Why Parents Need To Know That Their Kids’ Depression Isn’t A ‘Silly Issue’

Posted by jyoti sah in Mental Health, Society
December 13, 2016

Depression. Most of us are familiar with this term, especially since Deepika Padukone spoke on it. The dictionary defines it as “a state of feeling sad or a serious medical condition in which a person feels very sad, hopeless, and unimportant and often is unable to live in a normal way.”

The meaning given in the dictionary doesn’t actually explain the feeling. Someone who is sad is not necessarily depressed. Depression is the feeling when you hate yourself and the world in general and start living in a space where no one can reach you and you don’t want to leave that space.

Being depressed doesn’t mean the person stops talking, eating or meeting friends or doing any of the ‘normal’ things. They behave pretty much normally. They get up in the morning, go to office, meet friends, laugh at jokes, shop, chill with family and friends.

However, there are times when they  snap at anyone, stop talking completely, don’t laugh at jokes and seem detached from everything. It is a weird feeling which is very difficult to explain in words. It’s like attaining nirvana when nothing seems to bother you. But, in a bad way.

Somewhere you have this guilty feeling of being unhappy and feel ashamed of telling anyone about this, even close friends. Parents and relatives are out of the question. Certain thoughts and questions come to our mind. What will they think of me just panicking over silly things when I have a lovely family, good friends, decent salary, and a job? I should have no reason to feel unhappy and depressed. Many parents and relatives and even other elderly people feel that you are just being stupid or acting like a spoilt brat. There is one thing most of us have heard from our parents and the older generation repeatedly “When we were of your age we were earning for our family and taking care of them.” They feel people who are in depression are weak and lazy and don’t have the guts to get over these silly issues.

Due to such a perception of many parents and other elderly people regarding depression, a lot of people don’t open up. This is a serious problem for an individual’s personal and professional growth. If not dealt with on time, it can lead to self harm or even an attempt at suicide. In such demanding times where everyone is supposed to do everything and be good at it, we lose track and don’t see those signs in people we love.

Parents are our keepers and guardians. They are our pillar of strength who hold us together in every situation. In this fast moving world, they also get lost. In keeping up with life and in the process of trying to provide for us they forget that their child’s happiness and well-being is more important than how many degrees they can get.

There is a certain awkwardness between many parents and children. They prefer not to talk about emotions, feelings and opinions. This is so embedded in our families that we live in ignorance just to be away from that awkwardness.

Imagine if we could be open with our parents about our problems, our views, our dream life. It would make things so much easier. Imagine yourself going through your phone contacts and realising you have no one to call and talk to. Depression is a stage where you feel you have no one to talk to and share your problems with.

Who can be better than our parents, right? Even though many parents in general have started accepting their children’s choice in their personal and professional life, just a little more acceptance is required instead of judgement.

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Featured image source: Paul Bronstein/ Getty Images

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