Do you think your spouse is depressed and want to know how to help

maxresdefaultWhen Deepti (name changed) had called on us the other day , she had wanted an appointment for her husband , who she thought had been suffering from depression for quite long time . I had advised her that she should accompany her husband to the counseling session. After a few sessions with both of them together and separately with each partner ,it emerged that both of them suffered from depression.Yet they have been in a denial mode.I have seen in many cases that partners refuse to believe that what they are suspecting others suffer from could also be happening to them .They would always believe that just because the other person is complaining he or she could be depressed.Deepti had faced similar situation when she had come to me.Explained Deepti,”my husband Sameer {name changed}blames me for the problems in our marriage.He says that we have all the problems in our relationship because I am depressed.He tells everyone in my family and his family that if my wife was not undergoing depression,there would not be any issues in our marriage.But on the contrary I believe it’s always my husband who suffers from depression.He always complains about everything and blames me unnecessarily when things do not workout as per his plans”.

Family therapist during meeting with unhappy, married couple

It is normal to have little bit difference of opinion in marital life but should each time difference arisen become the cause of a major fight then the husband wife team need to look at their status of their perceptual faculty. It is common to become little dejected after marital argument but to think of the other person being depressed definitely should be a cause of concern for the partners.It is very likely that both partners are perceiving some issues,concerns and a few problems in marriage negatively that has been giving depression to each other.Depression is made out to be a neurotic  disorder  hence people are always afraid of agreeing that they are undergoing such state of emotional upheaval.The usual response to such situation being.”I am o.k. it is the other person who seems to be suffering from depression”.

arguing coupleSomewhat similar is the story of Seema and Jatin (names changed) both budding doctors still in their process of setting up their household. The problem arose when a fine day Seema threatened to commit suicide on a very small whimsical issue. She had convinced herself that her husband does not pay her as much attention as he is giving to his other female colleagues in the hospital where he works . This came as a very major shock to Jatin. Jatin had nowhere ever thought about his coworkers in this manner. No amount of explanation could convince his wife and she continued to fight with him from time to time on the same subject forcing her husband to lead a solitary life away from the friends and acquaintances.What began as a depression with one of the spouses had pulled the other partner too into the same state of mind ,giving him depression. Jatin explains his situation in the following words,” My wife Seema has been idealising suicide from her college days. Our relationship dates back to seven years now. We had begun  dating in the first year of our college. In the college too she was always throwing tantrums on me.It is quite surprising that she acts in this manner only when I am around and with me only.She would often break up with me on small pretexts and remain incommunicado for days together. She  will come out of her shell on her own. She would then hardly remember that she has not been in touch with me for so many days. Everything becomes very normal for her soon , but it leaves me completely drained out emotionally.I can never discuss about such a behaviour of my wife to any one in the family or friends as she behaves normal in front of others.I do understand that she does it to gain my attention . For me she is my wife .I do give her the required love and affection. My whole life revolves around her . But I fail to understand why would she want me to be exclusively with her  only all the times. This kind of obsessive  behaviour from my wife has started telling on my professional responsibility. I can not be a doctor in such a big hospital where I am working by living in isolation and yet I do not know how to solve the problem.You being a psychologist could possibly understand the situation better and help us”.

A few sessions with the couple revealed that they both in spite of their long dating history had failed to emotionally connect with each other so far. Seema had wanted to make the emotional connection but had not understood how to proceed with it. She had always wanted to make Jatin part of her inner life. Each time she tried she sounded more pathetic and distressed and felt completely remorseful  when she did not get the desired attention and response from Jatin.

Jatin understood her well but he too could not connect with Seema.He did not know how to make her feel loved and understood.She just wanted him to love her and care about her. But her such behaviour had put  off Jatin, leaving him cold and at times uninterested in her .Both the partners had been frustrated and didn’t know how to handle such a situation.

psychologist-helping-couple-relationship-difficulties-office-49310915It has been observed by us that one partner in a marriage is depressed , the cause would always  be a marital situation  between the two spouses.  The solution to such a situation has to be found within the marriage situation only.There can be no solution by putting the onus to only one of the  members to the marriage, as the reason is not individual but a common factor is responsible for  whatever is happening to the spouses.

