The Art of letting Go

vo jo khwab sa kya kahein ki jaane den,ye jo hai kamse kam ye rahe ke jaane den…’

Well …all the experiences, people, situations, patients that i come across on daily hourly minutely basis ,make me feel like life is screaming at me telling me, there is just one thing that can be done…letting it go.

Generations of conditioning have made us into working machines,one after the other we chase goals,targets ,missions, running from here to there,always on the go,always in some race,till we keep achieving what all we desire ,we feel high and happy,as soon as something doesn’t work out the way we wanted,we get lost in disdain…And all that chase has helped us reach where we are today, hasn’t it?I being a medical student ,have gone through the drill,always and forever studying for exams, chasing ranks and marks .On the contrary all exams made us realise it doesn’t really matter if you study or not ,how many hours you put or how much course you cover,in the end ,it all happens as it had to,not disregarding the efforts what are put in,but do we really need to get so stressed out about these things?



Aadatan toh sochenge ,hota yun toh kya hota
magar jaane de…


After you reach a level,you realise these are all skills for achivement,and we have never learnt how to be peaceful, nobody has ever taught us peace skills…that this habit of holding on to things ,which donot serve our purpose anymore isn’t helping us grow.

Therefore when that girl we liked doesn’t reciprocate our feelings…
therefore that exam which we arent able to crack…
therefore that job that we aren’t able to grab
pains ,pains so much that we forget what we have in hand ,what our present is .
therefore we have breakdowns post failure in love,work,life and we long,our whole lives go vain in longing .
We’ve all had to let go of things at some point or another. Whether it be a pet, friend, love, or simply ideas and ideologies,ideas of a perfect relationship,perfect body,perfect relationship,perfect life,when we don’t even know what perfect is!!what might be perfect for me ,will not be perfect for you,so anything which has more than one version,cannot be true right? why waste time and energy on something that isnt true then . We are constantly ending chapters in order to start new chapters.Until we end what doesn’t serve our purpose any more,how will we have new beginnings??

It is like getting on a train, holding on to your luggage carrying the baggage even after you have gone a distance, you dont realise you are carrying it ,until someone points out,dude drop it,keep it down, you have boarded the train already,isnt it unburdening like that? letting go is beautiful,makes you feel so lite and free flowing,it is time we just let go of things and enjoy whatever life throws at us , days and nights become fascinating instead of stressing out.

There will be times when we have to part with the most precious things close to our hearts, but when we have no other choice we just have to simply let go…

When we look around us,look at nature do we find trees whining for shedding leaves?


pill shaming

My first fifty milligrams…

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50 mgs of a drug,

A drug that i have been prescribing without a second thought or hesitation to so many of my patients since almost 6 years now…

50 mgs of a ssri ,a drug which i remember my father taking when i was a baby and getting back to his normal chirpy self,20 mgs of its brother drug which my mother has been taking since long.

50 mgs of an ssri aand here i am questioning my ability as a mental health professional,or is it a part of my illness?

i ponder i procrastinate,i suffer even after knowing that this might help

i delay,i think ,i judge myself,

50 mgs of an ssri for the first time and i feel low about it,it is a sinking feeling,most probably a symptom of my illness

june 2020 i take my first 50 mgs of ssri,and i feel ,empathise and understand all those peoples plight,who hesitate taking psychotropics ,who refrain from opening up about it ,and suffer for longer they could,this pill shaming runs deep,it is embedded deeply,difficult to overcome and uproot …

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pill shaming can be defined as the negative reaction and responses that one receives when they are taking medications

it is usually seen with mental health issues or menstrual issues,i would restrict this blog to psychotropics…

so why is it there and why do we justify it?

