Seema Hingorrany, a well-known clinical psychologist, EMDR therapist and trauma researcher, is presently putting in Mumbai. She is a many-faceted and extremely talented genius, having many achievements to her credit.
Being already engaged professionally on what she specializes in, the input she offers to such prestigious publications as Times of India, DNA, Femina, India Today, etc is remarkable indeed. She is credited with the honor of being the youngest psycho-therapist to have been quoted in more than 700 articles. This might be considered as a kind of record.
What’s more, she is also having a place on the honorary advisory panel of Early Childhood Association besides being an official psychoanalyst for Femina Miss India, offering grooming-and-personality-development services to the contestants.
1) When did the idea of writing the book occur to you? Was there any particular case of yours that acted as the inspiration behind the creation of this book?
Writing a book on depression had always been on mind, I was just looking for the right opportunity to pen down my thoughts. And then coincidentally I was approached by Milee Ashwarya, Editorial Director at Random House India, to write the book. The journey started from there. To be very honest, all my patients have been the inspiration behind this book. When I had patients coming to me with the fear that they will be labelled ‘depressive’, I wanted to tell them that listen, it’s nothing to fear about , as it can be treated. So much of my desire to write the book stems from my wish to clear the numerous myths on depression among the general public.
2) Beating the Blues is the work of a lifetime conglomerating all your experience in treating depression. How long did it take you to complete the book?
Yes, the book is an assimilation of all my experiences together in book form. It took me more than a year to write it. I couldn’t write much during the day as my patients and therapy sessions kept me busy. The only time I got to write was in the night, post 12 am.
3) As a clinical psychologist you must have come across numerous kinds of patients and cases. Can you tell us your most challenging case and how you handled it?
Yes, in my practice I have come across many challenging cases. The most challenging case was of young girl who had dissociative disorder with depression. She would suddenly start her car and wander away aimlessly without knowing where she was going. This girl would often slit her wrist till her bone was visible. It was sad that people didn’t realize that it was not a simple depression case, but trauma depression born out of negative experiences she had undergone in childhood. The challenging part was her diagnosis which the other psychologists she had visited before me were unfortunately unable to crack .
After the diagnosis, the therapy chosen was a right decision. And in nine to ten months’ time, the girl recovered from severe depression and trauma.
4) The statistics mentioned in the book regarding the percentage of people suffering from clinical depression are alarming. What do you think are the major reasons for such a steep number of cases?
One of the major reasons behind people suffering from depression is extremely loneliness. People these days face tremendous competition in their day to day lives. Many have genetic depression but they don’t know how to deal with it, since they lack coping resources. Marital discord, superficial relationships— everything contributes to worsening clinical depression.
5) You’ve mentioned in your book that it takes almost 3-4 therapy sessions to gain the trust of your patient and make them open up. What are the various techniques that you adopt as a therapist to gain the absolute trust of your patient?
The techniques, I guess, comes very naturally to me. I show empathy with my patients, am totally non-judgemental when it comes to chalking goals of the therapy with them, and also make sure that confidentiality is maintained while my patients are disclosing the most secretive parts of their self.
6) As an author what was your target audience for your book?
My target audience is anyone who wants to have a better understanding of depression. It’s not necessary that the person has to be in depression in order to read my book; one can also read this book to understand how to help people in depression.
7) A lot of research work goes behind every book. Tell us about the kind and amount of research that went behind Beating the Blues.
My main research includes understanding human behaviour, which I practically do every day through the new cases I get. They form a part of my research for the book.
While writing the book, I would make ample notes, go through my old notes on all my clients since the past ten years, and corroborate my analysis with findings of other clinical psychologists from all over the world. My research included reading a lot of books on trauma and depression which give a better insight into the workings of the human mind.
8) You have written innumerable reports and articles for various magazines and papers. What do you think is the most challenging part of writing?
The most challenging part of writing about the human brain and human behaviour is that one can neither be too technical nor over simplify the language .So I try to maintain a balance between the two, making sure that a lay person can read and understand the book, and most importantly, relate to it.
9) Are you working on a new book? What is it about?
The book is still in its nascent stage. Talks are on with my editors but we haven’t zeroed in on a topic yet. There are a couple of ideas that we’re toying with. Maybe it will be on something to do with women, but I can’t confirm at this point.
10) Did you ever go through writers’ block? What did you do to come out of it?
Yes, I think all writers do undergo a writers’ block, and I did too. There were times I would be blank. I would then use my coping resource by talking to my best friends and that would help me bounce back again, feeling totally rejuvenated to write again.
11) According to you, what part of this sedentary, suppressed lifestyle contributes to the rate of depression?
Sedentary and suppressed lifestyle has a very important role to play in contributing to depression. The mind needs to constantly be active and busy since an idle mind harbours negative thoughts and further worsens the depressed condition. In the coping resource protocol, the first resource we have for patients is to exercise and keep themselves not only physically but mentally fit too.
12) What advice would you give to your young readers who would want to be authors themselves someday?
My advice to young budding authors is to write with passion and believe in yourself. India has a lot of talent that needs to be tapped. But if you are going to be tackling topics such as these, do thorough research on the subject. Ultimately, work hard, strive towards your goal, and never lose hope.
You might be depressed and don’t know it yet. According to a WHO study, a mindboggling 35.9 percent of India suffers from Major Depressive Episodes (MDE). Yet depression remains a much evaded topic, quietly brushed under the carpet by most of us. In Beating the Blues, India’s leading clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, and trauma researcher Seema Hingorrany provides a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to treating depression, examining what the term really means, its signs, causes, and symptoms.
The book will equip you with:
• Easy-to-follow self-help strategies and result-oriented solutions
• Ways of preventing a depression relapse
• Everyday examples, statistics, and interesting case-studies
• Workbooks designed for Seema’s clients
With clients ranging from celebrities and models to teenagers, married couples, and children, Seema decodes depression for you. Informative and user-friendly, Beating the Blues is an invaluable guide for those who want to deal with depression but don’t know how.