India..the land of culture, brain and talent. India..that country which tops the list when it comes to population and cultural riots. India..a country that is still developing after 69 years of independence. India..this country on one hand empowers women and on the other hand, is known for brutal rapes. A country where there is a lot of talent but no opportunity because caste, creed, religion, and color hinders everything. Sorry if you feel offended but, this is the ugly truth. Such things are considered as important topics and conditions like depression, anxiety disorders are not worthy of making it to the front page in our country.
Depression has become a significant ingredient behind the increasing number of suicides. Times of India had reported early this year that a research showed at least 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men suffers from major depressive disorders. These days, social networking sites have become the platform for depression. People update their status like they drink water daily. When a person walks up to you and says that he/she is depressed, you laugh at them and ask them to cheer up which obviously does not help. We are so engrossed in our work life and so busy minting money that depression is just a small thing for us. What we fail to understand is that this disorder should not be equated to the common cold or a cough. “Lite lo” is the new mantra that we Indians have adopted. The whole concept of depression is trolled. If a person has to see a psychiatrist, then he/she is mocked at as a mad person. Ignorance is still prevalent. Depression is something that is obvious through the symptoms but is ignored everywhere.
National Institute of Mental Health describes depression as a common but serious illness. There might be various causes for depression, yet the symptoms are overlooked and flouted.
Depression takes a toll on an individual. One instance that recently was brought to light involved famous actor from Bollywood. Deepika Padukone was interviewed by Barkha Dutt. She was accompanied by two renowned doctors who treated her. Deepika had cried on national television when she narrated her story of depression. What was the outcome of this?? People laughed at her and baseless rumors were spread stating that this was a publicity stunt. I am aware what actors do for money, but the doctor and counselor who studied her case approved of her condition. The psychiatrist said “I want to say that this is nothing to be ashamed of, this is not a weakness and this is not madness, seek help and you don’t have to suffer, seeking help will enhance your life in a very positive way and I think socially if we take care of this we will get back to certain values that are important like connection, empathy, and love . 36% percent are suffering more will suffer if we can do this, we can transform.” I respect Deepika for having the courage to come up and break the silence on national television. She also started an NGO called “The Live Love Laugh Foundation”. It addresses the issue of mental health in India. She says that depression is very dreadful and she wouldn’t want anyone else to go through that helpless situation. “I would be happy if one person would be affected with my story and takes a step to cure his/her condition.”, she says.
It is high time we take this seriously. Depression has to be noticed. Notice change in your friend’s, relative’s or colleague’s behavior. There are various sources online that explain numerous symptoms of depression. Make use of those and help people overcome it. Crying would not be the only symptom. Depression doesn’t look for age. A small school going child could be a victim too. Help people who are suffering from this ailment. Talk to them and help them feel better. That empty feeling if ignored could lead to something huge and disastrous. The reason could be heart break or loss of a close friend of family member. It could also be sexual assault or something more. The first step may perhaps be to know the degree of this ailment. Help the victims overcome the resistance to see a doctor or a counselor. It won’t be easy, but it matters and is worth it.
Nothing is impossible until your heart stops beating. Get over it because there is a lot more to do and the sky is the limit.
So, create awareness as much as you can. Start with your home, college or work place. Get a smile on faces of people you love, because it counts. It would make them feel better. Try it and see for yourself. There might be at least one person you know who is going through some kind of depression. Speak with them and educate people that there is nothing wrong in taking medication for depression.
TALK IT OUT.
P.S: An email id can be provided to help people suffering from depression and want to talk about it without revealing their identity. If you feel you need to talk or if you think you might feel better by telling me your story through an email, go ahead and write it. I do not wish to know who you are or where you come from. I wouldn’t share it with any third person. If this makes you feel better at least 1%, then I am happy to help.
I am all ears.
This is my first step. What is yours?
InExAcT as always.
Originally written on Oct 6th, 2015.