Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. It’s just a personal opinion and my effort to shed light on a topic which needs to be discussed.
Anxiety and Depression discussion in India is an understatement. We don’t discuss it like we do other diseases, especially the older generation. In India, mental health is a taboo. If you say, I have health issues that deals with brain and mind, or I am under depression or I am seeing a Psychiatrist, we are immediately labelled as ‘Pagal’ (Mad). Thus, we choose to ignore discussing such topics, or even worse, we ignore to go to a consultant as well, or simply just hide it. However, ignorance is not always bliss.
A recent report by WHO says India is one of the most affected countries in the world. The report conducted for NCMH (National Care of Medical Health) states that atleast 6.5% of the Indian population suffers from mental health disorder. Majority of the patients are young teenagers.
The stigma of having an anxiety disorder is real and it needs to stop.
Anxiety if not handled at the correct hour can lead you to depression, bipolar disorder, multiple personalities and many grievous problems.
So what exactly happens in Anxiety and how to know that you are suffering from it?
Let me start with an example:
I have always been an over thinker and an emotional person. I take things a little too seriously and close to my heart. I could imagine never how overthinking could kill me slowly. I first experienced a pain on my left chest while crying in 2013. I ignored it, thinking that it must be gas.because I had not eaten. It then happened again after two-three months, when I was sad. It then started frequently, if I am sad I would experience that pain. It was until 2017, the pain started to extend from my chest to the left hand. By 2018 early, it was unbearable. I had to stop crying so as to reduce the intensity of pain and finally the time came. I experienced my first Panic Attack in July 2018. It was my worst experience ever. I was breathless, my BP went high, I felt I had a cardiac arrest (and trust me when I say this), my heartbeat increased, and I almost fainted. It was bad. I felt so a weak from Inside for the next two days. Everyone around me was scared, they thought my heart was unhealthy. I undergo multiple checkups and found my heart completely fine. On discussing the symptoms, the doctors recommended me to consult a Psychiatrist.
I normally would complain about multiple health issues like diarrhoea, muscle twitches, zero bladder control, getting tired easily, high BP, increased heart rate, becoming anti-social, left chest and hand ache, excessive sweating, fearfulness, poor concentration, excessive worrying and a few more. They were all so normal that I never thought it was all happening because of this. I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Doctors were not happy to see how I had managed to ignore all of this for so long. I was asked to take rest and zero stress. I was recommended a tons of medicine. I was in shock and upset. I took a few decisions. I left my job, joined a gym and focused only on myself. I wanted to avoid taking medicines. I changed my eating habit and normal routine. I got multiple sessions in between and eventually have improved a lot.
Now I know how to handle stress and such situations.
If you come around me, I am so vocal and talkative, but I would never discuss how affected I was or am always. Now, I do. I share it with my people and it has helped me for good. My parents would still deny that I suffered from something like this.
So all my dear readers, please don’t ignore even a tiniest such signal and get checked up at the drop of a hat. Sought help with your friends and family. Don’t Hestiate!
Talk about it and spread awareness. Lately, we have seen a few initiatives around, for example, the LIVE LOVE LAUGH foundation by Deepika Padukone. They are prompt and helpful. I have contacted them whenever needed, and they would listen to all I have to say. India and other countries are still battling with this social stigma. We need to encourage people around us to speak and share. It’s time to get out of the closet and TALK.
Tips I would give from my experience:
- Always keep a check on your daily habits. It will help you trace the trigger.
- Workout/Run/Yoga. Take care of your health and try to eat clean. Do at least 3-5 times a week.
- Avoid foods that spur anxiety. For example Coffee, Alcohol, and Sugar for starters. The list is long.
- Avoid things that trigger you for example dark and sad movies or web series. It does wonders.
- Try not to be alone. Stay around people.
These are a few changes I had brought in me and have seen the changes. It’s Positive.
Thanks to all of you, who have made it till here. People wondering were was I for all these months, well now you know! All questions answered.
If you wish to talk to me and share your story or fears you can always mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to me over the phone. I would surely help you reach the right place.
See you guys soon!
Follow me on Instagram @thecrazywomansays