• 20 Dec
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    Body Dysmorphic Disorder-I hate the mirror

    body dysmorphic disorder

    I see all these girls look at themselves happily in the mirror as they get dressed.

    I am jealous of them.

    I wish I could face myself like that. But the truth is, I hate the mirror.

    I am afraid of what it may show me.

    Will it show me an inflated doll? Or will it show me a crinkled old woman?

    I felt like I am withering away, yet I couldn’t bring myself to eat.

    I felt that each morsel I eat could add layers to my body.

    I started to wear more and more loose clothes. I reduced to go out.

    I locked myself in my room.

    My parents were worried but had no idea what to do.

    They thought it was just teenage hormones, that I was withdrawing after a bad break-up. If only they knew.

    I started cutting myself. The pain would help me stop thinking about my body.

    I hated my body!

    If it was so horrible, what difference was a few cuts going to make.

    One day my mother walked in when I was cutting, and the shock on her face was unimaginable. I could say that she was really scared.

    A doctor came, and asked to hospitalize me.

    They had to feed me because I was losing essential nutrients.

    I was resisting because I didn’t want to put on weight. Then they sent a psychologist to me.

    I was very skeptical at first, but as I spoke to her, I realized that she knew what I was going through.

    We did a lot of art together, and she told me she had worked with other girls with similar issues, and they are not scared of the mirror anymore.

    Little by little, I got comfortable with my body. Slowly, I started to go out sometimes.

    I began my studies again. I didn’t hide in my room anymore.

    Today it’s an entire two years since I was hospitalized. Today is Diwali. I am looking at myself in the mirror as I get ready. I don’t hate the mirror any more.

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  • 20 Dec
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    ADHD-How timely diagnosis helped me choose my career effectively


    “Pay Attention !”

    Pay attention, she said. They all said that. And they said it over and over again.

    Sit straight. Look at me. Pay attention.

    frown I can’t! I can’t pay attention. I don’t learn if I am sitting straight and I don’t learn by looking at you. I’m an energetic kid. I learn as I rock my chair, as you move, and I look at your moving steps.

    I learn as I explore and discover. I learn as I move around the class. I learn if you teach it in a way that I understand. But no one understood me. No one.

    For them, I was just a naughty child. A child who never studied and who always stirred up trouble. They always called me naughty. So I became naughty.

    They never taught me how I liked to be taught anyway. I mixed up with the wrong company, and  spent most of the time outside class. Things were getting bad.

    My parents thought of changing my school as a last attempt to resolve this. It looked like things would be the same.

    The first time I couldn’t pay attention, the teacher asked me if I was worried about something. No one has asked me that before. But I couldn’t talk to her.

    So she sent me to the school counselor.

    And things changed. We spoke of the problems I face, and she told me that many children have this issue.

    Children have many ways of learning and this is just one of them. Everyone does not like to sit down in order to learn.

    She told me what I had was called ADHD, but many people tend to give only medicines to their kids for this, and not actually work with them for better learning habits.

    My parents understood. We checked and the need for medicine wasn’t high.

    It was more important to work on my learning habits and to find a career for me which would suit my needs. Slowly, all the teachers and classmates accepted me.

    But the big question remained : what career could I choose?

    That’s when I realized what it would be. I was doing a charity event in my neighbourhood. I loved running around, making sure everything was okay. Before I completed one thing, the other would require me. It was perfect for me! So that’s what I decided to do. I went for event management.

    Today, I have the most vibrant event management company, and a very happy family. And I don’t tell my children to sit straight.

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  • 20 Dec
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    Bipolar Disorder-Mood like a seesaw

    bipolar disorder

    All of you are lucky, because for the most part, you can control how you feel.

    You don’t suddenly feel very happy or very sad. A constant mood is a blessing, a mood which only changes if something big happens.

    My life has never been so simple. I am an artist by profession.

    The ‘high’ moods I had made me paint without eating, drinking and sleeping for days.

    I would have new ideas, and I would paint one canvas after another! I thought to myself – wow! I wish I can stay this charged up forever.

    My paintings sold like crazy. There was no limit to the number of buyers.

    The sheer energy in my paintings meant that people from all walks of life wanted to buy them.

    The demand increased. Fueling myself with coffee and alcohol, I worked and worked.

    I earned prestige and a name. People knew me to be the whacky artists whom they couldn’t decide whether to love or hate.

    And then came the crash. A horrible, bad, crippling low mood.

    I had no energy. Waking up was a pain. Smiling was a bigger pain.

    What happened to me, I thought? My paintings became dark and gloomy, if at all I had the energy to make them. Very few sold.

    My contracts were going, my debts were rising. One day, looking outside my apartment, I decided to jump. I leapt. And all went dark.

    I woke up in a hospital, with a bandaged head and aching body.

    I discovered that I had fallen in a balcony of one of the floors below, and had been saved. I hated that. I wanted to end it.

