By RITA AGGARWAL (Consulting Psychologist) :
Q. I am locked in a relative’s home, which is in Delhi and I live in Bengal. I was on a visit for a short time and I and my wife got stuck here. It is comfortable and there is no problem here, but I am feeling somewhat depressed as the months go by. I was busy in my home with my friends and neighbours and would do little work with my business. Actually, I am retired and my children manage the business, but they would consult me from time to time. Now they are managing well and I am bored here. Nothing to do full day. How should I handle my depression? I have mild health problems and my personal doctor is not available. Please help.
Ans. This could be the condition of many people who are locked down at odd places and locked out of home. It is indeed very stressful and depressing as well. But like those in similar or worse situation you will need to cope with it. Coping means to take an active approach to solving the problem and not just being passive about it by accepting the situation. So, get going and make a plan to occupy yourself in innovative ways. First thing to do is to offer help in the house to the host in domestic chores and take the responsibility of a task you can do comfortably and do it daily unless you have health issues. The second thing to do is to talk to your children at home once daily and take an update every day and keep yourself involved in the business. If they say ‘don’t worry’, you tell them it is important to connect with them and for your health. Thirdly, call your home-town friends and connect with all of them through an app like ‘zoom’ or ‘WebEx’ or ‘Google Meet’ and have fun and crack jokes. This is the only way to break out of isolation and loneliness and re-connect with the old world. Lastly prioritise positivity and stop all negative thoughts. Be grateful for what you have and relax. The bad times will pass. A.N
Q. I have a friendship which is very old and now as we enter college, he seems to have changed. We are together since childhood and are neighbours too. Our families are friends too- we are like brothers. I don’t know what has changed him. He went into a good college and has made many new friends and also has a girlfriend now. He does not talk to me now and when I call him, he talks nicely and says he is busy. I feel very lonely and lost without him. I don’t have good friends, but I have many people I know. I try to stay with them, but I still miss my friend. Please help me and guide me.
Ans. Yes, certainly you must be missing your childhood buddy. It seems he is got into a different frame of mind and is busy exploring new avenues of people and opportunities. He has shifted to a new college and has a girlfriend too and that must be hands full for him! You must accept that people change with changing situations.They change their perceptions of life, develop new belief systems and make new friends who influence them in so many ways. This is a good sign and a bad sign both. It is good for growth and development when you learn to adapt to newer challenges so that you learn new skills that help you deal with the complexities of the situation. The bad and sad part is when people get new friends, they dump old buddies totally and forget the emotional bonds and their roots. He may come back to you after some time when his new found excitement wanes off or when he gets a rebuff and you may decide what you want to do then. If he does not then the only option is to move on and make new friends and new hobbies. You need to focus on goals and things and leave school bonds for the moment. Focus on growth and development of self and your future career. The world is very large - you will soon find what you are looking for. Don’t be depressed ever for anyoneit’s not worth it!
RITA AGGARWAL (Consulting Psychologist)
Note: Readers are requested to write short queries in approx 150 to 200 words. Furthermore, do not use abbreviations in career queries to avoid confusion. The columnist can be reached at [email protected]