Stephanie Bennett-Henry said, “I wake up every day hoping to find these monsters waving white flags, so I can throw off this armor and live again, breathe again, be ME again”. This is how a depressed person feels with every passing moment of his life. Yes. Surrounded by monsters and living in a state of constant fear.
This is not the way one should live. Isn’t it?
Albert Einstein quoted, “God did not create evil. Just as darkness is the absence of light, evil is the absence of God.”
Einstein didn’t say the above statement to justify his belief in God. Rather, he just wanted to portray that negativities do not exist. Anything negative is simply the absence of the positive.
The mail I received from Youth Ki Awaaz, contained these words:
1 in 20 Indians is living with depression (National Mental Health Survey 2015-16). That makes it over 56 million Indians who are silently suffering, just because we don’t take the issue seriously. The shame and taboo around the issue are so much that visiting a therapist in India labels you as ‘mad’ or ‘crazy’.
People are pushed to extremes, like ending their lives, and the silence continues. We need to end this! We need to create more safe spaces to talk about depression.
If you read these words you’ll agree that Yes, depression is one serious issue that needs to be addressed. No doubt. It is. Anything that is harmful needs to be addressed. Anything that is unethical, immoral, illicit and provokes death, needs to be addressed.
The words are decorated with some statistics by an organization related to Health. Now, I’m not doubting the veracity of the numbers. They might be true. They might be not. But I’m doubtful about those left out 19 people amongst those pockets of 20. What about them? Are they blissfully walking the course of their lives? If yes, they are, then why not contact them and plead any one of them to come and share their LIFE MANTRAS. Because the point from where I see, everyone is sad about something or the other. In short, we are living with the absence of happiness.
You may nod your head at this point, and say, “So what? Problems are a part of our lives. They are necessary and often in the harsh times we lose out our smile. But we are not depressed. Depression is something different”.
But it is not.
For the starters: depression is the NEW THING on the block.
As described: Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings, and sense of well-being.
In other words, depression is the outburst of emotions, BUT in the wrong direction. A depressed person can take you to the depths of melancholy and chambers of sadness. That’s their zone of solace. Solace plays a great role in this. Just like happiness, sadness and pain, offer solace, too. And their solace is much more intense. Precisely, most of us, day-by-day are adapting it.
Yep, being sad is a choice. It is in our hands. To let go of the thing or to hold it and mourn over it, is a choice. For example: If I like a girl, I have two options in front of me. One, to go to the girl, face her, talk to her, ask her out for a coffee, entertain her, be with her, listen to her, understand her and the string stretches on and then hope that one day I’ll be making love to her. The second option is simply to unzip my pants and masturbate. The first step takes time, courage and lots of efforts, while the second one doesn’t require any courage, not much efforts and defiantly is a less time-consuming process. Now, my mind knows the easiest way to experience the same feeling. Precisely, this is how one gets addicted to masturbation.
And we humans have a tendency to go for the thing that can be easily attained. If something isn’t happening the way you expected it, you lost that deal, your father hit you, your mother shouted at you, your partner ditched you, your friends didn’t join you for the match, the trip you were planning got cancelled because one of your friends had plans with the family, your pet died, your boss promised to promote you but instead handed you your terminal letter—each one of these things certainly not make it to the list of ingredients of a happy and peaceful life. But post these events, we are left with two paths. One path demands hard work. You got to stand up and face the whole world again and continue to do the work you are supposed to do. And the other path is to be sad, cry, abuse, curse, blame and do all the shitty things. Surely, by doing these things, one will get comfort, but only for a handful of time.
And once our mind takes note of a certain activity that provides us relief from the futile worldliness drama, it forces us to repeat that thing over and over.
So, if you make getting upset your routine, then one day, sadness (absence of happiness) will become your nature.
Another thing here, the talk about depression began to happen after the Bollywood diva Deepika Padukone (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQBNYRBpY7c ) publically vented out her struggle with the depression. I have no statistics to show, but I’m sure that post that, the people came out in more numbers and talked openly about their darkness. Surely, it was a positive outcome. Because as said by Shah Rukh Khan in the movie, DEAR ZINDAGI, “People overtly discuss their physical diseases, but when it comes to the mind diseases, they turn silent, as if the brain is not even a part of the body”.
