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Ruwab K. : On Counselling and Suicide Prevention

Ruwab Counselling and Suicide Prevention

On Discovering Psychology

My tryst with counselling started when I was in school. Since a close relative had ADHD, my mother and I accompanied him for visits to a psychiatrist. Often, I’d read the books laid out at the waiting area and found the concept of counseling, positive parenting and mental health extremely intriguing. As a result I majored in Psychology in school and college.

After completing my masters in Psychology, I joined Jeevan Aastha Helpline for Suicide Prevention, an initiative under Gujarat Police, as a senior counsellor. I was not taught about the subject in college, but it was the right step in order to understand someone who sees death as the only answer.

Ruwab Counselling and Suicide Prevention

On Counselling and Suicide Prevention

The challenges with telephonic counselling are unique. Since I couldn’t see the person I was speaking with, I only had to judge from their voice tone. Many teenagers who were wronged in a romantic relationship, called. Since dating is frowned upon, teens do not share about their anxieties with parents or other adults. As a result, they only have people of their age to understand their problems. A teenager’s concept of love is quite half baked.

Similarly, domestic violence needs to take centre stage as a massive propellant for depression and suicidal tendencies, but doesn’t. I remember being on a call with a lady who she cried her heart out, like it was the end. Sometimes, it is a challenge to maintain objectivity as a counsellor in the face of such pain and helplessness. I only wonder how things must be for thousands of women today, being locked in with their abuser.

Ruwab counselling and suicide prevention

If Indians harness their sense of strong family ties and communities, we have the potential solve several mental health issues. Communication is the key. If parents/adults speak with youngsters, if neighbours and others report cases of abuse and violence, we can dramatically change the demographic of mental illness.

As for me, I am pursuing a PhD in the subject right now. This is what I wish to do for the rest of my life. I will continue to work on counselling and suicide prevention No one must live through the tragedy of not being heard and ending it all.

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Monica Thakur: On Living with Depression


The Diagnosis

Initially, I was quite reserved in college. Gradually, I made friends and opened up. There’s just so much talent on campus, so many beautiful minds; I was learning a lot.

Suddenly, somewhere during the second year, it happened without warning. Getting out of the bed was a task. I’d drag myself to college everyday and feel overwhelmed. I couldn’t think straight. Everything was pointless. I wanted to end it and often thought about the peace death offered; it was alluring. A dear friend of mine told me he was worried I’d do something to myself. It was an eye opener. I reached out to a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with acute depression and suicidal tendencies.

Struggling with Recovery

I returned home to recuperate. As advised, I’d workout everyday. For a while, physical engagement did help take a break from my head. But it was a task to explain to my parents and family. They could see my distress as well as my pain, but couldn’t make any sense out of it. Most believe in the myth that a depressed person is sad all the time, few know how it manifests itself into every cell of the human body. I wasn’t taken seriously because I didn’t have a history of trauma (mental/physical). The stigma and the helplessness began to take a toll on me. One can workout, take pills on time and function by the rulebook, but if the environment is emotionally abusive, doesn’t hold you at your weakest, you begin to crumble at the slightest bit.

Monica living with depression

Living with Depression

Over the past year I have been diagnosed with multiple forms of depression. My medication has changed drastically. So much has happened, it is enough to last a lifetime and beyond. I resumed college, took up a job and keep myself as engaged as I can. There is no claim to recovery for now. I am still living with depression and struggle to accept, love and care about myself. Some days are happy. On other days I drive myself insane under the pressure of recovering soon.

I want people to read about depression. Most with it will not reach out to you, they don’t have the energy to, we need to build a society where we constantly look out for each other.

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