Know Your Depression

Posted by Ad Nigam in #LetsTalk
April 11, 2017

Self-Published

This story is in response to Youth Ki Awaaz’s topic for this week – #LetsTalk to start a conversation on the stigma around depression. If you have an opinion or personal story of dealing with or helping someone else deal with depression or suicidal thoughts, write to us here.

“A feeling of severe despondency and dejection”.
Yes, that is exactly what depression means. Before I go into the details, let me establish the fact and hence break the general idea around depression that it is not JUST a state of being sad. It is much more than that and it is high time we realize the consequences. Unfortunately, this mental condition is usually not considered serious at all because,“ Sirf sad haina, toh kya hua?”
NO. Depression is more severe than what it seems to be. Hence, do not ever tell someone suffering from depression that it is not serious because it definitely is.
It is not just a state but also a disease.
Let’s take a look at a few statistics regarding the same:
1) According to a recent estimate, 36% of India’s population is depressed. THAT is 1/3rd of the total population in India.( Source: Indian Express)
2) It is estimated to exist in every 3 out of 100 people in urban areas and 1 out of these 3 cases is severely neurotic.
According to an estimate, there are only 4,000 psychiatrists, 1,000 psychologists and 3,000 social workers for the whole of the country and only 1,022 college seats for mental health professionals are set aside in India.( Source: Huffington Post)
3) India ranks number 1 when it comes to depression followed by China and the U.S.(WHO)

There are innumerable statistics are the numbers are both striking and shocking. What’s more shocking is the fact that it is still not considered to be serious and not enough awareness is spread about it.
I know people will probably call me out by saying that “You haven’t been through it, so don’t talk about it. You don’t know what it is to be depressed”.
I understand that and hence, I write this to spread awareness and not to just tell you, “Relax, it’s okay. Just be happy yaar”.
It is not just about being happy or unhappy.
BUT, what causes depression?
There is no particular answer to it since there can be many causes of depression and they vary from person to person.
For example, 42.5% of corporate employees in India suffer from depression.(Source: YourDost.com)

The reason? Inflexible work hours, inadequate pay, work overload and the like.
For a population as huge as India’s, the numbers are alarming and it is HIGH time we realize that there is an urgent need to address the issue.
There are more than 10 million cases per year in India and the age group most affected is from 18 to 60 or more.

Research suggests that depression causes problems in brain function and abnormal activity of certain neural circuits in the brain. Like any other disease, depression can take a severe toll on physical health as well.

However, it is also necessary to know that depression is curable and can be treated by a medical professional.
The term over which it can be cured differs according to the intensity of the disease. However, on a general scale, it can be resolved within a few months.
Depression can be curable in many ways but the most effective are:
Talking therapy
Medication
More details at : http://www.mind.org.uk/information- support/types-of-mental-health-problems/depression/treatment/#.WOudummGPIU
Usually, people take to counseling which requires a great amount of effort and involves a change in thinking. Counseling is the most sought after method and is quite effective.
Also, we can also do our best to help anyone suffering from depression by:
Giving them the required support and empathizing with them.
Be open to talk about it to them.
Keep in touch with them. A text or a phone call can make a big difference to how someone feels.
Most importantly, never be critical about the situation. Do not blame those who suffer from it and do not pressurize them. It’s a process and it takes its time.
Also, know that your mental health too is important and hence do not let it affect your wellbeing.
Overall, do know that people go through a variety of problems and situations. We must do our part by not being judgmental about it and must offer a helping hand in the time of need. So, if you know anyone out there who suffers from depression, do care to empathize with them and be there for them when they need you the most. All in all, spread awareness and be open to talk about it. There is always a way out! 🙂

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