“My mental health journey is filled with bumps and crevices. I now realise that I had made peace with unhealthy mental health, because that state of mind has become familiar and comforting and almost like home like to me. Resultantly, I think all that was happening was that I was drowning deeper into the darkness and had no desire to come out of it.⠀
I was diagnosed with Somatic Syndrome, Mixed Anxiety and a Depressive Disorder. Simultaneously I got a hairline fracture, which was followed by typhoid and hepatitis. Not only was I not okay mentally but physically also my body was going through a rough time. Through this I never once thought about getting help for myself for my mental well-being though I was taking all the necessary advice and precautions and medications for the typhoid and hepatitis.⠀
A chance visit to my school counsellor, a favour I was doing for relative, changed it all for me where I unknowingly ended up opening up about my own concerns. Upon described to the counsellor, the thoughts I had about self-harm and suicidal ideations, I was advised by the counsellor to visit a psychologist and a psychiatrist and for some reason it was very tough for me to accept that. I had a lot of fear of getting addicted to medications along with the sheer stigma surrounding taking medications and going to a therapist. My parents weren’t as keen either. ⠀
Somehow I wasn’t able to connect with my psychologist and my psychiatrist wasn’t seeing expected results in me, she suggested that I have a mental health test done, so I did. We got to know that a part of my mental health concerns were hereditary. She advised that I see a psychotherapist to deal with the concerns from the roots.
Half heartedly and hopelessly I did. Soon, college life started and I realised I had claustrophobia and social anxiety too. I couldn’t stay in college for a long time. Panic attacks became a part of my everyday routine. My college authorities didn’t understand or help me with the attendance as they all thought ‘it was all in my mind’. ⠀
With HSC boards coming nearer, my college was not being cooperative with attendance despite my reports and doctor’s certificate. I was left with no option but to switch colleges and luckily for me my new college was very supportive of my mental health.⠀
However, I continue to have a burning urge to explore my legal options against my erstwhile college for their complete nonchalance and lack of empathy towards me. Through therapy I realised that if I didn’t have the mental capacity I won’t be able to fight and this would in turn further deteriorate my own mental health.
Fast forward to date, I have given entrance exams to the surprise and pride of my therapist. I have grown so so so much since the past year and am willing to fight for myself and I continue healing. I won’t say I have recovered because this journey never ends. It’s just so important to be there for yourself and to take care of yourself. If you don’t, who else will? Reaching out for help doesn’t make you weak, it just shows that you are strong since you are being true to your-self and discussing your vulnerabilities. My mental health concerns don’t make me a victim. ⠀
I am a fighter. I am a survivor, not because everything that is in me, but because of everything I’ve made myself to be.”