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Although this is a true story, I don’t exactly recommend anyone to do what I did. All of us live difficult lives in our own ways and have different ways to dealing with our problems. This is how I dealt with and overcame my depression.
A depressed patient is a unique case and should be treated differently. I am going to share here how I got depressed and what did I do about it. I overcame depression 6 months after being depressed and have never succumbed to depression post that period in my life so far.
There are a lot of horror stories on the internet that depression could permanently damage the brain. However, in my case and the cases I know of, I haven’t seen any permanent damage. I recovered completely and I believe most people can completely come out of depression into a normally healthy state of mind.
Here is my story. I have avoided personal stories on this blog, since it is about helping people find their happiness, but I guess this is important and relevant for everyone interested in the idea of happiness too.
The year was 2007 and I was in Singapore. I had cleared the Common Admission Test exam and had scored admission into one of the top business schools in the country. I got admitted into their global program given a few years of work experience, which was the case with the majority of the batch.
Now, I should have been extremely happy, but I guess that’s not how depression works. It chooses its own time. It could affect you when you should be completely happy. That was the case with me. At the same time, I also believe that although the depression attack is sudden, the reasons exist for years.
So, a few months into the program, when the courses were going fine, and all my batch mates were enjoying themselves, I started getting a feeling that I wasn’t up to the mark and didn’t belong there. There was no reason for the feeling since my grades were fine and better than those of many of my classmates.
All this while I was in touch with my family in India on phone and they were worried about me. They kept trying to tell me that things were okay and everything will be fine but my mind was beyond repair at the stage. My friends during the course began to dessert me as everyone thought was a lost case. Well, at the moment, I was.
At some point, I quit, left the hostel, took a flight back to India. Back in India, life looked hopeless as I had quit my course and came back. I would lie in bed all day and not talk to anyone. My mom who is religious kept some sort of a 40 day religious program where she forced me to visit the Gurudwara (a Sikh temple) every day. My father who believes in medication in depression took me to 2-3 doctors who all said that I was severely depressed and eventually I was put on medication- for months and hell knows, for years.
The routine continued. Meanwhile, I was in touch with my then dean to be able to start the course again in January 2008. I had stayed there only a few months. I can’t remember the exact months. He said I could come back if I felt fine. Nobody knew if I would feel fine.
However, coming back from the course and being away from the situation allowed me to think and form some conclusions about what had happened. I unnecessarily compared myself with everyone and that hit my peace of mind. But that had always been the case. This entire comparison with the rest of the society makes us feel low and hits our self-esteem.
After a few months of visiting the Gurudwara and taking medicine, I was told by the doctor that I would be taking medicine for a long time. My mental state had improved a bit and I made up my mind to restart the course.
So, I decided that I would go back to Singapore and restart the course. Obviously, if my family wasn’t there during the period, I wouldn’t be writing this.
So, it was decided that I was depressed but the doctor allowed me to go back to do my MBA. I flew back to Singapore and took my room. This time, it wasn’t a solo room but a dormitory room with 2 beds.
It is not that life hasn’t been hard post that episode. In fact, I have had even more difficult periods in life post 2007-08, but I have never allowed myself to fall into the depressive state again. I believe in destiny. Somehow, my life has been designed to be way more difficult than that of my peers, people I went to school, college or post graduation. Even as I write this, I am dealing with Corona Virus which has brought my comedy career to a halt but I am fighting it, and I will fight it till I last.
I learnt a few things about depression when I was depressed- the most important of them being that depression is an outcome of fundamental flaws in our lives, and unless we fix those flaws, life cannot flourish.
There is a lot we can do to try and avoid being depressed or staying depressed, and we must do it.
We fall into the depression trap because something in life-is falling apart, and we don’t know what to do about it. There are problems which become too difficult to deal with sometimes, and we fall into the depressive trap.
So, do not throw your medicine in the dust bin. I did and it helped me but take your own call in consultation with your doctor. Your goal should also be to deal with your emotions in a positive away so that you do not have to depend on medicine to keep going. That is the goal because a life dependent on medicines or sedatives is not quite a healthy life.
Believe in yourself, irrespective of who does or does not believe in you. That is the most important thing about life-no matter how difficult it gets.
The world needs you to fight your way out of depression, and make the world a happier place. The question is-will you try?
Thank you for reading.
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