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Saturday, 10 October 2015

Depression: It's an ailment, not a hush-hush subject

Today, the 10th October is World Mental Health Day. I have lost a very dear person this year to the devil called depression. That is the main reason I couldn't stop myself from writing about this topic.



Our society doesn't think of depression as an ailment. If you tell anyone that you are depressed, people will probably just tell you to cheer up. We must understand that just like any physical ailment, depression is an ailment of the mind. 

If your head is paining or your liver is dysfunctioning, you are taken to a doctor. But, if you are depressed, then people will encourage you to just cheer up. As a result, the people who are suffering from chronic depression follows either of the 2 paths. Either they become socially detached and start living in a shell, away from friends and family. Or they put on a facade or mask of happiness and show the world that everything is fine. Both the cases are equally dangerous.

My cousin sister (22) followed the second path. No one took it seriously that she was depressed. Therefore, after some time, she decided to not be an emotional burden on anyone. She tried to show to the world that she is doing good. Everyone told her that she has enormous resilience, but none could understand the disease that's expanding within her, pushing her to the dark abyss with every passing second. 

Her parents thought that she is so strong that she can deal with just anything. Her friends thought that she is perfectly happy in life. And one day, when the disease had spread completely from her mind to her heart, body and soul, she ended her life.

People thought it was sudden, abrupt and so wrong of her. No one could understand that the poor girl was deprived of empathy, compassion and medication for her ailment. She was just encouraged to cheer up! 

If you tame a cardiovascular disease and go on without medication, then what will be the end result? Death. 
Similarly, if you allow a person to tame a mental ailment and go on without medication, then what will be the end result? Death.

As I write this, my heart is beating at an enormous speed because she has always been a very special part of my life. I wish I could have understood what she was going through. I wish I could have saved her. 

Depression is a very serious ailment. The next time, a friend or sibling of yours tell you that he or she is depressed, please be empathetic towards the person. Instead of saying just cheer up, try to know the reasons behind the person's depression. Talk to the person, show your support and assure him or her that there is hope.

The word depression is also overused in many cases. Therefore, I would like to mention here that there is a huge difference between sadness and depression. Sadness is a very temporary feeling, which all of us feel sometime. It lasts for a few hours to a day. Depression is a state, which doesn't go away like sadness. 

People feel totally lost and directionless in such a state. There is an emptiness within the soul that stops the mind to rationalize and use logic. The emptiness expand with every passing day. It stays for days and weeks. If it persists for more than two weeks, medication is strictly needed. 

Our country, India is the most depressed nation of the world where maximum number of suicides due to depression have been reported in the whole world. Statistics say that women in India are more prone to depression than men. The primary reason why our country is the most depressed nation is because people of our country don't take medication or help for depression. They just suffer in silence till death takes over.

Depression is treated as a hush-hush subject in our society. We need to change our attitude. We need to understand that mental health is equally as important as physical health. We need to educate people around us and make them understand the need of medication for mental health. We need to be empathetic and compassionate towards people suffering from ailments of the mind such as depression. Today, on the World Mental Health Day, let's try to bring a change and let the change begin with us. 


(Source: Indiblogger)
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48 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing that. Greetings!

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  2. Nice Post ! Depression will be more depressing when we dont understand it :). Thanks for sharing !

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  3. Sorry to hear about your cousin sister, it made my heart to pain. Because i do had a similar experience. Am glad you took to post here and alert those ignorant minds who considers depression as not a big deal. The only treatment of depression is to get socialised, which is highly impossible for the victim, but we who are on the shore can help them out of that.
    Many of my posts are focused on this genre and i really appreciate the way you expressed your views very honestly. Very inspiring post which awares many people Purba :):) At least one heart get reliased, i hope. Thank you for sharing this :)

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    1. I totally agree with you, Prasanna. The ones who are on the shore can definitely help the people who are battling with depression by talking to them. Counseling and socializing are extremely needed.
      I am sorry to hear that you had a similar experience. Hope the attitude towards depression changes in our society. Thanks for the appreciation .

