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    • Author:

    • July 5, 2020

    • 272

    Prathap and Sunita were undecided. On whether to have the delivery of their child in Chennai where they worked or to travel to their hometown – Mumbai. Unfortunately, along came the pandemic, taking them by surprise. With all modes of travel shut, Prathap and Sunita had to remain in Chennai.

    Soon, tragedy hit closer home with Prathap’s father succumbing to COVID-19.

    Prathap was consumed by regret, guilt, frustration, and helplessness. Had he not dilly-dallied, he might have been able to be there for his parents when they needed him the most? Sunita tried her best to console him but he remained utterly desolate.

    But a powerful wake-up call came soon enough. Prathap’s spiraling self-castigation extended to physical self-harm. He started getting disinterested in work and began taking leave with increasing frequency. Reaching the end of her rope, Sunita insisted that he opt for counseling. In a short while, the counseling began showing positive results.

    If earlier, Sunita and Prathap thought that counseling was for the ‘mad,’ they are now at the other end of the spectrum recommending ‘counseling’ to anyone going through troubling times!

    So, who visits a counselor? And when?

    The world had us believe that only the mentally unhinged need counseling. It is only recently, that India has opened to a gradual recalibration of ideas around counseling. It is now ‘also’ considered as a lifeboat to help us navigate through unfavorable circumstances.

    But, since we go through unfavorable circumstances in life now and then, what warrants a visit to the counselor?

    Well, no cookie-cutter answers to that. However, trust the intelligent human system to jolt us with wake-up calls when things are truly not in order within. Think of it as the internal system nudging you to visit a counselor.

    The 5 wake-up calls to visit a counselor are:

    • Overwhelming sadness
      It is natural to experience significant sadness due to a traumatic experience, the loss of a close friend or family member, or the loss of something precious like a job or livelihood. But, prolonged sadness leads to depression, fatigue, withdrawal symptoms, lack of interest, and concentration. So, if the sadness sticks on like a shadow over a long time frame despite attempts to thwart it, it is a wake-up call to take the help of a counselor.

    • Inability to manage emotions
      Experiencing uncontrollable anger or inordinate levels of anxiety and stress for commonplace real-world situations may mean it is time to talk it through with a counselor.

    • Unhealthy habits
      Excessive use of mood-altering substances like drinking, smoking, or reckless drug abuse is unhealthy. Again, experiencing eating or sleeping disorders, or addiction to food, porn, or technology, are signs that one needs the help of a counselor to get back on the right track.

    • Phobias
      Unreasonable and fearful behaviors towards animals, food, people, or ill health can create inordinate levels of anxiety for the mind and body. Take the help of a counselor to come out of it.

    • Mental disorders
      Mental disorders manifest in different ways, often to be unearthed only by professional therapists. When in doubt, go to a counselor. After all, nothing wrong in aiming to lead a happy, healthy life.

    This list is in no way exhaustive. Several other reasons necessitate the help of a counselor. For instance when we find ourselves unable to smoothen a rocky relationship with a manager, a fractured bond with in-laws, the plummetting companionship with a spouse, or even the highly-strung interaction with teenage kids, especially when it results in a constant headache or sleepless nights.

    Yet, one of the many beauties of the human mind is its psychological plasticity. With the right mindset and/or professional help, we wield the power to define our lives despite the unfortunate circumstances we find ourselves woven into.

    If we can listen to our wake-up calls, we can bring out the best in us even during the worst of times as counseling is now a click away. To know more about our counselors and offerings, visit www.kelphr.com/eap.html

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