Can you stare at a ceiling forever with tears washing away your face and soul? Do petty things and thoughts make you angry like a demon? Instead of some ‘me time’ to yourself, do you prefer staying alone? If answers to these questions are “yes”, you might have depression.
It comes in phases and the first phase itself is a deadly combination of irritation and anxiety. You must have felt tension building up your chest and throat, you might have wanted to scream and roar and then subsequently cry for long hours. Later on, when you’ve thought it’s over and everything is back to normal, you realise it isn’t. After a week or so, here you are again feeling all low, sad, frustrated, angry, and humiliated. Worst of all, you have no idea why. Oops, sorry, did I just say we? Okay who am I kidding, obviously I have been through all of this and alone.
People who go through what I did are advised by our genuine well-wishers to get up, to socialize, take part in activities, pursue higher studies, fall in love (at times even to get married), go for walks, meditate, drink more water—because depression for them is practically another word for sadness. You might start thinking maybe they are right, and perhaps you are upset because of whatever reasons—like you chose the wrong field to study or work in, or you chose the wrong person to love, or you don’t have enough friends, or you are way behind your dreams, or you had a break up, or you are running out of luck, or everything put together. So you decide to follow the advice, and of course felt better for a while. Then you fell apart again. This time with higher burden and guilt—welcome to the next stage of depression. No matter how kind-hearted, well-mannered, or intelligent you used to be, you are going to be hated, looked upon with pity, sympathy, and regret! All because of a sudden change and inconsistency in your behavior. Even those earlier recommendations are going to stop coming to you now. The only people to ‘get’ you would be your parents and very close friends, that too if you are lucky enough.
But if your condition worsens you could be labelled a “lazy duckling”, “spoilt brat” and what not! There we enter into the last stage. After a lot of self-analysis and a shattered image of ourselves we now realize, “It’s not me, it’s the depression talking.” But what next? You are haunted with questions—”What if I never come out of this thing? What if nobody understands me ever?” The fact is they already don’t, so another question pops up: “Should I end my miserable life?
Wait. Stop. I need you to know people do love you, they do understand you, but unfortunately they do not know what exactly depression is. It’s like those ghosts and spirit movies where nobody in this scientific world will agree with you unless they see and experience for themselves. The best way to heal is by observing people in a rational manner because when you will closely observe the life of others it will make you realize that nobody has a perfect life. Speak to the masters of their respective fields—most of them will tell you they had all together dreamt of something different. Some of the greatest people have received success really late, but important part is they never stopped struggling.
Learn to know your priorities. Keep away negative people and to do that first find out who those are as they might be right beside. Trust me, everybody looking happy and perfect on social media—it’s just their way to keep away the sadness from building. You need to work on something you like and if you don’t have enough time and resources to do that cut out time and expenses from something less useful. In my case it was the combination of reading books, creating paintings, travelling, and watching the news because it makes you aware of the reality. I am still struggling but I am not ready to give up.
It is extremely important to tell yourself that you are not a loser. Instead, as we say in Hindi, be that one “dheet” person who never gives up and never will. After all it’s your beautiful life that you have been given. Why spoil it because of something called “depression”?
I write this article under my own name. My name is not hidden to protect my identity, because I am not embarrassed of my depression anymore. I will keep talking and sharing my story, and one request for you—please do the same. You might make life easy for somebody.