Bipolar Disorder

The American Psychiatric Association describes Bipolar Disorder as “… brain disorders that cause changes in a person’s mood, energy and ability to function. People with bipolar disorders have extreme and intense emotional states that occur at distinct times, called mood episodes. These mood episodes are categorized as manic, hypomanic or depressive.”

A friend of mine suffering from Bipolar Disorder describes it like this, “If Depression is a dark tunnel, Bipolar Disorder is a rollercoaster which takes you deep inside this tunnel and out of it, over and over again.” As a bystander, it was always an enigma as to what she might be going through. Each Day was a different experience in itself.

Her diagnosis came as a surprise. It was during a low phase in her life when her father, who was a Psychiatrist by profession, broke the news to her. It was almost like it broke her. Her father was as helpless looking at his daughter’s condition as she was in her depression.

Bipolar disorder
• Formerly known as manic depression, it is a condition that affects moods, which can swing from depression to mania
• Symptoms range from overwhelming feelings of worthlessness to feeling very happy and having lots of ambitious plans and ideas
• Each extreme episode can last several weeks
• Treatment includes mood stabilisers which are to be taken every day on a long-term basis, combined with talking therapy and lifestyle changes
Source: NHS

The medicines prescribed for a condition like this are called mood stabilizers. When you’re ecstatic, they lower your mood and when you’re deep in depression, they lift you up. The latter sounds like a good idea, making you feel better when you’re in a state of depression,  but when you’re ecstatic why would you want to suppress ?

Well, it’s because if you don’t take your medicines when you’re happy, they don’t work when you’re sad. Sounds complicated right? Imagine dealing with this every single day and convincing yourself that that medication is important for you. And that’s not even the main problem. You wake up every morning not knowing how you’re going to feel. You only wish for the mania to last but all good things come to an end and so do your happy days. One day you’re on cloud nine – all smiles, extremely productive and enthusiastic and the very next day, the light seems to fade away, you lose your will to get out of bed and who once seemed like an extremely positive person turns into negative and introverted shunning everything.

I saw my friend during her highs and I saw her during her lows. It was almost like she was a different person in a matter of weeks. As well-wishers, we always encouraged her to take her medicines but a certain question of hers always intrigued me – “If I need medicines to be normal then is it truly my normal?”

Bipolar Disorder is not when your mood changes each day, it occurs in phases i.e. a gradual process where each stage seems  to be stable for a while before shifting. The two extreme phases i.e. mania and depression could last several weeks or a few months before the shift happens and when it does, you get absorbed in it. Doctors do say that between the two extremes, comes a time which can be stated to be emotionally balanced but one cannot seem to decide when that happens. By the end of the day, you are left in an emotional turmoil, indeterminate and confused.

Problems like these made me appreciate what it feels like to be mentally healthy and appreciate my mental health more. When we feel low, we might ignore it for a really long time but there comes a point where it is okay to accept that there may be something wrong and seek help. Trust me, running away from something like this is not the better option.

It is difficult to comprehend what people having Bipolar disorder go through. That is why it is important to listen to their experiences. Let us look at one such young woman diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and how she is spreading awareness about her condition through art.

Missy Douglas and Bipolar Disorder
Missy Douglas was first diagnosed as bipolar aged 19 when she was studying art history at the University of Cambridge. She said it finally joined the dots as to why she often felt withdrawn and melancholic, or precocious and arrogant.

Fed up with keeping her mental health a secret,she spent a year creating a painting each day to express her feelings. Controversially, she decided not to take her medication during this time, in the hope that paintings demonstrating her highs and lows would raise awareness of her condition. The following are some of the paintings from her collection.

Day 177 by Missy Douglas

Day 177. “I was really in a dark place here. I was completely in a depressive phase.”

Day 236 by Missy Douglas

Day 236. “I was burying feelings and my emotions were all over the place. Very turbulent.”

Day 242 - by Missy Douglas (detail)

Day 242. “I was at the height of mania here, but there was a massive wave of white depression heading towards me.”

Day 314 - by Missy Douglas (detail)

Day 314 – Mania. “I was buzzing and everything was technicolor and beautiful. I was flying and felt invincible.”

Day 359 - Christmas Day 2013 - by Missy Douglas (detail)

Day 359 – Christmas Day 2013. “I was feeling very depressed yet I completely compartmentalised and concealed it. The twinkly forced jollity hid the sadness.”

