Ms J was doing final year of law from a prestigious university. She had been a brilliant student throughout her school & college life and was deeply loved and admired by her family & friends. She had some family problems like Alcoholic, non-working father, aged- ill but still forced to work grandfather and a nagging mother but she was managing everything beautifully. She was determined to prove to the world & more to herself that problems in life can’t defeat her and she will achieve everything as per her plan. Always standing by her side was a very supportive lawyer boyfriend (BF) for last 5 years & she believed that two of them together can overcome any challenge the life throws to them. She loved winning & hated losing. She was confident of a bright future ahead.
What she didn’t know was unpredictable nature of life. It so happened that her boyfriend’s practice started picking up & she was very happy and proud about it. But as the time passed she started getting less time & attention from her BF. She was OK initially as she had her own work & studies but gradually & unknowingly she started complaining & grew insecure about her relationship. She dealt with it in a most logical & rational way and talked to her BF about it. They tried to sort it out & rescheduled their timings to provide enough space & time to each other. Things got well and they were happy about it. Then again the time crunch started troubling them. Earlier plan didn’t work this time. They argued ,fought, complained and finally got frustrated. The BF was working on a very important case & somehow could not lend the time & support required. This worsened the situation further.
She was not in the habit of discussing her problems at home with anybody because she considered that family members had enough problems of their own & she should not put any extra burden on them. She tried talking to some of her friends but they were all busy in their own life. She started feeling lonely. But she was strong enough to fight it out on her own – she thought. She tried…. She adjusted…..she planned new things to keep her occupied. Some time went by like this …but she was intelligent enough to realize it soon that she was not the same person again. She was not feeling confident, her final year studies were getting affected, she had sleepless nights, she was not eating properly, felt miserable and cried at times. She tried to figure it out but her mind felt sluggish & she got irritated by her efforts. She started complaining about various deficits in her life…her misfortune, her alcoholic father, her nagging mother & her unlucky- aged-ill grandfather who was forced to work to support the family. She felt as if nothing good had ever happened in her life. In-short she assessed herself to be utterly unhappy, melancholic & sad. She even felt like ending her life at times. This is when it dawned upon her that she might be in DEPRESSION. She argued otherwise…how could she be depressed & weak. She was a meritorious, gold medallist, ever winning person. “No….I can’t be depressed, I will overcome it with with time” was her final word & she continued to fight on her own. Some time passed again….but the condition didn’t improve…in fact it got worsened. She checked her symptoms with some information available on internet. Some were true for depression…some weren’t. She could not find relief with some measures advised there for tackling depression. Finally she gave up her resistance & accepted that she might have developed it & needed to consult a professional. But still it took her 5-7 days to call & fix an appointment with a Psychiatrist.
She went with her BF for the first appointment. While describing the illness she suddenly felt like crying & was allowed to do so. It gave her some relief & she narrated the whole story before the Psychiatrist. She asked for reasons of her symptoms and was given a comprehensive Bio-Psycho-Social explanation. She came to know that she was not the only person suffering from depression & its impact on her personal and social life. She understood that like any other fellow human beings she was also fallible enough for developing a mental illness. “ Nobody is immune from it but only the risk varies among different groups of people” she was categorically told. She came to know about some common symptoms of depression as follows :-
Loss of energy
Loss of interest in activities
Poor concentration, Indecisiveness
Poor or increased appetite
Suicidal thoughts or acts
Agitation or slowing of movements
Guilt or self-blame
Some additional information supplied left her in no doubt about her condition. She was even assessed on some Depression Rating scales and it gave her the objective evidence of her illness which satisfied her queries further. She was then told about various treatment options available. She chose combined treatment with Medicines and Psychotherapy which had supposedly the best scientific evidence for improvement in Depressive illness. She started feeling better but stick to the treatment process as advised during her “Psycho-education” sessions.
She has totally improved now, has grown wiser about life & is better placed to face challenges.
She is not scared about mental illnesses. She knows various treatment options available are as good as for any other physical illness. More importantly she recognises that mentally ill people are NOT MAD as perceived by the ignorant public.
Article Topic -
Story of Depression
Article Compiled By -
Dr. Atmesh Kumar
M.B.B.S., M.D (Psychiatry)
Psychiatrist In Pitampura
Psychiatrist In Rohini
Psychiatrist in North Delhi