When I had to save myself from depression

Published: February 24, 2015

This was my routine to de-stress my boiling brain. I closed my eyes in a futile attempt to give my superbly loquacious brain some rest. PHOTO: REUTERS

My colleague said something (not) funny again and the room roared with laughter.

Knowing that I did not share the mood in the room, I grabbed my tea and headed for the corridor. That long corridor with a single window was my solace. There, I rested my head against the wall and stared out for a while. This was my routine to de-stress my boiling brain. I closed my eyes in a futile attempt to give my superbly loquacious brain some rest.

Sometimes I wished I could run far, far away from the noise, nuisance and people, and sleep for eons. Other times I thought of quitting my job and just sleep. Peace and sleep – the only two things I craved. As I drifted into my familiar turf of daydreaming, my brain started to nag me:

“No, you cannot resign, okay? You know your brother’s semester fee slip is about to arrive. How can you be so selfish? You can’t stop earning when your father is old, tired and travels to another city daily? You even have to take your mother to doctors”.

“And… what if…”

“Saira, are you all right?” 

A sudden voice jerked me out of my trance. It was my boss, looking anxiously at me. Slightly embarrassed, I reassured him of my sanity and went back to the room.

This much was bearable for me; after all, I was just stressed as anyone else. But then things started to get worse. I developed a hormonal problem and went to see a gynecologist who confirmed that I had cysts in my ovaries (polycystic ovaries).

Shocked, I got it confirmed from three different doctors. In fact, one was rude enough to say I was infertile. As you can imagine, it robbed me of sleep. Infertility ran in my family and I could not find any medical explanation for that (not even to this day). For the many months that ensued, I could not get rid of the worrisome feeling of what might happen if I really were infertile.

What made matters worse was my advancing age and a chronic singleness. I was moving towards my late 20s with no suitable rishta in sight. All my friends were married, offshore and living happily with their families. I had nobody to speak to; in fact I did not want to speak to anyone. I transformed from a normal person into an aloof, stressed, and tired being who neither heard nor spoke to anyone. Since it was all in my head, people could not see any physical manifestations. I was just a dormant zombie.

And then the physical manifestations began. My body had had enough. I developed insomnia. Every time I attempted to sleep, my body would jerk me out of it. It would happen continuously each night. It was so severe that I was on the verge of cracking up. The anxiety grew and so did the jerking. I thought it was epilepsy. I felt like screaming at everyone and everything around me. However, belonging to a medical profession myself, I knew I needed help and I needed it fast, because things were slipping out of my hand way too quickly.

I saw a couple of psychologists, neurologists and epilepsy specialists, who eventually put me on sedatives. It was after much searching and running around here and there that I found a good psychiatrist. As soon as I walked into his office, I burst into tears. It was hard for me to explain what I was going through. He sat there patiently listening to my sobs, grievances, reservations and fears – all punctuated with bouts of painful silence. It was perhaps for the first time in years that I shared my feelings with anyone.

My diagnosis was simple – depression. My body and brain could not take any more stress and they had started to react – with insomnia, sleep jerks (hypnic jerking), panic, and anxiety.

My treatment continued for one year and I began to get better. Finally, a time came when I told my doctor I was no longer suffering from depression and wanted to quit the medications.

And I did. I am not suffering from depression anymore.

Even though the problems that gnawed at me still persist, I have learned to keep them at bay without affecting my life. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and pharmacotherapy have not cured my problems; they have just taught me how to deal with them. I have come to realise a simple thing; you cannot take charge of everything and mould things your way. Some things are beyond your control and you have to accept them the way they are.

It took me two years to muster up the courage and write about my condition. Depression is remarkably common and affects 50% more females than males. Most of us deny and ignore it for years until the matter slips out of our hands. Depression is more complex than we think. It takes several months to diagnose it and at least a year to cure.

But the first step is to acknowledge that you have a problem.

I am a professional and independent woman. Despite the prolonged denial on my part, I could always afford treatment. I dread to think what might happen to people, particularly house-bound women, who cannot express their feelings, much less afford treatment.

All I can say is,

“Sometimes we need to save ourselves from us, don’t be in denial, speak to someone today. Get well soon.”

This post originally appeared here.



The blogger wishes to remain anonymous.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Sparrow

    you are a brave girl indeed!Recommend

  • Sparrow

    you are a brave girl indeed!Recommend

  • Vegetable Man

    “Sometimes I wished I could run far, far away from the noise, nuisance
    and people, and sleep for eons. Other times I thought of quitting my job and just sleep. Peace and sleep – the only two things I craved”

    Me too, although i am not depressed… i am just lazy.Recommend

  • Abyss

    I hear ya brother!Recommend

  • Fade To Black – Metallica

    Life, it seems, will fade away

    Drifting further every day

    Getting lost within myself

    Nothing matters, no one else

    I have lost the will to live

    Simply nothing more to give

    There is nothing more for me

    Need the end to set me free

    Things not what they used to be

    Missing one inside of me

    Deathly lost, this can’t be real

    Cannot stand this hell I feel

    Emptiness is filling me

    To the point of agony

    Growing darkness taking dawn

    I was me, but now he’s gone

    No one but me can save myself, but it’s too late

    Now I can’t think, think why I should even try

    Yesterday seems as though it never existed

    Death greets me warm, now I will just say goodbyeRecommend

  • Shahzad Khan

    beautiful written I think most of us are depressed these days Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    There are times when one wishes that he could take away the troubles of a person no matter what the penalty on his own self. This is one of those times.I am very happy that you have been able to stay strong and beat what ailed you.Recommend

