I don't know when, but it was only in November 2022 that I came to know I have been suffering through some untreated mental health issues- starting from untreated ADHD and being in the spectrum of bipolar disorder.
I have seen everything from witnessing failures in my career to losing friends and relationships! And much of it has to be attributed to my mental health issues.
Mental health issues... So what comes to mind when someone tells you that they are going through some mental health problems?
How do you react? How do you perceive it? Are you all ears theirs, or are you prejudiced? Or do you ask yourself, "How will I help you?"
The last question in the above sentence is natural! Whenever someone tells us that they have mental health issues, the first thing we tell us, rather ask is, "How am I going to help you because...!"
The "ellipse(s)" is the key to the question!
Why and how?
A couple of years back, around the end of 2018, I was shattered and into alcohol almost every evening because my "supposed life partner" ditched me over a "non-existent truth".
Weep, gulp the pegs, weep again, and repeat became my routine. My drinking partner listened to me because he needed my place and company to drink and pass his evening peacefully.
Of the numerous numbers I dialled, no one was convincing enough to bring me out of my "self-inflicted" misery, rather call it miseries.
At the end of every night, I told myself, "Chill, man, let her go. She was never meant to be yours. In the same way, you weren't meant to be with the girl whose heart you broke. Life is a cycle. Sometimes you are the at the beginning and sometimes in the end."
These words made no sense then, but now I understand what I was going through! Why my "matured relationship" ended only to leave me in tears at the end of a "fake relationship?"
The answer to both questions is the same- my mental health.
After contemplating for many months and weeks and asking my several doctor friends when I finally went for counselling last year, the counsellor- after talking to me for over an hour- showed my reality and what I am suffering through, and how I can get "cured."
My life is messed up. This mess has made my vision hazy, and to clear my vision, I need proper treatment, counselling, and guidance. Drastic lifestyle changes and inculcating some positive hobbies might help me improve my mental health.
I say "might" because leaving mental issues untreated could lead to serious consequences.
"I can only be a guide and show you the path. The real fighter is you," my counsellor told me while explaining to me the role a counsellor and a psychologist have in helping someone fight against his waning mental health.
I get angered easily. I get irritated at the drop of a hat. I have anxiety issues. And I have to fight against them and walk through them on my own. My friends and loved ones can only push and guide me from outside, just like my counsellors.
"As a friend, I thought you would understand why I have anxiety issues" is something I should not expect anyone to understand. As... they won't! Why?
Because... Because most of them are also like me. They also have severe mental health issues. The only difference is that they don't acknowledge and accept it.
It is not a crime if you have mental health issues. From my fight, I can only say that get yourself checked and treated and fight strongly. There will be weaker moments, and there will be weaker moments than the ones you just experienced. That is okay. There will be people you will feel have not understood you even though they say they understand you. That is okay. That is normal.
To feel that the world doesn't understand us is another symptom of waned mental health.
Mental health issues can be treated. Mental health issues should be treated. Don't think what the world will say if they know you are diagnosed with mental health issues. Let the world go to hell. This is your life. Make it the best.
My fight is far from over. I am fighting, and I will continue fighting until I win.
Partha Prawal (Goswami) is a Guwahati-based journalist who loves to write about entertainment, sports, and social and civic issues among others. He is also a published author.