A long overdue apology to my TBR list

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Photo by Pickawood on Unsplash

Dear Bookshelf,

There used to be a time when I read one book a week. Our local librarian would look at me with awe and wonder after I turned in another 600+ page novel three days after checking it out. I remember my brother once gawped at me after seeing I had read through two-thirds of a thick novel two days in.

Back then, books were my entire world. From Dan Brown to Frederick Forsyth, I read them all. I developed empathy after relating to the troubles of the protagonists. …

The beautiful joy of reading is beneficial for not only your cognition, but also your psychological wellbeing

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Photo by Li Lin on Unsplash

I’m currently reading a spy novel known as A Foreign Country, written by Charles Cumming. Last night, I discovered something odd— I couldn’t put the book down. I needed to sleep. My eyes burned and I had an early class today. Logically, I should’ve slept. Yet, I couldn’t put the book aside.

It was odd because this hadn’t happened in a while. I’ve been quite distanced from reading as of late, due to my commitments to writing and attending classes. …

Instead of aspiring toward a perfection that doesn’t exist, we must learn to accept our limitations

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Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Living with mental illness, in and of itself a taxing ordeal is made even tougher when we ourselves act as obstacles in our path toward self-acceptance. Often, we unconsciously offer grave resistance against the improvement of our mental health.

One of the ways we do that is in the form of cognitive distortion, which, although habitual and longstanding, are biased, exaggerated, or irrational ways of thinking. While there are a number of cognitive distortions, the one we shall focus on today is when we think in should statements.

As someone who has unconsciously engaged in this distortion, I can tell you it is extremely damaging to your mental health. It makes you put undue pressure on yourself and hold yourself to a standard that can only be termed superhuman. …

They took time to implement, but the result was a naturally higher quality of sleep.

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Photo by Gregory Pappas on Unsplash

I’ve always had problems with sleep. While I wouldn’t call myself an insomniac (even though others call me that), I will admit sleep has often proven elusive to me. To be more specific, I’ve always had issues with falling asleep.

I’d lie awake for hours and hours, tossing and turning restlessly until the small hours of early morning. It often happens that just as I’m about to fall asleep, my whole body jerks involuntarily. I sit up with a scream and gasp for breath the next few seconds.

A new complication has arisen recently. Now I have difficulty staying asleep as well. It’s usually a nightmare; I wake up shouting and breathless after one to two hours of sleep. Otherwise, my eyes simply pop open in the middle of the night. …

It’s easy to get mixed up between the two and end up considering yourself suicidal

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Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

WARNING: This article contains multiple references to suicide and may act as a trigger to some. Please read with caution.

There was a time when I constantly thought of suicide. It was my go-to whenever anything went wrong. I was heavily depressed back then, more than I thought I could handle. These days, I often wonder how the hell I even did.

Sometimes, these thoughts became overpowering enough that I was compelled to share them with my close ones. The reply I often got went something like this:

Why do you think like this? Why do these thoughts even come to your mind? Don’t be crazy. …

I still remember how freaked out and intrigued I was when I read that scene

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Photo by Fleur Brebels on Unsplash

I’m from India, a country still in the process of transitioning from conservative to progressive. It’s a befuddling phase, because we have on the one hand people who take God’s name whenever forced to acknowledge the existence of sex, while on the other we have people who take every opportunity to satisfy their insatiable libido. As a country, we’re neither here nor there.

It comes as no surprise, then, that I wasn’t aware of the basics of sexual intercourse even when I was eleven years old. I didn’t know how I came to be. How couples procreated was a complete mystery to me. Of course, my doubt was never cleared verbally. …

Some require small bits of action, some entire lifestyle changes; but all should make living with mental illness easier

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Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

I was diagnosed with clinical depression in 2013, when I was 14. My family has a history of mental illness, so I had some idea of what to expect. But nothing prepared me for what was to come. I can remember at least one instance in which I tried to end my own life.

In 2014, I was diagnosed with GAD — Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Then began the panic attacks. By 2015, a typical day in my life involved forcing myself to get up from bed, faking smiles throughout the day, taking at least one bathroom break to have a panic attack in isolation, praying at night for God to kill me before the next morning, and finally crying myself to sleep. …

The profound benefits of reading to both your physical and mental health

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Photo by Robert Norton on Unsplash

I’ve been an avid reader of fiction (and recently non-fiction) books ever since I was a child. I still have fond memories of spending hours lost in Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series. I eventually moved on to more adult content, but one thing I never lost was the simple joy of reading a book.

Now that I’m older, life won’t allow me to read as often or as long as I’d like. But I still manage to devour more than twenty books a year, a mere fraction of the number I once used to achieve. Whenever I do read, I feel a sense of calm and understated jubilation. …

The articles I write are as much for me as they are for anyone else

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I’ve written more articles than I originally thought I had ideas for, and the vast majority of them have been on mental health. In some of them, I’ve outlined various personal experiences and events from my own life. Whenever this has happened, I’ve noticed at least one comment praising me for being “brave” enough to share my struggles.

I’ve often replied with a polite thank you or something like that, but there’s been more than one occasion where I almost wrote back an entire essay on why I don’t consider it brave. It’s happened often enough to make me want to write an article on it. …

A classic example of why you shouldn’t let book reviews influence you

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Photo by Tim Tebow Foundation on Unsplash

I’ve never been one to pay much attention to ratings. They can never be objective, nor completely accurate. Testimonials never play a huge role in making or breaking a purchase, either. There’s one particular book which was hailed as a game-changer, which had glowing testimonials from some of the industry’s leading authors, that I absolutely despised.

Then there are books like Keep You Close by Karen Cleveland. If I’d gone by the (let’s say divisive) reviews, I wouldn’t have wasted my time on it. But as usual, I didn’t even open Goodreads before making the purchase. …


Chandrayan Gupta

21-year old author, blogger, and law student. I write crime thrillers with a heavy focus on mental health issues. Search my name on Amazon to get my books!

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