Diary of a Therapist // Eman Khalid
There is a girl that has been coming to my clinic for the past couple of weeks. Her name is Julie. She has copper brown eyes, jet black hair and snow white skin. I don’t know why but she seems different than all of the other patients. Maybe it’s because she reminds me so much of myself when I was her age. She says that she has given up on her life and there is no hope for a bright future for someone like her. Even though she is just twenty-three years old. I wonder what made her so sad. I wonder what made her so hopeless. Then again, it is the things that she has gone through in her past that made her the way that she is right now. And when she cries, I swear that I can see a broken little girl in her eyes wanting to be healed. I have studied the human nature intensively for the past couple of years and the only misconception they have about depression is that they think it is associated with sadness or loneliness. Whereas both of them are entirely two different things. You can feel lonely even when you are in a room full of people. You can be depressed even though you seem like the most cheerful person. Sadness is temporary but depression is lifelong. Julie grew up in a house where her mother suffered from an illness called borderline personality disorder but refused to seek treatment due to societal pressures. Julie went through every day of her childhood walking on eggshells, scared of her very own mother. She moved out of her parent’s house at the age of twenty-one after graduating from college. She really didn’t know what she’d do with her life so she joined a small cooperation earning just enough to make the ends meet, even though she was an excellent student and graduated with a 3.5 GPA with a degree in English. I remember her telling me one day that when she was fourteen years old, she vowed to herself that she’d write her very own novel one day. But lately, she hasn’t been writing much of anything at all. She feels as though her passion and love for writing and words have faded away. She feels as though she has fallen into an abyss of darkness and hopelessness. That is what depression does to you. You don’t love the things you used to. You push away anyone who tries to befriend you. Depression isn’t romantic or cute. Depression is dark and scary. Depression kills. However, it can be cured by proper treatment and medications. I have seen hints of improvement in Julie. She is such a bright young woman, I really do hope that she writes her own book one day. But it will take a lot of time for her to heal as the damage is too hard on her heart and soul.
They say that verbal abuse isn’t so bad. They say verbal abuse is the only way to discipline a child. As a therapist, I say that methodology is completely wrong. The scars that can’t be seen hurt the most. At this age, a child’s brain is forming and developing. So if you call him a failure, a disgrace, and an idiot, he’ll believe you. There are so many people out there that have had their childhood taken away from them by the very own people who were supposed to love them and they carry the burden of their traumas into their adult lives, too scared and embarrassed to seek proper treatment. I hope if there is any girl like Julie out there who is suffering in silence and hurting from the memories of her past, takes the necessary precautions to save her life. Because the fact that you’re alive means, you still have a lot to see in life, a lot of books to read, a lot of paintings to admire, a lot of people to love and a lot of memories to make.
I used to be the kid who wished he was dead. I found my solace in learning more about why I feel the way that I do. Whoever comes for treatment to me, I give him the same advice: “find your solace in something that takes you out of the zone of time and space. Find something that makes you forget about your problems for a while. Find something that makes you feel a river of joy moving in you. Find something that makes you look forward to another beautiful day. Find something that gives you peace of heart and mental satisfaction. Find something that drives you and fuels your inner desire and passion. Find your solace.”
I know I found mine, in the study of human psychology. I hope they find theirs too. I really do hope so.