Fighting depression – you are not alone!

Depression.jpeg

I love my work. I love my team – they are the best people to work with. I have no issues with my family. They have provided me with the complete freedom to say and do anything that I want. I have no relationship issues, and I have a beautiful child to talk to.

My intention here is not to brag about myself, but to make you realise that even in such great scenarios, you can have depression – yes the medical condition of depression.

I had depression precisely one year ago. It took me a year to say this to anyone – my great family, my beautiful friends and my little daughter. But today, I can tell you with utmost confidence, that being in depression is sane and not insane.

Here is my story.

How it started? #

I work with a startup. While working I realised that everything around me is temporary, most importantly the people. Last year, during this time, some of our interns completed their part of work and left to do something full time. At just that moment, it hit to me that I am connecting with people so closely (and emotionally) to find them nowhere around me, after a while. Not only interns, but I also had a similar feeling about my team.

This was depressing — just the thought of it.

But it was not just a thought. At the same moment, a few of my team members left for home for a vacation. My work timings were different (I prefer to work at night when there is complete silence), so I could hardly interact or see others daily.

Now here is the exciting part. As a human, when we get stuck on a thought, we start seeing the world from the same camera angle.

Now, since I was depressed, I started finding other reasons which were making me more depressed.

Some of them were:

  1. No progress in work.
  2. Not giving enough attention to people (friends and family) who care about me.
  3. The duality between not doing enough new things in life vs not doing enough about things that I have started in the past.
  4. Not going out, clubbing, mixing with people.
  5. Connecting more emotionally with people. Yes, I thought that I should NOT connect deeply with people now, as its hurting me.

There were other very random thoughts that I now find very silly.

These are all imaginary reasons – reasons that our mind has created either to strengthen our existing thought or to create a escape route (coping mechanism).

Don’t fall for ANTI-DESIGN if your DESIGN doesn’t work. It’s a bloody trap.


What exactly was happening? #

Not for once, I thought of ending this life.

But I could not sleep. I remember that I had not taken more than 2 hours of sleep for one month or so. When I was not sleeping, I could see mirage of people. Yeah, like someone is standing there when there was no one. I could feel nothing – not even taste of a sweet. I also lost interest in talking to someone (the weird thing is that everyone advises you to talk to people when you are depressed, and here I am with no interest in having a conversation about anything.)

How it changed? #

I consulted a doctor at Lilavati hospital, Mumbai. I don’t think that helped me much. Saying this, I also realise that this made me stronger to stand up and do something about the situation.

I think these two things helped me a lot:

  1. Finding someone who makes you feel that you are not alone: During this period, I met a very close friend of mine, who was also going through depression. I didn’t know about it before I planned to meet her. She called me to join her at the office and then later at a club. She was depressed. I could see it on her face, plus she spoke to me about it. But even then she chose not to give up. She was doing her work, dancing, meeting people. That gave me hope that I am not alone (She didn’t know about my condition at that time.)
  2. Randomness: After I met her, I started doing a few things randomly. I applied for SRFTI (Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute) entrance tests (even when I knew from day one, that I am not going to join it), mailed few of my contacts at Sahara about an idea of web-series (we are making that now), applied as a volunteer at Teach for India (thoroughly enjoyed working with kids). None of these actions were permanent, but they gave me a chance to meet new people, do new things, find my calling and most importantly take my attention away from depressing thoughts.

I am no expert on this. This was just a scenario. Your reasons, your problems, your situation and your thoughts may be completely different from mine, but what, not changes are few facts like these:

  1. It’s not a big deal. We feel depressed, but that’s okay. We need to believe that we will come out of it sooner or later.
  2. You are not alone. Millions of people are going through similar issues daily, and other millions who are not depressed are not doing much better than you either.
  3. Seeing a doctor is essential.
  4. Forcing a change is not advised. I know you might be feeling a strong desire to come out of this situation and doing all sort of things to block certain emotions. They are all good until you start forcing yourself to behave a certain way and do a certain thing.
  5. And last but not least, don’t fall for an anti-pattern. Feel good about good things that you have done and are doing good. Don’t believe this feeling that there are a number of problems happening all at once in your life. Once you come out of this, these “ant-problems” automatically vanishes.

Today I am doing good. You might not. But I am sure that you will start doing good soon – if you don’t give up.

Don’t fucking give up.

What’s your story?

Edit: If you want to share your story anonymously, you can do it at http://bit.ly/NOTALONE

 
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