Categories
Anxiety / Depression

Anxiety/Depression - How did it start for me?

It’s not recent, but I’ll have to go back to my memories of 14 years. It all happened in 2006 after a major setback that happened in my life. I lost my father unexpectedly. I was pursuing my graduation and fortunately was quite a happy adolescent, somebody truly focused on studies with tons of aspirations and ideas. My father always supported me in following my dreams and had huge expectations from me. Always considered me like his son.

One day it all went gloomy when we lost him to a heart failure. I hadn’t seen it coming, none of us had. I wish we had a mechanism to know it in advance. But when it happened, I didn’t know how to react. May be my heart and mind were constantly struggling to figure out what had just happened. 

I did not shed even a tear and posed very strong and supportive to my family members. I am sure people surrounding me must have talked about it and thought of me as someone who doesn’t care. But deep within me, it was happening. My sub conscious mind was scared and tormented. Just that no one else could see it breaking, I couldn’t even myself.

After a few days while I was preparing for my final exams, I suddenly started shivering and shaking. It was that bad that I couldn’t even control my motor nervous system. I called my mother in distress, trying to figure out what was happening. It was almost 10 in the night and I was taken to a doctor by our kind neighbors. Doctor described it to my mother as a stress reaction suggesting it will be fine in sometime and injected me with some anti stress medication.

We all thought it will be fine but who knew that it was just the beginning. I started experiencing it every now and then. And, accompanied with even worse symptoms like palpitations, cold sweats, chest pain and list goes on. 

My mother all anxious and scared called in some of our close relatives to drop by and figure out what is happening. I was taken to a physician who after analyzing the symptoms prescribed me a few medicines. It was diagnosed as ‘anxiety and depression’ and what was happening every now and then were “Panic Attacks”. 🙁

I was put on anxiety pills. I tried every day to control my emotions and stress to get rid of the medication, but couldn’t help myself much. I was getting miserable with each passing day. These panic attacks would happen any time and leave me weak and feeble. I was on bed most of the times, with no desire and wanted to be cut off with the entire world around me. I started living my life lying down alone in a separate room. 

Very often I started to complain of chest pain. I remember often telling my mother that “I am having a heart attack. Please rush me to a doctor so he can save me”. She wouldn’t see if it’s day or night and rush me to the hospital, without any complains. (I owe her so much for that unconditional support and love). 

Every time I was taken to the doctor, he would very patiently examine me and say “Dear, it’s just your fear, not a heart attack. You are fine and need to be strong.”

While all this was happening, my final exams were around the corner. I had been a top scorer in the previous years. But this time I wasn’t even sure if I will be able to attempt in my exams. I had prepared for it the entire year. But to my surprise, I was unable to recall or memorize any of the notes I had prepared.

I was doubtful if I will even be able to give it a shot. I used to learn a few pages and forget everything the next day which was making me even more anxious.

I can’t thank my mom enough for being my support system during this entire time. From rushing me to the doctor in the middle of the night to encourage me to try harder and fight back. She had lost her husband too and her loss was even bigger than mine. But she never made it obvious or complained about it.

Being the elder child I had always wanted to do a lot for my family. How could I let this situation stop me when it demanded more out of me? One fine day I decided to give it back hard to this condition and put in all my sweat and blood. I had no option but to score good in exams so I could do something meaningful after my graduation. 

Hence, I started writing everything I learnt. I would write it over and over, day and night to ensure I remember at least some of it in the examination room. I bet I wanted to perform much better than this but this was all I was capable of. I finally appeared for the exams and tried as hard as I could.

When the results were out, to everyone’s surprise I had again scored the highest amongst all. Even today I wonder how, but it actually happened. Must have been a miracle I’m sure)

I was still under medication which went on for a few more months. It was difficult to get rid of those pills, especially due to the withdrawal symptoms. These pills had it’s side effects too and I didn’t want to invite anymore unwanted guests in my body. (no more illness)

I tried really hard to say good bye to those medications as they were making me dependent and I wanted to stop it.

It’s been more than 14 years and I still get anxious and face panic attacks at time. I think it’s easy for my body to move into that zone as it’s prone to that condition. But, I have never left HOPE. It always makes me fight it and come out of it even stronger.

I know we all have different situations to deal with and our triggers could be different. But whatever it is, one thing that is common amongst all of us is HOPE. Fight the situation, whatever it is. God has put you in that situation for a reason and wants you to fight it and come out of it bravely. Think of your family around you and always keep up the courage. 

Life is beautiful, never let it slip away. At least not because of ANXIETY or DEPRESSION.

Stay healthy, stay fit!

Categories
Anxiety / Depression

Dealing with anxiety or depression?

My experience with anxiety/depression….yes it happens to many of us

It’s October 18th, 2020 and I have picked up a pen and a paper to write down my experiences for the first time. And, I guess here my journey starts with writing. This date is definitely going to be a memorable one as I never imagined that one day I will write it here.

