Interview on Relationship and Marriage: Dr Judy Pinto, Derebail | Part 3
Dr Judy Pinto, Derebail, Mangalore
21) Why there are so many cases of Depression? What might be the reason behind it? How should a parent or loved one act in such situation?
I would like to bring to your notice that these days the word ‘depression’ is being used loosely. “I’m depressed yeah!” – Teenagers or youngsters say it often. They may feel low because of some incidents in life such as failure in exams, love failure, parental pressure or peer pressure etc. What they experience is ‘sadness’ sometimes anxiety.
A number of life events can leave people feeling sad or unhappy. The loss of a loved one, divorce, loss of job or income, financial trouble or issues at home can affect one’s moods in a negative way. But this need not be depression.
But in case these things lead to depression, then, it’s a ’serious’ matter.
Depression is “feelings of severe despondency and dejection”. It is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest
The signs of depression may include:
Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness, angry outbursts, irritability or frustration even over small matters. Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities such as day today chores or hobbies. Insomnia or excess sleep, lack of energy, change in appetite, anxiety, agitation, slowed thinking, speaking or body movements; feeling of worthlessness or guilt, withdrawing from family and friends, difficulty concentrating on school work, frequent or recurring mention of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide itself.
It’s often said that depression results from a chemical imbalance in the brain – changes in the brains neurotransmitter levels. Apart from these genetic features, environmental factors, psychological and social factors, additional conditions like ‘bipolar disorder’ could cause depression.
The parents or the loved ones play a major role in the life of a person who suffers from depression.
Talk to the person about what you have noticed and why you are concerned. Explain that depression is a medical condition, not a personal weakness – and that usually gets better with treatment. Suggest seeking help from a professional – a medical doctor, a mental health provider such as a counselor or psychologist (of course these will refer to a psychiatrist).
Express your willingness to help by setting up appointments, going along with them and attending family therapy sessions. If you’re loved one’s depression is severe or potentially life threatening, contact a hospital for emergency medical services. Encourage sticking with treatment, give medicines on prescribed time.
You can’t fix the person’s depression but your support and understanding can help so be willing to listen, but avoid giving advice. Let your loved one know that you want to understand how he/she feels. Give positive enforcement. Finally, be patient (especially parents). Depression symptoms do improve with treatment, but it can take time.
22) Suicide is turning out to be a common problem in the young students and love failures. Why they cling to such decisions?
The government of India classifies a death as suicide:
a) If it is unnatural death.
b) The intent to die originated within the person.
c) There is a reason for the person to end his/her life.
I would like to mention below a few risk factors:
- Mental illness (depression…)
- Physical/sexual abuse
- Family history of suicide
- Poor coping skills (these days this may be prominent)
- Lack of social support/social isolation (loneliness)
- Access to ways of harming oneself.
- Difficulties in dealing with sexual orientation (now they are opening up)
- Physical illnesses (not being able to cope up with pain, uncertainty)
- Any traumatic event like death, financial loss, failure in any form
- Drug, Alcohol abuse
These are general reasons though, individuals may have their own. Basically, they have “given up on life itself”.
The family and the loved ones have a responsibility to pay attention to, if there are any warning signs in the person. If you suspect anyone is suicidal, tell them that you are worried and want to help them.
Suicide is not necessarily the wish to die but is rather a means to ending the ‘psychological pain’.
23) Why every teenager and even kids want to be in a relationship? What is the reason behind it?
First of all the notion of ‘every teenager’ want to be in love or relationship is not true according to me, because I have met many youngsters who know what life is, when is the right time to ‘be in love’, select their life partner and so on. It all depends on ‘self-discovery’. If they are students, their goal is to achieve academically, some participate in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and are fulfilled with their lives.
Other teenagers (there are plenty these days, compared to 2-3 decades ago) are in ‘a hurry’ to ‘fall in’ love. In a counselor’s term the reason can be “an abundance of emotion-causing hormones combined with their own misguided perception that they are adults and invincible”
Let me help you to understand why teenagers or even kids want to be in a relationship with a few views expressed by the teenagers themselves in counseling sessions or otherwise. One teenager “There’s something about being special to someone, someone my own. There are moments when I feel inferior to other people. Teenagers have insecurities due to the growth during these years – physical, mental, emotional.
A few teenagers felt “everyone else seems to be in relationship”. They are in such an atmosphere where ‘your friend, your other friend, your siblings friends – they’re all in relationships, and it seems fun’.
