A special mention to Read and Dream Away for inspiring me to write this blog.
“There’s nothing wrong with you”, “You are just trying to seek attention to yourself”, “Do something productive with your life and you will feel better”, “Go out and meet some friends. You are feeling low because you are sitting in your room the whole day”.
Does any of this sound familiar? Either you or someone you know might have been at the receiving end of such or similar comments. Sometimes, these comments are made by people who genuinely believe it will help you. But “DEPRESSION” in any form, is still not accepted in its entirety among our society. The feeling of absolute desolation, not able to even get up from the bed to fetch a glass of water, the feeling of dread descending upon you is a feeling that cannot be expressed to make someone understand.
There are many people around us who are suffering from depression. According to WHO, about 300 million people across the world suffer from depression. It’s estimated that 15 percent of the adult population will experience depression at some point in their lifetime. And that is just the adult population. Although it is not widely known, even children and pets suffer from depression. Depression is a devil that attacks from within and can affect just about anyone around us.
Yes, depression is a formal of mental illness. But it doesn’t cause madness, although loss of life is a high possibility. Suicide is a common way of escape from depression victims. Not finding a way to express themselves and not able to get out of the mindset, ending their lives might feel like an only solution to end the pain. But even potential suicide victims reach out in unconscious way to be saved. Depression victims often exhibit certain signs which could be identified by people close to them. Sudden withdrawals, refusing to join in outside activities, hyper anxiety etc. could be some of these signs. It is up to us to identify these changes in our loved ones and take immediate actions to help them instead of dismissing them as insignificant. You never know which moment might be the breaking point for them and we lose them forever.
I could never imagine what depression feel like, nor would I ever claim to have actually suffered from it. Small bouts of unhappiness and feeling low could never compare to going through these emotions days after days at a time. Having said that, a few of my friends are victims of this vicious devil and I see what they go through. Every conversation with them gives me an insight to the troubles they are facing to do everyday activities, which we could do in the blink of an eye. It hurts me to the core to see them suffer and I wish I could take away their pain in one go.
It’s time we acknowledge depression and understand that depression is curable. At times, with medicines, but more often than not, it is the human touch that is the best cure for depression. Sometimes, just being there for them, talking to them can help them come out of it, or at least help in coping with it and accepting it themselves. Any signs of withdrawal should be identified and acted upon. It need not be your family member. It could be someone from your school, office or even community.
One word from you, just a reach out might change someone’s life, even save a life. Be a light in someone’s dark life. Reach out and talk. You never know what the person in front of you is going through. And if you are going through it, please reach out – maybe to your friends, family or even us here. Let us all help fight ‘the enemy within us’ – one step at a time.