  1. IGNORANCE: many of us including myself minimize our distress,invalidate our feelings of despair and say to ourselves ‘ah this happens to everybody”it will get better on its own’ ‘it is not severe enough ,that i need to take meds’ ‘my distress is not that bad that i warrant taking medicines’ well i know how it feels,especially when your judgement is clouded ,i fortunately had my mother and reliable seniors who helped me get over my procrastination and reservations related to being on medicines.
  2. within the mental health community,mental health professionals at times themselves engage into pill shaming, majorly psychologists and alternative therapists(not at all generalizing,i have my share of very good and aware psychologists) and they believe ,that since the medicines did not work very well for them,or some other modality worked better,it is not the right path for anyone else,on the other hand due to the stigma associated with mental illnesses ,people who have genuinely benefited with pharmacotherapy do not open up about it.
  3. Within the medical fraternity as well,people consider psychiatry to a non scientific or vague subject,even though recent advances and studies prove that apart from environmental and psychological factors,biological causes of mental illnesses are equally or even more important,

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  • for example like there is insulin resistance in diabetes,similarly in depression the neurotransmitter serotonin has deficient levels in the brain,and just like giving insulin injections,diabetes can be put under control ,giving antidepressants can help in treating the biological etiology of depression, like stress can aggravate diabetes ,it can affect the mental health as well,like exercising and dietary changes  help with mild insulin resistance,similarly they might help with mild depression and anxiety symptoms as well,when we are diagnosed with diabetes,we get conscious about everything and take our medicines regularly,because we are well informed about the ill effects of not taking the meds and the effects are clearly visible and evident,but for mental illnesses we take a different approach,just because it is not visible and we are not well informed about the adverse effects it can have on our quality of life
  • on our work and functional efficiency
  • Our physical health and immunity 
  • our relationships and social standing
  • it can led to life threatening events like suicide

effects of pill shaming:

  • the lag between the onset of distress and treatment is increased massively ,we delay seeking help,the solution to it is reaching out to people you trust,seeking professional help and letting the experts decide along with your agreement on what will be the correct line of treatment,ask questions whenever in doubt.we as mental health professional are already trying and will keep trying to reduce the stigma and burden of mental illnesses from our side.
  • once starting,we hurry to taper or adherence to medicines is poor,which can lead to frequent relapses,solution to this is again asking your doctor,till what time you will have to take the medicines and reminding them to taper it when they and you feel it is right.
  • people often have to struggle with negative beliefs about themselves,thinking they are ‘less than’ if they have a mental illness or if they need medications,these feelings feed shame,it makes people feel alone and isolated.
  • talking about side effects ,they can be a powerful deterrent if someone is already ambivalent about taking medicines,often side effects subside once our bodies acclimatize to the medication,some might even persist.Like any other treatment the pros need to outweigh the cons,that i why we advocate holistic approach towards treatment,where both the patient and the doctor have a role in deciding the treatment plan,no doctor will ever force you to take medicines(unless there is a lack of insight and your life is at stake”
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These believes are pervasive  and deep rooted in our culture as a whole, but is even found in some self-help books or mutual-help support groups .It is never helpful to shame individuals struggling with mental health issues and to discourage them from getting help in the same way that they would for any other medical condition.

take home message

Treatment for mental health conditions can help end symptoms, restore quality of life, and allow you to feel healthy once again.Having suffered myself and getting much better on treatment i can vouch for this even more confidently now.Talk to your doctor ,discuss about your concerns and clear your doubts.It requires efforts ,patience and adherence from both sides.

Mental illness is not a moral failing or a lack of motivation and it doesn’t only affect people who don’t try hard enough or who are weak,Instead, mental illness is a chemical imbalance in our brains, and in order for us to not experience symptoms or active illness, we need to seek out and receive ongoing treatment.

It is okay if you have been reluctant about your mental health,it is okay if you have been resistant and biased again taking medicines,it is okay if you have procrastinated and questioned your doctor about the decision,be sure about it,clear your doubts,information(from the right sources) is the greatest tool to reduce anxiety,and please reach out, you are never alone,it is not worth this much suffering…

https://youtu.be/joquQNgtuzk

Ps:SSRI: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor