Mental Illness is taboo or not in Startup EcosystemKhushbu Agrawal
“Oh mummy please let me sleep. I don’t want to wake up.” It was 9 in the morning and she was still sleeping. She went to sleep at 10 in the night.
“Beta, I feel helpless every single day seeing this condition of yours. Please get up beta.” Weeping her mother said.
Reshma, a psychiatric patient, is living with her parents now. She recently became an alumnus of IIM Bangalore by undergoing a three week BootCamp- Women Startup Programme.
Once a happy-go-lucky, chirpy and ecstatic girl is now doleful and feels dejected. She is now dependent on her closed ones for even doing her daily chores. She used to do a bang-up-job, now is not even able to get up on her own.
She was diagnosed with schizophrenia in Dec’14 and was admitted at one of the renowned Mental hospital for a month. At that point in time, she was in final year of her college and her 7th semester’s exams were due. A doctor said to her parents ‘Do you want your daughter or the exams.’
It was a tough call for her parents to prepare her for her exams and side by side seeing that her health didn’t deteriorate. This illness of her’s shouldn’t prove to be a hindrance for her to move ahead in her career was their thinking.
Her body used to have bad tremor almost every day and used to take tons of medicines. She had crying spells. Not like other psychiatric patients, she was not violent instead had a tendency to hurt herself, not physically but emotionally, and it is hard to tell what goes in someone’s mind until he/she says it himself/herself.
She not only was able to clear her exams with flying colors but was also able to co-found an IEEE sister chapter in her college- First of its kind in Asia.
Two years later she was again admitted to the same hospital as her condition did not improve instead it was deteriorating. She was then diagnosed with ‘Dysthymia’ and ‘Cluster B- Personality Disorder’ and ‘Schizophrenia in remission’.
Later she, along with same friend, co-founded a Tech company which has now started earring revenue.
Now also she is not able to handle her relationships very well but have a dream to achieve big in her life. Seeing her past achievements and her certificates and medals it is not hard to say that she will certainly achieve something big in her life and many thanks to the closed ones of her’s for the constant and unrelenting support.
This disease comes with a package- SHAME. When some other part of the body gets sick you get- SYMPTHAY.
STOP the stigma of mental illness and happy women’s day.
Empower women by giving opportunities and not reservation for them. They deserve an opportunity whatever her condition is. She will excel in the field she is in!