I could feel my short breaths and some chattering outside the room. It was an ICU, as far as I could recall the structure from some TV serials. I felt like I was dying, and apparently, that’s what I wanted. I knew my parents were in pain, but I couldn’t let go of the fact that I was already a dead person living. So, eventually, I decided to shut my body off to overcome the possibility of worse scenarios in future. ‘Improvement’ wasn’t a word that could have existed in my dictionary back then.
One thing that gave me relief before attempting suicide, was that my parents would never know about it. They wouldn’t know I had been depressed. They wouldn’t know that I had eaten Desipramine in excess. The idea of ending life is directly proportional to the loneliness one might suffer in times of extreme despair. Even my kin couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Neither could I. There were times when I would start crying for absolutely no reason. My self-confidence had been shattered, like a glass figure. My self-esteem and motivation were nowhere near existence. I had always known that my mind could do better, but the state of it compelled me to create a web of never ending problems and sorrows.
The moment I inserted the syringe into my vein, I knew little pain. I wondered if I could survive emotional agony transformed into a wound, with the same degree of pain in my body.
My craving for some improvement in life had ended just like that. The idea of “It’s just a phase” never seemed true because phases did change, but my depression wouldn’t go. Back then, I wouldn’t really call it depression, as I didn’t identify it that way. Or couldn’t decipher what the complication was with my brain. It was inappropriately strange how my mind could alter my reactions whenever I used to go from zone to zone.
The bed was clumsy, but comfortable. The only thing I was dissatisfied about was my own existence in the hospital. I couldn’t just go. They saved me. The moment I opened my eyes, I could see everything returning. I could see my failure and the never ending despair coming into my life again. It took so much of courage for me to commit such a thing, but all went in vain. Besides, I couldn’t even cry.
My ears could apprehend the grief in my parents’ voices outside the room. My brother was older to me and he didn’t say much. Although I could see he was devastated to see me in such state.
I returned home with my happy parents and realised how it would have been if I was dead. My parents were already shattered by the fact that I had been admitted to an ICU for an unknown reason. They couldn’t figure out what had happened to me. Doctors took some tests and no bizarre health issue or sickness was spotted. I could see some rush and stress in my parents’ eyes. They wanted to find out what had caused such ruin to my body when there was no diagnosis.
This smashed my heart into pieces. I could feel their suffering. I never wanted to hurt them this way. My misery was not theirs, just mine. I should have known that. Suicide is an easy way of ending misery. But we are unaware of the fact that it doesn’t get over. It just gets transferred. From me to my family, or vice versa.
That night, I dreamt of my mom asking, “What if one day you woke up and I didn’t?” I was traumatised by the thought. I could never imagine that happening and can now be sure of how fortunate I was to come out alive that hospital. The next day (after my return) was regular except that I came to the realisation that by the thought of losing me, my family would suffer for their entire lifetime.
The above incident is a real story and the victim has been cured of depression and anxiety last year. It has been a long journey. Most people don’t recognise that suffering from depression isn’t just a “state of mind”. 70% people find it inappropriate to talk to their doctors if they feel depressed. 42% people wouldn’t want to discuss their depression with friends or family members. These statistics are disappointing in a place where depression and anxiety are making people silent when it comes to discussing their problems. One in 20 people in India suffer from depression, according a recent survey conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences. Depression is higher among women in the 40 to 49 age group and among those residing in metros. Evidently, depression is more common in women than men.
Dr. Harry Barry, a General practitioner (GP) says,”Mental health difficulties can be very distressing, not just for the person experiencing, but for their loved ones. Approaching a healthcare professional for assistance is one of the most important steps a person can make in taking responsibility for their mental health.”