“What’s the worst that could happen to you at the age of 19?” “Whatever is bugging you right now probably is more exaggerated than you think.” “Maybe you just think you’re depressed.” “But, you’re so young”. Some of the few questions and statements that are and were passed around so easily. So many people told me that it was all just in my own head, that none of my problems could possibly be big enough for me to be taken seriously, let alone lead to a mental disorder. What surprised me was that when we were 5, a knee bruise would turn into a trip to the doctor and then a treat of our favorite foods. But now, when I openly pleaded my case and explained just how badly I needed to see a psychiatrist, I was told that it’s just a phase, and it will go away. According to many, all I needed to do was to eat healthy, exercise, study, sleep on time and most of all focus on what I have.
Ironically, those were all the things I couldn’t bring myself to do because let’s face it, depression is not sadness. My depression exhausted me. I started sleeping at 6 in the morning and waking up at 2 in the afternoon, I started eating everything that pleased me and not Rotis and curry which my mother wanted me to, I stopped studying completely, and focusing on what I have meant focusing on how “worthless” and “lazy” I had become. I did not have the guts to tell anyone that I had even stopped bathing or even brushing my teeth or hair, on days when I felt hopelessly horrible. I still don’t know what most of them would say.
What I do know is that one day, I decided to do it, I got up and went to see a psychiatrist all alone, and I still remember how he asked me about my life, and how I choked up while telling him. I tried my best to keep my tears in, waited till my appointment was over, got officially diagnosed with my worst enemy, went straight to the bathroom and cried my heart out, almost crumbling that piece of paper, the one that had my name at the top, and read “Depressed”, just below it. It had a psychologist’s number at the bottom, the one I was supposed to meet for my sessions for about 6 weeks, also the one, who I never met. I believed that I could help myself and that life couldn’t throw me down with something as monstrous as depression. The only reason I even went to the doctor that day was to just let people know that it’s not just in my head, or just a phase, or just one of those things, us kids, exaggerate. It was real, and it was there, and that even though I did not need everyone to constantly be there for me, I still needed them to take me seriously, to at least believe that I am going through something that is out of my control.
And I know I’m still recovering and that I have my relapses time to time, and people still say and do a lot of things that don’t exactly prove that they understand, but I also know that I will get through this, that one day I won’t wake up in the afternoon, thinking that I am wasting my life away and that, there is no meaning in living; because there is, even though sometimes that meaning becomes vague and blurry and the rest of the world refuses to help, we find our own meaning. Things that probably don’t make sense to anyone else, just you. And trust me, those are the best memories you will ever have, even if they are made while you were so young.