"Sharing your feelings with the right people is the first step that you can take in the direction of healing."

About Mikul Patel:

I am a passionate explorer looking forward to helping as many people as possible using my potential and opportunities. I believe we all have a lot of strength and sometimes all we need is a little support and guidance to make the best use of it. An alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and IIT Roorkee, I have started my own digital mental health venture called Moodcafe – a platform offering online counselling, anonymous chat, an assessment tool and resources.

Mikul’s Story

WHAT WAS THE MAJOR TURNING POINT IN YOUR RECOVERY FROM DEPRESSION?

During my engineering at IIT Roorkee, I found a suicide note of one of my friends and co-incidentally I myself was going through depression. On closely observing the people around me, I realized that almost everyone is going through certain problems, and I decided to join the institute counselling cell and became more aware of mental health and mental healthcare.

It was then that I realized how rampant this problem is, and how important it is to acknowledge and address this issue. The insights that I gained from this experience gave me a new perspective towards dealing with my own problems and how to cater to them in a better way.

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS THAT REALLY HELPED?

Seeking the right help from people who cared

  • Talking about your problems is the first step you’ll take in the right direction and the biggest one actually. Luckily, I was surrounded by a lot of people who were really concerned for me, and talking to them about my situation, made me feel better.

Accepting that it’s okay, to not be okay

  • From the moment I joined the counselling cell, I realized the commonness of this problem and it helped me to deal with it in a much better way. Just accepting the fact that everybody is fighting their own battles related to mental health, gave me the courage to fight mine.

Indulging in activities

  • For me, playing and keeping myself busy with things always helped. Although I don’t consider that as a long term solution, it is good to keep yourself occupied and achieve small goals when it seems like your world is falling apart

Helping people to deal with their problems

  • Post my MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, I decided to opt out of placements, and work full time in this field. It gave me a sense of empowerment when I helped people fight their own battles, which in turn made me feel stronger.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER GUYS FIGHTING DEPRESSION?

As stated earlier, sharing your feelings with the right people is the first step that you can take in the direction of healing. You might have to muster up all the courage you have to go that person, but trust me, it’ll all be worth it. It not only just eases your mind, but gives you alternate perspectives to look at your problems which helps you to cope better.

There might also be times when you would not feel comfortable in sharing your problems with the people whom you know, or the magnitude of your problem is such that it interferes with your everyday routine – in both the cases, I would recommend going to a psychologist/psychiatrist. Counselling can help in ways that one cannot even think of and it’s always better to accept and seek help, no matter how stigmatized this issue is in society.

– Mikul Patel, Founder and CEO of Moodcafe. Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.

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