People came out in huge numbers: that’s one positive aspect. And they tagged themselves as the depressed one: is something we need to consider. See, what I’m trying to put here is: we have a very bad habit of glorifying things. Mostly the things that didn’t work out for us. Whenever we talk in general in our circle, we discuss the stuff that caused us pain. ‘I got diagnosed with diabetes’. ‘My BP is going high’. ‘The property rates aren’t going down’. ‘The government is doing nothing for the common man’. And the list is unending…
And when a known figure openly talks about anything, it becomes a trend. People use it to present themselves as ‘The Cool Person’. Not necessarily all the people that came out were depressed. Some just wanted to be a part of the herd. Two of my friends were excited about being depressed. “Dude, Deepika was also depressed. Just like I’m. You have no idea how it feels when the pain of emptiness is ripping your heart and all you want to do is just give it up…”
And recently, a news came out. It goes like: “After actress Deepika Padukone, Tiger Shroff opens up about his depression”.
We need to stop glorifying our pain. Being depressed in not a thing to be proud at.
The Youth Ki Awaaz did a commendable job by taking the initiative to curb depression. But is the right way to do it?
Because it’s been a long hour and we are barking depression, depression depression, and depression…but none of us are still aware what the depression is all about?
Lets’ not focus on the clinical definition of depression. It’s useless. If we want to find a solution, we must look at the root cause.
“Advertisements have made us to do jobs we don’t like and buy things we don’t need”. Remember this dialogue from the movie: THE FIGHT CLUB. Exactly. This is the thing. All of us are running towards these materialistic things. We are driven to consume more and more.
We have adopted the idea that having more is the key to live a happy and prosperous life. But look around and see what is happening. When we are not able to gather all the stuff and at the meantime see others carrying them, we lose out our moral and boom. The same case is with the social media platforms. We have this immense pressure to virtually present ourselves as the coolest being. Whereas in real, we are dead. The caption may say: blissful and lively, but reality is sadness and pain.
It is only because of this idea, we have started to accept depression as normal. We have started to accept depression as a part of our lives. That is why a #LetsTalk campaign is being organized at such a mass level because we need to make people more and more aware.
The same thing used to happen with cancer. Cancer awareness campaigns were organized at global levels and yet, even after so many years, we haven’t found the cure. Forget the cure, now when someone talks about cancer, we take it as a normal thing. ‘Oh, no. That’s very sad to hear, he died of cancer.’ We mourn these words and it’s over.
We are again on the same path.
Firstly, depression is not a disease like Common Cold. But it is becoming one. And the credit goes to all of us.
Switching to doctors and medicines for your supposed depression phase is like walking into the fire. Because certified doctors are not going to help you. Why? Just for fun, walk into the office of a psychiatrist and after a one-hour session, you will come out being diagnosed with depression, even if you are not anywhere near it. Precisely, the institution of Hospitals is not to cure patients.
Pharmaceuticals business is at the second position globally in terms of revenue generation. Your body is their prime source of income. You just can’t walk out free. Medication will only harm you. It will again provide you an instant relief (the same smoking and drinking do), but it won’t make the matter better.
So, how to get rid of it?
Clinically speaking, only a few percentage of people are pathologically diagnosed with depression. Their cause may be genetic or something, but NOT the 1 in every 20 is depressed.
The first step we must take in order to end depression is by not talking about it.
But we must talk. Talking is the way.
Anonymously quoted, “Communicate. Even when it’s uncomfortable or uneasy. One of the best ways to heal is simply getting everything out.”
I would like to end it with: There are monsters in our lives. But sometimes, sitting with an armor and hoping them to leave is not the way. Sometimes, we have to stand up, drop the armor, carry the sword and fight them off. Fighting is the way out.
Victory never comes just by sitting and waiting. Death comes that way.