Depression and the Sikh ‘aunties’


During my fight with depression over the last 4 years there has been no support at all from the Sikh community I grew up with all my life.   Having lost my parents nearly 20 years ago I tried to find the Asian aunts for support; but all you get is what haven’t you got? How can you be depressed? Silly girl you should be grateful to Waheguru for what I have.

This just hurt each time, no one took me seriously and couldn’t understand why I would be depressed. Where was the compassion and care a community should offer? Friends at work would say is there no one in your gurdwara that could help?  But no.This led me to just distance myself from everyone and stop attending the gurdwara and if I was invited personally I found myself stressing about going. I felt guilty as what sort of mother was I… I should be taking my children to the gurdwara so they could partake in the community. If and when I did attend I wanted peace of mind but it was not there. There were too many memories of my parents in the gurdwara. Everywhere you looked there were people my parents age with their grandchildren and playing happy families. How I wished my children had known their grandparents… all they know are the photographs in frames or the endless photo albums. But what do those mean to them? Will they throw them away when I die? These things pop into my head-

My mum and dad died by the time I was 26 years old. Since then I have been plagued by bad health physically and more now mental illness.  Is this suffering written in my karma. Having been suicidal and attempting suicide I listened to the Sikh Holy kirtan to find some solace and I think I wanted God to save me. My children did need me… even if no one else did.  But the pain was overwhelming- it consumed me my heart was broken.  How much more could I endure.  I wish there was someone in the community I could have spoken to to ask about what our Holy scriptures said about mental pain and suicidal thoughts.   My mother was suicidal when she could take no more when my son died … even though I have overcome my worst times of depression each day is a fight to be positive and count my blessings. No one knows how hard it is – they see me smiling and say your ok now. Am I? Deep down I know there is a deep cavern of pain I am suppressing and the medication helps numb the feelings. I feel pressurised to keep smiling and get to work in a week and function as if nothing has happened.

People say you are so strong; I have endured some of the worst traumas in life having had a stillbirth – my son Karan Singh – deaths of parents to cancer at such young ages . Trying to save my marriage often causing such distress -the shame I would feel znd then supporting my son now with autism achieve his goals.

This year how close I came to walking out and never returning home – I just wanted to end it all.