This is a real event from my life recently. The intention to write this is coming from deep regret and personal loss. The intention is to raise awareness for mental health issues and how important it can be, to support a person who is going through a state of depression, anxiety, delusions, psychosis, emotional dysregulation and so much more that we do not really understand.
I belong to a joint family from India. We were 16 people who lived together as a family under one roof with a single shared kitchen since my childhood. It might not be something you relate to, but I am telling you this because it is relevant for you to understand the circumstances, in the context of the recent event.
We were 10 kids, from different age groups, who grew up together, eating, studying, watching movies/ sports, cycling together, celebrating occasions, birthdays, festivals together, late night excursions as teenagers and making memories of a lifetime under that one roof for about 20 yrs.
As we grew up, one by one, we all started going our own ways, as expected in a normal family. I got married and stepped out of the family home, after my education as a medical homeopath was complete. My cousin sisters went to study and subsequently work abroad, one of them in Paris, the other in Australia, another in Amsterdam, another one in Bangalore, and then the last one in Ireland. My brother, being a lawyer, went to Bombay for a while for work and so on and so forth.
We had this ‘STAR KID’ amongst us, and we all knew it since the time he was born. He was the creative one. He was someone who would remember entire songs and prayers since he was 2-3 yrs of age. We would calculate the no. of songs at that time, and it was easily over 50 even at that young age! He would sketch a portrait of a person with his hand if they were just sitting right in front of him at about 4-5 yrs of age. He was the brightest student in his class, obviously and would be at the top with such ease, that it would leave us amazed.
Then at about 12-13 yrs of age, he started getting inclined towards music. Now, all his attention was on the guitar, and the way he taught himself the guitar in 1-2 yrs, and the class of music that he started composing and singing, was his next great achievement. He would literally practice his music 15 hrs a day on an average and was completely consumed by it. He could not continue his education, despite all the efforts of his parents and sisters. He started performing all over the country, made his band, made friends, and we thought, he was following his passion, his dream, and what else can be better, right?
All this while, from a very young age, this special child was suffering from anxiety and depression. He was struggling with suicidal thoughts while being in school. But he was coping with it. He would be normal with us, doing everything normally on an everyday basis. He was someone who would not even touch alcohol when he used to be performing at clubs. But after we all went our own ways, whilst still being in touch of course, his issues started escalating. He started having issues with friends and relationships. His band broke up and he had a disappointment in his personal relationship as well. Drugs further complicated his issues manifolds. He would remain in his room, mostly, with his multiple guitars and other instruments. He would sleep in the day and wake up at night. Everything started falling apart.
He came down with severe mental illness and psychosis, right before lockdown. He was severely delusional and had acute episodes of psychosis and hallucinations. He was taken to a rehab facility forcibly by his parents, and he was in and out of rehab twice after, during the next 2 yrs. He was started on anti-psychotic medication along with which he detested but it was forced into his system, as being the need of the hour. His mother was with him 24 hrs. a day, as we were all scared that at that point in time, he could do anything!
All of us, whilst being aware of the situation, basically did nothing productive. We would try to connect with him occasionally. When he would not respond, we just carried on with our business. We were too busy in our own endeavors to really do something actively about the situation. He would sometimes talk to his sisters on video calls briefly and sometimes not even come out of his room, to meet anyone for days. He would post on Instagram incessantly on certain days, calling out people who he thought had wronged him, or making one piece of music after another. He would cry at night like a child, hugging his mother.
He also spoke about suicide to some of his friends, who never mentioned it to his parents. He started making music again in the last 6-8 months and recording 20 songs with his new friends that he has composed and sung. He started laughing again, he started showing everyone that he was better by smiling more at everyone, hugging everyone so warmly every time he met them. He would love to spend time with children and animals and would seem happy when spending time with them.
He had offers to work with eminent musicians in the country who all recognized his immense talent and wanted to work with him. But he could never accept those offers or even respond to their texts. He had no professional inclination, or inclination to make any money or to release his music to the world. He made paintings in the last few years which he would keep to himself. He wrote in his diary about the horrifying nights he spent in his room alone and that he could not bear another night like that.
He felt very unworthy and very uncared for, in the last few months. He would say to some of us, “everyone thinks I am mad”, or “would your friend like me?” or “would you really make me meet your fiancé?” He lost all sense of self-worth after all of what transpired in the last few years.
Also, he started therapy and counselling in the last year, regularly attending his sessions lately. According to his therapist and psychiatrist, he was doing much better now overall and making progress. He was making plans to travel to Europe in the coming month, which he agreed upon for the first time, and was going for his visa appointment soon.
Then one evening, he said to his mother, that he is coming back for his meal and went to the house terrace and committed suicide by hanging himself. His body was found by one of my uncles less than half an hour later when he went to feed the birds on the terrace. And we LOST HIM FOREVER ..
It’s not been a whole month yet. Just wallowing in my thoughts and grief, all I can think about is why didn’t I do more? Now, as you know, I am a homeopath, it’s only natural to think, why did he not use homeopathy as a mode of treatment? He would call me in the beginning of this ordeal and ask me to prescribe for him and I wanted him to talk to another homeopath, for his condition. I did speak to his parents about it and tried to explain the process but the moment I mentioned tapering off conventional medication at some point, they just gave up and backed off. This conversation happened a few times but didn’t lead to any useful decisions. At that point in time, I thought I cannot do more as it’s their call and I should not force my opinions on them. In hindsight, it was complete lack of judgement, and I am only left with, how could I not fight them? How could I not arrange a meeting with another homeopath at least to talk things through? What could have happened, at the worst, they would have not spoken to me for a while, or they would have been upset with me but how did that matter?
I feel like a complete and total failure, as I could not even help my own brother, then why am I even doing what I am doing?
When was the last time I hugged him? I do not remember. As a family, we are not very expressive but if we did express more, when he was struggling, could that have helped him Why didn’t I call him more? Why didn’t I show up more? Why didn’t I express what he meant to me, even after he was crying for help, on Instagram? Was loneliness the real trigger for his condition? What more should we have done to help him personally? When as a big family, we could not do anything, what about the individualistic approach of psychiatric advice that is generously given in the USA and maybe even Europe?
His words under a post, “Mother, there is a pain in my heart.”
As a layman, you might think it was inevitable, but as a homeopath, I KNOW HE COULD HAVE BEEN HELPED!! How can I live with that?
All we are left with, as a family, are regrets and a deep sense of loss, a void in my heart that cannot be filled.
I urge everyone who took out the time to read
To be more mindful of mental illness around them.
To be more compassionate and expressive for people with mental illness.
To understand that we can never fully understand the extent of their suffering.
Drugs, even weed and hash (not just hard drugs), can really mess up with their mental chemical balance and make them much worse.
To realize that even when they pretend to be better, they might not be better.
To know that conventional medication and therapy alone is NOT the answer. It can help only temporarily and acutely, but never in the long-term.
To know that HOMEOPATHY CAN HELP.
I wrote this article at the risk of my own reputation, as you might think and I deserve it too, that I could not do anything for him, even being a homeopath, which is such a personal and professional failure. But that is the truth, I could or did not do anything, but I really hope you will come to someone’s rescue, when needed, by suggesting homeopathy to them and encouraging them to talk to a homeopath for their condition.
In the loving memory of a creative genius, a class-apart musician, a born rockstar, and more than anything, a brother and God’s special child, who will never be forgotten. Until we meet again, Cannie