Albert Camus once wrote, “But in the end one needs more courage to live than to kill himself.”
To kill himself. Well, it’s pretty simple you know. Death is, after all, the next big adventure. But, to live, the secret to happiness, it seems the world doesn’t like to teach that. It’s not taboo, it’s not illegal; it is something we never pondered upon.
That’s when darkness sets in. A dark cloud void of light and hope. It will envelop your mind and body. There will seem no mercy, it will beat you down every time. Some call it god’s wrath, some call it a sickness of the mind; depression.
Depression is not a new age western medical invention. It is an old parasite, a leech, a curse. It’s the feeling where you cannot feel anything. Imagine that. An empty shell, an empty soul.
That’s what Arjun Bharadwaj felt. To have your life’s vitality robbed is not easy to comprehend. A few days ago, he leapt from a hotel window to kill himself. If only Camus knew how true his words would ring after all these years.
Do you know what’s most unfortunate? Even after numerous Bharadwaj’s, most do not recognise the harsh effects of depression. It’s unfortunate for a country with an alarmingly high rate of suicide and people diagnosed with depression.
However, there are a few brave ones. They are the ones assuring us that it is all right if you suffer from depression. It is not something you need to be ashamed of. Most of these voices belong to Bollywood.
Most people consider rich and successful people immune from such illnesses. When Deepika Padukone came out that she suffered from depression, a glass ceiling shattered somewhere.
“You know, it was just too exhausting. I didn’t want to wake up, there were days when I just wanted to be in the bed just sleep, not wake up”.
That’s how Deepika Padukone described her state. She spoke to her family who supported her, sought professional help, and recovered. Today, she is the founder of an NGO, ‘Live Love Laugh Foundation’, a platform to express, share and champion mental health concerns.
Even Karan Johar, the man who taught us that family is everything wasn’t immune. In a candid interview with NDTV, Johar spoke about his two-year-long battle with clinical depression.
“I needed medication… first it was much stronger, then we slowly weaned it off and it’s just 3 months ago that I actually stopped it all,”
Kjo stressed that on the lack of discussion around depression. The more people speak and discuss on it, more the awareness, and more people can seek treatment without a stigma attached to it.
Most people struggle to cope with this disease and end up taking their lives. Sometimes, all they need is a listening ear. Anybody. They want someone to listen.
Anupam Kher shared his email. Anybody who wants to speak, share, or vent can write to him. That’s a move filled with empathy. Kher is another celebrity who is using his celebrity status to help those who suffer from depression.
Today, from stand-up comics and Bollywood celebrities to media and even the Prime Minister are speaking out on depression. That’s the need of the hour, a taboo is only broken when we speak of it.
If you know someone who is suffering; the best thing you can do is to support them. They need someone to listen to them; be that person. Once they realize they aren’t alone, then you can help them seek treatment and take the road to recovery.
Be there, be an active listener, hug them, you can help the one suffering from depression recover.
Article curated by Shreyas Kulkarni.