s diagnosis of stage four cancer.  His mind had taken off with assumptions of the worst possibilities for his health. What started as paranoia in Varun’s mind, was taking a turn after he saw the worse happening around him.

After a few months, Varun lost his grandfather and his dad was diagnosed with multiple myeloma which is a case of blood cancer. Moreover, Varun had also started to drift away from his friends. As his days went by, there were no hopes of positivity left within him.

Owing to the endless series of unfortunate events, Varun was initially sceptical about counseling.


Owing to the endless series of unfortunate events, Varun was initially sceptical about counseling. But, later he decided to seek therapy. 

“I needed someone I could go and tell what I was feeling. At times like these, your logical brain doesn’t work, so I wanted someone to help me.”

YourDOST being a mental wellness partner to his institute, was a major turning point in Varun’s life when nothing seemed right. His counselor, Dr Sudha was a very good listener who portrayed a motherly figure in Varun’s life. He clearly needed a person who could understand him without judging. These sessions were made even more flexible by Dr Sudha, where she would adjust her schedules according to Varun’s comfort zone. 

Varun’s journey of getting better began by gaining clarity on the deep-rooted cause behind his behaviour. Apart from all the events going on in his life, Varun found more issues that added up to his restlessness. He could not say ‘no’ to anyone around him. Varun was a person who would always agree with people even if he was hesitant. He had a fear of hurting his loved ones or being disliked. Hence, the Covid-19 and the paranoia that followed took a toll on Varun’s overall mental health and emotional stability.

“Sudha was there as emotional support because by the end of the day I have to take care of my problems on my own. But she guided me very well with several techniques too.”
Paranoia couldn't kill Varun's spirits. Counsleing helped him get over it.

Dr Sudha suggested various exercises that helped him take control over his anxiety and recommended some relevant books to read. As Varun further introspected himself, he slowly started to know himself better. 

“It’s very important to put yourself first and we mostly don’t say what we want because we are afraid of how they will handle the situation if something goes wrong”.

Varun had accepted that it was a transition period in his life where in order to go up, he had to fall down. But most importantly, Varun had realised the importance of putting himself first. 

Varun thanked his counselor with all his heart as he summarised that she was a true guide to him. “You can get the positive results from a counselor only when you’re open to the idea of improving yourself.” – says Varun. 

Varun rates himself at 2.5 out of 5 in this journey to be confident, as he believes that it is just the start of this journey and there is a lot of room for improvement. While we at YourDOST appreciate Varun’s honesty, we wish him all the luck for his future endeavours. 

Ravi’s Warrior Tips:
1. A counselor can’t help you any more than you want to help yourself.

Are you someone who has gone through a difficult phase and emerged stronger and better, with some professional help? Share your story with us to encourage thousands of others who might be struggling. Click here to submit your story.

Team YourDOST

YourDOST is an Online Emotional Wellness Coach. Through YourDOST anyone can Sign Up and anonymously seek advice and guidance from Counsellors, Psychologists, Special Friends, Mentors and other experienced individuals.