‘Many times I plaster a smile to my face and try to hide the battle inside’

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“I developed anxiety and depression when I came to Nixor. A lot of things were happening together and I tried to use ECAs as a distraction. I got involved in Nixor Corporate and worked very hard for my entity. There was a lot happening in my life, and all of that coupled with severe family issues at home, it was no surprise I started getting my anxiety attacks. When I appear so happy at school, sometimes, it really is genuine, but many times I plaster a smile to my face and try to hide the battle inside. Because if people find out, they tend to use it against you.
The most disturbing thing I feel about this is that there is no mental health awareness in Pakistan. If you go to a psychologist you’ll be labelled as mental, which is one of the reasons I haven’t seen a therapist as yet. People expect me to be happy all the time and grateful because I am in NSG, I have a C-Level position, I have decent grades; they think I don’t have a reason to be anxious because I am better off than many. They don’t understand that although I am proud I have all of this, I don’t have mental peace. People with anxiety cannot control what they think and it’s not so easy to be happy when you feel trapped in your own head. Just because someone has bigger problems than you, does not mean that you are obliged to be happy. The world needs to understand that pain is not a competition. For a 4 year old losing her color pencils would be the worst thing that could happen to her because she can’t possibly understand the pain of a 40 year old going through divorce. Our pain is relative. Everyone has a different level of endurance. You can’t compare.”

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