Dr Bajpayee: Can you really see your past life?

Here are questions from readers that were addressed by leading psychiatrist Dr Manish Bajpayee. The identities of the solution-seekers have been withheld to protect their privacy. You too can send your questions at editorial@pune365.com

Dear Doctor, I have a five-year-old son. He is generally very restless and hyper. Could this be a case of ADHD? Or is this normal for a child his age?

If he is hyper and it is affecting his ability to interact or work then in such cases it may be attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  If it is interfering with his progress, in the sense that he starts to start something but his mind wanders off, then yes, he could have ADHD. Some limitations should be set by you as a parent so that it inculcates a sense of responsibility in him. This should be done to increase his concentration and improve his attention span.

Doctor, I recently watched a show in which the host hypnotises someone and the person sees his past life in a trance? Dr Brian Weiss has a similar book on this issue. Is this possible? Can you really see your past life?

At present, it is very difficult to say anything. It is the question of your belief. Dr Weiss’ books are very nice and they are very well-written. It is very engaging to read. I don’t think life is so easy that looking back at your past life will solve present problems. There is no proof that people’s lives have bettered after they’ve had a session in past life regression. It should also be noted that Dr Weiss got ousted from the American Psychiatric Association.

In November last year, I had my first hook up with a girl. We had an emotional connect and it felt as if we really cared for each other. So, took her number and started talking to her. Soon, we were meeting and the emotional connect remained. I felt attracted, but she wasn’t sure whether to be in a relationship. One day, she very abruptly ended it and I tried to ask her why and all she said was that she felt claustrophobic. A month later she told a mutual friend that she never wanted anything more than a one night stand and that she just pretended for the whole of it, without feeling any real emotion. But since, I had, in the course of our fling, told her about my past anxiety (because I wanted to be true to her) she thought “if I leave him, he’ll kill himself and put the blame on me and I’ll be jacked”. And that made her feel harassed. She felt I was unknowingly harassing her. But then, she didn’t even know about the depression for the first two weeks. Who told her to continue then? And more so, did I actually harass her just because she said so? I didn’t for a second think I was. But the question is, can people truly feign emotions like that?

 It is unlikely that you harassed her. You shouldn’t mind read. It’s good that it did not work out. In the present generation, it is acceptable to have casual intimacy. But in the long term, it may cause emotional upheaval because this is just momentary pleasure. You have been truthful to her. Her response had a specific purpose and it probably didn’t work out because of differences in personality traits. Yes, people can feign emotions. Why not? This happens in the initial phase of a relationship. It is just a show of emotions and she wasn’t able to persist.

Dear Doctor, I gave birth to my child just a month back. I am fully aware that I am depressed. I am very ashamed to say this but I do not feel any love for my child the way it is romanticised to be. Motherhood is farce and it is much more difficult than what is portrayed. How can I cope with all of this? Please guide me.

You must take treatment and help for this. 70 to 80 per cent of women are depressed after child birth and it later manifests into psychosis. Women go through phenomenal transformations in their life, especially during pregnancy. These changes are hormonal and physical. It is difficult to cope with this but there is nothing wrong in getting help. This is a time limited illness and it can definitely be treated medically or through talking it out.

Dr Manish Bajpayee

Dr Manish Bajpayee

Dr Manish Bajpayee is a consultant psychiatrist in Pune with over 20 years of extensive clinical experience in assessing and treating clients with a range of psychological problems and other mental health related issues. He is currently a consultant with Inamdar Hospital and Ruby Hall Clinic. Dr Bajpayee addresses reader queries every other Thursday on Pune365.
Dr Manish Bajpayee