What is Depression:
Depression is defined as a mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.
In simple words, a state of low mood and aversion to activity where one is unable to experience a healthy mental well-being, the simple joys of life, appreciate oneself, and unable to participate wholly in day to day activities.
Is it treatable?
Yes, as serious as depression is, it can be treated with the help of right people/doctors, with the right kind of treatments, if and when necessary.
Some of the symptoms of Depression can be:
- Lack of Self-confidence
- Lack of interest/participation in day to day activities
- withdrawing oneself from people- family, friends, colleagues
- Doubting oneself and one’s abilities
- Not able to appreciate/like oneself
- Thoughts of self harm or Suicide
- Retreat oneself from social gatherings.
- Loss of Appetite
- Insomnia or excessive sleepiness
- Fatigue, loss of energy, feeling physically and mentally drained
Statistics show that approximately 10 million people suffer from depression every year in India, it does not discriminate between young and old, rich and poor. It can hit anyone at any point of time, for any given reason. It could be a student suffering from depression because he/she feels he has failed his parents’/friends’/one’s own expectations, or is not able to cope with the social pressures of being the mightiest and worthy from a very young age.
It could be an adult battling with career issues, struggling to make ends meet, or his aspirations or hopes of being successful or having a stable career, being defeated. Or another child or an adult going through a traumatic emotional phase, having been physically or mentally harassed.
It could be a lovelorn succumbing to the matters of heart, having let go of the loved ones.
Or, old aged people struggling with loneliness.
Or a couple trying to make their relationship/marriage work, or wanting a child.
There are so many reasons why a person falls into the depression, and we must identify the symptoms and cure them as soon as we can. In severe cases, Depression can lead to self harm or sadly, suicides.
As beautiful and happy as the world is, there are many people around us who are struggling to wake up every morning, put up a brave face and show themselves to the world. There are also the ones who carry on with the facade of happiness, crushed underneath the pain and pressures, hiding the feeling of dejection behind their mask of joy, reluctant to let people know about the demons of depression they are battling with, every moment.
Some ways to deal with depression :
Acknowledge and accept
The most important thing is to acknowledge that one is suffering from Depression. Any illness can be cured, or any issue can be dealt with, only when people become aware of the problem. Second step is to accept that one could be suffering from Depression, as serious as Depression is, it is treatable, curable, and sadly a common problem these days. Sadly, in our country people do not take their mental well-being as seriously as their physical well-being. Having a mental disorder or depression is often looked down upon, with contempt. Visits to the Psychiatrist or Counsellor is considered unhealthy by many people, unfortunately.
There is nothing wrong with having a mental breakdown, there is nothing unnatural in exposing your raw emotions. Sorrow is just another emotion like happiness, tears are as ordinary as chuckles. But, we still see them as signs of weakness, especially if it’s an adult or a man. You are allowed to cry it out, be sad, feel pain, and then try to move on. However, Depression is not normal and we must regard it with as much sensitivity as possible. If you see someone around you who is showing any of the above symptoms of Depression, do not take it lightly and rush to help the person as soon as possible. Talk to them, hear them out and try to help them as much as you can.
Once you have acknowledged and accepted that a person is suffering from Depression, refer him/her to the Psychiatrist or counselor. The counseling sessions and medicines will help a lot, and the person will start getting on his feet slowly and gradually.
It is crucial to become as sensitive and understanding as possible, with the people suffering from Depression. Remember, they are already fighting a physically and mentally strenuous battle with themselves, and it is now more than ever, that they need your support and your affection.
Some self-help to deal with Depression:
Surround yourself with people who love you
Love is the most powerful emotion, love can help heal the most agonizing emotions. When one is depressed, it is important to surround yourself with the people who love you. They could be your family, your friends, your colleagues, or anyone who makes you feel happy, loved, and appreciated. Depression has a harsh effect on one’s confidence levels, and love can help restore your confidence back with you, and works miracles to elevate your state of mind.
Reach out, connect, socialize
It doesn’t have to be a party, but anywhere where you get to meet some people to talk to, or make a connection. When we meet some great people that we take a liking to, we are fascinated by them and we try to absorb their infectious energy as much as possible. It helps to forget our own worries for a while, and getting dressed up and going out, instantly lifts our moods and helps us avoid our agony for a while.
Let your favorite food cheer you up
I know it sounds cliche but good food works like an elixir, and is known to induce happiness and love. Eat the food that you like, it could be chocolate, Fries, Coffee, Wine, or anything else that makes you happy. Although, it isn’t healthy to be a couch potato constantly, but once in a while, it is wonderful to just indulge, especially when you are sad or bored. Or, an even better thing would be to make an effort to go out to your favourite cafe and order your favourite food or drink, it can be just what you need to be happy.
Music for your soul
“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”- Bob Marley
One of the greatest artists said this, and I live by the words. Music can connect with your soul and body on levels, that sometimes even human beings cannot. There is music for every kind of mood and emotion I believe. When you are sad, put on some music, listen to the sad ones and cry a little, listen to the happy ones and dance a little. Listen to the song and express yourself, accept your own self and be who you want to be.
“The most powerful antidepressant in the world has four paws and a wagging tail.” (Quotes about Dogs)
If you are fond of pets, you know how they can be the best companions, especially when it comes to Dogs (I’m biased here). They do not judge, they have the ability to love you unconditionally, they have the power to move you with their innocence. They engage you so well, and keep you on your toes, they make you see the world through their eyes, lazy and happy 😉
Traveling sets your spirits free
Traveling is another way to unwind yourself and feel better. The excitement of exploring a new place, meeting new people, enjoying a new culture, food, or music, are the most wonderful joys in the world. Travel with your partner/friends, or even better, alone. There is so much that you can learn to appreciate when you travel alone, there is so much that you can learn about yourself while traveling.
Help someone unconditionally
This may sound out of context, but when you extend a helping hand to others, without any conditions or expectations, you feel good about yourself. It makes you feel capable and worthy about yourself. Be it a kind of social service, or even a needy family member, friend, or colleague your help will not only benefit them, but be wonderful for you too.
Cook yourself a meal
Again, this depends upon whether you like to cook, or are willing to give it a try. A self-made meal gives an immense happiness to some people, including me. I love to cook whenever I’m feeling low, eating a good meal made by myself, makes me really happy. Cook for someone you love, or even better, cook for yourself and enjoy a delicious meal with your own, fabulous company.
Read a good book/paint a picture
Again, if you like to read like I do, you know that stories have the power to transport you into a world of their own, and make you forget your own self, making you engrossed in their characters.
Painting is also a great way to bust stress, and divert your mind. Art is a therapy!
Pamper yourself/give yourself a gift
Why should we always wait or expect our partners or friends or families to pamper us with gifts? Why not give ourselves what we want, and see how fantastic that feels 😉
Been wanting that piece of jewelry or branded shoes? The Spa you have been thinking about? The latest gadget you wish to own? Start saving and go buy yourself the gift, pamper yourself because you, my friend, are very special.
“Accept yourself the way you are, love yourself enough to appreciate your body and life, and do not let anyone take that beautiful smile off your lovely face.” Let’s not die before we die 🙂