Recently a man from Mumbai committed suicide by jumping off the 19th floor in the hotel he was staying at. He made a facebook video about it and even made a tutorial of how to commit suicide before jumping. Since then there have been a lot of talk about depression, people have been talking about how tough it is and how we should be empathetic the people who are depressed. Something that has been niggling me in all of this though is how it has been assumed that if someone commits suicide they must have been weak in academics or somehow weak in some part of their social lives or romantic life or some other part of life. There must have been a weakness somewhere.
This kind of thinking does make sense, weakness is the only way depression can creep in, until it’s not.
Depression can be caused because of nothing as well. It is an illness. It can happen to anyone and no what a person goes through at this point is not something that’s part of life or something that can be ‘gotten over because that is how life is’
I have always been an academically brilliant student, I don’t like to praise myself but one thing I am confident about is that my academics are not a weakness for me, they are not a source of stress of any kind but still, here I am, suffering from a major depressive disorder.
Depression can strike anyone at anytime. It doesn’t matter how much your score was in your last exams, it doesn’t look at your IQ, your family status, your wealth or anything else. It just creeps into your life and if not eliminated at the right stage it can spread into every facet of your life.
Depression is as easy to catch as the common cold, and if not gotten rid of, it’s as dangerous as cancer.
It’s a shame that even in 2017, we have to give an analogy of physical illnesses to explain what a mental illness is like but that is how it is and that is how we need to educate people right now.
When it comes to suicide, calling it cowardly or too easy a step to be taken is easy itself, but again, unfortunately people don’t understand words, you people need analogies.
So imagine yourself standing in a burning building, you are stuck. You can’t get out, you see a window, its high up on the building, you might hurt yourself if you fall, you might even die.
What do you do?
Stay in the building?
Tell yourself,” Well that’s life, that is how it goes. I should just wait to become a roasted human now. No way out.”
Doesn’t really make a lot of sense does it?
The choices are never good when you are depressed. Some people jump off the window, some people get turned to toast. The lucky ones get the help they need in time and come out unscathed.
People like us need compassion, constant one, genuine one. We need kindness and understanding. We know we are not right in our minds and we need help with that. Not insults. Not platitudes.
I don’t know how many will read this, I want people to understand what it’s like. I hope it gets shared often enough to educate a few hundreds.
At last to anyone fighting depression, stay strong, contact a loved one, if you don’t trust anyone, ask a stranger for help. Someone will be kind enough eventually.
All the best.