Mumbai: ‘I feel sad’. We have, on numerous occasions, said this out loud to our friends, family members, or acquaintances. The reasons can be varied — from not getting a favourite dish or not being able to book a ticket to a movie or even not getting to eat a favourite ice-cream, among others. But, these moments of sadness are fleeting and perish as we move on to the next task at hand or cave into the next desire. However, there are times when sadness becomes chronic and we are left wondering — why do I feel sad?
To help you find the answer, Dr Shefali Batra recently launched a book titled ‘Why Do I Feel So Sad?’ published by Jaico. “This book offers a unique perspective to self-discovery and means to become the best versions of ourselves,” says Dr Batra.
Ask her what prompted her to write the book and she quickly responds, “I have always focused on learning and applying behavioural and cognitive therapy principles in my practice. It became more and more obvious to me over the years how depression can cloud rational judgment and dull out a brightly coloured world to a boring and listless grey. I’m also a proponent of the use of self-help books for healing (bibliotherapy). I believed we needed an advanced book that could hand-hold, guide and encourage the readers in a step-by-step manner. That’s how this book came about.”
Dr Batra uses case studies of her patients as examples to explain the various topics that the book covers. “I am certain that every reader will identify with their experiences and walk on their path to self-enhancement. The reader will most likely feel one with the characters too,” she shares.
What sets the book apart is the way it is written. Every chapter has a set of questions that will help readers ‘self-diagnose’. The book is more practical and offers unique and easy-to-apply DIY techniques to combat depression. “Many books offer instructions and theoretical knowledge only, but you could consider this as a practical guide for depression. I hand-hold and walk the reader through the visible signs of the problem — helping the reader recognise symptoms, and then offer a structured, stepwise path towards the solution. The book offers applicable, actionable, and practical support,” Dr Batra explains.
The book is her attempt to prevent everyday sadness from progressing to more serious depression, the numbers of which are skyrocketing today. “People should realise that there will always be too much to do, and the clock will tick at rocket speed. I request everyone to ration out time in their day to think about what is beneath the surface, and to recognise how their mind can get trapped in stress, worry and rumination. You must try to introspect, look within, and ask yourself how am I feeling? Can I do something to make it better?” she asserts.
Dr Batra has plans to pen more interactive books like this one and believes they are the best means to change lives.
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