MEET RISHI

A 19 year old boy who hates talking to people because he’s so agitated all the time, crying himself to sleep every night. Even Gayatri and Kunal kind of avoid meeting him, his best friends from school. Now, obviously not being much of a people’s person, he’s a loner in college too, pursuing a course which he chose for himself but now loathes. So boring, right? His parents Mr. & Mrs. Agarwal running in the corporate race,making both ends meet, after coming back from their work, fight. Frustrated with their life, they shout and argue and taunt till one of them is too tired to even comprehend the present situation. But this does not make Rishi sad because this is normal in his family. On weekends when they finally have a little time, they go out for movies, with pin drop silence in their car, on the way to theater and on the way back home.

These days Mr. & Mrs. Agarwal are a little concerned about Rishi because he’s completely wasting his life. He’s sleeping all the time, doesn’t go out, has no hobby and the only type of conversation they have with him is when they end up saying “Shut up and learn to talk respectfully”, making them even more frustrated.

So, one fine day Mr. Agarwal decides to give Rishi a pep talk, he goes up to him and asks, “Now what’s wrong? This behavior of yours is completely unjustified, we provide you with everything, you have chosen the course of your interest, then what’s so upsetting? Neither you are focusing on your college nor are you trying to do anything else. Stop acting like a loser and start making something of yourself. You act as if we have been torturing you. Is someone hurting you?”, Rishi thinking to himself, “should I again try to explain or should I not”?, feeling really vulnerable Rishi decided to explain, “Dad, no one’s hurting me and I don’t know how to make you understand, but I feel sad all the time. Even I don’t understand what’s wrong with me, but I think I might have depression…”, interrupting him, Mr. Agarwal says,” Oh my god! I’ve told you before also this depression and all does not exist. All these stupid illnesses have been created by these so called counselors to steal our money, don’t believe everything you read on internet. This is all just a way of these doctors making money by stealing ours. You are not some crazy person, I’m sure of that.” Rishi getting furious, says, “ Having depression does not make a person crazy, don’t you understand!” Mr. Agarwal again interrupting, says “ Your irrelevant and obnoxious excuses to just laze all day is just making me sick. Enough is enough. From tomorrow I want all of this to stop and you’ll attend your college daily and I want to see results. You are getting all these stupid ideas because you have nothing to do. You were not like this before, Rishi. We love you but you need to get back on track. You need to be a little strong or you’ll regret this attitude in future”, his father exits the room leaving Rishi alone, making him think that he’s some kind of a loser.

Now Rishi had to take this matter in his own hands. As he was mentally too weak to do anything he was also determined to get out of it as soon as possible. So he took away some money from his parents, without them knowing, and with some of his pocket money, he consulted a renowned and a certified psychiatrist. Later, he was diagnosed with clinical depression. His psychiatrist stated that due to constant bullying in school, even though it was in a playful manner made him lose all his confidence and gradually affected his social life and his studies. This was the trigger point for his depression. He also could not confine his problems into his friends because he was too ashamed to do so.

He completed his treatment in 6 months and became a healthy adult and back to being himself again. Now, he was prepared to face any challenge coming his way with full strength and optimism because this illness called depression left him as strong as ever.

This is to let all the readers know who think the same as Mr. Agarwal, that mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and so many other illnesses do exist and people suffering from such illnesses need medical treatment just like any other illness. Having depression is as normal as having food poisoning. It’s high time we break the stigma.

– SAUMYA SINGH

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