What Depression Does To My Perfectly ‘Normal’ Life

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.

I wasn’t planning to write this because I don’t know what I’d be able to say that would be helpful to others like me out there. But, then I read some experiences that people had shared and reading about their struggles made me feel a little less lonely.

I wasn’t always a gloomy person, but somehow I became this person I never wanted to be. I was a 15-year-old kid who wanted to conquer the world and at that time nothing seemed impossible. Fast forward 10 years, I am 25, and getting out of bed on time seems like an achievement some days. Before I tell you about my troubles, let me tell you a little about myself.

My name is Sagar Singh and I am a mechanical engineer. I am currently working as a tutor and preparing for my entrance which will be conducted in February. Before you come to conclusions, engineering or the sciences weren’t forced upon me. I was really interested to learn about technology and hence I chose this field.

I have worked in two multinational companies. I also worked for a startup which was a great experience. But I wasn’t satisfied by these corporate jobs, as they took me away from my passion of writing.

Being brought up by two teachers, I decided to take up teaching and write in my free time. I left my job in October 2016 and it was one of the hardest decisions I made. I started personal tutoring and now only need to work 5-6 hours a day. I go out with friends, write my heart out and have completed a novel which is currently being edited. 

But why am I telling you this? I’m telling you because you need to know that depression and anxiety can affect anyone – even people who have been doing everything they want to.

I am not going to give you tips and tricks to get out of depression because I am still struggling with it every day. I can’t talk about it to my family because coming from a middle-class background, they’d just worry rather than understand what I am going through. For the same reason, I can’t seek medical help without alarming them. I can’t talk to my friends because it’s hard for them to understand how someone who is doing so well suffers from depression.

Most of them say, “It’s okay, you’ll be fine.” I am someone who loved learning new things, meeting new people and making new friends. But in the past month, even talking to someone seems like an unnecessary task to me. I have a whole bunch of people that I can text or call on my list but I don’t want to be an unnecessary burden on them.

Deep down I know not everyone feels that way about me but my depression is strong enough to convince me otherwise. These days I do things, not because they make me happy or give me a sense of achievement, but because they need to be done. And the days just go by me as I try to find a way out of it.

It’s really difficult to mingle with people when your head over thinks everything about everyone. When you go out with someone and deep down fear rejection, when you look at yourself in the mirror and hate the way you look and when you always feel tired or sad.

If there is someone out there who feels the same, I want to tell you, you are not alone. Just take it one day at a time and when you feel it’s overwhelming you, don’t be afraid to talk about it because mental health issues are real and can affect anyone.

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