An Unusual Place Helped Me Find Purpose as a Depressed Teen

May 12, 2022 Mahevash Shaikh

When I found out that Yahoo Answers shut down forever on May 4, 2021, I felt like a dear friend had passed away. After all, the platform helped me figure out my purpose when I was depressed, and life made no sense whatsoever. 

As a '90s baby who didn't feel at home in the real world, having Internet access from a young age was a blessing. I immediately liked places like chatrooms as they allowed me to connect with like-minded, "weird" people. I also enjoyed trying out new things online, so when I discovered Yahoo Answers, I signed up immediately. The democratic question and answer format, wherein anyone could ask and anyone could answer, appealed to me. Soon, I was hooked. Reading others' questions and answers was fun, but the part where I could write my answers was soul-satisfying. Of course, I enjoyed asking questions, but it didn't compare to the joy I felt when I wrote answers.

Finding My Purpose with Depression Took a While

Since I was an average 14-year-old girl, it took me a while to figure out that helping people via writing was my calling. But the moment I did, it was a wonderful feeling. For the first time in my life, I felt it was possible to have an interesting job that I could do well. Up until then, I had always believed that I would either get a dull job that I would struggle to keep or not find one at all. Due to depression, I felt it was crucial to have a purpose to go on living. Otherwise, there was no point in struggling every day. Yahoo Answers gave me hope at a time when I had none, and for that, I will always remember it fondly. 

After graduating as an IT engineer at 22, I had no idea what to do next. Becoming a software programmer or tester was my only option, and neither interested me. Upon introspection, I decided to go back in time and remember what I loved to do as a child. Apart from singing and reading, writing that helped others was a memory that came to mind. I decided to do just that, and, well, I have been writing professionally for eight years now. 

Today, I firmly believe that inspiration, even epiphanies, can come from the most unexpected places. All you need to do is keep an open mind and allow yourself to have new experiences. 

APA Reference
Shaikh, M. (2022, May 12). An Unusual Place Helped Me Find Purpose as a Depressed Teen, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 25 from

Author: Mahevash Shaikh

Mahevash Shaikh is a millennial blogger, author, and poet who writes about mental health, culture, and society. She lives to question convention and redefine normal. You can find her at her blog and on Instagram and Facebook.

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