35127-dating-couple-1200In the event of either of you suffering from depression , both of you should help each other explore how your relationship dynamic could be  causing such a depression. Though you may want the other person to get individual treatment to his or her complaints by way of the intervention of a psychologist, it is in truth be your total marital situation that needs to be looked in a different perspective as different from your own point of view.  In such a situation you would do well to get your self assessed by our   professional family therapist and counselor. We will together then  work out a plan  that works to revive your marital relationship .Always remember that  you both are equal partners to the happiness and bliss of your marriage and hence let us find the way to the resolution of the differences in marriage too together with each partner respecting and trusting the other equally.

-Ramneek Kapoor – Family Therapist, Psychologist Counselor and Science of Living Expert.

logo family therapy Family will survive all storms with a little patience and perseverance

Are you giving enough of yourself to Improve Your Marital Relationship ?

mother-and-babyPoonam and her husband  Sangit had a wonderful marriage going for the first  year of their marriage.Everything seemed to have been set specially to bring the joy and comfortable living for them in their life, but things took an adverse turn when Poonam had conceived her first baby. Her pregnancy ( an unplanned one ) had happened and  Sangit  didn’t know how to handle this. Poonam’s early morning sickness was too much for him to take .He felt that he had  been dealt a wrong hand in the marriage.The same wife who used to be at his side all the times had almost forgotten about his being there  in her life .Poonam noticed he had begun avoiding spending time with her.The gap had further widened in them after the delivery .Sangit felt that Poonam had been spending her time with the child and she did not have any space left for him in her life. The daily spat of words and tiffs took the ugliest toll on their relationships when Poonam had attempted to hurt herself in a fit of rage . That is when they decided to call on the  family therapist for an intervention.

arguing coupleDolly had echoed similar words  of dissatisfaction in her marriage to this  therapist  as  she expressed her annoyance on her husband for  spending most of his days  for office travel unnecessary . She told the therapist, ” even on the days he is in town he would hardly give time to me and children. Every evening my husband  spends his time with his friends partying in the club or a bar”.

Poonam and Dolly are not the only ones who are dissatisfied with their marriages.

Facebook-Coverphoto-Ladies-Night-and-Brunches-Dubai-v2-1Harish a businessman speaks  same thoughts when he says, ” my wife throws one kitty party every week compulsorily and the days she does not throw a party herself, it would be any of her friends inviting her over. We hardly see each other at home.  We have become strangers staying under the same roof”.

Couples express their dissatisfaction with their marriages in many ways. one of them being not spending much time together or not giving the required attention to demands of each other. It is apparent today’s  marital life is not what it used to be ten or twenty years ago. The internet, the need for travel , the need of  socialising for each partner to the marriage demands time from them and they can hardly find time for each other . Resultantly , each partner is finding the other one going away from him or her. But in order to keep the contract of marriage running they are  demanding more from each other without putting in the necessary time to be with each other .

From the case studies mentioned above it can be seen that the couples  are basically divided their time and life into many different compartments, depending on the situations in which they currently are. These compartments can be identified as:

  • The couples with small  children allocate most of their time to  the act of parenting  but it is not necessary that both of them do it together.
  • The couples  who have grown up children have  found many interests of their own respectively on the internet .
  • Or they have  formed their social circles independent of each other and spend time away from each other .
  • The couples who do not have interest in either of the above three situations are concentrating on their work  and for them their careers hold more importance than being with their partners .

The demands however from the spouses into the marriage remain what these used to be  many many years ago. The modern husband  wants a wife that he has seen in his mother who was his father’s wife. The modern wife looks forward to a husband as she noticed  in her father who led a very devoted life many years ago. These partners to modern marriages often tend to forget that their interest , their needs, their style of living have been completely changed as compared to the times in which their  parents had built their families.

The new generation of couples need to understand that they either need to  put in more efforts, time and resources into their marriages to make them work or they need  to demand less from their relationships .Marriage is about contractual obligations of social nature  where each partner  would get only what has been invested into. Marriage works when you give as much as you want to get in return .

The best  way to make  your  marriage work is to not to make your marriage a standard measurement of your  marriage vis a vis the marriage of your parents . Your marriage  possibly is a better marriage contract now as you both are able to pursue your independent areas of interest and at the same time contributing towards the development of each other as a better human being .

But in order to achieve that you have to allow each partner a space wider enough to  facilitate the expression of their true self.

