She was sad. She had come to the Psychiatry department, because she had been crying all week. Only she knew that till the last minute she was indecisive, whether or not to come in. But she came in. Waiting outside, she was reciting what all she had to say. So the psychiatrist called her in. "I'll be with you in a moment, please sit", said he. He gave her a minute to relax, for he too knows how stressful and difficult it is, to seek help. I couldn't help but wonder, what goes on in there? In her small, yet very fast brain? And then he said, "how may i help you?" "Hmm", said she, as it was such an open ended question for her to even know where to start from. She ended up sighing. "What brings you here?" She was shivering, trembling. He then asked, "do you feel comfortable speaking about your experiences?" "Yes", said she, as she needed to tell the context for him to understand her mood. You could see how scared she was, to open up about her deepest secrets. She opened up. Hardly, but at least she did. He was very considerate of her. There wasn't any good way to convey that she'd been missing her friends who'd committed suicide. Specifically the one to whom she was attracted to, but never said anything. Stuttering, she said, "I've been feeling very low lately." She had been isolating herself from everyone for the past month now. She'd also stopped talking to her parents properly. She was crying everyday. She'd stopped eating properly. She had so many aches and pains, but she concealed it so perfectly. She had lost interest in almost everything. The only thing she was interested in, was constantly criticising her existence. No one knew, she was jealous of him to be able to end his pain. She finally understood what he felt before he hanged himself. The psychiatrist was very straightforward, which she liked. At least, he was very open about it. He was communicative. Well, he had to ask. He asked her, "do you think about death often?" She was like, "umm, no?" But her mind was all YES. She had been going through existential crises all week. How she'd hoped that she would answer 100% truthfully. She had the classic signs of depression, but she hid it. So he took out his copy of the DSM 5. And she thought, ah, you're gonna go all SIGECAPS on me. He opened the page of depressive disorders. Went on to major depressive disorder, page 160. He laid out the book in front of her, and waited for three seconds. He probably was trying to figure out if she wanted to read it herself or would he read it for her. She kept quiet. He started reading. Although she answered "no" and "maybe" to many questions, what she felt was entirely different. Only she knew what she felt. It was a yes to all the questions in her mind. Only if she'd told the truth.. He said, "it's borderline depression. Would you consider an antidepressant?" Her reply, "No." Yes, she was depressed. And yes, she already knew that. And yes, she was trying to seek help, but her mind kept telling her to abort mission. She didn't mean to lie or conceal information, but she just didn't feel like sharing all her emotions. How could she explain? What goes on in her mind was how she didn't want to end up dosed with sedatives. How could she explain that she'd been wanting to hurt herself like she did 3 years back? How could she explain that there was a moment, an hour last week when she was wanting to not live? She was scared. She wanted to go home to her mother. So she gave biased answers. She knew she required medication, but her denial, always gets her into trouble. How could she not think about helping herself? He didn't prescribe her medication, so 'relieved' was she. "I would like to refer you to a psychologist", said he. Her instant reply - "NO". (Obviously). Both knew, she had trust issues. But how stubborn, to not try trusting a psychologist for psychotherapy? "You'll feel better", said she to herself. But her mind, her very anxious and rationalising mind, said "NO". After all, she got through last time. So can she, now. She definitely had the willpower. She definitely was strong enough to handle all the crap that life had been throwing at her. She did feel better, even though it was a brief meeting. He'd laid out her mind for her. She did get her writing skills back. So she ended up writing this piece, to let everyone know, they aren't alone. Many suffer, but they conceal it so perfectly. Some decide to seek help, others are dragged to the psychiatrist by their relatives. At least, we all stay alive.
It's worth cherishing, that the stigma towards mental illness has started to reduce and people are being very open minded. It's worth appreciating the people who go through so much, yet, they are standing, ready to deal with more crap.
She finally decided that next time when she goes to consult with him, she'd tell him everything that she'd written in her little diary, and read out this piece. She decided to be truthful, and help herself.
I can't help but wonder, why can't mental illness be like any other illness? Where, when you are unwell, your loved ones bring you flowers, chocolates and hugs, and tell you that they love you no matter what? Instead, what really is there, is tears, messy bedsheets and a bunch of other stuff that no one really talks about.