I was brought up in Ranchi, Jharkhand. I was always this kid in the limelight who was popular and affable. After coming first in the state in 12th board exam, I secured a seat in my dream College (SRCC). I started working towards my next goal that was to crack the civil services exams.
However, life had other plans for me. In 2017, a series of negative incidents pushed me into acute depression. I was bullied, physically abused, pushed out of running vehicles till the time I was scratched with a knife and left at a construction site.
I screamed and cried for help in the middle of the road. But suddenly people who once looked up to me started ignoring and blocking me from everywhere. I felt abandoned and it was one of the worst feelings that I have encountered in my life so far.
After feeling anxious and low for weeks, I needed help and went to a psychiatrist for consultation. My happy world came crashing down after my diagnosis was announced to me by the doctor.
I was diagnosed with anxiety, major depression, delusional disorder, dependent, avoidant and paranoid patterns, along with features of dysthymia.
It affected my capacity to read and absorb information. I was unable to comprehend simple sentences. A girl with a photographic memory who could learn 500 pages a day had struggles in reading and writing. It was a nightmare.
The next few months were all about therapy, meditation, counselling. But isn't college life romanticised? I always questioned myself why did it happen to me. My dream of becoming an IAS came to a halt and it felt tragic as my precious college years were just passing like that.
It went beyond what I could take. I self-harmed daily because that was the only way to shift my attention from a mind that was exploding with thoughts. My mother was shattered. My father never believed in therapy. No one was allowed to know that I visited a psychiatrist- it was a taboo. So I was pictured preparing for the services.
It was too much of a pressure to handle. I just wanted to put an end to my life and tried self-harming myself. But there were other things in store for me.
After suffering for a period, I started writing blogs about my daily struggles as I needed a medium where I could vent what I was going through.
One, I got an anonymous mail where the person called me 'Hope'. That message shifted my perspective of living. Be in service or not, I can embrace the journey of becoming a hope that once I needed in my life.
I started my own projects and came out with the idea of forming a community-based organization through which people suffering from any form of abuse or undergoing through mental health issues could seek help.
The organization that has been set up by me along with other volunteers, named Spandan, aims at providing various services to the community. Under this, I have started with various projects ranging from providing food to the needy to making mental health affordable for people.
In my personal journey, I have come across multiple situations where I was told that going for therapy is just a wastage of money. I want to change this notion in society and hope that more people find access to mental health services, especially in small towns.
With these initiatives, I have reached 10000+ students and counselled 100+ people for free. All I would like to say; Hope is the greatest weapon of mankind. We must cling to it for a better tomorrow.
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