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  4. Sad hai yaar! But, true. Depression is a monster, which eats one up inside and the person can't even Scream out. Sorry about your cousin! Hope no one ever fall prey to I!

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    1. Exactly Rakesh. It's like you are drowning in the sea and you are unable to breath, but you can see the other people around you breathing.

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  5. Great insights Purba, I have also been a prey to depression for more than an year and life seemed to have just ended for me. I shouldn't be saying this here but your post made me irresistible to share. I had suicidal tendencies and was even kept on a prolonged medical treatment. I can totally relate to this subject as all that my college friends would do during those days was say to "cheer up girl" without having to even understand what I was going through.

    It was the hard-core support, compassion and empathy given by my mom that brought be back to wherever I am today else life was almost finished for me. I express my deepest grief for your cousin, how I wish she could get a whole lot of company that could help her overcoming her depression. Depression is as lethal as any other human disease and one direly needs in that situation is a genuine emotional support to survive amidst all odds.

    A very meaning and inspiring post dear, God bless and yes let the change begin from us.

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    1. So brave of you to share your views here.

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    2. I am so proud of you dear that you battled the monster called depression. Obviously, it's the lovely support system you had at home that helped you to overcome that terrible phase of your life.
      I am also lucky that I have a great support system at home. My Dad and Granny has helped me enormously to battle the same monster. From March to May 2015, I was also under medication for depression. Though it was not chronic like your case, but those days were the toughest days of my life. I couldn't balance my thoughts and would breakdown at the slightest thing. Hardly any people took it seriously except my family and best friends. In that phase, I lost my cousin sister to death and a best friend to misunderstandings.
      It's only because of my family that I could get over it soon. I can totally understand how you must have felt in that one year phase.
      Let's pray that every victim of depression gets a support system who can help him/her cross the turbulent sea.
      As I said before, I can relate a lot to you. Much love, many blessings and I am glad to have you as a friend, my dear <3 <3 You are very special and God's blessed child :)

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  6. Depression is fraught with misunderstanding and secrecy because people can be so thoughtless about anybody who isn't 'normal', without a single thought to what this 'normal' is. Glad you've written about it.

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  7. Purba, a very sensitive post. I would just like to add a word of caution though. Drugging a person who suffers from depression should be a measure of last resort. I fear that psychiatrists are quite drug happy these days. Often, what is required is counselling and psychotherapy. Anyway, that should be tried first to see if straightening a person's thinking out can succeed.
    I am also so sorry to hear about your cousin. Perhaps this post of yours will help someone else and carve some meaning out of her untimely demise.

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    1. Exactly, Lata Ma'am. I totally agree with you.
      Giving unnecessary pills to the person afflicted with depression doesn't make sense. At first, proper counseling is required.
      Thank you so much for your precious comment. And I really hope that this post helps someone...

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  8. I hope your post will help someone or maybe their carer givers!

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  9. It's really very sad to hear about your cousin sister. I wish she had been given that space, that empathy, which she needed during her depression.
    Indeed, depression in India is a 'hush-hush' disease. People in India are unaware about this ailment that this could be a bizarre for an individual and his/her family.
    The day we all understand that this ailment serious and we can treat it as a normal disease and provide medication to the particular individual who is suffering with depression.

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    1. I too wish that she had a supporting system that could have helped her to make it through. People in our country treat depression as a fancy word. Very less people have a clear idea of what depression or in that case, any other mental ailment is. I hope the attitude changes in our society soon.

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  10. It is only now people are becoming more aware of depression as a problem that needs to be accepted by society. I remember Aamir Khan's program on this problem.
    That you didn't hesitate to share your cousin's problem as an example is really brave of you! I am sad at her demise due to this problem. It is really scary to what extent this disease can take a person.

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    1. Yes Indrani, awareness about depression is being created through several platforms and I hope people really understands the intensity of it.
      So true! Any disease that is kept untreated can be catastrophic in the end. Thanks for your comment dear.

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  11. Your post is too good , sad to know about your cousin . Its necessary to understand and support a Depressed person.

