Medications and trauma counselling is important after a severe catastrophe, writes psychologist Harish Shetty

Mocked for masking up
I feel it is important to wear masks in closed spaces and in crowded places. My fellow students in college where I am pursuing my BA laugh at me for wearing mask. I feel bullied and angry.
– RK, Delhi

It is good to be careful and you are doing the right thing by wearing the mask. Covid has not completely vanished, in China and several other countries this is still active. The mask will protect you against other viruses and bacteria too. It is your choice, and you should not get intimidated by others. Share your thoughts with your friends, and firmly stick to your decision of wearing masks.

Pressured due to parents’ separation
My parents are in the process of separating. This is disturbing my studies for class XIIth boards. They are throwing their anger towards each other these days and sometimes they get on to me. I am unable to bear it all anymore and I want to run away from my house.

You are in a tricky situation, but it is controllable. Communicate your distress with your parents and force them to see a marriage counsellor. If they do not agree, share this with your relatives or grandparents to convince them. If everything fails, you may explore protection under the Juvenile Justice Act 2015. You may seek the support of your teacher who can file a complaint with the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), who can take positive action to protect your mental health.

Dealing with tragedies
I am studying in India, while my parents live in the USA. My paternal grandfather died of Covid in Delhi. My father came from the US for the last rites and contracted the virus and passed away. My mom, who landed here sometime back has decided to settle down in India permanently, as she has lost her mother to Covid too. I maintained my anxiety for five months despite multiple tragedies. But not any longer, I have become cranky and nervous lately. I remain angry, fearful, sleepless and have not been able to attend college.

This is a tragedy that can break anyone, but you have been strong to hold yourself. You tried to stand up to it, the wounds were festering from inside and it has exploded now. You will need medications and trauma counselling for some time. Let your mother join you for the same. Delayed breakdowns occur after a severe catastrophe.

Trying for drug rehab
My son has recently joined a Design school. He is doing fine although he has a learning disability. However, to our shock, he shared with his counsellor at the college that he has been consuming weed. No one in our family has consumed an addictive drug ever. We are very depressed and want to deal with this.

This issue can be resolved since your son is keen on getting rid of his drug addiction. The fact that he has shared his problem with a counsellor is a positive step. He is looking for help. You must trust the counsellor and let her do her job. Intake of a drug can be due to peer pressure, experimentation, beating stress or emotional issues. His good grades reflect that he is coping with his academics.