Beat your Lockdown Blues: All your mental health queries answered by Dr Anjali Chhabria
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I am five months pregnant. I am at home with my parents while my husband, a businessman, is stranded in the US. Prior to the lockdown, he was supposed to come back to India, but the American and Indian authorities clamped down on flights. We are both fine, but I am worried about him because he has limited funds and there is general restlessness in the family. We speak on call every day, but the situation over there is getting worse and we don’t know if he can come home even after isolation because we stay in a joint family with many elders. This stress is also making me worry about my baby and the medical help I will receive if all the hospitals are occupied.

Ans: I am sure the current phase is stressful with baby on the way and your husband away. The situation is quite uncertain with respect to how things will pan out. At this point, help yourself; focus on what can be done rather than what can’t take place. Delegate the task of helping your husband from here to someone in your family so that you don’t have to directly deal with that stress. As far as getting medical help when you deliver, speak to your doctor on regular basis in order to get some reassurance so that it helps you relax.

I’m preparing for the IIT entrance exam for the second time. I am determined to try on my own since I cannot afford tuitions, but I usually take help of my friends and their study guides. We used to sit and prepare together. Now, due to the lockdown, I am stuck at home and don’t have money for online classes. I am losing confidence, because I have studied for a year, but I don’t know what I’m doing, is it right or wrong? My exams are delayed and I’m losing motivation. All of this with my family’s financial troubles has got me worried for the future.

Ans: I understand that the current COVID-19 situation has made things tough for students, especially as the sources of learning have become limited. But, technology has made things easier to a large extent. It would help if you look for free tutoring or online courses for IIT preparation to feel more confident. With your friends, with whom you used to study, could join in for online study hours so that you get guidance from that source as well. Over and above, you also have prior experience with this course so put in some trust in yourself as well.

My boyfriend and I have been in a relationship for three years and I love him very much. We were thinking of talking to our parents this summer to making it official, but since the lockdown I haven’t been able to see him much. We used to video call regularly, but as time passed, he became distant. Calls turned into texting and now I barely hear from him. I’m worried about him because he likes to be reckless and was almost caught driving around at Marine Drive once, but he doesn’t listen to me. His reckless and impulsive behaviour has only increased and I do not know how to talk to him without feeling like a nagging person.

Ans: The issues are two-fold here: the decrease in communication the two of you and his reckless behaviour. Your direct attack on his reckless behaviour could result in him shutting down further. Tackling both your issues with him would require honest communication. You could put forth your concerns as how it affects you and your relationship. Also give him space to express himself so that you know where his headspace is at.

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