After an arduous four years battle with depression, he finally got estranged from its claws. Numerous relapses and a mulish addiction to alcohol, brought him miseries that he could barely imagine in his wildest dreams.
“Depression strolls in one’s life begging for its existence. Once it senses any hint of odd, uncovers its majestic form, under different highs and lows.” He said.
An abusive father, bad companions, and maltreatment in school made the ground of depression fertile for him. He was one of those, who would suppress his emotions and cover his thoughts, no matter how devastating they are.
In the beginning, he was totally clueless about the series of unwanted events happening with him. Craving for high-calorie food, sleep issues, increased argument with his girlfriend, feeling numb and hazy every time, became his regular routine.
After much contemplation, he could match signs with depression. Spaced out, he decided to disclose the matter to his parents. But his surprise jumped in amusement when his dad brought him a Brainolia (a kind of memory enhancing syrup) while his mom massaged his scalp with Navratna oil (a soothing ayurvedic hair oil).
Finally, seeking a psychologist was his only choice left. He was prescribed with antidepressants. For four years he soaked in antidepressants, with higher doses every week.
A conversation about his struggle with prolonged depression
As he says, “Depression is all about self-esteem. We have a monitor in our mind. When we do good, it feels good and when something bad happens, it feels bad. But once you learn to distinguish between good and bad, learn to stand for yourself, that self-esteem gradually builds up.”
Q: How was depression, your old friend?
A: I broke up with her now. There are times when she didn’t let me sleep for days. That phase was horrible but it taught me many things.
Q: How did it all end?
A: I was drained, both mentally and physically. Depression had taken away my health, sleep, and my life completely. And antidepressants, they deteriorated the situation more. Around 4 am, one day, I was lying in bed and staring at the ceiling. Out of sheer frustration, I walked out of my home. Kept walking, heedlessly. After few hours, I felt good. And then, there’s no stopping since then.
Q: Did you get hook on to any sort of drugs?
A: Yes, I was an extensively into alcohol and marijuana. In one instance, I drank a full raw bottle of whisky, with a hope to gain some sleep. But woke up with wide eyes within two hours. However, I am all clean now.
Q: Did you experience any suicidal ideation?
A: I felt total numbness but there were no suicidal thoughts. Also, I was not afraid to die. It was like let things happen their way.
Q: How were your parents and friends? Did they support you?
A: My parents and siblings were quite supportive, unlike my friends. When I discussed my condition with my friends, they lend a hand with alcohol. They were just waiting for me to get well. When I was recovering, still battling, they influenced me toward alcohol, once again. Further, relapse knocked.
After the fourth cup of coffee, he put forth some of the important practices he followed that helped him in his battle. Below are some of them:
- Journaling helps a lot. I jot down all my good, bad, and ugly feelings. These anecdotes now help me in making music.
- Stay away from bad influence and from any sort of drugs. Eventually, you will fall into the trap of addiction, further depreciating things more.
- Avoid narcissistic people. Learn about narcissism and co-dependency.
- Avoid any kind of spiritual modality. You will likely fall prey to these. Be VERY CAREFUL.
- Exercise is a must. You will feel lethargic, not want to even think of it. This is a very slow process. It took me a year. But exercising augmented my thought process and helped in enhancing my self-worth. I started loving my life.
- Self-counseling helps. I treat myself as a child. I ask questions, about things that hurt me, why did I feel bad about something that the other person had said, is it good? Is it bad? Then I come to the climax.
- Know that you cannot please everyone. Society is a huge problem. Prejudices like you are too good to revert to an elderly person’s (wrong) views, would subsequently want you to restore their faith in you.
There have been numerous times when he was raped, mentally. After four years of living in absolute darkness, Ankit finally defeated his demons. He is now happy to embrace the scars left by his kick-boxing practices than by those dreadful four years.
Struggle of distinguishing depression
The word “depression” is powerful enough to frighten anyone. In a world with more than 300 million people struggling with depression, only a handful of them dares to speak up about their mental status. And others? They suffer in the shadows of misery, despondency, and ultimately seek suicide as their final destination.
Camouflaged by societal stigma, prejudices, and indifference, people battling with depression or any other mental clutter could barely distinguish their problems or seek professional guidance.
There are people who may not even realize the signs and intensity of depression and in turn, can fall in the vicious cycle of drug or alcohol addiction. Thus, it’s imperative to know and understand the signs before it is too late.
Editor’s Take: We will update an article on the signs and symptoms of depression in our health section soon.
Also, don’t forget to share this article. Help us reach this story to others in need.