Siddharth Gadepalli

I have always taken responsibility for everything. Growing up in a traditionally conservative Indian society, I was taught that responsibility is the key to success. However, taking it to an extreme level has a significant impact on your mental health. This became particularly conspicuous to me within the past year, when my mind started to become restless and jump to conclusions. With time, it became increasingly difficult to decipher and control. It got on auto-pilot. I worried about my career, my family’s health, my friends’ decisions and more. I became very distraught. It didn’t matter who or what it was, I took responsibility for everything. I became so engrossed in taking care of everyone else, that I began sacrificing my own well-being. I started feeling disoriented and mentally absent. I lost my purpose in life. I began having severe identity and anxiety issues. I knew I needed to press the reset button. I went back to the basics. I began to focus on simple things and took it one step at a time.
I dissected every move in my mind and stopped the habits that led me to the feelings of anxiety and worry. I began to differentiate between things essential to my direct well-being versus those that weren’t. I began to prioritize myself. I accentuated habits that had a literal positive effect on me. By doing this, I was able to figure out the algorithm to filter out what wasn’t important. This began to work.

It has been exactly a year since I decided to change my habits. I am still not fully there, but am significantly better than where I was. My anxiety has come down. I feel a sense of purpose and confidence again.

Moral of the story: Things happen for a reason and even if they are uncomfortable, they are essential. You can’t became better without being uncomfortable first and as a result, you will be better for it. Regardless of how you feel, share your stories! Do NOT isolate yourself. You’ll often be surprised at how many people are probably in the same boat.

In alignment with our mission to encourage others to #SpeakUp about mental health, we’ve created this blog – a passion project highlighting those who wish to share their stories with the world.

Open to anyone, the series features personal anecdotes from members of the South Asian community who have struggled with mental illness – and the stigma that comes along with it.

To submit your story, click here.

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