Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Helping Us Heal

The physical scars are easier to see and with time do heal. Its the mental and emotional trauma that is not always easy to identify and even if you do, difficult to deal with. In such times, professional help can help the healing process. This thought was driving me to find a way to help the people who have and are going through the trauma of the current crisis, so when I read Minal's comment on Ser's blog , I immediately talked to her.

Minal is a clinical psychologist and a counselor for animal-aided therapy. Also, she has provided the details for other doctors who might be able to help. I am giving the key details here and are also a part of her message below.

For Trauma Counselling and Psychiatric help :
Minal : 9987509102 and 9421004291
Dr.Machiswala (Head Psychiatrist - Masina Hospital, visiting doc for JJ hospital) - 9820081884

Please refer those around you who may have been rescued, are the victim's families or the people and families involved with the rescue operations to the given numbers. They may or may not be aware that they are in urgent need for this help. Also send any more contact numbers for those who can provide Counselling and Psychiatric help and I will update the given list.

Minal' message:

Serendipity's blog is a reflection of what most Mumbaikars and their families must have experienced in the last six days. Extreme stress, anxiety, loss, fear, trauma etc. It is very easy for us to quote the "Mumbai Spirit" where we go back to work the next day, but it is very difficult to overcome the deep trauma within that does not show outside. Post traumatic stress can set in soon after or even gradually , after a n extremely traumatic situation. Many people find it difficult to cope up with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and many simply fail to realize that they are suffering from PTSD. After trauma, extreme fear, helplessness, or anxiety are normal short-term reactions that generally dissipate over time, as individuals cope and adjust.

But most of acute trauma sufferers, however, develop symptoms lasting longer than 30 days. Symptom duration distinguishes PTSD from normal acute stress reactions. PTSD's hallmark symptoms include re-experiencing the trauma, avoidance and/or emotional numbness, sleeplessness etc.

The best way to tackle it is to seek some kind of ventilation to the emotions (Catharsis) resulting from the trauma. A comforting hug from a dog is one way of letting out your pent up stress. This is called Animal Assisted Therapy. Animals are unconditional and their touch is soothing. Most of the time people in trauma or in a state of shock don't want to talk as they re experience the trauma. With animals you do not need to talk. Even if you hug the therapy dog, it provides you immense comfort and reassurance. It also helps in catharsis or venting out of emotions. A person may cry on hugging the dog as it releases the emotions locked up inside. Also the animal is non judgmental. An animal will not judge you for what you do or say, hence providing a very open environment to express oneself.

Please let me know if you know anyone who has been rescued from the Mumbai terror blast, family of survivors, or was a part of the rescue operation. Our NGO Animal Angels Foundation, comprising of counselors, therapists and trained Therapy Dogs are offering free counseling and visits by our therapy dogs for all the survivors, rescued/injured people.

You can contact me on 9987509102 and 9421004291. You can visit our website www.animalangels.org.in

You can also contact Dr.Machiswala (Head Psychiatrist - Masina Hospital) - 9820081884.

Looking forward to hear from you.



Parul said...


Can I share this information on my blog, linking to you?



The Nomad said...

Thanks Parul, for helping spread the word.

An Indian said...

Ah… Need of the hour!

Stand up please! Solutions are on the way!

As for the politician go and the need of the hour, I have come up with some interesting theories… please do read and let me know!

An Indian.


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