Teenagers also tend to be more prone to ‘trying new things’. Sometimes they do it for sheer peer pressure to show everybody that they are ‘cool’. They sometimes flaunt about their ‘easy going’ on relationships, sometimes even sex.
Most importantly effect of films and social media which portray love, that is beautiful, fighting for your love is heroic, when you are in love nothing else matters etc. etc.
Parents and family play a huge role in the emotional securities of kids and teenagers.
24) How parents can guide their children with regard to relationship and love?
Parents can guide their children by being ‘good role models’. Being a role model to our kids as we interact with our spouses and others is the first step toward ensuring they’ll develop healthy connections as teens and adults. Family is the first school where children learn to make, manage and sustain relationships.
In Indian context, ‘dating’ is ‘no no’ for many parents. Forget about teenagers, when the young adults love each other and commit, there is opposition from some parents and in some parts of our country (unfortunately) in rare cases, they sacrifice their lives for the sake of love.
Anyways coming back to your question, parents (either of them or both) must sit with their ‘going to be teen’ kid and speak about the growth, tendencies, behavior etc. If you are not comfortable or think that you have not enough knowledge (?), a counselor could do it for you. It is important to speak about attractions, infatuation, love and later on, about sex.
Parents have to note that ‘you are not their friends’. Create an atmosphere of trust and they will confide in you. I have met teenagers of this kind. Once they share with you whom they are attracted to it’s easy to guide them. You could speak to them about the sacredness of sex and marriage. Be patient because they will sometimes confuse you with their questions. Another idea is to ‘hold family meetings’.
Offer information and encourage discussion. Sharing age appropriate information about sex and sexuality helps keep teenagers safe and healthy. Teenagers must note that though you love independence when it comes to dating and relationships, experts agree setting limits is important. Rules set by your parents offer you a sense of security and ultimately you learn how to set boundaries yourself.
25) Few parents do not agree when children themselves choose a partner because parents would like to find a partner for their son/ daughter? Please Comment on this.
In Indian context this holds good even now to some extent. There are mixed opinions about this too. Some say “parents always want best for you. Then why not?” But what do youngsters say?
In my opinion parents could have an influence in choosing life partners for their children, but they should not make the final choice. Remember that ad in some matrimonial? (Laugh) father running behind the eligible bachelors?
Parents have good idea on what kind of person would be a great match for their child, they care for you. They are also able to think more clearly because their minds are not clouded with the euphoria of ‘love’. They will see family, economic, religious – all areas.
Moreover in India parents have a sort of aversion to ‘love marriages’ right guys? Why? Because ‘arranged marriages’ is a norm in our country.
So, if you have already made a choice, committed to marry (its always better to introduce your loved one to your parents before committing) I feel it’s your duty to convince about your choice to your parents. If they don’t agree instantly, (most of the cases they don’t), persistence is the key. (unless you don’t value your relationship of your parents).
I had many such cases where they are helped and been successful in convincing, mostly one of their parents. There are extreme cases where, if a son/daughter get’s married against their wish, the parent threatens to kill themselves or sometimes kill the person you have chosen. There are many cases where the parent and the child are united after the couple having a baby.
Anyways, I tell you, make a good choice. When you are convinced about your choice, it’s easy to make your parents to see from your point of view.
26) There are a few youth/teenagers who switch from one partner to another every now and then. Are they really interested in love or trying to play with life of others?
If we ask these teenagers even they wouldn’t be able to answer this may be. The most important reason could be ‘low self esteem’. There’s an urge to be in a relationship but either do not know or have the capacity to sustain the relationship. Being in relationship also is a skill. You need to have good communication, patience, commitment – to be in love.
If a person comes from a stable family, it will be easier to manage his/her love relationship too. One must be confident, positive in outlook. In this case the teenagers would be steady in their love relationships also.
One remote reason could be mental unsteadiness.
If a person is interested only in ‘sex’ this problem could arise. Once he/she gets it, there’s no point in remaining with the same partner. (This is absolutely wrong because such people don’t value ‘love’ itself) What I feel is, the films, social media (watching porn included), may lead to such behavior in ‘some’ teenagers.
I have heard about ‘switching partners’ in a group of friends too. This is a sign of loose morals. We can sum up saying it is the, ‘lack of respect’ for the other individual.
27) Love marriage or arranged marriage? Which among the two is best according to you and why?
