“Sometimes the worst place at a person can be is in their own mind.”
The main causes of depression are enumerated as genetic, hormonal, brain-structural, and situational. This paper would draw attention to the aspect of the situational causes. Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses of daily life; it is a grave therapeutic condition when people aren’t able to cope easily. However, the coping mechanism varies from one individual to another.
World Health Organization reports that at its worst, depression can become a potential reason for suicide. Approximately, 8 lacs people die by suicide every year (WHO, 2020). Depression is perilous and the societal attitude puts insult to the injury. Mel Schwartz (2012), a licensed Clinical Social worker in his blog, writes that mostly, depression is situational. The symptoms of depression are frequently due to depressing circumstances, not a disease. In other words, under certain circumstances, it makes sense to be depressed.
There are two ways of tackling the issue of mental health at a family or community level. First, reaching out to people who are fighting any mental health symptom and second, create an environment where people do not feel inferior less to others without being judged.
Depressive Social context is one of the potential causes of mental illness. For instance, the monopoly of some people over an industry, institute office, or community over a period of time makes it difficult for other people to thrive. Oppression of vulnerable in communities, bullying of freshers in offices, and ragging in colleges is an example of it.
Rohith Vemula, Dr Payal Tadavi, Fathima Lateef, and Mohit Chauhan are such unfortunate suicide cases that took place due to torture or institutional discrimination for the social identities of the succumbed.
Further, in the time of social media, a new trend emerged, particularly among young users, where they seek approval from society on social media in the form of likes, positive comments, and sharing. This approval syndrome, if dissatisfied, causes a weird mental agony among these youngsters. Fake news and hate-spreading stuff are also diverting young people from focusing on their real-life goals which in long run lay mental pressure upon them.
A new Netflix documentary named ‘The Social Dilemma’ has also shown that how social media is controlling our life and emotions by using artificial intelligence and keeping us busy with suggested features that tempt us and keep everyone busy all day long without any indulgence in productive work. On the contrary, social media has been flooded with awareness posts about mental health.
However, in reality, people talk behind the back and spread rumours about others, mock their social identity, looks, attire, and body-type further judge for their behaviour, habits, language and even for socio-economic backgrounds. People with mental illness are more vulnerable and always make feel uncomfortable and cornered socially.
The individual contribution in creating a toxic environment should be barred from thriving. Some people (often perceived as introverts) value their personal space and feel discomfort, anger, or anxiety when this space is encroached or disturbed. In psychology, personal space is considered as the region surrounding a human and regarded as psychologically theirs. Sometimes, society pursuit makes these people isolate for being different from set societal-behavioural norms.
This continues while creating artificial doubts on their own capacity and prods them to continually discuss their small letdowns. Sometimes, society stamps them as arrogant or insane for being differently-intellectual or spiritual and claim changes in their attitude which becomes hazardous in the long run leading to stress or depression. In addition to that, people, especially youngsters of small towns or those who come from the marginalized community, struggle a lot in big cities for jobs or in the giant educational institutes for education.
Their struggle starts with the English language, food habits, attire, so on and ends with an adjustment while proving worth and talents persistently. The desire to fit-in and conform encourages people to lose their inner-voice (Schwartz, 2012).
Without having clinical expertise the genetic or biochemical origins of depressive disorder cannot be discussed, however, situational causes of depression can be analyzed. To ensure help, care, and support, the first thing is to recognize the situations that cause depression. Here are some of those factors:
Apparently, no mental health context is similar to one another. Everyone is not a therapist or psychiatrist to help their near one around. In addition, if a person is suffering from acute or clinical depression then they need medical help explicitly. But if the emphasis on the environmental alteration can bring mild symptoms, people will heal possibly faster or may not reach a more hazardous mental state. Care and support are crucial assistance as Mel Schwartz asserts that people who thrive in loving relationships don’t usually feel depressed.
Societal Responsibilities to support:
We all are living in a stressful environment where self-help is much needed and thus, in order to avoid negative thoughts and feelings, following tip-offs may help:
The world cannot become a perfect place for all humans but we can try to create a healthy environment to live peacefully without stigmatizing mental illness for anyone. We should try to understand that the cure lies in addressing what our souls are longing for rather than expecting or forcing others to fit-in to the cultural belief system.