Seeing My Mother Suffer From OCD Changed The Way I Looked At Mental Illness

Did anyone tell you what it’s like to live with a person suffering from mental health illness? I think no one will tell you because it will always be a story that one would resist from within.

I am writing this article in times when becoming emotionless seems like the only choice left when it comes to taking care of a person who is suffering from mental illness! This isn’t just about one or two cases; it’s a story of a thousand hidden faces who weren’t able to reach out at the right time to talk about how they felt or could not perhaps express it.

My perspective drastically took on a new meaning when I saw someone close to me suffering from OCD. I couldn’t stop it from worsening. Anxious, running and socially-conscious and not being able to get over the obsession for cleanliness.

Can you think of a person who has been like this for 5-6 years and had yet not been noticed? It was a difficult time for the family who had never had any medical history of mental illness. How could it be possible!?

I had returned home after having completed my studies, and the first sight to greet me was an anxious lady with a cloth on her face! It was scary, yet a helpless moment. I lent her my hand, and she shook it away. Isn’t it strange when a child sees his mother this way? Yes, it was my mother. I had enough courage to get her medical help but guess what? It was quite late already! I consulted doctors, even got in touch with counsellors to serve her the best, but the only response I could get was to put her into a rehab!

Did anyone tell you what it’s like to live with a person suffering from mental health illness? Especially when you are unable to help them?

Can you do that to your mom? Will society let her live afterwards? Will she be coming back even worse? What about the family? Taboos around mental health are not just making our close ones not suffer but even lose their lives in extreme cases! I was working hard for my family, but the bond I shared with my mom came to an end! The medications were not curing her, they only ended up sedating her and giving her body some rest, but guess what? The OCD never stopped!

That day, I decided to start a service for the youth, which would provide them with a positive mindset, offer them ways to enhance self-esteem and confidence, overcome weakness, deal with body shaming, failure in life, etc. There is a difference between a person who has a strong will to fight in such circumstances and a person with low willpower.

The latter will always be falling into the trap of any illness, not just mental illness. I started ‘House of Health’ with a dream to provide proper mental health care tips to the youth. It’s my appeal to everyone who reads it today, be aware of what your near and dear ones are going through. A little bit of awareness can go a long way towards saving a life!

Similar Posts

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.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

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.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
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.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below