A young achiever writes of the journey into depression and out
Life. It has an uncanny way of getting back to you. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured, you get the biggest setback of your life. It has probably happened to you. If it hasn’t, sometime in your life it might. It’s amongst the most painful levels of existence you could ever dip to, when still alive. People call it by many names. Feeling low. Gloom. Being ‘lost’. Clinical depression.
I don’t know when it all started. It stands as but a faint memory now. It was a combination of things – not doing well at job, relationship challenges and yet nothing that was very difficult to handle. I recollect feeling extremely bad. Emotions would translate into physical pain. A hopelessness about existence – nothing to look forward to. I remember not having anything to talk about – spending hours in loneliness, wondering if I even made sense when I spoke. I remember how irritating any input felt – music, TV or even normal interaction. I remember absolutely losing my ability to communicate. All because all I felt within was an empty, aching void.
It started as a “low mood” – then it was for a long while and not getting any better. I spent long hours doing nothing at work. One day I was surfing for symptoms of depression. It was only then that it hit me. I was clinically depressed. The solutions were all out there: Exercise regularly, no sweets, the works! And yet I couldn’t act. Just couldn’t get myself to move. And it only went from bad to worse. Sleeping 18 hours a day. Not responding to parents who were sleepless and worried. Not getting moved by a girlfriend who wept for hours on end. I was numb. I did not like me. I wanted to die. With serious contemplation I remember arriving at the conclusion that jumping off the building was the best solution for me. Luckily, I shared this thought with a few close to me. If I wouldn’t have, I’d probably have ended up doing it. The thought of my parents and loved ones stopped me.
Life, of course, went on at its own pace. I remember having to go back to campus of IIM- Bangalore, to give a talk to the incoming batch of my MBA school. I sat in the plane with a genuine heartfelt prayer that it should crash. Time crawled. The black hole seemed eternal.
It was not that I had done badly for myself. Quite the contrary, actually – given three published books and an NGO to my name, education at a premier business school and ironically also, a lot of Laughing Buddha columns for Life Positive. I was a role model to many. But in this state, I was ashamed to even look myself in the eye. I avoided people as much as I could. Suddenly, all that self-help I shared with people for years did not seem to work. My faith was shattered.
I have the same feeling ,but I have not been out.But I understand what you said. I hope I will get out later! Thank you!
Yes. A accept. Suddenly I got depressed today and now I am on the net trying to figure a way out. Instead of accepting the LOW I have been trying to fight it. May be this change of attitude or acceptance is the thing I have been looking for. Having been known as an able guy, I think I have not been able to accept that being low is not a crime, for whatever reason I am low now! Thank you. Let me try. Hope I will sail out automatically.
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