Cultural Storyboard - Heal 1100
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Brian and Ajay had been friends since childhood; they were now starting university together. Lately, Brian's noticed some changes in his friends behaviour. Mainly, he's noticed Ajay's had difficulty concentrating in class, he looks extremely tired, he's lost weight and won't eat much, he's lost joy in the things he used to love, and he's been shrugging off Brian's requests to hang out.
Brian decides to think about how his friend is feeling before jumping to conclusions about why he's been shrugging him off lately - Brian thinks Ajay may be struggling with depression, especially since he just moved away from home a couple months ago and he's displaying some of the symptoms. He decides to talk to Ajay after class one day.
After chatting, Ajay breaks down and tells Brian what's really been going on. He informs him that he's "been struggling with depression for the past couple months"; he "misses his mother dearly" and "hates being so far away from his family". More importantly, he "hates that he's been neglecting his religion so much lately due to being so caught up in his studies".
Ajay tells brian he's been seeing a therapist who's tried CBT and various medications; nothing seems to be working as well as he had hoped and it's making him spiral into a deeper depression. Brian listens to his friend, giving him his undivided attention. He tells Ajay "he supports him no matter what he's going through" and "understands why he's been acting so different towards him lately".
Brian gave him some advice; he knew how important religion is for Ajay, and recommended trying a different approach to therapy - "use your religion to help you heal". AJay likes the idea and recommends it to his therapist. They decided to incorporate mantra meditation and an ancient Indian breathing technique called "Pranayama" into his therapy. AJay was hopeful about the new approach and began visiting the nearest temple on a weekly basis.
After 3 months of trying the new therapy, Ajay can't wait to tell Brian how much his symptoms have improved - he thanks him for being so supportive of his way of life and for understanding how important his religion/culture is for him. AJay tells Brian: "No one else understood but you, not even my therapist had the right answer initially. Thank you for getting me on the right track to recovering from my illness", "More importantly; thank you for being the friend that cared".
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