Manjinder speaks about his experience with the coronavirus pandemic as a student coming from a BAME background and how religion, spirituality and meditation were helpful to his mental health and his OCD.
- Video transcript
Hello everyone. My name is Manjinder and I’m 23 years old. I’m currently pursuing my BSc(Hons) in Computer Science at the University of Strathclyde.
I would like to speak about my experience with the Covid-19 pandemic as a student coming from a BAME background, how it affected my mental and physical health and how religion, spirituality and meditation were helpful to me.
This is my experience. Remember, there are different types of support available.
At the start of the pandemic, my mental health deteriorated as I started researching more about the virus and how it can bring negative consequences to our health.
Over time, this behaviour turned into OCD when I got affected by Covid directly, and I had to start quarantining myself for two weeks with mild symptoms.
After two weeks, I recovered from the Covid symptoms, but my fear for the illness started growing exponentially as I feared for long term effects as I started Googling for different types of symptoms, such as headaches, abdomen pain and others.
This resulted in finding extreme diseases that I would have never thought of before. And by evening, my symptoms would inevitably vanish away.
This vicious cycle continued for a few weeks until I experienced my first panic attack, which resulted in difficulty while breathing, higher blood pressure and ending in the ER at my nearest hospital.
This event led me to start seeking help for my OCD. Since I was working as an intern at the time, I opened up to my employer first, which allowed me to take some time off to work on myself.
And I decided to start seeking therapy from my uncle in India as I knew he was, is a very religious person and I felt that my spiritual path could help me get away from this these problems with proper meditation.
I started to speak with him more frequently by opening up about my experiences.
And I discovered more about meditation, and how to get away from these bad thoughts by focusing on praying.
This connection within myself, strengthened my confidence and stopped my OCD fear as I started looking into the real meaning of life.
At the beginning of my meditation experience, it has been very difficult to focus as these random thoughts would continue to bother me, but I found a solution through music, as I found healing playlists on Spotify, which will help me to sync the rhythm of the music with mindful breathing.
By consequence, I started focusing on my routine first, by having structured planning during the day, reducing my time for social media (by focusing less on other's lives), hitting the gym by focusing on my physical health.
And dedicating at least 30 minutes of meditation in the morning and before sleeping.
In my experience, meditation has been such a powerful tool to use as it changed my life's focus, and led me to believe in different values that I've been ignoring in the past.
Seeking help through a professional or an experienced person is a key component to get away from these intrusive thoughts, along with setting goals in your life that can improve the situation too.
If you're experiencing problems with your mental health, seek out support so you can find the right way for you to feel better.
Thank you for watching.
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