“Mental health has physical symptoms too” : Story of Pratulya Iyer, battling Epilepsy

4 minutes

Pratulya's brave journey to battle Epilepsy, along with fighting negativity and depression.

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”

Ever since the pandemic began, Time has been moving in a complicated way, hard for us to realize. There’s uncertainty in the air and a lot of anxiousness across people regarding the future, especially among students. Students are finding the fresh new modules of education challenging, and hence, there’s an increase in stress amongst students all over. Pratulya Iyer, a 21-year-old student from Mahindra University, never realized he was also going through similar stress until he felt it physically. 

” I was an epileptic patient, but I had never had any episodes, but I was scared that my Epilepsy was back.”

Pratulya had Epilepsy, a chronic disorder of unprovoked, recurrent seizures with an underlying cause that’s entirely unknown. These sudden short rushes of electrical activities in his brain could have been related to a brain injury or a family history. However, Pratulya’s doctor suggested that anxiety might be a probable reason. But Pratulya wasn’t convinced.

Pratulya took medicines as prescribed by his doctor, following which, his physical symptoms subsided. But again, after a month, he started having some trouble sleeping and often ended up feeling breathless. When he understood something was wrong, he realized it wasn’t just the seizures.

“This was when I knew that something was wrong. I did not want to let my parents know, so I decided to take up a session at YourDOST since our college was offering therapy for free. I accidentally clicked the chat option, and someone began chatting with me. I thought it would be rude not to reply, so I started talking.”

He ended up chatting with his expert for 45 minutes. Pratulya spoke about the general issues he was going through, but as the session went on, he opened up about the events in his life that led him towards his anxiety attacks.

I was not feeling good enough. I was anxious all the time. Adding to the stress of the pandemic, every time I felt anxious that I might have an epileptic fit which I stopped having after school.

“As I began to open up, I realized a lot was going on in my life that I did not think about. I lost my grandfather during the pandemic. The grief added to the stress from the uncertainty of the pandemic.”

With all the stress of exams getting canceled and pending work, Pratulya couldn’t decide on the pace of time in general. Sometimes, he felt like time had stopped, and other times, he thought it was moving real quick. He even resented wasting his time during the pandemic instead of improving his skills. 

“I was not feeling good enough. I was anxious all the time. Adding to the stress of the pandemic, every time I felt anxious that I might have an epileptic fit which I stopped having after school.”

When he spoke to his expert Tashi Gurang about his issues, he suggested some meditation exercises to Pratulya to calm his mind and process his grief and stress. These exercises helped Pratulya feel better. Pratulya realized that being guilty of not using his time wisely during a global pandemic was not helping him but was only adding to his stress even more. As a top student throughout his life, Pratulya was unknowingly punishing himself for wasting time. But the sessions help him understand that it is okay to take a break and be there for yourself sometimes.

A hero is someone who doesn't afraid to ask for help and Pratulya fought Epilepsy and other mental health issues with the help of his counsellor.

“Tashi helped me find ways to improve. Even though I knew the answers to my problems, I did not have external reassurance before. After the sessions, though, I reduced my phone usage and focused on caring for myself.”

Pratulya is in a good space right now. He focuses on meditation and regular breathing exercises. He is grateful for the time he put into his well-being.

“Therapy was like a friendly conversation. I am so happy that I took this step. I want to thank Tashi sir for all the guidance and support he gave me during my hard times.”

Pratulya’s Warrior Tips:
1. Go into therapy with an open mind. It is a safe space to vent your feelings.
2. While our family and friends are there for us, a therapist helps us with an open and unbiased mind.


Are you someone who has gone through a difficult phase and emerged stronger and better, with some professional help? Share your story with us to encourage thousands of others who might be struggling. Click here to submit your story.

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