Depression and anxiety are monsters, ones that eat at your life until you can't remember the last time you smiled. I've been suffering from depression and anxiety for over four years and it's not getting any better. The first time a psychiatrist diagnosed me with depression, my mom freaked out like I was crazy, I guess the stereotypical Indian child is not supposed to have illnesses like depression and anxiety because it's usually classified as "crazy made-up" stuff.
It took my mom two years and my rapid fall in academics to finally take me to a psychiatrist again. And yet, my father isn't aware of the fact that I'm visiting one.
It's a taboo to even utter the word "anti-depressants" in front of my family. When I tried speaking to my sister about this, she told me that it was all in my head and I had to "get over it". This is the mentality of a modern Indian family. But the truth is, people with mental illness are the ones that need more support and understanding, especially from their family. Scientifically, these are caused due to chemical deficiency serotonin but it's hard to convince yourself of that at 2 am in the morning when the voices just won't stop.
Depression is when you're not motivated to do even the simplest task like getting out of bed, feeling like everything is pointless and life itself is aimless. It's not laziness, it's the mind fighting itself to face the day. Anxiety is the other side of this coin, where you worry about every insignificant detail, like what your sister said three years ago or what you said five months ago or whether you are good enough to live.
Most times it's like a voice that knows all your insecurities and keeps putting you down. When you find yourself with people who put you down, you can distance yourself from them but what if you're the person who destroys you the most? How do you distance yourself from you?
There are days when I can overcome it to survive the day and there are days when I end up in the bathroom with a blade in my hand. Self-harm as most think isn't for 'attention' because for most part, my scars are in places where no one can notice them.
People cut themselves in one of these two situations — one, they feel this overwhelming flood of emotions like frustration, anger or sadness or a mix of all and when they cannot contain these volatile emotions, they cut themselves to let the demons out. The other time is when they are feeling so numb that they want to convince themselves that they can at least feel pain.
Everyone without these illnesses say that we'll eventually overcome it and thrive in our lives. But anyone who has ever had it, they tell you that it's a monster that you can never escape because the real monster in your life is you.