Battling Shadows: Pranav’s Story of Overcoming Mental Health Struggles With Therapy

4 minutes

T.W. Self-harm

Pranav who hails from Chandigarh, the city beautiful. He is in his early twenties pursuing a B.Com (Hons) from Sree Ram College of Commerce Delhi.  

Beyond his work life, Pranav finds solace in the realms of literature, with a profound love for reading and a keen interest in poetry. Occasionally, he also dons the hat of a wordsmith, expressing his thoughts through the art of writing.

Pranav lost his mother when he was nine years old. He was suffering from the loss of his mother and mourning while a new hitch had arisen. 

“Missing out on a parent is something that was very difficult and I probably didn’t realise now I do.” 

Unaware that he was dealing with undiagnosed mental health issues, Pranav turned to unhealthy coping mechanisms like self-harming and overdosing.

“I desperately wanted to let out the darkness within. In hindsight, I understand how self-destructive it was but back then, it felt like my only escape.”

The turning point came when he was 18 and realised he needed help. Pranav took the difficult but brave step of seeing a therapist. He shares, “Just vocalising my struggles to someone impartial felt cathartic.” He was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.

Though therapy provided temporary relief, the sessions were limited due to financial constraints. The struggles continued to intensify, with self-harming and suicidal thoughts becoming Pranav’s go-to coping strategy.

“Every day felt like a battle I was losing. The pain was becoming unbearable.”

In the throes of one such unbearable emotional episode, Pranav came across YourDOST, an online counseling platform offering affordable services. Sceptical but desperate, he booked his first session.

Pranav realised how his college had partnered with YourDOST to provide mental and emotional wellness solutions to all.

Pranav took the first step towards betterment and connected with Ms Jaya to understand and come out of his misery. 

“I was very guarded and just wanted someone to vent to. Ms Jaya was very patient not pushing me to open up before I was ready.”

Over the next few months, Pranav slowly started expressing himself in the non-judgemental space. He realised how much he had been bottling up his emotions and it needed to be addressed.

Ms Jaya introduced Pranav to techniques like the grounding method for anxiety and recommended alternatives to self-harm like holding an ice cube. He found the text-based chatting on the platform helpful in organising his thoughts.

“Our sessions became like a lifeline. Ms Jaya taught me how to be kinder to myself.” 

After Ms Jaya left the platform, He had to connect with a different counselor and came across Mr Raj.

“I had become dependent on our sessions and the thought of starting afresh with someone new was exhausting.” However, he knew he owed it to himself to continue the healing process. 

“It took a few sessions to open up again but Raj was very understanding. The techniques started showing results. Pranav shares, “Meditation helped calm my anxious mind. Maintaining a mood journal made me more self-aware.”

For the first time, he had someone he could confide his darkest thoughts without fear of being judged. Pranav reflects, “Raj taught me to separate my struggles from my self-worth. It was more than just my diagnosis.” Though progress was gradual, the small wins motivated Pranav.

Today, Pranav proudly shares that he has been self-harm-free for over a year and counting. He rates his improvement at 4 out of 5 in terms of getting better post-therapy sessions.

“I still have bad days but they don’t control me anymore. Counseling taught me healthy coping strategies.”

Pranav also learned to be more forgiving towards himself. He says, “I’m still a work in progress but the journey of self-love has begun.”

Pranav’s Warrior Tips:
1. “Don’t wait for long, you deserve the support you need and are never alone. With courage and compassion, you will make it through the dark tunnel into light.”
2.“Indulge yourself in different activities to keep away disturbing thoughts and eventually talk about it with people around you don’t let it bottle your emotions.”

Team YourDOST

YourDOST is an Online Emotional Wellness Coach. Through YourDOST anyone can Sign Up and anonymously seek advice and guidance from Counsellors, Psychologists, Special Friends, Mentors and other experienced individuals.