Ennatha padichu! valkaye veruthu varudhuppa!
Latha is twenty six years old. After completing her post graduation in psychology, she had applied for M.Phil.
Her family is poor but her father was determined to give good education to his three daughters.
Ramya is her sister. She failed in plus two and worked in an export company. She fell in love with a colleague and knowing that her father will not accept, she opted for registered marriage and eloped with him. She is barely 22 years old and is now a mother of two children. She has a good husband, in laws and initially there were heartburns for sometimes at the beginning, the contact between the two families once again thrived as time progressed.
Another sister Kumudha was a dull child from childhood. She failed in her eighth standard and is engaged in daily chores. (Because of knee pain and asthma their mother could not do any job) An alliance was finalized for Kumudha and the marriage is due in six months.
Latha’s father is very fond of her as she is a very good student. He would not allow her to do any work at home. He used to say “You study. That is enough”. Her mother would complain “If she is like this here she this she will suffer in the family she is married into.” He would retort “My daughter will be employed in a big company and will be able to hire a servant to do the works”
Latha did not have intimate friends. Recently she started purchasing self development books. She searched for and bought works of Dale Carnegie, Kopmeyer. She would skim a few pages and imagine that she will become a great person.
Latha’s father did not like this. One day he reprimanded her “Buy books that are relevant to your work or studies. Why are you piling up trash?” Latha cursed him in her mind as an ignoramus. But on that very night it dawned to her that he is right. What is there in mastering all the self development books if we do not follow what is said! She has not read those books even fully.
Latha’s family looked for a suitable alliance to her. Upon hearing her educational qualifications leads from “lower stations” rejected her. Educated grooms asked dowry up to ten lakhs. Her father thought and decided to sell of the land, house and trees to garner up to four lakhs. Her mother did not approve of this. “You washed off your hands with just four sovereigns for Kumudha who toiled at home all the time. But for Latha you are contemplating to sell off remaining one acre in our hands. We do not even have male heirs. Where will we go in our old age? She further remarked the monetary help given by “responsible Ramya” from time to time.”
Negative thoughts filled up Latha’s mind. Though my sisters were not educated they had married off without being a burden to family. Because of me and my over education the family is suffering all this. Soon she got immersed in these thoughts more and more she consumed poison at one stage. Fortunately she was admitted in a hospital early. Two days after that I was called for consultation. Then only I collected background information about her from her father and family.
Latha is affected by Dysthymia, a disease characterized by long term moderate depression. Because of this she thought high of her from time to time, purchased a lot of self development books and all these are manifestations of her low self confidence. (There is a wrong perception in society that low self confidence means thinking low about one self. It is not so. Maintaining an immature ego defence, or over imagining about one self without taking into account their real qualifications and eligibilities in order to hide their real deficiencies is low self confidence is low self connfidence.
Latha suffered from dysthymia for long but ventured to commit suicide because of the onset of severe depression. Getting affected by both dysthymia and depression at once is called as double depression.
When I privately enquired Latha she wept. She could not articulate. She condemned herself for the thousands spent at hospital for her sake. She felt herself as burden to the family. I spoke to her kindly and allowed her to weep. She told that she is unable to be an average girl like her sisters and feel free like her classmates. Those girls enjoy in chattering, going to parks, cinema hotel and yet go to work. “They are no less to me in studies. But I am not able to be like them. Always my mind is heavy. Some thought or the other is always running inside. I am unable to switch them off”
Medicines are certainly required to cure her severe depression and I gave them. After a month she was given cognitive therapy to change her mind. After ten sessions of treatment Latha is almost cured now. In the cognitive therapy she was told” You have wrongly thought others as ignoramuses and you are the embodiment of knowledge several times. To think of uselessness now is also wrong. Both are out of very low and very high appraisals about you.
Between Positive thinking and Negative thinking there is something called Rational thinking. It is the fact. Instead of living in a fantasy land, understanding our strengths and weaknesses, eliminating our weaknesses and reinforcing us more and more is the way to success. If we try to fly all at once our fall will also be heavier. Step by step progress is the way to success. We need to consciously take up this as a life time practice throughout life.