• Varsha Panikar (@fromtheafterglow)

It was difficult to get up today.

Ask me how many hours I slept. I wouldn’t be able to answer. 2 ? 14? 8! That’s the right number, isn’t it? It’s hard to tell anymore. It all seems to be one big blur, a never ending nightmare that decides by itself when it wants to continue and end, and that is not even the worst part. The worst is not being able to tell when it will slowly creep back up, or when I’ll start denying it even when it does. Sometimes, I have to ask myself, is it okay to be happy today? Or will I be forced to fight that losing battle again later on tonight? I do not know, and that makes me wonder if happiness is a thing I can truly obtain. That is when I remind myself, ‘Happiness is a choice’, and honestly, some days it helps, but most days, barely.


Ever since I was a kid, I remember being depressed and it makes me wonder, what is the evolutionary advantage of feeling like crap? How will it effect evolution? Technically, the brain plays a crucial role role in promoting survival, so the pressures of evolution should have left our brain resistant to such high rates of malfunction. Mental disorders should be rare — why isn’t depression? Check out this article on Depression’s Evolutionary Roots by Scientific American.



Sorry to digress, but I’ d like to apologize to all my friends and family beforehand. You might ask me before what? Well, before the mask I wear slowly starts to crack under the pressure of false smiles and years of fixed sentences designed to make you believe that everything is going absolutely perfect in my life. Before my facial expressions can no longer match the lies that I have been feeding both to you, and myself, and you see the sadness in my eyes, the one I’ve been hiding for so many years. Before that heart of yours possesses you to ask me “What’s wrong?”, and my eyes instantly turn into a glare directed toward you and it seems like you’re the cause of my attitude. I promise you, you are not. I get infuriated when I get asked that question, not because you ask what’s wrong, but because that questions makes me realize that I don’t really understand what’s wrong myself even though I have been searching for an answer for years…


And on my journey I have found out quite a few things.


You’ll meet people who will say it’s all in my head. You should cut those people off immediately because obviously they don’t know where the brain is. Of course, of course it is in my head and it refuses to leave. You may start to also develop anxiety. This is not always the case, but it does happen sometimes. If depression was the blade that caused the wound, then anxiety would be the salt shoved in afterward. Such a sinister duo!


Depression can make you feel like you don’t want to do anything and then anxiety whispers in your ear that if you don’t do anything then you will fail at everything. The domino effect will be like a new religion for you. You will apply it to every aspect of your life. Oh, and the ones who say you are doing it for attention, well, you will simply learn to ignore them, because you know from experience that with the duo of depression and anxiety dancing inside your mind, panic attacks are your best friend, and the last thing you want is more attention for them while you are lying in bed or standing in the middle of a party Saturday night. It feels like you are dying in a coffin, made just for you.


One other phrase that irritates me is “I know exactly how you feel”. No. You don’t. Depression is unique to everyone, as is the solution. Some people people will respond better with antidepressants, some with simply finding someone they can talk to, some will experience it gradually and some instantly. In fact, I find my depression to be a little interesting because some times it happens slowly and other times it just…sorry… it seems my mask has finally broken, and honestly, I’m really tired right now, so I think I’m going to head to bed. Can’t wait to do this all over again, tomorrow.

© VARSHA PANIKAR