Let’s Break The Stigma. Depression is REAL

Posted by Laya Giri in #LetsTalk
April 7, 2017

NOTE: This post has been self-published by the author. Anyone can write on Youth Ki Awaaz.

You hear celebrities like Deepika padukone, J K Rowling etc come out and speak about depression,and the saddest part is people’s reaction to it.. “yea right, these rich people saying they’re depressed. Publicity mongers. Disgusting. What do they have to be depressed about? They have everything they want”. This is what’s wrong with our nation and our attitude about mental health.

Does cancer choose to not affect people because they are rich or famous? Doesn’t it get taken seriously, despite who the sufferer is? So why the stigma only for mental health issues?

Anyone who chooses to try and get help for depression has to deal with friends who say “snap out of it, yaar. Stop being sad all the time” or emotional, hurt parents who say “what do you have to be so depressed about? We have provided everything for you..”

The main issue is mental health issues other than frank psychosis isn’t considered a” real” issue. I’ve personally had experiences with friends who angrily tell me I have no “right” to be depressed when people are starving, or have no homes or food. That’s like saying one has no right to have typhoid when there are millions of HIV infected people in the world.

There’s something we all have to be aware of. Depression is caused by CHEMICAL CHANGES in the brain. Untreated depression can lead to damage of certain areas of the brain. Brain damage. Are you still not convinced it’s real? Depression can mean being unable to get out of bed for days on end. It can mean losing interest in whatever you loved doing. It can make you a zombie, going through the motions of life like you’re a mere observer of your own life. Sometimes it can mean smiling at everyone and coming back home, only to cry into your pillow through the night and into the morning. It can be breaking down into tears and having no idea why you’re crying. It can change someone, drive them to take their own life. Just like any physical disease.

That’s why mental health is important. It’s REAL. We all see what happened when mental health was ignored. Lots of potential lost when people take their own lives, lost in unresolved depression

Suicide. Yet another stigmatized issue. We hear people saying “what a coward” or “selfish boy/girl, can’t they think of their parents?”. My dear judgemental friend, they aren’t cowards. They aren’t selfish. They succumbed to their ILLNESS.
Something which is as real as cancer, or AIDS, or diabetes. Why do you hesitate to acknowledge the existence something as real as any of these?

This world health day, let’s all try and alter our mindsets and choose to provide help to those in need and throw away the snarky remarks and prejudice.
Depression can affect the rich or poor
The single, the married, the divorced
The young adults, the children, the elderly
The doctor, the Labourer, the actor
The dad, the mom, the brother or the sister

And it’s not something you “snap out” of.

Remember for each cry of help you ignore or scoff as attention seeking, you’re adding darkness to a soul already in despair.

If you or anyone you know is depressed, be kind. Offer help, or get them to take professional help.

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