Emerging from The Dirt Like a Sapling Towards Sunlight: Unnikrishnan’s Story of Therapy

6 minutes

Being in solitude in this massive world is a choice made by many. However, being lonely is a fate that some bring upon themselves and these two situations have stark differences. One is a conscious choice and the other is an involuntary situation. However, both conditions can arise in anybody’s life, hence what matters is how one chooses to go about their lives in the future.

Meet Unnikrishnan, a 22-year-old student at the prestigious NIT Calicut. Hailing from Kottayam, this intelligent young man describes his life as mediocre. He had a rather cordial relationship with his parents and a normal childhood.

“I did not sit and study much in my entire life, but always got good grades in school and college.”

Unnikrishnan has always been a soft-spoken, introverted person who mostly keeps to himself at all times. He has various hobbies that describe him as an upcoming artist and a sophisticated individual with high hopes and dreams.

“I am learning to play the piano and getting better at it by the day. I am also learning how to cook because I used to watch quite a bit of cooking shows as a kid and I guess I just wanted to try it out

Being a lone wolf his entire life, Unnikrishnan has faced a lot of challenges in his life that made him think of seeking help with therapy. 

My depressing feelings started during 12th class, mainly due to me not knowing what I was doing with my life. That was a stressful period of my life with the entrance exam and all.”

Unnikrishnan learned about the YourDOST platform as his institution has collaborated with the organization as their official mental health partner. Here he met Ms Heba Ahmed, who he chose to be his therapist for the coming days.

“I am usually a person who stays mostly to myself. However, by the time I reached college, it became even more difficult for me to mingle with the people around me and I was feeling more and more ‘out of place’ as such. I couldn’t make friends and my concentration levels dipped to a new low.”

As a child, Unnikrishnan hid behind video games, books, and daydreaming, hence wasn’t aware of the fact that he was digging a hole his entire life. He only noticed that he had dug himself in the ground, and couldn’t see a way out. Unnikrishnan was going through an existential crisis and that affected his mental well-being and his ability to focus on his studies as he’d normally do. He reported feeling helpless and not knowing what to do with his life.

“I was dragging myself through the days with depressive thoughts that varied in levels throughout. This switched something in me and I decided to seek therapy in a split second.”

Unnikrishnan was feeling really low and was facing emotional turmoils that weren’t quite like himself. Even though he wasn’t officially diagnosed with depression, his change in demeanour made him worry about himself.

“I couldn’t feel happiness in anything. Things as simple as YouTube videos started triggering me and I was running out of things I liked.”

This was the breaking point that made Unnikrishnan seek therapy and follow the lead of Ms Heba towards the white light of mental well-being.

Ms Heba Ahmed stepped up to help Unnikrishnan find his way out of the challenges of his life with several activities and techniques that assisted him in regulating his emotions in a better way.

“I started maintaining a mood journal as advised by Ms Heba to keep track of my emotions and feelings and channel them out in a much easier way. She also helped me practise the box breathing technique that helps me calm myself down when I am having intense anxiety.

Unnikrishnan is a pessimistic person who sees the glass half empty at all times. He usually has a negative bias toward situations which is absolutely normal, however at times can be a bit of a headache. Ms Heba helped him reframe the negative thoughts and situations that he wrote in the mood journal and see things in a more positive manner, which in turn helped him slowly get back on track.

“It is usually hard for me to see the positive side of things but the techniques and assignments assigned to me were slowly showing results and I felt them inside of me.”

Unnikrishnan understands that good things take time and the healing process is particularly slow. Rewiring the entire demeanour takes time as habits would have settled in, yet he is positive that he would bounce back and take control within no time.

“I’m grateful to Ms Heba and for all that she does for me. She listens to me with empathy, a social skill that I’m not used to, which makes me feel heard and comfortable I feel much grounded and the overthinking patterns have diminished as well.”

Unnikrishnan recalls how he used to starve himself in the hostel and how his therapist helped him improve his eating habits, setting an example for a healthy lifestyle.

Unnikrishnan is an example of a tough seedling that makes its way through the dirt to see the sunlight and grow out its first pair of leaves. Ms Heba watered his growth and helped him grow out of his seed shell into a strong and healthy being who is comfortable in his skin.

He rates himself a solid 4 out of 5 in terms of feeling better and envisions improvement as leading a happier life. It’s a long journey of healing, however we, at YourDOST are positive that Unnikrishnan will succeed in leading a life full of happiness and laughter.

Unnikrishnan’s Warrior Tips:
1.“Anyone facing mental health concerns should try out therapy as it will help them understand themselves better.”
2.“It wouldn’t hurt to try and get back on the healing journey.”

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.