It’s okay to be not okay !
While we are all mourning over the sudden death of our charismatic young handsome actor Sushant Singh Rajput, social-media is bombarded with hashtags of mental health matters, suicide awareness, you are not alone, etc. Initial findings suggest that Sushant chose this path because of depression. Depression is a real disease. It ain’t like the routine trough of sadness that we go through in our roller-coaster lives. It’s a perpetual state of melancholy and the need of the hour to address this issue solemnly and be open to speak up about Depression. Let’s see more about various aspects of depression and how we see it in society in today's article.
What exactly is depression?
Depression is a disease.
Just like every other disease needs care and professional help, depression needs the same. It is a common mental disorder that can cause a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Sometimes it is also called clinical depression or major depressive disorder. It affects an individual in how he/she feels, thinks and behaves which can eventually lead to various physical and emotional problems.
Depression is not a mood-swing.
According to WHO, depression is the main cause of disability worldwide.
What leads to depression?
There are many reasons and causes which results in depression. The main reason for depression results from a complex interaction of social, psychological and biological factors. There are many other factors that can trigger depression, including:
Genetic features of an individual
Changes in brain functioning
Other conditions, like bipolar disorder, etc.
People who have gone through tough or adverse situations in their life (like psychological trauma, financial loss, loss of loved one, unemployment, etc) are more likely to develop depression.
There are many symptoms that can show that one is suffering from depression. Some of these symptoms are:
Sleeping too much or too little
Difficulty in thinking
Difficulty in concentration and making decisions
Change in appetite
Not liking activities which you once enjoyed
Weight gain or weight loss
Our Two Faced Society
It is very surprising how mental health is overlooked in our society, we not only forget to ask others if something is bothering them, we also forget to ask ourselves as well. As we stated, social media is filled with messages like talk to people, please share your thoughts, and don’t succumb to the dark places inside your head. While these words sound good on your Insta Story or a youtube video, but these are valid only when society is actually prepared to listen. Most of us are saying that mental health should not be stigmatized but in real life, we ought to take mental health as an excuse and label the person as an attention seeker when they actually try to open up. We have seen people gossiping about an acquaintance who visited a psychotherapist for help. Because of this, a person suffering from depression doesn’t open up in public.
Mental illness eats you from inside and drowns you in a vicious cycle of never feeling good enough and failing to do anything about it in a society that is largely apathetic and even cruel to the people in need of support. Mental health is a very thin thread and it takes a lot to break this thread. It is just like a snip- one thing goes wrong, then another and another. After a few more things, it becomes too much and too loud and it is way out of your hands.
What should we do about it ?
First of all, let’s accept the fact that we don’t know what to do about it. We don’t know what an individual is going through. We don’t know the demons one is fighting to in their mind. We don’t know their story. We don’t know their pain.
Stop judging and start accepting
Just be kind to people. Be nice to the people around you. Call up your loved ones once in a while. Talk to them. Ask them about their well being. Even if you don’t have anything to talk about. Just call & ask “ Aur kaisa hai bhai ?”
Be more human. Listen to them, when someone mentions about how sad they are, don’t shoo them away, don’t call them names like “Devdas, Depression, CryBaby” and don’t change the topic because it won’t appeal to the occasion.
Talk. Understand what they're going through. If you don't have anything to help them, don't add to the conversation. Useless banter and good for nothing free advice will only push them farther away in their cocoon. Just empathize and be there for them. nA little bit of kindness, a little more acceptance and a little less of being judgmental can make this world a better place.
What should you do if you have depression ?
I talked to Kartik ( who writes on Weekend Shots ), a depression survivor himself. This is what he had to say about what you can do if you feel like you are depressed.
Depression and anxiety are real. Don’t ignore your mental health. Accept it, accept the changes you notice as you feel them.
We are living in a world where it is very easy for things to go wrong and even easier for people to not care about you. It is important to realize that in our minds we hold the thread to our mental health and in our heart, the thread of the people around us.
Hit rock bottom. Feel the sadness and the anxiety and go to the very end of it. Hit that rock bottom, and when you do, jump up from there and never look back.
Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Be kind to yourself.
Love yourself. If you got the chance to fall in love with yourself ( I would definitely ), would you allow to hurt yourself? How can you hurt such a strong and sensitive soul who has so much to win and conquer ! If you haven’t loved yourself still, ever heard about love can happen twice ? This your chance to fall for yourself again.
Date yourself. Take care of yourself. Meditate. Seek professional help & medication if needed. Baby-steps count.
Be in the present. Appreciate the little things that make you happy and enjoy them like a kid. Do all those things that you once loved.
Know your triggers. Eliminate them one by one. If you can’t, make peace with them.
Do not be ashamed to be depressed. Take it is as a disease. You can win this.
Talk. So open up about your feelings to your family. I can understand opening up to your parent’s (who have invested their love, time & money into you) about depression, can be tough. They’ll be shattered. But trust me there so no bond stronger on earth than them. They will take some time to adjust to it. Just try to speak to them. They have seen more of this life and probably travelled in the same shoes. Try.
I can also feel the guilt you’ll feel if you open up to your parents. Talk to your friends & your loved ones instead. Have those SOS calls at 4 am in the night if need be. A short disclaimer : You need to know there are people whom you’ll call, they’ll listen to you but to your surprise, ignore your issue at hand as a trifle matter. Understand that they won’t have the answers. They aren’t the right person to reach out to. Put up a fight. You’ll find that SOS person. They will be there for you. You are not alone.
Exercise. Work on your body. A happy mind resides in a happy body.
Put up a fight, Don’t Quit. Don’t back down. We can get through this. I did too.
If everything fails, know that you still have to watch the Northern Lights in Norway, travel to Antarctica, skinny dipping on the beach, gondola rides in Venice, Skydive, kiss under the Eiffel Tower, climb Mt. Everest! Make that to-do list before you die, and make a long one. Tick those boxes off! You might come out a happy individual thereafter.
A message: From Me to You
One may feel lonely and feel misunderstood many times in their life. One may feel worthless, unloved or may even question themselves and the purpose of their life. These feelings may come many times but it’s okay. The only thing is just don’t keep it to yourself. Talk about it with someone. Give time to yourself. Talk with your loved ones or seek professional help. Cry, grief, mourn, but don’t give up. Take your life one day at a time!
To that, I’ll just leave you with this video from Live Laugh Foundation,
Now that you reached the end of my article, I'd like to know your story about how you battled depression in the comments below.
Further, if you want to read about my article from last week on Understanding Pride Terminology click here.
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