You both need to develop a lifestyle that permits investment of time and your socio- psychological inputs  in your marriage, to build strong relationship  compatibility.

Marriage is no more considered the only source of social  and financial security when so many people nowadays  live in relationships without actually tying the knots  or even getting on with their lives without the  need of a partner from the opposite sex. In such evolutionary times the investment of your time and  positive energy can definitely make the partnership  workable and enjoyable  and save you from the disappointment  of not getting the right attention from your partner  .

-Ramneek Kapoor – Family Therapist, Psychologist Counselor and Science of Living Expert.

logo family therapyFamily is everything

Finding the best Family Therapist for you

download

These few checks can help you in finding the best Family Therapist for you.

I can understand, it has taken you a lot of cajoling, persuasion and the advice to finally discuss your problems pertaining to the relationships within the family with a professional family therapist and counselor. I congratulate you, for having had the courage to involve a professional person to help you look afresh at your most personal matters. Trust me this is the correct step taken by you. But in order to ensure this exercise does not prove a futile effort, you will obviously need the professional advice in selecting the best family therapist, who can really understand, analyze and in complete confidence help both the partners involved reach thoroughly evaluated, educated and right decisions.

family cnslg

Seema, had been facing similar such problems in her marriage. She had been taken to the psychiatrist/ psychotherapist for therapy by her family, least realizing that the problem for Seema had not been a psychotic issue but her marital situation involved a mutual companionship, adjustment and compatibility issues.Such a step taken in haste without the professional advice had obviously proven quite expensive resulting in the loss of time and money. Seema found that her family on both sides had looked at her with such suspicion, as if she was a monster suffering from some kind of mental issues.

Here is what had happened in the event of unprofessional urgency:

  1. Seema who did not suffer from any kind of psychotic disorder had been prescribed anti anxiety/ anti psychotic medicines.
  1. She was not able to attend to her regular office work and the sufferings could be seen in her daily interaction with her other family members.
  2. Her children too suffered while her husband continued to declare that he was always right and that the fault greatly happened to be with his wife’s mental illness.

I believe since Family Therapy is a service to the members of the society and involves the maintenance of peace, prosperity and stability of family life I will help give you some guidelines that can be useful for you to take the right decision in the selection of the perfect Family Therapist and Relationship Counselor. These pointers are:

  1. Go to the internet: While internet has been a source of many good or bad products in the online market place, it at least provides you a beginning. You should browse and scan all the information available about the family therapists servicing your area. You can also find the information available on the websites of the family therapists who offer you online counseling, just in case you may find it inconvenient to visit in person. You should particularly look for such family therapists who have been contributing to the building of the education platform for such important issues of family therapy and relationship building. Some of the internet platforms have the rating systems for their verified advertisers, pay attention to the ratings of the therapists.
  2. Check with Friends : Seeking opinion/recommendation of friends though could be little difficult since you may not like to discuss your bedroom issues or personal problems .But family therapy today generally happens to be a very vast area involving counseling and therapy to all members of the family i.e. the elders, the teenagers, the newly married or the middle aged. People who have issues connected with the problems, situations, pertaining to such areas would be benefited if they discuss this with family, friends or even institutions. There is every possibility some of your family/friends must have been to a family therapist. Some good judgment will have to be maintained since in our society people do attach (even in modern times) stigma to the visit to a counselor or a therapist. We have a case where a girl’s mother who had come for her daughter’s counseling did not want to disclose the name of the therapist to her own real sister ( who was also in urgent need of counseling and therapy) fearing the future of her daughter would be affected negatively by such disclosure. But trust me all family therapy is complete confidential .It is mandatory for the therapist to maintain non disclosure and confidentiality of his clients.
  3. Recommendation online: Comments and recommendations given by the earlier clients of the therapists do tell about their satisfaction levels and experiences with therapists. You must check such remarks, comments and recommendations. Your gut feel can definitely tell you if these hold true.
  4. Male or Female Family therapist: You will have to decide your own comfort level in this matter. If you are comfortable talking to the member of your own sex you can choose accordingly or if you believe you want to take up your therapy with both the male and female therapists, you can opt for a clinic where both male / female are available for counseling and therapy . Nowadays many husband –wife as couple therapists practice together.
  5. Differentiate between a Family Therapist or a Psychologist: It is necessary for a family therapist to have the prescribed professional qualification and credentials for the Family Therapy in addition to the prescribed degree in Psychology.It is certainly not possible that the psychologist will be having the required insight into the family therapy theories and systems. You consult a family therapist when the matters relate to relationships within the family which affect the very institution of your family systems .You will need a family therapist when there are issues of generation gap, mutual understanding matters, matters of the discipline of the youngsters, when the husband-wife communication, elders-youngsters communication etc.,are involved..A psychologist will be needed for the unexplained negativity, behavioral and emotional disorders or serious matters connected with the psychotic/neurotic disorders.
  6. Make Phone calls/ Fix an appointment for Personal Visit: I have often seen people do not call on the therapist even when they feel the urgent necessity .Procrastination often leads to the problem getting out of hand. So do not just keep that short list of the family therapists that you have by now taken down from the internet with you. You must act on it and start calling them on the phone in order to pick up the one that suits you best. Initially you can just give a brief idea to the therapist as to why you want to meet him or her. Discuss your problem if the family therapist is willing to listen on the phone .Many family therapist do handle counseling online (and they charge for the same) but in case where other family are likely to be involved for future discussion I would advise you to fix up an appointment and go and meet the family therapist on the appointed day and time in his/her clinic. You are definitely moving towards finding the best possible solution to your needs.

