MENTAL HEALTH, NOTHING FANCY BUT A FACT.
Lets begin with a short story,
Maya/Mridul works in a big MNC. Salary in lakhs, owns a flat, one of the best employees in his/her office, is in the good books of seniors and the potential and talent she/he possesses, anybody could assume that her/his life is at its best and will continue to bloom.
But Maya/Mridul is facing depression.
Now, lets be honest. If not for the title of this article, none of us could have assumed that the protagonist could have been facing any such things. And its not your fault. If the person is doing well according to the society, then he or she could not be an emotional unstable one. That’s what we are taught and manipulated into.
I begun with this story because I wanted to make you all understand what depression actually is…that is not merely being sad…but its an emptiness inside you, a blank or void feeling for which you are not finding any substitute. It’s the same blow to one’s gut which you may have felt while reading the last line of the story.
No, you are not depressed if your assignment/examination doesn’t go well, but you are depressed if you fear you may fail again. Its just momentary set back if you somehow fail in handling a relation, but its an emotional break down for you if you have lost trust in yourself. You are sad, if your senior/teacher/parent scolds you…but you are having mental issues if you are going unheard all the time and there’s a lack of mutual understanding between you and other people.
Depression is a barrier to ones thought, ones thinking process, to ones growth or self esteem…and sadly its more dangerous and paralyzing to ones health than any physical imparity. As the famous quote says; man k hare haar hai, man k jeete jeet (you are defeated if mentally you are failing to motivate yourself or you can change the game if you are mentally strong enough). Honestly telling, there’s no particular reason to be depressed. Its not necessary for you to go through recent trauma or crisis to suffer depression. Also, there’s no age at which you could confine this mental issue nor is there any constraint that depression will come up in particular type of people or particular section of society.
It can be anything, any past experiences which may haunt a person till date, which other people may think could have been forgotten; the inability to express and going unheard or misunderstood; the inability to pursue or decide on ones dream; the feeling of losing control on ones own life; absence of guardian/mentor or friend with whom feelings could be shared; denial of fundamental rights; bulling or mockery by some people who merely do it for cheap fun, not realizing how adversely it could affect a person; disrespect of one’s talent or abilities or insensitiveness towards one’s disabilities or genuine problems etc. Obviously, all of it begins as a feeling of inadequateness or sadness, but if present for a prolonged period, it eventually harms the mental health of a person and may lead him/her to drastic steps.
All of us go through bad times and all of us expect people around us or with whom we are close, to understand and support us, but the most unfortunate part is that when it comes to the other person, we are quick to judge and are even quicker to make false promises of togetherness and then leaving the person completely alone. That’s the cruelest thing one can do. To give hope and to not really be there is an utter shame to humanity.
Sadly, today’s generation has confined its empathy to social media posts. The problem is, they aren’t processing and are just acting. If there’s a trend of posting quotes about depression, we’ll willingly do so; we’ll act traumatized; we’ll act to be there who are actually traumatized; we’ll post and urge people to talk to us in case they are in trouble but we’ll never ourselves take the very first step of reaching out to people/ friends/relatives from whom we haven’t heard from a long time or we won’t risk interacting with people about whom we feel may be going through a bad phase. I don’t know what stops us to be what we are, a human. Do we realize the fact that people who are actually going through mental issues or emotional break downs will never be so comfortable in opening up on such online platforms? Don’t we know that suffering is something very personal and all one can want is understanding and support in private, before they are stable enough to share their stories publicly? Aren’t we just making depression look fancy without actually understanding the facts of it? Are we really there to listen? Aren’t we turning into judgmental freaks? Calling a person psychopath or mental who suffers depression? Do we watch our actions before judging or bullying a person that may be the reason why he/she is in depression? There are a lot of people who think that depression is just in one’s head and do not accept that their child/student/friend/employee or anyone can be suffering through mental problems. They ignore warning signs, they choose to be insensitive. Why? Is your acceptance or disbelief more important than anyone’s peace of mind? Sorry, it cannot be. All of us need to self introspect today. It’s the need of the hour.
Instead of expecting a suffering person to come up to you all the time, first its our responsibility to normalize depression and not fantasize it. To make them aware about themselves and make them understand that their mental problems are nothing bad or different and its perfectly okay to take some time off and calm yourself, and its fine to be vulnerable at times about their feelings and they should share it with appropriate people. Being a parent/friend/mentor etc. its your responsibility to not shut a person and always be there to listen to them. Sharing always brings happiness and when we would be there to understand and support each other, life would become so much better.
I have many more things to say on this, but I think that if people start understanding what I wanted to convey through this much content…there would be no need to say anything more.
Stay safe and keep safe. That should be the new mantra of life.