VictoryTales with its objective to bring more inspiring stories around the world, this time introducing Ms. Nishtha Khanduja, founder of Moodhouse, Who is on a mission to help the people suffering from depression- accept, fight and defeat it. The idea is to have a digital platform where people affected by depression can share their conflicted state of mind stemming more often than not from an emotional shutdown resulting from an individual's inability to meet expectations of either oneself or those around him.
Ms. Nishtha has endured the condition herself and fought through the battle with her conviction, strength and will. Instead of denying the cause and symptoms altogether, she confronted her demons, sought out help when she knew she was suffering and came out of it with a renewed sense of hope and energy. She quickly realized that she wanted to help as many people as she can going through the same malady
She collaborated with professionals working in the field and set out a means of offline and online communication to reach out to and counsel those in need of help. Through the means of her social media accounts, she seeked to raise awareness against the taboos of "Mental issues"
Ms. Khanduja is a young and budding entrepreneur at the age of 21. A graduate from Jesus and Mary College, one of the most prestigious institutions in the country, she is a fierce soul with a compassionate heart set on eradicating orthodox conventions around mental health and getting help in reach of any and everyone who is in despair and need of it. With no prior knowledge or experience about establishing a startup, driven solely by fire to aid, assist and heal, she took the plunge anyway.
Know more about
Moodhouse came into existence in the March of the year 2020 intended to help understand and aid people going through any mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, or symptoms of bipolar disorder. The startup has a simple motto of helping those who are unable to find any guidance due to familial, societal, or mentary constraints through their network of counselors, psychologists, and preachers.
We at Moodhouse, through our social media platforms, also try and bring to the fore inspiring stories such that people out there can identify with and relate to the struggles, desperation, helplessness, and hopelessness that such conditions instill in the sufferer. The emphasis is on getting across the message that though life may seem bleak, frail, and troublesome; it is well within ourselves to overcome all that appears irredeemable.
Where did the idea to start something like this come from? Please also talk to us through your background and your journey as an entrepreneur.
At the age of 20, I slipped into depression, where I felt like living through each and every day demanded as great an effort as is required of a wounded animal in a jungle to just survive. It was a struggle I had not known of before, in my entire life. I felt like a loser and lost hope altogether. I attempted to commit suicide n number of times to just get rid of the pain or numbness, whatever that was. What made matters worse and graver were that I had no one to go to, to talk with, to vent out. I don't think anyone really understood what it was like. It was only when I came out of that dark phase that I realized, that there are two main issues that needed to be addressed here. We created a community where we provided people struggling with such issues with free or subsidized professional counseling. We also aimed to bring about a change in the social mindset around mental health through the means of our online and offline channels of communication. Sometimes all we need is a companion, a shoulder to lean on, another soul to bear ours too without the fear of being judged. That's what we are trying to be at Moodhouse. I personally want people to know that "it's okay to not be okay all the time"
Why did you choose entrepreneurship over a job?
I didn't choose either over another. I chose them both. I am a Marketing Executive at Mahindra Holidays, Gurugram branch, as well as a Co-founder of Moodhouse
What’s your source of motivation?
Weird as it may sound, having lived through the anguish and pain myself, I know what the feeling of helplessness is like. I know what it feels like to not have any safe harbor whatsoever. I wouldn't wish it on my worst. It's that struggle that drives me to help as many as I can.
How many hours a day do you work on average?
Although handling a full-time job and a start-up requiring a constant invested emotional presence, is anything but an easy task, I have come to the inference that I am actually quite enjoying it. Every day when I conclude my day I realize how grateful and satisfied I am having lived that day to my full ability.
How do you handle the pressure and manage stress?
As you love your child unconditionally so much that you are able to turn a blind eye to any negative feeling, stress or even financial constraints for that matter that accompanies having a child. It is quite similar to that! Marketing is my passion and Moodhouse is my baby. There's no way any challenge that comes my way because of having the two in my life will make me feel stressed. Just like holding a child in your arms gives you nothing but a joy of the purest nature, exactly in the same manner, spending my time pursuing my passion and love only makes me incandescently happy.
Challenges/obstacles faced in the journey so far?
There are many obstacles and challenges that come along the way. You know we live in a society wherein we openly talk about our Physical wellbeing but fail to address the issues related to Mental Health.
So, breaking the stigma and stereotype attached to it has been an uphill battle.
What piece of advice would you give to college graduates who want to become entrepreneurs?
The only piece of advice I have is - if you want to do something, just take the leap of faith and do it. If you have the desire and passion to do it, everything else you can learn. Any learnings?
Life is worth fighting for!!