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I am a psychologist but even I can be sad, says Piya Banerjee

27-year-old Piya debunks the myth that psychologists don't feel emotional pain

Sreyashi Mazumdar @Sreyashi27 8 June 2018, 2:11 PM
T2 Diaries
Psychology has helped Piya understand the various shades of human emotions

Psychology has helped Piya understand the various shades of human emotions Image: Facebook/ Piya Banerjee

I am a psychologist and I am not always happy! I mean, c'mon, even I am a human being, even I have emotions, even I can go through emotional turmoil. The notion that psychologists can’t feel any negative emotions or cannot lose control of their rationality because they are mental health professionals is so wrong.

I’ve had many clients who have told me that they are envious of me as they believe I have a problem-free life because I’m a psychologist. They feel I know exactly how to handle all conflicting situations in my life, and I have my entire life figured out. At times, I am left baffled by such thoughts.

Hello! Even I have my highs and lows. At times, I just can't stop laughing at them. Even the most educated people seem surprised when they find out I may be feeling low about something. It’s difficult for them to understand that mental health professionals can also have their own low moments.

If you ask me how do I deal with my lows, my answer would be 'Like any of you!' Piya Banerjee, psychologist

I had a break-up a few months ago, and I was quite upset and a friend of mine said, “What’s wrong with you? You’re a psychologist, you’re not supposed to feel upset!” Her frivolous comment peeved me out. As psychologists, we also have our own issues and it’s completely natural for us to feel let down just like any other individual. There’s a difference between a person’s profession and his or her personal space.

Of course, it's difficult to take a neutral stand on your own issues. But eventually, you take your own time to make the decisions once you’ve managed to regain control of your own emotions. I also have contemporaries who feel the same way about how people perceive them to be unwavering in the face of negative situations/emotions.

If you ask me how do I deal with my lows, my answer would be 'Like any of you!' I can’t ignore the fact that we do have a stronger understanding of our emotions than others, and that helps us acquire stronger coping skills. But it would be a complete lie if I say we don’t feel any emotional pain. 

My process to get over my blues is pretty simple — to talk about it. But first, there’s a grieving period which is inevitable. Then I slowly start accepting that it’s only natural for me to feel the emotions that I am feeling. I speak to my loved ones and spend time with them. I attach myself to something that gives me a greater sense of purpose and a sense of achievement. For example — working out, setting new targets for myself and working on it every day and, inevitably, each day I feel a sense of achievement that boosts my confidence. I need to attach myself to something that is bigger, something with more purpose.

To cut it short, I know how to steer my emotional flow but not how to stop it. So, yes, even I can feel sad or depressed. I am as human as you. 

(As told to Sreyashi Mazumdar)

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