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Many viral articles and talk shows revolve around the topic of depression and grab eyeballs, but do we really know and accept depression as a curable disease?
Sipping the morning cup of tea and scrolling through social media. It was usual day and just when I saw the news of actor Kushal Punjabi committing suicide.
The first thought was that one more had succumbed to the glamour world and the dark face of fame.
He was not that new, was in fact, a popular actor who has done quite well for his field, having many serials, movies and reality shows on his name, and a pretty good financial status . Then what made him go for this!
By the evening, there were more details and things started tumbling out of the can.
Martial rift and according to sources he was also on anti-depressants.
He was partying the night before and in just a few hours he was gone.
Were the pills not enough?
I guess so.
This case is one of those cases which give us a glimpse of how dreadful this disease is and how ignorant we are, to rely on pills.
Depression has been in discussions ever since actress Deepika Padukone openly discussed it, and accepted that she had gone through a low phase in life.
Recently, actress Alia Bhatt was out in support of her sister Shaheen during a book-launch event and discussed depression, and broke down while realising that she wasn’t available the way she could have been when Shaheen was going through this phase.
Many viral articles and talk shows revolve around this and grab eyeballs, but do we really know and accept depression as a curable disease?
‘Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also harder to bear’ ~ C.S Lewis
We don’t talk about it as much as we talk about other diseases and the truth is shocking. More than 300 million people worldwide are fighting with depression. India alone has 6.5% of its population suffering from some sort of mental illness.
The numbers are very sad for India, where help does not come easy. With a suicide rate of 10.9 for every one lakh people, suicide is one of the biggest causes of deaths in the age group of 15-24; we stand on 6th position in the list of most depressed countries.
A WHO report also threw light on another disturbing fact. Almost 80% of people diagnosed with mental sickness do not seek any kind of treatment and this is projected to increase by 20% by 2020.
We are sitting on a ticking time bomb and not realising the ill effects of the changing fabric of society.
Depression forces the body and the brain into a death trap. These stages have also been compared to severe forms of trauma and can be difficult to recover from.
The normal human brain is capable of handling emotional stress, by releasing stress managing hormones but in case of a depressed person, the dopamine production by brain goes for a toss making it hard for the body to process negativity.
Loss of sleep, reclusiveness or getting away from public life, or on the contrary facing visible lows in life and looking extreme happy too needs a close check as a depressed person struggles to keep a normal happy face just to avoid the self-realisation and need of help.
A person suffering from depression can take severe steps even if triggered by his own cycle of thoughts. Depression has no better cure than therapy.
Talking about it is the only way out of this maze. The person might sound imbalanced, not oriented and even expressing irrelevant thoughts but listening to him/her patiently and holding hand while the low point hits with full vigour is only way out.
Try to listen to what your near and dear one is not saying during conversations. The financial issues, relationships or frustration in job can lead to a change in the behaviour of our loved ones. Give them time to express and if they are not able to comprehend make them believe they are not alone or unwanted.
Making one realise that his/her presence is stronger than the problems and life is too precious to be given upon for anything, is the only way out!
The societies image and taboo stick with the disease are one of the main reasons for non-acceptance of this disease as something which can be cured and needs help. We need mass awareness in society.
Making one realise that its OK to be NOT OK and talking about it is important.
Depression needs help.
We need to listen to the silence.
Let’s not fade out in the black hole.
If you or anyone you know is feeling suicidal, here are some of the helplines available in India. Please call.
Aasra, Mumbai: 022-27546669
Sneha, Chennai: 044-2464 0050
Lifeline, Kolkata: 033-2474 4704
Sahai, Bangalore: 080–25497777
Roshni, Hyderabad: 040-66202000, 040-66202001
Image source: a still from Vish
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