PETALING JAYA: In times of desperation when even close connections cannot be of assistance, seeking medical help might be the only option to save one from the brink of death, said author Salim Ashedoff, also known as Salim Satori.

Depression is so Painful, which he wrote and published last year, is about his experience struggling through depression and how he survived.

Salim said most people who go through depression will only have one thought, which is to be rid of their pain.

“I had this voice in my head constantly telling me to escape from the pain I felt and do something for relief. The pain was not physical, so people couldn’t understand what I was going through.

“It was an excruciating torture that continued for a long time. And, when one couldn’t handle it anymore, he would go for the best solution he could think of, which was suicide,” he told theSun.

Salim said the funny thing is, people with depression don’t realise they are going through it.

“When the movement control order (MCO) was implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic, I was devastated because, as the sole breadwinner in my family, I couldn’t provide them with much.

“As a corporate trainer, I couldn’t do my job and the devastation turned into hopelessness, trepidation and fear.

“It came to a point that I had panic attacks at 4.30am daily. I couldn’t sleep well, I was sullen and I felt down all the time, and constantly had arguments with my wife and nine-year-old daughter.

“Finally, I couldn’t take the pain anymore and went to a clinic accompanied by my wife. Only then I found out I was suffering from the critical stage of depression.”

Salim said depression is like being consumed with something dark and gloomy with no way of escape.

Depression is not about feeling sad because when you are sad, you can feel it. Even during the day, I felt like I was in a dark blank space and in a gloomy world where only I existed. I didn’t notice anyone or anything around me.

“However, while going through this episode, I came to realise who were my true friends and relatives.

“Some will not be there for you during the difficult times and I learned that the hard way.”

Salim said his book is the story of a common man experiencing depression and is written in a way that could be understood by everyone.

“There are numerous articles and books about depression. However, it is not spoken loud enough, as if it is a taboo subject.

“My book serves to create awareness and act as support for those who are experiencing the same thing as I did.

“I want them to know that help is available, and that there will be someone who would empathise and understand what they are going through.”

Salim said he hesitated about publishing his book.

“When my friend, Gobinathan Manickam, suggested that I write about my experience, I just said okay.

“I was still in the process of recovery, so dark thoughts sometimes put a pause on my initiative to publish the book.

“Books that I read as a young boy gave me the confidence and drive to make my publication a reality.

“This book is not about earning money. It’s about the painful depression that millions experience each year and is told from my first-hand point of view.

“I hope it will create awareness and be of help to those who suspect that a loved one is suffering from depression, and others who are struggling with it.”

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