It’s middle of the night and I am awake and anxious. Anxious for what though? For my career? For my finances? For my future? Whatever it is, all I know is that the feeling is unpleasant. It’s making me sick and depressed and I am not at all liking it. I am sure no one does.

One question that haunts me over and over is if I will come out of this? If yes, then when? One part of me says that yes, I will. I am a winner and have always came out of any challenges very beautifully. This time I am going to fight it too. But the other part of me asks, really? Am I in the right age and place to take this as a challenge? I am on a continuous, non stop mission to explore the right opportunity for myself.

You must be wondering why, what mission and what is wrong with me? Why am I so frustrated and lost? What’s killing me with every passing day?

Don’t worry, I won’t keep it a secret. I no longer feel ashamed or guilty of telling people that I am anxious and depressed. That I left my lucrative job during this pandemic when people are striving for options (yes, you heard it right). But why did I do it? The answer is simple. Because I wanted to quit. I was frustrated and depressed with multiple things out there. It’s not that I didn’t love the organization. I totally loved and adored it which made me invest a beautiful decade of my life there. I loved the culture, the success, the people (most of them ;)). Then why? What made me take that decision?

I think I never wanted to do what I have been doing all throughout. I didn’t enjoy it. And, that’s what kept on killing me from inside with every passing day and I felt like stuck. As if there was no way out. Because, I am in the middle aged crisis where I don’t know how to switch and where to switch my career. I have already wasted a plethora of time just thinking about it, without acting upon it. I tried to figure out multiple things before quitting, to see if I can find my place of interest within the same organization but nothing worked out. I really tried, but seems like it wasn’t enough or may be it wasn’t for me.

And, then earlier this year, this pandemic was like an icing on the cake. It very nicely did the remaining job of putting me to the verge of this emotional distress. Numerous deaths each day due to Covid, so much of pain all around, so much of chaos and confusion across the world, this all was responsible to add on to my anxiety and depression. I couldn’t take it anymore and a point came when I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t continue with that pain as it felt like a burden with every passing moment. I wanted to run away. I wanted freedom from all this suffering which was not visible to anyone else, but just me and my soul.

For others, I was very content and happy, but deep within I was lost and striving hard each day to fight this battle against anxiety and depression. Everyday I asked myself how to run away from all of this. I have a family, I have a kid so I can’t just show my back to my responsibilities. 

And yes, it’s considered a taboo when we say that we need help. We are in 21st century but mental health still needs a lot of focus and healing. And hence, I didn’t speak much to anyone. I told people around me a bit but I believe no one completely understood. And, it’s not their fault. They don’t know what it’s like and I just wish and pray to God that they never go through any of this. 

But I had to do something about myself as I couldn’t take it any further. I felt like killing myself. After going through this misery for years, I finally stood for my heart for the first time and dared my mind not to convince me anymore that why I shouldn’t be quitting the job I have been doing. 

I don’t know if it was the right decision or not. Time will tell. All I know is that I wish to do something I can fully enjoy, something which gives me happiness and I don’t crib about my life anymore. 

To bring some sanity in my life after quitting the job, I started looking for any meditation options around me. While surfing the internet I stumbled upon a beginners course offered by “Art of Living” foundation. Without thinking twice I enrolled myself as I had heard positive reviews about it previously from a few contacts. It definitely brought some relaxation and peace in my life and my journey of meditation also started from there. This is something I am very happy about as meditation definitely helps you with your anxiety and depression.

Now whenever I am confused or looking for peace, I opt to go in for meditation instead of allowing my brain to get lost into some meaningless thoughts which are going to do more harm to me rather than any good.

Fate has also brought me in touch with DigitalDeepak where I am currently pursuing an internship program in digital marketing and for the first time I have realized, that yes, I can write too. And, I will continue writing as I am currently loving typing this and pouring my heart out.

Whether you like writing or not, you should definitely invest a few minutes each day writing about your experiences as it definitely helps you understand yourself better. You feel that someone is listening to you and you are not alone. I got to know about this only once I started writing and I would strongly recommend to you too. One thing is for sure, I won’t quit writing now. It’s such a comforting feeling to pour down your emotions on a piece of paper. You can do it too if you are going through any of such conditions, if you are sailing in the same boat of anxiety and depression. Just pick a piece of paper and start penning down your emotions. Trust me it will comfort you a lot.

Also, don’t feel shy of talking to others about it. Some of them will understand and some won’t. But it’s okay. If you need a professional help, please reach out to the right people and take yourself and your life seriously. 

There are a lots of good professionals who can help you feel better. Life is beautiful and let nothing take it away from you.

Until we meet next, have a beautiful life and enjoy every moment to the fullest. Keep smiling. 🙂

(Penning down a few meditation options in case you want to explore and reach out to them. Take good care of yourself until we meet next.)