‘..it’s just not a phase, they feel helpless and lonely’
You feel numb and you walk away when someone yells, blames or misunderstands you but sob when you can’t cut an apple, that is what depression does to you. Having closely observed a few family and friends, I can feel what it feels like, there is constant need to get the pain out that is felt inside, and the pain outside traumatizes the pain inside, from self-harm to being violent to aggression to shutting yourself completely from the world to drowning in the greater depths of sadness, loneliness.
Guilt, ‘It’s my fault’, ‘I’m worthless’, and so on these thoughts take over making you feel inadequate, incapable and lonely. Some people blankly stare into space, here sleep is just an escape, they fear confrontation, fear of acceptance, but acceptance is what they need, a touch of care. That doesn’t mean that we don’t love or care for them, but when we take medicines for a normal headache then why not for mental health, that extra touch of care is all that they need. Please don’t confuse them for attention seekers, they know that we love them but that doesn’t seem so, they feel exhausted, a voice screams inside but never arises on their tongue, something holds back, some unknown fear, depriving self-esteem, feeling of worthlessness, they cry and they don’t know why and at a point eyes dry up as well, we cannot hear voices in their head but we can try to listen to them, offer them support.
Film ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ exactly portrays the depression of a woman (Neelam Mehra) from a troubled marriage, she stuffs 2-3 pastries in her mouth wiping her tears, from over-eating to obesity to sudden weight loss to loss of appetite to self-harm to alcohol to sharing posts on social networking sites, all they need is our support, an ear, our open arms and most importantly make them believe that they’re worth all the happiness in the world, because depression is just not a phase, they feel helpless and lonely. Everyone wants to be happy, as far as I have observed people avoid talking or communicating with those who seem sad or depressed, but there is a reason they’ve become the way they are, please don’t ignore them, talk to them, make sure you genuinely pursue them and even if they deny, just look into their eyes and ask them how do they feel, and their eyes will speak the truth.
And now when you know, try to make them feel better, take them on a vacation or day out and ask them to yell at the top of their voice, yell till tears start rolling, let their anxiety out, also while they talk don’t interrupt them, just be a good listener, don’t be diplomatic if they ask for suggestions be genuine in your replies for they easily understand the difference between genuine and diplomatic words, participate in activities they enjoy, ask them to notify their emotions that will help them understand themselves better.
Deepika Padukone’s ‘Live Love Laugh’ foundation’s campaign on Depression clearly states, ‘Parwa hai toh dobara pucho’. ‘As antacid is to acidity so is your support to your loved one’. This ‘World Health Day’ let us all decide to support the ones in need and let them breathe the fresh air again.