consoling-clipart-behavioral-1

-Ramneek Kapoor – Family Therapist, Psychologist Counselor and Science of Living Expert.

logo family therapyFamily is everything .

Have you been very angry lately and find it difficult to control?

lady driverVeena a company general manager swerved her car swiftly from hitting the road divider on the highway on way back home from the office, as the driver of another car overtook without any warning or flashing the indicator. In a reflex action Veena lowered side window glass and threw expletives on the driver of the other car. She could see a lady driver in the other car too appearing to be in a hurry to reach home after the office . “It could have been the end of my life today”, thought Veena,who was in a hurry to reach home much before her husband would make it .

car-horn-honking-driving-law-warning-809642“Possibly the lady driving other car too has an enraged husband waiting at home . That’s why the lady appeared to be in a hurry or it is likely that she has a sick child waiting at home”, justified Veena to herself . She found the other car drivers behind her honking , who had been equally disturbed by her abrupt change of direction to the right of the road . She breathed a few more swearing as she eased her car on the road again. Such a scene has become quite common in almost all towns where people appear to be in a mad rush with the surge of anger seething under their breaths. Veena could cool anger by feeling empathy for lady driver of the other car. But how many of us can actually feel such an empathy for the one who has been the cause of our anger .

We seldom develop charitable opinion towards any one whom we feel has tried to hurt us or has been the cause of physical,emotional or mental harm to us.We would often first flare up and may be much later try to justify our anger towards the person. Veena could come out of angry stance much faster without causing any kind of damage to physical or emotional self as she had immediately associated the other person’s doing with more charitable view point. But for a minute let’s just think that Veena had responded instead with a rage and seething anger to the situation .In such an event she could have felt hypertension, anger, emotional hurt and a sense of insecurity of the road rage in her mind already occupied with many other issues of otherwise busy life at home and in her office. Veena’s open mindedness and her attitude of reflecting and then reacting actually saved her from many could have been negatives .

We have been talking of , “How to understand and handle depression” and also, “How to manage our emotions” .In order to do that we have to first learn that the word depression is not a situation of single event, it is in truth accumulation of many other events taking place in our psyche and physical self . The depression when analysed from such point of view reveals that, restlessness, irritation, anger, negative thinking, negative emotions, worry, melancholy ,feeling of isolation , lack of passion, absence of self worth and even absence of sympathy/empathy all put together become the manifestation of depression. Should we not then really focus on taking care of each of these components and rectify/control/ /or cure them individually /cumulatively to get rid of depression from our mind.

While talking of anger we realize that this particular mood is the most difficult one for all of us to manage and control.Even in anger the rage is the most damaging kind of reaction where the mind loses its power of reason and logic on account of its intransigence nature. The rage makes us most vulnerable to not only damage the perpetrator but also ourselves. Some of us might feel that if the perpetrator has damaged us then we must take it out on him and then we feel relieved . Well to each his own viewpoint but the fact remains that ,”anger is never without a reason but seldom a good one”.

