- 23-year-old Ritu Mahapatra has shared her journey from having chronic fear to being a mental health patient after one of her friends committed suicide.
- Experts suggest that practicing mindfulness techniques help in avoiding negative thoughts and feelings.
Fear is a natural human emotion that has a strong effect on the body and mind. According to the Mental Health Foundation, anxiety, depression, and other related mental health issues are closely associated with fearful feelings.
Ritu Mahapatra, a 23-year-old MBA student, has shared her journey from having chronic fear to being a mental health patient. While telling her story, she mentioned having lost one of her close friends, Roshini to suicide last year. That unexpected incident triggered an extreme emotional vulnerability in Ritu. She started feeling lonely even when surrounded by her close ones. A few days later, she was diagnosed with depression.
Roshni’s parents were in a state of shock for days and couldn’t accept the death of their daughter. They were unable to process their emotions and feelings and couldn’t come to terms with reality.
“We felt trapped, we felt deep inside us this horrible, disgusting feeling, and all we could do was sit and cry. That’s how suffering feels. This constant feeling of being trapped and not able to do anything to stop it,” said Ritu. She sensed that the fear started controlling her everyday life. That’s when she realized what mental illness feels like.
Due to the high prevalence of social stigma around mental health and the fear of being judged, Ritu couldn’t discuss about her poor mental health with anyone and chose to suffer silently. “Admitting to my closed ones that I have anxiety, depression, and OCD took me months,” she shared with MindHelp.
Ritu witnessed many people suffering alone with their psychological illnesses. Due to a lack of mental health awareness, families and friends often neglect their loved ones with a mental disorder.
“This incident motivated me to spread mental health awareness, especially among young adults. I share Roshni’s story and my personal sufferings with people and encourage them to open up about psychological concerns. I try to support those who feel alone in this battle with mental illnesses,” she told MindHelp.
According to the University of Minnesota experts, the only way to overcome any fear is to face it. Avoidance can do nothing but prevent us from progressing in life. They suggest consulting mental health professionals and practicing mindfulness meditation techniques to learn to deal with life challenges without losing hope.
P.S- Name changed due to privacy concerns