MY MENTAL HEALTH DIARY
When you get past the first step, things start getting easier. There is a sense of relief, you feel free from all the burden, all the thoughts which were felt alone are now in the open and you can talk about them. This feeling is the best! I remember when I came out to my family about depression, how they reacted and how it all affected me.
I came out to my family after I visited a Psychiatrist and had a proper diagnosis of depression. I planned to visit the doctor alone, not because my family was unsupportive of this but because I wanted to be very open and clear about my feelings and my thoughts. Sometimes when you are accompanied by anyone close to you, you kind of get apprehensive about opening up completely.
In my case, these doctor visits were not as simple as going to one doctor, getting diagnosed and beginning medications.
" No, the day I decided to seek professional help, the struggle began that day only". When you belong to a small town, it’s a little bit difficult to find a Psychiatrist as compared to the metro cities. I started with a google search for the best Psychiatrist in the city, with multiple results, it was already difficult to choose one of them. Still, I contacted one of the doctors and went ahead with the appointment.
I still feel the jitters I had that day, the nervousness and the fear. I remember walking into the clinic, surrounded by all the posters on mental health.
" As I walked in, I had one thought - I’m not alone! " There were so many other people, some were children, some were old and some were my age. At that moment I realised, there are so many people struggling and they are so strong that they come out and seek help.
My first meeting with the doctor was a little overwhelming, new terms, the science behind depression, revisiting the whole journey while sharing it and then the fear about confronting the truth. Let me take you on my journey.
My journey began when I was 10 or 12 years old. It was a strange time, I have some vague memories of those days. It was early 2000, talking about mental health was taboo, people were unaware about mental health, they never gave priority to Psychiatrists but believed in superstitions. I don’t want to go deep there, I still get goosebumps on thinking about those days…
Back to my first Psychiatrist visit. It was not all bad. " When I started talking to the doctor, I felt free ". I sensed the understanding between us. I talked to him about everything, every emotion. " And my 4 years journey to recovery began".
The biggest support to me while recovering was my family, my mom and my sister. They understood me the best. They are my pillar of strength. I never thought that my family would understand depression. They understood the science behind it, the working of brain chemicals and their effect. They wanted to come with me on my monthly visits to the Psychiatrists. From getting hospitalised to recovery, it was my family who stood by me and the credit to my recovery goes to them as well. I remember when I was in the hospital, my mother used to get me my favourite food, she fed me with her hands. My family made my hospital room so lively, full of posters, happy pictures. My 15 days in the hospital never went dull, I had my people around me always.
I still regret the times when I had hidden my feelings from them. If I had talked to them about my feelings at the right time, I might not have experienced these emotions alone. Let me tell you if you are going through this phase, try to open up to your family, they might be a big part of our recovery journey. Parents could be of great support in assisting us, to heal and with their support and our willingness, we can overcome anything.
"Your mental health is our priority". Manoshala offers a variety of services ranging from wellness, counselling to Clinical assistance. Find us and out experts at manoshala.
In our next blog we will be sharing about ways/ steps as suggestions to open up to your family.
Tanvi Jain, Mental Health Warrior, ManoShala.
Bhavya P, Counselling Psychologist, ManoShala.