Sunday, January 8, 2012

What happens to young Nepalese students that get depressed in America?

There are many Nepalese that come to the United States. But for one reason or another they might not be in the best emotional and mental state. What happens to them?

I was following a conversation in a popular Nepali forum dealing with this issue.

A gentleman came to the Nepali forum announcing that  he had a friend that was suffering from depression and was exhibiting these symptoms:

 There is a friend of mine in depression, he has been in the states for little over 4 years.... his situation can't be worst than this.
To explain, he quit college 2yrs ago, he wrecked his car while driving under influence, doesn't speak at all about the problems, cries often, don't eat anything, short circuited his laptop by spilling wine over,no showers,sleeps day and night, walks to the nearby grocery store to get  wine and gutkha  early in the morning while other are asleep. all my friends including his own cousins are totally tired and can't take this anymore. he owes more than 4 months rent and groceries close to $ 1000 per guy. his depression,thoughts, manners, almost zero English skills are disliked at workplaces so in past few months he couldn't stay in  jobs more than a week..  at this difficult time our small circle of close friends and his relatives have decided to do whatever it takes to send him to nepal at the least cost. but he totally denies to go to Nepal, he would rather be homeless here in states. His family is not supportive either. 
This is the case with him. We at this point are looking for ways to send him back.  we would be more than happy to hear  cool Sajhaities opinions, ideas, similar experiences and advices...   thank you all and happy holidays...

A barrage of suggestions from detox to counseling erupted in the forum. Some suggested that perhaps it was best if the gentleman return back to Nepal. Then a tug-o-war erupted where the boys living in the United States wanted the depressed gentleman to go back to Nepal. But the Nepalese living in Nepal were insistent that they didn't want the depressed Nepali back in Nepal. The conversation went back and forth.

Finally, there was a suggestion for an attempt to diagnose the true situation of the depressed Nepali:

We need to first diagnose the nature of the problem before we suggest solutions. I know many Nepalese who suffer from depression who live in both Nepal and America. Simply shuttling people from one country to another is not always the solution.

All the symptoms that you have mentioned so far match this issue:

Are there any more symptoms that your friend suffers from that you have not mentioned?

And though a few people considered the advice, many questioned the relevancy of the advice. They debated between what the focus of the conversation should be. What was the issue at hand?

 We have different options to inspire this man out of his depression. Which of these below would be effective do you all think?
1) Praise him - focus on the positive and tell him all the positive things that are happening in his life instead of focusing on all the things that are going negatively
2) Pay him - pay him with compliments, positive thoughts, inspiring quotes, anecdotes
3) Shame him - yell at him, tell him he's useless, make him feel bad
4)  Respect him - empathize with him and show that we all have at one point or another been depressed and down. Tell him how other people helped us out of this situation. Show him that anyone could be in his situation and show how they got out of that situation.
5) Appeal to their sense of humanity - inspire him by telling him how if he gets his act together, what a positive impact he could have in other people's/Nepalese life
6) Appeal to their conscience - try to explain to him how him being depressed is affecting the other people in his life.
7) help him dream - try to paint a very positive picture of his life 20 years from now that takes into account all the things that motivate him.

Finally, one of the forum members tried to capture the original possible cause of the man being depressed today through a story.
After this story, the mood in the forum seemed to change dramatically. People seemed to be able to empathize with the case of the depressed gentleman a lot better.

Forum User Jantare finally made this suggestion:
Yeah, I'm in the healthcare field but I have limited experience.
What i meant to say is that if you do just one thing to the guy, it is most likely not to work.  Say, you scold him every single day, or even every single time you see him. You blame him for all the wrongs and his present situation, that'll probably make him more violent. He might think that nobody cares anyways, so there's no bad in worsening the situation that's already bad. On the other hand, if you praise him, speak nice words all the time, he might take advantage of that. say you show care towards him, keep on paying his rent and keep on feeding him without saying anything bad. That'll make him more like a parasite. He'll keep on sucking you.
I think, he needs someone he trusts and can't say "NO" to, generally. could be his mom, dad, lover, best friend, anyone. somebody needs to make him aware of his present situation compared to the past (which hopefully was better), and question him how he wants his future to be. if he doesn't care where he'd end up, i don't think much can be done. But if he wants to get in a better position and is willing to put his effort, maybe he'll get back on track. more about combination of things (given that he is wiling to work hard): help him with his rent and stuff but give him certain duration to find a job and maybe even help him find a job; show him the good sides of having income. Since he's out of school for 2 years, I bet he's out of status and he doesn't want to go back. saying that you will complain to DHS and immigration services if he doesn't start looking for a job might get him moving.
Praise him for even small things he does. Let's assume that he lies on his bed all day. If he even gets up and goes out for a walk, that's a good start. Encourage him into physical activities - take him to gym with you, or play soccer and stuff. And when he does something good, say that it was great, get him going. I don't know what else to say; I don't know the person and his condition. His roommates know him better, they can try these and many more things to get him back in track. But if the guy himself doesn't show any interest and wants lo live on his roommates' expenses, it's better to ask his parents to take responsibility of him or report him to DHS and hope that he gets deported.

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