Nitin, 16, a hardworking and intelligent boy, lives with his parents in Bangalore. Nitin also enjoys playing cricket and has represented his school in several inter-school cricket matches. He was in the 10th standard when he was affected withdepressive disorder. Here is a narration of Nitin's story:
It all started when I was an adolescent. I starting losing interest in studies although there was no pressure either from the family or from school. It was very difficult to concentrate on studies because I had lost interest in them and was also feeling tired and weak on most days. Soon, it became so severe that I stopped going to school for nearly seven months and lost one academic year. However, I tried my best and with hardwork and determination, I excelled in academics.
The condition that I had was recurrent depressive disorder. Although I was diagnosed with this disorder, the mistake I made repeatedly was to stop medication after each episode. One final episode, however, changed my life and I understood that I cannot live a normal life without antidepressants, whatever that may mean to others.
My episodes used to progress rapidly, within 7-10 days. During this period, everything looked gloomy. I would neither smile nor feel happy. Nothing, nothing ever lifted my mood even a little. I didn't feel like eating, I remained awake the entire night, and lost weight (4-6 kgs) in those 15 days. My activities slowed down and life seemed meaningless. I didn't find anything interesting or feel like doing any activity that used to interest me earlier. There seemed to be no hope for the future and I could not find any reason to continue living.
After consulting a mental health expert, I got Electro Convulsive(ECT) during each episode, following which I would suffer brief memory loss. However, I would soon regain my memory and no one could tell that I had less memory or intelligence than others.
One valuable lesson I learned is that there is no point in suffering with so much pain and distress by avoiding medication. It may have side-effects but I have found my own ways of dealing with them. It is better to bear some pain rather than suffer from depression. I will not stop my medication until I recover completely from depression.
This narrative has been created with the help of mental health experts by taking into consideration symptoms and accounts from a cross-section of patients. The story is not a case study of any one particular person but is meant to be representative of a person suffering from the disorder mentioned.