“Man I was so depressed yesterday but thanks for taking me to that movie… I feel so much better now!”
Just like this, we often hear use of the word ‘depression’, which people do quite casually, for almost everything.
Only if they knew severity of what depression is like.
When I say the word ‘depressed’,
you immediately pictured a person sitting in front of a window, all alone, sad, quite and occasionally teary.
This is what we think depression looks like, BUT that is not ONLY how it looks like.
If you find your colleague in such state, you will for sure go to them, ask them, sympathize with them and even offer help if you can. In general people are that generous and caring, I believe. But will you do the same for a person who’s highly irritable, who’s ready to pick an argument, throws tantrum as you approach…
no you won’t.
That’s the person you don’t want to see.
That’s the person you will never want to talk to.
That’s the person, you know is unhappy but you’ll probably think he deserves it, is responsible for it.
You know it’s easier to console a snivelling person than a threatening one. You think that the latter is harmful, that they’re still strong and they can take care of themselves…
Well, they can’t.
A person who looks sad and a person who’s irritable, needs the same help.
They are as vulnerable as the prior but they fail to show it or to express it in a more acceptable way.
They’re highly defensive so it’s difficult to pierce that wall, but if you somehow manage to do that, you’ll find a helpless person craving for help, craving for comfort, craving for you to listen… just listen!
Today on the occasion of World Health Day, this is my tiny effort to help people understand Depression in a broader way, so that you give attention to people who are often ignored and isolated by others.
Going in depression is not something you someday wake up and find yourself in. It’s a process… easily identifiable if you pay some attention.
Sadness is mild and depression is it’s intense form. You can overcome sadness by a small talk with a friend, a movie or simply by engaging in your favorite hobby. They’re not helpful in case of depression.
Overcoming depression requires immense attention, months of talk therapy and medicinal help too.
If you’re helping someone to overcome this state of mind you must have patience, empathy and will to help. Helping someone like this can be a frustrating thing to do so it’s better if you watch for early symptoms and prevent this situation.
Suddenly eating a lot or loss of appetite is one sign or gaining and losing weight without any change in the diet are very crucial point to look for as generally it’s not linked with depression.
There are many general symptoms like feeling worthless, helpless, hopeless… not getting proper sleep or sleeping too much. Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy once…guilt can consume such people.
Depression if left untreated will mostly lead to suicide and this is why you should help such people because suicide in not matter of one person but the whole family.
On the last note,
Help such people because you know how it’s like, how it feels like as I’m sure you might have experienced something similar in your life. Just imagine the same feeling multiplied by 50 times.
It’s not bearable, it’s not acceptable.
Depression is like floating in dark fog with no control… you desperately flutter your legs but you just can’t come down…
Help these people, if not much, then connect them with a good mental health professional.
Help, because someday you might need it.
Prachi was a good kid. She always obeyed her parents and respected her teachers. She was a good student too. Moreover, she was a kind person at heart. When she was only 11 years old, she saved a puppy from being taken by a dog catching van. She argued with the driver and cried rivers to free the puppy. The issue became so big that the corporator had to intervene to stop this child from crying. Later everybody pat her back, telling her that she was a special child sent by god. Prachi didn’t believe in God, but she believed the part of her being ‘special’; that night she couldn’t sleep as the word ‘special’ overwhelmed her mind. Prachi was happy.
When prachi was a teenager, the plight of poor people throbbed her heart, especially of homeless people. Prachi often saw them on her way back from college. Their hair were matted and greasy. Their clothes looked like they haven’t changed in forever. Most of them even looked mentally unstable. She often wondered how she could help them but the thought that they will hit her the moment she says “Hello”, refrained her from doing so.
One day Prachi determinately thought of offering “the-oldman-near-the-bus-stop” a bath too. So she went close to him, that was when she smelled something terrible. He reeked of his own dirt. She stepped back. Prachi told herself, “I don’t have to do it now, I have my exam ahead. If I fall sick, my parents will be devastated!. For now, I should only focus on my studies and career; once I get settled in my life, I will help these people.”
26 year old Prachi, turned into a beautiful woman. She had a loving husband and a toddler kid. After a tiring day at office she came back home. Switched on the T.V. and was watching a news channel. Prachi saw a news on how an old woman was abandoned by her children was found roaming at Dadar Station, Mumbai.
“I should help her!”, she thought. Prachi hastily went to Dadar police station. Before entering, she saw the same old woman sitting on a tattered bench coughing her lungs out. She waited outside.
Prachi told herself, “I really want to help this woman but I have a toddler at home. I need to look after him, do the chores and work at office too. How will I spare time to take care of her health? She is already sick and my baby is vulnerable too… on top of it, we don’t have an extra room… what was I thinking on the first place!
Hmm… right now I’m not in a position to help someone; I better start saving money so that I can open a centre for woman like her. Yes, that is what I should do.”
