We have come a long way on the topic of depression. From not knowing it’s existence, to today, acknowledging its presence in our daily lives, we have definitely covered a long journey.Every other day, every other hour this word makes its way into our lives, in some form or the other. Thanks to social media, everyday incidents reach us in no time making our awareness on this topic, an all-time high. Various discussions, speculations, suggestions, should haves / must haves, do their rounds.
Last week had been an agonizing week for me. My personal loss, had paved way for the most coveted word, to make its glorious entry. Every message and conversation of mine had one expression in common – ‘I am feeling excessively depressed’. But what got me thinking,was the reactions from people. I got a hunch, that it was being subtly brushed aside.
Was I overdoing this? Was I actually feeling depressed? Am I using this word interchangeably with grief? Did I look like a fool ? – were a few thoughts running on my mind.I could not eat, sleep or walk. My mind was completely blank. I felt feeble. I could not find any distraction adequate enough. I could not even pay heed to my SON!
“Distract yourself”,”Think of your son and stay strong”, “It’s okay to cry”,”Don’t hold back”,”Speak Up”,”You are strong and will be out of it in no time”–Were a few assurances and advice’s that were shared.The concern expressed were genuine, the advice’s given were true to the extent of their knowledge. But did that help?
How could I cry and also Think of my son? Wouldn’t I then suppress my feelings? How could I speak up, when I felt none were listening? I was trying to make sense of the advice’s as they did not seem to fit in. My mind probably could not process it in the right way.The state of mind that I was in, it all seemed superficial and a facade.
Why speak out and let everyone know of my depressed state,when it made no difference?
As the saying goes, “Give time, time to heal”. So, while I recovered, there was still this nagging thought in my head.Did I overreact ?Why wasn’t I taken seriously when I said I was feeling depressed?I had to look for some answers!
I looked up for the dictionary meaning of Depression. It said ,”A mental condition characterized by feelings of severe despondency(low spirits from loss of hope or courage) and dejection, typically also with feelings of inadequacy (inability to deal with a situation or with life.) and guilt, often accompanied by lack of energy and disturbance of appetite and sleep”
Indulging in retrospection helps. So, with the definition that I had in hand, I tried to comprehend all that I had endured. It appeared like I had been through a phase of depression for sure. But, not to forget, there are various degrees of depression and I was probably not at an extreme stage and hence could get out of it.The next question to ponder on was, did the people know about my degree of depression when I called it out? Why was the word ‘Depression’ disregarded? The deeper I thought, holding no prejudices, I started to get my answers
- Not everyone is a Psychiatrist and hence expecting that is not fair! They are normal humans like me. Do I know how to deal with a depressed scenario? No! I would have probably prescribed the same set of instructions. When we discuss a topic like ‘Cardiac arrest’, we have a lot of awareness on how to identify it and also on how to address it temporarily till help reaches.On similar lines, its not just enough to have awareness of the existence of depression? Being equipped to handle it when it surfaces, is equally important. Question is are we equipped?
It was not the lack of empathy or care, but the lack of knowledge on how to deal with it!
- Personal care is extremely important. The first step is to be able to identify that one is in trouble. Many a times people don’t even know they are depressed. Awareness on how to identify becomes crucial.We know to identify an infection from the symptoms that our body gives, like fever, cold or the sensation of pain, and we consult a doctor or even before, we try some home remedies.Similarly, identifying unrest in our mental well being becomes important, along with ways to calm ourselves down if we happen to be in such a situation. Question is do we know how to spot it?
Well, while I would love to share more on how to deal with it, I do not have the answers myself! I am going to do my bit of research and share more information as I uncover.
Awareness on existence of Depression, is just discovering the tip of the iceberg. Unless we know how to maneuver around it, we could end up sinking
Please Note: This is purely from my experiences and with my existing knowledge around this topic. Please do share articles or comments that can help throw some light on the ways to deal with such a situation. Stay safe !
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