I kept my unipolar depression a secret for years. My reasoning: people could not see that I was ill, so they would not believe that I was actually suffering. However, about 12 years ago, while working in the e-publishing sector, I let my guard down and confided in a colleague, who I thought was also a friend. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have been surprised at her response: she told me that it was all in my head.

Physical illness is typically the reason behind people taking days off from work. But what happens when your symptoms are not visible to others? When you are stressed beyond belief, or when your depression is so bad that you cannot get out of bed, or when you are just burnt out, it is beneficial to take a mental health day. Unfortunately, this concept is still alien in India.

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