Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Depressive Bipolar Disorder ?

It is very difficult to understand the workings of human mind.Some people go through ghastly tragedies,yet gather their wherewithal and start afresh;while someone else may come apart after witnessing an incident which was not even his direct concern.This reality was revealed explicitly to me when Arif visited my clinic Sahyog.
               First visit
Arif,a hefty football player,was 33yr old when he came to me;or rather was brought to me by his elder brother.He suffered from severe depression.So much so that he wept copiously as he sat in my office.
Both he and his brother told me intermittently that his problem started three months ago.He used to be a physical instructor in a modest school at that time but he left the job because of his disorder.
Six weeks ago he had consulted a psychiatrist who gave him in-house treatment for ten days.He was still on medication and though not cured (as you must have gathered );he wanted to stop his medicines.The doctor's prescription stated that he suffered from Depressive Bipolar Disorder.
Initial talks failed to reveal the reason of his depression.I gave him suitable advice and called him back after four days because he needed urgent help,and yet required some time to ingest what I had said.
              Second visit
This time he came alone.He was in a much better frame of mind.He told me that three months ago he had witnessed a ghastly accident after which he could not sleep for four days and thus the problem started.He had still not told anyone about it.
I pointed out that the mere decision to share this experience with me had considerably relieved him and he looked markedly better on that day.Therefore he should try to not keep things cooped up and share his worries with those who loved him.
He told me that he had started going to a stadium and watching children at play.This too had soothed him.I asked him to keep it up,coach them when needed and also take up a job.
               Third visit
Arif looked perfectly normal when he next came,he was even smiling!He told me that his wife and bhabhi(SIL)were very cooperative and he had no complaints on any front.He thanked me for my help and surprisingly,also expressed a desire to join Sahyog.

I guess the doctor diagnosed Bipolar Disorder because he was fine till he saw the accident and absolutely shattered the next.But ten days'stay in a nursing home could not bring out the cause of the disorder.

This case brings to light the necessity of counselling and medication going hand-in-hand.Medicines only give symptomatic relief and do not address the root cause.


  1. Even when it comes to physical ailments, it is said that the patient has to have the will to live. So much depends on the mind, even there. In cases like this the soul needs healing more than the body does.

    1. Yes you are right,the soul needs healing much more than the body.

  2. Mending souls, one at a time must be such a satisfying thing, isn't it so, Indu? While it is important to talk out one's problems, it is equally important to only share the problems with those who are empathetic if not actually a professional counsellor like yourself.

    -- Zephyr

    1. As usual you have nailed it precisely Zephyr.Helping anyone gives lasting happiness to the helper too.

      But the confidante ought to be chosen wisely.
      Lots of love.

  3. Looks like sharing his problem with you helped him to untangle his thoughts. It also makes me wonder if the doctor didn't try enough or your persona / empathetic attitude or specific way of conversing prompted him to speak out.

    1. You know how short of time doctors are,they have immense faith in medication too;and then there is the facility of in-house treatment ;).But not all doctors are like that--thank God!
      And yes,people do confide easily in me-you are very perceptive Somali.
      Thanks a ton.

  4. Doctors like you are doing great service. Emotional distress in intangible, which can't be seen; and therefore, many people are insensitive to another person's problems. And, unlike physical injury, a scar in the mind or an emotional trauma doesn't heal as easily. Sometimes all that is needed a willing ear that would listen. Great work.

    1. Very well analysed B Pradeep.It is so true that mental scars are hard to heal.
      And thank you for the compliment.


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