July 17, 2014

Where to begin? I started to notice my mood changing and feeling more down during my final year of university in 2011-12. Savan There were so many factors that caused it - especially the pressure of doing my dissertation and looking for a job even before graduating. I also have a learning disability in the form of Dyslexia so things were much harder than they seemed at the time. There may have been other things too that may have triggered it over the years but this was a time that I was starting to notice something wasn’t right.

Doing student radio helped relieve some pressure and kept me from quitting my degree because it was so much fun to do and kept me focused. Despite that I still went for brief counselling session; it wasn’t much help because they advised me to see my GP and at that time I didn't feeling comfortable going.

I was feeling more down – having arguments, not wanting to get up

Time passed by and I graduated in June 2012 but the pressure to find a job had increased and the number of rejections were affecting me a lot. I was lucky to work for a couple of weeks at the London 2012 Olympic Games and also go on holiday to India and Florida. But I started to notice that my control over my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) wasn't great; things were increasingly unmanageable.

During the rest of 2012 I was feeling more down: having arguments with my parents, not wanting to wake up and look for jobs, and also just shutting myself in my room for hours at a time. In addition to all of that I wasn’t working at my part-time job because of a training issue. I wasn’t getting much out of it and felt like I wasn't getting a lot of help in looking for jobs and supporting myself. I did have some positive experiences during this time, however. I started doing Hospital radio and this was one of two days I actually went out. Saturdays included going to a religious Hindu function where I saw my friends and close family.

My anxiety started to increase

Come early 2013 I had managed to get a different part-time job in London. It was going well but my anxiety started to increase and my OCD was getting worse by the day. Then the days were increased and I was given more responsibility.

During my holiday to India and Malaysia my OCD, panic attacks, anxiety and health were badly affected. I caused hell to everyone close to me on the trip and hardly went out of my room apart from the occasional trip. I tried to relax and only managed a couple of days and that was only in Langkawi, Malaysia.

I had a breakdown and tried to run away

Once back in London, my condition was getting even worse and my health wasn’t improving. I was having more panic attacks and I had to take some days off work. They were understanding and also trying to help. Unfortunately I had to eventually leave my both of my jobs due to my health.

Come around the 13th October 2013 the pressure was getting to me and I wanted to talk to someone before it was too late. I managed to tell my friends at radio on that evening after finding it stressful doing my own show and request show. Then it happened: I had a breakdown and tried to run away. The next day I was diagnosed me with depression and I was told to rest.

I am now receiving support and I have also opened up over the past few months

Since then I have tried to run away twice more. I am now receiving support, receiving counselling, on anti-depressants and my close friends and family have been trying their best to help me.

I have also opened up over the past few months about what I have been going through to people I meet;the response has been overwhelming to say at least but mainly positive. I know coming from an Asian background most people my age suffer in silence, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I wish it was more talked about and not so hushed up like it’s something bad.

It's a long road and journey to recovery

I'm still going to continue my blogging, radio, filming and photography for all of my life. Even if one thing doesn't become a career at least I have something to fall back on. My support network is up and running and I am also enjoying the photography workshop at Wiseworks in Wealdstone, London.

To be honest, I am still struggling and fighting every day. It's a long road and journey to recovery and I am at times stressed, down and very scared about my future. Yes, I have improved a lot since my breakdown almost eight months ago, but I am still fighting myself.

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