Her world changed overnight three years ago, Nandini Vashishtha a 12 year old school girl, was a very bright student, fell down one fine day and she could not stand properly, started limping, stammering and lost her writing ability. For the last three years it was as if the Vashisht’s had lost their daughter to something that they could neither describe nor understand.
Affected by their daughter’s situation, they started to consult neuro-physicians and approached numerous Baba’s and indulged in various pooja’s and rituals. “ We thought that we had lost our child to black magic. Doctors and physicians could not tell us what she was suffering from. Moreover no one could tell us a drug that would cure her because every specialist shared that there was no orthopedic or neurological complication in her body,” shares Nandini’s mother.
Nandini was taken to all big hospitals of Delhi NCR, got all possible investigations done for neurological and orthopaedic diagnosis, they visited various babas. About two years back she was diagnosed with dissociative disorder, and was on medication, but showed no improvement. With time she developed excessive anxiety. She lived with her imaginative fears and she was so demotivated that she turned dysfunctional and left school. According to Dr. Seema Rekha, “ Dissociative Disorder can further be explained by Depersonalization and Derealization Disorder – it involves an ongoing or episodic sense of detachment or being outside yourself — observing your actions, feelings, thoughts and self from a distance as though watching a movie (depersonalization). Other people and things around you may feel detached and foggy or dreamlike, and the world may seem unreal (derealization). You may experience depersonalization, derealization or both. Symptoms, which can be profoundly distressing, may last only a few moments or come and go over many years.”
Distraught Nandini’s parents had come to one conclusion that their child might be suffering from a psychological complication. They decided to consult Dr. Seema Rekha, Consultant Emotional Psychology, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon – an expert who believes that emotions are the byproduct of the psychological mind and are hence responsible for our actions/stimuli. During the consultation, Dr. Seema Rekha observed Nandini, she had a strong creative potential and she put her in dance therapy, where she could open herself. “ My daughter smiled after two years one day 1 with Dr. Seema,” said Subhash Vashisht, Nandini’s father.
Dr. Seema Rekha started to spend numerous hours with Nandini on her therapy. She first opened up to her and started to share her experiences. Since the child was afraid of machines, so physiotherapy and occupational therapy was not possible, so Dr. Seema started dance, drama and art therapies and after a month she started to prepare Nandini to rejoin school. Nandini joined school again in December 2015 and topped in her class. She is now confident about her life. “She couldn’t write because of excessive hand shaking but had the ability to think. Anxiety is nothing but misuse of imagination; we encourage her to use her imagination to write stories. We replaced the pen and the copy with a laptop. Her episodes of sudden detachment and the expression of feeling lost was now less frequent,” shares Dr. Seema.
“It’s a very big achievement. Nandini has turned an inspiration for many children. Treating emotional disorders needs a long term commitment from the patient’s family. It’s always a collective effort of the patient, family, school and the therapist. When a flower does not blossom we change the environment not the flower. Its the child’s faith in us that gives us early success,” shares Dr Seema.
It has been more than 6 months of therapy sessions and medication, Nandini still has her episodes of detachment, but it is her accomplishments that her parents are more proud of. “ Joining school back was itself an achievement but topping her academics are a milestone for us. We can’t believe that our lost child is coming back,” shares Nandini’s father.
You ask Dr. Seema Rekha about Nandini’s future, she says, “We need to nurture the child to understand her potential. All we can do is support her and make her believe that nothing can limit her in achieving her dreams.” You ask her father writing essays, he fills up with emotion, “What I have got today is more than what I could expect. All I want is my daughter to be like any other child, ready to see dreams and achieve what she wants. I am truly thankful to Dr Seema in believing in our Nandini, when we ourselves had lost all hope. They say that miracles rarely happen, but when I see the spark in my child’s eyes and hear her voice calling my name, my heart fills with joy and I believe that each day and each second is a miracle of God created to cherish every moment to the fullest.”