I am Shreyasee. Currently 23 years old. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos Encephalitis in 2014, after being misdiagnosed for 2 years.

The last seven-and-a-half years of mine have been a rollercoaster to say the least.

I suffered from a serious neuro-endocrine condition (which was misdiagnosed for about two years (2012-2014), with each doctor giving their own explanation or saying that my physical health was alright but I was psychologically weak.

I was 15-17 years of age at that point, studying at a school where I continued after the 10th standard.

A couple of people around me noticed that something was wrong with me and I was getting weaker day-by-day. I was badly bullied at multiple instances.

Owing to the nature of this disease, I just couldn't process and correctly frame my experiences in words. I got quieter with time at home, even to my grandparents whom I used to narrate every single incident to.

Instances of extreme headache, vertigo, and discomfort throughout my body were persistent. I couldn't eat properly as I always felt nauseous. I fainted in the middle of exams a couple of times, during finals, half-yearly’s and even my boards, and this was concluded to me being just 'nervous' by both teachers and doctors.

Those two years just went down the drain.

I was ridiculed by a lot of people my age as well as adults. My parents felt helpless. Even after all these times, I was extremely grateful that I came across an amazing group of doctors in 2014 who took some time doing numerous tests and correctly diagnosed my condition and started the necessary treatment.

Saying that the treatment was painful, would be an understatement.

To be brief about it, it involved hospital stays, steroids, injections and lot of medications, but it was necessary. Shortly after that, fortunately or unfortunately, I completely lost the memory of the past two years of my illness. Completely blank.

It felt as if I was dropped off from somewhere.

I had my family around, but when any person brought it up, I was confused, uncomfortable and did not know how to respond. The medication continued, slowly decreasing over the years, but life wasn't the same as before.

Whenever I was awake, I would draw a little, something that I enjoyed even as an infant and it made me happy.

With time and several years passing by, I gradually took to animation, doing a course while getting opportunities to work from people who believed in my creativity.

In 2019, I released a short one minute film, which was actually me describing my own situation. But metaphorically, through a character.

It was received very well, getting 25 screenings in nine countries, Top 5 ratings and earning four global awards. I am still more than grateful to the organisations and published blogs who promoted my work to such a level. It instilled hope and life in me.

I was invited to be a juror, by brands to be their ambassadors and, from blogs and online magazines, to share my work.

I kept working and building my brand, keeping in mind by health limitations but, I didn't stop.

Cut to 13th November, I slowly started recollecting everything, every single detail of what had happened during my illness when it was left undiagnosed.

It felt like a whirlpool.

It made me go through so many emotions, sadness, hurt, anger. I became angry with my parents for not pulling me out of this situation earlier. I felt misjudged.

But for what? For something I wasn't responsible for.

It made me realise that people - and I am sure there are many of them around the globe who go through any sort of rare neurological or neuro-endocrine diseases - have to go through so much pain until it is diagnosed as well as the judgements of people who do not understand it, before and after.

The way it alters you, is something so scary to think about once you recover, trust me.

It takes years to get yourself back.

Standing at a place today, where I am far ahead in time, my near and dear friends viewing me as a strong and successful individual, still brings tears to my eyes.

In the next years of my life, I genuinely want to work towards bringing more awareness and even working with organisations if I get a chance to, for the betterment and timely diagnosis for people.

This cause is very, very important to me. So to anybody out there, seeing a person suffering in silence, please be compassionate enough to at least try to help them.

And to anyone going through a similar phase, please be strong. Life does get better.

Regards, Shreyasee

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