How I Fought Depression And Anxiety After Living With It For 8 Years

This story is a part of Youth Ki Awaaz’s weekly topic #WorldMentalHealthDay to create a conversation about mental health in India. Share your personal stories of coping with a mental illness, trying to access mental healthcare or any experience with mental health here.

Hello, I am Sameeron. I am a 23-year-old and I suffer from a severe case of anxiety and depression. I am not ashamed of telling the world about this because there are others just like me who are suffering and being mentally tortured, by no one else but themselves. I too have suffered for the past eight years. It all began back when I was in class 10.

I used to get anxiety attacks almost all the time. My school life was as torturous, as it was beautiful. I slogged in the subjects considered to be most important in school – math and science, due to which I was labelled a failure.

I thought everyone hated me because I wasn’t good in academics. I felt that my parents wished that they had ‘Sharma ji ka ladka’ instead of me. And I hated myself because I couldn’t make the two people who gave me birth, proud of me.

Nothing could be worse than the feeling of failing your parents. What’s even worse is when you try to tell them that you really tried. They understand, yet there is a look of disappointment. That’s the moment you realise that you need not cause any more trouble to anyone’s life. And when you feel like the root of all the problems, you decide to pull out the problem so it doesn’t spread. That’s when you think about suicide.

I thought about suicide throughout high school and college. To my surprise, I was stronger than I thought I was and then dived into the thinking pool to understand what made me strong. It wasn’t my parents, my friends or any of my relatives. It was music that made me feel strong. All this while it was music that kept me alive.

I was depressed and hell-bent on trying to be what others wanted me to be, and that’s why I failed. If I had put in all my efforts into the things that I love, I would have been a better person, a better son and a better musician. But most of all, I’d be happier. Though, better late than never, I found my calling.

However, it wasn’t all rainbows and sunshine after that. I still felt helpless, anxious and suicidal from time to time. I could blame my first brutally heartbreaking relationship for this, but no. It was because of how I was moulded in my younger days.

No matter how hard you try, the darkness always seems to creep in. When I started my post graduation, I fell in love with a girl who had a boyfriend. Let me tell you, I think hopeless love is a major cause of depression. I learned it the hard way, but readers, please understand that there is more to life. It was truly a gut-wrenching feeling – the feeling of loving someone who didn’t even care.

Luckily, I had music and a good friend who motivated me to get through it. It’s important for us to surround ourselves with things that give us pleasure like books, music and a few friends, it’s what makes us feel good about ourselves.

Despite all this, I did almost try to kill myself. It was this year, to be precise. I’d spent a majority of my time sitting at a computer, helping an MNC make tons of money. All of this at the cost of my own happiness. I gave into it because of the more desperate need for money. This job ate away the time I used to spend writing and playing music. This was the most depressing phase I ever faced.

There were times when I would just give up. I’d find myself waking up at 3:30 am and sitting on the edge of the roof with my legs dangling in mid-air. I’d think of the consequences of me jumping off. This lasted a whole month. Sometimes I felt like jumping in front of a speeding metro and sometimes I felt like driving my scooty at top speed in traffic with my eyes closed. Maybe God was watching over me, so I’ve probably survived till now.

I would like to conclude by saying that there is absolutely nothing positive or constructive in being sad, cold and depressed. You are children of God, you are miracles!

There is so much pain in the world – look at the people dying in Syria, for instance. Use the life you have and bring happiness to yourself and those who are around you.  Try to be the reason behind someone’s smile, maybe even someone’s reason to be thankful for life.

Letting darkness creep in is very easy. But you have to find your spark.  You are your own spark, so make the most of your life now – not tomorrow, not day after, but now!

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