Day 5 by Missy Douglas

Day 5. “I was really anxious, angry and feeling trapped.”

In 2009 Doughlas left the UK and established her own fine art studio and art school in Brussels. Two years later she headed to New York and now spends her time immersed in the creative scenes of Long Island, Queens and further afield in Seattle.

Missy Douglas composition

Image and information source


What it’s like living with depression

When I tell people for the first time that I’m depressed, people ask me the one question that, to this day, stumps me, makes me feel like I just pulled my tongue out of the freezer: ‘why’.

Courtesy : TeenRehab

Now, this question is not entirely strange; depression is a product of many things-from death of a family member, to divorce, to a messy breakup in romantic relationships, perpetual negative reinforcement from parents and society to a bajillion other things- can cause it. But there’s often an expectation that you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and move the fuck on.

The real horror starts when, you don’t.

Failure is a part of life. Courtesy: osmanpek/Getty Images/iStockphoto

So I’m currently awaiting to determine how severe it is by a professional psychiatrist but I’ve come to understand that I’ve had depression for about eight months now. I can still function fairly normally and do most things expected of me. I can go to college and hold conversations, engage in a classroom and ask the teacher doubts, hold a decent CGPA and, if asked, have a ready answer about what I really want to do with my life.

Under most circumstances, there is no problem but, if you’d indulge me in a little bit of a cheesy sales pitch,

‘Would you want to wake up every day to want nothing more than to just go back to sleep for good? Would you like to feel tired for doing nothing and want nothing more to just have a sharp object so you can kill yourself?’

‘Then, boy oh boy I have the product for you its: depression!’

Depression is not just sadness. It is waking up every day with a heart full of pain for no discernible reason. It’s in the way happiness dies on our face because we are smiling to hide it from those who probably wouldn’t help anyway. It’s constantly, despite your best efforts, feeling completely and utterly useless and that, if you could die tomorrow, no one will give a shit. It’s being unable to feel anything if you can’t feel pain. No joy, no anger, no sadness just, the numb, emotional equivalent of TV static.

When nothing seems to matter. Courtesy: Elite Daily

Touching back on the pain, it’s the kind that feels like you are being eaten from the inside. That makes you a husk that simply cannot be filled. If it goes on long enough, it feels like you could go mad from it. Yet, all of this is discredited when unable to answer the simple question ‘why?’

When I quip and say I didn’t do it, throwing out how it’s possible that the death of three of my grandparents when I was in 12th affected me deeper than I ever let it, most retorts I get include ‘But they were old no?’ or ‘But that was years ago right? Why are you letting that affect you now?’ To this day, I have no idea why I have depression. It’s not something one chooses to have. As I said before, several things could trigger depression and it could manifest itself in many different ways.

To this day, I thought about killing myself several times. I looked at methods from hanging myself, to running a razor across my wrists, to starving myself; the only reason I didn’t was because I didn’t want to make my family unhappy I never attempted suicide yet. But I know I could if things go on like this.

To say that depression isn’t real is like saying one’s emotions aren’t real. Sure, many can’t see them or feel them but they are there. I’m sorry if this post makes you uncomfortable. Or reminds you of feelings that you’d rather forget about but I am telling you how I feel because I think no one deserves to suffer in silence.

 After all, silence is where the demons lie.


–  Siva

The Degrees Of Depression

Cigarette buds. Substance abuse. Sleeved shirts to shut out speculations about the cause of the scars on your wrists.

Some posts have to be written from the heart. Some posts need not be perfect in  terms of grammar or structure. Some posts need not suffuse the eerie charm that it ought to have held. Some posts are essential nevertheless.

Into the void Source: Fine Art America

I spoke to a friend yesterday. Given the peculiar drop in the level of my conversations over the past six months, I must say that we had a fairly long conversation. We spoke about the bad cripples caused by depression and about the worse cripples caused by a lack of understanding about mental health.

Source: Pinterest

For those who lack awareness, depression is a feigned escape from personal responsibilities. It is a self induced state of mind where a creature is seen to be desperately craving for attention and support for problems that are apparently illusory.


Those who are sensible enough to understand that depression, like asthma or cancer is yet another disease plaguing human survival again seem to place themselves at the ends of multiples bifurcations within the common head titled ‘The aware lot’. Majority of the people fall under the sub-head where they visualize depression to be a mental state of mind which holds an ambience equivalent to hell. The insides are layered lavishly in a combination of darkness, sadness, helplessness, tiredness, substance abuse and suicide attempts.


