Breaking the Comfort zone

I met Rita(name changed) yesterday. She walked into the clinic with black dark circles under the eyes, red-eyes, sunken face, drooped body and getting angry even on the slightest sound.
She came along with her parents, who where clueless on what to do... It was less than a year of her marriage and this was the opposite of how she should actually be.
After 45min when I told her parents she has not been able to "break her comfort zone", they agreed.
We all have a very nice need for comfort and control. Our house is the one place where we have maximum control. As we grow, we become more and more dependent on this control.
Just not the physical, also emotionally we have control on what to give and what to expect.
Marriage is one event that breaks this comfort zone over-night.
Upto 30-40% ladies in India experience this emotional discomfort, whereby getting control over the new environment takes years.

Why this happens?
1. When an Indian Lady marries, she marries into a family.
In great majority of cases she is expected to immediately un-learn all her customs and adopt to new ones. This is called adjustment.
While this is expected to happen over-night, she might actually take years to do so, as its impossible to de-learn things practiced for 20-plus years.
2. While she is trying to do this, the already accustomed and emotionally seniors in this new environment. Namely her mother-in-law, sister-in-law, father-in-law have certain expectations from her.
3. This conflict of expectations leads to a feeling of sadness and anger.
Her only support is her husband... Unfortunately in many cases, the husband decides to keep quiet.
The lady starts to feel cheated by her husband and starts to develop hatred against mother-in-law, sister-in-law.
4. Slowly negativity plays in her mind continuously. This leads to guilt, feeling of worthlessness, anger and helplessness.
5. Soon medical levels of depression play with her mind, leading to even suicidal attempt.

What are the consequences of this?
1. Increased stress level - that leads to weight gain, decreased glow on the skin, menstural problems, headaches, sleep problems.
2. Mood swings - with intense episodes of crying and similar intense episodes of anger
3. Extreme anger
4. Sadness and negativity present in the mind.
5. every situation is approached with negativity.
6. decreased sexual desires and decreased sexual performance.
7. negative image of the husband, thinking he has never been by her side. And he doesnt deserve her love.
8. looking for running away from this situation - which leads to nuclear family formation or divorce.

How to help someone battling this?
1. They need a listening ear. Don't advocate or counsel them, first just listen to them.
2. Talk to the husband, try and help him to be more assertive in his duty towards his wife.
3. Mood swings, sadness and stress needs treatment - consult a good psychiatrist immediately.
4. if a lady is looking for divorce - try and help her first calm down. If its impossible to calm her down, accompany her to a psychiatrist, help her calm down and then take the decision.
Many ladies in haste make wrong decisions, which they later regret.

For further query email me -
Dr.Hemant Mittal (Neuro-Psychiatrist)
email -
website -

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