Depression! A word that is easily used and narrated. We will often come across a tagline, ‘I am depressed,’ but should we use the word lightly? What are the reasons for your depression? We landed up either giving no answers or lame answers. The fact is we ourselves don’t know what is depression.
Depression is an evil spirit that dwells among us making us feel low and makes us suffer from inferiority complexity. The inferior complex is nothing but a conscious mind of comparisons, a feeling of wretchedness. We believe depression is a feeling no it is not. It is a mental illness. We think depression means slow mood, mood swings, different moods, NO! Depression is when we don’t have the freedom to express our thoughts. Depression is inherently violent, especially without proper treatment.
If we draw examples, the Hollywood movie ‘Joker’ draws a line of connection between mental illness and violence. Todd Phillips’ Joker movie is one of DC’s most successful films, especially for lead actor Joaquin Phoenix. The character of ‘Arthur’ by Joaquin Phoenix left the audience speechless. There was madness portrayed in his character. A madness of lost love, broken family, and violent mental illness.
Joker showed us the unvarnished human side of this villain-to-be, a man who has been institutionalized and released with minimal support, only to be told the city is cutting back on mental health services and he’s on his own. Joker has been an eye-opening movie that gave viewers an idea of what depression looks like? How painful it is when someone suffers from it? One of the major takebacks of the film is that it dares ask its viewers to sympathize and empathize with a man who becomes a violent killer on his journey to a “villain”.
The Times of India in its study has revealed that with the current lockdown and lifestyles drastically changing, 43 percent of Indians are currently plagued with depression and are learning to cope with it. The study suggested that adding exercise to one’s daily routine could help improve their mental health.
The study feeling hopeless, on the other hand, was not so common among the respondents. Only 10 percent of them said they felt “down and depressed” more than half of the days or nearly every day. It pointed out that more than 57 percent of the respondents complained of feeling tired or having little energy “at least some days in the last few weeks“.
Speaking to a Pastor from a Kolkata church says, “Mental health concerns in India grew exponentially during the pandemic. Regardless of the demography or profession, young and old battled with depression. As a church community, we wanted to make a difference at four levels. Firstly, be available to listen to neighbors and friends who were struggling and needed a listening ear. Secondly, be willing to serve the community with one’s financial resources especially the poor and needy. Thirdly, grow strong as an individual by intentionally building healthy life habits physically, emotionally, and relationally. Finally, deepen one’s faith by your prayer life and reading the Bible.”
Another main point that haunts teenagers is a sense of a lack of purpose or meaning. The pressure to be perfect in today’s age as a result of the bar society puts on youngsters in terms of academics, values, and co-curricular activities are what breaks down mental health.
It is an individual trauma and no two cases need to be the same for us to become aware of what the signs of anxiety, self-harm, or depression look like in youngsters. All we need to do is be aware, spread love, encourage each other and be vigilant to take care of India’s future citizens.