  • Tabish Rehman

    We live in a denial of our reality and come up with excuses and reasons to blame everyone else for our problems. Self realization is the only way to progress, I am happy that you found that confidence inside of you to address your issues. Although this experience has taught you a lot indeed but it is now also your responsibility to help others even though this article might be an attempt at doing so, but it is not enough… I wish the very best of luck to you in all future endeavors, If there is any help you need with anything feel free to ask!Recommend

  • Vijay

    Good article, finally each one is his own friend, each one has to find answers and solve life’s problems with some help from others.Recommend

  • Parvez

    ‘….some things are beyond your control and you have to accept them as they are. ‘ that was profound, but easier said than done. I thought that was well written.Recommend

  • A

    Hang in there, and also the doctor was not right. PCOS does not always mean infertility. It may indicate a difficulty in getting pregnant, but no way does it imply infertility. So keep your hopes upRecommend

  • https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=8559594100366660134#allposts Supriya Arcot

    Hmmmm depression, disenchantment … Disillusionment … Been there done that … Accepting that I have / had a problem with the current situation is the half the prob solved like U rightly pointed out .Recommend

  • Anonymous

    now a days everyone suffers from depression. life is tough full of frustrations and setbacks hope and mental strength keeps one going.Recommend

  • Aamir

    A good explanation of your situation. A very important message. And at last, a very well composed article. bravoRecommend

  • haseeb khan


  • http://tinyurl.com/naturalcuredepression Yolanda

    Yes it’s true, antidepressants are both dangerous and ineffective ways
    of curing depression, yet big pharma keeps encouraging us to swallow
    more pills.

    I was depressed for a long time and as a young person of only 25 years old it was hard for me to cope.

    Luckily I found natural ways to cure depression that are not harmful to the body and work much better.

    If you want to learn more about the dangers of antidepressants and how to cure depression naturally, you can go here http://depressioncure.me.pn/

    There’s also a self-assessment test you can take to know if you’re depressedRecommend

  • Ainy

    inspired by dipeeka padakon? disclosing depression ?Recommend

  • Ainy

    so true. i dont know y writer even dont tried to google this …as PCOs dosnt mean infertility.Recommend

  • Me

    Antidepressants are dangerous but they certainly do help. My sister who is suffering from depression took them for almost a year and she is much better than before.Recommend

  • Me

    Depression is a horrible disease. Wouldn’t even wish it on my worst enemy. My sister suffers from it and from the day of her diagnosis till now me and my parents life has completely changed. The stress that we had to endure because of her condition was unbearable.Recommend

  • thriftysmurf

    This sounds more like stress than depression; although stress can cause depression too. Stress related depression is easily treatable with exercise and diet. Going for a run everyday and abandoning unhealthy foods like sugar, hydrogenated oil, soda, and most grains will help. Depression resulting from trauma or isolation is much harder to treat.Recommend

  • thriftysmurf

    Thats my second favorite song of all time, but why say those lyrics to someone whos already depressed? its like showing food to the hungry….Recommend

  • Another depressed soul

    U r not alone,Saira

    well,I’m someone who suffered from depression right from the time I started understanding…My father was a military person who brought the same discipline inside the house…My mother was a whiner…Instead of raising a child,they were actually grooming a racehorse in me…

    They wanted to make me study well and get a good job..For that,I wasnt allowed to play,I was regularly beaten even if I got 95% and most importantly the humiliation,I used to dread when guests arrive because my parents used to just tease me in front of others because they had this sick belief that children will get spoilt if they are praised but will work harder if they are ridiculed…

    School wasnt any different,because of my then small frame,glasses,being teacher’s pet and the fact that my parents tease me in front of my friends made me a constant target of bullying…Sometimes I never knew which was worse,school or home….

    Thankfully,I did well in studies..Got good marks,went to a good college,got placed directly to a software firm and within 3 years,I went to USA for onsite work…

    For others,I might be leading a happy life but I’m dying within every day…I live a normal life during day but the moment between u lie down in the bed and the time u sleep are the most hardest because all ur past memories come rushing in and we have an elephants memory when it comes to this and most of them feel as if it was done just yesterday..

    I try to come out and even attempted suicide few times but now I’m alright…I have no choice but to live with my past just like a poor guy who had to limp everyday after losing his leg…..

    We are stronger than we really think we are…Rather than fighting depression,accept it as a part of life,develop stockholm syndrome towards it and move on…Maybe this might help uRecommend

  • Abelee

    site is excellent and so is how the subject matter was explained. I also like
    some of the comments too. Waiting for next post.

  • http://www.vasist.com/ Vasist com

    You are very courageous lady….to publically accept your problem, its remedy and your current state……I totally agree with you that one have to identify the problem and address it as soon as possible…..now a days everyone suffers from depression. life is tough full of frustrations and setbacks hope and mental strength keeps one going. <a

  • Abelee

    I like
    this blog thanks for such a great article.


  • Saira Zulfiqar

    Another depressed soul,

    Thank you for sharing your story. We all are depressed in way or another. However, the more the time passes, the more we realize that only we control ourselves, our emotions, health and well being. I hope you get well soon and stay strong and happy.Recommend

  • http://therapyintoronto.com/ Therapy in Toronto

    Very interesting article…..Recommend

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    such useful information that can help everyone who read it from here.

  • ENGD123

    informative website I found today. I will surely save it for future.

  • fifadee

    Yours post is the
    best I have discovered so far today. Thank a lot for this sharing.

  • Muhammad Ismail Mahmudi

    Saira must be be congratulated and praised forher brave and realistic attitude.It must have been a Positive outlook on Life dat convinced her to consult a Psychiatrist.(probably being associated with Medical profession helped her).Recommend