This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Anonymous. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

A Note To Everyone Battling Depression – Hang In There!

In all my life, I had never imagined, that I would have to face something would be so terrible. But every day I convince myself that somehow, there is a way out of all of this.

Depression. I don’t recall when I first came across the word – in some newspaper, some magazine maybe, sometime in my adolescent years. Perhaps it was one of those ‘dealing with depression’ ideas or maybe some study. I wouldn’t know that this would consume me someday when every day would bring with it a dull, aching sense of nothingness.

I have made a lot of mistakes in life, primarily messing up my career path in some sort of an irredeemable way. Or perhaps it can still be salvaged, and that’s what I keep hoping for every second, trying to find some purpose, some direction in a life that is utterly chaotic and somehow also simple in the alternatives that it offers; but alternatives I could never be happy with.

Seven years. Seven years of making mistakes, having intermittent stages of realisation; but somehow being steered into a path that would be the ruin of me. Sometimes these decisions were all mine, sometimes edged on by people who found it imperative to judge me and pronounce upon the likelihood of my success.

So, I made mistake after mistake, until all I was left with was regret, a powerful sense of remorse where every connection with the past is simply a reminder of how terribly I have failed. How much I could have done. How much I didn’t.

I have never felt so dejected in my life, so helpless against all the battles life will pit against you over and over until you’re simply broken; until the point where you can’t stand any of that anymore. I have spent days lying on my bed, crying until my head would throb for days, having lost all energy even to get up, to go out, make a snack for myself or to talk to someone. In fact, the enthusiasm to do any thing at all, even the things that I loved.

I was alone, and I felt a terrible weakness. That there was nothing to do. Nothing at all. Nothing to bring any order; forget happiness; in a life that reeked of guilt and regret. Of having failed everyone who had hopes for me, of having failed myself.

And you realise at that point that you are alone. You are completely alone in this fight. All those nights of me crying. And screaming inside. Of having fantasies about slicing my skin until the exposed blood and flesh would be the only cure to this monstrous pain and rage and anger. What could I do about it?

Like last Sunday, when my usual stupor and dullness gave away to another bout of tears in the morning, and I called up some ten mental health helplines. I did not know what to say, and I did not say much either when one out of those ten finally replied. Enough had been said before; when I took counselling sessions for a year. Yes, I had understood myself better, but clearly not made much out of it.

So, I need to keep up with this pretence of everything being normal, of talking to people, of smiling and laughing as if nothing is wrong. And that seems to be the hardest part. It’s easier getting a cut on your knee; or an illness, at least people acknowledge that. But depression is mired in a series of wrong notions and is regularly misused;  a pop culture plaything in the most twisted way.

Don’t get me wrong. I have a loving family and great friends. They’ve all tried to help me at this point. Sometimes doing everything they could. But in the end, you are alone. You are alone in the fight. Let’s face it, only you know the misery you’ve been through, however, understanding people are around you. But there’s hope – that you can pull yourself out of this.

My words are not about long ago, in fact, it’s all happening now. It’s hard to describe it sometimes. How do you talk about emptiness? Of being stranded in some place in the middle of nowhere? Of wanting to die in your sleep every night? It smothers you, all of this. Makes you feel frail and inconsequential, of being nothing, a nobody against it all.

But despite all of this, there is hope. Surely this cannot be the end of the road. What is life without the promise of something better?

Note: This is for everybody who has dealt with depression, and partly to help me deal with it too. No, I have never been close to committing suicide or cutting myself. I have always fought against doing it, though I fantasize about it all the time and it feels strangely cathartic. This is obviously unhealthy.

I have been very fortunate to have a good support system, but I guess one of the things I’m trying to say is that the final battle is yours to fight. Put up the fight of your life.




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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

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With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

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campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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