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There's a reason many of us have trouble sharing our personal battles with mental illness. The reason is the label our society has put on mental health; that anyone who visits a mental health specialist is “crazy," or “insane." Mental illness is treated as a passing phase or a hedonistic lifestyle here in India. Living in India and having...
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After 11 years of suffering quietly, I resolved to speak out about something most of us decide is a secret to take to their early graves. For years, decades, lifetimes of silence makes the thing nonexistent to the world. The only reason for this silence is the fear of judgment — from loved ones, friends, relatives —people who matter, and also,...
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Two years ago there was one thing above all in the mental health world that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and it was electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Not the thought of the procedure itself, but the side effects. As a nursing student, I did a psychiatric placement and part of it involved observing ECT. I saw the amount of...
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This article is available in English here. Sa kabila ng ilang mga kapansanan sa pag-iisip na tinataglay ko at kasalukuyang nag-gagamot para sa mga ito, masasabi kong hindi talaga ako pala-halubilo sa tao. Mas madalas na gusto kong mapag-isa. Kahit na ganito, hindi ko ito kinakahiya o pinagsisisihan. Pero inaamin ko, na kapag dumadating ang...
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Apart from the mental conditions I was diagnosed with and am being treated for, I am a recluse and an introvert by nature. Even so, neither of those make me remorseful nor ashamed. I admit though, whenever I am “comme ci, comme ça," I still do try to be a chameleon — blend-in so as not to emit eccentric vibes which may make some people uneasy...
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“I want a divorce.” The sentence I was afraid of was coming finally came from his mouth. It felt like a ton of bricks and an ache in my stomach. I felt like I was in a movie where the camera zooms out and shows you like an ant.Shortly after he moved out, I overdosed on pills. I was struggling with an addiction to prescription pain pills and had...
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Dear Dad,  On your birthday, and on every day, you should know how appreciated and loved you are. I am your daughter that was shy, was afraid of strangers, had separation anxiety from Mom (from what I hear), and was afraid of my own shadow. I played it safe and didn’t take risks. I tried not to be trouble. You worked long hours and...
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Dear Friend (On Your Birthday), We met almost 17 years ago, we dated in Grade 10, we had fun while it lasted (all of 6 or 7 months), and went through the “awkward” phase were we couldn’t be friends because “exes” weren’t friends in high school. But, that didn’t stop us for long. We didn’t realize it right then and there, but we built what we...
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A good support system can mean the difference between living a possibly comfortable life and suffering alone without help. We who suffer know that support is important, but so many people just don't have access to acceptable support or even a partial support situation. It is such a shame to see people who don't even have familial support, let...
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Have you ever cheated on your best friend? Have you ever betrayed the trust of someone you cared about more deeply than yourself? How did it feel? For me, it felt like my entire world collapsed around me. My husband — my best friend — no longer trusts me. I broke my marriage apart and now I need to pick up the pieces.  Bipolar mania comes in...
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This year my psychiatrist changed my initial diagnosis of severe depression to Bipolar II Disorder. For a moment I felt like my world had stopped spinning. I felt lost and betrayed because I did not know what this new diagnosis meant for me. For days I lived in denial and refused to accept it. However, a few weeks away from home taught me the...
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Until I was 16, I thought that my uncle had died of cancer rather than suicide. There was always a dark joke in the family that we have a history of mental illness in our lineage. There is the distant cousin who lived in a tiger cage because, well, he thought he was a tiger. My beloved older brother was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when...
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