Beat your Lockdown Blues: All your mental health queries answered by Dr Anjali Chhabria
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I will turn 35 next month. I had few plans for myself this year before turning 35. I already lost promotion because of the pandemic and to top that my wedding got postponed to next year. I think I am suffering from minor depression as I find myself feeling low most of the times and not wanting to do things. I did an online depression test and it showed that I might probably have it. What should I do?

Ans: This year has proven to be quite challenging, especially plans getting either pushed or cancelled all together. And, losing something as important as a promotion that you probably were looking forward to could be quite devastating. The wedding date being pushed to next year is also an added stress. The feelings of sadness are quite evident in this case as you have experienced loss. In order to deal with this uncertainty I would suggest to look at those things that you are certain about and can be dealt with at the moment. As far as your mood is concerned meet a professional before drawing any conclusions with respect to depression.

Last few months have been tough on my family as we never really spent time together before like we were forced to during the lockdown. Amidst all this I got to know that my parents don’t really have a great marriage and they have thoughts of parting their ways on too many occasions. The reason given by my mother is that my father used to cheat on her early in their marriage and even very recently. I have never been close to my father, but this information has made it even more difficult for me to look him in the eye. I feel like leaving everything and moving out. Please help.

Ans: This must be tough on you to first absorb the information about your parents' marriage, and secondly, about your father’s infidelity. Wanting to run away could be a result of information overload and no means of escape in sight. It is important that all of you seek family counselling as it appears that you all have been affected by things for too long. Couple of sessions together can help bridge the gaps as well as help you all pave way as to how to invest in the relationships from there on.

I work in a non-profit organisation that takes care of rural welfare policies. I have been associated with this for the last 10 years. But I have seen a lot in the last seven months due to COVID-19 in terms of destruction. So many families that I work with have lost at least one member to this disease and that too, at times, the earning member. I feel guilty of not being able to help them and find myself crying to sleep daily thinking about this. What can I do?

Ans: I can only imagine how difficult it must be to see the rising number of deaths and that too in impoverished regions. It must take a lot of courage to deal with families who have lost their loved ones and give them support in times like these. I would like to draw your attention to something known as compassion fatigue here. Many a times, in jobs like these, we tend to blur boundaries and take on things personally, especially if something goes wrong with others around us. Their emotions might become our emotions. And, you might be experiencing the same at the moment. Take a pause and moment out for yourself and then get back to work rather than trying hard to help others constantly. You can’t fill from an empty glass.

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