'Tide over a crisis and look at life positively'

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Dear Madam,

I am an engineering (Information Science) graduate looking for a job right now. I have a speech disorder where I repeat the words or sentences. I am more prone to doing it when I come to the last sentence of a page or when I reach the end of a chapter. No matter how much I try, I cannot control myself from repeatedly reading the last word or sentence over and over again. So I end up wasting a lot of time. This happens even while saying my prayers.

I have been battling with this form of speech disorder since Class VIII. I was extremely good at studies till Class VII and I always finished among the top three in class.  But from Class VIII onwards, my grades have been falling. I have never shared or discussed this with anyone. But recently, I came across an article on the Internet on Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, OCD.

And mine is of  a repeating type of compulsion, a category of OCD. And the article has thrown light on many aspects of my life and my struggle with this speech disorder. I realised that it has had a great influence on my academics and my grades. I am slow at performing tasks and I always plan them out meticulously to avoid ruining my work.

I am lazy too. As a result, I have finished my engineering course with only 52 percentage. My main issue now is this difficulty and delay in learning. Please help me overcome this problem and become a quick learner like others. I want to study further as I have a slim chance of landing a job with low scores. But before that, I want to completely overcome my OCD of repeating words and hone my learning skills, so that I get good grades at the PG level. Please help.

Anonymous
 
Dear Anonymous,

When I started reading your letter, I thought it sounded like you were suffering from OCD. I am glad you have been able to identify the problem and are now willing to address it. I am not sure which city you are in and what kind of access you have to mental health professionals. You can address the OCD to a point where it becomes manageable and allows you to lead a normal life. For this, you would need to see a psychiatrist and a counsellor who will help you.

The psychiatrist will prescribe you medication, which may help you bring the symptoms under control so that you can then start therapy. Alternately, if your symptoms are not very disruptive and severe, you may choose to do therapy alone. The kind of therapy you need, which has been proven to be most effective for OCD is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT. You can find plenty of information on this online. If you are not able to access a therapist who works in the space of CBT for OCD, you could consider using some online sites that provide this.

This therapy helps you tackle the symptoms in a gradual and systematic manner that will bring you relief. You could search for some books on the topic too which could help you understand the process. I recommend Freedom from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by Dr Jonathan Grayson. Good luck.
 
Dear Madam,

I’m currently studying Information Science engineering. My PUC grades are not so good. I was interested in sports but didn’t seem to see any scope in that field. So I moved on and joined an engineering college even though I was not interested in the subject. Now I have lost a year due to poor scores.Will this affect my employment status in the future? I am in a lot of trouble. Please help. Sometimes, it is so frustrating that I want to commit suicide. I am very worried about my future.

XYZ

Dear XYZ,

I can understand your pain and confusion. Sometimes we end up pursuing paths that we are not interested in because of societal or parental pressure, or our own lack of awareness and understanding of interests, and then we can’t find the motivation to perform. Just finding a job should not be your goal. Your goal should be to find a job that you will enjoy and that will let you learn and grow.

And success in the workplace is not dependent on your marks. Your marks may get you an entry point, but ultimately how you perform will depend on what you make of the opportunity. And that is a function of your creativity, your communication skills, your ability to function in a team and lead a team, your ability to solve problems by finding solutions, your ability to think out-of-the-box, your confidence, your self-esteem and a host of other things.

These have nothing to do with marks. While marks are important to open doors, that is all they do. Meanwhile if you are feeling helpless and suicidal because of these, or other concerns, I sincerely urge you to see a counsellor, or contact a free support helpline to help you tide over the crisis and look at life positively.

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