Updated: Jun 27
Story by Arjun Gupta
I have always wanted to become a doctor like my father and my sister and was excited for this journey as I joined their alma mater for my MBBS. But something wasn’t right and I couldn’t figure out exactly what either.
I didn’t think much of it initially and thought it was the stress from moving and adjusting to a new environment. And so, I kept it to myself. I didn’t think anyone would take me seriously or believe me, even. However, I knew that my mind wasn’t the same anymore. I became more pessimistic than ever with a growing emptiness within me. It felt like huge black hole.
Things spiralled out of my control quickly.
I began hating my existence. There was nothing wrong in my life. It was as good as it could be and yet, I didn’t want to live. I was becoming more and more suicidal. I let my thoughts get the better of me and found myself self harming.
I had no idea where I was heading to, as I started thinking of ways to kill myself. I tried to fight off these thoughts but couldn’t and ended up giving into my suicidal thoughts. Things were escalating quickly and there was nothing I could do about it as I attempted to end my life. But I failed miserably. Even though I am glad about that failure, I was seeking for an escape at that point in time.
This struggle went on for nearly 18 months.
My parents finally found out about this and suggested I visit a psychiatrist. I went there in hope of some magical medicine to cure all that I was feeling and found none. My parents took me to all the possible doctors. I even got psychotherapy, took medications, and underwent Electro-Convulsive Therapy but nothing worked. I was losing hope and felt like I was becoming a burden to people around me.
2016 was one of the hardest years. I did not expect to make it out alive but I did. My reason for that, laid in the film Batman vs Superman. It did something for me that no other human being could do. It offered me a glimmer of hope, that things would get better and that it was okay to live in the dark, even if the end wasn't visible.
But I continued to struggle, ensuing in my third suicide attempt, in 2017. I failed once again. I was just tired.
After that fateful event, I took it to Facebook, sharing a long post, recounting my struggle. The outpour of support I received was overwhelming and heart touching.
I decided to give psychiatrist and psychotherapy another try. But this time, it was different. I began cooperating with the professionals and put in effort from my side in the whole process. It took me 18 months to accept my problem. But the moment I acknowledged my issue without seeing it as a weakness or as my fault, medicines and therapy started working. And there began my journey of healing.
Today, I am the author of 2 books, to-be psychologist, a founding member of an NGO and a public speaker on mental health. I have been advocating especially for men’s mental health, encouraging them to speak up. It is a small effort but having been in the dark, I know it’s worth it.