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'I was unable to comprehend as to why I behaved the way I did'

Kadambari describes her 35 years of struggle with depression and bipolar disorder.

I have struggled with bipolar disorder, anxiety, nervousness and depression, since I was a little girl. These mental issues have been my enemy for the p

Past 35 years or so. I always thought that I would win them over. Little did I realize that they would also end up putting up a strong fight against me. However, I have gained strength to manage and cope with it and hope to do so, for the rest of my life.

I was just about 10 when I stood cowering in the corner of my room, shaken from the beating I was subjected to. I looked at the adults in the house, for help. I failed to understand why I was being punished. I knew that I had been bothering my parents and was different from my siblings. I harboured guilt for hurting everyone around me with my unusual behaviour. But, there was a lack of awareness about mental health issues in those days

I was nervous and used to tremble with stage fear during my performances. I was confident and an extrovert, but eventually transformed into an introvert and a reticent girl. I thought that I could win over the world, but grew up into an adult believing that I was less than ordinary. I compared myself to my classmates who I believed were talented and worthy.

I was paranoid about exploding under the impact of my emotions. Shouting and screaming without any apparent provocation was normal for me. To contain me, my parents beat me mercilessly. However, I believed that they were not in the wrong either. I considered myself as a stigma to the family who contaminated their prestige with my irrational behaviour. I was unable to comprehend as to why I behaved the way I did.

Despite getting admission in a management course from a prestigious institute, I considered myself worthless. I suffered the guilt of not being able to live up to my father’s dream of becoming a doctor.

At the age of 21, I got engaged and eventually married the guy my father chose for me. I broke down completely as I could not express the affection I harboured in my heart for a boy in college. I never considered myself worthy of his love although sometimes I observed him to be taking keen interest in me. He was curious about my unusually quiet nature. I felt undeserving of his love.

I struggled with maintaining my relationships. I failed to foresee that my mental issues are going to wreck havoc to my marriage. However, the universe ended up being kind to me. I was blessed to be married to a gentle and understanding soul, who was patient and empathetic towards me.

However, my in-laws kept constantly taunting me, which triggered the depression again. I attempted suicide three times in a span of 7 years and went through intense therapy and medication. The doctors informed me that I was suffering from depression and bipolar disorder. My husband supported me through the struggle, completely. He rushed me to the emergency ward past midnight. He stayed up all night just to make sure I was fine, in spite of several suicide attempts

There are innumerable days in a month when I sulk in my bed refusing to wake up. I take my medicines and choose to lie in bed all day. However, I am still hopeful and I am waiting for the days that will be bright and cheerful. I have lived an incomplete life so far, but believe that everything is going to change for the better and that these dark clouds will eventually let the sun shine through.

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