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Important but neglected

Published: Jun 21st, 2020 06:36 pmBy Ruchika Biswas

Hello Folks,

I am not going to write anything about Shushant Singh Rajput here. Too much is already there on Twitter, Facebook and all other social media. Here I will just take an opportunity to say that he was a profound actor, a fabulous student, an honest and simple human being and a generous personality. His untimely departure to his final destination has come as a shock to almost the entire society. I, myself have taken so much time to come up from the news of his suicide and the space he created through his work in my heart is vacant and empty. I would not say that this article has nothing to do with him rather his case has inspired me to learn and read more about my today's write-up. Yes, I am going to talk about the reason he left this world - Depression.

We have heard about the word many times, and after SSR suicide, we have heard this word quite often. Everyone everywhere right now is talking about suicide, depression and SSR in particular.

I got curious to know and learn more about this mental illness as everyone talks a lot about it. Hence, I visited the WHO and more site to read and gather knowledge. Few details are eye-opening and also heart wrenching. Let's get straight to the point.

Depression is a common mental illness, which is characterized by sadness, loss of interest and inability to perform daily activities. With the prolonged period and intensity it can become a serious concern, which may need immediate medical attention. It is different from the usual mood swings and short emotional eruptions in our daily life. Around 450 million people are affected by the illness worldwide. In an article by the Indian Journal of Psychiatry estimates the cases to be 5.8% for men and 9.5% for women of the entire population and also by the end of the year 2020, the figures may increase by 5.7% of the total burden of disease. Figures are too scary to read and report. Also, nearly 8 lakh people commit suicide every year. Surprisingly, the rate of suicide is very high among 15-30 years of age.

Depression is evident in every age, economic and geographic group. It has no barriers. It can happen to anyone, any point of time. If I, go by data, somewhere about 76% to 85% of the population of low and middle-class income countries suffer from depression, due to varied reason. Some of the highly visible barriers are:

1. Lack of resources

2. Lack of trained Health Staff

3. Social Stigma

4. Inaccurate assessments

5. Misguided and misdiagnosed

Can be categorized into:

i. Mild

ii. Moderate

iii. Severe


Recurrent depressive disorder: This disorder involves repeated depressive episodes. During the period, the person experiences mood swings, loss on interest, lack of enjoyment, and reduced energy for at least two weeks. Many people may also suffer from anxiety, disturbed sleeping patterns and appetite, low self-worth and poor concentration.

Bipolar affective disorder: This disorder consists of both depressive and manic episodes separated by periods of normal mood. Manic episodes involve elevated and irritating mood swings, overactivity, the pressure of speech, decreased sleep and inflated self-esteem.

Diagnosis and Treatments: There are medical treatments available for moderate and severe depression. To name a few:

1. Behavioural activation

2. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

3. Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)

4. Antidepressant Medications like SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and TCA (tricyclic antidepressant)

5. Psychosocial treatments are also effective for mild cases.

These treatments have their side effects, even health care personals are advised to take care while prescribing any medication to their patients, and should be avoided while treating children and adolescents.

Now, let's talk about contributing factors and prevention methods. Depression occurs due to complex activity of social, physical and biological factors which exaggerates the emotions and thinking patterns of an individual. People who have gone through rough and tough life events are more likely to develop such conditions. Depression is a state of mind where a person loses its interest in life and the people around them. They often felt like living inside a cage and finding no way out. People suffering from depression often end up having acute physical problems as well. Depression acts like a slow poison.

Preventions can be like:

1. Start taking it as an illness. Stop attaching a social stigma to it. I have seen many people avoiding talking about their mental health, they avoid seeking medical help. I have seen people taking a negative approach to a person who is suffering.

2. School and college must-have programme to introduce depression as an illness rather than a stigma. They must have programmes to relieve the stress of students.

3. Parents should take their children to health care rather than hiding and avoiding the symptoms.

4. The society too should have a hand holding and passionate attitude towards people suffering from the disease.

5. The government also should take adequate steps to address this ever-increasing illness. They also should ensure the adequate availability of trained staff and health care.

6. Health care staff should take care while assessing the symptoms and factors involved in mental illness. As sometimes even the patient does not know, that he/she is suffering. The correctness of assessment is important to give the right medication.

7. By and large, we are responsible for this hectic life. Even though we try to shed off this responsibility from ourself and mostly blame others for our illness, but few things we should understand before we go ahead.

i) Our happiness is our responsibility.

ii) Please judge your strengths correctly. And also know your weakness well.

iii) Stop over-stressing yourself on the issues beyond your control.

iv) Family, friends and mentors are available whenever you need them.

v) Have the willingness to overcome the situation around you. Showcase your willpower.

vi) Negative vibes coming from anyone is not your fault. That person also needs help.

vii) Take breaks. Enjoy your hobbies and games.

viii) Do spend time with children and elderly people, they are alive stress relievers.

ix) Understand cutting yourself from society, stop taking medications, and suicide is no way a solution to your troubles.

x) Be lenient on yourself. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them.

At last, SSR has paved the way to investigate and understand depression more deeply than before. I believe we all have that inner voice that says we are special in our ways. We all have ups and downs, highs and lows. We are fighting our battles of life. Some are winning and some are loosing. Depression should not win over us. So, let's join hands and fight the most deadly illness together.

You are special. We are special. Together we can make a difference.

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