The sufferer has been portrayed in a constant state of abuse and is seen to be self harming himself or herself endlessly. There is an abject lack of interest in waking up, doing your daily chores and survival in general.

Is depression hell on earth? Source:


This notion about depression reminds me of a post I read yesterday. The post spoke about feminism and equality. It said that most men when asked to imagine female liberation often visualized a reversal of roles where the woman holds the baton of a chauvinist in place of the male. The post went on to make an interesting observation that a man seems to have either a constraint in terms of imagination or he must be too apprehensive about the repercussions that he would be facing upon the reversal of roles.


An ample majority of people have the same limitation when it comes to understanding depression.Unlike the above example where it is completely erroneous to imagine equality along the lines of an inverted power structure, it isn’t completely preposterous to imagine depression as an equivalent to what we could call as the pinnacle of agony. Neither is it completely logical to compare the illness to such an extremity always. To put it simply, like fever, depression too can be measured in degrees. A severed wrist isn’t a mandate when it comes to diagnosing depression. There are less life-threatening yet painful symptoms that could be possible signs of depression.


The friend seated next to you with bleary eyes which you assume to be a result of a late night football match. Did you stop for a moment to ask him if he actually enjoys watching soccer? What if he went to bed at 9 pm in the night and fell asleep only at 4? What if it is a routine in his survival?

Source: Chronicles of a lumpy person

The colleague seated opposite your cubicle is unable to control his urge to masturbate. While your gang teases him for being a lecherous asshole, did any of you pause for a moment to contemplate the possibility of it being a serotonin imbalance?


Your girlfriend wakes up at 12 am in the night to binge on a packet of chips. She goes on to visit the restroom with two bottles full of water. A few moments later she falls back on bed content that the taste of the chips would linger just in her mouth and not as an additional layer of fat between her thighs. Master plan ain’t it? Or is it one? Have you ever read up on Bulimia ? Have you let those consequences scare you?


Source: Girls Gone Strong

Your next door neighbor sleeps ten hours a day. Yet at the mid-morning get together on a warm Sunday, you see him tired. This week. The week before. Two weeks back. Endless loop.  Is he just a sleepy head? A manifestation of Kumbhakarna as his father casually jokes around? Have you ever lost sleep about him? At least towards the fag end of the night when the burden of your suffering has exhausted its share of rants completely? What if maybe, it is hypersomnia? What if he actually wants to be active but isn’t able to?


Your own sister sleeping over your shoulder. Perfect job. Dream car. Childhood sweetheart. About to be married. You glance at her every night. A long jealous glance at her thick stock of hair. Her back facing you as she has curled up to sleep on the other side. What if despite this all, there is still a void. A void wrenching the depths of her existence. Dysthymia in medical terms. High functioning depression in layman terms. Wait. You are shocked ain’t you. You can’t believe that depression and high-functioning can be used together except with a punctuation mark separating them.

Source: DeviantArt

Have you ever tried to roll her over to your side? Maybe the tears are flowing down her eyes. Have you even contemplated giving it a single try?


I am not trying to say that every person we see might be suffering from mental illnesses irrespective of the magnitude. I am only trying to open your eyes to the possibility that  there is more to a mental illness than the portrait of a bearded man scoring weed endlessly with several deep cuts across his wrists. In terms of awareness, you are far ahead in the ladder when compared to truckloads of your counterparts who don’t even possess an iota of awareness about the distress. Yet, I believe that it isn’t enough and there is still a long way to go in order to shatter the stigma effectively.


Thank you.




