My Journey From Battling Anxiety To Becoming A Mental Health Advocate

I am Priyanka Nair, founder of Sanity Daily. I am on a mission to help people prioritize their mental health and make mental wellness a part of their daily routine.

Two years ago, I was diagnosed with Lymph Node Tuberculosis. As many as 15 tumors were detected inside me right from my throat till my abdomen. Back then, my baby girl was only two-years-old, and my husband was just trying to work really hard in his new job.

motherhood identity crisis
I started to feel depressed and feared that I would lose my mind.

I spent sleepless nights away from my daughter as I was not in a state of taking care of her. My husband was stuck with his new job, and I had to stay with my mom. When people came to see me, they maintained a very impolite distance because they saw me as some kind of cancer myself. I lost all appetite and yet put on so much weight. I took 22 pills daily, including steroids.

My life seemed to be over, and this probability of loss was obvious in my parents, brother, husband, and daughter. But worst of all, I started to feel depressed and feared that I would lose my mind. The physical ailment within me started impacting my mental well being. From a go-getter and a super-active person, I was suddenly trapped in this illness which was not cancer, but it maligned something inside me so deep that I experienced something which transformed me entirely as a person.

One question which my daughter asked me seeing me in that condition shook me, “Mama, why don’t you go to work now and why have you stopped applying your pink lipstick?” And it was then that I decided to take charge of my life and created my own blog to bounce back to normalcy.

I wanted to feel normal and very much in life, hence I identified my passion for writing, gave it a purpose, and today, I am sharing my two-year journey with you all.

My treatment finally got over after a year, and I survived by God’s grace. However, a part of me seemed to be lost forever—to depression, mental stress, and anxiety. Depression is for real, and depression has no face, these scars are invisible and hence, understated and underestimated. Who cares for a person who is depressed and lost in their thoughts? They only get labels, not active listening.

Priyanka Nair
I want to be a voice against deep-rooted stigmas and stereotypical beliefs attached to mental illness.

I decided to dedicate myself to spread mental health from my end and to help anybody dealing with it through my writing and my YouTube channel. I started blogging about self-help measures and self-awareness in 2017 with the help of my first blog Virtual Siyahi, and I have penned over 400 articles on the same blog emphasizing the importance of mental health and of beating the stigmas and stereotypes attached to it.

As I went deeper into this, I learned there are so many people like me struggling with stress, depression, anxiety in their life, and finding it too hard to manage their daily routine, hence writing was not enough. So I created a separate Youtube Channel in which I am currently running a Mental Health Series called ‘Humanity ki Chain’, where I invite guests to share their views about mental illness and help me by joining this chain of humanity to raise awareness.

I have also released a short ebook as a guide to self-awareness and self-help based on my personal experiences. It is available for free download on my website. Recently, to educate myself in this field, I completed few certification courses as I am from a different background (an MBA in finance with six years of work experience turned into a mental health advocate sounded unacceptable to many), and I was brutally criticized. Still, I never gave up on this idea because I believed in it.

Mental Literacy is the need of the hour and taking responsibility for our emotional state is as important as physical state, and that’s what my mission is about. Three months back, I came up with my professional platform named Sanity Daily, a small venture from my side as an aid to spread awareness and help people prioritize their mental health and make it a part of their lifestyle. I want to be a voice against deep-rooted stigmas and stereotypical beliefs attached to mental illness and stand up for the people who need to have someone to listen to them.

Mental health is as important as physical health and I am on a mission to raise this awareness about it.

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