Let’s Make Depression Depressed – Pushpanjali Fotedar, New Delhi

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“Depression. Dabe paaon aakar beth jaata hai, humare andar, chupchaap, andhere kisi kone mein. Chalo use jaane, pehchane. Halki si bhi koi nazar chupaaye toh dekhe doobara, thoda sa bhi koi dagmagaaye toh thame doobara. Zara sa bhi kuch sahi na lage toh puche doobara.” -Doobara Poocho campaign, Live Laugh Love Foundation.

The above narrated lines alarmed my senses the day I encountered this life changing advertisement. It made me realized what I was doing to myself, and because of them I thought of writing and sharing my side of story. Earlier, It’s very first interaction dazed me and made to question my instincts. I was not willing to accept this reality. Those flashbacks of the video where the guy responded rudely “I AM FINE!”, or the girl who thought to be manly, ended up on assumptions like- is this how a person suffers? Is she too had the same problem? I felt connected.
I was known to the fact when it all started but didn’t take seriously. I always felt that I have the ability to deal with any problem, completely known to the fact that I was wrong. Hence, the result was that it lead me to Overthinking. “People think depression is sadness, crying or dressing in black. But people are wrong. Depression is the constant feeling of being numb. You wake up in the morning just to go back to bed again.” Depression is defined as a “mood disorder that may occur only once in a person’s lifetime, or in clusters of “episodes” and I think it is an illness associated to one’s emotion. It may become a severe health condition if it long lasted, could affect the person to undergo seriously and at its worst, even can lead to suicide. Although there are some effective treatments for depression, but due to social stigma linked with mental disorders it is rising globally.

Typically depression is generalized by sadness which can lead to problems such as loss of energy, insomnia, anxiety, stress, lack of concentration, overthinking/overanalyzing, fear of change, feeling of worthlessness/hopelessness, guilt, thought of self-harm or suicide etc. I didn’t recognize it for what it was until one fine day it all burst out. I used to think that I had a bad attitude. Unnecessarily shouting, being aggressive, overthinking was attached to me. Each day was a struggle and the more I thought I could change myself the more I felt like a failure. Every time I began to see change, I’d wake up one day and find myself back to the point where I started.

Therefore, the question which rises here is, do such problems are actual major cause of depression? Where does it come from? The answer is certainly not. Such problems are not the reason for one’s being depressed. In fact these difficulties occur if the person had gone through something unexpected incident. Incidents that are personal and could affect one’s feelings. It’s those surprising and shocking event that leads to such conditions. For instance, being mocked or gagged on being fat/skinny/tall/short, being cheated/ rejected in a relationship, etc.
Several misconceptions exist in perspective to the term depression. Society generally considers being in depression is nothing but sadness. I remember once I tried to express my problem with my father. I told him about how disappointed I feel about myself, for which the response I got was, Acha.. aisa kuch nahi hai.. abhi kaunsi umar hai tumhari depressed hone ki.

Age is commonly pointed out when it comes to depression. It is every time said that depression is for an old generation and that too with the apparent reason that they are getting old. This need to be clear out that depression does not look for a person who is in his old age. As said above that it occurs unexpectedly which means it’s natural and can happen to anyone and to any age group.
Despite of this fact, people often compare or think depression occurs due to loneliness. But in reality it is something that can convert into loneliness if not treated well. Being loner does not mean that the person is weak or depressed; “Loner” is related to isolation/solitude whereas depression is a pathological condition.

Another delusion which has been built is being a psychological illness people firstly, take such issues lightly and will conclude that it’s just a mood swing. Secondly, even when they are known to this fact that it’s a disease related to brain they would reflect it as the person is mentally disable, it is something that can’t be cured and at last they are not ready to accept the reality.
One must understand that it too can be treated. Just like how treatment is done when we are suffering from fever. We visit physician in order to get over fever else it will affect our physical health; similarly, our brain too needs a doctor, known as psychologists. Taking professional help will help the person to recover easily.

Recognizing signs of depression in yourself and others could be a challenge. People in such condition barely could look after themselves. Thinking they live repetitive, uninspired and colorless life. Here are some ways through which you can help and bring positivity in their lives:

  • People suffering with such difficulty generally will not come to you and say, “I am depressed, please help me!” They know how to conceal their emotions or expressions which at last makes involve in trouble situation. Therefore if you think someone is anguish from depression try asking them, do not assume. Clarify what it is that is bothering them.
  • Such people might be sometimes easy to talk but are hard to understand. Do not specify those people with words such as attention seekers, they are needy. If you come across such people do not criticize, rather listen to them without judgement and offer support.
    • Depressed people are not in state to know about anything, they battle with their own thoughts. Some of them have aggressive behavior; some might not even feel to have conversation with anyone and even might cry. At such situation do not panic. Don’t provide opinion by saying, “You are overreacting”, “This shall pass, have faith”, “you are so annoying, egoistic” etc. Instead, be patient.
  • More dependent on alcohol or drugs.
  • Encourage them to focus on the positive. Often they are uncomfortable with the situation, so just stay and let them feel connected. Talking therapies, medications would help the person to build a trust not only with you but will bring their loss self-confidence and their identity.
  • If they are thinking about self-harm, do not leave them alone. Seek further help from emergency.

Overthinking can bring you up to a point where life becomes grey. One may feel like they didn’t belong to this place, feel they are good for nothing. It drives you into a pool of negative thoughts and only creates problems that aren’t there. For me, as well, it was tough to connect with the surroundings. I was so lost and deep with my thoughts (still feel so) with every situation. Apart from the above points there are several ways to deal with depression. Writing is one of them.

Pen downing your thoughts could actually help you in overcoming your fear. Although, it becomes uneasy at beginning but pushing through and writing will make you feel better. I too had struggled before writing this article. Wrote my wordings, shared them with my friends, even had a thought of being judged but finally came up with my viewpoint. If you are struggling with depression, just remember that it can overcome. It’s just that you need to accept, listen and believe yourself. “It’s okay not to be okay” and trust me one day you will make it up to yourself.

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