AbeerNaseem, anger, children, clientele, clinicalpsychologist, depression, education, faith, feedback, mentalhealthawareness, pakistan, positive, psychology, psychotherapy, SaveASoul, science, social, stress, therapeutic, therapy
This is from a Word Document I received from my client who has been one of my most challenging clients till date. He gave me so much to learn myself and worked hard on his self to bring him out of such a mess by the grace of Allah. He wanted to share his experience with you all and spread awareness on Mental Health. Do give it a read!
When you get a broken arm, you get a cast and everyone rushes to sign in. But when you have a mental illness, a broken soul? People abandon you and leave you alone.
I have learnt this through my experience of practicing medicine as a doctor. If you have a physical ailment, Allah gives you the strength to bear the pain and you get through it. Your mind still works and therefore you are able to stay strong, both mentally and emotionally, to get through the rough patch. On the contrary, mental illness which I consider the worst form of any illness, you live a miserable life and are left to struggle alone. The phrase “mind over matter” is crushed and you fail to gather yourself in the face of ever worsening circumstances. Many people feel embarrassed of their symptoms because our society places illogical taboos on mental health issues over physical conditions.
Speaking a little of my own personal experience, I never knew what depression felt like when until for the first time I, myself, felt it. I had seen numerous patients with these complaints, but never really felt what they felt like till the time it hit me as well. It was terrible. It was like my mind being in control of something I had never seen, never known, and never wanted to know. As much as I tried to struggle to escape, I did not know I was going further down in it.
Death and Divorce. Death of a loved one, divorce of a sibling. I witnessed the two worst forms of calamities and to make things worse, break up with my girlfriend. All these took place within six months. At that moment I was in 3rd of medical college. At first I never knew I was not okay. I made the worst mistake of my life and that was ignoring my own self. I tried to run away at first thinking that everything would be fine, but as months passed everything piled up and I had to burst. I developed OCD and that too at its worst form. From thoughts of self-harm to blasphemy related obsessions, from guilt of every bad thing happening around to questioning the very reason of my own existence, my mind was tangled up with these unnecessary and unanswered questions.
When these started affecting my daily life, where I could not perform the simplest tasks like driving my car from home to my workplace, talking to people, having normal conversations, focusing on my studies, taking a bath and changing clothes, I realized it had infiltrated me thoroughly. I used to sit for long hours in the washroom, fighting obsessions, taking more than an hour to understand a simple 10 lined paragraph of my textbooks, repeatedly interrupting people during conversations, and the worst offering a single namaz for long number of hours.
I tried to hide it from everyone as much as I could, but eventually it became a part of me, depicted who I was from inside. I could no longer fake a smile and pretend that I was calm and happy inside. When these things were noticed by my family and friends, I decided to talk it out to someone I knew. I scribbled down a few names, but everyone is not good listener. Some told me I was doing fine, they go through the same too, some gave irrational opinions and some did not pay much attention. My last resort, which should have been the first one, was my father. He explained me all the reasons I needed to go for professional help. This was not something a friend could have done, not something my mother would have alleviated by a tight hug and not something a girlfriend would have solved just by being there.
We fail to realize that these things are equal to any illness that strike us. Mind is an organ. Like any other it too needs energy, it needs refreshment, it needs rest, and it needs treatment when necessary. We don’t take care of ourselves and we make the gravest of all mistakes, ignoring the very important organ that actually drives as through everything. We pay no attention to it.
I was referred to Miss. Abeer Naseem by a friend. At first it did not seem important. Opening up to a complete stranger and sharing my personal life events over a meeting scheduled for one hour, seemed unnecessary but after a couple of these meetings I realized that I need these therapy sessions as much as I needed the medicines.
Miss Naseem provides a very confidential and safe environment and establishes a warm, caring and a therapeutic culture. It is very important for a therapist to define what exactly psychotherapy is, and explain how this drill of having equally spaced, scheduled hourly meetings would help. Miss Naseem tends to listen to all the information the patient provides and get to the level of the patient from where she takes him/ her on a journey destined towards a normal life. She uses tools to facilitate the understanding, growth and psychological development of the patient.
The patient-therapist relationship forms a vehicle for therapeutic reasoning and development, which Miss Naseem focuses on from the very first day. As a therapist she is great at building rapport with the patient through empathetic listening. It is understood that the rapport between therapist and patient is one of the most consistent predictors of successful treatment. This is also important to build trust between the therapist and the patient.
It took me 9 to 12 months of therapeutic sessions till I was able to work my way out through the most difficult time in my life. Miss Naseem provided me a very comprehensive detail about how our mind works and how exactly we can control it. The thought process needed to be refreshed. She used different thought stopping and diverting techniques that helped me understand which thoughts were important and which were useless. Stress controlling exercises were given as tools to combat the stress and anxiety driven agonizing conditions. I was given weekly tasks and was never left alone even when I was not compliant. It was like she held my hand tightly and walked me through that darkness into a world of brightness filled with colors. She paid attention to all the problems and took one at a time and helped me find answers to all the questions.
The concept of having a shrink was well understood when I was half way through therapy. I could see things changing and my life improving as a whole. She not only paid attention on me but also on my relations with my family and friends, helping me understand how important these are to shape our lives. She consistently interacted with my family through family sessions. This helped the whole family to understand what I was going through and explained how important these bonds are in times of difficulty.
Now that I am done with therapy and almost good enough to deal with my problems my weekly scheduled appointments are now scheduled after every 6 months. During this time Miss Naseem has shared with me her professional phone number to reach out if needed. She frequently keeps checks on all her client once the therapy sessions are over just like inter-session checks that she used to during therapy.
She is truly one of the best therapists I have known and I am deeply thankful to her for all the time and effort she put in to help me walk through darkness. I genuinely support her for all the work she is doing to spread awareness about mental health.