Disclaimer: This blog is a piece of perception. There is no scientific evidence behind the thought being discussed and the writer has no personal grudges against psychiatrists. You are free to think about the points discussed or ignore it completely. I would just be happy, if you read it. Thank you.
“I think I need a psychiatrist”
This is the 3rd time in the last 24 hours I am listening to this sentence.
A friend of mine just said. And we had a 2 hour casual meet post that. Though she stated it casually initially but yet the line doesn’t surprise me anymore.
A decade back, talking about this was considered an stigma. Thanks to the changing mindset, we are talking much more about mental health these days. However, this blog is NOT about mental health. Specialists and experts are talking about it, so I would let it go for now.
So what is this blog about? This blog is about the replacing the “psychiatrist” in your life. Find out with whom.
“I just want somebody to listen to me…”
Within 15 minutes of a discussion with a person who initially stated that she needs a psychiatrist, high probability that you would listen this sentence too. At this point of conversation (where you are primarily being a listener), you have reduced the probability of your friend thinking to meet a psychiatrist by 50%.
Note: Just by listening.
In case you do that for another 15 mins, the probability would reduce by 90%.
Take a pause and recall if any such event happened with you in past (you could have been at the speaker end also). If not, then save it for next time when any such thing happens and see the results yourself.
A very underrated fact is that, there is a reason why we have two ears and one mouth. We should listen double the amount we speak (atleast). By the way, you would be surprised to see how many other issues are also solved by speaking less.
“Listening is often the only thing needed to help someone”
One integral part to note here, the purpose of listening. It is very important to understand this.
Most of the time, we listen to respond. What we ought to do is we need to listen to understand.
Once you do that, you notice a change in the conversation manner. You stop focusing on what you need to respond and start understanding what is being shared.
Remember, at this point of conversation, what you need to do is “Don’t think or judge. Just Listen.”
“I do not have anybody with whom I can share this stuff.”
In case you are carefully listening to the one who is sharing their story with you, you must have heard of this sentence often. When I listen to this, I immediately ask the other person “Don’t you have a friend to share?”
In response they state they do have but fear to be judged or think the friend won’t understand.
So what does this mean? This is how I read it.
I do not think they need a psychiatrist in life. I think they need a FRIEND in life.
One of the most celebrated relationship, yet gradually losing its meaning in the social world, is friendship. When it comes to relationships of the world, I think one can still live a life without love. But one cannot live a life without a friend.
And most talks with people who think they need a psychiatrist, end with it that they would be good if they had a friend who could understand them.
So why do people lack strong friendship? Rather, I would like to take a pause here and think, is it just friendship that’s taking a hit? Or many other relationships are losing it’s gravity? Be it a parent-child relationship or a husband-wife relationship, etc. Are they slowly losing their depth?
This is a broad topic to discuss and I would not discuss it on a one sided platform. However, you are free to think about this and if you find the answer to be yes, then probably it is time to re-establish those relationships and stop wasting your time on the new tools of developing relationships.
If your answer to the above question is no, you are again free to just think about friendships.
“I think I am good now. Thanks for listening”
Ideally, this is how the conversation would end. Or this is what I try to get at the end from the other side. But hope you realise, all this while the only thing I really did was to listen with an open mind (no judgement) and bond with an open heart (establishing relationship).
Next time, when you get somebody stating “I think I need to go see a psychiatrist”, try the above and feel free to share your learnings.
Meanwhile, take care friend.