“You can’t always find one specific reason for clinical depression. There were several reasons for mine—a sudden loss of friends, a new work atmosphere, disillusionment, several specific breaks in life and much more. It took a lot of strength to finally go to the doctor and that it involved constant support from a couple of people goes without saying.
When I first sat in front of the doctor, I hadn’t combed my hair in days. It wasn’t laziness. I have never been a lazy person. It was something bigger. It was the sheer loss of will to look at myself in the mirror - not because I thought I was not beautiful, but because I couldn’t. I simply couldn’t. To leave my bed, have a bath and go to office were in themselves the biggest tasks for me. This wasn’t like a lazy bachelorhood where I have had drinks last night and cannot wake up in the morning. It was because I struggled to go to sleep every night till at least 3 am, trying not to think about everything running through my head and most importantly, trying not to cry.
“We need 3 months, at least”, the doctor said. Then he went on to ask if I had any issues with starting a course of pills, because most people say ‘no’ to pills. They think the doctor is pushing them towards ‘madness’. I thought I had suffered enough, so I was up for it.
I believe that going to the doctor was a good thing, despite all the side effects of the pills—a doubled appetite and the consequent weight gain, to name the major one. So I started working out to reduce the major side effect of the pills and the maximum it could do was to limit my weight gain to 9 kgs over a period of one year. My shorts stopped going up my thighs and Kurtas down my breasts. But no regrets, because I am stronger. If nothing else, I no longer need anyone to open jam bottles for me.
With time I learnt from the doctor that I had PMDD—premenstrual dysphoric disorder. That is, when you tend to get depressed more than a ‘normal’ girl right before her period. You cry, shout, break things, think about committing suicide, and try to punish yourself by hurting yourself physically in one way or another. Because of the constant weight gain, my menstrual cycle got disrupted, increasing problems. I developed Sleep Paralysis too—when you start dreaming (nightmare-ing, rather) in the deeper part of your sleep, a part of your sleep in which you are not supposed to dream much. The result is that you wake up sweating, panting, almost choking, unable to move because your body is supposed to be in deep sleep and your muscles are relaxing.
Despite everything, it has been a learning experience. Over these last months, I have become more positive, and stronger—both physically and mentally. I have made sure to learn more about women’s health and to discuss it using social and digital media . For that, I get abused left right and centre on social platforms. I share all the hate comments and mails with my friends and editor and we have a good laugh at them. It is fun, you know.
Love your body, love your mind and work to keep both of them in coordination, healthy, and happy. Nothing, nothing in the whole damned world is worth upsetting yourself. As far as crying is concerned, it is not an irrational or a sad thing. Trust me, people will tell you that you embarrass them by crying in public, or during official meetings. They will also tell you that you play the victim card by crying. But let me tell you, it is okay.
You have nothing to be ashamed of. Cheers!”