I wake up on a cold rainy morning. The remains of the rain drops are still kissing the frosty windows. They dance together. His fingers slowly move down to fill the gap between her thighs. I turn around to find myself in the company of my pillow. Apart from the companionship of the early morning darkness and my depressing solitude of course. I have grown to a point where I have begun to take both of them for granted. As the tips of my fingers touch the icy floor gently, the questions of existence swarm back to haunt me like the pack of obstreperous fireflies that pounce at the first hint of light. I swim through the questions in silence. A silence that is probably owing to acclimatization to the frequency of being bludgeoned by the questions forever. Like the woman who is a regular feature on a crowded bus. Numb to the ogles and the touches. A few accidental. A lot, lecherous and intentional. Sigh. My lips quiver under the warmth of the morning shower in my bathroom. My blood vessels rejoice the temporary retreat from the handcuffs of the cold. Five minutes later though, they seem to feel heavier. Maybe the idea of having to go back to the cold has hit them hard. Just like the way anxiety hit me midway through my yearly vacation last month. A psychotic state of wanting to make the day count and yet deciding to while away the moments one at a time. A common fear that the day would end soon if I made it count and would leave me at the mouth of the den of another Monday that I cannot run away from. The weight of my breath is evident from every heave of my chest. No, it is not physical exertion that is causing my loss of breath. It is far from it. My body works rarely. My job doesn’t demand it. After a point, it hasn’t even demanded an exertion from my mind. Masturbation doesn’t count of course. I get into my clothes pretty quick. Trousers first. Ironed shirts follow. Shoes that are bound to dampen during the commute. A bag that protects my laptop from the rains. Finally, a brain left behind safely in the bosom of my bedroom. The blows the questions deliver are currently intolerable. The strikes are made from fists of iron. Heavy. Hard hitting. The cab driver pulls over in front of my door. 8 25 a.m. Sharp. I move into the front seat. From the corner of my eye, I glance at Maya seated behind. For the past six months, we have only shared a weak smile. The crevices of my throat create hollow noises like an ill-kept vacuum cleaner every time I clear it to talk to her. I text her. Sometimes. It needs no eye contact. Thank God. Thank Satan. Thank no one. They don’t exist.

The texts end with an abrupt goodbye. I can’t keep it going. I don’t know to. I wonder how people find love on parks, beaches, cafeterias, social media and even in public restrooms. I rarely go beyond the timid hello. Let alone love. I smile at the cab driver. He has been with our office for 4 years now. We both share a connect. Not mentally. No, not physically. We both have similar job nature. The descriptions and the pay differ. Start. First gear on. Accelerate. Break when needed. Rev up the gears and throttle faster when needed. Stop. Same here. Not a car though. Microsoft excel. The questions are now choking me. Sniggering at me. Taunting me to give up. I walk into my office. Six minutes late. Smile at the receptionist. Take the elevator. Press second floor. Get out of the elevator. 10 steps forward. 3 steps to the right. Red seat. 4 feet by 3 cubicle. Lay laptop on the desk. Turn right. Stare at Maya. She turns your side. Look away. Avoid eye contact. Sit. The clock strikes 5 pm. Half an hour to go. 7 and half hours done on the immobile seat. Two deviations. One for coffee -11 15 am. The time of the day Maya has her coffee. Repeat procedure as above. Stare at her. If she turns your side, look away. Another again for coffee- 3 30 pm. Procedure. Repeat. Lunch demands no movement from my seat. Same rice cooked with dal everyday. Pop two lithium pills post food. Occasional lunch treats lead to deviation number three. Half an hour. Cafeteria or the restaurant opposite my office. Not exactly opposite. Clock strikes 5 30 pm. Stand up. Regulation goodbye. Look at Maya. Muster up courage to bid goodbye. Decide against it. Walk away. Down the elevator. Into the cab. Go home. Change clothing. Coffee. Hot. Three spoons of sugar. Too much. It doesn’t matter. Nothing does. TV. Two hours. Twitter. Facebook. Stalk Maya. Dinner. Roti. Today. Everyday. Two more pills.

