This is what being in depression really feels like and it's not cute
Don't stay mum. Speak up.
1. "Didn't you sleep last night?
I did. Why?
Your eyes are swollen.
And you just smile, shrug off the concern, and end the conversation by pretending nothing is wrong."
2. "You wake up the next morning. Somehow you've managed to survive the night. Should I get up and go to work, you ask yourself. What's the point? Won't be able to work anyway. Plus, it holds little interest now. Should I brush my teeth? Forget it, let's sleep for a while, you mutter. When you wake up, you have 15 minutes left to make it to work. I am late again, you scold yourself. You hurry up, dress up, and leave."
3. "Your boss is unhappy with your performance. Your work report is shorter than the rest of your colleagues'. Am I even fit to work? Do I contribute in any way? Have I done anything for anyone ever? I have just failed. In everything. I am not a good son/daughter. I am not a good lover. I am not a good human being…"
4. "Nope, I don't feel like eating right now. Will go later.Don't feel like eating roti. Give me some tea. Will eat chips."
5. "Why can't I focus? Why do I get distracted while looking at the screen? I need to get out, I need to get out. I want to go far away. Leave this city. I don't want to return home. I don't want to smile."
6. "I want to cry. It makes me feel light. The harder the better. There's no reason. No, in fact there are so many. How can I point out just one? I am drowning. I am drowning. And I don't want to escape. Just want it to end. I just want someone to place a heavy stone on my chest so that I can drown peacefully. I don't want to remember anything. I don't want to say anything anymore. Just drowning gives me immense peace."
7. "My heart feels heavy when I get up in the morning. Feels like a hundred needles are piercing me all at once. Collective they are making one big hole."
8. "I can't do this. I will not be able to cross this road. I will not be able to meet my friends. I will not be able to smile at the camera. I will not be able to write. I will not be able to do anything. Don't ask me to do anything, please."
9. "This lipstick shade doesn't suit me. In fact, nothing suits me. I am ugly from the inside. How will wearing make-up help? I have disappointed so many people in my life. They all must hate me. They will never forgive me. I don't have the courage to go and make them forgive me."
10. "I need something to make me feel intoxicated. Something that is able to take control of my mind. I am unable to control my mind. Not even while sleeping. The nightmares make me cry. My roommates ask me why I get up screaming every night? Is there no solution to my problem?"
There Is a Solution
If while reading this you thought to yourself, "This is exactly how I feel," then probably you are stressed but don't know it. Not sick. Just stressed. You can be a woman, a man, single, committed, divorced, or in a happy relationship.
You know not everything is all hunky dory around you. But, don't worry. Some day it will get all better. If things don't work out, you will still find a way out. But, what will happen to this little brain of yours which you can't seem to take control of?
The constant struggle you find yourself in is a result of a problem. This is not mere sadness that lasts a few hours or days. This is not due to just one big problem. This is a product of a thousand thoughts clubbed together in your mind. And they have been there for days. Since you don't think much of it, you avoid sharing it with people. And when you do try, you end up getting tangled in one thought and it's impossible to get rid of it. So, you end up ignoring the problem until you end up hurting yourself.
And when you are not able to control your brain at all, you go visit a doctor. "You are depressed" is what you get to hear then.
'Depressed' is a randomly-used word. Anything can make you feel depressed or make you want to cry. At times, you get over it. And at times, you don't. You end up living in guilt for months and years. So, you put yourself on trial. You brand yourself as guilty.
If you have been sad for a long, long time--then speak up. Talk to your friends and family. Talk to the person you love. Trust us, you would not want it to get big. You would not want your 'sadness' to turn into clinical depression. Trust us, you would not want to visit a doctor, take sleeping pills every night, and be on medication for months. And all your troubles that you could have easily sorted out a few months ago end up getting discussed in therapy.
If you are not in love then just let it go. If you are not happy with your job then just quit. If you are a victim of domestic abuse then go to the police. If your mother-in-law tortures you then fight back. If you don't love your husband then tell him. Fight it out, shout it out, cry if you want to--just don't keep it closed in your heart. Don't kill yourself from within just for the sake of normalcy. Because once you surrender, you will be enslaved forever.
If you think you are going through something similar, then visit a therapist. If you are not satisfied then go to a psychiatrist. Don't listen to people who are ready to brand you as 'mad' because you go to a doctor who deals in mental health. A psychiatrist can really help you. You see, your brain is like any other biological part of your body. And mental disorders are like any other disease. So, when you suffer from an ailment, you visit a doctor without feeling ashamed, right? Why can't you do the same when it comes to mental health?
I go to a psychiatrist. I am on medication. At times I wonder why am I taking all these pills? But, then I tell myself that it's important. I go to work every day. I feel fine. I feel normal today because I decided to visit a doctor on time. I never hid my condition from those who loved me.
After work, I go home, change my clothes, wear my sports shoes, and go to the gym. The days I can't, I go to a park and run for an hour. After every 10 minutes I feel like giving up and going home. But, I don't. I push myself every day.
At times I feel I will break down. I cry. And when people ask me what's wrong, I don't smile and pretend everything is okay. I say I am stressed--so help me. Because breaking down and tears are not a sign of weakness. Nor you should be ashamed of them . Sharing your problems with others doesn't make you weak. It doesn't make you any less manly.
It's a duty--not towards your family or your country--but towards yourself. It's your duty towards happiness, towards life.
(This piece was written by Prateeksha Pandey for The Lallantop in Hindi)