    On the third day of my admission, a doctor came and asked me about my mood. I told him of all the glamour and high spirits; and about the crash.

    That’s when he told me I had bipolar disorder.

    The highs would be great, he said, but the lows would be horrible. “Get treated”, he told me. And I did. I don’t think I could take another low like that one.

    Medicines, therapy, art, music – everything helped me. I am still different from you. I’m not as much in control of my mood as you are. But I have come a long way. And I plan to go on.

    Consult A Therapist.

    Admission of Bipolar Disorder was not an easy task for Yo Yo Honey Singh!


  • 19 Dec
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    OCD and Childhood Trauma-Too much dirt in the world

    ocd obsessive compulsion disorder

    My mother was really proud of me when I was growing. I was given the job of keeping the house clean and tidy, and this was such an important task.

    Our guests would judge us based on how clean the house looked.

    I had 4 more sisters but they were not given this job. This meant that I was important to Mom and I was better than others on this.

    So I cleaned. I cleaned each day and for several hours a day.

    I didn’t go to school; we didn’t have that much money. I gave my exams through open schooling mode. Without any friends, I made cleanliness my friends.

    I loved to clean. Dirt and germs were my enemy.

    As I grew up, my exams became tougher and we got the help we could afford: a young college student willing to help me out with my studies.

    He was a horrible man. He did bad things to me. He told me that I like what he did. I didn’t! I really didn’t! I cleaned more and more, trying to remove all the dirt he put on me.

     One day, some of his dirt was there on my hands, and it just wouldn’t come off. I was about to chop my hand off because I didn’t want a dirty hand. “I don’t want a dirty hand, mom!” I shouted.

    My mother came running from the other room and was horrified at the sight of me. She was really scared and started to cry. She requested me to drop the knife in between the sobs and took me to a doctor.

     The doctor told me that I had OCD. But I like cleaning, I said, it’s my only friend. Along with the medications, I was asked to see a Counselor.

    We did a lot of art, and one day she asked me “has anyone touched you wrongly?” and I started to cry. I cried long and hard as all the hurt and dirt came outside.

    We slowly worked through my years of trauma and abuse. She told me my OCD could be related to this childhood trauma I underwent. She explained to me that cleaning was fine, but not to the extent that it harms me.

     Slowly, we worked on my urges to clean and now, I am in much more control than I ever was. There is still a lot of dirt in the world, but it’s not mine to clean.


  • 19 Dec
    Shiva Raman Pandey

    My recovery from delusion

    My recovery from delusion

    I was always an intelligent boy. My teachers would say that I understood much faster than the other children in school. I was really glad to make my parents proud. As is the norm in this country, my parents thought I should become an engineer. No one would have thought that it would start my bad times.

     It was my first time away from home. Although it was a prestigious college, hostel life was never easy. Suddenly, all the responsibility was on me, I had to clean the room, wash my clothes, made sure my bills are paid and had to concentrate on a very difficult course – engineering. I was a smart child but my interest wasn't honestly engineering. I wanted to study something about the nature and environment we live in. I wanted to do something about pollution.

     I got lesser and lesser sleep each day as I thought of my parents’ expectations and my dreams which were much different. On top of that, my roommate was always rude to me. He was a smart student but he was also a bully. He kept the room dirty and put all the work on me. He would rebuke me each time I got less marks in a paper or exam.

     My eating and sleeping reduced, but I was putting on weight, had dark circles under my eyes, and looked and felt tired. That was the first time I had a vision or feeling that was not real. Slowly, the gap between reality and my inner world increased. I started to hear and see things. Some of these were really bad things ‘You are worthless’ ‘You will be a failure’ and many horrible things.

     One day, I started to talk to myself in class. I felt like I was talking to a student next to me, but later others told me that no one was there sitting next to me. People started looking at me oddly, some started to laugh. I felt horrified, scared and broken. One day, it was too much. I felt like there is dark all around and someone is pushing my head down. I was feeling like this is not real, and suddenly when I found myself in this state I started shouting and fainted.

     The warden thankfully saw me and told to my parents. I woke up in a hospital, and two three different doctors spoke to me. I finally had peaceful sleep. They told me I had a psychotic episode. They spoke to me about what causes it and how I can make it better.

    Schizophrenia is a brain disorder in which affected person is unable to differentiate between real situations and delusions.

    As with any psychiatric medication one medicine that works for one person may not work for other. My doctor tried number of drugs. I gained weight because of their side effects and was always feeling sleepy. Reading negative experience of patients on internet made me think that both medication and therapy are no good. I stopped medication for some time but started again. For now doctors seems to have found one that helps.

     Slowly, with psychotherapy and medication, I got better. I was losing my touch with reality much less, and finally I was in full control. I was having fulfilling relationships, high self- esteem and had changed my course to environment studies. Today I am happy and flourishing, all due to timely attention to my issue. I was able to carry on a conversation; rehabilitate as I grow an insight into my illness. I had experiences that I may be able use to help other people.

    Thanks for reading my story.

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