Resilience building should be done at all levels, say experts
When two people suffer from the same kind of trauma, how does one cope with it faster and in a better way than the other? The reason is resilience. The importance of resilience-building was discussed in an online conference on Saturday where national and international experts dissected the link between trauma, addiction and suicides.
“Resilience is the core aspect that helps one recover from trauma of any kind,” said senior psychiatrist Dr Avinash De Sousa who spoke at the event. “Resilience building should be done at all levels — for healthy individuals, for someone who is experiencing trauma and those who are already dabbling with psychiatric problems,” he said, emphasising the ways to build resilience, which include social support, optimism, self-belief, emotional awareness and a sense of humour.
According to De Sousa, resilience is a fairly new concept that has been talked about for the past decade. He cited one definition of resilience as the capacity of the system to tolerate disturbance without collapsing, to withstand shock and to rebuild itself when necessary. He also cited the Mumbai train blasts in 2006 as an example of resilience. “The people in the city were back in the local trains the next day. It was a good example of community resilience,” he said.
The two-day conference organised by the Indian Association of Private Psychiatry (IAPP) and Safe Space concludes on Sunday.
President of IAPP Dr Anukant Mittal highlighted the strong connection between trauma, addiction and suicides. “People are finding newer methods to seek solace and seek escape from this world. This is worrying,” he said expressing concern about suicides among the youth as well as the geriatric population.
According to Mittal, the Covid-19 pandemic has also worsened the scenario further, with many papers talking about the increase in suicides or the attempts among healthcare workers and mortuary staff who have been constantly exposed to the trauma of seeing a large number of deaths.
“We need more people and personalities to talk about their plight, about how they were close to ending everything and what helped them cope,” he said adding that we should be signalled when anyone shows the signs of hopelessness, helplessness and worthlessness and make an intervention by starting a conversation.
Saturday’s conference also saw equal rights activist Sheetal Bhan talking about her personal story and the journey towards healing. She highlighted the importance of therapy and how psychiatrists should be more open about referring to therapy before starting medication.