Two Weeks in the Psych Ward

Health

Two Weeks in the Psych Ward

Illustration: Shruti Yatam / Arré

I

was in no particular need of admission into a mental hospital, but at that time it didn’t seem to matter to anyone. A series of disruptive debacles had unfolded around me, almost casually, like the onset of autumn slowly disarms a tree of its withered leaves. I cried profusely in short bursts, quietened suddenly, and then did the same thing all over again. This general state of melancholia culminated in my quitting college. I didn’t understand what was wrong with me and didn’t want to admit I was in need of help, for the sake of vanity more than sanity.

Depression has more in common with desperation than just shared vowels and consonants. It’s an infinite loop of destructive thoughts, with a million iterations of fear and self-loathing and none of the Las Vegas. I couldn’t exit out of that loop, and if I did, I’d be sucked right back into the vortex. One such morning, I thrashed my laptop on the floor and broke it to pieces. This was the last straw for my poor parents and I was escorted to the only mental hospital in the city by my mother.

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