The questions have now battered my bones. They have marinated me in my own blood. So, what are these questions that have been haunting me? Did I tell you? Did you ask? The blows. Left hand hook unto my jawbone. Who are you? A human. An organism. A face in the crowd. A whole world to my dog. A nobody to Maya. Maybe somebody? Maybe not? Not until I decipher what her smile three days ago meant. A face lost in a crowd of a billion organisms that are evolving everyday to different versions as an effect to the changes in the survival needs around. An unknown in a planet that is one among 8 ( or 9 ) others in a solar system which is within a galaxy housing million other solar systems which in turn is imprisoned within a universe which is constantly expanding. Wait. Who decided the boundaries of the solar systems though? Who said a galaxy ends here? They said Pluto revolves around our sun. Now they say it doesn’t. Will earth meet with the same fate? Will it be disowned by our solar system? Wait again. Who decides that our solar system owns our earth? Who called it earth? Our earth? Seriously? Right legged side kick to my thighs. What is your identity? Should there be one? Why is everyone miffed with having one? Some call it a passion. Some call it a purpose. Some find it in wives. Some find it in peace. Some in children. Some in work. Are identities subjective? Is it mandatory to have one? What else would push you forward? Why should I be pushed forward? Can’t I stagnate? Or does it exist? Maybe I am lazy to look for it? Maybe I am wise enough to know it doesn’t exist? But wait. Does wisdom exist? If yes how to categorically group things into wise and unwise. Right hand uppercut to my chin. Why should you live? Good question. I don’t have an answer. Not for this one. Nor for any other question? Why shouldn’t I live? What is the point when everyday is the same routine? Should I succumb to the warmth of hope that it would change one day? Does hope exist? Does future exist? Why not die? Suicide? Is it cowardice? Hell No! Why not then? Should suicide have a reason too? Again, why is the world bent to find a reason for everything? But what if things change? Become better? What if they don’t? What it it becomes miserable? What is better? What is miserable? Are they subjective as well? Right hand jab. Knock out. What is the right decision now? Knocked out. Too tired to answer. To confused to answer even if I was doing good. Let me try. Is there a right decision? What is right? Don’t say what isn’t wrong? Then, what is wrong? Is this a vicious cycle? What is right for me isn’t right for you? Maybe even wrong? Who said our morals should coincide? Should we have morals? Who gave the court the power to call something wrong? Is it wrong? Is wrong objective? Isn’t murder a murder always? If yes, why is a soldier glorified and a rapist condemned? Again, not justifying rape. Not speaking against as well. Is something objective? Something with an independent existence? Should something be objective? Three messages to Maya as against two so far in six months. Good signs. Maybe not. Final question. What next? Time is 12 midnight. Office tomorrow. Good night. Bye. Wake up. Repeat.

-Harihara Subramanian


One of the most talked about topics that is being discussed everywhere right now is the Blue Whale Challenge. As many of you may have come to known, this supposed “challenge” of sorts is one of the most manipulating and dangerous things that this world governed by social media has discovered.  But the problem lies in the fact that many people do not understand the seriousness of this repulsive game and take it upon themselves to voluntarily sign up for it out of mere curiosity. The whole “Nothing will happen to me, I just want to know what it is about” mentality of people today is something that has to change immediately.

“I felt my mind floating after the 15th step. I was obeying the commands of the game master voluntarily. It was a kind of hypnotism. My mind was being overpowered. I was scared of quitting since the game master collected all sorts of information about me and my family. But I took a chance. Fortunately, nothing has happened to me,” said Nithin Jose (name changed on request), a third semester degree student at a prominent college in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala who took up the challenge out of curiosity, reports Firstpost.


This challenge is structured to mentally manipulate you, even the supposedly strongest of us are at a risk of succumbing to the game. DO NOT take this lightly. Do caution everyone you know about the game and monitor the activities of your friends and family. The main targets of the game are the children, even ones that are as young as four are somehow gaining access to the game and it is about time we take action. Many schools have issued warnings to parents to keep a check on the activity of their children’s social media activities and to sit them down and talk to them.



Many young teenagers have lost their lives to this sickening, psychological menace and so many more are at a high risk of caving in to the same fate. It is your utmost duty to spread awareness about this and caution your friends and family members not to indulge in the challenge, even if it tempts them to. Do know that the game is also being spread through other names such as A Silent House, A Sea Of Whales and Wake Me Up.

Please be on alert for any odd behaviour of anyone you know and if they do show signs of being manipulated by this game, sit them down and talk to them. We are stronger than some moronic game and more importantly, we are stronger Together. No one is alone in the world, we are all here for everyone. Talk to people if you are feeling down and express your feelings, do not bottle them up. We all have to fight against this challenge and spread nothing but positivity and happiness. That is the ultimate goal.

– Srivasupradha Ramesh




” Poo pookum osai, adhu kekathaan aasai”. I wake up to a sweet voice resonating across the hall. When I proceed to identify the source, I was shocked to see a girl, maybe 4-5, singing in front of a huge audience!  This was part of a Tamil reality show, one of the many that have cropped up in recent times.

