SEEKING HELP IS AN ACT OF COURAGE There is pitifully little awareness about mental health issues in our country. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), depression and not diabetes or hypertension, will be soon be the biggest killer of the modern world. The general perception is that people are either mentally healthy, or nutcases, requiring psychiatric intervention. The truth is that many mental health issues are transient. They fall into the category of mental ‘sprains’ and not ‘fractures’. They can be healed with the help of a trained counselor. This book deals with subjects such as anxiety, depression, marriage, suicide, child sexual abuse, adolescences and stress. Based on actual case studies, the text is written in simple, lucid language, devoid of technical jargon. Most books in this category are useful as guides for professionals or students of psychology, who are well versed with theory but need practical insights. But this book is primarily for lay people,; for them to obtain a better understanding about themselves; and to provide insights to caregivers, who deal with the mentally unwell on a regular basis and consequently live in a continuum of stress. Above all, these pages provide a non-judgemental and refreshingly practical look at a subject that must become part of our collective understanding about human existence.
About the Author
Dinesh Kumar has been a mental health counsellor for 20 years. He has handled a wide spectrum of cases including depression, anxiety, stress, suicidal inclinations, low self-esteem, as well as adolescent and marital issues. Dinesh co-founded a counselling center in Bangalore, which currently has 30 counsellors and provides free counselling to clients of widely varying ages and backgrounds. What drew him to this field? Four decades ago, he went through a long and disturbing personal experience with depression and suicidal thoughts. In the absence of professional help and with the social stigma attached to such issues, he suffered through that avoidable mental anguish alone. Through sheer persistence and will power, he moved to a state of positivity. Many years later, he heard of an organization that trained lay counsellors and so entered the domain. His aim is to let people know they do not have to suffer alone, the way he did and to move them from a state of helplessness to one of hopefulness. Few people know that the majority of emotional disturbances can be resolved with guidance from a lay counsellor; only extreme cases need referral to a specialist. Dinesh says, those who seek counselling are brave no one has to suffer alone. Show me a person who claims not to have undergone stress, mild depression, anxiety or marital problems and I will show you a liar. These may be transient, but affect us all. When does one need counselling? When these conditions become overwhelming and begin to take a toll on our full potential. There are stigmas/myths attached to mental health; this book seeks to clarify/demystify the subject in a conversational, easy to understand style. Dinesh has worked with the Indian Air Force, as well as in the corporate world, which gave him an extensive engagement with people and situations. He feels that staying in touch with young people, who continually question and challenge one's beliefs, keeps one connected to the current context of life. A passionate runner, even at 76, Dinesh participates in marathons in India and abroad. His articles have appeared in leading newspapers. He has also authored the book, Corporate Capers.