“I’m going to a psychiatrist.” This phrase, when heard, tends to attract negative comments and looks. Our society is not too open to the idea of seeking professional help in this regard. Going to a psychologist or a psychiatrist — seeking therapy, in general — is considered wrong, but it’s not! There always comes a time, in everyone’s life, when they need some professional guidance. They need to speak their mind to someone who will not judge them but rather tell them that what they are going through is normal. It could be the usual teenage issues, it could be financial strain, it could be relationship issues — anything at all that leads to stress, which, in turn, requires us to speak to someone. Sometimes it’s easier to speak your mind out to someone who doesn’t know you well.
Our society needs to understand that those seeking help aren’t necessarily crazy, but strong. They realise that before things get out of control and cause unbearable mental strain, it’s best to seek therapy. We judge way too easily. That is what’s wrong with us. We judge people even before we speak to them; we judge them by the way they dress. We tend to look at the negative aspects of every single thing. Little do we know that seeking help from a professional may end up saving someone’s life.
Teenagers sometimes find it easier to speak to their counsellor at school than their own parents — who may not understand all their problems. Having counsellors is very important, and every school must ensure that their students can easily approach them and discuss the problems and issues that are troubling their minds. This will help them perform better academically and when it comes to extracurricular activities.
The recent incident of a young couple in Karachi reportedly committing suicide because they were disheartened by their families’ disapproval of their relationship comes to mind. Had the protagonists in this case sought help, or spoken to someone about their troubles, perhaps this tragedy might not have ensued. Teen years are an emotional period — children are sensitive and trying to figure themselves out. Teens need guidance and this guidance can be found through therapy if they are unable to vent to their own family and friends. Getting therapy does not mean your child is crazy. Therapy will only help your child overcome his/her insecurities and become more confident in life. We need to demolish the taboos surrounding therapy. Let’s be better people, let’s raise a better generation.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2015.
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