Childhood, for many of us is associated with happiness and excitement.  We were allowed to explore new places, meet new people, invent new games, and most importantly, we were carefree. The key element in a child is their innocence. This is why interacting with a kid brings me immense joy. They look at the world with a totally transparent lens , free from “grownup bias and emotions” like jealousy, hatred  or deceit.  As a kid, happiness usually meant those football matches during recess, or family visits to the beach for some “panju mittai”. Sadly, times have changed.  There has been a surge of reality television shows where kids from the tender age of 3 are being made to showcase talents such as dancing, singing or theatre.  In my opinion, these competitions are acceptable if they allow the kid to perform completely on his/her own will, without coercing them onto the stage. The judges should encourage them to perform for the joy of participating, and not winning.  These shows claim to be a platform for new talent to be discovered, but are often questioned over the age-appropriateness of the content.

The children talk too much and broach subjects that are not age-appropriate. At every age, there is a certain level of physical, emotional and social growth expected from a child. This cannot be violated constantly.”-    Dr Jayanthini, Psychiatrist

A still from the show “Junior Super Star 2”

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has put forth guidelines for such reality shows involving minors, and lays emphasis on age appropriate content. It clearly states that ‘No child should be made to perform or enact scenes or mouth dialogues that are inappropriate for his/her age, or those that may cause him/her distress.’

Often, many producers get away with this easily. These children are made to say things that they don’t really understand. They are exposed to a lot of negativity that will definitely have a huge emotional impact on them. How do adults have the right to alter the natural emotional growth of a child, merely for greed and entertainment? Another aspect to be considered is the early onset of a highly competitive spirit. Children are judged brutally and in many cases put down with a lot of negative comments. This can be a blow on their self-confidence, making them feel worthless and insecure.   These reality shows require hours of rigorous practice, which can be mentally and physically exhausting. How will they feel, if all they get in return is a slew of negative feedbacks and rejection?  School education and a happy fun filled childhood ultimately take a back seat.

Image result for kids reality shows

Some shows are known for its tearjerker moments. Be it an ill mother brought to stage, a family reunion under flashing lights, or even discussions on personal problems the contestants face, it has it all.

“Why should personal matters be discussed for the world to see? Children may not understand the consequences immediately and it is not right to put them through that distress on stage,” says Dr Jayanthini. “This is an invasion of their privacy and I would say it amounts to abuse,” asserts the psychiatrist.

Some states have identified the ill effects of reality shows and have taken action. The most recent example is the ban of popular television programme “Kuttipattalam” aired by Surya TV. According to the Kerala State Commission for Child Rights, the show was manipulating children to say age-inappropriate.

This topic has been highly debated across many public forums.  Some of the supporting arguments include helping kids cope with fear and depression at a young age, and preparing them for the future.  Some argue that it builds their social and communication skills. Personally although I am not a supporter, I feel that there should be a fine line between entertainment and emotional exploitation. All these shows should take care that they understand the emotional and physical limits of the children, and take care not to affect their self-worth in any way. These shows should also have a counselor who helps the children cope with rejection and failure.  Parents should also be ready to take their children out of the show at any point they feel depressed or uncomfortable.

After all, childhood is the most beautiful of all life’s seasons.





When your mental illness is so bad, you can’t get out of bed, when even the idea of facing the world is terrifying, I want you to remember that you are allowed to practice self care. You are allowed to stay home from school or work (you will not be able to work during a personal emergency, it’ll just make everything you are already dealing with feel worse.) and look after yourself. Here are a few suggestions on how to do so:

If the day is so heavy that even showering and brushing your teeth feels pointless, baby wipes and mouthwash are good options. Just rub baby wipes over your skin to feel at least a little bit fresher, and at least give you a little less anxiety about not showering. Mouthwash will help make you feel fresher for a few minutes.

If you find your hair too greasy, dry shampoo it and pull it back and away from your face. At least it won’t be in your way constantly, upsetting you further about your condition.

If you cannot make plans with anyone, or even go to work or school, tell someone you trust what is going on. Saying you are struggling with your mental health is not something to be ashamed of. Letting people know what is happening in your life will bring them to empathize more with your condition.

If you find yourself so low that the idea of eating makes you feel ill, drink water and keep hydrated. And when your body forces you to recognize it’s hungry, and you can’t even make yourself a sandwich, there is no harm in keeping protein bars, fruit or easy to eat food around the house or your room. Anything is better not eating at all, as not eating at all will contribute to your mental illness.