Years passed. Prachi became a successful woman. She also had a younger daughter now who was studying in 10th std. Prachi’s bank account became quite heavy than she expected. Once in a while, she gave decent donations to reputed NGO’s; pictures on her facebook profile established that.
One day, while going through old stuff, she came across a diary where long back she had untidlly scribbled,
“ Save money for homeless centre”
That day she didn’t leave her room. Kept going on long walks for a few days. One day she came back home and saw her daughter and son playing together. Laughing carelessly… without a worry in the world.
Prachi went into a deep rail of thoughts and after some time mumbled to herself, “This is a cruel world. I don’t want my kids to struggle the way I did. I need to keep this money for their future… ah! Even if I have to sacrifice my dream for them, I will.”, she rationalized.
Today I saw an old woman at Kolkatta railway station. She looked delirious and was startled every time any person passed by. She was tearful and terrified. Her hair were almost white and slightly covered with grease. Her frail body made her look unbelievably small and pitiful that I wanted to cry. I touched her shoulder and called,
She didn’t recognize me, and kept staring suspiciously.
That once ‘special’ kid, her dementia didn’t allow her to even regret.
“Are you eating well?”, mother asked on phone.
“Yes mom….”, she replied as she tore another packet of Maggie noodles.
“It’s a big city, you’re taking good care of yourself right?”
“Yes mom…” she said reassuringly as she hung on the door of a crowded train back from work.
“Have you made any friends yet dear?”
“Yes mumma…” she said tiredly as she poked “talking tom” on her cellphone and stared at his reaction with a pissed off face.
“Beta, are you satisfied with your job?”
“Ho g mummt………”she replied tiredly
as she created another excel file with her monotonous data entry work.
full of lies…
and people thought mother was the only one who cared.
He:- Creatures like us… we don’t have another option. We can either be Great or miserable for someone… and here I’m desperately trying to balance both as it falls back.
She:- Hmmm… so what would you choose? Be the one or blend like the rest?
He:- I don’t know… what do you think?
She:- I think about how you feel… how do you feel?
He:- I feel… I feel hollow. I feel like a crack on a glass window, that is how people picture me coming. I feel… I feel like I can do a lot many things but I can’t… coz I don’t want to. I’m capable to do so but I don’t want to. Why do I not want to? There’s something which stops me… something which doesn’t allow me to stay happy. Why, why can’t I be like others… stable, calm like an evening sea. Why there is so much inside… a storm always on a hunt… why??
She:- Because that’s not what you are. You’re the force… which pushes the world with his energy. You’re a storm, destined to bring peace, later…. you shall not feel bad about what you are, you’re what you are, your aim is what it is!
He :- I feel lonely, you understand? I don’t want this, I never asked for this-”
She :- and yet you became that. Our thoughts shapes our actions and actions shapes our personality… are you sure you never wanted this?
He :- I… I just never thought I would feel this… it feels so… so..
She :- Real?
He :- Yes…
She :- Lol, so Alice, waiting for your wonderland or something?
He :- Shut up you! I didn’t came to you so you can mock me too. You’re the only one who can understand me well, always been. Help me dear…
She :- Uhh, spare me from this lifeguru trouble, at least now?
He :- Nope! Tell me what to do?
She :- Kill yourself!
After some time…
He stared at her photo on the wall as he dragged the knife over his neck. A longing smile on his face was there and eyes watered with regret.
Been years she died,
still gave the best advice.
HE :- “Breaking up with you because staying alone is what you like, what you prefer… freeing you at last.”
A few days later her body was found dangling from the ceiling fan in her cold apartment; words scribbled on her wall were…
“….alone not lonely!”
She saw him sitting in the library, couldn’t take her eyes off him. He noticed. She noticed that he noticed. Shit! No, I won’t.
Hardly 10 seconds had passed and here were her eyes trailing his torso again. Uhhhh! He caught me again.
Dumbo dumbass dumbshit! Can’t you be a little careful?
Out of curiosity, he came near her. Some excuse of switchboard it was. With a hesitation in his tone and nervousness in his eyes, he tried to break a small talk.
She :- Umm I… I know what you’re thinking and also what you’re thinking that I’m thinking but I just want to tell you that it’s nothing like what you’re thinking that I was thinking because what I was thinking is way out of your imagination of what I was thinking…
I was just… I… I really like your shirt you know and I’m a sucker for cheks… can you, can you tell me where you bought it from, like the shop? Or is it available online? Does it come in black too? tell me it does,
“So, how did it feel to see him with someone else?”, she asked her as both friends walked on a calm evening beach.
“It felt… it felt as if… you know if somebody had pulled my ribs apart, saw my heart beating hard and then ran a sharp straight knife over it… I could feel the warm blood pouring out and still not die… you stay alive knowing what’s happening to you… but you cannot do anything, just stand there in agony… speechless, actionless…
it kind of felt like that.”
“You could have just said ‘jealous’ you know”, she said with terrified eyes.