I got these beautiful lines on Google, which is exactly I have been telling the aspiring couples – “They asked ‘love or arranged marriage?’ The couple replied ‘well, arranged love marriage’. In one of the previous questions I had mentioned ‘if you love someone tell your parents about her/him’, does it make sense now? Few years ago, we were addressing youth in the parishes on the topics “Love and Friendship” and “Selection of life partners”. Many youngsters were of the opinion that they would be happy with ‘love marriage, arranged by parents.’ I used to say either
“Love cum arranged marriage” or “arranged cum love marriage”. These marriages have more survival rates. You are having a bond with all your loved ones. You will also get support of the family to a certain extent. But remember; only you and your life partner can make your marriage work and work beautifully.
Guys, marriage are a ‘happy’ event in one’s life. My request with you is “select a partner who matches with you” look for compatibility, be careful ‘opposites attract’, do not take such a big decision in a hurry. For compatibility, most importantly you must know yourself. Think, “Am I going to be a worthy partner to her/him?”
28) What would you say to the teenagers who are in relationship?
I would like to start with “what would I say to a teenager who’s not in love relationship”
“Well done child, good for you, your parents, family and friends”. Now don’t come to a conclusion “oh, she’s against love’. No! not so. I’m hereby
Re-iterating the benefits of not ‘clinging’ to one person for your happiness.” Teenage and young adulthood is a time to explore things, you have so much energy, you can be creative, innovative, you can use your talents to the maximum and you are hooked to that ‘one’ person. You love so much that sometimes you even forget yourself (adrenaline rush), you spend time only with him/her neglecting your friends and peers, you don’t participate in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities in the college because you want to spend time with your love.
Sometimes you end up doing poorly in academics also. By the grace of God, if everything’s fine okay otherwise you end up in heartbreak and counselor’s chamber or in rare cases you end your life.
But, I have met teenagers who manage their love-life along with all the other things intact. They act very responsibly. They don’t cross their limits either. Their parents know about their relationship. I have heard a few boys telling me ‘mam, now I study and pass my tests because of her.’ Friends, ‘love’ must liberate oneself not be a ‘bondage’.
Try to be not in a hurry to ‘fall’ in love. Love is beautiful. During teenage you can hang around with a number of friends, you can make new friends, you can focus and achieve. You can spend time with your family. So, postpone.
And those who are already in a relationship only one advice “Don’t lose yourself; keep your identity in tact”.
29) A piece of advice for those who are in search of a perfect partner?
“Perfect Partner” is a myth my friends. Look at the definition ‘being entirely without fault or defect’. First of all “am I perfect?’.
Anyways, we can aspire for a good match. I have given you a few hints earlier.
You must be sure of the kind of a life partner you are looking for (then of course you can make some compromises). Let’s see, you are looking for a ‘homely’ girl (many boys have expressed this). Look for such qualities, observe her. For a girl, if you want a boy who will take care of you, observe him, courtesy plays an important role in such a case.
There is another way, just keeping positive thoughts to attract ‘a perfect match’. You may need help in this regard, but this method is very effective, 2 of my clients have done this with positive results.
Prayer helps. Trust in God, pray so that you attract appropriate partner.
Above all, take your time, don’t hurry even if you feel you are already old or tired of seeing the proposals. It may sound strange to you; even as a counselor I believe “there’s a time for everything, so also for selection of life partner”
30) Can you give a short message to the married couples?
I can give you volumes of advice. But ultimately marriage is a bond between two individuals, they have to make their marriage work. Please remember, it doesn’t happen on its own. As your car needs fuel to run on, a successful marriage needs ‘fuel of love’. You must keep your love alive.
As the years pass by there will be so many different issues affecting your marriage, including in-laws, your kids, your jobs, household chores, new car, house loans etc. – the list will be endless. While coping up with these external things you’ll have to keep your marriage intact. Remember your vows for each other every day. Work, play, eat, enjoy, pray and sleep together, marriage is all about togetherness and commitment.
Thank you Dr Judy Pinto for answering all our question very beautifully. Indeed this will help all teenagers, youth and adults as well. The entire team of Hideshade.com thanks Dr Judy Pinto for putting her efforts in answers all our 30 questions.
Dear readers, In case you have doubts or any additional question related to Relationship and Marriage you may mail it to us firstname.lastname@example.org and Dr Judy Pinto will answer them. You identity will not be revealed to anyone. Thank you!
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