Collect a tool box of sorts for days like this: A playlist that is full of your favorite songs that can lift your spirits even slightly. A TV show/movie that has got you through a bad day before simply by distracting you. A book that is so imaginative that you get lost in it, even for a few minutes. Anything that can distract your mind or help, even if it is for a few minutes during a day like this should be part of this toolbox.

If you find yourself unable to sleep because your heart is thumping, your brain won’t shut off, all you can think of is the negative, your whole body feels like it’s one giant ball of unhappiness, find an audio book or instrumental music to listen to.

Keep a set of quotes that have personally affected you positively, just for days like this. Refer to them and remember how you have persisted over all your bad days so far. Remember that your mental illness does not control you and this is you at war. A war you will always manage to win, no matter how much it convinces you that you will not. It is your battles, your body against your mind, break those chains free.

– Kirthana Ravi


On 20th July this year, the world bid farewell to the lead vocalist of one of the most popular bands of this generation. Chester Bennington of Linkin Park took his own life that day and he was just 41. Linkin Park is a band that is revered by people all around the world not only for their musicality but more importantly for their relatable lyrics. Their lyrics talk about the emotional struggles that everyone goes through at different points in their lives and that it’s okay to feel that way, because they aren’t alone. Linkin Park and their music have helped so many people get through some of their darkest and loneliest days to see one more sunrise. And I belong to this generation that grew up with them, and their music has had profound impacts on me as well. Chester has left us completely shocked, confused and upset. The unique rasp of his voice and his strikingly contrast kind persona will remain unparalleled and will forever be missed. Wherever you are Chester, I hope you find your peace.


 We all have our demons don’t we? Voices inside our heads that don’t let us sleep at night, you might have yours too. You could now be very well going through the toughest of times where you feel like the days are never-ending and that the world is closing in on you. Life would seem to always be dealing you the wrong hand and nothing would seem to go right. Sometimes it could get hard even to think and breathe. There can be many instances, bad ones, that happen all at once leaving you swirling down the rabbit hole with nothing to hold on to. You could’ve put in a 110% of effort and hard work into that one thing you so badly wanted only for it to have gone to waste. Or people you once considered to be your world are now slowly drifting away and there’s nothing you can do about it or you could very well be in a room full of people yet feel like the loneliest person in the whole world. And most of the times, during phases like these; you’ll feel like there’s no point in doing anything, anymore. It comes and goes in waves, these emotions. And sometimes, when the waves are large and too strong, it can get very overwhelming. It is at these times when people decide that they’ve had enough, that they’ve had enough of life toying with them.


But please know that you’re not alone. And please reach out for help. Do not let one moment of weakness overpower you. It’s easy to convince yourself that you’re just another person amongst a sea of 7 billion others and that your absence here won’t make a difference. But it will. It most definitely will.


“The millisecond my hands left the rail, it was an instant regret”

Thousands of people jump off the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco every year but these very words that I’ve quoted was from a person who survived. A person who was amongst the 1% that have survived up until now.

There is always a way out of the dark tunnel you are seemingly stuck in, there is always a light. You might not see it now but it is surely there. There still is hope in this world and kindness in this world, all you have to do is just ask. Regardless of what you might think, there are people who care about you, all around you. Build yourself a strong network of support and help others build theirs. Every single person you see has or is battling his or her demons, you probably won’t be able to tell from the surface, but they are, just like you. If you need help, talk about it because it is high time we stop bottling up our feelings and thoughts. Always remember to be kind and to spread it. Sometimes, even the smallest of gestures like a gentle smile could have the biggest of impacts on a stranger who just might be having a rough day. And always remember, it takes a lot of courage to battle your demons, be proud of yourself that you do it everyday and still not let them win. Fight them, conquer them. You’re an amazing human being. A miracle. Never forget that.

I’ll leave you be with a short poem that I wrote around 4 years ago to kind of help myself whenever I was having a bad day and if you’ve had a bad day today, I hope tomorrow will be better. Because believe me when I say that most of the time, it always is.

A Ray Of Hope

A ray of hope is what I’m living on,

A silver lining to my dark clouds,

I do not seem to see it now,

But I know that my sun will rise.

Even this shall pass they said,

And a ray of hope is what I saw,

A new world just for me with a very new beginning,

Free from all that is dark.

