Priyanka knew something was wrong with her. Her anxiety and depression were not letting her sleep or stay awake. Her weekends passed consulting doctors, running tests, and paying huge bills. She was always a fighter but now she also needed patience, love, persistence and most importantly the right medicine.
She was crying
After a sleepless night and tiring day, one windy monsoon evening in Mumbai Priyanka was called by her boss to discuss her promotion. She cried and cried and cried.
Priyanka was a strong-headed girl with clear vision. Being the only sister of her brothers she was one of the pampered kids. But she always maintained high principles of living and respecting others. (decent girl with no habits of drinking or drugs). She found her adrenalin in hiking, eating home food, and spending time with the love of her life.
She married the love of her life and is with him for last 15 years now. There was no sadness or regret in her life. She was living it to the fullest.
After studies she took on full time job. She was blessed with many opportunities and after her wedding she settled in Mumbai which worked best for her and her partner. Mumbai is the fastest city of our Country and there is a reason why it is the dream city. Everyone gets a chance to live their dreams in this city.
With increasing work, Priyanka had lost sight of her personal health. But there were no complaints because money was still coming and she was always getting promoted. While she was advancing in her career she was always concerned for husband who being an artist always had an uncertainty of projects.
Priyanka was never one of those women who would cry for things like why I or I want this or rant about someone. But today she was weak from no sleep and was scared to take this opportunity and she didn’t know what was wrong with her.
A very expensive business of depression and anxiety
In November 2015, After the evening of crying in the office and then at home, she realized something was wrong with her. She spoke to family and friends including me (back then I was ignorant and stupid enough to advise her to think positive and be happy) but we never realized the balance was wrong in the internal chemicals and not just diet and thoughts.
After her repeated complaints of heaviness, headache, inability to sleep due to constant buzzing in her head she was taken to a neurologist. Being reputed and an MD in Neuroscience he immediately concluded she had stress and needed a lifestyle change.
So now she entered the vicious circle of a medical chakravyu(When you are in depression you come up with such analogy). Months after taking his medicine she was still unable to relax or focus on work because she was still having chaos in her head that needed pills to calm down and made her sleepy all the time.
Helplessness and Frustration in herself
Not able to cure herself she started searching Google(Disclaimer: Never search for symptoms on Google because they are always misleading) and she found that she might be facing Tinnitus, TMJ issue where the jaw joint dysfunctions So an expensive realignment may solve the issue.
She visited a celebrity dentist in Navi Mumbai and for next 6 months was taking weekly sittings for realignment. While all this was happening her crying continued in office, at relatives, and at home. Her constant headaches were now full fledged insomnia.
Money you can earn when you want but health? We all know when it comes to health we do everything to keep ourselves healthy and living. All her savings were depleting at a rate faster than it was growing. And by now everyone started to get bored of her story of headache and sleeplessness.
Next Priyanka and her husband went to every possible ENT in the town to find out if this was something related to the sinus. And then someone very intelligent suggested try Physiotherapy maybe it is a cervical issue. By now Priyanka had a full case file ready for the next consultation.
These two spent all weekends in clinics. But never did they leave each other alone.
What it feels to be depressed
The perception of everything changes when you are in depression. For someone as bubbly and cheerful as Priyanka was always angry, frustrated and feeling helpless. She says ‘You only see the negative side of everything. You are scared of people and even have an issue with everyone’. The crying doesn’t stop. For news as good as a promotion can also cause you to break down. There is a constant dialogue going in head that something wrong is happening or going to happen.
The negativity inside is not something we can express in words. The state of mind makes you feel that your loved ones are far away and unapproachable. A general physician kept giving 2 doses of sleep medicine instead of just advising Priyanka to go see a Psychiatrist.
Well, when you have loved ones around you they find a way to reach to you. One evening talking to her aunt Priyanka started crying and complaining of headaches and sleeplessness. And then the first miracle happened without wasting a minute She took Priyanka to a psychiatrist who diagnosed her Clinically Depressed. That day after taking medicine she slept.
The tipping moment in depression
The weekly consults began with this new course of medicine and consult. Her negativity and sleeplessness reduced. She explains her negative thoughts as short electric currents. After a few weeks, her medicines got over and she messaged her doctor for an appointment but this time there was no reply back. She waited for a few days but no messages or call. And her doctor wasn’t reachable.
As her medicine got over the anxiety had started to appear. She was getting restless, her concentration was reducing and she starting to see faces in front of her. Her mental state was disrupting and everyone was getting scared of Priyanka. The intensity with which her depression came back spoilt everything good happening in life for her.
She took a sabbatical from work and went to her hometown. Where she explained her condition to her family who in return gave a lot of superstition instead of medical intervention. After 5 days of no sleep and full drama, she had to buy Sleeping pills from a local shopkeeper. In a small town, everybody knows everybody and they all are one big family. In no time many people flooded her with concerns and remedies which again were useless.
While all the drama continued she got another consultation from an ENT for the vertigo screening test and while this was happening she got a call. A call which changed her misery for the good.
Hope and Depression
Family is equally affected if you are not keeping well. So was the condition of Priyanka’s Husband. One thing very important I learnt from them is they spoke to everyone they know about the problems and took the advice. In this situation, they both never left each other alone. Obviously not physically clinging but mentally and emotionally. One fine day while discussing her symptoms with a colleague he found that there is a doctor who specialized in these symptoms. This doctor had helped his colleagues sister. So he asked Priyanka to take the next flight and come back to Mumbai.
She did not wait a minute, she wasn’t sleeping and couldn’t wait for a single drop of hope. They did not go home from the airport instead they went to meet this doctor. Though she was supposed to meet a senior doctor who had already left for the day and so happens the second miracle she meets Dr Rahul Khemani instead. Dr Rahul not only listened to her but asked her to trash the giant folder that she carried with her calling it her case file. He gave her sedatives and depression medicines. He asked them to come after 45 days.
Priyanka was sleeping again. She joined her office the following day. The sedative was making her sleepy in the office. She found an alternative to the medical room she used washroom as a sleep room for few days. But after 45 days her dosage changed and almost a year later the medicines are stopped.
Mental Health is important
It took a lifetime of bad sleep and headaches for Priyanka to realize the importance of Mental health. But I write this story to help you understand mental health is as important as your body. Everybody should be learning Mental behavior in schools. Like primary education understanding, mental health should also be a human right. Sadly, mental health is still under-explored, less spoken about and highly considered to be taboo in our society.
Some important benefits of mental health for You
- Are Thinking of overall growth and innovation
- Make Optimum use of time, people and resources
- See the good in life and appreciating the beauty around
- Think creatively and freely
- Love your self and others profoundly
- Are aware of your thoughts, feelings and emotions
- Are brimming with self-confidence
- Take care of your self
If you know someone who is facing an issue please don’t just say think positive do a little extra and talk to them daily, ask them to see a Psychiatrist for help. Encourage them to take up healthy habits like yoga, meditation to understand how our physical and mental world works. Here is a quick checklist of questions that can help you crack a conversation.
I am not a qualified medical professional and I write this story to create awareness on mental health and importance of love and family. Here is my own happiness tools to cope with life.