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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: July 17, 2017

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Submitted: July 17, 2017





“So, what is your problem?” I asked the lady sitting before me. It was Monday morning; she was my first patient. She was in her early twenties; her face was pale and dull. She hasn’t spoken since she had entered. She was staring down and desperately trying to control the tears that were shedding. I could even see the dark circles around her eyes. Depression! I thought to myself.

“Excuse me! I need you to explain what your problem is.” I asked her again unable to bear the silence. She looked at me; I could see the tears still in her eyes. She took out a tissue from her bag and wiped her tears. I don’t actually find depressed people on Monday mornings. I actually hate treating depressed people on Monday mornings. They are not at all amenable.

“God hates me,” she finally broke the silence.

“God hates you! Is that a problem? I need you to elaborate.”

“I need your help. You can see how depressed I’m.”

“Yes, I can. But I need to know the reason for your depression.”

“I cannot tell you all the details,” she gave a bitter expression this time.

I laughed at her reply. “See I’m not a magician. I’m a psychiatrist. I need to know every reason behind your depression.”

I saw her expression growing even paler when I asked the reason. Sensing this, I asked her “Ok. You told me that you hate God…”

“God hates me..,” she corrected.

“Fine. What made you think that God hates you?”

“When I was 7, I had lost my mother in a car accident. And when I was 14, my family was bankrupted.”  I gave a hand gesture to pause her for a minute. I took out my notepad and started taking notes. I signaled her to continue.

“He is making me suffer all the time. He hasn’t given me happiness. I’m in deep financial trouble. I have started a business. It failed at an early stage. From my childhood, I have been in all kinds of troubles.  He hates me. He doesn’t even care about me.”

I stopped writing. I underlined the word financial trouble. I hate it when people blame God for their problems. When I started my career 30 years ago, I rarely used to find depressed patients. But now, I rarely find normal patients.

Before I could explain her anything she started weeping again, “All my family members lead a better life. It is me, who is leading a life of decay.”

I signaled her to stop again and made a note in bold and capitals: STRESS LEADING TO COMPARISON

That’s the real problem, the source of the problem; I thought to myself. I tried to explain in the best way I could.

“I need you to understand this very clearly. First I just want you to stop blaming God….”

“You are never going to understand what I had been through. He is never going to help me,” she interrupted me.

“I have been treating people for the past 32 years.” I continued. “Please let me speak. I have seen people like you. I understand your situation. Depression and anxiety go hand in hand.Let me tell you a small story.”

 I strongly believe that narrating stories to my patients is a great way to divert their minds.

I stood from my chair and walked towards the window and started narrating the story. “Once upon a time in a small village, there used to be a kid named Bihu. Bihu used to be a good student and also an intelligent one in his school. He was always proud of himself and his grades. One day a new teacher was appointed for mathematics in his school. Her method of teaching is a bit different from the previous ones. After she finished her teaching, she used to give every student a problem and made them solve it by themselves. But when it was the turn of Bihu, she used to give him the toughest problems in the chapter. Bihu could not solve the problems that were given to him. This continued for many weeks. He used to hate his teacher for giving him the toughest problems. All his peers were given the easier ones. Everybody solved them easily. He felt humiliated for not being able to solve the problems. He couldn’t carry his pride, he used to carry before. This made him hate his teacher even more.

One day she called him to her room. He was not in a mood to talk to her. She could sense the disgust in his face. She simply smiled on seeing him. She made him sit. She finally spoke “Bihu, I know you hate me. Yes, I used to give you the toughest problems and your peers the easier ones. This should not be the reason for you to hate me. I need you to realize this. When I first came to this school, I was told that you are one of the smartest students that this school had ever seen. I not only tried to test your intelligence but also your attitude. I knew that you couldn’t solve those problems. Because they are of a higher degree for a student of your age to solve. I just want you to learn those problems. There was no intention of humiliating you before others. I want you to realize this as early as possible.” He was stunned by her reply.

“And finally I also wanted you to learn to be humble. If you learn to be humble, you learn the art of learning.”

He felt ashamed of his behavior. He felt sorry for not understanding his teacher. So” I came back to my chair and now placing my hands on the table I continued “God is similar to the maths teacher. And you resemble the student. He is always making you learn. You are not at all realizing what he is preparing you for. I just want you to look beyond. Try to solve the complex problems, he is throwing at you. Have patience and faith. He is just testing your attitude. To give, he is making you suffer. Let the positive vibes always flow through you.” Now I could finally see a change of expression in her. Working! I thought to myself.

“You told me depression and anxiety come hand in hand. How does anxiety have its place in here?” She finally asked a sensible question.

“Good question,” I said and continued “Anxiety plays a crucial role not only in depression but also in happiness. Anxiety makes you celebrate in happiness and makes you worry in depression. Both ends are dangerous. I just want you to stop comparing with others. People have a tendency of comparing themselves when they are feeling low. This is even more dangerous. God knows exactly what you need. Don’t worry. I need you to practice this very simple exercise when things go bad. Just sit back, relax and smile. Smile at the way things are happening. Smile has a lot of power. Notice the difference, and also notice the strength you get after you practice this regularly. ”

She smiled for the first time on this day. I like it when my patients smile at the end. She smiled again and spoke “So, I think I can leave now. Thank you,” I smiled back and replied “Make sure you come back next month as well. I need to record your progress.” She stood from her chair and walked towards the exit. The story has worked, I thought to myself.

I called my attendant in, asked him to send the next patient in. Sensing his expression, I was compelled to ask him “You are alright! Do you need any help?”

“Umm...No..no, I am fine...am alright. I’ll send the next patient in” and turned away toward the door. I was still watching his expression. Then suddenly he turned towards me and said in a haste “Actually, I wanted to ask you something. I have been waiting for so long to ask you this.”

“I was expecting this” I smiled and started opening my notebook.

“You need that. I actually wanted to ask about the way you treat your patients”

“Go on..”

“You treat most of your patients by narrating them stories if I am not wrong. They are not cured at once but they have an impact on them. How could this be possible? How could those small stories create an impact on them?”

I sighed on hearing the question. I gathered my words carefully. “It is not the story that creates the impact, the way you narrate it actually creates an impact” I winked as I said this. “I think I should take up story telling when I retire,” I said relaxing more comfortably in my chair.


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