This is an interview of a Delhi University student, diagnosed with depression when she was seventeen, and talks about her family’s reaction and support, her own acceptance and day to day experiences; how she deals and tackles them one day at a time.
(Personal details of the student are kept anonymous on request)
- When did you first realise that there was something wrong and different than the usual? What did you do about it?
Ans: I had always felt like something was out of place; most of the times, it was me. But it first hit me when I no longer started to feel happiness; doing the things I loved to do. Even while hanging out with my friends, I used to be distracted for a bit then return home and feel the same way. At first, I kept it to myself, thinking it’s a phase and that it’ll go away. But my friends and family started to notice and so, I was forced to discuss this with them, but I am glad I did, as bottling it all in only made it worse.
2. What was their reaction? How are they helping you through it at the present?
Ans: My family has a history of mental illnesses, depression being a dominating one. So they already knew what to do, which doctor to refer to, how to help me through it and it made things a lot easier. However, my friends never used to believe that the concept of depression was a real issue, until I was diagnosed with it. Since then, they have become more aware and are more sensitive, trying their best to let me know that they are here for me. In the present, everyone around me tries to make me feel like this doesn’t exist, because of course, I don’t want to be treated like I’m fragile. But whenever I feel an intense wave of depression hitting me, they constantly keep a check on me while giving me the space I need.
- Was it an easy transition for you, to be able to incorporate the doctor’s appointments and the medication, as a part of your usual schedule?
Ans: It was weird earlier, used to make me self-conscious. Then I realised, it was only me making myself feel this insecure, as it is a normal thing to do, like waking up every morning or eating breakfast. It becomes a part of your lifestyle. I believe that if you can motivate yourself to go out for a jog every day to stay fit; you can do this too, as it’s the same concept.
- Is there anything you’d like to share from your experience with teenagers like yourself, who are going through a tough time?
Ans: I just want to say that I know how you feel, and I’m not going to repeat the usual stuff about how you’re not alone, because it doesn’t really help. But I would like to say that you don’t have to go through it alone, so please share whatever you feel with someone you trust. This feeling may never go away, but I can confidently say after a year of treatment, that there are days when I barely feel like there’s nothing to look forward to and just knowing that it’s a natural thing, makes it easier. I know it can be overwhelming, so
take it one day at a time.
About the author:
Gayatri Ahuja- JMC, Delhi University