REPORT Submitted To Siddhartha Vashishta Charitable Trust By Rachna Mishra M.A. Psychology Delhi UniversityBeing a Master‟s student in Psychology from Delhi University, it is expected out ofthe top 20% student population in the department to carry out a dissertation in thefinal year under supervision of a faculty professor. The topic that have selectedbelongs to a specialised branch of Psychology that is currently in its nascent stages, i.e.Positive Psychology. My topic is “ Spirituality and Mental Health” where I „amlooking into four spiritual dimensions (Meaning, Transcendence, Intrinsic values andSpiritual community) in five groups of people: Caregivers of psychiatric patients. Cancer patients Parents who have suffered accidental death of their teenaged sons. Parents of autistic children Adolescents who have suffered death of a single parent.For collecting the data, I definitely needed help from one or the organisations and so Iwas in search for an NGO/Hospital who can provide me with the above mentionedgroup of people.As it was proving to be immensely difficult to get cancer patients from hospitals,perhaps because of ethical reasons or their non-willingness to help a non-medicalstudent, I was not finding help anywhere.I came to know about SVCT through Google search engine. I emailed Mr. AshokPassy, the administrator about my urgent need to get in contact with five cancerpatients. It was indeed overwhelming to get a spontaneous reply from him wherein hehad permitted me to come to the office for further discussion. I went to the NGO thenext week and was surprised to see the extremely down to earth nature of Mr. Passy.On carefully evaluating the questionnaires I wished to administer on cancer patients,he gave me the opportunity to get in contact with some of the patients. He almostimmediately agreed to give me five patients and asked me to come the next.
ASSESSMENT TOOLS USEDBeck Depression Inventory IIThe Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), created by Dr. Aaron T. Beck, is a 21-question multiple-choice self-report inventory, one of the most widely usedinstruments for measuring the severity of depression. In its current version thequestionnaire is designed for individuals aged 13 and over, and is composed of itemsrelating to symptoms of depression such as hopelessness and irritability, cognitionssuch as guilt or feelings of being punished, as well as physical symptoms such asfatigue, weight loss, and lack of interest in sex.Spiritual Assessment Scale-The Howden Spirituality and Assessment Scale (SAS; Howden, 1992) was developedas a way of assessing spiritual wellness factors consistent with Westgate‟s model,specifically to measure unifying interconnectedness, purpose and meaning in life, andinnerness, and transcendence (Harper & Gill, 2005). The SAS contains universallanguage and is based on a well-conceptualized model, theory, and factor analysis(Stanard et al., 2000). Because the subscales can be scored and used individually aswell as collectively, a counselor can work with the client to gain insight into each ofthese attributes or spiritual wellness as a holistic concept. The information gained canbe useful when attempting to understand the spiritual orientation of the client and fortreatment planning/intervention purposes.
CASESCASE-1Bharat‟s family was highly inviting and warmly welcomed me. The assessment began.Mr. Puranchand, Bharat‟s father willingly answered all the questions although atsome point it occurred to me that he was being influenced by the presence of his wife,son and investigator from SVCT who were all in the same room and were carefullylistening to his replies. Nonetheless, unavailability of another room compelled me toproceed in the same environmentName- Mr.Puranchand.Gender- MaleAge- 53 yrs.Occupation- workingDiagnosis- throat cancer (December, 2010)Treatment- received on July,2011On Beck Depression Inventory, he obtained a score of 5 which indicates that he doesnot suffer from depression and is well in the normal range. The Spiritual AssessmentScale which measures the four dimensions of Spirituality reported a score of 156which falls in the range of “strong and positive spirituality”, which is the highestcategory of spiritual wellness.Thus, in Mr. Puranchand‟s case, an inverse relation has been found betweenDepression and Spiritual wellness wherein low score on depression is accompaniedby a very high score on spiritual wellness.Case-2Name- Mrs. Balwindar KaurGender- femaleAge-47 yearsOccupation- housewifeDiagnosis- Breast cancer (January,2006)Treatment- received on March,2006On Beck Depression Inventory, she obtained a score of 15 which falls in the range of„mild depression‟. Mild depression, also known as dysthymic disorder, affects manypeople. It can be triggered by a specific incident or medical problem. Often peopledont realize that theyre actually suffering from a medical condition becausesymptoms are mild and are easy to overlook until they start to affect your dailyfunctioning. Mild depression is defined as chronic depression with symptoms that arenot as severe as someone suffering from a severe episode. Psychology InformationOnline says that mild depression is often characterized by general sadness, problems
concentrating, forgetfulness, negative thoughts and social withdrawal. Milddepression can usually be treated with cognitive/behavioral therapy. The therapistteaches you how to recognize and stop negative thoughts and how to replace themwith positive, healthy ones. If the depression is impairing daily functioning, a doctorcan prescribe antidepressant medication. This is used in conjunction with therapy andcan usually be discontinued after you learn to deal with the mild depressioncognitively.On Spiritual Assessment Scale, she obtained a score of 144 which falls in the cateoryof “strong positive spirituality”. Her findings can be interpreted by acknowledging thefact that despite having suffered breast cancer and also having suffered the societalembarrassment of the husband being jailed for over 8 years now, she is only mildlydepressed. Her spiritual and religious faith which is falling in the highest category canbe thought to be a positive support in her life which is giving her the motivation tokeep going.Case-3Name- Mrs.SurajmukhiGender-femaleAge- 80+ yearsDiagnosis-Treatment- undergoing at Metro hospital, Preet Vihar.On Beck Depression Inventory, she obtained a score of 15 indicating mild depression.On Spiritual Assessment Scale, the score was 107 indicating average range ofspiritual wellness.My experience at SVCT was an eye-opening experience as everyone at the centre wasextremely kind and caring towards me. I got much more than what I had expected.Mr.Passy went out of his way to help me get in contact with patients. At last, I wouldlike to give a warm thanks to Mr.Passy, who extended his helping hand when it wasmost needed. It is only because of people like him that some hope is still alive in thisworld. I would also like to thank SVCT, without which I could not have found aplatform to proceed for my data collection. The noble work which it is doing isevident in the eyes of those who have benefited from it at the time of need. I wish allthe best to SVCT to prosper even more by reaching out to more and more people.