And when my sun does rise,

It shall be so magnificent,

That it shall blind all those who see it,

And burn down all that bound me,

Till then I shall stay waiting, bracing the dark storm,

With a burning ray of hope inside of me,

So strong that no one could put it off,

That will one day set me free.

                                                                                                              –  Srivasupradha


New friends, new places,
I was excited to move into this town!
Taking in the fresh smells and new faces,

Soon, school started,
I walked in, full of energy
I made a new friend that day,
I was pretty sure we’ll be besties

We went to parties, shopped together,
And soon, our group grew even bigger!
That evening, she introduced me to the sweetest guy,
A big jock, apparently quite the celebrity!

His smile was so perfect,
and I felt myself falling hard, the more we spoke.
I was enjoying every moment with him,
Until one day, I was nothing but a big joke.

Bruised and broken,
I felt cheated.
Was I so naïve to fall for the wrong kind?
The romantic in me had been defeated.

I soon realized that school was not a very friendly place,
Everybody just seemed kind on the outside
But inside, they were all insecure misfits,
Afraid to let anything ruin their perfect image.


But there was one guy, who stood out. Shay.
Shy, clumsy, ordinary yet honest.
He never really cared about fitting in,
One of the many amazing qualities he possessed.

Soon, we became good friends,
And things were not so grey,
Valentine’s day was around the corner.
Oh well, just another regular day.

I decided to go along with the school spirit,
Participate in the valentine’s day game,
As I sat there awaiting my match results,
I smiled, hoping for one particular name.

Well, you don’t get what you expect,
My match was a perfect pupil, class leader,
I admit, I did find him to be quite the charmer!
So I sat there, sipping my drink,
Waiting for my knight in shining armor
As time went on, my hopes slowly faded,
I was oscillating between excitement and anger.

Soon, he had the nerve show up, along with his comrades.
His apology seemed genuine, and I soon accepted it with a smile.
Just when the conservation seemed to be going fine,
His hand slowly went down my dress,
He sat there, expecting me to oblige.

I was beyond outraged! My dignity had been violated.
Is this how a gentleman would behave?
The worst part was, my “NO” fueled his anger even more.
Shocked, my face heavy with tears, I watched him leave.

I could not take this anymore.
These people, were either perverts or bullies
One by one all my so called friends began to leave,
Taking with them, the happy go lucky child in me.


They made me feel like it was all my fault,
Was I such a terrible person?
All I was trying to do, was be a good friend
In the end, I was emotionally broken.

 Maybe, this could all be over,
With just a tiny slit to the wrist.
What was a little pain, compared to what I went through everyday
“Hey there!” I heard, just as these thoughts flooded my head
I turned around, there was the one face I did not dread.

Unable to keep it in, I confessed it all to Shay.
My problems, my feelings, they came pouring out.
His response, pushed away any traces of suicidal thoughts,
We just stood there, in a tight embrace.

That day, I realized.
All you had to do, was talk to someone you trust.
He was the best thing to have ever happened to me
Every problem just turned to dust.

20 years down the lane,
I still laugh at that phase in my life,
Had I gone ahead with my stupid thoughts,
I wouldn’t be staring at this beautiful sight.

Putting our 2 year old to sleep,
Shay looks at me.
Our eyes meet, we smile,
The romantic in me had won after all.

                                                – M.A.Ramya



An Open Letter to You

Dear You,

How are you? How are you holding up? I know it’s hard… I also know that it took you great courage to have come this far. I am so proud of you, I appreciate the part where you decided to not give up and fight this battle yourself.

Remember, you are so loved. We love you as an individual; for whom and what you are on the inside. We love you so much that we won’t give up on you. We will fight this together until the end, together.

Remember this,
“I am here.”
“I am not going to leave you.”
“Everything is okay.”
“I’m going to protect you with all my heart”
“I believe in you.”
“Hear my heartbeat? Just focus on it.”
“You’ll be alright; no one can hurt you now.”
“You’re not going to lose me.”
“I love you to the moon and back.”
“I will stay right here, okay?”
“Just breathe. “
“I’m okay, you are okay, and we’re okay.”
“You mean the world to me.”
“I don’t care what they think, to me, you are perfect.”
“If ever you want to talk about it, I am right here. “

Depression is not the end of the world and it won’t end your world, there are so many people around to help you out and get you back into shape. Don’t lose hope, because that’s what keeps us going forever.


Yours beloved.

–  By Kirthana Ravi