Dr Sanjeev Gupta is a psoriaris warrior and a quality process expert. He has been through his struggles with discrimation due to his skin psoriasis, which led to depression and pessimism. But he did not cow down. He set up a non-profit to spread awareness about Psoriasis, helping warriors deals with it. In a 5-part series, he shares his own mental turmoil and coping techniques on dealing with an incurable autoimmune condition.
Flashback to 1993 & I think back to how life was. Midway through my doctorate program and with the love of life, I notice that both appeared to be in shambles. Was it a mental health issue? Neither I knew nor people in my then space. It was not common to talk about or acknowledge feeling low. The mind was embodied and heavily interconnected with the brain, organ and environment. Despite that there was a constant worry or a concern at chhota dimag (the back of my brain, remember Krantiveer?). Did I cry sometimes? Yes, I did. But did I give up? No. I felt these emotions because of love life, sadness for comparatively low topic of my thesis, anger towards my boss, yet happy with my friends every evening. Interesting and perplexing. Was I sleeping & eating well? Yes.
“A foodie from western UP can’t live without food.”
And I slept like a banjara (gipsy) since I did not have a fixed place of my own.
Years went by with this state of mind. I went to Oxford University from India, where everyone I knew said they envied me for getting there. But it was then, that the Psoriasis lesions came knocking, amidst the lush greens spread across 70 acres, and the rich nine centuries-old heritage of this University. The lesions grew and grew, making life more challenging. I refused to acknowledge the fatigue they came with. Once again, the question was the same:
“Was it a mental health issue?”
This time an allopath at AIIMS-Delhi, a homoeopath at Nehru Homoeopathic College-Delhi and a family Ayurveda physician said “You are stressed”. Is doing daily chorus of life a cause of stress? Perhaps no since Almighty has designed and programmed us to live the life given to us. So, what is stress? Maybe it was sum total of negative influences of things happening around us, seemingly “normal” people, comments, and undercurrents happening around me.
But how do you control such negative influences while living with our life limitations or day partial abundance? I sat back & thought. We had to go with a disease which I & my family had to learn and manage for me, for us and for the whole world. But for my mind, which was feeling stifled, trapped, a path to free itself needed to be found. I could not live with this daily whirlpool of thoughts in my mind. So what did I do? I sought help.
And was surprised at the consequences. A path emerges when we seek it, and I will share that path with all of you the next time. Till then, remember my fellow warriors, the mind is not still till we make it. And the body will suffer if the mind is not still.