Depression is a mental illness that is mainly characterized by persistent sadness and loss of interest in activities that one normally enjoys. In India, while mental health is still something that is not taken seriously, people have slowly and gradually started realizing the importance of this subject and it is becoming a more talked about topic especially amongst the younger age groups and a conscious effort has been made to spread its awareness.
While depression is becoming a topic of discussion, suicide, which can be an outcome of depression is still something that most people are either unaware of or fail to believe in. Usually, when suicide accompanies depression it is usually blamed on other factors other than the main culprit, that is, depression.
In this MHT conversation, Ms. Shalini Das talks about her journey of getting diagnosed with depression at a very early age and later being told that it’s not just depression but it’s the recurrent depression that she suffers from. Shalini’s parents being disconnected from the rest of their family was the starting point of Shalini wanting a normal family life, something that she never had and hanging on it wherever she could find it. In her struggle of finding what was “normal” for everyone else led her to become a people pleaser to the extent where she did not know what she wanted or who she was.
In these continued struggles, when Shalini went through her first big break up, she made her first suicide attempt at a very young age of 18 years. That incident made her realize that depression is not one single disease that happens to the brain but it’s almost a spectrum that contains different kinds of depression which generally most of us fail to notice or even ask about. It also made her realize that there were a lot of issues that she was not dealing with and was displacing them on other people
Shalini made her second suicide attempt when she felt she was carrying a lot of baggage from her past and could not carry the burden further. She lost all courage to live and decided to make another attempt at taking her own life. However, this time when she was saved, through the help of a supportive doctor she realized she needs to seek out therapy again, give it another chance, and thus giving life another chance. Through these continued struggles Shalini realized that she had been seeking validation from the wrong kind of people and furthermore realized that her own happiness was of utmost importance than anyone else’s.
Watch full MHT Conversation: Darkness around Depression & Suicide | Shalini Das
About Ms. Shalini Das
Ms. Shalini Das is a travel journalist and a marketing consultant based out of Bombay. She has traveled to 16 states and 3 union territories and written about some offbeat places and her work has also published in some great magazines and newspapers like Deccan chronicle and Entrepreneur of India.
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About MHT Conversation
MHT Conversations has been conceptualized with the aim to create a safe place for our speakers that is free of any kind of judgments. It is an online space where anybody from the mental health community or otherwise can come together and converse about topics that are relevant to the field of mental health. Ranging from personal anecdotes, struggles with mental illness, surviving through different low points in one’s life to experts giving their views on different therapies, disorders and even stigma related to the field, MHT Conversations includes it all and beyond.
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