Ignorance is not always a bliss

So my struggle with mental health dates back to the time probably around 2010. I was in school most probably in class 8 when my granny passed away and I however couldn’t process that properly. For me, my granny was more important than anyone else, to be honest, and as a kid, I could never imagine losing her one day.

I was mentally and emotionally shut for as long as a year almost but knowing how close I was to my granny my parents thought that I was just sad when I was not. I lost the ability to feel. Just like any other friend of mine I used to go to school and tuition, did my homework but something was not right, there was always this hollow feeling within me. However, things started to restore back to normal after almost a year.

So after school, I completed my graduation and for my post-graduation, I moved to Noida. I was excited during my initial days like any other person of my age for moving out of home for the first time to a new city you know. Living all by myself in the hostel seemed to be fun for me but what I failed to realize is that excitement is not going to last long.

Soon enough my college started and when everyone was actually having fun I felt as if I am not being able to connect to my peers. We were not allowed to go out of the campus five days a week and staying in that concrete jungle as I like to call my college campus I started to feel suffocated. I didn’t know what was going wrong but again felt as if something is just not right. I used to sit with my group of people during college breaks and by the end of any conversation, all I could pull of is a smile and nothing more cause half of the time I didn’t even know what they were talking about.

I started to feel as if I am becoming more and more hollow from within and started losing my appetite. There was a definite shift in my personality as I became hyperactive, always doing something or the other from cleaning the room for more than five times a day to cooking even when I wasn’t hungry or just randomly going for a walk all by myself when I was never this person. Thankfully this was noticed by one of my friends and she asked me to go for counseling.

That’s exactly when reality struck me and I realized no matter how much I try to cover it up I cant. I immediately agreed to her without any shade of doubt and she helped me in getting in touch with a counselor coz I just wanted that feeling to go away. But before everything else, I decided to talk to my mom. 

When I first told my mom I remember my mom freaked out so bad that she started to cry. I literally had to sit down and explain to her what mental health actually means and that I am not turning mad and this whole explanation process didn’t happen overnight.

I had to sit with her and clarify all her doubts little by little whenever she had some coz she needed to know what I was going through and to her, mental health was an alien term, something which is just associated with people who turn out to be insane.

However, after the whole process of clarifying all her doubts, she gradually started to understand what mental health actually stands for. After taking quite a few sessions of counseling I understood what actually triggered my anxiety and stress and even though today also I have anxiety and stress management issues, I am in a much better position in my life, to say the least.

Eradication of the stigma regarding mental health is the foremost important thing to do and it must start from your own family. Your family deserves to know what you’re going through. Not everyone is quite familiar with the term mental health so it’s our responsibility to explain it to them what exactly we are feeling even if it means that we are just feeling numb to everything. If you need help just ask for it, it doesn’t matter how big or small the issue is. Ignorance is not always bliss.

Photo by Matt Flores on Unsplash

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