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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!