I’ve been practicing Clinical Psychology for that last 10 years. As my profession is associated with a stigma – I face challenges on a day-to-day basis. Over the years, however, I have come to enjoy these challenges and feel a great sense of satisfaction when I work towards changing people’s mindset and thought process.

A self-made women, I chose this profession as I was very passionate to understand and analyse human behaviour. While I have a private practice in Chandigarh, I am also associated with various hospitals as a visiting consultant. I’m registered with the Rehabilitation Council of India and certified CBT trainer, NLP practitioner, Hypnotherapists and Grand master Reiki and a member of various National and International Journals. I’ve one international Publication and 4 National publications to my credit.

My main focus is children, adolescents and women as I have found that this category has the maximum emotional issues. As adolescents and women usually go through a lot of emotional turmoil, I decided to work with them. It gives me a great sense of joy to see smiles on their faces after their issues are resolved.

Over the last few years I have seen an increase in number of childhood disorders too. This is a worrying trend for families and the whole society. It is very difficult to see small children suffer.

My biggest challenge is when I have to help a mother understand that her child has a particular disorder (whether learning disability, Dyslexia, ADHD or Autistic Spectrum Disorder). For all mothers, their children are perfect and nothing can go wrong with them so when I diagnose the child and explain the impact to them – most often I end up witnessing their heart wrenching emotional outbursts.

After educating, guiding and putting the children through various therapies they start to see change in their children. And my biggest reward is the smile I see on the child’s face when she feels she can keep up with the mainstream education and of course the bright smiles on the mother’s face when she feels that her child is doing well.

Behaviourial disorders in adolescents have increased in the last decade. Gadgets have definitely added to this. Social media wars and pressures have made it worse. We have children coming to us as young as 12 and 13 years with anxiety disorder, OCD and even depression.

Having seen so many cases and having experience in this profession for as many years as I do, here is some advice from me:

  • Maintain a healthy body that caters to healthy mind
  • Take time out for what makes you happy (fun, leisure)
  • Life mindfully (stay in the present, be fully aware of your body and emotions)
  • Sleep well (at least 8-10 hours, depending on your age
  • Don’t hesitate to consult a mental health professional if you need to

Early intervention is the key to speedy recovery. And remember your physical, mental and emotional health must get equal attention.

Dr. Ruby Ahuja is a Clinical Psychologist in Chandigarh who has conducted over 300 workshops and counselled approximately 12,000 patients for various disorders. She says that there is a lot of stigma associated with her line of work – even to this day but she finds it very satisfying to bring a positive change in people’s mind-set towards mental health.

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