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I was either a senior secondary student or in my earlier years of college when I suffered from mild depression. I can tell this today, but I was not aware enough to do so back then. That time was a blur, to be honest. I do not even remember the exact year it happened. But I clearly remember from the time the feeling of emptiness inside me. I was a good kid, doing well academically, and praised by teachers. I was lucky enough to have a tight circle of devoted friends who cared for and loved me. I had my family by my side, who supported and loved me unconditionally. I had a lovely extended family. I was even pursuing a music course since I loved it as a hobby. I had a community that gave me a sense of belongingness. Sounds perfect, right? Well, it wasn’t. And I felt so guilty about it. I should be grateful for the things that thousands of children do not have. But I still used to burst into tears often. 


I remember this one fine day when I was sitting in a room accompanied by my immediate and extended family. My grandmother was giving me an oil head massage. And I suddenly burst into tears. My grandmother and others started asking what happened. If someone mistreated me, am I sad, and if so, why? I couldn’t even say anything because I had no answers to those questions. All I could muster to tell them in broken words, while still tearing up was “Kujh acha nahi lag raha hai” (I am not feeling good). And I remember telling them that I was feeling empty inside. I was exhausted because I had been feeling such for weeks. When asked again if anything happened, I expressed my thoughts on how everything in my life was perfect. I couldn’t ask for more. Then why was I feeling this way? Why are my emotions acting up on their own? I wanted to be happy and cherish my life. I did not understand. And it made me sad and cry even more. Why were my emotions getting the best of me, and that too for no apparent reason? I felt lost and helpless. 


Mental health awareness was not very prevalent back then. Also, I come from a traditional family and environment. As a consequence, I never really considered going to a professional. 

I do not remember how long I suffered. But I did. I wish I could go back and tell my younger self to get some help. I am doing well today. I guess the love around me gradually helped me deal with my suffering. But all I can think of today is how it would have been better if I could get some help at the earliest and manage the pain, suffering, and prolonged sadness.


I recently first talked to a therapist having a mindfulness session. I was asked about how I was feeling after guided imagery. I told her that I teared up during the activity. I learned to express my embarrassing thoughts and emotions unapologetically since the day I was asked about it in the safest space I knew back then – my family. They did their best to comfort me. But today, I also acknowledge the difference between personal and professional help. Because professionals are well-equipped to help us. It did feel nice to get appreciated by a professional for putting out my honest feelings because it can be hard to do so at times.


If you are feeling blue for the longest time or are struggling to understand your feelings, please go to therapy. Had it happened to me at the current time, I would have sought professional help. Lack of awareness prevented me from doing so. And so I struggled alone. But, if you are going through something similar, you do not need to carry the burden alone. 


-Manpreet Kaur

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