Depression is something that has existed among humans for centuries. Of course, it is often asked why people didn’t have these problems in the 19th or 20th century but that isn’t so. In previous centuries, Depression was called ‘Melancholia’ in the west. It was only around the 18th century that we started calling it depression in biological terms. Even in India, Depression often finds its mention in the work of playwrights like Shudraka and in the Bhagavad Gita as well. The Gita talks about the three Gunas in the human psyche and how two of them lead to all mental illnesses. It is hence clear that depression isn’t a new age disease that is being intentionally spread among people to fleece their pockets. It wasn’t known by this name previously but it was there.
Depression & Me.
I have had my fair share of experiences with depression. The people who have been following my blog for a while would know. The whole premise of this blog is to create awareness among people about depression and other mental illnesses. If you wish to read my story in brief, you can go through the “About Me” page. I have also helped some people with their problems. It is something I am proud of and you can read about it in the “KoS Impact” page.
Depression is a complex disease. It has a lot of tiny details which often lead to huge consequences. There are various reasons why people end up inside this demon. Some are academic stress, financial stress, personal issues and then the unavoidable genetic cause (as for me). Some people are helped by talking to friends and family. Many find comfort in divine or spiritual beliefs. A few have to visit psychiatrists. Some of us are put on medicines and a very tiny percentage resort to ECT (Electro-Convulsive Therapy). Every patient has a different tale, different deep manifestation and different solutions. The core symptoms are same for everyone but there is a different way to treat. It is what makes it so difficult to treat. The things that worked for me may not work for you.
The stigma attached to mental illnesses and depression is another tale but thankfully, gradually and slowly, things are changing in the world. People in rural areas are also now aware of depression and although, they don’t seek help immediately, they are comfortable with visiting a psychiatrist if necessary. There are still some doubting people but we should not degrade them or tell them to not ask anything and be empathetic. We need to listen to the questions they have and try to answer them. If we don’t know something, we should also be pragmatic enough to accept our deficiencies in knowledge.
It is important to not advise someone if you don’t know their story. It may alienate the sufferer and then lead to them closing down. The fight is not against the method of treatment but against the illness itself. As long as it is humane and legal, it is ok to use something that helps irrespective of their social outlook (psychiatrists for eg.)
In order to take some concrete action, I am also plannning on starting a Depression Support Group in Gurugram. If you would like to be a part of it, you can contact me at +91-70825-31385. We could arrange meeting initially in cafes or restaurants and shift depending on how we grow. I would like to help but I need your help to let me do that too.
The world is changing and it is important we change as well. It is important to keep pace with our social demons and create new and novel ways to fight them. It is going to be a long fight but it is not one that can never be won.
As Rajeev opened up more to his psychiatrist, he realized what the roots of his problems were. He had been beaten in kindergarten. He was always pressurized by his parents to excel in academics. It was often pointed out how he had been a disappointment to the family. He didn’t like the college he was in and didn’t know what he was doing with his life. Is he alone in thinking such things? How does education, or lack thereof, affect mental health? Find out tomorrow on knightofsteel.com