I remember I could feel my short breath and some chattering outside the room. I was admitted in ICU. I felt like I was dying and apparently that is what I wanted. I knew my parents were in pain, but I not able to let go the feeling that u I was a living corpse. Eventually I decided to shut my body off to overcome the possibility of worse scenarios. ‘Improvement’ wasn’t a word in my dictionary back then.
One relief I had before attempting to kill myself was that i was sure my parents will never get to know about it. They won’t know I was in depression. They won’t know I took Desipramine in excess. The idea of ending a life is directly proportional to the loneliness one might suffer in the times of extreme despair. Nobody could figure out what was wrong. Neither could I. There were times when I started crying for absolutely no reason. My self confidence lay shattered like glass. My self esteem and motivation were lost. I knew my mind can do better, but the state of it compelled me to to create a web of never ending problems and sorrow.
The moment I let the syringe inside my vein, I knew that little pain. I would wond if I could survive the emotional agony changed to a wound with the same degree of pain in my body. Although, I would always prefer the latter. My craving for some positivity in life had ended just like that. The idea of “It’s just a phase” never seemed true because phases did change, but my depression wouldn’t go. I would not really call it depression as I had not identified it till then. I was not able to decipher what was the complication with my brain. My mind had the power to alter my reactions and make me shift from one emotional zone to the other within seconds.
The bed was clumsy yet comfortable. The only thing I was not satisfied about was my own existence in the hospital. I couldn’t just go. The doctors their had saved me. The moment I opened my eyes I could see everything returning. I could see my failure and the never ending sadness coming to my life again. I realised my effort to kill myself went in vain. I couldn’t even cry. Tears wouldn’t roll down my eyes.
My ears could apprehend the grief in my parents’ voices outside the room. My elder brother didn’t say much. Although I could see he was devastated to see me in such a state.
I returned home with my happy parents(happy that I was alive). Only I knew what I was feeling like – a living corpse. I realised what they would have faced had I not been alive. My parents were already shattered by the fact that I was admitted to ICU for an unknown reason. They couldn’t figure out what had happened to me. Doctors recommended some tests but nothing was came out. I don’t think machines till date can track human emotions. Can they? I could see some rush and stress in my parents’ eyes. They wanted to find out the reason.
This incident smashed my heart into pieces. I could feel their suffering. I never wanted to hurt. My misery was not just mine to keep. I should have known that. They did not deserve to suffer.
Killing yourself is NOT the easy way out to end a misery. We are unaware of the fact that it doesn’t get over. It just gets transferred – from us to our family.
That day I had a dream. In it my mother asked , “What if one day you wake up and I don’t?” I was traumatized just by the thought of it. I could never imagine that happening and can now ascertain how fortunate I was to come out alive that hospital.
The next day was a usual one except the fact that I came to realise that losing me meant a lifetime of suffering for my family. If not for myself, I decided to live for them and their smiles.
The above incident is a real story. It is a long journey when most people don’t even recognize that suffering from depression isn’t just a “state of mind”. 70% people find it inappropriate to talk to their doctors about them feeling depressed. 42% people decide to not discuss their depression with friends or family members. These statistics are disappointing in a place where depression and anxiety are making people silently succumb to depression and not come out. One in every 20 people in India suffer from depression (according a recent survey conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences in 12 states.) Depression is higher among women in the 40 to 49 age group and among those residing in metros. Evidently, depression is more common in women than men.
Dr. Harry Barry, a General practitioner (GP) says,”Mental health difficulties can be very distressing, not just for the person experiencing it, but for their loved ones too. Approaching a healthcare professional for assistance is one of the most important steps a person can make in taking responsibility for their mental health.”
Mental health matters. People matter. YOU MATTER. None of us have to face our battle alone! Reach out. It matters.
– By Nikita Katwalia ( Journalism and Mass Communication student, IP University)