‘I am fine, really’. ‘Then why aren’t you eating your food?’ ‘Because I’m not hungry’. The exact type of answer you get when someone you know, is struggling with their mind and concealing the depress state they are in.
We all know in 2015, Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone step forward admitting her suffering from depression and anxiety in her past, it was also a step to break the stereotype Indian society possess. Asking all who suffer come forward and take a stand, Miss Padukone with her bold approach sends a message to the world that this is no stigma to outcast such people. To help others she also launched an NGO, Live Love Laugh, #Dobarapoocho. This kind of encouraged other people and celebrities to come out and talk about their suffering and how they overcame such lament phase of life.
According to a research, one out of every 5 Indian will suffer from depression at some point in their lifetime. WHO’s concern for the widespread mental-war has lead to theming this year’s World Health Day to Depression. In India, mental health has become serious affair among teenagers as well as adults.
Talking statistics, the number of depressed people in India has risen exponentially to a whopping 50 million. India was rated with the highest number of major depression in the world with 36%, in 2011. One in every 5 women and one in every ten men are victims to depression. But on the contrary, according to doctors, only 10% people in India are in the depression. The stats could be wrong as many don’t come out to seek help.
Even in 21st-century, one refuses to admit their mental state because in general, we think of these people as crazy. The topic of depression itself never made it to the discussion table and those who needed it discussed often feel uncomfortable. Why is it that when someone is in trouble, instead of finding a cure we take them to temples and churches and to those unqualified preachers who probably couldn’t spell ‘Apple’ correctly. Yes! it so does happen and not just in rural areas but in urban too.
Usually, those who suffer try to keep it to them only. We imagine the bearer to be sitting in a corner in an ill-lit room, knees up to the chin and probably crying. Well, that’s not what exactly happens. Nowadays, these people just to avoid the stereotype try to blend in and you probably wouldn’t even notice them. They’ll seem cheerful and as happy as any other normal person. And maybe that is why when a happy looking person says they are depressed, do cooperate.
Depression should not just be associated with detachment and gloomy feelings, or indifferences and weakness. Especially, When people are in the denial state of their situation. The mood swings and that crunch in their belly generate anger frequently gets lashed out on others. The sudden emergence of self-loathing and other repressed emotions could be the reason to outburst. Try to talk them out of it. Embrace their condition be as much supportive as you could.
‘I don’t want to do this. I don’t like it anymore.’ A depressed person may show signs of turning down the stuff they once loved. They see everything without any purpose and afraid of committing to anything and can result in refusal. They also tend to sleep and still whine about the lack of sleep or tiredness. It could be opposite as the person might be staying awake all night, shuffling through the ocean of emotions, crying and fighting the feeling itself. This state of mind can play games with the brain. A victim to it may start eating his belly out or not eat anything at all. Both the condition call for attention although it can seem obvious as eating couldn’t harm anyone, right?
This topic in India is sort of untouched. Our society often discriminate against those diagnosed with depression or any sort of mental illness. The practice is so widespread, a sufferer ends up killing himself rather than seeking help.
‘The nights are still easy, it is the morning that horrifies, knowing nothing has gone back to normal. Even if everything seems normal, this emptiness in your belly, this cavity in your heart won’t fill’, said a victim. We Indians keep stereotyping these people despite so much awareness, reasons why the number of suicides and attempts has gone up in past few years. According to a report on suicides, every hour 15 people commit suicide in our country which sums up to more than 1.3 lakhs death out of that 90% suicides are due to depression.
It is time we break the stereotype and stand together for them. Let us erase the fear depressed people have in their mind about becoming a social piece of mockery. If they are suffering today, it can be us tomorrow. If we, the society, kept this practice in notion, we might lose our youth to depression or could result in more dramatic consequences. They need love and comfort as well as never ending support to recover. The only way these people would come out seeking help is if we give them hope.
To all those depressed people, if you are reading this, pull yourself together for you are stronger than your weakness. And as JK Rowling says, ‘the world is full of wonderful things you haven’t seen yet. Don’t ever give up on the chance of seeing them.’