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    1. Thanks Ghazala. I hope people really shows empathy towards people suffering from ailments such as depression.

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  12. i am so sorry to hear about your cousin sister . I agree with you about how people feel about depression in India. My mom being psychologist would like your post. Will share it soon :)

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    1. I would be waiting to know your mother's view on this post, Sachin. I hope people gets educated about the mind related diseases. Everyone has the right to have good mental health along with good physical health.

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  13. Very well written Purba. I can't tell you how deeply I connect with this issue. I express my deep mourn for your cousin. May her soul rest in peace and this story guides all the parents to understand their children's mental well being. Falling short of words, as my eyes are wet reading this.
    Kudos for this motivational yet courageous post.
    God bless.

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    1. Yes Ma'am when I see my aunt repenting about not being able to understand my cousin's problem, my heart really shatters. Parents really need to understand that depression is an ailment and not a mere word that is equivalent to sadness/bad mood.
      Thank you so much for your generous words. It's always a pleasure to see you here.

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  14. Thanks for sharing this post Purba. Sorry to know about your cousin. May her soul rest in peace. Sad but true. Extended depression can hollow out a person and it is tough to pull oneself out of it. Society, including friends and family doesn't help as it is not even considered as a disease in our country. Very important to speak out on this issue.

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    1. Yes Somali, most people think that depression is a state that is under the control of someone. It's not treated as a problem or ailment in our country especially. Sad! Hope the scenario changes soon.

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  15. Depression is difficult to diagnose. Many of us do not go to doctor for much more over ailments. We do not even think a low state of mind can be pathological. We think it will go away. Many a times we think that is the way we are. I think awareness of mental ailment and clear symptoms is very important.

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    1. So true! I totally agree with you. People think that it will go away, just like a bad mood. Awareness about mental ailments and mental health is extremely needed.
      Thanks for your comment.

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  16. I know someone with the same problem and he ended his life too. It's such a life threatening ailment which is more passive!

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    1. I am so sorry to know about it. It is really an extremely life threatening ailment. Still, people are so casual about it.

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  17. I was not aware that there is such a day observed. Thank you for your post on this topic. I have seen so many known and unknown people in my life trying to cope up with this ailment. And you rightly said, it becomes more so difficult in Indian society where depression is considered equivalent to irreversible madness. It is saddening and alarming.

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    1. Yes Salvwi a lot of people get afflicted by depression from time to time. The worst part is when it gets chronic, people don't take help as it is treated as a kind of madness in our society and thus the situation worsens.

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  18. Wonderful post Purba. You have touched a very sensitive subject. And I am sorry to hear abt your cousin.

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    1. Thank you Sonia. I liked your post on the subject too :)

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  19. I am really sorry for your loss, dear. And you're actually saving many lives by acknowledging these facts about depression that people are unaware of and it's high time that they start taking this disease as a serious matter. So proud of you. :* God Bless.

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    1. Thank you so much dear.
      I really wish people take a thing like depression seriously without keeping it under wraps. Hope our society gets advanced in the days to come.
      God bless you too <3

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  20. As I read through your post, I remembered your novel The Hidden Letters too. Mental illness is so much overlooked or shunned that people don't realize what they are doing. It is so sad that your cousin could not get timely help. Thanks to the growing awareness, people are beginning to understand the importance of mental health too. We need to be there for our friends and loved ones too and take prompt action if we suspect anything wrong.

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    1. Yes dear, thankfully people are understanding the importance of mental health. Still, our society needs to grow a lot, when it comes to mental ailments. As human beings, we should always be with our loved ones whenever we sense something is wrong.
      Thanks for your comment.

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  22. Glad you shared such an inspiring and important post. We all should change our mind regarding this topic. After all its not a matter of joke that can be ignored. Loved the post,btw

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  23. Invaluable article Purba Ji. Again 10th October has come. The subject matter of your post remains relevant for the whole year all the same. Since I have also undergone depressive phases in my life, I can just that the significance of this informative, enlightening and inspiring article cannot be overemphasized. Hearty thanks and compliments.

    Jitendra Mathur

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