I know that depression, anxiety, panic attacks, OCD and many other illnesses of the mind are still a stigma in our society . The moment you take the name of a psychologist in your home, it’s like a “silence bomb” has been dropped. Nobody wants to talk about it. And after a long moment of silence, the usual stereotypical comments start coming your way –
“Why, are you mad?”
“It’s all in your head”
“Just chill, it’s not that big a deal”
“Just snap out of it”
“Let’s go to GOA man, you’ll forget about all this bullshit”
“Psychologists ke paas sirf pagal jaate hai” (“Psychologists?! Aren’t they for screwheads?”)
“Log kya kahenge!!” (“People will call you a lunatic!!”)
And so on…
I wish people realized that no matter how irrational the situation might sound to them, it’s actually a very real feeling for the person going through it. And the more you suppress the situation, the more it increases.
I wish more people understood that mind is the most important organ of our body. If there is some chemical imbalance in the brain, the whole body gets affected. Yes you read that right, mental illness leads to chemical imbalance in your brain and if not treated in time it gets worse and sometimes permanent, and the person starts having “suicidal thoughts.” Who would want such an outcome for their child or loved one? Just because of social stigma you might lose your child/loved one and no matter how harsh it may sound “IT WOULD BE YOUR FAULT.”
So I request you to stop thinking about the society and please help your child/ loved one. They really need your help. Till now they have shown lots of courage by handling it all by themselves but they need you now to add the fuel of courage and support to their body before they run out of it.
My parents have been my biggest support during this phase. They are like my personal lifeguards who not only save me from drowning but also teach me how to swim carefully.
MY MOM: She is a fighter since she was born. And I have her genes in my body, so I just know this thing cannot take me down. So yes I can say that the reason I am a fighter is because of my mother. She has constantly supported me. From being awake the whole night, trying her level best to handle and control my attacks, to inspiring me with her life stories and struggles, and always trying to make me smile. Her main purpose is to make me happy and when she sees me in my happy phase I see a charming look on her face which I would like to see every day. Trust me ma I am trying my best for that.
MY FATHER: He is my guru, my counsellor, my guide but most importantly he is my friend. A friend that every person needs both during their tough and happy times. He never fails to make me laugh and I love his attempts at singing new songs, even though he is not that great with the lyrics :P
I always wanted to prove him that I am really strong. Initially I used to think that he used to consider me weak. But that was just the depression and low confidence playing with my mind. Then one day I heard him saying those magical words, which I always wanted to hear, “My daughter is really strong.” And trust me my dad is not of that sorts who compliments someone just for the sake of it. From that day I actually got to know that he had always considered me strong, it was just my mind filled with low confidence that could never see it. He always says that “You are like me” – strong, courageous, always trying to look for a solution instead of pondering over my situation. The best part is that we always understand each other’s emotions without verbally conveying it. That is why our bond is so strong.
I have seriously been privileged and blessed with such supportive parents.
Today I have learned something great. I can undoubtedly, with full conviction, say that I have full faith on BABAJI. He will heal me. It might take some time but that is because during this phase he wants me to learn and grow as a person. And you know what it’s really working. It’s like I am on a journey where I am discovering myself as well as the people around me.
I would like to thank BABAJI who gave me such supportive parents. They are by my side during my attacks; they understand my anxiety and depression phase but most importantly have given me the complete liberty to be ME. It’s like they are teaching me HOW TO RIDE A BIKE – I won’t be able to learn it without their support, but while teaching me how to ride they still have in their mind to make me independent, so that one day I can ride the bike all by myself while the “so-called hypocritical society” just stares in awe with a thought in their head that ”how come she managed to do that?”
And when I introspect, I think I was able to manage it only because of my parent's support. Thank you MUMMA-PAPA for encouraging me to ride the BIKE OF LIFE without even giving any heed to the society. And I promise you that one-day I’ll ride the bike all by myself and according to me that day is not that far.
I urge all the parents from the bottom of my heart to please help your child or loved ones to ride their BIKE OF LIFE and achieve their aspirations and goals. Because it’s only your support that would keep the bike moving.
A MESSAGE TO THE YOUTH:
You have been really strong till now, trying to handle your problems all by yourself. We are at such an age that we think we are all grown ups and we don't need anyone's help. We think that our parents might not understand our situation. We think that they might judge us or just say that we are making excuses and whining about our problems unnecessarily. Initially I also faced a lot of mental inhibitions to share my feelings with my parents. But then my psychotherapist CHARVI JAIN made me realize how important it is to share your feelings with your parents. Let's be very honest, they are the only ones who know us from our first breath. They have the right to know. So I finally took the decision to confront my parents and you know what IT WORKED. I can never forget that feeling- it was like I could finally see a ray of hope through the thick clouds of my problems. So don't let your mental inhibitions and the fear of getting judged stop you from sharing your problems with your parents. They will take you out of the thick clouds of your problems and it will definitely change your life for better.
- GULSHEEN SAHNI
(A GIRL WITH ANXIETY, DEPRESSION AND PSEUDOSEIZURES)
P.S.: Special thanks to my psychotherapist - CHARVI JAIN.