Depression, cows and rubber bands

When it rains, it pours, and I am not talking about monsoon. I must have entered a bad spell in my life, and bad news after catastrophes are piling on to me at a speed so intense I have trouble standing on my feet. I am grateful that I have a roof on my head, food in my tummy, and a fluffy pillow to sleep on. Our neighbors don’t.

After being reminded that expats are merely puppets whose strings are handled by heartless people in San Diego, it was time to grab the bull by the horns. Though they may have forgotten about the value of humanity, I still have to be alive, for the sake of, well, life. Since this task is becoming more daunting by the day, I decided to fall back on modern medicine to help, more precisely psychiatry and its range of anti-depressants. Yes, I have managed my depression with and without medicine for decades. Currently, I need a pill. Judge me, I don’t care.

I like doctors in India. Efficient. Professional. Not shackled by insurance companies. That is of course if you can pay cash. I saw two doctors yesterday. One in a brand new spectacular hospital, one in the little bitty clinic across the street. But none under a tent.


Psychiatry is a tricky field of medicine, with a reputation for harboring quack doctors. As a holder of a Master’s degree in clinical psychology, I believe in my field. I believe in its science. I also believe that many incompetent people practice it. Add to the mix the fact that depression is often misunderstood. It’s perceived as a condition suitable for people who are down on their luck, who are poor, who have lost their children, not for expat women with all the material amenities known to (wo)man. I have spent countless hours explaining to my university students what depression really is. Depression is not ingratitude. I think I would have to give that lecture to the shrink I saw last night.

Madam, if you cannot control the situation, you should just let it go. Riiiiight.

You have not yet forgiven the people who wronged you when you were a child? Time for you to take Counseling 101.

Madam, my spiritual guru teaches me that we should relinquish ourselves to a higher being. Are you a shrink or a proselyte?

Madam, I have seen three people today. One with a gender identity problem, one with cancer and one with hallucinations. And I care why?

Myself, I have had hardships in my life, I had to move from Mumbai to Bangalore 10 years back. Thanks,  I still don’t care.

Madam, you should wear a rubber band around your wrist and snap it whenever you have a sad though. If that’s a new therapy, it’s time to invest in rubber bands.

Madam, you should drink milk before going to bed you will not have insomnia anymore. Time to invest in a cow then.

My spiritual guru reminds us of the story of the sparrow that goes to the South Pole. Mention your spiritual guru one more time and I deck you.

Two doctors’ visits, four prescriptions and an ill-advised spiritual lecture, all of that for under 20 bucks.


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4 Responses to Depression, cows and rubber bands

  1. Karolyn Cooper says:

    Hope you start to feel better soon.

  2. Nathalie lleres says:

    Indeed you will survive! You are keeping your self in check with a good sense of derision and you have manage to live with this illness for most of your life as you were saying. Your survival skills are well developped. But take care my friend. I would have gladly come over and share a cup of tea , a stroll in the neighbourhood and good laugh…in spirit…like the sparrow of your guru.. ( ha ha ha)

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