Talking about depression is hard, and more so for the person who is suffering from depression. Talk to someone you trust, or take help of a therapist, says this author.
My son was sleeping and I was online. An invitation comes in for a symposium in town, and one amongst the delegate is Dr. Rekha Prasad, Psychotherapist. She is one of the best in our country, has published various books on her research and is an orator too. The cursor is dangling between the accept-decline tab but I could not decide the one. “Maybe I should think this over”, I thought.
It is late afternoon. “He will wake up any moment”. I shut down my laptop and rushed to make some quick snacks for him. Dilemma, confusion. “Shall I go for it? But who will take care of him for a half day?”
The phone rings, it is my mother. “Hey your father is going out of town for a week so I am coming over to have a blast with him!”
“You are a saviour Maa!” I logged in quickly and accepted the invitation. I wanted to attend the symposium and with every passing day my excitement grew.
The next week my superwoman mom came and I told her everything. She happily ordered me to go, “I do not want anyone between me and my grandson.”
I got up early and got ready to go to the venue. I was nervous like a bride, excited like a groom and confused like my son. I entered the hall, all occupied and silent.
It started with a flaring introduction and soon it sped up. The two other doctors spoke about relationships and its complications.
After an hour Dr. Rekha came up to the podium. She came and stood still, silent. Silent for ten minutes, smiling in between. Why was she not speaking? Everyone was going impatient and in the midst someone yelled, “Say something, why are you silent?”
“I am glad you asked to speak, silence kills”.
Everybody smiled round the hall and I heard myself, “She is magnificent!”
She continued, “People say, life is short, live it to the fullest. I find this so irrelevant as a psychiatrist. Life is long, that is why it gets boring, dull and depressed. So to live it up, break the silence. Have any one of you tried?”
Some of us raised our hand.
“Good. So did it work?”
A lady volunteered, “Yes, it did. But the span was very less. After a few days it was the same like earlier and then it went worse. “
“Hmm..how many of you are in a relationship or married. Please raise your hand and wave?”
The entire hall was waving like some musical concert. I was waving and thought of my child – he must be having a good time with his Nani.
“Silence is the killer, break this shield and speak up.”
Hesitant I raised my hand and with her permission, “I tried to talk about it with him, he understood but after some days, I felt the same. Later I stopped initiating and I found all my self lost, sad and grieving. I am not happy. I did not want to speak anymore, cried over small issues. I shielded myself in the shell of my child. He too gave up on me. I think my marriage is not happy anymore. So in my case talking did not help.”
She smiled and appreciated my honesty. “How many of you felt the same way at least once in your life, or can relate to this young lady?”
To my surprise everyone raised their hand. Men too.
“This is depression.”
Oohhh, the entire hall echoed in sync. “When you are feeling low, you start noticing flaws in everyone around you. It is more common in women, because they suffer the most. The house wife and the working women, they walk on the sword everyday to balance all their relationships, so they tend to get hurt more.”
A lady got up and blurted, “I am a new mother. I and my husband decided to share the responsibility, but today I am standing alone in the arena. From feeding, diapering, bathing to waking up at night, it is all my job. He forget the parenting part and appreciating my efforts. “
“They work 12 hours a day, they have to sleep at least 8 hours. At least one hour for daily chores. Where is the time left to understand your feelings?”
The hall was smiling. I was grinning, cheek to cheek.
Another lady from crowd, “What about weekend?”
“Oh come on ladies, they have a social life too, friends, acquaintances, colleagues. He stayed with you the entire week. He needs to freshen up!”
A lot of us asked in chorus, “And us!”
“What do you do at home, you are the mother, it is your job. Is this not what you hear back? The solution to all these problems is talk, talk about the person, talk about your feelings, yell out your mood but not to him, to US. Talk to the experts who can understand your emotions. We are one call away if you are hesitant to step at the clinic.”
She smiled and closed her talk. We were clapping thunderous.
The session ended up with a thank you speech. I went to the reception and asked Dr. Rekha’s visiting card and slipped it into my bag. I left for my home happy and content promising myself for a change.
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