Depression Doesn’t Discriminate Between Genders

Life feels like a blank sometimes. A big blank. People told me I could fill it with whatever I want. But the thing is, you know what I really wanted? To fill it with nothing. Absolutely nothing. I was scared to say it out loud. Depression. “Stop acting like a baby, and man up”- that’s the first thing my dad said to me when I told him what I was going through. That’s when everything went downhill.

My dad had always been that role model who represented everything ‘masculine’, and strong. In retrospect, I ask myself what it even means? I was told that I can’t be depressed because I am a man. But what they don’t realize is depression doesn’t care about your gender. It catches you by surprise, and seeps through your entire existence. I had the perfect everything. And out of nowhere, it’s like my stars decided to turn against me, and EVERYONE around me started doubting and questioning my capabilities. I have always been the proud one, but then, I mean, I don’t know to explain this, but your self worth takes a dip, right? When everyone is saying it should?

For one entire year, I didn’t leave my room. I haven’t always lived in Delhi, I come from a small city, and I don’t know how much you know about small cities. But there, everyone knows everyone. For months, my friends and relatives would come to my house, and I’d tell my sister to send them away. I had reached a point where I couldn’t bear to look at anyone, or have any human interaction. I had isolated myself, and it was satisfying. What I hadn’t realized back then was how mortifying it is- that isolation, and in all probability, I only made matters worse for myself.

My life kept circling between depression, and round trips to Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune- and repeat. Rejections kept pouring down on me, and all I could really ask- what was the point? But I knew my younger sister’s responsibility was still on me, and I couldn’t just give up. After months of futility, Delhi became my last stunt. I swear I haven’t told anyone this, but I was shivering. When I got to Delhi, I was shivering because I knew there was no way I could get a job. But I had to try. I owed that to my sister.

I guess you would have already figured by now that I got it. I got that job. And honestly, I haven’t looked back at those people in my life who told me I was worth nothing. My work has helped me give meaning to my life. I have always been of the belief that hope is the strongest currency we have. I want people to know – don’t ever lose hope. It’s the key to your soul.

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Author

Vijayendra Srivastava

Vijayendra works as Program Officer with Smile on Wheels. Smile on Wheels is Smile Foundation's mobile hospital program which is taking free doorstep healthcare services to the unreached parts of India.

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