Not Seeking Help For Depression When I Needed It Was A Mistake

TW: The article addresses suicide and self-harm.

By Gulraj Bedi:

I woke up at 5.30 a.m. in the morning. No, I didn’t need an alarm to help me wake up. While I was getting ready the memories of my past kept flying through my mind. Today, I have a good enough job, a family and a few good friends. But there were times when I used to feel terribly lonely.

There was a time when I even tried committing suicide. It was in late 2011, while I was studying for my class 12 board exams. I tried to slash my left wrist in a fit of anxiety as I felt I wouldn’t be able to clear a couple of papers. I was barely 17 years old and I used to grab a blade in a fit of anxiety, whenever I felt something was not going the way I wanted it to go.

This is something my family didn’t know about. I didn’t want them to think I was crazy and losing my mind. Now, that’s a pretty common response one gets whenever one talks about mental illness. The society has this habit of frowning upon depression or any such illness associated with the mind.

The only reason I was saved from the road to suicide was because of  the fact that I refused to give up. I didn’t talk to anyone. I used to be lost in a strange line of thought. I made a habit of venting out my anger by writing about things I didn’t like. In this way, I was able to speak about my problems in a way which didn’t make my problems leave the room.

Over all these years, I’ve realised that we hesitate to lend a helping hand to those suffering from depression. It is not because we lack expertise, but because it is easier for us to turn a blind eye towards issues such as depression, instead of making an effort to fix them.

I’m assuming that many people must have gone through a similar sort of an emotional or mental turmoil, but it’s really uncommon for someone to come out and openly speak about it. I made the same mistake.

Even when I knew that something was wrong, I refrained myself from seeking help. I resisted seeking help from anyone and ended up venting out my anger at anyone who used to lend a helping hand, as I felt that they were getting involved in my private space.

Now, the whole idea that someone who has everything in life cannot be suffering from depression is wrong. Depression is something that attacks people irrespective of their materialistic possessions or achievements. I’ve come across many people who are earning hefty sums of money and still lead a stressful life. A lot of them have this habit of taking more than one tablet a day with the hope that it will make them completely forget their ordeal.

Furthermore, men are more likely to commit suicide than women because they fail to speak up about it, thinking they would come across as weak.

Over all these years, I’ve read news stories and interviews in newspapers where celebrities have made shocking revelations about being depressed. Recently, Deepika Padukone spoke openly about being depressed as well.

All of us are told that it’s all in the mind, and we’ll all get over it. Well, that’s quite true but there’s a big difference between being sad and being depressed. Sadness is a state of emotion whereas being depressed refers to a state of long-term dissatisfaction.

Depression is a disease which can be treated. So, instead of shying away from it, we should talk about it.

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Image Source: Eddi Van W./ Flickr
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