Most of the endeavors that I picked up in life are either due to availability or perceived necessity due to various circumstances, rather than passion being the impetus. My entire education was confined to a Government-funded school and later colleges pertaining to township/town or Low-tier city localities only. If you ask me how I picked up my current level (whichever it is) of lingual skills in English, I would attribute it entirely to HBO/Star Movies apart from my schooling being in English medium. I happened to watch movies excessively during one of my other downtimes in life when I was battling depression. I usually spend my downtime hooking myself to the screen (self-learned coping mechanism), which you might come to guess/understand if had read my article on Drama World.

When all my friends and classmates were making their career choices and started preparing themselves for the entrance exams after standard 10th, I was on anti-depression and sleeping pills and struggling to fill my attendance; keep myself awake in classes with all the mood swings and the side effects of sleeping pills. What crazy choices I made during and about this entire phase, or how those choices changed the course of my life/affected my life, or how I ended up with depression in the first place is not the subject I wanted to narrate today. But what circumstances made me pick up psychology to study and what made me drop it in middle without earning my credentials.

My anti-depression drugs continued for almost 4-5 years, during which I overdosed myself a couple of times but was rescued. On my final crashing, when I had hit rock bottom and decided to end it all, it was my parents who stopped me. My dad’s words that day still keep ringing in my head till today. He said, “Let’s all three of us die today. Being a boy, your brother can take care of himself. You know I had a very difficult upbringing and life. So, my only life’s purpose is to give you both a good life to my capability. With you gone, our life will anyways not hold any other meaning.” Those lines shook me that day and made me promise my parents that come what may, I shall not resort to the final step as I couldn’t end someone else’s life’s purpose.

After that, I decided to stop the medication and face it with my willpower. My final doctor at that point in time also came to a decision that I can stop my medication and only required some behavioral changes, but that’s not how I felt. I felt no improvement in my state whatsoever after using the medication during all this time, except for letting me fall asleep. But the waking hours were even more horrible. I somehow finished my graduation and master’s with a lot of breaks and half-mindedness and finally landed a stable job with much difficulty. This was when I decided to take up studying Psychology on a correspondence mode, to understand my situation and find ways to cope up. I thought if I am able to pick myself up, I might be able to pursue it as a career and help others in the process. If you ask what prompted me to study psychology myself, then it would not be my interest in the subject but the behavior of all the doctors who treated me. These doctors were available only in the nearby low-tier city, and my parents and I had to travel some 200kms to see them. Most of them used to be consulting clinical psychiatrists who just prescribed some drugs and moved the case. They always had a big list of appointments waiting in line on any particular day. They hardly had the time to listen to anyone’s story. We jumped a few doctors but none were any better. We met one or two counseling psychologists also along the path but to no avail. They used to allow a little extra time to listen to the story of all parties involved in turns, give a few tests to access the personality traits, and next to nothing else, just referred the case to psychiatrists. After all, they cannot change the situations or change the people involved and they had no particular suggestions to give. This whole drama piqued my interest in psychology to see what all it has to offer or not offer. The point to be noted here is that these were not the internet or online shopping days. The local bookstores of the locality where I studied and worked, only shelved prescribed books of the university course curriculum. So, you could just enroll in a course to learn any subject.

That’s how I ended up registering for a Master’s in Psychology course. My takeaways from this course and which led to further my understanding of certain subjects at a later period of time will be continued in the next part.

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