Living with a mental illness can be crippling for an individual as well as their family. However, this journey can be improved with proper treatment and support from society. Ms. Shivani Thapliyal has been living with a mental illness for some years and shares her personal experience in this article written by her.
Living with a Mental Illness by Ms. Shivani Thapliyal
Ms. Shivani writes; ” Life is unpredictable, and that is the beauty of it. Since childhood, till a few years back my personal reality was little different than a normal human being, which I inevitably came to realize when I was actually being left alone. It was not a very good realization; it felt like the crack in the mirror glass. I was totally broke. It was problematic for me to do any work or barely talk to people. I encountered difficulty in speaking and conveying my messages to others because every time I was puzzled. I was confused because of mental illness, but it never felt to me that something was wrong with me until I started self-harming myself. When I started self-harming, I was living in Mumbai 1000kms away from my home. I wasn’t sure of my existence. It felt like I didn’t belong to this era. I started talking with myself and then in between my self-conversing, a thought came to my mind of shifting back to my parents’ house and then I packed my bags and left Mumbai.
But things didn’t change as I expected it to positively change. With time it started getting worse, and I was unable to hold it together. Then I thought of seeing a psychiatrist because nobody was ready to listen to me. During these ups and downs, I always kept doing the freelancing work, I worked in the entertainment industry, in the fashion industry and the media industry. When I first saw the psychiatrist, I wasn’t really sure of what to disclose to him; I was scared of being wrong about my sentimental thoughts and feelings because till that time I came to know there is something psychologically wrong with me.
And what I feared the most, it happened; I got diagnosed as a mentally ill person having three mental disorders. Instead of freaking out, I finally got to a point of relaxation, where I know what is wrong with me and I can make way for avoiding those situations or circumstances. Time passed by and I met a very intelligent peer support group, from there I got the inspiration of doing something in life after seeing there are many others like me, not facing the exact same problem but they are also suffering from mental illness.
As of today, I am dedicatedly giving my time to create more and more mental health awareness because I think prevention is better than the cure. I never want anybody to mentally suffer as I did. I learned it the hard way and I want to make it easy for others by sharing my hard experiences, unrealistic reality and ups & downs.
The person I was seeking for my whole childhood and adolescent life who can believe me; I got introduced a few years back in the mirror. Presently I am assisting others in efficiently finding out their goals and purpose in life, helping them to accept their unrealistic reality, finding out the solution of an emotional problem, feeding positive thoughts in mind and explaining them to live in the present moment.
As Indian, I know it’s incredibly challenging to accept the psychology or science because of our mythological beliefs and also there is no word in Hindi language explaining the mental disorders but as we are accepting the new form of living due to the current pandemic situation, we also need to accept and talk about mental health as if we are talking about our physical health. Mental illness occurs because of the chemical imbalance in our brain; it is not something that we establish to conceal behind the doors of reality.
Let’s get united and talk about mental health in an innovative, encouraging way!”
It is true that mental health can lead to many challenges for the individual and their family. Ms. Shivani’s experience provides a new lens filled with optimism and hope for others who are battling with their mental health issues. Mental Health Today wants to thanks Shivani for sharing her personal story with a mental illness and providing true awareness to people.