But going back to Veena’s state of mind, her anger definitely arose from the sense of danger to her physical self and to that of her property(her car). But if she had not controlled herself , there would have been a chain reactions of her rage . Her foul mood would have persisted even after she had reached home would have found its victim in her children and her husband. Her emotional turmoil however soon died down as soon as she developed a more charitable and logical attitude towards the driver of other car.

The lesson learnt, “As far as possible whenever a situation for rage builds up pause for a second and logically analyse the situation. This itself will bring down the intensity of the anger and subsequent rising of the tempers”.

Savor-Every-Moment-Family-CheeseLet us analyse one more situation. Maharishi family has come out for a dinner with another family friend of theirs to a high class restaurant known for its elegant ambiance. As soon as the waiter had placed soup dishes on the table , Mrs Maharishi’s younger child insisted on serving the soup into her dish herself. The young baby could hardly handle the hot dish and she found herself spilling the soup all over on the table.

Mrs Maharishi burst out in anger and hit the baby hard on her back . The loud yelling of the baby startled a passing by waiter. The tray he was carrying had slipped out of his hands pouring the dish down on the customers sitting on the nearby table. Loud arguments followed in the restaurant . Eventually embarrassed Maharishi family walked out of the restaurant in a huff with their guest walking out without eating .

soup spillsMany a times it would so happen that the anger comes to us in a sequence of various events and by the time we realize what has happened we end up losing control of the situation completely .This anger as we saw in the restaurant begins with one small event later on building up on the subsequent emotional reactions of angry outbursts.We just saw that anger had been building up on the earlier anger and the entire atmosphere had been converted into the inflamed oven of angry moods in the restaurant. The anger that had been just started with a small event got so intense after it found its subsequent hijacking devoid of any reason or logic .When we are engrossed into the angry atmosphere we just lose our sense of being and get carried away. This kind of anger had been built up not by the threat to the physical self but to the perceptive respectability, and disciplined family image of the Maharishi family . Mrs Maharishi felt insulted by the behavior of her child in the presence of her guests .She had hit the child rather than at that time she should have been taking control of the situation and calmed down the child.

Lesson learnt :Do Not immediately flare up and react instantly, more so when you have others around you.Take cognisance of the situation, Breathe awhile and let the anger subside within you, . You can always reflect later .Otherwise always remember that anger builds up on anger and sends an uncontrolled rush of emotional upheaval throughout the body damaging all reason and cognitive guidance of the mental faculty .

Let’s reflect on how to calm down in such situations .One way to handle anger is to allow a deviation of the mind like in Veena’s case where she had thought of empathy for the person causing the anger. Such deviation allows the mind cool down and develop a power of understanding within itself . Such power is very helpful in calming the mind always.

But in the other situation like that of Maharishi family the right way would have been to divert the attention of everyone from the scene but the intensity of the anger had been very high and hence the cognitive capabilities had been hijacked for everyone. Should we really allow that. Think how a little scolding can work better as compared to the only way of losing control of the situation and the mind completely.

argu cplManoj and his wife had been having argument for over a week now over some trivial matter. His wife noticed that every time the argument had begun Manoj would simply slip out of the house and return much later after her temper had died down. She followed him in their next bout of angry expletives .Manoj had gone to the temple nearby and he sat amongst the bed of flowers in the green lawns of the temple. She sat next to him as he moved aside to offer her more space. All that was causing trouble in them had been forgotten .They both decided to come to the same place next time an argument would start among them.Manoj told her that he would always allow himself a cooling down period every time he lost his temper , by coming to the calm and serene garden. Such distraction really works wonders on the mind and makes it one with the atmosphere .

69306261-young-couple-strolling-in-garden

Lesson learnt : Move out to the place of your liking when you get angry. The place can be the garden nearby, a place of worship, a coffee shop, a favourite restaurant, a small drive around the corner .There you can reflect calmly on the atmosphere around rather than pursuing the train of anger from which you have just execused yourself .

Such actions appear very ridiculous in nature but they work very powerfully on our mind and bring down the rising temperatures in no time.

-Ramneek Kapoor – Family Therapist , Psychologist Counselor and Science of Living Expert  .

logo family therapyFamily Always Comes First